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TRI-COUNTY PRESS

Your Community Press newspaper serving Evendale, Glendale, Sharonville, Springdale, Wyoming

75¢

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 21, 2015

BECAUSE COMMUNITY MATTERS

St. James of the Valley School at risk of closing By Kelly McBride kmcbride@communitypress.com

A review of school operations has been initiated to see if St. James of the Valley School in Wyoming can remain open past this school year, after a staggering deficit was discovered. Principal Jim Haag sent a letter to parents, and held an information meeting Jan. 8 to explain the situation. The parish, under the leadership of new pastor the Rev. Chris Coleman and Finance Manager Clare Towle, discovered that St. James’ school had a deficit of $256,000 from the previous fiscal year. Additionally, they learned that the parish had been operating in deficit conditions for a dozen years. “Past practice was to draw funds from the parish reserves at the Archdiocese to make up the deficits,� Haag wrote in the letter to parents. “Twelve years of this practice has dramatically reduced those reserves. “The parish is now in a situation that is both critical and urgent.� The letter explained that the school, after just three months of the current academic year, has already reached a deficit of $79,653. Haag cited a drop in

parish attendance, where donations help fund the school, as part of the reason for the financial struggle. The principal explained in the letter that the school would need substantial philanthropic support, tuition increase and an increase in enrollment at current staffing levels. “Based on past indicators, none of those changes has a realistic chance of success,� Haag wrote. The parish is conducting a Change Process,� “School which includes a review of operations, to determine if the school is viable. “This process is designed to keep the school open in all but impossible situations, and make closure the last option,� Haag wrote in the letter. He hasn’t given up hope, though, that St. James of the Valley School can remain open. “We’re working hard to work our way out of this mess,� Haag said the day after the parent meeting. “This is a wonderful little school,� said Haag, a parishioner himself, and father of a St. James graduate. “I also understand that having a parish that’s financially solvent is critical.�

KELLY MCBRIDE/THE COMMUNITY PRESS

An overwhelming financial deficit has put St. James of the Valley in Wyoming at risk of closing.

Director: ICRC remains ‘relevant’ in changing world By Sheila Vilvens svilvens@communitypress.com

SHEILA VILVENS/THE COMMUNITY PRESS

Brad Stapleton, executive director of ICRC, in the group’s studios in Sharonville.

MOCK TURTLE SOUP A5 Rita shares soup recipes

VISIT US ONLINE Find local news at Cincinnati.com

As the revenue stream for many communities in Greater Cincinnati continue to shrink, ways to cut costs remain under the microscope. Services such as community access television are being scrutinized like never before with some communities eliminating or reducing the service. One of the oldest and largest providers of community access television in the Cincinnati area is the Intercommunity Cable Commission Regulatory (ICRC). With these looming fi-

nancial challenges and significant changes in the way people communicate via social media, we asked ICRC Executive Director Brad Stapleton a few questions about the history and future of community access television, specifically ICRC. He provided these responses via email. Background on ICRC – when and how did you begin? “The ICRC was started in the early 1980s by a forward thinking Sharonville council member named Aaron Mackey. This was when cable television was first coming to the area and the idea was that by negotiating as a

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large group, rather than small individual suburban communities, they could attract a larger, more state-of-the-art cable system. The result of that was the state-of-the-art, 60-channel, two wire, interactive Qube cable system from Warner Amex. After the system was built, some of the communities decided to pool their resources to fund and program the community access channels. The ICRC first began producing programs in 1986. “The ICRC is a prime example of shared resources. Not every one of the communities we See ICRC, Page A2 Vol. 31 No. 19 Š 2015 The Community Press ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

See page A2 for additional information

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