Ohio Cooperative Living - April 2020 - Adams

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APRIL 2020

COOPERATIVE Adams Rural Electric Cooperative

Always on duty Honoring co-ops’ first responders

ALSO INSIDE Underground Railroad in Ohio Gateway to Hocking Hills Hunting for Easter eggs

Celebrate National Lineman Appreciation Day: April 13

They keep our lights on every day. But they also help communities rebuild after weather disasters, and they even travel across the globe to bring electricity to people who have never had it. To recognize your co-op’s dedicated employees, #ThankALineman this April.



INSIDE FEATURES 24 PATH TO FREEDOM Geography and politics gave Ohio an important role in the Underground Railroad.

28 SAFETY MISSION A program aims to spread the word and reduce the dangers associated with living on the farm.

30 GATEWAY TO THE HILLS The new visitors’ center at Hocking Hills State Park gives adventurers a starting point for their stay.

40 A SUNNY SURPRISE One family’s farm pond yields a staterecord green sunfish to a 9-year-old in Richland County.

Cover image on most issues: Electrical linework is one of the most dangerous professions in the country, so in April, electric cooperatives take a day to honor their first responders.




f you’ve read this magazine for long enough, you get the idea that we respect, even admire, the people whose job it is to go out every day and keep our lights on. The lineworkers who represent each of the 24 electric cooperatives in our state are the first responders of the cooperative world. They are a dedicated, self-sacrificing bunch who do not flinch when the call goes out — any time of day, any season of the year. Lineworker Appreciation Day is April 13. The next time you flip a switch to bring a dark room to life, power up your cellphone or iPad, or even enjoy a hot shower in the morning, remember the people who power your co-op. The dedication of the lineworkers — and the entire co-op staff — to keeping your lights on is remarkable, and it’s genuine. In March, a group of Ohio lineworkers volunteered to leave the safety and security of their hometowns and share that skill and dedication with the 634 residents of Tierra Blanca Sebol, a tiny village in Guatemala. It was the third time an Ohio group has made such a trip — Ohio co-op lineworkers also electrified Guatemalan villages in 2016 and 2018 — and while neither of the previous ventures could be described as coming off without a hitch, this trip was especially complicated. Because the group’s status was evolving and things were still being sorted out while this issue of Ohio Cooperative Living was being printed, we’ll give everyone a more detailed account of the trip in the May magazine. Meanwhile, back here in Ohio, we know as we always have that we can count on our lineworkers when there’s trouble — big or small — and we’re proud of and grateful for these heroes every time they answer the call. Thanks to our lineworkers, for what they do for us each and every day.



The lineworkers are the first responders of the cooperative world. They are a dedicated, selfsacrificing bunch who do not flinch when the call goes out.

APRIL 2020 • Volume 62, No. 7

MORE INSIDE Ohio Rural Electric Cooperatives 6677 Busch Blvd. Columbus, OH 43229 614-846-5757 memberinteract@ohioec.org www.ohioec.org Patrick O’Loughlin President & CEO Patrick Higgins Director of Communications Jeff McCallister Managing Editor Rebecca Seum Associate Editor Anita Cook Graphic Designer Dava Hennosy Editorial Intern Contributors: Celeste Baumgartner, Colleen Romick Clark, Victoria Ellwood, W.H. “Chip” Gross, Catherine Murray, Craig Springer, and Damaine Vonada. OHIO COOPERATIVE LIVING (USPS 134-760; ISSN 2572-049X) is published monthly by Ohio Rural Elec­tric Co­op­eratives, Inc. It is the official com­mun­ ication link be­tween the elec­­­­tric co­operatives in Ohio and West Virginia and their mem­bers. Subscription cost for members ranges from $5.52 to $6.96 per year, paid from equity accruing to the member. Nothing in this publication may be reproduced in any manner without written permission from Ohio Rural Electric Cooperatives, Inc. All rights reserved.





Always on duty: Co-op lineworkers know their lives may be put on hold at any time when duty calls.

Consolidated Cooperative: The Mount Gilead-based co-op serves an area rich in history and recreation.



One weird bird: The experience of watching an American bittern in the wild is worth the wait.



Orchid empire: Green Circle Growers has blossomed into one of the nation’s most innovative greenhouses.


EGGS-tra good: Wholesome,

For all advertising inquiries, contact

Cheryl Solomon American MainStreet Publications 847-749-4875 | cheryl@amp.coop The fact that a product is advertised in Ohio Cooperative Living should not be taken as an en­dorse­ment. If you find an advertisement mis­leading or a product unsatisfactory, please not­ify us or the Ohio Attorney General’s Of­fi ce, Consumer Protection Sec­tion, 30 E. Broad St., Col­um­bus, OH 43215. Periodicals postage paid at Colum­bus, OH, and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to editorial and advertising offices at: 6677 Busch Boulevard, Columbus, OH 43229-1101

Cooperative members: Please report changes of address to your electric cooperative. Ohio Cooperative Living staff cannot process address changes. Alliance for Audited Media Member

nutritious, and delicious, versatile eggs can liven up any meal.



News and information from your electric cooperative.


What’s happening: April/May events and other things to do around the state.



Easter egg hunt: Readers left no stone unturned for a fine haul of Easter eggs and other surprises.


Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives is an equal opportunity provider and employer.



ALWAYS ON Co-op lineworkers know their lives may be put on hold at any time when duty calls. BY JEFF McCALLISTER


eather forecasters knew it was a potentially devastating storm — a moisture-laden system rolling up from the Gulf of Mexico on a collision course with an arctic blast from the north, with Ohio right in the crosshairs. Ohioans heard they could have heavy rain or heavy snow, depending on the timing. If they were really unlucky, it might be heavy rain that froze as it fell. Mike Martin, a lineman at HolmesWayne Electric Cooperative in Millersburg, didn’t really concern himself with the forecast that December day in 2004; whatever would come, he and his brother lineworkers would deal with as they always did — and early on, it looked like his co-op would be spared the worst of it. “It was really just a good soaking rain that first night,” Martin says. “We were getting a few calls, and


Mike Martin once worked 18 consecutive shifts when an ice storm left nearly 90% of Holmes-Wayne Electric Cooperative’s consumer-members without power.

it looked like some of our members might be out for as long as a day or two. Then when we woke up the next morning and saw it in the daylight, we knew it was a bad situation.” The arctic air met the rain on a path that led directly through the Holmes-Wayne service territory, and as many as 15,000 of the co-op’s 17,000 members lost power. In all, a half-million Ohioans were in the dark, including an estimated 100,000 electric cooperative members across the central, southwestern, and northeastern parts of the state. Even with help from lineworkers sent by less-hard-hit areas, Martin and his crew worked 18 consecutive 16- to 18-hour days, including Christmas and New Year’s, in freezing temperatures, getting power restored. “I remember being up on a pole turning one house back on,” he says. “It was after dark, and the kids came running out of the house yelling and cheering and

thanking us. It actually took us a little bit to realize that it was Christmas Eve. It was a touching moment for us. It makes you feel really proud of the work you do.” Meanwhile, Martin’s own family and extended family put off their Christmas celebration for two full weeks while he was on the job. That’s the type of courage and dedication electric cooperatives across the country honor on Lineworker Appreciation Day, this year on April 13. “Electric linemen don’t often get the recognition they deserve,” says Kyle Hoffman, who heads up the lineworker training program for Ohio’s electric cooperatives. “They work all hours of the day, often in hazardous conditions, far from their families. They go above and beyond to restore power to their Continued on page 6


Barry Wisniewski, a lineman for Guernsey-Muskingum Electric Cooperative, got his introduction to co-op work during the notorious blizzard of 1978. Co-op lineworkers across the country are being honored April 13 for their 24-hour dedication to duty.

Continued from page 5

communities. Our linemen, as well as linemen across the nation, deserve a day of recognition.” Barry Wisniewski has been on the job for more than 40 years at Guernsey-Muskingum Electric Cooperative, based in New Concord. He says he appreciates the recognition that lineworkers get on Lineworker Appreciation Day, but it’s certainly not the reason they do what they do. Originally hired as the co-op’s first meter reader, Wisniewski got an early taste of the lineworker mindset when he got a field promotion on his first day on the job. The snow that was falling that day turned into the notorious blizzard of 1978. “It was all hands on deck, right from the start,” Wisniewski says. “We were clearing paths through 6   OHIO COOPERATIVE LIVING  •  APRIL 2020

snowdrifts that were higher than our trucks to get through and restore power when no one else could go anywhere. That was my introduction to this type of work, so starting that way, nothing else that has come up really seems that unusual.” The experience made such an impression that Wisniewski decided to go into the profession full time. “I think to a one of us, our attitude says that we are going to stay out there until the power’s on, no matter what,” he says. “There’s not a bit of quit in them, and there aren’t many linemen who would even consider changing that, no matter what day it is — Christmas, their birthday, a hundred degrees in the summer or 10 below in the winter — that’s just how these guys are.”



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onsolidated Cooperative serves almost 18,000 members in eight counties in north-central Ohio, concentrated in Delaware and Morrow counties. The cooperative not only provides electricity but also offers propane and fiber internet in some areas.

Morrow County Consolidated Cooperative’s main office is located on State Route 95 in Mount Gilead, the Morrow County seat. The county is home to an impressive and awe-inspiring park system, which co-op employees and many others often enjoy during lunchtime walks. Visitors from around the state are drawn to Mount Gilead State Park for its outdoor amenities, but Morrow County’s Parks District is also well-known for its recreational opportunities. The district is made up of five parks: Sheedy Sanctuary, Cedar Fork Park, Sautter Memorial Park, Fishburn Reserve, and Gleason Family Nature Reserve. The parks have well-maintained hiking trails, and some of the parks have organized, family-friendly activities. Gleason, Sheedy, and Sautter have each held guided interpretive nature walks. Gleason is the largest park in the reserve and has been undergoing rapid ecological change since reforestation and grassland restoration began in 2008. The previously agricultural fields are changing into a more diverse habitat featuring new migrants such as beavers.

Delaware County The Delaware County Fair becomes the center of the harness racing universe each September, when it’s the site of the Little Brown Jug — the second leg of harness racing’s Triple Crown for pacers. The event, hosted by the Delaware County Agricultural Society since 1946, takes place at the Delaware County Fairgrounds racetrack on the third Thursday after Labor Day, during the county fair. Delaware County residents also take special pride in their most famous native: Civil War hero, abolitionist, and the 19th president of the United States, Rutherford B. Hayes. Last fall, a 7-foot statue of Hayes was unveiled in downtown Delaware on the 197th anniversary of his birth. Before taking the oath of office on March 3, 1877, Hayes also served in Congress — elected while he still served as a general in the Union Army — then won three terms as Ohio’s governor before becoming president. Delaware residents revere Hayes for his hometown values and sense of community. Consolidated’s employees were proud to have represented the cooperative at the unveiling of the new statue, which overlooks the president’s birthplace.


Co-op Spotlight appears regularly in Ohio Cooperative Living to give a glimpse into the land and the people of Ohio’s 24 electric cooperatives.


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ONE WEIRD BIRD The experience of watching an American bittern in the wild is worth the wait. STORY AND PHOTOS BY W.H. “CHIP” GROSS



don’t consider myself an avid birder, but I understand enough about Ohio birds to know when something unusual shows up. Serendipity struck last year about this time when I came across an American bittern in a small wetland on private property near my home in north-central Ohio. A sizeable bird, measuring 2 feet tall with a 31/2-foot wingspan, it must have heard me coming. It was already “frozen” in its hiding-in-plain-sight pose when I saw it standing just a few feet from the swamp’s edge in shallow water near some cattails. The bird had compressed its body and was pointing its stout bill skyward. “Nothing to see here,” it seemed to say. “I’m just another marsh reed. Move along …” American bitterns are not easy to spot, for two reasons. First, there aren’t very many of them — they’re stateendangered. Second, they are masters of camouflage. The bird kept its heavily streaked breast turned toward me at all times, rotating slowly as I moved back and forth for a better camera angle. It would even sway slightly from side to side, as a reed does in the wind. But there was no wind that particular morning, which made the bird’s actions look a little ridiculous, as if he or she — the sexes appear similar — were a little tipsy. Nevertheless, the bittern continued its charade for more than two hours, convinced I couldn’t see it from a mere 20 feet away. Another reason the bittern was likely reluctant to flush and fly is that it was no doubt feeding on the dozens of leopard frogs that were breeding in a watery springtime amphibian orgy just a few yards away. As a result, I’ve never had a more cooperative, accommodating wildlife photo subject.

They are usually a bird of large open wetlands, such as Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge or the adjacent Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, east of Toledo. Both of those refuges are located along the Lake Erie shoreline and make up the largest wetland complex in Ohio. During migration, American bitterns can drop into smaller wetlands anywhere in the state, so keep your eyes and ears open this spring. The wild world is a constant stage of changing natural, ephemeral scenes. That’s part of the fascination of the outdoors — you never know quite what you’ll find. You just have to get off the couch long enough to discover what’s out there. If possible when you go, take a child or grandchild along. W.H. “CHIP” GROSS is Ohio Cooperative Living’s outdoors editor and a member of Consolidated Cooperative. If you have an outdoors-related story idea, send him an email at whchipgross@gmail.com.

As if all that behavior wasn’t bizarre enough, American bitterns have one more unique feature: They make a call that is other-worldly. Usually heard at dawn, dusk, or even after dark during spring or early summer, it is a deep, slow, resonant, repetitive “pomp-er-lunk” or “oonka-choonk” that can carry a great distance. Some ornithologists have described the sound as a pump operating underwater, earning the bird its nickname: thunder-pumper. The sound is worth going online to hear; I suggest the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website. The American bittern I encountered last April is the only one I’ve ever spotted in the wild, but I hope it’s not my last.

To hear a recording of the American bittern’s call, visit www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/American_Bittern.



Orchid empire

Green Circle Growers has blossomed into one of the nation’s most innovative greenhouses. BY DAMAINE VONADA


ith jade leaves held upright by translucent vases and tall flower spikes laden with buds, Phalaenopsis orchids ride on a conveyor belt inside the orchid range at Green Circle Growers. A computerized camera has just photographed the orchids, and soon a series of automated arms will embrace each one and methodically funnel it into a row of similar plants. “The camera takes 10 digital pictures of every orchid to determine how developed it is,” says Jose Martinez, marketing manager at GCG. “The plants are then grouped


according to their size and number of spikes and blooms. If a plant is too small, it goes back to a growing area.” A member of Lorain-Medina Rural Electric Cooperative, Green Circle Growers ranks among the nation’s largest and most innovative greenhouses, operating 100 acres of indoor growing space and 35 acres of outdoor growing space in the countryside west of Oberlin. It also employs more than 800 people and is Lorain-Medina’s largest consumer of electricity. John van Wingerden founded Green Circle Growers as a vegetable farm in 1968. While the company remains

to mass-produce Phalaenopsis hybrids. Since the Dutch are old masters at state-of-the-art floriculture, much of the advanced grading machinery came from the Netherlands. Orchids get digital codes that allow constant monitoring of their growth, and when they’ve sufficiently matured, a robot not only assembles shipping boxes but also packs the plants inside. “A box contains thirteen plants, and the robot can build and pack 180 boxes in an hour,” says Martinez. The company installed environment-friendly boilers fueled by tree waste and recycled pallets to help to simulate the tropical conditions in which the orchids naturally grow, and by using retention ponds to collect rainwater, its irrigation system yields 1.5 million gallons of water for every inch of rainfall.

VIDEO LINK: For a closer look at the production lines at Green Circle Growers, visit www.ohioec.org/orchids.

Those who work at Green Circle Growers, including Jose Martinez (left) and Caitlin Fisher (top), are constantly surrounded by a multitude of orchids in various stages of growth.

family owned and managed, it now grows and distributes bedding plants; seasonal plants such as poinsettias, Easter lilies, and mums; and a diverse selection of indoor potted plants that includes Crassula succulents, leafy dieffenbachia, tiny bonsai trees, and a veritable rainbow of prolifically blooming Phalaenopsis orchids. Green Circle Growers, in fact, devotes 33 acres of greenhouse space to orchids and has blossomed into the top orchid grower in North America. “We produce 8.5 million orchids every year,” says Martinez. “Because they’re all grown under roof, we raise and sell them year-round.” Florida and California establishments have traditionally dominated U.S. orchid production, but this Ohio company became a major player by adopting technology and sustainable practices that allow it

In addition to marketing succulent and foliage plants under its Wild Interiors trademark, Green Circle Growers developed the Just Add Ice brand for its Phalaenopsis orchids to emphasize that the plants, which are known as the “beginner’s orchid,” are exceptionally easy to care for. The name also reflects the Ohio State University and University of Georgia studies that proved ice cubes are a simple way for orchid owners to properly water plants. “Ice irrigation has no harmful effects and helps roots take water,” says Caitlin Fisher, GCG’s content manager. “The slow drip of melting ice is like raindrops in a tropical forest.” Green Circle Growers recommends three ice cubes per week and offers online video instruction and care tips. Although its primary customers are national retailers like Home Depot, Sam’s Club, and Trader Joe’s, Green Circle Growers also sells plants directly to consumers through its website. Just Add Ice orchids are two years old at the time of sale and are available in seven color categories and three pot sizes — premium (5 inch), petite (3 inch), and mini (2.5 inch) — suitable for gifting or decorating. In each size, all plants are the same height and have the same number of blooms. “We make sure the orchids are consistent because we want customers to avoid design fatigue,” Fisher says. “We just want people to enjoy picking their colors.” Green Circle Growers, 51051 U.S. Highway 20, Oberlin, OH 44074. 440-775-1411; www.greencirclegrowers.com.



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Rhubarb curd 5 eggs 1/2 cup sugar 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 3 tablespoons lemon juice zest of 1 lemon

1/4 teaspoon salt 11/2 cups rhubarb puree red dye 1/2 cup flour powdered sugar for dusting

Note: There will be more rhubarb puree than the recipe calls for. Spoon some on top of the bars when serving for extra tartness. Preheat oven to 350 F. In a medium bowl, blend together butter, 2 cups flour, and 1/2 cup sugar until mixture is crumbly. Press firmly and evenly into the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch pan lined with parchment paper. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until firm and lightly golden in color. Set aside to cool. While the crust is cooking, start by making a rhubarb puree. Combine puree ingredients in a medium saucepan and cook on medium-high until rhubarb has turned into a sauce with very few chunks, about 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Set aside to cool before moving on to the next step. In a large bowl, whisk together curd ingredients except for red dye and flour. Slowly add red dye and whisk until incorporated. Stop when you reach the desired color (the color will fade a bit when cooked). Lastly, whisk in the flour until smooth. Pour curd on top of crust and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until set. The bars will continue to firm up as they cool. Chill in refrigerator for 4 hours. Pull the parchment paper up on all sides, lift, and lay on a flat surface for easy cutting of bars. Per serving: 326 calories, 17.5 grams fat (10 grams saturated fat), 38 grams total carbohydrates, 1.5 grams fiber, 5 grams protein. 16   OHIO COOPERATIVE LIVING  •  APRIL 2020

EGGS ON FIRE Prep: 5 minutes | Cook: 20 minutes | Servings: 4 1 tablespoon olive oil 28-ounce can diced tomatoes 1 serrano pepper, sliced thin (they’re spicy!) 1 tablespoon smoked paprika 1 green pepper, diced 1 teaspoon cumin 6 garlic cloves, minced 1 teaspoon coriander 1 small red onion, diced 8 eggs Heat olive oil in a wide/deep skillet (10 inches or wider) and sauté serrano peppers, green pepper, garlic, and onion for 3 to 4 minutes. Add tomatoes and stir in paprika, cumin, and coriander. Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until mixture starts to thicken. To avoid shells and broken yolks, crack one egg at a time into a small bowl, then slide into skillet on top of the tomatoes, repeating with each egg.

4 ounces Cotija (or feta) cheese handful of fresh cilantro, minced crostini for dipping (optional)

Cover with a lid and steam/poach for 10 minutes or so, until egg whites set fully and yolks are how you prefer. Top with crumbled cheese and cilantro. Serve with crostini or toasted bread if desired. Tip: To add more eggs or to double this recipe, cook in an electric skillet. Per serving: 236 calories, 13 grams fat (3.5 grams saturated fat), 18 grams total carbohydrates, 5.5 grams fiber, 15 grams protein.


Technical Scholarships Available For adult and high school consumer-members

Rules and applications are available at www.ohioec.org/TechnicalScholarship APPLICATION DEADLINE: April 30


Creating an electrical safety plan

before you plant a tree


rees and power lines often coexist without problems. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take precautions when planting a tree.

Not only do dangers lurk for the person planting the tree, nearby power lines and trees can be harmed as well. Trees growing too close to electrical lines are the primary cause of momentary short circuits and flickering lights. When it storms, tree limbs that are too close to power lines can knock the lines out completely and create a greater threat to your safety. Overhead utility lines are the easiest to see and probably the ones we take for granted most. Although these lines look harmless enough, they are extremely dangerous. Meanwhile, underground utility lines can be buried very close to the ground’s surface. That’s why it’s so important to call before you dig. Before you start planting, we encourage our members to call their local 811 call center at least five days before they start planting. Never assume these utility lines are buried deeper than you plan to dig. Once you know where to plant to avoid underground utilities, find out where the prime planting spots away from overhead utility lines are. If you are planting a small tree that will grow no larger than 25 feet tall, planting it 25 feet away from power lines is a safe distance. If the tree will be 25 to 40 feet tall, plant it 40 feet away from power lines. The bigger the tree, the farther it should be. If the tree is expected to grow more than 40 feet high, it should be planted 60 feet away from utility lines.

Tips for safely planting a tree


Call 811 to have underground pipes and utilities marked at least a few working days before digging. Knowing their locations helps you dig safely, and planting a safe distance away will help prevent damage from roots. Create a basic plan or a sketched diagram before you begin planting to avoid future troubles. Using the information from the underground utility locator service will be a big help in setting some guidelines. Consider a tree’s potential growth when choosing its location. If it’s expected to grow higher than 15 feet, choose a spot 25 to 50 feet away from utility lines and your home. Plant with energy savings in mind. Not only can you upgrade your landscape, you can decrease your energy use, too. Trees can keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Just be sure you’re aware of power line location and avoid structural damage. Call us if you need help trimming a tree away from power lines. This will keep you and everyone around you much safer.

Keeping trees away from utility lines not only keeps you safe, it keeps them safe as well. Trees planted too close to underground lines can suffer root damage. Trees planted too close to overhead lines need regular pruning, damaging the tree and its appearance. Adams REC works hard to provide you with reliable electric service. You can help by following these few simple guidelines when managing the trees on your property. Being aware of the dangers and how to avoid them can keep you, your home, and the trees safe.



Adams REC awards scholarships

to five area students BY ALICE L. BAIRD


n Feb. 21, Roger Rhonemus, former Adams County Commissioner; Judy Calvert, retired educator; and Roger Cheesbro, CEO of Family Recovery Services, FRS Transportation, were privileged to interview 16 outstanding local area students. They had the monumental task of choosing only five from that pool of very talented students to receive awards. They all agreed that it was a difficult challenge this year to choose from such outstanding young men and women. 412750007 I am pleased to announce that Kaylee Ferguson of Peebles High School was chosen as the recipient of the first-place scholarship award of $1,200. By placing first at Adams REC, Kaylee is also eligible to compete for a scholarship of up to $3,800 from Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives, Adams REC’s statewide services organization, in Columbus. Kaylee is the daughter of Daniel and Amber Ferguson. She has chosen a career in biomedical sciences and plans to attend Mount St. Joseph University. Congratulations, Kaylee! The second-place scholarship award of $1,000 will go to Jaylan Hopkins of Peebles High School. Jaylan is the daughter of David and Melissa Hopkins. She has chosen a career in criminal justice, criminology/legal studies, and plans to attend Ohio Christian University. Congratulations, Jaylan!

The third-place scholarship award of $800 will go to Carlie Cluxton of Peebles High School. Carlie is the daughter of Nathan and Sherry Cluxton. Carlie has plans to attend Ohio State University and pursue a career in agricultural communications. Congratulations, Carlie! Our fourth-place scholarship award of $700 will go to Hannah Blythe of West Union High School. Hannah is the daughter of David and Alicia Blythe. She plans to attend Shawnee State University and has chosen a career in occupational therapy. Congratulations, Hannah! Our fifth-place scholarship award of $600 will go to Carolyn Shupert of North Adams High School. Carolyn is the daughter of Roger and Julie Shupert. She has plans to attend Ohio State University where she will major in accounting. Congratulations, Carolyn! Once again, we have seen that our area is not short on young people who are hardworking, talented, and inspired. They have proven that they have what it takes to make their dreams become reality. They should be commended for their successes this far and for their determination to make a difference. We at Adams REC commend every student who applied for a scholarship and wish you all the very best in your endeavors.

If you need information concerning the scholarship program, calendar of events, or any other questions or comments, please feel free to contact me at the office by phone at 937-544-2305 or email at aliceb@adamsrec.com. Have a happy and blessed Easter! 20  OHIO COOPERATIVE LIVING • APRIL 2020



28th Annual Children’s Easter Egg Hunt at the Wilson Children’s Home, 300 N. Wilson Drive, West Union. Registration starts at noon. Festivities start at 1 p.m. Ages walking to 10 years. Eggs will be exchanged for candy. There will be prize drawings. Rain date April 18. Contact 937-544-2511.


Loose Thread Quilters Quilt Show at Peebles Methodist Church, 1370 Measley Ridge Road, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Bed turning will be at 2 p.m.; trunk show, door prizes, and demonstrations all day long. For more information call 513-218-3373 or 937-779-9011.


Gene Watson will perform at The Red Barn Convention Center. Concert is 7 p.m. Contact 800-8239197 ext. 121.


UKC Elite Shed Dog Series National Championship at McCoy’s at Poplar Flat, 2064 Poplar Flat Road, Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Sunday 9 a.m. to noon. Learn more at the event and meet the dogs who excel at this new and exciting sport. Contact 937-430-4999 and like us on our Facebook page: McCoy’s at Poplar Flat.


167th Bentonville Anti Horse Thief Society Banquet, 7 p.m. at Burning Heart Camp in Bentonville. Contact Verna Naylor at 937-549-3360.

Jeremy Ackley awarded Louise Freeland Scholarship On Feb. 26, Georgetown senior Jeremy Ackley was one of four students to be awarded a $3,000 Louise Freeland Scholarship from Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives. Louise Freeland Scholarships are awarded annually to the children of electric cooperative employees and trustees. Jeremy is the son of Thomas and Erika Ackley of Georgetown. Erika is the manager of finance and administration for Adams Rural Electric Cooperative. Jeremy plans to attend the University of Cincinnati, where he will work toward a career in mechanical engineering. We commend Jeremy for his dedication and hard work. There is no doubt that he will achieve success in whatever path he chooses. Congratulations, Jeremy!

Capital credits retirements Capital credits refunded to the estates of Adams Rural Electric Co-op members for February 2020 totaled $27,014.63. Estates paid in 2020 to date total $41,509.80. In case of the death of a member of Adams Rural Electric, contact Kacee Cox or Alice Baird at 937-544-2305 or 800-283-1846.

PLEASE CALL IN YOUR OUTAGES Do not use email or Facebook! If you experience an outage, please call the office at 937-544-2305 or 800-283-1846. If you post on Facebook or email your outage information, it could delay the restoration time. Emails and Facebook are not continuously monitored, especially in the evenings or on weekends.



The base rate for a 100- to 175-watt high pressure sodium (HPS) and/or mercury vapor (MV) security light will increase from $9 per month to $10 per month beginning with the April billing. The 250-watt HPS base rate will increase from $12.20 to $13.50 also beginning with the April billing. We will begin to install LED security lights in the near future. The base rates for equivalentsized lights will be the same and will begin immediately upon installation.

The last security light increase was 15 years ago, in May 2005.


937-544-2305 | 800-283-1846 www.adamsrec.com

Our office will be closed on Friday, April 10, to recognize Good Friday. Adams Rural Electric Cooperative wishes all of our consumer-members a happy Easter.


Donald C. McCarty Sr. President

Charles L. Newman Vice President

Kenneth McCann Secretary


4800 St. Rte. 125 P.O. Box 247 West Union, OH 45693 OFFICE HOURS

Mon.–Fri., 7:30 a.m.–4 p.m.

Stephen Huff Blanchard Campbell William Wylie M. Dale Grooms William Seaman John Wickerham

Erika Ackley Jacob Alexander Alice Baird Jennifer Baughey Nathan Colvin Kacee Cox Joan Drummond Brett Fawns Joyce Grooms John Hayslip David Henry Steve Hoop

Randy Johnson Samuel Kimmerly Dave Kirker Rodney Little Dave McChesney Kristina Orr David Ralston Cody Rigdon Zachary Rowe Dewayne Sexton Mike Whitley Jordan Williams

Bill Swango General Manager

PAY YOUR BILL AT 800-809-6352 HIDDEN NUMBER BILL CREDIT We provide three convenient ways to pay: online, by phone, or directly from your bank account. Failure to receive your bill in no way relieves you from paying it. If you don’t receive your bill, contact the office before the due date and we’ll issue another one.


Pay at these collection stations: First State Bank — Georgetown, Hillsboro, Manchester, Peebles, Ripley, Seaman, West Union, and Winchester. National Bank of Adams County — 218 N. Market St., West Union.

Find your account number in the Adams REC local pages (the four center pages of this magazine), then call our office, and you will receive a $20 credit on your electric bill. You must call by the end of the month in which your account number appears. Your call affirms permission to publish your name as a winner in an upcoming issue of Ohio Cooperative Living.

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Geography and politics gave Ohio an important role in the Underground Railroad.



hen Dewey Scott retired from the hustle and bustle of Cincinnati to the peaceful hillsides surrounding Ripley — an hour to the southeast on land hugging the Ohio River — he thought he’d enjoy life without much on his to-do list.

living in Ripley, and fugitive slaves knew they could come here and live among them.”

“My wife, though, told me I needed a hobby,” he says. “So, I went down by the river to read, opened up the newspaper, and saw the John Parker House needed a tour guide. I walked across the street and applied for the job.”

Ohio’s location was key. “If you look at a map, you’ll see Ohio is the southernmost free state that bordered the northernmost slave states of Kentucky and (then) Virginia,” says Eric Herschthal, postdoctoral fellow in the Department of African American and African Studies at Ohio State University. That geographic reality made Ohio a natural pathway for fugitive slaves.

That was more than a decade ago. Today, Scott is the manager and docent at the John Parker House museum in Ripley, armed with a knack for storytelling and a wealth of knowledge about the historic home and about Ripley’s standing as a pivotal stop on the Underground Railroad.

Freedom-seekers could assimilate into black communities — such as Ripley — that dotted Ohio’s landscape. Or they could be aided by abolitionists, both black and white, who helped them journey north through Ohio and into Canada via the Underground Railroad.

“You were a free person once you came into Ohio at that time,” he says. “It was known that there were free blacks

Here’s a sampling of Ohio’s historically significant Underground Railroad sites:

A piece of artwork at the John Parker House museum in Ripley depicts travelers and “conductors” on the Underground Railroad; a slave pen that once stood in Mason County, Kentucky, now stands on display at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati; opposite page, the Parker (top photo) and Rankin houses in Ripley.


FREEDOM Ripley’s John Parker House and John Rankin House

John Parker, himself a former slave, bought his house (now the museum Scott oversees) and opened a foundry while he continued to help others. “Parker often traveled back to Kentucky to retrieve slaves and help them across the river, where he would send them along to other Underground Railroad ‘stations’ in Ripley,” Scott says. One of Parker’s neighbors, John Rankin, was a well-known abolitionist who lived high on a hill. “You could see his house from 30 miles into Kentucky,” Scott says. “His family would hang a lantern in a window to let fugitives know when they could cross the river. Eventually, he helped more than 2,000 slaves to safety.” Today, the John Rankin House is a National Historic Landmark. Ripley native Betty Campbell, site manager, says the restored house — where Rankin and his 13 children kept the lantern burning — and other Underground Railroad sites are a key part of American history. “They tell the stories of people — men and women, black and white — who helped others achieve freedom.” The John Rankin House is open April through October, and offers guided tours, exhibits, and a visitors’ center. The John Parker House is open May through October, and includes exhibits and artwork tracing Parker’s life.

Mount Pleasant’s Historic District Mount Pleasant, an eastern Ohio hamlet between Steubenville and Wheeling, is small — just eight blocks long. The historic district is even more compact, but boasts 40 antebellum houses and another 40 built between 1865 and 1900. “Pretty much the whole village was part of the Underground Railroad,” says Angela Feenerty, president of Continued on page 26


Nearly the entire village of Mount Pleasant (left) was part of the Underground Railroad. Below, the National AfroAmerican Museum and Cultural Center in Wilberforce (top) and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati are home to significant collections of art and historic documents.

Continued from page 25

the historical society in Mount Pleasant. The area was settled by southern Quakers, who brought along slaves who could live freely in the town. “Most of those hidey-holes you hear about had purposes other than hiding fugitives,” Feenerty says. “This village most definitely had a free black community, and no one from Mount Pleasant was ever sent back.” On the first Saturday and Sunday in August, a self-guided walking tour lets visitors explore eight historic buildings.

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Cincinnati Cincinnati’s National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is built on the site of one of Ohio’s first black settlements. Says Christopher Miller, senior director of education there, “This area holds a lot of Underground Railroad history, a lot of African American history. Our building sits on what was once called Little Africa, in an area known for slaughterhouses, shipping, and floods. At nighttime there was a great deal of activity as people seeking freedom would cross the river.” Today, the museum, open year-round, includes exhibits and information from the Underground Railroad all the way to modern-day slavery. One of the center’s most significant artifacts, Miller says, is an authentic slave pen from Kentucky. “It’s important because it helps us get an understanding of the treatment of the African family during slavery.”

Wilberforce and the Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center Wilberforce was another early black settlement, says Charles Wash, director of the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center in the tiny town near Xenia. “Wealthy white Southerners would vacation at the natural springs here with their enslaved female servants, producing mixed-raced children who could not be educated in the South. Many of these children stayed, and Wilberforce University provided educational opportunities.”


Today, the area is home to three historically black educational institutions — Central State University, Payne Theological Seminary, and Wilberforce — along with the museum and its extensive archives. The museum, now in its 32nd year, is open Wednesday through Saturday. “We’re known for our art and artifacts collection, which is recognized as second to none,” Wash says. Current exhibitions include “Black Power in Comics” and “Art of Soul,” an annual juried show. Wash, born and raised in Flint, Michigan, moved to Ohio in 2007. “I thought I knew a lot about African American history, but when I moved here and learned about Ohio’s role in the Underground Railroad, it completely blew me away. There is a deep and rich history here in Ohio.”

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Program aims to spread the word and reduce the dangers of farming. BY CELESTE BAUMGARTNER


hile watching RFD-TV one night, Russ Beckner saw a segment that showed a California mom driving a tractor around with her two young kids in the tractor bucket.

included safety monitoring in construction and manufacturing.

Appalled, Beckner called the network and explained why they should never show such actions — if the tractor were to hit a bump, he told them, the kids could fall out and be injured or killed.

When he retired from P&G, that safety mindset carried over as he started helping his son, Jason, on Jason’s farm. People tend to associate farms with peaceful fields, fresh air, and contented cows, but as all farmers know, agriculture can be a dangerous way to make a living — and a farm is a dangerous place to live.

Beckner, a member of Butler Rural Electric Cooperative, has worked on safety issues for more than 60 years. When he was a Boy Scout, he taught new Scouts how to safely use a pocketknife. During his career at Procter & Gamble, his responsibilities

Between eight and 12 people, on average, are killed on farms every year in Ohio. Thousands more sustain injuries. “I became aware of farm injuries locally, statewide, and nationally, and I thought we could make a difference,” Russ says.


“Then we show them how many times a lawnmower blade or a power take-off shaft on a tractor would rotate during that time — between 10 and 50 times, depending on the motor. It emphasizes that no matter how young or how fast you are, you can get hurt.” A “no riding” demonstration uses a small model of a tractor — similar to the scene Russ saw on RFD. Kids place a plastic farmer figurine in the driver’s seat, and a figure of a child is placed on the fender. Two textured floor mats serve as the farm field. “We tell the children, ‘If you can move the tractor from one end of the field to the other — which is about 5 feet — without the little girl falling off, we’ll put your name in for a prize,’” Russ says. “They never make it. I can tell them, ‘Don’t ride on a tractor fender,’ but will they remember? I don’t know. I think they’ll remember that little figure falling off and sometimes going right underneath the wheels. That makes an impression.” Thus was the genesis of what has grown into the Southwest Ohio Family Farm Safety program, with a mission to improve those statistics.

For information about the Southwest Ohio Family Farm Safety program, email Russ Beckner at rgbeckner@frontier.com.

“I think it’s important to make people aware of being safe around farm equipment,” says Russ’ grandson, Ryland Beckner, a freshman at Talawanda High School in Oxford, who’s been actively involved in the program since he was in elementary school. “I feel that we’ve saved a few lives with what we’ve done. We’ve talked to hundreds of people. A lot of people have heard our message. Hopefully, out of that number, at least a few have been saved from doing something they would have done if they had not heard it.” Russ and Ryland distribute coloring books and literature promoting farm safety to area farm-related businesses, where customers can help themselves to the information. The Beckners also have booth displays they set up at various community events, such as the Butler Rural Electric Cooperative Family Day, where they talk to visitors and have demonstrations — after all, Russ says, if a picture is worth a thousand words, then a demonstration is worth a thousand pictures. “For a grain bin safety demonstration, we have a grain bin model, and we fill it with soybeans,” Ryland says. “The children put in a little plastic figure. We pull a slide out and let the beans flow into a pan, and of course, that little figure just disappears in about two seconds. I don’t think they are going to forget that.” Visitors can test their reaction speed in another demonstration. “As soon as they hear the sound or see the light, they hit a button, and we can show that it generally takes about 0.7 seconds to react,” Russ says.

Russ Beckner and his grandson, Ryland Beckner, have made it their mission to build awareness of potential safety issues on the farm through their Southwest Ohio Family Farm Safety program. Part of their work involves setting up booths at public gatherings where they demonstrate potential hazards using plastic figurines.


Gateway to The state park’s new visitor center gives guests a starting point for their stay. STORY AND PHOTOS BY W.H. “CHIP” GROSS

The rugged, natural beauty of the Hocking Hills region in southeastern Ohio attracts more than 4 million visitors annually, so it’s not surprising that Hocking Hills State Park is the most visited in the Buckeye State. To accommodate all those folks seeking outdoor adventure, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has unveiled a new, state-of-the-art visitor center. Earlier this year, the project won first place in the annual Ohio Parks and Recreation Association (OPRA) Awards of Excellence competition. Located at the entrance to Old Man’s Cave — the most well-known of seven major geological features in the park — the handsome log-and-stone structure includes 8,500 square feet of indoor space and both upper and lower covered outdoor verandas that add another 5,000 square feet to the two-story building. “The new visitor center features interactive exhibits on both levels of the building that help guests learn about the unique nature and history of the Hocking Hills,” says Pat Quackenbush, naturalist supervisor at the park. Upper-level displays assist visitors in planning their day by orienting them to Hocking Hills State Park, the surrounding Hocking State Forest, and nearby state nature preserves. Visitors will also learn about the locations and conditions of various trails systems, as well as the safety concerns of hiking area trails. “A trail simulator gives visitors a sample of what they might encounter,” Quackenbush says. “Hocking Hills trails vary from flat and smooth to steep and rocky. Conditions can change quickly even on the same trail, especially when trails become wet or snow- and ice-covered.” The lower level of the building takes visitors through the history and ecology of the Hocking Hills region. A simulated cave gives kids and adults a unique experience while learning about the geology of gorges in the area. It’s likely the most helpful feature in the new center is the information desk in the lobby, where you can have your questions answered by a naturalist and pick up a free park map. Hocking Hills Visitor Center at Hocking Hills State Park, 19852 State Route 664 S., Logan. 740-385-6842; http://parks.ohiodnr.gov/hockinghills.


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Ladybugs Ohio’s state insect is a garden protector. BY CRAIG SPRINGER


n 1975, the Ohio General Assembly chose the ladybug as the official state insect, citing attributes shared with the great people of the Buckeye State.

“The ladybug is symbolic of the people of Ohio,” reads the legislature’s proclamation. “She is proud and friendly, bringing delight to millions of children when she alights on their hand or arm to display her multicolored wings, and she is extremely industrious and hardy, able to live under the most adverse conditions and yet retain her beauty and charm, while at the same time being of inestimable value to nature.” The legislative body overlooked this: Ladybugs also are implacable, plundering predators — though that’s not a bad thing. This orange-and-black or red-and-black speck of an insect (which is technically a beetle rather than a bug) is the size of a pencil eraser, and it brings a welcomed utility to orchardists and farmers alike. Ladybugs, as cute and dainty as they may be, are voracious predators of other bugs, including some destructive ones that are too small for the human eye to see. Ladybugs live two years and survive the winter in their adult form, hiding en masse beneath the frostline under rocks and downed timber. As winter turns to spring, the warmth that comes with extra daylight stirs them to reproduce. Adults lay clusters of about 50 eggs at a time,

strategically placed near colonies of aphids and mealy bugs or other tiny pests that tend to destroy agricultural crops and greenhouse plants. The ladybug eggs incubate in less than five days. When they hatch, the larvae, which look like tiny, spiny crocodiles, are born into that smorgasbord and immediately go about their business of eating all those destructive neighbors. In less than two weeks, they change from that rather scarylooking form into the familiar Volkswagon-shaped beetle. Despite the cuteness, the adults are also efficient eating machines. They’re equipped with razor-sharp jaws that slice and squeeze their insect food. A single adult can consume upward of a thousand aphids in a single day. Their bright colors don’t provide camouflage in vegetation — quite the opposite. Their striking colors convey a message in nature that they are toxic. When agitated or picked up by a bird, ladybugs emit toxins that repulse would-be predators. In folklore, they have long been held as a harbinger of summer, hence another name for the little bugs: St. Barnaby’s bees. On the pre-Gregorian calendar, June 11, St. Barnaby’s Day, marked the beginning of summer and the date ladybugs were expected to make their first appearance of the season. Depending on the weather, though, they may start emerging from their winter naps as early as April.



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COOPERATIVE Official publication of your electric cooperative | www.ohioec.org

1AD78X © 2020

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PLEASE NOTE: Because of the developing coronavirus situation, many of these planned events may have been postponed or canceled. Please seek updated information before traveling. COMPILED BY COLLEEN ROMICK CLARK

400 dealers per show. Antiques, collectibles, furniture, crafts, produce, tools, glass, and more. 419-447- 9613, tiffinfleamarket@gmail.com, or www.tiffinfleamarket.com. APR. 26 – Glass City Marathon, downtown Toledo. One of the fastest marathon courses in the Midwest, regularly in the top list of Boston Marathon qualifying events. 26.2-mile marathon, 13.1-mile half marathon, 5K, and fiveperson relay. www.glasscitymarathon.org. APR. 29–MAY 2 – Annual Quilt Show, Sauder Village, Founder’s Hall, 22611 St. Rte. 2, Archbold, Wed.–Sat. 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Hundreds of quilts on display. Quilt shop and vendor market, workshops, special APR. 11 – Hayes Easter Egg Roll, Spiegel Grove, exhibits, demos, and shopping. Quilt appraisals Thursday Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library and Museums, and Friday, and by appointment on Saturday. Registration Fremont, 2–3:30 p.m. Admission is three hard-boiled and ticket information at https://saudervillage.org/classescolored eggs. Children ages 3–10 are invited to events/special-events/quilt-show-2020. participate in a variety of egg games. Also face painting, MAY 1–AUG. 7 – Limaland Motorsports Park Races, games, crafts, and visits with the Easter Bunny. 419-3321500 Dutch Hollow Rd., Lima, 7:30–10:30 p.m. Sprints, 2081or www.rbhayes.org. UMP Modifieds, Thunderstocks, and more! Pit gates APR. 17–18 – Home Sweet Home: A Vintage-Inspired open at 4:30 p.m., grandstand gates open at 5 p.m., Market, Allen Co. Fgds., 2750 Harding Hwy., Lima, Fri. warmup laps begin at 6:30 p.m. See website for updated 4–7 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m.–4 p.m. $5, under 12 free. Vintage, information. www.limaland.com. rustic, shabby chic, and repurposed items, handmade MAY 2 – Free Comic Book Day and Touch A Truck, Alter goods, and more. Food trucks on site. 567-204-7569 or Ego Comics, 230 N. Main St., Lima, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Free. http://homesweethomevintagemarket.com. Pick 5 free comic books from a selection of nearly 20 APR. 18 – Lima Symphony: “Journey in Sound,” different titles. Come dressed as your favorite character! Veterans Memorial Civic and Convention Ctr., 7 Town Food trucks on site as well as local artists. Touch A Truck Square, Lima, 7:30 p.m. $10–$35. 419-224-1552 or www. event, 10 a.m.–12 p.m. 419-224-6700 or www.facebook. limaciviccenter.com. com/AlterEgoManiacs under “Events.” APR. 21–22 – Hidden Spaces, Secret Places Tour, MAY 2 – Kentucky Derby Affair on the Square, 100 starting at 109 S. Ohio Ave., Sidney. $15. Evening tour of E Court St., Sidney. $25. Get your hats and bow ties historic buildings in downtown Sidney. Purchase tickets ready! Enjoy southern fare and bourbon mint juleps, online. 937-658-6945 or www.sidneyalive.org. and vote for your favorite jockey. Cash bar; must be APR. 24–25 – GCM Health and Wellness Expo, Savage 21 and over. Tickets available online. 937-658-6945 or Hall Arena, University of Toledo, 2801 W. Bancroft, Toledo, www.sidneyalive.org. Fri. 4–8 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Free. Over 100 vendors. MAY 2 – Lima Walk to Defeat ALS, University of Family-friendly event includes a Kids Zone. www. Northwestern Ohio, 1441 N. Cable Rd., Lima, 10 a.m.– glasscitymarathon.org. 1 p.m. Check-in at 10 a.m., walk begins at 11. A fun day of APR. 25 – Chocolate and Wine Walk, 5495 Liberty Ave., games, face painting, balloon art, entertainment, music, Vermilion, 11 a.m.–5 p.m. $20. Sample chocolate treats and raffles. To register, donate, or join a team, visit http:// and wine as you visit the quaint shops of downtown web.alsa.org/Lima. Vermilion. 440-967-4477 or http://vermilionchamber.net. MAY 2 – Springfest Car Show, Van Wert Co. Agricultural APR. 25–26 – The Fantastic Tiffin Flea Market, Seneca Society, Van Wert Co. Fgds., Van Wert, 2–5 p.m. ’50 and Co. Fgds., 100 Hopewell Ave., Tiffin, Sat. 9 a.m.–4 ‘60s music, dash plaques, goody bags, door prizes, food. p.m., Sun. 9 a.m.–3 p.m., rain or shine. Free. 250 to wrkchevy@hotmail.com.



APR. 18 – Dinner Theater, North Bend State Park, 202 North Bend Park Rd., Cairo. Enjoy a buffet dinner (seatings at 6 and 7 p.m.) and an entertaining show (8 p.m.). The show is written and performed by theater

students at Concord University and directed by Karen Vuranch. Reservations required. 304-643-2931. www. northbendsp.com. APR. 25 – Ramps and Rail Fest, 315 Railroad Ave., Elkins, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Sample various foods made with ramps (wild leeks), enjoy live music, browse the craft booths, and take a ride on the Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad. 304-635-7803 or https://elkinsdepot. com/ramps-and-rail-festival. MAY 8-9 — Bluegrass Festival, North Bend State Park, 202 North Bend Park Rd., Cairo. Fri. $10, Sat. $30. 304643-2931 or www.northbendsp.com. MAY 9–17 – West Virginia Strawberry Festival, Buckhannon. A unique tradition honoring the strawberry

MAY 2–3 – “Springtime in Ohio” Art and Craft Show, Hancock Co. Fgds., 1017 E. Sandusky St., Findlay, Sat. 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.–4 p.m. $6 for unlimited entry both days; under 12 free. Repurposed goods and furniture; vintage, farmhouse, shabby chic, Americana, and primitive items; homemade treats, live music, kids’ activities, and much more. http:// cloudshows.biz/event-calendar. MAY 3 – Fort Recovery Historical Society Exhibits and Displays, Fort Recovery State Museum, 1 Fort Site St., Fort Recovery, 2–4 p.m. Free. Presentations: “Antique Hand Tools” and “History of Fort Recovery in Pictures.” 419-3754384, www.fortrecoverymuseum.com, or on Facebook. MAY 8–17 – Biggest Week in American Birding, Maumee Bay Lodge and Conference Ctr., 1750 State Park Rd., Oregon. Free. Enjoy the spectacular birding in northwest Ohio, the “Warbler Capital of the World.” Activities include guided walks, bird ID workshops, birding by canoe, field trips, presentations, birder’s marketplace, and evening socials. 419-898-4070 or www. biggestweekinamericanbirding.com. MAY 9 – Lilac Festival and Street Fair, downtown Defiance. Celebrate the official flower of Defiance with the community’s largest arts and crafts fair. Free lilacs to the first 750 attendees. 5K race, parade, live music, arts and crafts vendors, unique food vendors, and kids’ activities. 419-782-0739 or http://visitdefianceohio.com/ annual-events. MAY 9 – Bluffton Arts and Crafts Show, Main Street, Bluffton, 9 a.m.–3 p.m. Free. Street festival featuring arts and crafts, food trucks, farmers market, family/kids’ activities including free pony rides and free mini golf, music tent, and other entertainment. 419-369-2985 or www.explorebluffton.com. MAY 9 – Lima Area Band Concert, Veterans Memorial Civic and Convention Ctr., 7 Town Square, Lima, 7:30 p.m. $15. Guest conductor Jim Swearingen. 419-224-1552 or www.limaciviccenter.com. MAY 9 – Spring on the Farm, Sauder Village, 22611 St. Rte. 2, Archbold, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Meet baby animals and the new draft horses, Earl and Joe! Kids can wash clothes on a scrub board, learn about seed planting, and enjoy other hands-on activities. 800-590-9755 or https:// saudervillage.org.

Submit listings AT LEAST 90 DAYS prior to the event to Ohio Cooperative Living, 6677 Busch Blvd., Columbus, OH 43229 or events@ohioec.org. Ohio Cooperative Living will not publish listings that don’t include a complete address or a number/ website for more information. harvest. Family fun includes a carnival, parades, contests, strawberry auction, craft show, and vendors selling everything strawberry! For times and schedule of events, go to www.wvstrawberryfestival.com.





THROUGH MAY 31 – “Tying the Knot: The History of Bridal Fashion,” McKinley Presidential Library and Museum, 800 McKinley Monument Dr. NW, Canton. Exhibit explores wedding fashions from the 1860s to the present day. Learn more about the history behind timeless wedding traditions such as the bouquet toss, wedding cakes, the engagement ring, the role of the best man, and more! 330-455-7043 or www. mckinleymuseum.org/events. APR. 17–9, MAY 1–17 – Mathilda the Musical, Geauga Lyric Theater Guild, 101 Water St., Chardon, Fri./Sat. 7:30 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. Stage musical based on the children’s novel by Roald Dahl. 440-286-2255 or www. geaugatheater.org. APR. 18 – Avon Spring Avant-Garde Art and Craft Show, Emerald Event Ctr., 33040 Just Imagine Dr., Avon, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. $3, under 12 free. Features artists and crafters selling their original handmade items. Full concessions stand on site. 440-227-8794 or www. avantgardeshows.com.​ APR. 22 – Nature Roars Back: National Geographic Live, Mimi Ohio Theatre, 1511 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, 7:30 p.m. $25–$45. www.playhousesquare.org/events.


APR. 11, 18 – An Insider’s Tour, Campus Martius Museum, 601 Second St., Marietta, 1:30–3:30 p.m. Take a deeper look at the early settlers whom David McCullough focuses on in his latest book, The Pioneers. Learn about their lives, their possessions, and the home of Gen. Rufus Putnam. Stories narrated by William Reynolds, the museum’s historian and a research contributor to McCullough’s book. 740-373-3750 or https://mariettamuseums.org. APR. 17–19 – Annual Wildflower Pilgrimage, Highlands Nature Sanctuary, 7660 Cave Rd., Bainbridge (Ross County). A weekend of guided hikes, delicious meals, and special talks from guest speakers. The theme is “The Storytellers: Women, Nature, and Art.” Space is limited and registration is required. https://arcofappalachia.org/ annual-wildflower-pilgrimage.


PLEASE NOTE: Because of the developing coronavirus situation, many of these planned events may have been postponed or canceled. Please seek updated information before traveling.

APR. 23–26 – Geauga County Maple Festival, Historic Chardon Square, Chardon. A festival celebrating “everything maple.” Features arts and crafts, lumberjack competition, beard contest, bathtub races, pageants, rides, and other fun events. Enjoy all-you-can-eat Pancakes in the Park every day, 8 a.m.–2 p.m. 440-2863007 or www.maplefestival.com. APR. 25 – Lakeside Sand and Gravel Open House and Antique Equipment Show, 3450 Frost Rd., Mantua, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Free, but donations appreciated. Live demonstrations of antique construction and mining equipment. Tours of the company’s mine and processing plant. Static display of antique construction and mining equipment, trucks, tractors, and much more. 330-2742569 or www.lakesidesandgravel.com. APR. 28–MAY 17 – My Fair Lady, Mimi Ohio Theatre, 1511 Euclid Ave., Cleveland. $10–$110. “A sumptuous new production of the most perfect musical of all time” (Entertainment Weekly), directed by Bartlett Sher. See website for dates and times. www. playhousesquare.org/events. MAY 1–2 – Dandelion May Fest, Roadhouse Amphitheater, 1/2-mile east of Breitenbach Wine Cellars, 5934 Old Rte. 39 NW, Dover, Fri. noon–7 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m.–7 p.m. Dandelion food and wine tastings, dandelion sangria, cellar tours, arts and crafts, and entertainment on both days. Dandelion picking contest and jelly-making on Saturday; 5K run, Sat. 9 a.m. 330-343-3603 or www. breitenbachwine.com/events/dandelion-festival. MAY 1–24 – Ain’t Misbehavin’, Hanna Theatre/Great Lakes Theater, 2067 E. 14th St., Cleveland. $15–$89. The Tony-winning musical showcases the infectious energy and masterful stylings of the legendary jazz musician Thomas “Fats” Waller. See website for dates and times. www.playhousesquare.org/events.

MAY 2 – Made for You Jewelry Show, 239 Market Square, Westlake, 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Free. Handmade jewelry by local artisans/crafters. 440-227-8794 or www.avantgardeshows.com.​ MAY 2–3 – Model Train Days, Painesville Railroad Museum, 475 Railroad St., Painesville, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. $5, C. (3–12) $3, Family (max. 2 adults, 3 children) $12. See operating layouts in N, HO, and S scale and O and G gauge. Twelve different layouts! Model train flea market on grounds. Food and drinks available. Call Tom at 216470-5780 or visit www.painesvillerailroadmuseum.org. MAY 2–3 – Ohio Civil War Show and Artillery Show, Richland Co. Fgds., 750 N. Home Rd., Mansfield, Sat. 9 a.m.–5 p.m., Sun. 9 a.m.–3 p.m. $7, under 12 free. Military items, relics, and memorabilia to buy, sell, or trade. Cannon firing demos, WWII small arms demos, Civil War hospital scenario, and much more. 419-884-2194, info@ ohiocivilwarshow.com, or www.ohiocivilwarshow.com. MAY 9 – Harrison Coal and Reclamation Historical Park Dinner/Auction, Hopedale VFD Social Hall, 103 Firehouse Lane, Hopedale. Doors open at 4:30 p.m., with buffet-style dinner and drinks at 5:30, followed by speaker Chris Runyan; auction begins at 7:30. $20. For reservations, details, or to donate items: 740-391-4135, 740-942-3895, or info@hcrhp.org. (Mail reservations to HCRHP, 143 S. Main St., Cadiz, OH 43907; make checks payable to HCRHP.) For more information, visit www.hcrhp.org, www. coalpark.org, or www.facebook.com/HCRHP. MAY 9 – Maifest, Historic Zoar Village, 198 Main St., Zoar. Free. Beers, brats, and bands! Celebrate the coming of spring with traditional German food and drink, music, dancing, games, make-and-take art projects, and a maypole. 800-262-6195 or www.historiczoarvillage.com.

APR. 19 – Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Stuart’s Opera House, 52 Public Square, Nelsonville, 3–5 p.m. $22.50–$42.50. Join us for a special matinee featuring music by Beethoven, Brahms, Sarasate, and Rossini. 740753-1924 or www.stuartsoperahouse.org. APR. 23–26 – Pike County Dogwood Festival, Main St., Piketon. Contests, rides and other fun kids’ events, music, food, chili cook-off, and more. Car show and Grand Parade on Sunday. www.pikecountydogwoodfestival.com. APR. 25 – Earth Gathering Festival, Pump House Ctr. for the Arts, 1 Enderlin Circle, Chillicothe, 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Free. A juried art festival with an Earth Day theme. Designed to entertain, educate, and inspire the public about nature, creativity, and sustainability through earth-friendly art, music, food, products, and ideas. Quality, affordable handmade art and music from local and regional artists. 740-772-5783 or http://visitchillicotheohio.com. APR. 25 – First Capital Garden Tours, Chillicothe, 9:30 a.m. $20–$30. Meet at the Ross County Courthouse steps (corner of W. Main and N. Paint), where you will meet your guide for a tour of area gardens. You’ll be treated to a small celebration at the last garden that day — our “thank you” for your participation and a welcome to Chillicothe and Ross County. Contact Dee Stevenson at delnora62@ yahoo.com or text/call 740-804-4310. APR. 25–26 – Lucasville Trade Days, Scioto Co. Fgds., 1193 Fairground Rd., Lucasville, Sat. 7 a.m.–7 p.m. ($5),

Sun. 7 a.m.–4 p.m. ($4); early bird admission on Fri., Apr. 24, 3 p.m. $5. Kids 12 and under free all days. Free parking on fairground lots. 937-728-6643 or www. lucasvilletradedays.com. APR. 30–MAY 10 – Sound of Music, Sugarloaf Mountain Amphitheater, 5968 Marietta Rd., Chillicothe, Thur.–Sat. 7 p.m., Sat./Sun. 2 p.m. $20–$50. One of the most beloved musicals of all time comes to life in this stunning outdoor setting. Directed by Brian Clowdus. 740-775-4100 or http://tecumsehdrama.com/event/som. MAY 1–SEPT. 25 – Rise and Shine Farmers Market, 2135 Southgate Pkwy. (near Tractor Supply Co.), Cambridge, Fridays, 8 a.m.–noon. 740-680-1866 or find us on Facebook. MAY 7 – Vinton County Wild Turkey Festival, 100 E. Main St., McArthur, 6–10 p.m. 740-591-1118, www. wildturkeyfestival.com, or find us on Facebook. MAY 9 – Buckeye Furnace Spring Festival, Buckeye Furnace Historic Site, 123 Buckeye Park Rd., Wellston, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. A celebration of spring with food, vendors, music, demonstrations, and more. Kids will be able to make a free craft for mom for Mother’s Day! 740-3843537 or janmckibben@gmail.com. MAY 9–10 – Chillicothe Trade Days, Ross Co. Fgds., 344 Fairgrounds Rd., Chillicothe. $5, kids 12 and under free. Free parking on fairground lots. 937-272-2897 or www. chillicothetradedays.com.

farmhouse décor, boutique clothing, handcrafted items, and more. Live music and food trucks. http:// thevintageandmademarket.com or find us on Facebook. APR. 19 – Spring Import Face-off, National Trail Raceway, 2650 National Road SW, Hebron. 740-9285706 ext. 24 or www.nationaltrailraceway.com. APR. 24 – Hey Mavis, Marion Palace Theatre, 276 W. Center St., Marion, 7:30 p.m. $16. From the hills of Cuyahoga Valley, Hey Mavis brings to the stage a soulful mix of original Appalachian Americana music. 740-3832101 or www.marionpalace.org. APR. 25 – Union County Bicentennial Parade, uptown THROUGH APR. 25 – Spring Farmers’ Market, Weasel Marysville, 10 a.m. A 1.25-mile route from Marysville Boy Brewing Company, 126 Muskingum Ave., Zanesville, High School to Partners Park on Sixth Street. Bring your Sat. 11 a.m.–2 p.m. www.zanesvillefarmersmarket.org. lawn chairs and bags for collecting candy. www.200uc. APR. 18 – Coshocton Earth Day Celebration, Coshocton org/parade. County Career Ctr., 23640 Airport Rd. Coshocton, 12–4 APR. 25 – Corks and Forks, Holy Trinity School, 225 S. p.m. Free. Local artisans, organic farmers, community Columbus, Somerset, 7–11 p.m. $25 admission includes 5 groups, and Native American groups. Explore solar power sample tickets and a door prize ticket. Open to the public; and green enterprises. Hands-on activities for kids. Music must be 21 and over. Beer and wine tasting with live by Mark Thunderwalker, Yellow Rose Cloggers, and The music, two food trucks, silent auction, door prizes, and Wayfarers. 740-502-6546 or http://cecaware.org. games. https://holytrinitypacers.com/corks-and-forks. APR. 18 – Amy Grant, Marion Palace Theatre, APR. 25 – Quilters Market Day, Fredericktown 276 W. Center St., Marion, 7:30 p.m. $32–$54. The Elementary School, 111 Stadium Dr., Fredericktown, six-time Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Buy and sell quilted items; quilt show, performs her timeless hits, “Baby, Baby,” “El Shaddai,” demos, and fat quarter drawing (bring one or more to “Every Heartbeat,” and more. 740-383-2101 or www. enter). Lunch available for purchase. To rent a space marionpalace.org. to sell your extra quilting tools, fabric, books, patterns, and everything quilting, visit www.fredericktown.org APR. 18–19 – Hocking County Ag Days, Hocking Co. Fgds., 150 N. Homer Ave., Logan. Experience agriculture, or call 740-694-6140. history, and the environment through interactive APR. 25 – Quilt Show, Sunbury United Methodist demonstrations, livestock display, antique tractor show, Church, 100 W. Cherry St., Sunbury, 9 a.m.–3 p.m. $5. flea market, crafts, music, food, and fun. 740-474-6284, Quilts on display, vendors, fabric rummage sale, lunch hocking@ofbf.org, https://ofbf.org/counties/hocking, or available. Email: sunburypiececorps@aol.com. www.hockingcountyagdays.com. APR. 26 – “Glory and Honor” Spring Concert, APR. 18–19 – Spring at the Round Barn, Fairfield Coshocton High School, 1205 Cambridge Rd., Coshocton, Co. Fgds., 157 E. Fair Ave., Lancaster, Sat. 10 3–4:30 p.m. Singers of all ages accompanied by piano a.m.–5 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.–4 p.m. $5, under 12 free. and brass ensemble celebrating 49 seasons of song! 740Early bird admission Sat., 9 a.m.–5 p.m. ($10). 622-4877 or www.coshoctoncommunitychoir.org. VIP tickets available online only. Upscale market MAY 1 – Chocolate Hop, West Columbus Street and featuring rustic, repurposed, salvaged, and modern various locations around Pickerington, 6–8:30 p.m.

For a $5 donation, receive a map of participating businesses around the Olde Village where you will receive a little chocolate treat. More details at www. pickeringtonvillage.com. MAY 1–3 – Columbus Audubon’s EcoWeekend, Hocking Hills. The best family nature weekend retreat in Ohio. Pre-registration required. Register by Apr. 7. Contact Maura Rawn at 740-653-8574, email ecoweekend@ columbusaudubon.org, or visit www.ecoweekend.org. MAY 2 – Jefferson Starship, Marion Palace Theatre, 276 W. Center St., Marion, 7:30 p.m. $34–$52. Experience the music that defined a generation, spanned decades, and is still relevant in pop culture today. 740-383-2101 or www.marionpalace.org. MAY 2 – Zane Grey Day, National Road–Zane Grey Museum, 8850 E. Pike, Norwich, 1–4 p.m. Free, but donations are appreciated. The Ohio Village Muffins will take on the “Zane Greys” in a game of vintage baseball. Dutch oven cooking demos, kids’ activities, and music by Barefoot McCoy. www.ohiohistory.org. MAY 3 – Family Funday Sunday Sock Hop, Marion Palace Theatre, 276 W. Center St., Marion, 12:15 p.m. $12 for a family of 4. Celebrate in ’50s fashion while boppin’ to family-friendly tunes. 740-383-2101 or www. marionpalace.org. MAY 9 – Hillbilly Nationals Demolition Drag Race, National Trail Raceway, 2650 National Road SW, Hebron. New event this year! Fun for the whole family. 740-9285706 ext. 24 or www.nationaltrailraceway.com. MAY 12 – Inventors Network Meeting, Rev1 Ventures for Columbus, 1275 Kinnear Rd., Columbus, 7 p.m. Educational presentations and discussion about the invention process. Meetings held the 2nd Tuesday of each month. 614-470-0144 or www.inventorscolumbus.com. MAY 15 – Improv in the May, Marion Palace Theatre May Pavilion, 276 W. Center St., Marion, 7:30 p.m. $6. An evening of improvisation comedy featuring audience interaction and suggestions for skits and games. 740383-2101 or www.marionpalace.org.



APR. 12 – Easter Egg Hunt, Young’s Dairy, 6880 Springfield-Xenia Rd., Yellow Springs, 2 p.m. Free. Open to children up to age 10. Each year, Young’s hard-boils and dyes over 7,000 eggs for this fun family event. 937325-0629 or www.youngsdairy.com/easter-egg-hunt. APR. 18 – Run Wild Earth Day Celebration 5K, Brukner Nature Ctr., 5995 Horseshoe Bend Rd., Troy, 8 a.m. If you enjoy running or hiking on woodland trails, you’ll love this event! Each participant will receive a commemorative T-shirt, homemade refreshments, a visit with our wildlife ambassadors, the opportunity to win door prizes, and unique awards. All proceeds benefit BNC’s wildlife programs. Call 937-698-6493 or download a registration form at www.bruknernaturecenter.com. APR. 19 – Farm Toy Show, Champaign Co. Fgds., 384 Park Ave., Urbana, 9 a.m.–3 p.m.. Adults $2. Look, buy, sell, or trade at 120 tables. 937-826-4201.

APR. 22, 29 – Bluegrass Wednesdays, Vinoklet Winery, 11069 Colerain Ave., Cincinnati, every Wednesday, 6:30–8:30 p.m. Enjoy dinner, wine, and an evening of lively bluegrass music by Vernon McIntyre’s Appalachian Grass. 513-385-9309, vinokletwinery@fuse.net, or www.vinokletwines.com/post/2018/09/30/bluegrasswednesdays-spaghetti-meat-balls. APR. 24 – Bluegrass Night, Fibonacci Brewing Company, 1445 Compton Rd., Cincinnati, 7–9 p.m. Free. Enjoy an evening of lively bluegrass music with Vernon McIntyre’s Appalachian Grass; lighting fast instrumentals, close harmonies, and entertaining novelty songs. 513832-1422 or http://fibbrew.com. APR. 24–25 – Midwest Ceramic Association Show, Butler Co. Exhibition Bldg., Butler Co. Fgds., 1715 Fairgrove Ave., Hamilton, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Ohio’s original ceramic show. www.midwestceramics.org. APR. 24–26 – Bellbrook Sugar Maple Festival, downtown Bellbrook. Enjoy a pancake breakfast with authentic Ohio-made maple syrup. Entertainment includes a parade, live bands, beer garden, kids’ activities, 5K run, craft vendors, and other fun activities. www. sugarmaplefestival.com. APR. 24–26 – Vintage Market Days, Greene Co. Fgds., 120 Fairground Rd., Xenia, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. $10 admission good for both Friday and Saturday; Sunday admission is $5; children 12 and under admitted free. An upscale vintage-inspired indoor/outdoor market featuring original art, antiques, clothing, jewelry, handmade treasures, home decor, outdoor furnishings, seasonal plantings, and more. www.vintagemarketdays.com.

APR. 25 – Appalachian Artisans Guild Spring Show, Cherry Fork Community Ctr., 14815 St. Rte. 136, Winchester, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Guild members will be sharing their knowledge of the arts with demos, workshops, make-it-and-take-it projects, and booth displays with items for sale. It’s your chance to learn traditional skills from practicing artisans. 937-587-2394 or www. appartguild.com. APR. 25 – Queen City Beautiful Doll Club: Fashion Doll Show and Sale, EnterTRAINment Junction Expo Room, 7379 Squire Ct., West Chester, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. $5, under 12 free. Fashion dolls, clothes, and accessories from all eras. https://entertrainmentjunction.com/calendar. MAY 1 – Vernon McIntyre’s Appalachian Grass, Butler County Bluegrass Association, Community Ctr., 5113 Huston Rd., Collinsville, 7–9 p.m. Lively bluegrass music with lightning-fast instrumentals, close harmonies, and entertaining novelty songs. Food available on site. 513410-3625 or www.fotmc.com. MAY 3 – Music at the Mound with Steve Free, Serpent Mound, 3850 OH-73, Peebles, 1 p.m. Free admission; $8 parking fee. Join the acclaimed singer/songwriter for an open air concert. http://arcofappalachia.org/steve-free. MAY 8 – Taste of the Arts, Main and Ash streets, Piqua, 5–9 p.m. Join us for an evening of fun, music, and food in downtown Piqua. Browse the stores, enjoy live music, and choose from a wide selection of food from local restaurants and caterers — your appetizer, meal, and dessert all in one place! Items range from $1 to $4. 937773-9355 or www.mainstreetpiqua.com.



Easter egg hunt 1






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Send us your picture! For July, send “Corn-y” by April 15; for August, send “Cuddly kitties” by May 15. Upload your photos at www.ohioec.org/memberinteractive — and remember to include your co-op name and to identify everyone in the photos.


1. Gretchen Spurling found her Easter bunny in the wildflower patch. Dan Spurling South Central Power Company member



2. One of my miniature American Eskimo puppies fell asleep in the basket while I was taking photos. Kathy DeHass Holmes-Wayne Electric Cooperative member 3. I found this nest while taking pictures of our flowering trees. Dena Hoover South Central Power Company member 4. My grandson, Waylon, Easter egg hunting. Kirsten Hatfield Guernsey-Muskingum Electric Cooperative member 5. M y granddaughter, Lilly May, after finding eggs and a new bunny rabbit. Valeria Manemann Pioneer Electric Cooperative member



6. Our nephew, Joshua, hunting Easter eggs on the farm. Darold and Amanda Mathews Adams Rural Electric Cooperative members 7. These chicks made Sophie’s Easter extra special. Polly Michel Guernsey-Muskingum Electric Cooperative member 8. Our grandson, Bryce, is trying to figure out the Easter egg hunt. Deb Schwartz Midwest Electric member


9. My two sons and my nephew — Landon, Oliver, and Kody — on Easter in 2000. They were excited to get the Easter egg hunt started! Kimberly Lindemer Harrison Rural Electrification Association member 10. It wouldn’t be Easter at Grandpa Joe’s without an Easter egg hunt for these big kids, too. JoAnna Griffin Washington Electric Cooperative member 11. Our daughter, Kaylee, enjoying our local Easter egg hunt a few years ago. Amy Smith South Central Power Company member



12. “Bucketheads,” getting ready for their Easter egg hunt in the woods. Shannon Kuhlman Mid-Ohio Energy Cooperative member 13. M y great-niece, Ryleigh, with her big haul of Easter eggs after the big hunt. Katie Grubba South Central Power Company member 14. Our group at the annual Adena Easter egg hunt. Patty Quaglia South Central Power Company member 15. My great-grandson, Maxwell, on his first egg hunt. Joan Rench Darke Rural Electric Cooperative member 16. Hoda and Ziva found the eggs, but are now looking for the Easter Bunny. Richard and Sheri Courter South Central Power Company members


Surprise Family’s farm pond yields state record fish to 9-year-old. STORY AND PHOTOS BY W.H. “CHIP” GROSS

Or, you could just walk across the road to the family’s farm pond and catch a new state record. That’s what 9-year-old SueAnn Newswanger of Richland County did a couple of years ago when she caught the current state-record green sunfish, still the most recently reeled-in of all of Ohio’s state-record fish. “I knew it was a new record as soon as I caught it,” she says. Her father, Galen, explains. “We had gone fishing a few days previously, and SueAnn caught a very large green sunfish that we released,” he says. “That got me thinking as to what the state record might be for that species, so I looked it up and told her that we had likely released a state-record fish.” The Newswangers were fishing again a few days later in the same area of the same pond when Galen heard his daughter squeal with delight, “Daddy, I caught it again!” Sure enough, SueAnn had hooked the same huge green sunfish — or possibly another of similar size — but this time they didn’t release it. They had the fish weighed on certified scales (1.2 pounds), the whopper measuring 11 inches in length and 10.5 inches in girth. Galen then had a professional taxidermist mount the fish for his young daughter. By the way, SueAnn caught her record green sunfish using a simple spincast rod and reel with a worm on a hook.

Chip Gross, Ohio Cooperative Living’s outdoors editor and a member of Outdoor Writers of Ohio, awards Sue Ann Newswanger a plaque honoring her state-record catch.


f you enjoy fishing in the Buckeye State, that next tug on your line just might be a new record fish. Take your pick from the 2.25 million acres of Ohio-owned Lake Erie on the north to the 451 miles of the Ohio River along our southern border and the 7,000 miles of rivers and streams in between — plus more than 200 inland lakes. Staterecord fish have been caught from them all.


The official list of state-record fish is kept by the Outdoor Writers of Ohio (OWO). Fortyseven species are recognized: 42 for hook and line, and five for bowfishing. “Over some 70 years of maintaining records, it’s difficult to say who is the all-time youngest Ohio state-record holder,” says Fred Snyder, chairman of the OWO Record Fish Committee. “But SueAnn has to be one of the youngest, if not the youngest of all.” The complete list of Ohio’s state-record fish is available at www.outdoorwritersofohio.org, as is an application form that includes submission rules.

Remodeling your home

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