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THE COURIER Conneaut own Ne wspaper Conneaut’’s Home T Town Newspaper


Going Green

VOL. 22 NO. 3




City’s Second Soup Kitchen Growing by Leaps and Bounds by MARTHA SOROHAN Gazette Newspapers CONNEAUT - Mary Lou Lardi describes the growth of the city’s second monthly soup kitchen as nothing short of amazing. On Nov. 17, the day that Conneaut Community Soup Kitchen opened its doors, it attracted two dozen people. The next month, 66 people were served. “God says, ‘Feed my people,’” Lardi said. “It’s a win-win for the community. We now have two soup

kitchens. People can go to both and eat twice. It’s totally free and there are no strings attached.” Lardi and a group of dedicated volunteers decided to open a second city soup kitchen after the one with which they were involved for four years, “Mary’s Kitchen,” sponsored by St. Mary/St. Frances Cabrini Parish, relocated in September. It had offered meals the last Saturday of the month at St. Mary Hall until the space became the new home to Wildfire Dance in late August.

“Mary’s Kitchen” moved to the Conneaut Human Resources Center, where it continues to offer a free meal 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. the last Saturday of the month. But some volunteers were uncomfortable with intricacies of the new location and decided to look around. St. Mary/St. Frances Cabrini pastor, the Rev. Philip Miller, offered the other group Cabrini Hall on the city’s north end as a new site.



It wasn’t the Jolly Green Giant but the Droid who was waving from the corner of Harbor and State Streets Friday afternoon in front of the new Intermessage store. Intermessage Communications celebrated its grand opening from noon to 6 p.m. with refreshments and a 3 p.m. ribbon-cutting hosted by the Conneaut Area Chamber of Commerce. Inside the Droid costume was good sport Alyssa Johnson, daughter of Ken and Heather Johnson of North Kingsville. Read more about it on page 3A.


Conneaut Community Soup Kitchen volunteers pose in the kitchen of their new location at the Odd Fellows Hall basement, 253 Liberty Street. They are (from left) Judy Mathay, Mona Menter, Shirley English, Bob Lardi and Jim English. The Soup Kitchen will be open 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 19. It serves a hot meal the third Saturday of each month.

Another LaECI Smuggler Case Bound Over to Grand Jury by MARTHA SOROHAN Gazette Newspapers CONNEAUT - Convicted Youngstown felon Anthony West had his day in Conneaut Municipal Court on Tuesday, one week after Conneaut Police Sgt. Curtis Distel arrested him on suspicion of smuggling contraband into the Lake Erie Correctional Institution. West’s smuggling case differed from those of ten other defendants in similar cases in the past two weeks because it was the first one in which a Conneaut police officer was injured. As Distel attempted to put handcuffs around West’s wrists, West pushed against Distel to get away, lacerating Distel’s hand and PHOTO BY MARTHA SOROHAN Anthony West, of Youngstown, the latest man arrested in a string of leading to fourth-degree felony charges for assault of a police ofattempts by out-of-towners to smuggle cell phones, drugs and ficer filed against him. tobacco into Lake Erie Correctional Institution, had his day in In Conneaut Municipal Court Conneaut Municipal Court on Tuesday. His fourth-degree felony case Judge Thomas Harris’ courtroom of assault of a police officer was sent to the Ashtabula County Grand See SMUGGLER page 9A Jury.

Tom Belnap Gone From Conneaut Port Authority By MARTHA SOROHAN Gazette Newspapers CONNEAUT - Tom Belnap is gone from the Conneaut Port Authority. The 25-year Port Authority veteran was replaced by Robert Best, active with Friends of Conneaut Creek. Conneaut City Council on Monday passed two ordinances reappointing attorney Luke Gallagher and appointing Best to four-year terms on the Conneaut Port Authority effective Jan. 14, 2013, through Jan. 13, 2017. That Belnap was not reappointed might have gone unnoticed had Ward 3 Councilman Rich McBride not commented during the “Miscellaneous Business” portion of the Jan. 14 meeting. McBride said simply that the staff had recommended a new direction for the Port Authority, that the move was not

personal and that no one held anything against Belnap. Belnap --elected chairman of the Port Authority last spring after Denver Spieldenner stepped down -- is neither surprised nor displeased. “I had a passion for the Port Authority, but I’ve been there over 22 years - 17 years as fiscal officer, four years as vice chair, and then this year as chair. I have a strong desire for the Port Authority to move forward but recognize I am better suited at Economic Development because of my contacts and my creativity,” he said. He said on Tuesday that he did submit a letter for reappointment to the Port Authority several months ago, But since then, he has been quietly working behind-thescenes on economic development projects in the city and

See BELNAP page 9A


TOWN TALK In honor of National Heart Month in February, New Leaf United Methodist Church, 283 Buffalo St., will offer Lifeline Screening on Sat., Feb. 4. Screening packages begin at $139. Call 800324-9458 to set up an appointment. New Leaf receives a $10 donation from each appointment.

flowering crabapples, two Washington hawthorns, two American redbuds and two golden rain trees to anyone who joins the Foundation this month. The trees are part of the Arbor Day Foundation’s Trees for American campaign. Send $10 to Ten Free Flowering Trees, Arbor Day Foundation, 100 Arbor Ave., NeRick and Robin Garcia braska City, Neb. 68410. have volunteered to sponsor Ohio residents may join at a World War II-themed film to be shown outdoors the Kingsville Public Library evening of Aug. 15 at Township Park to kick off the 14th will offer the “Ashtabula annual D-Day Event Aug. 16 County Master Gardener and 17. Last year ’s film, 2013 Library Blitz Pre“Saints and Soldiers,” at- sentation” from 10 a.m. to tracted a huge crowd and noon Saturday, March 16, prompted D-Day organizers with lessons in caring for peto repeat a movie. The film rennials, annuals and greenwas shown on the inflatable ery. Registration is sugscreen donated by Conneaut gested at 224-0239. Public Library on Township Terry and Glenda Lowe Park’s new outdoor stage. will be boarding alpacas at The Arbor Day Foun- their Ramblin’ Rose Aldation is offering two white paca Farm in the next few flowering dogwoods, two months. Owners of a neigh-

Cable Schedule

boring alpaca farm in E. Jan. 16-22 , 2013 Springfield, Pa., who moved 7.00 am AM Live to California, have decided 10.00 am Conneaut City to move back and need a Council Meeting place for their alpacas until 11.15 am Discover they get settled. Conneaut 11.20 am Hometown Amanda Smith and Happenings/ Sports Dylan Walker are the new 12.00 pm Conneaut Lifaces behind the desk in the brary Line evenings at Conneaut Pub12.20 pm Conneaut Planlic Library. They replace ning Commission Nancy Kennedy, who retired. 12.50 pm CHS Holiday The public is invited to stop Concert in and say hello. 2.15 pm Our Planet 4.17 pm D-Day Conneaut Lori McLaughlin reports In Stills that Biscotti’s new menu in5.20 pm How It Is Drawn cludes gluten-free choices. by Will Callahan She mentioned that Univer5.45 pm How It Is Drawn sity Hospital Health Sysby Wyatt Chance tems offers support groups 6.10 pm Soldier’s Story for those restricted to a glu6.40 pm Life Is Better In ten-free diet. Conneaut 7.00 pm Conneaut City Nic Church will be honCouncil Meeting ored by Conneaut City Coun8.20 pm Discover cil as Senior of the Month on Conneaut Jan. 28. Church began hon8.25 pm Hometown Haporing city seniors during his penings/ Sports tenure as City Council presi9.00 pm Conneaut Lident. brary Line 9.20 pm A Library Carol 9.50 pm CCCA Youth Theater 10.25 pm Conneaut Planning Commission Mt. 11.00 pm D-Day Conneaut In Stills 12.00 am Soldier’s Story Street, Conneaut, Ohio 12.25 am Conneaut City 44030, by fax at (440-5991514) or by e-mail to Council Mt. 1.45 am Discover The Conneaut Founda- Conneaut tion requests no full grant applications at this time. Orga- Religious Services: St. Mary St. Frances nizations will be notified if a full application is requested. Cabrini: Sun & Wed 3pm / Call the Conneaut Founda- Mon & Thurs 1am First United Church of tion with questions at (440) 599-8004 or e-mail Christ: Sun & Wed 4pm / info@conneaut Mon & Thurs 2am New Leaf United MethA non-profit private foundation serving Ashtabula odist: Sun & Wed 5pm / Mon County and northwest Penn- & Thurs 3am Good Shepherd sylvania, The Conneaut Foundation serves chari- Lutheran: Sun & Wed 6pm table, educational, scientific, / Mon & Thurs 4am Family Fellowship: and cultural needs of the community through philan- Mon. and Thurs. 2.30pm Conneaut Church of thropic and grant-making efGod: Mon. and Thurs forts. 3.20pm

Conneaut Foundation Announces 2013 Grant Cycle Process by MARTHA SOROHAN Gazette Newspapers CONNEAUT - The Conneaut Foundation is accepting grant inquiries for its 2013 grant cycle. The Foundation will consider single and multi-year grants for capital projects and program/project funding to organizations that impact Ashtabula County and the Springfield, Pa., area and that meet The Conneaut Foundation’s funding priorities. The 2013 funding priorities are identical to those of 2012: Community Development (impacting individuals, organizations and community); Education; Social Ser-

vices. Inquiries are accepted from selected public charities qualified for IRS tax purposes as Section 501(c)(3), Section 509(a)(1) or Section 509(a)(2), as well as federal, state and local governments and political subdivisions. Grant inquiries must be submitted on the Foundation’s Grant Intent Form. The form is available on the Conneaut Foundation web site, www. conneautfoundation .org, by clicking on “Apply for a Grant.” Deadline is Feb. 8. Submit Grant Intent Forms by mail or in person to Amy Price, Conneaut Foundation, 235 Main

Casino Bus Trip Feb. 10 A bus trip to The Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh is offered on Sunday, Feb. 10 by Tracy and Mike David to benefit the Susan G. Komen breast cancer organization. The bus will leave Conneaut K-Mart parking lot 7:30 A.M. and leave the casino at 4:30 p.m, with anticipated arrival in Conneaut 7 p.m. Cost is $40. Guests will receive $20 in slot comps and a $5 food comp upon arrival at casino. Beverages and snacks provided on bus. Call the Davids at 440-594-1338 or e-mail to save your seat.

Public Hearing is Jan. 22 Citizens are encouraged to attend a Public Hearing of Conneaut City Council at 6 p.m. Jan. 22 in City Council Chambers to consider a Planning Commission recommendation designating the 74-acre former Conneaut Shores Golf Course at Lake and Whitney Roads a Planned Unit Development (“PUD”). Written comments with signature, address and phone number will be accepted until 4 p.m. Jan. 22.

Senior Calendar GSLC Seniors Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Grove Street at Lake Road. 9:45 blood pressure, 10 a.m. gathering, noon lunch. Ages 50 and up. Bring a friend. Jan. 17 - “Puzzled?” CHRC Seniors Together 10:30 a.m. Conneaut Human Resources Center, 327 Mill Street, with 11:30 a.m. lunch; games noon to 1 p.m. Bingo 10:30 a.m. Monday, Friday. Senior Soles walkers 7:30 to 10:30 a.m.

CONNEAUT - Conneaut Finance Director John Williams does not want his Financial Report to City Council on Monday night to be misunderstood. Financial numbers were up in 2012 over 2011, but Williams’ Finance Report to Council reflected revenue, and only revenue. Williams reported that Conneaut’s 2012 income tax revenues were up by $309,000 over 2011. Most departments had carry-overs into the new year, including Streets, $68,000; Wastewater, $270,000; Water, $744,000, or 30 percent. Williams told Council that the only way to preserve the healthy 20 percent general fund carry-over into 2013 is by not spending appropriations. “The income tax revenue has definitely improved, and we’re getting property tax

breaking even. We’re not really gaining much additional revenue.” Williams said that the city will not feel the full effect of the state cuts until 2014 because the cuts are coming in increments. Twenty-five percent was cut in 2012 and the other 25 percent will be cut in 2013. Those cuts, added to the loss of inheritance tax, will exceed $400,000 in revenue. “So what we’ve gained on one side we’ve lost from the state. That’s what I was trying to say, but my report wasn’t intended to be a budFinance Director John get report. It was a revenue Williams report,” Williams explained. Williams admitted he did from the prison, and those are positive economic signs,” not mention the state cuts on he said on Tuesday. “But I Monday night, but feels he think I should have men- has done so so often that tioned again that the state people are tired of hearing it. “I’ve mentioned them at is cutting more than $400,000 out of our budget. least a half-dozen times. So you take the cuts from the How many times do I have state, and combine them to say it?” he said. Williams plans to update with the increase in income tax and property tax from City Council quarterly this the prison, and we’re just year on income tax collections.

Jan. 17 - Kelly from OSU Extension Office in Jefferson Jan. 17 - noon to 1 p.m. January birthdays party Jan. 21 - Center closed for Martin Luther King Day Jan. 22 - South Ridge Christian Academy students Jan. 24 - Mary’s Auction House (no money required)

Income Tax Drops in Conneaut by MARTHA SOROHAN Gazette Newspapers

sounds familiar, it’s because that was the rate prior to 2006,” Gasch said. “From Jan. 1, 2006, until Dec. 31, 2012, the rate was at 1.8 percent with the additional revenue dedicated to city streets.” The lower rates aren’t necessarily good news in terms of city streets, inasmuch as voters said “no” to a street levy in November. “Since the property tax levy failed, there’s less money for street repair or upgrade,” Gasch said.

CONNEAUT - City of Conneaut Income Tax Director Larry Gasch reminds local residents that as of Jan. 1, the city’s income tax rate dropped from 1.8 to 1.65 percent. The drop is due to the exEconomic Develop- piration of the seven-year ment Committee, 6 p.m. .15 percent tax rate hike votJan. 21 ers approved in November, Public Hearing on PUD 2005, to fund street-paving at Conneaut Shores Golf projects. Course, 6 p.m. Jan. 22 “If that 1.65 percent rate Conneaut Public Library Board, 6 p.m. Jan. 23 at 304 Buffalo Street Cable Advisory Board, 6 p.m. Jan. 23 Conneaut Port AuthorCommunity Auto has moved up on, but has not been ity, 7 p.m. Jan. 24 (changed added to, the Conneaut Police Department’s towing from Jan.17) rotation, as reported in The Courier’s Dec. 27, 2012, Conneaut City Council, front page article, “Council Passes $16.6 Million Bud7 p.m. Jan. 28 get.” Conneaut Rec Board 7 p.m. Jan. 30

“We’re Just Breaking Even,” Civic Meetings John Williams Says by MARTHA SOROHAN Gazette Newspapers

Send to Clerk of Council, 294 Main Street, Conneaut, Ohio 44030 or e-mail A copy of the recommendation, zoning request, zoning map and zoning ordinance is available for public review at the offices of Conneaut City Manager and Clerk of Council at City Hall and at the Conneaut Public Library, 304 Buffalo Street, Conneaut, Ohio 44030. Call the Clerk of Council at 5693-7413 with questions.


Kingsville Library Board of Trustees, 6 p.m. Jan. 21 at 6006 Academy Dr. Monroe Township Trustees, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 22 at Township Garage, 5578 S. Monroe Center Road Kingsville Township Trustees, 7 p.m. Jan. 23 at Fire Hall, 3130 Main Street Buckeye Schools Board of Education, 7 p.m. Jan. 23 at Braden Junior High, State Street & Route 20, Ashtabula Township

Martin Luther King Day, Inauguration Day is Jan. 21 Due to the Martin Luther King, Jr., Day on Monday, banks and federal offices, including the U.S. Post Office will be closed. Express mail will be delivered. Locally, Conneaut Area City Schools and Buckeye Local Schools will be closed. The Conneaut Human

Resources Center will be closed. City Hall will be closed during business hours, but the Economic Development Committee will meet at 6 p.m. in Council chambers. Jan. 21 also marks Inauguration Day for the second term of President Barack Obama.


Prison Smuggling Meeting ‘Fruitful,” Law Director Says By MARTHA SOROHAN Gazette Newspapers CONNEAUT – Continued smuggling attempts at Lake Erie Correctional Institution were major topics of discussion at Monday’s City Council meeting. The bottom line, according to Ward 2 Councilman Phil Garcia, is that the city is “taking hits” for the state’s decision to sell the prison to Correctional Corporation of America (CCA) for $72 million dollars a year ago. “I’m not happy with the state and the governor,” he said. Garcia had expected City Manager Tim Eggleston to talk Monday night about the smuggling attempts over the prison’s northern fence near a wooded area bounded by the Norfolk Southern railroad tracks. Eggleston instead deferred to Law Director David Schroeder, who in his Law Director’s report described a “fruitful” emergency meeting last Friday among city administrators, Conneaut Police Chief Chuck Burlingham, Ohio Highway Patrol and Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) representatives to discuss

the problem. Though Schroeder could not fully describe solutions for safety reasons, he did say that prison perimeter patrols will increase to two vehicles 24 hours a day and that other “simple” solutions based on technology should help resolve the problem. “This is happening in prisons all over,” he said. Schroeder offered a brief description of CCA’s purchase of the prison a year ago and the OHP’s jurisdiction over criminal activity inside. While Schroeder receives daily reports of such activity, his office becomes involved “in the most unique circumstances only” and was involved just once in 2012. He said that the two OHP investigators who handle prison crime are the same ones who handled criminal investigations when Management & Training Corp., of Utah, managed the prison from 2000 through 2011, prior to its sale by the state to CCA. Schroeder also reviewed the smuggling attempts that began on Dec. 29 when three persons were arrested on misdemeanor trespassing charges. Two pleaded guilty and received jail sentences

This is a copy of the letter written by Conneaut City Councilman Neil LaRusch to Gov. John Kasich’s Northeast Ohio Regional Liaison concerning Lake Erie Correctional Institution concerns: To: Nicole Kostura Northeast Ohio Regional Liaison Office of Ohio Governor John R. Kasich cc.

Gary C. Mohr Director/Ohio Dept. of Rehabilitation and Corrections Ben Shuster/CCA Senior Director, Partnership Relations Kelly Durham/CCA Managing Director, State Partnership Relations Representative John Patterson/Ohio House District 99 Senator Capri Cafaro/Ohio Senate District 32 Ashtabula County Commissioners Dear Nicole, I am writing you today to alert you to a dire situation currently taking place at the Lake Erie Correctional Institution. During our positive discussions related to the sale of this prison to CCA, we were assured that the City of Conneaut Police Department would not be responsible for investigations at the site. We were very pleased that the Governor and the Attorney General were supportive in taking the steps to remove that possible burden from the equation. I have recently been alerted to another problem that has arisen due to the sale of the prison to this private entity. During our several meetings focused on responsibility of investigations, the topic was broached about the perimeter patrol of the area. In the past, this was done by the Ohio Highway Patrol, as well as the City of Conneaut P.D. It seems recently (almost exclusively since the sale to CCA) there has been a drastic rise in criminal activity around the site, and an equal drop in the presence of the OHP. Within in the past few weeks, there have been several arrests of individuals attempting to get contraband into the prison (i.e., cell phones/chargers, crack cocaine, marijuana, and tobacco). During the most recent arrest, one of our officers was injured by an individual attempting to evade capture. With the City of Conneaut Police Department already financially strapped and below what I would consider to be acceptable levels, what assistance can the State lend us to deal with this situation? The City is not financially in a position to add more officers to deal with this private prison. With this situation getting out of hand at this pace, what can the Governor propose to assure the safety and security of the citizens of Conneaut? I appreciate your quick attention to this matter, and I look forward to hearing from you in the near future. Neil A. LaRusch City of Conneaut Councilman at Large

and fines. A third who claimed she was not involved, and had demanded a jury trial, wrote Schroder a remorseful letter from jail Monday, saying that she wants to change her plea. One man involved in a smuggling attempt with drugs Jan. 2 was arrested, charged with a felony, and the case bound over to the Ashtabula County Grand Jury on Jan. 7. Four more persons were involved in the latest incident on Jan. 8. One of them who injured a Conneaut police officer as he resisted handcuffs was charged with felony assault. Three others who were waiting to pick him up were located and arrested as well. Schroeder credited citizens with notifying the police of suspicious activity near the prison and commended police for an excellent job developing evidence to prove the smuggling attempts. “The City of Conneaut, CCA and OHP are all cognizant of what is happening and are doing what needs to be done to resolve it,” he said. Ward 3 Councilman Rich McBride asked Schroeder to compare past and present daily felony report statistics at the prison. “If the percentages are the same, then we feel comfortable that the situation is not out of control,” he said. Conneaut police submitted last week a communiqué showing that the department had received 157 calls regarding perimeter patrols from 2000 through 2011, under MTC prison management, and 248 calls in the 12 months of 2012 under CCCA prison ownership. Garcia asked Eggleston whether LaECI Warden Barry Goodrich had continued the community outreach panel with community leaders, and Eggleston said that he had. City Council and the Public Safety Committee have asked Goodrich to address the groups on several occasions. The Public Safety Committee has put off sched-

uling a meeting until Goodrich can attend. Goodrich has claimed schedule conflicts. “We’re working with his administrative assistant to get a date,” Eggleston told Council on Monday. Council members would like the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation & Corrections to be in on the prison discussions as well. Garcia lamented that the prison appears not to be community-minded, having ended the recycling round-up program and inmates’ community service. Ward 1 Councilman Doug Hedrick said he has been getting calls from constituents worried about public safety. “This has never been on the radar before. Columbus had no vision to see the ramifications of their profit and safety factor. I encourage you to keep a full head of steam to get this resolved. People are milling around. Is this a threat? We need to proceed with due diligence and perhaps have joint training between city police and prison security,” he said. Schroeder told Hedrick that those arrested on smuggling charges could receive maximum sentences of 180 days in jail. Hedrick said he hoped they were given the maximum sentences in order to help deter these crimes. “We’ll continue to hold their feet to the fire,” said AtLarge Councilman Neil LaRusch, who last week sent a letter of concern to Nicole Kostura, Gov. John Kasich’s Northeast Ohio Regional Liaison over added costs to the police department to patrol the prison perimeter. LaRusch said Monday night that Ohio Sen. Capri Cafaro and State Rep. John Patterson are likewise concerned. “What’s the true cost of this? The state paid $72 million [for the prison]. I urge everyone to call their representatives. We have to take care of the safety and security of the city. We will keep you updated,” he said.

Snowman Deadline is Jan. 23 Don’t forget the Chamber’s “Downtown Conneaut Snowman” entries are due Jan. 23. Pick up a free wooden snowman at the Chamber, 235 Main St. Decorate to win!


ADVERTISING SALES Ashtabula County, Ohio We have an immediate opening in Ashtabula County selling advertising for our group of 125-year-old community newspapers. The ideal candidate will have past advertising sales experience, excellent customer service skills, outstanding work ethic and the desire to succeed. You will have the opportunity to work with existing clients as well as new customers to expand our client base for both newspaper and special section advertisers. Salary plus commission, paid mileage, paid vacation, paid sick days, healthcare. Please send resume to Kelley Creed, Gazette Newspapers, Inc. 46 W. Jefferson Street, Jefferson, OH 44047 or

Thrift Shop to Meet Conneaut Hospital Thrift Shop volunteers will meet 1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23, at Marcy’s Family Center on Harbor Street for installation of officers. Cookies and coffee will be served.

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D-Day Event Keeps On Growing:

More Buses, Food, Volunteers Needed

by MARTHA SOROHAN Gazette Newspapers

CONNEAUT - The call for more volunteers for the Aug. 16-17 D-Day Event at Township Park continues. D-Day Chief Operating Officer Lori McLaughlin reiterated the need for up to 250 volunteers over a sevenday period at the hour-long local D-Day meeting Jan. 5 at the American Legion. Volunteers are needed in all areas to help transform Township Park into wartime France, assist with re-enactor registration, man the Px, and return the park to its original state at the conclusion of Conneaut’s premiere tourist event that last year attracted well over 10,000 people. “What we needed to do in 2012, and what we need to continue, is fill volunteer positions,” McLaughlin said. “If someone can give just a couple of hours, that’s important. That couple of hours is a break for someone. All volunteers, any hour, are important. And we have to remember that the event does not end Saturday at 4 p.m. The need for volunteers extends into Sunday.” Right now, volunteers

and second- and third-incommand are needed for preevent tasks in the areas of finance, fund-raising, media outreach, organizational records, D-Day membership, operations (parking, signage), donor acknowledgment, veteran/land transportation, volunteer management and living history. Volunteers are invited to attend D-Day meetings 9 a.m. Feb. 9, March 9, April 6, May 4, May 18, June 15, July 13, and Aug. 3 at the American Legion, 272 Broad Street. This year’s 14th annual D-Day Event is expected to expand over the 2012 event, billed for the first time as two full days, Friday and Saturday. “Don’t forget about Friday,” said committee member Rick Chase, who has manned the Lake Road front gate parking for several years. “It used to be a ‘casual’ day, but not any more. Folks who are tuned in figure out that Friday is a good day. There are no major battle reenactments, but the [World War II] aircraft practice at 4 p.m. We now have to think two full days.” The increasing number of visitors led to McLaughlin’s

suggestion that that local homeowners rent out their houses or cottages. “Some people do need houses,” she said, referring in particular to out-of-town D-Day Ohio, Inc., committee members who spend up to a week in Conneaut. Those interested may contact the Ashtabula County Convention and Visitors’ Bureau to set up the arrangement so that county bed tax is collected. Jake Chicatelli, in charge of shuttle buses donated by the Conneaut Area City Schools, said that more buses to school parking lots are needed, particularly when the main Normandy invasion re-enactment concludes around 4 p.m. Saturday. Roy Pratt, who assisted at the Wrights Avenue entrance to the event, said more than one visitor last year became upset at the lengthy wait for buses, in part because of disorganization at spots where buses picked up passengers. “This man was standing in line for what he thought was the Red Lot, and then when the bus came for the Red Lot, it stopped somewhere else, and he ended up having to go to a different

line and was last in line instead of first,” he said. Axis re-enactor Len Kosatka of Mentor, suggested sending re-enactors to lengthy bus and food lines to talk about D-Day history. In the sales and marketing field, he has been part of the non-paid cast at Disney World, and has watched similar tactics at Colonial Williamsburg to keep visitors’ minds engaged. “Let’s get re-enactors outside our camps,” he said. “How many hundreds of visitors never get in the camps? People are waiting a lot, even for food. What do they do at Disney? They throw characters at the lines. We could have 10 GIs distracting people during ‘dead’ time. Put an American aviator in the crowd, have a German squad marching through, singing. They are great photo opps, and it makes people not so angry when they leave.” Kostatka acknowledged that not all re-enactors want to interact with visitors, but many who love history are eager to do so. He may seek out and invite to D-Day air crew re-enactors at the July air show at Lost Nation Airport in Willoughby.

See You Next Spring:

Paragliders Call It A Season by MARTHA SOROHAN Gazette Newspapers CONNEAUT - An exceptionally large group of paragliders from Stow and Twinsburg turned out for the final glide of the season from Bratenahl to Conneaut on Nov. 17, delivering a swan song performance that delighted visitors at Township Park beach. But they will be back next year. “We’ve landed at the park at Conneaut four times from Brahtenal non-stop,” said Jim Yeager, who has been gliding with the group for the last six years and calls Conneaut Township Park a favorite destination. Yeager understands the intrigue of paragliding. That same intrigue nudged him and, more recently, his wife, into the sport. “We’re guys that love motors,” Yeager said. “A lot of us wanted to be airplane pilots and found out it was unaffordable, but we still wanted to fly.” Yeager first learned about the sport of paragliding in 2005, after reading about a “fly-in” at the Portage County Airport in an Akron newspaper. “I went over there and saw it and decided some day I was going to do it,” he said. He kicked the idea around for two years before getting serious and training in Florida with Bruce Brown of Ohio Power Paragliding. “Paragliding is a hill

sport,” Yeager said, “You can take a paraglider, with an advanced parachute, and take off from a hill and glide with the wind to stay aloft. You can take an unmotored glider off a ridge and if the wind is blowing from the bottom up, you can stay aloft for hours at a time. Without a motor, you glide down, very gently, with good piloting.” But the key to this group’s brand of paragliding is a 22to-30 two-cycle horsepower motor. “It took an ingenious person to consider that if you like to paraglide without hills, you’d put a motor to it and fly inland or flatland. With a motor, all the rules change. You’re not limited to where we can go or stay with thermals. With a motor, we can go just about anywhere we want. We carry about three hours of fuel,” he said. “But you’re trusting your life to a twocycle motor.” Seated in what look like lawn chairs, Yeager’s group of paragliders most often launches from Hudson. But they also like to take off from Bratenahl, just east of downtown Cleveland, and glide for 90 minutes along the Lake Erie shore to Conneaut at speeds of about 30 miles an hour. “If the ridge in Bratenahl were a half-mile longer, we could do it without a motor,” he said. According to Yeager, paragliders — who fly only in good weather — typically go up about 1,500 feet. Above

“If some local churches and homeowners are smart, they’ll put ‘Parking $5’ signs on their lawns,” Chicatelli added. In terms of re-enactor parking next August, McLaughlin suggested using the Lakeview Park ball field since re-enactors like to be within walking distance of their vehicles. Another area to expand next summer is Saturday evening’s USO Dance. McLaughlin said the dance is outgrowing the space upstairs at the American Legion. “We need a second venue and another party-planner to run it in conjunction with the USO Dance at the Legion,” she said. If not for a wedding reception at the American Legion on Aug. 17, a second dance could be held on the Legion’s first floor. “Maybe we could use the Conneaut Human Resources Center or a warehouse setting,” McLaughlin said. “Maybe it could be like a canteen, offering some food. Maybe we could hold the reenactors spaghetti dinner there. It would be nice if it were close enough for re-enactors to walk between them.” McLaughlin said that food vendors will be added near the lower pavilion in 2012. and that more D-Day weekend dinner venues are needed in the city. “I know that at Biscotti’s, we’re swamped,” said

McLaughlin, referring to the restaurant she runs with her husband on Park Avenue. “After the event on Saturday, people are looking to eat. The Perch Dinner at Good Shepherd on Friday night is sold out. We could use another event like that.” D-Day Chief Financial Officer Jennifer Palagyi suggested that D-Day dress up a snowman for the Conneaut Area Chamber of Commerce Downtown Snowman Contest. McLaughlin said that Fourth of July Chair Marty Landon has already offered the D-Day group a booth to publicize the event and suggested that D-Day enter a unit in the Fourth of July parade. McLaughlin said that Thursday evening, Aug. 15, will again be “Movie Night” at Township Park, after a successful full-length World War II film was shown in 2012 on the new outdoor stage. She announced that Rick and Robin Garcia have already offered to sponsor the film. McLaughlin told the group that callers frequently call Biscotti’s with just one question: “When’s D-Day?” “It’s just seven months away,” she said. “It’s unbelievable how fast time’s passed. Where did the last five months go?” The local committee will meet at 9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, at the American Legion. New volunteers are welcome.

Dye Your Own Scarf at Ramblin’ Rose Alpacas Local photographer Rich McBride captured this group of paragliders that enjoyed the last gliding day of the season Nov. 17 at Township Park. They will be back next spring. Conneaut is one of their favorite destinations. farm land, they may rise to 8,000 feet; above plains or open desert, they could ascend 12,000 feet. “But it’s cold and the motor has to be readjusted,” said Yeager, whose record is 6,200 feet one cool July day. “We find it intriguing because big airplanes are up there. But we’ve flown above fields, where the farmer’s wife has a baby in her arms and it’s like we’re rock stars. Sometimes a friend will drop a parachute to the kids and they run in droves to collect them.” Yeager’s group holds the Ohio record for gliding 105 miles from Hudson to Tiffin along Route 303. “The best flights are when we figure out the wind and go the opposite direction,” he said. “The wind has to be at your back, and moves us along at faster speed. Sometimes we don’t know where we’ll land, so we look for open fields and keep going and going until we see spots underneath us. Route 303 is amazing because it’s farm after farm.” This year, Yeager’s wife, Julie, decided that after years of ‘chasing’ her husband from the ground, she was ready for the sport. “That first day at the airport, she and I were sitting

there, and she said, ‘I could do this!’” Yeager said. “But when she saw how uncoordinated and difficult it was for me at first, she decided to watch for awhile. Once she ‘chased’ our group on a 1,300mile cross-country flight.” Yeager said that little by little, by getting in the truck after a ride and picking up the paragliders’ conversation, his wife started learning on her own. After learning how to set up, and being the ‘wing man,’ she decided last year that she was ready. “It’s amazing because she weighs just 100 pounds,” he said. “Most men fly with 80pound units on their backs, but she wears a small, 45pound unit.” Yeager says most paragliders are in the “older demographic,” people in their mid-30s to 60s. What they love most about paragliding is that it takes them to another world. “I have never launched a flight of about two to three hours and found myself thinking of work,” said Yeager, who runs his own business. “There is really a lot going on, from the contacts below, the mission, the flights. We are so lucky to be allowed to do it.”

by MARTHA SOROHAN Gazette Newspapers MONROE TOWNSHIP - Alpaca owners Glenda Lowe and Diane Watson are teaming up to present a one-day class in silk scarf bowl dyeing from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, at Ramblin Rose Alpaca Farm, 6316 Root Road. Lowe and her husband, Terry, run the Ramblin Rose Alpaca Farm in Monroe Township, while Watson runs the Sweetheart Suri Alpaca Farm in Kelloggsville. “Diane is a dear friend of mine who has taken many more classes than I, so the two of us are working this out,” said Lowe, whose prior experience teaching classes has been

limited to fellow alpaca owners. Watson will be the primary teacher of the new silk scarf dyeing technique. In six hours, students will end up with six new hand-dyed scarves. Lowe’s goal is to do one class monthly until summer, when she would like to offer two or three. “I’ve always wanted to do classes,” she said. Students are advised to wear old clothes, since the dye being used may not wash out. Gloves and supplies, including scarves of varied lengths, will be provided. Class is limited to 10 students. Cost is $45. To reserve, call Lowe at 594-1900 or e-mail “info@”

CAHS to Meet Jan. 22 The Conneaut Area Historical Society will meet 7 p.m. Jan. 22 at Villa At the Lake, 48 Parrish Road. A speaker from the Ashtabula County Veterans Service Commission will speak on benefits available to local veterans. A 50/50 raffle, refreshments, and social time follow. The public is welcome.


Flu Is Here, Health Commissioner Says By MARTHA SOROHAN Gazette Newspapers CONNEAUT - It hardly needs confirmation, but flu season has arrived in Conneaut. Conneaut Health Commissioner Sally Kennedy and Conneaut Director of Nursing Louise Cleveland, R.N., issued a statement Monday about the outbreak of the upper respiratory disease. The Conneaut Health Department began receiving positive influenza reports several weeks ago. “We want to inform you that we are currently experiencing an increase in Seasonal Influenza and ILI (influenza-like illness) in our community,” the memo began. Kennedy said that her department usually sees this type of flu outbreak in February or March. “Starting now is a little bit earlier, but it seems to be at a higher rate than the last two years,” she said. Even though the flu has reached near epidemic proportions, Kennedy said it’s not too late to get immunized.

“It’s true that it takes a couple of weeks for the body to build up the antibodies and to become immune, but the vaccine starts working fairly quickly. It’s okay to get the shot now even though there is a lot of illness,” she said. A limited supply of adult flu vaccine is available at the Health Department, 327 Mill St. A new supply of children’s vaccine is on order. Kennedy advises residents seeking flu shots to call the Health Department to see whether they qualify for “remaining doses.” The qualification has to do with insurance reimbursement, she explained. Persons without Medicare or insurance are charged $20 for the vaccine. Another flu clinic is not being planned because the Health Department does not have the supply. “But we are making ourselves available,” Kennedy said. Residents may call or walk into the Health Department during regular hours 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and

Health Commissioner Sally Kennedy 8:30 a.m. to noon on Friday. Kennedy said flu symptoms include sore throat, fever, headache, cough, and sore muscles. To reduce chances of coming down with the flu, cover your cough, use a tissue, don’t touch your face, eyes, mouth or nose, stay away from people who have the flu or are sick, eat healthy, and get plenty of rest. Most important, wash your hands frequently. Those who are sick are urged to stay home, Kennedy added that she

SOUP KITCHEN “But 90 percent of those who attended ‘Mary’s Kitchen’ at St. Mary School lived downtown, within walking distance,” Lardi said. Then International Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) President John Hagstrom offered the Odd Fellows Hall. “We love it that it’s uptown and located close to Conneaut Manor,” Lardi said. Its large kitchen and even larger seating are similar to the St. Mary lay-out, which fosters socializing among attendees, something the volunteers encourage. “We focus on more than food,” Lardi said. “It’s a social thing. Everyone is made to feel welcome. No one sits alone.” Though the new soup kitchen is independently run, the focus of its 12 to 14 monthly volunteers has not changed. They see it as a community ministry. Though carry-out is prohibited, people may come back as often as they want. “I think we have more freedom since we are independent. God tells us that we have to do what we are supposed to do,” Lardi said One volunteer donated insulation for the windows and another made curtains. Each monthly luncheon is based on a theme. Last month, Conneaut’s Lonnie Hutchens surprised everyone by coming in dressed as Santa Claus. Saturday’s

theme is Mardi Gras. “It’s perfect,” Lardi said. “The International Order of Odd Fellows is an organization based on doing things for orphans and the poor, a group of businessmen who help people. It’s a good fit. It’s such a blessing.” Despite the large kitchen, each meal is prepared offsite. “We have crock pots of between eight and 12 soups, and we have grilled sandwiches, fresh fruit, drinks and dessert,” Lardi said. “None of the food stays there. When the lunch winds down, anything left is given away.” Donations for the soup kitchen come from the heart. “It’s funded by all of us who love to do it,” Lardi said. For the past four years, Jim and Adrianne Westcott, of North Kingsville, have offered fresh bread each month. In December, every soup kitchen attendee received a loaf of their homemade bread to take home for Christmas. Lardi said the group has worked together for so long that the lunch-serving process runs like clockwork. “We have people from St. Mary, New Leaf, First Baptist and churches in Ashtabula. We have former principal Maggie Dennison, former art teacher Judy Mathay, Ron Wahonick, Duane Rood — a lot of people from different walks of life

keeps tabs on illness in the community from Jody Sommers, Infection Control Nurse at UH-CMC, and Grace Tuuri, school nurse with the Conneaut Area City Schools. Conneaut Area City Schools Superintendent Kent Houston told the Board of Education on Tuesday night that school absentee rates on Monday were 10.5 percent among students. Some 26 staff members were absent. On Tuesday, the student absentee rate had dropped to 8.3 percent, and 23 teachers were out. Not until absentee rates climb to 15 or 20 percent does Houston consider closing the schools to let the virus run its course. “We haven’t had to close the schools the last few years,” he said. Kennedy said on Tuesday that it was too early to tell whether the number of flu cases has dropped over last week. “I hope we’re hitting the peak,” she said. “We’re swamped right now.” Contact the Conneaut Health Department at 5933087.

From page 1A who are willing to do this. We’re a lot of Indians and no chiefs. We’re all on the same playing field. We’re all there to help out,” she said. More volunteers are welcome. “Teens who come to do high school community service come back because they want to, “ Lardi said. The Conneaut Commu-

nity Soup Kitchen is here to stay, having recently obtained its articles of incorporation with the assistance of local attorney Chuck Lafferty. Its post office box is Box 722, Conneaut, Ohio 44030. “It’s a nice way to give back,” said Lardi. “We are the lucky ones. We are blessed by the people who come.”

Site Solver

Treatment for Abnormal Heart Rhythm Atrial fibrillation (AF) is an abnormal heart rhythm. With AF, the upper heart chambers (atria) do not pump blood adequately, leading to the risk of blood clot formation. Persons with heart diseases such as high blood pressure or heart failure are at an increased risk of developing AF. Other types of conditions can also increase the risk of AF include sleep apnea, and emphysema. Although some persons may not experience any signs or symptoms, some may experience chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, and fainting. An electrocardiogram can be used in the diagnosis of an AF. Treatment for AF is aimed at preventing a stroke. Antiarrhythmic medications that may be prescribed include a beta blocker, such as esmolol (Brevibloc), calcium channel blocker, such as

by Kerry Gerdes Gerdes Pharmacy 245 Main St. 593-2578 diltiazem (Cardizem), or digoxin to control the heart rate. Alternatively, use of a pacemaker or implantable atrial defibrillator may be used to control the heart rhythm or rate. Anticoagulant medications may be prescribed to reduce the risk of formation of blood clots and therefore reduce the risk of a stroke. Warfarin (Coumadin) and dabigatran (Pradaxa) are anticoagulant medications that may be prescribed. Persons who take warfarin require monitoring with a blood test on a regular basis, while Pradaxa does not require regular blood tests.

Kingsville Public Library Events StoryTime and Teddy Bear Time at the Kingsville Public Registration is underway for Winter Story Time and Teddy Bear Time sessions at Kingsville Public Library. Winter sessions begin Jan. 28. Teddy Bear Time is for children birth to age 3 with a caregiver to enjoy a half hour of stories, finger plays and activities. Sessions 10:15 and 11 a.m. Mondays and 2 p.m. Wednesdays. Story Time, for potty-trained children 3-6 years old, offers 45 minutes of stories, educational games, and crafts. Sessions 12:15 and 1:15 p.m. Mondays. A combined family class is 5:30 to 6:15 p.m. Tuesdays. Registration is required by calling (440) 224-0239 or signing up at the front desk. Classes limited to 10 children.

Conneaut’s Creative Writing Age Is A State of Mind By Meryl Taylor Do not regret where life has gone – Years convey the road we’re on. Wrinkles chronicle battles won. Age is a state of mind. Do not forget where we have been To come so far as steps begin. Revel in each saggy bit of skin. Age is a state of mind.

Local Events Jan. 17 - TOPS meeting, 6 to 8 p.m. at Marcy Family Center, Harbor & Liberty Streets. Jan. 19 - Community Soup Kitchen, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Odd Fellows Hall, 253 Liberty Street Jan. 26 - Mary’s Kitchen, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Conneaut Human Resources Center, 327 Mill St. All welcome for hot meal. Jan. 28 - Produce-to-People Distribution 10 a.m. to noon, Conneaut Human Resources Center Jan. 29 - Auditions for children and adults 7:30 p.m. for “Charlie & The Chocolate Factory,” spring play at Conneaut Arts Center. CAC main gallery, 1025 Buffalo Street. Feb. 2 - “Let’s Wine About Art,” art auction, hors d’oeuvres, jazz by Buzz Cronquist Trio, 7 p.m. at Conneaut Arts Center. Call 593-5888 for tickets.

Pharmacy & Health


Have you seen this doorway in Conneaut? Be the first to call its location to The Courier (440) 576-9125, ext. 116, starting 5 p.m. Jan. 17, and you will win an eight-ounce jar of Amish-made Miller’s Country Jams in a flavor of your choice from Heath Marketplace, 927 Main Street. Last week’s Site Solver was two partial tree trunks side-by-side on the tree lawn on Madison Street, directly behind the old Carnegie Library. Winner was the Schor family of Middle Road.

Do not suspect each dream now lies Too far away for weakened eyes. Accept life as some grand surprise. Age is a state of mind. Do not neglect eclipsing years To dwell upon requisite tears, Conceding what we’ve won to fears. Age is a state of mind. Do not expect some may battle age, Purporting each idea sage. Life is a good. Turn every page! Life is a state of mind.



New Leadership at Monroe United Methodist Church by MARTHA SOROHAN Gazette Newspapers CONNEAUT - Being appointed lay pastor of Monroe United Methodist Church last August was a homecoming of sorts for Samara Jenkins. When she returned to Conneaut in 2003 to be closer to family, she and her children worshipped there on Easter Sunday. She had no idea then that she would eventually serve that congregation. But after nearly six months on the job, she says she is still learning week-byweek. She feels blessed. “The last five months have been a time of growing in the love of Christ, and in each other, and I’ve been warmly welcomed by Monroe, Conneaut, Kingsville and the surrounding communities,” said Jenkins. As one not raised in a church, Jenkins finds it amazing. “My parents divorced when I was young, and we moved to Phoenix when I was about 7,” said Jenkins. “The people who baby-sat us were Mormon, and they told my mother they’d baby-sit for free if she joined the church. So my mom joined the church. I joined when I was 13.” But Jenkins says she did not really know God at that point in her life. She and her first husband attended church when his parents came to visit. “I prayed if I needed something, or to say I was sorry, but I really wasn’t a follower,” said Jenkins. Then, after the death of an aunt who had told Jenkins it was important that she and her children get involved in a church, Jenkins became part of a non-denominational congregation. She began leading Bible studies and felt the first inkling of becoming a pastor. “But women could not become pastors in that denomination,” she said. So the idea went on the back burner. The mother of five soon decided to leave her marriage and move back to Ohio to be with her father. Times were tough. The family was “adopted” by a local church, and Jenkins was given a New Testament. “They told me they hoped it would be a comfort in time


Since August, Samara has been lay pastor at Monroe United Methodist Church. of need, and a light went on,” she said. At the urging of her brother, Neil LaRusch, she began attending and then joined the former First United Methodist Church in Nov., 2008, before its merger to become New Leaf. “Chuck Graham was still there, and I felt a call to the ministry. I didn’t know what to do,” said Jenkins. Eventually, Jenkins not only became active in the local LEAF project and New Leaf ’s Hospitality Committee, but returned to school by taking classes at Lakeland Community College. She earned an Associates Degree in Emergency Management Planning and studied toward a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminology. She also remarried and gave birth to her sixth child, a son, Elijah. He was sickly and required hospitalization for many weeks after his birth. That period in her life proved to be a turning point in her faith. “I did a lot of hanging out in the hospital, and I told God, ‘Your will be done.’ I’ll accept either way. My faith was ready to go. I told God I was ready to give my life to Him, but prayed to let me keep my son,” she said. Elijah recovered, and

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Jenkins’ call to ministry remained strong. When her husband was laid off, she took a job as customer service representative at Andover Bank. “But I was miserable,” she said. “Finally, over Christmas, 2010, they gave me a leave of absence, and that was an answer to a prayer. I knew I was ready to go into ministry. I can’t think of anything else that I’d rather be doing.” Jenkins began her journey as lay pastor by meeting with New Leaf’s Staff Parish Relations group. Her mentor, Cathy DeCready, of Mentor, met with her weekly to guide her along the path to the nonordained ministry. “I thought the ordained ministry would be too itinerant a lifestyle. My husband’s job is in Erie,” Jenkins said. Requirements included a psychiatric evaluation, an FBI background and credit check. Jenkins met with a board of ordained ministers who urged her to be “true to her call.” She also joined a mandatory week-long licensing class of 29 people from northeast Ohio, Pennsylvania, Atlanta, Ga., and Wisconsin at Mount Union University. Last March, the United Methodist Church District Superintendent told her, “We have a church.” Jenkins learned that it was Monroe. But it had to be hushhush because the decision to appoint Jenkins had to come before a committee. “Then Dave told me that the committee didn’t have to vote. They wanted me. I felt enormously blessed,” she said. “I came into a wonderful thing.” Jenkins received New Pastor Orientation at the Northeast Ohio District Conference at Lakeside in June. Though she describes herself as one who stays calm speaking in front of a group and who prays “at the

drop of a hat,” Jenkins admits she was nervous taking the pulpit for the first time in Monroe last summer on Communion Sunday. “I felt a heavy responsibility,” she said. “I wanted to do it right. But once I got up there, I just sequed, used the book and walked right over, blessing the elements,” she said. Five months into her new position, leading a congregation of 15 to 25 families who “are all related and know each other,” Jenkins says she is still learning. “When I started, I decided I was not going to make any changes for six months,” she said. “A new sign had just gone up in front of the church, and not everyone was happy about that.” Jenkins — also the mother of children ages 21, 18, 16, and 12-year-old twins, with four grown stepchildren and eight grandchildren in Youngstown — is settling in in her new congregation and her community. urging members to make the church more present in the community. The congregation continued its tradition of selling food at the Creek Road Covered Bridge during October’s Ashtabula County Covered Bridge Festival. Jenkins restarted Sunday school classes for all ages at 10:45 a.m. and instituted a winter clothing drive and give-away for Monroe Township residents in November. Jenkins is making herself visible as well. She joined the Monroe Sirens Monroe Township Volunteer Fire Department auxiliary, and became Monroe’s representative on the Conneaut Salvation Army Board, chairing the 2012 Red Kettle Campaign and arranging for the first red kettle site at the Bushnell Store. She also expects to become the Conneaut Area Ministerial Association’s representative in the Conneaut Rotary Club. The challenge for Jenkins is a tight-knit community filled with many former congregants — Jenkins met many at Grace Tuttle’s funeral last summer — and others who are unchurched. To reintroduce the church to the community, Jenkins plans a “welcome home” celebration dinner and concert in the spring. “We have a home for everyone at Monroe UMC, and our goal this year is to love our folks back to church. The Lenten season is fast approaching, and we’re hoping to have many worship opportunities available,” she says. On a personal note, Jenkins says she looks forward to what the Lord has in store for her in the coming year,. “I want to be the best I can be, but I know life is full of surprises. I’d worry if there weren’t a glitch somewhere, whether you see it or whether you don’t. We laugh a lot. We’ve had several successful give-aways and dinners, and are always grateful for the community we serve,” she said.

Church Sign of the Week: “God is just like a Bayer aspirin. He works miracles.” — Monroe United Methodist Church

Religious Briefs The Rev. Jan Walsh, pastor, will preach on “The Entitlement Theory” at 9 a.m. contemporary and 11 a.m. traditional worship Jan. 20 at New Leaf United Methodist Church, 283 Buffalo Street. The Chancel Choir will sing “What A Friend.” Free brunch 8:45 to 10:50 a.m. People in Prayer for Progress will pray 10 a.m. Saturday at New Leaf South. Youth meet 6 p.m. Sunday at New Leaf South on Gateway Boulevard. Bible study on Genesis 6 p.m. Wednesdays. On Jan. 20, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Grove Street at Lake Road, will offer Holy Communion at 8:30 a.m. contemporary worship and 11 a.m. traditional worship. Nursery available for ages birth to 5. At 11 a.m. worship Jan. 20 at First Baptist Church, 370 State Street, greeters will be the Cosner family, Jerry & Tammie Jones and Bob and Paulette Cox. At 9:30 a.m. worship Jan. 20 at Monroe United Methodist Church, 4302 Center Road, pastor Samara Jenkins will preach. Sunday school is 10:45 a.m. for all ages. At 11 a.m. worship Jan. 20 at First Congregational United Church of Christ, Main & Buffalo Streets, greeters will be Tom and Janet Smith. Liturgist is Pam Stump. The sermon, “You Are Precious,” by Pastor Joyce Shellhammer, is based on Matthew 3:13-17 and is the second in a series on the parables of Jesus. The Sacrament of Baptism will be administered, and Sue Randall and friends will present a puppet show during Children’s Time. A family-style luncheon follows worship. Family Fellowship Foursquare Gospel Church, 641 Mill St., hosts Teen Nights 6 p.m. Fridays with free food, activities. Open to youth in the community.

Church Meals New Leaf United Methodist Church, 283 Buffalo Street, free Friday Community Dinner 5 to 6 p.m. The Jan. 18 menu is rigatoni & meat sauce. Jan. 25 will be ham and scalloped potatoes. All meals include veggies, homemade rolls & butter, desserts. All-You-Can-Eat Hot Breakfast Buffet is 8:30 to 11 a.m. Jan. 20 at Cabrini Hall, 744 Mill Street. Menu includes eggs, bacon, sausage patties or links, sausage gravy & biscuits, pancakes, fruit, beverage. $6. Children under 6 free. Sponsored by Knights of Columbus Council #627. Free Wednesday evening suppers 5 to 6:30 p.m. at Family Fellowship Foursquare Gospel Church, 641 Mill Street. Menu Jan. 23 is Gumbo, Jambalaya, dessert, soft drink.

Valentine’s Gourmet Waffle Breakfast Family Fellowship Foursquare Gospel Church, 641 Mill St., will host a Gourmet Valentine’s Waffle Breakfast from 8 to 11 a.m. Feb. 16. Eat in or take-out and delivery, including a special Breakfast in Bed package, is offered. Call the church at 593-3095 to order in advance, or about 15 minutes prior to desired delivery on Feb. 16.

Salvation Army Raises $6,600 In Kettle Drive by MARTHA SOROHAN Gazette Newspapers CONNEAUT - Conneaut Salvation Army announced at its monthly meeting Monday at the Conneaut Human Resources Center that $6,600 was raised in donations through the 2012 Red Kettle Campaign at four locations in Conneaut, North Kingsville and Monroe. Treasurer Penny Armeni presented the figures, saying the amount was $400 over that raised in 2011, but $900 short of the $7,500 goal. Armeni said more might have been raised had all bell-ringers fulfilled their commitment to ring. Donations are higher when someone is present ringing a bell at red kettle sites. Salvation Army Divisional Field Representative Tony Houshour, of Cleveland, said most Salvation

Army units experience the same difficulties. Often, the key is reminding those who signed up. “You’ve done what everyone else does,” he told Armeni. The Salvation Army also expects to name by the end of the month board member Renea Roach to take over as Voucher Coordinator. Roach replaces Kathy Paden, who resigned this month. The Salvation Army Voucher Coordinator sees clients at the Conneaut Human Resources Center and assists those who qualify with utility bills and food. Roach directs the Conneaut Food Pantry and is familiar with county social service agencies and their policies. Roach expects to see Salvation Army clients once a week, an increase over Paden’s twice-a-month office hours.


Lights of Love 2012 In honor of Loved Ones - Henry & Cindy Brooks In memory of Dominick & Mary Palmer - Charles & Joann Beaver In memory of Charles & Eloise Beaver - Charles & Joann Beaver In memory of Morris Wofford - Nicole Walker & Family In memory of John J. Schmidt - The Corbitt’s In memory of Connie Corbitt - The Corbitt’s In memory of William & Bernice Hallett - Gary & Gladys Hallett In memory of Margaret Colainni - Gary & Gladys Hallett In memory of Mr. & Mrs. Louis D. Todaro - Louis & Rose Todaro In memory of Roy E. Richards - Mary A. Richards In memory of James T. Richards - Mary A. Richards In memory of Roy E. Richards - Ron, Marie, & Holly Richards In memory of Jim Richards - Ron, Marie, & Holly Richards In memory of Doug Abbey - Mary Lou & Family In memory of Grandpa Abbey - Rex & Laci In memory of Michael B., Jean, Mike, & Eugene Anthony - Jim & Kathy Deck & Family In memory of John, Marie, & Susan Deck - Jim & Kathy Deck & Family In memory of Karen Deck-Vendetti - Love, Mom, Dad, & Family In memory of Angelo, Gaetanina, & Paul Reo - Anna Marie Reo In memory of Angelo, Gaetanina, & Paul Reo - Dabey, Carmela, Joe, Ashley Emery In memory of Paul Bunnell - Shirley & Family In memory of John Hoagland - Shirley & Family In memory of Rick Brabender - Mary K. Callahan In memory of Elizabeth McGovern - Mary K. Callahan In Honor of Carol Chandler - Mary K. Callahan In memory of Ron Gonda - Fran Gonda In memory of Ron Gonda - Tina, Tony, Terry, Tammy, Tracy, & Tricia,, In memory of John Wincik - Elsie Fiala In memory of Francis Wincik - Elsie Fiala In memory of Frank Fiala - Elsie Fiala In memory of Mollie Fiala - Elsie Fiala In memory of Edward Fiala - Elsie Fiala In memory of Theresa Wincik - Elsie Fiala In memory of Mary Karal - Betty Staley In memory of Robert H. Rogers - Rogers Family In memory of Merritt L. Simpson - Barbara Simpson In memory of Rose Family - Ronald Rose In memory of Vignal Family - Ronald Rose In memory of My Father Michael - McKenzie Lemmo In memory of Our Son Michael - Mike & Pam Lemmo In memory of Richard Leardi - Mom, Dad, Brother, & Sisters In memory of Nana & Poppy Webb In memory of Grandma & Poppy Kongdon In memory of Aunt Kay In honor of All our Armed Forces In memory of Henry & Cece Poore - Love, Your Family In memory of Milt & Charlotte Rudler - Love, Your Family In memory of Albert Hopkins & Evelyn Butler - Bill & Janice Tennant In memory of Lonnie & Ethel Tennant - Bill & Janice Tennant In memory of Sally Hopkins - Al Hopkins & Bill & Janice Tennant In memory of Robert Arndt - Cyndy Arndt In memory of D2 – Megan, Kelsey, & Matt Munson In memory of Charles Rose - Son, Donald C. Rose In memory of Charles R. Smith Jr. - Dorothy Smith & Family In memory of Charles R. Smith III - Dorothy Smith & Family In memory of Jon Seavey - Karen Seavey & Family In memory of George Peterson - Linda Hall In memory of George Peterson - Bonnie & Lou Howell In memory of Marvin Maire - Mom & Dad & Family In memory of Husband, Larry Tratar - Loretta Tratar In memory of Dad, John Stump - Loretta Tratar In memory of Jeff Stump - Loretta Tratar In memory of Stephen & Helen Colucci - Angie & Larry Moore In memory of Edgar & Myrtle Moore - Angie & Larry Moore In memory of Donaven Lee - Cindy & TJ Black & Kris Hollis In memory of Robert Drury - Cindy & TJ Black & Kris Hollis In memory of Paula Brundage,Ronald Brundage In memory of Vernon & Loraine Brundage - Ronald Brundage In memory of John & Chris Harden - Mom, Dad, & Cyndi In memory of Stanley Ward - Shirley Ward In memory of Becky Burr - Her Family In memory of Agnes & Nick Mundi - The Peji Family In memory of The Frank Mondy Family - The Peji Family

In memory of Arthur Plosila Family - Virginia Plosila Family In memory of Craig Redmond - Laura In memory of Betty Kangas - Laura, Jerry, & Family

In memory of Willard C. Hall - Linda Hall In memory of Linda, Leonard - Aino, Michael Markielowski & Bonnie Rozalski In memory of Nancy Heasley - Angel Rogers In memory of Alec Moorhead - Jeanne Moorhead In memory of Robert Savel - Connie Kister In memory of Jeff Sutley - Pat Sutley In memory of Scott Barnes - Granddaughters Jaylin Richelle Cain & Chloe Alyn Barnes-Moody

Education My Day in Court


CHS Seniors Sell Christmas “Candy-Grams”

by Mackenzie Carraher This is what I learned at my day in court. Do you know what the court reporter or “writer ’ uses to keep track of what’s said in the courtroom? It’s called a stenograph or stenotype machine. It is a specially designed machine which is used for taking shorthand. Let’s just say that you are the “victim” in the courtroom. The first thing the judge will do is tell everyone their rights. Then when it is your turn he will ask you “do you understand your rights?” You have many plea choices. Judge Harris informed us that the most common plea is guilty. Keep reading if you’d like to know what some of the cases presented were and what their punishment was. You SHOULD keep reading because there are some interesting things that you will find out. If your music can be heard outside of your car or house, it’s too loud! The police can take your speakers and or sound system. I guess if you didn’t know that, you do now! I also learned that a methane felony can have a fine of up to $2000 and get you up to a year in jail. If you get caught with marijuana your driver’s license gets suspended. My recommendation is don’t do drugs!!! A disorderly conduct charge can cost you up to $150. That is when people are talking loudly and or arguing and alcohol is mostly likely involved. An example would be a bar fight. Also if you get caught trespassing it’s a $250 fine or 30 days in jail. That leads me to stealing. If you get caught with stolen property it’s either a $1000 fine or six months in

Mackenzie Carraher

jail depending on what the stolen property was. In traffic court cases all your rights and pleas are the same. If you pass a car when there’s a double yellow line it can cost you up to $150 in fines. Other examples of traffic cases are studded tires and failing to stop at a stop sign. DUI stands for driving under the influence. They are very costly to a person who receives one. You can lose your driver’s license, your car insurance will go up a lot or your policy may even PHOTO BY MARTHA SOROHAN be cancelled. The fines for Flanked by her parents, Rudy and a DUI are very high. Rhonda, Rachel Pryately was all A fun fact to know is that smiles prior to talking to Conneaut deer are the most dangerRotary Club on Tuesday about her ous animals in North upcoming Study Abroad America because they cause semester at the University of Ulster a lot of vehicle accidents in Belfast, Northern Ireland. and motorcyclists can be Pryately, a 2010 graduate and seriously injured. homecoming queen at Conneaut My day in court was an High School, is a senior public interesting experience. I barelations major at Kent State sically learned, don’t do University who chose Ireland for drugs, drinking and driving the study-abroad semester are dangerous, arguing because it is the country she with people doesn’t solve always wanted to visit. She leaves anything, if you want somethe U.S. on Jan. 22. Pryately will thing earn the money and study Irish Cultural studies and two buy it but most importantly other undetermined courses follow the laws. during her 15-hour class *This is the fifth of six schedule. Pryately expects to winning essays written by miss her parents more than they Conneaut Middle School miss her. “I can’t stay away from eighth-graders after attend- home for more than two weeks at a time,” she said. Pryately also expects her parents will visit her overseas. “They ing a half-day field trip last said if I get to go, they get to go,” she said. The family has set up a Skype account. fall to Conneaut Municipal Court.

Rachel Pryately is Ulster-Bound

“Charlie & The Chocolate Factory” Auditions Jan. 29 by MARTHA SOROHAN Gazette Newspapers CONNEAUT - Children and adults of all ages are invited to audition for the Conneaut Arts Center ’s spring play, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The play will be directed

Conneaut High School seniors raised money by selling “Candy Grams” prior to the Christmas h o l i d a y s . Pictured are (front) Angie Zappitelli, Ericka Nickels, Alyssa Andes, Megan Glass; and (back row, left) Kyle Sprinkle, Kacie S c h w a r t f i g u re , Shae Brink, Emilee Bucci, Michael Mirando.

by Mike Breeze. Auditions will be held 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 29, in the CAC’s main gallery. Audition materials will be provided. Call the CAC with questions or to sign up for auditions at (440) 5935888.

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Scholarships Available for Children of Marines by MARTHA SOROHAN Gazette Newspapers

CONNEAUT - Conneaut Area City Schools Board of Education member Sonny Heinonen announced at

Heinonen said some veteran, said the scholarships are offered to a student scholarships are also availseeking a bachelor’s degree able to grandchildren of at college, university, or vo- Marines, but they are more restrictive. cational school. “This is free money. NothStudents pursuing Master’s Degrees or attend- ing has to be repaid,” said ing military service acad- Heinonen. The deadline for applying emies are not eligible. Scholarships are also for scholarships for the available to children of Navy 2013-2014 academic year is corpsmen who served in a March 1. Students may contact a Marine unit. Applicants must have a school guidance counselor 2.0 to 4.0 grade point aver- for more information. Heinonen is also acceptage and their families must questions at have an annual income of ing • official birth certificate less than $91,000. • immunization record • social security number • applicable child custody papers During the registration process, a brief kindergarten screening will be adRowe High School ’53/54 ministered to each child. Parents may register Rowe High School Classes of 1953/54 will meet their child at the appropri- for breakfast 9 a.m. Feb. 5 at Perkins Restaurant, Conneaut ate building according to Plaza. Guests welcome. Breakfasts held the first/ third the first letter of the child’s Tuesdays of each month. last name. Times are: • 8 to 10 a.m. - Last CHS ’68 names starting with A - H Conneaut High School Class of 1958 will meet at noon • 10 a.m. to Noon - Last names beginning with let- Feb. 4 at Perkins Restaurant, Conneaut Plaza. Spouses and guests welcome. ters I - M • 1 to 3 p.m. - Last The Courier will publish your wedding, names beginning with letters N-Z anniversary, birth and Call the Buckeye Adminengagements at no charge! istration Office at 998-4411 Email with questions.

Tuesday evening’s school board meeting that scholarships of up to $14,000 per year are available to children of honorably discharged United States Marines. Heinonen, a Marine

Kindergarten Registration March 19-20 in Buckeye Local Schools by MARTHA SOROHAN Gazette Newspapers ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP - The Buckeye Local School District will hold kindergarten registration for the 2013-2014 school year March 19 and 20. Registration will be held Tuesday, March 19, at Ridgeview Elementary School, 3456 Liberty Street. Registration will be held Wednesday, March 20, at Kingsville Elementary School, 5875 Route 193. Children who are five years old by Sept. 30, 2013, may be registered. The following documentation must be presented when a child is registered: • proof of residency

Alumni Calendar


Busy Holiday Season for Lighthouse Gals


Lighthouse Gals Red Hat Society members Sheila Jury, Jean Woods and JoAnn Colin are pictured signing Christmas cards last month that were shipped to military men and women serving overseas. The Lighthouse Gals sent over 100 Christmas cards. “We wanted them to have a little bit of Christmas while they were away from their families protecting all of us,” said Queen Mum Colin.

SMUGGLER on Tuesday, West sat quietly at the table, dressed in an orange-striped jail jumpsuit, as a female acquaintance watched his preliminary hearing on felony charges without an attorney present. West told Harris that he had called his attorney and could not understand why he was not there A former prison inmate on parole from Mahoning County on cocaine trafficking charges when arrested in Conneaut last week, West was also charged with a first-degree misdemeanor of obstructing justice and second-degree misdemeanors of resisting arrest and obstructing official business. He told Harris that he is requesting a trial on the misdemeanor charges. Harris agreed to continue that trial until West secures an attorney. “You and I know you’ve been through this. You have a felony in the first degree in Mahoning County. You’ve been in prison before. None of this is new. But we’re moving forward because of the time and because you said you had a lawyer,” he said. Conneaut Assistant Law Director Carly Prather questioned Distel, the state’s only witness, about the accounts leading up to West’s Jan. 8 arrest. Distel said under oath that he had been on routine traffic patrol, dressed in his police uniform, at 8:11 p.m.. when he received information that the driver of a vehicle on Woodworth Road had dropped off a subject into the woods near the prison. Aware of the two prison contraband-smuggling cases that resulted in felony charges on Dec. 29 and Jan. 2, Distel testified that the police department had stepped up patrols in the area and that people were acting as accessories to smuggling. “Later, I was on Woodworth Road, and saw a man walking. There was mud and snow on his pants, as if he had just jumped out of the woods,” Distel testified. Distel said he stopped the man on Woodworth, just south of Shenango Street, and asked where he was

From page 1A

coming from. “‘From a dude’s house,’” he said the man replied. “But he wouldn’t elaborate. Most of the time he was talking or texting on his cell phone. He seemed jittery, so I advised him that I was going to detain him.” Distel said just as he was about to cuff the man’s left arm, the man shoved the cuff hard against him and ran. Distel suffered a minor hand laceration as a result. Harris told West that he was free to ask questions of Distel, but when West asked Distel on what grounds he had stopped him in the first place, Harris cut him off. “The scope of this case is limited to what happened in the City of Conneaut on Jan. 8 when you knowingly caused physical harm to Sgt. Distel in the performance of his duty,” Harris explained. “’Why’ is not an element of the crime that they have to prove today.” “Do you believe that I tried to hurt you?” West asked Distel. “I can’t say, but the handcuff in my hand caused the injury. I can’t qualify to say that you intended to hurt me,” Distel replied. Harris advised West against testifying on his own behalf without an attorney. With that, the state rested its case and Harris determined evidence was sufficient to send it on to the grand jury. Harris turned down West’s request to lower his bond, in part because he had received word from Mahoning County that it placed a hold on him and wanted West’s bond revoked. “It’s pointless. Save yourself some money,” he advised. Only one more prison smuggling case remains in Conneaut Municipal Court. Natasha Head, who pleaded not-guilty to misdemeanor charges related to a Dec. 29 smuggling attempt at the prison, had requested a jury trial which is scheduled for 11 a.m. Jan. 28. Conneaut Law Director David Schroeder told City Council on Monday night that he had received a letter of remorse from the suspect that indicated she may change her plea.

Intermessage Cuts the Ribbon by MARTHA SOROHAN Gazette Newspapers CONNEAUT Intermessage Communications cut the red ribbon as part of its grand opening celebration Friday afternoon at Harbor and State Streets. The celebration was held indoors and out, as Intermessage Communications Area Manager Steve Anderson offered pastries and hot beverages. Outside, Edgewood Senior High School junior Alyssa Johnson braved damp weather inside a bright green Droid costume to wave to passers-by to let them know that something special was going on inside. Johnson, the daughter of Ken and Heather Johnson, wore matching green socks and Converse tennis shoes to complete the color scheme. She was the object of fascination to a group of Gateway Elementary School youngsters who got off the school bus in front of Burdick Plumbing, but she kept up her impersonation until cold weather got the better of her. At 3 p.m., board members of the Conneaut Area Chamber of Commerce arrived for the outside ribbon-cutting. All were invited back inside for refreshments. Devin Curtis, of Conneaut, has been assigned as Account Executive permanently at the Conneaut store since December. Scanning the array


Heather Johnson (fourth left) held the giant scissors last Friday afternoon as the red ribbon was officially snipped at Intermessage Communications, the city’s authorized Alltel agent, on Harbor Street. Pictured are, from left, Conneaut Area Chamber of Commerce board member Tim Kraus; Intermessage account executives Don Branford and Devin Curtis; Johnson; IM area manager Steve Anderson; Conneaut Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Wendy DuBey; Conneaut City Council President Tom Udell; Chamber Board members Tammi Lewis and Corrie Wojtowicz; and Intermessage account executive Angela Keaton. Not pictured is Intermessage Account Executive Ashley Ellis. of phones and communications devices offered by Intermessage, the city’s authorized Alltel agent, he talked about top-selling phones. “We find out what people’s needs are and what they’re interested in, and we see what we have that they can utilize,” said Intermessage Communications Area Manager Steve Anderson. Anderson asked account executives Angela Keaton of

the Ashabula Mall store, Don Branford of the Geneva store, and Ashley Ellis to attend Friday’s grand opening. As a special incentive, customers were invited to enter a drawing for a new Conneautopoly game. Anderson said the transformation from the former tanning salon to mobile communications store took about six weeks. “The Burdicks did the carpeting and painting, and we did the wiring and added ac-

BELNAP wants to continue in that direction. “During that time, in that relationship, we kind of saw that I have aspirations toward economic development. They’re encouraging me to work with [Economic Development Committee Chair Doug Hedrick] and take it to the next level,” he said with characteristic enthusiasm. Belnap said he has been working with Cleveland and Columbus commercial real estate agents on securing warehousing companies as tenants for the East Side Industrial Park. “That came about because I was asking what happened with marketing for the Industrial Park, and when they told me it was in the hands of Growth Partnership [Ashtabula County], I told them about my idea to market it commercially,” Belnap said. “I started working quietly, to see what kind of traction we could get, and have gotten things lined up. From the governor’s office, I was lined up with a Columbus real estate agency, and we’re now working with a Cleveland agency. We hope to attract the warehousing industry. If we can match up our industrial park property with a commercial realtor that wants warehouse space, it would be a marriage made in heaven.” Belnap said he has also been working with Finance Director John Williams on returning commercial property back to the city. “I also contacted the governor ’s office about brownfield monies to see what we can do to clean up some areas, and market

cessories, like slat walls,” he said. Anderson said the store is slowly taking off. “We attract customers from all over Ashtabula County,” he said, expressing pride in the account executives who represent Alltel at the four Intermessage Communications stores in Ashtabula County. Intermessage Communications is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays.

From page 1A that, and with railroad spurs in place, see what we can do,” he said. Belnap, a CPA, says that working in economic development comes naturally because of his finance background and his business background. “John Williams said to me, ‘You’re a creative guy. You take something others say, ‘hey, it’s vacant land,’ and find it positive.’ They like my economic development ideas and think it was an area I should be working,” he said. “It’s where I’m best suited.” Belnap does not plan to stray too far from lakefront project, however. He says that as past Port Authority chair, he is in an enviable position as consultant. “After 22 years on the board, and as an advisory panel member before that, I have about 25 years invested, and it gets in your blood. You can’t get it out even if you want to because it’s part of your life. What’s great is that as past chair, I worked with great people. It’s a great fraternity. I’ve seen the past chair [Spieldenner] come down, visit, and ask for input, and so you have a level of respect, but no day-to-day responsibility. Sort of like being a grandparent. I feel great about it and proud,” he said. Belnap is also proud of the work he did developing the sand bar as prime lakefront recreational area along the northeast Ohio coastline. “I was the Port Authority’s fiscal agent for 17 years, and nothing went

“They like my economic development ideas and think it was an area I should be working.” - Tom Belnap by me. If we couldn’t afford it, we didn’t do it, and during that process, we took on some major projects,” he said. “We bought back the $676,000 marina, bought the restaurant for $235,000, and acquired grants for the public dock for $500,000. We paid off 15-year bonds and notes in eight years. To do that, our budget had to be tight, but we got a lot done. The marina was a revenue source and the public dock was beautiful with lighting, repaving, and ramps. I’ve got a lot of history there, and picked up good wisdom. As a matter of fact, they called me

today, asking me a question about something we did ten years ago.” Belnap expects no compensation for his economic development efforts. “I’m busy with my tax practice and involved in other projects. Anything I do is for the betterment of city to move forward. I’ll jump in and help as I can. I-90 needs to be developed, and downtown, we’ll see what we can do to fill storefronts. That’ll be my focus. And the lakefront, all in my back pocket. I’ll keep moving forward.” City Manager Tim Eggleston told Council months ago that Port Authority appointments, as all city board appointments, are in his hands. He takes into account letters of application along with recommendations from council. Belnap is enthusiastic about Best’s appointment to the Port Authority, calling him a “great fit.” “He was on the port a few years ago, and I worked with him, and I think he’s going to be a fantastic asset to the board. He brings a lot to the table that will help point the Port in the right direction.” This is Eggleston’s second city board decision that took some by surprise. Last summer, he opted not to reappoint chair Frank Giganti to the Planning Commission, saying Giganti had become too emotionally involved and needed to step away. City Council also on Monday night reappointed Andy Stevenson to a two-year term on the Conneaut Cable Advisory Board.



Eagles fly away from Spartans Heralds win Lake Effect match-up

BY ALLAN MONONEN Gazette Newspapers CONNEAUT - The Lady Spartans began the new year with a game against Geneva. The Lady Eagles are having a fine season, losing only one game, to North, in the PAC. Conneaut is improving, playing well in their own Holiday Tournament last week. The Spartans held their own for the first quarter. Dani Heinonen sank two free throws to give the hosts a 1210 lead after one period. “I’m proud of the girls for the way we came out. That was the best ten minutes of basketball I’ve seen all year,” Spartan coach Tony Pasanen complimented his team. Then the Lady Eagles warmed up, Becky Depp and Lindsay Mayle hit from outside as the Eagles flew away on a 25-6 run to put the contest out of reach, going into halftime with a 35-18 advantage. Geneva made five three pointers in that period, as the Eagles ran away with a 60-26 victory. “I knew it would be tough for us to keep pace with them for four quarters, especially with Natalie (Bertolasio) out and Lexi under the weather. I felt if we could shorten the game, we could play with them. The girls did a great job controlling the tempo and communicating defensively, we just ran out of gas.The problem with them is you have to pick your poison. Mayle and Becky on the arc are deadly. They they have Thomas inside. At the opening,we tried to double Thomas and take away Mayle, then Depp got hot. Then Mayle got hot. Give them credit. We didn’t know what else to do. Their pressure and speed were too much for us,” Pasanen commented. “After the first quarter I expressed my displeasure on giving up double digits (points). We mixed things up defensively and I think that helped a bit too,” Geneva coach Nancy Barbo said. “Coach said we had to pick it up, she said we couldn’t start flat. They played better than us, they were hustling,” Eagle senior Becky Depp added. After intermission, the


Brenna Kubec, 30 of Saint John, matches up against Nija Lydia Coccitto, of Conneaut, dribbles around the top of the key, guarded by Sarah Roundtree, 22 of New Day, down low as Liv Cimorelli, 4 of Saint John, defends Cheyenne Mays, 31 of New Day. Depp,of Geneva. PHOTOS BY ALLAN MONONEN

BY BYRON C. WESSELL Gazette Newspapers

in the first half. Cheyenne Myas again scored the only two points for the Golden ASHTABULA - The Eagles to go with three Saint John Heralds girls more rebounds. Brenna basketball team picked up Kubec paced the Heralds a big win over New Day in with four points in the seca recent Lake Effect ond quarter. Brenna Powmatch-up. The Heralds ers added three points for were able to come away the Heralds as they only with a 42-9 win, in which scored seven points in the most of the fourth quarter second quarter after scorwas played four-on-four ing 17 in the first quarter. due to an injury. The New New Day continued its Lindsey Mayle prepares to inbound the ball for the Eagles during a recent game Day Golden Eagles came offensive struggles in the into the game with only second half as Kelah against Conneaut. four players and an injury Hardrick scored their only to Nija Roundtree in the two points in the third fourth quarter trimmed quarter. Cheyenne Mays their numbers down even continued her busy night more. on the boards with three The Heralds were active more rebounds, but the from the start as they Golden Eagles trailed 36raced out to a 17-2 lead in 6 through three quarters of the opening quarter. Mul- action. The Heralds scored tiple players scored for the in double digits in the Heralds in the first period quarter with 12 points and as Brenna Powers led the were led by three points way with six points and a from both Tori Ray and pair of rebounds. Emily Brenna Poers. Emily PowPowers and added four ers, Ales Ferrante and points, two steals and two Mackenzie Stenroos all assists, while Mackenzie scored two points for the Stenroos added four points Heralds in the quarter. After a collision between Angie Zappitelli, of Conneaut, looks to pass as her teammates sprint down court. and two rebounds. Alex Ferrante also added a bas- Alex Ferrante and Nija Zappitelli is guarded by Natalie Thomas, of Geneva. ket for the Heralds to go Roundtree the Eagles were “It’s a whole new ball Simek and Angie Zappitelli with three rebounds and down to four players and Eagles continued their hot shooting. Defensively, they game in the second half of put in three each. Shae Brink two assists. Liv Cimorelli the final six and a half mintacked on the final point utes of the game would be forced numerous Spartan the season, in the second made one basket. turnovers, thirty during the round of the PAC,” Coach Geneva improves to 11-1, with a free throw to go played four-on-four. The game, and converted them Barbo added. 6-1, PAC. Conneaut slides to with three rebounds. New Heralds cruised to a 42-9 Day managed only two win. Kelah Hardwick would into points. On the scoreboard, Becky 4-8. In the JV contest, Geneva points in the opening quar- hit a three-pointer late in Geneva held the Spartans Depp led the Eagles with 14 scoreless in the final quarter points, including three three made it a sweep, 31-14. ter, which came from Chey- the game for the Golden on their way to the eventual pointers. Lindsey Mayle con- Rachael Harrington led the enne Mays Mays had a big Eagles. Cheyenne Mays tributed 13, with three threes. Eagles with 11. Alyssa quarter on the glass for the hauled in four more re60-26 final. The Eagles sank eight three Chadwick scored five for the Eagles as she picked up bounds as she finished with eight rebounds and two a game high 18 boards. pointers in the game. Spartans. The Heralds received The Eagles began their blocks. Natalie Thomas put in The Heralds again held two points apiece from nine, Alyssa Scott, seven, second round in the PAC Emily Ball, six, Sarah Depp, Saturday when they hosted New Day to only two points Brenna Powers, Jessica in the second quarter as DiSalvatore and Emily five; Sarah Juncker, Emily Madison. O’Dell and Annaliese Fistek In an exciting game, Becky they outscored them 24-4 Powers in the final quarter. Brenna Powers finhad one basket apiece. Depp sank a last second shot ished with a game high 14 to lead the Eagles over the For the Spartans, Dani Call or stop in... points for Saint John in Heinonen had eight points, Blue Streaks. the win. Geneva improves to 12Brooke Bennett and Lexi Zappitelli added five each. Tori 1, 7-1


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Jamie Au plays Saint John during a recent Lake Effect match-up against New Day.

Tori Ray shoots a free throw for the Heralds during a game against the Golden Eagles.



Spartans roll past Eagles BY BYRON C. WESSELL Gazette Newspapers GENEVA – The Geneva Eagles boys basketball team hosted the Conneaut Spartans in a junior varsity match-up on Tuesday, Jan. 8. The Eagles went down in the hole early and would not be able to recover as they fell 53-29 to the hands of the Spartans. Conneaut jumped out to a 7-0 lead PHOTOS BY BYRON C. WESSELL in the first quarter, before Levi Stewart, 44 of Conneaut, the Eagles came back on guards Alex Fistek, 20 of Geneva, a 6-2 run to end the first during a recent junior varsity quarter. Conneaut built basketball game. on their 9-6 lead in the second quarter as they went the Spartans. Kyle Sprinkle into halftime up ten at 23-13. and Levi Stewart also got on Justin Myers kick started the stat sheet as Sprinkle hit a the Spartans in the opening free throw to go with three requarter with the first of his bounds and two assists, while four three’s in the game. Also Stewart had two points, three scoring for Conneaut in the rebounds, and a steal. Ryan first quarter were Kyle Nappi and Paul Hitchcock comSprinkle, Ryan Oatman and bined for Geneva’s four points Nick Root all with two points. in the third quarter as they Tyler Drought led the Eagles trailed 40-17. with four of their six points in The Spartans cruised in the the first quarter. Ryan Nappi fourth quarter to a 53-29 win. scored the only other basket The Eagles managed to put up for the Eagles. their highest scoring quarter Myers added two more of the game with 12 points, but three’s in the second quarter, still fell easily to the Spartans. including a buzzer beat at half- Justin Myers hit his fourth time to turn a 20-13 lead into and final three-pointer in the double digits at 23-13. Jacob quarter as he finished with a Spees also had a big quarter game high 18 points. Jacob for Conneaut with six points Spees also had a good quarter and a pair of rebounds. Marcus with two points, two assists Barrickman added the other and two rebounds as he fintwo points for the Spartans in ished with 16 points for the the second quarter. Spartans. Also scoring for The Eagles only managed Conneaut in the quarter were seven points in the quarter as Nick Root, Matthew Church Alex Fistek hit a three-pointer and Sean O’Meara with two and Tyler Drought and Aiden points apiece. Hennessey each added two The Eagles nearly matched points. their first half scoring in the Conneaut held the Eagles to fourth quarter with two points, only four points in the third but still fell 53-29. Paul quarter as they outscored the Hitchcock led the Eagles with 17-4. Jacob Spees led the way four points in the final period. for the Spartans with eight Tyler Drought added three points, including two more points to finish with a team three-pointers. Justin Myers high nine points. Geneva also continued his good shooting got two points from Ben night with four more points. Damm and Aiden Hennessey, Ryan Oatman added two while Eddie Hughes came off points and three rebounds for the bench to hit a free throw.

Spartans edge Eagles BY BYRON C. WESSELL Gazette Newspapers GENEVA – The Geneva Eagles basketball team continued to struggle as they dropped a county match-up to the Conneaut Spartans 54-44. The Eagles hung around for most of the game, but the senior led Spartans had a big fourth quarter to seal the win. David Smalley helped the Eagles take the opening lead as he scored a basket and hit a free throw for the and one to go up 3-0. Conneaut came right back to tie the game up at 5-5, before going up 13-8 at the end of one. Christian Williams and Dylan Campbell each connected from downtown for the Spartans. Jordan Geiser added three points and two rebounds, while Nick Blood and Michael Mirando each had two points. Vern Thompson and Zac Sweat each scored a bucket for the Eagles in the first and Smalley had another point off a free throw. Conneaut edged the Eagles 8-6 in the second quarter as they built a seven point lead at 21-14. The Spartans continued to hit their three’s as Michael Mirando and Joey Borgerding each connected for a trey in the second quarter. Bud Ritari scored the other two points in the quarter for the Spartans. Dylan Campbell and Nick Blood were both active on the glass with four re-


The Geneva Eagles hosted the Conneaut Spartans in a recent county basketball match-up. as the Eagles remained down seven points at 39-32 after three quarters of action. Geneva outscored their first half total of four points as they were finally able to get in a flow offensively. Vern Thompson led the way with six points, while Eric Juncker and Matt Mackynen each added four points. Zac Sweat added two points and two rebounds in the quarter and Brandon Kovach added two points and two assists. Geneva cut the lead to four points to start the fourth quarter down 39-35 as Vern Thompson connected on the first of his two three-pointers in the quarter. However, it would be as close as they would get as the Spartans outscored the Eagles 15-12 in the quarter for a ten point win at 54-44. Thompson had big quarter for the

Eagles before fouling out with ten points, including a pair of three pointers. Thompson finished with a game high 20 points in the loss. David Smalley scored the remaining two points in the quarter for the Eagles to go with three rebounds. Christian Williams hit his fourth three-pointer of the game for the Spartans to go with seven points in the quarter as he finished with a team high 16 points. Nick Blood also had a good quarter for the Spartans to seal the win with three points and four rebounds. Michael Mirando added three more points for the Spartans as he finished in double digits for scoring with ten points. The Spartans hit eight three-pointers in the game to help them win 54-44.

Amen Gerics sets up on defense for the Conneaut Brandon Smalley attempts a free throw for the Geneva Spartans during a game Eagles during a game against Conneaut. against Geneva.

Nick Blood plays for the Conneaut Spartans during a basketball game against Geneva.

bounds apiece in the second quarter. The Eagles found it hard to score in the second quarter as Vern Thompson and Erik Juncker scored the only baskets. Zac Sweat and Matt Mackynen each added a point off a free throw for Geneva. Conneaut built a 13 point lead early on in the first quarter up 27-14, but the Eagles trimmed the lead back to five a few times at 29-24, 35-30 and 37-32 to stay close in the game. Christian Williams sparked the Spartans with a pair of three pointers in the third quarter. Jacob Spees also hit a three pointer for the Spartans who continued to be hot from downtown. Amen Gerics added five points for Conneaut in the quarter. The Spartans also received two points from Michael Mirando, Bud Ritari and Jordan Geiser in the quarter. The two teams both scored 18 points in the third quarter

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Courier Year in Review: Apr. May June 2012 DENVER SPIELDENNER RESIGNS FROM PORT AUTHORITY After being re-elected chair of the Conneaut Port Authority at the start of the year, Denver Spieldenner in April resigned after 24 years on the board, saying, “Personally, there are things I want to do and now is the time to do it.” But there was method to his madness. He was subsequently hired by the Port Authority to the new position of Harbor Manager after Port Authority manager Bruce Chapman retired in 2012 and his successor, George Distel, resigned, saying the position inter fered with his retirement as Ohio Turnpike Commissioner.

DOLLAR GENERAL BATTLE WAGES ON GBT Realty Vice President of Economic Development Services Bob Gage tried to make the plans for the new Dollar General store sound like one answer to the city’s economic woes at an April 12 presentation to the Economic Development Committee, but opponents to its proposed location at W. Main & Parrish Roads were not buying it. Though they had had their say at a public hearing March 26, they attended the April 12 meeting to show continued opposition to rezoning the land parcel in a residential neighborhood. Council defeated the rezoning ordinance by a 6-to-1 vote on May 29. CHS SUPPORTS “NO PROM” POLICY Though some attendees said the emergency board meeting was staged, Conneaut Area City Schools Board of Education voted 3-to-2 to uphold a decision by Conneaut High School not to allow junior Hannah Lower to attend the JuniorSenior Prom in May after she failed to turn in a permission slip for her boyfriend, Air Force Airman Tyler Webster, by the April 27 deadline. The incident might have gone unnoticed had Webster’s mother not contacted a newspaper and a Cleveland TV station. CBOE President Michael Kennedy objected to the board meeting and refused to attend. Supporters said the school should have made an exception since Webster, CHS’11, was to have shipped out to Alaska two days after the May 12 prom. Pictured is Lower’s mother, Amy, politely telling the school board that she had always supported the schools and that the incident had taught her daughter a lesson in responsibility.

KENT HOUSTON APPLIES FOR NEW POSITIONS Conneaut Area City S c h o o l s Superintendent Kent Houston became a finalist at the Fort Frye Local Schools in Washington County and at the Liberty Central Local Schools in Henry County in April, but later withdrew his name from consideration.

ECO-ETERNITY FOREST OPENS AT CAMP LUTHER An “Eco-Eternity Forest,” the latest in burial grounds, was consecrated June 21 at Camp Luther in North Kingsville. The concept that originated in Europe offers families an opportunity to “purchase” a tree for $4,500 in the heavily wooded camp property on the south side of Lake Road where cremains of up to 15 people may be buried. Each additional cremain is $300. Small numbered tags are place in front of each tree for identification purposes.

MS-150 SMALLER, BUT STILL MIGHTY Renamed “Bike MS: Western Pennsylvania Escape,” the annual MS-150 cycling fund-raiser ended June 10 at the lower pavilion of Township Park, but with fewer participants than in prior years. Just 650 people crossed the finish line, not because ride numbers were down, but because the National Multiple Sclerosis Foundation offered riders a round-trip “loop” from the starting line in Zelienople, Pa., in part to save the expense of busing cyclists back to Pennsylvania. Though not pleased with the lower numbers, local tourism groups hope that Conneaut remains on the annual ride’s itinerary. The ride had formerly been known as “Escape to the Lake.”

CLEVELAND HOTEL BACK ON THE MARKET For just $750,000, the Cleveland Hotel on State Street can be yours. It went back on the market in June after former owner Lighthouse Historic Management — which in 2007 had turned the old hotel into 24 condominiums that did not sell — went bankrupt. Listing agent is Bob Tucker of Howard Hanna Realty in Ashtabula.

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A PUD ON CONNEAUT SHORES GOLF COURSE After years of rejected lawsuits to rezone the former Conneaut Shores Golf Course, City Manager Timothy Eggleston came up with the perfect solution in late June: a “PUD,” or Planned Unit Development to allow development without rezoning. BuildWorks, Inc. presented to the Planning Commission on June 12 a plan for “cottage-style” and larger homes in the abandoned 74-acre property that, without the PUD, would have required rezoning the abandoned property from R-2, single-family residential, to R-4, multi-family. Former Planning Commission chair Frank Giganti (pictured) butted heads with Eggleston after the City Manager purportedly told BuildWorks’ Vinnie Rose in an e-mail that another rezoning request would be “dead on arrival.” Giganti was not reappointed to the Planning Commission. CITY MANAGER GETS FOUR-YEAR CONTRACT After a full year on the job, City Manager Timothy Eggleston so impressed City Council that he was given a four-year contract at the end of June. The feeling was mutual. After Council offered a three-year contract, with base salary near $75,000, Eggleston requested an additional year. “Either he’s stuck with us or we’re stuck with him,” joked City Council President Tom Udell.


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BUCKEYE SCHOOLS HIRES NEW SUPERINTENDENT Retired Mentor High School Principal Joseph Spiccia was hired to replace the retiring Buckeye Local Schools Superintendent Nancy Williams in late June and began working as an “educational consultant” on a per-diem basis Aug. 1, until Williams’ official Sept. 1 retirement. Spiccia retains his Mentor residency and has been successful in forming “focus groups” to learn what makes the schools and the district tick.

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