Page 1

Conneaut Foundation funds windows for Beatitude House — See page 2A

A-Tech students help local families — See page 10A

Saybrook church assists community — See page 8A


Vol. No. 135, No. 52


Periodical’s Postage Paid


Adding some Christmas cheer Jefferson referendum

petitions deemed invalid BY STEFANIE WESSELL Gazette Newspapers


Jefferson Elementary School second graders raised money by having their friends and family sponsor them on a 100-problem math test. Pictured, back row, are Jefferson Police Department Chief Steve Febel, Jefferson Elementary School Principal Todd Tulino and Deputy Chief Dave Wassie. Pictured, front row, are top collectors Edward Doyle, Kory Newhart, Emily Park and Chase Dickson.

Jefferson Elementary second graders raise funds for JPD’s Christmas program BY STEFANIE WESSELL Gazette Newspapers JEFFERSON - The secondgrade classes at Jefferson Elementary School undoubtedly brought smiles to children’s faces this past Christmas, as they helped raise funds for the Jefferson Police Department’s Christmas fund. Last Tuesday, Dec. 20, the students presented Jefferson Police

Department Chief Steve Febel and Deputy Chief Dave Wassie with more than $1,900 they had raised through a math-a-thon. That morning, the collection had totaled $1,863, but a last-minute donation pushed the amount over the $1,900 mark. Second-grade teacher Cathy Kivimaki helped organize the math-a-thon, as she has helped raise money for the police

department’s Christmas program for the last 18 years. All of the second-grade students participated. The students raised the money by having their friends and family sponsor them on a 100-problem math test, Kivimaki said. For every question they answered correctly, the sponsors would donate money. Top collectors included Edward Doyle, Kory Newhart, Emily Park and Chase Dickson. Edward raised an impressive $103.40, which he collected from his friends and family.

See CHEER page 2A

Fisher said. On Tuesday, Nov. 29, Jefferson Councilor Ken Fertig, who voted JEFFERSON - Petitions circu- against the purchase, and citizen Jim lated by a group of citizens hoping to Donathan presented the petitions to place a referendum on the Novem- Fisher, believing they had collected ber 2012 ballot regarding a recent enough signatures. property purchase by Jefferson VilFisher was then required to hold lage Council are believed to be in- the signatures for 10 days, allowing valid. the public to review them if they wish. Jefferson Village Clerk/Treasurer Fisher said the seven petitions had Patty Fisher said the referendum about 228 signatures on them. committee missed a step during its After 10 days, she was to turn petition process, so she is unable to them over to the Ashtabula County certify the petitions. She said the Board of Elections, where officials committee failed to file a certified would determine if the petitions had copy of the ordinance with her before enough valid signatures to put the circulating its petitions, as required matter on the ballot. by Ohio Revised Code section 731.32. Dec. 9, a Friday, was the tenth day. Fisher explained the order of The following Monday, Dec. 12, events that led to her and Village Fisher intended to take the petitions Solicitor Jerome Lemire discovering over to the Board of Elections, but the omission by the referendum com- she had some questions she wanted mittee. answered before she brought them During a meeting on Nov. 7, over. Jefferson Village Council voted to Fisher believes this did not hurt purchase the building and property the timeline, because, as she underat the old Jefferson Elementary stands it, although she could turn School on 104 E. Jefferson St. for the petitions in after holding them $300,000. The deal consisted of for 10 days, she actually had by the $150,000 in cash and an additional 90th day before the day of the No$150,000 credit package for in-kind vember election, meaning sometime labor and improvements spread over in August, before she had to turn an unspecified period of time. them into the Board of Elections. The village intends to use the Fisher was unable to meet with property for the police department, Lemire on Dec. 12, so she wound up which needs the additional room. taking the petitions over to the Board At the time of the vote, a group of of Elections on Dec. 13, and during citizens said they would seek a refer- the visit she asked board officials her endum on the matter and give citi- questions. She was told to consult zens a chance to vote on it. On Nov. Lemire instead, so Fisher took the 8, the group obtained from Fisher petitions back with her and met with certified copies of the ordinance and Lemire later in the day. copies of the contract, which they atFisher’s questions dealt with her tached to the seven referendum pe- responsibility in dealing with the petitions they intended to circulate. titions, specifically some questions The group had to collect 100 sig- about the language about when to natures (which is the necessary 10 turn in the petitions, detailed in percent of the number of voters in the O.R.C. section 731.29. last governor’s election) within 30 See PETITION page 7A days of the ordinance’s passage,

Ashtabula still in the running for Reader’s Digest Sweepstakes On the 12th day of BY SADIE PORTMAN America” tour group. Stranman said it would be nice “[We] need your help. Please to win the grand prize, but if they Gazette Newspapers Christmas, Santa visits vote everyday as much as you can,” at least get a $10,000 prize, she ASHTABULA - The Reader’s Stranman said. “It only takes would be happy. “We Hear You, America” about ten minutes to vote 100 “Let’s fight to get at least in the Geneva elementary buildings Digest’s Sweepstakes is still going strong times.” top eight to be eligible for a $10,000 in the City of Ashtabula. However, the city is losing rank. Once at the top at the beginning of the contest, the city is now placed 18th. “We’re slipping,” Ward 3 Councilor Ann Stranman said. “We’re in 18th place right now.” The top prize for the sweepstakes is $50,000. Two municipalities will receive a $25,000 prize, five will be awarded $10,000 thirdplace prizes and ten will be given the fourth-place award of $5,000. “If we drop more, we’ll be ineligible for a prize,” Stranman said. “We’re currently eligible for a $5,000 prize.” The sweepstakes is based off the number of votes a municipality receives on the website, www.wehearyouamerica.readers Last year the city won $1,000 from the sweepstakes, as well as a visit from the “We Hear You, PHOTOS BY JAN PERALA FOR GENEVA SCHOOLS

Mia Loveland, a fifth grader at Geneva Platt R. Spencer Elementary School, tries out her shiny new wheels, elf made and delivered by Santa and Geneva Schools Food Services Director Laura Jones. On the 12th Day of Christmas, for the fifteenth holiday season, Geneva Schools employees made the gift of a new bike to a student at each elementary building in the district through the Food Service Department’s Lucky Tray drawing.

The money the city received last year went to the Ashtabula Downtown Development Association. Stranman wants to get as many residents as possible to vote for the City of Ashtabula so they can once again put the money toward making the city a better place to live. “If 100 people vote 100 times, that’d be 10,000 votes,” Stranman said. Stranman would like everyone currently voting for the city to tell their friends and family to vote as well. Last year the city even had past residents living in other states vote for Ashtabula. “Please help spread the word. Tell all your friends and contacts to vote for Ashtabula,” Stranman said. “If we get enough people voting, we should be able to get back up to where we’re eligible for an even higher prize amount.”

prize to go towards a community or economic development project,” Stranman said. Stranman said it is a group effort, and without a voting limit you can vote as often as you like. “Together we can do this,” Stranman said. “Be sure to share your ideas of what we should do with the prize money should we be fortunate enough to win.” The Reader’s Digest We Hear You America sweepstakes runs through March 1, 2012. Stranman has confidence in the city and hopes they can not only receive an award from the sweepstakes, but they can one up the amount they received in 2011. “Thank you for your help and support,” Stranman said. Sadie Portman, reporter for the Gazette, may be reached at

Jefferson Senior Center celebrates Christmas

BY JAN PERALA Geneva Area City Schools

its lucky tray program. “On each of the 12 (school) days of Christmas, one student who GENEVA - On the 12th Day of chose the lucky lunch tray reChristmas, Santa’s sleigh was burst- ceived a Christmas prize and had ing with bikes and jolly old St. Nick the opportunity to enter his/her himself paid a visit to each elemen- name into the department’s antary school building in the Geneva nual 12th day of Christmas drawSchools district to bring the gift of ing for a new bike,” explained new wheels to four lucky students. Geneva Schools Food Services DiThe gift giving was sponsored rector Laura Jones. by Geneva School Food Services “Three shiny, brand new bikes and marks the fifteenth year that and helmets were delivered by the department has provided new Santa, one at each elementary bikes for Geneva students through school, as part of the food services’ effort to promote wellness and healthy lifestyles. The bikes and a safety helmet for each winner were generously donated by the employees of Geneva Schools.”


Seniors played bingo during the holiday party. Pictured, from left, are Peggy Otto, Howard Otto, Alice

See BIKES page 2A Lance and Bob Shore. See the story and more photos on page 5A.



WEDNESDAY, December 28, 2011

From page 1A

Conneaut Foundation funds windows for Beatitude House by MARTHA SOROHAN Gazette Newspapers

Austinburg Elementary kindergarten student Sebastian Hall tries out the new bike delivered by Santa and Geneva Schools Food Services Director Laura Jones. On the 12th Day of Christmas, for the fifteenth holiday season, Geneva Schools employees made the gift of a new bike to a student at each elementary building in the district through the Food Service Department’s Lucky Tray drawing. Santa (Dale Wortman) also brought a cuddly stuffed teddy bear for the Lucky Tray drawing runner-up in each building. Grand Prize Bike Winners: Austinburg Elementary: Sebastian Hall – Kindergarten Cork Elementary: Marissa Pirozzoli – 4th Grade Geneva Platt R. Spencer Elementary: Mia Loveland – 5th Grade Runner-up Prizes: Cuddly Stuffed Teddy Bear Austinburg Elementary: Jayden Breeze – 1st Grade Cork Elementary: Kiara Cuccaro - 1st Grade Geneva Platt R. Spencer Elementary: Jordan Alderman – Kindergarten

ASHTABULA - Thanks in part to the Conneaut Foundation, new windows being installed in the Beatitude House in the former St. Joseph School in Ashtabula will help future occupants look out into a brighter future. The Conneaut Foundation donated $10,000 to Beatitude House to help replace 57 windows in the sturdy, two-story school building dating to the 1920s. Last Tuesday, Conneaut Foundation vice president J.J. Eaton presented a check for $10,000 to Beatitude House Operations Manager Teresa Boyce as workers inside the building continued converting classrooms into one-, two- and three-bedroom fully-furnished apartments. Work to convert the former St. Joseph School into transitional housing for disadvantaged women and children began several months ago. “With the help of The Conneaut Foundation, we were able to purchase new windows for the whole building. Not only do these windows look nice, they are highly energy efficient and will allow our families to be warm in the winter and cool in the summer, while keeping our heating and cooling costs low,” said Boyce. Eaton said Conneaut Foundation was pleased to support Beatitude House, expected to open in mid-Feb-


Conneaut Foundation vice president J.J. Eaton (left) and Teresa Boyce, of Youngstown, Development Director of Beatitude House, hold up a replica of a $10,000 check representing Conneaut Foundation’s donation to Beatitude House. To be housed in the former St. Joseph School in Ashtabula, Beatitude House will offer transitional housing for single women and their children. It is expected to open in February. ruary. “The Beatitude House will create the first transitional housing for women and children in Ashtabula County,” said Eaton. When completed, Beatitude House will have a laundry room, storage space, meeting space and — in the former school gymnasium — a children’s play room in addition to 10 fully furnished apartments. The Beatitude House program is designed for homeless women and children to obtain the skills needed to become economically stable, get off all public assistance,

obtain employment and permanent housing. “Families will be able to live in the apartments for up to two years and will be required to participate in counseling to aid in goal-setting and self-esteem building,” Boyce said. In addition to its $10,000 grant to Beatitude House, the Conneaut Foundation in 2011 awarded four other community-based grants to local nonprofit organizations: C.A.R.E. for Kids for infrastructure improvements for the Conneaut Area City Schools’ SPARC project; Conneaut Human Resources Center for roof re-

placement, Conneaut Public Library for technology upgrades; and Country Neighbor Program in Orwell, to purchase a walk in cooler to enhance distribution of refrigerated food items. Grants totaled over $91,000 A non-profit private foundation serving Ashtabula County and northwest Pennsylvania, the Conneaut Foundation serves charitable, education, scientific, and cultural needs of the community through philanthropic and grant making efforts. Applications for the 2012 grant cycle will be available in mid-January.

Saybrook Township trustees meet BY SADIE PORTMAN Gazette Newspapers

Cork Elementary fourth-grader Marissa Pirozzoli will be riding a brand new mountain bike this year thanks to Geneva Schools employees who provide the bike through the district Food Service’s Lucky Tray drawing. Santa and Geneva Schools Food Services Director Laura Jones delivered the bike to Marissa’s classroom last Tuesday.

SAYBROOK TOWNSHIP - The Saybrook Township trustees discussed a number of issues at their regularly scheduled monthly meeting on Nov. 1. A fiscal report was given by Marc Pope, the fiscal officer. “There were no warrants, blanket certificates, then and now certificates over $3,000 and no purchase orders to be approved,” the minutes read. The fiscal report was approved by trustees, with a motion by Trustee Jane Hawn-Jackson and a second by Trustee Norman Jepson. A number of communication and correspondence issues were discussed, including a copy of the letter

Mark Andrews sent to SERB stating conclusion of negotiations with the fire department’s part-time union. Sick times used in the third quarter of 2011 were received, along with the part-time union contracts. “[A] Corrected Fire Department Part-Timers’ Contract with [a] correction to 13.3 [were made] that now states if a firefighter is mandated to stay past the time of their shift, they will be compensated at a time and half [1.5 pay] for the duration of the time worked,” the minutes said. Construction may also be seen on Carpenter Road in the future. “CTL Engineering of Ohio [is] asking for approval to construct [a] communications tower on Carpenter Road,” the minutes read.

New business was the last item on the agenda for the council to consider before the public had their chance to speak. There was only one item under new business. “For the record, the 2011 inventory is due by Dec. 31 from all departments (road, fire, water rescue and administration building),” the minutes stated. The public portion was next with the police levy in discussion. The levy was on the Nov. 8 ballot for extra police protection for Saybrook Township and was voted down. Sadie Portman, reporter for the Gazette, may be reached at

Ashtabula BOE approves Harbor Topky Memorial Library’s budget BY SADIE PORTMAN Gazette Newspapers

Lloyd, the treasurer of the Harbor Topky Memorial Library, and Joseph Zappitello, SAYBROOK TOWNSHIP the executive director of the - The Harbor Topky Memorial library. Library’s budget was ap“I met with both the execuproved by the Ashtabula Area tive director and the treasurer City Schools (AACS)’s Board and went through everything of Education last week. on the budget,” Hill said. The budget came forth to Some of the increases in the board at a previous meet- salary were a question at the ing but was voted down by the previous school board meetboard because of questions ing, but Hill said the issue about the budget that were was addressed at his meetleft unanswered at the time. ing. “This was presented ear“When the levy passed, lier, but there is a new bud- they could be opened up on get in [the agenda],” William Wednesday, which was 10 Hill, the AACS treasurer, hours, which then increased said. their salary,” Hill said. Hill said he met with June Hill said the meeting was


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very productive and all unanswered questions from the school board meeting were detailed individually by the library’s officials. “We broke down the budget and went through what everything was and why it was there,” Hill said. “They spent as much time as necessary to go over the budget.” Some minor changes were also made to the library’s budget. The library’s total expenditures will be $60,160.33

CHEER Febel said this donation would help provide Christmas dinners and gifts to six families in the Jefferson area. “We had one family that was burnt out of their home, so this couldn’t come at a better time,” Febel said. Wassie said 30 people will be helped by the donation from the students, as the police department always chooses to adopt the large families needing help through the HALO program. Both Wassie and Febel were impressed with how much money the students raise for the police department’s program every year. “You pretty much 80 percent fund our program,” Wassie told the students. “I figured we could count on you guys.” The donation received from the students this year was one of the largest in recent years, Wassie said. “We thank you very much,” he said. Stefanie Wessell, senior editor for Gazette Newspapers, may be reached at swessell@gazette

Jefferson Elementary School second graders helped raise funds for the Jefferson Police Department’s Christmas fund.

lower in 2012 compared to the 2011 budget, with the number of expenditures totaling 506,880. The only raise in numbers of the expenditures will come from the salaries, with an increase from $235,000 in 2011 to $241,000 in 2012. The library even cut their materials and supplies budget from $102,240.33 in 2011 to $70,000 in 2012. The library will receive more grant money next year, with $40,000 coming from

grants compared to $25,000 in 2011. The AACS Board of Education members were satisfied with the changes seen in the budget. “I looked over the budget and things I had concerns with last time have been corrected,” school board member Alfred Decato said. “I am happy with it.” The library’s official also discussed with Hill both the library’s and school’s levy, which will have to be placed

on one of next year’s ballots. The AACS levy is scheduled to be on March’s ballot. “We also talked about our levy and they’re working on their renewal levy and we want to coordinate so they’re not on at the same time,” Hill said. The library’s budget was unanimously passed. Sadie Portman, reporter for the Gazette, may be reached at sportman@gazette

From page 1A

WEDNESDAY, December 28, 2011



Leadership Club helps seventh graders adjust to new school BY STEFANIE WESSELL Gazette Newspapers JEFFERSON Jefferson Area High School Senior Leadership members decided to “strike out” with a good time during two of their last school days before Christmas break. Last Monday and Tuesday, members of the Senior Leadership Club visited Jefferson Lanes bowling alley for a celebration of their time spent in a mentorship program. They were joined by the seventh-grade students they’ve mentored during the program. “Senior Leadership is a service organization that cultivates personal growth, encourages and inspires group development and increases leadership within our school and community,” Senior Class Advisor Michael Barney said. “We emphasize positive attitude and respect for self and others through the promotion and celebration of diversity, integrity and loyalty.” This year, the club consists of 56 seniors under the leadership of club President Kyle Dunford, Vice President Jacob Dengg, Secretary Jackie Piscsalko and Treasurer Aaron Painter. “One of the many positive outcomes of this club is that a senior high school girl will mentor a seventhgrade girl and a senior high boy will mentor a seventh-grade boy,” Barney said. “This year I am

pleased to announce that we have 127 seventh graders signed up for our mentoring program. Each member in our club has been assigned two to three little siblings that they are required to visit 10 times per semester. Seniors will meet with their little sibling before school, or during lunch to discuss various topics such as grades, study habits and attitude.” The mentorship program helps the seventhgrade students adjust to the junior high school setting, Barney said. Of the students involved in the program, 145 students made the trip to Jefferson Lanes for the annual bowling party. “I think the program is really good because it gives us a chance to talk about our feelings,” seventhgrader Jenni Toms said. Jenni said she talks with her mentor about different aspects of student life, like getting involved with sports and other activities at school. Seventh-graders Mikayla Johnston and Samantha Kingston said they write back and forth with their mentors through notebooks. “It’s just fun to get to go and talk with them,” senior Cody Fetters said. “We just really talk about school and things we like to do.”


Members of the Senior Leadership Club visited Jefferson Lanes bowling alley for a celebration of their time spent in a mentorship program. Pictured, front row, left to right, are Mikayla Johnston, Lauren Schreiber, Samantha Kingston and Krista Stranman. Pictured, back row, from left, Jennifer Hall, Heather Wickert, Megan Hussing, Rachel Francis, Jon Hubler, Logan Baucum, Kyle Dunford, Blaze Newland and Hunter Stecklein.

Stefanie Wessell, senior editor for Gazette Newspapers, may be reached at

IN CELEBRATION OF THE HOLIDAYS, GAZETTE NEWSPAPERS will be closed Friday, December 23, 2011 & Friday, December 30, 2011

Seventh-grader Jenni Toms Hunter Senita spent last Monday prepares to bowl at Jefferson afternoon bowling with his mentor Lanes. in the Senior Leadership Club.

Seventh-graders Mikayla Johnston and Samantha Kingston said they write back and forth with their mentors through notebooks.

We will be open Monday, December 26, 2011 & Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy Holidays!

THE GAZETTE USPS 273-820 Office located at: 46 W. Jefferson St., Jefferson, Ohio 44047 Address editorial correspondence to: P.O. Box 166, Jefferson, Ohio 44047 (440) 576-9125 Fax: (440) 576-2778 Email: Publisher ................................... John Lampson President ............................ Jeffrey J. Lampson General Manager .................... William Creed Senior Editor ......................... Stefanie Wessell Reporter .................................... Sadie Portman Advertising ................................... Rick Briggs SUBSCRIPTION RATES Local Delivery (1 year) .................................. $30.00 Seniors - Local Delivery (1 year) .................. $25.50 Out-of-County (1 year) .................................. $46.00 Seniors - Out-of-County (1 year) .................. $39.10 Annual subscription rates non-refundable The Gazette (USPS 273-820) is published weekly by The Gazette Newspapers, Inc. at 46 W. Jefferson St., Jefferson, OH 44047. Periodical’s postage is paid at Jefferson, OH 44047. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Gazette, P.O. Box 166, Jefferson, OH 44047. Printed on Recycled Paper

The mentorship program helps the seventh-grade students adjust to the junior high school setting. Pictured are Brett Preslar, Hunter Senita, Cody Fetters, Courtney Kessler, Erin Butcher, Briannaa Rexroad, Susan Platt and Kelly Hartman.

Kids Only III hosts Christmas party JEFFERSON - Kids Only III had its Christmas Party on Dec. 22 at 2:30 p.m. Santa and one of his elves arrived around 2:35 p.m. to deliver presents to all the good boys and girls. The children were all so excited to visit with Santa and tell him what they wanted for Christmas. We had lots of parents and grandparents and other family members that came to the occasion and have snacks with their children, Tammie Moody said. During the day, the school-aged children made Christmas tree treats to share and they also visited Gab is pictured sitting on Santa’s lap. the other classrooms to sing Christmas Carols. They sang Rudolph for Santa when he visited their classroom. Madelyn is pictured with Santa.

LETTERS POLICY We encourage letters to the editor on topics of interest to our general readership. Although letters should be of sufficient length to express your idea, please limit them to 400 words or less. Letters should include your name, address, telephone number and hand written signature. We reserve the right to edit all letters for style, clarity and libelous content.

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Santa visited with the children at Kids Only III.

Meadow is pictured with Santa.

Sage is pictured giving Santa a hug.


WEDNESDAY, December 28, 2011

JAHS students kick off break with Reindeer Games ‘Twas the day before Winter break, When all through the halls, The principals were monitoring The stuff on the walls The doors were all covered With paper and ties In hopes that their Christmas spirit Would win them top prize The students were nestled All snug in their bleachers While visions of Reindeer games Annoyed all their teachers. BY CAROLYN BEHRJEROME Gazette Newspapers

ics teacher, and Bragga wrestling for their chair. Alex Anderson, before the assembly said, “Although it is only my second year in Jefferson, I love the Reindeer Games. Last year really outlined the high level of school spirit that students have as I competed in Musical Chairs game. Looking up to the sophomore section, I saw the entire class of 2013 holding up the now famous ‘Anderson A’ hand sign, rooting for me to win. I hope to repeat my victory this year.” Anderson did come out victorious again and both victories scored honors for the class of 2013. “It was a harder battle this year than last,” Anderson said. “I play my own game and find the flaws in others.” The first of the student games was the Reindeer Pull. Patterson remembered one year in the ‘80s when the deer were all strong football players. “One young girl was very petite and when the burlap bag broke early on in the race, her football player kept pulling her. She ended up with a terrible floor burn. The tragedy was that I don’t think she won that one. She sacrificed herself for the game,” he said. The freshmen started off with a bang as they won the traditional Reindeer Pull, although early on in the race it looked as if they were destined to repeat the floor-burn incident. Josh Falke’s burlap bag ripped early on, but he kept going, dragging Matt Kantor on what was left of the bag. Connor Lesko then took his turn and Brad Kobernic rounded out the

gymnasium. The games began with the annual reading of “Letters to Santa.” Patterson stood in for Kris JEFFERSON - So began Kringle and read comical letthe day before winter break ters written by students and at Jefferson Area High teachers. “I started reading in 1985 School. For 30 years, the day before break has ended with or 1986. My Santa suit just a Christmas assembly, materialized and I get it out which this year included a once a year,” Patterson said. Following the letters door-decorating contest and the annual Reindeer Games. came the much-anticipated “It goes back to at least Teacher Musical Chairs. 1983, my first year teaching Competing on behalf of the here,” explained Dr. John classes, teachers circled the Patterson, social studies chairs and pounced when the music stopped. This teacher at JAHS. Former Principal Larry game has provided many Bragga said he wasn’t sure memorable moments over exactly when the Reindeer the years. Curie recalls the year she Games started at the annual Christmas assembly, al- won the musical chairs. “I pulled the chair out though it was probably the from underneath Mary early ‘80s. “We did it to keep up with Hostetler,” she said. “I having fun at Christmas, reached to pull myself to the trying to involve all students chair and instead pulled the in the assembly at the end chair to me. Poor Mary was of the year,” Bragga ex- left sitting on the floor.” Social Studies teacher plained. 1981 JAHS graduate and Jefferson graduate JaJoey (Burnett) Savel said son Root remembered Bill she remembers doing the Nye splitting his pants one Reindeer Games when she year. Another year he recalled Rob Mead, mathematwas in school. Each class competes in various games for points and overall bragging rights. That class competition, according to Bragga, seemed to hold the interest of the students on the last day before break. It also gave many different ones a chance to compete in crazy games. “It really reduced absences and cuts from school on the day before Christmas break,” Bragga said. The first of the competitions started early Wednesday with the announcement of the top-decorated doors. Valori Curie’s sixth-period art class created a pop-up Seniors show their support for their classmates. storybook theme. It won first prize of $50. Curie said they would use the money to buy a light table or some kind of permanent art supplies. Second-place honors of $25 went to two winners: Doris Kasper’s AP Biology class and Karen Klein’s second-period class. The sophomores won $50 for their class with the bestdecorated tree in the library. The day continued with shortened class periods and music during lunch. The marching band, the concert choir and the stage band all took turns entertaining the lunch crowds. Nick Bishop and Andrew Fisher dressed in honor of retired band teacher Dennis Lawrence for their performance. “Mr. Lawrence used to wear suspenders, so we decided to wear ours while the stage band played during lunch,” the boys said. Not long after lunch, the announcement was made, and students filed into the

team. All four boys were pumped to win their first Reindeer Game. “It feels great!” Lesko exclaimed. Falke, whose father, Scott, also competed in the Reindeer Pull while he was in school, was beaming with pride after the victory. Juniors won the next round in the Christmas Catwalk. One person from each class was wrapped in Christmas paper and then judged. Nick Hiltz, Giulia Giancola and Ashton Allen gave it their best “Project Runway” and came out with the top outfit. The fan favorite this year was the return of the Egg Nog Chug. Seniors Leo Beaver, Joe Gillespi and Dakota Spangler chugged nog and scarfed cookies to win points for their class. Patterson recalls many years of “regurgitation,” but all competitors were able to keep their food down. Juniors Andy Pickard, Jesse Skaverea, Shane Crumrine and Nick Tripodi were leading all the way in the Relay Race, the next event. “We came to win,” Tripodi said. However, they couldn’t hold off the seniors long enough as John Hubler, Connor Cleveland, Johnny Knight and Andy Santiago came from behind to win. At the start of the final competition, the Christmas Carol Sing, the juniors were in the lead with 16 points closely followed by the seniors. The freshman sang “Frosty the Snowman” first, followed by the sophomores who sang, “Up on the Housetop.” The juniors then per-

formed a moving rendition of “Silent Night” and finally the seniors belted out “Jingle Bells.” Judges ruled the seniors the winners and that victory put the two classes in a tie. M.C. Becky Reese, who doubles as an English teacher, had the classes switch songs for the tiebreaker. The seniors overwhelmed all with “Silent Night” and were the victors of the day. Erin Adame is a JAHS graduate and now teaches Spanish. “The reindeer games

were something we looked forward to every year, “ Adame said. “Listening to Dr. Patterson, I mean Santa, read the letters. Watching other students do the Egg Nog Chug. It was always a fun time and all of my classmates were animated, cheering and laughing. It was fun because the teachers did some of the reindeer games as well. It’s hard to believe that I am a teacher here.” Adame competed in the Teacher Musical Chairs but was knocked out early in the competition.

Andrew Fisher and Nick Bishop dress up for the stage band performances.

Freshman Ted Kohn dressed up for the assembly.

Sophomore James Church prepares for the final relay race of the day.


Andy Picard shows he’s “AOK” after his chugging of egg nog. Brad Kobernic, Connor Lesko, Josh Falke and Matt Kantor won the Reindeer Pull.

Dakota Spangler, Leo Beaver and Joe Gillespi were victorious in the Egg Nog Chug.

Council President Jennifer Jeff Schindler and Laura Cole perform Hall talks to the crowd. “O Holy Night.”

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WEDNESDAY, December 28, 2011


Jefferson Senior Center celebrates Christmas BY STEFANIE WESSELL Gazette Newspapers

niors for being patient with me and understanding the cuts,” Blair said. Like other organizations, the Jefferson Senior Center has experienced deep budget cuts this past year. The senior center was cut about $20,000, as it lost funding through a couple of different sources and specifically lost funding for part of its transportation program this past year. Blair has had to work around these budget cuts while still providing programs for the seniors. The festivities last Wednesday included musical entertainment by Fred Barringer, a lunch catered by The Wildside Grill and cake, coffee, caroling, treats and fun. As an admission price, every se-

JEFFERSON - The holidays are a time to spend with friends and family, something the staff and senior citizens at the Jefferson Senior Center know all too well. Most mornings and afternoons, seniors gather at the Jefferson Senior Center for Bingo, card games, crafts and other entertainment. Last Wednesday Dec. 21, the seniors gathered for a Christmas luncheon. Senior Center Coordinator Christina Blair is approaching her one-year anniversary at the center, and the “Very Merry Christmas Party” was a way for her to give back to the seniors. “I really wanted to reward the se-

nior brought a wrapped gift to exchange, Blair said. During the party, Blair also singled out two people for their support to the Senior Center throughout the year. Blair praised Marcus Carter, a full-time volunteer who helps out around the center, and Debby Tanner, who works out of the senior employment agency. “He’s just willing to do whatever it takes. He’s great,” Blair said of Carter. Carter said he enjoys volunteering at the senior center because it’s a way for him to help other people out. Stefanie Wessell, senior editor for Gazette Newspapers, may be reached at

Mary Jane Camp sells her hand-made jewelry at the Jefferson Senior Center. She is pictured here with a display she set up during the holiday party last Wednesday.

Guests at the holiday party included, from left, Betty Burlingame, Senior Center Coordinator Christina Blair, Kathy Baboi and Marilyn Heidelberg.

Marcus Carter and Debby Tanner are familiar faces at the senior center, as they help with various odd jobs.

Ashtabula schools seek to refinance bonds SAYBROOK TOWNSHIP - The Ashtabula Area City Schools (AACS) will be refinancing its bonds from 2002. “On Dec. 20, the Ashtabula School District sold $32,724,957.80 of bonds to refinance the series of 2002 bonds that were the initial bonds for the construction of the high school,” William Hill, treasurer of the AACS Board of Education, said. On Nov. 4, Alan Baucco of Stifel, Nicolaus and Company Incorporated came to the AACS Board of Education meeting to discuss the issue of refinancing of bonds. Since then, Hill and other administrators have met with Stifel, Nicolaus and Company to discuss the district’s options. “We were able to receive a final present net value savings of 7.24 percent, which results in a total dollar savings after all costs of $3,213,727.54,” Hill said. “This represents that we will actually save about $159,000 to $170,000 per year.” The district will see a significant savings with the refinancing. “At the time of our discussion with the board, the estimated net present value savings was approximately 4.5 percent of the par amount of refunded bonds,” Baucco said. According to Stifel, Nicolaus and Company, the district will save $2 million in future interest when officials refinance the bonds. “It was very successful. They were very, very pleased with the results and we are anticipating about a 5.5 percent savings,” Hill said The bonds issue will help the district during the hard financial times and also ease the strain on the taxpayer. “As interest rates continued to decline through November and early December, the savings on the refunding continued to increase, and district officials worked very hard to ensure that the bonds would be sold

as soon as possible to take advantage of these interest rates,” Baucco wrote in a letter to the AACS district. Once refinanced, the bonds will stay in place for nine years before the school district is able to either refinance them again or take the funds out. PHOTOS BY STEFANIE WESSELL “We will be able to refi- Guests at the Jefferson Senior Center’s holiday party included Hazel Ouillette, Rosemary Gregory and Norah Craig. nance these bonds in the year 2020,” Hill said. “They will be officially serviced in 2011.” Hill said he had never experienced a refinancing of bonds before and received help to understand and execute the bonds issue. “I would to say thank you to my staff, who did a lot of work because I’ve never been through a bond refinancing,” Hill said. Baucco was pleased to hear of the district’s decision as well and saw it as a smart investment. “The ultimate beneficiaries of your hard work will be the taxpayers of the district,” Baucco said. Sadie Portman, reporter for the Gazette, may be reached at sportman@gazette As an admission price, every senior brought a wrapped gift to exchange.

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Jefferson BOE Stage band performs at passes agenda items December R&R luncheon BY STEFANIE WESSELL Gazette Newspapers

BY CAROLYN BEHR-JEROME Gazette Newspapers JEFFERSON The Jefferson Area High School stage band recently provided holiday entertainment for area senior citizens at the Jefferson United Methodist Church (JUMC), 125 East Jefferson Street. Under the direction of Fred Burazer, Richie Blough, Leah Preslar, Mason Taylor, Nick Bishop, Nick Kobernik, Brad Weisbarth, Andy Picard, Shelby Potter, David Bookbinder, Andrew Fisher, Joe Haty, Tyler Gancos, Kevin Dietrick, Kevin Ford, Jake Falke, Brett Powers and Jerod Nunley performed various songs during the Retirement and Recreation (R&R) luncheon. The band played a selection of holiday songs in the church’s sanctuary. Church secretary Pat Cramer said, “The group usually meets the fourth Thursday of the month at noon and go to an area restaurant. This luncheon was a special Christmas celebration organized by Barb Heath, the Senior (Citizens) ministries coordinator. Folks from all over the community are invited to come.” For more information on R&R, contact the JUMC at 5764561. To request a performance from the JAHS stage band, contact Fred Burazer at the high school at 576-4731 ext. 1328.

JEFFERSON - While t h e recent news i n t h e Jefferson Area Local School District includes the move of the District Office from its old office at 45 E. Satin St. into a new administration building right on the campus of the Jefferson Area Junior/Senior High School, the JALS Board of Education also dealt with other matters during its meeting in December. Besides passing a slate of personnel issues, the board also bid farewell to outgoing board member SUBMITTED PHOTOS Dave Keep, who did not The Jefferson Area High School stage band recently provided holiday entertainment seek re-election this past November. Keep’s seat will for area senior citizens at the Jefferson United Methodist Church. be filled by newly elected Ron Watson. During this meeting, the board also approved Ohio School Boards Association membership for the 2012 calendar year at a total cost of $4,926.00 for the year, with the breakdown as follows: dues, $4,741; Briefcase Subscription (electronic), $0; and School Management News (up to 15), $185. To go along with that, the board also approved membership to the OSBA Legal Assistance Fund for the 2012 calendar year, at a cost of $250. In other matters, the board accept a donation of $200 from the Jefferson The band played a selection of holiday songs in the church’s sanctuary. Area Chamber of Com-

merce for the Jefferson High School Falcon Pride Committee. Since it’s the end of the year, the board also approved new contracts for various services. These contracts included: —The board approved the Yearbook contract with Rapid Photo for the 2012/ 2013, 2013-2014, and the 2014-2015 school years, as proposed. —The board approved the District Portraits contract with Rapid Photo for the 2012/2013, 2013/2014 and the 2014/2015 school years, as proposed. Lastly, the board approved a license agreement with the Geneva Area Recreational, Educational and Athletic Trust / SPIRE Institute for the use of its aquatic center for the Jefferson Area Junior/Senior High School swim team meets.

Some upcoming dates in the school district include: • Jan. 4 – Classes resume from winter break. • Jan. 16 - Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday – No School. • Jan. 23 - Teacher ’s Inservice / Records Day – No Classes. Stefanie Wessell, senior editor for Gazette Newspapers, may be reached at

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WEDNESDAY, December 28, 2011


Tower Bell



First Congregational United Church of Christ 1In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, 2But the earth became chaos and emptiness, and darkness came over the face of the Deep—yet the Spirit of God was brooding over the surface of the waters. 3Then God said, “Light: Be!” and light was. 4God saw that light was good, and God separated light from darkness. 5God called the light “Day,” and the darkness “Night.” Evening came, and morning followed—the first day. Genesis 1:1-5, The Inclusive Bible Do you ever wonder what God was thinking that made God create the universe? God was and yet, God was not satisfied with what was for God had a vision of what could be. When Peter Gomes, a pastor, prominent American theologian and a Harvard professor, was asked for his definition of the Good News, he replied, “We don’t have to be as we are. This is good news indeed. We can change, and we can keep changing. We are not trapped in our histories or our fears. We can set ourselves, and our communities, on a new course.” That is the good news we are given in the Advent and Christmas season. Jesus came that we might have life, and have it abundantly. God did not want the chosen people to be trapped in their history and their fears and so sent the Christ to us to give us a new path, a new connection to God. But the Good News did not stop there! Listen to what we hear in the third chapter of the Letter to the Ephesians: “5In former generations this mystery was not made known to humankind, as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit: 6that is, the Gentiles have become fellow heirs, members of the same body, and sharers in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel” (NRSV). God had a “chosen people” but then God chose all people! This is Good News. We are not trapped in our histories or our fears. God has a vision of what could be and continues to encourage us, continues to provide opportunities for us to live into that vision. Let’s embrace our faith in the coming year and search out God’s vision for us—individually and communally. Let’s accept God’s gift and set ourselves and our community on a new course. “God looked at all of this creation, and proclaimed that this was good—very good…” Genesis 1:31a, The Inclusive Bible

rything Goo e v d. yE

in the petitions. A couple of days later, Fisher learned from the board that 198 signatures were found to be valid and received the petitions back from the board. Her next step was to certify the petitions, something Fisher said she is unable to do because of the committee’s failure to file the certified copy of the proposed ordinance with the village clerk, an opinion backed up by Lemire. On Dec. 20, Lemire sent out a memo to Fisher formally answering her concerns about the procedure and the missed step. “O.R.C. section 731.29 requires, among other things, that you certify the sufficiency and validity of referendum petitions to the Board of Elections after it makes a determination as to the number of electors who signed the petitions. You requested my interpretation of O.R.C. section 731.32,” Lemire wrote. Lemire wrote that, in the process of reviewing the statutory requirements contained in the O.R.C., Fisher determined that no one had filed a certified copy of the proposed ordinance with her before circulating those positions. “You requested my legal opinion regarding the effect of the failure to file a certified copy of the proposed ordinance with the village clerk,” Lemire said. “The clear language of O.R.C. section 731.32 makes the filing of a certified copy of the proposed ordinance with your office a mandatory requirement.” Lemire then mentioned

they have sufficient signatures. “We’re waiting to hear back from Kyle Smith (our attorney), who said he disagrees with (Lemire’s) opinion,” Committee member Tina Fuller said. Fuller said the committee members believe they did everything they were supposed to do, and in the proper timeline. They also believe that Fisher may have intentionally held back turning in the signatures in order to miss a deadline, as they intrepreted it differently. “The bottom line is, it’s an opinion from Jerry Lemire,” Fuller said. She said Smith is reviewing the matter as he believes the cases Lemire cited aren’t relevant to this incident, which deals with a referendum. Smith has said all along we did what we were supposed to do, Fuller said. “This council needs to be above reproach,” Fuller said. “Don’t do any back-door stuff.” Twenty percent of the voters signed those petitions, and that should be enough to convince council to let the voters have a say, Fuller said.

several court cases that have found that this filing requirement requires strict compliance. “Given the mandatory nature of the filing requirement...the petitions circulated to require a referendum on the Village of Jefferson’s ordinance authorizing the purchase of the former elementary school building are invalid,” Lemire wrote. He further wrote that Fisher therefore cannot certify to the board of elections the validity of those referendum petitions. “Because the referendum petitions are invalid, they have no effect, and the village ordinance authorizing the purchase of the former elementary school building is valid and has become law,” Lemire concluded. Fisher said her next step is to write a letter to Jefferson Village Council informing its members that she cannot certify the petitions. Referendum committee members are reviewing their options in the matter, as people who circulated the petitions believe they did follow the proper procedure and that

Jan. 26 Geneva-on-the-Lake: Public hearing meeting The Ohio EPA has scheduled a public hearing for a Mercury Variance Application for the Waste Water Treatment Plant. It is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 26, at 6 p.m., at the Geneva-on-the-Lake Safety Service Center (Village Hall), located at 4929 South Warner Drive, Geneva-on-the-Lake, on Friday. Any interested parties are welcome to attend.

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Wishing you all a Happy New Year filled with abundant blessings!

Lemire and Fisher then went over each relevant section of the Ohio Revised Code line by line, and that is when they discovered what they believe was an omission by the referendum committee. In section 731.32, the O.R.C. states that whoever seeks to file a referendum petition against an ordinance shall file a certified copy of the proposed ordinance with the village clerk before circulating their petition. Although committee members had a copy of the ordinance that they attached to the petitions, they failed to take the step of filing the necessary documents with the clerk’s office before circulating the petitions, Fisher said. According to the O.R.C., “certified copy” means a copy containing a written statement attesting that it is a true and exact reproduction of the original ordinance or measure. Fisher said she told Lemire that the committee never provided her with a certified copy of the proposed ordinance. She also asked Lemire if it was her responsibility to tell the committee members they needed to provide her with this certified copy, and Lemire said, no, that the committee had its own legal counsel to advise it. Fisher said she did not realize that the committee had to provide her with the certified copy until going over the O.R.C. with Lemire on Dec. 13, as she was focused on her own responsibility in the matter and not the committee’s responsibility. After meeting with Lemire, Fisher returned to the board of elections on Dec. 13 to turn

From page 1A

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WEDNESDAY, December 28, 2011

Saybrook church assists community SAYBROOK TOWNSHIP - On Saturday, Dec. 17, the Saybrook United Methodist Christmas Project warmed the hearts of donors and recipients. With the assistance of donations from Saybrook, Huron and Ontario Elementary Schools, Saybrook Firefighters Association, Scout troops, professional people and various businesses, 31 families with a total of 105 individuals had a merrier Christmas than they thought possible. The names of the families were obtained from HALO, a division of the Catholic Service Agency. The minister, Rev. Jeff Stoll and the coordinator of the project, Judy Richards, along with church members interviewed each family. The interviews and preparation took place over a two-month period. Each family was asked what their special needs were and if there were a particular gift they would like to receive. Ev-

ery request was met with each person receiving a gift bought and wrapped for them by a member or friend of the church. Household items such as pots and pans, dishes, silverware, TVs, blankets and towels along with bicycles were given. The recipients “shopped” for clothing and miscellaneous household items donated by members of the church and community. Church members spent many hours sizing, folding, and categorizing the hundreds of items donated to make it easier for the selections to be made. Each family received large quantities of food to meet their needs. In some cases, extra vehicles were needed to take the items to the recipients’ homes. The entire project is a fulfillment of the mission statement of Saybrook United Methodist: “People trying to live like Jesus.” This was most evident in the actions of all of the people involved. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

Paul and Susan Miklos put the final touches on items available for “shopping” by SUMC Christmas Family clients.

Susan Miller and Jeanette Davis welcome clients to the SUMC Christmas Family Project.

Paul Miklos and Harold Miller prepare food boxes for SUMC Christmas Family clients.

Harpersfield Township officials spread holiday cheer


Saybrook firemen (left to right) Jeff Tilton, Jim Krenisky, Dave Whitaker and Andrew Ferro assist with the SUMC Christmas Family Project.

Harpersfield Township trustees would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. From left to right, Fiscal Officer Sharon Rorhbaugh, Trustee Ed Demshar, Geneva High students Nicole Lara and Ian Alexander, Trustees Jim Pristov and Cliff Henry and Zoning Inspector Peggy Miller.

Board of Education events Jan. 5 Jefferson: BOE meeting A public hearing on the proposed budget for the Jefferson Area Local School District public schools will be held at the Jefferson Area Jr./Sr. High School library, 207 W. Mulberry St., at 5:45 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 5.

Jan. 5 Jefferson: BOE meeting The Jefferson Area Local Schools Board of Education will meet for an organizational meeting on 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 5, at the Jefferson Area Jr./Sr. High School library, 207 W. Mulberry St. Action will be taken on agenda items.

Jan. 11 Saybrook Township: BOE meeting

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It is hereby given that there will be a Special Meeting of the Board of Education of the Ashtabula Area City School District, on Wednesday, Jan. 11, at 5:30 p.m., at Lakeside High School in the Large Group Instruction Room. The meeting is for the Budget Hearing and other business the Board considers necessary to transact.

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JAHS students raise funds for Active Blessing


Jackie Piscsalko and Brittany Gattarello collect Brandon Koeth and James Church helped raised money for Active Blessing by paying to wear hats. donations for the hat day. BY CAROLYN BEHR-JEROME Gazette Newspapers JEFFERSON - Holiday cheer was felt far and near as the Jefferson Area High School Student Council sponsored a hat day last Wednesday. Council advisor Stacy Hinkle said over $750 was raised for Active Blessing Uganda. Most of money came from that hat day and Christmas assembly. Students donated one dollar to wear holi-

day-inspired hats while teachers donated $2 to wear jeans. At the end of the day, council ran the annual Reindeer Games and charged $.50 admission. Hinkle said the money is earmarked to help purchase jackets for children living in the streets of Uganda. Active Blessing director Emily Locy said the organization hopes to provide 5,000 jackets this year. “Jackets help protect street kids

from rain, mosquito bites (which cause Malaria) and cold weather,” she said. The Falcon Green Team, also advised by Hinkle, gave $200. The Green Team helps to promote recycling at JAHS, so its donation is specifically to sponsor a community garden for exchild soldiers in Uganda. Sales of hand-made beaded necklaces rounded out the donation. The necklaces were made by ex-child soldiers who are now under the care of Giulia Gancola and Melanie March are pictured in their Active Blessings. festive hats.

Kids Only III have a very Merry Christmas


Jensen and Joshua make Christmas tree treats. RIGHT: School-aged children sing Christmas carols.

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The Toys for Tots poker run was held on Dec. 18, 2011, at Quinn’s family restaurant. Pictured are, from left to right, Bob Callender, Chris Carpenter (best hand winner), Pam Laughlin, Toys for Tots coordinator, Gary Hines, President Ohio State Snowmobile Association, Karen Stevenson, Quinn’s representative, Ed Laughlin, Pam’s husband and Toys for Tots coordinator. AUSTINBURG TOWNSHIP - If you go by the number of participants who showed up to do the Toys For Tots Poker Run held in Austinburg Township on Sunday, Dec. 18, 2011, you might not call this event a success. “We just wanted to help,” she said, as we were handed a bag of toys from all the employees at Quinn’s Family Restaurant. Individuals who did not have time to do the run but took time to drop off toys or participated in other ways became the highlights of the day. There were the merchants who participated by being stops on the run, collecting toys and/or money or generously donating money or prizes. There was Chip Janson at Hunters’ Inn in Rock Creek, who donated the $75 cash for the first-place “Best Hand” won by Chris Carpenter of Jefferson, who in turn open-heartily donated it all back to Toys for Tots. Pam Laughlin, the Marine’s Area Coordinator for Toys for Tots and her husband Ed, who was on hand for the event, decided to do the “run” for fun and won second and third places, consecutively. They donated back the $50 cash for second place put up by the Ohio State Snowmobile Association (OSSA), and the $25 cash for third place,

given by Grand River Trail Riders Snowmobile Club (GRTR), making Toys for Tots the grand winner of the day. LBL Printing of Painesville was participating in the event by donating the printing of the flyers and the cards used in the run. There were 11 stops along the way, merchants waiting to welcome people stopping and to stamp their card. Number one on the list was Quinn’s Family Restaurant, which was the start/finish of the event, where members of the OSSA and GRTR had set up for the event. In succession were the Corner Bar, Paradise Bay Waterfront Bar and Grill, Hunters’ Inn, Sonny Lanes, Virant Vineyards, Geneva Subway, Bilicic’s Busy Mart, Grand River Manor, Shannon’s Mini Mart, and Austinburg Country Dollar. Toys for Tots received not only numerous toys but also $813.55 in cash and checks from the participants of this event. You might say that this event was a success because participation was very high, and at the heart of it all.

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WEDNESDAY, December 28, 2011

Holiday service event fills the cupboards for A-Tech families in need BY JAN PERALA A-Tech JEFFERSON TOWNSHIP - Students at Ashtabula County Technical and Career Campus (ATech) are proud of the culture of acceptance, caring and kindness that they say pervades their school, and this holiday season their altruism transcended the hallways and classroom walls as they shared the spirit of the season with fifteen A-Tech families who are experiencing hardship. “This is a wonderful place to go to school,” said Teila Gagat, a senior in A-Tech’s Cosmetology program. “Everyone cares about helping each other and people in the community. This Christmas we’ve had three different programs going on to collect food for families who are in need and the canned goods we collected just about fill a room. We want to make sure that no one is hungry this Christmas.” The school wide Holiday Service Project, a synergistic effort between classes and programs, resulted in a massive food drive which will fill the cupboards of fifteen A-Tech families in need with non-perishable food items for the holidays and


A-Tech Computer Networking & Electronic Technology students Brian Santee and Brandi Schmidt hang the ever lengthening Spirit Chains which draped the ceiling in the school’s cafeteria from Thanksgiving until just before Christmas. Each link in the chains represented a contribution to the school wide Holiday Food Drive to help fill the cupboards of fifteen A-Tech families in need. the new year. The effort included the annual Spirit Chain project and the Pie in the Face event both of which generated a cache of cash used to purchase non perishable food items to supplement the

mountains of canned goods contributed to the Holiday Food Drive. The Spirit Chain project ran from Nov. 30 until Dec. 15. Students could purchase links in the Spirit Chains for a nickel each or 6 for a quarter with each grade level competing to create the longest chain. By mid December, the colorful Spirit Chains stretched back and forth from wall to wall in the ATech cafeteria bearing testimony to the level of contributions which totaled nearly $500. The senior class emerged as the winner of the competition sporting a Spirit Chain stretching to 6,722 links and edging out the junior class by only 68 links. The Pie in the Face event, held in the A-Tech cafeteria on Dec. 20, drew a crowd of Glen Jackson (left) saw his opportunity and he took it. onlookers and pie throwers Jackson made a special trip to the A-Tech campus last who had purchased tickets Tuesday to share the spirit of the season and a pudding during lunch periods for .25 filled pie with his son, A-Tech Secondary Supervisor Daniel each or 6 for a $1, depositJackson. It was all for a good cause. The elder Jackson ing them in the jar labeled joined the hundreds of generous A-Tech students who with the name of an A-Tech made contributions to the Holiday Food Drive to benefit A- administrator or staff memTech families in need. Some contibuted canned goods, ber they wanted to pie. “The more tickets they others purchased links to their class’ Spirit Chain, and still others Jackson in purchasing tickets on a chance at put in the jar, the better throwing a pie at their favorite administrator or staff member. their chance of having their name drawn. It works like a

Chinese auction. The students whose names were drawn had the opportunity to throw a pie,” explained ATech Instructional Coordinator Brian Kimmel, who cheerfully took several pudding filled confections in the face, all for the good cause of helping families in need. The canned food drive was coordinated by the ATech Health Care Academy. Culinary Arts 1 provided the pudding filled pies for the Pie in the Face event. Culinary Arts 2 collected money during lunches for the Spirit Chain and packed the collected food items, while Cosmetology 2 students helped collect money for the Pie-in-the Face program and ran the event during lunches. Computer Networking & Electronic Technology students mounted tall ladders to hang the Spirit Chains in the cafeteria. “It took everyone working together but it was really worth it,” said Gagat. A total of $5,962 cans of food were collected by A-Tech programs with the Health Care Technology classes alone bringing in 1,357 cans of food.

Saints John and Paul students give to local charities BY SADIE PORTMAN Gazette Newspapers ASHTABULA Saints John and Paul’s students have been busy gathering items for local families and charities. “Saints John and Paul students adopted families this Christmas season through the HALO (Helping Angel Loving Others) program,” Advancement Director Christy Kovacs said. HALO is a special outreach proSUBMITTED PHOTOS gram that is con- National Honor Society President ducted through Megan Woodward (left) and Emily Catholic Charities Kochevar (right) are pictured of Ashtabula decorating a Christmas tree with hats, County. mittens and scarves. HALO develops a list of low-income families each year and items that ety did not just collect the might be of aid for them dur- items to keep locals warm this ing the holidays and beyond. winter, they used the donated In 2010, HALO reported a items to decorate a tree in the total of 1,293 families being school. The tree served as both a adopted throughout the county, and Saints John and way to show what all they had Paul has aided the organiza- collected and to encourage stution in its goal of reaching out dents to gather more. “Students donated the to more families during the items for those in need,” 2011 Christmas season. The students gathered sug- Kovacs said. “All of the items gested items for the families collected will be donated to a to make their holidays special local charity.” During the winter months, but also collected fun products many local area residents are like toys for the children. “Students donated gifts of left without proper clothing to clothing, toys and other keep them warm, which is why needed household items and the National Honor Society delivered them to local fami- members felt they should reach out and give the gift of lies in need,” Kovacs said. The students understood warmth for the holidays. Saints John and Paul the importance of getting things the parents and guard- School officials are proud of ians would need as well as their students’ longing to give making the children’s holidays back to their community and they want the charity to cona special occasion. Saints John and Paul’s tinue no matter what the seaNational Honor Society mem- son is. Saints John and Paul’s stubers also got into the giving spirit as they collected hats dents are always taught to give to those who are less forand mittens. “Saints John and Paul tunate and as the young adults School’s National Honor Soci- grow, the administrators enety sponsored a winter hat and courage the lesson of charity mitten drive at the school,” to stay with their students even long after they leave the Kovacs said. The National Honor Soci- school.

Students from Saints John and Paul are shown here with some of the gifts collected for HALO.

A-Tech students (from left) Kayla Cartner – Precision Machine, Molly Hayner – Culinary Arts 2, Celeste Shalan – Culinary Arts 1, Heather Mullin – Culinary Arts 2, Brandi Schmidt – CNET 1, Kristen Hommes – Cosmetology 2, Teila Gagat – Cosmetology 2, Jenna Sturm – Health Care Academy 1 and Leanne Newhouse – Health Care Academy 2 pack boxes with canned and non perishable food items which will fill the cupboards of fifteen A-Tech families who are experiencing hardship this holiday season.


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Saints John and Paul students adopted low-income families for the Christmas season and bought household items as well as toys.

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WEDNESDAY, December 28, 2011


Geneva Area Chamber of Commerce P.O. Box 84 • 866 East Main Street • Geneva, Ohio 44041 Phone: 440-466-8694 • Fax: 440-466-0823 Email: • Website:

2011 Board of Directors & Officers Officers

WELCOME NEW MEMBER Drayer Physical Therapy Institute 2583 Walter Green Commons, Madison, Ohio 44057 Contact: Jenn Diehl, Physical Therapist Phone: (440) 428-6260, Fax: (440) 428-6276 Web: • Email: We are committed to providing the most effective, clinically superior physical therapy to every patient that we serve. We feel culture is paramount to our overall success. We understand the inherent value of the choices we make. We do the small things, the extra things that are indicative of our absolute commitment to patient care. To give our patients be best care and service, we offer access to care within 24 house of a referral, offer extended hours including evenings, weekends, and holidays. DPTI also works with all insurances.

President: Tim Lenart, Individual

2011 City of Geneva Cornerstone Award winners left, Donniella Winchell, Ohio Wine Producers Association Cornerstone Organization recipient, and Eileen Seiter, Andover Bank, Cornerstone Business award recipient.

I-Vice President: Bill Widlits, Chestnut Homes II-Vice President: Kim Patrone, Quail Hollow Resort Treasurer: Douglas Braun, Lakeview Federal Credit Union Executive Director: Sue Ellen Foote

Board of Directors Jennifer Brown, City of Geneva Beth Cheney, Rae-Ann Geneva Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center Jaime Cordova, Spire Academy/ GaREAT Geoff Freeman, Free-Mar Telecommunications Mike Goddard, Crawford Insurance Agency Cliff Henry, Harpersfield Township Brett Horvath, Geneva Area City Schools Evan Jahn, Waste Management Shirley Lehmann, Northwest Savings Bank Tony Long, JLS Computer & Accounting Service Rich Phinney, Rosemary’s Pizza Richard Pruden, Geneva Township Darrell Ramsey, HDT EP, Inc. Amanda Tirotta, Lakeview Federal Credit Union Richard Trice, UH Geneva Medical Center Terri Vincent, Loudermilk Tractor & Cycle


4057 St. Rt. 307 Austinburg, Ohio

(440) 275-2200 The local people you know & the American brand you trust.


CHAMBER ANNUAL DINNER Robert A. Russell Awarded the 2011 Geneva Area Chamber Citizen of the Year In recognition to his contribution to the community the Geneva Area Chamber of Commerce awarded Robert A. Russell the 2011 Geneva Area Chamber Citizen of the Year at the Chamber Annual Dinner held on December 7, 2011 at SPIRE Institute Banquet Center. Robert "Bob" Russell was born on June 14, 1957 in Geneva, and graduated from Geneva High School in 1975. Our honoree went to Kent State University and graduated with a Bachelor's in Business Administration in 1979. Becoming a licensed nursing home administrator he moved to Barnesville, Ohio and ran the Barnesville Health Care Center. Its members strive to improve the quality of care for their nursing home residents throughout Ohio. At 25, he became the youngest member elected to its governing board and served for many years in this capacity. Bob is the son of Harry and Bea Russell and brother of Carla Pasqualone. In 1981 he married his wife Deborah Welker. In 1988 an opportunity to return home was presented to them to return to Geneva to help run a family business known as Welker Farm Equipment. Service to the community has always been a top priority for Bob. He has served as a fireman from 1988 to 2006 and was a captain on the Geneva Fire Department for 6 of those years. Russell has also served the Ashtabula Township Association and the Ohio Township Association. Currently, he serves as Trustee for Geneva Township having been elected to the seat originally in 2006. He is the vice chairman of Northwest Ambulance Board of Directors from 2006 to present. In addition Bob is known as the "Go To Guy" solving a wide array of household project for family members and friend. In recognition of its commitment and service to the City of Geneva, the Ohio Wine Producers Association was awarded the City's Cornerstone Organization award. James Pearson, City Manager, presented the award to Donniella Winchell, Executive Director of the Ohio Wine Producers Association. Andover Bank was awarded the City of Geneva Cornerstone Business Award. Andover Bank Geneva branch manager Eileen Seiter accepted the awarded. Both awards was given in recognition of the organization's significant contributions to the community, as well as for the support to the success and betterment of the Geneva community and its citizens. Richard Pruden accepted an award of recognition for 28 years as Geneva Township Trustee. Also, Danielle Nicholson accepted an award for the winning first place in the Ohio State Athletic Association's Division 1 Girls Golf championship.

Make plans to attend 19th Annual Geneva Area Chamber Business Expo Free and open to the public Thursday, February 16, 2012 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Geneva High School in the commons area 1301 South Ridge Rd., Geneva Exhibitors will be showcasing their products, and services. Stop by to see what is offered here in the Geneva area. Door Prizes-RefreshmentsFree Give-Aways' Cost for table: $60 Members, and $90 Non-Members The Business Expo allows Chamber businesses to showcase their business and promote their services and products. This is a great networking opportunity. People are always amazed at what they didn't know about many of our businesses here in the Geneva area. Donations of door prizes and refreshments will be greatly appreciated. Table location will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Payment is required before the event. Call the Chamber with any questions.

WINTERFEST CHILI COOK-OFF Saturday, February 4, 2012 Hosted by Geneva Area Chamber of Commerce Make plans now to take part in the 7th Annual Chili Cook Off. You must pre-register by January 30, 2012. There is no fee for the contest registration. Electricity will be provided from 11:30 till 2:30 p.m. Set-up will be at 11:30 a.m. Each contestant is responsible for their-own chair, and must supply a heavy duty power cord. You must have at least three gallons of pre-cooked chili. Tasting bowls, spoon, and napkins will be provided. The chili will be free to the public. The contest will be independently judged, and decisions will be final. There will be three categories business, private, and non-profit. The winner of each will receive $100, trophy, and get the bragging rights for a year! There will also be a taster's choice award; the winner will be awarded a trophy. Call the Chamber office to get an application to participate in this year's Chili Cook off 466-8694.

Now till Dec. 31, Holiday Lights on the Lake, Lake Shore Park, Ashtabula. Visit the largest holiday drive-through light display along Lake Erie. With more than 75 total display and thousands of lights, this is a holiday tradition not to be missed in Ashtabula County. $5 a car load, buses $1 per person. Fri., Sat., and Sun. 6 p.m.-9:30 p.m. FMI 440-964-3819, 440-964-7652, The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake . (440)-466-7100 New Years Eve Celebration. Ring in the new year with a one night stay, dinner for two in Horizons Restaurant including wine service, live entertainment, a 5-hour Open bar, a champagne toast at midnight with a big screen view of the ball drop, gala celebration, party favors, endless snack bar, breakfast for two the following morning and a late check-out. Old Firehouse Winery Geneva-on-the-Lake. 1-800-UNCORK-1 Firehouse Un-New Year's Eve No over-priced admission, no band, no cover charge, and no mediocre buffet. (There are some snacks.) Just you, the wine and the festive ambiance of Old Firehouse Winery. Come in early and stay late. Open until 1 a.m. Lakehouse Inn & Winery 5653 Lake Road E. End 2011 with a special dinner at the Lakehouse Inn & Winery! Reservations required 440-466-8668 Also available: overnight package ~ A special night at The Lakehouse Inn! Package includes overnight accommodations, early evening wine tasting, five course surf & turf dinner with a bottle of Lakehouse Inn wine, champagne toast at midnight and New Year's Day breakfast. Jan. 4, Geneva students resume classes after winter break. Feb. 4, Winterfest downtown Geneva; Chamber hosting the Chili Cook-Off, noon till 4 p.m. FMI 466-5013, Jan. 16, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day-No school. Jan. 20, No school for Geneva students (In-Service Record Day).

Drayer Physical Therapy Institute™ Opens Center in Madison Drayer Physical Therapy Institute has opened its latest outpatient physical therapy center in Madison, Ohio on December 8th. The center is located at 2583 Walter Green Commons, Madison, and staff can be reached by phone at 440-4286260. The center specializes in orthopedics, sports medicine, industrial Physical Therapy Institute staff pictured are: Nikki Carlo rehabilitation services, vestibular rehabili- Drayer (receptionist), Kim Mack (billing specialist), Jenn Diehl, Physical Therapist/Center Manager & Nate Tekavec, Physical Therapist tation and hands-on manual therapy. Jennifer Diehl, Physical Therapist, is the center manager and has been a long time therapist in the Geneva/Ashtabula area for the last 12 years. She will be joined by a second physical therapist Nate Tekavec. Both therapists have great outcomes with treating patients of all ages and with any musculoskeletal injuries. Diehl states "I am very excited to be part of the new office of Drayer. I look forward to working with local clients both in the clinic on an individualized basis as well as becoming more involved in the community." She encourages anyone to stop in and take a look at the facility. The location is Drayer's tenth center in Ohio. Overall, Drayer owns or manages more than 70 centers nationally. Patients are guaranteed an appointment within 24 hours. The office is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday to meet all clients. Drayer centers work with all insurance types.

Changing of Chamber Board of Directors A special thank you to three individuals for serving on the Chamber Board of Directors Richard Pruden, Geoff Freeman, and Richard Trice. Richard Pruden resigned from the Chamber Board after serving on the board for 16 years. Pruden came on the board as an ex-officio January 1995, and a board seat since January 2003 till December 31, 2011. Geoff Freeman and Richard Trice terms ended on the board on December 31, 2011. Freeman has served on the chamber board for fourteen years since January 1997. Trice has served on the board for three years since September 2008. Thank you all for your years of serving on the Chamber Board. Replacing two of the open board seats, welcome Eileen Seiter, manager of Andover Bank in Geneva, and Renee Keener owner of Keener Accounting and Tax Service.

See Us for Your Award & Special Gift Needs!

Your Hometown Builder Since 1994

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Farm Equipment, Inc.

2012 CHAMBER SCHEDULED EVENTS February 4 (Sat.), Winterfest-Chili Cook-off Contest February 16 (Thurs.), Business Expo at Geneva High School March 2-4 (Fri.-Sun.), Ashtabula County Home Show at the Ashtabula Towne Square (Mall) March 19 (Mon.), Spring Dinner April 1 (Sun.), Chinese Auction at Geneva High School May 12 (Sat.), Geneva Area Community Day 12 to 4 p.m. May (award two $1,000 scholarships to Geneva graduates) June 20 (Wed.), Golf Outing September 24 (Mon.), Fall Dinner October 24 (Wed.), Candidates Night December 5 (Wed.), Annual Dinner Call Chamber to schedule your open house, or your special event.

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Plan Your Special Events at the Lodge! We Can Cater Your Event, Large or Small Call Today For Details




Trophies Plaques Ribbons Dash Plates Custom Engraving Acrylic & Crystal Awards

CommUNITY Bank Andover Bank

A Better Way... Eileen Seiter • 440-466-3040 665 S. Broadway, Geneva, OH



Geneva Area Chamber of Commerce

“Serving the Area Since 1947”

• Brick • Block • Stone • Cement • Liners • Pipe • Gravel & More! 4680 N. Ridge East Geneva, Ohio


440-466-4470 440-942-9384

549 E. Main St., Geneva



WEDNESDAY, December 28, 2011

JEFFERSON AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE P.O. Box 100 Jefferson, OH 44047-0100 Ph: 440-576-0133

------------2011 OFFICERS & BOARD OF CONTROL------------President, Pat Bradek of Subway

Vice President, Janet Wolff, WEK Manufacturing

RecSecy, Mary Jo Braden of Lakeview Treas., Peggy Stadler of KeyBank

Patty Fisher, Clerk Treas., Village Bill Creed, The Gazette

JoAnn Whetsell, Ken Forging

Betty Morrison, Ashtabula Co. Covered Bridge Festival Dan Weber, Andover Bank

George Dubic, Jefferson Healthcare Jerry March, CruiseOne/Village Rep.

Real Estate Service Since 1908





Regular chamber meeting: Tues., Jan. 3, 2012 at 7:30 am, sponsored by Huntington Bank, held at Jefferson Healthcare. There are still a couple openings for sponsoring the Chamber Meeting refreshments. The open months are Aug. and Oct. Please let Mary Jo Braden know if you would like to be a sponsor by calling her at 576-4382.

Miller Realty Co.


of Jefferson, Ohio

THANK YOU! Jefferson Village Residents and Merchants: The Jefferson Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade and Decorating Committee would like to thank all the merchants and volunteers who made the annual day long holiday celebration of "A Snow Angel Christmas" a huge success once again this year. The Town was filled with people gathered around for all the activities for everyone in the family. The day ended just perfect with the weather holding out allowing people to enjoy the parade as it went down Main Street.





Thank you all for the support that is given to the Jefferson Chamber and the Village of Jefferson. Patty Fisher & Pat Bradek, Co-Chairs Jefferson Holiday Events


Get a free Anthem Health Insurance Quote:


Chamber Officers: Elections took place at the December meeting. Current officers are retaining their positions for 2012 with the exception of the Correspondence Secretary, now held by Rayne Burr of Buckeye Title Corporation.

Open for Breakfast Every Day 135 N. Chestnut St. Jefferson, OH


Submit articles for the newsletter by the third Thursday of the month to



Serving Our Community Since 1936

Jefferson Community Center news: They are offering an After School Program. The program starts January 2 and runs each day after school until 6:00pm. The children will be involved in activities, games, arts, crafts, science programs and more! Quiet homework time will also be held. JCRC is also planning a Snowball Ball Feb 4, a magical afternoon event for any princess ages 4-10 yrs. Please call 576-9052 for additional information and for pre-registering. OTHER activities that they offer are Piano, Guitar and Drum lessons, Karate classes, Zumba, Turbo Kick, Yoga and more!

PHONE (440) 576-2921 or 1 (800) 322-1661 41 WALL STREET JEFFERSON, OHIO 44047-1138 James A. Baker, Agent

Chamber Membership Renewal Time: Be on the lookout for your renewal form coming in the mail soon! In the event that you do not get your form in the mail please be sure to call and ask for another copy to be mailed, faxed or e-mailed to you. Please have the dues form completed and returned with the payment prior to 2/1/12 in order to be included in the Annual Membership Directory.

Petros Design

Library news: The new Children's Librarian is scheduling new and exciting activities for kids of different ages! Visit their website for exact times and dates at or you can call 576-3761 and ask for the Children's Librarian, Miss Dee. She can fill you in on the upcoming schedule - classes start January 2, 2012.


Quality Laser Etching Endless Possibilities Pictures on Marble and Granite

Citizen of the Year Banquet: The annual affair will be held Tuesday, March 27, 2012. More details to follow.

Personalized Gifts Awards • Home Decor

Membership in the Jefferson Area Chamber includes membership in NOACC, Providing Superior Business Benefits to Chamber Members for over 10 Years, for details visit

Kathy Housel, Owner 942 St. Rt. 46 North Jefferson, Ohio


Old Reserve Realty

Haines Memorials,



1 Lawyers Row Jefferson, Ohio Phone 576-6985 Carol Fulwiler, Owner/Broker

Lauri Haines Allen

We’re Proud To Be A Part Of Jefferson’s Past, Present And Future

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1640 State Rt. 46 N. Jefferson, OH 44047 Bus: 440-576-2637 Fax: 440-576-2638

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YOUR AD HERE! Contact Rick Briggs at 576-9125 x205 today!

Gazette, 12-28  

Gazette, 12-28

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