april, johnstown, johnstownvillage, news, ThisWeek, ThisWeekNews

Johnstown council eliminates tax credit

Johnstown Village Council on April 21 voted 4-1 to repeal the income-tax credit for most of its residents.
Johnstown’s tax rate is 1 percent for all residents who live and work in Johnstown. The rate is 0.5 percent for residents who work in and pay taxes to another municipality, according to village finance director Dana Steffan.
Effective July 1, those who work outside Johnstown and pay municipal income taxes to another municipality no longer will receive credit for paying taxes elsewhere.
The tax-credit repeal is expected to generate an estimated $246,000 per year, according to information from the Regional Income Tax Agency.
The tax-credit elimination will affect 1,665 residents, or 71 percent of the population, according to 2013 RITA filings.
Village officials have said the revenue is needed partly because of the elimination of the estate tax, the reduction in local government subsidies from the state and employers moving out of the village.
The additional income is planned to be used for reconstruction of Concord Road and Jersey Street, installation of a left-turn lane on U.S. Route 62 and other capital improvements.
Mayor Sean Staneart said the decision was necessary so the village doesn’t miss out on opportunities to alleviate traffic and road problems.
“I want people to move here, and they won’t move here if the roads are falling apart and we can’t maintain our village,” Staneart said.
He said he would have preferred to take an income-tax increase to voters in November, but the need for income was too great to wait.
More than a dozen residents attended the council meeting to voice their opposition, calling the decision unfair.
Johnstown resident Steven Snyder said he lives in Johnstown but works in Whitehall.
“Don’t chase people like me away,” he said. “That’s not how you get growth.”
Resident Rob Clemens said it doesn’t seem fair to raise taxes on only some people.
“I’m trying to raise a family, and I hope you can find another way instead of taxing the heck out of people,” he said.
Councilman David Keck said he welcomed the public discussion and that he hopes residents would see the results of the increase.
“At this time, we don’t know of a better way than this for us to get the income we need,” Keck said. “Without this, the rest of your roads will look like Concord Road.”
Councilman Bill Van Gundy, who cast the only dissenting vote, said council members have scrutinized the figures for many months, trying to make it work.
“This is a tough decision that has weighed heavily on me,” he said. “We have lost revenues from other sources, and now we have to do what is best for everyone.”
Steffan said residents may begin to pay by adjusting their 2015 tax estimate by contacting RITA or by logging into their account online.
When residents file 2015 taxes in 2016, half of the 2015 income will be taxed at the current rate, and the other half of the year will be taxed at the new rate.
Jim Lenner, village manager, said he shares the view that the village needs the money now. He said the meeting brought about a good dialogue, and he was happy that people were sharing their thoughts.
“I appreciate and encourage the discussion,” Lenner said. “I’m glad people took time out of their evenings to give us their input and share information with us.”
In other matters:
* Council voted unanimously on a 5-percent water and sewer rate increase, effective Jan. 1, 2016.
Each year, council will re-evaluate the water and sewer rates to determine whether an increase is necessary.
Staneart said previous rate increases have not kept up with the rate of inflation.
With the increase, a typical monthly bill of $29.50 would be increased to $30.98.
* The village agreed with RITA to distribute a $175,000 refund to Atrium in three installments May 1, June 1 and July 1.
Steffan informed council Feb. 17 of a significant portion of funds that Johnstown would have to pay back after yet another tax mistake gave the village money it should not have had.
According to Steffan’s council report, Atrium, a screen-printing company based in Johnstown’s business park, has an unpaid tax refund of $175,000 from last year.
* Bids for the Raccoon Creek pedestrian bridge will be opened Thursday, April 23.
city, johnstown, johnstownindependent, johnstownvillage, news, newspaper, ThisWeek, ThisWeekNews

Tax refund will cost village $175,000

As seen online on ThisWeekNews.com

Monday February 23, 2015 9:41 AM

Johnstown’s finance director position has been a revolving door for several years, culminating in two months without a director in 2014, just as the village’s 2015 budget was being planned.

Dana Steffan, who was hired in October, has found her footing after less than five months on the job and is working to right the village’s financial ship.

Steffan informed Village Council on Feb. 17 of a significant portion of funds that Johnstown would have to pay back after yet another tax mistake gave the village money it should not have had.

Meanwhile, she said, she’s working to introduce a necessary rate hike for sewer and water services in the village.

According to Steffan’s council report, screen-printing company Atrium, which is based in Johnstown’s business park, has an unpaid tax refund of $175,000 from last year that has to be paid within the next 30 days.

“It’s unfortunate that the village has to pay this money, but it’s nobody’s fault and there’s nothing we could’ve done differently,” Steffan told council.

Steffan said she has been discussing with Regional Income Tax Agency representatives ways to change tax rates or credit factors in an effort to look for increased revenue, “which we so desperately need.”

Before other sources of income could be identified, she plans to propose a “three- to five-year” package to evaluate water and sewer revenues and expenditures and expects to include a rate increase.

The rate-increase proposal comes because of significant fund-balance decreases over the past three years in the water and sewer operating accounts, she said.

“We are hoping to not have to increase water and sewer rates,” Steffan said in an email. “But if we do, it will be as minor as possible. Only village residents and not those living outside village limits, pay the village for their water and sewer, so it would only affect village residents.”

The 2013 water rate for 2,000 gallons per month was $29.50, according Johnstown’s website.

According to Steffan, she plans to support her proposal with a history and analysis of revenues and expenses that will be presented to council by the end of February.

Village Manager Jim Lenner said if a change in rates would be necessary, a date would be set and the council would have to pass an ordinance that would require three readings and could take six weeks to pass.

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Johnstown poised to get funds for major repairs

View the online article here

Monday February 2, 2015 11:55 AM

Johnstown leaders should know within two months whether applications for state funding have been approved.

Johnstown in 2011, 2012 and 2013 requested a state grant to rebuild Concord Road.

This year, the Ohio Public Works Commission appears to have come through with a $290,000 grant and a $340,000 loan to rebuild Concord, the only access road for two large housing developments in the village. Concord begins off state Route 37, on the village’s southeast quadrant, and runs east all the way to Northridge Road.

The last significant repairs to Concord Road occurred in the 1980s. Only spot repairs and necessary maintenance have been done for the past 25 years.

The village submitted an application Oct. 2, 2014, to the Ohio Public Works Commission District 17 nomination committee to receive funding for this project. District 17 includes Delaware, Fairfield, Knox, Licking, Morrow and Pickaway counties.

District 17 on Jan. 23 recommended to the full commission approval of the grant and loan, Village Manager Jim Lenner said.

He said it would be exciting to finally be awarded funding after three unsuccessful attempts.

“Concord Road is one of the worst roads in the village and will only get more traffic as the village grows,” Lenner said.

Within the next 60 days, village leaders should find out whether Johnstown officially has been granted the money from the commission. Lenner said the full commission usually follows the districts’ recommendations.

The rebuilding of Concord Road would occur in two phases.

The first $200,000 phase would start near Middleburn Street and would be financed by the village.

The next phase would be focused on the first third of the road, from South Main Street to Concord Crossing Drive. This phase would occur after July 1, when the funds from the grant and loan become available.

The project is anticipated to create five-10 temporary jobs during the construction, according to the village’s grant application.

A construction bid process is expected to begin in early summer 2015 and construction would begin by mid-July.

The $340,000 no-interest loan would be for a 29-year term.

Lenner said it would be great to get such “free financing” from the state.

Currently, Concord Road is plagued with drainage issues, which have caused road-surface failures, Lenner wrote in the grant application. Motorists often have to avoid potholes or ruts by swerving into the opposite lane, he wrote.

In the spring, a motorcyclist was thrown from his bike after hitting a pothole on Concord Road and broke his shoulder. Without proper funding, all the city could do was update the sign warning motorists about the treacherous conditions, he wrote.

In the grant application, Lenner wrote that the concern for safety of motorists is of the utmost importance for village officials and residents.

2014, article, dublin, dublinschools, dublinvillager, education, news, ThisWeek, ThisWeekNews

Parents hear draft of gifted program revamp

Tuesday December 23, 2014 9:28 AM

Page A2 of 12/25 issue

The Dublin City School District presented a Gifted Service Delivery Draft to community members recently and then listened to their feedback.

About 60 community members gathered Dec. 10 in the Wyandot Elementary School Library to listen to Kimberly Pietsch Miller, the district’s chief academic officer, present the draft and answer questions.

In the fall, the school district convened a task force to review the current gifted service delivery model.

The district is responding to new and more rigorous content standards for all students, Miller said. In addition, the community provided feedback to the district during the 2013-14 school year indicating Dublin should review gifted services for possible improvements

In addition to reviewing the current model, which has been in place for eight years, the task force studied the research about service delivery, reviewed the ability and achievement of the current student population and considered the needs of different groups of students.

One of the goals of the task force is to ensure all students reach calculus by 12th grade.

In the draft, students in grades K-3 would receive group testing and gifted intervention specialists would visit classrooms to offer extension activities.

Students who are high achievers in math or reading in grades 4 and 5 would receive differentiation in the classroom.

Differentiation is an approach in which teachers give slightly different assignments to groups of students to best fit their learning needs.

For high achievers in math, numeracy coaches would be available and so would single- and double-accelerated options in sixth grade.

Miller assured parents the district “doesn’t want to accelerate students too quickly and risk them missing out on foundational skills.”

The task force also took into consideration students’ maturity levels when thinking about when to begin acceleration.

“In this model, we would bring the high school math classes to the middle school so students can stay in their building and be with students their own age,” Miller said.

The draft stated that fourth- and fifth-grade students who are identified as having superior cognitive skills would receive more “pull-out” and “cluster grouping in the regular classroom.”

From the 12/25 issue

Pull-out instruction is when students are taken out of their usual classroom for a period of time so they can work on different material.

Cluster grouping refers to placing small groups of superior cognitive students in each classroom.

In middle school, superior cognitive students would receive “social-emotional skills support.”

The current draft does not address gifted high school students.

The state of Ohio requires school districts to identify students who score above the 95th percentile on standardized testing. However, the state does not mandate service, once students are identified as gifted.

In Dublin, 22 percent of students scored above the 95th percentile in math and 16 percent scored above the 95th percentile in reading on standardized tests.

About 8 percent of Dublin students have been identified as gifted in the area of superior cognitive ability, Miller said.

During the meeting, parents asked questions about the current middle school gifted delivery model, whether test scores from elementary would be taken into consideration and what changes they should expect next year.

Miller reminded parents the only time a child would “fall out of the gifted education program is if a parent, teacher or principal suggested it.”

The first part of the service model plan would be implemented next year, Miller said.

This first stage would likely include name changes (for example, LEAP would be renamed) and changes in the elementary schools.

The task force will meet in early January to revise the draft, taking feedback from the meetings into consideration.

Additional community meetings will be held in January to gather feedback on the revised draft, Miller said.

A final plan is expected to be reached by March.

Sara Hallermann, a parent of three gifted students, said the meeting answered her questions.

“I think the Gifted Education Task Force is doing an excellent job in revamping the service model to better meet the needs of gifted students,” Hallermann said.

She said the meeting was positive and helpful, even though sometimes the content was controversial.

Hallermann appreciated that Miller explained the rationale of each decision and assured parents that everything is grounded in research.

Another parent, Rae Kroger, said the meeting was informative.

“They did a really good job at answering diverse questions,” she said.

Kroger said the district is moving in the right direction.

At the end of the meeting, community members were given an opportunity to write down what components of the service model they liked, components they want to see included, any questions they had and any additional input.

“We don’t want to glaze over anything,” Miller said.

“I want all students to achieve at high levels.”
Deb’s Details: This article happened during a crazy moment in my life. I was on my way to where the meeting was held when I was rear-ended! I’d never been in an accident before. I was a little late to the meeting because of that but I don’t think it affected my ability to get the facts. At the meeting, it was clear that the parents were very concerned and passionate about the gifted education program. The meeting lasted almost three hours.
I wanted this article to explain to those who couldn’t attend any of the three meetings what was discussed and emphasize how it’s not too late for them to give their suggestions to the school board.

2014, bazaar, craft, dublin, dublinvillager, news, newspaper, ThisWeek, ThisWeekNews

Annual Holiday Bazaar set for Saturday at Jerome

Wednesday December 3, 2014 9:37 AM

Jerome’s Holiday Bazaar on Dec. 6

Written for Dublin Villager weekly newspaper, part of ThisWeek Community News
Original article can be found here

Dublin area residents looking for holiday gifts for family and friends should make sure not to miss this year’s Holiday Bazaar from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday Dec. 6, at Dublin Jerome High School.

The Commons in Jerome will be transformed into a wintery craft marketplace for the sixth year in a row. More than 115 tables will fill the commons. There is no admission charge to enter the bazaar.

Funds raised from the bazaar will support PTO sponsored programs at Jerome such as Challenge Day, Baccalaureate for graduating Seniors, After-Prom activities and teacher appreciation events.

This year’s vendors will be selling handcrafted necklaces, earrings and bracelets; toys; doll clothes; Ohio State University memorabilia; Dublin high school spirit wear and jewelry; holiday centerpieces and ornaments; headbands; totes; pet treats; toys and accessories; lap blankets; purses; candles; and other gift items.

“I’m amazed at the quality and prices our vendors offer,” said Carole Kinkopf, co-chairwoman of the bazaar.

“It’s truly a one stop shopping opportunity for everyone on your holiday gift list,” she said.

Christina Laivins, from Christina’s Boutique and Designs, said the Holiday Bazaar is a great place to see new things and meet friendly people

“I’ll be selling handmade jewelry, handmade cards, dog items and much more,” Laivins said.

From ThisWeekNews Dec. 4

“This year, I’ll have a Stampin’Up! booth so people can see all the new items to craft with,” she said.

Laivins said she thinks it’s going to be a great year and she’s excited.

For the third year in a row, a special Jerome-themed ornament will be offered.

The “Celtic Christmas” themed ornaments are available in white or gold and were designed by the Special Education Class at Jerome, with the help of their teacher, Jeff Rice.

Bazaar co-chairwoman Michelle Stevensen was a driving force behind the ornament initiative, according to Kinkopf.

Stevenson first got involved in the Holiday Bazaar because she really enjoyed the poinsettias, but the experience has become much more than just about flowers.

“I’ve met some really nice moms and I have four children in Dublin City Schools, so I think it’s a great way to give back to the community,” she said.

Stevenson oversees volunteer scheduling and poinsettia and ornament sales.

Stevenson said that this year, “we’ve increased pre-sales of ornaments and poinsettias by 100 percent.”

There will be direct selling vendors from Tastefully Simple, Pampered Chef, Avon, Touchstone Crystal, Scentsy, Lia Sophia, Nerium, Thirty-One, Longaberger, Origami Owl, Silpada and Usborne Books.

“We also have some wonderful food vendors selling dip mixes, infused oils and vinegars, homemade candy and baked goods,”Kinkopf said.

There will be a free craft table for elementary school-age children that will be staffed by volunteers from Enchanted Care Child Care Center.

Each vendor will donate an item to a raffle drawing with prizes valued between $15 and $20. Raffle tickets can be bought for $1 each, 6 for $5, 15 for $10 or 35 for $20. Raffle drawings will take place throughout the day. Proceeds from the raffle and other elements of the event will benefit the PTO.

“So it’s a really fun way to win a great item while supporting the PTO,” Kinkopf said in an e-mail.

“If you’ve never been to the Holiday Bazaar, give it a try,” Laivins said.

“You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the number of vendors and the high quality products,” she said.

Laivins said people will not have a problem finding Christmas gifts for loved ones and special gifts for themselves.

Deb’s Details:
I remember going to Hollyfest, a craft fair at Hilliard Davidson. I bought some nice Hilliard ornaments and some handmade gifts. I wished I could’ve gone to this Holiday Bazaar to buy some handmade gifts but I was working.
I’m embarrassed to say that this article was published with two typos in them. My dad caught them. So I’m going to be a lot more careful about re-reading and double checking spelling and grammar.

dublin, dublinvillager, education, news, newspaper, schoolboard, schools, ThisWeekNews

Task forces supply updates board of education



Wednesday December 3, 2014 9:36 AM

Written for The DublinVillager weekly newspaper and ThisWeekNews
Original article can be found by clicking here

At the Dublin Board of Education Meeting Nov. 13, several task forces provided board members with updates. The district is working toward meeting its goals for the year by getting updates from the respected task forces.

Task forces proving updates included:


Brion Deitsch spoke about how the engineering architectural firm of Garmann/Miller Architects is reviewing the elementary schools.

In January, the task force will formally report findings and make a recommendation.

The district hopes to have the elementary school additions completed by the summer of 2016.

Gifted Education

The Gifted Education Task Force is working on identifying types of services the district could offer to students with high cognitive ability and/ or high academic achievement.

The task force shared ideas with peers and PTOs for feedback.

There will be continued discussions concerning the area of advanced math.

Middle School Schedule

Another important issue of the district that is being addressed is the middle school schedule. Dustin Miller, Grizzell Middle School principal, is heading the project.

From the Dec. 4 ThisWeek News

The task force learned through researching current trends that middle school students need a schedule where they can be engaged, connected, safe, artistic and learn in short bursts.

The task force is currently examining current middle school trends and created a short open-ended survey for teachers.

Community nights will be scheduled at each middle school in order to listen to parent feedback.

They also plan on visiting two of the “Top 10 Best Suburbs for Education” to observe and discuss middle schools.

Staffing Plan

Chris Valentine reported to the board that the task force is discussing future staffing needs and improving the staffing plan.

Deb’s Details:
Originally, this article was part of my School Board Meeting article but my editor suggested that the task force update would be a separate article.
If I could do it over again, I would try and interview one or two of the task force leaders. I wanted to make the article longer and get more details and information. It felt like a pretty vague article to me but I did the best with what I had at the time.

2014, article, dublin, dublinvillager, education, news, newspaper, schools, ThisWeekNews

Dublin’s advanced placement programs receive honor

By DEBBIE GILLUMTuesday November 25, 2014 9:07 PM
Written for ThisWeekNews Dublin Villager newspaper

Dublin City Schools is one of 547 school districts in the U.S. and Canada to be honored by the College Board with placement on the 5th Annual Advanced Placement District Honor Roll for increasing access to AP course work and improving scores.
This is the second consecutive year that Dublin City Schools has earned this honor.
“We are extremely proud of this achievement,” said Todd Hoadley, Dublin superintendent.
“It is remarkable for the 11th largest District in Ohio to be able to increase the number of students who take AP?exams while also increasing scores,” Hoadley said.
According to the most recent Ohio Department of Education statistics, Dublin students took the most AP Exams in Ohio during the 2012-13 school year.
Reaching these goals indicates the district is successfully identifying motivated, academically prepared students who are likely to benefit from rigorous AP course work.
Since 2012, Dublin City Schools has increased the number of students participating in AP by 8 percent while improving the percentage of students earning AP Exam scores of 3 or higher by 1 percent.
The AP Exams take place in the spring and are scored on a 5.0 scale.
College credit may be earned for scores above a 3.
The exams can be taken in a variety of subjects, ranging from chemistry to European history.
In 2014, more than 3,800 colleges and universities throughout the world accepted AP scores for college credit, and/or took them into consideration during the admission process.
Thirty other Ohio school districts, such as Hilliard, Granville and New Albany, achieved this honor.
“The devoted teachers and administrators in this district are delivering an undeniable benefit to their students: opportunity,” said Trevor Packer, the College Board’s senior vice president of AP and instruction.
“When coupled with a student’s hard work, such opportunities can have myriad outcomes, whether building confidence, learning to craft effective arguments, earning credit for college, or persisting to graduate from college on time,” Packer said. “We applaud your conviction that a more diverse population of students is ready for the sort of rigor that will prepare them for success in college.”
Helping more students learn at a higher level and earn better AP scores is an objective of all members of the community, from AP teachers to district and school administrators to college professors.
Many districts are experimenting with a variety of initiatives and strategies to determine how to simultaneously expand access and improve student performance.
Inclusion on the AP District Honor Roll is based on the examination of three years of AP data, from 2012 to 2014.

Districts must increase participation or access to AP by at least 4 percent in large districts, increase or maintain the percentage of exams taken by African American, Hispanic/ Latino, and American Indian/ Alaska Native students, and improve performance levels when comparing the percentage of students in 2014 scoring a 3 or higher to those in 2012.

Deb’s Details:
This was a pretty straight forward article to write because I had a press release to work off. I wanted to make the press release my own and so I tried to reword some things.
I think this article confirms that Dublin is a highly ranked district and they put a lot of emphasis on great academic achievement. Their students work very hard and are clearly performing very well on AP tests. I remember how hard those AP tests were so I think it says a lot that they are getting 4s and 5s.
I would’ve liked to have gotten a quote from a student in an AP class or an AP teacher at a high school.

2014, article, dublin, dublinvillager, news, newspaper, schoolboard, schools, ThisWeek, ThisWeekNews

Elementary School Additions

Work progressing on preparing recommendations

By DEBBIE GILLUMTuesday November 25, 2014 8:50 AM
Written for ThisWeekNews Dublin Villager newspaper

At the Dublin Board of Education meeting, discussions continued about elementary school additions.
Throughout the month of November, representatives from the engineering architectural firm of Garmann/Miller Architects are scheduled to visit all 12 elementary schools with the goal of making a recommendation as to where four or five school additions will be constructed. As of Nov. 13, five buildings have been assessed.
Garmann/Miller will present a report of their findings at the first meeting in January. The company has previously collaborated with school districts in Findlay, Cedarville, Mansfield, and Lima.
 Also in January, a Request for Qualifications for architect services will be examined to select a design firm. The design will take six to eight months, the bidding and award decision will take six to eight weeks and construction would be nine to eleven months.
These additions are part of the district’s effort to address enrollment growth issues.
“Our goal is to have the first additions open for students in the fall of 2016, with the remainder opening in the fall of 2017,” said Superintendent Dr. Todd Hoadley. “As we’ve stated throughout this process, we will keep our community informed on the progress of the projects.”
In other building improvement news, the board discussed that Davis Middle School needs a new gym floor and bleachers. No definite plans have been set yet.
Plans are also being discussed to expand Jerome’s science labs, due to overcrowding.
With more students and teachers, the district’s computer network was starting to run low on free space so the Board of Education approved the purchase of 45 terabytes of increased storage capacity and 45 terabytes in backup capacity.  The two storage devices cost $78,287.28.
The meeting started with Riverside elementary’s new principal, Staci Lutz, leading ten students from the Student Leadership Team in the Pledge of Allegiance. Lutz has been serving as the interim principal at Riverside since February, when Connie Stitzlein was charged with assault after a domestic dispute.  
There were about 100 community members in attendance at the meeting.
The meeting took place at the 1919 Building at 144 West Bridge St. at 7 p.m. and the next meeting will be Dec. 8 at the same location and same time.
Other News
In other school board news, 16 National Merit Semifinalists were honored by Dr. Dustin Miller, Director of Secondary Education for their academic accomplishment.
Students took the PSAT exam in order to qualify to be a National Merit Semifinalist. The city of Dublin had the most SemiFinalists of any Ohio school district.
Also, two Dublin City School teachers were honored with the Golden Shamrock Award for their dedication to education.
Secretary Pat Ford and teacher Gardner Watkins, both from Scioto, were honored with the lifetime achievement award.
Bob Scott, principal of Scioto, said that Gardner Watkins, a science teacher, exhibits enthusiasm for all facets of education.
“Kids learn tremendously [from Mr. Watkins] and don’t even know they are learning,” Scott read from one nomination.
When Scott introduced Ford, Scioto’s receptionist, he called her the “face of Scioto.”
“She takes a special interest in every staff and student and is a kind person to work with,” read Scott from a nomination.
In her acceptance speech, Ford said that she enjoys all the parents that come in.

Deb’s Details:

Man, did I struggle with this article. It was my very first assignment and was supposed to go in last week’s issue. I thought it would be an easy assignment and maybe I just got cocky and didn’t pay attention hard enough. I turned off my voice recorder and didn’t take very detailed notes because I thought a video of the meeting would be posted online. Looking back, I think that was a stupid move. The video was not posted and I could not easily get a hold of an audio recording. To make things worse, I didn’t fully understand the meeting lingo and what was news and what was not. I reached out to my parents, my editor and the PR person for Dublin City Schools and they all helped me immensely.

Next time, I’m going to pay close attention to the whole meeting, record it, take notes and do a better job. Now, I know what I’m looking for and what to expect at the school board meetings.

dublin, news, newspaper, schools, ThisWeekNews, writing

Karrer’s Turkey Bowl tradition to continue Nov. 25

Karrer’s Turkey Bowl tradition to continue Nov. 25

By: Debbie Gillum
Former OSU basketball star
Scoonie Penn talks strategy
 to students of Dublin Karrer Middle School
 during the annual Turkey Bowl fundraiser Nov. 25

Wednesday November 19, 2014 9:29 a.m.

Written for ThisWeekNews Dublin Villager newspaper

Local sports stars will play flag football with Karrer Middle School students to raise money for charity in the  annual Turkey Bowl Fundraiser on Tues. Nov. 25.

The Turkey Bowl is a flag-football game which celebrates the seventh grader’s service project and fundraising efforts.

Scoonie Penn, a former OSU basketball player, and Mike Durant, a former OSU baseball player, will be returning as quarterbacks in this year’s Turkey Bowl.

Last year, the seventh grade students raised over $8,000 to feed 90 families in the Dublin City School District.

“Every year this fundraiser gets bigger and better,” said Turkey Bowl organizer and Karrer teacher Katy O’Neal. “We now have raised over $50,000 in five years!”

However, the Turkey Bowl is not just about collecting money.

Justin Turner (left) and Matthew Kish,
battle for a pass during the school’s
annual Turkey Bowl fundraiser

“We spend a day doing team building activities with the seventh graders with a focus on working together as a team while embracing our differences,” said O’Neal.  

Beginning this year, every seventh grader will have the opportunity to spend a morning at Chapman Elementary helping fill the backpacks with food and reading to younger elementary students.  A small group of students will also be going to Riverside Elementary to speak at their Town Hall Meeting themed “Responsibility and Giving Back”.  

Past participants in the Turkey Bowl have included former Ohio State players including Scoonie Penn, Craig Krenzel, Bobby Hoying,Tommy Hoying, Justin Zwick, Dee Miller, Mike Wiley, and Rodney Bailey. Former Major League pitcher and Dublin native Kent Mercker, and Superintendent Dr. David Axner have also participated in the event.

The donations this year will benefit Blessings in a Backpack. This program provides needy families at Chapman and Riverside elementary with a backpack of food to take home for 38 weekends during the school year.

We are so blessed to have the opportunity to not only teach curriculum but to teach these kids the importance of community, teamwork, and paying it forward!,” O’Neal said.

In previous years, the Turkey Bowl has raised money for the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research and the Second and Seven Foundation for Literacy.

This year, there will be 11 flag-football fields with 22 teams playing.  All of the Karrer seventh graders participate in this event.  

The Tukey Bowl takes place the Tuesday before Thanksgiving at Karrer Middle School from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Deb’s Details: 
This was one of my first articles for ThisWeek News. I was really excited to write it because it sounded like a neat event and I sincerely wanted to raise awareness about it. I was trying to imagine how cool it must be for those elementary school students to play flag football with pro-athletes. And, I think the charity Blessings in Backpacks sounds like such a great cause.   

 I was impressed that a teacher started the charity on her own and that it’s still so successful. I wish I could have made the article longer by getting more quotes. I would’ve liked to interview an elementary student or one of the athletes

2014, debbie, debbiegillum, denison, news

Car chase ends with crash into Burke

By Debbie Gillum
News Editor Emeritus
There was some commotion on South Quad Thursday, April 17 when a brief car chase ended with a collision into Burke Hall.
The car chase started when Licking County Sheriff Officers tried to pull over William Beatty, 46, from Newark, for only having one working headlight on Ohio 16.
He refused to stop his car, and so around 12:20 a.m. a brief car chase started. It ended a few minutes later when he crashed his 1998 Dodge Caravan into Burke.
According to the traffic crash report, Beatty “was speeding and could not negotiate a turn and ran off the driveway…striking a building and tree.” Police estimated he was going 55 miles per hour in a 20 mph area.
Beatty tried to run away but only made it about 100 yards before police caught up to him.
He had an outstanding warrant from another jurisdiction, which is why police think that he ran. He was issued citations for reckless operation, failure to signal, for not having two headlights and for fleeing the scene of a crime. He has been charged with failure to comply and his bond is set at $50,000.
The damage to Burke and the surrounding landscape is estimated to be about $500, according to the Ohio traffic crash report, though Denison’s Director of Security, Safety and Risk Management Garret Moore said that Burke was not damaged. 
“The Sheriff’s Office was involved in a chase with the suspect and the chase ended on lower campus near Burke Hall,” he said.
Bob Cole, a Denison security monitor, was involved and wrote a witness statement for the Sheriff’s Office, according to Moore.