2017, february, newspaper, ThisWeekNews

New Aldi planned for West Waterloo

Posted Feb 13, 2017 at 6:05 PM

Officials from grocery retailer Aldi said last week the new store the company
plans to build at 720 W. Waterloo St. in Canal Winchester will include features
added to the design because of feedback from customers.

“The new store will have upgrades such as expanded cooler sections and healthy
tips within the produce section,” said Sarah Brown, Aldi Springfield division vice
president. “All of our new stores are modern and easy to navigate, with more
room for customers’ favorite products, inviting colors, high ceilings and natural

She said the store would be built with environmentally friendly materials such as
energy-saving refrigeration and LED lighting.

An expanded variety of fresh foods and a full suite of Aldi products will be
available at the new Canal Winchester store, Brown said.

Officials from Aldi would not disclose the project cost.

Information on the city’s website said plans are to have the store open before the
end of this year.

The site was occupied by New Faith Church Assembly of God.

The church congregation has been meeting at Wagnalls Memorial Library in
Lithopolis since Nov. 20, 2016.

City Development Director Lucas Haire said Aldi purchased the 4-acre site but plans to develop only half of it for the new store.

The remaining 2 acres will be sold, he said. “This creates an opportunity for another restaurant or retailer to go into that location,” he said.

Haire said more retail activity benefits everyone in the community.

“I think it is great to have another grocery option for the community,” he said.

According to its website, Aldi currently has more than 1,600 stores in 35 states, serving more than 40 million customers.


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.

2015, february, newspaper, schools, ThisWeek, ThisWeekNews, westerville

Genoa students become published authors

Wednesday February 11, 2015 11:08 AM

See it on ThisWeekNews.com

More than 330 Genoa Middle School sixth-graders participated in National Novel Writing Month — NaNoWriMo for short — collectively writing 1,211,471 words.

Deanna McDaniel, Genoa’s media specialist, helped lead the NaNoWriMo writing challenge.

Traditionally, NaNoWriMo is an annual, Internet-based creative writing project where any adult can challenge themselves to write a 50,000-word rough draft of a novel during the month of November.

But NaNoWriMo also offers a young writers program that allows 17-and-under participants to set individual word-count goals.

McDaniel worked together with Genoa’s sixth-grade language arts teachers Tracy Jados, Emily Minney and Carly Young to create virtual classrooms through the NaNoWriMo young writers program.

Across the world, 4,132 classrooms in 51 different countries participated in the young writers program.

“For the whole month of November, I had students writing furiously the whole school day in the library,” McDaniel said.

Students used their lunch period and study halls to come to the library to work on their stories.

“As long as I had a free computer, I would let them in,” McDaniel said.

Rachel Wetherby said she liked coming to the library to participate because it’s her favorite place at the school. She wrote a fantasy story featuring prophecies and shape-shifting dragons.

“It all just came to me. I didn’t know what was going to happen until I typed it,” she said. “My friend helped me with my story and I helped her, too.”

Participants also took advantage of the school district’s new GoogleDrive accounts for students. Using GoogleDrive, students could work on their stories at home and on any mobile device.

Students took advantage of the technology by continuing their writing after school.

“About halfway through the month, I had a sixth-grader come shyly up to me and show me their smartphone with the Google app on it. He looked at me and said, ‘Don’t tell my parents, but I have been writing my story on my phone under the covers after they think I have gone to sleep!’ “

Student Jenna Owsiak, who authored a novel titled Missing for the program, said ideas for her story often would come to her as she was sitting on the couch at home watching television.

“I would write a couple times a day, whenever I thought of something. Sometimes I’d write 1,000 words a day. I’ll probably do NaNoWriMo again next year,” she said.

Every student who met their goal earned a code from CreateSpace, a publishing website, to receive five free copies of their novel in paperback form.

“Right now most students are in the process of editing their novels before they finalize the published copy and order their books,” McDaniel said.

Each paperback will feature a unique cover designed by the student and an ISBN number. McDaniel described it as “a book ready to sell.”

Student Hibba Hyajneh wrote a fantasy story called The 14th Star about two princesses and their two enemies.

“I read a lot of fantasy books so it was neat to be able to make one of my own. I’m really proud of it,” she said.

Some students didn’t even need the full month to write their stories.

Ryan Boerger wrote his novel, The Job, in only two weeks.

“It was the first story I ever wrote,” he said. “I think the experience made me a better writer and I plan on continuing to write.”

city, february, johnstown, johnstowncity, news, newspaper, roads, ThisWeek, ThisWeekNews

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.

dublin, dublinvillager, february, newspaper, robotics, ThisWeekNews

Robotics team advancing to States

Find it online here

ImagiNeers robotics team advances to state championship

Wednesday February 4, 2015 12:57 PM

One of Dublin’s middle-school robotics teams, the ImagiNeers, has qualified for the state championship for third time in a row.

 The FLL (First Lego League) State Championship will take place at the Ervin J. Nutter Center at Wright State University on Feb. 7-8.

On Saturday Jan. 10, at the Dublin Robotics District Tournament at Jerome High School, the team scored 330 points on their robot game and finished 6th out of 32 teams.

The team won the project presentation award for their innovative solution called “Uspell.” It is a prototype of a pen that can display spelling mistakes on a LCD screen.

The ImagiNeers consists of students ages 9-14 from Wyandot Elementary as well as Sells and Karrer Middle School.

The Dublin Robotics Program sponsored 19 First Lego League teams from four middle schools and 10 elementary schools at the district tournament.

At the competitions, teams are judged on two parts: the two-and-half minute robot game and their project presentation.

The robot game is played on a large table and the robot must complete as many tasks as possible to earn points. The robot is programmed using a block coding computer program, which is downloaded to the robot and then adjusted as necessary.

For example, students can program their robot to pick up a small ball, drive to a Lego soccer goal on the table and throw the ball into the goal. If the robot “scores” then the team earns 60 points.

For the project presentation, the students are asked to identify a topic they are passionate about, brainstorm a creative solution, research existing ideas, invent something new and share their idea with others.

ImagiNeers team member, Ria Singhal, 12, said that at first their presentation of their Uspell pen felt boring so in between the regional and district tournaments, they decided to change things up.

“At the district tournament, we explained our information in a fun way by making our own Jeopardy board and presented it more as a game show,” she said.

Team member and 7th grader Rithika Nidimusali enjoys making the robot run and seeing if it was accurate.

“I like the teamwork part of it. In school we do more individual work but here we can work as a team on everything and it’s super fun,” she said.

Working as a team, everyone can use their strengths to help build the best robot possible.

Sanjay Janavdhan uses his creativity and programming skills to build “really great helpful attachments” for the robot.

Abhi Manyu Singhal, a junior at Coffman, joined the club as a 7th grader. He lamented that he “missed out on three years” so now he is the ImagiNeer’s mentor and has introduced seven new robotics teams in central Ohio suburbs like Westerville and Powell.

“I mentored the teams, showed them the ropes, and taught them about programming and project research. One of the teams advanced to the district tournament so it was neat to see how excited the kids were about it.”

His efforts have earned him the “Mentor Award” at states three years in a row.

“I’m showing kids that science is cool and that they can do it too,” he said. “Robotics got me hooked on science. It showed me that science wasn’t just for those nerds who are in the lab with chemicals.”

Singhal is involved with FRC (FIRST Robotics Competition), which is the high school robotics club, and plans on studying computer programming in college.

Through being in the club, the ImagiNeers learn to help others, work as a team, manage their time, and how to use technology, said Coach Rajiv Singhal.

“Every meeting, we spend the last ten minutes talking about what we learned,” said Singhal. “We want the focus to be on discovery and having fun.”

dublin, dublinschools, dublinvillager, january, newspaper, schoolboard, schools, ThisWeekNews

Board elects officers, hears task forces updates

Originally published in ThisWeekNews 

Wednesday January 21, 2015 7:10 PM

At the first Dublin Board of Education meeting of 2015, the Board President and Vice-President were re-elected and online school board meeting agendas were debuted.

The district will no longer distribute hard copies of agendas. Instead, community members are invited to go online to view the agendas, minutes, schedules and more.

Digitizing the agendas will increase productivity and save thousands of dollars annually, according to a district press release.

The school board meeting started an hour earlier, because of the OSU championship game.

Lynn May was re-elected as Board President and Stuart Harris as Board Vice President. Both ran unopposed and were first elected to the Board in 2005.

The facility task force reported that the engineering architectural firm of Garmann and Miller will attend the Feb. 9 school board meeting to answer questions. They will present their findings to the board on Jan. 26. The task force will recommend an architectural firm in Feb. and a construction management team in March. The task force assured community members that the Riverside Elementary traffic problems will be addressed.

The gifted education task force has been sharing the draft service model with colleagues, parent groups, and the community.  Additional input will be requested from middle school math teachers and administrators regarding advanced/accelerated math. The task force hopes to present their final draft to the board in February. They have scheduled three additional community meetings to share revisions and gather feedback. Future community  meetings will be held at 7p.m. Jan. 21 at Coffman, Jan. 22  at Jerome, and Jan. 28  at Scioto.

The middle school schedule task force held several parent forums last week to address questions. They are still on track to make a recommendation to the board by mid-February. They are closely reviewing middle schools in Illinois and Minnesota that appeared on the “Top 10 Best Education Suburban Districts” list.

For the staffing task force, Richard Bailey explained that a more robust and detailed online screener would be put in place to help narrow the candidate pool to only the best possible. This week, the new screening tool will take effect for all new and current applicants.

Treasurer Steve Osborne discussed the Fiscal Year 2014 Audit Opinion and Audit Reports from Plattenburg Certified Public Accountants.  There were no citations or findings for recovery. Osborne said it was a very good report and he thanked his staff.

Dr. Hoadley reminded community members of the State of the Schools at the Dublin Recreation Center on Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. and the next Superintendent Community Coffee on Jan. 27 at 10:30 a.m. at Sunny Street Cafe.

The meeting ended with Rick Weininger moving that the district make a statement of support for the Buckeyes as they met the Oregon Ducks in the National Championship game.

The Board meets on the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 7 p.m.

dublin, dublinschools, january, middleschool, newspaper, ThisWeek, ThisWeekNews

Middle school schedule discussed in parent meetings

Originally published here

Wednesday January 14, 2015 11:03 AM

Parents braved the cold weather recently to attend a meeting in Karrer Middle School to discuss possible changes to the Dublin middle school schedule.

Dustin Miller, the Dublin City School District’s director of secondary education, walked parents through what the Middle School Schedule Task Force has been working on and what feedback from the community the task force has been receiving.

Mark Mousa, Karrer principal, said the task force has been “working together with other schools from the region to see what they are doing and what is working for them.”

The task force, which is made up of 13 teachers, four principals and two central office administrators, is not limiting research to only Ohio, Miller said. They are traveling to study some of the nation’s top suburban districts in Chicago and Minneapolis.

The schedule is being examined because Dublin Superintendent Todd Hoadley said he heard repeatedly from parents that they were concerned, the district now has two full school years of data to examine and the district promised to re-evaluate the schedule when the previous changes were made.

Mousa said making changes to the middle school schedule was comparable to “repairing an airplane while it’s flying” because the effects of the changes can only be fully understood years later.

No additional staffing is expected to be needed and Miller said task force members are not looking to limit the number of courses being offered.

Middle school teachers filled out a brief survey in the fall and those results showed they are concerned students do not have science and social studies every day, that courses are often pitted against each other and that they want more time to meet with students.

The task force listened to student feedback, which included comments such as wanting a longer lunch time, study center every day, more choices for related arts, science and social studies every day and shorter class times.

Parent feedback revealed they like the current start and stop times, see the value in offering a study center, think blocks are too long for students, want more choices for related arts and want science and social studies classes every day.

The next steps for the task force include partnering with similar districts, analyzing feedback and data and then preparing a recommendation to Kim Miller, Dublin’s chief academic officer.

Sara Hallermann, a parent, voiced concerns at the meeting about students having a schedule that was too fragmented and could hinder deeper learning.

Miller agreed teachers are not able to “dig deep” within 50 minutes so the district is working to find a “happy medium” concerning class times.

Other parents said they were annoyed some of the language arts class time was being used for 20 minutes of silent reading.

Mousa clarified that silent reading is less regimented and while students are reading, teachers use that time to meet individually with students.

Brian Niekamp, parent of a seventh-grader and a fourth-grader and an Upper Arlington teacher, said he was very impressed with the meeting.

“I heard the right talk from the administrators,” Niekamp said. “They seem to have the middle school students at heart and are not just focused on the test scores.”

Blair Mallott, a task force member and an intervention specialist at Davis Middle School, said she thought the cold weather might have had an impact on attendance.

“I’m looking forward to the other meetings at the middle schools,” she said. “There is a lot of good information here.”

Future middle school schedule community meetings are planned for 7 p.m. at Davis Middle School tonight, Thursday, Jan. 15, Sells Middle School Tuesday, Jan. 20, and Grizzell Middle School Wednesday, Jan. 21.

dublin, january, mlk, newspaper, ThisWeek, ThisWeekNews

Dublin’s celebration Monday at Coffman

Video from King’s speeches, music, student speakers and volunteer opportunities planned

Wednesday January 14, 2015 11:06 AM

Dublin’s 2015 Martin Luther King Jr. Day Remembrance Celebration is planned from 11 a.m. to noon Monday, Jan. 19, in the Dublin Coffman High School Performing Arts Center.

Unlike in previous years, the keynote speaker this year will be Martin Luther King Jr. himself.

Short video clips of King speaking will be shown three times throughout the celebration.

Deb Maynard, a celebration committee member, said she is confident it will be a “fantastic” program and community members will have a great time.

“Honoring Martin Luther King and recognizing what he did for our country is very important,” Maynard said.

She said she believes serving others is one of the most important things people can do.

The program will start with a video of Martin Luther King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech and then a soloist will sing, If I Can Help Somebody Along The Way which was made famous by Mahalia Jackson, who is known as the Queen of Gospel, according to Maynard. The song corresponds to the theme which is “If I Can Help Somebody.”

Speakers will include Dalton Maynard, Superintendent Dr. Todd Hoadley and Dublin Mayor Michael Keenan.

There will be performances by the Rock Squad (Coffman’s step team), the Coffman Jazz Band, Mount Olivet Baptist Church gospel choir and a gospel choir of selected Coffman students.

One student from each of Dublin’s three high schools was selected to give a brief speech in regard to the program’s theme.

Yannick Gbadouwey, a senior from Jerome, said he is excited to represent her school and is honored that principal Cathy Sankey selected him.

“The title of my speech is ‘If I Can Help Somebody’ and it will be about how the day signifies the message of working together in order to solve the current problems of the present and to help each other,” she said in an email.

Kali Steele, a sophomore will be the speaker from Scioto and Kaden Molock, a senior, is the speaker from Coffman.

The Drum Major Award, will be given to a deserving Dublin citizen who embodies the spirit of Martin Luther King.

Joe Neidhardt was posthumously awarded the first Drum Major Award last year.

After the ceremony, community members can gather to serve as part of the National Day of Service and choose from four volunteer opportunities.

Volunteers can be matched with a senior for a “This is My Life” interview, go to a rehabilitation facility to spend time with a patient in need of social interaction, register for the Neighbor-to-Neighbor Program, or write a friendly card for a local senior.

There will also be a Red Cross blood drive from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Dublin Community Recreation Center.

dublin, dublinschools, newspaper, ThisWeekNews, yearinreview

Elementary school additions, middle school schedules to be addressed

Year in Review
Several initiatives are expected to move forward in 2015 in the Dublin City School District, including two elementary school additions and a revised middle school schedule.
“It’s all about continuous improvements,” said Todd Hoadley, Dublin superintendent. “That’s been a focus of great organizations like ours for a long time.”
Several of the changes will be the result of the district’s growing student population.
Board President Lynn May said change isn’t easy, but the district hopes to bring in more people to the decision-making process so people can feel more ownership about decisions.
Community members can look forward to the State of the Schools address at 6 p.m. Feb. 10 in the Abbey Theater in the Dublin Community Recreation Center.
Most of the district’s upcoming changes are coming as a result of recommendations from the district’s four task forces:
In January, the Dublin Board of Education will decide on construction additions for two elementary schools.
Two additions are expected to open in fall 2016 and another three are scheduled to open in fall 2017.
May described how additions to elementary schools are less disruptive than construction of new schools because they don’t require redistricting, they cost less and cause fewer burdens.
The district will use funds originally designated for construction of a 13th elementary school to, instead, build the additions. In the summer, about 20 district buildings will also receive roof work and paving.
Middle school schedule
Three years ago, the district changed the middle school schedule.
An unintended consequence of the change was that students had less choices for music, physical education and art classes.
This fall, a new schedule will be put in place at all the middle schools.
In January, the district will host community nights to discuss the upcoming changes and listen to feedback.
Early in the spring, members of the task force will visit other school districts to study alternative schedules and see which would work best for Dublin.
The task force will present proposed changes to the school board in the spring.
Gifted education
The district has already formed a draft of their new service model for gifted students and presented it to community members.
“We’re currently asking ourselves what a world-class gifted education in Dublin would look like,” Hoadley said.
The task force will meet in January to consider the community’s feedback and then revise the draft.
In the spring, the gifted education task force will present its recommendations to the board for the first stage of changes.
Hoadley said the elementary gifted program is expected to look a little different this fall.
Changes resulting from the gifted education services, middle school schedule and growing enrollment will be the driving forces behind staffing changes next year.
Hoadley said the district will continue to look at each position and see if it’s a priority.
“We’re very cautious with the resources that taxpayers entrust with us,” May said.
Hoadley also said the district wants to empower employees with more tools so they can do their jobs efficiently.
The district’s Business Advisory Council plans on partnering with local businesses to bring a diversified workforce and recruit the best talent.
“As our student body changes, we need to have a teaching staff that reflects our student body,” Hoadley said.
Dublin will continue to make strong investments in technology.
Through a partnership with the City of Dublin, $1.5 million will be invested in technology for the next 33 years.
This is part of the Bridge Street Agreement between Dublin City Council and the school district.
May mentioned one of the district’s concerns for next year will be the state’s biannual budget for school districts. The budget will be drafted in January and approved in July.
“We can voice our concerns to legislators and try to let them know how we feel, but a lot of it is in their hands,” she said.
May said she believes district officials focus efforts and resources on students.
“I love our students and their families, who care about their education,” she said. “That is why their graduation is the best day of the year for me.”
Hoadley emphasized Dublin’s No. 1 focus will always be to make sure the district operates in a prudent, ethical and efficient manner.

dublin, dublinvillager, funeral, newspaper, ThisWeek, ThisWeekNews

Matthew Keith Dotson

Community mourns Coffman High School sophomoreTuesday December 9, 2014 11:13 AM

(Click the link to see the original ThisWeek News article) 

Photo from Schoedinger slideshow

Dublin City School District students and the community are mourning Matthew Keith Dotson, 16, a sophomore at Dublin Coffman High School who died Tuesday, Dec. 2.

Dublin Division of Police incident reports show officers went to Dotson’s residence on a report that cardiopulmonary resuscitation was being administered to a person because of a  possible suicide attempt shortly after 10 p.m. Dec. 2.

Police officials declined to disclose further details about Dotson’s death, stating the incident was still being investigated.

Dotson’s obituary published in the Columbus Dispatch Thursday, Dec. 4, said he is survived by his parents, Keith and Debbie Dotson of Dublin; brothers, Johnny and Mark of Columbus; grandmother, Doris Bellinger; grandparents, Claude and Barbara Dotson; great grandfather, Harold (Monk) Raesler; uncles, Jim (Darlene), Doug (Angie), Scott (Mindy) Bellinger; aunt, Cristal (Joe) Foreman and several cousins.

Interment was in Jerome Cemetery. Arrangements were handled by Schoedinger Worthington Chapel.

News of Dotson’s death was announced to Coffman students Wednesday morning.
Counselors from all three high schools were available for students.

They reportedly visited each of Dotson’s classes and talked with students.

Parents organized a candlelight vigil Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. at the Coffman football stadium.
Even without the stadium lights on, about 500 parents and students united together to remember Dotson.

Calling hours for Dotson were held from in the afternoon and evening Friday, Dec. 5 in St. Brigid of Kildare Catholic Church.

His funeral was scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 6 also at the church.

During calling hours, several tables in the church were overflowing with flowers, notes written by loved ones and childhood pictures.

A line of people waiting to share condolences with Dotson’s family members extended out the church doors and into the rain.

Friends, parents and teammates shared their memories with one another while waiting in line.

Matt Bova attended the visitation because John, Dotson’s older brother who graduated from Coffman in 2002, was his best friend growing up. 

“I would hang out at their house,” Bova recalled.

“I remember Matt when he was just 2 years old. He was energetic and just a happy kid,” Bova said.
Karen Meyers paid her respects to the family at the visitation.

Her son and Dotson played baseball together on the Ohio Elite amateur team.

“He was always smiling. He was always supportive of his teammates and was just a terrific boy to be around,” said Meyers.

Dotson’s obituary said he loved the city of Cleveland, the lake and the Cleveland Browns.

He enjoyed traveling and spending time wakeboarding and fishing at Lake Erie.

Dotson’s football coach, Mark Crabtree, said the boy had a great attitude.

“He was a great kid,” Crabtree said.

“His best sports days were ahead of him.

“He was a kid that would develop into a great player,” he said.

Crabtree said Dotson, who was a quarterback, was a hard worker and a team favorite.
“He interacted well with everyone,” he said.

Adam Banks, Dotson’s freshman basketball coach said he was very charismatic and had high energy.

“It was the type of energy that motivated everyone to do better,” Banks said.

He said Dotson cared about his teammates and friends.

“Every day at practice, he gave 100 percent  for his teammates,” Banks said.

Dotson’s baseball coach, Tim Saunders, said that he was a smiling happy kid.

“He had a lot of friends and he loved life,” Saunders said.

Dotson played third base and Saunders said baseball was the boy’s best sport.

“He probably ranked in the top five in his class,” Saunders said.

“He was always going to be a starter.

“I knew that as he grew, he would become even stronger,” he said.

Saunders knew both Dotson and his brother Mark who played baseball and graduated in 2009. 

Instead of flowers, the family is asking contributions be sent to: The Matthew Dotson Scholarship Fund, Attn:Treasurer’s Office, 7030 Coffman Road, Dublin, OH 43017.

 Deb’s Details:

I got the e-mail from my editor on Friday about this young boy’s death. I began making phone calls and one of his coaches mentioned that the kids were saying it was suicide. I already felt awful about this but that just made me feel so much worse. 

After finding that out, I decided to go to his visitation because I naively thought I could get a quote from his parents. I also needed a picture. I didn’t have realistic expectations. 
The visitation was very crowded. Before it started, I approached two young boys who seemed to be his friends but they just shook their heads at me. It hurt to be rejected like that but I had to remind myself I was there to do a job and to not take it personally. I was able to talk to two other people and get quotes. 

Going to the visitation made it feel all the more real to me. It wasn’t just another story. This boy had brothers and parents. His mom and I even share the same first name. 
Everyone I talked to said how he was always smiling and was such a nice boy. I wish I had known him. 

I have a feeling that when the police report becomes available, I may have to report on the details of what happened Tuesday night. My sincere prayers go out to his family and I hope they know I tried my best to write a respectful article for Matt.