The following news articles appeared on news media websites across Ohio today. Appearance on this website does not indicate endorsement by OSBA of any editorial or news item. OSBA does not filter the news, but simply posts educational news sent to us by pressrelations.com. To go directly to a specific category, click on the “Category” box, below.

Religious Offerings: Debbie Herbeck presents at Catholic Business Network on Thursday

THE BLADE/KURT STEISS

Religious Offerings: Debbie Herbeck presents at Catholic Business Network on Thursday

The Catholic Business Network continues its speaker series on Thursday. Debbie Herbeck, founder and executive director of Pine Hills Girls Camp in Jackson, Mich., presents over breakfast at The Pinnacle, 1772 Indian Wood Circle, Maumee. Her topic will be “I Am Not Afraid, I Was Born For This! Courage In Challenging Times.”

Pine Hills Girls Camp is an interdenominational charismatic Christian camp for young women; it will be in its 36th summer in 2022, according to its website. Ms. Herbeck is also the founder and leader of the young women-focused ministry Be Love Revolution.

The Catholic Business Network’s speaker series aims to empower business leaders and professionals to “promote Catholic values in the workplace.” It welcomes all faiths.

Breakfast and networking begin at 7:30 a.m., followed by the presentation at 8 a.m. For more information or to register for the free event, go to bit.ly/​3nL7xF9.

Holland Free Methodist

Holland Free Methodist Church presents its 44th Christmas Cantata at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Stephanie Rohrs Hulbert directs Andrew Peterson’s “Behold the Lamb of God,” in a performance set to include an adult choir, children’s choir, soloists, and a drama.

There is no cost to attend; a cookie reception follows. Holland Free Methodist Church is at 6605 Angola Rd., Holland. For more information, go to hollandfmc.org.

Jewelry for Missions

Jewelry for Missions, a local ministry that resells donated bracelets, necklaces, earring and the like to raise money for local and international charities, hosts a sale this week in Oregon.

Thousands of pieces will be up for sale at Christ United Methodist Church, 5757 Starr Ext., Oregon, between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 5. Each piece is priced at $2. Jewelry donations will also be accepted.

Jewelry for Missions is a multi-church ministry hosted out of Shiloh Christian Union Church in Delta. For more information, go to the Jewelry for Missions Facebook page at bit.ly/​3nJqkk0.

FCA Breakfast

The Northwest Ohio Fellowship of Christian Athletes hosts its annual breakfast at the Hilton Garden Inn in Perrysburg on Friday. Marty Sutter, president of Genoa Bank and a national board member for FCA, is the primary speaker. Leadership will also share their goal to bring one “huddle” to every middle and high school in Lucas and Wood counties by 2030.

Huddles are coach-led Bible studies for student-athletes.

The Hilton Garden Inn is at 6165 Levis Commons Blvd., Perrysburg. The breakfast begins at 7:30 a.m. Attendees should register at nwohiofca.org/​banquet by Tuesday.

Will Willimon at Epworth

Epworth United Methodist Church hosts United Methodist Bishop Will Willimon on Dec. 5.

Bishop Willimon is a professor and director of the doctor of ministry program at Duke University in North Carolina. The retired head of the North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church, he is also a prolific author. He’s set to speak on his new book, God Turned Toward Us: The A,B,C’s of the Christian Faith, in person at three of the church’s services: 8:30, 9:45 and 11 a.m.

First Published November 28, 2021, 2:00pm

Toledo Blade
Published 8 hours ago

The courage to write from the heart

Caption

Teri Rizvi published her first book One Heart with Courage in October. It is available at local bookstores and on Amazon.com

Credit: Marissa Belle Photography

PERSONAL JOURNEY

By Beth Anspach, Contributing Writer

33 minutes ago

Local woman publishes book of essays.

On this Thanksgiving Day, people will gather to share food, friendship and fun. Most will take time off from work and take moments to celebrate their connections with those they love.

For Teri Rizvi of Butler Township these connections have always felt magical. A graduate of Ohio University (OU) and a trained journalist, Rizvi’s life has given her the gift of many personal connections from across the globe.

“Every year the OU dean would select a half dozen students to go overseas for an internship,” Rizvi said. “I ended up going to work for McGraw Hill in London.”

And it was there that Rizvi would meet her future husband, Zafar, a native of Pakistan. Rizvi said he was intrigued that she was a journalist, and they grew closer as they got to know one another.

Caption

Teri Rizvi (L) with her husband Zafar, a Pakistan native whom Rizvi met in London while interning in college. The couple married in 1982. CONTRIBUTED

Credit: Marissa Belle Photography

Credit: Marissa Belle Photography

“He had no plans to stay in London,” Rizvi said of her husband. “He always thought he’d go home to Pakistan.”

But after Rizvi returned home to Ohio, Zafar kept calling and writing to her and she admits, her parents thought she was a bit crazy. After graduation, Rizvi returned to London for an additional nine months, working for ABC News as a general assignment editor during the royal wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana.

“We decided to get married,” Rizvi said. “But I didn’t think I was going to be moving to Pakistan.”

Eventually the couple decided to live in the U.S., they settled in Ohio and raised two sons together. And though the couple has always lived with two cultures and two religions, they have managed well.

Rizvi eventually did go to Pakistan, where she saw firsthand the major cultural differences. Throughout it all, she wrote – about her experiences, about her family and friends and about everyday life.

“In high school I had a creative writing teacher who encouraged me constantly,” Rizvi said. “And I just kept writing.”

She wrote as a stringer for the “Dayton Daily News,” and eventually snagged a job with the University of Dayton as the director of media relations. Over the years, she worked for three different UD presidents and founded the annual Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop in 2000, which was created to encourage writers to stop procrastinating and just write.

“Bill Bombeck (Erma’s husband) was going to be donating Erma’s papers to UD after she passed away,” Rizvi said. “We decided to have the first workshop as a way to publicize this gift.”

The first workshop did get national press coverage and it’s been wildly popular ever since, with people attending from across the nation. The event sells out within hours every year.

Then the whole world changed when the COVID-19 pandemic became a worldwide health crisis the likes most people alive today had never experienced.

Rizvi’s husband contracted the virus and fought off a mild case, while she worried about their futures. What would happen to their work lives and what would all the political and racial unrest do to this country?

Caption

The Rizvi Family at home in Butler Township. Her book was dedicated to (L-R) Ali, Zafar and Qasim, "with whom I share a journey of the heart." CONTRIBUTED

Credit: Marissa Belle Photography

Credit: Marissa Belle Photography

“As the months of pandemic life stretched toward a year, I began to think about compiling my writings into a book,” Rizvi said. “If not now, then when?”

Erma Bombeck heard three words from an English professor when she was young that changed her life. “You can write!” and indeed, she discovered she could.

“I realized it was time to take those words to heart,” Rizvi said. “To have the courage to share my stories and through this book, encourage others to share their own.”

“One Heart With Courage,” Rizvi’s first book, was published in October. The book begins with a prelude, which describes Rivzi’s journey from life before 2020 to what transpired during months of lockdown and isolation.

Caption

Teri Rizvi's first book, "One Heart With Courage" was published in October. CONTRIBUTED

What began with Rizvi pulling together pieces she had written over the years, ended up becoming the story of her life, on paper. It begins with a simple piece about growing up in Vandalia in the 1960s and ends with “Words of Thanks” to the people who supported her along the way and for the family and experiences that have shaped her life.

“There is a section about two cultures and one world and a chapter about faith,” Rizvi said. “And there is also a section on the writer’s journey – my journey.”

But it’s those magical relationships – those friendships she describes as priceless, that she says are to be cherished most of all.

“I truly value friends. It’s the greatest joy in life,” Rizvi said. “I’ve often written about the beauty of human connection. Nothing in life is ever perfect and no time will ever be the best time. But life is short and it’s how we use our moments that matter.”

“One Heart with Courage” is available at bookstores and on Amazon.com

Dayton Daily News
Published 8 hours ago

Researchers try producing potato resistant to climate change

Caption

FILE — Potatoes await harvesting at Green Thumb Farms, Sept. 27, 2017, in Fryeburg, Maine. University of Maine researchers are trying to produce potatoes that can better withstand warming temperatures as the climate changes. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

Credit: Robert F. Bukaty

Credit: Robert F. Bukaty

Nation & World

Updated 8 minutes ago

University of Maine researchers are trying to produce potatoes that can better withstand warming temperatures as the climate changes

BANGOR, Maine (AP) — University of Maine researchers are trying to produce potatoes that can better withstand warming temperatures as the climate changes.

Warming temperatures and an extended growing season can lead to quality problems and disease, Gregory Porter, a professor of crop ecology and management, told the Bangor Daily News.

“The predictions for climate change are heavier rainfall events, and potatoes don’t tolerate flooding or wet conditions for long without having other quality problems,” Porter said. “If we want potatoes to be continued to be produced successfully in Maine, we need to be able to produce varieties that can be resistant to change.”

Around the world, research aimed at mitigating crop damage is underway. A NASA study published this month suggests climate change may affect the production of corn and wheat, reducing yields of both, as soon as 2030.

Maine is coming off of a banner potato crop thanks in part to the success of the Caribou russet, which was developed by UMaine researchers. But Porter fears that even that variety isn’t as heat tolerant as necessary to resist the future effects of climate change.

Pests are another factor. The Colorado potato beetle and disease-spreading aphids have flourished with the changing climate, said Jim Dill, pest management specialist at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension.

Breeding seemingly small changes like hairier leaves that make it difficult for insects to move around on the plant can cut down on pests’ destruction and also the need for pesticides, he said.

Breeding such characteristics into potatoes is a long process of cross-pollinating different potato varieties.

The process is well underway.

They're in a research testing phase right now at sites throughout the United States. Test potatoes in Virginia, North Carolina and Florida are testing high temperature stress.

“It takes 10 years of selection after that initial cross pollination, and it might take two to five years before enough commercial evaluation has taken place to release a new potato variety,” Porter said.

___

Follow AP's climate coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/climate

Caption

FILE — Adam Paterson, 15, strains to dump a barrel of discarded potatoes during a 12-hour work day, Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014, at a potato storage facility, in Mapleton, Maine. University of Maine researchers are trying to produce potatoes that can better withstand warming temperatures as the climate changes. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

Credit: Robert F. Bukaty

Credit: Robert F. Bukaty

Caption

FILE - In this Sept. 25, 2014, file photo, high school students Adam Paterson, 15, left, and Jordi Legasse, 17, right, pulls rocks and and unwanted materials from a conveyor belt moving potatoes into storage facility in Mapleton, Maine. University of Maine researchers are trying to produce potatoes that can better withstand warming temperatures as the climate changes. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

Credit: Robert F. Bukaty

Credit: Robert F. Bukaty

Dayton Daily News
Published 8 hours ago

Stark State College Teen of the Month: Caroline Denny, Alliance

The Repository

NAME – Caroline Denny

RESIDENCE – Alliance

AGE – 18

SCHOOL – Alliance High School

GPA – 4.41

COLLEGE CHOICE – I applied Early Action to Harvard, but I would be happy to end up anywhere on the East Coast!

PARENTS – Amy and Wayne Denny

DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN THREE WORDS – Ambitious, conscientious and resilient.

SCHOOL ACTIVITIES – Science fair competitor, member of National Honor Society leadership team, class officer, Student Senate officer, member of academic challenge team, and cellist in AHS orchestra.

COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES – Kitten fosterer for Paws Fur Life, member of Teen Court defense council and jury member, Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership seminar student ambassador, and member of key club.

HONORS AND AWARDS – 1st place Future Physician-Scientist from the OSU College of Medicine, 1st place Best use of Statistics from the American Society for Quality (2 consecutive years), selected to participate in Buckeye Science and Engineering Fair, superior rating at State Science day (3 consecutive years) academic challenge league champion (3 years) and regional (3 years) and online national (1 year) qualifier, and AP Scholar with Honor.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO OUTSIDE SCHOOL? – I really enjoy traveling and experiencing new cultures. I have been very lucky to have been able to make some international trips and I am very excited for the opportunity to study abroad in college.

FAVORITE HIGH SCHOOL MEMORY? – I have so many warm memories from high school, but I think that my favorite would have to be my senior Homecoming. Since we have had so many different events cancelled to keep the student body as healthy as possible, it was great to have a masked-up and socially distanced dance.

MOST PEOPLE WOULD BE SURPRISED TO KNOW ... – ... I am pretty good at knitting! I taught myself by watching YouTube videos when I was in elementary school.

WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO DO AS A CAREER? – I know that I want to study Human Evolutionary Biology in college. Afterwards, I want to go to medical school and my ultimate goal is to be a rare disease researcher.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST ISSUE FACING TEENAGERS TODAY? – I believe that the biggest issue facing teenagers today is the damage that is being done to the planet. This is the world that we are inheriting, but we don’t have any say as to how it is being treated. As a society, we need to move away from the mindset that it is acceptable to exploit nature for monetary gain and instead transition to sustainable practices that will help to ensure that future generations will be able to live with the same biodiversity and habitability that we have enjoyed.

Other nominations

BOYS

Alliance

Patrick Burse

Nominated by: Carrie Chunat, choir director; Joss Bowling, band director

Canton South

Jared Burt

Nominated by: Nicole Boyd, school counselor; Matt Stemple, band teacher

Central Catholic

Chase Elson

East Canton

Matthew Bellamy

Nominated by: Lisa Gothard, STEM and science teacher

Fairless

Jacob Lyon

Nominated by: Janice Courtney, educator; Denise Merideth, truancy officer/senior advisor/ Student Council advisor

GlenOak

Paolo Sinopoli

Nominated by: Matthew Brown, math teacher; Heather Corey, chemistry teacher

Hoover

Caden VanNatta

Nominated by: Travis Ackerman, teacher; Missy Stertzbach, teacher

Jackson

William Emley

Nominated by: Julie Prato, school counselor; Baylee Ralls, school counselor

Lake

Ryan Moorhead

Nominated by: Zackery McCoy, teacher; Dave Wood, teacher

Louisville

Robert Ganser III

Nominated by: Lisa Vaccaro, English teacher; Denise Mast, English teacher

Marlington

Lance Beachy

Nominated by: Chris Locke, math teacher; Denise Wright, chemistry teacher

Massillon

Daylen Williams

Nominated by: Stephanie Hatheway, teacher; Jan Sprankle, teacher

Minerva

Erik Murray

Nominated by: Lisa Cargill, Honors Math teacher, NHS advisor, Winter Homecoming coordinator, Honors Night coordinator and voting coordinator; Julie Holderbaum, Honors English teacher and Academic Challenge advisor

Perry

Kyle Woods

Nominated by: John Weaver, director of theatre, teacher; Joey Beall, cross country and track coach

Sandy Valley

Zachary Smith

Nominated by: Brian Schwall, math teacher; Lori Ann Trachsel, teacher/media specialist

Tuslaw

Kaden Moser

Nominated by: David Kuhlins, STEM teacher; Neil Parrot, physics teacher

GIRLS

Canton South

Corrine Thompson

Nominated by: Nicole Boyd, school counselor; Robyn Bentley, math teacher

East Canton

Erin Norris

Nominated by: Tom Loy, Social Studies teacher and head track and cross-country coach

Fairless

Ayza Raja

Nominated by: Philip Glasgow, guidance counselor; Larry Chambliss, principal

GlenOak

Ainsley Smith

Nominated by: Jennifer Caldwell, English teacher; Ryan Foltz, International Baccalaureate Global Politics

Hoover

Siena Pilato

Nominated by: Glenn Cummings, teacher; Allison Medley, teacher

Jackson

Jaina Rajan

Nominated by: Julie Prato, school counselor; Dan Taray, Social Studies teacher

Lake

Sydney Minor

Nominated by: Frank Pilato, GenYes IT Program coordinator; Meredith Duncan, Honors Chemistry teacher

Lake Center Christian

Madison Osborne

Nominated by: Bryant Luton, history teacher; Jennifer Neel, English teacher

Louisville

Ella Morrison

Nominated by: Susan Moser, math teacher; Pete Carpico, chemistry teacher

Marlington

Madison Wade

Nominated by: Stephannie McGuire, art teacher; Jeff Oyster, math teacher

Massillon

Summer Elefth

Nominated by: Lisa Dye, teacher; Richard Conaway, teacher

Minerva

Jamison Rine

Nominated by: Jan Clark, Fine Arts teacher and yearbook advisor; Matthew Leatherberry, math and STEM teacher

Perry

Elena Stearns

Nominated by: Kathy Patron, competitive speech and debate coach; John Weaver, theatre director

Sandy Valley

Savannah Ritter

Nominated by: Lori Ann Trachsel, media specialist/teacher; Craig Carnes, teacher/band director

Tuslaw

Kendal Gannet

Nominated by: Joellen Fone, Spanish teacher; Amanda Kerr, English teacher

Massillon Independent
Published 9 hours ago

Get a jump on Cyber Monday shopping with the best deals currently available

BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details.

If you’re hoping to get your holiday shopping done sooner rather than later, you’re in luck because stores are rolling out their Pre-Cyber Monday deals earlier than ever before. Plus, you don’t even have to leave your house to take advantage of these incredible prices.

There are discounts on trending products like AirPods, Chromebooks and espresso machines. You can also find deals on top models of fitness equipment, including Fitbits and treadmills. To help you quickly navigate through the products, we’ve organized them by category. Keep in mind that while prices are current at the time of publication, deals are constantly changing.

Trending deals

Samsung Chromebook 4: $220 at Amazon (was $319.99)

With a Chromebook, you can keep in touch with friends while staying on top of your work or studies. In addition, they’re known for being reliable and inexpensive.

SHOP NOW

New Apple Airpods Pro: $169.99 at Amazon (were $249)

Not only do AirPods work flawlessly with any of your Apple devices, but they also easily connect to any computer or smartphone with Bluetooth. Plus, their battery life is relatively long, so you can use them for hours without worrying about charging.

SHOP NOW

Gskyer telescope: $99.99 at Amazon (was $129.99)

Anyone who is interested in astronomy or just wants to see some fantastic sights should own a telescope. Now is a great time to buy since it’s deeply discounted.

SHOP NOW

Kodak PixPro Astro Zoom camera: $164.95 at Amazon (was $199.99)

While most smartphones snap decent enough photos, there’s nothing quite like holding a digital camera in your hands. There are also many settings on a digital camera to help you capture that perfect moment.

SHOP NOW

Global starter kitchen knife set: $169.95 at Amazon (was $299)

A kitchen knife set can help you take your cooking and preparation up a notch. The three high-end knives in this set will help you accomplish nearly any task in a home kitchen.

SHOP NOW

Other top deals in this space

For a cleaner look free of pesky wires, try out this Logitech wireless keyboard.

Ralph Lauren cologne is an excellent gift for coworkers, family, friends or yourself.

Pick up this video doorbell to keep track of everything going on outside your house when you’re not home.

If you ever wonder what your pet is up to when you’re gone, this Owlet Home pet camera will capture it all.

This is the perfect time of year to snag an electric blanketand make sure you stay warm on chilly nights.

No gaming experience is complete without this comfortable gaming chair.

Make sure you have a reliable winter coatbefore the weather gets too frigid.

An espresso machinewill save you money and trips to your local coffee shop.

Those who have camping trips scheduled will want to make sure they have an efficient tent.

Electronics and personal tech

Vive Pro Eye VR headset: $599 at Amazon (was $799)

If you want to immerse yourself fully in a 3D virtual reality experience, getting a VR headset will help you make that happen. Getting it while it’s on sale is a great idea.

SHOP NOW

Angels Horn record player stereo system: $265.99 at Amazon (was $369.89)

While record players may seem outdated, they’ve recently become popular again and it’s not hard to see why. Owning a record player is the best way to listen to uncompressed music the way the artist envisioned.

SHOP NOW

iBuyPower Pro gaming PC: $1,304.99 at Amazon (was $1,499.99)

Whether you’re just starting your gaming journey or are an avid gamer, a reliable and fast gaming computer is necessary.

SHOP NOW

Theragun Elite massage gun: $299 at Therabody (was $399)

Not everyone has the time or money to get frequent massages. A massage gun helps you loosen muscles and cool down after a workout.

SHOP NOW

Panasonic Arc5 electric razor: $100 at Amazon (was $150)

Electric razors are much more versatile than manual and can prevent the majority of nicks or ingrown hairs. Get one now while it’s being discounted.

SHOP NOW

Other top deals in this space

With this new Kindle Paperwhite, you’ll be able to take your entire library with you wherever you go.

Don’t miss out on these discounted Bose QuietComfort earbudsfor working out, watching movies or tuning out your surroundings.

This portable Anker Soundcore Bluetooth speaker will add life to any gathering or get-together over the holidays.

If you have been searching for a new smartphone, now is the ideal time to buy.

This Samsung tablet is geared toward students, parents or busy professionals.

Pick up an iPad Pro and connect it to all your other Apple devices.

The voice-controlled Echo 4 smart speaker will make you feel as if you have your own personal assistant.

With this Netgear mobile hotspot, you’ll be able to get Wi-Fi no matter where you are.

Home and kitchen gadgets

Nespresso VertuoLine: $157.46 at Sur la Table (was $314.95)

Whether you’re working from home or simply want to enjoy a quick and quality cup of coffee before leaving the house, you will love the ease of a Nespresso machine.

SHOP NOW

iRobot Roomba i4+: $399 at Amazon (was $649.99)

A Roomba is the ultimate hands-off vacuum, cleaning while you’re away at work or sleeping at night. You won’t want to miss this pre-Cyber Monday deal.

SHOP NOW

Zojirushi NS-TSC10 rice cooker: $150.99 at Amazon (was $192)

Once you get a rice cooker, you’ll never go back to cooking rice on the stove. It’s straightforward, hands-off and prepares perfect rice every time.

SHOP NOW

Brookstone PhotoShare digital photo frame: $109.99 at Amazon (was $179.99)

If you can’t decide what photo to display on your office or walls, get a digital photo frame and you can showcase all your favorite images.

SHOP NOW

Beast 2,000 psi pressure washer: $115 at Home Depot (was $229)

From washing garbage cans to cleaning house siding to clearing out gutters, there’s not much a pressure washer can’t do.

SHOP NOW

Other top deals in this space

If you love being warm and cozy, this blanketwill make an excellent addition to your home or office.

An air purifieris the best way to remove bacteria, allergens and toxins from your home.

This Cricut machine will help you finish all those projects you’ve been meaning to complete.

Whether you’re in a house or apartment, no one should be without a DeWalt cordless drill.

With a Kasa smart plug, you’ll be able to control most wired appliances easily.

If you’ve had your eye on a stand mixer, this is the best time to buy.

This Bissell pet vacuummakes it easier to clean up any mess your furry friend makes.

For kids and parents

Stiga Space Saver ping pong table: $165.99 at Amazon (was $219.99)

A ping pong table is one classic game that will never go away. It’s a fast-paced activity that will keep both kids and adults entertained for hours.

SHOP NOW

Baby Jogger City Mini 2 stroller: $194.99 at Amazon (was $259.99)

If you need a stroller, now is the ideal time to buy. Whether you’re going grocery shopping or hanging out at the park, a stroller makes any outing more manageable.

SHOP NOW

World’s Smallest Elf on a Shelf: $8 at Kohl’s (was $10)

If you’re looking for a way to make the holidays a little more exciting and magical this year, pick up an Elf on the Shelf. It’s a great way to get the whole family involved.

SHOP NOW

CalmMax 12′ trampoline: $340 at Amazon (was $460)

Kids love jumping and doing cool tricks on a trampoline. Plus, you can’t pass up this deal.

SHOP NOW

Belkin SoundForm Mini kids’ headphones: $13.88 at Amazon (was $24.99)

From doing school work on a computer to watching movies on a tablet, kids must have their own pair of headphones.

SHOP NOW

Other top deals in this space

Ride-on toys are one of the most exciting gifts you can get for your little one.

If your child is obsessed with all things superheroes, they’ll love this Marvel action figure two-pack.

Pop it toys are not only fun but also have quite a few educational benefits.

This Advent calendar is a fun activity for your entire family to count down the days until Christmas.

All Pokémon fans will want to take advantage of this deal on Pokemon cards.

If you need a new car seat, now is one of the best times of the year to buy.

With educational games and movies all controlled by parents, this tablet for kidsis an excellent gift.

This Nerf gun will provide hours of entertainment.

Outdoors and fitness

NordicTrack Commercial 1750 treadmill: $1,599 at NordicTrack (was $1,899)

Whether you’re moving your exercise indoors for the winter or are just adding new equipment to your home gym, a NordicTrack treadmill is a durable and quality piece of equipment that will help you upgrade your workout game.

SHOP NOW

Fitbit Luxe: $99.95 at Amazon (was $149.95)

While a Fitbit won’t make you healthy, it can motivate and inspire you by keeping track of your daily steps and heart rate. It’s a helpful tool for anyone on a fitness journey.

SHOP NOW

New Balance Men’s 481 V3 Trail Running Shoe: $54 at Amazon (was $73)

A quality pair of running shoes can make a significant difference in your workout, from reducing the impact on joints to providing traction.

SHOP NOW

Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Exercise Bike: $125.50 at Amazon (was $199.99)

If you’re looking for an effective piece of exercise equipment that is also gentle on your joints, an indoor exercise bike is an ideal choice. You can get it now while it’s deeply discounted.

SHOP NOW

Bowflex SelectTech 840 Kettlebell: $119 at Amazon (was $199)

Kettlebells are dynamic training tools that can improve your flexibility, balance, core and overall strength.

SHOP NOW

Other top deals in this space

Pick up a foam roller to relieve muscle soreness, loosen up your joints or cool down after working out.

This hiking backpack will make long treks much easier.

A LifeStrawis a smart tool to keep with you any time you’re participating in outdoor activities.

If you’re ready to up your hiking game, pick up this GPS watch at a discount.

A bike computer will make the perfect gift for any avid biker.

Those who want to take their workouts to the next level will want to snag these resistance bands.

With a hydration pack, you’ll have easier access to water while hiking or biking.

WJW TV - My Fox Cleveland
Published 9 hours ago

DUCKRO, CARMELITA

DUCKRO (Hausfeld), Carmelita Ann

Age 84 of Dayton passed away Tuesday, November 23, 2021, from complications of leukemia and chronic kidney disease. Carm went willingly to God and was comforted at the end by her children, grandchildren, and brother. She was born August 30, 1937, to the late Clarence J. Sr., and Mary (Goebel) Hausfeld, as the youngest of a family of nine children. She graduated from St. Joseph Commercial High School where she solidified lasting friendships that she treasured and maintained to this day.

She was married to her loving husband of 47 years, Raymond Edward Duckro, who preceded her in death. They raised a family of six children, Steven (Robin), Gregory (Carol), Donald (Jan), Anita (Jim Pappalardo), Daniel and Janet Duckro. These children gave her seventeen beautiful grandchildren, Cheyenne (Jon), Steven (Katie), Morgan (Nick), Travis, Brian (Melissa), Carly (Dustin), Jack, Michael, Kristen (Alec), Hannah (Steven), Sierra, Tuscan (Emily), Joseph, Edward, William, John, and Dominic. Those grandchildren blessed her with ten great-grandchildren, Cooper, Elliot, Dax, Robert, Fiona, Scarlett, Sloane, Aubrey, Calvin, and Ewan (whom she saw on his first and her final day on this earth). They brought her immense joy with every interaction. Carm's love for those children knew no bounds. And she revelled in every moment she had with them.

Carm was very active at Immaculate Conception Church; leading Feed the Homeless for so many years, the Treasurer of the Rosary Altar Society and also led its support at the Parish Festival, a dedicated member of The Martha's bereavement committee, a past President of the Parent-Teacher Organization and Parish Council, labored cheerfully with the Fix-it Bunch, and shared the camaraderie of the Free Spirits. She was instrumental in St. Vincent DePaul's Hat and Glove drive and their New Year's Meals. She loved to garden and was a true surrogate daughter for the many elderly neighbors and friends in the community … driving, feeding, and caring for them into closure.

In addition to her parents and husband, Carm was preceded in death by her siblings, Irene (Sr. Ursula OSU), Clarence Jr (CJ), Colette, Clete, Robert, and Jerome; and numerous brothers- and sisters-in-laws. Carm is also survived by her brothers Bernard(Phyllis) and Eugene(Shirley) Hausfeld; sisters-in-law Phyllis (CJ) Hausfeld, Jackie Blatz, Helen Duckro, and Elizabeth Duckro; and brothers-in-law Bill (Carol) Duckro and Charles Duckro.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11am on Tuesday, November 30 at Immaculate Conception Church. Burial will follow in Calvary Cemetery. The family will receive friends Monday from 5-7pm at the Westbrock Funeral Home, 1712 Wayne Ave. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Brown County Ursulines, Fayetteville, Ohio, or the Elizabeth's New Life Center, Dayton Ohio. Masks and social distancing are strongly encouraged at all gatherings.

Dayton Daily News
Published 9 hours ago

First lady Jill Biden to unveil holiday theme and decor for the White House Monday

First lady Dr. Jill Biden will reveal the theme and decor for the White House holiday trimmings on Monday, her office announced.
Biden will be joined by a National Guard family in honor of the National Guard's role in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, a statement from her office said Saturday. The presence of the National Guard family also honors all the Guard families spending their holidays away from loved ones.
This year's National Guard family includes Capt. Maryanne V. Harrell, who serves as the unit commander for the District of Columbia Army National Guard Medical Detachment, her husband Levi, and their children Levi II, Marcus and Elliana.
The Harrell family previously joined the first lady for the arrival of the official 2021 White House Christmas tree on Monday.
Biden also invited Elliana's second-grade class from Malcolm Elementary School in Waldorf, Maryland, to the White House to help the first lady unveil the 2021 decorations, the statement from her office said.
The first lady will deliver remarks "thanking the over 100 volunteers from the local area who helped decorate the White House" as she reveals the holiday theme, her office said.
Biden kicked off the annual tradition of decking the White House halls on Monday by receiving the White House Christmas tree -- an 18.5-foot Fraser fir from North Carolina that was placed in the oval-shaped Blue Room of the White House.
Last year, the White House was decorated with an "America the Beautiful" theme and featured classic holiday decor along with ornaments celebrating frontline workers for the former first family Donald Trump and Melania Trump's last Christmas in office.

wlwt.com
Published 9 hours ago

Letters to the Editor: Nov. 27

I am a past employee of Tenneco Owen Sound. In September of 2017, we were told our facility was sold. We were also told that nothing but the name would change. So imagine my shock when we showed up to work one morning and was told there would be a dock meeting. We all thought “Oh, they are going to announce the new name.” But that was not to be. Instead, they told us they were closing the plant in two years. Mouths dropped open, there were tears and we wanted answers. Our facility was the best in the world and we had the awards to prove it. How could they do this? We employed over 500 people. It was a shock. So then we were told that the equipment was going to Kettering and Mexico. Our people were to help set it up and teach others how to run it. Another blow. So as I feel bad for the employees, it just goes to show that business is business. There are no commitments to anyone but the bottom dollar. We have all found jobs elsewhere, but we don’t trust anyone we work for anymore. Hang in there, people. You will get through this.

- Dianne Girdler, Owen Sound, Ontario

Ohioans deserve fair districts! Recognizing the threat to democracy, Ohio citizens overwhelmingly voted to amend the Ohio Constitution to end gerrymandering and provide a process for fair redistricting that would reflect how Ohio citizens generally vote, keep communities together, not unnecessarily split counties and not unduly favor or disfavor one party over the other. The expectation was that those given the power to draw redistricting maps would do so in good faith, in an open transparent process, and work together to honor these goals. Unfortunately, the Republican majority entrusted with this responsibility has chosen to unduly favor their party despite the overwhelming desire of the majority of Ohio citizens for fair redistricting. Having attended many hearings, viewed various maps, and despite disingenuous claims that the process has been open, transparent and fair, the reality is that Instead of ending the practice of gerrymandering, they have embraced it. Fair redistricting allows meaningful voter participation in deciding how and by whom they will be represented. True democracy is denied when elected officials have the power to select who they wish to represent, instead of voters being able to choose who will represent them.

- Beth Schaeffer, Oakwood

We need to be very clear about the intent of HB 322 and HB 327 – they are specifically designed to ensure that only a white-centric view of racial issues will be promoted in Ohio schools, colleges, and universities. Furthermore, these bills would intentionally suppress the viewpoints of many non-white scholars and activists regarding race. The “divisive concepts” language in these bills is often code for “ideas about race some white people don’t like”. Consider this: HB 327 threatens educational institutions with a complete loss of state funding for teaching “divisive” ideas about race, when there is no penalty whatsoever for educational institutions where racist incidents actually occur. Talking about race from a perspective other than a white one leads to penalties. Actual racism does not. That speaks volumes. In addition, any legislation that impacts how race can be discussed in Ohio schools should have had broad and substantial input from non-white communities – neither of these bills did. Be better Ohio – let your legislators know that suppression of non-white perspectives on racial issues is unacceptable.

Dayton Daily News
Published 9 hours ago

VOICES: As a student, I wanted to do more for others

Caption

Nathaniel Mundy was recently elected to the West Carrolton School Board. (CONTRIBUTED)

Dr. Grace Hopper once said that “the most dangerous phrase in the language is ‘we’ve always done it this way.”’ This idea has stuck with me as I looked into our local governments.

In high school I saw, from a student’s perspective, opportunities we haven’t looked at or changed in decades. I wanted to try to give a student’s point of view on what can be expanded upon and grown. Senior year is when I dove into the relationship between the school board and the students, and that’s where I saw a need. As a result, I came up with the simple thought of wanting to do more for others. That was a driving force of why I ran for West Carrollton School Board.

To be frank, our board is doing great with implementing new opportunities for students’ mental health and with the new schools. I don’t want to discredit how amazing our board is at West Carrollton, but anyone can use a fresh set of eyes with a full and invigorated heart to add to the wonderful things going on.

I hope to accomplish a few goals, board willing. One is to continue granting students opportunities to expand mental growth as well as to find their “shine.” I believe that everyone is good at something no matter who you are. We are not all doctors or famous football stars, but we are people with unique traits that factor in to our personal successes. I want to open as many doors for students to express themselves and to find what makes them shine. Maybe we have someone good at a sport we don’t currently offer, or a student who masters a skill that our current clubs don’t accommodate. That’s where I see opportunity.

Government can be dull and boring. If you have ever been to a board meeting, you will most likely agree. Today, I think we have a chance to have a school board that walks side by side with its community. Boards today can work with other boards to create a stronger network and build even stronger communities. Being involved and excited in what you serve should be a characteristic all board members have. I hope to connect with other boards. Not just school boards, but city council and other community boards to think of new ideas and provide the best service for our community, especially the kids. They are the future and our best investment — even if it’s more work than we signed up for.

My age came up a lot during the elections. As a 21-year-old, people are worried about my youthfulness. I understand as “we’ve always done it this way” to elect members that have not been in school for an extended time. With a quickly changing culture, school has changed even a few years after I graduated. There is no age requirement for patriotism and passion for serving a community. I am excited to be young and connected with what the youth in these schools want and need for continued growth. That’s why I think our board will benefit from a younger generation being elected. I have high hopes that we can do amazing things together.

Nathaniel Mundy was elected to the West Carrolton School Board in November.

Dayton Daily News
Published 9 hours ago

VOICES: The pandemic tore this community apart, but we can be repaired

Caption

Centerville School Board member Megan Sparks

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

October 11, 2017 was one of the scariest moments of my life — I had to give a public speech.

A few months before, the Centerville School District advertised that they were looking for a new school board member. I applied for the position and, a few weeks later, I was sent a letter informing me that they went with another candidate who had previous school board experience. After my husband read that letter, he looked at me and said, “Looks like you’re running in November.”

So there I was in October, standing in front of a room full of people at the Centerville Library telling them why they should vote for me, a mom with young children, one of which has special needs.

After the speeches were given, candidates stood around tables so community members could come up and talk and ask questions. I believe there were three people who came up to talk to the seven of us; we talked more to each other than to voters that night. No one knew who we were and not too many people were interested in who should serve on the school board.

The night of the election, I spoke with one of the other candidates. We wished each other well and we promised we would reach out if only one of us was elected and we could be of help. John Dinsmore kept his word. In 2021, he reached out to me to ask how he could help with my re-election campaign. Things were completely different from the four years prior. Instead of my husband and I going through neighborhoods putting flyers on mailboxes and handing out yard signs, there was a committee raising thousands of dollars to ensure the three incumbents were re-elected. There were multiple interviews, including one with National Public Radio, and several articles were written. It felt like running for Governor, not the local school board!

A lot else had changed, too. COVID had hit and people were angry, especially towards the three of us who were running for re-election. Our school board was now divided. We no longer had lighthearted work sessions over dinner with the Central Office Team. We would now sit in a packed room with law enforcement at the doors. People knew our names and made horrible accusations towards us. We were sent hateful e-mails and were verbally berated during Hearing of the Public. One board member had to file a police report because someone came to his house and threatened his family.

There was no handbook given to us when we were elected outlining how to handle a pandemic. Instead, we looked at numbers and what the science was telling us. We listened to the experts and did our best — but people were still angry.

It would have been easy to quit, and there were times when I was very tempted to do so, but I had to remind myself about why I was running. I am a mother with a master’s in education who is raising five children, one of which is autistic and needs someone to be his voice and the voice for others like him.

I am a second-generation Elk and Centerville taught me not only academics, but to work hard and stand up for what you believe in. I believe in Centerville, and I believe its students deserve the best education in the safest environment. I believe that even though this pandemic has torn this community apart, we can be repaired. I believe we can be “Warm and Cheerful” again, because if you are familiar with Centerville in the winter, you know that warmth comes from its people.

Dayton Daily News
Published 9 hours ago

VOICES: Urban districts have so many challenges that other districts do not

Caption

Dayton school board: William Harris

Ideas & Voices

By Dr. William Harris

4 hours ago

As I approach the end of my tenure on the Dayton City Schools Board, I want to express how much of an honor it was to serve this district and community. The people of Dayton demonstrated their faith in me as I received the most votes and as I ran on a ticket with three very competent individuals: Paul Bradley, Mohamed Al-Hamdoni, and Karen-Wick Gagnet. Three of us won a seat on the board in 2017. Because of a residency issue, I was voted by the board to serve out the tenure of the then-president, so I began my journey in November of 2017, instead of January, 2018.

My first board meeting was six hours long. That night, the board put the then-superintendent on paid administrative leave and appointed an interim superintendent, Dr. Elizabeth Lolli. I asked myself, “what have I gotten myself into?”

Having two sons who graduated from DPS, I knew first-hand some of the challenges that DPS faced, but I had no idea at the time the full extent of the up-hill struggles facing an urban public school district of nearly 13,000 students.

Urban districts have so many challenges that other districts don’t. For example, woefully inadequate funding from the state. Second, many urban students come to school already two to three grades behind, academically. Third, it is virtually impossible to overcome the challenges associated with students living in poverty. The median income of our families is often 10 times below that of some suburban communities. Finally, it is extremely difficult to find and retain high quality teachers and staff when other districts can pay more for a less stressful job.

I believe that the average person has no clue of the role and responsibility of a school board member. A school board member’s primary role is to hire a superintendent and treasurer and to evaluate their performance — not to micro-manage the district.

For me, the learning curve was great. I came into this position relatively unaware of how a school districts operates, which means that I had to quickly educate myself on the Ohio Revised Code, Sunshine Laws and the legislative side of education. One of the greatest challenges an urban district faces is the many bargaining units, i.e. unions. DPS has at least eight. If you have a desire to become a school board member, you best acquaint yourself with the above as well as litigation, trial law and definitely brush up on finances. Not only did I have to be a quick study, but I was thrust into the Presidency and the responsibilities that came with that role.

Of the many challenges we faced, none were more serious than the threat of academic takeover. With an intentional effort to enhance the curriculum and to concentrate on truancy, we were able to avert the takeover. But there were other challenges, too: sports-related, financial, internal and external battles, transportation, staff turnover, and finally, COVID. The one thing you can be sure of is that there will always be more challenges for an urban district to face. Being a school board member is not for the faint at heart. The decisions that a board member directly impacts families and the community.

I want to first thank the many colleagues with whom I have had the privilege to serve. It has been a pleasure striving to do what’s best for our children. Secondly, I want to acknowledge the many committed and dedicated employees of DPS, from the custodians, to the bus drivers, to the paraprofessionals, to the bargaining units, the administrators, the teachers, the nutrition staff, the SRO’s, principals, assistant principles, coaches, nurses, and most of all: our precious students and families. Last, but not least, I want to acknowledge the capable leadership of Dr. Elizabeth Lolli. It has been a pleasure to witness your unwavering dedication to the task of educating young people.

Dr. William E. Harris, Jr. has served on the Dayton Board of Education since 2018. He did not run again this year.

Dayton Daily News
Published 9 hours ago

MARCANO: New Ohio Board of Education President hopes for reasoned, rational discussions

Charlotte McGuire has a tough job ahead.

She’s taken over as president of the Ohio Board of Education amid contentiousness, controversy and increased politicization of the board. None of that fazes her because she’s focused on one thing:

“We value children most,” she said.

Caption

Charlotte McGuire was named president of the state board of education on Nov. 15, 2021.

That’s the right goal, but she faces a lot of headwinds. Among them:

The board rescinded its anti-racism resolution and replaced it with a confusing document that could be used to protest at the local school board level any teaching about race.

Local school boards continue to be a target of small groups who believe it isn’t appropriate to teach about racism and how it continues to impact people of color today.

The Ohio House has two pending bills, HB 322 and 327, that would prohibit the teaching of “divisive concepts,” another nebulous term opponents could use to protest just about anything. HB 327 would allow lawsuits against teachers and strip funds from school districts.

Another House Bill, 298, would get rid of political appointees to the Ohio Board of Education. Right now, the board has 19 members, 11 of whom are elected and eight who are appointed by the governor.

The last point is an important one. Both McGuire and Laura Kohler, the former school board president, acknowledged politics have become a problem.

“I don’t ever recall politics being an issue during any discussion,” Kohler has said in interviews. “Members were focused on students, teachers and supporting school districts.”

But she said she saw a change “that intensified over 2021 as more conservative members were seated on the board. The rescission of the resolution to condemn racism and advance equity and opportunity for students who are Black, brown and indigenous people was a direct result of these board members responding to well-organized far-right constituents.” Kohler, a Republican, said she was forced to resign because she supported the anti-racism resolution.

McGuire voted against the resolution, which came on the heels of George Floyd’s murder, because she said she thought it was reactionary. She then voted for the repeal and believes the document that replaced it “gets back to the basic purpose of education, and that is academic excellence, academic achievement” that makes children successful in life.

But she did agree that politics have become a problem.

“Children care what you know when they know you care,” she said. “And so when we get so involved in politics that we forget about the students, I’m concerned about that.”

As she should be. There are polar opposites in this debate: people who want to talk race out of schools and others who don’t want us to hide from our past.

McGuire is hoping for reasoned, rational discussions — a hallmark of her long public service career — to help bridge that divide.

“If you come to the table with what I call ‘set in stone’ beliefs or values, which affects your behavior and the things you say, then there’s no opportunity to engage in respectful dialogue that brings dignity to all that are in the discussion, no matter which side you’re on,” she said.

Can she pull it off? Not many people have been able to bridge that divide.

Besides, McGuire argues that nothing in any of the pending House bills restricts educators from teaching about race.

“When I read that particular legislation (327), it’s about how the discussion (on race) is being facilitated, and what are the expected outcomes? And then even in developing your curriculum, you can do it in such a way that it meets the Ohio standards.”

That’s certainly one interpretation, but there are plenty of others that see these efforts as a way to stop discussing race in the classroom.

Education isn’t perfect; what is? But if there are concerns about what we’re teaching, and how, we need to get educators and a cross-section of parents (from all ideologies) to hash out what we should and shouldn’t do for the benefit of students.

That’s how you solve any issues. Leave politics out of it.

Ray Marcano is a long-time journalist whose column appears on these pages every Sunday. He can be reached at raymarcanoddn@gmail.com

Dayton Daily News
Published 9 hours ago

Lebanon’s mayor ‘humbled’ by community’s belief in her after three decades in office

Caption

Mayor Amy Brewer relaxes in her renovated home in downtown Lebanon. She is stepping down this week as a member of Lebanon City Council after 32 years in office, with the last 20 years as mayor. ED RICHTER/STAFF

Amy Brewer said she wanted to make a difference after she and her family moved to Lebanon in December 1985. After seeing that there was only one woman member of Lebanon City Council, Brewer felt she could bring new energy as a young professional to her new community.

That “energy” was key to Brewer being a tireless advocate for Lebanon for more than three decades.

Brewer was 35 when she ran for a council seat in 1989 and won. And she never looked back as she was re-elected seven times as the top vote-getter every time.

“I gave it my best try and was elected my first time out,” she said.

ExploreLebanon mayor in office for 32 years not seeking re-election

Brewer said it wasn’t easy running for a council seat as some detractors criticized her for bringing her four children, ages 7, 5-1/2, 3 and 3 months old, along as she canvassed Lebanon’s neighborhoods meeting voters.

“I was accused of borrowing a baby to campaign,” she said. “I was told that if I were elected, there would be beauty parlors on every corner and that as a mother, I should be home raising my kids.”

Brewer said she defied those comments. “I had a career and a family. I had the ability and capability and I was relatively successful,” she said.

The Cincinnati native started out her career as a psychiatric art therapist after graduating from Eastern Kentucky University and Eastern Virginia Medical School. Brewer worked in the private sector in that field for 17 years in Virginia and in Ohio. A job opened up in 1992 with the Lebanon City Schools where she began her second career as an art teacher. She retired from that position in May 2015 after 22 years.

Caption

Mayor Amy Brewer, right, listens to comments from City Attorney Mark Yurick, center during Tuesday's Lebanon City Council meeting. At left is Vice Mayor Mark Messer. Brewer presided over her final council meeting Tuesday, ending a 32-year career in public office. ED RICHTER/STAFF

As a member of Lebanon council, Brewer has seen the city grow through tenuous times over the past 32 years. However, she said the past two years have been the most challenging leading the city through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We worked to promote our local businesses and helped them stay afloat during the pandemic,” she said. “We wanted to create a positive attitude that we can get through this and that it would make us stronger by providing encouragement, strength and guidance in challenging times.”

Brewer said she tried to lead the community as someone who represented everyone in the community.

When asked how she’d describe her tenure in public office, Brewer responded “humbled.”

“I’m humbled by that the community believed in my ability to lead by their support and how much I love this community,” Brewer said.

ExploreLebanon council to outlaw abortion, declare itself a sanctuary city for the unborn

“I was no better than anyone else,” she said. “I never met a stranger and I valued everyone. I hope that is one legacy I am leaving in my role as mayor.”

Brewer has voted on many issues large and small as well as those that have been controversial, such as last May’s vote to designate Lebanon as a sanctuary city for the unborn. She said that was one of her biggest votes during her council tenure.

“I have no regrets on that decision,” Brewer said. “The (November council) election affirmed that council did the right thing. I believe this is what the community supports.”

She said she has no regrets on other votes over her tenure. Brewer said she always tried to look at the “big picture” and tried to listen to everyone and understand things from their perspective.

“If there were any regrets, maybe it was that I did not do enough -- but that’s hindsight. I’m only one vote of seven but it’s the mayor takes the heat,” she said.

ExploreLebanon mayor, 2 councilmen call ‘vax-a-million’ program ‘unethical and likely criminal’

As mayor, Brewer said she has an ability to connect with people across the board and enjoyed being with people as they interacted with her on a variety of topics and issues.

She said she’ll miss the ribbon-cuttings for new businesses in town and performing weddings for former students or people leaving for the military. Brewer performed her last wedding the day after Thanksgiving.

“I loved talking to people and hearing their perspectives,” she said. “That’s what a good leader does -- looks at life from another person’s perspective.”

Brewer’s term ends this week as the new council takes office on Wednesday. Council will hold its reorganization meeting at the city building at that time.

“It will be very difficult to pass on the baton,” she said. “I won’t be doing the things I once did and I am not sure how that will unfold.”

Brewer said she’s stepping back and will let the new mayor and council establish themselves as they have her support. She also said she won’t be attending or watching council meetings either.

Her only advice to her successors on council is to work together, work with the executive management team and listen to the people you serve. Brewer said her hope is that the community continues to thrive and grow its tax base, continue to be financially stable and maintain its charm, character and quality of life.

“It’s bittersweet ending a long-running role in the community,” Brewer said. “I’m OK passing the baton because it has to happen sometime. I’ve made good decisions and I’m leaving on a good, strong note.”

Brewer will continue serving on several boards and was recently appointed to a term on the city Planning Commission starting in January. She will also continue working with a company leading school tours to Washington, D.C. and other destinations. As for her future in politics, Brewer said she has not made any decisions about seeking public office in the future.

At her final meeting, Brewer thanked her colleagues on council, city staff and the community.

Vice Mayor Mark Messer served 10 years on council with Brewer and is expected to succeed her as mayor. He said he’s been asked about filling her shoes and said Brewer’s shoes can’t be filled.

“She’s been an incredible cheerleader for the community,” he said.

City Attorney Mark Yurick said Brewer has been a tireless and enthusiastic advocate for Lebanon.

“She is everywhere at festivals from the start until they end. I don’t know how she does it,” he said.

Yurick shared a story about Brewer’s energy and enthusiasm during a visit to the Golden Lamb by then-President George W. Bush in 2004.

Bush reportedly told Brewer that her energy was “intoxicating.”

Councilman Mike Cope, a former neighbor of Brewer, described her as “genuine and not showy or flashy.”

“Your service to the community is a legacy statement that speaks volumes,” Cope said.

Saying farewell

The city is hosting a farewell reception honoring Brewer her 32 years serving Lebanon on Thursday at the Warren County Events Center, 665 N. Broadway in Lebanon. The reception will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a short presentation at 6:15 p.m.

Dayton Daily News
Published 9 hours ago

Greene County using federal stimulus funds to supplement contact tracing in schools

Local News

By London Bishop, Staff Writer

4 hours ago

Greene County is using a portion of its $33 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to supplement contact tracing in schools, which for the last three months has shifted some of the burden off of teachers and administrators.

Prior to the program, school district teachers and staff had been spending an “inordinate amount of time” doing contact tracing, which takes time out of helping children, county administrator Brandon Huddleson said. Between their normal responsibilities and contact tracing, it would take up to six days for parents to learn that their child needed to quarantine.

“We thought, rather than decide how to help schools, we should go ask schools what they needed,” Huddleson said. “I came away with the understanding that if we were going to help schools, this was the way to do it.

“Really, it’s a win-win all around; the county partnering with schools, the health district, and getting that information back to parents and allowing educators to focus on their core mission,” he added.

The money brought on five contract tracers for Greene County Public Health, dedicated to the county’s seven school districts plus the Greene County Career Center. If a child had been exposed to COVID-19, parents could instead be contacted the same day.

“The goal is to reach out to parents, let them know where [the exposure] was, what are the circumstances, symptoms to watch for, and if they still need quarantine outside of school,” said public health nurse Samantha Webb.

The partnership doesn’t solve the problem completely. Schools still need to follow up with parents for things like homework, football practice, and other extracurriculars. However, initial results indicated parents were able to get information they needed much more quickly, and that staff, particularly school nurses, were able to focus more on their work.

“School nurses took off their normal duties, but also superintendents and teachers and administrators were having to go along with what constitutes a positive case,” said Greene Educational Services Center superintendent Terry Graves-Strieter, who in August was making some of those calls herself.

“Even if they could make the initial calls and we follow up to see if students have to be quarantined, it could take even a little off of their shoulders,” she said.

Greene County received its first $16 million trench of ARPA monies earlier this year, with another $16 million to be disbursed in 2022. For Sept 1 thru Oct. 31, the program cost $25,000. The commissioners may extend the program through the rest of the school year, with an estimated cost of $300,000, as long as schools are getting value out of it.

Ohio’s Mask to Stay policy, which allows children exposed to COVID to remain in the classroom as long as they wear a mask, and increased vaccine availability for kids may affect how school districts move forward from here, Graves-Strieter said.

“The fact that the county collaborated with us and wanted to know how they could help with this health situation we’ve been dealing with for over a year now, we appreciate that,” she said. “We’ll have to see what it looks like through the holidays.”

Dayton Daily News
Published 9 hours ago

Ohio Vax-2-School scholarship program’s second deadline is Sunday

CLEVELAND (WJW) — There are two deadlines left for those looking to sign up for Ohio’s Vax-2-School scholarship program (the first one came last weekend.

Yes, Ohioans ages 5-25 who have received at least their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine are now eligible to win up to $100,000 in scholarships.

Unlike Ohio’s previous Vax-a-Million program, Vax-2-School is offering a bevy of payouts rather than just five $1 million prizes and five full-ride scholarship prizes. With this, the state is offering 150 $10,000 scholarships and five $100,000 grand prize scholarships, for a total of $2 million in scholarships statewide.

Here are the still available deadlines to remember, with all hitting at 11:59 p.m. on that date:

Nov. 28 – means your name is thrown into the second drawing (75 $10,000 winners) and the grand prize drawings

Dec. 1 – means you’ll only be a part of the grand prize drawing.

The scholarship money can be used at any Ohio university or trade school or program of the recipient’s choice.

Winners are set to be revealed every day from Nov. 28-Dec. 3, with the big prizes being revealed on Dec. 2 with a live lottery broadcast (which FOX 8 will stream live).

Sign up for the Vax-2-School drawings right here or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).

Find our where to get a vaccine in your area right here.

WJW TV - My Fox Cleveland
Published 10 hours ago

Springfield Wildcats: Looking back at path to state championship game

Caption

Springfield Wildcats football: 2021 highlights

A game-by-game review of the 2021 season

The Springfield Wildcats will play for the state championship game for the first time at 7:30 p.m. Friday, facing Lakewood St. Edwards at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton.

Springfield seeks to become the first Clark County school to win a state championship during the playoff era, and its appearance in the title game this season comes after back-to-back losses in the state semifinals in 2019 and 2020. Two other teams in Clark County history have advanced to the state championship game: Catholic Central in 1991; and Shawnee in 2011.

The new Springfield High School opened in 2008 when North and South high schools combined. The new school reached the playoffs for the first time in 2009. This is its seventh playoff appearance.

The Wildcats have won six games in a row since their only loss, 22-21 to Miamisburg on Oct. 15. They have played 14 games and won a school-record 13 of them. The latest victory came Friday: 22-21 against Cincinnati Moeller in Sidney. Here’s a look back at Springfield’s 2021 season to this point.

Caption

Highlights: Springfield rallies to beat Saint Ignatius on Friday, Aug. 20, 2021

Game 1, Aug. 20

Springfield 24, Saint Ignatius 20

SPRINGFIELD — Micha Johnson had not played a football game since elementary school. He had the athletic ability. His teammates on the basketball court knew that. They urged him to return to football for his senior year at Springfield High School.

In May, Johnson decided to give it a try, and he’s worked on relearning the game in recent months. He’s still learning, he said, but one play showed just what he can do and what a good decision he made.

In the fourth quarter of the 2021 season opener, Johnson picked off a pass by Saint Ignatius quarterback Joey Pfaff along the sideline in front of the Saint Ignatius bench and returned it 34 yards for a touchdown, giving the Wildcats a 24-20 lead with 2 minutes, 57 seconds to play.

That score stood up as the Wildcats rallied from a 20-10 deficit in the final minutes and celebrated perhaps their most impressive non-conference regular-season victory in the history of the new high school.

“It motivates us and keeps us pushing,” Johnson said.

No Clark County team has won a state football championship in the playoff era. After two straight state semifinal appearances, the Wildcats hope to become the first in 2021. They have all the pieces to make another run, and beating an 11-time state champion to start the season takes the expectations to another level.

“It’s just one week,” said eighth-year Springfield coach Maurice Douglass. “We’ve just got to continue to battle.

Game 2, Sept. 4

Springfield 46, Lima Senior 6

LIMA — Te’Sean Smoot ran for two touchdowns in the first half, and Ramon Browder added three touchdown runs in the second half as Springfield rolled to a victory at Lima Senior.

Springfield (2-0) played for the first time since a season-opening 24-20 victory at home against Saint Ignatius on Aug. 20. Its second game was cancelled because of COVID-19 issues at Fairfield. It scheduled Lima Senior (1-1) when a game at Trotwood-Madison was cancelled.

Smoot completed 6 of 16 passes for 74 yards and threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Shawn Thigpen in the third quarter. He also rushed 18 times for 120 yards, scoring on runs of 44 yards and 5 yards.

Browder gained 144 yards on 14 carries. He had touchdown runs of 26, 17 and 7 yards.

Springfield led 13-0 at halftime. Lima Senior cut the deficit to 13-6 early in the third. Then Tyron Barnes scored on a 72-yard kickoff return to extend Springfield’s lead to 20-6. That was the first of five straight touchdowns by the Wildcats in the second half.

Caption

Highlights: Springfield vs. Wayne on Sept. 10, 2021

Game 3, Sept. 10

Springfield 21, Wayne 14

HUBER HEIGHTS — As Springfield High School celebrated a victory at Wayne, coach Maurice Douglass said, “That’s the way you battle in the GWOC.”

The Wildcats improved to 3-0 with a victory in their Greater Western Ohio Conference opener.

“It feels good,” Springfield senior quarterback Te’Sean Smoot said. “Having games cancelled and having to pick up games, we’re just grateful to be able to play. We’re taking it week by week and preparing for anything.”

Smoot scored on runs of 1 yard and 2 yards in the first half. Then he capped a methodical drive with a go-ahead 20-yard touchdown run — the only score of the second half by either team — with 1:40 to play in the third quarter.

With multiple starting wide receivers sidelined with injuries, Smoot said the team wanted to be physical, and it paid off on that drive.

“We just did a good job up front blocking,” Douglass said. “Our running backs ran hard. (Smoot) ran hard and made some good decisions.”

Game 4, Sept. 17

Springfield 42, Beavercreek 0

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield High School senior quarterback Te’Sean Smoot tossed two touchdowns passes and ran for another as the Wildcats won their fourth straight game, beating Beavercreek in a Greater Western Ohio Conference game.

Springfield senior Eddie Muhammad, junior Ramon Browder and sophomore Jayvin Norman all rushed for TDs for the Wildcats (4-0, 2-0 GWOC).

Springfield senior Delian Bradley and sophomore William Calhoun each caught TD passes in the victory.

Defensively, the Wildcats held the Beavers to minus-9 yards, allowing one first down in the game.

Springfield, Centerville and Springboro all stand atop the GWOC at 2-0. The Wildcats travel to Fairmont, which lost to Springboro 15-14, next week.

Caption

Highlights: Springfield beats Fairmont on Sept. 24, 2021

Game 5, Sept. 24

Springfield 24, Fairmont 0

KETTERING — Fairmont averaged 22.6 points in its first five football games and didn’t score fewer than 14 points thanks to the most productive rushing game (239.5 yards per game) in the Greater Western Ohio Conference.

Then Springfield, ranked fourth in Division I, proved once again why it’s one of the best teams in Ohio by blanking Fairmont 17-0 on Friday in Week 6 of the high school football season. The Wildcats (5-0, 3-0) remain the only undefeated team in the GWOC.

The Firebirds didn’t threaten to score, and Springfield didn’t need to score after scoring all its points in the first half. The game moved at a rapid pace, taking just under two hours.

“They’re really good up front,” Fairmont coach David Miller said of Springfield. “We struggled all night up front. That’s a credit to them. They’re a really good football team. Our defense, really other than a couple plays, it was a heck of an effort by them, but we’ve got a lot of work to do on offense. Coach (Maurice) Douglass, he’s got one heck of a team over there. We knew going in we were going to have our hands full, and sure enough, they were as good as advertised.”

Caption

Highlights: Springfield vs. Springboro on Oct. 1, 2021

Game 6, Oct. 1

Springfield 26, Springboro 0

SPRINGBORO — Springfield coaches wrote the number “14″ on the board in the locker room at the high school earlier in the week as the Wildcats prepared for a game at Springboro. The players knew what it meant.

Springfield entered the game with a shutout streak of 10 quarters and wanted to keep it alive with four more quarters. It did just that Friday, blanking Springboro 26-0 at CareFlight Field.

“This defense, we worked hard in practice and stayed focused,” defensive lineman Tywan January said, “and we’re on to the next one.”

The goal is now 18 quarters, Brown said, though that will be a challenge because the next opponent is 10th-ranked Centerville, which beat Beavercreek 53-0 on Friday and has won four games in a row.

The Wildcats (6-0, 4-0) and Elks (6-1, 4-0) share first place in the Greater Western Ohio Conference with three games to play. Springfield beat Centerville 31-24 in overtime last season and has won three straight games in the series.

Caption

Highlights: Springfield vs. Centerville on Oct. 8, 2021

Game 7, Oct. 8

Springfield 44, Centerville 7

SPRINGFIELD — Delian Bradley wore the homecoming king’s crown at halftime Friday and then celebrated third-ranked Springfield’s 44-7 victory against No. 9 Centerville in what was supposed to be the most challenging game on the Greater Western Ohio Conference schedule for the Wildcats.

What was better?

“I’ll take both,” said Bradley, a senior free safety. “Two wins in one night is great.”

Bradley also returned an interception 20 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. He was just one standout for the Wildcats on a night of dominance in a matchup of top-10 teams in Springfield.

Te’Sean Smoot ran for three scores and completed 16 of 19 passes for 192 yards with one touchdown pass. Anthony Brown caught a 50-yard touchdown pass from Smoot and led the Springfield receivers with 10 catches for 113 yards.

“This is what we’re built for; we’re built for moments like this,” Springfield coach Maurice Douglass said. “I came in for these type of moments. We want to get even further than we did last year, and these are the things that build that type of momentum.”

Caption

Highlights: Miamisburg upsets No. 2 Springfield on Oct. 15, 2021

Game 8, Oct. 15

Miamisburg 22, Springfield 21

Miamisburg students raced onto the field with their cell phone cameras rolling to celebrate a 22-21 victory against No. 2 Springfield on Friday at Holland Field.

No one deserved the victory more than junior tight end Jackson McGohan, who had an interception to end Springfield’s first drive and caught three touchdown catches from Justin Barry. The third touchdown came with eight seconds to play and set up the game-winning two-point conversion run by Christian Davis.

“It was great,” said McGohan, who has Division I scholarship offers from UAB and Charlotte. “We thought we were going to win. Nobody else did, obviously.”

McGohan finished the game with seven catches for 152 yards. Barry completed 16 of 28 passes for 254 yards.

Caption

Highlights: Springfield vs. Northmont on Oct. 22, 2021

Game 9, Oct. 22

Springfield 47, Northmont 0

SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield Wildcats will play at home again in the playoffs — twice if they win their first-round game — but Senior Night was still emotional.

“They’re one of my favorite groups,” coach Maurice Douglass said. “I don’t have a favorite, but they’re one of them.”

Offensive coordinator Chris Wallace, who experienced his own Senior Night 28 years ago at South High School, had an extra reason to see the night as something special. He has coached Springfield senior quarterback Te’Sean Smoot the last four seasons but has known him since he was in elementary school.

“I cried today before he came out,” Wallace said. “Me and him had a little one on one.”

“Senior Night is crazy,” Smoot said. “It goes by fast. I remember walking through the high school my first day of freshman year, and they said it was going to go by fast, but I didn’t think it was going to go by this fast. It was great to be able to end my Senior Night like this.”

Smoot ran for three touchdowns as the No. 5 Wildcats (8-1, 6-1) returned to their dominant ways and built momentum for the playoffs one week after suffering their first and only loss of the regular season. They routed Northmont to clinch a share of the Greater Western Ohio Conference championship.

“We just had to put the past in the past,” Smoot said, “and come back the next week and just prepare even more. Our heads weren’t really on straight. We got a little big headed. We had to humble ourselves and get a new mindset. Now it’s win or go home. We’ve got to step up and play big boy ball.”

Caption

Springfield High School senior Jokell Brown (57) celebrates during their game against Northmont on Friday, Oct. 29 in Springfield. Michael Cooper/CONTRIBUTED

Credit: Name Test

Credit: Name Test

Game 10, Oct. 29

Springfield 42, Northmont 7

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield wracked up 382 yards of total offense and held Northmont to 63 yards en route to a victory in a D-I, Region 2 first-round game at Springfield High School.

The second-seeded Wildcats improved to 9-1 and advanced to host seventh-seeded Dublin Jerome (8-3) next Friday night in the regional quarterfinals. The Celtics beat 10th-seeded Olentangy Liberty 21-7 on Friday night.

The Wildcats beat Northmont for the second straight week. Last Friday, Springfield scored a 47-0 shutout last week to clinch a share of the Greater Western Ohio Conference title.

“We’re just glad to get the win,” Springfield coach Maurice Douglass said Friday night. “I’m happy for our kids. It’s hard to play someone in back-to-back weeks. We were telling them last week was the first half and this week was the second half. We’re glad to finish what we started and we’re on to the next one.”

Wildcats senior quarterback Te’Sean Smoot went 19-for-25 for 310 yards and four TDs and rushed for two scores Springfield junior wide receiver Daylen Bradley caught seven passes for 117 yards and a TD, junior Anthony Brown caught six passes for 91 yards and two TDs and junior Shawn Thigpen had three receptions for 65 yards and a TD.

Caption

Springfield High School junior linebacker Jaivian Norman sacks Dublin Jerome quarterback Zakk Tschirhart during their game on Friday night in Springfield. The Wildcats won 34-0. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY MICHAEL COOPER

Credit: Name Test

Credit: Name Test

Game 11, Nov. 5

Springfield 34, Dublin Jerome 0

SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield High School football team is one step closer to Canton.

Senior quarterback Te’Sean Smoot threw four touchdown passes and ran for another as second-seeded Springfield beat seventh-seeded Dublin Jerome in a Division I, Region 2 quarterfinal game in Springfield.

Smoot went 17-for-23 for 263 yards through the air and rushed for 112 yards on 16 carries as Springfield won its third straight game.

Junior wide receiver Daylen Bradley caught eight passes for 142 yards and two TDs, while junior Anthony Brown and senior Dominic Turner also caught TD passes for the Wildcats (10-1). Defensively, Wildcats junior Jaivian Norman had a sack and an interception, while junior Tawfig Jabbar also had a sack.

“We’re not thrilled with the first half, but we’re glad to be moving on and trying to accomplish our goal,” said Wildcats coach Maurice Douglass.

Caption

Springfield High School junior defensive back Tawfig Jabbar and junior defensive back Tyron Barnes celebrated after Jabbar blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown during their game against Findlay on Friday night at AcuSport Stadium in Bellefontaine. The Wildcats won 13-0. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY MICHAEL COOPER

Credit: Name Test

Credit: Name Test

Game 12, Nov. 12

Springfield 13, Findlay 0

BELLEFONTAINE — The Springfield High School football team is back in the regional finals for the third straight season — and they did it with defense.

The second-seeded Wildcats beat Findlay 13-0 in a Division I, Region 2 semifinal game on a snowy Friday night at Bellefontaine’s AcuSport Stadium, earning their sixth shutout of the season.

“Our guys stepped up when their number was called,” said Springfield coach Maurice Douglass. “They bent a little bit tonight more than they have, but they didn’t break and (Findlay) didn’t score. I’m so happy and excited for those guys and their performance tonight.”

Springfield senior quarterback Te’Sean Smoot rushed for 95 yards and a TD as the Wildcats improved to 11-1 .

Caption

Highlights: Springfield vs. Marysville in a Division I regional final at Hilliard Darby on Nov. 19, 2021

Game 13, Nov. 19

Springfield 27, Marysville 0

HILLIARD — The number of the night for the Springfield Wildcats was three.

“I told the guys if they gave us three touchdowns, it’s over,” coach Maurice Douglass said. “They gave us four.”

Three also stood for the number of Division I regional championships Springfield has won in the last three seasons. It beat Dublin Coffman 7-3 in London in 2019 to win the first regional championship in school history. A year ago, it beat Powell Olentangy Liberty 19-0 in Springfield.

On Friday, the second-seeded and fifth-ranked Wildcats recorded another shutout in the regional final, beating No. 1 seed and second-ranked Marysville in the Region 2 final at Hilliard Darby High School.

As the Wildcats celebrated the victory with the school band behind the end zone, running back Jayvin Norman spotted a camera and looked directly into it and said, “One, two, three,” holding up fingers for each number to symbolize his team’s accomplishment.

With this three-year run, Springfield has matched the total number of state final four appearances by the rest of Clark County. Catholic Central reached the state championship game in 1991 and played in the final four in 2007. Shawnee reached the state championship game in 2011. Now the Wildcats will try to become the third Clark County team to reach the final game and the first to win a state championship in the playoff era.

“We have a lot of momentum going into next week,” defensive lineman Jokell Brown said.

“I feel very grateful,” wide receiver Anthony Brown said. “Very blessed. It’s unexplainable.”

Caption

Springfield High School junior Daylen Bradley leaps over Cincinnati Moeller's Rashad Glenn to catch a touchdown pass during a D-I state semifinal game on Friday night at Sidney Memorial Stadium. The Wildcats won 22-21. Michael Cooper/CONTRIBUTED

Credit: Name Test

Credit: Name Test

Game 14, Nov. 26

Springfield 22, Moeller 21

SIDNEY — After back-to-back years of heartbreak in the state semifinals, the Springfield High School football team is headed to the state championship game for the first time in program history.

And they did it in dramatic fashion.

Trailing by five points late in the fourth quarter, junior Anthony Brown scored on a 7-yard run to lift Springfield to a 22-21 victory over Cincinnati Moeller in a Division I state semifinal game on Friday at Sidney Memorial Stadium.

“We’re finally going to Canton,” said Springfield coach Maurice Douglass. “I’m so happy for our team and the city of Springfield, our coaching staff and all of our past players, the people who helped build this thing.”

The Wildcats (13-1) will face Lakewood St. Edward in the D-I state championship game at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton. The Eagles (14-1) beat Upper Arlington 16-10 in the other state semifinal.

Springfield is seeking to become the first Clark County team to win a state football championship since the playoff era began in 1972. Only two other teams in Clark County history have advanced to the state championship game — Catholic Central in 1991 and Shawnee in 2011.

“It’s surreal,” Brown said. “Putting in all that work in the offseason, talking about it and manifesting it and it finally becoming true, it’s crazy.”

The Wildcats finally broke through this season after state semifinal losses to Cincinnati Elder 31-24 in 2019 and Cincinnati St. Xavier 12-10 a year ago.

“We were trying to kick the door down,”said Wildcats senior quarterback Te’Sean Smoot said. “That’s what we keep saying. To be able to get over this hump after taking Ls the past two years, it feels amazing.”

Springfield News Sun
Published 10 hours ago

A light in the darkness: National initiative brings attention to antisemitism during Hanukkah

THE BLADE/REBECCA BENSON

A light in the darkness: National initiative brings attention to antisemitism during Hanukkah

Toledoans are set to light the first candle of Hanukkah on Sunday.

In a year that's seen a rising tide of intimidation and violence against Jewish Americans, including in Toledo, they're hoping its light will extend farther than the dining room.

“Hanukkah is the Festival of Lights,” said Daniel Pearlman, director of the Jewish Community Relations Council at the Jewish Federation of Greater Toledo. “And as such, we thought it was appropriate to shine a light on antisemitism during the holiday of Hanukkah.”

Light the candles

Chanukah at the Mall, 4 p.m. Sunday, outside Franklin Park Mall

Downtown Menorah Lighting, 4:30 p.m. Monday, outside One Government Center.

Shine a Light on Antisemitism, 3:30 p.m. Dec. 5, outside Sylvania YMCA/JCC, 6465 Sylvania Ave., Sylvania

For more information, go to chabadtoledo.com or jewishtoledo.org.

Northwest Ohio is joining communities across the country in this shared goal, its upcoming rally among dozens of events put on by federations across the country in the next eight days. The local rally is slated for 3:30 p.m. Dec. 5, outside the Sylvania YMCA/JCC, 6465 Sylvania Ave., Sylvania, and is set to include remarks from politicians, educators, law enforcement officers, and representatives of various religious, ethnic, and minority groups; there will also be a public menorah lighting and the usual holiday treats like latkes and the jelly-doughnut sufganiyot.

New York, Washington, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Kansas City, Atlanta, Dallas, Miami, San Antonio, and Toronto are among the other communities that also have awareness-raising events in the works, according to Shine a Light, the national initiative backed by a coalition of more than 60 Jewish and non-Jewish organizations across the United States and Canada.

Its efforts go farther than community events: Shine a Light is also offering related educational and workplace resources, plus media outreach and advocacy including some high-profile displays during Hanukkah. It's behind efforts to light up iconic properties on Sunday, including parts of the World Trade Center; they'll go yellow, to symbolize the candlelight of the menorah.

While the methods may be multifaceted, the message is the same: “Shine A Light uses the powerful story of Chanukah, the Festival of Lights, to champion the message that light can dispel darkness,” organizers write in a press release. “It seeks to catalyze conversations within and across communities, on school campuses, and in the workplace, so that people will better understand what constitutes antisemitism and take steps to respond.”

Hanukkah is an eight-day festival that recalls the unlikely victory of the Jewish Maccabees over the Syrian Greeks, and the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem; it's in this sense a celebration of victory over religious persecution.

With less spiritual weight than September’s High Holidays, it’s also a light-hearted celebration oriented more toward cozy gatherings of family and friends than long hours in the synagogue. Before and between the requisite plates of latkes and games of dreidel, central to each night’s celebration is the lighting of the menorah – one more candle for each consecutive night.

That candlelight recalls the story of Hanukkah: An amount of oil that should have lasted just one day is said to have miraculously burned for eight in the rededicated Temple.

Organizers of Shine a Light see relevant themes in the story and the holiday when it comes to combating antisemitism: light over darkness, good over evil. And they see now as an important time to make these connections.

More than half of all religiously-motivated hate crimes in 2020 were against Jews, who account for just 2 percent of the national population, according to the American Jewish Committee, citing statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

One in four Jewish Americans were victims of antisemitism over the past year, according to an expansive report released by the AJC in October; roughly the same amount are affiliated with a Jewish institution that has been targeted in the past five years.

Another four in ten report changing their behaviors in response to antisemitism, according to the AJC’s 2021 State of Antisemitism in America: 25 percent reported that they have avoided posting content online that would reveal their Jewishness or their views on Jewish issues; 22 percent refrained from publicly wearing, carrying, or displaying items that might enable others to identify them as Jewish; and 17 percent avoided certain places, events, or situations out of concern for their safety or comfort as Jews.

On college campuses, according to a separate survey conducted for Hillel International and the Anti-Defamation League, roughly one in three Jewish students reported that they experienced antisemitism directed toward them in the last academic year.

The same survey, released in October, found that most students who experienced antisemitism did not report it – particularly in cases that were not physical violence or threats of physical violence – suggesting the frequency of such incidents is even higher.

Northwest Ohio isn’t exempt. Mr. Pearlman doesn’t need to think farther back than a swastika that appeared on the campus of the University of Toledo in June, or the man arrested in a plot to commit terrorism at local synagogues who was sentenced just this September.

“Antisemitism has been an issue for over 2,000 years, but especially over the last five years or so, there’s been a huge increase in antisemitism nationwide, as well as in the state of Ohio, as well as in Toledo, in Lucas County,” he said.

It’s a key impetus for the local rally, he said.

Co-sponsored by Congregation B’nai Israel, Congregation Etz Chayim, Temple Shomer Emunim, and the YMCA of Greater Toledo, it’s organized both as an opportunity to stand in solidarity with the Jewish community – and, for some, to learn about it, too.

“The goal is to spread awareness on antisemitism, but also awareness on Judaism and Hanukkah,” Mr. Pearlman said, “just to help to educate the community.”

CELEBRATE HANUKKAH

Shine a Light on Antisemitism isn’t the only public observation of Hanukkah in Toledo.

Chabad House of Toledo kicks off the holiday with its long-running menorah lighting party at Franklin Park Mall, 5001 Monroe St., at 4 p.m. Sunday. It’s outdoors for a second year, in light of the continued coronavirus pandemic; gather in the parking lot near Dick’s Sporting Goods.

In addition to lighting the first night’s candle on the menorah, participants will enjoy doughnuts, latkes, a juggler performance — and, for the first time in Toledo, a gelt drop.

Gelt is money, sometimes in chocolate form, explained Chabad House’s Rabbi Shmouel Matusof, and it’s customary to give it to children and others during Hanukkah. Chabad House has arranged for chocolate coins to drop from a fire department’s ladder truck, in what he said is becoming a popular feature of public celebrations in many communities.

The free and public event tends to be their most popular for Hanukkah, drawing around 200 attendees, Rabbi Matusof said. But Chabad House has more observances lined up:

■ Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz is set to participate in the third annual menorah lighting in front of One Government Center at 4:30 p.m. Monday. There will again be music, donuts and latkes.

■ A Car Menorah Parade takes off from Chabad House, 2728 King Rd., at 7 p.m. Saturday; to participate, RSVP at bit.ly/​3CH4KAV.

■ And, in a continuation of a popular feature set up last year under social-distancing guidelines, a festive truck is available for home visits between Monday and Dec. 5; for more information or to set up a visit, go to bit.ly/​3CH4KAV. “We’re going to visit people in their homes and bring them the joy of Hanukkah,” Rabbi Matusof said

Toledo Blade
Published 10 hours ago

Letter to the editor: Protect Ohio kids from bill limiting care for trans youth

Akron Beacon Journal

Bill is wrong to block care for trans youth

Regarding the Nov. 20 article, '“Ohio Republicans seek to limit care for trans youth,” I have to ask why. Trans youth are people, and Ohio citizens of America, and deserve health care just like anyone else. The cruel irony of this proposal is that it was published in the Beacon Journal on Nov. 20, which is Transgender Day of Remembrance, honoring those who were murdered because someone hated a transgender person enough to kill them. This Republican bill is wrong.

Supporting children in Ohio also means supporting people who may not identify with their gender assigned at birth, and who may identify as: gender nonconforming, nonbinary, genderqueer or transgender. By offering care and medical support to these youth, we are saying that their lives have value and no one should harm themselves or commit suicide because others disagree and want to deny them life-saving medical care by making it illegal.

I also wanted to list more local support for these families in addition to the wonderful organization of TransOhio, such as: PFLAG Akron/Cleveland, the Trevor Project, Equality Ohio, GLAAD, the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland and the student-run GSAs in high schools and middle schools. Please support LGBTQ+ youth as transgender people are your friends, neighbors, co-workers and family members, and deserve to be supported and accepted just like anyone else.

Nancy Dollard, Lake Township

Akron Beacon Journal
Published 10 hours ago

Holly Christensen: Not today, COVID

Holly Christensen

Special to Akron Beacon Journal

While none of us gets out of here alive, we do have the ability to influence how we exit or, more pointedly, how we don’t.

A healthy diet and exercise, for example, can prevent myriad issues from diabetes to heart disease. But without the fangs or claws of imminent demise, distant consequences seem improbable and make the call of fast food and couches easy to answer.

The first global pandemic in a century, however, trucks in both distant and immediate devastation.

In what felt like the flick of a switch, life changed in March 2020. Two of my five children returned home from college, while the elementary schools of my youngest two suddenly shuttered.

Those first months were both a blast and terrifying.

More:Holly Christensen: War veteran, 99, still feels survivor's guilt

Together the seven of us raucously cooked and ate meals, played euchre and walked dogs in parks. I had luxuriously long talks with my children, particularly my second son, who adopted a puppy soon after he’d returned to Akron.

Meanwhile, information how COVID-19 is and isn’t transmitted whiplashed our brains as fast-flung guidelines changed. Now seemingly absurd, at first we worried about touching items in the grocery store lest the last person who touched them had COVID, while simultaneously we believed masks to be unnecessary.

Then we were told masks are the best first line of defense against the virus, which is commonly spread by airborne droplets, and that wiping down our groceries was unnecessary as the virus quickly dies on nonliving surfaces.

This seesaw environment of safety protocols is actually how science works. Information yields new hypotheses and new standards, which is why scientists love being proven wrong! Unfortunately, there were those who used this important process to attack whether there really was a virus for their own political gain at the cost of millions of lives.

My family decided to bunker down until we had what we ascertained as consistently reliable information. My two youngest children saw little more than home and yard for the better part of four months.

Then came the 2020-2021 school year. I taught hybrid classes at the University of Akron, poorly dividing my line of vision between “roomies,” i.e., the students physically in class with me, and “Zoomies,” or those who attended online.

My eldest son began graduate school in Texas where masking regulations were few and seldom followed. He lived and studied in his apartment like a monk, leaving only for daily runs and weekly trips to the grocery.

But that remote school year was far and away hardest on my youngest two children. Even though we regularly checked his browser history, our fifth grader was routinely discovered to have skipped out on classes to peruse websites.

My daughter, Lyra, who has Down syndrome, was in the first grade. Benefits wrought from years of speech and occupational therapies seemed to wash away like sand castles at high tide as she went from mostly talking in complete sentences to speaking only key words.

During the early weeks of the pandemic, hot spots in faraway cities brought hospitals to their knees as patient numbers exceeded capacities and health care workers struggled to meet the need. By the time the same happened in Summit and surrounding counties, it seemed an inevitability.

Eventually several people I know contracted and recovered from COVID. It wasn’t until this fall, just as the infection rates of the delta variant began declining, that COVID began killing friends and family members of mine.

The first was the cousin closest to my age on my dad’s side. Brent Christensen was 51 when he died in September. Twenty days before his death, he became a grandpa for the first time. I last saw Brent after the burial of our Grandma, who died at age 90.

Like everyone, I long for this pandemic to be in the rear window of our lives.

My second son, who worked in health care at the time, was the first of us vaccinated against COVID. I was the second, receiving my first two shots in April. My ex-partner and other two adult sons were all vaccinated soon thereafter. Last month, I boostered up.

My daughter has long been my biggest COVID concern. Several months into this pandemic, ample data made it clear that when people with Down syndrome contract COVID-19 they are more likely to develop serious symptoms, require hospitalization and die.

Perhaps the research moved as fast as it could, but the wait for a COVID vaccine for children age 5 and up was frustrating. Lyra desperately needs in-person education and while masks are excellent at reducing rates of infection, they are nowhere as effective as herd immunity.

How do I spell relief? V-A-C-C-I-N-A-T-E-D. My youngest two got their first jabs at the earliest appointment we could find once the FDA approved the kid formulation.

The science on vaccines is clear: They are the surest and safest way to stop cycles of COVID variants from shutting down our schools, businesses and lives.

One day I will die, as will those around me. Loved ones, family, friends and strangers alike, we are all on this one-way journey together with little to no control over what brings us to our final destination. What we can control, by means of vaccination, is the likelihood that it’s COVID-19.

Contact Holly Christensen at whoopsiepiggle@gmail.com.

Akron Beacon Journal
Published 10 hours ago

STARS program celebrates foster youths' accomplishments, wins Millennium Fund grant

Tawney Beans
Akron Beacon Journal

Sometimes the small moments make the biggest memories, like opening a birthday present, making the cheerleading team or receiving your first A+ in school.

It is these instances of joy that Caring for Kids’ Special Thanks, Accolades and Recognitions (STARS) program helps foster children celebrate.

Caring for Kids is a nonprofit adoption, foster care and birth parent services agency based in Cuyahoga Falls.

In 2008, one of the organization’s foster children made the cheerleading team, but her foster family could not afford to pay for her uniform and reached out to the agency for assistance. After helping the family, Caring for Kids staff created the STARS program to address similar situations in the future.

STARS was recently named one of 24 organizations awarded a total of $40,300 in grants through the Millennium Fund for Children, a partnership of the Akron Beacon Journal and the Akron Community Foundation.

“We really were trying to figure out how we can help foster kids and foster families with some of the extras, some of the things that our kids get that the foster kids weren't getting,” said Jill Davies, co-executive director of the nonprofit. “The state does a decent job of paying a foster care per diem and all those things, but there's no money left over.”

Since its conception, the program has expanded to include cards for special achievements, like making the honor roll, and birthday cards and gifts.

“These are [accomplishments] that our kids get recognized for, but these kids often have never been recognized for any of that kind of thing,” Davies said. “Some of these kids have never even celebrated a birthday or had any real birthday gifts.”

The agency sends between 300 and 500 birthday cards signed by staff each year to the foster children that it oversees. The youngsters get a toy in addition to their card that is delivered by a Caring for Kids staff member.

Teenagers receive a card with a $20 gift card in the mail, a delivery method that is itself a present.

Most of the children in foster care have never received mail, so seeing something addressed exclusively to them is usually exciting. Unlike most teens, those in foster care aren’t given extra spending money to go shopping or out to eat, a problem the gift card helps alleviate.

“The feedback about how they respond is just overwhelming,” Davies said. She’s had her doubts about how much these small gestures really mean to the children, but those were soon assuaged by the colleagues and families who work closely with them.

“Sometimes I say, ‘They don't even know all these people that are signing this card’ and [the foster families] are like, ‘They don't care. [The children] are like, ‘This many people know me?’” Davies recalled. “The workers that really work with the kids ... are like, ‘Oh my gosh, you can't believe how much this means to them.’ It's a $20 gift card but still, that's $20 for them as a teenager to go pick something out that they want.”

November is National Adoption Awareness Month. The organization is in desperate need of foster parents. To learn more about Caring for Kids’ needs, fundraising and information sessions for those who may be considering adoption or foster care, visit the group's Facebook page.

The agency will use the $2,000 Millennium Fund grant to continue making sure that the achievements of area foster children don’t go unacknowledged.

"The mission of the founders of Caring for Kids wanted to be sure that they knew every child’s name, and recognized their birthdays," Davies said. "When [Co-Executive Director] Pat Ameling and I took over the agency, we wanted to keep that same mission and continue to do our best to do so. Grants like this support us doing this in a major way."

Contact Beacon Journal reporter Tawney Beans at tbeans@gannett.com and on Twitter @TawneyBeans.

Akron Beacon Journal
Published 10 hours ago