Getting kids to pack their own school lunches may be easier if they’re having fun with the preparations. That’s the idea behind “My Lunch Box: 50 Recipes for Kids to Take to School,” written by Hilary Shevlin Karmilowicz and illustrated by Rebecca Bradley (Chronicle, $16.95). Inside the colorful recipe box are kid-friendly recipe cards decorated with cute drawings. The food suits kid tastes but manages to be healthy, too.
Here’s one option that grown-ups will like, too.
Pizza pasta salad (serves 6)
4 cups dry tricolor rotini pasta
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup cherry tomatoes
¼ cup light Italian dressing
1 cup favorite pizza toppings, such as chicken, mushrooms, olives, etc.
Cook pasta according to directions, drain and let cool.
Bring a small pot of salted water to boil and stir in broccoli, cooking 2 minutes or until broccoli turns bright green. Remove from heat and place the broccoli under cold water to cool.
Mix together cheese, tomatoes and Italian dressing in a medium bowl. Add broccoli and mix. Add favorite pizza toppings to salad. Store in airtight container until ready to serve.
AVON — It may only be a renewal, but Avon officials aren’t taking anything for granted.
Kent Zeman, treasurer for the Avon School District, said he has spoken at PTA and booster club events in the district to drum up support for Issue 25, which is a renewal of an operating levy that in combination have been approved by voters since the late 1980s and early 1990s.
“The community needs to know we appreciate that support and don’t take it for granted,” Zeman said.
Zeman and other supporters who are campaigning for its passage stress that the school, which earned the coveted “Excellent with Distinction’’ rating from the Ohio Department of Education, needs the funds to continue what already is in place.
What it won’t do, they say, is increase taxes.
“People in Avon have always valued education,” Zeman said. “I hope that we’ve shown that we’ve been good stewards of their funds. Because the money is theirs, not ours.”
Contact Melissa Hebert at 329-7129 or email@example.com.
A 29-year-old Cleveland man took a plea deal Friday that will send him to prison for the rest of his life for gunning down a Cleveland Heights police officer and an Avon native two years ago.
Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Rick Bombik said his office had wanted to pursue the death penalty in trial against Timothy Halton Jr., but the family of the murdered officer wanted to avoid the risk of Halton being found not guilty by reason of insanity.
The family of 31-year-old Jason West, who grew up in Avon, was in court Friday during the plea and sentencing hearing, Bombik said, but Halton never spoke to them.
“His attorney apologized on his behalf; he didn’t have anything to say,” Bombik said.
Halton shot West as heexited his police car after he went to the neighborhood to help break up a fight. West didn’t have his gun drawn, Bombik said, calling the killing an “assassination.”
“He did nothing to provoke this,” he said.
Prosecutors had wanted to push the death penalty, which Halton could have faced had he been convicted, but Halton had mental health issues that could have prevented that from happening.
Halton had stopped taking his anti-psychotic medications in the months before the shooting, according to a homeless shelter where he stayed and received mental health help.
Bombik said the risk that Halton could be found not guilty by reason of insanity would have subjected West’s family to hearings every two years to discuss the killer’s progress and what privileges he would enjoy at the mental hospital where he would be confined.
“They wanted some sort of closure, and nothing could guarantee that except this,” Bombik said.
Halton had mental health issues, Bombik said, but that wouldn’t necessarily have meant he was incompetent to stand trial.
“There’s no question Halton had mental problems, but that doesn’t make him any less dangerous,” he said.
Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
ELYRIA — A federal grant Elyria firefighters hope will bring back the 17 firefighters who were laid off this year will be available next month.
The department has been waiting for the last six months for Congress to iron out the details on the federal SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response) grant, which was created to provide funding directly to fire departments in order to help them increase the number of firefighters. The office of U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton, D-Copley Township, announced Friday that about $210 million will be available.
Dean Marks, president of the Elyria Firefighter’s Union Local 474, said he’s been in communication with Sutton and her office and will work with fire Chief Richard Benton to apply for the grant as soon as the application period opens Nov. 16.
“We’re already staged and ready to go,” Marks said. “It will not take us long to put in for our application.”
Benton and the city administration would be responsible for putting the application together and then Council would need to approve it before it heads back to the Department of Homeland Security in Washington, D.C. The deadline for applying is Dec. 18.
Elyria Mayor Bill Grace has said in the past that the city would apply for the grant once it became available. He did not return messages seeking comment Friday.
Marks said the city would not have to provide any matching funds to receive grant money.
If the city receives enough to hire back all 17 firefighters, it would likely have enough manpower to reopen all three fire stations, and maybe even a fourth. The city was recently forced to go down to operating only two stations to cut costs.
The grant money would run out after two years, Marks said, but by then the city budget problems will hopefully improve.
Sutton said she has been personally working on the bill for months and has even mentioned the Elyria Fire Department’s woes on the House floor to emphasize its need.
“This is great news,” Sutton said in a prepared statement. “Protecting the jobs of our first responders is a top priority in ensuring the safety of all communities. I am pleased that the Department of Homeland Security will begin accepting these applications, and I encourage all of our local fire departments to apply for these much-needed grants.”
Contact Adam Wright at 329-7155 or email@example.com.
SHEFFIELD TWP. — Poverty has become a fact of life for a majority of students at Clearview High School.
Nearly 86 percent of students there are considered economically disadvantaged by the Ohio Department of Education — one of the highest percentages in the state.
That many impoverished students typically means failing grades, low test scores and lack of preparedness.
Typically … but not here.
The state recently designated CHS as a “School of Promise” for the 2008-09 school year, a distinction that was given to only 134 of Ohio’s more than 1,800 schools where at least 40 percent of the students are deemed economically disadvantaged, a designation tied to the federal poverty level, and who have met rigorous academic and testing standards.
The federal poverty level is a sliding scale based on the number of people in the family living at home. For a family of four, the poverty level is an annual income of $22,050 or below.
“What I think it shows is that as long as you have caring teachers, a staff that is willing to go the extra mile for students, it doesn’t matter what your background is or how much money you make,” said Clearview High Assistant Principal Franco Gallo.
Schools of Promise are awarded when students from economically disadvantaged schools achieve at least an 85 percent graduation rate and at least 75 percent of 10th-graders pass the Ohio Achievement Test and/or Ohio Graduation Test in reading or math and 85 percent of 11th-graders pass the OGT in reading or math. Schools also have to meet the state’s Adequate Yearly Progress for the year.
Gallo attributed the school’s success to the hard work of students and teachers and a collective effort to improve test scores and overall grades. After-school study sessions as well as tutoring were attended by many students, and teachers did an excellent job incorporating test material into daily lessons, he said.
“There’s always room for improvement, but I think this shows that when the things we are doing are put into place and if you decide get on board, exciting things can happen,” he said. “The proof is in the pudding.”
The fact that only Cleveland and Akron city schools had a higher percentage of students considered economically disadvantaged on the Schools of Promise list makes Clearview’s success impressive.
Families who are considered economically disadvantaged may earn no more than 30 percent above the federal poverty level or receive public assistance, according to Scott Blake, spokesman for Ohio’s Department of Education.
“In general, with all these schools and especially those with the higher percentage of poverty, research has shown that economically disadvantaged students often come into school less prepared than their wealthier counterparts, so it’s great to see schools and teachers taking initiatives to help bring these students success,” Blake said.
Tennyson and William Barr elementary schools, both in the Sheffield-Sheffield Lake school district, are the only other Lorain County schools that made the Schools of Promise list.
Tennyson has 41 percent of its students that are considered to be economically disadvantaged while William Barr has 44 percent.
Contact Adam Wright at 329-7155 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
There will be a meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Kennedy’s
Billiards, Broadway and Fourth
Street in Lorain,
to explain to local charities how proposed charity poker festivals would work.
Also on the agenda is the application process, fees and
expenses, and marketing.
There will be an ethnic food bazaar with crafts 9 a.m. to 4
p.m. Nov. 7 at St. George Sebastian Orthodox Church, 3335 E. 33rd St., Lorain.
Lunch and refreshments will be served and include
palachinka, cabbage and noodles, sausage and sauerkraut, stuffed cabbage for
lunch only and an ethnic bakeshop.
For advance orders, call the parish at (440) 277-4400 and
leave your name and number. Pick up is at the church the day of the fundraiser.
Advance orders for nut rolls, poppy seed orders and apricot
rolls are $10 each.
is holding a 35th anniversary “Black and White” gala 6 p.m. to midnight Nov. 7
at DeLuca’s Place in the Park, 6075
Middle Ridge Road, Lorain.
The reception begins at 6 p.m., dinner at 7 p.m. and the
entertainment for dancing starts at 8:30 p.m. There will also be a silent
Tickets are $45 per person, $80 for couples and $30 for
seniors and students. A table of 10 can be purchased for $450 or a table of
eight for $360.
The cost to attend the dance only beginning at 9 p.m. is
For ticket information, contactVictor Leandry at (440) 277-8235, ext. 21, or
e-mail at vleandry@lorain elcentro.org.
Friends of Bill Fogues are holding a fundraiser dinner to
offset the family’s medical costs 5 to 8:30 p.m. Nov. 7 at Christian Community
School Legacy Gym on state Route 82 in North Eaton.
Tickets are $20 each and include dinner 5 to 7 p.m. and the
musical entertainment to follow.
Fogues has been unable to work since being diagnosed with
cancer in August and is without health insurance.
For tickets, call Lisa Thomas at (440) 213-5671 by Tuesday.
Community Wellness and FitnessCenter
is offering a $5 flexibility training class 11 to 11:45 a.m. Nov. 7 at the
fitness center, 3700 Kolbe Road, Lorain.
The class will teach the use of stretch bands as an
easy-to-use form of flexibility training — an important part of any exercise
program. Call (440) 960-3931 to register.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in LorainCounty
is offering a mental illness support group meeting at 7 p.m. Nov. 9 at
Gathering Hope House, 1173 North
Ridge Road East, Suite 102, Lorain.
The support group meets every third Monday of the month at
this time and place.
There is also a support group every third Tuesday of the
month at 7 p.m. at The Nord Center, 6140 S. Broadway, Lorain.
NAMI is a self-help, support, education and advocacy group
dedicated to improving the lives of those affected by mental illness.
Most members are either a consumer or family members whose
life is personally touched by a severe brain disorder including, but not
limited to, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression and anxiety
disorders like panic disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
The sessions are free.
The NJROTC program at Admiral KingHigh School
is hosting a drill meet 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Nov. 21 at the high school with a
pancake breakfast at 7 a.m.
The meet is free and
open to the public.
TrueNorth Cultural Arts at French Creek spotlights local
musicians with concerts on the third Friday of every month now through June.
The one-hour shows are free at the French CreekNature Center, 4530 Colorado Ave., Sheffield.
will perform Nov. 20 and will bring a unique mix of uplifting original music in
addition to covers of classic rock and folk tunes.
The acoustic duo features guitar and keyboard and vocals.
William McFadden of Sheffield was one of three distinguished
alumni of MethodistTheologicalSchool
in Ohio to
receive the 2009 John and Ruth Mount Alumni Awards — the highest honor for
McFadden received the MountAward
for Service to the school. He earned his Doctor of Ministry degree from
Methodist Theological in 1979 and has served as a pastor, consultant and
administrator to churches and other nonprofit organizations.
Students with mental retardation, disabilities or those on
IEPs who are interested in improving their basketball skills and playing should
plan to attend a practice session 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1121
Tower Blvd., Lorain.
Call Coach Krystal and Coach Patrick at (440) 282-7189.
An infant death support group for parents, family members
and friends who are experiencing grief due to miscarriage, still-birth,
neonatal, postnatal infant death or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome meets 6:30 to
8 p.m. on the second Monday of each month.
The next meeting is Monday in the Parish Center of the Church of St. Peter, 3655 Oberlin Ave., Lorain.
To register, or for more information, call Sister Jeanne
Marie Glorioso at (440) 282-9380.
Hospice volunteers needed
New Life Hospice is looking for caring individuals who want
to make a difference in the lives of terminally ill patients and their
New Life Hospice volunteers provide emotional support,
socialization and a connection to the community for patients who are often
isolated and home-bound.
Volunteers provide respite to caregivers, run errands,
provide transportation and help with special events. There are also
opportunities for volunteers to help in the office.
For more information about free training and how to get
started, contact volunteer coordinator Christina Wade at (440) 934-1458.
Alzheimer support group
An Alzheimer Support Group meets at 6:30 p.m. on the first
Thursday of every month at Hearthstone Assisted Living, 3290 Cooper Foster Park Road in Lorain.
Call (440) 960-2813 for more information.
Community Health Partners Wellness and FitnessCenter
is offering fitness program consultations.
The consults are $15 for 30 minutes with a fitness
specialist who will review your current exercise program and design changes so
you can meet your fitness goals.
To schedule an appointment, call (440) 960-3931.
Lorain High Class of 1965 will hold its 45th reunion on June
25 and 26 and are trying to locate classmates.
Anyone with information about fellow classmates, or anyone
not yet contacted about the reunion, is asked to call Barbara (Greenert) Sommers
at (440) 288-2611 for more information.