Local News

One Veteran's Life: Rockets, shrapnel and monsoon season

This is the third in a series of articles about one local veteran, Bay Village resident Anton (Tony) Dostal, who served as a mortician during the Vietnam War. Some of the memories recounted in this article may not be suitable for younger or sensitive readers.

While Specialist Second Class (E-5) Tony Dostal only spent a year in Da Nang, Vietnam, as a mortician, he has a multitude of memories of his experiences during his time there.

He remembers an Army nurse, Lt. Sharon Lane from Canton, Ohio, who was the only American nurse killed as a direct result of hostile fire in June 1969. 

“She was hit by shrapnel during a rocket attack and died immediately,” Tony recalled in a recent interview. “It was a piece of clean shrapnel, one simple little wound, that went through her neck. We saw that a lot, a simple piece of shrapnel or a single bullet would end a soldier’s life.”

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Volume 13, Issue 23, Posted 10:30 AM, 12.07.2021

Westlake firefighter/paramedic Craig Goodwin retires after 30 years of service

The City of Westlake held a retirement ceremony honoring longtime firefighter/paramedic Craig Goodwin on Wednesday at Fire Station No. 1 on Crocker Road.

Goodwin is an Air Force veteran, as well as a 30-year veteran of the Westlake Fire Department. In fact, it was the Air Force that gave him his start fighting fires before coming to work for the City of Westlake in April 1991.

Westlake Fire Chief Jim Hughes presented Goodwin a personalized plaque and his helmet and Assistant Fire Chief Mike Freeman read an official proclamation detailing his life and career with Westlake, as well as his plans for retirement.

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Volume 13, Issue 22, Posted 10:15 AM, 11.16.2021

One Veteran's Life: A mortician in Vietnam

This is the second in a series of articles about one local veteran, Bay Village resident Anton (Tony) Dostal, who served as a mortician during the Vietnam War. 

Tony Dostal arrived in Vietnam at the Air Force Base in Da Nang aboard a C-141 transport plane on Friday, Aug. 30, 1968. He arrived with 19 other soldiers, eight of whom were embalmers. 

“We carried bullet clips in our pockets, but no weapons, because the rifle boxes were nailed shut in their shipping crates. We exited the tailgate of the aircraft in a secure area, so we were given the impression we would have nothing to worry about,” Tony recalled.

“We loaded up our personal stuff and were driven to our barracks in the Army compound, which was about five miles away from the airport,” he continued. “Because the eight embalmers were going into the embalming room the next night, the other 12 soldiers unpacked our bags and got our lockers together.

“As I'm walking to the barracks, someone yells ‘Hey, Anton!’” And there was a friend of Tony's from Cleveland, Denny Lazuta, a dental technician that Tony had attended mortuary school with.  You never know who you'll meet the in theater of war. 

Tony started work in the mortuary the following night.

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Volume 13, Issue 22, Posted 10:15 AM, 11.16.2021

Community West Foundation expands SocksPLUS program into Lorain County

Community West Foundation announced they have expanded their SocksPLUS initiative into Lorain County through partnerships with area leaders helping people experiencing homelessness.   

Community West started SocksPLUS in 2014 after learning that socks were, and still are, the number one requested item by homeless people. Every year, they collect new socks and other essential items to be given directly to those in need.

Items collected for SocksPLUS can now be taken to Good Neighbor Thrift Shop, a ministry of Avon Lake United Church of Christ, located at 158 Lear Road in Avon Lake. The donations will be picked up by non-profit community service agency, Neighborhood Alliance, for sorting and distribution to those who are struggling through the Lorain County Taskforce for the Homeless.

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Volume 13, Issue 22, Posted 10:24 AM, 11.16.2021

Hundreds march in memory of Amy Mihaljevic

More than 200 people turned out on Oct. 27 for the March for Amy, a tribute in memory of 10-year-old Amy Mihaljevic who was kidnapped from Bay Village in 1989 and found 100 days later, dead, in a field in Ashland County.

The march was organized by Bay Middle School educator Mark Kevesdy as a fundraiser to assist the police and FBI in their continuing investigations.

Kevesdy has established a website, www.walkforamy.org, to accept donations. He said he hoped to raise $25,000 by the end of the year. A $50,000 reward is also being offered for information that would solve the 32-year-old case.

"There's not a day goes by that we don't think of Amy," Bay Village Police Chief Rob Gillespie told the marchers.

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Volume 13, Issue 21, Posted 10:25 AM, 11.02.2021

One Veteran's Life

This is the first in a series of articles about one local veteran, Bay Village resident Anton (Tony) Dostal, who served as a mortician during the Vietnam War. 

Not many kids grow up dreaming of becoming a mortician. For Tony Dostal, the journey of his life's work began as a student at John Adams High School in Cleveland.

“It started out as a joke," Tony said. "When I was a teenager, a teacher of mine lined me up with a funeral home for summer work. It involved doing the odds and ends at the funeral home, like chasing doctors to get signed death certificates and being a greeter at the funeral home, while making a dollar an hour."

After high school, Tony entered Kent State in 1963, majoring in sociology. After graduation, his experience in the funeral business led him to attend the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science, to learn the art of embalming.

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Volume 13, Issue 21, Posted 10:22 AM, 11.02.2021

BSA Scout Troop 40 honors first Eagle Scouts

BSA Scout Troop 40, sponsored by Bethesda on the Bay Lutheran Church in Bay Village, celebrated the accomplishments of two young women who are the first in their troop to achieve Eagle Scout. Eagle Scout is the highest rank in scouting and is earned by less than 4% of all scouts. The scouts recognized at the Eagle Court of Honor on Oct. 24 were Jennifer R. Koomar and Norah A. Hamil.

In addition to earning a minimum of 21 merit badges, they completed service projects that benefit the community including building a compost bin for the Village Project, a community organization that provides meals and care for families experiencing cancer, and building a customized sundial memorial marker for Bay High School dedicated to Sabrina Noelle DuPrey, a friend and classmate who passed away.

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Volume 13, Issue 21, Posted 10:26 AM, 11.02.2021

Annual Halloween Display

The annual Halloween display of homemade superheroes and other characters in back on Sperry's Forge Trail in Westlake, featuring a flying Superman and Ironman. New this year is The Flash.

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Volume 13, Issue 20, Posted 10:17 AM, 10.19.2021

Village Project receives a $10,000 UPS grant thanks to volunteer

Global Volunteer Month (GVM) is held annually for UPS employees to come together to celebrate the spirit of volunteerism and to deliver impact where it matters most – in local communities.

UPS employees who had contributed community service hours to nonprofit agencies during the month of October were asked to log their volunteer hours into a website. Ten employees nationwide were then randomly selected to receive a contribution to the nonprofit agency where they had volunteered. Thanks to Christopher Burroughs-Heineman, Village Project received a $10,000 grant to be used toward volunteer initiatives and/or general program support. Chris has worked for UPS as a driver since fall of 2014.

Chris is an invaluable volunteer with the Village Project. He has volunteered in the Project Shoppe since April 2019 and has logged more than 200 volunteer hours so far. Chris started volunteering with VP because his sister did, and he quickly found that he very much likes all the people who work and volunteer there.

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Volume 13, Issue 20, Posted 10:13 AM, 10.19.2021

Westlake youth has story published in children's magazine

A story by Haadi Nouman of Westlake, age 7, was selected for publication in Spider Magazine.

In May, readers of the magazine were asked to submit an original story about moving. Haadi's story, "Debbie the Cat," appears in the Spider's Corner section of the October 2021 issue.

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Volume 13, Issue 20, Posted 10:12 AM, 10.19.2021

Bay clerk recognized for career achievement

The clerk of council for the City of Bay Village, Joan Kemper, has reached yet another milestone in her extensive and illustrious career. She has earned the distinction of becoming a certified municipal clerk.

Through the International Institute of Municipal Clerks, two levels of certification are offered, the first of which is the Certified Municipal Clerk, or CMC. (The second is Master Municipal Clerk.) IIMC was founded in 1947, and is a professional association with almost 15,000 members in the US, Canada and 15 other countries. Its primary goal is to actively promote the continuing education and professional development of municipal clerks through extensive education programs, certification, publications, networking, annual conferences and research. IIMC also engages in municipal research administration, enhances critical professional skill development and fosters a spirit of mutual assistance and good fellowship among municipal clerks around the globe.

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Volume 13, Issue 19, Posted 10:12 AM, 10.05.2021

Sea Scout Ship Intrepid (41) crew wins national USCG Auxiliary contest

Congratulations to Alpha Crew, Hannah Bergmann, Amy Burgy, Gabby Csire, Gwynn Miller, Heidi Moody, and Grace Sugaski, whose research report was selected by the judges as the top Sea Scout B.S.A. project, nationally chosen to support the U.S. Coast Guard Research & Development (R&D) Center.

The challenge Alpha Crew tackled was researching a way for the Coast Guard to reduce its environmental impact while still effectively executing its missions. Knowing that there is considerable excitement regarding electric vehicles, the scouts decided to explore the possibility of the Coast Guard using electric outboard motors.

To ensure the project was on target, they consulted with Capt. John Bingaman U.S.C.G. (ret.) on the suitability of electric outboard motors.

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Volume 13, Issue 19, Posted 9:57 AM, 10.05.2021

Community West Foundation announces quarterly grants

The Community West Foundation Board of Directors approved $627,500 in third-quarter grants to nonprofit agencies that provide basic needs services to the community in Cleveland, Western Cuyahoga and Lorain counties.  The recipient organizations include:

  • Ursuline Piazza - $10,000
  • Building Hope in the City - $60,000
  • CHN Housing - 15,000
  • Community Service Alliance - $65,000
  • Cornerstone of Hope - $25,000
  • Denison Avenue U.C.C. - $25,000
  • Drink Local, Drink Tap* - $17,500
  • El Centro de Servicios Sociales* - $30,000
  • Enterprise Community Partners* - $25,000
  • Frontline Services* - $40,000
  • Joseph’s Home - $35,000
  • Koinonia - $25,000
  • Malachi Center - $20,000
  • MHAC (Mental Health & Addiction Advocacy Coalition) - $45,000
  • NAMI Greater Cleveland - $40,000           
  • NEOCH (Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless) - $70,000
  • Oberlin Community Services - $20,000
  • The City Club of Cleveland* - $25,000    
  • The Edna House for Women - $35,000

*The five with asterisks are new grantees for Community West Foundation.

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Volume 13, Issue 19, Posted 10:00 AM, 10.05.2021

Two with strong ties to Ames Family Hospice House join foundation

Peggi Seelbach Mizen, RN, has joined the board of the Hospice of the Western Reserve Foundation. After retiring from a 30-year nursing career, she has been serving as a hands-on care volunteer at Ames Family Hospice House. Also joining the board is Cynthia Ames Huffman, the daughter of B. Charles “Chuck” Ames, and Joyce “Jay” Eichhorn Ames. A gift from their Ames Family Foundation laid the groundwork for the Westlake facility to be built.

As a separate 501(c)(3) charity, the foundation was launched to foster community support for services relying on philanthropy, including music, art and pet therapies, palliative care, pediatric hospice and community grief support programs.

“When I became aware of the hands-on care volunteer program, I knew that was my fit,” Seelbach Mizen said. “I am passionate about Ames Family Hospice House. One of my favorite things to do is offer a warm blanket or to do something to make it nicer, like fluffing up the rollaway bedding when a family member is spending the night.”

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Volume 13, Issue 18, Posted 10:13 AM, 09.21.2021

Troop 208 Scouts celebrated at Eagle Court of Honor

Boy Scout Troop 208, sponsored by Dover Congregational Church in Westlake, celebrated the accomplishments of eight young men who achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. Eagle Scout is the highest rank in scouting and is earned by less than 4% of all scouts. The scouts recognized at the Eagle Court of Honor were Scott Rennard, David Daniel, John Zaky, Mateo McBride, Philip Sutherland, Nolan Gleespen, Paul Rossander and Landon Miller.

In addition to earning a minimum of 21 merit badges, they completed service projects that benefit the community including renovating the Westlake High School baseball dugouts, installing a pet cemetery at Dover Congregational Church, renovating the outdoor chapel at Sts. Peter and George Coptic Orthodox Church, creation of sensory materials for memory-impaired residents at Sunrise Senior Living Center, renovation of the outdoor campus at Hospice of the Western Reserve, construction of a blessings box community food pantry for Prince of Peace Church, building a seating unit for boat safety training for the U.S. Power Squadron, and renovation of garden and grounds at Bay Presbyterian Church. 

The Eagle Court of Honor included presentations to the Eagles by Westlake Mayor Dennis Clough and Cuyahoga County Council Member Nan Baker. The Eagles were also presented American flags that had been flown over the Pentagon in their honor.

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Volume 13, Issue 17, Posted 10:46 AM, 09.08.2021

Connecting for Kids recognizes Westlake resident with board member award

Tish Henry, a resident of Westlake and a school counselor at Lincoln West High School in Cleveland, has been awarded The Kathleen Louise Nash Board Member Award by Connecting for Kids. This award is named in honor of the founding president of Connecting for Kids and awarded annually to a board member who exemplifies outstanding leadership and dedication to the mission of the organization.

Tish currently serves as board vice president of Connecting for Kids. Her leadership has changed the culture of the board to be more collaborative and inclusive of staff input. She listens to all members of the committee, both staff and board, and steers the team to the right conclusion.

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Volume 13, Issue 15, Posted 9:58 AM, 08.03.2021

Community West Foundation announces Far West Center as award recipient

Community West Foundation announced Far West Center as the 2021 recipient of the David and Martha Hessler Illuminating Hope Award.

Far West Center is a community mental health center in Westlake serving residents of western Cuyahoga County and Lorain County. They offer assessment, counseling, psychiatric evaluation, medication management, and case management for persons struggling with severe mental health problems. Services are available for low-income individuals who need care but cannot find it, pay for it, or wait for it.

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Volume 13, Issue 15, Posted 9:56 AM, 08.03.2021

‘Best of the best’: Clough highlights Westlake’s accomplishments during grand-opening events

The prestige of Westlake was on full display on July 13 as the city celebrated the grand opening of the new Community Services Center, followed by a presentation by Mayor Dennis Clough highlighting the city’s accomplishments over the past year.

The event kicked off as Mayor Clough, joined by Community Services Director Lydia Gadd and the full complement of City Council members, cut the ceremonial green ribbon to “officially” open the new Westlake Community Services Center. The $12 million construction cost was funded by a one-eighth percent income tax levy renewal in 2017.

“For all the years that I’ve been serving with this City Council, we’ve never lacked support from our community,” Clough said. “Hopefully it’s because we’ve been doing the right things and making sure the services in Westlake are superior and of high quality, because we want to continue to be the best of the best.”

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Volume 13, Issue 14, Posted 10:56 AM, 07.20.2021

Westlake Olympian honored by City Council

The City of Westlake presented a proclamation honoring local Olympian Adelaide Aquilla during the July 15 City Council meeting. Adelaide, who was in quarantine in advance of the Tokyo Games, competed in the Olympic shot put competition.

Her proud father, Jared Aquilla, who welded his daughter a squat rack to help with her training, accepted the proclamation on her behalf.

Adelaide finished 20th in the qualifiers in Tokyo on July 30, coming up short of making the Olympic finals. She will return to Ohio State University for her additional year of eligibility.

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Volume 13, Issue 14, Posted 12:58 PM, 07.21.2021

Bay Board of Education June 28 meeting overview

This report contains member observations and selected highlights of the June 28 meeting of the Bay Village Board of Education. It is not an official statement by the League of Women Voters, nor does it represent the official minutes of the meeting.

Board members present: Beth Lally; Scott Schulz; Dave Vegh, vice president; Paul Vincent; Lisa Premier, president; Jodie Hausmann, superintendent.

The meeting was held in the high school auditorium with several hundred people in attendance.

The first item for discussion was the equity report the board had commissioned from Almitra Berry, Ed.D. from A.L Berry Consulting. Dr. Berry flew in to present the just completed report at the meeting. Dr. Holly Schaefer, Bay Schools' director of human resources, opened the presentation in order to provide context for Dr. Berry’s report. She presented a history of equity and inclusivity in Bay Village and the rationale for forming a diversity and equity committee in the spring of 2020.

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Volume 13, Issue 13, Posted 10:28 AM, 07.06.2021

Westlake Mayor congratulates Safety Town graduates

As he has made a point to do year-in and year-out, Westlake Mayor Dennis Clough personally congratulated the first class of graduates from Westlake's 2021 Safety Town program on the grounds of the Westlake Police Station on Thursday, June 17. This year marks the City's 51st consecutive year hosting the program.

Long-time Safety Town director and instructor Olivia Kostecke thanked the mayor for his ongoing support of the program, as well as members of the Police and Fire Departments for their help in sharing their knowledge with the children about a variety of safety topics. Safety Pup, the beloved mascot of the program, was not able to make the first week of graduations but was there for the next one, much to the delight of the kids. He posed for pictures with each of the graduates alongside the mayor.

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Volume 13, Issue 13, Posted 10:30 AM, 07.06.2021

Local author features Bay Village in new book

Dee Krueger’s new fiction novel “Gifts No Bows” is a beautifully written escape to a place where family, friendship, and love are tested.

The story is set in Bay Village during the 1950s and '60s, and it is filled with memories that will make you feel like a kid again growing up in Northeast Ohio. The characters are brought to life so perfectly that you will find yourself immersed in memories of your own childhood. You will experience the joy, pain and hope the characters feel as they grow from childhood through adulthood. 

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Volume 13, Issue 13, Posted 10:26 AM, 07.20.2021

To Engage, Enrich and Empower

Westlake’s new Community Services facility ready to open

The city of Westlake's newly constructed Community Services Center is set to open to the public by June 7.

Located next to the Westlake Recreation Center, at 28975 Hilliard Blvd., the facility is accessible via both Center Ridge Road and Hilliard Boulevard by way of Rec Center Drive.

The Center is about double the size of the old Community Services Center at 28,000 square feet, and has  more space for a cafe, a classroom,  a exercise studio, a theater, and an art room. 

The Community Services department serves the Westlake community with youth programs, food assistance distributions, lifelong learning, fitness and wellness programs.

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Volume 13, Issue 11, Posted 11:57 AM, 06.02.2021

Hilliard flower boxes blooming in Westlake

Dozens of residents made their way to Hilliard Boulevard on a slightly overcast Saturday morning on May 22 to add a splash of color to the more than 220 flower boxes that adorn the median of Westlake's main street.

This annual tradition has been carried on by several families who have tended to the same boxes for decades and may continue to do so for many years to come.

Each flower box is automatically entered in the annual Westlake in Bloom gardening and community beautification competition, which will be accepting entries through June 25.

To learn more about these flower boxes and their special place within the City, visit our website: www.cityofwestlake.org/850/Hilliard-Flower-Boxes.

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Volume 13, Issue 11, Posted 10:18 AM, 06.02.2021

Village Project welcomes new executive director

The board of directors of Village Project is proud to announce that Meredith LaVecchia will take over the executive director position recently vacated by the retiring Barb Harrell.

Ms. LaVecchia is a native of New Jersey and an alumna of the University of Dayton with a degree in communications. She and her husband, Patrick, are the parents of three children. They are longtime residents of Westlake, where Meredith previously held the position of vice president of fundraising for the Westlake Demons Athletic Boosters. In this position, she helped raise more than $150,000 to support the athletic program for the school district.

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Volume 13, Issue 11, Posted 10:16 AM, 06.02.2021

American Legion to retire flags

It’s flag retirement time again. As part of Flag Day weekend, the Bay Village American Legion will be conducting a Flag Retirement Ceremony for old, worn and faded flags on Friday, June 11, at the Post home at 695 Cahoon Road, just North of the White Oaks Restaurant.
There is a collection box located next to the front door to place the flags in.
The Legion conducts the flag retirements twice a year, once as part of Flag Day week and again on Veterans Day in November.
Membership in the American Legion is open to any veteran who has been honorably discharged from the service. For details please call Vice Commander Joe Cronin at 216-521-7849.

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Volume 13, Issue 11, Posted 10:18 AM, 06.02.2021

Bay Village Mayor Koomar addresses state of the city

It wasn’t the best of years, but it wasn’t the worst of years, either, as Bay made it through the pandemic-marred 2020 in pretty good shape. Mayor Paul Koomar shared an overview of last year’s activity in his annual State of the City address at the Dwyer Center on May 20.

On the financial side, Bay’s income tax receipts for the year ended on budget. Income taxes, which make up more than half of the city’s general fund revenue, did drop during the pandemic, but were buoyed by a strong start.

The city received more than $1.2 million in CARES Act funding which was used for pandemic-related needs including public safety personnel, cleaning supplies, personal protective equipment and telework expenses.

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Volume 13, Issue 11, Posted 11:50 AM, 06.02.2021

Bay sailors flourish on Lake Erie

Have you ever been sailing on beautiful Lake Erie? Ask the sailors from Bay Sailing what it feels like. The Bay Sailing team at the Foundry will be competing at the ISSA National High School Championships in Cleveland on June 5 and 6. Bay joins St. Ignatius High School in advancing to the Mallory High School Championship regatta that will crown the best high school sailing team in the USA. Twenty teams advancing to the championship will converge on Cleveland all the way from the Virgin Islands to California to Florida.

Spring sailing season at the Foundry offers sailors an opportunity to compete in tier one, tier two and tier three regattas in grades 7 through 12. The Foundry Community Rowing and Sailing Center located in the Flats of Cleveland along the banks of the Cuyahoga River provides safe, developmental programs for middle and high school students participating in the sports of rowing and sailing. No experience is necessary. Both sailing and rowing are exceptional options for young adults teaching tenacity, perseverance, problem solving and competence. Students report that they feel connected to the Cuyahoga River and Lake Erie. Most importantly, both sports reward focus and effort while teaching what it means to be part of a team.

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Volume 13, Issue 11, Posted 10:16 AM, 06.02.2021

Westlake celebrates residents age 90 and older

The City of Westlake was pleased to present special Over 90 Birthday Proclamations to residents who have lived on this Earth for more than nine decades on April 30, 2021.

Since the City was unable to host its usual Over 90 Birthday Luncheon due to the pandemic, Westlake Community Services Director Lydia Gadd and Outreach Coordinator Donna Feorene personally delivered the proclamations, signed by Mayor Dennis Clough, to each recipient. The seniors also received gourmet cupcakes courtesy of Brookdale Senior Living.

It was the second year in a row the City brought these proclamations to residents' doorsteps in lieu of an in-person event.

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Volume 13, Issue 10, Posted 10:11 AM, 05.18.2021

Village Project board thanks outgoing executive director, Barb Harrell

The board of directors of Village Project expresses its gratitude to Barb Harrell for the many years she has devoted to the organization and to the community.

If you know Barb Harrell, you know she is a woman with many talents, strong faith and unquenchable enthusiasm. Most notably, Barb has an entrepreneurial spirit with a passion to connect individuals of all ages and abilities to make a positive impact in the community. While raising her children, she used her ever-present optimism and her gift for getting the best out of those around her to benefit school, church and community causes throughout Bay Village.

With both her sons off to college in 2010, Barb became acquainted with the Ceres Community Project of Sebastopol, California. She was intrigued by Ceres Project’s innovative concept of using local teenage cooks to prepare nutritious meals for people in their community who are experiencing health challenges. The most inspirational part of this to her was the idea of an organization that involved multi-generational volunteers, particularly youth, experiencing the satisfaction of helping other people. She wanted to facilitate such an opportunity here in Northeast Ohio.

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Volume 13, Issue 10, Posted 10:12 AM, 05.18.2021

Westshore Council of Governments (WCOG) Meeting, April 13, 2021

This report is not an official statement of the League of Women Voters. Mayor Cooney's office prepares official minutes.

Present: Mayors Cooney (Fairview Park), Bobst (Rocky River), Clough (Westlake), George (Lakewood), and Koomar (Bay Village). Mayor Kennedy (N. Olmsted) and WCOG Fiscal Officer Renee Mahoney were unable to attend.

The meeting was held at the Gemini Center in Fairview Park, Mayor Cooney presiding. It was called to order at 9:38 a.m.

Fiscal Officer’s Report: Fiscal Officer Mahoney was unable to attend because of training for the new financial reporting system. Retiring Westshore Enforcement Bureau Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Jeff Capretto will continue on a part-time basis through May. Incoming SAC Matt Vanyo will begin on June 1. Fiscal Officer Mahoney will report on any budget adjustments next meeting.


RTA: Mayor Koomar reported that the RTA board of trustees was going forward with the purchase of new vehicles for the Euclid Avenue Health Line. Service redesign effective in June should enhance connectivity and increase access to employment for individuals.

NOACA: Mayor Bobst reported that Bay Village will receive a Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative (TLCI) implementation grant in the amount of $140,500 to reconfigure the intersection of Wolf and Cahoon roads. The total projected cost of the project is $175,451. Rocky River will receive a TLCI implementation grant in the amount of $95,500 for the Beachcliff/Lake Road Pedestrian Crossing Improvement Project. The total projected cost of the project is $118,805.

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Volume 13, Issue 9, Posted 10:02 AM, 05.04.2021

Drug collection drive continues to be huge success

​The Westshore Enforcement Bureau (WEB) Drug Task Force gratefully acknowledges the citizens of our six western suburbs for actively participating in the semi-annual collection event on Saturday, April 24, with 421 pounds of outdated and unwanted medications collected for safe disposal.

In addition, our WEB communities' citizens were responsible for properly disposing of medications via the use of the 365/24/7 drop boxes located within each of the six police departments lobbies to the tune of 3,022 pounds for the calendar year 2020.

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Volume 13, Issue 9, Posted 10:03 AM, 05.04.2021

Bay Village police chief retires after 25-year career with city

The City of Bay Village, in a statement issued the morning of April 16, announced the retirement of Police Chief Kathleen Leasure, effective May 1. The press release, which was later sent to subscribers of Mayor Paul Koomar’s email newsletter, praised Chief Leasure for her 25 years of service on the department, beginning as a police officer in 1996.

As a patrol officer, Leasure served as a field training officer, evidence technician and was a member of the Bike Patrol Unit and Dive Rescue Team. She was promoted to patrol sergeant in 2008 and detective sergeant in 2016. In June 2020, she was sworn in as the city’s first female police chief, after a contentious hiring process that rankled some members of the department.

No reason was immediately given for her retirement less than a year after her promotion.

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Volume 13, Issue 8, Posted 10:49 AM, 04.20.2021

Prince of Peace welcomes new senior pastor

Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Westlake welcomes its new pastor, the Rev. Charles A. Woodward, following a formal search process and the completion of the interim ministries of Pastor Robin Craig and Pastor Thomas Henderson. The Rev. Sherman Bishop completed his call in 2018 after 22 years of service at Prince of Peace.

When asked about the move to Prince of Peace, Pastor Charlie says, “I am so excited about what Prince of Peace has to offer in worship and service. The people are dedicated to serving as God has equipped them and are ready to welcome others to become engaged in the community – including me! It’s a perfect time to start at the church as they move back to in-person services. We will be able to start together!” 

Pastor Charlie began his ministry at Prince of Peace on March 23 and his first Sunday was March 28, Palm Sunday.

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Volume 13, Issue 8, Posted 10:48 AM, 04.20.2021

Westlake Service Department wishes Al Umerley well in retirement

The City of Westlake is sending Al Umerley best wishes in retirement after 20 years with the Westlake Service Department!

During a reception at the Westlake Service Center on March 23, Al shared some of the highlights of his two-decade career with the city. He noted how much he loved doing building maintenance work for the city and decorating City Hall for the holidays.

He also expressed how he always took pride in his work, even when assigned to less appealing tasks like collecting/sorting rubbish in his early days with the city.

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Volume 13, Issue 7, Posted 10:32 AM, 04.06.2021

Village Project seeks executive director

Village Project is looking for a full-time executive director to work out of its Bay Village headquarters.

Established in 2010, Village Project (VP) is a mission-driven, non-profit organization that seeks creative ways to offer our lives to others, teaching skills that encourage service and foster healthy living. Its vision is to provide a vehicle to approach the devastating disease of cancer in a positive, hopeful manner by utilizing individual gifts and talents in a corporate, multi-generational setting to provide healthful meals, extended support, and an opportunity for all to experience the joy of serving.

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Volume 13, Issue 6, Posted 10:26 AM, 03.16.2021

WCOG meeting covers COVID vaccine response

This report contains member observations and selected highlights of a meeting of the Westshore Council of Governments, and is not an official statement by the League of Women Voters, nor does it represent the official minutes of the meeting.

Present: Mayors Cooney, Fairview Park, presiding; Koomar, Bay Village; George, Lakewood; Kennedy, North Olmsted

The meeting was held Wednesday, Feb. 10, at the Gemini Center in Fairview Park. It was called to order at 9:30 a.m.

Fiscal Officer’s Report, Renee Mahoney: New financial system for payroll has gone live. Ms. Mahoney will send her report next week. It will catch up for January, February and March.

RTA: Mayor Clough presided last month, his last session. Mayor Koomar is waiting for his term to begin next month; he also attended last month’s meeting.

NOACA: Mayor Koomar is acting as alternate for Mayor Bobst, who has been appointed chair of programming and planning. She will have more to report at the next meeting.

Land Bank: No report; they meet quarterly, and all meetings have been virtual.

Planning Commission: They have not met since the last WCOG meeting. Their new director will come to the next WCOG meeting.

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Volume 13, Issue 5, Posted 9:50 AM, 03.02.2021

Town Criers make donation in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Westlake

Connecting for Kids and the Cleveland Animal Protective League each received $250 from the Westlake Town Criers in the names of 2020’s Mr. and Mrs. Westlake, Andrew and Christine Mangels.

Andrew, who is the director of Westlake Porter Public Library, selected Connecting for Kids, a Westlake-based nonprofit that is dedicated to helping families that have a concern about their child’s development and holds many of their programs at the library. Christine, a nurse case manager and avid cat lover, selected the Cleveland Animal Protective League because of the great work they do providing shelter to homeless animals relinquished by their guardians, animals that are rescued from abuse or neglect, and stray or abandoned cats.

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Volume 13, Issue 5, Posted 9:50 AM, 03.02.2021

Westlake resident wins 2 speech awards

Westlake resident Monica Reusser won not one, but two Toastmasters Area 40 speech contests in February. Representing Westlake-based Westside Advanced Toastmasters, she competed Feb. 13 against four other Area 40 clubs.

Reusser won the International Speech Contest with her speech, “A Reckoning,” the story of a mother finding and reuniting with her adopted child after 38 years. She also won the Tall Tales Contest with “A Dream Come True,” the fanciful tale of three wishes from a genie – one of which was to advocate for individuals with ADHD.

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Volume 13, Issue 5, Posted 9:49 AM, 03.02.2021

Westlake business owner receives prestigious award

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Ohio Chapter is excited to announce that Rita Abdallah, LISW-S, ACSW, has been selected as the winner of the NASW Ohio Statewide 2020 Outstanding Service Award.

The NASW Ohio Statewide Outstanding Service Award honors a social worker who has offered outstanding service to NASW. The recipient of the award must be actively involved in state or regional NASW activities over a period of years and have made a significant contribution to an NASW project within the past year. In addition, they must be member of NASW in good standing and demonstrate consistent adherence to the NASW Code of Ethics.

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Volume 13, Issue 5, Posted 9:49 AM, 03.02.2021