Groveport Messenger - March 20th, 2022

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<strong>Messenger</strong><br />

<strong>Groveport</strong><br />

<strong>March</strong> 20 - April 2, <strong>2022</strong> www.columbusmessenger.com Vol. XXXIX, No. 20<br />

Getting ready to, “Play ball!”<br />


ECRWSS<br />


PAID<br />


PERMIT NO. 1516<br />

EDDM<br />


<strong>Messenger</strong> photo by Rick Palsgrove<br />

<strong>Groveport</strong> Madison Cruiser varsity baseball infielders practice their glove work in a drill called “attacking<br />

the ball.” Read the “Cruisers spring sports preview” article on page 6 of this edition of the <strong>Messenger</strong>.<br />

Police capture theft ring<br />

By Rick Palsgrove<br />

<strong>Groveport</strong> Editor<br />

Six members of a gang suspected of<br />

stealing catalytic converters from cars<br />

and box trucks have been indicted on 85<br />

felony counts.<br />

According to <strong>Groveport</strong> Police<br />

Detective Josh Gilbert, the five men and<br />

one woman ranging in ages from around<br />

30 to 45, allegedly stole and scrapped<br />

1,172 catalytic converters in Franklin<br />

(including <strong>Groveport</strong>), Fairfield,<br />

Delaware, Muskingum, and Morrow counties.<br />

Thirty-three catalytic converters<br />

were recovered during search warrants.<br />

“They hit our area pretty hard,” said<br />

Gilbert. “Mainly in our warehouse districts<br />

where they targeted vehicles and<br />

box trucks.”<br />

Gilbert said catalytic converters,<br />

which control emissions and pollution in<br />

vehicles, are valuable because they contain<br />

three precious metals. He said<br />

thieves can got to a scrap yard and get<br />

$300 to $600 per catalytic converter<br />

from a car and $700 to $1,500 from a box<br />

truck. He said it is estimated the suspects<br />

received $431,868 in cash for the<br />

stolen catalytic converters. The thefts<br />

inflicted financial pain on the victims,<br />

causing them to pay $1,300 to $3,000 to<br />

repair their vehicles. Overall, when figuring<br />

in repairs and insurance costs,<br />

Gilbert conservatively estimated the<br />

cost to society for these thefts is $1.7<br />

million.<br />

Gilbert said <strong>Groveport</strong> Police officers<br />

noted a pattern in the catalytic converter<br />

thefts in the city and were able to predict<br />

when the thefts would next occur.<br />

He said last September <strong>Groveport</strong> Police<br />

spotted the suspects and took them into<br />

custody near Commerce Center Drive<br />

and Rohr Road.<br />

“We used intelligence and technology,”<br />

said Gilbert in the police’s methods<br />

to catch the suspects, including monitoring<br />

and reviewing cell phone data,<br />

Facebook, and GPS. He said 15 search<br />

warrants were issued.<br />

“The suspects used Apple Air Tag to<br />

track potential vehicles to hit,” said<br />

Gilbert. “It was a sophisticated approach.”<br />

See POLICE, page 2<br />

Hometown Realtor<br />

Marylee Bendig<br />

<br />

580 Main St., <strong>Groveport</strong>, OH 43125<br />

(614) 218-1097<br />

marylee@maryleebendig.com<br />

A name you KNOW,<br />

the name you TRUST<br />

Little Italy to move<br />

to new building<br />

By Rick Palsgrove<br />

<strong>Groveport</strong> Editor<br />

The Wert’s Grove building will become the new home of a<br />

familiar and long time popular <strong>Groveport</strong> business.<br />

Little Italy Pizza, which has operated at 619 Main St. for 43<br />

years, plans to move into the Wert’s Grove building at 480 Main<br />

St. in <strong>Groveport</strong>.<br />

The new building is part of the city of <strong>Groveport</strong>’s $7.6 million<br />

1847 Main Project, which includes the 14,145 square foot Rarey’s<br />

Port (674 Main St.) building and the 12,184 square foot Wert’s<br />

Grove building. (Delaney’s Diner — a breakfast, lunch, brunch<br />

restaurant — will occupy space in the Rarey’s Port building by late<br />

summer.) Both buildings are city owned and construction on the<br />

structures’ exteriors is expected to be completed sometime this<br />

spring.<br />

“We are hoping to have the new space finished by September<br />

<strong>2022</strong>,” said Little Italy Operations Manager Avery Ward.<br />

“Sourcing of materials and labor has been difficult this year for<br />

us in the restaurant business and we’ve heard the same from our<br />

partners in the construction industry. We are hopeful to be completed<br />

by that date, but are aware we probably will face setbacks.<br />

We will occupy the entire first floor. We hope to have a smooth<br />

transition of our business with only 7 to 10 days of down time to<br />

transition and train our staff.”<br />

<strong>Groveport</strong> Development Director Jeff Green said Little Italy’s<br />

move to the Wert’s Grove building is a great opportunity for both<br />

Little Italy and the city.<br />

“Little Italy is a popular institution in <strong>Groveport</strong>,” said Green.<br />

“This move gives a business that is loyal to the community an<br />

opportunity to grow and expand. We’re excited about it and it is<br />

going to be really great.”<br />

When asked why Little Italy will make the move, Ward said<br />

that the business has out grown its existing space.<br />

“Our building means so much to my family and is a huge part<br />

of our history,” said Ward. “My grandparents (Chuck and Janet<br />

Ward) as young entrepreneurs set their eyes on our current space<br />

to take over what was Smith’s Market and turned it into Chuck’s<br />

Little Giant. They sold local produce, pantry, household items,<br />

and had a butcher shop that served <strong>Groveport</strong> for over 15 years.<br />

Chuck was given an offer to take over a pizza business one block<br />

east of our location.<br />

He did renaming it<br />

Little Italy Pizza.”<br />

Ward said Chuck<br />

and Janet saw the<br />

sales of the grocery<br />

declining and decided<br />

to move the popular<br />

and successful pizza<br />

business into the<br />

Little Giant building.<br />

“Forty-three years<br />

later we’ve been here<br />

ever since,” said<br />

Ward. “My dad, Nick,<br />

dedicated his life’s<br />

See MOVE, page 2<br />

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PAGE 2 - GROVEPORT MESSENGER - <strong>March</strong> 20, <strong>2022</strong><br />

<strong>Groveport</strong> Garden Club<br />

The <strong>Groveport</strong> Garden Club meets the first Tuesday each<br />

month (unless otherwise announced) at <strong>Groveport</strong> Zion Lutheran<br />

Church, 6014 <strong>Groveport</strong> Road. Anyone interested in gardening<br />

welcome. Call Marylee Bendig at (614) 218-1097.<br />

www.columbusmessenger.com<br />

Madison Twp. Police and SWAT team up<br />

On <strong>March</strong> 11, just before 2 p.m., the Madison<br />

Township Police Department was dispatched to the<br />

5300 block of Cullen Drive on a third party report of an<br />

active domestic situation.<br />

According to Madison Township Police Chief Gary<br />

York, shortly after the initial call was aired, it was<br />

upgraded to a physical altercation between a male and<br />

female in the home.<br />

The initial responding officer arrived shortly thereafter<br />

and heard a gunshot coming from an unknown<br />

location.<br />

Franklin County SWAT was contacted and the<br />

scene was treated as a possible barricade situation as<br />

attempts were made to make contact with the involved<br />

parties.<br />

SWAT made entry to the residence with consent of<br />

the homeowner and found no one located within the<br />

house.<br />

“We are thankful for a peaceful resolution to a situation<br />

that could have easily ended in tragedy,” said<br />

York. “We are grateful for the swift response from<br />

Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and to Madison<br />

Township Fire Department and Columbus Fire<br />

Department for their support.”<br />

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The deadline for the Easter Church Page is<br />

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POLICE<br />

Continued from page 1<br />

The police investigation took nine months and<br />

<strong>Groveport</strong> Police worked with several other law<br />

enforcement agencies including the Franklin County<br />

Economics Crime Prosecution Division.<br />

Gilbert added, “This was also a combined effort and<br />

teamwork between our Detective Bureau and our<br />

patrol officers to catch the suspects.”<br />

Gilbert said three of the six suspects were taken<br />

into custody this month and police are on the hunt for<br />

the remaining three suspects.<br />

MOVE<br />

Continued from page 1<br />

work to this business in this building. From working<br />

alongside his dad through his childhood into his high<br />

school years when he took over the business from his<br />

father after Chuck’s death. My dad built a longstanding<br />

relationship with our customer base that remains<br />

strong today. He passed down those core values to me,<br />

getting to know our customers and building a strong<br />

relationship with our community. It’s with those values<br />

that I was able to take our business to new heights<br />

in the last four years.”<br />

Ward said Little Italy expanded its catering service<br />

with corporate partners in the Rickenbacker and<br />

Central Ohio area, expanded its delivery area, and<br />

offered a faster delivery service with more drivers on<br />

its team.<br />

“We improved our product recipes and practices to<br />

ensure consistency,” said Ward. “With that said, we<br />

have grown our reach and have outgrown our space<br />

that we have. Our team works in a very tight kitchen<br />

juggling what we do so it’s been long overdue for<br />

expansion. We want to provide a fantastic service to<br />

our customers and that includes speed. At our peak<br />

times this last year we can’t meet that goal as it’s too<br />

much volume for our little space to handle. This really<br />

expedited the need for expansion.”<br />

Ward said negotiations regarding Little Italy’s<br />

lease with the city of <strong>Groveport</strong> for the Wert’s Grove<br />

building are ongoing.<br />

“We are still negotiating the finer details of the<br />

terms of the lease,” said Ward. “I can say we will be<br />

signing at a minimum a 10 year lease for the space.<br />

<strong>Groveport</strong> is our home and I have zero intentions of<br />

ever leaving this new space. This is going to become<br />

our new home for what is hopefully the next 43 years.”<br />

Green said the city is awaiting the signed lease<br />

before it begins the interior construction work inside<br />

the Wert’s Grove building.<br />

Ward said the new space will enable Little Italy to<br />

bring several new things to town.<br />

“Most exciting that we know the community will be<br />

excited about is hand dipped ice cream,” said Ward.<br />

“We are exploring expanding our menu selection with<br />

more pasta options and salad selections and of course<br />

“It is an extensive case,” said Gilbert, who said<br />

additional indictments are expected as it is thought<br />

the suspects were allegedly involved in other thefts in<br />

<strong>Groveport</strong>.<br />

“This is one of the longest and one of the most costly<br />

in the amount of thefts to society I have ever worked<br />

on,” said Gilbert. “Even if you are not a direct victim,<br />

everyone is affected by crimes like this because it<br />

affects things like insurance rates that everyone pays<br />

for.”<br />

with hand dipped ice cream we plan to bring some<br />

great dessert selections to the table. The new space<br />

will also feature a bar and we will introduce a cocktail<br />

and alcohol menu that complements our house made<br />

specialties.”<br />

He said the new space in the Wert’s Grove building<br />

will be modern, light, and open and will incorporate<br />

the history of Little Italy and the town. He said it will<br />

be a lively, personable experience that welcomes customers,<br />

offers a smooth experience with integrated<br />

technology, and be a place that feels like a connected<br />

community safe haven and organized oasis. The design<br />

will be modern and clean with a nod to local history<br />

coupled with a functional contemporary layout that<br />

appeals to multiple generations.<br />

“We envision this space being a gathering space for<br />

our community,” said Ward. “At the intersection in the<br />

center of town we can’t wait to see the type of experience<br />

this space brings our guests.”<br />

When asked what will happen to the old Little Italy<br />

building at 619 Main St., Ward said, “We are in discussions<br />

with a local couple interested in opening a<br />

coffee house/ bakery/local goods store. We think our<br />

current space will be perfect for this. We will be leasing<br />

out the space to create a new opportunity for someone<br />

looking to bring or open their business in<br />

<strong>Groveport</strong>. After we move out the new business will<br />

have the opportunity to tailor the existing space for<br />

their needs.”<br />

Ward and the Little Italy staff like doing business<br />

in <strong>Groveport</strong>.<br />

“<strong>Groveport</strong> is such a tight knit community.” said<br />

Ward. “Over the years I have seen so much support for<br />

not only local businesses, but support for one another<br />

in times of needs and hardships. This truly is one of<br />

the best towns to plant your roots in.”<br />

Green said the Little Italy move, coupled with other<br />

business development, are creating energy and activity<br />

in downtown <strong>Groveport</strong>.<br />

“Positive things we wanted to happen in the downtown<br />

are happening,” said Green.

www.columbusmessenger.com<br />

Refinancing saves district money<br />

<strong>Groveport</strong> Madison Schools<br />

saving “real money”<br />

By Rick Palsgrove<br />

<strong>Groveport</strong> Editor<br />

<strong>Groveport</strong> Madison Treasurer Felicia<br />

Drummey recently told the <strong>Groveport</strong><br />

Madison Board of Education on Jan. 26<br />

that the district was able to save money by<br />

refinancing some of its debt.<br />

“It’s real money,” said Drummey. “It’s<br />

real savings.”<br />

She said the refinancing lowered the<br />

interest cost on the new high school from<br />

4.1 percent to 2.98 percent, which is an<br />

estimated total cash savings over the<br />

remaining term of bonds of $5.3 million, or<br />

about $206,790 per year starting in 2023.<br />

Additionally, the refinancing of the<br />

administrative District Service Center<br />

building lowered the interest cost from<br />

3.69 percent to 2.26 percent, which is an<br />

estimated total cash savings over the<br />

remaining term of $813,285, or about<br />

$62,000 per year starting in 2023.<br />

“The high school’s existing average bond<br />

interest rate is 4.10 percent, and the illustration<br />

as of January reduces the rate to<br />

2.98 percent, including refinancing expenses<br />

(bond counsel, underwriting expenses,<br />

etc,” said Drummey. “The refinancing of<br />

the debt saves our taxpayers money, as<br />

fewer taxes would need to be assessed to<br />

repay this debt. Refinancing would result<br />

in a savings of $5.3 million over the life of<br />

the debt (or $206,790 annually) starting in<br />

2023. Since the earliest date to sell at the<br />

market is July 6, <strong>2022</strong>, we are subject to<br />

interest rate risk as market conditions will<br />

change with inflation.”<br />

Drummey said the financing of the<br />

District Service Center was refunded as a<br />

Direct Placement Forward Rate Lock with<br />

Chase Bank at 2.23 percent, including the<br />

refinancing expenses.<br />

“This is a little lower than the projected<br />

rate because we entered into a rate lock<br />

agreement,” said Drummey. “The savings<br />

is $832,829 (or $64,000 annually) starting<br />

in 2023. This savings directly reduces the<br />

district’s operating costs, thereby allowing<br />

us to reduce expenses or redirect the savings<br />

on debt toward long-term permanent<br />

improvements.”<br />

When asked why was it important to<br />

the community for the district to do this<br />

refinancing, Drummey replied, “It is<br />

always our goal to be business-minded and<br />

be good stewards of<br />

the resources we’re<br />

provided. Just like a<br />

homeowner would<br />

refinance their<br />

home to reduce their<br />

monthly mortgage<br />

payment, the school<br />

district can refinance<br />

our debt to<br />

reduce the interest<br />

being paid. This<br />

savings on interest<br />

allows the district to<br />

Marylee I. Bendig<br />

“Your Southeast Connection”<br />

reduce expenses or redirect the savings to<br />

purchase more meaningful, long-lasting<br />

assets or improve our facilities.”<br />

Drummey said the refinancing does not<br />

change the existing term by lengthening it<br />

or shortening it. It will expire (be paid off)<br />

as per the original schedule.<br />

“When marketing conditions are favorable<br />

to refinancing debt, it’s the most<br />

responsible thing for us to do on behalf of<br />

our taxpayers and the school district,” said<br />

Drummey.<br />

When asked if this refinancing will have<br />

any impact on the level of property taxes<br />

residents pay toward the debts, Drummey<br />

said the refinancing of the high school’s<br />

bond will be a direct reduction of property<br />

taxes assessed by Franklin County for the<br />

repayment of this debt.<br />

“However, because the amount assessed<br />

is spread among all residents and businesses,<br />

the actual impact on each taxpayer<br />

may go unnoticed,” said Drummey.<br />

“Nevertheless, it’s the right thing to do, as<br />

it’s beneficial to our taxpayers and the<br />

school district.”<br />

She said there are no other similar<br />

debts the district has that can be refinanced<br />

at this time.<br />

“Each debt instrument has guidelines<br />

that govern the type of debt issued and<br />

when,” said Drummey. “For instance, if a<br />

non-taxable bond has a ‘call’ feature, then<br />

the earliest we can refinance the debt is<br />

after the first call date. Otherwise, refinancing<br />

before the first call date would<br />

make the debt taxable to the investor,<br />

which is less attractive and translates to<br />

higher interest rates. As a result, we carefully<br />

time the market to wait to refinance<br />

until after the call date but before interest<br />

rates rise.”<br />

Drummey said district officials have<br />

worked hard to carefully manage and<br />

account for the resources we’ve been provided.<br />

“The district is in a stable financial position,<br />

so we believe we are worthy of a credit<br />

rating upgrade from ‘Good Quality’<br />

(Moody's A2/A3) to ‘High Quality’ Moody's<br />

Aa3 or Aa2,” said Drummey. “An improved<br />

credit rating is essential. Like an individual’s<br />

credit rating, it determines what<br />

interest rate is paid when borrowing<br />

money. We submitted a credit rating application<br />

and we expect to meet with the credit<br />

rating agency in May to present our<br />

financial position and case for an upgrade.”<br />

580 Main St.<br />

<strong>Groveport</strong>, OH 43215<br />

Cell: 614-218-1097<br />

Office: 614-836-2210<br />

Fax: 614-836-2214<br />

marylee@maryleebendig.com<br />

<strong>March</strong> 20, <strong>2022</strong> - GROVEPORT MESSENGER - PAGE 3

PAGE 4 - GROVEPORT MESSENGER - <strong>March</strong> 20, <strong>2022</strong><br />

<strong>Groveport</strong> history films<br />

Two documentary films on the history of<br />

<strong>Groveport</strong>, produced by the <strong>Groveport</strong><br />

Heritage Society and Midnet Media, are<br />

now available for viewing online on<br />

YouTube.<br />

The films are: “<strong>Groveport</strong>: A Town and<br />

Its People” and “The Story of John S.<br />

Rarey and Cruiser.”<br />

<strong>Groveport</strong> Heritage Museum<br />

The <strong>Groveport</strong> Heritage Museum contains<br />

photographs, artifacts, and documents<br />

about <strong>Groveport</strong>’s history.<br />

The museum is located in <strong>Groveport</strong><br />

Town Hall, 648 Main St., and is open during<br />

<strong>Groveport</strong> Town Hall’s operating<br />

hours. Call 614-836-3333.<br />

columbusmessenger.com<br />

southeast<br />

<strong>Messenger</strong><br />

(Distribution: 8,000)<br />

Rick Palsgrove ...................................<strong>Groveport</strong> Editor<br />

southeast@columbusmessenger.com<br />

Published every other Sunday by<br />

The Columbus <strong>Messenger</strong> Co.<br />

3500 Sullivant Ave., Columbus, Ohio 43204-1887<br />

(614) 272-5422<br />

The Columbus <strong>Messenger</strong> Co. reserves the right to edit, reject or cancel<br />

any advertisement or editorial copy at any time. The company is not<br />

responsible for checking accuracy of items submitted for publication.<br />

Errors in advertising copy must be called to the attention of the company<br />

after first insertion and prior to a second insertion of the same advertising<br />

copy.<br />

Keep tabs on the latest news in<br />

<strong>Groveport</strong> & Madison Township<br />

Look for <strong>Groveport</strong> <strong>Messenger</strong> on<br />

www.columbusmessenger.com<br />

A look at <strong>Groveport</strong> from above<br />

Seeing things from a viewpoint high above offers one an interesting<br />

perspective.<br />

At the <strong>Groveport</strong><br />

Editor’s Notebook<br />

Rick<br />

Palsgrove<br />

Heritage Museum,<br />

648 Main St., we are<br />

lucky to have a large<br />

aerial photo of <strong>Groveport</strong> from 1952 (see<br />

photo below). I believe the photo was authorized<br />

by Franklin County officials and taken<br />

by a photographer in either a plane or a helicopter.<br />

The photo is wonderful because, from that<br />

aerial viewpoint, it reveals both the layers of<br />

history visible in the <strong>Groveport</strong> landscape as<br />

well as the then modern changes taking place<br />

in the town 70 years ago.<br />

One can see how transportation systems<br />

shaped <strong>Groveport</strong>. In the photo, the remnants<br />

of the 19th century era Ohio and Erie<br />

Canal can be seen as its route cuts through<br />

the eastern edge of town from the northeast<br />

to the southwest. The route of the early <strong>20th</strong><br />

century Scioto Valley Traction Line electric interurban railway is<br />

visible coming from the west to Blacklick Street and then east<br />

toward Canal Winchester. The railroad curves into town from the<br />

northwest crossing College and Front streets and then heads east.<br />

<strong>Groveport</strong> School (now <strong>Groveport</strong> Elementary) stands out in the<br />

photo because of its sheer size. The school’s old oval cinder running<br />

track is plainly visible to the west of the school, but the two small<br />

baseball diamonds in its infield that we know today were not yet<br />

built in 1952 as that ground encircled by the track was still being<br />

used as the high school football field. (However, the large baseball<br />

diamond was there just east of the track.) The current football<br />

field behind <strong>Groveport</strong> Madison Middle School Central did not yet<br />

exist as it would not be built until the mid to late 1950s. Just east<br />

of <strong>Groveport</strong> School one can see a newly built free standing gymnasium.<br />

That gym was the first phase of a project that in the mid-<br />

1950s added classrooms and a cafeteria to it to become a new high<br />

school. That school eventually became what is now Middle School<br />

Central.<br />

A striking thing about the aerial photo is how <strong>Groveport</strong> is surrounded<br />

by open farm land as well as the open areas within the<br />

town limits. Lesleh Avenue looks newly constructed and only one<br />

house was in place on that street. One can see that Cherry and<br />

Canal streets were extended to connect to Lesleh Avenue and<br />

these extensions also did not yet have houses along them.<br />

Further west, the Kessler Addition subdivision looks newly<br />

built encompassing Madison, Kessler, and South streets.<br />

Mohr Avenue, Holton Street, and Clark Court did not yet exist<br />

and that area was open land when the aerial photo was taken.<br />

West Street ended at Canal Street to the south.<br />

Glendening Elementary and <strong>Groveport</strong> Madison Middle School<br />

South were not there and that area appeared to be farm land.<br />

Large familiar buildings stand out in the photo, such as the<br />

<strong>Groveport</strong> United Methodist Church and <strong>Groveport</strong> Town Hall<br />

along Main Street as well as the former Catholic Mission at the<br />

end of Naomi Court.<br />

The <strong>Groveport</strong> Cemetery was visibly smaller than it is now<br />

because of the presence of more graves in the past 70 years.<br />

Neighboring Heritage Park did not exist and the Palm’s Pond area<br />

looked like a wetland.<br />

Along the streets of town there were vacant lots awaiting houses<br />

that would be built in the coming seven decades.<br />

Near the edges of town the houses thinned out and farm fields<br />

began to dominate. The town’s agricultural character at the time<br />

is emphasized by the two rows of several grain silos visible on<br />

ground on the northeast corner of South Hamilton Road and<br />

Corbett Road.<br />

Photos capture specific moments in time, but I feel this aerial<br />

photo seems to do even more than that as one can see the past,<br />

present, and future co-existing in one place.<br />

Rick Palsgrove is editor of the <strong>Groveport</strong> <strong>Messenger</strong>.<br />

Become a fan!<br />




Say it with an announcement ad in<br />

the <strong>Messenger</strong> and spread the word.<br />

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our Web site or stop by our office<br />

Monday-Thursday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.<br />

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614-272-5422<br />


www.columbusmessenger.com<br />

<strong>Messenger</strong> delivery with<br />

the Sunday Dispatch<br />

As readers know, we contract delivery of<br />

the <strong>Messenger</strong> in with the Sunday<br />

Dispatch. Recent proposed delivery<br />

changes by the Dispatch, which would<br />

have affected delivery of the <strong>Messenger</strong> in<br />

with the Sunday Dispatch, have now been<br />

put on hold. Therefore, you will continue to<br />

receive your <strong>Messenger</strong> in with your<br />

Sunday Dispatch for the foreseeable<br />

future. Thanks for reading the <strong>Messenger</strong>!<br />

Guns vs. Hoses softball<br />

The <strong>Groveport</strong> Recreation Department<br />

is planning a charity slow pitch softball<br />

game between the <strong>Groveport</strong> Police,<br />

Madison Township Police, and the<br />

Join us at Scott Antique Markets!<br />

With such a large variety from our exhibitors,<br />

there’s sure to be something for everyone!<br />

Merchandise may include: rugs, furniture, jewelry,<br />

collectibles, toys, coins, home décor and<br />

much, much more.<br />

There will be around 800 booths with vendors<br />

Madison Township Fire Department to be<br />

played in the late spring or early summer<br />

in <strong>Groveport</strong> Park, 7370 <strong>Groveport</strong> Road.<br />

More details about the game will be available<br />

soon.<br />

Easter Egg Hunt<br />

The city of <strong>Groveport</strong> will hold an<br />

Easter Egg Hunt on April 9 from 10 a.m. to<br />

noon in Heritage Park, 551 Wirt Road. The<br />

egg hunt for kids ages 0-4 will start at 10<br />

a.m. at the log house.<br />

The egg hunt for kids ages 5-10 will<br />

start at 10:30 a.m. at Palm’s Pond. The<br />

event features kids’ crafts, bounce house,<br />

farm animals, and free snacks. Get a photo<br />

with the Easter Bunny at the log house.<br />

For information call 614-836-3333.<br />

Rain date is April 16.<br />


America’s favorite<br />

treasure hunts<br />

ready to help you find whatever you may be looking<br />

for. You never know what you’ll find at<br />

“America’s favorite treasure hunts!”<br />

You can find us at the Ohio Expo Center in the<br />

Bricker Building on Saturday 9 a.m. - p.m. and<br />

Sunday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.<br />

Antiques, Collectibles,<br />

Jewelry, Vintage,<br />

Home Decor, Militaria<br />

and more!<br />

America’<br />

ica’s s Fa<br />

av<br />

vorite Treasure e Hunts!<br />

It’s tim me for<br />

<strong>March</strong> 20, <strong>2022</strong> - GROVEPORT MESSENGER - PAGE 5<br />


ARTEN<br />


TION<br />

MAR<br />

RCH 1 - APRIL 15, <strong>2022</strong><br />



The parent/guardian must be a resident of <strong>Groveport</strong> Madison Schools (proof of<br />

residency is required at the time of registration*). The child must be five years<br />

old by August 1, <strong>2022</strong>.<br />


1. Go to www.gocruisers.org/enrollment.aspx, click<br />

on “SpeedyStart Online Registration” and answer<br />

the questions.<br />

2. Once online registration has been completed, you will<br />

be able to set up a convenient time to complete the<br />

registration process.<br />

3. Bring your required documents* to your appointment.<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

Dec. 17 & 18<br />

* A list of required documents is available at www.gocruisers.org/enrollment.aspx.<br />

No computer access from home or work? Visit the Southeast Branch of the<br />

Columbus Metopolitan Library or stop by our office to use one of the computers<br />

at the District’s W elcome Center.<br />


4400 Marketing Place, Suite B<br />

<strong>Groveport</strong>, OH 43125<br />

(614) 491-8288<br />


PAGE 6 - GROVEPORT MESSENGER - <strong>March</strong> 20, <strong>2022</strong><br />

www.columbusmessenger.com<br />

<strong>Groveport</strong> Madison Cruisers spring sports preview<br />

By Rick Palsgrove<br />

<strong>Groveport</strong> Editor<br />

Spring is here and that means it’s time<br />

for <strong>Groveport</strong> Madison Cruiser High School<br />

athletes to break out the bats, balls, gloves,<br />

and racquets, and also to hit the track running.<br />

Baseball<br />

The Cruiser varsity baseball team is<br />

looking to have a strong season.<br />

“The strength that I’ve seen on this<br />

year’s team is our pitchers,” said Cruiser<br />

head baseball coach Tommy Snyder. “In<br />

the past we have counted on one or two<br />

guys. This year we have six guys who can<br />

start on the mound for us, which will allow<br />

our guys a break.”<br />

Snyder mentioned shortstop/pitcher<br />

Kyle Jennings, leftfielder Keller Weston,<br />

rightfielder/pitcher Price Cooper, and centerfielder/pitcher<br />

Ryan Pettay as some of<br />

the team’s top players this season.<br />

“Our offense has to come together,” said<br />

Snyder. “We have to be able to score runs.<br />

Our hitting needs to improve for us to stay<br />

in the games.”<br />

Snyder said every team dreams of winning<br />

the Ohio Capital Conference Buckeye<br />

Division title.<br />

“We are no different,” said Snyder. “The<br />

Buckeye Division is loaded with talented<br />

teams. I know Lancaster and Newark will<br />

give us some trouble.”<br />

Boys Track<br />

“The strength of this year’s boys track<br />

team is how deep we are in the sprints,<br />

jumps, and throws,” Cruiser head boys<br />

track coach Ryan Alton. “After scraping by<br />

in 2021 (coming off the lost 2020 season)<br />

with a roster of only 28 boys, we have more<br />

than doubled that with a majority of our<br />

competitors coming over from the football<br />

team. These boys are fast, strong, and<br />

explosive, which should help a great deal in<br />

the aforementioned events. It will be such<br />

a luxury to be able to spread the talent out<br />

so that we don’t run guys into the ground<br />

just to field a team or live in that fear of<br />

where to turn if someone goes down with<br />

an injury.”<br />

Alton said some of the team’s top performers<br />

include returning sprinters senior<br />

Markell Holmes and sophomore Elijah<br />

Simmons, along with hurdlers seniors<br />

Jordan Lisath and Nevin Montgomery.<br />

“These will be the guys I lean on the<br />

most to lead the new participants,” said<br />

Alton. “Our distance team will be led by<br />

juniors Ibsa Liben and Clayton Perez. I am<br />

excited to see newcomers junior Thomas<br />

Andrews and sophomores Lucas Reed, Jace<br />

Nincehelser, Marcus Davis and Raishad<br />

King. Young throwers freshman Jaylen<br />

Joyce and sophomore Lane Hanes have the<br />

Mary Lou Bartmess, matriarch of our Bartmess<br />

family, departed on a Saturday, February 19th from<br />

Colorado.<br />

My Mom was born 17 February 1939, so had just reached<br />

83 years. She grew up in Parkersburg, West Virginia and<br />

attended Parkersburg High School as Mary Lou Meyer.<br />

She married Larry Richard Bartmess of Marietta, Ohio<br />

whom she met roller-skating.<br />

My Mom, Mary, is survived by sons, David Alan Bartmess and Michael Craig Bartmess; David’s<br />

daughter Denise Elizabeth Seifert and granddaughter Alexa Marie Seifert; Michael’s sons Severin<br />

Michael Bartmess, Seann Bradley Bartmess and Calvin Hobbes Bartmess; brothers William (Butch)<br />

Meyer and Richard McHenry; and sister Ellen Smith.<br />

My mom and dad, Mary and Larry, bought their first home in Galion, Ohio where Mary worked<br />

for Bell Telephone and Galion Ironworks. They moved from Galion to Columbus, Ohio and then<br />

to <strong>Groveport</strong>, where Mary worked last and longest for the Federal Probation Office. Mary and<br />

Larry moved to Colorado after Mary retired from the federal government.<br />

My Mom loved working near the riverfront of downtown Columbus and running the Federal<br />

Probation office activity.<br />

My Mom was a rabid supporter of the <strong>Groveport</strong> High School band and of high school football<br />

and wrestling during our high school years and upon retirement moved to Colorado to be closer<br />

to her five grandchildren.<br />

She always talked about the times I took her for drives in the Colorado mountains and she talked<br />

incessantly about the dogs in her life that she held in high esteem.<br />

In my youngest years I remember my mom singing while she baked. She had a very sweet and<br />

gentle voice.<br />

My Mom was one of those cooks who mostly never measured ingredients. I can recall no time<br />

when she created something that came out bad. We loved her cooking.<br />

My Mom was frugal and consistent in her beliefs, a middle-class American with duty to family<br />

and friends. She was a constant in our lives, a matriarchal rock. We will think of her when the<br />

cozy remembrances of daily life lift us to be more. We will remember her when we gather for<br />

holiday festivities she took so much to heart. We will remember her whenever family gathers.<br />

We will miss her in our everyday.<br />

We will be holding a memorial when the Spring flowers re-emerges in Colorado. Contact Michael<br />

at 719-238-0791 for more information.<br />

potential to follow in the footsteps<br />

of last year’s state qualifier<br />

JaShaun McGraw in the shot<br />

put.”<br />

Alton said the OCC Buckeye<br />

Division is loaded with talent.<br />

“It’s hard to say which school<br />

will provide the most competition<br />

to us without it feeling like a<br />

slight on the other teams,” said<br />

Alton. “Pickerington Central and<br />

Lancaster are historically deep<br />

and strong across the board. I<br />

feel Reynoldsburg typically mirrors<br />

us in the way their strength<br />

comes from their sprints and<br />

jumps. As far as winning a division<br />

title, we really have our<br />

work cut out for us, but that is<br />

always the goal. We’re at a good<br />

place with our numbers where<br />

we have the guys to do it. It’s on<br />

us as coaches to get them ready<br />

to compete and peak in mid-May<br />

when the title is on the line.”<br />

He said the biggest challenge<br />

is going to be taking the team’s<br />

new, raw talent and shaping it<br />

into what the team could be.<br />

“We are fairly young and inexperienced,”<br />

said Alton. “In looking at the<br />

underclassmen and down the line at the<br />

middle schoolers coming up, the future of<br />

<strong>Groveport</strong> Madison track has never been<br />

brighter. For the <strong>2022</strong> season, our challenge<br />

is going to be teaching and getting<br />

these guys up to speed so we can be legitimate<br />

OCC contenders right now.”<br />

Girls Track<br />

Cruiser girls track head coach Jason<br />

Brooks is in his 13th year as a head coach,<br />

but his first as a girl’s head coach.<br />

“So this year has been a big change,”<br />

said Brooks. “The girls have been so much<br />

fun to work with and we are extremely<br />

young. We have one senior on the team,<br />

Kalista Miln, who is my senior captain and<br />

will be one of my best athletes. She can do<br />

almost anything. She holds our pole vault<br />

record and will continue to smash that this<br />

year. She is also a 5 foot high jumper, a 100<br />

foot discus thrower and can be in multiple<br />

running events as well.”<br />

Brooks said the team’s strength this<br />

year is in sprints, relays, and jumping<br />

events.<br />

“With Kalista’s leadership leading the<br />

way in jumps, my star sprinter is Aniyjah<br />

Bryant,” said Brooks. “She is a junior and a<br />

returning letterman who struggled with<br />

injuries last year but has crazy potential.<br />

Running 26.21 at districts hurt in the 200<br />

she can possibly be one of the favorites this<br />

year in this region. Joining Aniyjah will be<br />

Braylan James, junior long jumper and<br />

sprinter, and Nijah Montgomery, junior<br />

sprinter and long jumper.”<br />

He said other notable runners include<br />

junior captain and distance runner Alexiz<br />

Golden and sophomore Eva Walton who<br />

Brooks described as “awesome leaders who<br />

<strong>Messenger</strong> photo by Rick Palsgrove<br />

Cruiser assistant varsity baseball coach Blake<br />

Snyder pitches to Kyle Jennings in the batting cage.<br />

work extremely hard.”<br />

Brooks said the team is young and consists<br />

of mostly underclassmen who will be<br />

facing competition in the OCC Buckeye<br />

Division, which is “incredibly tough”<br />

“So this year we will have some individual<br />

success and some team success, but we<br />

are not ready to win our division,” said<br />

Brooks. “My biggest challenge this year is<br />

to get our athletes in the best position for<br />

success. To get the runners in events that<br />

they have the best potential for success. We<br />

have to grow as a team. This is always the<br />

toughest challenge for any coach.”<br />

Softball<br />

Cruiser head softball coach Chris<br />

Downing said having Kendyll Cahill back on<br />

the pitcher’s mound this season is a big plus.<br />

“She had 331 strikeouts last year and<br />

earned second team All-State honors,” said<br />

Downing. “Also, with Addison Cothern<br />

returning as the everyday catcher is huge.<br />

Tai Resendes as the leadoff and as centerfielder<br />

is another big plus.”<br />

As far as the Cruisers’ toughest competition<br />

this season in the OCC Buckeye<br />

Division, Downing said, “Lancaster and<br />

Pickerington Central are always tough, but<br />

Newark has a group of juniors back who<br />

have been playing together since their<br />

ninth freshman year.”<br />

He said the Cruisers’ biggest challenge<br />

this year is scoring enough runs and staying<br />

healthy.<br />

“We do not have a lot of depth if we want<br />

to compete at the varsity and junior varsity<br />

level,” said Downing.<br />

Boys tennis<br />

No reply was received from the boys’<br />

tennis coach.

ActiveLifestyles<br />

www.columbusmessenger.com<br />

<strong>March</strong> 20, <strong>2022</strong> - GROVEPORT MESSENGER - PAGE 7<br />

A bi-monthly feature celebrating our community’s senior citizens<br />


The time is always right<br />

for social work<br />

<strong>March</strong> is Social Work Month, a month-long<br />

celebration that shines the spotlight on the positive<br />

impact social workers make in the community.<br />

The National Association of Social Workers, a<br />

professional membership and advocacy organization<br />

for social workers, leads a nationwide awareness<br />

campaign each year that includes a special<br />

theme. This year’s theme, “The Time is Always<br />

Right for Social Work,” emphasizes that social<br />

work is needed now more than ever to address<br />

health, economic, and societal issues for all populations.<br />

In the spirit of acknowledging social workers<br />

during this special month, Central Ohio Area<br />

Agency on Aging (COAAA) thanks its social<br />

workers and staff for ensuring that older adults<br />

and individuals with disabilities receive the help<br />

they need to live independently.<br />

COAAA case managers, which include<br />

licensed social workers and registered nurses,<br />

arrange and coordinate in-home services – such<br />

as home-delivered meals, homemaking, personal<br />

care, and transportation – to help individuals live<br />

independently at home.<br />

Additionally, COAAA helps family caregivers<br />

navigate long-term care options for their loved<br />

ones and advises caregivers on ways to address<br />

challenging caregiving issues.<br />

For COAAA, the time is always right for<br />

social work. Join COAAA in celebrating social<br />

workers during <strong>March</strong> and throughout the year.<br />


Ponderosa Steakhouse<br />

celebrates 53rd anniversary<br />

The Ponderosa Steakhouse at 3875 South<br />

High St. in Columbus, the longest operating one<br />

in existence, just celebrated its 53rd anniversary<br />

this year.<br />

Times have changed from the early years, but<br />

we are still serving delicious steaks, chicken and<br />

seafood entrees as well as our world-famous buffet.<br />

Plus, we have added some new menu items -<br />

BBQ ribs, gourmet burgers and several flavors of<br />

Jumbo Chicken Wings.<br />

Ponderosa truly has something for everyone in<br />

the family – including kids and seniors. We love<br />

supporting our Southern Columbus community<br />

and we pride ourselves in being senior and family<br />

friendly.<br />

There are special deals for seniors, the most<br />

popular one being our happy hour buffet with free<br />

beverage every Monday to Friday from 1 to 4<br />

p.m.<br />

We also support our local veterans and military<br />

with a free buffet and beverage on their special<br />

day along with a regular daily discount.<br />

We would like to invite everyone to come<br />

visit, whether you are a regular or new to us.<br />



Are you new to Medicare?<br />

Do you need help understanding your options?<br />

Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging’s (COAAA) FREE ‘Medicare for<br />

Beginners’ workshops provide unbiased information to help you make<br />

informed decisions. Workshops are only being offered through Zoom at<br />

the present time. Join us for our upcoming workshop:<br />

Wednesday, <strong>March</strong> 23 at 2:00 p.m.<br />

Registration is required. To register, email Andy Haggard, COAAA<br />

Medicare Outreach Manager, at ahaggard@coaaa.org or call 800-589-7277.<br />

coaaa.org/medicare<br />

Funded in part by:<br />

This project was supported in part by grant number 2101OHMIAA/MIDR-00 from the U.S. Administration for Community Living,<br />

Department of Health and Human Services, Washington D.C. 20201. Subrecipients undertaking a project with government sponsorship<br />

are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official ACL policy.

PAGE 8 - GROVEPORT MESSENGER - <strong>March</strong> 20, <strong>2022</strong><br />

• Planning Ahead Guide<br />

• Designing Your Funeral<br />

• Funeral & Burial Services<br />

• “Cremation With Confidence Guarantee”<br />

www.spencefuneralhome.com<br />

614-837-7126<br />

650 West Waterloo St.<br />

Canal Winchester, OH 43110<br />

614-837-7126<br />

550 Hill Road N..<br />

Pickerington, OH 43147<br />

Active Lifestyles<br />

Golden Cruiser Club<br />

Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period (AEP)<br />

<strong>2022</strong> is officially over. But you still can enroll<br />

into a Medicare Advantage Plan that has a 5-star<br />

plan rating.<br />

My name is Terri Curcio, I live in Franklin<br />

County, and have over 15 years’ experience in<br />

working with Medicare. You are welcome to contact<br />

me directly at 614-460-0601 or email me at<br />


a virtual meeting, a face to face or I’ll mail plan<br />

information to your attention for review.<br />

I am not an operator in a call center – you are<br />

welcome to call anytime during the year with<br />

www.columbusmessenger.com<br />

<strong>Groveport</strong> Madison Schools invites senior<br />

residents of the district to attend athletic<br />

and performing arts programs showcasing<br />

the talents of its students. The<br />

Golden Cruiser Club is a free program for<br />

residents of the <strong>Groveport</strong> Madison School<br />

District who are age 60 and older. Club<br />

membership provides free access to all<br />

school and district sponsored athletic contests,<br />

plays, concerts, and other events. To<br />

become a member of the Golden Cruiser<br />

Club, obtain an application at<br />

www.gocruisers.org, at any of the school<br />

offices, or call (614) 492-2520. The requirements<br />

for membership are that applicants<br />

be age 60 or older and be a resident of<br />

<strong>Groveport</strong> Madison Schools.<br />

We Love Our Veterans<br />

<strong>Groveport</strong> Town Hall, 648 Main St.,<br />

<strong>Groveport</strong>, will host the We Love Our<br />

Veterans exhibit through <strong>March</strong> 25. The<br />

city of <strong>Groveport</strong> is recognizing honorably<br />

discharged military veterans from all<br />

branches of service who reside in Franklin<br />

County. The exhibit includes items from<br />

Motts Military Museum, the <strong>Groveport</strong><br />

Heritage Museum, the Central Ohio<br />

Military Museum, and items from individuals<br />

and families.<br />


Be confident in your<br />

Medicare coverage<br />

questions. Also, if you qualify, we can complete<br />

the paperwork for Low Income Subsidy (LIS),<br />

which is advertised on the TV as a way to pay for<br />

your monthly premium. I work with the major<br />

insurance carriers in central Ohio, not just one or<br />

two plans. Select the plan that benefits you for the<br />

coming year, lowest possible copays for service<br />

and medications. Some of the plan options<br />

include dental, vision and fitness programs. $0<br />

cost for my consultation and enrollment services.<br />

You need to be confident in the plan you select<br />

for your coverage.

www.columbusmessenger.com<br />

Active Lifestyles<br />

<strong>March</strong> 20, <strong>2022</strong> - GROVEPORT MESSENGER - PAGE 9<br />

<br />

<br />

Franklin County Board of Commissioners: President Kevin L. Boyce • Commissioner John O’Grady, and Commissioner Erica C. Crawley<br />

The Franklin County Board of Commissioners and The Franklin County Office on Aging join with the <strong>Messenger</strong> Newspaper in providing this update on aging issues in Franklin County.<br />

We are providing HOPE<br />

HOPE, Helping Our residents, and families with Purposeful Engagement,<br />

is a new initiative by the Franklin County Office of Aging to support<br />

senior residents and their families. For the duration of the HOPE campaign,<br />

our agency will be reaching out directly to seniors, families, and<br />

caregivers to check in on their health and inform them about services<br />

available through the Office on Aging.<br />

Each month, we will showcase several agency programs and services that<br />

have assisted senior residents and their families since 1993. This month,<br />

we are highlighting the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine, and providing<br />

information on vaccines, boosters, and transportation. We will also<br />

discuss resources that are available to help caregivers and give an overview<br />

of our Senior Options Program. In April, we will highlight the<br />

Kinship Support Program and the Home Repair Program. Lastly in May,<br />

we will share the significance of our Adult Protective Services department,<br />

and how members of the public can help in ending elder abuse.<br />

Currently in Franklin County, 66.92 percent of the population has received<br />

at least one dose of the vaccine. In reviewing the data and zip codes with<br />

low vaccination rates from the January 12, <strong>2022</strong>, Ohio COVID-19<br />

Vaccine Administration by County & ZIP Code Report, our agency recognized<br />

the emergent need to provide opportunities to increase the total<br />

percentage of vaccinated individuals within Franklin County and apply<br />

targeted focus on homebound older adults and their families living in zip<br />

codes that have the lowest vaccination rates. Our agency also saw the need<br />

to provide vaccine access to homebound adults, who otherwise would not<br />

be able to get vaccinated. By working with Equitas Health, Franklin<br />

County Public Health and Columbus Public Health, we have been able to<br />

increase the number of homebound residents who received the vaccine.<br />

Through our agency’s Senior Options Program, transportation to medical<br />

appointments, including appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine and<br />

booster shot, is being provided to older Franklin County residents. Not<br />

only does our Senior Options Program assist senior residents in getting<br />

around the county, but they also offer a wide array of services including:<br />

• Adult Day Care<br />

• Emergency Response Systems<br />

• Home-Delivered Meals<br />

• Home Care Services<br />

• Nutritional Supplements, Incontinence Supplies, and Durable Medical<br />

Equipment<br />

Senior Options is not the only department within the Office on Aging that<br />

is providing incredible resources to seniors and their families. Our Caregiver<br />

Support Program provides short term support and services to families<br />

to enhance and restore independence to the resident and the caregiver.<br />

With over 53 million people in the United States in the role of an unpaid<br />

family caregiver, and over 1.5 million of those people living in Ohio, we<br />

have never seen the need higher than we are now. Our agency can provide<br />

caregivers of older adults 60 years and older, who are non-paid, and who<br />

have a demonstrated need for home care assistance, with resources to<br />

help. We can also provide services to non-paid parents or relatives 55<br />

years or older, caring for an adult child who has disabilities and show a<br />

demonstrated need for home care assistance.<br />

Program services include:<br />

• Adult Day Services<br />

• Caregiver Counseling<br />

• Durable Medical Equipment<br />

• Incontinent Supplies<br />

• Institutional Respite Care<br />

One of the many goals of our agency is to provide necessary resources to<br />

our senior residents, and their families, so that they can remain independent,<br />

safe, and together for as long as possible. In the upcoming months,<br />

look out for our agency to continue to share resources including information<br />

on our Kinship Support Program, Home Repair Program, and our<br />

Adult Protective Services department. If you or someone you know needs<br />

the services or programs listed above, and has not yet received a call from<br />

us, please contact the Franklin County Office on Aging at 614-525-5230.

PAGE 10 - GROVEPORT MESSENGER - <strong>March</strong> 20, <strong>2022</strong><br />

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February crime statistics from the<br />

Madison Township Police: 2 accidents with<br />

injuries, 11 animal complaints, 5 assaults,<br />

81 patrol security checks at Brobst Park, 3<br />

burglary, 2 dog bites, 23 domestic complaints,<br />

1 fight, 5 hit skip accidents, 15<br />

juvenile complaints, 15 larceny/theft, 2<br />

missing persons, 1 narcotic, 40 parking<br />

violations, 10 property damage accidents,<br />

1 rape, 1 sex offense, 1 robbery in progress,<br />

2 shots fired in area, 12 suspicious cars,<br />

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5 threats or harassment, 86<br />

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Program offers insights on coyotes<br />

By Rick Palsgrove<br />

<strong>Groveport</strong> Editor<br />

Want to learn about coyotes?<br />

Coyote Run, a 900-acre privately owned<br />

farm and conservation project located just<br />

south of Pickerington, will host a free presentation<br />

about coyotes on April 7 at 6:30<br />

p.m. at 9270 Pickerington Road. The presentation<br />

by Marne Titchenell, extension<br />

wildlife program specialist for the Ohio<br />

State University in the College of Food,<br />

Agricultural, and Environmental Science,<br />

will explore the myths and facts about coyotes.<br />

“Coyotes are a part of many communities<br />

in Ohio and living with a large predator<br />

raises many questions,” said Titchenell.<br />

“It’s important to talk about what coyotes<br />

are doing and why, and address resident<br />

concerns. The end goal is a peaceful coexistence,<br />

which is possible.”<br />

David Hague of Coyote Run said a presentation<br />

like this important to the community<br />

because, “Coyotes are often misunderstood.<br />

The lack of understanding contributes<br />

to unnecessary fear. The more<br />

folks know about coyotes, or the natural<br />

world in general, the better chance of<br />

peaceful coexistence.”<br />

Hague added, that except for humans,<br />

coyotes are a top predator.<br />

“They help keep the balance between<br />

predator and prey,” said Hague.<br />

The April 7 presentation will go into<br />

detail about how people should conduct<br />

themselves around coyotes and how to protect<br />

pets and livestock.<br />

“We know that our behaviors impact<br />

coyotes,” said Hague. “We don’t want them<br />

to get too comfortable, especially in our<br />

backyards. Harassment can be an effective<br />

strategy to keep coyotes out. It’s also<br />

important to eliminate any potential food<br />

that could attract a coyote, such as pet food<br />

left outside or a bird feeder that attracts a<br />

lot of rodents. Keep cats indoors and monitor<br />

small dogs when they are outside alone.<br />

There are a variety of options for keeping<br />

livestock safe, such as fencing, harassment,<br />

and use of guard animals to name a<br />

few. It depends on the situation and the<br />

animals you are trying to protect.”<br />

The estimated number of coyotes in the<br />

southeastern Franklin County and northwestern<br />

Fairfield County areas is not<br />

specifically known.<br />

“We know they are there, but do not<br />

know how many,” said Hague.<br />

Photo courtesy of ODNR Division of Wildlife<br />

A coyote in its natural habitat.<br />

When asked if coyotes are considered<br />

dangerous, Hague said, “There is risk<br />

involved when coexisting with a top predator.<br />

Conflicts with coyotes do occur, however,<br />

we can influence their behaviors both<br />

good and bad. Research on urban coyotes<br />

has shown us that coexistence is possible.”<br />

About Coyote Run<br />

According to Hague the goal of Coyote<br />

Run is to restore its several hundred acre<br />

property to as close to pre-European settlement<br />

as possible and preserve it in perpetuity<br />

for 500 years.<br />

“Last year a portion of the property was<br />

dedicated as the 140th State Nature<br />

Preserve,” said Hague.<br />

Public access is through group events<br />

through the Ohio Department of Natural<br />

Resources, The Ohio State University<br />

Extension, Fairfield County Park District,<br />

and various other organizations. Coyote<br />

Run provides outdoor labs for Ohio State<br />

University and the Pickerington Library.<br />

Coyote Run also offers other programs<br />

including bird walks, mushroom forays,<br />

wetlands exploration, night hikes, tree<br />

identification walks, celestial events, dragonfly<br />

walks, wildflower walks, and bio<br />

blitzes.<br />

“We’re known for our vernal pools,<br />

which feature salamanders,” added Hague.<br />

Nature talks on various topics are<br />

offered throughout the year. Events are<br />

posted on Facebook: Coyote Run Ohio.<br />

DestinationOutlets.com<br />

800-213-9083<br />

8000 Factory Shops Blvd.<br />

Jeffersonville, OH 43128<br />



First ursday<br />

The city of <strong>Groveport</strong>’s First Thursday<br />

summer festival series will be held the first<br />

Thursday of the month in June, July, and<br />

August from 4:30-7:30 p.m. in Cruiser<br />

Park, 4677 Bixby Road. The event features<br />

food trucks, more than 40 vendors, a petting<br />

zoo, kids’ craft tent and bounce house,<br />

a dog show in August, and live music. The<br />

music schedule is: June 2 - Lee Gantt; July<br />

7 - Jack Middleton; and Aug. 4 - The<br />

Morning Lumber Co. There will be giveaways<br />

to the first 200 attendees each date.<br />

Giveaways are: June 2 - <strong>Groveport</strong> tote bag;<br />

July 7 - hand sanitizer; and Aug. 4 - travel<br />

bowl. For information call 614-836-3333.<br />

<strong>Groveport</strong> city council<br />

<strong>Groveport</strong> City Council holds its regular<br />

meetings at 6:30 p.m. on the second and<br />

fourth Mondays of the month. Council<br />

holds its committee of the whole meeting<br />

on the third Monday each month at 5:30<br />

p.m. Meetings are held in the municipal<br />

building, 655 Blacklick St., <strong>Groveport</strong>.

www.columbusmessenger.com<br />

<strong>March</strong> 20, <strong>2022</strong> - GROVEPORT MESSENGER - PAGE 11<br />

<strong>Groveport</strong> Madison begins to plan for future of its schools<br />

By Rick Palsgrove<br />

<strong>Groveport</strong> Editor<br />

The <strong>Groveport</strong> Madison Board of<br />

Education approved contracting with SHP<br />

Architects for facility planning regarding<br />

the potential renovation, expansion, or<br />

replacement of the district’s existing elementary<br />

and middle schools.<br />

According to the contract, SHP<br />

Architects will: review and update assessments<br />

of existing schools in the district;<br />

assist with the analysis of enrollment projections;<br />

facilitate advisory team meetings;<br />

research existing site information on properties<br />

owned by the district as well as<br />

potential new building sites; facilitate the<br />

development of the district’s Master<br />

Facilities Plan and locally funded facility<br />

plan options; and engage with the community<br />

to share facility and site conditions,<br />

needs and opportunities; participate in formulating<br />

an educational vision to identify<br />

where the district wants to be relative to<br />

trends in education; how the district might<br />

respond to the Ohio Department of<br />

Education’s Strategic Plan for Learning;<br />

identify how new or renovated learning<br />

spaces can support the district; and identify<br />

Master Facilities Plan preferences all at<br />

a cost of $77,000.<br />

The board already approved contracting<br />

with Cropper GIS for a demographic and<br />

capacity/utilization study of the district at a<br />

cost of $35,500. That work is now underway.<br />

The board also voted to not accept funding<br />

this year from the Ohio Facilities<br />

Construction Commission.<br />

“This will allow us to have time for proper<br />

facility planning and community<br />

engagement,” said <strong>Groveport</strong> Madison<br />

Superintendent Garilee Ogden.<br />

The reason for postponing acceptance of<br />

OFCC money is that, if the district accepted<br />

the funding now, it would need to have<br />

its Master Facilities Plan completed by<br />

mid-May, which does not give the district<br />

sufficient time to complete its planning,<br />

research, and community engagement.<br />

Ogden previously noted such a short<br />

amount of time does not allow time to figure<br />

out building attendance boundary<br />

realignment and prepare a campaign for<br />

three potential election cycles to try and<br />

pass a bond issue. She added <strong>Groveport</strong><br />

Madison is at the top of the OFCC’s list for<br />

segmented projects “so it is likely that they<br />

will come to us next January again with<br />

funding even if we say ‘no’ right now.”<br />

Timeline<br />

Now that the SHP Architects contract is<br />

approved, facility analysis, community<br />

engagement, and educational visioning<br />

begins. After that, discussions about facilities<br />

planning, what the new schools could<br />

look like, where buildings would be, what<br />

the community wants, building grade configurations,<br />

and building attendance<br />

boundaries can take place as well as<br />

informing the community about the Master<br />

Facilities Plan. (The building attendance<br />

boundaries do not refer to the entire district’s<br />

actual boundary. It refers to the<br />

attendance boundaries within the district<br />

for each individual school building regarding<br />

which school building students attend<br />

based on where they reside.)<br />

District officials indicated a completed<br />

Master Facilities Plan and a board resolution<br />

for the OFCC would be needed by<br />

April 2023 in order to receive funding<br />

approval from the OFCC.<br />

A bond issue for new buildings could<br />

appear on the November 2023, May 2024,<br />

or August 2024 ballot.<br />

Ogden noted the bond issue must pass<br />

by August 2024 or else the district would<br />

have to reapply for OFCC funding.<br />

She also said the district’s five year<br />

renewal general operating levy is tentatively<br />

scheduled for the November 2024<br />

ballot as that is latest date it can be<br />

approved for the district to start collecting<br />

money in 2025.<br />

Buildings’ capacity and enrollments<br />

As of October 2021, the district had<br />

6,271 students. In comparison, enrollment<br />

was 5,569 in 2015-16.<br />

Warner said overcrowding is the central<br />

issue facing the district, but other factors<br />

to be considered in the facilities planning<br />

process include the age, condition, efficiency,<br />

adaptability, and cost to maintain the<br />

existing elementary and middle schools.<br />

To deal with student overcrowding, the<br />

district has 24 modular classrooms in use,<br />

including a single quad-classroom unit at<br />

<strong>Groveport</strong> Elementary, two double-classroom<br />

units at Asbury Elementary and<br />

Dunloe Elementary, and six double-classroom<br />

units at Sedalia Elementary.<br />

Here are the capacity and enrollments<br />

(as of December 2021) for <strong>Groveport</strong><br />

Madison’s elementary and middle schools<br />

(a new 240,000 square foot, 1,500 student<br />

high school opened in 2018):<br />

•Asbury Elementary — Built in 1963<br />

with additions in 1968 and 1969.<br />

Enrollment, 476. Functional capacity, 425.<br />

•Dunloe Elementary — Built in 1967<br />

with additions in 1968 and 1969.<br />

Enrollment, 448. Functional capacity, 425.<br />

•Glendening Elementary — Built in<br />

1968 with addition in 1974. Enrollment,<br />

455. Functional capacity, 425.<br />

•<strong>Groveport</strong> Elementary — Built in 1923.<br />

Enrollment, 417. Functional capacity, 425.<br />

Placed on the National Register of Historic<br />

Places in 2009.<br />

•Madison Elementary — Built in 1967<br />

with additions in 1968 and 1969.<br />

Enrollment, 354. Functional capacity, 425.<br />

•Sedalia Elementary — Built in 1969<br />

with addition in 1974. Enrollment, 562.<br />

Functional capacity, 446.<br />

•Middle School North — Built in 1975.<br />

Enrollment, 495. Functional capacity, 425.<br />

•Middle School South — Built in 1975.<br />

Enrollment, 466. Functional capacity, 425.<br />

•Middle School Central — Built in stages<br />

as a high school between 1952-56.<br />

Our Family Caring For Yours<br />

Enrollment, 448. Functional capacity, 425.<br />

Placed on the National Register of Historic<br />

Places in 2009.<br />

Since December, <strong>Groveport</strong> Madison<br />

Communications Director Jeff Warner said<br />

now every building in the district, except<br />

for Madison Elementary, is over capacity.<br />

(Functional capacity is 85 percent of original<br />

design capacity and reflects modern<br />

requirements for classroom space and programming.<br />

Source: <strong>Groveport</strong> Madison<br />

Schools.)<br />

Dr. Sacheen Garrison<br />

5055 S. Hamilton Road<br />

<strong>Groveport</strong>, OH 43125 614-836-0500<br />


PAGE 12 - GROVEPORT MESSENGER - <strong>March</strong> 20, <strong>2022</strong><br />

Our Pictorial Past<br />

by Rick Palsgrove<br />

www.columbusmessenger.com<br />

Where’s<br />

Phil contest<br />

winner<br />

The winner of<br />

the Where’s Phil<br />

contest that<br />

appeared in the<br />

<strong>March</strong> 6<br />

<strong>Groveport</strong><br />

<strong>Messenger</strong> is<br />

Amber Griffith!<br />

Railroad yard<br />

Photo courtesy of the <strong>Groveport</strong> Heritage Museum<br />

This photo from 1908 is a view of the <strong>Groveport</strong> railroad yard looking north from<br />

Front Street. The large, brick warehouse at the right still stands today. At left is the<br />

<strong>Groveport</strong> railroad depot, which was torn down in the 1960s. When the Ohio and<br />

Erie Canal fell into disuse in the late 19th and early <strong>20th</strong> centuries, the railroad<br />

became the hub of shipping and receiving activity for <strong>Groveport</strong> businesses.<br />

<strong>Messenger</strong><br />

<strong>Groveport</strong><br />

BEST COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER in <strong>Groveport</strong><br />

Pick-Up At These<br />

Locations:<br />

<strong>Groveport</strong> Senior Village - 5124 Hendron<br />

Madison Township Office - 4575 Madison Lane<br />

Paddock Pub/<strong>Groveport</strong> Golf Ctr. - 1005 Richardson Rd.<br />

Southeast Library - 3980 S. Hamilton Rd.<br />

Asbury Methodist Church - 4760 Winchester Pike<br />

<strong>Groveport</strong> Municipal Building - 655 Blacklick St.<br />

<strong>Groveport</strong> Town Hall - 648 Main St.<br />

Flyers PIzza/<strong>Groveport</strong> - 296 Main St.<br />

Ace Hardware - 726 Main St.<br />

Little Italy Pizza - 619 Main St.<br />

Huntington Bank/<strong>Groveport</strong> - 556 Main St.<br />

<strong>Groveport</strong> Recreation Center - 7370 <strong>Groveport</strong> Rd.<br />

READ US ONLINE: www.columbusmessenger.com<br />

We are the<br />

BEST<br />

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To advertise in<br />

the <strong>Messenger</strong><br />

to get word out<br />

about your<br />

business and to<br />

support local<br />

journalism,<br />

call 614-272-<br />

5422 today.<br />

Letters<br />

policy<br />

The <strong>Groveport</strong><br />

<strong>Messenger</strong> welcomes<br />

letters to the editor.<br />

Letters cannot be<br />

libelous. Letters that<br />

do not have a signature,<br />

address, and<br />

telephone number, or<br />

are signed with a<br />

pseudonym, will be<br />

rejected.<br />



The <strong>Messenger</strong><br />

reserves the right to<br />

edit or refuse publication<br />

of any letter for<br />

any reason. Opinions<br />

expressed in the letters<br />

are not necessarily<br />

the views of the<br />

<strong>Messenger</strong>. Mail letters<br />

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Sullivant Avenue,<br />

Columbus, OH<br />

43204; or by email to<br />


www.columbusmessenger.com<br />

Cleaning up<br />

<strong>Messenger</strong> photo by Rick Palsgrove<br />

A worker power washes the bricks on the new Rarey’s Port building. The city<br />

owned building, along with the new Wert’s Grove building, are part of the city of<br />

<strong>Groveport</strong>’s $7.6 million 1847 Main Project. The 14,145 square foot Rarey’s Port<br />

building is located at 674 Main St. and the 12,184 square foot Wert’s Grove building<br />

is located at 480 Main St. Construction is expected to be completed on the buildings<br />

in the spring of <strong>2022</strong>.<br />

Concert in the Park<br />

The city of <strong>Groveport</strong>’s Concert in the<br />

Park summer music series will be held the<br />

last Saturday of the month in June, July,<br />

and August in Heritage Park, 551 Wirt<br />

Road. Bring a picnic dinner, a blanket or<br />

lawn chair, and invite your friends and<br />

family to this free concert series. Food<br />

Trucks will be available to purchase food<br />

and non-alcoholic beverages from 5:30-8<br />

p.m. Bands play from 6-8 p.m. Scheduled<br />

bands are: June 25 - Mama Drama; July 30<br />

- Rob Adam; and Aug. 27 - Willie Nelson<br />

Mande. For information call 614-836-3333.<br />

Princess Party<br />

<strong>Groveport</strong> Town Hall, 648 Main St., will<br />

host a Princess Party for ages 3-12 on April<br />

23 from 10 a.m. to noon. The party features<br />

singing, finger foods and dessert, crafts,<br />

dancing, nail painting, and a fashion show.<br />

Cost is $5 per person. One adult per<br />

princess. Register and pre-pay by April 18.<br />

For information call 614-836-3333.<br />

Rickenbacker has best year<br />

Rickenbacker International Airport<br />

handled 153,600 metric tons of cargo in<br />

2021, setting new records for both annual<br />

tonnage and widebody all-cargo aircraft<br />

handled.<br />

The airport’s international tonnage<br />

handled was up 44 percent year-over-year,<br />

with the export portion of that volume up<br />

<strong>March</strong> 20, <strong>2022</strong> - GROVEPORT MESSENGER - PAGE 13<br />

122 percent.<br />

Adding to its successful year, it served<br />

as one of the few non-passenger hub airports<br />

to accommodate converted passenger-freighters,<br />

surpassing 1,700 of these<br />

all-cargo flights since the beginning of the<br />

pandemic. The airport also recently welcomed<br />

two new operators, Apex Logistics<br />

and Maestro International Cargo (now<br />

part of Alliance Ground International).<br />

Cruisers on the air<br />

The <strong>Groveport</strong> Sports Network and Rick<br />

Cooper provides live play-by-play coverage<br />

of <strong>Groveport</strong> Madison High School athletic<br />

contests. The broadcast includes high definition<br />

video and live audio.<br />

Each broadcast begins 25 minutes prior<br />

to the scheduled start time with the pregame<br />

show.<br />

Tune in after the game for interviews<br />

with players and the head coach. The<br />

broadcasts can be accessed free by anyone<br />

on their computer or handheld device. All<br />

broadcasts are available to view free on<br />

demand.<br />

Go to www.facebook.com/groveportsportsnetwork.<br />

The schedule - softball:<br />

<strong>March</strong> 26 at 11 a.m. vs. Westerville North;<br />

April 9 at 11 a.m. vs. Gahanna; April 11 at<br />

5:15 p.m. vs. Lancaster; April 15 at 5:15<br />

p.m. vs. Newark; April 30 at 10 a.m. vs.<br />

Canal Winchester; May 2 at 5:15 p.m. vs.<br />

Pickerington Central; May 4 at 5:15 p.m. at<br />

Newark.<br />


Deadlines: <strong>Groveport</strong> and West editions, Wednesdays at 5 p.m., • South/Canal Winchester, Grove City, Madison editions, Tuesdays at 5 p.m.<br />

All editions by phone, Tuesdays at 5 p.m. • Service Directory, Tuesdays at 5 p.m.<br />


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xPublic Notices<br />


You are hereby notified that the City<br />

of <strong>Groveport</strong> Council will consider<br />

passage of AN ORDINANCE APPROV-<br />





EMERGENCY on Monday, <strong>March</strong> 28, <strong>2022</strong> at 6:30 P.M.<br />

in the Council Chambers of the <strong>Groveport</strong> Municipal<br />

Building, 655 Blacklick Street, <strong>Groveport</strong>, Ohio.<br />

This Council Meeting is open to the public. The Codified<br />

Ordinances are on file in the office of the Clerk of Council<br />

and posted on the website at www.groveport.org.<br />

Ruthanne Sargus Ross, CMC<br />

Clerk of Council<br />

Public Notices<br />




MONDAY, APRIL 4, <strong>2022</strong> 6:00 P.M.<br />



#<strong>2022</strong>-01 A request by Aaron Carroll for a<br />

Rezoning at 325 Main Street, Parcel #185-000443<br />

(tabled from the February 7, <strong>2022</strong> meeting).<br />

#<strong>2022</strong>-02 A request by Aaron Carroll for a Final<br />

Development Plan at 325 Main Street,<br />

Parcel #185-000443<br />

(tabled from the February 7, <strong>2022</strong> meeting).<br />

The public is invited to attend and participate.

PAGE 14 - GROVEPORT MESSENGER - <strong>March</strong> 20, <strong>2022</strong><br />

www.columbusmessenger.com<br />


Deadlines: <strong>Groveport</strong> and West editions, Wednesdays at 5 p.m., • South/Canal Winchester, Grove City, Madison editions, Tuesdays at 5 p.m.<br />

All editions by phone, Tuesdays at 5 p.m. • Service Directory, Tuesdays at 5 p.m.<br />

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READER<br />


The National Trade Association<br />

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purchased the following<br />

classifieds. Determining<br />

the value of their service<br />

or product is advised by<br />

this publication. In order<br />

to avoid misunderstandings,<br />

some advertisers do<br />

not offer “employment”<br />

but rather supply the<br />

readers with manuals, directories<br />

and other materials<br />

designed to help<br />

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order selling and other<br />

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check with the Better<br />

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NOTICE<br />

The following states: CA,<br />

CT, FL, IA, IL, IN, KY,<br />

LA, MD, ME, MI, MN,<br />

NE, NC, NH, OH, OK,<br />

SC, SD, TX, VT and WA<br />

requires seller of certain<br />

business opportunities to<br />

register with each state<br />

before selling. Call to<br />

verify lawful registration<br />

before you buy.

www.columbusmessenger.com<br />

xCome & Get It!<br />

.<br />


Deadlines are Tuesdays by 5 pm.<br />

Call For Publication Schedule 614-272-5422<br />

Need to Get Rid of Something Fast - Advertise It Here For FREE!<br />

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Come and Get It! is a bi-weekly column that offers readers an opportunity to pass<br />

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appliances, plants or household goods to anybody who will come and get them - as<br />

long as they’re FREE. NO PETS! Just send us a brief note describing what you want to<br />

get rid of, along with your name, address and phone number. Nonprofit organizations<br />

are welcome to submit requests for donations of items.<br />

Send information to The Columbus <strong>Messenger</strong>, Attention: Come and Get It, 3500<br />

Sullivant Ave., Columbus, OH43204. Deadline is Tuesdays by 5 pm for following<br />

Mondays publication. <strong>Messenger</strong> Newspapers is not responsible for any<br />

complications that may occur. Please contact us when items are gone. 272-5422<br />

Come & Get It!<br />

xInformation<br />

The unconscious, subconscious or reactive<br />

mind underlies and enslaves Man. It’s the<br />

source of your nightmares, unreasonable<br />

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to: P.O. Box 13557,<br />

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or call 1-800-848-8141<br />

<strong>March</strong> 20, <strong>2022</strong> - GROVEPORT MESSENGER - PAGE 15<br />

xClassified Services<br />


AGM OHIO<br />

ROOFING &<br />


Free Estimates<br />

Cell 614-512-1699<br />


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For excellent cleaning serv<br />

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dependable. 10% Seniorr<br />

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AJ’s Concrete,<br />

Masonry<br />

Good Work - Fair Prices<br />

Block Foundations<br />

Driveways • Sidewalks<br />

Epoxy/Overlay Floors<br />

Bonded-Ins. • Free Ests.<br />

614-419-9932<br />



All Types Concrete Work<br />

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40 Yrs. Exp.<br />

(614) 207-5430<br />

Owner is On The Job!<br />



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Block Work & Excavation<br />

Stamp Patios,<br />

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Patio & Walkways,<br />

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Sealing of new &<br />

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2/13 A<br />


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Complete System Clean & Check<br />

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All Makes • All Models<br />

45 yrs exp. • Sr. Discount<br />

614-351-9025<br />

HOME<br />


SINCE 1973<br />

Phil Bolon Contr.<br />

Windows & Siding<br />

Decks, Kitchens, Baths<br />

Room Additions,<br />

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Bsmt Waterproofing<br />

Deal With Small Non-Pressure Co.<br />

47 Yrs. Exp. - Refs. Avail.<br />

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Free Est. - Financing Avail.<br />

Member BBB Of Cent. OH<br />

O.C.I.E.B. ID #24273<br />

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or 614-863-9912<br />


2/13<br />

A/M<br />



Basements, Walls<br />

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614-376-2701<br />

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Minor Plumbing<br />

& Electric<br />

Install Hot Water Tanks,<br />

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Also Fencing &<br />

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Free Est. ~ 18 Yrs. Exp.<br />

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LOOK TO<br />


IN OUR<br />


For Service<br />

“That Is Out Of This World”<br />

2/13 A<br />

4/10 A&M<br />

11/7 A<br />

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$<br />

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HOME<br />




Siding-Windows-<br />

Doors-Roofing-Soffit-<br />

Fascia-Gutters-Trim<br />

Earn FREE Seamless<br />

Gutters with Siding Over<br />

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Over 20 yrs exp. • Free Est.<br />

Licensed-Bonded-Insured<br />

Owner & Operator<br />

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HOME<br />


Handyman Remodeling<br />

Over 35 yrs exp.<br />

Larry 614-376-7006<br />



Free Estimates<br />

Spring Clean-up, Mulching,<br />

Patios, Trees Removed, etc.<br />

Call 614-378-1237<br />



FOR YOU<br />

Summer, Spring,<br />

Winter or Fall<br />

WE DO IT ALL!!!!<br />

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Mulching, Hauling,<br />

Garden Pond &<br />

Home Maint.<br />

Free Ests. Low Rates<br />

$20 & Up<br />

Kevin - 614-905-3117<br />


Painter Over 30 Yrs. Exp.<br />

Free Est. Reas. Rates<br />

Daniel - 614-226-4221<br />


DRYW<br />

YWALL &<br />


1/30<br />

A&M<br />

REPAIR<br />

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Residential/Commercial<br />

BIA<br />

2/27 A<br />

PEST<br />



MYERS<br />


Exp. Expert Plumbing<br />

New Work & Fast Repairs<br />

Lic. - Permit Available<br />

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PAGE 16 - GROVEPORT MESSENGER - <strong>March</strong> 20, <strong>2022</strong><br />

www.columbusmessenger.com<br />

Lockbourne to honor the Tuskegee Airmen<br />

By Linda Dillman<br />

Staff Writer<br />

In 1946, Lockbourne Army Airfield was<br />

home to the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of<br />

Black service members under the leadership<br />

of Colonel Benjamin Davis, Jr., the<br />

first African-American officer to command<br />

an Army Air Force Base.<br />

The village of Lockbourne never forgot<br />

the airmen’s dedication and precedent-setting<br />

service to their country and is preparing<br />

to install a memorial in the village’s<br />

Veteran’s Park in the center of town to the<br />

Tuskegee Airmen and others who served at<br />

the base.<br />

“Lockbourne Air Force Base was named<br />

after the Village of Lockbourne,” said<br />

Lockbourne Mayor Christie Ward. “We<br />

believe that it is a part of our history, not<br />

only in the village, but Hamilton Local<br />

Schools and throughout Hamilton<br />

Township. There was so much historical<br />

building and the base history has been<br />

destroyed with the development in and<br />

around Rickenbacker. We want to make<br />

sure that the history is not lost. The memorial<br />

is a great way to preserve the history<br />

for generations to come.”<br />

During Lockbourne’s Memorial Day<br />

parade and ceremony, the village highlights<br />

the history of Lockbourne Air Force<br />

Base as part of an effort to share all that<br />

“We have built a strong relationship<br />

with the Ohio Memorial<br />

Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen<br />

and are collaborating with them<br />

to tell their story. Lockbourne Air<br />

Force Base was their last home.<br />

The chapter is celebrating Ohio<br />

Tuskegee Airmen Day with a<br />

special event at the National<br />

Veterans Memorial and<br />

Museum on <strong>March</strong> 29.”<br />

- Christie Ward, mayor<br />

Village of Lockbourne<br />

was accomplished at the base.<br />

“We have built a strong relationship<br />

with the Ohio Memorial Chapter of<br />

Tuskegee Airmen and are collaborating<br />

with them to tell their story,” said Ward.<br />

“Lockbourne Air Force Base was their last<br />

home. The chapter is celebrating Ohio<br />

Tuskegee Airmen Day with a special event<br />

at the National Veterans Memorial and<br />

Museum on <strong>March</strong> 29.”<br />

The memorial project is spearheaded by<br />

Rediscover Lockbourne, a 501C(3) organization,<br />

which is raising money for the<br />

Greatness just<br />

got even closer.<br />

<strong>Messenger</strong> photo by Linda Dillman<br />

Lockbourne Mayor Christie Ward is eager to start moving on the village’s next historical<br />

endeavor, a wall in Veteran’s Park saluting the service at Lockbourne Air<br />

Force Base of the Tuskegee Airmen. Part of the fundraising effort includes sales of<br />

Crossroads of Liberty, a pictorial tribute of the air base written by Robert M. Stroup.<br />

Copies are available at the village office Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m.<br />

to noon For information call 614-491-3161.<br />

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$300,000 to $360,000 project through several<br />

fundraising events, including sales of<br />

“Crossroads of Liberty,” a hardcover book<br />

by Robert Stroup chronicling the history of<br />

Lockbourne/Rickenbacker Air Force Base.<br />

Black granite panels etched with text<br />

and pictures comprised the memorial,<br />

which forms a wall of 10 to 12 panels along<br />

the east side of the park and features the<br />

history of the base, including the accomplishments<br />

of the Tuskegee Airmen.<br />

Ward is hopeful some of panels are<br />

installed before the Columbus Air Show in<br />

June 2023.<br />

She said this would give air show attendees<br />

an opportunity to get a sneak peak of<br />

the vision of the project.<br />

“Lockbourne, Hamilton Local Schools<br />

and Hamilton Township have a rich military<br />

legacy and Lockbourne/ Rickenbacker<br />

Air Force Base was a major part of that history,”<br />

said Ward. “We want to remember<br />

the Tuskegee Airmen, the Women Air<br />

Service Pilots and all of the rich history at<br />

Lockbourne/Rickenbacker Air Force Base.<br />

Their story is important to tell and we are<br />

in a position to be the voice for them.”<br />

Carved out of farm land in southeastern<br />

Franklin County, the base was activated in<br />

1942 and initially provided basic pilot<br />

training and military support as the<br />

Northeastern Training Center for the Army<br />

Air Corps. It was later renamed<br />

Lockbourne Air Force Base and was the<br />

home to bomb and fighter wings.<br />

Lockbourne AFB nearly doubled in size<br />

in the 1950s during the Korean War.<br />

The number of service personnel<br />

reached 18,000 in 1967 during the Vietnam<br />

War. Renamed Rickenbacker Air Force<br />

Base in 1974, the base lost two-thirds of its<br />

jobs four years later when SAC transferred<br />

operations to other bases.<br />

In 1979, parts of the base were transferred<br />

to the civilian Rickenbacker Port<br />

Authority and the Ohio National Guard. In<br />

1994, Rickenbacker Air Force Base officially<br />

closed after all active duty operations<br />

were transferred.<br />

The Ohio Air National Guard and the<br />

Naval Reserve still maintain a presence at<br />

Rickenbacker Airport.

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