Year in Review

Yellow Springs, 2008: The year in review

Closure of Antioch College

At Antioch College’s 156th commencement, graduate Vanessa Little is shown with her dad, Robert. 121 students graduated from the college in April, which closed June 30. Task force conversations continue toward the goal of reopening the college.

The fate of Antioch College, unknown at the beginning of 2008, remained unknown at year’s end. However, in the intervening 12 months a heart-wrenching story unfolded as a second alumni effort to save the college failed and the college closed its doors. In June, a third effort to save the college was launched and that effort continues at the end of the year.

ACCC effort fails

At the beginning of 2008 hope was high that a new alumni effort to save the college, slated for suspension in June 2008, would succeed. The first alumni effort, which included a fund-raising effort that raised $18 million, had collapsed in November 2007.

The second alumni effort was launched in December 2007 when a group of ex-university trustees and major donors formed the Antioch College Continuation Corporation, or AC3, a nonprofit aimed at taking control of the college. AC3 leaders hoped that a deal would be struck by the Antioch University trustees’ meeting in Seattle the end of February. The trustees had announced in Jume 2007 that the college would close due to financial exigency.

The February 2008 trustees meeting came and went without a deal, and ended in considerable confusion. University leaders flew home from the Seattle meeting to announce to the Antioch College community that no agreement had been reached and the trustees had reaffirmed the closing of the college. However, AC3 leaders and one university trustee, Paula Treichler, stated that the announcement was premature and the trustees had not turned down the AC3 offer. AC3 leaders expressed frustration that they had not been allowed to meet with the board to present their offer, and restated their desire to do so.

On March 28, university leaders announced that negotiations with the AC3 had ceased. While the AC3 had offered the university $12.2 million for the college — $6.2 million up front and $6 million within five years — that amount was not acceptable because the university felt the $6 million to be paid within five years had not been adequately secured, university leaders said.

AC3 leaders stated that they still had not been allowed to meet with the entire board of trustees, only a small negotiating team composed of Antioch University Chancellor Toni Murdock and university attorneys. A growing number of college alumni pressured trustees to meet with the AC3 face to face, and that meeting took place in Columbus in April, leading to hopes that an agreement for an independent college was within reach.

At the end of April, Antioch College graduated its last class of 121 graduates in an emotional, celebratory commencement.

On May 8 the trustees announced that they had rejected the final offer of the AC3. That offer included $9.5 million up front in payment for the college, and $6 million for the other university campuses to be paid within six years. The offer also involved a reconfiguration of the university board of trustees, with eight seats to be chosen by the AC3, eight by the university, and four agreed to by both.

AC3 leaders said they were shocked by the decision, since the board had accepted a similar offer in an unannounced vote the week before. However, university leaders said that the AC3 requested a last-minute change in board personnel that was thought to upset the balance of power on the board in favor of the AC3. University leaders also said the offer was rejected because the AC3 had not clarified how the college would be maintained after its first year. In response, AC3 leaders stated that in 14 meetings between representatives from the trustees and the AC3, that issue, among others cited as reasons for the rejection, had never been raised.

Plans moved ahead for the closing of the college, and Antioch College closed its doors at the end of June.

Surprise resolution

However, at the university trustees’ regular meeting in June, the trustees passed a surprise resolution inviting college alumni to propose a new process and plan for transferring the college to alumni control. Alumni and board members agreed to form a task force with two alumni representatives, Lee Morgan and Matthew Derr, and two board representatives, Dan Fallon and Jack Merselis, with the intention of reaching an agreement for the transfer of the college to the alumni as an independent institution with its own board.

Nonstop launched

Although the college was closed, a group of former college faculty, staff and students moved ahead with their plans to continue the values and traditions of Antioch College, although without a campus. Funded by the alumni board, the Nonstop Liberal Arts Institute launched its effort in September, holding classes in churches, stores and homes in the community. Although not yet accredited, the effort attracted about 20 traditionally aged students and about 60 community members, who signed on to take classes or workshops. Nonstop received international attention when an Associated Press writer reported on the venture in the fall.

Concerns over shutdown

Former faculty and community members expressed concern over the summer and early fall about the university’s closing of the campus, specifically regarding fire safety, the disposal of furniture and equipment and the university’s decision to leave the college’s buildings unheated over the winter. University leaders stated that they were throwing away only unusable equipment and furniture, that surveillance cameras would keep the campus safe, and that financial considerations would not allow heating of the buildings.

AAUP investigates

In October the American Association of University Professors, or AAUP, the national advocacy organization for higher education faculty, announced that it would launch an investigation into the closing of Antioch College, focusing on whether basic principles of academic governance had been followed and whether an alternative other than closing the college had been available. Representatives from the AAUP visited the area in December to conduct interviews.

Task force continues

In the fall the alumni leaders announced that a pro tem board of directors for an independent Antioch College had been chosen, composed of former trustees and major donors. By the end of the year, the task force conversations were continuing between representatives of the alumni and the university trustees.

In December the Nonstop Liberal Arts Institute community threw a party to thank the Yellow Springs community for its support. Nonstop will continue with its second semester to begin in January, having been refunded by the alumni board.

Village Council news

Mark Cundiff, former planning director of Troy, became the new Village manager in November.

Mark Cundiff, former planning director of Troy, became the new Village manager in November.

New Village manager

Village Council’s biggest task for the year was hiring a new Village manager to replace Eric Swansen, who had left the job in June after a little more than two years for a new position in Washington state. In June Council hired John Weithofer, former longtime manager of Miamisburg, as interim manager until a new manager was hired. Later in the summer Council hired Don Vermillion of the University of Dayton to oversee the search process, which included the mailing of surveys to Village residents and, in October, a series of daylong interviews with the three finalists for the job, who were Mark Cundiff, planning director of Troy, Nancy Benroth, assistant village administrator in Bluffton, and Randy Bukas, village manager of Germantown.

In November Council picked Cundiff for the position, and he began his new job that month.

2008 Council goals

In January Village Council adopted six strategic goals for 2008: developing a plan to improve the local economy; deepening democratic decision-making; being a welcoming community of opportunity; developing a vision of a comprehensive land use plan; creating a policy addressing global warming and the community’s carbon footprint; strengthening the Village as an excellent employer and providing services within a responsible fiscal framework.

No coal plant

In January, after four months of deliberation and considerable input from community members, Council voted 3–2 not to join a 50-year contract with AMP-Ohio’s proposed coal-fired power plant in Meigs County. In December 2007, Council had voted 3–2 against a 45-year contract with an Illinois coal-fired plant.

New sidewalk ordinance

In February, Council instructed Village staff to begin enforcing the sidewalk ordinance by replacing substandard sidewalks along the east side of Xenia Avenue, the first step to improving sidewalks village-wide.

Tasers approved

In April, in a 4–1 vote, Council approved the use of Tasers by Yellow Springs police officers. The issue had been sparked by a January incident in which an officer shot a local man in the leg as the man charged the officer with a fire poker. In his presentation to Council, Police Chief John Grote said that while he had initially opposed the use of Tasers, he had since the January incident seen the need for officers to have a less lethal tool than guns at their disposal.

Barr apartments approved

In May, Council approved plans submitted by Friends Care Community to build senior apartments on the Barr property downtown. The project involves a 30-unit, three-story building with a 30-space parking lot on the corner of Xenia Avenue and Limestone Street.

The Barr project was controversial, and most neighbors opposed it. Those who opposed the project cautioned that the building is too large and imposing for the site, while those who supported it stressed the need for growth and affordable housing for seniors.

As of late fall, the ground had not yet been broken for the project.

Green pricing initiated

In May, Council agreed to initiate “green pricing,” in which villagers can opt to pay for only renewable energy sources through their electricity use bills.

Visioning, Shuman workshop

In November, Council passed a resolution to advertise a Request for Proposal, or RFP, in order to find a firm to lead the community in a visioning process. Organizers hope to choose a firm at the beginning of the new year, and to start the visioning process in the spring.

In December Council agreed to make a contract with Michael Shuman, a nationally known consultant on “re-localization,” to come to Yellow Springs for a workshop on economic development the weekend of Jan. 16–18. The workshop is open to all interested persons.

Village business news

Antioch Co. files bankruptcy

After almost a year of considering alternative paths, in November the leaders of The Antioch Company filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy. The filing allowed the company to exchange its debt for equity and stock and continue to operate the business with the current number of employees.

The company’s problems were linked to debt and declining revenue, a situation that was exacerbated by new market competition and a restructuring plan in 2004. As a result of its problems, in March the company sold Antioch Publishing, the original business founded by Ernest Morgan in 1926. Antioch Publishing, which produced bookmarks, journals and reading accessories, was sold to Trends International LLC, whose U.S. facility is located in Indianapolis. The publishing division of the Antioch Company employed 22 people at the Yellow Springs facility and 14 in Fairborn.

The Antioch Company, which currently employs about 80 people in Yellow Springs and is known for its core business Creative Memories, will focus on Creative Memories’ most rapidly growing business, custom framing and digital scrapbooking.

Longtime villager and YSI Incorporated co-founder Hardy Trolander was honored last month when he was inducted into Dayton’s Engineering and Science Hall of Fame.

Longtime villager and YSI Incorporated co-founder Hardy Trolander was honored last month when he was inducted into Dayton’s Engineering and Science Hall of Fame.

Good news at YSI

YSI Incorporated posted a record year in 2007, with revenue growth of 15 percent to nearly $73 million and a 40 percent growth in profits, the company told its shareholders on April 18. Locally, YSI added 13 positions. A YSI founder, Hardy Trolander, was enshrined in the Dayton Engineering and Science Hall of Fame in November. “Who’s Minding the Planet—The Story of YSI,” a documentary by local filmmaker Aileen LeBlanc commissioned to honor YSI’s 60th anniversary this year, was shown at the Little Art Theatre on Nov. 19.

Vernay plant to come down

Vernay Laboratories planned to begin demolition in December at its Dayton Street manufacturing facility, which has been idle since the company moved production to Georgia in 2004. The company is to continue cleanup of groundwater contamination at the site.

Other business news

Ertel Publishing celebrated the 20th year of its magazine Antique Power.

The Yellow Springs News was named first in its class at the Ohio Newspaper Association’s annual Hooper competition for weekly newspapers in February. The News was given the general excellence award for garnering the most points in the contest’s 14 categories.

The Dayton Development Coalition (DDC) held a meeting at Antioch University McGregor focused on the potential impact of growth at Wright Patterson Air Force Base due to the federal Base Realignment and Closure plan. DDC researchers anticipate 1,200 new jobs in the area and $3.73 billion in economic impact.

The renovated Grinnell Mill opened as a bed and breakfast with Donna McGovern as the operator.

Current Cuisine celebrated its 20th anniversary with a community “Thank You” on May 3.

Licensed massage therapist Melissa Zorn opened an office at 830 Xenia Avenue in the spring.

Funderburg Greenhouses celebrated its 30th anniversary.

The Yellow Springs Sock Shop opened on Dayton Street on Memorial Day.

Williams Eatery and Gathering Place opened at Corry and Dayton Streets in early June.

The staff of Anthrotech celebrated company president Bruce Bradtmiller’s 25 years with the firm in July.

The Yellow Springs Federal Credit Union celebrated its 60th anniversary during the summer.

Dino’s Cappucinos celebrated its 10th anniversary.

Imminent Domain, intended to nurture emerging and established artists in the region, opened in the Millworks Business Center.

WAYS, the Wellness Association of Yellow Springs, celebrated its beginning with an open house at the Yellow Springs Library on Nov. 19th.

Starflower Natural Foods, 142 Dayton Street, had a grand opening celebration at the end of November.

Asanda Imports opened at 230 Xenia Ave. in time for holiday shopping.

Dingleberry’s music store at 132 Dayton Street, here since June 1997, closed its doors for good on Dec. 24. Super-Fly Comics & Games, next door since August 2007, planned to move into the Dingleberry’s space on Jan. 2.

Passages

Births

Lillian Lapp Straley. Micah Gerald Bobo. Charlie Joseph Carr. Tori Alyssa Fritschie. Charlotte Saige Durham. Zane Acord Brunsman. Wyatt Henry Foster. Noah Harper Diamond. June Rae Grisco-Jansen. Isabella Alicia Espinosa. Sophia Marie Green Thompson. Gabriella Kibblewhite.

Deaths

Alma Clifford. Beatrice Robinow. Russell Luse. Connie Tackett. Patti Fischer. Ken Tregillus. Ellie Dale. Augusta “Gussie” Nosker. Lawrence Berry. Mary Campbell. Gretta Scott. Gwyneth Ishihara. Harold Blackwell. Richard Praeger. Juanita Pettit. Michael Cowen. Rick Caslin. James Jacobs. Betty Gossett. Ninabelle Upchurch. Douglas Scott. Russel Miller. Umoja Iddi Bakari. Wilma Hasser. Seth Duell. Charles Christophe(r). Velma Duvall. Hanlo von Gierke. Jeanne Adams Rice. Monica Freeman. Donald Alexander. Jordis Ruhl. Lawrence Abrams. Shelbert Smith. Dorothy Clark. Ann Harris. Jean DeWine. Richard DeWine. Elizabeth Huber. Frances Shaw.

Local news

Jim and Betty Felder were among the many villagers who volunteered time for Barack Obama in the November presidential election. The Felders went further than most, though, and are shown here after they traveled to Denver in August to help out with the Democratic convention.

Jim and Betty Felder were among the many villagers who volunteered time for Barack Obama in the November presidential election. The Felders went further than most, though, and are shown here after they traveled to Denver in August to help out with the Democratic convention.

Distinguished service

Lloyd Kennedy and Andrée Bognar received the Yellow Springs Men’s Group Founders Awards for Distinguished Community Service in January.

Officer shoots local resident

Yellow Spring police officer Tim Knoth shot and injured local resident Corey White on Jan. 20 after White hit Knoth several times with a fire poker. A Greene County Sheriff’s Department investigation determined that Knoth had acted appropriately in the incident. White was indicted on four felony charges.

McCain at Young’s

Republican presidential candidate John McCain spoke at Young’s Jersey Dairy on Feb. 20. He was accompanied by his Ohio campaign chairman, former U.S. Senator Mike DeWine.

Comegys film festival

The first Elaine Comegys Black Film Festival was held at the Little Art Theatre and the Coretta Scott King Center in February. Comegys, a longtime villager and community activist, had died unexpectedly the previous November.

WYSO manager

Paul Maassen, general manager of WYSO radio since 2005, left the station in March. His replacement, Neenah Ellis, was named in December. She planned to join WYSO in early 2009.

Wintry winter

Miami Township and the Village of Yellow Springs used more than twice as much road salt as usual during winter 2007–08, including for the near-blizzard the second weekend in March.

Attorney honored

In March, Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review honored villager Ellis Jacobs, an attorney, for “outstanding work in the public interest” and “exemplifying outstanding commitment to social justice.” In May, the League of Women Voters of Greater Dayton awarded Jacobs the Cathy Bantz Community Voter Service Award.

Buddhists visit

Buddhist nuns Dhamma Vijaya and Dhamma Molina Rai spent January–May here as guests of the Dharma Center, teaching, leading meditations and raising awareness about the monastic school for girls in Nepal who are at risk of being sold into prostitution.

Bakari indicted

In late April a Greene County grand jury indicted former Yellow Springs resident Umoja Iddi Bakari with 22 felony counts related to his running a drug enterprise between Columbus and the Yellow Springs area. The indictment was the result of a lengthy investigation by Yellow Springs Police, the Greene County prosecutor’s office and the Greene County Agencies for Combined Enforcement, or ACE task force.

Following his indictment, Bakari fled to DeKalb County, Georgia, where he was captured by the DeKalb County Sheriff’s officers. While awaiting extradition, Bakari committed suicide on June 27 in the DeKalb County Jail.

Alumni awards

The Antioch College Alumni Association gave Mary Ellen Skarie the Horace Mann Award, Robert Zevin the Rebecca Rice Award, Robert Parker the J.D. Dawson Award, and the collective college faculty and staff the Arthur Morgan Award at its 2008 reunion in June.

Cabooses scrapped

Two Village-owned cabooses that had sat along the Yellow Springs portion of the Little Miami bike trail were sold for scrap and hauled away in June.

New officer

Andrew Gault, who grew up in Yellow Springs, became a Village police officer in July.

Writers workshop

Myla Goldberg, author of Bee Season, gave the keynote address for the Antioch Writers’ Workshop on July 12.

Park celebration

The 10th anniversary of the Women’s Park of Yellow Springs was celebrated on July 13th. The celebration included music by Heartstrings.

President resigns

Barbara Gellman-Danley resigned after nine years as president of Antioch University McGregor to take a position in August as vice chancellor of academic affairs and system integration for the Ohio Board of Regents.

‘Cool town’

Yellow Springs was named one of the “10 Coolest Small Towns” in America in the September issue of Budget Travel magazine.

Big winds from Hurricane Ike blew through Yellow Springs in September, knocking out power for at least two days. While the wind event caused considerable damage, it also created an opportunity for community, as many villagers found their morning coffee brewing at The Emporium, along with pick-up music. Shown here, from left, are Carl Schumacher and Dave Schumacher on guitar and Mark DeLozier playing the piano.

Big winds from Hurricane Ike blew through Yellow Springs in September, knocking out power for at least two days. While the wind event caused considerable damage, it also created an opportunity for community, as many villagers found their morning coffee brewing at The Emporium, along with pick-up music. Shown here, from left, are Carl Schumacher and Dave Schumacher on guitar and Mark DeLozier playing the piano.

Blackouts

The village’s power grid went dim and then dark for about five hours on Aug. 5 after howling winds the night before. On Sept. 14, the force of Hurricane Ike in the Gulf of Mexico swept into Ohio along the I-71 corridor with winds of over 60 miles a hour, downing major power lines and blacking out about two million people in the state. In downtown Yellow Springs, the power was out about 72 hours, longer in other parts of the village.

‘Local knowledge’

A lecture series featuring local residents who teach at area colleges kicked off on Sept. 25 at the Senior Center with Robert Brecha of the University of Dayton on “The Economics of Climate Change.” Andy Carlson of Capital University spoke on “Health, Wealth and Family: Life in an Ethiopian Peasant Community” on Nov. 13.

Folkschool

The Heart of Joy Folkschool, with the goal of passing along life skills and traditional wisdom, held its first local history folkshop, “The Early Days of Yellow Springs,” Oct. 17–18 at the Glen Helen Outdoor Education Center.

November election

Local Democratic candidates—Sharen Neuhardt for U.S. Congress, Connie Crockett for State Representative and Jerry Sutton for Greene County Commissioner—all lost to their Republican opponents in the November 4 election, although all three easily carried the local vote. In the presidential race, Barack Obama received 90 percent of the Yellow Springs vote.

Tire burn test halted

The Cemex Fairborn cement plan withdrew its request to test the burning of used tires as fuel on Nov. 6, saying market conditions would delay the tests until 2010. Area residents, including members of the Green Environmental Coalition, have been opposing the company’s attempts to burn tires for over a decade.

Murder indictment

On Nov. 12, a Greene County grand jury indicted Phillip K. Cordell for the murder of Timothy Harris in Harris’s Yellow Springs home in December of 2004.

Thanksgiving feast

About 250 people showed up for Thanksgiving dinner on Nov. 27 at the First Presbyterian Church. The Interspiritual Council sponsored the dinner.

Arts news

Music

The Ying String Quartet, who had been nominated for a Grammy, passed up the awards ceremony in Los Angeles to play the scheduled Chamber Music Yellow Springs concert in February. On March 30, the Vogler String Quartet gave a CMYS concert featuring the premiere of “Three Inner Moments,” composed by Drew Hemenger, who spent his youth in Yellow Springs. The IO Quartet and the Jasper Quartet played in the 23rd annual finals of the CMYS Competition for Emerging Professionals in May. Jasper won. In October, the Daedalus String Quartet played in the series, and the Carmina String Quartet played in November as CMYS celebrated its 25th anniversary.

Jane Bunnett and the Spirits of Havana performed in Kelly Hall, Antioch College, in February and Rob Curto and the Sanfona Project in April as part of the Dayton Cityfolk outreach festival. The Morgan Family Foundation supported the concerts.

Soprano Adrienne Danrich, pianist Jon Nakamatsu and the Antioch Chamber Orchestra performed in concert in the Antioch College spring music series.

The Early Music Center presented concerts by Mary Fahrenbruck on harpsichord and by the Broken Consort, as well as a talk by the Violin Doctor, Ray Lewkowicz, at Antioch McGregor in April.

Soprano Jennifer Batemen Gilchrist was featured soloist at the Yellow Springs Community Chorus spring concert and also its “Holiday Concert” in December.

The Summer Strings & Band Camp celebrated its 45th season.

Yellow Springs Brass! gave a benefit concert for the Riding Centre on June 6.

Nine groups from local spiritual-based communities performed at the United Methodist Church on June 8 in the Third Annual Spring Sing sponsored by the Yellow Springs Interspiritual Council.

Eight local singers presented a “Bouquet of Love Songs,” under the direction of Bev Logan, to benefit the Antioch College Revival Fund at the United Methodist Church on July 11.

The WEB Coffeehouse, which had been held at the First Presbyterian Church for 10 years until March, 2007, was reprised during the summer outdoors at the Oten Gallery, organized by one of its founders, Deborah Fugett.

The 11th Annual AACW Blues, Jazz, Gospel and Cultural Festival was held Sept. 3–7 in and around the Antioch Theater and Amphitheater.

The Yellow Springs Strings and the University of Dayton New Horizons Band performed a joint concert in the Mills Lawn gym on Oct. 28.

The Enderle String Trio performed for the Yellow Springs Friends Meeting at Rockford Chapel on Dec. 22.

Theater, storytelling and film

YSHS senior Meg Hild performed the one-woman show The Belle of Amherst in the Antioch Theater in March.

YS Kids Playhouse performed “The Velveteen Rabbit,” directed by Mary Kay Clark, at Mills Lawn School in March and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Musical, directed by artistic director John Fleming, in Springfield in April. In the summer, Fleming directed his new musical, Frankenstein, or, the Difficulty of Changing One’s Mind, in the Antioch Amphitheater (also performed inside the Antioch Theater because of wet weather) and YSKP alumna Ara Beal directed Bunnicula, the Vampire Bunny, adapted by Rani Crowe.

Louise Smith directed Support Our Troops at the Antioch Area Theater in March. Antioch alumnus Mark Dunau wrote the play, which he adapted from the Preston Sturges film Hail the Conquering Hero.

The End of Emerald Street, a radio drama by local playwright Kay Reimers, aired on WYSO on Sept. 25.

Eric Wolf and Jonatha and Harold Wright were part of a storytelling concert at the Clifton Opera House in April.

The Yellow Springs Arts Council, the Yellow Springs Chamber of Commerce and YS Kids Playhouse launched “Summer in the Springs,” a series of theater, music, dance, art exhibits and other events highlighting the village’s cultural richness.

“Artists of Yellow Springs,” a film by Joanne Caputo produced by Beth Holyoke for the Yellow Springs Arts Council, premiered at the Little Art Theatre on June 28. It features local artists and performers Gerry Fogarty, Louise Smith, Jim Rose, Chris Till, John Booth and Janet Mueller.

Barbara Fleming read from her new book, Murder at the Carousel Club, at the Emporium’s Underdog Café on Aug. 23.

Joan Horn read from her new book, Playing on All the Keys: The Life of Walter F. Anderson, at Curves on Sept. 8.

Artistic kisses - About 80 couples took part in ‘The Kiss,’ a performance piece in December organized by local artist Nancy Mellon, during which they all kissed at the same moment, 3:07 p.m. Shown above are Evelyn Greene laying a smacker on her mom, Talitha, while Mary and Rick Donahoe get into position for their own smooch.

Artistic kisses - About 80 couples took part in ‘The Kiss,’ a performance piece in December organized by local artist Nancy Mellon, during which they all kissed at the same moment, 3:07 p.m. Shown above are Evelyn Greene laying a smacker on her mom, Talitha, while Mary and Rick Donahoe get into position for their own smooch.

At 3:07 p.m. on Dec. 6, 80 couples participated in “The Kiss,” a performance art piece by Nancy Mellon.

Also on Dec. 6, at the Epic Book Shop, Ralph Keyes discussed his career as a professional writer.

Hazuki Kataoka and David Battino presented Japanese Storycard Theater at the Yellow Springs Library on Dec. 29.

Dance

The annual Valerie Blackwell-Truitt Community Dance Concert in March featured choreography by Blackwell-Truitt, Jade Turner and Amelia Tarpey, Victoria Walters, Maggie Mason, Tricia Gelmini, Marjorie Jensen, Janet Mueller and Jaimie Wilkie.

The Antioch College spring Dance Concert featured works by Adam Rose, Nathaniel Love, Beth Goodney, Erin Wolf, Jill Becker, Kelsa Rieger, Valerie Blackwell-Truitt, Colleen Leonardi and Susan Bradford.

Fire springs - Astrea Taylor of the Soul Fire Tribe performed during last summer’s Summer in the Springs, a series of more than 100 events downtown that took place during weekends. The series was sponsored by the Yellow Springs Arts Council, the YS Kids Playhouse and the Yellow Springs Chamber of Commerce.

Fire springs - Astrea Taylor of the Soul Fire Tribe performed during last summer’s Summer in the Springs, a series of more than 100 events downtown that took place during weekends. The series was sponsored by the Yellow Springs Arts Council, the YS Kids Playhouse and the Yellow Springs Chamber of Commerce.

Visual arts

The Knit-Knot Tree in front of the Emporium on Xenia Avenue—begun by Corrine Bayraktaroglu and Nancy Mellon, named by Joanne McKee, and added to by other knit artists—received national and international coverage. About 160 newspapers published stories based on an Associated Press feature, and radio stations in Scotland and England called for interviews.

Maxine Skuba, the founder, Katherine Merrill and Teri Schoch revived the Yellow Springs Banner Festival in the spring. The banners, from a variety of artists, graced utility poles downtown for about six weeks.

Also in the spring, the Yellow Springs Arts Council and the Yellow Springs Center for the Arts Steering Committee jointly opened an office at 108 Dayton Street.

Beth Holyoke and Kaethi Seidl created an outdoor tile bench and mural at the Yellow Springs Library commissioned by the family of Harold Fishbain.

Also in July, muralist Sarah Dickens returned to town to work on unfinished murals on the “outdoor gallery” along Kieth’s Alley in downtown Yellow Springs.

The Yellow Springs Arts Council offered a summer “Art and Service Youth Program” in which local professional artists worked with young people to create exhibition and performance experiences. One result was a wood relief mural, dedicated at the Yellow Springs Library on Aug. 15.

The John Bryan Community Pottery had a summer Art Camp for children.

Also on Dec. 29, the Community Chorus presented its biannual Messiah sing-along at United Methodist Church.

Sports and school news

In January hundreds of parents, students, teachers and community members attended the “Water Gala” at the Antioch University McGregor building. The event, the culmination of the Yellow Springs High School/McKinney School Water Immersion project, featured members of the YSHS Theater Arts group, shown above, who performed selections from Urinetown.

In January hundreds of parents, students, teachers and community members attended the “Water Gala” at the Antioch University McGregor building. The event, the culmination of the Yellow Springs High School/McKinney School Water Immersion project, featured members of the YSHS Theater Arts group, shown above, who performed selections from Urinetown.

Sean Creighton joined the Yellow Springs school board and Richard Lapedes began his second term in January after they were elected in November. They joined incumbents Anne Erickson, Aida Merhemic and Angela Wright.

Yellow Springs High School/McKinney School held a Water Gala at Antioch University McGregor in January as part of a Water Immersion project.

School administrators stopped “Cat Calls,” a one-act play by YSHS senior Peter Keahey, from being performed without revision in an evening of student one-act plays in February, sparking a community discussion about censorship and education.

YSHS students Eric Rudolf and Zane Reichert, film/animation, Barbara Jewell, photography, and Lydia Stutzman, sculpture, had work selected for the 2008 Southern Ohio/Northern Kentucky regional Scholastic Art exhibition. Rudolf, Jewell, Stutzman and fellow students Sarah Acomb, Allie Moran, Erik Bean and Lara Donnelly had works selected for state competition in the Ohio Governor’s Youth Art Exhibition, with works by Rudolf, Bean and Stutzman chosen for the exhibition. Liz Zaff also had two art works selected for the exhibition.

Mad River Theatre Works held a two-week residency at the Antioch School in February and March.

The YSHS boys basketball team finished the season with a 12–11 record.

Yellow Springs voters approved a school district permanent improvement renewal levy, 1,175 to 606.

After four years of fundraising, the YSHS senior class celebrated its impending graduation with a trip to San Francisco in March. The group spent nine weather-delayed hours in the Dayton airport.

The McKinney Middle School Power of the Pen seventh and eighth-grade creative writing teams won the Minster regional traveling trophy for the second straight year for having the highest combined team scores among the schools competing. Eighth-grader Lydia Jewett won first place out of 77 writers and went on to place 12th at the state level.

The YSHS Drama Club, Thespian Troupe #4671 and the Theater Arts Association presented Fiddler on the Roof, directed by Andrea Auten, as the spring musical.

The YSHS student art show was installed in the Bryan Community Center gallery in May.

When her name was called, YSHS Class of 2008 member Ellen Swisher eagerly went to get her diploma at the school’s commencement event in June.

When her name was called, YSHS Class of 2008 member Ellen Swisher eagerly went to get her diploma at the school’s commencement event in June.

YSHS students inducted into the National Honor Society were Leslie Holland, Amelia Shaw, Ryder Comstock, Olivia Chen, Max Fleishman, Danielle Doubt, Ellen Swisher, Lydia Stutzman, Lara Donnelly, Eric Rudolf and Eamon Papania.

“Yellow Springs Promise,” a proposal to help fund the higher education of local students, was outlined to the school board in May. The board set up a committee to explore the proposal. The committee continued to meet for the rest of the year.

Antioch School students presented The Phantom Tollbooth May 9–10.

Peter Keahey and Natalie Sanders were king and queen of the 2008 YSHS prom.

The public schools staged a four-hour Spring Music Fest at Mills Lawn on May 15.

Friends Preschool at Friends Care Community was named a national finalist for the Intergenerational Shared Site Best Practices Award by Generations United.

The YSHS boys track team finished first and the girls team third in the Metro Buckeye Conference meet on May 16. The school’s baseball team finished with a 9–8 season.

Kyle Buchwalder was valedictorian and Megan Kaplan salutatorian of the YSHS Class of 2008.

YSHS math teacher, baseball coach and athletic director Chris Rainey retired after 35 years with the local district.

“Avalanche Ranch” was the theme of the summer Community Vacation Bible School.

Cheryl Haught, Jeff May, Brian Mays and Wenni Lee joined the faculty of Mills Lawn School for 2008–09. Elisabeth Ventling Simon became the art teacher at YSHS/McKinney.

Vince Peters was named school district athletic director.

The public schools began the 2008–09 year with 717 students, 34 more than the previous year—12 from within the district and 22 from open enrollment.

Anders Ingebrigsten and Amelia Tarpey were 2008 Homecoming king and queen.

YSHS English teacher Elizabeth Lutz-Hackett was given a “Star of Teaching” award from the U.S. Department of Education at a surprise presentation at the high school on Oct. 1.

The YSHS boys cross country team took the MBC title for the fourth straight year and the Dayton District title for the second year in a row. The YSHS boys soccer team won the Metro Buckeye Conference title and finished second in the district.

YSHS presented A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed by Kelly Pekar, in November at Mills Lawn School.

The Ohio Board of Education in November presented the local school board with a banner honoring the district for earning an “Excellent” ranking among the state’s schools. The district has been ranked excellent for three years in a row.

Principal John Gudgel said in November that football would continue as a sport at YSHS in 2009.

Kevin Sikes-Gilbert was named to the first team All State soccer team.

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