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Blue Bag Media… FM grad: working with her animals a “habit”
GREENVILLE – “I always cry,” said Leah Allread, 2014 Franklin Monroe High School graduate. She and her brother, Kenton, were prepping their animals for this year’s show at the Darke County Fair. Showing pigs is tough knowing the animal you have worked with for months will have to be sold to market at the end of the show. Allread is no different. She acknowledges it’s always difficult after working with her animals... read more 
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Blue Bag Media… Fair visitors come from all parts of the country
GREENVILLE – “We’ve had people here from Florida, Alabama, New England and all parts of Ohio,” said Deanna York, director of the Darke County Visitors Bureau. This was Monday at their fair booth in the coliseum, with five more days to go. “People are amazed we would promote stand mixers at travel shows,” she added. “Then we tell them it’s a KitchenAid mixer and it’s only built here in Greenville, Ohio... read more 
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Blue Bag Media… Exhibitors give Cattle Barn a ‘thumbs up’
GREENVILLE – “I really like it here,” said Ted Schmitmeyer as he was grooming one of his animals Aug. 17. “Much better. Cooler… more room…” And Schmitmeyer isn’t alone. His comments were echoed by everyone who was asked in the new Cattle Barn. “I like it. Better. Cooler. More room.” In the milking area, the Michaels said it was better than before. “Bigger, nicer. We have all new stalls. The setup is nice… more room.” Sisters Clair, 16, and... read more 
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Blue Bag Media… FM grad provides aid to teachers, kids in Liberia
GREENVILLE – Jordan Pridemore, 2008 graduate of Franklin Monroe High School, has a passion for travel. She started with trips out of state while in high school but quickly graduated to trips abroad, mostly to Europe. But she’d never been to Africa until this summer… She and her friend, Keith Rodgers, took a humanitarian mission trip to Liberia, Africa. They were there during the Ebola outbreak, arriving back in the U.S. on July 27. “We... read more 
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Great Darke County Fair… Behind the Scenes at the Little Mr. & Miss Pageant
Photos by Elaine Bailey - The Youth Building was packed Aug. 18 as parents, grandparents, friends, aunts and uncles and any other relative or friend who could make it sat waiting and watching for their precious little one to walk down the runway on his or her quest for the 2014 title of Little Mr. or Miss Darke County Fair. There was different action going on behind the... read more 
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Blue Bag Media… Sandy Bowman: “We were – and are – the original”
GREENVILLE – “We’re in 12 fairs,” said Sandy Bowman, who with her husband Gary founded Bowman’s Concessions 35 years earlier. “When we go back to them each year, it’s like going home.” Gary Bowman worked for WDRK radio. “He was out here every year for the station,” she said. “I took my vacation at fair time.” She added however she had nothing to do... read more 
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Blue Bag Media… Wayne Hospital Foundation unveils Veterans Memorial
GREENVILLE – “This memorial is dedicated to every man and woman who ever served honorably in a branch of the United States military.” No distinction is made whether the service was one day or career, combat or non-combat. The Wayne Hospital Foundation funded the Veterans Memorial but also thanked David Furlong, president of Fitzwater Tree and Lawn Care for his company’s generous donation of the water rock, memorial plaque... read more 
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Blue Bag Media… Attendance up at annual Veterans Day service
GREENVILLE – “We lost more of our veterans by their own hand than we lost in Afghanistan,” said Dennis Dickey, 1st Vice President for the American Legion 3rd District. “Only those who have been through what many of these veterans have can understand that.” Dickey was the guest speaker for the 2014 Veterans Day Memorial Service at the Darke County Fair. Dickey is the brother of Douglas E. Dickey, who was posthumously awarded... read more 
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Blue Bag Media… Whiting shows her prize-winning Polish
GREENVILLE – Ten-year-old Alli Whiting was busy putting wood shavings into the cages of her prize-winning White Crusted Polish roosters. “These Polish got a first last year,” she said, pointing to the second cage. She finished spreading out the shavings in the first cage, then grabbed a scoop-full to put in the cage of her prize winners. The birds above them were also hers, but she didn’t have much else to say about them except they were... read more 
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Blue Bag Media… Hummel, Addis take top “Littles” honors
GREENVILLE – At the end of an unexpected long evening, Ava Hummel was crowned Little Miss Darke County Fair Queen; she joined Little Mister Darke County Fair King Evan Addis, who had been crowned earlier in the evening. The unexpected event was a transformer issue requiring the Little Miss & Mister Pageant to be shut down for nearly an hour shortly after Addis was crowned, so a new transformer could be put in place. The... read more 
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Rain, then music “On the Radar” By Elaine Bailey
There was more than rain “On the Radar” at the 2014 Great Darke County Fair. After dropping nearly three inches of rain on the fairgrounds overnight Thursday, the clouds parted.  The only thing left were the aspiring musicians of On the Radar: Mason DeMange, Mitchell Rawlings, and Isaac Buschur.  The three fellows, classmates entering their junior year at Versailles High School, entertained the audience with a broad range of genres including... read more 
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Wayne HealthCare inducted into The Annie Oakley Golf Tournament Hall Of Fame
The Annie Oakley Golf Tournament Committee recently inducted Wayne HealthCare into the Hall of Fame, which was established in 2006, the year of the tournament’s 25th anniversary.  Criteria for this honor was decided by the committee and consists of long term participation, enthusiasm, and support of the committee’s goals in helping Darke County cancer patients.  Wayne HealthCare is a state of the art facility which works diligently... read more 
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MVCTC Students Competed in STAR Event Competition at FCCLA National Leadership Conference -- Clayton, Ohio – Miami Valley Career Technology Center (MVCTC) Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) students participated in the National FCCLA competition July 6-10, 2014, in San Antonio, TX.  More than 7,000 students and advisers attended for inspiration, training, and opportunities to make a difference locally and across the country. FCCLA offers over 30 Family and Consumer Sciences... read more 
Grant Supports Business Growth in Darke County
JAFE Decorating, Inc., will increase its manufacturing capacity at its location in Darke County. JAFE Decorating provides specialty color and paint coatings for various industries, including automotive and commercial lighting. Darke County received a $135,000 Community Development Block Grant to help JAFE Decorating purchase new machinery and equipment. JAFE Decorating has committed to create 10 jobs as a result of the... read more 
Fair Board election results
Election was held Thursday, August 21, 2014 from 9am to 7pm in the Red Cross Building north of the Grandstand... read more 
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Blood donors have fun ‘bummin’ at fair
GREENVILLE, Ohio – “Got that one…. Got that one… ah, I like that one!” There may be prize livestock to judge and ice cold crushies to choose at the annual Great Darke County Fair, but for blood donors on Community Blood Center (CBC) “T-shirt Day” it’s a treasure hunt for the elusive t-shirt design you don’t yet own. CBC Darke Co. account representative... read more 
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Great Darke County Fair… Horsemanship. Photos by Dick Coffield
From one end of the fairgrounds to the other, young people show off their efforts for the past year. To the north, from rabbits to beef cows. To the south… horses. Isabella Murray placed 5th in the open Horsemanship for 9-13 year olds. Later that day Isabella... read more 
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Fair Wanderings, Photos by Elaine Bailey
How do you find some great photos of kids and adults having a good time? You have to leave the Midway. Head to the Rabbit Barn, or the art or photography buildings, or some of the less traveled areas, such as implement row. Or you can just hang around the Gazebo for some great free entertainment. More offerings are coming from CNO reporters and friends... read more 
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Kelly Named VHCC July Employee of the Month
Versailles Health Care Center is pleased to announce Yvonne Kelly as the July 2014 Employee of the Month.  Kelly has been a member of the Housekeeping Department at Versailles Health Care Center since October 2013.  She was recognized by her fellow co-workers for always smiling, being willing to help out wherever it is needed and for always busy working on... read more 
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MVCTC Welcomes Students for 2014-2015 School Year
Clayton, Ohio -- The Miami Valley Career Technology Center (MVCTC) staff welcomed students for their 43rd year of classes on Thursday, August 14, 2014. MVCTC Superintendent Dr. Nick Weldy, staff, and Student Ambassadors greeted close to 1,000 junior students enrolled for the 2014-15 school year. MVCTC is offering career technical programs for 2014-2015 in... read more 
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Blue Bag Media… New cattle barn, new entry prices at fair
GREENVILLE – Contractors wrapped up work on the new cattle barn Aug. 13. It will be functional but not completed until September. According to Daryl Riffle, Fair Manager, work has been completed pretty much on schedule. On Monday morning crews were still active both inside and outside of the building. The cattle barn will house both dairy and beef cattle. Jenna Cline, Darke County Junior Fair Queen who was working in the swine barn next... read more 
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Blue Bag Media… For some – fair a business mainstay
GREENVILLE – “The traffic is excellent every year,” said Steven Blocher, owner of Blocher Enterprises in Greenville. “In a good year we get from a half to two-thirds of our annual business during the fair.” Blocher and his family and employees started prepping their spot (“the same spot for 14 years”) three weeks before the fair’s opening. They pour fresh concrete early… “That’s the main part,” he added. After that they spend the week prior to the... read more 
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Shelby Community Foundation awards funding to BBBS   
The Community Foundation of Shelby County recently awarded a grant to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shelby and Darke County.    Big Brothers Big Sisters was chosen to receive funding because of its continued efforts to make a positive impact in “at risk” children.   The funding will be used to purchase science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) kits that... read more 
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Blue Bag Media… New fair queen wastes no time in new role
GREENVILLE – 2014 Darke County Youth Fair Queen Jenna Cline wasted no time getting involved in her new role. She has already been to nine or 10 county fairs since being crowned in July. “I’ve really been busy… trying to do everything that was done in the past, plus some.” She grinned. “I like to challenge myself.” Part of the challenge of going to the other fairs, she... read more 
Donations needed for Prairie Days
Prairie Days is quickly approaching.  Please let us know if you can help as we are looking for the following donations for Prairie Days 2014: Bottle Water; Soda- pop: Coke, Diet Coke, Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Sprite, Mountain Dew; Corn Shocks (please contact us in advance if item is available); Fragrant Herbs (please contact us in advance if item is available); Pumpkins & Gourds (please contact us in advance if item is available); Large Coolers to borrow so we can store Ice and Pop... read more 
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Grooming: Junior Division, By Elaine Bailey
The results of the Junior Division Grooming competition are: First Place:  Carrie Rhoades; Second Place:  Amos Weimer; Third Place:  Megan Rismiller; Fourth Place:  Mariah Troutwine; Fifth Place:  Maggie Weiss. Participants:  Alexis Barhorst (362); Mackenzie Bohman (356); Ben Ruhenkamp (323); Renea Schmitmeyer (349); Amos Weimer (291); Carrie Rhoades (296); Madison Cook (340); Mariah Troutwine (367); Laura Wuebker (328)... read more 
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Blue Bag Media… Baleigh says Visitor’s Bureau experience “awesome”
GREENVILLE – Nursing? Darke County Visitor’s Bureau Director Deanna York looked at her new marketing intern, Baleigh Reed, OSU freshman going into the university’s nursing program this fall. They were grinning. “Should I give the stock answer?” York asked. Baleigh nodded. “Customer service and hospitality are needed in any area you can go into,” she said. Baleigh loves kids and hopes to specialize in obstetrics. However she plans to... read more 
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Junior Fair Bake-A-Rama results, By Elaine Bailey
Various 4-H Clubs were represented in the Intermediate Division of the Junior Fair Bake-A-Rama at the 2014 Great Darke County Fair. Speaking on behalf of both judges, Patricia Scott congratulated the participants and complimented them on their skills in preparing the recipe.  She noted that there was nothing lacking in their ability, which created a challenge in ranking the young cooks. After repeatedly, sampling each contestant’s whole-wheat quick... read more 
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Blue Bag Media… Living with cancer threat, singer moves forward
GREENVILLE – “There’s some evil thing under your bed… wants to grab you every day,” said Jeff Madewell. “You can’t let that paralyze you; you get out of bed on a different side each day.” This is how the professional musician who, along with his partner Erin Higgins, recently played for Greenville Library’s August First Friday event views his medical challenges. He knows his cancer is simply on a back burner despite being “clear” for... read more 
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VHCC’s Linda Davidson retires
After working devotedly in the Housekeeping Department at Versailles Health Care Center for over 20 years, Linda Davidson of Versailles, Ohio, has retired.  Davidson, 69, joined Versailles Health Care Center in 1992 as a housekeeping aide.  She commented that there have been a lot of changes at the care center over her 20 plus years. When asked about her time at Versailles Health Care Center, Davidson said, “I always enjoyed the... read more 
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New ‘fair food’ vendors for 2014, By Elaine Bailey
If you head to the Great Darke County Fair for food, be on the lookout for the new 2014 food vendors. The Trolley is not only new to this year’s Great Darke County Fair, it is also making its debut in the vending scene. Kevin and Charlene Via from Gratis, Ohio have put a few of Kevin’s recipes to the taste bud test.  With Kevin’s eye for detail, he has constructed an ornate... read more 
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Diverse group creates big competition, By George Starks
Cheer comp brings out the best - GREENVILLE- The 2014 Great Darke County Fair kicked off in its usual fashion with the annual cheerleading competition. Thirteen schools were represented with seven county schools in the competition and six out of county schools. Lincolnview (Van Wert) was the furthest to drives while he closest was Covington. Now in its 24th year... read more 
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A Summer’s Sunday Night in Greenville, By Sharon Hopper
Seven years ago we moved to Greenville and began going to the summer Sunday Night park concerts. I always wondered why there were so few in attendance every Sunday night. Sometimes I would count only 20 or so people on the benches and maybe 30 or so in the lawn chairs. Well something happened this year and I have to say it is really a good something. We started going to the park for the first concert, July 6 this year and... read more 
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Blue Bag Media… Greenville Library kicks off First Friday
GREENVILLE – While Main Street Greenville’s First Friday officially starts at 6 p.m., enjoyment of the monthly activity actually begins at 11:30 a.m. at Greenville Public Library with its “Lunch on the Lawn.” Aug. 1 was no different with Higgins-Madewell entertaining approximately 200 people with the pair’s mixture of country, blues and classic rock. Lunch this time was provided by Romer’s Catering. While some brought their own... read more 
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Blue Bag Media… Heritage Days parade honors veterans
UNION CITY – Horns and sirens announced its start before the lead vehicles were visible; seconds later flashing red lights in the distance provided their support. At exactly 1 p.m. Aug. 2 the 2014 State Line Heritage Days Grand Parade had begun. Spectators lined both sides of the street for the hour-long parade, with all standing as the flag and this year’s Parade Marshalls, Vietnam veterans, passed... read more 
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Blue Bag Media… Welfare fraud, heroin abuse… unproductive citizens a burden on society - GREENVILLE – You have to instill an attitude where you know you are responsible for yourself. You have to have a support system behind them. And there has to be a shift in social attitude… commit the crime, pay the price? “You’ve done your time. Done your probation. But the societal attitude is still there,” said Darke County Common Pleas Judge Jonathan Hein... read more 
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Darke County July blood donors recognized
DARKE COUNTY, OH — Community Blood Center congratulates all of the following donors for reaching their Blood Donation milestones.  Thanks to the generosity of all donors many lives have been saved. Donors are recognized for their Life Time Donations (LTD) Milestones.  Every time a donor donates any blood product it is a donation.  Life Time Donations are a total of all your blood... read more 
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VHCC Rehab Clinic gets top scores
The Rehab Clinic at Versailles Health Care Center received the highest available scores on recently completed Pinnacle Quality Insight Customer Satisfaction interviews.  Pinnacle works directly with patients and their families to obtain opinions on overall experience as well as area specific measures.  The Rehab Clinic at VHCC consistently received a score of 5 on a scale... read more 
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Edison’s STEM Camp a success with local students
Educational, fun, interesting, empowering, encouraging and exciting were just a few words used by students to describe Edison Community College’s STEM Camp. The College recently hosted nearly 80 area students entering grades 8-10 at its annual science, technology, engineering, and mathematics program. Taught by Edison staff and faculty, students had the opportunity to choose from... read more 
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Pets of the week
We have Jill at the Darke County Animal Shelter. She is a 2 year old Dachshund mix. She is black and brown with short hair. She is a sweet little girl who loves to play. She is current on her shots and very loveable. We also have her brother Jack. They weigh around 20 pounds. They will make wonderful new friends for the family. We have Boy at the Darke County Animal... read more 
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Blue Bag Media… 2013 Queen Jenna King says ‘breathe and enjoy it!’
GREENVILLE – “Yeah, we’re pretty awesome!” 2013 Junior Fair King Logan Moody said, laughing. Logan and 2013 Junior Fair Queen Jenna King laughed a lot as they talked about their experiences over the past year, including the friendships they’d built. So what was your biggest challenge? Logan… “Putting up with her!” Jenna… “Putting up with him.” They laughed again, then Logan clarified. “She was the queen. I had to take care of her… meet... read more 
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Follow Baleigh to the KitchenAid Experience
Hello again! For this week’s edition of “Follow Baleigh”, Director Deanna York introduced me to the KitchenAid Experience Retail Center located in downtown Greenville. Again, this is another attraction in Darke County that I haven’t had the pleasure of visiting, and I know what most of you are probably thinking, “Of course! What would an eighteen-year-old without a house of her own need from a kitchen store?” Well, let me put your mind at... read more 
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Blue Bag Media… Annie Oakley Festival attendance up at York Woods
YORK WOODS – “You should have seen our attendance last night,” Judie Hathaway, Annie Oakley Committee vice president, said. “Great turnout!” Saturday morning saw cars parked both inside the gate and outside for walk-in visitors… Some were watching the National Whip Speed & Accuracy competition; others were listening to Spittin Image. Still others were checking... read more 
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Grand Prize Quilt at end of CBC T-shirt day rainbow
DAYTON, Ohio – Visitors to the Great Darke County Fair in Greenville can expect another proud parade of Community Blood Center (CBC) colors during “CBC T-Shirt Day” Wednesday, Aug. 20 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.  Any donor who wears a CBC t-shirt to the fair can be entered in the drawing for the grand prize of a hand-made t-shirt quilt. All donors have to do is... read more 
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Blue Bag Media… 91-yr-old walks 5K for his granddaughter
GREENVILLE – Charles W. Adams, 91, took 79:21 minutes to finish his Breast Cancer Awareness 5K Run/Walk… and he had a cheering crowd welcoming him across the finish line. He was part of “Mary Beth’s Mob,” about three dozen friends and family members walking to support one of their own. His granddaughter, Mary Beth Bozarth, 40, is a heart and vascular ICU nurse at Miami Valley Hospital. She was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast... read more 
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Midmark: "We are caring people"; Midmark shines with national blood drive excellence award
VERSAILLES, Ohio – The new “Plant B” cafeteria where Midmark Corporation’s Versailles location holds its employee blood drives can feel like a fish bowl. It’s a corner room with glass walls, and donors are bathed in the sunlight from floor-to-ceiling windows.  The same room becomes a beacon in the darkness during the company’s late-shift blood drives.  In both cases, the outside world can easily see what Midmark team members are doing to... read more 
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VHCC Nursing Staff Receives Specialized Congestive Heart Failure Certification Training
The nursing staff at Versailles Health Care Center, a skilled nursing and rehabilitation center, recently received specialized training and is now certified in a Nationally Nurse Certification Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) Program through the Department of Human and Health Services.  In July, Kim Scharf, RN, MNSc, APRN, taught the two-day program to staff.  Scharff said, “It was very evident the Versailles team took to heart what was... read more 
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Blue Bag Media… Entertainment, Living History and shopping highlighted Gathering
GREENVILLE – Want something unique? Or a Living History demonstration? Then there was pottery, plants and a wide variety of foods and snacks, from New Madison Kiwanis sausages to homemade pies and fresh roasted kettle corn. For those longing for the Beatles sounds of the 60s, there was Cavern Beat; plus varieties of music and entertainment, such as Green De Villes, Surrendering Dorothy, Snake Oil Medicine Man and more... read more 
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Blue Bag Media… Pilgrimage an emotional experience for many
BROCK – “When Annie ran away a man paid her fare home… she always regretted not asking his name,” said Laura Francis, Miss Annie Oakley 2011 and Annie Oakley Committee Member. Francis spoke to about three dozen people who made the Pilgrimage to Brock Cemetery July 24 to pay tribute to the famous Darke County native and Wild West performer. Annie is buried alongside her... read more 
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August Weather Forecast, Author: Jim Noel
Not much has changed in the outlooks for the rest of summer into autumn and beyond. In June, temperatures were about 1F above normal while in July temperatures were about -3F to -5F leading to an overall cooler than normal summer as forecast. The trend will be for slightly cooler than normal temperatures to last through August but the departures will not be... read more 
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Blue Bag Media… Second Treaty of Greenville’s Bowery dedicated to the public
GREENVILLE – “In the 1990’s we had five pow-wows in this field,” said State Representative Jim Buchy. Pointing to the array of 250-year-old oak trees, he added “I remember at one of them, a chief had a tear in his eye… he was thinking ‘my ancestors probably stood under this tree.’” Buchy was speaking to a large crowd surrounding The Bowery, built for the Bi-Centennial Anniversary... read more 
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Community Events Photo Gallery… Senior Awards & More now online, Bob Robinson
While on assignment I take dozens, sometimes a hundred or more photos… more than can possibly be used in a feature or news story. The best of the best are submitted for publication in the Early Bird. As you might guess this creates a backlog of photos readers might like to see that sit quietly on my desktop… daring me to do something with them. I finally managed to post Poultry Days photos a few weeks ago. This weekend I’ve... read more 
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Blue Bag Media… The Early Bird earns award for The Gathering edition
GREENVILLE – The Early Bird is an Inland Press award winner for 2014. The weekly hometown community newspaper earned second place for its 2013 The Gathering at Garst special edition. Newspapers from across the country were invited to submit entries for the new business they developed over the past year. The contest celebrates original ideas and initiatives that grow revenue from new or legacy sources. Not only is... read more 
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DCCA announces cast for MCT's Rapunzel
An outstanding cast has been chosen from the one hundred talented local youngsters who auditioned for Darke County Center for the Arts' presentation of Missoula Children's Theatre's Rapunzel. Following just five lively days of intense rehearsals, two performances of the musical play that takes audiences on a frivolous frolic through the French countryside will be presented on Saturday, August 2. Curtain time for the matinee is 3 p.m... read more 
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Versailles Eagles donate to Cancer Association
Versailles Eagles recently presented the Cancer Association of Darke County with a donation of $3,000.  The Eagles donate to many other community causes as well including Versailles Community Scholarship Fund, Center for Neurology Development, Versailles Area Historical Society, Children’s Shrine Hospital, Versailles Area Charily Foundation and many school functions. The Cancer Association appreciates this generous gift and... read more 
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