Amherst News-Times, 2000-05-17
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Lady Comets take sectional title — Page 7 I Quiz team in finals — Page Amherst News-Tim< i^ —,/, © _ H ** » e *»» > — ' .■ < -~> "•» m > • Wednesday, May 17, 2000 Amherst, Ohio Downtown group proposes plan for old P< m ! ' I by KEITH GRIBBINS News-Times reporter The old Post Office building on Park Avenue has come under discussion again by the city in hopes of putting the prominent downtown building to use. Gary Mitchell of the Amherst Downtown Business Association (ADBA) gave a presentation to city council Monday evening, May 9, proposing an alternative to the facility that might help jump start the renovations of the downtown area. The Amherst Business and Community Center is the name Mitchell threw from the podium for the city's old sandstone facility. A joint-use facility that would make the office's first floor space available for rent for business presentations, off-site meetings, and community events, while capitalizing on the building's basement for a business telecom muting center. "It's a valuable resource to the city. Along with the library, the post office could become the anchor point for the east end of our proposed historical district," explained Mitchell. "This could be a real benefit to our downtown business community.'' The building's proposed telecommuting center would target local businesses or work-from-home employees for higher speed Internet ac cess and other business services. State funding and community and traffic growth in the area are potential encouragements for the center, stated Mitchell. The old post office, originally built in 1939, was bought by the city in 1992 for $88,000 when the new Leavitt Road Post Office was ready for business. The building which was originally built as a post office and civil defense station, a place where citizens could take cover from air attacks, was closed for four and half years after the city bought it In 19% and early 1997 the building was renovated by the city with the help of the Trinity Evangelist Free Church to be used by the religious organization for service. The church used the old post office for 20 months before moving to their new location. Since then the building has been used by a number of different orga nizations, inci outs, Democratic Vvomens Association, Baseball and Soccer Associations, and ADBA, all holding meetings for free at the Park Ave. facility. The place is built like a rock," stated mayor John Higgins. "I would never recommend selling the space permanently. But it is a valuable piece in the renovation process of downtown." ADBA's plan would use the CONTINUED on page 6 Parent involvement is essential to the learning process, according to extended first grade teacher Patti Wegehaupt. Tim and Pam Branscum visited Wegehaupt's class Wednesday, May 10 to emphasize her point by teaching the youngsters chalk drawing. Above right Madison Hefflay and Cody Green 'Chalk it up to good have a little fun with their chalk drawing of the little mermaid while at left, Tim Branscum helps Angelica Bucci with her drawing of the lady and the tramp. teacher says by KEITH GRIBBINS News-Times reporter Parent involvement in and outside the classroom is an essential step in the complete growth of the young student, according to first grade teacher Patti Wegehaupt That's why the Powers Elementary School veteran has tried to spread as much parent participation into the curriculum of the local growing student body as she can find. A great example was Wednesday morning. May 10, when Tim and Pam Branscum came into Wegehaupt's extended first grade classroom to teach chalk drawing and get the youngsters' creative juices flowing for their spring program. The six- and seven year-olds drew and colored Disney characters from video boxes as decorations for the Disney music program that airs tonight for a repeat performance. "Parent involvement gives children the message how important education really is," explained Wegehaupt. "There are a variety of ways that we can enhance and encourage our children in the classroom and at home." Tim Branscum, an air-traffic controller in Oberlin, brought his chalk drawing hobby to Powers to play that key role in his child's development and do his part to help other children succeed in their own individual creativity. Branscum moved from desk to desk Wednesday morning giving advice and hands-on help to the little artists as their chalk creations came to life. Mickey Mouse, the lady and the tramp, and the Little Mermaid all began to jump off the page as the students applied their new found chalk talents to their drawings, not to mention their entire wardrobe. "For those who have the time, and those who have special talents and abilities, they can bring those to the schools and share them with the children," suggested Branscum. Branscum relayed three main objectives in his presentation with the children: look at the picture that the students copied to see the artistic beauty, pay attention to the technique in chalk drawing, and just have fun. Wegehaupt became aware of Branscum's chalk bobby after he filled out a parent evaluation in the beginning of the year. The form simply asked if he might have some talent that he could share with the rest of her students. This type of hands-on education is what students need to occasionally ease away from a typical school day and learn something that would not usually be on the curriculum, according to Wegehaupt Other parent involvement at Powers comes in the form of assistants in the small animal habitat and the computer labs. If individuals are interested in sharing a talent with their children's class, one need only contact the classroom teacher, stated Wegehaupt. Although parent participation during school is a plus for the students, Wegehaupt said, so is learning at home. Parents need to continue the educational process from the classroom into the living room. "It can't just happen at school. We can build a foundation at school, but we still need the parents' support, involvement, and encouragement," explained Wegehaupt. "We need the involvement of the school, parents, and the community to make that student a well-rounded person." Long-time bus supervisor to retire at school's end Ruth Williams will be retiring from her position as the transportation supervisor for Amherst schools. Williams has spent more than 32 years behind the wheel of a bus or performing the duties of supervisor in order to keep the children of Amherst safe on their way home from school. Above, she stands with her entire staff, and below, Williams, center, stands with assistant transportation director Ted Stanziano, right, and Norm Miller. by KEITH QWBWNS News-Times reporter Ruth Williams did more than watch the wheels of the bus go round and round. She took a firm grip on the steering wheel in 1969 and provided the children of Amherst with a safe trip home for more that 32 years. Williams, the current transportation supervisor for Amherst schools, will step down and retire in June. After years of commitment to the district, the local bus driver is looking forward to retirement, but will miss the students that would stumble up the stairs of her yellow caravan each morning and smile, "Hello Mrs. Williams." "I really like the kids. That's what I'll miss the most You never have two days alike in the transportation department The job is busy and unpredictable. You just never know what might happen next," explained Williams. plained, Williams. Students, parents, principals, teachers, coaches, athletic teams, school programs, are all on the list of passengers for the local drivers. But who does Williams enjoy the most; the wee little ones. "The small children become real upset and they'll ask me, 'Do you know where my house is?.' And I'll respond 'Yes', and they're so pleased and so happy by that," Williams suited. "The little '^eople are just thankful you get them home safely. They're so eager to please." But Williams is going to be missed just as much, according to her colleagues. The retiring supervisor has kept the district's transportation system in line for years, while saving money and keeping the staff small. Her ability to deal with every facet of her position, waa only matched by her congenial attitude and sense of humor that was tial when dealing with all the parties involved with her job. "She's taught us all the bad things we know," joked former driver Pat Rutkowski. "I drove with Ruth for 25 years. We're pals in crime. We had a lot of fun, and she's a great boss. We put a lot of kids through school." "She's just terrific. We're going to miss her, that's for sure," jumped in driver Elmer Edwards. "Ruth did everything for us. She's got a nice sense of humor, and everything we learned, we learned from her," finished Maureen Peters. Williams isn't quite sure what she'll do during her retirement, but is happy to be getting the free time. "My staff is like a family. The whole community is like a family. We had our good limes and we had our bad times. Now I'm looking forward to doing the things I never got a chance lo do." Williams stated. Williams started subbing in the district before the deckled to take the .bus route. In the late sixties, Aa moved into the driver's seat, and since then, has seen the community grow up along with the children she took to school each morning. The veteran driver deals with nearly everyone in die school ex- Electric outage planned for May 21, 5 a.m.-8 a.m. There is a planned complete city-wide electrical outage scheduled Cor Amherst on Sunday, May 21, Gram S a.m, to 8 sum. The outtge is necessary lo continue work on the upgrade of the new Electric Substation #1. If it should ram, thu three-hour outage wiU be re-achedukd. 1 I
|Title||Amherst News-Times, 2000-05-17|
|Date of Original||17-MAY-2000|
|Submitting Institution||Ohio Historical Society|
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