Latest News

CH Charter Review Commission to make recommendations in time for November 2018 ballot

The Cleveland Heights Charter Review Commission held its first official meeting on Dec. 7. Cleveland Heights City Council appointed the 15-member commission to review all aspects of the city’s charter and make recommendations for changes. City council will then decide which items to place on the ballot for residents to vote on.

The commission expects to submit its recommendations to council by May 2018, in time for council to place the revisions on the November 2018 ballot.

The first item the commission will address is the city’s form of government. Cleveland Heights is currently governed by a seven-member city council, with all members elected at large (citywide), and by a city manager, who is appointed by council.

Of Cuyahoga County’s 57 municipalities, only Cleveland Heights and Bedford Heights are governed without a popularly elected mayor.

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Volume 11, Issue 1, Posted 10:35 AM, 12.12.2017

Latest News Releases

- Non-Profit & Groups, December 6, 2017 Read More
- City of Cleveland Heights, November 15, 2017 Read More
Cleveland Heights Charter Review Commission To Hold Inaugural Meeting
- City of Cleveland Heights, November 9, 2017 Read More
Jarvey, McLaughlin Named to FFHL Honor Roll: Honorees to Be Recognized for Opening Doors and Opening Minds
- CH-UH Library, October 30, 2017 Read More
Library accepting applications for new board members
- , October 26, 2017 Read More

View more news releases

Cedar Fairmount's A.T. Wilson is nation's longest-serving letter carrier

Teddy Wilson delivering mail in Cedar Fairmount. [photo by Jack Valancy]

At the age of 80, Cedar Fairmount letter carrier Alfonzo (A.T. “Teddy”) Wilson is the longest-serving active letter carrier in the United States

On Nov. 17, the U.S. Postal Service honored him at a special ceremony, presenting him with a 60-year service pin and a table clock inscribed, “Thank You for Your 60 Years of Service.” His fellow workers held a buffet lunch and reception for him.

Current and former postal employees were among the more than 200 people who attended the ceremony in Wilson’s honor. Asked by Les Wolf, his current manager, how many managers he has had, Wilson replied, “I don’t know, but now you are number one.” 

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Volume 11, Issue 1, Posted 10:12 AM, 12.12.2017

CH poet laureate applications are due Dec. 31

Heights Arts, in collaboration with the city of Cleveland Heights, is accepting applications from creative writers for the office of Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate.

The city’s ninth poet laureate will serve a 24-month period, beginning April 2018, and concluding at the end of March 2020.

The city and Heights Arts selected the city’s first poet laureate in 2005, making Cleveland Heights the first city in Ohio to appoint anyone to the position. The intention was to create programs to infuse poetry into community life.

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Volume 11, Issue 1, Posted 10:49 AM, 12.12.2017

Heights Lacrosse hosts Holiday Lacrosse Clinic for girls

Participants at the 2017 Heights Youth Summer Lacrosse Camp.

Heights Lacrosse will host its Heights Holiday Lacrosse Clinic Jan. 3–5, 9 a.m to noon, at Heights High. The clinic is open to girls in grades four through eight, and both new and experienced players are welcome.

The Heights High Girls Lacrosse team will lead the three-day clinic, assisted by the school’s coaching staff. Players will work on basic skills and techniques of the game in a fun environment.

The registration fee is $50 per student, and registration will be accepted through the holidays.

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Volume 11, Issue 1, Posted 10:28 AM, 12.12.2017

St. Paul's Cooperative Preschool seeks new home

St. Paul's preschool is hoping to find a new home soon.

St Paul's Cooperative Preschool (SPCP) is about to lose its home of 61 years. St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, that built the nursery school wing in 1956, has decided, as of Nov. 29, not to renew the preschool’s lease. Now, the cooperative is faced with the challenge of finding a new home for next year so that it can continue to serve its students. The co-op currently has 54 of its 58 possible student spaces filled. SPCP is rushing to find a place before January, when preschool registration begins for the 2018–19 school year.

SPCP’s top priority is to continue to offer affordable preschool access for the 2018–19 school year. "We are looking for a space, ideally located close to the current location [2747 Fairmount Blvd.] so that we can continue to serve the local community’s families and children," said Deb Binkofsky, director of the co-op."Research continues to come out about how important preschool can be for future academic success. If we were to close, which we are determined not to do, that would leave Cleveland Heights with just one cooperative preschool.” That school, Fairmount Cooperative Preschool, is currently at capacity, serving 44 students.

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Volume 11, Issue 1, Posted 7:43 PM, 12.07.2017

Mitchell’s Fine Chocolates showcases "sweet" art show

Happy Happy Joy Joy quilt, by Diane Bird (2016).

For the next three months, sweets of a different variety will be on view inside Mitchell’s Fine Chocolates in Cleveland Heights, at 2285 Lee Road.

Beginning Dec. 8, the long hallway leading from the back parking lot will showcase an array of quilts, embroidery and mixed media fiber art—all part of This Sweet Life—an invitational fiber art exhibit.

The show, which runs until March 1, will kick off with an opening reception on Dec. 8, 6–7:30 p.m. The community is invited to meet the artists and view their work. Many of the art pieces are for sale, in time for the holidays.

The participating Northeast Ohio artists have interpreted the theme of "this sweet life" in diverse ways. The artists include Diane Bird, Victoria Bocchicchio, Natalie Isvarin-Love, Roz Kvet, Katharine O’Connell, Margaret O’Reilly, Amy Reed, Melissa Richmond, Rima Tessman, Eugenia Vainberg, Nelly Vileikis, Violet Watterson and Marty Young.

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Volume 11, Issue 1, Posted 12:10 PM, 12.05.2017

Heights High hosts Dec. 21 open house and gospel concert

The restored, historic Heights High will be open to the community on Dec. 21.

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District invites community members and alumni to visit the renovated Cleveland Heights High School on Dec. 21, 6–7 p.m., for a self-guided, open house tour.

Visitors will receive a map, and friendly docents will be stationed throughout the building to help guide the guests.

At 7 p.m., visitors are invited to attend a concert by Heights High’s Gospel Choir—an extracurricular club that performs traditional and modern gospel music at school and in the community.

Tickets for the concert, which will take place in the school’s auditorium, are $6.

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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 11:23 AM, 12.04.2017

Beth El hosts Dec. 17 Hanukkah mystery and dinner

Latkes and . . . larceny? This is not your usual Hanukkah dinner.

On Sunday, Dec. 17, beginning at 4:30 p.m., Beth El – The Heights Synagogue invites you to eat, shmooze and solve the “Mystery of the Missing Menorah,” as it hosts a unique Hanukkah Mystery and Dinner.

Throughout the dinner—a four-course kosher vegetarian meal, including latkes and other traditional Hanukkah foods—guests will work in groups to solve the mystery. Those gathered will light Hanukkah menorahs as a group, between courses.

According to event chair, Scott Wachter, “There are many Hanukkah parties in Cleveland. There are also mystery and dinner events. We believe that ours is the first Jewish mystery and dinner in the city. Participants will have a unique opportunity to celebrate the holiday while using their problem-solving skills to figure out who stole a special Hanukkah menorah.”

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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 11:12 AM, 12.04.2017

Next Manly Monday shopping night is Dec. 11 at Heights Arts

Perry Zeigler and granddaughter Olive Young shop the opening night of the 16th-annual holiday store.

Ever wish you could create a list of special things made by local artists so that people would know what to give you for the holidays? Heights Arts has it figured out—with personal gift wish lists and some special shopping nights planned for its 16th-annual holiday store.

On Manly Mondays, idea-challenged shoppers (of all ages and genders) are invited to join Heights Arts to sip some local artisan brew and shop from their friends’ wish lists, or go beyond the lists and make their own creative shopping choices

The first Manly Monday was held in November, with an encore night planned for Monday, Dec. 11, from 6 to 9 p.m.

Complimentary gift wrapping is available to complete each package, so you may never again need to tape over a box from Amazon.

Shoppers should be sure to visit Heights Arts to fill out or update holiday store wish lists in advance of Manly Monday,so the lists are on file for your gift-giving friends and relatives.

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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 11:21 AM, 12.04.2017

Forest Hill Presbyterian presents Christmas opera

Henry Dyck as Amahl.

The classic Christmas opera Amahl and the Night Visitors will be performed at Forest Hill Presbyterian Church on Saturday, Dec. 9, at 7 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 10, at 4 p.m. Admission is free.

Gian-Carlo Menotti's Christmas opera tells the story of Amahl, a disabled boy with a habit of telling imaginative tales. When Amahl and his impoverished mother are visited by three kings, faith and forgiveness lead to an emotional miracle.

In keeping with Menotti’s request that Amahl always be played by a boy, not a young adult, 10-year-old Henry Dyck again will sing the role of Amahl, alongside his own mother, soprano Lara Troyer, as Amahl’s mother.

Troyer, a former associate artist with Cleveland Opera, is on the voice faculty at Kent State University, and her recent roles include solos with the Akron Symphony.

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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 11:10 AM, 12.04.2017

Coventry Village plans Dec. 9 Holiday Fest

Coventry Claus poses with a canine visitor.

The Coventry Village neighborhood encourages everyone to shop local and get in the holiday spirit with a full day of free holiday events.

The 5th annual Coventry Village Holiday Festival will take place on Saturday, Dec. 9, noon to 11 p.m. 

Among the many festivities scheduled are:

  • Photos with Santa, Rudolph, Frosty and The Grinch;
  • Ice-carving demonstrations;
  • Coventry Holiday Cash coupon machine;
  • Coventry merchant holiday window contest—take a stroll down Coventry Road and vote for your favorite;
  • Lolly the Trolley Holiday Light Tour (Proceeds to benefit Heights Emergency Food Center);
  • Winter storytime, holiday crafts, live music and karaoke;
  • Outdoor fire with community caroling, complimentary hot chocolate and coffee;
  • Holiday storytellers and poets roaming through the shops and sidewalks;
  • Ugly-sweater bar crawl, led by Coventry Claus; and
  • Istagram Scavenger Hunt—win prizes from your favorite Coventry spots.
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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 10:04 AM, 12.04.2017

Support district's businesses and earn Coventry Cash

This holiday season, shoppers can earn a $10 Coventry Cash Coupon for every $50 they spend on a single receipt at participating Coventry Village locations. The coupons can be used at participating locations in January.

The promotion will be offered on select weekend dates through the end of the year. Simply look for the Coventry Cash Coupon signs posted outside the parking garage on Coventry Road. 

Valid day-of-purchase receipts can be redeemed for Coventry Cash Coupons from noon to 6 p.m. with the Coventry Village Holiday Ambassadors, who will be stationed outside the main parking garage. (Please note, a limited number of Coventry Cash Coupons will be distributed.)

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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 10:09 AM, 12.04.2017

Guns, records and charities

Elvis's record "Teddy Bear," one of the singles in my best present ever. Now I buy actual teddy bears for my grandchildren.

I got a gun. It was holiday present. It was plastic. And it was pink. And it shot rubber bands. I was 7 years old. The gun came with a target and I had fun shooting at it. Neither the gun nor the act of shooting it reminded me of the dozens of cowboy TV shows and films that had taken over the airwaves and the movie theaters at that time, the mid-1950s.

Many people who grew up back then are fond of saying, “Well, our generation played with toy guns and we didn’t grow up to be murderers.” Except for a couple of things they seem to have missed: Number one, yes we did, a lot of us; and number two, unlike today, until we were much older, there weren’t real guns everywhere and easily accessible to us.

But this isn’t about guns. It’s about Christmas and Hanukkah presents.

In this column one year ago, which was not about presents, I mentioned my favorite present ever, from Hanukkah 1957—a stack of about 35 records, the big hit singles of that time.

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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 11:25 AM, 12.04.2017

Transportation assistance is available to help local seniors

With inclement weather upon us, this can be a time of worry for seniors, who might be struggling to keep up with the cognitive and physical demands of driving, and their families .

According to the U. S. Department of Transportation's recently released statistics, fatal accidents involving senior drivers over the age of 65 increased by 8.2 percent in 2016.

Residents of Cleveland Heights and University Heights are fortunate to live in a walkable community. But when bad weather or physical limitations make that too difficult, there are several transportation alternatives available.

The city of Cleveland Heights has a medical van that runs Monday through Friday, 8:45 a.m. to 4:20 p.m., and transports residents ages 60 and older to medical appointments, shopping trips and errands. Call 216-691-7377 for more information.

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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 10:41 AM, 12.04.2017

Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Campus vision closer to reality after recent developments

This rendering shows what a dedicated entrance and marquee could look like for Ensemble Theatre as part of an improved and welcoming arts, culture and education center. Courtesy Paul Volpe.

The members of the Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Campus team are pleased to report that all relevant parties are engaged in active discussions over the immediate future of the Coventry site and our proposal to build on its success as a center for arts, education and community gatherings.

On Nov. 20, the Heights Libraries Board of Trustees authorized Executive Director Nancy Levin to enter into negotiations with the P.E.A.C.E. Campus group about partnering to take possession of the Coventry property from the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District. School districts are limited by law in how they can dispose of unused buildings and land; cities and libraries are two entities to which districts can transfer ownership. But this is not just a legal maneuver—the library’s formal involvement is a welcome and promising development.

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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 11:20 AM, 11.30.2017

What the Heights Observer is—and isn't

Bob Rosenbaum

When you’re involved with running a newspaper you learn there are some things that can never be said enough.

Such as: The Heights Observer is not an ordinary newspaper. In fact, if there were another word to use for it, I wouldn’t describe it as a newspaper at all. Here’s why:

  • No reporters. Every word we publish is submitted by volunteers in the community. If you call me with a great story idea, I’ll tell you the only way that story is likely to get written is if you do it yourself.  
  • Contributors are encouraged to write about people they know and organizations they work for. A traditional newspaper would view this as a conflict of interest. We believe it’s useful, as long as any relationship between the author and the subject of an article is disclosed.
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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 11:27 AM, 11.30.2017

Cuyahoga Arts & Culture awards grants to Heights organizations

On Nov. 13, Cuyahoga Arts & Culture (CAC) announced that it will invest over 12 million dollars in grants to a record-number 258 nonprofit organizations in Cuyahoga County through its 2018 grant programs. The grant awards include $376,459 to 20 Heights-based organizations, which may not be surprising given that the city of Cleveland Heights bills itself as “home to the arts.” 

Four of the 20 Heights organizations are based at Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Campus: Lake Erie Ink, Ensemble Theatre, FutureHeights and Reaching Heights.

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Volume 11, Issue 1, Posted 11:52 AM, 11.21.2017

CH Senior Center News

A recent article in The New York Times spoke to the benefits of dance for exercise, especially as one ages. The demands of learning new steps, the benefits of the movement, and the social engagement that occurs while dancing all contribute to increased health.

The Cleveland Heights Senior Activity Center (SAC) offers a variety of opportunities to dance. Among them is a class on Argentine tango, a social dance based on natural walk that can be enjoyed and danced by adults well into their 90s. Ann Dobyns and Charles Scillia teach the basics of the tango, and a bit about its history and the culture in which it developed.

Wes Senseman teaches English Country Dance—traditional dance and music from the British Isles.

Line Dance, taught by Gladys McGlothin, promotes physical fitness through dance exercise and contemporary music.

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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 10:50 AM, 12.04.2017

UH Senior Happenings

Senior Happenings, sponsored by the city of University Heights, are open to all senior citizens. Events take place on Thursdays at 2 p.m. at the University Heights Library. To receive the monthly schedule by e-mail, call 216-932-7800, ext. 205, or send an e-mail to

Dec. 7: Christopher Dawson, senior prospect researcher for University Hospitals, will highlight the 150-year history of this Northeast Ohio health care institution. It provides vital health care services, an academic medical center for advanced treatment options, and ground-breaking research and education for the next generation of clinicians.

Dec. 14: Matthew Clarboneau, chair of the Center for Music at The Music Settlement, will perform with Linda Allen and Cathleen Bohn. Their recital will feature “Music Gems from Past Eras,” a nostalgia-filled musical journey complete with the old “chestnuts” from the turn of the century and early 1900s.

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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 10:48 AM, 12.04.2017

Noble Road lights will complement Nela Park displays

GE Lighting's annual lighting ceremony in 2016. Photo by Deanna Bremer Fisher.

Noble Road residents, businesses and institutions are being encouraged to “Light Up Noble! again this year. Noble Neighbors ( is inviting everyone with Noble Road frontage to illuminate their windows, creating a corridor of lights along one of the neighborhood’s main streets.

Each holiday season, thousands of visitors drive through the neighborhood to see the lighting display at General Electric’s Nela Park, 1975 Noble Road. Lighting the two-mile stretch of Noble between Mayfield Road and Nela Park will provide a welcome to these visitors and give them another way to discover the neighborhood.


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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 9:51 AM, 11.21.2017

local election results in new UH mayor, BOE members and judge

New CH-UH school board members Dan Heintz, Malia Lewis and Jodi Sourini.

On Nov. 7, Michael Dylan Brennan defeated incumbent Susan Infeld in a closely contested race to become mayor of University Heights. In unofficial election results posted on the Cuyahoga County Board of Election website, Brennan received 1,546 votes, 50.9 percent of the total, giving him a narrow win over Infeld, who received 1,492 votes.

In addition, Cleveland Heights and University Heights voters elected three new members to the CH-UH Board of Education: Dan Heintz, Jodi L. Sourini and Malia Lewis. Cleveland Heights voters elected James Costello to be its next municipal judge with 5,075 votes, representing 49.1 percent of the total. Voters in both cities retained incumbents in their city council races. Cleveland Heights reelected Cheryl Stephens, Jason Stein, Mike Ungar and Melissa Yasinow for its city council, while University Heights voted to retain Phillip Ertel, Susan D. Pardee, John Rack and Mark Wiseman.

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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 11:35 AM, 11.30.2017

Mayor-elect Brennan sets forth his plans for University Heights

UH Mayor-elect Michael Dylan Brennan.

A day after he defeated University Heights' two-term incumbent, Mayor-elect Michael D. Brennan put forward a vision of an innovative entertainment and nightlife scene where the moribund University Square shopping center stands at the intersection of Cedar and Warrensville Center roads.

A lawyer in private practice, for whom the mayoral election was a first step into politics, Brennan will take office on Jan. 2, having won a close election with an unofficial winning margin of less than 60 votes (1,546 to 1,492) in a city of approximately 13,000 residents.

Brennan said he did not see a common thread in the decision by University Heights voters to replace an incumbent (UH Mayor Susan Infeld ran without opposition for reelection four years ago) and the election loss by six-term incumbent Mayor Merle Gordon, in neighboring Beachwood. "I think each city has its unique issues," commented Brennan. "For University Heights, our election was about the power of good ideas and the power of collaboration as a way of going about government."

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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 1:38 PM, 11.13.2017

Sherlock Holmes inspires play and exhibit

The author of this article, Jay Rosen, uses the library's display to pose as Sherlock Holmes.

This December, Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library System and Dobama Theatre have joined forces to honor Sherlock Holmes, the legendary detective first penned by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in 1887.

Through Dec. 30, Dobama will host the regional premiere of “Sherlock Holmes: The Baker Street Irregulars,” a show that focuses on “a gang of street kids” employed by Holmes to scout out missions and help solve cases. When Holmes mysteriously disappears and a young girl’s grandmother is abducted, the Irregulars work to track down the detective and settle an urgent mystery from their past. 

“We’re thrilled for the debut of this show,” said Nathan Motta, director of “The Baker Street Irregulars” and artistic director at Dobama. “It has classic elements from older Sherlock Holmes tales, but will still appeal to folks who are less familiar with the series. It also uses lights, projections and motorized elements in a unique and exciting way.”

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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 11:34 AM, 12.01.2017

FFHL inducts two to honor roll

FFHL Honor Roll class of 2017 inductees Marilyn McLaughlin and John Jarvey at the Nov. 5 banquet in their honor. (Photo © 2017 Matthew Ginn)

One has reached thousands of students in the classroom. The other has handled thousands of books in the library basement. Both were inducted into the newly created Fund for the Future of Heights Libraries (FFHL) Honor Roll on Nov. 5 at John Carroll University.

Marilyn McLaughlin was inducted as a “mind opener” for her long service teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) in the Heights, and John Jarvey’s countless hours of volunteering and leadership with the Friends of Heights Libraries earned him recognition as a “door opener.”

FFHL created the honor roll to recognize those who have made sustained, outstanding contributions to the community by enabling access to literacy or by educating through literacy. About 50 people braved the stormy weather to attend the inaugural FFHL banquet, which featured entertainment by violinist Ariel Clayton Karas.

Rob Fischer, FFHL president, welcomed those in attendance, and Louisa Oliver, a volunteer and former president of the Friends of Heights Libraries, introduced Jarvey.

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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 11:16 AM, 12.04.2017

HRRC looks ahead to 2018 programs

To the Editor:

As we come to the end of another year at Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC), and prepare for our 47th one, I wanted to give our neighbors a report on what we’ve been doing, and what we’re planning for 2018.

HRRC just concluded a series of classes in Old Brooklyn as we teamed with Old Brooklyn Community Development. Suffice it to say that all the participants were jealous of what we do here at our Noble Road offices.

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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 11:25 AM, 11.30.2017

Cleveland Heights crime statistics for the first half of 2017

Overall January-June crime trend in Cleveland Heights, 2011–17

The following charts present a year-to-year comparison of serious crimes reported in Cleveland Heights during the first six months of each year, 2011 through 2017. Full-year data will be reported here when it becomes available through the Cleveland Heights Police Department’s data-management process—typically around April. 

These crime reports are not subjective. Since 2011, the CHPD has emphasized consistency with the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) guidelines—a regimented, clearly defined set of rules for classifying and reporting crime that has been updated continually since being introduced in 1930.


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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 9:52 AM, 11.21.2017

What it's like to teach in the new high school

I knew my way around the old high school extremely well. I grew up a few streets away and remember hitting tennis balls against one of the gym walls, which then led to climbing all over the roof of the building to retrieve the balls. One time I got stuck while exploring the roof of the high school and ended up climbing in an open window to a room on the third floor. My other exploits included the times my sister and I went through lockers after school was out for the summer to collect supplies for the following year. It was like a treasure hunt.

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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 11:14 AM, 11.30.2017

Public education: essential but not invincible

Drip, drip, drip. 
Canyons, bluffs and barren hillsides attest to the power of slow, persistent attacks by the elements. Seemingly impenetrable spaces are shaped and reshaped subtly over time. 
I think public education and democracy are like mammoth landforms. When you look at them, they appear to be strong and enduring. They are a given. They define our reality and provide sources of security and comfort.

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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 11:09 AM, 11.30.2017

District hosts national conference on minority achievement

Jaylin Coleman, Jaylen Chesney and Christine Roberts (from left) were part of the MSAN conference's planning team.

Heights High seniors Jaylin Coleman, Jaylen Chesney and Christine Roberts were part of the 15-member Minority Student Achievement Network (MSAN) student leadership team that planned MSAN’s national conference. Hosted by the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District, the conference took place Oct. 18–21 at a Beachwood hotel.

The leadership team worked with Heights High’s three MSAN advisors, O’Dasha Blue, Shawn Washington and Nate Williams; the district’s Educational Services Department; and MSAN national staff, based in Madison, Wis. They selected keynote speakers, outlined the action planning process and icebreaker activities, and organized the talent show and college visits to Cleveland State University, Case Western Reserve University, and Kent State University.

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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 11:04 AM, 12.04.2017

Canterbury students send care packages to wildfire victims

Canterbury fourth-graders with a care package that they sent to a California school.

Fourth-grade students at Canterbury Elementary School were saddened to hear about the wildfires in California, and were shocked when their teachers told them 70 percent of the teachers and children at a fellow IB (International Baccalaureate) school in Napa, Calif., were now without homes. The students thought it would be nice to send them personal care packages, so they brought in toothbrushes, tissues, wipes, toilet paper, hand towels and other comfort items. 

The students sent handwritten notes of encouragement and two gift cards to the children at Bel Aire Park Elementary School. Students also brought in canned food and toys, which were donated to a local food drive and a women's shelter.

"Parents in CH-UH should be proud of the caring students we are all raising!" said Melissa Garcar, IB coordinator for the district.

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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 11:07 AM, 12.04.2017

Reaching Heights connects school and community groups

This colorful map represents the interconnectivity of 38 Heights school-community groups.

On Oct. 25, Reaching Heights brought together 58 people representing 38 community groups to discuss working more closely together on the common goal of public school success. The event, Improving School-Community Communication, took place in the cafeteria of the newly renovated Cleveland Heights High School.

The program began with the construction of a communications map. On the map were large circles labeled School District, Religious Institutions, City Governments, Heights Libraries, Non-Profits and Advocacy Groups, and Community Organizations.

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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 11:04 AM, 11.30.2017

Baby Gym reopens at Peace Lutheran

Peace Lutheran Church will reopen its Baby Gym on Saturday, Dec. 2. The gym offers a place where parents can play with their children and connect with other parents in a relaxed atmosphere.

The gym is free and open to the public on Saturday mornings, 10 a.m. to noon.  Children must be 6 or younger and accompanied by a parent or caregiver.

The gym offers slides, climbers and tunnels for the development of gross motor skills. A separate playroom features a kitchen set, tool bench, dress-up clothes, and other age-appropriate toys for dramatic play.

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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 11:26 AM, 12.01.2017

Apollo's Fire presents 'Christmas on Sugarloaf Mountain'

Apollo's Fire performs its Christmas program.

To ring in the holiday season, Apollo’s Fire presents the world premiere Christmas rendition of its popular countryside program. Christmas on Sugarloaf Mountain celebrates the Celtic roots of an Appalachian Christmas, with shape note hymns, folk carols, Gregorian chant of old Scotland, and lively dance tunes. It expands upon the original concept, with a larger cast of characters, additional instruments and a chorus and children’s voices.

Artistic Director Jeannette Sorrell will lead a familiar cast, including Amanda Powell and Ross Hauck, as they evoke the journey of the Irish and Scottish immigrants who built new lives in the Appalachian hills.

The concert will be performed locally on Dec. 8 at the Cleveland Museum of Art and Dec. 9 at the First Baptist Church in Shaker Heights. The Shaker Heights performance will be followed by a free Afterglow reception with the artists. Additional performances include Dec. 2 in Akron, Dec. 3 in Willoughby Hills, and Dec. 10 in Bay Village.

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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 11:38 AM, 12.01.2017

Milestones benefits local autism community

Milestones team member Haley Dunn with Kevin, Cory and Steph Irwin, and Debbie Yasinow from the Jewish Federation of Cleveland. Photo courtesy Hannah Harp.

On Oct. 28, Milestones Autism Resources hosted more than 250 guests at its 2017 annual benefit. The nonprofit raised more than $250,000 to fund its  autism helpdesk, a free resource for families and professionals looking to connect with valuable, regional services.

John Carroll University student Cory Irwin, an individual on the autism spectrum, captivated attendees.

“My mom will say the only person who understands me more than she or my father does is probably Miss Haley at Milestones,” Irwin said. “She has been working with me so I can learn how to talk to my co-workers, advocate for myself and build a career in the field I love. While I am a work in progress, I can tell you my confidence is growing at a steady pace daily.”

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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 11:00 AM, 11.30.2017

Then and now: Superior and Lee roads

A 1909 photo of Superior and Lee roads. Photo from the Plain Dealer archives, marked with the photographer's initials, CMB, and courtesy Korbi Robers.

Shown here are 1909 and 2017 photographs of the same view in Cleveland Heights looking eastward on Superior Road toward Lee Road, with Forest View Drive coming off to the right.

Today, the intersection of Lee and Superior roads is home to a Sunoco gas station, an Uptown Mart, and the main entrance of Cain Park. Off to the right of the 2017 picture are two homes in the historic Grant Deming's Forest Hill neighborhood (not to be confused with the other nearby Forest Hill that the Rockefellers created in the 1920s and 1930s.). Grant Wilson Deming created this "first" Forest Hill neighborhood in 1909, and it was added to the National Register of Historic places in 2010, thanks to the work of local historian J. Mark Souther.

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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 10:56 AM, 11.30.2017

LEI has 'The Write Stuff' for December

Creative juices flow at Lake Erie Ink.

Lake Erie Ink (LEI), the local writing space for youth in the former Coventry School building, is offering several opportunities for creative expression in December. On Dec. 4, LEI is holding a college essay workshop for interested teens. Evening Ink workshops will be held on Dec. 6 and Dec. 13, and there will be an Open Mic Night on Dec. 15. Over winter break, LEI will host Creative Play Days for students in grades 2–5.

Jill Levin, LEI's program director, believes that creative expression outside academic work “provides a chance [for youngsters] to make something entirely apart from the context of grades or adult approval, allowing kids to explore more about themselves.” She thinks school breaks are a great time for writing.

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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 10:43 AM, 11.30.2017

Heights Libraries and Noble barbers seek to boost literacy rates in young readers

Patrick Freed has welcomed Heights Libraries' into his Freestyles Barbershop on Noble Road.

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library System regularly engages in community outreach. Storytimes at preschools and daycares, delivery of materials to home-bound customers, book discussions and computer classes at senior living communities and the Cleveland Heights Community Center, and free book distribution at community events utilizing the Book Bike are just a few examples of Heights Libraries outreach activities.

Monica Wilson, youth services associate at the Noble Neighborhood branch, has found yet another way to reach customers outside of the library building, and encourage teens and kids to read: bringing library books for young readers to local barbershops.

“Every six weeks, I bring a variety of books to two of the barbershops on Noble Road for customers to read while they get their hair cut, or wait for a cut,” said Wilson.


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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 10:00 AM, 11.28.2017

Creatures and Clay opens at St. Paul's gallery

Family Photos, by Julie Friedman.

On Friday, Dec. 1, St. Paul's Episcopal Church hosts an opening reception for a new show by four Cleveland artists, on view through Feb. 25 in the church’s Nicholson B. White Gallery. Creatures and Clay features the work of Maggie Denk-Leigh, Sarah Johnston Knoblauch, Julie Friedman and Greg Aliberti. The artists will be on hand at the opening, 5–7 p.m.

Maggie Denk-Leigh is an associate professor at the Cleveland Institute of Art. She works in the printmaking department there, and with the Morgan Conservatory. The processes she uses currently are lithography and screen-printing. In this show, Denk-Leigh presents new works on paper depicting animals inhabiting simple backgrounds, or in artistic décor around us. Some of her unique pieces draw from details within the space at St. Paul’s.


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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 12:22 PM, 11.27.2017

Ensemble brings 'The Little Prince' to its stage

Director Brittni Shambaugh Addison.

Any parent with Netflix can probably attest to the positive effect the film version of The Little Prince has on children. Engaging storytelling, beautiful animation, and the powerful message mesmerizes kids without the use of superheroes or extravagant special effects.

Ensemble Theatre, continuing its 38th season, is bringing the staged version of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s seminal 1943 novella to Cleveland Heights when “The Little Prince” opens in its Playground Theatre on Dec. 1.

Following the success of last year’s “The Phantom Toll Booth,” Ensemble has brought back director Brittni Shambaugh Addison for its production of “The Little Prince.”

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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 12:18 PM, 11.27.2017

Heights Bicycle Coalition plans Dec. 3 holiday gathering

The annual Heights Bicycle Coalition's (HBC) Holiday Party, on Dec. 3, 6–8 p.m., will be a celebration of cycling, offering attendees a chance to meet other cyclists and learn about a specific aspect of the sport.

All interested bicycle riders are invited. The party will be held at The Fairmount Bar and Restaurant, 2448 Fairmount Blvd.

The event will be held in the side room, where light appetizers will be provided. Other menu bar items will be available for purchase.


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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 12:20 PM, 11.27.2017

Are civil rights a matter of policy or of law?

Kathy Flora, a Cleveland Heights resident and immigration activist, shared these stories at the Nov. 1 meeting of Cleveland Heights City Council’s Public Safety and Health Committee:

“Beatriz did not give a wide enough berth to a patrol car that was stopping someone else. She was . . . rapidly deported, leaving behind her grieving husband and four children. She was dumped over the Mexican border . . . in a notoriously dangerous city that preys on these vulnerable United States throwaways. She was robbed twice.


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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 12:14 PM, 11.27.2017

Rajiv Joseph play receives Ohio premiere at Karamu

Karamu House has joined forces with Cleveland Heights' Ensemble Theatre to present the Ohio premiere of “The Lake Effect, a socially relevant comedy written by Rajiv Joseph, a 2010 Pulitzer Prize-finalist and Cleveland Heights native.

Performances run through Nov. 26 at Karamu’s newly refurbished concert hall, located at 2355 East 89th Street, Cleveland.


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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 10:01 AM, 11.21.2017

Heights High swimming and diving teams host alumni meet Nov. 21

The Cleveland Heights High School swimming and diving teams will host their annual Black & Gold Meet on Tuesday, Nov. 21. Traditionally an inter-squad meet that serves as practice prior to the competition season, this year’s event will feature a celebration of the opening of the school’s new natatorium and a reunion for team alumni.

The meet will begin at 6 p.m. with an opening ceremony and recognition of alumni, current team members, and participants in the youth program. Alumni are invited to swim in the meet, and non-swimming alumni are encouraged to attend, as well, as the program seeks to reconnect with former team members.

Members of the Heights Tigersharks, the Cleveland Heights Recreation swim team, are also invited to swim, as the 2017 Black & Gold Meet showcases the past, present and future of competitive swimming in the Heights.

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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 10:39 AM, 11.13.2017

Brennan bests Infeld in UH mayoral race

Michael Dylan Brennan

Michael Dylan Brennan defeated incumbent Susan Infeld in a closely contested race to become mayor of University Heights on Nov. 7. In unofficial election results posted on the Cuyahoga County Board of Election website, Brennan received 1,546 votes, 50.9 percent of the total, giving him a narrow win over Infeld, who received 1,492 votes.

In addition, Cleveland Heights and University Heights voters elected three new members to the CH-UH Board of Education: Dan Heintz, Jodi L. Sourini and Malia Lewis.

In other area contests, James Costello secured a six-year term as Cleveland Heights Municipal Judge with 5,075 votes, representing 49.1 percent of the total. Incumbents in both the Cleveland Heights and University Heights city council races retained their seats.

See local election results here.

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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 4:32 PM, 11.08.2017

Gift guide puts focus on the Heights

Carolers serenade holiday shoppers in Coventry Village in 2015.

The Heights community is full of unique, independently owned businesses, and the holiday season is the most important time of year for them. For most, holiday sales determine if they are in the red or black for the year—and, for some, if they can continue to operate.

Studies show that holiday shopping at locally owned, independent businesses generates far more economic benefit in local communities than money spent online, at chains, or at businesses outside of the community.

A strategic planning firm, Civic Economics (, calculated that every $100 spent at a local business in one Chicago neighborhood re-circulated $68 in the local economy, compared with just $43 for $100 spent at a chain store in the same neighborhood.

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Volume 10, Issue 11, Posted 2:51 PM, 11.01.2017

Studio How-To brings handmade to the holidays

Inside Studio How-To.

Studio How-To owner Sarah Nemecek hopes to help people enjoy the holiday season even more by offering special gift-making classes. In her studio at 2140 Lee Road, Nemecek provides instruction on how to make things for friends and family, both for the pleasure of gift giving and for the experience of learning and socializing with others while creating.

Nemecek’s goal is to remove the stigma of the handmade gift, replacing the weird-colored, ill-fitting handmade sweater with cool, modern, useful handmade gifts that anyone would be thrilled to receive, proud to give, and capable of making.

For the past several years, Nemecek has been making and exchanging handmade gifts, activities and tools with her family and friends.

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Volume 10, Issue 11, Posted 9:56 AM, 11.02.2017