Latest News

Cuyahoga County selects CH and UH for master planning process

Cuyahoga County Council set aside $150,000 of general funds for a Community Planning Grant program to enable the county to work with cities to replace outdated master plans. Cities that never had a master plan, or had one that was at least 10 years old, were eligible to apply.

Of 14 applicants, two West Side cities—Parma Heights and Olmsted Falls—and two East Side cities—Cleveland Heights and University Heights—were selected.  

“We are very happy to have received the grant for a new master plan from the Cuyahoga County Department of Development,” said UH Mayor Susan Infeld. “I was happy to hear that Cleveland Heights also received the grant.”

Infeld said that the city of Beachwood is also developing a master plan in cooperation with the county, and that she is hopeful that this will “give the County Planning Commission a regional viewpoint of trends as they help us develop the University Heights Master Plan.”

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 10:58 AM, 03.24.2015

Latest News Releases

Cleveland Heights City Council passes fair trade resolution
- City of Cleveland Heights, March 19, 2015 Read More
Beacon Street presents 'Late Winter Storytelling Festival' and fundraiser on Saturday, March 14
- Non-Profit & Groups, March 6, 2015 Read More
Shiloh Baptist Church Announces Free Concert of World Famous Morehouse College Glee Club on March 9
- Arts & Entertainment, March 6, 2015 Read More
New community choir extends invitation to all singers and musicians
- Arts & Entertainment, March 3, 2015 Read More
Nature Center hosts variety of birding programs beginning March 6
- Nature Center at Shaker Lakes, March 2, 2015 Read More

View more news releases

Cain Park announces 2015 schedule

The Beach Boys, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, Livingston Taylor and Richard Marx are among the artists who will be performing at Cain Park this summer. And, once again, the park will offer a variety of free events throughout the summer, and will also present the Cain Park Arts Festival the weekend of July 10.

This year’s season will kick off on June 11, with the musical Godspell. This version is co-directed by Ian Wolfgang Hinz and Joanna May-Hunkins. It features such songs as “Day by Day,” “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord” and “Learn Your Lessons.” The show will run through June 28 at the Alma Theater.

The summer concert series will also commence on June 11 with a performance by trumpeter Chris Botti in the Evans Amphitheater. His album Impressions won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Album in 2013.

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 10:19 AM, 03.24.2015

Exchange year in Japan provides global perspective

AFS exchange students Molly Fleischer (left) and Emoni Brown-Bey.

Heights High senior Emoni Brown-Bey returned from an 11-month American Field Service (AFS) foreign exchange experience in Japan in mid-February, and sophomore Molly Fleischer left for Japan in early March.

Brown-Bey’s exchange year was “an amazing experience,” she said, as she returns to Heights High for a final semester before graduating.

During Brown-Bey's time in Japan, she lived with a host family in a small rural community and attended high school. She learned to speak Japanese, make sushi, ride a public train and budget her own money. She saw Mount Fuji, visited Tokyo Disneyland, hiked in the mountains and toured historic Shinto shrines and beautiful gardens.

While many things are different in Japan, she said she also experienced many of the universal themes in human life—family love, teenage friends, food and art.

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 10:34 AM, 03.24.2015

Annual Reaching Heights Adult Spelling Bee planned for April 15

Teams will compete for the coveted plastic bee trophy.

How well can you spell? You are invited to come and find out at the Reaching Heights Adult Community Spelling Bee. The 24th annual edition of this campy yet competitive community event takes place April 15 at 7 p.m. at Cleveland Heights High School. Admission is free and all are welcome.

Unlike the youth version, this spelling bee is a team event. Three spellers work together to write down the letters in the word given to them, and then send a teammate to the microphone to read out the team’s best guess. Teams are encouraged to dress in costumes that represent their company, school or organization, or other fun themes. This year the organizers look forward to welcoming returning competitors such as the Ms. Spellers (Roxboro Elementary and Middle school PTAs), the Episco-spellians (St. Paul’s Episcopal Church), and Upper Case (Case Western Reserve University), who come to this seriously fun competition dressed in graduation caps and gowns.

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 9:15 AM, 03.24.2015

Heights High architects to present latest design March 24

The design team working on the Cleveland Heights High School renovation project will present the latest high school design drawings to Board of Education (BOE) members on Tuesday, March 24, 7 p.m., at the BOE work session meeting at the Delisle Options Center. The board encourages comments and questions from the community following the presentation.

The meeting also will feature renderings of the proposed gateway building and rear portions of the new high school. The gateway building will serve as an entryway into the athletic field and stadium at the high school. In addition, the design team will update the board on the overall project budget.

The high school project is still in the design development phase—the phase where the architects and engineers prepare drawings and other presentation documents to crystallize the design concept and describe it in terms of architectural, electrical, mechanical and structural systems, and the overall budget cost.

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 12:58 PM, 03.23.2015

CH's St. Baldrick's event raises more than $100,000

Roxboro Elementary student Griffin Gulden, of University Heights, with his father, George, before shaving his head in honor of his brother, Garrett. Photo courtesy of Estee Gulden.

The Cleveland Heights Community Center was abuzz on Sunday, March 15—abuzz with generosity, kindness and courage. More than 165 men, women, boys and girls shaved their heads to raise money for St. Baldrick’s, the national foundation that funds more childhood cancer research than any other organization in the world, except the U.S. government.

This year’s local event, now in its fourth year, was held in memory of Rebecca Meyer of Cleveland Heights, who died from a brain tumor on her sixth birthday last June. It also was held in honor of Roxboro Middle School student Garrett Gulden, who recently finished cancer treatment, and Fairfax Elementary School second-grader Austin Gallagher, a two-time survivor of kidney cancer.

Shavees from Shaker schools, CH-UH schools and Gesu, among others, competed against, and cheered on, one another during an afternoon of marathon head-shaving. Team Fairfax—25 current Fairfax students and one teacher—raised the most money, bringing in more than $32,000.

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 10:56 AM, 03.17.2015

Eastside Kickers U9 boys take second place in national championship

ESK U9 team members (back row) Marcus Holland, Eric Madureira, Alijah Littlejohn, Baxter Paulini, Harlan Williams, Gabe McKay, Coleman Paulini, Coach Paul Eyre, (front row) Egan Haas, Charlie Roberto, Shamus Kirk, Jack Keller and Johan Guy.

Competing in the National Indoor Soccer Championship Feb. 27 through March 1, in North Olmsted, the Eastside Kickers (ESK) U9 team had a fantastic run and finished in second place.

The all-boys team has 12 members, nine years old and younger, who live in Cleveland Heights (10 players), University Heights (one player) and South Euclid (one player).

Playing against top club teams, including teams from West Virginia and Illinois, the ESK boys finished first among the U9 teams in the group stage, with a 3-0 record. They eventually lost 3-6 in the finals, to the Juniors FC team from Chicago.

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 12:04 PM, 03.17.2015

Heights High to host annual Northeast Suburban College Fair on March 19

Heights students speak with college representatives at the 2014 college fair.

Cleveland Heights High School will host the 21st Annual Cleveland Northeast Suburban College Fair on Thursday, March 19, 7–8:30 p.m., in the Heights High Cafeteria and Social Room.

The fair is open to all local public, private and parochial students and their families, and admission is free. Students will have the opportunity to meet admissions officers, guidance staff, and alumni representatives from more than 100 colleges, universities and technical schools, to learn about student life on campus, programs and majors, careers, admissions and financial aid. 

“The college fair gives students a chance to begin the very important task of planning their futures,” said Michelle Phelps, career education coordinator at Heights High.

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 9:29 AM, 03.17.2015

Forest Hill Church invites participants to visit last stop on the underground railroad

Another pilgrimage has been planned by Forest Hill Church, this time to Detroit on Saturday, April 25. The deadline for registering is March 20.

The one-day trip will include a stop at the First Congregational Church for the Underground Railroad Living Museum "Flight to Freedom" tour. The tour includes a re-enactment of the original Underground Railroad passage that operated 1840–63. Visitors will be shackled with wrist bands at the entrance of the tour and begin their experience by entering through the "Door of No Return" in Africa, before becoming passengers on the Underground Railroad on a journey to the First Congregational Church and freedom.

The trip also includes a visit to the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the world’s largest institution dedicated to the African-American experience.

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 9:47 AM, 03.17.2015

Nature center offers tips on what to plant where

The Nature Center at Shaker Lakes is offering an informational program on Tuesday, March 24, to help gardeners choose what—and where—to plant this spring. The "Dig In! What Grows Where?" forum will be held at the nature center, 7–8:30 p.m.

The evening begins with a presentation by Nature Center Plant Sale Committee members of selections found in the annual plant sale catalog, available at the nature center—and for order online in mid-March—on Plant Sale Day, Saturday, May 9, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Following the presentation, a panel of experts will provide advice on which plants to grow where in a Northeast Ohio garden, including what plants grow well in sun and shade, how to incorporate native plants, and how to attract pollinators.

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 9:34 AM, 03.17.2015

HRRC offers classes on home security

Most homeowners want to be safe in their homes, but may be concerned that security measures could interfere with the aesthetics of their houses. To help homeowners make decisions about improved home security, retired electrician and security expert Dennis Meltzer will give a free presentation on "Making Your Home Safer" at on Tuesday, March 24, 7 p.m., at the Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC).

The discussion will explore options for improving home security, including exterior lighting, security systems, and door and window locks, and what to look for in each. The presentation is open to residents of all communities.

Homeowners interested in adding a home security system using wireless technology can learn how to install and use one on a do-it-yourself basis at a hands-on workshop—DIY Installation of a Home Security System—scheduled for Monday, April 6.

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 9:31 AM, 03.17.2015

Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 3-2-2015

MARCH 2, 2015

  • Liquor license denied
  • Zoning appeals
  • Master plan steering committee
  • Declining crime rate
  • City employee wages and salaries
  • Recreation legislation for 2015.
  • Fair Trade Town
  • Julie Alandt

Council member Jason Stein was absent.

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 2:01 PM, 03.17.2015

Serious crime in Cleveland Heights down by 22.4 percent

Violent crimes committed in Cleveland Heights, Jan. to Dec. (lower is better)

Year-end crime statistics from the Cleveland Heights Police Department indicate that, despite a few high-profile cases, serious crime was down 22.4 percent in the city in 2014. Serious crimes consist of violent crimes against people and major crimes against property. Less serious incidents, such as trespassing and OVI, are not included in these figures.

Violent crime was down nearly 27.8 percent, led by a 42 percent drop in robberies—from 95 in 2013 to 55 last year. Aggravated assaults decreased 10 percent, to 37 last year.

“I’m proud of those results,” said Police Chief Jeffrey Robertson. “We can always do better, but the data shows we’re moving in the right direction. We’re only a month-and-a-half into 2015, but so far we’re trending lower still for this year.” 

There were two murders in the city last year—the same as 2013; and 10 rapes compared to six the previous year. For the second consecutive year, no rape or murder went unsolved.

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 10:05 AM, 02.24.2015

'End of Watch' ceremony to honor fallen police officer

Nancy Disbro, of the Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association, lays a wreath at the Feb. 21 End of Watch ceremony honoring Patrolman Norman C. Reker, who was shot in the line of duty in 1948.

An "End of Watch" ceremony in memory of Cleveland Heights Police Officer Thomas F. Patton II, who died in the line of duty five years ago, will be held at 7:30 p.m. this Friday, March 13, at the Police Memorial near the front door of Cleveland Heights City Hall.

The ceremony will last about 20 minutes and is open to the public. It is being held by the Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association in conjunction with the CHPD.

Patton suffered a fatal heart attack while chasing an assault suspect on March 13, 2010 in the area of Coventry and Mayfield roads. He had been a member of the force for nine years.

Patton is one of four Cleveland Heights police officers who have died in the line of duty. The others are:

  • Capt. Edward B. Connolly, shot while responding to a burglary; died Sept. 8, 1920.
  • Patrolman Norman C. Reker, shot while responding to a robbery; died Feb. 21, 1948.
  • Officer Jason West, shot while responding to a disturbance; died May 26, 2007.

As part of its public service mission to the community and the police department, the newly formed Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association has begun organizing End of Watch ceremonies on the anniversary of each fallen officer's death. The first such ceremony was held last month in Reker's memory.

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 6:05 PM, 03.09.2015

Community meeting generates ideas for school district's next five years

Participants at the Strategic Planning Committee community meeting March 4 at Heights High.

Nearly 70 people participated in a Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) community meeting on March 4, in the Heights High Social Room. For nearly two-and-a-half hours, parents, students, teachers and staff provided ideas about how to plot the future of the district’s next five years.

Parents, community members and alumni who weren't able to attend to March 4 meeting can contribute to the planning by taking this online survey by March 22. [Separate surveys for students and teachers/staff also will be shared in March.]

“Everyone had an opportunity to share their hopes and dreams for the district,” stated Jane Harris, SPC member. “Anyone who couldn't be here [at the March 4 meeting] should take the online survey.”

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 12:02 PM, 03.10.2015

Cleveland Heights resident competes in Olympics of Landscaping

Jamie Swisher of Cleveland Heights will be part of the Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) team competing at PLANET Student Career Days, a national collegiate landscaping competition that will take place at North Carolina State University, March 12–15.

More than 850 college students from 65 of the nation’s top horticulture and landscape programs—including Tri-C—are expected to attend the three-day competition to test their skills in 28 events.

Students will compete in 3-D landscape design, irrigation techniques, hardscape installation, plant identification, small engine repair and other events that require the expertise needed to work in the industry.

Swisher is one of 16 students competing for the college at this year’s “Olympics of Landscaping.” Tri-C produced the individual student champion in 2014 while placing fifth as a team—tops among two-year schools.

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 9:15 AM, 03.10.2015

Women can save on home maintenance classes with early registration

Early applicants will qualify for discounted tuition rates for Home Maintenance 101, the first of four modules in Home Repair Resource Center’s (HRRC) women’s home repair course.

Regular tuition for the module is $120 for Cleveland Heights residents and $150 for non-residents, but a $20 early-bird discountwill be offered for applications submitted by March 13. (Low-income applicants are eligible for reduced tuition rates; call HRRC for details.)

The Home Maintenance 101 course will run from April 1 through May 20, with classes held each Wednesday evening, 7–9 p.m., at HRRC's Teaching Center, 2520 Noble Road in Cleveland Heights. 

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 12:25 PM, 03.08.2015

University Heights City Council meeting highlights 2-17-2015

FEBRUARY 17, 2015

  • Cuyahoga Harbor dredging
  • Law director
  • Funds
  • Home inspections
  • Ford Fusion
  • Community park
  • Resurfacing program
  • Four bay doors
  • Sale of rubbish truck
  • SWAT team
  • Police cars
  • Senior transportation
  • Council iPads to reduce waste

All council members were present.

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 3:17 PM, 03.09.2015

Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 2-17-2015

FEBRUARY 17, 2015

  • New council member
  • Public comments
  • Media correction on recreation rates
  • Nuisance residential properties
  • CAC appointments
  • Recreation programs and rates for 2015
  • St. Baldrick’s Foundation
  • State of the city

All council members were present.

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 3:03 PM, 03.09.2015

Community input sought for school district's strategic planning survey

Amy Morgenstern from Main Stream Enterprises has led eight, facilitated small group discussions around strategic planning. This one is with CH-UH teachers.

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District's Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) is seeking community input on the district’s future. Heights residents, community members, parents and alumni of the district are invited to provide input by taking a brief survey, which should take less than 15 minutes to complete.

CH-UH staff members and students will receive a link to a separate survey and are requested not to take this survey. 

Heights residents are also invited to attend a community meeting on Wednesday, March 4 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Heights High Social Room. Childcare will be provided by Family Connections and light refreshments will be served. The district requests that residents RSVP online. 

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 12:30 PM, 03.04.2015

Zagara's hosts Harvest for Hunger fundraiser beginning March 9

In the spirit of combating hunger, Heights residents are invited to enjoy six days of delicious fundraising at Zagara’s Marketplace this March, to benefit the Harvest for Hunger and the Greater Cleveland Food Bank.

Beginning March 9 and 10, and continuing on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for two subsequent weeks, three local specialty food purveyors will donate items to benefit the food bank. All items are generously donated by Joanne Lynch of Euclid Beach Popcorn, Bill Mitchell of Mitchell’s Fine Chocolates, and John Emerman of Stone Oven, and most can be purchased for $2.

The fundraising festivities will commence on Monday and Tuesday, March 9 and 10, noon to 7 p.m., with Euclid Beach Popcorn. Remember the sights, sounds and tastes of Euclid Beach Park with a bag containing those luscious taffy kisses and a popcorn ball (popped popcorn 50 cents).

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 9:28 AM, 03.03.2015

Jazzercise classes help keep Heights food center healthy

At their annual fundraiser, Jazzercise class participants from Cleveland Heights and South Euclid contributed more than 230 pounds of food and $800 in cash to the Heights Emergency Food Center, and raised another $1,350 for LifeAct (formerly the Suicide Prevention Education Alliance), which offers suicide prevention programming at area high schools.

Each year, the Jazzercise classes nominate organizations for the fundraiser, and selects the two that receive the most votes as beneficiaries. 

Class members raised money during each class by contributing to have a favorite routine added to the exercise set—or to have a less-than-favorite routine thrown out.

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 9:27 AM, 03.03.2015

Kahlil Seren appointed to CH City Council

Kahlil Seren

Cleveland Heights City Council appointed Kahlil Seren to the unexpired term of Janine Boyd, newly elected Ohio State Representative, at its Feb. 17 meeting.

Kahlil Seren is a research and policy analyst for the Cuyahoga County Council. He had previously worked as a communications coordinator for the nonprofit Policy Matters. A five-year resident of Cleveland Heights, he grew up in East Cleveland and Beachwood, and currently resides in the Cedar Fairmount neighborhood. Seren has served on the city’s Citizens Advisory Committee, which advises council on the spending of Community Development Block Grants from the federal government.

Seren has a bachelor's degree from Cleveland State University and a Master of Science in urban studies from Cleveland State University.

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 12:10 PM, 02.18.2015

Refugees find welcome at Noble library

Kathleen Scully (standing) presents an informal conversational English workshop at the Noble Neighborhood Library for members of the Bhutanese community.

On a cold, snowy evening in February, the Noble Neighborhood Library’s teen room was filled with Bhutanese refugees eager to learn conversational English. Kathleen Scully, an English Language Learner (ELL) instructor with the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District and a volunteer with the Refugee Services Collaborative of Greater Cleveland, led the informal workshop. Asmita Samal, a student at Heights High and a member of the Bhutanese community, served as an unofficial interpreter for Scully.

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 3:01 PM, 02.26.2015

How to contribute to the Observer—or at least have a beer

We’re having a party. Please join us.

On April 22, 6–8 p.m., the Heights Observer is hosting an informal get-together at the Bottlehouse Brewery, 2050 Lee Road. There, you can talk with many of the people who are involved with the Observer on a day-to-day basis—the editor, publisher, volunteers, members of the Observer Advisory Committee and anyone else who walks in the door.

The purpose is to have a beer and talk about our favorite subject: our community. Please join us to understand the Observer better, ask questions, float ideas or just chew the fat.

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 2:56 PM, 02.26.2015

CH group plans March 12 pop-up dinner at the Alcazar

We Are Cleveland Heights, a group that seeks to promote living and working in Cleveland Heights, is holding a pop-up dinner on March 12 at the historic Alcazar, 2450 Derbyshire Road, which was recently purchased by Montlack Realty.

Planting the Seed, a five-course dinner prepared by fire food & drink, SoHo Kitchen & Bar, Marotta's, FarmShare Ohio, Luna Bakery Café and On The Rise will take place on Thursday, March 12, 6:30–9:30 p.m. Drinks will be provided by The Wine Spot, La Cave du Vin, Parnell's Pub and Phoenix Coffee. Entertainment will be provided by The Grog Shop, and table decorations by Four And Twenty Mercantile. Tickets are $75 per person and are available online at or at Luna Bakery Café. Valet parking is included.

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 11:54 AM, 02.27.2015

Rick Szekelyi invites you to play

Rick Szekelyi

There’s something very special happening Sunday afternoons at Stone Oven Bakery on Lee Road. Musicians from near and far come together for an open mic presented by Rick Szekelyi. Each plays three pieces for an audience of faithful listeners, other musicians, and those who just stop in for the daily soup or a sweet afternoon treat. 

Szekelyi, a twinkle-eyed 60-something, is an operational and financial management consultant for companies experiencing difficulties. His father, an accountant like himself, was a professional musician who bought him his first guitar at age 8. Szekelyi taught guitar in high school and college, and played in bands throughout, but while raising a family played only occasionally for himself. He recently picked up his guitar after a hiatus of several decades and began writing songs again.

Last summer, he attended a Steve Earle workshop near Woodstock, N.Y., and for the first time ever performed in public at an open mic. “It went okay and I didn’t die,” he reported. “I liked it.”

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 11:45 AM, 02.27.2015

Serendipity is striving to make the world a better place

Ray Lesser and Sue Wolpert inside Serendipity on Lee Road.

Serendipity Space, located at 2174 Lee Road in Cleveland Heights, just south of Cedar Road, is truly unique. It was designed as a place where people can build connections, relationships and community and, in the process, change the world. Sue Wolpert had the idea for Serendipity a little more than a year ago. “I wanted to develop a place where people could discover ideas and create positive change through their ideas,” she said, “a place that will help us all have the life we want to have.”

After coming up with the concept, Wolpert organized a couple of events at Negative Space Gallery, which is located at East 38th Street and Superior Avenue. Then, one of her friends, Joan Greenwood, wanted to do a program called LovingKindness Week. Because it was a weeklong event, Wolpert realized she would need her own space.

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 11:51 AM, 02.27.2015

CH native owns home-based yoga and Reiki center

Judith Eugene in the yoga studio at her home in Cleveland Heights.

Judith Eugene opened Loving Hands Yoga and Reiki in her house at 2959 Hampshire Road in Cleveland Heights in January 2011. Since then, the yoga studio and Reiki center has become very successful. Last year it won the Best of the Heights Award for Best Home-Based Business.

Eugene, 52, is a Cleveland Heights native. She grew up on Kenilworth Road and attended Coventry Elementary School, Roxboro Middle School and Heights High. She then went to Kent State University, where she majored in architecture. After graduating, she could not find a job in the Cleveland area, so she wound up moving to New York City and, later, northern Virginia.

“I always felt like Cleveland was my home,” she said. “And I kept coming back to visit.” She moved back to Cleveland Heights in 2010.

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 11:48 AM, 02.27.2015

'Home to the Arts'

Cleveland Heights calls itself “Home to the Arts.” All the reading I’ve done about the city shows that this has always been true for at least a century, possibly because of its proximity to Severance Hall, the home of the Cleveland Orchestra; the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Music School Settlement; the Cleveland Institute of Art and the Cleveland Museum of Art; the Cleveland Play House; and others of the city’s great arts institutions that began in the early 1900s—and the fact that many of those organizations’ participants lived in Cleveland Heights.

From the time I started kindergarten at Coventry Elementary School and all the way through Heights High, there were always children of Orchestra members, of CIA and CIM instructors, and of others in my classes. And most of my own training took place right here as well.

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 11:40 AM, 02.27.2015

Pianist Joe Hunter's lifetime in music

Joe Hunter at his house in Cleveland Heights.

Joe Hunter is one of Cleveland’s most highly regarded jazz pianists. A Cleveland Heights native, he began playing piano when he was eight years old, and now plays several shows every week around Northeast Ohio.

Hunter, who will be 55 this April, said there was always music around his house when he was growing up. “My parents were big music lovers,” he said. “They hired piano players when they had parties, and they had a wonderful record collection that included music by Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, the Weavers, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington and many, many others.”

His mother, Sara Hunter, was a municipal judge in Cleveland Heights for 18 years, and was the first female judge in the city. She also played accordion. His father, also named Joe Hunter, was the regional director of the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, and he played washtub bass.

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 11:20 AM, 02.27.2015

Multi-media art show explores impressions of nature at St. Paul's

Dahlia Magic, photograph, by Lori Diemer.

The Nicholson B. White Gallery at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 2747 Fairmount Blvd., announces its spring show, Nature’s Impressions. The show opens with an artists’ reception on Friday, March 6, 5–7 p.m., where participating artists will be in attendance to greet guests and discuss their creative processes. The show runs through May 29.

Featured artists are James Brindle (wood, alabaster), Lori Diemer (photography), Eileen Dorsey (oil landscape) and Leonard Trawick (prints).

Brindle’s woodturnings are both functional and non-functional. The simplicity of his turnings, combined with flowing gracefulness in design, are attempts to expose nature’s inherent beauty of wood, which is further enhanced through various finishing techniques. Brindle has won several ribbons at woodturning competitions and has been published in Woodturning Design magazine.

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 11:34 AM, 02.27.2015

Heights Arts exhibition explores changing urban landscape

Euclid Avenue, a photographic diptych by Darlene Beiter.

Over the last year, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Travel + Leisure, Fodor’s and The Wall Street Journal are among the national publications that have sung the praises of the changes transforming Cleveland and its environs. In this spirit, Heights Arts’ new exhibition, Impermanence, explores the nature of change within the city's environment of civic architecture, streets and residences.

Organized by guest curator and photographer Daniel Levin, Impermanence celebrates place, use and time in the Heights, University Circle, Little Italy, Ohio City and downtown Cleveland through pairing photographs that show the same view of a site at different historical times. This “then-and-now” perspective enables the viewer to notice both dramatic and subtle changes that have occurred to some of our iconic community institutions and streetscapes, and to more commonplace subject matter, such as home interiors. The exhibition includes some unexpected images of the Cleveland Museum of Art, Arena District and Coventry neighborhoods, which are sure to trigger a flood of memories in long-term Cleveland residents, and delight newcomers.

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 11:32 AM, 02.27.2015

Mamaí plans benefit performance

On the heels of its critically acclaimed second season, Mamaí Theatre Company is presenting Rockaby, a rarely seen 14-minute play by Samuel Beckett, on Sunday, March 29 at Dobama Theatre on Lee Road in Cleveland Heights.

The March 29 benefit event begins at 7:30 p.m. with a dessert reception, followed by the performance. After the play, host Dee Perry, of WVIZ-TV and WCLV Radio, will moderate a Q&A with Rockaby actor Dorothy Silver and members of Mamaí, and the evening will end with raffle winners collecting fabulous gift baskets donated by Big Fun, Dobama Theatre, fire food and drink, Nighttown and Quintana’s Barber & Dream Spa.

In Rockaby, a one-act, one-woman play, directed by Curt Arnold, a woman dressed in an evening gown sits in a wooden rocking chair with no other props or scenery on stage. She sits totally still with the chair seeming to rock of its own accord, creating an eerie atmosphere.

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 11:28 AM, 02.27.2015

Two musical groups perform 'Carmen'

With its close proximity to Severance Hall, the Heights has long been home to many Cleveland Orchestra musicians and concertgoers. Life in the shadow of one of the Big Five orchestras has certainly influenced the study and enjoyment of music in the Heights, and we are fortunate to have an abundance of excellent musicians in our community, ranging from tuxedo-clad professionals to backyard banjo players to pick-up jazz groups.

Two community music-making groups with close ties to the Heights—Choral Arts Cleveland and Suburban Symphony Orchestra—will join forces to celebrate 100 combined years of music making with the complete concert version of Bizet’s opera Carmen on March 15.

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 11:14 AM, 02.27.2015

Western Reserve Chorale performs Ohio premiere of oratorio

The Western Reserve Chorale (WRC), under the direction of David Gilson, will perform the Ohio premiere of composer Karl Jenkins’ new oratorio, The Peacemakers, on Friday, March 20, 7:30 p.m., at the Cedar Hill Baptist Church (12601 Cedar Road, Cleveland Heights). The concert will be repeated on Sunday, March 22, at 4 p.m., at Mary Queen of Peace Church (4423 Pearl Road in Old Brooklyn).   

The Peacemakers, composed in 2011, is a collage of melodic and expressive settings of pleas for peace by messengers of peace, representing a range of cultural and religious traditions.

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 11:18 AM, 02.27.2015

HYT presents 'The Little Mermaid Jr.'

Local cast members rehearse for the upcoming performances of The Little Mermaid Jr. at Monticello Middle School.

The Disney classic “The Little Mermaid” tells the story of mermaid princess Ariel’s dissatisfaction with life under the sea, and her curiosity about, and adventures in, the human world. The lyrical score features beloved songs such as "Part of Your World" and “Under the Sea.” In March, Heights Youth Theatre (HYT) will present a  family-friendly production of The Little Mermaid Jr., directed by Pierre-Jacques Brault, with music directed by Stacy Bolton.

The Little Mermaid Jr. features 60 talented students in grades 1–12, many of whom reside in Cleveland Heights and University Heights.

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 11:09 AM, 02.27.2015

Westminster Abbey organist in recital at St. Paul’s

Organist James O'Donnell.

James O’Donnell, the organist and master of the choristers at Westminster Abbey in London, will perform a solo organ recital at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (2747 Fairmount Blvd., Cleveland Heights) on Friday, March 6, at 7:30 p.m.

Formerly master of music at Westminster Cathedral, O’Donnell was appointed organist and master of the choristers at Westminster Abbey in 2000. In addition to a full schedule of daily choral services, his responsibilities have recently included directing the music for a service in the presence of Pope Benedict XVI in 2010, the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in April 2011, and the recent service to mark the 60th anniversary of the Coronation. The Abbey Choir has toured the Far East, the United States, Australia, Denmark, Germany, Russia, Spain, Hungary and Rome, where, in 2012, it participated in a Papal Mass with the Sistine Chapel Choir at the invitation of the Pope.

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 11:02 AM, 02.27.2015

Community conversation on public education continues March 24

The Heights Coalition for Public Education will hold its third community conversation, The Myth of Failing Students, on March 24 at 7 p.m. in the Social Room at Heights High. The event will explore the failure of state and federal testing and accountability policy to improve student achievement and to address many of the issues that are part of the education equation.

The public is invited to participate in this free community event. Local public education advocates and educators will report on the complex issues that affect students and schools.  

Co-sponsors of the public event include the Cleveland Heights Teachers Union AFT Local 795, CH-UH PTA Council, Reaching Heights and FutureHeights.

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 10:35 AM, 02.27.2015

New programs bring education philosophy to the library

Arjun Dutta with his Lego creation.

Are you a Heights parent with a budding engineer or mathematician in the family? If so, the library has programs that may pique your child's interest. Saturday, March 21 at 2:30 p.m. is STEAM Saturday at the Noble Neighborhood Library, and Tuesday, March 24 at 6:30 p.m. is Kid Engineering at the University Heights Library.

STEAM Saturday is based on the new philosophy in many schools of focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math. The theory is based on the idea that encouraging American students to focus on these core areas will foster innovation and make them more competitive and successful as adults, which will in turn continue to keep America competitive on a global scale.

STEAM was originally STEM (with no A for art), but art and design were added with the idea that they can help support engagement and creativity, and enhance a student's understanding.

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 10:41 AM, 02.27.2015

Friends of Heights Libraries invites scholarship applications

Between March 1 and April 1, Friends of the Heights Libraries will accept library education scholarship applications from residents of Cleveland Heights and University Heights, as well as non-resident employees of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library.

The $750 scholarship is designed to encourage careers in librarianship by providing financial assistance toward the pursuit of a graduate degree in library science from an ALA-accredited library school.

Anyone living in Cleveland Heights or University Heights for at least one year prior to application, or anyone who has been an employee of the CH-UH Public Library for at least one year prior to application, is eligible to apply.

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 10:40 AM, 02.27.2015

What's going on at your library?

In March, the library kicks off its Springtime in Paris series, with programs exploring Parisian history, arts and culture. Visit to see the full list of programs, and to register for select events.

Coventry Village Library
1925 Coventry Road, 216-321-3400

Monday, March 16, 4 p.m.

Kids Upcycle. Keep our landfills a little lighter by repurposing materials that might otherwise be thrown away. This week, participants will learn how to make T-shirt bracelets. Registration is not required for this event, and all children, parents and caretakers are welcome.

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 10:43 AM, 02.27.2015

Is a reverse mortgage right for you?

A reverse mortgage is a home loan that you do not need to pay back until you move from your home, no matter how far in the future that may be. You may use the proceeds from the loan for anything you choose, such as daily living expenses, home improvements, paying off debts or traveling. The amount you can borrow from a reverse mortgage depends on several factors, including the value of your home, the equity you have in it, the type of reverse mortgage you choose and the interest rate.

To be eligible for a reverse mortgage you must be at least 62 years old, own the home, and the home must be your primary residence.

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 10:46 AM, 02.27.2015

Senior Citizen Happenings

Senior Citizen 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. For information, and to suggest program topics, contact the UH Office for Senior Services at 216-397-0336 or To receive the monthly schedule by e-mail, call 216-932-7800, ext. 205, or send an e-mail to

March 5: In their previous visit to Senior Citizen Happenings, students at the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM) performed beautiful arias from the beloved operas of Giuseppe Verdi. Today’s performance will feature the work of another esteemed composer as the students celebrate the 95th anniversary of the founding of CIM, acclaimed for its superior music programs for both undergraduate and graduate students.

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 10:48 AM, 02.27.2015

Two Heights High singers perform with OMEA All-State Choir

Heights High's Johnna Marotta (left) and Arianna Murray performed with the OMEA All-State Choir on Feb. 6. [photo by Tamara Murray]

Heights High students Arianna Murray and Johnna Marotta represented the CH-UH City School District at the Ohio Music Educators Association (OMEA) on Feb. 6. Murray and Marotta performed at the Cleveland Convention Center with the OMEA All-State Choir. More than 1,000 students from across Ohio auditioned for the choir, but only 81 students were selected for this honor.

Murray and Marotta had competed in the OMEA Solo and Ensemble Competition on Jan. 24, and both students received the highest possible score of Superior in the soloist competition. Two other students, Michael Carder and Ian Teunissen, were also selected for the choir, but could not attend the performance because of other vocal music obligations.

“I am so very proud of all four of the musicians,” said Craig McGaughey, Heights High vocal music director. “Performing with a group of this caliber is a great experience for students. Arianna and Johnna came back to school full of energy and enthusiasm for performing.”

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 10:32 AM, 02.27.2015

How to deal with the foreclosure crisis

When Maureen O'Neil became chief code official and neighborhood improvement coordinator in Youngstown a few years ago, she noticed many homes were blighted and in desperate need of repair. She and her staff found that, in many cases, the former owners were behind in their mortgage payments and were evicted by the lenders, who failed to complete the necessary foreclosure forms. These were referred to as “zombie foreclosures.” Thus, the city assumed the vacant parcels were still the property of the former owners. The city had to perform basic maintenance, such as lawn mowing, snow shoveling and minor structural repairs, which on a citywide basis totaled about $100,000 per year, and assume the cost.

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 2:54 PM, 02.26.2015

Keep our community strong by protecting Heights schools

Most people who live in the Heights will agree that this is a special place. Our communities, with their focus on the arts and culture, and their commitment to diversity and integration, are unique among American suburbs.

One of our great strengths is a populace that values education and that invests in the education of all of its young people. Our community’s commitment to our schools has been clearly demonstrated in recent years by the strong support shown for critically important levies and issues that fund the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District.

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 2:52 PM, 02.26.2015

Heights historical photo of the month

Photo courtesy City of Cleveland Heights.

Don't fret—it will soon be time to get back in the pool! Indeed, whether in the midst of a deep winter freeze or merely waiting for the end of rest period, as the children are in this photograph from around 1930, Cumberland Pool has beckoned city residents ever since it first opened in 1927.

This photo was selected by the Cleveland Heights Historical Society, a nonprofit organization dedicated to discovering, preserving and promoting the heritage of Cleveland Heights, Ohio. For more information, and to view additional historical images, visit or

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 2:47 PM, 02.26.2015

Christ Our Redeemer A.M.E. Church

Christ Our Redeemer A.M.E. Church, shown here in 1915, was originally built for Cleveland Heights Methodist Episcopal Church, the forerunner of Church of the Saviour.  City of Cleveland Heights. Cleveland Heights Historical Center at Superior Schoolhouse.

In the summer of 1981, the choirs of St. John's and St. James A.M.E. churches, two historic African-American congregations on Cleveland's East Side, joined together in the octagonal sanctuary at the inaugural service of Christ Our Redeemer A.M.E. Church. Named after the African Methodist Episcopal motto, "God our Father, Christ our Redeemer, and Man our Brother," this sacred landmark was originally dedicated as Cleveland Heights Methodist Episcopal Church on Sept. 18, 1904. The clapboard- and shingle-sided Gothic Eclectic building, distinguished by its rare (for its time) octagonal sanctuary plan and battlemented corner tower overlooking Superior and Hampshire roads, is the oldest standing house of worship in Cleveland Heights, and has been a designated Cleveland Heights Landmark since 1995.

Cleveland Heights Methodist Episcopal Church arose from efforts of the Nottingham-Glenville Circuit of the Methodist Church, which erected an earlier brick church near the old Superior Schoolhouse, in 1878. At that time the surrounding area was still derisively dubbed "Heathen Heights" because of the notorious weekend carousing of the area's stone quarry workers.

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 2:43 PM, 02.26.2015

A dogged crime-fighting team at the CHPD

Jax, an 18-month-old German Shepherd, is the fourth dog to join the CHPD's K-9 unit. Photo by Bob Rosenbaum.

At the end of a long, 12-hour shift, the youngest member of the Cleveland Heights Police Department is ready to go home. To make the point, he quietly nudges his partner. When that doesn't do the trick, he begins to whine.

His partner, Officer Tom Harris, describes it as rookie behavior. But it's understandable; the rookie is only 18 months old. His name is Jax and he's a German Shepherd.

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 2:41 PM, 02.26.2015

Social innovator Ruth DeGolia brings her story home to the Heights on March 11

You may wonder what the label Mercado Global is in a garment you have bought from Anthropologie, J. Crew or Urban Outfitters. 

On March 11 you can find out about this ethical fashion brand and social enterprise at a fundraiser called, Fashioning Change: Harnessing the Power of Markets for Women in Guatemala. It will be held from 6:30–8:30 p.m. at The Wine Spot, 2271 Lee Road. Proceeds will support Mercado Global’s educational and market access programs.

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 2:31 PM, 02.26.2015

Go bananas at LEI's third annual fundraiser

Participants play Bananagrams during last year's tournament. Photo courtsey LEI.

Lake Erie Ink (LEI), a writing space for youth, is hosting its third annual fundraiser for people of all ages to showcase their quick, creative wordplay skills during a Giant Bananagrams Tournament. The event will take place on March 21, 2–5 p.m., in the Cleveland Heights High School Social Room, making it one of the community's last opportunities to enjoy the space before construction on the historic school begins this summer.

Inspired by the fast-paced, Scrabble-like word game, teams of two to four players will compete on a 30-by-30-foot Bananagrams board with 1-foot-square tiles in front of a live audience, with plays and words announced by a guest MC.

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 2:28 PM, 02.26.2015

Noble churches serve neighbors

The Noble neighborhood of Cleveland Heights is home to several long-established congregations.

Situated next to Denison Park, Church of the Master, 4050 Monticello Blvd., traces its history to a merger of congregations, one of which included John D. Rockefeller. Rockefeller’s legacy continues in this newer congregation through the Cleveland Baptist Association. Rev. Rena Baker has pastored this church for 12 years and leads the services on Sundays at 10:45 a.m. Rev. Joyce Butler leads a Bible study and prayer service on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m., and Rev. Julia Moses ministers to many of the boys and young men who play basketball in the park. Contact the church at 216-381-1001.

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 2:18 PM, 02.26.2015

IPM sponsors life-changing trips to Colombia and Wyoming

A child at Ninos Trabajadores Project in Ibague, Colombia, at the end of a workshop.

International Partners in Mission (IPM), based in Cleveland Heights, works across borders of faith, culture and economic circumstance to create partnerships that build justice, peace and hope. The core program provides financial and technical support to 60 community-initiated programs in 20 countries. They include El Salvador, India, Kenya, Nepal and Nicaragua, and the focus is on women, children and youths.

IPM also organizes immersion-experience programs—short-term travel opportunities to the countries where it works. Participants, many from Northeast Ohio, learn about the history and culture of these countries, and walk in solidarity with the locals whose work IPM supports.

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 2:17 PM, 02.26.2015

CH-UH school district requires scrutiny

In May 2015 we face yet another school levy, designated for “current operations.”

The county auditor’s website indicates that CH-UH City School District residents pay 15 different tax levies or bonds to support the district.

Of these levies, 12 are for "current operations." They total 145.14 mills and are “continuous,” which means the district can continue taxing us past the levy’s “end date.”

The remaining three taxes are the facilities bond, a library bond, and a "forever" tax levy for building maintenance. Together, these total 149.59 millages we pay to the CH-UH City School District.

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 10:23 AM, 02.24.2015

CHHS student artists win awards

Heights High junior Hannah Smith's charcoal drawing won a Gold Key award in the Cuyahoga County Scholastic Art Contest.

Four Cleveland Heights High School juniors have won awards in two separate art competitions.

Hannah Smith received a Gold Key award for her charcoal drawing and Nih’jel Jones received an Honorable Mention for his coiled ceramic vessel in the 2015 Cuyahoga County Scholastic Art Competition. The local competition is part of the National Scholastic Art Competition. Smith and Jones were selected from more than 3,000 entrants from approximately 100 middle and high schools in Cuyahoga County. Each student whose work was selected for display received an award of Honorable Mention, Silver Key or Gold Key.

Gold Key award winners continue to the national competition held this spring in New York City, and are eligible for college scholarships. The awards were announced on Dec. 19 and winning pieces were on display at the Cleveland Institute of Art.

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 10:15 AM, 02.24.2015

Heights Libraries will restore hours to all branches in mid-May

Beginning in mid-May, Coventry Village Library will again be open on Fridays and Sundays.

Thanks to the passage of its operating levy in November 2014, Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library now has funding to reinstate Sunday hours at the Coventry Village and Noble Neighborhood libraries, and Friday hours at the Coventry Village Library.

Beginning Friday, May 15, the Coventry branch will reopen on Fridays, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., reinstating the Friday hours that were cut in January 2014. Beginning on Sunday, May 17, all branches will be open 1–5 p.m., reinstating the hours that were eliminated in 2009, when Ohio’s Public Library Fund was drastically cut by the state government.

“We are as delighted about this as we hope our customers are, because we know that, for many in our community, Sunday is a perfect library day,” said Nancy Levin, Heights Libraries director.

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 4:58 PM, 02.22.2015