By Chelsea Bray- Elle A. Design
It takes a big heart to teach little minds. Teachers are such an inspiration to us all and how can we ever thank them for all they do? These are challenging times, and our education systems have been quick to act creatively and out of passion. Also, within the past 9 months, the definition of a teacher has changed drastically as some parents have become teachers and homes have become classrooms. If you are wondering how you can thank your teachers, be sure to check out our top 5 gift suggestions to put a smile on your teachers face and make them feel appreciated.
Teabaggers Coffee, Tea & Wine Cafe – Urbana – Open Monday-Friday 9:05-3, Saturday 9:05-2
Is your teacher a coffee or wine lover? If so, you’re in luck! Teabaggers, right here in Urbana, offers a wide variety of gourmet teas and coffee, wines, mugs, t-shirts, and more! Gift cards are also available so your teacher can pick out their perfect gift. Stop into this beautiful family-owned business – and while you’re at it, treat yourself to an amazing lavender lemonade! Check out their Facebook page to see their drink and lunch specials!
Ethel's Flower's & Gift Shop – Urbana – Open Monday-Friday 9-5, Saturday 9-2
There’s no better time of year to show your teacher appreciation than fall! Ethel’s has a wide variety of fall florals, décor, and yummy goodies. Give them a call and place an order over the phone for delivery to your teacher, right at their desk. Add a box of Marie’s Candies for the perfect gift combo. Check out their website to see all of their beautiful arrangements.
Bello Salon – Urbana – Open by Appointment
Give the gift of pampering and relaxation. For the teacher who puts all of their students’ needs in front of their own, let’s give back. A Bello Salon gift certificate gives your teacher the choice of message therapy, hair styling, hair products, lashes, waxing, and more! Check out their facebook page and stop in to purchase a gift certificate for the person who has had such a positive impact on your life.
Let's Eat Cake – Urbana: Open Wednesday & Saturday 10-5, Thursday 10-6, Friday 9-6
Looking for a “sweet” way to show your teacher how much you appreciate them? Look no further than Let’s Eat Cake on Scioto Street. From cakes to cookies, brownies to cupcakes, they have all of the favorite flavors to satisfy a sweet tooth. Check out their facebook page and website and pick out the perfect treat for your teachers!
Schuler’s Bakery – Urbana – Open Sunday-Monday 6-8
Teachers are magical and so are Schuler’s Bakery donuts! Surprise your favorite teacher with donuts and coffee to start their day. Give them a call or stop in to pick out a few of their fan favorites, which are sure to be a hit with your teacher and class.
We want to say “Thank You” from the bottom of our hearts to all of our local teachers and parents, whether in-person, distance learning or homeschooling. You amaze and inspire us daily!
By: Jenna Lawson, WHIO
View video of the announcement on WHIO's website
There were many points in the last five years that community partners thought ‘Legacy Place’ might never happen.
It took time to capture nearly $13 million in funding sources, including historic tax credits – not to mention delays due to the pandemic. But on Thursday, partners announced the funds were released and they are able to move forward with the project. It’s possible construction could start within the next week.
‘Legacy Place’ transforms the Douglas Inn in downtown Urbana and two former elementary schools (North & South) into affordable senior housing. 51 units will be created for those 55 and older, with six of them being devoted to people with disabilities.
“It’s just a real renaissance for Urbana,” Mayor Bill Bean told News Center 7′s Jenna Lawson.
Duane Miller, with development company Flaherty & Collins and also president of F & C Legacy Place, said the project accomplishes two goals: turning three vacant properties into useful properties and filling the need for affordable senior housing in Urbana.
“I love to jump into the skin of a community that’s looking for help and looking for opportunities to spur on their own development,” he said.
The Douglas has been vacant since 2004 and has long been a large eyesore on the southwest corner of Monument Square. The building has somewhat deteriorated and was the target of multiple arson fires in 2019.
The former owner of the property, John Doss, has done work to stabilize the structure. The elementary schools, despite being about 100 years old, are in solid shape, partners said.
The timeline for the project will move quickly. Developers estimate about six months to complete both elementary schools and a little over a year to finish the Douglas. Partners are hopeful that the project will have a positive domino effect on other aspects of Urbana living including neighboring businesses and housing.
“We may see some of those seniors who may move in here and now their single family homes are available for a new families to move in,” said director of the Champaign Economic Partnership, Marcia Bailey.
Bailey added that this solution also preserves the history of all three buildings for the community to enjoy for decades to come. “Having these buildings standing as they are and being repurposed is a huge win for our community,” she said.
Other partners in the project include the City of Urbana, Urbana City Schools and Resident Supports and Services, Inc., which provides housing for seniors and adults with developmental disabilities.
By Chelsea Bray- Elle A. Design
Fall is an amazing time of year. The leaves change from their bright green to vibrant shades of red, yellow, and orange leaving everyone craving pumpkin pie and apple cider. Decorating your home with locally found fall décor will bring that feeling of comfort you can only find on a crisp fall morning. No matter what area of your home you want to decorate or what your budget is, you are sure to find the perfect item at one of these great local shops. Enjoy our virtual fall décor showcase as we walk you through just some of what Champaign County has to offer!
Seth’s Produce and Garden Center – Urbana – Open Every Day 9-7
This is the go-to spot for pumpkins and gourds! You can expect pumpkins to start arriving mid-September and they have a large selection of colors and sizes so you will be sure to find your perfect jack-o-lantern pumpkin. They already have mums of all colors in stock that are ready for that perfect spot on your front porch or in your flowerbed. Along with all of their amazing fall décor, they also have fresh produce so you can prepare a fall soup or stew to end your day with. Check out their Facebook page to see what is fresh this week!
Ethel’s Flowers and Gift Shop – Monday-Saturday 9-5
Fall is the best time of the year to get a fresh bouquet of sunflowers. If you want something longer lasting, they also carry potted sunflowers that can brighten up any room. They have been putting out their new fall décor the past couple of weeks which includes velvet pumpkins, wall signs, and candy corn inspired metal pennants. To top off their amazing selection of décor they also carry Marie’s Candies that you can add to any order for delivery or you can just pick up a box for yourself! They are constantly getting new inventory so follow them on Facebook to see the latest décor.
David’s Greenhouse – Monday-Saturday 9-5
At David’s Greenhouse in St. Paris you will find a variety of blooming fall flowers including mums and flowering kale. They also have other great porch decor like gorgeous fall wreaths to dress up your front door. Throughout the year they offer opportunities to hold fundraisers for your church, school or organization. Make sure you check out their Facebook page to keep up to date on what they have going on all year long!
Chateau Farms – Urbana – Open Every Day 10-6
Chateau farms has over 90 different varieties of fall mums, asters, and flowers kale. They offer different sizes and also have hanging baskets for your front porch. They sell at local festivals and markets as well as at their new retail location. If you still can’t make it to them, they will come to you! They offer delivery on bulk orders so you and your friends can get together and place an order to be shipped directly to you. If this is the first time you have planted mums there are some great tips on their website to help you as well.
Work Begins to Transform the Douglas Hotel and Former Elementary Schools into Senior Apartments
The apartments will be ready to lease next year, Miller said. The apartments in the school buildings will be ready by mid-summer and the apartments in the Douglas, by year end.
“Legacy Place is a big win for our community, and it’s the result of persistent effort by many individuals and organizations in a united public-private partnership,” Marcia Bailey, director of the Champaign Economic Partnership, said. “Legacy Place is proof of what our community can accomplish when we work together.”
Besides the CEP and project developer Flaherty & Collins, key players in the partnership are the City of Urbana, Urbana City Schools administration and Board of Education, John Doss, owner of the Douglas Hotel since 2007, and Resident Supports and Services, Inc. (RSSI). RSSI, a local nonprofit provider of housing for seniors and adults with developmental disabilities, is serving as co-developer and 25 percent owner of the project.
“Revitalizing and repurposing these historic buildings will have a tremendous impact on our economy and the attractiveness of our community and downtown,” Bailey said. The anchor of the southwest corner of Monument Square since 1870, the Douglas has stood vacant since 2004.
“I’m looking forward to further business development in Urbana, especially in the downtown, to accommodate the new Legacy Place residents.”
Another positive outcome of the project, she added, is that it will make much needed single-family housing available for new residents as seniors downsize to move into the apartments.
Miller said the project accomplishes two goals: “turning three vacant buildings back around to make them useful assets to the community and meeting Urbana’s needs for affordable senior housing.”
He added that the project, as it qualified for historic tax credits, will respect the historic nature of the buildings. Ed McCall of McCall Sharp Architecture of Springfield is the architect for the project.
The $13 million in financing for the project includes federal and state Historic Tax Credits, low income housing tax credits, an Ohio Housing Finance Agency loan, and a construction loan.
As the City of Urbana’s community development manager, Doug Crabill has been assisting Flaherty & Collins on the project for three years. He said, “Projects like this sometimes have a long horizon before the public can see the fruits of what we’ve been working for. The great thing is that everybody – the city, schools, the CEP, the developer – have been pulling in the same direction to get us where we are today.”
He added, “John Doss has helped keep the project moving forward and he’s kept the Douglas in a stable state” to make it a viable candidate for the project.
Doss had work completed to stabilize the structure and removed two small additions, which did not contribute to the historic value of the property.
“I was really happy about the city and the school board all pulling together to get this done,” Doss said. “The schools really stepped up for the community.”
Charles Thiel, superintendent of Urbana City Schools, said, “It’s been a long, long journey to get to this point. But we had faith and hope that we would get here.”
Scott DeLong, president/CEO of RSSI, said, “Our board members are excited about the project and happy we could participate and help make the project a success.” RSSI manages housing for people with developmental disabilities in Champaign, Preble, Shelby and Union counties. Six of the 51 Legacy Place apartments will be designated for people with disabilities.
Story and photos submitted by CEP (Champaign Economic Partnership).
Photos taken by Gary Schenkel.
Recently HFHCCO was selected by Crane Pumps and Systems, Crane Fund for Widows and Children, to receive a $10,000 donation that will be utilized on the 2021 build. “We are, of course, thankful to CEO Brian Sweeney and the great people at Crane — as well as the truly hundreds of sponsors in and around our county,” Ward said.
Countless food providers and churches supply volunteer build crews and lunch for the nine months it takes to build a Habitat home. HFHCCO shares its Mission Statement and asks all in attendance at its Home Dedication each year read the following statement aloud: “Seeking to put God’s Love into Action Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities, and HOPE.“
Recently the HFHCCO board voted to begin an annual Home Sweet Home Beautification Award. The first recipient was Ms. Barb Brooks and her son Daniel who live in a totally handicap-accessible home built with donations and volunteer labor. Brooks’ home at 218 Harmon Ave. is immaculate, well-manicured and maintained. This award will be presented twice a year with a homeowner eligible to win only once per year. Winners are gifted a $100 gift certificate from HFHCCO’s ReStore, a $50 gift from the Brock C. Comer Memorial Scholarship, and a gift certificate from Café Paradiso. Signage and a banner will designate the home for several months. The home selected must have natural, manicured landscaping, paint and siding in good condition, bushes and trees showing attention and care, concrete with minimal or no vegetative growth in cracks, concrete with no differential settlement, garbage cans not visible, gutters and roof in good condition, no artificial flowers, no “for sale” signs or commercial advertising signs in the yard. An outstanding home overall with an extra nice appearance is sought. Nominated homes must have owners who are current on their mortgage payments.
This milestone year has been a year of transition with no build. Habitat was recently gifted a lot at 141 Race St. in Mechanicsburg. “The plans currently are to build our 12th home on this donated land,” Ward said. “The HFHCCO board of directors is extremely appreciative to the village of Mechanicsburg for this donation. As a non-profit we are thankful to all within the county as well as beyond.” First Christian church Springboro will be creating the walls for the 12th home as well as giving a monetary donation. St. George Episcopal church in Dayton supports yearly with monetary donations as well as youth builds. Many local churches support as do individuals.
The organization has recently created a new website at HFHCCO.org and credits Ben Guenther for his expertise in setting up the new website. “If our community has questions about applying for a home, sharing donations at the ReStore at 955 N. Main Street in Urbana, our website answers those questions,” Ward said. “Our ReStore manager, Mrs. Anita Segreti, is available by phoning 937-652-2981. We are thankful for the many, many donations gifted to HFHCCO. We do ask that no donations are dropped off without prior arrangements. We are a participant in the Kroger’s Community Rewards program and can be found under YU772 if anyone might wish to part of this activity.” A small percentage of the grocery total is quarterly gifted to HFHCCO by Kroger.
“HFHCCO is also thankful for the volunteer lawn work completed on our homes,” Ward said. “We thank Logan Landscaping and Lawn for that, owner Jacob Vitt. All owners are mentored and encouraged to maintain their property to enhance the neighborhood. Often if a move is done in the winter it takes time to work the yard and prepare as expected. We are appreciative of the neighbors who assist, support, and show love to our new home owners.” HFHCCO holds the mortgage which is interest free but the home is owned by the recipient, just as if the loan were from a bank or lending institution.
All appliances purchased for the HFHCCO homes are paid for via the sale of Judith Key’s Brotherly Love Necklaces. “Ms. Key has been providing these beautiful art pieces for many, many years,” Ward said. They are now available for perusal and purchase on the new HFHCCO.org website. Individual pictures of each necklace, their price, and how to order will be shared on the website.
“Our current HFHCCO board is pleased to welcome new board member Mr. Brian Newman, Urbana,” Ward said. “President Julie Urquhart, Vice President Rev. Ray Branstiter, Secretary Tim Schneider and Treasurer/Assistant Rick Finkbine and Marge Baker are invaluable to the workings of the affiliate.” Build Chairmen are Frank Segreti and Greg Ward. Meetings are held at the ReStore on the fourth Tuesday of each month.
Cemetery Tours coming in October and proceeds will benefit Champaign County Preservation Alliance !
Oak Dale Cemetery was established in 1856 with 25 acres. Today the cemetery covers 60 acres. The tour will weave through one of the oldest parts of the cemetery where historical burials, monuments, and statues abound.
You will be enlightened about some of Urbana’s past residents and their lives as the area’s history is revealed through stories involving mystery, victory, reveille, misery, glory, injury, chivalry, artillery, revelry, and maybe even purgatory. Come join us for an exciting evening!
The tour will be led by local historian John Bry. John holds a Bachelor of Science in historic preservation from Southeast Missouri State University and a Master of Science in historic preservation from Ball State University. He is an expert in historic cemeteries.
TIMES FOR THE OCTOBER 23 & 24 TOURS
There will be four tours each evening starting at
5:00, 6:00, 7:00, and 8:00
Plan to arrive 20 minutes prior to your tour time to allow for parking and check-in
Duration of tour is approximately 45 minutes
Wear comfortable walking shoes & Bring your flashlight and your curiosity
Each time slot will accommodate 45 attendees
MASKS REQUIRED in areas where social distancing isn’t possible
NO PETS PERMITTED
TICKETS - PRE-SALE ONLY
NO TICKETS SOLD AT THE DOOR
Tickets are $10 per person
--$5 for children 6-12
-- Free for children under 6
Tickets are available online
Tickets are also available at the Urbana Chamber of Commerce
Open: Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 4:00pm
Location: 127 W Court Street, Urbana
Ticket purchases are non-refundable
The tour is not handicapped accessible
Official voting for the Best of Champaign County will be October 1st-31st, after all nominations have been submitted. Voters are asked to donate $1 per vote to the Chamber of Commerce, so that it can continue to carry out its mission to connect Champaign County by promoting members and inspiring collaboration by offering resources and opportunities to enhance our community. Nominations and ballots will be accepted online, by mail, email or in person at the Chamber of Commerce located at 127 W. Court St. in Urbana.
Chamber Director, Sara Neer, explains, “With so many events being cancelled and postponed this year due to Covid the Chamber and Board of Directors thought long and hard about a fundraiser that we could carry out virtually to replace our in person events that we rely on for revenue to keep the Chamber in business. The Best of Champaign County contest does a few things: promotes local businesses, educates and involves the community, and assists the Chamber in raising funds by implementing a ‘donate to vote’ feature.”
In a normal year the Chamber hosts monthly lunch & learns, business after hours networking events, first friday coffee hours, Safety Council meetings, Leadership Champaign County, along with other larger events. “We want to do all we can to continue providing valuable resources to our members and the community throughout this trying time and we hope that Champaign County will support our newest fundraiser”, says Chamber Board President, Tom Coles, “Small businesses add to the uniqueness of our county and we want to involve the community in recognizing and celebrating all that makes Champaign County a great place to live, work and play.”
By Chelsea Bray- Elle A. Design
1. Explore a Cave
If you have never been in a cave before what better time of the year to do it? Thankfully we have one of Ohio’s best caverns right in our backyard. You can visit Ohio Caverns any time of the year to experience the year-round temperature of 54 degrees. Directly above the caverns is a 35-acre park where you can have a picnic lunch before or after your adventure!
2. Local Wine Tasting
If you are looking for a way to spend an afternoon outside in the crisp fall air, plan an afternoon wine tasting at Folck Family Farm. They make wine from the berries they grow on their farm including strawberry, raspberry, and blackberry. You can sometimes even catch some live acoustic music while you are there.
3. Enjoy Comfort Food for Dinner
Lincoln and Main is a restaurant and bar located in Urbana, Ohio. It all started with a food truck, Dine and Dash, and has formed into an amazing restaurant where you can find great beer and food. Their menu is built of comfort food and slow smoked meats and they are constantly creating new dishes to add to it.
4. Pick Fresh Apples for Baking
A classic fall date idea is to go apple picking! Head over to Nana’s Orchard to pick apples of 15 different varieties. Their apples are ready at different times throughout the season, but there will always be something great to choose from. Once you have your apples you can head home to make pie, cobbler, candy apples, and so much more!
5. Go on a Scenic Hike
Tall, majestic oak trees and beautiful tulip trees make Davey Woods an excellent place to go for a scenic fall hike. The hilly terrain, unique for this part of Ohio, provides hikers with an unforgettable experience. Along your hike you might also run across the Pence family cemetery.
6. Enjoy a Classic Movie Night
Gloria Theatre by GrandWorks has been hard at work on renovations to their building but this is not slowing the down! You can take in a movie here any day of the week but be sure to check their schedule online to see what they are playing. They often have throwback nights to nostalgic films of the past but play current films as well.
7. Carve Pumpkins Together
Nothing says fall like carving pumpkins! Get the best pumpkin for the job at Seth’s Produce & Garden Center. Starting about mid-September you will find pumpkins and gourds of all shapes and sizes there. Get a little competitive and post your results on Facebook to have your friends and family vote on who’s is better!
8. Grab a Pumpkin Spice Latte
This is a fall essential. It is the season for all things pumpkin spice, but the one that started it all is the Pumpkin Spice Latte. We recommend you ditch the chain shops though and grab one from the Spotted Cow Coffehouse. You can shake things up and try their Pumpkin Chai Tea Latte or the ShiverMoo with pumpkin!
9. Visit a Haunted Attraction
If you like the kind of fall activity that leaves you feeling scared, try heading to a local haunted attraction like Crybaby Bridge. Legend has it that in the 1800’s a woman threw her baby off the bridge and you can still hear it cry to this day. The bridge was one located on Black Road but no longer stands. Allegedly all of the supernatural activity in the area has ended, but why not go see for yourselves?
10. Go for a Drive to see the Leaves
Champaign County is lucky to have so many amazing spots to find fall foliage. There are an abundant number of backroads to travel but for the easy-going a drive straight down US Highway 68 will leave you with an amazing view of fall. If you have more time, consider traveling US Highway 36 which runs East and West through all of Champaign County.
Join FocalPoint Business Coach Scott Brown for a workshop focused on teaching you 5 key things to help you: 1.) Understand why we don't get better information 2.) Identify what can we do as leaders to get better information 3.) Develop your personal plan to transition from firefighting to fire prevention.
This event is FREE. October 6, 2020 from 12PM - 1PM. Click here to register today!