2nd Annual NB Variety Show at NBHS on Saturday

Tickets for the 2nd Annual North Baltimore Variety Show are on sale now in the Middle/High School main office.

Tickets for the 2nd Annual North Baltimore Variety Show are on sale now in the Middle/High School main office.

Tickets are $8.00.

The show is this Saturday, November 15, 2014 at 7:00 pm in the Middle/High School Auditeria, and features many unique acts and a ton of talent!

Act I: 

01) Emma Cotterman, singing

02) Kaley McCartney & Allison Beaupry, twirling

03) Sydnee Smith and Lydia Hartman, singing

04) Meghan Thompson, clarinet

05) Alex Byrd and Hailey Powell, guitar/singing

06) Dalton Teaford, magic

07) Layla DeLancy & Gabby Estrada, singing

08) Brennin Gray-DuVall & Katie Dewulf, dance

09) Abby and Meg Empcke, singing/piano

10) Allison Beaupry, singing

11) Lindsay Davis, dance

12) Wyatt, Casey and Everett Mowery, rap

Act II: 

01) Bobby Crampton, singing

02) Damon Dotson, drums

03) Alex Byrd, singing/guitar

04) Caeli Empcke & Lucy Trout, instrumental duet

05) Alivia DeLancy &Kylie Grilliot, singing

06) Noah Pelton, piano

07) Zoey & Allison Beaupry, singing

08) Meredith Buchanan & Olivia Matthes, twirling

09) Chloe Lanning & Abbi North, singing

10) Lisa and First’s Americans, dancing

* Alex Byrd and Valerie Buchanan, Emcees

American Legion Post #539 Holds Annual Veteran’s Day Banquet

The annual Veterans Day Dinner was held at American Legion Post #539 last Saturday evening, November 8. The theme was “Celebrating 91 Years of Honoring Post 539 Veterans”.

VeteransDinner SamBretz
Post Commander Sam Bretz

The veterans and guests were welcomed to the event by Post Commander, Samuel Bretz, Jr.

After the Posting of Colors, the Pledge of Allegiance, and an invocation led by Post Chaplain Al Bretz, dinner was served.  The Ladies of the Legion Auxiliary prepared the meal, which was served to the guests, by members of the NBHS Junior class.

Members of the NBHS Junior Class stand at the rear of the room, waiting to serve dinner at the American Legion
Members of the NBHS Junior Class stand at the rear of the room, waiting to serve dinner at the American Legion

Following the dinner hour, Legionnaire John Cheney introduced the recipients of the three scholarships presented annually by Post 539.Winner of the Blackall  $1000 Award: Jacob Pelton; the Larsen $1000 Award: Rachel Peters; the American Legion $1000 Award: Makayla Rein. All three students are Seniors at North Baltimore High School. Mr. Cheney stated the Legion has now distributed $25,000 in scholarship dollars. The first scholarship was awarded in 2001, with the second being added in 2008, and the third in 2011.

John Cheney with Rachel Peters, Jacob Pelton, Makayla Rein
John Cheney with Rachel Peters, Jacob Pelton, Makayla Rein

The evening continued with recognition of students who attended Buckeye Boys State and Buckeye Girls State, during the Summer of 2014. The girls attending were: Mariah Leonard, Madison Ray, Allison Beaupry, and Leslie Busch. The boys attending were: AJ Hotaling, Jacob Pelton, and Jamison Jacobs.

Jacob Pelton, Jamison Jacobs, AJ Hotaling represented Post 539 at Buckeyes Boys State
Jacob Pelton, Jamison Jacobs, AJ Hotaling represented Post 539 at Buckeyes Boys State

Years of Legion membership awards were presented to those who have been members for 20 plus years, with every five year increment being recognized. Receiving recognition for being members for 60 years were Reginald August and William Smith.

Next Commander Bretz introduced Legionnaire Eric Vandemark, who shared memories of his period of service to his country. (Note: His words of wisdom are shared in a separate story here on theNBXpress)

Dr. J Eric Vandemark on "Answering the Call to Serve"
Dr. J Eric Vandemark on “Answering the Call to Serve”

Following Dr. Vandemark’s remarks, a Memorial Service was held, to honor the 24 deceased members of Post 539, who have passed since last year’s service. Legionnaire George Reddin led an honor guard ceremony, followed by the playing of taps by Legionnaire Pam Cheney.

Post Commander Bretz thanked everyone for attending, and also those who helped make the event possible.

2014-2015 Officers of Legion Post 539 include:

Post Commander-Samuel Bretz, Jr.

Past Commander-Jim Wymer

1st Vice Commander-Rick Schwab

2nd Vice Commander-frank Brooks

Adjutant-Pam Cheney

Finance Officer-Mike Julien

Chaplain-Al Bretz

Service Officer-Pam Cheney

Sergeant-at-Arms-David Phillips

Historian-Terry Howard

Latta Recognizes Veterans Day

Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH) today released the following statement in recognition of Veterans Day

 

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH) today released the following statement in recognition of Veterans Day:

 

“Today we recognize the brave men and women who have served our country,” said Latta. “Our veterans’ unwavering dedication and commitment have enabled us to enjoy the freedoms we hold dear, and they deserve our utmost admiration and respect today and every day. To all those who have served, those who continue to serve, and their families: thank you. It is because of your selfless sacrifices that we may continue to call this nation the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

ENDS TODAY – Sister’s Junction “Christmas on Elm”

The Sister’s Junction annual Christmas on Elm Open House and Sale ENDS today!

If you are looking for Christmas decorations and/or crafts, stop by the corner of Elm and Central in North Baltimore!

The Sister’s Junction will be holding their annual Christmas on Elm Open House and Sale this coming weekend! If you are looking for Christmas decorations and/or crafts, stop by the corner of Elm and Central in North Baltimore!

The Christmas Shop will be open Thursday, Nov. 13, Friday (14th) and Saturday (15th) from 10 am – 8 pm AND on Sunday (16th) 10 am – 6 pm.

Sisters Christmas 2014 flyer

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Legislation to Legalize the Use of Consumer Grade Fireworks in Ohio

State Senator Dave Burke (R–Marysville) introduced legislation today to
legalize the use of 1.4G consumer grade fireworks in the State of Ohio. Current law
requires consumer grade fireworks bought in the state to be transported out within 48
hours of purchase and prohibits an individual from using 1.4G fireworks in Ohio.

COLUMBUS– State Senator Dave Burke (R–Marysville) introduced legislation today to
legalize the use of 1.4G consumer grade fireworks in the State of Ohio. Current law
requires consumer grade fireworks bought in the state to be transported out within 48
hours of purchase and prohibits an individual from using 1.4G fireworks in Ohio.

The intent of the legislation is to allow Ohioans the freedom to celebrate their national
pride and joy in a safe and responsible manner. In recent years, states across the country
have began to loosen their laws that restrict the use of fireworks as the industry has taken
major steps in making fireworks safer for consumers. Since 1976, firework consumption
has risen 615-percent, while the firework injury rate has steadily decreased. The injury
rate has dropped from 38.3 injuries per 100,000 pounds of fireworks consumed in 1976 to
6.1 injuries per 100,000 pounds in 2013.

“The data appears to speak for itself. We have safer products today than we did in the
past.” Burke continued “This legislation allows for a more informed consumer and an
ability to increase public safety while engaging in this American tradition.”

The bill will also generate additional resources to give the state the ability to educate
consumers on proper firework safety practices. The State Fire Marshall’s office will be
required to design a safety pamphlet to be distributed to the consumer at the point of each
sale. It is our hope that this education will help increase safety and decrease injuries
statewide. To encourage more consumers to recognize the importance of eye safety,
firework retailers will also be required to have safety glasses available for purchase at a
nominal fee or free.

To help fund the state’s increased safety efforts, the bill will also enact a 6-percent
fireworks safety fee on the sale of all consumer grade fireworks in the state. 5-percent of
the fee will be directed towards the Fire Marshall’s office to help fund firefighter training
statewide, and 1-percent towards regulation and enforcement of the fireworks industry.
Indiana, Michigan, and Texas have adopted similar fees in recent years.

The bill will now move to the Senate Reference Committee for committee assignment.

“Answering the Call”

Given by Rick Vandemark at the North Baltimore American Legion Veterans Day Banquet, Nov. 8, 2014

Given by Rick Vandemark at the North Baltimore American Legion Veterans Day Banquet, Nov. 8, 2014

When I got the call from Sam Bretz to speak tonight (at the Annual Veteran’s Dinner at the Legion), I could not have been more surprised than if Billy Crystal was calling to ask if I would host the Academy Awards.

I have always wanted to speak at a high school graduation because I think I have something to offer.  After all I’m 50 years older than a high school senior. But to speak to the American Legion is a far different matter. There are people here who are actually older than I am, (You know who you are.) wiser than I am, and who have far more military experience than I do.

So, at first I was going to decline Sam’s invitation to speak tonight. But I just couldn’t do that. I like to think of myself as a patriot. So, I felt the need to answer the call – as when President Kennedy called us to, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”

So here I am at the American Legion in North Baltimore. I’ve got my fingers crossed, hoping that I have something of interest to say. I am also aware that The Ohio State University plays Michigan State at 8:00 so I will do my part to keep this short so we won’t miss kick off.

After reading Larry Slaughterbeck’s column in the North Baltimore News last week about “Archie” I was ready to tear up my speech and just read Larry’s column. If you have not read it, I urge you to make an effort to find a copy of last week’s News and read it.

As a junior at Greenfield McClain High School, I got the call to be a delegate to Buckeye Boys State. I answered that call. As you all know, Buckeye Boys State was founded by The American Legion, in 1935. Larry attended Boys State at Camp Perry in 1958 and I went to Boys State at Ohio University in 1961. As I wrote to my high school girl friend, I met a lot of “really swell guys.”  I know I wrote that, because 33 years later, at my 50th birthday party, she returned the letters to me with a nice little bow around them.

Being from a smaller school I really enjoyed getting to know boys from other schools, and it really broadened my horizons. Up until then my only encounter with boys from other schools was when I was trying to knock them on their butts on the football field.

In the mid sixties, I was walking to class across The Ohio State University campus when I heard some sort of pep rally or disturbance. As I drew closer, it turned out that someone was burning an American flag. I had never seen or even heard of such a thing. I was appalled. In my head, I heard a call to go over  and rescue the flag, but I did not answer that call. I rationalized that I would be late for class, or even miss class, or even end up in court, or expelled from school. None of those options were acceptable. So I walked on – without answering the call. I have always regretted that I did not try to stop that flag burning.

Two decades later in 1989, the American Legion answered that call and launched a campaign for a constitutional amendment against harming the flag. Although that campaign was unsuccessful in gaining a constitutional amendment, I am proud to be a member of an organization that that heard that call and fought that fight.

I heard the call again while at OSU and I enrolled in both Basic and Advanced ROTC. After graduation in 1969 I was given three choices. I could accept my ROTC commission as a second lieutenant. I could decline my commission and enter the Army as a private, or I could join the Medical Service Corps as a Captain. I answered the call and joined the Medical Service Corps.

I was sent to Fort Sam Houston (which is not in Houston but in San Antonio) for “Basic Training“. It was nothing like the basic training that would typically come to mind. The Medical Field Service School was composed of optometrists, podiatrists, pharmacists, psychologists, and others in health professions. Most of them had been drafted into the army and many of them were anti-war, anti-military, and anti-authority. It was the 60s. If you saw the movie “MASH“, it was much worse than that. I was one of only a half dozen in a company of 200 who had volunteered, or who had any military experience. There was only one who had served on active duty and he was selected as the student company commander. I was the first platoon leader.

The second platoon leader was a psychologist from Kent State. He was adamantly and openly anti-Viet Nam war. I do not remember his name, because when he was called on in class he would stand and call himself “Lieutenant Nukem, Sir” – as in “Nuke them. I guess that was a psychologist’s version of reverse psychology.

While we were at Fort Sam Houston, the Kent State National Guard shootings occurred. Lt. “Nukem” was outraged. He still had many friends at Kent State. The post commander sent a car to pick up Lt. “Nukem” and bring him the commander’s office. I’m not sure how the commander thought that meeting would go, but it was soon clear that the two had very different opinions about what happened. When the commander asked, “What is wrong with those students at Kent State?” Lt. “Nukem” went nuclear. I was not there, but I heard there was about a minute of screaming profanity from both sides and Lt.”Nukem” was returned to his quarters. The next day he was back standing in front of the second platoon, more anti-war than ever.

After orientation at Fort Sam. I served for two years at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, where there was a large induction station. Young men walked in one end of the building as civilians and walked out the other end as soldiers. There were ten other optometrists at the induction station, so over the next two years I worked with optometrists from all over the country. We saw recruits in the morning and civilians and dependents in the afternoon. Just like Buckeye Boys State it greatly broadened my horizons.

I have always been uncomfortable that I did not serve in Viet Nam. I did not feel that I had truly answered my call. It seemed unfair that my friends were serving in Viet Nam and I wasn’t. It was right here at this Legion Post that I found out that I was not alone. There are others who served in the military, but never in combat, and we share a secret guilt. I understand that that guilt is misguided and that we did answer the call and we did serve our country when, where, and how we were asked.

So, my request of you is this. When you hear a call, take action.

That call may be to help with your children’s home work,

or run for village council or school board,

or help with the Halloween Parade,

or give to the Save the North Baltimore Theater Fund,

or coach a little league team,

or join the Rotary or Lions,

or volunteer at school,

or be more involved with the American Legion.

Only you can hear your call. Only you can answer that call.