Posted on

Kids flip for fun events at the Washington County Fair

Kids flip for fun events at the Washington County Fair

Waylon McCoy, 3, right, leads a heifer during the Pee-Wee Showmanship event with the help of his cousin, Macie Smith, at the Washington County Fair. (Photo by James Dobbs)

MARIETTA — The Washington County Fair continued on Monday, with the 4-H Flippin’ Breakfast and Show, Dairy Showmanship event and Mr. Puppet, a comedy entertainment show.

Hal Epler, a caterer that specializes in fundraising events, has traveled across Ohio doing pancake breakfasts for almost 20 years with Chris Cakes of Ohio.

This is the fourth year he has visited the Washington County Fair for the 4-H Flippin’ Breakfast and Show. Epler cooks the pancakes in front of everyone and creates a show by flipping the pancakes off his spatula and on to a plate. Fairgoers expressed shock, excitement and joy as they saw flying pancakes land on their plates.

“It’s the look of shock on a little kid’s face when he actually catches it,” he said, when asked what he likes about flipping pancakes. “There’s that certain moment where the kids totally stunned that the pancake is on his plate. Those are the entertaining ones.”

Epler said the pancake breakfast is important to the fair because it instills a sense of community within attendees.

Hal Epler, with Chris Cakes of Ohio, flips pancakes for the 4-H Pancake Flippin’ Breakfast and Show in the Junior Fair Building at the Washington County Fair. (Photo by James Dobbs)

“The biggest reason you have any type of pancake breakfast, whether it’s for raising funds, whether it’s in somebody’s backyard, whether it’s in a school, it’s to create that sense of community,” he said.

Cadence Griffin, 7, and Lynnlee Holland, 7, attended the breakfast and said they enjoyed the show.

When asked if they caught their pancakes, Griffin replied, “I caught the second one,” while Holland, her cousin, said “I caught both of them.”

Jeremy Barth, chairperson for the 4-H Endowment Committee, said the breakfast grows a little more every year as people encounter the fun show.

“Yeah you get to eat breakfast, but I think the interaction with the pancake guy (Epler) makes it a fun experience,” he said. “He does a great job of interacting with the crowd that comes in.”

Waylon McCoy, 3, practices roping in the Multi-Purpose Building at the Washington County Fair. (Photo by James Dobbs)

Barth said the breakfast helps raise money, which goes back into the program to help pay for workshops, project books and scholarships for 4-H members, as well as helping purchase much-needed items for the fair, like an ice machine or new tables.

Barth said he chooses to volunteer at the fair and with 4-H to give back to the community. He has been volunteering with 4-H for 21 years and has previously been on the fair board for 12 years. He said he was in 4-H as a child and now gets to work alongside community members who taught him when he was in the program.

“That’s what 4-H is about, community,” he said. “We’re a community.”

Macie Smith, with the Decatur Buckeyes 4-H group and Warren FFA, received first in her market class for her dairy beef showing. She grew up surrounded by cattle, on a market beef farm and has been showing animals at the fair for nine years. Smith said she enjoys the companionship between her and her animals and was excited to receive a blue ribbon.

“I definitely take it to heart. It shows how much hard work I’ve done throughout the years of showing,” she said. “I actually grew up and had the role model of my sister, Morgan, she’s taught me what I know. It makes me really proud of myself, because I worked hard for this.”

The stands were packed as fairgoers piled in the Multi-Purpose Building to view the Dairy Showmanship event on Monday. (Photo by James Dobbs)

Smith acted as a role model for her cousin, Waylon McCoy, 3, during the Pee-Wee Showmanship event. She helped him lead her heifer around the ring in the Multi-Purpose Building.

Bob Abdou, also known as Mr. Puppet, performed Saturday, Sunday and Monday at the fairgrounds. When asked how he got into puppetry, he explained how adults from the 50s, 60s and 70s grew up with puppets in their lives, due to puppets appearing on television and in theater.

“So I was 34 years old, I decided I wanted to make a switch in my life and I remember having a puppet as a child,” he said. “And so I got a puppet to use on my job as a salesman in my printing business.”

Abdou realized that he was getting more work from his clients, by making them happy and filling them with laughter. Later, he closed his business to go into puppetry full time.

Abdou said his inspiration came from the Uncle Floyd Show, a sketch comedy show featuring Floyd’s right hand, Oogie. He eventually met and had the chance to perform with Uncle Floyd and Oogie during a dinner theater show.

Bob Abdou, also known as Mr. Puppet, performs his comedy entertainment puppet show, alongside Stinky, at the Washington County Fair. (Photo by James Dobbs)

Abdou said his life changed five years ago while performing at the fair. He said he realized that Washington County is a “poor area” and some of the kids here are being raised by their grandparents due to their parents being incarcerated, in rehab, or even deceased.

” So I realized that instead of making these children laugh, which is my ultimate goal, I want them to feel special,” he said. “I realized that I want to turn my spotlight on my audience and make them shine, because the children here need it.”

James Dobbs can be reached at


The fair concludes today. The remaining schedule includes:

Macie Smith received first in her market class for her dairy beef presentation. (Photo by James Dobbs)

* 3 p.m.: Buyers Reception

* 4 p.m.: Midway Opens; Junior Fair Livestock Sale

* 6-8 p.m.: Booth Tear Down

* 7 p.m.: KOI Drag Racing

* 11 p.m.: Midway Closes

Today’s breaking news and more in your inbox

Posted on

Alabaster Library events focus on math, science – Shelby County Reporter

Alabaster Library events focus on math, science - Shelby County Reporter

Alabaster Library events focus on math, science

Published 8:52 pm Monday, September 5, 2022

By SCOTT MIMS / Special to the Reporter 

ALABASTER—The Albert L. Scott Library in Alabaster has many science and math-focused events throughout the month of September, starting with a class on laser cutting basics Sept. 13 beginning at 4 p.m.

The laser cutting course includes an introduction to CorelDRAW software as well as operation of the laser cutter in the library’s Makerspace.

Library Director Kim Roberts said the events are a continuation of a themed series made possible by a state library grant called Re-imagining School Readiness.

“We are trying to focus heavily on math and science and incorporate that into our children’s programming,” Roberts said. “Hopefully over the next season during fall we’re really going to try to ramp up our STEM programming.”

The 4-H Science Club for Kids will meet Sept. 15 at 4 p.m. in the Nan Abbott Room where Julie Yocum will lead the group, which includes ages 9-18.

A Snapseed photo editing course will take place Sept. 18 at 2 p.m. with guest instructor Ted Vodde. Vodde discovered Snapseed several years ago and has since edited more than 20,000 photos using the program and has won photography awards using photos taken with an iPhone and edited on Snapseed.

Participants in the photo editing course are asked to have Snapseed already downloaded onto their phone or tablet prior to the course. Snapseed is a free app available in the app store.

A class on Microsoft Excel 2019 will follow on Sept. 20 at 4 p.m. in the Nan Abbott Room. This class is designed for those who are new to Excel. The class covers basic spreadsheet navigation, formatting and basic formulas.

Roberts said space is limited for computer courses, so attendees are not guaranteed a laptop. For this reason, personal devices are welcome.

Adults will learn stress-free tips to prepare their children for school in an adults-only seminar on Sept. 24 at 10:30 a.m. This event is for those with children ages 8 and under and will incorporate library resources that can help in this area.

Finally, teens and tweens will have the opportunity to create circuit art on Sept. 29 at 4 p.m. in the Nan Abbott Room. Participants ages 11-18 will discover how to combine electronics and art to create their own masterpiece. Jan Mattingly “The Science Lady” will teach this course.

Roberts also teased an upcoming event on Oct. 8, the Tiny Woods Festival held by the Friends of the Albert L. Scott Library. Vendors will set up in the wooded area outside the library, and there will be carnival games, food trucks and much more beginning at 9 a.m.

To view more library events or register for upcoming events, visit the Albert L. Scott Library page on

Posted on

Wood County GOP readies town hall events

Wood County GOP readies town hall events

PARKERSBURG — The Wood County Republican Party Executive Committee will hold five town hall meetings for the public to hear and question Republican candidates in Wood County.

The first meeting will be held 6:30-8 p.m. Sept. 13 at the Mineral Wells Community Building, GOP Chairman Roger Conley said.

Republican candidates will speak and residents can participate in a question and answer session, Conley said.

Other meetings will be held:

* Sept. 22: Woman’s Club in Williamstown.

* Oct. 4: community building in Washington Bottom.

* Oct. 18: Parkersburg City Council Chambers.

* Oct. 27: Vienna Community Building.

For more information contact Conley at 304 991-8899, Scot Heckert at 304 424-7000, Warren Bigley at 304 588-1556, Gladys Lemley at 304 482-1162 or Terri Goodnow at 304 615-2020.

The general election is Nov. 8. Early voting is from Oct. 26 to Nov. 5.

Among offices in Wood County in the election are the U.S. House of Representatives District 2, state Senate District 3, House of Delegates Districts 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14, county and circuit clerks and county commission.

Today’s breaking news and more in your inbox

Posted on

Back-To-School Events Set in Ohio County

Back-To-School Events Set in Ohio County

File Photo by Scott McCloskey
Ohio County School students will be returning to the classrooms next week. Motorists are urged to use caution when traveling near school zones and school buses.

WHEELING – Summer break for school students is drawing to a close, and a number of events are set in Ohio County Schools in the coming days as youths and their teachers prepare to return to the classroom.

The energy and excitement that surrounds the start of school begins today (Monday) at the House of the Carpenter on Wheeling Island.

Students who pre-registered will get “fresh looks for school.” People on site will provide the youths with haircuts and manicures, as well as a new outfit for school and some personal care items. The event takes place from 2-7 p.m.

– The Wheeling Park High School “Freshman Tailgate” will be held 4-7 p.m. Thursday at Wheeling Park High School for incoming freshmen, as well as new students at the school.

– “Meet the Bridge Street Middle School Family Night” will be held 5-7 p.m.Thursday at the school.

Principal Jessica Broski-Birch is asking that 6th grade students and their families – along with any new students – come between 5-6 p.m., and returning families of seventh and eight grade students be at the school from 6 to 7 p.m.

Students will meet their teachers during their designated time, while administrators will gather with parents in the school’s cafeteria. The use of Schoology and how best to communicate with teachers and staff will be discussed.

The school’s prevention resource officer then will talk to parents about their children’s use of social media, and how to avoid the dangers.

Outside on the playground, the students will be treated to Twin Pops from Ziegenfelders, and play games.

The students and their families will be invited to stay and tour the building if they wish, Broski-Birch added.

– Madison Elementary School Back-to-School Night will be held from 4-6 p.m. on Friday at the school.

– The Ohio County Schools Bus Road-E-O takes place 8-11 a.m. on Aug. 22 in the parking lot of Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack.

“It’s a welcome back for drivers,” explained David Crumm, transportation director. “They have been off for a while. It’s a way for them to get re-familarized with their skills and keeping students safe on the roads.

“And it’s a way for them to have fun in a competitive atmosphere.”

The bus drivers compete in events that simulate what they do on the road each day, Crumm explained.

– Ritchie Elementary will be hosting its annual “BTS Block Party” from 1-3 p.m. on Aug. 22.

Principal John Jorden says about 30 vendors will be present outside the school, and students can “come get some free stuff from them.”

There will be food and games for the students. Ziegenfelders will pass out Twin Pops, and there will be pizza, hot dogs and other snacks.

New this year will be Unicare, which will be passing out hygiene products. Free haircuts also will be available to students.

Next, the youths will come inside the school to meet their new teachers. They will be given a new book bag and school supplies, but the school supplies will stay at school and be kept in the student’s new desk. Each desk will have a name tag, according to Jorden.

Also on Aug. 22, Wheeling Middle School will host its sixth grade picnic throughout the day. Triadelphia Middle School and The Warwood School also will have events from 4-6 p.m.

The first day of school is Aug. 23.

Today’s breaking news and more in your inbox

Posted on

Wheeling-Ohio County Airport Preparing To Host Pair of Events

Wheeling-Ohio County Airport Preparing To Host Pair of Events

William Piko, 2, a student at the Holy Family Child Care and Development Center, invites the community to attend the upcoming “Touch A Truck” event at the Wheeling-Ohio County Airport on Saturday.

The Wheeling-Ohio County Airport is hosting two upcoming events, and the first of them happens Saturday.

The Holy Family Child Care and Development Center is partnering with the Ohio County Commission to present a “Touch a Truck Event,” where children and all motor enthusiasts will get the opportunity to see up close a wide range of large vehicles – including a semi-truck, a helicopter and emergency vehicles.

The event happens from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the airport.

Then on Sept. 24, the Ohio County Commission is sponsoring a “Wings Over Wheeling” vintage aircraft and vehicle event, and aircraft from World War II and the Vietnam War will be on display. Gates at the airport will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. that day.

Both events are free to the community.

Terra Crews, executive director at the Holy Family Child Care and Development Center, said the school had organized similar “Touch The Truck” event gatherings in the past.

“When I took over in January, I thought what a great event. We need to bring that back,” Crews said. “We wanted to bring in the community and bring them to the airport. A lot of people don’t know you can visit the airport, and it’s a wonderful place.”

“Touch a Truck” serves as a fundraiser for the Holy Family Child Care Center, which will be serving concessions during the event.

There will be a semi-truck on site, as well as a helicopter, a fire truck, a law enforcement cruiser and Ohio County Sheriff’s Department deputies, Crews said. There will also be bounce houses and games.

Panhandle Cleaning and Restoration will provide a giant sand box for the children, and the Valley Avengers superheroes group have been invited.

It is expected Spiderman will be driving the character bus to the event, according to Crews.

“This is geared toward anyone who loves vehicles,” she continued. “I know we have kids who play with dump trucks. This is a way for them to get to see them in real-life size.”

She credits County Administrator Randy Russell as being “very instrumental” in making the “Touch the Truck” event happen.

Russell, meanwhile, has been busy planning the “Wings Over Wheeling” festivities.

Among the aircraft coming to the airport is a World War II C-47 “Whiskey 7” cargo plant, and a C-123 K Provider “Thunder Pig” that flew during the Vietnam War. There will also be vintage cars and trucks on site, as well as food vendors.

Last year, county commissioners sponsored a 9/11 commemoration ceremony at the airport, and Russell said as many as 500 attended events throughout the afternoon.

“We would love to do more events on a regular basis,” he said. “The idea is to involve the local community in the airport.”

Today’s breaking news and more in your inbox

Posted on

Luau-themed events planned at San Bernardino County Library branches

Luau-themed events planned at San Bernardino County Library branches

The San Bernardino County Library offers Library Luau events at seven of the 32 county library branches in August.

The events feature a variety of crafts, a balloon artist, a face painter, a special character visit and more. For every 15 items checked out during the events, library patrons will earn a lei and an opportunity drawing ticket for a chance to win prizes, according to a news release.

The events are free and open to all ages.

The Library Luau events are scheduled at the following libraries:

• Running Springs Branch Library, 2677 Whispering Pines, Running Springs: 1-3 p.m. Aug. 6 and 20.

• Newton T. Bass Library, 14901 Dale Evans Parkway,  Apple Valley: 4-6 p.m. Aug. 9.• Lewis Library and Technology Center, 8437 Sierra Ave., Fontana: 4-7 p.m. Aug. 9.

• Sam J. Racadio Library and Environmental Learning Center. 7863 Central Ave., Highland: 4-6 p.m. Aug. 10.

• James S. Thalman Library. 14020 City Center Drive, Chino Hills: 4-6 p.m. Aug. 11.

• Hesperia Branch Library, 9650 Seventh Ave., Hesperia: 4-7 p.m. Aug. 18.

• Lake Arrowhead Branch Library, 27235 Highway 189, Blue Jay: 2:30-4 p.m. Aug. 27.

There are also luau-themed paint night programs planned in August. They are 3:30-5 p.m. Aug. 9 at the Running Spring Branch Library; 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Aug. 20 at the Rialto Branch Library, 251 W. First St., Rialto; and 2-3:30 p.m. Aug. 27 at the Yucca Valley Branch Library, 57271 Twentynine Palms Highway, Yucca Valley.

For information about the San Bernardino County library system and other county library programs, go to or call 909-387-2220.

Posted on

Outdoor events in Sonoma County Aug. 7-16, 2022

Andrea Guzman takes a break with her dog Kai at the Riverfront Regional Park near Windsor in 2019. Learn how 150 years of resource extraction and human settlement have changed the landscape at an Aug. 14 event at the park. (Kent Porter / The Press Democrat)

Aug. 9

Windsor: Train your dog to walk politely on trails at Foothill Regional Park with a certified dog trainer. Attendees can expect to walk 2.5 to 4 miles. Bring your own water and snacks. Dress in layers, and bring a hat and sunscreen. Heavy rains, smoke or extreme temperatures will cancel the event. Accommodations are made for visitors with disabilities upon advance request. Parking is $7 or free with a Sonoma County Regional Parks membership. No registration required. 5 to 7 p.m. For more information, contact Alexis Puerto-Holmes at Foothill Regional Park, 1351 Arata Lane. Meet at parking lot. More information at

Aug. 14

Glen Ellen: Lace up your hiking boots and join others on a guided moderate 5.5-mile hike on the Upper Fallen Bridge trail, through Jack London State Historic Park’s revitalized historic orchard. Hikers will have a chance to see varieties of apple, pear and plum trees planted before World War II. Wear sturdy shoes and bring hiking poles, a snack and plenty of water. Meet in the ranch lot on the right as you enter the park. Tickets: $10, plus a parking fee. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jack London State Historic Park, 2400 London Ranch Road. Get tickets at

Healdsburg: Learn how 150 years of resource extraction and human settlement have changed the landscape of Sonoma County. At Riverfront Regional Park’s redwood grove, attendees will learn about the area’s transition from a gathering place to a quarry. Bring water and snacks, dress in layers and bring a hat and sunscreen. Heavy rains, smoke or extreme temperatures will cancel the event. Accommodations are made for visitors with disabilities upon advance request. Parking is $7 or free with a Sonoma County Regional Parks membership. Registration required. For more information, contact Ellie Muelrath at 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Riverfront Regional Park, 7821 Eastside Road. Meet at Redwood Grove group picnic area. Reserve a spot at

Kenwood: Join Dan Levitis at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park for a slow, wheelchair-accessible excursion for those new to bird-watching at dusk. Bring binoculars if you have them, although the park will have a few pairs to lend. Bring water, and consider bringing a flashlight and a jacket. The entire event takes place on the Creekside Nature Trail, a 0.9-mile ADA-accessible trail. Benches are available along the way for resting if needed. Tickets are $10, plus parking fee. 6 to 7:30 p.m. Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, 2605 Adobe Canyon Road. Meet at the White Barn lot. Go to for more information and tickets.

Santa Rosa: The floating water park at the Spring Lake Lagoon is open through Labor Day. The inflatable floating playground has slides, climbing walls, bridges, balance beams, jumps, an in-water sports court and other fun activities. The water park is for kids age 6 and older who are at least 42 inches tall and know how to swim. Parents will need to sign waivers for children 14 and younger. Teens 15 and older can sign their own waivers. Tickets: $10 per session (use of a life vest included). Two daily sessions are available: 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 2 to 5 p.m. Spring Lake Regional Park, 393 Violetti Road. Get tickets at

Santa Rosa: Want to explore Spring Lake by water? Kayaks and stand-up paddleboards are available to rent for $12 an hour between 10:30 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. every day. Parents will need to sign waivers for children 14 and younger. Teens 15 and older can sign their own waivers. The beach is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, with lifeguards on duty. Spring Lake Regional Park, 393 Violetti Road. Rent a kayak or paddleboard at

You can reach Staff Writer Mya Constantino at @searchingformya on Twitter.

Posted on

Hastings County holding business networking events at Eagles Nest Park – My Bancroft Now

Hastings County holding business networking events at Eagles Nest Park - My Bancroft Now

The County’s Economic and Tourism Development team wants to take small business owners on a walk next week.

The County is hosting its latest Hasting’s Hike at the Bancroft Eagles Nest on July 25th and 28th. The group says it’s an opportunity for local business owners to meet like-minded individuals, discover ways to collaborate and generate new business ideas.

Anyone interested in participating is asked to contact Christine McLean, the Small Business Coordinator for the County. She can be reached at or at 613-391-0350.