Author: SEO

Bernie & Max Stained Glass shines in Chillicothe

Bernie & Max Stained Glass shines in Chillicothe

Bernie Evans pursues stained glass to encourage community creativity By Paige Bennett New Beginnings Bernie & Max Stained Glass is a studio in Chillicothe, run by former factory worker-turned-artist Bernie Evans. During a medical leave from his 28-year career at the local paper mill, Evans found a passion […]

The Greene Beanery Coffee Roastery serves up quality coffee and conversation

The Greene Beanery Coffee Roastery serves up quality coffee and conversation

Owner Cheryl Greene opened her shop to be “a place for people to come,” and experience the tranquil pleasure that resides in a good cup o’ joe.  By Kayla Blanton The Greene Beanery Coffee Roastery, a former bed and breakfast on State Route 41 in Peebles,is at a perfect distance […]

Don’s Prawns and More brings seafood to locavore scene

Don’s Prawns and More brings seafood to locavore scene

Don Maloney isn’t a typical corn-and-cabbage farmer; rather he’s testing Fairfield County waters with some fishy aquaculture.
By Alex Warner
Don Maloney jokingly holds two prawns up to make a moustache. 
Don Maloney jokingly holds two prawns up to make a moustache.
“If you like shrimp, then you’ll love prawns,” is a phrase Don Maloney is accustomed to
saying now. On this fall day, stationed at Maloney’s prawn sorting table is 8-year-old Zoe
Gardner. “Look at these,” she says, shaking two prawns in the air. Gardner and other workers sift through bins of prawns, sorting the small and large to be bagged and sold. “Yeah, this is definitely a large,” Gardner says while weighing a prawn on the scale.
In 2010, Maloney was brainstorming ideas for new income and decided to give aquaculture a try. He built his first pond, and three years later, he secured a microloan that funded the creation of two larger ponds. By chance, his name fit perfectly with the job, giving the operation, located just outside West Rushville, its name: Don’s Prawns and More.
The Natural Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says nearly 90 percent of seafood is imported from outside United States borders, coming from countries like China, Thailand and Indonesia, where sustainability practices can vary. By growing locally, Maloney can produce prawns through a natural process without preservatives. The work involves enough heavy lifting to employ not one, but two right hand men  Jay Picklesimer and Dana Widener  to help with the upkeep process.
A single prawn before it is sorted. When cooked, the prawn will turn a pinkish-red color and taste similar to lobster.
A single prawn before it is sorted. When cooked, the prawn will turn a pinkish-red color and taste similar to lobster.
The prawns are placed in the ponds in early June at just about a half-inch long. “When you lay them in your hand, the only thing you can see is their two beady little eyes,” Picklesimer
says. Then in September, almost 110 days later, local high school students with Future Farmers of America scoop the prawns into baskets, which are then thoroughly rinsed twice and dipped into a chill bath. The team sorts the deceased prawns by size, weighing them to decide if they are small or large  small being anything under 15 grams and large being anything above 30 grams.
Since its start, Don’s Prawns has been gifted several grants from the Sustainable Agriculture and Research Education program. “We’ve won three [grants], which is unheard of.But the beauty of our operation is that we have two identical ponds so we can do testing here,”
Maloney says. The most recent test from gifted grant money didn’t work out quite as planned.“That’s the whole idea, you learn from your mistakes,” Maloney says. 
 Don Maloney (middle) stands proudly holding two of his harvested prawns. Close friends Dana Wilder (left) and Jay Picklesimer (right) help Maloney with the harvesting. 
Don Maloney (middle) stands proudly holding two of his harvested prawns. Close friends Dana Wilder (left) and Jay Picklesimer (right) help Maloney with the harvesting.
The entire process has been a learning experience for him. He says one of the biggest mistakes he’s made was not draining the ponds the night before customers arrived. It’s one of those mistakes he says that he’ll never make again. Now with six years of experience under his belt, Maloney has built a more effective system and gathered a trusty team. Widener has been
working with Maloney from the beginning. “We’ve come a long way from when we first
started.”
One of the two larger ponds behind Don Maloney’s house before it is drained and harvested. 
One of the two larger ponds behind Don Maloney’s house before it is drained and harvested.
Even today, they are still testing the waters with aquaculture. Maloney hasn’t used each pond to its full capacity because he’s trying to determine the local demand for prawns. Right now he’s breaking even. With high hopes for more distribution at events like the Ohio Fish and Shrimp Festival in Urbana every September, Maloney believes he’ll soon be able to profit from his hard work.
“It’s farming and it’s a gamble.” But for the near future, Maloney will continue to place
his odds on freshwater prawns.
Southeast Ohio’s barbecue game packs a punch

Southeast Ohio’s barbecue game packs a punch

An inside look at four restaurants that showcase the region’s tastiest barbecue to pig out on By Alicia MacDonald When it comes to barbecue that makes your mouth water, it’s likely Southeast Ohio isn’t the first place that comes to mind. But hidden along the rolling hills […]

New challenges for public school funding

New challenges for public school funding

Local Coalitions Grapple with New Challenges 20 Years after Landmark Case  By Megan Fair 20 years have passed since the first lawsuits were launched in Ohio to achieve equity in state-funded education. Administrator Cindy Hartman and lawyer Bill Phillis spent time in the thick of it, […]

Sudzy’s Pin-Up Palace

Sudzy’s Pin-Up Palace

Sudzy Nixon promotes body positivity in her Portsmouth Pin-Up shop. Photo: Laura Dark Photography  Hair: Cat Monster Make-up: On-Call Artistry
Sudzy Nixon promotes body positivity in her Portsmouth Pin-Up shop.
Photo: Laura Dark Photography 
Hair: Cat Monster
Make-up: On-Call Artistry

As you walk through the doors of Sudzy’s Pin-Up Palace, a red and white polka dot dress beckons for your attention. But before you can even touch its fabric, racks featuring dresses of seemingly every color interrupt your gaze. This cacophony of color, pattern and fit is both modern and 1950s-inspired fashion.

“My favorite thing of Sudzy’s is her dresses,” Emily Nickell, a friend of Sudzy’s says. “Every time I go into the store, I find a new dress I fall in love with. I just want to have everything in there.”

This is the new Pin-Up Palace of Scioto County, located in downtown Portsmouth. The palace opened on Aug. 27, 2016 and it’s far from your everyday clothing store seen at the mall. As illustrated by the baby blue dress with the red bow at its waist, Sudzy’s is anything but ordinary.

The store features an array of dresses in every size and style imaginable. Even women who aren’t accustomed to the vintage style of most of the apparel can walk away with something that they love.

Photographs strategically grace the store’s walls, and many feature Sudzy modeling various outfits of her own pin-up style. Portraits of women flaunting their outfits is how the term “pin-up” came to fruition in the late 19th century, so the images are Sudzy’s way of promoting body positivity within her store.

“I don’t know how many times I have gone into a store and been turned away because they didn’t have my size,” Sudzy says. “The world is tough enough as it is for us women, and if we can all feel confident in our own skin, I think we as women can accomplish some really great things.”

Sudzy carries sizes anywhere from extra small to 6XXL, and if she doesn’t have someone’s exact size, she is more than happy to order one. Sudzy purchases her merchandise from a variety of vendors, all with an eye for style and affordability.
With more time and investing into her store, Sudzy has plans to renovate a large room upstairs for a stage and runway for women to show off their favorite outfits and for body positive speakers to share their stories.

For now, Sudzy’s Pin-Up Palace will remain the most colorful and comfortable shopping destination in downtown Portsmouth.

“I want women to come in to my store and be able to find at least one thing they fall in love with,” Sudzy says. “Something that not only fits them but makes them feel beautiful and confident too.”

Take our Morgan’s Raid driving tour

Take our Morgan’s Raid driving tour

by Sarah Weingarten Southern Ohio is the only region in the state to host a Civil War battle. In July 1863,General John Hunt Morgan and his Confederate army raided southern Ohio. And today you can drive along the path that the Confederate army took to […]

Dorsell Bibbee:  Coolville’s grounded gentleman

Dorsell Bibbee: Coolville’s grounded gentleman

Dorsell Bibbee helped dig his first grave as a teenager, and 60 years later, he’s still diggin’. By Christopher Miller Ordinarily, retirement is spent resting and relaxing, not regularly shoveling dirt many times your own weight. Suffice to assume, Dorsell Bibbee, an 82-year-old Tuppers Plains resident […]

Civil War Reenactors bring life (and gun powder) to Ohio history

Civil War Reenactors bring life (and gun powder) to Ohio history

Reenactors travel hours to re-live bits of the past.

By Emily Bohatch

Samuel Walgren quietly holds his breath as the P. A. Denny glides through the steady
waters of the Ohio River, closer and closer to what, for some, could mean the end.Inch by inch, the atmosphere on the P. A. Denny changes as men in gray wool uniforms and belts prominently stamped “CS” begin to appear through the yellowing, early-fall forest. On the ship, their blue-coated counterparts lined the port side, ripping open brown paper packages of dark powder and pouring it down the barrels of their guns. Fellow infantryman Brian Williams joins Walgren at the front of the ship. The two had traveled about six hours in anticipation of this exact moment.
The command breaks through the still of the quiet morning: “Fire when you have a shot.”Walgren and Williams rest their guns on their damp shoulders and gaze down the lengthy barrels, waiting until Confederate soldiers drifted into range. Fire at will, sounds across the deck of the P. A. Denny. The Union navy and infantrymen and Brigadier General John Hunt Morgan’s Confederate forces exchange gunfire across the Ohio River. The thunder of cannon fire billowed out from the woods. Walgren instinctively ducks and takes cover, then stands up grinning.
“Well, I’m dead,” Williams says, letting out an adrenalinefilled chuckle. “We’re dead.”
If it had been 153 years earlier, a different time on a different ship, Williams and Walgren might very well be dead. But on this morning, the reenactors of the Battle of Buffington Island were merely “blowing off some powder.” 
The men of the 45th Ohio were just a handful of the about 250 participants who traveled
to Meigs County for the Morgan’s Raid Reenactment, says Constance White, a Morgan’s Raid
Reenactment Committee member and Vinton County resident. In total, the mid-September event attracted about 100 cavalry men and their horses, two mounted artillery groups and about 150 infantrymen from across the United States, White says.
The highly orchestrated event, which took about two years to plan, was the first reenactment of the iconic Confederate movement across Ohio since 2006.
However, the reenactments were a testimony to the only Civil War battle in Ohio, and it provided an opportunity to relive the area’s history. 
The River’s Role 
In July of 1863, Morgan and his troops traversed 24 counties in Ohio in just 13 days in an effort to draw Union troops farther north to relieve pressure on the south. Though Morgan’s
troops only passed through most southern Ohio counties, the men spent nearly three days in Meigs County, says David Mowery, the chair of the Buffington Island Battlefield PreservationFoundation and author of two books on the raid.
As Morgan traveled through Chester and Portland, he clashed with Union forces and eventually was surrounded and captured while trying to cross the Ohio River at the Battle of Buffington Island, Mowery says. “The Battle of Buffington Island in Portland, Ohio, is the largest Civil War battle fought in that part of the United States,” Mowery says.
In fact, an integral key to Morgan’s demise was one of the largest draws to the event: the
use of gunboats.
When Pennsylvania resident Kurt Lafy got wind of an opportunity to hit the open water on one of three Civil War era paddleboats, he gladly undertook the eight-hour drive to Portland.
“In several years of reenacting, this is the first time it’s been offered up, so I says, ‘I can’t miss it,’” Lafy says. “This is a one-of-a-kind reenactment. That was my motivation.”Lafy has traveled throughout the country during the last 20 years reliving history as a Civil War reenactor. For him, the experience is quite personal.
A Passion for your Past
“About 25 years ago, I figured out my ancestor was in the 141st Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. And online in a Civil War chatroom I was asking questions, and this guy said, ‘Hey, I had an ancestor in the 141st.,’” Lafy recounted, readjusting his dark gray cap affixed with the numbers 141. “It turns out that our [ancestors] fought together, so he sent me a Civil War hat —one of these  and I was kind of hooked.”
Lafy then visited a Civil War Sutler, a store that specializes in era memorabilia and uniforms, and completed his set.
From there, Lafy devoted hours to research, writing two books of his own on his ancestor’s comrades, and collecting biographies on all 1,000 men of the Pennsylvania 141st.Lafy says his passion for the war is a shared one. In his years as a reenactor, the men running over hills with old rifles have become a family. 
“If you’re into sewing and you join the sewing club, everyone there is of like mind,” Lafysays. “Well, when you’re a Civil War reenactor, everyone is of a similar mind, so you’re already in agreement of scads of issues and you love history.”
Sam Grant stands at the foot of the the Old Meigs County Courthouse in Chester, Ohio’s
oldest surviving courthouse. His well-tailored jacket is an exact recreation  Grant can show you photographic proof  of the jacket of a general and future president who shares his last name: Ulysses S. Grant. A real Civil War staff officer sword hangs from his hip, a dressed-down version of one of General Grant’s presentation swords. Though Grant can’t remember where orhow he obtained the sword, he’s worn it during many of his 25 years of reenacting.
Living in These Moments
Though Grant, who traveled 12 hours from his Massachusetts base, spends copious time consuming primary documents, books and photos on the Civil War, he maintains that’s no way to actually learn history.
“Reading books is fun. You learn a lot, but you can’t learn what it feels if I tell you the wagons were in up to their axles in mud. That men were walking in mud up to their ankles. …You can’t feel the mud of that field unless you’ve at least experienced [it],” Grant says. “If you want to understand what Morgan was facing and why decisions were made, you’ve got to feel it.”
That comprehension comes from in-the-moment decisions on the reenactment field.Before starting a battle, men are only given a basic outline. The rest is up to their previous research and improvisation.
“We don’t know what we’re doing. Did they rehearse?” Grant says. “We know where they’re coming from. We know they have to burn that bridge. We know if we set up a moderate defense, we’ll slow them. We don’t have to lick ‘em. We just have to slow them down.” For many reenactors, such interactions are what brings the reenactment to life.
As men in their unit wearily struggled off of a bus after the Battle of Buffington Island,Lafy and Pete Gilbert, a reenactor from New York, rehash parts of the battle and the split second decisions that won the skirmish for them. 
“We knew infantry fighting cavalry, it was going to be a tough fight,” Gilbert says.“Yesterday, that was an exhausting, tough fight.”
“But we bopped them today,” Lafy says with a chuckle.
Gilbert explains that to fight cavalry on foot, the men decided to take cover in a patch ofunderbrush in the middle of the battlefield. From there, they fired at passing riders, taking them by surprise.“It’s your only tactic with the cavalry,” Gilbert says with a confidence that comes with his 28 years of reenactments.
And for Gilbert and Lafy, who have been side-by-side reenactment comrades for nearly 10 years, tactics are the name of the game.
“You’re reliving history,” Gilbert says. “You do that, but you’re also learning while the reenactment is going on. You’re learning tactics. You’re learning how things were done.”
“We didn’t come here to get shot and lay down,” Lafy adds adamantly.
That education is present on and off the battlefield. For Justin Ashbaugh, who stands amid rows of canvas tents and sleeping mats, the draw of reenactment is often in the details.The Kentucky resident spent the previous three days sleeping on the cold, hard ground under nothing but a canvas sail. He could likely carry on his back all of the belongings he brought forthe week, and that’s just the way he likes it. 
“You can utilize a lot of this stuff not just here, but in real life. A lot of people don’t know how to sew. I know how to sew,” Ashbaugh says, picking at his homemade shirt.
Unlike many of his comrades, Ashbaugh doesn’t spend his spare time actually studying
Civil War history, although he can list in detail the weapons used in the war and whip up from scratch some solid nineteenth century recipes. But he maintains that everything he knows he learned from six years of reenacting. Now, he feels so comfortable talking about the era he speaks  in uniform, of course  at schools in his area.
“It’s to the point when you get doing this that you can watch a movie and go, ‘Oh, that guy’s not wearing the right stuff!’” Ashbaugh laughs. Having grown up in the south, Ashbaugh
says Civil War history offers interesting contradictions, depending on where you hear it and who tells it. Many people believe it was a war about slavery, he says, but he believes that’s only part of the story.
 “That’s what I think truly gets people out. They want to know the truth about why the war was fought,” he says.
And for the men and women who drive 18, 16 or 12 hours for a few moments of glory amid the gun powdered air, discovery and experience is what it’s all about.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6U_j-vplc8*Please make a note that this works Chrome browser.
Bicentennial birthday stories from the family farm

Bicentennial birthday stories from the family farm

Detwiler, Morgan Raid, and Sater Farms turn 100 and 200 years old this year. Traveling to a farm may not seem the most novel experience, for a lifelong resident of Southeast Ohio where agriculture is part of the regional tapestry. Even the most jaded Ohio local has […]