🔦 So long, Macy's

The building is coming down. Plus, Stow Players, Kini Bini and Silver Lake updates

Today is Nov. 15, 2022.

  • Hello, everyone! Yes, the calendar says it's still fall, but let's face it, winter is here. It's going to be 42 degrees today and 36 tonight, with cloudy skies and a 70 percent chance of rain later today. Then we're going to have flurries Wednesday and Thursday, with temps dropping into the mid-20s Thursday night. Stay warm!

  • Thank you to everyone who purchased a subscription after Friday's newsletter! We're still a far cry from where we need to be, but we're working on a plan to continue providing The Spotlight in a way that doesn't cost as much to operate and gives us time to grow. We started at a sprint, but it's clear we need to settle into a marathon pace. Thank you again for believing in community news.

Latest news in brief

Pay-to-stay: Silver Lake hopes bonuses will keep police, council members from seeking greener pastures

A pay raise for police officers and council staff in Silver Lake will be staggered to boost retention in the current labor market. Council members agreed to increase wages by half of the recommended 8.7 percent cost of living adjustment from the Social Security Administration at their Nov. 9 meeting. Police officers and other council staff will then become eligible for a bonus of the other half – 4.35 percent – for every three months worked in an attempt to encourage staff to stay in position.

“It is astronomical how many vacancies there are in law enforcement. I never thought there would be this many,” Police Chief Jamie Norris told council. “We have lost three part-time officers this year to other areas that pay more. On our books, it says we should have five part-time officers. We have been running lean all year. This is not going to insulate us, but it will lighten the blow when we have lateral transfers from part-time to full-time officers.”

Norris said it is difficult to attract and retain officers in such a small department. “We do have the desirability of working here,” he said. “But one officer came from Cleveland, loved it here, but went to a similar community for an amount of money I wouldn’t have turned down.”

More local news:

  • Silver Lake will purchase a road roller to help the village stay on top of road repairs. Council members agreed at their Nov. 9 meeting to spend $16,510 on a second-hand, gas-powered, double-drum roller and accompanying trailer. Silver Lake Service Director Mark Lipan told the council that the roller will save the village money because he expects the machine to last up to 20 years, therefore limiting repair costs. He added that some repairs have had to be temporary patches because the equipment was not available to rent when needed, causing work to have to be redone later.

  • Silver Lake is considering installing a new backup generator to keep the village’s water supply running in the event of an emergency. The village is applying for a grant of $50,000 from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, which if successful would go toward paying for the generator. Council members agreed at their Nov. 9 meeting to put the bid in and consider having the village pay the remaining $17,000 to cover the full costs if the money is awarded. Silver Lake Service Director Mark Lipan said most water pumps have a backup system from a generator, but the village’s pump house has a second additional main electricity supply in case of a problem. “We have two lines from two holes from two separate circuits, but they are coming in from the same place,” he said. “So if a tree were to fall, it would take them both out. If we had a generator, it would keep us up and running.”

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Community calendar

🚨 Thurs., Nov. 17, 7-8 p.m.: CSI Murder Mystery. What: There's been a murder at the International Crime Scene Investigators Association conference. It's your job to mingle with the other "CSIs" to ask questions, find and reveal clues, and solve the mystery. You'll get to play a character, who may turn out to be the victim, the murderer, or just another disgruntled CSI attendee. Where: Stow Room at the Stow-Munroe Falls Public Library (3512 Darrow Rd.). Costumes are optional. Event is for detectives ages 12-17. Register here.

🎭 Fri., Nov. 18, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Nov. 19, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 20, 2:30 p.m.: "Dorothy in Wonderland." What: The worlds of Oz and Wonderland collide in this youth production (ages 8-17) presented by the Stow Players. Dorothy, Toto and the characters of Oz get caught in another whirlwind that sweeps them off to Wonderland, where they meet Alice, White Rabbit, Mad Hatter, March Hare, the Cheshire Cat and many more. Where: Heritage Barn at Silver Springs Park (5238 Young Rd.) in Stow. Seating begins 30 minutes prior to performance. For ticket information, call 234-206-0128 or email [email protected].

🍂 Sat., Nov. 19, 2-3 p.m.: We're Going On A Leaf Hunt. What: Learn about fall trees and their changing colors through stories, hands-on activities and a scavenger hunt to find different leaves outside. This is a free program for children ages 4-8 and their families. Where: Leona Farris Lodge at Silver Springs Park (5027 Stow Rd.) in Stow. To register, visit StowOhio.RecDesk.com. Call the City of Stow Parks and Recreation Department at 330-689-5100 for more information.

🎅 Mon., Nov. 28-Wed., Dec. 14: Santa's Mailbox. What: Program sponsored by the Stow Parks & Recreation Department lets residents write letters to Santa Claus! Just drop your letter into Santa's Mailbox located outside Stow City Hall (3760 Darrow Rd.). You must include a legibly written self-addressed stamped envelope if you want to get a return letter from the jolly old elf. For more information, contact the Stow Parks & Recreation Department at 330-689-5100.

Obituaries for Nov. 8-14

Richard Kenneth HarrRichard Kenneth Harr, 69, died peacefully on November 7, 2022, after a long battle with Parkinson’s and Lewy Body Dementia.Read more

Lillian McShaneBorn in Cleveland, Ohio, she had lived in Stow since 2006, and was a member of Holy Family Catholic Church.Read more

Luann FreedLuann Freed, 69, died November 6, 2022. Born in Canton, she has been a resident of Stow since 1998.Read more

Gordon C. NaceGordon C. Nace passed away peacefully at his home Nov 6, 2022, surrounded by his family.Read more

Joseph RandallJoseph Randall, 60, went to be with the Lord on November 2, 2022, as the result of a tragic accident on his way to work.Read more

John Thomas LamontJohn Thomas Lamont, 89 of Akron/Stow passed away on November 4, 2022.Read more


Speculation is finally over, and so is the Macy's building: Iconic structure will be demolished

The former Stow Macy's building has been empty since early 2020. Photo by Kim Hardesty

For more than two years, we've all been wondering what's going into the empty Macy's building in the Stow-Kent Shopping Center. As it turns out, we should have been wondering what's going in place of the Macy's building — because the 57-year-old structure is going to be demolished.

  • Stow Mayor John Pribonic announced on his personal Facebook page Nov. 9 that the iconic building will be torn down "within the next month."

  • As for what's going to replace the Macy's building, Pribonic posted that the owners "are currently talking with prospective tenants to which they cannot name at this time." So, as we've been doing since 2020, stay tuned.

Arts & Culture

Actors, directors and writers, oh my! Stow Players opens 70th year with "Dorothy in Wonderland"

Heritage Barn at Silver Springs Park. Photo by Kim Hardesty

With its campground, hiking trails, ball fields, dog park and other amenities, Silver Springs Park in Stow is a beehive of activity when the weather's nice. But when the leaves fall and it turns cold, that's when Stow Players takes center stage inside the cozy confines of the park's Heritage Barn.

  • The community theater group, which started in 1953, opened its 70th year Nov. 11 with an all-kids production of "Dorothy in Wonderland."

  • Stow Players started out performing in the basement of old City Hall before moving into the newly built Heritage Barn in 1983.

  • The new season features five productions and runs through March 25, 2023. "I wish more people would come out to the Barn and see that we do a good job," said longtime Stow Players actor and board member Tom Stephan.


An asthma attack took her life at age 11, but Keira Christie lives on through organ donations

Keira (left) donated her liver to Joslynn (right) after she died of an asthma attack in 2017. Submitted photo

In death, Keira Christie gave life.

The 11-year-old from Stow died of an asthma attack five years ago. But as an organ donor, she saved the life of a 9-year-old girl she never met: Joslynn Mayhew of Wheelersburg, Ohio, who had two different kinds of cancer in her liver.

Surgeons successfully transplanted Keira's liver into Joslynn, who today is a healthy, happy, "normal smart-aleck teenager," said Joslynn's stepfather, Aaron Mowery.

  • Keira’s kidneys went to a 55-year-old woman and a 60-year-old man, and her eye corneas and heart valves were donated to a research facility.

  • Keira and Joslynn's families have since become close friends and are actively involved in fundraising for Lifebanc, a non-profit organ procurement organization in the Cleveland area.

  • Their fundraising group, called Team Kini Bini (taken from Keira's nickname), will hold "A Night at the Races" event Saturday, Nov. 19, at the Stow Youth Baseball Hall.


Reader: This newsletter contains great info. I see Stow Sentrys sitting outside for weeks. More people are reading everything on line. It’s $10 a month for those who can afford it. It is well worth the $ 10.00 to keep up with community events without killing another tree. Dick and Janet D’Antonio

Tom: Thank you, Dick and Janet!

Reader: Thank you for The Spotlight. I'm retired, and I'm one of the 38 who have paid. I hope more people contribute to your efforts to get local news out. You're certainly right about Gannett decimating newpapers.

Tom: More towns are joining the ranks of news deserts, and we need to keep ours off the list! Thank you for your support.

Reader: I paid for a subscription when you first asked for it. I do not regret my decision, I just have a comment. Maybe instead of requesting $10 a month maybe you could ask so for less. Things are tough right now and maybe people just cant afford the full amount. Since subscribing is totally voluntary maybe some would volunteer a little less. Just a thought.

Tom: It's not a bad idea. If anybody needs a discount, just let us know and we'll give a coupon to pay what you can afford.

Reader: I understand the problems you are facing and when I subscribed $10 was the only option(I don't know if it has changed. But would it be possible to open it to $15 or $20 donations? I greatly enjoy this publication and would hate to see it go.

Tom: Anyone who would like to help us cover our costs with a donation can reach out to [email protected]. Thank you!

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And that's a wrap. I hope you enjoyed this latest edition of The Spotlight, and I'll see everyone on Friday!