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October 27 - November 2, 2014 - www.MyMiamiCounty.com - Your Guide to Local Living

(Click HERE for Miami County Obituaries & HERE for Archived News) 

Southbound 75 Shut Down Due to Massive Deadly Wreck
(Article from WHIO)

Downed Pole, Power Lines on Ohio 41 in Covington
(Article from Dayton Daily News)

Miami County Lawyer Appeals to Keep Files Closed
(Article from WHIO)

Tipp Community Center to Host New Winter Market
(Article from Dayton Daily News)

Staunton Road to Close for 12 Days
(Article from Dayton Daily News)

PCS Hire New Business Coordinator
(Article from Piqua Daily Call)

Edison Brings Peace Week to Events to Campus
(Article from Troy Daily News)

West Milton Council Talks Park
(Article from Troy Daily News)

AARP Seeks Volunteers for Tax Assistance
(Article from Troy Daily News)

Fisher, O'Brien Talk Priorities in Miami County
(Article from the Piqua Daily Call)

Ohio eSchool Coalition Honors Senator Bill Beagle
(Article from Public School Options)

Missing West Milton Man for 32 Years Believed to be Homicide 
(Video from WHIO)

Man from Troy Scams Buyers, Caught on Facebook
(Article from the News Herald)

Bomb Threat at Tipp Schools Cost Money, Extra Enforcement
(Video from WHIO)

Search Warrant Unsealed in Case Against Attorney Chris Bucio
(Video from WHIO) 

Drug-Free Teens, Piqua Police Work Together
(Article from the Piqua Daily Call)

Man Arrested in Piqua for Alleged Kroger Robbery
(Article from the Piqua Daily Call)

Three Teens Injured in Polecat Road Accident
(Article from WHIO)

Multiple Township Tax Renewals on Next Week's Ballot
(Article from the Weekly Record Herald)

Miami County Real Estate Transactions
(Article from the Troy Daily News)

Upper Valley Career Center Once Again Supports Operation Cover-Up
(Video from WHIO)

Miami County Dispatch Center Hiring for Two Jobs
(Article from the Dayton Daily News)

Tipp City Superintendent Receives Two Percent Raise
(Article from the Dayton Daily News)

27 Days of Thankfulness Challenge: Thanksgiving, The Middle Child
(Article from My Miami County)

Hospice of Miami County Opens Seven-Bed Unit at UVMC
(Video from WHIO)

Apple Tree Gallery in Piqua to Showcase Home-Based Businesses Nov. 22
(Article from the Dayton Daily News)

Tickets Now On Sale for Holiday Extravaganza that Benefits Hospice of Miami County
(Article from My Miami County)

A Perfect Weekend for Daddy Daycare: Miami County Park District and Brukner Nature Center Help Make Fall Memories 
(Article from My Miami County)

25A Cafe a Shining New Gem in the Miami County Dining Scene
(Article from My Miami County)
(Click HERE for all recent news stories in Miami County) 

(Click HERE for this Weekend's Calendar of Events)

Saturday, November 1

                                           Special Events                                           

The Lost Land Corn Maze and VanDemark Farms in Sidney (& $1 Off Any Attraction) - Saturday & Sunday (LAST WEEKEND)
SIDNEY - Offering everything from zip lining, a corn maze and mini golf to a petting zoo, giant swing, hayrides and a driving range, VanDemark Farms in Sidney is open noon to 11 p.m. Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday. For $10, guests can enjoy the maze, 18 holes of miniature golf, one hayride and a petting zoo. With a coupon from My Miami County (HERE), guests can take $1 off this amount. To plan your visit, click HERE.

Halloween Phreak Out at the Little York Tavern Troy (FREE)
TROY - The Little York Tavern Troy will host the Halloween Phreak Out starting at 5 p.m. Saturday at 116 W. Main St. in downtown Troy. A total of 11 bands will perform from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. and there will be a costume contest with prizes. There is no cover charge. Bands performing are: Boondah, The Frankz, Menace 2 Sobriety, FBS, Mayfly, Slow Burn Theory, Single File Suicide, Fletcher Munson, The Sogs, McGruff & the Dumpster Fries and Gonzo.

15th Annual Home Party & Craft Vendor Open House (FREE)

SIDNEY - The Sidney First Church of God Relay for Life team will host its 15th annual Home Party & Craft Vendor Open House from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at 1510 Campbell Road in Sidney. Along with dozens of local vendors, there will be a silent auction that begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 2:45 p.m. and an Old-Fashioned Cake Walk that begins at 1 p.m. Vendors include Advocare, Beaity by Dani Jewelry, Celebrating Home, Eileen's Natural Soaps, KE Crafty Creations, Perfectly Posh, Origami Owl, Pampered Chef, Rex's Metal Art & School Signs, Scentsy Wickless, Tastefully Simple, Thirty One and more. The Relay team will be serving a soup and sandwich lunch for a small fee, as well as dessert. Coffee and doughnuts will be offered in the morning. For more information, call (937) 497-1353. 

8th Annual Cookson Holiday Bazaar (FREE)
TROY - More than 40 crafters/artisans, your favorite direct-sales businesses, lunch and sweet treats will all be under one roof during the Cookson Holiday Bazaar. The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at 921 Mystic Lane in Troy. Featured booths include:  handcrafted jewelry, key chains, dresses, bibs, wreaths, hair accessories, stuffed animals, scarves, Christmas ornaments and other holiday decorations, coasters, cards, pet beds, wood crafts, totes, bags, purses, jackets, bamboo pillows and more. Plus children’s book author Meaghan Fisher will be
selling and signing her books! Direct sales favorites and other home businesses: Tastefully Simple, AVON, Miche, Stampin’ Up, Beauti Control, Party Lite, Mary Kay, Thirty One, doTerra Essential Oils, The Pampered Chef, Origami Owl, Scentsy, Velata, Young Living Essential Oils, Premier Designs Jewelry, Gold Canyon Candles, Tupperware, Real Time Pain Cream and more. Be sure to support our youngest vendors, our very own Cookson students who are selling a variety of items to raise money for their educational trip to Washington D.C. Lunch also will be served, consisting of shredded chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, chips, water and pop, baked goods, caramels, and more.

Public Skating at Hobart Arena - Saturday & Sunday

TROY - Hobart Arena will host Public Skating from 2-4 p.m. and 8-10 p.m. today in Troy. Admission is $6 for adults; $4 for seniors; and $5 for children 14 and under. Skate rental is $2.50. For more information, call (937) 339-2911. Open Skating will also be available from 2-4 p.m. tomorrow. 

Creature Feature at Brukner Nature Center

TROY - Brukner Nature Center will host Creature Feature from 2-3 p.m. Saturday at 5995 Horseshoe Bend Road - west of Troy. Guests will get to meet a live animal from the center. The program is free with admission to the center. For more information, click HERE.

Vintage in the Valley at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds (FREE)
DAYTON - Vintage in the Valley is a one-day community rummage sale that will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds, 1043 S. Main St. in Dayton. The event features new and gently used clothes, home decor, books, seasonal decorations, appliances, toys, baby items, furniture and much more. Additionally, there will be a food truck rodeo and special prizes and activities. 

All Soles 5K Run/Walk at Englewood Reserve
VANDALIA - The All Soles 5K Run/Walk will take place from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Englewood Reserve - located at 100 E. National Road in Vandalia. The registration fee is $25. For more information, call (937) 890-0003.

Dayton Train Show at Hara Arena - Saturday & Sunday 
DAYTON - The 39th Annual Dayton Train Show will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at Hara Arena in Dayton. The show features model railroad dealers and portable model train layouts from at least eight states, 400 vendor tables and 70 model train dealers from across the United States. Admission is $6 for adults and free for children 12 and under. For more information, click HERE.

Fall Gathering at Caesar's Creek Pioneer Village - Saturday & Sunday
WAYNESVILLE - Visit Caesar's Creek Pioneer Village from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday to see re-enactors bring history to life with demonstrations of life in Ohio in the early 1800s. For more information, click  HERE. Fees apply.

Pumpkin Patch Express 2014 in Lebanon - Saturday & Sunday
LEBANON - The LM&M Railroad will host the Pumpkin Patch Express on Saturday and Sunday, with train departures at 9:45 a.m.1 p.m. and 4:15 p.m. at 127 S. Mechanic St. in Lebanon. Guests will board a train and ride through Warren County (seeing fall foliage along the way) to Schappache Farms in Mason there they can experience a working farm, petting animals, exploring a corn maze and picking a pumpkin. The cost is $18.50 for adults; $15.50 for seniors and children 5-16; and $8.50 for toddlers 2-4. Children under 1 are free. For tickets and additional information, click HERE.

Fox Hollow Rodeo
WAYNESVILLE - The Fox Hollow Rodeo will take place at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at 1909 St. Rt. 73 in Waynesville. The evening starts with children's sheep riding and calf riding at 6:30 p.m. and is followed by Jackpot and Novice bull riding at 7 p.m. If you're brave enough, the public is welcome to participate in bull riding and other events. Registration is at 6:45 p.m. For more information, click HERE.

Haunted Garage in Tipp City - Saturday & Sunday
TIPP CITY - The largest private collection of Halloween and horror memorabilia and collectibles is now open tonight and Sunday at 7373 Bard Road in Tipp City. This is the last weekend for the attraction. The Haunted Garage features life-size monsters, amazing props and special effects, hundreds of different items and more. The non-profit attraction raises money to fight MS and is open 6:30-10:30 p.m. each night. Donations are appreciated and groups are also welcome by calling (937) 667-0121.

Brumbaugh Fruit and Fun Farm - Saturdays & Sundays (LAST WEEKEND)
ARCANUM - Head to Brumbaugh Fruit & Fun Farm from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and noon to 7 p.m. Sunday to enjoy hayrides, a corn maze, a pumpkin patch, Monster Mountain and other family activities. The farm is located at 6420 Hollansburg-Arcanum Road and fees do apply. To plan your visit, click HERE.

                                        Dining & Nightlife                                        

Breakfast & Lunch

All Day Breakfast & Lunch at the 25A Cafe in Troy - Tuesday-Sunday
TROY - The 25A Cafe in Troy serves all day breakfast and lunch between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. This includes breakfast being served each day, all day. The cafe is located at 1469 S. County Road 25-A in Troy (near the WACO Museum) and prides itself on serving home-cooked meals. Keep up with the daily specials on their Facebook page HERE. Current specials include Two Eggs, Hashbrowns, Meat, Toast and Coffee for $6.99 daily, as well as Cheeseburger & Fries for $5.95, daily!  For more information, call (937) 335-2335.
Breakfast at The Brick House Cafe in West Milton
WEST MILTON - Enjoy a traditional, home-cooked breakfast at The Brick House Cafe in West Milton, which includes: sausage bisquits and gravy, bagel sandwiches, breakfast sandwich, hashbrowns, donuts and homemade Belgium waffles served with walnuts and powdered sugar and served with fruit. The Brick House Cafe is located at 2 S. Miami St. For more information, click HERE.

Lunch at Mojos Bar & Grill
TROY - Mojos Bar & Grill is open for lunch at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Friday and
Saturday. Menu highlights at Mojos includes: BBQ Pork Sliders, Grilled Portobello sandwiches, a Monte Cristo, three dinner salads, Buffalo Goat Cheese and Scotch Eggs. To see the full menu, click HERE. Mojos is located at 109 E. Main St. and can be reached at (937) 552-9172.

Breakfast at the Bakehouse Cafe
TROY - Bakehouse Bread & Cookie Co. serves breakfast from 7-11 a.m. Monday through Saturday. Breakfast items include: the Bakehouse Breakfast Club, Baked Egg Souffle, an egg sandwich, french toast and a Frittata. To view the breakfast menu, click HERE.

$1 Burgers at Jackass Flats
HUBER HEIGHTS - Jackass Flats, 6024 Rip Rap Road in Huber Heights serves up $1 burgers from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.


Italian Cuisine at La Piazza - Open Daily
TROY - La Piazza offers the finest Italian cuisine in the Miami Valley (and beyond), as well as some of the best views of downtown Troy. Guests can dine in the
restaurant by candlelight while looking out upon the Public Square. The restaurant uses local ingredients and breads in many of its menu items and prides itself on great flavor, service and variety. To plan your meal in advance, click HERE. For reservations, call (937) 339-5553. La Piazza is located at 2 N. Market St. on the Square.

All-You-Can-Eat Fresh Walleye at Z's in Piqua
PIQUA - From 5-8 p.m. every Saturday, Z's serves all-you-can-eat fresh walleye (while supplies last) for $11.99. Z's is located at 319 N. Wayne St. in downtown Piqua and can be reached at (937) 773-9190. The regular menu and a full bar are also available.
The Crazy Horse Burger at the 311 Drafthouse
PIQUA - The Crazy Horse Burger is a half-pound patty infused with jalapeno, horseradish and onion, with your choice of cheese topped with lettuce, onion and the 311 Draft House's signature Crazy Horse Sauce. It's not too hot, but hot enough. For more menu items at the 311 Drafthouse, click HERE.

Paella, Stuffed Gnocchi and Shredded Zucchini Cakes at Basil's on Market in Troy
TROY - Basil's on Market features a variety of unique menu items, including Paella (fresh mussels, shrimp, chicken and andouille sausage tossed with tomatoes, peas, peppers, with tri-colored pasta in a saffron broth), Gnocchi (filled with herbed asiago cheese over basil's house marinara) and Zucchini Cakes (over heirloom tomatoes, on top grilled asparagus covered with fresh mozzarella evoo and fresh ground sea salt and pepper). Basil's is located at 18 N. Market St. in downtown Troy. For more information, click HERE.


Sangria Saturday and Lunch & Dinner at Mojos Bar & Grille
TROY - Mojos Bar & Grille is open for lunch and dinner on Saturdays, opening at 11 a.m. Also, it's Sangria Saturday! Guests can enjoy house-made sangrias for $1 off. To see the restaurant's full menu, click HERE. Mojos is located at 109 E. Main St. and can be reached at (937) 552-9172.

DJ and Dancing at The Brewery - Friday & Saturday (FREE)
TROY - The Brewery hosts a DJ and dancing every Friday and Saturday night from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. The Brewery is located at 111 W. Water St. in Troy and can be reached at (937) 339-8595.

Salsa Saturdays at The Therapy Cafe (FREE)
DAYTON - The Therapy Cafe hosts Salsa Saturdays each week and there is no cover charge. Even better, there are free Salsa dance lessons offered prior to the start of the evening at 9:30 p.m. There is also wine/champagne bottle service throughout the evening. The Therapy Cafe is located at 452 E. Third St. in downtown Dayton.

Live Music at Z's Sports Bar
PIQUA - Z's Sports Bar hosts live music every Friday and Saturday night. To find out who's playing tonight, click HERE. The bar is located at 319 N. Wayne St. in Piqua and can be reached at (937) 773-9190.

Live DJ at Scene75
VANDALIA - From 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Saturday, Scene75 in Vandalia  will be a live DJ that will spin music until 1 a.m. Guests can also play video games, jump, do bumper cars, play black light putt-putt golf and much more. For more information, call (937) 619-3200 or click HERE.

Cosmic Bowling at Troy Bowl - Friday & Saturday
TROY - Troy Bowl hosts Cosmic Bowling from 9 p.m. to midnight on Friday and 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Saturday. Guests have access to a full service kitchen and a full bar, as well as pool tables and video games. Because lanes fill up quickly, call ahead with reservations at (937) 339-3315. Troy Bowl is located at 1530 McKaig Ave.

Black Light Bowling at Miami Lanes in West Milton
WEST MILTON - Miami Lanes, 1159 S. Miami St. in West Milton hosts Black Light Bowling starting at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. Regular bowling is also available from 5 p.m. to midnight. The bowling alley accepts cash only and also contains a restaurant. For more information, call (937) 698-5706.

                                          Arts & Leisure                                           

Night of the Living Dead Live at the Dayton Playhouse - Saturday & Sunday
DAYTON - The Dayton Playhouse will present the live stage performance of "Night of the Living Dead" at 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at 1301 E. Siebenthaler Ave. in Dayton. Tickets range in price from $13-$18 and can be purchased HERE. This
hilarious re-imagining of George A. Romero’s legendary classic movie, "Night of the Living Dead" - set in 1968 - is a theatrical tribute to all of the elements that made the cinematic masterpiece so endearing. The play celebrates the history and influence of the movie.

The House of Frankenstein (Stage Play) in Xenia - Saturday & Sunday
XENIA - The Xenia Area Community Theater is getting in the Halloween spirit with a performance of The House of Frankenstein - a horror/comedy that will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at 45 E. Second St. in downtown Xenia. Tickets are $15 general and $12 for seniors and students. The playbill states: "Baron Victor Von Frankenstein, bored with his attempts to give life to the  lifeless, has turned his attention to curing the supposedly incurable! In a  grim castle in the Carpathian Mountains, he and his long su­ering wife  Elisabeth, the unsavory hunchback Ygor, the Valkyrian Frau Lurker and  the Monster play host to menacing denizens of the night (the classic movie monsters) who visit. The Halloween night show will take place at midnight!!! For tickets and more information, click HERE.

Sweeney Todd at the Beavercreek Community Theatre - Saturday & Sunday
BEAVERCREEK - This musical thriller is a chilling, suspenseful, heart-pounding masterpiece of murderous barber-ism and culinary crime. It tells the infamous tale of the unjustly exiled barber who returns to 19th century London seeking revenge against the lecherous judge who framed him and ravaged his young wife. His thirst for blood soon expands to include his unfortunate customers, and the resourceful proprietress of the pie shop downstairs soon has the people of London lining up in droves with her mysterious new meat pie recipe! The show will take place at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at 3868 Dayton-Xenia Road in Beavercreek. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for seniors and students. To purchase tickets, click HERE. For other information, call (937) 429-4737.

"Mame" at The Human Race Theatre - Saturday & Sunday
DAYTON - The Human Race Theatre will present "Mame" at 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday at The Loft Theatre, 126 N. Main St. in downtown Dayton.
Mame Dennis is a free-wheeling eccentric without a care until she becomes the guardian of her ten-year-old nephew, Patrick. Now it’s up to her to open new windows and show the boy worlds he never knew existed. Through the Roaring 20s and the Great Depression, Mame teaches Patrick how to “live, live, live”—whether he’s willing or not. Tickets range in price from $40-$50 and can be purchased HERE. The show will continue Tuesday-Sunday through Nov. 23.

Western Ohio Watercolor Society Exhibit at the Hayner - Open Daily (FREE)
TROY - The Western Ohio Watercolor Society is currently featuring a juried exhibit of 65-70 water media works in a variety of subject matters at the Troy-Hayner Cultural Center. The exhibit is free to visit and is open 7-9 p.m. Monday; 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 1-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. To plan your visit, click HERE.

Yellow Springs Farmers Market (FREE)
YELLOW SPRINGS - Offering a very large selection of locally grown organic fruits, vegetables, flowers and plants, as well as other traditional farmers market items, the Yellow Springs Farmers Market takes place from 7 a.m. to noon every Saturday through November. The market is located at 228 Xenia Ave. in the downtown and makes the perfect addition to shopping, dining and sightseeing in the town. There is also hiking and other attractions nearby. For a full list of vendors and special events associated with the market, click HERE.

                                  For Children & Families                                     

Book Signing at the Tipp Library (FREE)
TIPP CITY - Susan Furlong, author of "Legendary Locals of Tippecanoe to Tipp City", will be signing copies of her book at the library, 11 E. Main St., from 2–3 p.m.

Kids Fun Skate at Skate World in Vandalia
VANDALIA - Skate World hosts Kids Fun Skate time from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday. Admission is $4 per person. Skate rental is $3 for regular skates and $3.50 for inline skates. The skating rink is located at 333 S. Brown School Road in Vandalia. For more information, click HERE or call (937) 890-6550.

Jumping and Laser Tag at Jumpy's Fun Zone
TROY -  Jumpy's Fun Zone in Troy is open from 1-10 p.m. on Saturdays. The fun center offers unlimited laser tag for $15 (add unlimited jumping for $5) and unlimited jumping for $7. Stay and play with video games and a concession area with pizza, pretzels and other food. Please remember to bring socks!!! Jumpy's is located at 1528 W. Main St. behind McDonald's from Main Street. For more information, or to plan your visit, click HERE


Black Cat Primitives Moving to Tipp City; Still Hosting Holiday Open House
TIPP CITY – Although Black Cat Primitives has officially closed their doors, their Covington location will be participating in Covington’s Holiday Open House Event Nov. 7, 8, 14, and 15. Keep an eye out for their large booth inside Midwest Memories in Tipp City, which they will be opening soon. Midwest Memories is located at 20 and 24 W. Main St. and is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and 12-4 p.m. Sunday.

Candlelight Christmas Home Tickets and More on Sale at Treasures on High - Tuesdays-Saturdays
COVINGTON – Come into Treasures on High to get your Christmas Home Tour tickets for November 15 from 5-8 p.m. While there, check out their most recent retro find, a three piece sellars cabinet with original hardware. They are located at 12 and 16 N. High St. and are open 12-5 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more information, click HERE.

Jewelry Candles and Poinsettias Now at Andy’s Gardens - Mondays-Saturdays
TROY – Stop by Andy’s Garden for the most timeless holiday d├ęcor, poinsettias. While there, do a little early Christmas shopping and pick up a jewelry candle for that special someone. A piece of jewelry is hidden in every candle, waiting to be found. Andy’s Garden is located at 2310 W. State Route 55 and is open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. For more information, click HERE.

Organic Farm Buddies Now Available at Baby Bump - Wednesdays-Saturdays
PIQUA – Treat your little one to a soft and adorable Farm Baby. These cuddly toys are made of 100% organic cotton with hypoallergenic sustainable corn fiber fill. They are the winner of the Dr. Toy’s Best Green Product Award. Not only are they safe for children, but they are better for the environment. Baby Bump is located at 415 N. Main St. and are open 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Wednesday and Friday, 12-7 p.m. Thursday, and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. For more information, click HERE.

Ohio State Guitars Now at Piqua Guitar - Monday-Saturday
PIQUA – O-H! I-O! Get your Ohio State Guitar with a wall hanger and certificate of authenticity at Piqua Guitar, located at 408 N Main St. Complete the package with an Ohio State strap and picks. They are open 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. For more information, click HERE.

27 Days of Thankfulness
By Michelle Littlejohn
For My Miami County
Jan, the second of three lovely daughters in a bunch of Bradys, understood the injustice of being a middle child. Fans of The Brady Bunch can hear Jan’s voice as she laments that she is always in her older sister’s shadow: “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!” And if having popular older sister Marcia wasn’t enough to fuel Jan’s insecurities, then Cindy, the youngest one in curls with the adorable lisp, was sure to make Jan feel invisible.
If Thanksgiving had a voice, would we hear, “It’s always Halloween and then Christmas, Christmas, Christmas!”  Halloween costumes and seasonal candy can easily be found in September, and by mid-October the shelves are getting stocked with Christmas items. Unfortunately for Thanksgiving, that middle child of holidays seems to get lost amid Frankenstein and angel tree-toppers.
We could choose to make this Thanksgiving season different. What if we committed to a 27 Days of Thankfulness Challenge beginning November 1?  No special diet or jogging suit will be required if this challenge is accepted.  Simply open your heart, quiet your mind and listen to that “small, still voice” that resonates within all of us. 
The spirit of thankfulness begins with appreciation of what we have. When my son was a teenager he went with his dad on a mission trip to Honduras with our church. I asked him what impressed him most and he said, “The people were so happy. They were poor but really happy. Here people have everything and are unhappy.”  
Rich or poor, we may have a little or a lot, but let’s remember to say thanks for what we’ve got! And let’s not forget to appreciate ourselves! This can feel kind of awkward at first, but it is the cure for low self esteem. Be thankful for your gifts and talents.
Next let’s pardon the turkeys in our lives. If someone comes to mind we know we need to forgive, forgive them and give up the notion they have to be perfect. Just as important, let’s forgive ourselves and give up the notion we need to be perfect.
I have been practicing these tips for a few months. Here is a sample of my daily routine:
Before I fall to sleep, I go through a mental list of everything I am thankful for, including my relationships, family, material possessions, my pets, my job, etc. I let go of minor trespasses made against me and I let go of personal shortcomings experienced during the day.
I awake with the alarm and during the “snooze” phase I again go through my “thankful list.” Next I mentally plan my day. I anticipate interactions I may have with people and I choose beforehand how I am going to react or not react. I have been learning to curb my desire to always be right, and as a result I am finding I am listening to and enjoying other people more.
Appreciating others means avoiding gossip. When conversations are going in a direction that I know is not positive and inspiring, I give myself permission to walk away. It’s tempting to want to hear the latest “news”, but it is so destructive. Walking away feels empowering.
Finally, I get out of bed and announce that it is going to be a great day!  I look in the mirror before I get in the shower and I tell myself how much I like me! My once negative self-talk is now positive. My husband loves hearing me say, “Wow, I am so beautiful!” 
I can’t guarantee the results of your 27 Day Challenge, but I can tell you I have never been happier in my life as a result of these practices. I have more peace and confidence than ever. I asked my co-worker if she has noticed any changes in me over the past couple of months and she replied, “Yes, you seem happier, less negative and easier to get along with.”
Let’s not allow Thanksgiving to feel like an underappreciated middle holiday any longer. Let’s put on our turkey pants, laugh around the table with friends and loved ones, and remember to practice thankfulness all year round. Now that would be like whipped topping on a piece of pumpkin pie!
This is only a 27 Day Challenge, though. November 28th is Black Friday and we all know what that means… Let the Wild Rumpus begin!
Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving, Michelle.

Troy's Iconic Morris House Turns 160 Years-Old
By Judy Deeter
My Miami County Historical Writer
TROY - Years before the American Civil War, the presidency of Abraham Lincoln, or streets being paved in downtown Troy, the Morris House stood on the corner of South Market and West Franklin streets - where it still stands today.  
It opened as a beautiful hotel on the morning of July 4, 1854. Though 2014 marks the 160th anniversary of its opening, few people today know of its long and interesting history.
A 1900 photograph of the Morris House, which was
a hotel with a bar and lounge at the time.
(Photo courtesy of the Troy Historical Society) 
The building was financed by the Troy Hotel Company, which was formed in 1852 by four local businessmen. The businessmen/investors in the Troy Hotel Company were: Henry S. Mayo, Preserved Smith, Dr. John Telford, and Charles Morris, Jr.  Some historians have said that the South Market Street site was chosen because company investors believed the railroad would soon lay tracks and run on the street—bringing passengers as hotel guests. Other historians have noted that the first train had already come to Troy two years before the hotel opened and that hotel investor Henry Mayo was also the Treasurer of the Dayton and Michigan Railroad, which then operated in Troy. These historians think the investors would have realized—at least by the time the hotel was being built—that the train would not be stopping at their doorstep. 
At the time of its construction, the Morris House was near the Miami and Erie Canal (where passengers rode on canal boats). It wasn’t until the coming of the interurban train line in the early 1900s that train tracks were laid on South Market Street and train passengers arrived near the hotel.
The building’s architect was Sheldon Smith of New York City. Troy historian Thomas B. Wheeler once wrote in his newspaper column “This and That” (Troy Daily News, August 5, 1967):  “The builders of the new hotel had gone to New York to secure the architect Sheldon Smith to design what they intended to be the finest hotel between Dayton and Detroit.”
It is believed that this is the same Sheldon Smith who relocated to Sandusky, Ohio in 1853. There, soon after his arrival, he designed the McKenster-Groff house for the owners of the Exchange Hotel. The windows of the McKenster-Groff house are similar to those of the Morris House. In 1855, Smith was the principal of Smith’s Commercial College and Academy of Design in Sandusky. Smith later moved to Detroit, Michigan. He died in 1868.
Sheldon Smith’s son and grandson continued in the architectural and engineering business. They incorporated their business as Field, Hinchman & Smith in 1903 and renamed the business as Smith, Hinchman & Grylls in 1907. Since 2000, the company has been known as SmithGroup and is one of the leading architectural and engineering firms not only in the United States, but in the world. 
According the company website, it is the oldest architectural/engineering firm in the United States.
It should be noted that an obituary for a Mr. Rankin Walkup in the Miami Union
The Lollis Hotel (Morris House today) in 1966.
(Photo courtesy of the Troy Historical Society) 
newspaper for
January 1, 1870 states he was a house carpenter who was the “architect and superintendent in the building of the Morris House.” He was probably what we would refer to now as the general contractor for the project. Mr. Walkup went on to become to serve in the Ohio State Senate.
The estimated cost to build the hotel was $25,000-$30,000. Its architectural style is “Early Victorian.” The foundry work for the hotel was done by Shilling & Brothers. The Troy Weekly Times newspaper of July 6, 1854 states: “The elegant Hotel is now so far completed as to be opened, and in pretty fair order for the reception and entertainment of borders. The Hotel building is 85 feet on Market Street and 100 feet on Franklin Street and is four stories high above the basement. Both fronts are of cast iron, which not only add greatly to the elegance and permanency of the building, but at the same time are a most conspicuous advertisement of the great mechanical skill and taste of Messrs. Shilling & Bro’s., at whose extensive foundry they were cast and polished.”  A drawing of the building was published with the story.
Even before the opening of the hotel, three of the investors in the Troy Hotel Company sold out to the fourth investor, Charles Morris, Jr. who renamed the hotel the Morris House. Mr. Morris was a local attorney. The sale took place on November 2, 1853.
The opening of the Morris House on July 4, 1854 was an elegant affair.  Invitations were sent to people in Troy and surrounding areas.  According to historian Thomas B. Wheeler (Troy Daily News, August 5, 1967 – “This and That” column), the invitation read: “The company of yourself and Lady is respectfully solicited at the Opening Soiree of the Morris House, Tuesday evening July 4, 1854.”  Wheeler also wrote in the column:  “The Opening Soiree was a great success with speeches, music, dancing, refreshments, light wines for the ladies and something stronger in a hidden-away back room for non-temperance inclined gentlemen.”
The Troy Weekly Times of July 6, 1854 says of the event:  “The Morris was thronged from early morn, til eve, with gay and happy crowds.  Among the guests, we noticed a large number of good looking, well behaved young men with their many pretty girls, from the Lockville, S.S., who seemed to enjoy the day….”  The article also says, “We have never seen so many people of all classes in town, behaving with so much propriety.  All were merry, but few, if any were rude, and none seemed belligerent.  We are not aware of a single instance of quarrelling or fighting in town during the day or evening.”
The Morris House name remained with the business until 1895 when it became the Hotel Troy.  In 1921 it became the Lollis Hotel when D.M. Lollis became the hotel’s owner.  The Lollis Hotel was in business for 60 years.  In 1981, the hotel became an apartment house for senior residents and it once again became the Morris House.
Guests over the years have been quite varied.  Sources have cited people such as soldiers training to go to the Civil War, pilots of WACO airplanes, people seeking shelter from the 1913 flood, theatrical performers from Mayo’s Hall (built next door and connecting to the hotel) and passengers from trains passing through Troy.  (Transportation companies brought people to and from the train depot, which was on the east side of Troy.)
In his August 5, 1967 Troy Daily News “This and That” column Thomas Wheeler also wrote:  “What we would not give to see the hotel registers of the Morris-Lollis Hotel from the first down to the present time!  We are certain it would contain the name of Bayard Taylor, Henry Beecher Stowe and General Lew Wallace all of whom gave night lectures here (important people in the late 19th and early 20th centuries), Taylor in Mayo’s Hall (next door) and the other two in the Opera House (once located on an upper floor of Troy’s City Building).  We are certain it would also contain the names of Webber and Fields and the famous actor, James O’Neill and his young son, Eugene all of whom stayed in the hotel on one or more occasions.”
The building has undergone several architectural changes over the years.  For several years as the Lollis Hotel, it had a white exterior.  A few years ago, the beautiful brick exterior was brought back.
Individuals wishing to learn more about the old hotel can find an historical marker with information about the hotel is located across West Franklin Street next to the Troy City building.  It was placed their a few years ago by the WACO Historical Society.  Photographs and research materials are also available at the Troy-Miami County Public Library Local History Library at 100 West Main Street.   The library has a joint collection with The Troy Historical Society.