Around Charlestown by Ruth Ann Bartholomew

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The Charlestown Historical Society held its December meeting at the home of Jennifer Cline. We were treated to a tour of her more than a century-old home which has been owned by four generations of the family of her late husband, Gary Cline. Jennifer has added a large addition and has been in the process of beautifully decorating it in the past year and a half. After a brief business meeting, hors d'oeuvres and sweets were enjoyed. The next scheduled meeting is at 7 p.m. Jan. 9 at the town hall.

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There were 35 excited children when Santa Claus paid a surprise visit to their Charlestown homes recently. Santa and his elf arrived in Charlestown's fire truck with lights flashing and sirens blaring.

Assisted by volunteer firefighters Mike Pittinger and Crystal Jones, Santa arrived with a blast instead of a jingling of bells because his reindeer were resting for their big flight.

Santa noted that there was no snow but hoped there would be some by Christmas.

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If you run into Township Trustee Jim Eskridge, congratulate him on his recent retirement. Jim has been the Portage County Chief of Probation since June 2009 and was the assistant chief for 19 years before that. Beginning his career in Summit County, Jim has served the public in probation for 36 years.

But his public service doesn't end there. Jim is still the dedicated township trustee he has always been. In fact, his retirement plans include focusing even more on his township duties. Jim is excited that now he can be available 24/7 and encourages residents to call him with concerns at 330-296-5013.

Jim also plans to volunteer with the restoration of the stage in the town hall. Also on his list is helping son Jimmy with some farm-related projects, such as raising a few beef cattle. Something he hasn't had much time for is hunting and fishing. With a brother in Moundsville, W.Va., who is a avid outdoorsman, he plans to visit there more.

Of course, spending more time with the family is tops on his list. Wife Patty is an art teacher at Crestwood Middle School.

His oldest son, Jimmy, is an attorney in Ravenna who was married recently. Jimmy's wife, Kim, who is employed at Robinson Memorial Hospital in Ravenna, also is a nanny and attends college part-time. Son Adam is employed at Excel at Goodyear World Headquarters in Akron and is married to Delcy, who works at Robinson Memorial Hospital while attending school to be a registered nurse.

There are no grandchildren ... yet, but he does have two "grand-dogs." Thank you, Jim, for many years of public service and for your continued service to the community. Enjoy your retirement, you deserve it.

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Marge Grund is recovering at her second home in Florida from surgery to remove a brain tumor. Sons Ray and Rick made a quick trip South to be with their dad, Dick, during their mother's surgery. According to Rick, her recovery is going well but not fast enough for her. Marge is looking forward to getting back to her job as a hospice volunteer. She would enjoy receiving cards from her Northern friends. Her address is 11719 Bayonet Lane, New Port Ritchey, FL 34654.

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The Charlestown United Methodist Church will once again be hosting the Pancake Breakfast Buffets. The first one will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Jan. 20 at the town hall at 6368 Rock Spring Road. The buffet will include pancakes, sausage, ham, eggs, sausage gravy and biscuits and more. Coffee and orange juice are also included. The cost is $6 and the public is welcome. The Breakfast Buffet also will be held on Feb. 17 and March 17, so mark your calendars.

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I wish for a very Merry Christmas for all my readers and pray for peace, health and prosperity in the New Year.

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For Charlestown news, contact Ruth Ann Bartholomew at 330-296-7573 or ruthannbartholomew@yahoo.com.

Santa and his elf, Alyssa Spicer, pay a surprise visit to the Presley home. From left, Brad, Mark and Stephen Presley are excited about their gifts.

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