After an investigation by Parma Police and FBI agents in Cleveland and Boston, Parma Police have charged two people in connection with the events surrounding the disappearance and eventual discovery of 17 year-old Katarina Bitterman at a home in Salem, Massachusetts.
Latest News Releases
View more news releases
The Parma Police Department is pleased to announce that it will be conducting its Citizen Police Academy this spring. The Parma Police Department is currently taking applications for this spring’s academy class. The academy will start on April 19, 2017. The academy is 10 weeks long and will run weekly on Tuesdayevenings from 6:30pm to 9:30pm. The cost is free for those individuals who are selected.
The Parma Police Department confirms that 17 year-old Katarina Bitterman, who has been missing since March 4, 2017, has been successfully located. She was found unharmed at a residence in Salem, Massachusetts by FBI Special Agents from the Boston Field Office after an investigation by Parma Police detectives and Cleveland FBI Special Agents revealed that Bitterman was staying at the home. Cleveland FBI agents contacted Boston FBI agents who went to the home and were able to locate Bitterman at the residence.
The Parma Symphony Orchestra will perform a concert on Sunday, March 12 at 3:00 PM at Valley Forge High School Auditorium located at 9999 Independence Boulevard in Parma Heights. General admission is $10 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens. Family passes of $20 are available for families of up to 2 adults and their children. All tickets are available at the door beginning at 2:30 PM.
In his sixth State of the City address on February 28, Mayor Tim DeGeeter highlighted Parma's neighborhoods, recreation opportunities, and businesses. During his speech at the General Motors Parma Metal Center, DeGeeter also unveiled plans to create a police bike patrol to enhance community policing. He opened his speech recalling that in December he was at the factory when it was announced GM planned to invest $218 million into the factory. "I don't know who was more energized – the employees or me," he said. "This major commitment secures the plant's future in Parma – so critical for the workers employed here and crucial for our city and Northeast Ohio." He also likened GM's revival since the recession to how Parma has been recovering in the aftermath of the worst economy since the Great Depression. "Parma, too, has come a long way since then as we've faced up to our challenges," DeGeeter said. "All of us – together – have confronted the effects of the recession, the near collapse of the housing market, and the millions upon millions of dollars we've lost through state funding cuts." He said he believed there was renewed confidence in Parma's future. "Perhaps that confidence in our future – that pride of place – is best encapsulated by the slogan, 'This is Parma,'" he said. DeGeeter said the city has embraced the slogan, which was formulated by a Parma-based young professionals group formed in the summer.
University Hospitals has appointed Peter U. Bergmann, FACHE, as President of UH Parma Medical Center, effective March 6.
Seven Hills city council is considering a charter amendment for the May ballot to expand the mayor’s position to fulltime with a substantial salary increase and benefits package beginning in the next term on December 10, 2019. While I agree that the increasing complexities of serving as the city's CEO clearly demand a full time administrator, I have asked Council to instead ask the voters to convert to a city manager form of government, rather than to a full time mayor. Here are just a few of my reasons.
I have been reading an excellent book, Once in a Great City by David Mariniss. This book tells about Detroit during the time period from the autumn of 1962 through the spring of 1964. This was a time when the auto industry was booming and Detroit was selling more cars than ever. It was also a period when Motown was beginning to take the music of Detroit out to the world. With good wages, strong labor unions and plenty of good jobs, the working men and women of Detroit enjoyed a higher standard of living.
Summer is right around the corner – what are you going to do when school’s out? Most teens would probably like to have their own job and earn their own money. MyCom partners with Youth Opportunities Unlimited (Y.O.U.) to match teens to summer work experiences in their neighborhood. A summer job provides more than a paycheck – it builds your resume with work experience, teaches you new skills and helps you explore different careers. Below is an interview with a student, Ebony, who has had a job through Y.O.U. for the last four summers. Last summer her job led the way for a year-round part time job.
I am pleased to announce that the City of Parma Heights is hosting the Akron Cleveland Association of Realtors (ACAR) at the Cassidy Theatre on Thursday, March 23, 2017, for a pilot program called “Becoming Familiar with Cuyahoga County Municipalities.” Realtors in attendance will receive one continuing education credit.
There are a few tasks around the house that seem to get pushed into the chasm of “maybe I’ll tackle it tomorrow.” Even well-intentioned lists go into the basket of “..if I have time.” Such is my repulse of shredding old copies of paid bills, letters, documents and other saved paperwork that I probably will never need reference to find. The task sits idly in my conscious knowledge that the unnecessary stock piles of paper need to be trashed. So today, I vowed to tackle this dreaded removal of clutter and lessen the useless proof of yesterday’s importance.
At Royalton Woods’ Annual Valentine’s Day Party on February 14, 2017, Milton Jennrich and Hattie Gray were crowned King and Queen of Hearts, as voted by our residents and staff. Hattie and Milton were both surprised to receive the news of their victory at the polls. While Hattie couldn’t thank everyone enough, Milton simply welcomed the opportunity to serve with “his beautiful queen” with a quick kiss. Both would like to thank the residents and staff for the kindness and thoughtfulness shown to them. Milton, a WWII Army Veteran, and Hattie, a soon-to-be centurion, love living at Royalton Woods. Aside from the wonderful parties and musical entertainers they love so dearly, they “are honored to share their lives with such wonderful people” and look forward to “all the fun we have.” Congratulations, Hattie and Milton! We know you will serve Royalton Woods admirably in 2017!
“How about a dinner date?” His eyes twinkling and filled with hope that I would accept his invitation. This was to be my first date with someone other than my late husband in over forty years.
Christ the Saviour American Orthodox Church 10000 State Road N. Royalton, OH 44133 440-237-9196
Be a good listener because God may speak to us through the mouths of others. Fix things; relate to people. Focus on the here and now rather than the there and then. “I know how you feel” statements are better left unsaid. It is better to ask, “How do you feel?” God’s conditional promise: If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and will heal their land.
Now that my wife and I are empty-nesters, we have been doing things together that we never had time for or just did not think about when the kids were home. As we enter the season of Lent, we are going to make it our goal to hit as many different fish fries in Parma as we can. So, this month I am going to give you a rundown of all that Parma has to offer regarding Lenten fish fries. As you can see, there is no need to leave town to keep this tradition going. Incidentally, if I leave any events out, please do not take offense – it was not intentional.
SHOW KIDS YOU CARE: TELL THEM HOW MUCH YOU LIKE BEING WITH THEM.
March’s Asset Category: SOCIAL COMPETENCIES.
Learning social skills is a lot like learning to play the piano in that you need to learn some basic competencies and you need someone to teach you those skills. You need time to practice, guidance as you gain experience, and feedback along the way. Social competencies are the skills and life perspectives young people need to develop into healthy, competent adults. These skills are important daily, but they’re even more crucial when young people encounter the tough times in life. Young people who can resist negative peer pressure and dangerous situations are more likely to avoid risky behaviors and focus on positive attitudes.
The Parma Area Fine Arts Council (PAFAC) is celebrating it's 55th anniversary this year. Their mission is to bring art to the community for the enrichment and enjoyment of the residents by providing affordable classes, art education, entertainment and special events.
2017 is the 60th Birthday of the Pink Plastic Flamingo! Capistrano has Swallows. Hinkley has Buzzards. Parma has Pink Flamingos!
Cuyahoga Job and Family Services and Polaris Career Center will be hosting the 2017 Polaris/Cuyahoga County Career Fair, at Polaris Career Center at 7285 Old Oak Blvd in Middleburg Hts, Ohio, 44130, on Wednesday, March 29, 2017, from 9:00 a.m. to noon.
Spin, Innuedo, Half-Truths and Lies
At present we have over three hundred million people, and growing, living in the United States. Not that long ago it seemed like two hundred million people were more than the planet could support with food. Ralph Nader wrote a book about population growth called Zero Population Growth concerning the expanding population. It is simply wonderful how the agricultural and scientific communities have combined to increase the food supply. With a little manipulation of genes and introduction of a chromosome here or there it is overwhelming as to how the scientific community created answers where once there was only concern. Production per acre compared to only a few decades ago is unimaginable, not only to the layman but to the farmer as well. Nothing is all good or all bad. Is there a cost to the increased production of food, remembering that it is done with gene manipulation? Up to this point there is no published research to indicate that there is any harm in the genetically modified produce. But then look at cigarettes and the amount of time it took to publish cigarettes’ harmful effects. This is information that the tobacco industry was aware of and buried. They attempted to protect their income and not the people who used their product. If their information had been released to the public it would have affected the sales of tobacco. Could a similar scenario be in play with the food we consume? The unscientific observation that brings this question to mind is of how many people are adversely affected by what is produced on most farms. One of these is the peanut allergy. Not that long ago it didn’t seem as though there were many people allergic to anything. It was unusual to have allergies before G.M.O.s. And let us not forget the steroids and antibiotics that are injected into livestock. Today it seems that wherever you go you see warnings about peanut exposure. There are those who, if they are in the same room with anything made from peanuts, have a reaction.
A Thousand and One Journeys: The Arab Americans, a documentary on the contributions of Middle Eastern immigrants to the United States, will be screened March 28 at the Western Campus of Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C).
Learn how teens can earn college credit at no cost while in high school or middle school during a College Credit Plus Information Night from 6-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 22, at the Western Campus of Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C).
“Buy American and hire American.” At a rally in Cincinnati this month, President-elect Trump used those words as he pledged to use American products and workers to carry out his infrastructure plan. Congress has encouraged this bipartisan idea for many years because it just makes sense. If we’re investing in our country’s infrastructure, why wouldn’t we also invest in our country’s workers and businesses? Buy America rules ensure that there’s work at plants in Coshocton, Cleveland, Marion and across our state – supporting Ohio jobs. But last week, Washington leadership abandoned that idea and turned its back on the many Ohioans who work in the iron and steel industry.
Ever since my first day in office, I have been committed to ensuring that the programs offered by our Recreation Department are numerous and varied and open the door to participation by residents of all ages. With that in mind, 2017 will see renovations to the Cultural Center building in the Greenbrier Commons along with recreation program updates including online registration and the addition of new activities.
The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District’s Board of Trustees awarded $7.2 million to 12 communities - including Parma and Seven Hills - as part of the agency’s newly-launched Member Community Infrastructure Program (MCIP).
Christ the Saviour American Orthodox Church 10000 State Road N. Royalton, OH 440-237-9196
Last November, Lee Kamps wrote a piece for the Observer titled We Are The United States Of America in which he said we're all Americans and so (he concluded in roundabout way) we should all get behind our newly elected president and other representatives. Obviously the piece was written before the election and anyone who has read just about anything Mister Kamps has written understands he wrote it because he believed his candidate, Clinton, would win. If you have any doubt of that, read some of his past Observer pieces. For example, last February, he wrote that Republicans, especially Trumps, are Xenophobic. In August, it was Republicans, especially Trump, are only pandering to our fears. My personal favorite came in October when he wrote that electing Trump would guarantee that we would have another Watergate.
The Western Campus of Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®) will again offer free personal income tax filing services to qualified taxpayers filing simple returns for 2016.
A learning center that teaches art? Why not! College Colleagues opened its doors in October 2016. My college colleague, Joline Scott Roller, and I decided to offer learning programs such as tutoring, success coaching, and workshops to the local communities.
The final number of the musical Hairspray is a rollicking number involving the entire cast titled “You Can’t Stop the Beat”. It is performed after the Corny Collins show, a teen dance show like American Bandstand, becomes integrated. The setting of this play is in Baltimore in 1962 when the civil rights movement was gaining strength. The song is about how no one can stop the movement of progress no matter how hard they try.
SHOW KIDS YOU CARE: INTRODUCE THEM TO YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY. February’s Asset Category: POSITIVE VALUES. You are what you believe
We're not getting old, just vintage, baby...
A person who can laugh at himself or herself will never cease to be amused. All kids are gifted; some just open their packages earlier than others. Be willing to compromise but never compromise your principles. Character is much easier kept than recovered. EXPOSURE: Our character is molded by our surroundings. Few, if anyone, would disagree that our moral values are disintegrating. God can make a nobody somebody. God’s Word is true. People do not realize that sin (wrong behavior) always destroys. Good things happen when families eat their meals together. Great character is developed in the crucible. If people were angels no laws would be necessary. Meekness often means to go against the flow. One-on-one relationships are top priority with God. Our thoughts are triggered by our surroundings, our memories, and our imagination. Sin (wrong) destroys our will power. It saps our will to live righteously (right). The deeper we stoop to God, the deeper we stoop to serve others. The longer we wait, the closer we get to receive promises. There are many paths up the mountain of God. Unselfish love (agape) sacrifices its own interests for the needs of others. We are who we allow ourselves to become. We rarely think about the things we think about. When we accept responsibility for our weaknesses, we are less likely to blame and criticize other people. When we do our own thing, our own thing does us. Wherever we go, we take ourselves with us. Whether people believe it or not, the Bible is the inerrant Word of God. Without kindness, life is like a suitcase with no handle. You never will know the worth of water until the well is dry. Self-reflection is always a good exercise. What I believe is a work in progress, not limited to these statements and subject to change. What do YOU believe?
This month I am reporting to you on another of Parma’s many places of worship. In fact, in mid-January I had the honor of meeting with Fr. Robert Wisniewski, Jr., pastor of St. Bridget of Kildare Roman Catholic Church, located at 5620 Hauserman Road. Our meeting proved how important this parish is to the neighborhoods of Parma it serves, as well as to the community as a whole.
“I grew up in Willowick, which is ‘east side Parma,’" Fr. Wisniewski mentioned in our talk. He finds a lot of positive parallels between his hometown and his adopted home. He added that Parma is “super-neighborly.” He illustrated by recalling when he was still a seminarian visiting one of Parma’s famous block parties with a friend. “You could tell that Parma residents looked out for each other and I still see it today,” he explained.
A Lake High School graduate, Fr. Wisniewski felt a vocation to the priesthood from a young age and, after a weekend program at Borromeo Seminary, he made his decision to actively discern this vocation. During his tenure at the seminary, he spent a year as an intern at St. Bridget. “I remember peering out the window of the rectory one day thinking, ‘I could serve here,’” he reminisced. After serving as an associate pastor at several area parishes, as fate would have it, Bishop Anthony Pilla appointed him pastor at St. Bridget’s on February 1, 2005. He is only the third pastor of the parish in its over 60 year history.
As has been a theme in this column, the growth of Parma’s faith community mirrored the burgeoning population of the 1950s and 1960s. St. Bridget Church was born during this time of incredible growth. In fact, the parish was founded in 1956 as a sister parish to Parma’s St. Charles Borromeo. Prior to that, the property had served as a landing strip for small aircraft. The founding pastor, Fr. Theodore Blair, was serving as an associate pastor at St. Charles at the time.
Founded as St. Bridget Parish, Fr. Wisniewski explained that there are two St. Bridgets in the Catholic Church, one from Ireland and another from Sweden. Early in his tenure, knowing the parish was named in honor of Bridget of Ireland, he successfully petitioned Bishop Richard Lennon to have the parish officially named "St. Bridget of Kildare Parish."
The parish offers many services and events to its parishioners and the community, at large, including its kindergarten through eighth grade school. “St. Bridget is very mindful of the poor,” Fr. Wisniewski mentioned. “I continue to be inspired by how generous the parishioners are when called to help others in need, in the spirit of their patroness,” he added. He added that there are several examples where someone in the Parish was in need and the community came together to help with their time and/or treasure. Further, the Good Samaritan Ministry collects thousands of dollars every year to assist needy in the area, both Catholic and non-Catholic. Parish groups also hold several food drives, take meals to the ill, offer tuition assistance when families are experiencing financial distress, among other programs.
While many people have a day off work to reflect on the life and impact of Martin Luther King Jr., MyCom youth know it is a day of service. For our MLK Day of service, eight Tri-City MyCom youth eagerly gathered at the Parma Animal Shelter to give of their time and energy. Students from Normandy, Parma Senior, Valley Forge High School and Shiloh Middle School cleaned walls and wiped down cabinets and doors, raked leaves, assisted with recycling and cut fabric to make “cat pierogis” - catnip-filled toys shaped like pierogis! We all enjoyed this day of service and many of the youth want to make it a regular habit!
What a wonderful act of nature, ice. What would it have been for iced tea, to have to go to the nearest mountain for the ice? Now, we take a short trip to the refrigerator, open the freezer and voila, instant ice. It is also quite convenient for those adult beverages. Ice has also been shown to benefit the medical community for assorted injuries when one slips on the ice of a walkway. In days gone by people took pride in their attention to their property. Maintaining the lawn, attention to the flower garden, clearing debris, including snow, was not only a reflection of their property but of themselves their family and their community and their nationality. Neighbors did notice attention to details. Make the time to take a winter stroll around your neighborhood sometime and notice those who care for their property and those who are lax. Perhaps it has been influenced by the disintegration of the ethnic neighborhoods. No one of ethnicity wanted to be looked down upon for the lack of cleanliness or organization. To those of you who have the pride and consideration of clearing the snow from your public walkways, allow me to thank you on behalf of those who actually get out from behind a steering wheel and do this thing referred to as walking. You may or may not believe this, but that little bit of effort on your part is appreciated. Now to those of you who refrain from the activity of clearing public walkways, allow one question to be asked: what are your thoughts about those who don’t make life easier for you?