The federal government shutdown means a shutdown for the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
Spokeswoman Mary Pat Doorley said nearly everything in the park will be closed, including trailheads, restrooms, 20 miles of the Towpath Trail, the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, and even the park's website and social media pages. People already camping in the park will have 48 hours to leave, and those with reservations are being contacted to make other arrangements.
All public roads through the park will stay open. The Happy Days Lodge will remain open as well. It is not affected by the shutdown because it is leased by the Conservancy for the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The farmers involved in the Countryside program will not be forced to leave their land, but their farmers' market will be moved to Old Trail School if the government is still shut down Saturday.
109 park workers will be furloughed. Most of those who will continue working are rangers and maintenance workers. Doorley said she doesn't know what the economic impact of the park's shutdown will be and that there is not a plan in place yet for reopening the park once the shutdown is over. In the meantime, she said people should utilize the services in other park areas, such as the Cleveland Metroparks and Metro Parks, Serving Summit County.
Since the park's official website and social media accounts will not be updated during the government shutdown, Doorley is encouraging people who need park information to go to the sites of the park's partners, Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, which will keep its offices open despite the trains not running, Conservancy for the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and Countryside.
Knee high by the fourth of July? Try harvested and ready to buy.
Summit County Farm Bureau President Pete Schanz says he and the farmers he represents are counting their blessings for the mix of warmer temperatures and adequate rain they've received.
"Things are way ahead of normal for the season and we've been blessed with some really good weather this year," Schanz said.
Schanz says corn crops have already grown anywhere from four to eight inches tall in the county as of this week.
Customers who flock to Szalay's Sweet Corn Farm off of Riverview Road in Peninsula, can expect to select the ears of their choice off the back of a truck sooner than in seasons past.
"This year has just been almost like perfect, we expect to have corn probably for the first week of July, hopefully for the fourth of July weekend," Paula Szalay said, family owner.
Szalay's opens Friday, kicking off its season through Halloween. Tucked in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, it saw its share of puddles last year.
"We like a little drier season, because we have river-bottom soil," she said. "So we don't want our rain and everybody's runoff."
To date, that's not been the case, as Szalay admits they took advantage of Mother Nature's warmer personality this year and planted extra corn just in case.
"We'll have plenty for everybody," Szalay said.
Prices for the traditional sweet corn staple will stay in line with the 2011 season.
The family-owned and operated farm is no stranger to busy crowds boasting a variety of outdoor stands with treats like traditional roasted sweet corn covered in mouth-watering butter by choice, sandwiches and fresh-squeezed lemonade.
This year, Szalay says they'll offer more on the menu including pork loin sandwiches and southern-style sweet tea.
But if you'd fancy a treat, Szalay describes that their fresh-fruit ice cream sundaes are "wonderful".
On the web: Summit County Farmer's Bureau
The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad officially has a new boss. Former YRC Worldwide trucking executive Craig Tallman takes over from Steven Wait, who recently retired. Tallman takes over immediately.
- - -
(Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad) The Board of Trustees for Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad announce the hiring of Craig B. Tallman as President and CEO effective immediately.
Tallman replaces Steven Wait, who recently retired from the organization after 5 ½ years of service. He was selected after a nationwide search.
The railroad’s new CEO has worked for national and international trucking firms since graduating from the University of Iowa in 1976. He was transferred to this area 10 years ago, having last worked as group vice
president for YRC Worldwide until October 2011.
“I am excited about my new responsibilities at CVSR. The railroad is performing well and is an enjoyable means to experience the nature and heritage of Cuyahoga Valley National Park. One of my focus areas will be to further engage our communities and businesses for participation and support. “
George Snider, Board Chairman, offered: “Craig is an engaged and engaging leader. His high-level experience in the transportation industry will help CVSR continue the record setting growth achieve d by outgoing president Steve Wait. Craig impressed everyone throughout the highly competitive interviewing process and will be a great asset to our organization.”
Cuyahoga Valley National Park Superintendent, Stan Austin is excited about the new President and CEO. “His vision and energy will keep us on track with a railroad that has seen tremendous growth in the last few years. Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad is a vital resource to the community and provides an enhanced visitor experience for national park visitors. We look forward to continuing our partnership with someone as talented as Mr. Tallman to continue and expand the presence of our alternative transportation in the Ohio & Erie Canalway.”
The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad is putting out the "help wanted" sign -- and the job pretty much entails being the top conductor.
CVSR CEO and President Steven Wait is stepping down from the post he's held since 2006. His retirement is effective April 2012.
The Railroad's board of directors will start a nationwide search for a successor. During his five-year tenure, ridership on the railroad increased by 70 percent, according to a news release from the group.
News release - Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad
Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad’s president and CEO, Steven Wait, has announced his intention to retire in April 2012. Wait, 59 years old, had led the Scenic Railroad since November, 2006.
During his tenure with CVSR, Wait expanded the visibility of the organization, increased ridership levels over 70 percent and stabilized its financial condition.
Board of trustees chairman George Snider said, “Steve has helped CVSR become one of America’s largest and most respected excursion railroads. The Board plans to conduct a nationwide search for his successor.”
Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad provides transportation to and within Cuyahoga Valley National Park under a joint operating agreement. Park Superintendent Stan Austin commented: “Steve Wait's vision and commitment to improving visitor safety, accessibility and responsiveness to customer needs has enabled the National Park Service to provide improved services to the public. His collaborative and cooperative spirit has benefited us all. We are saddened by Steve's resignation but know that we have a partner for life as a park steward and a friend"
Tickets are now available for the journey to the North Pole and back
The Polar Express, offered by the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, takes riders on a magical trip in their pajamas based on the award wining book and movie.
Spokeswoman Kelly Steele says taking a ride on the Polar Express gives everyone a holiday experience to remember.
"Over a thousand elves that we borrow from the North Pole come down and help us entertain the families on the way to the North Pole. We sip our hot cocoa and have a cookie on the way. Hear the stories on the Polar Express," says Steele.
Spokeswoman Kelly Steele says tickets for the Polar Express go by fast, especially on weekends. She recommends if you are flexible with your schedule, you can get tickets pretty easily.
Tickets will be available online on Monday, Oct. 3 at 6 a.m. on www.cvsr.com. The Polar Express will run from November 17 to December 20.
Cleanup today in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park after a tank of diesel fuel used for the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad spilled some of the fuel into the Cuyahoga River. The National Park Service says the spill was contained to between 50 to 100 gallons.
News release - National Park Service
At 6:45 a.m. Friday, September 9, 2011 a diesel refill tank spilled at the Fitzwater Maintenance Yard in Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP). Fitzwater Yard is the maintenance yard for the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad located in Valley View, Ohio.
This was a small spill and of the estimated 200 gallons that spilled into the yard, approximately 50 to 100 gallons reached the Cuyahoga River. The spill has been contained and clean-up is occurring.
In addition to the National Park Service, several agencies responded, which included: U. S. Coast Guard, Valley View Fire Department, Independence Fire Department, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, Southwest Emergency
Response Team, and Ohio EPA.
The National Park Service is leading the investigation with the assistance of the Independence Fire Department, and the Ohio EPA.
Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad services will continue as scheduled. Please visit www.cvsr.com for schedule and ticket information.
Add another casualty to the Tuesday flooding.
The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad has cancelled all train service between Akron Northside Station and Canton Station until further notice.
The cancellation is due to early morning flash flooding that left debris on the tracks.
CVSR's service from Peninsula Depot to Akron Northside Station is not affected by the flooding and regularly scheduled service continues Wednesdays through Sundays.
On the web: Visit http://www.CVSR.comfor schedule.
The closure, which will remain in place until further notice, is due to track construction on the Valley Railway which has been causing delays in the schedule.
The work was to be completed by this month but due to the harsh winter will continue into summer instead.
Train service will still be available from Canton to Akron Wednesday through Sunday.
Tickets for all of the excursions can be purchased on-line at www.CVSR.com.