The big social happening of the school year at every high school -- the prom -- is coming up soon at our local high schools in Jackson and Vinton counties. Jackson and Vinton County will celebrate on Saturday, April 27 while the Wellston and Oak Hill events are set for Saturday, May 4.

On a related topic, the dates for the local high school graduations are Friday, May 17 for Oak Hill and Vinton County high schools, and Friday, May 24, for both Jackson and Wellston high schools.

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For the third year in a row, the talented kids from Sts. Peter and Paul School in Wellston will perform a musical at the Markay Cultural Arts Center in downtown Jackson. This year’s choice for the play – The Wizard of Oz – should be popular with kids of all ages. Performances are set for Saturday evening, May 18, at 7 p.m. and Sunday afternoon, May 19, at 3 p.m.

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The annual Wellston Rotary Show, which was presented this past weekend at Wellston High School on Friday and Saturday evenings, marked its 65th-year anniversary this year. This program included some historical information, including a list of all the men who have served as the Interlocutor, which is sort of like an emcee. This was the 11th consecutive year for John Pelletier to play this important role, and he’s now just one year behind Eric Emmert, who was Interlocutor for 12 years (1994-2005). However, I don’t know if John can match the late Charlie Gaskill, who was Interlocutor for a total of 30 years (1947-51 and 1953-77).

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State, area and local motorists have all been hit by higher gasoline prices in recent weeks, rising by an average of 29.8 cents a gallon in Ohio in the last month. According to the website GasBuddy, which tracks gasoline prices all over the United States, the average gas price in Ohio as of Monday, April 15, was $2.70 a gallon. Prices in Ohio ranged from a low of $2.36 a gallon to a high of $2.99. Locally, the average price in Jackson County was $2.80.3 while Vinton County was checking in a bit lower at $2.78.4. Most area counties are just a bit lower with Lawrence County being the lowest in the area at $2.75.2 and Athens County the highest at $2.82.1. Of course, the gasoline prices all over Ohio will increase an additional 10.5 cents a gallon when the new state gasoline tax takes effect. The positive tradeoff is that there will be more money available for road construction and repairs at both the state and local levels.

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If you’re prone to friendly wagers, don’t challenge Jackson resident Tim Matchett in a bowling match. Tim was just one roll away from a perfect 300 game. His only blemish was leaving a lonely 10 pin in the seventh frame. Otherwise, he rolled 12 strikes and finished with a score of 279.

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The Oak Hill community lost one of its most beloved citizens when Johanna Crabtree died last month at the age of 74. She was a teacher, businesswoman, church leader and civic leader all wrapped into one dedicated package.

Johanna began her teaching career at the old Central Elementary School in 1966 and later taught 4th grade at the former Oak View Elementary School until she retired in 1999.

Johanna and her late husband, Tom, also contributed to the community by offering locally favored “footers”, shakes and veals at the T&J Dairy Bar for almost 30 years. They also owned and operated the Highway Restaurant in Oak Hill at one time.   

Johanna truly loved her Oak Hill community like it was another family member and was also proud of her Welsh heritage.  She was also a faithful and active member of Faith United Methodist and was always a strong supporter of the Oak Hill Festival of Flags.

 In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in her honor may be sent to Faith United Methodist Church, c/o Portia Thomas, 114 Smittle Road, Oak Hill, OH 45656. 

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That’s About It… Be Seeing You.