Garfield Library Temporarily Closed
Homework Center Moves to Civic Center

The Garfield Heights Branch of Cuyahoga County Public Library (CCPL) will remain closed through Friday, March 6th due to a water main pipe leak. Based on preliminary estimates, the branch is tentatively anticipated to re-open on Saturday, March 7th. CCPL will release status updates on the Garfield Heights Branch closure as new information becomes available.

While the Garfield Heights Branch is closed, the building's exterior book drops will remain available for customers to return their borrowed items. CCPL will waive any fines its customers incur as a result of the Garfield Heights Branch closure. Customers are encouraged to visit CCPL's nearby Maple Heights Branch, located at 5225 Library Lane, for access to materials, Internet computer stations, copy/fax machines, and other services during the Garfield Heights Branch closure.

The free after school Homework Center tutoring program will be offered Monday, March 2nd through Thursday, March 5th, from 4:00 - 6:30 p.m., at the Garfield Heights Civic Center, 5407 Turney Road.

Customers with questions about library materials they have placed on hold or other inquiries are advised to call any of CCPL's other 26 branches for assistance. For a listing of CCPL branch locations and phone numbers, visit

Vote for Garfield Heights Hockey

The Garfield Heights Hockey Association could receive a $4,000 donation from Giant Eagle or $150,000 grant for rink improvements from Kraft with the help of the public. Visit and enter your Giant Eagle advantage card number, then select Garfield Heights. Also, visit and enter your personal story.

Bulldogs vs. Trojans Alumni Hockey Game

The “Show Down at the Dan” alumni hockey game will pit former Garfield Heights High School Bulldog and Trinity High School Trojan team members against each other at 7 p.m., March 14 at the Dan Kostel Recreation Center, 5411 Turney Road.

Proceeds from the annual match benefit the Garfield Heights Youth Hockey Program. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children. There will be a 50/50 raffle drawing, prizes and souvenirs.

March Madness Skating Session

A March Madness Residents Appreciation Day is scheduled for 4:30-6:30 p.m., Sunday, March 1 at the Dan Kostel Recreation Center Ice Rink, 5407 Turney Road. Admission is $5 for residents only and includes skate rental. Proof of residency required for admission. For information, call 216-475-7272.

Bank Donates Garfield Heights Home to Coast Guard Veteran

From left
Bank of America Senior Vice President Jake Frego, Nehemiah Community Reinvestment Representative Donny Jones, Steven and Athena Thompson, and Mayor Vic Collova.

Coast Guard Veteran Steven Thompson and his family will soon call Garfield Heights home thanks to a home donation from Bank of America and the Nehemiah Community Reinvestment Fund. The partners gave the Willard Avenue home to the Thompson family mortgage-free.

Nehemiah representative Donny Jones said Thompson is a deserving recipient of the Roofs for Troops effort initiated by the Community Reinvestment Fund. Since 1998, Thompson has been a member of the Coast Guard and the family traveled to several duty stations where he has worked as a firefighter and damage controlman. For the past 10 months, he has been at sea. Beginning in June, Thompson will be stationed on land with the Cleveland-based Coast Guard unit. He is taking courses through the American Military Academy and pursuing a degree in Sports Management. He plans to seek a job in the Sports Management field when he retires from the Coast Guard after his final duty tour here.

Thompson and his wife, Athena, have three children. The family plans to relocate to Garfield Heights from California when the school year is completed.

Mayor Vic Collova welcomed the family to Garfield Heights and said he hopes they will be happy living in the community.

To view the Fox 8 News story about Roofs for Troops, please click here.


Garfield Heights E-Newsletter

“In the Know” includes information about city programs and services.

To view editions of the “In the Know” E-Newsletter, please click here.

2014 Garfield Heights Holiday Lighting Contest Winners

Ward One
The Hurley Family
12109 Marguerite Ave.
Ward Two
The Sanchez-Aponte Family
12804 Reindeer Ave.
Ward Three
Cleston and Linda Hensley
4620 Burleigh Road
Ward Four
4948 E. 86th Street.

Ward Five
Susan and Tony Kolcinko
5651 Andover Blvd.
Ward Six
Chris and Helen Szemacs
12812 Eastwood Blvd.
Ward Seven
Alexis Bogucki and Scott Acevedo
13721 Carpenter Ave.
The Tagliarina Family
13500 Hathaway Road

Yearlong Paper Drive

Support the Garfield Heights Family Resource Center by recycling your paper products in the River Valley Paper Company bin at the Civic Center, 5407 Turney Road. The Resource Center helps at-risk families and youth and offers referral services. Items accepted include newspaper, mail, phonebooks, office/school paper, magazines, catalogs, paper bags, hard and soft bound books and cardboard. All proceeds generated from the yearlong paper drive will benefit the Resource Center. For information about the resource center, call Ruth Pollack, center manager, at 216-475-1103 or e-mail For information about recycling, call Pat Salemi at 216-475-1100, ext. 2425 or e-mail

K-9s in the Courtroom

Garfield Heights K-9 Officer Arlo is featured on the cover of a recently published book, K-9s in the Classroom.

The picture of Arlo placing his paw on the Bible during a swearing in ceremony circulated around the Internet.

The author of the book saw it and contacted Police Chief Robert Sackett seeking permission to use the photo.

Families Anonymous

Does someone in your family have a problem with drugs or alcohol? A Garfield Heights Families Anonymous Meeting offers free help to people whose loved ones are struggling with addiction. Families Anonymous is a 12-Step Program for anyone concerned about the drug and alcohol abuse or behavioral problems of a relative or friend.

Many recovery programs are available for addicted loved ones when they are ready to seek help and recovery. However, Families Anonymous is for you - the parent, spouse, brother, sister, or any other emotionally involved relative or friend. Your identity is protected at all meetings as anonymity is an underlying principal of the program.

Families Anonymous meetings are every Tuesday, at 7 p.m., at the Garfield Heights Family Resource Center, located in the Civic Center, 5407 Turney Road.

For information, send an e-mail to, or call 216-475-1103.

Unique Gift Items and Cards for Sale

A variety of unique gift items and inexpensive greeting cards are available for purchase at the Garfield Heights Civic Center, 5407 Turney Road. Talented crafters meet daily to crochet scarves, hats, baby blankets and booties, etc, and also to create unique decorative and household items.

These items are sold for reasonable prices in the Craft Room store at the Civic Center. There are cards for 25 cents; gift bags and wrapping paper prices range from 25 cents to $1; and bows are 75 cents and $1.

Shoppers will be impressed with the selection of items inside the Craft Room store. Hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday-Thursday.

Marymount Hospital Community Service Award

From left:
Marymount Hospital President Joanne Zeroske, Lenny Piazza, Chris Piazza, Jeannie Collova and Mayor Vic Collova

Marymount Hospital presented its annual Community Service Award to Chris Piazza for her generous contributions to the city of Garfield Heights and numerous organizations and causes. The award was presented on Dec. 9, 2014 during the Marymount Hospital Community Advisory Council meeting.

Known throughout the community as someone with a big heart and “can do” attitude, Chris left a legacy here. A retired city worker, she started the Garfield Heights Green Up Project when she grew tired of looking at a weed-laden flower bed outside the employee entrance to the Civic Center.

“We can do better than this,’” Chris said, and she brought flowers to plant from her own garden. "It was only a couple of flowers, but people started telling me that seeing them brightened their day." From there, the idea blossomed. Since the city could no longer afford to plant flowers or hire landscapers, Piazza asked if she and a group of volunteers could do it themselves. Local media helped get the word out for volunteers and donations. "It's my way of giving back, and it's amazing how many other people feel the same way," Piazza said.

The group spurred the revitalization of landscaped areas at the Safety Forces Memorial that honors fallen firefighters and police officers at the Garfield Heights Civic Center, the clock tower area on Turney Road, the Veterans' Memorial at Garfield Boulevard and Turney Road, the Veterans’ Memorials at Veterans Plaza behind the Garfield Heights Historical Society, and the mini park area known as Tonsing Island at the corner of Turney and Tonsing. In addition, the group did landscaping work around the new Welcome Wall in front of the fire station at Turney and McCracken, a project that included the sponsorship of Marymount Hospital.

The group’s impressive efforts led to a WKYC-TV3 “See the Possible” feature and a $500 donation each from Petitti’s Garden Center and TV-3.

Another project Chris spearheaded was the replacement of tattered U.S. flags that were hanging on municipal flagpoles. She contacted members of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3290 and helped lead a campaign to purchase 150 new flags, pole mounts and brackets. “People are generous for a good cause,” she said. “If I see something that needs to be done, there’s usually an easy solution.”

Chris also helped to start Harvest Fest, an annual event with hayrides and fall activities that benefits the city’s three community gardens where residents can grow their own produce. Additionally, she organized the City Lights Craft Fair, a holiday event with music and entertainment that lasted 17 years.

Chris also has volunteered with Meals on Wheels; cooked for youth retreat programs at Camp Christopher; became a clown/mime to entertain nursing homes and retreat groups: belonged to the Red Hat Society’s local Raspberry Truffles group: developed and led an exercise program for an older audience and people with disabilities; been an active PTA member; participated on the Jubilee Committee to celebrate the city’s 70th birthday; served as president of the Garfield Heights Home Days Committee for three years; and supported the Music Express Show Choir when her granddaughter was a member.

Chris is a member of the Garfield Heights Historical Society, the Garfield Heights Community Gardens committee, the Garfield Heights Democratic Club and the Garfield Heights Friends and Parents of People with Special Needs.

Chris has always had a tender heart for individuals with disabilities. For many years she worked as a secretary and business manager at Koinonia Homes, a non-profit organization that operates group homes for disabled adults. Her office was on the back porch, which was fortuitous for residents who sought her help or counsel as they entered the back door. She also served on Koinonia’s board of trustees and organized several highly successful fundraisers for the organization.

Chris also developed a special friendship with her 60-year-old cousin with special needs. She and her siblings decided to sell their childhood home to Our Lady of the Wayside to develop a group home now known as Turney House, with the stipulation that her cousin could continue to live in the family home. Chris is an Our Lady of the Wayside volunteer as well.

For more than 30 years Chris and her husband, Lenny, an auxiliary policeman, were members of The Blue Knights Motorcycle Club and rode all over the country to promote motorcycle safety and participate in charity fundraising events.  Married 46 years, Chris and Lenny have two sons, Scott and Mark. Scott and his wife Paula have two children, Sierra, who works for Disney World in Orlando, Fl., and Sam, a student at St. Ignatius High School.

Mayor Vic Collova presented Chris with a proclamation naming December 9, 2014 as Chris Piazza Day in the city of Garfield Heights.

“I’ve been told that people shouldn’t make eye contact with me for they will end up participating in one of my projects,” Chris said. “We’ve done so much good for so many; I don’t want to see it stop.”

2014 Shop With a Cop

Family Resource Center Donation

Annually, the Garfield Heights City Schools Secretary Association, which includes current and retired secretaries, donates money to a charity. The project coordination rotates throughout the district school and administration buildings. This year, the secretaries at Maple Leaf Elementary School chose the Garfield Heights Family Resource Center to be the recipient of the funds collected at the association’s annual holiday party.

Donna Majors, Sandi Zelle, Family Resource Center Manager Ruth Pollack, and Maureen Heard.

2014 Holiday Lighting Ceremony

Telephone Scam Alerts

Garfield Heightsofficials have received reports of telephone scams demanding immediate payment for taxes and utilities.Regarding the tax scam, the caller states he is from a tax collection agency and claims the person answering the phone owes taxes. The potential victim is told if they do not pay within one hour, they will be arrested. There is no authorized tax collection procedure of this type, said Police Chief Robert Sackett. He said if anyone receives a call and believes they owe taxes, the person should contact the tax collection agency directly. No personal information, such as bank information or social security numbers, should be given to someone saying you owe taxes.

The Illuminating Company is warning customers about a scam involving a telephone caller posing as and electric company employee threatening to shut off power unless and immediate payment is made using a pre-paid debit card. Although the utility company reminds customers of past due accounts, a variety of payment options would be presented.

Anyone who receives a call they are uncomfortable with taking, should hang up. Suspicious calls also can be reported to the police.

Garfield Heights Figure Skater Katie McBeath with Coach Sally Tasca. McBeath recently won first place at the Eastern Sectional Championship and is hoping to qualify for the 2105 U.S. National Championship.

Garfield Heights Figure Skater Earns Recognition
Could Compete in 2015 U.S. National Championship

Garfield Heights Figure Skater Katie McBeath is the first local skater to advance to the United States Junior Figure Skating Championships and has now won a silver medal in the 2014 U.S. Collegiate Figure Skating Championship and the North Atlantic Regional Figure Skating Senior Ladies Championship. The skater has advanced to the Eastern Sectional Championship in the hopes of qualifying for the 2015 U.S. National Championship.

Katie began skating at age six in the Garfield Heights Learn-to-Skate Program and now serves as a coach and teaches private skating lessons at the Dan Kostel Recreation Center and in other communities. She has performed in numerous Garfield Heights ice shows and is a former Mayor’s Trophy and Betty Bosell Outstanding Skater Award winner. She competes nationally, and is a four-time regional medalist and two-time sectional competitor. Katie began training with former Garfield Heights coach Samantha Goliet and is now training with Sally Tasca and Jacqueline Henry.

She is a 2013 Honors Graduate of Ohio Virtual Academy and is majoring in psychology at Cuyahoga Community College. She hopes to one day earn a Doctorate in child psychology. She is a volunteer at University Hospital’s Rainbow Babies and Children’s Case Medical Center.

Katie is the daughter of Decino and Diana McBeath and has one sister, Annie.

To view the article from's website, please click here.

Information Notification System for Garfield Heights Residents

The city of Garfield Heights is partnering with Cuyahoga County to bring an information notification system to residents. ReadyNotify is a mass notification system that alerts residents to emergency situations, water boil alerts, utility outages and other important messages. Participation is voluntary.

To sign up, residents need a valid e-mail address or phone number. Messages will be delivered via cell phone, text messages, home or work phone numbers or FAX.

Residents can utilize the computers at the Garfield Heights Public Library where staff is available to assist with requesting email addresses and registering for the program.

To sign up for this new messaging system, offered at no cost to the city, visit

Walkway of Recognition

Create a memory that will last a lifetime by purchasing an engraved brick to be placed on the city's new Walkway of Recognition at the Turney Road fire station. Orders are now being accepted.   Brick Walkway construction to begin in Spring 2015.

For more information or to access the brick order form, click here.

Birthday Bash 2014

Garfield Heights residents had a great time celebrating the city’s founding in 1919 at the 95th Birthday Bash on Aug. 24, 2014. More than 700 people enjoyed a car show, music, food, games and fun.

To view the pictures from this event, please click here.

Volunteer Gardeners Needed for Green Up Project

Additional volunteer gardeners are needed for the Garfield Heights Green Up project, an important effort to improve and maintain public areas throughout the city.

Individuals and groups can adopt specific sites. So far, generous volunteers have joined the effort and beautified areas throughout the community, including the Civic Center, Fire and Police stations and the Veterans and Safety Forces memorials.

Volunteers maintain the areas throughout the summer and fall on their own schedules with their own tools. Ongoing maintenance includes weeding, watering and picking up trash when necessary.

Anyone interested in volunteering can contact Chris Piazza, Green Up project coordinator, at 216-587-2786.

Properties available to Purchase and Renovate

To view the properties available through the Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corp.’s Land Bank program, click here.

Latex Paint Disposal

Cuyahoga County Solid Waste Management District campaign reminds residents to dispose of latex paint curbside with their regular trash. For details about disposal, click here.

GH Chamber Office Relocates

The Garfield Heights Chamber of Commerce office has relocated to 5522 Turney Road (next to Curves). For information about the organization or upcoming events, call (216) 475-7775 or visit

Food Bank Days and Times

Garfield Heights offers two monthly food banks for residents only at the Civic Center, 5407 Turney Road. Pre-registration is required. The daytime food bank is from 1-2 p.m. the third Wednesday of each month. The evening food bank is from 6-7 p.m. the third Thursday of each month.

People needing assistance can register between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday-Friday at the Civic Center. Proof of residency, income and birthdates of all household members must be presented at registration. Food bank participants can not register on distribution day. They must be pre-registered.

Donations to the Garfield Heights food bank can be made at the Civic Center. Food and money are accepted.

Prescription Drug Drop Box Located at Police Department 

Garfield Heights residents now have a place to dispose of their unused and expired prescription drugs. Police Chief Bob Sackett said the city is participating in a county-wide Prescription Drug Drop Box program. A box now is located in the lobby of the Garfield Heights Police Department, 5555 Turney Road, and will be accessible 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

“Anyone can drop off any unneeded or outdated prescription medication, no questions asked,” Sackett said. Needles, liquids or other medical waste is not accepted. 

Cuyahoga County purchased the boxes for any police department that requested one. The Cuyahoga County Sheriffs department will help collect and weigh the drugs and will keep records of what is being disposed. Creation of the county program was spurred by a successful Drug Take Back Day sponsored twice yearly by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

For additional information about the program, visit or

Help and Resources for Families Just a Phone Call Away

Ruth PollackRuth Pollack answers calls for help at the new Garfield Heights Family Resource Center.

Located at the city’s Civic Center, 5407 Turney Road, the center offers information about drug treatment, counseling, support groups, prevention and other assistance to troubled families.

“We are offering all sorts of local resource information that can assist our families and their needs,” Pollack said.

A longtime Garfield Heights resident, Pollack has many years of experience working with children, teens, adults and their families. For many years, she was employed by the Garfield Heights City Schools district where she worked as a truancy prevention specialist, prevention coordinator, program coordinator and learning support specialist.

Pollack implemented programming to reduce learning barriers in the classroom and dealt with topics such as bullying, character education and improving social skills. She also worked with school personnel responding to student discipline concerns by facilitating conflict mediations and crisis intervention. She has spent much of her career working with at-risk students to help them crate and achieve personal goals.

“It is with honor and zest for our community that I take on my new role as manager of the Garfield Heights Family Resource Center,” Pollack said.

Pollack and her husband, Gary, have been residents of the city for 22 years. They have three adult children. Pollack has donated many volunteer hours to the community. She also chaired the community relations board, and is a former member of the zoning board of appeals and the planning commission.

The Resource Center is maintained with grant funding obtained by the Garfield Heights Municipal Court.

Confidential messages can be left at the Garfield Heights Help-Line, 216-475-1103. People in need are encouraged to schedule an appointment, but drop-in visits to the Family Resource Center are also welcome.  To view the news article, please click here

Heroin Anonymous Meetings offer help and hope for those suffering from addiction and there are now two weekly meetings in Garfield Heights.

Heroin Anonymous Meeting
Every Tuesday 8-9 p.m.
St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church
14600 Turney Road
Maple Heights, OH 44137
Meet in the school next to the church

Heroin Anonymous Meeting
Every Friday 1-2 p.m.
Signature Health
5410 Transportation Blvd. Suite 4

Garfield Heights, OH 44125

Domestic Violence Advocate Will Assist Victims
Garfield Heights Domestic Violence Advocate Glen Dugas is available to help victims.
He can be reached by calling 216-475-1900.
Click here for the 2012 Annual Report

Family Resource Center Accepting Donations

The Garfield Heights Family Resource Center is accepting donations to support efforts to help at-risk youth and families. The program was developed with grant funding to provide resources to families in crisis. “We have been able to help many residents in need through the resource center and are already making a difference in our community,” said Manager Ruth Pollack.

Located at the Garfield Heights Civic Center, the resource center offers non-therapeutic, non-clinical services to youth and families including family mediation, drug and alcohol dependency and mental health referrals, as well as support groups for teens and parents. Anyone who contacts the center will be linked to resources provided by various agencies and programs in Cuyahoga County.

Pollack also works with young people assigned to the Garfield Heights Municipal Court Youth Diversion program, which provides a second chance for non-violent offenders, along with students at the Garfield Heights Learning Center.

Help is just a phone call away. To be connected to resources provided by the Family Resource Center or to make a donation to support its programs, call (216) 475-1103 or e-mail