Mount Notre Dame’s production of “The Drowsy Chaperone” has received 14 nominations in the 2013 Greater Cincinnati Cappies awards competition, including Best Musical. Share/JimKapp
Mount Notre Dame High School’s production of “The Drowsy Chaperone” received 14 nominations in the 2013 Greater Cincinnati Cappies awards competition, including Best Musical.
The total number of nominations is the second highest in the history of the school’s theater department.
The production includes two Mason students, who were both nominated for awards: Rachel Brinkman received a nomination for Female Dancer and Choreography while Olivia DeLuca received a nomination in the Lighting category.
The Greater Cincinnati Cappies began in 2002 in cooperation with theater teachers from Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. The purpose of the Cappies is to enhance long-term growth of theater and the performing arts within Cincinnati by celebrating, promoting and improving theater at the high school level.
Through the Cappies, high school student critics attend and review each other’s shows, publish their reviews and participate in a year-end recognition gala.
“The Drowsy Chaperone” attracted large crowds during its six-show run in April in the Mount Notre Dame Salerno Center for the Performing Arts. Nate Pucke, head of MND’s Theater Department, led the production which involved dozens of students as well as faculty, staff and parent volunteers.
The categories and nominees (nominees are MND students unless otherwise noted) for “The Drowsy Chaperone” are:
Warren County’s Convention and Visitors Bureau’s marketing team has won 11 awards for its efforts.
The team won eight first-place Middy awards from the Ohio Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus and three Ruby – Recognizing Uncommon Brilliance – awards from the Ohio Tourism Society.
“Tourism is the number one industry in Warren County,’’ said Sally Derrick, director of marketing for the bureau. “Our marketing efforts always are developed with one goal in mind – to promote overnight visits to Warren County, Ohio’s largest playground. We are honored to be recognized.”
The first place Middy awards were for:
Direct mail: a postcard as part of the Drive a Little, Play a Lot campaign.
Print display ad: as part of the Drive a Little, Play a Lot campaign in the Oprah magazine.
Print brochure or flyer: for a flyer advertising the Getaway Packages from Mild to Wild.
Destination visitors guide: for the 2012 Warren County Visitors Guide.
Promotional campaign for a special event: the Win with Ohio’s Largest Playground campaign, coordinated with Fox 8 News in Cleveland.
E-newsletter: for the 2012 consumer e-newsletter.
Social media marketing: for the leap year promotion, Extra Day to Play.
Promotional video: for the Warren County video campaign, hosted on YouTube.
The Ruby awards were:
First place in the direct mail postcard category for the Drive a Little, Play a Lot campaign.
Second place Citation of Excellence award for the 2012 consumer e-newsletter.
Delegates Choice Award for the Drive a Little, Play a Lot direct mail postcard.
More than a dozen Mason businesses will compete this evening for Cincy Magazine’s Best of the North awards.
Hundreds of readers nominated businesses in the magazine’s inaugural contest in categories ranging from shopping to dining to healthy living. See the list of entrants at the magazine’s website.
Readers will have the chance to vote to vote this evening at a special event hosted at The Manor House, 7440 Mason-Montgomery Road, Mason.
Event hours are 5:30-8:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 at the door and include an evening of music, unlimited food and two drink tickets. All attendees will receive a ballot to vote for their favorite business in each category.
For more information, call Jenna Toon at 513-297-6215 or email email@example.com.
Put your speed, skills and smarts to the test Sunday as the city launches its first Great Mason Chase.
Part suburban scavenger hunt and part endurance sport, the four-hour competition pits teams of two in a race to become the “Top Chasers” of Mason.
Chasers run, bike or walk from clue to clue at area Mason businesses, city landmarks or parks to advance to the next station — and one step closer to the finish line.
There are two ways to win: Be the first team to complete 10 of 35 challenges or complete the most challenges in four hours.
Mason Community Center Wellness Supervisor Kelly Burchett is the brainchild behind the event. She was inspired by Chicago’s City Chase, where competitors use teamwork and resourcefulness to search for challenges scattered throughout the Windy City.
“I thought it would be something fun to bring to Mason, especially with our unique downtown area,” said Burchett. “People are really excited.”
The event highlights 28 participating Mason businesses, the city’s park system, Community Center and other local landmarks.
Open to participants ages 12 and up, the 35 challenges are designed to appeal to chasers both young and old, fit and not so fit and locals and non-locals, said Burchett.
While some of the challenges require physical heft, such as rolling a tractor tire up a hill, others require a more cerebral flex, such as trivia questions or crafting an ice cream sundae in a certain way.
“It’s physical, mental, a little bit of everything, ” said Burchett. “[Chasers] can do challenges that are in their comfort zone.”
An awards ceremony and after-party culminates with the final concert in the city’s Sunshine Concert series at 6 p.m., with local band Jab performing cover Rock hits at the Mason Municipal Center.
Trophies and prizes will be awarded to the top men’s, women’s and coed teams, and to the top 55-and-older team.
Organizers say they’ve had a good response to the event so far and hope to make the event an annual one in Mason.
“I think that once people get a taste of it, they’ll want it more and more every year,” said Burchett.
Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell oversees the Warren County Child Support Enforcement Agency. File photo
The Warren County Child Support Enforcement Agency has received state honors for outstanding performance in 2011.
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Office of Child Support, awarded the agency honors of best performance in both support order establishment in the large caseload division and for total disbursements per total full-time equivalent in the large caseload division.
“I am proud that our Child Support Enforcement Agency can provide effective services to so many families with the funding available to us,” said CSEA Director Elizabeth Schorr.
This is the fourth time the agency, a division of the Warren County Prosecutor’s Office, has received the best performance in support establishment award, with previous honors in 2004, 2006 and 2010.
The agency is also a four-time recipient of the total disbursements per full-time equivalent award in the large caseload division, with previous honors in 2004, 2008 and 2009. In those years, Warren County achieved the highest rate of support collections and disbursements per dollar expended on full-time equivalent wages paid in operating a CSEA program in Ohio, said Prosecutor David Fornshell.
In 2011, Warren County CSEA handled about 12,100 active child support cases and collected record support payments of more than $39 million, according to the agency. The office has 51 employees.
In MasonBuzz’s first annual Year in Review, readers are asked to count down the top local stories of the year. Vote in the poll below for the story you believe should be the top Mason story of the year (if you are unable to vote in the poll, please hard refresh your browser or leave your vote in the comments field). Select up to 2 stories. Voting ends at 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 29 with results to be posted on Saturday, Dec. 31.
What is the top Mason story of 2011?
Mason bands take national stage (52%, 1,075 Votes)
Ryan Widmer convicted in third murder trial (27%, 563 Votes)
Disgraced Mason teacher heads to prison (16%, 323 Votes)
Mason named among best places to live (12%, 250 Votes)
Kings Island opens new attractions (6%, 126 Votes)
Western & Southern Open welcomes world’s top tennis players (5%, 94 Votes)
Miss Ohio pedals into town amidst fanfare (1%, 30 Votes)
Mason woman follows dream on prime-time TV (1%, 25 Votes)
Huckabee comments propel Mason to center of state Issue 2 debate (1%, 23 Votes)
Mason seats three on City Council, names new mayor (1%, 20 Votes)
Total Voters: 2,070
Ryan Widmer convicted in third murder trial
In what has been called Greater Cincinnati’s “trial(s) of the year,” Ryan Widmer was convicted in his third murder trial in the 2008 drowning death of his wife, Sarah Widmer. Widmer, 32, who last lived in Mason, was sentenced in February to 15 years to life in prison. The Colerain Township native has maintained his innocence. He was convicted in his first trial in 2009 but the verdict was set aside because of jury misconduct. His 2010 trial resulted in a hung jury. His attorneys have appealed the third jury’s verdict and have asked for a fourth trial.
Kings Island opens new attractions
The region’s premier amusement park saw the opening of two new attractions this year and announced the expansion of a third major attraction for next year. Kings Island debuted the world’s largest animatronic dinosaur park, Dinosaurs Alive!, in April and its newest thrill ride, WindSeeker, in June. The park, which was also honored in September for the best kids’ area in the world by Amusement Today, this year announced a $10 million Soak City water park expansion that will double its size to 33 acres for 2012.
Mason named among best places to live
In August, Money magazine has confirmed what many Mason residents have long suspected. The magazine announced Mason to be the 24th best place to live in its national survey of smaller towns and cities. The city of 33,100 was cited for its high-ranking schools, recreational opportunities and housing prices.
Western & Southern Open welcomes world’s top tennis players
For the first time ever, the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason hosted top-tier men’s and women’s tournaments simultaneously during the same week in the largest Western & Southern Open. The new combined format joined Rome, Madrid, Miami and Indian Wells as the only other cities in the world hosting the same caliber events for both sexes at the same time. To make room for the larger event, the Lindner Family Tennis Center underwent a 5.4 acre expansion adding six new courts, a new entrance and ticket office, retail plaza and family restrooms.
Miss Ohio pedals into town amidst fanfare
Miss Ohio Ellen Bryan pedaled into Mason this summer amidst fanfare and smiles. The pageant contestant visited Mason in September on the third stop on a 45-city bike tour across Ohio to raise funds for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals of Ohio.
Huckabee comments propel Mason to center of state Issue 2 debate
Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee’s comments at a pancake breakfast in Mason in October propelled the city to the forefront of the state debate on Issue 2, a ballot referendum on Senate Bill 5, which would have limited the ability of public workers to negotiate for wages, working conditions and pension benefits. Huckabee galvanized hundreds of supporters of Issue 2 by jokingly urging them to stop opponents from voting. The comments drew national attention with MasonBuzz’s coverage and audio clip of the comments featured on such popular liberal blogs as Politico, the Huffington Post and Mother Jones, as well as aired on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, Hardball with Chris Matthews and The Ed Schultz Show. Voters rejected Issue 2 at the polls in November.
Mason bands take national stage
Mason High School bands took the national stage not once, but twice this year. In March, the school’s symphony and symphonic bands performed on one of music’s most grand stages, New York City’s Carnegie Hall. The 124 performers in Mason’s band performed as part of “The Best of the Midwest” concert in an evening time slot usually set aside for college and professional bands. Then, in November, the school’s marching band was chosen as just one of 12 bands of 92 to advance to the Grand National finals, where they finished as the top-placing Ohio band and tenth in the nation. The competition, held at Lucas Oil Field in Indianapolis, is considered to the “Super Bowl” of competitions for high school marching bands.
Mason seats three on City Council, names new mayor
Mason city voters returned two former council veterans and voted in one newcomer to Mason’s City Council in November. Incoming council members Tom Grossmann, Victor Kidd and Barbara Berry-Spaeth were elected to four-year terms on city council. Grossmann and Kidd previously served on city council while it is a first term for Berry-Spaeth. Incumbent Mike Gilb, a lawyer and former state representative for a northern area of Ohio, lost his seat in the race. The other two seats replaced council members Christine Shimrock, who chose not to seek a second term, and Tony Bradburn, who was forced to leave due to term limits. Council also tapped David Nichols, who’s served as vice mayor for the past two years, as mayor in a December organizational meeting.
Mason woman follows dream on prime-time TV
Danielle Withers, 27, of Mason, is realizing her dreams of becoming a professional singer after appearing on the third season of NBC’s “The Sing-Off” this fall. The weekly series hosted by Nick Lachey follows 16 a cappella groups from across the country as they compete for a Sony Music recording contract and $200,000 cash prize. Withers and her group, Afro-Blue, made it to the top final four groups before being voted off. But for Withers, a 2002 Mason grad and Homecoming Queen, the dream has just begun — she moved to Los Angeles in November to pursue the professional opportunities generated by her appearance on the reality show.
Mason Schools receives statewide honors, awards
It’s been a banner year for Mason Schools. The 11,000-student district, which consistently ranks among the top 10 of Ohio’s 614 districts, racked up a number of awards and honors this year for academic growth and achievement, financial record-keeping and instituting a new child sexual abuse curriculum.The district kicked off the year in March by landing on the College Board’s AP Achievement List for gains in advanced placement course access and student performance — an achievement it repeated again in December. In August, the district reported that it had returned to the state’s top academic ranking of “Excellent With Distinction.” The district also ranked fifth in the state this year for more year-to-year academic growth, according to a numeric ranking of Ohio school districts compiled by a nonprofit consulting company. The district ended the year as one of five Ohio school districts to be recognized with the 2011 SOAR Award for Significant Progress.
Members of Mason’s High School Chronicle staff earned honors and awards at a week-long summer journalism camp at Indiana University.
Among the award winners are seniors Julia Halpin, Janica Kaneshiro, Branden Labarowski, Mitchell Matacia, Miranda Carney, Megan McCormack and Jami Bechard; junior Sam Weaver and sophomore Katherine Hansen.
Five seniors received $500 scholarships, including Julia Halpin, Janica Kenshiro, Megan McCormack, Miranda Carney and Jami Bechard.
Editor-in-chief Janica Kaneshiro and associate editor Julia Halpin took top honors for the Outstanding Leadership Team Award. Kaneshiro also placed third in the Best Newspaper Package Award.
Branden Labarowski took first place in the Mary Benedict Memorial News Writing Contest Award, which included a $100 check. Senior Mitchell Matacia placed second in the same contest.
Senior Miranda Carney won the Feature Writing Contest Award, while Chronicle newcomer sophomore Katherine Hansen took top honors in the Future Reporting Superstar Award.
Graphic designer Jami Bechard won the Best Photo Page Award and ASF Package Design Contest Award. Sam Beaver placed second in the package design contest.
Seventeen Mason High and Middle school students will compete at the Ohio Academy of Science State Science Day set for May 7 at The Ohio State University.
The statewide event draws more than 1,000 students each year competing for the chance to win more than $2 million in scholarships and awards.
The Mason students received superior ratings at the regional Science and Engineering Expo held in March at the University of Cincinnati, which qualified them to move on to the state level.
State-bound students are: Mason High School students Sanika Barve, Natasha Kesav, Aarti Kumar, Abby Lebowitz, and Peeyush Shrivastava; and Mason Middle School students Vaishnavi Brahmamdam, Patrick Butler, Kassidy Daniels, Sophia Drozdz, Ally Guiher, Ramya Gutta, Sandy Lee, Tori Nelson, Connor O’Shaughnessey, Mihir Parshionikar, Keerthi Reddy, and Rahul Sandella.