OUR NEIGHBORS: Opportunity awaits for this willing, young man – Pine Journal

Recent CHS graduate Rob Sobczak did.

But Sobczak has more than just an extensive list of extracurriculars: he has a background that gave him the foundation to do all of those things and more.

“I was born and raised in Cloquet,” said Sobczak. “My name, Robert Gerald Sobczak, [comes] from both my grandpas. Robert was my mom’s dad, and Gerald was my dad’s dad. And it was funny because my Grandpa Gerald’s middle name was Robert, so he was Gerald Robert Sobczak.”

Sobczak’s father, Ken Sobczak, died when he was only 2 years old. His extended family, including his uncles and grandpa, have been extremely important in his life, but it was his mother, Nancy, who taught him to be self-reliant (and a million other things).

“She made me be independent,” Sobczak said of his mother. “As long as I can remember, no matter how young I was, if someone called our house phone, I would answer it. Even if I was scared to see who it was, I would answer the phone because she wanted me to have personal skills and know how to talk. I think she just always wanted me to be a leader and respect others’ feelings.”

Sobczak also remembers his mom pushing him to be grateful and polite, even as a young child.

“She got me comfortable with speaking in public and talking with people. She made me go to the Kiwanis club when I was like 11 years old to say thank you for them giving me money [for a hockey trip to Canada]. And that really helped me.”

The blonde-haired, blue-eyed Sobczak is an interesting combination of confident and humble, probably thanks to situations like these.

Still, although he was an independent and polite boy, Sobczak didn’t have a father, and having a mentor to spend time with was a good thing. Enter Tom Proulx: his REACH mentor, tennis coach and close friend. They met when Rob was in sixth grade, at the previously mentioned Kiwanis meeting. The next year, Proulx “sorta mentored” Sobczak and coached him in tennis.

“And then we got him in the REACH program,” said Proulx, who described Rob in his Athlete of the Year speech as being “passionate, dedicated, ethical (and) competitive.”  

“I was blessed to be the guy who got to mentor this kid. I’ve really never met anybody like him. He’s so giving, caring, [and] people look up to him. He always puts others before himself. I can’t say enough about how [his mother] has raised him.”

It was Proulx who found out about the teaching opportunity this summer on his own trip to Europe: an international exchange program that allows Americans and Canadians to stay with families in Spain for free, in exchange for lessons in conversational English. When he learned more about what the trip entailed, he thought “this would be perfect for Robbie.”

Proulx told Sobczak about the opportunity while he was still overseas, and Sobczak’s first reaction was unsure.

“You must’ve talked to your mom about it then,” Proulx said, looking at Sobczak. “And she said ‘you need to reconsider.’”
And reconsider he did. Sobczak communicated with the family via Skype, and within two weeks he was on a plane to Spain.

Sobczak was housed with a family who had two sons, Nacho (10) and Miguel (11), in Cádiz, Spain. He lived with them, ate meals with them, and celebrated holidays with them for a month, all in exchange for English lessons with the boys.

In the mornings, Sobczak would wake and prepare his class lessons before eating breakfast (which was usually olive oil and honey on toast). Afterward, he would teach for about two hours.

“At first, I really struggled,” Sobczak said. “When I started out, I had a list of questions that I was asking them, and it wasn’t working because I would ask them a question and they would answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’. They wouldn’t want to explain.”

So Sobczak had to adjust his teaching style to help the boys get more out of their learning experience, as he explained.

“I ended up figuring out how to write down open-ended questions so they would have to explain more in their answer. Or I’d write down one particular word that I felt they should have in their vocabulary, and I would make them explain it to me. In the end, they really did get to learn a lot more.”

He talked about the trip and the family a lot, sometimes referring to notes on his phone to make sure he wasn’t leaving out any interesting parts, such as how church was outside, and how everyone drank their milk warm (something he just couldn’t get used to).

The trip was good practice for Sobczak, as his future plans include becoming a teacher. Sobczak is attending St. Mary’s University in Winona, Minn., (where he’s on the soccer team which will scrimmage at the University of Wisconsin-Superior at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 28) and hopes to come back to Cloquet after he graduates.
“[I’ve wanted to be a teacher] maybe since the beginning of my senior year,” Sobczak said. “I had thought about wanting to go into international business, because I like the cultural world, but now that I’ve traveled — I really enjoy it — I [prefer] being in my own home and teaching people and coaching. So, I’d like to be here, and talking about world issues and cultures and stuff.”

Sobczak said his teaching choice was influenced by all of his high school teachers.

“I enjoy history, but I’m more of a social studies teacher who would teach American government, or world cultures or current events type of stuff,” he said. “I like geography, I liked Mr. Swanson’s government class. I like writing, too. I’d be the type of teacher who would implement a lot of writing into the class.”

For Sobczak, teaching is his way of giving back to the teachers who inspired him and the community that gave him a great education.

“I grew up not reading much, and saying that I would never crack open a book after I graduate from college, but I completely take that back because of Mr. Naslund’s class,” Sobczak said, referring to the University of Minnesota-Duluth’s English literature class that he took as a senior at CHS. Sobczak said he learned some personal lessons in the class and from the assigned reading materials, such as “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

“Atticus Finch is the father I want to be,” he said.

Sobczak is also eager to help out sports teams in Cloquet after he graduates from college. While he’d prefer to coach tennis someday, he’s ready to take on whatever role he is assigned.

“I could help out on any team that they wanted me to,” Sobczak explained. “I would just find a job, find a spot — other than the swim team, because I’m not much of a water-sport kind of person. But, I mean, if they wanted me to be a towel boy, I’d help out.”

Proulx agreed.

“He’d be an excellent tennis coach, he’s got an unbelievable knowledge of the game,” Proulx said. “He’s good at teaching, he’s good at working with kids. They look up to him [and] respect what he says. He was able, even as a senior, to coach the kids better than I could because they look up to him so much; he was a peer and a great leader.”

Although his plans include giving back, that won’t be a new experience for Sobczak. After being mentored by Proulx through the REACH program, Sobczak became a mentor himself.

“That was another experience for me because I thought it was going to be a lot easier than it was,” said Sobczak. “I knew that the kid had a troubled background and I wanted to be in a position to say ‘You can’t smoke pot, you can’t do this, you can’t do that,’ but that’s not what the mentorship is about. It’s about being that person who is like a friend, and you just want to be there for them so if they ever seriously need someone to go to, they can call at any time. You don’t want to be that person who is lecturing them like a teacher, you just want to be someone who is there for them, all the time.”

Even though the official mentorship has stopped now because Sobczak is off to college, he hopes the relationship will continue.

“I made it clear that, no matter if I’m in Winona or wherever, he can call me at any time and I’ll figure something out for him,” he added.

Sobczak said his optimistic attitude was influenced by being involved with the CHS theater program, one of his “favorite things in the world.”

“I think just being with very, very nice people all the time, and how happy you can be from that when you’re in that environment just showed me that there’s no point in living a day in frustration,” Sobczak said. “It was fun to go to play practice every day because everyone was really nice. Mr. Hamre, for example, is like the nicest person in the world and he’s known for that. I have nothing bad to say about theater, I loved it.”

Proulx knows that Sobczak going off to college is only the beginning.

“With everything that’s going on right now in politics, the world, the presidential race and all the shootings, he gives me hope,” Proulx said. “He’s going to do great things, he’s going to be a leader, and that’s what we need. I always joke — because he’s in my [county] commissioner district — that if he ever ran against me, not only would he beat me, but I would vote for him.”

Sobczak’s advice to incoming freshman?

“Ninth grade is the most important year in high school because when you get in there, you’re still in eighth-grade mode, so you don’t understand how important grades are,” Sobczak said. “When you’re sending grades to colleges, that ninth-grade transcript is on there. For me, my first semester of my ninth grade year, I had grades that were just OK, and they could’ve been a lot better if I knew, going in, how important they were. Work hard and enjoy yourself, because everything happens so fast.”

Considering everything that Sobczak did, there’s no doubt that his high school years flew by.

Regulators all wet on Cadiz water project – OCRegister


It has been a long, costly, frustrating road for the Cadiz Water Project — and now the trip has gotten even stranger. The project has already had to navigate burdensome, byzantine regulations at the state and federal levels and a number of legal challenges.

Now it can add a government employee insider trading scandal to the list.

According to a Wall Street Journal exposé, Cadiz Inc. obtained a chain of emails through a Freedom of Information Act that revealed that a U.S. Bureau of Land Management employee provided non-public information to a short-seller, including a one-day advanced notice of a BLM decision that would keep the project from going forward. Cadiz’s stock plummeted 65 percent within a week of the decision.

The scandal comes after the company has already run a gauntlet of regulatory hurdles and lawsuits that have caused years of delays and cost the company well over $20 million.

The project would provide 50,000 acre-feet of water — enough to supply roughly 400,000 people — each year by capturing groundwater on the company’s private property in the Mojave Desert and transporting it via a 43-mile pipeline, which would be buried along the Arizona & California Railroad’s right-of-way. “All of the water pumped by the project will otherwise evaporate and the conservation of this water will cause no adverse environmental impacts,” Cadiz explained in a press release.

Indeed, the company conducted exhaustive environmental studies and put together a 6,000-page Environmental Impact Report to satisfy California Environmental Quality Act requirements and prove that there would be no significant environmental impacts. The Santa Margarita Water District and San Bernardino County both agreed and signed off on the project in 2012, and the project prevailed in eight subsequent lawsuits and settled one other.

In 2011, the Interior Department suddenly reversed a previous ruling from 2009 and disapproved the project’s use of the railroad right-of-way for the pipeline. Then, in October, the BLM rendered its negative ruling. However, since the ruling is not a “final decision,” it cannot be appealed, and Sen. Diane Feinstein, the only real legislative opponent to the project, has attached riders to every Interior Department appropriations bill since 2008 barring the government from spending money to review the project.

In short, the regulatory and legislative gamesmanship has placed the Cadiz Water Project in a Catch-22 purgatory. Fortunately, a rider to this year’s appropriations bill would override Feinstein’s anti-Cadiz policy. The bill has passed the House and differences with the Senate version will be hashed out next month. Let us hope that the pro-Cadiz version survives so that Californians can gain a significant and stable new water source.

The Cadiz case highlights just how burdensome and irrational state and federal environmental policies have become. “Anywhere but California, this water would have been delivered decades ago,” Cadiz President and CEO Scott Slater told us earlier this year.

Politicians pay a lot of lip service to the need for finding new water sources and storage, particularly during this extended California drought. Now it is time to walk the walk and finally approve the Cadiz Water Project.


Regulators all wet on Cadiz water project – The Orange County … – OCRegister


It has been a long, costly, frustrating road for the Cadiz Water Project — and now the trip has gotten even stranger. The project has already had to navigate burdensome, byzantine regulations at the state and federal levels and a number of legal challenges.

Now it can add a government employee insider trading scandal to the list.

According to a Wall Street Journal exposé, Cadiz Inc. obtained a chain of emails through a Freedom of Information Act that revealed that a U.S. Bureau of Land Management employee provided non-public information to a short-seller, including a one-day advanced notice of a BLM decision that would keep the project from going forward. Cadiz’s stock plummeted 65 percent within a week of the decision.

The scandal comes after the company has already run a gauntlet of regulatory hurdles and lawsuits that have caused years of delays and cost the company well over $20 million.

The project would provide 50,000 acre-feet of water — enough to supply roughly 400,000 people — each year by capturing groundwater on the company’s private property in the Mojave Desert and transporting it via a 43-mile pipeline, which would be buried along the Arizona & California Railroad’s right-of-way. “All of the water pumped by the project will otherwise evaporate and the conservation of this water will cause no adverse environmental impacts,” Cadiz explained in a press release.

Indeed, the company conducted exhaustive environmental studies and put together a 6,000-page Environmental Impact Report to satisfy California Environmental Quality Act requirements and prove that there would be no significant environmental impacts. The Santa Margarita Water District and San Bernardino County both agreed and signed off on the project in 2012, and the project prevailed in eight subsequent lawsuits and settled one other.

In 2011, the Interior Department suddenly reversed a previous ruling from 2009 and disapproved the project’s use of the railroad right-of-way for the pipeline. Then, in October, the BLM rendered its negative ruling. However, since the ruling is not a “final decision,” it cannot be appealed, and Sen. Diane Feinstein, the only real legislative opponent to the project, has attached riders to every Interior Department appropriations bill since 2008 barring the government from spending money to review the project.

In short, the regulatory and legislative gamesmanship has placed the Cadiz Water Project in a Catch-22 purgatory. Fortunately, a rider to this year’s appropriations bill would override Feinstein’s anti-Cadiz policy. The bill has passed the House and differences with the Senate version will be hashed out next month. Let us hope that the pro-Cadiz version survives so that Californians can gain a significant and stable new water source.

The Cadiz case highlights just how burdensome and irrational state and federal environmental policies have become. “Anywhere but California, this water would have been delivered decades ago,” Cadiz President and CEO Scott Slater told us earlier this year.

Politicians pay a lot of lip service to the need for finding new water sources and storage, particularly during this extended California drought. Now it is time to walk the walk and finally approve the Cadiz Water Project.


Regulators all wet on Cadiz project – Los Angeles Daily News – LA Daily News




It has been a long, costly, frustrating road for the Cadiz Water Project — and now the trip has gotten even stranger. The project has already had to navigate burdensome, byzantine regulations at the state and federal levels and a number of legal challenges.

Now it can add a government employee insider trading scandal to the list.

According to a Wall Street Journal exposé, Cadiz Inc. obtained a chain of emails through a Freedom of Information Act that revealed that a U.S. Bureau of Land Management employee provided non-public information to a short-seller, including a one-day advanced notice of a BLM decision that would keep the project from going forward. Cadiz’s stock plummeted 65 percent within a week of the decision.


The scandal comes after the company has already run a gauntlet of regulatory hurdles and lawsuits that have caused years of delays and cost the company well over $20 million.

The project would provide 50,000 acre-feet of water — enough to supply roughly 400,000 people — each year by capturing groundwater on the company’s private property in the Mojave Desert and transporting it via a 43-mile pipeline, which would be buried along the Arizona & California Railroad’s right-of-way. “All of the water pumped by the project will otherwise evaporate and the conservation of this water will cause no adverse environmental impacts,” Cadiz explained in a press release.


Indeed, the company conducted exhaustive environmental studies and put together a 6,000-page Environmental Impact Report to satisfy California Environmental Quality Act requirements and prove that there would be no significant environmental impacts. The Santa Margarita Water District and San Bernardino County both agreed and signed off on the project in 2012, and the project prevailed in eight subsequent lawsuits and settled one other.

In 2011, the Interior Department suddenly reversed a previous ruling from 2009 and disapproved the project’s use of the railroad right-of-way for the pipeline. Then, in October, the BLM rendered its negative ruling. However, since the ruling is not a “final decision,” it cannot be appealed, and Sen. Diane Feinstein, the only real legislative opponent to the project, has attached riders to every Interior Department appropriations bill since 2008 barring the government from spending money to review the project.


In short, the regulatory and legislative gamesmanship has placed the Cadiz Water Project in a Catch-22 purgatory. Fortunately, a rider to this year’s appropriations bill would override Feinstein’s anti-Cadiz policy. The bill has passed the House and differences with the Senate version will be hashed out next month. Let us hope that the pro-Cadiz version survives so that Californians can gain a significant and stable new water source.

The Cadiz case highlights just how burdensome and irrational state and federal environmental policies have become. “Anywhere but California, this water would have been delivered decades ago,” Cadiz President and CEO Scott Slater told us earlier this year.



Politicians pay a lot of lip service to the need for finding new water sources and storage, particularly during this extended California drought. Now it is time to walk the walk and finally approve the Cadiz Water Project.


Regulators all wet on Cadiz project – LA Daily News




It has been a long, costly, frustrating road for the Cadiz Water Project — and now the trip has gotten even stranger. The project has already had to navigate burdensome, byzantine regulations at the state and federal levels and a number of legal challenges.

Now it can add a government employee insider trading scandal to the list.

According to a Wall Street Journal exposé, Cadiz Inc. obtained a chain of emails through a Freedom of Information Act that revealed that a U.S. Bureau of Land Management employee provided non-public information to a short-seller, including a one-day advanced notice of a BLM decision that would keep the project from going forward. Cadiz’s stock plummeted 65 percent within a week of the decision.


The scandal comes after the company has already run a gauntlet of regulatory hurdles and lawsuits that have caused years of delays and cost the company well over $20 million.

The project would provide 50,000 acre-feet of water — enough to supply roughly 400,000 people — each year by capturing groundwater on the company’s private property in the Mojave Desert and transporting it via a 43-mile pipeline, which would be buried along the Arizona & California Railroad’s right-of-way. “All of the water pumped by the project will otherwise evaporate and the conservation of this water will cause no adverse environmental impacts,” Cadiz explained in a press release.


Indeed, the company conducted exhaustive environmental studies and put together a 6,000-page Environmental Impact Report to satisfy California Environmental Quality Act requirements and prove that there would be no significant environmental impacts. The Santa Margarita Water District and San Bernardino County both agreed and signed off on the project in 2012, and the project prevailed in eight subsequent lawsuits and settled one other.

In 2011, the Interior Department suddenly reversed a previous ruling from 2009 and disapproved the project’s use of the railroad right-of-way for the pipeline. Then, in October, the BLM rendered its negative ruling. However, since the ruling is not a “final decision,” it cannot be appealed, and Sen. Diane Feinstein, the only real legislative opponent to the project, has attached riders to every Interior Department appropriations bill since 2008 barring the government from spending money to review the project.


In short, the regulatory and legislative gamesmanship has placed the Cadiz Water Project in a Catch-22 purgatory. Fortunately, a rider to this year’s appropriations bill would override Feinstein’s anti-Cadiz policy. The bill has passed the House and differences with the Senate version will be hashed out next month. Let us hope that the pro-Cadiz version survives so that Californians can gain a significant and stable new water source.

The Cadiz case highlights just how burdensome and irrational state and federal environmental policies have become. “Anywhere but California, this water would have been delivered decades ago,” Cadiz President and CEO Scott Slater told us earlier this year.



Politicians pay a lot of lip service to the need for finding new water sources and storage, particularly during this extended California drought. Now it is time to walk the walk and finally approve the Cadiz Water Project.


Opportunity awaits for this willing, young man – Pine Journal

Recent CHS graduate Rob Sobczak did.

But Sobczak has more than just an extensive list of extracurriculars: he has a background that gave him the foundation to do all of those things and more.

“I was born and raised in Cloquet,” said Sobczak. “My name, Robert Gerald Sobczak, [comes] from both my grandpas. Robert was my mom’s dad, and Gerald was my dad’s dad. And it was funny because my Grandpa Gerald’s middle name was Robert, so he was Gerald Robert Sobczak.”

Sobczak’s father, Ken Sobczak, died when he was only 2 years old. His extended family, including his uncles and grandpa, have been extremely important in his life, but it was his mother, Nancy, who taught him to be self-reliant (and a million other things).

“She made me be independent,” Sobczak said of his mother. “As long as I can remember, no matter how young I was, if someone called our house phone, I would answer it. Even if I was scared to see who it was, I would answer the phone because she wanted me to have personal skills and know how to talk. I think she just always wanted me to be a leader and respect others’ feelings.”

Sobczak also remembers his mom pushing him to be grateful and polite, even as a young child.

“She got me comfortable with speaking in public and talking with people. She made me go to the Kiwanis club when I was like 11 years old to say thank you for them giving me money [for a hockey trip to Canada]. And that really helped me.”

The blonde-haired, blue-eyed Sobczak is an interesting combination of confident and humble, probably thanks to situations like these.

Still, although he was an independent and polite boy, Sobczak didn’t have a father, and having a mentor to spend time with was a good thing. Enter Tom Proulx: his REACH mentor, tennis coach and close friend. They met when Rob was in sixth grade, at the previously mentioned Kiwanis meeting. The next year, Proulx “sorta mentored” Sobczak and coached him in tennis.

“And then we got him in the REACH program,” said Proulx, who described Rob in his Athlete of the Year speech as being “passionate, dedicated, ethical (and) competitive.”  

“I was blessed to be the guy who got to mentor this kid. I’ve really never met anybody like him. He’s so giving, caring, [and] people look up to him. He always puts others before himself. I can’t say enough about how [his mother] has raised him.”

It was Proulx who found out about the teaching opportunity this summer on his own trip to Europe: an international exchange program that allows Americans and Canadians to stay with families in Spain for free, in exchange for lessons in conversational English. When he learned more about what the trip entailed, he thought “this would be perfect for Robbie.”

Proulx told Sobczak about the opportunity while he was still overseas, and Sobczak’s first reaction was unsure.

“You must’ve talked to your mom about it then,” Proulx said, looking at Sobczak. “And she said ‘you need to reconsider.’”
And reconsider he did. Sobczak communicated with the family via Skype, and within two weeks he was on a plane to Spain.

Sobczak was housed with a family who had two sons, Nacho (10) and Miguel (11), in Cádiz, Spain. He lived with them, ate meals with them, and celebrated holidays with them for a month, all in exchange for English lessons with the boys.

In the mornings, Sobczak would wake and prepare his class lessons before eating breakfast (which was usually olive oil and honey on toast). Afterward, he would teach for about two hours.

“At first, I really struggled,” Sobczak said. “When I started out, I had a list of questions that I was asking them, and it wasn’t working because I would ask them a question and they would answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’. They wouldn’t want to explain.”

So Sobczak had to adjust his teaching style to help the boys get more out of their learning experience, as he explained.

“I ended up figuring out how to write down open-ended questions so they would have to explain more in their answer. Or I’d write down one particular word that I felt they should have in their vocabulary, and I would make them explain it to me. In the end, they really did get to learn a lot more.”

He talked about the trip and the family a lot, sometimes referring to notes on his phone to make sure he wasn’t leaving out any interesting parts, such as how church was outside, and how everyone drank their milk warm (something he just couldn’t get used to).

The trip was good practice for Sobczak, as his future plans include becoming a teacher. Sobczak is attending St. Mary’s University in Winona, Minn., (where he’s on the soccer team which will scrimmage at the University of Wisconsin-Superior at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 28) and hopes to come back to Cloquet after he graduates.
“[I’ve wanted to be a teacher] maybe since the beginning of my senior year,” Sobczak said. “I had thought about wanting to go into international business, because I like the cultural world, but now that I’ve traveled — I really enjoy it — I [prefer] being in my own home and teaching people and coaching. So, I’d like to be here, and talking about world issues and cultures and stuff.”

Sobczak said his teaching choice was influenced by all of his high school teachers.

“I enjoy history, but I’m more of a social studies teacher who would teach American government, or world cultures or current events type of stuff,” he said. “I like geography, I liked Mr. Swanson’s government class. I like writing, too. I’d be the type of teacher who would implement a lot of writing into the class.”

For Sobczak, teaching is his way of giving back to the teachers who inspired him and the community that gave him a great education.

“I grew up not reading much, and saying that I would never crack open a book after I graduate from college, but I completely take that back because of Mr. Naslund’s class,” Sobczak said, referring to the University of Minnesota-Duluth’s English literature class that he took as a senior at CHS. Sobczak said he learned some personal lessons in the class and from the assigned reading materials, such as “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

“Atticus Finch is the father I want to be,” he said.

Sobczak is also eager to help out sports teams in Cloquet after he graduates from college. While he’d prefer to coach tennis someday, he’s ready to take on whatever role he is assigned.

“I could help out on any team that they wanted me to,” Sobczak explained. “I would just find a job, find a spot — other than the swim team, because I’m not much of a water-sport kind of person. But, I mean, if they wanted me to be a towel boy, I’d help out.”

Proulx agreed.

“He’d be an excellent tennis coach, he’s got an unbelievable knowledge of the game,” Proulx said. “He’s good at teaching, he’s good at working with kids. They look up to him [and] respect what he says. He was able, even as a senior, to coach the kids better than I could because they look up to him so much; he was a peer and a great leader.”

Although his plans include giving back, that won’t be a new experience for Sobczak. After being mentored by Proulx through the REACH program, Sobczak became a mentor himself.

“That was another experience for me because I thought it was going to be a lot easier than it was,” said Sobczak. “I knew that the kid had a troubled background and I wanted to be in a position to say ‘You can’t smoke pot, you can’t do this, you can’t do that,’ but that’s not what the mentorship is about. It’s about being that person who is like a friend, and you just want to be there for them so if they ever seriously need someone to go to, they can call at any time. You don’t want to be that person who is lecturing them like a teacher, you just want to be someone who is there for them, all the time.”

Even though the official mentorship has stopped now because Sobczak is off to college, he hopes the relationship will continue.

“I made it clear that, no matter if I’m in Winona or wherever, he can call me at any time and I’ll figure something out for him,” he added.

Sobczak said his optimistic attitude was influenced by being involved with the CHS theater program, one of his “favorite things in the world.”

“I think just being with very, very nice people all the time, and how happy you can be from that when you’re in that environment just showed me that there’s no point in living a day in frustration,” Sobczak said. “It was fun to go to play practice every day because everyone was really nice. Mr. Hamre, for example, is like the nicest person in the world and he’s known for that. I have nothing bad to say about theater, I loved it.”

Proulx knows that Sobczak going off to college is only the beginning.

“With everything that’s going on right now in politics, the world, the presidential race and all the shootings, he gives me hope,” Proulx said. “He’s going to do great things, he’s going to be a leader, and that’s what we need. I always joke — because he’s in my [county] commissioner district — that if he ever ran against me, not only would he beat me, but I would vote for him.”

Sobczak’s advice to incoming freshman?

“Ninth grade is the most important year in high school because when you get in there, you’re still in eighth-grade mode, so you don’t understand how important grades are,” Sobczak said. “When you’re sending grades to colleges, that ninth-grade transcript is on there. For me, my first semester of my ninth grade year, I had grades that were just OK, and they could’ve been a lot better if I knew, going in, how important they were. Work hard and enjoy yourself, because everything happens so fast.”

Considering everything that Sobczak did, there’s no doubt that his high school years flew by.

Lavonne L. Dunlap – Harrison News Herald

Lavonne L. Dunlap, 96, of Cadiz died Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016 at her home. She was born August 20, 1920 in Pennsburg, Pennsylvania a daughter of the late Charles G. and Jean Epler Leeser.

She was a former teller having worked at the 1st National Bank and Equitable Savings and Loan in Cadiz, a member of the Presbyterian Church of Cadiz, Cadiz Garden Club and Sewing Club.  She was an accomplished pianist and organist, who played for many school and community events throughout her lifetime.  She enjoyed playing golf at the Cadiz Country Club and was a Comptometrist in Cleveland during WW II.

She was preceded in death in addition to her parents; by her husband, Ralph Dillon Dunlap in 1988 and two brothers: Maurice and Talmadge Leeser.

Surviving are a sister, Naomi Trotter of Cadiz; several nieces and nephews, including: Charles Leeser, Maurine Huntsman, Sandy Hendershot, Patty Bobot, Tim Trotter, Patty Thomas, Bill Thomas, Jeff Taylor, Suzie Taylor and Michael Taylor; many grand nieces and grand nephews.

Calling hours will be held Sunday, Aug. 28 from 1-4 at Clark-Kirkland Funeral Home, Cadiz where funeral service will be held Monday at 11:00 a.m. with Rev. Erica Harley officiating. Burial will follow at Cadiz Union Cemetery.

The memorial guestbook may be signed at www.clark-kirkland.com.

Cadiz police arrest meeting organizer on an old warrant | News … – Martins Ferry Times Leader

Meanwhile, the Harrison County Health Department and village of Scio appear to have different opinions about whether a “do not drink” advisory should have been lifted.

McAfee, a Scio resident, was standing in the open doorway to the conference room when she announced that she was about to be arrested by Cadiz police. Three uniformed officers asked her to exit the building with them.

A group of lawyers from two different law firms — who said Wednesday they aim to file a lawsuit over the high manganese content in the village’s water supply — followed her out into the lobby. They, along with the residents who also followed, asked the officers why McAfee was being arrested. The officers said she was being taken into custody on a sheriff’s warrant, but they did not know why it had been issued.

About an hour later, McAfee came back into the room during a press conference with the lawyers, who earlier collected several signatures from residents on retainer agreements for the Marc J. Bern & Partners LLP of New York, N.Y., a firm that has filed lawsuits related to the Flint, Mich., lead-contaminated water crisis.

“I got arrested for a warrant from (December 2014). I was supposed to show up for court, but I was told I didn’t have to show for court. So I didn’t, like normal people wouldn’t waste their time. … My next court appearance is Oct. 13. … It’s over a car from 15 years ago, if you guys can believe that,” McAfee said, noting she was not required to post bond before being released.

“They (police) got a phone call at 3 p.m. saying that I was here,” McAfee said. “At least some people are going to be saved from having to drink this water. That’s all that matters. I don’t even care that I got arrested. It just goes to show the ignorance of others.”

New York lawyer Chet Kern said he was contacted by Brian Zimmerman, a Canton, Ohio-based lawyer, six days ago. Zimmerman asked for his help pursuing the case in Scio.

“We hope to help the residents of the village of Scio with the numerous problems they are going to face. … We just want to help the people. In this day and age, they deserve to be compensated. They deserve to be protected. They deserve to be reimbursed for water they had to pay for that was not potable.”

He added later that he was “saddened” that McAfee was arrested.

“It was a waste of resources of the police department,” Kern said.

About a potential lawsuit, Kern said there is “enough blame to go around” regarding Scio’s water issues. Though some research still needs to be done, he added that blame could possibly be put on independent companies involved in the testing of the water and construction of the water treatment system, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and even the village of Scio.

But Kern said he planned to talk with village council Wednesday evening about possibly joining the suit. It did not appear any village officials attended the residents’ meeting at the hotel.

Last week, the county health department and village both issued “do not drink” advisories for Scio’s water because of manganese levels that were too high. Manganese is a naturally occurring element that can cause adverse health effects if too much is consumed or inhaled.

Since then, Village Administrator Jason Tubaugh has said the OEPA has been conducting tests of samples at its lab, along with the village having an independent company conduct testing as well, leading to the lifting of the advisories for several streets at a time. On Wednesday, the village issued a statement saying the advisory had been lifted for the entire water system.

But John Carr, preparedness coordinator for the Harrison County General Health District, said his department had not lifted its advisory because it was testing one more sample, the results of which are expected to be available today.

“We want to be fully sure before we commit ourselves into saying ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ That’s where we’re at,” Carr said.

During the meeting with residents, a couple people said they had suffered lesions after taking showers with the water. One woman said her neighbor had to be taken to the hospital after her tongue developed a black film on it after consuming the water.

Afterward, resident Ken Wilson, who moved to Scio four years ago, said he was fed up with the way the village’s residents were being treated, especially concerning the water situation. He said residents have only been given a gallon of bottled water a day. Wilson noted he has a water softener on his home’s system. After turning it off one day and forgetting to turn it back on, he drank the water and said his tongue developed the black film as well.

“We have been sitting back too long. We need to stand up for our rights,” Wilson said. “I hope we get some representation for all these people here. I hope they get something done.”

Scio resident Ron Wilds, who works at The Restaurant, said the eatery is losing business because people are afraid to eat there because of the water situation. He noted the restaurant is using bottled water for cooking but is permitted to wash (but not rinse) with the tap water.

Wilds said he personally has not consumed Scio’s water for the past four years because “it stunk.”

Bottled water still is being offered to residents from 9 a.m. to noon and 5-8:30 p.m. daily at the Scio Volunteer Fire Department.

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