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Published: Saturday, November 18, 2017 @ 6:00 PM
OXFORD — Story ideas collected in folders but never written and a manuscript written decades ago and nearly forgotten in a drawer turned into the first books produced by a new publishing company established here.
Berg Kaufman Publishing was a natural progression for Cecilia Berg and Don Kaufman, both retired from Miami University.
The two have collaborated for 30 years in a venture, Two Herons Consulting, serving non-profit organizations, community groups and businesses with planning, using their joint concerns for conservation, and they co-authored “The Biosphere: Protecting Our Global Environment” an award-winning environmental textbook for college students.
He retired after more than 50 years in education, 43 at Miami, in a variety of roles finishing as director of the Hefner Museum of natural History.
Berg retired last year after 30 years at Miami, the last 16 at the Hefner Museum where she wrote successful grant proposals totaling in excess of $4 million to support teacher workshops and updates. She spearheaded efforts to bring The Big Read to Oxford in 2009 using a grant from the national Endowment for the Humanities.
They see their new venture as an extension of both their educational experiences and their interest in the environment.
“Knowing I wanted to do something after Miami University, I did not want to just sit around. I think it worked out pretty well over the years as a teacher,” he said, adding he had accumulated files of notes on possible books he hoped one day to write. “Over the years as a teacher, I worked on 35 ideas in my head, then I had an epiphany. I can’t live long enough to write all 35 books.”
His second epiphany was he could find someone else to write them and then publish them himself.
That led to the idea of forming Berg Kaufman Publishing with Berg and then contacting another retired teacher, Tad Liechty, about turning his file folders of ideas into stories.
Liechty was a willing partner in the endeavor.
“I had 30 years in education, also. After a year laying on the couch reading stacks of books, I wanted to volunteer. I met Cecilia at the Hefner Museum,” she said and then met with Kaufman. “Don said, ‘I’ve got something for you,’ and handed me six file folders full of file cards with notes. They were ideas for books he had on his mind. I picked four.”
She had known him from classes she had taken previously and seized on the idea of writing, despite no formal training in writing.
“I taught first grade so I had experience in teaching children to write,” she said.
Her first book was “Just Say So: A Book About Idioms,” a story about Jules who is determined to go through a day doing—literally—everything he is told and has a series of adventures and misadventures as a result finding what people say is not always what they mean.
Liechty’s second book was “The King’s Cookies” and the third “Martha and the Mutt.”
That latter effort tells of 12-year-old Martha who is moved from her familiar rural surroundings with her family to a more urban setting and finds confidence and maturity through relationships with an elderly neighbor and a lost dog. The dog’s owner turns up and Martha must face giving up the dog.
Liechty is already planning a sequel to “Martha and the Mutt.”
The author said she incorporated many memories of her own childhood into the book so that her sister is taking a long time to read the book.
“My sister said it brought back so many memories, she reads and then puts it down to recall (events from the past),” Liechty said, adding while writing it, she sent drafts of the book to Kaufman, who saw new life put into his original ideas. “He’d say, ‘I didn’t think that would happen.’ ”
She gave a lot of credit for the final results to Berg, who serves as the editor for the works being published. Berg, for her part, enjoys her role because she takes pride in turning out carefully constructed work as well as the control they have over that final product.
“I wrote a textbook with Don and we had so little control over the content, it was frustrating. We want authors to have input,” Berg said, adding that includes not only the words but also the cover design and illustrations and even the colors used. “I enjoy the process as much as the final product.”
Kaufman referred to her as their “editor extraordinaire.”
The fourth person in the new publishing firm is Carolyn Farmer who designs the books and their on-line counterparts. Kaufman explained they have produced four books but it is really eight because all are also available as e-books, with all sales of each going through Amazon.
Farmer spent a lot of time learning how to do the coding for on-line sales because the coding varies by the devices being used.
While Liechty wrote three of the four books already produced by Berg Kaufman Publishing, the fourth came from an unexpected source. When she heard about the publishing venture, Kaufman’s sister, Joanne McDonough, sent him a yellowed manuscript she wrote in the mid-1980s and then placed in a drawer where it remained for 30 years.
The book, “Dominic’s Ducks,” came from her original manuscript and is a true story of events which happened to her, although her name is changed in the story. McDonough even drew the illustrations for the book.
She held a book signing in her home town of Pittsburgh and sold out the books in a three-hour session with many old friends showing up to buy one and have it autographed.
She is also now working on a second book and Liechty is looking forward to visiting McDonough soon to meet her.
Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 12:49 PM
UPDATE @ 1:32 p.m. (March 22):
The vice president for the company constructing the new CareSource building in downtown Dayton said all employees and construction workers are accounted for and there were no injuries in the fire this afternoon.
“We had an incident on the roof of the building,” said Troy Erbes, Vice President with Danis. “Some roof insulation caught on fire.”
Erbes said they are still working to determine what caused the fire to start.
“Now we’re in the investigation state,” Erbes said.
CareSource planned to open its new downtown Dayton campus in the spring of 2019.
The company had started construction last year on what is to be the first newly constructed office tower in downtown Dayton in a decade.
The six-story CareSource Center City is the first newly constructed downtown office project underway since the nonprofit - a fast growing Medicaid managed care company - broke ground on its Main Street headquarters.
The building, with construction led by Danis, will be at the site of the former Patterson Co-op High School on the 100 block of East First Street.
It will have the space to house 800 employees from CareSource, have a similar design to its headquarters and is intended create a walkable, campus like environment for its employees.
CareSource, which now has about 2,000 employees in downtown Dayton, has been rapidly growing in recent years into a nonprofit with more than $7 billion in revenue and members in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia and now Georgia, which it just expanded into this year.
The insurer has become a major employer in Dayton, anchoring downtown with its employment base. It struck a deal with the Ohio Tax Credit Authority late last year to increase its job-creation commitment to 1,920 jobs by 2019 — including current positions being filled and the new jobs promised — raising the company’s annual payroll in Dayton to more than $129 million.
Along with its 230 N. Main St. headquarters, CareSource bought a building it had been leasing called Ballpark Village, across from Fifth Third Field.
Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 9:16 AM
Continuing his campaign vow to get tough on countries which don’t play fair on trade, President Donald Trump on Thursday recommended slapping nearly $50 billion in new tariffs on products from China, as he accused the Chinese of stealing American technology.
“This has been long in the making,” the President told reporters at the White House, as he said his pledge to do something about unfair trade practices was just getting started.
“It’s probably one of the reasons I was elected, maybe one of the main reasons,” Mr. Trump said, as he has steadfastly resisted the calls of Republicans in Congress to stay away from tariffs on imported goods, which critics say are nothing more than a tax on American consumers.
“We’re doing things for this country which should have been done for many, many years,” the President added.
Trump Administration officials will now go over proposals for tariffs on all sorts of goods imported from China, much different than the targeted tariff plan that Mr. Trump approved earlier this month on imported steel and aluminum.
“It’s out of control,” the President said of the trade imbalance between the U.S. and China.
At the same event, Vice President Mike Pence said today’s move against China again signaled that the “era of economic surrender” is over when it comes to the United States.
“The United States of America is taking targeted and focused action to protect not only American jobs, but American technology,” Pence added.
The reaction in Congress was much more muted than a move to impose new tariffs on imported steel and aluminum coming into the country, when a number of Republicans denounced the idea of tariffs, arguing it could spark a trade war.
As the President’s decision was announced, Wall Street markets went down, with investors worried by a possible trade fight with the Chinese.
Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 12:15 PM
Updated: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 1:11 PM
DAYTON — UPDATE @ 1:11 p.m.
Steve Brack, a GrubHub driver that was making lunchtime deliveries downtown, said: “Pieces of charred black material are floating off the building and landing on the street.”
He said the downtown area is a “parking lot.”
RELATED: Dayton Fire: CareSource fire involves roofing materials
UPDATE @ 12:48 p.m.
All construction workers have been accounted for with no injuries reported, according to emergency dispatchers.
Smoke can been seen for miles, including from Troy.
UPDATE @ 12:40 p.m.
The six-story CareSource Center City has construction led by Danis which started in 2017. It’s on the site of the former Patterson Co-op High School on the 100 block of East First Street.
Roads are closed downtown from Jefferson Street to St. Clair Street and from Second Street to Monument Street. Avoid the area.
#TRAFFICALERT - Roads are closed downtown from Jefferson St. To St. Clair and from Second St. to Monument St. Due to a working fire. Please avoid the area.— Dayton Police Dept. (@DaytonPolice) March 22, 2018
UPDATE @ 12:30 p.m.
Heavy black smoke is seen from miles away. The fire is in area of First and Jefferson streets, where a CareSource building is under construction.
A caller into the newsroom described downtown as a “parking lot.”
A fire is reported in downtown Dayton.
Around 12 p.m. the fire is reported at a CareSource building on construction at 134 N. Jefferson St. Traffic is being impacted at First and Main streets.
We have units on the way and will update this report.
Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 1:15 PM
— The top lawyer representing President Donald Trump in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election resigned Thursday, according to multiple reports.
Attorney John Dowd’s resignation came days after he called for an end to Mueller’s investigation, claiming it was “manufactured” by former FBI Director James Comey and based on an infamous -- and mostly unverified -- dossier that was funded in part by the Democratic National Committee and Democrat Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.
“I love the president and wish him well,” Dowd wrote Thursday in an email to The Washington Post.
The newspaper reported that Dowd’s departure was “a largely mutual decision” based on Trump’s recent belief that Dowd couldn’t handle Mueller’s investigation and the attorney’s frustration with the president’s recent additions to his legal team. Trump attorney Jay Sekulow earlier this week brought one of his friends, veteran Washington attorney Joseph diGenova, onto the team, according to The New York Times.
It was not immediately clear who would take over as lead of the president’s legal team.
“John Dowd is a friend and has been a valuable member of our legal team,” Sekulow said Thursday in a statement to the Times. “We will continue our ongoing representation of the president and our cooperation with the office of special counsel.”
CNN reported that Dowd’s exit could hint that Trump’s legal team plans to become more aggressive in defending the president.
Dowd, who took over Trump’s legal team last summer, has advised the president to cooperate in Mueller’s investigation and refrain from publicly attacking the special counsel, the Times reported. Still, Trump has targeted Mueller for criticism in recent days, repeating his claims that the probe is little more than a politically motivated “witch hunt.”
The Mueller probe should never have been started in that there was no collusion and there was no crime. It was based on fraudulent activities and a Fake Dossier paid for by Crooked Hillary and the DNC, and improperly used in FISA COURT for surveillance of my campaign. WITCH HUNT!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 18, 2018
Last month, Mueller indicted 13 Russian individuals and three organizations on charges of interfering in the election. Three of Trump's associates -- former national security adviser Michael Flynn, deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates and campaign aide George Papadopoulos -- have pleaded guilty to lying to investigators and agreed to cooperate. Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, has pleaded not guilty to a variety of money laundering and other criminal charges.