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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, July 19, 2018 @ 3:17 AM
SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — A west Tennessee husband and wife are accused of committing sex crimes against children over a 10-year span.
John and Dava Henley are charged with two counts of rape and four counts of aggravated sexual battery.
John Henley is also charged with aggravated rape of a child and rape of a child, according to the indictments.
Investigators said in one charge, the couple verbally directed a child to have sex with another child.
The charges stem from incidents that spanned from 2006 to 2016, the indictments said.
The children were between the ages of 3 and 13 when the crimes occurred, according to investigators.
Shelby County court records show the Henleys' home address to be in Drummonds.
While the crimes happened in Shelby County, WHBQ uncovered the investigation likely originated there.
The Tipton County Sheriff’s Office took an incident report regarding the Henleys in June 2017. It listed two juvenile victims, and the investigation was looking into allegations of forcible fondling and sexual battery.
A spokesperson with the Tipton County Sheriff's Office told WHBQ that the couple was never arrested there because authorities discovered the incidents happened in Shelby County and passed over the case.
Right now, Dava Henley has a $500,000 bond.
John Henley has an $850,000 bond.
Published: Thursday, July 19, 2018 @ 2:24 AM
Updated: Thursday, July 19, 2018 @ 3:11 AM
SOUTH VIENNA, CLARK COUNTY — UPDATE @ 3:15 a.m: One person was transported to an area hospital after a fire occurred at a mobile home in South Vienna early Thursday morning.
Fire crews responded to the 10000 block of Buena Vista Road just after 2 a.m. on a fully involved trailer fire, according to initial reports.
Damage estimates were not immediately available, however, officials said damage to the inside of the trailer was severe.
The occupant that was able to escape the fire was sent to the hospital for observational purposes, officials confirmed.
The fire remains under investigation.
Crews are responding to the 1000 block of Buena Vista Road on a mobile home fire that occurred early Thursday morning.
Initial reports indicate the trailer was fully involved just after 2 a.m.
Published: Thursday, July 19, 2018 @ 2:44 AM
Updated: Thursday, July 19, 2018 @ 2:44 AM
FORT HUNTER LIGGETT, Calif. — More than 20 people were injured late Wednesday when a tent collapsed at Fort Hunter Liggett in California, officials said.
Accident on post but no reported fatalities. A helicopter landing kicked up wind that caused a tent structure to collapse. More to follow as we assess situation.— Fort Hunter Liggett (@FtHunterLiggett) July 19, 2018
Here is the latest information:
Update 2:26 a.m. EDT July 19: According to the military base’s official Twitter account, 22 soldiers were hurt when “a U.S. Army UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter landing’s rotor wash blew over a tent structure” in a “remote training area.” Officials said four soldiers were taken to area hospitals for treatment.
Contrary to earlier media reports, nobody was killed in the incident, officials said.
“This incident occurred during an annual U.S. Army Reserve exercise, Combat Support Training Exercise (CSTX) that trains Army Reserve and Army National Guard Soldiers,” the base tweeted.
Re: Training accident tonight. During a landing in a remote training area during the CSTX, an Army helicopter stirred up wind and blew over a tent structure. There are no reported fatalities. We will continue to post information here and on FaceBook as we confirm details.— Fort Hunter Liggett (@FtHunterLiggett) July 19, 2018
Approx. 9:30 pm, a U.S. Army UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter landing’s rotor wash blew over a tent structure and injured a number Soldiers. There are NO FATALITES reported at this time. First responders on site report there are 22 injuries. 1/3— Fort Hunter Liggett (@FtHunterLiggett) July 19, 2018
The majority of injuries are minor and are being treated on site. Two of the injured were evacuated by air to Fresno, CA and two were evacuated by ground to Twin Cites Medical Center in Templeton, CA. 2/3— Fort Hunter Liggett (@FtHunterLiggett) July 19, 2018
This incident occurred during an annual U.S. Army Reserve exercise, Combat Support Training Exercise (CSTX) that trains Army Reserve and Army National Guard Soldiers. 3/3— Fort Hunter Liggett (@FtHunterLiggett) July 19, 2018
Please monitor our Facebook page as well. https://t.co/3gCoVHxWO5
Published: Wednesday, July 18, 2018 @ 3:37 AM
Updated: Thursday, July 19, 2018 @ 2:21 AM
THURSDAY: Butler and Warren counties are under a Air Quality Alert from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m. Mostly sunny skies are expected with some increase in clouds late in the day and evening. It will be warmer with highs reaching into the middle 80s. There is a chance showers could arrive overnight.
FRIDAY: Expect a chance for showers and storms, especially by afternoon. There is a chance for one or two stronger storms, especially southwest of Dayton by evening. Highs will be in the middle 80s.
SATURDAY: Numerous showers and storms are expected scattered throughout the day. Outside of storms, skies will be partly to mostly cloudy with temperatures holding in the lower 80s.
SUNDAY: Expect lots of clouds with occasional showers and storms. Highs will be near 80 degrees.
MONDAY: Partly sunny skies will start the week with a lingering chance for passing showers and storms. Highs will be in the lower 80s.