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Frank Gray

  • Make breakfast war, not money
    For two weeks now, though not every day, I've been drinking free coffee at McDonald's in the morning.
  • Make breakfast war, not money
    For two weeks now, though not every day, I’ve been drinking free coffee at McDonald’s in the morning.
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    Robert Frost wrote that good fences make good neighbors, and so far it appears that some fences along Westbrook Drive will continue to keep the residents and the city on good terms.

Stylists hold benefit for ill colleague

One month ago, Allison Stier, the owner of the Studio Eclipse Salon in the Pine Valley Mall was diagnosed with stage four cancer.

Doctors advised her she couldn’t work in her present condition.

Making matters worse, Stier did not have health insurance because she couldn’t afford the premiums.

The result is that not only is she sick now, but because she is unable to work, she has no income for simple living expenses.

So other hair stylists and salon owners in the area quickly came together to offer what amounts to a day of styling in which 90 percent of all the proceeds will go to Stier. The other 10 percent will go to Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana.

From noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 4, a host of professional stylists will be on hand to offer a variety of services, ranging from styling, polishing nails, clear gloss treatments, deep conditioning treatments and temporary pink streaks.

A barber will also be there, said Barb Hall, who is organizing the effort.

“We want men to come out, too,” she said.

“I’ve talked to other salon owners who don’t even know her and they’ve agreed to do it,” Hall said.

While some stylists will be operating out of the Studio Eclipse Salon, others, using borrowed chairs, will set up shop at Tiffany’s dance studio nearby.

A masseuse with a massage chair will also be there.

There will also be a raffle and refreshments will be offered at A-1 Ink.

Prices are set lower than what you would normally have to pay in a salon. Styling will be $20, clear gloss will be $15, conditioning will be $10 and nail polish and streaking will be $5.

In case you have trouble remembering the date, it’s two days before Election Day.

Fallen soldier honored

A Rome City soldier who delayed an opportunity to be appointed to West Point in order to complete a tour of duty with his unit in Iraq, only to be killed a few weeks later, will be honored this morning in a ceremony in Rome City.

In the ceremony, the city’s post office will be named the Specialist Nicholas Scott Hartge Post Office Building.

Hartge, who graduated from East Noble High School in 2005, joined the Army after graduating, and was deployed with his company to Iraq in August 2006. His job was to patrol the streets of Adhamiyah, a neighborhood where he and his fellow soldiers regularly encountered sniper fire and roadside bombs.

Hartge’s commanding officer, noting Hartge’s aptitude and character, helped him start the process of applying to attend West Point. Hartge, who had passed the necessary physicals and filed paperwork, returned to the United States in April 2007 to take the SAT, the final step in the application process.

Hartge, however, decided that he should return to Iraq, rejoin his company and delay his attempts to be appointed to West Point until his unit completed its tour and returned home.

In May 2007, Hartge was killed by a roadside bomb.

Rep. Marlin Stutzman R-3rd, wrote the legislation to commemorate Hartge.

The post office ceremony will take place at 10:30 a.m. today.

Frank Gray reflects on his and others’ experiences in columns published Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. He can be reached by phone at 461-8376, by fax at 461-8893, or by email at You can also follow him on Twitter @FrankGrayJG.