Soggy conditions didn’t stop AJGA golfers

The qualifying round of the Mahoning Valley Hospital Foundation Junior All-Star was canceled Sunday due to flooding.

Rain reappeared on Tuesday, threatening completion of the first round of the tournament.

But after nearly an hour, the rain subsided and play resumed.

The field of more than 100 golfers started at 7 a.m. at Mill Creek Golf Course’s North venue. Tuesday’s round didn’t finish until just after 9 p.m.

Jackson Finney of Louisville, Ky., shot a 4-under 65 to lead the boys.

Kevin Zhao (Buffalo, N.Y.) and Topher Reed (Fairview Park) each shot a 67. Garrett Kessler (North Caldwell, N.J.) and Andres Barraza (Parkland, Fla.) both finished with a 68 to round out the top five scorers.

Emma Chen of Derwood, Md., leads the girls standings with an even 69. Chen led at 4 under prior to play being suspended.

“[The lead] is kind of unexpected, to be honest,” Chen said. “It’s good. I was pretty wet out there but I was able to chip and putt pretty well. That saved me a lot.”

Hoi Ki Lau (Hong Kong) and Kaia Wu (Princeton, N.J.) both shot a 70. Julie Shin (Brambleton, Va.) finished with a 71 and Anna Ritter (New Albany) had a 72.

Brian Tolnar, Mill Creek’s PGA professional, estimated that the course saw 12 inches of rain over the last two weeks.

After the rain delay, he joked that one more inch and the course might get swept away.

An American Junior Golf Association and Mill Creek staff assessed the course Tuesday at 6 a.m.

Damp conditions caused the course to play long at the start of the round. Balls off the tee and iron shots would dig themselves into some of the fairways.

Sophia Sarrazin, from Westport, Conn., was hitting her second shot on the 18th hole was the AJGA crew blew an air horn to signal stoppage of play.

“All the ball just stopped or drives wouldn’t go as far — you had to club up every few shots,” Sarrazin said.

Sarrazin is tied for 14th with a 76. She said the front nine gave her problems, but she gained some ground in the final nine holes.

“There was just so much water everywhere,” Sarrazin said. “You couldn’t chunk a shot or it just wouldn’t work.”

Landon Underhill traveled from Aylmer, Ontario, to compete in the tournament. He had just made the turn when play stopped. He said the rain has been a little frustrating.

“For sure it is, for sure,” said Underhill, how finished with a 71. “But it’s still a great tournament, and I’m happy to be here even though the weather didn’t [co-operate].”

The extra rain didn’t help halfway through the afternoon group’s round. After the storm, Mill Creek’s crew rolled the greens and took plungers to several cups to clear them of water.

Mill Creek’s only water hazard is the creek that runs through both courses. But suddenly golfers were greeted to small ponds along the fairways.

“Hole 9 was kind of iffy because there was a puddle, a really big puddle in the middle of the fairway,” Chen said. “And there’s a creek, and the creek was kinda flooding and overflowing.”

Tolnar said the course should have plenty of time to drain the water overnight.

The first and second rounds are split into morning and afternoon groups. The two groups will swap tee times today, with Tuesday’s second group starting at 7 a.m. and the first beginning at 1 p.m.

The field will be cut to 70 following today’s round. The final round will be played on Thursday.

Chen wants to keep the same mentality she had on Tuesday when she tees off in the second round.

“[I will] just try to stay in the same mental state that I’m in today,” Chen said. “I was pretty focused today. I hope to remain like that in the next two rounds.

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Live! at the Morley Concert Rescheduled for August 12

The first concert of the season, Canfield, OH native and Nashville recording artist A.C. Jones, in the Live! at the Morley concert series lineup will be cancelled on Wednesday, June 19, 2019 and rescheduled for Monday, August 12, 2019. The adjustment is due to recent weather conditions. The rescheduled date is a special opportunity to enjoy an end of the summer concert with one of the Valley’s foremost country music entertainers.


The summer evening concert series, held at Wick Recreation Area on the lawn at the Judge Morley Pavilion, runs on select dates through August 14, 2019. All performances are free and family-friendly. For a complete concert schedule, visit

Mill Creek officers honored for rescuing service dog

Three Mill Creek MetroPark Officers were recognized at the Thursday’s park board meeting for their quick work saving a service dog stuck in a creek.

Sergeant Rob Vukovich and officers Alex Wharry and Brent Wright came to the rescue when the dog, named Zena, fell 28 feet into the rushing water.

The dog belonged to 10-year-old Tristian Zack of Niles who has special needs.

Zena was not hurt at all, and the whole community is thankful for their service.

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Mill Creek parking lots scheduled to close for improvements

Starting Thursday, several parking lots in Mill Creek Park will be closed for a few days.

The park will be putting down pavement markings.

Lots scheduled to close:

– Slippery Rock Pavilion
– Wick Recreation area
– Yellow Creek Park in Struthers
– Kirkmere Spur

Even though the lots are closed, the facilities will still be open.

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Notice of June Board Meeting

The next Regular Meeting of the Board of Park Commissioners, of Mill Creek MetroParks is scheduled for Thursday, June 6, 2019, at 6 p.m. at Yellow Creek Lodge in Struthers. The agenda will be available on the website after 2 p.m. on the day of the meeting. A meeting of the Public Records Commission will be held, prior to the Regular Board Meeting at 5:30 p.m., at the same location.


Nature’s Graces and Rural Places at Weller Gallery

Starting June 8, visitors to Fellows Riverside Gardens can view the Nature’s Graces and Rural Places photography exhibit.

The free exhibit features work by regional photographer, Jim Trombo, and includes images on canvas. Trombo has lived his entire life in northeastern Ohio, and his work displays everything from rural locations and picturesque views to detailed compositions.

The exhibit is presented by Mill Creek MetroParks and will be displayed in the Weller Gallery at Fellow Riverside from June 8 to Aug. 11, Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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Flooding prompts Mill Creek Golf Course to close until weekend

The Valley is still reeling from Tuesday’s severe weather that caused major flooding.

Flooding near Mill Creek Park was bad enough for officials to close the Mill Creek Golf Course until the weekend.

According to officials with the golf course, the course sustained damage including a downed tree and other debris that led to the closure.

Officials told 21 News that it would be tough to get golfers around the course.

The course will take a few days to clean up but officials believe that the course should open back up this weekend.

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Heavy rains close Mill Creek course

Regulars at Mill Creek Golf Course may need to trade in a couple irons for boat oars if they want to golf any time soon.

Mill Creek Golf Course was flooded by the heavy storms on Tuesday, forcing the course to shut down. Brian Tolnar, Mill Creek’s PGA director of golf, said the course will be closed until the weekend at the earliest.

“We had some greens under water, tees under water and fairways all submerged,” Tolnar said Wednesday. “Our entrance from [U.S.] 224 into the facility is subsequently closed as well.”

The course also experienced 10 to 12 down trees that were uprooted due to the saturation.

Holes near U.S. 224, Tippecanoe Road and Lockwood Boulevard sustained the most flooding. Tolnar said the majority of the South course is out of commission. The North course had six to eight holes flooded, but has the best chance to reopen quickly.

Mill Creek hopes to have the North course reopened by Saturday and the South course by Sunday.

“Everything pretty much runs through the Metro Parks,” Tolnar said. “When it starts getting backed up, we start getting backed up, the water starts going over the road where the golf course is.

“It’s just how much are you gonna get, and hopefully it’s not too much.”

Tolnar isn’t aware of the financial impact other than canceled outings. He said the course has tried to make arraignments with groups from out of town. Tolnar said no equipment was damaged in the storm.

Saturday’s Drive, Chip and Putt contest for younger golfers could be impacted. Tolnar said today’s weather will determine the future of any events or outings.

Tolnar said the last time a storm impacted the course this severely was five years ago. However, the rainfall then was not as severe.

“Any time you get more than five inches or four-and-a-half inches of rain or whatever the number is, it’s tough to control the creeks and the levies and the lakes and stuff from backing up,” Tolnar said. “We can take two or three inches here and there and not have an issue and be playing the next morning.

“But when we’re taking on five and another inch today and possibly another inch or two tomorrow, you’re pushing the boundaries. It’s just Mother Nature.”

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Boardman 5th graders participate in ‘Bio Blitz’ at Lily Pond

Boardman 5th graders had the opportunity to learn in a unique way on Thursday.

According to the press release, 5th grade students from Boardman Center Intermediate School spent the day at the Lily Pond at Mill Creek Park learning about organisms and ecosystems of the area.

The students recorded their findings with on iPads and will post their findings to a website called iNaturalist.

“We hope this is something we can repeat, year after year, with our 5th graders,” said Science teacher Megan Turillo. “This kind of field trip provides great hands on opportunities, and the kids can track their results, and make observations about a place that’s close to home. It’s not only learning, but it’s also about having an impact.”

Boardman Subaru sponsored the field trip and teachers hope to expand the trip to include 7th and 8th graders.

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