In 2019, Prairie Township said farewell to a dedicated member of its fire department and its recreation director and welcomed some new amenities at area landmarks such as a library and schools. Here is a look back at the 5 top storylines:
CHANGING OF THE CHIEFS -- After 35 years with the Prairie Township Fire Department, including the past six as chief, Chris Snyder stepped down in October to take the job of chief with the Jefferson Township Fire Department in neighboring Madison County. Snyder was hired by Prairie Township in 1985, part of its first crew of full-time firefighters that would provide 24/7 coverage. His replacement, former assistant chief Robert Allen Scott, was sworn in Oct. 23.
FESTIVE CELEBRATION -- A new community festival was organized to mark Prairie Township's bicentennial by celebrating "all things Prairie" in October. The Prairie Harvest Festival offered a full day of activities ranging from pumpkin-carving and pie-baking contests to fire-safety demonstrations.
RECREATION RESIGNATION -- Prairie Township trustees accepted the Aug. 2 resignation of recreation director James Gant and appointed Michael Pollack as his interim replacement. Gant was hired for the job of Hilliard's deputy director of recreation and parks and started work Aug. 5. He had worked for the township since 2014.
LIBRARY EXPANSION -- Southwest Public Libraries dedicated the expanded Youth Services Department at the Westland Area Library, 4740 W. Broad St., on March 23. The 3,670-square-foot expansion brought the footprint to nearly 30,000 square feet. When the library system first opened a branch in Prairie Township in 1972, the space was 6,000 square feet.
SCHOOL FACELIFTS -- The South-Western City School District completed construction of a new annex at Bolton Crossing Elementary School in January, and all 12 classrooms in the annex were in use at the start of the 2019-20 school year. The district began the design process for the next phase of its Ohio Facilities Construction Commission project, which will create new buildings at Brookpark, Finland, Norton and Pleasant View middle schools and include renovations at Jackson Middle School and East Franklin Elementary School. -- Alan Froman