The truth about ‘Shelly’ roadsigns

Over the past couple of months, strange signs with the word “Shelly” emblazoned on them have been appearing in various locations on state Route 59, as well as in areas on and around campus.

Senior accounting major Erin Cecil has seen some of the stickers on Route 59.

“Somebody really likes this Shelly girl,” Cecil said.

Larry Emling, assistant manager of Kent State Parking Services, said that Shelly signs are just an indicator that a job is being performed by The Shelly Company, an asphalt paving company which has been hired to perform roadwork Kent residents have observed on Route 59.

But even if The Shelly Company is doing a job in the area, why would they plaster their name on every road sign?

Chris Tolnar, a design engineer for the city of Kent, said, “A lot of the projects require the same traffic control signage. This is so the company knows which signs belong to them.”

— Ben Breier

University puts finishing touches on paint job for May 4 Memorial posts

The university recently began to finish painting the May 4 Memorial posts in the Taylor Hall parking lot.

Structural Superintendent Edward O’Connell said the posts were painted black in order to help maintain appearance of the memorials.

“The memorials are very important to us and the history of the university, and they are on a schedule to receive periodic maintenance,” he said.

The painting began in May, but one of the four memorials was left untouched until late last week.

“It was due to time constraints and other priorities that arose, which required us to temporarily reassign personnel to other areas of campus,” O’Connell said.

­—William Schertz

KSU music professor dies after 25 years of service

Margaret Baxtresser, professor emeritus of music at Kent State, died June 7 at the age of 82.

Baxtresser taught piano at Kent State from 1966 to 1991 and was “one of the finest professors of music that the Hugh A. Glauser School of Music ever hired,” said Mary Sue Hyatt, interim director of the school of music.

“She was a wonderful teacher, extremely valuable role model, a sensitive and outstanding pianist, marvelous musician, generous human being, a caring mother to many and a truly dedicated teacher,” Hyatt said. “She gave freely of her time, talents and often of her own resources to her students and her colleagues.”

Throughout her career, Baxtresser was active in many music school events and fundraisers. She formed the Ludwig Concert Series, featuring Kent State faculty.

In January, Baxtresser helped to pick out a Steinway piano in memory of music school patron Antoinette Glauser and was the featured soloist at the dedication ceremony.

Another piano Baxtresser helped to find will be dedicated this fall.

Baxtresser was also a famous concert pianist. She performed throughout the world, including tours of Europe, India and Japan.

One highlight of her career was a 1994 performance in Vietnam. She was the first American artist to perform in Hanoi since 1964, and she returned to the country twice.

Throughout her long career, Baxtresser left an unforgettable legacy at the school of music, Hyatt said.

“She demonstrated that music and art are the essence of the meaning of life, and they are to be enjoyed and shared by all,” she said.

A memorial service was held Saturday in Akron, featuring a performance by the Seneca Trio with associate music professor John Ferritto on piano.

Memorial donations can be made to the Children’s Concert Society, 198 Hill St., Akron, Ohio 44325.

— Amanda Garrett

New city manager begins work today

New Kent City Manager David Ruller starts his new job today, attending his first City Council meeting at 7:30 p.m.

Ruller was chosen from a field of three candidates because of his enthusiasm and skill, Mayor John Fender said.

“He has a lot of drive and energy and a strong sense of determination to get things done, but he combines that energy with a patience to wait until things are done right,” Fender said.

Ruller, who was the assistant city manager for public works and utilities in Kingsport, Tenn., was chosen by a unanimous vote of City Council on April 20. He will receive a $95,000 annual salary, with an additional $4,750 per year placed in a retirement account. Ruller will also receive an automobile allowance of $300 per month, and the city will cover any official travel expenses.

“He is an excellent and enthusiastic speaker, and I think he is going to be a good leader in the city,” he said. “I think he will become highly visible in the community.”

—Amanda Garrett