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Breaking Ground

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One of a kind and lots of it: VNTG Home opens in Tyler Village

With a career in retail that spans more than 25 years, Megan Featherston knows the trends and shopping behavior of the furniture and home furnishings market.

“I’m really wired for and passionate about putting the fun back in retail,” Featherston says. “Most people shop to fill a void. But with everything so homogenous, it’s like [the movie] Groundhog’s Day.’
 
Then last year, Featherston noticed a problem that she knew she could solve. She saw Baby Boomers looking to downsize and get rid of some of the nice furniture they’ve acquired over the years, while Millennials are constantly searching for unique, affordable furnishings,
 
So earlier this month Featherston opened VNTG Home, 1427 E. 36th St. at Tyler Village

Read about how VNTG Home solves both generational problems here.
 

Grassroots success: NewBridge Cleveland helps those who help themselves

This series of stories, "Grassroots Success: Awakening the Power of Families and Neighborhoods," explores how meaningful impact on our communities grows from the ground up. Support for "Grassroots Success" is provided by Neighborhood Connections and NewBridge Cleveland Center for Arts & Technology.
 
This past Saturday at the Cleveland Masonic Auditorium, the NewBridge Cleveland Center for Art and Technology graduated 60 students from their Phlebotomy Technician, Pharmacy Technician and Hospital Nursing Assistant programs. While the event marked a promising new day for those students, Fresh Water took some time to meet former NewBridge student Tyeisha Long, whose story truly brings the organization's impact into sharp focus.

Mckinley Wiley took the photos included in this article during the May 20, 2017 NewBridge Cleveland graduation celebration.
 
Tyeisha Long was raising a small child alone, living with various relatives for short periods of time when she made a pivotal decision. She was going to move forward to a better position in life no matter how much sacrifice it involved. And then without looking back, she did.

Read her inspirational story here.
 

Three tips: local organic lawn man on growing truly green grass

Inspired by what he learned in high school biology class about the dangers of chemicals and fertilizers used to make lawns weed-free and green, Alec McClennan founded Good Nature Organic Lawn Care in 1999 after earning his engineering degree.
 
With just a handful of customers and hid Subaru hatchback, McClennan set out to educate Clevelanders about the health and environmental factors associated with chemical pesticides and fertilizers, and prove there was a better, natural way to grow lush, healthy lawns.

Today, McClennan has 35 employees, 18 trucks and serves thousands of customers in Cleveland, Akron and Columbus neighborhoods.

With success like that, you'll want to listen to his advice on how you can improve your yard organically by reading the rest of the article.

Tiny vacant lot transformed into unique property

Early last year, a 35-foot by 95-foot plot of land at 1427 Scenic St. in Lakewood sat uncared for with a shaky past.

The Cuyahoga County Land Bank had razed the abandoned house, the adjacent neighbors had no interest in the land and the non-profit community organization LakewoodAlive was desperately searching for someone to plant some love on the property.

Find out what happened to the pint-sized property here.

'Cardinal Nest' nurtures students from Euclid to Warrensville Heights and beyond

When Carly Hill attended East Cleveland’s Shaw High School, she was accustomed to being one of the star pupils — earning good grades, participating in mock trials in preparation for her planned law career and she was often chosen for special projects.
 
Hills describes her experience at Shaw being a part of a small group of students intensely interested in learning. In fact, she earned all As, except for her first and only B in 11th grade.
 
“Imagine being in a class of 20 students,” Hill says. “In most of my classes, there was a small group of students interested in learning among a disruptive group, and as a result, we were always the only ones picked for special projects. Then those five well-behaved students were placed in AP and honors classes. That group of students aren't necessarily there because they know more, it's merely because they are not disruptive.”
 
Carly HillSo when Hill graduated in 2010 as valedictorian and headed off to Howard University on a scholarship, she expected life to be the same at the prestigious college. But things were different from the moment she stepped onto the Washington, D.C. campus.
 
“Shaw High School is 99.9 percent African American and Howard also is an historically black college, and I thought I knew what it was like to be black,” Hill recalls. “But I was around a completely different group of people. It was culture shock.”
 
No longer was Hill among a select group of serious straight A students. She was among the country’s best and brightest. “I expected it to be a little different, but not as different, and I knew it was a good college” she recalls. “It was a real culture shock to realize they don’t know me and I had to prove myself. At Shaw it was not as hard to separate yourself. At Howard, everyone is that kid, everyone is the best.”
 
By the time she got to Howard, Hill had decided to major in biology instead of law. But she was not prepared for the required chemistry minor and received a D in the class. Hill lost both her scholarship and her self-confidence. After her first semester, she briefly dropped out of Howard.
 
“I lost hope,” Hill says.

Read the rest of the story to find out how she regained it.

PHOTOS: inside the grand and historic Standard Building

As only the second owner in the Standard Building’s history, Weston, Inc. has spent the past three years transforming the former bank and office building into 281 apartments that follow the latest trends in downtown Cleveland living.

The building sits in the heart of downtown at 99 W. St. Clair Ave. Now dubbed simply, The Standard, the project is set to be completed later this year. The building once housed the offices of famed Cleveland safety director Eliot Ness and served as a registration site for draftees during World War II through the 1960s.
 
“There’s staggering history there and we’re only the second owner,” says Suzanne Broadbent, Weston’s dealmaker. “We’re very excited about this project. It’s a huge project for us and a huge project for downtown Cleveland, We think it will change the landscape of downtown.”
 
Fresh Water recently had the chance to get a sneak peek at the progress in the historic building during a Cleveland Restoration Society SNOOPS tour.

Get the whole story and see all the photos here.

Update: iconic water tower retakes rightful place atop Lofts at Lion Mills

In its heyday, Lion Knitting Mills established a reputation for making wool military goods, and later sweaters for the consumer market.

The 1919 factory at 3256 W. 25th St. in the Clark-Fulton neighborhood sat vacant after Lion Knitting Mills closed its doors in 1990, until the Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization (DSCDO) bought the 52,000-square-foot building and began converting it into affordable loft-style apartments in 2016.

Get the whole story here.

PHOTOS: art blooms at NewBridge spring exhibition

This Friday, the NewBridge Cleveland Center for Arts and Technology, which aims to give at-risk Cleveland youth a fresh and different outlook on education and life. will host its Spring Session Art Exhibition. Fresh Water managing photographer Bob Perkoski previews the festivities here.
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