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Featuring both rolling farmlands and quirky downtowns, Portage County is the home of a diverse community.

The county — which ranks in the top 25 percent of Ohio counties in terms of population — has its own unique charm. Out of its 162,000 residents, each has their own story to tell, and their own different contributions to their community.

In an attempt to highlight the diversity of the county, 24 students between the photojournalism I and photojournalism II classes set out to capture what makes Portage County truly special.

Within 24 hours, students hunted for stories throughout the county, photographing the blue collar workers, community leaders and educators that influence the community. They also documented the their own stories, and uncovered the beauty of Portage in towns ranging from Garrettsville to our very own Kent.

The project created a collection of some of the best images showcasing Portage and all that it has to offer, both big and small. I hope you’ll enjoy this 24-hour snapshot of our beautiful county, and encourage you to go out and do your own exploration both in-and-out of Kent. Who knows, you may be surprised by what you find.

Friday, April 20


Roosevelt high school

(12:09pm) Kreigh Barnette (right), junior Roosevelt High School student, holds a sign and looks towards traffic along Main Street in front of the Portage County Municipal Court in Kent, Ohio during a student organized walk out for common sense gun reform Friday, April 20, 2018. “ I don’t want it to lose steam,” Barnette said. “It’s important to show up and have students lead the group.” Carter Adams / The Kent Stater

12:19 p.m.

Roosevelt students

Logan Bore stands with eight of his fellow classmates from Theodore Roosevelt High School who protest in front of the Portage County Municipal Court on April 20, 2018. The protesters were in support of stricter gun laws and they interacted with traffic, pedestrians and several media outlets who were present. Some students had an excused absence, those who didn't would return to school with a suspension.

12:41 p.m.

Roosevelt students protest

(12:41) Students from Kent Roosevelt High School protest gun violence in front of the Kent Courthouse on April 20, 2018. The protest was on the day of the 19 anniversary of the Columbine shooting. "This is the kids day. It's their thing. I figured I'd let him come out of class for this today," said Andrew Bores, father of one of the students protesting. Nathaniel Bailey/ The Kent Stater

1:08 p.m.


(1:08pm) Owner Amanda Yackmack prepares flower bouquets for weekend delivery, at Sandy's Notions in Streetsboro, on Friday afternoon, April 20, 2018. She worked as an intern at this shop while a student at Kent State University and ended up taking over the business afterward. "It's definitely not the type of business I would've started on my own, but I've enjoyed many aspects of the work," said Yackmack. Kaitlyn Freiling / The Kent Stater

1:09 p.m. 


(1:09pm) Angus McDougall conducts a verbal quiz with students in Academy 1 at Crestwood High School on a Friday afternoon, April 20, 2018. The American Experience Academy is like no other program in the country and meshes history, science, and english into one comprehensive course during which students participate in intellectual discussions, create time period clothing relics from the Ohio Frontier, create lesson plans to teach 3rd graders, skin and tan deer hides, and much more. "We wanted to create a program that wasn't like any other. We wanted something that will challenge students while keeping them engaged and force learning to go above and beyond the normal scale," said McDougall. Kristen Jones / special to The Kent Stater

1:18 p.m.

Abandon Tractor

(1:18 pm) An abandoned tractor lays in a field in Nelson Township, Friday afternoon, April 20, 2018. Nick Cammett/The Kent Stater

1:32 p.m.

Wood furnace

(1:32pm) Nick Watters checks the fire in the furnace that heats his dads house in Atwater, Friday afternoon, April 20, 2018. Nick grew up gathering wood and heating their house and garage with a wood furnace. A lot of wood is required to keep the house warm during winter months. “I remember my punishment as a kid would be to come out here and split wood by hand for the furnace. Sometimes I would be out here for hours as punishment,” Nick said. Zack Davis/ The Kent Stater.

1:35 p.m.

Steel steps

(1:35 pm) The steel steps of a slide in Freedom Township read 'AMERICAN', Friday afternoon, April 20, 2018. Nick Cammett/The Kent Stater

1:38 p.m.


(1:38 pm) Travis Strausser, Charlie Zawacki, and Frank Yoskey return the stretcher to their vehicle after dropping a patient off at Western Reserve Hospital. The woman they transported suffered from an infection in her leg that stopped her from walking completely. Frank Yoskey said "We get a lot of calls like this. People have fallen and can't get up, people who let infections go too long and need help, usually we don't take people to the hospital we just help them on site and then we go."

1:48 p.m.


(1:48 pm) Hiram College head women's basketball coach Alexandra Dellas plays cornhole in the hallways of the athletic offices, Friday afternoon, April 20, 2018. Dellas, along with sports information director Jerrod Plate helped break in the new cornhole boards. "This keeps me woke," Dellas joked. Nick Cammett/The Kent Stater

1:51 p.m.

Uptown Subs and Dogs owner

(1:51) Eric Morris prepares a sub for a customer in his shop Uptown Subs and Dogs on April 20, 2018. Eric has owned the shop for seven years. "I like it. I know most of my customers by name. It's like a community," Eric said about the shop. Nathaniel Bailey/ The Kent Stater

1:54 p.m.


Livia Lanci, a dancer at Kent State University, gets her nose pierced at Defiance Tattoos during a walk in on April 20, 2018 with piercer Rob Bohn. After the piercing was complete, she stated, "I was nervous, but, it didn't hurt that bad."

2:05 p.m.


(2:05pm) Ted (from left), Chris, Curtis, and Josh all work on paving the end of a driveway off Route 44 in Randolph, Friday afternoon, April 20, 2018. Curtis and the other employees of Sable Asphalt plan on having a very busy summer. "You will be seeing a lot of us this summer," Curtis said. Zack Davis/ The Kent Stater.

2:50 p.m.

Customer at Uptown Subs and Dogs

(2:50) A customer sits in Uptown Subs and Dogs on April 20, 2018. The shop is owned by Eric Morris. “I know most of my customers by name. It's like a community," Eric said about the shop. Nathaniel Bailey/ The Kent Stater

3:07 p.m.

Boutique shop

(3:07pm) Owner Julie Lazor delivers purchase to Kendall Begue at Abigail's in Aurora, Friday afternoon, April 20 2018. Lazor has owned the eclectic fashion boutique for 8 years now. "We have three floors, so its a maze in here, full of so much to look at," said Lazor. Kaitlyn Freiling / Special to The Kent Stater

3:19 p.m.

Windham Bible Church

(3:19 pm) A sign outside the Windham Bible Church delivers a powerful message, while standing in front of a cemetary, Friday afternoon, April 20, 2018. Nick Cammett/The Kent Stater

3:28 p.m.

Train mural

(3:28 pm) A mural of a train outside Garrettsvile welcomes visitors to the riverside town, Friday, April 20, 2018. Nick Cammett/The Kent Stater

3:48 p.m.

Big saw

(1548) Carpenter Tim Kasper saws through an uncut bench to be built into a pavilion at Hiram College. Kasper, who has been a carpenter for 15 years, built the pavilion last year for the school’s Environmental Science program. Kasper said that the project utilized a holistic building concept of working with nature instead of against it.

4:06 p.m.

Airport refueling

(4:06pm) Chris Gilmore, President of Godfrey & wing Inc., refuels a vintage Luscombe Silvaire after landing at the Portage County Regional Airport in Ravenna, Ohio Friday, April 20, 2018. Gilmore is a member of the airport board of trustees and has been flying for over ten years after learning from Lou Gliozzi (not pictured) who he was flying with in the 73 year old aircraft. “This is the plane that teaches you how to fly,” said Gilmore. “You use your hands, you use your eyes, your feet you use everything.” Carter Adams / The Kent Stater

4:16 p.m.


(4:16 pm) Auto repairman Rod Bescher replaces parts on the front of this car at Frankie and Dylan's Collision Center in Streetsboro on April 20, 2018. He has worked on cars for nearly 20 years, bouncing around from various shops. "I really enjoy the satisfaction of finishing a job, especially a hands-on job," said Bescher. Kaitlyn Freiling / Special to The Kent Stater

5:06 p.m.

Plane landing

(5:06pm) Ray Tartabini (right), a pilot of eight years, takes off from the Portage County Regional Airport with friend and flight instructor Lou Gliozzi in Ravenna, Ohio Friday, April 20, 2018. Carter Adams / The Kent Stater

5:31 p.m.

Deputies laughing

Alex Cheronis and Charlie Zawacki laugh after learning a fellow deputy has stopped being vegan after three days. They made a pot of vegan chili for dinner that night. "We really expected him to last longer than he did. He kept going on about how much he loves rice." said Alex Cheronis.

5:37 p.m.

BMX flip

(5:37) Zach Haas does a backflip on his BMX bike at a skate park in Aurora, Ohio, on April 20, 2018. Zach is a senior in high school, and said he had been riding for two or three years. "I would love to go pro after I graduate... but I don't know. I know my parents want me to get a good job." Nathaniel Bailey/ The Kent Stater

7:12 p.m.

Pup at concert

Joe Casamento, an attendee of the 4/20 show at The Outpost , brings his dog to the show to hang out with the crowd and the crew on April 20, 2018. Maude mingled with the crowd all night, but stopped for a short break during Nythis's set on the main stage. Casamento said, "I got her when she was three... and she's part boxer, so I wanted to give her an old, German name."

7:21 p.m.

Geauga lake drone view

(7:21pm) Leftover concrete anchors sit in Geauga Lake, Friday evening, April 20, 2018. Geauga Lake & Wildwater Kingdom was a once thriving theme park that was closed September 16, 2007 and ultimately abandoned. Alex Cossin / The Kent Stater

8:30 p.m.

Deerfield Skating

(8:30 pm) The owner of Deerfield skating, Walt Carrington, talks with a worker who is tighting his shoe April 20. Carrington has been running the skating rink for 5 months. "It works out because [the skating rink] is busy in the winter and the farmers market (Carrington's other bussiness) is busy in the spring," said Carrington.

8:46 p.m.

Deerfield Skating 2

Customers at Deerfield Skating play games and skate during the night, Friday April 20.

9:38 p.m.

Hideaway Poolhall

(9:38 pm) Seth Moore plays a game of eight ball scratch doubles at the Hideaway Poolhall in Windham, Friday night, April 20, 2018. Moore was the second youngest youth league qualifier in the APA Las Vegas Tournament. He will compete in Las Vegas in eight ball scratch doubles. Nick Cammett/The Kent Stater

10:41 p.m.

Twin star lanes

(10:41pm) Dona talks to the bartender through the window to the kitchen at Twin Star Lanes in Kent, Friday night, April 20, 2018. Dona used to work for the Kent School district until they let go of part time employees. "They said just a few hours a week and that's about all I wanted. That was four years ago," Dona said. Zack Davis/The Kent Stater

11:02 p.m.

Cow feeding

(11:02pm) Russ Stoltzfus, 38, feeds a day-old Holstein calf after an evening milking at his farm in Windham, Ohio Friday, April 20, 2018. Stoltzfus, his partner Nicole Vojtech and his father Brian look to expand their herd in the near future and continue the tradition of the family owned operation at their new location, which they moved to in December. “I was driving a tractor when I was 9-years old, it’s always been my dad and I,” said Stoltzfus. “It’s all by family, we don’t hire.” Carter Adams / The Kent Stater

Saturday, April 21

1:00 a.m.

Night Traffic

The curb view of passing traffic around 1:00 a.m. at the intersection of Willow Street, Haymaker Parkway and East Main Street in Kent, OH on April 21, 2018.

1:29 a.m.

Pool bar

(1:29am) Torin and his friend Katie enjoy a game of pool at the Ace of Diamonds in Diamond, early Saturday morning, April 21, 2018. Torin was trying hard to concentrate on his shot when Katie was talked into distracting him by their friends. "Once these girls get some shots in them you will start to see some crzy stuff," Torin said. Zack Davis/ The Kent Stater

1:40 a.m.

Juke box at the bar

(1:40am) Jarett and Katie search through a juke box at the Ace of Diamonds in Diamond, Ohio, Saturday morning, April 21, 2018. Alex Cossin / The Kent Stater

6:27 a.m.

Woodie fishing pole

(0627) Kyle Woodie, a firefighter at Highland Heights, fixes a lure onto his fishing line early Saturday Morning at West Branch State Park.

6:34 a.m.

Fly fishing

(6:34am) Kyle Woodie starts fishing at West Branch State Park in Portage County, Saturday morning, April 21, 2018. April rain caused the shoreline to rise by a few feet. This is the first time fishing at West Branch for Kyle, who was meeting a friend who had a boat. "He's the one with the boat so I go wherever he does. This is the first time I have been out here," Woodie said. Zack Davis/The Kent Stater

6:39 a.m.

Flyfishing Woody

(6:39 am) Woodie fishes in the West Branch State Park while waiting for a friend to bring his boat. This was Woody's fist time fishing in the lake. "Hopefully I catch something with you taking all these pictures," said Woodie.

7:50 a.m.

Black squirrel eating nut

(7:50 am) A black squirrel chews on a nut as it sits outside the Advanced Auto Parts store in Kent, Saturday morning, April 21, 2018. Nick Cammett/The Kent Stater

8:36 a.m.

Rootstown Firefighter

(8:36am) Captain Marty Jenior, a 22 year firefighter with the Rootstown Fire Department, inserts an IV into a dehydrated woman’s arm after she collapsed in her Rootstown home. Jenior dropped the woman off at the UH - Ravenna while his driver cleaned the rig. “By the time we hit Rootstown, we’ll be ready for another call,” said Jenior before leaving the hospital.

8:58 a.m.

Coffee shop

(8:58 am) Issac Korb assists customers Saturday morning at Scribbles Coffee Co. in Kent on April 21 2018. The Kent State student has worked at Scribbles for 2 years now while studying for med school. "It's crazy how much coffee I drink now that I work here, because I never drank coffee before," said Korb. Kaitlyn Freiling / Special to The Kent Stater

9:23 a.m.


(9:23) Namoi Sanor is consoled by her teammates after falling over a hurdle and hurting herself while warming up for the Crestwood Middle School Red Devil Relays track meet. "I'll still race today. It still hurts, but I'll still race." Nathaniel Bailey/ The Kent Stater

9:59 a.m.

Track grandparents

(9:59) Spectators watch the shot put at the Crestwood Middle School Red Devil Relays on April 21, 2018. "Our granddaughter goes to Garfield. It's a great little community. Great place for her to go. This is her first year throwing shot put, and it's fun to come see her," said Judy Thronton (sitting second from the right). Nathaniel Bailey/ The Kent Stater

10:07 a.m.

Farmers Market

(10:07am) Janice Brown, right, explains the differences between lettuce types to a customer during the Haymakers’ Farmers Market at the United Methodist Church of Kent, Saturday morning, April 21, 2018. She and her husband, back right, have been growing all types of lettuce since 2015 from their Akron farm. “I grew up on a self-sustaining farm. You never forget how good fresh produce tastes, “ Stephen said. John Conley / The Kent Stater

10:30 a.m.


Deb McCurry, and Diane Ohman, a regular customer, hug in the lobby of Sunshine Cupcakes in Ravenna, Saturday morning, April 21, 2018. McCurry has been busy with orders all morning, but gave a dozen cupcakes free of charge to Ohman. “I don’t take for granted that people choose us, you know over other bakeries like Giant Eagle, where they could probably spend less money.” McCurry said. Anu Sharma / The Kent Stater.

11:12 a.m.

Randolph Library

(11:12am) Roberta Suhoza, an Alumni of Kent State University (Educational Studies), laughs with a patron in the Randolph Library in Randolph, Ohio on Saturday, April 21, 2018. Suhoza is now one year into her Children’s Librarian position but has been working in libraries since her 5th grade year. “I love our little library,” Suhoza said about the library that was once a storage shed.

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