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Mantua – At a school-wide assembly last Friday afternoon, staff and students at the Crestwood Middle School in Mantua gathered to learn the results of the school’s Kindness Challenge. The event, sponsored by CMS’s Rachel’s Challenge student organization, encouraged both CMS and Crestwood Intermediate students to document random acts of kindness to each other by noting them on slips of paper. Throughout the week, these paper strips were linked with other strips, creating a tangible symbol of how each simple act, when combined with others, can make a big impact. In addition, students at both schools were able to purchase links for a dollar, raising funds to send Girl Scout cookies to troops stationed overseas. As a result, the Challenge raised enough funds to send three cases of cookies to troops, spreading kindness overseas, as well.

The April MVGC meeting will be held, at noon, at the home of Carol Fenrich.  A light meal will be served, followed by a short business meeting. Our guest speaker, this month, is White Dove Crow, a  Medicine Teacher of Native American culture.  White Dove Crow will inform us of how the traditional Native American culture uses plants for food and medicine.  We welcome those who are interested, to join us.  For more information please contact Lea Lazar 330-274-0614, or Diane Lottig 330-274-2868.

Upcoming events:  The MVGC will be hosting an Arbor Day/Memorial program for Elvira Brockman on April 25th, at the Park Lodge, and its annual plant sale on May 17th (plant donations are welcome).  More details to come.  Mark your calendars!

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Mantua - At this month’s board meeting, Director of Pupil Services, Michael Maglionico made a presentation on behalf of the District Leadership Team (DLT). Mr. Maglionico’s presentation introduced the team, which is charged with analyzing the district’s data, including student achievement and graduation rates, then accessing the most critical needs of the district. This team will then develop plans based on those needs, which will be implemented throughout the district. The DLT team is comprised of district administrators, teachers, curriculum liaisons, members of the community, representatives from the school board, and Superintendent David Toth. They will meet quarterly.

Mantua – At Power of the Pen competitions across Ohio, students are given a topic sentence or ‘prompt’ on the spot and have 40 minutes to write a complete short story. While the exact prompts are confidential, coach Marphy shared, “In one round, students were given the topic sentence, ‘You’ve got to be kidding’ and told to use it in their story. In another prompt students were asked to consider something that is now obsolete and write a story about it.  As the competition progresses, the prompts get more difficult, and no electronic devices are permitted. At Regional and District competitions, students are permitted to use a dictionary. At the State level, however, the use of dictionaries is not permitted. 

Mantua Twp. – At a recent meeting of the Mantua Township Trustees, the trustees approved a resolution to certify their jurisdiction of 37.09 miles of township roads. In similar news, they have also approved a list of zoning Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) in response to the increase in questions received from realtors and appraisers. The updated list has been posted on the Township website, so visit mantuatownshipohio.gov for the latest information.

Mantua - Last week, students at Crestwood Primary School were on their feet, clapping wildly as their school gymnasium was filled with music and dance. Was it simply a cure for cabin fever, or the result of far too many recess periods spent indoors?  It was all that, and much more, as these fortunate kids received a visit, and a performance by the dancers of Ballet Excel Ohio.

Mantua – Several months ago, K & K Meat Shoppe owner and proprietor Dennis Kolar, Sr. wanted to retire. So he handed over the reigns, and the 12-year-old Mantua Village landmark business, to new owners, and began life as a retiree. But after a few months in a new role taking care of his wife, his house, and his dog, Kolar decided to retire as a retiree and get back to work. And now, K & K is back in town, and the positive feedback from residents has been overwhelming.

Garrettsville – As last week’s warmer weather brought melting snow and renewed our hope of spring, it also brought forth a group of Girl Scouts on a field trip to the Weekly Villager office in Garrettsville. The group of Juniors from troop 732 and Brownies from troop 835 came to the weekly newspaper to find out more about how the newspaper works, and to meet the paper’s owners, Michelle Zivoder and  Christine Gerez.

The Mantua Village Garden Club will be resuming its meetings for the upcoming 2014 gardening season.  MVGC is one of the oldest established organizations in town, which was founded in 1935.  The first meeting of the year will be held at noon, at the home of president, Lea Lazar.  Members will enjoy a pot luck luncheon, to kick things off, a short business meeting, and then discuss the upcoming programs that the officers have put in place.  Members will be asked to share their most valuable garden tip, and bring their favorite veggie recipe.  The MVGC welcomes new members, so feel free to come and join us, on March 3, to see if it might be an organization that is right for you. For more information please contact Lea Lazar at (330)274-0614, or Diane Lottig at (330)274-2868.

Mantua –  The Mouse and the Motorcycle  came to life at Crestwood Primary School last week, as Principal Cindy Ducca appeared, dressed as a mouse at her school’s “One Book, One School” assembly. According to Mrs. Ducca, her attire was a reward to her students, who exceeded their goal of reading five books per child during the school’s special reading program that highlighted the classic book by Beverly Cleary.

As we enjoy the competition and exhilaration of the Winter Olympics, cheering on the talented men and women of our US Olympic team, it’s hard to imagine that things haven’t always been so equal for male and female athletes. For example, after the 1964 Olympics, swimmer Donna de Varona, who had won gold medals, could not obtain a college swimming scholarship, because for women, they did not exist. And in elementary schools through high schools across this country, the situation was not much different.

Mantua –  In his report to the School Board, Superintendent David Toth shared that first grade teacher Natalie Harr was one of only two Ohio educators to receive the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science this year. Harr will receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation, which administers the program. She is currently on professional leave from the District as she serves as a 2013-2014 Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow at the National Science Foundation in Washington, D.C.

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For the past 16 years Alan Feinstein has been giving away one million dollars each year to aid agencies throughout the country that are dealing with hunger issues. He does it because he believes, “Each of us was put here on earth to do what we can to help those in need.”
His money started this campaign but each one of us can help by donations to the 4 C’s food cupboard. All food donated between March 1st and April 30th will count toward the challenge. Each item: can of soup, box of spaghetti, etc. — counts as one. Please help us as we, the volunteers at 4 C’s help to feed the hungry.

Donations may be made at the Hilltop Church, Mondays, Wednesdays, or Fridays from 1:00 to 3:00 or call us at 330-274-3310 during those hours and we will tell you when to bring your donations. Ask your church to take up a collection, have your children collect food at school. Help us in any way you can.  Hunger never takes a holiday.

Mantua – Refuse to COOK and attend “The BEST CHILI COOK-OFF EVER”.  It starts Thursday, February 27th from 5-7 pm, in the decorated Crestwood HS cafeteria. The proceeds will assist the Rotary Club of Mantuas to fund 2014 Scholarships and Awards for Crestwood students!  The Mantua Rotary Club has supported the academic and service achievements of our Crestwood students for decades. The awarded amounts given to Crestwood students in the last ten years have exceeded $40,000!  To expand the relationship between Crestwood Schools, the Rotary Club is offering the 1st Annual “Serve It Up” Chili Cook Off.

Mantua Twp. – At the last meeting to discuss prospective plans for the Mantua Center School/Administration Building, over 60 residents braved the blustery weather to find out the results of community feedback regarding the historic township structure. Todd Peetz, from Portage County Regional Planning Commission again led the meeting.

Honestly. We are without excuse. We’re fresh into the New Year and the launchpad of New Resolutions. February is Heart Month, sponsored by the American Heart Association to build awareness that heart disease is the #1 killer among American men and women — and it’s largely preventable with a lifestyle marked by regular exercise and a healthy diet. And it’s Winter Olympics season. Even if you’re not an athlete, just watching a half hour of the world’s most fit competitors is inspirational and motivational. 

At the first regularly scheduled meeting in 2014, the Village Council approved appointment of Paul Janson as 2014 President of Council. In addition, Mr. Janson was appointed to the Finance Committee along with Ben Prescott and John Clark. Martin Hura was named the alternate member to the Finance Committee. Bill Zoller, Ben Prescott, and John Clark were appointed to the Service Committee. Mr. Janson was named as the alternate member to that committee. Council also appointed Martin Hura, Giles Seith, and Bill Zoller to the Village’s Safety Committee. Ben Prescott will serve as an alternate. Lastly, Council appointed Bill Zoller to fill the position of Mantua Village Representative to the MSFD Fire Board, effective February of this year. Giles Seith will serve as his alternate.  At this time, a Village representative and Mantua-Shalersville Fire Department representative have not yet been appointed. 

Mantua – Nine Crestwood-area boys and girls ages 10 to 14 were named Local and District Champions of the 2014 Knights of Columbus Free Throw Championship and have earned the right to complete at the Regional level.  Mantua Council # 3766 sponsored the local competition at Crestwood Middle School on Jan 15th and the District level at Aurora High on Jan 19th.  All youngsters ages 10-14 were eligible to participate.

Mantua – “Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle…” is a quote you will see displayed throughout Crestwood Middle School.

Eighth grade Crestwood Middle School Wrestler, Tom Carson, acted in the very spirit of this quote showing the finest character and integrity during a wrestling tournament at West Geauga the weekend of January 11th, 2014.

Mantua – When Downtown Mantua Revitalization Corporation  (DMRC) member Mary Hannah saw the vacant storefront on Prospect Street in the Village, she came up with a plan to revitalize a little portion of the Village she loves so much. She also thought it could be a great venue to give locals a unique shop to find some unusual items. Thus, on the day before Thanksgiving, Mantua’s Secret Attic officially opened, offering handmade and collectible treasures for sale locally.

Mantua Twp. – There is a Mantua Township Community Meeting which was rescheduled because of weather on January 7th to January 29th at 7:00 p.m. at the Mantua Township Civic Center.  The meeting is a follow up from October with additional findings from other community groups and organizations and to discuss the potential possibilities for the old Center School.  We continue to look for community input concerning the school.  The Portage County Regional Planning Commission will be the facilitators for the discussion.  The end product will be a compilation of the suggestions and provide a set of alternatives for the Mantua Township Trustees to consider.   If you have further questions or need additional information, please contact Todd Peetz, Director of Portage County Regional Planning Commission at 330-297-3613.

Mantua Township – At the last regularly scheduled meeting of the Mantua Township Trustees, Trustees Victor Grimm and John Festa were in attendance. Mr. Festa noted that the Township’s inventory has been completed and turned in to Fiscal Officer Marie Stehli. Mr. Grimm noted that a draft document of proposed zoning fees has been completed, with no changes from 2013 fees, other than a change noted on page two of the document. Mr. Grimm stated that he has included his proposed change, which deals with the demolition of a small building. The document will be ready for Trustee vote at the next regularly scheduled meeting.

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Mantua – At the School Board Organizational meeting on January 6th, new School Board members David Becker and Todd Monroe took the oath of office. Once they took their seats, the Board held an election to fill the office of board president and vice president. Matt Sorrick was elected to the position of President, while Debbie Soltisz was elected to fill the Vice President position.

Mantua – Crestwood area boys and girls ages 10 to 14 are invited to participate in the local level of competition for the 2014 Knights of Columbus Free Throw Championship.  This is a fun, free activity for area youth to compete in a Free Throw (foul shot) competition for best of fifteen consecutive shots.  The Knights of Columbus Free Throw Championship is sponsored annually where winners have the chance to progress through local, district, regional, state and possibly international competition levels.  Our 2013 event was a huge success with more than 344,000 sharpshooters participating in over 4,700 local competitions.

Mantua - Principal Arden Sommers is pretty proud of “his kids” at Crestwood High School.  At a recent visit to the school, Sommers proudly shared their stories, as he discussed a program called the Junior/Senior Seminar. The class, which is an elective, and therefore, not a requirement for graduation, is always one of the most popular, even though it is what Sommers calls a “service learning” program. Students are allowed to use their own creativity to design something they feel is lacking, or something that would be beneficial to the local community. They are then encouraged to figure out how to make their vision a reality.

Mantua – The Eighth Grade Crestwood Middle School Pre-Engineering Academy, under the direction of instructor Ed Judd, have the opportunity not only to learn valuable engineering skills, but to how to accurately present their ideas to potential clients. According to Judd, the Acedemy took root when Crestwood Middle School Principal, Julie Schmidt, wanted to add an additional “Star” class to the school’s schedule.  They worked to design the Pre-Engineering Academy — a nine-week class offered to 8th graders to introduce basic engineering concepts.  Explains Judd, “In addition to sketching isomorphic and orthographic figures, hearing from local engineers, researching different engineering careers and learning and using computer assisted design software, the students were in need of an assessment to demonstrate what they have learned. A real-world, “hands on” project seemed like a logical choice.”   

We’ve all heard that you can’t judge a book by its cover. Well on Tuesday, December 10th, that old adage will be updated to include paper clips, dryer sheets, and lots of other seemingly harmless household items. That evening, the Mantua Police Department will host a traveling exhibit entitled “Hidden In Plain Sight,” at the Crestwood High School. The exhibit, hosted by the Bath and Copley Police Departments, gives adults the opportunity to explore and interact with a display designed to resemble an average teenager’s bedroom. Throughout the exhibit are over 150 seemingly harmless items that may indicate that a teen could be involved in some high-risk behavior such as substance abuse, underage drinking, eating disorders, and sexual activity.

Attendees at the awareness program will be able to get an up-close look at the items in the room and be shown how they can be used. The 90-minute program that accompanies the exhibit provides in-depth highlights, as well as resources, should parents need help in resolving any issues they uncover.

Doors open for the program in Mantua at 7:15 p.m.; the presentation begins at 7:30. There is no charge for admittance; however, the program is for adults only.  The traveling exhibit has been shared in over 30 communities throughout Northeastern Ohio since 2012.

For details, contact School Resource Officer Joe Urso at SRO@crestwoodschools.org.

Mantua – Crestwood area boys and girls ages 10 to 14 are invited to participate in the local level of competition for the 2014 Knights of Columbus Free Throw Championship.  This is a fun, free activity for area youth to compete in a Free Throw (foul shot) competition for best of fifteen consecutive shots.  The Knights of Columbus Free Throw Championship is sponsored annually where winners have the chance to progress through Local, District, Regional, State and possibly International competition levels.  Our 2013 event was a huge success with more than 344,000 sharpshooters participating in over 4,700 local competitions.

The competition will be held at Crestwood Middle School at 6:30 pm on January 15, 2014.  All boys and girls 10 to 14 years old (as of January 1, 2014) are eligible to participate and will compete in their respective age divisions.  Participants are required to furnish a copy (not the original) of their birth certificate as proof of age and written parental consent.

All contestants on the local level are recognized for their participation in the event.    Entry forms are available at Crestwood Middle & Intermediate Schools, St. Joseph PSR Office or by contacting Anthony Marinelli at 330.296.3097 or 216.789.8495.

 

Mantua – For the first time ever, the Rotary Club of Mantua is hosting its Christmas Tour of Homes during the first two weekends in December.  While usually held in November, this year’s December tour of homes will help you get into the holiday spirit, giving you ideas for decking your own halls while it begins to look a lot like Christmas around town.

Tour tickets may be purchased at the Red Caboose at the Mantua Station Pharmacy at the time of the tour.  Reservations for the Candlelight Tour on Thursday, December 5th may be purchased by making a reservation for a 7 pm, 8 pm, or 9 pm time slot, with only 50 tickets available for each hour. Candlelight Tour ticket will allow guests to visit any homes during the daylight tour hours if they do not have the opportunity to view them all that evening. Please note that only 50 tickets are available for each hourly time slot.

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Mantua – Author Leo Buscaglia is quoted as saying, “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” Never has that statement been truer, than in the case of fifth grader Mathieu Arotin, a young man inflicted with a disease called Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) type II. Due to his disease, Mathieu is confined to a power wheelchair, but to say that Mathieu suffers from this disease would be a false statement. While it’s true that Mathieu needs his wheelchair, that chair doesn’t confine his spirit, or define who he is. Instead, those who know him are struck first by his broad smile, and immediately feel the warmth of his positive outlook as he comes cruising down the halls at Crestwood Intermediate School (CIS). 

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Mantua – In this season of giving thanks, Frank Iannaggi, owner of the G & C Bakery in Mantua, is giving thanks for his wife, his five daughters, and his gorgeous grandchildren; the newest of whom was born this month. If you know Frank, or you’ve ever had the occasion to talk with him, you’ve most likely never heard him utter a complaint. What stands out most about him is his pride in his family, his positive outlook and his upbeat personality. 

Shalersville - The Mantua-Shalersville Area Chamber met for their monthly meeting at the Shalersville Town Hall last Wednesday November 20, 2013. President Christine Pittsinger called the meeting to order.  After brief introductions were made, the guest speaker, Peter Young from Benefits 1 was introduced. Mr. Young talked about the up and coming changes to workers compensation and other insurance benefits available to the business community. He discussed discounts that will begin next year for those businesses that use random drug testing as a preventative measure along with other insurance changes.

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Mantua – At the recent School Board meeting, the Board approved the resubmission of the Five-Year forecast for the fiscal years ending June 20, 2014 through 2018. The forecast was submitted to the Ohio Department of Education, as required by law. Continuing, the Board approved the first reading of several new and revised Board policies. Items included were several new and revised policies relating to anti-harassment, and the revision on a policy relating to bullying.

During Board Reports, Debra Soltisz updated the Board on the status of Middle and High School fall sports. Ms. Soltisz reported that Crestwood Middle School Cross Country Girls Team was 2nd place in the PTC Metro Division, while the Boys Team was 3rd place. The Middle School Soccer Team completed its fourth, and most successful season ever this fall. The team’s final record was 10-2-1.

Both the 7th and 8th Grade Football Teams had a building year. There were many positive experiences for both teams, which had many close losses. There is great potential for both teams next year. In addition, both 7th and 8th Grade Volleyball Teams finished as PTC Metro champs. Both teams had great season records and a great tournament finish.

At the High School, both the Girls & Boys Cross Country teams were 2013 PTC champs.  Junior Jeremiah Fitzgerald was named Runner of the Year as the individual champion of the Boys Metro PTC meet.  Boys CC coach Jim Schweickert was named Coach of the Year, and the girls CC coaches, Megan Cameron and Samantha Usher, were named Co-Coaches of the Year.

The High School boasted three District Championship Teams this fall in Volleyball and both the Boys and Girls Cross Country Squads. The Volleyball Team reached the Regional Final game this year, completing their finest season in Crestwood history.  The defending Division II State Champion, Beaumont, defeated them.

The Girls Cross Country Team of Abby Soltisz, Challis Roberts, Kira Judd, Evie Head, Melissa Soltisz, Taylor Michael, Bella Wagner and alternate Melina Edic qualified for the State Cross Country Tournament, where the girls ran well, placing 13th.

Jacob Ondash from the Boys CC team qualified as an individual to the State meet.  Jake ran a very strong race, finishing in 44th place. It’s important to note that these nine CC scholar-athletes representing Crestwood at the State Tournament averaged a 3.81 GPA.

The next School Board Meeting will be held in the High School Library on Monday, December 9th at 7 pm. This regular December meeting of the Board will be preceded at 6:45 pm by a public hearing for rehire of a retiree.

Mantua – Crestwood Schools have much more going for them than just the three Rs. This fall, Primary School Principal Cindy Ducca and Intermediate School Principal Michelle Gerbrick have instituted a program that rewards students for exhibiting crucial skills at each of their schools — qualities they call the two Cs. Those character traits include being conscientious students and being super citizens. Each quarter, classroom teachers from Preschool through Grade 5 will select students who best exemplify those character traits. Those talented students have the chance to have lunch with a special guest whose name also starts with C — Chloe the Therapy Dog.

Mantua Twp. – In light of many questions regarding expenditures of the Township’s finances, Township Fiscal Officer Marie Stehli shared a spreadsheet she developed to clearly show what has been spent on the Mantua Center school building.  She made copies available to those in attendance, and requested that it be added to the township’s website, mantuatownshipohio.gov.  

Mantua – At the start of the meeting, Mayor Linda Clark welcomed James Carrozzi, an auxiliary officer who recently joined the village police department. Carrozzi is a Ravenna resident who graduated from the Academy at Kent State University in June of this year. Next, the Mayor reported that Congressman Joyce’s visit to tour several local businesses previously scheduled for September 30th was cancelled due to the government shut down. She will let council know when the Congressman’s visit has been rescheduled. In other news, council accepted a donation from Mantaline Corporation in the amount of $4,000. Council appropriated the donation to the Parks/Lodge fund to cover repairs and improvements. 

Mantua – As of September 1st, Kate Rogers has been hired as Administrative Services Officer. In this role, she will report to Clerk-Treasurer/Fiscal Officer Jenny August; in addition, Ms. Rogers will also work to process water and sewer billing with Village Administrator David Akerley. Rogers is a Mantua Village resident with a background in tax work.

Mantua Twp. – Zoning Inspector John Dickey announced that he has set up office hours the first few Thursdays of each month at the Center School/Administration Building to make forms available and answer any zoning questions that residents may have. While the township has posted updated permit applications on the township web site, Mr. Dickey acknowledges that residents without computer access need hard copies of pertinent forms and applications. He asked the Trustees to investigate placing a weatherproof box outside the township building so that residents may pick up forms at their convenience. No conclusion was reached on this issue, but this prompted further discussion, including confusions around which doors should be used to enter the building to meet with Mr. Dickey or Fiscal Officer Marie Stehli. Chairman Jason Carlton suggested posting signs directing visitors to the appropriate building entrance.  

Mantua – October 5th was a perfect morning in Northeast Ohio.  All those attending the Fruit and Vegetable Pie Contest at the Mantua Rotary Farmer’s Market came with smiles, looking forward to the challenge of judging.  The contest was free, and more than one pie could be entered by a contestant.

Mantua –    Since March, I have been leading a small group of Mantua Township residents in attempting to establish a Community  Center at Mantua Center in the old school building on Center Road, just north of SR 82.  We meet in the fully accessible cafeteria wing (at left  in attached photo) on Wednesdays, starting at 10am.  Coffee and tea are always available, and we’ve been enjoying very good potluck lunches each noon, with folks bringing a good variety of food to share.  People come to socialize, play cards, or work on a jig-saw puzzle.  Some bring their portable projects, such as scrapbooking, knitting, crochet, or quilt piecing, and are willing to teach or share hints with others interested.  A box of board games includes Scrabble, Apples to Apples, Racko, and many others.  Most afternoons there is a group playing cards.  Hours were recently expanded to accommodate a 7pm beginner Yoga class, and we will be open until 8pm through October 3oth, when the class ends.  There has been no response so far to the invitation to add a potluck supper, so we will probably go back to closing at 4:00 in November.  We will not be open Nov. 6th, (or the day after any other election) because the election board reserves that day as well as election day, for removal of their equipment. We have avoided calling this a “senior center” because we want everyone to feel welcome. 

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Students and faculty at Crestwood’s Primary and Intermediate Schools will ring in the tenth school year in the same way they celebrated the first one; with a concert by national children’s musician and author Jim Gill. Gill has performed for early childhood educators, families and children’s librarians across the country, and on September 25th, he will again be sharing his playful songs and active play with students and faculty of Crestwood Schools. 

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Mantua – At our August meeting, Phil and Marie Derthick (pictured) shared some  conversation with the Mantua Historical Society about their ancestry, their 50 years of marriage, local history, and their past and present farm  operations, including the Corn Maze, which is occurring now.

After a short business meeting on Monday, September 16th, the public was invited to view some of our own Show and Tell, our newly acquired Crestwood High School Band /Tony Buonpane photo albums, and to tour the museum, which is located on the second floor of the Mantua Township Town Hall which is located on the corner of Route #82 and Mantua Center Road. The historical society  would like to encourage local residents to become members; dues are only $12.00 for a couple or $8.00 for a single person.

 

Mantua – Imagine millions of pinwheels spinning in the wind. Pinwheels around the world in Great Britain, South America, the Middle East, and here in Mantua, Ohio. Yes, on Friday, September 20th, in honor of the International Day of Peace, Crestwood students will take part in an international art and literacy project called “Pinwheels for Peace.” On Friday, students will plant hand-made pinwheels with messages of peace at Crestwood Intermediate & Primary Schools as an art installation and public statement of peace.

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Mantua Twp. – At the recent Mantua Township trustees’ meeting, Zoning Inspector John Dickey recommended that the trustees consider passing a resolution covering residential nuisances including abandoned vehicles, property upkeep, and the like, as many area Townships have done. He shared this recommendation with the Township’s legal council, who will investigate for potential consideration by the Trustees. In addition, Mr. Dickey noted that several zoning forms currently posted on the website need to be updated. He’ll work with Vic Grimm to make the necessary changes, which will be posted to the township website by Jason Carlton.

Mantua – An old farmer told me once “a life spent in search of the perfect tomato would not be a life wasted” Did you know there are over 7000 varieties of tomatoes? On Saturday August 24th at the Rotary Farmers Market there were 14 different Heirloom tomatoes sliced and ready to be tasted.  The two celebrity judges were Sue Nelson owner of Sue Nelson Design in Kent and Michele Stuck the Mantua Village Solicitor.  All persons shopping at the market also were invited to taste and judge the tomatoes. This was the first time any of the judges ever tasted so many different varieties at one setting. The winners for the Heirloom Tomato Tasting Contest: The Best Tomato was a Lemon Cherry Tomato presented by Patsy Ried.  The Tastiest Tomato Award went to Chisti Brugmann with a Carolina Gold tomato.

Mantua – Most people mark their 40th anniversary with rubies, but in Mantua, they’ll be celebrating the occasion with potatoes. This year marks the 40th year that the Village holds their annual event dedicated to all things spud, and it’s one year you won’t want to miss. The festival begins on Friday, September 6th at 6 pm with the opening ceremonies. As in years past, there will be carnival games, rides and food, as well as a variety of bands performing throughout the weekend. The festival grounds are open until 11 pm on Friday night, but you’ll want to get some sleep for the next day’s activities.

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Mantua - Throughout its 60-year history, the Crestwood Scarlet Guard Marching Band has had a long tradition of excellence.  The band consistently appears at OMEA State Finals and Bands of America Championships, and in 2012 was named Class A Regional Champion at the Pittsburgh & Pontiac Regional Championships. Recently, they have been invited to participate in the Bands of America Grand National Championships at Lucas Oil Stadium in November in Indianapolis. Crestwood High School Band Director Kate Ferguson beams, “Only 90 of the countries finest bands perform in this event each year, and this year, we have the opportunity to go!”