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Mantua – Locals were duly impressed by Derthick’s Corn Maze & Farm Experience last week, as not one, but two Cleveland news crews visited the over 200-year-old farm last Tuesday.  Fox8’s Todd Meany was first to arrive, experiencing the farm and maze, finishing off his fun day on the farm with a ride on the bucking cow train. Later that same day, Channel 3 photojournalist Carl “Big Daddy” Bachtel was on hand to interview MaryEllen Derthick Hamlin and experience the farm for himself.
Just what did they experience? They started by joining a group of local kids, who came for the hands-on educational offerings of the aptly-named Farm Experience. While the Derthick family runs a dairy farm, other animals in their Farm Experience include rabbits, piglets, goats, ponies, chickens and horses. MaryEllen Derthick, self-proclaimed “farm girl” and eighth-generation on this family-owned farm, states “Kids’ faces just light up when they see our animals. There’s no bigger reward for us than when a child who was initially apprehensive around animals gets the courage to pet a goat or ride on a pony. By the end of their visit, they leave with a huge smile. That’s why I love doing this.”
But the animals aren’t the only draw. Kids of all ages like the corn boxes ? large sand-box-style bins filled to the brim with corn kernels. Children can sit in the boxes and play with provided buckets and shovels; more adventurous kids can climb and careen down slides into the corn.  From corn boxes to pony rides, or a ride on the bucking cow train, there’s plenty to see and do at Derthick’s Farm.  This year, come on out and cast your vote for your favorite presidential candidate via the new corn cannon. The cannon shoots corn cobs or tennis balls at presidential targets across the farm yard. “Votes” are still being tabulated, some make sure to cast yours during your visit ? no voter I.D. required.
But the farm isn’t just fun and games, explains Derthick.  “Kids get to see where their food comes from, first-hand. They learn that food doesn’t just come from a grocery store — most of what they eat comes from a farm like ours.” Make sure to plan enough time to explore the exhibits, play games, and enjoy the outdoors, because there’s more than just a corn maze to occupy your family.
Since “Corn Maze” is their middle name, it’s no surprise that this year’s maze covers 17-acres of Mantua farmland. The maze, which encompasses over five miles of trails, has been cut in shapes celebrating the 50th anniversary of John Glenn’s historic space flight orbiting the moon. Elements included a profile of Ohio-born astronaut John Glenn, an image of the Earth as seen from space, the space shuttle Discovery, and the NASA logo. Come for the maze, dress for the weather, and plan extra time to experience all the family fun this local gem offers.
To view an aerial image of Derthick’s 2012 corn maze, or for information on planning your visit, see: http://www.derthickscornmaze.com/2012-maze-design.php. To see the story that ran on Channel 3, visit: http://www.wkyc.com/news/story.aspx?storyid=262704. Todd Meany’s clip did not run by Weekly Villager press time, but is scheduled to run this week. Visit http://fox8.com/ to see check it out.



Mantua – Downtown Mantua Revitalization (DMRC) is sponsoring a logo contest and encourages all community members to give some thought to the images, colors, and style which should represent the Village of Mantua now and in the future. What do we know about, and what do we want others to know about, the Village? What feelings come to mind when you think about Mantua? What is important about downtown?
Entries may be hand-drawn ideas or computer-generated, reproducible logos. Submissions must incorporate The Village of Mantua name and be original artwork, free from copyright or intellectual property claims. The logo should “brand” an image which sticks in your head. It should be easy to read on a sign from a distance or on stationery, and work well in black & white or full color.
All submissions become the exclusive property of DRMC to modify & mangle as needed. Prizes will be awarded for images that are incorporated into final design, but no guarantee is made that logo will be adopted by The Village.
Please send logos to DMRC, PO Box 414, Mantua 44255 or DMRCemail@gmail.com or drop-off at Jake’s Eats. Include your name, phone number, address, and email, along with a brief explanation of why you think your design represents Mantua. Entries are due no later than October 15, 2012 and will be on display in Jake’s through October 31.


Mantua – A special Crestwood School Board meeting was held at the High School on September 19 to discuss the $1.2 – $1.8 million dollars in District budget cuts coming shortly from the State. The public session of the meeting covered general category cuts or reductions, including increases in participation fees at the Middle and High Schools, proposed reductions in district-wide transportation, a proposal to provide tuition-based all-day kindergarten program, cuts to teaching, classified and administrator positions, and reductions in district-wide communications.

The Mantua-Shalersville Area Chamber of Commerce met on September 19.  After introductions, member groups and organizations made general announcements. Edie Benner, President of the Downtown Mantua Revitalization Corporation (DMRC), announced that the DMRC has received a grant for streetscape improvements to the south end of the Village. The DMRC will be working with Crestwood students and community members on October 5 starting at 7:30 am for a “spruce up” day in Mantua. The group will meet at Jake’s restaurant downtown.

Mantua Twp. – The Trustees of Mantua Township held their regularly scheduled meeting on September 20 at the Township Hall. The Trustees have scheduled a workshop on October 9 at 6:30 pm. The purpose of this meeting is to develop a grant application for the Ohio Public Works Commission. The grant, if earned, would offset cost for a township sewer project off Winchell Road.  In other news, Chairman Jason Carlton attended an informational Chagrin River Watershed meeting to learn more about oil and gas development in local communities. Carlton learned that although several Northeastern Ohio communities including Brooklyn and Mansfield have added a ban on drilling to their ballots for voters, The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Oil and Gas regulate drilling in our state. This means that regardless of how the taxpayers vote; drilling is defined as acceptable according to the State of Ohio.
In other news, Vic Grimm reported that the County Health Department will be holding a Flu Clinic at the Mantua Township Civic Center on October 15 from 4 – 6 pm. Flu shots for children ages six months to 18 years will cost $10, while shots for adults aged 19 and older will cost $20. High-dose flu shots and Pneumonia shots for adults will both be available at a cost of $45 each. Medicare Part B will be honored; payment is due at time of service for all others.
In addition, the Township received two bids from environmental companies to do additional lead and asbestos testing and reporting on the Center School. The quotes are currently under consideration. The Trustees are also finalizing the list of specifications of the work to be done in the interior of the school, in preparation for requesting bids. Final comments are due to Mr. Carlton by the end of September.
In response to public requests for meeting minutes and notification of special meetings via email, Mr. Carlton stated that Ohio Revised Code states that phone calls or mail are legally acceptable ways to disseminate this information; although email may be used, it isn’t mandatory. The Trustees will continue to honor requests for agendas and minutes by providing documentation to residents who provide a self addressed, stamped envelope.  For requests of special meetings occurring within 24 hours, phone or email will be used at the discretion of the Trustees. In addition, Mr. Carlton agreed to investigate the ability of posting special meeting notices and updates to the Township website.
After Township business was complete, the Trustees opened up the floor for public comments, of which there were many. The next meeting of the Mantua Township Trustees will be held on October 4 at 7:30.


Mantua – “Crestwood enrollment has been declining, as larger graduating classes are replaced by smaller elementary classes. In the period of 2003 – 2013, enrollment has declined by 24.9%,” explains Superintendant, Joe Iacano.  Staff reductions of nearly 27% have been made during that same time period to balance Crestwood’s budget. In spite of these cuts, Crestwood Schools have managed to maintain the Ohio Department of Education’s Excellent Rating since 2010. “It’s been our practice to reduce teaching staff as enrollment declines,” states Iacano.

Mantua – This past weekend, Mantua hosted the 39th annual Potato Festival. Although it started off soggy with heavy downpours on opening day, the Festival delivered big smiles to an anxious and excitable crowd. Originally created as a Potato Show back in the day,  the current Festival focuses on all aspects of potato consumption, not production – adding to it all sorts of fun-filled games, music and carnival food. As at Festivals past, The Rotary Club sold golden delicious pierogies and Christ Lutheran Church sold their famous potato pancakes. Other vendors sold more typical carnival fare, such as fresh-cut fries, hot dogs, nachos, funnel cakes, caramel apples, and cotton candy. For those who were more interested in taste than counting calories, the Festival also included deep-fried anything-you-could-imagine.

A group of eleven volunteers from Mantua’s St. Joseph Parish recently participated in the Housing Repair Program out of St. Joseph Church in Clintwood, Virginia. Offering home repairs to the low-income people of Appalachia this outreach effort is coordinated by Sr. Jean Korkisch, CSC, who helps to ensure that those in need are warm, dry, and safe.

Dr. Alan Frame a Physical Therapist at Advanced Rehabilitation and Health Specialists in Mantua, achieved his Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist Certification from The American Board of Physical Therapy Specialities in June 2012. The certification provides formal recognition of advanced clinical knowledge, experience and skills in the area of sports and Orthopaedics. He is currently accepting patients and can be reached at 330-274-2747.


Mantua – Run, pedal and paddle for trails and watershed conservation!  The Portage Park District Foundation is presenting the Headwaters Adventure Race on July 14, 8:00 a.m. in Mantua Village as a fun(d)raiser for supporting trail maintenance and conservation projects.  The event starts at Buchert Park and includes a 2-mile run on the Headwaters Trail, a 10-mile bike ride on rural roads to Camp Hi Canoe Livery in Hiram, ending with a 5-mile paddle on the Upper Cuyahoga Scenic River back to Mantua.  The route passes by nature preserves, historic sites and preserved farmland.  “This is not only a fun way to raise funds for a great cause, it also showcases some of the beautiful natural and cultural heritage of Portage County that we’re working to conserve” notes Kurt Ruehr, Foundation President and Race Director.

Mantua – The Portage County Soap Box Derby will be celebrating its tenth year in Mantua on Saturday, Preparing for the big day, are (from left), Ron Reed, Dean Olson, Barb Fleming, Becca Fleming, Randy Zigler, Briana Reynolds and Tyler Fleming.

The Soap Box Derby race will start at 9 a.m. on June 16, 2012 and will be sporting a new Finish Arch this year — a definite site to see!  Attendance is free and all are welcome.  There will also be a Car Show during the race, fun and food galore.  The Derby will run all day Saturday and you can view the races along East High Street.

Mantua – Crestwood Drama Club has worked hard to produce their version of ‘Once Upon a Mattress’, a comical twist on the Princess and the Pea. In this student-directed production, club officers planned the blocking, choreography, and directed the construction of the set.  Students reported to one another and held one another accountable.  They, with the support of administration, organized adults and each other to create a successful show.  Two former Crestwood Drama presidents helped students plan sets and lighting. It is the kind of dedication and learning that educators and parents hope to see.

Mantua – Mantua Village Council members took care of several items of business at the Feb. 21 meeting. Council members approved the purchase and installation of an $18,000 Vaughan Chopper pump for the village’s wastewater treatment plant. The ordinance 2012-02 was approved 5-0. Council member Ben Prescott was absent. Council also authorized a transfer of more then $3,040 from the water and sewer operating funds to the water and sewer debt fund to cover an “insufficient balance,” Village Clerk-Treasurer Jenny August said. “The water fund was short in January,” August said. “We have enough money now to make up for it.” The ordinance 2012-05 was passed 5-0. Other items of business included approving an increase in the general fund to cover a former employee’s medical coverage, an increase in the park fund to cover painting and gutter work, an increase in the water operating fund to cover expense related to the operation of a new high speed pump at the water plant, and an increase to the sewer capital improvement debt fund to make money available for the purchase of the new chopper pump. The additional expenses totaled $37,000. Council approved ordinance 2012-06, which dealt with the expenses, 5-0. Ordinances read but not discussed or called to vote include ordinance 2012-04, opposing the state’s centralized collection of income taxes, and ordinance 2012-07, increasing the costs of grave opening or closing at the village’s Hillside Cemetery. Department heads and the mayor also spoke of ways to improve village life. Mantua Village Mayor Linda Clark expressed a desire for cohesive signage around the village, application for trailhead grants for next year and a sidewalk grant from AMATS. “Each of these small projects is step,” Clark said. Village Engineer Richard Iafelice gave Council members a report outlining the confirmation of a $45,000 grant from AMATS for sidewalk construction along Main Street. He also recommended to Council attend to water pressure fluctuations. Iafelice also informed Council of his approval of plans from Crestwood schools to design and rehab the district’s sewage pumping station. Council will next meet March 20 at 7 p.m. in Village Hall,


Mantua – St. Joseph’s 2012 Lenten Series begins on the first Tuesday of Lent, February 28, and runs for five consecutive Tuesdays. Soup Suppers begin at 6:00 p.m. in Hughes Hall and are a long standing tradition at St. Joe’s. Parishioners are invited to bring a pot of soup or a loaf of bread to share.  Don’t have time this week to make soup? That’s OK—come anyway! There’s always plenty!


Mantua – Mayor Linda Clark recently presented her first State of the Village address of the  new year to village council, appealing to residents and business owners to take active part in the change they voted for when they elected her to office last November.
“Attend our meetings,  contact myself or any council member with ideas, suggestions or complaints that will help the village grow in the right direction and continue to be the friendly and welcoming village that we once were and hope to be again. Remember the days when friends and neighbors were always willing to lend a helping hand to those in need?  Let’s bring that caring back to the village.”
And on that note, the council member-turned-mayor announced that committee members are still needed for the Cemetery, Shade Tree and Parks committees. A lifelong Mantua resident, Clark is a Crestwood High graduate. In her mayoral campaign, Clark focused her goals of seeking ways to cut costs to keep the village from going any further in debt, and being removed from ‘fiscal watch’ status sometime in 2012.
In veiled references to related troubles in former Mayor Donna Hawkins’ term, Mayor Clark stated that progress is being made within Mantua village leadership, including:
“Teamwork within the official family to help us regain the trust and respect of the citizens;
Ensure transparency in our government;
Continue to reduce spending without eroding services:
Work with the citizens and business owners and civic groups as a team to create an environment that will fill empty storefronts with viable, sustainable businesses.”
Regarding Mantua’s wastewater treatment plant, Clark said, “Our trial test period of septage receiving is proving to be going in the right direction. The revenues thus far are enabling us to begin much needed maintenance at the WWTP.” A new chopper pump will increase plant efficiency and reduce man-hours that are currently used to maintain and repair current equipment. Additional updated equipment including a blower and alum pump will be purchased   as funds become available.
Regional cooperation with the new Streetsboro Mayor Glenn Broska, Shalersville trustees, Mantua trustees, and with the City of Ravenna is under discussion, to be brought to Mantua Council as ideas take shape, such as applying for an Innovation Grant for communities that agree to shared services. The cities of Kent and Ravenna are considering purchasing equipment that will process road grindings into hot patch (valued at $150 per ton). Using this equipment, the processed grindings would be available for less than half price. “I feel it warrants investigating to get an exact cost, and how they will split the cost with smaller villages if we are interested,” Clark said.
Clark concluded her presentation with a quote from Mark Twain, “which has become my motto and hopefully that of Village Council, Thunder is good, thunder is impressive; but it’s the lightning that does the work. I choose to be the lightning and I hope the rest of Council will be the lightning with me.”

Mantua – On Saturday, February 4, “a great group of band students represented GHS with class and quality performances,” said James A . Garfield High School band director Joe Gaither.  The annual Solo & Ensemble contest took place at Crestwood High School, with more than 280 entries and 29 schools participating. Under the direction of Gaither, Theo Cebulla and student teacher Mr. William Talaba, JAG students performed very well, earning nine Superior  (I) and five Excellent (II) ratings.

Earning Superior Ratings
Woodwind Quintet – Andy Lininger, Brittany Sisson, Emma Bates, Logan Dean, and Andrea Sheller
Piano Solo – Nick Crawford
Snare Drum Solo – Eric Eiermann
Clarinet Quartet – Megan Wilburn, Jenna Yeager, Zoey Smith, and Rebecca Kern
Horn Quartet – Eileen Mangan, Andy Lininger, Lizzie Gerez, and Dakota Frank
Tuba Solo – Michael Ebie
Flute Trio – Andrea Sheller, Laura Wilburn, and Morgan Aebischer
Percussion Ensemble – Nick Crawford, Chad Curry, Ryan Everett, Brandon Nutter, Simeon Brown, and  Riley Chafin
Brass Quintet – Josh Moore, Jeff Lange, Eileen Mangan, Stefan Wickli, and Michael Ebie

Earning Excellent Ratings
Piano Solo – Molly Everett
Brass Choir – Rachel Huehner, Rebecca Smith, Stefan Wickli, Dakota Frank, Lizzie Gerez, Andy Lininger, Summer Wilde, Jeff Lange, and Josh Moore
Piano Solo –  Andy Lininger
Woodwind Trio – Molly Everett, Andrea Sheller, and Cassidy King
Trumpet Trio – Garrett McArdle, Jeff Lange, and Summer Wilde

Lt Gov Mary Taylor

Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, speaking with Portage County small business owners gathered at Lakeside Sand & Gravel in Mantua for a roundtable discussion about Ohio's Common Sense Initiative (CSI) on January 9. (Photo by Estelle R. Brown)

Mantua – Lakeside Sand & Gravel became the backdrop for a visit from Ohio Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor on January 9. It was a stop along Taylor’s journey throughout the state, gathering local business leaders’ concerns about government regulations and promoting the state’s Common Sense Initiative (CSI), designed to “push back against the feds and government regulations when they’re over-reaching.”

CSI Ohio was launched one year ago by Republican Gov. John R. Kasich to reform Ohio’s regulatory policies to help make Ohio a jobs and business-friendly state. CSI Ohio reviews Ohio’s regulatory system to eliminate excessive and duplicative rules and regulations that stand in the way of job creation.

A Summit County native, Taylor was sworn in as Ohio’s 65th Lieutenant Governor on January 10, 2011, the same day Gov. Kasich named her to lead the CSI project to reform Ohio’s regulatory policies, as well as to serve as the director of the Ohio Department of Insurance.

Lakeside’s aggregate business was founded in 1954 by Harry and Henry Kotkowski. Today, it’s a third-generation family business. On Monday afternoon, the Kotkowski family hosted the roundtable in an outbuilding filled with antique mining equipment, with Taylor and Portage County business leaders and local government representatives.

Ben Kotkowski said the roundtable was brought to Lakeside due to their involvement with the National Federation of Independent Businesses, which provides feedback regarding state regulations. Taylor said that “things are starting to turn around” for Ohio’s economy. She was here to get local ideas about what it will take for Ohio to continue to grow in its business-friendly practices.

Invoking Gov. Kasich’s pro-business approach, Talyor said, “We’re trying to break down barriers of bureaucracy and go in a new direction so that new business is attracted to Ohio.” As part of that effort, as of January 1, 2012, anytime a government agency considers imposing a new rule affecting small business, it must first be reviewed according to the CSI process to weed out unintended consequences that could hurt business.

“We know that new rules can be costly to small business, so we want to figure out how small business can comply in a less expensive way. Regulations must be fair, simple, transparent and open,” she said.

…Unlike President Obama’s health care reform initiative, Taylor suggested. She estimated the health care bill could force 10-15% increases in health benefit rates small businesses will be expected to pay out. “Every dollar the government requires is one less dollar available for small business to invest in new technologies, expansion or creating jobs,” Taylor said.

Local business owners shared frustrations common to fellow Ohioans Taylor has already met on her roundtable tour. Common themes include costs associated with workers’ compensation, insurance and legal fees required to file small claims; EPA regulations that halt progress and expansion in the U.S. while China takes over industries that once defined the American way; increased government spending on unnecessary highway/traffic improvement projects; education funding and teachers’ salary reform; an unskilled and under-educated work force; union-related costs; dependence on foreign energy, etc.[pulledquote]“We’re trying to break down barriers of bureaucracy and go in a new direction so that new business is attracted to Ohio.” [/pulledquote]

This laundry list “screams the problems we’re facing in Ohio,” Taylor concluded.”It will take a little time. You push at the local level. I’ll push at the state level. All levels of government need to change the way they’re run. Government needs to function differently.”


 Mantua – Rose’s Rescue, a 501c3 pet rescue, was presented with a $285.00 donation by Crestwood Students Angela Spencer, Brandon Houpt, and Jarupat Kannula.  The students formed a group for their Senior Seminar class. They chose the name G.A.I.N. (Giving to Animals in Need). Angela heard about Rose’s Rescue at her veterinarian’s office, and the three agreed to make the rescue animals their class project.

Presenting donation to Rose’s Rescue are students Brandon Houpt and Angela Spencer. Angela is holding her rescue dog Teddy. Receiving the donation is Santa (John Flint) and Carla Weber, both rescue volunteers.

Mantua –  Crestwood Primary School first-grade teacher Natalie Harr will depart December 26 for a five-to-six week research trip to Antarctica. Harr will join Dr. Richard Lee, Jr., an extreme entomologist from Miami University, to research a unique Antarctic fly.

Lee has traveled to Palmer Station in Antarctica for several years to conduct his research, and each year invites a public school educator to join him as part of his research team. Harr is the first elementary school teacher to make the trip with Lee. She is considered a pioneer in her field because most K-3 educators are not studying this type of bio-science.

The entire project is funded through the National Science Foundation so the district will not incur any costs to send Harr to Antarctica.

“I am thrilled to be going to Antarctica with Dr. Lee and his team,” Harr said. “My primary role is to maximize learning for Crestwood students through lessons and projects that will connect them to the research happening in Antarctica. My goal is to bring together as many people with the project as possible; not just in Crestwood but across the country and the world.”

While in Antarctica, Harr will communicate what she is  learning with students, parents and community members through a blog that can be found at www.crestwoodexplorestheworld.org. Harr’s blog, lessons and activities will help students, parents and other districts understand what it means to be a scientist in the 21st century. Students will conduct nature investigations in schools and communities in order to compare and contrast local ecosystems with those of Antarctica.

To celebrate Harr and Lee’s departure, Crestwood Primary School will host an Antarctica Community Talk where students, parents and the community can meet Lee and learn about his ongoing research. The Community Talk will be held Monday, December 5 at 7 p.m. That day Lee will also visit the other schools and students at Crestwood. Dr. Lee will also visit students and hold assemblies about his Antarctic research at Twinsburg City Schools, Kent City Schools and Hiram College on December 6.

While in Antarctica, Harr will also have the opportunity to meet former Vice President Al Gore on his visit to Palmer Station.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Natalie,” said Superintendent Joe Iacano. “She is a talented and dedicated educator who I know will make the most of her time in Antarctica. We can’t wait to begin following her on her blog and learning right along with her.”

Mantua – Crestwood area boys and girls ages 10 to 14 are invited to participate in the local level of competition for the 2012 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 2011 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 18, 2012.  All boys and girls 10 to 14 years old (as of January 1, 2012) are eligible to participate and will compete in their respective age divisions.  Participants are required to furnish proof of age and written parental consent.

Mantua – The Crestwood “Scarlet Guard” Marching Band will travel Thursday November 10, 2011 to participate in the Bands of America Grand National Championships. This is recognized as the premier marching band event in the nation. Annual spectators and participants exceed 100,000 annually to attend this highly competitive event. Ninety bands from across America will participate, including some of the finest, most progressive band programs in the activity today. [pulledquote]…the highest level of accomplishment for a marching band to achieve… [/pulledquote]The field competition features 90 bands in preliminary competition on Thursday and Friday, with 30 bands advancing to semi-finals during the day on Saturday. Twelve bands advance to Finals on Saturday evening.
This is the highest level of accomplishment for a marching band to achieve and be afforded the opportunity to participate in. Crestwood is the only marching band ever selected from Portage County — and to be selected to participate for a second time in four years is a remarkable accomplishment. The band is one of only 20 bands to represent the state of Ohio.
The Crestwood Local Schools and community are very proud of their nationally-recognized band program.. The Scarlet Guard competition show is titled “Switch” and by the end of the program the entire band is immersed in bright neon green plumes with six giant switches on the field. These kids truly exemplify the hard work, pride, and dedication that it takes to perform at this level.
We are putting together a book to give to the kids when they leave next week with letter of congratulations and good luck. It would mean a great deal to the children and band program to have a letter from you wishing them well as they represent Portage County and the State of Ohio.
Please feel free to send the letter via email to jacobadkins@me.org. If email is a problem you can mail the letter to the following address:

Kate Ferguson, Director
Crestwood High School Bands
10919 Main Street
Mantua, Ohio 44255

In addition, the school is hosting a pep rally for the band on Wednesday November 9, 2011 at 2PM at Crestwood High School. All are highly encouraged to attend and show support for the Scarlet Guard for this most high accomplishment. The school district at Crestwood High School is very proud of its national award winning band program.

Mantua – The seventh bi-annual Mantua Christmas Tour of Homes kicks off this weekend. Four area homes are on the tour, including the home pictured above. Owner Christina Thompson and cousin, Cara Jean Somoskey with the help of other family and friends, decorated to the theme ‘Christmas at home with Christy at Fieldstone Cottage’. The wonderfully eclectic decorating style displays beautiful artwork, antiques and mementos from Christy and her family’s worldly travels. From the Henry VIII room, to the Victorian bedroom showcasing a whimsical Alice in Wonderland tree, your senses will be engaged. The Mantua Christmas Walk Tour is sponsored by the Mantua Rotary. A Craft Show at the old village school and lunch at the Lutheran Church are also available during the tour hours. Proceed benefit the Rotary’s Scholarship Fund and other local school organizations. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the caboose at the Mantua Station Drug Store across from the high school on State Route 44. Tour is opened November 4, 5, 6 and November 11, 12, 13, the hours are Friday, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.


The Rotary Club of Mantua announces its seventh Biennial Christmas Tour of Homes, November 4, 5, 6 and 11, 12,  13.  The usual Friday hours have been changed this year to 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. while the Saturday and Sunday hours remain the same:  Saturday, November 5 and 12, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, November 6 and 13, 12:30 to 5:00 .  Tickets for the tour are $10.00 and may be purchased at the Caboose, Mantua Station Drug, on Main Street, beginning half an hour before the  homes will be open, at 10:00 a,m,, and during the rest of the day.  Tickets for children between five and 12 years of age will be $5.00.  Homes will not be open before 10:00 a.m.

An accompanying craft show under the sponsorship of Crestwood Band Patrons will be open during tour hours at TLExpress (the old Village School) located on the west side of Main St.  The craft show, as always, is open to anyone, those taking the tour and those who are not on the tour and may be visited as many times as visitors wish to shop.
Lunch will be available each day at Christ Lutheran Church, also on Main St.:  Fridays, between 4:00 and 7:00, Saturdays, 11:00 to 2:00, and Sundays, 12:30 to 3:30.

The opening event, the Candlelight Tour, will be on Thursday evening, November 3, beginning at 7:00.  Hors d’oeuvres and pastries will be served at the lovely home of Architect Lee and Gretchen Prozak..  Reservations are necessary for all Candlelight Tour tickets at a cost of $20.00 and may be reserved  at 330–274-2376.  Candlelight Tour-goers will also have time to visit the other homes that evening or later during regular tour hours either weekend.

Mantua – 4C’s is raffling off a quilt called “Fruit of the Spirit, Fruit of the Orchard V” in the “Hunter’s Star” pattern. The drawing will be held on November 12 at the 4 C’s Craft Fair held in the Shalersville Township Hall from 9:00-3:00. The quilt maker is Ellie Monroe and tickets are available from her at $1.00 each or 6 for $5. The quilt will be on display at Monroe’s Orchard, 6313 Pioneer Trail from October 13 through November 11. All proceeds from the quilt raffle will go to support the food shelf. Ellie has been donating a quilt to benefit the 4 C’s, for several years and this year it is more important than ever because of the rising cost of food and the increase in numbers of people using the food shelf. Our heartfelt thanks go out to Ellie for her dedication.


Mantua – The officers and members of the Mantua-Shalersville Fire Department were joined by officers and members from the Auburn, Aurora, Garrettsville, Kent, Ravenna City, and the Windham Fire Departments during the Potato Festival Parade to pay respects on  the 10th anniversary of 9-11.
A piece of structural steel from one of the towers was displayed on the bumper of M.S.F.D. Engine # 1 during the parade. This piece of steel belongs to the Ravenna City Fire Department. M.S.F.D. Engine # 1 also displayed mourning bunting on each side and two sets of firefighter gear were placed on the front bumper to signify the missing/deceased firefighters.

The two flags that were carried by the firefighters were a firefighter mourning flag and a special 9-11-01 United States flag that was donated to the M.S.F.D. by a Shalersville resident.


Mantua –  In today’s world, peace needs to become more than just a word.  On Sept. 21, 2011, Crestwood Local Schools took  part in an international art and literacy project, Pinwheels for Peace, by “planting” pinwheels with messages of peace at Crestwood Intermediate and Primary Schools.

Pinwheels for Peace is an art installation project started in 2005 by two art teachers, Ann Ayers and Ellen McMillan, of Coconut Creek, Florida, as a way for students to express their feelings about what’s going on in the world and in their lives. In the first year, groups in over 1,325 locations throughout the world were spinning pinwheels on September 21st – there were approximately 500,000 pinwheels spinning throughout the world. Last year, Pinwheel’s for Peace’s sixth year, over 3.5 million pinwheels were spinning in over 3,500 locations, including the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia, Canada, the Middle East, Africa and South America. Locally, Counselor, Mr. Gary Traveny  coordinated the Pinwheels for Peace project this year.

This project is non-political – peace doesn’t necessarily have to be associated with the conflict of war, it can be related to violence/intolerance in our daily lives, to peace of mind. To each of us, peace can take on a different meaning, but, in the end, it all comes down to a simple definition: “a state of calm and serenity, with no anxiety, the absence of violence, freedom from conflict or disagreement among people or groups of people.”
Crestwood students created pinwheels — pinwheels of all shapes and sizes – as part of the creation process. The students wrote their thoughts about “war and peace / tolerance/ living in harmony with others” on one side. On the other side, they drew, painted, made a  collage, etc. to visually express their feelings. The students  assembled  these pinwheels and on International Day of Peace they  “planted” their pinwheels at the Intermediate and Primary schools as a public statement and art exhibit/installation. The spinning of the pinwheels in the wind  spread thoughts and feelings about peace throughout the country and the world.
For more information, go to http://www.pinwheelsforpeace.com or contact Mr.Traveny at 330-422-3103.

Pictured are the 2011 participants with Ken Childress & Jimmy Mullins (center). In the back row - Mike Shilling, Ryan Bell, Corey Riggs, Greg D’Aurelio, Patrick Myers, Dane Engelhart, Ann Toothman. Front row ia Paula Tooth & Jay D’Aurelio.

Mantua – A group of four adults and five high school teens from Mantua’s St. Joseph Church participated in the Housing Repair Program based at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Clintwood, Virginia, the week of June 18-25. Volunteers made the 400 mile, seven-hour trip to the western tip of Virginia for the week-long experience to help low-income residents maintain decent housing for their families by doing household repairs at owner occupied homes.After arriving and attending Mass, the group settled in. On Sunday they traveled to The Breaks Interstate Park to enjoy site-seeing and recreation in the area before work began on Monday.

Paula and Ann Toothman and Jay D’Aurelio worked mostly at the home of a women named Faye. Tasks included replacing her whole floor next to the window, repairs to the under pinning of her trailer and landscaping improvements, and painting trim on the trailer and the wood work on her deck. She was very friendly, sharing stories about her life growing up and things from a time gone by.
Greg D’Aurelio, Corey Riggs, and Dane Engelhart worked mostly at the home of Lucille and Bob. They braced up their porch/deck, put siding up on one side of their house, and scraped the house to get it ready for the next group of people. The homeowners were also very social with the group, making them cookies and fudge!

Mike Shilling, Patrick Myers, and Ryan Bell worked the farthest from town at the home of Catherine and her husband. Their responsibilities included adding to an existing deck and ramp to accommodate a gurney for the gentlemen of the house who is not doing so well. They also dug a ditch to handle water run off to the side of the mountain.

Not only did the experience include some hard work, but also meeting new people, learning new things, local site-seeing, and discussions around Appalachian issues. The group heard a coal miner speak and enjoyed a parish pot-luck picnic which included storytelling and folk songs from Ken Childress and Jimmy Mullins. They also took a trip up to Birch Knob Observation Tower, once the site of a fire tower that allows one to see Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and, on a clear day, Ohio. On another evening the group traveled to nearby Pound, Virginia to enjoy “Pickin’ in the Pound”, a bluegrass jam session held at the town hall. Several members even joined in with dancing, singing, and guitar playing. On Friday volunteers enjoyed music and dancing at the Jettie Baker Center, a theatre in Clintwood that was built in the late 1940’s that now features various entertainment.
All in all, St. Joseph volunteers had a good time. They worked hard and played hard. Each year Appalachian Experience participants genuinely feel a sense of accomplishment helping the truly needy of this area be safe, warm, and dry. Not only did they work hard but they’ve acquired friendships and a camaraderie with those they worked for and with.

Members of St. Joseph Parish have been taking part in this program since 1998. High School teens and adults are welcome to join us in future trips as we follow Jesus’ example and use our gifts to reach out to others! Watch for details in future bulletins about how you can become involved in 2012. For more information about St. Joseph’s Appalachian Experience, including details and photos from past trips, please visit www.stjosephmantua.com/appalachian.htm or contact Kathi Trares at the Parish Office (330-274-2253 or ktrares@stjosephmantua.com).

Mantua - The Crestwood Board of Education voted June 27 in favor of extending the Master Agreement with the Crestwood Education Association (CEA), which freezes teacher base salaries for both 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 school years, and freezes step increases for the 2012-2013 school year.
“Reaching this agreement was an important step in our efforts to keep the district solvent through 2013,” said Joe Iacano, superintendent of Crestwood Local Schools. “I appreciate our teachers honoring the needs of our students and their willingness to work within the difficult budget constraints currently presented to us.”
Changes were also made regarding highly qualified status, alternative strategies for evaluation and duration of the agreement. This Master Agreement will be in effect from June 29, 2011 through June 30, 2013.
“We are committed to our students and being a part of the solution,” said Wendy Benton, CEA president. “As the negotiating process advanced, our initiative of the two-year base salary freeze was accepted, and we worked together from there to get the contract finalized.”
At its June 27 meeting, the Crestwood Board of Education also approved a new contract for the Ohio Association of Public School Employees (OAPSE), which included a base salary freeze for two years and increased employees’ contributions for medical and prescription insurance.
OAPSE employees include bus drivers and mechanics, clerical workers, custodians, educational aides, special education aides, library aides and food service workers.
During the next two years, Crestwood Local Schools will lose approximately $1.75 million in state funding. The district has contained costs through non-personnel reductions totaling nearly $300,000 and will save $500,000 after refinancing the bonds on Crestwood Primary Elementary and Intermediate School. The district will also share its food service director, Jennifer Bujak-Hirsch, with Ravenna City Schools saving each district about $20,000 annually.

Mantua - The sun shone brightly on Saturday as approximately sixty-five artisans displayed their creations along East Prospect Street during the 3rd Annual “Art On The Hill” festival.  The event, co-ordinated by the Downtown Mantua Revitalization Corpororation, included a variety of art as well as pony rides, face painting and food vendors.  Live entertainment was provided by local musicians and dancers. Also held was a Chinese auction with over 100 items available, including handmade art donated by the artisans and product and gift certificates donated by local merchants.

Mantua – Sign up now to Run, Pedal and Paddle to support trails and conservation! Presented by the Portage Park District Foundation, the Headwaters Adventure Race is a fun event that starts and ends at Buchert Park in Mantua Village and features a 2-mile run on the Headwaters Trail, a 10-mile bike ride, and a 5-mile paddle on the Cuyahoga River.  Racers can go solo or as part of a 2-person relay or all-phase team.  Race fees are $40/person ($25 for 18 and under) and include a T-shirt and post-race refreshments.  Limited boat rentals are available; kayaks for $10, canoes for $15.

“This is a terrific way to support the parks and see some beautiful places in Portage County”, said Kurt Ruehr, Foundation President and race official, “the race isn’t as difficult as some other triathlons, and the last leg is paddling downstream!”

The run portion includes the Headwaters Trail, a flat hike and bike trail.  You’ll cross the Cuyahoga River and pass Marsh Wetlands Nature Preserve, then return to Buchert Park to pick up your bike (or tag your relay partner) for a 10 mile bike ride crossing the watershed divide, between the Lake Erie and the Ohio River watersheds.  The route passes historic homes and conserved farms, forests and wetlands, with great vistas from some of the highest points in Portage County. The paddle route starts at Camp Hi Canoe Livery on the beautiful Upper Cuyahoga, a designated State Scenic River, and will pass conserved forests and floodplain habitat with a diversity of plants and wildlife.

Awards will be given to the top 3 relay and all-phase teams, the top 3 male and female solo racers and first place in each age category.  Stay for the day and enjoy Mantua’s “Art on the Hill” with dozens of arts and crafts booths, food and music.
The Headwaters Adventure Race is one of three in the “Crooked River Adventure Race Series” including the Black Squirrel Triathlon and Brady’s Leap Adventure Race, with prizes available for the top 3 combined times of all 3 races for all-phase teams and solo racers.
For more information, online registration and a Google map of the Headwaters Race route, please visit www.portageparkdistrict.org, or call the Park District at (330) 297-7728.


Mantua - The DMRC has planned one big, big Celebration of the Arts for you! On Saturday, July 9 from 10am-5pm, East Prospect Street in Mantua will be transformed from a throughway to Mantua’s 3rd Annual “Art on the Hill” street festival. Both both sides of the street will be lined with 50+ artisans selling and diplaying their works of art.
There will also be a Chinese auction with over 100 items, including handmade art donated by our artisans and product and gift certificates donated by our local  merchants.
Carnival foods and your not-so-typical foods like fruits dipped in chocolate and  pure Ohio Maple ice cream cones will await you.
Live entertainment will take place from the beginning til the event’s  end. Scheduled for your enjoyment are:
10am-11am Steve Radcliff (Guitar Duet)
11am-12pm Brent Simon (Keyboard Solo)
12pm-1pm Marty Hura (Acapella Vocal Group)
1pm-2pm Roy Pancost & Friends (3-Piece Jazz Band)
2pm-2:30pm Laura Fedor (Vocal Solo)
2:30pm-3pm Lorraine Dennison (Aurora School of Dance)
3pm-3:30pm Carolin Newell (Square Dance Group)
3:30pm-4pm Heather Ristau (Solo Dance)
4pm-5pm Steve Vanderink (Solo Vocal)
There will be hand led pony rides for the younger attendeees as well as kids crafts and face painting.
New this year will be door prizes such as $25 gas cards donated by Haylett’s BP  Cornerstore and a gift certificate to and donated by Jake’s Restaurant (simply fill out an entry at the DMRC booth)!
For more information about this event, contact Christine at 330-414-6486  communityjournal@yahoo.com or Becky at 216-990-5086, bbjnewell@neohio.twcbc.com
“Art on the Hill” is located just 2 miles north of Ohio Turnpike Exit 193/Rt. 44  (Prospect Street intersects with Rt. 44 in Mantua).

Mantua – Miss Beth Frank, presently, the Director of Religious Education at St. Joseph Parish in Mantua, recently received the “Cornerstone of Excellence Award” for thirty years as a Catholic School Educator in the Diocese of Youngstown. This honor was presented by Mr. Wally Dunne, Director or Government Programs and Resources at the Office of Catholic Schools.

Miss Frank was a junior high teacher for sixteen years and an elementary school principal for fourteen years at St. Paul School, North Canton, and at St. Joseph School, Mantua, from August, 1997 through June, 2010.

In addition to her involvement in Catholic Schools, Beth has been a Parish Director of Religious Education in the Diocese of Youngstown at St. Paul, North Canton (6 years), Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Aurora (2 years) and at St. Joseph, Mantua (1 year). Before coming to Ohio, she taught various grades one through eight in Pittsburgh, PA. She says that she has been very blessed with a deep passion and concern for the total education of children, especially at the elementary and junior high levels.

“Involvement in Catholic schools gives all of us teachers and administrators the opportunity to be co-educators with families at a systemic level, in both the academic and religious faith formation of children. Even though these continue to be challenging times for the Church as well as for education, I have loved every moment of these challenges. The blessings, too, are endless and priceless.”

Miss Frank believes strongly in Catholic education. Her own background includes a home where Catholic values were lived, and then continued in a Catholic elementary and two years of Catholic high school. In addition, she holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Carlow University in Pittsburgh, a Master’s Degree in Family Therapy and Theology from Mount St. Joseph, Cincinnati, and a second Master’s Degree in Education Administration from Ursuline College, Cleveland.

After forty seven years of combined academic and religious education ministries, Beth Frank plans to “retire” on June 30, 2011. St. Joseph Parish will have a brunch in her honor on Sunday, June 26, beginning at 11:30 a.m. in Hughes Hall. Reservations are required by Monday, June 20, by sending an email to ktrares@stjosephmantua.com or by calling the parish office (330-274-2253).



Mantua – The 2011 St. Joseph Church Ox Roast Fair in Mantua kicks off with the availability of Ox Roast Raffle Tickets.  Grand prizes this year include $5,000 in cash for first prize, a second prize of a 46” cut Cub Cadet Riding Tractor (retail value $2,099.00) courtesy of M & M Services of Streetsboro and the folks at Cub Cadet, and a John Deere 16” Line Trimmer for third prize (retail value $229.00) courtesy of Chagrin Pet, Garden & Power Equipment.  The drawing takes place the last day of the Fair, Sunday, July 17th, at 9:30 p.m.  Winner need not be present.  During the Fair, $100 progressive hourly drawings take place at 7:00, 8:00, and 9:00 p.m. all three days.  Winners must be present for the progressive hourly drawings and winners still qualify for the main raffle.  Tickets are $1.00 each or a book of 12 for $10.00.  Printing cost of the tickets was provided by McGinnis Amusements, the Fair’s midway ride company. To purchase Ox Roast Fair Raffle Tickets, contact any St. Joseph parishioner or the parish office at 330-274-2253.

Trade Booth space is available for the entire three days of the fair. The standard 10’ x 10’ booth rental fee is $375.00. A large booth, measuring 10’ x 20’, is also available for $475.00. Each booth is a lighted, open-sided booth with a canopy style cover (this is not an individual free standing tent). St. Joseph’s will supply one 8’ table and two folding chairs. Trade booths which require special lighting and/or require the use of a vehicle are $550.00. For further information and an agreement form, please contact Jan at St. Joseph’s parish office at 330-274-2253.

Area businesses are invited to sponsor an individual truck or tractor pull at this year’s Ox Roast Fair. Now in its 48th year, the Ox Roast Fair will be held July 15th, 16th, and 17th, and promises to be more exciting than ever with the addition of Friday night fireworks. Get your name out to more than 30,000 people during the 3-day event. Your business will be announced throughout the pull and also acknowledged in the parish bulletin and on the parish website. If you have a banner or sign advertising your company, it will be displayed on the track fence all three days. Banners or signs may be dropped off at St. Joseph Church’s parish office or it can be picked up any time at your convenience. The tax-deductible sponsor’s donation is $50.00 for this year’s truck & tractor pull. For more information, please contact Jan at St. Joseph’s parish office at 330-274-2253.

Pulls are held all three days of the Ox Roast Fair. On Friday enjoy Antique Tractor Pulls (1957 or older) as the Geauga County Antique Tractor Pullers begin this sanctioned pull at 6:00 p.m. (weigh-in at 5:00 p.m.). Putting on quite a show on Saturday beginning at 5:30 p.m., the Tractor & Semi Truck Pulls take place (weigh-in at 4:30 p.m.). The Ohio Garden Tractor Pullers Association will host the Garden Tractor Pulls on Saturday & Sunday with weigh-in at 10:00 a.m. and pulls beginning at 11:00 a.m. both days (please note that fairgrounds open at 1:00 p.m. Saturday and Noon on Sunday). You’ll want to stick around for the thrilling 4WD Pick-Up Pulls beginning at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday (registration at 3:30 p.m.).

The 2011 Ox Idol is back again this year with three fun-filled days of selection of Karaoke Contestants 6:00-11:00 p.m. Friday (with a break for the fireworks display), 7:00-11:00 p.m. Saturday, and 3:00-9:00 p.m. Sunday with the finals competition 8:00-9:00 p.m. on Sunday. All contestants and the three top winners to be selected from all song slips filled out on each day of the Fair (three individuals and one wild card entry each day).  All Wild Card Contestants to be chosen from all entry slips right before the finals. A total of 12 contestants will compete in the finals for the title of Ox Roast Idol. Entry fee of $3.00 per song slip is required or you may choose to purchase an exclusive “I Sang at Ox Idol” t-shirt for $10.00 which includes the entry fee. The three most lucky and possibly talented performers will win $50-3rd, $100-2nd, and $200-Grand Prize. Don’t miss this spectacular event!

This year’s Fair takes place Friday, July 15th, from 6:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., Saturday, July 16th, from 1:00 to 11:30 p.m., and Sunday, July 17th, from Noon to 10:00 p.m.  For a complete look at St. Joseph’s 48th Annual Ox Roast Fair, visit their website at www.stjosephmantua.com/stjosephox.html.


Mantua – Crestwood Intermediate School dressed in red, white and blue and took up flags to celebrate heroes today.  The inspiration for this celebration was their One School, One Book program.  The entire school — the lunch room staff, students, teachers, principal and counselor — is  reading the book On the Wings of Heroes by Richard Peck.  Set in World War II, it has provided these young students (grades 3 to 5) an opportunity to walk through history.  Replicating a jalopy parade from the book, veterans rode around the bus loop in old cars and an army jeep.  Students waved flags and chanted, “Go USA!”   An entire museum has been created to help students see and understand items they read about in the book. The staff has worked together to create and share different activities to enhance the educational experience.  Other activities have included visiting heroes from our community. Mayors, firefighters, mail carriers, and two deputy sheriffs were all represented.  Veterans and family heroes have also been invited to lunch with the students.  Using the book as a starting point, students have used their reading to create stories, write poems, journal entries and develop letter writing skills.  Students extended their outreach by raising money for the memorial to celebrate the heroes of Flight 93. There is a vibrant excitement humming through the school that is reflected in the interaction of community members, students and their families, school staff and our nation’s veterans.  In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, “Do not even attempt a job if you do not plan to do the best you know how.”  Crestwood Intermediate School’s One Book, One School reflects these words.


Mantua – Earlier this month, students at Crestwood Middle School were greeted in the morning with upbeat rock music, donned “rock-themed” attire and enjoyed a rock concert, all in an effort to encourage students to read. “Read like a Rock Star,” was the theme for this year’s Right to Read Week, a week promoted annually by the Ohio Council, International Reading Association (OCIRA) to stress the importance of reading in our society.  According to OCIRA, fostering a lifelong love of reading is an important goal and is essential for success in many subject areas.The “Read Like a Rockstar” theme was developed by a committee of middle school teachers who promoted daily sustained silent reading, along with other activities including studying the history of rock and roll on the Internet, and a “Music and Lyrics” poetry contest. Entries were judged on creativity and musicality. Winners of the contest were: 6th grade, Ashley Prater; 7th grade, Cate McSwain, and 8th grade, Cameron Moodie.Getting into the spirit of the week, students and staff were encouraged to dress up to match “Rock ‘N Roll” themes like “Reading Makes You Bright,” when all were allowed to wear “shades” for the day. There also were daily announcements with music, a D.J., and a Rock Trivia Contest. All trivia contest winners received “book bucks” to be used at the Spring Scholastic Book Fair the following week. The week ended with a concert provided by the local classic rock band – “Led It Be.”“What a great “Right to Read” week the students and teachers had,” said Principal Julie Schmidt. “They had many opportunities  to read their choice of literature, as well as express themselves through themed days. The rock concert was a great culminating activity where students were able to listen and dance to the various genres of Rock and Roll they learned about during the week. Thanks to the teachers who organized the week, and to the students who made the week so fun, with their energetic participation.”

Mantua – The Boards of Education for both Crestwood Local Schools and Ravenna School District approved resolutions today to share food service operations beginning July 1, 2011. The agreement between the two districts is potentially the first shared services agreements in Northeast Ohio for public school districts. As approved by the boards, Jennifer Bujak-Hirsch of Crestwood Local Schools will continue to oversee food service operations for Crestwood Local Schools while also assuming food service responsibilities at Ravenna. Hirsch’s responsibilities will include: staff hiring and evaluation, ordering, invoicing, concession stands, overseeing free and reduced lunch programs, and attending mandatory conferences. Each district will save approximately $20,000 per year under the agreement.“This agreement really is a win-win for both districts,” said Crestwood Superintendent Joe Iacano. “Jennifer has done a wonderful job for Crestwood students, and I’m excited for her to take the next step in her professional development and implement this very innovative agreement.”Discussions between the two districts to share food service operations began after the announcement that Ravenna’s current director of student nutrition, Linda Grant, would be retiring after 30 years of service.“For 30 years, Linda has been respected both personally and professionally at Ravenna Schools,” said Bill Wisniewski, director of business operations, Ravenna School District. “She has been a tremendous help in ensuring this plan is successful and has even made herself available to help after she’s retired.”The proximity of the two school districts was one of many factors the two districts identified when agreeing to this position, said Gregg Reink, director of administrative services, Crestwood Local Schools. Reink and Wisniewski will also continue to work together as the program continues to develop over the summer months.“Flexibility and ongoing dialogue between the two school districts is essential for this to be a success,” said Dr. Tim Calfee, superintendent, Ravenna School District. “I have been excited about this opportunity ever since Mr. Iacano discussed it as a possibility. I applaud both boards of education for being leaders in public service.”Bujak-Hirsch recently became a certified school nutrition specialist, one of only 1,100 nationwide and the first in Portage County. In addition to her experience at Crestwood, Hirsch has worked in food service management for Sea World Ohio, Six Flags Worlds of Adventure and the Akron Zoological Park. She is also a member of the National School Nutrition Association and the Ohio Nutrition Council.    “I am just excited about the possibilities to bring this creative and innovative idea to the public sector,” Bujak-Hirsch said. “I know my experience in the private sector will help me implement a program that benefits both districts and the students and staff at Crestwood and Ravenna.”

Mantua – Crestwood High School’s applied math class did more than just apply their learned math skills.  Along with the trigonometry class from James A. Garfield, these juniors and seniors competed in a series of competitions with their homemade trebuchets, miniature medieval-style catapults, in Crestwood High School’s gymnasium May 4. From designing with blueprints to construction of these catapults, the students improved their skills in problem-solving, creativity and team work.  “The kids loved it,” said Mrs. Moon, Crestwood’s Applied Math Teacher.  “Principal Sommers went out and purchased the wood, hammer and nails.  He even took the wood home and helped cut it to the students’ designated measurements.”The Crestwood students studied trigonometry in their applied math class to prepare them for the event.  They applied what they learned in order to make an adjustment on the string to get the best angle for launching marbles from their trebuchets. Design stipulations were also put into place and could not be violated.  One stipulation was that the counterweight, which held down the marble launching arm, could not be over three pounds.  Another stipulation was that the arm couldn’t be over 30 centimeters long.In teams that consisted of two to four students, a total of 33 juniors and seniors competed in four contests. The Distance competition awarded the trebuchet that launched the marble the furthest.  The winners of the Precision competition had the smallest perimeter out of three launches.  In order to win the Accuracy competition, the launched marbles had to hit a certain mark placed on the floor and the fourth competition was to shoot the marbles through the basketball hoop in the gymnasium.Crestwood’s applied math class and James A. Garfield’s trigonometry class came close to a tie in the number of competitions that were won.  The winners of the Distance competition were from James A. Garfield. “El Tigre the Intimidator” was created by Will Yon, Stevie Boone, Emily Hughes, and Lauren Greathouse.  Crestwood seniors, Samantha Zuponcic and Kelsey Bascombe, were the winners of the Precision competition.  The Shoot the Hoop competition was won by Josh Fehrenbach and Wes Skupski, also of Crestwood.  There was a tie in the Accuracy competition with James A. Garfield students, Brent Marshall, Kelli Mulhern, Quinn Coleman and Paige Collins; sharing honors  with Tyler Harris, Samantha Baldwin, and Emma Cozzens of Crestwood.James A. Garfield’s trigonometry teacher, Mr. Englehart, and Mrs. Moon  had taught together at Garfield High School and both had attended Crestwood High School. “It was a well-rounded project and such a great success that we are going to make in an annual event,” said Mrs. Moon.


Mantua – On Thursday, April 21, a luncheon was held at Mantua Hilltop Church to honor all those who volunteer at the Food cupboard. The Council Members provided a delicious luncheon of salads, desserts and croissants. 40 volunteers attended plus a few honored guests who had been active in the past.

Terri Wilde, president of council, presented a program about the history of 4 C’s. The program is 30 years old in October and has been serving the Crestwood Community all that time. Terri told of the beginnings of the program and related how some things have changed over the years, especially the numbers served and the location. She asked for memories from other members and several people shared stories of the past. Pat Sargent told of one person who donated a cow that he bought at the fair. Joan Siman has kept a scrapbook of pictures and newspaper articles and a picture of the cow was there for all to see.

Terri praised all the volunteers and thanked them for the work they have done over the years. She also thanked the community for the wonderful support the cupboard receives. Without the community support and the dedicated volunteers the food cupboard could not continue.  At the end of the program Terri Wilde announced that this would be her last year as president. All of the volunteers are sad to see her go. She has done such a great job during her presidency. A big THANKS  goes out to Terri for all her hard work.


Pictured from left to right are Rosalie Novotny, clarinet; Maia Pancost, flute; Bryanna Herbold, french horn; Chelsea Evans, oboe; and Alex Bigler, bassoon. These 8th grade band students played together as a Wind Quintet, receiving a Superior (I) rating for their performance at Solo and Ensemble Contest.

Mantua – Eighty CMS Band students participated in the annual Solo and Ensemble Contest April 9, 2011 held at Crestwood Middle School. Students in grades seven and eight performed 47 solos and in 22 ensembles. CMS Middle School band students received 57 Superior and 13 Excellent ratings.

Each performance was evaluated by an adjudicator on rhythm and pitch accuracy, intonation, tone quality, and interpretation. They were then awarded a rating ranging from I to V. Adjudicators for the day’s performances were Jim Murphy, retired, Kent City Schools; Diane McMaster-Perry, retired, Field Local Schools; Jennifer Culver, teacher, Cuyahoga Falls; and Cheryl Graham, teacher, New Philadelphia Schools. The adjudicators were all very complimentary of the students for their behavior as well as their preparation for this event.

Mrs. Debbie Wiandt, Mrs. Judith Guegold, and Ms. Courtney Lambert prepared CMS band students for this event. Mrs. Kate Ferguson and Mr. Craig Rice, KSU student teacher, also assisted students in their preparations. Mrs. Virginia Goodell and Mrs. Becky Oliphant volunteered to accompany the soloists. Ms. Krystal Friend and Dr. William Guegold helped students warm-up and tune before each performance.

Several sixth grade band members served as judges’ assistants and door guards. They were Haley Brady, Olivia Brady, Karli Bigler, Megan Cymanski, Catherine Hoover, Rachel Hutchison, and Madeline Turner.

Two sixth graders who have been studying privately also performed solos. Michael Snodgrass earned a Superior Rating for his mallet solo and Olivia Brady earned a Superior for her flute solo.



Mantua - The Portage County Soap Box Derby is hosting a Derby Clinic on April 17th from noon to 2 pm. The clinic will be located at the Shalersville Town Hall on the corners of SR 303 and SR 44.

The clinic is for people interested in finding out more about derby racing and those persons currently racing who would like to learn ways to tune a derby car to make it run faster.

There will be at least two derby technicians present at the clinic. One of the technicians will discuss and show the construction of a derby car kit.

The second technician will demonstrate details to improve car speed.

Those new people attending will also be given a ticket that will allow them to ride down the hill at Derby Downs on May 14th and 15th in Akron to see if they enjoy derby racing.

The goal of the Portage County Derby this year is to have at least one driver from each township in Portage County. Some townships have never had a racer in the last 10 years of Portage County racing.

The Portage County Derby has a limited number of corporate cars available for racers to use at our local race. These cars are on a first-come basis. They are free to use. They may be used at rally races around the northeast U.S. area. These races are held year round, indoor and outdoor.

Derby racing is a truly family affair, and gravity does not discrimiate because of sex, size, or  physical limitations of a child.

In order to race, a child must  be 8 years old and not over the age of 17.

For more information, contact Dean Olson at 330-351-3035 or Kelly Heritage at 330-541-1075.



Mantua – The Ides of March were very kind to Crestwood Local Schools and its taxpayers. Looking for ways to save money, Crestwood Local Schools refinanced their bonds on March 15 for their two elementary schools and will see a $550,000 savings over the remaining life of the bonds.

“We’ve been keeping an eye on the rates for quite some time and struck when we’d benefit with the most savings,” said Carol Corbett, Crestwood treasurer/CFO.

The district is currently about half way through their 23-year bond issue, which was approved by voters in 2000. Collectively, taxpayers in the district will save about $40,000 a year and see a slight adjustment in their 2012 taxes.

“It may not be that noticeable to our community on their tax bill, but the savings are there,” Corbett said. “We continue to do everything we can to spend responsibly and keep taxes low.”

The advantage to refinancing was allowed because the district made it a stipulation of the bond issue when it was initially drafted in 2000.  Corbett stated that the district started the second official statement process last summer, but the market wasn’t favorable until now.

“Just like in business, you need to create flexibility and options,” said Gregg Reink, director of administrative services. “If the opportunity comes up, you can be prepared to take advantage of it. The district did that and we’ll save significant dollars as a result.”



Mantua – On Thursday, March 3, lifetime St. Joseph, Mantua, parishioner, Br. James Peter Trares visited the Parish School of Religion students and thanked them for the statue of St. Joseph and the cards which were recently sent to him. He also spoke about his novitiate year experience in Denver, CO, with the Dominican Central Province and answered questions from the classes. To learn more about the Dominican Central Province, go to www.domcentral.org.


Portage County – In celebration of Ohio 4-H Week, the thirteenth annual window decorating contest was held. The 2011 contest theme was “4-H, A Pathway To The Future.”

Fourteen different clubs entered the contest. Six clubs throughout the county competed against each other and eight clubs in the city of Ravenna entered. Pictured above (left) The Outlaws window which placed first was located on Main Street in Mantua, and (right) Creatures-n-Features second place window which was located at the Aurora Library.

Mantua - Every year, Crestwood students are recognized for outstanding contributions in the classroom and in the athletic field. Students who help in the community are no exception.
Crestwood senior Kyle Vertoch, a member of the National Honor Society, is organizing a rummage sale as his NHS service project to benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Vertoch’s aunt and grandmother are both afflicted with the disease.

The sale will be held April 1, and he is asking the community for donations.
“A rummage sale is a good way to get both the community and the high school involved,” said Vertoch. “Everyone has stuff lying around the house that they don’t need anymore. I’m currently running announcements at the high school and hopefully I can find a way to reach out to the community.”

According to the NHS website, NHS is a national organization established to recognize outstanding high school students in grades 10-12. More than just an honor roll, NHS honors students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, leadership, service, and character. Chapter membership not only recognizes students for their accomplishments, but challenges them to develop further through active involvement in school activities and community service. There are currently 52 students in NHS at Crestwood, none of whom are sophomores.

“We decided early on that we wanted to place our focus on the element of character and service,” said Crestwood Teacher and NHS Advisor Nancy Groselle. “We can get a pretty good feel of what the students are about by the time they finish their sophomore year. In fact, up until this year we only had seniors in NHS, but by changing the induction ceremony from spring to fall, we were able to extend participation to both juniors and seniors. The community service project allows students to exhibit the tenets of not just service, but also leadership and character. Kyle is a great student and displays these characteristics every day.”

The NHS rummage sale will take place April 1 from 10 am until 7 pm in the Crestwood High School cafeteria. Anyone with articles to contribute can drop them off any day in the high school library from 2:40 to 3:30 pm beginning March 21. Cash donations will also be accepted.

Columbus - Area wrestlers did a fantastic job in representing northeast Ohio and their respective high schools in Columbus last week.
Leading the way were the Crestwood Red Devils who qualified a school record seven wrestlers.  After finishing second in the Akron Firestone district the week before, head coach Dave Wrobel was confident that his team could make a run at a top 5 finish in Columbus.  Five of his seven qualifiers had previous state tournament experience and that experience paid off in the first round as the Red Devils won 5 out of 7 matches Thursday afternoon.  On Friday the Red Devils found themselves competing against many of the pre-tournament favorites in their respective weight classes and success was harder to come by.  When wrestling concluded for the day the only Red Devil to be unscathed was senior Cody Ryba who kept alive his hope of being Crestwood’s first state wrestling champion since 1994 (Brian Singleton).  Coach Wrobel, like most wrestling coaches had mixed feelings as he assessed the results from Friday’s action.  He felt his team “competed well” … was “ecstatic for Cody Ryba’s results” …  and “dealt with the pain of not seeing all his wrestlers make it to the placement round”.  On Saturday evening, Cody Ryba put the finishing touches on a brilliant season for Crestwood when he won the 171 lb. championship with a 5-4 decision over Jake Cramer of Oak Harbor.  The victory moved Crestwood up to 6th place in the final team standings.
The Garfield G-Men qualified three wrestlers for the state wrestling tournament which was also a school record for them.  Coach Alan Harbert was “pleased with how well we competed” … “thrilled that all 3 kids were wrestling in the placement round” … and “very excited that two of his wrestlers were underclassmen and would be returning to his practice room next season”.  Kevin Stock was the highest finisher (4th) for the G-Men but lost his chance to wrestle for an individual championship when he was defeated in his semi-final match, 8-7.  The final score was  ultimately decided by a penalty point earlier in the match.
Cardinal’s Casey Johns lost his opening match and then rallied to win his next four matches to make the consolation bout. Johns found himself in familiar territory matched against his freshman nemesis from Beachwood, Sammy Gross, whom he defeated in the districts by a pin in the second period. Sammy, however, got his revenge by besting Casey 4-1 in Columbus.

Cardinal’s other state placer, Ziegler, won his first round match before falling to the eventual second place finisher. In the consolation bracket Chad won two more matches before falling to a third place finisher and winning his fifth place match 7-3.
The Southeast Pirates were looking to get back on track after a one-year absence from the state wrestling tournament.  The Pirates had two wrestlers qualify this year, with one of them trying to finish a Cinderella season.  Junior Tylor Brokaw placed 5th in the sectional wrestling tournament two weeks ago and thought his season was over, only to gain entrance into the district tournament last week as an alternate.  Tylor took full advantage of his second opportunity by placing 4th at districts and punching his ticket to the state tournament.  His story book season ended in Columbus when he lost his first two matches.  Teammate Ravonne Lawrence did however take 6th place at 171 lbs to give second year Coach Bob Noall his first state placer.  Coach Noall was extremely happy for Ravonne,  “he did all the right things to put himself in position this year and hopefully it will lead to bigger things for our program”.

Complete results can be found at the OHSAA website:  http://www.ohsaa.org


Mantua – The Mantua-Shalersville Area Chamber of Commerce met on February 16, 2011. The featured business was GoRilla Productions of Mantua. Owner Brent Simon offers custom web design, web maintenance, website tune-ups, and multimedia production. He offers quality services at prices that are affordable.
Crestwood School District is happy to announce that this year the 8th graders will be taking the first trip to Washington D.C. The Scholarship Committee is planning to give out two $1,000 scholarships and is asking for businesses to sponsor holes at the golf outing to help cover the scholarships. Scholarship applications are due by April 19. Applications can be found online at the Mantua-Shalersville Chamber website with complete rules and mailing information.
The Portage County Soap Box Derby has cars and needs drivers. Businesses are also welcome to sponsor a car. For more information on drivers and sponsors, please call Dean at (330) 351-3035, Kelly at (330) 541-1075 or Barb at (330) 931-0537.
Eddie Brunner announced that the Downtown Revitalization now has its 501-c3 status. She reported that they are working on getting money from the County Commissioners and trying to obtain grants.
The majority of the meeting was given to the discussion of the ordinance that the Mayor would like to have put on the ballot limiting truck access on certain common routes into Mantua. The Mayor claims that trucks are causing major damage to certain roads. There are many trucking companies located in Mantua that employ local residents. Also many businesses in Mantua depend on the trucks to get supplies or they can count on supplying trucking companies and drivers with fuel, food, parts and service. The Mayor was invited to attend the Chamber meeting but was unable to attend. It was decided that the Chamber Officers would try to meet with the Mayor before the next meeting.
The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 16th at 7:30am.

Mantua – About 400 parents, teachers, current and incoming high school students attended Crestwood High School’s first ever 8th Grade Information night, Feb. 15 at Crestwood High School. Forty-five different high school groups participated in the event, ranging from academics to extra-curricular and co-curricular subjects. Many of the tables that the high school students created for the student showcase involved interactive activities and games. Some offered prizes and giveaways.

bout 400 parents, teachers, current and incoming high school students attended Crestwood High School’s first ever 8th Grade Information night, Feb. 15 at Crestwood High School. Forty-five different high school groups participated in the event, ranging from academics to extra-curricular and co-curricular subjects. Many of the tables that the high school students created for the student showcase involved interactive activities and games. Some offered prizes and giveaways.

About 400 parents, teachers, current and incoming high school students attended Crestwood High School’s first ever 8th Grade Information night, Feb. 15 at Crestwood High School. Forty-five different high school groups participated in the event, ranging from academics to extra-curricular and co-curricular subjects. Many of the tables that the high school students created for the student showcase involved interactive activities and games. Some offered prizes and giveaways.

Crestwood Middle School students and their parents were invited to the event which was organized in order to help ease the critical transition between middle school and high school.

“Statistics show that if a student is not successful during his or her 9th grade year, they are much more likely to continue to be unsuccessful during their remaining years of high school and are at an increased risk of not graduating,” said Crestwood High School guidance counselor and event organizer Tracy Kuntz. “We feel that providing guidance and support to students and their parents when they are making the transition from middle school to high school is critical in helping our students to have a successful start to their high school career and future.”
In addition to the student showcase that took place in the high school gym, there were two additional presentations: The first featured high school counselors outlining graduation requirements and scheduling classes for high school. In the second presentation Kent State University Geauga branch representative Tom Hoiles discussed what 8th and 9th graders should be doing now to plan for college after high school.\
“This was the first time that we held this event at Crestwood High School,” said Kuntz. “The participation and dedication that was shown by our high students and staff was remarkable. Everyone came together to make the evening great. This was truly a team effort and a huge success for our students, our building, and our community.”

Mantua – About 400 parents, teachers, current and incoming high school students attended Crestwood High School’s first ever 8th Grade Information night, Feb. 15 at Crestwood High School. Forty-five different high school groups participated in the event, ranging from academics to extra-curricular and co-curricular subjects. Many of the tables that the high school students created for the student showcase involved interactive activities and games. Some offered prizes and giveaways.Crestwood Middle School students and their parents were invited to the event which was organized in order to help ease the critical transition between middle school and high school.“Statistics show that if a student is not successful during his or her 9th grade year, they are much more likely to continue to be unsuccessful during their remaining years of high school and are at an increased risk of not graduating,” said Crestwood High School guidance counselor and event organizer Tracy Kuntz. “We feel that providing guidance and support to students and their parents when they are making the transition from middle school to high school is critical in helping our students to have a successful start to their high school career and future.”In addition to the student showcase that took place in the high school gym, there were two additional presentations: The first featured high school counselors outlining graduation requirements and scheduling classes for high school. In the second presentation Kent State University Geauga branch representative Tom Hoiles discussed what 8th and 9th graders should be doing now to plan for college after high school.\“This was the first time that we held this event at Crestwood High School,” said Kuntz. “The participation and dedication that was shown by our high students and staff was remarkable. Everyone came together to make the evening great. This was truly a team effort and a huge success for our students, our building, and our community.”