Mantua Matters
June 2007


Spring is here and before you know, summer will be upon us. The Village had another successful spring clean-up day. Most of the items were taken by early pickers, therefore, it cuts down on the cost for the Village. Thanks to all of you who put your items out early.

As you know, Eaton Corporation has announced that they will be leaving the Village at the end of the year. This will mean a loss of utility sales and income tax dollars. I have been working aggressively with Roy Weber in hopes of another company utilizing the space. There has been some interest, but so far, nothing concrete.

As Mayor, I have also been working with Mr. Jerry Carlton of TL Express, to try and place doctor’s within his new corporate office complex. Talks have begun with University Hospitals to bring doctors to this area.

The Mantua Grain buildings and land parcels were auctioned off on May 9th and purchased by local individuals. We have hopes that this will aid in the revitalization of the Village Center.

The Village issued a Proclamation for Burn Awareness Week, February 4th, in conjunction with the Shriners’ and the Mantua-Shalersville Fire District. A Proclamation was also issued for Arbor Day held on April 27th.

I want to thank a very generous individual, who has donated the funds needed to re-roof the park pavilion #1 at Buchert Park and to add a covered entrance to our new Administrative Building.


Effective immediately, the rental of Buchert Park and the Park Lodge will be handled by the Clerk’s office. If you are in need of a place for graduations, showers, meetings, etc., please call Sue or Betsy at 330-274-8776.


The Village is happy to welcome our new Solicitor, Mr. Thomas R. Reitz.

Tom has practiced law for 19 years in Portage County, has represented various local school boards (including Crestwood) as well as, many private companies and individuals.

His legal experience includes real estate, development, estate planning and probate of estates, labor, domestic law, personal injury, workers compensation, and over a decade of Municipal law.

Tom is a partner of the firm of Christley, Herington and Pierce, located in Aurora, and welcomes all new clients.

Prior to joining our Administration, he was the Assistant Law Director for the city of Kent, Ohio, and is presently Solicitor for the Village of Hiram and Legal Advisor to Planning Commission for the City of Aurora.

Tom is married and has 2 children in grade school. His hobbies are old cars, golf, Men’s Chorus at his church and family camping trips. Last year he accompanied church members for 2 week-long trips to Biloxi, Mississippi to help with rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina.

We are delighted to welcome Tom to our little family and wish him the best of luck.


The hard-working cooks from the American Legion & Auxiliary are taking a much needed rest for the next few months. They would like to thank everyone involved with the monthly suppers. Those who help set up, clean up, make soup, salad, delicious desserts and all those who support the suppers by showing up to eat.

Because Potato Festival is early this year, Soup Supper will return to the Park Lodge on August 31st , so mark your calendars now.

During the summer break, give your stove a rest, check out some new recipes and scrub out your soup pot!


The Mantua-Shalersville Fire District serves a response area of 54 square miles with a population of approximately 13,000.

Department personnel includes 1 Firefighter, 13 Firefighter/EMT, 19 Firefighter/Paramedic and 3 active reserve.

There were a total of 1,237 calls during the year, 21 CO calls, 126 accidents, 247 fire calls and 843 EMS calls. (204 calls for Mantua Village, 423 for Mantua Township and 523 for Shalersville Township.)

There were 19 fatalities, which included, 8 DOA, 3 full cardiac arrest, 1 homicide, 1 drowning, 3 suicides and 3 accident fatalities.

Other incidents include 5 motor vehicle accidents with trauma, 5 with major trauma, 5 extrications, 27 air ambulance (21 LifeFlight and 6 Stat MedEvac), 3 S.C.U.B.A., 1 off-road rescue, 1 outdoor search, 1 bomb threat & 2 animal rescue.

There were 7 working fires with a total structural loss of $120,800, with 1 civilian and 2 firefighter injuries.

They had 53 multiple run shifts (6 or more calls during a 24-hour shift) and 137 multiple run incidents (2 or more calls in progress at the same time), 11 incidents of automatic aid and 77 incidents of mutual aid.

Some figures were up from last year and some were done. All in all, a busy year for the Department. Our thanks to them for all that they do!

My thanks to Brooke Byers for providing this report.


On May 5th, members of the Mantua-Shalersville Chamber of Commerce, gathered for the 2nd Annual Village Spruce-up.

They swept down Main Street, washing store windows, pulling weeds and cleaning sidewalks. Several local merchants offered the volunteers coffee, water and cleaning supplies.

Volunteers included Joan Sweet, Becky Newell, Lisa Zamecnik, Broc Benner, Michelle Barnauskas, Edie Benner, Ellie Stamm, Bob MacLearie and John Smith.

Watch the town continue to blossom as Chamber-supplied hanging flower baskets are installed later this month and we gear up for the Portage County Soap Box Derby on June 23rd .

The Mantua-Shalersville Area Chamber of Commerce encourages you to get involved! Support local businesses. Make our community look its best. Find out how you can make a difference.

For more info about the Chamber visit: www, Everyone is welcome to attend our monthly meetings, held on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. They’re free and full of great information about our community. See a complete schedule on the Chamber’s website.



Mantua Village once again will be participating in the annual events along the beautiful Cuyahoga River. We look forward to this Saturday every year, as we join with you and y our families, in celebrating along and on our River.

This year Mantua Village will host "Riverscape 2007" during the Potato Festival in September. This is a venue sponsored by the Upper Cuyahoga River Watershed Task Force. The Village will join with many other State, County and area agencies who come together with activities that are fun, educational and interactive for all.

Look for time, date and other information in future Mantua Matters and Potato Festival flyers.


After years of major infrastructure construction and replacement in the water and sewer areas, the focus now will be storm sewer and repaving projects. We will also be working in the park, cemetery and along the trails.

We plan to complete the trail from the park pavilion to the river bridge off of Prospect St. later this year.

We will be looping the existing Esker trail and Rotary Grove located at the Water Plant to make a complete circle around the wet lands. This will make a wonderful walk of approximately 1.25 miles when completed.

We will be moving forward on phase 2 of a storm sewer project from the west end of Franklin to Prospect Sts.


Every year more than 500,000 children are rushed to hospital emergency rooms due to bicycle injuries, with 1/3 of the injuries being to the head and brain. In fact, head injuries are involved in nearly 85% of all bicycle fatalities. Children who do not wear their bike helmet are 14 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than children wearing a helmet.

The Mantua Police Department is trying to help educate youngsters on the importance of wearing a bike helmet. Chief Buchert announced that his department is joining with other northeast Ohio law enforcement agencies in AAA’s Helmet Smart program this year. Helmet Smart is a unique program for promoting bicycle helmet usage through positive reinforcement. It was developed by AAA’s Safety & Education Department.

Mantua officers will issue "safety citations" when they see bicyclists properly wearing a helmet. The citation can be redeemed for free food products at participating Dominos pizza stores and is redeemable for Discount admission to Geauga Lake & Wildwater Kingdom. AAA will also be holding drawings throughout the summer for children who mail a portion of their "safety citation" back to AAA. These children will have a chance to win new bicycles and free admissions to Geauga Lake & Wildwater Kingdom.

"It’s interesting to note that most bicycle crashes happen close to home on sidewalks, in parks, on bike paths, or driveways and do not involve motor vehicles," said Buchert. "We want to stress to children and parents alike that a bike is a vehicle and not a toy." Using helmets reduces the risk of brain injury by 85% and can prevent tragic life-long consequences.

Last year AAA distributed nearly 13,000 copies of the information piece "Rules of the Road for Bicycle Riders/Tips for Safe Bicycle Riding" to 63 participating police departments. Also provided were parent/child contracts. "In this contract, both child and parent agree to wear helmets and ride safely," said Dennis Burke, Executive Director of AAA Safety & Education Department. "We thank co-sponsors Domino’s and Geauga Lake and Wildwater Kingdom for making this program possible."


Every day, millions of youths in the U.S. participate in sports. It’s called playing, but sports activities are more than play. Athletics improves physical fitness, coordination, self- discipline and gives kids valuable opportunities to learn teamwork.

But sports activities can also result in injuries - some minor, some serious and still others resulting in lifelong medical problems.

Young athletes are not merely small adults. Their bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments are still growing which makes them more susceptible to injury.

Young athletes of the same age can differ greatly in size and physical maturity. Some youngsters may be physically less mature than their peers and try to perform at levels for which they are not ready.

Be in proper physical condition to play a sport.

Know and abide by the rules of the sport.

Wear appropriate protective gear.

Know how to use required athletic equipment.

Always warm up before playing.

Avoid playing when very tired or in pain.

Parents should make sure their child’s coaches have the appropriate qualifications to supervise a particular sport, provide well-maintained safety equipment and help with proper conditioning for that sport.

Coaches and parents can prevent injuries by fostering an atmosphere of healthy competition that emphasizes self-reliance, confidence, cooperation and a positive self-image, rather than just winning.

………..…Source: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons


Ask any celebrity who has ever appeared on the cover of a gossip magazine and they'll tell you: just because a story is repeated by a lot of people, that does not make it the truth.

Often, we hear things about changes and events in our community and we automatically assume they are true – perhaps they come from a reliable source, we've heard the same story from other people, or the idea sounds like a particularly good one. When we talk to others about those ideas, we may be spreading rumors rather than facts.

Hoping to combat this problem, the Crestwood school district has organized a Key Communicator Program. Key Communicators – parents, residents and school employees – will receive emails with information about education, programs, board actions, policies and activities, so they have accurate information about happenings in the school system. They will also provide additional "ears" out in the community, letting administrators know when there are rumors or misinformation that need to be addressed.

Participants will be asked to attend 2 evening meetings a year to share information and concerns with the superintendent and other staff. They will also send the district questions, concerns and rumors they have heard in the community.

If you are interested in participating in this program, please call Executive Secretary Tara Hoffman at 330-274-8511 or email her at


It sounds like fun and good weather is finally here. But, did you know that you are not allowed to ride them on the roadways. The Village of Mantua does not permit them on our streets. This has changed from the past, when you were allowed to take them out of town and back.

The Police Department often receives complaints of these vehicles running up and down our streets, going to McDonalds, the gas station and in come cases, just going to a friend’s house on the other side of town.

The Ohio Revised Code allows them to be operated only if you meet ALL of the following requirements; you must be 16 years of age or older, have a license to operate them, license plates or Recreational Sticker, proper safety equipment and written permission from the jurisdiction you are riding in. This must be carried with you when riding. Since the Village does not give permission to anyone, it is simple; you cannot ride them on Village streets.

Also, remember that you need the permission of any private property landowner where you do ride. Places in the Village where they are prohibited include any school property, the park, Hike & Bike trail and any Village-owned property.

The Chief of Police asks for your cooperation in being courteous to your neighbors and others in the community. We hope that you will find alternatives to enjoy your recreational vehicle within the scope of the law.


Now that school is over for the summer and the kids are out and about, here is a reminder regarding the curfew that exists in the Village.

Children under the age of 14 are not to be out, on the streets after 9 PM, ages 14 & 15 after 11 PM and ages 16 & 17 after midnight unless they are in the company of a parent or legal guardian.


What is your vision for the future of downtown Mantua?

In the last Mantua Matters, you read about plans for a "streetscape" to "revitalize" downtown Mantua. Since then, the Downtown Mantua Revitalization Committee has been busy.

Interviewing consultants to find the on who will do the best job for Mantua. Learning about government grants as a way to fund large portions of a streetscape project. Speaking to community groups to get more input on what should be down to help downtown Mantua.

Everyone we talk to reminds us that downtown did not get to its current state overnight and it cannot be "fixed" overnight. Revitalization is an ongoing process that requires physical changes as well as changes in attitudes and behaviors. It requires cooperation among local non-profit organizations, government, property owners, business-people and residents.

Pending contract approval, the revitalization committee has selected a consulting firm that will help gain consensus by interviewing downtown merchants and property owners, participating in community meetings, preparing examples of alternative "looks" for downtown, and encouraging everyone to share their thoughts.

The firm, E.G. & G., Inc., out of Akron, was selected because of their emphasis on community input, their success in other communities, and their relationships with grant-making authorities. E.G. & G. has a proven track-record, yet they are a small company with people who truly take an interest in each community.

The focus this summer will be one-on-one conversations with "key stakeholders" along with fundraising activities to pay for the assessment and planning phases of revitalization.

If you are approached by Rod Garrison or John Grossman of E.G. & G. and asked for input, SPEAK UP! This is your opportunity to make your needs known. If you don’t share your thoughts, ideas, and concerns, they can’t be incorporated into plans. Your opinion counts!

For more information go to and click on Downtown Revitalization on the right side to brush up on the revitalization process, comments from consultants, suggestions from other communities and resources for revitalization and historic preservation. Then get ready to share your thoughts. Call or send an email to any Downtown Mantua Revitalization Committee member (listed on the web). Watch for news of community meetings, attend Village Planning Commission meetings, and make your voice heard.

…………..Michelle Barnauskus


Do you know what could happen to your child if left alone in a car?

Leaving your child in a parked car can be a deadly mistake!

Heat Stroke & Death-------Because of its many windows, the inside of your car is like a greenhouse. It sounds incredible, but even if the weather is mildly warm and you leave your windows slightly opened, the temperature inside the car can reach 120 to 140 degrees in a matter of minutes.

The symptoms of heat exhaustion include high body temperature, mental confusion, headache, nausea, lightheadedness, muscle pain and cramping. A heatstroke is an extension of heat exhaustion in which a child’s temperature rises to greater than 104 degrees. In extreme cases, coma and death may occur if treatment is delayed. Remember your pets can be affected, also.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning--- Everyone is at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless deadly gas. Because you cannot see it, taste it, or smell it, carbon monoxide can kill you before you know it is there.

Fumes from a running automobile contain carbon monoxide. Leaving your child or pets in a running automobile puts them both at risk, especially if the heat or air conditioning is left on and the windows are tightly closed, causing the gas to be trapped inside.

Child Abduction------ The statistics are startling when it comes to missing children. The FBI estimates that as many as 2,300 children are reported missing to the police each day.

Infants and young children need appropriate supervision at all times to keep them safe. Leaving your child unattended, even for a brief time puts your child at risk of being abducted.

Older children need to be warned of the dangers and properly informed of the safety issues - issues that might save their lives.

Remember, young children, who cannot make decisions themselves, depend on us to keep them safe. Let’s do our job!!


The Portage County Soap Box derby sponsored a rally race on Mother’s Day weekend, drawing approximately seventy-five racers from around the country. This number included several of our own racers, many of them taking home trophies.

Although it was a little colder and windier that we would have liked, overall it was a great weekend. We are very appreciative of all the racers’ mothers who gave up their special day to come out and watch their kids race. Some mothers were heard to make comments that there was no place they would rather be.

We have held our Spring rally on Mother’s day weekend for several years, and since the beginning we have bought flowers for our racers to present to their moms. It’s not a big thing, but all the mothers appreciate the small gesture.

With the rally behind us, we are now shifting our attention to our local race, scheduled for Saturday, June 23rd. This will again be held on the High Street Hill in the Village of Mantua.

We are running three divisions again this year, and we have several new racers joining us for the first time.

The Local race is a qualifier for the All American Soap Box Derby World Championship. In this annual event, children from ages 8 to 18 compete with other racers from all over the United States and around the world. We are very proud that two of our racers have won this world championship.

At last year’s awards ceremony following the race, the Portage County Soap Box Derby was named OUTSTANDING RACE CITY. This was the result of a lot of hard work by all our Board members. We are very please that our hard work and dedication to our racers is not going unnoticed by the race officials.

We encourage everyone to come out and enjoy the Local race with us, and we encourage any Portage County child to get involved in Soap Box Racing. It’s a great family sport, and you could be our next World Champion.


Mantua Village has received the Tree City USA award for the 11th straight year.

A few weeks ago, Marty Hura attended the awards ceremony in Cuyahoga Falls, OH. He was treated to a tour of their new Natatorium, the only one in Ohio. This facility has 2 swimming pools, a Senior Center, workout rooms, conference rooms, a Subway restaurant and much more.

The Village received a marker for the permanent plaque on display in the Park Lodge and a new flag. Many thanks to all who made this possible.

On Friday, April 27th, 500 trees were given to all 3rd and 4th grade students at the Intermediate School as part of the Arbor Day/Earth Day observance.


It was a little on the cool side, but a nice weekend for this year’s Community Yard Sale.

Co-Sponsored by Rotary Club and Neighborhood Watch, this sale was held on Friday and Saturday, May 11th and 12th. 30 home sales were held on both days. There was a wide variety of items for sale, garden plants, vegetable plants, baseball cards, tools, craft items plus a huge amount of classic yard sale "treasures".

There were no Park sales this year, it seems that everyone preferred to have their sale at home.

This was a cooperative, community effort that we hope will continue to be a yearly event.


Please plan to attend the Portage County Soap Box Derby right here in Mantua, on June 23, 2007. The Lions will be providing burgers, sausage sandwiches, hot dogs, fries and soft drinks for this event. Participants of the race will be supplied with free food coupons redeemable at the Lions Food Trailer.

This year we are sponsoring 2 cars. Many of the Lions Clubs in Portage County are sponsoring at least 1 car for the race. Charles Chevrolet in Garrettsville will provide the vehicles to take the cars back up the hill.

The rain date, should there need to be one, will be Sunday, June 24th. For more information, contact Don Martin at 330-274-8458. Go Racers and Go Mantua!

The concession stand is now open almost nightly for little league games at Buchert Park. Stop by and say hi to our new chairman, Larry Hurd. Prices are posted at the stand.

The Crestwood Lions Club is interested in starting a Leo Club for youngsters in the Crestwood School District. The Leo Club Program objective is; "To provide the youth of the world with an opportunity for development and contribution, individually and collectively, as responsible members of the local, national, and international community."

The Leo Club Motto is:

Leadership - Leos develop skills as organizers, time managers, and motivators of their peers.

Experience - Leos learn the importance of cooperation through the performance of community service.

Opportunity - Membership in a Leo club provides young people with a chance to excel, to develop character traits, and to receive recognition for their contributions to the community.

Please contact Lynne McDermott at 330-274-0837 or email her at if you are interested or want to know more. Visit and follow the links to youth programs for complete information from Lions International.

Congratulations to Rachel Heritage of Mantua, recipient of a $1000 scholarship given by the Lions Club scholarship committee. The student must possess the spirit of volunteerism and fulfill the "We Serve" motto of Lions Clubs International. Congratulations again and good luck!!!

April 200 Club winners include $25 to Don Martin, $25 to Karen Shelly and $50 to Missy Wallace. Tickets are now on sale from any member and are $12 each. Each ticket is good for the entire year (July to June) and three winners are drawn every month. Two for $25 and one for $50. Only 200 tickets are sold each year, so get yours today. Contact Tim McDermott for more info at 330-274-0837.

Coming soon are the many summer festivals around Portage County including Kent Fest, Streetsboro Days and the Ravenna Balloon Affair. Please stop by the Lions food trailer at these events and support our efforts to help the eyesight needs of those in the Crestwood School District.

For eyesight needs in the Crestwood School District call Doug McIntosh at 330-274-2384. All information is kept confidential and certain qualifications apply. Remember, old eyeglasses can be reused for someone in need. Drop boxes are provided in various local businesses throughout the Village.

Lions International is made up of Lions Clubs dedicated to serving their communities by volunteers. If you are interested in learning more about the Crestwood Lions Club contact Lion Harold Ullman at 330-274-2516 or check us out on the web at or email us at Bi-monthly dinner meetings are held on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month at 7 pm at the Portage Faith United Methodist Church.


Notice to all campers that it is ILLEGAL to move firewood and ash tree materials out of Ohio’s quarantined areas. These materials may harbor EMERALD ASH BORER, an Asian beetle recently discovered in southeastern Michigan and neighboring Windsor, Ontario.

About 1 in 10 trees in Ohio forests is an ash tree, approximately 3.8 billion currently growing. This beetle infests and kills all native ash trees.

The potential loss of economic activity if this beetle leads to the destruction of all ash trees in Ohio has been estimated at more than $200 million a year.

It is hoped that the quarantine of ash materials will stop the spread of this infestation. For more information, call 1-888-OHIO-EAB or visit their website: