Mantua Matters

Summer 2006

From the Mayor

Time continues to pass us by, 2006 is almost half gone and we still have a lot of work ahead. I have a number of individuals and organizations to thank for the extra time they have spent.

The Cemetery Committee for planting of flowers in the rain for Memorial Day.

The Service Department for their dedicated work in preparation for Memorial Day.

The Mantua-Shalersville Area Chamber of Commerce for taking a day from their busy schedules to weed, edge and overall general clean-up of the business area.

Congratulations to the Crestwood Girls Division II track team for winning the State Championship.

Congratulations to Megan Miller, Nicole Cozzone, Casandra Schenck and Bridget Franek for winning the 4 X 800 Relay State Title.

Congratulations to Bridget Franek for winning the State Title in the 800 meter, 1600 meter and 3200 meter dash. Bridget is the first individual to win all three events in either the girl’s or boy’s competition.

Congratulations to Casandra Schenck for placing 2nd in the 1600 meter dash.

Congratulations to Liz Sitko for placing 7th in the discus.

We have seen many excellent individuals, teams and two world champions for the Soap Box Derby come from the Mantua area and we should be very proud of our young athletes.

Please remember on June 17th, that Mantua will host the Portage County Soap Box Derby on High Street and maybe we can have a World Champion 3 years in a row. Support the Lions in the Park area and your local merchants holding sidewalk sales in the business area.

Beginning this summer, the Village will be opening a Building Department, where you will obtain all building permits for residential buildings from single up to 3 units. Please watch for further information.


Please mark your calendars for July 9th. On this day, the Village will hold the dedication and open house for the new Village Administration Building at 4650 W. High St. This will run from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm and is open to the public.

………Claude Hopkins, Mayor


This report covers the months of January, February, March and April, 2006

Total Cases:138
Traffic/Parking Cites:85
Criminal Arrests:10
Calls to Dispatch:1,871
Total Mileage:13,977
Mutual Aid Calls:152
Officer Hours Worked:3,281
Dispatch Hours Worked:2,827
Citizen/Motorist Assists:162
Open Doors/Windows:51
Suspicious Persons/Vehicles:58
House Checks:799
Bar Checks:134
Water/Sewer Plant Checks:343
Reservoir Checks:311
Lift Station Checks:1,329


For those of you planning a summer fix-up project, keep the zoning regulations in mind.

Some of the things that require a zoning permit are: swimming pools, above and in-ground, fences, decks, porches and additions.

Anytime that you change the structure of your home, it usually requires a permit. If you are replacing windows and/or doors, a permit is required only if they are larger than the originals.

No Village permit is required for siding, however, your contractor is required to register with the Village Clerk as doing business within the Village.

No permit is required for roofing, but again your contractor is required to register with the Clerk.

If you have any questions, please call Village Hall at 330-274-8776 or the Zoning Inspector at 330-274-3199.


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 your families, in celebrating along and on our River.

This year, Mantua Village will host “Riverscape 2006” during the Potato Festival in September. This is a venue sponsored by the Upper Cuyahoga River Watershed Task Force. Mantua Village, along with many other State, County and area agencies that are fun, educational, and interactive for all.

Look for the time and date in future Mantua Matters and Potato Festival flyers.


The monthly brush pick-up is underway and will continue on the second Monday of each month, excluding holidays, through October 10, 2006.

All brush is to be placed at the curb with the cut ends facing the street. Branches over 8 feet in length or 4 inches in diameter will not be picked up, nor any thorny bush trimmings or yard waste.

Chipping is intended for brush collection that has been trimmed by homeowners during routine maintenance. The Village crew will spend 20 minutes maximum at a property. The homeowner will be responsible for the disposal of brush/limbs from removal of tree(s), lot clearing, clearing along fence line or property boundaries and is not to be placed at the curb.

If a contractor has been hired to perform the work, the contractor is responsible for brush/limb removal and it is not to be placed at the curb.

Wood chips, while they last, are available at no charge to Village residents at the Service garage located at 4880 E. High St. or you can contact us for deliveries within the Village at 330-274-8188.


After years of major infrastructure construction and replacement in the water and sewer areas, this years’s focus will be storm sewer and repaving projects.

We will also be working in the park, cemetery and along the trails. We hope to complete the trail from the park pavilion to the river bridge off Prospect St. later this year.


The hard-working cooks from the American Legion & Auxiliary are taking a much-needed rest for the next few months.

Soup Suppers will return to the Park Lodge in September.


Despite threatening skies, nine hearty workers spent the better part of Saturday, May 13th on the streets, sprucing up the Village.

Results of their five, hours of weeding, sweeping, edging and planting can be seen along Main Street. These volunteers from the Mantua-Shalersville Area Chamber of Commerce welcomed the opportunity to do something good for their community, show others that every effort counts, and encourage everyone in the area to keep the ball rolling with other beautification initiatives.

The First annual Spring Spruce-Up was coordinated by the Chamber’s Beautification Task Force Chair, Edie Benner, of Advanced Rehabilitation and Health Specialists. She and the rest of the group were motivated by positive comments from those shopping or dining in town that day and were pleased to hear that a few Main Street businesses plans to repair storefronts and replace awnings. Several Portage County businesses are offering discounts to these businesses help with these projects.

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 17th.

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.

The Beautification Task Force thanks Mantua merchants Pastimes/Side Street Grille, Barky Mart Citgo, and Italiano’s Pizza for their donations which kept the spring spruce-up volunteers hard at work..and the volunteers themselves for getting something started.

Volunteers included: Bill Newell, Edie Benner, Paulette Nichols, Becky Newell, Broc Benner, Ty Watson, Michelle Barnauskas, Dan Tillet and Jack Soukenik.

For more info about the Chamber visit: 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.

For further information call Joe Hull at 330-297-7805 or Don Martin of the Lions Club at 330-274-8454.


The Portage County Soap Box Derby Association is busily preparing for our fourth local race on the High Street hill in Mantua. The race is scheduled for Saturday, June 17th, and at this time there are 36 children, from all over Portage County registered to race.

For the first time, we have added a Master’s Division. This is a car, designed for older, more experienced drivers. The driver lays down flat in the car and looks out through a slit about a quarter of an inch wide.

We will be inspecting all the cars on June 13th and 14th. This is done to make sure all cars are built according to All American rules and to ensure the driver’s safety. Following inspection, all cars are impounded until the morning of the race.

Last year’s race was won by Mantua’s Mallory Lorence in the stock division and Tyler Gallagher, also from Mantua, in super stock. Both then raced in the All American World World Championship in Akron in July. They competed against over 500 other racers. Tyler won the World Championship in his division, joining World Champ Rickilea Murphy, our winner from the previous year.

Tyler was awarded many nice prizes, including a scholarship and was treated to a trip to New York City, where he was a guest on the Regis and Kelly Show.

Our racers are very excited and looking forward to another great race, and hopefully, another world championship!! We will be holding our awards banquet on June 22nd, where every racer will receive a trophy and other prizes.

We are very grateful to the Village of Mantua for the continuing support and cooperation in allowing us to close the street to run our race. We also want to thank the High Street residents for their patience and tolerance as we block access to and from their homes for the day. We are happy to see many of them bring lawn chairs to their yards or sit on their front porches, watching the race.

The High Street hill is a perfect setting for our race. It’s a very picturesque, tree-lined street and has been described as a “Scene out of a Norman Rockwell painting”. We agree and feel very lucky to have the Village make it available to us.

We hope everyone will come out and watch our kids race. Derby racing is a great program and we are proud to have some of the best racers right here in Portage County. We hope to increase our numbers in the years to come and give more kids the opportunity to join in this fun, family sport. It’s a great way for parents to spend lots of quality time with their kids.

If you are interested in joining our racing family, please call Bob Sovil at 330-584-6235 or Dean Olson at 330-274-8475.


The 3rd annual Portage County Soap Box Derby race in Mantua will be held on Saturday June 17th, 2006. The race is scheduled to begin at 9:00 am.

Concessions will be located by the starting and finish line by the Crestwood Lions. For further information call Joe Hull at 330-297-7805 or Don Martin ofthe Lions Club at 330-274-8454.

The Crestwood Lions Club recently recognized individuals and businesses for donations to the Pilot Dogs with a dinner and a Pilot Dog program. Those included were Ake Laboratories, Luli Construction Co., Ravenna Eagles, Carlton Harley Davidson, TL Express, Attorney Tim Thomas, Village Tavern and Restaurant, Mantua Browns Backers, Workman Industrial Services, DSI Inc., and Hunter’s 3. Thanks to all who have donated and participated in this tax deductible program to provide guide dogs to sight impaired individuals.

The Crestwood Lions Club wishes to remember long-time member and friend, Lion Tony Buonpane who recently passed away. As many know, Tony was involved in the community and helped others through the Lions Club for 13 years. Our thoughts and prayers go to his wife, Julia, his children and grandchildren.

Look for the Lions Club throughout the community during the summer and help support our efforts for sight-impaired individuals. Qualified individuals in the Crestwood district may receive help by contacting any club member.

Lions International is made up of Lions Clubs dedicated to serving their communities. If you are interested in learning 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

Summer Bicycle Safety

As school lets out for the summer, more children will be riding their bikes around the neighborhoods. All too often, children become creatures of habit and overlook simple safety precautions. The Chief suggests that parents teach their children to follow these safety rules:

First and foremost, always wear a properly fitted safety bicycle helmet and eye protection.

Only one person belongs on your bike. Never let a second person ride with you on the seat or the handlebars.

Allow plenty of room for a safe stop.

Don’t follow cars or other bikes too closely.

Keep both hands on the handlebars for safe steering.

Always give proper hand signals.

Avoid riding your bike in the dark. If you must ride at night, equip your bike with a good headlight and rear reflectors. And wear light-colored or reflective clothing.

Stop completely at stop signs and traffic lights, and look both ways before starting out again.

The Chief advised that while bicycle safety’s primary goal is to protect the child, it also involves protecting the bike. The Chief mentions these tips to prevent crimes involving stolen property:

Protect your bike by engraving it with an identification number.

Always lock your bike when you leave it unattended, and take it in at night.

Summertime should be fun time for your children. If we teach them proper safety rules, they can enjoy the summer safely and we as parents can feel at ease.

** The first bicycle (walking machine) was invented in 1817 by Baron von Drais and was used to help him get around his gardens. Pedals were not added until 1865 (the velocipede), made of wood with metal tires.


Walking is a great way to get exercise and simply to get around. Here are a few things to keep in mind for safer strolling.

"If a man does his best, what else is there?"
………………… General George S. Patton


Members of the Mantua Shade Tree Commission sponsored the 2006 Arbor Day poster contest held at Crestwood Intermediate School for the third and fourth grade classes and have announced the winners.

1st Prize winners from the third grade were Dane Etto, Melissa Tuskes, Morgan Stenk, Laney Velek, Ashley LaManna, Carol Ann Zack and Nicole Nero.

2nd Prize winners, third grade were Kimberly Zielinski, Taylor Rahach, Taylor Mendiola, Brendan Fannin, Noah Shannon, Jeremiah Fitzgerald and Lena Baldwin.

3rd Prize winners, third grade were Rosalie Novotny, Morgan Giaimo, Ethan Milko, Taylor Happel, Jessica Wright, Tucker Urban and Brittany Alloway.

1st Prize winners, fourth grade were Amanda Fosnight, Amanda Krakowski, Kayla Ondash, Mariah Focareto, Olivia Cobb, Hannah Lopez, Madison Cochrane and Jenna Cisar.

2nd Prize winners, fourth grade were Abigail Soltisz, Julia Pfaff, Stacey Larch, Danielle Magyarics, Samantha Canepa, Jenna Morgenstern, Andy Lemus and Tyler Brady.

3rd Prize winners, fourth grade were Nicole Perkins, Carrigan Benoit, Monica Groves, Samantha Cannella, Lauren Bissell, Holly Hays, Melissa Skocdopole, and Nicholas Kehres.

The Grand Prize winners were chosen, by the Committee from among the 1st prize winners. Third grade winner was Morgan Strenk. Fourth grade winner was Madison Cochrane.

Each of the Grand Prize winners received a $50.00 savings bond, a gift from the Middlefield Banking Co, where their posters are on display.

Mantua Station Drug Company furnished the posterboard for the contest and the 1st prize posters are on display there.

Each student also received a seedling tree, compliments of the Mustard Seed Company of Solon. Certificates of appreciation were given to each of the remaining students for their participation.

Many thanks go to the teachers from the 15 homerooms who judged the 360 posters in search of 45 winners.


In spite of inclement weather, we consider this year’s Community Yard Sale a success!

Co-Sponsored by Rotary Club and Neighborhood Watch, this sale was held on Friday and Saturday, May 12th and 13th. 21 home sales were held on both days and 17 vendors were at the park on Saturday. There was a wide variety of items for sale: garden plants, vegetable plants, baseball cards, fishing tackle plus a huge amount of classic yard sale “treasures”.

The Lions Club opened up their concession stand at the Park on Saturday to feed both vendors and shoppers. Most vendors, both at home and at the Park, reported successful sales.

This was a cooperative community effort that we hope will become a yearly event.


Italiano’s has changed ownership as of June 1st. The new owners, John and Lisa Rizzotto, are a local family with a vested interest in our community. Their children, Heather, Brian and Aubrey attend Crestwood Schools.

They will continue to offer the same great food, provide the same great service and will keep the Italiano’s tradition of a family owned and operated business here in Mantua.

Stop in, say hello and check out the menu. We are pleased to welcome the Rizzottos to our community and wish them the best of luck.


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

Children under the age of 14 are not to be out after 9 pm; age 14 & 15 after 11 pm; age 16 & 17 after midnight unless they are in the company of an adult.

Have a Great Summer!

Diane Hura, Editor