Mantua Matters
May, 2010


I am convinced that the only way to appreciate an Ohio spring is to live through an Ohio winter. But, we all managed to survive a winter that we won’t soon forget. Summer will soon be on us, kids out of school and we will be enjoying the sounds of the season; lawn mowers, dogs barking, children playing and car radios thundering up and down the street.

This issue covers February, March and April, plus upcoming events. Please read and enjoy!


Hello Everyone and welcome spring;

As we go to the polls on May 4th I want to urge you to vote YES on Issue 16, this will give you an opportunity to reduce your household electric generation charge by 6%. It’s also a way for us to help our small businesses, who will take advantage of a 4% reduction. How does this happen?? The passage of Issue 16 will allow the Village to form a buying group (an aggregate). You needn’t do anything to sign up. Our local Electric Co. will still continue to read our meter, maintain poles and restore power when needed, and you will continue to receive the same bill you always have, only this time with a reduction on your electric generation charges. Anyone not wishing to receive the reduction can choose not to participate by opting-out. You will be mailed a form giving you this opportunity. Any questions please do not hesitate to contact: Mayor Donna Hawkins at 330-274-8776, ext. 155 or your council representatives.

You may have noticed some activity at the south entrance to our Village near Canada Road. This is our new “Civic Sign” project that future Eagle Scout Jason Sage of Prospect Street, has agreed to head. Recent Eagle Scout projects such as our wonderful observation decks at both Buchert Park and the Glacial Esker trail have been grant funded. The “Civic Sign”, project however, requires donations of both construction and financial donations. I would like to thank many of our fine businesses who have pledged substantial donations, of material and labor. The purpose of this sign is to help de-clutter our Main Street of signage and promote all our wonderful organizations, such as Rotary, the Chamber of Commerce, Lions, American Legion and many more. If you would like to donate please contact me at 330-274-8776 ext 155.

If you haven’t mailed in your Census Report, you may be visited by a Census worker in order to verify your address. The Better Business Bureau advises that you do not give your Social Security number, credit card or banking information to anyone, even if they claim they need it for the U.S. Census. You need to only tell them how many people live at your residence and verify your address.

As Arbor day approaches I am proud to report that for the 15th straight year, the Village of Mantua has been awarded “Tree City U.S.A.” status.

And what about all those yellow flags!! Please contact the Village Service Dept before you pull them up at 330-274-8188. This is an effort by Dominion East Ohio Gas to ensure that pipes underground are not leaking.

I am looking forward to all the things that summer will hold for us, Such as Art on the Hill and the Soap Box Derby and our Farmers Market I look forward to seeing you there!!!

Mayor Donna Hawkins


Lets’ face it- Finance can be a boring topic. I feel that our Village seems to be slowly stabilizing. We have a few areas of concern. Our Service vehicles are really falling apart. We are looking into a way to replace them, one at a time, hopefully finding a good used truck that won’t take on another debt payment. The best theory is to eliminate the debt payments and free up money to operate.

If you are interested, I want to tell you how the Village gets money to run. We have four major funds and lots of smaller funds. The largest fund is the General fund, and then we have the Water & Sewer funds, and the Street fund.

Still awake? I welcome anyone to drop by if you ever have questions about how your money is being used. You can also come to a Finance or Council meeting to keep up to date on current financial topics, or read the minutes on our website- It’s your money, and it’s your Village, and I thought you might like to know how it all flows.

Jenny August, Clerk/Treasurer


Most of you already know that St. Joseph School in Mantua will be closing at the end of the 2009-2010 school year, due to declining enrollment. St. Joseph Parish was founded in 1864 and the school opened in 1962. The staff included Principal Beth Frank, seven teachers and several part-time aides.

A Parent Information night was held on April 15th, when Reverend Michael Garvey thanked the parents, staff members and parishioners for their loyal support of the school. Father Garvey encourages parishioners to seek other area Catholic schools for their children and promises that the parish will make every effort to support them.

Although the school will be gone, the parish and its activities will continue various programs and events for parishioners and the Mantua community. The building’s classrooms and Hughes Hall will remain an active part of the parish.

Current and former students and teachers are invited to join the Facebook group - St. Joseph’s School Mantua-Memories - to record the memories of their time at St. Joseph School. For more information pleas visit

Kathi Trares, SchoolSecretary
The Parish Community of St. Joseph’s


St. Joseph’s most visible and locally famous fund-raising event is the Annual Ox Roast Fair which is held the 3rd full weekend in July. This year it will be held on July 16th , 17th and 18th. Started in 1964 by Fr. John Wirtz (Associate Pastor under Fr. Hughes) to help pay for the new school back then, the Ox Roast Fair now directly supports the educational and sacramental ministries of St. Joseph.

This event utilizes the energy and talents of literally hundreds of parishioners and friends from the Mantua area. Except for the carnival rides and games, part of the tractor pull events, and security, the booths and events are operated by volunteer families and friends.

The Ox Roast Fair Committee is the primary planning and steering committee which coordinates the efforts of the Fair and guides the overall direction. Be sure to come out and enjoy this wonderful community event! For more details as the date gets closer, please visit


The Home and School Association of St. Joseph School is hosting a Trunk and Treasure sale on Saturday, May 22, 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. Admission is free and the event is open to the public.

Bring your unwanted treasures to be sold at this outdoor flea market-like event. Pre-sale spaces are available for $10.00 or $ $15.00 the day of the sale. Please contact Barb Marinelli (330-296-3097) for more details.

So that the cooks can give their crockpots and ladles a much-deserved summer rest, the last American Legion and Auxiliary sponsored Soup Supper will be on May 7th. But, never fear, Soup Suppers will resume in the fall, the date will be announced later. Thanks for your support.


The Cemetery Board is beginning clean-up of Hillside Cemetery with the help of the Service Department, as we prepare for Memorial Day 2010. Please help us maintain the cemetery’s appearance by removing your holiday decorations and any other items that are worn, tattered or that have been destroyed by the harsh winter weather.

We will be removing and discarding these items in the very near future. Thank you for your cooperation.

Cookie Vanek
Hillside Cemetery Board


The Mantua Village Shade Tree Committee is sponsoring a Poster Contest for the third graders at Crestwood Schools. The theme is YOUR FAVORITE NATURE SPOT. April 23, 2010 is the scheduled pickup day for the posters to be judged. All posters will be displayed at Mantua Station Drug.

The event was held on April 30, 2010, with guest speaker Chuck Engelhart, from Cleveland Metroparks, who gave a brief talk on trees. First prize winner, Amelia Wysong, received a savings bond donated by Middlefield Bank. Each entrant received a coupon donated by Mantua McDonald’s. A Local resident donated the seedlings for them. The Shade Tree Committee gave a Certificate of Participation to all the students who turn in a poster.

Linda Clark
Shade Tree Committee

Spring……Is it really here?

Well, it officially is here and along with spring’s chirping birds, sunny days and outdoor playtime comes the seamlessly never-ending yard and bed clean-up. Mother Nature surely hasn’t made it easy on anyone who wants their yard looking great, but with a few tips and some guidance, you could be off to a great start and a wonderful spring.

Spring Clean-ups: First let’s define this dreaded word. A spring clean-up is merely a word describing all the tasks at hand. Such tasks include weeding, edging, debris removal, pruning and mulching. Sounds like a lot, but don’t be scared, we will take you step by step.

  1. Get any and all debris out from your beds. Excess leaves and sticks can cause problems if they are lying on top of or along the bases of plant material. It can keep in extra moisture and insects which can reek havoc on your loving plants.

  2. Weed those early cool-season weeds out before they become a problem. Once weeds mature they have a great probability that they spend their seeds throughout you landscape bed. So instead of one weed you may end up with a few dozen. Round-Up is a great post emergent to kill anything already growing (just make sure you read the directions for usage, all herbicides differ). Get those weeds by the roots. A trowel is a great way to pop them out. If you leave the root, the weed comes back and normally twice as strong or big.

  3. Prune any broken, damage or dead branches from your ornamental trees and shrubs. This is great for the plants because instead of expending energy on dead cells it can send it to healthy ones, thus a healthier and happier plant. If the job is too big, call in professionals like Yarnell Tree for your larger trees and Garden Girls, Inc. for everything else. Being safe is always the number one priority.

  4. Edging. Need I say more? This is everyone’s least favorite thing to do, but with some practice and tips we can make it painless as possible. To begin an edge, its best to use a machine like a bed edger or a nursery spade. A spade is a flat, narrow shovel. This is one of our favorite tools, it has lots of uses. You want to put the spade at the edge of your bed line on an approximately 45’ angle and push down about 2-3”, simply flick the dirt up into the bed to be picked up later and continue through the edge making sure to overlap slightly to create a smooth line. This does take some practice and getting use to. Nobody was born with a spade in their hand, be patient.

  5. Now time for mulching, it’s what we like to call paint. Getting good mulch is the first step and the most important one, since this is going to set in your beds all year and hanging around your precious plant material. Finding mulch with a good compost and bark matter is tough but it’s out there. Stay away from places that simply shred up pallets and call it mulch, this is the worst kind you can get. You can test their mulches with a simply jar and water test. Fill your jar with water, leaving enough room for adding mulch in it. Add the mulch and shake it. The material dropping to the bottom is going to be your organic/compost matter and anything floating to the top is going to be bark or pallet material. You want a good consistency and at least half organic matter. We suggest mulching every other year so you don’t have an excess build up of mulch. The years that you don’t mulch, just cultivate (turn up) the mulch to give it a fresh look. We have found some great mulch from Sagamore Soils and Mantua’s own DSI. Check them out and tell them Garden Girls sent yah.

  6. Last, put on a pre-emergent like Preen. We always put this on the top after mulching. This kills any of the weed seeds that either exists in the mulch or that may land from nearby weeds. Make sure to read all directions though, some plant materials are sensitive to these chemicals and you may do damage.

That’s it; you’re on your way. I know you must be saying…..Wow! That’s a lot to think about. I do know it can be overwhelming to say the least, but taking it step by step and having patience, you will be able to have a landscape beds to be proud of.

Wendy Conair
Garden Girls, Inc.


Portage County Soap Box Derby will be having a spring rally race on May 15th and 16th this year in Akron. Our local race will be June 12th with a rain date of June 13th. The All American race is July 24th. 2010.

The spring rally race is a good opportunity for the kids to get some practice and do some tuning up before the local race. Rally racing is one of the ways the racers qualify for the All American Soap Box Derby race if they collect enough points by racing at the different rally races in different cities.

Our local race is held on High Street in Mantua. The kids race down right past Buchert Park. The winners of the three divisions (Stock, Super Stock, and Masters) will be invited to compete in Akron at the All American race as local champs.

The All American race week is filled with activities for all of the local and rally champs to enjoy. The big race is held on Saturday, July 24th at the Akron hill. Champs come from all around the world like United States, Germany, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and several other countries. Every one of all ages is welcome to come and observe any one of these derby functions. Admission is free to the rally and local races. For anyone with any questions or suggestions, please call Paul Jay @ 330-325-8310 or Barb Corbett @ 330-296-9117.


Congratulations to Paige Nemec of Mantua, the most successful female wrestler in Ohio history. With a career record of 115 wins vs. 34 losses against boys in 4 years as a varsity high school wrestler, she also repeated herself as a three-time high school girls state champion. She is the first female to qualify and compete at the Ohio State boys tournament. Paige placed 1st at the 2009 USGWA tournament and 2nd in 2008. She is an 8 time Ohio state girls wrestling champion, beginning in the 4th grade.

The Ohio State Girls Wrestling Tournament was held in Mantua on Saturday, March 13, 2010 and turned out to be the site of the 2nd largest Ohio state girls wrestling championship. Paige pinned her way to 1st place at this tournament in the 108# weight class. Also, at this tournament, Heather Pahoresky of Mantua placed 3rd in the 112# class and Amanda Levanskevich of Mantua placed 2nd in the 128# class. Congratulations to all!!


To all interested gardeners: We would love to meet you! Mantua Village Garden Club is looking for new hands to help beautify our village. We plant flowers at six locations throughout the Village.

If you cannot give us gardening time, please visit us anyway. We have interesting programs, some featuring professional gardener. We also go on field trips, and have do-it-yourself projects……we can learn together.

We meet the first Monday of each month from March to December. We meet sometimes at noon for lunch and sometimes in the evening in order to accommodate those who are employed.

For more information, please call our President, Patsi Gast at 330-274-2124.

Emma Leferink, Publicity

Dirt Bikes, 4 Wheelers, and 3 Wheelers

It sounds like fun and the good weather is coming. But, did you know that you are not allowed to ride them on the roadways or Bike and Hike Trails. Yes, the Village of Mantua does not permit them on our streets. This has changed from in the past where you were allowed to take them out of town and come directly back.

The Police Department has received numerous complaints where they are running up and down are streets, going to Mc Donald’s or the gas station and in some cases just to go over to a friend’s house on the other side of town.

According to the Ohio Revised Code, you are not allowed to ride them on the roads. The code does allow them to be operated but only if you meet all of the following requirements. You must be 16 years old or older, have a license to operate them, License plates or Recreational sticker, proper safety equipment and written permission which you must carry on you from the Village of Mantua or from the jurisdiction you are riding in. Since the village does not give permission to anyone, it is simple, you can not ride them on our streets.

Also, remember that you need the permission of any private property landowner where you do ride them. Places in the Village where they are prohibited are: any school property, the parks, the bike and hike trail and any village-owned property.

The Chief of Police asks for your co-operation to be courteous to your neighbors and others. We hope that you will find other alternatives to enjoy your recreational vehicle with in the scope of the law.

Chief H. W. Buchert

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. Chief Buchert suggests that parents teach their children to follow these safety rules:

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:

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

Chief H. W. Buchert


The Police Department handled a total of 768 calls during the last year. A few of these are still under investigation, but most have been cleared.

They have dealt with assaults, thefts, phone harassment, criminal damage, disorderly conduct, accidents, vandalism, drug-related problems, domestic disputes, menacing, and property damage.

There were 70 criminal arrests, 28 accidents, 1,327 warnings, 517 traffic and parking citations and the cruisers were driven a total of 39,363 miles.

The 28 accidents involved a total of 52 vehicles, 46 vehicles damaged, 5 required towing and there were 2 injuries and no deaths.

Total phone calls handled by the department dispatchers, including 911 calls, was 6,385. There were 279 mutual aid calls for other departments, plus 56 meetings, training sessions and seminars attended by various officers.

Officer hours worked was 8,480, Dispatch hours 8,959. There were 314 motorist and public assists, 141 bar checks, and 637 house checks. 49 open doors/windows and 126 suspicious persons/vehicles were investigated.

Personnel included 11 full and part-time officers and 9 full and part-time dispatchers.

Other Department activities include: security for parades, races, Ghost Walk, Art On The Hill and Trick Or Treat, patrol of the school zones, foot patrols in the downtown area, checking lift stations, reservoir, water and sewer plants, and Safety Town (for bicycle safety).

It is the policy of this Department to provide the best possible assistance to our citizens, to meet your needs with courteous and professional service - To Serve And Protect.

If you would like additional information regarding any of our programs or have any questions or concerns, please call the Police Department at 330-274-2251.


Don’t forget about the Community dinners held at the Christ Lutheran Church These dinners are held on the 3rd Monday of each month and are free to everyone. The menu is different for each month and the hours are 5:00 to 6:30 pm.

The schedule for the remainder of 2010 is, May 17, Jun 21, Jul 19, Aug 16, Sep 20, Oct 18, Nov 15, Dec 20.

Please plan to join with family, friends and neighbors for a great meal and an evening of fun and fellowship!


Mantua’s St. Joseph School Food Service is sponsoring the 2nd Annual Cruise-in on Saturday, May 8th from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm. They will be featuring the Nostalgic Notions Racing Club, Drag, Race, Classic & Muscle cars. Also, there will be Custom Trucks and Mudders, Mantua HOG Chapter, Touring and Sports Bikes.

There will be goody bags for the first 50 entrants, free admission, live DJ, trophies, and spectacular raffle packages. Also, a 50/50 raffle, Mother’s Day flower baskets, unique vendors including a “Women’s World” area in the pavilion, food, drinks and tons of fun!

Be sure to get your tickets for the Deluxe Gas Grill and Accessory Package raffle, valued at over $1,000, (compliments of Lakeside Sand & Gravel and Oscar Brugman Sand & Gravel, Inc.) There will also be a $400 Carlton Harley-Davidson Gift Card Raffle (compliments of Carlton Harley-Davidson of Mantua & Ken Emerick Machine Products,Inc. in Burton.

For further information, please call Al Roberts (330-274-2268) or visit


Dust off those walking shoes and join us at St. Joseph School on Thursday, May 13, 9:30 am to 3:00 pm for a Wellness Walk and Learning Stations. There will be stretching, walking, lunch, healthy information bags, and more! Please call 330-274-2268 for more information.


If you missed the Town Hall meeting in March, hosted by DMRC, you missed:

Spring-Spruce Up: Saturday, May 15 8:00 am at Jake’s or find someone working in one of the Village parks or along Main/Prospect Streets anytime before noon. Bring leaf blower, edger, shovels, brooms, gardening tools, window cleaning supplies…For more info or to help, contact Becky Newell,, 216-990-5086

Art on the Hill: Saturday, July 10 10am-7pm; Look for indoor and outdoor displays, raffles, Chinese Auction, and more. Portage Park District’s Headwaters Adventure Race starts at 8am; Country Market 9am-noon on same day. See following article for more details.

Walking Through Mantua’s Past: Saturday, October 9 4-8pm; ideas include old-time general store, dance, soda fountain, fashion show, and impersonators along with tours of historic buildings. For info or to volunteer, contact Linda Ehlert,, 330-274-0803 or Melanie Miracle,

Fundraising: keeping Mantua top-of-mind by continuing to meet with local, state, and federal government officials and other possible funders. For info or to help, contact Edie Benner,, 330-697-0957 or Jim Oster,, 330-274-2802 or Jim Rogers,, 330-274-8738

Don’t miss other opportunities to be part of Mantua’s revitalization! Help-out on Saturday, May 15 and watch for more details about DMRC in Mantua Matters, in The Community Journal, on, and around town.

Michelle Barnauskas,
Downtown Mantua Revitalization Committee


The Downtown Mantua Revitalization Corporation will be hosting their 2nd annual “Mantua’s Art On The Hill” on July 10,2010 with 80 spaces for artisans and local area eateries. Booths are now available for $35 on a first-come first-serve basis. It will be held on Prospect Street from 10am-7pm; artisans/vendors are already signing-up (last year there were 60). Look for indoor and outdoor displays, raffles, Chinese Auction, musical entertainment and more. Portage Park District’s Headwaters Adventure Race starts at 8am (see following article) and the Country Market will be open from 9am-noon on the same day.

A nasty rainstorm put a temporary damper on 2009 activities, but most vendors stuck it out for a very successful & sunny afternoon event!

For more info, if you'd like to volunteer for the planning committee or to help out on event day, contact Becky Newell,, 216-990-5086 or Christine Pitsinger, communityjournal@yahoo.comv, 330-414-6486.  

For pictures & information on last year's successful event, visit, click on "revitalization" on the left side & scroll to the bottom of the page.  For an application & general information on becoming a vendor, click on "Art on the Hill" application on the right side.

Becky Newel, Secretary
Downtown Mantua Revitalization Comm.


The Adventure Race and Fitness Walk home base will be Buchert Park in Mantua Village, on July 10, 2010. Fitness Walk participants will walk 2 miles from Buchert Park on the Headwaters Trail, a flat limestone paved hike and bike trail on the former Erie Lackawana railroad corridor. You’ll cross the Cuyahoga River and pass Marsh Wetlands Nature Preserve, then return to Buchert Park.

The Walk and Race are a fundraiser for the Portage Park District. “This a great chance for me to support the Park District. I walk on the trails all the time so I am looking forward to giving back to the Park District” said Barb Guthrie, Park Supporter.

Race Participants will run or jog the same route, then bike 10 miles through beautiful Portage County countryside in Mantua and Hiram Townships, crossing the watershed divide, between the Cuyahoga River Watershed (draining to Lake Erie) and the Mahoning River Watershed (draining to the Ohio River and eventually Gulf of Mexico). The route passes historic homes and conserved farms, forests and wetlands, with great vistas from some of the highest points in Portage County. The canoe route is on the beautiful Upper Cuyahoga, a designated State Scenic River,  and will pass conserved forests and floodplain habitat, and see a diversity of plants and wildlife.

Portage Park District partners for this event include Camp Hi Canoe and the Village of Mantua. Sponsors are being sought for the 2010 Race. 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!


St. Joseph's Life Teen is a comprehensive high school youth ministry program based on, focused on, and directed towards the Eucharist.  Our Life Teen mission is to create an environment that attracts and leads teens to a relationship with God through Jesus Christ and His Church.  We reach out to teens on the following levels: emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and relational.  Our goal is for teens to know that they are loved and spoken the truth to.   

Life Teen incorporates a Mass every other Sunday at 5:00pm, at St. Joseph's in Mantua.   As with every Mass it is centered around Jesus.  This Mass has a Praise and Worship band with contemporary music. Even though is called the Life Teen Mass everyone is invited to come.   

Along with Mass we have Life Nights every Sunday.  These nights consist of teaching in a non traditional environment, from the setting to small group discussions.  Not only do we have teachings but retreats, social events, and service projects as well.

Our first service project is working at a soup kitchen this Saturday 4-24-10. For more information about St. Joe's Life Teen can be found on the website


The Society’s meetings are held on the third Sunday evening of the month. May’s meeting will begin at 7:00 pm. Summer hours have not yet been set. The museum is open to the public at that time.

The museum will be open by appointment at any other time. Please call Lois Summerlin at 330-274-8128, if you wish to visit individually or in groups.


The monthly brush pick-up is under way and will continue on the second Monday of each month excluding holidays through October 12, 2010.

All brush is to be placed at the curb with the cut ends facing the street. Branches over 8 feet in length or 4” in diameter will not be picked up, nor will 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 or cleaning; clearing along fence line or property boundaries and it is not to be placed at 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 curb. (Please see policy in total, available at the Service Department 4880 E. High St.)

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 many years of major infrastructure construction and replacement in the water and sewer areas one area of focus will be storm sewer system as budget $$ permit.

We will also be working in the park, cemetery and along the trails. The existing Esker trail and Rotary Grove located at the Water Plant will see the addition of 2 more observation decks.

One deck will look out over the Cuyahoga River and the other will be on the south side of the wetlands and both will make a wonderful addition to your walk. Thanks to Christopher Malcome and Casius Harris who are doing this as their Eagle Scout projects.

Edward Trego, Village Administrator


Sponsored by The Rotary Club of Mantua  

New this year, the Country Market will be held EVERY SATURDAY 9:00 AM to NOON.

Beginning July 10th at the Historic Mantua Train Depot (across from McDonald's) Fresh, Locally Grown Produce & Flowers Direct from the Farm & Garden! Crafts, Specialty Items, Contests& Much More! Meet and greet your neighbors! Bring your friends!  

The Rotary Club is looking for vendors for the Country Market!  If you would like to participate, please call Dean Olson at (330) 351-3035

As I remind everyone, in each issue, this is YOUR paper. It is about Mantua, its people, places and events.

If you have anything you would like to hear about, any ideas, suggestions or criticisms, please let me know. Write to me c/o Village Hall, 4750 W. High St., Mantua Ohio 44255, Call me at 330-274-8737 , or email at

If you belong to an organization or club, I will be happy to print any information on your meetings or upcoming events.

Bye for now, see you in August!

Diane Hura, Editor