County roundup: Hiram lowers speeds on Udall, plus news from Garrettsville, Windham, Mantua and Freedom

Windham Township

The Windham Township Fire Department is hoping to get a grant through Firehouse Subs for a John Deere UTV grass fighter.

“It has a pump and a tank on it and a place for a backboard,” township Chair Rich Gano said. “It’s for firefighting and also to take people from faraway areas to a helicopter or mobile units.”


The Bureau of Workers’ Compensation offered the fire department, through the National Fire Protection Association, up to $15,000 to purchase washable gloves and hoods that the firefighters wear. The fire department also submitted a grant request for a State Fire Marshal grant for $15,000 worth of other fire gear.


The fire department is working on getting paging added to its new MARCS radios. The department received a $47,000 grant last year through the state fire marshal for the radios. Each vehicle has a radio in it.


The Windham Lions Club hosted its monthly pancake breakfast Feb. 5 at the Brick Chapel. The fire department helped out. The event was a fundraiser for both the Lions Club and the fire department.

Hiram Township

The Hiram Township Fire Department sold its old EMS vehicle to University Hospitals in Cleveland in December. It was replaced by a new one to go with a second one it has.


The fire department would like to go to full-time staffing but is having a hard time keeping people on stations.

“There’s not enough money to go full time,” township Chair Jack Groselle said.


The township got the OK to reduce the speed limit on Udall Road from 55 miles per hour to 35 miles per hour.

“We got the signs up in the last month,” Groselle said, “and since then, I’ve had four calls from residents along the road thanking us for getting that done.”


The township passed a resolution to sell the little building on skids in front of Town Hall on state Route 82.

“We’ll sell the building to the highest bidder, opening the bidding at our next meeting,” Groselle said. “The building has electric, insulation and drywall on the inside.”

Mantua Township

Trustees approved the draft report for the Mantua Township Black Brook flood study. The study was funded by a $147,000 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the State of Ohio, and local funds from the Mantua Township Trustees and the Black Brook Conservancy District. 

“We will post the approved final report on our website as soon as it becomes available,” township Chair John Festa said.


The Cemetery Beautification Committee is sprucing up the cemeteries for Memorial Day, and the trustees approved funds to have the Westlawn Cemetery signs taken down and powder coated. Resident Frank Horack donated the funds to remove and powder coat the two benches that have been a staple there over the years.


Youth softball season is starting up, and the trustees have given the OK for the Crestwood Youth Softball and Baseball League and the Crestwood Ponytail League to use the township ballfields for their spring/summer/fall seasons. Signup and registration start soon. Contact those groups for more information.


The township has approved the organization of the annual Easter Egg Hunt. “The trustees will be discussing the event with the two community groups that will be volunteering their time and energy to make this a great event at our March 2 meeting,” Festa said. “The groups will discuss the applications for the NOPEC Community Event Grant of $1,500.”

Freedom Township

The Hankee Road culvert project is on hold because Freedom Township is having problems getting the rebar, which goes inside the concrete.


The township is looking into purchasing a new roller for its road crew. A roller is used to put new pavement down.

“We’ll probably purchase it in the next month,” township Chair Jeff Derthick said.


The Freedom Township Historical Society’s Schoolhouse No. 2 will be open for walkthroughs from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, March 5,  and from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 25. Schoolhouse No. 2 is located at 7276 state Rte. 303.

“The historical society is trying to build its museum and connect with the community,” Derthick said. “They’ve done a lot of work to restore the inside of that building. Schoolhouse No. 2 is set up with desks and a pot belly stove, that kind of stuff from a century ago.”

Admission is free.


The annual Garrettsville St. Patrick’s Day festivities will take place Friday, March 17.

“We try to make it more of a family event and bring people to Garrettsville to try our great restaurants and pubs,” event organizer Aaron King said. 

Starting at 4 p.m. on St. Patrick’s Day, there will be horse-and-wagon rides, a petting zoo and face painting for the children as long as weather permits.

“Slim & Jumbo’s is working on getting a bagpiper,” King said. “Each of the businesses has its own food specials, most of it corned beef and cabbage related. Most of the restaurants and bars will have green beer.”

A few of the establishments will have entertainment starting at 5 or 6 p.m. Sky Lounge at SkyLane Bowling will have karaoke beginning at 5 p.m.

“People from all over Portage County attend the event,” King said. “We’re expecting around 3,000 people to come. Slim & Jumbo’s and Sean’s Pub & Eatery will open at 7 a.m. for those hardcore Irish people.”


The annual Road Apple Roubaix will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 4. There will be two bicycle races: a 47-mile race and a 25-mile race through Portage and Geauga counties.

“The event raises money for charity,” Mayor Rick Patrick said. “Last year, there were more than 400 bicyclists.”

Cyclocross, mountain, single speed, fixed gear, fat bikes and tandem bicycles are welcome. Road bikes will not be well suited for the course. Participants will receive a T-shirt, pint glass, drink and chili bowl (T-shirts and pint glasses will be limited to the first 400 people registered).

For more information, call 216-215-0824.


The annual Cupid Shuffle was held Feb. 11. It originated at the Fraternal Order of Eagles #2705 and also included SkyLane Bowling, Garretts Mill Diner, Slim & Jumbo’s and the Weekly Villager, and concluded back at the Eagles for a dinner catered by the Eagles.

“There was a stop at each of those places,” Eagles President Harold Clark said. “It was similar to a poker run. You got a playing card at each stop, and the person with the best hand at the end won.”

The winner received a cash prize, and proceeds went to Eagles charities.

Roger Gordon
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