County roundup: Streetsboro breaks ground on city center project, plus news from Aurora, Ravenna and Shalersville

Jeremy Brown/The Portager


The groundbreaking for Streetsboro’s new city center infrastructure project took place Sept. 21. There will be a splash park, an inclusive playground, restrooms and a new City Hall.

“In the middle will be a green larger than a football field with a gazebo where we can hold food truck events, small concerts and other things,” Mayor Glenn Broska said. “It will be quite the to-do, let me tell you.”

City council is working on acquiring grant money to help pay for 10-15% of the project. The infrastructure will cost $1.5 million; the splash park, playground and restrooms will cost $2.2 to $2.5 million; and the new City Hall will cost between $6 million and $7 million. Council will also fund part of the new City Hall portion of the project through municipal bonds.

The second annual Portage County Craft Beer Festival will take place from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14 at Streetsboro City Park at 9000 Kirby Lane. Attendees can help celebrate some of the craft brewers in Northeast Ohio and support Leadership Portage County. It will be a great day for ice-cold beer and fall fun. Admission is $25, which includes 10 tasting samples and a sample glass. Questions regarding availability for breweries and sponsorship opportunities can be emailed to Executive Director Andra Polasky at [email protected].

Hometown Bank will celebrate its 125th anniversary with a customer appreciation concert featuring That 80’s Band on Friday, Sept. 29 at the Hometown Bank Plaza. The band will play from 7 to 9 p.m. There will be local food trucks, giveaways and hometown history.

There will be a celebration of National Women’s Small Business Month from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18 at the University Hospitals Streetsboro Medical Center, located at 9318 state Route 14. The SHE Means Business Expo will showcase women-owned businesses and women-focused products and services and will feature health screenings, educational sessions and more. The fee for a booth space is $175. The discounted fee for Streetsboro Area Chamber of Commerce members is $95, while the fee to be an event sponsor is $225. To reserve your space, visit

Rita’s Italian Ice on State Route 14 on the square will open within the next month or two in an existing building.


The League of Women Voters of Northern Portage County invites members of the community to Meet the Candidates Night for Aurora City Council and school board races. The event will take place at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 3 at Harmon Middle School at 130 Aurora Hudson Rd. This year’s event will follow a face-to-face candidate forum format. Community members will be seated at tables where candidates will be rotated to present their message and answer voter questions. This will allow for all candidates present to participate fully in meeting and engaging with their constituents. Candidates will also have time to say brief remarks to all who are present.

The City of Aurora is close to completing a $9 million project at the Central Wastewater Treatment Plant that has been going on for several years. City council approved a $114,400 contract to remove sludge there, which is part of the project, while the city is also entering into a $150,000 contract with R2O to design some future improvements at the Central Wastewater Treatment Plant. Council also approved a $150,000 contract with CT Consultants to design various pump station improvements for Westerly, Aurora’s other wastewater treatment plant.

AIM Manufacturing is investing $3 million in a building that it’s taking over in the industrial park. City council approved an abatement for AIM and also an income-tax incentive that the city is providing to the company.

Aurora, along with the rest of the region, experienced a huge storm Aug. 25, and most people in the city lost power for multiple days. Due to the high number of trees that were brought down by the storm, the city did a special brush pickup for residents. Aurora’s regular brush pickup begins today.

“I’m also holding a meeting with FirstEnergy in the near future to discuss electric reliability in Aurora,” Womer Benjamin said.

The Aurora Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau will hold its annual Fall Festival from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7 at Sunny Lake Park at 885 E. Mennonite Rd. The festival is a collaborative event with the City of Aurora and the Chamber. This free festival will feature hayrides, a petting zoo, inflatables, balloon art, face painting, food trucks and more. Booth space costs $250 for Chamber members, $345 for non-members and $150 for non-profits. New this year is Artisan’s Alley for those crafters looking to sell their products. The fee for a space in Artisan’s Alley is $50, and vendors must supply their own 10×10 tent, table and chairs.

The Orchid House Winery will host a Pigs and Pinot dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12. The winery is located at 155 Treat Rd. The meal will consist of roasted Berkshire pig (with a selection of BBQ sauces), Southern braised greens, local corn on the cob, Memphis coleslaw, black and white BBQ beans, jalapeno cornbread, roasted red potato hash, pasta salad and homemade apple cobbler. A glass of Orchid House Pinot Noir costs $10. There will be a cash bar and live entertainment. Tickets cost $60 and can be purchased at the winery.

In addition, the winery’s Happy Hour with food and drink specials is Tuesday through Friday from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Also, Martinis and Music is from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays featuring $10 martini specials and live music. Wine night is every Wednesday featuring half-price bottles of wine only (excludes Reserve wine). And looking down the road, bingo starts in January.

The Rotary Club of Aurora will hold its third annual Disc Golf Open on Saturday, Sept. 30 at Sunny Lake Park at 885 E. Mennonite Rd. Players have the option of competing in the B-Tier or the PDGA-sanctioned singles tournament. Fundraiser sponsorship options are: Rotarian Ace Sponsor for $500, or Friend of Rotary Par Sponsor for $200. All sponsors will receive recognition and advertising with company name, logo and dollar amount sponsored on the Rotary Club LinkedIn and Facebook pages. The $500 sponsors will receive two $10 food vouchers for lunch, a tent, table and chairs if desired, and a sign at the tee box or green. The $200 sponsors will receive a $10 food voucher and sign. Make checks payable to The Rotary Club of Aurora Foundation and mail to P.O. Box 795, Aurora, OH 44202.

The City of Aurora and the Aurora Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau will hold their free Drive-Thru Trick or Treat event from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28 at Hartman Park at 305 Townline Rd. Decorate your car or truck! To register, visit If you are interested in being a vendor, email [email protected].

If you have never experienced HalloWeekends at Cedar Point, you are missing out. Don’t like to be scared? Then go during the day and you won’t be sorry. The decorations are fantastic, and the price of $3 per person via Aurora Discount Days is amazing. To get this price, visit The username to enter is CPAURORA, and the password to enter is aurora. You can also call (800) 448-2428 (option 1).

The 20th annual Aurora Classic Car Show on Sept. 17 at Sunny Lake Park was a huge success. There were 150 classic vehicles, including a car owned by Portage County Prosecutor Vic Vigluicci. Awards were presented by Mayor Ann Womer Benjamin. The event also featured a disc jockey and food truck.
“It was very well attended,” Womer Benjamin said.

Do you know the most common scams that trick small businesses? Join the Aurora Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau at its next luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 4 at the Aurora Inn Hotel & Event Center at 30 Shawnee Trl. to find out. Kelly Tremaine, the Better Business Bureau of Akron’s community outreach coordinator, will be the event’s speaker. The fee to attend is $30 for Chamber members and $35 for non-members. To register, visit Registration closes at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 27.

You can “Walk With an Expert” by taking a mindfulness meditation walk with Mary Basch of EssentialZen Yoga from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 27 at Sunny Lake Park, located at 885 E. Mennonite Rd. It is a 1.7-mile walk on a flat, ADA-accessible path around beautiful Sunny Lake. To register, call (330) 297-2576.

“Come & Go for a Cup of Joe” any time from 7:30 to 9 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 5 at Evexia Café & Market at 46 S. Aurora Rd. Bring your business cards, curiosity and enthusiasm for networking. Spread the word among your colleagues, friends and anyone who would benefit from this fantastic opportunity while enjoying free coffee and inspiring conversations. Registration is preferred but not required. To register, go to

Shred Day will take place from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 14 at the Aurora Service Department at 158 W. Pioneer Trl. Aurora residents can drive up and drop off up to six boxes of paper per household to be shredded.

The City of Aurora is dedicating South Bissell Road in honor of Manny Barenholtz, who was the founder of the city’s Walden neighborhood, at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 30. The dedication will take place at the main entrance to Walden on South Bissell.

Nominations are open for the 2023 Person and Business of the Year. Nominations must be received by Friday, Oct. 13. Applications and nomination forms are available at or by calling (330) 562-3355.

The Aurora Community Theatre invites you, your business or organization to advertise in its 2023-2024 season program. The theatre’s season runs from Oct. 27 to July 13. Each year, more than 7,000 patrons enjoy the Aurora Community Theatre’s exceptional plays and musicals. For more information, contact Vicki Rizzo-Prato at (440) 343-9388 or [email protected].

City of Ravenna

The City of Ravenna is in the process of becoming part of a Joint Economic Development District (JEDD) with Rootstown Township.

“It’s in its infancy right now, but we’re moving forward with it, with the construction of the board that was regulated. We’ve had our public hearings,” Mayor Frank Seman said. “A JEDD allows a city, which has the right to tax (income tax for businesses), and a township, which does not have the right to tax, to join together to allow the township to tax.”

The city is working on providing electricity to LG Chem’s new building on Rayann Parkway.

“The city is going to be giving an easement to get the electric poles put in by FirstEnergy, but we’re still negotiating with FirstEnergy on exactly where the poles will be,” Seman said. “The plan is for LG Chem to be open and running by the first of the year.”

The Ravenna Area Chamber of Commerce’s Honorary Way nominations are being accepted now. Honorary Way is a means to publicly and temporarily honor distinguished citizens and Good Samaritans for their achievements by ceremonially naming two streets after them. The Honorary Way bench and street sign can be found at the corner of South Park Way and West Main Street at the entrance to Veterans Memorial Park. The name of the honoree will hang from a decorative post at the center of the flower bed.

Twice a year, the Chamber’s selection committee will choose a new honoree with approval from the mayor. To get nomination forms, go to the Chamber at 135 E. Main St. or contact the Chamber at (330) 296-3886 or [email protected].

The Portage County Safety Council (PCSC) will hold a meeting from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12 at the Ravenna Elks Club at 776 N. Freedom St. The topic will be “Creating a Positive Culture Around Injuries and Illnesses” presented by Tommie Jo Brode, president of Venice Solutions Group LLC. It will also be CEO Day for the PCSC. Invite your CEO or highest-ranking local official as well as human resources employees, safety managers and supervisors. The training will include: defining communication methods, tips for keeping it positive, and scenarios for group discussion. The meeting is sponsored by Family & Community Services, Inc. and US SafetyGear, Inc.

A meal will be catered by Guido’s. The cost for lunch is $20 for PCSC members (who RSVP) and $25 for non-members and walk-ins (including members who do not RSVP by 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6). Cash, credit or checks are accepted at the door. If paying by check, make it payable to “Portage County Safety Council.”

“Fall into Healthier Habits” by attending a cooking demonstration by registered dietitian Genna Kim, RD, LDN, and executive chef Kyle Kirkbride, who will highlight four seasonal recipes with a focus on establishing healthier habits this fall. The demonstration will take place from 4 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 11 at University Hospitals Portage Medical Center’s Medical Arts Building #150, located at 6847 N. Chestnut St. This will be a “live” and interactive cooking demonstration. The event will include food samples, recipes and education. Guests will receive a free take-home goodie bag with ingredients for each of the four recipes. Registration is required before Monday, Oct. 9. For more information on registering, call (330) 297-2576.

The Ravenna Area Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual Halloween Walk from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28 throughout downtown Ravenna. There will be a family-friendly costume parade, merchant trick-or-treating, a haunted winery, food and more. The fee to be a caramel apple vendor is $40, while the fee to be a candy corn vendor is $20. Both fees include tent space, map listing and advertising promotion. Sponsorship levels are Raven ($500), Scarecrow ($300), Jack-O-Lantern ($200) and Spiderweb ($100). For more information, contact the Chamber at (330) 296-3886 or [email protected].

The Ravenna Rocks Concert Series will hold another concert downtown from 4 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7. Besides the music, there will be vendors, a cruise-in and a cornhole tournament. Bring your lawn chairs.

A Destination Business workshop will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 27 at Reed Memorial Library at 167 E. Main St. The program will feature marketing tips, suggestions and plans proven to be successful. Pre-registration is required. To register, call (330) 296-3886 or email [email protected].

The ribbon cutting for the University Hospitals Portage Breast Health Center will take place at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 27 at UH Portage Medical Center at 6847 N. Chestnut St.

Ravenna Township

Ravenna Township received a charitable donation of $3,156 from the Ravenna Moose Lodge to be put toward its fire and EMS department.

“The Moose Lodge has video gaming that’s legal and overseen by the state,” township Trustee Vince Coia said. “If you have that type of gaming, you have to have a charitable organization that you donate a percentage of the funds to, and they chose the fire department.”

The paving and road striping on Edwards Road, Eastlake Road and Hazel Road is complete. The job was done by Cardinal Asphalt.

The GetGo at 1345 E. Main St. has pulled a permit for a car wash it is going to build.

“They’ll probably start construction fairly soon,” Coia said.


Emily’s Soaps will host an Autumn Social from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 1 at 7930 Peck Rd. The longtime business will have various unique soaps, body butters and essential oil products for sale. Local crafters’ items will also be available for purchase. Visitors will be able to buy baked goods, brewed coffee and coffee beans, too.

Roger Gordon
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