Pierogi mark eyed

The Mantua Potato Festival is making changes to this year's festival.

At the 2017 event, festival organizers will attempt to break the world record for world's largest pierogi. The current record is 123 pounds.

The board also has tripled the entertainment budget to bring in country western band Amanda Jones.

In order to raise money to help support Potato Fest events, the board will sponsor a reverse raffle April 29 at the Knights of Columbus, 11845 Route 44, Mantua. The grand prize is $1,000. One ticket equals two meals. The doors open at 6 p.m. and the cost is $65 per ticket.

To help with the event or the world record peirogi, call 330-274-0770.

Park pass offered

Twinsburg Water Park will host non-residents for the first time beginning on opening day May 27. The Parks and Recreation Department announced a new Bundle Pass available to non-residents that includes a year of access to Twinsburg Fitness Center and the water park.

Bundle rates start at $47 per month for non-residents. Twinsburg Water Park is open through Sept. 4. The new bundle is only available as a 12-month agreement. Billing can be annual or monthly. More details are available at www.TwinsburgRecreation.com.

Bainbridge marks

200th anniversary

Bainbridge Township in Geauga County is celebrating its bicentennial this year. The township came into being in 1817. Several events are planned.

On April 23, a re-enactment of the Geauga County commissioners' meeting to create the township will take place at the art showcase in Kenston High's auditorium.

On July 2, there will be an oldtimers baseball game at the Kenston High fields at 4 p.m., plus Bainbridge Township artifacts and historical information at the bicentennial tent prior to the fireworks display that night at the high school.

On July 4, there will be festivities at Town Hall / Heritage Park, with tours of the Bissell-Tucek House, police and fire departments, slideshows in the Town Hall of Geauga Lake and other areas of Bainbridge Township. In addition, officials are planning a birthday celebration at Town Hall.

On Aug. 5, there will be an ox roast at Centerville Mills Park, with a display of Bainbridge Township history.

Area residents can get more information about the activities by visiting www.bainbridgehistoricalsociety.org.

Training is on tap

for storm spotters

Portage County commissioners and the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management are sponsoring free Skywarn training March 20 in Portage County for residents interested in becoming storm spotters.

Residents will register when they come for the class starting at 6 p.m. in Conference Room A, Maplewood Career Center, 7075 Route 88, Ravenna.

The two-hour training course will develop the capability of attendees to identify and report severe weather using cloud formations and other weather indicators. Training will be conducted by Gary Garnett, meteorologist-in-charge with the Cleveland National Weather Service.

Skywarn spotters provide essential information for all types of weather hazards. Their main responsibility is to identify and describe severe local storms. In the average year, 10,000 severe thunderstorms, 5,000 floods and more than 1,000 tornadoes occur across the United States and these events threaten lives and property.

For more information on the Skywarn program, visit www.skywarn.org.

Pigs killed in fire

at Deerfield barn

Two litters of newborn pigs and their mothers died in a barn fire March 9 on Alliance Road in Portage County's Deerfield Township. The barn was owned by the Klingelhofer family.

Several people suffered minor burns on their faces and hands as they cut a fence to help the other pigs, cows and chickens that were trapped near the barn escape.

According to Deerfield Fire Chief Brian Allison, the department received a call around 2:30 p.m. for a "fully involved barn fire. When we got here the roof was collapsed and we were saving everything around it, hay bales, people. They were trying to get the animals out."

Allison said several people were burned by the fire. Hours after they arrived, firefighters from Deerfield and Palmyra stood on top of the barn hill spaying water to cool smoldering rubble, the only thing left of the barn, and hosed bales of hay that were burning from the inside. The cause of the fire is unknown.

Fire trucks from Edinburg, Atwater, Berlin and Paris Townships also were on scene. A local resident said the barn was at least 100 years old.

-- Kelly Maile, Record-Courier