Pro-seniors campaignspending tops $78,000Proponents of Issue 7, the Portage County senior services levy, spent more than $78,000 on the effort that failed by a 5-to-1 ratio in the May primary.Citizens for Portage County Seniors raised and spent $78,165 over the course of the campaign that netted them 4,425 votes for the 2-mill levy.Concerned Seniors of Portage County, the group that sprung up in opposition to the levy, raised $1,455 and spent $1,440 in its effort. A total of 15,569 people voted against the levy that would have raised $6.7 million per year.Nearly $70,600 of the proponents' campaign money was contributed by health care related firms. The foundation for the Area Agency on Aging, which serves Portage and Stark counties, contributed nearly $62,000 of that.Most of the contributions for Concerned Seniors of Portage County were in $10 and $20 increments from individuals.Two centuries old treesuffers storm damageA sugar maple tree in Mantua, which was registered as one of the oldest in Ohio, was damaged during a storm June 19.Leonard and Tracie Russell said the estimated 200-year-old tree was one of seven damaged on their property. The 104-foot high tree lost its top, but the trunk is still standing."I've already contacted a few arborists and we're hoping to save it," Russell said.Also in Mantua, wires were reported down on Vaughan Road, south of Mennonite Road, while another tree was reported lying across Seasons Road in Streetsboro.In Ravenna, several residents reported power lines down in the 400 block of South Meridian Street, while in Ravenna Township traffic lights were out at Infirmary Road-Route 14 and Infirmary-Wall Street.Meanwhile, a storm on the afternoon of June 21 cut power to some Kent and Ravenna residents and downed power lines and trees in the central and southern parts of Portage County. Summer road projectsunder way in the areaA handful of highway projects are under way in the area this summer, bringing out orange barrels and possible traffic delays.Resurfacing of Route 43 from Routes 261 to 59 in Kent will cost $892,497 and is being done by Kenmore Construction Co. of Akron.Route 44 is being resurfaced from the Stark County line to Tallmadge Road in Randolph and Rootstown townships (Portage County) at a cost of $1.53 million. The Shelly Co. of Thornville is doing the work.Over in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in northern Summit County, Truxell Road-Kendall Park Road are undergoing shoulder reconstruction at a cost of $895,745. The work is being done by Karvo Paving Co. of Cuyahoga Falls.Tax bills are sent outPortage County Treasurer Steve Shanafelt said 68,148 county real estate tax bills were mailed June 22. The billing amount is $81.2 million and payment is due by July 20.Property owners may notice the bills look a little different than before. "We have a new bill format that hopefully will be easier to read and understand," Shanafelt said.Portage officials start2008's budget processPortage County commissioners have scheduled a public hearing on the 2008 tax budget July 10 at the County Administration Build-ing.The tax budget, which is a wish list from county departments, covers the general fund and other special funds and is used as a starting point for the budgeting process this fall.The 2008 projected budget shows $2.75 million more in estimated expenditures than estimated receipts, which is typical at this stage of the process.The general fund budget projected for 2008 shows receipts of $39.2 million and expenditures of $41.95 million.The 2008 estimated receipts are $4.8 million less than the estimated 2007 revenues. Estimated expenditures for 2008 are only $1.45 million more than year's.Receipts are based on estimates of revenues from property tax, sale tax, transfer and other fees, licenses and fines, local government funds from the state, federal and state aid and other sources.Donations sought forKid Paks at RobinsonFor most children, a visit to the hospital as a patient or worried family member isn't easy.Volunteer services at Robinson Memorial Hospital in Ravenna tries to alleviate some of the stress by giving away free bags containing toys, crayons and coloring books.These treats are called Kid Paks and are created through donations made by the community.RMH has distributed Kid Paks for years and is in need of more donations to continue the program. Children who have a loved one in the hospital or children who are patients can get them.If stuffed animals are donated, they should be small enough to fit in a gallon-sized bag. Fast-food meal toys that have not been opened also are appreciated.For more information, call volunteer services at RMH at 330-297-2592.City meeting speakertaken to area hospitalShortly after speaking against a rezoning proposal for her property June 18 at City Hall in Streetsboro, resident Mary Ann Howitt was taken to the hospital.She was taken to Robinson Memorial's emergency room and released later, according to an RMH spokesman.Howitt was attending a public hearing during a City Council meeting regarding 162 acres owned by the Streetsboro Land Group.During an emotional speech explaining how she felt it was unfair that part of her land might be rezoned, Howitt grabbed her chest and moved away from the podium.Fire Chief Wayne Johnson, who was at the meeting, called for EMS workers from the adjacent fire station to assist Howitt.The public hearing was recessed after Howitt left and Council members said it would continue tonight (June 27).Farm market plannedMantua's country market will take place the first and third Saturdays of July, August, September and October at Buchert Park on East High Street. The first one will be July 7 from 9 a.m. to noon. There will be a bake sale each of the scheduled days.