🔦 How Bulldog Bags fixes hunger

A profile of the nonprofit. Plus, racial segregation allegations, a Silver Lake cruiser, Munroe Falls trash and more

Today is Oct. 14, 2022.

  • The peak of the fall foliage colors in Northern Ohio is expected to arrive next week, and we’ve got a quintessential October weekend to ring it in. We’ll have intervals of clouds and sun today, with a high of 59 and low of 45. Then we’ll reach the low 60s Saturday and Sunday (expect some rain Saturday), with peak color week arriving Monday and bringing with it a high of 50 and low of 33 with more rain. Enjoy nature’s radiant palette, it’s a big part of what makes October magical here.

  • Hey everybody, this is Ben, your journalism entrepreneur in residence. Just wanted to let you know I decided to eliminate the paywall in the emails. It's not really motivating anyone to subscribe, and I hate paywalls. So consider that experiment over. From now on we'll try to earn your subscription money the same way we did at The Portager: by proving this is a valuable product worth supporting, through fundraiser subscription drives and, if necessary, occasional blackmail.

  • One more thing: The Portager Holiday Gift Guide is open to Summit County businesses, too! We want people to shop local this year, and we'll be promoting this guide throughout Northeast Ohio. Learn more here.

Latest news in brief

Getting higher: Silver Lake council might raise height limit on houses to 35 feet – and possibly even 38

Houses in Silver Lake could potentially be even taller than initial plans for changes to the building code proposed.

As reported in The Spotlight Aug. 16, village council heard proposals from the planning commission to update codes and allow new homes and alterations to rise from 30 feet to 33 feet. But after presentations from members of the public, council suggested at its Oct. 3 meeting that the new limit could be 35 feet – two feet higher, but it would bring the village into line with neighboring communities.

With a successful variance application, structures could even rise to around 38 feet, the council was told. Due to the absence of two council members, it was agreed to table the discussion to the next meeting Monday, Oct. 17.

More local news:

  • The Fall Family Festival & Outdoor Movie Night will be held Saturday, Oct. 15, at Guise Park in Munroe Falls. The classic comedy “Ghostbusters” starring Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray and Harold Ramis will be screened at dusk, and everyone is welcome to bring a blanket or chair. Organized by the City of Munroe Falls Park Board, the event starts at 4 p.m. and will feature a balloon artist, face painting, a ghost egg hunt at 4:30 p.m., Halloween costume contest for all ages at 6 p.m., food and craft vendors, and trick-or-treat and goody bags for children, among other attractions. Food vendors include Stray Dog Café, Busy Bee Treat Truck, Twisted Tomato and the Akron Pickle Ambulance.

  • Munroe Falls resident Gary Toth has been appointed by city council to fill a vacancy on the Board of Zoning Appeals. He takes over a term due to expire at the end of this year. Council agreed unanimously Oct. 4 on Toth’s appointment.

  • Kimble Recycling & Disposal, Inc., has been reappointed for a third year to be the waste contractor for residents in Munroe Falls. Council voted Oct. 4 to give Mayor Allen Mavrides the authority to renew the contract without going to a new tender. Council President Chris Ritzinger said the existing contract does have a price increase built in – but with a maximum cap. “We could put out for bids, and this is the time, but I think that puts us in line for a bigger cost increase,” he said. “This contract has a maximum escalator, and I am sure gas prices would take us well beyond that.”

Sponsored by Brandon Heating and Air Conditioning

Community calendar

🎥 Sat., Oct. 15, 4 p.m.: Fall Family Festival & Outdoor Movie Night. What: Community event featuring a ghost egg hunt, Halloween costume contest, trick-or-treat and more, with the movie starting at dusk (bring your chairs and blankets). Where: Guise Park (38 Guise Park Dr.) next to City Hall in Munroe Falls.

👻 Sat., Oct. 15, 6-9 p.m.: Haunted Hayride. What: Spooky ride on wagons through the campground and roads by the Heritage Barn, with S’mores and scary stories afterward. Food trucks will be onsite. Where: Silver Springs Park (5238 Young Rd.) in Stow. Cost is $5 for Stow residents and $7 for non-residents (children 2 and under are free). Registration is required at StowOhio.RecDesk.com or by calling 330-689-5100.

📚 Mon., Oct. 17, 4-6 p.m.: Book Donation Day. What: Bring your good, clean, used books and puzzles to the back door of the library. Curbside pickup service will be available. Where: Stow-Munroe Falls Public Library (3512 Darrow Rd.). Materials will be used by the library or sold at the Friends’ Book Sale. Proceeds benefit library programming. If you are unable to accommodate this date and time, call Joan at 330-388-0355 to schedule an appointment to drop off donations.

👻 Tues., Oct. 18, 6:30-7:30 p.m.: Halloween Family Trivia Night. What: Families will compete for a chance to win prizes. Where: Stow-Munroe Falls Room at the Stow-Munroe Falls Public Library (3512 Darrow Rd.). To register your family, call 330-688-3295 ext. 5, visit events.smfpl.org, or stop by the library. This program is sponsored by the Friends of the Library.

👨 Tues., Oct. 18, 7-8 p.m.: Meet the Mayor. What: Meet Mayor John Pribonic as he discusses his vision and goals for the city of Stow. Where: Conference Room at the Stow-Munroe Falls Public Library (3512 Darrow Rd.). To register, call (330) 688-3295, visit events.smfpl.org, or stop by the library.

🗳️ Thurs., Oct. 20, 6-7 p.m.: Community Conversations. What: In-person event where residents can learn more about the Issue 6 school levy that will be on the Nov. 8 ballot as well as make their own voices heard to school district officials. Where: Stow-Munroe Falls High School (3227 Graham Rd.).

🧶 Thurs., Oct. 20, 7-8 p.m.: Community Craft Supply Swap. What: Bring your gently used craft supplies to exchange, pick up some new ones for your collection, and mingle with other craft enthusiasts. Where: Stow-Munroe Falls Room at the Stow-Munroe Falls Public Library (3512 Darrow Rd.). Registration is not required.

⛳ Fri., Oct. 21, 6:30-9:30 p.m. & Sat., Oct. 22, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.: Library Mini Golf Foundation Fundraiser. What: Play miniature golf inside the library to benefit the Stow-Munroe Falls Public Library Foundation. Where: Stow-Munroe Falls Public Library (3512 Darrow Rd.). Cost: $20 per person in advance and $25 at the door on the first day; $5 for ages 13 and up, $3 for ages 5-12, and attendees aged 4 and under are free on the second day. Go to www.smfpl.org/golf to purchase tickets in advance online.

👻 Sat., Oct. 22, 2-4 p.m.: Trunk-or-Treat. What: Event hosted by the Stow-Munroe Falls High School Drama Club featuring free candy, crafts, games, and trunk-or-treat bags. Where: Stow-Munroe Falls High School (3227 Graham Rd.). Contact [email protected] or [email protected] for more information.

👻 Sat., Oct. 22, 7:30-8:30 p.m.: Haunted Hearth (Stories for Adults). What: Gather around the Sancturetum fireplace and listen to scary stories told by the Stow-Munroe Falls Public Library. Event is for attendees aged 18 and over. Where: Sancturetum at Stow City Center (3760 Darrow Rd.). Treats provided by Stownut Donut & Diner. Cost is $5 per person.

📚 Wed., Oct. 26-Sat., Oct. 29: Friends of the Library Book Sale. What: Four-day book sale at the Stow-Munroe Falls Public Library (3512 Darrow Rd.). Dates/times: Oct. 26: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. (Patrons’ Sale), 1-4 p.m. (Friends’ Presale), 4-8 p.m. (general public sale); Oct. 27: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. (general public); Oct. 28: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (general public); Oct. 29: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (general public “Bag Day”; all books free from 2-3 p.m.).

🎆 Fri., Oct. 28, 6:30-8:30 p.m.: Flannels, Food Trucks & Fireworks. What: Free event presented by the City of Stow Parks and Recreation Department, featuring the rescheduled Stow Summer Sunset Blast fireworks at 8 p.m. Where: Silver Springs Park (5238 Young Rd.) in Stow.

👻 Sat., Oct. 29: Trick-or-Treat: Here are the times for trick-or-treating in our communities: Munroe Falls, 5:30-7:30 p.m.; Silver Lake, 6-8 p.m.; Stow, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Obituaries for Oct. 7-13

Eugene “Gene” BergeyEugene “Gene” Bergey, 78, died peacefully at home after a short illness on October 7, 2022. Born in Akron, he was a resident of Stow since 1977, and a U.S. Marine Corps veteran. Read more

Linda Kay RidenbaughLinda Kay Ridenbaugh of Stow, Ohio, passed away after a short illness. Linda was born in 1951 in Mt. Vernon, Ohio; daughter of Homer and Irene Doyle.Read more

Anita Peters (Duchaine)Anita Peters (née Duchaine), born July 1, 1930 in Trois-Rivières, QC, Canada, passed peacefully on the night of October 8, 2022.Read more

Betty Kate ParkerBetty Kate Parker. 83, was born June 8, 1939 to the late Herman and Elizabeth Petty in Carthage, TN. She went home to heaven on October 7, 2022Read more

Thank you to the 34 of you who have already upgraded to premium Spotlight subscriptions! To the 1,389 of you still on the fence, we need your support to stay in business. Can you join today?


Stow-Munroe Falls City Schools is investigating allegations of racial segregation on one of its buses

Stow-Munroe Falls High School

SMF school officials have launched an investigation into an allegation by an unnamed parent that, according to her child, a bus driver segregated Black students in the front of the bus while white students sat in the rows behind them. Here's everything we know so far.

  • The district told The Spotlight Oct. 13 that an updated statement will be released soon. The district has not revealed which school or bus route is being investigated.

Silver Lake

Supply-chain problems lead to canceled cruiser, and it’s going to end up costing the village over $7,000

Silver Lake Police Department

The inflation and supply-chain chickens just came home to roost in Silver Lake. The village’s police department had a new cruiser on order with Ford, only to have the automaker up and cancel it – a move which ultimately will cost Silver Lake more than $7,000.

  • The department had to quickly install a new motor in one of its older vehicles to get back to full strength at four cruisers. But that’s only a temporary fix.

  • The village will need to order a 2023 model from Ford – which will cost at least $7,500 more than the car that was canceled. “It seems to be the nature of everything in the supply chain,” Silver Lake Chief of Police Jamie Norris said.

Stow/Munroe Falls

Yes, food insecurity exists in Stow and Munroe Falls – and Bulldog Bags is doing something about it

Submitted photo

As mostly middle-class communities, you might think Stow and Munroe Falls aren’t cities where people would go hungry. But you would be dead wrong. There are people in both towns, particularly children, who don’t know where their next meal is coming from and face food insecurity every day of their lives.

That’s where Bulldog Bags, Inc., comes in. The local food charity, which started in 2015, has done its part to ensure that children and their families in the Stow-Munroe Falls School District always have plenty of quality food to eat.

  • The first Bulldog Bags went out in 2016 to a handful of elementary schoolchildren. Today, the organization feeds more than 700 students in the district.

  • “We care a lot about the kids in the Stow-Munroe Falls schools, and we want to make sure that they’re serviced,” says Laura Root, president of Bulldog Bags.


Reader: "It’ll be raining and down into the high 30s by Thursday. In other words, par for the course around here." I have a problem with this comment, very negative! Apparently you don’t travel, we do not create our weather locally!

Tom: Just stating the facts! I've been to Europe several times, all 50 states and most of Central America and the Caribbean. Nonetheless, as a proud Northeast Ohioan, 39 and rain is my kind of weather — often produced locally by our very own weather machine, Lake Erie.

Leave a comment in the Mailbox

Click a rating below to leave a comment about the news in today's Spotlight. We may publish your comment, but we won't use your name unless you ask us to. To read people's comments and see if your comment appears in The Spotlight, you'll need to upgrade.

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

That’s it for this week. There’s always a lot going on in our communities, and The Spotlight is happy to be right in the middle of it bringing the news to you. Have a great weekend and see you Tuesday!