Gina Mace
Ohio.com correspondent


Cuyahoga Falls turned 200, a landmark sustained heavy fire damage, and the city's Parks Board refused to accommodate non-traditional families with a rate change.



Here is a list of the 2012 top five stories in Cuyahoga Falls as selected by Cuyahoga Falls.Ohio.com correspondent Gina Mace:



City hosts year-round bicentennial celebrations



Starting with the Frozen River Festival in January and ending with two-dozen wedding and vow renewal ceremonies in December, Mayor Don Robart and the Cuyahoga Falls Bicentennial Committee gave the community a yearlong celebration for the city's 200th birthday. 



The most notable celebration took place in August with a series of events over a 10-day period, which included the rededication of Keyser Barn, a car show and a time-capsule unveiling ceremony.



Natatorium rate controversy



Shane and Coty May, of Akron, were not permitted to change their Natatorium membership to the married-couple rate, despite being married in Washington DC, where same-sex marriage is legal. They were denied the change because same-sex marriage is not recognized in Ohio.



In the spring of 2012, Parks Board Chairman Tim Gorbach spearheaded a proposal to amend the rate structure, which would allow "two people, one household” the same rate as a married couple. The measure did not pass, despite two attempts.



Acme renovates State Road store



The renovation of Acme No. 10 on State Road began May 18, after 10 years of planning. The new store will increase its square footage from 30,000 square-feet to 52,000, with expanded and new departments including the bakery, floral, prepared foods, pharmacy and specialty meat case.



 Acme President Steve Albrecht said the company is investing $8.5 million for the renovation. Store officials originally thought it would be open by Thanksgiving, but construction continues, as it is a more complex process than expected



Woodridge passes levy on fourth attempt



After three total failed attempts, Woodridge Schools passed its 6.83, 5-mill levy in November.



If the measure had failed again, an additional $1.85 million would have been cut from the school district’s budget. Transportation would have been reduced to the state minimum and seven bus drivers, 21 teachers and three custodians would have lost their jobs.



The levy will generate $15 million in revenue over a five-year period.



 In regards to the passing of the levy, Superintedent Walter Davis said, “Thank God. Thank the voters, the community, everybody who heard our message and came out and voted.”



Portage Crossing loses Menards



Seven months after Menard's home improvement store was announced as the second anchor tenant for Portage Crossing, all mention of the store was deleted from a proposed amendment to a contract between development company Stark Enterprises and the city.



A Menard's spokesman said the store is still planned for Cuyahgoa Falls. An email to council members from the city's development director indicates that failure to secure the land under Pizza Hut means there is not enough room for Menard's to build in Portage Crossing.



Honorable Mention: VFW Ralph Huff Post 1062 Fire



Seven Summit County fire departments helped Cuyahoga Falls firefighters battle a blaze at the VFW Ralph Huff Post 1062 on Feb. 28.



The fire, started by improperly discarded smoking materials, destroyed the 100-year-old back section of the building.