Tuesday, November 29th, 2011
By Shelley Grieshop
St. Henry ranked fourth best place in U.S. to raise children
  ST. HENRY - The church, school and sports programs found in this small Mercer County village have earned it fourth place in a national ranking for the best places to raise kids.
The 2012 Best Places to Raise Your Kids was released this month by Bloomberg's Businessweek, a weekly business magazine headquartered in New York. Last year, the village nabbed a second-place honor among Ohio communities for a similar designation.
"It's really something to be proud of," Mayor Jeff Mescher said during a village council meeting Monday night.
Officials are excited about the designation but puzzled about how the town has caught the eye of Businessweek. Communities do not apply or submit information for the distinction; they are simply chosen.
Businessweek evaluated 4,169 places with a crime index less than 10 percent above the national average, populations between 1,000 and 50,000 people and median family incomes within 20 percent of the state median.
The popular magazine also evaluated educational factors, economic factors, amenities such as daycare centers, recreation and green space, as well as air quality before choosing 50 communities.
"School performance, expenditures and income were given the most weight," according to the company's website.
St. Henry's "gothic revivalist" St. Henry Catholic Church is described as "great for kids." But catching the most attention was the athletic programs that have notched numerous state championships. To date, the school has earned 20 state championship titles (seven volleyball, six football, four boys basketball and three baseball).
Three athletes from the school have played in the National Football League and another earned a spot in Major League Baseball.
Ranking at the top of the list is Blacksburg, Va., with second and third going to Arlington, Neb., and Morton Grove, Ill., respectively. For further information about the ranking, go to Bloomberg.com.
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