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The Van Wert County Courthouse

Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016

Stacy Adam

Stacy Adam

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

The Van Wert Area Economic Development Corporation (VWAEDC) Board of Trustees has selected a veteran corporate executive to be the first city-county economic development director.

Stacy Adam, most recently an executive for TruGreen LandCare, was chosen by the board following an extensive search process that included interviews with a number of prospective candidates. In her new role, Adam will lead efforts to retain, expand, and attract businesses and investment in Van Wert County.

“It was our desire to find a candidate who understood the needs of the business community and prospective developers, while respecting the requirements of government processes,” said VWAEDC President Troy Miller. “We think Stacy’s talents are perfectly suited to this.”

Adam has 30 years of diverse business experience, with a record of accomplishments in operations, sales, process improvement, and human resources. Most recently, she served as division vice president of operations for TruGreen, where she was responsible for all locations in the eastern half of the United States.

Adam also has received Sigma Six training, a disciplined approach to business process improvement, and is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt. In addition to her role as operations vice president, Adam has also served as vice president of strategic initiatives on a national level for TruGreen.

“I’m excited to work alongside leaders representing both the county and the city of Van Wert, ready to develop relationships and partner with organizations throughout the community to continue the momentum that has already begun,” Adam said. “Van Wert County has much to offer; as a longtime resident, I’m thrilled to be able to play a part, along with so many that are committed to the continued revitalization and growth of this community.”


POSTED: 12/09/16 at 7:58 am


Crestview Elementary presented its annual Christmas play during two performances on Thursday. This year’s show, entitled “Christmas Extravaganza,” showcased students from grades 1-3 and was directed by Elementary Music Teacher Lindsey Newlove. The cast included Lincoln Smith, Caroline Marks, Rylie Gallaway, Violet Dirr, Jacob Heth, Emily Lichtle, John Forwerck, Owen Heckler, Chloe Nielsen, Camren Castle, McKenna Brummette, Luke Eggleston, Lulu Ross, Makinzee Williamson, Lillie Best, Huxley Grose, Kenzie Heffner, Jacob Schumm, Haley McCoy, Eliza Reinhart, Madilynn Springer, Mathew Dealey, Avery Leatherman, Brayden Wallace, Cole Story, Haillie Bladen and Hayden Perrott, along with supporting roles from various other students. The Crestview Elementary Bell Choir and first-, second-, and third-grade choirs also contributed to the performances. A DVD of the play ($5 each) can be purchased by contacting the Crestview Elementary office at 419.749.9100, option 1, by December 12. Shown are first graders singing “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” with “elf” Emily Lichtle. (Crestview photo)

POSTED: 12/09/16 at 7:28 am. FILED UNDER: News

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Two Ohio officials issued statements following the death of former astronaut and United States Senator John Glenn on Thursday.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine issued the following statement following the death of former United States Senator John Glenn:


Former astronaut and U.S. Senator John Glenn. (NASA photo)

“Fran and I are deeply saddened by the death of Senator John Glenn.

There is no doubt – John Glenn always had the “Right Stuff.”  He was an American hero.

I remember vividly, as a freshman at Yellow Springs High School, sitting in science class and, like so many Americans, listening to the radio and watching on TV later in the day, as John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth.  That day, he captured the hearts of Americans and guaranteed his place in the history of this country and in the history of the world.

As a United States Senator, John Glenn was a workhorse.  He wasn’t flashy or looking for TV cameras, but instead, Senator Glenn was interested in the real work of the United States Senate.

My first campaign for the U.S. Senate was against Senator Glenn.  In spite of a tough campaign that I lost, he was gracious when I was sworn in to Ohio’s other Senate seat two years later.  I was proud to serve with him in the Senate for four years, focusing on what we could do together to help Ohio families.

Fran and I and our children were thrilled to be present for Senator Glenn’s second launch into space in 1998.  I took a picture of that launch, which he graciously signed for me. That picture hangs in our home in Cedarville.


POSTED: 12/09/16 at 7:26 am. FILED UNDER: News


Convoy Community Foundation trustee Kristi Gamble (left) presents a $500 grant to Junior Achievement Board President Bob Gamble. The donation will be used for Crestview’s eighth grade JA program. (photo submitted)

POSTED: 12/09/16 at 7:20 am. FILED UNDER: News

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

Van Wert city officials, as well as his many friends, are mourning the death of former First Ward Van Wert City Councilman John Marshall. Marshall died Tuesday evening at the Van Wert Area Inpatient Hospice Center after a three-year battle with colon cancer. He was 70.

Former Van Wert City Councilman John Marshall speaks during a 2013 City Council meeting. (VW independent file photo)

Former Van Wert City Councilman John Marshall speaks during a 2013 City Council meeting. (VW independent file photo)

Van Wert Mayor Jerry Mazur commended Marshall for his work on City Council — especially his work on trash and junk issues within the city.

“John Marshall’s interest in making Van Wert a better place to live and raise a family was not only a major focus, it was a passion to him,” the mayor said. “His desire was to recreate a community similar to the one that he enjoyed as a youth: clean streets, painted houses, and a bustling downtown.”

Marshall served four terms on City Council, from January 2008 until he announced his retirement last month due to health concerns. In addition to serving on Council, he also chaired its Health-Safety-Service Committee and served on several other committees.

“As a City Council person, John Marshall was engaged in his duties and contributed greatly to each of the many committees he was asked to either chair or simply be a member of,” Mayor Mazur noted. “John’s straightforward style was appreciated; he never minced words and he was a very sincere person, always thinking of what was best for the city.”


POSTED: 12/08/16 at 8:49 am. FILED UNDER: News

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Dog licenses for 2017 are currently on sale in Van Wert County at the Auditor’s Office, Room 205 in the Van Wert County Courthouse, and also at the following locations:

  • Hall Lumber Company, 122 S. Main St. in Convoy.
  • The Ramblers Roost Truck Stop on Lincoln Highway between Van Wert and Delphos.
  • Animal Clinic-Dr. Wilkin on Lincoln Highway in Van Wert.
  • Van Wert Veterinary Clinic-Dr. Trapp on Van Wert-Decatur Road in Van Wert.
  • Ohio City Express, 511 W. Carmean St. in Ohio City.
  • Delphos Ace Hardware, 242 N. Main St. in Delphos.
  • Emme Lu’s Pet Wellness Center LLC, 7079 U.S. 127 near Van Wert.
  • Dog House Grooming & Supplies, 117 N. Washington St. in Van Wert.
  • J & A Merchandising, 200 Walcott St. in Willshire.

A self-addressed, stamped envelope, along with the proper fee, must accompany the return of the application by mail. If purchasing at one of the above locations, dog owners should take the license application with them, if they received one by mail.

The license cost is $15 per tag.  A penalty of $15 per one-year tag must be paid, in addition to license cost and fee, for licenses purchased for dogs 3 months of age or older after January 31, 2017.

A three-year and 10-year dog tag is available only in the Auditor’s Office during December and January only.

Kennel licenses are $75 for five tags. Extra tags are $1 each. The penalty for kennel licenses is $75 if purchased after January 31, 2017.

All dogs 3 months old or older are required to have a license. County residents may now order dog tags online from December 1-January 31 only at

POSTED: 12/08/16 at 8:44 am. FILED UNDER: News

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Gary Clay, president of Van Wert Federal Savings Bank, has announced the appointment of Mike Keysor to the bank’s Board of Directors.

Mike Keysor

Mike Keysor

Keysor serves on the Board of Trustees of Van Wert County Hospital, as president of the Van Wert County Regional Airport Authority, treasurer of the Lincolnview Bible Board, and is on the Community Health Professionals/Visiting Nurses Association Board of Directors.

Keysor is a 1987 graduate of Paulding High School and a 1991 graduate of the University of Toledo, with a bachelor’s degree in business management.

He began working during college at RDSI, a subsidiary of The State Bank and Trust. After graduation, he was hired full-time at the State Bank and Trust. In 1992, Keysor began working for Custom Assembly — a family owned business. He currently serves as president of Custom Assembly, which has seven different locations throughout the United States.

Keysor lives in the Van Wert community with his wife, Kelly, and two children, Jacob and Delaney.

POSTED: 12/08/16 at 8:42 am. FILED UNDER: Business, News


Steve Munroe and his staff at Statewide Ford recently presented a donation to the Van Wert Dog Park Committee.  In addition to the representatives present, local canine supporters Roxy and Ronin were on hand to show their excitement over the park, which will be located at Hiestand Woods and will include areas for both large and small dogs to enjoy an off-leash atmosphere.  Inquiries about this project may be directed to Jan Spray at 419.203.8274 or Sarah Robeson at 419.605.7612. (photo submitted)

POSTED: 12/08/16 at 8:38 am. FILED UNDER: News

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CONVOY — The Crestview music department will be presenting its high school Christmas concert on Monday, December 12, at 7 p.m.

Performing that evening will be the jazz band, high school chorus, Knight Vision show choir, and the concert band. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m.

On Thursday, December 15, the middle school Christmas concert will begin at 7 p.m., with doors opening at 6:30 p.m.  Performing will be the sixth grade band, middle school band, sixth grade swing choir, and middle school swing choir.

POSTED: 12/08/16 at 8:20 am. FILED UNDER: News

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

The Arnold C. Dienstberger Foundation gave 24 Delphos area organizations an early Christmas present with its annual distribution of funds on Tuesday evening at the Delphos Club.

Delphos City Schools Superintendent Kevin Wolfe (foreground) accepts a donation of $50,000 from the Arnold C. Dienstberger Foundation on Tuesday evening. Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

Delphos City Schools Superintendent Kevin Wolfe (foreground) accepts a donation of $50,000 from the Arnold C. Dienstberger Foundation on Tuesday evening. Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

A total of $320,000 was distributed, with Delphos Kiwanis and Delphos school systems were the biggest beneficiaries, with the Kiwanis receiving $57,000 for a splash pad for the Delphos swimming pool, and each of the school districts receiving $50,000 to use for a variety of projects, including technology purchases and staff development.

This year was the 19th annual distribution for the foundation, which was created with funds from the sale of nursing homes owned by Dienstberger to Vancrest Health Care Centers in the 1960s. Interest from investments is used each year to provide funds for a number of community organizations and projects.

Doug Harter, the foundation’s treasurer, put the focus of the evening in the proper place when he thanked recipient organizations for their work in the community.

“This evening is not about the Dienstberger Foundation, it’s about you all, the stars of the show, because without your volunteerism in Delphos, this wouldn’t be happening,” Harter said, adding, “It’s absolutely amazing, and we’re all very grateful for that.”

Other organizations and agencies receiving funds on Tuesday include the following:

Allen County DARE — $2,500 to be used for summer camp activities in Delphos.


POSTED: 12/07/16 at 9:02 am. FILED UNDER: News

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A biennial Christmas tradition returns to Van Wert’s First United Methodist Church this Sunday, December 11, at 7 p.m. Handel’s Messiah will be performed by a 60-voice community chorus, a 16-piece chamber orchestra, and four soloists. The four soloists all have ties to the Ohio area, although two of them currently reside in New York City and the Boston area, respectively.

Elizabeth Bellavia

Elizabeth Bellavia

Margaret Mack

Margaret Mack

This year’s soloists include soprano Margaret Mack, alto Elizabeth “Betsy” Bellavia, tenor Daniel Doty, and baritone John Glann.

Mack earned her bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Toledo and her master’s in music from The Ohio State University. She made her professional operatic debut in the world premiere of David Lang’s Modern Painters at the Santa Fe Opera in New Mexico.  She received the “Outstanding Apprentice” award from the Santa Fe Opera for two seasons and went on to appear with the company in the world premiere performance, recording, and PBS national telecast of Tobias Picker’s opera, Emmeline.

Other performances have been with the Mid-Columbia Symphony in Richland, Washington, Aspen Opera Theatre in Colorado, Honolulu Symphony, Los Angeles Chorale, London Consort in the United Kingdom, and the West Bohemian State Orchestra in the Czech Republic.

John Glann

John Glann

Daniel Doty

Daniel Doty

Recently, she performed Mendelssohn’s Elijah and Brahm’s Ein Deutsches Requiem in Saint Louis, Missouri.  She has also sung with the New Jersey Choral Society and Puccini arias on the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s concert series.

In 2015, Mack moved to Massachusetts following her marriage and now teaches voice at the Deerfield Academy.

Bellavia, originally from Kettering, graduated from Bowling Green State University with a bachelor’s degree in choral music. While at BGSU, she played such roles as Mrs. Jones in Street Scene, Dorabella in Cosi Fan Tutte and Second Lady in Magic Flute.  In her senior year at BGSU, she won the NPTS vocal competition for senior women in the state of Ohio.

Bellavia has taught choral music throughout the state of Ohio at Lemon-Monroe, Kettering Fairmont, and Franklin high schools and Fostoria Junior-Senior High School. She has directed and sung in many school and community theater productions, and has sung with the Dayton Opera Chorus in the 2002 Opera Gala and the opera Aida.  She has also sung “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the University of Dayton’s men’s basketball games, Dayton Dragon baseball games, and many BGSU events.

Currently, Bellavia is a full-time choral graduate assistant at BGSU after earning her master’s degree in choral conducting performance. Last spring, she played the role of Mama Lucia in BGSU’s spring opera, Cavalleria Rusticana by Mascagni and is currently cast in the role of Olga Olsen in Kurt Weil’s Street Scene.

Bellavia lives in Perrysburg with her husband, the Rev. Dan Bellavia, pastor of First Baptist Church of Greater Toledo, and their three sons: Christopher, John, and James.


POSTED: 12/07/16 at 8:56 am. FILED UNDER: News