The Van Wert County Courthouse

Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018

Brumback Library’s Main Branch in downtown Van Wert. photo submitted

VW independent/submitted information

For the ninth year in a row, Brumback Library has been recognized as one of the best public libraries in the United States. The library has again been given a star designation by Library Journal, one of only 23 libraries in Ohio to be so honored.

“The Brumback Library is truly honored to have been named a Star Library for the ninth year in a row.  Its ranking as a four-star library, second in its overall category in the United States, is most exemplary,” said library Board of Trustees President Joan Stripe. “The people of Van Wert County are well served by a library that has over 293,000 items, a very exhaustive collection size for any library. In fact, the Brumback Library holdings make it one of the largest public libraries in the State of Ohio.”

In 2017, over 900,000 items were checked out by nearly 27,000 patrons of all ages. The library’s chief funding comes from the Ohio Public Library Fund, which makes up 80 percent of overall funding revenue.

The library’s half-mill levy is also a vital funding source. Approved by Van Wert County voters in 2005 and renewed in both 2010 and 2015, it has helped the library greatly.


POSTED: 11/17/18 at 8:05 am

Employees of St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic School recently participated in the 2018-2019 United Way of Van Wert County campaign and had an increase in pledges from last year. The staff and students also participated in this year’s Day of Caring event and collected a record amount of food that will go to the three area food pantries. Mrs. Arnold’s third grade class won an ice cream party and t-shirts for being the top class with 1,964 points. Mrs. Arnold was the winner of gift cards from Truly D’vine and Brewed Expressions. United Way photo

POSTED: 11/17/18 at 8:02 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

In order to meet growing needs at The Marsh Foster Care and Adoption Center, the organization has hired a third foster care consultant. Megan Riemesch, LSW, is excited to join the team and brings with her experience and education that will benefit youths at The Marsh Foundation.

Megan Riemesch

“Becoming a foster parent is a brave decision,” Riemesch said. “I’m excited to support families of all kinds through the good, bad, frustrating, most amazing times of their lives.”

Riemesch obtained her degree in social work from The Ohio State University. Previous positions at Westwood Behavioral Health and Allen County Children’s Services have given her a broad base of experience to draw from.

As a case manager, Riemesch has worked with individuals of all ages.

“I truly want to help others and that is why I chose a career in social work in the first place,” she said. “This position will allow me to do just that.”

The foster care and adoption division at The Marsh Foundation continues to grow to meet the increasing number of children in care.

“We are excited about the opportunity to have Megan join our team,” said Marsh Foster Care Supervisor Melissa Snyder. “Unfortunately, we are seeing more and more children needing care. Thankfully, we are fortunate to have a strong, compassionate staff that use their talents to work closely with these families and children.”

Riemesch recently married her husband, Brent, and the couple resides in Lima with their two dogs, Runner and Calvin.

The Marsh Foundation is a not-for-profit children’s services agency that provides services in a variety of settings. Services include group homes, family foster care (ages birth-17), an intensive treatment program, adoption and independent living. Located in Van Wert, Ohio, the organization’s group homes are licensed for up to 36 children ages 7-17, offers an on-campus school for grades 2-12 and provides a variety of clinical services to group home residents, foster care children, and community members.

POSTED: 11/17/18 at 7:58 am. FILED UNDER: News

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

The Van Wert Area Chamber of Commerce recognized local small businesses for the 14th year during its Salute to Small Business Luncheon held Thursday at Willow Bend Country Club.

Category winners of the 2018 Salute to Small Business Awards include (from the left) Roy Salisbury of National Door and Trim, Kim Laudick of the YWCA of Van Wert County, Chuck Koch of Koch Law Office, JoAnne Thatcher of Elite Interiors, Cheryl Bowen and Alli Kennedy of Brewed Expressions, and Andy Czajkowski of StateWide Ford Lincoln. Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

“For 13 years we have honored the best of the best of our small businesses, and today we will continue that tradition,” said Chamber President/CEO Mark Verville. “Each person here has impacted, directly or indirectly, the success of a small business or have certainly been impacted by a small business here today.”

“What I hope each of you leaves with here today is the warmth of love of being recognized for what you do in our community,” added Seth Baker, executive secretary of the Van Wert County Foundation.

As it has the past several years, the Chamber honored small businesses — and business people — in a variety of categories. Those categories include Spirit of Entrepreneurship, Charitable Non-Profit, Service Industry Showcase, Retail Excellence, Palate Pleaser, and Community Champion.

In addition, a number of businesses that opened or moved in the past year were also honored under the Enterprise Recognition category.


POSTED: 11/16/18 at 9:06 am. FILED UNDER: News

Lincolnview Local Schools recently concluded its campaign for United Way of Van Wert County. School staff increased pledges and donations over last year by $600, while Lincolnview staff and students collected nearly 10,000 food items this year for the United Way’s Day of Caring. Lincolnview also participates in Rivals United. Last year, the district was able to help raise $32,840 to help the United Way support local agencies. United Way photo

POSTED: 11/16/18 at 8:49 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

Join Van Wert Service Club and Optimist Club members as they kick off the holiday season with the lighting of the Van Wert Christmas Garden from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, November 21, at Smiley Park. This event is graciously sponsored by the two Van Wert clubs.

Christmas isn’t just about gifts given and received. Christmas should be celebrated by spending time together, enjoying holiday music and being visually entertained by beautiful lights and displays. This year, our focus is Presence. Club members encourage area residents to join them as tey become fully present and enjoy what celebrations the community has to offer.

In addition to a beautiful garden decked out with lights, all children will be given a raffle ticket, with winners announced by Monday, November 26, on the garden’s Facebook page at Lucky winners should contact club members to receive their prizes.

Other activities available include Christmas caroling, family fun, the famous candy cane garden, free hot cocoa and cookies from area Girl Scouts, and Santa Claus. Girl Scouts have generously volunteered to serve hot cocoa and cookies every Friday and Saturday between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Organizers of the event have faith that the Christmas garden will delight those of all ages and will serve as a family-friendly and fanciful experience.


POSTED: 11/16/18 at 8:45 am. FILED UNDER: News

As part of its community service support, Gary Profit is shown presenting a check for $500 from American Legion Post 346 in Ohio City to Connie and Gary Stevens for the Ohio City Food Pantry. photo provided

POSTED: 11/16/18 at 8:41 am. FILED UNDER: News

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

Van Wert City Council heard presentations from Main Street Van Wert and the Van Wert Regional Airport, as well as an announcement from Third Ward Councilman Ken Markward that he will be running for mayor.

Van Wert Mayor Jerry Mazur (left) congratulates Van Wert Regional Airport Manager Steve Bailey after presenting him with a proclamation designating National General Aviation Week in the city. Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

Markward made his mayoral announcement during a Finance Committee meeting that took place prior to Council’s regular meeting on Wednesday evening.

The Councilman, who also chairs the Finance Committee, noted that he felt now was the time to make the announcement because the committee was discussing salaries of city officials, including the mayor’s position.

“Ordinarily, I would not consider this to be the proper time or place to make such an announcement, but I do so because the purpose of the meeting is to begin the discussion of salaries of elected officials,” Markward said, adding that, while he would provide input on the other elected officials’ salaries, he didn’t feel it was proper to comment on the mayor’s salary, since he would be running for that position.

“If I were to advocate for a particular outcome, then file to fun for mayor shortly thereafter, a person could reasonably wonder whether my suggestions had been appropriate,” Markward noted.

The councilman said he had spoken to Mayor Jerry Mazur of his intention to run for mayor, as a courtesy, as well as to Second Ward Councilman Joi Mergy, who co-chairs the Finance Committee, in case she would have to take charge of the meeting.


POSTED: 11/15/18 at 8:57 am. FILED UNDER: News

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

A Van Wert woman sentenced to prison for attempting to bring a prohibited substance into a correctional facility was one of 12 people appearing in Van Wert County Common Pleas Court for felony hearings this week.

Amber Baker, 28, was sentenced to 17 months in prison on a charge of attempted conveyance of a prohibited substance into a correctional facility, a fourth-degree felony offense, and 12 months on a count of aggravated possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony. The two sentences are to run concurrent to one another, while Baker was also given credit for 94 days already served.

Five people entered changes of plea during hearings in Common Pleas Court.

Anthony Bonifas, 20, of Delphos, changed his plea to guilty to a charge of domestic violence, a misdemeanor of the first degree, reduced by the prosecutor’s office from a felony of the fourth degree. A presentence investigation was ordered and sentencing set for 9 a.m. Wednesday, December 12.

Johnny Bowersock, 54, of Van Wert, changed his plea to guilty to a charge of domestic violence, a felony of the fourth degree. A presentence investigation was also ordered in his case, with sentencing to be held at 9 a.m. December 12.

Robert Stegaman, 44, of Van Wert, changed his plea to guilty to domestic violence, downgraded from a felony of the fourth degree to a misdemeanor of the first degree. A presentence investigation was ordered at 9 a.m. December 12.

Christopher Stemen, 34, of Van Wert, changed his plea to guilty to one count each of charge of failure to register as a sex offender and grand theft of a motor vehicle, each a felony of the fourth degree. A presentence investigation was ordered and sentencing scheduled for 9 a.m. Wednesday, December 19.

Joshua McGinnis, 37, of Convoy, changed his plea to guilty to one count each of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, a felony of the second degree, and failure to register as a sex offender, a third-degree felony. Judge Martin D. Burchfield ordered a presentence investigation and set sentencing for 9 a.m. December 12.

Bond and probation violation hearings were also held for three people in Common Pleas Court.


POSTED: 11/15/18 at 8:54 am. FILED UNDER: News

Teem Wholesale recently completed its 2018-2019 campaign for the United Way of Van Wert County. Both the company and employees made donations to support the 29 local agencies funded by United Way. Teem Wholesale employees (above) had pledges that exceeded their totals from last year by quite a bit, and the company has generously provided a match to nearly double last year’s pledges. This year, Teem Wholesale purchased “I Live United” shirts for its employees for their donations to the United Way. United Way photo

POSTED: 11/15/18 at 8:52 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

BOWLING GREEN — WBGU-TV is moving its broadcast frequency beginning at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, November 27, and viewers who watch using an over-the-air antenna must rescan their TVs to continue accessing the station. Previously, the station had indicated that it would be moving its channel number; however, it still will appear as Channel 27.

Rescanning is simply using the TV remote to scan/find all the available channels in the area. Viewers do not need to purchase new equipment or services, and those who watch WBGU-TV via cable or satellite (Dish Network, Direct TV, Spectrum, etc.) do not need to rescan, said Anthony Short, WBGU-TV co-general manager.

The frequency move is a result of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) 2016 incentive auction. While Bowling Green State University, WBGU-TV’s licensee, voluntarily withdrew from the auction in 2017, the FCC is requiring WBGU-TV and nearly 1,000 other stations across the country to move as part of a “repacking process.” This process is designed to free up spectrum space to improve wireless broadband connectivity in the United States.The FCC is funding any equipment or technical services needed for stations to move their frequencies.

“We’ve been a part of the community since 1964, and we know that the viewers in our 19-county area rely on us for the best in local public television and national PBS programming,” said Tina Simon, WBGU-TV co-general manager. “Our goal is to make the transition as easy as possible for viewers so they can continue to watch shows they love like ‘The Journal’, ‘BGSU Brain Game’, ‘PBS NewsHour’ or ‘Antiques Roadshow’.”

Short added that another bonus to rescanning is that viewers may discover other channels in their lineup that they didn’t know were missing.


POSTED: 11/15/18 at 8:50 am. FILED UNDER: News