The Van Wert County Courthouse

Saturday, Apr. 19, 2014

Crestview Knights honored by Commissioners 4-2014

The Van Wert County Board of Commissioners is the latest group to heap honors on the Division IV State Champion Crestview Knights. The commissioners met with the Knight boys’ basketball team on Thursday to present it with a proclamation honoring its undefeated state championship season. In addition, the team also had the chance to tour the renovated Van Wert County Common Pleas Courtroom. Here, Commissioners Todd Wolfrum, Thad Lichtensteiger and Stan Owens pose with the Knights in front of the County Courthouse. (photo submitted)

POSTED: 04/18/14 at 5:16 am

Ohio Attorney General’s information

COLUMBUS — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Ohio State Board of Pharmacy Executive Director Kyle Parker have announced that an administrative rule developed to permanently ban two new chemicals being abused as synthetic drugs is now in effect.

The rule classifies the chemical compounds known as PB-22 and 5F-PB-22 as Schedule I controlled substances, which makes the sale and use of the compounds illegal under Ohio law.  The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration temporarily scheduled the compounds as illegal drugs in February, however the state ban is permanent.  The state ban also bans the use and sale of any compound with the same basic chemical structure, even if the compounds have not yet been created.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine

“Anyone found selling or purchasing these compounds in Ohio is breaking the law, and you will face the consequences,” said Attorney General DeWine.  “Drugs, whether they are synthetic drugs or street drugs like heroin, are wreaking havoc on Ohio families.  This is just one example of the ongoing efforts by my office to prevent further devastation due to drug abuse.”

“These substances pose a serious threat to public safety and have no medicinal value,” said Ohio State Board of Pharmacy Executive Director Parker. “The Ohio State Board of Pharmacy is proud that these new rules will put Ohio at the forefront of the fight against synthetic drugs.”

PB-22 and 5F-PB-22 began surfacing in the Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) Laboratory in the first five months of 2013.  The emergence of the drugs directly followed the passage of House Bill 334 in December 2012, which banned all synthetic drugs that existed at the time.  Under Ohio law, the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy has the authority to classify compounds as controlled substances through the administrative rule process if the substances have a high potential for abuse.  The process eliminates the need to go through the General Assembly each time a new synthetic drug is created.

The chemicals, which are often sprayed on plant material in order to mimic the effects of marijuana, are typically sold in head shops in small, brightly colored packets and marketed as herbal incense products.

“We are grateful for the help of the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy and their willingness to partner with us in the goal to permanently ban newly created synthetic drugs,”  said Attorney General DeWine. ”The standard process for banning these substances, however, takes far too long, which is why we are asking the legislature to give the Attorney General’s Office emergency authority to ban new synthetic drugs as soon as new chemicals of concern come into our lab.”


POSTED: 04/18/14 at 5:13 am. FILED UNDER: News

YMCA of Van Wert County information

The YMCA recently kicked off its 2014 Annual Board Campaign. The YMCA volunteer board of directors has set an annual board campaign goal of $40,000. Cooper Farms has kicked off the campaign with a donation of $2,000.  The YMCA’s financial aid program has not changed over the years.

“While we have remained focused on our mission to help the at-risk children and families in our community, our need for support continues to grow as we have added several groups to the growing list of people who receive low or no cost memberships” stated Shad Foster, 2014 campaign co-chair.

Hugh Kocab, Rob Gamble and Dr. Shad Foster accept a check for $2,000 from Kacy Wagner of Cooper Farms to kick off the 2014 Annual Board Campaign. (YMCA photo)

Hugh Kocab, Rob Gamble and Dr. Shad Foster accept a check for $2,000 from Kacy Wagner of Cooper Farms to kick off the 2014 Annual Board Campaign. (YMCA photo)

The YMCA now provides free memberships for all disabled vets and their families, free fitness classes for low income seniors at Homestead Village, free fitness classes at the Council on Aging, no cost memberships for families of deployed soldiers, free access for military on leave, free access to all delayed entry servicemen and their recruiters and financial assistance to Thomas Edison adults who participate in the MRSI program.

Money raised through the Annual Board Campaign will provide low-income individuals, families, at-risk children and all those listed above the opportunity to utilize the YMCA facilities to improve mind, spirit and body. The YMCA’s largest group of financial aid recipients is needy and at-risk children. For these children, the YMCA has become not only a place to come and socialize with their peers, but also for many it has become a place for healthy adult supervision and encouragement.

“As part of the YMCA mission, we attempt to reach as many needy individuals in our community as possible” stated Rob Gamble, 2014 campaign co-chair.

Financial assistance is made possible by this campaign and partial funding by United Way.

“The board of directors and YMCA staff are committed to continuing the legacy of one of the oldest not-for-profits in Van Wert County,” said YMCA Executive Director Hugh Kocab. “During the 2013 Annual Board Campaign, YMCA board members and staff donated over $8,500.”

Those interested in supporting the YMCA can donate now at or contact Heather at or Kristin at Those interested in donating to the campaign can contact any board member, Y staff, visit the YMCA online at or call 419.238.0443.

POSTED: 04/18/14 at 5:08 am. FILED UNDER: News

Delphos Granite ribboncutting 4-17-14

Delphos Granite’s Carey Mathew cuts the ribbon on the company’s Van Wert store at 1198 Westwood Drive on Thursday. Delphos Granite’s hours are noon-7 p.m. Monday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturdays. The store offers a number of monuments and etched stone products. Looking on are members of the Van Wert Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Director. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent) 

POSTED: 04/18/14 at 5:05 am. FILED UNDER: News

YWCA of Van Wert County information

Tickets for the YWCA of Van Wert County’s annual Scholarship Chicken Dinner are now on sale. The dinner will be available for carry out Thursday May 15, from 4:30-6:30 p.m., at the YWCA.

New YWCA logo 12-2009Tickets for the chicken dinners are $8. The cost of the dinner includes half of a barbecue chicken, two sides, roll, and a cookie. The chicken this year will be pre pared by Gibson’s Backyard BBQ of Convoy.

All proceeds support the YWCA’s Scholarship for Christian Leaders. The YWCA Christian Emphasis Committee did the planning for this dinner.

General hours of operation are: Monday-Thursday; 6:30 a.m.-8 p.m.; Friday 6:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

The YWCA is a United Way and Van Wert County Foundation Agency. For more information, contact the YWCA at 419.238.6639.

POSTED: 04/18/14 at 5:02 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW County Historical Society information

Once again, the Van Wert County Historical Society is planning a “Night at the Museum” for Thursday, May 8, at 6:30 p.m.

Heidi Leiendecker will offer a hands-on opportunity of card making and will demonstrate the making of three spring-themed cards.

The cost for the class will be $10. Call 419.749.2476 by May 4 to register. Registration will be complete upon receipt of payment.

The class size is limited, so don’t wait.

POSTED: 04/18/14 at 5:01 am. FILED UNDER: Lifestyles, News

Information submitted

Although most Van Wert County government offices will close at noon today for Good Friday, the Van ert County Board of Elections will be open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. for early voting.

POSTED: 04/18/14 at 4:59 am. FILED UNDER: News

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

It was billed as an educational meeting by Iberdrola Renewables officials, but the two-hour meeting was more like a grilling administered by eastern Van Wert County residents who believe they would be affected by Iberdrola’s proposed Dog Creek Wind Farm project.

Scott Potter, wind energy consultant for Ohio State University, gave his reasons for OSU inking a long-term agreement to buy wind power from the Blue Creek Wind Farm. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

Scott Potter, wind energy consultant for Ohio State University, gave his reasons for OSU inking a long-term agreement to buy wind power from the Blue Creek Wind Farm. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

The meeting began with a PowerPoint presentation by Eric Thumma, Iberdrola’s director of policy and regulatory affairs. The presentation included information about power plant economics – including the components of a electricity bill and the components of generation costs – wholesale energy markets, and how wind energy can act as an energy price hedge.

Thumma noted that wind power, while it has high capital costs, has the lowest fuel costs, since wind generation is essentially free. He also noted that new coal-fired and nuclear power plants are not economically competition when faced with market pricing, while wind power is competitive, and also talked about government subsidies for energy production, noting that all forms of energy generation are subsidized to a point.

Thumma also noted that, with wind energy in the wholesale energy market, overall energy costs are reduced since higher-cost power generators are not needed to generate power, for the most part.

He cited a Public Utilities Commission of Ohio study that confirmed that energy price suppression benefits from wind energy saved more than $8 million in 2012, while also noting that during the frigid winter temperatures caused by the polar vortex this past winter, wind energy saved $1.5 to $2 million per hour during peak periods.


POSTED: 04/17/14 at 8:37 am. FILED UNDER: News

Car-semi crash at US 30 & Convoy Road 4-16-14

One person was injured in a car-semi crash that occurred near the intersection of U.S. 30 and Convoy Road on Wednesday night. The Van Wert Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol investigated the crash and will have more information available later today. (photo by Rick McCoy for the Van Wert independent)

POSTED: 04/17/14 at 7:28 am. FILED UNDER: News

Van Wert independent/Rose-Hulman information

Alexander Bair developed an appreciation for engineering in at Van Wert High School through the FIRST Robotics and Project Lead the Way programs.

Now, as a freshman chemical engineering student at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (Terre Haute, Ind.), Bair has found a place to keep that love alive — thanks to a Raytheon Company-sponsored scholarship for FIRST Robotics alumni.

VWHS graduate Alex Bair earns scholarship through high school robotics team participation. (photo submitted)

VWHS graduate Alex Bair earns scholarship through high school robotics team participation. (photo submitted)

The scholarship is among more than $19 million from more than 150 scholarship providers available nationally each year to FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) alumni pursuing undergraduate degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors.

Raytheon awards 40 individual scholarships of $1,000 each to high school seniors or full-time college freshmen, sophomores, or juniors who participated in a FIRST Robotics competition or were a member of a FIRST Tech Challenge team.

Bair was the first Rose-Hulman student to receive a Raytheon-FIRST Robotics Scholarship. He was introduced to engineering in Project Lead the Way engineering classes at Van Wert High School. That led his teacher, Bob Spath, to start a FIRST Robotics team at the school.

“My teacher asked if we had an interest in doing something outside of class with actual engineering and problem solving,” Bair says.

As a junior, Bair was an inaugural member of his high school’s FIRST Robotics team. He became the team’s lead programmer last year and is proud that the team has qualified for this year’s FIRST World Finals on April 23-25 in the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis.

“FIRST helps you work in a team environment, sharing ideas with creative people that you may not normally work with from other classes,” Bair says. “It also helped me apply some of the concepts I had been learning in class. It put things into perspective for me.”

Bair’s interest in engineering grew along his FIRST and Project Lead the Way journeys. He learned about Rose-Hulman through its No. 1 undergraduate engineering college ranking in U.S. News & World Report’s annual college guide. A campus visit and the institute’s nearly 100-percent job placement rate helped convince him that the private college was the best fit to achieve his STEM career goals.


POSTED: 04/17/14 at 7:23 am. FILED UNDER: News

Firefighters give to smoke alarm project 4-2014

Van Wert Fire Chief Jim Steele accepts a check for $1,500 from Mike Eversole, president of Van Wert Professional Firefighters Local 681, for the Van Wert County fire chiefs’ “No Child Sleeps Unprotected” fund drive. (photo submitted)

POSTED: 04/17/14 at 7:18 am. FILED UNDER: News