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The Van Wert County Courthouse

Sunday, Mar. 26, 2017

Unemployment artwork 550-wide 9-2011VW independent/submitted information

Ohio’s unemployment rate increased slightly to 5.1 percent in February 2017, up from 5.0 percent in January 2017, according to figures released Friday by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

Ohio’s nonagricultural wage and salary employment increased just 15,200 over the month, from a revised 5,506,800 in January to 5,522,000 in February.

Moreover, the number of workers unemployed in Ohio in February was 294,000, up 7,000 from 287,000 in January. The number of unemployed has increased by 9,000 in the past 12 months from 285,000. The February unemployment rate for Ohio was up from 5.0 percent in February 2016.

The U.S. unemployment rate for February 2017 was 4.7 percent, 0.1 percentage points lower than in January 2017, and 0.2 percentage points lower than in February 2016.

Ohio’s nonagricultural wage and salary employment increased 15,200 over the month, from a revised 5,506,800 in January to 5,522,000 in February 2017, according to the latest business establishment survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor (Bureau of Labor Statistics) in cooperation with ODJFS.


POSTED: 03/25/17 at 8:26 am

A.J. KOCH/for the Van Wert independent

9 to 5: The Musical, what a terrific surprise to the theatre-going person unfamiliar with the movie. This performance is set in 1979 and goes back to the days of the “boys club” type of office setting, where men were the bosses and the “girls” were the workers. The movie even references a part of history with the liberation of more than just the female movement!

9 to 5 is about a trio of female office workers who take revenge on their “lying, hypocritical, sexist, bigot” boss. This talented cast of Mary Ann Falk, who plays widowed single mother Violet Newstead; Stacy Rife, who plays the divorced mousy housewife, Judy Bernly; and Victoria Recker, who plays the hated blond bombshell, Doralee Rhodes; pool their wits together to get back at their boss, Franklin Hart, played by Steve Lane.

Doralee (Victoria Recker) takes dictation from boss Franklin Hart (Steve Lane) during Van Wert Civic Theatre's production of 9 to 5: The Musical. Monica Campbell/for the VW independent

Doralee (Victoria Recker) takes dictation from boss Franklin Hart (Steve Lane) during Van Wert Civic Theatre’s production of 9 to 5: The Musical. Monica Campbell/for the VW independent

Lane plays the unlikable boss so convincingly the audience actually gasps at some of his statements about “the girls”. You know the acting is spectacular when the audience reacts in this manner. He also gives an outstanding performance in delivering his song, “Here for You” to an unsuspecting Doralee, the Dolly Parton lookalike.

The development of the main characters Doralee, Violet, and Judy is excellent. They start as co-workers and as Violet says to Judy, “we hate her”, referring to Doralee, the one accused of sleeping with the boss. The three friends finally unite over a “party” at Violet’s house and they fantasize how they’ll take revenge on their boss. Furthermore, they accidently take their fantasy revenge out on their boss in real life.

The vocal harmony of the three women is absolutely amazing: pay particular attention to the song “Shine Like the Sun”, it will have the audience sitting on the edge of its seat. Another highlight of the performance comes from Joe the Accountant, played by Chad Kraner, who is in love with the widowed Violet, but she won’t give him the time of day because he’s “in his thirties”. Joe sings an absolutely incredible love song to Violet.

Then there’s Roz, played by Kari Gall. We all have that one person at the office who grates on our very last nerve; well Kari does it and does it well and her rendition of “Heart to Hart” is exceptional. Keep an eye out for Margaret (Jan Miller): she is a cameo but commands the stage and the audience’s attention whenever she takes the stage.

The cast also includes Ed Eichler as Tinsworthy, Daniel Sanderson as Judy’s husband Dick, Shelby Merkle, Darcy Hitchcock, Lisa Eichler, Faith Maurer, Josh England, Daileas Duclo, and Cory Ream. This very talented cast gave everything with their singing and dancing and added superb support to the performance.


POSTED: 03/25/17 at 8:22 am. FILED UNDER: Arts & Entertainment, News

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ARCHBOLD — On Friday, April 7, all adults 55 and over are invited to a one-day seminar at Northwest State Community College for an up-close and personal look at the drug epidemic in the area.

“Not in My Neighborhood” is the theme of the event, which is aimed at informing unsuspecting, caring citizens about the rise of this troubling phenomenon. The Center for Lifelong Learning at the college is hosting the important event from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.

“Many people are troubled by the news of the epidemic, but they just don’t even know enough to know what to look for,” said Cecily Rohrs, coordinator of the event. “Unless you’ve been directly affected, the horrifying news reports are difficult to put in perspective.

Northwest State Community College log 11-2013“Many in our rural area naively think things like, ‘Surely there aren’t illegal drugs in my neighborhood’ ‘Surely not in my own home!’ ‘Never!’, but the drug epidemic is out of control and this day will give attendees information needed to be an informed member of their family, their church, and their community.”

To open the seminar, attendees will get an overview of what today’s drugs may look like on the street, as well as some of the “tools” of the drug users’ trade. Is it possible that a person’s own medicine cabinet may be dangerous?

Those attending will hear from professionals who fight the epidemic every day, as well as parents of users and former users themselves.

“Nothing — not financial status, education or lack of, profession, or parenting skills — nothing provides a wrap of security around those you love,” Rohrs emphasized.

The day will open with coffee or tea and a cookie, with the program beginning promptly at 9 a.m. Pre-registration before the close of Monday, April 3, is necessary, but the $12 registration fee, which includes a college-provided lunch, can be paid at the door for those with reservations.

The day and the attire is casual, with plenty of time for questions and discussion with the presenters. By entering through the east doors of the college, Building A, registrants will find plenty of signage to Room A215, where the group will gather. An elevator makes the room easily accessible and restrooms are close by.

Reservations can be made by phoning Rohrs at 419.267.5502 and leaving a message including name and total number in one’s group, by emailing her at, or drop a note of intention to the College Center for Lifelong Learning, 22600 State Route 34, Archbold, OH 43502.

POSTED: 03/25/17 at 8:16 am. FILED UNDER: News

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COLUMBUS — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced that an update of his office’s Concealed Carry Laws Manual has been released reflecting recent changes enacted by Senate Bill 199. The updated manual is currently available online, and printed copies of the guide will be available from county sheriffs.

“Our Concealed Carry Laws Manual is a great resource for Ohioans interested in concealed handgun laws or interested in obtaining a CCW permit, and it is available at no cost to citizens online,” said Attorney General DeWine.

Senate Bill 199, which became effective on March 21, includes the following notable changes in law:

  • Active duty members of the armed forces may carry a concealed handgun without obtaining a license if they possess military identification and proof of training with handguns.
  • Concealed handgun licensees may carry concealed handguns in daycare centers unless otherwise posted.
  • Concealed handgun licensees may carry concealed handguns in airports as long as they do not pass screening checkpoints or enter restricted areas.
  • Ohio colleges and universities may permit concealed carry on campus.
  • Businesses and employers cannot prohibit concealed handgun licensees from keeping handguns in their privately owned vehicle as long as it is legally parked.
  • Concealed handgun licensees may have handguns in vehicles in school safety zones as long as they are locked in the vehicle.

The Concealed Carry Laws Manual and other concealed carry information can be accessed online at

POSTED: 03/25/17 at 8:06 am. FILED UNDER: News

Lincolnview team honored at state semifinals 3-2017

Members of the 1996-97 Lincolnview state champion boys’ basketball team were honored during halftime of the Lima Perry-Columbus Wellington Division IV state semifinal game on Thursday. Members of the team, as well as coaches and staff, received plaques honoring the 20th anniversary of the Division IV undefeated boys’ basketball state title team. (OHSAA photo)

POSTED: 03/24/17 at 7:55 am. FILED UNDER: News

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COLUMBUS — State Representative Craig S. Riedel (R-Defiance) on Thursday announced that the Ohio House has passed legislation to help protect Ohio’s seniors and other unsuspecting populations against deceptive marketing practices. House Bill 52 makes several reforms to regulate the solicitation of real property deeds.

House Bill 52, sponsored by Rep. Jeff Rezabek (R-Clayton), comes in response to deed solicitation scams plaguing many Ohioans, whereby companies outside of Ohio send official looking notifications to homeowners informing them they need a copy of their property deed. Further, the notices request up to $90 for the deed, preying on individuals who are unaware that they can receive a copy of their deed from the county recorder’s office for a minimal fee.

“House Bill 52 is smart legislation that will allow the state to prosecute those who take advantage of Ohio’s most vulnerable population,” said Rep. Riedel. “The purpose of this bill is to provide consumers with better information when they are deciding to purchase their property deeds.”

The provisions under the legislation require that specific disclosures be made to consumers when they are solicited a fee for real property deeds, including the cost to obtain the deed from the county recorder, the contact information for the county recorder, and the name and address of the person soliciting the fee. Other reforms prohibit the charging of a fee more than four times the cost to obtain a copy of a deed from the county recorder. A violation of these requirements falls under the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act and may result in a fine.

House Bill 52 is a part of the Buckeye Pathway, the policy platform of the Ohio House Republican Caucus, as it seeks to protect our vulnerable populations and strengthen families and communities. The bill now awaits consideration in the Ohio Senate.

POSTED: 03/24/17 at 7:51 am. FILED UNDER: News

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COLUMBUS — The Van Wert County Sheriff’s Office has adopted and implemented state standards established by the Ohio Collaborative Community-Police Advisory Board as part of the state’s efforts to strengthen community and police relations.

VW County Sheriff's Star 9-2014More than 500 agencies employing over 27,000 officers (in all 88 counties, representing 79 percent of all law enforcement officers in Ohio and most of Ohio’s metropolitan departments) are either certified or in the process of becoming certified by meeting standards for the use of force, including deadly force, and agency recruitment and hiring.

The standards are the first of their kind in Ohio and were developed by the collaborative in August 2015.

The state has partnered with the Buckeye State Sheriffs’ Association and the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police to help certify Ohio’s nearly 960 law enforcement agencies on a process to ensure that they are in compliance with Ohio’s new standards.

The first list of all Ohio compliant agencies will be published by the end of March.

For more information on the Ohio Collaborative, the certification process for law enforcement and the complete list of agencies who have been certified, please visit:

POSTED: 03/24/17 at 7:50 am. FILED UNDER: News

Crestview HS scholastic bowl team 3-2017

The Crestview High School Scholastic Bowl team completed its season on a high note by winning the Bath Scholastic Bowl Tournament. This qualifies the team to compete at the Ohio Academic Competition Regionals in May. Shown are Joel Germann, Braden Brecht, Colby Swager, Colton Wolford, Hannah Bouillon, Chelsea Taylor and Coach Sandy Grooms. Other team members this year were Ford Tatum, Kenzi Case, Danny Pawlick, Becca Daugherty, Emily Fegley, Gwen Davis, and Cameron Cearns. (Crestview photo)

POSTED: 03/24/17 at 7:48 am. FILED UNDER: News

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COLUMBUS — Spring Break is under way and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) is reminding Ohioans to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites if they are traveling to areas with active Zika virus transmission. Zika has spread to about 62 countries and territories that include popular Spring Break destinations such as Mexico, the Bahamas, and Puerto Rico.

For the latest list of the current CDC travel advisories click here.

“Zika virus is primarily spread through the bite of an infected mosquito, and if you are traveling to an area with active transmission, make sure you take appropriate steps to avoid mosquito bites,” said Sietske de Fijter, ODH state epidemiologist and bureau chief of Infectious Diseases. “Pregnant women should not travel to Zika-affected areas because a Zika infection during pregnancy can cause certain birth defects.”

There have been 5,139 travel-associated Zika virus cases across the United States since January 2015. Ohio had 94 confirmed travel-associated Zika cases and one sexual transmission Zika case in 2016 and two cases so far this year.

The primary mosquito that transmits Zika virus is found in the tropics and southern U.S., but it is not known to be established in Ohio. A relative of this mosquito is established in Ohio, though, and may potentially transmit the Zika virus.

Zika virus can be passed through sexual transmission, even if the infected person does not have symptoms. Men who have traveled to an area of active Zika virus transmission should use a condom every time during sex or abstain from sexual activity if their partner is pregnant. Women who have had possible exposure to Zika virus should wait at least eight weeks before having unprotected sex.

“As a precaution, be on the lookout for Zika virus symptoms after you get home from traveling to a Zika-affected area, and contact your healthcare provider if you believe that you are having Zika-like symptoms,” de Fijter said.


POSTED: 03/24/17 at 7:47 am. FILED UNDER: News

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DELPHOS — The Museum of Postal History in Delphos announces the unveiling of its newest exhibits: The Philatelic Aspects of the Holocaust and World War II, at 1 p.m. Sunday, April 23, to coincide with Holocaust Remembrance Day.

A brief ceremony will include a dedication by Rabbi Yossi Zylberberg, the son of Holocaust survivors who serves as rabbi of Temple Beth Israel Shaare Zedek in Lima.

Additional activities will honor mural artist Diane Bendele; Dr. and Mrs. Wells, who provided the “Dear Cousin” exhibit; the Cohen Foundation; the Dienstberger Foundation; and the Allen County Convention and Visitors’ Bureau, which assisted with funding for the exhibit.

Rabbi Zylberberg will also lead a “Holocaust remembrance” Sabbath service at 8 p.m. Friday, April 21, at the temple, corner of Lakewood and Glenwood in Lima. There will be a reception following the service on Friday evening and after the dedication ceremony on Sunday.

POSTED: 03/24/17 at 7:45 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

Van Wert Civic Theatre is providing an opportunity for area college and high school students who enjoy theatre to participate in a summer musical production. This summer, Van Wert Civic Theatre is presenting Blood Brothers the Musical.  

Blood Brothers The Musical artwork 3-2017This is a powerful, emotional show and will be an enriching experience for college and high school age students wanting to perform in a challenging theatrical production.

Van Wert Civic Theatre extends an invitation to high school and college age students in the area to audition for this show. This is a great opportunity and a neat experience for youths who have an interest in theatre to come together to put on a wonderful show.

“The Van Wert Civic Theatre strives to put on high quality shows for audiences with many wonderful performers, musicians, directors, and plenty of stage hands working together,” says a VWCT representative. “We believe the arts are a very important part of enriching the lives of our community.”

The theatre group works to provide acting experiences for adults as well as the community’s younger generation.


POSTED: 03/23/17 at 8:24 am. FILED UNDER: News