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The Van Wert County Courthouse

Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014

One of the renovated rooms at the YWCA of Van Wert County. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

One of the renovated rooms at the YWCA of Van Wert County. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

Like the Ohio Department of Transportation’s Adopt-A-Highway program, which provides manpower to help clean up stretches of Ohio’s highways, the YWCA of Van Wert County’s Adopt-A-Room project also had a specific purpose: to help update the YWCA’s 18 rooms used to house those in the Transitional Housing and Domestic Violence programs at the YW.

The response to the program was terrific, with businesses, organizations and individuals sponsoring one or more of the rooms to renovate the living areas, including living and dining rooms used by women and children in the two housing programs.

Sponsors for the YWCA’s Adopt-A-Room project include Van Wert Federal Savings Bank, Max and Ilo Mercer and family, Scott and Cara Lee Campbell, Woodforest Bank, Eileen Lucier, Karli Turnwald and family, First Federal Savings & Loan, Van Wert Rotary Club, YWCA Board of Directors, Amy Johns, Pamela Jewel-Rusk, Trinity United Methodist Church’s Sunday school program, First Bank of Berne, the Van Wert Walmart store, Heidi Arney, Beth Bauer, Jill Welch and Judy Huebner.

“The amount of time, money and effort that these groups and individuals have put towards our housing program makes a world of difference,” said Chelli Gamble, case manager and coordinator of the Adopt-A-Room project.


POSTED: 12/17/14 at 9:00 am

New Scott FD tanker truck 12-2014

The Scott Fire Department has a new tanker truck. At least the 1989 vehicle is new to the fire department, which purchased the truck and added emergency lighting and equipment, as well as some mechanical repairs. Shown are members of the Scott Fire Department with the new tanker truck. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

POSTED: 12/17/14 at 8:53 am. FILED UNDER: News

Ohio State University Extension information

The Master Gardener Volunteer (MGV) program is a national and international organization designed to provide opportunities for gardening enthusiasts of all types and levels to acquire training in numerous aspects of gardening and landscaping, to develop long-lasting friendships with other MGV programs, to learn from other MGVs, and to provide an outlet for those who wish to serve their communities through a unique form of volunteering.

Ohio State University MGV programs work together with The Ohio State University Extension to provide such services to their communities as answering gardening questions, beautifying the community, developing community or demonstration gardens, and other horticultural activities.

OSU Extension logo 4-2009Applications are being accepted for the MGV training class of 2015. OSU Master Gardener volunteers are initially given 50 hours of training on information pertaining to gardens, landscapes, plants, diseases, insects and more!  But the training does not stop after the initial training programs.  Opportunities for many types of continuing education are provided through multiple training programs offered through OSU Extension both locally and statewide.

After the training class is completed, new MGV interns are to provide 50 hours of volunteer service to the community as volunteer educators. Even though this sounds like a lot of time, it is not difficult to fulfill this requirement. In fact, most quickly exceed this number long before the end of their first year of service.

Van Wert County Master Gardener volunteers have developed The Children’s Garden, located in Smiley Park on Old Tile Factory Road in Van Wert, to provide an outdoor learning lab for children of all ages. Additional projects include an annual plant sale, semi-annual garden tour, The Garden of the Senses in downtown Van Wert, and more.

An orientation meeting for MGV training for Van Wert County will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, January 22, in the OSU meeting room on the fairgrounds, 1055 S. Washington St. in Van Wert. Training will be held each Monday and Thursday from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. January through March 12, 2015.  All classes will be held at the OSU Extension Office in Van Wert.

Classes will cover a multitude of topics including: Basic botany, soil science, fruits and vegetables, diagnostics, herbs, annuals and perennials, trees and shrubs, entomology, houseplants, landscape maintenance, plant pathology, and pesticide safety and use.

For more information on cost and how to obtain an application for the MGV program in Van Wert County, contact Curtis E. Young at 419.238.1214 or email

POSTED: 12/17/14 at 8:36 am. FILED UNDER: News

Humane Shelter donation 12-2014

540 Martial Arts in Van Wert hosted a “Pet Photo with Santa and the Grinch” this past Saturday to raise money for the Van Wert County Humane Shelter. More than $650 was raised, with over 70 photos taken. This event would not have been possible without the help and assistance of several local business, including Ashley Baxter from Gibby’s Photography, Matt Temple from Wassenberg Art Center, Dan “Diesel” Schwinnen, the Wollet family, as well as many volunteer families from 540 Martial Arts. Shown with Santa and the Grinch are Peter Weir (left), president of the Humane Society board, and Deputy Sergeant Randy Averesch, the county humane officer. (photo submitted)

POSTED: 12/17/14 at 8:35 am. FILED UNDER: News

KELSEY CLEMONS/independent correspondent

CONVOY — The regularly scheduled monthly meeting of The Crestview Board of Education was held Monday, December 15.

Members of the Crestview volleyball team and Coach Tammy Gregory were at Monday night's Crestview Local Board of Education meeting. (Kelsey Clemons/Van Wert independent)

Members of the Crestview volleyball team and Coach Tammy Gregory were at Monday night’s Crestview Local Board of Education meeting. (Kelsey Clemons/Van Wert independent)

The Crestview Board welcomed senior volleyball players Mallory Bowen, Courtney Trigg, and Raghan Waltmire, as well as Head Coach Tammy Gregory. The group was recognized for its outstanding accomplishments this season, including winning the Northwest Conference championship.

The board announced that the National Honor Society blood drive will be held at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Convoy on January 13, 2015, and there will be a shuttle bus transporting students and staff every 30 minutes.

High School Principal Mike Biro was excited to announce the post-secondary option available for Crestview students, who can earn college credit through the program for the upcoming year.

The board learned of the addition of sixth grade to the current middle school set-up that includes seventh and eighth grades for the upcoming year. Crestview Middle School Principal Dave Bowen spoke about the benefits and changes that would occur to make this move possible. The move will require a move for some seventh- and eighth-grade classrooms to allow for better space and room utilization.


POSTED: 12/16/14 at 8:44 am. FILED UNDER: News

Holiday on Ice show at NPAC 12-15-14

Great costumes and scenery and wonderful skating (above) were part of the Holiday Ice Spectacular show put on Monday night at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

POSTED: 12/16/14 at 8:39 am. FILED UNDER: Arts & Entertainment, News

YMCA of VW County information

Mission: Slim-possible. Those two words say it all in the YMCA’s newest weight loss challenge for 2015. For those ready to take their health and weight loss by storm, Mission Slim-possible is the answer. The program is designed for those who are beginning exercisers or individuals who need to lose 20 pounds or more.

This version of Mission: Slim-possible will be a six-week team challenge (teams of three or four people) and will include boot camp style workouts with YMCA certified trainer and Wellness Director Julie Schaufelberger. Workouts will be modified to meet the needs of all fitness levels and accommodate those with back or joint issues. Participants will be required to attend twice per week workouts, as well as do another workout on their own each week. Workouts will be on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 6-6:45 a.m. the first three weeks and 5:45 to 6:45 a.m. the last three weeks.

“People who exercise at the beginning of their day have more success sticking with their program,” Schaufelberger said. “There are fewer things to get in the way as the day progresses since it is already done.

Mission Slim-possible logo 12-2014“Those who have the support of others in a group setting also experience more success through the encouragement of others and the accountability to the group,” she added.

Nutritional support will also be available during Mission: Slim-possible. Participants are encouraged to use the 17-Day Diet; however, using the diet is not required. Another nutritional program may be used, but must be approved by Schaufelberger.

“The 17-Day Diet is a sound nutritional program that provides great results while being manageable for people,” Schaufelberger explained. “Meal plans and menus are laid out in the book, along with the portions of what should be eaten and there is great information throughout the book of why you should be eating what they recommend.”

Participants will also keep a food and exercise journal that will aid them in many ways.

“Food journals make people aware of what they are eating and it helps people break emotional eating habits and exercise journals show people the progress they are making in their workouts,” Schaufelberger said. “These will also lend to the overall success of the program.”


POSTED: 12/16/14 at 8:28 am. FILED UNDER: News

Ohio Attorney General’s information

COLUMBUS — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced that his office’s Sunshine Laws Training, traditionally presented in-person at regional sites, is now also available as an online video course. The course is available to anyone through the Attorney General’s website at no cost to the user and is approved for three hours of self-study Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit by the Supreme Court of Ohio.

“The public’s access to government is the cornerstone of a vital and participatory democracy, and Ohio’s Sunshine Laws are among the most comprehensive open government laws in the nation,” said Attorney General DeWine. “Promoting open and transparent government is a priority of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, and I hope that this new online format will increase convenience and accessibility to our Sunshine Laws Training.”

The Online Sunshine Laws Training breaks down the three-hour live training into thirteen separate lessons.  Each lesson combines a video covering important topics under the Ohio Public Records Act or Ohio Open Meetings Act with a short quiz.  Topics cover the length and breadth of the Ohio Sunshine Laws, from defining a public record to appropriate redactions before release. To complete the training, users must watch each video lesson in its entirety and correctly answer the quiz questions concerning the material covered.

The training lessons can be completed at the user’s own pace, and the entire three-hour training does not need to be completed in a single sitting. Users are able to return to the videos they have completed if a specific topic is of particular interest. The online training is approved for CLE credit, as are live Sunshine Laws trainings, and can be completed at home or in the office.

By statute, every elected official in Ohio must attend public records training once every term of office. The Ohio Attorney General’s Office provides this training on the Ohio Sunshine Laws to elected officials across the state, providing elected officials and other public employees with information concerning public records law and compliance to help ensure accountability and transparency in the conduct of public business.  In the last four years, the Attorney General’s Office has conducted trainings in all corners of the state, drawing more than 5,300 attendees.

The Ohio Attorney General’s Office will continue to offer live Sunshine Laws training across the state.

POSTED: 12/16/14 at 8:24 am. FILED UNDER: News

American Red Cross information

The American Red Cross asks eligible blood donors to make a resolution to give blood regularly in 2015, beginning with National Blood Donor Month in January.

National Blood Donor Month recognizes the importance of giving blood and platelets while honoring those who roll up a sleeve to help patients in need. It has been observed during January since 1970, and that’s no coincidence. Winter is an especially difficult time to collect enough blood to meet patient needs. Unpredictable winter weather can result in blood drive cancelations, and seasonal illnesses, like the flu, may cause some donors to be unable to make or keep blood donation appointments.

Red Cross blood drive logoDonors of all blood types are needed, especially those with O negative, A negative and B negative. With a shelf life of 42 days, red blood cells must be constantly replenished to maintain an adequate supply for patients. Individuals who come out to give blood Jan. 1 through Jan. 4 will receive a long-sleeve Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.

To learn more about donating blood and to schedule an appointment, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit or call 800.RED.CROSS (800.733.2767).

Upcoming blood donation opportunities are as follows:

Paulding County

Wednesday, January 7, from 8:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m., at Paulding High School, 405 N. Water St. in Paulding.

Thursday, January 15, from 11:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m., at Divine Mercy Catholic Parish, 315 N. Main St. in Paulding.

Van Wert County

Tuesday, January 13, from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m., at Redeemer Lutheran Church, 6727 Ohio 49 in Convoy.

POSTED: 12/16/14 at 8:23 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/VW County Foundation information

The design for what will be known as Franklin Park was created by architects commissioned by philanthropist Scott Niswonger. (submitted graphic)

The design for what will be known as Franklin Park was created by architects commissioned by philanthropist Scott Niswonger. (submitted graphic)

In August 2013, Van Wert native Scott Niswonger pledged up to $500,000 to create a unique park on the site of the former Franklin Elementary School.

This past week, in an unusual move and by unanimous vote, The Van Wert County Foundation Board of Trustees pledged to provide the remaining funds necessary for the construction of what will be known as Franklin Park.

This commitment was made as an enhancement to additional funds that were previously pledged by the Niswonger Foundation. The Van Wert County Foundation also pledged funding for future capital repairs for the park.


POSTED: 12/15/14 at 8:52 am. FILED UNDER: News

Messiah 2014-soloists-chorus-orchestra2

A 60-member chorus, soloists and a 16-piece orchestra performed Handel’s Messiah on Sunday in the sanctuary of First United Methodist Church. A nice crowd was on the hand for the biennial event, which is sponsored by The Van Wert County Foundation (click here for more photos and information). (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

POSTED: 12/15/14 at 8:43 am. FILED UNDER: News