The Van Wert County Courthouse

Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014

Van Wert County officials meet at the hospital to discuss readiness for a possible Ebola outbreak. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

Van Wert County officials meet at the hospital to discuss readiness for a possible Ebola outbreak. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

Van Wert independent/submitted information

Although chances are slim that an Ebola outbreak would occur locally, a meeting held Monday ensured that plans are in place if an outbreak should occur.

Approximately 50 people, including health and disaster officials, first responders and medical personnel, attended Monday’s Van Wert County Disaster Task Force meeting to learn more about local plans to respond in the event that the Ebola virus should be found in Van Wert County.

Although there are currently no confirmed cases of Ebola in Ohio, local officials are taking this opportunity to ensure that the community is prepared to defend against this serious health threat, if necessary. A meeting attendee who works in 15 Ohio counties commended Van Wert County for taking a proactive approach to this situation. Like any other public health threat, if Ebola is eventually found in Van Wert County, the County Health Department would be the lead agency in the response.

“Van Wert County is well prepared”, said Van Wert County Emergency Management Director Rick McCoy. “We have been preparing for situations like this for many years in developing response plans and exercising our readiness.


POSTED: 10/21/14 at 7:08 am

City of Van Wert information

Van Wert City Council President Ken Mengerink announced this morning that Mayor Don Farmer is currently in Lima Memorial Hospital and will undergo open-heart surgery on Wednesday.

More updates will be published as they become available.

POSTED: 10/21/14 at 11:47 am. FILED UNDER: News

KELSEY CLEMONS/independent correspondent

CONVOY — The Crestview Local Board of Education met for approximately half an hour Monday for its October meeting and discussed upcoming state testing, as well as elementary student enrollment and transportation issues.

Crestview Elementary Principal Kathy Mollenkopf told the board that her school’s enrollment rate, as of Monday, is 440 new students for this year.

Crestview Elementary Principal Kathy Mollenkopf discusses testing and enrollment during Monday night's district board of education meeting. (Kelsey Clemons/Van Wert independent)

Crestview Elementary Principal Kathy Mollenkopf discusses testing and enrollment during Monday night’s district board of education meeting. (Kelsey Clemons/Van Wert independent)

She also told the board about state tests that will need to be taken, as well as plans for retaking exams for those students unable to pass the first time around. Results of state testing should be released prior to parent-teacher conferences, Mollenkopf said.

Mollenkopf, who is also district transportation director, led a discussion on mileage of the district bus fleet, and when a new bus might have to be purchased, and also spoke of the different types of future transportation available.

Also Monday, the board talked about the possibility of a date change for the high school production of Shrek The Musical because of the Crestview football team’s participation in state playoffs, noting that Friday’s performance may have to take place Sunday, if the Knights would continue to advance in the playoffs.

The board also accepted the resignation of custodian William Walls after 24½ years of service with the district.

In other action, the board also:

  • Approved the compensation schedule for the 2014-2015 Local Professional Development Committee (LPDC).
  • Approved concrete work by Just Right Concrete at the athletic complex.
  • Went into executive session to discuss personnel matters, with no action taken afterwards.

The next Crestview Board of Education Meeting will be held Monday, November 17, at 6 p.m. in the district boardroom.

POSTED: 10/21/14 at 7:01 am. FILED UNDER: News

Vantage Career Center information

The Vantage Career Center FFA chapter is again selling fresh fruit from the Florida Fruit Association of Vero Beach, Florida.

Fruit sales are underway now and end Friday, November 6. The Vantage FFA coordinates this school-wide fundraiser and students sell fruit through their career tech youth organizations. Money earned from the fundraiser is used by students who compete in regional, state and national competitions, as well as for community service projects, field trips and banquets.

Former Vantage Ag students prepare to unload some of the fruit they sold in this picture from the 2013 fruit sale. (Vantage photo)

Former Vantage Ag students prepare to unload some of the fruit they sold in this picture from the 2013 fruit sale. (Vantage photo)

It’s simple to order — contact a Vantage student or call 419.238.5411 or 800.686.3944, extension 2154.  Those calling may leave their order on voicemail, but should be sure to leave their name and phone number.

This year, the following fruit is available: Navel oranges, $27/full case, $17/half case; Hamlins, $22/full case, $12 half case; red grapefruit, $26/full case, $16/half case; tangelos, $26/full case, $16/half case.  Also available is a mixed fruit case (navels and grapefruit) for $24 and a Fresh Fruit Sampler case (apples, pears, red grapefruit, tangerines, and navel oranges) for $26.

New this year is 10 pounds of Ohio Red Delicious apples for $12.  Those ordering may also want to try skinless southern fried peanuts ($5 for a 17.5-ounce. can), mixed nuts ($7 for a 1-pound can), Brittle Bites ($5 for a 12-ounce can), or a three-piece gift pack of Brittle Bites, Honey Krunch, and skinless peanuts for $13.

Checks should be made payable to Vantage Career Center.  Fruit will be available for pick-up on approximately December 8.

For more information, contact Mike Miller at the above numbers or Ted Verhoff at 419.238.5411, extension 2161.

POSTED: 10/21/14 at 6:56 am. FILED UNDER: News

U.S. House of Representatives information

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Bob Latta (R-Ohio) and Representative Ron Kind (D-Wisconsin) hosted a bipartisan briefing Monday with the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on the winter fuels outlook and propane supply leading up to the winter heating season. Administrative officials also provided information on what they are doing to prepare for and respond to winter fuels issues.

“Since last winter, I have been working with my colleagues on a number of initiatives aimed at preventing another propane shortage,” said Latta. “Some of my constituents were forced from their homes at the height of winter and others are still feeling the economic impacts from the increased costs of propane. This year, I want to make sure we are better prepared and better informed. Access to affordable and reliable heat will be essential for all Americans during the upcoming winter months, and today’s briefing is another step to ensure we are well-equipped to handle any winter heating challenge.”

Last winter, a combination of weather conditions, high demand and infrastructure challenges led to a propane shortage in Northwest Ohio and throughout the Midwest. Reduced capacity and the resulting high prices of propane were especially harmful for homeowners, businesses and farmers. Latta led multiple emergency response efforts. He also sent a letter to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo last month expressing support for a pending propane storage facility that could help stabilize the regional markets. A copy of the letter can be found here.

Latta also introduced companion legislation to the Propane Supply and Security Act, a comprehensive policy proposal aimed at preventing future propane shortages.

POSTED: 10/21/14 at 6:52 am. FILED UNDER: News

Lincolnview Local Schools information

The Lincolnview Local School District will be conducting its annual Veterans Day celebration on Friday, November 7.

“We would like to honor the veterans of our Lincolnview student body and staff,” said Stephanie Renner, program coordinator. “We, at Lincolnview, are very proud of the men and women who are bravely serving, or have served our country. For this reason, we would like to honor them by announcing their name, branch, and family member(s) with whom they are attending in our high school gymnasium.”

Renner added that Lincolnview would also pay tribute to former military veterans who are no longer living by reading their names in a special memorial portion of the program.

The Veterans Day program begins at 1:30 p.m. in the high school gymnasium to help show the district’s appreciation to its veterans. A small reception will be held for veterans and their Lancer family member(s) after the program.

For more information, contact Renner by email at or phone 419.968.2214, extension 2217.

POSTED: 10/21/14 at 6:50 am. FILED UNDER: News, Youth

Apple Festival 2014-YWCA apple dumplings

The YWCA’s apple dumpling booth was a popular place during this year’s edition of the Van Wert Apple Festival. Great crowds were seen both days of the annual festival, even though good weather blessed only Friday, with rainy and cold conditions prevailing on Saturday (click here for more Apple Festival photos). (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

POSTED: 10/20/14 at 6:52 am. FILED UNDER: News

Ohio State Highway Patrol information

COLUMBUS — The Ohio State Highway Patrol will be participating in National School Bus Safety week, which runs October 20 through October 24. This year’s theme, “At My Stop, You Stop” reminds us that the most dangerous part of the school bus ride for children is when they get on and off the bus.

osplogoThroughout the week, troopers across the state of Ohio will be highly visible, enforcing the law in and around school zones and following school buses on their daily routes. In addition, troopers may be found riding on school buses looking for motorists passing the stopped school bus and other crash-causing violations.

“Although drivers of all vehicles are required to stop for a school bus when it is loading or unloading passengers, children should not rely on them to do so,” said Colonel Paul A. Pride, Patrol superintendent. “Children exiting the bus should always stop and look both ways before crossing the street and remain alert to any sudden traffic changes.”

Motorists approaching a stopped school bus from either direction should remember they are required to stop a least 10 feet back from buses displaying red flashing lights and an extended stop arm. From 2011 through 2013, 4,055 motorists were cited for failing to stop for a school bus when it was loading or unloading children.

For a complete statistical breakdown of school bus inspections, crashes and passing stopped school bus violations, visit

POSTED: 10/20/14 at 6:37 am. FILED UNDER: News

Signature Sound at NPAC 10-18-14

Signature Sound joined Broadway star Mark McVey for a salute to Broadway Saturday night at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center. A nice crowd was on hand to hear the quartet, plus one, perform a variety of Broadway hit songs. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

POSTED: 10/20/14 at 6:34 am. FILED UNDER: Arts & Entertainment, News

Ohio Attorney General’s information

COLUMBUS — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, State Senator Shannon Jones (R-Springboro) and State Representative Dorothy Pelanda (R-Marysville) unveiled legislation to establish a ward’s bill of rights for those Ohioans who are under the care of a guardianship as well as introduced a new, user-friendly Guardianship Guide prepared by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

Attorney General Mike DeWine

Attorney General Mike DeWine

“People placed in guardianships are especially vulnerable, and there is a great need for volunteers, family members, and attorneys to act on their behalf,” said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. “My office created this guide to reduce confusion surrounding guardianships, so that individuals are better equipped to serve as guardians or protect relatives under guardianship.”

Copies of the Guardianship Guide are being mailed to Probate Courts across the state as well as to advocacy groups like the Ohio Area Agencies on Aging and Disability Rights Ohio.

The Guide was prepared by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office with input from: Disability Rights Ohio; the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities; the Ohio Department of Aging; Representative Dorothy Pelanda; Trumbull County Probate Judge Thomas A. Swift, and Julia Nack of the Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging.

Representative Pelanda has introduced House Bill 624 that seeks to enact section 2111.01 of the Ohio Revised Code to provide a ward’s bill of rights and to require that a guardian receive the Ohio Guardianship Guide prepared by the Ohio Attorney General.  The rights of the ward are listed on pages 12-14 in the Guide.

Senator Jones has introduced a companion bill, Senate Bill 365.

“This legislation and the Guide are meant to encourage best-practices and to raise awareness of the unique issues presented in caring for our juvenile and our elderly wards,” said Representative Pelanda.


POSTED: 10/20/14 at 6:28 am. FILED UNDER: News

Double rainbow photo 10-19-14

Local photo enthusiast John Rager took a photo of this double rainbow at his residence in rural Van Wert County on Sunday.

POSTED: 10/20/14 at 6:26 am. FILED UNDER: News