The Van Wert County Courthouse

Monday, Oct. 22, 2018

Colleen Wiley

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

A former military police officer and local sheriff’s deputy wants to parlay her interest in the Veterans of Foreign Wars into a statewide office this coming year.

Colleen Wiley, a 20-year veteran sheriff’s deputy who spent 15 years as a military policeman, as well as a stint in Afghanistan as a corrections officer in 2003, is seeking the position of surgeon for the VFW’s Department of Ohio.

The position, which Wiley said was filled by an actual military surgeon when the VFW was first created 119 years ago but is now honorary, is the first step in a five-step process that would eventually make her the VFW’s state commander. The other steps are judge advocate, junior vice commander, senior vice commander, and commander.

Wiley, who served a term as commander of VFW Post 5803 in Van Wert from 2012-2016 and now is a member and chaplain of VFW Post 3035 in Delphos, said she has been involved in some activities at the state level already, including serving as state community activities chair and membership chair — and has served on national level committees —    but added that she would like to be more involved at the state level.

“I think I have input I can give to the veterans, and to the VFW,” she noted.

Wiley said the surgeon’s position basically deals with veterans’ health and safety issues, and, if elected, she would travel to Ohio’s VFW posts to talk about those issues, which have a greater and greater impact on veterans, many of whom have been deployed multiple times in combat zones in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other countries.

Of course one of the big health issues is suicide by military veterans, Wiley noted, adding that, at one time, 22 veterans a day were committing suicide across the U.S.


POSTED: 10/22/18 at 8:04 am

The Niswonger Performing Arts Center was a haven for jazz aficionados on Saturday as jazz saxophonist Boney James (above center) brought his band to the Niswonger for a concert that included lots of great jazz tunes. Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

POSTED: 10/22/18 at 7:51 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

While local gasoline prices have fallen a bit this week, the decrease is far less than the statewide average, putting local prices at least 13 cents per gallon higher than average prices around the state.

The low price in Van Wert was $2.71 per gallon at Murphy USA in the Towne Center shopping center. Four stations — the Pak-A-Sak Marathon stations on North Washington and South Shannon, the Lassus Handy Dandy station and One Stop Stations, both on North Washington were at $2.72 per gallon as of Monday morning.

The Shell station on South Washington street was another penny higher, at $2.73 per gallon, while the Marathon station next to the Brookside Convenience Store on West Main Street and the Short Stop Sunoco station on East Main Street were both at $2.79 cents a gallon.

Gasoline prices in Ohio fell 9.1 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.58 per gallon on Sunday, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 5,345 stations in Ohio. This compares with the national average, which has fallen 4.7 cents per gallon versus last week to $2.83 per gallon, according to GasBuddy.

Including the change locally during the past week, prices Sunday were 25.8 cents per gallon higher than a year ago and are 22.8 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has dropped 1.6 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 39.6 cents per gallon higher than a year ago.

“Much of the country continues to enjoy broad decreases in gas prices as oil prices drop to $69 per barrel. In fact, with the exception of the West Coast where an earlier natural gas pipeline shut down caused prices to up, nearly every state saw prices move lower,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “The Great Lakes has seen prices drop 30-50 cents per gallon at individual stations since the start of October, leading decliners. The fall relief that has been expected for weeks has finally arrived.

“Gasoline economics typically weaken shortly after summer, but we experienced somewhat of a delay due to concern over Iran sanctions and OPEC production, but seemingly the market has become more concerned with other factors, and thus far, the effect on motorists has been lower gas prices,” DeHaan added. “While Great Lakes states may see prices bounce of current lows in the week ahead, much of the rest of the country will likely see additional downward movement.”

POSTED: 10/22/18 at 7:47 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

Get a start on the holiday shopping and have a fun girls-day of fashion, free gifts, fabulous products, and some of the greatest vendors around. YMCA Ladies Day Out shopping event will be held from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, November 3, at the YMCA of Van Wert County, 241 W. Main St. in Van Wert. Admission is free and the first 50 guests will receive a complimentary goodie bag.

More than 20 vendors will be at the event, including Remember When Photography LLC, Crumbcoat LLC, Young Living, Color Street, Norwex, and more. Food trucks, chair massages, a DJ, photo shoots, and raffle prizes will also be part of the fun. With such a variety of vendors, local residents are sure to find something they will like.

For more information on the Ladies Day Out event, check out the YMCA Facebook page, go to or call the Y at 419.238.0443. Local women can invite all their girlfriends to join them for a fabulous afternoon out.

Information about this and other events at the Van Wert YMCA can be found by calling the above number, visiting, or The YMCA of Van Wert County is partially funded by the Van Wert County Foundation and United Way.

POSTED: 10/22/18 at 7:45 am. FILED UNDER: Lifestyles, News

VW independent/submitted information

Twig III will once again sponsor the Tree of Lights event at Van Wert Health.

The kick-off for this annual event will be at this year’s Apple Festival where the organization will have a booth where people may purchase a light or star in memory of a loved one, in honor of a friend or family member, or in support of Van Wert Health.

Lights may be purchased for $5 each and stars for $50 each. Local residents may also contact any Twig III member or visit the gift shop at the hospital for a form. The tree lighting ceremony will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, November 26, in the hospital lobby.

Funds raised from the Tree of Lights has surpassed $80,000 since its inception in 1994. The money raised helps to purchase the most up-to-date medical equipment available for the hospital.

POSTED: 10/22/18 at 7:43 am. FILED UNDER: News

Members of the Van Wert County Fruit Growers Association and Van Wert Area Chamber of Commerce board members, along with Van Wert Mayor Jerry Mazur, look on as Terry Hipsley cuts the ribbon to officially open the Van Wert Apple Festival on Friday morning. The festival continues today from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and features lots of good food, including just about anything apple people would want, as well as crafts, children’s games, entertainment, and much more. Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

POSTED: 10/20/18 at 8:30 am. FILED UNDER: News

Van Wert independent

A local man was injured Friday evening during the Apple Festival when the horse-drawn wagon he was driving was involved in an accident on the Van Wert County Fairgrounds.

According to reports, Larry Lloyd fell under a horse when the harness tree connecting the Percheron horse team to the wagon broke loose. The wagon later hit a pole, but none of the passengers were reportedly injured.

Lloyd was taken to Van Wert Health by the Van Wert Fire Department EMS squad for treatment of his injuries. According to a family member, Lloyd suffered four broken ribs and four cracked vertebrae in the accident.

POSTED: 10/20/18 at 8:25 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

COLUMBUS — National Teen Driver Safety Week is October 21-27, and Ohio Department of Insurance Director Jillian Froment and John Born, director of the Ohio Department of Public Safety (ODPS), which includes the Ohio State Highway Patrol, are encouraging Ohio parents not to hand over the keys until their teens know the rules of the road.

“Education and increased awareness can help protect teens from the severe dangers and consequences of distracted driving,” Froment said. “I urge parents to have conversations with their teen drivers to establish rules that will help keep them and those around them safe while on the road.”

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States — ahead of all other types of injury, disease, and violence. In Ohio, teen drivers were involved in 135,882 traffic crashes from 2015 to 2017. An action on the part of the teen driver contributed to 15 percent of these crashes. Crashes where teen drivers were at fault resulted in 285 fatalities and 41,917 injuries.


POSTED: 10/20/18 at 8:24 am. FILED UNDER: News

The Van Wert County Board of Developmental Disabilities honored Margaret Miller for her distinguished service. Miller recently retired after 23 years as coordinator of Van Wert County Special Olympics. Shown are (from the left) Board President Mariea Moreland, Margaret Miller, Jeannie Miller, and Superintendent Jim Stripe. photo provided

POSTED: 10/20/18 at 8:22 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

Van Wert Safety-Service Director Jay Fleming notes there will be two street closures in the coming week.

The first street, Wayne Street, between Lincoln Highway and Jackson Street, will be closed from 7:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday October 22, for installation of gas main lines.

The second street closure is for Central Avenue, between Washington and Jefferson streets, as well as the first row of parking spaces of the Central Avenue Parking Lot south of First United Methodist Church, will be closed and market in yellow from 8 a.m.-noon Saturday, October 27, for the downtown Trick or Treat event.

Since only the first row of parking spaces will be used by the church, there will still be plenty of parking remaining for people who want to shop in the downtown area.

POSTED: 10/20/18 at 8:16 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

The Van Wert Civil Service Commission will be meeting at noon Wednesday, October 31, to discuss the need for a promotional exam within the Van Wert Police Department.

The meeting will be held in the City Council Chambers Conference Room on the second floor of the Municipal Building, 515 E. Main St. in Van Wert.

POSTED: 10/20/18 at 8:16 am. FILED UNDER: News