topamax recall

The Van Wert County Courthouse

Sunday, Jul. 24, 2016

The owners of this dilapidated and unsafe former service station at 840 W. Main St. are being taken to court to clean up the property. (photo submitted)

The owners of this dilapidated and unsafe former service station at 840 W. Main St. are being taken to court to clean up the property. (photo submitted)

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

After years of frustration, Van Wert city officials, led by Van Wert Mayor Jerry Mazur, are putting legal pressure on owners to clean up neglected properties.

The mayor, along with City Engineering Supervisor Bill Lawson, City Law Director John Hatcher, and Van Wert City Council’s Health-Safety-Service Committee, led by First Ward Councilman John Marshall, have increased efforts to enforce city ordinances related to junk vehicles, dilapidated buildings, and overgrown weeds.

The mayor has said it is imperative to local economic development efforts, as well as the health and safety of local residents, to clean up substandard properties in the city. Some of the problems come from dealing with out-of-town owners of a number of city properties.

“Many of these people just don’t care, because they don’t live here and don’t have to see what the properties look like,” Mayor Mazur said.

In addition to reviewing current city legislation dealing with neglected properties, city officials are working harder to bring out-of-town building owners to justice.


POSTED: 07/23/16 at 7:46 am

Chris Higbee concert in park 7-22-16

Country Fiddler Chris Higbee (above) heated up an already sweltering Fountain Park on Friday as he showed off his fiddling chops, and also sang and played guitar, during a concert that was part of the Summer Music Series sponsored by The Van Wert County Foundation. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

POSTED: 07/23/16 at 7:35 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

Listening to radio stations on smart phones, mobile devices, and computers is hitting new highs for local stations WKSD Classic Hits 99.7 and Unforgettable 1220 WERT-AM.

First Family Broadcasting President Chris Roberts announced that the stations, both owned by First Family, recently surpassed the 1-million performance level since January of this year.

“We’re very pleased that our station streams are so popular, especially among local listeners all over northwest Ohio and northeast Indiana,” Roberts said. “For small town stations to hit numbers like these certainly underscores our belief in the formats of Classic Hits and Adult Standards.”

WERT Radio logo 7-2016WKSD Radio logo 7-2016Although the station’s music formats are not targeted toward younger listeners, many in those age groups find themselves turning to smart phones instead of the traditional over-the-air methods to get streaming music.

In addition to the music, one of the attractions available on local radio is high school sports’ play-by-play.

“Listeners can follow our local sports teams anywhere in the world when listening online,” Roberts added. “We’ve heard from military personnel, college students, and many others — some in very remote places — listening to football and basketball teams on WERT and WKSD.”

Additionally, since streaming radio arrives over the Internet or through cellular data, it can be received inside buildings that lower frequency broadcast radio waves have difficulty entering.

Apps for iPhone and Android based phones are available free of charge in the Apple and Google Play stores. Look for “WKSD Radio” and “WERT Radio.”

Listeners who would like to be able to hear the stations on their computer can simply click on the radio station logos at the top of The Van Wert independent ( or by visiting or

POSTED: 07/23/16 at 7:28 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

WREN — Wrenway Park Wiffleball Warehouse Tournament organizers announce wiffleball sign-up will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, August 1, at the Wren Restaurant.

The first 15 teams who submit the $100 entry fee will get the chance to be the silver anniversary wiffleball champions.

Who knows when the line will form? Will defending champions, MKS, with their automatic entry, defend their title and make it five in a row?

Join the Wiffleball tourney’s anniversary celebration — part of Wren Homecoming, scheduled for Thursday to Saturday, August 18-20, in downtown Wren.

As part of the Wren Homecoming festival — the village is celebrating its 25th annual Wrenway Park Wiffleball tournament August 19-20 — there will be a junior tournament as well.

There is an $80 entry fee for each 10-player roster. Games will be played (six players at a time) at the Wren ballpark Wednesday and Thursday, August 17-18. The championship game will be played at the Wiffleball Warehouse at 5 p.m. Saturday, August 20.

Those ages 15 and under are welcome to play, while the entry deadline is Wednesday, August 10.

For more information, call Moe Davis at 419.495.2584.

POSTED: 07/23/16 at 7:23 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

There will be a Van Wert City Planning Commission meeting at 4 p.m. Thursday, August 11, in City Council Chambers for a change in zoning in the 900 block of South Shannon Street and a change in zoning for the southwest corner of Washington Street and Ervin Road.

POSTED: 07/23/16 at 7:21 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

WAUSEON — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, Fulton County Sheriff Roy Miller, and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Stephen Anthony are asking for assistance from the public for tips regarding the disappearance of a Metamora woman.

Sierah Joughin, 20, was last seen Tuesday evening riding her bicycle near Evergreen High School and her bike was later found on County Road 6.

Sierah Joughin

Sierah Joughin

James Worley, 57, was arrested Friday on a charge of abduction in connection with her disappearance, but Sierah has not yet been found.

In addition to any information regarding Sierah’s disappearance, authorities are specifically interested in speaking with anyone who may have seen a motorcyclist wearing a black open-faced, no-shield helmet (not a skull cap) riding on County Road 6 near County Road T and/or County Road S between 6:30 and 8 p.m. on Tuesday, July 19.

Anyone with information should contact the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office at 419.335.4010, extension 8, or the Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) at 855.224.6446.

There is currently a reward of up to $100,000 being offered by an anonymous donor(s) for information leading to Sierah’s whereabouts.

The investigation is being conducted by the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, along with BCI and the FBI. Several other state and local authorities have also assisted in the case.

Attorney General DeWine has also authorized that evidence submitted to the BCI crime laboratory for testing in connection with this case to be given priority.

POSTED: 07/22/16 at 10:25 pm. FILED UNDER: News

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

It’s gonna be a really hot weekend, and local residents need to be prepared to keep safe from the problems caused by excessive heat.

Heat Wave artwork 7-2016The National Weather Service and Van Wert County Emergency Management Director Rick McCoy have both issued warnings that temperatures this weekend, expected to be in the 90s, with heat index numbers in the 100-degree area, could cause a number of health problems for local residents.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency has also issued a number of tips on how local residents can stay safe when temperatures are excessively high.

“A combination of high temperatures and high humidity can create a dangerous situation for you and your family,” said FEMA Region V Administrator Andrew Velasquez III. “Learn and put into practice the steps you should follow during periods of extreme heat. Remember to check in on family, friends, and neighbors — especially those who are elderly, disabled, or have functional needs to ensure they are safe.”


POSTED: 07/22/16 at 8:39 am. FILED UNDER: News

Charloe house fire 7-21-16

The Van Wert Red Cross Disaster Team was busy earlier this week helping with a search in Fulton County and a house fire in a Paulding County community. The Disaster Team was first called to Fulton County to provide a canteen for agencies that included the FBI, CSI, Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, many fire departments and hundreds of volunteers who showed up to try to help find the missing 20-year-old girl. The Fulton County Red Cross had been on the site since the search began, while Van Wert was called in to help at 9 that evening and worked overnight helping out. On Thursday, 6 p.m., the Disaster Team was called out to Charloe in Paulding County for a house fire (above) caused by lightning. The fire left three adults without a home, while the house was a total loss. (Red Cross photo)

POSTED: 07/22/16 at 8:31 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

The Harvest the Wind group, which supports wind farms in northwest Ohio, met Thursday evening to hear updates on state legislation related to alternative energy, as well as an update on the Van Wert Area Economic Development Corporation.

Craig Sundstrom, government and energy affairs manager for Apex Clean Energy, speaks to a meeting of pro-wind group Harvest the Wind. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

Craig Sundstrom, government and energy affairs manager for Apex Clean Energy, speaks to a meeting of pro-wind group Harvest the Wind. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

Craig Sundstrom, government and regulatory affairs manager for Apex Clean Energy, provided an update on Substitute House Bill 190, legislation sponsored by State Representative Tony Burkley that would rescind setback rules for wind turbines that have stifled wind farm development.

First stating that he is the “eyes and ears in Columbus” for Apex and those interested in wind energy, Sundstrom noted that the bill remains in committee, but added that feels some action will be taken on the measure when the Ohio General Assembly returns in September from its summer recess.

He noted that action on the bill could be driven by one of two things:

A freeze of the state standard to provide 12.5 percent of the state’s energy in renewable energy by 2025 ends December 31, while Ohio Governor John Kasich has said publicly he feels an indefinite freeze of the standard is not acceptable.

“So we think that’s his signal for saying he’d like to see some standard put in place,” Sundstrom said.

He also noted that several people testified on behalf of the measure, including representatives of, local Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Susan Munroe, and local school representatives.


POSTED: 07/22/16 at 8:27 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

The Van Wert County Sheriff’s Office will be accepting applications for a part-time intermittent corrections officer and a part-time intermittent communications officer. Applications will be accepted through 3 p.m. Monday, August 1.

Those interested in applying can pick up an application at the Van Wert County Sheriff’s Office, 113 N. Market St. in Van Wert, or print an application off the Sheriff’s Office website at

VW County Sheriff's Star 9-2014Those applying need to include a letter of interest and a résumé when submitting their application. Applications can be dropped off at the Sheriff’s Office at any time during the acceptance period above, emailed to the Sheriff’s Office by using the link at the bottom of the Sheriff’s Office home page, or mailed to the Sheriff’s Office using the above address.

Applicants must:

  • Be U.S. citizens
  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Be Van Wert County residents or be able to report to work in 30 minutes
  • Possess a valid Ohio driver’s license
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Be of good moral character
  • Never have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude and not currently under indictment for any criminal offense.
  • Never have been convicted of any family violence offense
  • Obtain certifications required to perform duties of position to maintain employment
  • Be able to pass pre-employment background investigation, which may include a polygraph examination
  • Be able to pass a drug screen

The starting wage is $13.50 per hour for a corrections officer and $14.57 per hour for a communications officer. Successful candidates for each position must complete a nine-month probationary period commencing from the date of hire.

POSTED: 07/22/16 at 8:22 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

The Country Fiddler Chris Higby concert planned for tonight in Fountain Park will be held there after all.

According to Paul Hoverman, performing arts coordinator for The Van Wert County Foundation, which sponsors the Fountain Park Summer Music Series, a forecast for cooler temperatures tonight than originally predicted was the main reason the concert is staying in the park.

Start time for the concert is 7 p.m., with food service beginning at 5:30 this evening at the Van Wert Rotary Concession Stand.

POSTED: 07/22/16 at 8:20 am. FILED UNDER: News