The Van Wert County Courthouse

Wednesday, Jul. 30, 2014

Safety netting surrounds the wind-damaged Gospel Pavilion on the Van Wert County Fairgrounds. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

Safety netting surrounds the wind-damaged Gospel Pavilion on the Van Wert County Fairgrounds. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

VW County Fair Board information

The building upgrades, new rabbit barn, and changes in the band show aren’t the only things happening at the 2014 Van Wert County Fair. Last Thursday, members of the Van Wert County Fair Board discussed the fate of the fair’s gospel pavilion, which was severely damaged by high winds earlier this year.

After inspections by engineers from the jdi group inc., the structure was deemed unsafe for occupancy and a claim was turned into insurance. As a result of the inspection and repair estimates, the insurance carrier offered that the cost of repairing the existing structure could actually serve to build an entirely new pavilion.  Thus, Thursday evening, Fair Board members and the parties involved with funding and operating the pavilion discussed the possibilities. With a new convenience store and truck stop being constructed across the street, creating more noise to compete with performances in the pavilion, it seems like perfect timing to discuss the possibility of changing the location of the pavilion.


POSTED: 07/30/14 at 6:49 am

United Way/FamilyWize information

With the ongoing increase in efforts to effectively address mental health in communities across the country, United Way of Van Wert County and the FamilyWize Community Service Partnership have teamed together to provide a solution for the community.  Local residents have saved $9,620 on mental health prescription medications they might not have been able to afford otherwise, thanks to a partnership between the two organizations.

More than one in five U.S. adults suffers from mental health issues, while one in 10 young adults experience a period of significant depression, according to One in 20 Americans lives with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or major depression.

FamilyWize prescription card 12-2012FamilyWize, a unique national grassroots community initiative offering free prescription assistance to millions of Americans in partnership with United Way of Van Wert County, is dedicated to reducing the cost of prescription medicine for individuals and families through distribution of free prescription savings cards. The FamilyWize cards may be used by anyone in need and are provided free through United Way of Van Wert County.

FamilyWize and the United Way have helped nearly 7 million people nationwide save close to $700 million on the medicines they need to live healthy lives – including $197 million in mental health prescription cost savings. Almost 1,000 United Ways distribute the cards in the communities they serve.

“Prescription medicine is crucial for maintaining mental health, but the high costs often act as a barrier,” said Deb Russell of United Way of Van Wert County. “We’re living in tight economic times. People should not have to choose between taking their medication and paying for a meal. The FamilyWize prescription savings program can make the difference in whether or not a patient obtains the proper medicine and follows proper treatment.”

Many of the uninsured and underinsured individuals helped by this program may have had to skip their medications otherwise due to high costs, Russell said. Failure to take prescribed medicine is an ongoing problem with mental illness treatment.


POSTED: 07/30/14 at 6:23 am. FILED UNDER: News

Elmo Engineering gives to YWCA 7-2014

Elmco Engineering employees pose this week at the company’s facility on Grill Road. The company, which is a leading manufacturer of new and rebuilt powdered metal presses, recently donated $500 in funding for the YWCA’s summer food program. (Dave Mosier/independent)

POSTED: 07/30/14 at 6:20 am. FILED UNDER: News

Submitted information

AUBURN HILLS, Michigan — Continental Structural Plastics (CSP), a global leader in lightweight composite solutions, announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the composites operations of Magna Exteriors.  This acquisition, which will make CSP the world’s largest sheet molding composites (SMC) compounder and manufacturer, includes the assets of five Magna facilities located in North America.

“The acquisition of five additional manufacturing plants from Magna will allow our company to continue to grow our customer base and sales,” said Tom Harth, Van Wert plant manager for CSP who will become regional director of the compounding facilities in Van Wert and Grabill, Indiana, after the purchase. “The Van Wert plant is currently fully utilized and at manufacturing capacity.

CSP logo 7-2014“The CSP Van Wert plant is a unique facility that produces the highest volume of sheet molding composite in the world today,” Harth added.

In addition to the acquisition, Harth noted, Continental Structural Plastics has appropriated over $1.3 million in capital investment for new control equipment in the Van Wert facility, scheduled for installation in the last quarter of 2014.

“Our intent is to maintain Van Wert at a fully utilized level and add new sales and compounding manufacturing requirements to the Grabill facility as we continue to grow,” Harth explained.

“This (Magna) acquisition further demonstrates our commitment to become the global leader in light-weighting solutions,” said Frank Macher, chairman and CEO of CSP. “The incremental capacity and resources gained position us extremely well for on-going growth and the ability to pursue a number of new business opportunities.”

Under the terms of the agreement, CSP will acquire Magna Composites manufacturing facilities located in Lenoir, Newton, and Salisbury, North Carolina; and Saltillo, Mexico, and a compounding facility located in Grabill, Indiana. Collectively, these facilities employ more than 1,000 people and encompass 600,000 square-feet of manufacturing space.


POSTED: 07/30/14 at 6:17 am. FILED UNDER: Business, News

Greve donates to YMCA Camp Clay 7-2014

Greve Chrysler Jeep Dodge will be sponsoring a $1 day at Camp Clay Aqua Park this summer. Local businesses purchase the day for the Van Wert community, access includes swimming, floating playground, zip-line, paddleboats, and a half-acre beach. To learn more, visit Shown above are Greve Chrysler Jeep Dodge staff members Chuck Sperry, Brian Greve, Mike Butler, and Courtney Marquart, along with Camp Clay Aqua Park Director Clint Myers. (YMCA photo)

POSTED: 07/30/14 at 6:09 am. FILED UNDER: News

Convoy Community Days information

CONVOY — The 2014 Convoy Community Days Craft & Vendor show will be held downtown Convoy on Saturday, September 27.

Event organizers invite merchandise vendors, local churches and local entrepreneurs to participate in the event; spaces are limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.  The same type merchandise booths will be limited.

Set-up is September 27, from 8-9 a.m., and the vendor show will be from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Spaces are 10-by-10 foot and the cost is $5. Sellers will be responsible for their own tables, chairs, and canopy, if they choose to use one.

If there is inclement weather there will be space available inside for vendors. Contact Jason Dettrow at Secret Garden Flowers & Gifts for more information at 419.749.4181.

A great time is planned for all, with activities downtown to include kids’ games and activities, Mark’s Ark Animal Show, kiddy tractor pull, parade, clowns, “Convoy’s Got Talent”, Dead Sprint, and a downtown movie.

POSTED: 07/30/14 at 6:06 am. FILED UNDER: News



Submitted information

The Lighting of the Children’s Garden Committee would like to invite area residents to the second benefit concert at the Children’s Garden in Smiley Park this Saturday, August 2, to listen to SaMaX, a brother-sister duo from Lima. Bring lawn chairs and a cold pop and enjoy the music. There will be free popcorn for the evening!

Donation will be $10 at the entrance gate. The show is being sponsored by Center Stage Productions and will begin at 8:30 p.m. All proceeds will go to this year’s lighting of the children’s garden.

POSTED: 07/30/14 at 6:04 am. FILED UNDER: News

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

Van Wert City Council heard an update on county economical development activities from Economic Director Sarah Smith during its meeting Monday night that sparked yet more discussion on the disconnect between the city and county ED programs.

Van Wert County Economic Development Director Sarah Smith talks to City Council on Monday night. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

Van Wert County Economic Development Director Sarah Smith talks to City Council on Monday night. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

Smith talked about the many funding opportunities from state and federal grant and other funding programs, including a $10 billion federal project Smith said could be beneficial to the county.

“I think this is going to be a big deal for Van Wert,” she told Council. “I see it come down the pipeline and I think it’s something that we’re going to be looking into; we’re going to be trying to win some money to leverage some projects.”

Smith told City Council members that the county has currently received $75,000 in grant funding this year ($50,000 in local government funding and $25,000 for a gateway landscaping project). Another $75,000 in formula grant funding is guaranteed, with a decision due for $1.4 million in critical infrastructure and downtown revitalization grant funding September 1. Another $800,000 in possible through the Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP) grant program.

In addition, another $1 million grant opportunity is coming later this fall, Smith noted, through the Ohio Public Works Commission’s Small Government grant program.

She also stressed the importance to the county of funding opportunities through the CDBG and Ohio Public Works grant programs, in addition to finding new sources of grant funding to leverage future projects.

Smith told Council that Van Wert County has gotten more money through the Community Development Block Grant program than any other county in Ohio, noting that six county villages have been awarded a total of $2.1 million in CDBG funding since 2002.

She attributed that success to the efforts of grant writer Ron Puthoff, a former Fanning/Howey staff member, now retired, that Smith called a “grant-writing genius.”


POSTED: 07/29/14 at 8:37 am. FILED UNDER: News

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

Van Wert City Council approved an ambitious $700,000 street-paving program that will include portions of 14 city streets during its meeting Monday.

Safety-Service Jay Fleming brought a list of street-paving projects to a meeting of City Council’s Streets & Alleys Committee conducted prior to Monday’s regular Council meeting.

Van Wert Safety-Service Director Jay Fleming talks about planned city street paving projects. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

Van Wert Safety-Service Director Jay Fleming talks about planned city street paving projects. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

Streets to be paved include the following: Franklin Street, from Sycamore to Vantage Career Center; Central Avenue, from Wayne to Jefferson streets; South Avenue, from Washington to Shannon streets; Leeson Avenue, from Fulton to the railroad tracks; George Street, from Lincoln and Shannon streets; Westwood Drive, from Shannon Street to Fox Road; Race Street, from Frothingham to Crawford streets; Spencer Drive, west of Walnut Street; Walnut Street, from Ervin Road to Main Street; Fisher Drive, from Neel Avenue to Shaffer Street; Jennings Road, from the corporation limit to the curve at Wayne Street; Tyler Street, from Sycamore Street to Central Avenue; Garden Drive; and Raymond Street, from Washington to Market streets.

Fleming said Westwood Drive was added because of drainage problems there, noting that work will be done to add a “crown” to the street to allow for better drainage.

The safety-service director added that the work would all start — and hopefully be completed — in September. Plans are to grind down the surface of the streets and then repave.

Council adopted enabling legislation on first and final reading to allow bidding on the projects to proceed. Engineering estimate from Choice One Engineering for the entire project is $733,261, which Fleming said includes a 10 percent “cushion” using cost figures the consulting firm obtained from projects it designed and bid out earlier this summer.

City Council also approved legislation authorizing Fleming to enter into a contract to purchase rock salt for city streets this winter. The safety-service director said salt costs would likely double from the last time salt was purchased, largely because of last winter’s salt usage and the fact the city still “owes” the Ohio Department of Transportation for 100 tons of salt it provided to the city near the end of the winter.


POSTED: 07/29/14 at 8:34 am. FILED UNDER: News

Gasoline price information

Average retail gasoline prices in Ohio have fallen 11.2 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.37 per gallon on Sunday, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 5,345 gas outlets in Ohio. This compares with the national average that has fallen 4.9 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.51 a gallon, according to gasoline price website

Including the change in gas prices in Ohio during the past week, prices yesterday were 6.4 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and are 27.3 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 16.5 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 11.7 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago.

Gasoline price graphic 8-2012“The national average as of today has been on decline for a month straight,” said Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan. “The drop in gas prices during the middle of the summer certainly has been welcome relief to families and individuals alike who are hitting the road during the peak of the summer driving season.”

The national average now stands at its lowest point since March of this year, and will likely drop under $3.50 a gallon by mid-week.

“No states in the lower 48 feature average prices over $4 per gallon, and just 4.1 percent of all stations GasBuddy tracks stand over that level, which is a drop from 8.7 percent a month ago,” DeHaan said. “In addition, a month ago, nearly 75 percent of gas stations were charging over $3.50 a gallon, while today we see just 38.2 percent of all stations over that level — an impressive decline in price that GasBuddy alerted motorists to weeks ago.”

About GasBuddy

GasBuddy operates and over 250 similar websites that track gasoline prices at over 140,000 gasoline stations in the United States and Canada. In addition, GasBuddy offers a free smartphone app that has been downloaded over 25 million times to help motorists find the lowest gasoline prices in their area.

POSTED: 07/29/14 at 8:30 am. FILED UNDER: News

CURTIS E. YOUNG/OSU Extension educator

Homeowners may be frustrated with the appearance of their lawns at this time of the year.  Many lawns are pale green in color instead of the deep rich green color that it was in the spring.  Why have lawns faded in their appearance?  There are a multitude of reasons why lawns fade as the summer progresses.  The following is a list of factors that alone or in combination can lead to lawns with poor color.

Factors that lead to dull or light colored grass in mid-summer:

Mowing the turfgrass too short — The green color of turfgrass comes primarily from the blades of the turfgrass.  The shorter that one cuts the turfgrass, the less of blade surface that remain to display the green color.  What remains after being mowed short is mainly grass stems with limited color display.  Additionally, grass stems without grass blades may die and turn brown in color.  Turfgrass also produces seed in the spring.  After seeds are produced or seed heads are cut off, the seed stems will die as well.  The dead stems mixed in the lawn will dull the overall color of the lawn and will remain through much of the summer.  OSU Extension turfgrass specialists recommend that turfgrass should not be mowed shorter than 2-2½ inches and is better cut to 3 inches.

OSU Extension logo 4-2009Mowing frequency — At each mowing, it is recommended not to clip off more than a third of the total height of the grass to limit the amount and size of clippings thrown back on the lawn.  To accomplish this, lawns may need to be mowed more than once a week.  Clipping off more than a third of the grass height may produce clumps and piles of clippings. Conditions under these piles of clippings are ideal for turfgrass disease development.

Poor mower maintenance – Mower blades become dull through the growing season for many reasons such as regular use, cutting sticks and other debris, and scalping the ground when cutting too short.  Dull blades tend to rip instead of cut the grass blades.  Ripped blades have ragged edges that desiccate and turn brown again dulling the color of the lawn.

Low nitrogen fertility — Turfgrass requires nitrogen fertilizer throughout the growing season.  The fertilizer should be meted out over that growing season with applications of a half-pound to 1 pound actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet typically applied in the spring, late summer and fall.  It is recommended to be composed of both quick and slow release nitrogen sources.  Additionally, supplemental iron may help to green a lawn if nitrogen alone is not greening the turfgrass.

Insect and mite damage — There are a number of insects and mites that can damage turfgrass.  Lately, mites have been increasing in population.  Mite feeding injury appears as a white speckling on the grass blade.

Turfgrass species — Cool season turfgrass species grow best in the spring and fall of the year and go dormant during the heat of the summer.  Kentucky bluegrass is one of those species that goes dormant during the heat of the summer if it is not irrigated on a consistent and regular basis.  Once the Kentucky bluegrass goes dormant, then more heat tolerant species take over such as fine fescues with thinner blades and lighter color than the bluegrass.


POSTED: 07/29/14 at 8:29 am. FILED UNDER: News