The Van Wert County Courthouse

Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018

Former Van Wert County commissioner Harold Merkle (left), who also served in the military, is introduced by a Crestview student during that school’s Veterans Day program on Monday. photos by Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

Van Wert County military veterans were honored at a number of Veterans Day assemblies conducted at local schools.

Veteran Libby Gardner talks about her experiences as a woman in the military during VWHS’s Veterans Day program.

In addition to last Friday’s Veterans Day assembly at Lincolnview Local Schools, Van Wert City Schools and Crestview Local Schools had their own assemblies on the observed Veterans Day holiday on Monday.

Van Wert High School held its program Monday morning in the Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio.

Following a spectacular rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” by student Michaella Johnson, Ray Kiehl, chaplain of American Legion Post 178, gave a brief message on the importance of Veterans Day.

“On this day, Veterans Day, we are honoring the services of veterans of all wars,” Kiehl said. “We remember how men and women set aside their civilian pursuits to serve their nation’s cause defending the freedom or men and preserving American heritage.”


POSTED: 11/13/18 at 9:10 am

VW independent/submitted information

COLUMBUS — A group of farmers in Paulding County have filed suit against the state of Ohio, alleging that the Ohio General Assembly violated the state constitution when it passed a dramatic increase in wind setback mandates.

In a case joined by the wind industry, the farmers assert that the legislature passed the amendment in House Bill 483 in 2014 in a totally unrelated piece of legislation, which is in violation of the “single subject” rule. The legislature adopted the surprise mandate just before the bill’s passage, without any opportunity for input from affected landowners. Plaintiffs are requesting that the court strike down the provision due to this egregious constitutional violation.

A group of Paulding County farmers have filed suit to have legislation moving wind turbine setbacks back declared unconstitutional. VW independent file photo

“We strongly support this action,” said Paulding County Commissioner Tony Zartman. “In fact, our concern over this unconstitutional maneuver is so great that we are currently considering joining the case ourselves. We believe filing this lawsuit is in the best interest of our community and our future economic growth.”

“It’s incredibly unfortunate that the last four years of potential economic development in our community have been thwarted by an unconstitutional provision that was snuck into an unrelated piece of legislation,” said Paulding County Commissioner Roy Klopfenstein. “Had we had a chance to comment on the amendment, perhaps the outcome would have been different. Fortunately, the court has an opportunity to right this wrong and open our community to these jobs and economic prosperity.”

The single subject rule in the Ohio Constitution states that “no bill shall contain more than one subject, which shall be clearly expressed in its title.” The purpose of this rule is to prevent the legislature from engaging in “logrolling” — the practice of combining unrelated proposals to appeal to legislators that may support the entire proposal in order to secure some part of it.

On March 20, 2014, the state legislature passed HB 483, which dealt with taxes and spending for social programs, but became littered with unrelated provisions at the 11th hour. The wind setback provision appeared in the bill for the first time during the 12th and final committee hearing. There was no opportunity for public testimony and the legislature failed to consult with affected farmers or the wind industry to assess its impact. Since its passage, this provision has created a functional moratorium on new wind development statewide.


POSTED: 11/13/18 at 3:05 pm. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

During the decade of the Seventies, Cincinnati’s “Big Red Machine” was the talk of baseball. Sparked by the likes of Rose, Morgan, Bench, and Perez, the Reds would strike World Series gold with back-to-back titles in 1975 and 1976. Yet these teams were made up of more than just the “Great Eight” starters. They included many lesser-known names that time has forgotten.

Queen City Dynastytells the stories of allthe coaches and players who comprised perhaps the greatest team in the history of the game. Filled with facts, statistics, and trivia galore, this book is the perfect Christmas gift and a must for any Reds fan.

Join author Mark Figley on Saturday, November 17, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the Reading Room of Brumback Library, 215 W. Main St. in Van Wert. Books will be available for purchase for $15.

POSTED: 11/13/18 at 8:57 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

Van Wert High School Theatre members are preparing for their upcoming production of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott and adapted by Scott Davidson. The classic, written in 1868, shares what family, love, life, and tradition mean. As audience members journey with the March family through milestones, they continue to learn lessons that ring as true today as they did 140 years ago.

March family members and friends gather around matriarch Josephine March (Michaella Johnson) during a rehearsal of Little Women by the VWHS Theatre Department. photo provided

The cast and crew for the production include the following students: Aeris Blakeley as Meg March, Michaella Johnson as Josephine March, Anna Wasson as Amy March, Nicole Palazzolo as Beth March, Cassie Welker as Marmee, and Josh Reichert as Mr. March.

Other family members include Alli Morrow as Aunt March, Storm Matthews as Hannah the maid, Dane Chiles as John Brooke, and Devon West as Theodore Lawrence. Friends of the Marches include Hannah Kraner as Mrs. Gardener, Shayenne Bojanowski as Sallie Gardener, Grace Doctor as Belle Moffat, and Sydney Maller as Annie Moffat.

The stage crew consists of stage manager Erienne Cassidy, assistant stage manager Clayton Doctor, Zach Lape, Elise Klausing, Isabella Smith, Anna Cassidy, Brendan Browning, Sophie Rutkowski, Jaryn Pierce, Allison Hauter, Cal Wolfrum, Gracie Price, Aubree Baer, Tiana Groves, Max Laney, and Devoney Sidle.


POSTED: 11/12/18 at 8:38 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

Gasoline prices in Van Wert show a 28-cent gap between the highest and lowest prices, according to online website GasBuddy.

The Murphy USA station had the lowest price at $2.51 a gallon — 10 cents lower than a week ago, but still a dime higher than the state average of $2.41 a gallon.

Other city service station prices are as follows: One Stop Shop in the 200 block of North Washington and the Shell station on South Washington Street were 4 cents higher than Murphy at $2.55 a gallon, while the Pak-A-Sak Marathon station on South Shannon Street and the Lassus Handy Dandy station in the 800 block of North Washington were both at $2.57 a gallon. At $2.59 a gallon was the Pak-A-Sak Marathon station on North Washington, while the Marathon Station adjacent to the Brookside Convenience Store on West Main Street was at $2.60 a gallon. The highest price was the Sunoco station on East Main Street, which remained at $2.79, a price that has stayed the same for several weeks.

Statewide, gasoline prices have fallen 9.7 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.41 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 5.9 cents per gallon versus last week to $2.67 per gallon, according to GasBuddy.

Including the change locally during the past week, prices Sunday were 12 cents per gallon lower than a year ago and are 30.7 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has dropped 22.1 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 12.2 cents per gallon higher than a year ago.


POSTED: 11/12/18 at 8:30 am. FILED UNDER: News

Synergy Learning Center recently celebrated Veteran’s Day by holding a ceremony to honor all veterans past and present. Dan Kline’s history class organized and presented the assembly. Shown are (front row, from the left) Noah Kline, veterans Jeff Banks, Marvin Miller, and Bill Short, and Dan Kline; (back row) Ciarra Owens, Kayley Densel, and America Short. Synergy photo

POSTED: 11/12/18 at 8:28 am. FILED UNDER: News

Submitted information

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green) released the following statement on Veterans Day:

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. photo provided

“On this Veterans Day, we honor the men and women that have put on the uniform and served our country. Our nation enjoys the freedoms it does because of those willing to answer the call, and we are forever grateful for their service and sacrifice. The history of our country is not the same without these brave Americans who were willing to fight for the values and ideals that the United States stands for.

“This year’s Veterans Day is especially notable as it comes 100 years after the cessation of hostilities on the western front in World War I — what came to be celebrated as Armistice Day. We remember the Americans that served in the ‘Great War’ and the tens of thousands that gave their lives.

“I’d like to thank the 20 million living veterans for their service and contributions to keeping our country free. I’ll continue to work to ensure that the promises made to our nation’s veterans are kept.”

POSTED: 11/12/18 at 8:27 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

The Van Wert County Board of Health will meet at 5:30 p.m. Monday, November 19, in the health department’s conference room, 1179 Westwood Drive, Suite 300, in Van Wert.

POSTED: 11/12/18 at 8:20 am. FILED UNDER: News

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

Lincolnview Local Schools held its annual Veterans Day program on Friday, with nearly 100 veterans from the various military services — Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines — as well as National Guard and Reserve soldiers, honored with certificates and a program that featured students of all ages.

A military veteran receives a certificate honoring his service from Lincolnview teacher Rachel Rohrs. photos by Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

Following a presentation of the colors by local veterans groups, Lincolnview third- and fourth-graders under the direction of Jennifer Slusher sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” and first- and second-graders, also under Slusher’s direction, sang “God Bless America”.

Stephanie Renner, the teacher who created the program several years ago, in part because of her wish to honor her own relatives who were veterans, welcomed veterans and the Lincolnview students who had invited them to the program.

“The program does have special meaning for me as well, because I come from a military background,” Renner told those who attended the assembly. “And for that, I am very proud; by reading the names of my grandfathers and loved ones each year during the memorial portion of the program, it allows me to keep their memories alive.”


POSTED: 11/10/18 at 9:28 am. FILED UNDER: News

Award-winning singer Amy Grant brought her warmth and virtuosity to the stage of the Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio on Friday, performing a number of her pop and Christian hits with a backup band and singers in front of an appreciative audience.Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

POSTED: 11/10/18 at 9:19 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

Westwood Behavioral Health Center in Van Wert will be having sessions of its Community Learning Series the second and fourth Mondays of each month, from 6-7:30 p.m.

The next session will be held Monday, November 12, with Shane and Jennifer Manson from Families of Addicts (FOA) to present information about the program. The sessions are free and open to the public and will be held at Westwood Behavioral Health Center, 1158 Westwood Drive in Van Wert.

Transportation is now available free of charge upon request. Contact Westwood at 419.238.3434 to schedule transportation before 5 p.m. the day of the presentation.

Following the presentation, there will be a time set aside for answering questions. Plan to attend to better understand addiction and what can be done to battle this ongoing epidemic.

POSTED: 11/10/18 at 9:13 am. FILED UNDER: News