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The Van Wert County Courthouse

Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017


Fans cheer on their favorite teams during the annual Wren Homecoming Wiffleball Tournament in that southwest Van Wert County village. The Eager Beavers won the Wiffleball tourney for the second year in a row, while Madalyn Ward was crowned 2017 Wren Homecoming queen. Scott Truxell/Van Wert independent

POSTED: 08/21/17 at 7:07 am

VW independent/submitted information

On Tuesday, September 5, the Junior Fair will be hosting the Junior Fair Livestock Sale. The sale will begin at 9 a.m. in the Farm Focus Arena on the south end of the fairgrounds near the livestock barns.

The order of the 2017 Livestock Sale is the gallon of milk, poultry, turkeys, steers, dairy feeder calves, rabbits, sheep, goats, and swine.

Jordan Miller (behind animal) is shown with his grand champion performance steer during the 2015 Junior Fair Livestock Auction. VW independent  file photo

Raising a market animal for an FFA or 4-H project is a valuable learning opportunity for members of these programs. Through these youth programs, sound business principals and new agricultural practices are introduced. Local youths are taught responsibility and gain knowledge, life skills, and good attitudes through the production of their livestock.

When businesses, organizations, or individuals purchase an animal at the Junior Fair Livestock Auction, they are buying responsibly raised livestock by Van Wert County 4-H and FFA members. Through their purchase, they support these youth programs, as well as gain the choicest, top quality meat at a reasonable price. The Junior Fair Livestock Auction also gives young people a chance to show a profit for their hard work.

Potential buyers are required to have a bid number on the day of sale, which they will pick up the day of the sale. The highest bidder will be announced in the sale ring. Most buyers consign the animals back to the sale committee, unless they have made arrangements to have the animal processed. They do not have to handle or be responsible for the animal in any way when the animal is consigned back to the sale committee. Their only responsibility is to pay the difference immediately afterwards at the office.

If interested in becoming a new livestock sale buyer, contact the Van Wert County Extension office at 419.238.1214 or email Livestock Sale Committee member Deb Knapke at knapke.45@osu.edu.

POSTED: 08/21/17 at 7:06 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

In coordination with the national announcement of Michael W. Smith’s new tour with 2015’s “The Voice” winner Jordan Smith, tickets for Michael W. Smith’s Christmas concert with the Lima Symphony Orchestra at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio are now on sale.

Jordan Smith

Michael W. Smith

Michael W. Smith, with Jordan Smith and the Lima Symphony Orchestra, who is coming to The Niswonger at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, December 14, is presented by Strategence Capital.

This special holiday concert will feature Christmas favorites and more. For many people, Michael W. Smith’s Christmas music has long provided the soundtrack for the holiday season. During his storied career the music icon has always had a special relationship with Christmas and his four holiday collections — 1989’s Michael W. Smith Christmas, 1998’s Christmastime, 2007’s It’s a Wonderful Christmas, and 2014’s The Spirit of Christmas — are among the best-selling and most-beloved projects in his extensive repertoire.

The Christian and pop music icon has sold more than 15 million albums over his illustrious career, scoring 28 No. 1 hits, earning three Grammys and more than 40 Dove awards.

Michael W. Smith draws hundreds of thousands to his concerts each year and his Christmas tours have become some of the most anticipated holiday events of the season. With a vast collection of critically-acclaimed holiday albums, the 2017 Christmas tour will showcase selections from an extensive Christmas repertoire.

Together with extraordinary tenor Jordan Smith and the symphonic sounds of the LSO, the house will be ringing with Christmas meaning.

Along with Strategence Capital, supporting sponsorships for Michael W. Smith include The Kenn-Feld Group, Rod and Leann Stoller and family, the Tom Ahl Family of Dealerships, and Computer & Networking Technologies.

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POSTED: 08/21/17 at 7:00 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

LIMA — The Ohio Department of Transportation’s District 1 has provided a list of ongoing highway projects this week in Van Wert, Paulding, and Putnam counties.

Van Wert County

Ohio 697 throughout Van Wert County will be restricted to one lane through the work zone for pavement repair. Work is being performed by the ODOT Van Wert County maintenance garage.

The following routes and locations will be restricted at times to one lane through the work zone until fall for resurfacing. Work is being performed by Shelly Company of Findlay:

  • U.S. 33, from the Indiana state line to the Mercer County line
  • Ohio 118, from the Mercer County line to Ervin Street
  • Ohio 49, from the Mercer County line to the U.S. 33 overlap
  • Ohio 81, from the Indiana state line to U.S. 33
  • U.S. 224, from Township Road 77 to the CSX railroad

U.S. 30, both eastbound and westbound, is restricted to one lane through the work zone at the following locations for projects which will repair the pavement and joints, improve drainage and resurface the route. The project will complete in October. Work is being performed by Shelly Company of Findlay:

  • From just east of Township Road 127 to just east of County Road 185
  • From U.S. 224 to near the Indiana state line

The ramps at the U.S. 224 interchange with U.S. 30 will be affected by the project as follows:

  • The exit ramp from U.S. 224 westbound to U.S. 30 and the entrance ramp from U.S. 30 eastbound to U.S. 224 will close concurrently for 21 days at some point in September.
  • The ramps on the south side of the interchange will remain open.
  • All ramps at the interchange will be resurfaced.
  • The project also includes repair and resurfacing of the entrances and exits at both the eastbound and westbound rest areas on U.S. 30 west of Van Wert. Both parks will close in September for 10 days while the repair work is occurring.
  • The project will also upgrade the truck weigh station, which involves repair and resurfacing of the entrance and exit, parking lot and sidewalk. The station will close in September for approximately 14 days during the repair work.

Paulding County

Ohio 49 south of Payne will be reduced to one lane through the work zone for pavement repair. Work is being performed by the ODOT Paulding County maintenance garage.

Ohio 49 in the village of Antwerp will close August 21 for approximately five days for a railroad repair. Traffic detoured onto U.S. 24, U.S. 127 and county Road 424 back to Ohio 49. Work is being performed by Pioneer Rail Corporation of Peoria, Illinois (See detour map)

Ohio 111 west of Paulding will be reduced to one lane through the work zone for pavement repair. Work is being performed by the ODOT Paulding County maintenance garage.

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POSTED: 08/21/17 at 6:54 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

CONVOY — Convoy Community Days will be holding a basket bingo event on Saturday, September 23, at the Edgewood Park Building in Convoy.

Doors open 9:30 a.m. and early bird bingo will begin at 10 that morning, while regular bingo will follow. Baskets are made in Dresden and filled with goodies from local businesses. Those interested can play 20 games for $20.

The 2017 “Memory Basket” raffle will include two baskets filled with gift items from the families of Jim and Mary Thomas and Murlin and Romaine Feasby. Tickets are $1 each or six for $5.

Basket will be filled with goodies from the following: Sophisti-cut Styling Salon, Bright Eyes Catering, Marci Etzler, Convoy Kwik Mart, M & M Farms, the Annabelle Miller family, Psi Iota XI, Initials Inc. by Toni Hauter, Dealey Chemical, Kulwicki Hilton Insurance, Hall’s Do It Best hardware store, US Bank of Convoy, Secret Garden Floral & Gifts, The Tavern, D’s on Main Street, Brookside Dairy, Convoy Tastee Freeze, Clean 13, Vancrest Health Care Center of Convoy, and Scentsy.

Get out of the house and enjoy a morning with friends and good food. Sandwiches, tacos, cinnamon rolls, homemade pie and cake, and more will be on the menu.

This event is no way connected with nor is it sponsored by the Longaberger Company.

POSTED: 08/21/17 at 6:51 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

Average retail gasoline prices in Ohio have fallen 6 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.23 per gallon on Sunday, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 5,345 gas outlets in Ohio. This compares with the national average, which has fallen 2.4 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.32 per gallon, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.com.

Including the change in gas prices in Ohio during the past week, prices yesterday were 6.9 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are nine-tenths of a cent per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average has increased 3.7 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 15.7 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.

According to GasBuddy historical data, gasoline prices on August 21 in Ohio have ranged widely over the last five years: $2.16 per gallon in 2016, $2.75 per gallon in 2015, $3.33 per gallon in 2014, $3.44 per gallon in 2013, and $3.71 per gallon in 2012.
“While the sun may be fading away briefly today, the sun is certainly not setting on the impressive demand for gasoline we’ve seen thus far this summer,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy. “There has been nearly insatiable demand for gasoline ahead of today’s eclipse.  So much so that some motorists in rural eclipse viewing areas may find filling their tanks more challenging as stations struggle to keep fuel in their underground tanks.

“But the good news is that the bulk of the motoring public is seeing gas prices drift lower as oil prices have slipped,” DeHaan added. “That trend may continue in the week ahead as oil prices have remained under pressure as the season’s close comes into view, along with lower gasoline demand and cheaper winter gasoline.”

POSTED: 08/21/17 at 6:49 am. FILED UNDER: News

Van Wert independent

The Van Wert Area Chamber of Commerce will feature U.S. Representative Bob Latta during its third quarter Chamber Coffee this coming Friday, August 25, from 7:45 to 9 a.m. in Vantage Career Center’s Community Room.

Congressman Latta will provide a legislative update during the breakfast, which also features free coffee and breakfast.

Sponsors for the event include Home Health Care Solutions and Long Prairie Wind.

POSTED: 08/21/17 at 6:47 am. FILED UNDER: News

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

It’s a high school football stadium that is unique in many ways. While located in downtown Van Wert, some say Eggerss Stadium resembles a small college stadium with its sheer amount of concrete along the home side, the concrete wall, and its seating capacity (over 3,000).

Eggerss Stadium in 1936.

It also has its share of issues, including the condition of the bleachers on the visitors’ side, no on-site home locker room, the tiny press box, and a lack of ample parking spaces.

Those issues, along with other factors, have led a specially formed committee to study the potential future of the 80-year-old facility. The committee is in the process of compiling a community survey designed to give residents an opportunity to comment on the stadium.

Ultimately, the committee will study the results of the survey, along with differing plans to renovate the stadium or seek a new athletic complex at the high school. The athletic complex would include a football stadium, baseball and softball diamonds and other facilities. The committee is also tasked with studying a cost analysis of both plans before making a recommendation to the Board of Education.

The history of Eggerss Stadium dates back to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s government-funded Works Progress Administration. The WPA provided jobs to millions of depression-era Americans who were unable to find work. Examples of large-scale WPA projects include Camp David, Dealey Plaza in Dallas, and LaGuardia Airport in New York City.

Smaller-scale projects include schools, post offices, public libraries, and at least two other football stadiums in Ohio — Strobel Field in Sandusky and the Rubber Bowl in Akron.

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POSTED: 08/19/17 at 7:14 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

CONVOY — The first Convoy Fair was in 1923, a two-day event with displays of poultry, grain, vegetables, fruit, baked goods, fancy work of all kinds, horses, mules, rabbits, and dogs. There were also concessions, horseshoe pitching, and other special features. The fair died out, due to the cost and loss of interest.

In the early 1960s, the Convoy Lions Club began “Lions Days” in the month of June as the new summer festival. The event offered concessions, rides, and lots of activities for the entire family in downtown Convoy. After several years, the event moved to the Crestview High School grounds and then returned to the streets in downtown Convoy. In 1974, Convoy celebrated its 100th birthday, but due to road construction, the centennial celebration was held in 1975, with proceeds to be used to purchase the acreage to build a community park.

Several years later, Convoy “The Little Town that does Big Things”, continued a weekend event as Convoy Community Days and continues to provide entertainment for the entire family. In 1999, Convoy celebrated 125 years and moved Community Days to September.

Community Days is a time to visit with old friends and family in a relaxed and fun atmosphere. Not to mention, it’s a great opportunity to meet and make new friends as well. With fall around the corner, with vacations over and school back in session, it’s the last hurrah of summer.

No matter the age, there is sure to be something to spike a person’s interest. Maybe it’s the children’s entertainment with kids’ games, magic and animal shows, a kiddy tractor pull, or the fire department’s equipment demonstration.

Or maybe it’s shopping at the Market on Tully and at downtown merchants. How about a little basket bingo, archery, and the parade, with the theme: “We serve …”  honoring the Convoy Lions Club for 70 years of service to the Convoy community.

Or maybe it’s fun at the truck drag races, playing bingo, and the reverse raffle.  If it’s food area residents are looking for, there is the firemen’s breakfast at the park, D’s walking tacos, The Tavern’s grilled burgers and dogs, Knight Pizza by the slice, baked goods, and much more.

More information will be forthcoming soon, and at www.villageofconvoy.com.

POSTED: 08/19/17 at 7:05 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

COLUMBUS — Ohio’s unemployment rate was 5.2 percent in July 2017, up from 5.0 percent in June 2017, according to figures released Friday by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

The number of workers unemployed in Ohio in July was 300,000, up 9,000 from 291,000 in June. The number of unemployed has increased by 19,000 in the past 12 months from 281,000. The July unemployment rate for Ohio increased from 4.9 percent in July 2016.

The U.S. unemployment rate for July was 4.3 percent, down from 4.4 percent in June and down from 4.9 percent in July 2016.

Ohio’s nonagricultural wage and salary employment increased 1,600 over the month, from a revised 5,536,500 in June to 5,538,100 in July 2017, according to the latest business establishment survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor (Bureau of Labor Statistics) in cooperation with ODJFS.

Employment in goods-producing industries, at 907,200, decreased 2,700 over the month as losses in construction (-1,700) and manufacturing (-1,100) exceeded gains in mining and logging (+100). The private service-providing sector, at 3,847,800, added 200 jobs.

Employment gains in leisure and hospitality (+5,200), financial activities (+1,200), and information (+100) surpassed losses in other services (-2,600), professional and business services (-2,400), and educational and health services (-1,300). Employment in trade, transportation, and utilities did not change over the month. Government employment, at 783,100, increased 4,100 in local (+3,900) and federal (+200) government. State government employment did not change over the month.

From July 2016 to July 2017, nonagricultural wage and salary employment grew 47,500. Employment in goods-producing industries increased 5,000. Construction added 5,900 jobs. Mining and logging added 200 jobs. Manufacturing employment decreased 1,100 as losses in durable goods (-1,800) surpassed gains in nondurable goods (+700). The private service-providing sector added 37,700 jobs.

Employment gains in educational and health services (+17,900), leisure and hospitality (+9,500), financial activities (+9,200), professional and business services (+5,900), and information (+1,100) exceeded losses in trade, transportation, and utilities (-4,900) and other services (-1,000). Government employment increased 4,800 in local (+2,700), state (+1,700), and federal (+400) government.

POSTED: 08/19/17 at 7:04 am. FILED UNDER: News

Submitted information

Sunday, September 3, at 3 p.m., will be the first ever Junior Fair Still Project Silent Auction in the Junior Fair Building.

The Junior Fair Board presents this opportunity for the local community to come invest in local youth as they offer their outstanding award-winning projects for sale. The auction helps Junior Fair members recoup expenses, fund future projects, save for future educational needs, and educates them about the process of producing and selling a quality handmade product.

Items for sale will vary, but members have been instructed to only sell items that are handmade and related to their project area. Home décor, a variety of food items, clothing and sewing projects, as well as gardening and woodworking items are just a few of the many projects that could be available at the auction.

Members from both the local 4-H clubs and FFA chapters who have won a first place award will be participating.

Individual and businesses interested in participating should arrive at the Junior Fair Building just before 3 that afternoon at the Junior Fair Building on the Van Wert County Fairgrounds. Bidders are asked to register with a number to be used to write down bid amounts.

Members will present their products with a verbal description before the start of the silent bidding auction. Bidding will remain open for a maximum of 60 minutes following the end of the parade of projects. Checks can be made payable to the Van Wert County Junior Fair Board.

A list of items for sale with descriptions will be available starting on Friday, September 1, at the Junior Fair Board Office. Those interested in bidding in the auction that have questions can contact Heather Gottke at the OSU Extension office at 419.238.1214 or by email at Gottke.4@osu.edu.

POSTED: 08/19/17 at 7:03 am. FILED UNDER: News