topamax recall

The Van Wert County Courthouse

Thursday, Jul. 27, 2017

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

Like many Ohio counties, Van Wert County’s unemployment rate rose for the second month in a row, according to figures released Tuesday by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

After a slight increase of a tenth of a percent in May, from 3.5 percent to 3.6 percent, the county’s jobless rate jumped sixth-tenths of a point, to 4.2 percent, in June. According to labor estimates compiled by the ODJFS, in conjunction with the U.S. Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the county’s labor force remained the same at 14,500, as did the number of people employed: 13,900. However, the number of people without jobs rose 100, from 500 in May to 600 last month.

Among neighboring counties, Mercer County had the lowest unemployment rate, and also had the lowest in the state, although that rate increased six-tenths of a point, from 2.8 percent in May to 3.4 percent in June. Putnam County again had the second-lowest jobless rate at 3.7 percent in June, which was also up sixth-tenths of a point from May’s 3.1 percent. Auglaize County was third at 4.0 percent, up sixth-tenths of a point from 3.4 percent in May. Van Wert County was fourth, while Paulding County was fifth with an unemployment rate of 4.8 percent, up nine-tenths of a point from 3.9 percent, and Allen County had the highest jobless rate among neighboring counties at 5.3 percent, up seven-tenths of a point from 4.6 percent in May.

Statewide, all 88 Ohio counties saw an increase in unemployment in June. In addition to Mercer, Putnam, and Auglaize counties, four other counties had unemployment rates at or below 4.0 percent. Those included Delaware, Hancock, Holmes and Wyandot, all at 3.9 percent.

Eight states had unemployment rates above 7.0 percent in June. Those include Meigs County, 8.2 percent; Monroe County, 8.1 percent; Jefferson County, 7.5 percent; Scioto County, 7.4 percent; Athens County, 7.3 percent; Coshocton and Jackson counties, 7.2 percent; and Pike County, 7.1 percent. The comparable unemployment rate for Ohio was 5.4 percent in June.

POSTED: 07/26/17 at 12:03 am

Submitted information

Grab your cowboy boots, flannel shirts and FFA jackets because country is comin’ to town — or the Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio, to be exact.

Easton Corbin

Releasing for individual ticket sales at noon today is Easton Corbin, presented by Belna Petroleum. Mercury Nashville’s Corbin has made a lasting impression on the country music landscape. He is lauded for his traditional country sound, authentic lyrics, and mastery of understatement. Corbin is coming to The Niswonger Saturday, October 7, at 7:30 p.m.

According to American Songwriter: “Easton Corbin has one of those rare, glorious voices that was made — just made — for singing country music.”

His self-titled debut album released in 2010 and spawned back-to-back hits “A Little More Country than That,” and “Roll with It,” making him the first country male artist in 17 years to have his first two consecutive singles reach No. 1. Easton has been a spokesperson for FFA (whose iconic jackets are manufactured right here in Van Wert) and Dodge Ram.


POSTED: 07/26/17 at 12:02 am. FILED UNDER: News

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green) voted in favor of increased sanctions on Russia, Iran, and North Korea in a vote held Tuesday evening.

The legislation, H.R. 3364, the Russia, Iran, and North Korea Sanctions Act, passed by a strong bipartisan vote and would levy greater economic and political sanctions on the three nations. Sanctions on Iran and North Korea were added to the House legislation after the Senate recently approved sanctions on Russia.

Bob Latta

“The three nations addressed by this legislation have flaunted international laws and each is a threat to stability around the globe,” said Latta. “Russia’s cyberattacks and support for the Assad regime in Syria needs to be met with additional sanctions to curb their flagrant behavior.

“At the same time, North Korea’s advancement of their nuclear weapons program poses a grave threat to the United States and our ally, South Korea, and Iran steadfastly violates U.N. resolutions regarding ballistic missiles,” Latta added. “It goes without saying that all three regimes also have atrocious human rights records.

“We need to hit these countries where it hurts — in their pocketbook — and provide American leadership at a time when the world desperately needs it,” he noted.

Title I of the legislation addresses Iran and those involved in the country’s ballistic missile program, their efforts to threaten Israel, and ongoing human rights abuses. Sanctions are imposed on any individual that materially contributes to the regime’s ballistic missile program, weapons of mass destruction program, international terrorism, or participates in the sale of military equipment with Iran.

Title II of H.R. 3364 addresses Russia by applying new sanctions on corrupt actors, those seeking to evade sanctions, human rights abusers, individuals responsible for supplying weapons to the Assad regime, or conducting cyber activity on behalf of the Russian government. The bill also authorizes assistance to nation’s susceptible to Russia aggression in eastern Europe.

Title III increases Presidential authority to levy sanctions on individuals in violation of specific U.N. Security Council resolutions dealing with North Korea. Specifically, the bill targets people that support the regimes nuclear program, those who employ North Korean slave labor, and cracks down on North Korea’s use of international ports.

POSTED: 07/26/17 at 12:01 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

COLUMBUS — The Ohio Arts Council board has approved $12,067,366 in grants to support Ohio artists, organizations, students, educators, and public arts programming during its initial and major FY 2018 funding round.

The 15-member board approved 635 grants when it met publicly on July 19 for its summer board meeting. 

“Thanks to the Ohio governor and legislature’s prioritization of arts funding in the state budget, the Ohio Arts Council continues to invest in Ohio’s creative economy,” said OAC executive director Donna S. Collins. “With these awards, Ohio’s arts sector will engage our citizens, undertake innovative projects, and lead our state to a bright, shared future.”

This year, the OAC awarded 114 new applicants with funding. Among those grants was two grants totaling $22,451 for Van Wert County organizations. Those grant awards include $2,394 for Off Stage Productions Inc. and $20,057 for the Van Wert Area Performing Arts Foundation, which oversees operation of the Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio.

POSTED: 07/26/17 at 12:00 am. FILED UNDER: Arts & Entertainment, News

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

Van Wert City Council heard a presentation from Main Street Van Wert Project Manager Dan Baisden, who first gave an update on the alleyway project. Baisden said the project has met its minimum funding goals, with large donations from Van Wert Rotary Club and the Van Wert County Board of Commissioners. He also requested that City Council donate $750, the same amount as given by the commissioners, which Council took under advisement.

Baisden main reason for coming to City Council was to talk about the National Register of Historic Places program that his organization is pursuing. He noted that, currently, buildings built prior to 1936 are only eligible for a 10 percent tax cut currently. Under the National Historic Register program, buildings 50 years old and older could receive a guaranteed 20 percent federal tax credit, as well as apply for a competitive grant that would provide up to a 25 percent state tax credit.

Main Street Van Wert Program Manager Dan Baisden gives a presentation on the National Historic Places Registry program during Monday’s Van Wert City Council meeting. Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

Baisden provided an example, noting that on an $8 million downtown project, current downtown building owners would receive a credit of $800,000, while if the historic building registry was in place, that amount could increase to a maximum of $3.1 million if both tax credits are awarded.

Baisden said the program is a good deal for building owners and long-term lessees, since it doesn’t require them to do anything specifically to the buildings, such as rehabilitate or restore them, or even protect them from demolition. He did add, though, that U.S. Department of Interior Rehabilitation Standards apply when receiving tax credits for a project.

He noted that studies show that having one empty building in a downtown district for a year results in $250,000 in lost sales, $12,500 in lost state and local tax revenues, $15,000 in lost rents, $51,000 in lost loan demand for local banks for the building, $15, in lost loan demand for the business, $24,750 in lost business profits and owner compensation, and $16,250 in lost employee payroll.


POSTED: 07/25/17 at 7:36 am. FILED UNDER: News

Main Street Van Wert Program Manager Dan Baisden provides a tax credit example in connection with the National Historic Places Registry during Monday’s Van Wert City Council meeting. video by Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

POSTED: 07/25/17 at 7:35 am. FILED UNDER: News

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent staff writer

Finances and routine items were the focus of Monday’s meeting of the Lincolnview Local Board of Education.

Treasurer Troy Bowersock told board members that he’s wrapping fiscal year 2016-2017 and is working on the new fiscal year, which includes over 300 orders in preparation for the upcoming school year.

Board member Eric Germann speaks during Monday’s Lincolnview school board meeting. Scott Truxell/Van Wert independent

“Every day is like Christmas, with a lot of boxes coming through the office,” Bowersock said with a chuckle.

Bowersock also noted that $5 million was transferred from the general fund to cover the cost of the community center. Superintendent Jeffery Snyder said bids for the new facility will be opened this Thursday and, if all goes as planned, construction will begin in late August and be complete by early May 2018.

The district is planning to purchase two new school buses, and Bowersock also noted the district received a rebate check of over $19,000 from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.

The Lincolnview board approved temporary appropriations for 2018, along with a tax increment financing (TIF) agreement with Ridge Township, and board members approved the hiring of Natasha Breese to teach fifth grade, and Elizabeth Doherty as an elementary library media aide.

Board members also accepted the resignation of Ashley Miller as girls’ assistant varsity basketball coach, and hired her as girls’ junior varsity basketball coach.

Board member Eric Germann was designated as the district’s official voting delegate to the Ohio School Boards Association’s annual Capital Conference, and board members approved overnight trips for selected members of the high school choir to Kent State University and the University of Toledo.

During his monthly report, Snyder said the high school gymnasium floor has been refinished, and identical work on the elementary gym floor should be completed this week.

Snyder also noted officials are looking at ways to improve the school district’s website, and added the district remains in need of substitute bus drivers.


POSTED: 07/25/17 at 7:30 am. FILED UNDER: News

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

CONVOY — The Crestview Local Board of Education accepted the resignations of two teachers, hired their replacements and a guidance secretary, and approved a number of supplemental positions during its July board meeting on Monday.

New Crestview High School health/physical education teacher Ben Schamp introduces himself during Monday’s Crestview Local Board of Education meeting. Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

The board accepted the resignation of middle school-high school health/physical education teacher Chelsea Oren after a year with the district, effective, June 26, and elementary teacher Natasha Breese after six years in the district, effective July 5, and hired high school health and phys. ed. teacher Ben Schamp and Katelynn Kraner as an elementary teacher, to replace them. Both were given one-year limited contracts.

Also hired was guidance secretary Stacey Crowle, effective the beginning of the 2017-18 school year.

The board also approved supplemental contracts for the following: Tony Springer, junior varsity boys’ basketball; Steven Rickard, freshman boys’ basketball; Ben Schamp, sophomore class advisor; and Bethany Balliet, eighth grade volleyball.

Springer’s resignation as freshman boys’ basketball coach was also accepted by the board.

In his report, Superintendent Mike Estes talked about Governor John Kasich’s biennial budget, noting that it appeared that Crestview would not be losing quite as much funding as he earlier thought. Instead of losing approximately $220,000 a year, the district would only be down a bit more than $10,000 a year for each of the budget years.

“It’s not as bad as it appeared it might be,” the superintendent said. “You’re never pleased with you’re losing a little money, but we’re pleased that we’re not losing a lot of money at this point.”


POSTED: 07/25/17 at 7:29 am. FILED UNDER: News

Submitted information

There are many benchmarks within a season at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio. A few benchmarks have already passed by for the 2017-18 season.

The announcement of the Community Concert Series, the season reveal, Grand Series Day, and Select Series Day have all come and gone in grand fashion. Today at noon marks another benchmark for this season, when patrons can immerse themselves into entertainment by purchasing individual tickets to “B” Underwater Bubble Show, which is coming to The Niswonger at 7 p.m. Sunday, October 1.

Tickets go on sale today for the “B” Underwater Bubble Show at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio. (photo provided)

Presented by BeeGee Realty, this NPAC Family show is inspired by the famous Canadian troupe “Cirque du Soleil.” “B” Underwater Bubble Show is rich in various stage effects, using the latest laser technologies, snow cannons, soap bubble tornadoes, theatrical fog, gigantic smoke rings, smoke-filled soap bubble machines, optical illusions, and many other surprises. The performance is enriched by a live video shooting connected to a large LED screen that acts as a background and allows for optimal audience experience for young and old alike.

Join Mr. B along his imaginary journey in the beautiful underwater world where fantasy becomes reality. When Mr. B is transported to the colorful, happy place of Bubblelandia, he finds himself surrounded by seahorses, dragon fish, starfish, mermaids, clown fish, and lots of bubbles.

Along with presenting sponsor Bee Gee Realty and dedicated Season 11 sponsors Chuck and Karen Koch, StateWide Ford Lincoln, and Van Wert Federal Savings Bank, the NPAC welcomes a new kids’ event underwriter, the Robideau family, which is working to keep ticket prices low for families across the region.

Tickets for “B” Underwater Bubble Show can be purchased through the Box Office from noon-4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, by calling 419.238.NPAC (7622) and online at NPACVW.ORG.

The Niswonger Performing Arts Center is located at 10700 Ohio 118 on the south edge of Van Wert.

POSTED: 07/25/17 at 7:23 am. FILED UNDER: News

The weather wasn’t always the best, but most activities for this year’s Lambert Days celebration in Ohio City went off as planned, including the annual Lambert Days Parade. Here, rain ended just minutes before the parade, allowing these hardy watchers to take their places along the parade route (click here for more Lambert Days photos). Bob Barnes/Van Wert independent

POSTED: 07/24/17 at 7:24 am. FILED UNDER: News

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Average retail gasoline prices in Ohio have risen 4.7 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.20 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 increased 2.1 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.27 per gallon, according to gasoline price website

Including the change in gas prices in Ohio during the past week, prices Sunday were 15.1 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 3.5 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average has increased 1.4 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 11.7 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.

According to GasBuddy historical data, gasoline prices on July 24 in Ohio have ranged widely over the last five years: $2.05 per gallon in 2016, $2.52 per gallon in 2015, $3.43 per gallon in 2014, $3.51 per gallon in 2013, and $3.43 per gallon in 2012.

“Over the last week, gasoline prices have risen across a majority of the country, following the price of oil, which has been rising as of late,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for “OPEC’s meeting this week could steal the focus and propel markets higher or lower, depending on the outcome of the meeting, but for now, the most likely outcome would put pressure on oil prices to rise, especially if there’s talk of another oil production cut from the cartel.

“Unfortunately, motorists are likely to see gasoline prices continue to rise in more places than prices fall, but it’s not all bad news — gasoline prices nationally continue to hold somewhat near their summer lows, something that wasn’t at all expected earlier this year,” DeHaan added.

POSTED: 07/24/17 at 7:22 am. FILED UNDER: News