The Van Wert County Courthouse

Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018

The 2018-2019 Community Concert Series at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio includes (clockwise, from top left) Under the Streetlamp, The King’s Singers, The Texas Tenors: Let Freedom Sing, and All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914. photos provided

VW independent/submitted information

The tradition lives on in the all-new value-packed and artfully crafted 2018-2019 Enrich Community Concert Series at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center presented by Unverferth Family Dentistry and Roger & Kay Okuley. Four performances have been carefully packaged together to make art and entertainment accessible, affordable and inspire wonder! Just look at what is coming.

“Under the Streetlamp” — Under The Streetlamp leads off Enrich with its celebration of classic hits of the American radio songbook from the 1950s through the 1970s featuring tight harmonies and slick dance moves that take audiences back to an era of sharkskin suits, flashy cars and martini shakers. Revisit a time when, on hot summer nights, people would gather under a streetlamp to sing from the heart in harmony with their friends. Under The Streetlamp, kicking off the Enrich Community Concert Series Sunday, September 29, at 7:30 p.m.

All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914 — Based on the true story of the Christmas truce of 1914, All is Calm will transport audience members to the western front during a time when the world was at war and the sound of artillery filled the air. December 25, 1914, would change all of that. Out of the violence would come silence, then a song. All is Calm tells a remarkable true story, told in the words and songs of the men who lived it — coming to the Niswonger Sunday, December 16, at 3 p.m.


POSTED: 02/21/18 at 8:20 am

VW independent/submitted information

Area residents are invited to the Vantage Open House on Monday, February 26, from 5-7:30 p.m.

High school juniors and seniors can choose to enroll in one of 17 different programs in the areas of manufacturing, transportation, construction trades, business, and health and human services. All of the career technical labs will be open and students will be demonstrating their skills throughout the evening.

Junior Interactive Media students work in the soundproof booth, learning how to record using Adobe Audition software. Vantage photo

At 6 p.m. there will be an informational meeting in Vantage’s Community Room for students and parents who would like to find out more about attending Vantage.

Career technical education allows high school students an opportunity to be work- and college ready, graduating with industry certifications and credentials, college credit, and hands-on experience in their field.

For adults who are unemployed or looking for a career change, the Ohio Technical Center at Vantage provides an opportunity to change a career path in a short amount of time, for a nominal amount of money through workforce education. The OTC staff will have a table set up in the Commons to showcase their programs, while guests will also be able to visit the OTC office, labs, and classrooms.

“A Taste of Vantage” will again be held in the commons area during open house. Seven area restaurants will be offering a delicious sampling of some of their most popular cuisine. For just $5 at the door, those attending can purchase a strip of six tickets. Each ticket will get the holder one food sample. All proceeds from the event support the Vantage school-wide student activity fund.


POSTED: 02/21/18 at 7:59 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

The United Way of Van Wert County announced on Tuesday that it is accepting applications for program funding for the 2018 calendar year. Programs must demonstrate that they are able to measurably influence specific Van Wert County indicators in the following categories:

  • Education — Helping children and youths reach their potential through education
  • Income — Promoting financial stability
  • Health — Improving people’s health
  • Basic Needs – Providing basic need services

Application period for this year is March 1-31. To be eligible, an agency must: 1) be a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, 2) maintain an organized, auditable, and accurate system of accounting (by United Way standards), 3) offer human service programs, and 4) have an active volunteer board.

After application review and agency interviews, local United Way of Van Wert County volunteers that make up the Admissions & Review Committee will make funding recommendations to the United Way Board of Trustees in June. Once approved by the board, agencies will receive notification.

Any organization wanting to fill out an application should go to the United Way of Van Wert County website at, click “Resources” to download the PDF application called “2018 Agency Application” or contact the United Way office at 419.238.6689.

Applications are due to the United Way office no later than Saturday, March 31. Email applications to, drop them off during business hours Monday-Thursday, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m., or mail applications to 1151 Westwood Drive, Van Wert, OH 45891.

POSTED: 02/21/18 at 7:54 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

MIDDLE POINT — The Peony Festival Board will be holding its annual Quarter Auction at the Middle Point Community Building, 475 N. Adams St., on Monday, February 26.

The doors will open at 5 p.m. for food (by donation), fellowship, selection of paddles and viewing of donated merchandise, tickets, and gift certificates. The Peony Committee has received donations ranging from Toledo Zoo tickets, to many items from local businesses.

The event will start promptly at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free, paddles are $3 each or 2 for $5. Those who attend will have a chance to meet some of the 2018 Jubilee Queen candidates, who will be helping with the event.

All proceeds from this event will be used by the Peony Festival Committee to help keep the festival a free, family event.

POSTED: 02/21/18 at 7:51 am. FILED UNDER: News

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

Since President Theodore Roosevelt more than 100 years ago, the United States has set aside March as Red Cross Month to honor all the services the Red Cross provides to both local residents and nationwide.

Van Wert Mayor Jerry Mazur (third from right) shakes hands with West Central Ohio Red Cross Chapter Executive Director Derek Stemen while local Red Cross volunteers (from the left) Annette Hirn, Nancy Friemoth, Sandy Lane, and Ed Glossett look on. Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

While the organization has undergone consolidation in recent years, and some local disaster services are now provided by a new group, CERT, through the Van Wert County Emergency Management Agency, the Red Cross still provides thousands of hours of volunteer work at Van Wert County Hospital and through its blood drives conducted at various sites within the community.

Derek Stemen, executive director of the West Central Ohio Chapter of the Red Cross, noted all the things the Red Cross continues to do in the Van Wert community through its local volunteers.

“It’s amazing when you look at the absolute scope of what our community does,” he said. Forty or 50 hospital volunteers volunteering about 10,000 hours in time to the hospital; our blood drives collect around 2,000 units of blood every single year, which has the (added) impact of being able to touch around 6,000 people’s lives.”


POSTED: 02/20/18 at 6:45 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

The YMCA of Van Wert County will be honoring United States service men and women and first responders on Saturday, March 10.  Active military service members, military veterans, law enforcement officials, fire fighters, EMS personnel, and their families are invited to participate in this free event.

As a thank you, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5803 will be serving a free breakfast from 8-10 a.m., thanks to generous donations from Walmart, Ruler Foods, and Chief Supermarket.

In addition, the YMCA will be opening its doors for free to all service members and their families from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. There will be fitness classes and an open and family swim from 1-3 p.m. Membership specials and prizes, donated from many local businesses, will be raffled off.

Qualifying personnel and their families are invited to attend this free event. Be prepared to present proof of service.

For more information about this and any other programs available through the Van Wert YMCA, contact Nicole Benson, YMCA membership director, at, call 419.238.0443, or visit the YMCA website at

POSTED: 02/20/18 at 6:35 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

OHIO CITY — The Ohio City Community Building will be open to the public this Wednesday for “Game Night”.

The building is located on Ohio 118, north of the village, and the event will start at 6 p.m. and last until 9 that evening.

This is a great opportunity to bring together friends, family, and neighbors for an evening of game playing. Participants can bring cards, board games, other activities, snacks, and beverages.

The event is open to the public and there is no charge.

For more information, contact Scott at 419.953.9511.

POSTED: 02/20/18 at 6:31 am. FILED UNDER: News

Fabric was flying out the door, lots of purses were purchased, and plenty of people were shopping during KAM Manufacturing’s Stephanie Dawn Fabric Sale held on Saturday. The sale featured retired and factory overstock items, excess fabric, and discontinued items and was held in the enlarged remnant room at KAM Manufacturing on Grill Road. KAM Manufacturing photo

POSTED: 02/19/18 at 8:32 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

Gasoline prices in Van Wert dropped a few pennies over the week, with the Murphy USA service station in the Towne Center shopping center the lowest in the city at $2.26 per gallon, down from $2.30 a gallon last week.

The  Pak-A-Sak station on South Shannon Street and One Stop Shop station in the 200 block of North Washington Street were second at $2.30 a gallon, while three stations, the Pak-A-Sak station on North Washington, the Lassus Handy Dandy station, and the Shell station on South Washington were all at $2.31 a gallon on Sunday.

The Marathon station at the Brookside Convenience Store on West Main Street was at $2.34 per gallon, while the Short Stop on East Main Street was at $2.39 a gallon, the same as last week.

Gasoline prices in Van Wert were significantly higher two months ago, as this sign at a local service station shows. VW independent file photo

The lowest price in the area is at the Speedway station in Delphos, which is selling gas for $2.15 per gallon, as of Sunday.

Average retail gasoline prices in Ohio have fallen 8.7 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.27 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 5.4 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.51 per gallon, according to gasoline price website

Including the change in gas prices in Ohio during the past week, prices Sunday were 21.4 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 15.4 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 2.5 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 23.4 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.

“For the second straight week, average gasoline prices fell, with nearly every state declining week-over-week as retail gas prices saw more catching up to the previous decline in crude oil prices,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. “The trend may not be over just yet, but oil prices have rebounded from their lows and are again strengthening, which may cut the party at the pump short in the weeks ahead.

“Worth watching is U.S. shale oil production values, which continue to increase, which may limit oil’s rally moving forward, but dead ahead on the calendar is still turnaround season at the nation’s refiners, which promises at least some short-term pain for long-term gain.”

POSTED: 02/19/18 at 8:28 am. FILED UNDER: News

It was an afternoon of entertainment, Africa style, as Cirque Zuma Zuma brought its acrobats and other entertainers (above) to the stage of the Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio on Sunday. The audience also had a chance to hear the lineup for the 2018-19 season’s Enhance Community Concert Series prior to the show. Headlining the series is a return of the Texas Tenors for a patriotic show on March 16, 2019, while the series begins with a Jersey Boys knockoff, Under the Streetlamp, on September 29. Other shows include All is Calm, a play about a famous Christmas truce that occurred during the first year of World War I — which is coming December 16 — while The King’s Singers will appear on February 16, 2019. Dave Mosier/VW independent

POSTED: 02/19/18 at 8:26 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

The Northwest Ohio Scholarship Fund (NOSF) is accepting applications for the 2018-2019 school year for need-based scholarships for grades K-8 worth up to $1,500 for children to use at a nonpublic school or $500 for homeschool expenses.  Families need to reside in Allen, Crawford, Defiance, Erie, Fulton, Hancock, Henry, Huron, Lucas, Ottawa, Paulding, Putnam, Richland, Sandusky, Seneca, Van Wert, Williams, Wood or Wyandot Counties.

NOSF is a partner with the Children’s Scholarship Fund and awards need-based scholarships to provide parents with a choice for their child’s education.  The Children’s Scholarship Fund was founded in 1998 by the late Ted Forstmann and the late John Walton who saw a need for educational alternatives for families.

Since 1999, the Northwest Ohio Scholarship Fund has awarded a total of $12.6 million in scholarships to 14,700 students, part of that includes $4.3 million in matching funds.  All funds raised locally by NOSF are matched by the Children’s Scholarship Fund and are used for scholarships in NW Ohio.

The Northwest Ohio Scholarship Fund is the only privately funded need-based scholarship program in northwest Ohio that awards scholarships to children who otherwise might not be able to afford private schools for kindergarten through eighth grade. Eligible families are required to demonstrate their financial need as measured by standards similar to the Federal School Lunch program.

Interested families can learn more about the program at or apply online at For more information, contact Northwest Ohio Scholarship Fund at 419.720.7048. Deadline to apply for the 2018-2019 school year is Friday, April 27.

POSTED: 02/19/18 at 8:24 am. FILED UNDER: News