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The Van Wert County Courthouse

Thursday, Mar. 5, 2015

VWPD Detective Joe Motycka talks to ICAP students about the alleged "break-in" in their classroom. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

VWPD Detective Joe Motycka (standing) talks to ICAP students about the alleged “break-in” in their classroom. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

While not all students will become crime scene investigators, students in Van Wert High School’s ICAP (Integrated Concepts of Algebra and Physical science) project-based learning class are getting a chance to discover some real-world applications for the information they learn in the classroom.

ICAP students were presented Monday with a crime-scene scenario that included a possible break-in at the school and the theft of chemicals from their classroom. An area of the classroom was roped off using yellow crime scene tape and numbered markers identified several items of potential evidence. Those included a variety of chemicals, as well as a footprint and handprint.

An official-looking Van Wert Police Department memo providing details of the alleged break-in was given to students, while VWPD Detective Joe Motycka spoke to students about the “crime.”

A synopsis of what was being asked of students was also included in the memo: “As ICAP students, your responsibility will be to take the information and clues provided, including crime scene found today, and begin to scientifically and algebraically create a profile of the potential suspect(s) and his/her reasoning for the break-in.”


POSTED: 03/04/15 at 8:31 am

VW independent/submitted information

A Van Wert man was charged with a drug-related misdemeanor following the execution of a search warrant at his residence on Monday.

James F. Partin, 41, of 10886 Lincoln Highway, Apt. 6, was charged with possession of drug abuse instruments, a misdemeanor of the second degree, as a result of the search.

James Partin

James Partin

Van Wert County Sheriff Thomas M. Riggenbach noted that members of the West Central Ohio Crime Task Force and Van Wert County sheriff’s deputies executed the warrant after reports of drug activity at Partin’s residence.

The search resulted in the finding of hypodermic needles, a small amount of a suspected prescription medication, various items of drug paraphernalia, money and a cell phone.

A young child was also found in the home, and Van Wert County Children’s Services was also called to the residence.

Partin was taken to the Van Wert County Correctional Facility, where he is being held until his arraignment in Van Wert Municipal Court.

Sheriff Riggenbach also said a nuisance abatement letter would be sent to the owner of the property in connection with the incident. Nuisance abatement letters make property owners aware of alleged illegal activity occurring on their property. Property can be seized by law enforcement if property owners knowingly permit illegal activity to continue on their property.

The sheriff also asks that anyone who has information on drug activity contact his office at 419.238.3866 or use his office’s website at and click on the “submit a crime tip” link. People can also provide information on other crimes by using the above options or calling Crime Stoppers at 419.238.STOP. Those calling or using the sheriff’s website can remain anonymous when making reports.

The West Central Ohio Crime Task Force is a multi-county organization comprised of officers from the Van Wert County, Allen County and Paulding County sheriff’s offices, Lima Police Department and several state and federal agencies.

POSTED: 03/04/15 at 8:21 am. FILED UNDER: News

Ohio State Highway Patrol information

As part of the Patrol’s ongoing effort to contribute to a safer Ohio, troopers are continuing their increased focus on impaired driving enforcement — and these efforts are paying off. For the third year in a row, troopers removed more than 24,000 impaired drivers from Ohio roadways.

OVI-related crashes accounted for 34 percent of all fatal crashes in Ohio in 2014. This is the same percentage as 2013, but far below the 2011-2013 average of 40 percent.

osplogoThere were 13,628 OVI-related crashes on Ohio roadways, killing 340 and injuring 7,959. Speed was a contributing factor in 60 percent of all OVI-related crashes. Of drivers considered at-fault in OVI-related crashes, 28 percent were between the ages of 25 and 34.

“We need motorists to commit to keeping our roads safe by planning ahead to designate a driver and insisting that everyone in the vehicle is buckled up,” said Van Wert Post Commander Lt. Tim Grigsby. “You can also help fight the battle against impaired driving by actively influencing friends and family to do the same.”

Last year, state troopers from the Van Wert Post arrested more than 250 impaired drivers in this area.

The public is encouraged to call #677 to report impaired drivers, drug activity or stranded motorists.

To view a copy of the entire statistical recap, visit

POSTED: 03/04/15 at 8:18 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

A number of Ohio communities, including Van Wert, were highlighted in Site Selection magazine’s listing of top U.S. micropolitan areas (mostly rural communities with at least 10,000 people, but less than 50,000 residents) in 2014.

Of the 576 micropolitan areas in the U.S., Findlay was named No. 1, while Van Wert was tied with 19 other communities for No. 23 on the list. Criteria for the selection is based on the number of corporate facility contracts entered into during the year. Findlay had 20 such contracts, while Van Wert was among those with four facility contracts.

Ohio was also the state with the highest number of micropolitan areas in the top 100, with 20.

POSTED: 03/04/15 at 8:15 am. FILED UNDER: News

Thomas Edison Early Childhood Center information

Developmental screenings for children ages birth to 5 years old will be offered to residents of Crestview, Lincolnview, Parkway, Spencerville and Wayne Trace school districts from noon-3:30 p.m. Friday, March 13, at the Thomas Edison Early Childhood Center.

Appointments can be made by calling the center at 419.238.4019 or 419.238.1514, extension 221, between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Children be assessed in the areas of height, weight, vision, hearing, language, cognition, gross and fine motor skills, self-help and social-emotional skills. Following the screening, results will be shared with parents or caregivers.

The assessments provide families with an opportunity to see how their children are progressing in relationship to other children of the same age.

If a child displays areas of concern, further assessment will be scheduled at the parents/caregivers’ convenience. The additional visit will allow teachers to check for the perceived developmental delay in a different play environment. Children who continue to show delays after the second assessment will be invited to a play-based multi-factored evaluation session at Thomas Edison.

For more information, contact the Thomas Edison Early Childhood Center at the above numbers.

POSTED: 03/04/15 at 8:14 am. FILED UNDER: News

State Farm agent ribboncutting 3-2-15

The Van Wert Area Chamber of Commerce held a ribboncutting ceremony Monday for new State Farm Insurance agent Austen Rigelman, who takes over retired agent Bill Feasby’s office at 905 S. Shannon St. In addition to retaining Feasby’s office staff, Rigelman has added three new agents to the agency. An open house is planned for noon-3 p.m. Saturday, March 14. Shown cutting the ribbon is Rigelman, while his office staff and Chamber of Commerce board members watch. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

POSTED: 03/03/15 at 8:46 am. FILED UNDER: Business, News

CINDY WOOD/independent feature writer

Think big, Van Wert. Brewed Expressions certainly is.

Brewed Expressions owner Frank Bowen offers up coffee at the drive-through on South Washington Street. The local company recently announced the expansion of a sit-down café to be open this summer. (photo submitted)

Brewed Expressions owner Frank Bowen offers up coffee at the drive-through on South Washington Street. The local company recently announced the expansion of a sit-down café to be open this summer. (photo submitted)

One of the community’s newest small businesses, a coffee drive-through located on South Washington Street, has quickly outgrown its surroundings, prompting an announcement from Director of Marketing/Accounting Frankie Bowen that the business will soon be expanding.

Just 13 months into the venture, Bowen has announced the addition of a sit-down café that will offer the usual fare, along with an expanded menu.

It’s good news for Van Wert and an exciting time for the business, which has enjoyed tremendous success in its first year of operation. Much of that success, Bowen said, can be credited to unwavering support from the local community as well as loyal, hard-working employees.

“We couldn’t be more grateful about the support we’ve received both from the community, as well as our employees,” Bowen said. “It has truly been a blessing to us and we’ve met so many wonderful people over the last year.”

Brewed Expressions will be adding a sit-down location, Brewed Expressions Café, which will offer an expanded breakfast and lunch menu, in addition to a variety of coffees and other drinks. Fans of the business heard of the announcement Monday morning via Facebook, but what they haven’t heard yet is where the business will be located.

Featuring an intimate setting, with a floor-to-ceiling fireplace, Brewed Expressions Café will be located at 706 West Ervin Road, adjacent to the Bridge Christian Bookstore.

The new location will feature a private entrance on the west side of the building, as well as access into The Bridge from within the café.


POSTED: 03/03/15 at 8:12 am. FILED UNDER: News

United Way of VW County information

United Way of Van Wert County announces that preparations are underway to begin the admissions and review process for 2015. New agencies are welcome to apply.

To be considered, an organization must be incorporated not-for-profit and IRS-exempt. It must also have an active volunteer board and have some financial and program United Way logo 9-2013management.

During April and May, a committee made up of local volunteers will meet to study funding requests. This committee then makes its funding recommendations to the United Way Board of Trustees in June. Once approved by the board, agencies are notified of funding decisions.

Any organization wanting to receive an application may contact the United Way office at 419.238.6689 to request an application.

Deadline for applications is Tuesday, March 31.

POSTED: 03/03/15 at 8:06 am. FILED UNDER: News

Convoy Community Days information

CONVOY — Convoy Community Days will be holding a “Cabin Fever Bingo” fundraiser on Saturday, March 14, at the Edgewood Park Building in Convoy. Doors open 9:30 a.m. and bingo will start at 10 that morning.

Baskets are made in Dresden and filled with goodies from local businesses. Those interested in participating can play 20 games for $20. Basket sponsors are Tina Waltmire, Convoy Preschool, Dowler Heating & Air, Pond Seed Company, Lincoln Candle/Lincoln Ridge, Mercer Landmark of Convoy, Kitchens Inc., Annabelle Miller and family, Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home & Crematory, Hoover Garage, Convoy Tastee Freeze, Gibson Barnyard BBQ, Kitchens Inc., Laudick’s Jewelry, Cowan & Son Funeral Home, Delphos Granite Works/Carey Mathew, Frank’s Auto Detailing, The Sophist-cut Styling Salon, Dealey Accounting Firm LLC, Shear Magic, and Deb Miller/Longaberger consultant.

A “Pamper Yourself” basket raffle will include gift items from Van Wert area businesses. Tickets are $1 each or six for $5.

Get out of the house and enjoy a day with friends and good food. Cinnamon rolls, homemade pie and cake and lunch will be available.

This event is no way connected with, or is sponsored by, the Longaberger Company.

POSTED: 03/03/15 at 8:05 am. FILED UNDER: Lifestyles, News

Lincolnview Local Schools information

Lincolnview Local Schools, in correlation with Ohio Revised Code 3313.64 or 3313.65, will again permit students from adjacent school districts to apply and enroll in the district’s schools through “Open Enrollment” for the 2015-2016 school year. Applications will be accepted beginning April 1 on a first come, first served basis, according to the time and date an application is received by the superintendent of Lincolnview Local Schools.

Parents interested in open enrollment for kindergarten students must complete an application at kindergarten registration, which will be held March 2-6,from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Lincolnview Elementary School. Applications will be considered in the order received and space may be limited.

All applications (except for kindergarten students) must be completed and returned no later than May 31.  Applications are available by contacting the superintendent’s office at 419.968.2226.  Interested individuals may also stop in person or send a written request for an application to Lincolnview Local Schools, 15945 Middle Point Road, Van Wert, OH 45891.

All approved open enrollment transfers in effect for the 2014-2015 school year need to complete a new open enrollment application for the 2015-2016 school year.  These applications will be considered before new requests are acted upon.

POSTED: 03/03/15 at 8:04 am. FILED UNDER: News

Paulding OSU Extension information

PAULDING — Ohio State University Extension Paulding County is currently accepting orders for chickens for the 2015 Paulding County Junior Fair for 4-H and FFA members. OSU Extension logo 4-2009The orders must be received by the end of the business day on Thursday, March 19.

The chickens are being ordered through Milan Center Feed and Grain and will need to be picked up on April 14, between the hours of 3 and 4:30 p.m. at the Paulding OSU Extension Office. Order forms can be picked up at the Extension Office in Paulding or found on the OSU Extension website at under “4-H” then “forms”.

Order forms can be filled out in the Extension office, mailed to 503 Fairground Drive, Paulding, OH 45879, or emailed to

POSTED: 03/03/15 at 8:02 am. FILED UNDER: News