The Van Wert County Courthouse

Saturday, Jul. 21, 2018

Rain forced Friday’s Summer Music Series concert out of Fountain Park, but Summer Breezin’ made it feel like a sunny summer day with its covers of Seals & Croft and America songs, as well as other groups from the Sixties and Seventies.Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

POSTED: 07/21/18 at 7:26 am

Van Wert County Airport Manager Steve Bailey (left) accepts a pledge commitment of $50,000 from Ken Langhals, CEO of K & M Tire, a Delphos-based company. Langhals and his pilot flew in to personally deliver the pledge letter and to demonstrate support for the $1.25 million fundraising campaign that will pay for a new terminal and enable extension of the runway. K & M uses a TBM 700 airplane to visit their locations in the Midwest from North Dakota down through Texas and their more recent locations in the provided

POSTED: 07/21/18 at 7:24 am. FILED UNDER: News

Submitted information

PAULDING –Small coins make a big difference when Paulding Putnam Electric Cooperative members join together to fund change in their communities. More than $12,300 in second-quarter grants was distributed to 11 local organizations through the co-op’s Operation Round Up.

Participating members “round up” their monthly electric bills to the next dollar, with the extra pennies being used to help fund community charities and groups.

Since Operation Round Up’s inception in 2010, it has provided more than $380,000 to 124 organizations in Indiana and Ohio.

The most recent recipients are Paulding County EMA, Crane Township/Cecil Fire Department, Antwerp Rotary Club, Antwerp Ball Association, House of Love Ministries, Putnam County Special Olympics, Westwood Behavioral Health Center, John Paulding Historical Society, and the Grover Hill, Fort Jennings, and Auglaize fire departments. A board of trustees, composed of co-op members and separate from the PPEC board, oversees the application process.

Nonprofits or organizations can apply for Operation Round Up assistance by contacting Paulding Putnam Electric Co-op at 800.686.2357 or visiting To view the photos and details about what each grant will purchase, check out PPEC’s Facebook page at

POSTED: 07/21/18 at 7:22 am. FILED UNDER: News

Van Wert Pizza Hut is sponsoring a Business Day at the YMCA’s Camp Clay Aqua Center on Monday, July 23. Because of the sponsorship, those using the Aqua Center that day will pay only a $3 admission charge. Shown with Camp Clay Director Kevin Morrison (left) is Pizza Hut manager Todd Meyers. YMCA photo

POSTED: 07/21/18 at 7:17 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

CONVOY — Convoy Community Days KOI Drag Racing will be held Friday, July 21, at the Edgewood Park Truck Pull Arena.

Elimination will begin at 7 p.m., with practice starting two hours prior (track permitting). Edgewood Park is  located at 643 N. Main St. in Convoy (a mile south of U.S. 30 on Ohio 49 south).

Admission for the event is as follows: bleacher seats $5 (children under 10 are free), while pit area admission is a $10 entry fee, with 100 percent payback in all classes. All diesel classes are $20, with 100 percent payback.

No coolers will be permitted. Sandwiches and beverages will be available for purchase, with proceeds to support Convoy Community Days and local organizations.

All KOI Drag Racing rules apply. Visit Facebook (KOI Drag Racing), access the KOI website at,or call 859.576.7380 or 859.352.9417 for rules and other information.

There is a class for everyone: Kids, ATVs/dirt bikes, Modified, Open, 2-wheel drive and 4-wheel drive, Diesel, Gas-Modified Trucks, Buggies, and Semis.

Convoy is doing an open class for both gas and diesel trucks.

POSTED: 07/21/18 at 7:16 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

The 12th annual Van Wert Rib Fest is just around the corner. Of course, the focus is on great food prepared by some of the region’s best grill masters. This year’s line-up includes After Hours BBQ from Orrville; BG’s Main Event from Rittman; Low & Slow BBQ from Fort Wayne, Indiana; Pigtails BBQ from West Salem; Smoke Shack BBQ from Pickerington; and Timmy’s BBQ from Garrett, Indiana. These “ribbers” participate in rib events all over the Midwest and Timmy’s BBQ has been featured on Carnival Eats on the Food Channel.

Crowds throng the rib vendors during the 2010 edition of the Van Wert Rib Fest. VW independent file photo

Other vendors include C & J’s Shaved Ice, Rismiller Concessions, Sycamore Ice Cream, Cumberland Kettle Corn, Audrey’s Pumpkin Rolls & Gourmet Cake Rolls, and Wink’s Treats.

But food is not the only reason to come to Rib Fest. There are many other activities for the whole family to enjoy. On Friday evening at 6 p.m., First Financial Bank and Gibson’s Barnyard BBQ are sponsoring a rib-eating contest. This year, participants will be Van Wert County first responders. Come on out and see who can eat the most ribs in five minutes.

On Saturday morning, the spotlight will be on young people as Rib Fest will be hosting the 12th annual Rib Fest Wiffleball Tournament. Teams are still needed. To register, go to the Rib Fest website at www.vanwertribfest.comto download an entry form, or call 419.238.9378 or Brent Kohn at 419.238.1080 for more information. There will be two brackets: one for players 15 and younger and the other for players ages 16 to adult. Entry fee is $80 per team. Proceeds will benefit the Van Wert Pride Girls Softball team. Deadline for entries is Monday, July 30.

At 1 p.m., the annual Corn Hole Tournament will begin. There will be cash prizes for the tournament, with a 100 percent payout.


POSTED: 07/20/18 at 7:54 am. FILED UNDER: News

133 Bistro owners Jack Murati, Sabir Asipi, and Kimberly Gumpp closed Thursday on a $25,000 Revolving Loan Fund loan that will help them purchase the former Balyeat’s Coffee Shop building at 133 E. Main St. in downtown Van Wert. Shown with 133 Bistro owners are Krista Somerton, administrator of the Revolving Loan Fund, and Adam Ries of First Federal Savings & Loan, which also provided financing for the project.Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

POSTED: 07/20/18 at 7:48 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

The Van Wert County Foundation recently hosted its annual scholarship celebration. This event was held at Wassenberg Art Center to recognize student scholarship recipients’ accomplishments and provide an opportunity for them to connect with other recipients, as well as the Foundation’s Board of Trustees and staff.

Several recipients took this opportunity to learn about the donor fund associated with their scholarship.  Many felt it was essential to know the person or family who established the fund and assisted in their education and future.

Van Wert County Foundation scholarship recipients were honored at a recent event held at Wassenberg Art Center. photos provided

Foundation Executive Secretary Seth Baker provided valuable information about The Foundation’s scholarship process and qualifications.

“Students who have completed the equivalent of one year in college are eligible, provided they have a 2.75 accumulative grade point average,” Baker noted. “Students who have received a scholarship must maintain a 3.0 accumulative grade point average to warrant continuation of future scholarship opportunities.”

VWCF Trustee Gary Clay, who also chairs its Scholarship Committee, spoke to guests about the scholarship program and its “learn and return” philosophy.

“Learn, continue your education, gain experiences and knowledge,” Clay said. “However, know that you can return. There are opportunities right here in our communities. Bring those experiences and that knowledge to build the future of our community.”

Scholarship recipients, guests, and VWCF trustees and staff dig into food provided at the Foundation’s scholarship event.

The Van Wert County Foundation awards annual scholarships through an application and review process.  For 2018, 314 recipients received a total of $896,260 provided through funds established for scholarship purposes.

The Van Wert County Foundation, a non-profit community organization serving Van Wert County and the surrounding area, inspires philanthropy and mobilizes resources to enrich lives and the community. By supporting purpose, inspiring growth, and building the future, The Foundation facilitated more than $3 million in charitable giving last year.

For more information about The Van Wert County Foundation scholarship program, visit To learn how to establish a scholarship fund, contact Baker at 419.238.1743 or email

POSTED: 07/20/18 at 7:45 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

Area residents are invited to join the United Way of Van Wert County at the 12th annual Rib Fest for the “When Pigs Fly” event held at the Van Wert County Fairgrounds.

Organizers will drop numbered plastic pigs from a Van Wert Fire Departmentladder truck at 4 p.m. Saturday, August 4. Two lucky winners will receive one of the following cash prizes: $500 for the pig that lands closest to the target and $100 to the pig that lands farthest away. Tickets are $5 each or five for $20 and can be purchased at the United Way Office, from any United Way board member, or at the fairgrounds during Van Wert Rib Fest.

United Way of Van Wert County is located at 136 E. Main St. For more information, call 419.238.6689, email, or visit

POSTED: 07/20/18 at 7:37 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

Due to potentially inclement weather, tonight’s Fountain Park Summer Music Series concert, Summer Breezin’, is being moved to the Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio. The concert begins at 7 p.m.

Enjoy the music of Seals & Croft and America as Summer Breezin’ plays tunes from two of the biggest soft rock bands of the era.

POSTED: 07/20/18 at 7:35 am. FILED UNDER: News

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

Van Wert City Board of Education heard an update on the Eggerss Stadium project and a proposed addition to the Niswonger Performing Arts Center, and also approved adding security cameras on school buses during its July meeting Wednesday evening.

Van Wert City Schools Superintendent Vicki Brunn provides information on new and amended board policies during Wednesday’s meeting of the Van Wert City Board of Education. Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

Assistant to the Superintendent Bill Clifton provided an update on the Eggerss Stadium project, noting that the district will be receiving a partial permit by the end of the week to install the concrete pad that provides a foundation for new visitors’ bleachers at the stadium.

Clifton added that the district is having trouble getting permits finalized for the project, with a worst-case scenario that the bleachers may not be installed by the first home football game. He noted that architect Kraig Beilharz is working to finalize permitting for the project.

Clifton also noted that the district has received two new 84-passenger school buses, which both have LED exterior lighting, which he added is noticeably brighter than older exterior lighting.

“I think we’re going to find that a nice safety feature,” Clifton said.

The board also approved the purchase of 40 security cameras, with four cameras to be installed in each of the district’s 10 school buses.

Clifton said the cameras will help provide better information on incidents that occur on school buses, which should help with disciplinary and other incidents that occur on a bus.

The assistant to the superintendent also talked about a longstanding heat pump problem at Van Wert Elementary School, noting that a number of the heat pumps are not dehumidifying properly.


POSTED: 07/19/18 at 8:06 am. FILED UNDER: News