topamax recall

The Van Wert County Courthouse

Friday, Mar. 27, 2015

Shown meeting with State Senator Cliff Hite (second from right) are (from the left) Cathy Ruiz, parent mentor with Western Buckeye Educational Service Center; Heather O’Donnell, Midwest Regional ESC superintendent; and Craig Burford, Ohio ESC Association executive director. (photo submitted)

Shown meeting with State Senator Cliff Hite (second from right) are (from the left) Cathy Ruiz, parent mentor with Western Buckeye Educational Service Center; Heather O’Donnell, Midwest Regional ESC superintendent; and Craig Burford, Ohio ESC Association executive director. (photo submitted)

VW independent/submitted information

COLUMBUS – An area parent mentor with the Western Buckeye Educational Service Center (WBESC) testified in Columbus about her concerns for what proposed state budget cuts would do to special education services in Ohio.

WBESC Superintendent Brian Gerber and Craig Burford, executive director for the Ohio Educational Service Center Association (OESCA), were instrumental in getting Cathy Ruiz, parent mentor for Paulding County, to make a recent trip to the Statehouse. On March 12, Ruiz, along with Burford and other ESC supporters, gave her testimony before Ohio Representative Bob Cupp and the House Finance and Appropriations Subcommittee on Primary and Secondary Education in Columbus, which Cupp chairs.

Following testimony before the subcommittee, ESC supporters met with Senator Randy Gardner’s staff, as well as meeting in person with Senator Cliff Hite, to share their concerns regarding Governor John Kasich’s proposed budget cuts, specifically to educational service centers and to special education.

Governor Kasich’s proposed biennial budget, House Bill 64, has raised many concerns, specifically in regards to the executive proposed 25 percent funding cut to Ohio ESCs in this biennium, as well as the executive proposal allowing certain districts that meet specific criteria to opt out of ESC alignment and support services.

These two proposals would negatively impact direct student services provided to school districts by high quality regional service providers.


POSTED: 03/27/15 at 7:53 am

VW independent/submitted information

DELPHOS — Sue Gerker has been appointed director of the newly-formed Delphos Area Economic Growth Partnership.

“There is incredible momentum in Delphos right now and I am confident that Sue will be able to hit the ground running, including working with stakeholders in all sectors of the planning and economic development community,” said Cindy Metzger, one of the founders of the DAEGP. “Sue has the kind of experience, knowledge, skills and abilities we need to help grow the Delphos area.”

Sue Gerker

Sue Gerker

Gerker has been a project manager for the Van Wert County Economic Development office since December, and has been assisting with the county’s revolving loan fund and meeting with local business and government officials to learn more about the tools available to assist employers. The Delphos native has served on various community boards, including the Delphos Chamber of Commerce.

“Among the city’s best assets are the community leaders dedicated to making Delphos a great place to work and live,” Gerker said. “A group of individuals united several months ago because of their belief in the city and the result is the Delphos Area Economic Growth Partnership.

“I am humbled they have asked me to direct the group,” she added. “Together, we will work to bring some success stories to our area.”

The DAEGP is another variable in the economic and community development equation, along with the Delphos Community Improvement Corporation, Chamber of Commerce, city leaders and officials from Van Wert and Allen counties.

“Delphos is home to many quality employers because of the dedicated and available workforce,” Gerker noted. “The DAEGP will work with all entities to ensure current employers have what they need to prosper as well as prepare for future development.”
Any individual or business wanting to participate in the DAEGP may contact Gerker at


POSTED: 03/27/15 at 7:24 am. FILED UNDER: News

Centurion Club donation to YMCA 3-2015

The YMCA Camp Clay splash pad project received a donation of $5,000 from the Van Wert Centurion Club. The new 3,600-square-foot splash pad will open Memorial Day weekend. Shown with the check are Camp Clay Director Clint Myers (left) and Camp Clay Maintenance Director Curt Schaffner. (YMCA photo)

POSTED: 03/27/15 at 7:03 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW County Foundation information

The Van Wert County Foundation administers grants to qualified organizations to further the mental, moral, intellectual or physical welfare and advancement of the citizens of Van Wert County and other such areas as directed by the donor. The foundation Board of Trustees is proud to support the many activities and programs of charitable organizations that impact the lives of local residents.

Grants are considered in June and December of each year. Grant applications for the 2015 giving season have recently been updated. Those seeking grants must submit their request via the new 2015 form. Applications must be printed and filled out in their entirety. Grant Applications must be submitted to the Van Wert County Foundation by 4 p.m. on May 15, to be considered in June.

To request an application, contact Executive Secretary Seth Baker at, by phone at 419.238.1743, or visit the office at 138 E. Main St. in Van Wert. Grant applications can also be found online at

POSTED: 03/27/15 at 7:00 am. FILED UNDER: News

Van Wert city information

The Van Wert Civil Service Commission will meet at 11:30 a.m. Monday, April 13, to discuss testing requirements for entry-level firefighters and residency requirements for both Police and Fire departments.

The meeting will be held in the Van Wert City Council Chambers, 515 E. Main St. in Van Wert.

POSTED: 03/27/15 at 6:58 am. FILED UNDER: News

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

Many older people likely remember a trio of movies starring Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland that involved neighborhood kids putting on Broadway-quality shows in their backyard and making it look easy.

Technical crew work on staging for a recent Broadway show. (photos by Darin Hohman for the Van Wert independent)

Technical crew work on staging for a recent Broadway show. (photos by Darin Hohman for the Van Wert independent)

Ask Niswonger Performing Arts Center Executive Director Paul Hoverman and his cadre of four full-time employees about what it takes to do the same at the NPAC and you get a different picture. The reality is that NPAC shows — particularly the multi-semi truckload shows such as Memphis, coming to the Central Insurance Stage this weekend — involve myriad details, hundreds of hours of planning and literally thousands of volunteer man-hours.

The process begins when Hoverman, the first and only director of the NPAC since its opening in 2007, prepares his list of possible shows to produce for the coming season, following discussions with members of the Van Wert Area Performing Arts Foundation’s Programming Committee.

“I tell what I’d like to do,” Hoverman said of the discussions, with shows often based on ideas that come from committee members, as well as shows Hoverman and others have seen personally.

“That’s one reason I wanted to do Memphis, since I had seen it and knew what a great show it was,” Hoverman said.


POSTED: 03/26/15 at 7:52 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW Federal donates to Park District 3-2015

Van Wert Federal Savings Bank President Gary Clay (right) presents Larry Webb of the Van Wert County Park District Board with a check that was used for the completion of the bike trail. Van Wert Federal has donated a total of $7,000 to the county bike trail project. (VW Federal photo)

POSTED: 03/26/15 at 7:50 am. FILED UNDER: Business, News

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

Two arraignments, a sentencing and several changes of plea were heard on Wednesday in Van Wert County Common Pleas Court.

Judge Martin Burchfield heard one arraignment hearing, during which Christie Kerner, 38, of Van Wert, pleaded not guilty to a charge of forgery, a felony of the fifth degree. She was released on a personal surety bond and a pretrial conference was scheduled for 8 a.m. Wednesday, April 8.

The arraignment, heard by Probate-Juvenile Court Judge Kevin Taylor, was for Robbin Higginbotham, 51, of Van Wert, who also entered a not guilty plea to one count each of aggravated possession of drugs and possession of drugs, both fifth-degree felonies. He was also released on a surety bond and a pretrial conference was set for 8 a.m. April 8.

Court artwork 12-2013 copyJudge Burchfield also heard a change of plea from Ashley Burk, 26, of Van Wert, who pleaded guilty to a charge of aggravated possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony offense.  A presentence investigation was ordered and sentencing was scheduled for 9 a.m. Wednesday, April 15. Burk was returned to prison in the meantime to continue serving an unrelated sentence.

Judge Taylor heard six additional cases on Wednesday. They include the following:

Moses Wilder, 32, of Van Wert, signed a waiver of his right to a speedy trial and the case was rescheduled for May 11.

Brandon Foust, 20, of Delphos, pleaded guilty to a prosecutor’s bill of information charging him with two counts of possession of marijuana, both felonies of the fifth degree. He then requested, and was granted, treatment in lieu of conviction and his case was stayed pending completion of a substance abuse treatment program.

Bobby Fuelling, 42, of Van Wert, changed his plea to guilty to a charge of possession of heroin, a fifth-degree felony. He then requested, and was granted, treatment in lieu of conviction and his case was stayed pending completion of a substance abuse treatment program.

Matthew Foehl, 29, of Van Wert, changed his plea to guilty to a heroin possession charge, a felony of the fourth degree. A presentence investigation was scheduled and he will appear for sentencing at 9 a.m. Wednesday, April 29.


POSTED: 03/26/15 at 7:48 am. FILED UNDER: News

GOP gives to Memorial Chapel 3-2015

Van Wert County Republican Central Committee members Jarrett Hammonds and Thad Lichtensteiger present Van Wert County Veterans Service Officer Barry Johns the proceeds of their 50/50 raffle held on March 19th. The money will be used for the expansion of the Military Chapel. (GOP photo)

POSTED: 03/26/15 at 7:47 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

The Van Wert City Economic Development Office, in conjunction with Ohio State University Extension, Van Wert County and the Business Enterprise Center of Wright State University-Lake Campus, will be sponsoring several workshops for the Van Wert area this spring.

Gary Corcoran, a business consultant with the Business Enterprise Center, will be offering the “Starting Right” series to people interested in starting their own business or bettering their business management skills.

The five courses, which are spread over nine weeks, are held at the BEC office, 147 E. Main St., Suite C, in Van Wert. The class meets every other Thursday, from 6-8 p.m. The class schedule is March 26-Starting Right; April 9-Business Plan Basics; April 23-Marketing Plans and Strategy; May 7-Cash Flow, Breakeven and Pricing; May 21-Financing Your Small Business. The cost is $35 per business. Payment will be due the first night of the class, March 26. Call Caitlin at 419.238.2999 to register for the course.

Ohio State University Extension-Van Wert County is partnering with the City Economic Development Office to offer a social media workshop. Heather Gottke of OSU Extension will teach the workshop. The workshop will include managing Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for a business, as well as what type of post to use to attract attention and how to incorporate social media into a business’ success.

The class will take place in the Community Room at Vantage Career Center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, April 7. The cost will include a boxed lunch. Registration is encouraged as class size is limited to 25 participants. The training will cost $25 per person. Payment will be due April 7. Participants need to bring a laptop or tablet in order to participate in training.

To register, call Caitlin at 419.238.2999.

Ron Kremer, a business consultant with the Business Enterprise Center, will be offering QuickBooks training at Vantage Career Center. The training is 12 hours total spread over four classes. The classes will be held May 5, May 7, May 12, and May 14 from 5 to 8 p.m. The cost is $125 per person for the class, which will train participants on every aspect of QuickBooks for business needs.

Class space is limited to 15 participants. Contact DeeDee Dirksen at Vantage Career Center, 419.238.5411, or Rachel Stoker at WSU Business Enterprise Center at 419.586.0355 to register. Payment will be due the first night of classes on May 5.

POSTED: 03/26/15 at 7:46 am. FILED UNDER: Business, News

Lincolnview Local Schools information

The Lincolnview Local School District recently saved nearly $3 million by refinancing several bond issues in February.

On February 19, the Lincolnview Local School District refinanced its outstanding School Improvement Refunding Bonds issued in March 2005; school construction bonds issued in December 2005; and the school construction bonds issued in February of 2006 for a significant savings to the district.

Similar to a homeowner, the district regularly checks its debt and current interest rates to determine if refinancing is a worthwhile option.

The district worked with Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, the district’s bond counsel, and Fifth Third Securities Inc., the district’s underwriter, to take advantage of the low interest rate climate and refinance the Bond issues with final closing for the Series 2015 Bond Issue taking place on March 19.

The amount of the new bond issue is $9.47 million. The total savings to the district is $2,958,096, which resulted from locking in lower interest rates and from the school district making an early “cash” contribution/retirement payment.

According to Treasurer Troy Bowersock, the savings will be passed onto district taxpayers in the form of reduced taxes needed to repay the district’s debt, with the majority of the savings to be realized in the final years of the debt payments.

The district qualified for the State Credit Enhancement Program to provide added benefit to the Bond sale. The bonds were marketed with a rating of Aa2 from Moody’s Investors Service based upon the district’s acceptance into the state program. This ultimately meant a lower interest rate (locking in an average coupon interest rate of 2.89 percent) and a higher level of savings to the district.

In addition to the debt service savings, the district’s 2015 bond issue has a final maturity of December 1, 2029, which is four years earlier than the original outstanding bond issues final maturity date.

Bowersock noted that the Lincolnview Local School District and Board of Education continually review and monitor the budget and operations of the school district in an effort to maintain an efficient operation and stable financial position while providing quality educational programs to the Lincolnview students.

POSTED: 03/26/15 at 7:45 am. FILED UNDER: News