The Van Wert County Courthouse

Thursday, Jul. 19, 2018

Shown is War of 1812 veteran James Coe’s new grave marker in Woodland Cemetery. photo provided

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

Two simple questions. However, the answers they elicited have now resulted in a grave marker for the oldest military veteran buried in Van Wert’s Woodland Cemetery.

Van Wert City Councilman Bill Marshall, who is also a member of the Van Wert County Veterans Service Commission, said he was curious as to who was the oldest veteran buried in the cemetery and asked cemetery caretaker Dave Schulte if he knew.

“He immediately answered ‘James Coe’,” Marshall said, adding that, when he asked if he could see Coe’s gravestone, the answer also quickly came back: “He doesn’t have one.”

Coe’s story is an interesting one, to say the least. The man, who was born (no lie) on July 4, 1776, in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, was a veteran of the War of 1812 who spent some time as a prisoner of war following the unsuccessful American attempt to invade Canada.

Coe, who lived to the age of 109, nearly didn’t have a long life at all. His father and a brother were killed in an Indian massacre in Wyoming, Pennsylvania, when he was still very young, but he survived with his mother, who fled with him into the mountains around the village and later returned when the Indians had gone.

Marshall said Coe lived in the village until he was 16, when he left to become a sailor for 14 years. His obituary noted that he “visited every portion of the globe” during that time.


POSTED: 07/18/18 at 8:47 am

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

New Main Street Van Wert Director Mitch Price has a passion for Van Wert, and a passion for non-profit organizations like the downtown organization he now heads.

Price said that, while he very much enjoyed his 2½ years with Purmort Brothers Insurance, he is happy to be working for a non-profit organization again.

New Main Street Van Wert Executive Director Mitch Price poses in the Former Mayor Eugene Bagley Alley in downtown Van Wert. photo provided

“I was at the YMCA for 13 years, and I obviously loved being there and made a lot of cool connections,” he said.

Price, a 2000 graduate of Van Wert High School who later earned a business degree at Wright State University’s Lake Campus, added that he is also excited to be able to maintain and build upon the efforts of former MSVW executive directors Adam Ries and Dan Baisden.

“My passion has always been non-profits,” Price said, noting that he doesn’t feel he needs to “recreate the wheel”, but mostly maintain the many events and activities of the Main Street organization, while adding his own personality and strengths to the organization.

One huge advantage of Main Street Van Wert, Price noted, is its strong board.

“The Main Street board is one of the best non-profit boards in Van Wert; it’s very active,” Price said, and he should know, since he spent 2½ years as a board member and a year on its executive board.

MSVW Board President Mark Verville is also pleased to have Price on board as the organization’s director.

“Mitch has demonstrated a passion for our community with his previous employers, Purmort Brothers Insurance Agency and the YMCA, as well as being an active member of Van Wert Service Club and Board and Committee member of Main Street Van Wert; we are excited for this next phase of the organization,” Verville said. “Our recent executive directors, Adam Ries and Dan Baisden, have set a high bar and we feel Mitch can build on the solid platform they helped establish.

“We have very active and engaged board and committee members who will work with Mitch to drive our mission to stimulate growth and development in historic downtown Van Wert,” Verville added.

Price, who officially began his new job on Monday, has had to hit the ground running, though, with one of the biggest Main Street events, Town Creek Live!, coming up this weekend.


POSTED: 07/18/18 at 8:42 am. FILED UNDER: News

Jeffery-Mohr Dentistryis sponsoring a Business Day at the YMCA’s Camp Clay Aqua Center on Wednesday, July 18. 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 (center) are owners Carl Jeffery and Jessica Jeffery-Mohr.YMCA photo

POSTED: 07/18/18 at 8:38 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

Recently, the Van Wert County Board of Commissioners enacted a resolution to prohibit smoking within 20 feet of the County Courthouse front door entrance. This resolution supports the Ohio Revised Code 3794 which defines smoking regulations, posting of required signage, reporting of violations and the duties of the department of health.

In summary, the law states that administrators of public spaces have the duty to ensure that tobacco smoke does not enter any area through entrances or other means into a space where smoking is prohibited (ORC 3794.02 B), which includes the county courthouse as a place of employment (ORC 3794.02 A).

A sign like this one will likely be placed in front of the Van Wert County Courthouse after the County Board of Commissioners banned smoking within 20 feet of the building’s entrance.

In addition to the Ohio Revised Code, the promotion of nonsmoking environments and tobacco cessation is a goal of the Healthy People 2020 initiative from the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. One goal of the Healthy People 2020 initiative is to reduce illness, disability, and deaths related to the use of tobacco products and exposure to second hand smoke.   Research has proven the lengthy list of health issues and the financial burden these diseases have on individuals as well as the health care industry.

The 2015 Van Wert County Community Health Needs Assessment identified 14 percent of Van Wert County residents as smokers, including 5 percent of youths, and 61 percent of young people reported they were exposed to second hand smoke.

The CDC reported lung cancer as the leading cause of cancer deaths in Van Wert County (2009-2013) and Chronic Respiratory Disease was the third leading cause of death in Van Wert County in 2013. The Healthy People 2020 initiative’s goal is to reduce these figures partly through the establishment of policies that help to reduce exposure to secondhand smoke.

“The mission of the Van Wert County General Health District is to promote and protect the health and well-being of the community.” explains County Medical Director/Health Commissioner Paul A. Kalogerou, M.D.  “We are pleased to support city, county, and state decisions that promote a healthy lifestyle and environment. This resolution helps to create a healthy working atmosphere for county employees and a healthier environment for courthouse visitors.”

Van Wert County General Health District is also committed to helping those who want to quit smoking find the help they need. Smokers, and families who have members who currently smoke, that would like more information about tobacco cessation can call the Van Wert County Health Department at 419.238.0808, extension 112.

POSTED: 07/18/18 at 8:36 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

OHIO CITY — The Ohio City Park Board is excited to announce its 51st Lambert Days celebration this coming weekend, including the selection of this year’s parade grand marshal, Deb Strickler. Activities also include communitywide garage sales occurring throughout the village and Liberty Township.

Members of the Lambert family in one of the automobiles built and designed by John Lambert. VW independent file photo

The festival will start off with a steak dinner at 4 p.m. Friday, July 20, at Harvey Lewis American Legion Post 346 in Ohio, while the post will have its annual flag-raising ceremony at 5 that afternoon. Kids’ games, inflatables, and other activities will also start at 5. Mike Bouillon will provide music under the tent at 6 p.m., followed by the regional rock band Colt & Crew at 8 that evening.

There will also be a Texas Hold ‘Em tournament at 7 p.m., along with a Monte Carlo Night at 8. The Lambert Days fireworks display will start at 10:15 (Saturday night is the rain date). The Park Board has earmarked an additional 20 percent toward the display this year and it promises to be the biggest display yet.

Saturday morning starts off with a men’s softball tournament at 8 a.m. at the front diamond and breakfast at the concession stand along Ohio 118 provided by the EPIC youth group of Ohio City Community Church of God.

Coed volleyball begins at 9 that morning, with kids’ games, inflatables, and other youth activities starting at 11, along with face painting, a petting zoo, horse drawn cart rides, and other kids’ activities.


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

VW independent/submitted information

Van Wert Lodge 1197, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, recently donated $750 to the Middle Point Fire Department for the purchase a TFT New Force Low Profile Ball Intake Valve.

Shown with the purchased fire equipment are (from the left) Middle Point Fire Captain Nate Wiechart, Fire Chief Craig King, and Elks Lodge Community Service Grant Chairman Michael C. Stanley. Elks photo

The monies are distributed by the Ohio Elks Association in the form of a Community Service grant. The Ohio Elks Association receives funds each year from the Elks National Foundation, a perpetual trust fund established in 1928 by the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. Contributions to the Foundation are made each year by close to 1 million Elks and their families and friends in more than 2,000 Elks lodges across the United States, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines.

To date, Van Wert Elks Lodge 1197 has distributed more than $33,393.76 back into Van Wert County through Community Service grants to assist the city, villages, and the county.

Van Wert Elks Lodge is proud to be able to assist the Middle Point Fire Department as it provides fire protection to the residents of Middle Point and the surrounding area.

POSTED: 07/17/18 at 7:12 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

WREN — As part of Wren Homecoming festivities, Wrenway Park Wiffleball Warehouse announces sign-up for the 27th annual tournament will be held at 5 p.m. Wednesday, August 1, at the Wren Restaurant.

The first 15 paid teams ($100 entry fee), along with the automatic entry for 2017 champion Eager Beavers, will fill the bracket for the 2018 event.

Tournament to be held the weekend of August 17-18 in the “Wiffleball Capital of Ohio”.

Also, the tournament committee is seeking teams to play in a 15-and-under Junior Wiffleball Tournament. Entry fee is $80 per team, with pre-championship games to be played Thursday, August 16 (times to be announced). The championship game will be played Saturday, August 18, at approximately 5 p.m., at Wrenway Park. Junior Wiffleball teams include 10 players on the roster and six in the field during games.

For more information or to enter a team in the junior tournament, call 419.495.2752 after 5 p.m. and leave a message.

POSTED: 07/17/18 at 7:10 am. FILED UNDER: News, Sports

VW independent/submitted information

MIDDLE POINT — The Middle Point Lions Club will hold its annual Ice Cream Social and Benefit Auction on Friday, July 27, in the Middle Point Community Building.

Food items will be available at 5 p.m. The sandwich menu includes barbecue pork, shredded chicken, sloppy joes, hot dogs, and Coney dogs, as well as baked beans, macaroni and potato salads, cole slaw, pie, and ice cream.

The auction starts at 6 that evening, and features a wide variety of brand-new items and gift certificates donated by area merchants. A whole butchered hog and a Cub Cadet snow thrower with electric start are featured items.

Proceeds benefit Middle Point Lions Club community projects.

POSTED: 07/17/18 at 7:08 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

According to Van Wert Safety-Service Director Jay Fleming, city workers will begin replacing the storm sewer on Rosalie Drive starting today and will continue construction, weather permitting, until the project is completed.

POSTED: 07/17/18 at 7:06 am. FILED UNDER: News

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

With the success of its dinners for World War II, Korea, and Vietnam veterans, the Van Wert County Veterans Service Office is looking to create more opportunities for veterans of all ages and their families to enjoy some summer fun together.

YMCA Camp Clay Director Kevin Morrison (left) and Van Wert County Veterans Service Officer Barry Johns go over plans for upcoming veterans family event at Camp Clay. Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

“We’ve covered everyone but the younger veterans with the dinners,” said Veterans Service Officer Barry Johns, who added that younger vets indicated their preference for something more family-oriented that a sit-down dinner anyway.

Next month, the Veterans Service Office will host a picnic-style event at the YMCA of Van Wert County’s Camp Clay facility. The event, which will begin at noon on Saturday, August 4, will provide a number of activities for veterans and their immediate families, which would include grandchildren for older vets.

“The intention of this, if we get a good showing, is to have an annual veterans reunion,” Johns said.

In addition to providing an event where veterans and their families can socialize, there will also be picnic-style food and lots of activities for people of all ages, especially kids. Food will likely be served sometime in the mid-afternoon, Johns said, noting that food will typical picnic fare, such as hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, and chips, as well as beverages.

Event activities will include the Camp Clay splash pad, swimming and paddleboats on Lake Rotary, nature hikes, and much more.


POSTED: 07/16/18 at 7:43 am. FILED UNDER: News

Braun Industries recently presented a check to First United Methodist Church for Operation Back to School. Shown are Travis Ellerbrock, Teresa Shaffer, and Dave Brincefield. As a reminder, Operation Back to School is scheduled for Sunday, July 29, from 3-5 p.m., in Fountain Park. Pre-registration is recommended and can be found here: Other questions may be directed to 419.238.0631, extension provided

POSTED: 07/16/18 at 7:38 am. FILED UNDER: News