The Van Wert County Courthouse

Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018

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

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.

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

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

VW independent/submitted information

The popular “Ohio Has Talent!” show returns at 7 p.m. Saturday, February 24, at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio in Van Wert. This year’s talent show, presented by Community Health Professionals (CHP), features 18 acts hailing from around the region competing for cash prizes of $1,000, $500, and $250 determined by audience votes.

Local “Ohio Has Talent!” contestants include (top row, from the left) Spencer Paquette, Jody Wade and Tim Kindinger, Lainie Jones; (bottom row) Dru and Michaella Johnson, Bayley Tow, and the Glamour Girls. photos provided

Acts for this year’s show include the following:

The Glamour Girls is the premier performance ensemble of the Bachwell Center for Music & Dance in Van Wert. Anna Wasson, Annika Maples, Debbie Jones, Sofia Houg, Brittany Fetzer, and Annabella Cooper make up this talented group of 11- to 15-year-old girls.

Lainie Jones is a senior at Lincolnview High School in Van Wert County and lives in Venedocia. She has been in school theatre productions and often sings the national anthem at basketball games.

Tim Kindinger and Jody Wade. Wade is from Elida and a registered nurse at St. Rita’s Medical Center in Lima. She has performed with various groups in the region. Kindinger is from Van Wert, is involved with the worship team at his church and also joins the local band Exploit at some of its shows.


POSTED: 02/17/18 at 1:15 am. FILED UNDER: News

A large crowd was entertained, but also prodded to consider the evils of slavery and racism, during Friday night’s performance of the musical Amazing Grace the Musical at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio. Here, John Newton helps his father auction off slaves before the epiphany that turns him against slavery, and also leads him to pen one of the most sung Christian anthems of all time. Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

POSTED: 02/17/18 at 12:48 am. FILED UNDER: News

Submitted information

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green), chairman of the Energy and Commerce (E&C) Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection, applauded the signing of the Protecting Young Athletes from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act into law.

The subcommittee that Latta chairs has jurisdiction over the health and safety of athletes, and he has been outspoken in his call for an investigation in light of the recent USA gymnastics abuse case.

In addition, Latta sent a letter with other Energy and Commerce Committee leaders to the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Gymnastics, USA Swimming, USA Taekwondo, and Michigan State University seeking documents regarding sexual abuse in their organizations. The E&C Committee will be conducting an investigation into the matter.

The legislation signed into law would require reporting of suspected child and sexual abuse at an amateur sports organization facility or at an event sanctioned by one of the governing bodies to local and federal authorities within 24 hours. The bill also strengthens civil remedies for survivors of sexual abuse. The bill makes the changes to the Amateur Sports Act, which charters the USOC and subsequent national governing bodies for each Olympic sport.

“It’s impossible to hear the stories told by those subjected to sexual abuse by Larry Nassar and not feel that there was a complete letdown by the institutions charged with keeping these young athletes safe,” said Latta. “The legislation signed into law today is an important first step by mandating amateur organizations report abuse to law enforcement, but there are still countless questions about how he was able to exploit those entrusted in his care for so long.

“Too many young athletes suffered for us to simply think the conviction of Dr. Nassar makes this sad chapter complete,” Latta added. “We need answers to these questions and full accountability of our nation’s amateur athletic organizations.”

POSTED: 02/17/18 at 12:40 am. FILED UNDER: News

Buckeye Y Youth Inc. hosted Valentines for Vets this past Monday at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5803 in Van Wert. The group made “Magic Color Scratch Hearts”, “Valentine Emoji Magnets” and Valentine’s Day greeting cards to be presented to veterans in area nursing homes. The color guard marched in and led the group in the “Pledge of Allegiance”. Veterans from the color guard also answered questions about their time in the service. A ‘Valentines for Vets” cake and other refreshments were served to those attending. Buckeye Y Youth is a United Way agency and Van Wert County Foundation grant recipient. Shown are color guard members Steve Pollock, Steve Springer, and Bob Agler (all Vietnam vets), and Arnie Baker (World War II), with Buckeye Y Youth members. photo provided

POSTED: 02/17/18 at 12:39 am. FILED UNDER: News