topamax recall

The Van Wert County Courthouse

Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, who is also running for governor in 2018, spoke Friday at a local GOP luncheon held at Willow Bend Country Club.Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, a Republican candidate for governor in 2018, was in Van Wert on Friday to speak during the local GOP’s Second Friday Luncheon at Willow Bend Country Club.

Husted, 50, who is among those seeking the Republican nomination for governor, was adopted as a baby in Detroit, Michigan, and his family moved to the small Ohio town of Montpelier.

He said he had often gone through Van Wert, usually while driving to and from college from his hometown, but also to visit his cousin, the late Mike Gearhart.

Although he admits he was a “terrible student” until he was a sophomore in high school, Huston later earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees, as well as being an All-American football star, at the University of Dayton. After a stint as vice president of business and economic development for the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, he pursued politics and later became one of the youngest speakers of the house in the country.

Husted first entered politics in 2000 when he was elected to represent the 41st Ohio House District (Montgomery County). He became, at age 38, Ohio Speaker of the House in 2005 and served in that position until he was elected to the Ohio Senate in 2008.

In 2011, he began serving as Ohio Secretary of State, the state’s top elections official.


POSTED: 10/21/17 at 8:36 am

Great weather and lots of activities, events, food, and displays brought hundreds of people out to this year’s Van Wert Apple Festival at the fairgrounds. The annual festival continues today from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

POSTED: 10/21/17 at 8:35 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

LIMA — Van Wert High School competed in the second annual Makerfest STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) event held in Lima. Over 30 schools from the area, and more than 1,400 students, competed in 19 STEM-related events.

Van Wert High School was awarded first place overall among the more than 30 schools. Competition event results for Van Wert are as follows:

  • Business Simulation Challenge (second place): Nicole Clay, Jared Hernandez, Dalton Heppeard
  • Cupcake Catastrophe: (first place): Aeris Blakeley, Anna Reichert, Storm Matthews
  • Engineering in a Box (second place): Ryan Chen, Sydney Maller, Jenna Covey
  • Explosion Mindcraft (third place): Andrew Hamblett, Zach Lape, Angel Haller
  • First Robotics (third place): Nick Carter, Noah Carter, Michael Etter
  • Video Game Design (third place): Lauren Cooper, Wesley Wagner, Anthony Salcido
  • Pallet Furniture Assembly (first place): Brad Fuerst, Nathan Bidlack, Korey Oechsle
  • Math Challenge (third place): Sterling Rigdon, Madison Turnwald, Zach Lape
  • Operation Challenge (third place): Chloe Brake, Madison Jarrett, Madison Turnwald
  • Animation Design (first place): Angel Haller
  • Logo/Branding Design (third place): Caton Williamson
  • Photo Manipulation (second place): Heaven Winters
  • Photo Manipulation (third place): Katie McVaigh
  • Photography (second place): Brook Zimmerman
  • Engineering CAD (second place): Nathan Bidlack
  • Engineering CAD (third place): Nick Carter

This was Van Wert High School’s first time attending and competing at Makerfest, with Coaches Bob Spath and Kerry Koontz saying they are excited and proud of the students and their accomplishments.

VWHS students who competed in the second annual Makerfest STEM competition in Lima pose with their awards. (photo submitted)

POSTED: 10/21/17 at 8:21 am. FILED UNDER: News

The Van Wert High School Vocal Music Department will be presenting a fall concert on Thursday, October 26, at 8 p.m., at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio. The Freshman Choir, Sophomore Women’s Choir, Select Choir, and Concert Choir (above) will all be taking the stage that evening, and the ensembles will perform a variety of pieces representing different musical styles. Admission is free. Come out and enjoy a great night of music. (photo submitted)

POSTED: 10/21/17 at 8:16 am. FILED UNDER: News

Submitted information

COLUMBUS — With the arrival of flu season, the Ohio Department of Health is recommending that all Ohioans 6 months old and older get a flu shot now. Flu activity traditionally begins to increase in October and can last as late as May, with cases typically peaking between December and February.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the best protection against seasonal flu viruses. Flu vaccines have been updated this year to better match circulating flu viruses.

“Flu vaccination can help keep you from getting sick, missing work or school, and prevent flu-related hospitalization and death,” said Sietske de Fijter, state epidemiologist and ODH bureau chief of infectious diseases. “The more people who get vaccinated help protect others, including older adults, very young children, pregnant women, and people with certain long-term health conditions who are more vulnerable to serious flu complications.”

Symptoms of influenza can include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue.

“If you are sick with the flu, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading it to others,” said de Fijter.

Although most people fully recover from the flu, some experience severe illness like pneumonia and respiratory failure, and the flu can sometimes be fatal. People who think that they may have the flu and are pregnant, have an underlying medical condition, or who are extremely ill should contact their healthcare provider immediately.


POSTED: 10/21/17 at 8:12 am. FILED UNDER: News

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

CONVOY — The Crestview Local Board of Education had another work session related to its Master Site Plan, while also approving the district’s five-year forecast, during its October meeting on Thursday.

Architect Kasey Corbet of Germann Miller & Associates points out details in a Master Site Plan developed by the firm to add classroom space in the Crestview district. Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

After months of discussion, the board committed to doing something about the district’s classroom shortage, but board members have yet to commit to just what specifically it feels should be done.

On Thursday, Kasey Corbet, an architect with Garmann Miller & Associates, the district’s architectural firm, provided several design options on how a facilities project might look, including an infill of the current school’s courtyard area, and the option to add a second floor to the infill to provide additional classrooms, and music rooms.

Board members looked at each of the options, but Board President John Auld said he would also like to see cost estimates on each option, since he felt cost was the biggest factor in deciding which plan to go with. The district is planning to use available funds to pay for the project.

“I’m all for doing as much as we can, but we have to look at cost,” Auld said.

Moreover, while earlier plans had included the option of a lecture hall, none of the most recent plans included that option.

Corbet will not prepare cost estimates on each of the options for the next board meeting on November 16.


POSTED: 10/20/17 at 8:36 am. FILED UNDER: News

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

U.S. Representative Bob Latta was in Van Wert for a fundraiser on Thursday and also visited with local agencies and sat down with The Van Wert independent to talk about pending federal legislation and related activities.

The first item Latta talked about was a forum on the opioid epidemic the congressman held Thursday in Defiance. The forum included an eight-person panel — three representatives from federal agencies, including the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and five local representatives — to discuss problems related to opioid use, provide information on what’s being done currently out to residents in the Fifth District, as well as learn what problems local agencies are facing in combatting the opioid epidemic.

Bob Latta

“I thought we had a really good event for folks in the region,” Latta said of the forum.

The congressman, who called Ohio “ground zero” for the opioid epidemic, noted that drug-related deaths in Ohio increased by more than 1,000 people over last year, with an average of 11 drug-related deaths each day in the state.

Latta also talked about federal legislation that deals with the drug problem, including the 21st Century Cures bill that provides $1 billion for treatment and prevention services, and the Comprehensive Addiction and Rehabilitation Act (CARA), which also provides resources for education, treatment, and prevention.

In addition, Latta said he was introducing a bill that would create a national database to provide information on what’s working in the way of prevention and treatment, as well as where to find funding for drug treatment and prevention programs.

Latta also talked about a hearing a House subcommittee he chairs held on the Equifax data breach. The hearing featured testimony from Richard Smith, former Equifax CEO.

The congressman said the hearing focused on the lack of action taken by Equifax to protect Americans whose information it was supposed to safeguard, and the errors made when the company finally reacted to the data breach.

The bottom line, Latta said, was that Equifax did not do the things needed to keep people’s private information safe.

“They had a duty to protect the privacy of 145 million people and they failed,” Latta noted, adding that his own information was affected by the breach.

The congressman said tax reform is also a big focus for Congress right now, noting the issue hasn’t been addressed since 1986, when Ronald Reagan was president. In addition to easing the tax burden, Latta said the tax system itself needs to be simplified to the point where “90 percent of Americans” could do their own taxes on a postcard-size form.

POSTED: 10/20/17 at 8:21 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

DELPHOS — As part of state requirements, Van Wert and Allen County Emergency Management Agencies teamed up for a full-scale hazmat-readiness exercise in Delphos on Thursday morning.

According to Van Wert County EMA Director Rick McCoy, he and Allen County EMA Director Tom Berger began planning for the drill in early spring, with the intention of both counties’ resources coming together to test hazardous material preparedness in Delphos.

First responders treat a “victim” during a hazmat disaster drill conducted by the Van Wert and Allen County Emergency Management Agencies on Thursday. (photo submitted)

Two area facilities, Airgas and Crop Production Services, located just southwest of the Delphos city limits, volunteered their locations as the site for the drill. The hazmat scenario involved a likely weather event: a tornado hitting the facilities and releasing a large amount of anhydrous ammonia, while also igniting a building where chemicals were stored.

The morning began with a call being made to Van Wert County 9-1-1 dispatch advising of the incident, with the Van Wert County Sheriff’s Office then coordinating with the Allen County Sheriff’s Office to dispatch necessary agencies to handle the scenario.

Several “contaminated victims” at the scene were transported to St. Rita’s Medical Center in Lima by the Middle Point and Van Wert EMS squads, where they were put through the emergency room Deacon system. Fire departments practicing their skills and procedures on containing the chemicals included Delphos Fire and the Allen County Hazmat team, the Van Wert and Allen County sheriff’s offices provided assistance.

As a component of the drill, due to the presence of a “toxic cloud” over Delphos, the two county EMAs, along with the public information officers from both counties, coordinated population protection actions for Delphos residents, as well as determined how residents would be alerted to shelter-in-place or evacuate.

Red Cross chapters and health departments from both counties were tasked with establishing a shelter site in Delphos. Some volunteers also came to the shelter and registered as evacuees.

Additional communications for the drill were handled by area amateur radio operators. Also participating in the exercise were all Delphos schools and nursing homes, which practiced procedures they would follow on evacuating and maintaining people in a shelter-in-place scenario. The area Community Health Professionals organizations also determined how they could handle their clients in this type of disaster situation.

McCoy said the drill was a “great learning experience” for the 83 participants involved, and also gave the agencies in both counties a better understanding on how to effectively work together during a “real world” disaster.

POSTED: 10/20/17 at 8:19 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

Crestview and Lincolnview school districts recently completed United Way campaigns as part of the local Rivals United initiative. Administration and staff of both schools made pledges in support of the 27 agencies funded by the United Way of Van Wert County.

Crestview Local Schools greatly increased its pledges by 36 percent over the 2016 campaign, while Lincolnview Local Schools saw an increase of 18 percent in money pledged.

This year, the challenge between the schools was to increase their staff campaign, and to support the Rivals United event. Students from the two school districts created the event last year and raised more than $12,000, and both staffs wanted to show their support this year as well. The campaign totals will be the starting point for this year’s Rivals United, with Lincolnview currently in the lead by more than $1,000.

Both schools are supporters of the United Way of Van Wert County, the community, and many local organizations. To continue with the Rivals United program; Crestview and Lincolnview student representatives will team up to hold a friendly competition between the student bodies to see who can raise the most money for United Way. This fundraising event will be held during the rivalry week — January 29-February 2.

The girls’ basketball game between the two schools is on Thursday, February 1, 2018, at Crestview, while the boys’ teams play Friday, February 2, 2018, at Lincolnview. Those games will wrap up the Rivals United week and determine the winning school district.

Rivals United t-shirts will be on available through presale only as the event draws near. For more information, contact the United Way office at 419.238.6689 or email Watch for upcoming event information as the Rivals United initiative approaches.

POSTED: 10/20/17 at 8:15 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

Van Wert Middle School will hold Parent-Teacher Conferences in various locations at the school on Monday, October 30, from 4-7:30 p.m.; Tuesday, October 31, from noon-7:30 p.m., with a dinner break from 4:30-5 that afternoon; and Thursday, November 2, from 4-7:30 p.m.

Parent-teacher conferences allow parents and students the opportunity to discuss their progress with the VWMS team of teachers. Members of the teaching staff welcome and encourage parents to visit the school during the above hours, or during team time throughout the school year. Many activities are planned during conferences, including a book fair, while the VWMS main stairwell lobby will be filled with information from various community organizations.

Those wanting to attend VWMS parent-teacher conferences should park in the main VWMS or athletic parking lots and enter the building through the main school entrance or gymnasium entrance.

Parents are reminded that, due to parent-teacher conferences, there will be no school Monday, October 30, and Tuesday, October 31.  School will resume Wednesday, November 1, for a regular school day.

Parents who have not already received a conference time are encouraged to call or email their team of teachers or call Sarah White, school counselor, at 419.238.5520 to schedule a conference.

POSTED: 10/20/17 at 8:12 am. FILED UNDER: News

Van Wert independent

A jury found Van Wert resident Robert Jewell not guilty of two counts of aggravated arson during a trial held this week in Van Wert County Common Pleas Court.

The jury deliberated approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes on Thursday afternoon before acquitting Jewell, 26, of the charges. Jewell was originally indicted by the Van Wert County Grand Jury in connection with a house fire at 720 E. Crawford St. that occurred December 16, 2015.

POSTED: 10/20/17 at 8:11 am. FILED UNDER: News