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The Van Wert County Courthouse

Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017

CNT owner Kirk Berryman in the company’s computer repair area. Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

It was December 1997 when Kirk Berryman began Computer Networking & Technology (CNT). The last two decades have seen many changes in technology — and even in how CNT does business.

Berryman first got interested in computers while a marketing and management student at Lima Technical College in the mid-1990s.

“I did an internship at a small computer company in Lima,” Berryman said, noting that his knowledge of computers at the time was pretty much zero. “I didn’t know anything about computers, didn’t know what a hard drive was, didn’t know what a stick of memory was.”

That changed as he not only did sales for the company, but also basically self-taught himself to repair computers, ran cable, and set up small servers.

“I did everything from sales to home installs, to wiring, to server work, just a little bit of everything,” Berryman remembers.

The experience was so rewarding that Berryman decided to go into business for himself after the internship ended.

Things were vastly different from today, though, when he and two technicians set up shop in Van Wert in 1997.


POSTED: 12/13/17 at 8:42 am

VW independent/submitted information

DAYTON — Last weekend, the Van Wert Robotics Team started off the season by taking second place in the FIRST Tech State Qualifier in Dayton. The team won 3 of 6 matches, and earned a spot in the semi-finals, finishing in second place.

Members of the VWHS Robotics Team that competed in Dayton. photo submitted

The robotics team also placed third in the Motivate Award category, which is given to the team who makes FIRST known throughout its school and community. Van Wert’s Robotics Team has earned the Motivate Award by inspiring other teams in northwest Ohio.

Additionally, the team took third place for the PTC Design Award, which recognizes design elements of the robot that are both functional and aesthetic. These elements could give it a cleaner, simple look, be decorative, or creatively express the team. There must be a balance between the functionality of the robot and its aesthetics.

Finally, the team also earned second place for the Connect Award. To earn the Connect Award, a team must connect with its local community and inform them of FIRST. The VWHS Robotics Team realizes the community is an important part of the FIRST Tech experience, and includes it as often as possible.

The VWHS Robotics Team will compete next in Pennsylvania on January 13, 2018, after weeks of hard work.

POSTED: 12/13/17 at 8:34 am. FILED UNDER: News

After months of fundraising, and thanks to the generosity of students and staff, Vantage Junior Cosmetology instructor Amy Grothouse and her “elves” were able to buy a stage-full of toys for the local Toss-A-Toy! program. “Even though we will not see their faces when they get these gifts, all of us can know in our hearts that we made someone’s Christmas very special,” Grothouse said. “And that is truly the joy of giving!” Here, Vantage High School Director Tony Unverferth (left) and Vantage Superintendent Rick Turner (right) pose with Vantage students and a mound of toys. Vantage photo

POSTED: 12/13/17 at 8:32 am. FILED UNDER: News

Submitted information

The opioid epidemic has hit Ohio hard and for those struggling to overcome addiction, the holidays can be a stressful time that is prone to relapse. Giving gifts and attending family celebrations can be overwhelming for someone whose main priority is avoiding withdrawal. Furthermore, the holiday blues can set in and substance abuse can be a tempting escape.

Ken Yeager, Ph.D., director of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center’s Stress Trauma and Resilience (STAR) Program, has advice for those in recovery, as well as their family members who may not fully understand the nature of addiction.

For those in recovery:

  • Be aware of cross addiction and cross tolerance. Just because you are not taking opioids anymore doesn’t mean it’s okay to have a drink with dinner.
  • If you are going to someone’s else’s home, ask that they remove medications from their medicine cabinets.
  • Have an honest conversation with yourself. Can you handle asking people to hide their medications? Can you go to a party and avoid temptations?
  • Pick a support person that you can rely on throughout the season.

For family members:

  • Provide structure this holiday season that is supportive of recovery efforts.
  • Set clear rules around alcohol at celebrations.
  • Be certain to clean our medicine cabinets.
  • Keep a close eye on the person in recovery. Be aware if they are nervous, agitated, sweating or pacing.
  • Build in safe spaces and times for the person in recovery.
  • Be aware of old behaviors, have frequent discussions about recovery and progress.

POSTED: 12/13/17 at 8:27 am. FILED UNDER: News

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

With the second defeat of the city income tax increase, Van Wert City Council is considering levying its own tax, so to speak, on residents who live here and work in other communities.

Van Wert Area Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Stacy Adam talks about recent positive developments during Monday’s Van Wert City Council meeting. Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

Council has apparently decided to discuss elimination of all tax credits for city residents who work outside Van Wert.

“Because times have changed,” said Third Ward Councilman Ken Markward, noting that the state has reduced revenues to municipalities, creating a need for more city revenues. “I, right now, am having a difficulty continuing to have people who work in Van Wert subsidize the tax bills of people who work outside. In other words, I’m proposing we look at taking that [credit] to zero.”

Markward noted that, according to numbers provided to Council by then-Income Tax Administrator Rudy Grant, zeroing out the tax credit would add approximately $200,000 in additional revenues annually.

The action, if taken, would be a reversal of recent legislation to increase the credit, but a continuation of a gradual phase-out of the credit taken by previous City Councils.

The tax credit for those who live in the city, but work elsewhere, was originally 100 percent of the then-1 percent tax, but previous City Councils have gradually lowered that percentage to 75 percent, then 50 percent, and now the current 25 percent reduction.

Markward did note that, if the city income tax increase had been approved, Council would not be looking at taking action to eliminate the credit. In fact, City Council members approved an increase in the credit to 50 percent under legislation passed earlier this year, but made that increase contingent on passage of the tax increase.


POSTED: 12/12/17 at 8:51 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

Van Wert City Schools is currently taking applications for a paraprofessional at Van Wert Elementary School.

Those interested may complete a Van Wert City School classified application. Applications can be found at by clicking on the District Information link, Employment Opportunities link, Classified Application, or by stopping at the superintendent’s office in the S.F. Goedde Building, 205 W Crawford St. in Van Wert.

A completed application and resume can be dropped off at the superintendent’s office or emailed to Application deadline is Tuesday, December 26.

POSTED: 12/12/17 at 8:40 am. FILED UNDER: News

Van Wert County Hospital recently completed its 2017 United Way campaign with an increase in pledges of 20 percent over last year’s total. The hospital continues to support the local United Way with a generous match of its employees’ pledges. Van Wert County Hospital partners with the United Way to provide for the community in many different health and social programs. This year’s theme is “Community Heroes” and the hospital is a great example of “Being Super”. United Way photo

POSTED: 12/12/17 at 8:39 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

A Celebration of Life and Memorial will take place for Stanley W. Agler, the first full-time mayor of Van Wert who took part in city government for more than 47 years, will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday, January 7, 2018, at Cowan and Son Funeral Home, 616 S. Washington St. in Van Wert.

POSTED: 12/12/17 at 8:37 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

Van Wert Municipal Court will close on Wednesday, December 13, at noon for an employee training workshop. Regular business hours will resume on Thursday, December 14.

POSTED: 12/12/17 at 8:36 am. FILED UNDER: News

The Texas Tenors, (from the left) JC Fisher, John Hagen, and Marcus Collins, sang Christmas songs — and much more — to a packed house during two performances of The Texas Tenors: Deep in the Heart of Christmas, at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio on Saturday. Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

POSTED: 12/11/17 at 8:58 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

Some gasoline prices in Van Wert were below the state average of $2.35 while others were as much as 14 cents higher than the state average, during a survey of local gas prices on Sunday.

Murphy’s USA in the Towne Center shopping center was the lowest at $2.32.9 — 10 cents lower than last week — while two stations, Lassus Handy Dandy on North Washington and the One Stop Shop in the 200 block of North Washington, were runners-up at $2.34.9.

The gasoline price sign at Murphy’s USA shows the lowest gas price in Van Wert on Monday morning. Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

All three Marathon stations, the two Pak-A-Sak stations on North Washington and South Shannon, plus the station at Brookside on West Main Street, were at $2.39.9, while the Short Stop on East Main Street had the highest gasoline prices at $2.49.9.

Average retail gasoline prices in Ohio have risen 3.7 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.35 per gallon on Sunday, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 5,345 gas outlets in Ohio. This compares with the national average, which has fallen 2.5 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.45 per gallon, according to gasoline price website

Including the change in gas prices in Ohio during the past week, prices Sunday were 12.8 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 19.2 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 11.2 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 23.9 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.

“With the exception of some Great Lakes states where prices tend to be volatile, average gas prices moved lower in nearly the entire country in the last week,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. “Thank a large build in gasoline inventories and gasoline demand numbers that have finally seen a reprieve from levels that were more consistent with summer months than autumn.

“With OPEC extending its oil production cuts, there is solid evidence that U.S. oil producers will fill in at least some of the void with rig counts remaining strong,” DeHaan added. “As the focus continues to broaden beyond the rest of the year, motorists who found this year’s gas prices high may want to begin setting aside some additional funds for next year as all signs continue to point to higher prices than this year.”

POSTED: 12/11/17 at 8:57 am. FILED UNDER: News