A crowd favorite was back at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center on Sunday as the Church Basement Ladies returned to Van Wert with the most recent installment of the popular musical series: The Last (Potluck) Supper. Like the Nunsense series of musicals, which takes a humorous look at Catholicism, the “Church Basement Ladies” cast had audience members laughing uproariously as they conducted another “all in fun” skewering of Lutheranism, set at a small Lutheran church in 1979. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)
VW County Fair Board information
The Van Wert County Fair Board noted great ticket sales response from the public for the Charlie Daniels Band concert coming to this year’s fair.
At 7 a.m. this past Saturday, there was already a line forming outside the Fair Administrative Office, fair officials said, noting that tickets for the 159th annual Van Wert County Fair’s soft opening didn’t go on sale until 9 that morning.
Within the first 2½ hours, premier seating (the first four rows in front of the grandstand, which cost $45 apiece) had nearly sold out and, at last count early Sunday morning, only a handful of tickets for that level of seating remained.
Many of those in line had seen Nashville Crush at the Van Wert Area Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Ribfest last August and believed followers of that band would bring in concertgoers to see the combination of their hometown band opening for the Charlie Daniels Band all on their own.
The show is not until September 1; however, those interviewed Saturday morning were eager to secure their spot in the crowd for the return of a headliner to the fair. Laura Lyle, longtime 4-Her and FFA member, noted that she has camped at, and attended, the fair for about 15 years and can’t wait to see Nashville Crush and Charlie Daniels perform. Her plans include, “being up front and being loud!”
Mike Miller, another early riser, saw the Charlie Daniels Band in Lima at the Square Fair. He, along with about 100 others, escorted Charlie’s bus into town and into the square on their motorcycles for that performance. Daniels signed photos for them. They were, “very impressed with CDB and can’t wait to see him perform again!”
Van Wert Mayor Don Farmer has issued a proclamation supporting the YWCA’s Stand Against Racism campaign to build community among those who work for racial justice and to raise awareness about the negative impact of institutional and structural racism in local communities. The campaign is one part of a larger national strategy to fulfill the YWCA’s mission of eliminating racism. The mayor is shown signing the proclamation while YWCA representatives look on. (photo submitted)
Stan Agler is a candidate for the Republican nomination for Van Wert City Council president in the May 5 primary. He currently serves as an at-large member of Council and is Council president pro-tem. His duties include chairmanship of the Judiciary and Annexation Committee and membership on the Parks and the Finance committees.
Through the years, Agler has served as mayor and in ward and at-large Council positions that brings experience to the position of Council president. He has served on Community Improvement Corporation, was a former vice president of the Ohio Mayors Association, served on the Emergency Management Association (EMA), was a former Van Wert Rotary Club president, a board member of Western Ohio Educational Foundation for Wright State University-Lake Campus, and was involved in many other organizations.
Agler has proven his leadership abilities more notably in bringing the city through the recession of the 1980s, initiating the economic development concept, obtaining land for the recent expansion at the reservoirs, redesigning Fountain Park as a city centerpiece for community activities, and Van Wert’s earning a “Tree City USA” designation 11 times.
“As a lifetime resident, I have always made the commitment to make Van Wert a better place for those that live here and those that join our community,” Agler said. “With your vote for president of City Council I will continue that same endeavor at a time when I feel Van Wert has so much to look forward to in its economic future. I ask for your vote on May 5.”
The Van Wert County Historical Society is excited to unveil its new logo. Over the winter months, students at area schools were given the opportunity to help design the Society’s new logo and letterhead. After much consideration, a design submitted by Keatyn Hamilton from Delphos Jefferson and Vantage Career Center’s Interactive Media program was chosen. A design from Rachelle Ward of Parkway High School and Vantage’s Interactive Media program was chosen to be used for special activities and publications. Shown are Historical Society President Theresa Mengerink, Hamilton and Ward. (photo submitted)
VWHS band information
The Van Wert High School Symphonic Band will travel to the Ohio Music Education Association’s State Band and Choir Finals this Saturday, April 25, at Findlay High School. This the 10th time in 11 years the band has qualified for the competition.
To help prepare for the contest, the band will perform this Wednesday, April 22, on the stage of the Niswonger Performing Arts Center, starting at 7:30 p.m. The informal concert will feature the band’s three contest pieces, while Brian Stevens of Dublin Jerome High School will act as guest clinician for the performance, and will also rehearse the band following the concert. The public is encouraged to attend the free concert.
This Saturday, the Symphonic Band will perform at 10:05 a.m. in the Findlay High School auditorium. The band will be performing a challenging Class B program that includes “Cenotaph” by Jack Stamp, “The Witching Hour” by Randall Standridge and “An American Heritage” by Ryan Nowlin. The Symphonic Band is under the direction of Robert H. Sloan.
Following its performance, the band will not have to wait long to find out its final rating, which will be posted in the school’s cafeteria shortly after the performance.
“Regardless of outcome, it should be noted that making it to State Finals is an outstanding accomplishment,” Sloan said.
BOWLING GREEN — U.S Representative Bob Latta invites all interested high school students and their parents to attend an informational meeting at St. John’s Jesuit High School & Academy McQuade Theater to be held at 7 p.m. Monday, April 20, to learn about the United States military service academy nomination and appointment process for the 2016 academic year.
At the meeting, potential candidates will be advised of the congressional nomination process and have the opportunity to meet with representatives of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York; the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland; the U.S. Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, Colorado; and the Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York.
Potential candidates may also obtain an application for a military service academy nomination at the meeting. Completed applications are due September 30.
Ohio’s unemployment rate was 5.1 percent in March 2015, unchanged from February. Ohio’s nonfarm wage and salary employment increased 1,500 over the month, from a revised 5,385,000 in February to 5,386,500 in March 2015.
The number of workers unemployed in Ohio in March was 295,000, an increase of 5,000 from 290,000 in February. The number of unemployed has decreased by 50,000 in the past 12 months from 345,000. The March unemployment rate for Ohio was down from 6.0 percent in March 2014.
The U.S. unemployment rate for March was 5.5 percent, unchanged from February, but down from 6.6 percent in March 2014.
Ohio’s nonagricultural wage and salary employment increased 1,500 over the month, from a revised 5,385,000 in February to 5,386,500 in March 2015, according to the latest business establishment survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor (Bureau of Labor Statistics) in cooperation with ODJFS.
Goods-producing industries, at 889,900, lost 5,000 jobs in construction (-4,500) and mining and logging (-500). Manufacturing employment did not change.
On Friday, April 17, the Van Wert Economic Development Advisory Group met at Vantage Career Center where Pete Prichard, Adult Education director at Vantage Career Center, spoke about the career technical training that prepares high school students and adults for future employment and further education. Guest speakers for the event were Steve Hillard (above right), Northwest Ohio regional manager for the Ohio MEP, and Doug Durliat (above left), director of the West Central Ohio Manufacturing Consortium, a program in the Workforce and Economic Development Department at Rhodes State College. Both guest speakers spoke of the services available to assist local manufacturers, including educational programs to improve the skills of their current employees, and promoted the necessary skills needed to train the future workforce. (photo submitted)
Ohio Attorney General’s information
COLUMBUS — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced on Friday the recommendations issued by the Overdose Prevention Task Force, which was formed by the attorney general last year to address issues regarding the real-time reporting of drug overdose deaths in Ohio.
Attorney General DeWine created the task force, which was chaired by Montgomery County Coroner and Ohio State Coroners Association Chief Forensic Officer Kent Harshbarger, M.D., after efforts by the Attorney General’s Office to gather up-to-date statewide statistics on heroin overdose deaths revealed that Ohio lacks a standard protocol for classifying drug overdose fatalities. There is also no method in place to publicly obtain up-to-date overdose death statistics.
In addition to reviewing the methods in place for collecting overdose death data, the task force also examined the value of non-fatal overdose data and other data sources that could be utilized to prevent overdose deaths.
The task force issued the following recommendations:
- Make drug overdose death data available in online Ohio Public Health Data Warehouse: The task force recommends that the Ohio Department of Health continue their efforts, which began in August 2014, to expand mortality data available in its online Ohio Public Health Data Warehouse. The forthcoming system will provide the most recently available data regarding overdoses as causes of death in Ohio.
- Encourage coroners to adopt uniform reporting practices: In an effort to gather uniform data on deaths caused by one or more drug, the task force recommends that all coroners specifically report on death certificates each drug responsible for, or that interacted to cause death.
- Review data collected in current state reporting systems: The task force recommends further collaboration between state agencies to determine what additional data the state currently keeps that could also be used to gain a better understanding of the drug epidemic for purposes of community and law enforcement awareness and prevention.
- Review EMS and non-fatal overdose data sources: The task force recommends the study of existing non-fatal overdose data in an effort to determine how the data can be used to help prevent overdose deaths.
Braun Industries Inc. has taken advantage of the Van Wert City Job Creation Incentive Program to earn money for creating local jobs. The incentive program is for non-retail projects with a new payroll creation of at least $250,000. Companies taking advantage of this incentive can receive annual payments based on new payroll and job creation with average wages at least 150 percent above minimum wage. Payments for this program are based on 30 percent of municipal income tax withheld by the city and can be earned for a term of up to 10 years. Braun Industries has earned $8,053 for 2014 and 2015 with the Job Creation Incentive Program. For more information on this program, contact Cindy Leis at 419.238.2999. (photo submitted)