The Van Wert County Courthouse

Wednesday, Sep. 3, 2014

Exhibitors show their animals during the Open Sheep Show held Monday at the Van Wert County Fair. (Jan Dunlap/Van Wert independent)

Exhibitors show their animals during the Open Sheep Show held Monday at the Van Wert County Fair. (Jan Dunlap/Van Wert independent)

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

The 158th edition of the Van Wert County Fair is officially over with the closing of the fair Monday evening. Unofficially, though, today is the most important day for Junior Fair livestock exhibitors.

The Junior Fair Livestock Auction will be held today in the Farm Focus Arena. That’s when area businesses and organizations come out to bid for animals shown at this year’s fair. It’s the culmination of a year’s work as livestock exhibitors finally earn a paycheck for months of feeding and caring for their animals.

The auction will begin at 9 a.m. this morning with the auctioning off of a symbolic gallon of milk (dairy cows aren’t auctioned off), and will end sometime this afternoon when the last animal is sold.

Labor Day’s official end to the fair ensured that the fair went out with a bang, as a number of special events were held Monday under warm and dry temperatures.

Thoroughbred horse racing traditionally takes place on Labor Day — the only day of the fair that doesn’t feature harness racing — and this year was no exception, with the 1 1/8 Mile Derby the feature race for the day.

The Open Sheep Show was held in the morning, while the Senior Fair Dairy Show took place on Monday afternoon. In the Junior Fair area, shows included the Swine Show, Junior Fair Horse Fun Show, and the prestigious Showman of Showmen competition, where livestock exhibitors get the chance to show all of the various livestock categories to see who is the best showman.


POSTED: 09/02/14 at 6:46 am

Lincolnview cheerleaders 9-2014

The Lincolnview Lancer cheerleaders captured first place at the Van Wert County Fair Cheerleading Competition this past Saturday. The last time the Lancers brought the gold back to Lancerland was 2002. Members of the team include Brooke Lehman, Kelsey Allenbaugh, Mackenzie Strite, Kershin Pavel, Dakota Hammons, Nichole Bowen, Kelsey Brenneman, Kaylee Hobbs, Allison Berryman, Kaylen Brown, Madisyn Deitemeyer, Kathy Tate, Kailey Denman, Storm Whitaker, Makenna Klausing, Allie Crow, Kaitlyn Brenneman, and Marissa Miller. Danielle Profit coaches the Lancers. In addition to the varsity’s winning performance, the Lincolnview Junior High cheer team was second in its division, the Lancer Spirits Gold first and the Lancer Spirits Blue third. (Lincolnview photo)

POSTED: 09/02/14 at 6:43 am. FILED UNDER: News

FEMA information

CHICAGO — September is National Preparedness Month, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) encourages everyone to make disaster preparedness a priority.

“National Preparedness Month serves as a reminder that we all need to prepare for disasters and emergencies,” said FEMA Region V acting regional administrator, Janet Odeshoo. “Make disaster readiness manageable by taking one step at a time — start by learning your specific risk, then gather supplies for an emergency kit, and finally develop a family communications plan. By taking these small, but critical, steps, over time you can be prepared for disasters.”

FEMA logo on blue background 8-2011Severe weather and other emergencies can strike with little or no warning and can have disastrous impacts. Already this year, the Midwest has experienced several waves of destructive severe storms, including the severe flooding in parts of Minnesota. Additionally, other parts of the country are currently fighting flooding and other emergencies that threaten the infrastructure people depend on every day. Whether at home or on the go, everyone should learn the steps necessary to make preparedness part of their everyday life.

“As a nation we are seeing disasters increase in their size and complexity, and they are occurring with greater frequency,” said Odeshoo. “The impacts of these events are a reminder that everyone should be prepared for the hazards faced in their communities or even while traveling. Make preparedness a priority for your family today and help encourage a culture of preparedness in your community.”

Throughout the month, FEMA will offer tips to help people be disaster ready, including ways they can stay safe during a disaster and steps they can take to protect themselves and their families when traveling. Follow FEMA Region V online at and, to receive the latest preparedness updates.

For detailed information about how to be ready for severe weather in this area, including a list of items area residents will want to have in their emergency kit, visit, or FEMA’s Spanish site at

POSTED: 09/02/14 at 6:40 am. FILED UNDER: News

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

It was an exciting weekend at the 158th edition of the Van Wert County Fair, with lots of activities, events, entertainment, livestock shows – and just about anything else you can think of.

The Kiddie Demolition Derby was just one of the popular events held at the 2014 Van Wert County Fair over the weekend. (Jan Dunlap/Van Wert independent)

The Kiddie Demolition Derby was just one of the popular events held at the 2014 Van Wert County Fair over the weekend. (Jan Dunlap/Van Wert independent)

Entertainment over the weekend included Veridia and Chris August on Saturday in the Gospel Pavilion, Rockabilly singer Blair Carman in the Entertainment Tent on Saturday, Country performers Emerald Blue in front of the grandstand on Saturday, David Dunn in the Gospel Pavilion on Sunday, Country performers Cook & Belle in the Entertainment Tent and the popular Demolition Derby in front of the grandstand on Sunday.

Senior Fair and open livestock shows included several Senior Fair horse shows, Open to the World Feeder Calf Show, Van Wert County Market Lamb Show and Ryan Trentman Memorial Swine Show, while Junior Fair shows featured included the Rabbit Show, Junior Fair Horse Contesting, Junior Fair Pleasure Horse Show, and Junior Fair Rabbit Showmanship event.

The 4-H also had its 4-H Talent Show and Style Revue on Sunday, along with a Milk Mustache Contest in the Dairy Barn (click here for Junior Fair results).


POSTED: 09/01/14 at 7:24 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/WBESC information

The Western Buckeye Educational Service Center Governing Board met last week and handled a number of personnel items related to the start of the new school year.

In addition to accepting the resignation of Britny Keister, effective the end of the 2013-2014 school year, the board approved the following employment contracts:

Maria Clawson, two-year administrative contract, special education director; Amelia Wannemacher, one-year part-time limited teaching contract, intervention specialist; Sara Krick, one-year limited contract, intervention specialist; Rebecca Matthews, one-year limited contract (four hours a day), paraprofessional; Chelsea Zeedyk, one-year limited, paraprofessional/occupational therapy assistant (OTA); Kristina Figgins, one-year part-time contract, paraprofessional/OTA; Cindy Long, Jessica Green, Kendra Gottschalk and Rachel Smith, one-year limited, paraprofessionals-Allen County; and Laura Priest, two-year service agreement, COTA/L.

A number of contract revisions were also approved, including: Tianne Pendergrast, from part-time to full-time, paraprofessional; George Dougal, from 144 days to 125 days, director of student services; Cheryl Mongold, from part-time to 184 days, special needs aide; and Pam Williamson, from part-time to full-time, intervention specialist.

The board also approved a job description for paraprofessional/occupational therapy assistant, NEOLA policy changes, etc., as presented, and substitute teacher and paraprofessional and bus and van driver lists.

The date of the regular governing board meetings was also changed to the third Wednesday of the month, starting at 6 p.m. The meetings will continue to alternate between the Van Wert and Paulding ESC offices.

The next meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, September 17, at the Paulding ESC office.

POSTED: 09/01/14 at 7:19 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW Federal school donations 8-2014-Van Wert

In celebration of Van Wert Federal Savings Bank’s 125th anniversary, the bank made a contribution of $5,000 to each of the three county high schools: Van Wert, Lincolnview, and Crestview. The schools can use the money in any way that will benefit their students. Van Wert Federal has always been a strong supporter of, not only education, but also of the local arts and non-profit organizations in the county. Van Wert Federal has been in operation since 1889, making it the oldest locally owned and operated bank in the county.  It is also recognized as the strongest financial institution in the county and also one of the strongest in the United States. Above, Phil Bair of Van Wert Federal presents a check to VWCS Superintendent Ken Amstutz. Below (top photo) Mark Schumm of VW Federal presents a check to Crestview Superintendent Mike Estes, while (bottom photo) Gary Clay of VW Federal presents a check to Lincolnview Superintendent Jeff Snyder. (photos submitted)

VW Federal school donations 8-2014-Crestview

VW Federal school donations 8-2014-Lincolnview

POSTED: 09/01/14 at 2:13 am. FILED UNDER: News

Submitted information

OTTAWA — The Friends of the Putnam County District Library in Ottawa are still accepting applications for the upcoming seventh annual Autumn Harvest of Crafts Show, which has been changed from its original date.

The craft show will now be held from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, October 25, at Ottawa-Glandorf High School, 630 Glendale Ave. in Ottawa.

For more information email or phone Judy at 419.659.5478.

Proceeds benefit all locations of the Putnam County District Library.

POSTED: 09/01/14 at 2:05 am. FILED UNDER: Lifestyles, News

Ohio State Highway Patrol information

MONTPELIER — The Defiance Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating a hit-skip accident that injured a bicyclist near Montpelier early Sunday morning.

osplogoAccording to troopers, Troy L. Presnell, 50, of Montpelier was riding a bike east on West Washington Street in that village when an unidentified vehicle struck the bicycle from behind, then left the scene.

Presnell, who was seriously injured in the crash, was taken to Montpelier Hospital and later airlifted by Samaritan helicopter to Parkview Regional Medical Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

The Defiance Patrol post is asking anyone with information on the traffic crash or the identity of the other driver to call the Post at 419.784.1025.

POSTED: 09/01/14 at 2:03 am. FILED UNDER: News

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

The third day of the 158th edition of the Van Wert County Fair was a busy one indeed, with all kinds of activities and events held on a nearly perfect day, as far as weather goes.

The Michindoh Truck and Tractor Pull held Friday night in front of the grandstand, was again a popular event. (Jan Dunlap/Van Wert independent)

The Michindoh Truck and Tractor Pull held Friday night in front of the grandstand, was again a popular event. (Jan Dunlap/Van Wert independent)

The entertainment highlight of the day was the Michindoh Truck and Tractor Pull held Friday evening in front of the grandstand. The spirited contest included lots of smoke, clouds of dust roaring engines as competitors in several categories vied to see which one could pull a weight sledge the farthest.

Although the truck and tractor pull brought a number of fans to the grandstand, the event was far from the only thing going on during Friday’s day at the fair.

Several Junior and Senior Fair livestock shows were also held Friday, including the Senior Fair Poultry Show, Junior Fair Dairy Show, the Open Class Mules and Miniature Horse and Senior Fair Horse Show, the Senior Fair Stock Horse Show and the Junior Fair Rabbit Show, which was held in the new Rabbit Barn.

Veterans and senior citizens also got in free Friday, and there were special activities for both groups on the fairgrounds, including a Veterans Day Parade, free ham and bean soup and cornbread at lunch and doughnuts in the morning and a special program in the Entertainment Tent.


POSTED: 08/30/14 at 7:56 am. FILED UNDER: News

Marsh Foundation information

The Marsh Foundation’s “Marsh Grown” garden program celebrated the end of the summer growing season with a Harvest Meal for staff, peers and trustees. The meal was held recently at First Presbyterian Church in Van Wert and featured many items grown in The Marsh Foundation garden, as well as other local products. It was entirely prepared by the garden crew.

According to Marsh Foundation activities coordinator, Sherry Grone, this year’s program has been very successful in her eyes. “Our crew has had the chance to grow in maturity, responsibility and respect through our garden program,” she said. “I also hope they have grown in respect for themselves as they develop new confidence through their job skills. One of the program’s goals is to guide them to a hope for their future; to help them connect to the larger community and find their place and maybe even their passion in the process.”

Marsh logo 8-2010The Marsh Grown youth garden program is dedicated to helping young people develop a sense of land stewardship and learn the importance of healthy food. Participants are taught valuable gardening skills throughout the season. In addition, the program serves as a catalyst for youth to develop important job skills for future employment.

Throughout the summer, the garden crew grows vegetables and sells them at the farmer’s market for income. The group will continue to be at the Van Wert Farmer’s Market on Fox Road on Saturdays from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. through October.

Participants in the Marsh Grown garden crew are youth who are a part of The Marsh Foundation’s Independent Living Group. They are all 15½ years of age or older and are working on skills that will help them be successful adults. The garden program is an opportunity for them to interact with peers and adults, develop quality job skills and learn how to grow healthy food.

Serving children and families since 1922, The Marsh Foundation is a not-for-profit children’s services agency that provides behavioral treatment in a variety of settings. Services include group homes, treatment and family foster care, an intensive treatment program and independent living. Located in Van Wert, Ohio, the organization’s group homes are licensed for up to 30 children ages 7-17, offers an on-campus school for grades 2-12 and provides a variety of clinical services to group home residents, foster children and community members.

The mission of The Marsh Foundation is to inspire hope, to teach and to care for children and families.

POSTED: 08/30/14 at 7:20 am. FILED UNDER: News

Brooke Fuerst artwork1 8-2014

Brooke Fuerst, who assisted the Van Wert Veterans Service Office this summer as part of an Ohio Department of Job and Family Services work program, is also a college student majoring in art education.  In addition to helping Van Wert County veterans get their files ready to switch to a paperless system, Fuerst also created this patriotic artwork for the front lobby of the Veterans Service office. (photos submitted)

Brooke Fuerst artwork2 8-2014

POSTED: 08/30/14 at 7:18 am. FILED UNDER: News