The Van Wert County Courthouse

Monday, Oct. 20, 2014

Apple Festival 2014-YWCA apple dumplings

The YWCA’s apple dumpling booth was a popular place during this year’s edition of the Van Wert Apple Festival. Great crowds were seen both days of the annual festival, even though good weather blessed only Friday, with rainy and cold conditions prevailing on Saturday (click here for more Apple Festival photos). (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

POSTED: 10/20/14 at 6:52 am

Ohio State Highway Patrol information

COLUMBUS — The Ohio State Highway Patrol will be participating in National School Bus Safety week, which runs October 20 through October 24. This year’s theme, “At My Stop, You Stop” reminds us that the most dangerous part of the school bus ride for children is when they get on and off the bus.

osplogoThroughout the week, troopers across the state of Ohio will be highly visible, enforcing the law in and around school zones and following school buses on their daily routes. In addition, troopers may be found riding on school buses looking for motorists passing the stopped school bus and other crash-causing violations.

“Although drivers of all vehicles are required to stop for a school bus when it is loading or unloading passengers, children should not rely on them to do so,” said Colonel Paul A. Pride, Patrol superintendent. “Children exiting the bus should always stop and look both ways before crossing the street and remain alert to any sudden traffic changes.”

Motorists approaching a stopped school bus from either direction should remember they are required to stop a least 10 feet back from buses displaying red flashing lights and an extended stop arm. From 2011 through 2013, 4,055 motorists were cited for failing to stop for a school bus when it was loading or unloading children.

For a complete statistical breakdown of school bus inspections, crashes and passing stopped school bus violations, visit

POSTED: 10/20/14 at 6:37 am. FILED UNDER: News

Signature Sound at NPAC 10-18-14

Signature Sound joined Broadway star Mark McVey for a salute to Broadway Saturday night at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center. A nice crowd was on hand to hear the quartet, plus one, perform a variety of Broadway hit songs. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

POSTED: 10/20/14 at 6:34 am. FILED UNDER: Arts & Entertainment, News

Ohio Attorney General’s information

COLUMBUS — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, State Senator Shannon Jones (R-Springboro) and State Representative Dorothy Pelanda (R-Marysville) unveiled legislation to establish a ward’s bill of rights for those Ohioans who are under the care of a guardianship as well as introduced a new, user-friendly Guardianship Guide prepared by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

Attorney General Mike DeWine

Attorney General Mike DeWine

“People placed in guardianships are especially vulnerable, and there is a great need for volunteers, family members, and attorneys to act on their behalf,” said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. “My office created this guide to reduce confusion surrounding guardianships, so that individuals are better equipped to serve as guardians or protect relatives under guardianship.”

Copies of the Guardianship Guide are being mailed to Probate Courts across the state as well as to advocacy groups like the Ohio Area Agencies on Aging and Disability Rights Ohio.

The Guide was prepared by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office with input from: Disability Rights Ohio; the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities; the Ohio Department of Aging; Representative Dorothy Pelanda; Trumbull County Probate Judge Thomas A. Swift, and Julia Nack of the Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging.

Representative Pelanda has introduced House Bill 624 that seeks to enact section 2111.01 of the Ohio Revised Code to provide a ward’s bill of rights and to require that a guardian receive the Ohio Guardianship Guide prepared by the Ohio Attorney General.  The rights of the ward are listed on pages 12-14 in the Guide.

Senator Jones has introduced a companion bill, Senate Bill 365.

“This legislation and the Guide are meant to encourage best-practices and to raise awareness of the unique issues presented in caring for our juvenile and our elderly wards,” said Representative Pelanda.


POSTED: 10/20/14 at 6:28 am. FILED UNDER: News

Double rainbow photo 10-19-14

Local photo enthusiast John Rager took a photo of this double rainbow at his residence in rural Van Wert County on Sunday.

POSTED: 10/20/14 at 6:26 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/Ohio DJFS information

Ohio’s unemployment rate decreased another tenth of a point in September. The jobless rate was 5.6 percent in September, down from 5.7 percent in August.

Unemployment artwork-small 8-2011Ohio’s nonfarm wage and salary employment increased 6,000 over the month, from a revised 5,297,400 in August to 5,303,400 in September.

The number of workers unemployed in Ohio in September was 319,000, down 5,000 from 324,000 in August. The number of unemployed has decreased by 110,000 in the past 12 months from 429,000. The September unemployment rate for Ohio was down from 7.4 percent in September 2013.

The U.S. unemployment rate for September was 5.9 percent, down from 6.1 percent in August, and down from 7.2 percent in September 2013.

Total Nonagricultural Wage and Salary Employment (seasonally adjusted)

Ohio’s nonagricultural wage and salary employment increased 6,000 over the month, from a revised 5,297,400 in August to 5,303,400 in September, according to the latest business establishment survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor (Bureau of Labor Statistics) in cooperation with ODJFS.


POSTED: 10/18/14 at 6:35 am. FILED UNDER: News

Submitted information

Champions have been crowned in the TV-44 Whiz Quiz Tournament, with Van Wert and St. Marys claiming the top title in each respective tournament bracket. The annual televised event included 30 high school quiz teams, divided evenly into two different brackets, each bracket with three days of competition until crowning a champion.

Bracket 1, also known as the Fall Whiz Quiz Tournament, included the following teams: Coldwater, Patrick Henry, Riverdale, Delphos St. John’s, Elida, Paulding, Versailles, Van Wert, Findlay, New Bremen, Shawnee, Bellefontaine, Continental, Arcadia and Allen East.

The Van Wert High School Whiz Quiz championship team. (photo submitted)

The Van Wert High School Whiz Quiz championship team. (photo submitted)

Bracket 2, the Winter Whiz Quiz Tournament, was comprised of Bath, Ada, Defiance, New Knoxville, Lima Central Catholic, Columbus Grove, Celina, Spencerville, Bluffton, Botkins, Delphos Jefferson, St. Marys, Crestview, Minster, and Pandora-Gilboa.

Each tournament is divided into eight 30-minute television shows, to be aired on a weekly basis. The Fall Whiz Quiz Tournament started airing on TV-44 October 16 and continues to air Thursdays at 9 p.m. through December 4.

The Winter Whiz Quiz Tournament can be seen on television starting Thursday, February 5, 2015, through Thursday, March 26, 2015, all at 9 p.m.

TV-44 is a 501(c)(3), not for profit, viewer-supported television station. With a focus of faith, family, and community, the television station offers Whiz Quiz as an opportunity to showcase high school educational talents throughout the region.

For more information, contact Jennifer Beck at 419.339.4444 or by email at

POSTED: 10/18/14 at 6:32 am. FILED UNDER: News

Ohio Attorney General’s information

COLUMBUS — As Sweetest Day approaches on October 18, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is reminding Ohioans to beware of romance scams, often called “sweetheart scams,” and to protect themselves online.

In the past 12 months, the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section has received more than 40 complaints involving sweetheart scams. The average reported loss is more than $26,000.

“Scam artists are very good at what they do,” Attorney General DeWine said. “They will spend time developing relationships with their victims. At some point, they will start asking for money, and victims will think they are helping someone they care about. The people who fall for this are not stupid. They just get caught up emotionally and financially.”

A typical sweetheart scam begins when a con artist meets a potential victim online through a dating or social networking website, or through email, instant message, or phone. The scammer eventually asks the individual to send money to help cover some type of cost, such as airfare to visit, medical expenses, or fees associated with military leave. The scammer often asks the victim to send the money via wire transfer. Once the money is sent, it is nearly impossible to recover.

In several complaints, victims say they sent money to African countries, such as Nigeria. This year, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office also heard from at least two consumers who had paid tens of thousands of dollars to scammers located in Malaysia, met through dating websites.  The U.S. Embassy in Malaysia has placed a warning on its website urging consumers to be cautious of scams originating in Malaysia.

Attorney General DeWine offers consumers the following tips to protect themselves:

  • Research someone you meet online; don’t rely on what that person tells you. Perform Internet searches and consider getting a background check.
  • Be cautious of individuals who claim it was destiny or fate that brought you together.
  • Talk to friends and family members about online relationships.
  • Don’t send money to someone you meet online, even if you have developed a relationship.
  • Be very skeptical of requests for money sent via wire transfer or prepaid money cards. These are preferred payment methods for scammers.

Consumers who suspect a scam should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at 800.282.0515 or

POSTED: 10/18/14 at 6:28 am. FILED UNDER: News

Submitted information

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Bob Latta (R-Ohio), a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over public health issues and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, today called for immediate travel restrictions to West African nations.

In addition, Latta stressed the need that those being monitored for potential exposure to Ebola should be prohibited from both domestic and international travel.

“In responding to the Ebola outbreak, we must examine every possible solution, including travel restrictions,” said Latta. “While there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone to the United States, travel from West African nations should be suspended immediately in an effort to protect the health and safety of Ohioans and all Americans.

“In addition, anyone being monitored for potential Ebola exposure should be prohibited from utilizing public transportation in an effort to contain the outbreak,” Latta added.

Latta visited Mercy St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Toledo on Thursday and Paulding County Hospital on Friday to see firsthand their Ebola preparedness and response efforts. He remains confident in Ohio’s state and local health care networks’ preparedness and ability to aggressively respond to a potential Ebola incident.

POSTED: 10/18/14 at 6:27 am. FILED UNDER: News

CHP information

Auditions for the eighth annual “Ohio Has Talent!” competition will be held Friday, November 14, from 5-9 p.m., and Saturday, November 15, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Trinity Friends Church in Van Wert.

Ohio Has Talent logo-edited 1-2013The top 20 acts will take part in the February 28, 2015, edition of the “Ohio Has Talent!” show at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center.

All entertainment talents are welcome – single and group acts – especially those other than singing and dancing, to provide variety for the show.

Contestants will compete for prizes of $1,000, $500 and $250, based on votes collected from the audience. Proceeds from the show benefit Community Health Professionals’ Van Wert Area Inpatient Hospice Center.

Audition applications are due by October 31 and are available at 1159 Westwood Drive in Van Wert or can be downloaded at

For more information, call Kim Mason at 419.238.9223.

POSTED: 10/18/14 at 6:25 am. FILED UNDER: News

YMCA of VW County information

The YMCA of Van Wert County has announced a Halloween Dance on Friday, October 24, from 6-9 p.m.  This dance is open to the public for fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-grade kids.

Kids are welcome to dress up in their Halloween costumes with prizes to be awarded to the best costumes. There will be a $3 admission for each child and a concession stand available that will include pizza.

Information about this and other programs available at the Van Wert YMCA can be found by calling 419.238.0443 or visiting the YM’s website at

The YMCA of Van Wert County is partially funded by the Van Wert County Foundation and United Way.

POSTED: 10/18/14 at 6:24 am. FILED UNDER: News