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The Van Wert County Courthouse

Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016


Stand Against Racism at VWMS 4-29-16

Students from Van Wert Middle School hold up signs they created when they took a Stand Against Racism Friday afternoon. YWCA Executive Director Kimberly Laudick said a number of local schools took part in the event, including Lincolnview, Crestview, Vantage Career Center. People in the community were also encouraged to take “selfies” in connection with the anti-racism promotion and to post the photos on social media. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

POSTED: 04/30/16 at 7:44 am

VWHS prom promo photo 4-2016

The Van Wert High School Junior Class would like to invite the public to a prom open house today from 2-4 p.m. in the Van Wert Middle School gymnasium. This year, students chose “Phantom of the Opera … Masquerade” as the theme. Those attending should enter the open house on the north side of the building, middle school door M44. The public is also invited to attend promenade, which will begin at 7 p.m. in the high school gym. Those attending should park on the north side of the building behind the middle school gym and enter through door M44. Follow the signs to the high school gym for promenade. (VWHS photo)

POSTED: 04/30/16 at 8:38 am. FILED UNDER: News

Editor’s note: This is the third and final article in a three-part series detailing results of the 2015 Van Wert County Community Health Assessment. This article centers on youth health assessment results.

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

While Van Wert County young people mirror state and national statistics in some of their health findings, there were still some surprising statistics in the Van Wert County Community Health Assessment released earlier this week, especially in the area of alcohol use.

The assessment’s first health factor was obesity, with 18 percent of young people in grades 6-12 classified as obese. That increases to 20 percent when teens in grades 9-12 are assessed. The figures are both above state (13 percent for those in grades 9-12) and national (14 percent for those in grades 9-12) averages.

Tessa Elliott, a graduate assistant with the Hospital Council on Northwest Ohio, talked about health information for Van Wert County young people. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

Tessa Elliott, a graduate assistant with the Hospital Council on Northwest Ohio, talked about health information for Van Wert County young people. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

Another 16 percent of local youths are considered overweight, which is in line with both state (16 percent) and national (17 percent) averages.

Surprisingly, local young people are more active than their Ohio and U.S. counterparts, with 61 percent saying they are active at least 60 minutes per day every day in the past week. That compares to 48 percent of Ohio youngsters and 47 percent of American youths.

However, county young people who watched three or more hours of television was higher than state or national averages. Thirty-nine percent of county youths said they watch television at least three hours a day, versus 28 percent of Ohio youngsters and 33 percent of young Americans.

Bullying and its effects remain a problem across the country, with 15 percent of county youths saying they have been cyber/electronically bullied in the past year, which is right at the state and national average. Three percent of those said they did not go to school because they felt unsafe, which is below the Ohio (5 percent) and national (7 percent) averages.

To counteract the bullying, 13 percent of local youngsters said they carried some kind of weapon in the past month. That compares to 14 percent of Ohio young people and 18 percent of young Americans.

Alcohol use by young county residents is a surprisingly high number, but nowhere near the state or national average. A total of 42 percent of county youngsters in grades 6-12 say they have tried alcohol, a figure that increases to 56 percent for those in grades 9-12.

But 71 percent of Ohio youngsters and 66 percent of young Americans in grades 9-12 say they have tried alcohol.

(more…)

POSTED: 04/30/16 at 8:33 am. FILED UNDER: News

Craig Wayne Boyd at NPAC 4-29-16

Although 2014 “The Voice” winner Craig Wayne Boyd had to cancel his original performance at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center because a freak snowstorm kept him in Nashville, Tennessee, his make-up date Friday night had a capacity crowd on its feet at times as he entertained with a variety of country and bluegrass tunes. Opening for Boyd was the up-and-coming country duo SmithField (below), which showed why it is becoming known in country music for its tight harmonies and original songs. (photos by Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

SmithField concert at NPAC 4-29-16

POSTED: 04/30/16 at 7:43 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

Members of Midwest Electric recently donated $16,050 to 18 west-central Ohio charities and community projects through the cooperative’s Community Connection Fund. Since the program started in 1998, the Midwest Electric Community Connection Fund has provided $920,333 to 747 area projects.

Local projects for which funds were donated include the following:

Greg Bukowski (left), Midwest Electric Community Connection Fund trustee, presents a $1,500 check to Ohio City Warrior Trail volunteers to help build a shelterhouse near the trail. Volunteers include (from the left) Brenda Weaver, Larry Krugh, Don Walker, and Jed Couts. (photo submitted)

Greg Bukowski (left), Midwest Electric Community Connection Fund trustee, presents a $1,500 check to Ohio City Warrior Trail volunteers to help build a shelterhouse near the trail. Volunteers include (from the left) Brenda Weaver, Larry Krugh, Don Walker, and Jed Couts. (photo submitted)

  • American Red Cross of West Central Ohio, $2,000 to provide aid for local families impacted by emergencies.
  • Ohio City Warrior Trail, $1,500 to build a shelterhouse near the trail.
  • Van Wert County Master Gardeners, $1,000 for maintenance at the children’s garden.
  • Niswonger Performing Arts Center, Van Wert, $750 to support the 2016-17 Speaker Series.
  • Van Wert County Fair, $500 to support talent for the gospel singing tent.
  • Big Brothers & Sisters of Mercer, Auglaize, and Van Wert counties, $1,000 to renovate a room at the office into a rec room.

Other projects funded include the following:

  • House of Hope, Celina, $1,500 for materials to help build a men’s drug recovery home.
  • Mercer County Emergency Response Volunteers, $1,500 to buy an AED kit and trailer power pack.
  • Rally Point Youth Center, Lima, $1,000 to support a summer camp program.

(more…)

POSTED: 04/30/16 at 7:30 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

Those people or organizations planning to serve food at concerts or other events will likely need a license, according to the Van Wert County Health Department.

The Health Department reminds the public that Ohio Revised Code Chapter
3717 says that no person, organization, or government entity shall
operate a food service operation without a license,
unless found to be exempt as determined by the
Health Department according to state law.

Anyone wanting to sell food to the public who does not have a permanent or mobile food license must obtain a temporary food service operation license, unless otherwise noted.

Fairs, festivals, and social gatherings for the public are examples of events at which food may be sold that may require a license. The cost of this license is $50 per event. This fee covers review of the application, education, licensing, and inspection.

To obtain an application, people and organizations may contact the Van Wert County Health Department at 419.238.0808, extension 108 or 105, or visit the Health Department at 1179 Westwood Drive, Suite 300, in Van Wert.

The application is also available on the Health Department website at www.vanwertcountyhealth.org under the Environmental Division and “Food Service Operations/Retail Food Establishments”. The application must be turned in at least seven days prior to an event.

POSTED: 04/30/16 at 7:27 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

Main Street Van Wert will be having its third Hidden Spaces tour event from 4:30-7:30 p.m. Friday, May 13.

As it has the past two years, Main Street is sponsoring a self-guided Main Street Van Wert logo 3-2015tour through the upper floors of several downtown buildings to see the “unfinished, untouched, and maybe surprising,” spaces hiding just steps away from downtown sidewalks.

This year’s tour features a new set of downtown buildings, while, for those with health challenges, the tour does include multiple stairwells and not every space will be air-conditioned. Bottled water will be provided along the tour route.

Main Street Program Director Adam Ries said buildings on the tour are kept secret until the evening of the event, although he did promise that beautiful architecture, hardwood floors, wavy glass, photoesque views of downtown, and “a little history,” will be included in the tour.

The tour begins at the Main Street Van Wert office on East Main Street, where tour participants will exchange their tickets for a tour map that highlights each of the buildings on the tour. The buildings can be toured in any order.

POSTED: 04/30/16 at 7:26 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

Linda Walker

Linda Walker

The Van Wert County Republican Central Committee is hosting another Friday luncheon on Friday, May 6, at the Van Wert Elks Lodge off Van Wert-Decatur Road.

This month’s speaker will be Linda Walker of the National Rifle Association. For the past decade, Walker has been a tireless fighter in support of Americans’ Second Amendment rights. She is vice president of Buckeye Firearms Association and has served on the board of directors of the NRA since 2011.

Walker is an NRA-certified instructor and spends much of her time in the Ohio Statehouse lobbying for gun rights.

The meal will begin at 11:30 a.m. and the program at noon. The cost is $10 and no registration is required. The public is invited.

POSTED: 04/30/16 at 7:23 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent news

PAULDING COUNTY — A Delphos man was seriously injured in a car-semi crash that occurred Thursday afternoon at the intersection of U.S. 127 and Ohio 613 in Paulding County.

According to troopers from the Van Wert Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Robert S. Reynolds, 62, of Delphos, was driving a 2012 Mack semi tractor-trailer rig south on U.S. 127 shortly after 1 p.m. Thursday when he tried to pass a southbound 2006 Buick driven by Saundra S. Bandy, 67, of Paulding, but struck her vehicle when Bandy attempted to turn east onto Ohio 613.

osplogoReynolds, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was trapped in his truck cab and had to be removed by mechanical means. He was then flown by Samaritan life-flight helicopter to Parkview Regional Medical Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he was treated for serious, but not life-threatening injuries.

Bandy, who was wearing a seatbelt, was treated at the scene by the Paulding EMS squad for minor injuries.

Alcohol is not believed to be a factor in the accident, which remains under investigation.

Also assisting the Patrol at the scene was the Paulding Fire Department, Paulding County Sheriff’s Office, Gideon Wrecker Service, and the Ohio Department of Transportation.

The Patrol reminds motorists to wear their seat belts and don’t drive distracted or after using alcohol or some prescription medication.

POSTED: 04/29/16 at 9:23 pm. FILED UNDER: News

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

Family and hospice workers remembered the late Mike Gearhart with emotion and humor during the 18th annual Hospice Beacon of Hope dinner and auction held Thursday night at Willow Bend Country Club.

Janet Gearhart, wife of the late Mike Gearhart, speaks during Thursday night's Beacon of Hope dinner while surrounded by her family and hospice workers. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

Janet Gearhart, wife of the late Mike Gearhart, speaks during Thursday night’s Beacon of Hope dinner while surrounded by her family and hospice workers. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

Gearhart, who died February 3 at the Van Wert Area Inpatient Hospice Center, was unusual in that he was able to walk on his own into the center, said Tonya Rutledge, nursing supervisor.

“Mike’s journey was a little different than most,” Rutledge noted. “I can’t remember another patient that walked through those doors all the way down the hallway to his room.”

While Rutledge had high hopes at first that Gearhart’s mobility could mean he would recover, Gearhart himself had fewer illusions. His reason for coming to the hospice center earlier than most was to help his family avoid the stress of becoming caregivers for him during the end stages of his battle with cancer.

(more…)

POSTED: 04/29/16 at 8:43 am. FILED UNDER: News

Editor’s note: This is the second in a three-part series detailing results from the Van Wert County Community Health Assessment that was released on Wednesday. This portion deals with findings from the adult section of the assessment.

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

With nearly three-quarters of Van Wert County adults either overweight or obese, it’s perhaps not surprising that only a little more than half of adult county residents rate their health as excellent or very good. Approximately 72 percent of county residents were rated as either overweight (37 percent) or obese (35 percent). That compares to 67 percent of Ohioans (34 percent overweight, 33 percent obese) and 65 percent of Americans (35 percent overweight, 30 percent obese) in those categories.

Britney Ward, director of community health improvement for the Hospital Council of Northwest Ohio, speaks during Wednesday's health assessment presentation. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

Britney Ward, director of community health improvement for the Hospital Council of Northwest Ohio, speaks during Wednesday’s health assessment presentation. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

According to Brittany Ward, director of community health for the Hospital Council of Northwest Ohio, it’s a health concern that is mirrored in the other northwest Ohio communities her organization represents.

“This is something we see all across northwest Ohio,” Ward noted.

A total of 51 percent of Van Wert County adults surveyed said their health was excellent or very good, while, of the 49 percent who don’t feel that way, only 14 percent listed their health as fair or poor. Both responses mirror state and national trends, with 51 percent of Ohioans and 53 percent nationwide stating that their health is excellent or very good, while 18 percent of Ohioans and 17 percent of Americans list their health as fair or poor.

Moreover, Van Wert County residents are either not complainers and have more good health days than the average. County residents said they only had 2.7 days in the past month where their physical health was not good, and 2.6 days where their mental health was not good. That compares to the Ohio average of 3.9 days for both physical and mental health, and 3.7 days for physical health and 3.5 days for mental health among all Americans.

County residents were also polled about their health coverage, with 11 percent stating they were uninsured. Not surprisingly, that percentage rises to 24 percent of those whose income is less than $25,000 a year. The county’s uninsured number compares to 10 percent of Ohioans, and 13 percent of all Americans.

(more…)

POSTED: 04/29/16 at 8:40 am. FILED UNDER: News