topamax recall

The Van Wert County Courthouse

Tuesday, Jul. 26, 2016

Exhibitors will get a “two-in-one” event to promote their products and services at the Van Wert Area Biz Expo and Taste of Van Wert County on September 22 at the Wassenberg Art Center.  (Chamber photo)

Exhibitors will get a “two-in-one” event to promote their products and services at the Van Wert Area Biz Expo and Taste of Van Wert County on September 22 at the Wassenberg Art Center. (Chamber photo)

VW independent/submitted information

The Van Wert Biz Expo & Taste of Van Wert County, after selling out of exhibitor space last year with more than 1,000 attendees, returns Thursday, September 22.

Businesses can grow their bottom line and visibility in northwest Ohio at this year’s Expo, all at Wassenberg Art Center, 215 S. Washington St. (U.S. 127), the gateway to downtown Van Wert and the perfect venue to showcase a company’s products and services.

Businesses will have the opportunity to reach key customers, business executives, management, the community at large, and perhaps potential employees. The Chamber will accept exhibitor registrations until Friday, September 16, or until sold out. Last year, the Chamber did sell out earlier than the registration deadline so we encourage early registration to make sure your spot is secured!

The Van Wert Area Biz Expo and Taste of Van Wert County combines the best of both worlds into one event to showcase area businesses.

Here’s a look at the schedule:

2:30-4 p.m. — For exhibitors exclusively: business-to-business connecting, networking and learning, featuring NOW Marketing Group from Elida.


POSTED: 07/25/16 at 7:14 am

VW independent/submitted information

Van Wert County Sheriff Thomas M. Riggenbach has announced new limitations to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) Prescription Drug Turn-In program. Sheriff Riggenbach said changes in the program are a result, in part, of changes made at the federal level as to what the DEA will accept for destruction.

The sheriff’s office will no longer be able to accept liquid medications, new or used needles or syringes, or other non-pill forms of medication, although Sheriff Riggenbach said his office would continue to accept medications in pill form.

Drug Take Back artworkSheriff Riggenbach is asking residents to remove pills from bottles or blister packs and put them in a bag or box before bringing the medications to the sheriff’s office. Residents should then remove all labels containing identifying information from the bottles and blister packs before throwing the empty bottles and blister packs in the trash. Residents should make all personal information on the labels illegible before throwing the labels in the trash.

Sheriff Riggenbach also said his office will accept medications in pill form from county residents but not from businesses. Residents will continue to be able to drop off their pill medications to the sheriff’s office 24 hours a day, 7 days a week as in the past.

Sheriff Riggenbach stated that, this past April, as part of the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, 183 pounds of prescription drugs were turned in to the sheriff’s office. In all, 804 pounds of prescription drugs have been turned in to the sheriff’s office since the beginning of the program.

Sheriff Riggenbach said studies show a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods of disposing of unused medicines, flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash, both pose potential safety and health hazards.

Sheriff Riggenbach encourages everyone to turn in prescription pill medications that are expired or no longer needed at his office.

POSTED: 07/25/16 at 7:01 am. FILED UNDER: News

House fire at 233 South Ave. 7-24-16

Van Wert firefighters were out Sunday night to battle a fire at a city duplex at 230-232 South Ave. The American Red Cross Disaster Team also responded to the house fire, which occurred sometime after 9 p.m. on Sunday. Also called to the scene was AEP to shut off power to the building. The duplex left two families without a home, and two adults and seven children were assisted with relocation by the Red Cross. (Red Cross photo)

POSTED: 07/25/16 at 6:58 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

Average retail gasoline prices in Ohio have fallen 10.5 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.05 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 4.5 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.15 a gallon, according to gasoline price website

Gasoline price graphic 8-2012Including the change in gas prices in Ohio during the past week, prices Sunday were 43.7 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and are 30.5 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 15.7 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 56.6 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago.

According to GasBuddy historical data, gasoline prices on July 25 in Ohio have ranged widely over the last five years: $2.49 per gallon in 2015, $3.41 per gallon in 2014, $3.49 per gallon in 2013, $3.46 per gallon in 2012 and $3.63 per gallon in 2011.

“As air temperatures across the country rise to sweltering levels, gas prices have continued to cool,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy. “Not only are gas prices nationally at their lowest level of the summer, but they have continued to decline as the glut of oil and refined products has persisted. Almost every state saw a decline in gasoline prices versus last week, thanks to crude oil prices approaching their lowest level of the summer.”

“I foresee that, excluding a major hurricane or other disruption, we are very likely to see many more states with average prices falling under $2 per gallon by Halloween,” DeHaan added. “Truth be told, however, that really isn’t a far stretch considering two out of five stations nationally and 11 states are already there.”

POSTED: 07/25/16 at 6:54 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

METAMORA — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, Fulton County Sheriff Roy Miller, and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Stephen Anthony announced Saturday that law enforcement discovered human remains that are believed to be Sierah Joughin.

Sierah Joughin

Sierah Joughin

The remains, which were found last night while authorities were searching an area around County Road 7 in Fulton County, have been transported to the Lucas County Coroner’s Office for an autopsy, and a positive identification will be made in the next few days through DNA or fingerprints.

Joughin, 20, was last seen Tuesday evening riding her bicycle near Evergreen High School in Metamora.

James Worley, 57, of Delta, was arrested Friday on a charge of abduction in connection with her disappearance.  Additional charges are anticipated.

Anyone with information that could help investigators, especially anyone who may have seen something in the area of County Road 6 on Tuesday evening, should contact the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office at 419.335.4010, extension 8, or the Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) at 855.224.6446.

The investigation remains ongoing and is being conducted by the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, along with BCI and the FBI. Several other state and local authorities have also assisted in the investigation.

POSTED: 07/24/16 at 7:42 pm. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

PAULDING — A Defiance woman died as a result of injuries received in an accident in Paulding County on Saturday evening.

osplogoAbby Shumaker, 33, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash by Paulding County Coroner Dr. Joseph Kuhn.

According to investigating troopers from the Van Wert Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, a 1995 Peterbilt semi tractor-trailer rig driven by Matthew Mulligan, 36, of Montpelier, was headed west on Paulding County Road 176, while Shumaker’s 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix was eastbound on CR 176 when it drifted left across the centerline and collided head-on with the semi.

Mulligan had his seatbelt on and received minor injuries in the crash.

Alcohol is believed to be a factor in the crash, which remains under investigation at this time.

POSTED: 07/24/16 at 7:31 pm. FILED UNDER: News

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

After years of frustration, Van Wert city officials, led by Van Wert Mayor Jerry Mazur, are putting legal pressure on owners to clean up neglected properties.

The owners of this dilapidated and unsafe former service station at 840 W. Main St. are being taken to court to clean up the property. (photo submitted)

The owners of this dilapidated and unsafe former service station at 840 W. Main St. are being taken to court to clean up the property. (photo submitted)

The mayor, along with City Engineering Supervisor Bill Lawson, City Law Director John Hatcher, and Van Wert City Council’s Health-Safety-Service Committee, led by First Ward Councilman John Marshall, have increased efforts to enforce city ordinances related to junk vehicles, dilapidated buildings, and overgrown weeds.

The mayor has said it is imperative to local economic development efforts, as well as the health and safety of local residents, to clean up substandard properties in the city. Some of the problems come from dealing with out-of-town owners of a number of city properties.

“Many of these people just don’t care, because they don’t live here and don’t have to see what the properties look like,” Mayor Mazur said.

In addition to reviewing current city legislation dealing with neglected properties, city officials are working harder to bring out-of-town building owners to justice.


POSTED: 07/23/16 at 7:46 am. FILED UNDER: News

Chris Higbee concert in park 7-22-16

Country Fiddler Chris Higbee (above) heated up an already sweltering Fountain Park on Friday as he showed off his fiddling chops, and also sang and played guitar, during a concert that was part of the Summer Music Series sponsored by The Van Wert County Foundation. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

POSTED: 07/23/16 at 7:35 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

Listening to radio stations on smart phones, mobile devices, and computers is hitting new highs for local stations WKSD Classic Hits 99.7 and Unforgettable 1220 WERT-AM.

First Family Broadcasting President Chris Roberts announced that the stations, both owned by First Family, recently surpassed the 1-million performance level since January of this year.

“We’re very pleased that our station streams are so popular, especially among local listeners all over northwest Ohio and northeast Indiana,” Roberts said. “For small town stations to hit numbers like these certainly underscores our belief in the formats of Classic Hits and Adult Standards.”

WERT Radio logo 7-2016WKSD Radio logo 7-2016Although the station’s music formats are not targeted toward younger listeners, many in those age groups find themselves turning to smart phones instead of the traditional over-the-air methods to get streaming music.

In addition to the music, one of the attractions available on local radio is high school sports’ play-by-play.

“Listeners can follow our local sports teams anywhere in the world when listening online,” Roberts added. “We’ve heard from military personnel, college students, and many others — some in very remote places — listening to football and basketball teams on WERT and WKSD.”

Additionally, since streaming radio arrives over the Internet or through cellular data, it can be received inside buildings that lower frequency broadcast radio waves have difficulty entering.

Apps for iPhone and Android based phones are available free of charge in the Apple and Google Play stores. Look for “WKSD Radio” and “WERT Radio.”

Listeners who would like to be able to hear the stations on their computer can simply click on the radio station logos at the top of The Van Wert independent ( or by visiting or

POSTED: 07/23/16 at 7:28 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

WREN — Wrenway Park Wiffleball Warehouse Tournament organizers announce wiffleball sign-up will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, August 1, at the Wren Restaurant.

The first 15 teams who submit the $100 entry fee will get the chance to be the silver anniversary wiffleball champions.

Who knows when the line will form? Will defending champions, MKS, with their automatic entry, defend their title and make it five in a row?

Join the Wiffleball tourney’s anniversary celebration — part of Wren Homecoming, scheduled for Thursday to Saturday, August 18-20, in downtown Wren.

As part of the Wren Homecoming festival — the village is celebrating its 25th annual Wrenway Park Wiffleball tournament August 19-20 — there will be a junior tournament as well.

There is an $80 entry fee for each 10-player roster. Games will be played (six players at a time) at the Wren ballpark Wednesday and Thursday, August 17-18. The championship game will be played at the Wiffleball Warehouse at 5 p.m. Saturday, August 20.

Those ages 15 and under are welcome to play, while the entry deadline is Wednesday, August 10.

For more information, call Moe Davis at 419.495.2584.

POSTED: 07/23/16 at 7:23 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

There will be a Van Wert City Planning Commission meeting at 4 p.m. Thursday, August 11, in City Council Chambers for a change in zoning in the 900 block of South Shannon Street and a change in zoning for the southwest corner of Washington Street and Ervin Road.

POSTED: 07/23/16 at 7:21 am. FILED UNDER: News