The Van Wert County Courthouse

Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014


Delphos Mayor Michael Gallmeier (right) and Safety-Service Director Shane Cole listen to an economic development proposal from the Van Wert County Board of Commissioners on Friday. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

Delphos Mayor Michael Gallmeier (right) and Safety-Service Director Shane Coleman listen to an economic development proposal in the Van Wert County Board of Commissioners’ office on Friday. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

While the portion of Delphos located in Van Wert County makes it the second-largest community in the county, the city has typically been underserved when it comes to economic development.

That’s about to change, though, if Delphos City Council approves a proposal by the Van Wert County Board of Commissioners.

The commissioners met with Delphos Mayor Michael Gallmeier and Safety-Service Director Shane Coleman on Friday to discuss a plan to add a part-time economic development person who would also serve Delphos’ ED needs.

Commissioner Todd Wolfrum said the commissioners have been looking for someone to help out Economic Director Sarah Smith with her myriad duties. “There’s too much for Sarah to do in that office now, with all the stuff we’re doing,” Wolfrum said, noting that the person they’re looking at for the job is a Delphos native.

The commissioners are also looking to foot most of the bill for the new position, which would entail approximately 25-30 hours a week to start with, but would ask Delphos city officials to provide $2,500 a year to assist with the cost.

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POSTED: 11/22/14 at 8:32 am

ODJFS information

Ohio’s unemployment rate was 5.3 percent in October 2014, down from 5.6 percent in September 2014. Ohio’s nonfarm wage and salary employment increased 1,000 over the month, from a revised 5,306,300 in September to 5,307,300 in October.

The number of workers unemployed in Ohio in October was 305,000, down 14,000 from 319,000 in September. The number of unemployed has decreased by 119,000 in the past 12 months from 424,000. The October unemployment rate for Ohio was down from 7.4 percent in October 2013.

Unemployment artwork-small 8-2011The U.S. unemployment rate for October was 5.8 percent, down from 5.9 percent in September, and down from 7.2 percent in October 2013.

Total Nonagricultural Wage and Salary Employment (Seasonally Adjusted)

Ohio’s nonagricultural wage and salary employment increased 1,000 over the month, from a revised 5,306,300 in September to 5,307,300 in October, according to the latest business establishment survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor (Bureau of Labor Statistics) in cooperation with ODJFS.

Employment in goods-producing industries, at 874,400, decreased 3,900 from September due to losses in construction (-2,800) and manufacturing (-1,200). Mining and logging added 100 jobs over the month. The private service-providing sector, at 3,675,800, added 12,300 jobs mainly in leisure and hospitality (+9,600).

Gains were also seen in professional and business services (+1,800), educational and health services (+1,100), financial activities (+1,000), and information (+100). Employment losses occurred in trade, transportation, and utilities (-700) and other services 
(-600). Government employment, at 757,100, decreased 7,400 with losses in state (-4,500), local 
(-2,500), and federal (-400) government.

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POSTED: 11/22/14 at 8:28 am. FILED UNDER: News

Niswonger PAC information

The Christmas season begins in northwest Ohio with great fanfare! The Nutcracker ballet comes to the Niswonger on Saturday, December 6, with two show times. The 2 and 7:30 p.m. show times will accommodate families traveling in from around the region to usher in the holiday in a classically entertaining way.

To make the experience an event to treasure, the Niswonger and Willow Bend Country Club are offering a “Sugar Plum Fairy Luncheon,” served at noon and a “Nutcracker Dinner Soiree” that begins at 5 p.m. The buffet-style meal will include three choices of meat, with complimentary sides, salad bar and a dessert bar complete with chocolate fountain. Buffet prices for adults are $19.99 and $12.99 for children 12 and under. Dining reservations can be made at 419.238.0111.

The Ballet Theatre of Toledo's production of "The Nutcracker" ballet will open the holidays at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center in Van Wert. (photo submitted)

The Ballet Theatre of Toledo’s production of “The Nutcracker” ballet will open the holidays at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center in Van Wert. (photo submitted)

Willow Bend Country Club is located at 579 Hospital Drive in Van Wert. Seating is limited and reservations will be on a first-come, first-served priority.

Capture the memories! Featured at the “Sugar Plum Fairy Luncheon” and “Nutcracker Dinner Soiree” is the opportunity for adults and children to be photographed with a ballet performer from the Ballet Theatre of Toledo. Gibby’s Photography will capture the memories, which can be downloaded from the Niswonger website following the show. The photo session for the luncheon will be from noon-12:30 p.m. and from 5-5:30 p.m. for the dinner.

Following dining, doors open to the Niswonger Performing Arts Center one hour prior to show time. During this time, the beautifully decorated Van Wert Federal Grand Lobby will be abuzz with festive excitement. The voices of The Van Wert Area Boys Choir will fill the air and gift-able Nutcracker merchandise will be available from Kim Hohman’s DanceWorks.

For an additional thrill, Slusher’s Jewelry will enter all ticket buyers’ names into a drawing for a dazzling piece of jewelry that will be given away from stage prior to the show. Nutcracker ballet tickets are available online at NPACVW.ORG or through the Box Office, Monday through Friday, from noon-4 p.m. The Box Office is located at 10700 Ohio 118 in Van Wert.

POSTED: 11/22/14 at 8:27 am. FILED UNDER: Arts & Entertainment, News

Ohio State Highway Patrol information

HICKSVILLE — The Ohio State Highway Patrol responded to a two-vehicle crash at approximately 9:21 p.m. on Ohio 2, a half mile east of Casebeer-Miller Road in Hicksville Township, Defiance County, near the village of Hicksville.

osplogoA 1998 Chevrolet Tahoe, driven by James Cummings, 41, of Hicksville, was eastbound on SR 2 and drove left of center into the westbound lane, striking a 2006 Ford F-150 pickup driven by Larry D. Geren, 48, of Fort Wayne, Indiana. After the impact, both vehicles came to rest off the north side of the roadway in a ditch.

Cummings was pronounced dead at Hicksville Hospital, while Geren was treated at the scene. Cummings did not have a seat belt in use at the time of the crash; Geren was wearing his safety belt when the crash occurred.

The Highway Patrol was assisted by Defiance County Sheriff’s Office, Hicksville Police Department, and Hicksville Fire and EMS. The crash remains under investigation.

POSTED: 11/22/14 at 8:21 am. FILED UNDER: News

VWHS information

Van Wert High School will have parent-teacher conferences this coming Monday and Tuesday. Times are as follows: Monday, 4-7:30 p.m.; Tuesday, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. (lunch 11 a.m.-noon).

Parent-teacher conferences allow parents the opportunity to discuss their children’s progress in school with teachers. Members of the teaching staff welcome and encourage parents to visit the school during the scheduled hours.

Students will not be in school the entire week of November 24-28 because of conferences and the Thanksgiving holiday, and will resume classes on Monday, December 1.

Parents attending conferences should park in the far west parking lots to the rear of the school. For high school conferences, it is recommended that parents enter the school through either the high school gymnasium entrance or the middle school gymnasium entrance.

POSTED: 11/22/14 at 8:20 am. FILED UNDER: News

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

A man who killed a young couple in a traffic accident nine years ago is headed back to prison after he violated his probation for the second time in two years.

Luke Reinhart is shown at h is first probation violation hearing in December 2012. (VW independent file photo)

Luke Reinhart is shown at h is first probation violation hearing in December 2012. (VW independent file photo)

Luke Reinhart, 35, of Van Wert, who admitted to violating his probation by failing to report to his probation officer for more than a year, and by failing a drug test in July 2013, was sent back to prison by Judge Charles D. Steele during a hearing held Thursday. The judge sentenced him to serve the remainder of the two consecutive four-year prison terms he was given originally, but also gave him credit for 2,047 days already served, leaving him yet to serve nearly 2½ years.

This is the second time Reinhart has violated his probation since his early release from prison in November 2011. In December 2012, he admitted to violating his lifetime driving ban and was resentenced to community control, along with an added six-month jail sentence.

Reinhart was originally sentenced to a 10-year prison term in 2007 for killing Kristian and Jade Amweg in an accident that occurred September 3, 2005. Reinhart, who had been drinking that night, ran a stop sign at the intersection of Wren-Landeck and Dull Robinson roads and hit the Amweg’s small subcompact vehicle with his GMC Jimmy sports utility vehicle.

That sentence was overturned on appeal by the Ohio Third District Court of Appeals because of sentencing errors and a new trial was scheduled in the case. However, Reinhart decided to plead to the charges before a trial could be held. Judge Steele then sentenced him to two consecutive four-year prison terms, a total of eight years, although a plea agreement that received the approval of the Amwegs’ family members, stipulated that Reinhart could be released early from prison after he had served at least five years.

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POSTED: 11/21/14 at 8:16 am. FILED UNDER: News

U.S. House of Representatives information

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Bob Latta (R-Ohio), who is vice chairman of the House Communications and Technology Subcommittee, has released the following statement applauding the U.S. Senate’s passage of H.R. 5728, the STELA Reauthorization Act.

U.S. Rep. Bob Latta

U.S. Rep. Bob Latta

“I am pleased to see the bipartisan and bicameral effort that took place to bring forth this must-pass legislation,” said Latta. “While ensuring broadcast programming for more than 1.5 million satellite television subscribers, STELAR also underscores our commitment to ensuring that our communications laws maximize the potential for investment, innovation and consumer choice.

“I am especially pleased that this bill incorporated a bipartisan and pro-consumer provision to eliminate the current set-top box integration ban, similar to legislation I sponsored in the U.S. House with Congressman Gene Green. Repealing this outdated technological mandate will foster greater investment and innovation in the set-top box market.

“STELAR’s passage in the U.S. Senate demonstrates how our two chambers can work together to pass meaningful policies. I urge the President to swiftly sign this bill into law, so these critical measures can take effect.”

POSTED: 11/21/14 at 7:42 am. FILED UNDER: News

VWHS information

Van Wert High School has scheduled an informational meeting for parents/guardians of senior students regarding financial aid.

The Office of Student Services has arranged for Lawrence Matthews of Bluffton University to speak on the financial aid process. Matthews will explain the step-by-step procedures in completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

In addition, Seth Baker, executive secretary of the Van Wert County Foundation, will explain the requirements and application procedures for securing grants through the foundation.

Parents should plan to attend this important meeting, to be held Wednesday, December 10, in the Niswonger Performing Art Center’s First Federal Lecture Hall from 6:30-8:15 p.m.

Those who are unable to attend, should contact a high school guidance counselor for more information.

POSTED: 11/21/14 at 7:41 am. FILED UNDER: News, Youth

Board of Elections information

The Van Wert County Board of Elections office will be closed today, but will reopen at 8:30 a.m. on Monday.

POSTED: 11/21/14 at 7:40 am. FILED UNDER: News

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

The Van Wert City Board of Education accepted the resignations of several long-serving teachers who are retiring at the end of the school year, and also hearing an update on the high school’s project-based learning educational program during its November meeting held Wednesday.

Van Wert High School teacher Chris Covey (with microphone) talks about the New Tech High School project-based education program. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

Van Wert High School teacher Chris Covey (with microphone) talks about the New Tech High School project-based education program. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

Five teachers with a total of 166 years of experience tendered their resignations to the board for the purpose of retirement. They include elementary physical education teacher Dave Branfield, with 37 years in education (36 of those in VWCS); high school art teacher Tom Emerine, with 23 years of experience; fourth grade teacher Patti Keipper, with 33 years in education (27 of those in VWCS); fifth grade teacher Deb Nedderman, with 36 years experience; and seventh grade math teacher Bonnie Thatcher, with 37 years of teaching experience.

Treasurer Mike Ruen noted in his report that this is likely to be the last year the district will see large numbers of teachers retiring, since most of the veteran teachers reaching that plateau have now retired. The district has reaped financial benefits from those retirements, since the teachers retiring were all at the top of the district pay scale, while most of those hired are closer to the bottom of the pay scale.

Also resigning was Tim Wertenberger, LifeLinks digital learning instructor, effective October 21.

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POSTED: 11/20/14 at 8:09 am. FILED UNDER: News

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

Two people were sentenced, five others changed their pleas to guilty and another admitted to violating his probation during hearings held Wednesday in Van Wert County Common Pleas Court.

Tristen Moore, 28, of Payne, was given three years of community control on two counts of attempted aggravated vehicular assault, both felonies of the fourth degree. He also had his driver’s license suspended for a year and must service 60 days in jail, with work release.

Tristen Moore, shown here at his arraignment in July, was sentenced on vehicular assault charges. (VW independent file photo)

Tristen Moore, shown here at his arraignment in July, was sentenced on vehicular assault charges. (VW independent file photo)

Logan Linton, 22, of Van Wert, was given three years of community control on a charge of abusing harmful intoxicants, a felony of the fifth degree, including two years of intensive probation.

Five people changed their pleas to guilty on Wednesday.

Denver Workman, 47, of Lima, pleaded guilty to an amended charge of attempted illegal use of Supplemental Nutrition or WIC program benefits, a misdemeanor of the first degree. The charge was reduced from illegal use of Supplemental Nutrition or WIC program benefits, a felony of the fifth degree. Judge Charles D. Steele ordered a presentence investigation in the case and scheduled sentencing for 9 a.m. Tuesday, December 2.

Michael Sparrow, 23, of Delphos, entered a guilty plea to one count each of breaking and entering, a felony of the fifth degree, and safecracking, a fourth-degree felony offense. He then requested, and was granted, treatment in lieu of conviction.

Khrstyn Sumerton, 25, of Van Wert, changed her plea to guilty to a charge of possession of drugs, a felony of the fifth degree. She also requested, and Judge Steele granted, treatment in lieu of conviction.

Jayme Fox, 28, of Van Wert, entered a guilty plea to a first-degree misdemeanor charge of theft, which was downgraded from a fifth-degree felony. A presentence investigation was ordered and sentencing set for 9 a.m. December 2.

Sonny Metzger, 39, of Van Wert, changed his plea to guilty to a charge of possession of heroin, a felony of the fifth degree. A presentence investigation was also ordered in the case, and Metzger will appear for sentencing at 9 a.m. Monday, December 29.

Ryan Miller, 25, of Van Wert, also appeared for a hearing on whether he violated his probation. Miller admitted to a probation violation for failing a drug test, failing to report to probation and failing to complete counseling at Westwood Behavioral Health Center.

He was resentenced to three years of community control, plus 30 additional days in jail, with work release.

POSTED: 11/20/14 at 7:20 am. FILED UNDER: News