topamax recall

The Van Wert County Courthouse

Tuesday, Jun. 28, 2016

Gasoline prices down 4-2013VW independent/submitted information

After several weeks of rising gasoline prices, Ohio — and Van Wert County — is seeing a welcome decrease in fuel prices. Furthermore, it’s a situation that analysts say is likely to continue for some time.

Average retail gasoline prices in Ohio have fallen 14.8 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.34 per gallon on Sunday, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 5,345 gas outlets in Ohio. This compares with the national average that has fallen 2.4 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.31 per gallon, according to gasoline price website

Including the change in gas prices in Ohio during the past week, prices Sunday were 49.1 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and are 17.2 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 1.3 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 47.2 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago.

According to GasBuddy historical data, gasoline prices on June 27 in Ohio have ranged widely over the last five years: $2.83 per gallon in 2015, $3.66 per gallon in 2014, $3.38 per gallon in 2013, $3.35 per gallon in 2012 and $3.32 per gallon in 2011.


POSTED: 06/27/16 at 7:12 am

Langdon moth photo 6-2016

Local resident Keith Langdon’s wife spotted this Cecropia moth on the side of his house in the southeast section of Van Wert and Langdon took a photo after moving it to a nearby bush. Later, a second moth joined the first one the Langdons saw. The moths — the largest found in Ohio — have a wingspan of six inches or more.

POSTED: 06/27/16 at 7:04 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

On Friday, July 8, the Van Wert Area Community Concert Band will host the St. Marys Community Band for a joint concert in the band shell of Fountain Park in Van Wert. Each band will perform individually and then combine to close the concert with two patriotic selections.

The Van Wert Area Community Concert Band will host the St. Marys Community Band, under the direction of Dane Newlove, for a concert in July in Fountain Park. (photo submitted)

The Van Wert Area Community Concert Band will host the St. Marys Community Band (above) for a concert in July in Fountain Park. (photo submitted)

Retired St. Marys Memorial High School director Dane Newlove, with the help of the current St. Marys band director Craig French, formed the St. Marys Band. Both bands will perform a variety of music.

The Van Wert band will feature two of its members, Paula Linn and Scott Turner, on a piano duet titled “Spiritual Rhapsodies”.

A food stand will be available prior to the concert provided by the District Order of Eastern Star organization, beginning at 5:30 that evening.

Join the bands, which feature more than 100 members from a five-county area, for this special concert. In the event of inclement weather, plans are to move the concert to an indoor venue yet to be announced. Listen the local radio station for this information.

The Van Wert Band will also perform at the Van Wert County Historical Museum from 1-2 p.m. Monday, July 4, as part of the Holiday at Home celebration.

POSTED: 06/27/16 at 6:56 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

OAKWOOD — A Defiance man was killed Saturday afternoon in a collision between a motorcycle and a lawn tractor in Paulding County.

According to the Van Wert Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Lynn A. Wickerham, 68, received fatal injuries in the crash, which occurred shortly before 4 p.m. Saturday, and was pronounced dead at the scene by Paulding County Coroner Dr. Joseph M. Kuhn. Schaffer Funeral Home of Defiance took Wickerham’s body from the scene.

osplogoInvestigating troopers said that a 2003 Honda CBR motorcycle, operated by Travis R. Urbina, 34, also of Defiance, was traveling south on Paulding County Road 209 at the time of the crash, while Wickerham was operating a John Deere garden tractor, also headed south on the shoulder of the roadway. As Urbina approached the garden tractor, the tractor suddenly turned left onto the roadway and was struck on the left side by Urbina’s motorcycle, throwing both men from their vehicles.

Urbina, who was not wearing a helmet, received non-life threatening injuries and was transported to Defiance Regional Hospital by the Oakwood EMS squad. Both vehicles sustained disabling damage and were towed from the scene by Integrity Auto Body of Defiance.

The Patrol was also assisted at the scene by the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office and Auglaize Township Fire Department.

POSTED: 06/27/16 at 6:50 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Bob Latta (R-Ohio) will be available for one-on-one meetings with constituents at the Van Wert County Annex, Commissioners’ Office, 114 E. Main St., Suite 200, in Van Wert on Wednesday, June 29.

From 10 a.m. to noon, residents can meet individually with Congressman Latta and discuss the issues that are most important to them and their families. Staff will also be available to assist with casework or help residents with any issues they may have with the federal government.

Residents are not required to RSVP, but should contact Latta’s office at 800.541.6446 if they have any questions.

POSTED: 06/27/16 at 6:48 am. FILED UNDER: News

Beginnings concert in Fountain Park 6-2016

The weather was nearly perfect Friday evening as the tribute group Beginnings entertained a large crowd of area residents in Fountain Park with the music of classic rock group Chicago. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

POSTED: 06/25/16 at 7:53 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

Community cats (also known as feral cats), as well as domestic cats, are a growing concern for Van Wert and the country in general, says Van Wert Mayor Jerry Mazur. However, a group of local residents has implemented the “Trap-Neuter-Return” (or “Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return”) program to reduce the cat population over time.

Community (feral) cats can create a number of problems for a community.

Community (feral) cats can create a number of problems for a community.

TNR program volunteers cite compelling reasons why feral cats should remain in local neighbor-hoods. For example, cats help to control rodents, including mice and rats, and also help to control rabbits and moles that damage vegetable and flower gardens, as well as lawns.

Community cats are usually not socialized to people and, as a result, are not adoptable. The TNR program has proven to be an effective tool in reducing the cat population, and is a humane solution that ensures the cats being released back into the community are not only “fixed,” but vaccinated against rabies. Rabies shots can last for up to seven years.

Anyone considering a pet kitten should have the animal spayed or neutered and vaccinated. Kittens can be safely spayed or neutered at 4 months of age.

“Caring for pets and preventing them from reproducing is responsible pet ownership, and this is the kind of behavior we want to model to our children,” said Mayor Mazur. “Spaying or neutering cats is the key to reducing the cat population.”

Local residents who would like to become involved in, or learn more about, the TNR program, can contact Brenda Hoffman at the Van Wert County Humane Society (419.203.4997) for additional details. Financial donations are always greatly appreciated and prudently invested in promoting the TNR program.

POSTED: 06/25/16 at 7:49 am. FILED UNDER: News

Taylor donates to LifeLinks yearbooks 6-2016

For the second year in a row, Gary Taylor of Taylor Auto Sales underwrote the cost of yearbooks for the students of LifeLinks Community School. Because of Taylor’s generosity, students were able to purchase 2015-2016 yearbooks at a fraction of the original price. Shown presenting Taylor with a copy of the yearbook is Zach Smith, while the following yearbook members look on (front row, from the left) Destiny Brooks and Justice Glossett; (back row) Megan Slusser and James West. (photo submitted)

POSTED: 06/25/16 at 7:35 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

Only a month after the 2016-17 Community Concert Series package was announced, individual tickets are now available for the first event in the series.

The Niswonger will welcome Guy & Ralna to its stage, presented by Okuley Unverferth Dentistry, at 2 p.m. Sunday, September 18.

Guy & Ralna

Guy & Ralna

Since their days on “The Lawrence Welk Show” from 1970-82, Guy & Ralna have become one of the most endearing couples still touring and spreading good, wholesome music throughout the United States.

Guy & Ralna became an instant sensation as the most popular husband-and-wife team ever to appear on “The Lawrence Welk Show”. Both continue to perform as solo acts when they’re not touring together and have been featured on PBS, as well as regularly perform in major entertainment venues in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Reno, Lake Tahoe, and Branson, Missouri.

Their fans love them on television and now everyone can enjoy them live at the Niswonger.

Supporting sponsors for the Community Concert Series include Central Insurance Companies, E & R Trailer, Eaton Corp., First Financial Bancorp, Taylor Auto Sales, and State Farm agent Tisha Fast.

Tickets for Guy and Ralna, along with the entire Community Concert Series, can be purchased online at NPACVW.ORG and through the Box Office from noon-4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday at 419.238.6722. The Niswonger Performing Arts Center is located at 10700 State Route 118 on the south edge of Van Wert.

POSTED: 06/25/16 at 7:31 am. FILED UNDER: Arts & Entertainment, News

VW independent/submitted information

Central Insurance recently held its inaugural summer Tech Camp for students entering grades 7-8.

The weeklong camp included interactive, hands-on projects to give the students a glimpse into future career possibilities in computer programming and multimedia design. Students designed and built their own video games using block code, created commercials using green screen technology, explored the ins and outs of a computer, and improved their creative problem-solving skills.

The Central Insurance Companies Educational & Charitable Foundation and the Van Wert County Foundation sponsor the camps. Visit Central’s Facebook page ( for more photos from the camp.

Central Tech Camp 2016-first week group

First week camp attendees include (front row, from the left) Kaygen Bogle, Erik Falk, Joshua Haines, Cole Gorman, Evan Mongold, Kaden Baer; (middle row) JW Taylor, Madison DeAmicis, Hanna Say, Zadria King, Miah Miller, Jesse Gunsett; (back row) Evan Sroufe, Kayla Krites, Kaden Thomas, Bregen Boaz, and Gannon Boyd. (Central photos)

Central Tech Camp 2016-second week group

Second week camp attendees include (front row, from the left) Owen Harris, Anna Partin, Dan Miller, Connor Johnson; (middle row) Christian Adams, Anna Wasson, Sam Moonshower, Caleb Price, and Sam Wolfrum; (back row) Rachel Spath, Jacob Wasson, Bobby Spath, KeAndre Blythe, Ethan White, and Nathan Evans.
Not pictured: Taylor Springer.

POSTED: 06/25/16 at 7:27 am. FILED UNDER: Business, News

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

The Vantage Career Center Board of Education said good-bye to Vantage Director Ben Winans and hired his replacement, while also learning about a new program for the upcoming school year during its July meeting held Thursday.

Vantage Career Center Career Technical Supervisor Ted Verhoff presents information on the school's new Construction Equipment Technologies Program. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

Vantage Career Center Career Technical Supervisor Ted Verhoff presents information on the school’s new Construction Equipment Technologies Program. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

Winans thanked the board for its support over the past three years he has been director, while also saying he has learned a lot during his decade of service to the school.

“I’m not sure there is a means to measure the experience I have gained over the course of my time here the last 10 years,” Winans noted. “I certainly know I cannot find enough words to thank all of you.”

Later in the meeting, the board formally accepted Winans’ resignation and approved a three-year administrative contract for his replacement, Tony Unverferth, who is currently a social studies teacher at Vantage.

Superintendent Staci Kaufman said the search committee had good response to the position, adding that the committee felt Unverferth was the best fit for the job.

Ted Verhoff also provided a presentation on a new program at Vantage: Construction Equipment Technologies. The new program will cover four semesters, with instruction as follows: first semester, core and sustainable construction; second semester, carpentry and masonry technology skills; third semester, heavy equipment operation; and fourth semester, construction site preparation.

Verhoff said the program, which already has its 13-student quota for the first year, is one of only four or five such programs in Ohio, including one at Apollo Career Center that currently has 40 students enrolled.


POSTED: 06/24/16 at 8:16 am. FILED UNDER: News