The Van Wert County Courthouse

Thursday, Mar. 21, 2019

Board member Debby Compton studies a number of personnel items on Wednesday’s agenda. Scott Truxell/Van Wert independent

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent writer

A new position has been created at Van Wert High School and another one has been filled.

During Wednesday’s meeting of the Van Wert City Board of Education, board members agreed to create a dean of students/assistant athletic director position, then hired Interim Athletic Director Ben Collins to fill it. Collins was given a two-year administrative contract.

“We’re doing a transition plan,” Superintendent Vicki Brunn explained. “We have Dave (Froelich), who’s in that (assistant athletic director) position right now, but is going to retire in a couple of years, and we want to put someone in there so that we have a good transition and he (Collins) can hit the job running.

“Our hope is that he flourishes in this position and then he will step in to be assistant principal,” Brunn added.

The board later hired Van Wert native and current Ada High School Athletic Director Trent Temple to fill the same position at Van Wert High School. He was given a three-year contract that begins with the 2019-2020 school year.

Before the vote to hire Temple, board member Anthony Adams read a prepared statement and noted that other members on the board also supported his position.

He thanked Collins for stepping in as interim athletic director after the resignation of Craig Hershey, but indicated he has reservations about the hiring of Temple.

“My vote this evening comes with a significant amount of apprehension,” Adams said. “I understand that there is far from unanimous support in the hiring of Mr. Trent Temple as our next athletic director.

“I have two high school athletes, so I take what happens in athletics very seriously,” Adams added. “To have a healthy athletic department, there must be community support, and it would be vital to the continued success of our athletic department that Mr. Temple shows the ability to quickly build relationships and gain support to ensure the future success of our athletic program.


POSTED: 03/21/19 at 12:10 am

Van Wert firefighters were called out early this morning to battle a fire at Fairview Car Wash on South Washington Street in Van Wert. Van Wert Fire Chief Jon Jones said his department received the call at 5:06 a.m., adding that nine firefighters were on the scene to fight the fire, while members of the Community Emergency Response Team provided a canteen for firefighters and Van Wert police were on scene for traffic control. Chief Jones said the structure was a total loss, but no one was injured. Firefighters were on scene until 7:48 this morning. photo by Mike Kirkendall for the Van Wert independent

POSTED: 03/21/19 at 8:00 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

CONVOY — The Convoy Community Foundation has received a $50,000 anonymous donation from a Crestview Local School District alumnus to establish a Crestview Student Needs Fund. 

Income from the fund will be administered by Crestview’s social worker, assisted by district guidance counselors and the foundation, for the benefit of Crestview students in grades K-12. Earnings will be used for expenditures such as medical needs, school supplies, personal hygiene items, clothing, and family catastrophes.  

Shown are (from the left) Crestview guidance counselors Dave Springer and Kris Kill, Crestview Superintendent Kathy Mollenkopf, and Convoy Community Foundation Trustee Ron Schumm. photo provided

Individuals moved by this loving act of kindness that would like to support these goals can make a tax-deductible donation to the Convoy Community Foundation for the Crestview Student Needs Fund. Donations will be added to the amount on hand to be used during the current calendar year, allowing more needs to be met.  

Any earnings not spent in the year of the donation will be carried over to the next year. For more information, contact CCF Trustee Greg Kulwicki at 419.771.7555.  

The Convoy Community Foundation can also administer other donations as either permanent donations to the principal of the Student Needs Fund or as a memorial to someone you wish to honor. Mail donations to Convoy Community Foundation P.O. Box 482, Convoy, OH 45832.

POSTED: 03/20/19 at 11:51 pm. FILED UNDER: News

Van Wert independent staff

Two people appeared for criminal hearings in Van Wert County Common Pleas Court over the past week.

Trent Lacy, 50, of Van Wert, pleaded not guilty to one count of operating a vehicle while impaired (OVI), a felony of the fourth degree. He was released on an unsecured personal surety bond, but was ordered not to drive without permission from the court. A pretrial conference was scheduled for 11 a.m. Wednesday, April 17.

Randy Parker, 38, of Van Wert, changed his plea to guilty to one count each of aggravated trafficking in drugs in the vicinity of a juvenile, a felony of the third degree, and vandalism, a fifth-degree felony, during a plea change hearing.

Judge Martin D. Burchfield ordered a presentence investigation and scheduled sentencing for 9 a.m. Monday, April 15.

POSTED: 03/20/19 at 11:50 pm. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

The Van Wert County Foundation is seeking grant applications for the current year.

The foundation, which serves as a philanthropic vehicle for individuals, corporations, and organizations, supports purpose, inspires growth, and builds the future by administering grants to charitable organizations.

The organization is known for investing in the many charitable activities and programs that impact the lives of community members. 

Grants are considered in June and December of each year. Grant applications and additional information can be found online at, or those interested may contact Executive Secretary Seth Baker at 419.238.1743 or visit the office at 138 E. Main St., in Van Wert. 

Grant applications and all requested materials must be submitted or postmarked by the close of business on Wednesday, May 1, to be considered eligible for potential funding in the next grant cycle.

POSTED: 03/20/19 at 11:46 pm. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

Those looking for a good way to pick up spring gifts and Easter basket stuffers for the loved ones in their lives, as well as support Van Wert County 4-H camp counselors going to 4-H camp, can come out Saturday, April 13, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., for the 4-H Craft & Vendor Show.

Van Wert County 4-H camp counselor alumnus Dylan Neate is shown with the Easter Bunny at last year’s 4-H Craft and Vendor Show. photo provided

The show will be held at the Junior Fair Building on the Van Wert County Fairgrounds, and food will be available for purchase to support the Junior Fair Board and its renovation projects. It is also rumored that there will be a visit from the Easter bunny that day.

For vendors and crafters looking a show that day, organizers still have spots available. Applications can be found online at or by stopping by the Ohio State University Extension Office at 1055 S. Washington St. in Van Wert, from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. 

County 4-H members hope area residents will join in supporting county youths doing great things for each other, and the community.

POSTED: 03/20/19 at 11:44 pm. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

LIMA — More than 75 years ago, March was first proclaimed Red Cross Month in 1943 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to raise awareness of the organization and its humanitarian mission. 

Shown (from the left) are Gene Border and Neita Border (Putnam ESC), Mark Seitz and Ron Vondenhuevel (Nidec Minster), and Heather Anderson, Steve Newman, Eloise Shumaker, Karen David, Chelsey Braunwart, and Carol Hennis (Van Wert Health program). Red Cross photo

All U.S. presidents since Roosevelt have designated March as Red Cross Month to recognize how the American Red Cross helps people across the country and around the world through its workforce powered bymore than 90 percent volunteers.

“During Red Cross Month, we are proud to recognize our volunteers who provide hope and urgent relief to families in need every day,” said Derek Stemen, executive director of the American Red Cross of West Central Ohio. “These heroes are our neighbors who give blood, save lives with skills like first aid and CPR, or provide care and comfort to families devastated by crises like home fires. We honor our volunteers and ask you to join them and make a difference.”

On March 2, local Red Cross volunteers were honored at the annual volunteer recognition event. The event was held at the local Red Cross office and volunteers from 10 counties attended the event. During the event, the Red Cross recognized those volunteers and community partners who provided exceptional service over the course of the past year. Volunteers and partners receiving awards include:


POSTED: 03/20/19 at 7:27 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

Reservations are now open for Off Stage Productions’ next dinner theatre show The Savannah Sipping Society, a two-act comedy written by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope, and Jamie Wooten. Performances will again be held at Vantage Career Center, 818 N. Franklin St. in Van Wert. Show dates are April 5-7 and 12-14. 

Saturday and Sunday performances will be dinner theatre shows. For Saturday performances, doors will open at 6:30 p.m., dinner at 7 p.m., and the show at 8 each evening. For Sunday matinee performances, doors will open at 12:30 p.m., dinner at 1 p.m., and the show at 2 each afternoon. Meals are provided by Romer’s Catering. Cost for the dinner and show is $28.

Cast members for Off Stage Productions’ new play, The Savannah Sipping Society, are (from the left) Christa Manning, Pat Howard, Mary Yackey, and Terri Stevens. photo provided

Both Friday performances will be “Popcorn Night” performances and will not include dinner, but popcorn will be included with the cost of the show. Water and soft drinks will also be available for purchase. Doors open for the Friday performances at 7 p.m., with the show beginning at 7:30 p.m. Cost for “Popcorn Night” performances is $13.

The Savannah Sipping Society is a delightful, laugh-a-minute comedy about four unique Southern women, all needing to escape the sameness of their day-to-day routines, who are drawn together by Fate — and an impromptu happy hour — and decide it’s high time to reclaim the enthusiasm for life they’ve lost through the years. 

Randa, a perfectionist and workaholic, is struggling to cope with a surprise career derailment that, unfortunately, reveals that she has no life and no idea how to get one. 

Dot, still reeling from her husband’s recent demise and the loss of their plans for an idyllic retirement, faces the unsettling prospect of starting a new life from scratch — all alone. 


POSTED: 03/20/19 at 7:16 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

Westwood Behavioral Health Center will be holding its next session of its Community Learning Series on Monday, March 25, from 6-7:30 p.m.  

Come and learn about how substance use can impact an entire family in the showing of the movie When A Man Loves A Woman: Part 1. Part 2 will be shown Monday, April 8, from 6-7:30 p.m., so save that date as well. 

Discussion to follow each part and popcorn and soft drinks will be provided. Westwood’s Learning Series runs every second and fourth Monday of the month, starting at 6 p.m. The location of each presentation will be advertised prior to the event, which is free and open to the public, no registration required.  

Location for the next event is 1158 Westwood Drive in Van Wert. Transportation to and from the event is available upon request by calling 419.238.3434. There is no charge for transportation; however, rides must be scheduled prior to 5 p.m. the day of the event.

POSTED: 03/20/19 at 7:01 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

The Van Wert County Board of Developmental Disabilities (VWCBDD) is encouraging the community to wear crazy socks on Thursday, March 21, for World Down Syndrome Day. Crazy, bright, or mismatched socks are welcomed to help celebrate and advocate for inclusion.

March 21 was chosen as World Down Syndrome Day to represent the three copies of the 21st chromosome. Learn more about World Down Syndrome Day by accessing

“Before Olly, we never knew World Down Syndrome Day existed,” said VWCBDD Vice President Jenny Bockey. “Now it is important to our family, and we love to help spread awareness about Down Syndrome by wearing crazy socks and helping everyone see how great these people really are.”

Share pictures of one’s crazy socks to Facebook with the hashtag #VWDD #LotsOfSocks #WDSD19 and it will be shared on the VWCBDD Facebook page. 

POSTED: 03/20/19 at 7:00 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

At the Van Wert County Board of Developmental Disabilities (VWCBDD) Board’s March meeting, Superintendent Jim Stripe announced plans to apply for funding through the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) Capital Housing Office to purchase homes.

Van Wert County Board of Development Disabilities members include (from the left) Frankie Bowen (president), Brad Perrott, Michael Kitson, Nicole Taylor, Mariea Moreland (secretary), and Jennifer Bockey (vice president). photo provided

Funding through DODD Community Capital Assistance program can allow county boards of developmental disabilities to purchase community housing for people with developmental disabilities.

“We have purchased 11 homes over the years,” Stripe said. “It’s been over six years since we have purchased housing, and we have a need for two housing units for four individuals receiving our services.”

If funding is secured, VWCBDD will work with the Van Wert Housing Board to purchase the homes. 

In other business, Stripe presented the Northwest Ohio Waiver Administration Council (NOWAC) strategic plan for 2019 through 2021. VWCBDD is one of seven county boards of DD that utilize NOWAC to share resources including the areas of Major Unusual Incident (MUI) investigation and Medicaid waiver and supported living administration. 


POSTED: 03/19/19 at 7:10 am. FILED UNDER: News