The Van Wert County Courthouse

Tuesday, May. 21, 2019

Submitted information

COLUMBUS — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) Administrator/CEO Stephanie McCloud proposed Monday giving $1.5 billion to Ohio employers this year following strong returns on the agency’s investments.

“This is great news for Ohio,” said Governor DeWine. “This money will help Ohio employers expand their businesses, create jobs, and invest in capital improvements. Ohio’s economy is strong, and this proposal reinforces our goal of creating more jobs in the state.”

In addition to money for private businesses, the $1.5 billion proposal also includes money for public employers, including approximately $114 million for local governments and around $50 million for public schools. 

The money would be Ohio’s fifth investment return to private and public employers of at least $1 billion since 2013 and sixth overall during that time.

“Our investment portfolio is strong, our injury claims are falling, and our safety and wellness initiatives are making a difference,” said Administrator McCloud. “All of these actions mean big savings for employers, and we’re delighted to share this success with them.”

State law requires businesses to carry workers’ compensation coverage to protect workers who suffer injuries or illnesses on the job. The employers’ premiums are invested to grow the fund that supports injured worker claims. When investment returns are strong, the agency shares a portion of the investments with qualifying employers in the form of a dividend.


POSTED: 05/20/19 at 11:49 pm. FILED UNDER: Business, News

VW independent/submitted information

Van Wert County Hospital, doing business as Van Wert Health in Van Wert, has been named one of the Top 100 rural and community hospitals in the United States by The Chartis Center for Rural Health.

Above is an artist’s rendition of the new Van Wert Health hospital addition. graphic provided

Regarded as one of the industry’s most significant designations of performance excellence, the annual Top 100 Rural & Community Hospitals award is based upon the results of the Hospital Strength INDEX® from iVantage Health Analytics. 

“We are proud to be recognized by agencies like The Chartis Center for Rural Health,” said Van Wert Health President/CEO Jim Pope. “Our mission is simple: we want to be the best community hospital. We know that designation has to be earned every day from the patients we care for. It is a journey.” 

Hospitals recognized as a Top 100 facility scored in the top 100 among all rural and community hospitals nationally. Now in its ninth year, the INDEX leverages 50 rural-relevant indicators across eight pillars of hospital strength (inpatient market share, outpatient market share, cost, charge, quality, outcomes, patient perspective, and financial stability) to determine an overall score for each hospital. Each of the INDEX’s 50 indicators is culled from publicly-available data sources. 

“In an era of increased complexity and uncertainty, Top 100 hospitals have established themselves as a bellwether for rural provider performance,” said Michael Topchik, national leader of The Chartis Center for Rural Health. “Top 100 status is a real indicator of how proactive these hospitals are when it comes to pushing for performance improvement in areas such as quality, outcomes, patient safety, market share and finance.” 

The list of this year’s Top 100 Rural & Community Hospitals, as well as the 2019 INDEX methodology, can be found at 

POSTED: 05/08/19 at 11:30 pm. FILED UNDER: Business

VW independent/submitted information

FORT JENNINGS — Replacing old metal halide lights with energy-efficient LED lights isn’t cheap – but for members of a not-for-profit electric cooperative, it may be more affordable than they think.

Paulding Putnam Electric Cooperative Energy Advisor Peter Niagu (right) presents a check to Reggie Buehrer of Windows Creation in Fort Jennings.
photo provided

Thanks to Paulding Putnam Electric Cooperative’s (PPEC) Commercial and Industrial (C&I) Custom Lighting Program, companies receiving electricity from the co-op, like stained glass studio Window Creations, LLC., are eligible for rebates when making significant energy-efficient lighting upgrades.

Window Creationsin Fort Jennings recently took advantage of this program, receiving a $5,776 check from PPEC after finishing installation of 26 new LED lights to replace 26 old metal halide lights. In total, the company reduced its energy use by 6,500 watts — reducing the initial wattage by more than 60 percent.

The Buehrer family’s multi-generational studio has been creating and restoring stained glass windows for decades. As an accredited member of the Stained Glass Association of America, Window Creations takes pride in accepting any size window project, including stained glass, storm glass, aluminum framing, or custom wood tracery and serves the tristate area of Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana, as well as extending as far as Mississippi and Chicago, Illinois. 

PPEC’s C&I Custom Lighting Program allows commercial and industrial members to apply for rebates toward energy-efficiency lighting projects, handing over a max contribution of $15,000 per project. Participating members who meet the requirements of the program are eligible to receive up to two rebates, which may not exceed 50 percent of each project’s total cost (excluding labor). Rebates are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Pre-approval is required by sending an application to PPEC Energy Advisor Peter Niagu at To learn more about the program, visit

POSTED: 04/22/19 at 6:58 am. FILED UNDER: Business

VW independent/submitted information

Tisha M. Fast, agent and owner of Tisha Fast Insurance Agency Inc., has earned the Retirement Income Certified Professional® designation from The American College of Financial Services.

State Farm agent Tisha Fast

Using the most current retirement portfolio management techniques, the RICP® advisor helps to identify retirement income needs and objectives relative to the client’s lifestyle goals in retirement.

Individuals who earn an RICP® designation can provide knowledgeable advice on a broad range of retirement topics including the proper use of annuities, mitigation of risks to retirement income planning, estate issues, Social Security, health insurance, housing decisions, and income taxation.

Candidates for the RICP®designation must complete a minimum of three college-level courses and are required to pass a series of two-hour proctored exams. They must also have three years of professional experience, meet stringent ethics requirements, and participate in continuing education to maintain professional recertification.

The RICP® educational curricula is one of the most complete and comprehensive programs available to financial advisors whose goal is to help their clients create sustainable retirement income. The rigorous three-course credential helps advisors master the retirement income planning focus area that is not fully covered in other professional designation programs. 

Fast has had the privilege of providing insurance and financial services to the Van Wert community for five years. She serves on various boards of organizations in the community and within her local church. Fast is passionate about helping others with their financial goals and insurance needs. Area residents can contact her office at 419.238.9441.

POSTED: 04/10/19 at 10:36 pm. FILED UNDER: Business

VW independent/submitted information

ASHLEY, Indiana — Cooper Farms has announced the opening of its new biosecurity truck wash location in Ashley, Indiana, to assist in maintaining the highest health standards for the company’s hogs.

The biosecurity center will clean and sanitize semi-trucks and trailers after delivering hogs to the Clemens Food Group plant in Coldwater, Michigan.

Cooper Farms’ new Biosecurity Center in Ashley, Indiana. photo provided

“We are very thorough with our biosecurity measures here at Cooper Farms,” said John Grindstaff, biosecurity center manager. “We want to do this to prevent anything our animals or trucks may come in contact with from getting back into our herds.”

Currently, the biosecurity center is set to clean 20 trailers a day, starting at 1:30 a.m. until all trucks have come through.

The biosecurity center will provide six jobs and typically run five days during the week, except during holiday weeks.

For those interested, there will be an open house held from 4-6 p.m. Tuesday, April 9. The biosecurity center can be found at 1002 H.L. Thompson Jr. Drive, in Ashley.

POSTED: 04/06/19 at 8:08 am. FILED UNDER: Business

VW independent/submitted information

Financial services firm Edward Jones ranks highest in investor satisfaction with full service brokerage firms, according to the J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Full Service Investor Satisfaction Study, the firm recently announced.

The study measures overall investor satisfaction with 18 full-service investment firms based on eight factors, including financial advisor, account information, investment performance, firm interaction, product offerings, commissions and fees, information resources, and problem resolution. The firm scored 853 in overall satisfaction, 18 points over the industry average.

“What a great honor it is to be recognized for what matters most, which is making a difference in the lives of our clients,” said Edward Jones Managing Partner Penny Pennington. “We illustrate the value of the Edward Jones client experience every day and help our clients achieve financially what is most important to them. We can bring something truly special to clients who experience us. This is why we exist.”

Edward Jones ranked highest in investor satisfaction by J.D. Power in 2015 (tied), 2012, 2010, 2009, 2007-2005, and in a tie in 2002, when the study began.

The 2019 Full Service Investor Satisfaction Study is based on responses from more than 4,629 investors who primarily invest with one of the 18 firms included in the study.  The majority of the study was fielded in December 2018. For more information, visit

The Van Wert financial advisors are Eric Hurless, Thaison Leaser, Ryan Lindemann, and Trevor Webster.

Edward Jones, a Fortune 500 company headquartered in St. Louis, provides financial services in the U.S. and, through its affiliate, in Canada. Every aspect of the firm’s business, from the investments its financial advisors offer to the location of its branch offices, caters to individual investors. The firm’s 17,000-plus financial advisors serve more than 7 million clients and care for $1 trillion in assets under management. Visit our website at and recruiting website at Member SIPC.

POSTED: 03/16/19 at 7:26 am. FILED UNDER: Business

VW independent/submitted information

GKN Freight Services has been in Van Wert since January 2000, and is likely the best kept secret in town.

The team in Van Wert is small (approximately 37 people), but has a global scope. The Van Wert office is one of three control towers for freight services globally, and has employees in U.S., Brazil, and Mexico.

Because of its global footprint, GKN Freight Services frequently hosts meetings with visitors from all over the U.S., along with the United Kingdom, Mexico, and Brazil. Guests to the GKN office enjoy visiting the local restaurants and establishments while they are in town.

When The Times-Bulletin moved to its new location, Alexander & Bebout renovated the building to fit Global GKN visual standards. After 12 years at Industrial Drive, GKN Freight Services then moved in mid-January of this year to its new location.

While the renovations significantly changed the interior of the building, the heart of the people remains the same. As a member of the Van Wert Chamber of Commerce, GKN Freight Services continues involvement in the local community, and encourages participation of its employees in local events.

POSTED: 03/13/19 at 7:54 am. FILED UNDER: Business

VW independent/submitted information

Cassondra Clark recently graduated from a trainee position to that of branch office administrator at the Van Wert office of the financial services firm Edward Jones. Clark has lived in the Van Wert area for 28 years.

Cassondra Clark

“For the past 12 months, Cassondra has performed the duties of her job while also working to complete her training and testing requirements,” Hurless said. “This is a well-deserved promotion.”

A branch office administrator is responsible for the daily operation of an Edward Jones office. This includes providing top-notch client service, supporting marketing activities for the office, and staying updated on technological advances.

“On a given day, Cassondra’s activities could include processing client trade transactions, providing clients with receipts for money and securities, and assisting in the planning of seminars and special events,” Hurless added.

Hurless’ office is located at 1119 Westwood Drive, across from Sycamore Ice Cream. Hurless and Clark can be reached at 419.232.2058, or visit the office website at

POSTED: 02/27/19 at 8:54 am. FILED UNDER: Business

VW independent/submitted information

Van Wert agent Devin Sheets has earned the prestigious AFLIC Award from American Family Insurance. He joins a select group of agents who distinguished themselves in 2018 through outstanding sales of life insurance products offered by the company’s subsidiary, American Family Life Insurance Company.

Sheets has been an agent for American Family since October 2003. His office is located at 118 S. Washington St. in Van Wert.

“This is a tremendous honor for Devin but not surprising when you consider the emphasis he places on relationships,” says Jill Blackburn, district sales manager for the company. “He takes the time to listen and work with his customers to make sure they understand their insurance options and how each fits their unique needs.”

POSTED: 02/27/19 at 8:45 am. FILED UNDER: Business

VW independent/submitted information

Van Wert Manor was recognized as a top performer by the American College of Health Care Administrators (ACHCA). 

Each year, ACHCA awards the leaders of top-performing skilled nursing facilities across the country through its Eli Pick Facility Leadership Award. Only 7 percent of facilities qualify for this award nationwide.

To be considered for the ACHCA Eli Pick Facility Leadership award, facilities must meet all of the following criteria: 

  • The current administrator has been the administrator of record for the full calendar year
  • No survey (health, fire safety, and complaint) in the past three years with a citation above “E” in Scope and Severity
  • Occupancy of at least 80 percent, as defined by CMS Survey Report
  • Avoidance of Special Focus Facility status 
  • At least two CMS four-quarter average QM score equal or better than the top quartile for the USA for eight select quality measures. 

“It’s truly an accomplishment to be recognized by the ACHCA for this award,” said Van Wert Manor Administrator Jacque Welch. “My team continues to provide the most quality and compassionate care and service, and this is just another way that they are able to show their success in all that they do here at Van Wert Manor.”  

Van Wert Manor has been a part of the community since 1970 through the tradition of caring. With the addition of assisted living apartments to Van Wert Manor’s facility, Van Wert Manor offers assisted living, transitional care and skilled nursing. 

For more information about Van Wert Manor, call 419.238.6655. 

POSTED: 02/21/19 at 8:10 am. FILED UNDER: Business