topamax recall

The Van Wert County Courthouse

Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017

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The Central Insurance Companies have announced the election of Evan Purmort to its Board of Directors, as well as his appointment to the Executive Committee of the Central Companies.

As regional vice president, Purmort oversees the day-to-day operations of the Northeast Regional office, including all underwriting, marketing, and claims functions serving Central’s independent agents in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New York.

Evan Purmort

Purmort joined Central in 2002 during high school as a prep chef at Central-affiliated Willow Bend Country Club and moved on to the Mail and Supply department in Central’s Home Office the following summer.

After graduating from Miami University in 2008, he became a commercial lines technician in the Southeast Region. He was promoted to commercial lines underwriter before transferring to the Southwest Region in 2011 as the marketing manager for Arizona.

He was promoted to the Southwest Management Team in 2012 as a commercial lines supervisor and was then promoted to the position of personal lines manager in 2014. Most recently, he held the position of assistant vice president of the Northeast Regional Office.

Purmort resides in Boston with his wife, Claire, and daughter, Frances.

Central Mutual Insurance Company was founded in 1876 and has evolved into the Central Insurance Companies, a successful property and casualty group providing insurance for more than 350,000 automobiles, homes, and businesses in 20 states. Central is based in Van Wert and operates regional offices in Boston, Atlanta, Dallas, and Van Wert.

The Central group of companies has combined assets of over $1 billion. Central’s A.M. Best rating is A (Excellent).

POSTED: 11/06/17 at 3:48 pm. FILED UNDER: Business

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Meijer is announcing a recall of various packaged Meijer brand produce items due to a potential contamination with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.

Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms like high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, a Listeria monocytogenes infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

The recall affects certain products sold in Meijer stores in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, and Wisconsin purchased September 27 through October 20. The items will be in plastic containers or foam trays with printed labels with various sizes and weights.

POSTED: 10/24/17 at 7:49 am. FILED UNDER: Business

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Leland Smith Insurance Services announces the addition of Josh Hahn, a licensed life and senior health agent, to its staff.

Josh Haun

Born and raised in Antwerp, Hahn is a graduate of Antwerp Local High School. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication studies from Northern Kentucky University.

Hahn recently moved back to Antwerp after spending five years in Cincinnati. He is an avid sports fan and history enthusiast, and also enjoys hiking, hunting, kayaking, and traveling.

Stop by to welcome Hahn and see if he can help with any of one’s insurance needs. He is happy to serve at all six office locations.

Leland Smith Insurance Services is an independent insurance agency representing multiple insurance companies, offering home, auto, business, life, and health insurance. Office locations are in Van Wert and Antwerp, the Shisler Insurance Agency in Paulding, the Kulwicki-Hilton Insurance Agency in Convoy and Ottoville, and the Hickey-Morris Insurance Agency in Delphos.

POSTED: 10/17/17 at 6:35 am. FILED UNDER: Business

VW independent/submitted information

COLUMBUS — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has offered updated information for consumers following the recent announcement by Equifax of a major data breach affecting over 5 million Ohioans. Equifax, one of the nation’s three major credit reporting bureaus, has stated that its system was compromised between May and July of this year and includes names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and driver’s license numbers.

Mike DeWine

“The news of the Equifax breach was, and remains, absolutely shocking,” Attorney General DeWine said. “It’s important for consumers to understand the new information that has come to light in recent days so that they can make informed decisions moving forward, and I will continue to press Equifax to do the right things to help affected consumers.”

Attorney General DeWine offered the following updates that can be found on Equifax’s website:

  • Arbitration Clauses:  Equifax has stated enrollment in “TrustedID Premier” — their product offered in response to the breach — will not subject an enrollee to mandatory arbitration.  According to Equifax, the arbitration clauses originally included in the Terms of Use on the site have now been removed, and the Terms of Use on do not apply to the TrustedID Premier product being offered to consumers as a result of the breach.
  • Waiver of Rights: Equifax has also stated that the Terms of Use do not create a waiver of class action rights.  Specifically, Equifax states, “to be as clear as possible, we will not apply any arbitration clause or class action waiver against consumers for claims related to the free products offered in response to the cybersecurity incident or for claims related to the cybersecurity incident itself.”
  • Charge for Security Freeze:  Equifax has agreed to waive fees for placing and removing security freezes through November 21.  Additionally, consumers who paid for a security freeze starting at 5 p.m. on September 7 will receive a refund. Note that consumers are still required to pay for security freezes through TransUnion and Experian should they choose to place a freeze there; to do this, consumers must contact TransUnion and Experian directly.


POSTED: 09/21/17 at 6:04 am. FILED UNDER: Business

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Van Wert Manor, an HCF Management Inc. skilled nursing center, has received a deficiency-free survey from the Ohio Department of Health.

Each year, therapy and skilled nursing care communities in Ohio are subject to unannounced surveys by the State’s Department of Health. The inspection team evaluates all aspects of resident care, procedures and practices, assessing the compliance of the facility with hundreds of state and federal standards.

The survey is intended to ensure that each healthcare center is meeting all requirements to maintain quality patient care. In today’s regulatory environment, it is rare to be deficiency-free but the staff at Van Wert Manor continuously work together as a team to ensure their patients receive exceptional quality care.

“It is a great achievement to receive this rating,” said Jacque Welch, licensed nursing home administrator at Van Wert Manor. “The results show that our team is dedicated to not just meeting a high standard of quality care, but exceeding those expectations each and every day.”

Located at 160 Fox Road, Van Wert Manor has been providing a tradition of caring for the Van Wert community and the surrounding areas for over 45 years. The care community offers long-term care living, assisted living, short-term rehabilitation and skilled nursing services.

For more information or a tour of Van Wert Manor to experience their recognized quality care, call Jacque Welch at 419.238.6655.

POSTED: 08/31/17 at 7:42 am. FILED UNDER: Business, Lifestyles

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The Society of Certified Insurance Counselors (CIC) recently recognized Dave Clay, CIC, AU, of the Central Insurance Companies with a certificate honoring his 30 years of faithful participation in advanced education.

Clay earned the designation through a series of rigorous examinations and has maintained his CIC designation by annual attendance at an approved CIC continuing education program. He resides in Fishers, Indiana.

Dave Clay

“The professional dedication and commitment represented by Dave sets the standard within our industry,” said Dr. William T. Hold, CIC, CPCU, CLU, president of the Society of CIC. “This thirty-year accomplishment signifies a career of active leadership in advanced education. Dave’s emphasis on professional development positively reflects on the insurance profession as a whole.”

The Society of CIC is a member of The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research. This not-for-profit organization serves over 133,000 participants annually throughout all 50 states, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. The National Alliance is comprised of the Society of Certified Insurance Counselors (CIC), Certified Risk Managers (CRM), Certified Personal Risk Managers (CPRM), the Society of Certified Insurance Service Representatives (CISR), Certified School Risk Managers (CSRM), and the National Alliance Research Academy.

Together, these programs offer a wide variety of education, publications, and professional designation opportunities in the insurance and risk management industries.

Central Mutual Insurance Company was founded in 1876 and has evolved into the Central Insurance Companies, a successful property and casualty group providing insurance for more than 350,000 automobiles, homes, and businesses in 20 states.

Central is based in Van Wert and operates regional offices in Boston, Atlanta, Dallas, and Van Wert. The Central group of companies has combined assets of over $1 billion. Central’s A.M. Best rating is A (Excellent).

POSTED: 08/30/17 at 12:37 pm. FILED UNDER: Business

VW independent/submitted information

Over the coming months, Thaison Leaser plans to meet many Van Wert area residents. That’s because he is the new Edward Jones financial advisor in town, and wants to get to know residents and business owners here.

Thaison Leaser

During his face-to-face contacts, Leaser hopes to learn more about the values and goals of the people who make up this community.

“I decided to enter the financial services industry because I like helping people achieve their long-term financial goals,” he said. “This is a fascinating business, and I hope I can pass my enthusiasm for my work on to my clients.”

Leaser was hired as an Edward Jones financial advisor after an extensive screening process, according to Jim Weddle, managing partner of the firm.

“We carefully select the best of the best,” Weddle noted. “After being hired, our financial advisors go through one of the most rigorous training programs in the industry, involving three months of 10-hour days, six days a week.”

“After all, this industry is constantly changing,” Leaser said as explanation for the involved training. “My clients cannot afford for me not to be on top of things.”

Leaser grew up in Van Wert and is the son of Colin and Leslie Leaser. He attended Van Wert High School and The University of Toledo. He is married to Danae (Westgerdes) Leaser and they have one child.

Leaser will work out of John Gunsett’s office during the next few months, then will continue to serve investors throughout the area, partnering with Gunsett at 114 W. Main St. in Van Wert. He can be reached at 419.238.0198.

Edward Jones, a Fortune 500 company, provides financial services for individual investors in the United States, and, through its affiliate, in Canada. The firm’s more than 15,000 financial advisors work directly with more than 7 million clients. Edward Jones, which ranked No. 5 on Fortune magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work for in 2017,” is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri.

For more information on the company, go to its website at Its recruiting website is

POSTED: 08/10/17 at 7:01 am. FILED UNDER: Business

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Purmort Brothers Insurance was named the winner of the Blue Streak Circle of Achievement Retention Award.

The Retention Award is Central Mutual Insurance Company’s annual recognition of agencies that do an outstanding job of serving customers’ insurance needs. Purmort Brothers Insurance has consistently achieved commendable results in this area. The agency goes all-out for excellence in all areas of the insurance industry, not only in service, but with knowledgeable staff and efficient technology.

Purmort Brother Insurance has been recognized as one of the most trusted locally owned insurance agencies in northwest Ohio. For more than 140 years it has built strong and loyal relationships with its customers, companies, and the community.

POSTED: 07/15/17 at 6:56 am. FILED UNDER: Business

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Van Wert Federal Savings Bank recently hired George Scott as its new mortgage banking officer.

George Scott

Scott, originally from Circleville, met his wife while attending college and relocated to Van Wert with her in 2005. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Toledo and a master’s degree from the University of Findlay.

While in and following college, Scott served a six-year term with the United States Air Force Ohio Air National Guard 180th Fighter Wing in Toledo. Most recently, Scott was employed by Van Wert City Schools as a high school teacher. Beyond the classroom, he assisted with the district’s learning management system and sponsored various clubs and organizations.

Additionally, Scott has coached the Van Wert boys’ soccer and Van Wert girls’ soccer teams, as well as several YMCA youth sports teams.

Scott attends Trinity United Methodist Church and resides in Van Wert with his wife, Laura, and their three sons: Owen, Wyatt, and Oliver.

POSTED: 06/24/17 at 6:51 am. FILED UNDER: Business

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Auto-Owners Insurance is pleased to announce the Leland Smith Insurance Services Inc. of Van Wert has been named one of the Top 10 growth agencies for the company in the state of Ohio for 2016. The agency was recognized at a luncheon meeting in Lima, and at a reception with all regional associates, where they and other recipients were presented with a plaque commemorating their accomplishment.

Leland Smith Insurance Services Inc. has represented Auto-Owners since 1996.

Jeff Harrold, chairman/CEO of Auto-Owners, thanked the agency for its support and its business. “Their growth and support only help to make the entire community stronger and more secure,” Harrold said. “We are grateful they choose to do business with us.”

Auto-Owners Insurance was founded in 1916 and has served Ohio since 1936. It is a Fortune 500 company and the 17th largest property/casualty insurance company in the nation, based on written premium. Auto-Owners Insurance is one of 12 insurance companies in the United States to receive the highest rating possible, A++ Superior, by A.M. Best, a nationally recognized rating agency for insurance companies.

Auto-Owners is represented by more than 42,000 licensed agents in its 26 operating states. The company, which provides auto, home, business and life insurance to more than 3 million policyholders, is headquartered in Lansing, Michigan.

POSTED: 06/21/17 at 3:40 pm. FILED UNDER: Business