Tony Orlando entertained a big crowd at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio on Saturday, singing some of the favorites from his decades-long career, including “Tie a Yellow Ribbon ‘Round the Old Oak Tree,” “Candida,” and “Knock Three Times,” as well as a number of holiday songs. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)
State Fire Marshal’s Office information
State Fire Marshal Larry Flowers announced the availability of grant and loan application packages for Ohio’s fire service. These grants and loans are offered by the State of Ohio as a means to offset costs to local governments. They are provided for in the state budget passed in June by the Ohio General Assembly and signed by Governor John R. Kasich.
The grant application process encourages collaboration between multiple government agencies. This stems from Governor Kasich’s vision for an increase in shared services throughout the state.
“This is an exciting opportunity for local governments to work together to apply for and secure equipment grant funds,” said State Fire Marshal Larry Flowers. “This will allow multiple governments to share fire protection services in a more effective way and perhaps purchase equipment they may otherwise not have been able to afford.”
Two grant programs exist for volunteer fire departments, fire departments serving smaller communities, joint fire districts and governments that contract for fire protection from one of these types of departments or private companies. The opportunities include training grants and equipment grants.
“These programs allow Ohio’s fire departments to purchase new equipment and to receive the training necessary for first responders to better protect our citizens,” said Ohio Department of Commerce Director Andre Porter. “Firefighters must have the protective equipment they need to perform their jobs. We want to make sure that each responder will be able to serve fully and return home safely at the end of an emergency. These programs significantly enhance their ability to do that.”
A third program, the Revolving Loan program, assists local governments in expediting the purchase of major firefighting, rescue or EMS equipment and can also be used for the construction or renovation of fire department buildings. In 2013, the Village of Deshler, located in Henry County, received a $300,000 loan that they used to purchase a much-needed new fire engine.
The application packages and complete criteria are available on the Division of State Fire Marshal’s web site at www.com.ohio.gov/fire.
Van Wert City Schools information
Although classes have been canceled in all three Van Wert County school districts because of snow and ice, some evening activities and events are still on for tonight.
Van Wert High School will be holding a college finance workshop from 5:30-7 p.m. today in the First Federal Lecture Hall of the Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio. The Van Wert band concert scheduled for 7:30 this evening will also be held.
Lincolnview Local Schools will also be holding a junior high-high school choir and band winter concert this evening, starting at 6:30 with the junior high band and choir in the high school gymnasium.
Ohio Attorney General’s Office information
COLUMBUS — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has announced that his office will begin inspections this week regarding electronic raffle machines.
DeWine had provided notice on October 16 to the organization representing groups operating these machines that they were illegal under Ohio law and if operations did not cease, the law would be enforced.
“With the Ohio Senate today having adjourned until 2014, it is apparent the General Assembly will not change the law regarding these machines any time soon,” DeWine said. “I have no choice now but to begin enforcing the Ohio Revised Code.”
Electronic raffles meet the definition of “slot machines” under current Ohio law. Veterans and fraternal groups have operated these machines, and a portion of the proceeds generated by these electronic raffles have been directed to charity. Under current Ohio law, slot machines are not a legal form of charitable gaming.
Beginning Monday, investigators from the Attorney General’s Office will begin inspections of organizations and locations believed to be operating the electronic raffle machines. Those found to be in violation may face civil action from the Attorney General’s Office or be referred for criminal prosecution.
The Niswonger Performing Arts Center wasn’t the only venue for entertainer Tony Orlando on Saturday. Area residents buying doughnuts at Simply Irresistible Saturday morning could also have heard the famed crooner in an impromptu rendition of “Jingle Bells” with the local Merry Gentlemen quartet (from the left) Adam Ries, Seth Baker, Eric Hurless and Matt Alessandrini. (photo by Linna Kelly for the Van Wert independent)
Ohio Veterans Services information
COLUMBUS – Just a reminder that Ohio veterans who served during the time of the Persian Gulf War have until December 31 to apply for the Ohio Veterans Bonus and receive a “thank you” for their service awarded by Ohio’s citizens.
The Ohio Veterans Bonus continues for veterans of the Iraq War, who have until December 31, 2014, to apply. No deadline has been announced for veterans of the Afghanistan War and all veterans who served after October 7, 2001.
“I personally urge any eligible veteran, particularly those who served during the Persian Gulf War, to apply for the Bonus immediately. It’s a very personal thanks to every one of our veterans who served during our recent wars from all the people of our great state,” Ohio Department of Veterans Services Director Tim Gorrell said. “To everyone in our veterans’ community, please reach out to these veterans and make sure they’re aware. And if anyone has a friend or a family member who served, let them know.”
The Ohio Veterans Bonus is open to veterans of the Persian Gulf War era, as well as the eras of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, regardless of where they served. However, the amount available is higher to those who served directly in the war zones and is also open to the next of kin of those who were killed in action or died of disease as a result of in-theater service. The bonus is not subject to federal or state taxes and can be used for any purpose.
To date, almost $59 million has been paid to more than 70,000 veterans and family members.
Ohio voters approved the Ohio Veterans Bonus by an overwhelming margin in November 2009, to be awarded to veterans of the Armed Forces and military service members who served during the periods of the Persian Gulf War and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The specific criteria are below:
- Military service of more than 90 days of active duty, not for training, anywhere in the world during the following periods:
- 77 South High Street, 7th Floor, Columbus, OH 43215
- 614.644.0898 614.728.9498 F www.ohiovet.gov.
- August 2, 1990, through March 3, 1991 – Persian Gulf; deadline to apply is December 31
- October 7, 2001, through a date to be determined by the President – Afghanistan
- March 19, 2003, through December 31, 2011 – Iraq; deadline to apply is December 31, 2014
- Eligible veterans and military service members must have been Ohio residents at the time of their entry into the military, and must be Ohio residents at the time they apply.
Van Wert independent staff
An Ohio City woman accused of killing her mother in mid-November has been indicted on unspecified charges during the December session of the Van Wert County Grand Jury on Friday.
Tamara K. “Tammy” Menke, 47, was bound over to the grand jury following a preliminary hearing held in Van Wert Municipal Court on November 21 and remains incarcerated in the Van Wert County Correctional Facility on a $1 million cash bond.
According to Michael Kirkendall, court reporter and bailiff for Van Wert County Common Pleas Court, Menke is set to appear for an 8 a.m. arraignment in that courtroom this coming Monday, December 9.
The Ohio City woman is accused of shooting her mother, Barbara Robinson, and a man unofficially identified as her father on November 15 at their residence on South Fulton Street.
Robinson was later pronounced dead by emergency room personnel at Van Wert County Hospital and County Coroner Dr. Scott Jarvis had her body taken to the Lucas County Coroner’s Office in Toledo for an autopsy. The other shooting victim was later released from the hospital after treatment.
Van Wert police officers responded to 223 S. Fulton St. about 6 p.m. Thursday, November 14, after reports that shots were fired at the residence, but Menke had reportedly left the residence by then.
She then evaded capture for more than 15 hours before being taken into custody without incident shortly before 10 a.m. the next morning when deputies searching for her found her walking near an outbuilding at her residence outside Ohio City and arrested her.
Assistant County Prosecutor Martin Burchfield originally charged her with murder, but no information has yet been released from the secret indictment detailing what charges were handed down.
Jim Wyse (above) of the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation spoke about a new BWC program during a Van Wert Area Chamber of Commerce Coffee event held Friday morning at the new Wassenberg Art Center. The event was sponsored by Van Wert Manor and Northwest Ohio Welch Trophy. Wassenberg Director Hope Wallace also gave a brief presentation on the new art center. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)
American Red Cross information
Food. Shelter. Comfort. Hope.
In a season filled with giving, there’s a multitude of ways you can give back to your community through your American Red Cross.
“The gift you give today will be there for the patient needing blood, the family needing shelter, or the child who needs a hug and a blanket,” said Sharyn Whitman, CEO for the Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross. “Your gifts of time, blood or money can help save the day down the street, across the country and around the world.”
As a humanitarian organization led by volunteers, the Red Cross provides relief to victims of disaster and to help people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies. As part of that mission, the Red Cross also provides about half of the nation’s blood supply through voluntary blood donations.
Volunteers are always needed, Red Cross officials say, to work in areas related to disaster relief, health and safety, and providing emergency communications to military members and their families. Volunteers are also needed to coordinate and sponsor blood drives or simply roll up their sleeves and give blood or platelets. People can help, too, by sharing motivational stories about their experiences with the Red Cross – either through the organization’s web site, or by joining the conversation on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
“You’re needed in whatever ways you chose to give,” said Whitman. “Not a day goes by that we don’t hear from the people, families, and communities who benefit from your kindness.”
To learn more about blood and platelet donation, find a blood drive near you or schedule a donation appointment, please visit redcrossblood.org. For information on other ways you can give back to your community this holiday season and beyond, visit redcross.org/gifts or call 1-800-RED CROSS.
Upcoming area Red Cross blood drives:
Monday, December 16, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., at Lee Kinstle Sales and Service, 650 W. Ervin Road in Van Wert.
Friday, December 27, from 1 until 6 p.m., at Van Wert County Hospital, 140 Fox Road in Van Wert. Come to donate and get a 2-ounce brick of Dunkin Donuts® coffee and a coupon for a free pound of Dunkin’ Donuts® coffee.
VW County Junior Fair information
The Junior Fair Board has set the date and time for the 2014 show steer, performance steer and dairy steer weigh-in. Exhibitors should mark their calendars for Saturday, January 4, 2014, from 8-10 a.m., at the Junior Fair Beef Barn on the fairgrounds. Animals not weighed in at the end of the time may be disqualified from participation in the 2014 Van Wert County Junior Fair.
Exhibitors may allow someone else to weigh in their animals for them if they are unable to be present for the weigh-in.
Those planning to exhibit their steers at the Ohio State Fair are responsible for picking up their own nose print cards, ensuring they have the proper signatures, and submitting them if they are not turned in the day of the weigh in.
Exhibitors can nose print their own animals if they are worried about the stress induced on the animals the day of weigh-in.
Exhibitors should plan to come in the gate next to the Ohio State University Extension office, and leave through Gate 4 (livestock gate during fair) to help with the flow of traffic. Be prepared to wait as the process takes a bit longer than the other weigh-ins, but feel free to come in and help with other exhibitors and the Junior Fair Board to help ensure the process goes as quickly as possible.
For more information, contact FFA advisors or the Extension office at 419.238.1214.