The Van Wert County Courthouse

Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014

State Farm ribboncutting 10-2014

Tisha Fast, new owner of Steve Bailey’s State Farm Insurance agency, prepares to cut the ribbon on her office at 803 Fox Road. Looking on a local economic development officials and members of the Van Wert Area Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors. (Chamber photo)

POSTED: 10/25/14 at 6:57 am

Submitted information

DELPHOS — On November 9, the Museum of Postal History in Delphos will be hosting British author Chris West as he talks about his most recent publication, History of America in 36 US Postage Stamps.

The museum will open at 3:30 p.m. and the program will begin at 4 that afternoon, with the author discussing various aspects of this work and his views on philately as it relates to history.

Following his presentation and a question and answer period, private tours of the museum will be offered. Light refreshments will be served

West writes business books under Chris West, while writing as Christopher West he is author of the China Quartet, four mysteries that, back in the 1990s, were among the first crime novels to be set in the contemporary People’s Republic of China.

On completing this series, West concentrated on co-authoring books aimed at entrepreneurs and small businesses.

As a solo author he wrote Marketing on a Beermat and a guide to good, clear writing entitled Perfect Written English.

One of his most recent books is First Class, a History of Britain in 36 Postage Stamps, which uses commemorative stamps as hooks on which to hang the nation’s history since 1840, the date of the Penny Black. His newest book is a History of the United States in 36 US Postage Stamps.

West is married with one daughter and lives near Cambridgeshire.

Any questions may be directed to Gary S. Levitt, curator of the Postal Museum.

POSTED: 10/25/14 at 6:49 am. FILED UNDER: News

CHP Basket Bingo promo 10-2014

Robin Waters, Community Health Professionals volunteer coordinator (left), and volunteer Susan Allen were busy Friday afternoon preparing baskets for Community Health Professionals Longaberger Basket Bingo this coming Monday, October 27, starting at 6 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall on Woodland Avenue. Participants can win baskets, including those filled with Frozen movie-related items, Halloween goodies, scarecrows, candy, a large mum, wine, gift cards and more. Tickets are available at the CHP office, 1159 Westwood Drive, or at the door. Cost is $20 (flat rate) for up to 20 games, with proceeds going to the CHP Hospice patient care fund and the Van Wert Area Inpatient Hospice Center. (CHP photo)

POSTED: 10/25/14 at 6:35 am. FILED UNDER: News

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

With more and more responsibilities placed on the Ohio National Guard and other military reserve units — including service in combat areas around the world — recruitment efforts have become increasingly important to ensure the Guard has the troops to fulfill its many missions.

Brigadier General John C. Harris Jr. and several other members of the Ohio National Guard pose with the staff of WERT and WKSD radio stations in Van Wert. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

Brigadier General John C. Harris Jr. and several other members of the Ohio National Guard pose with the staff of WERT and WKSD radio stations in Van Wert. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

Here in Ohio, the National Guard (ONG) has forged an effective partnership with media outlets that broadcast and publish public service announcements touting the benefits of serving in the Guard. That partnership has helped the Guard fulfill 111 percent of its recruitment quota over the past few years.

On Thursday, Brigadier General John C. Harris Jr., assistant adjutant general for the ONG, along with several other Guard staff members, was in Van Wert to publicly thank WERT/WKSD radio stations for their assistance in helping the Guard in its recruitment efforts, and to present them with a plaque recognizing their assistance.

“Since September 11 (2001), we’ve had a significant interest in participating in the Guard, primarily because of stations like yours that not only help us tell our story, but assist us with our recruitment efforts,” General Harris told station owner Chris Roberts.

“We are proud to be able to have a part in supporting the Ohio National Guard in its mission by helping to maintain troop strength,” Roberts responded. “Their story speaks to the very foundation of our country: Citizen soldiers trained and ready to help whenever and wherever needed.”


POSTED: 10/24/14 at 7:48 am. FILED UNDER: News

Van Wert City Schools information

Earlier this month, 102 chemistry students from Van Wert High School presented a science educational outreach program to approximately 150 Van Wert Elementary students in the Niswonger Performing Arts Center lobby. This was the culminating event to the high school students’ project, “Show Us What You’re Made Of.” The title was chosen because the unit dealt with the properties of matter, which is what makes up all things.

VWHS chemistry students teach fourth-graders during a recent STEM project in the lobby of the Niswonger Performing Arts Center. (VWCS photo)

VWHS chemistry students teach fourth-graders during a recent STEM project in the lobby of the Niswonger Performing Arts Center. (VWCS photo)

The chemistry classes began the unit by working with Science Central, a science museum based in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to learn what it takes to make interesting and informative science presentations to children. The class partnered with Science Central, due to its reputation for quality science programming and its outreach program to area schools to promote STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education.

Each class had a session with the Science Central staff on creating discrepant events in which something unexpected occurred. The unexpected caused the students to question what happened, get excited, and want to learn more. The projects stressed that this is how scientific discoveries are made; by asking questions and then answering those questions by following the scientific method.

The chemistry students then spent weeks learning all of the material for the matter chapter through literacy tasks, hands-on activities, and direct instruction. Students were each responsible to take this information and design a booth on an assigned topic. Each booth had to include a display board, a demonstration or activity for the younger students, and a take home item for the students that further explained the topics that were to be taught.


POSTED: 10/24/14 at 6:23 am. FILED UNDER: News

Lincoln Ridge donates decorations 10-2014

The Main Street Van Wert organizations thanks Jeff and Cathy Thomas of Lincoln Ridge Farms for cutting and delivering cornstalks and pumpkins to be used by Main Street Van Wert volunteers in decorating the downtown area for the harvest season. Multiple business owners and passersby have commented on how festive the corn stalks look along Main and Washington streets. Here, Cathy Thomas (right) and her daughter, Allison, put cornstalks near the Courthouse.  (MSVW photo)

POSTED: 10/24/14 at 6:20 am. FILED UNDER: News

Submitted information

The Ohio Department of Commerce is warning Ohioans about a company that is mailing postcards to Ohioans asking them to call and search their name for unclaimed funds.

The postcards have appeared in various colors including green, blue, yellow and orange. Regardless of the color, they are not being sent out by the Ohio Department of Commerce Division of Unclaimed Funds, the official state agency tasked with reuniting Ohioans with lost or forgotten money.

How the scheme works: A citizen receives the postcard instructing him/her to call a toll free telephone number. A prompt asks the caller for their Social Security Number. The recorded message then instructs the caller to search for unclaimed property at, the official website of the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA), which makes the communication seem like a legitimate search for funds.

David Milby, executive director of NAUPA, says NAUPA has no involvement with the postcards. Milby added that he has found multiple reports on the Internet explaining that the company mailing the postcards is a debt collector. It is believed that the company disguises itself as having something to do with unclaimed property as a means to buy time to collect more information and skirt debt collection laws.

“It is a shame that some bad actors are attempting to take advantage of our mission of returning Ohioans’ hard-earned money to them,” said Yaw Obeng, superintendent for the Division of Unclaimed Funds. “The sender of these postcards is not looking to return money to Ohioans. Rather, this is an attempt to trick the recipient into providing personal and financial information.”

Under Ohio Revised Code 169.16(A), “No person, on behalf of any other person, shall engage in any activity for the purpose of locating, delivering, recovering, or assisting in the recovery of unclaimed funds or contents of a safe deposit box, and receive a fee, compensation, commission, or other remuneration for such activity, without first having obtained a certificate of registration from the director of commerce.”


POSTED: 10/24/14 at 6:19 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW Board of Education information

The Van Wert City Board of Education will be meeting in special session on Monday, October 27, at 7 a.m. in the S.F. Goedde Building.

The purpose of the meeting will be to appoint a replacement for former board member Ben Cowan, whose resignation was accepted at the September board meeting.

POSTED: 10/24/14 at 6:17 am. FILED UNDER: News

Van Wert independent

Mayor Don Farmer had open-heart surgery at approximately 10 a.m. today, not Wednesday as first noted, at Lima Memorial Hospital.

According to his wife, Nancy, the surgery went well and, as of 3:40 this afternoon, the mayor was in recovery and his family would be able to see him in about a little over an hour.

POSTED: 10/23/14 at 2:45 pm. FILED UNDER: News

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

An Ohio City man protested loudly after his sentencing when, instead of the “promised” community control term he was expecting, Van Wert County Common Pleas Judge Charles D. Steele sentenced him to prison.

Andrew Thomas listens as he is sentenced to prison during a hearing held Wednesday in Van Wert County Common Pleas Court. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

Andrew Thomas listens as he is sentenced to prison during a hearing held Wednesday in Van Wert County Common Pleas Court. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

Andrew Thomas, 32, called Judge Steele “crooked” after the judge rejected his attempt to withdraw his guilty plea after he was sentenced to 12 months in prison on a charge of escape, a fifth-degree felony. The judge did give Thomas credit for 138 days already served.

Thomas mistakenly believed that discussions between the prosecutor’s office and his attorney, Dillon Staas, on the possibility of community control and a term in the Western Ohio Regional Treatment and Habilitation (WORTH) Center in Lima were binding on the judge.

Instead, Judge Steele read off a number of previous charges against Thomas, including several domestic violence offenses, in determining that the defendant was not amenable to community control.

After the sentence was handed down, Thomas began shouting that he wanted to withdraw his guilty plea. “I was promised the WORTH Center and that’s the only reason I pled guilty,” he shouted, to which Judge Steele replied that a plea cannot be withdrawn after sentencing. The judge did add, though, that Thomas had the right to appeal the sentence.

Also Wednesday, former Delphos businessman Robert Fishbein was sentenced on a six-count indictment charging him with attempted violation of a civil protection order, all misdemeanors of the first degree. Judge Steele sentenced the 51-year-old Fishbein to five years of community control and 180 days in jail on each count, with the jail time to run consecutively, but then suspended the jail time if Fishbein leaves the area for counseling in California after his release from prison on October 27.

The judge also prohibited Fishbein from contacting the victim in the case and banned him from returning to Ohio without prior permission.


POSTED: 10/23/14 at 7:17 am. FILED UNDER: News

YWCA of VW County information

With domestic violence affecting such a large percentage of Americans, why don’t people talk about this issue more? Why don’t they discuss relationship health with their friends and family?  Witnessing violence between one’s parents or caretakers is the strongest risk factor of transmitting violent behavior from one generation to the next. As children grow up in a domestic violence household, the violence becomes the norm. Domestic violence is never okay.

To spark change, people have to talk openly and acknowledge how domestic abuse affects their communities, their  families and their lives. They have to be brave. They have to speak up.

There is only one way to end domestic violence — together. October is a chance for a national discussion about an issue that has claimed too many lives and must be addressed. If area residents or someone they know have experienced domestic violence or sexual assault, they should call 567.259.9501. The YWCA is here to help!

New YWCA logo 12-2009The YWCA domestic violence and sexual assault services are dedicated to eradicating domestic violence and sexual assault, and assisting all victims of abuse seeking services. No one deserves to be abused! Using a holistic approach, the YWCA staff works with victims to address areas of need: safety, housing, mental health, physical health, etc.

The goal of the YWCA domestic violence and sexual assault services is to empower victims to reclaim their lives and to become self-sufficient, independent individuals, living violence-free lives.

The YWCA’s domestic violence and sexual assault services include:

  • 24-hour protective shelter
  • 24-hour crisis hotline
  • Child advocacy referrals
  • Court advocacy referrals
  • Complete confidentiality
  • Case management
  • Support and educational groups
  • Mental health and AOD services offered on site
  • Referrals to community agencies
  • Safety plans
  • Economic empowerment, which includes opportunities for furthering education and computer training
  • Employment assistance

The YWCA is partially funded by the Van Wert County Foundation and is a United Way agency.

POSTED: 10/23/14 at 6:44 am. FILED UNDER: News