The Lincolnview boys’ basketball team and fans celebrate the Lancers’ 55-53 victory over Miller City on Saturday (see game story and photo on Sports Page). Bob Barnes/Van Wert independent
Average retail gasoline prices in Ohio have fallen 11.4 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.24 per gallon on Sunday, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 5,345 gas outlets in Ohio. This compares with the national average that has fallen 2.5 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.34 per gallon, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.com.
Including the change in gas prices in Ohio during the past week, prices Sunday were 51.7 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 0.3 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average has increased 10.3 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 43.0 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.
According to GasBuddy historical data, gasoline prices on January 16 in Ohio have ranged widely over the last five years: $1.72 per gallon in 2016, $1.99 per gallon in 2015, $3.31 per gallon in 2014, $3.18 per gallon in 2013, and $3.46 per gallon in 2012.
“For the first time since November, the national average price for gasoline has fallen over the last week, helped by weak demand and rising gasoline inventories,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy. “This downward trend is evident in over two-thirds of states, but may take additional time to materialize in others, yet is a familiar pattern for late winter as refiners build inventories prior to the late-February start of refinery maintenance season and thanks to the year’s weakest demand occurring over the next four weeks.
“However, motorists shouldn’t expect the trend to last long,” DeHaan noted. “After the sweetness of Valentine’s Day roses and chocolates is gone, they will be in store for a jump at the pump as maintenance season begins and the long transition to summer gasoline becomes a pinch point, leading to gas prices that will mostly trend higher for two to three months.”
Hey, Van Wert fans! Enter to win this custom-made metal and wood Van Wert Cougar mascot plaque created by Noah Breece, a Van Wert senior in the Vantage Precision Machining program, and TJ Thurston, a Van Wert junior in the Carpentry program. All proceeds benefit the Van Wert Athletic Department. Tickets available at the game. (Vantage photo)
The Lincolnview Local Board of Education will meet in special session at 8 p.m. today in the district’s Neubrecht Lecture Hall.
The board is expected to take action on Ohio School Boards Association travel expense reimbursements, while also holding a facility planning/discussion session during the meeting, with no action taken afterwards.
Crestview fans were psyched up in support of their Knights during Friday’s Northwest Conference game against Delphos Jefferson (see game story and photo on Sports Page). Bob Barnes/Van Wert independent
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Defense Department announced on Friday that veterans will be able to shop online at military exchanges by the end of the year.
The policy change will extend limited online military exchange shopping privileges to all honorably discharged veterans of the military, DoD officials said in a news release.
The shopping benefit will be effective this Veterans Day, November 11.
While shopping privileges exclude the purchase of uniforms, alcohol, and tobacco products, it includes the Exchange Services’ dynamic online retail environment known so well to service members and their families. The change follows careful analysis, coordination and strong public support, officials said in the release.
“We are excited to provide these benefits to honorably discharged veterans to recognize their service and welcome them home to their military family,” said Peter Levine, performing the duties for the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness.
“In addition, this initiative represents a low-risk, low-cost opportunity to help fund morale, welfare, and recreation programs in support of service members’ and their families’ quality of life. And it’s just the right thing to do,” Levine added.
The online benefit will also strengthen the exchanges’ online businesses to better serve current patrons. Inclusion of honorably discharged veterans would conservatively double the exchanges’ online presence, according to DoD officials, thereby improving the experience for all patrons through improved vendor terms, more competitive merchandise assortments and improved efficiencies.
“As a nation, we are grateful for the contributions of our service members,” Levine said. “Offering this lifetime online benefit is one small, tangible way the nation can say, ‘Thank you’ to those who served with honor.”
Van Wert Moose Lodge 1320 recently made a generous donation to the Van Wert County Council on Aging, which will be directly used for senior citizen services. Shown above is Van Wert County Council on Aging Director Kevin Matthews (right) and John Smith, Van Wert Moose administrator. Those in need of senior services may contact the Council on Aging at 419.238.5011. (submitted photo)
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green) joined his colleagues in the House of Representatives in passing legislation that takes an important step forward toward repealing Obamacare.
Latta voted for S.Con.Res. 3, the Fiscal Year 2017 budget, which now paves the way for passing a repeal of the President’s massive health care law in the coming months. By passing the budget, the U.S. Senate can now use a procedural tool known as reconciliation, which would only require a simple majority threshold, to approve Obamacare repeal legislation.
“Seven years after the passing of Obamacare, I continue to hear from Ohioans who tell me that they are paying more and getting less when it comes to their health care,” said Latta. “It’s long past due that we repeal this massive law and put decision-making back in the hands of patients and their doctors. Today’s vote is an important, and necessary, first step in fixing our broken health care system.”
LIMA — The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) District 1 has announced the closing of Ohio 709, between Carmean Street to Ohio City-Venedocia Road in Ohio City, beginning Monday, January 23.
The thoroughfare will be closed for two weeks for a storm sewer installation project.
Traffic will be detoured onto Ohio 118, Ohio 81, and U.S. 127 back to Ohio 709.
Tom’s Construction of St. Henry is performing the construction.
DAVE MOSIER/independent editor
The Vantage Career Center Board of Education organized for the coming year and also voted to disinvest a program that is no longer meeting state requirements.
Five board members — Eric Germann of Lincolnview, Debby Compton of Van Wert, Ron Bradford of Continental, Kim Wannemacher of Ottoville, and Cliff Wieging of Fort Jennings — began new three-year terms on the board, while Lonnie Nedderman of Crestview and Pat Baumle of Wayne Trace were re-elected president and vice president, respectively.
The board also approved a myriad of required actions related to organizing for the new year, including setting meeting dates and times and compensation for board members, which remains at $125 per meeting.
During the introduction of guests, Michael Villena, president of the Vantage Teachers Organization, asked that the teachers union be involved in the interview process for a new superintendent.
“While we are confident that you (board members) understand the mission and business of Vantage Career Center, the VTO would like to be a resource to assist you in matching the right candidate with the personality and vibe of Vantage Career Center,” Villena said.
The interview process has been ongoing, with an executive session held at the end of the regular meeting with Putnam County Educational Service Center Superintendent Dr. Jan Osborn to provide an update on the superintendent’s search.
No action was taken following the session.
Over the past weekend, members of the Van Wert County Fair Board received two awards at the annual Ohio Fair Managers Association Convention held at the Columbus Convention Center. The local fair was awarded for its 2016 fair advertising. Printed pieces from specific categories were submitted into a competition among all county fairs in Ohio. The local fair was awarded first place for its 2016 motocross event flyer and second place for the 2016 fair cover design. Local fair board members also attended educational seminars and discussions on various topics at the convention. The 2017 Van Wert County Fair is scheduled for Wednesday, August 30, through Monday, September 4, with a preview day on Tuesday, August 29. Shown are (from the left) John Giessler, Mike Poling, Ryan Adam, Colin Harting, Aaron Knittle, Troy Oechsle and Ty Coil. (photo submitted)