topamax recall

The Van Wert County Courthouse

Wednesday, Mar. 22, 2017

The 196-97 Lancer boys' basketball team's state championship trophy is flanked by state runner-up trophies earned in 1996 and 2016 in the Lincolnview High School trophy case. Scott Truxell/Van Wert independent

The 196-97 Lancer boys’ basketball team’s state championship trophy is flanked by state runner-up trophies earned in 1996 and 2016 in the Lincolnview High School trophy case. Scott Truxell/Van Wert independent

Editor’s note: This is the final part of a three-part series on Lincolnview’s 1996-97 state championship basketball season. The team will be honored at halftime of Thursday’s Division IV state semifinal game between Perry and Columbus Wellington School.

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

While Wes Dudgeon, Frank Kill, Brandon Pardon, Chad Pollock, and Kyle Rabe were the starters for the eventual state champion Lincolnview Lancers, there’s no doubt that a group sometimes referred to as the “Super Subs” was a key factor in the team’s success.

Phil Duvall, Scott Kemler, Matt Owens, Adam Owens, Wayne Longstreth, Matt Frey, and current Lincolnview High School Principal Brad Mendenhall didn’t finish with flashy numbers, but their contributions were extremely important.

“Everyone that was on the team had a role and everyone knew what their role was,” Kemler said. “My role was to come off the bench and play defense on the other team’s point guard. Wayne’s role was to come in and rebound and play defense.

“Even though Matt (Owens) did not get to play much, he was a leader overall,” Kemler added. “He would get on us if we were not playing good and would keep encouraging us to step it up.”

“The wealth and depth of talent on that team created a practice environment that pushed everyone to maximize their effort,” Owens said. “The coaching staff fostered that spirit of intensity and hard work.”

“The guys that came off the bench were as good as most other teams’ starting lineups,” former assistant coach and current Athletic Director Greg Leeth said. “Practices were often more competitive than the games on Friday and Saturday nights.”


POSTED: 03/22/17 at 7:41 am

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

With a new rule providing a presumptive service connection for certain illnesses related to contaminated water at the U.S. Marine Corps training facility at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, the Van Wert County Veterans Service Office is now accepting claims from local veterans.

Effective March 14, the Veterans Administration is now accepting “presumptive” claims from veterans, reservists, or National Guard members who served at least 30 days (cumulative) at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, and who later developed one of the following eight illnesses:

  • U.S. Marine Corps logoAdult leukemia
  • Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Bladder cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Parkinson’s disease

Veterans Service Officer Barry Johns noted that, while claims have been accepted since at least 2012 related to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, the new presumptive service connection, similar to the Agent Orange presumptive for Vietnam veterans, would “presume” that those who served at Camp Lejeune who later develop one of the above illnesses did so because of the contaminated water there.

“I’m not quite sure the presumption will be the same as the Agent Orange presumptive, but our office will be helping local veterans file claims and assist them in finding related military records,” Johns said.

Veterans who consider filing a claim will need to provide medical records proving they have one of the above illnesses, while also providing military records showing they spent at least 30 days at Camp Lejeune.

For more information, call the local Veterans Service Office at 419.238.9592 or email

POSTED: 03/22/17 at 7:30 am. FILED UNDER: News

Submitted information

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green) has reintroduced legislation, the Drinking Water Affordability Act, to help public water systems improve infrastructure and ensure safer drinking water.

The legislation provides increased flexibility to state and local governments to meet their specific needs, develops cost-efficient ways to protect drinking water, and ensures funds are utilized efficiently and effectively.

“It’s important that we develop a long-term approach to improving our nation’s drinking water needs that empowers communities to fix and improve water infrastructure,” said Latta. “This legislation improves the ability for states and local governments to proceed with drinking water projects by removing duplicitous federal requirements and providing more flexibility for repayment of federal funds.

“Overall, the bill better protects ratepayers in Ohio and across the country from increasing costs while supporting the needed efforts to provide safer drinking water for local communities,” he added.

The Drinking Water Affordability Act would:

  • Provide increased flexibility for the repayment of federal loans for states and local communities that use the funds to finance clean drinking water infrastructure projects
  • Cut burdensome red tape by removing duplicative reporting and paperwork requirements when state standards are equally stringent — or more so — than federal standards
  • Helps disadvantaged communities better finance their infrastructure through the use of federal funding
  • Encourages the development of a long-term strategy to addressing drinking water issues and the economic barriers that make it difficult for communities to rehabilitate and replace their drinking water infrastructure

Latta serves on the Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over drinking water policy and has previously authored legislation, the Drinking Water Protection Act, to create a strategic plan to address algal toxins in drinking water. That legislation was signed into law last Congress.

POSTED: 03/22/17 at 7:21 am. FILED UNDER: News

Submitted information

The Van Wert County Outdoorsmen Association will be hosting an M-1 Garand match on Saturday, March 25, at the Outdoorsmen Club, 9063 Ringwald Road. The safety briefing will be held at 9:30 a.m., while the match will start at 10 that morning.

For anyone who has ever wanted to shoot an M-1 Garand rifle, this is the match to attend. Those who shoot in the match are also eligible to purchase an M-1 Garand from the CMP. For those who do not have a rifle, the club has M-1 rifles to loan out to the public for use in this match. However, any military rifle may be used.

The cost to participate is $4, which is a target fee, while for those who need to purchase ammo, the club has 30.06 ammo at $23 for 40 rounds.

For those who have never participated in a match, the 9:30 a.m. shooting clinic will include how an M-1 operates and match protocols. The club also has a National Match AR-15 for who want to try it out.

For more information, check out the club’s website at, or call 419.203.8662.

POSTED: 03/22/17 at 7:20 am. FILED UNDER: News

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

With a 20-0 regular season and a second consecutive poll championship in the books, the Lincolnview Lancers turned their focus to the postseason tournament.

A photo of the 1996-97 Lincolnview boys' basketball team hangs in Lincolnview High School. Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

A photo of the 1996-97 Lincolnview boys’ basketball team hangs in Lincolnview High School. Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

After a first-round bye, the Lancers won the Van Wert sectional with an 81-58 victory over Fort Jennings.  Brandon Pardon finished with 26 points, including six treys. Wes Dudgeon had 22 and Chad Pollock finished with 17.

The win sent the Lancers to the Elida district to face Upper Scioto Valley, a team Lincolnview defeated 100-66 during the regular season.  The Rams hung tough in the rematch, but fell 68-60.  Pardon again scored 22, Pollock 15 and Dudgeon 14.

That set up a district championship game against Delphos St. John’s, a contest that Lancer players and fans remember well.  Lincolnview trailed by two midway through the fourth quarter, but rallied to win 60-52.

“The thing that I remember is Wes, who just kind of played the game level-headed, hit a shot inside the lane, got fouled and knocked on his butt, came flying off the ground just throwing his fists and everything else,” Frank Kill said.


POSTED: 03/21/17 at 7:11 am. FILED UNDER: News

Submitted information

COLUMBUS — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine warns that more consumers are reporting tax-related scams with about four weeks remaining until the April 18 filing deadline.

Attorney General Mike DeWine

Ohio A-G Mike DeWine

In 2017, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office has logged more than 150 tax scams thus far in March, compared to 80 in January, and 175 in February.

“As we get further into tax season, we’re seeing more of these scams,” Attorney General DeWine said. “What we want people to remember is that if callers are threatening you, saying you have to pay immediately, or saying they’re going to put you in jail, it’s not the IRS.”

The most common tax scam reported to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office is the “IRS” imposter phone scam. The ploy generally begins with a call claiming the recipient is in trouble with the IRS and must call a certain phone number to avoid arrest or legal action. Eventually, the person is asked to pay to resolve the supposed problem.

Con artists commonly lie to people claiming they owe back taxes, they have unfiled returns, they have an arrest warrant in their name, they’re receiving a “final notice” from the IRS, they will be prosecuted for tax fraud, or their assets, wages, or bank account will be frozen if they don’t pay.

The scam artists often ask people to pay using iTunes (or other) gift cards, instructing people to read the card numbers over the phone. With this information, con artists can drain the card’s funds. Once the money is gone, it is nearly impossible to recover.


POSTED: 03/21/17 at 7:05 am. FILED UNDER: News

Van Wert independent news

There’s was plenty of discussion, but little substantive came out of a meeting of Van Wert City Council’s Health-Service-Safety Committee held Monday evening to discuss city trash collection issues.

“I think it was a start, and it will get people thinking,” said committee Chair Bill Marshall.

Discussion centered around three main facets of the trash collection problem. Those include providing registration and regulations to ensure haulers meet city requirements for safe and dependable trash collection; ensuring that both trash and recycling collections are done within a 24-hour period for all sections of the city; and developing legislation that combat those who stockpile trash on their property or in abandoned residences, which results in a health hazard to other city residents, instead of hiring a trash collection company to dispose of it.

While Van Wert Mayor Jerry Mazur again raised the possibility the city could seek to contract with just one company to handle all the city’s trash collection needs, it appeared that City Council was more interested in ensuring that city trash was collected in a timely manner, and that all city residents were responsible in having trash collected.

Not all City Council members attended the meeting, which was held in Council Chambers, while some city trash haulers said they were upset that City Council did not pass the ordinance originally prepared to ensure trash and recycling would be collected on the same day in all areas of the city.

Several haulers noted that they are already doing that, and that they felt it was a good idea.

More discussion will be held this coming Monday on the subject.

POSTED: 03/21/17 at 7:03 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

The Van Wert County Sheriff’s Office is accepting applications for a full-time, hourly deputy sheriff’s position.

VW County Sheriff's Star 9-2014Applications will be accepted now through Thursday, April 13, at 2 p.m. Anyone interested in the position can obtain an application between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at the sheriff’s office, 113 N. Market St. in Van Wert, or print one off the sheriff’s website:

Those applying also need to include a letter of interest and a resume when submitting their application.  Applications with required documentation can be dropped off at the sheriff’s office at any time during the acceptance period above, emailed to the sheriff’s office by using the link at the bottom of the website home page, or mailed to the sheriff’s office at the above address.


POSTED: 03/21/17 at 6:59 am. FILED UNDER: News

Editor’s note: This is the first of a three-part series on Lincolnview’s 1996-97 undefeated state championship boys’ basketball team in honor of its 20th anniversary. The team will be honored during halftime of Thursday’s 8:30 p.m. Division IV state semifinal game between Perry and Columbus Wellington School.

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

1996-97 Lincolnview boys' basketball photos

The 1996-97 Lincolnview boys’ basketball team graced the cover of a number of sports programs, and even a Van Wert-Paulding County telephone book during its championship season. Scott Truxell/Van Wert independent

It’s been 20 years since the Lincolnview Lancers rolled to a undefeated regular season, then won seven post-season matchups, including a 76-60 victory over Zanesville Bishop Rosecrans to claim the Division IV state championship.

The 1996-1997 squad is generally regarded as one of the best small school teams in Ohio history, and the numbers lend credence to that notion.

The Lancers averaged an astounding 82.6 points during regular season games, while giving up just 51.5 points per contest. During sectional, district, regional and state tournament play, the team averaged 74.7 points per game, and gave up 56 points per game.

The seed for the championship season was planted the previous March, when the top-ranked but injury-riddled Lancers lost the title game, 75-52 to Springfield Central Catholic to finish 26-1.

“It was definitely something that made them work harder, and something that made them want to get back there,” former head coach Dave Evans said.


POSTED: 03/20/17 at 7:07 am. FILED UNDER: News

J. Mark McVey at NPAC 3-18-17

Broadway musical star J. Mark McVey performed a variety of songs from Broadway musicals, as well as other music, at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio on Saturday evening. His performance was backed by the Heartland Sings chorus and small orchestra. Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

POSTED: 03/20/17 at 6:57 am. FILED UNDER: News

Submitted information

Average retail gasoline prices in Ohio have risen 7.4 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.19 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 0.3 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.29 per gallon, according to gasoline price website

Gasoline price graphic 8-2012Including the change in gas prices in Ohio during the past week, prices Sunday were 27.3 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 9.3 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average has increased 1.2 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 30.3 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.

According to GasBuddy historical data, gasoline prices on March 20 in Ohio have ranged widely over the last five years: $1.92 per gallon in 2016, $2.36 per gallon in 2015, $3.58 per gallon in 2014, $3.81per gallon in 2013, and $3.78 per gallon in 2012.

“As oil prices have hit a bit of a rough patch in the last two weeks, gasoline prices have stumbled as well with a majority of states seeing a weekly pull back in retail prices,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for “While some states did see minor increases, the bulk of the country saw prices moving lower at a time of year that such a move is about as likely as a 16th seed team winning the NCAA tournament.

“While the drop at the pump is most welcome, we’re nearly guaranteed to see prices rebound well in time for Memorial Day and the start of the summer driving season,” DeHaan added. “For now, there’s a major tug of war going on with oil prices — a move higher or lower in the week ahead could determine the direction of prices the next few weeks or longer.”

POSTED: 03/20/17 at 6:52 am. FILED UNDER: News