The Van Wert County Courthouse

Thursday, Jul. 10, 2014

Bands who will entertain at this year's Van Wert Rib Fest include (clockwise, from top left) Nashville Crush, The Earthquakers, Scotty Bratcher, Bad Advice and Jackpot. (photos submitted)

Bands who will entertain at this year’s Van Wert Rib Fest include (clockwise, from top left) Nashville Crush, The Earthquakers, Scotty Bratcher, Bad Advice and Jackpot. (photos submitted)

VW Rib Fest Committee information

The music scene at the Van Wert Rib Fest this year promises to be the best one so far, according to Larry Lee, executive director of the Van Wert Area Convention and Visitors Bureau – host organization of Rib Fest, and Stuart Jewett, chairman of the Rib Fest Entertainment Committee. The event will be held Friday and Saturday, August 8-9, this year.

Starting at 5 p.m. Friday, August 8, Van Wert’s own Bad Advice will play 90 minutes of blues-based classic rock.  Led by Kevin Mendenhall, the band performs a variety of artists, including many great blues artists, early soulful rock and a touch of reggae. “They will start the party off on the right note,” Jewett said.

According to Lee, the Rib Fest Committee was so pleased with the turnout last year, its members voted to bring big-time entertainment to the Friday night event, as well as the usual Saturday night show.

“The crowd really showed their appreciation for The Earthquakers, who were last year’s Saturday night band, so we decided to bring them back for Friday night this year,” Lee noted.

The Earthquakers is a four-man rock-n-roll band from Erie, Pennsylvania, that has a huge following in western Ohio. The Earthquakers will take the stage from 7-10 p.m. Friday for what is sure to be a great show.


POSTED: 07/10/14 at 2:58 am

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

Seven people appeared for hearings Wednesday in Van Wert County Common Pleas Court, while a jury acquitted a city man of child endangering following a two-day trial earlier in the week.

Two people were sentenced on Wednesday. They include:

Tristan Boaz is shown during her arraignment hearing in December 2013. (VW independent file photo)

Tristan Boaz is shown during her arraignment hearing in December 2013. (VW independent file photo)

Jesse Blackburn, 22, of Delphos, was sentenced to three years of community control, including up to six months in the Western Ohio Regional Treatment and Habilitation (WORTH) Center in Lima, on a charge of trafficking in heroin, a felony of the fourth degree. Blackburn’s driver’s license was also suspended for six months.

Matthew Southerland, 32, of Van Wert, was given three years of community control on a charge of trafficking in drugs, a fifth-degree felony offense. Southerland must also spend 30 days on electronically monitored house arrest and his driver’s license was suspended for six months.

Two people admitted to violating their treatment in lieu of convictions programs.

Tristan Boaz, 22, of Van Wert, was found to have violated her treatment plan by failing to report to probation, having positive drug tests, and canceling appointments at Westwood Behavioral Health Center. A presentence investigation was ordered and sentencing scheduled for 9 a.m. Wednesday, August 20. She was ordered held without bond until sentencing.

Grant Albright, 37, of Van Wert, admitted to violating his treatment plan by having two positive drug tests. Judge Charles D. Steele continued the case until a status conference to be held in 30 days, and released Albright on a personal surety bond.

Two defendants also changed their pleas to guilty during hearings Wednesday in Common Pleas Court.


POSTED: 07/10/14 at 2:29 am. FILED UNDER: News

Wassenberg Art Center information

The Wassenberg Art Center will host “The Best of 2014”, a national-level exhibit curated by the Ohio Designer Craftsman organization housed in the Ohio Craft Museum in Columbus.

Best of 2014 promo artwork 7-2014The Wassenberg Art Center was chosen, based in part on its new location, as one of three venues in the state to house the traveling exhibit.

“The Best of 2014” exhibit will open with a free, public reception on Saturday, July 12, at 6 p.m. and be on view until August 28. Matthew Keeler and the Blues Revelers will perform at 7 p.m. during the reception, with pie, ice cream and spirited refreshments served.

Regular exhibit hours are Tuesday through Sunday, from 1-5 p.m. (closed Mondays). Wassenberg Art Center is located at 214 S. Washington St. in Van Wert.

For further information, call 419.238.6837 or visit the art center’s website at

POSTED: 07/10/14 at 2:22 am. FILED UNDER: Arts & Entertainment, News

Submitted information

Community Health Professionals volunteers will serve a lunchtime salad buffet and Venedocia Lions Club sausage sandwiches on Thursday, July 24, from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at 1159 Westwood Drive in Van Wert.

The public is invited to eat in or carry out for a donation of $5 for the salad buffet. Sausage sandwiches will be available for an additional $3 each. Proceeds benefit CHP’s Van Wert Inpatient Hospice Center and Adult Day Care Center.

POSTED: 07/10/14 at 2:20 am. FILED UNDER: News

Perkins Financial photo 7-2014

A downtown Van Wert business changed names earlier this spring, and just recently installed a new business sign. Jeffrey Perkins, formerly of Northwestern Mutual, is now owner and financial advisor at Perkins Financial Services. Still located at 103 E. Main St. Perkins offers clients a full range of financial services, including retirement planning, investment products, and life insurance. Perkins recently renewed his financial support of Main Street Van Wert to coincide with the installation of the new business sign. Shown in front of the Perkins Financial Services store front are MSVW Board Members Eric Hurless and Shelly Becker, Program Manager Adam Ries, Perkins and office manager Nikki Ebel. (photo submitted)

POSTED: 07/09/14 at 7:46 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

The Van Wert County Veterans Office and Recorder’s Office have announced they will start issuing veterans’ ID cards to county veterans. Veteran Service Officer Barry johns and County Recorder Kim Hughes said ID cards will be issued by appointment only, beginning August 4, on Mondays, 8:30 a.m. until noon; Wednesdays, 1-3:30 p.m.; and Fridays, 8:30 a.m. until noon. To set up an appointment, call 419.238.9592.

To be eligible, veterans must be current Van Wert County residents, have a Form DD-214 recorded at the Recorder’s Office, must have been on active duty for reasons other than training purposes, must have served in one of the five branches of military service (Navy, Army, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard; Merchant Marines qualify with a DD-214), must have an original or certified copy of a discharge for honorable, general or “under honorable” conditions (absolutely no other charge of service will be accepted). If an original or certified copy of the discharge isn’t available, one will be applied for, but an ID card will not be issued until the discharge is received.

Honorable service with minimum time is, prior to September 1, 1980, 90 days of service, of which one day must be during a recognized period of war (if not during a recognized period of war, 180 days is minimum service time). After September 1, 1980, the service requirement is 24 months or the period for which the veteran was called to active duty.

Exceptions to length of service may be for those discharged for the convenience of the government, pregnancy, hardship and other situations beyond the control of the veteran. Entry-level discharges, regardless of the character of discharge, do not qualify. The Veterans Commission must approve any questionable discharges outside the guidelines to receive an ID card.

There is a $1 fee for each card.

Here in Van Wert County, the following businesses offer discounts to veterans who receive the ID card: Ace Hardware, Angela’s Grooming & Doggie Spa, Black Angus Catering, Black Swamp Bistro, Crescent Laundry, Dilly Door, Greve Chrysler, Hall’s Custom Meats, Hickory Sticks Golf Club, Jackie’s Furry Friend Pet Grooming, Dr. Kevin Laing DDS, Mi Ranchito, Dr. Roger Okuley DDS, Olympic Lanes, Once I Was, O’Reilly Auto Parts, P&R Medical Connection, Peebles, Quick Change Oil & Lube, Rainey Chiropractic, Remedy Sports Bar & Grille, Scott Variety Store, Secret Garden, Simply Irresistible, Sophisti-Cut Styling Salon, The Tavern, Van Wert Massotherapy, Van Wert Memorials, and Wilkinson’s Printing.

A brochure listing businesses that provide a discount — and the amount of the discount — will be given to veterans receiving the ID card. Other businesses wanting to join the program should call 419.238.9592 by July 18 to be on the brochure.

POSTED: 07/09/14 at 7:43 am. FILED UNDER: News

Century Bar donation to CHP 7-2014

The Century Bar held its fourth annual Poker Run to benefit Community Health Professionals Hospice on June 21. A total of 56 bikes and 80 riders participated, raising $1,265 for the Van Wert Hospice Patient Care Fund. Here, Wendy Ketcham of the C-Bar (left) presents a check to Robin Waters of CHP. Sponsors included Tony Krick, Elmco Engineering, Emme Lu’s, Brewed Expressions, Partee Shop, Open Minded, Eberle Photography, Van Wert County Fair, Olympic Lanes, TNT Tattoos, KTR, Emily at Impressions Salon, Tracy’s Country Flea Market and Northwest Ohio Welch Trophy. (CHP photo)

POSTED: 07/09/14 at 7:34 am. FILED UNDER: News

Submitted information

The American Legion Riders of Post 178 organization is selling raffle tickets for a night of Mega Money Madness. The event will be held on Saturday, September 13, at American Legion Post 178, 631 W. Main St. in Van Wert.

Mega Money Madness will be an all-day event, starting with a poker run at noon. The event give-a-way begins at 6 p.m. with a drawing every 15 minutes stopping at 8:30 that evening, for a total payout of $3,000. Raffle ticket purchasers need not be present to win. Raffle tickets are $20 each, with only 300 tickets being sold.

Music will be provided by the group The Decades from 6-10 p.m. Food and drinks are available with a cash bar, door prizes, silent auction, and 50/50 drawing. Those attending must be 18 years of age or older.

Proceeds from the fundraiser, which is open to the public, support local youth scholarship programs. For ticket or event information call 419.203.1727 or contact any Chapter 178-American Legion Riders member. Look for flyers at local businesses detailing the event.

POSTED: 07/09/14 at 7:20 am. FILED UNDER: News

CINDY WOOD/independent feature writer

Prepare to be impressed.

Railroad Heritage Weekend organizers (from the left) Chuck White, Jan Dunlap and Bill Stanley work on a model railroad display at a recent Main Street Market in downtown Van Wert. The 10th anniversary of the event is this year, and the July 12-13 show looks to be one of the best ever. (Cindy Wood/Van Wert independent)

Railroad Heritage Weekend organizers (from the left) Chuck White, Jan Dunlap and Bill Stanley work on a model railroad display at a recent Main Street Market in downtown Van Wert. The 10th anniversary of the event is this year, and the July 12-13 show looks to be one of the best ever. (Cindy Wood/Van Wert independent)

It’s the 10th anniversary for the Railroad Heritage Weekend and this year’s show is shaping up to be one of the best.

The two-day event, to be held July 12 and 13 at the Van Wert County Fairgrounds, will be the largest ever, with five major model railroad layouts and close to 115 vendors.

It’s a chance for model railroad buffs to come together, talk shop, swap stories and maybe a railcar or two. Local facilitators set up a small display at Van Wert’s Main Street Market over the weekend to generate some interest, and that it did, as shoppers were amazed at the detail involved in the model railroad layouts.

Chuck White’s father first introduced him to the wonders of model railroads, and an old Lionel track in the basement of his childhood home sparked a lifelong interest that White sometimes calls an “infection.”

“Some people just get infected with it, and I’m one of those people,” White said. “It’s either that or I was dropped on my head when I was very small.”

A house fire when White was 10 years old caused the old model railroad to be packed away in boxes until White pulled it out one day when he was in high school.

“I think I drove my mom nuts,” he said. “I pulled it out and set it up on my bedroom floor and I’ve been infected ever since.”


POSTED: 07/08/14 at 6:47 am. FILED UNDER: News

Gasoline price information

Average retail gasoline prices in Ohio have fallen 6.1 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.56 a 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 2.3 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.65 a gallon, according to gasoline price website

Gasoline price graphic 8-2012Including the change in gas prices in Ohio during the past week, prices yesterday were 18.2 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 27.6 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 0.7 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 17.5 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.

“The national average has started a nice downward trend, even as motorists were hitting the road for July 4,” said Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan. “Yes, gas prices were some of the highest July 4 prices we’ve seen since 2008, they drifted downward in many communities as the holiday approached.

“Over the last week, the national average has fallen almost 4 cents a gallon — a trend that could continue with an absence of hurricanes or disruptions from Iraq,” DeHaan added. “Gas prices over the next few weeks could fall more than 10 cents per gallon should the aforementioned situations remain quiet, which is most welcome as the peak of the summer driving season comes into focus,” DeHaan said.

About GasBuddy

GasBuddy operates and over 250 similar websites that track gasoline prices at over 140,000 gasoline stations in the United States and Canada. In addition, GasBuddy offers a free smartphone app that has been downloaded over 25 million times to help motorists find the lowest gasoline prices in their area.

POSTED: 07/08/14 at 6:42 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW Rib Fest Committee information

Plastic pigs begin their (brief) flight during the When Pigs Fly fundraiser held during this year's Van Wert Rib Fest. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

Plastic pigs begin their (brief) flight during the When Pigs Fly fundraiser held during a previous Van Wert Rib Fest. (VW independent file photo)

Once again pigs will be falling from the sky during the annual Van Wert Rib Fest on Saturday, August 9, at the Van Wert County Fairgrounds. This fundraising event, sponsored by First Federal Savings & Loan, will benefit both the Convention and Visitors Bureau and United Way of Van Wert County.

The cost of a ticket is $10. Tickets can be purchased at First Federal Savings & Loan, the CVB, the United Way office, or from any United Way board member.  The pig that falls closest to the pigpen, second closest to the pigpen, and farthest away from the pen will all win a cash prize.

A limited number of tickets will be sold.  This has been a fun event in years past, as people have enjoyed watching the pigs fall from the sky and finding out who wins.

The Van Wert Rib Fest will be held August 8-9 at the fairgrounds.

POSTED: 07/08/14 at 6:40 am. FILED UNDER: News