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The Van Wert County Courthouse

Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Van Wert County Hospital staff member Anne Dunn holds up a copy of the 2015 Van Wert County Community Health Assessment during a presentation on Wednesday. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

Van Wert County Hospital staff member Anne Dunn holds up a copy of the 2015 Van Wert County Community Health Assessment during a presentation on Wednesday. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

Editor’s note: This is the first in a three-part series detailing information from the 2015 Van Wert County Community Needs Assessment. This article is a summary of findings from the assessment, commissioned by the Van Wert County Health Collaborative.

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

Representatives from local health agencies and schools were among those on hand to hear the results of the 2015 Van Wert County Community Health Needs Assessment.

The Hospital Council of Northwest Ohio conducted the study, which was commissioned by the Van Wert County Health Collaborative, a collection of local organizations headed by Van Wert County Hospital and the Van Wert County Health Department.

Brittany Ward, director of community health improvement for the Hospital Council, provided information on adult health assessment results, while graduate assistant Tessa Elliott talked about results from the assessment of county youths.

Surveys were mailed to 1,200 adult county residents, with a 46 percent return rate, while students in county schools and grades were randomly selected to take part in the survey, with a 90 percent response rate.

Health education researchers at the University of Toledo then analyzed the data received. Adult data was weighted by age, gender, race, and income using 2010 census data.

General results from the survey indicated that age and income were often factors in how county residents rates their overall health, with those 65 and over and those with incomes under $25,000 a year less likely to rate their health as excellent/very good.


POSTED: 04/28/16 at 8:26 am

Van Wert independent news

Three sentencing hearings were on the docket for Wednesday’s session of Van Wert County Common Pleas Court, with a total of six people appearing in court that day on criminal charges.

Ronald Cobb, 25, of Van Wert, was sentenced to 12 months in prison on a charge of importuning, a felony of the fifth degree. The sentence will run consecutively to a 12-month prison term he is currently serving.

Judge Martin Burchfield also classified Cobb as a Tier 1 sex offender, which means he must register annually for the next 15 years.

Court artwork 12-2013 copyZachariah Germann, 28, of Van Wert, was given five years of community control on a charge of trafficking in heroin, a felony of the fifth degree. He must also participate in drug court, if eligible, and will had his driver’s license suspended for six months.

Phillip L. Cross, 27, of Delphos, was sentenced to five years of community control on a charge of possession of heroin, a fifth-degree felony offense. Judge Burchfield also ordered Cross to serve 15 days in jail now, and suspended his driver’s license for six months.

Two people also changed their pleas during hearings Wednesday in Common Pleas Court.

Tyree Dewitt, 24, of Delphos, changed his plea to guilty to a charge of breaking and entering, a felony of the fifth degree. Dewitt then requested, and was granted, treatment in lieu of conviction and his case was staying pending successful completion of a substance abuse treatment program.

Candice Huffman, 30, of Van Wert, pleaded guilty to a prosecutor’s bill of information charging her will trespass in a habitation, a fourth-degree felony offense. She also requested, and was granted, treatment in lieu of conviction, but must also make restitution in the amount of $1,000 to Francis Wood.

Joshua Sargent, 34, of Van Wert, appeared before County Probate-Juvenile Court Judge Kevin Taylor on a charge of probation violation.

Sargent admitted to violating his probation by being convicted of domestic violence while on probation. No action was taken at that time, but Judge Taylor took the case under advisement.

POSTED: 04/28/16 at 8:10 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

Funk is coming and will bring a grand finale to the 2015-16 Niswonger season! Chuck and Karen Koch, along with Jim and Theresa Robideau, present a night of the funkiest jazz known to man with award winning musician Brian Culbertson, this Saturday, April 30, at 7:30 p.m. Along with his soulful band, Culbertson has released more than 15 albums, including his brand new two-disc live CD commemorating his 20th anniversary tour.

Brian Culbertson

Brian Culbertson

Culbertson began his musical journey at the age of 8 on piano, adding drums at 9, trombone at 10, then bass at 12. He grew up near Chicago, loving genre-crossing jazz-pop artists such as Earth, Wind & Fire, Chicago, Tower of Power, The Brecker Brothers, David Sanborn, Yellowjackets, Sting, and Chick Corea. So naturally gifted was Culbertson, his seventh grade piano recital consisted of all original tunes. The artist flourished in school bands throughout high school and moved to downtown Chicago to continue his musical studies at DePaul University.

In 1994, at age 20, Brian self-produced his debut album, Long Night Out. After that release, he then went on to compose jingles for clients such as United Airlines, Gatorade, Sears, Coors, and McDonald’s in the bustling city’s highly competitive advertising community, while still continuing to make records and tour.

Since then, Culbertson has released 15 more albums, toured around the world, seen his name at the top of Billboard and radio charts, worked and performed with industry all-stars like Maurice White of Earth, Wind & Fire; Larry Graham; Michael McDonald; Chris Botti; Musiq Soulchild; Ledisi; Barry Manilow; Herb Alpert; Natalie Cole; Chuck Brown; and Bootsy Collins, just to name a few, and received numerous awards, including being nominated for a 2012 NAACP Image Award and a 2012 Soul Train Award.

Regardless of his success, fans can be rest assured that with 15 albums and counting, Culbertson always brings his very best — and brings the very best out of others — in all of his broad-ranging musical endeavors.


POSTED: 04/28/16 at 8:09 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Representative Bob Latta (R-Ohio) voted in support of H.R. 699, the Email Privacy Act, of which he is also a co-sponsor.

Introduced by Representative Kevin Yoder (R-Kansas) and passed by the House of Representatives, H.R. 699 would prohibit a third-party provider of remote computing services or electronic communication services from knowingly divulging to a government entity the contents of any communication that is in electronic storage or otherwise maintained by the provider, subject to exceptions.

The government would be required to obtain a warrant from a court before requiring third-party providers to disclose the content of such communications, regardless of how the communication has been held in electronic storage by an electronic communication service or whether the information is sought from an electronic communication service or a remote computing service:

“Technology has changed dramatically since the last time digital communication privacy laws were updated in 1986,” said Latta. “This legislation will modernize these outdated laws to ensure they keep up with the evolving technology and to provide courts with clarity over the legal standards for releasing emails and other electronic communications.

“I believe the federal government can, and must, play a role in upholding the Fourth Amendment and guarding against government intrusion into our personal lives,” Latta added.

POSTED: 04/28/16 at 8:05 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

YWCA of Van Wert County calls all area residents to join it in taking a “Stand Against Racism” between Thursday, April 28, and Sunday, May 1. Stand Against Racism will unite the community in a bold demonstration that delivers a clear message: we are on a mission to eliminate racism.

Van Wert Mayor Jerry Mazur reads a proclamation recognizing the YWCA of Van Wert County's "Stand Against Racism." Events begin Thursday and run through Sunday. Shown with the mayor are YWCA staff members Jamie Evans, Jody Wannemacher, Kimberly Laudick, and Gabe McConn. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

Van Wert Mayor Jerry Mazur reads a proclamation recognizing the YWCA of Van Wert County’s “Stand Against Racism.” Events begin Thursday and run through Sunday. Shown with the mayor are YWCA staff members Jamie Evans, Jody Wannemacher, Kimberly Laudick, and Gabe McConn. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

From Thursday through Sunday, an anticipated 750 events will take place across the country, including public policy advocacy, community education, and public proclamations. Here in Van Wert County, the YWCA will collaborate with local businesses, agencies, and individuals to post on social media how they plan to take their own stand against racism.

Collaborate with local school systems to educate and encourage faculty members and students to take a stand against racism.

Encourage all community members to spend five minutes locking arms to stand against racism on Friday April 29, between 2 and 2:30 p.m.

Encourage community members to post to their personal Facebook page, the YWCA of Van Wert County Facebook Page, and tag the YWCA of Van Wert County on Twitter and Instagram for photos of themselves and co-workers taking a stand against racism.


POSTED: 04/27/16 at 7:45 am. FILED UNDER: News

Barn fire on Hoaglin Center Road 4-27-16

It was a busy day for local firefighters on Tuesday. Middle Point, Van Wert, and Delphos fire departments were called out at Tuesday afternoon for a house fire on Hoaglin Center Road, while those three departments, plus Grover Hill, were called to the same road for a barn fire (above) early Wednesday morning. The Van Wert County Chapter of the American Red Cross was also on the scene of both fires, assisting a family of seven with finding housing following the house fire and providing a canteen operation for the barn fire. (Red Cross photo)

POSTED: 04/27/16 at 7:35 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

US Bank presents country crooner Craig Wayne Boyd at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio this Friday, April 29, starting at 7:30 p.m.

Boyd, who is known for his incredible climb to the top to win the hit television singing competition “The Voice” in 2014, was forced to reschedule to the April date back in February when snowstorms stranded him in a Nashville, Tennessee, airport the night before his original concert date.

Craig Wayne Boyd

Craig Wayne Boyd

Not wanting to lose an incredible act and a fantastic opportunity, both the Niswonger and Boyd reached an agreement to reschedule for this coming Friday.

Growing up in the Dallas, Texas, suburb of Mesquite, Boyd was born under the influence of gospel and country music. He first developed as a multi-instrumentalist at a very young age, progressing to direct his church choir before becoming a touring musician with various national acts.

After a trip to Nashville brought life-changing events his way, Boyd headed to Music City and signed a publishing deal with EMI Records shortly thereafter. Boyd then turned to the road and toured constantly, logging more than 1,000 shows in four years while opening for acts like Jamey Johnson, Randy Houser and Brantly Gilbert.

Opening for Boyd this Friday is up-and-coming country duo SmithField. The group was founded in 2011 in their home state of Texas. Comprised of vocalists Trey and Jennifer, SmithField took the stage by storm with its memorable music and stunning harmonies. Having grown up together, their on-stage chemistry is undeniably genuine and natural.

After more than a year of performing together, the duo headed to Nashville to start a new chapter in their musical career. SmithField is set to make a splash with its new single, “Good Ol’ Days” off their self-titled EP released back in November 2015 and have since been named one of Huffington Post’s “Top 20 Artists to Watch in 2016.”


POSTED: 04/27/16 at 7:34 am. FILED UNDER: News

Fricker's Business Day at Camp Clay 4-2016

Fricker’s will be sponsoring a Business Day at the Camp Clay Aqua Park this summer. Local businesses purchase the day for the Van Wert community; access includes swimming, a floating playground, zip-line, paddleboats, a half-acre beach and the 3,600-square-foot splash pad, which was new last year. New in 2016 are water cannons at the splash pad and a log roll to accompany the zipline and aqua “toys”. To learn more, visit the YMCA website at Here, Shawnda Wicker and Jami Renner of Fricker’s are shown with Camp Clay Aqua Park Director Clint Myers. (YMCA photo)

POSTED: 04/27/16 at 7:20 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

The annual Ohio State University Extension-Van Wert County Master Gardener Volunteer Plant Sale will be held this Saturday, April 30, from 8 a.m. to noon or until the plants are sold out. The plant sale will be held in the Junior Fair Building on the fairgrounds.

OSU Extension logo 4-2009The proceeds from the sale will benefit the OSU Extension Van Wert County Master Gardener volunteers’ projects, such as the Garden of the Senses, Smiley Park Children’s Garden, and community educational activities.

The plant sale will feature potted herbs, both culinary and aromatic, plus a variety of hardy chrysanthemums. Gardening items will also be available.

Stop by the Junior Fair Building this Saturday morning to purchase herbs or mums to beautify those outdoor living spaces or as a gift for that special gardener in the family.

POSTED: 04/27/16 at 7:19 am. FILED UNDER: News

Vantage students give to Humane Shelter 4-2016

Vantage Career Center FCCLA members Megan McKee, Stacey Partin, and Breanne Magner recently donated money and supplies to Kari Kuhn at the Van Wert County Humane Society. The group collected $471.43 from a recent “Jeans Day” held at the school. The group spent money at Walmart on supplies and also presented a check to the shelter. (Vantage photo)

POSTED: 04/27/16 at 7:07 am. FILED UNDER: News

Van Wert independent news

HAVILAND — A Haviland man remains in critical condition following a car-tractor accident that occurred Monday night on Ohio 114, east of Haviland.

Chad E. Snavely, 44, of Haviland, a passenger in a 1971 Chevrolet Monte Carlo driven by James A. Lewis, 51, also of Haviland, was listed in critical condition at Parkview Regional Medical Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana, following injuries received in the crash. Lewis is listed in stable condition at Parkview.

osplogoAccording to troopers from the Van Wert Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Lewis was driving west on Ohio 114 when he rear-ended a westbound John Deere tractor pulling a wagon that was driven by Evan C. Klopfenstein, 44, of Haviland.

Snavely, a front-seat passenger in the Monte Carlo, was trapped in the vehicle and had to be removed by mechanical means. He was flown to Parkview by Samaritan life-flight helicopter, while Lewis was first taken to Van Wert County Hospital by the Scott EMS squad and later flown to Parkview by Samaritan helicopter. Klopfenstein was not injured in the crash.

Alcohol is believed to be a factor in the crash, while seatbelts were not in use when the accident occurred.

The Patrol was assisted by Scott Fire Department and EMS, the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office, and Gideon Wrecker Service.

The crash remains under investigation.

POSTED: 04/27/16 at 12:49 am. FILED UNDER: News