DAVE MOSIER/independent editor
Gabe Bailey, a freshman at South Adams High School in Indiana, showed off a sampling of his musical talent in winning the 10th-anniversary “Ohio Has Talent!” fundraising show Saturday at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio.
“I am exceptionally happy,” Bailey said after the show, while adding that he felt like he was “breaking the rules” as an outsider winning the competition — although he’s definitely not the first to do so.
Second place went to violinist Morgan Bland, a Hicksville High School senior who is concertmaster of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, but also plays fiddle in a rock band called Talk is Cheap.
The Ohio State University Extension has four Nutrient Management Plan writers working to assist farmers in developing free Nutrient Management Plans (NMP) in the Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB) of Ohio.
Plans provide both fertility recommendations and an environmental site risk for fields that help identify resource concerns impacting nutrient and sediment loss. The Extension has been able to do 33 plans with 17,877 acres in Allen, Defiance, Fulton, Henry, Lucas, Ottawa, Paulding, Putnam, Van Wert, Williams, and Wood counties in Ohio and Lenawee County, Michigan.
NMP Writers will be on hand in most counties in the Western Lake Erie Basin on select days this winter to work with producers on preparing a free NMP or CNMP. Writers will work with any grain/vegetable/crop producers, and/or non-CAFO livestock producers that have the following information available:
- Soil tests from no later than 2014 in less than 25-acre zones (printed or electronic copies that can be saved)
- Complete farm maps and/or FSA maps (printed or electronic copies that can be saved)
- Fertilizer program, complete with amounts and N-P-K products
- Implement details and information, and operation timelines
- Crop rotations and yield goals for 2016-2022
- Water locations in operation, artificial drainage practices, and type of surface drainage
- Manure: storage capacity, acres to spread on, number of animals, feed information
- NRCS EQIP program information (if planning to apply, or already applied)
NMP writers will be in Van Wert County from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday, February 21, or Wednesday, March 8, at the OSU Extension office on the Van Wert County Fairgrounds, 1055 S. Washington St. in Van Wert.
The Western Lake Erie Basin also covers small parts of Shelby, Marion, Richland, and Huron counties, as well as the north half of Mercer County. Those who reside in one of those areas and would like a plan, should visit a neighboring county’s program day. Farmers are welcomed at any county program, regardless of their county of residence. Plan at least one hour for meetings.
Farmers can RSVP by contacting Jessie Schulze at 419.782.4771 or firstname.lastname@example.org and provide name, county, phone number, date, and morning or afternoon for arrival. The Extension Service will accept farmers on a first come, first served basis in the morning (9 a.m.-noon) and afternoon (noon-3 p.m.). Questions can also be addressed per contact information above or visit go.osu.edu/nutrientplanners.
For the third year in a row LifeLinks Community School students have “adopted” the residents of Van Wert Manor nursing home on Valentine’s Day. Inside the handmade Valentines, the students placed word search puzzles, rolled everything together, and secured them with stretch-type Valentine’s Day bracelets. (LifeLinks photo)
Average retail gasoline prices in Ohio have fallen 5.7 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.06 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 $2.27 per gallon, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.com.
Including the change in gas prices in Ohio during the past week, prices Sunday were 34.7 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 8.7 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 3.8 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 56 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.
According to GasBuddy historical data, gasoline prices on February 20 in Ohio have ranged widely over the last five years: $1.71 per gallon in 2016, $2.21 per gallon in 2015, $3.40 per gallon in 2014, $3.78 per gallon in 2013, and $3.46 per gallon in 2012.
“Refinery liquidation of cheaper winter grade fuel keeps pump prices in similar territory for the week ahead,” said Dan McTeague, GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst. “The ongoing saga of global oil production limitations becomes less important as refineries begin the early stages of maintenance and turnarounds to accommodate summer gasoline blends.”
Crestview Knight Vision completed its competition season last Saturday, with the group named grand champion at Southern Wells and Carroll, second runner-up at Bishop Dwenger, first runner-up at Marion Harding and fifth runner-up in evening finals at DeKalb. Knight-Vision, along with the high school chorus, jazz band, and middle school swing choir, will its annual dinner theater Friday and Saturday, March 24-25, at 6:30 p.m. each day, in the Crestview auditeria. Tickets for the 2017 “Don’t Stop Believing” dinner theater go on sale Thursday evening, February 23, and will be available through March 3. Ticket prices are $13. For more information, call Danille Hancock at 419.749.9100, extension 2113. (Crestview photo)
COLUMBUS — State Representative Craig S. Riedel (R-Defiance) announced the passage of legislation by the Ohio House that makes changes to drug trafficking and possession laws regarding cocaine. House Bill 4 restores the statutory penalties for possession of cocaine and clarifies the penalties for the trafficking of cocaine.
Under Ohio’s statutory drug penalty framework, penalties increase with the quantity of the drug involved in the violation. For cocaine, the Ohio Revised Code prescribes five steps or tiers of felony penalties with the increasing amounts of cocaine involved.
The possession penalties were undone by the Ohio Supreme Court’s recent decision in State v. Gonzales, which determined that only the weight of pure cocaine in a substance could be used to set an offender’s sentence. Because of this, cocaine possession regardless of quantity will, as a practical matter, only be prosecuted as a fifth degree felony, the lowest penalty under statute, if the law is not amended.
House Bill 4 seeks to modify this language to clarify that the total weight of the compound, mixture, preparation or substance containing cocaine is included for penalty purposes, for both offenses of possession and trafficking.
“House Bill 4, in my opinion, is sound legislation that helps protect all citizens in our communities,” said Rep. Riedel. “By supporting this legislation, the Ohio House is helping to crack down on those who sell and possess cocaine.”
The legislation now heads to the Ohio Senate for consideration. The bill includes an emergency clause to make it effective on the day it is signed by the Governor.
The Van Wert Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating a two-vehicle injury crash that occurred at the intersection of Liberty Union Road and Van Wert Willshire Road southwest of Van Wert.
According to troopers from the Van Wert Post, a 2012 Nissan Titan pickup truck and trailer, operated by James E. Freeman, 67, of Williamsburg, Kentucky, was traveling south on Liberty Union Road at approximately 3:52 p.m. Saturday, while a 2015 Chevrolet Silverado, operated by Christopher N. Wilson, 32, of Ohio City, was traveling east on Van Wert Willshire Road.
Freeman then failed to stop at the stop sign at the intersection of the two roads and struck the left front of Wilson’s vehicle. Both vehicles came to rest in a field on the south east side of the intersection and both sustained disabling damage.
Freeman was transported by Ohio City EMS to Van Wert County Hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries. A passenger in the pickup, Jason D. Brown, 30, of also Williamsburg, was taken by Samaritan Life-Flight medical hospital to Parkview Regional Hospital in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Wilson, was taken by Ohio City EMS to Van Wert County Hospital, where he was later transported by Samaritan Life-Flight to Lutheran Hospital of Indiana in Fort Wayne.
Freeman and Brown were reportedly not wearing seat belts, while Wilson was reportedly wearing his seat belt. Alcohol is not suspected to be a factor in the crash, which remains under investigation.
State troopers with the Van Wert Post were assisted at the scene by Van Wert County Sheriff’s Office, Ohio City Fire and EMS, Knippen’s, and Delpha Towing.
The State Patrol would like to remind motorists to always make complete stops at posted stop signs before proceeding cautiously through an intersection to avoid any distractions while driving, and always wear a seat belt.
DAVE MOSIER/independent editor
Finding funds to demolish blighted and often unsafe properties has been a priority for Van Wert city and county officials for several years. That’s why the $500,000 grant received this past fall through the Neighborhood Initiative Program that could lead to the demolition of as many as 30 additional properties in five target areas is so important to the county.
Stacy Adam, executive director of the Van Wert Area Economic Development Corporation, said the process of acquiring properties is well underway, with two Van Wert properties, 418 and 421 N. Market St., deeded over to the Van Wert County Land Reutilization Corporation (land bank); two other properties, 231 N. Franklin St. and 580 S. Race St. in Van Wert, likely deeded over sometime this week; and two others, one in Van Wert and one in Middle Point, in the process of being acquired.
“The program is really focused on how to get rid of blighted, unsightly properties that are negatively impacting the neighbors around them,” she noted, adding that safety can also be improved by demolishing blighted houses.
VW independent/submitted information
ST. HENRY – Cooper Farms announced the completion of its newest addition, a cold storage distribution center located at the company’s processing plant in St. Henry. The new addition, which began construction in June 2016, totals 90,000 square feet, and will provide an additional 15 jobs.
“This new distribution center is an exciting step for all of us at Cooper Farms,” said Gary Cooper, chief operating officer. “We previously outsourced our cold storage, but the time was now right for us to do this ourselves, on-site.”
The state-of-the-art distribution center will provide refrigerated and frozen storage space for the company. Being able to handle this process on-site will prove to be more efficient and will pay for itself in just a few short years. The distribution center will not only feature much-needed refrigerator and freezer space, but also 14 new truck docks, office and team member welfare areas, and a state-of-the-art food safety and quality lab, which is something Quality Manager Doris Siefring is excited to see come to fruition.
“We’re growing and expanding and over the last few years our space has just started to not be enough,” Siefring said. “We doubled the square footage of our existing lab. If we wanted the newest and greatest technology, we had to increase our space.”
The distribution portion is split into two rooms. The cooler room has space for approximately 2,800 pallets, which will hold ready-to-eat product from the Cooked Meats Plant in Van Wert. Those pallets will hold an estimated 1,400 pounds per skid, for a total of 3.9 million pounds of ready-to-eat products stored in the cooler.
The freezer side will have the capacity to hold approximately 4,500 pallets and will be used to hold frozen value-added products such as burgers, roasts, and commodity products produced at the St. Henry plant. That product will weigh around 1,200 pounds per skid, for a total of 5.4 million pounds of product in the freezer.
Construction of the project was led by the Tippman Group of Fort Wayne, Indiana, which utilized many local contractors. The Tippman Group is a family-run company with more than 40 years of experience, specializing in cold storage warehousing and customized distribution solutions.
Van Wert High School Theatre is preparing for its upcoming production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid on April 6-8 at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio.
Music is by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater, while the book was written by Doug Wright. Disney’s The Little Mermaid is based on the Hans Christian Andersen story and Disney film produced by Howard Ashman and John Musker and written and directed by John Musker and Ron Clements. This musical was originally produced by Disney Theatrical Productions.
The audience will join Ariel, Prince Eric, King Triton, Sebastian, Flounder, Scuttle, and Ursula and many other recognizable characters as they discover life on land and under the sea are different, yet intriguing. Will Ariel get her voice back from Ursula and find true love? Bring the whole family as famous songs such as “Under the Sea” and “Part of Your World” will be featured.
The cast and crew for the production include the following students: Mikayla Hernandez, Michaella Johnson, Austin Carnahan, Cade Chiles, Noah Miller, Zach Blakeley, Marshall Healey, Austin Voors, Madison Buecker, Anna Reichert, Emma Verville, Julianna Vanbrabant, Aeris Blakeley, Cloey Spry, Korey Oechsle, Brady Place, Dante Jones, Gabe Steyer, Bradley Wilder, Storm Matthews, Jenna Covey, Gabby Bollenbacher, Alaina Arney, Alisha Terhark, Hannah Kraner, Natalie Riethman, Kaylin Bledsoe, Madison Turnwald, Hannah Springer, Kaylena Kelly, Alli Morrow, Makenzie Laney, Katie McVaigh, Rebekah Fast, and Katie Able. Joining the cast are 12 Van Wert Middle School students and nine Van Wert Elementary students.
The stage crew consists of stage manager Erin Richardson, assistant stage manager Erienne Cassidy, Alaina Alvarez, Lexi Allmandinger, Erin Gemmer, Camryn Nouza, Abbey Bradford, Zach Stevens, Sterling Rigdon, Wesley Wagner, Allison Hauter, and Kendall Rauch.
Disney’s The Little Mermaid is being directed by Melissa Bloomfield, assistant and choreographer Katey Gamble, technical director Hugh Saunier, lighting director Matt Saunier, set artist Sam Tindall, and costume manager Caitlin Walker. Show time for the production is 7 p.m. on April 6-8 at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center.
Parents of students in the cast and crew, along with VWHS Theatre patrons, can purchase tickets starting March 1. All tickets are $8 each. The general public will be able to purchase tickets starting March 8. Tickets may be purchased by stopping by or calling the NPAC box office at 419.238.6722. Tickets will also be sold at the door. Disney’s The Little Mermaid is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI (www.MTIShows.com).
DEFIANCE – Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers located and seized a vehicle that was involved in a fatal hit-skip traffic crash in the village of Edgerton.
Troopers identified and questioned a driver for potential involvement with the incident. Charges are pending until the investigation is completed and presented to the Williams County Prosecutor’s Office.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol thanked the public in their assistance in this investigation, and also thanked the agencies at the scene of the crash: Edgerton Police Department, Williams County Sheriff’s Office, Edgerton Fire and EMS, the Ohio Department of Transportation, and Williams County Prosecutor’s Office.
The Defiance Post responded at approximately 6:40 a.m. Friday to reports of a person struck on U.S. 6, near County Road 4-50 in Williams County. When troopers arrived on scene they discovered the bicyclist, Keith R. Brown, 57, of Bryan, was deceased.
The preliminary evaluation of evidence from the scene indicated Brown was struck by an unknown motor vehicle that fled the scene. It was also determined that damage could be contained to the front right of the suspected vehicle, to include the headlight assembly.