DAVE MOSIER/independent editor
U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) got a close-up view of local wind turbines and learned about the science — and just as importantly, the economics — of wind energy production during a visit to Van Wert County on Thursday.
Neil Voje, plant manager for Iberdrola Renewables’ Blue Creek Wind Farm, told the senator that, coincidentally, solar energy is also the catalyst for wind energy production, since the uneven heating of the earth’s surface by the sun is what ultimately causes the development of winds — and the opportunity to harness those winds to create renewable energy.
Senator Brown asked a number of questions related to wind energy production as he toured Iberdrola’s production facility on Fife Road north of Van Wert Thursday afternoon and later got a chance to see one of the 100-meter-tall wind turbines up close.
The senator also talked about the importance of the Blue Creek Wind Farm to the local and state economies.
“The Blue Creek Wind Farm is not only Ohio’s biggest wind farm, but it is bringing jobs to western Ohio, helping fund local schools and cities and providing a source of renewable energy for thousands of homes and businesses,” Brown said, while adding that a partnership between Iberdrola and Vantage Career Center is also training workers for jobs in the wind and solar energy fields.
VW independent/VW EMA information
What began as a nice start to spring for area farmers has turned into a complete disaster, with substantial loss of crops across the county, said Van Wert County Emergency Management Director Rick McCoy. Flooding rains throughout the month of June has caused thousands of acres across the county to remain bare, with no chance of planting at this point. And for the crops that are in the ground, many plants have died from the excessive water, while many surviving fields may have little to no crops at all to harvest in the fall.
McCoy said the area has seen localized floods before, but never in the history of Van Wert County has there been a month-long event that has taken such a heavy toll on the farmers.
For the month of June, McCoy measured 15.71 inches of rainfall at his office in Van Wert. This surpasses the previous June record of 10.56 inches set back in 1993. But he went on to say that the area across Van Wert received the least amount of rain in the county. Areas across the southern and northern parts of the county received between 20 and 24 inches for the month.
“This is just unreal, considering our yearly average total runs at around 36 inches and we just received between half to two-thirds of the total in one month,” McCoy noted.
The EMA director advised that the culprit was long coming in the form of an El Nino weather system. Last year, an “El Nino Watch” was issued for the Pacific Ocean, with signs an El Nino would develop. But winter came and went with no further development.
In early spring, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued an “El Nino Advisory” indicating the weather system was strengthening and the effects would be felt across the country. All indications pointed to a wet spring and summer with temperatures below average.
Lee’s Ace Hardware will be sponsoring a $1 day at Camp Clay Aqua Park this summer. Local businesses purchase the day for the Van Wert community; access includes swimming, floating playground, zip-line, paddleboats, a half-acre beach and the 3,600 square-foot splash pad, which is new in 2015. To learn more, visit www.vwymca.org. Here, Brian Mercer of Lee’s Ace Hardware is shown with YMCA Camp Clay Director Clint Myers. (YMCA photo)
VW independent/submitted information
COLUMBUS — Ohio Senators Keith Faber and Cliff Hite recently recognized the YWCA of Van Wert County on the 20thanniversary of the YWCA Summer Food Program. This accolade credits the organization for 19 outstanding and successful years of service to the Van Wert community.
The YWCA has expanded the Summer Food Program to include an after-school youth program; the expansion of these two services has resulted in the creation of the YWCA youth enrichment program. The efforts of this program to nourish local children in both mind and body by providing them with nutrient-rich meals that will support their physical growth, along with interactive activities that will improve their education, reflects a source of pride and outstanding character of not only the organization itself, but also of the staff, volunteers, community members and sponsors that make the visions of the program a reality, the senators noted.
The recreation program is free to children 4-15 years of age, while free meals are available to children ages 4-18. Four-year-olds must be toilet-trained to participate in recreational activities.
Supporters of this program include the Ohio Department of Education, Child Nutrition Services and the United Way of Van Wert County.
For more information, contact Hannah Phlipot or Rachel Hire, Summer Food Program supervisors, at 419.238.6639.
Wrenway Park information
WREN — Wrenway Park, in association with Bill Miller’s Auto Sales in Decatur, Indiana, are hosting the third annual WrenStock Music Festival on Saturday, September 12.
Tickets are available now at Bill Miller’s Auto Sales, the Wren Restaurant or from any Wiffleball Committee member and are $10 for advance purchase or $15 the day of the show. Gates open at 2 p.m., with the first band starting at 3 that afternoon. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. No carry-in beverages will be permitted.
The bands playing this year are, in order, The 1 Ton Trio, Cadillac Ranch and The Hipnotix.
This event is a fundraiser for the Wren Homecoming Wiffleball Tournament.
DAVE MOSIER/independent editor
Van Wert County celebrated the rededication of what Ohio Veterans Services Director Colonel Timothy Gorrell called “snapshots in time” — the Van Wert Military War Album Chapel.
Calling the military photo album chapel a “reflection of history,” Gorrell said of those whose photos are in the chapel: “Many of them are captured in youth, and that will be forever preserved … they had motivations, they had dreams … many of them did not come back.”
Gorrell, a self-proclaimed student of history, said that looking at the nearly 2,700 photos in the chapel made him wonder what the people in the photos were like, and what the times were like when they served in the military.
Marsh Foundation information
CARF International recently announced that The Marsh Foundation has been reaccredited for a period of three years for its case management/services coordination: Mental health (children and adolescents); outpatient treatment: mental health (adults); and outpatient treatment: mental health (children and adolescents) programs. The latest accreditation is the fourth consecutive three-year accreditation that the international accrediting body has awarded to The Marsh Foundation.
This accreditation decision represents the highest level of accreditation that can be awarded to an organization and shows the organization’s substantial conformance to the CARF standards. An organization receiving a three-year accreditation has put itself through a rigorous peer review process and has demonstrated to a team of surveyors during an on-site visit that its programs and services are of the highest quality, measurable and accountable.
“The staff members of The Marsh Foundation demonstrate clear dedication and passion in providing quality services to the children and families served. All staff members go above and beyond to meet the needs of the organization and the persons served.”
“The Marsh Foundation provides a safe environment to the persons served that is very welcoming, clean, and comfortable.”
“Staff members consistently focus on empowerment, recovery, wellness, and healing in the lives of the persons served and their families. The persons served are treated with dignity and respect.”
CARF International is an independent, nonprofit accreditor of health and human services. The mission of CARF is to promote the quality, value, and optimal outcomes of services through a consultative accreditation process and continuous improvement services that center on enhancing the lives of the persons served.
Founded in 1966, CARF assists service providers in improving the quality of their services, demonstrating value, and meeting internationally recognized organizational and program standards. More information about CARF International can be found at www.carf.org.
The mission of The Marsh Foundation is to inspire hope, to teach and to care for children and families. For more information about The Marsh, visit www.marshfoundation.org.
American Red Cross information
The American Red Cross of Van Wert County has moved to its new office at 1220 E. Lincoln Highway, across from the Marsh Foundation. The agency is sharing office space with the Van Wert County Emergency Management Agency.
Anyone wanting the Red Cross should enter through the east door.
Local Red Cross hours are Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Wednesday, from 9 a.m. until noon.
The phone number for the Red Cross office is 419.238.9977.
Willshire Sportsman’s Club information
WILLSHIRE — The Willshire Sportsman’s Club will be holding its annual Trade Days and Flea Market
July 31 and August 1. The event will be held on the club grounds, 1½ miles east of Willshire on Ohio 81. Hours for the event are 8 a.m. until dusk.
Vendors from across the area will have various craft and flea market items for sale. Hunting and fishing equipment will also be available, while a gunsmith will be on site as well. The club food stand will be serving breakfast and sandwiches throughout the day.
For more information, contact
Applications are at the Van Wert Police Department for city DARE Officer Greg Blackmore’s graduates, while Deputy Allen’s graduates can pick their applications up at the Van Wert County Sheriff’s Office. Camp is open from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Cost is $10.