The Van Wert County Courthouse

Monday, Sep. 1, 2014

The Kiddie Demolition Derby was just one of the popular events held at the 2014 Van Wert County Fair over the weekend. (Jan Dunlap/Van Wert independent)

The Kiddie Demolition Derby was just one of the popular events held at the 2014 Van Wert County Fair over the weekend (click here for more fair photos). (Jan Dunlap/Van Wert independent)

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

It was an exciting weekend at the 158th edition of the Van Wert County Fair, with lots of activities, events, entertainment, livestock shows – and just about anything else you can think of.

Entertainment over the weekend included Veridia and Chris August on Saturday in the Gospel Pavilion, Rockabilly singer Blair Carman in the Entertainment Tent on Saturday, Country performers Emerald Blue in front of the grandstand on Saturday, David Dunn in the Gospel Pavilion on Sunday, Country performers Cook & Belle in the Entertainment Tent and the popular Demolition Derby in front of the grandstand on Sunday.

Senior Fair and open livestock shows included several Senior Fair horse shows, Open to the World Feeder Calf Show, Van Wert County Market Lamb Show and Ryan Trentman Memorial Swine Show, while Junior Fair shows featured included the Rabbit Show, Junior Fair Horse Contesting, Junior Fair Pleasure Horse Show, and Junior Fair Rabbit Showmanship event.

The 4-H also had its 4-H Talent Show and Style Revue on Sunday, along with a Milk Mustache Contest in the Dairy Barn (click here for Junior Fair results).


POSTED: 09/01/14 at 7:24 am

VW independent/WBESC information

The Western Buckeye Educational Service Center Governing Board met last week and handled a number of personnel items related to the start of the new school year.

In addition to accepting the resignation of Britny Keister, effective the end of the 2013-2014 school year, the board approved the following employment contracts:

Maria Clawson, two-year administrative contract, special education director; Amelia Wannemacher, one-year part-time limited teaching contract, intervention specialist; Sara Krick, one-year limited contract, intervention specialist; Rebecca Matthews, one-year limited contract (four hours a day), paraprofessional; Chelsea Zeedyk, one-year limited, paraprofessional/occupational therapy assistant (OTA); Kristina Figgins, one-year part-time contract, paraprofessional/OTA; Cindy Long, Jessica Green, Kendra Gottschalk and Rachel Smith, one-year limited, paraprofessionals-Allen County; and Laura Priest, two-year service agreement, COTA/L.

A number of contract revisions were also approved, including: Tianne Pendergrast, from part-time to full-time, paraprofessional; George Dougal, from 144 days to 125 days, director of student services; Cheryl Mongold, from part-time to 184 days, special needs aide; and Pam Williamson, from part-time to full-time, intervention specialist.

The board also approved a job description for paraprofessional/occupational therapy assistant, NEOLA policy changes, etc., as presented, and substitute teacher and paraprofessional and bus and van driver lists.

The date of the regular governing board meetings was also changed to the third Wednesday of the month, starting at 6 p.m. The meetings will continue to alternate between the Van Wert and Paulding ESC offices.

The next meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, September 17, at the Paulding ESC office.

POSTED: 09/01/14 at 7:19 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW Federal school donations 8-2014-Van Wert

In celebration of Van Wert Federal Savings Bank’s 125th anniversary, the bank made a contribution of $5,000 to each of the three county high schools: Van Wert, Lincolnview, and Crestview. The schools can use the money in any way that will benefit their students. Van Wert Federal has always been a strong supporter of, not only education, but also of the local arts and non-profit organizations in the county. Van Wert Federal has been in operation since 1889, making it the oldest locally owned and operated bank in the county.  It is also recognized as the strongest financial institution in the county and also one of the strongest in the United States. Above, Phil Bair of Van Wert Federal presents a check to VWCS Superintendent Ken Amstutz. Below (top photo) Mark Schumm of VW Federal presents a check to Crestview Superintendent Mike Estes, while (bottom photo) Gary Clay of VW Federal presents a check to Lincolnview Superintendent Jeff Snyder. (photos submitted)

VW Federal school donations 8-2014-Crestview

VW Federal school donations 8-2014-Lincolnview

POSTED: 09/01/14 at 2:13 am. FILED UNDER: News

Submitted information

OTTAWA — The Friends of the Putnam County District Library in Ottawa are still accepting applications for the upcoming seventh annual Autumn Harvest of Crafts Show, which has been changed from its original date.

The craft show will now be held from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, October 25, at Ottawa-Glandorf High School, 630 Glendale Ave. in Ottawa.

For more information email or phone Judy at 419.659.5478.

Proceeds benefit all locations of the Putnam County District Library.

POSTED: 09/01/14 at 2:05 am. FILED UNDER: Lifestyles, News

Ohio State Highway Patrol information

MONTPELIER — The Defiance Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating a hit-skip accident that injured a bicyclist near Montpelier early Sunday morning.

osplogoAccording to troopers, Troy L. Presnell, 50, of Montpelier was riding a bike east on West Washington Street in that village when an unidentified vehicle struck the bicycle from behind, then left the scene.

Presnell, who was seriously injured in the crash, was taken to Montpelier Hospital and later airlifted by Samaritan helicopter to Parkview Regional Medical Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

The Defiance Patrol post is asking anyone with information on the traffic crash or the identity of the other driver to call the Post at 419.784.1025.

POSTED: 09/01/14 at 2:03 am. FILED UNDER: News

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

The third day of the 158th edition of the Van Wert County Fair was a busy one indeed, with all kinds of activities and events held on a nearly perfect day, as far as weather goes.

The Michindoh Truck and Tractor Pull held Friday night in front of the grandstand, was again a popular event. (Jan Dunlap/Van Wert independent)

The Michindoh Truck and Tractor Pull held Friday night in front of the grandstand, was again a popular event. (Jan Dunlap/Van Wert independent)

The entertainment highlight of the day was the Michindoh Truck and Tractor Pull held Friday evening in front of the grandstand. The spirited contest included lots of smoke, clouds of dust roaring engines as competitors in several categories vied to see which one could pull a weight sledge the farthest.

Although the truck and tractor pull brought a number of fans to the grandstand, the event was far from the only thing going on during Friday’s day at the fair.

Several Junior and Senior Fair livestock shows were also held Friday, including the Senior Fair Poultry Show, Junior Fair Dairy Show, the Open Class Mules and Miniature Horse and Senior Fair Horse Show, the Senior Fair Stock Horse Show and the Junior Fair Rabbit Show, which was held in the new Rabbit Barn.

Veterans and senior citizens also got in free Friday, and there were special activities for both groups on the fairgrounds, including a Veterans Day Parade, free ham and bean soup and cornbread at lunch and doughnuts in the morning and a special program in the Entertainment Tent.


POSTED: 08/30/14 at 7:56 am. FILED UNDER: News

Marsh Foundation information

The Marsh Foundation’s “Marsh Grown” garden program celebrated the end of the summer growing season with a Harvest Meal for staff, peers and trustees. The meal was held recently at First Presbyterian Church in Van Wert and featured many items grown in The Marsh Foundation garden, as well as other local products. It was entirely prepared by the garden crew.

According to Marsh Foundation activities coordinator, Sherry Grone, this year’s program has been very successful in her eyes. “Our crew has had the chance to grow in maturity, responsibility and respect through our garden program,” she said. “I also hope they have grown in respect for themselves as they develop new confidence through their job skills. One of the program’s goals is to guide them to a hope for their future; to help them connect to the larger community and find their place and maybe even their passion in the process.”

Marsh logo 8-2010The Marsh Grown youth garden program is dedicated to helping young people develop a sense of land stewardship and learn the importance of healthy food. Participants are taught valuable gardening skills throughout the season. In addition, the program serves as a catalyst for youth to develop important job skills for future employment.

Throughout the summer, the garden crew grows vegetables and sells them at the farmer’s market for income. The group will continue to be at the Van Wert Farmer’s Market on Fox Road on Saturdays from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. through October.

Participants in the Marsh Grown garden crew are youth who are a part of The Marsh Foundation’s Independent Living Group. They are all 15½ years of age or older and are working on skills that will help them be successful adults. The garden program is an opportunity for them to interact with peers and adults, develop quality job skills and learn how to grow healthy food.

Serving children and families since 1922, The Marsh Foundation is a not-for-profit children’s services agency that provides behavioral treatment in a variety of settings. Services include group homes, treatment and family foster care, an intensive treatment program and independent living. Located in Van Wert, Ohio, the organization’s group homes are licensed for up to 30 children ages 7-17, offers an on-campus school for grades 2-12 and provides a variety of clinical services to group home residents, foster children and community members.

The mission of The Marsh Foundation is to inspire hope, to teach and to care for children and families.

POSTED: 08/30/14 at 7:20 am. FILED UNDER: News

Brooke Fuerst artwork1 8-2014

Brooke Fuerst, who assisted the Van Wert Veterans Service Office this summer as part of an Ohio Department of Job and Family Services work program, is also a college student majoring in art education.  In addition to helping Van Wert County veterans get their files ready to switch to a paperless system, Fuerst also created this patriotic artwork for the front lobby of the Veterans Service office. (photos submitted)

Brooke Fuerst artwork2 8-2014

POSTED: 08/30/14 at 7:18 am. FILED UNDER: News

Ohio Attorney General’s information

COLUMBUS — As warm temperatures continue into late summer, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is warning consumers to beware of driveway paving scams and untrustworthy home improvement contractors.

“There are many home improvement contractors who do great work,” Attorney General DeWine said. “Unfortunately, there are some who don’t. To protect themselves from potential scams, consumers should check out a contractor before making any payments, especially when the contractor comes to their door unexpectedly.”

Since June, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office has received more than 60 complaints involving asphalt, concrete, or paving. In about half of the complaints, the transactions began with a door-to-door visit. The average disputed amount for all the complaints is more than $3,000.

In their complaints, consumers list problems including shoddy resurfacing of a driveway, rough spots or cracks in concrete, driveways that are not level, improper drainage, ineffective sealing, and incomplete resurfacing.

To help protect themselves, consumers should follow these tips:

  • Check contractors’ reputations by searching for complaints on file with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the Better Business Bureau. Also do a basic Internet search of the business. Even if you don’t find complaints, don’t assume the contractor is reliable. Unscrupulous contractors and scam artists often change their business names regularly to trick unsuspecting consumers into handing over their hard-earned money.
  • If a contractor tells a potential customer that he just completed a job nearby, has excess asphalt, and can give that person a good deal, get the previous homeowner’s name and address and contact the homeowner to verify the claim.
  • Ask family and friends for recommendations of reliable contractors. Word-of-mouth recommendations are among the best ways to find reputable businesses. If possible, check out the work contractors have done for previous customers.
  • Sometimes scammers will give potential customers a verbal estimate prior to doing the work, but then charge two to three times more afterward. Get everything in writing. A written contract should include the contracted amount along with the contractor’s name, street address, and phone number. Consumers should be cautious of contractors who only provide a post office box or who claim to work for a company but want a check written to an individual.
  • Don’t pay a large down payment or payment in full until the job is complete and the work is inspected. Avoid paying in cash, if possible, because cash will leave customers with little paper trail if something goes wrong.


POSTED: 08/30/14 at 7:10 am. FILED UNDER: News

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

Thursday was Kids’ Day at the Van Wert County Fair, with children under 8 getting in free and admission reduced to $3 for everyone else. Youngsters also had the chance to drive a tractor around the Grandstand racetrack as part of Kids Dream Day, while Ronald McDonald performed “A Friendship Adventure” in the Entertainment Tent early Thursday evening and rolling video games were located near the old Treasurer’s Office in the northeast corner of the fairgrounds.

Ronald McDonald shows off a trick to some fascinated youngsters on Wednesday at the Van Wert County Fair. (Jan Dunlap/Van Wert independent)

Ronald McDonald shows off a trick to some fascinated youngsters on Wednesday at the Van Wert County Fair. (Jan Dunlap/Van Wert independent)

Junior Fair livestock shows also got underway with the Turkey Show, held in the Turkey Barn. FFA Crop and Shop judging and interviews were also held Thursday.

Harness racing continued Thursday evening in front of the grandstand, while the Freedom Quartet performed at the Gospel Pavilion and Country group Polly Mae played in the Entertainment Tent.

Things really get swinging at the fair today, which is both Veterans Day and Senior Citizens Day. All veterans and those age 60 and above are admitted free today.

Free doughnuts will be available for vets and senior citizens at the Entertainment Tent from 8:30-10 a.m., while the Veterans Service Office will also be available in the Entertainment Tent to talk to veterans.

There will also be a Veterans Day Parade at 10:45 a.m. that starts on Balyeat Avenue, while a special Veterans Day program will begin at 11 a.m. in the Entertainment Tent, where free ham and bean soup and cornbread will be served to veterans, starting at noon.


POSTED: 08/29/14 at 7:13 am. FILED UNDER: News

Crisis Care/HOT information

Crisis Care Line/House of Transition has launched its “Lights of LOVE” campaign as part of its 35th anniversary celebration.

Individuals, civic groups, and businesses are invited to honor or remember someone who has made a positive difference in their life by purchasing a light for that person. Purchased lights will be placed on a tree at the Garden of the Senses in the 100 block of East Main Street in Van Wert, and will be lit during the month of October, which is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

A lighting ceremony will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, October 1, in the garden. In addition, all individuals honored and remembered will be recognized in a window display at the Van Wert County Board of Elections, in a “Book of Remembrance”, and in a press release.

All contributions are tax deductible and will be used for permanent improvements and maintenance of the House of Transition, the local domestic violence shelter. During the past 35 years, Crisis Care has not only provided advocacy, guidance, and shelter, but also has worked to restore personal dignity and independent living, free from abuse, to hundreds of women, children, and men.

Contributions to Lights of LOVE of $25 can purchase a white light, $100 a purple light, and $500 a starlight. Any donation to assist victims of domestic violence and their children will be greatly appreciated.

Brochures for Lights of LOVE are available at the Crisis Care booth in the Commercial Building at the Van Wert County Fair. In addition, pamphlets are available at the Board of Elections in downtown Van Wert, Mengerink’s Source for Sports, and Orchard Tree Restaurant in Van Wert; Convoy Tastee Freeze, and Ohio City Express.

For more information about Lights of LOVE, call Crisis Care at 419.238.4641 or email

POSTED: 08/29/14 at 6:50 am. FILED UNDER: News