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The Van Wert County Courthouse

Sunday, May. 29, 2016

Sites on this year's Peony Festival Garden Tour include (top row, from the left) 9202 Van Wert Willshire Road, The Marsh Foundation (1229 Lincoln Highway); (bottom row) 7433 German Church Road, 510 S. Vine St., and 1034 Shawnee Drive. (photos submitted)

Sites on this year’s Peony Festival Garden Tour include (top row, from the left) 9202 Van Wert Willshire Road, The Marsh Foundation (1229 Lincoln Highway); (bottom row) 7433 German Church Road, 510 S. Vine St., and 1034 Shawnee Drive. (photos submitted)

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

The Van Wert Peony Festival’s annual Garden Tour is a popular event that brings people out to view the selected gardens, and this year is no exception. Five gardens are on the tour for 2016. They include the Marsh Foundation and its horticulture program, the John and Eulalia Carlton residence at 9202 Van Wert Willshire Road, Jim and Sylvia Buettner’s residence at 7433 German Church Road, Andy and Sandra Anderson’s residence at 1034 Shawnee Drive, and Shawne Collins and Susan Fisher’s residence at 510 S. Vine St.

Marsh Foundation

The residents of The Marsh Foundation are taught many things they’ll need as they mature into adulthood, with part of that education related to the art of nurturing, and the rewards of hard work through the Foundation’s gardening/horticulture program.

Plants are grown in the Marsh’s greenhouse, then transferred to the Foundation’s big garden as weather permits.

9202 Van Wert Willshire Road

On the outskirts of Van Wert is the quiet, unassuming property of the Carltons at 9202 Van Wert Willshire Road.

The property boasts a log cabin overlooking a stocked pond with a sparkling waterfall. Each year holds a wonderful surprise as the gardens awaken and are allowed to grow wild, with a bit of control from the Carlton gardeners.


POSTED: 05/28/16 at 7:42 am

VW independent/submitted information

PAULDING — Another dead body has been found in Paulding County, this time in the Maumee River east of the Ohio-Indiana state line.

“The body is a male wearing blue jeans and black zip-up boots,” said Paulding County Sheriff Jason K. Landers. “The Attorney General’s Office’s crime scene investigation unit was on scene to assist my staff with processing potential evidence, as well as making identification of the deceased.”

Sheriff Landers noted that the body appeared to have been in the water for some time.

Also assisting the sheriff’s office at the scene were Antwerp Fire and EMS and Paulding County Coroner Dr. Joseph Kuhn.

Sheriff Landers is asking anyone with information about this case to contact his office at 419.399.3791, via Facebook by searching “Paulding County Sheriff’s Office”, via the sheriff’s website at (leave an email for the sheriff or an anonymous tip by scrolling to the bottom of any page and clicking on “send us an anonymous tip.”

POSTED: 05/29/16 at 12:53 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW Area Concert Band concert 5-27-16

The Van Wert Area Community Band (above) kicked off the summer concert season in Fountain Park on Friday with a performance that included patriotic music to get area residents in the mood for Monday’s Memorial Day celebration. The Van Wert County Foundation’s Summer Music Series in the park begins this coming Friday, June 3, with the Together Band. Concerts start at 7 p.m. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

POSTED: 05/28/16 at 7:32 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

COLUMBUS — Ohio Attorney Mike DeWine warns consumers of common summer scams to avoid this Memorial Day weekend and during the upcoming summer months.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine

“Con artists often rely on fear and surprise,” Attorney General DeWine said. “They try to get you to do something you normally wouldn’t do. If someone catches you off guard and asks for money or personal information, take time to think about it. Talk it over with someone. If you suspect a scam, contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.”

Every year, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office receives hundreds of complaints about potential scams.

Common summer scams include:

Rental scams: Con artists lift listing information from legitimate real estate websites and repost pictures of houses or apartments as rentals on Craigslist or other websites. When potential renters respond to their ads, scammers tell them to wire a down payment of a few hundred or a few thousand dollars to secure the rental. After sending money, however, the renter finds out that the house or apartment was for sale by someone else, not for rent, and that the online rental ad was bogus.

Travel scams: Consumers receive an offer for a “free” vacation, but they later find out that they must pay upfront fees or listen to a sales presentation to receive the offer. In Ohio, important exclusions and limitations of an offer must be clearly disclosed in ads, and consumers shouldn’t have to pay to receive a free prize.


POSTED: 05/28/16 at 7:25 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

The Van Wert Police Department is looking for a witness to a traffic crash that occurred at 1:36 p.m. Thursday at the intersection of Hospital Drive and Washington Street.

According to police, the traffic accident involved a black Dodge Caliber and a green Chevrolet Malibu. Officers said the Caliber was traveling north on Washington Street and turning west onto Hospital Drive, while the Malibu was westbound on Hospital Drive and crossing the intersection with Washington Street when the crash occurred. Both drivers claimed to have the green light prior to entering the intersection.

Police are seeking anyone who witnessed the accident and has knowledge of which driver had the green light at the time of the crash. Witnesses should call the Sergeant Kurt Conn at 419.238.2462.

POSTED: 05/28/16 at 7:21 am. FILED UNDER: News

Van Wert independent news

VENEDOCIA — A group headed by a Boy Scout seeking his Eagle Scout badge is currently soliciting funds to place an artillery piece in a local veterans park.

A group is seeking donations to refurbish this 105-mm howitzer for placement in Memorial Park near Venedocia. (photo submitted)

A group is seeking donations to refurbish this 105-mm howitzer for placement in Memorial Park near Venedocia. (photo submitted)

Patriotic Spencerville Junior High student and Eagle Scout nominee Dominic Adkins is leading an effort to place a 105-mm howitzer artillery piece formerly belonging to the U.S. Marine Corps in Venedocia’s Memorial Park.

Adkins worked through U.S. Representative Bob Latta and filled out the complex Marine Corps paperwork to obtain the cannon, which was decommissioned in Columbus. Prior to its being released for placement in the park, the cannon needs to be sandblasted and painted to be in agreement with the Marine Corps allocation for the artillery piece. The work needs to be done soon or the howitzer will be returned to the Marines.


POSTED: 05/27/16 at 7:57 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

The Ohio State Highway Patrol wants motorists to drive cautiously when out during Memorial Day, as troopers tend to see an increase in traffic deaths over this weekend. Troopers and local law enforcement will join together to work towards a fatality-free holiday weekend on Ohio roads.

Seven of the 16 statewide traffic deaths during the Memorial Day weekend in 2015 were related to impairment, equaling 44 percent. To stay safe over the weekend, the Patrol is urging motorists to never drive impaired and always designate a sober driver.

osplogoThe Patrol made 546 OVI arrests during the Memorial Day weekend in 2015.

The Van Wert Post is focusing on the safety of motorists traveling through the area.

“The Van Wert Post is responsible for nearly 800 square miles of roads in Van Wert and Paulding counties,” said Sergeant Jonathon Gray, assistant post commander at the Van Wert Post. “You will see troopers patrolling this weekend in proactive enforcement efforts to ensure motorists are not impaired, unbelted, or driving distracted.”

In addition, as part of the national Click It or Ticket enforcement mobilization running through June 5, troopers will have a zero tolerance policy for those not wearing a safety belt. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, almost 50 percent of occupants of fatal crashes nationwide in 2015 were not restrained; this highlights the need for increased enforcement and awareness of safety belt use.

Motorists are encouraged to call #677 to report any type of impaired drivers or drug activity.

POSTED: 05/27/16 at 7:47 am. FILED UNDER: News

2016 Flowers in Full Bloom

The Peony Festival Committee is honoring five Van Wert County women as Flowers in Full Bloom. These women are at least 65 years young and exemplify the best in character, service, and dedication to their families, friends, and community. The 2016 Flowers in Full Bloom nominees are Jeanne Zeigler, Peg Waltz, Marilyn Foust, Rita Adam, and Kay Johns (four of the nominees are shown above). Join the festival committee in celebrating these wonderful individuals Saturday, June 4, at a reception at 1:30 p.m. at Willow Bend Country Club. (photo submitted)

POSTED: 05/27/16 at 7:46 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

REYNOLDSBURG — With warmer weather approaching and Memorial Day weekend right around the corner, State Fire Marshal Larry L. Flowers reminds Ohioans to be fire safe during the summer months.  Many fires are preventable and residents can reduce their risks of becoming a fire casualty by identifying potential hazards and following simple safety tips.

“Once the colder weather is behind us, it’s nice to get outside and enjoy all that nature has to offer,” said Marshal Flowers. “However, as you are camping, grilling or taking part in other activities, it’s important to do so with some precaution. By remembering and practicing some simple safety guidelines, you may save your life or that of your family.”

Marshal Flowers and the U.S. Fire Administration offer these tips:

Grilling safety:

  • All propane and charcoal barbecue grills must be used outdoors to avoid fire hazards and toxic gases such as carbon monoxide.
  • Keep grills clear from overhanging branches, house siding and deck edges and railings. Also, position the grill far from foot traffic.
  • Before using a grill, check the connection between the propane tank and the fuel line.
  • Remove grease or fat buildup in the tray(s) below the grill to avoid a fire.
  • Wear well-fitted clothing when barbecuing. Loose articles and flammable material, such as nylon, should be avoided.
  • Supervise children around outdoor grills. Employ a three-foot “safety zone” around the grill and keep both children and pets at a distance.


POSTED: 05/27/16 at 7:41 am. FILED UNDER: News

County employees give to SA 5-2016

Van Wert County employees (above) donated $540 toward the capital campaign of the Salvation Army. The funds will be used for the social service building that is currently being renovated. The Salvation Army hopes to have all the renovations completed by September. (photo submitted)

POSTED: 05/27/16 at 7:27 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

COLUMBUS — Attorney General Mike DeWine announced Wednesday that Ohioans who have a valid concealed handgun license have now had background checks sufficient to purchase firearms without the red tape of another background check.

The U.S. Department of Justice and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms have agreed to Attorney General DeWine’s request for an exemption to the mandatory National Instant Criminal Background Check provided the Ohio concealed handgun license was issued on or after March 23, 2015, and that the permit has not expired under state law or been revoked.

“I’m pleased Ohio concealed carry license holders will not have to undergo additional background checks each time they want to buy a firearm,” said Attorney General DeWine. “Ohio concealed carry license holders who are in good standing have already passed thorough state and federal background checks  so there is no reason  to force them to submit to additional checks if they want to buy a firearm.”

Attorney General DeWine was able to work with the ATF to obtain this exemption following changes made by the Ohio General Assembly in House Bill 234 that required the use of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) for all new and renewed concealed handgun licenses.

Ohio is the 25th state to receive a NICS exemption for its concealed handgun license holders.

POSTED: 05/27/16 at 7:23 am. FILED UNDER: News