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The Van Wert County Courthouse

Wednesday, Mar. 22, 2017

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Area girls can make the most out of spring break this year at the Girl Scouts Spring Break Day Camp on Monday, March 20, through Friday, March 24, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio.

Girl Scout logoThe cost of the program is only $15, which covers the Girl Scout membership fee. Specifically designed for girls in grades K-5 who have not yet had the opportunity to participate in Girl Scouts, Spring Break Day Camp introduces girls to all of the fun things that make Girl Scouts memorable — friendship, adventure, and fun!

Come discover one’s potential to make the world a better place through science. Learn how to take action to respect and protect the planet we all call home. Have fun through crafts, games, and more.

With Girl Scouts, the possibilities are truly endless. Discover all people can be and everything they can accomplish when they have the right tools and a safe space to shine — and work together to change the world.

Find out more about the Spring Break Day Camp at and discover how to join at or call 800.860.4516.

POSTED: 03/13/17 at 7:29 am. FILED UNDER: Youth

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The Van Wert Soil and Water Conservation District is offering one $500 scholarship to a student studying agriculture, natural resources or closely related fields at any Ohio college or university during the 2017-2018 academic year.

Recipients of the scholarship need to have completed their freshman year in college and must be Van Wert County residents.

The Scholarship Committee of the Soil and Water Conservation District will review the applications and announce recipients in June. Scholarship money will be sent directly to the recipient’s college or university at the beginning of the academic year.

Criteria for determining the recipient will be area of study, grades, activities, leadership, and commitment to conservation practices. The SWCD reserves the right to refuse any applications not meeting requirements.

Scholarship applications are available at the Soil and Water Conservation District office, 1185 Professional Drive in Van Wert, or online at Applications and two reference forms need to be completed and sent to the office by May 5.

POSTED: 03/09/17 at 8:36 am. FILED UNDER: News, Youth

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Van Wert Elementary School invites the community to attend its upcoming spring concerts at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio.

The first graders’ concert, called “It’s a Hit!”, will be held Tuesday, March 7, at 6:30 p.m. The third graders’ concert, called “Welcome to the Jungle”, will be on that same Tuesday, beginning at 7:45 p.m.

The second graders will have their own “It’s a Hit” performance Monday, March 13, at 6:30 p.m., followed by the fourth graders’ “Welcome to the Jungle” performance that same night at 7:45 p.m.

POSTED: 03/02/17 at 8:02 am. FILED UNDER: Youth

4-H is the largest youth development organization in the country, with over 6 million youth participating across the country. The 4-H program was started in 1902, in Springfield, by A.B. Graham. Graham started clubs for youth so they could “learn by doing” which to this day is the 4-H slogan; youth learn by actively participating in educational experiences and projects. Today, the 4-H program is operated in every county in Ohio by Ohio State University Extension and has nearly 216,000 members participating across the state.

In Van Wert County and all across the country, 4-H’ers are still actively following the slogan of learn by doing to develop themselves into caring, contributing citizens and working to follow the 4-H motto of “To Make the Best Better.”

Who is involved in Van Wert County 4-H?

Van Wert County has over 500 active 4-H members involved in 19 community clubs throughout the county. There are around 100 dedicated adult volunteers who work to provide support for clubs, programs and activities.  Community clubs participate in community service projects, clinics, field trips, social events, and fundraisers throughout the year. Other opportunities include project judging, 4-H Camp, state and national events, and exhibiting at the Van Wert County Fair.

Who can join 4-H and what will I do?

Youth who are age 5 and in Kindergarten as of January 1st, 2017 are eligible to join 4-H as a Cloverbud member. Cloverbuds participate in community clubs and non-competitive activities exploring a variety of fun, hands-on interest areas. Youth who are age 8 and in 3rd grade as of January 1st can join 4-H as project members. Project members participate in club activities, select 4-H projects that interest them, go through project judging, and can exhibit their projects at the Van Wert County Fair. Youth age out of 4-H the year they turn 19. Youth are eligible to join 4-H in the county they reside in, if you wish to join 4-H in a different county then where you reside, you should contact the Extension Office of the program you wish to join for more information on eligibility.

 How do I join 4-H?

The first step in joining 4-H is to find a community club near your home or school. There are 19 community clubs throughout the county; experience 4-H with a friend and invite them to join with you. Contact the Van Wert County OSU Extension Office at 419-238-1214 today for help in locating the right club for you or visit us on the web at for more club information.

When should I sign up?

You can join 4-H at any time! But, join by the March 15, 2017 to take advantage of all the opportunities throughout the year. First year families and members are given a month of extra time to get their paperwork in past the deadline to help them make the joining process a little easier!  So if you are still looking to join in 2017, it is NOT too late!

What are these projects I keep hearing about?

Members who are age 8 and in the third grade are considered project members and must enroll and complete a minimum of one project each year. There are over 200 4-H projects a member can choose from. Can’t find a project that interests you out of those 200? You can create your own personalized project by taking the self-determined project.

Projects cover a wide range of topic areas. Excluding livestock project, examples of popular projects include: photography, small engines, and natural resource projects such as fishing, foods, rockets, creative writing, and shooting sports such as archery.

Youth can discover all the projects available through the Ohio 4-H Family Guide. These are available through a community club or you can pick one up at the Van Wert County OSU Extension Office or online at  Also, you can visit Project Central online at to browse projects. Project Central allows you to filter projects by interest areas and skill levels. You can also read reviews from others who have taken the project.

Want to learn more?

The 4-H program is part of the Ohio State University Extension services. For more information on the 4-H program and how to get involved, contact the Van Wert County OSU Extension office at 419.238.1214. The office is located at 1055 S. Washington St. at the Van Wert County Fairgrounds. You can also find more information on their website or follow Van Wert County 4-H on Facebook at

POSTED: 03/01/17 at 2:32 pm. FILED UNDER: Youth

Team Galaxy donates to CHP 2-2017

Team Galaxy at Van Wert Middle School raised $255 from its 12th annual bake sale to benefit The Angel Foundation. Jean Miller of The Angel Foundation was presented the donation by (from the left) Danesha Branson, Kenley Cowan, Jeff Li, and Gage Sargent. Students heard a presentation from the Angel Foundation about its mission and projects and decided to support the organization by making and selling treats to students and staff at the school. The Angel Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Van Wert that facilitates wishes for adults throughout Ohio who are terminally ill. For more information, go to (photo submitted)

POSTED: 03/01/17 at 8:23 am. FILED UNDER: News, Youth

First UM open house promo pic 2-2017

First United Methodist Church Preschool, 113 W. Central Ave. in Van Wert, will be hosting an open house from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 9. Stop by to meet teachers, tour the classrooms, and register for the 2017-2018 school year. Those who can’t be at the open house can call Administrator April Ellerbrock at 419.238.0631, extension 308, to schedule a private tour or register online at (photo submitted)

POSTED: 02/28/17 at 9:21 am. FILED UNDER: Church, Youth

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Van Wert High School alumna Tiffany Ricketts will be featured in the March/April issue of Our Ohio magazine, detailing her recent travel to Panama with Wright State University to learn about agriculture.

Ricketts is a sophomore studying agriculture at Wright State University-Lake Campus in Celina. She is profiled alongside a select group of Ohio Farm Bureau members who have traveled outside the United States to learn about international crops and ways to improve agriculture operations.

“(The trip) gave me a better idea of how things are grown in other parts of the world and how much manual labor can go into our food,” Ricketts said. “It made me want to learn more about agriculture in other countries as well as my own.”

POSTED: 02/28/17 at 9:19 am. FILED UNDER: Youth

Knights of Columbus contest winners 2-2017

The Van Wert Knights of Columbus recently announced the winners of its “Keeping Christ in Christmas” poster contest. Winners include Katie Gross, first place, and Annabelle Horstman, second place, 5-7-year-olds; Harper Reindel, first place, and Madelyn Berryman, second place, 8-10-year-olds; Tyler Spray, first place, and Haley Owsley, second place, 11-14-year-olds. First place winners received $25 and second place winners received $10. Presenting checks on behalf of the Knights of Columbus was Van Wert Mayor Jerry Mazur. (Knights of Columbus photo)

POSTED: 02/28/17 at 9:17 am. FILED UNDER: Church, Youth

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Buckeye Y Youth Inc. will be selling World’s Finest Chocolate at Tractor Supply Company (TSC), 1122 S. Shannon St. in Van Wert, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturday, February 25.

Products available are $1 bars in the following flavors: almond, caramel, milk chocolate, crisp, and dark chocolate; $2 boxes in the following flavors: Mint Melt-a-ways, Caramel Whirls, and Continental Almonds.

Proceeds help fund the non-profit organization so programs and events are available for area boys and girls. Buckeye Y Youth is a United Way agency, Van Wert County Foundation grant recipient, and received funding from Wetzel Motorcycle Club and Walmart Community Fund.

POSTED: 02/23/17 at 9:58 am. FILED UNDER: Youth

By Heather Gottke

What do a cartoon artist, the founder and president of Bob Evans Farms, a quarterback, a Cincinnati Reds Player, the Ohio Attorney General, and an astronaut all have in common? One thing that they have in common is that they were all members of 4-H.

Have you ever wondered what makes a good leader? If you look at them on the outside they look like anyone, but you need to look deeper. A leader uses their head to think clearly, they are loyal, they look to help others around them, and they also work to stay healthy.

4-H can give you the steps that you can follow to reach your dreams. You will have chances to meet other people around you and make lifelong friends. You will also learn responsibility with your projects and leadership with the different offices you can hold in your club. If you are interested contact the Van Wert Extension Office at 419. 238.1214.


POSTED: 02/22/17 at 2:54 pm. FILED UNDER: Youth