The Van Wert County Courthouse

Monday, Feb. 19, 2018

Local “Ohio Has Talent!” contestants include (top row, from the left) Spencer Paquette, Jody Wade and Tim Kindinger, Lainie Jones; (bottom row) Dru and Michaella Johnson, Bayley Tow, and the Glamour Girls. photos provided

VW independent/submitted information

The popular “Ohio Has Talent!” show returns at 7 p.m. Saturday, February 24, at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio in Van Wert. This year’s talent show, presented by Community Health Professionals (CHP), features 18 acts hailing from around the region competing for cash prizes of $1,000, $500, and $250 determined by audience votes.

Acts for this year’s show include the following:

The Glamour Girls is the premier performance ensemble of the Bachwell Center for Music & Dance in Van Wert. Anna Wasson, Annika Maples, Debbie Jones, Sofia Houg, Brittany Fetzer, and Annabella Cooper make up this talented group of 11- to 15-year-old girls.

Lainie Jones is a senior at Lincolnview High School in Van Wert County and lives in Venedocia. She has been in school theatre productions and often sings the national anthem at basketball games.

Tim Kindinger and Jody Wade. Wade is from Elida and a registered nurse at St. Rita’s Medical Center in Lima. She has performed with various groups in the region. Kindinger is from Van Wert, is involved with the worship team at his church and also joins the local band Exploit at some of its shows.


POSTED: 02/17/18 at 1:15 am

A large crowd was entertained, but also prodded to consider the evils of slavery and racism, during Friday night’s performance of the musical Amazing Grace the Musical at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio. Here, John Newton helps his father auction off slaves before the epiphany that turns him against slavery, and also leads him to pen one of the most sung Christian anthems of all time. Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

POSTED: 02/17/18 at 12:48 am. FILED UNDER: News

Submitted information

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green), chairman of the Energy and Commerce (E&C) Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection, applauded the signing of the Protecting Young Athletes from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act into law.

The subcommittee that Latta chairs has jurisdiction over the health and safety of athletes, and he has been outspoken in his call for an investigation in light of the recent USA gymnastics abuse case.

In addition, Latta sent a letter with other Energy and Commerce Committee leaders to the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Gymnastics, USA Swimming, USA Taekwondo, and Michigan State University seeking documents regarding sexual abuse in their organizations. The E&C Committee will be conducting an investigation into the matter.

The legislation signed into law would require reporting of suspected child and sexual abuse at an amateur sports organization facility or at an event sanctioned by one of the governing bodies to local and federal authorities within 24 hours. The bill also strengthens civil remedies for survivors of sexual abuse. The bill makes the changes to the Amateur Sports Act, which charters the USOC and subsequent national governing bodies for each Olympic sport.

“It’s impossible to hear the stories told by those subjected to sexual abuse by Larry Nassar and not feel that there was a complete letdown by the institutions charged with keeping these young athletes safe,” said Latta. “The legislation signed into law today is an important first step by mandating amateur organizations report abuse to law enforcement, but there are still countless questions about how he was able to exploit those entrusted in his care for so long.

“Too many young athletes suffered for us to simply think the conviction of Dr. Nassar makes this sad chapter complete,” Latta added. “We need answers to these questions and full accountability of our nation’s amateur athletic organizations.”

POSTED: 02/17/18 at 12:40 am. FILED UNDER: News

Buckeye Y Youth Inc. hosted Valentines for Vets this past Monday at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5803 in Van Wert. The group made “Magic Color Scratch Hearts”, “Valentine Emoji Magnets” and Valentine’s Day greeting cards to be presented to veterans in area nursing homes. The color guard marched in and led the group in the “Pledge of Allegiance”. Veterans from the color guard also answered questions about their time in the service. A ‘Valentines for Vets” cake and other refreshments were served to those attending. Buckeye Y Youth is a United Way agency and Van Wert County Foundation grant recipient. Shown are color guard members Steve Pollock, Steve Springer, and Bob Agler (all Vietnam vets), and Arnie Baker (World War II), with Buckeye Y Youth members. photo provided

POSTED: 02/17/18 at 12:39 am. FILED UNDER: News

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

A program aimed at providing Van Wert High School students with more local career opportunities is now going countywide.

Superintendents from the four Van Wert County schools chat following Thursday morning’s Van Wert Area Chamber of Commerce coffee session. Shown are (from the left) Crestview Superintendent Mike Estes, Vantage Superintendent Rick Turner, Lincolnview Superintendent Jeff Snyder, and Van Wert Superintendent Staci Kaufman. photo provided

The announcement came at Thursday’s Van Wert Area Chamber of Commerce Coffee program that Lincolnview, Crestview, and Vantage Career Center would be joining the CEO (Career Education Opportunity) program started last year at VWHS by guidance counselor Kerry Koontz.

Koontz, with support from former Van Wert superintendent Ken Amstutz, VWHS Principal Bob Priest, and Assistant to the Superintendent Bill Clifton, began the program to provide VWHS seniors with internship and other opportunities at local businesses. Sixth-graders also currently get exposure to career education when they are given Ohio Means Jobs accounts at Van Wert Middle School.

Koontz noted he had seen a paradigm shift in workforce needs in the area as Baby Boomers retired and good-paying jobs were going unfilled because too many high school graduates were leaving the area for college and technical schools and not returning.

“Talking to employers, I sense there is a need for this new generation of workers,” Koontz said during a kick-off for the program.

He also noted, though, that the CEO Program centered on career choices, rather than on just getting a job, adding that local companies are willing to make a financial commitment to get good employees.


POSTED: 02/16/18 at 8:56 am. FILED UNDER: News

Submitted information

LIMA — It’s been a costly week for snow and ice removal, as the Ohio Department of Transportation’s eight-county District 1 spent more than $1.5 million during the week for that purpose.

Van Wert County used more than 1,300 tons of salt (total 6,963 tons) and 79,000 additional gallons of de-icing liquids (total 191,044 gallons) during the week, while the cost of snow and ice removal in the county is now at $853,714.

The year-to-date total in Paulding County is 6,716 tons of salt and 55,298 gallons of de-icing liquids used, while Putnam County has used 5,989 tons of salt and 51,348 gallons of de-icing liquids so far this year.

For ODOT’s District 1, which includes Allen, Defiance, Hardin, Hancock, Paulding, Putnam, Van Wert, and Wyandot counties, the total is now at $7,001,851, up from $5,481,518 last week.

The record was set in 2014-15, when ODOT’s District 1 spent a total of $8.7 million in snow and ice removal costs.

POSTED: 02/16/18 at 8:47 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

The Van Wert Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), in collaboration with the Van Wert County Foundation, announces the availability of Summer 2018 educational camp scholarship opportunities for Van Wert County young women currently in sixth and seventh grades.

Two camp scholarships will be awarded to Be Wise Camp, a math and science experience to be held June 10-15 on the campus of Denison University in Granville. The value of each Be Wise Camp scholarship is $525.

In addition, one camp scholarship will be awarded for attendance to Camp GEMS, an engineering, math, and science camp that will be held July 15-18 on the Ohio Northern University campus in Ada. The value of the Camp GEMS scholarship is $325.

Camp scholarship applications are available at all Van Wert County school offices or from Marcia Weldy at Brumback Library during regular library hours. Completed applications for these camp scholarship opportunities must be mailed or delivered as directed on the application form. The postmark/delivery deadline for receiving these camp scholarship applications is Saturday, March 3.

For more information about these camp experiences or the camp scholarship opportunities, contact Kleinhenz at 419.203.2283.

POSTED: 02/16/18 at 8:46 am. FILED UNDER: News

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

Four people were arraigned and 15 people appeared this week on a variety of criminal hearings in Van Wert County Common Pleas Court.

Those arraigned on Wednesday included Kasey Schisler, 29, of Van Wert, who entered a not guilty plea to a charge of theft from the elderly, a felony of the fifth degree, on Wednesday. He was released on a personal surety bond and will appear for a pretrial conference at 8 a.m. Wednesday, March 7.

Robert Thompson, 34, of Van Wert, pleaded not guilty to two counts of aggravated possession of drugs, a felony of the fifth degree. He was also released on a surety bond and will appear for a pretrial conference at 8 a.m. Wednesday, February 28.

Two people were also arraigned late last week in Common Pleas Court.

Greg Glander, 35, of Van Wert, entered a plea of not guilty last Thursday to a charge of aggravated possession of drugs, a felony of the fifth degree. He was released on a surety bond and will appear for a pretrial hearing at 8 a.m. Wednesday, February 21.

Spencer Davis, 26, of Van Wert, pleaded not guilty to one count of theft of drugs, a felony of the fourth degree, and two counts of grand theft of a firearm, both felonies of the third degree, during his arraignment last Friday.


POSTED: 02/15/18 at 8:34 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

Rev. Paul Miller

The Peony Festival Committee’s second “Let the Community Decide” contest ended February 1, with voting by festival committee members at the February 12 meeting.

This contest was to decide who would be honored as the grand marshal for the Peony Festival Grand Parade to be held Saturday, June 2.

The nominations were made, the votes were cast, and accepted, with 2018’s grand marshal being the Rev. Paul Miller.

Rev. Miller was nominated by Jenni Profit, who said she the longtime local pastor because: “He goes above and beyond to show the love of Christ. He visits with people in the community and at the hospice center multiple times a day. If someone needs a pastor, he is there to do what’s needed.” Plus, she noted, Rev. Miller is just an “all-around great guy.”

The Peony parade’s grand marshal is awarded a gift basket from the Peony Festival Committee, which also thanks all those who submitted nominations for the 2018 parade grand marshal recognition.

POSTED: 02/15/18 at 8:28 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

There have been a number of stars from the small screen that have made their way through Van Wert, but not many of them grew up just across the Ohio-Indiana border.

“The Voice” runner-up Addison Agen will perform at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio on March 25. photo provided

As the most recent runner-up on NBC’s hit vocal competition “The Voice”, the HD Foundation is proud to present Addison Agen for a special night of incredible music at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, March 25.

Agen, a Fort Wayne, Indiana, native whose rise to fame started on NBC’s “The Voice” under the guidance of her coach, Maroon 5’s Adam Levine, finished in second place. Her first single after “The Voice” was No. 1 on the charts for two weeks.

On March 25, she will be performing new material from her upcoming album, along with No. 1 single “Tennessee Rain”, in a memorable concert where she will also be raffling an autographed guitar, with all proceeds going to charity.

In addition to Agen, the concert will feature up-and-comers James and the Drifters as an opening act. James and the Drifters recently worked with Grammy Award-winning, multi-platinum producer Dennis MacKay on material for their new record.

Tickets for Addison Agen can be purchased at the Box Office Monday through Friday, noon to 4 p.m., at 419.238.6722 and online at NPACVW.ORG.

The Niswonger Performing Arts Center is located at 10700 Ohio 118 on the southwest edge of Van Wert.

POSTED: 02/15/18 at 8:25 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent/submitted information

Van Wert High School Principal Bob Priest announces parent-teacher conferences for the second semester will be held from 4-8 p.m. Monday, February 26.

Parent-teacher conferences provide parents with the opportunity to discuss their students’ progress in school with teachers. Members of the VWHS teaching staff welcome and encourage parents to visit the school during the scheduled hours.

Those planning to participate should park in the far west parking lots and enter the school through either the high school or middle school gymnasium entrances.

POSTED: 02/15/18 at 8:18 am. FILED UNDER: News