Old Fashioned Farmers Days news
Old Fashioned Farmers Days is just around the corner. This year’s event will take place July 4-7 at the Van Wert County Fairgrounds. Daily events will include antique tractors, engines, machinery and garden tractor displays, a quilt and needle art show, threshing and sawmill demonstrations, flea markets, crafts, animal land, kids free barrel train rides, trading post, “make and take” crafts, all kinds of good food and chain saw sculpturing.
The festival will open on Thursday, July 4 (Senior Citizens Day; seniors admitted for half price), at 9 a.m. Special events for the day will include antique car races at 10 a.m. and dog herding with McEwen Boarder Collies at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. A car show will run from 4 to 8 p.m., with Fifties and Sixties music provided by Magnificent Music Solutions. Rounding out the evening will be a performance by Cotton Wood Jam String Band, a band that plays all kinds of music, including traditional Americana music from the Appalachians, bluegrass, folk and country.
On Friday, July 5, stroll through the displays of fabulous quilts and needle arts from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. At 10 a.m., antique car racers will be on the track, while, at 2 p.m., Carol Trice of the Ohio State University Extension Office will provide farmers’ market recipes using local foods. At 4 p.m. there will be a milking demonstration with Betsy the Cow, while a kiddie tractor pull and draft horse fun night will start at 6 that evening. To end the night on a slower pace, sit and listen to Blind Date play music from the Fifties and Sixties.
On Saturday, July 6, the Mid-States Mule and Donkey Show, quilt and needle arts show and an antique tractor pull will all start at 9 a.m.
DAVE MOSIER/independent editor
CONVOY — The Crestview Local Board of Education took care of personnel matters on Monday in its first meeting held following the end of the school year and also took the first step to renewing its income tax levy.
During its June meeting on Monday, the board adopted a resolution of necessity – the first of two resolutions needed to place the renewal of its 1-percent income tax levy on the November ballot. A discussion among Crestview school administrators and board members held during a June 4 work session decided that, although the district is receiving additional revenues from a wind farm and other sources, renewing the income tax levy would be necessary to provide sufficient operating revenues for the coming school year, although the board also agreed to take Superintendent Mike Estes’ recommendation not to collect revenues from the district’s emergency operating levy because of the additional revenues coming in.
In personnel action, the board accepted the resignation of high school social studies teacher Nehemiah Murphy, who was also senior government trip advisor, after a year in that position. Second-round interviews are being scheduled to find a person to fill Murphy’s position.
The board also approved employment contracts with Nicole Kirkpatrick as a middle school-high school art teacher, and Shay Sheets as a middle school language arts teacher. Sheets, who attended Monday’s meeting, was introduced to board members.
The board also rescinded acceptance of Joy Schaadt resignation for retirement purposes, at her request.
Treasurer Laura Metzger noted that expenses were up $200,000 more than anticipated this past school year, mostly due to an early textbook purchase and needed fund transfers.
During administrator reports, Elementary Principal Kathy Mollenkopf talked briefly about a new report card system being implemented this coming school year, and also praised fifth-grade students for their efforts on the math and reading achievement tests.
Middle School Principal Dave Bowen talked about the upcoming 1:1 student computer program and also noted that eighth grade students also had excellent test scores.
Estes expanded a bit on the 1:1 computer program, noting that District Technology Coordinator Shane Leeth was pleased with the laptop computers recently received to be used in the program. A staff professional day will be scheduled for training on the new computers.
Van Wert independent
CELINA — A teenager charged in connection with the deaths of Fort Recovery area residents Robert and Colleen Grube has been ordered held on a $5 million cash bond during his initial appearance Monday held in Celina.
Trevin Sanders Roark, 19, of Union City, Ind., is charged with 27 criminal counts, including aggravated murder, kidnapping, aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary, as well as the “lesser included” charges of murder, involuntary manslaughter, robbery, theft and burglary, in connection with the death of the elder Grube, 70, and his daughter, 37, on November 30, 2011. Also included in the charges are specifications that a firearm was used in the commission of the crimes, which would add mandatory consecutive sentences, if he is convicted of any of those.
Both the elder Grube and his daughter, who was also his caretaker, were tied with duct tape and then killed inside Robert Grube’s house, located three miles east of Fort Recovery.
The teenager will appear for an arraignment hearing in Mercer County Common Pleas Court on Tuesday, July 2. Because he was a juvenile at the time the murders were committed, Sanders Roark cannot be given the death penalty.
Also charged in connection with the murders is Bryant L. Rhoades, 22, also of Union City, Ind., who will appear today for a hearing in the case. He could face the death penalty, since he was older than 18 when the offenses were committed.
Each year, the Van Wert Rotary Club gives $15,000 in scholarship money to local college students via the Rotary Foundation, which is the charitable branch of Van Wert Rotary. The 2013 recipients are (from the left) Joey Hurless of Van Wert High School, son of Mark and Cindy Hurless; Shelby Ripley of Crestview High School, son of Van and Kelly Ripley; Haley McAbee of Lincolnview High School, daughter of Mike and Bonnie McAbee; Nick Dealey of Vantage Career Center, son of Tim and Stacy Dealey; and Katie Etter of Van Wert High School, daughter of Brad and Laura Etter. Congratulations to the 2013 Rotary Scholarship recipients. (Van Wert Rotary photo)
Van Wert Amateur Radio Club news
Van Wert “hams” will join with thousands of amateur radio operators who will be showing off their emergency capabilities this weekend.
Over the past year, the news has been full of reports of ham radio operators providing critical communications during unexpected emergencies in towns across America including the California wildfires, winter storms, tornadoes and other events worldwide.
During Hurricane Katrina, amateur radio – often called “ham radio” – was often the only way people could communicate, and hundreds of volunteer “hams” traveled south to save lives and property.
When trouble is brewing, amateur radio’s people are often the first to provide rescuers with critical information and communications. On the weekend of June 22-23, the public will have a chance to meet and talk with Van Wert ham radio operators and see for themselves what the Amateur Radio Service is about. Showing the newest digital and satellite capabilities, voice communications and even historical Morse code, hams from across the USA will be holding public demonstrations of emergency communications abilities.
This annual event, called “Field Day” is the climax of the week long “Amateur Radio Week” sponsored by the ARRL, the national association for amateur radio. Using only emergency power supplies, ham operators will construct emergency stations in parks, shopping malls, schools and backyards around the country. Their slogan, “When All Else Fails, Ham Radio Works” is more than just words to the hams as they prove they can send messages in many forms without the use of phone systems, Internet or any other infrastructure that can be compromised in a crisis. More than 35,000 amateur radio operators across the country participated in last year’s event.
DAVE MOSIER/independent editor
Those wanting to try an Internet café don’t have much time left to do so — depending on whether one is even still open locally.
Van Wert Law Director John Hatcher noted that, in his opinion, the enforcement efforts against so-called Internet cafes came about because of two competing interests: the state’s “investment” in legalized gambling and the fact that Internet gambling does not provide tax revenues to Ohio.
Hatcher said his involvement in local Internet cafes came about from a telephone call he received from Van Wert Police Lieutenant Kurt Conn on April 26. “The police department had received correspondence from the (Ohio) Attorney General’s Office and the lieutenant and the (police) chief had some questions,” Hatcher said.
“In my review to the chief of police, after looking into everything, I found that the Eighth District Ohio Court of Appeals (in the Cleveland area) had ruled that these Internet cafes were deemed to be illegal gaming operations and shut those in Cuyahoga County down,” Hatcher said, while also noting that he had found no other legal casework on the subject of Internet cafes.
At the time, the law director added, the Ohio General Assembly hadn’t yet passed legislation outlawing Internet cafes, nor had the Ohio Supreme Court made any decision on the issue. He also noted that the two Van Wert Internet cafes here at the time had not had any complaints lodged against them, so the issue was one local authorities decided to do nothing about at the time.
Gasoline price news
Gasoline prices took a dive downwards this past week as part of the roller coaster gasoline prices have been riding in the past month.
Average retail gasoline prices in Ohio fell 16.7 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.73 a gallon on Sunday, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 5,345 gas outlets in Ohio. This compares with the national average that has fallen 2.1 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.61 per gallon, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.com.
Including the change in gas prices in Ohio during the past week, prices Sunday were 9.2 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 7.2 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 5.0 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 8.0 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.
“The national average has continued its downward decline in the last week, likely being helped by relief in the Great Lakes, a region that had been plagued with refining issues that have seemingly been resolved,” said GasBuddy.com Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan. “While the national average stands higher than it did a year ago, we likely will see the average decline, and for motorists in the Great Lakes, the downward trend should mean well needed relief at the pump.
“Areas of California may see prices rising slightly in the days ahead, but at this time we aren’t seeing any short term price spikes across the United States,” DeHaan added.
GasBuddy operates OhioGasPrices.com and over 250 similar websites that track gasoline prices at over 140,000 gasoline stations in the United States and Canada. In addition, GasBuddy offers a free smartphone app that has been downloaded over 25 million times to help motorists find the lowest gasoline prices in their area.
Master Gardeners of Van Wert news
The Garden Walk is scheduled for Saturday, June 22, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The cost is $10 per adult. Tickets may be purchased at any of the gardens, while a sunflower sign prominently placed in the landowner’s yard designates each garden stop. Refreshments will be available at various locations as well as a “gardener’s market” and a “miniature garden clinic” at the homes of the Master Gardeners on the walk. An additional location will offer a composting demonstration, with questions and answers afterward.
Following is the location and descriptions of the gardens:
Dave and Janice Kirchenbauer
Over the years, the Kirchenbauer Gardens, located at 303 N. Jefferson St., have grown from a small backyard of herbaceous peonies and one 75-year-old peony tree to a half-acre of peonies, peony trees, perennials, a variety of grasses, a shade garden, and a high berm of evergreens and roses. Another lot is situated close by, with a 30-by-100 foot vegetable garden and apple, peach and pear trees. Included in the area is a grape arbor with three varieties of grapes and then more roses, hydrangeas and perennials.
Be sure and visit the “miniature garden clinic” held by Sue Young and a “gardener’s market” at this location.
Dan and Jean Bulau
The Bulaus, who live at 1212 Second St., welcome area residents to their city garden. The garden started as a flower garden with a shaded area and a full sun area on their small city lot. For several years, they added a few perennials every year — often trading plants with other gardeners (isn’t it interesting how often plants have their own stories?). Now they have plants in bloom from early spring to late fall. Four years ago they purchased a derelict house next door and had it demolished. As a result of that yard expansion, they now have a vegetable garden, a strawberry patch and a few raspberries.
Remodeling and a deck provided another opportunity for a flower garden expansion. Professional landscaping in the front of the house and the side lot, and brick and mulch walkways, tie the lots and gardens together.
Dan Bulau loves to experiment and calls compost his secret ingredient, while his wife says she would like the garden better if the plants stopped moving around. They do agree, however, that the best part of gardening is sharing the wonders and joys of nature with their grandchildren.
Van Wert Rotary Club news
For more than 20 years, the Van Wert Rotary Club has provided resources to community organizations, government entities and other not-for-profit groups under the auspices of the Van Wert Rotary Foundation, a charitable organization.
The 25th annual Rotary Club Charity Auction funded the lighting project in Fountain Park that replaced a deteriorating system that had been in place for many years. Past auction proceeds funded the building of the food stand and restrooms in Fountain Park. The food stand continues to help other non-profit organizations raise money. Additionally, the Foundation awards $15,000 in scholarships each year to local college students.
Projects to be considered must meet certain criteria. The project must respond to a real issue, must improve the lives of community members, aim for specific goals and objectives with measurable results, conform to the purpose, mission and intent of the Van Wert Rotary Foundation and be completed within a measurable and realistic timeframe.
Generally, auction proceeds are between $20,000 and $25,000.
Van Wert Rotary Club is now accepting applications for the project or projects to be funded by its annual charity auction. Applications can be obtained from club members or by contacting Jim Stripe at email@example.com.
Hot Air Festival news
The 2013 Van Wert Hot Air Festival has openings for balloon crew volunteers. Volunteers will be provided crew training on July 12 and 13.
Crewmembers must be 16 years of age and have parental approval, while balloon chase car drivers are also needed to recover balloons as they land. Drivers should be familiar with the area.
Those interested in volunteering can contact Jerry Mazur, event organizer, at 419.203.4100.
Isaac Van Wert American Legion Auxiliary Unit 178 has selected 11 area young women as delegates to Buckeye Girls State, along with one alternate.
The 2013 session of Buckeye Girls State starts this Sunday, June 16. All of the delegates have completed their junior year of high school.
The 1937 National American Legion Auxiliary Convention organized the Girls State program as a national Americanism activity. The first Girls State was held in Washington, D.C., in 1947. The program is a practical application of Americanism and good citizenship and is a non-partisan, non-political attempt to teach and inculcate in the youth of America a love of God and country.
The Girls State purpose is to provide citizenship training for girls of high school age in every department of the American Legion Auxiliary; afford them an opportunity to live together as self-governing citizens; and inform them about the duties, privileges, rights, and responsibilities of American citizenship in order that they may understand and participate in the function of their government.
American Legion Auxiliary Unit 178 is able to send the delegates with the assistance of service organizations and individuals who sponsor individual girls. Sponsors this year are Van Wert Elks Lodge 1197, Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home & Crematory, Laudick’s Jewelry, Convoy Lions Club, Hoffman Plumbing, Vantage Career Center, Straley Realty, Wetzel Motorcycle Club, 40 et 8 Voiture 154 in Van Wert, Amvets Post 698 Auxiliary in Middle Point, The Van Wert County Foundation, American Legion Post 178, Middle Point Lions Club, Venedocia Lions Club, and Van Wert Service Club. Donations are also accepted for this program and are to be used to help young women attend Buckeye Girls State.
This year’s delegates include the following girls:
Emily Adams, daughter of Tim and Sandy Adams, attends Crestview High School. Her activities include being a junior varsity cheerleader for Kim Homan’s DanceWorks, Service Pack, Globally Active People, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, church youth group, and a mentor for Big Brothers and Big Sisters. Her school functions include Beta Club, French Club, National Honor Society, the All-A Honor Roll, Gold Renaissance Card, being a class representative on Student Council, journalism staff, member of FCCLA, and newspaper editor-in-chief. She also works at Pizza Hut.