CINDY WOOD/independent feature writer
There’s one question that remains in Dave Froelich’s mind. “I really don’t know where I’m going to sit next year,” he said with a laugh.
The longtime Van Wert boys’ basketball head coach’s regular courtside seat will be filled by replacement Mark Bagley after Froelich announced his resignation earlier this year.
Capping a 34-year coaching career that began at Colonel Crawford in North Robinson and ended at Van Wert, the man known for his signature vest and passion for the game of basketball has passed the torch.
“I just knew it was time,” Froelich said. “It was tough, but I just felt that it was the right time for everybody. I have no second thoughts whatsoever at this point.”
Even still, Froelich finds himself in unfamiliar territory as the summer creeps up and, for the first time in more than 20 years, he’s not coordinating schedules and scrimmages. “All of those ‘firsts’ are going to be different for me,” he said, adding, “it’s the first time I’m not planning our summer calendar or planning the next shoot-out, so it’s absolutely going to be different for me.”
As it will for players and fans alike, who have come to respect the man who mentors his players not only on the court, but off as well.
“It’s easy to get consumed with the basketball part of it, but in reality it’s just one small part of life,” Froelich said. “I’ve had a lot of quality people to work with, not only the kids but their families as well.
“That makes it a whole lot easier to work with kids when they have the right values and right intentions of what they want to do with life,” he added. “If any of these kids can use what they’ve learned here as they move forward and move on, then that’s great.”
Hundreds of players have come and gone through the program, but Froelich’s coaching style and his passion for the game have remained a constant. Calling himself “old school,” Froelich admits he’s tough, but also says he’s never asked for anything other than 100 percent from his teams.
DAVE MOSIER/independent editor
Van Wert City Board of Education honored longtime boys’ basketball coach Dave Froelich for his contributions to the district and later chose his successor during its May meeting held Wednesday in the Van Wert Elementary School commons.
Board of Education President Ken Markward presented a plaque to Froelich honoring him for his more than three decades of coaching experience (see story above). The board also hired Van Wert Middle School Principal Mark Bagley, Froelich’s longtime varsity assistant, as the programs new mentor.
The vote wasn’t unanimous, though, with Markward casting a “no” vote on the motion, although he stressed that his vote wasn’t personal, but merely reflected his belief that district principals should not be head athletic coaches.
In other personnel items, the board accepted the resignation of Shawn Deitemeyer as director of the LifeLinks Community School and later approved a new contract for him as a high school special education teacher. The resignation of middle school science teacher Travis Guggenbiller was also accepted, while the board approved a one-year leave of absence for high school language arts teacher Michelle Stoller.
In addition to Deitemeyer, the following teachers were hired for the 2013-2014 school year: Ryan Parrish, high school special education teacher; Natoshia Wilhelm, high school language arts teacher; Mitchell Neal, high school social studies teacher; Ben Laudick, middle school math teacher; Drew Golden, middle school science teacher; Erin Lee, middle school language arts teacher; Thomas Sanford, fifth grade teacher; Jared Army, elementary school special education teacher; and Regina Brenneman, Early Childhood Center education of the handicapped preschool teacher.
DAVE MOSIER/independent editor
The Lincolnview Local Board of Education honored two retiring teachers, discussed district security measures and also applauded excellent Ohio Graduate Test results turned in by the district’s sophomores.
Lincolnview Superintendent Jeff Snyder provided plaques to Kay Wilusz and June Young. Wilusz is retiring after 33 years in education, while Young is completing her 34th year of teaching.
An item on Snyder’s building and grounds report noting that Secure Com has completed installation of 9 of 11 security cameras intended to eliminate “blind spots” in the district’s building security also prompted a brief discussion on building security.
Snyder reported on a recent teacher inservice that included a speaker from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, as well as local law enforcement and first-responder representatives, noting that he felt the inservice went very well.
During the discussion, Snyder stressed the importance of maintaining the best security possible, with the superintendent further noting that recommendations on what students and teachers should do in the event of an armed intruder has changed radically from what it used to be.
Snyder said the newest recommendation calls for students and teachers to move around as much as possible to make themselves a harder target, to fight back, and evacuate a building, if possible, if a gunman enters the school, rather than sit passively.
Public Utilities Commission of Ohio news
COLUMBUS – With lots of questions arising from the increasing number of utilities trying to sell consumers on a variety of electric and natural gas plans, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio has announced a seminar to be held in Van Wert next week.
On Wednesday, May 29, the PUCO will be educating Van Wert area residents regarding electric and natural gas choice. The event will take place at 6 p.m. at the Van Wert YWCA (408 E. Main St.).
Jack Keegan, a representative of the PUCO’s Office of Retail Competition, will help explain residents’ rights in choosing an electric or natural gas supplier. Energy choice in Ohio allows consumers to have greater control over their electric and natural gas options and may result in valuable consumer savings.
Topics that will be covered include:
- What electric and natural gas choice means (Who are these marketers contacting me?)
- What to consider when shopping for an electric or natural gas generation supplier
- How to use the free tools available through the PUCO, like their Apples to Apples charts
- How to switch electric or natural gas generation suppliers
In addition to presenting valuable information to attendees, Keegan will also be available to answer questions about Ohio’s emerging energy market.
For more information about energy choice, visit the PUCO’s website at www.puco.ohio.gov.
The PUCO Office of Retail Competition
With a number of legislative changes in the electric utility industry in Ohio over the past 13 years, the PUCO recognizes the need to educate consumers on the retail competition of utility services. With this recognition the PUCO created the Office of Retail Competition (ORC) in July of 2012. The mission of the Office of Retail Competition is to improve awareness, trust and understanding of market-based utility service in Ohio.
American Red Cross news
TOLEDO — The American Red Cross of Northwest Ohio offers its thoughts and concern to everyone in Oklahoma following the horrific tornado early this week. Red Cross staff members and volunteers are working around the clock to provide food and shelter to all those whose lives were affected by these storms.
Red Cross disaster services volunteers and staff members throughout the country are responding to the area, assessing damages, providing food and supplies to first responders, and support to the people affected by the storm. More than 25 emergency response vehicles are on their way to the area from all over the country, and we expect that the number will increase. The Red Cross is also sending in kitchen support trailers to support the upcoming operation to provide meals to those forced out of their homes.
The local American Red Cross of Northwest Ohio is offering the following ways people can help:
The Red Cross will be holding information sessions on Thursday, May 23, at 6 p.m. for community members interested in volunteering to assist those affected by a disaster in northwest Ohio and around the country. Participants will learn the processes and procedures involved for disaster services volunteering including local, regional, and national responses. Following the session, interested parties will receive further volunteer information and background checks before registering for operational training.
125 Fair Street, Findlay, OH 45840
610 South Collett Street, Lima, OH 45805
419.227.5121 extensions 6 or 8
3100 West Central Avenue, Toledo, OH 43606
SAFE AND WELL
People with loved ones in the areas affected by the tornado are encouraged to search for them at www.redcross.org/safeandwell. The site is available for people in the areas affected by the storm to let loved ones know that they are safe. It’s important during a disaster that victims of the storm let family and friends know they are safe which can bring others great peace of mind.
People should download the free Red Cross Tornado app, available in English or Spanish for all Apple and Android devices. The app allows individuals to prepare for a tornado by testing their skills, offers best practice and tips to respond during a tornado, a list of open shelters during a tornado, and much more. The app also features a high-pitched siren and tornado warning alert that signals the user when a tornado warning has been issued regardless if the app is open. People can call **REDCROSS to receive a download link to their mobile phone.
This has been a major disaster, and the Red Cross will be there for the people in Oklahoma and their local community. People who wish to make a donation to support the Red Cross response can visit
www.redcross.org, dial 800.REDCROSS or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
Van Wert Solid Waste Management District news
Van Wert County residents normally receiving recycling service on Monday, May 27, will have an adjusted collection schedule to for the Memorial Day Holiday.
Van Wert city residents with Monday scheduled curbside recycling collection will be collected on Tuesday, May 28. Convoy residents with Monday scheduled curbside recycling will be collected on Wednesday, May 29. All other curbside recycling collection days will be as normally scheduled.
The Jennings Township drop-off has been moved to Tuesday, May 28, to compensate for the Memorial Day holiday, while the Recycling Center and Compost Facility will be closed on Memorial Day.
GROVER HILL — Grover Hill Boy Scout Troop 64 is hosting a Memorial Day pancake and sausage breakfast at the Grover Hill Veterans of Foreign Wars post from 7-10 a.m. Monday, May 27.
The cost is a free will donation.
DAVE MOSIER/independent editor
Van Wert County saw its unemployment rate drop below that of the state, as well as the national average, during April, according to figures released Tuesday by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
The county’s jobless rate dipped eight-tenths of a point, from 7.4 percent in March to 6.6 percent this past month.
According to labor force estimates compiled by the ODJFS, in cooperation with the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor, Van Wert County’s workforce numbers remained at 13,500, the same as in March, but the number of those employed rose 100 to 12,600, while the number of county residents unemployed decreased 100, from 1,000 to 900.
Van Wert County showed the biggest decrease of any of its neighboring counties. Mercer County, which again led the state in having the lowest unemployment rate, dropped a half-percent, from 4.6 to 4.1 percent, while Auglaize County also saw a half-percent decrease in unemployment, from 5.4 to 4.9 percent.
Putnam County experienced a decrease of seven-tenths of a percent, from 6.6 percent to 5.9 percent, while Paulding County’s jobless rate was down a half-percent, from 7.0 percent to 6.5 percent.
Allen County, which continued to have the highest unemployment in the area, still saw a decrease of seventh-tenths of a percent, from 8.1 percent to 7.4 percent; however, that county was the only one in the area that exceeded the state’s unemployment rate.
Statewide, all 88 counties saw a decrease in their unemployment rate in April. On the low end, four other counties, in addition to Mercer and Auglaize, had unemployment rates below 5.5 percent. They included Holmes, 4.4 percent; Delaware, 4.5 percent; Union, 5.0 percent; and Hancock, 5.3 percent.
Seven area fire departments were on the scene to battle a Wren house fire that began sometime early Tuesday afternoon. The Van Wert County Sheriff’s Department received a 9-1-1 call at 1:39 p.m. Tuesday and dispatched the Wren Fire Department to the scene. Several other Van Wert County fire departments, including Willshire, Ohio City and Convoy, also provided mutual aid, as did Decatur and Preble, Ind. Brickner Ambulance Service also was on the scene and, according to a witness at the scene, several firefighters were treated for heat exhaustion and smoke inhalation, with one of those taken to the hospital. The Van Wert County Chapter of the American Red Cross was also on the scene, as was the Van Wert County Sheriff’s Department. (photos by Mark Klausing for the Van Wert independent)
Van Wert Economic Development news
OHIO CITY — This past Friday, the Van Wert County Economic Development Advisory Group held its monthly meeting at TEEM Wholesale located in Ohio City. The meeting was well attended by the Advisory Group and concluded with a tour of the company. Tom Turnwald Jr., president of TEEM Wholesale; and Tony Heffner, company general manager, also delivered a brief overview of the company and its positive outlook for the future.
Van Wert Economic Development Director Cindy Leis delivered her report, noting several visits to existing businesses, including manufacturing and service-related companies throughout the county. As of May, nine companies have expansion, new construction and relocation projects planned in the near future. In addition, Program Coordinator Darlene Myers gave a report on the county and city Revolving Loan programs, stating that money is available for business-related loans and that efforts are underway to attract new applicants.
Marketing, recruiting and networking is also active in the areas of the Jobs Ready Site (megasite), Vision Industrial Park and other available properties. A new signage project is under review and both county residents and visitors will soon be able to better identify industrial property for sale and locate our existing industrial parks.
On a monthly basis, the Van Wert County Economic Development Advisory Group, which includes nearly 60 members, such as countywide elected officials, school and workforce education partners, and private and public industry leaders, meet collaboratively to chart the course of economic development and share ideas for the growth and promotion of the county.
The next meeting will be held at 8 a.m. Friday, June 21, at the Van Wert County Regional Airport. The public is welcome to attend.
The Economic Development office is located in Room 104 of the Van Wert Municipal Building, 515 E. Main St. in Van Wert. The office can be contacted by phone at 419.238.2999 or through its website at www.whyvanwert.org or on Facebook.
The 52nd annual Jubilee Flower Show will be held Saturday, June 1, from 1-5 p.m., and Sunday, June 2, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., in the Administration Building at the Van Wert County Fairgrounds.
Entries will be accepted Saturday, June 1, from 8 to 10:30 a.m. There are two divisions: Horticulture and Artistic Design. Judging will begin at 11 a.m. on June 1.
Evergreen Garden Club, Gardeners of Van Wert County, and the Wren Garden Club sponsor the Jubilee Flower show.
For further information concerning show rules, contact Marcia Davies, Linda Hoffman, or Paula Stemen.