Unemployment rate news
Ohio’s unemployment rate was 7.0 percent in April 2013, down from 7.1 percent in March, according to data released Friday morning by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS). Ohio’s nonfarm wage and salary employment increased 7,600 over the month, from the revised 5,175,600 in March to 5,183,200 in April.
The number of workers unemployed in Ohio in April was 400,000, down from 407,000 in March. The number of unemployed has decreased by 21,000 in the past 12 months from 421,000. The April unemployment rate for Ohio was down from 7.3 percent in April 2012.
The U.S. unemployment rate for April was 7.5 percent, down from 7.6 percent in March and down from 8.1 percent in April 2012.
Total Nonagricultural Wage and Salary Employment (seasonally adjusted)
Ohio’s nonagricultural wage and salary employment increased 7,600 over the month, from a revised 5,175,600 in March 2013 to 5,183,200 in April, according to the latest business establishment survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor (Bureau of Labor Statistics) in cooperation with ODJFS.
Goods-producing industries, at 853,500, gained 800 jobs over the month.
CINDY WOOD/independent feature writer
For Van Wert High School’s Class of 2013, it was a chance to sit back, breathe a sigh of relief, and relish in the accomplishments and accolades they have earned over the past four years.
There was plenty to go around. A total of 28 scholarships and 12 departmental awards were passed out during Friday’s annual senior convocation ceremony, and the school’s candidates for the title of graduate of distinction were recognized.
To be considered for the top honor, students must be ranked in the top 10 percent of their class, and carry a cumulative grade point average of 3.85 or higher. They also must have successfully completed a minimum of three of six advanced placement courses offered. The 2013 Van Wert High School Graduates of Distinction are Sarah Aurand, Alex Bair, Melissa Bono, Sydney Collins, Joe Hurless, Caleb Markward, Daniel Thompson, Andrew Todd, Scott Turner and Nik Wolford.
The top-scoring students will receive the Graduate of Distinction medallion during the commencement ceremony and will also be featured in a picture in the hallway of the school. Graduates of Distinction were also winners of numerous other scholarships and honors during the ceremony.
Turner, who will be attending the Ohio State University to major in music, took home several awards, including departmental awards in instrumental music and language arts, in addition to the Margaret Shaffer Maney Music Memorial Scholarship.
In presenting the award, Dr. Dondra Maney noted her mother-in-law’s passion for vocal and instrumental music during a time in American history that saw limited opportunities for students.
American Red Cross information
With summer around the corner, and the end of the school year in sight, new and eligible blood donors are urged to help strengthen the blood supply by volunteering to give in the next few weeks.
“While summer signals rest and relaxation for a lot of us, it’s also a time we can work together to ensure blood is there for hospital patients,” said Sharyn Whitman, CEO for the Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross.
Low blood supplies are typical from late May through September because regular donors and their families become busy with summer fun and may neglect to donate blood. At the same time, blood needs rise as increased roadway and travel-related accidents drain supplies—particularly during high travel weekends like Memorial Day. Someone seriously injured in an automobile accident, for instance, may need up to 40 units of blood for their emergency care.
Every day, patients across the U.S. need an average of 38,000 units of blood. And while that need doesn’t change with the season, the American Red Cross typically sees a dip in blood donations during the summer months. That dip, Red Cross officials say, is partly due to high school and college students being on summer break, and not giving through regularly scheduled school drives. About 20 percent of the blood supply is donated by high school and college students.
“The need for blood never takes a vacation,” said Whitman. “We’re asking all eligible donors — including students — to remember the countless adults and children in need of blood, and to make donating blood part of their summer activities.”
Donors who give blood from May 28-June 2 through the Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross will receive a cooler tote bag in celebration of Memorial Day.
Upcoming area Red Cross blood drives:
- Thursday, May 23, from 12:30 until 6:30 p.m., in the ballroom of Elks Lodge 1197, off Van Wert-Decatur Road in Van Wert.
- Friday, May 31, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. in the Social Room at Wesley United Methodist Church, 551 Center St. in Van Wert.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol along with Van Wert Fair Board announced that they will be holding voluntary motor vehicle inspections at the Fairgrounds this Monday and Tuesday, May 20-21, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. With the start of the vacation season ahead, all motorists are reminded to have their vehicles inspected for safety. There is no cost to the public for the inspection, which will consist of checking lights, turn signals, horn, tires, wipers, exhaust, emergency brake and driver’s license. A window tint meter will be available for tinted-glass inspection. Residents are asked to use the Fairgrounds entrance on Fox Road. Here, Trooper J.J. McClain places a decal in the window of a vehicle that passed inspection. (OSHP photo)
VW County Special Olympics news
Van Wert County Special Olympics is having a Pork Chop Dinner on Tuesday, May 21. Special Olympics will be distributing meals at the Thomas Edison Center from 4-6 p.m.
This is a carryout event only and only presale tickets will be taken. Contact Brad Etter at 419.238.1514, extension 232, or Margaret Mill at 419.233.0355 for tickets or for more information.
DAVE MOSIER/independent editor
Local high school seniors got a chance to make “real world” financial decisions during a financial literacy simulation held Thursday in the Van Wert High School gymnasium.
The simulation was the culmination of the “Real Money, Real World” financial literacy course provided to local schools by the Ohio State University Extension. It is the second year the coursework has been used in Van Wert County.
OSU Extension Agent Heather Gottke said Thursday that the simulation covers material provided to students during a series of four lesson plans provided by Ohio State: “Working with Deductions,” “What is a Checking or Savings Account?”, “How to Budget Your Needs vs. Your Wants”, and “How Your Career Affects Your Income.”
Approximately 37 senior government students from Lincolnview and 85 VWHS government students participated Thursday in the simulation, which is designed to provide students with information on how to make good decisions when buying insurance, cars, housing, providing child care, and a number of other financial areas.
Gottke said the simulation assumes students to be 25 years of age and married, but with a non-working spouse, for whatever reason. They can also have up to three children, but must also make decisions then on childcare, and feeding and clothing children.
“The stations provide a variety of options, from more thrifty to more elaborate,” Gottke said, adding that students can always go back to a station and change a choice, if they need to.
Van Wert independent
The Van Wert Area Chamber of Commerce held its 2013 Business Expo and Taste of Van Wert County at a new site — Elks Lodge 1197 — that better reflects the more intimate style of the second-year event, versus the former Van Wert Home Show format.
This is the second year for the new format, which features a mix of business networking and product showcasing by area companies. This year’s event also included free food samples from local food service companies, such as Collins Fine Foods, Fricker’s, Little Caesar’s Pizza, cakecrazy, Simply Irresistible, the Black Swamp Bistro, and Wild Hare BBQ, while beverages were provided for sale by the Elks.
The event brought a good crowd, and both Chamber President/CEO Susan Munroe and a majority of the approximately 35 businesses that participated were happy with the turnout.
“I was very pleased with the turnout,” Munroe said.
The event included two hours of opportunities for business-to-business sales and networking, and most participating businesses took full advantage of those opportunities, with business representatives mingling and chatting throughout the Business Expo, as well as tasting the food goodies provided.
The last two hours of the event were open to the public, and lots of people came out to sample food and take home freebies provided by participating businesses.
This year, six sponsors also provided funding or services to assist the Chamber with putting on the event. They include K&L Ready Mix, Koorsen Fire and Security, Kenn-Feld Group, Van Wert Manor, Vantage Career Center and Elks Lodge 1197.
WANE-TV meteorologist Jonathan Conder (seated, left) and Van Wert County Emergency Management Director (seated, right) were swamped by a long line of people wanting to have their NOAA weather radios programmed and also learn more about severe weather safety. The event was held at Ruler Foods on South Shannon Street. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)
VW County Hospital news
Van Wert County Hospital is excited to once again partner with Lincolnview Elementary School to promote health and educate students on personal safety and wellness.
Together, Van Wert County Hospital and Lincolnview Elementary will host the sixth annual Kids’ Health Fair for students in grades 3-5. The event is scheduled to take place from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. today at Lincolnview Elementary School.
The Kids’ Health Fair offers an action packed day of child-friendly activities that encourages movement and exercise and helps kids develop a passion for, and positive attitude toward, lifelong wellness.
“Our goal is to teach children that exercise and wellness are fun. Just going outside, playing, and being a kid are all accompanied by fine and gross motor movements that help develop and strengthen their growing bodies and muscles, all of which are important for their overall health,” said Dr. Jennifer Homan, Van Wert Medical Services pediatrician and even co-coordinator. “Exercise is fun; we want to encourage them to have a lifetime of fun.”
To bring awareness to health and exercise, the kids can participate in a variety of fitness activities and learn bike safety, nutrition, Internet safety, and anti-bullying techniques.
Van Wert County Hospital is proud to be a part of the annual event.
“Spending the day with and watching the children have fun while learning about personal safety and wellness is an experience that I am grateful to take part in year after year,” said Dr. Hohman.
About Van Wert Hospital:
For more information on Van Wert County Hospital, visit its website at www.vanwerthospital.org.
VW Area Community Band news
On Friday, May 24, the Van Wert Area Community Concert Band will present a concert in the band shell of Fountain Park in Van Wert. The program will begin at 7 p.m. and is free to the public.
Music performed on the concert will include patriotic selections that are intended to reflect, revitalize and rekindle the pride that area residents have as citizens of the best country in the world, the United States of America. A few of these selections are, “Waves of the Revolution” by Sean O’ Loughlin, “Born Free”, and “Defiance”, featuring alto saxophone soloist Lydia Mendenhall.
Area military personnel and veterans will be honored with a “Salute To America’s Finest”.
No food stand will be available, so those attending the concert may choose to dine at a local restaurant before attending the concert.
Join the band, directed by Richard Sherrick and featuring members from Van Wert, Elida, Lima, Delphos, Convoy, Payne, Chattanooga, Middle Point, Rockford, and Decatur, Ind., for this special concert.
In the event of inclement weather, the program will be canceled. Listen to the local radio station for this information.