The Van Wert County Courthouse

Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022

Joe Dray is Main Street Van Wert’s new executive director. His job is to help promote the downtown area and stimulate ecomomic growth. Photo submitted

Van Wert independent staff and submitted information

Main Street Van Wert has officially announced Joe Dray as the organization’s new executive director.

Dray is taking over for Mitch Price, who resigned last month to take a job in the financial sector.

Dray graduated from Delphos St John’s High School in 1999 and then joined the U.S. Navy, where he was deployed to the Mediterranean Sea, Adriatic Sea and the Persian Gulf. Following his service, he attended Rhodes State College, majoring in business management and English.

Dray began his writing career in 2017 with The Delphos Herald and was promoted to sports editor in 2018. A year later, he took over as regional sports director for DHI Media.

“Over past several years, I’ve developed a love for community involvement and a passion for economic development.” Dray said. “I look forward to working with the business owners downtown and the Van Wert community as a whole.”

Also in 2018, Dray was appointed to Delphos City Council and elected to a full term in 2019. He currently serves on the Parks and Finance Committee as well as the Safety Service Committee for the City of Delphos and is the Chairman of the Utilities Committee.

Main Street Van Wert’s vision is to serve the community by stimulating economic growth while preserving the rich historic buildings and promoting downtown Van Wert as a great place to shop, visit, work and live.


POSTED: 01/22/22 at 12:25 am

VW independent news

DELPHOS — A domestic dispute led to a brief standoff and the arrest of a Lima man on Friday.

The Delphos Police Department was summoned to a home in the 700 block of Skinner Street and met with the alleged victim, who was outside of the residence. She told officers that a man inside, 52-year-old Cedric Davis had threatened and assaulted her.

Officers tried to make contact with Davis but he refused to communicate. According to Delphos police, he was taken into custody after a short standoff, then was taken to the hospital for evaluation before being booked into the Van Wert County Jail on multiple but unspecified charges.

The Van Wert County Sheriff’s Department and Delphos Fire and Rescue provided mutual aid assistance at the scene.

POSTED: 01/22/22 at 2:51 pm. FILED UNDER: News

Submitted information

The Lincolnview Local School District will be renewing membership fobs for the Lincolnview Community Center during the month of January and February for 2020-2021.

Those who renewed or signed up from June 2021 to present do not need to renew until August 2022. To make sure the membership renewal is convenient and easy, the forms can be located at under “News & Announcements.”

If nothing has changed in last couple of years (i.e., address, phone number, email address), simply fill out the liability form only. Otherwise, fill out the “Renewal Form” and “Liability Form” with the additional changes.

Anyone seeking a new Community Center membership should apply in-person on Saturday, January 29, (see below for more information) or in-person to the Lincolnview District Office, Monday thru Friday, 8 a.m. until 3:30 p.m..

Please chose from the following renewal options:

  • Downloading and completing the form(s) on our website and mailing a check made out to “Lincolnview Local Schools” ($25 for 1st fob, and $10 for any additional fob for eligible members previously purchased) to Lincolnview Local School District, ATTN: District Office, 15945 Middle Point Road, Van Wert, OH 45891. If you do not remember how many fobs were purchased, please contact the district office at 419.968.2226.
  • Dropping off the renewal forms (from the Lincolnview website) with payment (cash or check) at the Lincolnview District Office entering Door No. 1.
  • In-person fob renewal – Saturday, January 29, from 9-11 a.m. in the elementary cafeteria. Enter at the Lincolnview Elementary main entrance (Door No. 14).

Please contact the District office at 419.968.2226 with any questions.

POSTED: 01/22/22 at 12:23 am. FILED UNDER: News

Neal Deitemeyer cuts the ribbon during Friday afternoon’s celebration at Deitemeyer Brothers in Van Wert. The construction firm, which specializes in roofing, kitchens, bathrooms and additions has been in business for five years and recently opened a new location in Findlay. Scott Truxell/Van Wert independent

POSTED: 01/22/22 at 12:22 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent news

The YWCA of Van Wert County is asking for input via an online survey.

The goal of the survey is to help the YWCA continue to improve various programs and services, as well as to learn and do better.

The survey is now open through February 11, and can be accessed by clicking here.

POSTED: 01/22/22 at 12:22 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent staff and submitted information

As previously announced, the Voice Of The Buckeyes, Paul Keels, will be the featured speaker at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 10, at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center in Van Wert.

The upcoming event is made possible by the generous support of The Ohio State Alumni Club of Van Wert & Paulding Counties. Club President JoAnne Wolford expressed gratitude of the resource that the Niswonger stage provides to showcase such talent as Keels and why the club feels it is important to partner in support.

“People from around the country are impressed that a town the size of Van Wert could have such a facility,” Wolford said. “Of course, we all know Scott Niswonger loves his hometown and we thank him for all he has done. Now it is our duty to step in and support this great gift we have been given and use it to its fullest.”

The club was founded in 1987 by Dr. Carl Jeffery with the first event held at Van Wert High School with coach Earl Bruce as speaker. Throughout 35 years of existence, the club has raised thousands of dollars for scholarships for Van Wert and Paulding County graduates to attend The Ohio State University.

Pictured left to right are Dr. Carl Jeffery, OSUAC Vice-President; Tafi Stober, VWLive Executive Director; JoAnne Wolford, OSUAC President; Michelle Agler, VWLive Hospitality Director; Jerry Beard, VWLive Ticketing Specialist, and Quincy Thompson, VWLive Marketing Director. Photo submitted

The funds have been raised at hosted events such as The Buckeye Bash, spring banquets, and game watches. Despite the challenges of meeting in person over the past two years, the Ohio State Alumni Association of Van Wert & Paulding Counties has continued to raise funds to provide scholastic opportunities for future Buckeyes. The club is open to all Ohio State fans but only members of The Alumni Association in Columbus can hold offices in the club.

Current officers include the Head Of Board of Directors and Vice-President Carl Jeffery, President JoAnne Wolford, and Secretary Emily Temple. The office of treasurer is presently open.

While the event is 12 weeks away, Jeffery is eager to share the experience of hearing Paul Keels’ Buckeye Sports stories live and in-person.

“Our NPAC facility and staff provide such a world class venue,” Jeffery said. “We are very privileged to have this in Van Wert and look forward to welcoming Paul Keels to the Niswonger stage.”

Tickets for Paul Keels are on sale now at or through the box office Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., or via phone at 419.238.6722.

The Van Wert Area Performing Arts Foundation presenting VWLive events is powered by the Van Wert County Foundation. The Box Office is located within the Niswonger Performing Arts Center, 10700 State Route 118 South, Van Wert.

POSTED: 01/21/22 at 4:41 am. FILED UNDER: News

The Van Wert County Humane Society recently received a $15,000 donation to their capital campaign from Carol White. Shown accepting the donation is Aimee Bassett, humane society board secretary; Michelle White, capital campaign chairperson and Ms. White. “I’m so happy to help with this much-needed facility,” White said. Construction of a new adoption center/shelter is currently underway on Fox Road. Photo submitted

POSTED: 01/21/22 at 4:40 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent staff and submitted information

This year, Paulding Putnam Electric Cooperative is planning $3.6 million in investments focused on system improvements that will directly increase the co-op’s service reliability and maintain existing facilities.

PPEC lineman Brandon Burelison works on a power line. Photo submitted

Due to rising costs, especially with wholesale power costs and the COVID-19 pandemic, PPEC implemented a small increase to the service charge for residential members beginning on the January, 2022 billing statement. This is the first increase PPEC has had since 2018 and represents a 1.2 percent increase for the average residential member. The residential service charge is now $35 per month, as compared to $32.95.

To maintain the high standard of service PPEC members expect, primary components of the 2022 work plan will include:

  • A budgeted 20 miles of old copper line rebuilds across Ohio and Indiana, as well as sectionalizing to reduce outage minutes. Keeping members’ lights on is a priority.
  • Installing and upgrading new sectionalizing equipment for improved reliability, system durability, and reduced outage time.
  • Upgrading equipment in the Columbus Grove and Convoy substations, including high side switch replacement, new insulators and arrestors, and station metering. This will improve service reliability and extend the lifespan of these substations, raising their performance to meet today’s higher standards.
  • Installing 6,000 RF meters to complete PPEC’s smart metering system upgrade, which will finish out the co-op’s latest work plan. This gives PPEC the ability to provide members with additional, improved service data, enabling members to monitor usage trends and help make more informed energy efficiency decisions through their online SmartHub account. (Members who sign up for SmartHub this year will receive a one-time $5 bill credit.)
  • Testing 4,800 poles in Paulding, Benton, Blue Creek, and Latty Townships in Paulding County through contractor Osmose. Poles are tested on a 10-year rotating cycle; any that fail the test will be replaced.
  • Extensive underground line extensions into the expanding subdivisions in New Haven, Indiana. The co-op is expecting growth in this area.
  • Welcoming a new right-of-way tree trimming and vegetation management contractor, Mint City Utility Services. Beginning this week, they will start work in the Seiler, Hessen, Monroe, Rt. 14, and Tillman substation area (Indiana), and in the Convoy substation area.
  • Installing animal guards at various substations to help reduce animal-caused outages.

POSTED: 01/21/22 at 4:39 am. FILED UNDER: News

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent editor

Four people entered changes of pleas during hearings held this past week in Van Wert County Common Court. They were among nine people who appeared for various hearings.

Chad Diltz, 45, of Van Wert, changed his plea to guilty to two counts of breaking and entering, both fifth degree felonies. A sentencing hearing was scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday, January 27.

Zachary Herman, 20, of Fort Jennings, changed his plea to guilty to illegal use of a minor in a nudity oriented performance, a fifth degree felony. A pre-sentence investigation was ordered and a sentencing hearing was scheduled for 9 a.m. February 23.

Jamakah Crockett, 32, of Lima, changed her plea to guilty to possession of a fentanyl-related compound, a felony of the fifth degree. She requested and was granted intervention in lieu of conviction and her case was stayed pending completion of the treatment program.

Andrew Taylor, 36, of Van Wert, changed his plea to guilty to aggravated possession of drugs, a fifth degree felony. He requested and was granted intervention in lieu of conviction and his case was stayed pending completion of the treatment program.

Three people appeared for bond violation hearings.


POSTED: 01/20/22 at 4:47 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent news

Van Wert High School’s National Honor Society will host a “Light the Night” walk on Sunday, March 6, at Franklin Park. Community members are invited to participate in this fundraiser for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Event registration will take place at 6 p.m. with a 1.5 mile walk around the park beginning at 6:30 p.m. Lanterns with names of cancer survivors and victims will be lighting the path.

Those interested in joining the walk should register by Monday, February 7. Registration is $5 and provides a lantern in honor or memory of those who have suffered from or fallen victim to cancer. All proceeds go to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Water and light snacks will be provided at the end of the walk. Glow sticks will be available for a small cost. Attendees may also purchase a t-shirt in advance for $7 to wear at the event. An upcharge will be applied to larger sizes.

Registration and t-shirt order forms are available in the high school office or on the school’s website at Click the red HS Quick Links button at the top right, then Forms & Registration. All forms and fees must be submitted to Natoshia Wilhelm, Van Wert High School NHS Advisor, 10708 State Route 118 South, Van Wert.

Questions may be directed to Mrs. Wilhelm at

POSTED: 01/20/22 at 4:44 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent staff and submitted information

LIMA — William R. Zimmerman, Judge with the Third District Court of Appeals (Lima) has been designated as presiding judge of the court for 2022.

Judge William Zimmerman

This is the second time that Judge Zimmerman has been selected as presiding judge of the court. The Third District is comprised of 17 counties: Allen, Auglaize, Crawford, Defiance, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Logan, Marion, Mercer, Paulding, Putnam, Seneca, Shelby, Union, Van Wert, and Wyandot.

The duties of presiding judge include setting the schedule and presiding over oral arguments, assigning the judges to hearing panels, determining procedural motions, and administering the personnel policies of the Court.

Judge Zimmerman was elected to the Third District in 2016 and is currently seeking re-election.

He is from Shelby County where he served as a Shelby County Common Pleas Court Judge from 2009-2016. He resides in Sidney with his wife, Deb.

The other judges serving on the Third District Court of Appeals are Stephen R. Shaw (Lima), Mark C. Miller (Findlay), and John R. Willamowski (Lima).

POSTED: 01/20/22 at 4:44 am. FILED UNDER: News