The Van Wert County Courthouse

Tuesday, Jun. 18, 2024

Crestview Board of Education President John Auld reads items on Monday’s agenda, while Superintendent Kathy Mollenkopf takes notes. Scott Truxell/VW independent

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent editor

CONVOY — Crestview’s monthly school board meeting consisted of mostly routine items.

The largest chunk of the meeting was discussing a recent facilities planning meeting. Information is being gathered to possibly explore upgrading Crestview’s indoor and outdoor athletic facilities. Board members Brad Perrott and Andy Perrott provided information and a full presentation to the board is expected by the end of summer or early fall.

One year contracts were approved for Kourtney Wagner-Lichtensteiger, elementary intervention specialist; Lauren Schumm, elementary teacher; Alexis Baker, paraprofessional; Jada Preston, custodian, and Nathanial Smith, outdoor maintenance/custodian. The board also approved an amended contract for Lori Orsbon, district administrative assistant. 

Alison Sawmiller provided notice that she will not seek re-employment as varsity head softball coach, and board members accepted the resignation of Rebekah Leatherman as a paraprofessional at the Crestview Early Childhood Center.

The board agreed to purchase the services of a school resource officer from the Van Wert County Sheriff’s Office for the 2024-2025 school year, and the board also approved a seventh grade field to Columbus May 8-9 with teacher Jason Cross, and an eighth grade field trip to Washington DC with teacher James Lautzenheiser May 5-9.

In other business, the board agreed to transfer $10,000 from the general fund to the athletic fund, and the board approved the fiscal year 2025 service contract with the Western Buckeye Educational Service Center.


POSTED: 06/18/24 at 3:42 am

VW independent staff

Nearly $107,000 has been awarded to the Van Wert County Agricultural Society to help support the fairgrounds and enhance experiences for fairgoers.

The funding was awarded as part of Ohio’s County and Independent Fair Grant Program, which was established to support county and independent agricultural societies with improvements including upgrades to grounds, electrical and sanitation systems, machinery and equipment, and ADA accommodations.

All 94 of Ohio’s county and independent fairs applied and received funding, with 92 of them each receiving up to $106,831.54. The remaining two fairs requested a lower amount.

“Ohio’s county and independent fairs are a longstanding pastime and are deeply embedded in the heart of our communities,” said Lydia Mihalik, director of the Ohio Department of Development. “By funding necessary improvements, we’re ensuring fairgrounds are safe, accessible, and enjoyable for all, allowing families to keep making memories for generations to come.” 

“Our local fairs are truly a place of agricultural tradition and celebration,” said Brian Baldridge, director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture. “People from communities everywhere come to visit and learn about agriculture because of the quality of programming at our fairs. These dollars will continue to uplift and improve each and every fairground across the state.”

The fair season officially kicked off June 8 with the Paulding County Fair and will wrap up October 12 with the Fairfield County Fair. A complete list of Ohio’s fairs is available on the Department of Agriculture’s website.  

POSTED: 06/18/24 at 3:41 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent staff/submitted information

Average gasoline prices in Ohio have risen 22.7 cents per gallon in the last week, averaging $3.45 per gallon on Monday, according to GasBuddy’s latest survey of 5,345 stations in Ohio. Even with the increase, prices in Ohio are 10 cents per gallon lower than a month ago and stand 5.8 cents per gallon lower than a year ago. The national average price of diesel has fallen 1.6 cents in the last week and stands at $3.73 per gallon.

According to GasBuddy price reports, the cheapest station in Ohio was priced at $2.55 a gallon on Monday, while the most expensive was $3.99 per gallon, a difference of $1.44 per gallon. Locally, Monday’s pump prices were well below the Ohio average, ranging from $2.99 to $3.29 per gallon for self serve regular.

The national average price of gasoline has risen 1 cent per gallon in the last week, averaging $3.41 per gallon on Monday. The national average is down 18 cents per gallon from a month ago and stands 13.8 cents per gallon lower than a year ago, according to GasBuddy data compiled from more than 11 million weekly price reports covering over 150,000 gas stations across the country.

“Since the national average price of gasoline fell to its lowest June level since 2021 last week, we’ve seen the drop in prices take a break, with some states seeing a small rise over the last week,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “Thankfully, I expect this to be more like a short timeout, with an eventual return to falling gasoline prices in most states,”. Also factoring in gasoline demand that has been running a bit weaker than expected, market fundamentals look pretty good right now if you’re a motorist.”

Historical gasoline prices in Ohio and the national average going back ten years:

June 17, 2023: $3.51/g (U.S. Average: $3.55/g)
June 17, 2022: $5.00/g (U.S. Average: $4.99/g)
June 17, 2021: $3.01/g (U.S. Average: $3.07/g)
June 17, 2020: $2.08/g (U.S. Average: $2.11/g)
June 17, 2019: $2.48/g (U.S. Average: $2.67/g)
June 17, 2018: $2.69/g (U.S. Average: $2.89/g)
June 17, 2017: $2.13/g (U.S. Average: $2.29/g)
June 17, 2016: $2.56/g (U.S. Average: $2.35/g)
June 17, 2015: $2.80/g (U.S. Average: $2.80/g)
June 17, 2014: $3.84/g (U.S. Average: $3.67/g)

POSTED: 06/18/24 at 3:41 am. FILED UNDER: News

Submitted information

West Ohio Food Bank, a United Way of Van Wert County agency, will be distributing shelf stable food and produce at Trinity Friends Church, 605 N. Franklin St., Van Wert on Tuesday, June 25, from 12-2 p.m. or until the food is gone. This mobile food drive will be a drive-thru only event.

You must have valid photo identification in order to receive food, only two households per vehicle, and must be at least 18 years of age.

Anyone with questions should call the United Way of Van Wert County office at 419.238.6689.

POSTED: 06/18/24 at 3:40 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent staff

Dangerous conditions caused by temperatures in the 90s and high humidity will impact Van Wert County and the surrounding area all of this week and perhaps beyond.

On Monday, the National Weather Service Northern Indiana upgraded the Excessive Heat Watch to an Excessive Heat Warning for Van Wert County, along with some of northwest Ohio, and northeast Indiana. It’s in effect from 11 a.m. Monday, June 17, until 8 p.m. Friday, June 21.

Everyone is urged to be aware of the potential for excessive heat and to use the recommendations below to prevent potentially dangerous heat-related illnesses, including heat stroke and heat exhaustion.

High temperatures pose the threat of heat-related illnesses for all people, but some are more at risk than others. High-risk groups include young children, the elderly, those who are overweight and those who have chronic medical conditions.

The Ohio Department of Health has offered tips to follow during periods of high temperatures and high humidity:

Drink cool fluids

  • Help your body sweat and cool down by staying well hydrated with water. Don’t wait until you are thirsty to start drinking water.
  • Adults should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day. Monitor your body – you may need to drink more on hot and humid days.
  • Drink from two to four cups of water every hour while working or exercising outside.
  • Avoid fluids that contain alcohol or caffeine, because they can add to dehydration and increase the effects of heat illness.

POSTED: 06/16/24 at 9:03 pm. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent staff/submitted information

DELPHOS — The results are in from Friday night’s OVI checkpoint in Delphos.

As part of the effort, The Van Wert Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Delphos Police Department teamed up to conduct an OVI checkpoint from 6-9 p.m. on Ohio 66 (W. Fifth Street), in the City of Delphos. During the checkpoint, troopers and officers made brief contact with the drivers of 316 vehicles that passed through the checkpoint. Westbound and eastbound traffic was checked, and none of the drivers were found to be impaired.

During and following the checkpoint, saturation patrols were conducted to combat impaired driver-related injury and fatal crashes. During the saturation patrols, 40 vehicles were stopped for traffic violations, with one driver found to be impaired and arrested for OVI.

POSTED: 06/16/24 at 9:02 pm. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent staff/submitted information

CONVOY — The Convoy Community Foundation has announced the Linda and Charlie Baer Scholarship Fund was recently established to support the annual Washington DC trip for eighth grade students at Crestview Middle School.

The Baers have longstanding ties to the school district and the community.

Charlie and Linda Baer

Linda and Charlie were both 1960 graduates of Convoy-Union High School. Linda began her career at Central Mutual Insurance Company, then Convoy Bank before accepting a position at Crestview High School as secretary to the principal. For 13 years, she dearly loved being at Crestview until health issues forced her to retire. Her outgoing personality and amazing smile made her ideal for this position before health issues forced her to retire. She made it a point to know all students by their given name. Linda was also blessed a the God-given gifts needed to sing in the church choir and play the piano by ear without knowing a single musical note. She was also a mentor to younger women in the church and community, teaching how to be a wife and mother by example and words of wisdom. She was a member of the Convoy Community Foundation and the Psi Iota Xi sorority.

Charlie began his career by serving in the U.S. Army for three years in Kentucky, Texas and Germany. After being discharged from the service, he worked at the National Seal for 18 months and then International Harvester/Navistar for 42 years. He has always been active in the community, serving 12 years on the Convoy Village Council and 18 years on the Edgewood Park Board. Charlie has been an active member of the Convoy Lions Club for 53 years and was an original member of the Convoy Community Foundation and the Crestview Education Hall of Fame Committee.

Charlie and Linda are the parents of a son, Troy, who is a graduate of Crestview High School and The Ohio State University with a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering.

The new scholarship fund will distribute funds equally to all students, as Linda had a place in her heart for all students.

The Convoy Community Foundation was established in 1979 to support and fund projects and scholarships within the Crestview school district.

POSTED: 06/16/24 at 9:02 pm. FILED UNDER: News

Submitted information

The regularly scheduled meeting of the Union Township Trustees has been moved from June 27 to 8 p.m. June 26. In addition, the July trustee meeting has been moved up by a day, to 8 p.m. July 10. The 2025 tax budget hearing for Union Township will also be held at 8 p.m. July 10, 2024 at the Union Township Building.

POSTED: 06/16/24 at 9:01 pm. FILED UNDER: News

Noticeable progress is being made on the platform that will hold the new press box at Eggerss Stadium. The new press box and elevator are part of Phase II of the massive renovation project, although the elevator itself won’t be in until sometime in 2025. Crews are also working on a new concession stand. Phase II is expected to be done just before the 2024 season. Scott Truxell/VW independent

POSTED: 06/16/24 at 9:01 pm. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent staff

The National Weather Service Northern Indiana has issued an Excessive Heat Watch, effective from 11 a.m. Monday, June 17, until 8 p.m. Friday, June 21. The watch area includes Van Wert County, the entire surrounding area and beyond.

According to the National Weather Service, extreme heat and humidity will significantly increase the potential for head related illnesses, particularly for those working or participating in outdoor activities.

Be prepared to drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room if at all possible, stay out of the sun and check up on relatives and neighbors. Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles in any circumstances, as car interiors can reach lethal temperatures in a matter of minutes.

POSTED: 06/16/24 at 7:30 am. FILED UNDER: News

The Van Wert Fire Department did its part on Flag Day, flying Old Glory from the aerial truck on Friday. Scott Truxell/VW independent

POSTED: 06/14/24 at 9:03 pm. FILED UNDER: News