The Van Wert County Courthouse

Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023

Airport Board President Fred Fisher makes the board’s annual funding request. Scott Truxell/Van Wert independent

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent editor

Short and sweet. That’s the best way to describe Monday night’s meeting of Van Wert City Council.

Much of the 31-minute meeting centered around financial matters, including the approval of 4 percent raises for the city’s non-bargaining unit employees in the police and fire departments, the service department, auditor’s office, income tax department and municipal court system. The raises are for 2024 and are generally the same already given to the city’s union employees.

Council heard the first reading of the city’s 2024 budget ordinance. The proposed budget includes $80,000 to economic development, $30,000 to Main Street Van Wert and $5,000 to the Van Wert County Humane Society. The ordinance may be amended at the next meeting to include a $40,000 request from the Van Wert County Regional Airport Board President Fred Fisher, who was at the meeting and briefly addressed council.

“We’re doing better and things are looking up out there but we’re still not where we need to be yet to be self-supportive,” Fisher explained. “Your help is very much appreciated in keeping the new terminal looking great and operations moving forward.”

Fisher also noted people may see a jet flying in and out of the airport and said it’s based at the airport. He also said plans remain on track to add 1,000 feet to the runway by the end of 2024, which would allow more jets to use the airport.

“That will help our bottom line once we get that,” Fisher said.

He added there’s a new flight instructor at the airport and he has more students than he can handle, so the board is looking at adding a second instructor and possibly a secondary plane to help.


POSTED: 11/28/23 at 4:41 am

VW independent staff/submitted information

HAVILAND – Republican State Representative Roy Klopfenstein has announced plans to seek re-election to the Ohio House of Representatives, 82nd House District, which consists of Paulding, Putnam, Van Wert, and the southern half of Defiance.

Klopfenstein was elected in November of 2022 and is finishing the first year of a two-year term.

“It has been an honor and a privilege representing the 82nd Ohio House District in our State Legislature,” Klopfenstein said. “I pledged to preserve and protect the shared core values of faith, family and freedom the people of my District hold so dear. There is not a day that goes by since I took office that I do not see the importance of that pledge and what it means to our children and grandchildren.”

Roy Klopfenstein

Klopfenstein was appointed to serve as vice chairman of the House Agriculture Committee and has also been serving on the State and Local Government, as well as the Transportation and Infrastructure Committees.

According to a campaign press release issued on Monday, he is focused on working on productive, common-sense initiatives that support and strengthen agriculture, including the Agriculture Appreciation Act which promotes Ohio’s top industry and encourages future generations of Ohio farmers. He is also spearheading efforts to protect real estate from being owned by foreign adversaries.

“Legitimate concerns have been raised by my constituents about foreign entities owning property within our state,” he said. “Just look at the recent example of a foreign adversary acquiring property in North Dakota next to a U.S. Military Base. We cannot allow that same thing to happen here in Ohio.”

After serving multiple terms as a Paulding County Commissioner, Klopfenstein is pushing legislation to help local government be more effective and efficient. One of the first things he worked on after entering office was Force Account legislation to help give county engineers across the state more ability to properly manage and stretch tax dollars to construct road and bridge projects.

“Fiscal responsibility and economic development are additional priorities for Representative Klopfenstein,” the release noted. “He is committed to supporting existing businesses and attracting new ones that provide quality jobs that benefit the people and the communities within his district.”

“Armed with the experience I have gained during my first term serving in the Ohio House of Representatives, I am more dedicated and determined than ever to protect and preserve the priceless values that make the counties of Paulding, Putnam, Van Wert, and Defiance such great places to live and raise a family,” Klopfenstein said. “I look forward to earning the vote of the people of the 82nd Ohio House District during the 2024 elections so I can continue working on their behalf.”

POSTED: 11/28/23 at 4:41 am. FILED UNDER: News

Submitted information

Van Wert Elks Lodge No. 1197 has announced that the annual Memorial Service will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, December 3, in the Lodge Room.

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks mandates that the first Sunday in December of each year be set aside as the day in the Order when Elks shall pause and pay their respects to those members who have passed away.

This year the Lodge will remember the following deceased members: Richard G. Waters, John E. Shoop, Arthur J. Bauer, Lyn M. Bell, William H. Thiebaut, Frederick C. Wiessner, Kent E. DuCheney, Bobby W. Foster, James R. Beard, Thomas J. Rupert, Richard D. Figley, Gerard D. Knapke, Dennis J. Knittle and Mickey P. Geesey.

This year’s service will feature Randy Long as the main speaker.

Lodge Chaplain Mary Weisman is the officer in charge of the service, which is open to the public and all are invited to attend.

POSTED: 11/28/23 at 4:40 am. FILED UNDER: News

A report of a basement fire possibly coming from a sauna led to the Van Wert Fire Department being dispatched to 109 W. Central Ave. just after 4:45 Monday afternoon. The situation was quickly brought under control and a smoke ejector was used to clear the smoke. There were no injuries. Bob Barnes/VWFD photographer

POSTED: 11/28/23 at 4:39 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent staff/submitted information

The Van Wert County Outdoorsmen Association will be hosting its annual Pearl Harbor Commemorative Match to remember the nation’s heroes both past and present.

The match will be held this Saturday, December 2, at the Van Wert County Outdoorsmen Club, 9093 Ringwald Road in Van Wert. The safety briefing will be held at 9:30 a.m. followed by the match at 9:45 a.m. If you ever wanted to shoot an M-1 Garand, this is the match to attend. Once you shoot in the match, you will be eligible to purchase an M-1 from the CMP. If you do not have a rifle, the club has M-1 rifles to loan out to the public to use in this match. However, any military rifle may be used. The cost to participate is $5, which is the target fee. If you need to purchase ammo, the club has 30.06 ammo at $23 for thirty-five rounds.

If you have never participated in a match, there will be a clinic starting at 9:15A.M. The clinic will include how an M-1 operates as well as match protocols. The club also has a National Match AR 15 for participants who might wish to try it out.

For more information, check out the website at or call 419.203.8662.

POSTED: 11/28/23 at 4:34 am. FILED UNDER: News

The Van Wert High School Select Choir had the opportunity to sing at last Wedneday’s downtown holiday lighting ceremony at Fountain Park. The choir spread Christmas cheer singing carols at the pavilion and gazebo. Photo submitted

POSTED: 11/28/23 at 4:33 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent staff/submitted information

ANTWERP – A Michigan man has been charged in connection with a stolen car incident in Paulding County.

According to Sheriff Jason K. Landers, Ramon Richard Nadeau, 31, of Keego Harbor, Michigan, was charged this (Monday) morning with failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer, a third degree felony and receiving stolen property, a fourth degree felony.

Ramon Nadeau

At approximately 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Paulding County deputies were searching for a stolen vehicle on Kroos Drive in Antwerp. The vehicle was stolen from Waterford, Michigan, and its location was reported to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

A deputy sheriff observed the vehicle and attempted to stop it on Kroos Drive. The driver fled after the deputy ordered him to stop. Approximately one-half mile later Nadeau crashed the stolen vehicle into some landscaping, coming to rest at the front porch of a private residence on East Canal Street. The vehicle suffered disabling damage as a result of the crash.

Nadeau fled the scene and a search ensued for a few hours, with no results. At 8 a.m. this morning, a resident on East Canal Street, near the crash site, called 911 to report a strange male was on her porch. The caller indicated the man said he was cold and lost. The Antwerp Police Department responded to the residence and identified the man as the driver who fled from the stolen vehicle last night.

Nadeau is scheduled to be arraigned at 9 a.m. Wednesday in Paulding County Municipal Court. Paulding County Prosecutor Joseph Burkard will review reports from the Sheriff’s Office and Antwerp Police Department for any additional charges that may be presented to the December grand jury session.

Agencies assisting the Sheriff’s Office with this investigation were the Antwerp Police Department and the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Any anonymous tips can be sent from the Sheriff’s Office website There is a link at the bottom of every page. Or, download the Paulding County Ohio Sheriff’s app to submit an anonymous tip, connect with staff members or utilize several links and receive push notifications.

POSTED: 11/27/23 at 1:37 pm. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent staff

COLUMBUS — Northwest and west central Ohio continue to fare well in terms of low unemployment rates.

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services recently released its civilian labor force estimates for October. The list breaks down each of Ohio’s 88 counties along with major metropolitan areas around the Buckeye State.

Mercer County, along with two northeast Ohio counties, Holmes County and Geauga County, tied for the lowest unemployment rate in October, 2.5 percent. Mercer County and Holmes County are traditionally among the lowest on a month-to-month basis.

Putnam County and another northeast Ohio county, Medina County, tied for the fourth lowest jobless rate, 2.6 percent. Lake and Wayne counties, both in the northeast Ohio region, came in No. 6-7 at 2.7 and 2.8 percent respectively. Auglaize County tied for the seventh spot at 2.8 percent, then Van Wert and Union counties tied for the ninth spot with a jobless rate of 2.9 percent. According to ODJFS, Van Wert County’s rate was up slightly from September (2.8 percent) but down from October, 2022 (3.2 percent).

All of those numbers are well below the Ohio average of 3.5 percent. From September, unemployment rates increased in 74 counties, decreased in six and remained unchanged in eight.

Paulding County’s October unemployment rate was 3.2 percent, while Defiance and Allen counties came in at 3.6 and 3.7 percent respectively.

Led by Lucas County (5.4 percent), six counties had unemployment rates at or above 4.5 percent in October. The counties with the highest rates, other than Lucas, were all in southeast Ohio: Jefferson County, 5.2 percent; Noble County, 4.7 percent; Henry and Monroe counties, 4.6 percent, and Meigs County, 4.5 percent.

POSTED: 11/27/23 at 4:36 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent staff/submitted information

The Van Wert 4-H Exchange Club is inviting everyone to the 16th annual Holiday Light Show at the Van Wert County Fairgrounds, 125 Fox Road in Van Wert.

It began in 2007 with only 13 displays and just 500 vehicles that drove through that season. This year’s show has over 160 displays and 5,000 vehicles are expected to drive through. Exhibits are themed around the holidays and are sponsored by local businesses, individuals, churches, and clubs.

Here is the schedule for the 4-H Exchange Club’s Holiday Light Show.

The show is open from 6-9 p.m. every Thursday-Sunday through December 10, then from December 14-25, the show will be open from 6-9 p.m. every night. Santa will be at the light show every Saturday night. The cost is $5 per car to drive through and $25 for limos, buses and 15 passenger vans. In addition, the Van Wert 4-H Exchange Club is offering a limited number of decal passes for purchase for $15 to enjoy the light show unlimited times.

To access the light show, enter from Fox Road Gate No. 4. More information can be found on the 4-H Exchange Club’s Holiday Light Show Facebook page.

The Van Wert County 4-H Exchange Club is composed of youth ages 13-18 from all areas of the county. This event is a fundraiser for the group to help support the cost to host or travel to other states in the summer.

POSTED: 11/27/23 at 4:35 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent staff/submitted information

The Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Findlay District, along with other law enforcement agencies in northwest Ohio, participated in the 12th annual “Lights for Lives” campaign last week. The collaborative effort was done to promote safe driving as the holiday season kicks off.

The yearly campaign, which began at 6 a.m. on November 21, and ran through 6 a.m. on November 22, focused on cracking down on drivers who violated traffic laws. The name “Lights for Lives” represents the action of law enforcement personnel activating their overhead lights, and stopping drivers who have committed traffic violations, which in turn, helps save lives.

During the 24-hour operation, participating agencies stopped 384 vehicles and issued a total of 78 citations. Six of those citations were for safety belt violations. Agencies also reported one impaired driver being removed from northwest Ohio roadways.

The Patrol thanked participating law enforcement agencies from a number of counties, including Van Wert County, Williams County, Fulton County, Lucas County, Defiance County, Henry County, Wood County, Putnam County, Paulding County, Hancock County, Allen County and Hardin County.

OSHP is reminding motorists to always buckle up, slow down and move over for stopped traffic. Additionally, it is important to always plan ahead and never operate a vehicle when impaired by drugs and/or alcohol, especially during the busy holiday travel season.

POSTED: 11/27/23 at 4:35 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent staff/submitted information

COLUMBUS — Ahead of Ohio’s annual deer-gun season, young hunters across Ohio harvested 10,039 white-tailed deer during the two-day youth season on Saturday and Sunday, November 18-19, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. Each fall, hunters 17 and younger can enjoy a weekend of deer gun hunting with a nonhunting adult before the statewide gun season begins.

Ohio’s youth hunting season is in the books and deer gun season will begin on Monday. ODNR photo

The top 10 counties for deer taken during Ohio’s 2023 youth season include: Tuscarawas (391); Coshocton (365); Muskingum (304); Knox (293); Holmes (267); Guernsey (261); Licking (256); Harrison (239); Belmont (209); and Richland (205). In Van Wert County, young hunters bagged 59 deer during the two-day youth season, up substantially from the three-year average of 37. Numbers were also up in Mercer County (79) and Paulding County (121).

This year’s youth season total is the second highest harvest on record. In 2007, youth hunters took 10,059 deer with firearms during the two-day youth season.

Youth hunters checked 5,736 antlered and 4,303 antlerless deer during the weekend. In 2022, hunters harvested 9,510 deer during the two-day youth gun season. The three-year average from 2020 to 2022 is 7,649 deer.

The Division of Wildlife issued 41,866 youth deer permits through Sunday, November 19. Youth permits are valid for all remaining Ohio deer hunting seasons.

Ohio’s youth hunting opportunities are available to anyone who is 17 years old or younger during the season dates. Youth hunting seasons are also available for small game, wild turkey, and waterfowl.

Gun hunters of all ages can participate in the upcoming seven-day gun season which begins Monday, November 27, and runs until Sunday, December 3. A bonus weekend of gun hunting will occur December 16-17, and muzzleloader season will be January 6-9, 2024. The archery season runs through Sunday, February 4, 2024.

All hunters, regardless of the implement they use, are required to wear hunter orange during the gun seasons.

POSTED: 11/24/23 at 10:59 pm. FILED UNDER: News