The Van Wert County Courthouse

Monday, May. 16, 2022

This semi-truck slammed into a home on Sunset Drive, just off U.S. 127 shortly before 4:30 a.m. this morning. Initial calls had it as a possible lightning strike but upon arrival it was discovered the truck and trailer had veered off the road, struck a power pole and a tree before hitting the house. The truck driver, not a Van Wert resident, was taken to Van Wert Health for treatment of minor injuries. The homeowner was uninjured. The Van Wert Police Deparment, Van Wert Fire and EMS, Van Wert County Sheriff’s Office, the Van Wert Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, AEP and Hague Towing were at the scene. Bob Barnes/Van Wert independent 

POSTED: 05/16/22 at 8:15 am

VW independent and submitted information

Van Wert High School Principal Bob Priest has announced that the school will be hold its graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2022 at 2 p.m. this Sunday, May 22, in the high school gymnasium.

Parking is available in both the west parking lots (high school and middle school). Open entrances at the school are the high school main and gym entrances, and the middle school gym entrance. Doors will open to the public at 1 p.m.

Tickets will be collected at the door for family members to attend graduation.

POSTED: 05/16/22 at 10:04 am. FILED UNDER: News

These ominous clouds suddenly blew into Van Wert County late Saturday afternoon. This picture was taken on Wren Landeck Road, about one mile east of Mendon Road, or about four miles south of Van Wert. High winds downed at least several trees around the county and created mini dust storms on area fields. There were no confirmed local reports of funnel clouds or tornado touchdowns. Parts of surrounding counties received heavy rainfall from the same storm system. Photo courtesy of Zach Profit

POSTED: 05/16/22 at 4:00 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent staff

CONVOY — Fall and winter sports coaches will be hired during Monday night’s meeting of the Crestview Local Schools Board of Education meeting.

Among the other items on the agenda: approval of the district’s new strategic plan, approval of new student handbooks and the purchase of four new buses.

The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in the multipurpose room. A reception for retiring staff members will be held at 5:30 p.m.

POSTED: 05/16/22 at 3:37 am. FILED UNDER: News

Dozens of vintage and unique cars were on the streets of downtown Van Wert Saturday night for the Van Wert Freedom Cruise. The monthly event, now in its third year, will take place the second Saturday night of each month. Bob Barnes/Van Wert independent

POSTED: 05/16/22 at 3:37 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent staff and submitted information

COLUMBUS — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine delayed the upcoming execution of a death row inmate on Friday.

Kareem Jackson was scheduled to be executed September 15. The new date of execution has been moved to December 10, 2025. It’s the fourth delay dating back to 2019.

DeWine delayed the execution due to ongoing problems involving the willingness of pharmaceutical suppliers to provide drugs to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

Jackson has been on death row since 1997 for his role in two execution style killings in Columbus.

POSTED: 05/16/22 at 3:36 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent staff and submitted information

The Lincolnview choral program had two exciting and very successful days at the recent Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) State Large Group adjudicated events.

The Lincolnview High School Concert Choir performed at the state level at Van Buren Elementary School on Saturday, April 30, and the Lincolnview Junior High Choir (108 members) performed at the District level at Parkway High School on Friday, May 6,.

According to choral director Stacie Korte, both groups received superior ratings from all three adjudicators, the highest possible rating at the event. According to the OMEA, a superior rating is defined as an outstanding performance with very few technical errors and exemplifying a truly musical expression.

The Lincolnview High School Concert Choir earned a Superior rating at OMEA state. Photos submitted

“Both High School Concert Choir and Junior High Choir performed a set of contrasting choral selections for three OMEA adjudicators,” Korte said. “Both choirs performed at such a high level of excellence and choral artistry. I could not be prouder of every single student and their investment, work ethic, dedication, and attention to detail.”

“This is a huge accomplishment for both choirs,” she added. “It was also a joy and blessing to have the Lincolnview Concert Choir perform at the atate level this year,” Korte added.

Korte offered a special thank you to choral accompanist Annette Hoverman for her expertise and assistance with the choral program.

The state plaque earned by the Concert Choir will be engraved and added to Lincolnview’s OMEA State wall in the choir room.

Like their high school counterparts, the Lincolnview Jr. High choir earned a Superior rating.

POSTED: 05/13/22 at 10:21 pm. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent staff

The following construction projects are anticipated to affect highways in Van Wert County during the remainder of May and into early June. All outlined work is weather permitting.

Grill Road/Kear Road/Bonnewitz Avenue between Dutch John Road and Flagler Street in the city of Van Wert will be restricted to local traffic only beginning Monday, May 23, for approximately three weeks for sanitary line replacement. The project has been delayed by a week and traffic will be restricted to one lane periodically from John Brown to Washington Street through October. The project includes resurfacing and shoulder widening between John Brown Road and U.S. 127/Washington Street.

U.S 127, U.S. 224, and Marsh Road will close Wednesday, June 1, for approximately 60 days to construct a roundabout at the intersection.

U.S. 127, just south of County Line Road, five miles north of the roundabout will also close June 1 for a bridge deck replacement.

In addition, State Route 49 between Wren-Landeck Road and Sheets Road over Twenty-seven Mile Creek, south of the village of Wren, remains closed while crews replace the bridge. The project should be complete in August.

POSTED: 05/13/22 at 10:09 pm. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent staff and submitted information

GREENVILLE — As the nation celebrates National EMS Week May 16-21, Spirit EMS is publicly inviting the community to their celebration of 15 years of service to western Ohio and eastern Indiana.

Owners Brian K. Hathaway and Aaron L. Guthrie have extended an invitation to the entire community to join the Spirit family for a celebration from 1-5 p.m. Sunday, May 15, at their main office located at 5484 S. State Route 49, Greenville.

Spirit EMS will celebrate 15 years with fun and educational activities on Sunday. Photo submitted

The event will feature food trucks and numerous family-friendly activities.

Starting at 1 p.m., aircraft from CareFlight and MedFlight will be on hand followed by a vehicle extrication demonstration by the Greenville City Fire Department. A DJ will be on site throughout the afternoon and at 2 p.m. the high school Taiko drummers from Mississinawa Valley will perform.

Starting at 2:30 p.m., there will be the opportunity for children of all ages to enjoy a petting zoo put together by members of the Greenville FFA. Complimentary bouncy houses, kids’ games, and face painting will also be available. Also featured will be a “Smash an Ambulance” event, where people can donate to the Cancer Association of Darke County and make their mark using a sledgehammer to bust up a retired ambulance.

From 2:30-5 p.m., Spirit personnel will give tours of its main facility and its up-and-coming community and education center. There will be a video highlighting the past 15 years, pictures from the staffs’ out-of-state deployments; and information highlighting the EMS and community education program along with information on employment opportunities. There will also be door prizes and giveaways.

Starting out initially with a fleet of five vehicles and eight employees, Spirit now serves with nearly 100 employees and over 50 vehicles from its six locations including Celina, Greenville, Houston, Sidney, and Van Wert, in Ohio as well as Liberty, Indiana.

POSTED: 05/13/22 at 10:09 pm. FILED UNDER: News

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent editor

If all goes according to plan, more entertainment options will be offered locally sometime in 2023.

A restaurant/sports bar will be added to Van Wert Cinemas on Lincoln Highway, along with a modern arcade. Donna Saunders, who owns the theater with her husband Rod, confirmed plans for the 10,000 square foot addition on Thursday.

The owners of Van Wert Cinemas want to add a 10,000 square foot restaurant/sports bar and arcade to the existing facility on Lincoln Highway. Scott Truxell/Van Wert independent

“We had a consultant come to town and do an extensive marketing review of what’s already available in the area for entertainment options and he highly recommended that we add a restaurant with a bar and a 40-piece arcade,” Saunders explained. “This is not going to be an arcade with pinball machines and old-fashioned stuff, it’s going be virtual reality pieces and things with hydraulics that move around. There’s going to be something for everybody.”

“It’ll be a sports themed restaurant and bar so people can come in and if dad wants to watch a game on the big screen in the sports bar, he can have some chicken wings while his wife and daughter go into the theater to see a ‘chick flick,’ she continued. “Maybe he has a son who wants to play some video games, so the whole family can go to this one place and be together, yet do their own thing and have fun doing it.”

While the six-screen theater itself won’t expand, substantial improvements have been made dating back to the height of COVID-19, including luxury seating throughout the cinema and the recent addition of laser projectors and Dolby ATMOS sound systems in two of the cinemas.


POSTED: 05/13/22 at 3:41 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent staff and submitted information

Crestview High School recently held their Senior Convocation to recognize seniors for their academic and athletic accomplishments with awards from the teaching staff along with scholarships and recognition from various community and school organizations.

Marcia and Jerry Etzler, flanked by Superintendent Kathy Mollenkopf and Crestview High School Principal Dave Bowen, received the Tom Nelson Citizen of Distinction Award. Photo submitted

High School Principal Dave Bowen began and closed the evening with remarks about the successes of the class of 2022 and the mark they have left on Crestview High School. The faculty-presented awards of Academic Achievement and Awards of Merit, in addition to honors plaques given to the top student of each department.

The second portion of the evening was reserved for scholarship and athletic award presentations by administrators and various community members.

The evening concluded with the presentation of the Tom Nelson Citizen of Distinction Award given to a community member that has gone above and beyond in their dedication and service to Crestview Schools. The award was given to Jerry and Marcia Etzler.

Academic Achievement Awards, Awards of Merit and Department Awards:


POSTED: 05/13/22 at 3:40 am. FILED UNDER: News