The Van Wert County Courthouse

Thursday, Apr. 15, 2021

Students artists pose with their artwork from an eighth-grade project after being recognized on Wednesday in a delayed event held at the YWCA. Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

While the teen-aged artists are no longer Van Wert Middle School students, an art project they were involved with as eighth graders received some recognition — albeit a year late, due to the COVID-19 pandemic — Wednesday evening at the YWCA of Van Wert County.

YWCA Director of Advocacy Kelly Houg opened the ceremony to unveil seven paintings that represent the words in the YWCA’s mission statement: “Eliminate racism, empower women, promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.”

VWMS art teacher Trinda Keber also spoke briefly about the project, noting she was excited when the students in her Independent Art class last year began telling her of their ideas for the project she assigned them: to create artwork based on all or a portion of the YWCA mission statement.

“I thought ‘oh my gosh, this is going to be beautiful; this isn’t just going to be something they’re going to put in the basement’,” she said.

Each of the students, now all freshmen at Van Wert High School, spoke briefly on their individual artwork, which embodied either the entire mission statement or individual words in the statement.

Sarah Verville said she painted Native American woman Sacagawea and used her statement “everything I do is for my people” to represent dignity. Ella Hernandez painted Rosie the Riveter flexing her muscles to represent the idea of empowering women, while Emma Wallace painted Rosa Parks with a bus behind her to represent “eliminating racism.”


POSTED: 04/15/21 at 7:02 am

Staff and submitted information

As of Thursday, the Van Wert County General Health District reports an increase of 21 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since Thursday, April 8, for a total of 2,330 confirmed cases. There are no known hospitalizations at this time.  

To date, the health department has given 9,703 COVID-19 vaccinations. The following clinic dates are scheduled for this month:

  • Thursday, April 15, from 2-6 p.m., at the County Health Department (Pfizer and Moderna vaccine)
  • Wednesday, April 21, from 2-6 p.m., at the Van Wert County Fairgrounds (Moderna) 
  • Thursday, April 29, from 2-6 p.m., at the Fairgrounds (Moderna)
  • Friday, April 30, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., at the County Health Department (Pfizer second doses) 
  • Thursday, May 6, from 2-6 p.m., at the Fairgrounds (Moderna and Pfizer second doses)

Pfizer vaccine is available to all those age 16 and up and Moderna is available to all those age 18 and up. Unless specified, the clinic dates are for all who want to receive a first dose and anyone eligible to receive a second dose of that vaccine. Bring a photo ID and any insurance info to the clinics.  

The health department is not making appointments at this time, as all clinics are walk-in only. The public can also contact Family Healthcare of Northwest Ohio at 419.238.6747 and Van Wert Family Physicians at 419.238.6251 to schedule an appointment.  

Van Wert CVS and Van Wert Walmart Pharmacy are also scheduling vaccination appointments on their websites. 

POSTED: 04/15/21 at 3:26 pm. FILED UNDER: News

Staff and submitted information

PAULDING COUNTY — A Wauseon man was killed Wednesday in an accident involving two semi tractor-trailer rigs and downed telephone lines.

According to troopers from the Van Wert Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, a 2019 International LT 625 semi driven by Timothy Ray Webber, 60, of Dayton, was southbound on U.S. 127 at approximately 11:20 a.m. Wednesday when the rig became entangled in downed telephone lines from another accident while attempting to turn right onto Paulding County Road 176 in Crane Township.

Vance Owen Campbell, 54, of Wauseon, saw the semi stopped and began to help remove the telephone lines from the semi when a 2020 Volvo VRN semi driven by John Richard Reber, 40, of Wauseon, also collided with the low-handing telephone lines, which then struck Campbell, who was standing on Webber’s trailer, killing him.

Troopers were assisted at the scene by the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office, Paulding Fire & EMS, Paulding County Emergency Management Agency, Paulding County Coroner’s Office, the Ohio Department of Transportation, John’s Towing and Repair, AEP, and Windstream.

The crash remains under investigation.

POSTED: 04/15/21 at 6:58 am. FILED UNDER: News

Staff and submitted information

CHP Home Care & Hospice is hosting an online fundraising auction April 16-30, featuring designer handbags, a Myrtle Beach trip, and other items to support its Hospice Patient Care Fund.

As a nonprofit, CHP Home Care & Hospice works with patients and families regardless of their financial situation. The CHP Patient Care Fund pays for hundreds of thousands of dollars in uncovered patient care expenses throughout CHP’s 15-county service area.

Due to the covid-19 pandemic, CHP had to forgo most of its fundraising events in 2020. This included its annual Beacon of Hope dinner/auction, Christmas Bazaar & Bake Sale, Sewing for Hospice sales, and “Ohio Has Talent 2021.”

“Our patient care fund lost revenue from canceling events, but the needs continue,” said CHP President/CEO Brent Tow. “We encourage those who were regular supporters of our Beacon of Hope or ‘Ohio Has Talent’ events to participate in this online event.” 

Tow noted that the fundraiser is a vital part of CHP’s efforts to better serve local patients and families by reaching its goal of raising $46,000 for its hospice patient care fund.

Those interested must register to place a bid on the auction website: Bidding is open April 16-30. Tax- deductible donations may also be made to CHP Hospice on the website.

POSTED: 04/15/21 at 6:55 am. FILED UNDER: News

Staff and submitted information

VENEDOCIA — The Venedocia Lions Club reminds eligible students that the deadline for applying for one of its $500 one-time scholarships is Saturday, May 1.

To be eligible, students need to:

  • Be a current high school or home-schooled senior
  • Plan to attend an institution of higher learning
  • Reside in York or Jennings townships

Applications forms for 2021 scholarships can be found on the Venedocia Lions Club website at

POSTED: 04/15/21 at 6:52 am. FILED UNDER: News

Staff and submitted information

CONVOY — The Crestview Junior-Senior Prom, sponsored by the Class of 2022, will be held Saturday, April 24, from 8-11 p.m., in the Ray Etzler Gymnasium. 

This year’s theme is “Iridescent Nights”. A promenade, to be held in the high school auditeria from 7:15-8 that evening, will be closed to the public and livestreamed on the Crestview YouTube channel because of COVID-19 concerns. 

POSTED: 04/15/21 at 6:51 am. FILED UNDER: News

VW independent staff

Four people appeared for criminal hearings this past week in Van Wert County Common Pleas Court.

Two people admitted to violating their bond conditions.

David Hecox, 24, of Pittsfield, Illinois, admitted to violating the conditions of his $300,000 cash bond by testing positive for drugs. Judge Martin D. Burchfield revoked Hecox’s bond and set a $500,000 cash bond in the case.

A telephone pretrial conference has been scheduled for 9 a.m. Monday, May 17.

Brandon Salyer, 33, of Delphos, admitted to violating the terms of his unsecured personal surety bond by failing to appear for a court hearing. A new $5,000 cash bond was set in the case and a pretrial conference scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday, April 20.

Two people also waived their constitutional right to a speedy trial in hearings this week.

Karl Kahler, 59, of Lima, signed the waiver in open court and also requested, and was granted, more time to prepare his case. A pretrial conference was scheduled for 8 a.m. Wednesday, May 5.

Sherry Ramsey, 45, of Van Wert, also signed a waiver of her right to a speedy trial in open court and was also granted her request for more time to prepare her case. She will appear for a pretrial conference at 8 a.m. Thursday, May 20.

POSTED: 04/14/21 at 12:47 pm. FILED UNDER: News

Staff and submitted information

COLUMBUS — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted provided an update on Ohio’s vaccination plans following Tuesday morning’s decision to pause the administration of the Johnson and Johnson (Janssen) vaccine. 

The majority of the Ohio’s Johnson and Johnson doses were directed to mass vaccination clinics and to 63 public and private four-year colleges and universities, most of which have already completed their student vaccinations. 

Of the mass vaccination clinics and college/university clinics that did plan to offer the Johnson and Johnson vaccine this week, most will proceed with their clinics by offering either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.  A total of eight sites will not offer any vaccines this week as the health community works to recognize, report, and manage any adverse events related to the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. 

There are many other local providers with open appointments for the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. Visit to look for open appointments. 


POSTED: 04/14/21 at 2:22 am. FILED UNDER: News

Staff and submitted information

Demers Braun Crestline (DBC), a subsidiary of Demers Braun Ambulance manufacturer, announced Tuesday that it has recently completed the acquisition of Medix Specialty Vehicles, a full line final stage ambulance manufacturer headquartered in Elkhart, Indiana, for an undisclosed financial consideration. The transaction is not subject to further regulatory approvals.

Through this transformational transaction, DBC further strengthens its global market leadership position in ambulance manufacturing, now employing over 1140 talented individuals working across 12 different production and service center sites across North America.

“With today’s acquisition, we continue to make significant strides towards our vision of being the partner of choice for the Emergency Medical Services providers across the United States and the world, offering the very best in vehicles and customer care across all market segments,” said Kim Braun, president of U.S. operations. “I wish to extend a very warm welcome to each of the nearly 200 new colleagues joining DBC and look forward to working very closely with Greg Rusk, the entire Medix team, and the Medix dealer network to better support our customers towards the achievement of their objectives – and most importantly, saving lives.”

“I am sincerely delighted with this transformational acquisition. The Medix addition expands and reinforces our brand portfolio while increasing our competitive position and reach among ambulance manufacturers across North America and in the over 40 countries we now serve,” said Alain Brunelle, president and CEO of Demers Braun Crestline. “As a natural next step following the merger between Demers and Braun in early 2018 and the Crestline acquisition in Western Canada later that same year, today’s transaction reaffirms our position as the reference for ambulance innovation in the market. This acquisition could not have happened without the continued support from our financial partners at Clearspring and CDPQ and I wish to thank them for their vision and commitment.”

“On behalf of our employees, clients and partners from around the world, I would like to thank Alain, Kim, and the entire DBC leadership team,” said Greg Rusk, CEO of Medix Specialty Vehicles. “We take great pride in combining forces and joining an organization with such an extraordinary legacy, reputation, and recognition for excellence. This is a winning transaction for our customers and employees alike.” 

 Through its strong and diversified portfolio of Demers, Braun and Crestline brands, the Company operates six production and service center sites across North America and employ close to 1,000 people. Each year, Demers Braun Crestline combined brand sales position the company as the second largest ambulance manufacturer in North America. Its offering of ambulance products ranges from the price-conscious value ambulance to the very highly customized specialty vehicle. To learn more about how Demers, Braun and Crestline can help you save more lives, visit, and

POSTED: 04/14/21 at 2:18 am. FILED UNDER: News

Staff and submitted information

The Gateway to Technology class at Van Wert Middle School recently received a $3,000 grant from the Van Wert County Foundation’s Flickinger Memorial Trust. The money was used to upgrade the robotics equipment eighth grade students use in the automation and robotics unit, where students build, program, and problem solve using robots. The automation and robotics unit is part of Van Wert Middle School’s Project Lead the Way (PLTW) program. 

Gateway to Technology teacher Zane McElroy (standing) assists two VWMS students with a project. photo provided

Gateway to Technology (GTT) is an exploratory class offered to students in grades 6-8. GTT is a curriculum within PLTW designed to teach students problem-solving strategies, critical thinking skills, communication, collaboration, and perseverance through hands-on learning. It allows students to be successful in the classroom by providing lessons that focus on today’s real-world challenges.

Zane McElroy, VWMS Gateway to Technology teacher, thanked the Flickinger Memorial Trust for selecting his program as the recipient of the grant. 

“PLTW has begun to update their curriculum and the new robotics equipment helps keep us up-to-date,” McElroy said. “It provides our students with more innovative ways to solve the problems given to them that they couldn’t do with the old equipment.”

Van Wert Middle School is a National PLTW Distinguished school, offering topics such as design and modeling, automation and robotics, energy and environment, science of technology, and green architecture. These units lay a foundation for the two educational pathways provided by PLTW at Van Wert High School: Pre-Engineering and Biomedical. 

POSTED: 04/14/21 at 2:11 am. FILED UNDER: News

Staff and submitted information

The Van Wert Area Chamber of Commerce announces the launch of the Van Wert YP (Young Professionals) Network, which will create and implement programs to assist professional members 40 years of age or younger. 

“The goal of the program is to create an environment where members can connect with individuals in the same stage of their career, and to help early career professionals transition and thrive in the work force through educational programs and mentorship opportunities,” said Chamber CEO/President Mark Verville.

Those who work in Van Wert County and are interested in being a part of this network, can contact the Chamber office by phone at 419.238.4390 or email at

POSTED: 04/14/21 at 2:05 am. FILED UNDER: News