News About Us! . . . May 5-6, 2015
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May 5-6, 2015
Parkway Independent - Celebrating 10 years of bringing news to the Parkway area communities.



Remember to Vote on May 5!


Brand It Marketing Wins National BEST OF NAMA Award

Rockford, Ohio (May 4, 2015) –  Ohio marketing agency, Brand It Marketing Communications, has been awarded a BEST OF national award through the National Agri-Marketing Association for their work they produced for client Advanced Biological Marketing (ABM) in the Audio Visual Presentations category for Dealers, Distributors & Sales Reps.

The video was developed for Van Wert, Ohio company, Advanced Biological Marketing, using a stop-motion technique following a soybean on its journey from seed through inoculation to full plant and harvest.  The award-winning video was the creative vision of Brand It Marketing Communications’ Twyla Hayes who entered the competition for the first time this year. Hayes collaborated with Dark Horse Productions in Delphos, Ohio to bring her creative vision and work to reality.

The Best of NAMA, National Ag Marketing Association, honors the best in agricultural marketing communications. Submissions are evaluated for marketing effectiveness and creativity as selected by a panel of 50 judges. The competitions were created in 1988 to honor outstanding work by NAMA members, educate members and to feature good advertising, and thus raise the quality of the industry’s communication efforts.

The regional awards process began in October of 2014. Companies and agencies entered their work to the regional competition. Entries were then judged in six different regions. Overall there were 1,355 entries in the six regions with almost 50 judges participating. These entries were evaluated over a two-day period in November in Kansas City.


About Brand It Marketing Communications

Brand It Marketing Communications specializes in result focused services to provide an inclusive branding for your growing business. Brand It Marketing’s team is comprised of creative designers, web site programmers and social media strategists ready to help your business grow. Brand It operates under guiding principles based upon integrity, professionalism and mutual respect. For more information visit

About Advanced Biological Marketing

ABM provides solutions for commercial agriculture using biological seed treatments that increase a crop’s potential and yield. Its product line include biological seed enhancements for corn, soybeans, wheat and many other production crops across the globe. ABM headquarters are in Van Wert, Ohio, USA. For more information, go to








Click on thumbnail pictures below to see production scene's from Twyla's video.


May Chamber Member of the Month Announced
The Rockford Chamber would like to congratulate the Rockford United Methodist Church as the May 2015 Member of the Month !


Rockford United Methodist Church is a merged church formed in 2000 when the former Grace United Methodist and First United Methodist churches came together as one church. The congregation welcomes everyone to the TRADITIONS worship experience at 8:30 and/or the ENGAGE worship experience at 10:30 on Sunday mornings. The church is located at the corner of Pearl and Franklin Streets in Rockford right behind the firehouse.

Thank you Rockford United Methodist Church for supporting your local chamber !

Pictured:  Nathan Rupp - Youth and Children's Ministries, Susan Sheppard - Office Manager, Pastor Chip Steffy, and Marie Miller - Chamber President.



Become an Umpire
The Rockford Recreation Association is searching for local residents interested in umpiring baseball and softball games during the upcoming 2015 summer season. To be eligible to officiate summer recreation games, individuals must be at least 14 years old and have knowledge of the game of baseball and/or softball. An umpiring handbook will be provided that addresses special league rules and modifications. Contact information for interested individuals will be added to the 2015 summer umpiring list that will be used by coaches to find officials for upcoming games. If you would like to be added to this year's summer umpire list, contact Ryan Thompson at (419)305-0426 before Sunday, May 10th. 



May 4, 2015

Parkway Schools Renewal Levy on the Ballot for May 5

Parkway Schools are seeking a renewal levy. NOT new, it is a 1%, 5 year income tax issue and was first approved by voters in May of 1995. Debra Pierce, treasurer reminds voters that it is a necessary operating levy that the district relies upon to run the schools.


May 2-3, 2015


Click Here for the Parkway Calendar of Events for May 2015 by Lisa Miller


Shanes Park Gets New Garden Shed and Clean up
The Shanes Park Beautification Society would like to thank the following:

Rockford Chamber of Commerce for donating the santa house to Shanes

Village Employees that painted and moved the santa house to the park.
The santa house is being converted into a garden shed.  This will be used
to store garden equipment so volunteers do not have to bring personal
items to the park.  It will take some time to build up the inventory, but this
is the goal.

The following ladies helped clean up flower beds, picked up sticks around
the Splash pad and play ground areas and raked leaves:  Thank you to
Marlene Roebuck, Karen Long, Barb Pedroza, Julie Long and Joyce Emans.

We look forward to seeing more volunteers on May 5th and May 19th.




Turn it up a notch and celebrate a special Mother’s Day on Saturday, May 9th with a spectacular performance by Cool Cat Revue at the Rockford Belle, of 135 Market Street, Rockford, Ohio. Concert at 7 PM, doors open at 6 PM. The newly formed professional music duo with vocalists Shannon Persinger and Doug Hartle, of Fort Wayne, Indiana will feature dynamic impersonations of Country, Jazz, Rat Pack, Oldies, Classic Pop, and More!   A free-will offering is accepted.

Doug Hartle started singing publicly in church at the age of 7.  By age 15, he was singing professionally and is now entering his 34th year of professional entertainment.  Vocal harmony trio CLASSIC VOICE, based in Fort Wayne, is where Doug spends time in a group setting.  Singing his solo act “A Vegas Sounding Show” featuring songs from Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Michael Buble’ and other “Crooner” style singers is his current solo act. 

Shannon Persinger started singing at a very young age, but it wasn’t until middle school that she became aware of how very much she loved to be in the spotlight and sing for an audience.  With an extensive background in show choir and in musical theatre, Shannon began singing professionally in 1994 and has been a lead singer of several area bands in Northeast Indiana.  Most recently, Shannon ended her seven year run as one half of the duo “Shade n’ Shannon.”   Currently, Shannon is keeping busy singing on the worship team at The Chapel in Fort Wayne.  She also sings jazz in her very own group, The Shannon Persinger Jazz Quartet.   Never short on energy or pep, Shannon was looking for something musical to do in addition to her jazz quartet.  It was during that search that she realized that something great was right around the corner…

Since first working together in THE POSSE in 1994 and remaining good friends over the years, Shannon and Doug decided it was time to join forces and develop a new musical venture called COOL CAT REVUE.   Shannon and Doug knew their show would showcase a variety of music made popular by the greats like Elvis, Patsy Cline, Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, Johnny Cash and more, but they also wanted to add something novel and fun…something that was different…but what exactly?  One day as they were sitting around the Persinger’s kitchen table, Shannon and Doug happened upon a great idea…why not add TV theme songs into a portion of the show?   The great TV Land Revue portion of their show will be filled with memorable and catchy TV tunes that will bring audience members along on a nostalgic journey through a simpler time.

Doug states, “This is an opportunity to sing with one of my favorite female vocalists of all time.  Shannon is such an incredible talent full of energy and she presents such amazing versatility!   It’s fun to explore these musical opportunities with her!”  Shannon states, “I am so very honored and excited to be working with my very talented friend, Doug.  His intensity and love for music is infectious and it will no doubt make me a better performer!”  Both performers have families in Fort Wayne and both are Christians who are so very thankful to God for His many blessings, especially the gift of music!  With their combined talents and love of varying musical genres, Shannon and Doug will deliver a high-energy show that is full of fun and variety that is sure to please audiences everywhere.

The Rockford Belle invites the public to celebrate  “Mom” at this special Mother’s Day event featuring Shannon Persinger and Doug Hartle. Cool Cat Revue’s enjoyable entertainment style will take listeners to another time and place on May 9th. For more information, please call 567-644-9993.




Soup and Sandwich Fundraiser Planned for May 9
Parkway Explorations and Rockford’s Friends of the Library are holding a SOUP AND SANDWICH FUNDRAISER on May 9th at the Fellowship Hall of the Rockford Belle, of 135 Market Street, Rockford, OH. The meal will be served at 5 pm before the Mother’s Day concert with Cool Cat Revue and immediately following the concert. The cost of the meal is $6.50 with selections to include a choice of a Sloppy Joe or Creamed Chicken Sandwich, 2 bowls of homemade soup, dessert, and a drink.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit Parkway Explorations future 2016 trip to Europe. 



May 1, 2015


Parkway May 2015 Breakfast & Lunch Menus by Pam Smith



April 29-30, 2015


Thieves Apprehended in Rockford
From the Rockford Police: On April 27th, 2015 around 8:40p.m. Sgt. Bryan Stetler was contacted by an alert business owner. The owner stated that someone had just stolen some tires from there property and was headed out of town. Sgt. Stetler caught up to the suspects vehicle and was able to detain parties until Sheriff's Deputies could arrive. This incident occurred just outside Rockford Police jurisdiction. Both male suspects (from Fort Wayne IN. ) where transported to Mercer County Jail for theft. This marks the second time in a week that Rockford has been targeted by thieves. Chief Paul May would like to remind citizens to remain observant around there homes and business.

Paul P. May III
Chief of Police
Village of Rockford




Clean Your Clothes and Support Parkway Wrestling
The Parkway Wrestling Team is once again selling 5 gallon buckets of laundry detergent. Please stop by the High School Office to place your order. Buckets are $45 per bucket and come with a pump. You may also track down one of the wrestlers and order from them. Thank you for your support of our program.




April 28, 2015


Spilled Fertilizer Closes Road

Monday, April 27, 2015 Sheriff Jeff Grey issued an advisory asking drivers to please avoid the area of Frysinger and Old Town Run Rds north of Rockford due to an overturned semi that spilled fertilizer. The advisory was later canceled.



Wright State University-Lake Campus Business Enterprise Center’s Offers Workshop for Small Businesses 

Celina, Ohio – Did you know that the Business Enterprise Center has helped thousands of new business start-ups since 1985? Today free business consultation services are still offered to new and existing businesses throughout our area due to a number of local banks, economic development agencies, community foundations, and counties donations which help offset costs.

Van Wert County Residents! Rockford Area Residents! Paulding County Residents!

We are offering our popular QuickBooks 12-hour workshop at Vantage Career Center in Van Wert! QuickBooks is recommended for small to medium business owners or financial managers. Before you start making money in business, you need to figure out how you will record, track, and manage your hard-earned dollars. QuickBooks helps your business streamline all your financial operations including inventory, payroll, etc. QuickBooks makes it easy to organize your financial data in one central location. You can manage your money, pay your bills, and track customers’ payments quickly and efficiently. Daily track the success of your business stands with QuickBooks. Join Ron Kremer for 12-hours of software training on this highly rated accounting software to help improve your bottom line! All participants who complete the workshop will receive a certificate.

Class Dates: Tuesday May 5; Thursday May 7; Tuesday May 12; Thursday May 14, 2015

Class Times: 5 to 8 p.m. @ Vantage Career Center

Instructor: Ron Kremer, CPA Cost: $125 p/person;

Individuals can register for this class or get more information about our other Business Enterprise Center programs by calling the Wright State University Business Enterprise Center at (419) 586-0355 or by emailing





It’s good to be where the good things are.
It’s good to be the reason why good things are happening.
A Niswonger Member experiences BOTH! Members share in bringing inspiration to the stage and  enjoy those performances from seats that are personally selected. The benefits do not end there. We believe in REWARDING our members with more GOOD things!

The 2015-16 Season will soon release an entire NEW YEAR of UNBELIEVABLE ENTERTAINMENT! 

PERSONAL & CORPORATE MEMBERS receive the first opportunity for ticketing and seat selection along with many other special benefits.

Get More Information At The Box Office 419-238-6722 or ONLINE.




May Registration for Free ABLE Classes


Adult Basic and Literacy Education (ABLE) classes are offered through Vantage Career Center.  Many adults attend ABLE classes to refresh basic skills in reading, writing and math, improve skills needed for employment or further education, or prepare for the GED® exam to obtain a high school equivalency diploma.  ABLE classes are offered at convenient times and locations throughout the Vantage service area, including Van Wert, Paulding, Delphos and Celina.


The next registration date for new students is Monday, May 4, 2015.  In Van Wert, registration will be held at Vantage Career Center, 818 N. Franklin St. from 9:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. or from 5:30 until
8:30 p.m.  Regular classes meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the same times.


Paulding classes are held at the Paulding County Ohio Means Jobs Center, 252 Dooley Dr. Suite. B.  Students may register at the next orientation session: Monday, May 4, from 12:00 Noon until 3:00 p.m.


Delphos classes are located at the Public Library, 309 W. 2nd St.  Class times are Monday and Wednesday; 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. Orientation is the first Monday of the month.


In Celina, classes are located at the Mercer County Ohio Means Jobs Center, 220 W. Livingston St. New students may register on Monday, May 4, 2015 from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 Noon. Classes in Celina meet on Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 Noon.


ABLE classes can help students prepare for the new computer-based GED® test and assist in making goals for further education, adult certificate training or a better job a reality. ABLE classes offer individual learning plans and a supportive environment for adult students.  Online instructional options are also available so students can work on their own schedule.


For additional information regarding registration for ABLE/GED classes, cost of the new GED® exam or participation in the $80 Ohio voucher program for first-time test-takers,  please contact the ABLE Coordinator at 419-238-5411 or 1-800-686-3944 ext. 2075; or visit the ABLE/GED link on the Vantage Career Center Adult Education website at:




Blues Singer Coming to Rockford

Dave Fields - has spent 26 weeks on the RMR Blues Rock Charts - is coming to
Rockford on May 2nd.  The concert will be held at the Rockford
Community Building at 7:30 pm.      New York City - Rocking Blues !
Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at Sunshine Oil located at 205 N Main St - Rockford or at the door.
Proceeds from this *Rockford Tour* will benefit Rockford's Mix - 101.3 WRKD.  Come on out listen to some blues and support your local radio station - 101.3 WRKD.



Rockford Craft  and Vendor Fair Planned

A Craft/ Vendor Show will be held on Saturday - June 20th during
Rockford Community Days.  Crafters and Vendors will set up at Shanes
Park from 10 am - 9 pm.  We are now accepting registrations for
crafters, bakers, and direct sales vendors.

Booths will be 10 x 10 for $30.00 and a donated item (for a giveaway) and
2 booths will be $50.00.  You will be responsible for your own tents,
canopies, tables and chairs.

Registrations can be found on the Rockford Community Days Facebook
page or the Rockford Village Office.   Return form and payment to
Claudia Pontius, 157 E Walnut St., Rockford OH  45882 
For more information, you may contact Claudia at or call 419-733-3786.


4-H Clever Clovers Meeting #4

Written by: Ali Gemmer

On March 30th, Clever Clovers 4-H club had their forth meeting from 6:30-7:30pm at Grace Bible Church. The meeting was called to order by Erin Richardson and Ali Gemmer led the pledge. A Treasurer’s Report was made and the club later had an introduction of two new members. The two members are Kirsten and Shyann Rose. Roll call was taken by Jamie Burenga and the club split off into small groups for the first time according to the 4-H book they ordered. Demonstrations were scheduled and a discussion about the books members ordered was made during this time. At the last part of the meeting, the club had their third Agricultural Group Activity and started where they left off on the subject of soy lecithin. The meeting was adjourned after the activity and members enjoyed snacks. The next meeting will be on April 13th at the usual time and meeting place.




The Van Wert County Foundation is now accepting Scholarship Applications for the 2015-16 school year. Scholarships are based on residency, college grade point average and financial need and are available for any recognized field of study leading to an associate or baccalaureate degree.


A maximum of three grants will be made to a student earning a Baccalaureate Degree in four years. A student whose course of study requires five years to earn a baccalaureate degree may be awarded a fourth grant. Students earning an Associate’s Degree are eligible for scholarship funds after completing the equivalent of one year. No grants are made beyond the baccalaureate degree. Applicants must be full time students, although special consideration may be given to part-time students.


Students who have completed the equivalent of one year in college are eligible to have their application considered, provided they have a 2.75 accumulative grade point average. A first time applicant with above sophomore standing must have a 3.0 accumulative grade point average. Students who have been granted a scholarship must maintain a 3.0 accumulative grade point average to warrant continuation of a scholarship grant.


An applicant must have been a resident of Van Wert, Paulding, or Allen Counties when they graduated from one of the following eligible High Schools: Antwerp, Crestview, Delphos Jefferson, Delphos St. Johns, Lincolnview, Parkway, Paulding, Spencerville, Vantage, Van Wert, and Wayne Trace.


Applications may be found online at or students may request an application by calling 419-238-1743, emailing, or by visiting The Van Wert County Foundation, 138 East Main Street, Van Wert, Ohio  45891.



April 25-27, 2015


Celina American Legion Plans Made for Blessing of the Bikes

Local Veteran and Celina Legion Rider, Bob Maurer of Mercer, announced the plans being made by a partnership of Celina American Legion, Mercer United Methodist Church and Bethany United Methodist Church, Celina for their first ever  Blessing of the Bikes, on Saturday, May 2, 2015 and the Celina American Legion, 2501 St Rt 703 in Celina, Ohio at 10AM. All bikers and guests are invited!



WWII 70th Anniversary Commemoration Announced

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII and perhaps the last opportunity for families and communities in every city and town in America to come together to say "Thank you!" to the men and women of our "greatest generation" and to ensure that their example of courage, shared sacrifice, can do attitude, service to others, and national unity will continue to inspire future generations - especially the youth of our country. Please follow the link provided below to see the activities planned and learn about the many veterans involved in the celebration including an 88 year old veteran riding his motorcycle cross country to publicize the event.  The link is



Celina Police Department Investigate Two Injury Traffic Crashes 04/22/2015

The Celina Police Department investigated two injury traffic crashes.  The first was at about 1:48 PM on N. Main St. at W. Forest St.  Seventeen year old Zachary Bigelow of Celina was northbound on Main St. near Forest St. when he turned the 1999 Honda Passport he was driving left to enter Forest St.  He entered the path of a southbound 2012 Ford Focus driven by 24 year old Shelby Woods, also of Celina.

The Wood’s vehicle struck the right side of the Bigelow vehicle as it turned, causing the Bigelow vehicle to flip onto its left side.  Bigelow was transported by ambulance to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.  Both cars were heavily damages.  Charges are pending.

The second crash occurred at 4:20 PM on W. Logan St. near S. Sugar St.  A 2014 Honda Pilot was driven by 19 year old Chase Bruggeman of Celina.  As he traveled eastbound he drifted left of center and struck the left side dual rear tires of a semi-tractor and sideswiped the length of the left side of the trailer and impacted the left rear duals of the trailer before disengaging from the trailer.

The semi was a 2015 Volvo driven by Christopher Townsend of Muncie, Indiana.  Townsend was unhurt and Bruggeman had apparent minor injuries, but was taken for treatment by private vehicle.  The Honda was heavily damaged and the tractor-trailer had light to moderate damage.  Bruggeman was cited for failure to drive on the right side of the road.


Rockford Village Council Meets on April 21, 2015




Click Here to read the latest and past Rockford Village Council News



Calvary Evangelical Church Updates




April 23-24, 2015


86th Annual Parkway FFA Banquet
by Taylor Hesse at

On Wednesday April 8th, the Parkway FFA Chapter held their 86th Annual FFA Banquet. The evening started off at 6:30 with Opening Ceremonies by the 2014-2015 officer team followed by an Official Welcome by Tanner Mathews. Whitney Rollins then followed with the invocation before the meal. After the meal, Shelbe Eddington introduced the Year in Review slideshow made by Taylor Hesse. Following the slideshow, Maggie Houts introduced our guest speaker, Jessica Suman. After Jessica’s speech, the Greenhand Degree Awards were given out followed by Chapter Degree Awards, Fruit Sale Awards, Chapter Scholarship Awards, and CDE Metals. Mr. Post then took the podium. He awarded past FFA Member, Brandon Riley, for helping the Tractor Trouble Shooting Team, Reporter, Taylor Hesse, for placing 2nd in the district with the official FFA Scrapbook, and awarded President, Kayla Walls, for her excellent leadership this past year. He also awarded Kameron Roehm, Amanda Stachler, Taylor Hesse and Tanner Matthews for receiving their Ohio FFA Degree. After that, Mr. Post awarded his Star Degree Awards. The 1st year award went to Laura Barrett, 2nd year award to Tanner Matthews, 3rd year award to Taylor Hesse, and 4th year award to Kayla Walls. Following those awards, Ralph Ritz was awarded the Honorary Chapter Degree. The senior FFA Members then gave each of their parents a flower. After seniors were all seated, Kayla Walls gave her retiring address as president. The 2014-2015 officer team then ended the banquet with Closing Ceremonies. Our 2015-2016 officer team was announced at the banquet also. The team is as followed President: Tanner Matthews, Vice President: Taylor Hesse, Reporter: Laura Barrett, Secretary: Clista Hellwarth, Treasurer: Maggie Houts, Sentinel: Shay Pond, and Student Adviser: Alec Schoenleben. Congratulations to all of the students who received awards! Thank you to Mr. Fortkamp, Mr. Puthoff, Mr. Post, Parkway High School Staff, Parkway School Board, parents, and community members. Without your support and help we could not have achieved success this past year!

Picture:  2014-2015 Officer Team with Honorary Degree Recipient, Ralph Ritz




Blood Drive Held
by Taylor Hesse at

On Wednesday February 11th, Parkway FFA and FCLA held their second annual blood drive for the school year. This blood drive was open for students, as well as, community members to attend and donate blood. During the day, a total of 42 units of blood were collected. The FFA and FCLA would like to thank everyone who  donated or tried to donate. Your contribution to help save a life was greatly appreciated!



Reward Offered for Info on Breaking and Entering
Chief Paul May reports that the Rockford Citizens Crime Awareness Group is offering a $500.00 dollar reward for information leading the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for the break in at Barry’s Family Market on April 20th, 2015 around 11:30 p.m. The reward is being offered with no questions asked and names will not be released. Anyone with information can contact the Rockford Police at 419. 363.3032


Women’s Fall Retreat 2015 

Mt. Tabor is excited to announce that we will be hosting a Women’s Mini Retreat on October 9th and 10th 2015. This event started with an idea and with a group of ladies wanting to make a difference and now by the grace of God is turning into something absolutely amazing. The theme of the retreat is Let’s Get Real!! Real Women, Real Life, Real Faith.

This event is going to be open to any girl/woman over the age of 10 and will have breakout sessions for all women, but will also have them for the younger crowd. The 10-15 year olds will have sessions on God Loves You and Words Hurt. The 16-21 year olds will learn about Social Media and how it can affect life and how to never give up on life. The over 60 group will have a session on how to be a “Senior Saint” in todays world. The remaining breakout sessions will be on topics such as grief, abuse, ministry in motion, prayer in a mom hectic world, stress and faith in the work place.

Our main speaker is Robyn Dykstra she is a funny, Jesus-loving, Bible study teacher and Christian speaker with over 25 years experience in retreat and conference ministry. You will Love her stories and be captivated by her teaching.

Her life-changing message will strengthen your faith to face life’s real challenges. You’ll be encouraged and equipped to live the REAL life God has planned for you.

Hannah Beck travels the country spreading that message of Hope. Chains can be broken. Relationships can be healed. God can make a way when there seems to be no way. One of the ways she spreads the message is her gift of music. Through her music she tries to connect with the real struggles of life and promise the never ending message of hope that does not fail.

Hannah will share her personal story during a special session geared towards the younger attendees on Hope. She will follow this session up by meeting with our 16-21 year olds about never giving up on life. Hannah hopes that you walk away knowing that there is hope in Jesus and there is a plan for your life.

Music will be supplied to us by the Mt. Tabor Praise Band, Hannah Beck and Gethsemane. We will have a fun and praise time Friday night to close the evening. It will be a great time to fellowship, worship, laugh, maybe cry and praise God for all He does.

Registration by September 20th  – $30
Registration after September 20th – $35
* Mother/Daughter Registration – $50
Registration includes lunch on Saturday

*To qualify for the Mother/Daughter discount the daughter must be under the age of 18. Please note: The fee for any additional daughters under the age of 18 is $20.
Please fill out a form for each daughter and send all forms together.

Pastor’s Wives FREE with 10 
When 10 paid adult registrations from the same church are sent in the same envelope, registration for their pastor’s wife is free.

Friday October 9th - Check-in / Registration – 5:30 pm – 6:45pm
Evening events will kick off – 7:00 pm
Evening events will end – 9:15 pm

Saturday October 10th – Morning events will start – 8:45 am
Lunch – 12 noon – 1:00pm (Lunch provided )
Afternoon events will start – 1:00 pm
Event will wrap up at – 4:00 pm

A detailed scheduled will be provided at the time of check-in



April 21-22, 2015


Parkway Preschool/Pre-K Registration Night

Parkway Preschool/Pre-K has set their Registration Night for the 2015-2016 school year on Wednesday, April 22 from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m.  Parkway Preschool is a Step Up to Quality Five-Star program, which means this program has demonstrated the highest level of quality as rated by ODE. 


On this night, parents may bring their child to the school to see the rooms as well as meet the teachers.  Registration forms will be available to complete and payment of the registration fee will be accepted.  Once the registration is completed, other forms need to be turned in before the school year begins in September.  Have more questions about preschool?  Please call the elementary office at 419-363-3045 ext. 720.  (Currently enrolled Parkway preschoolers do not need to attend.)


Barrys’ Family Market Burglarized
The Rockford Police received an alarm at Barry’s Family Market on April 20th, 2015 around  11:36 p.m. Sgt.Bryan Stetler checked the area and contact was made with the owner. Upon further investigation, entry was attempted and broken glass could be seen from the outside of the building. A perimeter was established at the grocery store and Celina’s Police K-9 was requested. No one was found at the scene. Evidence has been collected and no other information is available at this time. The Rockford Police would like to thank Celina Police department and the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office for the assistance. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the Rockford Police at 419.363.3032. 



SUBWAY Chosen as Rockford Chamber Business of the Month for April

The Rockford Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that SUBWAY has
been chosen as the Rockford Chamber Business of the Month.

  Subway of Rockford was established in May of 2003, by Jeremy, Richard,
  Josh, & Jon Wenning. We offer a wide variety of subs along with
  flatbreads, and Pizza's. The store is currently Managed by Jamie Green.
  She and her staff would like you to stop by for a fresh meal with a
  smile.  Rockford Subway is located at 101 Main St. 
  Congratulations Subway !  Thank you for being a supporter of the Rockford


Picture: left to rt - Jamie Green - Rockford Subway Manager, Jeremy Wenning - Store Owner, &
Marie Miller - Rockford Chamber President.





RADC Meeting Planned with Speaker

The next meeting is scheduled for Monday April 27th at 7:30 in the library basement. Jim Gibson of the Fremont Company will be the guest speaker. Please plan to attend. 

Tammy Cheek
Rockford Area Development Corporation Secretary



Engineer Announces Intermittent Road Closings

Mercer County Engineer, Jim Wiechart, is announcing the intermittent closings of Burkettsville-St. Henry Road from Burkettsville to SR 119 in Granville Township and the Mercer-Darke County Line from Cassella-Montezuma Road to Spencer Road in Marion Township.  The closing of these roads are necessary to allow for the installation of drainage pipes and culverts, as well as roadside shoulder work.  This is in preparation for asphaltic concrete resurfacing work to be done later in the year.  These roads will be closed intermittently over the next 1 to 2 months and will be impacted by these short-term day by day closures.

Local access will be maintained; with at variable times, access having to be from one direction or the other because of pipe or culvert work.

Any additional questions, contact the Mercer County Engineer's Office at 419-586-7759.


Mercer County Job and Family Services

The Mercer County Job and Family Services announce the 2015 TANF Summer Youth Employment Program. The goal of this program is to help youth (age 16 to 24) gain work experience in Mercer County. Youth will be placed at employment with area businesses and the Summer Youth Program will pay the youth the minimum wage of $8.10/hour. Employment can begin as early as May 1, 2015. This program is an amazing opportunity to help youth gain employment experience, earn money and prepare for their future in the workforce!

To qualify the youth must meet the following criteria:

Age 16 to age 24 (must not be 25 years of age prior to application)

Be a minor child (age 16 to 18 must be currently enrolled in secondary school) OR age 18 to 24 and be pregnant, be a parent (including non-custodial parent with a child support obligation) or be a member of a family that has a minor child in the home.

Income Eligibility based on the family size of 200% of 2015 Federal Poverty Guidelines


Number in Family

Monthly Income











For each additional person add



Submit an application to the Mercer County Job and Family Services by mail, fax, email or in person. Applications are currently being accepted.


If the applicant is a member of a household assistance group that is currently receiving Food Assistance at the time of application, an application will still need to be submitted, however, no other verifications are required.


In the event that funding is not adequate, a first come, first served policy will apply to the program participants.


To apply or if you have any questions: Contact Elizabeth Rinderle, by phone: 419.586.5106 ext 524, by email: or come to the Mercer County Job and Family Services, 220 W Livingston Street, Suite 10, Celina OH 45822.


We would be happy to assist you with any questions or concerns you have, just contact Mercer County Job and Family Services and we will help you get started!


Agency hours are 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM Mondays, 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM Tuesday through Thursday and 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM Fridays.



The Annual Ohio State University Extension (OSUE) Van Wert County Master Gardener Volunteer Plant Sale will be held on Saturday, April 25, 2015 opening at 8 a.m. and continuing until sold out. The Plant Sale will be held in the Jr. Fair Building on the fairgrounds. 

The proceeds through the sale of plants will benefit the OSUE Van Wert County Master Gardener Volunteer's projects, such as the Garden for the Senses, Children's Garden, and their continuing educational activities.

The Plant Sale will feature potted herbs, both culinary and aromatic, plus a variety of colorful perennials have been selected for the sale Gardening items are also available. 

Stop by the Jr. Fair Building on Saturday morning, April 25 to purchase perennials or herbs to beautify your outdoor living spaces or as a gift for that special gardener in your family. 

April 18-20, 2015
Parkway Independent - Celebrating 10 years of bringing news to the Parkway area communities.


Rockford Belle to Feature Versatile Music Artist Bob Wurst on April 25
Bob Wurst, of Toledo, OH will be appearing in concert on April 25 at 7 pm, doors open at 6pm at the Rockford Belle, 135 Market Street, Rockford, OH.  For more than 40 years, he has been engaging audiences by performing country music, 50’s and 60’s rock ‘n roll, and classic music from the likes of Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin, Elvis and more! Wurst has shared concerts with acclaimed Country Music artists such as Conway Twitty, Loretta Lynn, Hank Williams Jr , Alabama, Billy Walker, Charley Walker, Bobby G Rice, and Narvel Feltz, and many, many more. Stage show promoter and WCSM Weekly Country Leisure Show Host Jim Highley will emcee the event. A free-will offering will be taken. 

Bob Wurst’s past performance highlights include winning talent contests and competitions from nationally known Buck Lake Ranch, Wrangler Country Star Search, and the State of Ohio division, which led to performances on stage at the Mother Church of country music’s Grand Ole Opry.  Other contest highlights include Nashville Network’s “You Can Be a Star” and the “Lake Erie West People’s Choice Awards” netting Bob Wurst the “Country” award, winner of Male Vocalist, and top award “Entertainer of the Year”. 

The band began recording in Nashville by this time and continued up until the year 2000 with the great fortune of recording a complete album with the Jordanaires and DJ Fontana, Elvis’ back-up vocalists and drummer. In the mid 80’s, his recorded song “She’s got the rhythm, I’ve got the blues”, enjoyed a mild success on the national record charts.

Through local legendary performer Gary Shope’s influence, Wurst’s band staffed Buck Lake Ranch of Angola, Indiana, and this became the musical backdrop to meeting many big name performers, and enhancing the band’s entertaining abilities. In 1983 a big thrill and musical career highlight for Bob came when asked to open for big name band “Alabama”. Over the years, the band would continue opening for some of the biggest names in coun­try music, playing at fairs and fes­ti­vals, and making count­less TV appear­ances. They would play round and square dances for many local orga­ni­za­tions and night clubs. When the circumstance presented itself, the band would play for ben­e­fits and fund rais­ers.

Since 2003 Wurst has enjoyed a new side of his career playing solo and implementing technology. He continues to entertain at dances, Classic car shows, parties and festivals. 

Long time friend and entertainer Jim Highley will emcee for the evening’s performance.   Jim is now retired after having served since 1977 as an elected official in Mercer County as the Clerk of Courts. He is a businessman, stage show manager and promoter, and is best known for emceeing events and as the WCSM radio program personality of “The Weekly Country Leisure Show.”  Jim has been a patron and entertainer at the entertainment venue on many prior occasions and looks forward to having a great time as emcee at the Rockford Belle!

Take this wonderful opportunity on April 25th  to enjoy what will surely be a superior performance at the Rockford Belle in Rockford, Ohio. For more information, contact Tom Rogers at 567-664-9993.





Civil War Roundtable

The Civil War Roundtable program for the evening of Thursday, April 23 will feature Eric Wittenberg, guest speaker. The group will meet at 7:15 PM in room 186 Andrews Hall at Wright State Lake Campus in Celina.

Eric will discuss the importance of the cavalry action of Union General John Buford's troops at Gettysburg. Buford delayed Confederate infantry on the first day of battle until Union infantry could arrive and engage them. Buford's action made it possible for the Union to grab the high ground on that decisive battleground.

Wittenberg is an author of seventeen Civil War books. He frequently serves as a battlefield guide. He serves on the Governor's commission on the sesquicentennial. He is widely sought to appear at Civil War commemorative events and is one of the favorites at our Roundtable.Feel free to invite guests.



St. Henry Middle School  Holds D.A.R.E. Graduation

St. Henry Middle School  held the fifth grade D.A.R.E. graduation Thursday  afternoon, March 26.   The special guests were  Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey, St Henry Police Officer Pat Elking, and St Henry Superintendant Julie Garke. The program was opened by Mercer County Deputy DARE Officer Sue Miller. The students reading their winning essays were: Grace Lange, Sam Koesters, Clayton Everman, Tori Staugler, Lauren Beyke and Olivia Lange.  The 2015 Honor students were presented medals purchased by the Mercer County DARE Boosters. The winners were: Hannah Woods, Jarod Barhorst, Rachel speck, Seth Heitkamp, Ashley Ontrop, Lauren Beyke and Ellie Bruggeman.

Each fifth grade student received a certificate and a D.A.R.E. shirt.  The fifth grade teacher assisting with the program was Mrs. Dingledine.  The guest speaker was Sheriff Jeff Grey.  He  encouraged the students  to rember their DARE lessons and make safe responsible decisions in their furture. Principal Mr. Kunk closed the program. The Mercer County D.A.R.E. program is a division of the Mercer County Sheriff Office.



Mercer County D.A.R.E. Booster Senior Scholarship Luncheon











Entire Group

Senior Scholarship Winners


Rockford Rec. Summer Soccer Camp

The Rockford Recreation Association will be offering summer soccer camps for Parkway students completing grades PK-6 during the current 2014-2015 school year. The K-6 camp will take place at Shanes Park on June 15-18 and registration is $25. All K-6 campers that register will receive a camp t-shirt. There will also be a free soccer camp available for current preschool students on June 21 & 28. Please visit to download registration forms and emergency medical forms for both camps and "like" us on Facebook for more information. Registration deadline is May 17th. Completed forms and payment can be mailed to Rockford Rec - PO Box 16 - Rockford, OH 45882. 


Roadside Herbicide
To spray or not to spray

Roadside herbicide application for the suppression of undesirable vegetation and environmental enhancement, through the use of Environmental Protection Agency approved herbicides, will be performed by licensed personnel along County Roads and Township Roads (in Jefferson and Washington Townships), starting May 1, extending thru May 30, 2015 according to the Mercer County Engineer Jim Wiechart.

Anyone who has sensitive areas adjacent to any road right-of-way and does not wish for those areas to be treated must erect signs reading “Do Not Spray”.

For further information, contact the office of the Mercer County Engineer at 419-586-7759.


Rockford Rec. Summer Co-ed Sand Volleyball League

The Rockford Recreation Association will be hosting an adult co-ed sand volleyball power league that will be played on Sunday evenings at Shanes Park during the months of June and July. The cost to register a team for the 2015 sand volleyball league is $80 and t-shirts will be awarded to the league champions. For more information, or to register a team, contact Brandi Bruns at (419)733-0369. Registration deadline is May 10th. Additional information and announcements can be found at or "Like" Rockford Recreation Association on Facebook.



April 17, 2015


Parkway Schools are on a two hour delay for Friday, April 17, 2015 due to fog.


Panther Sports News Updates

8th Grade Baseball game versus Minster on May 11 at 7 PM has been cancelled.

Varsity Softball beats St. Henry 5-1 behind excellent pitching by Kayle Heckler.  4-16-2015.

JV Softball wins 6-5 over St. Henry 4-16-2015.

JV Baseball wins over Celina 10-5 (4-16-2015)

Varsity Baseball wins 4-3 over Celina on 4-16-2015.

7th Grade Softball wins over Celina 24-0 in 5 innings behind a no hitter by Macy Henkle. 4-16-2015



April 16, 2015


Classes are cancelled on Thursday, April 16 for Parkway students who attend Aladdin & High School ED classes at the Mercer County Fairgrounds.


2015 Livestock Quality Assurance

Quality Assurance is a state required training program for any 4-H member who is planning to exhibit market livestock at the 2015 junior fair (excluding rabbits). The Ohio State University Extension is hosting the last QA in 2015 at the Van Wert County Fairgrounds on Thursday April 23rd from 6:30pm to approximately 8:00pm with test out option starting at 5:30pm. Members should enter at the north end of the Jr. Fair Building on the Fair grounds. 

Members eligible for test out it will be offered starting at 5:30pm at the Jr. Fair Building. Test out is offered one hour prior to start of event. 

For a list of regional quality assurance dates or for questions please contact The Ohio State University Extension at (419) 238-1214 or email Heather Gottke at



Spring planting & open ditch maintenance


The Mercer County Commissioners and the Mercer County Engineer would like to remind those who plant and till the fields around the county this Spring to remember to avoid planting in the roadway right-of-way.  The Engineer and the Commissioner’s Office have maps that identify the varied widths of the road right-of-way throughout the county.  More specifically, sight problems limiting the ability of the traveling public to see, can be particularly hazardous.

Also, a reminder to those along county-maintained open ditches.  By law there is a maintenance easement for access adjacent to the tops of banks of the open ditches.  We encourage the use of filter strips to eliminate sedimentation and soil erosion adjacent to the open ditches.  Keep in mind that our maintenance crews use the easement for access for the maintenance operations we perform (the spraying of weeds and brush is the most significant maintenance operation). 

Should you have any questions related to these requirements, please feel free to call the Commissioners Office at 419-586-3178 or the Engineer’s Office at 419-586-7759.






By  Joyce L. Alig, President, Mercer County Historical Society

 Photo Caption:  “The Best Years of our Lives” was the movie playing on October 20-22, 1948 at the Royal Theatre owned by the Hagle Family in Fort Recovery. Was that time “The Best years of our lives?”


Movie theaters, telephones, televisions and radios came to mind when I was studying this old advertisement by the Royal Theatre at Fort Recovery.  I thought back to my own childhood, when we went to watch movies at the Royal Theatre on Saturday evenings.  The movie would just be over in time for us to walk up Wayne Street and hear the announcement of the winners of the Silver Dollar Drawing! 

I have written about movie theatres in Celina.  The Lake Theatre stood at 105 South Main Street.  The Ohio Theatre stood at 126 West Market.  The Celina Theatre stood at 116 North Main and may be the “only theatre still standing today in the County!”  I have written about Coldwater Theaters, at First and Main by Al Pontius and the Knights of Columbus building at 101 W. Walnut.   The Rockford Theater was listed in the 1950 Rockford Telephone Directory.  For those of you, who have memories of movie theaters in Mercer County, please share those memories with the Mercer County Historical Society.

On April 23, 1931, the Sunday afternoon and evening movie showing was legalized in Celina.  Just eight decades ago, some local citizens believed that the character of the young people would surely decline, if citizens were permitted to watch movies instead of visiting relatives on Sunday afternoons, and/or attending Church services in the evenings!  That 1931 notice about legalizing movies on Sundays made me wonder what those same citizens would have thought when the new Drive-In Movies were advertised!  Who remembers that those Drive-In Movies were quickly tagged as “Passion Pits,” in the 1950’s? What if today’s lawmakers passed a law against “Texting on Sundays?”  (They would lose their next election.)


My Grandfather Charles Jetter lived with our family at Fort Recovery.  I remember when he came home with a brand new television set about 1951.  He may  have purchased that TV at Wilbur Snyder’s Station.

Do you remember watching  “I Love Lucy?”  Lucy is on the news these days, concerning the statue of her, in her home town.  Did you watch Ed Sullivan at 8:00 P.M. on Sunday evenings?  Other TV personalities included Jackie Gleason and the Honeymooners, Arthur Godfrey, Captain Kangaroo, The Hit Parade singers and dancers, Roy and Dale Rogers, Carol Burnett, and The Greatest Show on Earth Circus performers.  Senior Citizens will recall the Radio stations in the 1940’s, including Amos and Andy, The Shadow, the Green Hornet, Lowell Thomas, and Henry Aldrich’s “Coming Mother.” 


Many local households had televisions in the 1950’s.  Everyone knew that no one would go to the theater when they could watch movies at home!  The 1953 Celina Directory listed television businesses: Arvin TV, 224 W. Warren; Household Supply Store, 419 S. Elm; Electronics Laboratory, 115 South Walnut; Howick’s Radio & TV, at 719 East Market.  The 1960’s Directories listed Stoner TV & Radio, Mud Pike; Bell & Horn at 112 North Main, and Bob’s Radio & TV at 1011 North Brandon.  Television businesses were opened throughout the County.  In spite of the 1950’s predictions, movie theaters still exist today.


While I was reading through the old Directories, I saw the Telephone Companies listed in 1916:  The Celina and Mercer County Telephone Co.; Fort Recovery Telephone Co.; Marion Telephone Co. and the Rockford Telephone Exchange.  My earliest memories of using the telephone at Fort Recovery were that we did not use a dial telephone, we simply called the operator to ask for a number.  When the winter weather was really bad, we would call the operator and ask if there was school that day!


Our generation has seen changes due to advances in understanding electronics.  I see our grandsons using all kinds of electronic games and computers.  My parents used to say that their generation went from horse and buggy to a man on the Moon.  What will we tell our grandchildren about our era?  One constant remains throughout the centuries.  Time spent with our friends cannot be replaced by public media. “New Friends are Silver, and Old Friends are Gold,” is as true today as it was for our Grandparents’ generation.   The public media of radio, movies, and television will not replace our times spent with our friends. 

 [The Mercer County Historical Society President Joyce Alig, may be contacted at 3054 Burk-St. Henry Road, Saint Henry, OH 45883,  or or 419-678-2614.]






​(VAN WERT, OH) - ​The new Community Concert Season for 2015-16 was announced last night at a special gathering of Members at Willow Bend Country Club and then to the public at the StepCrew concert at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center.  Next season’s series features five outstanding concerts for the entire family and all ages to enjoy and is sponsored by Vancrest Health Care Centers.  ​Supporting sponsors include Slusher’s Jewelry, Central Insurance Companies, Taylor Auto Sales of Van Wert, State Farm, Tisha Fast- agent, and the Van Wert County Hospital.

The entire Niswonger Season for 2015-16 will be sponsored by Van Wert Federal Savings Bank and Statewide Ford, Lincoln. The season kicks off on Sunday, November 1 with one of the stars of PBS, the amazing Ethan Bortnick.  This fourteen year old musical prodigy has moved audiences nationally and internationally as a pianist, composer, singer, entertainer, and a driven humanitarian.  His deep musical knowledge, broad tastes, and staggering talents make his performances a treat for the entire family.  Performing all styles of music including jazz, classical, rock n roll, and memorable originals, Ethan’s shows excite crowds of all ages.  You will hear everything from Beethoven to the Beatles and Bieber.  Look for Ethan’s new second PBS Special which will be aired nationwide​ ​Christmas comes to Community Concerts this year when the famous fiddlin’ DePue Brothersperform their Grassical Christmas Show on the Niswonger stage on Thursday, December 17. These virtuosic fiddling brothers wield world-class fiddling and violin playing with soothing voices to create an evening of traditional and contemporary Christmas tunes.  Originally from Bowling Green, Ohio, where their father was a professor of music at BGSU, the four brothers are now Concert Master of the Indianapolis Symphony, members of the renowned Philadelphia Orchestra, and a nationally renowned fiddle champion from Nashville, Tennessee.  They add musical comrades on percussion, bass, banjo, and guitar to create dazzling and beautiful Christmas music you won’t want to miss.

All the way from New Zealand, the Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra will take the stage Thursday, March 3.  Known for their winning combination of charming humor, disarmingly small ukuleles, and sublime musicality, the Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra is one of the world’s great modern stage acts.  Armed with high-octane ukulele solos, heavenly harmonies and outrageous costumes delight audiences of all ages.  Their comedic banter is spontaneous, and when they burst into song, the sweet sounds can silence a room or bring a crowd to their feet.  Their fun concerts can feature songs by such artists as Justin Timberlake, Dolly Parton, Elvis, The Beatles, Hall and Oats, Cyndi Lauper, Prince and Kenny Rogers alongside some tunes from The South Pacific.

Round up the family and circle the wagons to the Niswonger on Friday, April 15 for some Grand Ole Opry style musical comedy from Riders in the Sky.  You may know this quartet of singing cowboys from Pixar’s Toy Story 2, where they sang Grammy Award Winning music such as “Woody’s Roundup.”  New this year is their Tribute to the “King of the Cowboys- Roy Rogers.”  Riders are the only ones entrusted with the original Roy Rogers film library.  Join Riders in the Sky as they take us back in a Western musical adventure that encourages buckaroos and buckarettes to live life “The Cowboy Way?”

The Community Concert Series 2015-16 closes with a triumphant finale when the Texas Tenorsmake their way to Van Wert, Ohio for an electrifying concert on Sunday, April 17.  With​ their ​Emmy Award Winning PBS Special now airing across the country, and Billboard Chart topping albums, it’s easy to see why The Texas Tenors are quickly becoming America’s favorite tenors. Since their whirlwind debut on NBC’s America’s Got Talent, The Texas Tenors have accumulated a long list of awards, accolades, and excited fans.  People are clearly enjoying their talent as they were recently names the #10 Classical Artists in the World for 2014 according to Billboard Magazine.  Their unique harmony of Country, Classical, Broadway, and Contemporary music along with breathtaking vocals humor, patriotism and cowboy charm will create a memorable finale to the 2015-16 Community Concert Series


Anyone can become a member and make their purchase starting today, April 15 beginning at 12 noon. There are three levels of memberships: Maestro ($200), Principal ($100), and Musician ($50.)  Maestro sales are from today through April 19.  Principal Members begin April 20 and run through April 22.  Musician Members may purchase from April 23 through April 28. Memberships include other benefits and may be purchased at any time.  Beginning April 29, general sales of the series begin.  All five concerts may be purchased for as low as $60.  A special feature has been added for those who wish for a dinner and a show.  Willow Bend Country Club will be serving themed dinners to go with each concert.  See the website or inquire at the Niswonger Box Office for details.

Box Office hours are M-F, noon to 4:00 p.m., 419-238-NPAC (6722).  Additional information and purchases may also be made online at NPACVW.ORG. The Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio is located at 10700 State Route 118 South in Van Wert, Ohio.​


The Stateline Writers Club met on Saturday, March 21, 2015, at the Mercer County District Library.  President Alain Rion called the meeting to order.  Treasurer Eileen Whitsett gave the treasurer’s report and dues were collected. A check was also presented to the treasurerer from a member in memory of two members who passed away over the winter. Secretary Beth Keuneke read the minutes for the November meeting and December Christmas party. The assignment for April is to write about an momentous decision that you have made and the assignment for May is to write about a good or bad event, with the suggestion of birthday given, but choice is up to the writer.  Ron Aragon will do the program of the month of April. Beth Keuneke reported that the Stateline Writer's Club Facebook page is up on the web.  The members then read what they had written about  friendship and/or how to love your neighbor.  The meeting adjourned with a time for socializing following.  The next meeting will be on Saturday, April 18, 2015, from 10 am until Noon at the Mercer County District Library. The public is invited to attend.




Ohio City and the “Arts in the Park”

The village of Ohio City and the “Arts in the Park” committee is happy to announce that they have finalized the 2015 season.  This is a monthly event that takes place on the second Friday of every month from May to September and is held at Memorial Park on Main Street in Ohio City. This year we added two more dates in May and July. This is a free event that is supported by donations from individuals, local business sponsors, the purchases of memory bricks ($25), and from refreshments during the event.  Information about donating or brick purchases can be found on the village website: or though the village clerk’s office 419-965-2255 or Bigham Creative Communications 419-953-9511.

This seasons line up: May 8th: Cass Blue, May 22nd: Cass and Dana, June 12th: Dana Fair, July 10th: Robert and Jaime Delgado, July 24th: Ryan Fox and Friends, Buckeye Drive, and Three on the Tree, August 14th: Van Wert Jazz, and September 11th: Jarod Delgado



State Line Writer’s Club Meets

By Beth Keuneke

The Stateline Writers Club met on Saturday, March 21, 2015, at the Mercer County District Library.  President Alain Rion called the meeting to order.  Treasurer Eileen Whitsett gave the treasurer’s report and dues were collected. A check was also presented to the treasurerer from a member in memory of two members who passed away over the winter. Secretary Beth Keuneke read the minutes for the November meeting and December Christmas party. The assignment for April is to write about an momentous decision that you have made and the assignment for May is to write about a good or bad event, with the suggestion of birthday given, but choice is up to the writer.  Ron Aragon will do the program of the month of April. Beth Keuneke reported that the Stateline Writer's Club Facebook page is up on the web.  The members then read what they had written about  friendship and/or how to love your neighbor.  The meeting adjourned with a time for socializing following.  The next meeting will be on Saturday, April 18, 2015, from 10 am until Noon at the Mercer County District Library. The public is invited to attend.



Mercer Health Invites Children from Mercer County Schools to Hospital

For over 15 years, Mercer Health has invited all kindergarten students from all of the Mercer County school systems to ‘Play Hospital’.  This year over 500 students will attend the event held on April 15, 16 and 17 at Mercer County Community Hospital in Coldwater.  Play Hospital offers an interactive, educational setting for the young students to learn about healthcare.  The event includes tours of the Emergency Room, Radiology/X-ray Services and the Birthing Center.  Students also learn about hand washing, surgery and end the day with a tour through an ambulance.


On April 20 and 22, the Medical Explorers program, an advanced version of Play Hospital program will be offered to local Freshman students.  The program will provide an opportunity for students to learn more about the hospital setting with a focus on career choices within the organization.





Van Wert County Fair to Offer Concert by Charlie Daniels Band

The Van Wert County Agricultural Society (fairboard) made the decision to partner with a local investment company in able to bring a headliner back to the grandstand.  In doing this, the fairboard was able to accommodate their budget by only assuming a portion of the risk for putting on the concert.  In return, that same portion of the concert proceeds will go back to the fairboard in hopes to grow the event in the years to come and return the Van Wert County Fair to one of its traditions of holding a main grandstand concert event.  The Charlie Daniels Band has performed in Van Wert before when they visited the Niswonger Performing Arts Center in 2010.  That event was sold out and did not disappoint leaving Van Wert residents wanting more of CDB and making an easy choice for the 2015 Van Wert County Fair. 


The concert will fall on Tuesday night September 1st with opening act local country band Nashville Crush.  Technically, this night has been designated a soft opening for the fair as the official opening ceremony is not until Sept 2nd.  This is good news for concert goers as gate admission will not apply, however fair vendors will be open to offer a pre-feast of the great fair food everyone enjoys.


Come out and support your local community by attending the Van Wert County Fair.  Tickets for the concert go on sale Saturday April 18th at 9 am.  You can get them at the fair office or online at       



Rockford Ohio Chamber of Commerce

Our organization needs your help. For every purchase made, Flower Power Fundraising will give 50% back to the Rockford Ohio Chamber.   You can support the Rockford Ohio Chamber of Commerce by purchasing spring bulbs for summer blooms !   The link to the online campaign is:

The deadline is April 24th !

The Rockford Chamber thanks you for your support !



April 14-15, 2015


90th Birthday to be Celebrated by Bollenbacher Family
The family of Jerome Bollenbacher would like to invite you to celebrate his 90th birthday on Sunday, May 3, at the Rockford Community Building, Shanes Park, 420 Holly Drive, anytime between 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. 

In lieu of gifts, please just bring yourself.  If you must, bring a canned good for the local food pantry. 









Dave Fields Coming to Rockford in Concert
Dave Fields - has spent 26 weeks on the RMR Blues Rock Charts - is coming to

Rockford on May 2nd.  The concert will be held at the Rockford Community Building at 7:30 pm.      New York City - Rocking Blues !

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at Sunshine Oil located at 205 N Main St - Rockford.

Proceeds from this *Rockford Tour* will benefit Rockford's

Best Mix - 101.3 WRKD.  Come on out listen to some blues and support your local radio station - 101.3 WRKD


Venedocia Lads and Lassies 4-H’ers Meet

The Venedocia Lads and Lassies held their last meeting on March. 19, 2015, 7:00, at the Venedocia Lions Club. There was 26 members present and 6 guest present. Pledges were led by Isaiah Pugh. The club went over the Advisors Handbook and Ohio 4-H club laws. Also discussed at the meeting was the start of a campaign for the 4-H group to begin collecting plastic caps. Acceptable (clean) caps would include caps from pop, milk, detergent, hairspray, and flip top caps from ketchup and mustard bottles. Lids from items such as butter containers, ice cream bucket, yogurt, peanut butter, and cottage cheese containers are also acceptable. Unacceptable lids include soap and lotion pumps, fast-food drink lids, metal, or trigger type sprayers. Once the group reaches 500 lbs. we will be able to purchase a park bench that was made by the caps we donated. The bench will then be donated to the Van Wert County Fairgrounds. There will be a drop off box at the Venedocia Lions Club at the next meeting if anyone one is interested in our cap campaign. Our next meeting will be held on April 16, 2015 at 7:00p.m.  


Celina Farmers' Market Opening Soon

The 2015 Celina Farmers' Market will be opening  May 2 - thru September each
Saturday morning from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00p.m. Vendors can sell their
homegrown or homemade goods on the sidewalk surrounding the historic Mercer
County Courthouse, located at 101 North Main Street in downtown Celina.
Vendors will come from throughout the area to sell locally grown plants,
produce and homemade foods and crafts.  Vendor registration forms and a list
of Rules and Regulations for sellers can be obtained at the Chamber office
or online at  

If you are shopping arrive early for the best selection.  After selling or
shopping at the Farmers' Market, be sure to visit the specialty shops,
cafes, and restaurants located in the recently renovated downtown.  Find out
why Celina is rated one of the 100 Best Small Towns in the USA. 

The Celina Farmers' Market is sponsored by the local organic growing
community, the Celina Mercer County Chamber of Commerce, and the Celina
Merchant Association.  Stop by the Chamber at 226 North Main Street or call
419-586-2219 for more information about the market.  Take pride in
supporting our local farmers while enjoying Ohio's finest fresh produce and
homemade foods!



WRKD Will Raffle a Gas Fireplace During Community Days
Kerns Fireplace & Spa is a proud supporter of Rockford's Best Mix -
101.3 WRKD.  Kerns Fireplace has donated a GAS FIREPLACE - (a value of $1095) to WRKD to raffle off during Rockford Community Days.  Tickets are $1 each or 6 for $5.  The fireplace can be seen and tickets can be
purchased at the Rockford Village Office.   Need not be present to win.  Drawing will be June 20th, 2015.

We appreciated the support of our local community !  



April 11-13, 2015


Country and Gospel Concert  to Feature Debbie Lynn Bryson and Laura Puschel on April 18 

The Rockford Belle, of 135 Market Street, Rockford, Ohio has planned a special Country and Gospel concert featuring professional singer and song writer Debbie Lynn Bryson, of Greenville, OH. Christian singer Laura Puschel, of St. Marys, Ohio will open the event. On Saturday, April 18 at 7pm, doors open at 6pm- each performer will bless the stage with their rich powerful voice and will encourage listeners with a mix of genres. A free-will donation is accepted.

Brilliantly gifted, Debbie Lynn brings an in depth musical background that includes 5 album releases; her familiar voice through song has been heard at the Rockford Belle, churches back home, radio stations, and at fairs where she has followed her heart; with God’s blessings she strives to touch and help people feel the power of God’s love by singing original songs as well as old time gospel favorites. 

Her professional accomplishments include singing at the National Quartet Convention in Louisville Kentucky, with professional Gospel artists such as: LuLu Roman former female actress on the television show Hee-Haw, the late singing artist Johnny Cash’s sister Jo Ann Cash, Naomi and the Siego’s, and the famous piano player Lorne Matthews, who originally played with the Cathedral Quartet when they were playing with Rex Humbard at the Cathedral of Tomorrow, in Akron Ohio.

Laura Puschel has an entertainment path that has gone from singing Christian music for Bearers of the Cross with a trio consisting of her mother and sister, to performing in local talent competitions with Dream Big. She has performed as a choir member participating in praise and worship for almost 6 years at Abound Grace Ministries in Celina, OH; she has competed in contests and entertained at the Durbin Bean Bake. 

Her broad vocal range goes from Ray Boltz to the super high Sandi Patty, and contains a wide array of song types. She would like to travel to where God leads, sharing her heart, testimony, and the love of Jesus through song. Currently, she is taking the time along with the help of her husband, to make recordings of her music. She is thrilled to open for the event and share her talent with the patrons of the Rockford Belle.

Mark your calendars for April 18 and enjoy two encouraging and captivating performers at The Rockford Belle! For more information contact Tom Rogers at 567-644-9993.


Panther Sports News Updates

Varsity Softball beats Evergreen4-1 behind a four hitter from Kalie Heckler. Panthers lose the send game 4-11-2015.

JV Softball win over Lincolnview in doubleheader 24-14 and 14-13 (4-11-2015)


Varsity Baseball moves to 6-1 on the year after the beat Lima Shawnee 8-2 and 5-1 in double header on 4-11-2015.


7th Grade Softball wins both games of double header in Elida. On 4-11-2015 Scores: 5-2 and 10-0.


8th grade Softball wins both games of double header versus Lima West with a combined score of 47-5.





Calvary Evangelical Church Updates



April 9-10, 2015


Otterbein St. Marys Hosts Dedication for New Healthcare Expansion

Otterbein St. Marys unveiled the community’s NEW Designated Therapy Wing to the public in a formal dedication held on Friday, March 20th. Residents, partners, board members, local community leaders and other guests gathered to celebrate the  newest offerings and expansions being offered at Otterbein St. Marys. One new offering is the 1900 square foot state of the art therapy gym. This new amenity offers the latest in therapy services and equipment to Otterbein residents and members from the local communities. The therapy gym is part of St. Marys NEW designated post-acute, short-term rehabilitation area. This new designated therapy wing will conjoin the therapy gym with 12 private suites designed for recovery and rehabilitation. The space will provide residents with all the comforts of home in private suites designed to meet the needs of individuals with a variety of conditions and care levels. St. Marys is also pleased to offer a new memory support area and newly renovated assisted living and skilled nursing areas. “We have truly created a space that is state of the art, an environment that is warm, focuses on the individual, and returns them to the best possible version of themselves,” said Stacy Klosterman, Healthcare Lifestyle Counselor. The community is encouraged to come see what we have done to enhance the lives of those we serve in aspects of rehabilitation and long term care.


We’ve Moved

Celina, OH – Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mercer, Auglaize, and Van Wert Counties has moved to its new office location.  The move from St. Marys to Celina will better accommodate our growing programs, enable the staff to continue to efficiently service clients, and increase our visibility to the community.

Since 2010, the number of clients served has grown by more than 25%. Our new location includes three individualized offices, a waiting area, and space to put an Activities Center. The Activities Center will be a place where Bigs (volunteers) and Littles (children) can spend quality time together doing arts and crafts, playing board games, doing homework, and more.

“Our new office space will allow us to better serve the participants in our programs and is centrally located in our servicing area. We wanted to show the community that we are committed to serving them and we are here to stay,” said Abby Balster, Executive Director for BBBSMAVW.

Big Brothers Big Sisters’ new address is 1005 North Main Street, Celina, OH 45822. Our office phone number is 419-584-2447. Our e-mail address and website remain the same.

We are currently accepting donations to help with building improvements and renovations. Some of our projects we would like to see funded over the next year include painting the office, putting on a new roof, new flooring, and the renovation of the Activities Center. Any donation would be greatly appreciated.

About Big Brothers Big Sisters

Big Brothers Big Sisters is a youth mentoring agency that serves over 250 children a year throughout Mercer, Auglaize, and Van Wert Counties. We offer 5 youth mentoring programs which include Community Based Mentoring, After School Buddies Program, Lunch Club, Supper Club, and AmachiOhio.  There are currently 30 Littles on our waiting list and we are always in need of volunteers. For more information visit our website at



3 Week Series Begins April 16th

Van Wert, Ohio — Van Wert County Hospital will offer Active Parenting Now! A free workshop for parents of children ages 5-12. The three-session video and discussion program will be held on Thursday evenings.  Beginning April 16th for three weeks, each session will be held in the hospital’s conference room B&C from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Van Wert Hospital is located at 1250 S. Washington Street.

This parenting workshop is funded by a grant provided by the Ohio Children’s Trust Fund. The mission of the Ohio Children's Trust Fund (OCTF) is to take a leadership role and be a catalyst in preventing child abuse and neglect in 

For more information about this class, visit Registration is required and can be made by 
calling 419-238-8672.



April 8, 2015


Parkway Schools are on a two hour delay for Wednesday, April 8, 2015.



Ohio Law prohibits signs on trees and poles.

Mercer County Engineer Jim Wiechart has issued a reminder that the Ohio Revised Code prohibits the erection of signs or affixing signs, posters or advertisement to any tree or utility pole within the right-of-way of any public highway.

Political candidates, campaign workers and supporters of issues appearing on the ballot are reminded that these signs are subject to removal.



Law Requires Licensure for Selling Food
Ohio Law Requires Licensure for Selling Food The Van Wert County Health Department would like to remind the public that the Ohio Revised Code Chapter 3717 says that no person or government entity shall operate a food service operation without a license unless found to be exempt as determined by the Health Department according to state law. Any person wishing to sell food to the public who does not have a permanent or mobile food license must obtain a temporary food service operation license unless otherwise noted. Fairs, festivals, and social gatherings for the public are examples of events at which food may be sold that may require a license. The cost of this license is $50.00 per event. This fee covers review of the application, education, licensing, and inspection. To obtain an application you may contact Britt Menchhofer at the Van Wert County Health Department at 419-238-0808 extension 105 or visit the Health Department at 1179 Westwood Dr., Suite 300, Van Wert. The application is also available on the Health Department website at under the Environmental Division and Food Service Operations/Retail Food Establishments. The application must be turned in at least seven days prior to the event. Thank you for your cooperation.


Join the Team
The Rockford Bicentennial Committee will be meeting on
April 13th, at 7 pm at the Rockford Village Hall and Museum.
Anyone interested in being a part of this committee is
encouraged to attend.



April 3-7, 2015
Happy Easter Weekend!


Donation to Fox Family Ride for Autism - Poker Run and Auction Planned to Benefit Cause
Made by
Rockford Eagles - Aerie1292


As the yearly celebration rolls around, Autism Speaks - The Eighth Annual World Autism Awareness Day held on Thursday, April 2, 2015, is celebrated by one local family in a unique way. The Fox Family from Rockford has a special place in each heart for their young autistic grandson/nephew/cousin, Alex, who is now 10. He is the son of Holly Fox Snyder, daughter of the late Gary and Delight Fox. For years, Holly, Alex’s dad and their families have been participating in motorcycle runs like the Ribbon Run in Michigan and other fund raisers to spread the word about autism and help families in need. The site for Autism is  World Autism Awareness Day - Autism Speaks  .

The Fox Family this year has decided to hold their very own Autism Poker Run, Bicycle Run and Auction to raise money for Parkway children with Autism. Called the Fox Family Ride for Autism, they are working through the organization called iTaalk Autism Foundation (read the full article below) and plan to use the proceeds to purchase iPads® equipped with special apps that Autistic children can use to communicate with others and learn. Mike Fox, Alex’s uncle said the device has been significant in the life of his nephew and many others, but they are expensive. Some apps are $300 a piece. He recently spoke with Parkway teachers of Autistic children in Parkway, Chad Sapp and Laura (Carter) Yoder,  and they confirmed that  11 students and possibly one preschooler  are in the Parkway district.  The goal for the Fox Family is to raise enough money to buy and give each Autistic child one of the special iTaalk iPads®  which includes all apps fully loaded and training for students, parents and teachers.

The Rockford Eagles (photo: Blair Shaffer (left) presents a check to Mike Fox) recently donated $1000 to be used for a BIG cash raffle during the poker run. The Photo Star donated the raffle tickets.

The event will be held on Saturday, June 20, 2015, during Rockford Community Days  with registration from 9-11 AM. The donation is $20 per rider and $15 per passenger. Besides the Big Cash Raffle, there will be a Silent Auction and Dollar Ticket Auction.

Mike said, “In addition, , we are having a Go Fish bicycle ride for children and adults. That event will meet at the Community Building and register between 2:00 and 2:30 pm. All ages welcome! Even adults!  The route will not cross over St Rt 33 so it will be safer. A go fish card will be picked up at each stop, and the riders with the most matches will be put in a drawing for new bicycles donated by an outside supporter of Autistic Causes in Ohio. We'll be giving away a child’s and an adult bike for the ride. The drawing for the winners will be @ 3:30 PM.”

Mike can be reached at 419-733-7466  and the website for registration is:

From there, a Facebook Page is available, too.

Please use this link to make your own donation to this event:!fox-family-ride/cl34



The Fox Family from Rockford is Sponsoring  the Fox Family Ride for Austism
by Tammy Eisenreich, Vice President The iTaalk Autism Foundation

Information on Austism

Autism is properly classified as an epidemic, and a recent study revealed 1 in 56 children have some form of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The lifetime incremental cost of education, treatment and care of a person with autism is $3.2 million. Clearly this is a tremendous additional cost on families and on communities...unless we prioritize finding innovative approaches to working with children with Autism.

The iTaalk Autism Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit that works to introduce and educate on cost effective and appropriate interactive technology for individuals with autism and related disorders. We continue to endorse traditional therapy programs such as a 30-hour per week Applied Behavioral Analysis program are the most effective treatment for children, but seek to bring attention to how much more progress could be made if the child also had access to an interactive device with educational apps, for which they were trained to use by their teachers and therapists. The immediate and inexhaustible interaction with a device such as an iPad®, would reinforce language, fine motor skills, cause & effect and other key skills for children with autism – thereby enhancing the therapist’s impact in a very cost-effective manner.

Last year, nearly 100 individuals with autism were granted an iPad® by iTaalk, and over 1,000 service providers and parents were provided with the necessary education on using an iPad® with individuals with special needs.

How you can help...

Become a donor for the Fox Family Ride for Autism

The Fox Family Ride for Autism is asking local businesses, corporations and/or individuals to become donors! The donations can be monetary or material in nature. Donations made will be utilized in an auction to raise funds. Money raised from the auction goes directly to iTaalk and will be used to fund the purchase of devices, educational applications, and a full-day iPad training for local parents, teachers and autism caregivers!

We hope you will consider this opportunity to partner with the Fox Family and iTaalk! Visit and click on the Programs tab to find out more about the Fox Family Ride and to become a donor today! Any questions regarding our organization and fund management policies are gladly answered, contact Tammy at, or visit for answers to FAQs about The iTaalk Autism Foundation. If you have questions about the Fox Family Ride for Autism and how to get involved please contact Holly at (419)-787-7857 or by email at

Please use this link to make your own donation to this event:!fox-family-ride/cl34

Thank you for your time!


Tammy Eisenreich
Tammy Eisenreich, Vice President The iTaalk Autism Foundation
The iTaalk Autism Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization EIN 27-3892351 is located at 2040 West Central Ave., Toledo, Ohio 43606



Panther Sports Rosters and Schedules Provided by Lisa Miller

Panther Varsity and Junior Varsity Baseball Rosters

Panther Varsity, Junior Varsity, Freshman, 8th  and 7th Grade Baseball Schedules

Panther Varsity and Junior Varsity Softball Rosters

Varsity, Junior Varsity, 8th  and 7th Grade Softball Schedules

Panther High School CO-ED Track Rosters

Varsity and Junior High Track Schedules



School Board Meetings on Tuesday, April 7, 2015
The Parkway Board of Education meeting is scheduled at Praise Point Church in Willshire ~ a Regular Meeting 6:30 PM.

Click here for the agenda.




Rockford's Annual Easter Egg Hunt at Shanes Park
Saturday - April 4th * 1 pm * Rain or Shine

Age Categories:

0-3 (From the Easter Bunny)
4-5; 6-7; 8-10

Cameras are welcome ! 


Rockford Recreation Hosts 2015 Pitch, Hit, & Run Competition

The Rockford Recreation Association will host their annual MLB Pitch, Hit, & Run competition at Shanes Park on Sunday, April 12th at 1:00pm. All boys and girls, ages 7-14 (age determined as of July 17th, 2015), compete in separate age divisions and participants have the opportunity to advance through four levels of competition including Local, Regional, MLB Team Championships (held at all 30 MLB ballparks) and the National Finals at the MLB All-Star Game.

To register, participants can complete the online registration or print and download the online registration form at and bring the completed forms to the Shanes Park concession stand on the day of the competition. This is a free event sponsored by the Rockford Recreation Association. In the event of inclement weather on that day, communication will be made on the Rockford Recreation Association Facebook page.






Click Here for the Parkway Calendar of Events for April 2015 (March 20-May 2)

Provided by Lisa Miller, Attendance and Athletic Secretary


April 2, 2015


The Peoples Bank Company Celebrates Tradition of Hometown Support
Washington, D.C. (March 30, 2015)—The Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) and the nation’s more than 6,000 community banks will recognize ICBA Community Banking Month in April—a month dedicated to celebrating the longstanding tradition of local hometown community banking. Throughout the month, ICBA will encourage consumers, entrepreneurs, farmers and ranchers to learn more about community banks, their role in building stronger communities and the quality products and services that they provide—all with the relationship banking experience that customers can expect from a local financial institution. 

“Community banks are instrumental in building better communities, as they continue to lend to local residents, entrepreneurs and agricultural enterprises—all of which keep America’s rural, suburban and urban communities growing and thriving,” said ICBA Chairman Jack Hartings, president and CEO of The Peoples Bank Co., Coldwater, Ohio. “Community banks exist to serve the needs of their customers and communities, many have been around for decades, and more than 2,500 have been in business for more than 100 years. This time-honored business of community banks is something to be proud of and celebrate. ICBA commends community banks for their continued support and advocacy of consumers and Main Street America. ”

Community banks are relationship lenders that flourish when their customers and communities do the same. Taking care of customers and looking out for the best interest of local communities is the community banking business model. Across the nation, community banks operate 52,000 locations, employ 700,000 Americans and hold $3.6 trillion in assets, $2.9 trillion in deposits and $2.4 trillion in loans to consumers, small businesses and the agricultural community.

“Community banks are one-of-a-kind, as are the customers, hometowns and Main Streets they serve on a daily basis. ICBA Community Banking Month gives us an opportunity to celebrate the unique and critical role they play in our local hometowns,” said Hartings.

To highlight the unique and vital role that community banks serve in their communities, ICBA plans to highlight a community bank on its website each weekday in April. Each profile will showcase the unique traits, stories and characteristics inherent to community banks.

To find your local community bank, visit ICBA’s Community Bank Locator at To follow the conversation on ICBA Community Banking Month, follow the hashtag #BankLocally on Twitter.

About ICBA

The Independent Community Bankers of America®, the nation’s voice for more than 6,000 community banks of all sizes and charter types, is dedicated exclusively to representing the interests of the community banking industry and its membership through effective advocacy, best-in-class education and high-quality products and services.


Parkway April 2015 Breakfast & Lunch Menus by Pam Smith



Snow & Ice Statistics

By Jim Wiechart

Mercer County Engineer

Snow & Ice statistics for winter season 2014-2015

Mercer County, 384.129 miles of roads

12 snow plows average 32 miles per route (one way)

50 days of snow & ice control in winter of 2014-2015

Salt used – 1,351.75 tons  =  $110,312.78

Grit used – 1,351.75 tons  =    $10,811.00

            Total material costs during the winter season = $121,123.78

Total regular labor hours on snow & ice = 2,224.50 hours

               Overtime hours                         = 860.00 hours

Total costs for snow & ice during the season = $364,993.48 (Equip., labor, & material)

Average cost for snow & ice control         2009-2010 season = $814.98/mile

                                                                        2010-2011 season = $1,073.46/mile

                                                                        2011-2012 season = $264.91/mile

                                                                        2012-2013 season = $635.52/mile

                                                                        2013-2014 season = $1,267.47/mile

                                                                        2014-2015 season = $950.18/mile


Parkway Spring Team Photos Below are Compliments of Nikki Fox Photography.
Thank you for sharing Nikki!

Click Below to see the rest of the Team Pictures!

Click Here for Parkway Varsity and Junior Varsity Boys Baseball Team Pictures

Click Here for Parkway Varsity and Junior Varsity Girls Softball Team Pictures

Click Here for Parkway Varsity Coed Track Team Pictures

Click Here for Parkway Junior High Boys Baseball Team and Girls Softball Pictures, 
Coed Track Team Pictures





                WHAT:           PARENTS RX 360

                WHERE:        Auditeria at Coldwater High School

                WHEN:          APRIL 8, 2015

                TIME:             7:00 PM TILL 8: 30 PM





April 1, 2015


Remember the Rockford Eagles Fish Fry and Chicken Strips Dinners
on Good Friday, April 3, 2015 from 5-7 PM.
Members and Guests only. Good Food! See ad above for details.







Guest Column from State Representative Jim Buchy

Ohio Tax Quiz-Will You Pass It?


Our tax filing deadline is upon us.  This year, all the buzz is about the new Ohio Tax Quiz, which is a requirement to get your refund if you fall into certain categories considered high risk for tax fraud.  The goal is to ensure refund recipients are proving their identity, thus reducing fraud.

The state of Ohio has contracted with LexisNexis to build a fraud reduction system for Ohio that is unique to this state.   The test consists of 4 questions and, to pass, you must obtain a score of 3 out of 4. It is administered up to two times online, and then up to two more times over the phone if needed.  

The test developers have to compile 16 separate questions for every individual tested. The information used for the questions was collected from many public and commercial data sources.  I have heard that questions on the test have, at times, been extremely outdated, offensive, and sometimes unsettling.

The Ohio Tax Department is reporting 97 percent of those responding have been able to pass the test.  For those unable to pass, some may be committing fraud, and others will have to take a considerable amount of time and effort to prove that they are truly entitled to their refund.

The statistic that most alarms me is that  through the end of February, more than 150,000 tax filers have failed to even attempt to take the test within two weeks of receiving the letter.  The Ohio Tax Department believes a majority of these individuals are probably filing claims fraudulently.  I am concerned that many of the people in this group did not understand the requirement to take the quiz before they could get their refund. If your state refund has been outstanding for more than 30 days and you think you may have received a letter encouraging you to take this test, please contact my office for assistance with this issue.

This test was not a legislative initiative, but I am still concerned about its impact.  I am uneasy about the costs to administer it, and am also curious if the benefits of this program outweigh the hassle to Ohio’s tax payers. 

The tax commissioner put together this program without legislative consultation and to-date I have had many concerned citizens contact my office because of the struggles involved with the roll-out.  Although, the tax commissioner contacted the lion’s share of Ohio’s tax preparers, the department failed to inform tax payers of this new obstacle to getting their money back.

It is important that we examine the effectiveness of this test and go back to the drawing board if need be to determine if it is really necessary. If not, we must seek better ways to reduce instances of fraud.

Please give me your opinion on this topic and others in the news this month by completing an online survey at



Remember Parkway Kindergarten Screening
Elementary is currently scheduling appointments for kindergarten screening for the 2015-2016 school year.  Students need to be five years old before August 1 to be eligible to attend.  Screening will be held on Thursday, April 9 and Friday, April 10 beginning at 8:30 a.m. at Parkway Elementary School.  On screening day, it will be necessary for parents/guardians to present an official birth certificate from the Department of Vital Statistics (any county health department).  The vital statistics department will require a fee for this copy. The hospital complimentary birth certificate will not be accepted.  Parents will also need to supply their child’s social security card, immunization records, two forms of proof of residency and custody papers (if applicable) to photocopy. Immunizations are required to be documented by the 15th day of school.  All students entering kindergarten in the fall will need to go through the screening process.  Please call Michelle in the elementary office at 419-363-3045 ext.720 to schedule an appointment.



Civil War Roundtable

Civil War Roundtable program for the evening of April 23 will feature Eric Wittenberg, as the guest speaker. Meet at 7:15 PM in room 186 Andrews Hall at Wright State Lake Campus in Celina.


Eric will discuss the importance of the cavalry action of Union General John Buford's troops at Gettysburg. Buford delayed Confederate infantry on the first day of battle until Union infantry could arrive and engage them. Buford's action made it possible for the Union to grab the high ground in that decisive battleground.


    Wittenberg is an author of seventeen Civil War books. He frequently serves as a   battlefield guide. He serves on the Governor's commission on the sesquicentennial He is widely sought to appear at Civil War commemorative events and is a real crowd pleaser at our Roundtable.


    Feel free to invite guests.



Patrol reminds drivers to keep eyes, focus on the road

    April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Van Wert –April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and the Van Wert Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol is reminding drivers to keep their eyes and focus on the roadway while driving. Last year 17,827 crashes in Ohio had a reported distraction, including 44 fatal crashes. Ohio law prohibits all cell phone usage for drivers under 18. Texting while driving is illegal for all drivers, as a secondary offense.


Sending or receiving a text message takes a driver’s eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent of driving the length of an entire football field when traveling at 55 mph.


“Every time someone takes their eyes or their focus off the road - even for just a few seconds - they put their lives and the lives of others in danger,” said Lt. Tim Grigsby, Commander of the Van Wert Post.

“Distracted driving is unsafe and irresponsible. In a split second, its consequences can be devastating.”


Distracted driving is any non-driving activity that has potential to distract a person from the primary task of driving and increase the risk of crashing. Distractions can be visual, taking eyes off of the road; manual, taking hands off the wheel; or cognitive, taking the mind off driving. Texting while driving is an example that results in all three types of distraction.



Preschool Screening offered

The Mercer County Educational Service Center will again offer a Preschool Screening Program for the district preschoolers of Parkway.


Under the program, children ages 3-5 will be screened in a variety of developmental areas.  Possible screenings include vision and hearing acuity, fine motor coordination, speech and language development, visual and auditory memory and perception, and general information.


The screening for Parkway School District is scheduled as follows:



April 24, 2015           Rockford First United                      8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

                                   Methodist Church



All preschoolers attending any private or public preschool need to have physicals.  If you have a form from your preschool, please bring it along with you on screening day.  Our team will complete the hearing and vision portion for you free of charge.


Please register by contacting your elementary school secretary at 419-363-3045, ext. 720, by April 17, 2015.


Time to Register for Vantage Preschool!


Climbing on the outdoor playground equipment… making play- doh…exploring worms…going to the Media center to hear one of Mrs. Knodel’s stories, or going down to the Buildings and Grounds lab to visit their small house maze...These are just a few of the fun activities going on for Vantage preschoolers. The children will experience other hands on activities in language arts, math, kindergarten readiness, literature, and social skills.

Interested in sending your preschooler to Vantage?  Registration is now underway for the 2015-2016 school year.  Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis.  There are two options for preschool classes this year.  For both options, children must reach the age of 3 by August 1st.  There is a $25 non-refundable registration fee, which can be paid when you come in to complete the application.  All supplies and field trips are included in fees.

       High school juniors and seniors who are preparing for a career in Early Childhood Education work directly with the preschoolers by planning and conducting the lessons.  A major benefit for the children who attend the Vantage Preschool is the very low staff-child ratio.  There is usually one high school “teacher” to every one or two preschoolers, supervised by the directors.  The high school students also receive additional training in First Aid, CPR, Child Abuse, and common childhood illnesses.


        The traditional half-day preschool session is the most popular choice.  The morning preschool session meets Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. until
10:50 a.m. and is taught by Mrs. Marcia Osenga, Mrs. Donna Myers and the senior Early Childhood students.  This session is for 3-5 year old children.

             The FULL DAY option is available from 8:30 a.m.–2:20 p.m., Monday through Thursday.  This is a pre-kindergarten class for 4 and 5 year-olds.  Preschoolers pack their lunch. Vantage Preschool provides developmentally appropriate activities for the total development of children ages three through five years old using the Early Learning Ohio Standards. 

            For more information about the Vantage preschool, or to reserve a spot for your child, please contact Donna Myers or Marcia Osenga at 419-238-5411 ext. 2408.


Registration for Free ABLE Classes


Fall is not the only time to go back to school.  Think Spring to register for Adult Basic and Literacy Education (ABLE) classes offered through Vantage Career Center.  Many adults attend ABLE classes to refresh basic skills in reading, writing and math, improve skills needed for employment or further education, or prepare for the GED® exam to obtain a high school equivalency diploma.  ABLE classes are offered at convenient times and locations throughout the Vantage service area, including Van Wert, Paulding, Delphos and Celina.


The next registration date is Monday, April 6, 2015.  In Van Wert, registration will be held at Vantage Career Center, 818 N. Franklin St. from 9:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. or from 5:30 until 8:30 p.m.  Regular classes meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the same times.


Paulding classes are held at the Paulding County Ohio Means Jobs Center, 252 Dooley Dr. Suite. B.  Students may register at the next orientation session: Monday, April 6, 2015 from 12:00 Noon until 3:00 p.m.


Delphos classes are located at the Public Library, 309 W. 2nd St.  Class times are Monday and Wednesday; 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. Orientation is the first Monday of the month.


In Celina, classes are located at the Mercer County Ohio Means Jobs Center, 220 W. Livingston St. New students may register on Monday, April 6, 2015 from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 Noon. Classes in Celina meet on Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 Noon.


ABLE classes can help students prepare for the new computer-based GED® test and assist in making goals for further education, adult certificate training or a better job a reality. The ABLE program offers personal learning plans, use of computer technology and flexible study options. New students are welcome!


For additional information regarding ABLE/GED class registration, cost of the new GED® exam or participation in the Ohio voucher program for first-time test-takers,  please contact the ABLE Coordinator at 419-238-5411 or 1-800-686-3944 ext. 2075; or visit the ABLE/GED link on the Vantage Career Center Adult Education website at:



March 31, 2015


Panther Indoor Soccer Posts Perfect Season
The Panther indoor soccer team recently finished their season with a perfect 8-0 campaign, winning the regular season and tournament titles in the 3rd/4th grade division.  The panthers compete in the Grand Lake Area Soccer Association League.  Thank you to our sponsors Greve Chrysler, Henkle Insurance and Citizens National Bank.  Congrats on a Great Season!!Pictured from left to right, Front row: Doug Hughes, Fletcher Smith, Landon Hamrick, Brayden Bruns, Collin Langenkamp.  Second row: Apollo Thomas, Bryce Stearns, Trevor Stearns, Landen May, Wyatt Carpenter, Xavier Samples.  Coaches: Chad Bruns, Sara Stearns, Cort Smith   Not Pictured:  Zachary Rogers













Scores for 3/30/2015 ~ The Panthers

Varsity Softball defeats Spencerville 20-10 in 5 inning run rule.

Junior  Varsity Softball defeats Spencerville 15-2 in 5 inning run rule.

Varsity Baseball defeats St. Marys 3-0 behind Wyatt Felver’s 3 hit shut-out. Tanner Bates and Carson Ford each collected RBI’s

Junior Varsity Baseball loses to St. Marys 11-1.




NEWS RELEASE: “Why We Chose to Home School Our Children” to be hosted by Grand Lake Patriots


A panel of home schooling parents will address the topic “Why We Chose to Home School Our Children” on Thursday, April 9, at 7 PM in the Lefeld Community Building at the Mercer County Fairgrounds (W. Market Street entrance), Celina. Sponsored by the Grand Lake Patriots, the program follows a brief update on current national news events.


Besides addressing their reasons for home schooling, the Mercer County families will also respond to commonly-asked questions like “What course of study do you follow? What kind of textbooks do you use?” and “What about your child’s social skills development?”


Members of the Grand Lake Patriots and guests are cordially invited to attend. 

Phone 419-733-3880 or 419-302-0472 for further information. 



Public “Benefit” Auction In conjunction with “Join Jodi” Benefit

Saturday, April 11th 2015 @ 1:00

Location: Ohio City Park Building St. Rt. 118


The community is having a benefit to help support Jodi (Hurless) Arthur, both emotionally and financially, as she fights her battle against cancer. She has been diagnosed with invasive carcinoma with angio lymphatic invasion breast cancer. Jodi is the daughter of Wanda and the late Rex Hurless of Ohio City. She is an Ohio City-Liberty 1982 graduate and is now residing in Delphos.


They will be serving soup and sandwiches starting at 11:00am. We will also be having a homemade goods and bake sale. We will be having an auction at 1:00 followed by a zumba-thon from 5:00-6:30. We will finish the night with entertainment from Cass Blue starting at 7:00. Carry-in refreshment with a donation.


All items for the auction are being donated by individuals and businesses, with all proceeds going to Jodi. There will be something for everyone. Items old and new. Antiques and collectibles, household, knick-knacks, and miscellaneous. Gift baskets and lots of gift certificates for surrounding are businesses. Items from home based business. Artwork and handcrafted items.


Some items of interest include: 4 tickets for a Detroit Tiger game, golf packages for Willow Bend and Hickory sticks. Other tickets to various events. Some new items include: 24” Sun brand ladies cruiser bicycle, neon beer sign, large framed Bud Lite mirror, OSU fire pit rings, canopy pop up tent, gas grill, outdoor fountain sanctuary, Mikita cordless drill kit, cordless phone system. Air purifier, hedge trimmer, leaf blower, white gold, amethyst necklace, and more.


Large #6 antique blue striped crock with spigot, Hummel statues, old croquet set, old frame quilt blocks, pottery, hand carved walking stick, original art designs, and collectibles.

This is a partial list, with items being added up to day of auction.


Food and Homemade goods will start at 11:00am

Auction conducted by: Daryl “D. D” Strickler 

Terms: Cash/ good check



March 28-30, 2015


Van Wert Area Community Concert Band ~ Calling All Band Members

On Monday April 20th, the Van Wert Area Community Concert Band will begin rehearsals for the upcoming concert season.  The rehearsals are held each Monday in the New Van Wert High School band room, located off S.R 118 from 7:30 P.M. to 9:00 P.M.   The band is open to anyone wishing to play his or her instrument in a concert band.  Current members vary in age, and playing ability but have the common interest of performing and making great band music.  The members come from, Van Wert, Lima, Delphos, Convoy, Payne, Chat, Middle Point, Decatur and Rockford.  It truly is a Van Wert Area Band.

Retired Parkway Band director Richard Sherrick directs the band.  The goals are to

present a variety of music that is both musically enjoyable to the listener and challenging to the performer.  If you have any questions regarding participation in the band please call 419-230-6808, or just come to the first rehearsal. Please consider becoming a member of our organization this coming season.


Amanda Stachler, Parkway Bowling Stand-out Heading to UNOH

Amanda Stachler recently signed a letter of intent to bowl at the University of Northwestern Ohio in Lima Ohio. Her parents are Terry and Sue Stachler. She had the second highest game of the conference season with a 249 and ranked 3rd at conference. Her average was 189 during her senior yearShe holds the Parkway school record for average and high series.


4-H Clever Clovers Meeting #3

Written by Ali Gemmer

Clever Clovers had their third meeting on March 16th at Grace Bible Church from 6:30-7:30pm. The meeting began with a group activity and was then called to order by Erin Richardson. Caroline Kopack led the 4-H pledge and Erin Richardson, substituting for Erin Gemmer, gave the Treasure’s Report.  At the meeting, new member Kasee Stoller was introduced.  A Health and Safety Report was not given.  Rachel Spath gave a Service Project Report and Hannah Bartley gave keys to a good Demonstration along with passing out a Demonstration outline. Then the group began their second Agricultural Activity over Soy Lecithin. The members learned that Soy Lecithin is in many foods, what it is, what it does, and then did an experiment to further their knowledge of how Soy Lecithin works. The meeting was adjourned and the members had snacks.

 The next meeting was a service project that took place on March 19th.  Clever Clovers’ Service Project took place at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church at 4:45pm. Members from the club went to the church and helped put together bags for the Blessings in a Backpack program along with senior volunteers and adult volunteers in an assembly line. The bags were put into bins which were organized into schools, classes, and grades of the students using the bags. All of the bins were delivered to the schools by adults and seniors who volunteered to take them. The Blessings in a Backpack program is exactly its name. Volunteers get together and supply food in bags or backpacks and give it students who sign up for the program and help them eat better throughout the rest of the school year.



Parkway School Board Members to Visit Classrooms
On Monday, March 30th and Tuesday, March 31st , members of the Parkway Local Schools Board of Education are planning "Board Visit Days." They want to experience the day-to-day achievements that are happening at Parkway Local Schools. During their visits, they hope to interact with students, have conversations with teachers, and be visible to the population they directly serve.

The purpose for the visits is to make themselves available and accessible to Parkway students and staff.  No board business will be conducted during the “Board Visit Days.”



March 26-27, 2015


National FFA Week
by Taylor Hesse at

February 23rd-27th Parkway FFA Chapter celebrated National FFA Week. During the week the chapter held various activities. The chapter had dress up themes for everyday of the week. Monday was FFA Apparel, Tuesday dress like an Ag teacher, Wednesday duct tape day, Thursday Carhartt/Camo day and Friday was Flannel Friday. On Monday the chapter also help a truck drive-in and gave prizes out to students. Winners are as followed, Biggest: Cooper Clouse, Smallest: Hunter Hamrick, Cleanest: Riley Armstrong, Newest: Jensen Riley, and Oldest: Job Beair. On Tuesday the FFA held an FFA Luncheon. The chapter had a coloring contest for the elementary and gave prizes for that also. The chapter also held a canned food drive for the whole school. The school collected 1887 cans thought the week. On Friday the chapter ended the week with an Apple Pie Bake-off. The winners for the best looking were 1st- Alex Altenbach, 2nd- Taylor Hesse, and 3rd- Alexa Hagens. Best tasting were 1st-Whitney Rollins, 2nd-Katelin Ausburger, and 3rd-Courtney Lies. To see more pictures like Parkway FFA facebook! Thanks to  everyone who helped make this FFA week a huge success!




Plan Now to Attend!


March 25, 2015


Get Ready for an Easter Egg Hunt!

Mt Tabor Church of God is hosting its annual Easter Egg Hunt taking place on Saturday, March 28th, 2015.  The fun starts at 10:00am

Children age 0 to 6th grade may bring a basket and hunt for eggs.  Over 1000 eggs will be filled with candy and prizes.  Enter for a raffle of children’s bikes!  Enjoy a yummy pancake & sausage breakfast for the whole family!  Bring your camera; it’ll be a sweet time!

For more info check:

Mt Tabor Church of God is on the corner of 127 & Tama Road

9744 US 127 N. / Celina, OH  45822

(419) 363-3653



Parkway Pride Wins 5th Grade Basketball Tournament

Parkway Pride wins the annual Delphos Jefferson 5th grade basketball tournament on March 22nd.  The team defeated Ottoville, Riverside, Delphos St. John’s, and then Elida in the championship game.  The team travels to the Ottoville tournament the weekend after Easter to continue its championship quest.  Included in the photo, taken immediately following the championship victory over Elida, includes, kneeling (L-R) Blake Strickler, Gage Hamrick, Jacob Rogers; standing (L-R) Coach Andy Rogers, Zach Hawk, Gabe Schaaf, Chase Heitkamp, Hunter Bruns, Caden Slusher, and Coach Travis Pond. 



Community Days Committee to Meet
The Rockford Community Days committee is planning a meeting on Monday – March 30th  at the Village Hall at 7:30 pm for ALL local organizations.  WE WANT YOU involved with this year’s Community Days Event to be held June 19, 20 & 21st.
We are looking for an organization to help work the inflatables.

Please plan to attend this COMMUNITY meeting for COMMUNITY Days!



Three Week Series Begins March 26th

Van Wert, Ohio — Van Wert County Hospital will offer 1,2,3,4 Parents! A free workshop for parents of children ages 2-
5. The three-session video and discussion program will be held on Thursday evenings.  Beginning March 26th, each 
session will be held in the hospital’s conference room B&C from 5:00-7:00 p.m. Van Wert Hospital is located at 1250 
S. Washington Street.

This parenting workshop is funded by a grant provided by the Ohio Children’s Trust Fund. The mission of the Ohio 
Children's Trust Fund (OCTF) is to take a leadership role and be a catalyst in preventing child abuse and neglect in 

For more information about this class, visit Registration is required and can be made by 
calling 419.238.8618.




Mercer Health Weight Management Center announces

“Back on Track” Weight Management Class

Ready to get your weight loss journey ‘Back on Track’?


The Weight Management Center at Mercer Health will be holding a special event titled ‘Back on Track’ on Monday, April 13, at 6:00pm at Mercer Health’s West Campus location.  This free class, presented by Judy Broering, RD, LD, will be held annually, and is appropriate for those that are ready to get their   weight loss journey ‘Back on Track’, whether after a recent weight gain, struggle with an extended weight plateau, or feeling like the “new you” is slipping away.  This ‘Back on Track’ Program will provide the education, structure, encouragement, and support one may need to get back on their weight loss journey and to reach and maintain a weight loss goal.  Registration is required for this event.


The Mercer Health Weight Management Center also continues to offer several other Weight Management programs throughout the year.  The following programs are now available through Mercer Health’s Weight Management Center:

1)      The LAP-BAND® weight loss surgery program continues to grow, and is now accepting Medicare patients!  The required informational seminar is now available online anytime at

2)      Rev It Up!® Weight Management is a 9-week interactive lifestyle program led by our registered dietitian that covers topics such as behavior modification, hunger and fullness signals, fluid needs, meal timing, aerobic exercise, and more. The next 9-week session begins June 10.

3)      The Medifast® Program offers a structured meal plan that incorporates specially formulated Medifast meal replacement and snack products to achieve a low calorie, low carbohydrate diet.  To begin the Medifast program, view the required “Introduction to Medifast” class online anytime at

4)      The MedGem Indirect Calorimeter is a handheld device that determines an individual’s resting metabolic rate.  This test also includes an interpretation with a registered dietitian to determine an appropriate caloric level for weight loss.  Tests are scheduled on a patient by patient basis.


To register for the ‘Back on Track’ program, or for more information about this program or other Weight Management Programs available at Mercer Health, contact the Weight Management Center at 419-678-8446.  




Rock Out for Ovarian Cancer

On November 15, 2014, the annual Rock Out for Ovarian Cancer was held at McSobers Saloon in Coldwater to honor Patty Selhorst, who lost her battle to ovarian cancer in 2007. Patty Selhorst had a request, and before she passed away on June 4, 2007 she made that request clear to her family: raise funds for research and raise awareness of the disease. Her family has been honoring that request and to date have raised $45,000!

The event included a reverse raffle, live auction and entertainment from the bands NightFall and Bad Medicine. Special guests also included Romie and Joe performing Bottles doing a Special Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom. All proceeds are to benefit the American Cancer Society earmarked for ovarian cancer education and research.

Ovarian cancer is the ninth most common cancer in women (not counting skin cancer), ranking fifth as the cause of cancer death in women. Because ovarian tumors are hard to find, it is recommended that women receive regular health exams. A woman should speak to her doctor about the need for further testing if a high risk of ovarian cancer (such as those with a strong family history of the disease) is present, or symptoms that can't be explained occur nearly every day for more than a few weeks.


Larry Selhorst and the Rock Out committee present a $7,000 check to Marybeth Torsell of the American Cancer Society. Pictured left to right in the back row are: Bill Bohman and Trent Boeckman Front row left to right are Andy Hrycko, Bradley Selhorst, Marybeth Torsell, Lisa Lefeld, Larry Selhorst, Dominik Selhorst, Brent Selhorst and Kylie Lefeld. Absent from picture are Mark Cavinder, Kory Hoffhines, Mike Moorman and Kyle Bruns.

For more information about the American Cancer Society, please call 800.227.2345  anytime, day or night, or visit



Ohio City Youth Activities Sign-up Plannned

The O.C. Youth Activities will have a sign-up day on Saturday, April 4th at the Ohio City Community Building on SR 118. Sign-up will be during the OCFD breakfast from 6:00am to 12:00pm. The summer programs are open to the ages of four through fifteen. Cost is $25 for one child, second child is $20, and a maximum family fee is $60 for three or more. A program is available for any families not able to pay. We want all children to be able to play. Contact Laura Morgan at 419-965-2515 for more information. Applications can be printed from the village website and mailed in.





Fountain Park Summer Music Series 2015

June 5  Fri.       Ambrosia                                                                     7:00 p.m.

With five top 40 hits from the 1970’s/80’s, Ambrosia became one of the most popular soft rock bands of its time.  Enjoy the songs you loved and still hear such as “How Much I Feel,” “You’re the Only Woman,” Biggest Part of Me,” and so much more as we kick off the summer in Fountain Park.  Come early and enjoy the ArtRageous and Peony Festival activities throughout the park and downtown Van Wert.


June 20            Sat.      Blue Moon Swamp- The John Fogerty/CCR Tribute        7:00 p.m.

No one captures the concert experience of John Fogerty and Creedence Clearwater Revival like this band.  Blue Moon Swamp travels the country recreating those memorable experiences with songs you remember like “Lookin’ out my Backdoor,” “Up around the Bend,” “Have you ever seen the Rain?” and many more.  Fountain Park will be rockin’ for this concert as thousands of GOBA bikers and supporters will be in Van Wert to launch their 400 mile trek throughout NW Ohio.

June 26            Fri.       The Hoo Doo Loungers                                              7:00 p.m.

Enjoy the rhythms, sounds & spirits of New Orleans. The band’s sound encompasses traditional New Orleans Jazz, Brass Band, classic R&B and funk- a blend of original music and re-arranged New Orleans classics.  The HooDoo’s perform a high energy and highly entertaining show that will please young and old alike.

July 3               Fri.       Lima Symphony Pops Orchestra                                7:00 p.m.

Celebrate America with the Pop sounds of the Lima Symphony.  Van Wert is one of the few communities in America that can celebrate our Independence Day with an actual Pops Orchestra.  Maestro Crafton Beck will lead the orchestra in all your favorites in this huge celebration of our nation’s birthday.  This concert has become a tradition that is hugely popular in Van Wert and throughout the region.


July 17 Fri.       Shot Gun Wedding                                                     7:00 p.m.

Comprised of vocalists and musicians who have and are still working with such performers as Billy Joel, Shania Twain, Hall and Oates, Bon Jovi, Meat Loaf, and Michael Bolton; Shotgun Wedding is two-parts twang, an ounce of rock-n-roll and a dash of swing, all shook up with a big dose of country.  They are all New York born and bred, but they’ve got country in their soul.


July 24 Fri.       CSN Songs- A Tribute to Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young       7:00 p.m.

The music was born in Woodstock, New York at the famous “Woodstock Music Festival” in the summer of 1969, when Crosby Stills and Nash hit the stage and changed the face of folk/ rock music forever. Their music continued throughout the 70′s, 80′s, 90′s and today. The harmonious vocals that Crosby Stills Nash & Young are so well known for, are heard in every song performed by “CSNsongs” as they are perfectly reproduced.

August 7         Fri.       Your Generation in Concert featuring Fifty Amp Fuse         7:00 p.m.

Fifty Amp Fuse is a live multimedia spectacular celebrating six decades of American and British pop/rock hits. The group is an international favorite for the celebrity set, corporations, festivals, casinos and private events. Led by a nine-piece band, Your Generation in Concert™ transports the audience on a musical journey through the soundtrack of their lives. Come join them as they rock the World. Your Generation in Concert™ is the world’s greatest tribute show.  Celebrate the end of another wonderful summer of music in Van Wert’s Fountain Park with the “World’s Greatest Cover Band- Fifty Amp Fuse!”

All concerts are underwritten by The Van Wert County Foundation in cooperation with the City of Van Wert Parks & Recreation.  The public is invited to bring lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy these free concerts.  Food is available.



March 24, 2015


Parkway Schools are on a two hour delay for Tuesday, March 24, 2015 due to icy roads.

The Special Education Meeting is now delayed until 10 AM.

Thank you to Chatt Insurance, our Weather Sponsor!


Parkway Teachers are Getting State of the Art New Laptops
On March 18, 2015, the Parkway School Board voted in favor of purchasing 90 Microsoft Surface Pro 3 laptop computers for the districts teachers. The detachable keyboards have a docking station and the total cost will be $103,242. The laptops the teachers currently use are 5 years old and were refurbished ones which have been hard to keep repaired. The proposed plan is to purchase now so teachers can work with them this school year and be fully comfortable with them for the coming year.

March 23, 2015




4 + inches of snow fell this afternoon in the Mercer County Area.


Hiser and Bienz Families Announce First Child ~ A Baby Girl
Kyle and Jennifer (Bienz) Hiser, Fort Recovery, announce the birth of their first child, a daughter. Rehn Elizabeth Hiser born Sat. Feb. 14th 2015 at Joint Township Hospital in St. Marys Ohio at 7:03 PM. Weighing 7lbs 3 oz and 19 3/4 inches long. Grandparents Keith and Sharon Hiser of Winchester Indiana and John and Teresa Bienz of Mendon. Great Grandparents are the late Delma Hiser and Mary Hiser resides in Celina and the late Guy and Ruth Williamson. The late Clarence and Ruby Bienz formerly of Rockford. The late Bobbie Clark and Shirley Clark resides in Ohio City. Russell and Armeda Shark of Spencerville.

Click Here for More Births




No School at Parkway on Monday, March 23 due to Teacher In-service

Special Board Meeting

A special meeting of the Parkway Local Board of Education has been called for Monday, March 23, 2015 at 4:30 p.m. in the high school conference room.  The meeting will be held in executive session.  The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss personnel.


Stose - Caffee Families Welcome Baby Girl

Zack and Megan Stose Caffee, Rockford, announce the birth of a baby girl at 3:55 PM on Sunday, January 22, 2015 at St. Marys Joint Township District Memorial Hospital in St. Marys, OH. Weighing in at 8 lbs. 9 ounces, she was 21 inches long. Named Lillian Renee, she was welcomed home by her big sister, Adelyn, 1-1/2 years old. Grandparents are Dave and Tammy Stose of Mendon; Jeff and Jackie Caffee of Willshire; and Denise Huston, Monroeville. Great grandparents are Larry and Linda Caffee of Willshire; Al and Janet Huston of Rockford; the late Jennifer Huston; the late Chet and Sally Grimm; and the late John and Phyllis Stose. Click Here for More Births


McAlhaney and Linn Families Celebrate Baby Boy's Arrival

Jason and Amber McAlhaney of Berne, IN, are pleased to announce the birth of their third child, a son. Sawyer Randolph McAlhaney was born at 1:29 PM on Wednesday January 7th at Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne, IN. He weighed 7 pounds, 1 ounce and was 19.5 inches long. He was welcomed home by his siblings Cooper and Stella, both 2 1/2. Maternal grandparents are Randy & Paula Linn of Rockford; paternal grandfather is Lee McAlhaney of Monroe, IN. Maternal great-grandfather is Roger Andrews of Rockford. Click Here for More Births


Pancake and Sausage Day Planned for Rockford Fire Department

The Rockford Fire Department will have their annual Pancake and Sausage Day on Saturday, April 11, 2015 from 6 AM to 1 PM. The cost is $6 for adults; kids 12 to 5 -  $4 and under 5 are FREE!  All you can eat! This is a fun community event where you can visit with your neighbors and friends and support a great cause while eating really delicious fresh made pancakes and Kuhn farm whole hog sausage. There will be raffle prizes and drawings. Plan now to attend.


March 21-22, 2015




By  Joyce L. Alig, President, Mercer County Historical Society

Photo caption:  John Powell, Kokomo, IN, invented the first successful mechanical corn picker and New Idea Company produced this corn picker in 1928.


Throughout the history of the planting and harvest seasons of corn, corn pickers were among the last of farm equipment to be produced and marketed successfully to the farmer.  Historians and archaeologists seeking the history of corn had difficulty in finding evidence of corn in Europe, prior to the early Europeans visiting America, including such adventurers as the Vikings and the explorers in the era of Christopher Columbus.   The Encyclopaedia Britannica reported about a study of early corn in Central America in 1954, which was done by E.S. Barghoorn of Harvest University.  Barghoorn found fossil pollen grains of corn in a drill core taken from a depth of more than 200 feet below the present site of Mexico City.  This pollen was dated 80,000 years ago.  The Maya and Aztecs of Central America and the Incas of Peru and Bolivia used corn for their daily bread.   The Cliff dwellers of Southwestern United States and mound builders along the Mississippi Valley were corn-growers.  Britannica stated that corn was indeed, “the grain that built a hemisphere.”  The history of the grain of corn is a part of the history of our agribusiness and our culture in this country, including Mercer County, Ohio History.

When the United States celebrated its Centennial in 1876, it was as if there were a new wind blowing across our country.  Inventions and Patents became of interest to the “every day citizen.”  Farmers were among those with creative ideas for farm equipment.  In reference to corn, the planting and harvesting of corn by hand moved through a series of inventions, to the modern farm equipment of today.

The harvesting of corn is another unique story, which culminated in the inventions of successful corn pickers in the 1920’s.  Since the New Idea Historic Preservation (NIHP) Committee Members have been doing research on the history of the New Idea Company’s Corn Pickers, I have been reading agricultural books about corn planting and harvesting.  Many readers will remember the Corn Husking Pegs, used by hand to husk corn.  Husking Pegs are on exhibit at the Museum.  Corn Harvesters were developed.  Very early corn knives were manufactured to harvest the whole corn stalk,  including a corn knife being attached to a man’s boot.  A Mercer County man who had one arm, wore one of these boots with the knife attached to cut the corn stalk.   That boot was donated to the Historical Society;  I am extremely sorry to say that boot was stolen from the Museum, following the week of school tours years ago.  I always thought the thief would return that boot.

Corn pickers were among the last of farm equipment to be produced and marketed successfully to the farmer.  At the turn of the Century in 1900, early corn picker products were introduced to the farmers. McCormick made an unsuccessful picker in 1904.  Other early companies producing pickers were John Deere Plow Co., International Harvester, Belle City MFG. Co., Oliver, and New Idea Spreader Co. Corn binders and corn harvesters were developed by farm equipment industries.  In 1924 New Idea made its first 6 roll husker shredder.  Corn shellers were a boon to those who shelled corn by hand.  New Idea made its first hand New Idea Corn Shellers in 1931. 

The New Idea Company gave credit to “The Hoosier Inventor of a two row PTO (Power Take Off) picker” John Powell of Kokomo, Indiana, who invented the first successful mechanical corn picker.  New Idea Company produced this two row picker commercially in 1928.  And that was just the beginning of the New Idea Corn Picker history in Coldwater, Ohio.

Sunday, March 29, 1:00 – 4:00 will be the Exhibit of the New Idea Corn Pickers with related attachments, and their History at the Mercer County Historical Museum, 130 East Market, Celina.



Lake Campus to Host Capital Campaign Launch
Grand celebration to focus on the future of Wright State University and the Lake Campus

WHAT:           Lake Campus Capital Campaign Launch

WHEN:           Sunday, March 22, 2015
3:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
Program begins at 3:30 p.m.

WHERE:         James F. Dicke Hall, Lake Campus

President David R. and Mrs. Angelia Hopkins, and Dr. Bonnie Mathies, together with the Lake Campus Capital Campaign Cabinet, will launch “Rise. Shine. The Campaign for Wright State University” on Sunday, March 22.

The 3:30 p.m. program will include special remarks from Dr. Hopkins, Lake Campus Alumni of the Year 2015, Orval Homan, and a student video. In addition, the program will include a video message from Academy Award-winning actor Tom Hanks, who is leading the “Rise. Shine.” campaign, along with Amanda Wright Lane, great-grandniece of the Wright Brothers.

At the invitation-only event, the Lake Campus will reveal the “5 Concepts of the Capital Campaign”, to introduce the community to the top initiatives planned for the Lake Campus future.

“Rise. Shine. The Campaign for Wright State University” promises to further elevate the school’s prominence by expanding scholarships, attracting more top-flight faculty and supporting construction of state-of-the-art facilities.


Van Wert, Ohio Remains Member of the Nationally Accredited Main Street Community
Columbus OH – Heritage Ohio is proud to announce the 2014 certification of Van Wert as a Nationally Accredited Main Street Community. Van Wert became a member of the Main Street program in 2004, and since continues to be a catalyst in the revitalization of downtown Van Wert.


Main Street Van Wert is being recognized as proficient in the ten criteria as set by the National Main Street Center. This designation is a testament to the hard work and commitment of the Main Street Van Wert Board of Directors, staff, and volunteers. In 2014 Main Street Van Wert saw three new businesses open downtown helping to create 24 new jobs. Building improvements in 2014 were valued in excess of $1.4 million dollars with 15 downtown buildings improved. MSVW board members and volunteers worked to grow and create new events to draw more people into downtown, including ArtRageous, retail shopping events, and the popular Hidden Spaces upper floors tour.


Joyce Barrett, Executive Director of Heritage Ohio noted, “Van Wert’s priority moving forward is real estate development, as businesses and entrepreneurs continue to look for improved historic spaces. The downtown living trend also continues to grow which creates demand for market rate upper floor housing, something Van Wert can continue to develop.”

Don Farmer, Mayor of Van Wert, remarked how different downtown looks and feels today compared to just over a decade ago. “Over the last 11 years we have seen great improvements and investment in our downtown. Having an active Main Street organization has played an important role in spurring these improvements and preservation work, and remains important for continued downtown development.”

Heritage Ohio helps people to: save the places that matter, build community, and live better. As Ohio’s official historic preservation and Main Street Organization, Heritage Ohio’s mission is to foster economic development and sustainability through preservation of historic buildings, revitalization of downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts, and promotion of cultural tourism.  Since 1998, Heritage Ohio has contracted with the National Trust for Historic Preservation as Ohio’s state coordinating agency for the Main Street Program™. Learn more at


4-H Clever Clovers Meeting #2

Written by Ali Gemmer

Clever Clovers 4-H Club had their second meeting at Grace Bible Church on March 2nd from 6:30-7:30pm. The meeting started out with a group activity and then was called to order by Vice President, Hannah Bartley substituting for President, Erin Richardson.  The 4-H pledge was led by Bobby Spath and Rachel Spath began the meeting with a Service Project update.  Then, Lainey Werts gave a Health and Safety Report over “Food Born Illness.” After this, Clever Clovers began their first Group Ohio Agricultural Activity that will happen every meeting in the future. Advisor, Marie Markward told the members to bring a jar of soil to the meeting before and then split the members into small groups. Members who brought in soil had to fill the rest of their jar almost all the way to the top with water, shake it, and record the results of settling soil over time. While they waited, they made a poster of five or more important facts about soil with the help of a library book and worked on different questions and activities on paper over the soil information they learned. They concluded the meeting with snacks and drinks. The next meeting will be held at the same time and location on Monday, March 16th.


Youth groups to collect litter.


Motorists are asked to use caution in the next few months as youth community groups will be picking up litter in the ditches along many Mercer County Roads.

Mercer County Engineer Jim Wiechart issued the warning recently to protect the various groups of people who will be participating in the Litter Pick-up Program this spring.  “Clean-up crews are set to begin work in late March and typically complete the project by late spring,” Wiechart said. 

The litter pick-up program is a joint project funded by the County Engineer’s Office and Township Trustees who pay recognized civic and community groups who participate.  Safety vests, gloves and bags are provided by the Mercer County Solid Waste District and the Ohio EPA.  The Mercer County Solid Waste District and the Ohio EPA pay the disposal fees.



March 18-20, 2015


Rock and Mineral Collection Discussion to be Held in Rockford
The Shanes Crossing Historical Society will meet on Thursday - March 26th at 7:30 pm in the Museum at 151 E Columbia St. in Rockford. 

Tony Rotondo of Celina will make a presentation of "The Langsden Rock & Mineral Collection around the World"

The public is invited to the meeting.



Change of Location for Board Meeting
The Parkway Local Board of Education Meeting for April has been changed to April 7, 2015 @ 6:30 p.m. at Praise Point Church in Willshire, OH.



Become a Council Member in Rockford
The Village of Rockford has an open council seat.  If you are interested
in serving your community, please contact the Village Office at
419-363-3032 ext 1.  Please leave your name and phone number.



The Village of Rockford ( under the direction of Joyce Emans)  is looking for volunteers to organize a SHANES PARK BEAUTIFICATION SOCIETY.  

The idea is to meet twice a month on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month at 8 am to plant, water, weed and trim flowers and do other maintenance as needed at Shanes Park.  This would begin on April 5th and continue throughout the summer and fall.

If interested, please contact the Village office at 419-363-3032 ext 1. and leave your name and phone number.

** Something to think about – If you see the beauty one person can create, think how beautiful the park would be with several more helping out!  Giving back to the community can be a wonderful feeling !!


Rockford Village Council Meets on March 17, 2015

Volunteers are asked to help with and organize a SHANES PARK BEAUTIFICATION SOCIETY. Long-time council member Gene Steiner resigns.

Click Here to read the latest and past Rockford Village Council News



STATE VETERINARIAN RECOMMENDS PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES FOLLOWING AVIAN INFLUENZA DETECTION IN MISSISSIPPI MIGRATORY BIRD FLYWAY No cases detected in Ohio, CDC says threat to humans is low REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio – (March 13, 2015) Following recent announcements confirming the presence of highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza (HPAI H5) in commercial turkey flocks in the Mississippi migratory bird flyway, State Veterinarian Dr. Tony Forshey is urging Ohio poultry owners to take extra precautions and to monitor their birds for signs of illness. The recommendations are given out of an abundance of caution as there have been no detections in Ohio and no human infections are associated with these viruses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers the risk to people from these HPAI H5 infections to be low. “We have not had any suspect cases in Ohio, but because we are also located within the Mississippi flyway, we want poultry owners to be aware and to take proper precautions. Whether you have a fair project, a backyard flock, or are a commercial producer, you should practice good biosecurity measures and monitor the health of your birds closely, especially if they could come into contact with wild birds or are traveling this spring to poultry shows,” said Dr. Forshey.   The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) first confirmed HPAI H5 in the Pacific migratory bird flyway, in wild birds and poultry flocks in Washington, Oregon and Idaho, beginning in late 2014. The recent announcements of positives in commercial turkey flocks in Arkansas, Minnesota and Missouri, all located within the Mississippi flyway, indicate that migratory birds may be carrying the virus east of the Mississippi River. Ohio is located within the Mississippi flyway.   “It is important to remember there have been no human infections associated with these viruses.  It is perfectly safe to keep eating poultry and eggs.  Cooking poultry, including game birds, to the proper temperature and preventing cross contamination between raw and cooked food is always recommended to protect against viruses and bacteria,” said Dr. Forshey. Biosecurity recommendations for poultry owners All bird owners, whether commercial producers or backyard enthusiasts, should continue to practice good biosecurity, prevent contact between their birds and wild birds, and report sick birds or unusual bird deaths to their veterinarian immediately. ood biosecurity practices for poultry owners include the following:  Monitor flocks for unusual signs of illness such as “snicking” (sneezing,) a 1 percent or more decrease in· egg production, or an increase in mortality. Other signs to look for are wheezing, lethargy, and depression.    Practice personal biosecurity and avoid contact with sick/dead poultry or wildlife. If contact occurs,· wash your hands with soap and water and change clothing before having any contact with healthy domestic poultry and birds.  Keep unauthorized visitors from having contact with poultry, a good practice whether there is a disease· threat or not. Authorized persons should be required to wear protective clothing and shoes before entering a commercial poultry house.    Avoid contact between your birds and wild birds whenever possible due to the likely migratory nature· of HPAI H5. These virus strains can travel in wild birds without them appearing sick.  Clean and disinfect farm vehicles or equipment before moving them on and off your property.· If traveling with birds to a poultry show this spring, Dr. Forshey recommends taking extra care to keep transport and housing areas clean, minimize opportunities for birds to comingle and quarantine birds for at least 21 days before reintroducing them to a flock. Sick birds or unusual bird deaths should also be immediately reported to the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Division of Animal Health at 16147286220 or through USDA APHIS’s tollfree number at 18665367593. Additional information on biosecurity from USDA APHIS for backyard flocks can be found at or by visiting   The Ohio Department of Agriculture works closely with the state’s poultry producers and USDA APHIS to closely monitor the health of poultry in the state. Detailed plans and protocols are in place to allow for a quick and coordinated response in the event of an avian influenza detection in Ohio.



S.T.A.R. Retreat 2015 and Prevention Fundraiser


Photo: Some of the High School Role Models getting ready to do an energizer, sporting their home-made superhero capes!


The S.T.A.R. (Students Teaching About Resistance) Retreat was held on Saturday, March 7th at the Spiritual Center of Maria Stein. This year’s theme was, “Be Your Own Superhero.” 72 Mercer County 6th, 7th, and 8th graders attended the event. The goal of this event was to provide the youth with a positive, drug-free experience full of alternative activities, allowing them to be “superheroes” to their peers and community. The retreat also gave the youth a chance to learn new skills, be themselves, and make new friends to support them in the difficult times! Under the direction of Laura Sanford, the Prevention Coordinator at Foundations Behavioral Health Services, this youth-led prevention event was led mostly by 22 high school students from the Mercer County S.T.O.P. (Students Teaching Others Prevention) Group. 16 additional adult helpers also assisted with the event.   

The day started at 9 am with games and energizers led by the volunteers. Keynote Speaker, Craig Hart, provided all those in attendance some great words of encouragement. Craig is a 2013 graduate of the Fort Recovery High School, is a sophomore at WSU-LC majoring in Management Information Systems, and is a born leader. He attended the S.T.A.R. Retreat in Middle School, became a part of the S.T.O.P. group in High School and has assisted every year since. He stressed how it’s important to “Be Your Own Superhero” by being a role model to others, as we tend to remember those who are close to us and touch our lives the most. As printed on the t-shirts this year, a Superhero is “a person whose actions or achievements are far greater than what people expect.” Though professional athletes or sports team seem like heroes when they score the winning point or win the big game, people don’t always remember them or their impact years after the fact. It’s the people who invest in our everyday lives that make the biggest impact on our future…the peer or adult that talked to us when no one else cared or the person who helped someone through a tough time in their life, etc. Craig challenged them to write down a person they can be a better superhero to, and begin to make that impact. Since others are watching the choices we make, it’s important to set a positive example so that we can make our world and community a better place!

There were some introductory activities and the high school students performed skits about preventing bullying and remaining drug-free. Each participant was placed in a “family group” which is a closer-knit group led by high school students with an adult supervising. This group met 4 times throughout the day to do team-building activities and discuss activities and issues. Also, each youth took part in one “How To” activity such as juggling, dancing, warm fuzzies, hunting and trapping basics, or guitar which were led by volunteers (mostly high school, some adults). Also, each student attended two Personal Growth workshops, which consisted of Self-Esteem and Bullying Prevention, Social Media and Peer Pressure, Girl Talk 101, Guy Talk 101, Relaxation and dealing with stress, and Communication & Resolving Conflict which were mostly led by the high school students. Some of the high school students shared personal testimonies on why choose to stay drug and alcohol free and encouraged the youth in attendance to make healthy, positive choices too! There was a dance/free time as well and all youth decorated their own superhero cape. There were also family group “Minute to Win It” competitions throughout the day, plenty of energizers, and a lot of laughter and fun! The day ended at 9:30 pm, after parents/guardians joined us for closing ceremonies, which featured a video presentation of the day, energizers, and a skit presented by the high school role models. 

This year, S.T.A.R. was funded by a grant from the Mercer County Civic Foundation and Foundations Behavioral Health Services. The t-shirts are also sponsored by our “Superheroes”: the Mercer County Civic Foundation, McDonald’s Restaurants in Coldwater and Celina, Mercer County DARE Boosters, Celina Walmart, and 4-U Office Supplies, and Preferred Insurance Center, Coldwater. Preferred Insurance also designed logo to advertise on facebook.

High School “Superheroes” were, Celina: Cassie Germann, Danielle Williams, Libby Goedde, May Martinez, Cameron Peck, and Victoria Knapke; Coldwater: Jon Wenning, Emily Forstoefel, and Jordan Kline; Ft. Recovery: Miranda Petit, Elli Keller, Conner Lennartz, Lauren Rammel, and Abby Timmerman; St. Henry: Dylan Giere, Aubrey Rammel, Alyssa Heitkamp, Sean Muhlenkamp, Allison Lefeld, Vannessa Goewert, Madison Brunswick, and Lily Schulze. Adult “Superheros were, Foundations: Laura Sanford, Gina Kittle, Matt Ronan, Stacie Rhodes, and Roberta Donovan; Brooke Bambauer, Sue Bills, Craig Hart, Claire Hemmelgarn, Monica Hemmelgarn, Craig Muhlenkamp, Tom Sanford, Cassie Schaaf, Wayne Schaaf (photographer), Eric Wellman, Jodi Wenning, and Carl Wuebker. Laura also sends special thanks to the talented and eager high school role models who led this event, the awesome adult staff, the energized youth who attended, the parents of all those involved, Foundations for their support in the program, those who made donations, Craig Muhlenkamp for lending us his juggling equipment, Carl Wuebker who volunteered his disc jockey talents, Craig Hart for being our volunteer speaker, and Celina Intermediate Schools for lending us the guitars. Appreciation also goes out to the Retreat Center Staff for the use of their facilities and the community for supporting prevention efforts.

Want to help with local alcohol/drug/bullying prevention efforts? Purchase some popcorn or cotton candy! Students/volunteers from the S.T.A.R. (Students Teaching About Resistance) Retreat. 50% of sale goes to support the S.T.A.R. Retreat for future years and other prevention activities for Mercer County Youth.  Pick from the following selections: Butter Popcorn $10 (HUGE 9"X28" bag), Kettle Corn $10 (HUGE 9"X28" bag), Caramel Popcorn $12 (14 oz tub), and Cotton Candy $10 (33" bag). Must order by Friday, March 27th (if ordering from Foundations). Money due at time of order. You can order from Foundations or from any STAR attendee (can't release names due to confidentiality). If you aren't ordering from a S.T.A.R. attendee, stop by Foundations Behavioral Health Services, 4761 St. Route 29, Celina, Ohio 45822. For all orders placed with Foundations, pickup of items will take place April 13th or 14th or by contacting Laura for different pick-up date. Thanks in advance!!! *Popcorn/Cotton Candy made by Egbert’s Concession and Fundraising/Woodland Rollardome, St. Marys.

If you are interested in supporting future prevention efforts, please contact Laura Sanford, prevention coordinator at Foundations, 419-584-1000 or



Calvary Preschool Event 

The Calvary Preschool Pre-K Plus class of Vicki Chavarria recently visited Rural King to see and learn about the chicks that are currently at Rural King.  The students learned about several varieties and were able to hold several chicks.  Calvary Preschool is currently accepting registrations for the 2015-2016 school year.  Information about the preschool can be found on the church website, by calling Calvary Preschool at 567-259-3103 or emailing .  Classes for 3 year-olds, 4 year-olds and 5 year-olds are available, with openings in all classes at this time.  Calvary Preschool is located at 10686 Van Wert Decatur Road.  At Calvary Preschool we are committed to help children develop academically, emotionally and spiritually.



Flower Power Spring Fund Raiser

The Rockford Chamber of Commerce has begun the Flower Power Spring Fundraising event.  Purchase springs bulbs for summer blooms.  
The Spring sale deadline is April 24th with delivery to your door after May 1st.  50% of the proceeds to profit the Rockford Chamber.
Please use the following link to view and purchase beautiful plant and bulbs.


Great American Ballpark Day
Celina Day at the Great American Ballpark  is Sunday, April 26th when the Cinncinnati Reds will play the Chicago Cubs.  Discounted tickets are on sale now at  



A Taste of Celina Block Party and Car Show is scheduled for Friday, July 10 in downtown Celina. 



A Chance for Chase

There will be a benefit this Saturday at the American Legion in Payne, Ohio. It will begin at noon and last into the night. There will be food available, a gun raffle (SWAT Firearm 223/5.56), a 50/50 drawing, a donated item raffle, and music.

Chase was diagnosed with NF2 on April 2, 2013. This disease causes tumors throughout his body; mostly on his nerves. Chases body does not produce a suppressor that controls cell division. As a result of this, Chase has multiple tumors throughout his body. He has tumors in his brain, neck, chest, brachial plexus and arm. His brachial plexus tumors have caused almost a full paralysis of his left arm. It is quite possible these tumors could cause deafness, blindness, more paralysis, and in some cases, death. He currently receives care at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital on a regular basis. We are hoping to raise funds for the Holt family to help with any medical bills, transportation, lodging, food and any other expenses that will be incurred as a result of Chase's condition such as the experimental medications that are being examined as a way of slowing the tumor growth. Some of these medications cost upwards of $15,000 a month. They will need support now and into the future, as there is no cure currently available for his condition.

Music provided by:  Jarod Delgado, Cass Blue, Lifehouse Church Band, Section-Ate, Mind’s Eye, Evolution, and Bydus. For more information contact Rick Pierce at 419-203-1873 or go to the website:



Calvary Evangelical Church Updates




March 16-17, 2015

Hair to Please Stylists Paint for a Cause
You can Vote for the Best Painting!

Brenda Art, hair stylist at Hair to Please on 110 N Cherry St, Celina, OH 45822 (419) 586-9556 announced recently that the stylists at the shop attend an Art Event at Bella's Restaurant in Celina where they each painted a couple of the same lighthouse picture. The 6 different views are all on display at the Hair to Please Salon. The ladies invite you to come in to the shop and vote with cash for the painting on canvas you like the very best. All the money is to be collected at the end of the month and given to area food banks!

Parkway Music Boosters Work Major Fund Raiser and Build Delicious Burritos

About 75 Parkway Band and Choir students, parents and volunteers worked on Saturday, March 14 and built delicious burritos, making 4800 of them.  All pre-ordered the burrito sales are a top fund raiser for the band and choir programs at Parkway. using 40 gallons of sauce, 570 lbs. of cheese and 612 lbs of meat, the group did it all  from 8:30 to 11 AM at Parkway Schools Common and Cafeteria.


Mom to Mom Sale in Rockford

Several women in Rockford are sponsoring a Rockford Mom to Mom Sale at the Rockford Community Building in Shanes Park on Saturday, April 18, 2015 from 8 AM to 2 PM. Moms can rent a booth for $10 with the tables included (size 10 x 10 booth) where they can sell their clean and gently used baby and children’s items as well as maternity items. Shoppers pay a $2 entry fee. A food and drink stand will be available. Call Jessica Shaffer at 419-605-2211 for more info and to get a contract or look at their Facebook Page. Booth Rentals are due by April 1st.


Remember the Rockford Eagles Fish Fry and Chicken Strips Dinners
on Friday, March 20, 2015 from 5-7 PM.
Members and Guests only. Good Food! See ad above for details.








March 15, 2015


School Board Meetings on Tuesday, March 17, 2015
The Parkway Board of Education meeting scheduled in the community room at the school a Regular Meeting 6:30 PM.

Click here for the agenda.


Men’s Prostate Cancer Group to Tour Hospital

Man to Man is a group to support men who have been diagnosed with or have been treated for prostate cancer or who would like more information about prostate cancer.  At the next meeting a tour of several areas of the Joint Township District Memorial Hospital in St. Marys will be conducted.  The meeting will be held at 7:00PM on Tuesday, March 17th in Conference Room 1 at the Joint Township Hospital in St. Marys. The atmosphere is casual and all interested men are invited to attend.  For more information contact Dick Falkner, facilitator, at 419-629-9950 or



Barnyard Buddies 4-H Club members served dinner at Bread & Bowl for their Community Service project on March 6th, 2015. 


Parkway Local Schools Announces Open Enrollment

Parkway Local Schools will be accepting open enrollment applications through April 30, 2015 for the 2015-16 school year.  Anyone wanting to open enroll students to Parkway Local Schools may stop at the Superintendent's office located at 400 Buckeye St,  Rockford, for an application and guidelines or call 419-363-3045 option 1 and ask for Sally Cox.

All completed applications need to be returned to the district office by April 30, 2015.


Rockford Chamber Selling spring Flowers as Fund Raiser

The Flower Power Fund Raiser is on for the Spring - please use the following link to purchase plants !   All sales will benefit the local community ! 419-363-3032 ext 1. Call Lisa Kuhn for the Campaign Number and link.





Chamber Agenda � March 12, 2015


�         Welcome

�         Minutes reading / financial report

�         * donation request Lions Club

�         * donation request WRKD

�         * donation request Rockford Community Days


�         Congratulations March Business of the Month �   Tj�s


�         Shop Mercer County Booklets info


�         Social Media Marketing for 2015

o          Start a Chamber driven email marketing campaign on social media

o          See who engages and determine if continuing the classes is worth the time

o          Once a Quarter


�         Save Local Now - program to roll out after membership drive is complete. Will

be a new benefit to our members for 2015


�         Membership Drive � deadline March 1st � extended to March 13th

o          Review of memberships to date.

o          Target list of area businesses


�         Flower Power -  Spring flowers for summer blooms


�         Potters House @ the Park for Joyce - needs


�         Discuss committees - ask for people to head up specific areas:

o          Marketing

o          Event Planning

o          Fundraising

o          Volunteer Coordinating


Upcoming Events

 Welcome to Rockford sign for North 118



National FFA Week
February 23rd-27th, 2015 Parkway FFA Chapter celebrated National FFA Week. During the week the chapter held various activities. The chapter had dress up themes for everyday of the week. Monday was FFA Apparel, Tuesday dress like an Ag teacher, Wednesday duct tape day, Thursday Carhartt/Camo day and Friday was Flannel Friday. On Monday the chapter also help a truck drive-in and gave prizes out to students. Winners are as followed, Biggest: Cooper Clouse, Smallest: Hunter Hamrick, Cleanest: Riley Armstrong, Newest: Jensen Riley, and Oldest: Job Beair. On Tuesday the FFA held an FFA Luncheon. The chapter had a coloring contest for the elementary and gave prizes for that also. The chapter also held a canned food drive for the whole school. The school collected 1887 cans thought the week. On Friday the chapter ended the week with an Apple Pie Bake-off. The winners for the best looking were 1st- Alex Altenbach, 2nd- Taylor Hesse, and 3rd- Alexa Hagens. Best tasting were 1st-Whitney Rollins, 2nd-Katelin Ausburger, and 3rd-Courtney Lies. To see more pictures like Parkway FFA facebook! Thanks to everyone who helped make this FFA week a huge success!  




Parkway FFA Competes at State Level 

On Friday March 6th, Cooper Clouse and JD Hileman competed in the state Tractor  Trouble Shooting CDE. The boys placed 3rd at the state level and both received a 5,000 scholarship to UNOH. Along with the scholarship the boy also brought home a 3rd place banner to hang in the AG room. On Saturday March 7th, Maggie Houts and Clista Hellwarth competed in the state Public Speaking Contest. Both girls placed 5th in their divisions. The girls had some very tough competition at the contest. Congratulations to all four FFA members. You all did a great job and the chapter is very proud of you! Great Job!



March 12-14, 2015


Parkway Schools are on a two hour delay for Thursday, March 12, 2015 due to fog.

Thank you to Chatt Insurance, our Weather Sponsor!


Author Michelle Houts Coming to Rockford Library

Local author, Michelle Houts, will be at the Rockford Library Tuesday, March 17th to talk about her writing and her newest book, "Kammie".  "Kammie" is about  baseball star Dottie Kamenshek.  During World War II when the men were gone, women played baseball to help fill the stadiums.  In the movie, "A League of Her Own" Geena Davis portrayed a player loosely based on Kammie.  This will be an informative fun evening with baseball snacks included.  The program starts at 6:30 and books will be available for purchase.  Need more information?  Call the library at 419-363-2630.


Family Thank you Expressed


We would like to  thank the organizers, community churches and local businesses for their hard work on the benefit held in our honor.  Thank you also to those that attended.  Bless you!  We are overwhelmed by the generous support we've received since the house fire.

Jeff and Lori Routt, family



March 11, 2015


Parkway Schools are now closed for Wednesday, March 11, 2015.

Parkway Schools are on a two hour delay for Wednesday, March 11, 2015 due to fog.

Thank you to Chatt Insurance, our Weather Sponsor!

Parkway's College Credit Plus Meeting at Van Wert NPAC still on tonight at 6:30pm

Cheer tryouts are still on for tonight.  All other practices are cancelled.



Good Friday Cantata

Friday April 3rd, 2015

Performance in the Parkway Auditorium
Time: 7:00 PM



Salvation’s Story

Centers on the message of the Cross, and rejoices in
the glorious Resurrection of our Lord. Inviting all to enter into an intimate
and victorious proclamation of worship and praise celebrating the Gospel

Cantata: Salvation's Story by Cliff Duren

Director- Richard Sherrick



Rockford Lions Club Planning The Annual Variety Show

Rockford Has Talent is the theme of the 2015 Annual Variety Show in Rockford
The audience will vote on the winners! So plan now to attend the fun!

Dates are: Friday March 27, & Saturday March 28, 2015 7:30 p.m.
Location: Parkway High School Auditorium


Tickets are available to be purchased at the DOOR and at the following locations: Rockford – Henkle’s Insurance, People’s Bank, First Financial Bank, & Barry’s Market $7 Adult $5 Children under 12

All profits go to community charitable projects and student scholarships.



Trinity and Saxophone Player Tom Kennerk in Concert on March 14

On Saturday, March 14 the Rockford Belle will host Trinity, from Van Wert, Ohio. Vocalists Gary Adams, Cheryl Burk, and Kim Mason will take to the stage and sing god’s praises at 7 pm. Doors open at 6 pm. Saxophone player Tom Kennerk will join the performance.  The public is welcome to attend at 135 Market Street, Rockford, Ohio. A free-will offering is accepted.
Trinity began its ministry in the early 1980’s singing a wide variety of Christian music, but has turned its focus towards Southern Gospel over the last eleven years.

Trinity performs approximately 125 concerts a year throughout the Midwest and South at worship services, banquets, community events and celebrations in Ohio, Indiana and Michigan, and other places the Lord opens doors.  Over the last several years Trinity has had the privilege of performing with some of the country’s leading gospel artists: The Talley Trio, The Hoppers, Greater Vision, The Booth Brothers, Mark Lowery, Dallas Holmes, John Darin Rowsey and many others.

The group released their newest recording project in March 2013. The CD is entitled “Milestones” and features some Southern Gospel Hits as well as some wonderful new songs. They have appeared on Christian television, and selections from their recordings are heard on Christian radio. 

Tom Kennerk, of Monroeville, Indiana has been playing the saxophone for more than 30 years. His music is a combination of Contemporary, Southern Gospel and Traditional wit a little jazz flair. His passion for playing began in grade school and continued into the mid-seventies while spending a 4-year hitch in the Navy band. After playing in bars and parties for the first several years, Tom gave up his music and thought his music career was over. But the Lord had different plans for him. In 1999 the Lord introduced Tom to Gospel music and ever since Tom has been spreading the Good News of the Gospel through his saxophone and testimony. His passion and talent for the saxophone is unsurpassed and he has an incredible style that is all his own.

Join Tom Kennerk and Trinity for an evening of great music at the Rockford Belle on March 14. For more information call 567-644-9993.


March 9-10, 2015


Stateline Writers Club to Meet

After a 2 month hiatus, the Stateline Writers Club will resume their monthly meetings on Saturday, March 21, 2015, at the Mercer County District Library. Meetings begin at 10 a.m. and concluded at noon. Attendees are asked to write and bring an article about “friendship” to the meeting. The meetings are free and open to the public and the public is invited to attend.


Nikki Fox Announces Spring Sports Pictures for Parkway Athletics
Spring sports pictures will be on Wednesday, March 18th

Please see the schedule below.

Please remind all seniors to be ready for their picture at 3pm on the 18th



3:00-3:15      SENIORS

3:15-3:45      Varsity/JV Baseball

3:45-4:15      JH Baseball

4:15-4:45      Varsity/JV Softball

4:45-5:15      JH Softball

5:15-6:00      High School Track

6:00-6:30      JH Track

Challenger Basketball Game Provides Fun and Friendship
Thank you to Nikki Fox for sharing these great shots!
Click Here to see more!

Click on smaller thumbnail pictures below to enlarge them.


Lake Area Arts Group Display at Rockford Library

The Lake Area Arts Group of Mercer County is promoting local artists in the county by displaying their artwork at each of the libraries.  This month the photography of Peggy Green from Celina is on display at Rockford.  Peggy was born in Mercer County and has lived here for 35 years.  She and her husband have four children and eight grandchildren.

Peggy has loved taking pictures all her life.  She received her first DSLR Canon camera for Christmas three years ago.  She says photography allows her to travel to wonderful places, meet fellow photographers and become more proficient.  She retired this past May from teaching which gives her more time to pursue her passion.

Stop by the library during regular hours and see these photos.  The library is open Monday-Thursday 10-8, Friday 10-5:30 and Saturday 10-2.












Maple Syrup Brunch at 4-H Camp Palmer-Sunday, March 22

Fayette, OHIO,          March 4, 2015

The public is invited Sunday, March 22 between 11:00 a.m.-2:00 4-H Camp Palmer to learn about Maple Syrup making, ride on wagon rides both horse drawn and tractor drawn and eat in our dining hall a brunch with real maple syrup for the pancakes. You would also get to see a sneak peak of the camp’s new swimming pool construction.

     At 12 noon & 1:00 p.m. you can view a Maple Syrup history lesson in the Sauder Recreation Hall. You can see maple trees that have been tapped and see ongoing Maple Syrup making in the main camp. The cost of Pancakes/Sausage/drink-$6.00 or $5.00 for Pancakes/drink (ages 3 and under free) will help support the camp pool project. Pure maple syrup, maple sugar candy and maple cream will be available for purchase, as well.

    4-H Camp Palmer is located in western Fulton County at 26450 County Rd. MN, Fayette, Ohio 43521. For more information on the Maple Syrup Brunch please call 419-237-2247 or


March 6-8, 2015


Spring Forward!
The spring Daylight Saving Time change in the United States begins on the 2nd Sunday in March. This year, that date is Sunday, March 8, 2015 at 2 am. Therefore, Americans in most of the 50 states should prepare to spring forward, setting their clocks forward one hour at 2 am on Sunday, March 8, 2015.

Parkway Wrestlers Going to Districts

Joshua Puthoff, Coach Kevin Browning and Reese Fokine competed at the Sectional Wrestling Tournament in Lima last Saturday, February 28, 2015. Both wrestlers qualified for the District Wrestling Tournament this Friday in Troy. Joshua Puthoff wrestles in the 195 weight division. Reese wrestles in the 113 weight division.


FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH SEEKS SINGERS FOR “MASTERWORKS FOR THE MASTER” SPRING CONCERT Van Wert, OH, March 5, 2015– The First Presbyterian Church of Van Wert extends an open invitation to all singers, age high school through adult, to join us for our Spring concert, “Masterworks For The Master” to be performed on Sunday, May 10th, at 10:00 AM in the church sanctuary. Masterworks musical selections and composers will include Bach, Handel, Mendelssohn, Faure and Thompson among many others, and covers musical eras from the Baroque period through the 21st century. Mr. David Van Tilburg is our Chancel Choir Director and rehearsals will be held starting Wednesday, March 18th, from 8:15 – 9:00 PM through May 6th . First Presbyterian Church is located at the corner of S. Washington and Crawford Streets. For more information please contact the church office at 419-238-3670 or


Grand Lake Patriots to Host The Daily Standard Editor/Owner Frank Snyder

The Grand Lake Patriots will host Frank Snyder, owner and editor of The Daily Standard, Celina, at their Thursday, March 12 general membership meeting, beginning at 7 PM in the Lefeld Community Building at the Fairgrounds in Celina. Snyder’s originally-scheduled speaking engagement last January was postponed due to inclement weather.

Patriots and their guests are cordially invited to attend the March 12th meeting where Snyder will speak about 1st Amendment freedoms, running a small town newspaper, government regulations, and how Obamacare will affect the newspaper business. Time will be allotted for questions and answers.

Frank Snyder grew up in Celina and lives in the community with his family. He has a degree in economics. His father was owner and editor of The Daily Standard before him. 


Western Ohio Civil War Roundtable Plans March 28th Meeting

The speaker will be Roger Pickenpaugh who  is an author and lecturer who has done extensive study of POW camps during the Civil War. He has four Civil War books to his credit.


    The University of Alabama Press published "Captives in Gray: The Civil War Prisons of the Union."  That book will be the basis for Roger's talk at our Roundtable. He has also completed a companion volume, "Captives in Blue."


    The meeting is held in Room 186 Andrews Hall on the Lake Campus of Wright State University. The public is invited, they're sure to enjoy Roger Pickenpaugh and his study on prisons that housed Confederate POWs throughout the North.




School Bus Drivers Needed


The Parkway Local Schools are in need of bus drivers and will have three anticipated regular route positions open at the beginning of the 2015-16 school year.  Potential drivers must qualify for a commercial drivers license (CDL) and have a good driving record.  Pre-service bus driver training is available at Van Wert High School April 20-23 and at Celina in July.  Parkway Local Schools will assist interested candidates in fulfilling the needed requirements for obtaining a bus drivers license.  If you have any interest whatsoever, would like more information or have further questions, please contact Dennis Hockett at 419-363-3045 ext. 705 and leave a message.



Man Arrested in Celina for Distrubance

Sheriff Jeff Grey reports that on March 6, 2015 at approximately 9:19am, the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office received several calls in regards to a disturbance at Grand Manor Trailer Court, 3601 State Route 703 in Jefferson Township.  The callers reported that a male was half-clothed, covered in blood, and was trying to fight with people.


When law enforcement arrived, the male, later identified as Dillan J. Spencer, age 20, of 3601 State Route 703, Lot #44, Celina, jumped on the hood of a deputy’s patrol vehicle.  When the deputy exited his vehicle, Mr. Spencer began to charge at him in a threatening and assaultive manner.  The deputy deployed his Taser and Mr. Spencer was brought under control and taken into custody.  Mr. Spencer was transported to the Coldwater Hospital by Celina Squad where he is undergoing treatment for injuries sustained prior to the arrival of law enforcement.


During the investigation, probable cause was found at the residence of Mr. Spencer leading to the application and issuance of a search warrant.  Suspected drugs and paraphernalia were located at the residence.  The matter will be forwarded to the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office for filing of additional charges.  Misdemeanor charges of Persistent Disorderly Conduct, Aggravated Menacing, Criminal Mischief, and Resisting Arrest were filed in Celina Municipal Court.


Parkway Music Boosters to Make Pizza Tacos and Burritos for Fund Raisier - Pick-up on March14, 2015.

March 4-5, 2015


Come to the St. Patrick's Day Celebration

1-3 p.m.  Tuesday, March 17, 2015


11230 State Route 364

St. Marys, Ohio 45885

Listen and Enjoy the band Different Hats do a "Lucky O' The Irish Review" in the Meyer Community Room
Complimentary refreshments and hor d'oeuvres; Door Prizes; Open House Tours

Contact us to RSVP by March 11 by calling (419) 394-6227 or (800) 628-9341


HELP WANTED - Affordable Housing Association of Indiana

AHAIN is seeking a full-time Administrative Assistant with excellent
oral and written communication skills and exceptional interpersonal

JOB TITLE: Administrative Assistant - Click Here for the details!


Casino Night Benefit In Planning
Plans are underway for the 16th Annual Van Wert County Hospital Casino
Night fundraiser. Last year, this event raised over $13,000, with
proceeds benefiting our Grand Lake Regional Cancer Center and Van Wert
County Hospital. Success was only possible as a result of the
generosity of our community sponsors, such as you.

For 2015 our fundraising event is scheduled for FRIDAY, APRIL 24, 2015
at the VAN WERT ELKS LODGE. The event will begin AT 7:00 P.M. We are
anticipating a large crowd to be in attendance for this event. In
previous years, attendance has totaled over 200 community members and
we expect an increase in attendance again this year. In addition to an
evening of gaming, silent auctions and raffles are also planned.

Again, your help is needed. Van Wert County Hospital asks you to
consider sponsoring a game table or donating a door prize or raffle item. Donated items may include gift baskets, gift certificates,
professional services or monetary donations. As our show of
appreciation, committee volunteers are available to pick up donations
or sponsorships at your request. Sponsoring organizations will be
recognized at the event, as well as throughout the event's media and
promotional efforts.

Trust that your donation will help to enhance services to patients at
our Grand Lake Regional Cancer Center as well as Van Wert County
Hospital. Through fundraising efforts, such as this and others held
throughout the year, we continue to support our mission to providing
quality, state-of-the-art healthcare services to our patients and their families. A portion of this year's donations will be designated
to update the pediatric wing of our facility. Your contributions are tax-deductible and donations in any amount are greatly appreciated. 

Thank you in advance for your willingness to support the efforts of
Van Wert County Hospital. Together we will make a difference. We also
invite you and the members of your organization to JOIN US ON APRIL
24TH for a fun-filled evening of GREAT FOOD AND GAMES. For more information about this event, or other fundraising events held
throughout the year, please call 419-238-8623 or contact us at



Venedocia Lads & Lassies 

Reporter: Addison Mueller


The Venedocia Lads & Lassies held their first meeting at the Venedocia Lions club, on Feb. 19, 2015, 7:00 pm. There was 17 members present and 4 guest present. Pledges were led by Austin Welker and roll call was taken by Whitney Welker. Topics discussed at the meeting included submitting 4-h enrollment project forms to the extension office by March 16th. Group office positions were voted on and assigned to members. President this year will be Tara Vorst and Vice President will be Whitney Welker. Also discussed at the meeting was the Annual Venedocia Pancake and Sausage breakfast. The event will be held at the Venedocia Lions club on March 21st -opening at 6 am and will end at 2 pm. The next meeting will be on March 19th, 7:00 pm, at the Venedocia Lions Club



March 3, 2015


Parkway schools are now closed for Tuesday, March 3, 2015.

Parkway Schools are on a two hour delay for Tuesday, March 3, 2015 due to freezing rain.

Thank you to Chatt Insurance, our Weather Sponsor!

The following activities are still on 
H S Softball Practice 3:30 - 5:00
H S Baseball Practice 3 - 5:00
Driver's Ed  3:45-7:15



Rockford Fire Victims Express Gratitude
On behalf of the Routt family we would like to extend our dearest thanks for all of the support from our tragic house fire.  The area fire departments that helped:  Rockford, Mendon, Ohio City, and Coldwater.  The rescue squads were Mercer County 4 & 5 and also the local law enforcement.  Thank you for putting your lives at risk for us!  We are so very blessed to live in a gracious giving community.

Jeff, Lori, Keri & Nick


Tractor Trouble Shooting CDE
On February 20th, Jay Clouse and J.D. Hileman competed in the district Agricultural and Industrial Diagnostics Systems CDE, also known a Tractor Trouble Shooting. The boys traveled to Cory Rawson and received 2nd place in this competition. Congratulations to boys on receiving 2nd and good job for all of your hard work put into the completion. 


Rockford's Best Mix - 101.3 WRKD held an open house and ribbon cutting on February 28th.    

WRKD is a low power broadcasting station that is located on 101.3 on the fm dial. In August 2012 station manager Jim Crocker approached the Village of Rockford with an idea to start a community radio station with the Village being the license holder. The town council unanimously voted to approve the offer, Jim then applied for the license and was granted the construction permit in early 2014. The studios were then built with help from businesses and private individuals from the area.   WRKD has became a reality. In December of 2014 WRKD officially went live on the air. Broadcasting a variety of hits from the 70's to today along with live sporting events and public service announcements. WRKD is Rockford's best mix!!!

WRKD can be found ON THE AIR at 101.3 fm, on the WEB at,
on FACEBOOK 101.3WRKD, and on TUNEIN radio.  Take us with you everywhere you go! Download our FREE AP Available in the Google play store!

Check out our show line-up:

70's at 7 pm; 80's at 8 pm Monday thru Friday
Parkway Sports hosted by Mike Schumm
Greatest Hits USA - Sundays 6 - 9 pm
My Blues Show w/John Dooley - Sundays 9 pm – midnight


Photo: Amy Joseph - Rockford Mayor, John Dooley - Village Council, Jim Crocker - General Manager, Mark Wulfhorst - Sports, Bryan Stetler - Operation Manager, Mike Schumm - Sports and Austin Metz -Intern. Photo by Lisa Kuhn


Statewide Tornado Drill and Weather Spotter Classes Announced
March 1-7th is designated Spring Weather Awareness Week. 
Ohio's Statewide Tornado Drill will be held on Wednesday, March 4th at 9:50 AM.  
A Weather Spotters Training Class will be held Tuesday, March 17th, 6:30 PM in Dicke Hall, WSULC (no Registration required)

Euphonik A Cappella to Vocalize on March 7 at Rockford Belle

On Saturday, March 7, 2015 the Rockford Belle will host Euphonik, an a cappella student organization from Miami University of Ohio. Concert at 7pm, doors open at 6pm. The concert will also feature four vocalists Amy Roth (Parkway graduate), Katherine Pflueger, Liana Claerson, and Molly Terrill, who plan to perform solos and duets. Experience the group’s pleasing voices at 135 Market Street, Rockford, Ohio. A free-will offering is accepted.

Euphonik A Cappella started in September of 2012, and is made up of twenty students who are affiliated with one of the five music Greek fraternities and sororities on campus: Tau Beta Sigma, Kappa Kappa Psi, Phi Mu Alpha, Sigma Alpha Iota, and Delta Omicron. Some members are actually involved in two Greek organizations.

Members include: Liana Clareson, Nate Ihm, Dan Kinstedt, Kevin Kraus, Jantzen Mace, Hayden Mcdougald, Laura Moak, Sean Mormino, Katherine Pflueger, Sam Portzer, Garrett Stevenson, Ryan Steward, Riley Suter, Andrew Terhaar, Molly Terril, Amy Roth, Emily Thieman, Eva Toppen, Kait Turner, and Stephen Weber. 

Student performers have become a family situated away from family, representing a multitude of talent, interests, experiences, and disciplines; they join together to share the true beauty of making music! 

Plan now to attend Euphonik’s performance on March 7th at the Rockford Belle. For more information: 567-644-9993.


Remember the Rockford Eagles Fish Fry and Chicken Strips Dinners
on Friday, March 6, 2015 from 5-7 PM.
Members and Guests only. Good Food! See ad above for details.







Summer Ball Sign-up in Ohio City Planned
The Ohio City Youth Activities will be having their "Summer Ball" sign up on March 7th at the Community Building on St. 118. Sign up will start at 9:00 and last until 12:00.  Children need to be between the ages of 5-15. The program offers T-ball, Farmette, Buckeye, 4 County, Farm League, Little League, and Pony League. There is a $25.00 fee per child with family discounts available. For more information contact President: Laura Morgan (419)965-2515


Parkway Preparing for the District Band and Choir Large Group Competition
The Parkway High School band and Choir will be participating in the District Band and Choir Large Group on Friday, March 6 and Saturday, March 7 which will be held at Celina Jr. High School and Celina High School.  On Friday, March 6 the high school choir will perform at 7:50 P.M. at the Celina Jr. High under the direction of Mrs. Leslie Baltzell.  On Saturday, March 7 the gold and black bands will be performing at the Celina High School.  The Gold band will be performing at 9:00 A.M. and with the Black band  performing at 11:00 AM both under the direction of Mr. Ryan Twigg.  The community is invited to attend performances.  Please remember cell phones need to be turned off.  Also, no recording and no photography is permitted at these events.  Good luck to both bands and the choir this weekend!


Parkway March 2015 Breakfast & Lunch Menus by Pam Smith


March 2, 2015


Share Your Rockford Pictures and Memories
The Rockford Bicentennial 2020 Planning Committee is putting together a book
about the history of Rockford.    We encourage you to share
your stories and/ or maybe stories that have been passed down through your family.
What was your favorite store or place to visit while in Rockford in years past?
We are also putting together a collection of old photos of the area.

If you have a Rockford memory and/ or pictures you would like to share, 
please mail to SCHS at PO Box 282, Rockford, OH  45882.  



Parkway Kindergarten Screening

Parkway Elementary is currently scheduling appointments for kindergarten screening for the 2015-2016 school year.  Students need to be five years old before August 1 to be eligible to attend.  Screening will be held on Thursday, April 9 and Friday, April 10 beginning at 8:30 a.m. at Parkway Elementary School.  On screening day, it will be necessary for parents/guardians to present an official birth certificate from the Department of Vital Statistics (any county health department).  The vital statistics department will require a fee for this copy. The hospital complimentary birth certificate will not be accepted.  Parents will also need to supply their child’s social security card, immunization records, two forms of proof of residency and custody papers (if applicable) to photocopy. Immunizations are required to be documented by the 15th day of school.  All students entering kindergarten in the fall will need to go through the screening process.  Please call Michelle in the elementary office at 419-363-3045 ext.720 to schedule an appointment.



“All Are Welcome To Join In A Community Wide Lenten Musical Celebration!” Van Wert, OH - The First Presbyterian Church of Van Wert cordially invites the community to their 2 nd season of “Lenten Vespers” services. “Lenten Vespers” concerts will be held in our sanctuary on the three Sunday evenings before Easter at 5:00 PM. Each service will feature approximately 35 - 45 minutes of special Lenten & Easter themed music. After each Lenten Vespers concert, please join us for a delicious supper that will be served in the fellowship hall for all to enjoy!

Sunday, March 15, 2015 5:00 PM Amy & Patrick Fata, Vocalist & Pianist- Amy & Patrick Fata seek to glorify the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ above all else through their music ministry. Traveling across the United States and Europe, this vocalist and pianist have been performing together since 1995. Their music is original, inspirational, and God-honoring. Amy & Patrick met at Huntington University in Huntington, IN. Amy, from Hillsdale, MI, and Patrick, from Paris, France, married after graduating in 1996 and continued their education at the Jordan College of Fine Arts at Butler University in Indianapolis, IN. They have both served as adjunct faculty at Taylor University in Upland, IN, and lead worship.

Sunday, March 22, 2015 5:00 PM Martha Livsey-Barker, Violinist & David Van Tilburg, Pianist – Martha Barker is from Ohio, now residing in Huntington, Indiana. She started playing the violin at the age of eight. She was the youngest student to play with the Mount Union College Symphony Orchestra. From there she studied at Wooster College and Cleveland Institute of Music to finish her undergraduate degree. Martha won a full teaching fellowship at Indiana University where she received her M.M. degree in violin performance. Martha taught violin at Huntington University and she played with Symphony of the Lakes at Grace College and The Manchester Symphony Orchestra.

David Van Tilburg holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from Huntington University and a master’s degree in piano performance from Bowling Green State University. His work in piano includes studies with Bernard Lehman, Genita Speicher, Dr. Elizabeth Cobb, Dr. Walter Baker, Jerome Rose, Bonnie Stephan, Warren Allen and Dr. Barbara Lockard-Zimmerman. David is First Presbyterian Church of Van Wert’s Chancel Choir Director and retired as choral director from Celina City Schools after 28 years. He continues to give private voice and piano instruction, as well as serves as accompanist for the Celina High School choirs.

Sunday, March 29, 2015 5:00 PM Marlene Schleiffer, Oboist - Marlene Schleiffer is professor emeritus of music, having retired after thirty-three years from full-time teaching at Huntington University in 2005. There, she was head of the music department for twenty years and taught a number of courses as well as conducted many instrumental ensembles and the Collegium Musicum; a small group of vocalists and instrumentalists specializing in early music with historic instruments. Subsequently she earned a M.M. in composition and a Ph.D. in musicology from Indiana University. Currently she teaches private oboe and composition and Survey of the Fine Arts for Huntington University’s EXCEL program while doing research on music and spirituality, music and the brain, consciousness, and developing imagination. Ms. Schleiffer will be joined by Cricket Dobmeyer, Soprano, Sheila Chilcote-Collins, Soprano and Anna Battle-Baker, Bassoonist. Please plan to join us for music, meditation, food and fellowship! For more information, please contact the church office at 419-238-3670.


PRE-REGISTRATION at Calvary 2015 - 2016

March 3 and 4 is Pre-Registration for Calvary Preschool.  Tuesday, March 3, registration will be from 7:30 - 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 4, registration will be from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m.  Classrooms may be visited and tours given to parents and guardians.  If you cannot make any of these times, please call for an appointment. Forms are available on the website, under preschool and then forms.  Calvary Preschool has been serving the Van Wert community and surrounding area for over 47 years.  Calvary Preschool is committed to help children develop academically, emotionally and spiritually.  Our goal is to introduce the boys and girls to a variety of learning experiences which helps prepare them for kindergarten. 

  The preschool has a beautiful outdoor playground for the boys and girls to use with a climbing wall and swings.  Inside, the walls have been decorated for the preschool. There is ample parking for parents. Snacks are provided daily by the preschool which includes milk or 100% juice.  Four’s and five’s go on field trips during the school year and we have special guests visit during the winter months.  The four’s and five’s have take home bags that are used over the week-ends.  The totes provide activities and games for parents to do with their child.  All the material needed is provided in the tote bag. The child picks the theme he wants to do.  It is a wonderful learning tool for the child and the parents seem to enjoy it also.  The preschool has incorporated I.D. badges for parents to use when picking-up their child.

  All classes meet from 8:30-11:30 a.m.  The three’s meet two mornings per week, Monday and Friday or Tuesday and Thursday. The four’s meet three mornings per week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, or Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.  The Pre-K Plus (older fours and fives) meet 4 mornings per week.

  Calvary Preschool has Extended Care on Monday thru Friday between 7:30 - 8:30.  If you are interested in Extended Care, please note that at registration.. 

The Calvary Preschool is located 10686 Van Wert Decatur Road.  If you have questions call Marilyn Agler @ 567-259-3103 or leave a message on the voice mail.

Our teaching staff for this school year is:  Mrs. Issa Ickes (three year olds), Mrs. Julie Stewart (four year olds) and Mrs. Vicki Chavarria (older fours & five year olds), and Mrs. Marilyn Agler, Administrator.  

If you cannot make these dates and times, please call the church office @567-259-3103 and ask for the preschool or e-mail and other arrangements will be made.  Look forward to seeing you!





Big Brothers Big Sisters seeks Teams to “Bowl for Kids’ Sake”

St. Marys, Ohio — Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mercer, Auglaize, & Van Wert Counties is looking for businesses, organizations and individuals to participate in its 25th Annual Bowl For Kids’ Sake event. The event will take place at Pla-Mor lanes in Coldwater on March 20th with the first shift starting at 5:30pm and the second shift starting at 8:00pm. In Van Wert, it will run on April 10th at Olympic Lanes with shifts starting at 5:30pm and 8:00pm; and in St. Marys, it will be held on April 24th at Varsity Lanes with a shift starting at 7:30pm.

“Last year our event drew over 40 teams and more than 240 bowlers” says Event Coordinator Abby Balster. “Our goal this year is to have more than 60 teams and over 350 bowlers,” she says. The event is one of the agency’s largest fundraisers of the year, raising over 15% of its operating revenues. “Last year, Bowl for Kids’ Sake raised $19,000 to support our youth mentoring program. We are hoping to see new teams form from Coldwater and St. Marys areas with having new events in those towns this year.”

Local businesses can support the event by becoming a sponsor for the event and encouraging employees to participate as Team Captains and team members. Our sponsorships range in price from $1,000 to $50. For teams of that are not corporate sponsored the registration fee is $150. All teams may have up to 6 bowlers and every bowler will receive 2 hours of unlimited bowling, free shoe rental, and a Bowl for Kids' Sake t-shirt. Balster notes you don’t have to be a good bowler to participate in the event. “I’m the prime example of that – last year I think I bowled an 95. I may not have won but at least I had a lot fun bowling!” Balster says.

Costumes, clever team names, and friendly competition are also encouraged. Some of the teams from last year included Post Printing, Coldwater Mall, Eaton Corporation, Shultz, Huber, and Associates. Major business supporters last year were Purmort Brothers Insurance, Celina Moose Lodge, Reynolds and Reynolds, and Stammen Paragon Insurance.

Business teams will be joined by teams of children and their mentors who participate in the Big Brothers Big Sisters School and Community-Based Mentoring program. Teams of children ages 5-15 (“Littles”) from 5 elementary and middle schools and their “Bigs” from 13 high schools are expected to participate in this year’s event.

“This is a fabulous event that brings the whole community together,” says Balster. “It’s a way anyone can support Big Brothers Big Sisters vision – that all children achieve success in life. We know not everyone may be able to serve as a mentor for a child, but by participating in this event as a bowler, team captain, or sponsor, anyone can help start a child on the right path. Every dollar raised through Bowl for Kids’ Sake directly funds our mentoring programs in Auglaize, Mercer, and Van Wert Counties and helps to maintain and sustain our mentoring relationships, increasing kids’ chances for success.”

To take part in this year’s event, call Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mercer, Auglaize, & Van Wert Counties (419-394-2990) to receive the necessary form to register a team. Businesses wishing to sponsor the event and volunteers who would like to help out on the bowling dates are also encouraged to call for more information. Major Sponsors for the event are Purmort Brothers Insurance, H.A. Dorsten, Reynolds and Reynolds, Auglaize Industries, Francis Furniture, and Kohl’s Cares.



February 28, 2015 - March 1, 2015


Parkway High School Choir Concert is cancelled for Sunday, March 1, 2015
due to a snowstorm overnight .

Use caution while driving on Sunday, March 1, 2015 - Sheriff Jeff Grey.
A winter storm dumped 6 inches of snow on the area overnight.
1-2 more inches expected through midnight on March 1, 2015.

Thank you to Chatt Insurance, our Weather Sponsor!


Attend the Rockford  Radio Station Open House
Celebrate with us !  Rockford’s Best Mix – 101.3 WRKD  will be hosting an open house and ribbon cutting on Saturday,  February 28th  from 2 – 5 pm.  We are located at the Rockford Village Office and Museum at 151 E Columbia St.   Refreshments will be served.




Rockford Community Days is sponsoring a family skate day at the

Woodland Roller Dome & Family Fun Center in St. Marys, Ohio on

March 15th from 4-7:30 pm. 

Admission is $6.50 per skater.  Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Snacks and beverages are available on location.

 Come out for a fun family event !!

All proceeds benefit Rockford Community Days activities.


Rockford Community Fire Department’s Annual Pancake and Sausage Day

Saturday April 11th - 6:00 AM to 1:00 PM


Adults $6.00

Children 5-12 $4.00

Children 4 & under eat free.



4TH Annual Wine/Craft Beer Tasting Planned

The 4TH Annual Wine/Craft Beer Tasting in Rockford will take place on March 7th at the Rockford Community Building from 7 – 10 pm.  Join us as we welcome Java Nation as our guest host.  Pre-sale tickets will be $20.  Tickets the day of the event will be $25.  Tickets go on sale beginning February 13 and will be available at the Rockford Village Office, Barrys Family Market and Java Nation.

Six drink tastings, appetizers and live music will be included in ticket pricing. Extra tasting tickets will be available for purchase.

All proceeds to benefit Community Days activities – June 19-21.

Any questions call Amy Joseph @ 419-953-7874 or

Luke Stephenson @ 419-733-0285

Look for more information for other upcoming events – Family Fun Bowling Tournament on March 14th and Rollerskating on March 15th.


Pancake Day Planned in Coldwater
Coldwater Kiwanis is sponsoring their annual Pancake & Sausage Breakfast on Sunday March 15, 2015, from 8:00am to 12:30pm.  Breakfast will be served at the Coldwater High School Commons.  Tickets are available from any Kiwanis member or by calling 419-733-6107.  Cost is $6.00 per person.  Children 10 and under eat free.  Walk-ins are welcome.  Proceeds from this event benefit local youth and community service programs.




College Credit Plus Informational Meeting for Parkway Parents & Students


Parkway will be joining Van Wert area schools for a meeting on College Credit Plus. This will allow students and parents to have access to more than one college representative following the sessions. The meeting will be held on Weds, March 11, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center in Van Wert.

High School Counselors and several college representatives will host the informational meeting for parents/guardians and students beginning at 6:30 p.m. This meeting will begin with a general session giving information on College Credit Plus, then each individual school will have an opportunity to discuss more information and to answer any potential questions pertaining to their High School. College representatives will be available after the high school session to meet with interested parents and students.

Any parent of a student along with your student who may be interested in accumulating college credit during their high school years should plan to attend the meeting on March 11. For more information prior to the meeting contact your school’s guidance office. For more information on College Credit Plus, check out the website at then click on College Credit Plus link. Students in grades 6-11 have received information flyers to share with their parents.



Benefit for the Routt Family Soup & Sandwich Dinner
*Dine In, Carry Out, or Drive Thru  $5 per meal

Sunday, March 8


Rockford Community Building

All proceeds to benefit the family of Jeff & Lori Routt who recently lost their home in a house fire.

If interested in making a donation, please mail to:

First Financial Bank
Jeff & Lori Routt
166 S. Main St.
Rockford, OH 45882
*In the Memo line, please put: Fire Fund




Wizard of Oz Coming to New Bremen
The Crescent Players presents the The Wizard of Oz!  Performances  are:  St Henry High School- Friday March 20 @ 7pm; Saturday March 21@ 7pm and Sunday March 22 @ 2pm.  James F. Dicke Auditorium, New Bremen- Friday March 27 @ 7pm; Saturday March 28 @ 2pm & 7pm and Sunday March 29 @ 2pm.  Presale tickets will be available at St. Henry/Minster True Value Hardware for $8 (children/students/sr. citizens) and $10 (adults).  Tickets will cost $2 more at the door.  Concessions will be available.  Questions?  Call 419-678-4643.  The Wizard of Oz is presented through special arrangements with Tams-Witmark Music Library, INC.



February 25-27, 2015


Certified Family Nurse Practitioner, Allison Harting joins Van Wert Medical Services

VAN WERT, OHIO - Van Wert Medical Services is pleased to welcome
Allison Harting, C.N.P. Allison specializes in family medicine serving
pediatric and adult patients.

Allison Harting joins Drs. Jeff Easley, Matt Miller, and Jen Hohman in
suite 201 of the Van Wert Health Center, just across the street from
the hospital at 140 Fox Road in Van Wert.

"The addition of Allison Harting, C.N.P to Van Wert Medical Services
will be of great benefit to our organization and the community of Van
Wert. Being a native of Van Wert, along with her experience in Family
Medicine is a unique combination that truly enhances her ability to
serve the patients of Van Wert Medical Services," said Nicholas
Spoonmore, Executive Director of Van Wert Medical Services.

Allison received her Masters of Science in Nursing from St. Francis
University in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. Prior to joining Van Wert Medical
Services, Allison worked as a Nurse Practitioner for CVS Minute

When patients are in need of superior health care they turn to the
professionals at Van Wert Medical Services. For more information or to
schedule an appointment with Allison Harting, CNP, call 419-232-2077
or visit


Charity Auction Planned
Mt Tabor Church of God will host its ANNUAL CHARITY AUCTION taking place on Saturday, March 7th, 2015.

Purchase hot meals and/or dessert selections from 4:30 – 5:30pm!

Bidding begins at 6:00pm!

Come for a great evening of Food, Fellowship and FUN!  Bid for home spun creations, food, and a great selection of items to be auctioned off!  This is a ONCE-a-year event!



February 23-24, 2015


Parkway Schools are on a two hour delay for Tuesday, February 24, 2015 due to wind chill.


Parkway Schools are on a two hour delay for Monday, February 23, 2015 due to wind chill.

Thank you to Chatt Insurance, our Weather Sponsor!


Contemporary Concert with Ryan Hirschy Ministries 
Rescheduled on February 28

A performance with Ryan Hirschy Ministries has been rescheduled for Saturday, February 28th at the Rockford Belle- set to begin at 7pm with doors open at 6pm. Ryan Hirschy and pianist Brad Byerly will perform a full contemporary Christ-centered concert at 135 Market Street, Rockford. Together, they have entertained with an inspirational program for more than 20 years. A free-will donation is accepted. 

Since 1995, Ryan Hirschy, of Decatur, Indiana has shared his love for Christ through music throughout the country performing for many different denominations and organizations. 

Christ is the focus and heart of his Ministry. It is Ryan’s desire that as people attend his Contemporary style music concerts; they are filled with courage and hope to claim the grace that Jesus freely offers. 


Having a heart for service not only motivated him to start this Ministry, but led him into funeral service. Whether serving a grieving family or on the road ministering through music, his desire is to meet the needs of others.

More than a mere performance- attend this special event to witness a vocally and spiritually gifted ministry! For more information call 567-644-9993. 


Sign-up Now for Summer Ball in Rockford
The Rockford Recreation Association is now accepting registration forms for the 2015 summer ball season. Leagues are available for children ages 4-15. Registration forms can be downloaded at or picked up at The Peoples Bank Co. Completed paperwork and registration fees can be mailed to Rockford Recreation Association - PO Box 16 - Rockford, OH 45882 or can be dropped of at The Peoples Bank Co. REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS MARCH 14TH!!



ST. PATRICK’S DAY DANCE with a Live Band “Blind Date”
will be held on Saturday, March 14, 2015 from 8:00-11:00pm. (Doors open at 7:00pm) at Rockford Community Building entrance of US Rte 33 west of Rockford. Price of admission is $10.00 per person at the door.
Beverages, snacks, sandwiches available. Donations accepted
Sponsored by St Teresa Parish
Raffle, door prizes, 50/50 will be held during the dance.
Handicapped accessible. The public is invited to attend.



Scotch Doubles Tournament Planned

On Saturday, March 7, 2015 at 7:00pm at the Plaza Bowling Lanes in Celina, Ohio, the Mendon Union Park Committee will be having their Scotch Doubles Tournament to raise funds for park improvements. There will be prizes for high game and high series. There will also be a 50/50 drawing and a free scratch off lottery ticket to each participant. The cost is $30.00 per couple. You may ask questions or register by texting or calling Anessa at 419-305-5137 or emailing at Help us to make this event a success and provide safe and inviting parks for our community’s families.



RADC Members to Meet
The RADC is currently in their membership drive.  
The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, February 23rd at 7:30 in the library basement. New members are always welcome!



4-H Open House to be Held Thursday

The Van Wert County 4-H Program will be hosting an open house for interested families can explore project areas, talk with 4-H club advisors and pick up important paperwork to join 4-H for the 2013 year!  With 25 Clubs and more than 200 projects to choose from there is something in 4-H for you!

Visit our 4-H Open House on  Thursday, February 26 from  5:00-7:30pm at the Extension Office on the Fairgrounds. For questions please call the Extension Office at  419-238-1214 or email Heather Gottke at Even if you cannot attend we would love to help you and your child get involved in 4-H!

Membership deadline is March 15, 2015. Get your enrollments in today! 



Pancake and Sausage Day Planned
Mark your calendars, the Willshire Lions Club will be sponsoring the annual pancake and sausage day on Saturday, March 14th.  The event will be held from 6:00 AM – 11:00 AM at the Willshire American Legion, Post #207 on State Street in Willshire.  Proceeds will be used to help purchase band uniforms for the Parkway High School as well as for other community projects. 

The Willshire Lions Club also continually accepts used eyeglasses to be used for Lions Club International projects.  The used eyeglasses may be given to any Lion member or may be placed in a donation box at the pancake and sausage event.  The Lions Club would like to thank the community for the continued support of various activities.


2015 Livestock Quality Assurance Dates

Quality Assurance is a state required training program for any 4-H or FFA member who is planning to exhibit market livestock at the 2015 junior fair (excluding rabbits). The Ohio State University Extension is hosting the first QA in 2015 at the Van Wert County Fairgrounds on Sunday March 1,  starting at 2:00pm until approximately 4:00pm. The gate on Washington Street will be closed and members will be asked to enter at the gate off of Balyeat Ave. Members must register at the Jr. Fair Building upon arrival the day of the event. Further instructions will be provided at this time.

Members eligible for test out it will be offered starting at 1:00pm at the Jr. Fair Building. Test out is offered one hour prior to start of event. The second and final QA offered in Van Wert County will be on Thursday April 23rd from 6:30pm to approximately 8:30pm with test out option starting at 5:30pm.

In case of inclement weather please check the OSU Extension webpage at or the Van Wert 4-H Facebook page at

For a list of regional quality assurance dates or for questions please contact The Ohio State University Extension at (419) 238-1214 or email Heather Gottke at



Man Arrested on Drug Charges
Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey and Celina Police Chief Tom Wale reports the arrest of a male on drug related charges.  On February 17, 2015 at 6:13 PM a deputy stopped a vehicle behind J’s bar on SR 703.  Deputies received information from HIT (Heroin Interdiction Team) of a male possibly transporting drugs back to Mercer County.  During a search of the vehicle deputies and a patrolman from Celina PD located a syringe and 4 capsules with suspected heroin inside.

Arrested was 32 year old Jordan Bowers of Celina.  Bowers was charged with possession of drug abuse instruments (A Misdemeanor of the 2nd degree).  Bowers was also charged with numerous driving under suspension violations.  Additional charges are expected, and the case will be forwarded on to the Mercer County Prosecutor for review of appropriate felony charges.

HIT is a combined effort of man power and resources consisting of deputies with the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office and Patrolman from the Celina Police Department.



February 21-22, 2015
Parkway Independent - Celebrating 10 years of bringing news to the Parkway area communities.



Pitching Camp is cancelled for Saturday, February 21, 2015.

Boys 7th grade basketball is cancelled for Saturday, February 21, 2015 and rescheduled for Tuesday, February 24, 2015 at 530. Girls varsity practice and grades k-2 basketball are cancelled for Saturday, February 21, 2015.


Catholic Social Services PASSPORT presents
“A Positive Outlook: Serving & Protecting Seniors”

Dayton, Ohio (February 12, 2015) –  On Thursday, March 12, Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley will host a Provider Fair for health care professionals and interested community members at the North Hall of Edison Community College in Piqua, Ohio. The event will run from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 

Doors will open at 8:30 a.m. for the public to view displays from a number of area health care and senior care providers. A continental breakfast will be served for those who have pre-registered. 

Lloyd Early of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office will be the featured speaker at 9:15 a.m. In his session titled “Medicare Fraud 101,” Early will introduce attendees to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, addressing the Unit's statutory authority and jurisdiction.

His talk will focus on the Unit’s role in Ohio's Medicaid program integrity efforts, addressing the criminal offense of Medicaid provider fraud and provider fraud schemes. He will also discuss ways that the Unit protects the residents of Ohio's care facilities, addressing the criminal offenses of patient abuse and patient neglect, the misappropriation of resident funds, and prescription drug diversion. He will conclude with current trends in health care fraud, using specific case examples to highlight these trends.

The second speaker of the day will be Jodi Long of the Tri-County Board of Recovery and Mental Health.  Her talk is titled “EAR: Engage, Assess, and Resolve a Mental Health Crisis.” Long will discuss strategies for dealing with persons who have mental illness.

Providers are invited to display and share information. Tables are available upon advance request. Providers can set up on the morning of the event from 8:00 to 8:30 a.m.

There is no cost to attend, but the registration deadline is Thursday, March 5. For more information or to register, call 1-800-521-6419 ext. 1114 or email


February 20, 2015


Parkway Schools are on a two hour delay for Friday, February 20, 2015 due to wind chill.

Thank you to Chatt Insurance, our Weather Sponsor!



February 19, 2015


Parkway Schools are on a two hour delay for Thursday, February 19, 2015 due to wind chill.

Thank you to Chatt Insurance, our Weather Sponsor!


Mercer County Sheriff Grey Reports Accident and Fire Road
There was an accident at State Route 49 and Kable Road west of Celina on February 18, 2015; then later that evening and through the night, a structure fire on Mud Pike between Township Line Road and Erastus Durbin Road was reported. Sheriff Grey asked avoidance of the areas. The roads are open now, he reports, but they are very icy. Use caution.
Transplant Completed
Chad Hamrick and Luke Feasel are doing well following transplant surgery in Baltimore, Maryland. The families thank you for your prayers. Thank you to Chad for his selfless gift of a kidney to Luke.

February 18, 2015

Celina Police Department NEWS RELEASE: 02/17/2015
Water tower:

On 02/16/2015 the Celina Police Department handled two calls involving 31 year old Reuben Rios of Celina. At about 5:00 PM officers were sent to the Shell gas station in the 300 block of S. Main St. upon a report of Rios attempting entry into an employee’s car and attempting to steal a candy bar. Officers spoke with Rios and he denied the allegation. He told officers he was without a job and had no place to stay. He was not charged at that time.
At 7:55 PM officers were sent to the water tower in the 400 block of Grand Lake Rd. upon report that Rios was climbing the tower and threatening to jump. Upon arrival he was an estimated 50 feet up and using his cell phone. When he saw officers and fire fighters arrive he climbed to the top of the ladder to a cat walk around the tank. The catwalk is about 147 feet from the ground.
Rios would not engage officers in conversation. Department Chaplin, Pastor Randy Christian was called to assist. He was able to get Rios to speak with him and was ultimately able to talk him down.
Reuben Rios was on the tower about an hour and 20 minutes. He was taken to Jt. Township E.R. in St. Mary’s by ambulance. When asked why, he would only say he has demons he fights every day.

King Family Pet Missing ~ Have you seen Dexter?

Ann King of Rockford and their family are looking for their dog who disappeared January  20th, 2015 from their house on River Trail Rd north of Rockford, Ohio.
He is a yellow, male lab. 9 years old. Neutered. He weighs around 80 pounds. 
Call their home phone (419)363-3849.



February 17, 2015


Parkway Schools are on a two hour delay for Tuesday, February 17, 2015 due to wind chill.

Thank you to Chatt Insurance, our Weather Sponsor!



February 14-16, 2015
Parkway Independent - Celebrating 10 years of bringing news to the Parkway area communities.


Parkway Schools are on a two hour delay for Monday, February 16, 2015
due to wind chill. Today is Presidents' Day

Thank you to Chatt Insurance, our Weather Sponsor!


Level One Snow Alert on February 14, 2015 - Sheriff Jeff Grey

Lenton Services Announced

February 18 - Ash Wednesday, St. Paul's United Church of Christ 7 PM

February 25 - Chatt Methodist Church 7 PM

March 4 - St. Paul's United Church of Christ 7 PM

March 11 - Chatt Methodist Church 7 PM

March 18 - St. Paul's United Church of Christ 7 PM

March 25 - Chatt Methodist Church 7 PM

April 2 - Maundy Thursday, St. Paul's United Church of Christ 7 PM

April 3 - Good Friday, St. Paul's United Church of Christ 7 PM

April 5 - Easter Sunrise, St. Paul's United Church of Christ 7 AM; Church Services at 9 AM and 10 AM


February 13, 2015


Celebrate Valentine’s Day at the Rockford Belle

Ryan Hirschy and Brad Byerly will perform on Valentine’s Day at The Rockford Belle in Rockford. On Saturday, February 14, 2015 come at 7 PM to hear this beautiful Christ-centered contemporary concert. Doors open at 6 PM. Free will donations accepted.


2015 Jr. Fair Turkey Ordering


The Van Wert County Extension office is currently taking order for turkey pullets to be exhibited at the 2015 Jr. Fair. In an effort to focus on exhibitors efforts and knowledge of turkeys the Jr. Fair Board has voted to only allow those turkeys received through the Cooper’s bulk order to be exhibited at the 2015 Van Wert County Jr. Fair.

The first five (5) turkeys are free of cost (can be ordered as hens, toms, or a straight run combination). After the first five (5) birds can be ordered at an additional cost.

Cost of extra pullets is as follows: Hens at $3.25/pullet, Straight Run at $3.25/pullet, and Toms at $4.00/pullet.

Orders must be placed no later than Friday, February 27th by 4:30pm. Pullets will be available for pickup at the Extension office on April 3rd, from 1:00pm-4:00pm. Members that order will be mailed a reminder card when the date approaches.

Again, it is important to take into account that only turkeys ordered through this bulk order will be allowed to exhibit at the Van Wert County Jr. Fair in 2015. Please take the time to order before the deadline passes.

To place orders, please contact the Extension office at (419) 238-1214, stop by in person, or email me at



February 12, 2015

Mr. E's Driving School Training Classes Starting on Saturday, February 28, 2015
Contact Parkway High School for sign-up forms for the newest round of Driver Training by Dennis Hinkle of Mr. E's Driving School. Classes are February 28, March 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7th. See the ad above for details as well as the Business Directory Page on the Parkway Independent.

February 11, 2015



Rockford Community Days is sponsoring a family skate day at the 
Woodland Roller Dome & Family Fun Center in St. Marys, Ohio on
March 15th from 4-7:30 pm.  

Admission is $6.50 per skater.  Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Snacks and beverages are available on location.

Come out for a fun family event !!

All proceeds benefit Rockford Community Days activities.



Rockford Library News

Celebrate "Chinese New Year" at the Rockford Carnegie Library next Tuesday, February 17th at 6:30.  This is a family program and everyone is welcome to enjoy the stories, games, craft and snack.

Next month Michelle Houts will be coming to the library on Tuesday, March 17th to talk about her books, focusing on "Kammie on First".  This is the biography of Dottie Kamenshek who played for the Rockford (IL) Peaches.  Michelle will share her writing experiences, sign books and the library will serve snacks.

The library trustees are searching for another person to join them in serving the library community.  The trustees meet on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:00p.m.  Trustees are responsible for making sure the library has adequate funding and sets the policies for the operation of the library.  If you are interested e-mail Rozann at or call the library and leave your name (419-363-2630).



Parkway Sports News
The Girls Varsity Basketball Team will play Elmwood in the sectional tournament on Wednesday, February 25 at 6:15 PM at Wapakoneta. The bus will leave at 4:30.


The 7th Grade Boys run their record to 14-1 with a 41-31 victory on Tuesday, February 10 versus Versailles. They are the number one seed in the 7th grade MAC tourney.



February 9-10, 2015
Parkway Independent - Celebrating 10 years of bringing news to the Parkway area communities.


Prayers are Needed for Surgeries - Click Here



Rockford Eagles Planning Annual Sports Night – Guys Mark Your Calendar

Delicious Whole Hog Dinner Served!
Rockford Eagles Sports Night 2015 @ the Rockford Eagles
Tuesday night February 24th
Doors open @ 5:30
$25 at the door
Guest Speakers:
Jeremy Ulenhake: 2001-2002 Kicker for The Ohio State Buckeyes Football
Featured Speaker:
Rob "Dusty" Rutledge
1986 Grad of Parkway High School
Coached Football at Indiana, West Virginia and Michigan. Also Reality TV Star.


Rob “Dusty” Rutledge, Rockford Native, Follows Football Dreams to a Career That Lands Him on TV Reality Series

By Sheila Baltzell 6-20-2014

Rob Rutledge, nicknamed in college ~ Dusty Rutledge, spent his entire life following his dreams of a football career. Little did he realize his dreams would lead him to a TV reality series, called American Muscle, airing on Wednesday, July 9, 2014 at 9 PM on the Discovery Channel. There will be seven episodes.

Dusty is the son of Bob and Kathy McGough Rutledge of Rockford. From an early age, he was fascinated with football, says his mom and dad. “He spent entire weekends in front of the television.”  Dusty remembers that well. He practiced the plays he watched and eventually became the football “boy” for the Parkway team in the 4th grade. He idolized neighbor, Joe Stewart, and practiced hard for him. In the 2nd and 3rd grader , Dusty was always day-dreaming about football and looking out the schoolroom window. According to his mom, Mrs. Haddock had to move the entire classroom so Dusty could not gaze out the window at the football field.

He later joined the Parkway Junior High School Football team. From there on out, he was hooked on the sport. Dusty says he was a decent center in high school, and lived from Friday nights. When he graduated from Parkway in 1986, with good grades, he earned a scholarship at Fairmont State University, West Virginia. He used his summer, that year, to run the Rockford Swimming Pool where he got tanned.  With all of his blond hair, he became known as Dusty when he got to Fairmont State and played football for them. He was a three year letterman in college and felt he was an average player. One thing for sure, he was having a great time, playing the sport he loves.

Dusty went on to become a coach from 1994-1996 at Glenville State, West Virginia and then to Bloomington, Indiana University. It was here, that Dusty felt he had the greatest years of his career from 1997-2000. Even now, he finds excitement in the college and looks forward to his cousin Tarin Tischler heading to Bloomington in the Fall of 2014 as she works toward a career in medicine. Tarin is even going to be helping the football team there, in the recruiting area.

From 2000-2007, Dusty headed back to West Virginia at West Virginia University as their video coordinator. He supervised 2 fulltime photographers and 2 college editors as they followed the team to 6 straight Gator Bowls and 1 Sugar Bowl.

From 2008-2010, Rob found his way to his childhood Mecca, University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He worked for the coaching team of Rich Rodriguez, head coach, as the Director of External Affairs. Dusty’s job was to build relationships with ex-football players. Dusty mentioned that, by this time in his career, he felt he was the luckiest “kid” on the planet. All this time he had been able to work with the best football players around. He loved it! But his greatest heroes even now, are not the players, but his own late Grandpa Jake Rutledge, his father, Bob Rutledge and his Uncle Keith Rutledge. They all told him, “Go after your dreams!” And, Dusty did.

In 2009, Dusty met the love of his life, Jennifer, and his marriage to her made him an instant dad to his beautiful and intelligent step-daughters, Maegan and Elizabeth. One is studying to become a medical doctor and the other a lawyer.

He is so proud of them and recalls the day he learned that Coach Rich Rodriguez and the coaching team was leaving Michigan and heading to the University of Arizona. Dusty was not willing to uproot his new family, and so he declined an the offer to follow the team. Fortunately for Dusty, Mike Barwis, the top-rated strength coach in the United States, who  was once at  West Virginia University knew Rob and hired him into the new Gym venture he was starting in Ypsilanti Michigan. Barwis Methods is the premier place to go if one is an athlete who needs rehabilitation or just wants to get stronger. It is so successful, Barwis Methods trains professional athletes year round including more than just football players. Hockey, basketball and track are just of few of the other athletes seeking Barwis help. They take entire teams, individuals, high school teams, and also work with accident victims, paralysis patients, children with birth defects ~ they take anyone who needs help.

According to Dusty, Elliot Nealer, brother to a football player, Brock Nealer, at the University of Michigan, was in a serious automobile accident. Doctors gave him a 1% chance of walking again after he was paralyzed from the neck down. The happiest day of Elliot’s life was the day he walked down the aisle to his wedding.

Children with disabilities have learned to walked. Bob and Kathy Rutledge say these success stories are the most touching part of the show.

Mike Barwis espouses a tough love attitude to strength training:
He doesn’t take no for an answer.
Keep a positive attitude.

Shoot for the moon.

Tough love.

If there is any fire in the nerve at all, you can bring it back.

Intense ~ no babying

All glory to God.


Barwis Methods Training Center ( is involved in many charitable activities including: (Christmas presents and food for underprivileged children.)

Pairing of successful athletes with underprivileged children.

Dusty, the receptionist and scheduler at the gym, is the official Santa Claus for Barwis chaitable activities. He is pleased with that job, as his Grandpa Jake was the official Santa in Rockford.

The premier for the show American Muscle, was held on June 26, and father Bob Rutledge and local friend Barney Lehman, attended the private affair of over 500 people in Ypsilanti.

So what does Dusty say it has been like to be wired-up and taped for 12 weeks? “It was heard getting used-to ~ someone in your face constantly. But now the show has premiered, had great rating and Dusty says it was all worth it. He thanks everyone from his hometown in Rockford for believing in him including his sister, Jenny (see picture left as toddlers).

He invites everyone to watch the show, which is owned  by Actor Will Farrell’s Company Funny or Die. His friends are in it as well including Eric “TankDog’ Potis. Wednesday, July 9, 2014 at 9 PM.

You can find and communicate with Dusty Rutledge 64 on Twitter.

















School Board Meetings on Tuesday, February 10, 2015
The Parkway Board of Education meeting scheduled in the community room at the school will include a Hearing 6:15 PMand a Regular Meeting6:30 PM.

Click here for the agenda.


Rockford Village Council Meets on February 3, 2015

Council decides to collect a fee on license plates on residents' cars in the village for revenue. $2 million wastewater plant improvement plans go forward.

Click Here to read the latest and past Rockford Village Council News

Parkway Students Selected for Honors

Seth Rollins recently won the Parkway's 2014-15 National Society Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen Award. He was selected by Parkway staff for his dependability, service leadership and patriotism. His information has been submitted to the next level of competition.

Kayle Heckler is Mercer County Elks Student of the Month and will be honored (along with her parents) at an upcoming presentation. She was slected for her academic performance, honors achieved, school and community activities.

Cassandra Kuhn is the newest Franklin B. Walter award winner for 2015. At the top of her class, Cassandra also has the highest grade point average and ACT scores in the Class of 2015. She will compete for an awesome scholarship this Spring, vying against other Mercer County schools' candidates.


February 7-8, 2015


Colonial Nursing Center Named Rockford Chamber – February Business of the Month

Congratulations to Colonial Nursing Center for being selected as the Rockford Chamber – February Business of the Month.  Zach Collins, Administrator states “We are honored to be the business of the Month in Rockford”.  Colonial Nursing Center was built in 2000.  Colonial is amongst some of the smallest nursing homes in Ohio, which makes their care more personal.  They have a 34 skilled beds, and 9 assisted living room.  They offer occupational, physical, speech as well as respiratory therapy.  They also have audiology, dentistry, optometry, and podiatry services that come to the building so that residents do not have to travel to see doctors.  In the past recent weeks, they have been holding a community bingo on Thursday’s in the dining room that is open to the public.  Other activities that Colonial participates in is donating food to the Parkway Ministerial Food Pantry, and they prepare lunches for kindergartners.  Colonial has plenty of space if your organization needs a place to meet, or maybe need a place to hold an event.  
Colonial Nursing Center is located at 201 Buckeye St .  Phone number is 419-363-2193.




Stose - Caffee Families Welcome Baby Girl - Click Here for Details


Celina Policeman Saves Elderly Woman
NEWS RELEASE: 02/06/2015

On February 3rd shortly before 11:00 PM Sgt. Kent Taylor of the Celina Police Dept. was on foot patrolling the neighborhood in the 1100 block of Princeton and performing house checks.  It was below freezing when he noticed something in a backyard moving.  Upon a closer check he found an 82 year old woman, injured and lying face down in the snow on a patch of ice.

This elderly woman was able to speak.  She had fallen when she went outside to get her dog.  No one could hear her cries for help.  She had a minor head injury and what turned out to be a broken arm.  She was unable to get herself to her feet.

Sgt. Taylor helped the injured woman to her feet and got her inside her home and waiting with her until members of the Celina F.D. arrived with an ambulance to take her to the hospital.

We believe she would not likely have been found before day.  As Chief I commend Sgt. Taylor for a job well done and saving the life of one our citizens.



Enjoy the Fun of Wine/Craft Beer Tasting in Rockford
The 4TH Annual Wine/Craft Beer Tasting in Rockford will take place on March 7th at the Rockford Community Building from 7 – 10 pm.  Join us as we welcome Java Nation as our guest host.  Pre-sale tickets will be $20.  Tickets the day of the event will be $25.  Tickets go on sale beginning February 13 and will be available at the Rockford Village Office, Barrys Family Market and Java Nation.

Six drink tastings, appetizers and live music will be included in ticket pricing. Extra tasting tickets will be available for purchase.

All proceeds to benefit Community Days activities – June 19-21.

Any questions call Amy Joseph @ 419-953-7874 or Luke Stephenson @ 419-733-0285

Look for more information for other upcoming events – Family Fun Bowling Tournament on March 14th and Rollerskating on March 15th


Uplifting Christian Music Ministry – The Northmen & Cathy to Perform Locally on February 7
Full-time Christian music ministry- THE NORTHMEN- will share the gospel through song at The Rockford Belle, of Rockford, OH on February 7, 2015 at 7 pm with doors open at 6 pm. Members of the Praise Point Worship Team (Willshire, Ohio) are set to open the event. The venue is located at 135 Market Street, Rockford, Ohio. A free-will offering will be accepted.

In their 26th year of performing, The Northmen are committed to singing several concert dates per year, and sharing the gospel in venues across the country in 40 states, including Alaska and Hawaii. They have sung in 6 foreign countries to date and sang on several cruise lines.  

The Northmen will host the 16th annual Northern Gospel Singing Convention in Marion, IN where close to 40 gospel music artists from across the country will be singing; this event has become one of the fastest growing national events and is held in August each year. They are also known for their Annual Winter Singfest, held in January in Warsaw, Indiana. 

Fans can check out their brand new CD project release titled “The Northmen, A Special 25th Anniversary Collection” consisting of 23 songs, with original and classic songs geared to all age groups. Their first ever Music Video titled “You Can’t Do That Anymore” can be seen on YouTube and other avenues. They have also released a DVD Video with 9 songs and an interview on it. The trio is heard on radio stations across the country, including XM radio and Solid Gospel with projects found on iTunes.  The Northmen have had 12 top 40 Gospel music singles and 3 top 20 songs in the national Singing News Charts, along with other National charts. In addition to Northmen projects, Alan and Cathy have released a solo CD each. 

The Northmen consists of three members. The trio’s lead singer and manager is Alan Godsey. Alan is from Cincinnati, Ohio. Alan’s wife Cathy sings alto and plays piano in some of the concerts, and is from Marion Indiana. Newest member is Bob Etzel from Ann Arbor, Michigan, singing baritone.  

Join the ministry of music through The Northmen & Cathy on February 7th at the Rockford Belle. Their entertainment style uplifts, as well as reaches out to the lost and dying world, reminding listeners that Jesus still saves. For more information call 567-644-9993.


February 6, 2015


Vantage Open House and Taste of Vantage Planned
• Support the Vantage Student Activity Fund
• Visit the Labs & See Special Demonstrations
• Learn about opportunities for High School Students & Adults
No time to cook?   Help support school-wide student activities by eating dinner at Vantage.   This year, several area eating establishments will be set up in the Commons and have sample size portions of food for you to try. We’re calling it “A Taste of Vantage”!  Mark it on your calendars for Monday, Feb. 9, from 5-7:30 p.m. Tickets for the Taste of Vantage will be available at the door for just $5 for six tickets.  Enjoy some tasty treats from Fricker’s, Baked to Perfection, Puckerbrush Pizza, Main Street Market (Ottoville), Remedy’s Sports Bar & Grille, The Fort, and Paulding Dairy Queen.  It’s gonna be a great night — you won’t want to miss it!

February 26 Meeting Date of the Western Ohio Civil War Roundtable

Jim Bowsher, from Wapakoneta, will be the guest speaker. He is an interesting character with a gift for story-telling. He will bring along Civil War items to share and tell his stories in connection with the artifacts he brought.

This guy is a dynamo, and his stories come from all over the country. His Civil War talk will reference many local sources. When Jim was just a grade-school youth, he heard about one of the last Civil War soldiers being in the hospital in Toledo. He persuaded his dad to drive him there so he could meet the soldier. He took along a small tape recorder, and recorded his conversation. That tape is now part of the Library of Congress archives, and was once used at the Smithsonian as part of an exhibit.

Meet in Room 186 Anderson Hall, Wright State Lake Campus. 



Celebrate with Rockford !  Rockford’s Best Mix – 101.3 WRKD will be hosting an open house and ribbon cutting on  Saturday,  February 28th  from 2 – 5 pm.  They are located at the Rockford Village Office and Museum at 
151 E Columbia St.   Refreshments will be served!



Mr. E's Driving School Training Classes Starting on Saturday, February 28, 2015
Contact Parkway High School for sign-up forms for the newest round of Driver Training by Dennis Hinkle of Mr. E's Driving School. Classes are February 28, March 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7th. See the ad above for details as well as the Business Directory Page on the Parkway Independent.


Patrol’s Tpr. Brincefield promoted to Sergeant at the Van Wert Post


COLUMBUS – Trooper Adam M. Brincefield was promoted to the rank of Sergeant today by Colonel Paul A. Pride, Patrol Superintendent, during a ceremony at the Patrol’s Academy. Sergeant Brincefield will remain at his current assignment, the Van Wert Post, to serve as an assistant post commander. 

Sergeant Brincefield began his Patrol career in September 2003 as a member of the 141st Academy Class. He earned his commission in March of the following year and was assigned to the Van Wert Post, where he was selected as Post Trooper of the Year in 2009. In 2012, he transferred to the Patrol’s Training Academy to serve as an instructor. Later that year, he returned to his most recent assignment at the Van Wert Post, where he was again selected as Post Trooper of the Year in 2014. 

The Ohio State Highway Patrol is an internationally accredited agency whose mission is to protect life and property, promote traffic safety and provide professional public safety services with respect, compassion, and unbiased professionalism. 





Rockford Thrifty 4-H Club to Meet
by Callie Eichler

Rockford Thrifty 4-H Club, will be welcoming new members at their next meeting which will be Monday February, 9th at 7:00 in the Rockford Library basement. As a service project, they are planning to make Valentine’s Day cards at this meeting and later pass them out at the area nursing homes.

Rockford Thrifty is a member of the Mercer County 4H. Members must be at least 3rd grade or 9 years of age by January 1st, 2015 through 12th grade. To be a cloverbud, you must be in kindergarten. Our group welcomes both boys and girls.

Becoming a member of the 4H club is an inexpensive activity where members can learn responsibility, leadership skills, and gain new interests through fair projects. Meetings are typically held once or twice a month. Callie said, “As vice president of the club, I invite anyone interested to join us for this meeting.”


Troopers asking motorists to #moveover

Van Wert– Last month, an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper was struck by a vehicle as he was standing outside of his cruiser, responding to a crash on the side of I-475. Thankfully, he sustained non-life threatening injuries, but he was knocked over a guardrail, fell into a steep ditch and had to be pulled up to safety by a rope.

Hundreds of people are killed or injured each year after pulling over to the side of a road and subsequently getting struck by another vehicle. The Ohio State Highway Patrol is asking motorists to help keep their fellow drivers as well as law enforcement officers safe by following Ohio’s Move Over law.


The law requires all drivers to move over one lane when passing any vehicle with flashing or rotating lights parked on the roadside. If moving over is not possible due to traffic or weather conditions, or because a second lane does not exist, motorists should slow down and proceed with caution.


“By moving over, motorists are helping to protect the lives of everyone who works on or uses our roadways,” said Lt. Tim Grigsby. “It’s not just the law; it’s the right thing to do.”


To view the statistical analysis regarding our safe driving awareness month visit


As always, the Patrol asks drivers to call #677 to report impaired drivers or drug activity.


Grand Lake Patriots to host “Religious Liberty, Pastors’ Right to Speak from the Pulpit”


The topic Religious Liberty: Pastors’ Right to Speak from the Pulpit will be addressed by guest speaker Shawn Meyer, pastor of Aletheia Christian Church, Celina, Ohio, at the Thursday, February 12th general meeting of the Grand Lake Patriots. The meeting begins at 7 PM in the Lefeld Community Building at the Fairgrounds in Celina. Patriots, guests, and clergy are invited to attend.

Pastor Meyer is a contributing writer for two national conservative e-news sites, the author of two children’s books, and an avid blogger. He has been chosen by Citizens for Community Values, directed by Phil and Vicki Burress, to be this year’s recipient of the John Peter Muhlenburg Award, given to one Ohio pastor each year who best exemplifies the courage and conviction over moral issues that Pastor Muhlenburg exemplified. 

Pastor Shawn Meyer and his wife Kay are the parents of 7 children. Among other things, Pastor Meyer does not hesitate to speak out for the sanctity of human life and against the evil of abortion, while letting the availability of God’s forgiveness and grace be known.



February 5, 2015


Parkway Schools are on a two hour delay for Thursday, February 5, 2015


Snow overnight is drifting. Roads are slippery with 2-3 inches of snow.
Sheriff Jeff Grey asks drivers to use caution.

A Semi Slid off State Route 127 in the early hours of February 5th between Shelley Road and Shindeldecker Road east of Rockford between 4 and 5 AM according to the Mercer County Sheriff's Department.


February 4, 2015


Parkway Schools are on a two hour delay for Wednesday, February 4, 2015


Come to the Heart Healthy Luncheon

11:30 a.m.  Tuesday, February 17, 2015


11230 State Route 364

St. Marys, Ohio 45885

Enjoy, Listen and Learn in the Meyer Community Room

Contact us to RSVP by February 10 by calling (419) 394-2366 or (800) 628-9341



Snapshot Cuisine Open on Saturday, February 14, 2015 for A Guilded Valentine

Snapshot Cuisine opens for a new dining experience on Saturday, February 14, 2015. Come to 209 South Main Street in Celina and try this 5 course dining experience:

Tomato Gazpacho w/Avocado & Blue Crab; Bone Marrow & Toast; Limoncello intermezzo: Ricotta Gnudi; and Berries & Cream.

Wine, Artisanal Cocktail & Craft Beer Pairings

Tickets and Reservations required. 419-953-5232.



February 3, 2015


Parkway Schools are on a two hour delay for Tuesday, February 3, 2015


Sermon Series Planned

Mt Tabor Church of God will launch a challenging Sermon Series titled, OVERCOME.  The series will begin on Sun, Feb 15th at 10:00am!  Pastor Tim Hollinger will speak on difficult aspects of life with which everyone struggles: Betrayal; Temptation; Abandonment; Financial hardships; Bitterness; and an Earthly mindset.


Life can be difficult and painful.  But we don’t have to be alone in all of it; discover how Christ Jesus is able and waiting to help you.


For more information check out:



Patents and Trademarks Workshop

Ran Raider, Wright State University Librarian, will present a Patents and Trademarks Workshop at WSU- Lake Campus! Ran is knowledgeable about Patents, Trademarks, Copyright Law, and Government Resources. Wright State University maintains a Patent and Trademark Resource Center (PTRC) in the Paul Laurence Dunbar Library at the Dayton campus. As an official PTRC of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) they have a formal agreement to provide assistance to the general public in the use of patent and trademark resources provided by the USPTO. Every effort will be made to protect confidentiality. Refreshment will be provided.


RSVP today! Email to attend this informative event!

When:            Thursday, February 12, 2015; 3:30 to 4:30

Where:           Room 229 Dwyer Hall

Wright State University-Lake Campus

7600 Lake Campus Drive

Celina, Ohio

Who:               Business owners, Attorneys, Inventors, Students



Remember the Rockford Eagles Fish Fry and Chicken Strips Dinners
on Friday, February 6, 2015 from 5-7 PM.
Members and Guests only. Good Food! See ad above for details.








February 2, 2015 ~ Ground Hog Day


The Parkway Booster Club meeting is canceled for tonight 2-2-2015.



All Parkway sports' practices and games are cancelled for tonight, February 2, 2015.


Parkway Schools are now closed for Monday, February 2, 2015

Snow overnight is drifting. Icy roads underneath.

A disabled semi on U.S Route 33 west of Rockford
was reported by Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey at 4:19 AM on February 2, 2015.
The road was closed for 3 hours and reopened at 7:13 AM.

Drive carefully!

County Spelling Bee Planned
The 2014-2015 Mercer County Spelling Bee is planned for Monday, February 2, 2015 at 7 at the Wright State University-Lake Campus James F. Dicke Auditorium.25 Students will participate including students from PARKWAY!



Parkway February 2015 Breakfast & Lunch Menus by Pam Smith


Parkway Schools are on a two hour delay for Monday, February 2, 2015

Thank you to Chatt Insurance, our Weather Sponsor!



School Counselors Celebrate During National School Counseling Week, Feb. 2–6, 2015


National School Counseling Week, sponsored by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), is being celebrated from Feb. 2–6, 2015, to focus public attention on the unique contribution of professional school counselors within U.S. school systems and how students are different as a result of what school counselors do. National School Counseling Week highlights the tremendous impact school counselors can have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career.


Parkway school counselors are actively engaged in helping students examine their abilities, strengths, interests and talents; for working in a partnership with parents as they encounter the challenges of raising children in today's world; for focusing on positive ways to enhance students' social/personal, educational and career development; and working with teachers and other educators to provide an educational system where students can realize their potential and set healthy, realistic and optimistic aspirations for themselves.


Professional school counselors are certified, experienced educators with a master's degree in guidance and counseling. The combination of their training and experience makes them an integral part of the total educational program.


"School counselors work with all students to remove barriers to learning by addressing students’ academic concerns, career awareness in post-secondary options and personal/social skills,” said Kwok-Sze Wong, Ed.D., ASCA executive director. “Comprehensive school counseling programs help to increase student achievement and provide a much-needed resource for students, parents, teachers and administrators. School counselors are integral to student success."


Please contact Parkway School Counselors if you have any questions or would like more information on how we serve your students - Elementary Counselor, Suzann Litteral; Middle School Counselor, Lisa Ontrop; or High School Counselor, Mickey McConahay.


January 31- February 1, 2015


Van Wert County Gets New Common Pleas Judge
Thanks to newly Retired Judge Charles Steele

Submitted by Michael W. Kirkendall, Court Reporter/Bailiff
Van Wert County Court of Common Pleas

Martin D. Burchfield was sworn in as the new Common Pleas Judge for Van Wert County on Thursday, January 29. 2015.  He starts his new assignment on Monday, Feb 2, 2015



Main Street Van Wert Announces 1st Chocolate Walk Event

Your next visit to Van Wert might be a little bit sweeter! The MSVW merchant committee is pleased to announce the first Downtown Chocolate Walk, Friday evening, February 6th. Participating businesses will be open for the event from 4-8pm. Tickets are $15 each or $25 for a pair, and must be purchased or reserved in advance.

The day of the event, ‘chocolate walkers’ will begin at the MSVW office to pick up a special Chocolate Bag & map. Then relax and savor the evening while strolling at your leisure through the participating businesses downtown. Show your ticket at each Chocolate Stop on the map to sample or collect nearly 20 chocolate treats! A horse drawn trolley will help make sure walkers visit every location on the map.

A full list of participating businesses will be announced 1 week before the event. Ticket holders will visit businesses they are familiar with & learn about ones they may not know. What a fun way to visit someplace new or get reacquainted with the stores & offices downtown. Postcards will be available to create a Valentine’s Day wish list while visiting stores that evening, which MSVW will mail to any address the ticket holder selects.

Grab your friends or invite someone special and enjoy this excursion through downtown Van Wert. A limited number of tickets are available and can be purchased in person at the MSVW office, 136 E. Main Street, or at Truly D’vine Bread Co, 117 W Main Street, in Van Wert. Tickets may also be reserved over the phone. For more information, visit or call 419-238-6911.



Click Here for Van Wert County Common Pleas Court Cases Heard for January 2015


Mercer County Emergency Medical Association



Spring Weather Awareness Week           March 1-7, 2015


Statewide Tornado Drill                  March 4, 2015 at 9:50 AM


Weather Spotters Class                  March 17, 2015 at 6:30 PM

New Location!

Dicke Hall, Wright State University Lake Campus

Celina, Ohio



Guest Column from State Representative Jim Buchy
A Sales Tax Holiday to Relieve Costs Associated with Back to School Items


Ohio families can now prepare for a new major retail shopping season. Senate Bill 243, which passed both chambers and was signed into law during the 130th General Assembly, means that Ohioans will be able to save sales tax dollars when handling their back-to-school shopping this coming year.  Ohio’s first ever Sales Tax Holiday will take place August 7th-9th, and experts say shoppers should expect Black Friday-like excitement.

This bill is very important to me, as eliminating the sales tax on these items both at retail stores and on the internet will help ensure that all children and students can get what is necessary for the upcoming school year. A good investment in their education is a good investment into their future, and that’s what the Sales Tax Holiday seeks to create.

Many popular retail stores have shown their support for this new Sales Tax Holiday, such as Walmart, Macy’s, J.C. Penny, CVS, and Best Buy. These stores are frequent stops for back-to-school shoppers, and their backing makes it even more exciting. With the help of this bill, Ohio families with children K-12 will save roughly $40 each on their school shopping list in a normal school year.

This measure will promote economic growth in Ohio and will allow consumers to spend manageable amounts of money on the things that they need for the upcoming school year. The Sales Tax Holiday is expected to put $78 million back into the pockets of Ohioans. It would also provide a boost for Ohio’s retail sector, which makes up 18 percent of Ohio’s GDP and employs one in four Ohio citizens.

There are eighteen other states in the country that have a Sales Tax Holiday. Implementing this could potentially result in an economic boost very similar to the one seen in Florida. That state posted $115 million more in tax revenue during the three-day tax-free period, showing that consumers were buying many items that were not tax-free as well.

The bill made its way through the legislative process, passing through both the House and the Senate, and was signed by Governor Kasich on December 19th, 2014. We now look forward to seeing its outcome this coming August. I am confident that we have done good work for the people of Ohio with this bill.

Please take a minute to look over a website explaining more about the Sales Tax Holiday at In addition, a special survey is available at which will be useful in gathering feedback about this new measure. 




Drug Arrest Made

The Celina Police Department and The Mercer County Sheriff’s Office  reports drug arrests made as a result of their joint HIT detail.   The HIT (Heroin Interdiction Team) is a combination of Celina Patrolmen and Sheriff’s Deputies. A vehicle was stopped at 1:51 PM for a traffic violation at US Rte 127 near Siegrist Jutte Road.   With assistance from the  Celina Police K-9 Unit, the K-9 alerted on the vehicle and a search was conducted.   HIT located nine (9) capsules of suspected heroin as well as four (4) empty capsules and a one hundred dollar bill, along with two (2) prescription pill bottles containing Gabapentin and Mirtazapine  (commonly used for Depression and Seizures).  The prescriptions were not issued to anyone inside the vehicle.  Additionally $100.00 was seized from Ganger. .   Also located was a loaded BB gun pistol, that very closely resembled a real gun,  in the glove box.

Arrested was 21 year old Tyla M. Ganger of Beaver Street in Celina Ohio.  Ganger was arrested on an outstanding bench warrant for failure to comply on the original charge domestic violence, and was also charged with Possession of Heroin, driving under suspension, and operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and or drugs.  Ganger is being held in the Mercer County Detention Facility on a $50,000.00 bond ordered by Celina Municipal Court Judge Jim Scheer.  There were two additional passengers in the vehicle that were not charged.

At 6:40 PM a vehicle was topped for a traffic violation on State Route 219 east of Coldwater.  HIT located a large bag of suspected marijuana, a bottle filled with capsules with residue of an unknown substance inside of them.  The vehicle was seized and secured and HIT will be applying for a search warrant this morning for the vehicle.

Arrested was 22 year old Alan J. Bricher of Menchhofer Road, Coldwater Ohio.  Bricher was arrested on a probation violation. Additionally $368.00 in cash was also seized from Bricher.  HIT was assisted by Coldwater PD on this stop. A male juvenile passenger was released to his parents.


The HIT will be forwarding these cases to the Mercer County Prosecutor for consideration of additional charges.

Sheriff Grey and Chief Wale continue to remind their citizens that their agencies will continue to pursue drug dealers and users in Mercer County and within the City of Celina.   They also ask that citizens continue to call the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office and the Celina Police Department with any drug information or tips that they may have. One of these arrests were made possible due to tips received by the Sheriff’s Office web site.    Citizens may leave tips anonymously by going to the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office and Celina Police Department’s web pages and Facebook pages.   Citizens can also call the Sheriff’s Office at 419-586-7724 or the Celina Police Department at 419-586-2345.  Anonymous tips can also be left at the Sheriff’s Office tip line 567-890-TIPS (8477)





January 30, 2015
Parkway Independent - Celebrating 10 years of bringing news to the Parkway area communities.


Parkway Schools are on a two hour delay for Friday, January 30, 2015

Slick roads reported in the area.

Thank you to Chatt Insurance, our Weather Sponsor!


January 29, 2015


Parkway Schools are now closed for Thursday, January 29, 2015


Parkway Schools are on a two hour delay for Thursday, January 29, 2015

Freezing Drizzle reported in the area.

Thank you to Chatt Insurance, our Weather Sponsor!



 Sunday, February 1 – There is NO Winter Choir Concert. This has been changed to Sunday, March 1.



Come Enjoy the Fun at the St. Patrick's Day Dance

St. Patrick's Day Dance with the live band - Blind Date
Saturday - March 14th, 2015 from 8 pm - 11 pm
Doors open at 7.
Rockford Community Building - $10 person at the door
Beverages  ** Snacks ** Sandwiches
Sponsored by St. Teresa Parish
Raffle / Door Prizes / 50/50
  Open to the public.


Save Local Now Initiative Sponsored by Chamber
The Rockford Chamber of Commerce partnered with Save Local Now to give local businesses a fast, easy, and free way to integrate social media into other marketing efforts already in use and attract more customers. Watch for local integration on places like Facebook and Twitter.Intersted in knowing more? Email Lisa Kuhn at



By  Joyce L. Alig, President, Mercer County Historical Society

Photo caption:  William Muhlenkamp’s barn, with the windmill on the roof, 7911 St. Rt. 49, Liberty Township is listed in the book, “Those Magnificent Big Barns in Mercer County, Ohio.”

William Muhlenkamp knew that this barn was built in 1880, because the date 1880 is written above the barn door, at 7911 St. Rt. 49, in Liberty Township.  This is the only barn, which I have found, had the windmill located on the roof of the barn, in Mercer County.  Between 1990 and 1993, I photographed over 2000 big old barns in Mercer County, and over a thousand families placed their barn photographs and history in the book “Those Magnificent Big Barns in Mercer County of Western Ohio.”

Muhlenkamp’s Grandfather Joseph Turckes moved to this place in 1896.  Turckes put the windmill on top of the barn.  He had some carpenters work on the barn about all summer to jack it up and put a foundation under it, and to make a bank barn out of the barn.  When Turckes had this barn raised, Mark Kessen, from near Carthagena, did the cement work.  Muhlenkamp said that the entire project was “lots of work!”

Turckes sold about a hundred windmills to area farmers.  He also sold wire fence, fence posts, and fertilizer by the train car load.  During the season, he would sell about one car load of fence; one car load of fence posts, and twelve to twenty car loads of fertilizer.  He also sold electric light plants, Essex cars, and farm machinery from companies of International, Massey Harris, New Idea, and Bull Tractors. Being the salesman that he was, he also sold Chevy cars and Belle City Threshing Machines.

The interior framing of this barn is unique.  The main cross beams are supported by vertical posts, as are other barns.  However, above the main posts, and on either side of them, are the inclined support posts for the purlin plate or beam which runs the length of the barn, and supports the rafters of the roof.  In this barn, the inclined post is mortised into the beam on either side of the vertical post.  In 1880, the posts and beams were hand hewn.  When I visited this barn in 1990, the wooden threshing floor was still intact. 

In the photograph, the louvered vents can be seen.  The pairs of threshing doors are in front and back of the barn.  A straw stack, left from threshing, is in back of the barn.  At the base of the windmill, on top of the roof, is a door, to reach the interior of the windmill structure.  Even though that windmill is no longer on top of the barn, one can still see where it was located by looking at the roof, in the interior of the barn.

Lightning struck this barn twice.  The first time lightning struck the windmill on the top of the roof (sometime after 1896), Turckes took the windmill down from the roof.  Inside of the barn, they put a metal brace on the post to reinforce the barn.  Turckes then put the windmill outside, next to the barn.  During the 1947 spring tornado, that windmill went down.  Several barns went down around Chattanooga in Liberty Township, in the 1947 tornado.

Some Mercer Countians call the windmills, “windpumps.”  In the dictionary, a windmill is noted as “a mill operated by the wind’s rotation of large, oblique sails or vanes; it is used as a cheap source of power for grinding grain, pumping water, etc.”  In the dictionary, I did not find the word, “windpumps.” 

If the original owner of the barn or the next owner Joseph Turckes had not had a photographer photograph his barn, and if William Muhlenkamp had not preserved the photograph of the barn, we would not have had a history of this barn, with the windmill on the roof.  Thanks to William Muhlenkamp, and to all of the Mercer County farmers who are preserving the rural architectural heritage of Mercer County by having their farm buildings photographed, and for preserving those photographs in their homes.




~ Mercer County Historical Society, Inc. ~

~ 2015 Events at Mercer County Historical Museum ~



To Preserve Mercer County’s History & To Educate the Public about that History.


January ~ December, 2015:  Guided Tours and/or Research Requests by Appointment.

*Exhibits are at Mercer County Historical Museum, The Riley Home, 130 E. Market, Celina.


March 29, 2015, Sunday, 1:00 – 4:00, New Idea Corn Pickers and related NI Farm

Equipment Posters & photographs Exhibit, at the Mercer County Historical Museum. 

Former New Idea Employees are invited to share their stories of the Corn Pickers. 

Hosts:  The New Idea Historic Preservation Committee.


June 28, 2015 Sunday, 1:00 - 4:00.  35th Annual Prehistoric Artifacts Exhibit. 

Hosted by the Mercer County Indian Relic Collectors at Mercer County Historical Museum  lawn.


August 1 and 2, 2015, Saturday and Sunday, New Idea Farm Equipment & Antique Tractor

Exhibit at the Coldwater Community Picnic at the north side of the Coldwater Community

Park.  Owners of NI Equipment and/or Antique Tractors are invited to join this Exhibit,

hosted by the New Idea Historic Preservation Committee of the Mercer County Historical Society.


September 13, 2015, Sunday, 1:00 – 4:00.   Children’s Treasure Hunt at The Museum.

Each child of any age will be given a list of specific items to find in the Museum.  Children today

have this opportunity to learn about their Great Grandparents’ way of life.  Grandparents

are invited to pass on their own Heritage of Stories to the young.  This is one place where

Grandparents are smarter than their Grandchildren.  Bring your cameras for good Memories.


October 25, 2015, Sunday, 1:00 - 4:00.  15th Annual Military and Antique Gun Exhibit: 

From .22 caliber to 82mm, military weapons from the Museum of the Soldier’s Collection.

Hosted by the Museum of the Soldier, Portland, Indiana, and Local Gun Collectors. 

Local Hunters are recognized, e, g, Lloyd “Buck” Bader’s heritage.


November 8, 2015, Sunday, 1:00 – 4:00.  Gas & Oil Wells & Landings on the Lake Exhibit. 

Post Cards, photographs, artifacts from the oil and/or gas derricks, written accounts of the Gas

and Oil Wells, including Post Cards of Grand Lake Landings and Amusement Parks, history of

Post Offices & Post Marks, and Trains & Depots for the 15th Annual Post Card Exhibit. 

We are seeking photographs and history of the Lake, including the Reservoir Post Office. 


December 7, 2015, Monday, 7:30 P.M.  Historical Society Members’ Meeting, Christmas party.


The New Idea Historic Preservation Committee will meet the fourth Wed., 7:00 P.M. at the

Coldwater Public Library:  Jan. 28, Mar. 25, Apr. 22, May 27, June 24, July 22, Sept. 23 (Picnic at Park)

and Oct. 28, 2014.  [No meetings:  Feb., Aug., Nov. or Dec.]  Aug. 1-2, NI Exhibit, Coldwater Park.   

~ The new book, “New Idea Company’s Horse Drawn Manure Spreaders, Maria Stein &


Coldwater, Ohio,” is available for $15.00, plus $3.00 postage, or contact a NIHP Member. ~


*Thank you for remembering the Mercer County Historical Society, Inc. 

with the Local Combined Drives and in your Estate Plans.  Thank you for looking to the future.*


-For Information:  "Our Old Bookcase," by Joyce L. Alig,, 419-678-2614,

 or Mercer County Historical Society, P.O. Box 512, Celina, OH 45822 .

Watch the Daily Standard, Photo Star News, Community Post,

and  Discover Celina; History of Celina for information.


Ohio Has Talent! 

Feb. 28, 2015 is the Ohio Has Talent! show at Niswonger Performing Arts Center in Van Wert.

Contestants will compete for prizes of $1,000, $500 and $250 based on votes collected from the audience.
Proceeds from the show benefit a nonprofit hospice center in Van Wert.



Genealogy Group to Meet

The Mercer County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society will meet Sunday, February 1st, at 2:00  The speaker will be Executive Director of the Celina Mercer County Chamber of Commerce Pam Buschur.  The meeting  will held at the Richardson Bretz Building in Celina.  It  is free and the public is welcome. An executive meeting will follow


Philothea Road Next Engineer Project

Mercer County Engineer Jim Wiechart is announcing that funding has been obtained from the Federal Highway Administration to make improvements to Philothea Road from SR 118 to Carthagena Road.  $909,275.20 in federal funds (predominantly federal gas user fee revenue) was obtained through a competitive application process. 


The project is set to be bid to contract in the first half of 2016.  The project will involve pavement widening and shoulder widening; as well as geometric improvements, all intended to improve the safety and usability of the roadway.  The total estimated cost for the improvement is $1,136,594 of which 20% will come from local county engineer funds and 80% will come from federal funds.


“This type of federal funding does not impact the federal debt.”  Wiechart said and added, “Philothea Road is an important east-west road in the southern part of Mercer County.  To be able to access these funds through this competitive program and to make these improvements will provide significant safety benefits to that area.  The public is welcome to provide any comments on the project related to, but not limited to the effect on local residents, the local economy, air quality, floodplains, ecological resources and historic or cultural resources.”



Bridge Inspections Completed

Mercer County Engineer Jim Wiechart announced recently that the yearly bridge inspections of Mercer County’s 394 bridges on township and county roads have been completed.  Engineer Wiechart and County Bridge Supervisor T. J. Smalley completed the inspections before the end of 2014.

 “Bridge inspection is completed annually for several very important reasons.  First our bridge maintenance/work orders are generated directly from our yearly inspections.  Secondly, decisions on future bridge replacements/rehabilitations are made as a result of the condition ratings garnered from the inspection.  Third and most importantly, we inspect them to protect the public that uses them each day.”  In Ohio, the professionally licensed and elected County Engineer manages and oversees bridge inspections on township and county roadways.  Any questions, concerns about bridges may be directed to the engineer’s office.



January 27-28, 2015


It’s Girl Scout Cookie Time !

The Parkway Girl scout Troop # 20677, would like to remind everyone of our annual Cookie Sales

Starting Jan 9 through March , 2015 .  There are 7 kinds of cookies this year @ $4.00 a box.  Samoas, Thin Mints, Trefoils , Do-si-dos, Tagalongs,

Savannah Smiles and Rah – Rah Raisins (Oatmeal cookie)

The proceeds from our Cookie Sales help fund the following: Camp & Troop expenses , Programs, and Service Projects.

Troop # 20677 will be using their proceeds to help fund their Service Project : Making gift bags for families that have a baby / babies in the Miami Valley Hospital NICU.

Thank you for your continued support of your local troops !

Michele Breese : Troop # 20677     419-363-3722

Jeanette Ford : Troop # 20663        419-733-9334

Lisa Sheppard : Troop # 20438        419-795-7437



Parkway School Board to Meet in Special Session

There will be a Special Board meeting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, January 28 in the community room.  Purpose of the meeting is to pass a resolution to put the Income Tax Levy Renewal on the May ballot.


Calvary Evangelical Church Updates



Representative Jim Buchy Earns Cattlemen’s Industry Service Award

(MARYSVILLE, Ohio) – The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) awarded Representative Jim Buchy of the Ohio House District 84, the Industry Service Award at the OCA awards banquet held Jan. 24, 2015, at the Nationwide Hotel and Conference center in Lewis Center, Ohio.

OCA and Ohio’s Country Journal jointly sponsor this award to recognize Ohio’s top service providers for the beef industry. The award presentation featured a video of Representative Jim Buchy that was generously sponsored by Darke, Mercer and Shelby County Cattlemen’s Associations.

This award is presented to people who are not beef producers, but rather to an individual who contributes to the betterment of the cattle industry. Representative Jim Buchy started his career by serving his community through his family’s meat business in Greenville, Ohio. He was appointed to the Greenville Board of Education in 1980 and was elected to serve in the Ohio House of Representatives nine times between 1983 and 2000. Following his time in the House of Representatives, Jim became the Assistant Director at the Ohio Department of Agriculture. In 2011, he returned to the statehouse to continue his work in representing agriculture.

He believes that agriculture is the base of our country’s success and has a heart for the beef industry. 

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association is a non-profit membership organization that represents the business interests and way of life important to farm families that raise cattle. It serves as the voice and issues manager for all of Ohio’s beef cattle business including cattle breeders, producers and feeders. It is the beef industry’s grassroots policy development organization and is an affiliate of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association strives to maintain profitability and growth of Ohio's beef industry, while providing consumers with safe and wholesome beef.


OUR OLD BOOK CASE      Mercer County, Ohio Oil Co. & Marathon!


By  Joyce L. Alig, President, Mercer County Historical Society

Photo caption:  The Ohio Oil Company’s Koch No. 10, in the Chattanooga Oil Fields, Mercer County, Ohio, in 1905.


Mercer County’s gas and oil wells had several oil companies drilling for oil, including Ohio Oil, Standard Oil and Marathon Oil Companies.  Western Ohio became noted for its gas and oil fields, soon after the great gas field had been developed at Findlay in 1885.  The 1885 Faurot Oil Well on the Paper Mill property impacted the future of Lima.  At Lima, in Allen County, the Standard Oil Company was planning to build a refinery, with Frank Rockefeller.  The Lima field soon rivaled the Pennsylvania field and the Standard Oil Company established headquarters at Lima.


The Ohio Oil Company was founded in northwestern Ohio in 1887.  In 1889, John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Trust purchased The Ohio Company.  In 1905, the Ohio Oil Company moved its headquarters from Lima to Findlay, Ohio.  The Ohio Company remained a part of Standard Oil until 1911, following the dissolution of the Standard Oil monopoly as a result of Teddy Roosevelt’s trust busting campaign. The Ohio Company began prospecting in other states.  In 1930, The Ohio Oil Company purchased the Transcontinental Oil Company, and assigned the Marathon” brand name.  In 1931, The Ohio Oil Company began its first international natural gas production in Mexico.  In 1962, the Ohio Oil Company changed its name to Marathon Oil Company.


In Mercer County, Ohio, one of the early Ohio Oil Company’s wells was put down on the Henry Juneman land, as noted in the June 10, 1896 “Mercer County Standard.”  The March 28, 1902 “Mercer County Standard,” listed “Wildcat wells now under Construction,” and noted that the Ohio Oil Company’s well on the Leistner farm did fifty barrels (per day).  The Ohio Oil Company’s advance well on the Byers farm, in section 30 in Blackcreek Township, showed for a five-barrel pumper.   The March 24, 1902 “Toledo Bee,” stated, “Leasors and oil men in general are surprised over the late well drilled by the Ohio Oil Company on the Pollock farm in Section 36, Ridge Township, Van Wert County.”  Other Oil Well Companies were drilling a number of Wildcat Test Wells.  At the turn of the Century, the business building boom was addressed in Celina, naming a new Main Street business, “adjoining the new Zay Building, on the east side of Main Street, across from the Courthouse.  Messrs. De Ford and Kenney intend to make their building modern in every detail.”  The business economic boom in Celina was complemented by the boom in new homes being constructed.

The Ohio Oil Company was still operating in Mercer County in 1905.  The photograph above was one of four 1905 photographs of Ohio Oil Company’s wells in the Chattanooga Oil Fields including Liberty and Blackcreek Townships.  The other three Ohio Oil Company photographs included H.R. Baker’s No. 1 well, C.W. Baker No. 4 well, and Dr. Bailey, No. 7 well.  The photographs were brought to the Mercer County Historical Society by William Now, in 1992.  He had purchased the photographs in the mid 1960’s at Frank Morrison’s sale.

During the short time that the Standard Oil Company owned The Ohio Oil Company, 1889-1911, they drilled in Mercer County.  The Standard Oil Company’s first wells were drilled in Mercer County in 1896.  The February 15, 1896 “Mercer County Standard,” wrote, “Two car loads of pipe were unloaded at the L.E. & W. [Lake Erie & Western Railroad] this week and the Standard Oil Company is pushing the work of connecting the Celina field with the Lima Pipe Line.”  By June, the newspaper reported that the “Standard Oil Company does not always acquaint the public with the output of its wells.”  By August, 1896, the Standard Oil Company had leased land east of Celina.  The July 22, 1899 newspaper reported on the Standard Oil Company’s wells in Center Township, including the James Nolan farm.


Thus, the Ohio Oil Company, Standard Oil Company, and Marathon Oil Company also played a major role in Mercer County’s history of the gas and oil wells in Northwestern Ohio.




Community Aerobics Classes are offered at St. John Lutheran Church (The Purple Door Church) in the Family Life Center at 1100 N. Main Street, Celina.  Classes are held on Monday, Tuesday & Thursday evenings from 6:15-7pm with instructor Diane Bonifas and on Monday & Wednesday mornings from 6-6:45am with instructor Marie McKirnan.  All classes are $3 each.

All denominations, ages and fitness levels are welcome.  Modifications offered to suit your needs.  High energy, low impact aerobics as well as strength training are offered.  Please bring mats and weights.

Fun, fitness and fellowship in a positive atmosphere!  For more information about this program, contact St. John Lutheran Church at 419/586-2332.



January 26, 2015


Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey canceled the Level 1 Snow Alert for Unincorporated Areas of Mercer County
 at 8:28 AM on 12-26-2015. However, roads are still slick; please use caution.

Parkway Junior High Boys Basketball game at Ft. Loramie is cancelled for 1-26-2015.
However, the Junior High Girls game is still on at Spencerville.


Parkway Schools are on a two hour delay for Monday, January 26, 2015
Slick conditions are reported due to a storm passing through.

Level 1 Snow Alert for Unincorporated Areas of Mercer County
Posted by Sheriff Grey at 7:54 PM on 12-25-2015


Thank you to Chatt Insurance, our Weather Sponsor!


Parkway Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees On January 24, 2015 During Game

Left to right. Mike Schumm, Roger Craft, Galen Schumm, Beth Hunziker Black


AND, 1980 Panther Basketball Players and Cheerleaders Reunite - Same Evening

Front row left, Kathy King Fisher, Karla Sidenbender Butler, Lori Sidenbender Likens, Lori Granger Davis

Back row, Steve Kuhn, Stu Painter, Roger Craft, Bruce Bollenbacher, Brent Baker, Rod Leighner, Jim Wann



IRS Scams Investigated by Mercer County Sheriff

Mercer County Sheriff, Jeff Grey reports that his office has received numerous complaints from citizens within the county about a possible IRS scam.  Sheriff Grey states that his office has been in contact with the IRS and found that the calls that the citizens have been receiving are in fact a SCAM.  The IRS informed the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office that their agency WILL NOT call or e-mail  a citizen without first sending a letter in the mail with a number for the citizen to call (if there is a problem with their taxes).  The IRS assured the Sheriff’s Office that they will never ask for money over the phone.


Sheriff Grey reminds citizens to never give out personal information or information about credit cards, bank accounts, financial accounts over the phone or agree to give money to the caller.


The IRS advised that this has become a nationwide issue and is not directly targeting Mercer County.  If you should receive one of these types of calls, you do one of the following.


1)       Contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484 or

2)       Contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at 1-800-282-0515 or

3)       File a report with the Federal Trade Commission at, please add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments of your complaint

4)       Contact the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office Detectives at 419-586-1450



Mercer Health Alters Visitor Restrictions due to Influenza

The state of Ohio is continuing to experience widespread influenza. At Mercer Health, we are seeing influenza patients in our outpatient areas, as well as patients that have been admitted for care and treatment related to influenza. As a precaution, we are continuing to limit visitors throughout Mercer Health including Mercer County Community Hospital and the Celina Community Medical Center (CCMC).

We continue to restrict all visitors under the age of 14.   We encourage those who are sick and need medical care to seek treatment.  However, if you are exhibiting signs of the cold or flu symptoms (e.g. fever, cough, sore throat) and ARE NOT seeking treatment, we kindly ask that you do not visit.

We continue to restrict visitors to protect our patients, especially those with compromised immune systems from further illness, protect visitors from exposure to influenza, and to help keep our staff healthy so we may continue to provide quality care for our patients.

These updated visiting restrictions will remain in place to protect our staff and community until the number of influenza cases in Mercer County and the surrounding areas decrease.


Flu Vaccines Still Available 

The Van Wert County Health Department would like to remind the public that is not too late to obtain a flu vaccine for this season’s influenza. Vaccination remains the best protection against the flu, its severity and potential serious complications. • If you have not received a flu shot this season and would like to obtain one: o Ages 6 months to 18 years and ages 65 and older may receive a flu shot at the Van Wert County Health Department. Please call 419-238-0808 extension 103 or 107 to schedule an appointment. o Ages 19-64 please visit a pharmacy to obtain a flu shot. Influenza is a respiratory disease caused by a virus. Symptoms may include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. If you have any of these symptoms, please contact your physician. Anti-viral medications are most effective when used early in the course of the disease. Other effective ways to avoid getting or spreading influenza include hand washing; covering coughs and sneezes; avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth and staying home when sick until fever-free for 24 hours.



Rockford Village Administrator’s Report  & More Below

Jeff attended a meeting with other Mercer County Administrators.  Discussions regarded the revenue loss from the state over the last several years.  There is a way to increase revenues in the permissive registration fees for vehicles.  This is in ORC sections 450406 and 4504172 that the village has the ability to increase the fee by $5 for one section and $5 for the other sections.   The county also has the ability to enact this fee which would leave us with no additional funds.  We have approximately 1198 registration and at 85% would be an additional $10,000 for the village.   Council discussed and agreed that in order for the fees to come to Rockford, we need to act on these sections with legislation.  We will have 3 readings on each beginning at the next council meeting.  We need village money to stay in the village.

Click Here to read the latest and past Rockford Village Council News

Congratulations to John Dooley the Rockford Village Council President for 2015.



New Common Pleas Judge Martin Burchfield will be sworn in on Thursday, January 29, 2015 @ 11: 00 am.   This ceremony will be held in the Common Pleas Courtroom, Courthouse, 3d Floor.


2015 Van Wert County OSU Extension AG DAY
Join us Tuesday, February 17, 2015 for our annual Van Wert County Ag Day with registration beginning at 8:00 a.m. Incorporated into the day's programming is the 3-hour Fertilizer Certification Training that is needed by September 30, 2017 to obtain the certificate that will be required to obtain and spread fertilizer in the near future.  Guest speakers and subjects to be covered include Curtis Young and Harold Watters, OSU Van Wert County Extension Educator and OSU Agronomy Field Specialist, "Fertilizer Certification Training."; John Barker, OSU Knox County Extension Educator, "Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: Toys or Tools for Agriculture"; Ed Lentz, OSU Hancock County Extension Educator, "Weeds of concern in crop production";  and Curtis Young, OSU Van Wert County Extension Educator, " So you are thinking of dropping your traited corn hybrids - some things to consider."  
A very informative day with Continental Breakfast and Lunch, plus meeting materials for only $15.00 with pre-registration.  $20.00 for walk-ins.  Ag Day will be held in the Jr. Fair Building on the Van Wert County Fairgrounds. Come early and browse our sponsor booths. Door prizes to be offered at the end of the meeting at approximately 3:30 p.m.  Register by calling the OSU Extension Van Wert County office at 419-238-1214. Registration Deadline: February 13, 2015.






The 6th annual Lima “Honoring Our Native Heritage” Powwow, will be held February 21st and 22nd    2015 at the United Auto Workers Hall, 1440 Bellefontaine Ave, Lima, OH.  The doors open at 10:00 AM both Saturday and Sunday.  Grand entry will be at 1:00 PM and 6:00 PM on Saturday and at 1:00 PM on Sunday.

The UAW Hall is off OH 309, at the 309, 117, and Kibby Street intersection.  Bellefontaine Ave. ends at the UAW Hall. Coming off I-75 it is exit 125 from the South and 125 B from the North.  The UAW Hall number is 419-224-6791.


Co-host Drums for the powwow are Sky Hawk and Southern Singers. Head dancers are Justin Kwascigroh and Shawnee Waters. Brian Darst is the announcer, Shawn Reilly, the Head Veteran, and the Arena Director is Aaron Stevens


An auction of Native crafts, etc. donated by the vendors, will be held at short intervals throughout both days.


There will be vendors from several states in the United States, Canada, and South America with their offerings of many varieties of handmade Native American merchandise. They will have everything from beads and craft supplies, fur and leather clothing to tomahawks, knives, and bow and arrows, turquoise jewelry, t-shirts, and art work. 


Of course, there will be the Indian frybread and Indian tacos, Buffalo burgers, Shawnee dogs, corn soup, nachos/cheese, fried dill pickles and more to warm you and satisfy those hunger pangs.


The admission fee is $5.00 for adults, $3.00 for those over 62 and children between the ages of 6 and 12.  Those under 6 and over 90 are free.


A powwow is spiritual, exciting, entertaining, beautiful and educational, all in one, under one roof.  A moving experience you won’t want to miss! Come feel the heartbeat of the drum and learn more about the Native ways. The public will be invited to participate in many of the dances, and don’t miss the candy dance for the youngsters!


Host motel for the powwow is The Howard Johnson Hotel, 419-222-0004.


For information: Call or E-mail Phyllis Davis-419-203-0377, or John Thompson, 419-587-3474. Vendor information call or E-mail Terri Brewster 419-648-9230, or





January 24-25, 2015

At 6:43 PM, Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey reported slick road conditions and advises motorists to use caution while driving; Sunday evening , January 25, 2015


Band concert is cancelled for today, Sunday January 25, 2015 due to slick road conditions.



Rockford Carnegie Library News includes Classes, Tax Forms and Fax Fees

"Frozen" Fun is the family program scheduled for Tuesday, January 27th at 6:30 p.m.  Games, crafts and activities from the movie "Frozen" will be featured.  Everyone is invited to the fun.

     Shannon Painter-Carpenter is offering 8 different photography classes at the library and at the Java Nation in Celina.  For more information and the registration form go to the Rockford Library website:  There are links on the first page about the classes and the enrollment form.

      The Board of Trustees is starting the search for a new trustee due to an opening on the Board.  If you are interested in supporting the library call Rozann (419-363-2630 at the library) or send a note to PO Box 330 Rockford, OH  45882.

      The library still has not received tax forms for 2014.  The IRS will not be sending booklets out this year, only the forms.  The forms can also be printed from the IRS website.

      The library trustees changed the fee for copies and faxes at the library.  The fees for copies are now $.10/page, $.25/page for colored copies and $.50/page to send a FAX to a toll number.  These fees are lower than what was previously charged.



January 23, 2015




IC School Fifth Graders Complete DARE
Immaculate  Conception held the fifth grade Drug Abuse Resistance Education graduation Friday January 9th at the church.  The principal Mrs.  Muhlenkamp welcomed everyone.  D.A.R.E. Officer  Deputy Sue Miller gave a brief recap of the last few weeks. D.A.R.E. Essay Winners reading their essays were David Kramer and Isiac Welling. The Honor students were Drake Krogman and  Brian Williams. They were presented medals purchased by the Mercer County D.A.R.E. Boosters.  The special speaker was Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey. He encouraged the students to ask for help when they need it. Each student successfully completing the D.A.R.E. program received a certificate and a shirt.  The program closed with Father Schnipke  blessing the students. The fifth grade teacher assisting with the program was Mrs. Reineke.  The mercer County D.A.R.E. program is a divison of the Mercer County Sheriff Office.




Celina Police and Mercer County Sheriff Make Arrest

Celina Police Chief Tom Wale and Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey report the arrest of an individual, and suspected heroin and firearms seized.  On Tuesday January 21, the “HIT” (Heroin Interdiction Team) comprised of members from the Celina Police Department and Mercer County Sheriff’s Office served a warrant at 1014 Hemlock Street in Celina.  Arrested was 24 year old Steven Noggler who was staying at the residence on an outstanding warrant for contempt of court.  After obtaining consent to search from the homeowner HIT members recovered drug paraphernalia, a pill bottle containing 25 capsules with suspected heroin residue inside, two handguns, and assorted ammunition.


Open Letter for Support of a New Project at Shanes Park
Rockford Community Days
P.O. Box 75, Rockford, OH  45882
Festival Dates ------ June 19-20-21, 2015 !

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Rockford Community Days is a nonprofit organization that is devoted to making a difference at Shanes Park!  Our current project is to help purchase and replace the old Shane Hall Building.   It’s had many years of use and has served us well, but it’s time for a new, cleaner, more efficient building. Your donation will help ensure years of enjoyment at Shanes Park.

We ask that you consider supporting our cause.  Your donation will be acknowledged in several ways.  A ‘thank you’ on our Rockford Community Days Facebook page and on our Supporter Banner that will be displayed during Community Days.

Rockford Community Days 2015 will feature  Shelby County Line and  Kill the Rabbit for your music entertainment. 
We will have our amazing annual Fireworks display on Friday night at 10 pm.  We will have inflatables for children’s entertainment.  We will also be having our 21st annual car show and cruise in, a quarter auction, a raffle, and many more events !   


2. EVENT SPONSORSHIP – Friday night band and/or Saturday night band

Donation deadline:   March, 1st 2015 

If you have any questions or suggestions please feel free to contact:
Amy Joseph @ 419-953-7874  or Lisa Kuhn @ 419-363-3032 ext  1 or by email or

Thank You for your past and continued support !  We can’t do it without out you ! 

Please mail donations to  Rockford Community Days, PO Box 75, Rockford, OH  45882 or drop off at the Village Office ~~ call us if you would like us to pick up a donation.   



Click Here for Van Wert County Common Pleas Court Cases Heard for January 2015


January 21-22, 2015


Looking for a few good Singers for an Easter Cantata

To:                      All Rockford Area Church Singers
What:                 Community Choir for Cantata
When:                Friday April 3, 2015 Good Friday Performance at the Parkway Auditorium in Rockford, Ohio
Time:                 7:00 PM
                           Cantata: Salvation's Story by Cliff Duren
Director:            Richard Sherrick

Contact:            Rockford United Methodist Church        419-363-3230 for information

We encourage church choirs, praise teams, and individual singers to join us for this chance to combine our voices
as we Praise and Worship our Lord Jesus Christ.

Community Choir 2015 Rehearsal Schedule

Wednesday, February 11 2015 at RUMC -                 8:00 p.m. - 8:45 p.m.
Wednesday, February 18 2015 at RUMC -                 8:00 p.m. - 8:45 p.m.
Sunday, February 22 2015 at RUMC -                        2:00 p.m. -4:00 p.m.
Wednesday, February 15 2015 at RUMC -                8:00 p.m. - 8:45 p.m.
Wednesday, March 4, 2015 at RUMC -                      8:00 p.m. - 8:45 p.m.
Wednesday, March 11, 2015 at RUMC -                    8:00 p.m. - 8:45 p.m.
Sunday, March 15, 2015 at RUMC -                           2:00 p.m. -4:00 p.m.
Wednesday, March 18, 2015 at RUMC -                   8:00 p.m. - 8:45 p.m.
Wednesday, March 25, 2015 at RUMC -                   8:00 p.m. - 8:45 p.m.
Sunday, March 29, 2015 at Parkway Auditorium -    2:00 p.m. -4:00 p.m.
Wednesday, April 1, 2015 at Parkway Aud. -            7:30 p.m.-8:45 p.m.
April 3, 2015 -Friday at Parkway Aud.                        7:00 p.m. Performance


New Art Classes – Wassenberg Art Center

New art classes are beginning at Wassenberg Art Center, 214 South Washington Street, Van Wert OH in February. The cost is$25–$70

Morning Watercolor Class: Tuesday mornings 10 a.m. – noon. Instructor: Pat Rayman. Persons are encouraged to sign up anytime and the class is sold in monthly increments. $35 for members/$40 for non-members.

Stained Glass Class: Make a “take-home, stained glass, I-did-that” project to be proud of. Thursdays, February 5–March 12, from 6:30–8:30 p.m. (Ages 15 and up) The six-week course, taught by Jerry Mazur will cover leading techniques, copper foiling, other items and costs $55 members/$60 non-members. 

Vine & Palette: Tuesday, February 3 from 6:30–9 p.m. The one-night, monthly event includes all painting materials and first glass of wine. Participants may bring a snack to share if desired. Cost is $30 for members/$35 for non-members.

Private Vine & Palettes can be designed for private or corporate parties and Pizza & Palette version is available for young people.

Acrylic Painting with Kathy Funderburg: February 10–March 3 from 5:30–7:30 p.m. (ages 15 and up) Basic and advanced instruction and techniques. Cost of this course is $35 members/$40 non-members. Materials fee $20 or you may provide your own.

Basic Pottery with Brandon Knott: February 11 – April 1 from 6–8 p.m. 8-week course (ages 15 and up). All areas of pottery will be covered by Brandon including, wheel, slab work and sculpture. To learn more about Brandon visit his Cost of this course is $65 members/$70 non-members. Materials included. 

To sign up for a class please call the art center at 419.238.6837


Annual Chamber Awards Banquet –Award Applications Being Accepted

The Annual Awards Banquet of the Celina Mercer County Chamber of Commerce will be held on Thursday, March 5th at Romer’s in Celina.   Social time will begin at 5:30pm with dinner at 6pm.  The program will begin at 7pm with awards given out after the guest speaker’s presentation.     

This year’s guest speaker is Brian Blasko.  Brian has been entertaining and inspiring audiences as a professional speaker for more than 15 years focusing on helping others discover and maximize their own personal potential.  In his spare time he has written two books, Cruisin' through Life at 35 MPH and Sending Signals.  Known for his high-energy presentation, engaging style and infectious sense of humor, Brian is one of the most sought after speakers in the country today.

This year’s speaker is being sponsored by Second National Bank and Hot Brass
Personal Defense. 

Chamber awards applications are being taken at this time and must be in by February 7th.   The four awards are Business of the Year, Citizens of the Year, Humanitarian and Achievement Awards.  Award applications are available online at on the scrolling bar in the middle of the screen. 

Tickets are on sale now for $25 each or you can purchase a corporate table of

eight for $195.  RSVPs are due by Feb. 21st.  Call the Celina Mercer County Chamber for tickets or further information at 419 586-2219 or email


Would you Like to become an Umpire?
The Midwest Buckeye Umpire's Association (Van Wert, OH) will be holding instructional classes for those interested in obtaining an OHSAA license to umpire high school baseball games for the 2015 season. Classes will begin on February 9th and will be held every Monday at 6:00PM at Van Wert High School until the conclusion of the course on March 23rd. Cost of the class is $135 which includes all instructional materials as well as local and state association dues for the 2015 season. If you have questions regarding the course or would like to register, contact Ryan Thompson at (419)305-0426 or Registration deadline is February 1st. 


Benefit to be Held
There will be a benefit for Betty (Kline) O' Day on Saturday, February 7th at the Ohio City Community building. Betty was a resident of the Rockford Villa Apartments in recent decades, but was born and raised in the Village of Ohio City. She enjoyed making pot holders and giving them to friends and strangers with a smile on her face. Betty passed away on December 11th after battling vulvar cancer. The benefit is to cover funeral costs and to celebrate her life. 

To pay for expenses, we are having two gun raffles. We have 250 Mossburg 500 12 ga tickets and  250 Marlin 1894 45/ 70 tickets to be raffled off. All tickets need to be sold before the raffle. These tickets can be purchased for $10 a piece from Indiana & Ohio Firearm of Decatur, BHS Guns and Chuck and Deb's in Ohio City.

There is a pulled pork dinner that starts at 11:00 and a live auction that will proceed at 4:00. The band "Kill the Rabbit" will provide entertainment starting at 8:00. There is a suggested donation to see the band.

Monetary donations can be made to Den Herder Funeral Home: 419-399-2866

You for information or donations, please contact Scott Bigham at 419-953-9511


Back to Business

Of the 16 different high school career tech programs available at Vantage, 3 are specialized business programs. 

For the technologically creative and artistic student, the Interactive Media program offers exciting opportunities.  Students learn a combination of elements such as animation, sound, and computer-generated graphics used for purposes of entertainment, presentation, advertising, or public relations.  Careers in Interactive Media involve creating, designing, and producing interactive multimedia products and services, including websites, and the development of digitally-generated media used in business.  A new 3D printer enhances project creativity.  Students become skilled in manipulating images and information from a variety of sources including audio, video, still photos, animation, text, soundtracks and digital data using computer applications and visual and sound techniques.  Internet applications and website creation are also included in this program.         

Students interested in the Medical office field can get a head start in the Medical Office Management program, where they will learn business skills, office techniques, accounting, specific business software applications, medical terminology, abbreviations and Anatomy/Physiology.  Students develop skills in medical transcription, utilize medical coding, billing and accounting systems and procedures.  The demand is great for students with this educational background.

Interested in seeing how a computer and its systems work from the inside out?  The Network Systems program provides students the opportunity to work on state-of-the-art equipment while learning to make basic repairs, network management and troubleshooting within the system.  They design, build, install and repair complex computer network systems, develop programming skills for and apps game creation, and apply computer forensics and information security software to keep systems safe.   Some of the most recent technology they are using includes Google Glasses, Motion Capture, and Oculus Rift Virtual 3D Reality.  Other areas of study also include programming, computer architecture and forensics, information and network security, workstation management and business applications.

If you want to find out about career opportunities in any of these fields or have questions about the Business programs at Vantage, please call Mike Knott, Student Services Supervisor at 419-238-5411 ext. 2032 or email him at

The annual Open House will be held Monday, Feb. 9, 2015 from 5 – 7:30 pm.
  If you haven't been to the new school yet, this is your chance!  Tour the building, see the labs, check out the new equipment, talk to the staff and students.  Do you have a sophomore who's interested in attending Vantage?  There will be a Parent Information Session in the Community Room @ 6 pm to help answer questions you may have.  Interested in going back to school yourself? Adult Education/Ohio Technical Center representatives will also be there to answer questions about Vantage Adult Ed classes.  No time to cook?   Help support school-wide student activities by eating dinner @ Vantage.  
This year, several local eating establishments will be set up in the Commons and have sample size portions of food for you to try. We're calling it “A Taste of Vantage”!  Mark it on your calendars for Monday, February 9, 2015 from 5:00 - 7:30 pm. Tickets for the Taste of Vantage will be available at the door for just $5 for 6 tickets.  Enjoy some tasty treats from Fricker’s, Baked to Perfection, Puckerbrush Pizza, Main Street Market (Ottoville), Remedy Sports Bar & Grille, and Paulding Dairy Queen.  It's gonna be a great night - You won't want to miss it!


            Vantage Network Systems seniors demonstrate Oculus Rift Virtual 3D Reality to a student at the Global IT Club at Rhodes State College in recognition of Computer Science Education Week and Hour of Code.


The next meeting of the Rockford Area Development Corporation is scheduled for Monday, January 26th at 7:30 in the library basement. 



Ike Coate to Address Western Ohio Civil War Roundtable

“An Army Marches on its Stomach”


Ike Coate, President of the Western Ohio Civil War Roundtable, will address the January 22 meeting of the group. His remarks will explore a variety of issues related to the care and feeding of Civil War Soldiers. The meeting is held in Room 186 - Andrews Hall,  Wright State University – Lake Campus, in Celina. Meeting begins at 7:15 PM 

Coate is considered an expert on the Civil War, as he has traveled extensively visiting war related sites, from the famous ones to the more obscure. Roundtable programs are free and open to the public.

Just feeding tens of thousands of troops every day was difficult enough…now consider units in the field with transportation and security issues of a long supply line. All of this is compounded by the need to provide forage for the draft animals.


Food prep had to be simple to feed so many mouths. Storage was neither convenient nor effective; spoilage and waste added to the woes.


Mr. Coate will discuss the hardships endured by the common soldiers.  Soldiers writing home frequently mentioned bad food as part of their war experience. 




January 20, 2015


Winter Homecoming at Parkway
The Panthers took on the Ft. Recovery Indians on Homecoming Night, January 16, 2015. Nikki Fox caught all the action. Left to right are attendants and Queen Terra:  Junior Jasmine Forman, Senior Cassi Kuhn, Queen Terra Walls, Senior Brenna Brazle, Sophomore Megan Christine, Freshman Miranda Rae Haynes.


















Click on smaller thumbnails below to enlarge them.



They're BACK! 

Along with presenter, US Bank on Sunday, April 19th at 2:00 & 7:30 PM, NPAC will travel back to 1979 with those Church Basement Ladies in the Last Potluck Supper!



Presented by Vancrest Healthcare Centers, The StepCrew fills the NPAC stage with excitement and energy on April 14 at 7:30 PM as they perform Irish Stepdancing, Ottawa Valley Stepdancing, and Modern Tap. Six dynamic performers excel in traditional forms of dance and create brand new, modern fusions of all three styles.



Men’s Prostate Cancer Group to Review Treatment Side Effects

Man to Man is a group to support men who have been diagnosed with or have been treated for prostate cancer or who would like more information about prostate cancer.  At the next meeting some common side effects following prostate cancer treatment will be reviewed along with treatment options for these side effects.  The meeting will be held at 7:00PM on Tuesday, January 20th in Conference Room 3 at the Joint Township Hospital in St. Marys. The atmosphere is casual and all interested men are invited to attend.  For more information contact Dick Falkner, facilitator, at 419-629-9950 or


McAlhaney and Linn Families Celebrate Baby Boy's Arrival - Click Here for all his details




January 17-19, 2015
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - Monday the 19th



Henkle Insurance Honored by Motorists Mutual for 50 Year Mark

Henkle Insurance Agency recently received a 50 year plaque from the  Motorists Mutual Representative Dan Sherran.  Dan Henkle started the agency back in November of 1964 marking this year as their 50th year with Motorists Mutual based out of Columbus, Ohio.
Henkle Insurance Agency has been serving the Rockford Communities Insurance needs for 50 years. The agency has now reached to three generations in the family when Joel and Jordan Henkle joined their father Todd and grandfather Dan in the office. Stop in their Rockford location to get a free quote today on your auto, home, farm, life, annuity, and commercial needs. 


Photography Sessions Being Offered by Local Art Teacher

Have you been wanting to learn more about your digital camera or your SmartPhone camera? How about taking great shots, editing photos, organizing them and even ordering online?

Shannon Painter-Carpenter, experienced art teacher from Marion Local and current Parkway teacher is offering Photography Classes January through March 2015 both at the  Rockford Carnegie Library in Rockford and  Java Nation in Celina. Each session will last 60-90 minutes with each class being only one session. Cost of each session is $20 or 3 for $50, 6 for $100 or 8 for $130.

A complete printable listing of all sessions and dates can be read by clicking here.


Calvary Evangelical Church Updates


Congratulations to Winner Author Jacqueline Franklin

Onetime resident of Mercer County, Jacqueline M. Franklin, daughter of the late, Darlene (Eddie) & Dorothy Bollenbacher, was recently honored by worldwide writing organization, FanStory. She will receive a trophy for 5th place out of 221 novelists, for 2014, gaining her worldwide recognition. Among her other awards are ‘Recognition’ and ‘All Time Best’ for her short stories and poetry. She also took 1st place in the ‘Book of the Month’ for December. Jacqueline recently self-published, ‘A Penny For Your Thoughts,’ available at She has written seven novels. This year she will begin to self-publish them, her short stories, and poetry. You may follow her blog @

Jacqueline still has many ties to Mercer County with three living aunts, Barbara (the late Bob) High, Betty (the late Jiggs) Bollenbacher, and Gretchen (the late Ford) Bollenbacher, as well as many cousins.



Rural By Choice Interview Team

On Thursday, Lincolnview FFA Ag Business students took advantage of Van Wert County Economic Development initiative Rural by Choice.  Last month, the RBC team visited Lincolnview and Crestview Jr. High Students to introduce the question of “Why not here?”  The team set out to engage local students with concepts of staying in Van Wert after high school or returning to Van Wert County after college.  The RBC team also broached the idea of the resume building, interviewing, and other ways the local community could get involved in the discussion with our youth about making Van Wert a competitive consideration in their future plans.  

Krista Seibert, Agricultural Education Instructor & FFA Advisor at Lincolnview High School contacted Economic Development Director, Sarah Smith, as she had a plan to rotate her eleven FFA, Ag Business Students through mock interviews after their completion of a three week educational block on the interviewing process and executing sound interviews.  Seibert explained that she wanted to give the kids a more realistic experience from someone they weren’t familiar with and someone who had experience with the process and in the field. 

Rural by Choice team members CW Harting III (Harting Farms, Convoy) and Gary Moser (Roanna Farms, Convoy) were both called in for the cause and the Lincolnview students rose to the occasion.  Smith had economic developer and author, Mark Lautman in town from Albuquerque, New Mexico for the 2015 County ED Kickoff later that afternoon and they had a chance to stop in at the school and see the process.  “He had the poise of a college kid,” Lautman commented on one of the Lincolnview Juniors on his completion of the process, “I am really impressed with the Van Wert youth.”   Harting and Moser both echoed Lautman’s observation and it sends a positive message to our employers that the workforce IS coming.  “Seeing kids excited about the process, having local business owners involved in their development, and having  educators like Seibert show that Van Wert County is making moves in the right direction to connect the necessary players to give our county a competitive edge toward growth,”  added Smith. 

If you are interested in participating in Rural by Choice, have ideas for the program, or would like the RBC team to present, please contact the Van Wert County Economic Development Office 419-238-6159. 



Parkway Middle School Honor Roll ~ End of 2nd Quarter 2014-2015 – Click Here for their names!



By  Joyce L. Alig, President, Mercer County Historical Society

Photo caption:  Sister Cecilia Huber, Cincinnati, is a famous citizen from Saint Sebastian.|

Frequently when persons leave Mercer County, we who stay behind fail to realize the extent of their contributions to our country, our state and our community.  One such person is Sister Cecilia Huber, a member of the Ursuline Sisters of Brown County, Ohio, and a composer, college teacher, and writer. Sister Cecilia was born at the crossroads of St. Sebastian, a parish near Chickasaw, Ohio in 1931.  She lived her early life next to the church at St. Sebastian, with her parents, Urban and Marian Huber, and her four brothers and three sisters.  Her father recognized her musical abilities and provided music lessons with a special teacher on the upright piano he had purchased for five dollars.

Sister Cecilia attended the one-room school located about a mile from St. Sebastian Church, and began High School at St. Johns, in nearby Maria Stein.  A local priest evidently noticed her exceptional music abilities and suggested that she attend the Ursuline Academy and Boarding School at St. Martin, Ohio, about a hundred miles south of Mercer County.  After graduation, she returned to Mercer County working as a nanny and also at the Bair Pharmacy in Celina.  However, she experienced the call to consider her future life as an Ursuline Nun.  She returned the following year to St. Martin and began her multi-year preparation to become a professed Ursuline Nun, which she did in 1956.  She earned her Bachelor Degree from Mt. St. Joseph University, and Master’s from College Conservatory of Music (CCM) at the University of Cincinnati. 

The Ursuline community had a long history in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, having established their boarding school at St. Martin in 1845 and specialized in the education of young women at several schools in the Cincinnati area.

Sister Cecilia shares her experiences in a new publication, “Led by an Invisible Hand,” which recounts her life as a nun.  And what a life it was!  For ten years, she taught music at the Ursuline Boarding School.  Another ten years she taught English, music, and religion at the Oak Street Ursuline Academy, in Cincinnati and for nine years at the Blue Ash campus of the Ursuline Academy.   The book, “Led by an Invisible Hand”  is available from the Ursulines of Brown County, 20860 Ohio 251, Fayetteville, OH 45118.

She then went to St. Marys, Alaska and taught Inuit (Eskimo) children for six years.  Next she returned to the Blue Ash campus in suburban Cincinnati for ten additional years.  She also served as Superior of her community of Ursuline Nuns for six years.  Her office is filled with books centered around her computer.  On one of the shelves is a twelve inch stack of published religious and liturgical music that she has composed.  She also published books, “Quyana,” the story of her Alaskan adventures  and “Christmas Wonder,” a musical book of songs. She now teaches music at Chatfield College in Brown County and serves as a music consultant to her religious community.  At present, Sister Cecilia is anticipating the collaboration with the granddaughter of her CCM Professor, Madame Olga Conus, on a book about how she and her husband came to the U.S. during the Russian Revolution.

Sister Cecilia is one of those special Mercer County natives who succeeded as an educator, a music composer and writer.  She became an acclaimed pianist and noted administrator in her progressive religious community.  She never lost her love of nature and respect for rural life, a trait she developed in Mercer County.  Her enthusiastic and ready smile clearly indicates the peace she has found in her vocation as an Ursuline for more than sixty years.   A thank you goes to Allen Bernard who interviewed Sister Cecilia and shared this story of her life.





January 16, 2015


Lady Panthers Spaghetti Dinner

Chris Weirrick, Varsity Girls Coach, announces the Lady Panthers basketball team is having a spaghetti dinner fundraiser on Friday, January 16th prior to the boys Homecoming basketball game. Dinners can be picked up from 4-6:30 in the cafeteria. Dinner includes spaghetti, two bread sticks, coleslaw, cookies and a drink. Tickets are $7.00 each and are available at the High School office or from any player and coach. They are also available at the Coldwater North branch of Mercer Landmark. All proceeds from the ticket sales go to benefit the Lady Panther Basketball program. 


Frozen Fog in Rockford
Photos by Todd Henkle – Thanks for sharing!

Resident of Rockford and surrounding areas woke to a beautiful landscape on Wednesday, January 14, 2015 when a condition known as Frozen Fog, commonly called Freezing  Fog or Rime consists of water droplets that freeze upon contact with objects they encounter, forming a layer of thin ice or rime. This happens because the water is supercooled: its temperature is below normal freezing point, but it has remained liquid. The phenomenon differs from ice fog, which is made up of tiny particles of ice. Many regions of the world can experience freezing fog, especially during the winter months, when the air temperature can drop below freezing, creating the conditions necessary to create supercooled water droplets.

Fog normally forms where there is cold air over a relatively warm, moist surface, such as a lake, wet ground or moist soil. Freezing fog forms when the air temperature is below freezing point — 32°F (0°C). Strange as it may seem, water does not always freeze at the same temperature at which ice melts. It will do so if it is in contact with something solid: this could be a surface or container. In the case of a suspended droplet, a “freezing nucleus” — usually a tiny ice crystal — is required, unless the air temperature is very low.

Between 32°F (0°C) and 5°F (-15°C) the suspended water droplets that make up fog, or a cloud, are normally in a supercooled state. They remain liquid because there is nothing for ice to crystallize around, but on touching anything solid, they will immediately freeze. Surfaces exposed to freezing fog therefore quickly become coated with ice.

Click on the smaller pictures of Shanes Park to enlarge them:



Patrol’s Sergeant Grigsby promoted to Lieutenant at the Van Wert Post


COLUMBUS – Sgt. Timothy P. Grigsby was promoted to the rank of lieutenant, January 13, 2015, by Colonel Paul A. Pride, Patrol superintendent, during a ceremony at the Patrol’s Academy.  Lt. Grigsby will transfer from his current assignment at the Lima Post to serve as post commander of the Van Wert Post.

Sgt. Grigsby began his Patrol career in June 2005 as a member of the 145th Academy Class. He earned his commission in January the following year and was assigned to the Lima Post, where he was selected as Post Trooper of the Year in 2009 and 2010. While at the Lima Post, he also earned the Ace Award for excellence in auto larceny enforcement in 2007 and 2009. In 2011, he was promoted to the rank of sergeant and transferred to the Van Wert Post to serve as an assistant post commander. In 2012, he returned to his most recent assignment at the Lima Post.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol is an internationally accredited agency whose mission is to protect life and property, promote traffic safety and provide professional public safety services with respect, compassion, and unbiased professionalism.


Mercer County Engineer James Wiechart Posts Annual Report 2014
Click Here to to read facts and figures about road and bridge repairs, widening work, expenses, snow removal, the new Engineer's Complex on Mud Pike and more.

January 15, 2015

Shane Hill Program Enjoyed by Residents
Roberta LePage's Piano Students Entertain


On December 30, the students of Roberta LePage shared a Christmas program with the residents of Shane Hill.  The students who played are:  Treya Conn (daughter of Trevelin Conn), Madalyn Heindel (daughter of Tom & Shannon Heindel), Brooke Stephenson (daughter of Luke Stephenson and Angie Stephenson), Clare Krogman (daughter of Dave & Marcia Krogman), Corban Rich (son of Doug & Jennifer Rich), Hutch and Gwyneth Ridenour (son and daughter of John & Tricia Ridenour), and Coby Jones (son of Mike & Shawn Jones).  The audience enjoyed all the songs, and even sang along with several of them. 


January 14, 2015


Parkway Schools are on a two hour delay for Wednesday, January 14, 2015


Charity Auction
St John Lutheran Church Youth Group has their annual Charity Auction on Sunday, January 25th at 2:00PM at the Church’s Family Life Center. 

The youth hold this auction to raise money for their mission trip in June.  On the trip, the High School youth perform minor home repairs such as building wheelchair ramps, porch and roof repair and painting for the  low income and elderly.  In addition to the repairs, the youth share their faith with the residents of the homes by inviting them to share a lunch and take part in daily devotions. 

There will be lots and lots of wonderful items to be auctioned.  The items include new and used funiture, household items, collectables, gift certificates for local services, restuarents, and department stores and much more.  Tom & Eric Robbins will be our auctioneers. Also there is a lunch stand serving delicious home made food including sandwiches and pie.  Thrivent (a fraternal Lutheran organization) is also supporting the auction. Everyone in the community is welcome to come and join in the fun. 


Picture: 2014 Mission Trip to Maysville KY.


Rockford Police Department and Area Businesses Support Upcoming Officer Phil Program at Parkway Schools
by Kelsey Mersing of
Creative Safety Products

The Officer Phil Program is delighted to present their 2014-2015 programs to Parkway Elementary School at 8:30 a.m. and 9:15 a.m. on Friday, January 23, 2015. With the Rockford Police Department’s participation, the Officer Phil Program will emphasize some important topics. Since the program is adapted for elementary grade students, the lessons will be taught in a fun, entertaining way. Much to the children’s enjoyment, one of Officer Phil’s Pals, Turbo the Turtle, will be there to help teach the lessons.

The program begins with an introduction of the Rockford Police Officers in attendance. It is important for the children to know that officers are friendly, approachable, and work to keep them safe every day.  They are always around to help the children if they need it.

The children’s attention will easily be attained starting with the first magic trick. This trick gets the children focused and reinforces some important program “rules”: no talking, paying attention, laughing, learning and having fun.

Once the Edu-tainer has their attention, the children are asked to recall some safety rules that they use at home, at school, or out and about. The Edu-tainer shares his ideas regarding bus safety, car safety, and internet safety. Each idea is represented by a light which is tossed into a magic bag. The children volunteer to “toss” up some of their ideas and the Edu-tainer magically catches them and places them into the bag as well.  With the last toss all the “bright ideas” light up the bag. The children love this visual as they can see their safety rules being shared with the audience.            

Stranger Awareness is covered each year and this year’s lesson is illustrated by “blending” four different colored scarves together. For this illustration, each scarf represents a safety rule to remember when dealing with strangers. Blue=Don’t Go: Strangers can be in person or online. If you don’t know them, don’t go with them. Red=Run: If a stranger wants you to go with them, run away and get to a safe place with other grownups as fast as you can. Yellow=Yell: While you run away, yell “stranger” or “stranger danger”. If others see you, that will help scare the stranger away. Green=Tell: As soon as you are safe, tell a grownup you know what happened. When the scarves are put together, they are magically blended to form one scarf just as these rules will all come together to form one rule that will keep you safe if a stranger bothers you: DON’T GO, RUN, YELL, and TELL a grownup what happened.  

This year the Officer Phil Program will also talk about the value of respect. As the Edu-tainer pulls rabbits from a hat, the children are reminded that, like the rabbits, they are all different. They do not all act the same, dress the same, or look the same. But even though they are all different, they can still work together to help each other be the best they can be. The Edu-tainer will emphasize that they should treat others the way they want to be treated and show respect for their peers, families, teachers, the police, and most important, show respect for themselves.

As mentioned earlier, Officer Phil’s Special Pal this year is Turbo the Turtle. Turbo will be welcomed with great enthusiasm. He will talk to the children about making healthy choices such as eating right, drinking plenty of water, exercising and getting enough rest. Turbo loves to skateboard so he reinforces the importance of wearing a helmet, too. Last, Turbo will address the issue of bullying. Since Turbo acts different, he understands the importance of accepting each other’s differences. He wants the children to know that if they are being bullied or know someone who is being bullied that it is okay to talk to a grownup they know about the situation or how they feel, like a teacher, a family member, or even a police officer. The police officers are always there to help keep them safe.

The final review of all the safety lessons learned will happen at the end of the program when the children participate in a trivia game. The children will be divided into two teams. They will be given different scenarios and asked to think about the lessons they learned during the assembly. Together the children will have lots of fun coming up with the right answers. The program will close with Turbo saying goodbye to the students and thanking everyone in attendance that made this safety assembly possible including the officers and teachers. The Rockford Police Department and The Officer Phil Program also would like to thank all of the businesses in the community who participate in the program.

As a post assembly activity for a job well done, teachers, parents and children will be encouraged to go to the website and request additional materials. There are some supplemental materials and other fun things that will reinforce the lessons taught in the program and in the activity books the children receive after the program.  If you would like more information about having the Officer Phil Program visit your local schools please contact Creative Safety Products by email at or by phone at 1-888-825-7445.




Guest Column from State Representative Jim Buchy
Municipal Tax Reform Cuts Red Tape, Grows Economy

Of the many steps we have taken to improve Ohio’s economic situation, our latest effort involved making serious reforms to the way municipalities collect income taxes. House Bill 5, which passed the legislature at the end of the previous General Assembly, was signed by the governor and will go into effect this spring. The new approach to municipal income tax collection is paving the way for economic growth and more jobs for Ohioans.

Under the previous tax structure, around 600 different municipalities utilized more than 300 different tax forms to file and process their municipal income tax. Complications from this system created numerous obstacles for business, often requiring them to spend more time and money on preparing the tax forms than the actual tax levied against the business.

This situation illustrates a perfect example of how government can obstruct economic growth and job creation. It also shows how leaders can identify and solve these complex problems for the betterment of all.

The legislature took the appropriate steps to remedy this problem by creating uniform due dates, withholding requirements, and procedures for audits and appeals. All of this simplifies navigation of the municipal income tax system for employers, letting them do what they do best—grow and create more jobs.

This legislation also makes Ohio more competitive in relation to neighboring states. Businesses looking to relocate to Ohio or expand their operations into the state were deterred from coming by the significant flaws of the system. Now, simplification of our tax system will provide even more incentives to bring jobs back inside Ohio’s borders.

Under the leadership of Governor Kasich we are working to improve the climate for job growth in Ohio.  These reforms make substantial improvements and progress to grow our economy and put people back to work. We will continue to cut red tape and get government out of the way of business growth and development.



January 13, 2015


Parkway Schools are on a two hour delay for Tuesday, January 13, 2015


Parkway Junior High Girls Basketball Team will play at Spencerville on January 26th at 5 PM
(Make-up game from January 8th cancellation)


6 Week Series Begins January 15th

VAN WERT, OHIO — Van Wert County Hospital will offer _Active
Parenting Now! _A free workshop for parents of children ages 5-12. The
six-session video and discussion program will be held on Thursday evenings.
Beginning January 15th for 6 weeks, each session will be held in the
hospital’s conference room B&C from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Van Wert Hospital
is located at 1250 S. Washington Street.

This parenting workshop is funded by a grant provided by the Ohio
Children’s Trust Fund. The mission of the Ohio Children's Trust Fund
(OCTF) is to take a leadership role and be a catalyst in preventing child
abuse and neglect in Ohio.

For more information about this class, visit  Registration is required and can be made by calling 419-238-8672.


January 12, 2015


Parkway Schools are now closed for Monday, January 12, 2015

At 4:43 AM, Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey reported slick road conditions and advises motorists to use caution while driving; Monday Morning , January 12, 2015


Parkway Schools are on a two hour delay for Monday, January 12, 2015
Icy conditions are reported due to a storm passing through.

Thank you to Chatt Insurance, our Weather Sponsor!



January 10-11, 2015


At 6:18 PM, Mercer county Sheriff Jeff Grey reported slick road conditions and advises motorists to use caution while driving; Sunday Evening , January 11, 2015


Blind Date Band to Perform Tribute Concert on January 10

Take a trip down memory lane at the Rockford Belle on Saturday, January 10, 2015 as local band “Blind Date” delivers a performance reminiscent of bygone years with their expansive range of music. A tribute concert highlighting music by Neil Diamond, Glen Campbell, and Johnny Rivers will start at 7 pm with doors open at 6 pm. The band will also perform Gospel and many Patriotic songs. Soloist Shannon Wagner will make a return visit to open for the event. A free-will offering is accepted.  The public is invited to attend the entertainment venue at 135 Market Street, Rockford, OH. 

Re-live the experience of 60’s/70’s music when “Blind Date” revs up the night with featured five-piece band members: Dan Schoen, Rick Temple, Mike Bruns, Kent Krogman, and newest addition from Chicago - John Lessick. Band members have been around! They have the experience to take you back to a time when the greatest bands made music; a time of music that offered songs you could sing along with, and dance to, and music you fell in love with.  The Belle welcomes the band back and invites all listeners who have enjoyed “Blind Date” outdoor performances during the annual Sock Hop & Cruise-In held in Rockford.

Parkway Local School District music teacher and vocalist, Shannon Wagner, plans to open the event and entertain by singing hits by various female artists such as Carrie Underwood, Anne Murray, Donna Summer and Adelle.

Wagner has performed for the last 9 years at the annual Rockford Lions Club Variety Show, headlined with Paula Linn for the 100th year anniversary of the Chatt Picnic, and was invited to sing “Our National Anthem” at Eldora for Monster Jam and the World 100 this year.
Shannon is now in her 10th year of teaching at Parkway and is the K-8 music and choir director. New adventures abound for her and the students she teaches! This fall, she directed the first Middle School Musical, "Into the Woods, Jr.” She also took her Middle School choir to the Komet Hockey game where they sang "Our National Anthem."

Prior to teaching music to Middle School students, Wagner  taught High School Choir, Show Choir (Karizzma) and Chamber Choir. She directed seven musicals: Into the Woods (full version), Music Man, Once Upon a Mattress, M*A*S*H, Wonka, Cheaper by the Dozen, and The King and I.

Wagner is happily married to her husband, Andy, for 11 years. She has two daughters and three sons.

Mark your calendars for January 10 and rekindle bygone memories when Blind Date Band and Shannon Wagner perform at the Rockford Belle! For more information call Tom Rogers at 567-644-9993.


Funeral Arrangements for Forest "Woody" Roebuck at Ketcham-Ripley Funeral Home are now posted - Click Here


January 9, 2015


Parkway Schools are on a two hour delay for Friday, January 9, 2015


AND Organizational Meeting at 6:30 PM
Click Here for the Agendas from Superintendent  Puthoff


The Parkway JH Boys Basketball game at Versailles has been rescheduled for Monday, February 2 at 5 PM.


Girls - Step Into Your Future!


If you know a 7th or 8th grade girl living within the Vantage district, show them this article!

Vantage is hosting a really cool, hands-on adventure for girls in the 7th and 8th grade on Saturday morning, January 31, 2015 from 8:30 am – 12:30 pm.  Spend the morning at Vantage having fun and learning some new skills.

Learn how to weld together pieces of metal to create a beautiful dragonfly sculpture in the Welding lab.  Use a tape measure, drill, hammer, and nails in the Carpentry lab to build a stepstool.  Check out the latest GPS technology in the Ag lab.  Be one of the lucky ones to try on Google glasses, 3D virtual reality, and motion capture in the Network Systems lab.  A light breakfast, lunch, and a T-shirt are provided AND you get to take home everything you create!  Best of all, it’s FREE!

To register, go to the Vantage website – – and click on the pink “Step Into Your Future” footsteps, or you can email your information to

HURRY – space is limited to the first 40 students who register by January 23, 2015.



Pictured are some of the 2013 participants from “Step Into Your Future” with their metalwork pieces.



January 8, 2015


At 8:46 PM on January 8, the Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey issued a Level One Snow Alert
for all unincorporated areas of the County.
Roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow.
Use extreme caution while driving.




Parkway Schools went on a two hour delay for Thursday, January 8, 2015
then cancelled due to wind chill warnings in the area.
The temperature was -4 early this morning, and remains at -2 midmorning.
The wind chill was reported at -21.

Junior High Boys and Girls Basketball Games are cancelled for Thursday, January 8, 2015.

Boys JV and Varsity Basketball team will practice from 3PM to 5PM on Thursday, January 8, 2015.

All grades 3-6 basketball practices are cancelled for Thursday, January 8, 2015.


Parkway Schools announces a two hour delay
for Thursday, January 8, 2015 due to predicted low wind chill factors.
Thank you to Chatt Insurance, our Weather Sponsor!


Grand Lake Patriots Cancel Meeting Due to Weather

The Grand Lake Patriots’ general meeting that was planned for tomorrow (Thursday, January 8) is being cancelled due to the prediction of foul weather conditions. We hope to reschedule the editor/owner of The Daily Standard, Frank Snyder, to speak at another monthly meeting.


The group’s February meeting will feature Shawn Meyer, senior pastor of Aletheia Christian Church in Celina, who will speak on the topic of pastoral freedom of speech from the pulpit.  Further details will be forthcoming in the weeks ahead.


 Saturday, January 24, 2015 – Athletic Hall of Fame Induction to be held
between JV & Varsity Boys Basketball games versus Bradford

Additional Inductee Added to List  of Three to Receive
Parkway Athletic Hall of Fame

BETH (HUNZIKER) BLACK to be Inducted as 4th Recipient


Beth (Hunziker) Black

Class of 1991

Beth earned four varsity letters in Basketball.  The Girls Basketball program recorded 63 wins during her four year career.  Beth led the 1989-90 and 1990-91 teams to a Sectional Championship in Basketball.  She currently holds many school records in Basketball at Parkway High School.  Beth is currently the All-Time scoring leader with 1,547 points.  She is also the leader in career three point field goals made with 75 and threes made in a season with 47 her freshmen year.  Beth holds the school record for steals in a career with 339.  She recorded 12 steals in a game which is also a record at Parkway.  Beth is currently the career leader in points per game (17.5), offensive rebounds in a career (318), and field goals made in a season (179).   She is the current career leader in free throws made with 228, and free throws attempted with 370.   Beth currently ranks ninth in career scoring in the Midwest Athletic Conference.


Three New Members Chosen for Parkway Athletic Hall of Fame



The public is invited to this event.

Click Here to read the profile on the other three former Parkway Stand-outs.




January 7, 2015


Parkway Schools announces a two hour delay
for Wednesday, January 7, 2015 due to predicted low wind chill factors.


Preventing Falls This Winter

Did you know that falls are the number one cause of injury-related hospitalization and death among people 65 and older? Many of us did not worry about the risk of falling when we were young. We knew that if we fell, we’d get up with the assumption that the aches and pains were temporary.

But for those of us at a higher risk, such as elders, pregnant women, or those already suffering from a previous injury, a fall can be a life-altering event.

For seniors like me, the effects of a fall can take away our independence in our everyday lives. It can cause us to suffer in our physical and emotional health. Seeing as this problem not only affects the individual, but those around them as well, fall prevention should be a group effort. Individuals, families and businesses alike all need to do what we can to lower the risk of falls at home and in public places.

The simplest step one can take is to know which risk factors to look for. The Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that fall risks include advanced age, history of previous falls, muscle weakness, gait and balance problems, poor vision, chronic medical conditions like arthritis, and fear of falling. Others include obstacles and tripping hazards, slippery or uneven surfaces, lack of stair handrails, dim lighting or glare, lack of bathroom grab bars, use of certain medications, and improper use of assistive devices like walkers or canes.

Specific steps managers of public buildings can consider include putting signs up to warn customers about areas in their store that are more susceptible to falls and to make sure that there are no obstructions in the aisles that people could trip on. Outside the building, managers should consider making sure that the entrance is free of ice and snow so that people don’t slip on the way in. Business owners should consider advising employees to always make sure that they offer help to customers, especially to the elderly or disabled customers.

However, the responsibility of prevention does not only lie with business owners or caregivers, but the individual at risk as well.

You can work to prevent falls by following some simple, common-sense steps. Some of these steps include getting hearing and vision checks each year, removing fall hazards around your living space, and letting someone know if you do fall. Even if you’re not hurt, it’s important to tell someone, especially an employee if you’re in a store, so they can correct the problem. To learn more about preventing falls you can visit

Steady U is part of an effort by Governor Kasich and the Ohio Department of Aging to increase awareness about the hazards of falling. The website is a valuable resource for all of my fellow elders and their caregivers concerned about the risks of falling.

We all have the power to reduce the risk of falling. It may require some added diligence in our day-to-day routine, but this extra effort is worthwhile when weighed against the cost of an unfortunate fall.







Sunday January 25th, 2015
Celina Senior High School
715 East Wayne St

Drop off dresses & accessories from 11:00-12:30
SHOP from 1:00-4:00
*for faster drop off- download release form at
$7.00 to sell dress only
$2.00 per accessory (ex: shoes, bracelet, earrings etc)
$10.00 to sell dress and 2 accessories
(Sellers set their own price and keep their profit!)

Pick up money or unsold dress from 4:00-4:45
Early drop off can be available by calling 419-953-0842 or 419-953-6563
Beautiful dresses at a great price!!!

Proceeds go to the Celina High School After-Prom


January 6, 2015


Parkway Schools went on a two hour delay for Tuesday, January 6, 2015 due to several inches of snow overnight.



The Village of Rockford Council meeting for tonight (January 6) has been
canceled.   The next meeting is scheduled for January 20th at 7:30 pm.



Bicentennial Meeting Announcement 

The next meeting for the planning stages of the Rockford Bicentennial Celebration will be held in the village hall on Monday - January 19th, at 7 pm.  At this meeting, we will continue forming committees that will begin working on specific plans.  Everyone is invited to attend the meeting and share your ideas for the celebration.  If you can not attend the meeting but would like to help, you can contact the town office at 419-363-3032.


Lady Panthers Spaghetti Dinner

Chris Weirrick, Varsity Girls Coach, announces the Lady Panthers basketball team is having a spaghetti dinner fundraiser on Friday, January 16th prior to the boys Homecoming basketball game. Dinners can be picked up from 4-6:30 in the cafeteria. Dinner includes spaghetti, two bread sticks, coleslaw, cookies and a drink. Tickets are $7.00 each and are available at the High School office or from any player and coach. They are also available at the Coldwater North branch of Mercer Landmark. All proceeds from the ticket sales go to benefit the Lady Panther Basketball program.


New Year’s Baby 2015

Pictured with his parents, Beth and Chad Otte of Celina, is Mercer Health’s New Year’s Baby 2015, Beau Otte.  Beau, born at 6:29 a.m. on Sunday, January 4th, was the recipient of a Sherpa blanket and $100 gift certificate to the Celina-Mercer County Chamber of Commerce.



Beer Barrel Pizza Hosting Community Fundraiser

Beer Barrel Pizza is having a fundraiser for the Girl Scout Family Partnership Fund on Monday, January 12, 2015 from 5 to 8 pm at 1200 Indiana Avenue, St. Marys, OH.

Beer Barrel will donate 10% of the sales of receipts collected during this timeframe to Girl Scouts of Western Ohio.



January 5, 2015


Advisory: Winter Storm Watch is in effect for Mercer County Monday evening, January 5 through Tuesday morning January 6; expect 4-6 inches of snow. Travel with care.

National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch from late Monday evening through Tuesday morning. Expected hazards are 4-6 inches of snow accumulation. 

Please be aware of changing conditions and use caution when traveling. 

A weather watch indicates the potential for severe or damaging weather conditions.

Thank you to our Weather Sponsor ~ Chatt Insurance.



Rockford Chamber of Commerce Minutes by Lisa Kuhn


Parkway FFA Participates in Parli Pro

On Tuesday November 25th, Parkway FFA had two JV teams and one Varity team participate in sub-district Parliamentary Procedure contest. The first JV team consisted of Maggie Houts, Shay Pond, Audrey Hague, Austin Smith, Cole Schoenleben, Alexis Frank, Trace Walls and Justin Barna placing 4th. The second JV team considered of Clista Hellwarth, Cooper Clouse, Wyatt Tuttle, Garrett Henderson, Maddie Ford, Halie Hileman, Seth Secaur, and Raymond Wood placing 5th. The varsity Parliamentary Procedure team consisted of Kayla Walls, Terra Walls, Taylor Hesse, Madison Roehm, Tanner Matthews, Clista Hellwarth, Alec Schoenleben, and Maggie Houts placing 1st. The varsity Parli Pro team was able to move on to the district contest on Thursday December 4th and placed 1st again. Placing 1st allows our varsity team to move on to state if they choose.

Congratulations to all of the members who participated and great work!


Team 1

Team 2


Grand Lake Patriots to Host The Daily Standard Editor/Owner Frank Snyder

The Grand Lake Patriots will host Frank Snyder, owner and editor of The Daily Standard, Celina, at their Thursday, January 8 general membership meeting, beginning at 7 PM in the Lefeld Community Building at the Fairgrounds in Celina. Patriots and their guests are cordially invited to attend. Snyder will speak about 1st Amendment freedoms, running a small town newspaper, government regulations, and how Obamacare will affect the newspaper business. Time will be allotted for questions and answers.

Snyder grew up in Celina and lives in the community with his family. He has a degree in economics. His father was owner and editor of The Daily Standard before him. 



Parkway January 2015 Breakfast & Lunch Menus by Pam Smith


Remember the Rockford Eagles Fish Fry and Chicken Strips Dinners
on Friday, January 9, 2015 from 5-7 PM.
Members and Guests only. Good Food! See ad above for details.







January 2-4, 2015

Shanes Crossing Historical Society Discusses the Bicentennial - Invites you to Help!
The Shanes Crossing Historical Society will be working with others in the community on the Rockford Bicentennial which will be in 5 years.
On January 19, there will be a meeting to form an executive committee to guide the entire event. the meeting will be at 7:30 PM. Interested people are encouraged to attend.

Some additional items have been added to the museum in Rockford. A butter churn from the late Velma Schumm and her old sewing machine. The have, on display, the piano from the Grand Ballroom on South Main Street. They also acquired a poster advertising a carnaval in Rockford in August of 1939 featuring a parachute jumper from Ft. Wayne.

Icy Roads in the County on Saturday, January 3, 2015 slowed down traffic.

January 1, 2015 - Happy New Year!


Financial Aid Night at Parkway


On Wednesday, January 7th, at 6:30 p.m. there will be an informational meeting on Financial Aid for College at Parkway High School Community Room.  Mrs. Melanie Weaver, Financial Aid Director from Ohio Northern University, will discuss how to finance a college education including completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).  Several relevant handouts will be distributed at this meeting. Juniors, seniors, and their parents are encouraged to attend.  Only 2015 graduates can fill out the FAFSA form in 2015, however many past juniors and their parents have enjoyed the opportunity to learn earlier about the financial aid process.




JAN. 13, 2015


Mary Beougher Public Relations, Community Health Professionals of Celina who Serve all of Mercer County, will be the Program Speaker for the January 13, 2015 PERI Meeting at the Hopewell Grange Hall, at the Mercer County Fairgrounds.  The PERI Meeting will begin at 10:00 A.M.  Donuts, coffee and juice will be served at 9:30 for early birds.


This program is an important program for Seniors, and/or anyone who is responsible for people with some type of disability.  The Community Health Professionals have a beautiful home atmosphere where persons who need some type of help are able to spend the day, and to participate in a variety of activities, or to enjoy quiet time and read a book or enjoy the companionship of others.  Professional employees are available to serve the guests, whatever their needs are.  Sometimes, the public is not aware that this service is available to help with people who have special needs at any particular time.  Mary Beoughter has worked with this organization for years, and she will be able to answer just about any question you ask.


For those of you who are retired Public Employees, and are thinking about becoming Mercer County PERI Members, come to this program and enjoy the companionship of other retirees, while you are learning all of the opportunities available for Public Employee retirees.  There is no cost to attend the meetings.  Start this New Year off on the right path and come and listen to Mary Beougher’s Program.




Genealogy Chapter to Meet

Sunday, January 11th at 2:00 the Mercer County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society will meet at the Richardson Bretz Building located behind the library in Celina.  The program is a round table discussion that will benefit the beginner and accomplished genealogist alike.  The topic is “Bring your finds, questions and problems”.   Members and guests are invited to share any problems or finds including computer programs, web sites and technology useful in researching family history.  The meetings are free and the public is always welcome.



Art At Portland

ArtWorks classes begin January 12th at the Portland Center and The Collective Center.MusicWorks classes begin January 5th.

Scholarships are available for both programs!

Call for more information! 866-539-9911


Niswonger Performing Arts Center will host Christian Act

On Saturday, March 14 at 7:30 PM the wildly popular, Christian recording artists Newsboys! Will share a wonderful concert hot off their God’s Not Dead project where the song "God's Not Dead" is a tremendous hit. Call 419-238-NPAC




By  Joyce L. Alig, President, Mercer County Historical Society

Photo caption:  Santa has gifts for you at the Mercer County Historical Museum, the Riley Home.


Merry Christmas, to all of our old Friends of the Mercer County Historical Society, and to all of our new Friends which we will meet in 2015. 


As for Christmas gifts, the young think in terms of “What gifts do I want to receive for Christmas?”  The adults think in terms of “What gifts do I want to give for Christmas?”  Therefore, as an adult, I will share with you, what gifts the Mercer County Historical Society gives to you each year. 


The most obvious image of the Mercer County Historical Society is the Mercer County building, the Mercer County Historical Museum, the Riley Home.  On May 27, 1975, the Mercer County Commissioners passed “Resolution # 438:  Resolved that the Board of Mercer County Commissioners do hereby agree to purchase a home for the Mercer County Historical Society, at 130 East Market St., Celina.”   

Therefore, thank the Mercer County Commissioners for this 1975 Gift which is still a Gift.

Another continuing Gift to the public, is the conservation (care) of the permanent exhibits at this County Museum.  The care of updating the Archival Collections of local history resources is an on-going project.  Another Gift is all of the guided tours provided to public organizations, and private tourists.  Another Gift is the Temporary Exhibits, e.g. High School Basketball History, Mothers Day, Prehistoric Artifacts, Military & Antique Guns, and Post Card and Post Office exhibits.   Another Gift is the daily public service to Mercer Countians and those in other counties or states, in the email requests receiving responses for historical research, which is quite a time-consuming task.  Another Gift is the public speaking engagements about local history, for local service organizations.  The Gift of assisting teachers and university students in their Historical Projects will contribute to better citizens of this County.

Another long lasting Gift, the Society has provided would be the 28 local history books published by the Mercer County Historical Society these past four decades.  At the present, there are three local history books in progress, all for the purpose of preserving local history for the public.  Another Gift is the weekly local history articles, “Our Old Bookcase,” which finds its way into many local scrapbooks.

All of these projects happen because Members of the Mercer County Historical Society, and the designated Committees who plan and implement these projects.  Thank you to those Committee Members. Thank you to all of the Members of the Mercer County Historical Society.  Thank you for all of the donors to the Combined Drives in our Communities, to help the Historical Society provide these services.  Thank you to the Mercer County Maintenance Men who care for the Maintenance of the building and grounds.  An organization as large as the Mercer County Historical Society deserves recognition for serving the public for over 55  years, in preserving our local history.

Now, I would like to request a Gift from you, to the Mercer County Historical Society.  Please recognize that the Mercer County Historical Museum is an educational institution, as cared for by the Mercer County Historical Society.  The Museum is never to be a political institution.  Please recognize that it is the responsibility of every citizen, every educational institution, every civic organization, and every business, to thank the Mercer County Commissioners for funding this beautiful County Museum.  If the Museum is closed for good, that is a sad day for yesterday, today, and tomorrow’s Mercer Countians.

Merry Christmas to each of you and May 2015 be a great year for your County Historical Museum.


Ridder and Neth Families Celebrate Birth of Baby Girl
Ryan and Brandi (Ridder) Neth joyfully announce the birth of their daughter, Madison Jean Neth, born on December 7, 2014 at 4:37 pm at Providence Hospital in Waco, Texas. Madison was 7 pounds, 4 ounces and 21.5 inches long. 

Proud Grandparents are Peggy and Doug Serviss, of Rockford, Ohio, Jill and Glen Bradley of Waco, Texas, and the late Keith Ridder. 

Click Here for More Births






Guest Column from State Representative Jim Buchy

A Very Merry Christmas for Ohioans


Once again, the Christmas season is upon us. This year, many households in Ohio are poised to have a better Christmas than in years past. We have worked hard over this past year to put people back to work and in positions to provide for their families.


Earlier in the fall the state unemployment rate was 5.3 percent, down nearly two whole points from the same time last year. In western Ohio that number is closer to 4 percent.  More and more people are finding gainful employment, which is great news when it comes time to putting the presents under the tree.


We have to also reduce taxes so hardworking Ohioans can focus on stuffing stockings for their children rather than stuffing government coffers. I know and believe that money is best kept in the people’s hands rather than taken away for someone else to determine how a person’s hard earned wages should be spent.


Speaking of spending those wages, the biggest retail season of the year is coming to an end.  In order to prepare for Christmas, many families have been saving money over the course of the year.  In doing so they have been thinking about the presents to purchase for loved ones.  Throughout that process the spirit of giving has been invoked.  Ultimately looking back we will all be most appreciative of the time we had together with friends and family.


In the past couple of years under the leadership of Governor John Kasich, many Ohio families have enjoyed better holiday seasons with fewer worries about how the bills will be paid. The new year promises continued policies that promote smaller government with a focus on less red tape and bureaucracy.


In west central Ohio we have the best place in the world to live, work and rear a family.  I will continue working to protect the way we live and promote the good hearts of our people locally.


I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.



Click Here for Van Wert County Common Pleas Court Cases Heard for December 2014


December 27-31, 2014


Calvary Evangelical Church Updates



Parkway Wrestling Team Hosts First Tournament

Celina Moving and Storage Mental Attitude Award: Tristen McKee, Parkway
Celina Moving and Storage Most Valuable Player: Kyreesce Little, Elyria

Team score:
Findlay: 214.08
Versailles: 194.58
Elyria: 175.5
Elida: 124.5
Wapakoneta: 121.0
Hicksville: 95.75
Celina: 78.75
Parkway: 68.5
Toledo Christian: 48.58
Riverside: 10.0


Final Results Panther Invitational 2014:


Devontae Bowens, Elyria

Scott Seiler, Elyria

Armon Haver, Hicksville

Reese Fokine, Parkway

Tristen McKee, Parkway


Seth Douglas, Findlay

Liam Morrison, Findlay

Josh Kurtz, Elyria

Nick Garwood, Celina

Andrew Ford, Parkway

Andrew Purtee, Elida


Donnie Emmons, Findlay

Lane Feltz, Versailles

Jacob Brown, Wapakoneta

Jordan Lueffler, Toledo Christian


Kyreesce Little, Elyria

C. Brown, Elida

Kyle Wuebker, Versailles

Morgan Miller, Hicksville

Jacob Gaudy, Elida

Cameron Hicks, Versailles

138 :

Mike Filiaggi, Elyria

Dru Hernandez, Findlay

Adam Hemel, Wapakoneta

Josiah Maclin, Findlay

Dorin Dean, Wapakoneta

Chris Martin, Hicksville


Philip Karacson, Hicksville

Jarrod Wagner, Versailles

Thomas Griewe, Wapakoneta

Kodi Schmidt, Celina

Alex Schlotter, Celina

Pim Phadphom, Findlay


Michael Geist, Toledo Christian

Ethan Arbogast, Elida

Seth Barge, Versailles

Loren Couch, Findlay

Zach Vogal, Celina

Cam Wieman, Wapakoneta


Wyatt Patton, Findlay

Tim Ferrell, Celina

Noah Joseph, Parkway

Joel Turpen, Versailles

Hunter Sidey, Wapakoneta

Blake Sacks, Riverside


Kylan Kuehl, Wapakoneta

Chase Owen, Findlay

Gavin Bolin, Versailles

Joey Bower, Findlay

Sean Besecker, Versailles


Desmond White, Elida

Justin Besecker, Versailles

Larry Burkhardt, Toledo Christian

Marquis Landers, Findlay

Kenny Mincer, Versailles


Dylan Woodings, Elyria

Brett Gigandet, Versailles

Joshua Puthoff, Parkway

Garrett Miller, Hicksville

Steven Gardner, Hicksville

Josh Houston, Celina


Ethan Rhodes, Versailles

Shelton Foltz, Elida

Danny Captin


Antonio Wyatt, Elyria

Jeffrey Ware, Versailles


Girls - Step Into Your Future!


If you know a 7th or 8th grade girl living within the Vantage district, show them this article!

Vantage is hosting a really cool, hands-on adventure for girls in the 7th and 8th grade on Saturday morning, January 31, 2015 from 8:30 am – 12:30 pm.  Spend the morning at Vantage having fun and learning some new skills.

Learn how to weld together pieces of metal to create a beautiful dragonfly sculpture in the Welding lab.  Use a tape measure, drill, hammer, and nails in the Carpentry lab to build a stepstool.  Check out the latest GPS technology in the Ag lab.  Be one of the lucky ones to try on Google glasses, 3D virtual reality, and motion capture in the Network Systems lab.  A light breakfast, lunch, and a T-shirt are provided AND you get to take home everything you create!  Best of all, it’s FREE!

To register, go to the Vantage website – – and click on the pink “Step Into Your Future” footsteps, or you can email your information to

HURRY – space is limited to the first 40 students who register by January 23, 2015.



Pictured are some of the 2013 participants from “Step Into Your Future” with their metalwork pieces.



County Gateway Landscaping Program

The interchange at US 30 westbound with US 127/224 ( a.k.a the WalMart exit) has a new look.  Phase One of the County Gateway Landscaping Program that was started last fall through The Ohio Department of Transportation, ODOT, made impressive strides this weekend revealing a beacon to traffic on US 30 that will help draw attention to Van Wert.


“There are many grants available throughout the grant database nationwide that focus on gateway projects.  Recognizing the importance of a community identifying itself at its "gateway" is essential in an environment where communities are competing for talent and striving to set the bar high to be recognized as a place where people want to live and work.  It also welcomes people to a community allowing it to say, "here we are,”  which, with the growing traffic count on US 30, is a huge asset we can utilize to try and convince some of that traffic into exiting here, grabbing a bite to eat or filling with gas, and even staying a while.  Maybe if they like it enough, they might even bring their family or business here,” offers Economic Development Director, Sarah Smith. 

The idea began with Smith’s husband who was traveling I-75 to Wright Patterson AFB daily.  Towns like Troy and Sidney had a presence on I-75.  In the opposite direction, many Van Wert residents are familiar with the Findlay exit on I-75 who was awarded a similar $20k ODOT grant in 2007 through the Hancock Regional Planning Commission.  The goal was to replicate the same concept on US 30 allowing Van Wert to standout to passersby.    

Unfortunately, the money awarded by ODOT only covers materials, not design and labor.  So, the process began with asking for local landscaping volunteers to donate their time to help with the design.  Sam Laurent of Van Wert - Laurent's Landscaping and Clint Gable - Elite Naturescapes, Delphos helped assist with the planning that initially included both sides of the interchange at US 30/US 127 however, the project total exceeded the maximum grant amount of $25k.  The project had to be cut in half.  Ideally, if it project goes well and the ODOT money or a similar program is available, the south side will be completed in the next fiscal round.  The north side was chosen because it's the side you see as you exit into Van Wert.


Elite Naturescapes was able to answer the ODOT bid and is providing the majority of materials.  The site prep and labor has been all volunteer with well over 100 hours at the interchange on weekends and in the evenings after work to make it happen.  It’s been a difficult year with all the rain received which hasn’t particularly helped with timeliness of the project.  

Lots of work remains to be done.  Spring will blossom a flower bed location parallel to US 127 in the west portion of the interchange adding color and presence on US 127.  All of the dead and dying trees were removed (thanks to Shannon Smith - Smith's Stump Removal) in the interchange. Future plans are to move the trees into a pattern (hopefully a VW) to provide a recognizable aerial view from a google earth shot or for someone flying over if the 30 X 30 logo mound isn’t noticeable enough for a small aircraft flying over.  The creek that runs through will be dipped and lined with river rock giving a clean, dry riverbed look eliminating the cat tails and weeds that are more difficult to control.  Finally, there will be flowering trees placed amongst the interchange to provide a splash of color at different seasons and inviting motorists into Van Wert for the many festivals and events we have through the year.  
The logo mound with the center emblem of the Van Wert County Logo is a design that can be replicated possibly being placed at all the Van Wert county interchanges.  Smith revealed, “it would be an option to play with the color scheme and possibly replicate it in red and black outside Delphos Jefferson, yellow and blue at the Middle Point exit, red-white-and blue - going into Convoy?  The goal of the project is to mark Van Wert County letting people know when they are here, if the windmills don't do it already.  But, we also had to consider the maintenance of the project.  The design was to be low maintenance suggesting flowers and plants that require little pruning, making the logo design something that could be mowed easier and selecting the river rock creek bed to keep that clean, groomed look year round.”  The County offers special thanks to Mitch Kraner and county employees Tim Mengerink and Kyle Gehres who all donated time on their off hours to help make this possible.   
Any companies looking to sponsor the interchange or help with the next interchange should call the Van Wert County Economic Development Office - 419-238-6159.  Mowing will start in the spring and local involvement is sought in the maintenance of the interchange.  It not only provides for a sense of pride and ownership toward Van Wert County, it can serve as a little advertising as well.  


Get Fit in January
As a health care leader, Mercer Health is pleased to offer the only Weight Management Center in the area.  Mercer Health’s Weight Management Center offers both surgical and non-surgical weight loss programs, and is proud to announce that patients of these programs have lost over 4,000 pounds!


The Mercer Health Weight Management Center will be offering several programs in January to help the community with their weight-related New Year’s resolutions.  The following programs are now available through Mercer Health’s Weight Management Center:

1)      Rev It Up!® Weight Management is a 9-week interactive lifestyle program led by our registered dietitian that covers topics such as behavior modification, hunger and fullness signals, fluid needs, meal timing, aerobic exercise, and more. The next 9-week session begins January 14.

2)      The Medifast® Program offers a structured meal plan that incorporates specially formulated Medifast meal replacement and snack products to achieve a low calorie, low carbohydrate diet.  Participants are required to attend an introduction class.  The next classes will be held January 5 and January 26, or is also available online at and can be viewed anytime!

3)      The LAP-BAND® weight loss surgery program continues to grow, and is now accepting Medicare patients!  The required informational seminar will be held on January 6 and February 3 or is now available online anytime at

4)      The MedGem Indirect Calorimeter is a handheld device that determines an individual’s resting metabolic rate.  This test also includes an interpretation with a registered dietitian to determine an appropriate caloric level for weight loss.  Tests are scheduled on a patient by patient basis.


All programs are now taking registrations.  Limited space is available.  Begin your weight loss journey today, and join in the success of our patients.  For more information or to register for an upcoming program, contact the Mercer Health Weight Management Center at 419-678-8446.


Flu Widespread Across Ohio;

Flu-Related Hospitalizations Increasing Rapidly

ODH Urges Flu Vaccination as Ohio Approaches Peak Flu Season

COLUMBUS – Influenza-like illness is now widespread throughout Ohio, and the numbers of associated

hospitalizations are increasing rapidly. Last week alone (week 50), there were 529 new confirmed

influenza-associated hospitalizations in Ohio, bringing the total to 985 since flu season began in October.

Just two weeks ago, there were 202 total confirmed flu-associated hospitalizations. At this time during

last year’s flu season, there were 216.

Ohio also has its second confirmed influenza-associated pediatric death, a 16-year-old boy from Licking

County. This is a reminder of the danger flu poses to children.

“Influenza vaccination is the safest and most effective way to prevent the flu, except for infants younger

than 6 month old who aren’t eligible to receive it,” said Dr. Mary DiOrio, medical director of the Ohio

Department of Health (ODH).

The 2014-2015 flu season, which likely will continue into next spring, may be severe according to the

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Influenza A (H3N2) is the predominant virus strain this

year, and hospitalizations and deaths are higher when it is dominant.

“Many people have probably heard about this year’s flu vaccine not being as effective because of

mutations in some influenza viruses,” said Dr. DiOrio. “I cannot emphasize strongly enough that it’s still

very important to get vaccinated. The vaccine provides some protection against mutated viruses and

maximum protection against other circulating influenza strains for which the vaccine remains wellmatched.”

While vaccination provides the greatest protection against the flu, other effective ways to avoid getting

or spreading it include: washing hands frequently or using alcohol-based hand sanitizer; covering coughs

and sneezes with tissues, or coughing or sneezing into elbows; avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth;

and staying home when sick and until fever-free for 24 hours without using fever-reducing medication.

“These practices are especially important with flu activity increasing and family and friends gathering for

the holidays,” noted Dr. DiOrio.

Symptoms of influenza can include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue.

Flu vaccination is available at most healthcare providers’ offices, local health departments and retail pharmacies.

While influenza-associated pediatric deaths must be reported to ODH, adult deaths are not reportable so total influenza-associated death statistics are not available. More information about influenza and flu activity in Ohio is available at





By  Joyce L. Alig, President, Mercer County Historical Society


Does History repeat itself?  That is the lesson that our high school history teachers tried to teach us.

I thought that I would check histories of events of winters in Mercer County’s past, and decide if history is, indeed, repeating itself in Mercer County.

In January of 1856, the weather was so cold, at a temperature of minus twenty degrees, that the local newspaper, The Western Standard published by the Snyder Brothers, had to thaw out the paper, before they could print the newspaper!  The Snyder family today is hoping that history does not repeat itself!

The weather took its toll on Celina’s old school house, which “fell down,” on February 15, 1857.  No classes were in session that day, because it was Sunday.  That history has not repeated itself.


During the winter of 1875-1876, a trip from Celina to St. Marys, via the plank road, took four hours.  That history should not be repeating itself, as the trip this winter should take about ten minutes, except for a possible blizzard closing the road?

The winter of 1920-1921 was so cold that the lake froze to more than eight inches of ice.  M. J. Hemmert reported the big ice house at the foot of South Main Street was filled with ice of crystal clearness.  A good ice harvest was five thousand tons packed in straw and sawdust, and would be delivered to homes for their ice boxes, in the summertime.  Ice skating on the lake was a popular sport.  History is not repeating itself, with filling the old ice houses.  Do young people still ice skate on the lake?


The January 1930 flood waters were said to have been higher than in 1913, and the local reservoir was over its banks.  Farmers along the Beaver Creek suffered livestock loss.  Almost a dozen farmers were forced to put their household on second floors of their homes and move in with relatives or neighbors.  In January 1937, twenty-five refugees were sent from the Cincinnati flood area to Celina. 


Of course, everyone remembers stories in the 1930’s about the depression and prohibition.  On January 21, 1932, raids were made on a sixty gallon still and jugs of whiskey “were seized.”   Is history repeating itself?  Are there “stills” in operation this winter in Mercer County?


On January 1, 1970, Celina’s Safety-Service Director Frank E. Sullivan praised Street Department personnel and their boss Tom Anderson for opening and keeping open the City’s streets after the eight and a half inch snowfall the last of December 1969.  A decade later, the Blizzard of January 1978 caused electrical outages and twelve to fifteen foot snow drifts.  How many blizzards have we had since 1978?


If anyone ever writes a book about the blizzards in Mercer County, there will be plenty of resource material!  I am concerned that history may not repeat itself, for recording local history in books and  authors providing the sources of their information.  Anything is put on the internet, with no reference to the source or the validity of that information.  I hope that future local historians provide the facts when putting local history articles on the internet. 

I can only repeat the historic adage, “Read not to believe or dis-believe, but to weigh and consider,” when reading articles about local history on the internet.

Photo caption:  Ice Skating & Ice Games on another Lake in the 1890’s.





December 23-26, 2014

Luminary Display in the Village of Willshire on Christmas Eve.

Christmas Eve Service at 5 PM at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Mendon on Christmas Eve.

Christmas Eve Service at 6 PM at Praise Point Church in Willshire on Christmas Eve.

Christmas Eve Service at 11 PM at Rockford Methodist on Christmas Eve.

Chatt Methodist Church Christmas Eve Service at 10 PM  on Christmas Eve.


Mt. Tabor Church Series to Start
Mt Tabor Church of God will be launching a 4-week Sermon Series on the book, JESUS IS.  The Sermon Series will be launched on Sun, Jan. 4th at 10:00am!  All are invited to attend.  In the coming weeks, we will be learning that: Jesus is GRACE; Jesus is our FRIEND; Jesus is ALWAYS WITH US; and Jesus is ALIVE!  This will be a great event for those interested to learn who Jesus is!

See you at 10:00am on Sundays!

For more information check out:


December 20-22, 2014


Vantage Students Share the Christmas Spirit

Vantage junior and senior Health Technology students adopted a family for Christmas!  Here, some of the juniors show the gifts they bought. 



Vantage Health Technology students also visited the Country Inn Assisted Living and Nursing Home in Paulding to spread some holiday cheer.


 Baby Land Demolition
Wednesday afternoon at the Van Wert County Fairgrounds was bittersweet.  The building known as Baby Land came down to make way for the construction of a brand new Farm Bureau facility which will break ground later this week, weather pending.  The new facility will house much needed bathrooms and showers to replace the former Jr. Fair facilities.  In January, Farm Bureau will start a 60 day capital campaign to continue to raise funding for the new building estimated to cost between $200 - $300,000 dependent upon volunteer time and effort.  The intention is to have the new Farm Bureau facility complete and operational by summer, but more importantly before the 2015 Van Wert County Fair (VWCF) which begins Sept 2, 2015. 
Future plans are to reconstruct Baby Land in the location where the former Farm Bureau structure stood.  During the 2015 VWCF, the fair board is entertaining the option of a Baby Land tent in that location for the baby animal display until a new home for Baby Land can be built.  Anyone looking to donate to the efforts or volunteer services toward the cause may contact Van Wert County Farm Bureau or the Van Wert County fair board.     


Vantage Top Students for Fall 2014

VANTAGE Blue Chippers –Vantage Blue Chippers are students who have perfect attendance and a 4.0 GPA for a 9 week period.  Congratulations go out to the following Blue Chippers for the first quarter of the school year:  front row: Marcy Shoppell, Jr. Culinary Arts (Lincolnview), Valdalia Geren, Jr. Health Tech (Continental), Allie Mihm Jr. Culinary Arts (Van Wert).  Back row: Derek Schroeder, Sr. Precision Machining (Kalida), Jacob Sukup, Jr. Ag & Industrial Power Tech (Antwerp), Jonnathan Krouse, Jr. Network Systems (Crestview), and Nick Grote, Sr. Industrial Mechanics (Ottoville). 



Mercer Health Supports House of Hope

During this Giving Season, Mercer Health chose to support The House of Hope as part of their annual giving project.  As in the past, Mercer Health’s employees and partners, collected toiletry items and monetary donations.  The items were recently given to Tonya Huber, House of Hope representative.



Ohio State Highway Patrol Post Honors Brincefield and Scheirer

VAN WERT - The Van Wert Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol has named its Trooper of the Year and Dispatcher of the Year for 2014.

Trooper Adam M. Brincefield has been selected 2014 Trooper of the Year at the Van Wert Post.  Brincefield joined the Highway Patrol in 2003 and has served at the Patrol’s Training Academy in addition to the Van Wert Post.

Fellow officers stationed at the Van Wert Post, chose Brincefield, age 33, based on his leadership abilities, professional ethics, courteous treatment of others, enthusiastic work attitude, and cooperation with supervisors, peers, and the public.

Brincefield has been awarded the Patrol's Physical Fitness Award and the Safe Driving Award.  He also serves as a field training officer.  Brincefield enjoys participating in speech details and working with children. 

Brincefield and his family reside in Van Wert County.

Radio Dispatcher Meghan L. Scheirer has been recognized as the 2014 Dispatcher of the Year. Scheirer joined the Highway Patrol in 2013 and is assigned to the Van Wert Dispatch Center.  She is a graduate of Defiance High School and Defiance College.

Scheirer, age 35, was honored in recognition of her outstanding service over the past year.  Management and dispatchers/communications technicians chose Scheirer based on her technical job knowledge and ability, enthusiastic work attitude, teamwork, and prompt and courteous response to the public’s requests for information and assistance.

Schreirer and her family reside in Defiance County.

Both Brincefield and Scheirer are in contention for District and State honors as Trooper of the Year and Dispatcher of the Year. Those honors will be announced at later date.



A grant from The Van Wert County Foundation to 4-H Camp Palmer’s Pool

On December 12, 2014 Board meeting The Van Wert County Foundation Board of Trustees awarded a grant of $2,500.00 for the new swimming pool construction at 4-H Camp Palmer. The grant was made possible from the John Alpach Fund.

The new pool will be completed by the summer of 2015. Due to generous donors like The Van Wert County Foundation, grants, foundations, 4-H Clubs and many others over $300,000 of the $495,000 that will be needed to fund the project has been raised.

 If you would like to donate to the camp pool project or order a memorial brick, call 419-237-2247 or email 4-H Camp Palmer, a non-profit 501 ©3 organization, serves not only Van Wert County youth but also ten other counties in northwest Ohio.






EMA Advisory Board Meeting

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

EMA Office           Celina                 12:05 PM


LEPC Meeting Has Been Scheduled for:

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Central Services Building  Celina            7:30 AM

            2nd Floor Conference Room



Any Questions: Contact the Mercer County EMA @ 419-586-6468

Thank you!


Parkway Weekly Sports Schedule
Click Here for a printable version


Plan Now to Attend the Chatt Insurance Holiday Tournament
on Monday December 29 and Tuesday December 30, 2014
Click here for the printable schedule


Caring for Your "Fresh-cut" Christmas Tree

By Curtis E. Young, Van Wert County OSU Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources

There appears to be a revived interest in using real Christmas trees for the holidays.  A real tree in the house adds to the ambience of the holidays with the scent of pine, spruce or fir wafting through the air.  However, real trees require special care to keep them safe and fresh to last through the holidays.

The following are research-based guidelines that will help you to maintain the freshness and aroma of a fresh-cut Christmas tree through the holidays.

Ultimately water is everything to maintaining a fresh-cut Christmas tree.  Doing whatever you can do to prevent a tree from losing excessive amounts of water is the goal from the time that the tree is cut through the end of its display period.  One has the greatest control over water loss and water replacement when the tree is cut at the time of purchase.  However, many will be buying trees that were cut in other states and hauled to a retailer from whom it is purchased at a tree lot.  Thus, many of these trees were probably cut sometime in November, baled in a string mess and shipped to the point of sale.  If this is the type of tree that you have purchased, the first thing that you need to do is get the tree into water to start replacing water that was already lost. But before you put the tree into the water, the cut end of the tree will have to be refreshed by cutting a 1/2 inch to 1 inch thick wafer off the bottom of the tree trunk.  This action removes the ends of the water conduction tubes of the tree that were clogged with resins that were released by the tree when it was originally cut, exposed to the air and left to dry.  Make the cut straight across the width of the trunk.  Don't cut the trunk at an angle, or into a v-shape, which makes it far more difficult to hold the tree in the stand and also reduces the amount of water available to the tree.  Once the cut is made, don't bruise the cut surface or get it dirty by banging it on the ground.  Without cutting the end off of the trunk, the tree might not be able to absorb water again and the tree will quickly dry out even with the end of the trunk in a reservoir of water.  Drilling holes into the base of the tree does little to help water absorption.

If needed, a tree can be temporarily stored for several days in a cool location (an unheated garage, shed or enclosed porch).  Place the freshly cut trunk in a bucket that is kept full of water.

The next important step in maintaining the freshness of your tree is to have a good tree stand with a water reservoir into which the trunk of the tree easily fits.  A mistake that some people make is shaving the bark and outer wood off the tree trunk to get it to fit into the stand.  Unfortunately, this action damages the most active and efficient water conduction tubes of the tree reducing the ability of the tree to absorb water.  Once the tree is in the water reservoir of the stand, make sure that the reservoir never runs dry and/or that the water level in the reservoir never falls below the bottom of the cut end of the tree trunk during the display period.  As a general rule, a stand should provide 1 quart of water per inch of trunk diameter to get the tree through each day.  You should expect the tree to take up water rapidly at first if it is not a freshly cut tree.  Water the tree frequently until water uptake slows, then continue to maintain the water level in the stand through the season. 

For easier watering, buy a funnel and a 3 to 4 foot tube.  Slip the tube over the funnel tip, extend the tubing down into the tree stand, and water through the funnel and tube.  Hide the funnel and tube in an out-of-the-way part of the tree.

You don't need anything other than regular tap water.  Commercially prepared mixes like aspirin, sugar and other additives to introduce into the water are not necessary.  Research has shown that plain tap water will keep a tree fresh.  The temperature of the water used to fill the stand is not important and does not affect water uptake.

Another step you should take to protect the freshness of your Christmas tree is to avoid placing the tree near any kind of heat source (e.g. fireplaces, heat registers, heaters, or in front of windows through which the sun shines).  Lowering the temperature of the room in which the tree is displayed will slow the drying process, resulting in less water consumption each day.  Running a humidifier in the room may also slow the rate at which water evaporates from the tree.

Take down the tree before it dries out.  Many fresh-cut trees, if properly cared for, should last at least five weeks before completely drying out.  Some species of evergreen trees keep their moisture longer than others.  Never burn any part of a Christmas tree in a wood stove or fireplace.

Care should be taken with Christmas lights as well.  Incandescent lights generate a lot of heat, both twinkle lights as well as older, larger style lights.  The heat from these lights will speed drying of the needles and branches.  Miniature lights produce less heat than the large bulbs, and LED lights produce the least amount of heat.  Always inspect light sets prior to placing them on the tree.  If worn, replace with a new set.  Do not overload electrical circuits or connect more sets of lights together than what is recommended by the manufacturer.  Always turn off the tree lights when leaving the house or when going to bed.

Take care of your tree, delight in its presence, and have a safe and merry Christmas.



December 18-19, 2014

Presbyterian Church in Celina

The Presbyterian Church on North Main St. in Celina Ohio is have a candlelight Christmas Eve Service at 7 PM on Wednesday, December 24th.
The community is invited.


Click Here to read the latest and past Rockford Village Council News



December 17, 2014


Alumni Band and Choir to Entertain
The Parkway alumni pep band and alumni choir will be performing Saturday 
December 20th at the boys basketball game. Rehearsal for the alumni pep 
band is from 4:00 until approximately 5:30, with a carry in immediately 
following rehearsal. The alumni choir is also invited to participate in 
the carry in and will rehearse immediately following the carry in.

There is extra music available for both alumni groups, just in case you 
haven't already signed up to sing or play.

Even if you haven't played an instrument or sung in a choir for a long 
time, please don't be afraid to give it a try.



December 16, 2014


Together at Christmas Free Christmas Day Dinner

The people of Rockford United Methodist Church are in the final planning stages for their 10th Annual FREE Christmas Day Dinner. The event will be held at the Community Building at Shanes Park on Christmas Day with serving to begin at 10:30 am and continue until 1 PM.

The menu will offer turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, dressing and green beans served on china plates and brought to your table. A buffet with all sorts of desserts will be available. Church members will be on site to greet, usher and serve all those attending.

If you are alone, hungry or have guests to entertain, please join us at the park on Christmas Day so we may celebrate the births of Jesus. EVERYONE is welcome to join us so we might be Together on Christmas.



Mt. Tabor Christmas Eve Service
ALL are invited to attend a Christmas Eve Service on Wed., Dec.24th at 9:00pm!  Come observe a special Christmas celebration at Mt Tabor Church of God.  This will be a great event for friends and family!

 Mt Tabor’s Christmas Eve service will celebrate Communion and a Candlelight Ceremony.

 Mt Tabor COG is on the corner of 127 and Tama Road.  See you at 9:00pm on Wednesday evening!



Congratulations to the Rockford Carnegie Library for being selected
as the December - Rockford Chamber Business of the Month ! 

A library association was formed in 1902 in Rockford.  The library didn't
have a permanent home though during those early years.  In 1910
correspondence was started with Andrew Carnegie to get money
for a building.  The new building was dedicated in May of 1913.

The library has changed drastically in the past few years because
of technology.  The card catalog became an on-line catalog, e-books
were added to the collection and computers have become essential for

The library is funded primarily with money from the state and a local

The Rockford Carnegie library is located at 162 S Main St.  The hours
are Monday - Thursday 10 am - 8 pm.  Fridays till 5:30 pm and Saturdays
till 2 pm.

Thank you Rockford Carnegie Library for supporting your Rockford


Pictured left to right: Becky Schaadt, Jane Cozad - Rockford Chamber President, Rozann Maurer, and Bob Maurer




Old Christmas Decorations Wanted

Did you update your holiday decorations this year? You’re in luck! The Rockford Chamber of Commerce would love to take those old decorations off your hands. The Rockford Chamber of Commerce will gladly accept those unwanted holiday items.  Items in good shape and function may be repurposed next year.  Donated items that are broken or do not function will be properly recycled.  Let us help you make room!

No decorations to spare?  The Rockford Chamber of Commerce will rejoice in celebration of community donations. All monetary donations should be made out to Shanes Park – with drop off at the village office or mailed to Shanes Park CO/ Chamber Christmas PO Box 282, Rockford Ohio 45882

Are you a bargain shopper? Our elves at the Rockford Chamber of Commerce would love to receive any post-holiday discounted Christmas decoration donations that you may find.

CAN we make one more suggestion?  If you CAN help the Chamber in some way, and none of the above work with your schedule/interest, the Rockford Chamber will also accept aluminum CANS to recycle, with all proceeds directly benefiting future Christmas displays.

Questions? Reach out to your Rockford Chamber at, or call 419.363.302 ext. 1.


Parkway Middle School Holds DARE Graduation

Parkway Middle School held the Fifth Grade D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) graduation Friday, December 5, at the school.   Student, Ben Sheppard welcomed everyone. Fifth graders reading the winning essays were Mackenzie Stephenson, Cami High, Zaenen Renner, Chloe Morefield and Jacob Rogers.

The Honor Students receiving special recognition were: Lily Haver, Molly Hileman, Blake Strickler, Gracyn Temple, Aailya Larsen, Kaitlin Shaffner, Kameryn Altenbach and  Tim Miller.  These students were presented medals purchased by the Mercer County D.A.R.E. Boosters and earned the honor because of their extra effort in the program.

The speaker was award winning author Michelle Houts.  She talked about what can harm dreams and role bullying can play in undermining success. The program was closed by a thank you by Dani Huff. The program was concluded by the principal Mr. Brian Woods. Deputy Sue Miller is the D.A.R.E. Officer conducting the D.A.R.E.  classes.  Fifth grade teachers assisting with the D.A.R.E. graduation  were Mrs. Kraner, Mrs. Muhlenkamp, Mrs Shellabarger.  Mercer County D.A.R..E. is a division of the Mercer County Sheriff Office.



December 15, 2014


Parkway Schools went on a two hour delay for Monday, December 15, 2014 due to fog
then cancelled.

The 5 - 6th  Graders Music Concert is rescheduled for Wednesday, December 17 at 6:00 PM




Snow – Do not plow onto roadways

The Mercer County Engineer, Jim Wiechart, is reminding residents living on county and township roadways not to leave snow plowed from private driveways on the roadway.

Ohio law prohibits the placement of injurious material or any obstruction on a highway except that which is placed on the roadway by a proper authority, such as salt or grit the county and townships use to treat icy roads.

If it is found that snow displaced from a private drive onto a roadway contributes to an accident, the individual who placed it there could be found liable.

Placing injurious materials or obstructing the roadway is a criminal offense, according to Sheriff Jeff Grey of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office. 
Three New Members Chosen for Parkway Athletic Hall of Fame



The public is invited to this event.

Click Here to read the profile on these former Parkway Stand-outs.


Parkway High School Band and Choir Members Entertain at Annual Winter Christmas Concert
Pictures shared by Nikki Fox - Thanks Nikki!

Many more pictures of this special event - click right here.


Parkway Middle School Students Wow  Audience at Christmas Concert - Awesome - Click Here for more shared by Nikki Fox!
Parkway First and Third Graders Christmas Concert Pictures - Adorable - Click Here for more shared by Nikki Fox!



December 13-14, 2014


Calvary Holds Christmas Open House
Calvary Preschool recently held their annual Christmas Open House to celebrate the Holiday Season.  Students in each class made crafts to decorate trees in the classroom and to take home as gifts.  Parents and family members walked through the classrooms to see what the students accomplished and then joined others in the fellowship hall for refreshments and a slide show of activities from the beginning of the year to this time.   Calvary Preschool is located at 10686 Van Wert Decatur Road in Van Wert.  There are currently a few openings in each class for 3 years through 5 years.  Call Marilyn Agler at 567-259-3103 or check for forms on the Preschool tab of Calvary Evangelical's website. We are committed to helping children grow spiritually, emotionally and academically as they mature.



Ohio City Liberty Christmas Lights Contest

All photos that are sent to Ohio City's Pride or emailed will be added to an album. This album will be available for members to vote on the 22nd of Decembers, members will have ten days to vote and the winner will be announced on New Year’s Day. Be sure to have a photo of your home turned in by the 22nd.

If you do not have Facebook or the internet, you can still enter the contest by sending your photo, including your address, phone number, and name to P.O. Box 102 Ohio City, Ohio 45872 or email it to

* This contest is open to the residents of the Village of Ohio City and Liberty Township.

We will be adding more sponsors and donations as we receive them:

Village of Ohio City: $25.00

Ohio City Express: $25.00

Park Board (Ohio City Community Building) : $25.00

Rent-A-Garage: free oil change

Bigham Creative Communications: $25.00


Steer Weigh-in Set


The Junior Fair Board has set the date/time for the 2015 show steer, performance steer and dairy steer weigh-in. Please mark your calendars for Saturday January 3rd, from 8:00am-10:00am at the Junior Fair Beef Barn on the Fairgrounds. Animals not in line to be weighed at the end of the time may be disqualified from participation in the 2015 Van Wert County Jr. Fair. Exhibitors may allow someone else to weigh in their animals for them if they are unable to be present for the weigh in.


Please note: If you are planning to exhibit your steers at the Ohio State Fair you are responsible contacting the Ohio State Fair office for information regarding identification and tagging.


Exhibitors should plan to come in the gate next to the Extension office, and leave through gate 4 (livestock gate during fair) to help with the flow of traffic.  Be prepared to wait as the process takes a bit longer than the other weigh ins, but feel free to come in and help with other exhibitors and the Jr. Fair Board to help us ensure the process goes as quickly as possible!



December 11-12, 2014


AND Special Meeting at 6:30 to swear-in new board member Matt Swygart
Click Here for the Agendas from Superintendent  Puthoff


Click Here for Van Wert County Common Pleas Court Cases Heard for December 2014


December 9-10, 2014


Mercer County Engineering Complex Open House Held 12-6-2014

Jim Weichart, Mercer County Engineer, and employees of the Engineering Department held an open house for their newly completed facility on Mud Pike west of Celina on Saturday, December 6, 2014.  The new multi-million dollar complex, at 77,000 square feet, features Administrative Offices, Vehicle Maintenance Wing, Vehicle Storage Wing, Fueling Center, Salt & Grit Storage and a Vehicle Wash Bay. Bruns Building and Development was the General Contractor and Garmann-Miller was the architect.

The development of the engineer’s facility was in the planning process for more than a decade, according to the literature passed out at the Open House. Former County Engineers, Keith G. Earley, P.E., P. S. and Roy F. Thompson, P.E., P.S. began the planning process, and a multitude of private and public teams brought the structure to reality.

Pictured above are some of the 24 employees of the Mercer County Engineer Jim Wiechart (second from left), Mark Linn, Wiechart, Darren Porter, Brad Laffin, and Mark Leininger. At left: One of the newest tandem axle dump trucks in the Mercer County Engineer's fleet. It features an automatic transmission and is equipped with a 12 foot snow plow. It is used for other work in the summer.












Rockford Eagles Donate to Back Pack Program and College Students

The Rockford Eagles Aerie 1292 recently donated $2000 to the Parkway Back Pack Program. Pastor Tim Clutter, above, accepts the check from Blair Shaffer, on behalf of his ministry C.A.L.L. Ministries. Tim says they need $4200 to fully fund the program across the Mercer County, and he deeply appreciated the generous check from the Eagles on behalf of the Parkway children. Tim said Parkway children in K-4th grade get a bag of food sent home every weekend including 2 breakfasts; 2 lunches; 2 suppers; 2 snacks and 1 or 2 drinks per child. A jar of peanut butter goes home to the households on free meals at school a the beginning of each month. 260 students are involved at Parkway, and this is the 4th year for the program there. Volunteer Deb Hecht oversees the program with a team of 15 volunteers helping her.






The Rockford Eagles Aerie 1292 recently gave renewal scholarships to students who are Wright State University Lake Campus and are parkway graduates. Tia Caffee, daughter of John and Lisa (Painter) Caffee of Willshire will graduate in May 2014 with an Associates Degree in Graphic Design. An outstanding artist at Parkway, she graduated in 2013. Tegan Felver, daughter of Carl and Deena Felver is also from Willshire, and will graduate with an Associates Degree in Business Applications. Aslo a graduate of Parkway 2013, Tegan is learning office management and enjoys MS Access Database the best.  Others who were not present but received renewals were: Austin Adams, Amber Swander and Kirsten Schriema. Left to right: Blair Shaffer explained that the renewals would go directly to Wright State. Tegan and Tia stand next to Wright State University Development Officer, Julie M. Miller. The Rockford Eagles have funded $30,188.00 from 2006-2013 and $8,000 for 2014-2015. All of this money went for Parkway scholarships furthering their education.




Shanes Park Holiday Lights - Beautiful and Perfect for an Evening Drive to Rockford

December 6-8, 2014


Stateline Writer’s Holiday Meeting
Members and guests are invited to the Stateline Writer's Club holiday luncheon at CJ Highmarks, 1211 Irmscher Blvd., Celina, Ohio, on Saturday, December 13, 2014, from 11 am to 1 pm. Those attending are asked, but not required, to bring a $5 gift to exchange along with a short written piece about the gift or about the holiday.

There will be no meeting on December 20, 2014, and the next meeting will be held Saturday, March 21, 2015 at the Mercer County District Library, Celina, Ohio.



Stars Placed on Tree in Honor or Memory of Loved Ones

VAN WERT, OHIO – The volunteer of TWIG III and the Van Wert County Hospital illuminated the holiday sky at the 20th Annual “Tree of Lights” ceremony on Tuesday, December 2nd at 7:00 pm. 

In keeping with the 20 year tradition, the lighting of the tree in the front of the hospital marks the beginning of the holiday season.  The Tree of Lights is both a remembrance service and a TWIG III fundraiser in support of hospital programs.  For a contribution, family members placed star ornaments on the tree. Thirty five stars were placed on the tree honoring or in memory of loved ones.

The 20th annual event raised $2,300.  TWIG III President Lisa Dunn said, “Since 1994, the Van Wert Community has been tremendously supportive of the Tree of Light project. With the generosity of Van Wert and surrounding communities, we have been able to give over $76,000.00 to the hospital for the purchase of the most up-to-date medical equipment available from this project alone. We are very grateful for that support”.

The evening started with an invocation from Pastor Paul Hamrick from First Friends Church. The Lincolnview Octet performed under the direction of Mrs. Stacy Korte.  Following the check presentation, Lisa Dunn, TWIG III member, read the names on the stars.  As the event concluded, attendees enjoyed a reception in the hospital cafeteria.

About Van Wert Hospital

For more than 100 years, Van Wert Hospital has been delivering superior patient care and advancing new treatments.  As an independent nonprofit community health system, Van Wert County Hospital remains committed to the region’s healthcare needs for generations to come.  Van Wert Hospital is committed to today, focused on tomorrow. Visit for more information.




Parkway Yearbooks from Previous Years Available

Purchasing a yearbook from your child or grandchild’s high school years is a unique and meaningful idea for a Christmas gift.  Parkway Local Schools has extra yearbooks from 2004 through 2013 that will be for sale through Friday, December 19 for $20 each. There are also a limited number of 2013-2014 books still available for $40 each.  The 2005-2006 yearbook is the last year in the old buildings and the 2006-2007 yearbook is the first book in our new building. All books will be sold on a first come first serve basis. If you are interested in purchasing a book, contact Curtis Hamrick at or 419-363-3045 ext. 565



Messiah Soloists announced for Van Wert Performance

Every other year, The Van Wert County Foundation in cooperation with First United Methodist Church in Van Wert presents a performance of Handel’s Messiah.  This year the performance will be Sunday, December 14 at 7:00 p.m. at First United Methodist Church.  The performance includes a 60 member community chorus, a professional chamber orchestra, and esteemed soloists.  The soloists for this year’s performance are soprano, Kirsten Osbun Manley; mezzo, Tina Bunce; tenors, Shawn and Richard Mathey; and bass, Sean Cooper.

Osbun Manley is resident artist in music and co-director of the musical theatre program at Ohio Northern University, where she teaches voice and diction for singers and directs the opera workshop program.  She has appeared in recital and concert in performance venues throughout the Great Lakes Region.  Recently she was the featured soprano soloist in Mozart’s Mass in C minor and Ralph Vaughan William’s Serenade to Music with the Lima Symphony Orchestra.  She has considerable opera and musical theatre experience, including roles in The Ballad of Baby Doe, The Magic Flute, Carmen, The Merry Widow, Candide, The King and I, and The Sound of Music.  She will be making her first Van Wert Messiah appearance.

Tina Sandor Bunce is primarily known for her work in oratorio and on the concert stage.  She has excelled as soloist in performances of many of the great works for choir and orchestra, including Verdi’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Mozart’s Requiem, Mahler’s Second Symphony, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis and Ninth Symphony, and St. John and St. Matthew Passions of J.S. Bach.  Recently, she participated in weeklong residencies at Chester and Liverpool Cathedrals in England.  She is a member of the Bowling Green vocal ensemble Opus 181 and the Canterbury Singers, USA.  In addition, Bunce maintains a private studio in Bowling Green and Findlay, Ohio.  Bunce last performed Messiah in Van Wert in 1995.

Richard Mathey is no stranger to Van Wert and First United Methodist Church.  He has been guest soloist in Messiah as well as the Seven Last Words of Christ on several occasions.  In addition, he has been guest conductor for District, Regional and State Music Festivals.  Making his singing debut in 1971 at Alice Tully Hall in New York City, he has since performed 17 leading operatic tenor roles and has soloed with symphonies throughout the Midwest.  As director of choral activities and professor of music at Bowling Green State University for 32 years, Mathey became infamous as conductor and director of both Men’s Chorus and Mixed Choirs, taking them on tour all over the United States.

Richard’s pride and joy, his son Shawn has become a very distinguished tenor in his own right.  Shawn Mathey performs in the most important and distinguished opera companies and music festivals in the world including the Paris Opera, the Operahaus Zurich, the Salzburg Festival, Frankfort Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Washington National Opera among many others.  This season, Mathey made his debut in Seoul, Korea as the Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto, followed by one of his signature roles, Tamino in Kansas City.  He then debuted two extremely rare roles at the Opera de St. Etienne in France which will be recorded for commercial release.  He has also performed with the Cincinnati and Toledo Operas as well as Opera Hong Kong.  We are extremely honored to have Mr. Mathey make his first Van Wert appearance as he joins his father in the tenor roles of our Messiah.

Sean Cooper, praised for his “rich,” “powerful,” and “well-tempered” vocal production has performed both Broadway and Opera roles in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Guam.  His roles include Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro, Leporello in Don Giovanni, Pirate King in Pirates of Penzance to mention just a few.  His opera performances include Raphael in Haydn’s Creation, Jesus in Bach’s Passion of St. John and numerous Messiah and Beethoven Ninth performances.  He has also performed with the Detroit, Pittsburgh, Memphis, Toledo, Lima, Warren and Oakland, MI Symphonies.  His musical theater experience includes Riverdance! On Broadway, Carousel, The Fantastiks, Gypsy, South Pacific, and Jesus Christ Superstar to mention a few.  We welcome Professor Cooper of Bowling Green State University back for his second Van Wert Messiah performance. 

Paul Hoverman, Senior Choir Director at First United Methodist Church in Van Wert will be the conductor.  Gloria Wendel and Annette Hoverman have been rehearsal accompanists.  Jake Wilder of Van Wert has assisted in sectional chorus rehearsals.  The 7:00 p.m. performance is open to the public with doors opening at 6:00 p.m.  A free-will offering will be received.





December 4-5, 2014
Parkway Independent - Celebrating 10 years of bringing news to the Parkway area communities.

Snapshot Cuisine Open on Saturday, December 6, 2014

Snapshot Cuisine opens for a new dining experience on Saturday, December 6, 2014. Come to 209 South Main Street in Celina and try this menu:
Green Lentil & Andouille; New England Clam Chowder; Smoked Salmon Tartar with Quail Egg Gribiche: Lamb T-bone with Bordelaise, Harissa & Raita; Shrimp Scampi with Beurre-Blanc & Arugula on Baguette; Quail with Cream Corn, BBQ Sauce & Corn Salsa; and Creme Brulee for dessert. Reservations recommended but not required from 5 pm to Midnight. 419-953-5232.


Snow Plow Rodeo

Mercer County Engineer employees participated in the County Engineer’s Association of Ohio Annual Snow Plow Rodeo on November 25, 2014 held at the Allen County Fairgrounds, Lima.  Every year Mercer County Engineer snow and ice control crews participate with their counterparts from Allen and Auglaize counties in competitions testing their skills against others in their profession.  The activity allows the crews to network with others in the region about snow and ice control and other county engineer work efforts.  Every year one of the three counties involved take turns hosting the event.


This year the Mercer County team (Darren Porter, Tony Knapke, TJ Smalley, & Derrick Harter) came in first.


“Part of the day involves competition and displaying individual skills in snow and ice control, as well as other equipment operation,” Mercer County Engineer Jim Wiechart says.  “Another part of the day involves a training and safety program.  I think the most important part of the day for the guys is the ability to communicate and share what is working and what is not working in their operations with others in the region.”


            Wiechart offers the following guidelines for motorists to follow as they travel this winter season:

            If you have to travel during hazardous conditions, use common sense and adjust your speed to surrounding road conditions and slow down.

            When following a snowplow, be vigilant and stay back far enough so you can be seen in the snowplow driver’s mirrors.  All snowplows have starting and stopping points on their routes and at times unexpected backing by the truck may be necessary.

            Many of the township and county road pavements are one-lane or narrower.  Never attempt to pass from behind in these circumstances.

            When approaching a snowplow coming toward you on a typical two-lane road, give some room to those large trucks and pull over as far as you safely can.  The tip of the blade usually is at or around the centerline of the pavement.

            Be vigilant at intersections and provide plenty of room.  Plows may have to clear the edges of the radius of the intersection of snow and ice, which require many forward and reverse operations at the intersection area.

If clearing driveway, do no push snow to wrong side of mailbox (the low side).

            Keep track of the road conditions and advisories issued by the local media.



December 2-3, 2014


Parkway Team Photos Below are Compliments of Nikki Fox Photography.
Thank you for sharing Nikki!


Click Here for Parkway Varsity and Junior Varsity Boys Basketball Team Pictures

Click Here for Parkway Varsity and Junior Varsity Girls Basketball Team Pictures

Click Here for Parkway Varsity Boys and Girls Bowling Team Pictures

Click Here for Parkway Varsity and Junior Varsity Cheerleaders Pictures

Click Here for Parkway Varsity Wrestling Team Picture

Click Here for Parkway Junior High Boys and Girls Basketball Teams Pictures, 
Wrestling Team Picture and Cheerleaders

Printable Parkway Sports Schedule for the Week of December 1, 2014






Mailbox Repair

Mercer County Engineer Jim Wiechart is announcing the policy covering replacement and repair of mailboxes damaged by county crews plowing snow.

Mailboxes and posts damaged by snow and ice thrown from plow blades will not be repaired by the Engineer’s office.  Boxes and posts damaged by contact from a plow blade or truck will be replaced by the Engineer’s office, using light-weight standard steel mailboxes and 4-by-4-inch wooden posts.


Parkway Local Board of Education Special Meeting

The Parkway Local Board of Education will hold a special meeting on Wednesday, December 3, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. in the high school conference room.  The board will go into executive session for the purpose of interviewing potential board candidates.  No business will be conducted.

The Parkway Local Board of Education will hold a special meeting on Tuesday, December 16, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. in the community room.  The purpose of the meeting will be to appoint a new board member.  The regular December board meeting will start immediately after the special meeting.


December 1, 2014


Mercer County Engineer Facility Open House Set
Mercer County Engineer, Jim Wiechart announced today that an open house has been scheduled for 9:00 am – 2:00 pm on Saturday, December 6, 2014 at the Mercer County Engineer Facility, 4884 Mud Pike, Celina, Ohio 45822.

This event is an opportunity for the general public to walk through and view the facility improvements which were recently constructed, as well as to see engineer staff and the equipment they use in their mission to maintain and improve Mercer County’s roads and bridges. Parking will be on the east side of the facility in the stone area, to be accessed from the eastern most drive, near the fueling system.


Chamber Meeting Date Changed
The December Rockford Chamber meeting has been rescheduled 
from December 1st  back to our original day and time.

Therefore - 

The Rockford Chamber will be meeting on on December 11th at 8 am
at the Rockford Village Hall.



Remember the Rockford Eagles Fish Fry and Chicken Strips Dinners
on Friday, December 5, 2014 from 5-7 PM.
Members and Guests only. Good Food! See ad above for details.






Mercer Health’s Doctor’s Urgent Care to change hours


Mercer Health offers Doctor’s Urgent Care and x-ray services located at the Community Medical Center, south of Celina on 127.  Starting January 5th, 2015, Doctor’s Urgent Care will be open on Monday through Friday from 6 p.m. until11:30 p.m. and Weekends and Holidays from 1:30 to 9:30 p.m.  Mercer Health also offers a state-of-the-art, 24—hour emergency room with advanced x-ray and medical imaging services in Coldwater.  For more information, visit


Genealogical Society will meet
The Mercer County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society will meet Sunday, December 7 at 2:00 pm.  This is the annual Christmas gathering.  The speakers will be Sue Miller and Annie Miller sharing a collection of Vintage Toys most from the 1930’s. Those attending are invited to bring one of their own childhood toys for a show and tell portion of the program.  The Chapter will also install the officers for upcoming year. The meeting is held at the Richardson Bretz Building behind the library in Celina.  The public is always welcome. This is a good time to meet and get to know others interested and active in researching family history.




By  Joyce L. Alig, President, Mercer County Historical Society

Photo caption:  The Immaculate Conception High School was dedicated on Thanksgiving Day, 1933 at the corner of Anthony and Wayne Streets, Celina, during the Great Depression.

On Thanksgiving Day, 1933, the Immaculate Conception Parish dedicated a new high school building, at Anthony and Wayne Streets, Celina.  This history is found in the 1978 “Mercer County History” book. 

The Immaculate Conception Parish was organized in 1864; they are celebrating their 150th Anniversary this year.  Their first Parish Church was dedicated December 8, 1865, at the end of the historic year of the Civil War.  In 1900 work began on the present Church and was completed three years later in 1903.  The Class of 1972 was the last class to be graduated from the I.C. High School, as the cost of maintaining a High School was prohibitive.  However, the I.C. Elementary School continues to serve its Parish. 

The history states that the High School building cost $72,000.00, which must have been a fortune during the Great Depression of the 1930’s.  That must have been a grand achievement for I.C. Parish to fund a new building for the I.C. High School, during the 1930’s.  What else was happening in the 1930’s?

Black Tuesday, October 29, 1929, was the date of the Crash of the Stock Market which set off the Great Depression.  The 1930’s Depression was felt across the country, as well as here in Mercer County, from all of the stories I have heard, when I was growing up.

On March 3, 1931, President Herbert Hoover signed a bill making “The Star Spangled Banner,” the National Anthem.  Whenever that Anthem is played, everyone stops in respect for our Flag and for which it stands.  Later that year, on December 24, the first Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree was decorated.

On June 17, 1932, nearly 10,000 desperate World War I Veterans, who had not yet received their War Bonus over a dozen years after that War was over, marched on the Capitol at Washington D.C. when the U.S. Senate was voting on the Bill, which had already been passed by the House.  At that time, the War Bonus was $1.25 per day for overseas service and $1.00 for stateside service.  But, on June 27, 1932 the Senate vote defeated the bill, 62 to 18.  The Veterans’ War Bonus was not paid until 1945!   How many Mercer County World War I Veterans had to wait for their War Bonus until 1945?

Another event was planned, which was supposed to “brighten the gloom of the Depression,” at Chicago to mark its 100th Birthday, with the opening of the World’s Fair on May 17, 1933.   The Fair Planners looked to the stars, for light.  The star Arcturas, one of the closest stars, was 40 light years away.  (One light year equals about 6,000,000,000,000 miles, the distance light travels in a year.) The world’s largest refracting telescope at Yerkes Observatory in Wisconsin, caught the ray of Arcturas starlight and focused it on a photoelectric cell which transformed its energy into the current needed to throw the switch at the Fairgrounds.  As the crowd watched, a white beam shot out from a search light atop the Hall of Science.  As the light touched one Exposition building after another, the crowd was thrown into a brilliant light.

Who remembers the 1933 dedication of the I.C. High School building?  Who remembers the Great Depression here in Mercer County?  Did anyone in Mercer County attend the World’s Fair at Chicago in 1933?  Please send your stories so they can be preserved at the Mercer County Historical Museum.



November 26-30, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Christmas in the Park
Shanes Park - Rockford, OH ~ November 30th, @ 7 pm


Get in the holiday spirit as the Village of Rockford celebrates
Christmas in the Park on November 30th, 2014 at 7 pm at
Shanes Park.

This inaugural event will include the lighting of twelve different
Christmas displays, with musical accompaniment from our
community members.

Cookies and hot coca will be served.

* Parking located at the Rockford Community Building.

Sponsored by the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.

Click Here for Van Wert County Common Pleas Court Cases Heard for November 2014


Community Building in Rockford Releases Newest Events - Click Here

Find out More About Renting the Community Building at Shanes Park  


16th Annual Mendon Festival of Trees & Christmas Walk – come to Mendon, Ohio


Friday December 5th         6-9 PM

Saturday December 6th    1-5:30 PM

(Times for some events vary)


There will be over 85 Christmas Trees with a variety of themes on display at the Historic Town Hall in Mendon. Enjoy all of this with just a $1.00 donation and children under 12 attend free. Refreshments included in cost of admission.


Angel & Nativity Displays will be at Mendon First Church of God - Friday & Saturday


Live "Animals of the Nativity" at Bethlehem Stable - Fri. 6-9, Sat. 1-4 (Located at Old Firehouse on Main St.)






Free Horse Drawn Carriage Rides (1:30-5:30) 

Visits Santa Claus (1:30-4:30) at his house on Main Street

Family Activities - Mendon United Methodist Church




Hot Head Burritos Joins Celina Mercer County Chamber

Owners of Hot Head Burritos, Jim and Beth Miller have joined the Celina
County Chamber of Commerce.   A ribbon cutting was held after a soft opening
to the
community.   A fresh alternative to fast food, Hot Head Burritos is located
at 1945 Havemann Road in Celina.  


Mile-X Equipment Inc. has joined Celina Mercer Chamber
Mile-X Equipment, Inc. has joined the Celina Mercer County Chamber of
Commerce.  Mostly an internet based company,
Mile-X Equipment is a shop and garage equipment provider.  Visit for more details.


Neal's Hardin Street Automotive has joined Celina Mercer Chamber
Hardin Street Automotive has been purchased by Neal Marchal.   The business
has been renamed to Neal's Hardin Street Automotive.
They are located at 300 Hardin Street in Coldwater.  Phone # 419 678-0163.


Business Journal Joins Celina Mercer County Chamber

The Business Journal of West Central Ohio is the leading source of local
business news and information for the thirteen-county region.
Visit for more details.



Atelier Salon is the newest member business of the Celina Mercer County
Chamber of Commerce.
A full service salon, Atelier Salon is located at 224 South Main Street in
Celina.  Visit for more business details


Dancing with the Big Stars

Dancing with the Big Stars (DWTBS) has brought a countless number of people together on Saturday, November 15 to raise money and awareness for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mercer, Auglaize, and Van Wert Counties (BBBS). The first time ever event recruited “stars” including marketing managers, police officers, superintendents, and everyone in between to not only raise money on behalf of BBBS but perform on the dance floor at the Overdrive in front of more than five hundred community members.

“This is the first time our agency has done an event like this. It was a huge risk to put this much time and effort into something without knowing the outcome,” stated Abby Balster, Executive Director of BBBS. “We are so glad we did. The community was very supportive of our dancers and their fundraising efforts.”

Before the event even started the dancers had already raised over $5,000. Balster says that the amount of funds that came in throughout the day was astounding. Over $7,000 was collected in just a few hours.

“The goal of Big Brothers Big Sisters was to raise $10,000 for youth mentoring, and we surpassed that by another $10,000. So in total we raised over $20,000 for kids in Mercer, Auglaize, & Van Wert counties,” expressed Balster.

Jeff Knapke (star) and Janessa Schwieterman (professional) were busy fundraising and asking family and friends to support their efforts. All their hard work paid off in the end, as they went home with the Big Star Award, for raising the most money for BBBS. They were able to raise over $3,500 as a couple.

The judges, Jane Diller, Lucy Staugler, and Eric Wellman, also had their work cut out for them that evening as well. All the dancers brought their “A” game.  It was such a tough decision that the Judges’ Choice Award ended in a tie. Shelly Vaughn (star) and Ron Rindler (professional) and Pete Lisi (star) and Ashley Etzkorn (professional) both had the exact same score from the judges. Both couples received the Judges’ Choice Award for their tremendous performance.

“We cannot express our thanks enough to all of those who donated or helped to make this event a huge success,” said Balster. “We are so glad there are businesses like F1 Sound, Romer’s Catering, Anew You, Visions, G D Garman Photography, and Mr. Shoppe that helped to make this event happen. “

If you would like to “see” or remember this event, you are able to order a DVD for $10. Call 419-394-2990 or send a check with your name and phone number by November 30 to place your order.

The ultimate goal of this fundraiser was to help youth in the community. BBBS will be using the money to match the 35 children on their waiting list with a Big and to support all five of their youth mentoring programs. For more information about becoming a Big or enrolling a child contact BBBS at 419-394-2990 or by e-mail at



November 24-25, 2014



Chatt Valley Churches will be holding a Thanksgiving Eve Service , Wed. at 7:00pm. The service will be held a Zion Lutheran Church, St Rt 49 Chattenooga, OH.  Pastor Catherine Costello from UCC will give the Thanksgiving message, refreshments will follow the service.

Everyone is welcome.



Into the Woods Presented at Parkway High School Auditorium by Middle School Students.
It was their first ever production.
Friday and Saturday, November 21, and 22, 2014 7 PM - Congratulations


See more terrific pictures below by Photographer Nikki Fox. Click on smaller thumbnails to enlarge them.







The Wren Christmas Society would like to thank everyone who purchased chicken dinner tickets, those who donated money, and Gibson's Barnyard BBQ for preparing the chicken dinners.  The money raised will help pay for the electricity for the Christmas lights this holiday seaon. 

The WCS spends over $900 a year for electricity, $1000 for replacement bulbs, strand lights, and miscellaneous electrical, $500-$1000 a year for new display items, $450 for wagon rides, cards and candy for the children.  Your support and generous donations help make what we do possible.  

In other WCS news, the Christmas decorations were put up in Wren on Saturday, November 15th and the official lighting ceremony will be held this Saturday, Nov. 29th at dark (approximately 6:00 pm).  

Santa and Mrs. Claus will be in Wren at the Santa House at the corner of St. Rt. 49 and Jackson Street on Saturday, December 13th and Friday and Saturday, December 19th and 20th from 6 to 8 pm.  Carriage rides, hot chocolate and cookies will be available during Santa hours.

The Society will also be sponsoring an Outside Home Display Contest again this year within a 3 mile radius of Wren.  Please contact Karen at 419-495-2623 with any questions.



District 3 Honors Participants Chosen 
After a competitive audition process on November 15th, the following Parkway High School band and choir members were chosen to participate in the following OMEA District 3 honors groups: 

Choir: Nathan Boroff-Tenor 

Band: Emily Strunk-Clarinet 
          Paige Hamrick-Alto Saxophone 
          Grace Linn-Percussion 

Jazz Band: Grace Linn-Piano 

District 3 is one of seventeen music districts in the state of Ohio and is comprised of the following counties: Allen, Auglaize, Hancock, Hardin, Mercer, Paulding, Putnam and Van Wert. All students selected for these honors groups will be in concert on Sunday January 11th at 3:00 in the Niswonger Performing Arts Center in Van Wert. 


Congratulations to all of these students!! 

Plan Now to Hear the Alumni Pep Band and Alumni Choir on December 20

The 2014 alumni pep band and alumni choir will be performing on Saturday December 20th during the Parkway vs. South Adams basketball game. The alumni pep band will rehearse from 4-5:30, with a carry-in immediately following. The alumni choir is invited to participate in the carry-in and will rehearse immediately following the carry-in. All former Parkway, Mendon, Rockford and Willshire band and choir members are invited to participate in alumni music night. 

If you have any questions about the alumni pep band, you may e mail Paula Linn at If you have any questions about the alumni choir, you may contact Shannon Wagner at 419-363-3045 ext. 133 or e mail her at


The Nutcracker Ballet
The Christmas season begins in Northwest Ohio with great fanfare! The Nutcracker Ballet comes to the Niswonger on Saturday, December 6 with two showtimes. The 2:00 PM and 7:30 PM showtimes will accommodate families traveling in from around the region to usher in the holiday in a classically entertaining way.

Family Seating Available Now.


Vendor/Craft Show Benefit for Ned Pryer
Date: Dec. 7, 2014
Time: 1pm - 5pm
Location: Celina Eagles #1291
Ned Pryer has been in Cleveland Hospital for 8+ weeks and looking at least another 6-8 weeks of being there.  He has had many heart issues and they are working on his health to try to resolve the issues.  Due to being in the hospital they have acquired many bills that we are working on trying to help them with.  All proceeds from raffle, bake sale, and table rent will go to Ned Pryer.
40+ tables/vendors/crafters to be set up to visit their tables to look at product, cash and carry, etc.  Do your Christmas Shopping while helping with a great cause!
Raffle and Bake Sale to be held during entire event.



Free Pizza and The Grinch Coming December 6








You are invited to attend a FREE Pizza & “GRINCH” Movie Night on Saturday, December 6th at 5:00pm!  Come join the food and fun at Mt Tabor Church of God.  There will be pizza, chips, cookies and beverages to enjoy while we watch “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”  This will be a great event for your friends and family!

Mt Tabor’s FREE Pizza & “GRINCH” Movie Night will begin a series of Christmas messages beginning December 7th.  This series will tie biblical principles to scenes from the movie, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” Sunday Worship starts at 10:00am!

Mt Tabor COG is on the corner of 127 and Tama Road.  See you at 5:00pm on Saturday!

For more information check out:



Parkway Local School Board Meeting Change

The Parkway Local Board of Education regular meeting for December will be held on Tuesday, December 16 at 6:30 p.m. in Community Room of Parkway Local Schools.



November 22-23, 2014


Arrangements for Herbert Brandt Funeral


Rockford Area Development Corporation to Meet
RADC meeting reminder for Monday, November 24th, at 7:30 pm in the Rockford Library basement. We will be discussing candy cane distribution at the 4 way stop. The chamber also has some great "Welcome to Rockford" pamphlets to be distributed with the candy canes. 




November 21, 2014


Prayers are Needed - Click Here



The Rockford  United Methodist Church Women at   202 SOUTH FRANKLIN ST. ROCKFORD,  OH 45882
are busy planning their  Fall Dinner and Auction for Saturday,  November 22, 2014

They will be Serving  Dinners from  4:30-6:30 and tickets are now on sale!

Carry  Out or Dine in of these choice delicious meals:

Pork  Chop Dinner—$8 comes with baked potato, applesauce, roll,  cookie, and beverage


Chicken  Dinner--$7 comes potato  chips, applesauce, roll,  cookies, and beverage

(Auction  will begin at  6:30)

Tickets  are available until November 13th at the following Rockford
Businesses: Henkle  Insurance, His  ‘n Hers,  Rockford  UM Church office
(419-363-3230) or contact any Rockford UM Woman

All proceeds donated to Missions.



Rockford United Methodist Church Begins Five: 02 Activities

The FIVE:02 Ministry of Rockford United Methodist Church has begun now through December each Wednesday. A FREE Community Dinner is served at 5:02 – 7 PM on Wednesdays. Bible Study follows 5:42-7:00.
Kids Club is daily after school with transportation provided for Pre-K through 5th graders. Class and Life Group Sessions are listed above in the ad banner or by calling the church.

RUMC congregation invites the public to join them for their fall activities.



November 20, 2014


Parkway School Board Seeks Replacement

The Parkway Local Schools Board of Education is filling a vacancy created by the resignation of one of its members.  The position will be for approximately thirteen months and the term will end on December 31, 2015.  Qualified candidates should submit a statement of interest, listing qualifications, to Gregory Puthoff, Superintendent, Parkway Local Schools, Rockford, OH  45882.  The school board may interview selected candidates prior to the appointment of the new board member at the December 16 regular board meeting.  The deadline for the written statement of interest is noon on Monday, December 1.  Questions concerning the vacancy can be directed to Gregory Puthoff, Superintendent or Kim Brandt, Board President.


Parkway Committee Members Decide on Challenged Book
Tuesday, 11-18-2014 School Board Members Hear More Discussion

A special committee was recently formed by the Parkway School Board meeting to read and decide on a challenged book. The book had been a reading assignment for the entire freshmen class, and came under fire by Jeff Armstrong, a parent of a freshman in the class. The book, The Freedom Writer’s Diary written by Erin Gruwell and her high school students in California, was assigned by Ms. Jessica Rolfes, a new teacher to the Parkway School system. She teaches the freshman English classes and had previously taught the book at a high school in South Carolina. Ms. Rolfes sent a letter home to parents of the Parkway freshmen explaining the controversial issues with the book as well as her goal of teaching literary devices through the text. There was much discussion at the board meeting in October. After the school policy on book challenges was reviewed, Jeff Armstrong was notified that a formal complaint was needed so that a special committee could be convened. He filed that complaint with high school principal Brian Fortkamp. The special committee then read and made their recommendations to the school board a few weeks ago. The committee decided the book was not appropriate for freshmen, and it was pulled from Ms. Rolfes' reading selection for her classroom. She chose another book to replace it Lord of the Flies. At the school board meeting on November 18, 2014, board members heard from community members supporting the Armstrong family. Apparently, even though the decision to shelve the book for freshmen is final and supported by the board, the topic is unfortunately not over at Parkway High School. The Parkway School Board members listened to complaints about a blog and will gather more information before further discussion.


Mercer County Engineer Facility Open House Set
Mercer County Engineer, Jim Wiechart announced today that an open house has been scheduled for 9:00 am – 2:00 pm on Saturday, December 6, 2014 at the Mercer County Engineer Facility, 4884 Mud Pike, Celina, Ohio 45822.

This event is an opportunity for the general public to walk through and view the facility improvements which were recently constructed, as well as to see engineer staff and the equipment they use in their mission to maintain and improve Mercer County’s roads and bridges. Parking will be on the east side of the facility in the stone area, to be accessed from the eastern most drive, near the fueling system.



November 19, 2014


Parkway Schools are on a two hour delay for Wednesday, November 19, 2014.
Sheriff continues to caution drivers about road conditions.


Thank you to Chatt Insurance Center ~ for being our weather sponsor.



Family Health Care of Northwest Ohio Launches Shoe Collection Drive
Shoe donations will also support micro-enterprises in developing nations and reduce what goes into landfills.

Family Health Care, a non-profit company based in Van Wert, Ohio is conducting a shoe collection drive. 
Family Health Care will earn funds based on the number of pairs collected as Funds2Orgs will purchase all of the 
donated goods.  Those dollars will benefit the patients of Family Health Care. Anyone can help by donating gently 
worn, used or new shoes at Family Health Care, 1052 S. Washington Street in Van Wert.

Several local SCHOOLS AND CHURCHES are participating in the collection. DONATIONS ARE BEING ACCEPTED AT 
THESE LOCATIONS- Van Wert Elementary, Lincolnview, and Calvary Evangelical Church, Van Wert, Ohio; Crestview 
Local Schools, Convoy, Ohio; Parkway Local Schools, Rockford United Methodist Church, New Horizons Community Church, Rockford, Ohio;  and Immaculate Conception School, Celina, Ohio. Each location has its own deadline in place  for collecting. The drive ends December 31. 

All donated shoes will then be redistributed throughout the Funds2Orgs network of microenterprise partners in developing nations.  Funds2Orgs helps impoverished people start, maintain and grow businesses in countries such as 
Haiti, Honduras and other nations in Central America and Africa. Proceeds from the shoe sales are used to feed, clothe and house their families. One budding entrepreneur in Haiti even earned enough to send to her son to law school.

“We are excited about our shoe drive," said Jenny Smith, Director. "We know that most people have extra shoes in their closets that they could donate to us and help those less fortunate become self-sufficient.  Family Health Care will 
use the earned funds to help cover the cost of our uninsured clients that pay a minimum fee for their office visits. It’s a win-win for everyone”.

By donating shoes to Family Health Care, the shoes will be given a second chance and make a difference in people’s lives. 

Local organizations interested in learning more about conducting a shoe drive of their own can visit

Celina Man Found Dead After ATV Accident
by Tom Wale, Chief of Police, Celina
Kevin A. Dennis, a 24 year old male from Celina was reported missing on Sunday, November 16, 2014 shortly before 2:00 PM. He was reported to being riding a small, yellow four wheeler (ATV). He left a Deford St. residence at around 11:00 PM Friday in an unknown direction of travel. He normally cuts through the Mercer Co. Fairgrounds along a drive around the back to get to a Morton St. residence where he has been staying. He did not arrive at his expected destination.
Kevin Dennis is described as a white male, 6’00” tall, 135 pounds with brown hair and hazel eyes. A male matching the description was possibly spotted at the Shell Station on S. Main St., Celina a short time before his reported departure from the residence.
Anyone with information as to Kevin’s whereabouts were urged to call the Celina Police Department Dispatch at 419-586-2345.
UPDATE: Kevin Dennis was found deceased with the wreckage of his ATV. He was found at the Celina City Compost Facility several blocks from his last confirmed location. It appears he was alone at the time of crash. The accident remains under investigation.

VWHS Theatre Fall Play Debuts this Weekend

Van Wert High School Theatre is making final preparations for their fall production “George Washington Slept Here” by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman. Join them on Friday, November 21st and Saturday, November 22nd at 7pm in the Niswonger Performing Arts Center Auditorium for an evening filled with laughter end enjoyment featuring the talented students of VWHS

Theatre. The fall play is being directed by Melissa Bloomfield and Danielle Slagle with Hugh Saunier, Matt Saunier, and Josh Schumm serving as technical directors. Students have been working hard on blocking, developing their characterizations, painting, publicizing, and rehearsing since September. The following students are a part of the cast and crew of the production: Sage Burden, Brittney Boaz, Tyler Nygren, Sarah Linser, Lexi Ayers, Lexi Lepper,

Cade Chiles, Maggie Cripe, Haley Richardson, Madison Buecker, Rachel Davis, James Defore, LeAndryce Miller, Nathan Ireland, Alea Hill, Noah Miller, Matt Saunier, Shianne Baldwin, Samantha Brooks, Shelbee Miller, Kaylin Bledsoe, Olivia Wingo, Morgan Lahmon, Valerie Barnhart, Madison Turnwald, Hannah Bartley, Erin Richardson, and Olivia Mengerink. Before our Saturday performance from 4:30-7pm in the High School Commons, dine at the Wing Ding Dinner supporting our local Salvation Army. This event sponsored by the VWHS

Senior Class costs $7 for an adult meal and $4 for a kids meal. Support our seniors and the Salvation Army before our fall play. VWHS Theatre is continuing to create, perform, and inspire the Van Wert community through the theatrical arts. Produced by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, New York, NY.



November 18, 2014


Parkway Schools are now closed for Tuesday, November 18, 2014.

Cancelled Practices for November 18, 2014:
Grades 2-6 Basketball
All Junior High Scrimmages and Practices
All High School Basketball Scrimmages and Practices
All Wrestling Scrimmages and Practices
Junior High Drama Practice

Lunch Menu changes due to cancellations:
Wednesday, November 19 will be Chili, Toasted Cheese meal
Friday, November 21 will be Ham, French Toast Meal

Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey reports at 5:15 AM: Use caution while driving as roads are becoming snow covered and slick with black ice. Possible white out conditions in spots.

Parkway Schools are on a two hour delay for Tuesday, November 18, 2014,
due to road conditions.

Field trips are cancelled for Tuesday, November 18, 2014.

Thank you to Chatt Insurance Center ~ for being our weather sponsor.

Rockford Carnegie Library Renewal Levy Passes
The 5 year 1-mill renewal tax levy passed handily 738-234 in last week's election. It will continue to generate  $70,000 annually. In 2010, the State of Ohio cut the budgets of libraries across Ohio. Rockford Carnegie Library went for the levy then which passed. The library is provides much needed services to the community including computers, Internet access, books and community programs. Thank you!

Dublin Township Renewal Levy Passes
The 5 year 0.5-mill property tax levy was renewed handily 490-130 in last week's election. It will continue to generate a little over $10,000 annually. Services provided include ambulance service, road repairs, utilities, trustee's salaries and other services. Thank you!


Baby Welcomed in Canales Family - Click Here for Details


November 17, 2014

Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey reports at 9:15 PM: Use caution while driving as roads are becoming snow covered and slick with black ice. Possible white out conditions in spots.

Parkway Schools are on a two hour delay for Monday, November 17, 2014,
due to snow. Approximately 4 inches fell overnight.

Thank you to Chatt Insurance Center ~ for being our weather sponsor.

Pep Band Practice is cancelled for the evening.


Couple from Rockford Serve the Lord in Detroit Michigan

Chad Shellabarger and his wife Doris recently celebrated their first year in Mission work, following the call from Lord Jesus to move to Detroit, Michigan to serve the under-privileged of the inner city.

The young couple from Rockford (who belong to Mt. Tabor church of God), work within the organization called YouthWorks which focuses the majority of its time and efforts on equipping Detroit youth for the fullness  of life (John 10:10).  Chad and Doris work within the school year calendar of Detroit Public School system.  They pull together a unique group of volunteers called gapers in order to fully staff the different programs. Gappers take a year to “stand in the  gap” (Ezekiel 22:30).  Shown here is the group of Gappers who helped the Shellabargers move into their third story apartment  last August 2013. 



Top L to bottom R:  Evan (Gapper from Ann Arbor), Camille (part-time staff from Ann Arbor), Ryan (Gapper from Belfast, Northern Ireland), Emily (staff from Sterling Heights, MI), Matt (Gapper from Minnesota) Chad, and Anna (staff from Minnesota)  Photographer: Josh (Executive Director)


The  P.R.A.I.S.E. youth group is a weekly program. Chad explains, “It is structured similarly to a church youth group, but with some natural differences based on the needs of urban youth.  We focus chiefly on intentionally building deep relationships and living out our faith by example.  With a good balance of fun events and teaching, we witnessed a very fruitful year with the amazing group of young people we are privileged to serve.  By opening our lives and our homes to the youth, God creates a spirit-filled environment that leads to growth in our focus areas: Prayer, Relationships, Academics, Integrity, Service, and Evangelization (together, we P.R.A.I.S.E.).” 



Chad and Doris also ran the Bezalel Project.  Named after an Israelite that God gifted with artistic and creative skills (Exodus 31), Bezalel is an after-school program for elementary and middle school youth that engages in the arts and other creative outlets.  The couple is working with some of the talented youth there to create their own entrepreneurial projects. Shown below, the Bezalel group took a trip to downtown Detroit for some ice skating last winter.


YouthWorks-Detroit also runs an Urban Encounter program.  On these short-term mission trips, groups of high schoolers, collegiates, and adults have the opportunity to serve the elderly, youth, homeless, and homebound in the city.  Serving in this way is not only an opportunity for them to bring Christ to those in need but also an opportunity for Christ to open the eyes and change the hearts of those who “come and see.” (John 1:39-46), said Chad.  He also explained that through a complete urban mission experience, missionaries serving in Detroit are encouraged to re-examine their views of culture, tradition, race, economic class, and other issues involved in urban life.  After experiencing Detroit as a mission field, “Urban Encounterers” are encouraged to hear God's call for them as individuals for a life of Christian mission.  Chad and Doris attended their  first Urban Encounter in 2010 while students at Huntington University in Indiana. They feel it changed their lives, and God led them to his service.


During the recent summer, Chad and Doris planned and completed Detroit Summer Outreach.  For two  months college age men and women (approx. 18-23) live and serve in Detroit, while receiving Christian information to prepare them for a life of mission. Chad feels these Interns, who  give two months of their summer over to deep discipleship, learn the true meaning of fullness of what God has for them and learning to live a life poured out on mission for Christ by  sacrificing luxuries, and receiving training in youth work and urban issues.  After a couple weeks of training, the summer Outreach participants dove into the  summer ministry programs: Bezalel Project, Mercy Team, and the StreetTeam Leadership and Job Training program.

Shown below: a glimpse of the StreetTeam men’s backpacking weekend in Manistee National Forest.


Chad and Doris are into their 2nd year in Detroit, and if you would like to support YouthWorks-Detroit,  please Visit to make a donation!


Chad is the son of Randy and Colleen (Sites) Shellabarger of Rockford. Chad is a 2009 Parkway graduate. Doris grew up in Germany in the Black Forest Region. They attended Huntington University together, both graduating in 2013. They have been married 1-1/2 years.



Retirement, Promotion and Appointment announced at Mercer Health


John Hoying has announced his retirement as the MED Foundation Director at Mercer Health.  Hoying has served in his role for over six years.  Mindy Kremer, current Marketing Coordinator at Mercer Health, will be promoted to Director of MED Foundation, Marketing and Communications.  Kremer has been with the organization since 2011 and has ten years’ experience in healthcare marketing and communications.  Kremer lives in Coldwater with her husband Scott and their three sons.  In addition, Deb Hemmelgarn has been appointed Community Relations Coordinator for the Mercer Health organization.  Hemmelgarn is the former Executive Director at the American Red Cross of Mercer County and has former experience in managing successful fundraising events.  Hemmelgarn lives in St. Henry with her husband Bill and their four children.



November 15-16, 2014


Midwest’s Hottest Blair Carman and the Belleview Boys in Concert  
on November 15
Blair Carman and The Belleview Boys, an amazing Rock ‘n’ Roll act out of Cincinnati, OH will be featured at The Rockford Belle on Saturday, November 15 at 7 PM. Doors open at 6:00 PM. A high energy show sure to take listeners down memory lane- Blair and his band will perform authentic 1950’s style Rock’n Roll/Rockabilly tunes ranging from a repertoire of original songs to include classics from Elvis Presley to Carl Perkins, Hank Williams, Jerry Lee Lewis, and many more! The public is invited to attend this performance located at 135 Market Street, Rockford, OH and experience one of the Country’s Hottest Acts. A free-will offering will be accepted. 

Put together the 1957 hands of Jerry Lee Lewis and the 1957 look and energy of Elvis Presley and what do you get? A piano pumpin', thumpin rockabilly kid named Blair Carman who no matter where he goes always receives rave reviews and leaves fans enthralled and wanting more.


Piano player and singer, Blair Carman, has exhibited his passionate musical drive across the USA and Canada. His talent and professionalism has given him the opportunity to perform in a wide variety of venues by opening for artists such as Three Dog Night, Trace Adkins, Marty Stuart, Jeff Bates and Hank Williams Jr.’s Bama Band. Blair has also shared the same bill with legendary performers Jerry Lee Lewis, Charlie Daniels, and Wanda Jackson.

His music has been enjoyed by audiences at ballrooms, casinos, theaters, riverboats, and festivals. A sampling of venues performed include the John F. Kennedy Center and the Spanish Ballroom (Washington D.C), Clarendon Ballroom (Arlington, VA), U. K. Grand Center Ballroom (Lexington, Kentucky), Orpheum Theater (Galesburg, Illinois),  Beale on Broadway (St. Louis, Missouri), Little Nashville Opry  (Nashville, Indiana),  International Rockabilly Hall of Fame (Jackson, Tennessee), Oneido Casino (Greenbay, Wisconsin).American Queen Riverboat (Vicksburg, Mississippi), Lakeside Hotel Casino (Osceola, Iowa), Mystic Lake Casino Hotel (Prior Lake, Minnesota), and Bobby Mackey’s (Wilder, Kentucky). 

Blair has been on several local radio and TV shows and recorded twice at Sun Records Studio in Memphis, Tennessee.  

Blair Carman’s outstanding talent has been recognized by Jerry Lee Lewis. He accepted an invitation to attend and play piano at Jerry Lee Lewis’s 75th Birthday Party, and later was in included in a book written about the artist; at the end of the book, Blair Carman is thanked for continuing the legacy of Jerry Lee Lewis's Rockabilly Music. 

A must-attend event at The Belle on November 15 for [what will become] a rare and intimate appearance to see the band described as the “Midwest’s Hottest Piano Pumpin’ Rockabilly Band.” Visit the band's website at for music, videos, photos, and more! For more information about this event contact Tom Rogers at 567-644-9993.        



Christmas in the Park
Shanes Park - Rockford, OH ~ November 30th, @ 7 pm


Get in the holiday spirit as the Village of Rockford celebrates
Christmas in the Park on November 30th, 2014 at 7 pm at
Shanes Park.

This inaugural event will include the lighting of twelve different
Christmas displays, with musical accompaniment from our
community members.

Cookies and hot coca will be served.

* Parking located at the Rockford Community Building.

Sponsored by the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.



Calvary Evangelical Church Updates


November 14, 2014


Parkway FFA Attends Hockey Game

On Friday November 7th, 15 Parkway FFA Students headed to Columbus, Ohio to see an Ohio State hockey game and to learn about Ohio States collage of food and agriculture. Before the game, students went to a presentation put on by Ohio State to inform them of all the opportunities that the collage had to offer. Even though Ohio State lost, the students still enjoyed themselves. Students all agreed that it was an educational opportunity and a lot of fun to watch Ohio State play hockey. 



Parkway FFA Competes in Job Interview CDE 

On Tuesday November 11th, 4 Parkway FFA memebrs traveled to Kalida, Ohio to participate in the Sub-Districts Job Interview CDE. Members who competed were Kayla Wall – senior, Taylor Hesse – junior, Maggie Houts – sophomore, and Laura Barrett – freshman. Each participant was to come prepared with a cover letter, their resume, and references. Once the girls arrived they were asked to complete a job application then they went to an interview. After the interview they had to write a follow up letter. Taylor Hesse and Maggie Houts placed 1st. Kayla Walls 3rd, and Laura Barrett 4th. Good job to all of these girls. Taylor and Maggie will move on to districts on Thursday November 20th, good luck Taylor and Maggie!



November 13, 2014


Sheriff’s Department Makes Another Heroin-related Arrest November 12, 2014

Sheriff Grey’s Department announced the  arrest of Andrew Hesse, age 33, Leona Street Celina. The information came from an informant and provided enough information for a search warrant at 245 Leona Street. At 3:32 PM officers from Celina Police Department and the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office executed the warrant with  the help of a K9 from Celina Police Department. Evidence ollected was over 20 capsules containing what is believed to be heroin, cash, and a spoon and syringe. In the house they found Hesse, his girlfriend and her 17 year old daughter (a juvenile), which could enhance the charge. The prosecutor’s office is reviewing this.

Bond was set by Celina Municipal Court Judge James Scheer at $100,000 subject to 10%, meaning he could be released on $10,000.

Sheriff Grey is pleased to announce that the heroin door hangers that were announced last month have resulted in 24 tips so far.  They have been distributed in Mobile Home parks on SR 703, East of Celina, in Mobile home parks on the south side of the lake, in Mendon, and in Coldwater.  The Celina Police Department is partnering with the Sheriff’s Department to distribute the door hangers in Celina very soon. The Mercer County Sheriff’s Office Heroin Unit and the Celina Police Department heroin investigators have joined forces and created a “HIT” team or Heroin Interdiction Team.

Computers have been placed in Celina PD and Mercer County SO that are linked to share drug information  Deputies and Celina Officers will be working side by side both in Celina’s jurisdiction and the Sheriff’s jurisdiction to battle not only the heroin problem, but the drug abuse issue in general. They are working closely with Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s Office to set up a community group to assist the group as Sheriff Grey puts it, “ We know we can’t arrest our way out of the problem.”  The message from the Sheriff’s Office and Police Department is that drugs are high on our radar screen.

Said Sheriff Grey, “There is help available in the community for those who have addiction and need help, but they need to seek it before we arrest them.  We have phone numbers on the heroin hangers for where they can seek help. Those arrested will have help available but they will have to face the consequences of court action. The message is:  we are tired of it.  We have worked it hard in the last few years and we are stepping it up another notch. The Sheriff’s Office and Celina Police Department are proud to form one more partnership to keep our citizens safe!”




The Calvary Preschool’s annual Open House is set for Tuesday, December 2, from 6:00 –7:30 pm.  It is being planned for you to come and visit the

classrooms at your convenience.  The two activities in the fellowship hall on Tuesday evening will be a DVD of happenings of the preschool students from the beginning of school through Thanksgiving, as well as cookies, punch and coffee being served by the Calvary Evangelical Church Elders.  Parents, relatives and friends are welcome to attend.  The boys and girls have been busy making special decorations for this event. The staff wish all a very Merry  Christmas!  May Christ be the center of your celebration this year!

Teachers are:  Mrs. Issa Ickes, our three year old teacher;  Mrs. Julie Stewart is the four year old teacher;  Mrs. Vicki Chavarria  teaches older fours & five year olds and Mrs. Marilyn Agler is the administrator.  We still have openings for this school year for 3’s, 4’s & 5’s that turned 3, 4 or 5 by August 1st.  Call the church office @ 567-259-3103 and ask for Marilyn Agler.  The church is located at 10686 Van Wert-Decatur Road in Van Wert.  Calvary Preschool has a facebook page @ Calvary Preschool Van Wert.



Red Ribbon Week Celebrated Across the County

Picture Caption: Winners of the 4th grade Grocery Bag decorating contest at their Red Ribbon Week Skating Party at the Rollardome in St. Marys—L-R: Fort Recovery: Gentry Clark, Parkway: Macy Johnson, Celina: Andrew Hines, St. Henry: Nolan Fullenkamp, Coldwater: Karla Kunk, Marion: Maddie Goodwin. Not pictured Carter Hellwarth, IC School

The Mercer County schools took part in Red Ribbon Week from October 27-31st. All Mercer County schools (grades K-12) participated in Red Ribbon week in some way or another. Activities ranged from a dress-up spirit week, facts on the announcements, a health fair, wearing Red Ribbons, among other activities.

Foundations Behavioral Health Services teamed up with all 7 local elementary schools to have a Grocery Bag decorating contest for the 4th graders. The theme this year was “Love Yourself: Live Drug Free.” 5 finalists from each school were chosen, and a winner from each school were recognized on Thursday, October 31st at a skating party at the Woodland Rollerdome in St. Marys for the Mercer County 4th graders. The 7 winners were Gentry Clark (Fort Recovery), Macy Johnson (Parkway), Andrew Hines (Celina), Nolan Fullenkamp (St. Henry), Karla Kunk (Coldwater), Maddie Goodwin (Marion Local), and Carter Hellwarth (IC). Each winner was presented with a $25 Chamber of Commerce gift certificate donated by the Mercer County Elks. Grocery bags decorated by area 4th graders were returned back to the local grocery stores to hand out to their customers during and after Red Ribbon Week. Participating stores were Chief (Coldwater), Friendly’s Markets (Celina), Wayne IGA (Fort Recovery), Winner’s Meats (Osgood), and Gels IGA (St. Henry).

The other finalists included, from Celina: Alex Cluckey, Kaylee Eischen, Isaiah Sutton, and Dakota Young; from IC School: Kira Dirksen, Olivia Grieshop, Dane Herman, and Taylor Kingshirn; from Coldwater: Kendra Clune, Jenna Leugers, Courtney May, and Brooke Stammen; from Fort Recovery: Allysen Fullenkamp, Brookelyn Jutte, Amy Stammen, and Caitlin Weitzel; from Marion Local: Erin Bergman, Abby Buening, Allison Everman, and Owen Rindler; from Parkway: Abby Baltzell, Emiree Knittle, Ashton Stephenson, and Brooke Stephenson; from Saint Henry: Leah Heitkamp, Anna Lange, Emily Selhorst, and Audrey Wendel.

Special thanks goes out to the local school principals, guidance counselors, and art teachers and others who helped the students design their bags, as well as the Elks, the Rollardome, the local grocery stores (listed above), and all others who contributed to make Red Ribbon Week a success.

The red ribbon symbolizes a continuing commitment to reducing the demand for illicit drugs in our communities. In 1985, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent Enrique S. "Kiki" Camarena was killed by drug traffickers. Shortly after Camarena's death, citizens from his hometown of Calexico, California, began wearing red ribbons to remember him and commemorate his sacrifice. Congress established Red Ribbon Week in 1988.

Red Ribbon Week gives us the opportunity to be vocal and visible in our efforts to achieve a drug-free community. Research shows that children are less likely to use alcohol and other drugs when parents and other role models are clear and consistent in their opposition to substance use and abuse.

All Mercer County High School students who are interested in participating in youth-led prevention efforts are invited to the next S.T.O.P. (Students Teaching Others Prevention) Gathering on December 8 in the Coldwater High School CAV room from 7-8:30 pm. This group consists of youth who come together and learn about ways to stand strong in their belief not to use alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, as well as help prevent bullying and suicide. On March 7, 2015, the S.T.A.R. (Students Teaching About Resistance) Retreat will be held for Mercer County middle school students. You must be an active S.T.O.P. group member to be a leader at this awesome youth-led event!!! Other leadership and volunteer opportunities will also be made available through the S.T.O.P. Group.

For more information about prevention programs, please contact Laura Sanford, Prevention Coordinator at Foundations Behavioral Health Services at 419-584-1000 or




Rockford Recreation Association Will Use Pledge Funds towards Facility Improvements and Equipment Upgrades


ROCKFORD, OHIO (November 7, 2014) – In a few short weeks, fall sports seasons across the country will conclude, and for Rockford Recreation Association of Rockford, Ohio, this season will be one to remember.  Liberty Mutual Insurance recently announced that Rockford Recreation Association will receive $2,500 as part of its Play Positive Pledge™ program.  Over the course of the fall season, Rockford Recreation Association rallied its parents, coaches, and supporters to visit and confirm their commitment to promote good sportsmanship.  This effort enabled the group to earn one of 10 awards given to youth sports organizations around the country.

“We appreciate the opportunity to participate in the Play Positive program this season, and our organization will continue to promote the qualities of good sportsmanship and positive character in all of our recreational programs,” said Ryan Thompson of Rockford Recreation Association. “We are so thankful to receive this $2,500 from Liberty Mutual Insurance – it will allow us to make facility and equipment upgrades without the need to increase registration costs of our participants.” 

Liberty Mutual Insurance introduced the Play Positive Pledge to shine a light on the value of sportsmanship and instill a renewed spirit in positive play in youth sports.  A recent Liberty Mutual Play Positive survey of 2,000 coaches and parents identified a perceived decline in sportsmanship since their days as youth athletes.  Parents and coaches considered “teamwork” and “sportsmanship” the two most important lessons learned through youth sports; yet approximately 50 percent of parents and coaches believe that sportsmanship in youth athletics is worse today than when they participated as children, compared to only 12 percent who feel it has improved. 

“Liberty Mutual Insurance believes that the experiences and lessons learned at a young age serve as the foundation for the future,” said Anthony Storm, senior vice president and Chief Marketing Officer, Liberty Mutual Personal Insurance.  “We are proud to applaud Rockford Recreation Association, as well as the Rockford community for pledging their commitment to sportsmanship, integrity and an overall positive experience in youth sports.”

Liberty Mutual Insurance Play Positive, formerly Liberty Mutual Responsible Sports, has supported local youth sports since 2007 with resources, tips, and funding.  More than 250 youth sports teams, organizations and school athletic departments have received nearly $700,000 to help improve the youth sports experience.  This school year, Liberty Mutual will provide a total of thirty $2,500 Play Positive Pledge awards during the fall, winter and spring sports seasons to help improve their local youth sports experience. 

The winter Play Positive Pledge season will open November 15 and continue through January 15.  Teams and youth sports organizations can pledge their commitment to sportsmanship and rally the support of their communities by visiting

About Liberty Mutual Insurance Play Positive™

Liberty Mutual Play Positive™ is a community-based program providing resources, tools, tips and advice for volunteer youth sport coaches and sport parents.  Powered by Positive Coaching Alliance, the Play Positive™ program offers parents and coaches constructive tips, expert advice and practical examples to help create a positive sports environment for children.  Liberty Mutual also has provided more than $700,000 in grants to youth sports teams, organizations and schools for community participation in the online Play Positive curriculum.  Liberty Mutual is proud to support youth sports organizations, including ASA Softball, US Youth Soccer, USA Hockey, U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association, USA Softball, U.S. Speedskating, USA Volleyball, USA Water Polo, and USA Wrestling.  To access the Play Positive resources, visit

About Liberty Mutual Insurance

Liberty Mutual Insurance helps preserve and protect the things people earn and own and build and cherish.  Keeping this promise means we are there when our policyholders throughout the world need us most. 

In business since 1912, and headquartered in Boston, Mass., today Liberty Mutual is a diversified insurer with operations in 30 countries around the world.  The company is the third largest property and casualty insurer in the U.S. based on 2013 direct premium written as reported by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.  Liberty Mutual also is ranked 76th on the Fortune 100 list of largest corporations in the U.S. based on 2013 revenue.  The company employs over 50,000 people in more than 900 offices throughout the world. 

The fifth-largest auto and home insurer in the U.S., Liberty Mutual ( sells full lines of coverage for automobile, homeowners, valuable possessions, personal liability, and individual life insurance.  The company is an industry leader in affinity partnerships, offering car and home insurance to employees and members of more than 14,000 companies, credit unions, professional associations and alumni groups.

Liberty Mutual Insurance is the Official Property and Casualty and Life Insurance Partner of the 2014 and 2016 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams. 


House of Hope Open House Planned
There are a lot of good things going on in Mercer County to combat Heroin/Drug issues.  The community is coming together to battle this problem. One effort for helping people with shelter and support is the House of Hope at 4874 Mud Pike, Celina, OH.  The public is invited to an Open House on Saturday, November 15 and Sunday November 16 from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM. It officially opens on December 1, 2014.


Click Here for the Parkway Junior High
Boys and Girls Basketball Schedules in PDF Printable Format


Click Here for the Parkway High School
Boys and Girls Bowling Schedules in PDF Printable Format


Click Here for the Parkway High School
Boys and Girls Basketball Schedules and the Chatt Insurance Holiday Tournament

in PDF Printable Format

Click Here for the Parkway Wrestling Schedules



November 12, 2014


Nikki Fox Released the Schedule of Winter Sports Pictures for Parkway
WEDNESDAY November 12th---High School Sports Picture Day (HS gym)

3:20-4:15 High School Girls Basketball

4:15-5:00 Boys basketball team (Varsity, JV, and then freshmen)

5:00 Senior picture

5:10-6:00 Wrestling and Bowling

6:00-6:30 Cheerleaders


THURSDAY November 13th---Junior High Picture Day (JH gym)

3:30-4:45 BOYS junior high basketball

4:45- 5:30 Cheerleaders

5:30-6:30 Junior high GIRLS basketball


Pizza Preview Planned at Parkway School
The Pizza Preview, a fun event for the entire family, is planned for Saturday 11-15-2014 at both of the Parkway gyms. Action will start in the junior high gym at 9 AM with a JH boys scrimmage and then at 10 AM, the high school girls JV and Varsity teams will have a scrimmage in their gym. The boys JV and Varsity scrimmage will follow at noon in the high school gym. Grades 2-6 scrimmages will be in the junior high gym following the JH boys. 6th grade will start at 9:40. There will be PIZZA and other concessions.


By  Joyce L. Alig, President, Mercer County Historical Society

Photo caption:  The first replica of a fort was constructed in 1936, in memory of the Indian Wars of the 1790’s and the U.S. Military Fort Recovery.

Tuesday, November 11, Veterans Day was celebrated this week.  As I thought about the Veterans in Mercer County, my mind went back to the battles in the 1790’s at the site of Fort Recovery.  As I grew up in Fort Recovery, I wanted to know the facts of what happened in those battles. 

In 1989, I asked the following six Ohio History Scholars to write about the Indian Wars between the U.S. Army and the Native Americans in the 1790’s:  Miami Chief Floyd Leonard, his son Dr. Joseph Leonard, Dr. Phillip Shriver, Miami University; Dr. Dwight Smith, Miami University; Professor Randall Buchman, Defiance College, and Dr. George Knepper, University of Akron.  I asked these Scholars to document the source of their research with footnotes, not only in academic history books, (not fiction) and with the Department of Indian Affairs, and original diaries of the Veterans of those battles.  This book has been used as an academic reference by those interested in the Indian Wars:  The title of the book is “Native Americans and Early Settlers; The Meeting of Cultures, 1780’s – 1980’s.”   


However, books by U.S. Historians often wrote about Veterans of the U.S. Army.  The U.S. Army, led by General Arthur St. Clair was defeated by Chief Little Turtle and many Indian Tribes on November 4, 1791.  On the 24th of December 1793, General Anthony Wayne marched from north Cincinnati, Ohio with about a thousand men.  Wayne’s men went to the ground where St. Clair was defeated and erected a fort on that site, named Fort Recovery.  On the last day of June 1794, the Native Americans attacked Fort Recovery, but were repulsed with considerable loss on both sides.   


I researched information about the Veterans who fought with the Native Americans.  This is one story I found in the book, “History Auglaize County, Ohio, with the Indian History of Wapakoneta, and the First Settlement of the County, published by Robert Sutton, at Wapakoneta, Ohio in 1880.  “There was a great stir in town, (on the Auglaize River) about an army of white men coming to fight the Indians.  The squaws and boys were moved, with the goods, down the Maumee River, and there awaited the result of the battle, while the men went to war.  They met St. Clair and came off victorious, loaded with the spoils of the enemy.  Big Cat left the spoils at the town and came down to move us up.  We then found ourselves a rich people.  His share of the spoils was two fine horses, four tents, one of which was a noble ‘marquee,’ which made us a fine house, in which we lived.  He had also clothing in abundance and of all descriptions.  I wore a soldier’s coat.  He had also axes, guns, and everything to make an Indian rich. These Indians numbered probably 1000 warriors and were led, not by Little Turtle, the Chief of the Ottawas, as was generally supposed, but by the famous Mohawk chief, Brant, who had 150 Mohawk braves with him.  Of the warriors engaged in this battle, the Delawares furnished 400; the Shawnees (who afterward lived at the Wapakoneta Reservation) furnished about 300; the Miamis, who lived about Fort Wayne, 100; the Wyandots, 150; the residue being from the Pottawatomies and Ottawas.  The leaders and principal warriors of the Shawnees were Blue Jacket and Captain Johnny, and the Shawnees were the tribe whose voice was always still for war.”  The name “Big Cat,” was not a common name in local history.  Henry Clay Alder, in his book, “A History of Jonathan Alder; His Captivity and Life with the Indians,” which was edited by Larry Nelson, Manager of Fort Meigs State Memorial, 2002, made a reference to “Big Cat,” on page 195:  “John Brickell was captured in 1791 and adopted by Whingwy Pooshies, or Big Cat.  Brickell lived with Big Cat on the Auglaize River a short distance from its confluence with the Maumee from May 1791 until June 1795.”  (Remember the 1795 Treaty.)


Today, Native Americans come to the Mercer County Historical Museum and ask me how to find information about their ancestors, i.e. Veterans of the Indian Wars in the 1790’s.  I wonder if there is a Veterans’ Day for Native Americans.  That is another subject for research in Ohio’s history.




November 11, 2014
Veterans' Day






November 17- November 21, 2014 continuing through November 24- November 25, 2014

The Parkway Local Schools Libraries will host a special Book Fair from Scholastic on November 17th – 21th continuing through November 24th and 25th, during school hours and on the evenings of November 24th and 25th. Funds from the Book Fair will provide new books and technology for the students of the Parkway School District.

The Book Fair will be open each day from 8:00 to 3:00 and from 4:30 to 8:00 during Parent-Teacher Conferences (24th &25th).  The Book Fair will feature a wide variety of books ranging from elementary students to young teens and adults, including mystery and adventure novels, fantasy series, sports guides, graphic novels, and the latest bestsellers from more than 100 publishers. Parents, children, teachers, and the community are invited to attend. 

Fair attendees can also help build classroom libraries by purchasing books for teachers through the Classroom Wish List program. This Book Fair will be a great chance to promote the love of reading by providing reading material that the students in your life will enjoy reading.





87th National FFA Convention

Taylor Hesse at

On Monday October 27th, the Parkway, Coldwater, and St. Henry FFA Chapters loaded a bus and headed for St. Louis, Missouri. The chapters arrived at their destination around 10pm and had a nice night’s sleep. They then woke up and toured Purina, Anheuser-Busch, and the St. Louis Arch. The next morning they toured Monsanto and then headed for the 87th National FFA Convention in Louisville
, Kentucky. The next morning, the chapters woke up bright and early to go to the Opening Session and got to see fellow FFA member, Taylor Hesse play in the National FFA Band and heard keynote speaker Nick Vujicic. After that they went to Squire Boone Caverns and got to walk through the caves. Later that night, the students went to the Buckeye Bash where all Ohio FFA Members hang out and dance that night of convention. The next morning the students went and toured Hawks View Glass Blowing and got to see a piece being made. That afternoon students were able to walk around the Career Show and Mega Store. Later that evening they sat in on the 7th General Session and was able to see Taylor play again. The next morning the chapters went to watch former FFA members, Tommy McDonough, Lindsey Walls, Caden Hellwarth, and Tyler Matthews receive their American Degrees. The chapters then picked up Taylor Hesse and headed back to Ohio. The students all agree that is was a very memorable week and that they had a great time!



Rockford Chamber Decorators Are Readying Shanes Park

The Rockford Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring Christmas at the Park on Sunday

November 30th at 7 pm. Save the date for the lighting ceremony, food, music and getting in that Christmas spirit!



Martial Arts Tournament Coming to Parkway high School on Saturday, April 25, 2015
The Stone Tiger Challenge Martial Arts Benefit Tournament to benefit the Cancer Association of Mercer County date has been set. Bigger Venue than last time with great Trophies and Awards.Please put this date in your calendar and come join us in helping out a great cause and enjoy yourselves at an awesome event. Sparring, Weapons, Empty hand Kata, and Grappling




Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN) coming to the Lake Campus in 2015


CELINA, OH - Wright State University - Lake Campus, in conjunction with the Wright State University - Miami Valley College of Nursing and Health, is pleased to announce a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN) program will begin in the fall of 2015 at the Lake Campus. The BSN program is four academic years in length and prepares students who are eligible to sit for the Registered Nurse National Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). This program will be designed as a cohort for qualified students coming directly from high school.  The program will be selective and highly competitive.


Nurses care for individuals and families from birth to death in local as well as international communities.  Workplace environments can include newborn nurseries to elderly care facilities and school clinics to the World Health Organization. A nursing education prepares you students to participate in research to that improves the health of people and health care practices.

Wright State University-Miami Valley College of Nursing and Health is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and is also approved by the Ohio Board of Nursing. 

“We are thrilled to make the dream of a nursing program at the Lake Campus a reality. In every Regional Summit we have hosted, we have heard engineering, business and nursing were the top priorities in this area," states Lake Campus Dean Bonnie Mathies. “As stated in the mission of the Lake Campus, we will continue to respond to the needs of the communities in west-central Ohio."


Within the past 5 years, the Lake Campus has added bachelor’s programs in agriculture, business, criminal justice, engineering, and food science.  Information about the new nursing program will be available at our open house on Thursday, November 20, 2014 from 4-7pm. For more information on our exciting new degree program, please contact Lake Campus Student Services at 419.586.0300. Please visit our website at to register for the open house.



November 7-10, 2014




Ryan Sipe Becomes Rockford Chamber 2014 Citizen of the Year

Ketcham’s Funeral Home – Marcia Ripley, Owner, Becomes Rockford Chamber 2014 Business of the Year

by Sheila Baltzell and Stacie Ford
The Rockford Chamber of Commerce held their 41st Banquet at the community Building on Thursday, November 6, 2014.

Following a social time and a delicious meal, the program began with Chamber Master of Ceremonies Pete Hayes welcoming everyone.  Larry Sielschott led the prayer. 

Several businesses were recognized:
New Owners: Picket Fence; Tastee Twirl; Eve's Chatt Bar; Rockford Carry-Out.
New Business: WRKD Radio - Jim Crocker
Longevity Celebrations:
Brand It Marketing Communications - 10 years
Parkway Independent - 10 years
Subway - 10 years
Fox Photography -15 years
Gourmet by Kristi - 15 years
D & L Classic Woodworking - 25 years
Henkle Insurance - 50 years
First Financial Bank - 150 years
Ketcham Ripley Funeral Home - over 150 years

Then the moments all had been wondering:

Congratulations to Ryan Ronald Sipe, a most deserving Rockford Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year for 2014.  Ryan has his heart fully involved in the community of Rockford. Here is why.

He was born in 1974 to the late Ronald and Marcia (Eichnauer) Sipe, whose families have a long history in Mercer and Van Wert counties.

They raised Ryan and his two brothers (living in Willshire and Rockford areas)  in St. John’s Lutheran Church Hopewell, and he was confirmed there at the age of 14. His faith continued through high school as he joined Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Students Against Drunk Driving. He was an active fan of the Parkway Baseball team which went on to become State Champs in 1991.

Ryan enjoyed country life and the boys spent many hours on a baseball field built on their front lawn. Ryan was a natural leader and grew to love the sport although he loved basketball as well. He learned sportsmanship through these activities.

The tragic loss of his father to a car accident in 1986, when Ryan was just 12,  would become the impetus to him in spearheading the flashing stop sign development at the intersection of 49 and 707 through ODOT (Ohio Department of Transportation). Project finalization would come 20 years later, after dedicated pursual.

The blessing of a stepdad completed the family; Dennis Hoffhines was and is still a loving provider and listener. Together this family blended with Ryan and his two younger brothers, Scott and Carey, gaining two older sisters Rachael and Renee, from this union.

Following graduation from Parkway High School in 1993 , he completed an Associates Degree in Business Computer Applications, two years later, and  graduated from Northwestern Business College in Lima. His first job was at at TuWay Manufacturing in Rockford and then Community First Bank & Trust in Celina. Later he went to work at The People’s Bank Company and eventually took over the reins from retiring Bob Thompson. He  is currently employed as Branch Manager at The People’s Bank Company’s Rockford office.

On October 5, 1996 he married Kelly McMillen and together they have two daughters, Mackenzie Ann and Ashtyn Ryann. The girls are skilled athletes due to coaching by their Dad who has coached 11 teams over the years. Ballpark projects, coaching, and “Ohio Fury” team travel have occupied his time.

Ryan enjoys farming, four wheeling, hunting, and camping . He is involved with these activities: community Club and Board Memberships include Rockford Carnegie Library, Lions Club, Chamber of Commerce, Rockford Eagles, and Rockford Recreation Association.

His leadership and dedication have made a dream a reality at Shanes Park, and continues a legacy that every family can enjoy in the future.

Congratulations Ryan Ronald Sipe on becoming 2014 Citizen of the Year.

See another related article below the pictures:


Marcia, Ron and Ryan

Ryan's persistance resulted
in blinkers being
installed at the intersection of 707 and 49.
Kirby Stetler and Ryan Sipe worked hard together.


Indiana University basketball
and Cincinnati Reds Baseball Fans


Peoples Bank
Branch Manager

Ryan, Kelly, with
Mackenzie &

Marcia Ripley of Ketcham-Ripley Funeral Home accepted the award for Chamber Business of the 2014 Year.
Ketchams began in the crossroads of Mercer as a small manufacturing business. They moved to Rockford, making and selling furniture. And providing funeral services. Marcia was recently honored by the National Funeral Directors Association for being in business for over $150 years.

Jim Crocker WRKD Radio - New

Joel Henkle - 50 Years Henkle Insurance

Sheila Baltzell (left)
10 years Parkway Independent Online News
with Marie Miller, Chamber VP

First Financial Bank 150 Years Old
Crystal Severt and Kelly Walls

Lisa Kuhn, Jane Cozadd,
Marie Miller,
Chamber Secretary, President and VP


Norm VanTilburg
SCHS President
- slides from the past.

Commissioners John Bruns and Rick Muhlenkamp
presented Proclamations to Ryan Sipe and
Marcia Ripley

Ryan Sipe ~ Shanes Park and More

Ryan Sipe’s involvement in expanding Shanes Park made him a perfect choice for the Rockford Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year for 2014, according to Mike Bruns, winner of the awrad last year and head of the committee to name his successor. Mike said at the Chamber Banquet after presenting him with the award, “He has worked many years with the Recreation Board in one position or another. His hard work and dedication have turned our ball diamond and concession area from average to first class for a village of our size. Starting  a few years ago with remodeling the concession stand he has been the driving force in the  many improvements since.  A few to list are the addition of the 2 north diamonds, diamond lighting, the concession stand patio area and tables, the planting of many trees in the park, the addition of sidewalks, the batting cage etc. and the list goes on.  There is a lot of behind the scenes work and effort that goes on in order to get these tasks done. He has had the leadership to get things done and has dedicated many hours to this cause and still is working hard for the Park and Rec program. He also has been on local boards in the area including the Rockford Carnegie  Library and  Leota Braun foundation. In ending he has been active in our community especially the Rec board for many years and still going strong.” 


Ryan Thompson, who works closely with Ryan Sipe on the Recreation Board compiled this list of details about him:


Ryan Sipe has served as a Rockford Recreation Association Board member since 2002; serving as treasurer since 2005.

During this time, he has also coached over 15 different Rockford Recreation Association summer teams.

During his time as a board member, Ryan has led the effort to establish and grow the Shanes Park Legacy Fund through the Leota Braun Charitable Foundation. His lead in these fundraising efforts have made significant park improvements possible at Shanes Park while he has been an active member; including:


2006 – Concession stand expansion and equipment room addition

2010 - Diamond Lighting Project

2011 - Updated underground drainage system on Diamond #1 & #2

2011 - Tree Project - donations were made to plant over 70 new trees at Shanes Park

2012 - Diamond #4 Dugouts & Sidewalk Project

2013 - Diamond #3, #2, & #1 Dugouts & Sidewalks

It is estimated that his fundraising leadership effort over the past 12 years has raised over $350,000, through donations and grants, that has been committed to improvements at Shanes Park and the growth and continued success of the Rockford Recreation Association. 

Future Vision:


Install new home run fencing on Diamonds #1 & #2

Extended sidewalks and walking paths

Expanded parking accessible from North St.

Development of Diamond #5

Construction of a new equipment storage facility

Program Statistics


An average of 300 kids (ages 4-14) participate in summer baseball/softball/t-ball/coach pitch teams through the Rockford Recreation Association each summer.

In 2013, Rockford hosted the most summer ball teams ever - 29 different summer teams!

Nearly 150 games are played on the baseball/softball diamonds at Shanes Park each year

Teams travel from as far as 70 miles away each year to play in tournaments hosted at Shanes Park.

At the peak of the summer ball season, an average of 5.6 games are played every Monday-Thursday night in Rockford.

On the busiest summer nights, it is estimated that nearly 1,000 people visit Shanes Park in a single evening.

Over the past five years, fall sports program registrations have increased 400%.

In 2013, Rockford Rec added a fall youth soccer program that has had 90 participants (ages 5-12) for two consecutive years.

For four consecutive years, over 60 kids (ages 6-13) have participated annually in the flag football program.

Rockford Recreation Association collects a total of nearly 500 registration forms for kids ages 4-15 to participate in our spring, summer, and fall programs every year.

Jack Hartings, President and CEO of The Peoples Bank Company Congratulates Ryan Sipe

Ryan has worked for The Peoples Bank for almost 9 years.  I always knew Ryan would be a great community banker because of his passion and empathy for the betterment of the Rockford Community. Ryan is not afraid to dig in when a job needs done and makes his decisions on what’s best for the customer or the community.  I don’t know if Ryan spends more time in the bank or on the ball diamonds, or in the bleachers at a volleyball match, but he always has on his Peoples Bank hat, and we are honored that he is on our staff  and very proud of his service to the Rockford community. Congratulations Ryan as Citizen of the Year.

In conclusion, Kirby Stetler praised Ryan because they worked closely to gather signatures on a petition to urge the Ohio Department of Transportation to make the intersection of State Routes 707 and 49 west of Rockford and north of Chattanooga safer. The scene of many fatalities, including the death of Ryan’s father, led the two to ask for blinking lights or something to make drivers aware. In  2006, Ryan’s and Kirby’s persistence was rewarded with the ODOT installation of  stop ahead and stop signs that are enhanced with solar/battery-powered flashing Light-Emitting Diodes (LED) that to this day make it a safer intersection.


April 2006 ~ Marcia Ripley Speaks at Shanes Crossing Historical Society
Published on Parkway Independent in April 2006
by Sheila Baltzell

At the April 2006 meeting of the Shanes Crossing Historical Society, held in the Rockford Methodist Church, Marcia Ripley, descendent and fourth generation funeral director of the Ketcham-Ripley Funeral Home in Rockford, spoke to a group of 30 members. At left Marcia displays the contents of the "tool" kit for morticians back in the days of her  Grandfather Thomas Ketcham

She recently closed the furniture-flooring store on Main Street and relocated all of her business activities (she had been there 32 years) to the Ketcham Ripley Funeral home on First Street in Rockford. She moved into a bigger office and actually moved the Ketcham-Cotterman Safe, as well.

What she remembers about the furniture store is that it actually started in Mercer and was later moved to Shanes Crossing, Ohio. She does not know if her Great-grandfather William Ketcham started or bought it, but does remember her Uncle Ralph and Grandfather Tom Ketcham working in the second floor mortuary/preparation room with the furniture and flooring business on the first.  They were cabinet and casket makers, and she remembers Grandma Ethel Ketcham running the store and visitation as well. The prep room was eventually built at the current location of the funeral home which was also where Grandmother Ethel lived.

She was recently honored by the National Funeral Directors' Association for over 100 continuous years in service in their family with a plaque this past summer of 2005.

Gene Barna (left) visited the store during the close-out and move and reminisced about the restaurant he owned across the street, where the Rockford Fire Station now sits. He and Marcia were looking at the old elevator that moved bodies and caskets up to and down from the second floor prep room. The elevator has a huge wheel that was pulled by a rope woven by the late Rockford  resident Pete Temple. Gene and Marcia agreed that the thick rope, woven from twine, was an art form. Gene was one of the many individuals who helped at the furniture store and funeral home when needed.


Marcia's dad, Carl Ripley, joined the company and became a licensed furneral director along-side his wife, Lucille Ketcham Ripley. Carl was a veteran of WWII and the Korean War. He was a Marine. He added the flooring business and worked with John Deitsch, who had been with Ketcham's for 40 years having begun there part-time in 1954.  At right he works on flooring at Marcia's home as Marcia's daughter, Devon Stansbury watches.



Come and See What State Line Writers Club is all About
The Stateline Writers Club will meet from 10 am to Noon on Saturday, November 15, 2014, at the Mercer County District Library. The writing assignment for the meeting is to write a second-hand story or a story that has been told to you. The public is welcome to attend.


Donations of Shoes Requested for Developing Nations
Family Health Care of Northwest Ohio Launches Shoe Collection Drive

Shoe donations will also support micro-enterprises in developing nations and reduce what goes into landfills

Family Health Care, a non-profit company, is conducting a shoe collection drive starting on November 3.   Family Health Care will earn funds based on the number of pairs collected as Funds2Orgs will purchase all of the donated goods.  Those dollars will benefit Family Health Care’s patients. Anyone can help by donating gently worn, used or new shoes at Family Health Care, 1052 S. Washington Street in Van Wert.

All donated shoes will then be redistributed throughout the Funds2Orgs network of microenterprise partners in developing nations.  Funds2Orgs helps impoverished people start, maintain and grow businesses in countries such as Haiti, Honduras and other nations in Central America and Africa. Proceeds from the shoe sales are used to feed, clothe and house their families. One budding entrepreneur in Haiti even earned enough to send to her son to law school.

“We are excited about our shoe drive," said Jenny Smith, Director. "We know that most people have extra shoes in their closets that they could donate to us and help those less fortunate become self-sufficient.  Family Health Care will use the earned funds to help cover the cost of our uninsured clients that pay a minimum fee for their office visits. It’s a win-win for everyone”.

By donating shoes to Family Health Care, the shoes will be given a second chance and make a difference in people’s lives.

Local organizations interested in learning more about conducting a shoe drive of their own can visit


Kremer's  Guns at 122 Hamilton St, Celina OH is now open on Sundays 11-4 during November and December
See the ad above for details. Thinking of a Christmas Gift for the man in your life? Kremer's sells gift certificates.


Stephanie Pabis Named  Athlete of the Week at Roger Williams University
PORTSMOUTH, R.I. – The Roger Williams University Equestrian team notched its first win of the season (on November 3, 2014), taking first place at the team's home show.

With the win, Roger Williams moves into first place in the region, moving nine points ahead of Becker College. Stephanie Pabis finished the day as High Point Rider , taking first place in Novice Fences and Novice Flat in the weekend home show for the Hawks.  She is a sophomore,  studying for a degree in Criminal Justice, and has been competing with the equestrian team for two years. Involved in riding since the age of 5, Stephanie works hard and was thrilled over this honor. She is the daughter of Paul Pabis and Holly Patrice Wood of Rehoboth, MA, granddaughter of Virginia Wood of Celina and niece of Sheila Baltzell of Celina and Colleen O’Steen of Huntsville, AL.


Team Results
1. Roger Williams University – 43 pts
2. University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth – 34
3. Johnson & Wales University – 28
4. University of Rhode Island – 27
5. Becker College – 26
6. College of the Holy Cross – 23
7. Brown University – 21
8. Clark University –17
9. Rhode Island College – 15
10. Salve Regina University – 13
11. Assumption College – 11






November 6, 2014

Local Author Michelle Houts to Sponsor Christmas in Denmark
Michelle Houts of rural Celina is the author of Winterfrost, a novel which Kirkus Reviews proclaims as a ". . . timeless story that upholds and nurtures the magical worlds of nature and childhood." Come to the Mercer County Library, 303 N. Main St, Celina  on Tuesday, November 11, 2014 from 6-8 PM where she will host a Christmas in Denmark party and sign her new book.


Town Hall Christmas in Mendon
The Festival of Trees is enjoyed every year in Mendon at the Town Hall. There will be Christmas trees beautifully decorated, a visit from Santa Claus, delicious food and much more.
Save the date for December 5th and 6th!


November 6, 2014

Concert Planned for Parkway Bands, Grades 6-12
The big annual fall concert of the Panther Bands grades 6-12 is planned for Sunday, November 9, 2014.
The event begins with a Spaghetti Dinner at 11:30 and con

The Rockford Chamber is pleased to announce the November Business of the Month is ....
The Peoples Bank Co,  located at 100 N Main St. in Rockford.

The Peoples Bank Co. has been part of the Rockford community long before they opened the branch on Main Street in 2001.  We are grateful to have such a strong customer base in Rockford and the surrounding area. The Peoples Bank Co. is a local independent community bank and our success is directly related to meeting the financial needs of the individuals, farmers, and small businesses in the communities we serve. The staff of the Rockford branch takes an active role in the community they so proudly serve. This active role empowers them to provide professional banking solutions to businesses and individuals. 

"We are honored the Rockford Chamber of Commerce has chosen The Peoples Bank Co., Rockford branch as Business of the Month for November."  Ryan Sipe, Assistant Vice President and Rockford Branch Manager stated this afternoon.  

Congratulations ! Thank you Peoples Bank for supporting your Rockford Chamber!

Pictured:  Deb Rollins, Kay Shaffer, Ryan Sipe - Assistant Vice President, Rockford Branch, Jane Cozad - Chamber President, LuAnn Sigler and Linda Standiford.





Rockford High School  Class of 1959 - 55th Reunion  Held June 7, 2014

Front Row: Julie Smalley Long, Esther Schmidt Coleman, Jean Shindeldecker Giese, Nancy Carr Temple, Carolyn Shaffer Jamieson, Kay Kettering Thomas, Linda Pierstorff Zsembik, Betty Grossnickel Felver, Bonnie Brehm Barna

Second Row: John Runyan, George Weinman, Jerry Rutledge, Larry Sapp, Tom Ransbottom, Mark Rutledge, John Hileman, Ernie Felver

Top Row: Keith Kable, Jon Binkley, Bill Fritzinger, Roger Jamieson, Jerry Luth, Dave Binkley, Stan Hunter, Jim Provci



November 5, 2014


Remember the Rockford Eagles Fish Fry and Chicken Strips Dinners
on Friday, November 7, 2014 from 5-7 PM.
Members and Guests only. Good Food! See ad above for details.





Rockford Chamber of Commerce Banquet

You're Invited ~  to the 41st Annual Rockford Chamber Banquet to
be held on Thursday, November 6th at the Rockford Community
Building - Shanes Park.

Social time begins at 6 pm.  Meal at 6:30 pm and program begins
at 7:15 pm.  

Entertainment by Triad, Meal by Angelina's Catering
Business Attire - Cost is $18 per person. 

Who will be the Citizen of the Year?  Who will be the Business of the Year?

Make reservations today ~ by calling 419-363-3032 ext 1 or by
email to



November 3-4, 2014


“The past is a source of knowledge, and the future is a source of hope.  Love of the past implies a faith in the future.”    Stephen Ambrose


By  Joyce L. Alig, President, Mercer County Historical Society

Many Mercer Countians value the fact that the Mercer County Historical Society works to preserve their heritage.  They recognize that a Nation which forgets its past, has no future.  Today’s local history story is an update of communication from our friends of the Mercer County Historical Society.

Gerald (Mort) Ward, Post Quartermaster, VFW Post 5713, Celina, asked permission to put the story of Bill Brown being honored by receiving the World War II Honors in Florida from the Governor, on their VFW Post 5713 Website since Bill was a former Post Commander.  Those requesting Bill Brown’s current address, it is 1651 Campos Dr., The Villages, FL 32162.  That makes me proud that our Military Veterans in Mercer County are interested in preserving Mercer County’s Military History.


Alvin Braun called me after he had read my article about the Bounty on Wolves, and about the Buck Bader Story being on exhibit on Sunday, October 26 at the Military Exhibit by the Museum of the Soldier, at the Mercer County Historical Museum. Braun told me about over 975 coyotes being killed in the four County area, these past years.  I invite Coyote Hunters to this Exhibit on Sunday, the 26th.


Karen from Rockford, called, that she has a gun with the name of P.P. King, Celina, on the stock.  The book, “Ohio Gunsmiths & Allied Tradesmen,” by Donald Hutslar, listed Philip P. King at Celina, 1845-1885.  In 1885, Philip King was listed as a gunsmith at Shane’s Crossing (Rockford).  I asked Karen to bring the gun to display at the Antique Gun Show at the Museum, Sunday, the 26th.   Two Van Trees were gunsmiths at Fort Recovery in the 1800’s; one of the Van Trees’ guns will be on exhibit on the 26th.


Mercer County Auditor Randy Grapner asked me to review the rough draft of the new brochure for the Mercer County Courthouse.  In the past, people often repeated the error that the Courthouse columns support Corinthian Capitals; In fact, the columns support Ionic Capitals.  (See the photograph above.)  Another error passed down is that the front doors are solid bronze. . . what do you think? 


Kelly Newcomb, Celina Middle School Teacher, requested information on the history of Celina.  I emailed her a list of 28 books which the Mercer County Historical Society has published, and made suggestions related to the many research topics her students could seek, in reference to local history.


Robert Tong, Findlay, Ohio, does research on the Gas Boom and related Glass Factories in Western Ohio.  He sent me a copy of his manuscript about The Celina Colored Plate and Window Glass Company and The Celina Star Glass Works, in the early 1890’s.  Do any of you have information about this topic?


Thanks to Sharon (Moeder) Spears for enlightening the Basketball Fans about Mercer County Basketball History, by sharing information, in the Daily Standard, from former Basketball Coach and Historian Fran Guilbault, as to why St. Henry adopted the name “Redskins,” when her Grandfather Julius Moeder was the first St. Henry Basketball Coach.  (The name “Redskins” was not about Native Americans!)


Thank you to everyone who contacted me about the article in the local news media, about the Mercer County Historical Society being one of the organizations on the Celine Combined Services Appeal and local Combined Drives.  I have been with the Mercer County Historical Society for over forty years, and I cannot tell you how much the Combined Drives have helped this Historical Society reach its Mission Statement:  To Preserve Mercer County History and To Educate the Public about that History.  I am proud to live in Mercer County where people value their past and want to preserve their heritage with the Mercer County Historical Society, and the Mercer County Historical Museum, the Riley Home.


Remember to Vote on Tuesday, November 4, 2014.


Village Council Meeting Minutes for October 7, 2014 - Click Here
for news on the new subdivision, holiday plans for the village, weed and junk code enforcement,
liquor license motion and much more.


Click Here for Van Wert County Common Pleas Court Cases Heard for October 2014


November 1-2, 2014

Remember that on Sunday, November 2, 2014 at 2 AM we will return to Eastern Standard Time from Daylight Savings Time. "Fall Back" 1 hour overnight. Be sure to set your clocks, so you won't be late for church.


Parkway Shining Star Awards Given for September 
Submitted by:
Suzann Litteral
Parkway Elementary Guidance Counselor


Parkway Students are nominated, by their teachers, for showing healthy social interaction and responsible school choices.  These actions might include for grades 3-5: making positive choices; respecting others; being responsible; showing compassion; being fair, honest, and cooperative; and developing good self-esteem.  For grades 1 & 2: good listening skills, organization, being responsible, completion of homework, and following directions. 

Congratulations to these Shining Stars:

Pictured above: 4th grade- Allison Hughes & Aaron Cron  and 3rd grade- Breanna Berry & Jacob Winget


Pictured above: 2nd Grade- Best Listener- Kaitlyn Rager, Zoey Henning, Gracy Laux, & Rylee Vann

Most Responsible- Meah Suzuki, Roxlyn Bell, Creeden Knittle, & Landon Hamrick

Awesome Organizer- Kierrah Weitz, AJ Taylor, & Amanda Barrett

#1 Homework Completer- Ethan Tuttle, Shay Boroff, Adria Miller, & Brayden Bruns

Fabulous Follower of Directions- Xavier Samples, Elizabeth Winget, & Jeremiah Collins


Pictured above:

1st Grade- Best Listener- Jaden Wenning, Zavier Rissener, Jordyn Schaefer, & Miley Crouch

Most Responsible- Taylor Muhlenkamp, Luca Winters, Haley Perry, & Megan Nichols

Best Effort- Kayden Dale, Zac Myers, Logan Butler, & Cooper Clay

Hard Worker- Brittyn Bruns, Christina Tong, Payton Frese, & Josiah Neff

Fabulous Follower of Directions- Natalie Moeller, Carlee Barna, Analicia Velez, & Kyndra Thornsberry

See other Elementary School events by clicking here.


Jeff Burton Coming to St. Henry

An Evening for Race Fans with Jeff Burton is Friday, 
November 28th at Romer's in St. Henry.   Proceeds of this event are shared with State of the Heart Hospice, Community Health Professionals Hospice, and the Chamber. 



Panther Sportswear Fund Raiser Orders Runs Till November 20, 2014 – Order Now!

It's that time again! The annual sportswear sale is back! The Parkway sophomore class is selling Panther sportswear items. Order forms have been passed out in all elementary and middle school homeroom classes. Forms are also available in the middle school and high school offices.

There is also a link on the Parkway Local Schools website so forms can be printed off. The website is Under “Our District News” there is a link for the “Annual Sportswear Sale”. Click on that link to find the order form. Orders will not be accepted via email so please have the form filled out with the correct money amount and turned in to Mrs. Agler in the middle school office by Thursday Nov. 20th.

Orders can be picked up in the middle school office the December 16, 17, 18 or they will be delivered to the student. If you have any questions feel free to call Mrs. Agler, sophomore class advisor, in the middle school office at 419-363-3045, ext. #740 or email her at

A display is set up in the display cases just outside the high school and middle school office doors. Items are also available to size/try on in the middle school office. Items are non-returnable so please check on the sizing to ensure proper sizing. Sportswear makes great birthday and Christmas presents. Please help support the sophomore class as they raise money for Prom and Graduation by purchasing some Panther sportswear items.



Click Here for Van Wert County Common Pleas Court Cases Heard for October 2014



Parkway Middle School Honor Roll ~ End of 1st Quarter 2014-2015 – Click Here for their names!



Christmas in the Park Coming Soon!

The Village of Rockford is planning a beautiful lighting display to ge you in the holiday spirit. Coming on Sunday, November 30 at 7 PM will be the lighting of 12 different holiday themed displays with musical accompaniment by community members. Cookies and Hot Cocoa will be served.




By  Joyce L. Alig, President, Mercer County Historical Society

Photo caption:   This is an old Post Card photograph of the Mercer County Jail, 1876 – 1939, which was located at the southwest corner of Main and Livingston Streets, Celina.


On the second Sunday of November, November 9, 1:00 – 4:00, the Mercer County Historical Society is hosting the 13th Annual Post Card Exhibit at the Mercer County Historical Museum, 130 East Market, Celina.  The public is invited to bring their old Post Cards and ask the Collectors about them.


The extensive collection of old Post Cards of Mercer County and Grand Lake St. Marys Post Cards of Bob and Sharon Poor will be on exhibit Sunday, November 9.  Dale Poeppelman also will have his fine collection of Post Cards, and historical articles about the C.H. & D. Railroad, etc.  The Railroads, which delivered the U.S. Mail to local Depots and the Local Post Offices are a part of the November 9 exhibit.  David Gray will be showing his Mercer County Post Mark Collection, and envelopes with lithographs of Mercer County Businesses.  On exhibit will be books, photographs, and historical files about the Railroads, Rural Free Delivery, the Narrow Gauge Railroad, Electric Trolley of Northwest Ohio, histories of old Post Offices in Mercer County, including local Post Offices which were closed over a Century ago.