News About Us! . . July 21-22, 2014
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July 21-22, 2014


Shanes Crossing 5K – Part of Mercer Health Race Series
Rain Finishes with Cool Rain during 10th Annual Event

The approximately 80 participants in the Shanes Crossing 5K went off without a hitch despite misting rain and a few showers on Saturday morning, July 19th. TheParkway Booster Club, under the direction of officer Steve Fisher, has taken over the event from organizers Mike Bruns and Amy Lyons. John Folk and Charlie Folk of St. Marys were the official time keepers using a chute system.

A National Anthem Medley was play over the PA followed by Youth Pastor Matt Rhynehart of New horizon who gave the prayer, then participated in the race. Clete Schmidt lead the races on his bicycle.

Race Results - Click Here

1st Man in - Mitch Williams

1st woman in -
Ashley Lefeld

Mother-Daughter Entries
Haley and Mom Lisa Alig

Race Begins

Clete leads the race

Mike Bruns retires from race
coordinating after 10 years


Spectator Barney Lehman
and friend

Race Begins

Rockford Carnegie Library gets brick and mortar uplift.

Guest Column from State Representative Jim Buchy   -  Grand Lake St. Marys – Continuing Efforts

Grand Lake St. Marys is an important fixture in west central Ohio, drawing people from all over the state during summer months. The lake also offers an economic boost to the surrounding communities, local businesses, and the rest of the Auglaize and Mercer Counties. The vital economic boost it provides to the region is important to consider as the lake undergoes continued restoration work.

The lake season started off positive, but as with years before, it is experiencing algae blooms. It is important that work continue on resolving this issue, first and foremost, so that visitors to Grand Lake St. Marys will have a positive experience and stay longer to spend more money, supporting our economy.

Restoring the health of the lake is a major issue, and one that will take time. Sediment build-up within the lake is a situation that has developed over hundreds of years, but little by little it is improving. Just as it took many years for the sediment to reach current levels, it will take many years to clean out the sediment from the lake.

There is one operational treatment train on Prairie Creek that naturally cleans incoming water to the lake. As a result of its success, more treatment trains are being constructed at Grand Lake St. Marys in the coming months and years.

During restoration, the state has been committed to funding projects to improve the health of the lake, and the future continues to look bright as the Lake Facilities Authority comes together to help resolve issues pertaining to water quality in the agricultural community  and in the lake.

Additionally, local elected officials and the state of Ohio are making substantial efforts to preserve the quality of the lake. Local farmers are also helping the process through voluntarily improving their practices. The collaboration of these various entities has shown there is a lot of positive direction for improving Grand Lake St. Marys.

While many positive and pro-active steps have been taken in addressing the continued restoration of Grand Lake St. Marys, it is important that this work continue. Not only will the lake benefit from these efforts, but so will the neighboring communities. The long-range plan to make the lake better has made much progress already, and the restoration yet to be completed will continue to  make Grand Lake St. Marys a hotspot of family recreation and economic vitality for years to come.  

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



Lake Festival Plans 

The Celina Police Department is announcing the following street closings for the Lake Festival’s special events on Saturday July 26. The parade begins at 6:30 P.M.

These areas will be closed starting at 5 A.M. for the car show Saturday morning:
S. Main St. from Market St. to Warren St.
½ block east and west of S. Main St. on Fayette St.
The city parking lot in the 200 block of S. Main St.

These areas will be blocked at 3:00 P.M. on Saturday for the parade:
E. Livingston St. from County Rd. to Vine St
E. Fulton St. from Armstrong College Av.
E. Anthony St. from Armstrong St. to College Av.
College St. from E. Wayne St. to E. Livingston St.
Fountain St. from E. Wayne St. to E. Livingston St.

These areas will be blocked at 5:00 P.M. for the parade:
E. Market St. at County Rd. to Main St.
N. Main St. from Market St. to Johnson Av.
Johnson Av. From N. Main St. to Holly St.
E. Wayne St. from Meadowview Dr. to Linden Av.

All vehicles in these areas during the closing process are subject to tow at the owner’s expense.


July 19-20, 2014

Rockford Recreation Announces Fall Sports Registration

Flag Football - Co-ed teams are open to boys and girls in grades 1-6. Registration fee is $25.00. Each player is provided with a team jersey and mouthpiece (mouthpieces are required for all practices and games). Games will be played at Shanes Park on Monday evenings during September and October. Questions can be directed to Ryan Thompson at (419)305-0426

Soccer - Co-ed teams are open to boys and girls in grades K-5. Registration fee is $25.00. Each player is provided with a team jersey. Players are required to provide their own shin guards, socks, athletic shoes or cleats (no metal cleats), and black shorts. Games will be played at Shanes Park on Sunday afternoons throughout September and October. Questions can be directed to Michelle Rogers or Sara Stearns (419)303-9140

The Rockford Recreation Association is excited to continue offering organized recreational activities for our local youth throughout the year. These fall events are coordinated and scheduled so that kids are able to participate in multiple programs that promote active and healthy lifestyles. In the past, many of our participants involve themselves in soccer, flag football, pee-wee tackle football, and fall baseball and softball leagues with minimal scheduling conflicts.

Registration forms can be downloaded from or picked up at The Peoples Bank Co. in Rockford. Completed registrations, medical forms, and fees can be dropped off at The Peoples Bank or mailed to Rockford Recreation Association - PO Box 16 - Rockford, OH 45882.

The registration deadline for fall sports is August 9th. Registrations received after the deadline risk not receiving a team uniform.
10th Annual Shane’s Crossing 5K Run/Walk
10th Annual Shane’s Crossing 5K run/walk starts at 8:30am on Saturday July 19, 2014. The race starts and ends at Shane’s Park, 705 W. Front Street, Rockford, Ohio, and is part of the Mercer Health 5K Challenge countywide running series.

Race day registration and check in is 7:30-8:30 A.M. at the shelter house at Shane’s Park, with a $12.00 race only registration fee. A limited quantity of shirts will be for sale on race day.

For more information or a registration form, visit Mail completed entry form and check to Parkway Athletic Boosters, PO Box 482, Rockford, OH. 45882. For additional information call: Steve Fisher, 419-308-2080 or email:

Parkway 8U Baseball Team Take Championship at Payne Tournament 



The Parkway 8U Baseball Team recently captured the championship of the
15-team Payne 8U All-Star Tourney with a 16-5 run-rule victory over
Fairview.  For the tourney, the team went undefeated in 6 games by
scoring 93 runs and only giving up 27.  Pictured with their championship
trophies are:

Front Row:  Brayden Bruns, Apollo Thomas, Xavier Samples, Kamdyn
Strickler and Trevor Stearns
Middle Row:  Fletcher Smith, Caiden Berry, Doug Hughes, Braxton Ford,
Landon Hamrick and Collin Langenkamp
Back Row:  Coaches Samples, Bruns, Smith and Hamrick
Not Pictured:  Coach Stover



July 18, 2014

 Yes! There will be a Concert In The Park July 18th.

On Friday, July 18th, the Van Wert Area Community Concert Band will present a concert in the band shell of Fountain Park in Van Wert, Ohio. The program will begin at 7:00 p.m. Music performed on the concert will be new and contain a wide variety of musical genre to include: Big Band hits String of Pearls, Night Train, and Riffin’ the Blues, 50’s style selection Greasy Kids Stuff, music of the “Beatles”, “The Association and “The Righteous Brothers”, selections from “Frozen”, a unique march in Honor of the Lincoln Highway and the trumpet section will be featured on “Trumpets Ole!

Amy Roth, a music major at Miami University, will be the featured vocalist. A food stand will be available starting at 5:30. The District Eastern Star is sponsoring the food stand. Please join the band directed by Richard Sherrick and featuring members from, Van Wert, Elida, Lima, Delphos, Spencerville, Convoy, Payne, Chat, Middle Point, and Rockford for this entertaining concert. The band members appreciate the continued support of our local communities. In the event of inclement weather, the program will be cancelled.




Rockford Recreation Announces Fall Sports Registration

Flag Football - Co-ed teams are open to boys and girls in grades 1-6. Registration fee is $25.00. Each player is provided with a team jersey and mouthpiece (mouthpieces are required for all practices and games). Games will be played at Shanes Park on Monday evenings during September and October. Questions can be directed to Ryan Thompson at (419)305-0426

Soccer - Co-ed teams are open to boys and girls in grades K-5. Registration fee is $25.00. Each player is provided with a team jersey. Players are required to provide their own shin guards, socks, athletic shoes or cleats (no metal cleats), and black shorts. Games will be played at Shanes Park on Sunday afternoons throughout September and October. Questions can be directed to Michelle Rogers or Sara Stearns (419)303-9140

The Rockford Recreation Association is excited to continue offering organized recreational activities for our local youth throughout the year. These fall events are coordinated and scheduled so that kids are able to participate in multiple programs that promote active and healthy lifestyles. In the past, many of our participants involve themselves in soccer, flag football, pee-wee tackle football, and fall baseball and softball leagues with minimal scheduling conflicts.

Registration forms can be downloaded from or picked up at The Peoples Bank Co. in Rockford. Completed registrations, medical forms, and fees can be dropped off at The Peoples Bank or mailed to Rockford Recreation Association - PO Box 16 - Rockford, OH 45882.

The registration deadline for fall sports is August 9th. Registrations received after the deadline risk not receiving a team uniform.



4H Club Meets
The Venedocia Lads and Lassies held their last meeting on Jul. 15, 2014. Their were 20 members and 6 guest present.  Pledges and roll call were led by Madison Pugh.  Our booth theme is road trip, Places to go,People to see and Things to do.  If you have any old maps or atlases please bring them in.  Garret Mueller gave a safety report on tree stand safety.  Tyra Trentman gave a health report on first aid kits.  Melanie Mueller gave a demonstration on scrapbooking.  Our next meeting will be held on July. 29th 2014.

by Addison Mueller


Village Council Meeting Minutes for July 15, 2014 by Lisa Kuhn
Concrete walkways in the park; sidewalk improvements; request fro property cleanup; and more.
Click Here for full details of the meeting.



Rockford Carnegie Library Renewal Levy to be Placed on November General Ballot

Parkway Local School Board members recently approved a resolution for the Rockford Carnegie Library's renewal levy. Passed 5 years ago, at 1-mill, the money generated operating expenses that have been crucial to the services at the library. In 2009, the State of Ohio drastically cut funds to all Ohio libraries. Robert Maurer is the fiscal Officer for the library and said that the renewal is crucial for continuing the excellent services. This is a renewal.




Jr. Fair Royalty Applications are Due Friday, July 18th, 2014

The Coronation Committee is pleased to announce the search for candidates for a King and Queen of the Van Wert County Fair. These people would be chosen to be ambassadors not only to the Junior Fair but also to the entire Van Wert County Fair.

Candidates must be 15 years of age and must have an open schedule throughout the fair to perform special duties such as handing out awards and trophies, giving radio interviews, and making special appearances. Any Van Wert County Jr. Fair youth meeting these qualifications may apply.

New this year are the Species Prince and Princess. Candidates must be at least 15 years of age and also be flexible in their scheduling during Fair week. Species included with this application include beef, horses, poultry, sheep, goats, and swine. Applicants may run for more than one species if desired.

Applications are due in to the Van Wert County OSU Extension Office by July 18, 2014.These applications may be picked up at the OSU Extension Office or by emailing Heather Gottke at

Any questions may be directed to the OSU Extension Office at 419-238-1214 

Bible School in Celina

St. John Lutheran Church is inviting all the area children (ages 3 through 6th grade)

to their annual Vacation Bible School, Weird Animals, Where Jesus’ Love Is One-of-a-Kind.  It will be held Sunday Aug. 3rd through Thursday, Aug 7th , starting at 6PM and ending at 8:30PM in the Church’s Family Life Center.  Each day kids will sing catchy songs, play games, have a snack, and experience Bible adventures.

Also in order to make each evening a little less harried, a free will offering dinner will be available for the entire family in the Church Fellowship Hall at 5:15PM.

Please come and join the FUN!

To Register for Vacation Bible School, please call the church office at 419-586-2332 or register on line at Early registration fee is $5, after August 1st  $10.  An optional t-shirt is available for an extra $10.


Warning of Increased Sheriff’s Patrols in Parks

Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey issued a warning today that the Sheriff’s Office is increasing patrols in the public parks.  This increase will include both marked patrol cars and plain clothes deputies and extends to parks within the City of Celina and all villages as well as parks in unincorporated areas, to include, but not limited to the State Park on West Bank Road, Bunge Park on State Route 29, and Eden Haven Park on Hellwarth Road.

The Sheriff’s Office has received complaints of sexual activity occurring in public areas.  “These parks are visited by families,” states Sheriff Grey, “we will not tolerate public sexual activity or soliciting in the parks.  Those activities should be kept in the privacy of your home.  Anyone caught engaged in sexual activity or soliciting in the parks, will be arrested and taken to jail, this news release is your only warning.”

The public is encouraged to report suspicious activity to the Sheriff’s Office or the police department that has jurisdiction about unusual activity observed in the parks.  You may report it anonymously to the Sheriff’s Office through our website at or our tip line, 567-890-8477 “It is time we take back our community from drugs and deviant behavior,” states Sheriff Grey, “it takes all of us working together, we appreciate and need the public’s help.”

Effective immediately, if you are arrested by a deputy sheriff and incarcerated for public sexual activity, your mug shot and a news release will be provided to news outlets.  “We are providing everyone who engages in this activity fair warning.”


Otterbein Retirement Community Ice Cream Social Planned - Everyone Welcome!

Plan now to enjoy an old-fashioned Ice Cream Social at Otterbein Retirement Community in St. Marys on Grand Lake.
The date is Tuesday, July 29 from 6-8 PM. Call Gena at 419-394-6227 by July 25th for a reservation.


July 14-17, 2014


Jordan Thompson Football Camp Coming

On Sunday, July 20th, the Rockford Recreation Association is excited to host current Detroit Lions tight end, former Ohio Bobcat, and Parkway High School alumni - Jordan Thompson. For the second year in a row, Jordan will be returning to Rockford to spend an afternoon with local young athletes interested in improving their passing, receiving, and rushing skills just in time for the upcoming football season. The clinic is open to students who will be entering grades 1-6 and will be held in the outfield grass of Diamond #4 at Shanes Park from 2:00-3:30pm. In case of inclement weather, the clinic will be moved indoors to the Parkway High School gymnasium. The Rockford Recreation Association is excited to host this FREE event and thanks Jordan for his continued support of the recreational programs in our community! Registration forms will be available at the event and a parent signature is required for all participants.

Any clinic updates will be communicated on the Rockford Recreation Association Facebook page.



Enjoy Yourself at Lambert Days
The Lambert Days pageant starts at 7:00 pm on Thursday, July 17 and is open to the public. Local young ladies compete for the Queen and Princess Title. There will be cake donated by L & S House of pastries and cake available after the pageant.

Friday begins with a Flea Market/ vendor show that starts at 9:00 am and will go on through-out the weekend. Community garage sales will also be starting in the am. A steak dinner will be available at 4:00 with a flag raising ceremony at 5:00 from the Harvey Lewis post 346. The kids’ games will begin at 5:00 with a $3 entry fee for the duration of the night and at 5:30 the wiffleball home-run derby starts. Texas hold ‘em at 7:00 and Monte Carlo night at 8:00. Henry “Pit bull” Rife will start his ATV stunt show at 9:00, along with rock band “ENDEVER” at the tent. ID bracelets are available. The best firework display in the area starts at 10:15.

Saturday brings men’s slow-pitch softball at 8:00 and Co-ed volleyball at 9:00. The flea market and vendor show returns at 9:00 and the waffle ball tournament starts at 10:00. The kids’ games open at 11:00 with a entry fee of $5 for the day. Corn hole and 3on3 basketball starts at 1:00 with registration an hour before. The hog roast dinner is available at 4:00 with music provided by “SaMax”. Bingo at 5:00 and the country band “Sean Wise and the Bad Attitude Band” will close the night starting at 9:00. ID bracelets are available.

The John W. Lambert Car show registration starts at 10:00 along with the flea market and vendor show.  A chicken dinner will be available starting at 11:00 with dinner music being provided by “Triad”. The car show starts at noon along with the kids’ games with a $3.00 fee for all day play. What promises to be the biggest parade in the area, the forty-sixth annual Lambert Days parade begins at 3:00.

Lambert Days would like to acknowledge the sponsors of the 2014 fireworks display. Thanks to: Jim Ash, the Ohio City Express, Mercer Landmark, Inc., Lee Kinstle, BHS Gun shop, the village of Ohio City, and the community individual donations. 


Celina Police Sergeant Named

On July 13th Ptl. Dan Harting assumed the role of Sgt. Dan Harting for the Celina Police Dept. He scored the highest combined score on the civil service test and assessment. Sgt. Harting is the K-9 handler for the Celina Police Department and has been serving the citizens of Celina as a police officers since 1996. He is considered a valuable asset to the police department as a very capable, experienced and knowledgeable officer. We express our congratulations and expect he will continue to serve well in his new role.


Stateline Writers Club to Meet
The Stateline Writers Club met on Saturday, June 21, 2014, at the Mercer County District Library. President Alain Rion called the meeting to order. After the general business portion of the meeting, the members read their works on, “What makes me happy.” Barbara Moore then talked about irony and gave examples of the three different kinds. Members were given an exercise about the different kinds of irony and asked to choose the type of irony illustrated. The assignment for July is to write a piece using irony.

The next meeting will be held at the Mercer County District Library from 10:00 am to noon on Saturday, July 19, 2014. The meetings are free and open to the public.



July 11-13, 2014


Annual Concert in the Park and Bean Bake Set for July 13

The public is invited on Sunday, July 13 to enjoy live music at the upcoming 4th annual Concert in the Park and Bean Bake at Shanes Park, Rockford, OH. The event is being hosted by local entertainment venue, The Rockford Belle.

A Bean Bake Lunch begins at 11:30 AM with onstage performances set for 12 noon-5 pm.  The event features local performers and bands from the Midwest. Music styles represent a range of genres including pop, blues, folk, gospel, and country music.  Former longtime radio show host Jim Highley, will emcee. A love offering will be accepted with proceeds collected and turned back over to the performers.

Featured performers are as follows:

Blind Date
The Master’s Own
Jerry Garcia
The Jubilees
Jess King & Country Gospel

A food stand with available food items for purchase will be provided by the youth of New Horizons Community Church, delicious desserts provided by St. Paul’s UCC, and the tastiest beans supplied by the Willow Restaurant in Celina, OH.

The park is 100% handicap accessible.

Bring a lawn chair, relax and enjoy the day with us at the park!


House for Sale – 10 Minutes from Wright State University
Great College Home Investment

329 Orinoco Street
Dayton, Ohio 45431


or call 419-953-8725


Library Fun Planned for Summer Readers

Party at Shanes Park for Summer Reading Participants

Don't forget to come to the end of the summer reading program party for the Rockford Carnegie Library next Thursday, July 17th at 11:30.  Join us for lunch, prizes and play at the park.  All summer reading participants are welcome.


Cash Scammers Hit Rockford Businesses
The Rockford Police received a complaint of suspects working the "Quick
Change Scam" in area business on June 23rd, 2014. Several area business's in
Mercer, Van Wert and Auglaize Counties had been targeted. The thieves where
able to get away with $150.00 .The Suspects came back to the area 8 days
later and attempted to complete the scam again. A quick thinking clerk
pulled video and wrote the license plate down. That information was relayed
to the Rockford Police. Chief May contacted Toledo Police Department ( Crime
Task Force ) and was able to positively identify at least two of the four
suspects involved. Warrants have been issued for the arrest of one male and
one female in the Toledo Ohio area. Chief May would like to thank Van Wert
County Sheriff's Office and also Toledo Police for there cooperation. Names
and more detail will follow after the arrest of the suspects. - Chief Paul
P. May III




Sign-Up For Wren Rib Roast Cook-off

It’s Rib Cook-off time again!  The 11th Annual Wren Rib Roast Cookoff will be held on Saturday, August 16, 2014 during the Homecoming festivities. 


Contestants will need to provide any equipment necessary.  All types of spices, marinades, and “secret recipes” are encouraged.  All types of cookers and any fuel sources will be accepted.  Cooking will take place around the Wrenway Wiffleball Park, with judging starting at 11:30 am.  Ribs will be judged on taste and tenderness.  A separate prize will be given for presentation, sauce and best side dish.


To sign up, please call James Lautzenheiser at (216) 262-2805. Only the first 15 amateur cooks who call will be permitted to participate.  Deadline to enter is Monday, August 4th.



Rockford Belle to Host Combined Gospel Concerts on July 12


Award Winning Southern Gospel Recording Artist Jerry Garcia will be appearing with The Master’s Own in Rockford at The Rockford Belle on Saturday, July 12 at 7 PM with doors open at 6 PM. The public is invited to attend the exciting musical performances at the entertainment venue located at 135 Market Street, Rockford, OH. The evening will be filled with comedy, amazing music, and pure inspiration!  A free-will offering will be accepted.

For 30 years, Jerry Garcia has been delivering the Gospel message in song across America and abroad through his spiritually uplifting musical ministry. Respected by his peers and industry leaders alike, Jerry Garcia is recognized as one of the premiere soloist’s in gospel music.


This special night will be unforgettable for all. Jerry Garcia sings songs that raise people’s spirits, bring smiles to faces, and make great memories!


The Master's Own was formed back in 1982, after originally starting out as The Master's Four, and now consists of original member Bernie Nelson and Bernie's sister Dottie Rhoades and brother-in-law Chuck Rhoades, and Tim Rickard.

Over the course of The Master's Own history, many miles have been traveled in their ministry. They have sung in MN, WI, IL, IN, KY, TN, OH, PA and also in Canada. They look forward to traveling to many more states and foreign countries in the future.

The Master's Own is excited about serving the Lord together and sharing the gospel through music.

Mark your calendar for this special appearance by Jerry Garcia and The Master’s Own set for July 12. We invite you to come and bring a friend and experience an evening of wonderful Gospel Music!. The Rockford Belle is a smoke- and alcohol-free facility.




July 9-10, 2014


Rockford Police, Mercer County Sheriff’s Deputies and Coldwater K-9  Capture Most Wanted

The Rockford Police received a tip that an Allen County Ohio “Most Wanted” was staying at a residence in the Village.

Chief May responded to the Market Street address and spoke to an adult male. The male stated that “yes, he is here” and retreated to the rear of the residence to wake him. Chief May then learned that the male Philip M. Lane (25) of Lima Ohio wanted for an Ohio State Probation Violations had exited out the back of the residence on foot.

Chief May contacted Mercer County Sheriff’s Office and Coldwater Police’s K-9 unit for assistance. A temporary perimeter has established and a K9 track was started. Chief May reports that after sometime, K9 lost the track and Officers resumed the area search on foot and patrol car. The incident started at 1043 and at 1144 Coldwater’s K9 officer (Dues) located Mr. Lane running West on South Street, a brief foot chase took place and Officer Dues was able to catch up and placed under arrest.

Chief May would like to thank the Coldwater Police Department for their use of the K-9 and Mercer County Sheriff’s Office for assistance.

Chief May would also like to further thank those citizens that reported the tip and assisted with information on his location throughout the event.

– Your Chief of Police Paul May reported July 2, 2014


Volleyball Camp for Little Lady Panthers

The Parkway Volleyball Coaching Staff held a Little Lady Panthers Volleyball Camp for girls in grades K-3 for 4 days after school during the month of May. Campers were introduced to basic skills and techniques that are used in the game of volleyball. Each camper was given a t-shirt along with a volleyball to practice their skills at home. Volleyball Camp for girls entering grades 5-8 for the next school year will be held July 28 - July 31 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. Registration forms were sent home with students, however, if you still need to register, please contact Parkway Schools at 419-363-3045 x777.


NEWS RELEASE: 07-04-2014 – Car goes in Grand Lake

On today’s date at about 12:49 hrs Celina police and fire departments responded to a call of a car in the lake off of Lakeshore Dr. near Elmgrove Av.  Upon arrival officers found fifteen year old Skyler Green in the lake assisting 76 year old Nancy Leighner. 

Through the investigation of the non-injury crash it was found that Nancy Leighner, of Rockford, was operating at 2006 Saturn VUE.  She reported being tired and dozed off before failing to negotiate the curve at Elmgove Av. as she travelled towards E. Market St.  Her vehicle went off of the right side of Lakeshore Dr., over the concrete rip-rap and into Grand Lake.  Her car drifted a short distance north and sank up to the roof.  Nancy Leighner, uninjured, was able to exit her car and was stranded on the roof several yards from shore. 

Skyler Green, of Portland, Indiana, was along Grand Lake with his mother, taking pictures.  He observed the vehicle in the water, obtained a life jacket and swam out to Leighner and gave her the jacket.  Green stayed with Mrs. Leighner until members of the Celina Fire Department were able to get to her with a boat and bring her to safety.


Sign up for Parkway Youth Football on July 23rd and 24th in Rockford

Parkway Youth Football registration and Signup will be on Wednesday July 23rd and Thursday July 24th from 6:00 to 7:00pm at the community building in Rockford. This is open to any parkway student entering 3rd thru 6th grade and cost is $35. Conditioning will start on Monday July 28th thru the 31st at the Park from 6:00 to 8:00pm and contact will begin on Monday August 4th. All players will need a physical completed by August 4th. Any questions contact Tim Metz at 419-733-6922 or John Shaffer at 419-363-3663

10th Annual Shane’s Crossing 5K Run/Walk
10th Annual Shane’s Crossing 5K run/walk starts at 8:30am on Saturday July 19, 2014. The race starts and ends at Shane’s Park, 705 W. Front Street, Rockford, Ohio, and is part of the Mercer Health 5K Challenge countywide running series.

Race day registration and check in is 7:30-8:30 A.M. at the shelter house at Shane’s Park, with a $12.00 race only registration fee. A limited quantity of shirts will be for sale on race day.

For more information or a registration form, visit Mail completed entry form and check to Parkway Athletic Boosters, PO Box 482, Rockford, OH. 45882. For additional information call: Steve Fisher, 419-308-2080 or email:



Parkway Art Students Do it Again – Create Award Winning Masterpiece

The Ohio Department of Transportation snow blade that Ed Kuhn’s art students painted recently received a second place ribbon.  Denis Heitkamp, Program Administrator from the Deputy Director’s Office of ODT District 7, reports they entered the Parkway mural blade in the Vectren Dayton Airshow parade recently.  Denise said, “You should be very proud of the talent displayed by your students.  Thank you again for participating.”  Parkway students, last year, painted a beautiful mural for the Shanes Crossing Historical Society at the museum in Rockford.



Rockford Chamber Names Vanity Kept as July Business of the Month

Congratulations to VanityKept on being the Rockford Chamber Business of the Month for July! You are now the proud owner of our traveling the award "The Rocky", a certificate of appreciation, free advertising/promotion. Thank you for your continued support of the Chamber.

Pictured:  Melissa Metz, Marie Miller - Rockford Chamber Vice-President, and Tara Patterson - Owner 


Click Here for Van Wert County Common Pleas Court Cases Heard for June 2013


American Red Cross Accepting Donations
The American Red Cross will be collecting items through July 31, for members
of the Armed Forces deployed in Djibouti located in the Horn of Africa.
Comfort items will be collected and sent to the troops.   Donated items may
be dropped off at chambers in Auglaize County and our office here in Celina,
at 226 N. Main St.  
in Celina.  Hygiene items should be placed in plastic sealed bags. The
following items will be collected:  FOOD/SNACK ITEMS Hard Candy, Slim
Jims/jerky (beef or turkey), Granola bars, Individual size cookies, Rice
Krispies Treats, Little Debbie Snack Cakes (no boxes of cookies) Individual
size salty snacks - nuts, chips, pretzels. etc.  Crackers and cheese spreads

HYGIENE/OTHER ITEMS Body Wash (Travel size), Soap (Hand and bath), Hand &
Body Lotion (Travel Size), Foot Lotion/ Powder
Lip Balm, Hand Sanitizer (Travel size), Shaving cream, razors & refills,
Sunscreen, Deodorant, Insect Repellent, Toothpaste, toothbrushes &
mouthwash, Fly Swatters, DVD's (Movies) Phone Cards.  All these items help
to make our military a bit more comfortable as they are away fighting to
keep us safe.  

4-H in Venedocia Meets

The Venedocia Lads & Lassies held their last meeting on June 30th, 2014, 7:00 at the Venedocia Lions Club.  There were 12 members and 5 guest present.  Pledges were led by Dominic Bonifas and roll call was taken by Madison Pugh.  Addison Mueller did a safety report on campfire safety.  Keaton and Dominic Adkins did a demontration on their rabbits.  Our next meeting will be held on July 15th, 2014, 7:00 at the Venedocia Lions club.


Clever Clovers Meet

Reporter Catherine Kopack

The Clever Clover 4H Club had its seventh meeting on June 16th, 3:00-5:00PM at Wee Care Day Care in Van Wert. The club began with the business meeting and listened to demonstrations. Erin Richardson led the pledge.  Alaina Arney did roll call and read the minutes.  Erin Gemmer gave the financial report.  Jamie Burenga reported on the good turn-out for the Food Pantry service project and read a thank you note from the Master Gardener’s for the club’s help at the Children’s Garden.  After the business meeting adjourned, the club broke into groups to clean the gym and cots at the day care.  Snacks were provided by the Gemmer Family and Mrs. Markward.  The next meeting will be on June 30 to learn about a dairy barn.  Members will meet at Grace Bible Church in Van Wert at 2:30 to travel to the dairy.




Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey reports the Sheriff’s Office arrested two female subjects on Wednesday 7-9-2014 in Celina for possession of suspected heroin.  Sheriff Grey stated  a tip was received by the Sheriff’s Office Detectives indicating heroin was being transported to Mercer County from the Dayton area, with a possible delivery in Celina.  The tip provided a description of a possible vehicle and description of the occupants.  A vehicle was spotted with occupants known to the Detectives matching information provided by the tip pulling into the Marathon Gas Station on South Main Street in Celina.  Detectives and Mercer County Patrol Deputies made contact with the occupants of the vehicle.   

Arrested were the driver of the vehicle, 33 year old Skye Anna Daniels of 3514 State Route 219, Coldwater, Ohio, and a passenger 19 year old Cassandra Nicole Springer, of 1430 Meadowview Drive Apt. 8, Celina, Ohio.  Deputies and Detectives recovered two capsules of suspected Heroin and a used syringe from property belonging to Daniels.  They also recovered 6 capsules of suspected heroin that was found on Springer’s person.

A second passenger was released at the scene.  The vehicle was impounded and towed to the Sheriff’s Office.   The case will be forwarded to the Mercer County Prosecutor with a request to file felony charges.  

Information from the public from tips is a vital tool in battling the Heroin problem in Mercer County.  Residents are encourage to leave tips by calling the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office tip line at 567-890-8477 or email at, or on the Sheriff’s Office Facebook page.



Wassenberg Art Center
This Saturday! National level exhibit, The Best of 2014 is coming up on July 12 with an ice-cream social-type opening reception. Music by Matt Keeler and the Blues Reveler will perform on instruments called of all things a hurdy gurdy, a mandolin and guitar. Blues Reveler performed in Van Wert over the Fourth of July at the Van Wert County Historical Museum. So, if you missed the chance to seem them there, stop by. Ice cream and pie, will accompany some of the best art in the state of Ohio. The Best of 2014 is a traveling, multi-media exhibit curated by the Ohio Design and Craft Museum in Columbus. This exhibit will be on view through August 24.

Stop by after the Fountain Park Concert series featuring Motown Touch this Friday night to enjoy some beer, wine and great company. The Wassenberg Art Center is staying open late on Fridays to help expand our dynamic downtown activities.

Classic Watercolor class continues on Tuesday mornings starting at 10 a.m. This is an ongoing class is taught by Pat Rayman. Persons are encouraged to jump in anytime and the class is sold in monthly increments. $35 for members and $40 for non-members.

Vine & Palette is just around the corner for August and we always end up a waiting list. Call soon if you would like to join us for the evening. The evening includes all painting materials and wine and participants may bring a snack to share if they wish. We take care of the rest. Wear a paint shirt or apron to protect your clothes. $25 for members and $30 for non-members.


Ice Cream Social
St. John Lutheran Church, Hopewell Twp. will be hosting its annual ice cream social today, July 10th, from 4:30 to 7p.m.  The church is located at the corner of St. Rt. 118 and Oregon Rd.

Clever Clovers Meet
Reporter Catherine Kopack

The Clever Clover 4H Club had its eighth meeting on June 30th, 3:00-5:00PM at Hempfling Dairy  in Van Wert County. The club began with a tour of the diary and learned how the automated dairy works . After the tour the club listened to demonstrations. The club carpooled to The Creamery for a snack.  The next meeting will be on July 14 at 3:00 at Grace Bible Church in Van Wert.


Baby Sitting Course Completed

During the month of June, Mercer Health provided three sessions of its babysitter training program with 54 students successfully completing the training.

According to Betsy Schoenleben, R.N., Education Coordinator at Mercer Health, the students were trained in proper supervision, basic caregiving skills, and how to respond to an ill or injured child.   The students participated in check-offs such as diapering, bottlefeeding, and handwashing.    As part of the class, the Coldwater Fire Department and the Coldwater Department, and Mercer County Central Dispatch spoke to the students.   Students were required to pass a written test to receive certification. Students also viewed a CPR/First Aid video made possible by a donation from the Mercer County Civic Foundation.

Students completing the training include:
Haley Alig
Katie Alig
Macy Beougher
Allison Berry
Grace Bertke
Katelyn Bihn
Paige Bihn
Kayla Brunswick
Macy Brunswick
Nicole Brunswick
Grace Buschur
Torrance Clay
Bethany Dues
Brock Dues
Jackson Ervin
Clayton Everman
Allison Eyink
Daria Feltz
Laney Finke
Emma Grieshop
Annelise Harlamert
Alec Heitkamp
Abbie Kaiser
Braden Kaup
Aubrey Knapke
Madelyn Knapke
Samantha Knapke
Natalie Larkin
Lilie Leuthold
Ben Marcha
Isaac May
Kyle May
Hannah Metzger
Kendra Metzger
Rachel Miller
Olivia Milligan
Tanner Muhlenkamp
Kelsey Nichols
Rachel Olberding
Jordyn Olding
Erica Post
Molly Post
Dana Rindler
Michael Schoenherr
Devin Schoenlein
Laci Schritz
Tyler Schwieterman
Macy Shinaberry
Becca Stein
Madelynn Sudhoff
Hanna Sudman
Hope Sudman
Black Will
Megan Wolters

Schoenleben  says, “We feel we have provided these students with the knowledge and skills necessary to safely care for children.  However, Mercer Health cannot assume liability concerning the responsibility of these graduates while they are caring for the children of others.”

Another session of Mercer Health’s Babysitting Training Program will be held in July 21 and 22 from 9 am-12 pm.  To register for this session or for more information about Education Services provided by Mercer Health, contact Schoenleben at 419-678-5119. Click on smaller thumbnail pictures below to enlarge.


July 8, 2014


Ohio Fury Ignites Flag City Firecracker Tourney


The Ohio Fury 14u team finished 6-0 over the weekend to win the Flag City Firecracker tournament in Findlay, Ohio. They beat the Findlay Blackhawks 10-2 in the final game to qualify for ASA Nationals in Bowling Green, Kentucky.  The girls have played in five tournaments so far this summer and have an overall record of        28 - 1 - 1.  They will play this weekend in the NIT Shootout in Toledo.



Members of the team are, front row from left, Lindsay Albers (Minster), Caitlyn McEldowney (Versailles), Emily Bott (St. Marys) and bat boy Jacob Albers.  Back row, asst. coach Roger McEldowney, Kami McEldowney (Versailles), Katelin Augsburger (South Adams), Mackenzie Sipe (Parkway), asst. coach Ryan Sipe, Bailey Bates (Parkway), Haley Hawk (Parkway), Savannah Oen (Wapak), Haley McEldowney (Versailles) and head coach Rex Oen.  Not pictured:  Kate Perryman (Minster).


Chamber Reminder of Meeting

The Rockford Chamber will be meeting this Thursday at 8 am at the Village Hall.
Guest speaker will be Jim Crocker of WRKD - Rockford's radio station.





Bundle 3 or more season events together to ensure you have your favorite seat at an even better price this season!

The 2014-2015 Season at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center is sure to be a thrill-fest of fun with family & friends! With performances from Kenny Rogers, Josh Turner, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, the Temptations, The Olate Dogs, the first ever Holiday Ice Show and more, seats will sell out fast. The Niswonger is extending the opportunity for you to purchase your tickets in advance to ensure that you have first chance at priority seating selection while grabbing your tickets at a discount!

By bundling 3-5 events from the upcoming season, you will save 10% on the ticket face value. Bundle 6 or more events and you will save 15%. If you simply can't decide, why not go with a Grand Series ticket, which includes 19 events at a 20% discount. 

Bundle your events starting TOMORROW, JULY 8 at NOON. Order Online, stop by the box office at 10700 State Route 118 S., or order by phone (419) 238-6722  to avoid the crowd! Single event tickets, if still available, go on sale 90 days prior to each event and are on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Don't get sold out. Bundle your tickets early to guarantee your seat at the Niswonger, where inspiration is alive!



By  Joyce L. Alig, President, Mercer County Historical Society
July 17, 2014

Celina Auto Company was purchased by Mr. And Mrs. Wm. J. Brown, Sr. in 1917.  Wm. Brown, Sr. is the second person, wearing a vest, at the main entry door.

Celina Auto Company, with DeSoto, Plymouth and GMC Trucks, with the addition to the north side of the original building, with the gas pump in front, at Christmas time.  Can you date this photograph by the year of the car on the display window?

Celina Auto Company

The Celina Auto Company was originally located at 306 South Main, Celina.  They sold the leading motor cars and motorcycles, as advertised in the May 25 and 26, 1913 “Souvenir of Celina and the Official Program of the Convention of the Knights of St. John, at Mercelina Park.”

In 1917, William J. Brown, Sr., purchased the Celina Auto Company, and at some point, located the business at 225 South Main, at the northwest corner of Warren and Main Streets, Celina.  Brown operated the Company until his death in 1946.  Then, the Company was operated by his widow, Bess Brown and son, William, Jr., until they sold the business to Jared Halderman, but she kept the building in 1950.   

The Wollam Aircraft and Marine Products Company was located upstairs above Celina Auto Co. as of 1953.  What products were made at this Wollam Aircraft and Marine Products Company?  Who worked there? 

Three years after Halderman purchased the business of Celina Auto Company, on Monday November 2, 1953, Celina’s second greatest fire in the history of Celina destroyed businesses north of Warren Street.  In that fire, Celina Auto Company not only lost its building, but also lost 34 vehicles, of which six were new autos.  The story of that fire will be addressed in next week’s article, July 24. 

A Thank you goes to Pat Adams Howard and to Pat Brown Hays for the contribution to preserving the history of Celina, for this local history story.


School Board Meeting on Tuesday, July 8
The Parkway Board of Education meeting scheduled on Tuesday, July 8 at 6:30 in the community room at the school.

Click here for the agenda.


July 7, 2014


Cooper Farms Supports Rockford Recreation Association


Dianne Cooper, Vice President of Public Relations for Cooper Farms, presents a check to Ryan Sipe, Rockford Recreation Association Treasurer, from the Cooper Family Foundation.  The Foundation supports projects and activities in Cooper Farms area communities. This generous donation will support ongoing Shanes Park improvements and recreational programs that are provided by the Rockford Recreation Association.


Salem Presbyterian Church Ice Cream Social

Friday, July 25th,  4:30 to 7:30 pm

Description: Featuring ice cream, cakes, pies, cookies and dinner menu

Where: Venedocia Lions Club Building, air conditioned, next to the
recreation park and ball field. Venedocia is west of Lima and south of Van
Wert. It is on Route 116.


Rockford  Vacation Bible School.
Gangway to Galilee_ VBS will take us on and around the Sea of
Galilee with  five accounts of Jesus' ministry there. By grace through
faith,  Jesus, God's own Son our Savior, calls us, teaches us, keeps
us safe,  saves us, and provides all we need now and forever. That's
amazing  grace!

Registration is open for ages 3 years to grade 5 who will attend VBS
from  July 7-11th , 9am-12 noon at New Horizons Church, Rockford.
Don't  miss the boat! Set sail with us to sing fun songs, do crazy
crafts, eat  yummy snacks, play awesome games, and more. Plus, you'll
learn all  about Jesus our Savior and His amazing grace! Can't wait to
see you  there! Registration forms are available at New Horizons,
Rockford Methodist  and St Teresa Churches in Rockford or register by
calling 419-363-2633.


Fresh & New Community Concert Series Announced

By Tafi Stober, Marketing Director
We dream of entertainment and it shows in this 61st season of Community Concerts. The Series has been unveiled and features revered TV Legends, piano, strings, vocals and high energy dance. Entertainment dreams come true in the opulent comfort of the Niswonger.  

The Series begins on Saturday, October 4 with The Annie Moses Band. This award winning group of Juilliard-trained musicians and songwriters is dedicated to musical and spiritual excellence in the arts. The Annie Moses Band is a young and exciting group well-known for their diverse sound from Classical to soulful Bluegrass music that will move every soul with their heart melting harmonies. All ages will delight in this zestful display of musical talent.

Then on Thursday night, October 9, Peter Yarrow, of the iconic folk group, “ Peter, Paul, and Mary” takes center stage sharing stories and song in the very intimate setting of the Niswonger. Take a stroll down memory lane to when “Puff the Magic Dragon” was first created and delight in the soothing songs of Peter Yarrow and his band of friends, “Mustard Retreat.”  As an advocate of “anti- bullying”, Peter Yarrow will share his encouraging platform  with students as part of his visit to Van Wert. Support of the Community Concerts affords this worthwhile cause that impacts our communities through the arts.


The series then travels south to the Caribbean on October 13 to visit the lovely island country of Cuba.  The Habaneros, a talented string quartet from the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba are joined by virtuoso clarinetist, Ortuno Cabezas in a night of Classical and native Cuban music.  The concert will also feature the quintet, dressed in authentic, colorful Cuban Guayaberas, and performing with a digital backdrop displaying hundreds of rarely seen images of Cuba.  


Headlining the series on Sunday, March 8 are the iconic legends of television, Barbara Eden of “I Dream of Genie” and Hal Linden of “Barney Miller” star in a modern American Classic, Love Letters, A.R. Gurney’s beloved play about two people who grow up in love with each other’s writing. The broadway tale is as much a celebration of the power of the written word as it is to love itself. Poetic, elegant, funny and profoundly touching, Love Letters shows that, despite how things seem, what divides us is rarely as powerful as what connects us. 

The fifth concert of the series features one of the finest concert pianists in the nation, Leon Bates. This bodybuilding, world touring concert pianist found his love for music at the age of 6 and continued his talent all the way to Carnegie Hall. A masters class and seminar of African American composers and their contributions to American music is also featured.

The season comes to a triumphal ending on Thursday, April 9 with a trip to Ireland with the Celtic dance ensemble, The StepCREW.  This crew of dancers and musicians literally tear up the stage with their high energy moves and Irish music.  Masters of three exhilarating dance styles: Ottawa Valley Stepdance, Irish stepdance and tap, this new show takes you on a journey with some of the finest dancers and musicians in the Celtic Music scene today.  The StepCREW delivers a show of both brilliant visual and musical display.

The Community Concert Series includes all six concerts for as little as just $60 for a balcony seat, $75 for mezzanine or $100 for orchestra seating. Become a Community Concert Series Member at a Maestro, Principal or Musician level. Community Concert Members receive first buying opportunities and choice seating. Memberships are purchased separately from tickets. Maestro level sales begin April 30, Principal - May 5 and Musician on May 12. General series subscribers may purchase seats beginning May 19. Any remaining seats will be available for single ticket purchases approximately 90 days prior to the concert date.

Wish no longer! Amazing entertainment becomes a dreamy reality at the Niswonger, located at 10700 SR 118 S, Van Wert, OH. The Box Office is open Mon-Fri from noon - 4 PM. More information about the Community Concert Series can be found online at NPACVW.ORG

The 14-15 Community Concert Series, is presented by VANCREST Healthcare Centers. Supporting sponsors are Delphos Hearing Aid Center, Central Insurance Companies, Taylor Auto Sales, Slusher's Jewelry and Van Wert County Hospital. Season Sponsors for 2014-15 Season are Statewide Ford Lincoln and Van Wert Federal Savings Bank.




June 27- July 6, 2014
Happy Independence Day


Nuclear Physicist for NASA Space Center Studies Gamma Rays
Via FERMI/GLAST Satellite
By Sheila Baltzell, Liz Hays and Paula Hays 6-27-2014

Below is a picture of the sky in high energy, taken over a five year period by the LAT instrument on Fermi.  This was a big deal and a good emphasis for the Five -Year celebration of Fermi.


Elizabeth Anne “Liz” Hays, daughter of Reverend Richard S. and Paula (Barron) Hays spent the first 10 years of her life in Rockford, Ohio. She grew in Christ at the former Rockford Presbyterian Church where her father pastored, attended school at Parkway, played the clarinet in the Parkway Elementary band, studied the migrating monarch butterflies in the vegetation near her home and absolutely loved the stars, planets and moon phases. Her mom recalls that as a toddler, she would run for the TV when she heard the Nova Channel begin on PBS.

Paula said, “What caused little Beth Anne to run to the TV in the evening was the music from Carl Sagan's "Cosmos."  She'd head for the TV room calling "Cosmos music! Cosmos music!"  We let her watch it, even though it was a bit past bedtime, because she liked it so much.  I'm sure she only understood a little.  When she went to Cornell, she heard a few physics lectures from Sagan himself as he was then a professor there.  Small world.” In 1986, she and her mom located Halley’s Comet which swings into our solar system every 75-76 years. Fascinated, they spent one chilly, March evening observing it in the low western sky with Sheila, Chris, Scott and Tom Baltzell on the west side of Rockford (where it was darker).

When the family left for a new church and home in Waverly, Ohio, Liz grew up and continued in her fascination of the cosmos. She studied hard and graduated as valedictorian of her Waverly High School class in 1994.  While in high school, she was in band, cross country, track (the two mile), school plays and served on the yearbook staff.  She and two classmates won the high school science trophy for the State of Ohio.  The trophy is still on display among the many athletic school trophies that Waverly has collected over the years.  She played in the Ohio State High School Honors Band - clarinet.  She even continued her music when she went to college, playing clarinet in the band and a jazz group, a relaxing activity. Just before she graduated, the Waverly Mayor presented her with a key to the city for all her accomplishments and for being a good Waverly ambassador. Liz was mayor for a day. With those accomplishments under her belt and a deep dedication to science, she was accepted and continued on to a bachelor degree at the prestigious University of Cornell in Ithaca, New York, in the Finger Lake region.


Liz was in no ordinary program. Nuclear Physics was her major, and she became part of the Women in Science program at Cornell. This opened doors for her to different summer employments at the University of Chicago as well as the  University of Connecticut in their physics departments. While at the University of Chicago, Liz was the lecturer one year for the popular weekly Compton Lectures. These are given on Saturdays to the general public (picture at left).
She studied at University of Maryland after that and "fused" her masters work into a doctoral program (a phd (doctor’s degree) in Physics at University of Maryland).

During this time she worked some on the Milagro project at Los Alamos National Lab near Sante Fe, New Mexico.  She dug up electrical cables that desert rats had chewed.  She also sat in a rowboat under a large tarp covering a pond that contained rods which detected gamma rays.  The rods had to be cleaned by divers and somebody had to man (or rather, woman)  the boat. She was either in hot and/or dirty work conditions those summers, but certainly paid her dues. 

Post graduate work, at University of Chicago an Argonne National Laboratory  took her to a career at NASA at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland in the space program and was part of the team who designed and built the unmanned FERMI space observatory satellite which just celebrated its 5th year in orbit this past July 2013. Launched in July 2008, it was the culmination of years of work  that Liz and her colleagues had planned for the day. Their satellite was going up into space with a Gamma-ray telescope to send back data to help scientists learn more about the universe. Rick and Paula, her parents, and Drew and Angie (her brother and sister-in-law) all made the journey to Cocoa Beach, Florida and experienced the VIP treatment while Liz prepared for the launch. They shopped, ate-out and visited the Merritt Island National Wildlife Reserve in Titusville, FL (140,000 acres). They were able to tour NASA, and sit in on a formal pre-launch briefing in the auditorium they use for Astronaut press conferences. Unfortunately the launch was postponed due to inclement weather. Even though Liz’ family could not stay, the following week the launch happened, with her husband, Eric, then able to join her.


Since the launch, Liz has worked with her colleagues around the world to comb through and decipher the gamma ray data. They are looking for the dark matter of the universe. We live in light matter with atoms, molecules, rocks water, air and stars. It is our home. But it is small. It only represents 4.9 percent of our universe. It is the FERMI team’s job to study the other 95.1 percent of the invisible and formless energy that we live alongside.

The European Space Agency’s PLANCK spacecraft in the Spring of 2013 completed its 15 month look at the composition of our universe. It concluded that of the 95.1 percent, 26.8 is invisible “dark” matter; and 68.3 percent is formless energy. The conclusion is that two thirds of the universe has no substance at all, according to an article Darklands of the Cosmos by Corey S. Powell in Discover Magazine July/August 2013.

Cosmologists thought this dark matter was holding the visible universe together and it was proven in 1980 by astronomers. In January 2012, with the help of the FERMI/GLAST space observatory satellite, physicist Christoph Weniger, at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, located a new type of radiation at the center of our galaxy, a glow where dark matter particles were smashing together and going from invisible to visible.

Because of the data, Liz’ team of theorists at Harvard University with colleagues Lisa Randall and JiJi Fan, formulated a new theory of dark matter. Because the dark matter glow was so minute, they theorized that there was another type of dark matter out there, just discovered, which could interact with itself and be seen as it clumped and formed a disk shape which Weniger could see. If the theory holds true, this would be a breakthrough that dark matter is not something so simple, but can actually interact, collapse and create a dark disk within our galaxy ~ a double disk of dark matter right underneath us.  Liz explains that this means the clumping dark matter acts like clumping light matter which means it could be making dark stars and planets with dark atoms and dark structures, just like our light matter does. They even say this could mean there is dark life out there somewhere ~ a shadow galaxy.  

Weniger’s research has excited the science world as he and 4 collaborators including Elizabeth Hays, were pouring over 43 months of data from the  FERMI – NASA space observatory that was looking for gamma ray radiation (described as similar to light but much more energetic). FERMI recorded a very specific energy that was 60 billion times faster. The team believes it is the theorized  flash of dark particles crashing into and destroying one another. So they continue to watch the data, as long as FERMI continues to operate in space. Independent astronomers like Douglas Finkbeiner from Harvard are using FERMI data to try to confirm the theory as well.

A new European Space Agency observatory called GAIA which launched on December 19, 2013 after postponements from the original launch date in October, is an exciting event for Liz and her colleagues, too. Its mission is to map the location and velocities of stars in the Milky Way. According to Liz, it will be able to define the outline of a dark disk of matter pulling on our light matter galaxy as it searches for and records star motions.  And so, Beth’s team culls FERMI data and waits for new data to arrive, studying the hottest topic in science right now. She travels regularly to the Japan, Italy and Sweden in her career as a scientist.

Beth lives in Alexandria, Virginia, is married to Eric Melin, and has a two and 1/2 year old daughter, Tabitha and a new baby son, Arthur Paul. Eric is a computer scientist who also works for NASA and is involved with the launches of satellites. His expertise launched the New Horizons Satellite in 2006 scheduled to reach Pluto in 2015. She offers this link to the latest news on the FERMI gamma ray galactic lens for viewing a galaxy published by Astronomy Magazine for more reading on the topic:

Rick and Paula Hays can be reached at or 310 E. North Street, Waverly, OH  45690.  

Above: Rick, Drew, Liz and Angie planning their itinerary in Florida as they wait for the "postponed" launch.  The second is Liz relaxing at an open air table while waiting on food.  The third is a shot of the launch towers, one of which sent the Fermi into orbit. Click on smaller thumbnails to enlarge the pictures.


Above: The first is Liz and her mom Paula in front of the mammoth Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center; the next of Dad (Rick) and Liz in front of a Shuttle on display at the Smithsonian, and the third was taken while Liz, Tab and Paula were in Monterey, CA - Liz was working at conference but this was shot at the evening dinner at the Monterey Salt Water Aquarium.  "That was a fabulous place!" said Paula.



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 entir 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, 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 the University of WVA 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 University of West Virginia 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.
















This Saturday, June 28th, the Rockford Belle, at 135 Market Street, Rockford, OH will host autoharpist PATRICK BRIEDE II of Decatur, IN and southern-gospel singers- THE FISHERMEN QUARTET, of Clyde, OH. Doors open at 6 p.m. The public is invited to attend. A free-will donation will be accepted.

Forty years ago in Clyde, Ohio two brothers and a friend- Larry and Jim Kessler and Max Wright organized what is now known as The Fishermen Quartet. From the beginning, they sang Southern Gospel music, a style that conveys perfectly a special message for the listener if he or she will hear it. Additional musicians were added- leading to a full traveling band that would consist of piano, bass guitar, drums, and lead guitar.  They were like many of other groups who stayed together for a number of years, members leaving one by one, and finally disbanding all together.  Larry and Max sang in some other groups and finally not being fully satisfied, started The Fishermen back up again. The group has welcomed a full QT bass singer, Bob Scott of Akron, Ohio, and tenor singer Dug Conner, of Elyria, Ohio. They have now cut 7 CD`s and a live DVD. Last year, they sang 153 dates and this year’s booking schedule appears to be filling up quickly. Ed O`Neal says it best, "All we ever wanted to do was sing a song.” The Fishermen Quartet perform at a variety of venues and look forward to when they can spread the word in song.

Better known as Patty Joe, autoharpist Patrick Briede II will perform for the second time at the Belle and open for The Fishermen Quartet. Listeners can learn why the singer-songwriter and recording artist has been called: fibber, faker, fool, and dreamer.

For ten years now, Patty Joe has been defining his dirt folk style of music and has compiled quite a play list including the likes of Hank Williams Sr., Johnny Cash and John Prine. He has written in a wide variety of styles from Folk, Country, Christian, and of life’s humor. His influences range from John Prine, the late Steve Goodman and the Holy Ghost.

Patty Joe’s instrument of choice is the autoharp (a southern mountain instrument made popular by Mother Maybelle Carter and June Carter Cash) and percussion. He is well-known and recognized as he performs on the street at Farmer’s Markets, in churches, coffee houses, schools, open mics, and daycares. He looks forward to sharing his recorded CD demo entitled “Lost and Found” with 12 original songs that express his life and faith.

Conclude the week on a positive note with lively performances by The Fishermen Quartet and Patrick Briede II! For continued concert updates and communication, click on to FACEBOOK and follow The Rockford Belle. For more information, call Tom Rogers at 567-644-9993



June 23-26, 2014



Parkway’s Caden Slusher Takes First Place

Caden Slusher traveled to Cleveland on June 22 to compete in the team championship of the pitch hit and run at Progressive Field home of the Cleveland Indians.  Caden won 1 st place in his age group allowing him to be eligible to participate in the national championship at the MLB allstar game in Minneapolis.  Caden and the 7 other 1 st place age group winners were escorted onto the diamond to be recognized for their win at home plate in front of thousands before the Indians and Tigers game Saturday night.  Great job Caden!  



Ohio Fury Has Another Successful Tourney!


The Ohio Fury 14U team finished the weekend with a record of 5-0-1 to win the Ohio Wave Summer Smackdown ASA Tournament that was held in Greenville, Ohio on June 14th & 15th, 2014.  The girls had an exciting come from behind 7-5 win over a very good and undefeated Indiana Bambino team.  The girls now have a record of 17-0 and 1 tie on the season.  They will travel to Van Wert this weekend to play in the Welch Tournament.



Members of the team are, front row from left, Katelin Augsburger (South Adams), Emily Bott (St. Marys), Kaitlyn McEldowney (Versailles) and Kate Perryman (Minster).  Back row, asst. coach Ryan Sipe, Kami McEldowney (Versailles), Mackenzie Sipe (Parkway), Bailey Bates (Parkway), bat boy Jacob Albers, Savannah Oen (Wapak), Haley Hawk (Parkway), Lindsay Albers (Minster), Haley McEldowney (Versailles) and head coach Rex Oen.  Not pictured: asst. coach Roger McEldowney.



Congratulation Pat Agler for being chosen as the
Rockford Community Days - 2014 Volunteer of the Year:

 Pat Agler and Mayor Amy Joseph

 Pat Agler, son of Rebecca   (Smitley) Mumma  & the late Ned Agler; and
  stepson of James  Mumma was born 2/20/65. Pat grew up in Van Wert, Ohio.
  Growing up he could always be found with the neighborhood kids playing a
  game of football or whatever sport was in season.  In high school, Pat
  played tackle for the Van Wert Cougars football team. He attended college
  1 year at Bluffton College with the goal of becoming a physical education
  teacher /coach.    He has always been a sports enthusiast. Whether 
  cheering at a live  game, watching a televised game or participating in
  the game  himself , sports has always been a passion of his. Fast forward
  a few years  to 1993 when Pat married a local hometown girl, Monica (
  Sill) Agler, daughter of Jerry & Marjorie Sill.  Pat became  stepdad to
  Jennifer (Moody) Burker & Spencer Moody.  Later Pat & Monica welcomed
  their daughter Amy Jo into the world.
  When Pat became disabled in 2001 he was devastated. He had always enjoyed
  very active lifestyle. He enjoyed  participating in bowling, softball
  leagues and taking family walks/ bike rides.  During this transition
  phase we decided to downsize and made our home in Rockford.  As God
  worked it out we purchased a home near Shane's Park in 2004. Pat 
  wanted to become involved in the community.   He took on the role
  of grounds keeper of the ball diamonds at Shane's Park for 3 years.
  During his time at the park, Pat developed a "shadow" in Cody Depweg. 
  Cody enjoyed tagging along with Pat helping him with the bases
  & lining the fields.  Pat took great pride in his work and keeping the
  fields in tip top shape.  While his pace was slow his technique was
  flawless. Rockford was able to host games when other locations cancelled
  due to flooded fields. Pat also designed the Shane's Park
  Softball/Baseball logo which hangs on the concession stand at
  Shane's Park.   After a time it became to much for him to manage but
  he had acquired a new hobby; photography.
  He found great joy in getting the action shots at baseball games. Being
  such an avid sports fan he soon found the rhythm of the game and could
  predict the plays. That, he says is what helps him get some of the
  awesome shots. " You have to anticipate where the ball is going and be in
  position for the shot." He made fast friends with the Athletic Director,
  Doug Hughes and was thrilled when he was allowed to snap pics at the
  local high school sporting events.  Hands down, football is his favorite
  because he played the game himself.   "Nothing like being under the lights
  on Friday night with the adrenaline pumping and the fans cheering." Pat
  launched his website :   [LINK:] in  2007.  There he would post pix of Parkway High
  School sports.   He also includes stats of the games and a brief story
  line. The site changes w/the Fall, Spring & Winter sports seasons. This
  website is very time consuming, challenging, yet rewarding.
  The pantherzden website is a great  resource for parents, grandparents,
  etc. to view their student in action.   Pat has received so many kind words
  from folks saying how much they appreciate the website. It is a wonderful
  opportunity to put a spotlight on our school, community, and students. 
  Many Parkway alum check in to see how panther sports are going. Family
  members far & near can see  pics of their clan and feel like they were at
  the game. His website is not sponsored by the school or community. All of
  his picture posted on the site are free for the taking. He is very clear
  about his calling.    He will tell you quite simply, " God put this camera
  in my hand.   Photography is my gift, my way to give back." Pat's
  website gives back to the community that so graciously accepted him in.
  He counts it a priviledge to attend the school sporting events and cheer
  on the Panthers.   He may have been born a Cougar but he is a proud
  transplant and loves his Parkway Panthers!   In addition, Pat's
  action shots have caught the attention of local paper, The
  Times-Bulletin. He shares his photos with them and  in turn, Parkway gets
  some great press in the local paper. 
  Pat has traveled to support our   Parkway Alumni as they play college
  sports as well. He has had the joy of watching: Jordan Thompson, Kelsey
  Bates, Dillon Long, and Josh Fisher to name a few.
  Pat can also be found at community events such as Rockford Days, Sock
  Hop @ The Belle, Business Expo and the Memorial Day Parade snapping
  pictures. Watch for  those on Parkway Independent.  He has taken photos
  for Youth for Christ , the recent Attaboy concert held at Parkway
  and other school events as well. In addition he has shared his talent by
  assisting with images for Chamber events and the Rockford Alive website.
  As former president of the Grand Lake Photo Club he brought awareness to
  the area agriculture.
  Pat is most deserving of this honor. He is a person with a big heart
  always willing to lend a hand.
  He continues to give back to the community through his pictures.


Congratulations American Legion - Post 508- June Business of the Month



The Rockford Legion is a membership club with three different types of members:

•           Regular Legion Member (Served and met proper criteria to become)-  $25/Yr dues

•           Son of American Legion (Met proper criteria to become)- $20/Yr dues

•           Social Membership- (Anyone else that isn't a Regular or Son member. People that didn't serve or have immediate family serve and Women)


Dues are actually due at the beginning of July and members will have all through July to pay these. Now would be a great time to become a member. To become a member is very easy. Just stop in, see the bartender, & they will take your name & number down. At the next Sons of Legion meeting, the patron will be voted on to become a member.


The Legion has a new 27 seat bar with 4 flat screen HD TVs. They also offer a surround sound stereo that plays off of TouchTunes. For Ohio State football games, the stereo is set to the audio of the game and it makes for a great atmosphere! If you are a sports fan, it's a great place to be to watch a game of any sport!


A lot of the Legion’s profits are given to various charities and such, including Parkway High Schools Scholarship program and Parkway Athletics. They have also given generous amounts for the new improvements at the beautiful Shanes Park.


They are working on starting to serve dinners on Saturday's from 5-8PM. See below for Facebook information to follow all of their updates!


If you have any other questions on becoming a member or what we do as a group, please follow them on Facebook at "Rockford Legion" and they can assist you the best that they can.


The Rockford Chamber Business of the Month program recognizes our Chamber Members and serves as a "Thank You" in addition to promoting the recipient each month. To learn how to become a chamber member, visit our website


Congratulations again, and thank you for your support!


Hays and Melin Families Celebrate Birth of a Son - Click Here for his details


Jessica Burger Wins Scholarship

Ohio City resident wins scholarship from Indiana Pacers Foundation

Jessica Burger, who just completed her junior year at Ball State University (Muncie, Ind.), has received a $2,500 Linda Craig Memorial Scholarship, sponsored by the Indiana Pacers Foundation.  She is the daughter of Ray and Rochelle Burger, Ohio City.

The scholarship is awarded to undergraduate students in Indiana who demonstrate excellence in academics, character, integrity and leadership, and who are pursuing careers in medicine, sports medicine or physical therapy.

After completing her bachelor’s degree in exercise science and pre-physical therapy, Burger intends to enroll in a Doctor of Physical Therapy program and complete a term of service with the Peace Corps. 

Her ultimate career goal is to work with the WHO (World Health Organization) in sub-Saharan Africa, promoting physical activity, rather than medication, as a means of preventing and treating non-communicable diseases.

“My lifetime goal is to combine my love of fitness and volunteering into service on a global scale,” Burger said. 


Clever Clovers Meet

Reporter Catherine Kopack

The Clever Clover 4H Club had its seventh meeting on June 6th, 6:30-7:30PM at the Grace Bible Church  in Van Wert. 16 members and three guests were present. The club was reminded to sell BBQ Dinner Tickets.  The club separated into small groups and many did demonstrations. Two graduation cards were presented to Claire Gamble and Audrey Nicolai, the seniors of the club. Health and safety officer Kayla Krites did a report on “Pet Safety in the Summer”.  Snacks and drinks were provided by Erin and Ali Gemmer.  There are 6 weeks until judging!  Erin Richardson led the club in an ice-breaker. Then the club participated in a learning activity by teaching each other how to sew buttons.  Service coordinator Jamie Burenga reminded the club that there is a service project to help unload food for the Cooperative Ministries’ Food Pantry at First United Methodist Church at 8:45am.   The next meeting will be on June 16, at 6:30 at Grace Bible Church in Van Wert.



Mercer Co. PERI will meet on July 8, 2014  - State Representative Buchy to Speak



The Mercer County Chapter of the PERI will beet Tuesday, July 8, at 10:00 A.M. at the Hopewell Grange Hall, Mercer County Fairgrounds, West Market Street, Celina.

At 9:30 donuts will be served with juice and coffee.


State Representative Jim Buchy will be the Speaker.  This is a good time for each PERI Member to express his or her own views about our State of Ohio, as well as to listen to Representative Jim Buchy tell about the State of Ohio.

The philosophy of our Nation is that each person is important and each vote counts.  This is our authority as well as our responsibility.  Look around the world at other governments and compare our democracy with the lives of others.  

If we do not accept our responsibility for our government, someone else will do it for us.





RICHMOND, Indiana - Four-time honorees Cheltsi Hinners and Justin Judd headline the list of 29 Indiana University East student-athletes who qualified for the All-Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Scholar-Athlete Team for the 2013-14 school year.

All athletes with a cumulative 3.25 grade point average after at least two semester of attendance at a KIAC institution are named to the All-KIAC Scholar-Athlete Team.


Among the winners in Women's volleyball were: Katrina Detwiler (Bloomington, Indiana/Bloomington High School North), Morgan Dobbs (Nashville, Indiana/Brown County High School), Mallory Livingston (Union City, Ohio/Mississinawa Valley High School), Sierra Nobbe (Connersville, Indiana/Connersville High School), Lydia Smith (Connersville, Indiana/Connersville High School) and Morgan Steinbrunner (Rockford, Ohio/Parkway High School).


By Kyle Wright

Assistant Athletic Director and Sports Information Director

Indiana University East


RADC to Meet
The RADC meeting is scheduled for Monday, June 23 at 7:30 in the Rockford Library basement. A representative from the new owners of the Rockford Carryout will be attending as well as Jim Crocker from the new radio station.  




Auditor Takes Distinguished County Auditor Award

Mercer County Auditor Randall E. Grapner is a recipient of the “Distinguished County Auditor” award, presented by the County Auditors’ Association of Ohio (CAAO).  The award recognizes County Auditors who have completed 100 or more hours of continuing education during their term of office.  Mr. Grapner was recognized and received the award from CAAO President George Kaitsa, Delaware County Auditor, during the CAAO Summer Conference in June.  In recognizing this achievement the CAAO notes, that when you consider the time commitments on County Auditors in general, it is truly an accomplishment for a County Auditor to have over 100 hours of credit. 


Section 319.04 of the Ohio Revised Code requires County Auditors to complete at least 24 hours of continuing education during their term of office.  Mr. Grapner obtained his training in topics such as Recent Trends in Real Property Valuation, Financial Audits, Budget Commission and Tax Levies, and two mandatory classes in ethics and substance abuse.



Sheriff Arrests Five People
Celina, Ohio – Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey announced the indictment and Arrests of 5 persons.   All of the charges are a result of an investigation by the Grand Lake Task Force.   The Task Force is a combined effort of law enforcement agencies in Mercer and Auglaize Counties.  The Celina Police Department assisted with these apprehensions.


Dennis W. Clutter, Age 54, Care of the Mercer County Adult Detention Facility.  1 Count Possession of Heroin, A Felony of the 4th degree.

William R. Culver Jr, Age 49, Care of the Mercer County Adult Detention Facility.  1 Count Possession of Heroin, A Felony of the 4th degree.

Savannah K. Thees, Age 26, 222 Washington Street Celina, Ohio.  1 Count Trafficking in Heroin, A Felony of the 5th degree.

Quinn F. Staugler, Age 24, 1035 Westbank Road Apt C Celina, Ohio. 3 Counts Trafficking in Marijuana, Felonies of the 5th Degree. 

Marcus P. Koester, Age 25, Farm view Estates 800 Touvelle Apt 1 Celina, Ohio.  3 Counts Trafficking in Marijuana, Felonies of the 5th Degree.

Deputies are currently seeking four other individuals.



4-H Camp Palmer is in full swing & new pool is coming! June 25, 2014


On June 4th 4-H Camp Palmer began their 67 year of resident summer camp for youth from northwest Ohio. So far over 920 campers have had the joy of attending camp. The season began with over 120 youth enjoying the 25th year of science camp, 150 youth from Williams County, 120 youth from Auglaize County, 212 youth from Fulton County, 205 youth from Henry County and over 120 youth from Allen County.

This past April the 4-H Camp Palmer board made it official that the camp’s original pool built in 1957 would be used for the last season and the new one would be in place by summer of 2015. Some recent donations that are making this possible included the Helen Sell Estate Bequest of $54,372, Defiance Area Foundation grant of $10,000, Cooper Farms Foundation of $5000 and a number of other donations, including the new brick memorial patio/flagpole.

This memorial patio was dedicated with a blue ribbon cutting on June 14. Several of the brick donors attended the event and enjoyed seeing Fulton County youth enjoying camp activities. Special recognition was given to Lyle and Hilda Spiess for sponsoring a $5000 donation to this project to pay for the concrete slab and the purchase of 1089 bricks!

A 22 ft. by 22 ft. patio now surrounds the camps flagpole at the center of camp. Dedicated 8” by 8” bricks can be purchased by individuals or businesses.  Individual, family or non-profit youth group can order one for $100.00 or business can purchase a brick for $275 to advertise as thousands of youth and adults will walk by the patio at the center of camp. The next set of bricks will be installed before the camps annual Celebrate Open house program scheduled for Sunday, October 5.

            Some other programs coming up this season include a new Family Camp open to the public for August 2-3. Families can camp in our cabins and participate in canoeing, swimming, zipline, campfire as well as enjoy the annual fireworks display at Harrison Lake State on August 2. Also, our present  camp pool will be open for a final swim for alumni, former campers, families on August 10th-1:00-3:00 p.m.

            Some people may be surprised to learn that after 4-H Camps, Camp Palmer will host 6 band camps/retreat from the following schools: Eastwood High School, Elida High School, Start High School, Rodgers, Woodward and Bowsher High School. Other programs include family reunions, special camps, leadership retreats, competition fun shoot, church picnics and retreats, fall outdoor education school programs and more!

                        Thanks on behalf of 4-H Camp Palmer for the generous gifts from Helen Sell Estate, Defiance Area Foundation, Cooper Farms Foundation, Lyle and Hida Spiess and many other. For more information on ways to support 4-H Camp Palmer pool project or order your memorial brick please call 419-237-2247 or email



Venedocia Lads and Lassies        

 The Venedocia Lads and Lassies held their last meeting on May 29th,2014 at 7:00.  There were 21 members present and 5 guest.  Pledges were led by Tyra Trentman and roll call was taken by Tara Vorst.  Health report was givin by Tara Vorst on stretching before an event of sport.  Safety report was givin by Tara Radabaugh on life jacket safety.  At our next meeting we will be working on our booth.  Our next meeting will be held on Tues June 30th at 7:00 at the Venedocia lions club.



PRESS RELEASE – St. Johns Road Project to be Funded



Mercer County Engineer Jim Wiechart is announcing that funding has been obtained from the Federal Highway Administration to make improvements to St. Johns Road from a location ¼ mile south of SR 119 extending north 1.45 miles to a location approximately 0.2 mile north of Amsterdam Road.  $245,120 in federal funds (predominantly federal gas user fee revenue) was obtained through a competitive application process. 


The project is set to be funded in the second half of 2016.  The project will involve pavement widening, 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 $306,400 of which 20% will come from local county engineer funds and 80% will come from federal funds.


“This is a highly traveled road in Marion Township and we are fortunate to be able to access these funds.  The public is encouraged to provide comments or questions related to this project to our office.”  Wiechart stated.



Guest Column from State Representative Jim Buchy

Elevating the Issue of Common Core to a State Level Issue


It was just over a year ago, when my office began receiving calls from constituents in western Ohio concerned about the Common Core Standards.  At that time I knew that the schools were implementing new standards and they had been for some time but I had a lot to learn about how this effort was really an attempt to nationalize public education.  A lot has come out since that time and recently Senator Faber led the way in elevating the discussion of the common core to a state level issue.

Many state leaders remain unaware of the costs of common core both in hard money and dignity.  Ohio should run our own education system and the local school boards should have control over curriculum and teaching in each of our schools.  For those leaders who haven’t been able to comprehend the threat of the Common Core—now is our opportunity to share the information that we have learned.


In House Bill 487, which the Governor signed recently, there will be four standards review committees with experts, parents and teachers that will advise the Ohio Department of Education on Ohio’s Academic Content Standards.  The committees provide a platform to educate the leaders that are not yet aware of the threat of common core.


In addition to other advancements in protecting Ohio’s children from the Common Core, the bill also requires each Ohio school to establish a parental review committee or other method of input. This will give parents a say in the curriculum at the school and give them the assurance that local curriculum matches the values of the community.


HB 487 touched on several different areas to protect Ohio’s children from any unintended effects of the Common Core and elevates the discussion from the grassroots level to a state level issue.  There is still a lot of work to be done but Governor Kasich and the Ohio legislature have signified a commitment to further addressing the concerns related with the common core academic content standards.


While the amendments in HB 487 provide a temporary stop gap to the unintended consequences I am working with other legislators to advance the passage of House Bill 237 which would repeal the Common Core in its entirety.  At this time HB 237 is stuck in the House Education Committee.  I joined with some of my colleagues in signing a discharge petition.  If we can get 50 signatures it will bring the bill to the floor for an up or down vote.


Thanks to the hard work of persons in our communities this issue has become a state level issue, and it needs our attention.  In west central Ohio we have the best schools in the state.  Increasing parental involvement and keeping the Common Core out will ensure that it stays that way.



Willshire Days Details

Plans are completed for the 49th annual Willshire Days festival that is being sponsored by the Willshire Lions Club.  The festivities will be held June 27th and 28th.  The event will kick off on Friday evening.  Following the flag raising ceremony, the entertainment stage will be filled with talent from the local area.  Pat Briede will begin the evening with music from various genres.  Shay Bolton and Sophia Miller will be sharing their vocal talents for all to enjoy.  The feature event on the entertainment stage for the evening will feature 13 year old, Samantha Rae Dauquette.  Samantha Rae will be sharing selections from a range of styles.    


Activities on Saturday will begin bright and early.  The Willshire Fire Department will be hosting a pancake, sausage, biscuit and gravy breakfast for all to enjoy.  The activities in the park will begin in the afternoon.  At 4:00 PM the annual parade will begin.  Following the parade, the park will again be filled with many activities including chicken dinners prepared by “Geno’s” and served by the Willshire Legion Auxillary.  The Van Wert Area Community Concert Band will perform a variety of selections for everyone to enjoy.  The band is under the direction of former Parkway band director Richard Sherrick.  Following the concert band, “Ghost Train Outlaws”, featuring local artist John Brodbeck will be performing on the music stage.  John has been singing and playing country music for the past few years and has become a local favorite.  Willshire native, Aaron Roehm will be entertaining the crowd with magic and balloon sculptures.  Rounding out the evening entertainment will be “Evolution”, with Matt Motycka of Willshire.  The band features the sounds of acoustic rock from the 80’s and 90’s.  Free pony rides, sponsored by the Willshire Legion Post #207 and the Sons of the American Legion will again be available on Saturday evening.  A kid’s tractor pull will also be held thanks to the Willshire Fire Department.



The park will have many activities going on Friday and Saturday late afternoon and evening.  Those activities include inflatables (sponsored in part by the Willshire Sportman’s Club and Countryside Church of the Nazarene), carnival games, putt-putt golf, bingo, and other activities.  Homemade soups, sandwiches, pies, and cakes will once again be featured in the food stand.  Cotton candy, elephant ears, funnel cakes, soft serve ice cream and many other delicious treats will also be available.  Other events that are being planned for the weekend include community wide garage sales and a craft and flea market.  The Willshire Youth Activities will sponsor a wooden bat Little League tournament to run throughout the weekend.  Plan now to visit Willshire and enjoy a family friendly weekend.


Contact numbers for various activities are as follows:  Parade – Karen Hunziker (419.495.2802), Garage Sales – Town Office (419.495.2704), Flea Market/Craft Booths – Sharon Krall (419.495.2474), General Information – Kendra Miller (419.495.2655).



Parkway Class of 1964

50th reunion picture – Thank you Linda Stover for Sharing



Events Scheduled


Ohio City, Ohio – The Ohio City Park Board is happy to announce that they have finalized there annual LAMBERT DAYS schedule of events. This community festival is in its 46th year and this year promises to be the biggest yet. There will be a Community Garage sales early Thursday, July 17th .The pageant will begin the festivities at 7:00 pm and is open to the public at the Community building. 

Friday begins with a Flea Market and Vender Show from 9:00 to 9:00 and a community wide garage sales that will go on throughout the weekend. A steak dinner at the Community Building will begin at 4:00 pm with carry-out availability.  At 5:00 the American Legion “Harvey Lewis” Post 346 will have a flag raising ceremony. Also at the same time the inflatable equipment and games will begin. At 5:30 we will be holding our annual Wiffleball Homerun Derby contest.

 7:00 is the start of our Texas Hold ‘em with Monte Carlo starting at 8:00. At 9:00 there with be two area of entertainment with Henry “Pitbull” Rife jumping in the front ball diamond and Local Rock band: ENDEVER. ID bracelets available. Returning this year by popular demand: FIREWORKS at 10:15

Saturday starts with Men’s Softball 8:00 and Co-Ed Volley ball starting at 9:00. The Flea Market and Vendor Show will take place from 9:00 to 9:00. Wiffleball tournament starts at 10:00, the kid’s games and inflatables open at 11:00 and a Cornhole tournament and a 3on3 basketball tournament will start at 1:00. The Community Building will be offering a Hog Roast dinner at 4:00 along with entertainment from the band: SAMAX. Bingo will be offered at the building starting at 5:00. The country band: Sean Wise and the Bad Attitude Band will perform starting at 9:00 with a movie for the kids at dusk.

The vendor show continues at 10:00 along with registration for the Car Show. A chicken dinner will be available at the Community Building at 11:00 with dinner music being provided by TRIAD. At 12:00 the kid’s inflatable and games and the Car Show will take place. At 3:00 the biggest parade in the county, the 2014 Lambert Days parade will take place with all units finishing at the park.

Lambert Days is always the third weekend in July. This year the dates are July 17th -20th. For more information or event applications find us on Facebook or



An Armed and Dangerous Plant: Wild Parsnip

By Curtis E. Young, Van Wert County OSU Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources

Wild parsnips (Pastinaca sativa) are currently blooming along field edges and roadways.  They share these sites with the poison hemlock, yellow sweet clover and wild carrots (Queen Anne's lace).  Wild parsnip like poison hemlock and wild carrot is a member of the carrot or parsley family of plants (Family Apiaceae).  The plants in this family produce flowers in clusters displayed in umbrella-like groups called umbels.  Wild parsnip differs from poison hemlock and wild carrot which have white flowers by producing yellow flowers.  The whole plant, including the flowers, have a yellow to green-yellow coloration.

Wild parsnip is the same plant as the cultivated, edible parsnip.  The wild parsnip has simply escaped cultivation and spread into the roadsides, field edges and other unmaintained areas.  Parsnips are biennial plants requiring two years to go to seed.  In the first year of their growth, parsnips produce an enlarged, edible taproot.  In the second year of their growth, they produce a tall stem (3 - 4' tall) atop of which they display their umbel flowers and eventually seeds.  When raised for consumption, they are harvested in the first year of growth.  Those that have escaped cultivation to become wild regularly cycle through their seed production. 

 The concern with this plant and the reason for writing this article is the plant is armed with a defensive chemical that can be damaging to skin exposed to the juices (sap) of the parsnip.  The chemical that is present in the juice of the plant is furanocoumarin.  This chemical is photosensitive and reacts when exposed to sunlight (specifically UV light) to produce a condition called phytophotodermatitis.   When exposed to sunlight, furanocoumarin produces a type of chemical burn.  Depending on how much of the chemical from the plant juices that get onto bare and sunlight exposed skin will determine how serious of a burn that can occur on the skin.  Skin exposed to the chemical and sunlight may turn red and burn like a mild sunburn to burn painfully and blister like a severe sunburn with relatively short sunlight exposure times.  The skin affected by this reaction will turn dark brown and can remain discolored for two or more years.  This could be very embarrassing if the burns occur on the face.  The chemical is present even in cultivated parsnips and one should be careful when harvesting parsnips.  However, there may be greater potential of coming in contact with large quantities of plant juices when the plant has produced its flowering stalks.  Simply walking through a stand of wild parsnip stems can be enough to cause the plant to release sap to get on the skin.

Some people might inadvertently and unknowingly walk through a patch of wild parsnip (e.g., walking alone a roadway, hunting for a lost item suck as a golf ball, entering a crop production field, etc.).  People for whom there is a great concern are those who do maintenance work along roads and edges of fields.  These people may have greater opportunities to come in contact with wild parsnip.  Great care should be taken when using weed trimmers (bladed or string) and power mowers.  In either case, great quantities of the plant's juices will be released as a result of cutting the parsnips.  Anyone who has used a weed trimmer knows that eventually different parts of the body will be coated with chewed up plant materials while running the machine.  Power mowers can throw clouds of plant juices out of their discharge shoots that the wind can carry back on the mower.  In either case, if it were wild parsnips being cut, it could be disastrous to the machine operator.  Cleaning these machines after mowing wild parsnips could also be problematic.

If one must work with the wild parsnips:

Wear a long sleeve shirt and pants to cover arms and legs.

Work with the plant on cloudy days, and always wash your skin immediately after coming in contact with the sap.

When using a weed trimmer or power mower in areas where wild parsnips are growing, wear eye/face protection, in addition to pants, long sleeved shirt, and gloves.

Avoid touching ones face or other sensitive body parts with clothing that might be contaminated with parsnip plant juice.

If one gets sap on their skin:

Wash the skin thoroughly with soap and water as soon as possible.

Protect the exposed skin from sunlight for at least 48 hours.

If one experiences a skin reaction, call your physician.

Humans are not the only animals that can be affected by wild parsnips.  Toxic reactions can also occur in livestock on parts of their bodies where their skin is exposed.

Wild parsnip is not the only plant that produces furanocoumarin.  Two maladies caused by furanocoumarin-containing plants are "celery picker's itch" and "bartender's itch."  The juices of the celery and the oil of the lime peels contain furanocoumarins.  So be careful preparing the celery slices and lime wedges for the bloody Marys and other drinks when outdoors for picnics and pool parties!


Redskin Classic 5K/Walk


The Redskin Classic 5K walk/run will be Sunday July 6th 2014 at 9:15 A.M. at St. Henry, Ohio.  This event is sponsored by P. T. Services with the proceeds to benefit community improvements and events.

This walk/run is part of the Mercer Health 5K Challenge Series.

The course will start and finish on Columbus Street near the high school.  Race day registration will be at the school for $12.00 with no shirt or a limited number of Dri-fit T-shirts will be available for an additional charge.

Mail completed form and check to: P.T. Services c/o Connie Buschur, 452 Stachler Dr. St. Henry, Ohio 45883.  If you wish to receive race results or print out a race form, please visit .  For information call 419-678-4444



Calvary Preschool Sees Martial Arts Demonstration

Shad Robeson, owner of 514 Martial Arts, surprised the Calvary Preschool boys and girls with his special abilities.  Mr. Robeson had the boys and girls warm up before trying some of the moves.  It is used to protect never to hurt someone.  Shad showed the stances and what you say when you are finished.  Lots of fun and laughs as they tried to spin around.  Each one had the opportunity to hit or kick the bag.  Some opted out.  Thanks Shad for sharing with the boys and girls.  We had a blast!! 

If you need to enroll for the fall, please go to and pull up forms under preschool, or call 567-259-3103.  We would love to show you around the school.  Openings are still available for 3’s, 4’s and 5’s.




Ambulance Summoned on 6-19-2014


In the early morning hours on this date an ambulance was called to a Myers Rd. address in Celina for a 6 month old infant who was not breathing.  The baby was taken to Joint Township Hospital in St. Mary’s where it was pronounced dead.  The death, NOT labeled as suspicious, is being investigated by the Celina Police Department with the assistance of the Auglaize Co. Coroner, Dr. Freytag and the Mercer County Children’s Services agency.  Nothing further is being released at this time pending the notification of next of kin as well as the outcome of the investigation.


Guest Column from State Representative Jim Buchy

Severance Tax and its Impact on Ohioans


With the discovery of large deposits of oil and gas in the eastern part of Ohio, we have an opportunity to work with Ohio’s oil and gas industry to offset costs incurred by the tax payers for road maintenance and regulation associated with the industry.  As we learn more about this growing economic benefit in Appalachia we must have a serious discussion at the state level to determine the best government policies moving forward.


Since Ohio contains such an abundance of natural gas, tapping into it helps our state in countless ways. In order to reap all the benefits of the oil and gas beneath our feet, a severance tax must be implemented. The revenue that is created by this tax can help sustain Ohio’s growing economy by helping us lower Ohio’s personal income tax.


House Bill 375 addresses the issues at hand by modifying the existing severance tax and working with the State Government and those in the field to establish a competitive severance tax for Ohio. The discussion surrounding the bill development focused on the safety of Ohioans, a competitive tax rate and funding for communities affected by the growth in oil and gas exploration in eastern Ohio. The result is a severance tax rate that is high enough to provide revenue for the community, but low enough to ensure Ohio can attract more development in our oil and gas fields.


The first $21 million in revenue will fund the regulatory programs of the oil and gas industry by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Additional revenue produced will provide tax relief to Ohioans by funding the Ohio Income Tax Reduction Fund, which will total more than $325 million over the next five years. 


Another goal was to be sure that local governments would receive revenue as well.  I’m happy to say that 17.5 percent of the total tax revenue will be distributed to local governments. This money will help to make improvements to local infrastructure that has experienced wear and tear as a result of the increased industrial activity in eastern Ohio.


To ensure oil and gas production in Ohio is safe for our people and the environment some of the dollars will be used to increase funding for Ohio’s orphan well program.  Closing wells that are no longer in use and have been abandoned in some cases for decades is a very important environmental practice.  This is just one more tool that will allow Ohio to grow as an energy producer.

The extraction of natural gas has already created many private sector jobs and investments. House Bill 375 adds to this by providing economic stability and long term  safety precautions for  oil and gas extraction. It sets the stage for a stronger and safer Ohio, and continued growth in the energy sector right here in Ohio.



The 5th Annual Jay County Time Trial Bike Race is taking place on June 28 at 9 a.m. Spectators and participants should gather at Hudson Family Park in Portland, Indiana. Registration is at 7:30 a.m. on the day of the event . It is $20 for adults and $10 for children 12 and younger. Profits and donations made from the race will be donated to the Jay County Trails Club for the purpose of creating trails in Jay County.

There are three courses this year: An 8-mile novice course, a 19-mile advanced course and a 1-mile course for children 12 and younger. Medals will be given to the top three men, women and youth in each age group. Awards will be given to the top three men and women overall. For more information on this event please contact Samantha Thomas at or 260-251-5514


PUBLIC NOTICE Rice Road Closure


            The Mercer County Engineer, Jim Wiechart, is planning to close Rice Road between State Route 197 and Oregon Road in Center Township for a culvert replacement.  This road will be closed tentatively on June 23, 2014 and is scheduled to reopen in approximately 3-4 weeks, depending on the weather conditions.


Village Council Meeting Minutes for June 17, 2014
Click Here for full details of the meeting.


Village Council Minutes from June 17, 2014  by Lisa Kuhn


The Rockford June Chamber Minutes can be found using
    the link below to our new website.






Photo caption:  The bell from the previous Mercer County Courthouse (1868-1923) is located on the front lawn of the Mercer County Historical Museum.


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


In respect for our National Holiday of Independence, the Fourth of July, I will remember our Nation’s Declaration of Independence in 1776.  In Philadelphia’s Statehouse (later known as Independence Hall) hung the bell, which became part of the myth that this bell was rung on July 4, 1776, and became known as the Liberty Bell.  The inscription on this bronze bell read, “Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land Unto All The Inhabitants Thereof.”  In was not until 1839, when this bell was used as a symbol by abolitionists because of its inscription that the State House bell came to be known as the “Liberty Bell.”  In 1847, George Lippard, in the book, “Washington and His Generals,” or “Legends of the American Revolution,” fabricated the story of the crack in the Liberty Bell on the first Independence Day.


Here in Mercer County, the Courthouse bell, shown above, was rung on Armistice Day, November 11, 1918 to notify our Citizens of another step in protecting our Nation’s freedom that World War I was over.

The bell in this photograph is the original bell in the previous Mercer County Courthouse, (1868-1923) which was located on the southeast corner of the lawn, adjacent to the current Mercer County Courthouse. 


What Mercer County Courthouses preceded this 1868 Courthouse? 

Mercer County was erected by the Ohio Government with fourteen counties in Northwest Ohio, and passed February 12, 1820.  That same act provided that Van Wert and Mercer Counties be attached to Darke County, until otherwise ordered.  Mercer County was subsequently detached in 1824, and Saint Marys became the seat of justice for Mercer County.  Until the first Courthouse was constructed in 1828-29 at St. Marys, Court was held in area buildings, e.g. at Shanesville (Rockford) and  St. Marys.  June 5, 1839 was the last Mercer County Commissioners’ meeting held at their County Office at St. Marys. 


In 1839, Celina became the Mercer County Seat of Justice.  Celina had been platted in 1834.  Auglaize County was not formed until 1848.  September 12, 1839, the Mercer County Commissioners held their first meeting at Celina.  The second Mercer County Courthouse was built at Celina in 1841, at the northeast corner of Main and Livingston Street, (which became the site of Celina City Hall in 1890.)


The third Mercer County Courthouse was constructed in 1867-1868, on the southeast corner of the lawn of the current Mercer County Courthouse. 


The fourth Mercer County Courthouse, which is the current Courthouse building, on Main Street, was constructed 1921-1923, and dedicated on September 3, 1923.  In 1998, I edited the book, “Mercer County’s Courthouses, 1824-1998,” in honor of the 75th Anniversary of the Dedication of the 1923 Mercer County Courthouse.  This book provides history of the Courthouses, and the County Offices.


In August 1923, the Mercer County Commissioners sold a contract to G.W. Jackson to raze the old Courthouse building.  The bell from the Courthouse, which was used 1868-1923, first went to the Old Town Church on Riley Road, east of Celina.  In 1976, this bell was removed to the lawn of the Mercer County Historical Museum, The Riley Home, 130 East Market, Celina.  That was 38 years ago and the weather has done its damage on the bricks holding the bell.  In honor of Independence Day, and our Courthouse history, and in respect for Mercer County’s past, this maintenance should be addressed.


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





Calvary Evangelical Church Updates


Click Here for Van Wert County Common Pleas Court Cases Heard for June 2013


June 19-22, 2014

The Van Wert County Department of Job and Family Services announces the expansion of ‘Pack to School’ through 12th Grade:

Pack to School K-12

“Pack to School” provides a backpack containing many (not all) of the required school supplies for eligible children who will be in grades K-12 during the 2014-2015 school year. The deadline to apply for the program is July 11th. Income eligible families currently receiving public assistance through Van Wert CDJFS should receive an application in the mail on or before June 23, 2014.

Application forms are available for other families wanting to participate in the program. They must meet eligibility criteria, including residing in Van Wert County and earning less than the income guideline.

2                               $2622
3                               $3299
4                               $3975
5                               $4652
6                               $5329
7                               $6005
8                               $6682

Parents of eligible children who have applied by the July 11th deadline will get a letter in the mail by August 9th providing information about when and where to pick up their child’s backpack and supplies.

Applications and additional information are available at the CDJFS front desk at 114 East Main Street, Van Wert or by calling (419) 238-5430 X 0 to request information by mail.

Chatt Insurance Center Achieves Bronze Level Winner's Circle Award

Wayne Insurance Group has awarded Chatt Insurance Center a Bronze Level Winner’s Circle Award. Agents who achieve Bronze Level Status have written more than $100,000 in insurance premiums with Wayne Insurance while attaining an excellent earned loss ratio  ((losses incurred for every $1 of earned premium) during the past 3 years.   

“Chatt Insurance Center has demonstrated an ongoing commitment productivity, professionalism and service excellence,” said Timothy J. Suppes, Vice President of Operations at Wayne Insurance. “We are proud to have Chatt Insurance as our representative.”

Chatt Insurance, since 1961, has been providing insurance protection to policyholders in the Chattanooga and surrounding communities.

Wayne Insurance has been providing property and casualty insurance to Ohio residents for more than a century and is headquartered in Wooster, Ohio.


2014 Lima’s Funniest Lady Comedy Festival

Four days of comedy in celebration of Phyllis Diller Day in Lima, Ohio.


Lima, Ohio: In July of 2013, Limaland Comedy requested to the mayor and city council of Lima that July 17th should be forever known as Phyllis Diller Day.  That request was granted.  This year is the second annual Lima’s Funniest Lady Comedy Festival and it has increased by three days in just one year’s time. Each event is created to celebrate laughter and raise funds to benefit Limaland Comedy’s goal of creating a Phyllis Diller exhibit in the Lima/Allen County museum.


“This year we are focusing on something for everybody,” says Limaland Comedy owner Gina Chiappazzi. “We have professional stand-up comedy at one of the classiest restaurants in town. We have improvisation comedy for the whole family in a theatre setting.  We even have an Ohio comedian performing a spot-on Phyllis Diller on her birthday.”


“We’re doing this for the community and the people of Lima,” says local comedian Joe Deez. “Every show is guaranteed to make you laugh and has been created to raise awareness and funds for a Phyllis Diller exhibit right here in her hometown.”


Visit for more details.


Carry Out Holds Grand Opening


The Rockford Carry Out & Dining held their Grand Opening this past weekend
  during our Rockford Community Days celebration. Todd and Renee Mathewson
  along with parents, Terry and Sandy Mathewson are the new owners.

  The exterior has been updated with new siding, parking area, landscape and
  signage. A dine-in section with new booths and food prep equipment
  enhancements has been added to the interior, allowing for a pizza buffet on
  Friday and Saturday evenings, as well as a Sunday Brunch buffet.
  The Carry Out has been moved to the back of the building to allow for food
  pick-ups and beer purchases.  The drive-thru will be open Sunday through
  Thursday - 11:00 am to 10:00 pm ; Friday and Saturday - 11:00 am to 11:00
  pm. The dining rooom will be open Sunday through Thursday - 11:00 am to
  8:00 pm ; Friday and Saturday - 11:00 am to 10:00 pm.
  A full menu can be found at or you can call them
  at 419-363-2855

Pictured left to right: Norm VanTilburg, Chamber President Jane Cozad,
Mayor Amy Joseph, Sandy Mathewson, Terry Mathewson, Dan Henkle, Mary Beougher and
Nancy Leighner.

Information submitted by Marie Miller - Rockford Chamber Vice President. 


June 16-18, 2014


Mercer County Emergency Medical Agency Meetings

EMA Advisory Board Meeting
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
EMA Office Celina 12:05 PM 

LEPC Meeting
Thursday, July 10, 2014
Central Services Building
  Celina 7:30 AM
2nd Floor Conference Room


Golf Tournament Benefit

Big Brothers Big Sisters Tees Off to Mentor Youth by Hosting a Golf Tournament

Big Brothers Big Sisters will host its 19th Annual Golf for Kids’ Sake Event on Friday, July 25, 2014 at the Mercer County Elks Golf Course. Proceeds will benefit the numerous youth mentoring programs offered to children facing adversity in Mercer, Auglaize, and Van Wert Counties.

The day starts with registration and a sacked lunch beginning at 11:00 am and a shotgun start at 12:00 pm.  During the event you will have the opportunity to purchase 50/50 tickets, raffle tickets, mulligans, and more.  In addition, you will have the opportunity to win $10,000, thanks to Grand Lake Eye Care for sponsoring our Hole-in-One Prizes again this year. After a round of 18 holes of golf with three of your closest friends and co-works, you can enjoy a delicious catered dinner and an awards ceremony. The cost to join the festivities is $300 per foursome. For more sponsorship information, contact our office or check out our website.

This event is sponsored by the following: Eagle Sponsor - Katterhenry Investment Group; Birdie Sponsor – The Marsh Foundation; and Par Sponsor – Schwieterman Custom Body. For more information or to register your team contact Big Brothers Big Sisters by phone at 419-394-2990 or e-mail at We are always looking for volunteers to mentor the 30 youth on our waiting list.



Baseball and Softball Tournaments in Payne
The Payne (Ohio) Ball Association will be hosting four all star tournaments
in July.

Beginning Monday, July 7, a 10 and under boys tournament will run through
Thursday, July 10.

An eight and under boys baseball (coach pitch) tournament will be July 11
through July 13.

Also July 11 through July 13, the association will sponsor an eight and
under girls softball (coach pitch) tournament.

Lastly, a 12 and under boys baseball tournament will be held July 14 through July 18.

For more information on any of these tournaments, please contact Kevin Wannemacher via e-mail at or the phone at (419)



Church Camps Announced
C. & C, Bible Fellowship, 4383 S 150 E Berne Indiana, a par church, announces its summer events.

Here is the list of Camps and special events at C. & C Bible Fellowship.

High School camps June 26,27 & 28

K through 2 grade July 30

Grade 3,4,& 5 July 31 And August 1 & 2

Open to the public.

For more information call the Bridge Church in Decatur Indiana.

Horse Camp For grades 3,4,5 &6 July 31 and August 1 & 2 (check out web site,

Special Events with Horses:

June 21 For kids of low income families

August 9 For kids with serious illness or grieving the loss of a love one.

September 13 For kids with disability.

All special events start at 11:00 am to 2:30 pm. Parents, grandparents, siblings and friends encouraged to come view the activities. Activities will include horse back riding for those who are able to ride, pony cart rides, petting zoo, and possible hay ride.  All participants must have an accident release form signed by a parent or guardian. A free lunch will be provided for participants, all others there will be small charge for lunch.  

Bring you own chairs and come join the fun.

For more information call 260-589-9022.


Special Thanks for Community Days Support
by Lisa Kuhn
THANK YOU, THANK YOU to all those individuals and businesses that helped support ROCKFORD COMMUNITY DAYS 2014.  We are
grateful and most appreciative to all our volunteers that help make Rockford Community Days a success !  


22nd Annual Country Fest 5K Run/Walk

22nd Annual Country Fest 5Krun/walk starts at 9:00 on Sunday June 29, 2014.  This race is part of the Mercer Health 5K Challenge countywide running series.

This loop course has a long straightaway down tranquil country roads and winds through the village streets of Chapel Hill.  The Start and Finish lines are located near 2291 St. Johns Road next to the Country Fest grounds entrance in Maria Stein, Ohio.

Race day registration and check in is 7:00-8:30 A.M. at the shelter house next to Maria Stein Shrine with a $15.00 race only registration fee.  A limited quantity of running tech shirts may be for sale on race day.

For more information or a registration form visit  Mail completed entry form and check to Caroline Ranly, 2310 at. John Rd., Maria Stien, Oh. 45860.  For additional information call: Caroline Ranly, 419-953-8127 or email:

New this year is Chip Timing for the runners.  Country Fest food stands will open after the race and awards ceremony.



Breece-Rumple Engagement

Don and Ellen Breece of Fredericktown, Ohio are pleased announce the engagement and approaching marriage of their daughter, Angie Breece, to Scott Rumple, son of Randy and Ruth Rumple of Rockford.

The bride-elect is a 2005 graduate of Arcanum High School, and a 2010 graduate of The Ohio State University. She is currently employed as a Registered Nurse at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

The prospective groom is a 2003 graduate of Parkway High School and a 2009 graduate of The Ohio State University. He is employed as a Account Executive at Ricoh Americas Corporation in Columbus, Ohio.

The couple plans an early Fall wedding at the Grand Barn near Mohican State Park in Ohio.


June 14-15, 2014

Rockford Carry Out - New Owners Make Changes including home cooking

Renee uses the deep fryer. "Our sit-down family restaurant is a gathering place for the community."

The Rockford Carry-out has new owners: Renee and Todd Mathewson, and Terry and Sandy Mathewson, parents. The  Carry-Out side of the business is running as usual with the same great food ~ Pizza, subs, salads and chicken. A new drive through window has expedited service. but the expansion of  the dining area has really transformed the Carry-Out into a full service restaurant. They have added new booths and tables and chairs. They have also bought and paved the adjacent parking lot.  There is a Salad Bar and a Pizza Bar with Daily Lunch Specials. There is a buffet including the salad bar on Friday and Saturday. Sunday brunch is from 11-2 including a soup and salad bar. Staff has gone from 7 employees to 15 employees. Hours are: Sunday through Thursday, Restaurant 11-8 and Carry-out 11-10. On Friday and Saturday Restaurant 11-10 and Carryout 11-11. "Come try our home cooking and Rockford Carry-out Favorites!" invites the Mathewson Family.

New salad bar

New tables, booths and chairs.

“Let’s Walk Together”

Walk for Heroin Awareness to be held June 20th 2014. Opening prayer and guest speaker @ 6:45 p.m. This event is intended to bring our community out onto the street in order to show unity and increase awareness of the heroin epidemic that is sweeping our town and surrounding communities. This is an anti-heroin rally- wear RED to make a bold statement against heroin. Come out and show your community support. Meet at Lake Shore gazebo, Main St., Celina Ohio.

Sponsored by: Pray For a Drug Free Celina, Mercer County Clean Up, New Start Church of God, Randy Christian, The Lord’s Church, Jony D’s, Beaver Sk8s, and Furniture Express.

Rain or Shine.

Free event. No pre-registration required.

Amber 567-644-1688. Email


July 3 – 4 – 5th


The Public is invited to enter quilts, quilted items or needle art in the

Quilt Show at Old Fashioned Farmers Days. Bring your items on Thursday, July 3rd  from 9 to 6 to the Administration Building at the Van Wert County Fairgrounds. Show hours are Fri & Sat -  9 to 7.

Peoples Choice Ribbon Awards will be given in six categories.

The Van Wert Neighborhood Group of the  American Sewing Guild and the

OFFA will host the show. For more information, contact Marilyn Morgan 419-203-7016 or  email

Fairgrounds located at: 1055 S. Washington St. - Van Wert, OH  45891



June 12-13, 2014



Congratulations to Caden Slusher for advancing to the championships in Cleveland at the Cleveland Indians stadium for pitch hit and run competition on June 21.  Good luck Caden 
Tony and Sandy Learn Surgical Date

Tony and Sandy King, husband and wife, have been given a scheduled date of July 11, 2014  for the kidney transplant procedure.
Sandy will donate a kidney to Tony.




Rockford Rec. Punt, Pass, & Kick Competition - With a Special Guest Jordan Thompson!

The Rockford Recreation Association will host their annual NFL Punt, Pass, & Kick competition on Saturday, June 14th at 5:00pm on Diamond #4 at Shanes Park during the Rockford Community Days festival.  The event is open to boys & girls ages 6-15 (age classification is determined as of December 31, 2014). Participants are encouraged to visit to download, print, and complete the registration form to bring with them on the day of the competition. Participants are NOT permitted to wear cleats during the competition. This is a FREE event!!

The top finishers from each of the ten different age/gender groups at the local competition will advance to a sectional competition. The winners at the sectional competition will have their scores compared with other sectional champions throughout the region. The top four scorers from the pool of sectional champions advance to the Cincinnati Bengals Team Championship at a Bengals home game later this fall. The winning scores from the Team Championships will be eligible to qualify for the National Finals at an NFL playoff game in January.

For almost 20 years that this local competition has been hosted in Rockford, our local participants have qualified for the Cincinnati Bengals Team Championships on 11 different occasions. Four times, these championship qualifiers have won the state competition. The Rockford Recreation Association is excited to have one of these state winners return to Rockford to help with this year's competition. Jordan Thompson - former Parkway Panther, Ohio University Bobcat, and current NFL player with the Detroit Lions - will be at our PP&K competition this Saturday! Bring the kids to Shanes Park for an afternoon of friendly competition and fun and enjoy the Rockford Community Days weekend!



Radio Station Donates Equipment

THANK YOU to WLKI of Angola Indiana !  They recently updated
their equipment and made a donation valued at $3,000 to
our radio station WRKD 101.3.  This was all inside equipment consisting
of horseshoe control center, console, speakers, etc.  We are still in
need of FCC approved antenna to officially get on the air.
We are in need of donations to get the needed equipment.
Donations can be sent to Village of Rockford c/o WRKD,
PO Box 282, Rockford, OH  45882

When General Manager, Jim Crocker,  is working on the station
he periodically goes on air for testing purposes.  So tune in
every now and then and you just might hear Jim testing equipment !
The goal is to be on air full time within 6 months.



A Taste of Celina Block Party and Car Show



A Taste of Celina Block Party is scheduled for Friday, July 11th in downtown Celina.

It begins at the corner of Main and Market Streets and goes south to Warren Street.

From 5 -10pm, you will be able to taste the unique specialties of sixteen different

Celina restaurants or caterers.  Each restaurant will serve 3 or 4 different specialties.  Each item will take between 1 and 4 tickets.  Presale tickets are on sale at the Celina Mercer county Chamber office located at 226 North Main Street in Celina.  (Look for the bright blue awnings on the front of the building.)  The first 1000 tickets will be sold with a buy 10 get 1 free promotion.   Purchase your tickets in advance so you do not have to wait in line the evening of the event.  Tickets are nonrefundable.


Plenty of tables and chairs will be set up in the street.  There will also be music in the streets as well as music inside some of the downtown restaurants.  Beer and wine tasting will also be available inside some of the downtown restaurants.   Several local establishments will be open after the event closes with special entertainment.  After eating, feel free to browse through the unique specialty shops.  Back this year at the south end of Main Street will be a car show.


Here is a sampling of what may be on the menus during A Taste of Celina.


Gourmet mini desserts

Pork slider sandwiches

Chicken and noodles

Baby back ribs

Boneless chicken wings

BBQ pork sandwiches

Pizza, paninis, cannolis

Smokehouse brats


Ice cream, slushies

Homemade pies & cakes



For more information, call the Celina Mercer County Chamber of Commerce

at 419 586-2219.   Visit


Clever Clovers Help at Food Pantry

Reporter: Catherine Kopack

The Clever Clovers met on June 3,2014 at 8:45 a.m. at First United Methodist Church in Van Wert.  The club unloaded and stocked food, hygiene, cleaning,  and paper products for the Cooperative Ministries’ Food Bank.  After the club finished, they learned how the food pantry works.  The service project was organized by Jamie Burenga, Service Project Coordinator.     The food bank is always taking food or monetary donations to help those in need.  Donations may be dropped off at the church office during business hours.  First United Methodist Church is located on the corner of Jefferson  and Central in Van Wert.  The phone number is 419-238-0631. 



June 11, 2014


Mercer County Deputies Assist in Low-Speed Pursuit
Sheriff Jeff Grey reports his Office assisted in a slow speed pursuit that began in Decatur, Indiana and involved a man who was operating a Case International 5130 Farm Tractor (Unknown year).  Mercer County Central Dispatch received a call from Adams County Indiana at 8:34 PM Monday evening requesting assistance with trying to stop the tractor.  Adams County also reported the tractor had struck several vehicles and did property damage while in Indiana.  They further reported the operator rammed an Adams County Sheriff’s cruiser while a deputy was trying to get the tractor stopped.

A Deputy from Mercer County deployed stop sticks. The suspect then swerved in an attempt to strike the Deputy.  The suspect also attempted to ram several patrol cars while in Mercer County.  The low speed pursuit continued through Mercer County in the area of Chattanooga, Strable  Road, and Burrville Road. The tractor eventually stopped due to mechanical problems on Burrville Road, just north of Strable Road.  The suspect did not respond to verbal commands to shut off and exit the tractor.  Eventually, a Mercer County Sheriff’s Deputy deployed his Taser. The suspect then complied without any further incident. 

The suspect was identified as Dustin D. Clouse, 20,  3916 East 200 North Decatur,  Indiana.    Mr. Clouse was transported to Mercer Health, per policy, by a Mercer County Sheriff’s deputy after being tased.  Once cleared at the hospital, he was incarcerated at the Mercer County Adult Detention Facility on a felony charge of fleeing and eluding.  The case will be reviewed by the Mercer County and Adams County Prosecutor’s Office.  Additional charges may be filed in Ohio and/or Indiana after that review.


“This was an unusual pursuit, we are happy that no one from the public, Mr. Clouse, or law enforcement was injured,” stated Sheriff Grey,  “law enforcement agencies from both states worked well together to bring this to a safe conclusion.”  Agencies involved in the investigation were the Adams County, Indiana, Sheriff’s Office, Decatur Police Department, Mercer County Sheriff’s Office and the Ohio State Highway Patrol.








Tournament Champs

The Ohio Fury 14U team finished the weekend with a record of 6-0 to win the Shootout at the Creek USSSA Tournament that was held in Beavercreek, Ohio on June 7 - 8, 2014.  The girls now have a record of 12-0 on the season.



Members of the team are, front row from left, Kaitlyn McEldowney (Versailles), Emily Bott (St. Marys), Savannah Oen (Wapak) and Kate Perryman (Minster).  Back row, head coach Rex Oen, asst. coach Ryan Sipe, Mackenzie Sipe (Parkway), Bailey Bates (Parkway), Lindsay Albers (Minster), Haley Hawk (Parkway), Katelin Augsburger (South Adams), Kami McEldowney (Versailles), Audrey Coil (Wapak), Haley McEldowney (Versailles), bat boy Jacob Albers and asst. coach Roger McEldowney.

Rockford Community Garage Sale Planned for June 13 & 14
Come to the Community Garage Sale in Rockford sponsored by the Shanes Crossing Historical Society.
Click HERE for the list of sellers and their items as well as the location map.
Call Dee for more info at 419-363-2998 or Jane at 419-363-2950.

Father / Daughter Duo donates to "Locks of Love"
By: Monica Agler

What began as a family joke soon became a challenge between Pat Agler and his daughter Amy Jo. The challenge was established upon Amy's graduation from Parkway High School. Amy's hair was already long but she determined that she would not cut her hair until she graduated from college at Wright State.  Pat already had a short goatee which he was trying to grow out.  He concluded that he would not shave his beard until Amy's college graduation.

The challenge was on!!

Both agreed that when the time came, they would donate their hair to Locks of Love. A very worthy organization that creates wigs for cancer patients.  

Pat endured the beard and some good natured ribbing about him being part of the "Duck Dynasty" clan.

Amy dealt with the long hair which was a challenge at times. Her hair was so thick that when she showered, it could take all day for her hair to air dry.

Finally, after 2 years, Pat was ready to let his face breathe again. He shaved the length of the beard leaving just a goatee.

Amy followed suit and had 10 inches of her beautiful tresses sheared off.

They are quite pleased with their choice. They enjoyed a friendly rivalry and donated to a good cause as well.

Attached below is the photo finish of this battle of wills. Click on smaller thumbnails below to enlarge.


Please check out to see the 2014 Rockford Community Days Schedule of Events and our NEW website !
Village of Rockford
Community Days tab



Stateline Writers Enjoy Assignments – Public Invited

The Stateline Writers Club met on Saturday, May 17, 2014, at the Mercer County District Library. President Alain Rion called the meeting to order. After the general business portion of the meeting, members chose the assignments for the next two months. The assignment for June is to write about, what makes you happy. The assignment for July is to write something ironical. Barbara Moore volunteered to have the program for the June meeting on Irony. Members read their various works some about the assignment of, “If you had the ability to mute or silence something what would it be and what would you replace it with,” or “a story that begins with the word 'blue,' and in which the first word of every paragraph is a color. Use the 'color word' only once in each paragraph, but suggest the color in as many ways as possible,” or a writing that contained colors or was about color.

The next meeting will be held at the Mercer County District Library from 10:00 am. to 12:00 pm. on Saturday, June 21, 2014. The meetings are free and open to the public.




VW County Foundation announces Summer Music

For twelve years, The Van Wert County Foundation, in cooperation with the Van Wert City Parks & Recreation has been presenting free concerts on Friday nights during the summer in Fountain Park.  The fun returns to Van Wert’s Fountain Park for a thirteenth season when the  2014 Fountain Park Summer Music Series will be offered for the public to enjoy.

Paul Hoverman, Coordinator of Performing Arts for The Van Wert County Foundation has announced the line-up which starts on June 6 during Van Wert’s Peony and ArtRageous Festival.  The ever-popular beach party band from California, Papa Doo Run Run kicks off the summer at 7:00 PM.  After a week off, the music returns to Fountain Park with San Franciso’s electric fiddling virtuoso, Tom Rigney and Flambeau.  Specializing in Cajun, Zydeco, Blues, and New Orleans music, they perform on June 20.

The world’s best tribute band to the music of Chicago, Brass Transit returns to Van Wert on June 27.  On July 4, celebrate America’s Independence with the Lima Symphony Pops Orchestra in a Star Spangled American Celebration concert filled with surprises.  The sounds of Motown fill the air on July 11 when NBC TV’s “The Winner Is” finalists, TOUCH come to town.

After a week off when the Van Wert Area Community Concert Band performs in Fountain Park on July 18, the music of Simon & Garfunkel will delight everyone, featuring Scarborough Fair by The Guthrie Brothers on July 25.  The summer season is wrapped up on August 1 with the music of one of Rock’s most endearing bands of all-time: Journey.  Never Stop Believin’- a Journey Tribute Band from Florida will feature the incredible vocals of Donny Ferrari and his band.  Experience the amazing lineup of hits that dominated arenas worldwide in the late 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.

All concerts are offered free of charge to the public.  Fountain Park is located on the west edge of downtown Van Wert at the corner of W. Main and Jefferson Streets.  Food is available at all concerts.  Attenders are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs or blankets.  All concerts are on Friday nights and begin at 7:00 PM.



St. John Lutheran’s Charity Auction Huge Success

St. John Lutheran Church’s Charity Auction which was sponsored by their “Purple Door Youth Group” was a huge success.  Originally scheduled for Sunday January 26th, but postponed to Sunday, February 16th due to snow did not slow down the bidding!  Close to 100  bidders came and purchased new items, gently used merchandise, & homemade baked goods to raise money for the Youth Mission Trip being held in June 2014.  Our auctioneers for the event were Tim Levi & Duane Ridenour who were assisted by Pastor Jeff Gramza.  Our clerks were Sally Leininger, Elaine Fett, and Nancy  Adams.  Thank you to both our auctioneers and clerks who generously donated their time.  A very special thank you to our local businesses who donated items to the auction and to all who generously purchased them.  This atmosphere of generosity helped raise $10,660.25!!!  This money will help 32 teens & 9 adults travel to Maysville, KY to help elderly people and low-income families with home repairs. 



June 10, 2014


 Scouts Conduct United States Flag Retirement


Rockford Troop 79 Boy Scoutmaster, Kevin Browning assisted by Scout member, Preston Browning and narrator, Abigail Browning, conducted a flag retirement ceremony at the Isaac Van Wart Daughters of the American Revolution meeting on May 5. Following the flag ceremony members enjoyed a carry-in dinner hosted by Janet Mohr. Janet Mohr reviewed flag trivia & how to make a five-pointed star pattern. The next meeting will be a carry-in picnic at the home of Janet Torson  at noon on Friday, June 14.



Pictured in the Flag Retirement picture: (front) Kevin Browning, Preston Browning & Abigail Browning

(back) Mickey McConahay, Barbara Steptoe, Janet Mohr, Karen Jean Myers, Bill Fast, Gloria Fast, Linda Schumm


Pictured in Scout program: Abigail, Kevin, & Preston Browning from Rockford Troop 79, Boy Scouts of America



St. Clair 5KRun/Walk Planned for Saturday


Fort Recovery Historical Society will have the St. Clair 5KRun/Walk on Saturday, June 21st 2014.  This Mercer Health 5K Challenge even starts at 8:30 in front of the Fort.


This scenic 5K course runs through historic Fort Recovery.  Cannon fire sends you off on your run past the museum, fort stockade, Monument Park and Indian Memorial.  You’ll finish and have refreshments, door prize drawings and awards at Van tree’s amphitheater next to the museum.   This is Fort Recovery Jubilee Weekend so bring your whole family out for the fun and enjoy the museum/park grounds!

Race day registration is $15.00 and $15.00 for purple & white tie dye t-shirt.  Make check payable to Fort  Recovery Historical Society  and on line registration at . Contact race Director  Kathy Gonzalez at 419-375-2123 or or mail to St. Clair Run 865 Watkins Road, Fort Recovery, Ohio 45846.


Yummy Chicken Barbeque Coming to Van Wert Fairgrounds
Think summer and you think of chicken barbecued on the grill to perfection.  Carrying on with a long time tradition, the annual 4-H Chicken Barbecue will be held Tuesday June 10th, 2014 serving from 3:30-7:00 p.m. Again this year we will have the drive thru or carry out options. Cars should enter the Fairgrounds at Fox Road and join us at the Commercial Building  (new fair grounds location with faster service to you)  Drive on in and pick up your food at the door, with out even getting out of your car. Tickets are $8.00 for a full meal which includes, ½  barbecued chicken, green beans,  roll and cookie prepared by Chik-N House LLC. Members of all 4-H clubs in the county will be working to pack up meals, help those dining in and collecting tickets in the drive through.  

A Barbecue poster contest was held for all county 4-H clubs with many of the posters to appear in local stores and windows. 1st Place: Katelyn Welch of the Bunny Hoppers, 2nd Place Austin Sheets of the Udder Dairy, 3rd Place: Melissa Hauter of the Willshire Wide Awake, and Honorable Mention: Kirsten Stemen of the Ridge Buckeyes. Winning Posters are displayed at the OSU Extension office and others submitted are being hung up around town to showcase the talent of the 4-H members.

The 4-H Chicken Barbecue is a long time event in Van Wert County.  It is one of the few fund raisers put on by the Van Wert County 4-H Council.  The funds from this event are used to support 4-H endeavors such as 4-H Camp, camp scholarships, awards and to support 4-H members at the Jr. Fair. Please join us for hassle-free dinner on June 10th, 2014! We will do the cooking for you!

June 9, 2014


Parkway Softball Players Reach Top Levels of Honor
Story and pictures by Amber Slusher – Thanks for sharing!
Recently, Parkway Softball team had 4 players recognized for their hard work this season.  Junior, Zoey Pond and  Senior, Rachel King were named Honorable Mention All Northwest District, Senior, Sierra Fent was named 2nd team All Northwest District and Freshman, Alyx Slusher was named 1st team All Northwest District and Honorable Mention All State.  Alyx will be representing Parkway on Monday, June 9th at 6pm at Oregon Clay High School for the All District All Star Team.  Come and cheer on Alyx at 5665 Seaman Rd Oregon, Ohio (near Toledo).  Great Job Lady Panthers on all of your hard work and dedication and to a great season!  The community is proud of you!!!



Fatal Crash Reported East of Rockford
CELINA, OH – Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey reported that his office is investigating a two vehicle head on crash that occurred today on US Route 33 between Palmer Road and US Route 127.  The Sheriff’s Office received a 9-1-1 call at 11:47 AM. 

The investigation revealed that Adam Hamilton, age 26, Fort Wayne, IN was driving westbound on US Route 33 in a 2013 Nissan.  Joshua Angel, age 35, Fort Wayne, IN was driving eastbound on US 33 in a 2003 Volvo.  Hamilton attempted to pass a semi tractor-trailer just west of the intersection of Palmer Road.  Both Hamilton and Angel took evasive action swerving into the ditch on the south side of US Route 33.  The two vehicles collided head on in the ditch.  Frontal and side impact air bags deployed in both vehicles.  All occupants were wearing seat belts.  The crash remains under investigation.

Hamilton was the sole occupant of his vehicle.  Angel, was accompanied by his wife, Christine age 34, same address and three children, Ellijah age 4, Jonah, age 5, and Isaac age 8.  Hamilton was transported by Rockford EMS to Van County Hospital where he was transferred to Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne by helicopter, he died from his injuries shortly before 4:30 PM.  Angel’s family was transported by Rockford EMS and Celina EMS to Joint Township District Memorial Hospital in St. Mary’s where Joshua and Christine Angel were transferred to Parkway Hospital in Fort Wayne by helicopter.

The Sheriff’s Office was assisted at the scene by Mendon and Rockford Fire Departments and members of MCERV handled the traffic detour.  US Route 33 was closed for approximately 4 hours.


Dubry –Dellinger Families Celebrate Son - Click Here for his details















Saturday, September 6th 
7:30 AM - 12 PM

The Van Wert County Health Aware Fair is back! The American Red Cross, Van Wert  County Hospital, Health Department and Rotary are excited to once again host this annual community health fair. We invite you to join us and be a part of the celebration of health and healthy living! 




Special Weaving Skills to be Shared at Rockford Community Days
The Rockford Historical Society will host the HAWG CREEK SPINNERS AND WEAVERS GUILD during the ROCKFORD COMMUNITY DAYS on Saturday, June 14, at 10 the Historical Log House in Shanes Park.  The Guild preserves the talent used by our ancestors in the preservation, spinning and weaving skills in the making of cloth for clothing and other everyday use from the fibers, wool and flax, produced and raised on the homestead.




Join us for Rockford Community Days - FREE  Summer Concert Events:

Friday - June 13:

5:30 - 7 pm - Kaela (Gardner) Kinney

* 10 pm   Fireworks

8 pm - Midnight - Pete Schlegel

Saturday - June 14:

4:30 - 8 pm - Country Concert Karaoke Finals

7 pm - at The Rockford Belle - Father's Day Special with
local vocalist Shannon Wagner, Linda Youmans, Laura Puschel,
and Olga Kigg

8 pm - Kings Landing - Nashville Recording Artists




By Trish Anderson-Boerger

When Velma Louise Schumm was born on June 18, 1914, Henry Ford had just introduced his assembly line for the Model T, Babe Ruth had just played his first professional baseball game and the world’s first airline, the St. Petersburg Tampa Airboat Line, started.  Before she reached her first birthday, World War I began in Europe.

During that war, here in the U.S., patriotic sentiment against the Kaiser made anything German undesirable. That must have been difficult for Schumm’s family, German immigrants who settled in northwest Ohio in the mid-19th century. Schumm says she remembers speaking German at home as a child. But to chafe under changed life conditions was not their way--they just worked harder to be good American citizens.

The Schumms were farmers whose lives centered on work, family, church and community. Schumm was the third of four daughters born to Phillip and Leona Schumm.

In the era when Schumm was growing up, even before radios were in every home, someone who had a good singing voice or the ability to play a musical instrument was considered a valuable social asset.

Early on, Schumm showed musical talent and was given piano lessons. By age 16, she was playing the piano and organ for services at Zion Lutheran Church at Schumm-Willshire where she’s been a member all her life. She also played for funerals, though in recent years, carpal tunnel syndrome and failing eyesight have stilled the hands that commanded the keyboard for nine decades.

Schumm attended King’s School in Black Creek Township and Rockford High School. Her attention to detail and precise, beautiful penmanship were attributes that were valued when she worked as a bookkeeper in the office at Rockford Hardware and later, for many years, doing administrative work at Henkle Insurance.

Though Schumm never married and remained at home with her parents, hers has been a full life that reached far beyond her own backyard.  Among her most treasured memories is the cross-country trip she made with her father to visit some family in California where she dipped her toes into the Pacific Ocean.

Schumm was a faithful pen pal who maintained correspondence with girlfriends in Germany for decades. She has been an active contributor to her community and her church, always willing to help others by making blankets for the homeless or baking pies for Farm Focus every year.

Up until last year, Schumm managed well on her own in the farmhouse where she was born. Like her farming ancestors, the seasons dictated her work at planting and maintaining a garden and keeping up her house.

Schumm will celebrate her 100th birthday with a cake and punch reception on Saturday, June 14 from 2-4 PM, at Maplewood of Shane’s Village, 10701 State Route 118, south of Rockford.  Friends and neighbors are invited.

Schumm is delighted to be able to share the joy of this day with her big sister, Emma Boerger of Decatur, IN who is 103 and her baby sister Kate Bischoff in Arizona, who is only 97. Many devoted nieces and nephews will also be wishing Schumm well.



Drug Arrests Made in  Celina
Celina, OH -  Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey and Celina Police Chief Tom Wale released details today of a joint investigation involving the Ohio Adult Parole Authority, the Mercer County Sheriff's Office, the Celina Police Department and the Grand Lake Drug Task Force.

On Wednesday at approximately 3:15 PM an Ohio Adult Parole Officer requested assistance checking on a parolee and ensuring his compliance with parole orders.  When they arrived at the residence, violations were observed immediately.  Officers then applied for a received a search warrant for the residence located at 751 Deford Street, Lot #100, Celina.

The search of the residence turned up 36 suspected heroin capsules and 11 suspected Alprazolam pills and miscellaneous drug paraphernalia.  Celina Police Department's K-9 unit assisted in the search.

Dennis Clutter, 54, and William Culver, 49, of the Deford Street address were arrested and booked into the Mercer County Adult Detention Facility on charges of drug possession.  The cases have been sent to the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office for review.  Additional charges are possible.

The Mercer County Sheriff's Office, Celina Police Department, and Task Force Officers continue to work together to battle the drug problems in the community.



June 6-8, 2014

Zuma 5K Run/Walk

The 2014 Mercer Health 5K Challenge season will kick off  with  the 22nd annual Zuma 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, June 14, 2014 at Montezuma.

This road race is part of the Montezuma picnic with proceeds to go to community improvements.

Registration is at the shelter house at Zuma Park.  The race will begin at the Franklin Township Fire House and will finish inside our beautiful Park.

Pre-registration for 5K is $15.00 including a T-shirt, or $12.00 with no shirt.  Early registration must be postmarked by June 6, 2014. Race day entry fee is $15.00 with no shirt.

For more information contact Stacy Braun at 419-733-8218 or


39th Van Wert Peony Festival begins this Friday, June 6

Free fishing derby is on Saturday, 9 – 11 AM at Camp Clay

The 39th version of the Peony Festival begins this Friday, June 6, at 10 AM in Van Wert's Fountain Park. A craft show, Optimist Youth Art Show, Art Rageous On Main Artists Exhibits, car show, food vendors including the Peony Festival food booth in Fountain Park all lead up to the Fountain Park Community Concert at 7 PM featuring Papa Doo Run Run. This concert is sponsored by the Van Wert County Foundation and always draws an extra large crowd on the first day of the Peony Festival weekend.
On Saturday, June 7, the annual free kids' fishing derby will be held at Camp Clay. Kids ages 3 – 13 years have the chance for free fishing, no fishing license required, from 9 – 11 pm. Prizes are given for the longest fish in 4 age groups and one overall winner. Bait is furnished for all kids. Show up with a fishing rod ready to go! An information sheet is available at .
The YMCA is hosting their annual Peony Pace 5K Run & Walk plus a 1-mile Fun Run for kids in conjunction with the free fishing derby. Visit the YMCA website for registration forms.
Fountain Park has activities all day and evening Saturday with the Girl Scouts of America offering children's games and Main Street Van Wert sponsoring fun activities Chalk the Walk, Art Rageous On Main, and the popular Architectural Hunt downtown. The Optimist Youth Art Show is again part of the festival and the annual pet show is now a free entry pet show 10 – 11 AM in Fountain Park. Bring your special pet early, register, and then show-off your pet!
Food vendors are open 10 AM – 8 PM and the craft show continues until the annual Peony Parade begins at 5 PM. A new free event this year in Fountain Park is the Medieval Reenactors performing from 11 AM – 12:30 PM.  Young dancers from Stars by Erin dance studio hit the band shell stage from 12:30 – 1 PM.
This year there is a Saturday night free concert sponsored by the Peony Festival Committee. Blair Carman, playing authentic 1950s style Honky Tonk, takes the stage at 7 PM. The Peony Parade again follows the south-to-north Washington Street route beginning at the County Fairgrounds at 5 PM. Gather up your group of parade watchers for an after-parade visit back to Fountain Park. The food vendors will be ready for your group and then get a good seat before the concert starts.

A new event this year is the Punt, Pass & Kick competition on Saturday, June 7, 1:30 PM at Eggerss Stadium. The Van Wert High School football team is sponsoring the event for ages 6 – 17 years and an adult division. This is a fundraiser for the football program with a registration cost of $5.00. The registration form is also available at .

A “retro” event comes back to the National Guard Armory this year! Remember when the Jubilee Flower Show was held at the armory many years ago? It's back, hosted by the Wassenberg Art Center in their newly remodeled armory building. It's an amazing building and a must see this year. This 53rd Flower Show will be 1 – 5 PM Saturday and 1 – 4 PM Sunday. Wassenberg also has a charity silent auction on the festival weekend.
The Peony Festival Garden Tours are Saturday 10 AM – 2 PM and Sunday 12 Noon – 3 PM. The Wassenberg Art Center is included on the tour this year. Stop by the Peony Festival information booth at the corner of Fountain Park to pickup a tour schedule. The booth opens at 10 AM on Friday and Saturday.
Queen Jubilee XXXIX, Chelsea Hancock, Crestview High School, and her court have a 11 am – 1 PM luncheon at DeShia Country Gift Shoppe on Friday. The Queen's Reception is combined with the Flowers In Full Bloom Reception on Saturday at 1:30 PM at Willow Bend Country Club.


Culpepper and Merriweather Circus entertained audiences with 2 shows at Shanes Park on May 29th.
Thank you to Lisa Kuhn for sharing her pictures. Click on smaller thumbnails photos to enlarge them.


June 5, 2014

Hoolie Custer, longtime Rockford resident passed away on Sunday June 1, 2014
Below is a story written on his 91st birthday.

by Sheila Baltzell
Reprinted from 2005 Parkway Independent in honor of his 91 birthday


Dwight Lyman Custer, more commonly known as Hoolie, has lived his life to the fullest.  Dwight, growing up and living in the small town of Rockford, Ohio, found enjoyment in his favorite hobbies of hunting, golfing, and fishing.  He helped his family survive the Great Depression and also served his country in the Thirty-Seventh Infantry during World War II.  His life is full of interesting stories of him as a youth and of perseverance.

Dwight got his nickname of Hoolie from a newspaper comic character in the 1920s known as the “Happy Hooligan.”  The comic character was a good-hearted hobo, with rags for clothing and a tin cap for a hat.  One day while playing baseball with his friends, Dwight received the comic book character’s name.  He was up at bat and one of his buddies on the other team, Jason Adams, started chanting, “ Happy Hooligan is at bat.”  Soon, the rest of the team was saying the chant.  All through high school he was known as Hooligan, and later on in life his nickname was shortened to Hoolie.

Hoolie was born on May 22, 1914, the third of his parents Franklin and Della Mae Custer’s six children.  He had one older sister Pauline and an older brother Dutch.  Hoolie’s three younger siblings were named Irene, Lorraine, and James.

Hoolie grew up in a time much different than today.  His father’s job as a Stationary Engineer at Rockford Electric Lighting Company was the family’s only source of income. Hoolie’s pants were made by his mother’s hands from a nine-yard bolt of denim.  In the summertime, the family’s evening entertainment was conversation found on the neighbor’s front porch.  In the wintertime, the family’s evening entertainment was found in conversation with neighbors around a coal-burning stove.  To help put food on the table, Hoolie and his siblings tended to the garden behind the family’s home in Rockford.

As a child, Hoolie had a few pets, one of them being a crow named Jim.  He was given the bird by his next-door neighbors who had grown tired of it.   Hoolie soon learned why his neighbors had so eagerly given him the pet crow.  Jim was attracted to shiny objects. One day while Hoolie was working on his bike, Jim stole some of the bicycle’s shiny nuts.  On another occasion, the pet crow stole some of Hoolie’s shiny money, which was later found on a woodpile behind his house.  He passed the mischievous bird on to someone else for fifty cents.   

During his childhood years, Hoolie ran around with a group of friends known as the “River Rats.”  The boys seemed to be obsessed with the St. Mary’s River.  Growing up well before the time of television or Nintendo, the boys often spent time fishing off the banks of the river, hunting the wooded areas along the water, and anything else the young boys could do to entertain themselves.

The boys picked up the nickname of River Rats from their schoolteacher.  She gave Hoolie and his friends the name after one boy, Carl Thompson, got an ear infection from playing down by the river.  One day in the winter, they cut a block of ice out of the St Mary’s River with axes and carried it up on the shore. The boys proceeded to slide across the ice.  Carl ran on the ice barefoot and soon got the ear infection.

For one week during the summer before Hoolie’s junior year in high school, he and fellow River Rat Davy Camel went on a voyage down the St. Mary’s River to a town called Mendon.  The two took Davy’s green rowboat, a piece of canvas, and a twenty-two rifle.  The two River Rats lived off the land, eating squirrels, robin’s breasts, and corn from farmer’s fields along the river.  The adventure had to be ended before making it to Mendon, because Davy got sick after getting bit on the finger by something in the water.  After returning home, Davy got better; the two often talked about how much fun they had on their trip.

Hoolie in his teens was one of Rockford’s top athletes.  While attending Rockford High School, Hoolie earned varsity letters in football, basketball and baseball.  The sport he was most known for was football.  In high school Hoolie served as the football team’s star fullback, earning three varsity letters.  During his sophomore year, he enjoyed having his older brother Dutch and his friend Wilford Stover as linemen and their team had an undefeated season.

While Hoolie did enjoy childhood, it was not a bed of roses.  In October of 1929, the Stock Market crashed, bringing with it the Great Depression.  Soon, the whole country, including Rockford, would enter into the Great Depression.  The Custer family entered into a time of uncertainty.  Like most people who lived in town, it was hard for Hoolie’s family to get food or jobs to make money.  To make things even worse, Hoolie’s parents divorced in these dire times.

After the divorce, Hoolie, his mother, and his three younger siblings moved in with their grandmother who also lived in Rockford.  Hoolie’s father moved to another town and the family ceased to have his income.  Hoolie’s older siblings, Dutch and Pauline, moved out on their own and were not around to help the family.

To take care of the family, Hoolie, along with his younger brother Jim, would put meat on the table by hunting and fishing.  Hoolie also often found work on farms, picking fruit and bailing hay for a dollar a day.  His younger sister Irene quit school to get a job as a waitress, to help provide for the family.  It was a hard time for everyone, but even harder for a broken family.

The day after Hoolie graduated from Rockford High School he joined the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).  The CCC was one of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s most successful New Deal programs.  The CCC gave young unemployed men a job during the Great Depression, while helping to maintain the country’s national resources. The men earned a paycheck that was sent home to help their families.  These men experienced a work program that was run very much like the U.S. Army.

Hoolie was sent out to CCC Camp 594, in northern California.  During Hoolie’s eighteen months at the camp, he helped build two suspension bridges, build fire access roads, and construct buildings to store fire-fighting equipment.  He also served on a surveying crew working for the Northern Pacific Railroad.

The eight AM to five PM day was filled with backbreaking work.  Many times getting to the work area required the men to hike several miles through the rough mountain terrain.  Hoolie and his fellow laborers often had to bust through huge rocks with sledgehammers to make way for the fire access roads.  Huge timber also had to be cut out with two-man crosscut saws.  They did not have the aid of labor saving jackhammers or chain saws.

Hoolie’s CCC camp experience was not all hard work.  If the men passed the section leader’s inspection of their barracks, they received a weekend pass.  Just as long as the men were back Monday morning for work, they could do whatever they wanted.  Many times, Dwight and his peers ventured into the nearby town of Castella on their weekends off.  In the town, the men would watch picture shows and listen to traveling bands at the town’s pavilion. They could also obtain food from the Mess Sergeant and hike into the wilderness.  On one of these adventures, Hoolie and a few of friends climbed near by Mount Shasta.  On one weekend pass, they also ventured to the Pacific Ocean, to take their first swim in the Pacific Ocean.  The weekend pass proved to be well worth a week’s worth of strenuous labor.  

In 1936, Hoolie’s eighteen-month term in the CCC ended and he returned to Rockford.  The town had improved some since his leaving, but was still hurting from the Great Depression.  He was able to find work in the near by town of Celina at the Mersman’s Furniture Factory.  Hoolie got his social security card while working at Mersemen’s.  In November, Mersemen’s normally laid off many of their employees.  This did not bother Hoolie, because he always saved his money for the hard times.  He was happy to be laid off, with the approach of hunting season.  He had all the time in the world to trap muskrats and hunt game down by the river.

Hoolie made his living working odd jobs for the next few years.  He helped construct a bridge north of Rockford under the U.S. Government WPA program.  Other jobs included bailing hay for local farmers, and he even reentered the CCC program for six months under his older brother Dutch’s name.  Hoolie would soon find steady employment.

On October 15, 1940, not wanting to be drafted, Hoolie and his best friend Carl Thompson enlisted in the Army National Guard.  Soon the two men were sent to Camp Shelby Indiana for Basic Training.  Dwight, Carl, and the rest of the trainees experienced traditional basic training with Drill Sergeants’ hazing, long marches, and the meticulous cleaning of equipment.  With the country still reeling from the Great Depression, the soldiers in training drilled with broomsticks for guns and wood burning stoves pipes for mortars. The men eventually graduated basic training and were a part of the 37th Infantry.

            Hoolie had high-test scores on his Military Aptitude tests, and was promoted to Corporal right after basic training.  Six months later still stationed at Camp Shelby and training to be a medic in the 37th Division’s Third Battalion, Corporal Custer was promoted to Sergeant.  Later on in his military career, Hoolie would very quickly become Staff Sergeant and finally First Sergeant.  As a First Sergeant in the Third Battalion’s Medical Detachment, Hoolie was responsible for forty men. 

            In 1942, after training for a year and a half, the 37th Division traveled by train to the Pacific Theater’s staging area in San Francisco.  From there, the Division was shipped to the island chain of Fiji for training exercises.   Hoolie had the privilege to make the voyage to Fiji on the cruise liner President Coolidge.  The luxurious ship had a swimming pool and dancing halls that the soldiers could enjoy.

            After arriving at one of Fiji’s enchanting tropical islands, Hoolie and the rest of his men spent little time on the island’s majestic beaches. The Third Battalion, along with the rest of the 37th Division, drilled repeatedly for their upcoming invasion of the Solomon Islands.  The men kept themselves in excellent physical condition with a twenty- mile hike almost every day, and they did push-ups until they could do no more.  Hoolie and his fellow medics spent time practicing their life saving skills.  Just like in basic training, they still meticulously cleaned their equipment.

            Six months after arriving at Fiji, the 37th division headed for the Japanese-occupied Island of New Georgia.  On July 4, 1932, under the cover of battleship cannons, landing crafts carrying an American invasion force landed on the island’s beaches.  One of those landing crafts carried Hoolie; who was about to get his first taste of combat.

            The conflict on New Georgia was only supposed to take a month.  It took American Forces over two months to accomplish their objective.  During that time without mentioning the hardships imposed by enemy forces, Hoolie would go three weeks without a bath, three days without food, and never had toothpaste to brush his teeth.  By the end of the two months of fighting on New Georgia, Hoolie’s uniform had rotted off his body.  Even worse, Hoolie lost his best friend, Private First Class Carl Thompson, on this island to enemy fire.  But Hoolie overcame all this and made sure the medics under his command had the supplies they needed to save lives.

After New Georgia, Hoolie and the rest of the medical detachment helped reinforce a Marine Raider Expeditionary Force at one of World War II’s most famous battles, Guadal Canal.  Hoolie also helped bolster defenses on the island of Bougainville.  He missed out on being in the landing invasion force of the Philippines due to a two-week furlough.  However, he spent the remainder of the war in the Philippines. 

            While at home on furlough from the war, Hoolie noticed how things had changed for the war effort.  In almost every yard in town there was a Victory Garden to help conserve food. Everyone that was previously unemployed in the small town had a job building something for the war effort.  People were forced to ration fuel, building materials, and anything else that was useful to help win the war.  Not only Rockford, but also the rest of the country was able to defeat the Great Depression.  The people back home in the United States were the ones that won World War II, giving the Military what they needed.  

            Hoolie received an honorable discharge from the military on October 5, 1945, at Indian Town Gap in Pennsylvania.  Almost five years after joining the National Guard with his best friend Carl Thompson, Hoolie was going home.  Throughout Hoolie’s time in the Army, he had been sending the majority of his paychecks home to take care of his mother and for the purchase of a house in Rockford.  After returning home in October of 1945, Hoolie slept for the first time in his new home at 609 West Columbia Street in Rockford.   

            Following in his father’s footsteps, Hoolie earned his Stationary Engineer’s License so that he could operate the boiler heating system at Rockford High School.  He also served as the school’s janitor and as a school bus driver for a year and half before taking a job with United States Post Office in Rockford.  He held this job for twenty-five years, retiring in 1972 from his position as a rural mail carrier.

             In the early 1950’s, Hoolie’s younger brother Jim and his wife Jayne bought a house in Rockford right around the corner from his.  Over the next seven years, the couple would give birth to four children: Cheryl, Tom,Cindy, and Steve.

Hoolie was very involved in the children’s lives.  All four of the children would spend significant time at “Grandma and Uncle Hoolie’s house.”  Each year he would travel with Grandma and his two nieces to a vacation destination.  Hoolie would also go on fishing trips to Canada, with his brother Jim and nephews.  In addition, Hoolie helped his nephews Tom and Steve cut firewood to help put them through college.  He also taught Tom and Steve how to hunt and play golf.

            Hoolie is still living at ninety-one years of age.  He is the last surviving sibling in his immediate family.  Some people might think that Hoolie missed out on a great part of life by never marrying or raising his own family, but they are wrong.  Over the years, Hoolie had his girlfriends; he just never found the one that was meant to be.  While he did not start his own family, he helped bring his immediate family through the Depression and looked after his mother until her death.  Also, because of his brother Jim’s untimely death at age 56 in 1977, Hoolie has lent many bits of fatherly wisdom to his nieces and nephews.

Click Here for his obituary by Ketcham-Ripley Funeral Home


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

Business Consulting          Customized Workforce Training   Advanced Manufacturing Training


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.

We are expanding our open enrollment course offerings for small business owners, managers, and employees. We are happy to announce new classes in the next couple of months:

June 10 from 6 to 9 p.m. we are offering Financial Record Keeping Basics. Participants will receive practical advice to help keep their business records in legal compliance. You will learn how long and what type of records need to be kept as well as how to use those records to make more sound business decisions. Each participant will receive a helpful booklet to take home. Ron Kremer, Accounting Professor, CPA, and a BEC Business Consultant since the late 1980’s will provide you with tips and techniques to help clarify your business records process. 

July 15 & 17 from 5:30 to 8:30, we will be offering an introductory supervisory class: Transitioning from Peer to Supervisor. This workshop will teach new supervisors who have been promoted from within, how to navigate transitioning from a co-worker to a boss. Instead of doing the work, you have to learn to direct the work. You will learn how to become a respected manager. Carla Hirschfeld will be leading this interactive class.

August 5, 6, and 7 from 5:30 to 8:00, we will be offering leadership/supervisory workshop: Five Functions of a Team. Working together as a team to complete a project under deadline can be difficult but it can be done. Melissa Smalley will guide you along as you learn how to create and work within a cohesive team to meet and even exceed your objectives.

Individuals can register for these classes 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 Helping you with your business needs is our business!



Summer Lunch in Willshire Park
Members of the West Central Ohio Youth for Christ were on hand at the Park in Willshire, OH on Wednesday morning June 4th to serve lunch to elementary age children from the Parkway Local School District.

The Summer Lunch in the Parks Program is a unified effort of the Parkway Ministerial Association offered on Wednesdays from 11 am to 12 noon simultaneously at the Parks in Rockford, Mendon, and Willshire.   Servants from the many local churches in the Parkway School District will prepare and serve the children a FREE lunch each Wednesday morning. The program is focused on Elementary age children in the Parkway School District.  It will continue from June 11th through August 13th rain or shine.  


Wilson and Patterson Families Celebrate New Daughter - Click Here for the details

Please check out to see the
2014 Rockford Community Days Schedule of Events and our NEW website !

Challenger League Baseball in Rockford
Story and Photos by James and Jill Leighner - Thank you for sharing!

On Sunday, June 1st, Rockford hosted the Mercer County Challenger Baseball/Softball League at Shanes Park. There was a total of 2 games played as there were 4 teams in attendance.  There were six Parkway students playing on these teams. 


Thanks to all the many volunteers and sponsors who made this event a great success!

(The Challenger Division of Little League Baseball was established in 1989 as a separate division to enable boys and girls with physical and mental challenges, ages 4-18, or up to age 22 if still enrolled in high school, to enjoy the game of baseball along with the millions of other children who participate in this sport worldwide. Today, more than 30,000 children participate in more than 900 Challenger Divisions worldwide.

Teams are set up according to abilities, rather than age, and can include as many as 15-20 players. Challenger games can be played as tee ball games, coach pitch, player pitch, or a combination of the three. One of the benefits of having a Challenger Division is that it encourages the use of "buddies" for the Challenger players. The buddies assist the Challenger players on the field, but whenever possible, encourage the players to bat and make plays themselves. However, the buddy is always nearby to help when needed.)

Game 1 – Reds and Pirates – link


Game 2 – Cubs and Indians – Link





June 3-4, 2014


Tourney Champs

The Ohio Fury 14U team finished the weekend with a record of 6-0 to win the Kenton Kaos Tournament that was held on May 31 - June 1, 2014.



Members of the team are, front row from left, Katelin Augsburger (South Adams), Lindsay Albers (Minster), Kate Perryman (Minster), Kaitlyn McEldowney (Versailles) and Emily Bott (St. Marys).  Back row, head coach Rex Oen, Savannah Oen (Wapak), Haley Hawk (Parkway), asst. coach Ryan Sipe, Bailey Bates (Parkway), Mackenzie Sipe (Parkway) and asst. coach Roger McEldowney.  Not pictured: Kami McEldowney (Versailles) and Haley McEldowney (Versailles)


Corn in Right of Way

Mercer County Engineer Jim Wiechart is reminding landowners and farmers that corn that has been planted and is encroaching in the road right-of-ways can be a very serious sight problem on the narrower Township and County Roads. “Such sight problems limiting the ability of the traveling public to see can be particularly hazardous causing the very real and dangerous potential for intersection accidents,” Wiechart said.

The Mercer County Engineer’s office requests that landowners review these intersections where they have corn planted and if they see sight problems they lessen the hazard by removing that portion of the crop that is obstructing the clear line of sight. Details regarding existing Township and County Road right-of-ways may be obtained by contacting the Engineer’s office.

Central Soft Water Systems
Purified Water!
Self Fill $.35/gal at Central Soft Water Systems
107 W. Main St. Coldwater, Mon-Fri 8am-4:30pm
or 800-952-686

Click Here for complete details.



Celina Police Department NEWS RELEASE: 06-02-2014

On Saturday, May 31st  at 9:40 PM Celina police officers responded to a traffic crash at 122 N Lake St.  A vehicle operated by 35 year old Jason Gray of 228 N Enterprise St, Celina struck a parked car at that location causing heavy damage to his 1988 Monte Carlo SS and moderate damage to the parked car.  Gray was not injured, however, a Doberman Pincher suffered a laceration to the top of his head.

Gray was arrested for his 9th OVI offense.  He tested a .212 on the BAC.  His vehicle was towed and Gray was incarcerated on the OVI charged pending review for felony charges by the Mercer Co. Prosecutor.


Congratulations to Nikki Fox for Her Published Photo

Nikki Fox learned recently that her Parkway Prom photograph of Parkway student Austin Denison and Delores Denison, his 89 year old great-grandmother who enjoyed  the Parkway Prom as his date, was selected to be published in Best Magazine. The publication is a very popular "People Magazine" style which covers all of the latest gossip and movie star news in Great Britain. Congratulations to Nikki, now a world-famous photographer!


June 1-2, 2014




Wrenway Park’s Wiffleball Warehouse, in association with Bill Miller’s Auto Sales in Decatur, Indiana, are proud to present the second annual WrenStock Music Festival.  This event will be held on Saturday, June 14, 2014, rain or shine.  The first band will begin at 4 pm with the gates opening at 3 pm.  Presale tickets will be $10 and are available now at the Wren Restaurant, Bill Miller’s Auto Sales in Decatur, and from any Wiffleball Committee member.  Tickets will be $15 the day of the show.  Section Ate starts out the day at 4 pm.  Next in the lineup is LoudMouth Soup with 100 Proof rounding out the day. 

The proceeds from this event will help fund the 23rd annual Wiffleball Tournament in August during the Wren Homecoming.  For questions, call 419-495-2752 or 419-495-2623.



Calvary Preschoolers Learn About Dental Care

Dr. Jessica Jeffery-Mohr, DDS came to Calvary Preschool to teach the students proper dental care. She showed them how to brush their teeth, explained the important times and how often they should brush. Dr. Mohr told the boys and girls that when they brush their teeth before bedtime, it keeps all the little bugs from partying all night in their mouths. She further explained healthy foods to eat and the importance of using fluoride so the students do not get sad teeth with holes. She provided each student and teacher with a toothbrush and toothpaste.

Calvary Preschool is located at Business Route 224 at Sidle Road in Van Wert. For questions regarding the program or registration, contact director Judy Fox at 567-259-3103 or



Fifth Grade D.A.R.E. Graduation at Celina Intermediate School
Celina Intermediate School
held the Fifth Grade D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) graduation Tuesday, May 27 at the school.  Special guests were Mercer County D.A.R.E. Booster Jerry Kanney, Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey and  Hillard Miss Teen Victoria Kanpke.  The graduation was open by fifth grade teacher Mr. Mark Binkley.   The students reading their winning essays were Maddy Burgoon, Maddy Meeker, Stephen Abby, Chole Mc Nielan, Kennady Murlin, Brandon Chapman, Sophie Wiley, Kailey Keith, Mackenzie Lehman and Sky Jackson.

The Honor Students receiving special recognition were: Chole Johnson, Caitlin Loewe, Sydney Lehman, Andrea Vian, Emma Menchhofer, Allison Berry, Hunter Wolters, Brittney Williams, Alexa Arnold, Jack Duncan, Reeves Black, Solomon Hierholzer,Jersey jones, Mackenzie Lehman, Justin Bruggeman, Kailey Keith, Ryan Moorman, Emma Minnich, Nicole Warnement and Brittney Littmer.  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.

All of the students were presented with certificates by the fifth grade teachers:  Mark Binkley,  Amy Mescher, Andy Waesch  Jess Homan, Brooke Wellman, Toby Siefring, Mark Loughridge, and Kelly Keck.  Each fifth grader successfully completing the D.A.R.E. Program was also given a D.A.R.E. tee shirt.

The speakers were Victoria Knapke and Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey.  Both  congratulated and  reminded the students to use the skills they learned and make good decisions in the future. The program was closed by the principal Mr. Pohlman.  Deputy Sue Miller is the D.A.R.E. Officer conducting the D.A.R.E.  classes. Mrs. Keck and Mr. Binkley assisted with the D.A.R.E. classes. Mercer County D.A.R..E. is a division of the Mercer County Sheriff Office.




Willshire Garage Sales
The Willshire Community Civic Association will be sponsoring community wide garage sales in the village of Willshire on Friday, June 27th and Saturday, June 28th.  This event is being held in conjunction with the 49th annual Willshire Days activities.  A map listing the locations of the garage sales will be made available.  Advertising will also be provided.  There is a $5.00 fee to have a garage sale location included in the map and to help cover the cost of advertising.  To register for the listing, call 419.495.2704. 



May 30-31, 2014


Challenger Baseball/Softball League Coming to Rockford!

On Sunday, June 1st, Rockford will host the Mercer County Challenger Baseball/Softball League at Shanes Park. Two games will be played on that day - starting at 5:00pm and 6:30pm. Prior to the start of each game, lineups will be announced and the National Anthem will be played. Music, dancing, and other fun activities are scheduled between innings.

The Challenger Division of Little League Baseball was established in 1989 as a separate division to enable boys and girls with physical and mental challenges, ages 4-18, or up to age 22 if still enrolled in high school, to enjoy the game of baseball along with the millions of other children who participate in this sport worldwide.  Today, more than 30,000 children participate in more than 900 Challenger Divisions worldwide.

Teams are set up according to abilities, rather than age, and can include as many as 15-20 players. Challenger games can be played as tee ball games, coach pitch, player pitch, or a combination of the three. One of the benefits of having a Challenger Division is that it encourages the use of "buddies" for the Challenger players. The buddies assist the Challenger players on the field, but whenever possible, encourage the players to bat and make plays themselves. However, the buddy is always nearby to help when needed.

There will be six Parkway students playing on these teams. Come to Shanes Park and cheer them on - like all of our children, they love playing for a big crowd! This is a great opportunity for our community to support such a wonderful event!!



Central Soft Water Systems
Purified Water!
Self Fill $.35/gal at Central Soft Water Systems
107 W. Main St. Coldwater, Mon-Fri 8am-4:30pm
or 800-952-686

Click Here for complete details.

Rockford Carry-Out Changes Hands
Todd Mathewson has become an owner of the Rockford Carry-out. Jason Stover, who owned the pizza establishment for many years, sold the business recently. The original owners were Lowell and Elsie Beougher who created the business on Main Street (but in a different location) in approximately 1971.

A new sign with landscaping and a paved and striped parking lot have spruced-up downtown Rockford. The Rockford Carry-Out invites you to come in for their famous menu of pizza, subs and other delicious food. Eat in the newly refurbished dining room or carry out at the new drive through window. Below, Monte Gibbons and Grandma Bethanne Eikenberry enjoy a meal with cuties Lydia and Kylie.




Did you See the Helicopter Spraying Fields?

Tru-Pointe Agriculture Services out of St. Marys, Ohio have contracted with a helicopter company out of Kidron, Ohio, to spray some local wheat fields with fungicide. The man near the truck refuels and reloads the product. The helicopter lands on flat ground nearby. Once the wheat is done, they will be spraying corn fields. People have been enjoying the acrobats of the helicopter pilot! This shot was taken along U.S. Route 33 east of Rockford.


The J Taylors to Perform in Concert at Rockford Belle on May 31
On May 31, with doors open at 6 PM and a concert at 7 PM, The J Taylors will be performing at The Rockford Belle located at 135 Market Street, Rockford, Ohio. The public is invited to celebrate life and the best of American music with husband and wife team, Jonathan and Janelle Taylor, based in Fort Wayne, Indiana!  A free-will offering will be accepted. For concert information contact: Tom Rogers at 567-644-9993

The J Taylors started performing together professionally in 2009 and have mastered many popular styles of music: classic rock & country favorites; traditional holiday and faith-based songs; famous musical duets & upbeat, “dance-able” tributes to American music legends from the 1940s to today.

The J Taylors’ American Voices is a wonderful look back at some of the greatest vocal performers in American history.  The show features songs from and stories about many of the most memorable singers of the twentieth century--from the big band era to classic country to popular music from the ′50s to the ′80s.

To accompany their unrivaled vocal harmonies, the duo plays multiple instruments over the course of their show.  Come early and prepared for this opportunity at the Rockford Belle on May 31 to enjoy The J Taylors for two hours of beautiful music and great memories!





May 29, 2014

Click Here for Van Wert County Common Pleas Court Cases Heard for May 2013

May 28, 2014


Rockford Community Days -   Quarter Auction June 14th From 1-3 pm at Shanes Park Pavilion


You won't want to miss out on this great auction, Lots of prizes with

different interests. ONLY 200 paddles available, $2 per paddle. Admission will begin at 12:30, with first item up for bid at 1pm. Items will be available for viewing preauction and will range in bidding prices from .25 to $1.


Toby Keith Tickets will be raffled off during the event. $1 each chance or 6 for $5.

Must be present to win. The Concert is on August 23rd at the Allen County Fairgrounds In Lima Ohio. You will have to pay admission to the fair.


Other prizes include Eldora Speedway tickets, Rodney Adkins tickets, various

restaurant gift certificates, NFL autographed memoriabilia, Science Central, Mariners passes, museum admissions, Thirty One items, Pampered Chef Items, Avon,  home made baked goods and so much more!!


Please plan to come and have lots of fun and win, win win!!



May 27, 2014

Memorial Day Parades Highlight Weekend Activities

Willshire ~ Carol Miller Fosnaugh Blackwell stood out as the weekend speaker for the Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony at the Willshire Cemetery.
She and her husband Bob of North Carolina walked the parade route together. Carol gave an address in part honoring all veterans and in part dedicating the new  statue of the lost soldier's helmut, empty boots and gun to the lives of the late Bill Miller, the late Carey Fosnaugh and the late Benny Sapp. The adjacent stone honors all veterans. She talked from experience as she remembered the black car, the uniformed soldiers who came bearing bad news. She talked about the lost youth of so many in war including her late husband Carey and her late cousin, Lester Wisener Jr. She ended her heartfelt talk by asking the families of Carey, Bill and Benny to rise or raise their hand,  followed by all veterans in the crowd and finally their families as they were honored and thanked. Dick Edgell, Legion Post Commander, led the service and the legion members as they saluted the dead with the firing of the guns. He led the crowd in prayer and  instructed the ladies auxiliary to lay the wreaths, following beautiful patriotic music by the Parkway High School Marching Band. Click Here for more great pictures by Nikki Fox, who was also there with her family in honor of her late Uncle Benny Sapp.

Click smaller pictures below to enlarge.

Carol Blackwell
Rockford ~ Pastor Dave Souers gave a meaningful message at the Rockford Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony. His talk highlighted the history of the holiday and changes made in it over the years. He charged the crowd with seeking out our local veterans and thanking them for the many freedoms and privileges we have today because of our servicemen.  Legion Commander Mike Heiser led the service,  prayer was offered, the legion members saluted the dead with the firing of the guns. The ladies auxiliary laid the wreaths. Parkway Marching Band played moving patriotic songs including Taps. Click Here for more great pictures by Nikki Fox

Click on smaller thumbnail pictures to enlarge them.

Tony and Sandy King, husband
and wife, await news of a kidney transplant procedure.
Sandy will donate a kidney to Tony.
Mendon ~ The day began at 8:30 with the first parade of the day at Mendon Oh. Celina American Legionaires and Auxiliary Lady Legionaires visited surrounding cemeteries laying wreaths. Commander Mort Ward and color guard led the a parade in Mendon to the St. Marys River on the edge of town where fresh-cut flowers were tossed in to the water in a symbolic remembered of those who have lost their lives in war. The Parkway Marching Band provided patriotic songs including taps and the Star Spangled Banner. Mort Wart commanded the men to fire the guns and the ladies to place the wreaths. Then he introduced Rev. Don Clinger for the invocation and Mercer Count Sheriff Grey for the message.

Ed Freewalt with his father, Orland Freewalt,
84 years old, and a veteran of the Korean War.


Parkway Local Schools Honors Retirees

On Wednesday, May 14 Parkway Local Schools honored it’s retiring employees during a reception held after school. This year Mr. Keith Bowers, Mr. Harrison Frech, Mrs. Patti Taylor, and Mrs. Nancy Dwenger are retiring from Parkway Local Schools.  The administration, faculty, and staff reflected on the careers of these individuals and celebrated the impact they have had on students’  lives during their years of service.

Mr. Bowers is retiring from Parkway after 26 years of service with a total of 39 years in education. Mrs. Taylor is retiring from Parkway after 28 years of service with a total of 35 years in education. Mr. Frech is retiring from Parkway after an amazing 40 years of service and 41 total years in education. Mrs. Dwenger is retiring from Parkway with 30 years of bus driving experience and 15 years as an educational aide.

Everyone at Parkway Local Schools would like to thank all of the retiring staff members for serving several generations of students during their time at Parkway. We would like to wish them the best and congratulate them on their retirement.

Pictured from left to right: 2014 Parkway Retirees Mr. Keith Bowers, Mrs. Nancy Dwenger, Mrs. Patti Taylor (Not Pictured: Mr. Harrison Frech)


May 23-26, 2014
Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day Special Tribute Exhibit and Entertainment in Willshire
With all the Memorial Day events to choose from, a must-attend event stands out among all events in honoring the military, and it is being held locally in Willshire, Ohio on Memorial Day, May 26th.

In fourth year, store owners Bill and Aleta Weiss have completely transformed the entire Willshire Home Furnishings store, at 318 State Street, into a military museum to bring to the public an exhibit that will offer endless lessons in history. The store will not be open for business, but rather, will open its doors from 9 AM to 6 PM to pay SPECIAL TRIBUTE to veterans past and present during this Memorial Day weekend.

Keepsakes, pictures, uniforms, flags, a variety of old medals, a German helmet, a Purple Heart and Japanese swords are just a few of the items brought in by inspired residents and service personnel touched by the tribute; taking several weeks to organize the event, donations are handled carefully as they are brought in and finally set up for display by Aleta and Bill for the Memorial Day commemoration.

The collection of items brought in for the exhibit has doubled from past years and encompasses the regalia represented from World War I to Afghanistan to Iraq.

Of particular interest are the maps on display that belonged to Aleta’s father; he had been part of the mapping battalion and served in six battles including the Battle of the Bulge, the largest and bloodiest land battle in the history of the U.S. Army in Europe during World War II. While living, Weiss’ father did not talk much with his family about his experiences of serving, but later he would find the opportunity before passing, and would leave behind a manila envelope filled with all the details enclosed, along with other interesting artifacts. It wasn’t until after he died, when it was too late, that Weiss had the chance to understand what her father had experienced and the impact of his service.







Aleta’s devotion to her father and his service has led her to spearhead this event. Weiss has spent countless hours preparing each donation and planning the occasion. She and Bill would like to honor veterans past and present, and they would like the public to share in this experience through the display at the store. For more information, call Willshire Home Furnishings at 419.495.2833.
In addition, a special tribute to all who served is being dedicated at the Willshire Cemetery after the parade. The bronze statue of the lost soldier's helmut, empty boots and gun will be dedicated to the lives of Bill Miller, Carey Fosnaugh and Benny Sapp. The adjacent stone honors all veterans.



Memorial Day Chicken Dinners to be Served – Purchase Tickets Now
Where:  Rockford American Legion Post 508

When:  Memorial Day - May 26th

Pick up dinners immediately following Memorial Day Service behind the American Legion. 

Dinner includes 1/2 Chicken, Chips, Applesauce, & Roll (Romer's)

Cost- $7.00

Dinners can be purchased at Barrys Family Market or American Legion.

Thanks for your support !!



Memorial Day Parade Times

Mendon 8:30 AM – Celina American Legion; Parkway High School Marching Band; and Celina VFW will present and Sheriff jeff Grey will speak. Pastor Don Clinger wil give the invocation. The units will march from the park to the river to form a firing squad. Memorial Flowers will be strewn on the water.


Willshire 9:30 AM – A pancake and sausage breakfast will be served by the Willshire Civic Club (7-10:30); Parkway High School Marching Band and the American Legion members will present a program; Carol (Miller) Fosnaugh Blackwell is the guest speaker. She is the widow of the late Carey Fosnaugh who is one of the trio of soldiers (including Benny Sapp and Bill Miller) who lost their lives in VietNam in the 1970’s. A newly installed veteran memorial  will be dedicated in their memory (time to be announced). Willshire Home Furnishings will be open from 9 AM to 6 PM to display a wonderful collection of military memorabilia  belonging to local servicemen.


Rockford 11:30 AM – A presale chicken dinner will be available for pick-up at the American Legion after the parade in Rockford. The Parkway High School Marching Band will entertain; and the American Legion Members will conduct the service.


Carriage Rides Rescheduled
The Laurels of Shane Hill has rescheduled their carriage rides which were part of their recent Nursing Home Week celebration. Visit the Laurels on Saturday, May 24th at 2:30 for some fun!

Congratulations to all Parkway High School Graduates

Class of 2014 “Top of the Class”

Valedictorian: Emilie Baker, the daughter of Brian & Lorna Baker of rural Willshire.

She plans to attend The Ohio State University majoring in Chemical Engineering this fall

Her school activities included: National Honor Society President; Secretary of Senior Class; Relay for Life Committee; Science Club; Indoor Track; and Dance






Salutatorian: Raegen Bransteter, the daughter of Dave & Amy Bransteter of rural Celina.

She plans to attend Ohio Northern University this fall.

Her activities included: Volleyball; Basketball; National Honor Society Vice-President; DECA President; Student Council; and Parkway Girls Group Leader









Parkway 2014 Senior Class Chooses

Colors:  Black and Gold
Flower:  Dark Teal Ranunculus
Song:     Wake Me Up  by Avicii
Motto:    "Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising, every time we fall." - Emerson




Drug Arrest Made in County
Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey reports that the Sheriff’s Office heroin unit arrested a female subject on Wednesday evening in Celina.  This arrest is a result of a concentrated effort to battle the Heroin problem in Celina and Mercer County.  “A tip was received that assisted us in this case,” stated Sheriff Grey, “the public providing us information through our tip line or website is vital to the ongoing  efforts to rid our community of heroin.”

Arrested was 26 year old Sara M DeVall of 1242 First Street Dayton, Ohio.  DeVall was stopped at 5:34 PM on Johnson St near Buckeye St in Celina.  DeVall was charged with Driving Left of Center and Operating a Motor Vehicle Under the Influence.  DeVall was also charged with Possession of Drug Abuse Instruments.  Syringes, empty capsules, spoon, and various prescription pills.

Preliminary tests show that DeVall tested positive for Opiates, Cocaine and Methadone.   The Sheriff’s Office requested assistance on the scene by the Celina Police Department and the K-9 Unit from the Coldwater Police Department.  The case will be sent to the Prosecutor’s Office with a request for additional felony charges.

Sheriff Grey reminds citizens to call or email his office with drug related complaints.  You can leave a message on the tip line at 567-890-8477 or email at   


Vehicle Stop Results in first "Heroin Unit" Arrest

Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey reports that his office stopped a male subject for OVI on May 13th, 2014.   As part of a concentrated effort to battle the heroin problem in Mercer County, Sheriff Grey assigned extra patrols in an effort to combat the problem.  This is the first arrest that the “Heroin Unit” has made. 

Arrested was 22 year old Derek C Sutter of Celina, Ohio.  Sutter was stopped at 6:10 pm on Us Rte 127 near Johnston Road.   Sutter was charged with Failure to Stop for a Stop Sign, Driving Left of Center and Operating a Motor Vehicle Under the Influence. 

Preliminary test show that Sutter tested positive for Opiates. 

Assisting at the scene was Coldwater Police K-9 Unit.

Sheriff Grey reminds citizens to call or email his office with drug related complaints.  You can leave a message for any detective on the tip line at 567-890-8477 or email at





014 OVR 16 Regional Champions

Coach Jim Hardesty & Team Invasion of the Grandlake Volleyball Club

Standing:  Tianna Rager (CV), Haley Helm(CV), Camaryn Dzendzel(CE), Patricia Dennis (CE), Erika Angstman(SM), & Coach Jim Hardesty Kneeling: Makenna Brackman(NB), Brianna Schulte(CE), Allison Angstman (SM), & Natalie Kuenning(SM)

The Ohio Valley Region, a division of USA Volleyball, consists of club teams from Ohio, western Pennsylvania, & West Virginia. The club season begins in January and finishes with Championship competion in May at the Columbus Convention Center. The Grandlake Volleyball Club Team Invasion, won the 16 Regional Division. Finishing 1st out of the 116 teams competing in that division.  Invasion is represented by players from Celina, St. Marys, New Bremen & Crestview. 

Other top finishers from the Grandlake Volleyball Club include Jeanette Etzler's 12R team finished 2nd/108 teams; Mary Lou Bruns 13R team finished 9th/140 teams; Michelle Hardesty's 14R team finished 3rd/170 teams; and Miranda Strous' 14R team finished 5th/170 teams











Photo caption:  A restored railing for the porch roof at the Mercer County Historical Museum, the Riley Home


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

The Maintenance men for the Mercer County Commissioners took the time and effort to take the old railing off of the roof of the front porch at the Mercer County Historical Museum, and to restore it.  During the winter months, the men sanded the old porch banisters and they had to replace a few of those old porch banisters.  They painted the banisters to make them look “like new.”  The Members of the Mercer County Historical Society appreciate the work which the County Maintenance men did for the purpose of keeping the County Museum looking so nice for the public, especially as the Tourist Season begins. 

I have used the words “railing” and “banisters” and “spindles” because those are terms which are common to Mercer Countians’ way of addressing these topics.  Some people from other parts of the country may identify a spindle or banister as a “Baluster.”  A series of balusters with a rail, will create a Balustrade.  Therefore, the Victorian home, the Mercer County Historical Museum, has a roof line balustrade of balusters, as a support for the railing on three sides of the flat roof of the front porch. 

The banisters or balusters were elegant decorations for the second stories of the old Victorian Homes in the 1890’s.  Today, I see that some of the newer homes are putting railings supported by banisters around their porches and beside the front steps.  Perhaps, some of the beauty of the Victorian era of the 1890’s will be revived with this younger generation. 

Many of you remember the white board fences which used to form the perimeter of many rural homes.  You also remember painting those white board fences, whereby two people had to work together, one on either side of the fence, so that the “paint did not run,” while they were painting the fence with a brush.  I suspect that this younger generation made the decision that white board fences not only are cost prohibitive, but also are labor-intensive, which translates to labor prohibitive! 

I do see that no one has to paint railings and banisters anymore, because the stores offer plastic imitations of those railings and bannisters.  Plastic imitations of board fences are also available.  Those inventions and improvements will enable the younger generation to have more free time, to pursue other interests.

As you drive through Mercer County this summer, and as you travel on your vacations, take time to notice the beautiful Victorian homes of our country.  Take time to look up to the second stories of those old homes and appreciate the balustrades highlighting rooflines and the balconies.  When you see your friends preserving their old homes, be sure to thank them for preserving Mercer County’s history.

Remember to thank the Mercer County Commissioners and the Mercer County Maintenance Men for preserving the history of the Mercer County Historical Museum by maintaining the balustrade on the porch roof.

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


Mark's Ark - Where the Animals come to YOU! is coming
to Rockford Community Days on
June 14th from noon - 3 pm.  Exotic Animal Entertainment is a FREE event during Community Days.  
The event is being sponsored by The Suzuki's.

About Mark's Ark
Mark's Ark, based in Auburn, Indiana brings wild things to parties, schools, senior centers and all kinds of special events. The new business, owned and operated by Mark Kohlhorst, presents a variety of critters and an entertaining show for many kinds of events. Mark presents animals in a hands-on, friendly presentation with humor and taste and assures that all animals are safe and handled appropriately. Mark has a great sense of humor and looks the part of an animal handler in his safari clothes and wide-brimmed, outback style hat.
A few of the critters in his menagerie include larger docile snakes, lizards, large tortoises, a hedgehog, some creepy-crawly eight-inch millipedes; as well as toads, frogs, and birds. All are gentle and people friendly, and are well supervised by Mark, who has handled all types of animals for most of his life. "I have animals in my program that range from barnyard varieties to the exotic. That would include two African natives: a ball python from the equatorial jungle, and a Sulcatta, a large tortoise from the North African desert. "The program also includes birds and small reptiles and amphibians native to exotic locations around the world. Mark states that "kids seem to really enjoy all the animals, but particularly like Lance the hedgehog." Mark says he can curl into a tight little ball when disturbed, and remains that way, like a living pincushion. They are often sold as pets, but need some explanation as to how to care for them. Mark's lively and humorous program lasts an hour. Requests for more or less time can be accommodated.
Originally appeared in the East Allen Courier, May 2006
Mark has over 20 years of professional animal care experience and handling encompassing management in retail pet Stores within Indiana and Ohio and 10 years experience at the Ft. Wayne Children's Zoo as a full time zoo keeper. Mark's formal educational background is from the Ohio State University School of Biology. His experiences has led him to a career where he can teach others about truly amazing animals that he brings to you!

Skeeter the Clown visits Rockford to advertise that the Culpepper & Merriweather Circus is coming to town on May 29th.


















Vocalist to Return to Rockford
Kayla Gardner-Kinney, Rockford native and popular vocalist on the West Coast, is returning to Rockford to sing at Rockford Community Days on Friday, June 13, 2014. She will be performing at 5:30 in Shanes Park.


May 22, 2014


Class of 64 Reunion Extends Invitation

The Parkway High School Class of 1964 is holding their 50 year reunion on June 7, 2014 at the Rockford Belle, 135 Market Street, Rockford, Ohio. They wish to welcome friends from other Parkway High School graduating classes to reacquaint with them at 7 PM when the entertainment begins with Blind Date band. 


Memorial Weekend Patriotic Concert In The Park


On Friday May 23rd, the Van Wert Area Community Concert Band will present a concert in the band shell of Fountain Park in Van Wert, Ohio. The program will begin at 7:00 p.m. and is free to the public.  Music performed on the concert will include Patriotic selections that are intended to reflect, revitalize and rekindle the pride that each of use has as citizens of the best country in the world, the United States of America.  A few of these selections are, Vision Of Courage by Steve Hodges, On A Hymnsong Of Philip Bliss by David Holsinger, and Men of Ohio by Henry Fillmore.  Area military personnel and veterans will be honored with a Salute To America’s Finest. 

No food stand will be available, so you may choose to dine at one of our local eateries.  Please join the band directed by Richard Sherrick and featuring members from, Van Wert, Elida, Lima, Delphos, Convoy, Payne, Chat, Middle Point, Decatur and Rockford for this special concert.  Bring a coat it is going to be cool. In the event of inclement weather, the program will be cancelled. Please listen to the local radio station for this information.


Venedocia Lads and Lassies Meet
The Venedocia Lads and Lassies held their last meeting on May 15, 2014.  There were 20 members present and 6 guest.  Pledges were led by Isaiah Pugh and roll call was taken by Tara Vorst. Chicken BBQ tickets distributed to members, they are due by May 29th or 30th.  Also club members made chicken BBQ posters which are due the 23rd of May. Abby Bonifas did a health report on sleeping.  Avery Mueller did a safety report on how to build a pig pen properly.  Audrey Bowser did a demonstration on lifeflight.  Sheep weigh in will be held on June 7th from 8:00am-10:30am.  Our next meeting will be held on May 29th at 7:00 at the Lions Club.


Mercer Health to Hold Babysitting Classes in June


Mercer Health will be holding   babysitting classes on  June 25 and 26  from 9 am – 12 pm.  Cost of the class is  $15.00.   It is required to attend both days of the class.   Topics that will be covered are Safety and Injury Prevention, Basic Caregiving Skills, and First Aid.  A representative from the local police and fire departments will speak to the children.  Also presenting will be a 9-1-1 operator from Mercer County Central Dispatch.   If you have questions, or would like to register, please call Betsy Schoenleben at 419-678-5119.

Inflatable Fun Coming to Rockford Community Days

The Rockford Community Days Committee has some exciting news !
We are having inflatables this year !  They are BIGGER and BETTER
than ever.  Several inflatables - like the one pictured - will be
great entertainment for kids at an affordable price !

Pre-Sales Wristbands good for all weekend are $20.00.  They
are on sale at Barrys Family Market, the Rockford Library and
the Rockford Village Hall.

Rockford Community Days - June 13, 14 & 15 !



Circus is Coming to Village

Skeeter the Clown visits a local Rockford daycare advertising that the
Culpepper and Merriweather Circus is coming to Shanes Park on May 29th.
There will be 2 shows - 5 and 7:30 pm.

Pre-sale tickets are ON SALE NOW at Barrys Family Market, Rockford Library
and the Rockford Village Hall.
Adult - $10.00
  Child - $6.00
  Join us to watch the tent raising between 9:30 and 10 am !




Stoneco Celina Quarry Makes Donation to Parkway Library

Stoneco Celina Quarry recently made a donation of books focusing on rocks and minerals to Parkway School Elementary library.  Shown here are quarry representatives , Mike Thees and Robin Kraner with several Parkway students in the library.  " we are celebrating Right to Read week with this donation and what better books to donate than books on rocks and minerals" said Robin.  Mike added  "  the quarry also offers tours and school visits as a way to teach safety In quarry mines and enrich the students knowledge on the uses of rocks in everyday life. ". Call Mike at 419-586-2335 or Robin at 419-622-3300


Stoneco Donates to Thrid Graders as Well

Representatives from Stoneco Celina quarry Mike Thees and Robin Kraner , brought the mobile quarry program on the road with a visit to the Parkway School 3rd graders in Rockford . School librarian Abbie Hathaway set up arrangements for the entire 3rd grade class to participate in the educational program on rend about Rocks and minerals and safety in quarry mines.  The students were presented with hard hats, rocks, and additional safety information. They also learned about the different uses for rocks and how aggregates are necessary in our daily lives.  Groups that may be interested in a mobile quarry visit or even a quarry tour may call Mike Thees at 419-586-2335 or  Robin Kraner at 419-622-3300

Village Council Meeting Minutes for May 6, 2014
Click Here for full details of the meeting.


Village Council Minutes from May 20, 2014  by Lisa Kuhn




May 20-21, 2014


Vacation Bible School Planned in Chatt
Mark your calendars.  “Weird Animals” will be taking over Chattanooga during the week of June 16-20.  The Chattanooga Community VBS will be held at Zion Lutheran Church daily from 9 AM – 12 PM.  Each day will be filled with games, music, food, laughter, and lots of other surprises.  This will be one adventure that you won’t want to miss.  All youth ages 3 through those just completing the 6th grade are invited to attend.  The Chattanooga Community VBS is sponsored by Chattanooga United Methodist, St. John Lutheran - Hopewell, and Zion Lutheran – Chatt.  For further information, please call 419.942.2591 or 419.495.2655.


May 17-19, 2014


PARENTS RX 360 Planned


                WHAT:           PARENTS RX 360


                WHEN:           MAY 19, 2014

                TIME:             7:00 PM TILL 8:30-9:00 PM





Parkway FFA holds annual Daddy-Daughter Dance

On May 3rd, the Parkway FFA Chapter held their annual Daddy-Daughter Dance in the high school commons at the school. Girls in grades Pre-School up to the 5th grade where invited to attended with their fathers. While the girls and their fathers were there, they could get their pictures taken with their dad’s, enjoy refreshments and dancing.
The FFA chapter would like to thank everyone who attended and helped make this evening possible. The chapter would also like to thank Brian and Joyce Dickie for taking all of the pictures of the girls and there fathers. We hope to see all of the girls and their fathers next year.








Blood Drive Held
On April 21st, Parkway FFA and FCLA held there 2nd blood drive for the year. Throughout the day, 59 units of blood were collected. Both the FFA and FCLA would like to thank everyone who has donated blood, not only at this past blood drive but throughout the year! We hope to see everyone back next year!


Parkway High School Graduates Senior Class of 2014
Thank you to Nikki Fox for sharing these great photographs!


Raegan Bransteter was the class Salutatorian 


Emilie Baker was the class Valedictorian 


May 16, 2014

Tony and Sandy King Benefit This Weekend
Golf Tournament, Saturday, May 17 8 AM or 1 PM, Deerfield
4 Man Team, 18 holes $40 per person

Includes Green Fees, Cart and a meal from 12-1
Beverages will be for sale

Long Ball Tournament Prize for Longest Drive.

5K Run/Walk - 9 AM Deer Field Course Course; Entry $15 8:30 AM

Come out and help raise money to defer costs of Tony's Kidney replacement with wife, Sandy's Kidney donation.


Parkway Board to Hire Personnel

A special meeting of the Parkway Local Board of Education has been called for Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. in the high school conference room.  The purpose of the meeting will be to hire personnel for the 2014-15 school year. 

May 14-15, 2014


Click Here for Van Wert County Common Pleas Court Cases Heard for May 2013


Memorial Day Chicken Dinners to be Served – Purchase Tickets Now
Where:  Rockford American Legion Post 508

When:  Memorial Day - May 26th

Pick up dinners immediately following Memorial Day Service behind the American Legion. 

Dinner includes 1/2 Chicken, Chips, Applesauce, & Roll (Romer's)

Cost- $7.00

Dinners can be purchased at Barrys Family Market or American Legion.

Thanks for your support !!



May 13, 2014


PARENTS RX 360 Planned


                WHAT:           PARENTS RX 360


                WHEN:           MAY 19, 2014

                TIME:             7:00 PM TILL 8:30-9:00 PM



Parkway Students Create Beautiful Chalk Art Drawings
Click Here for the Power Point Slide Show of Photos!


On Friday, May 16th, the Parkway varsity baseball team will be hosting the Delphos St. John Blue Jays at Don Black Field.   Prior to the game, these senior baseball players will be honored:  Cody Depweg, Cameron Lautzenheiser, Austin Dennison, Ryan On and Austin Adams.  The seniors will be recognized at 4:45 and game time is 5:00.   In appreciation of the seniors and Panther fans, we will be selling $.25 hot dogs. 

Also the Parkway varsity softball team will be playing their first tournament game Friday at 5:00 p.m. on their home diamond.

Come on out and cheer both teams on to a victory!

DON’T FORGET-- $.25 HOT DOGS!   See you Friday!  Go, Panthers!







Last Call: Summer Co-ed Sand Volleyball Teams

This summer, 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 throughout June and July. Last fall, the old asphalt volleyball court located north of the log cabin was transformed into a sand court with new poles just installed last week.

The cost to register a team for the 2014 sand volleyball league is $75 and t-shirts will be awarded to the league champions. For more information, or to register a team, contact Brandi Bruns at (419)363-2937. Registration deadline has been extended to May 23rd. Additional information and announcements can be found at or "Like" Rockford Recreation Association on Facebook.



Annual Chamber Golf Outing

The Celina Mercer County Chamber of Commerce Golf Outing is scheduled for Friday, June 6th at the Fox’s Den in Celina.  Rain date is June 13th.

This outing provides a relaxing afternoon of golf and is an excellent opportunity to network with other business people. Golf, cart and dinner are $250 for a team of four or $62.50 per person.  If you don’t have a foursome, not a problem we can team you up with other golfers.  To register, call the Chamber at 419 586-2219.


Prizes will be awarded for the closet to the pin, longest putt, longest drive, and hole in one.  Rino’s Auto Sales and Stammen Insurance are sponsoring a chance to win a late model car.   A hole in one on hole # 7 can win this car.  Several other holes will have prize opportunities.  There will also be a raffle with some great prizes. 


The Celina Mercer County Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit organization that relies on its memberships and fundraising activities.  Please contact the Chamber for more details or if you have any questions.  Visit or call 419 586-2219.


Pictured by the car & the rino from left to right:


Steve Schmidt of Peoples Bank & Chamber Trustee

Janet White of Save A Life & Chamber President
Roger Langenkamp of Rino’s Auto Sales

Jodie Swaney of Leugers Insurance & Chamber Trustee

Bill Stammen of Stammen Insurance



Coldwater Area Chamber of Commerce to host

2nd Annual Taste of the Town


The Coldwater Area Chamber of Commerce announces the 2nd Annual Taste of the Town will be held on Tuesday, June 3rd from 5 – 10 p.m. on Elm Street, near the Depot.  Included this year is “tastes” from 11 local restaurants and catering businesses, a beer and wine garden and live music from “Empty Tank” band.  Featured in the Depot will be an Art Show, showcasing local artists.  Several pieces of art will be available for silent auction, which will conclude at 8:30 p.m.  All proceeds from the art auction will benefit the Kiwanis.


All tickets are $1 and are good for both food and drinks.  Tickets are available pre-sale at Calico Café, Chief, Pla-Mor Lanes, Southside, Village Offices and The People’s Bank.  Tickets will also be available at the event.


Participating food vendors include: Calico Café, Chief Supermarket, Dairyland, Kiwanis – K-Burgers, McSobers, Pla-Mor Lanes, Romer’s Catering, Southside, Subway, The Grill on Main and What’s N Store.



May 12, 2014


Parkway Varsity baseball game @ Wayne Trace is cancelled for tonight.


Local student participates in cross-cultural learning experience

BLUFFTON, Ohio—Jessica Roth, daughter of Dave and Julie Roth of Rockford, is participating in a cross-cultural experience in Arizona, May 6-24.

She and other Bluffton students will explore the issues surrounding immigration by visiting the U.S.-Mexico border and by conducting a service project in Mexico. They will also explore the Southwest’s American Indian culture by volunteering at the Hopi Mission School.

Roth is a junior at Bluffton, where she is double majoring in writing and business administration. She is a 2011 graduate of Parkway High School.

This experience will fulfill Bluffton’s undergraduate cross-cultural requirement that must be completed before graduation. Students can either complete a cross-cultural experience or take six credit hours in one foreign language.

Bluffton University is a liberal arts, residential campus with more than 80 undergraduate majors, minors and programs; a bachelor’s degree evening program in social work for working adults; and an adult degree-completion program in organizational management. Bluffton also offers master’s degree programs in organizational management and business administration, as well as MBA programs with concentrations in leadership, health care management, accounting and financial management, leading nonprofits, conflict transformation, sustainability, productions and operations management, sport management  and intercultural leadership, as well as a self-designed concentration.

Founded in 1899 and affiliated with Mennonite Church USA, the university is located in northwest Ohio. It has an enrollment of more than 1,100 students and 14 NCAA Division III athletic teams. Bluffton’s 100-year legacy is expressed today in its enduring values of discovery, community, respect and service that are woven into the academic program and campus life. Bluffton students go into the world prepared for life as well as for their chosen vocations.



Panther Golfer ~ Senior Brian Schatzer Signs for College Career
Parkway Senior Brian Schatzer recently signed with the University of Northwestern Ohio and will play golf for the Racers in Lima, Ohio this fall. His parents Tom and Cindy Schtazer as well as his Panther golf coach Mike Schumm and his Racer Coach, Dave Kortokrx were all there to watch Brian make the commitment. Brain was an All-Midwest Athletic Conference performer four years in a row and MAC Golfer of the Year in 2011. Twice in his high school career, he was on teams that qualified for districts. As a senior at Parkway, he fell short in a playoff to go to state. he signed his National Letter of Intent at P

arkway High School.

Mercer County D.A.R.E. Program at Coldwater Celebrates
Hunter Ontrop, Bria Dues, Karlee Knake, Hannah Bergman, Shelby Hart, Janal Bruns, Harmony Bonifas, Jonny Smuts, Kate Bertke, Molly Steinke, and Brooke Fiely. The students reading their winning essays were: Hannh Huwer, Jenna Walterbush, Janel Bruns, Janelle Halterman, and Brooke Fiely. Each of the fifth grade students were given a D.A.R.E. shirt and a certificate which they earned by successfully completing the program. The guest speaker was Jerry Kanney, President of Mercer County D.A.R.E. Boosters. He stressed the importance of using better decisions to make a better life. He gave the SADD students a chance to share advice with the fifth graders on remaining drug free. The teachers assisting with the D.A.R.E. program were: Mr. Harlamert, Mr. Seitz, Mrs. Welsch, Mrs. Schwieterman, Mrs. Gilliland, and Guidance Counselor Sue Bills.
The Mercer County D.A.R.E. program is a division of the Mercer County Sheriff Office

May 10-11, 2014
Mothers' Day Weekend

49th Willshire Days Coming - Mark your calendar now!
Mark your calendars. The Willshire Lions Club will be sponsoring the 49th annual Willshire Days during the last full weekend in June. Many events will be taking place in the village Friday, June 27th through Sunday, June 29th. The main festivities will be held in the park on Friday evening and throughout the day on Saturday. Further information will be forthcoming. Any groups or organizations that would like to set up a booth in the park, please call 419.495.2655.

Rockford Chamber - April 2014 meeting minutes  - Click Here.


May 9, 2014


Parkway Schools had a fire alarm go off today, May 9, 2014.
Until it was safe students were on a fire drill; administrators called police and fire departments.
Safety is always #1at Parkway.



 Stateline Writers Club Meets
The Stateline Writers Club met on Saturday, April 19, 2014, at the Mercer County District Library. President Alain Rion called the meeting to order. After the general business portion of the meeting, members shared what they had written about two people: (1) someone who has had a positive effect on you, (2) someone who has had a negative effect on you. The assignment for the May meeting is to write something about the following: “if you had the ability to mute or silence something what would it be and what would you replace it with.” Because of time constraints Ron Aragon gave brief instructions and an example of the program that he had planned for the meeting. Copies where made and members encouraged to complete the assignment on their own. The assignment taken from the Internet: asks “students to write a short story that begins with the word “blue,” and in which the first word of every paragraph is a color. Use the “color word” only once in each paragraph, but suggest the color in as many ways as possible.” The next meeting will be held at the Mercer County District Library from 10:00 am. to 12:00 pm. on Saturday, May 17, 2014. The meetings are free and open to the public.




On May 18th at 6:00pm is Calvary Preschool’s annual Spring Program.  The boys and girls will be presenting “The Three Bears ABC”.  Each letter of the alphabet will be presented by the four’s and five’s.    A video presentation will be shown before receiving of diplomas for four’s and five’s.  Songs will be sung be the 3’s, 4’s & 5’s.  Everyone is welcome to attend.  (Mom’s, Dad’s, Grandma’s, Grandpa’s, family and friends.)

The elders will be assisting the staff. 

The three year olds participating in the program are:


Isabella Baker                                                           Maverik Bigham

Cole Carlisle                                                 Levon Fox

Haven Hunt                                                  Kade Johnson

Katie Kundert                                                           Owen Merkle

Jetta Merkle                                                   Marshal Poling

Raygan Rockwood

                        FOUR - YEAR -OLDS

             MRS. STEWART’S M-W-F AM CLASS

Cylee Boroff                                                  Addison Breece

Chandler Couch                                          Lainey Gardner

Kathryn Gross                                                          Brogan Stephens

Joanna Stoller                                                          Lyrica Wright                                                


Caleb Buehrer                                                          Zeus Grunder

Gracen Hubble                                             Gage Mankey

Cabot Miller                                                   Brezlyn Owens

Gracie Peters                                                            Aaron Sawyer

Kaden Stevens                                                        Tatum Waltmire

Jayden Williams



Mackenzie Ashley                                       Grace Custer

Mylee Daley                                                  Alan Matarese

Ryan Matarese                                             JJ McGarvey

Brooks Petrie                                                            Corbin Snyder

Christian Young


The Preschool teaching staff for the school year is:     Mrs. Issa Ickes, three-year-olds

                                                                                    Mrs Julie Stewart, four-year-olds

                                                                                    Mrs.Vicki Chavarria, older four’s & five-year-olds

Mrs. Juanita Hotmire, aide on Wednesday

Mrs. Judy Fox, Administrator 

The Calvary Preschool, located on #224 at Sidle Road, is accepting registrations for the fall program.  Contact the church office @567-259-3103 and ask for Judy Fox, or go to for information. 

If I am not in, please leave a message or call me at 419-238-4416.  We can schedule appointments during the summer.  The last day of school is May 22nd with everyone meeting at Jubilee Park.  School starts next fall September 2nd and 3rd with Orientation on Tuesday, August 26th morning or evening.  Pictures, of your child, will be taken for ID badges before and after orientation.  Mrs. Marilyn Agler will be the Administrator.



Spring Concert Planned for May 12th

On Monday May 12th, the Parkway Middle School Music Department will
present their annual Spring Concert. Performing groups at the concert
include the 5th grade band, 5th grade general music class, 6th grade
band, 6th grade general music class, 7th grade band, 8th grade band and
the 7th and 8th grade combined choirs.

Report time for 5th and 6th grade students is 5:30. Their concert begins
at 6:00. Report time for 7th and 8th grade students is 7:00. Their
concert begins at 7:30.

The public is invited to attend.




May 7-8, 2014

Village Council Meeting Minutes for May 6, 2014
Click Here for full details of the meeting.

Rockford Ohio Chamber of Commerce

Remember to join the chamber members on  Thursday, May 8th @ 8 am for the next Rockford Chamber Meeting at the Village Hall. Bill Steinbrunner of the American Red Cross will be sharing some information about needs in or area. As a CHALLENGE we ask that you consider giving blood later that same day from noon - 5 pm at New Horizons Community Church.


Arts in the Park

May 9, 2014 marks the start the 2014 season of Ohio City’s “Arts in the Park”, featuring unplugged (acoustic) sets for some of the area’s most well known musicians. This event happened every second Friday of the month and goes through-out September. Musicians begin at 8:00 pm and last until ten.  May 9th: Dana Fair, June 13th: Jaime and Robert Delgado, July 11th: Cass Blue, August 8th: Shelby County Line Duo, and September 12th: Van Wert Jazz

These events will be held at the Memorial Park in the village of Ohio City and funded by the Memorial Park Fund. Lawn chairs are recommended and available seating is limited. For more information visit the village website: or like us on Facebook.




Mother’s Day Concert Celebration Planned for May 10

A Mother’s Day Concert Celebration is being hosted at the Rockford Belle on Saturday, May 10, 2014 with a full concert set to begin at 7 PM and doors to open at 6 PM. The upcoming extraordinary event will feature entertainment by BLIND DATE band of Rockford, Ohio. “Powerhouse” vocalist Samantha Rae Duquette will open the event. The public is welcome to bring the person they refer to as “Mom” and attend the festive performance- with a few surprises- located at 135 Market Street, Rockford, OH. There will be an opportunity to share special stories, pictures, and poems in honor of her. A free-will offering will be accepted.

According to Bruns, spokesman for Blind Date band, five-piece band members Dan Schoen, Rick Temple, Adam Andrews, Mike Bruns, and Kent Krogman are thrilled about putting together a really great show in celebration of mothers. Special music with mothers in mind will be interspersed with the hits the band is known for playing, such as popular Christian songs of praise and Pop music from the 60’ and 70’s from Neil Diamond to Jim Croce to James Taylor and many one hit wonder top 10 tunes. They have the experience to take listeners 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!

Thirteen year old Samantha Rae Duquette opens for the program. It’s been said that big things come in small packages and the sky has no limit for this young lady.

The entertainer is a “powerhouse” vocalist originally from Gibson City, Illinois. Now based in Northwest Ohio, she is accompanied by her father, Drew Duquette, who plays acoustic guitar and adds background vocals. Her mother, Janel Duquette, who was born a “Buckeye”, adds piano, percussion, and vocals. Having performed at various events, clubs, and talent shows since the age of three, Samantha was most recently invited to sing The National Anthem at The University of Illinois for a sporting event. She was chosen to compete in “Ohio Has Talent!” at the NPAC in Van Wert, Ohio in 2011, and 2012. The fresh, soulful vocals of Samantha present a pop/blues/Motown feel and provide a unique experience for every audience. She performs a variety of country and standards, to old rock-n-roll and current hits, and connects with any age group.

Plan now to attend the Mother’s Day Concert Celebration on May 10 at the Rockford Belle in honor of Mom. Come, relax, listen, share, and have a great time! For more information contact Tom Rogers at 567-644-9993.









Work Crews Out and About

Mercer County Engineer Jim Wiechart is issuing a reminder that it’s the time of year again, when County Road Crews and Bridge Crews, along with Mowers are in more active operation throughout Mercer County.  We are asking that motorists respect signs that crews place out and take extra precaution and reduce speed when approaching mowers or areas where county road or bridge work is being done.


Parkway Spring Prom Details

The 2014 Parkway High School prom was held on Saturday, April 26.  The theme this year was “Masquerade.”  The decorations focused on a classic, elegant look.  Students entered the gymnasium through a picture-frame doorway.  Lining the walkway were over 150 votive candles.  The ceiling featured material cascading from the center of the gymnasium to the walls.  The center piece of the dancefloor was a giant chandelier.  Lampposts were graciously loaned to the class by Dreams by Talonda. Sophomore servers were Thuy-Anh Dang, Shelbe Eddington and Bailey Rodriguez.  Freshman servers were Carson Ford, Seth Secaur, Kaylee Heindel, Sarah Gehron, Shay Pond, Alivia Stover and Megan Weirrick.    Promenade was led by Mrs. Shannon Wagner, Junior Class Advisor.  She was escorted by Seth Rollins, Junior Class Vice-President.  Introducing the students during promenade was Mr. Kevin Browning.


Promenade concluded with the crowning of the 2014 King and Queen.  Candidates for King were:

 Mr. Austin Adams, son of Kerry and Karrel Adams

Mr. Austin Dennison, son of Tisha Rodriguez and Shane Dennison

Mr. Noah Gehron, son of Scott and Heidi Gehron

Mr. Dakota Schaffner, son of Kelly and Karen Schaffner

Mr. Jacob Stein, son of Jerry and Melania Stein


Candidates for Queen were:

Miss Courtney, daughter of Michael and Anita Dicke

Miss Camille Hellwarth, daughter of Garrett and Judy Hellwarth

Miss Ashlynn Henderson, daughter of Jeff and Pam Henderson

Miss Cheyenne Stant, daughter of Shad and Dawn Stant

Miss Taylor Suzuki, daughter of Tyler Suzuki and Paula Harman


The 2014 Prom King is Mr. Jacob Stein and the Queen is Miss Taylor Suzuki.  Crowning the King and Queen were Junior Class President, Seth Rollins, and Vice-President, Kayle Heckler.


The students then entered the gymnasium for an evening of dancing.  This year’s DJ was Stage Right Productions.  While enjoying the music, students were treated with 10 cases of bottled water and more than 30 dozen cookies, prepared by Junior Class parents.


After the dance, the students were allowed to change from their formal attire and then return for after-prom activities.  130 students boarded 2 busses and traveled to Pla-Mor Lanes in Coldwater.  Unlimited pizza, pop and bowling were the highlight of the festivities.  Thanks to the generous contributions of many area businesses, students were all able to earn prizes, including a 24” tv, laptop computer, surround-sound system, a dorm refrigerator and microwave.


The Junior Class wishes to thank the following area businesses for their generous contributions to this year’s prom activities:


Amy Noll


Auto Zone


Auto Zone

Van Wert

Barry's Market


Becky's Home Restaurant




Belna Petroleum


Berne Hardware

Berne, IN

Brand It Design

Rockford Communications


Bryan Sutton Painting


Bud's Chevrolet

St. Marys

Burtch Seed


Celina Moving and Storage


Chakeres Theatres


Chatt Bar


Chatt Insurance


Custom Audio

Van Wert


Berne, IN



Deerfield Golf Course


DJ Auto


Dominos' Pizza


Dreams by Talonda


Dynamic FCU


Family Medicine Associates


Family Video


First Bank of Berne

Berne, IN

First Financial Bank


Fox Photography


Hair Designs


Henkle Insurance Agency




Kenn-Feld Group, LLC


Ketchum-Ripley Funeral Home


Little Caesars Pizza


Longagberger Baskets, Karen Nuttle


Lucky 6 Pix


Magic Mirror Styling Salon


Main Street Tax Preparers


Parkway Independent


Parkway Principals Fund


Peel's Pit Stop


Picket Fence


Renovations-R-Us, LLC


Rockford Dental Building


Roebuck Insurance Agency


Scotts Food

Decatur, IN



Tastee Twirl


The Mr. Shoppe


The Willow


Truck Research Services


Westwood Carwash


Willshire Drive Inn


Willshire Lions Club


Wright State Lake Campus Book Store





S.T.A.R. Retreat 2014

The S.T.A.R. (Students Teaching About Resistance) Retreat was held on
Saturday, March 1st at Wright State University-Lake Campus. This year’s
theme was, “We are saying it Loud, but we are living it louder!”
Seventy-five Mercer County 6th, 7th, and 8th graders attended the event and
all schools were represented. The goal of this event was to provide the
youth with a positive, drug-free experience full of alternative activities,
allowing them to realize they are the drug-free majority. 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 20 high school
students from the Mercer County S.T.O.P. (Students Teaching Others
Prevention) Group. 14 additional adult helpers also assisted with the event.

The day started at 9 am with games and energizers led by the volunteers.
Keynote Speaker, Javier Sanchez from R.E.A.C.H. Communications, Inc.
provided all those in attendance some great words of encouragement. Javier
is “speaker, author, stand-up comic, and spoken word artist.” He challenged
the students to stand up for what they believe in and as they rise to the
occasion, to lift someone else up with them. He encouraged the youth that
they are not the future leaders, they are “today’s leaders.” They are the
“solution to the problem” and “change is happening through you, not to you.”
He encouraged the attendees to realize that once they catch a vision and a
sense of purpose for their life, there are NO LIMITS to their potential.
Javier believes that positive change comes when people get beyond wanting,
wishing, or hoping it happens, but actually take the steps to make it
happen. He stated that he is frustrated seeing too many youth be victims of
MIA (Missing in Adolescence) or POW (Prisoners of Words), causing them to
doubt themselves and their effectiveness in this world. He stressed multiple
times to the youth that they are “Valuable and Necessary” (the title of a
spoken word piece that he shared) and not to let drugs control their future,
but to change the world through their positive actions.

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 1-2 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/purity or guitar which were led by
volunteers (some high school, some adult). Also, each student attended two
Personal Growth workshops, which consisted of Bullying, Role Modeling,
Social Media, Teen Relationships, Best Friends, Relaxation and dealing with
stress, and Resolving Conflict which were mostly led by the high school
students. Lunch, dinner, and snack were catered by the Lake Campus. The high
school students shared brief excerpts of their favorite motivational quotes
to encourage the youth in attendance to make healthy, positive choices too!
There were also family group “Minute to Win It” competitions, plenty of
energizers, and a lot of laughter and fun! The day ended at 9:30 pm,
following a dance/free time and closing ceremonies featuring energizers and
a skit presented by the high school role models.  

This year, the retreat was funded by a grant from the Mercer County Civic
Foundation. Also, all those who attended received a t-shirt designed by high
school volunteer, Megan Subler.  T-shirts were sponsored by The Mercer
County Civic Foundation, McDonald’s Restaurants in Coldwater and Celina, The
Mercer County D.A.R.E. Boosters, Celina Walmart, and Four-U office Supplies.

High School volunteers were, Celina: Sydney Cluckey, Cassie Germann, May
Martinez, Rebecca Phares, Danielle Williams; Coldwater: Renee Jutte,
Makenzie Timmerman, Jon Wenning; Ft. Recovery: Elli Keller, Miranda Petit,
Lauren Rammel, Conner Lennartz; Marion Local: Monica and Olivia Hemmelgarn
and Megan Subler; St: Henry: Adam Buening, Elizabeth Diller, Dylan Giere,
Alyssa Heitkamp, Sean Muhlenkamp. Adult staff were, Foundations: Laura
Sanford, Gina Kittle, and Matt Ronan; Sue Bills (photographer), Lisa
Buening, Crystal Fordney, Craig Hart, Claire Hemmelgarn, Cassie Lewis, Bill
Prenger, Tom Sanford, Tyler Bruns, Linda Thieman, Carl Wuebker (and Disc
Jockey), and Ashley Driggs. Special guests were Randy Jutte, Marion Local
guidance counselor; D.A.R.E. Officer Sue Miller, Jerry Kanney, D.A.R.E.
Boosters, and Brian Engle, Director of Foundations. 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, and
Celina Intermediate Schools for lending us the guitars. Appreciation also
goes out to Subway, McDonald’s and Chief Supermarkets for their coupon
donations for prizes, the Lake Campus staff for the use of their facilities,
and the community for supporting prevention efforts.

If you are interested in learning more about prevention programs in Mercer
County, please contact Laura Sanford at 419-586-4030. If you are interested
in supporting future prevention efforts or joining the Mercer County
Prevention Coalition, please contact Laura Sanford, prevention coordinator
at Foundations, 419-584-4030 or


One of the STAR family groups posing for a picture
Guest Speaker Javier doing an activity with the youth


Band Contests Coming to Parkway
On Friday May 9th and Saturday May 10th, Parkway will be hosting District 3
Junior High Large Group Adjudicated Events. The following groups from
Parkway will be performing on Saturday May 10th:

9:30 a.m.-7th Grade Band
10:30 a.m.-7th and 8th Grade Combined Choir
11:00 a.m.-8th Grade Band
12 noon-7th and 8th Grade Combined Women's Choir

All bands will perform in the auditorium and all choirs will perform in the high school gym. All those attending this event are reminded that there are to be no pictures taken or recordings made during a performance.



Recently there have been numerous reports of persons receiving calls from what appears on Caller I.D. to be WalMart photo lab.  The caller uses a phone app which makes it appear the call was made from any number they chose.  In this case, WalMart.  They then have made allegations of wrongdoing and make threats of criminal charges and lawsuits being filed.  These calls are being made to harass and scare the recipient.

These calls are blatantly false.  Thus far there have been no reports of scam for money. The Celina P.D. would like to remind everyone that caller I.D. is not always right.  Do not ever give your personal information over the phone to anyone who calls you, you cannot verify they are who they say they are.


May 5-6, 2014




Van Wert County Fairgrounds . US RT. 127 South, VAN WERT, OH Featuring:  John Deere Tractors, Engines, Equipment; All Brands welcome!

-threshing, sawmill, car show, antique tractor pull & games, children’s games

-flea market, garden tractors, trucks, car racing, mule & donkeys & More!            




Booster Club Meets Tonight
The Parkway Athletic Booster Club will be having its monthly meeting on Monday, May 5, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. This meeting will be held in the community room.  All parents of Parkway athletes are encouraged to attend.  This meeting is also open to the public.  This meeting with also include election of officers for the next school year.



Parkway High School Relay for Life has been rescheduled for Thursday 5/8/14




Students take part in the Disney Performing Arts Program in Orlando, Fla.


ORLANDO, Fla. (May 1, 2014) — The Parkway High School Marching Band became stars of their own Disney show on April 15, 2014 when they entertained guests in Magic Kingdom Park at the Walt Disney World Resort. They traveled over 1,000 miles from Rockford, Ohio to take part in the Disney Performing Arts Program.

The student performers, under the direction of Ryan Twigg and Shannon Wagner, greeted the guests of the park as they marched past Cinderella Castle on their way down Main Street, U.S.A.  The students helped to get the crowd excited before “Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade,” giving them an inside look at what it is like to be a professional in the entertainment industry. 

This was the marching band’s first visit to the resort with the Disney Performing Arts Program.

Vocal, instrumental and dance ensembles from around the world apply to perform each year as a part of Disney Performing Arts at both the Disneyland Resort in California and the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Once selected, they are given the opportunity to perform at the resort for an international audience of theme park guests. Millions of performers have graced the stages of the Disney Parks in the more than 25-year history of the program. 

About the Disney Performing Arts Program

Disney Performing Arts unlocks student potential and helps young people make their own dreams come true – whether it’s performing in front of an international audience of thousands at Disney theme parks and resorts or honing their craft in enriching workshops and clinics taught by entertainment professionals.  Every year, thousands of vocal, instrumental, and other ensembles travel from around the world to participate in Disney Performing Arts programs at the Disneyland Resort in Southern California and the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Disney delivers workshops and performance opportunities that enrich, inspire and often lead to life-changing personal achievement. 

Click on smaller thumbnail pictures to enlarge them.



Winners of Colonial Nursing Center Easter coloring contest l to r Kjae Stover and Ella Putman. Not pictured but also a winner is Kameryn Attenbach. Also pictured are scenes from their Easter Egg Hunt.


Grand Lake Patriots Hosting Speaker
The Grand Lake Patriots will host Jeremiah Martin, North Ohio field coordinator of Concerned Veterans for America, on Thursday, May 8, at 7 PM in the Lefeld Community Building at the Mercer County Fairgrounds. The Fairgrounds are located on West Market Street in Celina. Mr. Martin will address topics of interest to both veterans and area citizens.  All Grand Lake Patriots members, their guests, and U.S. military veterans are invited to attend. 


Celina Mercer County Chamber Annual Golf Outing

Celina Chamber Golf Outing is planned for Friday, June 6th at Fox's Den (rain date June 13th)

Contact Celina Mercer Chamber of Commerce at 419 586-2219 or to enter or for more info.



Click Here for Van Wert County Common Pleas Court Cases Heard for April 2013



            C&C Bible Fellowship is a nondenominational ministry in Adams County, Indiana            reaching out to youth and hurting people of all ages, and is a Bible-teaching, Bible-believing ministry.  C&C does not offer Sunday services, but encourages participants to be involved in their home churches.

            One program C&C offers is Next Generation, a ministry for college and career aged young adults meeting Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. at 4383 S  150 E, Berne, Indiana; or call (260) 589-9022 or e-mail Bill Hirschy at

C&C Bible Fellowship is excited to announce their summer youth camp schedule.   The dates are as follows:

                        June 13-15                   Grades 7-8 (this fall)

                        June 15-17                   Grades 5-6 (this fall)

                        June 27-29                   High school (this fall)

                        July 31-Aug 2             Grades 3-4 (this fall)

If you are interested in any of the above camps, contact The Bridge Church (260-728-4070) for more information.

            Horse camps will be:

                        June 13-15                   Grades 7-8 (this fall)

                        June 15-17                   Grades 5-6 (this fall)

                        July 31-Aug 2             Grades 3-4 (this fall)

In order for horse camp to take place, a minimum of 6 campers and a maximum of 12 will need to be registered.  For more information, or for the registration form, go to 

            Special one-day horse camps will be offered for the following:

                        June 21                                    Low income youth

                        August 9                     Youth with serious illnesses

                        September 13              Youth with disabilities




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


Photo caption:  A Hobby Horse will be among the many Toys at the Mercer County Historical Museum for the May 11 Mother’s Day Exhibit.


Sunday May 11 is Mother’s Day, and a meaningful day for the Mercer County Historical Society to host an Exhibit about Mother’s Day, 1:00 – 4:00 at the Mercer County Historical Museum, The Riley Home. 

What is the history of the Founding of Mother’s Day?  Anna Jarvis, West Virginia, was devoted to her mother.  Seven of Anna’s 11 siblings had died young.  After her mother’s death, Anna began a service at her church on the Anniversary of her mother’s death.  She then initiated a broad letter campaign about honoring mothers.  On May 9, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson responded to her request and proclaimed the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day. 

What is the history of Mother’s Day in Mercer County?  How have mothers and grandmothers contributed to Mercer County’s history?

Mothers and Grandmothers are remembered for serving meals in the kitchen.  Therefore, exhibits will relate to cookbooks and family life in the kitchen.  Mothers and grandmothers are remembered for washing and ironing the family members’ clothes.  Therefore, exhibits will include those old flat irons which grandmothers used.

Mothers and grandmothers are remembered for watching over the children while they are playing.  Therefore, exhibits will include toys.  Mothers and grandmothers are remembered not only for reading books to their children, but also for encouraging their children to do their homework.  Therefore, exhibits will include children’s books and school books.  Children were also encouraged to practice their music lessons, of which exhibits will include old musical instruments.  One of the musical exhibits will include Zura Riley’s original Edison phonograph which Carl Kindell’s family recently donated to the Mercer County Historical Museum, The Riley Home. 

Mothers and grandmothers are remembered for the days when mothers had their children at home, and then later went to the hospitals in Mercer County, e.g. Otis Hospital, Gibbons Hospital and Coldwater’s Hospital.  Therefore, exhibits will include photographs, and medical exhibits, including Blueprints from Gibbons Hospital.  Exhibits will also include old wood cradles and later strollers used for the children. 

On Sundays and Holidays and Special Events, mothers and grandmothers would “dress up for the occasion.”  Exhibits will include those pretty hats, gloves, scarves, and jewelry that grandmothers and mothers wore.

Mothers and grandmothers are remembered for the love and care they gave to their families in making their house into a home.  Everyone has so many memories of their mothers and grandmothers that a list of those memories would be a long list!

Ask your mothers and grandmothers to “dress up in their vintage hats and gloves and scarves and jewelry”  and bring them to the Mercer County Historical Museum on Sunday afternoon, for Mother’s Day May 11, so we can take their photographs as the Mercer County Historical Society preserves local history of Mothers in Mercer County.

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


Vote Yes on Ohio State Issue I

Mercer County Engineer, Jim Wiechart announced today that all 14 Boards of Township Trustees, the Mercer County Board of County Commissioners and various villages have passed resolutions of support in Mercer County encouraging a “yes” vote on Ohio State Issue I which is on the ballot for the reauthorization and continuation of the Ohio Public Works Commission local infrastructure programs.

 “With early voting and election day on May 6th, primary voters have the opportunity by a “yes” vote to continue the streamlined programs of the Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC).”  The OPWC supports vital road, bridge, sewer and other infrastructure projects.  As part of the program since 1987, Mercer County has had $34,436,185 in local infrastructure work completed.  “Were it not for this program, many local government entities here in Mercer County would not have a capital improvement program and many badly needed projects would not have occurred.”

The reauthorization of the OPWC programs will not require any new taxes and the project from its inception in 1987 to currently, has allowed for more than 11,500 such projects to be built.



May 2-4, 2014

Local Author Promotes New Book - The Practical County Drama Queen
Michelle Houts, local author from rural Celina Ohio, recently published her second book, a sequel to her popular novel, The Beef Princess of Practical County. The new book, The Practical County Drama Queen, will be promoted by Michelle in two Book Sale/Signings coming up: Tuesday, May 6, Mercer County Public Library in Celina 5:30 - 7:30 and Wednesday, May 7 in New Bremen coffee and book Co. from 4:30 - 6:30. Read about her new book on

Featured Business in Rockford for May ~ First Financial Bank of Rockford, Ohio
Rockford Chamber of Commerce proudly announces their featured business for
May.  Congratulations to First Financial Bank of Rockford, Ohio. First
Financial Bank has been helping clients take another step on the path to
success since 1863. Our community-driven, client-centered approach
provides a local and personal experience for all our clients. We're
focused on building long-term relationships and work to provide
individuals, families and businesses with the tools and resources they
need to achieve greater success. To learn more about First Financial Bank
visit their website  To learn more about the Rockford
Chamber of Commerce, or to become a member visit

Photo: Jan Heiser, Jane Cozad - Chamber President, Crystal Severt, Marie Miller - Chamber Vice-President, Tricia Baxter



Parkway Sports Report

Parkway Varsity Baseball team loses to Ft. Recovery 4-0 on May 1.

Parkway Varsity Softball team beats Ft. Recovery 14-1 in five innings on May 1

Parkway JV Baseball Team loses to Ft. Recovery 9-6 on May 1.

Parkway JV softball Team defeats Celina 27-6 on May 1 and currently have a record of 10-1 for the year!

Parkway 7th grade baseball beats St. Marys 13-3 in 5 innings on May 1.

Parkway 8th grade baseball teams beats Elida on May 1, score 8-2 and they are currently 3-6 for the year.

Parkway 7th grade softball team beats Minster 10-0 behind a great pitching performance by Lauren Henderson, on May 1.

Parkway 8th grade softball team defeats Elida 19-1 in five innings on May 1.

Parkway Sports Rescheduled

Varsity Baseball will play New Knoxville on Tuesday, May 6th at 6:45 PM

JV Softball Team will host Allen East on Saturday, May 3 at 2 PM

Varsity Softball team wil play one game on Saturday, May 3 at 2 pm at Ft. Loramie

Varsity Baseball team will play at LCC on Saturday, May 3, 2014 at 2 pm

JV Baseball team will play a double-header versus Crestview on Saturday, May 3, 2014 at 2 pm

Attaboy Lights Up Stage at Parkway Auditorium


Attaboy, a Christian music group, provided a free concert at Parkway High School on Monday, April 28th  at 7:00pm. The group was well-received and very entertaining. Pictures are shared by Pat Agler. Thank you, Pat!


Mercer Co. PERI Plans May 13, 2014 Meeting

The Mercer County Chapter of the PERI will meet Tuesday, May 13, at 10:00 A.M. at the Hopewell Grange Hall, Mercer County Fairgrounds, West Market Street, Celina.

At 9:30 donuts will be served with juice and coffee.

Amy Bateman, Hospice Worker from Mercer County Hospice at Coldwater, will be the Speaker.  This presentation will be worthy program for all Mercer Countians.



May 1, 2014


Parkway May 2014 Breakfast & Lunch Menus by Pam Smith


April 30, 2014

Parkway Prom on Saturday, April 26, 2014 Enjoyed by Students
Photos shared by Nikki Fox ~ thanks Nikki!


Delores Denison, 89 year old
great-grandmother of
Austin Denison enjoyed
the Parkway Prom as his date!



Promenade pictures shown above


Prom pictures shown above

After-Prom pictures shown above

Rockford Community Garage Sale Planned for June 13 & 14
Permits are $10 to participate in the Community Garage Sale in Rockford sponsored by the Shanes Crossing Historical Society.
They are on sale at the Rockford Library and the Rockford Village Office. Deadline is June 9th. Call Dee for more info at 419-363-2998 or Jane at 419-363-2950.

Coldwater Plans Event
The Coldwater Area Chamber of Commerce announces the 2nd Annual Taste of the Town will be held on Tuesday, June 3rd from 5 – 10 p.m. on Elm Street, near the Depot.  Included this year is “tastes” from 11 local restaurants and catering businesses, a beer and wine garden and live music from “Empty Tank” band.  Featured in the Depot will be an Art Show, showcasing local artists. Several pieces of art will be available for silent auction, which will conclude at 8:30 p.m.  All proceeds from the art auction will benefit the Kiwanis.

All tickets are $1 and are good for both food and drinks.  Tickets are available pre-sale at Calico Café, Chief, Pla-Mor Lanes, Southside, Village Offices and The People’s Bank.  Tickets will also be available at the event.



Rockford Chamber to Meet
Blood Drive Scheduled for Later that Day

Join us Thursday, May 8th @ 8 am for the next Rockford Chamber Meeting at the Village Hall. Bill Steinbrunner of the American Red Cross will be sharing some information about needs in our area. As a CHALLENGE we ask that you consider giving blood later that same day from noon - 5 pm at New Horizons Community Church.


Mission Trip Planned ~ Participants Seeking Funding
New Horizons Community Church asking for help for their mission trip to Casa Shalom, Guatemala from June 6th - 13th.

Donation deadline is Sunday - May 18th



April 29, 2014


Parkway Band Realizes Dream to March at Disney
Band will Compete at State on May 2 ~ Looking for 41st Superior
by Brooke Boznango

It started as a dream: to make it to state band competition. In 1975, that dream became a reality. 74 band members under the direction of Richard Sherrick scored a superior rating at district band competition.

Today, the Parkway High School Concert Band is celebrating its 40th consecutive year of superior ratings at district band competition. 32 of these 40 years, Parkway as gone on to receive a Superior rating at state also.

For those who are unsure what it means to score a superior rating, here is some clarification. At band competitions, a band can score a rating between I and V, with a I being the best and a V being the worst. For a band to score a superior rating at state, the band must score a I overall.

It has not been an easy road to state. Not only do the students change every year, but the band program experienced a change in directors.

Richard Sherrick, the long time director at Parkway High School, retired in 2007, making way for a new face in the bans program. Ryan Twigg took over the program in the '07-'08 school year and has kept the tradition alive. He had big shoes to fill, but Twigg was ready.

"A lot of people wanted the band to continue being successful and with their help and cooperation it has been possible," said Twigg. "It wasn't easy taking over for Mr. Sherrick but it has been a positive and incredibly rewarding experience."

The students work tirelessly throughout the year to keep the tradition alive.

"There is a certain pressure on the students to keep the tradition alive," said Twigg. "They know how important this is to alumni of the band program and the community. Our focus has always been to do our absolute best performing music and we maintain that focus year round. I try to challenge the band year round."

Paula Linn, who is actively involved in the music program at Parkway High School, was a freshman in the first band to make it to state. She says it was an amazing experience being a part of the tradition.

When asked about keeping the tradition alive, she says she is proud to be a Panther.

"It is amazing to see the band program continue the tradition that was started all those years ago," said Linn. "It makes me incredibly proud to be associated with Parkway."

This past month, the band program took 85 students and 20 chaperones to Disney World in Orlando, Florida. The students spent three days in the parks, with one day dedicated to marching in front of Cinderella's Castle.  It was memorable for the band to hear people in the crowds shout O-H-I-O as they played “Hang On Sloopy” on the parade route.

The goal for the Disney trips is to take students every four years, allowing students to visit the place where dreams come true once in their high school career.

Numbers for the Parkway Band is growing steadily, with the number of band members projected to reach over 100 in the next few years.

The band will be traveling to Findlay High School in Findlay, Ohio to compete in state band competition on Saturday, May 2 at 10:00 am.  The Band will also be in concert along with the Choir on Sunday, May 3rd at 3:00 pm.  Come enjoy some great music!

The Parkway High School Concert Band would like to thank the parents and community members for their continued support of the program.

As the band celebrates their 40th consecutive year at state, the program remembers those who helped make the dream a reality and look forward to the years ahead with the goal to keep the tradition alive.

 "Thousands of student musicians are to be congratulated for the number of years the band has earned superior ratings at district," said Twigg. "We've all worked hard to make this happen."


Parkway School Bus 10 is running approximately 20 minutes behind schedule due to mechanical problems on 4-29-2014.





Panther Ballers Bring Home Another Tourney Victory
The 6th and 4th Grade Parkway area basketball teams took their game to the Elida tournament and both came home as Tourney Champs in their divisions. This is the second tournament this season where the Parkway Ballers made a sweep of both division victories. Congratulations, players and coaches for your dedication to the sport and thank you for representing the Parkway communities.

Pictured from the 6th Grade Team are (FRONT ROW) Gavin Stober, Elijah Rich, Kendall Roof, Jason Luth, Cory Walls, Aaron Bruns (SECOND ROW) Breyden Bruns, Ryan Hesse, Caleb Kinney, Dylan Hughes, Nick Hawk, Chance Mosier (BACK ROW) Coach Trey Stober, Manager Douglas Hughes, Coach Doug Hughes






Pictured from the 4th Grade Team are (FRONT ROW) Gage Hamrick, Jacob Rogers (BACK ROW) Coach Greg Slusher, Blake Strickler, Zach Hawk, Gabe Schaff, Slusher, Chase Heitkamp, Hunter Bruns, Coach Andy Rogers



Little League Baseball/Softball Umpiring Clinic

The Rockford, Willshire, and Mendon summer baseball/softball programs will once again be offering an umpiring clinic for anyone interested in officiating youth summer baseball and softball games in any of these towns. The clinic will be held on Saturday, May 10th from 5:00-8:00pm at Shanes Park in Rockford. Participants who attend the clinic will receive three hours of umpiring instruction and a printed umpiring manual with league rules. The participants' contact information will also be sent to all of the coaches within these towns looking for summer umpires. Participation is free and open to any male or female age 14+ in the area who is interested in umpiring in Rockford, Willshire, or Mendon. Registration for the clinic is required. To register, contact Ryan Thompson (419)305-0426
If you are interested in umpiring in Rockford, Willshire, or Mendon, but not able to attend the May 5th clinic, please contact Ryan Thompson to be added to the "Umpire Contact List" for the 2014 season.



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

Photo caption:   George J. Kinder and George R. Kinder, at the Rockford Press circa 1950

With transportation, i.e. trails, rivers, roads, canals and railroads, comes communication, including Post Offices and Newspapers.  “The Daily Standard” newspaper began in 1848, with the “Western Standard” during the era of the Miami and Erie Canal.  With the arrival of the railroads in the late 1870’s and early 1880’s, more newspapers were established, e.g. Fort Recovery’s “The New Era” in 1878; Der Mercer County Bote,” in 1883;  the “Coldwater Change” in 1884;  the “Mendon  Herald,” in 1895;  the “Shanes Crossing Tribune” in 1879; the  “Shanes Crossing News,” 1883, and the Rockford “Free Press,” in 1883.  There were several smaller newspapers in the County.   Through a series of a few name changes, The Daily Standard is the only daily newspapers printed on newsprint in Mercer County.  The Rockford newspaper has evolved into an internet daily newspaper WWW.PARKWAYINDEPENDENT.COM. 

We all lost a part of Mercer County’s history, with the loss of several local newspapers.  The Fort Recovery Journal building and the Rockford Press building were destroyed by fire.  The Mercer County Chronicle closed, before Coldwater celebrated its 175th Anniversary in 2013. 

Today, I will address the Rockford Press fire.  On June 12, 1986,  just three years after the Kinder Family had celebrated their 100th Anniversary, their Centennial, of the Rockford Press, fire destroyed the plant at 142 West Market, Rockford. 

DeWitt Clinton Kinder began publishing the “Free Press” newspaper, June 30, 1883.  George R. Kinder, son of DeWitt C. Kinder, took over the printing of the paper in 1906.  When George R. Kinder was appointed postmaster in 1935, George J. Kinder, took over management.  In 1957, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Baltzell assumed active management of The Press.  Larry and Sheila Baltzell and Mr. and Mrs. Gary Baltzell took over the management of the plant, in 1977.  At one time, the Press printed “The Ohio City Progress,” and “The Mendon Herald,” and “The Convoy Radar.”  The Baltzell family purchased the newspapers, and consolidated them into one. 

The night of “The Fire,” Rockford Fire Chief Ralph Rhoades stated that his department had responded to a 10:30 P.M. call, that there was a fire in the Rockford Press building.  Rhoades called for assistance from Fire Departments at Celina, Chattanooga and Ohio City.  Firefighters remained at the scene until 2:30 A.M.  The next morning, Larry Baltzell, stated, “It’s just starting to hit me what we lost of there.”    Rockford lost a piece of its history, that evening.  Sheila Baltzell has continued the family heritage with the Rockford internet newspaper 

I remember when I asked Bessie Kinder, wife of George J. Kinder, to fund the microfilming of the old Rockford Press newspapers.  I had already asked the Snyder Family to microfilm the Daily Standard.  I had asked the Community Picnic Association, the Coldwater Library, and Art Ranly to fund the microfilming the Mercer County Chronicle.  Fort Recovery’s Journal had been microfilmed earlier.  I also asked the Mercer County Historical Society to pay to put a copy of the microfilm of the German newspaper, Der Mercer County Bote, at the Mercer County District Library at Celina.

Over the years, hundreds of citizens have used the microfilm of the local newspapers, in doing historical research for their own projects.  The Mercer County Historical Society is proud to have coordinated the preservation of the newspapers through microfilm.  Preserving Mercer County’s history is what we do!

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


Drug Take-Back a Success

Celina, OH – Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey reports that on April 26, 2014, the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office conducted a Drug Take Back Event.  The event was held in the Sheriff’s Office parking lot and lasted four hours.  During the course of the event, the Sheriff’s Office received 79 pounds of prescription pills and narcotic patches.  The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) will pick up the pills collected from the event as well as pills collected in the permanent drug take back box in the lobby of the Sheriff’s Office.  The total weight of pills collected in Mercer County in less than six months is over 137 pounds.


New Wheelchair Ramp Installed at Rockford Belle

The Rockford Belle entertainment venue of 135 Market Street now has a newly installed wheelchair accessible ramp. Gratitude is being extended to the Rockford Fraternal Order of Eagles 1292 for their generous $500 contribution,  several other individual donations, and to the builders of St. John Lutheran Church (The Purple Door Church) who help those in need by providing building construction and maintenance assistance.  The next improvement at the venue will include restrooms located on the main level.  The Rockford Belle is in its fifth year of entertaining local audiences and hosts a wide variety of musicians and comedians, and offers social room and sanctuary rentals.  Tom Rogers can be notified for a schedule of events at 567-644-9993



April 28, 2014

Varsity Panther Softball Team Plays New Bremen - Photos by Parkway's Own Nikki Fox

Click Here for more great shots by Nikki ~ Panther Softball Team Plays New Bremen


JV Panther Softball Team Plays Marion Local - Thank you to Nikki Fox for sharing the pictures.










Click Here for more of Nikki's fantastic game shots.

Parkway Panthers &th Grade Baseball Takes on Lima Central Catholic - Pictures Shared by Nikki Fox - Thanks YOU! - More great pictures ~ Click right here.

Mercer County Chapter ~ Ohio Genealogical  Society to Meet

The next meeting of the Mercer County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical  Society will be  Sunday,  May 4th at 2:00 pm at the Richardson Bretz Building in Celina. The program will be ‘A Time of Sharing ‘.  Members and guests are invited to  share any new finds such as new discoveries of ancestors, new software packages, sources,  or any new  information that may help others.  This is a good chance to ask questions and assistance for any  genealogy problem you may have regarding  dead ends and brick walls when it comes to researching your ancestor.   The meeting is free and the public is welcome to attend.


Mercer County Resident to Vote on County Home Property Tax on May 6 at Primary Election
The residents of Mercer County will be voting on the renewal of the 1 mill property tax levy the funds the Mercer County Home. It is a 5 year renewal generating 90% of the $750,000 annual budget. The home is a residence for Mercer County residents only, currently having an occupancy of 18. These residents don't qualify financial or otherwise for nurs

ing homes. The county home has been operating for 149 years.

Parkway Sports Reports on Weekend Games

7th Grade Parkway Baseball Team Loses in 9 innings to Marion Local on April 26.

7th Grade Parkway Softball Team wins in the Crestview Invitational . They beat Lincolnview 25-2 and then turned around and beat Wapakoneta in the finals 25-0 on April 26.

8th grade Parkway Softball team split a double-header with Wapakoneta on April 26. They lost the first game 4-2 and then turned around and won the second game 14-8.


Clever Clovers Meet

By Reporter Catherine Kopack

The Clever Clover 4H Club had its fourth meeting on April 14, 6:30-7:30PM at Grace Bible Church in Van Wert.  Kayla Krites led the 4H Pledge.  Alaina Arney took attendance by roll call and members answered with their favorite color.   17  members and five guests were present.   Treasurer Erin Gemmer reminded the club that dues should be turned in by April 28.  Health and Safety Officer Rachel Spath reported on “Healthy Meals”.  Members added events to their calendars. After the business meeting was adjourned, the Clover Buds joined the rest of the club.   Mr. Ken Markward led the club in a wood craftsmanship demonstration and members had a chance to use various woodworking tools.   Snacks were provided by Grace Dowler and drinks were provided by the Kopacks.  The next meeting will be on April 28, at 6:30 at Grace Bible Church.


Rockford Carnegie Library to Host Next Session on Social Media!  
by Lisa Kuhn
This month we dive deeper into Facebook for business, learning about statistics, and how to improve traffic to the  Facebook page. We'll partner together to define what makes a post popular, what content to post, etc.
Monday May 12, 2014
6:00 pm
$10 for Chamber Members
$15 for Non-Chamber Members
Laptops and/or tablets recommended. Wi-fi will be provided.


RADC to Meet
The RADC meeting is scheduled for tonight, April 28th at 7:30 in the Rockford Library basement. Betsy Gamble will be our guest speaker for the evening. If you haven't already sent your 2014 membership, you may also bring it to the meeting.



Circus Coming To Rockford
The Culpepper and Merriweather Circus is coming to Rockford @ Shanes Park on May 29th.  

 Shows are 5 pm and 7:30 pm


PRE SALE tickets are on sale NOW at:
Barry's Family Market
Rockford Carnegie Library
Rockford Village Hall
Pre - sale Ticket prices:
Adult - $10.00
Child - (Ages 2 - 12) - $6.00

FREE to the Public is the Morning Tent Raising !



Measles Outbreak Confirmed

COLUMBUS – The Ohio Department of Health (ODH), Knox County Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), have confirmed an outbreak of measles in the Knox County area. At this time, we have confirmed 16 cases of the measles. The initial cases were from unvaccinated travelers who returned to Ohio from the Philippines.

ODH will begin posting case counts on our website by 3 p.m. each business day.

Holmes County General Health District will offer a free vaccination clinic for the public today from 10 a.m. to noon at the Holmesville Church of Christ, 204 W. Main Street, Holmesville, Ohio.

The Knox County Health Department will have a free clinic today from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at St. Luke’s Community Center, 7 W. Rambo St., Danville, Ohio.

“When fully vaccinated, the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine is 97 percent effective in preventing the measles,” said ODH Interim Director Lance Himes.

Measles is an acute, highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus that is easily spread. Symptoms of the measles usually appear in 7-21 days after exposure. Symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose, pink eye and a rash. The disease is highly contagious and can be transmitted from four days prior to the onset of the rash to four days after the onset. Anyone who is not immunized and gets exposed to the disease has a high likelihood of getting ill.

ODH and its local public health partners support the vaccine recommendations set forth by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and CDC. These recommendations include vaccination schedules for when individuals (children and adults) should receive their vaccinations.

For more information about measles, visit the ODH website at


Health Department recommends precautions against measles

Press Release April 25, 2014

The enclosed press release was issued by the Ohio Department of Health today to provide information on the ongoing measles outbreak in Holmes and Knox Counties, as well as general precautionary measures.

In addition, the Van Wert County Health Department recommends that local residents exercise caution when traveling abroad or to the area where the outbreak is occurring. Individuals who are not currently vaccinated against the measles are encouraged to contact the health department or their physician to obtain the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. This vaccine should begin providing effective protection against measles within 2-4 weeks after it is given.


Celebrate Mother's Day on New York's West Side

The Jets and Sharks of the West Side Story are making their way to rumble on the Niswonger stage May 11. West Side Story is known as the greatest love story in Broadway history and remains powerful and timely as ever! The smash hits of the American musical theatre feature “Tonight”, “America”, “I Feel Pretty”, and plenty of other classics.

Variety says, “The true stars of West Side Story are Jerome Robbins’ graceful, endlessly expressive choreography and Leonard Bernstein’s score, which still sounds bracingly modern a half-century after it was first heard. The music is a primal force.”

The daytime show begins at 2:00 pm and the evening show at 7:30pm.



April 24-27, 2014

Jordan Thompson from Rockford Signed a 1 Year Contract with the Detroit Lions on April 24

Jordan, a Parkway Graduate and an Ohio University Graduate went undrafted last year after trying out for the Kansas City Chiefs.

He played football for the Panthers and the Bobcats. Go Jordan!


The Van Wert County Health Department is open for regular business

The Van Wert County Health Department is open for regular services at this time. A media release was mistakenly printed stating that the health department services were suspended until further notice. The media release was sent out during a preparedness exercise in which the health department was participating and was marked as being part of an exercise. If you have any questions, please contact the Van Wert County Health Department at 419-238-0808. The health department is open for business and regular services.


Parkway 2,3, and 4th Graders Celebrate in Song at Spring Concert
Pictures shared by Nikki Fox

Click Here for more great pictures of this event




2014 Arbor Day Program for Parkway 3rd graders

The Rockford Village Tree Commission and the Soil and Water Conservation
District presented the 2014 Arbor Day Program for Parkway 3rd graders.

Matt Heckler spoke about what our trees provide and how they affect us everyday.

Each child was given a Norway Spruce with instructions for planting and watering.
If these are properly taken care of they should grow one to two feet per year.  They should be staked, and maybe flagged, because the lawn mover is their biggest danger.  

Bob Ransbottom explained to the children the goals and duties of the commission.

We hope to see a lot of new Norway Spruce growing in our area.


1st picture - l - r Herminie Williams, Emma Wells, Gabrielle Stober, Macy Johnson Corban Rich, Trenton Garwood, Colby Bentz, Aaron Cron

2nd picture - Bob Ransbottom explaining to 3rd grade Parkway Students about the Rockford Tree Commission and Arbor Day




The Annual Ohio State University Extension (OSUE) Van Wert County Master Gardener Volunteer Plant Sale will be held on Saturday, April 26, 2014 opening at 8 a.m. 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.

Special Demonstration

Lose your ash tree???  Ask an expert about tree replacement and tree planting preparation: 10 minute demo at 8:30, 9:00, 9:30 and 10:00 a.m. presented by Curtis Young, OSU Extension Educator

Stop by the Jr. Fair Building on Saturday morning, April 28 to purchase perennials or herbs to beautify your outdoor living spaces or as a gift for that special gardener in your family.



New Recovery Meetings will Begin in Rockford on April 29

Beginning Tuesday,April 29th,there will be a new recovery meeting in the library basement in Rockford. Meetings will be held every Tuesday at 6 p.m.All contributions are strictly voluntary and will be used for literature,coffee and rent. There are no dues or fees of any kind.

This is an open meeting. Family members and friends of alcoholics are welcome to attend. Attendance slips will be signed if needed. For more information, call Norm at (419)363-2085.



Rockford Community Days Parade Entries Sought

The Rockford Community Days Committees invites you to participate in our annual parade on Saturday - June 14th @ 4 pm.
Line up will begin at 2:30 at the Parkway Football Field on Franklin St.  
Parade Entries are welcome to hand out fliers, candy, etc along the parade route.
Please return your entry form and signed waiver of liability at your earlier convenience.  All forms must be received by Monday -  June 2nd.

Call Todd Williams @ 419-363-3927 for information and/or questions.

Click Here for the Entry Form



Parkway 4th and 6th Grade Basketball Teams Score TWO Tourney Championships

The 6th and 4th Grade Parkway Panther Basketball teams were both tourney Champions in the Delphos Jefferson tournament on April 5-6. With school teams and all-star rosters participating that represented the greater Northwest Ohio region, the Panther teams both battled to bring home the Championships. 

Pictured from the 6th Grade Team are (FRONT ROW) Jason Luth, Kendall Roof, Elijah Rich, Gavin Stober (SECOND ROW) Aaron Bruns, Caleb Kinney, Breyden Bruns, Corey Walls, Nick Hawk, Chance Mosier, Dylan Hughes (BACK ROW) Coach Mark Luth, Coach Trey Stober, Coach Pat Mosier, Coach Doug Hughes.







Pictured from the 4th Grade Team are (FRONT ROW) Caden Slusher, Gage Hamrick, Jacob Rogers (BACK ROW) Coach Travis Pond, Hunter Bruns, Chase Heitkamp, Zach Hawk, Blake Strickler, Gabe Schaaf, Coach Andy Rogers






Kathy Snider is hanging up her organ shoes this Sunday, April 27th, after serving as the organist for St. John Lutheran Church for the last 45 years.  An open house celebration is being held for Kathy from 2-4pm in the St. John Fellowship Hall (1100 N. Main Street, Celina) and the community is invited to attend.

Pastor Jeff Gramza, Senior Pastor at St. John says, “Music is a principal way we connect to our Creator.  Kathy has generously shared her gift of music to help us nurture our relationships with our Lord of Life and Love.”

Kathy (Groeneveld) Snider joined St. John in 1967 at the age of 14 years old.  She took lessons from Ruth Hecht, Velone Kable, Phyllis Nash and Mrs. Bernard at the Celina Music Store.  St. John paid for her organ lessons to continue in Dayton while she attended Wright State University, majoring in Sociology.  After college, she worked as a deputy sheriff and married Dan Snider in June of 1974.  The Sniders welcomed two daughters and a son and have since added a daughter-in-law and grandson.

"For forty-five years, Kathy truly used her musical gifts to glorify God and to bless all who gathered for worship,” explains Pastor Doug Meyer, Pastor Emeritus at St. John.  “She always served with a spirit of joy and faithfulness."

There will be a place for cards of well-wishes and notes of memories for a memory book at the Open House.  For more information, contact St. John Lutheran Church at 419/586-2332.





Lincolnview Local Schools Receives Award for Every Kid Healthy Week

We were thrilled to celebrate Every Kid Healthy™ Week with Action for Healthy Kids  and other organizations dedicated to children’s health and academic success, along with some more than 500 other schools around the country.

Launched by Action for Healthy Kids® (AFHK) in 2013, Every Kid Healthy Week is an annual observance shared by AFHK’s network of schools, partner organizations and volunteers as part of a national movement to create healthier school environments for kids.

Formally observed the last week of April, this special week – which is recognized on the calendar of National Health Observances, provides an opportunity for Lincolnview to celebrate our contributions to students’ health and wellness. Locally, as a winner of the Zone 2 Ohio Action for Healthy Kids Every Kid Healthy Week Challenge, Lincolnview received a banner, $100 towards school wellness programming, and a cooking demo for students during the lunch hour, to be scheduled in May.

At Lincolnview we’re working to do our part to put our students on a healthier path by doing a Fruit and Vegetable Challenge in the elementary and also a taste testing of fruits and vegetables during lunch.  We’re also taking the Every Kid Healthy Pledge to get the information and free resources we need to create healthier school environments for kids. Your family can take the Pledge too!



May is Public Assistance Fraud Awareness Month. FRAUD COSTS ALL OF US! Report suspected fraud at or call your local County Job and Family Services at 419-586-5106


Western Ohio Educational Foundation (WOEF) Matches Scholarship with Mercer County DARE Boosters
Supporting Students…Transforming Communities

Celina, Ohio – For over 50 years, the Western Ohio Educational Foundation (WOEF) has responded to the educational needs of residents in Auglaize, Darke, Mercer and Van Wert counties by providing the resources to allow residents access to college instruction. In 1962, the foundation secured the funding to build and operate an institution of higher education. Since then, WOEF has remained strongly committed to the success of the Lake Campus.

Mercer County DARE Boosters selected 10 winning essays from Mercer County Schools and awarded each author $500 scholarships for the 2014/2015 academic year. Kyle Balthis from Celina High School was one of the winning authors. Mercer County DARE Boosters thanked the students for the important role each of them play in today’s society and in the future—they are tomorrow’s leaders. Each of the essay winners received commendations from Representative Jim Buchy, Ohio House of Representatives.

Kyle was also awarded a Western Ohio Educational Foundation (WOEF) Matching $500 Scholarship since he will be attending Wright State University-Lake Campus in the fall of 2014. The WOEF Scholarship program offers a number of matching scholarships which effectively doubles the student’s scholarship award if they choose to attend WSU-Lake Campus


Panther Freshman Versus Wapakoneta
Action Shots by Nikki Fox Photography


Click Here for more pictures of this game!



April 23, 2014


Parkway Elementary Students Kindergarten through 1st Grade Entertain with Spring concert
Click Here for more pictures of this event by Nikki Fox Photography



Parkway Senior Sierra Fent signs to play softball at Division 2 Urbana. Pictured above are the the Urbana coach, Coach Mark Esselstein, standing, and Sierra with her parents.


Attaboy to Perform at Parkway Auditorium
Attaboy, a Christian music group, will be in concert at Parkway high school next Monday, April 28th  at 7:00pm. The concert is FREE and open to the public. Come on out and enjoy this FREE event!



Perennial Plant Sale in Fountain Park

The Evergreen Garden Club will be having its annual perennial plant sale in Fountain Park,
Saturday, May 3, at 8:30 am.  Fountain Park is located at the corner of East Main and Jefferson Streets in downtown Van Wert across from the Brumback Library.

Perennial plants will be dug from garden club members’ own gardens and sold at a very reasonable price.  A large selection of many different varieties will be for sale.

All proceeds from the sale will be used for civic beautification projects sponsored by The Evergreen Garden Club.  Some of those projects include purchasing, planting and maintaining the flowers in Fountain Park; maintaining the herb garden at the Van Wert County Historical Museum; maintaining the friendship garden at Camp Clay; and decorating the Brumback Library for the Christmas holiday season.

Help the environment—go green—plant perennials.



Guest Column from State Representative Jim Buchy
Reviewing State Budget to Maintain Ohio’s Momentum

Governor Kasich recently proposed his Mid-Biennial Budget Review, or MBR, which gives lawmakers a second look at the budget that was passed last year and allows us to determine where improvements can be made. Because of the vast size of the bill—surpassing 1,600 pages—the House rightfully decided to break it down into smaller components so that each separate issue can receive appropriate level of oversight and review.

Among the most important aspects of the governor’s plan is looking for ways to further reduce the burden on Ohio taxpayers, making it easier for families to meet their needs and freeing up more money for small business owners to create more jobs and expand their operations.

Under Governor Kasich’s leadership and a continued commitment by the state legislature, we have been able to cut taxes for Ohioans, including the passage of last year’s state operating budget, which contained the largest year-to-year tax cut in the country. This has all happened while balancing the budget every year and adding to the state’s emergency reserve fund. Most important to Ohio’s economic recovery is the creation of about 238,000 private sector jobs since January 2011—fifth in the nation and tops in the Midwest during that time period.

I believe that individuals are the best stewards of their money, and making it possible to keep more of it in their pockets leads to economic development, more jobs and stronger families. Although we are only required to pass a budget once every two years, being able to review it every other year only enhances our ability to work toward a system that makes Ohio more competitive to business owners and more attractive to people looking to raise a family.

The MBR also addresses critical issues related to education, agriculture, veterans and mental health and drug addiction. This is all the more reason to break the plan up into several smaller pieces and assign them to their corresponding committees. 

As the House and Senate continue working toward implementing these reforms, I will do my best to keep the people of Darke, Auglaize, Mercer and Shelby counties informed. As always, I want to hear from the people of the district about the issues that you are most passionate about. Please share your ideas and concerns.



April 22, 2014

Van Wert County Hospital Benefit Casino Night Coming Friday, April 25
Friday, April 25th

7:00PM - 11:00PM

Van Wert Elks Lodge

1197 Elks Drive

Van Wert, Ohio

Join Us For A Night of Fun And Excitement To Benefit

The Grand Lake Regional Cancer Center and Van Wert County Hospital.


Admission is $30 for 1 or $50 for 2.

Gaming Chips, Appetizers Included



To purchase your tickets, call 419.238.8623,

email or visit the cashier's window at the hospital.

Celebration of Life to be Held at the Rockford Belle.

The family of Dale Kimmel will be hosting a "Celebration of Life" calling and visitation for friends and family in memory of Dale, who passed away on March 22, 2014.  The event will be held on May 3, 2014 at the Rockford Belle, 135 Market Street, Rockford, Ohio from 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm.



Happy Birthday, Bill
A person that can frequently be seen in the public doing community service and brightening everyone's day is turning 45 on Tuesday April 22. That's right Bill (William) Miller is turning the big 4-5! If you see Bill around town don't hesitate to wish him a very Happy Birthday!



2014 Bible Reading Marathon in Celina, Saturday, April 26
The 2014 Bible Reading Marathon will take place Saturday, April 26, from 2-4 PM in front of the Courthouse building in Celina.  Pastors and members of a number of Christian churches in Mercer County will be participating in the public reading of the Bible at the event, which is part of a statewide, county-by-county effort to collectively read the entire Bible between the hours of 2-4 PM that day. 

Everyone is invited to attend. Bring along your Bible and a lawn chair.  The Saturday event precedes the National Day of Prayer, which is the following Thursday.   If the weather is bad, the Bible Reading Marathon will be held at Aletheia Christian Church, located at the Galleria Mall in Celina.


Drug Take Back Event Coming

Celina OH – On Saturday, April 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with the Mercer County Health Department, will be holding a drug take back event.  During this event, the public will have the opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.  Bring your medications for disposal to The Mercer County Detention Facility parking lot at 4835 State Route 29.  The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. Please do not bring syringes or liquids.


This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue.  Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.  Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.

Mendon Workday Planned

On Saturday April 26 beginning at 9:00am, the Mendon Community will be having a work day to prepare the parks for the spring and summer activities. We ask for those coming to bring rakes, shovels, gloves, wheel barrow and any other items you may need. We plan to stop around noon so the more people helping the faster we'll get done. We will also have a second work day on Saturday May 10 beginning at 9:00 so join us for one or both. All help is appreciated. If weather is questionable, please call or text 419-305-5137 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 419-305-5137 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting to verify any delays or cancelations. Thank you in advance for you help in the betterment of our community.





On the May 6th election there will be a Rockford 2.8 Mill Replacement Levy on the ballot.  The original levy passed in 1984 and has been renewed 5 times.  Current Levy Collects $21,800 per year – now collection 1.25 mills.

Replacement Levy will collect $38,900 per year.  The General Fund Revenue has decreased $59,400 per year since 2008.  Increase cost to homeowner of $100,000 home is $60 per year.  PASSAGE IS NEEDED TO SUSTAIN SERVICES.



April 17- 21, 2014

Rockford Cub Scouts Hosting Metal Scrap Drive
The Rockford Cub Scout Pack 98 will be hosting a scrap metal drive on May 3rd from 8 am until noon. Any scrap metal, aluminum can, tin can, or other metallic items may be brought to the stone parking lot north of Rockford United Methodist Church (off Pearl Street). Items that can also be scrapped are old car, appliances, and used batteries. Items that are NOT being collected are TV's, paper, and plastic. If you have a large item to donate please contact the Rockford Village Office 419-363-3032 and leave a location and item description. The proceeds of this collection will be used to fund programs and activities for the scouts as well as provide uniforms and awards for the scouts.
Panther Band Performs in Disney
Photos and thank you by James & Jill Leighner


After almost 2 years of fundraisers, planning and hard work, the Panther Band has made it to Disney!   Many thanks to the Mr. Twigg, the band boosters, planning committee and all those involved in making this trip possible! 

The band members are no doubt having a Disney experience that they never will forget.
Also I want to say thanks to all the parents, family members and supporters who have made the trip to support the band and show their PARKWAY PRIDE!!! 
 Go PANTHERS!!!!!!!!!!



April 16, 2014

Business of the Month Named in Rockford

The Rockford Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the first Business of the Month winner - His N Hers Salon and Spa located at 121 S Main St in Rockford,  OH.  Pictured from left to right: Jane Cozad - Chamber President, Brenda Barker - Owner of His N Hers, and Marie Miller - Chamber Vice President.  Congratulations to Brenda Barker and her staff.
His N Hers has been a proud Rockford business since 1976, when Brenda officially opened her doors. Relax and be pampered at His N Hers Salon and Spa where enhancing natural beauty is their specialty. With an extensive full line of services that include Hair Cut & Coloring, Nails, Permanent Eyelash Extensions, Massage, Waxing, Tanning and more, the staff at His N Hers is dedicated to offering personalized services for each client. Located in downtown Rockford, the comfortable and easy environment at His N Hers allows an escape from the race and an opportunity to feel refreshed and renewed. Contact His N Hers TODAY for an appointment 419-363-2209

Parkway Athletics Updates

8th Grade Softball vs Spencerville will play on April 25 at Shanes Park

Varsity and JV Softball Teams will play at Waynesfield on Thursday, April 17th at 5 PM. Bus leaves at 3:40.


Register Now for Vantage Preschool

Registration is now underway for the 2014-2015 school year. There are three choices available.  Morning preschool session meets Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. until 10:50 a.m.  This session is for 3 year-old children and young 4 year-olds.

Afternoon session also meets Monday through Thursday from 12:00 noon until 2:20 p.m.  This is a pre-kindergarten class for 4 year-olds and young 5 year-olds.

The Full day option is available from 8:30 a.m. – 2:20 p.m. Monday through Thursday for 4 and 5 year-olds.  Preschoolers pack their lunch for the Full Day program. For all 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.

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. 2521.


Circus Coming To Rockford
The Culpepper and Merriweather Circus is coming to Rockford @ Shanes Park on May 29th.  


Shows are 5 pm and 7:30 pm


PRE SALE TICKETS will be available for purchase 1 month prior at the Rockford Village Office.



Adult - $10.00

Child  (ages 2 12) - $6.00


The Rockford Chamber will be sponsoring a Business Expo during Rockford Community Days on June 13 from 5:30 pm - 9 pm.



Mendon East Egg Hunt
Come to the Mendon Park on April 19th at 1 pm for the Easter Egg Hunt.

Civli War Roundtable to Meet

On Tuesday, April 29, Dr. David Adams will present a program on Lincoln in the Movies. Adams is the movie critic on the NBC Lima TV-35 affiliate. He will look back over the years at Lincoln portrayals in the movies and discuss the relative merits of each, comparing their big-screen persona with the reality of Lincoln. NOTE THE DATE CHANGE TO TUESDAY THE 29th.

The newsletter looks back at the wonderful musical program we had in March. Conkers were a real hit with our audience. Phil DeHaven will close out our Roundtable season next month.

Also in this issue we cover Walt Whitman's elegy to Lincoln. Listed below is a link to an archive where our newsletters are placed on the internet. We share that site with the Lima Civil War Club - Their newsletters are located there as well.


Congressman John Boehner will Speak
The Darke, Celina-Mercer, and Preble County Chambers of Commerce

And National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)

Area Action Alliance - Darke, Mercer and Preble Counties

Are hosting a members only event:

"State of the Nation" Breakfast: A Conversation with Speaker of the House

Congressman John Boehner

Speaker of the US House

Ohio's 8th Congressional District on Wednesday, April 23, 2014


In The Breese for Bri ~  3rd Annual Event:
Scholarship Fundraiser - May 3rd @ the Rockford
Community Building from 9 am - 5 pm
5K @ 9 am registration  - $25 includes t-shirt, bracelet, drinks
Poker Run @ 1:30 registration - $10 per bike $5 additional for
*Memorobilia for sale * Prizes * Food/Drinks
 For more information contact - 419.363.0049 on Facebook "In the Breese for Bri"



April 15, 2014

Parkway Athletic Updates

7th Grade baseball games cancelled for tonight. 4-15-2014.





Tastee Twirl in Rockford Changes Hands
New Owners Plan Opening for the Summer Season on Friday, April 18th
by Sheila Baltzell, editor

Steve and Crystal Sheets have purchased the Tastee Twirl on Main Street in Rockford from Aaron and Tina Strobel. An icon in Rockford since the 1950’s, it is a venture that the Sheets Family has looked at for many years. The timing was right to purchase, and they are excited about this opportunity. They have many new things to share with Tastee Twirl patrons.


Members of the Sheets Family will be helping run the business. Steve will be overseeing the day to day business, but only as a general manager, from the office building. He will spend most of his time in the office, overseeing operations, both personally, and by way of the multi-camera surveillance system that the Strobel's had installed prior to selling the business. This system allows us to view the operation of the business from virtually anywhere, by way of their smart phones, and computers.  Daughter Leann, a Physical Therapy Assistant major, will be running day-to-day operations. Crystal will be overseeing as well. Their daughter, Stephanie, will also be helping to manage the business from time to time.



The Sheets’ children have worked at the Tastee Twirl over the years. Four of their daughters worked there with Stephanie having worked there the longest, for about 8 years. In their  historical search of the Tastee, Steve  found that it was first opened in 1946. And as close as they could find, there were about 5-6 previous owners before. The names of the previous owners, in reverse order, are: Strobel, Schadt, Cook, Williams, Robbins


There have been updates to the building and equipment. They installed a new drive up window; an entirely new plumbing system, including a new water heater, bathroom fixtures, faucets; a new ceiling, and insulation up front; new floor tiling in back; new insulation, flooring, and wall coverings in the storage building; new wiring and conduit to service various new equipment; and a new sound system.  Upgraded electric has been added to the building to accommodate new equipment including new Point of Sale touch screen, computerized ordering system installed at each of the walk up windows, and another at the drive thru window. A separate touch screen monitor is for the kitchen area from where the cook will work. Completed orders are immediately transferred to the kitchen upon payment, eliminating the need for associates to hand deliver hand-written orders to the kitchen. They are excited about the three new digital video menu boards installed, two  50 inch menu boards facing the customers from the wall facing each walk up window, and one 39 inch screen at the drive up window. Customers will see what the Tastee Twirl has to offer and the cost.

A new Taylor dual flavor/twist ice cream machine with a Flavor Burst attachment is one of the highlights of the upgrades. The attachment gives them the ability to add up to any four additional flavors out of eight total flavors, on a single serving of ice cream. This system gives them the ability to choose 8 flavors (out of a total of 38 flavors available). Soft serve yogurt options are also included. A new, computerized grill controls the temp, the thickness of the finished product, and the cooking time for up to 90 different food items. It can grill two different items at the same time, or up to 12 - 6oz. burgers at a time. It is so sensitive, that it will cook eggs, over easy, without breaking the yolk. Steve said, “Virtually anything that you can cook on a grill, can be cooked on this new grill.”   Three new double-pot fryers with 6 individual fry baskets have been installed. The fryers are separated so  flavors do not become intermingled. There is a new refrigerated salad/sandwich prep table, so we could offer our customers a variety of salad fixings. Customers will also enjoy a fresh cup of coffee at the Tastee Twirl’s new commercial Kuerig single serve coffee machine for those who enjoy coffee, or tea with their meal, and we intend to offer 4 different varieties of coffee, and tea from which to choose.

A Pepsi machine will offer our customers 8 different choices of beverages, versus the six on the previous machine. They acquired a new hot dog roller, and a Nacho Cheese machine, too, and have made a few other improvements.


The Sheets’ Family plans to offer some of the same items as the Strobel Family.  Thick and juicy Certified Angus Beef hamburgers are planned. Steve said, “ We're looking at offering both an 8 oz., and a 6 oz. (weight before cooking) burger for those who like more meat, and not all bun, on their sandwiches. Plus we would also like to offer a 4oz. burger for kids. We are also going to have fresh, home baked fruit pies, both standard, and sugar free available, including apple, peach, and cherry. Salads and much more will be served. Their menu is still being developed at this time. 

Plans to Expand

The Sheets’  also purchased the adjoining property to the south of the Tastee Twirl. The house will be demolished to make room for an enlarged parking area to the rear of the property and eventually install a gazebo on the front 30% of the lot that will be able to hold 2-3 picnic tables Steve said, “We want to landscape around the gazebo, with trees, flowers, etc., in an effort to make it more appealing to our customers, and perhaps attract more people just passing through our town.”


Open for Business

Friday, April 18 is their intended day to open for the summer season. They will open at 10:30 am and be open until 9:30pm, 7 days per week, with the business determining when we will actually close each night.


Family Program at Rockford Library

Join us for an "Egg-cellent" family program this Thursday, April 17th at the Rockford Carnegie Library.  The program will begin at 6:30 and everyone is welcome to come. An egg craft, snack, games and story will be featured.

Rockford Library Continues to Use Funds Received from an Estate

Allison and Anden enjoying the new children's computer at the Rockford Library.

The library received $15,000 in funds from the estate of Fern Moorman a couple of years ago.  The trustees have used this money to sponsor an author visit, new landscaping, refinishing the old tables and chairs in the library, and most recently updating the computer in the children's area.  This computer comes preloaded with games, stories and other activities designed for children ages 2-8.  This newer computer has a touch screen or the children can use a small mouse to do their favorite activity. The library trustees are grateful for this generous donation to the library which has enabled them to fund these special projects.



Vantage Bloodmobile Draws a Crowd

Oops, we did it again!  The 34th annual Vantage Bloodmobile was held on Thursday and Friday, April 10 and 11 to help the American Red Cross keep up with the urgent need for blood.  The bloodmobile is a team effort with students and staff from several different programs working together to get organized and set up for a bloodmobile.  The Vantage bloodmobile has grown so much in recent years, that it has become a two-day event!

It takes many people to put together a successful high school blood drive.  Special thanks to Mr. Larry Mengerink from Building and Grounds for unloading the Red Cross truck at 6:30 in the morning and being happy about it. The members of the junior and senior Health Technology classes set up the donor room and also served as staffers, assisting with registration, first aid, and escort duties.  A very special “Thank You” to Health Tech teachers Mrs. Reesa Rohrs and Mrs. Leigh Carey for doing an amazing job coordinating and scheduling student and staff donations. 

Vantage is one of the largest high school bloodmobiles in the region and has one of the highest numbers of first time donors.  This year’s blood drive was excellent.  Nearly 200 students and staff members registered to donate blood. A total of 131 pints of blood were collected over the two days.  Great job!  Thanks to everyone who made this year’s Vantage bloodmobile a huge success!

Vantage senior Industrial Mechanics student Michael Miracle (Parkway) is all smiles as he donates blood during the Vantage Bloodmobile.


April 12-14, 2014

Stateline Writers Club Meets
The Stateline Writers Club met on Saturday, March 15, 2014, at the Mercer County District Library.  President Alain Rion called the meeting to order.  After the general business portion of the meeting, members shared what they had written.  The assignment for April is to write about two people: (1) someone who has had a positive effect on you, (2) someone who has had a negative effect on you.  The meeting was then turned over to Barbara Moore and Beth Keuneke.  Moore presented the 30th Anniversary binder that she organized from the compositions contributed by various members to represent some of the club’s best work.  Moore and Keuneke went on to explain what was on the Stateline Writers Club shelf at the Mercer County District Library, and made suggestions regarding the materials.  Keuneke is collecting the minutes and publicity from previous years and is planning on getting them organized.  Moore talked about the importance of having complete records in a public place so that the history can be preserved.   Moore and Keuneke will continue to organization materials. Ron Aragon volunteered to present the program at the next meeting.  The next meeting will be held at the Mercer County District Library on Saturday, April 19, 2014, from 10 to Noon.  The public is invited to attend.
Easter Egg Hunt at Colonial Approaches
Colonial Nursing Center at 201 Buckeye Street will host an Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday April 19th at 2:00 pm. The Easter Bunny invites the youngsters to find the eggs he has hidden. Hippy hop over to see us.. Happy Easter everyone!
Learn Microsoft Word and Excel
Parkway Business Teacher Kevin Browning will be offering Word and Excel classes to the community this spring. Registration form attached. Registration closes at start of the course. You may register the first day of class if classes are not full. Classes limited to 24 students.
Footloose, The Musical at VWHS is Vivid and Impactful
By Nicholas W McClellan

When considering my enjoyment of VWHS Theatre’s production of Footloose being performed April 10, 11, and 12 at 7:00pm on the Niswonger stage, I have only one complaint; I didn’t stand-up, cut loose… and DANCE (but trust me, I wanted to).
Footloose, adapted for the stage by Dean Pitchford and Walter Bobbie is directed by the extremely dedicated and inspired Chad Kraner. Having not seen the original 1984 version in its entirety (or the most recent remake), I was certain the production would come across as a proto High School Musical: bright, trite, and simple.
While the staging, choreography, story, and music were very bright and the story was simple, the expressive singing and acting by homegrown performers gave breath and meaning to major themes that could have been glossed over with a less talented cast and crew. As I skipped out of the NPAC after the performance (to the tune of “Mama Says”, one of my favorite numbers in the production) the purpose and power of dance twirled and whirled in my mind. Dance has the power to speak, especially for those who may feel uncomfortable or unable to do it with their own words.
If you are as unfamiliar with the story as I was when I visited dress-rehearsal this week, the action follows Ren McCormack (Nick Krugh) and his mother (Elizabeth Lassiter) from Chicago to a small farming town. Ren is prepared for the inevitable adjustment period at his new high school, but what he isn't prepared for are the rigorous local edicts, including a ban on dancing instituted by the local preacher (Jake Schaufelberger), determined to exercise the control over the town's youth that he cannot command in his own home. When the reverend's rebellious daughter (Sandy Nguyen) sets her sights on Ren, her roughneck boyfriend (Jesse Daniels) tries to sabotage Ren's reputation, with many of the locals eager to believe the worst about the new kid. The heartfelt story that emerges is of a father longing for the son he lost and of a young man aching for the father who walked out on him.
As is evident from the synopsis, the narrative is a bit cliche, but it’s a musical - it’s to be expected. What was not cliche was the varied and authentic emotions I experienced with the actors on stage which was made all the more brilliant by choreographers Kim Pollock and Melissa Bloomfield. Their ability to direct the movements of both the leads and the company was very apparent. I was keen to watch as the chorus moved and filled the stage, waiting for a cast member to observe the feet of the person next to them or drop character. To my surprise, the chorus filled the large NPAC stage with high energy by consistently reacting to the action and delivering tight and clean dancing. They were one of the best company ensembles I’ve encountered in a high school production.
    I was truly mesmerized as I watched the performers inhabit the spaces made genuine by the superior sets and lighting, made possible by director Chad Kraner, Josh Schumm, and Matt Saunier. Every scene, from the streets of Chicago to the Bar-B-Que Dance Hall, was lit and dressed to the hilt. Expansive backdrops and dazzling light cues upped the performance by adding depth and realness to each scene. My favorite scenes were those set “behind the gas station” (complete with a huge and one-hundred percent real gas station sign) and the final scene involving a wall of floor-to-ceiling reflective streamers. The light did not bounce, but rocketed towards me; I literally moved backwards as the stage sparkled with a million lights.
Yet, the performances by an exceptionally talented and polished group of local thespians were the real source of light in this production. Sandy Nguyen as Ariel Moore, the preacher’s daughter, delivered a well-rounded and likable character. She was subtle but spoke volumes through her quiet characterization as she nonchalantly fixed her hair and inspected her nails during the first scene at the church. It was clear from the moment she took the stage she was a rebel. Her duet with Nick Krugh (“Almost Paradise”) was also worthy of high praise.
Jake Schaufelberger stood out through his portrayal of the fear mongering, close minded Reverend Shaw. His bombastic sermon attesting to the “evils of rock ‘n roll music” and its “endless chant of pornography” was enough to make Fred Phelps jealous. His dynamic characterization and ultimate change in character (learning that fear is not a healthy response to loss) was believable and very human.
LeAndryce Miller as Vi Moore, the reverend’s wife, had one of the best vocal performances of the evening. Her trio with Elizabeth Lancaster and Nguyen, “Learning to be Silent” was truly ironic as her beautiful and enchanting voice filled the vast space around me. I wanted to see and hear more of her than the production allowed.   
Joe Linser as Willard, the dim sidekick to Ren, performed with the comedic timing of a veteran actor. His awkward and dopey characterization was a true treat to my evening and had me crying with laughter. The opening scene of Act II in which Willard learns to dance was phenomenal. In both vocals and acting, Linser was by far one of my favorite performers. Look out for his rendition of “Mama Says” - it’s absolutely hilarious and pitch perfect!
Which leaves me with Nick Krugh as Ren McCormack (I’ve clearly saved the best for last). I am not sure where he was pulling his inspiration from, but it was working.  The scene in which he confronts Rev. Moore brought a tear to my eye. I could see and feel the genuine anguish his character was experiencing. His dancing was clean and masculine, but also light and springy, complimented by his lovely voice. The optimism that he expressed while quietly acknowledging the character’s heartache was palpable. I encourage him to make his way to the stage again. He shines and easily takes on the role of leading man!
Ultimately, I was blown away by the convergence of so many talented young people and adults. The production was glamorous and bright, but occasionally dark, troubling, and thought provoking. I wanted to dance and still do I as replay the show in my mind. It brought me to tears with laughter and sympathy. Thank you, cast and crew of Footloose, the Musical for a wonderful evening of solid, free spirited entertainment. Dance on down to the NPAC April 10, 11, or 12 by 7:00pm to see this phenomenal production. Tickets may be purchased at the door or by calling the NPAC box-office at 419-238-NPAC between 12pm and 4pm, Monday through Friday.




April 10-11, 2014




4 age groups:  0-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-10

The Easter Bunny will be there to hand out eggs
to the 0-3 age group.  Be sure to bring your
camera to take pictures. ~

Rain or Shine.



April 9, 2014


Panthers won 4-1 against Antwerp on 4-9-2014
Stellar pitching performance by Brandon Gibson reported.

Action pictures shared by Parkway's own Nikki Fox.
Click Here for more pictures of the game.



Grand Lake Patriots to Host Americans For Prosperity Speaker

Molly Mottram, field coordinator for Americans For Prosperity, will speak at the Grand Lake Patriots membership meeting, Thursday, April 10th, 7:00 PM, in the Lefeld Community Building at the Fairgrounds in Celina. Ms. Mottram will explain what Americans For Prosperity stands for and the organization's current efforts regarding Obamacare, voter turnout/registration, and outreach. All Grand Lake Patriots members and their guests are invited to attend. 

On May 8, 7 PM, at the same location at the Fairgrounds, the Patriots will host a program featuring Jeremiah Martin of Concerned Veterans for America. He will address Mercer County military veterans and area Patriot members with items of interest regarding current events.  



Parkway Preschool Registration Night

Parkway Preschool has set their Registration Night for the 2014-2015 school year on Wednesday, April 23 from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m.  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. (Currently enrolled Parkway preschoolers do not need to attend.)


Rumble in Rockford:
April 12, Doors open at 6 wrestling begins at 7. Reserved seats $10, general admission bleachers $5.


3rd Annual Wine Tasting
The 3rd Annual Wine Tasting to benefit Rockford Community Days will
be held this weekend on April 12 from 7 - 10 pm at the
Rockford Community Building.

Price per ticket $20.00

Please RSVP to Cindy Vogel - 918-504-6159
or call the Rockford Village Hall at 419-363-3032.

*Cocktail Setting * Appetizer/Dessert Bar * Door Prizes

Bridge Closing Announced    

The Mercer County Engineer, Jim Wiechart, is planning to close Fox Road between Ohio Indiana State Line Road and Union City Road in Gibson Township for a bridge replacement.  This road will be closed tentatively on April 14, 2014 and is scheduled to reopen in approximately 6-8 weeks, depending on the weather conditions.

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


Drug Arrest
Sheriff Jeff Grey reports the arrest of an individual for possession of drugs.  Mercer County Central Dispatch received a call on April 4, 2014 at 6:39 PM of a vehicle sitting in the middle of the roadway and the driver slumped over the wheel.  Deputies responded to Township Line near Oregon Road.  Deputies found a burgundy Plymouth sitting in the middle of the road.  Deputies made contact with the driver 23 year old Jeremy J. Green of 1102 Canterbury Drive Celina.  The driver was found the be under the influence and was processed for OVI where he refused to take any tests.  Found inside the vehicle was 4 marijuana pipes, a marijuana bong, marijuana grinder, and a small amount of loose suspected marijuana.  Mr. Green was charged with OVI, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of marijuana.  Mr. Green was later bonded out.


Have Breakfast with the Easter Bunny
Plans are being finalized for youngsters to have “Breakfast with the Easter Bunny” in Chattanooga.  The event will be held at Zion Lutheran Church on Saturday, April 12th with breakfast being served at 9:00 AM.  Children of all ages are invited to join in as we enjoy a time that will help to remind us of the reason we celebrate Easter.  Plans also include games, crafts, and other fun events.  If you would like to have your picture taken with the bunny please bring a camera along.  You won’t want to miss out on this!!  Zion Lutheran Church is located on the south end of Chattanooga at the corner of Tama Road and State Route 49.


DAR Meet

Isaac Van Wart DAR held their March meeting at Mi Ranchito. Speaker for the evening was Mr. Larry Schaufelberger with Gerald Manken assisting in presenting “Find-a-Grave.” These gentlemen find and clean tombstones to post pictures on the Find-a-Grave website. Mr. Schaufelberger explained how they use etchings to read tombstones with worn lettering.

Pictured left to right are (sitting) Larry Schaufelberger, Gerald Manken, Linda Hoffman, Linda Schumm, Evelyn Schwartz

(standing) Gloria Fast, Betsie Goad, Virginia Burroughs, Mickey McConahay, Karen Jean Myers.


Calling All Band Members

On Monday April 21st, 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.



Rockford Rec. Hosts 2014 Pitch, Hit, & Run Competition

The Rockford Recreation Association will host their annual MLB Pitch, Hit, & Run competition at Shanes Park on Sunday, April 13th at 1:00pm. All boys and girls, ages 7-14 (age determined as of July 17th, 2014), 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 participate, download and print the two page registration and liability waiver form online at and bring the completed forms with you 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.



April 8, 2014


Parkway Team Pics by Nikki Fox Photography

Varsity Baseball Team and Junior Varsity Baseball Team Pictures - Click Here

Varsity Softball Team and Junior Varsity Softball Team - Click Here

Track Team -

Baseball, Softball and Track Schedules for Junior High Boys & Girls Teams - Click Here



Remember the Rockford Eagles Fish Fry and Chicken Strips Dinners
on Friday, April 11, 2014 from 5-7 PM.
Members and Guests only. Good Food! See ad above for details.








Bryson Makes a Return Performance at the Rockford Belle on April 12
Locals of ‘Lost County’ to Open

Professional singer and song writer Debbie Lynn Bryson, of Greenville, OH will bless the stage with her rich powerful voice at the Rockford Belle on April 12, 2014 at 7 PM, doors open at 6 PM. Local husband and wife team Adam Beckman and Sarah (Seibert) Beckman of “Lost County” will make their second appearance as openers at the Belle. The public is welcome to attend the entertainment venue located at 135 Market Street, Rockford, OH. 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.

Before they became Lost County, Sarah (Seibert) Beckman was nothing more than a small town girl with a dream, and Adam Beckman a man with a guitar. They first met in 2008 while working at VanCrest Health Care Center in Van Wert, Ohio. Then they later met up while attending Nursing school in 2009. Neither one had any idea what would blossom from their friendship! After dating for a short time, they realized they both had something very unique in common; they both had a passion for composing and performing music.

Sarah originally played and sang music with her younger sister Shirissa Seibert, who was tragically taken in an auto accident November 9, 2011. The Seibert sisters had performed at several venues and singing competitions which include the Mendon Firecracker Festival, Relay For Life in Celina, Ohio, Allen County Karaoke, Wish Upon a Song, as well as several private clubs and parties. After Sarah and Adam started dating, Adam joined the Seibert sisters, sharing his acoustic talent. The trio’s final performance was in June of 2011.

On June 18, 2009, Adam was in a serious auto accident which shattered Adam and Sarah’s dream of becoming musicians. Due to severe damage to Adams left arm, doctors told Adam he would never play guitar again. But the prognosis only fueled Adam’s determination to prove them wrong. With almost a year of therapy, Adam was once again able to play his beloved guitar. It was then the two knew God had given them a second chance at their dream. Therefore, they decided to make it official; Lost County was then formed.

On September 8, 2012, the two members of Lost County were married. Now the two live in Scott, Ohio, where they continue to write their own music. Lost County shares their alternative country sound with family, friends, and local venues.

Plan now to attend a vivacious and heartwarming evening of beautiful music on April 12 when Debbie Lynn Bryson and Lost County appear at The Belle. For more information contact Tom Rogers at 567-644-9993.











April 7, 2014


Parkway Spring Sports Team Schedules

Varsity Baseball Schedule - Click Here

Junior Varsity Baseball Schedule - Click Here

Varsity Softball Schedule -  Click Here

Junior Varsity Softball Schedule - Click Here

Track Schedule - Click Here

Baseball, Softball and Track Schedules for Junior High Boys & Girls Teams - Click Here





April 5-6, 2014

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.

In the early morning hours of March 2nd, 2014 the Celina Police Department in coordination with the Grand Lake Drug Task Force conducted a “buy/bust” sting operation. During the course of the operation an informant purchased suspected opiates. A subsequent traffic stop yielded evidence related to the purchase as well as the arrest of 25 year old Daniel Hierholzer of 658 N Main St, Celina. Hierholzer was incarcerated on charges drug trafficking and possession of drugs. Hierholzer was a passenger in the car.

Charges of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs are pending against the driver, Eric Adams, 24 years old of 114 Schelich Dr., Celina, OH.
Blackcreek Township Website Up and Running
Blackcreek Township has launched a website to provide the public with information on the meetings, township maps, minutes of meetings and zoning code. Click Here:
3rd Annual Wine Tasting to Benefit Rockford Community Days
    Date:  April 12, 2014
    Where:  Rockford Community Building
    Time:  7 pm to 10 pm
    Price:  $20 per ticket or $125 for Donor Table
    Inquiry - Cindy Vogel 918-504-6159 or or
    Rockford Village Office - 419-363-3032

Featuring wines from local wineries ALONG WITH several CRAFT BEERS !




Van Wert, OH, April 4, 2014– The First Presbyterian Church of Van Wert invites the public to their third and final Lenten Vespers program series with “The Confession Stone – The Songs of Mary” to be held on Sunday, April 13th  at 5:00 PM in the sanctuary.

Join Sheila Chilcote-Collins, mezzo soprano & David Van Tilburg, pianist in a presentation of Robert Fleming’s 25-minute song cycle, The Confession Stone – The Songs of Mary. This work features settings of poems by the poet and playwright, Owen Dodson. Written from the perspective of Mary, the mother of Jesus, the work is a haunting psychological portrait of Mary at various stages in the life of her son, Jesus. It examines the character of The Blessed Virgin Mary, setting forth her emotions and reflections; detailing her life-story from a humanistic point of view. Beginning with her Son's birth, the story unfolds as Jesus matures, covering such biblical stories as the cleansing of the temple, the resurrection of Lazarus and the Last Supper. The musical piece culminates with the traumatic week before the crucifixion when Jesus’ fate is sealed, His death on the cross, the glorious resurrection and Mary’s ascension into Heaven. This concert will be supplemented by a short, 5 minute Taizé service, led by Pastor Hal Shafer.  Our Taizé service consists of Lenten scripture readings, prayers and meditations.

After Lenten Vespers, a delicious supper will be served at 5:30 in the fellowship hall for all to enjoy! All activities are free of cost and ALL are welcome! The church is located at 110 W. Crawford St. in Van Wert, Ohio.  For more information, please contact the church office at 419-238-3670.



April 4, 2014

A reported 2.5 inches of rain on April 3 caused flooded roads around Rockford.
Rockford Carry Out Sells - New Owners Plan to Expand

According to Gene Steiner of the Rockford Village Council, the Rockford Carry-out ahs sold to a group people who intend to keep the Carry-Out side of the business, but expand with a restaurant addition. They have also bought the adjacent lot. The owners have not been named yet.


Rockford Radio Station Taking Donations for Equipment
Licensing is Secured

Radio 101.3 WRKD-FM has its tower registration from the Federal Aviation Administration and a station permit form the Federal Communications Commission. It is a not for profit venture by Jim Crocker, resident is seeking donations to buy equipment to broadcast. The station will broadcast 24 yours a day and range out about 4 miles.



Parkway Panther Athletics Results from April 1

Parkway Boys and Girls Track Teams both finished First in a Quadrangular Meet vs Fort Recovery, Lima Central Catholic and Lima Perry

Parkway 8th Grade Baseball Loses to Crestview

Parkway JV Softball Defeats Bradford 11-7 and is 2-0 on the year.

Softball Defeats St. Marys 15-4. Kayle Heckler Gets first career win and Sierra Fent goes 3-3 with home runs and 6 RBI's

7th Grade Softball Wins 11-0 vs Shawnee



April 3, 2014


Use Caution on Parkway Schools' Buckeye Street in front of Colonial Nursing Home after school - high water.

Parkway Athletic Alerts for April 3, 2014

Parkway Varsity and Junior High Track Meets Cancelled.

Parkway Varsity Baseball and JV Baseball vs Celina  Cancelled.

8th Grade Baseball Home VS Wapak Cancelled

Parkway Varsity Softball and JV Softball  Cancelled.

7th and 8th Grade Baseball Cancelled.

8th Grade Softball Cancelled.


Shooting Stars 4-H Group Meets
The Shooting Stars held their second meeting on March 30, 2014.

We introduced ourselves to our new members.

Our new members are Cassie P., Reagan P., Tyler P., and Lilli M.

We went over important dates which are the following:

Officer training which is April 22, 2014

A car wash to help raise money for 4-H camp on June 3rd and 4th from 4:00-8:00

Cloverbud camp is April 19th. It is $10.00 dollars per kid, 5-10.

We also read our constitution, reviewed it, and made some changes to it.

We also passed out our project books. We decided on our community service projects, tours and our fundraising projects.

Romy B. shared what she did in her clover bud book.

Respectively submitted by Katie Gamble, age 9 Shooting Stars reporter for 2014




The Parkway Local Board of Education will hold a special meeting on Thursday, April 10 at 7:30 p.m. in the Community Room.  The only item will be an executive session to evaluate personnel.  No business will be conducted.




Western Ohio Educational Foundation (WOEF)

Accepts Scholarship Donation from St. Marys K of C

Supporting Students…Transforming Communities


Celina, Ohio – For over 50 years, the Western Ohio Educational Foundation (WOEF) has responded to the educational needs of residents in Auglaize, Darke, Mercer and Van Wert counties by providing the resources to allow residents access to college instruction. The foundation secured the funding to build and operate an institution of higher education. Since 1962, WOEF has remained strongly committed to the success of the Lake Campus.

St. Marys Knights of Columbus Council #1592, a long-time supporter of Wright State University-Lake Campus, continues to contribute $150 dollar book scholarship every year. Since this is a matching scholarship, the Western Ohio Educational Foundation matches the sum giving a Lake Campus student a total award of $300. This award may be used to purchase books and/or supplies at the Barnes & Noble bookstore located at the Lake Campus.

Accepting the award is Stephanie Jenkins of St. Marys. Stephanie will graduate this fall with her Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Leadership. She plans to pursue a graduate degree. Ms. Jenkins is married with two young children at home.

Photo: Julie Miller, WOEF Development Officer is shown presenting the book scholarship check to Stephanie L. Jenkins, WSU-Lake Campus student.








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.


4-H Camp Palmer All Camp Clean Up April 12

In order to open and improve the grounds at 4-H Camp Palmer, we need volunteer help. Does your club or organization need a service project? Youth ages 8-15 years of age, must be accompanied by an adult.    All volunteers on April 12 will be provided a picnic lunch around noon. Please be prepared to bring own rakes, work gloves and scrap rags. (camp will supply cleaning products)

The clean-up day is scheduled for Saturday, April 12 from 9 am to 3 pm. Please check in at the covered bridge entrance for work assignments. If individuals or groups can only help part of the day you are still encouraged to come.

Some of our main projects will include: leaf raking, cabin cleaning, cleaning flowerbeds and the general grounds. Anyone planning to help should contact Suzy Summers at 419-237-2247 or email at by April 8 so we can include you in the lunch count.

For those unable to make the April 12 work date, other times can be arranged. 4-H Camp Palmer will be fully opening camp for their 67th year of serving resident 4-H campers, school outdoor education programs, band camps, team building and challenge course leadership experiences, retreat groups, family reunions and more.

The camp is located at 26450 County Road MN, Fayette, Ohio right next to Harrison Lake State Park.




April 2, 2014


2014 Mercer County GOP - Reagan Day Dinner

Featuring US Congressman Jim Jordan

Doors Open/Registration

BBQ Dinner
$30 per person

Monday, April 14, 2014

Homan Barn
6915 Olding Road
Maria Stein, Ohio

Dress Business Casual
RSVP by April 4 at
Or call
419-586-8120 (then dial 2)
Paid for by the Mercer County Republican Party. Luke VanTilburg, Treasurer

Fair Board announces new “Future Ag Leader Scholarship Fund”
Kick-off fundraiser, Cabin Fever, to be held April 19, 2014.


The Van Wert County Agricultural Society has established a new scholarship fund for county students pursing post-secondary education to obtain a degree in an agricultural major. The new fund is for those students who have participated in the Van Wert County Junior Fair.

On February 24, 2014,  the Van Wert Agricultural Society set up the “Future Ag Leader Scholarship Fund” with The Van Wert County Foundation. The new fund is also receiving a generous donation from a local resident, Bob Motycka from Meadow Lane Farm. He will plant a tree at the fairgrounds for each donation given to the new scholarship fund through the Foundation. To order a Scholarship Tree from Meadow Lane Farm visit their website: .

The Fair Board has scheduled an initial fundraising event on Saturday, April 19, 2014, to kick-off the new scholarship fund.  A “Cabin Fever” evening concert and dance at the Junior Fair Building will feature three bands; ”Kill the Rabbit” and “Endever” of Van Wert, and “Soft and Heavy” from Fort Wayne.  These bands will play a wide variety of music for all ages and for a variety of dancing.  The Cabin Fever concert will start at 8:00 pm in the Jr. Fair Building. Admission is $5.00. Picnic style food will be available for purchase. Anyone wishing to donate to the “Future Ag Leader Scholarship Fund” should make checks payable to The Van Wert County Foundation, 138 E. Main St, Van Wert, Ohio 45891.

Caption: Pictured is (left) Seth Baker, Executive Secretary of the Van Wert County Foundation formally accepting a new scholarship fund from Brian Etzler, President of the Van Wert County Fair Board. The Future Ag Leader Scholarship Fund will assist students pursing a degree in an agricultural field of study.



New Quarter Auction Announced as Fundraiser for Free Fair Entertainment

Fair Board to hold the quarter auction on Thursday, April 17, 2014

A new fundraiser for free entertainment at the 2014 Van Wert County Fair has been announced by the Fair Board. A quarter auction will be held on Thursday, April 17, 2014, at the Junior Fair Building. The doors will open at 5:00 pm with the auction beginning at 6:00 pm. Another fun offering will be duck races held during the auction with the first duck race starting at 6:30 pm.

Quarter auctions are a fun way to bid and try to win quality items for a small amount of money. There will be a wide variety of donated gifts, decorations and merchandise available to bid on. The Fair Board will be selling picnic type food during the auction as another source of fundraising.

At the annual county fair, the Van Wert County Fairgrounds, through donations and fundraising events, offers nearly $20,000 of events during the fair to all fairgoers. The new quarter auction will be another opportunity to enjoy a great evening of fun with family and friends. If you have not attended a quarter auction, plan to attend this event.  It will be the best fun for bid of just a few quarters for items that you would like to go home with!

Lisa Miller Releases Parkway Schools Calendar of Athletic and School Events
for April 2014  – Click Here.


Laurels of Shane Hill and Maplewood April Birthdays - Click Here


April 1, 2014


Ohio City Blue Ribbon Workers Meet and Plan

The Ohio City Blue Ribbon Workers met on Sunday March 23rd . After roll call ,pledges, and last meeting report from Secretary ,new officers were installed and business was discussed.  New officers for the 2014 season are as follows : President- Chris Kraner , Vice President- Makenzie Bowen, Secretary - Tiffany Ricketts , Treasurer- Leslie Marbaugh , Reporter - Hannah Kraner  , Health and Safety. - Colt Marbaugh and Dakota Thomas, Recreation - Draya Rison, Kailey Denmen, Alexis Bowen, Alexia Gearhart, Abbie Marbaugh, and Lauren Walls.   Congratulations to all officers and please remember to put April 22 on your calendar for officer training at the fairgrounds.  
    Also discussed was the upcoming Liberty Township Litter pick up on April 6th at 1:00 .  On this day members will disperse and cover 37 miles of Liberty Township cleaning the roadsides and ditches of trash . Parent helpers, friends and family are encouraged to help. You may bring your own gloves but also once again Stoneco will partner with 4H by providing work chore gloves and large heavy duty trash bags . Dress warm if needed , wear close toe shoes / no sandals or flip flops.  Meet at the Township building at the Woodlawn Cemetary . A meal will be provided following the trash pick up at the church on Dillon Street in Ohio City. Rain date is April 12 at 9a.m. If it does rain the club will still meet at the church for a club meeting. Please contact Brenda Delong, Ginny Marbaugh, or Vickie Marbaugh if you have any questions or comments.  Also available for your questions is the Ohio City Blue Ribbon Workers facebook page , if you are not already a member of that. Please consider signing on.
Tiffany Ricketts provided the meetings demonstration by showing how to make an Ocean in a Bottle by using a plastic water bottle, glitter, food coloring, sea animal and oil. The club very much enjoyed the presentation.  The safety demonstration was done by guest speaker Rex Marbaugh who gave a very informative demonstration on Lawn mower use and maintenance. Thank you Mr. Rex Marbaugh!   May 4 th will be the next meeting at 2:00 at the church treats will be Lauren and drinks - Tiffany.  Demonstrations due will be Dakota, David, and Colt.  
Ohio City Blue Ribbon Workers 4H Club 2014 members and advisors .



Parkway Preschool Screening Planned in Rockford
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:

         May 2, 2014                       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 25, 2014.



Arrests Made During Interdiction Operation

Celina, Ohio – Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey announced his Office and the Grand Lake Task Force conducted an 8 hour drug interdiction operation on March 27, 2014.  Deputies were assisted with a K-9 from Celina Police Department.

Deputies made 54 traffic stops during the operation.  They issued 8 traffic citations, 46  written warnings, and 8 verbal warnings.  Deputies searched 5 vehicles, and 1 residence.  Deputies issued 4 misdemeanor citations (2 for possession of marijuana, and 2 for possession of drug paraphernalia).  Deputies traveled 996 miles.  Traffic citations included OVI, speed, driving under suspension, and child restraints.

James E. Pinson, Age 32, of 920 North Brandon Street in Celina Ohio.  Was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs, and driving under suspension (non-compliance).  After a K-9 alert, deputies searched the vehicle Mr. Pinson was driving and found suspected heroin.  Additional charges are being considered. 

Kevin J. Greenburg, Age 26, of 15613 Lambert Road St. Marys Ohio.  Was charged with driving under suspension. 

Savannah Thees, Age 26, of 222 Washington Street Celina Ohio.  Was arrested on a probation violation from Auglaize County.  She was turned over to Auglaize County.


Willshire Youth Activities Fun Plan Event
Mark your calendars for Saturday, April 5th.  The Willshire Youth Activities will be sponsoring an evening of fun at the Willshire American Legion, Post #207.  Homemade soup and sandwiches, including many “concession stand favorites” will be available.  A 50/50 raffle as well as many other live raffles and even a time for some auction items will be held throughout the evening.  Fun and food will be available for all ages.  Plan now to join in on this time.  All proceeds from the evening will be used to support ball park activities and improvements.  Your support will be appreciated.  For further information, please contact Lynne Miller at 419.203.1976.

The Willshire Youth Activities is still accepting registration for spring/summer ball.  Teams are available for boys and girls ages 5-15.  Contact Lynne Miller (419.203.1976) or Jeff Ford (419.771.7964) to register.



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

Photo caption:   Dr. James Naismith, Presbyterian Minister, Medical Physician, Coach, and Instructor, created the game of Basketball in 1891.  The first game of Basketball was played on January 20, 1892, at Springfield, Massachusetts.   Therefore, the Fourth Sunday of March, March 23, is declared, “Founder of Basketball, Dr. James Naismith Day” at the Mercer County Historical Museum.

The Mercer County Historical Society proclaims the Fourth Sunday of March, March 23, as “Founder of Basketball, Dr. James Naismith Day,” in honor of Naismith’s creation of the game of Basketball. 

On the 50th Anniversary of the invention of the game of Basketball, Dr. James Naismith, Inventor of the Game, wrote the book, “Basketball; Its Origin and Development,” which was published by the Association Press, New York, in 1941.   I would encourage any Basketball Fan to read this book.

Naismith’s childhood was not easy, as his parents both died when he was age nine.  He lived with his aunt and uncle, and was graduated from high school in 1883.  Next, Naismith’s intent was to become a Presbyterian Minister, and he received his Master’s Degree in Theology at Presbyterian College, Montreal.  While there, Naismith’s friends invited him to join them in gymnastics, and to watch a football game with them.  Since Naismith had been raised on a farm, he was quite healthy.  During that football game, the team member playing Center had his nose broken and there was no one to take his place.  The captain asked Naismith and his friends if someone would take the place of the Center on the field, and Naismith volunteered.  That day changed his life, in that he played football for seven years.  Since some of his religious colleagues believed that football was supposed to be “a tool of the devil,” they went to Naismith’s room and prayed for his soul.  Other similar events resulted in Naismith questioning if “there might be other effective ways of doing good besides preaching.” After graduation from the theological college, Naismith spent the summer visiting Y.M.C.A.’s in the United States.

Dr. James Naismith returned to Springfield, MA, as an instructor for gymnastics and other sports, at Springfield College, which was later known as the International Y.M.C.A. training School, as well as later known as the “Birthplace of Basketball.”  During the summer of 1891, the need for a winter sport to be played indoors became apparent.  Dr. James Naismith was assigned the task of creating a new game for sports for men to play indoors during the winter months.  Dr. Naismith studied other sports’ games and had an idea of the game of basketball in December 1891.   Naismith established a set of rules:  “The goal is shooting the ball into a peach basket, at the ends of the court. The ball may be thrown in any direction, and may be batted with one or both hands; never the fist.  (Using the fist would result in a foul.)  The player cannot run with the ball.  The ball must be held in or between the hands; arms or body must not be used for holding the ball.  The game time would be two fifteen minute halves, with five minutes rest in between.  The team with the most goals would be the winner.” 

On January 20, 1892, the first game of Basketball was played.  The game of shooting a ball into a basket became an immediate success, not only at Springfield, but at other universities, high schools and civic organizations.  By 1893, girls’ basketball teams were also being established.

In 1895, Dr. James Naismith accepted a position as head of the Physical Education Department in the Y.M.C. A., in Denver, Colorado.  Naismith studied medicine at Gross Medical School in Denver, receiving his MD in 1898; he was primarily interested in sports physiology. 

The game of basketball, which Naismith created, continued to grow “in leaps and bounds” across the U.S. and Canada.  In 1908, the National Collegiate Athletic Association published a set of collegiate rules.  A series of Associations were created, and rules were changed.  In 1909, the N.C.A.A. took over the editing of the collegiate rules, and Naismith was appointed as a member of this committee. 

Next, Naismith served in the Military with General Pershing at the Mexican border of Texas, and as a Military Chaplain in France, in World War I.  After his return to the States, he was appointed in 1923, as an honorary member of the N.C.A.A. for life and the next year, he was designated as honorary chairman of the Rules Committee for life. 

This game went through a series of changes.  The peach baskets evolved to wire baskets without bottoms.  The first teams had nine players; ultimately changing to five member teams.  By 1893, it was determined if a man pivoted, it should not be considered as traveling.  For a player to dribble the basketball, such action was originally a defensive measure.  The term “double dribble” came into play in 1898.  Rules for “out of bounds” plays, foul shots, penalties,  personal and/or technical fouls, shooting at certain distances from the goal, disqualification for a certain number of fouls, size of the gym floor, choice of officials, the ten-second rule, equipment, backboards, and positions of players, all came into play in that first 50 years. 

Basketball was introduced at the Berlin Olympics in 1936; Naismith was flown to Berlin to watch the games.  In 1938, at McGill University at Montreal, Naismith received the Legum Doctorate Degree.  In 1939, he received the Honorary Doctor of Divinity at Presbyterian College.  Dr. James Naismith was born on November 6, 1861 near Almonte, Canada, and died at Lawrence, Kansas, on November 28, 1939, at the age of 78.  He had a lifelong career of learning.  Naismith has been the recipient of numerous academic awards and honors, and was inducted into several Halls of Fame, in Canada and the United States.  Naismith’s game of basketball has become a major sport, not only in the United States, but also throughout other countries in the world. 

Thus, the Mercer County Historical Society proclaims the Fourth Sunday of March, March 23, as “Founder of Basketball, Dr. James Naismith Day,” in honor of the Legacy of Naismith for creating the game of Basketball.  This Day will honor Naismith’s theory that “there might be other effective ways of doing good besides preaching.”  Naismith proved that basketball is not “a tool of the devil.”   As proof of this theory, many churches host basketball games for students and adults, as part of parish activities.

Sunday, March 23, 2014, 1:00 – 4:00, the Mercer County Historical Society will host “Founder of Basketball, Dr. James Naismith Day,” with an exhibit of “Early Basketball History in Mercer County High Schools in the 1920’s and 1930’s,”  at the Mercer County Historical Museum, 130 East Market, Celina.  The goal is to preserve the History of Mercer County’s High School Basketball.

This exhibit will include early photographs of 1920’s and 1930’s, early High School Annuals, Local History Books, Awards, Newspaper articles, and related historical items which Mercer Countians bring to the Museum for this Exhibit.  The Mercer County Historical Society invites Local Sports Collectors to bring their Collections and Basketball Scrapbooks to show at the Museum Sunday, March 23, and to help the Mercer County Historical Society to Preserve Mercer County’s Local History of High School Basketball Girls Teams and Boys Teams.





March 31, 2014


Circus Coming To Rockford
The Culpepper and Merriweather Circus is coming to Rockford @ Shanes Park on May 29th.  


Shows are 5 pm and 7:30 pm


PRE SALE TICKETS will be available for purchase 1 month prior at the Rockford Village Office.



Adult - $10.00

Child  (ages 2 12) - $6.00


April Parkway School Board Meeting Changed 

The April Parkway Local Board of Education Meeting and Public Hearing have been changed to Monday, April 14.  The public hearing will begin at 6:20 p.m. and the Board Of Education Meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Community Room of the Parkway Local Schools. 


Clever Clovers Meet
Reporter Catherine Kopack

The Clever Clover 4H Club had its third meeting on March 24, 6:30-7:30PM at Grace Bible Church in Van Wert.  Hannah Bartley led the 4H Pledge.  An attendance sheet was passed around to the members.  20 members and four guests were present.  President Erin Richardson reminded the club that Enrollment Forms are due March 14 and Treasurer Erin Gemmer reminded the club that dues should be turned in by April 28.  Health and Safety Officer Kayla Krites reported on “Bicycle Safety”.  Members added events to their calendars. After the business meeting was adjourned, the Clover Buds joined the rest of the club.   Erin Richardson and Lainey Werts presented a demonstration called, “Keys to a Good Demonstration”.  A hand-out was passed out on giving a demonstration and the club watched a video on giving a demonstration.  The club played a “get to know you game”, led by Kayla Krites.  Snacks were brought by:  Alaina Arney and Lainey Werts.  The next meeting will be on April 14, at 6:30 at Grace Bible Church.





Parkway April 2014 Breakfast & Lunch Menus by Pam Smith


March 28-30, 2014


Snow & Ice Statistics
by Jim Wiechart
Mercer County Engineer

Snow & Ice statistics for winter season 2013-2014

Mercer County, 384.129 miles of roads

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

62 days of snow & ice control in winter of 2013-2014


Salt used – 1,668.75 tons  =  $110,063.39

Grit used – 1,668.75 tons  =    $12,932.90

            Total material costs during the winter season = $122,996.29


Total regular labor hours on snow & ice = 3,049.50 hours

         Overtime hours                                         = 1,873.50 hours


Total costs for snow & ice during the season = $486,873.43 (Equip., labor, & material)


Average cost for snow & ice control                     2008-2009 season = $774.25/mile

                                                                        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



WHERE LOVE AND MERCY MEET - Community Good Friday Service

This presentation by The Rockford Area Community Choir on Good Friday - April 18th at 7 pm @ the Parkway High School Auditorium will get you in the Spirit of Easter. All are welcome.

Guest Column from State Representative Jim Buchy
Death Penalty Reform Needed to Reduce Costs and Make Justice More Efficient

Joy Stewart was a 22-year-old newlywed and was eight months pregnant with her first child in 1989 when she was brutally raped and stabbed, killing her and her unborn child. Because this killer acted in a way that was so heinous, he deserved to be punished with the most serious sentence our legal system allows. In the state of Ohio, this punishment is death. 

On January 16th, Joy Stewart’s killer was put to death. At his execution, the killer was administered a new two-drug mixture that had not previously been used in an execution. Eyewitnesses to the execution claim that the murderer suffered excessively, and could be seen gasping for air. However, information has surfaced that indicates that the killer may have been requested to “put on a show” by his lawyers. While his lawyers deny this, the facts about what occurred at his execution are still in dispute.

Those against the death penalty in Ohio claim that this occurrence is further proof that the death penalty is cruel and unusual, and should therefore be banned. They believe that no person should be subjected to the pain that Joy Stewart’s murderer experienced during his execution, no matter how serious their crime. I respectfully disagree.

I have always been firmly in favor of the death penalty here in Ohio, and this occurrence does nothing to alter these views. However, in order to make the death penalty process more efficient, I believe there are areas within our legal system that need to be reformed.

After a trial, a convicted murderer has the right to appeal his or her conviction. However, this appeals process allows murderers to waste tax payer dollars through appeal after appeal. Yet only a handful of convictions have been completely overturned since 1973. On average, these convictions were overturned after just three hearings.

The average time an inmate spends on death row is more than 16 years. We need to reduce this amount of time by changing the appeals process in ways that will reduce the amount of time a murderer waits to be executed. This will reduce the costs associated with the appeals process, and cut down on the amount of tax dollars wasted on the most heinous of criminals.

Florida recently enacted legislation known as the Timely Justice Act, which shortens the amount of time between the conviction and the execution of a murderer.  Ohio should consider the possibility of passing similar legislation that would cap the number of appeals hearings, or reduce the time between hearings, and reduce the amount of time a murderer is kept on death row.


Press Release
Greg Puthoff, Superintendent - Parkway Local Schools 

On Friday, March 28th, the members of the Parkway Local Schools Board of Education are planning a "Board Visit Day." They want to experience the day-to-day achievements that are happening at Parkway Local Schools! During their visit, they hope to interact with students, have conversations with teachers, and be visible to the population they directly serve.

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


Parkway Middle School Honor Roll
End of 3rd Quarter 2013-2014
Click Here to Learn Who!


3rd Nine Weeks Honor Roll List 2013-2014

Click Here to Learn Who!


Mendon Garage Sale Coming
The 32nd Annual Mendon Community Garage Sale will be sponsored by the WCSC of the Mendon First Church of God – Women’s Society – for a mission project.  The sale date is May 3, 2014.  A map will be made showing the location of all garage sales.  All of the advertising costs will be the responsibility of the WCSC.  Permits will be on sale from April 1 through April 29th at a cost of $10 each.  Permits may be purchased by mail.  Please send a check for $10 made payable to WCSC along with your name, address of the sale, and phone number to Mendon First Church of God – Garage Sale, 102 N. Wayne Street, Mendon, OH 45862.  Permits and maps will be available for pick up at the church on Wednesday, April 30th from 7:00pm to 8:00pm.  Questions please call 419-795-9102.


Beau Jones, CELLIST – to perform at First Presbyterian Church

Lenten Vespers Program to Be Held Sunday Evening, March 30th at 5:00 PM

Van Wert, OH, March 25, 2014– The First Presbyterian Church of Van Wert cordially invites the public to the first installment of “Lenten Vespers” - our NEW community wide services for the 2014 Lenten season!

On Sunday, March 30th, at 5:00 PM, we open our Vespers with our first musical guest- Beau Jones, cellist. Beau is a graduate of Ohio Northern University with a Bachelor of Arts in Music, as well as from Wright State University with a Bachelor of Music in Music Education, where he is currently pursuing the degree of Master of Music.  He currently works as a teacher of high school Music Appreciation and other elective classes with the Ohio Virtual Academy.  His performing credits include several appearances in the pit orchestra for the Dayton Playhouse as well as his current position as principal cello for the Miami Valley Symphony Orchestra. Beau also serves on the board of directors for the 2013-15 term and is involved with programming the 25th Anniversary Gala season for the MVSO. 

Musical selections include, “Were You There When They Crucified My Lord?” An American Spiritual arranged by Mr. Jones, himself. Also performed will be Rachmaninoff’s “Vocalise”, Schumann’s “Traumerei”, Bach’s “Prelude from Suite No.2 in D Minor for Violoncello Solo” and “Bring Him Home” from the musical, “Les Miserables”.  Harriet Schaadt serves as piano accompanist.

After Lenten Vespers, a delicious supper will be served at 5:30 in the fellowship hall for all to enjoy.  Please plan to join us for music, meditation, food and fellowship! The church is located at 110 W. Crawford Street, Van Wert, OH. For more information, please contact the church office at 419-238-3670


Litter Pickup – 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 26-27, 2014

Donation Made to Sports Complex in Rockford
At a recent meeting of the Rockford Lions Club, Inc. Mr. Gary Fox (Right) representing the Rockford Recreation Association was presented with a check for $1500.00 to help finance the many improvements being made to the sports complex at Shane Park in Rockford. The presentation was made by 1st VP Dennis Hecht. The Lions Club is proud to be part of this effort to provide the absolute best facility for kids to play and grow and for the entire community to enjoy. If you would like to be involved in this kind of effort, you can by becoming a member of the Rockford Lions Club….See any Lion or call 419-942-1512 for more information.



Celina Police Department NEWS RELEASE


Colin D. Uhlenhake, 29 yrs old of 211 S Brandon St, Celina was indicted by a grand jury for attempted aggravated murder, drug charges and several others related to a March 9th incident which took place at his residence.  During a domestic dispute with a female at the residence he pointed a gun at her head.  She pushed the gun away and the gun discharged.  There was a 2 yr old child nearby.

Uhlenhake was spotted by a Celina police officer, Sgt. Stelzer, outside his home on March 11th.  Uhlenhake fled into the home pursued by Stelzer, who forced entry. Uhlenhake was taken into custody. 

A marijuana grow operation was found in the home by officers.  A subsequent search produced the firearm, two large bags of marijuana and assorted drug paraphernalia.

Uhlenhake is currently held at the Mercer Co. Jail



March 25, 2014

3rd Annual Wine Tasting to Benefit Rockford Community Days
    Date:  April 12, 2014
    Where:  Rockford Community Building
    Time:  7 pm to 10 pm
    Price:  $20 per ticket or $125 for Donor Table
    Inquiry - Cindy Vogel 918-504-6159 or or
    Rockford Village Office - 419-363-3032

Featuring wines from local wineries ALONG WITH several CRAFT BEERS !

March 24, 2014


News releases for Celina Police Department:  March 21 & 22, 2014
Drug–related Arrests and K-9 Searches

On Wednesday, March 19th the Grand Lake Drug Task force received tips

on two individuals known to have active arrest warrants.  Both were located within a short time of one another and arrests were made by the Celina Police Department.

Seth D.

Seals, age 21, 400 E Warren St, Lot 7, Celina, was arrested on an outstanding warrant for a probation violation from Auglaize Co.  He was in possession of 15 capsules of suspected heroin and drug paraphernalia.  He was taken to Mercer Co. Jail.


Kevin M.

Yohey, age 23, 402 S. Main St, #4, Celina, was located and arrested on an outstanding warrant from Celina Police Dept. He was in possession of three capsules suspected fentanyl and drug paraphernalia.  He is incarcerated in the Mercer County Jail.

Both cases are referred to the Mercer Co. Prosecutor’s office for the consideration of charges.


On Thursday, March 20th the Celina Police Department with the assistance of four other law enforcement agencies conducted a K-9 search of the Celina High School, the Celina Middle School and the Ed Complex and parking lots.  The searches were conducted under the direction the Celina City Schools.  The results of the searches revealed no illegal substances or contraband.

Assisting the Celina P.D. K-9 were K-9 units from Coldwater P.D., Auglaize Co. S.O., Shelby Co. S.O. and the Sidney P.D.




Pancake Breakfast Planned by Rockford Fire Department

The Rockford Fire Department members are busy planning their annual Pancake and Sausage Breakfast in Rockford. The event is held annually at the fire station in Rockford on Main Street.  Come and enjoy all the pancakes and sausage you care to eat from 6 AM to 1 PM and meet with all of your friends and neighbors from the community. There will be raffle prizes given-away. Cost to eat is $6 –adults; 12 & under $4; under 5 free.



Rockford Belle to Feature Versatile Music Artist Bob Wurst on March 29
Bob Wurst, of Toledo, OH will be appearing in concert on March 29 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. For more information, contact Tom Rogers at 567-664-9993.

Past 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, 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.





Increases in agricultural soil values are causing some major changes in farmland property values and agricultural property taxes.

On Thursday, April 10th, 2014, the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, in cooperation with Randy Grapner; Mercer County Auditor, Janet Schuler; Auglaize County Auditor and Nancy Dixon; Van Wert County Auditor, is hosting a free seminar about the increases in value to land in the Current Agricultural Use Value (C A U V) program. The workshop will cover the reasons for the increases in soil values.

Don’t miss it!

Mark your calendar for the FREE C A U V property value seminar on Thursday, April 10th, at the St, Mary’s High School Auditorium on 2250 State Route 66N from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Again, the FREE C A U V property value seminar will be on Thursday, April 10th at the St, Mary’s High School Auditorium on 2250 State Route 66N from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

For more information, call the Mercer County Auditor’s Office at 419-586-6402.  




March 22-23, 2014


Rockford Lions Club Presents the 2014 Annual Variety Show

Clue....less is the name of the Variety Show and appears to be an evening of comedic detective work. Planned for Friday and Saturday April 4th & 5th @ 7:30 pm in the Parkway High School Auditorium, the show’s performers invite everyone to the annual event.

Tickets are available at:  Henkle's Insurance, People's Bank, First Financial Bank, & Barry's Market or at the door. The cost is $7 for Adult, $5 for children under 12.

All profits go to community charitable projects and student scholarships.


4-H Exchange Club Spring Drive-Thru Pork Dinner Fundraiser

April 6th (Sunday)  11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.  at the Van Wert County Fairgrounds. 

The cost is $7.00 with pre-sale only tickets available.

Menu: BBQ Pork (sauce on the side), Mashed Potato, Noodles (by Brooke), Green Beans, Rolls, and Cookies. 

Tickets may be purchased from a 4-H member or by calling Cindy 419-203-1413 or Jay 419-203-2234.

This is a fundraiser to help sponsor other 4-H clubs from different states to visit Van Wert County. 

In June, the club will host Marshall, Minnesota from Lyons County.  The club is in early planning stages for this event. 

The 4-H Exchange Club also sponsors the Holiday Light Show during the month of December, held at the Van Wert County Fair Grounds.

The club would like to give everyone a BIG THANK for the support that they have shown the club.



March 21, 2014


Mendon Post Office Hours to be Reduced

Mendon residents learned this week that the post office there will have hours cut soon. Rockford Post Office will take over the administration of the office but mail sorting will remain in Mendon. Hours will likely be 8:45 to 10:45 and 2:30 to 4:30 Monday through Friday and 8:30 to 11:30  AM.



Click Here for Van Wert County Common Pleas Court Cases Heard for March 2013



Rockford Village Council Meets on March 18, 2014
Click here for the minutes by Lisa Kuhn, Fiscal Agent

The Rockford Lions Club Variety Show will take place at the Parkway  High School Auditorium on April 4th and 5th.

Shanes Park Easter Egg Hunt will be April 19th at 1 pm.

Jeff Long reported that water lines were damaged during the frigid temperatures this winter. He is applying for funds from the Community Development Block Grant funds to replace 15 service lines and frostproof them (on Front Street). If they can’t get the grant monies, the repairs will have to wait. Read more at the link above.



Blood Drive

By Taylor Hesse

On Thursday February 20th, Parkway FFA and Parkway FCCLA held a blood drive. This blood drive was special because for every unit of blood successful given the Parkway FFA Chapter donated $5 to Ally Bea Roessner and Raygen Kramer. Students who donated also received a free t-shirt. A total of 68 units were donated throughout the day. Thanks to everyone who donated, it was greatly appreciated!



March 20, 2014


Fire Destroys Pole Barn, Chicken Coop and Chickens South of Rockford

A fire started in the early morning hours of March 19, 2014, at 9447 Hellwarth Road, southwest of Rockford. Chad Ransbottom, Assistant Fire Chief, reported a an a chicken coop and chickens were lost in the fire which was fought by Rockford and Celina firemen.



Parkway Kindergarten Registration and Screening

Parkway Elementary is currently scheduling appointments for kindergarten screening for the 2014-2015 school year.  Students need to be five years old before August 1 to be eligible to attend.  Screening will be held on Thursday, April 10 and Friday, April 11 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.  Please try to have your child’s immunizations up-to-date before the screening.  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 to schedule an appointment.



Rockford Rec. Co-ed Sand Volleyball

The Rockford Recreation Association is excited to once again broaden the opportunities available to our community members that promote healthy and active lifestyles. As our youth programs continue to thrive throughout the summer and fall months, we are excited to expand our programming for the first time to include organized activities for adults! This summer, 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 throughout June and July. Last fall, the old asphalt volleyball court located north of the log cabin was transformed into a sand court with new poles scheduled to be installed this spring.

The cost to register a team for the 2014 sand volleyball league is $75 and t-shirts will be awarded to the league champions. For more information, or to register a team, contact Brandi Bruns at (419)363-2937 Registration deadline is May 17th. Additional information and announcements can be found at or "Like" Rockford Recreation Association on Facebook.


Emergency Manage Association Calendar of Events


EMA Advisory Board Meeting

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

EMA Office           Celina                 12:05 PM


LEPC Meeting Has Been Scheduled for:

Thursday, April 11, 2014

Central Services Building  Celina            7:30 AM

            2nd Floor Conference Room





St. John Lutheran Church (1100 N. Main St, Celina) and St. Paul’s United Methodist Church (119 E. Fulton St, Celina) are collecting shoes and turning them into water.  From March 23rd through April 6th, these churches will be collecting shoes and donating them to a group called EDGE Outreach.  Once collected, EDGE sells the shoes to an exporter generating money for training and water projects in developing countries.  Donated shoes are requested to still have the sole attached but can be in pairs or singles.  These two churches combined forces last year and brought in over 1900 pairs of shoes for this project.


“We are always looking for new ways to impact lives in our community or across the world,” says Jen Roidt, one of the event coordinators from St. John.  “This is an easy way for people to make a difference.”


The EDGE exporter takes the shoes to the same countries that EDGE does water/hand pump repair projects and sells them to micro business owners (at affordable prices) to help them to have a sustainable living for their families.  Shoes are expensive in many of these countries and having affordable shoes is another life saving tool as they protect the owner’s feet and overall health from foot abrasions, parasites and mites.


When EDGE staff and volunteers travel to these developing communities, they combat waterborne illnesses by training local people to build and operate water purification systems, repair broken hand pumps, teach effective health and hygiene practices, and develop long-term plans for sustaining their new water development efforts.


Diane Mendelson, Pastor at St. Paul’s believes that “real faith always needs to translate into real action.  Churches are at their best when they can partner together for the good of others.”


Shoes can be dropped off at either location between the hours of 9am-4pm during the week and on Sunday mornings.  Please place in provided bins.


For further information, contact St. John Lutheran Church (419/586-2332) or St. Paul’s United Methodist Church (419/586-6621).  To find out more about EDGE Outreach, visit their website:





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

Photo Caption: Standing;  Leo Klingshirn, Henry Kohnen, Coach Julius Moeder, Leo Sunderhaus, and Stachler.  Front row: Andrew Bertke and Luke Beckman.   Although these men were no longer enrolled in Saint Henry High School, they played basketball at St. Henry in 1918.


Sunday, March 23, 2014, 1:00 – 4:00, the Mercer County Historical Society will host “Founder of Basketball, Dr. James Naismith Day,” with an exhibit of “Early Basketball History in Mercer County High Schools in the 1920’s and 1930’s,”  at the Mercer County Historical Museum, 130 East Market, Celina.  The goal is to preserve the History of Mercer County’s High School Basketball. 

In seeking the history of Saint Henry Basketball, I read Coach Fran Guilbault’s 1978 book, “Here We Go, Redskins, Here We Go; A History of Interscholastic Basketball at St. Henry High School.”   In his book, Guilbault not only gives credit to Dr. James Naismith, but also gives highlights of important rule changes in the sport of Basketball.  In reference to St. Henry High School Basketball History, Guilbault states, “Basketball probably came to the St. Henry area sometime during World War I.  A team was first organized by the boys of high school age in 1920, but all members of the team weren’t enrolled in school as students.  The first organized game by any high school team was also played in 1920.  St. Henry Freshmen challenged North Star School Freshmen to a game.  Those St. Henry Team Members were Elroy Romer, Leo Gels, Ed Frank, Al Beckman and Oscar Schoeneberger.” 


Coach Julius Moeder was also a St. Henry Teacher, beginning in 1911.  Guilbault went on the acknowledge the contribution that Coach Julius Moeder made to St. Henry Basketball,  “After being involved in the game for a while, Coach Moeder began to study it, develop strategies, and took pride in trying to build the program.  This was all very difficult because there was very little opportunity to practice with no facilities available.  It was also difficult because in those years, very few boys attended school beyond the tenth grade.  If anyone deserves to be called the ‘Father of Basketball in St. Henry,’ it would have to be Julius Moeder.”  Coach Moeder retired from coaching in 1934.


The March 23 Exhibit at the Mercer County Historical Museum will include information about High School Basketball teams from the following High Schools:  Celina, Coldwater, Fort Recovery, Immaculate Conception , Maria Stein, Mendon, Neptune, Rockford, Saint Henry, and Washington Township.  Burkettsville and Chickasaw also had a two year high school in the 1920’s, and they had a basketball team, but to date, we have not found a photograph of either school’s basketball teams.  This exhibit will include early photographs of 1920’s – 1930’s, early High School Annuals, Local History Books, Awards, Newspaper articles, and related historical items which Mercer Countians bring to the Museum for this Exhibit.  Would there be a chance that anyone has any old uniforms or basketballs from that time period?


The Mercer County Historical Society invites Local Sports Collectors to bring their early collections and Basketball Scrapbooks of the 1920’s and 1930’s to show at the Museum Sunday, March 23, and to help the Mercer County Historical Society to Preserve Mercer County’s Local History of High School Basketball Girls Teams and Boys Teams.


 iPad Raffle Winner Named; Proceeds go to the Rockford Recreation Association

The Laurels of Shane Hill & Maplewood of Shane’s Village sponsored an iPad Raffle during the month of February with all proceeds being donated to the Rockford Recreation Association.  There was $1030.00 raised from the iPad raffle and the Laurels donated an additional $2,500 to the organization.  Julia Churan, from Arizona, was the lucky winner of the iPad. Julia is the daughter of Rolland and Fran Miller of Rockford. Julia's grandmother is a resident at The Laurels of Shane Hill.

The Rockford Recreation Legacy Fund provides tax advantaged opportunities for individuals and businesses to invest in equipment and park improvements which will enhance recreational opportunities for families and children of the Rockford Community and beyond. There is a plan for further developing Shane’s Park that supports the future vision of the Rockford Recreation Association. The money that is donated to support this vision goes immediately toward improvements that have recently included extended concrete spectator areas, permanent dugout improvements on all four diamonds, additional family picnic areas, Diamond #5 development, and ongoing park facility improvements.



March 19, 2014


Ashland Eagles Send Six To Nationals
Ranking Sixth in the Nation, Joe Brandt, Heads to College Competition

Joe Brandt headed to the NCAA Super Nationals in Cleveland over the weekend of March 15-16 to compete in wrestling, college level.  He competed for a national title against 14 other men in his weight class of 197#. 

Six Ashland University wrestlers qualified for the NCAA Divison II national meet on Saturday (Mar. 1) at Tiffin. To reach the national championships, which were held March 14-15 in Cleveland, a wrestler had to place in the top five at this Super Region II Championship Tournament. These wrestlers made the cut:

Sophomore Michael Labry leads the AU brigade. He won a regional title for the first time in his career and returns to nationals for the second straight season.

Junior Joe Brandt was second at 197 pounds and senior Tyler Houska was the runner-up at 285 pounds. Brandt will be after his third straight All-America award in Cleveland. Brandt had to battle back from an injury during the season but since getting back on the mat he's been doing a great job. On March 1, he won his first match by major decision, 10-2 over Joe Grisko of Newberry. In the title match, he lost to McKendree's Julian Smith, 8-4.  Smith is ranked third in the country and Brandt is ranked sixth.

Junior Bryson Hall placed third at 184 pounds to wrap up a spot at nationals and Kyle Burns was third at 157. Hall is going to nationals for the second time in his career, he made the trip as a freshman and did not place.

At 149 pounds, redshirt freshman Brent Fickel was fourth. Indianapolis won the regional title with 125.5 points. McKendree (106) was second, Newberry (105.5) was third and Ashland (100) was fourth. Maryville (99) finished fifth. A total of 17 teams competed in this regional.

Newberry came to Tiffin with the highest ranking, the North Carolina school is fifth. McKendree is ninth, Maryville is 13th, Indianapolis is 14th and the Eagles are 19th. Visit the website is  for more information when it becomes available.

Brandt is a Parkway graduate and the son of Jennifer Brandt and grandson of Marge Gehle, Rockford.



It’s been a long winter ~ are you tired of being cooped up inside?   Then come and join the fun at the Quarter Auction.  You don’t know what that Is ????  Well let me tell you, it’s a whole lot of fun, and you can save a lot of money at the same time.  For the admission of $3.00 you have the right to bid on any or all of the 90 gifts that range from $10.00 to $100.00.  You could place a quarter bid on an item worth $30.00 and only pay 25 cents for it.  HOW COOL IS THAT!

Bring your friends and they can bid for you on an item they are not interested in and double your chances. 

It all happens MARCH 30th .  At the Rockford Community Building,.  The doors open at 12:30  with food being served and the auction starting at 1:00

Greg Putoff will be the MC for the afternoon.  It’s going to be a hoot, so plan on coming with a group of friends and do some serious shopping,  the fun and easy way.  There’s something for everyone. Remember to save your quarters. See you there!


Sponsored by the Splash Pad Committee with proceeds going to the improvement of the splash pad. 



Rockford Chamber - March 2014 meeting minutes  - Click Here.


March 18, 2014


Willshire Youth Activities Fun Plan Event
Mark your calendars for Saturday, April 5th.  The Willshire Youth Activities will be sponsoring an evening of fun at the Willshire American Legion, Post #207.  Homemade soup and sandwiches, including many “concession stand favorites” will be available.  A 50/50 raffle as well as many other live raffles and even a time for some auction items will be held throughout the evening.  Fun and food will be available for all ages.  Plan now to join in on this time.  All proceeds from the evening will be used to support ball park activities and improvements.  Your support will be appreciated.  For further information, please contact Lynne Miller at 419.203.1976.

The Willshire Youth Activities is still accepting registration for spring/summer ball.  Teams are available for boys and girls ages 5-15.  Contact Lynne Miller (419.203.1976) or Jeff Ford (419.771.7964) to register.



Join Summer Ball Program in Ohio City
Ohio City Youth Activities have announced that they will be having summer ball sign-up on March 22nd at the Village Hall in Ohio City from 9 am - 12 pm. 

This is open for all Van Wert County residents and Parkway students.

For more information contact Kurt at (419) 203-6117.


Mercer County DARE Cup-Stacking Competition
Saturday, March 15 was the cycle stacking competition for Mercer County 4th and 5th students. The pictures include the individual fastest times: 4th grade, 1st, Dylan Fleck, Marion Local, 17.41; Makena Ellenberger, Fort Recovery, 17,53; Kurtis Billerman, Marion Local, 18.58.  5th grade, 1st Kelsey Nichols, Parkway, 13.26; Lydia Miller, Parkway, 13.31; Molly Rethman, Marion Local, 14.11.

4th Grade Team Champs were Fly Guys and the 5th Grade Team Champs were Flyer Flash.

Nancy Heppeard shared her link to the pictures; click here:


Ohio City Blue Ribbon Workers 4H Meets
The Ohio City Blue Ribbon Workers  4h club held their first meeting of the year on Sunday March 9th.  The club discussed upcoming plans and events and shared ideas for various club projects.  Demonstrations for the program today were :  Leslie Marbaugh, Chris Kraner, Makenzie Bowen and Hannah Kraner.  It was announced that the yearly Liberty Township trash pick up will be held on April 6th . Also officer training will be held at the fairground on April 18 th.  Once the meeting ended refreshments were served by the groups advisors . Group advisors are : Brenda Delong, Ginny Marbaugh and Vicki Marbaugh.  The next meeting will be held on Sunday March 23 at 2:00  in Ohio City . Officer, advisor, and group member photos will be taken at that time.
by Hannah Kraner - reporter



Calvary Evangelical Church Updates


March 17, 2014
Happy St. Patrick's Day


Monday March 17 Parkway is on a 2 hour delay for teacher in-service

Brandt and Swartz Families Welcome First Baby Girl - Click Here for Details












W.A.R Wrestling Coming to Rockford

The Parkway Wrestling Team will once again be hosting W.A.R. Wrestling at Parkway High School. The show is scheduled for April 12. Doors open at 6 first bell at 7. This time W.A.R. Bad Boy and Current W.A.R. Champion Jock Samson has challenged Coach Kevin Browning to an Arm Wrestling Match, and Coach has accepted.


Parkway Students have been given a free ticket to the event and additional tickets can be purchased at the Parkway High School office, Groamy Records in Lima, or at $10 reserved seats, $5 bleacher seating.


Thank you to sponsors Peel’s Pit Stop and Celina Moving and Storage.



Clever Clovers Meet
Reporter Catherine Kopack

The Clever Clover 4H Club had its second meeting on March 10, 6:30-7:30PM at Grace Bible Church in Van Wert.  Claire Gamble led the 4H Pledge.  An attendance sheet was passed around to the members.  19 members and five guests were present.  President Erin Richardson reminded the club that Enrollment Forms are due March 14 and Treasurer Erin Gemmer reminded the club that dues should be turned in by April 28.  Health and Safety Officer Rachel Spath reported on “Healthy Drinks”.  Members added events to their calendars.  The club played a “get to know you game”, led by Catherine Kopack.  After the business meeting was adjourned, the Clover Buds joined the rest of the club.  They got into groups and found out where different products were made in Ohio and found the towns on the map.  Snacks were brought by:  Erin Richardson and Kylie Cloninger.  The next meeting will be on March 24, at 6:30 at Grace Bible Church.


Clever 4-H Club Clovers Meet

Reporter Catherine Kopack

The Clever Clover 4H Club had their first meeting Mon., Feb. 24.  Their meeting was held from 6:30-7:30PM at Grace Bible Church in Van Wert.  The 4H Pledge was led by Claire Gamble.  The members learned about Parliamentary Procedure and then nominated and voted for officers.  The elected members are:  President: Erin Richardson, Vice President: Caroline Kopack, Secretary: Alaina Arney, Treasurer: Erin Gemmer, Service Project Coordinators: Jamie Burenga, Ethan White and Lainey Werts,  Health and Safety: Rachel Spath and Kayla Krites, News Reporter, Catherine Kopack.  Enrollment forms were passed out and dues discussed. An end-of-the-meeting snack was enjoyed.  The Clever Clovers’ next meeting is Mon., March 10 at 6:30 at Grace Bible Church.



Reverend Larry and Shirley May Celebrate 60 Wedding Anniversary
Card Shower Planned

Larry K. May and Shirley L. Seaman were united in marriage on March 20, 1954 at St. Michael's Union Church in Hamburg, Pennsylvania with Larry's father, the Rev. Milton A. May officiating.  They are the parents of 4 children, Cynthia May Cook, Keith May (deceased), Kay May, and Timothy May.  They are the proud grandparents of 7 grandchildren:  Shaun Miller, Brandon Miller, Dustin Miller, Melissa Albers, Todd Bush, Keith May and Jessica Blair.  They are also Great Grandparents to 13 Great Grandchildren:  Joseph, Destiny, Sierra, Sedona, Jeremy, Jade, Jordan, Nicholas (deceased), James, Alex, Abigail, Nora and Janelle.

After graduating from Seminary at Lancaster Theological Seminary, Larry served his first church in Gering, Nebraska from 1959-1961.  They then moved to Rockford, Ohio, where Larry served as pastor at St. Paul's United Church of Christ from 1961 - 1967.  From 1967 - 1977, Larry pastored St. Paul's United Church of Christ in Bellevue, Ohio.  The next move took the May family to New Bremen, Ohio where Larry was pastor at St. Paul United Church of Christ from 1977-1982.  From there Larry and Shirley migrated south to Florida where they currently are enjoying their retirement years.

March 20, 2014 will mark their 60th Wedding Anniversary. In lieu of a celebratory gathering, their children are requesting a simple "card shower" for their parents.  They would be honored if you would send them a card congratulating them on achieving this milestone.  If you are in need of their address, you may contact daughter, Cindy May Cook, at - daughter, Kay May, at or son, Timothy May, at


Several Incidents Investigated by Sheriff

Celina, OH – Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey reports his office is investigating several related incidents.   On Thursday 3-13-2014 at 3:39 PM  Deputies responded to a reported breaking and entering at 7272 Prairie Brook Drive Celina Ohio.  The owner of the residence reported cash, collector coins, jewelry, and a safe taken in the break in. 

At 7:20 PM Deputies went to 345 South Green Street in Mendon to serve an unrelated warrant, and attempt to locate the suspect in the breaking and entering on Prairie Brook Drive.  Deputies were initially permitted to search the residence by the owner. While searching for the wanted person deputies discovered several items that were reported stolen in the breaking and entering.  The suspect in the breaking and entering was observed outside of  the house and when a deputy attempted to stop him he took off on foot.  Deputy Carla Baucher pursued the suspect on foot for approximately 10 city blocks.  Deputy Baucher deployed her Taser without success but was still able to apprehend the suspect in the 200 block of Sunset Drive in Mendon hiding under a pickup truck.  The suspect was also in possession of a large sum of cash and suspected marijuana.   Taken into custody was 33 year old Chad W. Ackley, 345 South Green Street in Mendon.  Ackley is charged with obstructing official business, resisting arrest, and possession of marijuana.  Additional charges are expected to be filed on Ackley.

A search warrant was applied and granted for the residence at 345 South Green Street.  Several stolen items from the break in were recovered along with drug paraphernalia and suspected marijuana. 

The following people were arrested at the residence:

20 year old Casey Hatcher.  Ms. Hatcher was arrested on a probation violation holder.  Hatcher was found hiding in a small closet inside the residence.  Her address is listed at 345 South Green Street in Mendon.  Suspected heroin and cash was in Hatcher’s possession.

The owner of 345 South Green street 32 year old Megan L. Hatcher was taken into custody for Obstructing and Child Endangerment.

All three individuals were taken to the Mercer County Adult Detention Facility.  The case will be reviewed for additional charges.



Prayers Requested - Click Here


March 14-16, 2014


Cub Scouts Pinewood Derby Held in Rockford
Open Class Winners Shown Below

Rockford Pack 98 Cub Scouts hosted their annual Pine Wood Derby on Saturday March 8th.

The results are as follows:

Tiger Cub Den:

1st Place Trevor Houser

2nd Place Riley Bolton

3rd Place Braedn Conn

4th Place Kade Suzuki

5th Place Zander Whitaker

6th Place Bricen Vann


Wolf Den:

1st Place Logan Green

2nd Place Tristan Thompson


Bear Den:

1st Place Ashton Stephenson

2nd Place Colin Fokine

3rd Place Derek Smith

4th Place Skyler Fokine



1st Place Anthony Heck

2nd Place Dennis Leighner

3rd Place Caden Vann


Sibling Class:

1st Place Jaden Green

2nd Place Addysin Leighner

3rd Place Abi Browning

4th Place Treya Conn

5th Place Remi Fokine


This year the Pack offered an Open class to anyone who wanted to race a car that met minimum standards for Boy Scouts of America Rules. This year there were 11 racers and the results are as follows:


Open Class:

1st Place Ken Gillespie

2nd Place Hunter Gillespie

3rd Place Gene Gillespie

4th Place Brock Roehm

5th Place Kevin Browning

6th Place Kory Kline

7th Place Preston Browning

8th Place Dave Roehm

9th Place Trenna Browning

10th Place Reese Fokine

11th Place Marshall Denney


Thank you to all our racers for a fun and exciting time. We look forward to seeing more next year in our open class.



March 13, 2014


Parkway Schools are on a 2 hour delay for Thursday, March 3, 2014. 


Blowing and drifting snow occurred overnight.
Thank you to Chatt Insurance, the Parkway Independent Weather Sponsor
Click here for the Chatt Insurance Center website
Click here to check them out on Facebook, too!

Parkway Band and Choir Going to Contest
The Parkway High School band and choirs will be participating in
District Large Group Contest on Friday March 14th and Saturday March
15th in Celina.

The concert choir will perform on Friday at 4:50 p.m. in the Celina
Middle School gym. The women's choir will perform at 8:10 p.m., also in
the Celina Middle School gym.

The concert band will perform at 10:30 a.m. in the Celina High School gym.

The public is invited to come and listen to our performing groups and is
reminded that there are to be no pictures taken or recordings of any
kind made in the performance areas. Also, all cell phones need to be
turned completely off during performances.

Good luck to all of Parkway's performing groups this weekend!!



Rockford Chamber to Meet
The Rockford Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, March 13 at 8:00 am at the Village Hall for this month's Chamber meeting.

Men’s Prostate Cancer Group to Discuss Surgery 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 Dick Falkner will be repeating a presentation from a meeting he recently attended at the OSU Wexner Medical  Center in Columbus.  The presentation focuses on common side effects experienced as a result of prostate surgery and the latest treatments available. The meeting will be held at 7:00PM on Tuesday, March 18th 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


Guest Column from State Representative Jim Buchy
Senate Bill 150 Proposes Changes to Ohio’s Agriculture Industry To Improve Water Quality

Farmers are the backbone of our local economy, so it is important to provide them with tools to continue to prosper while protecting local waterways. Ohio agribusiness men have worked tirelessly to adapt to changing circumstances around them by adopting nutrient management plans in order to preserve our natural resources and protect the soil.

One piece of legislation being considered by the legislature would further improve these efforts. Senate Bill 150 focuses on reducing nutrient over-loading on Ohio ground.  It accomplishes this goal by requiring training for agribusinessmen spreading chemical fertilizer on farm ground. The farmers in the Grand Lakes St. Mary’s Watershed have served as excellent examples of responding to the need to protect Ohio’s waterways by voluntarily adopting nutrient management plans.  The positive steps made in the Grand Lake St. Marys Watershed are paving the way for changes to agriculture statewide.

S.B. 150 will require farmers with 50 or more contiguous acres to attend a continuing education course on fertilization application. This certification process will support practical and feasible best management practices. 

The bill will ultimately build on the efforts of the Ohio Farm Bureau to promote the 4R program to improve farming practices throughout Ohio, by advocating for the right nutrient, at the right time, in the right amount, in the right location. The best way to improve farming practices in Ohio is through education, and this bill takes a step in the right direction. 

Although nutrient management plans are completely voluntary, Ohio’s major agricultural groups support creating a plan to help farmers meet the new industry requirements. There are resources available, such as Ohio State Extension, professional agronomists, the Soil and Water Conservation office, and the Farm Services Agency, to help agricultural professionals develop appropriate nutrient management plans. By having a state -approved nutrient management plan in place, affirmative defense may provide legal protection to farmers.

Please stay in touch and provide your input on the issues of the day by taking a legislative survey at



Celina Police Department Officers Locate Handgun and Marijuana

The Celina Police Department were out at 211 S. Brandon Ave. investigating a possible Domestic Violence incident that happened on 3/10/14. A male suspect fled into the residence. Officers forced entry into the residence and took a male into custody. Through the course of the investigation Officers located a handgun and a large amount of Marijuana. 

The case was forwarded to the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office for review of the charges.



March 12, 2014


Parkway Schools are closed for Wednesday, March 12, 2014 due to a snowstorm.
Do Blizzard Bag #1 today.


Van Wert County Common Pleas Court is closing at Noon today, Wed. March 12, 2014. 
All hearing scheduled this afternoon will be rescheduled.

Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey issued a reminder that roads are snow-covered & slippery due to the 5 inches of snowfall today.
Use caution when driving.




WassUp at the Wassenberg Art Center

Photo caption: Tafi Stober is working on her painting of a dragonfly from the second Vine & Palette event at the Wassenberg Art Center

The colorful Ohio Watercolor Society traveling exhibit has arrived and is gracing our walls just in time for the next round of wintry weather. Stop in to avoid snow blindness! The Ohio Watercolor Society showcases the results of the annual competition of the best watercolorists in Ohio and a few surrounding states. Winners of this completion are then eligible to compete in the national level American Watercolor Exhibit. The American Watercolor Exhibit slated to arrive here early next year will be a national level exhibit of some of the best watercolors in the country. The Ohio Watercolor Society Exhibit is brought to you by the generosity of First Federal Savings & Loan, Van Wert.

Thank you to the students and parents who signed up their children for our new afterschool program called ArtReach! We are happy to announce due to an overwhelming response that we will be expanding this program to two afternoons per week in April! ArtReach 2 will be held on Mondays at 3:30 p.m. Our instructor, Diane Bendele demonstrated how art is in everything last week and discussed the design of an ordinary overlooked object, the chair. Students then created their own chair designs.

Classic Watercolor class on Tuesday mornings starting at 10 a.m. is an ongoing Watercolor class taught by Pat Rayman. Persons are encouraged to jump in anytime and the class is sold in 4-class increments.

Want to learn how to paint fog and misty moonlight? Atmospheric Acrylics taught by Pat Rayman will commence on Friday, April 5 at 10 a.m. An emphasis will be places on learning to paint atmospheric conditions such as fog and moonlight. Cost of the class will be $35 members/$40 non-members. Additional information will be available shortly through print and via our website.

Our first official Vine & Palette painting event was held last week and was a huge success. Person’s who had never painted created a successful and colorful painting of a dragonfly. Taught by both Matt Temple and myself, our next Vine and Palette is scheduled for April 8. Participants are encouraged to bring a friend and a bottle of wine to share and we’ll take care of the rest. Class time runs 6:30-9:30 p.m. We provide paints, canvas, brushes and your first glass of wine. You will need a paint shirt or apron to protect your clothes. Sign up soon. This class fills quickly and a month without art is just not healthy.

For information on exhibits, classes and programs listed on there as well. The Wassenberg Art Center is located at 214 South Washington Street (former Van Wert Armory). We can be reached by telephone at: 419.238.6837 email: and our website is:



New Pastor Takes the Reins at New Horizon Church


Pastor Dave Souers is from the Ft. Wayne, Indiana area where he was born and raised and now has moved into the calling as head pastor of New Horizon Community Church in Rockford. Dave and his wife Annette, who is a registered nurse at the St. Joe Burn Center, recently became the parents of Eli, 2 months.

The couple came from Westwood Fellowship after having served there 5-1/2 years, where Dave pastored and they both enjoyed coaching soccer and track. Dave also was an announcer for the basketball games. They will miss their church home, but both felt the calling of the Lord and Dave answered the call a month ago.


After graduating from Blackhawk Christian in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, he completed a four year degree in Biblical Studies at the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. He is currently working on his Master of Divinity through Indiana Wesleyan. While in Chicago, he served in the inner city in Youth Ministry and coached sports. But he really missed the green grass.

He also met his wife Annette at Moody. She was born and raised in a missionary Family in the Albertville area of France near the Alps. She loves to coach and serves as a track coach as well as a student athletic trainer. Dave and Annette are committed to mission work, and he is very excited about the upcoming trip to Guatemala, which is in the works for this summer.

Dave has a “Come as You Are”  philosophy, a relaxed atmosphere where “church” clothes are not required to honor the Lord. He along with the other members also have a warm and inviting atmosphere, Dave has already met Ken Meyer, worship director, Todd Moser, Children’s Pastor and more wonderful people according to Dave. He prepares all of his sermons which he strives to create Bible-based and relevant messages. He wants his flock to understand what’s written and apply it to your life and engage you in the bible. He plans his lessons with lively enthusiasm. In fact, his series right now called "In Joy" is guaranteed to get the enthusiasm back in your life.

The worship team provides music at the 10:30  services. A cafe of food and fellowship starts at 9 AM.  They invite you to attend their church  next Sunday.


Quarter Auction Planned

Splash Pad Committee of RADC is having a Quarter Auction at the Community Building on Sunday, March 30 at 1:00 pm
Doors open at 12:30 pm.


Venedocia Lads and Lassies Meet and Organize for the Year
From Reporter Addison Mueller
The Venedocia Lads and Lassies held their first meeting on Feb. the 20th . The meeting was held at 7:00 pm at the Venedocia lions club. Pledges were led by Melanie Mueller and roll call by Madison Pugh. The club played a "get to know each other" game. Then we voted for officers, news repoters, treasurer, president, and vice president and more. The lions club will hold their all you can eat pancakes and sausage on March 15th.


Fulton OSU Extension to Offer Low Tunnel/High Tunnel Workshop and Farm Tour

The Fulton County OSU Extension office invites area producers to participate in the Low Tunnel/High Tunnel Workshop and Farm Tour on April 24th, 2014 from 9:30 am to 3:00 pm at Heritage Inn in Archbold, OH.  This program is geared towards new low tunnel/high tunnel producers or for those who wish to “brush up” on the basics of integrating tunnel systems into their fruit or vegetable operations. The workshop will offer three instructional sessions with the theme of Growing Crops Under Covers: 1) Why It Works, Why It Fails, 2) Linking Under-Cover Crops to Profitable Markets and 3) Tunnels of Many Types and Uses.  Thanks to a Warner Grant for Sustainable Agriculture, OSUE Fulton County in collaboration with Doug and Valerie Kinsman will complete the day with case studies of microclimate management and a tour of the Kinsman Farm.  Speakers for the day will include Matt Kleinhenz, the OSUE Vegetable Specialist, growers Doug and Valerie Kinsman and Eric Richer, Extension Educator, Fulton County.  The day will include many small round table discussions, a light breakfast and full lunch at Heritage Inn.   Presentation materials and a select grower publication will be included in the registration.  Cost of the event is $30 for the first person from the farm and $20 for each person thereafter.  Registration form can be found at  or by calling 419-337-9210.  Registration deadline is April 17th. 


Parkway Yearbook Thanks Supporters

The Parkway Yearbook Staff would like to thank our area businesses for supporting the 2013-2014 Parkway yearbook through advertising. The funds received from selling advertisements reduce the selling price of each book by approximately $30, making the book more affordable for the parents, students, and community members in the Parkway Local School District. The following businesses supported the 2013-2014 Parkway Yearbook: Deerfield Golf Course, F&S Floor Covering, Tom Kuhn, Rockford Carry Out, OP Nails, Plaza Bowling Lanes, Moore Insurance Service, Garwick’s, Wabash Mutual, PhotoStar, The Mr. Shoppe, Ketcham-Ripley Funeral Home, People’s Bank, Celina Moving, Mr. E’s Driving, Peel’s Pit Stop, The Daily Standard, Van Wert Massotherapy, W.I.R.E.D. Youth Ministries, Granger Dental, Olympic Lanes, Henkle Insurance, Wrenco Trophy, Becky’s Restaurant, Family Medicine, Celina Wine Store, The Fremont Company, Rockford American Legion, Pax Machine, Celina American Legion, Mox Warehouse, CAPT, Mack Arena, Kuhn Farms, Wolff’s Tire, Balyeat’s Coffee Shop, Perks, Betseys Boutique, Laurels of Shane Hill, University of Northwestern Ohio, III Son’s Towing, Wright State University, Country Styles, Chatt Insurance, Ace Hardware-Van Wert, Truck Research Services, and Willshire Home Furnishings. 


Trinity and Kennerk to Perform at Rockford Belle on March 15

Trinity will take to the Rockford Belle stage and sing God’s praises on March 15 at 7 PM. Doors open at 6 PM. Saxophone player, Tom Kennerk, will join the performance. The public is welcome to attend the performance located at 135 Market Street, Rockford, OH. A free-will offering is accepted.

Trinity, from Van Wert, Ohio 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. Vocalists for the group are Gary Adams, Cheryl Burk and Kim Mason.

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 new 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 15. For more information about this event at The Rockford Belle call Tom Rogers at 567-644-9993.






Celina Woman Dies in Traffic Accident East of Celina

Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey announced that his office is presently investigating a fatal accident on State Route 29 near Harris Road.  A caller at 6:59 AM on Tuesday, March 11, 2014 advised he was driving a hydraulic crane and was struck in the rear.

The investigation shows that a crane driven by Bryan Hirschfeld, age 62 of 8259 Mercer-Auglaize County Road stopped at the southbound stop sign on Harris Rd., and pulled onto State Route 29 westbound.  The investigation further shows that a westbound 2003 Honda driven by Heather McCormick, age 40 of 7495 Staeger Road, Celina, struck the crane in the rear.  Ms. McCormick was pronounced deceased at the scene by Mercer County Coroner Timothy Heinrichs. 

The accident remains under investigation. Deputies at the scene were assisted by the Celina Fire Department, Celina EMS and the Ohio State Highway Patrol.



Kim Brandt Organizes Calvary Preschool 911 Practice

Calvary Preschool recently hosted the 911 Program, organized by Kim Brandt. The boys and girls learned what to do in a real emergency situation through video and hands-on practice of dialing 911. To comprehend the process, the students stepped on the numbers 9-1-1 and then dialed them on a telephone. This gave the boys and girls an opportunity to practice a conversation with an actual dispatcher. The Calvary Preschool teachers and students were grateful to Kim and Shelly for offering this important information and application.

Calvary Preschool is currently accepting applications for the 2014-15 school year. For more information, contact director Judy Fox at the preschool office at 567-259-3103 or e-mail The preschool is located one mile west on Business Route 224 at Sidle Road in Van Wert.



St. Patrick’s Day Weekend Announcement by Sheriff Jeff Grey
Celina, OH – Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey announced today that  additional deputies will be assigned to work targeted areas during the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day weekend.  Additional Deputies will be on patrol during St. Patrick’s Day weekend focusing on impaired driving.  Deputies will be assigned to specific Townships, these being Franklin, Jefferson, Butler, Granville, Gibson, and Recovery.

Sheriff Grey continues his traffic safety message by reiterating  “The goal is to keep the motoring public safe, not ruin any celebrations”.  The Purpose is for Deputies to be visible and hopefully deter bad driving.  Sheriff Grey reminds motorists to “Never drive while being impaired, always have a designated driver”.   He also reminds motorists to never text and drive, and as always please wear your seatbelts”.   The continuing goal of the Sheriff’s Office is to keep our citizens safe.

Village Council Meeting Minutes for March 4, 2014 Includes:
Click Here for full details of the meeting.

*Read about the new radio station coming to Rockford.

* Rockford text alerts.  Encourage friends and neighbors to get signed up.

*Rockford Community Days Meeting – March 4 at 7:30 pm.   

* Weather Spotter Course – Tuesday – March 18th  from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm at the Central Services Building. 

* Wine Tasting on April 12th from 7 to 10 pm.  Please RSVP to rcdwinetasting or call 419-363-3032 ext 1. 

*The Rockford Chamber is holding a Spring Flower Bulb sale.  Information available at the Village office or check the Rockford Ohio Chamber of Commerce on Facebook.

*The Rockford Chamber will be holding a Social Media Class “Facebook Marketing – it’s fun AND profitable on March 20th @ the Village Hall. Cost is $10 per Chamber Member and $15 per non Chamber member.  RSVP required.  Laptops welcome.


3 Week Series Begins March 20th

VAN WERT, OHIO — Van Wert County Hospital, in conjunction with Convoy Preschool, 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 20th, each session will be held at the Convoy Village Ministry Center from 5:30-7:30 p.m. The Convoy Village Ministry Center is located at 102 W. Tully 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 419.238.8618.


Join Ohio City Summer Ball Program on March 15
Ohio City Youth Activities have announced that they will be having summer ball sign-up on March 15th at the Village Hall in Ohio City from 9 am - 12 pm. 

This is open for all Van Wert County residents.

For more information contact Kurt at (419) 203-6117.


ST. PATRICK’S DAY DANCE with a Live Band “Blind Date”

A St. Patrick's Day Dance will be held on Saturday, March 15, 2014 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. Handicap accessible.  The public is invited to attend.


Remember the Rockford Eagles Fish Fry and Chicken Strips Dinners
on Friday, March 14, 2014 from 5-7 PM.
Members and Guests only. Good Food! See ad above for details.






Join Ohio City Summer Ball Program on March 15
Ohio City Youth Activities have announced that they will be having summer ball sign-up on March 15th at the Village Hall in Ohio City from 9 am - 12 pm. 

This is open for all Van Wert County residents.

For more information contact Kurt at (419) 203-6117.




March 10-11, 2014


Chicken BBQ

Come join us on April 6th at Chattanooga UMC for our UMW's annual chicken
BBQ!  We will have Romer's chicken dinners, which will include chicken,
applesauce, roll, chips, a homemade cookie, and pop.  Serving times will be
11:00 AM to 12:30 PM.  Tickets are $7 and will help the UMW with church
work and missions.  See you there!



Apple Pie Bake-Off

Parkway FFA chapter held their 2nd annual Apple Pie Bake-Off on Friday, February 21st. Any FFA member was allowed to bring in an apple pie for bonus points and their pie was then judged. Our 3 judges were Jeff Marbough, Melissa Burch, and Sharron Walls. The 3 judges had to pick out the top 3 best looking pies and the top 3 best tasting pies. The chapter would like to thank these judged for there help! The top 3 best looking were 1st- Kayla Walls, 2nd-Taylor Hesse, and 3rd-Whitney Rollins. The top 3 tasting were 1st- Whitney Rollins, 2nd-Garrett Henderson, and 3rd- Ashlynn Henderson. Congratulations to all of our winners and thanks to all the students who brought an apple pie in! 



March 7-9, 2014


Daylight Savings Time Coming

Next weekend on Sunday,  March 9, 2014. The official change of time begins at 2 a.m. when most computer and electronic clocks will automatically reset themselves and jump one hour ahead. So instead of 2 a.m., the clocks will show 3 a.m.

Daylight Saving Time is a way of making better use of the daylight in the evenings by setting the clocks forward one hour during the longer days of summer. In the United States, the time will fall back again on Nov. 2, 2014, when DST ends.




Panther 6th Graders Take Basketball Championship at Jackson Center

(Jackson, Center, OH) The Parkway 6th grade boys basketball team won the championship of the Jackson Center basketball tournament on March 1, 2014. They were undefeated in pool play and beat Northwestern in the Championship game. Team members are Cory Agler, Trevor Barker, Gavin Stober, Chance Mosier, Kendall Roof, Breyden Bruns, Nick Hawk, Ryan Hesse,  Aaron Bruns, Corey Walls, Jason Luth, Caleb Kinney & Colton Barna (Not Present).  They are coached by Mark Luth, Pat Mosier and Trey Stober.


March 6, 2014

Shanes Crossing 5K committee Donates to Disney Trip

The Shanes Crossing 5K Committee recently donated $1,500 to the upcoming Parkway Disney trip to Florida for the band and choir students.


Mendon Union Alumni Plans Banquet

The 118th Annual Mendon Union School Banquest will be held on May 24th at the Celina American Legion. Doors open at 4 PM with dinner served at 5:30 PM. the classes of 1989 (25th) and 1964 (50th) will be honored. The organizers can be reached at POB 185, Mendon, OH   45862.

Cub Scout Pack 98 to Host Pinewood Derby

The Rockford area Cub Scout Pack 98 will be hosting their annual Pinewood Derby Race in the Parkway High School Auditorium on Saturday March 8th. The race will begin at 3 p.m. with car weigh ins. New this year will be an open class. The open class is open to any pinewood derby car that meets the minimum specifications of clearance and weighs no more than 5 oz. The cost to run in the open class will be $2.00 payable the day of the race. So all you former Cub Scout or Cub Scout parents that have a car to race, bring it on down to Parkway High School and enter the Open Class. If you would like to know more about the open class race you may contact Kevin Browning or Tim Fokine.





Rodgers & Hammerstein Favorites played by the Toledo Symphony Orchestra & Prime Rib Buffet at Willow Bend Country Club.

The perfect Sunday combination is now possible. In response to popular demand, Willow Bend Country Club will be offering their acclaimed Prime Rib Buffet from Noon until 3 PM this Sunday, March 9. The Prime Rib Buffet, complete with savory sides and a dessert table that delights is just $19.99. Reservations are always appreciated and all patrons of the Niswonger are welcome: 419-238-0001

The concert begins at 3:00 pm at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center. The Toledo Symphony Orchestra will merrily transport the audience through the years with a program filled with Rodgers & Hammerstein favorites. Featured vocalists, Mary Ann Falk and Jake Wilder will bring the songs to life from the stage. Tickets are just $20 and are available through the Niswonger Box Office 419-238-NPAC



Click Here for Van Wert County Common Pleas Court Cases Heard for March 2013


Guest Column from State Representative Jim Buchy
Severe Winter Weather Prompts School Closings

While winters in Ohio often bring plentiful cold and snow, this year’s winter has been especially brutal. Heavy snowfalls and frigid temperatures have made this winter one of the harshest in recent memory. While we have all been affected by the weather, schools in particular have faced challenges during this winter season.

Treacherous conditions caused by ice-covered roadways, blowing snow and extreme wind chills have caused many school districts to exceed their allotted number of calamity days for the 2013-2014 school year. Schools all across the state have rightfully put student safety first and cancelled school when conditions were unsafe. 

I am a believer in the power of knowledge and education, but I firmly believe that student safety should be a high priority at every school. It is never ideal to miss a day of in-class instruction, but sometimes this sacrifice simply has to be made in order to keep students and teachers safe.

Governor Kasich also holds this belief, and has called for the addition of extra calamity days to the 2013-2014 school year. The addition of these days will give districts all across Ohio the ability to call off school if conditions are hazardous, without worrying about the possibility of being forced to make up these days at the end of the school year or during previously scheduled recesses.

I support the addition of extra calamity days. However, a day off of school should not result in a day completely void of learning for students. For this reason, I helped with the passage of legislation that allows schools to supplement their existing calamity days with the addition of three E-Days, or “Blizzard Bag” Days.

The E-Day Program was first implemented at Mississinawa Valley Schools, right here in western Ohio. The program allows schools to post online lessons to their website or web portal for students to access during a day off of school. For school districts with limited connectivity, there is an alternative: Blizzard Bags. At schools with a Blizzard Bag program, teachers prepare materials for a lesson that students can take home and complete in the event of a school closure. Both programs provide schools the option to further the learning that is occurring in the classroom, even if school must be closed due to weather.

The program has proven to be a huge success and has provided a blueprint for schools across Ohio. Currently, around 150 school districts have implemented an E-Day or Blizzard Bag program, and that number is growing.

When winter weather hits, school administrators should make the decision to cancel school if conditions present a danger to students. However, with the E-Day and Blizzard Bag programs, these days have proven to be more than simply a day off.

Please stay in touch and provide your input on the issues of the day by taking my legislative survey at




March 5, 2014


Winter Choir Concert Planned

The Parkway High School Choirs will present their annual Winter Concert
on Sunday March 9th at 3 p.m. The concert will be held in the auditorium.

Featured at the concert will be the women's choir and the concert choir.
These groups will be singing the songs that they will be performing at
District Large Group Contest on Friday March 14th.

The public is invited to attend.



Parkway Elementary Carnival is in the Works!
The Parkway Elementary 5^th Annual Spring Carnival is on Saturday,
March 22th from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the Parkway High School  Gymnasium.

The Spring Carnival is focused on providing low cost family fun.
Twenty-five cent tickets will be sold to redeem for games set up throughout
the gymnasium midway, such as plinko, washer toss, ring toss, feed the
panther, milk bottle toss, go fish, goldfish toss, and the duck pond.
Children can test their energy in the inflatable obstacle course, jump house  and giant slide. Treat yourself to carnival treats such as cotton candy and  shaved ice or choose sandwiches, chips, cookies and beverages that will be  available for purchase.

Children will have the opportunity for face painting, sand art, and
balloon animals. There will be a gymnastics presentation by Parkway
students  from All-Star Gymnastics Center and magician Aaron Roehm will be
performing.   Play games for a chance to win awesome prizes! The grand prize for the  day is a Kindle Fire. Everyone is invited to come enjoy the fun!

This year High 5 is raffling an iPad mini at the carnival. You can purchase tickets for $1.00 prior to the carnival from any elementary student, email or check out our Parkway High 5 facebook page for
more information. Also, the day of the carnival we will raffle 4 Cincinnati Reds tickets – 2nd row behind first base, with a parking  pass!

The High 5 Cooperative, a Parkway organization comprised of parents,
teachers, administrators, residents and students is presenting the annual
spring carnival. High 5 welcomes all children in the surrounding
communities  and their families.


3rd Annual Wine Tasting to benefit Rockford Community Days
    Date:  April 12, 2014
    Where:  Rockford Community Building
    Time:  7 pm to 10 pm
    Price:  $20 per ticket or $125 for Donor Table
    Inquiry - Cindy Vogel 918-504-6159 or or
    Rockford Village Office - 419-363-3032



Livestock Quality Assurance Rescheduled

Quality Assurance is a state required training program for any 4-H or FFA member who is exhibiting livestock at the junior fair (excluding rabbits). The Ohio State University Extension is hosting the first QA in 2014 at the Van Wert County Fairgrounds on Sunday March 9th,  starting at 2:00pm until approximately 4:00pm. Members must register at the Jr. Fair Building upon arrival the day of the event. Further instructions will be provided at this time. Members should register no later than 3:00pm in order to complete their training. 

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 24th 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




March Birthdays Shane Hill and Maplewood

March 5th – Jane Shindollar
March 6th – Michael Eischen
March 12th – James Hull
March 17th – Joan Bland
March 19th – Dorothy Trisel
March 22nd – Jim Thomas
March 24th – Farmer Roderick


Severe Weather Awareness Day
Severe Weather Awareness Week is March 2 – March 8th.

Wednesday, March 5th is National Severe Weather awareness day -- Mercer County is participating in the Statewide Tornado Drill on Wednesday, March 5th at 9:50am.



Pancakes and Sausage

Don’t forget to visit Willshire Saturday morning, March 8th.  A pancake and sausage breakfast will be served by the Willshire Lions Club from 6:00 AM – 11:00 AM at the club building on State Street.  All proceeds will be used to benefit the local community.  The Willshire Youth Activities will also be having spring/summer ball sign up from 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM at the Willshire American Legion located on State Street.  Ball teams will be available for girls and boys ages 5-15.  Teams will include T-ball, Farm/Farmette, Little League, Buckeye Girls, 4 County Junior Girls, and Pony League (Van Wert County League).  An alternate sign up will be held at the Lions Club on Thursday, March 13 from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM.  For further information, please contact Lynne Miller (419.203.1976) or Jeff Ford (419.771.7964).



March 3-4, 2014


In Memory of Bob Baker

When God calls home a loved one

The pain is hard to bear

But angels they are needed

In heaven everywhere

But he took a special angel

to sit there by his side

One to trust and Cherish

To talk to and confide

For angels are a blessing

In God's loving, caring hands

Although we will always miss you

It's He who understands

We know you're here beside us

We will never feel alone

With an angel now to guide us

Since the good Lord took you home.

Bob Baker

March 4, 2008- March 4, 2014

Missed by wife, children, grandchildren


Parkway Schools are on a 2 hour delay for Monday, March 3, 2014 due to wind chill. 
New Security System starts today.


Willshire Wide Awake 4-H Club Meeting

The Willshire Wide Awake 4-H Club will hold its next meeting for 2014 at 10 AM on Saturday, March 8th at the Zion Lutheran Church, 17434 Schumm Road.  Anyone 9 years old as of January 1, 2014, and in the 3rd grade is eligible to join.   There are over 200 different 4-H project books to choose from to participate in the Van Wert County Fair.    Members are asked to join in the Club’s yearly activities:  fundraising, community service, educational trips, etc.  For more information, contact Pam Henderson 419-495-2475



Daylight Savings Time Coming

Next weekend on Sunday,  March 9, 2014. The official change of time begins at 2 a.m. when most computer and electronic clocks will automatically reset themselves and jump one hour ahead. So instead of 2 a.m., the clocks will show 3 a.m.

Daylight Saving Time is a way of making better use of the daylight in the evenings by setting the clocks forward one hour during the longer days of summer. In the United States, the time will fall back again on Nov. 2, 2014, when DST ends.



PERI March 11 Meeting-Hopewell Grange, Celina

The Mercer County PERI Meeting will be held March 11, 10:00 A.M. at the Hopewell Grange, at the Mercer County Fairgrounds, West Market St., Celina.

Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey will be the program speaker.  Sheriff Grey will address the responsibilities of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office.

Early birds are welcome to coffee, juice and donuts,  9:30 – 10:00 A.M.  (In case of bad weather, listen to WCSM Radio for possible cancellations.) 



March 1-2, 2014



When you receive the Blizzard Bag, please keep and use if Parkway Schools are cancelled.

If Parkway Schools are cancelled, please open the Blizzard Bag and complete the assignments #1.

If Parkway Schools are cancelled for a second day, please  complete assignments # 2

If Parkway Schools are cancelled for a third day, please complete assignments # 3.

When you return to school, please turn in the completed assignments.

If Parkway Schools are cancelled for 1 day, only turn in completed assignments # 1 and keep the other assignment in case Parkway Schools are cancelled again.

Teachers will grade the assignments.

If you cannot find the Blizzard bag, please talk to your teachers when you come back to school and they will give you the assignments.

The assignments need to be completed and turned in for a grade.

THANKS !!!!!

Greg Puthoff

Parkway Superintendent



Booster Club Plans Meeting
The Parkway Athletic Booster Club will have it's monthly meeting on Monday, March 3, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.  The meeting will be in the community room at the high school.  All parents of Parkway athletes are urged to attend



Car Show Marks 20th Year in Rockford
Plan now to attend the 20th Annual Rockford Community Days Car Show - June 13th from 4 to 9 pm



February 28, 2014


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

Photo caption:   Mercer County Courthouse steps were the site of the February 24, 1933 attempted assassination of the Mercer County Commissioners.

The Mercer County Courthouse was honored with a 75th Anniversary party in September 1998.  The Committee Members included Janet Gels and Kip Wright as Co-Chairpersons; Anita Huber was Secretary and Jason Kaiser was the Treasurer.  Committee Members included the Honorable Jeffrey Ingraham and Mercer County Auditor Mark Giesige, Donna Grube, Ken Rosengarten, Nancy Desch, Mary Toms, Sue Heiser, Bill and Betty Dilworth, Jim Chittum, Damian Dorsten, Gene Weber.  Andy Pax and Frank Zoretich were photographers.

In honor of that 75th Anniversary, I worked with the Mercer County Commissioners and the Mercer County Historical Society and served on that 75th Anniversary Celebration Committee.  In meeting with the Mercer County Commissioners, prior to the establishment of the 75th Anniversary Committee, I agreed to edit the book, “Mercer County’s Courthouses, Celina, Ohio, 1824-1998.”   I read the Commissioners’ Journals seeking facts; I studied the blueprints and photographed architectural features of this 1923 Courthouse building.  I interviewed 1998 Courthouse Officials. 

Mercer County was established January 2, 1824, and Saint Marys became the Seat of Justice of Mercer County until 1839, when Celina became the County seat.  (Celina had been platted in 1834.).  In 1848, Auglaize County was formed, which included Saint Marys, New Bremen and Minster.  Until the first Courthouse was constructed at St. Marys in 1829, Court was held in public rooms, e.g. at Shanesville, and at St. Marys.  June 5, 1839 was the last Mercer County Commissioners’ meeting held at St. Marys.

September 12, 1839, the Mercer County Commissioners held their first meeting at public buildings at Celina.  In 1841, a Courthouse was built at the northeast corner of Main and Livingston Streets, the recent site of Celina City Hall.  A second Courthouse building was completed in 1868, which stood on the northwest corner of Main and Market Streets, (on the same square where the Courthouse stands in 2014).   A Myth of a Courthouse fire seems to survive.  An 1884 fire destroyed the former building which had housed the Courthouse from 1841-1868.  The Courthouse had already moved into the 1868 building, almost two decades prior to that 1884 fire.  The Mercer County Courthouse was never destroyed by fire.

September 3, 1923, the present Mercer County Courthouse was dedicated with great ceremonies.  The Courthouse building architect was Peter M. Hulsken and Lyman T. Strong was the Associate Architect.  A description of this celebration is included in the history book about the Courthouses.

Just a decade after the 1923 Courthouse Dedication, an attempted assassination was made at the site of the Courthouse steps.  February 24, 1933, former Mercer County Surveyor Bert Morrison, with his 16 gauge shotgun, made an attempt on the lives of Mercer County Commissioners Charles Frysinger, Fred Goettemoeller, and Daniel Moeller.  Frysinger died, Goettemoeller survived from his wounds, and Moeller escaped.  Bert Morrison committed suicide, and left a suicide note, describing how Frysinger and Goettemoeller had canvassed businesses in Mercer County Villages and told them “to be sure to vote against Bert Morrison.”   Apparently, Morrison went to extreme measures when he tried to hold the elected officials accountable for their actions.

Will Mercer County Citizens plan a 100th Anniversary Celebration for the Courthouse in 2023?  The Mercer County Historical Society has contributed to the preservation of the history of Mercer County’s Courthouses in 1998 by publishing the book, “Mercer County’s Courthouses, Celina, Ohio 1824-1998.”




Click Here for the Rockford Village Council Minutes from February 18, 2014


Rockford Chamber - February 2014 meeting minutes  - Click Here.


Click Here for Van Wert County Common Pleas Court Cases Heard for February 2013


Group to Perform Sound of Music
March 28, 29, 30, April 4, 5, 6 2014 – THE SOUND OF MUSIC.  Show times- Friday and Saturday’s at 7 p.m., Matinees at 2 pm on Saturdays and Sundays.    Presented by the Crescent Players at the James F. Dicke Auditorium, 901 E. Monroe, New Bremen, OH in March & St. Henry High School, St. Henry OH in April.   $10 and $8 Presale.  Tickets on sale now at Minster and St. Henry True Value Hardware.   Questions?  Call Annette 419-678-4643.


February 27, 2014

Meeting Plans Change


Meeting will be at the Rockford Village Hall at 7:30 pm  

Parkway Schools Security System
by Greg Puthoff, Parkway Superintendent

Starting Monday March 3, the new Security System at each school entrance will be activated.

When you come to school, you will need to locate the security pad at each entrance and push the small button on the lower right side of the security pad.

Pushing the button activates the camera and the outside speaker, so the office staff can see you and hear you.

The office staff will press a Talk button inside so they can talk to you.

You may be asked to identify yourself, state why you want to enter the school,  and also show your driver’s license. Please hold the driver’s license approximately 1 inch from the camera lens.

The office staff will then activate the doors to unlock and you will still need to enter the office.

From the office, you can enter the school.

This is a new safety system to increase the school security and help protect our students and staff.



2014 Livestock Quality Assurance Dates

Quality Assurance is a state required training program for any 4-H or FFA member who is exhibiting livestock at the junior fair (excluding rabbits). The Ohio State University Extension is hosting the first QA in 2014 at the Van Wert County Fairgrounds on Sunday March 2nd,  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 24th from 6:30pm to approximately 8:30pm with test out option starting at 5:30pm.  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



Imagine a Non-Traditional Career!

Sometimes people choose a career because it fits the traditional image of boys growing up to be fire fighters or engineers, while girls become teachers or nurses. But that no longer is the case. There are no limits when it comes to choosing a career. Challenge yourself… It’s about who you are and what you can become! 

Careers which have traditionally been dominated by females – healthcare, education and social work – are fast becoming occupational choices for many males. Healthcare is one of the most in-demand career areas in the nation.  Males are finding career opportunities in the healthcare field including nursing, medical assisting, medical billing and coding, physical therapy, phlebotomy and so many more. 

Do you know any middle school guys interested in a career in the health field?  Think they would like to see how an EMT works in the back of an ambulance or learn what a lab technician does?  Maybe they’ve even talked about becoming a surgical tech, nurse or physical therapist…

If so, they need to check out “Step Into Your Health Technology Future” at Vantage Career Center on Saturday morning, April 5, 2014 from 9 am – 12 noon!  This is an awesome opportunity for guys in grades 7 and 8 to learn about exciting careers in health technology from men working in these careers right now.  The event is FREE!  A light breakfast, lunch and a T-shirt are provided.

To register online, just go to and fill out the “Step Into Your Health Technology Future” form.  Or send an email to  You can even call 419-238-5411 or

1-800-686-3944 ext. 2169.  But hurry – space is limited to the first 40 students who register!  The registration deadline is March 28, 2014.  Don’t miss out on a chance to check out your future now!

CAPTION: Surgery Technician Kevin Mendenhall and the guys were all suited up for the operating room as they examined different types of medical instruments during a previous “Step Into Your Health Technology Future”.



Guest Column from State Representative Jim Buchy
Continuing the Effort Against Drug Abuse in Ohio

As I travel around the 84th District and talk to people, people sometimes ask me about some of the important issues that we are working on in Columbus. Of course, topics like agriculture are discussed, as well as the state’s overall economy. But whenever I bring up the topic of overcoming Ohio’s drug addiction epidemic, I often see a lot of surprised looks on people’s faces. Although more people are becoming aware of this problem, for many it is not something they have heard much about.

Drugs, particularly substances like heroin, cocaine and prescriptions, are causing big problems for Ohio’s families and high costs on the state’s taxpayers. In fact, costs to Ohio taxpayers caused by addiction range upwards of $3.5 billion each year. That is a lot of money, and when combined with the negative effects it has on the people of our state—including children—it is clear that something needs to be done.

Earlier this year, Governor Kasich launched a program aimed at helping individuals, particularly young people, learn about the dangerous impact that these substances have on their lives in the hopes that they will be informed and ultimately protected from them. You can learn more about the Start Talking! program through the website, Like the governor, I believe cracking down on the drug problem begins in the home. Young adults who speak with a parent or other mentor are 50 percent less likely to use drugs.

Start Talking! includes a series of different smaller initiatives that are meant to meet young people during the various aspects of their lives, including through programs in schools. I encourage parents, children and teachers to go to the website and learn more. Even if you do not believe there is anyone in your life in danger of falling prey to addiction, being educated is an important and necessary step to overcoming the problem.

The best way to keep people from becoming dependent on drugs is for them to never take them in the first place. Obviously, this is not usually possible with prescription drugs, but it is critical that individuals do not become addicted to them after they no longer need them. I look forward to continuing my work with the people of the 84th District, my fellow legislators and the governor to keep dangerous substances from destroying even more lives.


21st Century Kitchens of Celina Joins Celina Mercer County Chamber
They are located at 105 E. Fayette Street.

Visit or call 419-586-2121.
Pictured from left to right:
Pam Buschur, Chamber Director
Casey Jones, 21 Century Kitchens, Kitchen Designer
Lora & Joe Schlueter, Owners 21 Century Kitchens
Paula Ditto, Chamber Trustee-Celina Moving & Storage

New Chamber Member

Deb Hemmelgarn, owner of Emerald Fundraising and Event Planning has joined the Celina Mercer County Chamber of Commerce. Let Deb take the stress out of planning your event or fundraising activities. You can email Deb at or call her 567-644-9226
Pictured from left to right: Deb Hemmelgarn & Pam Buschur, Chamber Director

Wassenberg Camera Club News
by Rex Dolby

At the Wassenberg Camera Club's last meeting, it was announced that on Thursday, February 20, the Fort Wayne Photography Club would sponsor a program by two professional photographers, SteveVorderman and Tim Brumbeloe, who would highlight their travel experiences around the world and emphasize a fine art approach to travel photography. Officers Stuart Jewett and Rex Dolby attended the meeting, which was held in the Townhouse Retirement Community on St. Joe Center Road in Fort Wayne.  

Vorderman could not attend the meeting due to conflicts with his work schedule. Brumbeloe stated that he'd been to Italy approximately 25 times, and with his knowledge of the language and best places to shoot, the two plan to organize shooting tours of the country. It was difficult for him to provide costs for the trip because the number who signed up would determine how much transportation, food and lodging would be needed. Until those details are established, he suggested that anyone interested in going, keep checking his web site at for more information.

He said that it is the income from his commercial photography business that finances his travel and fine art photography. He assembles such photos as buildings, entrances, steps, and alleyways into a street scene. Some times he combines mirror images to create an entirely different effect. He observed that when he first started, he created what he thought other people wanted to see, but he found a wider acceptance of his work when he started creating how he wanted it to look. Brumbeloe has exhibited his work in galleries along with other artists as well as provided one-man shows.

The Fort Wayne Photography Club will continue to hold FREE workshops on the third Thursday of each month. The workshop on March 20 will be Macro Photography: Arduino Tricks & Photography Tips – by Larry Kilgore, a presentation on macro photography techniques and the use of external devices and props to assist in macro photography. This is a hands-on workshop where you bring your camera and best macro lens. Anyone coming with a camera needs to sign up, so they will know how many to prepare for.  Anyone who would like to attend, meet in the parking lot just across the creek on East Central Avenue from the Wassenberg Art Center at 6 p.m.        

The Wassenberg Camera Club will next meet on Thursday, March 13, at 7 p.m. at the Wassenberg Art Center.  More details on that meeting will be published later.


Mercer County D.A.R.E. Boosters Fundraiser

Bob Evans, Celina, is sponsoring a Community Fundraiser for the Mercer County D.A.R.E. Boosters on Friday, February 28, 2014. The coupon is valid on dine-in or carryout orders between 6:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. that day. By presenting this coupon at checkout, Bob Evans will donate 15% of sales to Mercer County D.A.R.E. Boosters. Thank you for your continued support of the students of Mercer County through the Mercer County D.A.R.E. Boosters.


4-H Open House
Van Wert County 4-H Buckeye Ambassadors are having an open house on March 4, 2014 at the OSU Extension Office on the Fairgrounds to recruit local youth into the 4-H program. Would you please run the attached news article written by youth 4-H ambassador Cheyenne Oechsle? It talks about how 4-H has impacted the lives of local youth and invites youth to come to the open house and learn more about 4-H. Thank you for helping us get the word out! I am also attaching photos of Cody at 4-H Camp and Leah as the 2013 Van Wert County Jr. Fair Queen if you would like to include them.

Celina Rotary Club – Chamber of Commerce Donate

Carlie Hunter, a Senior at Celina High School has won a flat screen TV
donated by the Celina Rotary Club. The Rotary Club and Celina Mercer County
Chamber of Commerce presented a series of seven programs to Celina High
School junior and senior students to help prepare them for the future.  The
programs were about  resume writing, interviewing skills, loans and
insurance, social media, finding scholarships, appearance counts and more.
These sessions were kicked off with a program by life coach, Christy Shell
M. ED of Zeal Coaching.  Christy spoke to the students about taking your
dreams to reality.  Shown is Pam Buschur, Chamber Director and Jeff Wolters
of Peoples Bank Company representing Celina Rotary Club presenting the TV
to Carlie.



Turkey Pullets on Order
The Van Wert County Extension office is currently taking order for turkey pullets to be exhibited at the 2014 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 2014 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, March 7, 2014 by 4:30pm. Pullets will be available for pickup at the Extension office on April 11, 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 2014. 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 26, 2014


Parkway Schools are on a 2 hour delay for Wednesday, February 26, 2014 due to wind chill. 



Remember the Rockford Eagles Fish Fry and Chicken Strips Dinners
on Friday, February 28, 2014 from 5-7 PM.
Members and Guests only. Good Food! See ad above for details.








February 25, 2014


Sheriff Jeff Grey announced that  US Rte 33 near Willshire has re-opened.


West Central Ohio Youth for Christ Recognizes Retiring Board Member

Bethany Balliet joined the Youth for Christ board in 2003.  Bethany served as the Treasurer and was very involved in the support and fund-raising efforts that helped contribute to the success of YFC.

As a member of the Executive Committee, she was active in the Van Wert Summer Concert Series, Van Wert County Fair ice cream sales and helped recruit and hire YFC’s new Executive Director, John Wanner.

Bethany teaches third grade at Parkway school, and graduated from Wright State- Lake Campus with a major in Early Childhood Education. Bethany is married to Shaun Balliet and they have three children: Delanie (4), Calin (2), and Brynlee (5 mos.)

We want to thank Bethany for her commitment and zeal to sharing the story of Christ’s love and her continued support for YFC.



Pancake and Sausage Day Set in Willshire

The Willshire Lions Club will be sponsoring the annual pancake and sausage day on Saturday, March 8th.  The event will be held from 6:00 AM – 11:00 AM at the Lions Club building on State Street in Willshire.  Proceeds will be used for various 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.


Vine & Palette Class Announced at Wassenberg Art Center
Van Wert. The Wassenberg Art Center will launch a one night, Vine & Palette Tuesday, March 4 from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at the Wassenberg Art Center. 214 S. Washington Street.

Instruction will be lead by Matthew Temple, Wassenberg Art Center office manager/instructor and Hope Wallace, director.

Cost of the one-night class is $25 for Wassenberg Art Center members, and $30 for non-members. Interested persons may call the art center.

What goes better with a blank canvas than a glass of wine (or two?) Join us for an evening of painting, socializing and fun! Participants only need to arrive in old clothes and bring a bottle of wine and a snack to share, the art center will provide the rest. At the end of the evening students will have an original, painting to take home and hang on the wall. Good company, great wine, great tunes can be a great way to relax without a long-term commitment as with a traditional class. Canvases run from 18 x 14 to 16 x 20 inches in size.


Parkway Girls Varsity Basketball Compete in Division III Sectionals on Saturday 2-22-2014
Lima Central Catholic ends Panthers' Season 69-39. Panther record 8-15.

Thank you to Parkway's own Nikki Fox for recording the Panthers with her photography. Click Here for more.
















The Panther Fan above has a gift certificate waiting
as a winner of the Face in the Crowd. 
Call 419-733-3326 to collect your prize from Sheila.

Midwest’s Hottest  Blair Carman and the Belleview Boys in Concert  on March 1
Blair Carman and The Belleview Boys, an amazing Rock ‘n’ Roll act out of Cincinnati, will be featured at The Rockford Belle on March 1 at 7 PM. Doors open at 6:00 PM. 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.

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), and Oneido Casino (Greenbay, Wisconsin). His music has been enjoyed at ballrooms, casinos, theaters, and festivals.

Blair has been on several local 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.

Join us at The Belle on March 1 for 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 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 567-644-9993 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

February 24, 2014


High Water Closes U.S. 33
Mercer County has been advised that US Rte 33 is going to be closed due to high water in Van Wert County. Sheriff Jeff Grey notified the public at 1:28 PM on February 24, 2014. Barricades are going to be placed at US Rte 33 And State Rte 118.


Parkway Senior to Play Golf at  University of Tiffin
Picture by Nikki Fox

Parkway golf athlete Jordan Bollenbacher will stay in Ohio to attend college and golf at University of Tiffin. He signed his letter of intent on Wednesday, February 19, 2014. Jordan intends to major in sports marketing while playing golf for the Dragons under veteran coach Darby Raggow. Watching the signing above are his parents, Todd and Betsy Bollenbacher, and his former coach Mike Schumm and present coach Joe Falk. Jordan starting golfing early in life, and as a high-schooler, he played on the varsity team. He was selected for first team in the MAC three times and medaled in the conference tournament in 2012. He was the MAC runner-up for Golfer of the year in 2013. he is very excited for this opportunity. Visit Nikki's website:


Shanes Crossing 5K Donates to Rockford Recreation

Since 2002, the Shanes Crossing 5K Committee has shared their vision with our community to promote active and healthy lifestyles through their joint efforts with Mercer Health and the annual 5K Challenge. Each year, the annual Shanes Crossing 5K brings runners, walkers, and exercise enthusiasts to Rockford to participate in this event. Participants from throughout west central Ohio, east central Indiana, states across the US, and runners even as far as Europe have participated in this local competition.  Proceeds raised by this event are used to support local community groups and organizations.

Recently, the Shanes Crossing 5K Committee made a generous donation to a local group that is committed to promoting this shared vision - The Rockford Recreation Association. Each year, Rockford Rec. organizes activities for local youth ages 4-15 from around the greater Rockford community. Currently, opportunities exist for children to participate on baseball, softball, flag football, and soccer teams. Last year alone, over 500 registration forms were handled by the Rockford Recreation Association for organized recreational activities between the months of April-October!

This year's annual 5K race is scheduled for Saturday, July 19th at Shanes Park. To the participants, the big changes taking place in 2014 will likely go unnoticed. This year, the Shanes Crossing 5K Committee is turning their tenured program over to the Parkway Athletic Booster Club to maintain as an ongoing fundraiser to support Parkway Athletics. The "Shanes Crossing 5K" name will remain and will still be part of of the Mercer Health 5K Challenge.

Pictured above, Shanes Crossing 5K Committee Member, Mike Bruns, presents a check in the amount of $2,000 to Rockford Recreation Association president Ryan Thompson. This donation will be invested in continuous facility improvement projects and programming expenses for the upcoming summer season.



Parkway Kindergarten Registration and Screening

Parkway Elementary is currently scheduling appointments for kindergarten screening for the 2014-2015 school year.  Students need to be five years old before August 1 to be eligible to attend.  Screening will be held on Thursday, April 10 and Friday, April 11 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.  Please try to have your child’s immunizations up-to-date before the screening.  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.


Shanes Crossing Historical Society to Meet

The Shanes Crossing Historical Society will meet for a regular business meeting on Thursday, February 27, 2014 at the museum.
Spring and Summer activities will be discussed including bi-centennial committees for 2020. No speaker is scheduled, however on Thursday March 27, Historian Harrison Frech will be speaking about founder Anthony Shanes wife, Lamateshe, from the Delaware Indian tribe. Meetings start at 7:30.


Genealogical Society will Meet

The Mercer County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society will meet Sunday, March 2nd, at 2:00  The speakers will be Sue Miller and Annie Miller, with the topic   ‘Meet the Ancestors.’  The goal of this presentation is to help and inspire others to share  their genealogy in a unique and attention grabbing  arrangement, through stories and pictures. Whether the aim is to record and preserve the memory of a family  member, a family group  or an incident, and to share this with others.  Those intersted in beginning their own project, are asked to bring a copy of a photograph of an ancestor. At the end of the program they will have the opportunity to start a family heritage album of their own. This presentation is ideal for anyone in search of new ideas to create or add to their family history. The meeting  will held at the Richardson Bretz Building in Celina.  It  is free and the public is welcome.




PARENT-TEACHER Conferences Coming to Calvary Preschool

The Calvary Preschool has set February 27th and February 28th as Parent-
Teacher Conferences.  There will be no school on those dates so the parents may
meet individually with the teacher.  The boys and girls, at Calvary Preschool, have
been working on ABC’s, numbers, shapes, colors, opposites, cutting, balancing,
patterns, etc.   The Calvary Preschool sees the importance for each parent or
guardian to have a conference.  If you have not responded with your time or
cannot make it, please call the Calvary Preschool @567-259-3103 and ask for Judy Fox or leave a voice mail or e-mail at 
Pre-Registration for the fall program will be March 4th (7:30 – 11:30 am)
and March 5th  (3:00 – 6:00 pm).    Calvary’s Pre-K-Plus class (older 4’s
and 5’s)  meet on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday morning, from
8:30 – 11:30, to help prepare them for all day Kindergarten.  Mrs. Vicki
Chavarria is the older 4’s and 5’s teacher.  The three year olds, Mrs. Issa Ickes
class, meet on Monday / Friday  or Tuesday  / Thursday from 8:30 – 11:30.
Mrs. Julie Stewart’s four year olds meet on Monday/Wednesday/Friday or
Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday from 8:30 – 11:30.  Thank you for your help. 
Contact Judy Fox @567-259-3103 with any questions!



Sheriff Needs Help With Theft of Motor Vehicle
The Mercer County Sheriff's Office is asking for assistance in attempting to identify a male that is believed to be involved in the theft of a motor vehicle.  The unknown male stole a pickup truck from the Maria Stein area on January 21, 2014 and later abandoned it in a Wal-Mart parking lot in Milford, OH which is on the east side of Cincinnati.  Anyone with information or who possible knows the identity of the male is asked to call Detective Chad Fortkamp at the Mercer County Sheriff's Office (419) 586-7724 Or call the Sheriff's Office TIP Line at 567-890-TIPS (8477)Anonymous tips can also be left on the Mercer County Sheriff's Office's web site at



February 21-23, 2014


High Water Warning
The Mercer County Highway Department advices drivers to be cautious of high water on roadways. They also will NOT have enough signs to alert drivers of all high water areas. Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at  3:36 PM


Rockford Recreation Summer Ball Sign-up

The Rockford Recreation Association will be holding two registration days for the upcoming 2014 summer season. The first registration day will be held this Saturday, February 22nd from 10:00am-12:00pm in the Rockford Carnegie Library basement. The final registration day will be held on Saturday, March 15th from 10:00am-12:00pm in the Parkway High School Commons. Completed forms can also be dropped off at The Peoples Bank Co. in Rockford or mailed to Rockford Recreation Association - PO Box 16 - Rockford, OH - 45882. A $20 late fee will be assessed to registration forms received after March 15th.

Registration forms have been distributed to Parkway students at school and additional forms can be picked up at The Peoples Bank Co. or printed at Summer ball programs are available for children ages 4-15 (see registration form for specific age information). For updated Rockford Recreation Association information, reminders, and announcements, like us on Facebook - Rockford Recreation Association. 




Cub Scout Pack 98 to Host Pinewood Derby

The Rockford area Cub Scout Pack 98 will be hosting their annual Pinewood Derby Race in the Parkway High School Auditorium on Saturday March 8th. The race will begin at 3 p.m. with car weigh ins. New this year will be an open class. The open class is open to any pinewood derby car that meets the minimum specifications of clearance and weighs no more than 5 oz. The cost to run in the open class will be $2.00 payable the day of the race. So all you former Cub Scout or Cub Scout parents that have a car to race, bring it on down to Parkway High School and enter the Open Class. If you would like to know more about the open class race you may contact Kevin Browning or Tim Fokine.



District Public Speaking for FFA Members at Parkway


On February 13th, Maggie Houts, Clista Hellwarth, and Shelbe Eddington competed in sub-district public speaking contest at Delphos. Maggie and Clista competed in the beginning creed speaking contest while Shelbe competed in the beginning prepared speaking contest. Clista placed 1st and received a gold rating and Maggie placed 3rd and also received a gold rating. While Shelbe placed 2nd and received a gold rating in here contest. Clista and Shelbe will move on to districts on February 25th. Good Luck to these two girls and congratulations to all of them for their hard work!


Rockford Area Development Corporation to Meet
The RADC meeting is scheduled for Monday, February 24th at 7:30 in the Rockford Library basement. Mike Bruns will be our guest speaker for the evening and Sue Barna has volunteered to bring treats for the meeting. If you haven't already sent your 2014 membership, you may also bring it to the meeting.





February 20, 2014


Parkway Boys Basketball Team Plays Marion Local ~ Senior Night Celebrated
Thank you to Nikki Fox for sharing these pictures - Click Here for more

Click on smaller thumbnail shots below to enlarge them.

Rockford Home Destroyed by Fire
Dan and Brandy Weitzel lost their home to a fire on Sunday afternoon, February 16, 2014. Located just west of Jordan Road (west of Rockford) on U.S. Route 33, they arrived home to find it engulfed in flames. Due to the smoke and flames through-out, the couple could not retrieve and any of their belongings. No one was injured, but the home was destroyed. Rockford, Chattanooga, Willshire and Ohio City responded with eight trucks and around thirty firefighters. It took four hours to bring it under control. No cause has been determined. Mercer County Emergency Response Volunteers took care of traffic on the busy highway.

February 19, 2014

ST. PATRICK’S DAY DANCE with a Live Band “Blind Date”

A St. Patrick's Day Dance will be held on Saturday, March 15, 2014 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.
Handicap accessible.  The public is invited to attend.
Vantage SkillsUSA Students Qualify for State Competition

Vantage Career Center Skills USA students recently competed in the first round of the Northwest Region skills contests at Sentinel Career Center in Tiffin. Five students will advance to the state competition held in Columbus in the Spring.

Bringing home the gold was Carpentry senior Austen Stukey (Parkway) who placed first in the Carpentry contest. Continental senior Evan Prowant received a silver medal for placing second in the CNC Turning competition. Electricity senior Derric Shisler (Paulding) also earned a silver medal for his second place finish in the Electrical Construction Wiring contest.
Receiving bronze medals for their third place finish were a pair of Auto Body seniors. Clirissa McMonigal (Continental) placed third in the Collision Repair competition, while her classmate, Isaac Nichols (Ft. Jennings) took third place in the Automotive Refinishing contest.
These five students qualified for the state SkillsUSA contest and will compete in Columbus at the end of April.

Poetry Competition, too

A very different kind of competition was also held at Vantage on Thursday, Feb. 13. Vantage is proud to announce the top 3 winners of the school Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest. First place honors went to Cosmetology senior, Melody Gibson from Delphos Jefferson. Melody recited the Elizabeth Bishop poem, “One Art” and earned rave reviews from the judges. Second place went to Cosmetology senior LaShawne Granger (Van Wert) for her recitation of Sara Teasdale’s “Since There Is No Escape”. Electricity senior Harley Miner (Paulding) placed third with David Ignatow’s “Self Employed”.
The Vantage English Department organized the event and was very pleased with the 23 students who participated. English teacher Mary Ann Falk told the students from the podium, “Poetry is universal. This experience will not be about tonight. It will benefit you for the rest of your life. You are stepping out and showing yourselves as leaders who can communicate and dedicate yourself to learning something.”
The competition, presented in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, is part of a national program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition.
Poetry Out Loud uses a pyramid structure. Beginning at the classroom level, winners advance to a school-wide competition, then to state, and ultimately to the National Finals in Washington D.C. Nearly 375,000 students from more than 2,000 high schools nationwide took part in last year’s program. 
  Judges evaluated student performances on criteria including voice and 
articulation, evidence of understanding, level of difficulty, and accuracy.  
 “We're very proud of this year's participants and as always, impressed by the dedication and talent of our Vantage students,” commented English teacher Sonya Yenser-Hammon.
Each champion at the state level will receive $200 and an all?expense?paid trip to Washington, DC, to compete for the national championship, April 29?30, 2014.

Motown Spinners Coming to NPAC
The Niswonger Performing Arts Center presents THE SPINNERS on Saturday, March 1 at 7:30 PM. Sophisticated up-tempo R&B with precision choreography defines a Spinners show. With over 60 million records sold in their illustrious career, the mighty Spinners have performed for Presidents, received 6 Grammy nominations, and have appeared on TV too many times to count. 419-238-NPAC

February 18, 2014


At 2 PM today, Sheriff Jeff Grey cancelled the Level 1 Snow Alert.

On Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 10:18 AM,
Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey downgraded Mercer County to a Level 1 Snow Alert.
Please continue to use caution as roadways remain slick & hazardous.


Parkway Schools are closed for Tuesday, February 18, 2014


On Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 1:24 AM Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey upgraded to a Level 2 Snow Alert
for the unincorporated areas of Mercer County which includes state routes, county roads and township roads.  A Level Two Snow Alert means roadways are becoming impassable with blowing and drifting snow.


Parkway Schools are on a 2 hour delay for Tuesday, February 18, 2014

On Monday, February 17, 2014 at 8:01 PM Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey issued a Level 1 Snow Alert
for the unincorporated areas of Mercer County which includes state routes, county roads and township roads.  A Level One Snow Alert means roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow.
Please use extreme caution while driving.


Thank you to Chatt Insurance, the Parkway Independent Weather Sponsor
Click here for the Chatt Insurance Center website
Click here to check them out on Facebook, too!

Summer Ball is Right Around the Corner
The Willshire Youth Activities will be hosting sign up for the upcoming spring/summer ball season.  Teams are being formed for T-ball (age 5 by August 1st), farm league boys, farmette girls, little league, buckeye girls, pony league, and junior girls.  Registration will be held on Saturday, March 8th from 9 AM – 11 AM at the Willshire American Legion and on Thursday, March 13th from 6 PM – 8 PM at the Willshire Lions Club.  Registration cost is $20 for T-ball.  Registration fee for softball and baseball is $30 for the first child in a family and $25 for each additional child from the same family.  There will be an alternate method to paying fees available at registration.  All area youth are encouraged to sign up.  For further information, contact Lynne Miller (419.203.1205) or Jeff Ford (419.771.7964)


St. David’s Day Service, Sunday March 2 at Salem Presbyterian Church

The Welsh community of Venedocia, Ohio is inviting the public to celebrate St. David’s Day with a Sunday service on March 2, at 9:30 AM with a meal following. The Event occurs at the Salem Presbyterian Church, a Welsh church built in 1895 depicting its Welsh heritage. Welsh music and historical elements will be displayed.

St. David is the patron saint of Wales. Not much is known of his life, but many stories and legends are told of his labors on behalf of God. He lived sometime between 400 and 600 A.D., and through his journeys and teaching, strengthened the Church in Wales and in Ireland.

St. David established churches and monasteries throughout Wales, so that the people would have places to gather to worship and learn more of God and God’s great love.

The date of his birth is unknown, but legend and myth has it he died at the age of 82 on the first of March. All during that morning, the sky was filled with singing angels. Then, as light faded from the evening sky, the ministering angels bore the soul of the great saint to heaven. Throughout the world people of Welsh descent gather around the first of March to remember St. David and celebrate their Welsh heritage. We are proud to continue that proud tradition.

The meal will be at 11:15. Adult tickets are $5.00, and children tickets 11 and under are $3.00. The meal will consist of chicken and beef, red potatoes, salad, rolls, drinks and dessert. Children’s menu is chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese.



February 17, 2014
Presidents' Day


On Monday, February 17, 2014 at 8:01 PM Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey issued a Level 1 Snow Alert
for the unincorporated areas of Mercer County which includes state routes, county roads and township roads.  A Level One Snow Alert means roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow.
Please use extreme caution while driving.


"This will be  make up day # 1," commented Superintendent Greg Puthoff.



Another winter storm is heading in today around noon.
Thank you to Chatt Insurance, the Parkway Independent Weather Sponsor
Click here for the Chatt Insurance Center website
Click here to check them out on Facebook, too!


Rockford Recreation Receives Donation of John Deere Gator

The Rockford Recreation Association is excited to unveil the most recent donation made by an anonymous donor through the Shanes Park Legacy Fund. This gracious contribution was made explicitly for the purchase of a new 2013 John Deere XUV 550 4x4 Gator utility vehicle from

Kenn-Feld Group - Lefeld Implement in Coldwater, OH.  The organization would also like to thank Kenn-Feld Group for helping make this happen.  This new equipment will be used for facility maintenance by the Rockford Recreation Association at the Shanes Park sports complex. An annual maintenance plan for the life of the equipment has also been included in this generous gift.

The Shane's Park Legacy Fund is a tax advantaged opportunity for individuals and businesses to invest in equipment and park improvements to enhance recreational opportunities for families and children of the Rockford Community and beyond. There is a plan for further development at Shanes Park that supports the future vision of the Rockford Recreation Association. Contributions donated to support this vision go immediately toward improvements that have recently included extended concrete spectator areas, permanent dugout improvements on all four diamonds, additional family picnic areas, Diamond #5 development, and ongoing facility and recreational enhancements.

The Rockford Recreation Association would like to extend their gratitude to everyone who supports the programming of our organization. Financial, in-kind, and volunteer contributions of all amounts allow our children to participate in organized recreational activities that promote teamwork, character, and active lifestyles and encourage families to "stay and play" right here in our great community.

The Rockford Recreation Association - "Making community happen!"

Laurels of Shane Hill Sponsoring iPad Raffle
The Laurels of Shane Hill and Maplewood of Shane's Village are selling raffle tickets to benefit the Rockford Recreation Association. The raffle is for a brand new iPad. Buy your ticket at the Laurels or Peoples Bank in Rockford between February 1-28, 2014. Drawing will take place March 1st. Tickets are 6 for $10 or $2 each.



Caricature Artist Visits Colonial Residents
Caricature artist Shelly Flory of Greenville did drawings of residents at Colonial Nursing Center for Christmas. Pictured is resident Harold Schweyer and his wife Esther. Each residents drawings were displayed outside their doors. The caricatures capture a softer image than the camera and made for a fun afternoon. 










Venedocia Lads and Lassies 4-H Club to Hold First Meeting

The Venedocia Lads and Lassies 4-H Club will hold its first meeting for 2014 at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, February 19th at the Venedocia Lion’s Club.  Anyone 9 years old as of January 1st , 2014 and in the 3rd grade is eligible to join.  Any child 5 years old and in first grade is eligible to join our Cloverbud Group.  For more information, contact Nancy Bonifas @ 419-667-9525.


Rockford United Methodist Church Invites the Community

Financial Peace University, taught by Dave Ramsey, financial expert, has a proven success rate in teaching God’s ways of handling money. The classes begin on Wednesday, March 12, at 6:15 to 8:15 PM and will be held at the church at 202 S. Franklin St. Register to attend at or call the church at 419-363-3230  for more information. Remember, a free community dinner is served every Wednesday from 5:02-7:00 PM.

The congregation invites you to join them!


Rockford Eagles Plan Annual Sports Stag Night - Special Guest Chandler Harnish Current Back up Quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts to Speak

The Fraternal Order of Eagles, Aerie 1292, located at 179 S. Main Street in Rockford  is planning their annual Sports Stag night on Tuesday, February 25, 2014.

- The Doors open at 5:30 and this event is open to the public.
Chandler Harnish, Former Norwell High School and Northern Illinois Quarterback and current Back up Quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts is top-billed speaker for the evening. Two local men, Luke Clouse, Parkway Graduate and Parkway High School Baseball Coach and Jordan Thompson, Parkway Graduate and former Ohio University Bobcat Football Player will also be speaking

- The Guest Speakers will begin between 7:30 and 8:00.

$25.00 is the entry cost for All You Can Eat (Hog Roast) and Drink

There will be Raffles at the Door and a Bonus Attendance Raffle

Proceeds go to Benefit Community Projects.

See ad above for details.


Prayers Requested for families - Click Here




Social Media Classes Planned by Rockford Chamber


The Rockford Chamber will be holding quarterly Social Media Classes.  
The 1st class, "Facebook Marketing - It's fun AND profitable" will be
 held on March 20th at 7 pm at the Rockford Village Hall.  The cost will
be $10 per chamber member and $15 per non member.  Limited
seating.  RSVP with payment to Rockford Chamber, PO Box 175,
Rockford, OH  45882, stop by the Rockford Village office or
call 419-363-3032 ext 1.  Laptops welcome !



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


Evart Dorsten, former Montezuma Duck Baseball Team Member, shared this Schedule for the February 1933 Ninth Annual Mercer County Basketball Tournament, held at Celina.  The Competing Teams were from the local Schools:  Saint Henry, Immaculate Conception, Neptune, Fort Recovery, Mendon, Rockford, Washington Township and Coldwater.  As indicated, John C. McKirnan, Celina Coffee Shop, sponsored this publication.  This Tournament Schedule helps to preserve Sports History in Mercer County. 

Since this Tournament was the Ninth Annual Tournament, then the First Annual Tournament must have been played in 1925.  The Celina High School was not mentioned in this 1933 Mercer County Basketball Tournament.  Perhaps, Celina’s High School was in a different Division and did not play in the Mercer County Basketball Tournament?  At the Archival Collections of the Mercer County Historical Society, the 1925 “Hi-Li-Ke,”  annual yearbook was published for Celina High School.  A reference was made in that 1925 yearbook, that Celina lost to Roosevelt School in Dayton, in the Tournament.

Sunday, March 23, 2014, 1:00 – 4:00, the Mercer County Historical Society will host an exhibit of “Early Basketball History, Prior to World War II, in Mercer County High Schools,” at the Mercer County Historical Museum.   This exhibit will include early photographs, early High School Annuals, Local History Books, Awards, Newspaper articles, and related historical items which Mercer Countians bring to the Museum for this Exhibit.  The Mercer County Historical Society invites Local Sports Collectors to bring their Collections and Basketball Scrapbooks to show at the Museum Sunday, March 23, and to help the Mercer County Historical Society to Preserve Mercer County’s Local History of High School Basketball.

Photo caption:   Mercer County Basketball Tournament Schedule, 1933.


Click Here for Van Wert County Common Pleas Court Cases Heard for February 2014




February 15-16, 2014


"This will be  make up day # 1," commented Superintendent Greg Puthoff.



Colonial Ladies Make Homemade Noodles

The Colonial Ladies Cooking Club most recent project shown here was homemade noodles. Eggs were cracked, flour flew and noodles were cut. The noodles were laid out to dry; later residents and staff of Colonial Nursing Center were enjoying homemade chicken and noodle soup. With all the frigid weather it warmed up everyone.



Brick Memorial Project to Support New 4-H Camp Palmer Pool

Over 250,000 youth from northwest Ohio have enjoyed taking the plunge and swimming fun in the camp’s pool since 1957. According to the American Camping Association recreational swimming is one of the top activities at youth summer camps.

4-H Camp Palmer is accepting continuing donations to support the replacement of the camp’s pool. Currently about 40% of funds ($200,000 raised thanks to many generous donors of the estimated $495,000 needed) have been raised with an anticipated new pool in place by summer of 2015. The demand and use of 4-H Camp Palmer has grown steadily since 1947. 4-H Camp Palmer is a place where adventure and excitement of discovery merge to lift minds of 21,000 camper days of youth and adults annually.

4-H Camp Palmer has also organized a brick memorial fundraiser to support the pool fund. A 22 ft. by 22 ft. patio will be built surrounding the camps flagpole at the center of camp. Dedicated 8” by 8” bricks can be purchased by individuals or businesses.  Individual, family or non-profit youth group can order one for $100.00 or business can purchase a brick for $275 to advertise as thousands of youth and adults will walk by the patio at the center of camp.

“One of our early camp administrators and 4-H leaders, Lyle Spiess and wife, Hilda Spiess have spear headed this project with a generous $5,000 donation. This will cover the cost of concrete pavement and purchase of 1000 bricks. We are very thankful for their support of this project and camp,” said Bill Goodson, Executive Director of 4-H Camp Palmer.”

The plan is to have bricks that have been purchased prior to April 6th to be installed by early June of 2014. Bricks that will be ordered by July 20th will be installed by early October. The first 3 years of this brick memorial project, the proceeds will benefit the pool. For more information on ways to support 4-H Camp Palmer pool project or order your memorial brick please call 419-237-2247 or email



Annual Mercer Healthy Living Expo Planned

Mercer Health will once again host the annual health fair on Saturday, March 8th from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Galleria in Celina.  They will offer free and discounted health screenings, health information and much more.  Also included in the event is a Blood Drive, Prescriptions Drug Take Back, Jump House, and Live Karate Demonstrations.


February 14, 2014
Happy Valentine's Day


  Parkway Schools are on a 2 hour delay for Friday, February 14, 2014. 


From Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey: Blowing snow has started to drift and deposit on the roads
making it slick in spots in Mercer County. Use caution while driving.



Rockford Chamber of Commerce Fund-Raiser
by Lisa Kuhn
Think Spring! We are! What better way is there to benefit local businesses, but by beautifying your very own yard. Have you been considering an outdoor improvement? A yard make-over? Consider purchasing flower bulbs and/or seed packets to help the Rockford Ohio Chamber of Commerce in its efforts to support local businesses. Feel free to browse through the catalog from the convenience of your own home. You can buy online and your order will be shipped directly to your destination. Uncomfortable with online payments? Stop in at the Village Hall to see Lisa Kuhn to place your order. Thanks for your support. We look forward to seeing your beautiful new flowers come spring time!



A Night of Comedy and Magic - Saturday - March 15th at The Overdrive south of Celina on St Rt 127

Doors open at 5 pm * 6pm dinner * Show to Follow

Tickets $20 each * Table of 8 for $140

RSVP deadline -  Friday - February 28th

Call 419-526-1999 to order tickets

* Proceeds benefit area Community Health Professionals' Hospice Patients



February 13, 2014


"This will be  make up day # 1," commented Superintendent Greg Puthoff.



Spring Sports Picture Day Planned



3:15-3:30        SENIORS

3:30-4:00        Varsity/JV Baseball

4:00-4:30        JH Baseball

4:30-5:00        Varsity/JV Softball

5:00-5:30        JH Softball

5:30-6:00        High School Track

6:00-6:30        JH Track



February 12, 2014

Face in Crowd Winner Receives Grocery Gift Certificate
Ruth Whitten enjoys Panther Sports, and she was photographed at the Girls Varsity Basketball game versus St. Henry recently. Dr. John Granger, dentist in Rockford, treated her to a Barry's Market Gift Certificate for $20. Myrna Wolfe also won a gift certificate but is not shown. Thank you Dr. Granger, and thank you Ruth and Myrna, for being faithful Panther fans!

Other Face in the Crowd Winners are pictured in the sports action shots below.



Driving School to Start Soon - See Ad Above for Registration Details

Spring 2014

SAT.           Feb.  22nd        8:00 AM  – 12:15 PM

MON.          Feb.  24th          3:45 PM  –   7:15 PM    

TUE.           Feb.  25th          3:45 PM  –   7:15 PM      

WED.          Feb.   26th            3:45 PM  –   7:15 PM       

THUR.        Feb.   27th            3:45 PM  –   7:15 PM       

FRI.            Feb.   28th         3:45 PM  –   7:15 PM

SAT.           Mar.    1st         8:00 AM –  12:15 PM

 Make up date is Mar. 3rd  from 3:30PM to 7:30 PM.


February 11, 2014


Parkway Schools are on a 2 hour delay for Tuesday, February 11, 2014 due to wind chill. 



Band Parents Reminded of Basketball Concession Stand Schedule

The Parkway Music Boosters would like to remind the following parents that they are scheduled to work in the basketball concession stand on Friday February 14th: Jeff and Teresea Zizelman, Diana Rissner, Jami Renner, Michelle Sill, Eric and Melinda Stetler, Tonya Storer, David and Kristina Stemen, Todd and Jill Williams, Steve and Tammi Schaff, Rebecca Slates and Amanda Taylor.

Concession stand workers: Please try to arrive by 5:45. If something comes up and you can't be there, please arrange for someone to take your place. The Music Boosters appreciate your help with operating the concession stand.


Remember the Rockford Eagles Fish Fry and Chicken Strips Dinners
on Friday, February 14, 2014 from 5-7 PM.
Members and Guests only. Good Food! See ad above for details.







Winter Band Concert to be Presented – YOU are Invited

On Sunday February 16th, the Parkway High School Band will present their annual Winter Band Concert. The concert will be held in the auditorium and begins at 3 p.m.


Featured at the concert will be ensembles that performed at solo and ensemble contest at St. Marys on February 1st. The concert band will play Freedom City, one of the songs they will be performing for district large group contest in March.


Mr. Twigg and the band members appreciate your support and look forward to seeing you there.


The Rockford Chamber will have their monthly meeting
THIS Thursday - February 13th at 8 am at the Village Hall.

Incident at Mercer County Jail - PRESS RELEASE

Celina, OH - Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey released few details of an incident in the jail.  On Thursday evening around 6:30 PM an inmate became unruly in the jail. When corrections officers entered the cell block, the inmate refused to comply and follow directions.

As corrections officers approached the inmate they saw that he had a homemade shank. A physical altercation ensued and the inmate was disarmed by the corrections officers. Patrol units were called to the facility to assist. The inmate was then placed in lockdown.

The investigation of the incident revealed that the inmate had filed a spork eating utensil into a sharp weapon on the wall and intercom in his cell. "The spork was filed to a point and capable of stabbing someone," stated Sheriff Grey. "This inmate is currently being served finger food on a styrofoam plate only.   The majority of inmates act responsibly, but this is a reminder to all of us & to our citizens, that we do house dangerous criminals in our facility."

One corrections officer incurred an injury to his ankle and the inmate incurred a few scrapes and scratches to his head, hands, and neck.  The corrections officer has received treatment and will be off duty for several days.

Due to the nature of the incident and the on-going investigation, the name of the inmate is being withheld. Once the investigation is complete and the prosecutor has reviewed the case and filed the appropriate charges, the name will be released. This inmate is not likely to be released soon, so there is no rush to file charges.


Enjoy West Side Story Production on May 11, 2104

The tour of the smash hit Broadway revival of WEST SIDE STORY is coming to Northwest Ohio.  Presented by Nature's Green, WEST SIDE STORY will open at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center on Mother's Day, May 11 at 2:00 and 7:30 PM.  Tony Award-winning librettist Arthur Laurents’ Broadway direction is recreated for the tour by David Saint, the Associate Director on Broadway. The original Jerome Robbins choreography is reproduced by Tony Award-nominee Joey McKneely (The Boy from Oz, The Life).

WEST SIDE STORY tells the story of star-crossed lovers Tony and Maria as they struggle to rise above the hatred and intolerance that surrounds them. WEST SIDE STORY soars as the greatest love story of all time and remains as powerful, poignant and timely as ever. The Bernstein and Sondheim score is considered to be one of Broadway’s finest and features such classics of the American musical theatre as “Something’s Coming,” “Tonight,” “America,” “I Feel Pretty” and “Somewhere.”

Tickets range from $27-$52 and are available now by contacting the Niswonger Box Office by phone at 419-238-NPAC; online; or in person at 10700 SR 118 S, Van Wert, Ohio.

West Side Story is presented by Nature's Green Landscaping, Greenhouse & Nursery of Fort Recovery, Ohio. Supporting Sponsors are Van Wert Manor, US BANK, The Hubbard Company, Adams Memorial Hospital, Adams Woodcrest, The Lima News, and Willow Bend Country Club.


Prayers Requested for surgical patient - Click Here






RICHMOND, Ind. - Twenty-six Indiana University East student-athletes - approximately one-third of all current Red Wolves athletes - made the IU East Chancellor's List or Dean's List during the 2013 fall semester.


Five Red Wolves made the Chancellor's List. Senior golfer Cameron Cox (Farmland, Ind./Monroe Central High School), sophomore cross country/track and field runner Kyle Hall (Dillsboro, Ind./South Dearborn High School), sophomore track and field hurdler Shana Lewis (Lewisburg, Ohio/Tri-County North High School), sophomore volleyball player Mallory Livingston (Union City, Ohio/Mississinawa Valley High School) and sophomore basketball player Jason Ray (Martinsville, Ind./Martinsville High School) were among IU East's students who took 12 or more credit hours and completed the semester with a grade point average of 4.0 on a 4.0 scale.


IU East students who take 12 or more credit hours and complete the semester with a grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale are named to the Dean's List.


IU East student-athletes named to the Dean's List were (listed by athletes' primary sport):


Men's basketball: Cody Banet (Floyds Knobs, Ind./Floyd Central High School), Josh Cook (Gas City, Ind./Mississinewa High School), Matthew Werner (Lewisburg, Ohio/Tri-Village High School), Andrew Willcox (New Paris, Ohio/Tri-Village High School).


Men's cross country/track & field: Jordan Bevins (Greenville, Ohio/Sinclair Community College), Clint Swanson (Vevay, Ind./Switzerland County High School)


Women's cross country/track & field: Alexis Brasier (Dillsboro, Ind./South Dearborn High School), Teresa Huelseman (Brookville, Ind./Franklin County High School), Morgan Stanley (Winchester, Ind./Winchester Community High School)


Men's golf: Hubie Branstetter (Brookville, Ind./Franklin County High School), Ian Gough (Lynn, Ind./Randolph Southern High School), Drew Houck (Portland, Ind./Jay County High School),


Women's golf: Courtney White (Knightstown, Ind./Knightstown High School)


Men's tennis: Connor Kramer (Shirley, Ind./Eastern Hancock High School), Justin Judd (West Milton, Ohio/Milton-Union High School), Ethan Taulbee (Camden, Ohio/Preble Shawnee High School)


Women's tennis: Brittany Hethcox (New Castle, Ind./New Castle High School), Cheltsi Hinners (Centerville, Ind./Centerville High School)


Volleyball: Katrina Detwiler (Bloomington, Ind./Bloomington High School North), Morgan Dobbs (Nashville, Ind./Brown County High School), Morgan Steinbrunner (Rockford, Ohio/Parkway High School)





Farm Focus Inc. Scholarship

Farm Focus Inc. was founded in 1974 in order to promote agriculture in Van Wert
County and the surrounding area. It is their continued mission to assist Van Wert
County students through a scholarship program that will enable them to pursue a
degree in an agricultural related field.  Farm Focus Inc. is offering three one-thousand dollar scholarships to high school seniors interested in majoring in an

Agricultural related program at a university, college, or technical school. In
addition to seniors, full time students already enrolled in an undergraduate program in agriculture are also eligible to apply. This also means that a successful applicant last year can reapply  again this year. The applicant must be a Van Wert County resident. Minimum grade point is 2.5 on a 4.0 scale. Scholarship funds will be submitted directly to the educational institution by Farm Focus Inc. upon receipt of proof of enrollment or a copy of a tuition invoice.

Scholarship Applications have been sent to all nine area high schools where Van Wert County students may be enrolled, so please contact your High School Guidance Counselor, or FFA Instructor for your scholarship form.

Additional copies of the application are available at the OSU Van Wert County
 Extension office at 1055 South Washington Street, Van We