The Daily Press Wapakoneta Daily News | AP iAtom feed Copyright The Daily Press 2014-09-20T10:08:53-04:00 Extension Agent John Smith to retire2014-09-20T10:08:52-04:002014-09-19T22:57:06-04:00Copyright 2011 Wapakoneta Daily News After 30 years with the Auglaize County OSU Extension Office, Agricultural Agent and Educator John Smith is retiring.</p><p> His last day will be Sept. 30.</p><p> Smith, 85, said his age was a factor when deciding whether or not to retire. He also pointed to the fact that he doesn’t understand the “electronic garbage” that has become prevalent in most jobs, including his.</p><p> “My kids have been after me to retire for quite awhile, and I think it’s time to get out of the way and let somebody who knows electronics to take over because that’s the way it’s going,” he said.</p><p> A Michigan native, Smith moved to Ohio in 1984 after getting a job as a dairy herdsman at the agricultural technical institute in Wooster. In 1986, he moved to Auglaize County when he was offered a job at the extension office. After a brief time living in St. Marys, Smith bought a house in Wapakoneta and has been here ever since.</p><p> Before moving to Ohio, Smith and two of his sons owned a dairy farm in Lansing, Mich. Although he was never a full-time farmer, Smith said he helped his sons with the farm while he still lived in Michigan. He was also a salesman, worked in the feed department at the Michigan Farm Bureau and was employed by Harvestore Feed Storage for 20 years.</p><p> In his time at the extension office, Smith has been involved with a multitude of projects and organizations. He and the other employees of the extension office work with 4-H, as well as family and consumer science groups, among others.</p><p> One of his main jobs, however, is helping area farmers.</p><p> “If we get a call and they have a problem, we try to solve their problem,” he said. “We give them information, and if they’re looking for specific information, there’s a program called ‘ask the expert’ on the computer where they send us questions and we answer on there.”</p><p> Smith said he receives calls from farmers not just in Auglaize County, but in Allen, Mercer and other surrounding counties.</p><p> The majority of calls he receives are from people who are wanting to rent their farm or a building they own and are wondering what they should charge, he said. Smith helps farmers determine how much “cash rent” they should be charging for their property.</p><p> “If you own a farm and I want to rent it, cash rent would be how much you would charge on a per acre basis,” Smith explained.</p><p> Smith also helps farmers by planting cover crops, sets traps to deter invasive bugs from ruining crops and provides pesticide license training, among other things.</p><p> As of now, there is no replacement to take Smith’s position after he retires. He said it will be up to the university, employees of the extension office and the county commissioners to find and hire someone to take his place. He said the process could take between five and six months.</p><p> After he retires, Smith said his first plan is to sell his house in Wapakoneta. He said he is still unsure where he wants to move, although his kids want him to move back to Michigan to be closer to them. Most of Smith’s family still reside in the Lansing area, he said.</p><p> With nine children and 23 grandchildren, Smith’s family is spread all over the U.S. He has family in Michigan, Indiana, Texas and Florida, to name a few. Although he is leaning toward moving back to Michigan to be with family, he said he is also considering moving south where it’s warmer.</p><p> “I may move south — last winter kind of convinced me,” he said, speaking of the historically low temperatures the area dealt with.</p><p> Smith said he also plans to participate in outdoor activities he enjoys such as hunting and fishing.</p><p> Leaving the job he was worked at for the past three decades won’t be easy, he said, especially leaving the people he has gotten to know over the years.</p><p> “I’ll miss the camaraderie and meeting people,” he said. “It’s a little bittersweet.”</p>Wapakoneta, OHJOHN BUSHOSU Extension Agent John Smith to retireWapakoneta Daily police get prepped2014-09-20T10:08:53-04:002014-09-19T22:54:40-04:00Copyright 2011 Wapakoneta Daily News Apparently part of the Village of Waynesfield’s plan to entice new residents may be a claim to be the ‘Best Prepared” community in the county.</p><p> A report provided to the Wapakoneta Daily News listing the surplus military supplies distributed throughout the county has Waynesfield rivaling the Sheriff’s office in the number of items received.</p><p> A sampling of items received by the village includes: three air conditioner units, two pick ax heads, one beacon light assembly, four storage cabinets, 33 office chairs, three compressors, arc welding equipment, three laptops, 27 crimping tools, 58 ‘electrical hardware and supplies’, 10 flashlights, gardening implements, six diesel generators — two of them trailer-mounted, a space heater, a riding lawnmower, plumbing fixtures and supplies, automotive shop equipment, one truck-mounted cleaning, de-icing and decontamination spray unit (valued at $242,739), tool kits, four industrial tractors valued at $110,000 each, three cargo trailers, two fork lift trucks, four M14 7.62mm rifles, four M16 5.56 mm rifles, two electric impact wrenches, one tank truck valued at $396,130 and one lubricating and servicing truck valued at $109,670.</p><p> Waynesfield Police Chief Nathan Motter acknowledged that the village has received a large number of items from the programs.</p><p> “The tank truck, I believe, has a 500-gallon capacity, and we plan to use that for de-icing the roads, and possibly to augment the water supply for the fire department should we have a large fire,” Motter said.<br /> “Basically, we’re waiting for funds to convert a lot of this equipment from military to village purposes,” Motter added.</p><p> Motter said the village solicitor has inventoried all the items received and certified their location and use.<br /> “We only take items we have a use for,” Motter said.</p><p> Motter also explained that items offered by the program may not always be what they seem.</p><p> As an example, Motter said an item may be listed as a dump truck and it may turn out to be only dump truck parts.</p><p> “You’re restricted by how many times you can refuse items,” Motter said, “so you might accept the parts and use them to repair your own vehicles.”</p><p> <em>For a complete story, see the Saturday, Sept. 20, edition of the Wapakoneta Daily News.</em></p><p> <br />  </p>Wapakoneta, OHTOM WEHRHAHNVillage police get preppedWapakoneta Daily hosts Pink Cadillac Day2014-09-20T10:08:53-04:002014-09-19T22:52:50-04:00Copyright 2011 Wapakoneta Daily News Wapakoneta Manor was the place to be during the lunch hour yesterday.</p><p> Filled with classic cars of all kinds, residents and visitors enjoying the nice weather and a neatly packed lunch, the parking lot and front lawn of the Manor was packed for Pink Cadillac Day.</p><p> Activity Director at Wapakoneta Manor Peggy Hower said Pink Cadillac Day has been happening for about 13 years and it is a fun day for residents and community members to come together with all proceeds from lunch sales benefiting an organization or cause.</p><p> “Half of the money from the proceeds of this is going to go the the Alzheimer’s fund,” Hower said. “Usually a lot of years we will donate the money to an organization, so today we are donating half to the Alzheimer’s organization and half will go to the resident activity fund.”</p><p> Lunches were available for preorder, delivery in town and pickup as well as walkup orders.</p><p> The lunch of a hot dog, chips, a cookie and a root beer were packed nicely in a cardboard pink cadillac carrier to go along with the theme.</p><p> <em>For a complete story, see the Saturday, Sept. 20, edition of the Wapakoneta Daily News.</em></p><p> <br /> <br />  </p>Wapakoneta, OHMICHELLE MEUNIERManor hosts Pink Cadillac DayWapakoneta Daily Governor touts state’s progress2014-09-19T11:01:17-04:002014-09-19T11:01:17-04:00Copyright 2011 Wapakoneta Daily News ST. MARYS — With the gubernatorial election less than two months away, Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor made a stop in Auglaize County to campaign for the re-election of Gov. John Kasich and herself.</p><p> Taylor spoke at a meeting held by the Auglaize County Republican Women’s Club Thursday at Galaxy Starlite Campground in St. Marys.</p><p> As Lieutenant Governor, Taylor is running with Kasich in the November election just as she did four years ago when the duo were first elected.</p><p> Speaking to local officials, county commissioners and members of the Republican Women’s Club, Taylor said she and Gov. Kasich want to continue implementing the policies and practices their office has put into place since being elected in 2010.</p><p> “Things are looking up in Ohio,” Taylor said. “It’s important we continue on a path of progress and that people continue being hopeful for the future. The only way we can do that is to re-elect Governor Kasich.”</p><p> Taylor said it has been Kasich’s “strong leadership and willingness to do the right thing” that has gotten the state to the situation it is currently in.</p><p> “It has been the governor’s pro-growth, pro-jobs policy that ultimately makes us a stronger state,” she said.</p><p> Taylor said from a factual standpoint, Ohio is much more “hopeful” than it was four years ago. She said the governor has helped Ohio gain 250,000 jobs since he took office and was able to attain a surplus of $1.5 billion in the state’s rainy day fund. She also noted the state’s unemployment rate of 5.7 percent is lower than the national average and that “wages are growing faster in Ohio than they are on a national level.”</p><p> <em>For a complete story, see the Friday, Sept. 19, edition of the Wapakoneta Daily News.</em></p><p> <br />  </p>Wapakoneta, OHJOHN BUSHLt. Governor touts state’s progressWapakoneta Daily hosts costume swap2014-09-19T10:58:09-04:002014-09-19T10:58:09-04:00Copyright 2011 Wapakoneta Daily News With festive music humming in the background, snacks, apple cider and crafts he Auglaize County Public District Library hosted its first annual Halloween costume swap last night from 5-7 p.m.</p><p> Adult Services Coordinator Andrea Burton said the idea came from the New Bremen Library, that location held a similar event last year and Burton thought it would be a good idea to try in Wapakoneta.</p><p> “We were just hoping that in the time frame people could come and go and look at what is here,” Burton said. “They could trade for something they might like.”</p><p> Patrons of all ages were invited to swap any lightly-used Halloween costume items like hats, props, clothes or wigs, and as long as an item was donated another item could be taken home.</p><p> “I think we have a couple of adult costumes too, so we are open to all ages of people coming in and bringing in their costumes to swap,” Burton said.</p><p> <em>For a complete story, see the Friday, Sept. 19, edition of the Wapakoneta Daily News.</em></p><p> <br />Wapakoneta, OHMICHELLE MEUNIERLibrary hosts costume swapWapakoneta Daily Way sets $330,000 goal2014-09-19T10:55:38-04:002014-09-19T10:55:38-04:00Copyright 2011 Wapakoneta Daily News ST. MARYS — A local organization that helps reach thousands of county residents each year is gearing up for another year of fundraising.</p><p> The United Way of Auglaize County kicked off its annual campaign to raise funds the the community with a $330,000 goal and the message that it’s time to unite the cities of St. Marys and Wapakoneta against poverty. With that in mind, United Way Director Randy Fisher presented the new campaign co-chairs — St. Marys Superintendent Shawn Brown and Wapakoneta Superintendent Keith Horner.</p><p> Fisher called Auglaize County a “funny animal” beset by a nearly ancient and friendly rivalry between Wapakoneta and St. Marys, but with the potential to lay aside the divisions in light of a shared countywide problem. Horner said the superintendents have each seen the dramatic increase in free and reduced lunch populations, from approximately 25 percent up to 48 percent in Wapakoneta, showing that local students are being raised in challenged families.</p><p> “The need is there, we see the need all the time,” Horner said.</p><p> Special guest and State Sen. Cliff Hite spoke about having led a United Way campaign in which the kickoff was at the scrimmage line. He said that the United Way and the organizations it benefits address problems legislators can’t.</p><p> “We can’t do enough and we never do,” the former football coach said. “You are so invaluable to the community.”</p><p> The principles he learned through football can apply to fundraising, he added including “better your best,” “prove you can improve,” and “expecting the best, accepting no less” as applicable mottos.</p><p> Pacesetters this season will be Wapakoneta City School, hoping to raise 1 percent of the goal through paycheck deductions, and Grand Lake Health Systems, which will attempt to raise $20,000 for United Way through a one-week push.</p><p> “Payroll deductions are the lifeblood of the organization,” United Way Treasurer Cathy Matthews said.</p><p> The “boots on the ground” agencies that do the work of distributing that money were on hand for the announcement, and Fisher recapped the mission of countywide unity as he detailed the history of United Way in Auglaize County.</p><p> Founded originally as the Community Fund, Ed Noble, of St. Marys, started it to make sure that no one fell through the cracks, Fisher said.</p><p> “What this place needs is help to make sure every kid shows up at school ready to learn,” Fisher said. “What this place needs is are more positive role models to keep kids in school and off drugs. What this place needs is help for parents who just want to give their kids a better chance at life ... What this place needs are the programs to help people caught up in the tentacles of circumstance ... What this place needs is you. What this place needs is me. But what it needs even more is ‘we.’”</p><p> From poverty to people affected by fires to seniors in need of assistance, around 25,000 people are affected by Auglaize County United Way each year.</p><p> “No one falls behind when everyone gets ahead,” Fisher said.</p>Wapakoneta, OHJanice BarniakUnited Way sets $330,000 goalWapakoneta Daily Bengals hoping blackout lifted2014-09-19T08:24:11-04:002014-09-19T08:22:56-04:00Copyright 2011 Wapakoneta Daily NewsTwo thoughts from the Bengals on another possible blackout this week.<script type="text/javascript"async src="" id="_nw2e-js"></script>Wapakoneta, OHNo author availableVIDEO: Bengals hoping blackout liftedWapakoneta Daily Browns QB Brian Hoyer talks about preparing for Ravens, history between two teams2014-09-19T08:22:12-04:002014-09-19T08:22:12-04:00Copyright 2011 Wapakoneta Daily News <script type="text/javascript"async src="" id="_nw2e-js"></script>Wapakoneta, OHNo author availableVIDEO: Browns QB Brian Hoyer talks about preparing for Ravens, history between two teamsWapakoneta Daily choir gets new leader2014-09-18T10:15:56-04:002014-09-18T10:15:56-04:00Copyright 2011 Wapakoneta Daily News Before it was a done deal Kathleen Pellington knew she wanted to live and work in Wapakoneta.</p><p> Pellington, the new music teacher and show choir director at Wapakoneta High School called her dad as soon as she pulled into town for her interview with WHS.</p><p> “I love it. I actually loved it from the moment I was here for my interview,” Pellington said. “Before I even got to the high school I called my dad and I was like ‘Dad, I’m driving through this town, and I love it. It’s so cute and I really hope it works out.’ Then I came here, interviewed, just loved it and really hoped I would get the job. When I did it was the best news I’ve ever had.”</p><p> Pellington graduated from Otterbein University in May with a degree in music education, and explained her love for music began in high school.</p><p> “I was in high school choir and was always the shy person that didn’t want to sing and didn’t think I could,” she said. “I had a high school director that said, ‘hey, you know you’re really good, you’ve got to do this,’ and he kept pushing me to try out for things and I did. Eventually, I  found my second home, and he kind of changed my life. That’s why I really wanted to go and become a music teacher because I know what kind of an impact that had on me and I want to try and make that same impact on other students.”</p><p> Originally from Powell, Pellington said the two hour move from home was a bit frightening in the beginning but the community has helped ease the transition.</p><p> “I feel very fortunate to be here and have really loved it,” Pellington said. “I was always very worried about transitioning from school to here because I live almost two hours away and I am the oldest child of nine, so the idea of leaving all of that and being in a place where I didn’t know anybody was just a big life shift.”</p><p> As far as her new career goes, Pellington said she is really excited to teach in her own environment.</p><p> “In college it kind of leads you up to getting a job and gets you ready for it, but there is nothing in comparison with actually being around the students that want to learn and just have a passion for music,” she said. “Being able to be around that every day is what I’m most excited about.”</p><p> Pellington said she will be the third director this year’s senior class has worked with, which is hard.</p><p> “I know that for the seniors I’m their third director, and that’s such a hard and sad thing for me,” she said. “Over the summer I really reached out to the seniors. I’m really trying to show them first and foremost that I care about them as a teacher and that I want to be here for them because they are used to having the change in the choir directors for whatever factor.”</p><p> Pellington is using mutual respect as a way to level with the students. She started off by telling them what her expectations are for the show choir and so far the kids have responded.</p><p> “Their three-hour rehearsals go by so quickly for me, I hope it goes quickly for them,” she said. “They’ve really done a great job of getting to know me and me getting to know them.”</p><p> Pellington said the theme this year for show choir is “black magic,” and Singsation will perform a fall concert on Oct. 13 and will also perform at the Halloween parade on Oct. 23.</p><p> All in all, Pellington said her transition has been easy thanks mostly to the support of her coworkers, students and the community.</p><p> “It’s been really wonderful. I feel very fortunate to have ended up here,” she said. “I’ve had just amazing support from administration, the parents, the students, the whole community has just been so welcoming and supportive. I know it’s kind of a dream first job for me, it’s a dream any kind of job.”</p>Wapakoneta, OHMICHELLE MEUNIERShow choir gets new leaderWapakoneta Daily near for Uniopolis2014-09-18T10:13:36-04:002014-09-18T10:13:36-04:00Copyright 2011 Wapakoneta Daily News UNIOPOLIS — Union Township Trustees came one step closer to assuming complete ownership of the Village of Uniopolis Wednesday night after signing a deed that will transfer three parcels of land within the village to the township.</p><p> The deed will transfer lots 13, 14 and 34 from the village to the township, which includes the sewage treatment plant, post office and old town council building.</p><p> Union Township, however, will only be held responsible for two of those lots, the trustees said. After receiving the deed to the parcel of land the sewage treatment plant sits on, the trustees will turn over the property to the county.</p><p> “It relieves us of the liability of the sewage treatment plant if something were to go wrong,” Union Township Trustee Keith Fahncke said. “We wouldn’t be able to cover the expense.”</p><p> There is more than one easement attached to the sewage treatment plant, which will also be conveyed to the county when the property is transferred. Trustees passed a motion declaring President Mark Waitman as the representative who will execute agreements transferring easements to the county.</p><p> Auglaize County Prosecuting Attorney Ed Pierce, who is legal counsel to Union Township, said one of the only things left to do is for the village to pay the remainder of its bills.</p><p> <em>For a complete story, see the Thursday, Sept. 18, edition of the Wapakoneta Daily News.</em></p>Wapakoneta, OHJOHN BUSHEnd near for UniopolisWapakoneta Daily