The Daily Press Wapakoneta Daily News | AP iAtom feed Copyright The Daily Press 2015-01-23T17:41:58-05:00 owner seeks loan from city2015-01-23T17:41:58-05:002015-01-23T17:41:58-05:00Copyright 2011 Wapakoneta Daily NewsWapakoneta, OHJake DowlingHotel owner seeks loan from cityWapakoneta Daily will not seek re-election2015-01-22T10:52:10-05:002015-01-22T10:52:10-05:00Copyright 2011 Wapakoneta Daily News <span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.25em;">CRIDERSVILLE — After almost eight years under the leadership of Mayor Lorali Myers, the village of Cridersville will be looking for a new a mayor come 2017 as Myers announced during Monday’s village council meeting that she will not be seeking re-election as mayor of Cridersville.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s2">“I want you all to know that I am announcing tonight to my fellow council members, to the residents and to the community that I will not be running for re-election,” she said at the end of Monday’s meeting. “I have decided that it is for personal reasons that I don’t feel that I can commit the way I want to commit to this community.”</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s2">Myers was elected mayor of Cridersville in 2008, taking over for Bob Conner, who is now the chairman of the Planning Committee for the village council. She defeated Andrew Wahlie in the November 2008 election with 57 percent of the votes.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s2">She retained her title as mayor in 2011 after defeating then-council member Tony Zuppardo, garnering 55 percent of the votes. </span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s2">Prior to becoming mayor of the roughly 1,852 village residents, Myers served as president of the village council from 2005 to her first year as mayor in 2008. She was also a member of the council starting in 2003 as well as serving as chair of the Planning Committee and Finance Committee during her time as a council member.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s2">“I have served for almost 13 years on the table and I felt it was important to me to announce it in the beginning of the year because I truly hope that we find an individual or individuals who would like to run for mayor,” Myers said. “I hope there is a person or people who would like to run for mayor that they truly do this for the reason why I have done it for the last 13 years and the last eight for mayor because of the passion and commitment I have for this community and the residents.”</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s2">Aside from being mayor and a council member of Cridersville, Myers, 51, is employed as a human resources manager at Lima Memorial Hospital. She formerly served as a benefits administrator at Wilson Memorial Hospital in Sidney as well before going to Lima.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s2">“Unfortunately, I just don’t have the time that I feel I can give to this community,” she said. “It’s not that I don’t want to, it just feels very tight at times.”</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s2">A 1981 graduate of Wapakoneta High School, she earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Northwestern Ohio and enrolled in a Masters of Business Administration program there in 2007.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s2">She also served as the former treasurer of the Cridersville Athletic Association and has been a resident of the village since 1994. Even though she grew up outside of Cridersville, Myers has always considered herself a part of the community.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s2">“I am honored to be able to work for this community, and I truly think it’s a title for me,” said Myers. “The people that run this community are the employees and the administrators, they are the ones who are here day in and day out. To be able to sit here with all the council members on a regular basis, they really are the ones making the decisions.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s2">“I felt this was the time to announce it.” </span></p><p class="p3"> <em>For a complete story on Myers' future as mayor of Cridersville, see the Thursday, Jan. 22 edition of the Wapakoneta Daily News.</em></p>Wapakoneta, OHJAKE DOWLINGMayor will not seek re-electionWapakoneta Daily levy up for renewal2015-01-22T10:45:25-05:002015-01-22T10:45:25-05:00Copyright 2011 Wapakoneta Daily News <span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.25em;">The Auglaize County Health Department will be seeking the public’s support in May. </span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">It may be hard to believe it’s been 10 years since voters first renewed the 1995 health levy. </span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">According to an article published in the Wapakoneta Daily News in 2005, the 10-year, 1-mill levy provides more than one-third of the Auglaize County Health Department’s annual budget. That estimate is still pretty close.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">“I’d say it provides about 30 percent of our revenue,” Health Commissioner Oliver Fisher said Wednesday.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">The department wants to keep that going.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">“The board approved the resolution on the renewal at the October meeting,” Fisher said, adding that it is simply a renewal; there will be no additional expense to voters.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">The levy helps keep costs down, which is part of the department’s mission. In fact, the mission statement on the department’s website reads, “Provide the residents of Auglaize County with superior public services at the most reasonable cost. This is a continuing obligation to which all other obligations are secondary.”</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">The calendar for the County Commissioners indicated they were scheduled to discuss the levy process Thursday morning with Michelle Wilcox and Peggy Matheny of the county election board, but that meeting was cancelled. According to Esther Leffel at the commissioner’s office, the meeting was intended to discuss the election process and costs. However, Wilcox and Matheny were able to get the information they needed elsewhere.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">More information on the levy will be published as the campaign progresses.</span></p>Wapakoneta, OHTOM WEHRHAHNHealth levy up for renewalWapakoneta Daily head to march2015-01-22T10:43:37-05:002015-01-22T10:43:37-05:00Copyright 2011 Wapakoneta Daily News <span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.25em;">Members of the St. Joseph Youth Community on Wednesday boarded a charter bus and set off for Washington, D.C. to participate in the March for Life, an anti-abortion rally that takes place in the nation’s capital each year. </span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s2">A group of 28 middle and high school students, chaperons and parents began their journey at 9 p.m., loading up the bus and saying their goodbyes to loved ones before they embark on the nine-hour drive.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s2">The group traveled all night, arriving in D.C. around 6 a.m. Before the march, a youth rally and mass was held at the D.C. Armory. The march begins at 1 p.m. near the National Mall and ends at the United States Capitol building. </span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s2">“The march itself is two miles, but because there are so many people it takes a bit of time to do that,” St. Joseph Youth Ministry Coordinator Michelle Jacobs said. “Typically the walk ends around 4:30.”</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s2">Leading up to the march, a group of speakers will talk about the right to life and why it is important in our society. Jacobs said there will be music playing “to get people excited,” with various groups from all over the country singing and holding up signs.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s2">“There’s a lot of energy and a lot of young people there which is really cool,” she said.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s2">Jacobs, who took over as youth ministry coordinator in July, has been to her fair share of marches. While this is her first time going with the St. Joseph Youth Community, she has participated in the March for Life four times in her high school and college days.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s2">For many of the students in her group, however, this will be their first March for Life. </span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s2">“A lot of people we have going, it’s their first time,” Jacobs said. “This year we have a younger group – a lot of seventh and eighth-graders – but I’m pretty excited because it will be their first time on the march, or even their first time away from home without their parents.”</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s2">Jacobs said the march will be an eye-opening experience for the first-timers because they will get to see just how many people feel the same way as they do about abortion. </span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s2">“To see that many people in the March for Life, especially young people who are excited to stand for life, it gives that sense of a larger community and it helps resonate with them,” she said. </span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s2">At the conclusion of the march, the group will head back to the hotel where they will order pizza, relax and “enjoy each other’s company,” Jacobs said. </span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s2">Friday will be dedicated to sightseeing, with trips to the Smithsonian and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. In the evening, they will go to mass before making the journey back to Wapakoneta. Jacobs said they should arrive home around 4 a.m. Saturday. </span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s2">Look for a recap of the trip in Monday’s edition of the Wapakoneta Daily News.</span></p>Wapakoneta, OHJOHN BUSHYouth head to marchWapakoneta Daily to undergo ‘rebuilding’2015-01-21T11:42:50-05:002015-01-21T11:42:50-05:00Copyright 2011 Wapakoneta Daily News <span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.25em;">The Heritage Trails Park District is going in a different direction for the time being and there will not be any campaigning for a levy anytime soon.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">That was the sentiment in the room during Tuesday night’s meeting in the Chamber of Commerce office in Wapakoneta. </span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">Park Commissioner David Stilwell proposed an idea to rebuild HTPD from the ground up starting with a board of trustees. </span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">Stilwell said he had talked to Courtney Burton, an attorney from Wiesenmayer Law Office, about the establishment of a Friends of the Park District Foundation.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">“She had suggestions and she is in the process of working toward this goal for us,” he said. “What we have to have in place is we need a board of trustees or some kind of board and we need to have some kind of bylaws.”</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">Burton also suggested HTPD pay a federal fee from the IRS to gain tax exempt status, which would be $400, as well as filling out a form to the Ohio attorney general in order to solicit tax donations, which is a $175 fee. Burton also suggested that the district have a physical address and be able to pay attorney fees. </span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">“She is anticipating a rough guess of $1,500 to $2,000 to get started,” Stilwell said.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">Stilwell said he would see if the district could use park district funds to set up the foundation. A discussion took place regarding the possibility of taking all donations that HTPD had and lending it to starting the foundation. </span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">However, nothing was finalized during the discussion.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">Probably the most important suggestion Burton made to Stilwell leading up to the meeting was to come up with a small board, between five to seven people. The district can discuss the possibility of joining a board with its representatives from various locations in the county. That board would then govern the foundation, set the bylaws and have quarterly meetings. </span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">“But within that, you have members of the friends with different support levels,” Stilwell said. </span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">Several people on the district’s election committee have expressed interest in the idea of joining HTPD’s new board.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">“I think, being without funding like we are, this is going to be a critical thing that we need to get up and running,” HTPD Park Commissioner Jim Heinrich said. “I think one of the keys, whenever we do decide to go back on the ballot, to pass this levy is to have that organization in place and to have a breath of support in place that we didn’t really have the last two times,”</span></p><p class="p3"> <em>For a complete story on the Heritage Trails Park District, see the Wednesday, Jan. 21 edition of the Wapakoneta Daily News. </em></p>Wapakoneta, OHJAKE DOWLINGDistrict to undergo ‘rebuilding’Wapakoneta Daily sought for exchange students2015-01-21T11:38:24-05:002015-01-21T11:38:24-05:00Copyright 2011 Wapakoneta Daily News <span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.25em;">A local representative with the International Student Exchange is taking applications from area families to host an exchange student in the 2015-16 school year.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">Julie Lee, a community representative for ISE, said she hopes to recruit at least 20 families in the northwest Ohio area, including Wapakoneta, St. Marys, Celina, New Bremen, Bellefontaine and any other town within a 100-mile radius of St. Henry, which is where she lives.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">Lee, who recently moved to Ohio from North Carolina, said her job is to find host families that fit best with the exchange students who have applied for the program. </span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">“I’m trying to make a good fit between the exchange student and the host family so it can be a good experience for both of them,” Lee said. “I have profiles of all the students that are coming, so I try to read those profiles and match a student with a family who might have another child in high school with similar interests.”</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">Exchange students in the ISE program will be between 14 and 17 years old, and will be spending their school year in the 10th grade. Lee said most students will be coming from European countries such as Finland, Sweden and England. </span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">While host families with high school-aged children are ideal, Lee said families with younger children will also benefit from the program. </span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">Families interested in hosting an exchange student will first contact Lee, who will make a home visit and perform background checks on anyone in the household over the age of 18. </span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">“The reason the company does this is we want to make sure they (exchange students) are in a good, safe family,” Lee said. “I don’t think that’s a problem in this area because everyone has been so kind since I got here.”</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">Once the family is approved, Lee will give them the opportunity to read the biographies students have written. These bios include information on what type of person they are, what they are interested in and more. Families will then pick a child they would like to host, as well as a second choice if the first has already been placed. Lee said she will do everything she can to match the exchange student with the family who is interested in hosting them. </span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">Lee said the sooner a family commits, the sooner they can get in touch with the student.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">“They can start communicating with the student via email and that sort of thing for a couple months beforehand,” she said. “That works out really well because by the time they pick them up at the airport, they feel like they know them already.”</span></p><p class="p3"> <em>For a complete story, see the Wednesday, Jan. 21 edition of the Wapakoneta Daily News. </em></p>Wapakoneta, OHJOHN BUSHHomes sought for exchange studentsWapakoneta Daily, ice need to be cleared2015-01-21T11:46:02-05:002015-01-21T11:36:16-05:00Copyright 2011 Wapakoneta Daily News <span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.25em;">Residents are reminded of the need to keep walkways, driveways and steps clear of snow and ice. While the area is getting a brief break from winter’s chill, ice and snow will return.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">A city ordinance — specifically identified as 660-05 — states, “No owner or occupant of lots or lands abutting any sidewalk, curb or gutter shall fail to remove from such sidewalks, curbs and gutters in repair and free from snow, ice or any nuisance, and to remove from such sidewalks, curbs and gutters all snow and ice accumulated thereon within a reasonable time, which will ordinarily not exceed 12 hours after any storm during which the snow and ice has accumulated.”</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">“We’re generally pretty good here,” Safety-Service Director Bill Rains said Tuesday. Still problems remain, even as the air temperature hovers above freezing.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s2">Those that work out in the weather, especially delivery workers — letter carriers, newspaper carriers, package delivery personnel — face varying challenges during the winter, and property owners are reminded of their obligations.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">Snow is expected to return this weekend, giving plenty of time for property owners to prepare to do some clearing and keep everyone safe.</span></p>Wapakoneta, OHCASSAUNDRA SMITHSnow, ice need to be clearedWapakoneta Daily OKs Summer Moon changes2015-01-20T11:58:00-05:002015-01-20T11:58:00-05:00Copyright 2011 Wapakoneta Daily News <span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.25em;">The Wapakoneta City Council approved the route for this year’s Women At Risk 5K run/walk along with changes to this year’s Summer Moon Festival.</span></p><p class="p3"> Laura Schwartz came before council to seek approval for the second annual run, which supports Women At Risk International, a nonprofit Christian mission organization with the goal of rescuing, teaching and providing empowerment to women and children around the world who are victims of illegal trafficking and slavery.</p><p class="p3"> This year’s run will take place March 29 along the same route and will begin and end at Harvest Baptist Church, 1301 Navajo Trail.</p><p class="p3"> Schwartz said about 150 women and children turned out for last year’s event.</p><p class="p3"> The 2015 Summer Moon Festival Chairman Josh Little and Festival Manager Josh Hines came before council to present changes to this year’s festival. The changes are necessitated by the sewer work being done behind downtown by the river. As a result of that work, all downtown activities will be moved to the Auglaize Street main downtown area. A complete story with details on the changes, including maps, can be found on Page 4B of today’s newspaper.</p><p class="p3"> Third-Ward Councilwoman and Finance Committee Chair Bonnie Wurst reported that her committee met Jan. 13 and discussed several of the budget items presented by Safety-Service Director Bill Rains. The committee will continue its review of the budget at its next meeting, to be held at 4 p.m., Tuesday, at which time information on anticipated revenue is expected to be available.</p><p class="p3"> The Wapakoneta City Council’s Lands, Buildings and Building Code Committee met Jan. 14 and discussed a zoning request from Chuck Kantner for his property at 500 Willipie St. from “B-3” - Central Business District to “M-2” Industrial District.</p><p class="p3"> At-Large Councilwoman and committee chair Rachel Barber reported that the committee voted to recommend to council that the owner of the property submit a request for a B-3 variance to allow the parking of trucks on the property.</p><p class="p3"> However, since council has not yet received the recommendations from the December meeting of the planning commission, no action was taken.</p><p class="p3"> <em>For a complete story, see the Tuesday, Jan. 20 edition of the Wapkoneta Daily News. </em></p>Wapakoneta, OHTOM WEHRHAHNCouncil OKs Summer Moon changesWapakoneta Daily re-elects council president2015-01-20T11:55:29-05:002015-01-20T11:55:29-05:00Copyright 2011 Wapakoneta Daily News <span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.25em;">CRIDERSVILLE — Cridersville Village Council got down to business during its meeting Monday night to kick off the new year including the election of a new council president, setting dates for this year’s events and changing the time of future council meetings moving forward.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">First on the agenda was the election of council president, a position currently held by council member Eric West, for 2015. West nominated Rick Walls, while council members Paul Lynch and Bob Conner nominated West to continue with the position. </span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">Walls won the election as council president for 2015 by a narrow margin, 3-2.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">Council also voted to keep Choice One as its engineer service and Angela Elliott as the village’s solicitor, as well as voting to change the start time of its meetings, which is the second Monday of every month at 7 p.m. </span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">Council member Conner asked for a motion, which was granted, to start council a half an hour earlier to help with everyone’s schedule.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">In old business, Mayor Lorali Myers reflected on 2014 and what her thoughts were on the year.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">“We had a great year,” she said. “I certainly appreciate the people that sit around me each and every month. We’re supporting each other and we have dialogue and we certainly bring up hard topics against each other but in the end, I know you all have what I say is the best interest in the village at heart and I am proud with where we are at.”</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">As of Jan. 5, all the village’s funds accounted for was $1,120,451.81 and its general fund was $564,354.36.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">“It’s a good feeling going into the new year and know that you have a carry-over from the previous year,” Myers said. “I account that to the council and the village administrators and our staff and the fact that everyone works together to really take care of the funds that come into our village.”</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">In other old business, Village Engineer Jared Kohlrieser announced to council that the village did receive its $100,000 check from American Electric Power. Last month, the village and AEP agreed to extend the contract allowing AEP to continue working on the village’s land, DeLong Pioneer Park, for an additional six months in exchange for $100,000.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">The two sides came up with that amount based on the value of the land, how much it would have cost AEP to develop the land and what the two sides ultimately agreed to.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">“That money is earmarked for that park, so once they (AEP) have concluded their project, we know those funds are out there,” Myers said. “I am going to task Shirley (Anderson) and the parks committee to move out there and work with Jared on looking at the plans and getting together with the architects to see what they can do with the money AEP has given us to make a good dent into what we want to do with that park.”</span></p><p class="p3"> <em>For a complete story, see the Tuesday, Jan. 20 edition of the Wapakoneta Daily News. </em></p>Wapakoneta, OHJAKE DOWLINGVillage re-elects council presidentWapakoneta Daily native was drawn to Africa2015-01-20T11:53:38-05:002015-01-20T11:53:38-05:00Copyright 2011 Wapakoneta Daily News <span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.25em;">At the age of 16, Wapakoneta native Melissa Odira knew what she wanted to do with her life.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">While on a trip to Africa with her church, Harvest Baptist, she fell in love with the continent.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">“I just fell in love with the people,” Odira said. “I fell in love with the culture. I just loved it. I don’t know why but I knew exactly then on that trip that’s what I was supposed to spend the rest of my life doing.”</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">She’s since traveled back several times. The visions of the filth and infected drinking water and the 12-by-12 shacks they call home prompted her to start a nonprofit in 2012.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">Odira and a small team run Acacia of Hope International, a Christian nonprofit dedicated to sharing Jesus and providing education to those living in Kibera, the second largest slum in the world, located in Kenya.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">The nonprofit is in the process of raising funds for an educational center to be built in the slum. Odira hopes to make available, at no cost, classes for children during the day and literacy classes for adults in the evenings.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">“And then on the weekends we want church services and sports teams, like flag football,” she said.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">She hopes to have the center up and running by 2016, and plans on moving to Africa to permanently manage it.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">In April, the nonprofit will be starting a new program called “Make a Change,” in which people can sponsor young girls living in the slum.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">“Girls are looked down upon in Africa in general,” Odira said. “Boys are always the ones that go to school. Boys are always the ones that get everything, so a lot of times, girls have to stay home because if there’s not enough money for school, they’re the last ones to be picked.”</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">Without the luxury of attending school, the girls tend to turn toward prostitution. Many also get sold into child marriages by their parents, Odira said.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">So by sponsoring a young woman for $25 a month, education, a meal a day and clothing will be paid for.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">“You’ll receive monthly updates,” Odira said. “Most sponsorships, you only hear once a year or once every six months. Sometimes you don’t hear at all and so they’ll receive a picture and they’ll learn about them.”</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">Being a nonprofit, every cent provided goes toward the child because nobody is being paid to work, she said.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">The nonprofit receives involvement and volunteers from the Wapakoneta area.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">“We’re still a new nonprofit, so we’re trying to expand and get the word out, but also for us, we’re not worried about getting bigger, we just want to make the biggest impact over there,” she said.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">To help out, contact Acacia of Hope International at or visit</span></p>Wapakoneta, OHCASSAUNDRA SMITHWapakoneta native was drawn to AfricaWapakoneta Daily