The Daily Press Wapakoneta Daily News | AP iAtom feed Copyright The Daily Press 2014-09-22T10:59:34-04:00 Extension celebrates centennial2014-09-22T10:59:34-04:002014-09-22T10:59:34-04:00Copyright 2011 Wapakoneta Daily News One hundred years of service in Auglaize County was celebrated yesterday in addition to 28 years of service from John Smith, Ohio State University Extension Office, agricultural agent and educator.</p><p> The  extension has been aiding people throughout the county since 1914 by following its mission of connection people with the university.</p><p> Beth Miller, the 4-H educator and county director of the OSU extension office, said the office has affected a lot of lives over the past century.</p><p> “Our mission is what it has always been and that is to bring research based education from the university to the citizens of Auglaize County,” Miller said, “so that’s what our job is. To be that connection to the university and help folks answer their questions and meet their needs.”</p><p> Auglaize County Commissioner Don Regula agreed with Miller saying the extension is one of the best things to happen to the area.</p><p> Regula said having the extension in the rural area helps members of the community when they have questions and also provides education for all ages and all occupations.</p><p> “The extension is a big part of our lives,” he said.</p><p> Along with the extension being a big part of the lives in Auglaize County, Miller and Regula said Smith’s role will be a difficult one to fill.</p><p> “John has been here since 1986 so it’ll be a big change,” Miller said. “One of John’s standard quotes in life is, ‘nothing is as constant as change,’ so we realize that it will be a big change but we will continue to try to meet the needs of the citizens of the county.”</p><p> Regula said it is going to be tough to lose not only a good educator but a great friend as well. Regula said it’s not about filling Smith’s shoes it’s realizing the extension will be bringing in a different size of shoe.</p><p> “It’s going to be tough to fill his shoes, and we can’t fill his shoes,” Regula said. “You can’t fill that person that’s leaving, but you bring in a different person.<br /> “We’re going to miss John, his expertise, his ability to talk to us and communicate, but we’ll find another person. That’s part of life.<br /> “He’s a good friend and that’s probably the hardest part, not seeing a friend every day.”</p><p> Smith, who was surprised by family from all over the country Sunday said all of it made him very happy.</p><p> “This has been a great area to work with. The people are great,” Smith said. “It’s a great farming community and it’s amazing to me how much industry there is around here too. I’ve enjoyed my time here. I hope I’ve been able to help a few people, that’s the best you can do I guess.”</p><p> As a representative of the county, Regula shared his thanks for Smith and also read a proclamation in Smith’s honor during the centennial celebration.</p><p> “Representing the county and the residents we just want to thank John for the many many years of service he gave us and what a neat guy to work with,” Regula said. “At the fair he was always there helping out, at the meetings we had away from the fair as far as the extension and agriculture he was always there.<br /> “I enjoyed working with John.”</p>Wapakoneta, OHMICHELLE MEUNIEROSU Extension celebrates centennialWapakoneta Daily group aids wounded veterans2014-09-22T10:57:13-04:002014-09-22T10:57:13-04:00Copyright 2011 Wapakoneta Daily News For many veterans, getting acclimated back into society after serving overseas can be a long and often extremely difficult process, especially for those returning with mental and physical disabilities.</p><p> A local organization called Hunting with Heroes, founded by Wapakoneta resident Joe Sawmiller, is dedicated to helping those veterans.</p><p> Founded in 2009, the organization brings disabled veterans together to engage in outdoor activities such as hunting and fishing.</p><p> “We try to show them that they can still do those kinds of things, they just have to do them a little differently,” Sawmiller said.</p><p> The organization has found ways to use equipment built for the disabled that allows veterans to participate in outdoor activities they normally wouldn’t be able to do. The group uses equipment such as ATVs to escort disabled hunters by attaching a trailer with a seat to the back of the vehicle. The modified vehicles transport veterans to the field where they can participate in the hunt. Participants are also paired with an experienced guide to assist with whatever may be needed in the field.</p><p> Each year, Hunting with Heroes volunteers take between four and 40 disabled veterans on fishing trips, as well as squirrel, turkey and deer hunts. Hunts take place on private properties of local residents who offer their land, as well as government-owned property such as the Lima Army Tank Plant and the Port Authority of Allen County.</p><p> The group takes care of all expenses for each event, including meals, room and board, hunting materials and modified equipment for disabled hunters.</p><p> “We pay for everything except their hunting license and getting them here,” Sawmiller said. “So many of these veterans are on fixed incomes because they’re disabled, so they can’t afford a lot. Our sponsors are so good in the area that we’re able to offer all that kind of stuff.”</p><p> <em>For a complete story, see the Monday, Sept. 22, edition of the Wapakoneta Daily News.</em></p><p> <br />  </p>Wapakoneta, OHJOHN BUSHLocal group aids wounded veteransWapakoneta Daily fans out for Servants Day2014-09-22T10:52:29-04:002014-09-22T10:52:29-04:00Copyright 2011 Wapakoneta Daily News The weather was just about right Saturday for outdoor chores such as painting and roof repairs.</p><p> About 40 sites in Wapakoneta saw more than 100 volunteers step up to help spruce up properties for residents in need Saturday during the annual Servants Day.</p><p> The event, sponsored by the Wapakoneta Area Ministerial Association, provides an opportunity to help members of the community who are otherwise unable to do the work.</p><p> According to event officials, applications were up this year.</p><p> To start the day, a light breakfast was provided during registration. A mid-day lunch was also provided.<br /> Typical duties included painting, roof repairs, carpentry and yard work.</p><p> Since the initiative began in 2010, nearly 500 volunteers — representing churches from across the community — have worked at more than 150 sites.</p>Wapakoneta, OHTOM WEHRHAHNHelp fans out for Servants DayWapakoneta Daily 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