April 20, 2014

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Antwerp EMS receives donation to save pets
Monday, February 10, 2014 5:38 PM
The Antwerp EMS received a donation of a pet oxygen mask kit from Invisible Fence Brand of NW Ohio. The mask will enable the EMS squad to administer oxygen to pets suffering from smoke inhalation. Here, Antwerp EMS coordinator Randy Shaffer (left) holds George the cat while Dennis Cohen demonstrates how to administer oxygen to the animal.


ANTWERP – Last week, Antwerp first responders became some of the best-equipped in the nation to save a pet’s life. That’s because Invisible Fence Brand of NW Ohio donated a pet oxygen mask kit to the Antwerp EMS Department.

This donation is just a small part of Invisible Fence Brand’s Project BreatheT, which was established with the goal of equipping first responders in America and Canada with pet oxygen masks. These masks allow them to give oxygen to pets who are suffering from smoke inhalation when they are rescued from fires and they often save pets’ lives.

Antwerp EMS coordinator Randy Shaffer said that the department received enough equipment to stock one ambulance with more equipment coming for a second squad.

Invisible Fence Brand has donated a total of more than 10,000 pet oxygen masks all over the U.S. and Canada throughout the life of the program. A reported 90+ pets have been saved by the donated masks so far, including a cat saved on Jan. 1 in Tecumseh, Ontario.

“When a family suffers the tragedy of a fire, lives are turned upside down,” said Albert Lee, director of Invisible Fence Brand. “Pets are valued family members, so we want families to know that their pet can be cared for if tragedy strikes.”

“We realize that humans are the first-priority, but in many cases, pets can be saved if first responders have the right equipment,” said Lee. “Project Breathe is simply a way of giving them the tools necessary to save pets’ lives.”

Antwerp is now joining the ranks of cities like Denver, Cleveland and Memphis, who have all received donated pet oxygen masks from Project BreatheT.

“Thank God they had the masks. They (the dogs) are just like family. I don’t know what I’d do without them. Things can be replaced. Lives can’t, whether they’re animals or people,” said a pet owner whose dogs were recently rescued using donated masks.

Although the number of pets that die in fires in not an official statistic kept by the U.S. Fire Administration, industry web sites and sources have cited an estimated 40,000 to 150,000 pets die in fires each year, most succumbing to smoke inhalation. In most states, emergency responders are unequipped to deal with the crisis.

“These masks truly are blessings for Antwerp,” said Shaffer. “We’ve seen residents run back into burning homes to save a pet. It’s understandable, but extremely dangerous. These masks will give residents comfort in knowing that we can save their pets if they are suffering from smoke inhalation.”

Shaffer added that the Antwerp area has had several animal deaths from fire in the past few years. The oxygen mask kits “fill a need and hopefully will prevent more pets from dying,” he said.

The company has set up a website, www.invisiblefence.com/O2, where people or companies can support the effort.


Commissioners to sell downtown property
Monday, February 10, 2014 5:20 PM


By JIM LANGHAM • Progress Feature Writer

PAULDING – Paulding County commissioners are selling two lots located on the west side of the old jail in Paulding.

Lady Raiders score ‘Mohr’ points over Antwerp
Monday, February 10, 2014 11:41 AM

By JOE SHOUSE • Progress Sportswriter

ANTWERP – Playing their last home game before their faithful and loyal fans, the Antwerp Lady Archers put forth a solid effort for 32 minutes before falling to a more experienced Wayne Trace Lady Raider squad, 43-35.

Commissioner’s seat to be contested; library seeks levy renewal
Friday, February 07, 2014 5:48 PM

From Staff Reports

PAULDING – A total of four candidates have filed for two county offices for the May 6 Primary Election. In addition, one countywide tax issue will appear on the ballot.

Paulding County receives first Blue Creek Wind Farm payment
Friday, February 07, 2014 3:14 PM


By JIM LANGHAM • Progress Feature Writer

PAULDING – Iberdrola Renewables, along with State Senator Cliff Hite and State Representative Tony Burkley, presented a check to local officials in Van Wert and Paulding counties on Thursday to commemorate the first of the annual PILOT payments the Blue Creek Wind Farm will be making to the counties.

Defiance College to launch program for college-age students with autism
Friday, February 07, 2014 12:22 PM

DEFIANCE – Defiance College has announced the start of an innovative program to enable college-age students with autism to pursue a college education. Under the program, which will begin accepting applications from qualified students immediately to enter Defiance College with the beginning of the fall semester in August, students will receive a broad range of comprehensive services to enable them to adjust to and succeed in a college environment.

There are very few specialized college programs for students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and Defiance’s new program, to be known as the ASD Affinity Program, breaks new ground in its approach to providing inclusive services to support academic, residential and social environments thereby providing a comprehensive living and learning environment for the students. The ASD Affinity Program builds on Defiance College’s success with its Hench Autism Studies Program, in which high school students with autism have been receiving high-school level instruction on the Defiance College campus, in coordination with the Defiance City Schools.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer this new opportunity for college-age students with autism,” said Mark C. Gordon, president. “As a college, we already are committed to working with all of our students individually to tailor their educational experience to their own personal interests and goals. This is a logical next step for us as a college, but, more importantly, it is a wonderful new opportunity for a group of students who have traditionally not had sufficient opportunities in terms of college."

The new program will accept a limited number of college students each year who are academically qualified yet may require social and living support to navigate the traditional college residential campus.

“As the number of children diagnosed with autism increases, the need is greater than ever to provide for avenues of success into adulthood,” said Dr. Barbara Schirmer, provost. “Defiance’s ASD Affinity Program will assist students in reaching their full potential in a college setting.”

The Affinity Program will provide a quality academic experience with appropriate support services. The program seeks to foster independence for young adults with autism by providing a residential campus experience with numerous services in place to maximize opportunities for success and entry into the workforce.

Students accepted into the program will receive campus housing with live-in staff support and supervision by trained individuals; peer mentoring with advice on courses, co-curricular opportunities and other academic matters; faculty advisors within their area of study; and regular meetings with staff members.

The program will promote social and personal growth with the assistance of peer mentors, residence advisors, and instructional sessions.

The ASD Affinity Program will be directed by Dr. Clarissa Barnes, the director of Defiance’s Hench Autism Studies Program and an assistant professor of special education at Defiance College.

Dr. Barnes earned a Ph.D. in Rehabilitation with an emphasis in Behavior Analysis and Therapy and her Master of Science in Behavior Analysis from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Western Michigan University and is also a board-certified Behavior Analyst-Doctoral.

Dr. Barnes has more than seven years of experience working with individuals with ASD, ranging from early intervention to adult services. She has presented and co-presented in numerous professional settings as well as authored and co-authored journal articles and a book chapter.

“The ASD Affinity Program isn't designed to provide a college-like or parallel experience for students with ASD; it is designed to support students with ASD as they have a true college experience,” said Dr. Barnes. “The comprehensive services that we are offering will allow students with ASD to participate in all aspects of college life just like any other Defiance College student - from living in the residence halls to midnight breakfasts during finals week and everything in between."

The Hench Autism Studies Program, created in 2007 through the vision of Defiance residents Eric and Deb Hench, provides an on-campus public school classroom for adolescents with ASD, summer camp for adolescents and young adults, a resource center for families, specialized undergraduate peer mentor training, an undergraduate minor in autism studies, and licensure within the Master of Arts in Education program for intervention specialist.

Students interested in applying to the ASD Affinity Program should go to http://www.defiance.edu/autism/affinity/index.html on the Defiance College website to begin the application process. Additional questions regarding applications can be directed to Brad Harsha, Director of Admissions, at 419-783-2365 or bharsha@defiance.edu.