April 16, 2014

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Should the county emergency management agency office duties be a separate office?
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Antwerp Chamber lighting contest winners
Friday, December 20, 2013 11:26 AM

ANTWERP – The Antwerp Chamber of Commerce would like to thank everyone who participated in this year’s Christmas Village of Lights holiday decorating contest. A big thank-you goes out to the people who accepted the difficult challenge of judging all of the beautiful houses that made Antwerp sparkle this year.

The chamber would also like to encourage everyone to take a ride around and seek out the season’s beauty and admire the hard work that so many people in the community have put into decorating this year.

The $50 winners are as follows:

Religious theme: No Entries submitted this year

Anything Goes: (Judges chose top two since above category was not entered) Rene and Heather Dzib, 2840 Road 190; and Nick and Susan Bonifas, 7165 Road 180.

Martha Stewart Would Be Proud: Rollie and Ruth Clem, 309 N. Main St.

Kid Choice Award of a $25 River Street Market gift card to the goes to Rene and Heather Dzib.

The Antwerp Chamber of Commerce wishes all a happy and healthy holiday season!

Several ordinances close out 2013 in Antwerp
Tuesday, December 17, 2013 4:56 PM

By JOE SHOUSE • Progress Correspondent

ANTWERP – In their final meeting for 2013, the Village of Antwerp passed several ordinances and recognized one of its members who concluded eight years serving the council and the community.

Several recognized at WT meeting
Tuesday, December 17, 2013 4:55 PM

HAVILAND – The Wayne Trace Local School District met in regular session on Monday Dec. 9.

At the meeting, the new district treasurer, Gary Ginter, was introduced.

Burkley: 'Ohio Religious Freedom Restoration Act'
Tuesday, December 17, 2013 4:52 PM

Guest Column • State Rep. Tony Burkley (R-Payne)

As Americans, some of our most basic, yet most sacred, freedoms are outlined in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights. Our country was based on the fundamental rights to speak, assemble and worship, and we need to remain diligent on preserving those liberties. That is why I was happy to sign on as a cosponsor to a bill that helps to protect against laws that substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion.

The “Ohio Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” (RFRA) which was recently introduced by members from both parties and is outlined in House Bill 376, strongly resembles a law signed at the federal level in 1993 by President Clinton. The law required courts to use what is called “strict scrutiny” in religious freedom cases, which requires the government to justify any burdens that are imposed on religious exercise. When those burdens are in fact justified, then the court must take the least restrictive route possible when imposing the law.

Basically, the Ohio version takes what previously only applied to federal statutes and applies it to state laws. A 1997 Supreme Court case ruled that Congress could not mandate how state laws should be interpreted, which kept more power with the individual states. However, the court ruling encouraged states to implement their own RFRA laws.

If passed, Ohio would join 18 other states that have already approved the measure.

The diversity of views and opinions – whether they be political, personal, religious or otherwise – is what makes this country so special and is a fact that all Americans should celebrate. I was proud to join several other cosponsors because I think this act puts in place important protections for religious expression.

Rep. Burkley may be reached by calling 614-644-5091, e-mailing Rep82@ohiohouse.gov or writing to State Representative Tony Burkley, 77 South High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215.

Commissioners pass nearly $5 million county budget
Tuesday, December 17, 2013 4:42 PM

By JIM LANGHAM • Progress Feature Writer

PAULDING – Early Monday morning, Paulding County commissioners took legislative action to pass the 2014 Paulding County general fund budget amounting to $4,945,076.22.

Grover Hill robbery suspects apprehended
Tuesday, December 17, 2013 4:36 PM
James Reynolds (left) and Trent Webster.

FT. JENNINGS – Two area men wanted in a pair of recent robberies, including one in Grover Hill, were apprehended Monday evening.

Arrested were:

James R. Reynolds, age 34, of Ft. Jennings.

Trent A. Webster, age 49, of Van Wert.

The latest robbery occurred early Sunday morning at Rambler’s Roost on Lincoln Highway in Van Wert County.

Deputies identified Webster as the man who entered Rambler’s Roost just before 2 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 15 and told an employee to give him the money. The suspect told the employee that someone else was waiting outside and there would be problems if the money was not handed over.

Reynolds was only a person of interest in this robbery, but also was wanted in an Oct. 4 robbery at Ross’ Gas Station in Grover Hill.

The getaway vehicle in that robbery had the same description as the vehicle at Rambler’s Roost – a 1995-2000 Ford Explorer, possibly an Eddie Bauer edition with a tan body with a blue top.

A warrant for Reynolds’ arrest for second degree felony aggravated robbery in the Grover Hill incident was issued in Paulding County.

Late Monday, Putnam County Sheriff Michael Chandler issued a press release, saying that investigators from Putnam County Sheriff’s Office Detective Division assisted Paulding and Van Wert County sheriff’s offices in the investigation of the two robberies that occurred in Paulding and Van Wert counties over the past two months. His investigators were able to obtain reliable information on the location of Reynolds and Webster.

On Dec. 16, a search warrant was obtained and executed for a residence located at 25751 US 224, Ft. Jennings. Deputies from Putnam, Paulding and Van Wert counties executing the search warrant were able to locate the two suspects hiding in a small confined area of the residence. Both suspects were taken into custody without incident.

The investigation is continuing by Paulding and Van Wert counties’ sheriff’s offices.

Early Monday, prior to the arrests, Paulding County Sheriff Jason Landers said, “Sheriff Riggenbach and I have been in communication since Sunday. We are working together as best as we can to track down these individuals.”

Landers noted leads regarding the Oct. 4 robbery in Grover Hill had gone stale, saying, “We are optimistic some new leads will come back up.”

– Reporting by Progress Editor Melinda Krick, Staff Writer Denise Gebers and Times-Bulletin Editor Ed Gebert.