By Tom Haines
MINSTER - The first time Chris Herren saw cocaine, he was an 18-year-old at Boston College coming back from a Sports Illustrated photo shoot.
The first time he saw OxyContin, a prescription opioid, he was standing on his front porch in his Massachusetts hometown after a successful rookie season as a point guard with the Denver Nuggets, just feet away from where his young son was watching cartoons. [More]
Obituaries on March 25th, 2023
Barbara Ann Monnin, 81, a long-time resident of Russia, passed away at 8:55 PM March 22, 2023, at Dorothy Love surrounded by her family in her last days. [More]
Oliver Daniel Menchhofer, infant son of Austin & Sarah (Schaadt) Menchhofer of [More]
John Ickes, 85, Fort Recovery, died March 23, 2023, in Greenville.
Services a [More]
Judith A. Knapke, age 81, of Coldwater and formerly of Chickasaw, died on Friday, March 24, 2023 at Briarwood Village in Coldwater. [More]
Local pictures on March 25th, 2023
Subscriber stories on March 25th, 2023
COLDWATER - Mercer Heath officials have taken steps to address the threat of violence against employees and enhance security at health facilities, hospital board of governors learned at their regular meeting this week.
For the second straight year, St. Marys' Austin Parks stands alone.
Parks shattered the school scoring record in a fitting senior-year showcase, ta
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By William Kincaid
CELINA - A bus driver and bus aide will not face criminal charges regarding an incident where a preschool student was mistakenly left unattended on a school bus for over three hours on March 15.
The Mercer County Prosecutor's Office made the announcement in a news release Thursday following a full investigation by the Celina Police Department. [More]
By William Kincaid
CELINA - A criminal defense attorney with about a decade of local legal experience has been named Mercer County's first public defender.
Thomas Lucente Jr., 56, of Lima is an attorney, veteran and former journalist who aims to provide excellent criminal defense on par with any private law firm for impoverished people entangled in the county court system. [More]
Local pictures on March 24th, 2023
Subscriber stories on March 24th, 2023
CELINA - City planning commissioners on Thursday evening resoundingly rejected conditional use permit requests for two skilled gaming businesses.
Divisions I and II Boys Basketball All-Ohio Teams
St. Marys senior Austin Parks earned high honors as the Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association wrapped up its postseason honors with Division I and II boys basketball awards on Thursday.
BANGKOK (AP) - The United States denied Chinese claims Thursday that its military had driven away an American guided-missile destroyer from operating around disputed islands in the South China Sea as tensions rise in the region between the two powers.
CELINA - John Dorner's first season as head baseball coach at Celina proved to be productive as the Bulldogs went 18-11 and won a sectional title.
But for the Hall of Fame coach, 2023 will prove to be a challenge with a mix of youth and experience.
CELINA - After a 6-14 campaign a season ago, the Celina softball team will look to a group of eight letterwinners to move the team back up the standings in the Western Buckeye League.
COLDWATER - The Coldwater baseball team will have plenty of experience coming back from a 20-8 district final campaign, but will miss a key component.
COLDWATER - Coldwater softball coach Kyle Ahrens will have small numbers for his 2023 squad and will have to fill several positions vacated by gradua
FORT RECOVERY - Despite middling results from the 2022 season, Fort Recovery has reason for optimism with nine returning letterwinners.
Six players
FORT RECOVERY - After the first district final appearance in program history, Fort Recovery returns one of its top pitchers but has key holes to fill due to graduation and injury.
MARIA STEIN - After going 10-12-1 last season with a squad made up of a majority of freshmen, Marion Local is looking at an even younger team in 2023 with just one senior, no juniors and 21 sophomores and freshmen.
MARIA STEIN - Marion Local softball coach Mindy Feasel will look to help her squad improve on last season's 7-12 (2-5 MAC) campaign.
"We are start
MINSTER - Minster's offseason started with success in Tennessee.
The three-time state champion Wildcats are hopeful for a similar story in Ohio.
MINSTER - For the last decade, the Minster softball program has been one of the Midwest Athletic Conference's best.
That trend is expected to continue this spring.
NEW BREMEN - With just one senior on the roster and four returning letterwinners, New Bremen baseball coach Chad Wells will be counting on some new faces to contribute on the Cardinal diamond this spring.
NEW BREMEN - A fully-stocked cupboard awaits New Bremen softball coaches Gary Moeder and Lynette Ross as they begin their third season with the Cardinal program.
NEW KNOXVILLE - The jump from freshman and junior varsity competition to varsity typically happens a year or two into the career of a standard high school athlete.
ROCKFORD - In coach Neil Schaffner's second year, Parkway looks to improve on a 3-20 showing from 2022.
Although the Panthers lose pitchers Alex An
ROCKFORD - Last year, the Parkway softball team finished the season under .500 for the first time since the Midwest Athletic Conference first had six softball teams in 1997.
ST. HENRY - Despite the departure of St. Henry's top pitcher and catcher, Redskins coach Mike Gast has plenty of reasons for optimism heading into 2023.
ST. HENRY - Despite finishing 2022 7-10 and bowing out in the tournament opener, St. Henry heads into 2023 with the most important asset for any softball team: an undisputed ace.
ST. MARYS - Fifth year St. Marys baseball coach Adam Graves is hoping a solid slate of returning letterwinners will help generate some more offense for the Roughriders this spring.
ST. MARYS - The St. Marys softball team enters the season with big shoes to fill in the circle.
All-Ohio first-teamer Karsyn McGlothen graduated and moved on to the University of Northwestern Ohio, leaving the Roughriders searching for new pitching.
CELINA - After each contending for Western Buckeye League championships last spring, the Celina track program will look to make a push for winning titles this season with an experienced group.
COLDWATER - Numbers are ticking up for the Coldwater track program and coach Mark Bruns is looking to keep up the strides despite losing some key components.
FORT RECOVERY - Fort Recovery returns a state qualifier on both the boys and girls' team and brings back a host of experienced runners.

Of the three Indians girls who reached the state tournament last year, junior Mara Pearson returns with an eye on a third state berth in long jump.
MARIA STEIN - The Marion Local boys track team will look to build upon winning the Midwest Athletic Conference title for the first time in 27 seasons last year and featured and a top-20 showing at the state track meet.
MINSTER - Per usual, a number of standouts graduated for the Minster track and field program.
Per usual, the Wildcats have a massive number of talented bodies ready to shine and carry on the tradition.
NEW BREMEN - After finishing sixth in the Midwest Athletic Conference meet last year, both the New Bremen boys and girls track teams return a solid nucleus of letterwinners.
NEW KNOXVILLE - It's safe to say that New Knoxville coach Samantha Fledderjohann is excited for the season.
"From the work they've been willing to put in so far, this is going to be a fun season to coach," Fledderjohann said.
ROCKFORD - The Parkway girls track team returns seven letterwinners and imports four more distance runners, including three from the cross country team that reached regionals in the fall.
ST. HENRY - As the 2022 season wound down, the St. Henry boys pushed Midwest Athletic Conference champion Marion Local in seemingly every race, especially the relays.
ST. MARYS - The St. Marys boys and girls track teams will start the season with a new coach. Nick Page takes over for long-time coach Rob Cisco. Page inherits a boys team that finished seventh at the Western Buckeye League meet last year, and a girls team that finished third.
CELINA - The 2023 Celina boys tennis campaign will be a challenge.
Veteran coach Toma Hainline has moved from head coach to an assistant after taki
ST. MARYS - A mix of returning experience and talented newcomers has St. Marys tennis coach Luke Gossard excited for the upcoming season.
Last year the Roughriders posted a 6-3 record in Western Buckeye League dual matches and finished third in the WBL tournament.
Grand Lake Literature fest to feature several noted writers
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - Readers, writers and literature aficionados of all ages will find themselves in good company at the second annual Grand Lake Area Literature Festival on Saturday.
The free event will be held 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. at Tri Star Career Compact, 7655 State Route 703, Celina. [More]
Obituaries on March 23rd, 2023
Daniel J. Meiring, age 57, of Minster, died in the early morning hours on Tuesday, March 21, 2023 at his home at Lake Loramie after a decline of his health. [More]
Viola "Vi" Marie (Wendel) Ahlers, 96, of Fort Recovery, Ohio, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, March 21, 2023, at Briarwood Village in Coldwater, Ohio. [More]
Dorothy Helen Hoyng, 84 of Celina, Ohio passed away on Tuesday March 21, 2023 at The Gardens at Celina. [More]
Local pictures on March 23rd, 2023
Subscriber stories on March 23rd, 2023
CELINA - A Minster firm will conduct an office space study of Mercer County government departments and agencies to assist county commissioners in formulating a longterm facilities plan.
Divisions III and IV Boys Basketball All-Ohio Teams
Russia's Spencer Cordonnier, who took over as interim coach after Dave Borchers died before the start of practice, was named the Division IV state Coach of the Year by the Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association on Wednesday after guiding the Raiders to the state final four.
Area Roundup
Compiled by Gary R. Rasberry
A week after pitching a no-hitter, Wright State University-Lake Campus pitcher Shane Koedyker pitched six shutout innings as the Lakers defeated Hocking College 2-0 in the opening game of a scheduled doubleheader on Wednesday at Montgomery Field.
The St. Marys Memorial High School Alumni Foundation and Friends of the St. Marys Theatre will host a "Rider Talk" presentation on Saturday at the St. Marys Theatre at 7 p.m. with the doors opening at 5:30 p.m.
Fire exhausted the village's water supply
By Erin Gardner
  ROCKFORD - Earlier this month, a fire reduced two historic buildings to ash on North Main Street in Rockford.
Dozens of firefighters from 12 departments in two counties on March 1 battled the blaze for 10 hours and at one point exhausted the town's water supply and had to draw water from the St. Marys River and a nearby creek. [More]
By William Kincaid
CELINA - A 26-year-old Mendon woman has been indicted on aggravated vehicular homicide and operating a vehicle under the influence of marijuana for her role in a fatal accident in Center Township in late December.
A grand jury last week handed do [More]
Obituaries on March 22nd, 2023
Patricia L. (Weaver) Hoying Griner, age 88, formerly of Minster, passed away pe [More]
Letitia Jane Randall Dain passed away at the age of 79 on March 17, 2023 with her husband by her side and surrounded by her three daughters. [More]
Patricia Louise Sutter, age 80, of Celina, Ohio passed away on Monday, March 20, 2023 at the Joint Township District Memorial Hospital in St. Marys. [More]
Roger Allen Heckler, age 63, of Rockford, and formerly of Celina, died at 10:45 [More]
Local pictures on March 22nd, 2023
Subscriber stories on March 22nd, 2023
Suit filed by woman facing 1/6 charges
TOLEDO - A $15 million federal lawsuit filed against Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey by a Celina woman charged with participating in the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol has been dismissed.
MINSTER - A splash pad and playground equipment are slated to go up at a cost of $1.17 million in a new German heritage-themed section of Paris Street Park dubbed Stallostown.
CELINA - Mercer County government agencies were scheduled to take part in a statewide tornado drill at 9:50 a.m. today as part of Severe Weather Awareness Week, according to a Mercer County Sheriff's Office news release.
ROCKFORD - Village council members on Tuesday night approved a motion to accept a $3,559.50 bid to repair and update the electronic sign in Shanes Park.
WAPAKONETA - Auglaize County Clerk of Courts Jean Meckstroth will retire June 30 after nearly 12 years in office and more than 42 years of service at the courthouse.
Numerous people were taken to hospitals following traffic accidents in Mercer and Auglaize counties over the last few days.
Auglaize County Sheriff
MINSTER - Sixth graders Vivian Marchal and Amelia Bergman were recognized as essay award winners as part of a contest held by the Auglaize County Board of Developmental Disabilities during Monday's Minster board of education meeting.
Divisions I and II All-Ohio Girls Basketball
The Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association released its All-Ohio honors for Divisions I and II in girls basketball on Tuesday.
Reigning Ms. Basketball Dee Alexander of Purcell Marian was named the Division II Player of the Year with Canfield's Matt Reel earning Coach of the Year honors.
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