Local Pictures
Classified Ads
 Announce Births
Email Us
Buy A Copy
Local Links

click here to
The Daily

web page consultants:
Servant Technologies


9-30-02: Minster nearly ready to polka

Oktoberfest to bring parade, cars, pageants

The Daily Standard

    MINSTER < The rollicking sound of polka music and the humorous sight of
adults and children doing the chicken dance will be in evidence this weekend
as Minster proudly celebrates its German heritage.
    The 28th annual Minster Oktoberfest offers more than music and dance,
loyal visitors will attest. In addition to a 150-unit parade, offerings
include a large arts and crafts area, a colorful car cruise-in, two queen
competitions and the running of the famed beer tray relay. There will be
plenty to eat and plenty to drink in keeping with the popular Bavarian
    Festivities begin Friday and continue through Sunday in Minster Machine
Centennial Park and Oktoberfest Park on either side of Fourth Street in the
downtown area.
    Visitors can expect plenty of German music at two venues < the gazebo in
the north park and the Spass Platz (Entertainment Place) in the south park.
Featured bands include the Cincinnati Schnapps, Off Beat, Prosıt,
Polkaholics, Alte Kameraden and Sorgenbrecher. The popular Zinzinnati
Bierband will stroll the grounds much to the delight of young and old alike.
    ³We have the Franz Klaber Orchestra coming for the first time this
year,² Oktoberfest Committee President Sue Brandewie says. ³They are a
popular addition judging from the feedback received thus far.²
    The Oktoberfest has earned an enviable reputation for top-quality German
entertainment. Bands from Cincinnati and Frankenmuth, Mich., enjoy coming to
play for appreciative crowds.
    Brandewie and fellow Oktoberfest Committee members are expecting 50,000
visitors or more during the weekend. Many come from Montgomery, Hamilton and
Butler counties. Indiana and Michigan also are well represented.
    ³The Oktoberfest is a homecoming for many people who grew up here and
later moved away,² Brandewie says. ³Itıs a time to come back and renew old
acquaintances in a familiar setting.²
    Many communities have tried to emulate the successful event. Some people
even inquire about the secret to its success.
    ³There is no secret,² Brandewie maintains. ³It takes a lot of work and
cooperation. We are blessed with both in great abundance.²
    The cooperation begins with residents in both park areas. They put up
with a network of tents, rows of Porta-pots and trash left on their doorstep
each night. That same cooperation extends to the local police department
headed by Minster Police Chief Don Bergman.
    ³Dealing with a virtual city moving in for the weekend is no easy task,²
Brandewie adds. ³Don takes everything in stride and we really donıt have
that many problems.²
    The Oktoberfest Committee has things under control as the annual
festival approaches. They are hoping for good weather < one of the few
things they canıt control. Ideal conditions would be warm days and cool
nights. Unfortunately Mother Nature has a bag of tricks that has yielded
everything from blazing sun to raindrops to snow flurries in the past. A
steady rain is the only thing that seems to keep people away.
    The Friday schedule begins at 6 p.m. and continues through midnight.
    Activities get under way at 9:30 a.m. Saturday with registration for the
car cruise-in at the Community Lanes parking lot. Opening ceremonies take
place at noon in the gazebo.
    Nearly a thousand runners are registered to compete in the 10K run on
Sunday, with the starting gun sounding at 9:30 a.m. Appearing in the 2 p.m.
parade will be floats, bands, Shrine units, marching groups, statuesque
Belgian horses and clowns. This yearıs theme will be ³German Fables and
Folklore,² according to parade co-chairmen Ron and Amy Hausfeld. Grand
marshal Ted Purpus and his wife, Norma, will ride near the front of the

Festival specializes in tasty German food

    MINSTER < Expect to be tempted with an array of German delicacies at the
28th annual Minster Oktoberfest. This is definitely not a time to diet with
offerings ranging from sausage and sauerkraut to cream puffs and homemade
    ³We try to provide something for everyone,² says Oktoberfest Committee
President Sue Brandewie. ³There is no reason anyone should leave the
festival grounds hungry.²
    The menu remains basically the same with one exception. Kettle Korn has
been added in place of elephant ears. Brandewie believes the popcorn with a
sweet-salty flavor will be a good seller.
    Various civic, school and youth organizations will sponsor the food
booths as in previous years.
    ³For many organizations, like the swim team, this is their main
fund-raiser of the year,² Brandewie explains. ³They rely on Oktoberfest
revenue for their treasury.²
    Sponsoring organizations and their offerings include:
    € Oktoberfest Committee: blooming onions, kettle korn and roasted
    € Academic boosters: pork chop sandwiches, french fries and lemon
    € Chamber of commerce: roast beef sandwiches and corn on the cob.
    € Travelerıs Protective Agency: cream puffs.
    € Band parents: sausage and hot dogs.
    € Boy Scouts:  hot pretzels.
    € Girl Scouts: french-fried chicken dinners.
    € Fire department: brats and metts.
    € Swim team: hamburgers.
    € Civic association: steak and chicken sandwiches.
    € Jaycees: Schmitz sausage.
    € FHA chapter: assorted soups and sweets.
    € Knights of Columbus: tenderloin sandwiches.
    € Livestock 4-H Club: cabbage rolls and cabbage roll dinners.
    € Alumni association: funnel cakes.
    € Fraternal Order of Eagles Auxiliary: cotton candy and caramel apples.
    € Historical society: apple dumplings with or without ice cream.
    The Minster Future Homemakers of America invites visitors to court Lady
Luck at their cake wheel.
    Soft drinks, water and beer also will be sold at various locations on
the grounds.
    < Margie Wuebker

09/30/02: Area drivers need to keep eyes peeled for deer

The Daily Standard
    Itıs hard to believe something so graceful could wreak so much havoc on
our highways.
    But drivers beware, itıs that time of year again when deer are out
looking for mates < not motorists. With an estimated 575,000 deer roaming
the state of Ohio, it comes as no surprise that more than 31,500
deer-related accidents were reported statewide last year.
    Debbi Rupert of Celina and law enforcement officials believe it may have
been a deer that crossed in front of her car and left her in critical
condition several weeks ago. On Aug. 5, Rupert, 19, suffered serious head
and neck injuries when she lost control of her vehicle on County Road 66A,
south of St. Marys.
    Andy Huddleston, on his way to work that evening, was the first on the
    ³I shined my flashlight around, away from the road, to make sure there
was no one out in the field,² Huddleston, 22, said. ³I saw something move by
the railroad tracks nearby, Iım pretty sure it was a deer. There are a lot
of them in that area.²
    Rupert remembers little of the events prior to the accident, which sent
her car rolling over into a ditch. After spending four weeks at a hospital
in Lima < one of those weeks in a coma < she returned home with a ³halo² to
stabilize her neck, and a back brace. She is able to walk and talk, but
canıt drive or go back to her job at Lucky Steer in St. Marys. She also is
dealing with vision problems.
    ³I was supposed to start classes this fall at Rhodes (James A. Rhodes
State College in Lima) but now I hope to start the winter quarter,² said the
2001 Celina High School graduate.
    Ironically, Rupert intends to major in physical therapy, a field she
will become quite familiar with in the upcoming months as she recovers from
her injuries.
    Last year, Mercer County motorists met up with deer 185 times on rural
and city roads; Auglaize County drivers topped that figure with 257
deer-related accidents in 2001.
    According to the Insurance Information Institute, vehicle damage from
these collisions averages about $2,000 per claim nationally. Last year,
nearly $53.8 million in deer-related damages were claimed in Ohio alone.
Even more frightening is the fact that 7,000 motorists like Rupert are
injured each year in deer accidents in the United States, and over 100 of
those crashes result in fatalities.
    Too many deer is not the problem, said Rick Jasper, assistant management
supervisor for the Ohio Division of Wildlife office in Xenia.
    ³Thereıs an index thatıs been developed to keep a healthy population of
deer in each region,² Jasper explained. ³If we think the population is up in
a specific area, the deer hunting regulations can be changed to increase the
number of deer harvested (hunted) there.²
    In the past, he said, most female deer gave birth to only one fawn.
Today itıs not unusual to see twins and even triplets from healthy does.
    Mercer and Auglaize County hunters are grouped differently this year in
a newly named ³R² zone, in an effort by Ohio wildlife officials to match
counties with like deer populations. Also in the R zone are Van Wert,
Shelby, Darke, Henry, Paulding and Putnam counties.
    Statewide archery season starts Saturday and runs through Jan. 31. Gun
season is Dec. 2-8, and statewide primitive season (hunters can use longbow,
crossbow, muzzleloading rifles or shotguns) will take place Dec. 27-30.
    Wildlife officials and law enforcement agencies agree on one thing:
There is little you can do to prevent run-ins with deer, which occur between
dusk and dawn 90 percent of the time. However, there are a few precautions
motorists can take to make the encounter a not-so-serious one.
    ³The minute something looks puzzling and you arenıt sure if youıve seen
movement ahead, slow down,² Jasper said.
    Deer tend to run in groups and younger ones stay close and follow behind
the more experienced leaders, he added.
    ³Thatıs why cars usually hit the third or fourth in a herd of deer,² he
    Despite the property damage deer cause, Jasper said the economics of the
deer population is hard to overlook.
    ³We know deer enhance the wildlife environment and thereıs a huge amount
of money generated from hunting, just millions of dollars,² he said. ³Deer
accidents are just something we have to deal with.²
    < For more information on deer crashes and tips on how to prevent them,
check out the Web site of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources at

9-27-02: Former Celina doctor is indicted

Dr. Thomas Santanello facing 214 felony counts and 631 years prison

The Daily Standard
    Celina physician Dr. Thomas Santanello was arrested this morning at his
St. Marys home, 153 Waterbury Court, Southmoor Shores, after being served
with two indictments charging him with a total of 214 felony offenses.
    The indictments were handed down Wednesday by a Mercer County Grand
    According to Mercer County Prosecuting Attorney Andy Hinders, the first
indictment alleges 210 violations of drug laws, consisting of 43 drug
trafficking offenses and 167 illegal prescription processing offenses. They
range from felonies of first degree to felonies of the third degree.
    The second indictment alleges four theft offenses. More specifically,
the charges include one count of Workerıs Compensation fraud, one count of
theft by deception and two counts of falsification.
    Deputy Barry Niekamp and Steve Steinecker, with the Grand Lake Task
Force, this morning delivered Santanello to the Mercer County Jail for
    He is scheduled to appear this afternoon before Mercer County Common
Pleas Judge Jeffrey Ingraham for a bond hearing. Appearing with him will be
his attorney, Ralph Busse of Painesville.
    Hinders said he will be asking for $200,000 bond. This weekıs legal
action came on the heels of a mammoth investigation that began in the fall
of 2000, involving five police and state regulatory agencies. The
investigation by the local and state agencies focused on Santanelloıs Celina
medical practice at 1107 N. Main Street.
    If convicted on all counts of both indictments, the maximum prison term
would be 631 years, Hinders said.
    The maximum potential fine for all counts in both indictments is
$1,292,500. Also, the Bureau of Workerıs Compensation will seek restitution
of over $100,000 alleged to have been illegally received by Santanello.
    Hinders called on three investigators from the Ohio State Pharmacy Board
and one investigator from the Ohio  Bureau of Workerıs Compensation (BWC) as
witnesses before this weekıs two-day grand jury.
    The indictments against Santanello weighed two pounds, reported Mercer
County Prosecuting Attorney Andy Hinders and it  is the largest case the
attorney has seen in his 20-year career as an attorney. It also is possibly
the largest ever to be heard in Mercer County, he said.
    ³Itıs a monster of a case and it was real tiresome toward the end, but
Iım happy with the outcome,² Hinders said.
    The drug violations involve allegations of illegal dispensing of
prescription drugs, principally the pain-killing drug oxycodone. The theft
offenses involve payments made to Santanello by the BWC.
   In April, 2001, the Mercer County Prosecutorıs Office and officials from
local and state medical and drug agencies executed a search warrant at
Santanelloıs Celina medical practice.
  Seized were nearly 200 boxes of patient and business records, office
equipment and medicine as evidence in the ongoing investigations by the Ohio
Pharmacy Board, BWC and State Medical Board of Ohio.
    Affidavits of search warrants from those agencies alleged Santanello
filed false insurance claims with the BWC and its insurance agencies,
overprescribed narcotic substances and allowed office employees to perform
medical procedures they were not trained nor licensed to do.
    The Grand Lake Task Force aided in the seizure and investigation,
launched by the agency three years ago.
    Fifteen patient files from the nearly 10,000 files initially seized,
were chosen for prosecution by investigators.
    A two-year time period was then investigated in each of the 15 files,
Hinders reported. The indictment is based on the beginning and ending date
of the time period investigated.
    ³This method was chosen for the indictment because if each prescription
in that time period was alleged as a separate charge, the indictment would
have expanded to over 1,400 counts,² Hinders said.
    The BWC indictment is based on a course of conduct over a period of two
years involving 67 patient files.
    ³The indictments are the culmination of an investigation that began in
the fall of 2000, involving five police and regulatory agencies. Commenced
separately by the Ohio Bureau of Workerıs Compensation and the Ohio Board of
Pharmacy at the request of the Auglaize-Mercer Grand Lake Task Force, the
investigation grew to include the Ohio Medical Board and Ohio Nursing
Board,² Hinders said.
    The BWC completed its investigation of Santanello five months ago and
the State Pharmacy Board wrapped up its investigation just prior to the
grand jury indictments.
    Hinders said the State Medical Board, along with the State Nursing Board
are conducting their own investigations.
    In February 2001, Santanello, who was taking an extended stay in Florida
with his wife, Susan, and children, told The Daily Standard he was closing
his medical practice in Celina due to family medical problems and
bookkeeping discrepancies at the office.
    The search warrant was executed two months later.
    After investigators had pored over the records, the confiscated items
were returned to Santanelloıs office in September 2001. Out of the nearly
10,000 cases that were seized, nearly 200 patient files were retained by the
prosecutorıs office.
    ³Those were the files we were interested in,² Hinders had told the
newspaper at that time.
    Santanello, 49,  has not practiced medicine since closure of his Celina
office. However, he has renewed his license to practice medicine in Ohio.
The license is good until 2004.
    He is a graduate of the New England College of Osteopathic Medicine and
was first issued a license to practice in Ohio in 1983.
    He began practicing locally in Rockford in 1986, where he worked for 10
years before moving his office to Celina.
    Santanello is a doctor of osteopathic medicine, specializing in pain
management, sports medicine, neurological and spinal disorders.

09/27/02: Bitter harvest ahead


Countyıs farmers realizing devastation of
this yearıs drought as harvesting begins

The Daily Standard
    Many farmers in Mercer County and throughout the Midwest will reap a
bitter harvest this year due to the drought.
    The evidence has started showing up at local grain elevators which have
begun to take in soybeans from local producers, many of them wearing grim
    ³We just had a couple of loads come in,² said Maria Stein Grain Co.
Manager Chuck Kremer on Wednesday. ³Iım guessing it was about 20 bushels to
the acre.²
    Thatıs less than half of what farmers in Mercer County averaged for
soybeans in 2001, according to figures from the Ohio Agricultural Statistics
    And the corn harvest appears to be much worse, others are saying.
    Kremer said a crop insurance adjuster he spoke with told him a 10-mile
radius around Maria Stein yielded just 30 bushels per acre of corn, an
abysmal figure compared to the 141 bushels per acre average that county
farmers harvested in 2001, the statistics service reported.
    Kremer said he heard of many producers having to buy corn silage from
their neighbors or outside the county because they could not grow enough on
their own to feed their livestock. Others also were talking of liquidating
their herds, he said, though he had not heard of anyone who actually had
done so.
    An employee at Coldwater Grain Co. in Coldwater said they are seeing
yields ranging between 15 to 40 bushels per acre for soybeans and Tom
Staugler, manager at Big K Mills near Fort Recovery said soybean yields
there were ranging between 30 to 50 bushels per acre.
    Staugler attributed the wide variations in bushel figures to spotty
precipitation that hit some areas and missed others.
    ³Some of the guys got rain and some did not,² Staugler said. ³We were in
the path where we got some rain, but on the south side and north side they
didnıt. Toward Coldwater and New Weston in Darke County, they didnıt get
    Celina farm wife Brenda Vantilburg said a field of corn harvested from
their farm yielded about 84 dry bushels per acre. Last year they harvested
178 dry bushels per acre.
    ³Itıs about what we expected,² she said with a sigh. ³You just have to
take the good with the bad. Last year we had a good year and this year we
didnıt. Thatıs part of farming.²
    Vantilburg, who says she and her husband Jim, have crop insurance, said
this yearıs drought is worse than the one in 1988.
    ³Itıs worse because in O88 we did start getting beneficial rains toward
the end of the growing season that helped,² she said. ³This year we didnıt
and it seemed hotter.²
    Montezuma area dairy and hog farmer Charles Schwieterman said it has
taken twice as many acres of corn silage to fill his silos this year.
    Schwieterman grows corn, soybeans and hay on his farm to feed his
    ³We got about eight to 10 tons per acre (in corn silage) and we usually
get between 16 and 20 tons,² Schwieterman said. ³It takes more to fill the
cows up and we have had to subsidize that by adding more corn grain to their
diet. The cows need a lot of energy to produce milk.²
    Drought-stunted corn produces fewer and poorer quality ears, which is
where most of the food value comes from.
    Coldwater area farmer Don Broering said he chopped his corn for silage
this year and sold it to a neighboring farmer instead of saving it for shell
corn for his hogs. Farmers typically chop their corn if the crop is poor,
Broering said.
    ³In some of our high fields, the corn didnıt even make an ear, just a
stalk,² Broering said. ³It didnıt make sense not to chop it.²
    Last year, one of the best he has had, Broering said his corn yielded
about 180 bushels per acre. He guessed his soybeans will make between 10 to
15 bushels per acre this year. Last year he averaged about 60 bushels per
acre in soybeans, he added.
    Broering, who has been farming since 1969, predicted this yearıs drought
will have a dramatic effect on the countyıs economy.
    ³Every dollar a farmer spends turns over $7 in the economy,² he said.
³If the farmer spends less, it filters down. I anticipate farmers cutting
back on equipment purchases and fertilizers.²
    Despite this yearıs poor crops, Broering said he is amazed with the
resiliency exhibited by local farmers.
    ³Itıs depressing, but Iım amazed more farmers took it better than
thought they would,² Broering said. ³Everybody I talked with was upbeat. Iım
amazed at how accepting they were of the drought ... This year has been a
    Broering said it is years like this that make him glad he has crop
    Mercer County Farm Service Agency Executive Director Chris Gibbs last
month estimated production losses in Mercer County of  50 percent for corn,
40 percent for soybeans and hay and 35 percent for oats. In Auglaize County,
production losses are estimated at 55 percent for corn, 45 percent for
soybeans, 40 percent for oats and 45 percent for hay, an official from that
office said.
    Mercer County OSU Extension Agent Joe Beiler said the affects of this
yearıs drought likely will be felt long afterwards.
    ³The economics of it does not all show how,² Beiler said. ³A drought can
have a very long reaching effect.²
    Gibbs today said he had not heard of any producers who liquidated their
livestock herds.
    ³I have heard reports of folks selling their feeder livestock and hogs
in anticipating of not having their crops, but I look at that differently
than someone selling their breeding stock,² Gibbs said. ³That would signal a
very serious situation in Mercer County.
    Gibbs on Thursday took off his soybeans in Shelby County. He figured he
would average about 21 bushels per acre.
    He said he is glad he has crop insurance.
    ³Crop insurance is a risk management tool that producers need to make
individual decisions on the value of it,² Gibbs said. ³For a number of
producers this (crop insurance) will make the difference. It could make the
difference in them paying their bills, repaying their operating loans or in
the worst cases, it may make the difference in whether they are going to
farm next year.²

09/26/02: Steady as it goes, but for how long
Local gasoline prices close to state average

The Daily Standard

    Local gasoline prices remained steady with the rest of the state of Ohio
this morning, but a price hike may be in the works due to a possible
conflict with Iraq.
    The statewide average this morning fluctuated at $1.35 per gallon for
regular gasoline, according to the fuel gauge report issued by the AAA Ohio
Auto Club. 
    A random check this morning of nearly a dozen local gas stations found
pump prices averaging $1.38 in the Grand Lake St. Marys area. One of the
highest prices reported was found at Marathon in St. Marys where motorists
paid $1.45 per gallon of regular gasoline. On the low end, Certified in
Coldwater posted a price of $1.31.
    Analysts predict that a potential conflict between the United States and
Iraq could cause gasoline prices to soar, but experts in the oil industry
say a price increase is overdue.
    ³Iım really surprised the prices have stayed as low as they did the last
several weeks while crude prices have climbed to $31 a barrel,² said Terry
Fleming, director for the Ohio Petroleum Counsel in Columbus.
    Fleming said crude oil jumped from $24 per barrel in March to
Wednesdayıs market price of $31. During that time period, gasoline prices
have seen little change locally and across the country, according to AAA
figures. In March, Ohioıs gasoline prices averaged $1.24 across the state;
local prices were only 1 cent higher during the same time period.
    Fleming said he feels current issues with Iraq should have little
influence on our gasoline prices. The Mideast country supplies only 7
percent of oil worldwide so an interruption of its oil exports to the United
States should have minimal effects, he said. The United States allows Iraq
to bring in only a limited supply for humanitarian reasons, Fleming added.
    The number one importer of oil to the United States is Canada, Fleming
said. Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Venezuela are our countriesı next biggest
    However, Susan Stewart, a spokeswoman for AAA of Columbus, said the
issue lies deeper than just Iraq.
    ³Remember the burning of the oil fields in Kuwait? When the fields were
sabotaged by Iraq during the period of Desert Storm,² she said. ³You have to
remember there are other countries involved in this issue who also supply
oil to the U.S.²
    Stewart said she believes there are a number of reasons why motorists
will likely be paying higher prices at the pump in the near future. Last
week, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), of which
Iraq is a member, decided not to increase their production of oil < a move
that typically causes prices to rise somewhat. Also, Stewart said a number
of industrialized countries have said for political reasons they will not
allow their oil reserves to be used to keep U.S. oil prices down.
    Both Stewart and Fleming agree gasoline prices are controlled mainly by
supply and demand and demand is down. That should help keep price increases
at a minimum, they said.
    Stewart said relations could improve and prices could maintain or even
fall if Iraq allows ³true and honest² weapon inspections by the United
Nations as requested by President Bush.
    ³But thatıs likely not going to happen,² she said.

9-26-02: Bomb threat clears Celina store
Officials do not locate explosives

The Daily Standard

    Customers and employees at Wal-Mart were evacuated Wednesday evening
after a male caller reported a bomb had been placed on the premises. No bomb
was found, but this marks the second time in a month local authorities have
responded to a similar threat.
    Celina Police Department as well as the Celina Fire Department responded
to 1951 Havemann Road at 5:45 p.m. after store personnel received the
telephone call.
    ³The voice on the telephone was that of a male caller,² Police Chief
Dave Slusser said this morning. ³He reported there was a bomb, but gave no
other information.²
    The store management initiated the evacuation in accordance with company
guidelines. Many customers chose to leave the premises while employees
congregated outside in one general area, according to Slusser.
    Five police officers and two firefighters assisted store management in
searching the store as well as the outside perimeter. They also checked
vehicles parked near the building. Nothing of a suspicious nature was found.
    Employees were permitted to re-enter the store just before 7 p.m., and
Wal-Mart reopened for business a short time later.
    Store manager Chris Carroll was not available for comment this morning.
Inquiries were referred to Wal-Martıs public relations headquarters but
designated spokesman Tom Williams was in a meeting.
    Slusser said the investigation is continuing in hopes of pinpointing the
origin of the call. He encourages anyone with information about the incident
to call the police department at 419-586-2345.
    On Sept. 10, police responded to Celina Intermediate School after a bomb
threat was received at the school office. Investigators determined the call
came from a pay phone outside the Big Bear grocery store on Logan Street.
Four boys, ages 11 and 12, were arrested for inducing panic, a fourth-degree
felony. They reportedly pulled the prank in hopes classes would be canceled.

09/25/02: Grant will build Celina housing for mentally ill
The Daily Standard
    VAN WERT < A $600,000 capital grant from the Ohio Department of Mental
Health will help build two new housing units for people suffering from
mental illness, including the first such facility geared toward families.
    The units are planned for the Celina area, but exact locations of the
new buildings are yet to be determined.
    Tri County Alcohol, Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services board
members learned about the grant at Tuesdayıs regular meeting. Both of the
new structures will be built with Mercer Residential Services Inc., 221 S.
Buckeye St., managing the properties. The units < a six-apartment complex
and a duplex < will be the fourth and fifth such developments in the Tri
County area that also includes Mercer, Van Wert and Paulding counties.
   Residents, who would be hand-picked from profiles compiled by Foundations
Behavioral Health Services of Celina, would pay monthly rent and receive
support services. Tri County officials have agreed to provide $3,750
annually for each unit to subsidize operations.
 Construction could begin this year with completion possible by next summer.
    Tri County Executive Director Keith Turvy said it was the local mental
health networkıs preparedness that won the latest grant. A strategic plan
compiled a couple of years ago identified the need for affordable, permanent
housing, he said. State officials are so impressed with the local mental
health network that they plan to use it as a statewide showcase, Turvy said.
    Turvy credited Mercer Residential Executive Director Garry Mosier for
his expertise in the field.
    ³There is no way the staff in my office could keep up with these federal
regulations,² Turvy said.
    Mosier, though, passed much of the credit back to Turvy, who he said has
helped develop one of the premier community mental health systems anywhere.
³The secret is out,² Mosier said. ³If it wasnıt for Keith, we wouldnıt get
this money.²
    Nearly $2 million in state and federal capital money has flowed into the
local area in recent years. Those previous grants helped fund another
semi-efficiency apartment complex in Celina and similar units in Van Wert
and Paulding counties.
    ³Itıs incredible that in a downturn of economic times that lowly
Paulding, Van Wert and Mercer counties ... are selected in a competitive
environment,² to receive the money, Turvy said.
    The duplex will mark the local systemıs first attempt at providing
housing for families dealing with mental illness. According to a survey of
local mental health clients, more than one-fifth have families with
children, Turvy said.
    Foundations Executive Director Brian Engle said case managers at his
agency already have identified at least three families who would be suitable
to occupy the duplex.
    ³There is no doubt we can fill up that duplex immediately,² Engle said.
    Much work goes into screening clients to find those ready to live
independently, Turvy said. Officials try to identify ³high functioning
clients that are ready to take the next step,² he said.
    There have been virtually no problems with clients in the existing
apartments, Turvy said. Despite some community controversy when the first
units were built, Turvy said law enforcement has never been summoned to any
of the locations.
    ³Itıs never happened,² Turvy said. ³Thatıs due to good clinical
    In other business Monday, board members made minor adjustments to fiscal
year 2003 appropriations to reflect final state and federal allocations. Tri
Countyıs fiscal year began July 1. The board had approved a budget prior to
that but was uncertain how the state and federal money would shake out.
    As a result of the finalized numbers, Tri County will now have a $4.9
million budget that is $1,200 in the black. The prior budget showed a $5,500
    Tri County officials are closely watching the state budget scene and
anticipating potential cuts in the next couple of years. Turvy said the
agency would use a $357,000 reserve account before asking its clinical
service providers to accept funding cuts.
    Before the next state budget process, Turvy said he wants board members
to meet and consider a worst case scenario regarding state funding. Doing so
will help them make the difficult decisions on reducing services if the need
arises, he said.

09/25/02: Federal agency declares Mercer, Auglaize counties disaster areas
The Daily Standard
    Drought-striken farmers in Auglaize and Mercer counties are now eligible
for emergency, low-interest loans after the United States Department of
Agriculture on Tuesday declared those counties and 42 others in Ohio
disaster areas.
    A press release from 8th District U.S. Rep. John Boehner, vice-chairman
of the House Agriculture Committee, also said that livestock producers in
Auglaize County will be eligible to receive aid under the USDAıs new
Livestock Compensation Program.
    But those in Mercer County would not, said Boehnerıs press secretary
Steve Forde. This is because Auglaize County has been designated a primary
disaster county, while Mercer County has been designated a contiguous
disaster county. A contiguous disaster county is one that is located
immediately next to a primary disaster county.
    The Livestock Compensation Program will provide $752 million in disaster
assistance for cattle, sheep and buffalo producers in the counties that have
received primary disaster designations. Signup begins Tuesday with payments
becoming available soon after.
    Many livestock farmers in both counties have been heavily hit by the
drought. Some have even talked of liquidating their herds because the corn
silage they grow to feed their animals will not be available and they canıt
afford to buy it. The shortage will increase the price of silage.
    Mercer County Farm Service Agency Executive Director Chris Gibbs last
month estimated production losses in Mercer County of 50 percent for corn,
40 percent for soybeans and hay and 35 percent for oats. In Auglaize County,
production losses are estimated at 55 percent for corn, 45 percent for
soybeans, 40 percent for oats and 45 percent for hay, an official from that
office said.
    Those seeking disaster assistance through the Farm Service Agencyıs
low-interest emergency loan program or through the Livestock Compensation
Program should contact their local FSA office or local USDA Service Center
for information on eligibility requirements and application procedures.
    More information also can be found on the Internet at
http://drought.fsa.usda.gov/assistance or
    Other counties receiving primary disaster area designations are
Fairfield, Morgan, Muskingum, Perry, Portage, Ross, Summit and Wood.
    Other counties receiving contiguous disaster area declarations are
Allen, Athens, Coshocton, Cuyahoga, Darke, Fayette, Franklin, Geauga,
Guernsey, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Highland, Hocking, Jackson, Licking,
Logan, Lucas, Mahoning, Medina, Noble, Ottawa, Pickaway, Pike, Putnam,
Sandusky, Seneca, Shelby, Stark, Trumbull, Van Wert, Vinton, Washington and

09/24/02: Four county thefts may be related
The Daily Standard

    The Mercer County Sheriffıs Office is investigating the possibility that
four residential burglaries in recent days could be related.
    Money was the only thing taken in three out of the four incidents.
    Mike W. Miller, 120 S. Main St., Mendon, lost a collection of coins
arranged in blue cardboard folders. The perpetrator also took some loose
change from the Union Township residence at some point between 2:30 p.m.
Sept. 20 and 11:45 a.m. Sept. 21.
    The 42-year-old Miller had been collecting coins since his teen-age
years. The collection, valued at $200, included coins from the 1800s to
    A thief apparently will be eating high off the hog following a burglary
in Recovery Township.
    Anthony W. Jutte, 1799 Philothea Road, Fort Recovery, told deputies
someone broke into his home and stole meat as well as money. The incident
occurred between 7 p.m. Sept. 18 and 7 p.m. Sept. 20.
    Packages of assorted meat, including sausage, steak and hamburger, were
taken from a freezer. Additionally, a total of $250 was taken from bedrooms
at the Jutte home.
    Robert Schroer, 1584 Siegrist-Jutte Road, Fort Recovery, reported
approximately $1,400 in assorted bills was taken during a burglary at his
Recovery Township residence. He reported the incident at 1:30 p.m. Sept. 21.
    A total of $500 in assorted bills was taken from the home of Robert and
Carol Forsthoefel, 4600 Kuhn Road, Celina. The Butler Township incident
occurred between 8 a.m. Sept. 20 and 7:30 a.m. Sept. 22. Entry was made
through the garage.
    ³We are looking at the distinct possibility that these incidents are
related,² Sheriff Jeff Grey told The Daily Standard this morning. ³They are
definitely similar.²
    Grey described the burglaries as ³crimes of opportunity,² noting
unlocked doors apparently played a factor since there were no signs of
forced entry.
    ³Many people here in Mercer County feel really safe,² he added. ³So
safe, in fact, that they donıt bother to lock their doors.²
    The sheriff encourages residents to make sure doors are locked,
particularly when they leave their residence. Cash or loose change should
not be left out in plain view. People, who do keep money on the premises,
should not broadcast the fact, he said.

09/24/02: Trying to fix Celina water
Officials to seek input on treatment options
The Daily Standard

    Celina city officials have decided to have a public meeting next week to
gather the sentiments of Celina residents on what the city should do to fix
problems in the drinking water supply.
    Safety-Service Director Mike Sovinski recently told The Daily Standard
that much confusion exists on the effectiveness of treating well water
versus treating water from Grand Lake St. Marys. The city has taken water
from the lake and treated it for drinking for 50 years, but has had problems
with high Trihalomethane (THM) levels.
    The city is under orders from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency
to devise a plan that will permanently fix the recurring high THM levels.
THMs are byproducts of treating lake water with chlorine that the EPA
believes causes cancer over a lifetime of exposure.
    It appears the city is exploring two main options to fix the problem:
stay with lake water and use a new membrane filtration treating system, or,
switch to well water using the membrane technology.
    Sovinski told The Daily Standard that water quality will be near perfect
with membrane technology, whether using well or lake water. So, with what
appears to be ample well and lake water, the decision could be made with a
coin toss, he said.
    At Mondayıs city council meeting, a committee meeting was set for noon
Thursday to discuss a water plant study with past water superintendents at
the Celina Utilities building.
    The public meeting to discuss the water issue was scheduled for 7 p.m.
Monday in the Celina High School lecture hall.
    Along with discussing the water issue, council members moved two
annexation approvals to second reading, denying the administrationıs efforts
to have the annexes approved under an emergency rule.
    One annexation is for 1.2 acres along Ohio 197 (Wayne Street). On that
property sits a house recently purchased by Community Development
Coordinator Sue Canary and her husband Randall Canary.
    The Canarys reside on Fulton Street, but Sue Canary said she submitted
the application for annexation because her job description requires her to
reside within city limits. The land sits on the west side of Ohio 197, and
north of Celina Mendon Road, contiguous to city property.
    Councilor Sharon LaRue questioned the legality of Sue Canary acting as
the ³agent for petitioners² while working for the city.
    ³If the city wants it and if the owner and the agent are the same thing,
thereıs no issue,² City Law Director Kevin McKirnan said.
    When a motion came up to pass the Canary annexation in one vote under an
emergency rule, councilors LaRue, Angie King and Colin Bryan voted ³no.² A
motion to move it to second reading then was approved.
    The other annexation dealt with Monday was for a 32-acre tract that sits
west of Celina and stretches between Mud Pike and Ohio 29, across the street
from the 80-acre Heiby Trust annexation.
    The 32 acres includes property owned by Jeffrey Grieshop and Herbert and
Janice Grieshop, both of 7036 Fleetfoot Road, and William C. Roy, 810
Windsor Circle. The annexation will create an ³island² of unincorporated
land, which will include Roy Orickıs property and property owned by the
Grace Missionary Church.
    In response to a question from councilor Denny Smith, Canary pointed out
that old laws prohibit creating ³islands² when annexing, but recent changes
in the law allow it.
    King suggested removing the emergency clause from the ordinance to
accept to allow the public to comment on the annexations.
    Despite objections from Mayor Paul Arnold and Canary and with the
information that taxes will not be collected for a year on the property if
not annexed by October, council members skipped the emergency vote and moved
it to the second reading.
    An ordinance accepting the Celina lakefront/downtown revitalization plan
was unanimously moved to a third reading after a brief discussion.
    King complained that she feels the city cannot maintain current park
land and should not be acquiring more.
    ³We donıt have the money to maintain the parks we have, so I question
why we would want to expand or enlarge our territory,² King said.
    King continued to say she is ³personally embarrassed² with the condition
of the cityıs parks, citing specific places where shelter houses are damaged
and kids park equipment was removed because it was unsafe.
    Mayor Arnold disagreed with King.
    ³Number one. Nobody is increasing the size of the parks,² Arnold said,
adding that all decisions must come before council.
    Council President Bill Sell also voiced his support of the plan. He said
an attractive downtown and lakefront will bring businesses, money and
people, which will trickle money in to city parks and other departments.
    ³I think we have to take that first step,² Sell said.

  If you go:
What: Celina City Council public forum
Where: Celina High School lecture hall
When: 7 p.m. Sept. 30
Why: To discuss the cityıs problem with its drinking water, specifically the
high levels of Trihalomethane.
The Daily Standard

MONTEZUMA < Village council members in Montezuma are feeling
nickel and dimed by small expenses popping up at the new Montezuma Park.
    Going into the project that revamped a small park and boat ramp, council
members expected Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) grant funds to
cover all expenses. Now, required extras are costing the village thousands,
village officials complain.
    "I'm beginning to think 'oh my gosh, this project is costing an arm and
a leg when it wasn't supposed to cost the village anything,' " Mayor
Charlotte Garman said during Saturday's regular council meeting.
    The village's insurance company is requiring a light be installed by the
boat ramp, and the bank needs $1,000 to process a loan that will cover the
project cost until the village is reimbursed by ODNR, councilors said.
    Other last minute items needed include boat tie-ups on the seawall, a
flag for the flag pole, striping for the parking, parking bumpers, a rail
near the boat ramp, a park restriction sign and parking reflectors.
    Most items at the park need to be finished by Oct. 15, when ODNR
officials inspect the park.
    In other discussion, council members agreed to pursue Ohio Public Works
Commission Issue II grant funding to pave Long Street in the village.
    After much discussion, councilors agreed to spend up to $7,000 in
matching funds for the paving and replacing curbs and sidewalks.
    Councilor Max Brodbeck noted the village has been overlooked for several
years when it comes to Issue II funds.
    "Now it's time to give us our turn," he said.
    At a time when finances are in a pinch everywhere, councilors approved
annual government assistance payments at the same level as last year. The
village accepted a total of $17,834 from the local government funds and
local government revenue assistance funds, two state funds that are split
between municipal corporations and libraries in the county.
    Mercer County Auditor Mark Giesige confirmed that the village's amount
stayed at last year's level. The county receives a lump sum payment from the
state, and the Mercer County Budget Commission decides how the local
government funds are divided based on need.
    In other business, council members agreed not to hold a fall community
trash pick-up, as Franklin Township has one planned for Oct. 5.
    Councilors said they would use the township's clean-up day, and provide
trucks for village residents who are unable to transport their trash to the
township hall by themselves.

The Daily Standard
    BURKETTSVILLE < A 50-year-old St. Henry man was killed and five
others injured early Saturday morning when a pickup truck ran a stop sign at
the intersection of Ohio 118 and Ohio 319.
    Pronounced dead at the scene of the 1:40 a.m. crash was (Gale) Robert
Good, 422 Anthony Drive, St. Henry.
    Three passengers in Good's 1997 Chevy S-10 Blazer suffered injuries.
Good's daughter, Amanda J. Good, 25, a front seat passenger, was taken to
Wayne Hospital, Greenville, then transferred to Miami Valley Hospital,
Dayton, where she was released on Sunday. Riding in the back seat of the
sport utility vehicle was Robert Good's son, Eric Good, 18, and Eric's
girlfriend, Rachel Myers, 17, a Coldwater High School senior. Eric Good was
treated then released from Wayne Hospital, and Myers was held for
observation at Community Hospital, Coldwater, and released on Sunday.
    Kevin L. Schmiesing, 21, of Minster, who was driving a 1998 Dodge Ram
pickup truck, was taken by CareFlight helicopter from Community Hospital to
Miami Valley Hospital. Schmiesing's condition was not available from the
     A passenger in the pickup truck, David C. Starr, 21, of New Bremen, was
held for observation at Community Hospital and released on Sunday.
    According to the report from the Wapakoneta post of the Ohio State
Highway Patrol, Good was traveling north on Ohio 118 when Schmiesing drove
eastbound through the stop sign on Ohio 319 (Mercer-Darke County Line Road)
and struck the Blazer. The report said both vehicles rolled over several
times off the northeast side of the intersection.
    The Blazer came to rest on its top and the pickup truck landed on its
wheels, the report said.
    Mercer County Prosecuting Attorney Andy Hinders, who was on the scene of
the early morning accident, said alcohol is suspected as a factor in the
crash. Hinders said he notified Miami Valley Hospital to draw blood from
Schmiesing for law enforcement investigative purposes. Results of the test
will not be available for several weeks, he added.
    Hinders and officials at the prosecutor's office in Darke County have
not yet concluded whether the accident technically occurred in Mercer or
Darke county. Ohio 319 is the dividing line for the two counties, Hinders
said. The crash is believed to have occurred on the Darke County side,
although the vehicles both came to rest in Mercer County.
    Robert Good had just picked his son up from the airport in Indianapolis,
Ind., and was only a few miles from home when the accident occurred. Eric
Good is a freshman at Wyoming Technical Institute in Laramie, Wyo., and was
returning home for a weeklong visit. Good's wife, Connie, told The Daily
Standard this morning that the family < especially their only daughter,
Amanda < was taking the loss hard.
    "Bob was such a good Dad and a good husband," said his wife of nearly 29
years. "He was my support, my life and my breath < my best friend."
    Robert Good was laid-off from Minster Machine where he had worked for 22
years. He previously worked 13 years at St. Henry Hardware Store and
accepted a job at Safeway Packaging in Minster in late June.
    "He loved to garden and build things and had just completed classes on
laying tile," Connie Good said.
    For the first time in 29 years, Robert Good was not working nights and
happily joined a bowling league in Minster, she said.
    "He was such a fun-loving and caring man. We miss him so much," she
    A full obituary appears on page 5A. There were six people killed on Ohio
roadways during the past weekend, according to the state patrol.

9/20/02: Man on the road to recovery
Fort Recovery resident hurt in motorcycle crash

The Daily Standard

    FORT RECOVERY < Tabetha Rohrer knew something was wrong when her husband
failed to return from a motorcycle ride July 21.
    He had left around 6:30 p.m. that Sunday, saying he wanted to take one
more ride before locking the motorcycle in the barn. Minutes turned into
hours as she prayed for the familiar whine of the engine to shatter the
nighttime stillness.
    ³We were leaving the next morning for a vacation in Gatlinburg,² she
says wistfully. ³We were going to renew our wedding vows.²
    Nick Rohrer, a 32-year-old employee of Clopay Corp. in Russia,
reportedly stopped to have a few beers with friends. Around 11:15 p.m., he
failed to negotiate a curve while driving along Park Road near Fort
Recovery. The motorcycle traveled off the left side of the pavement,
striking the ditch and turning over at least once. Without a helmet, his
head had no protection from injury.
    Tabetha didnıt hear the wail of sirens but she couldnıt shake the
growing uneasiness. Her worst fears were realized shortly after 12:30 a.m.
when Nickıs parents, Jerry and Ardith Rohrer, knocked on the door and told
her there had been an accident.
    Nick remembers nothing about that night < a raccoon waddling onto the
road in front of him, the ambulance ride to Community Hospital in Coldwater
or the subsequent transfer to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton aboard a
CareFlight helicopter.
    Tabetha was intent on getting to Dayton as fast as possible once
Chanteall, the coupleıs 3 1/2-year-old daughter, was left in the care of
relatives. With her mother at the wheel, all she could do was hope for the
best and fear the worst.
    ³I had to see my husband,² she says. ³I had to make sure he was
breathing and his heart was beating. He couldnıt leave me or Chanteall or
the new baby coming in February.²
    She rushed into the emergency room only to learn Nick had been
transferred to the intensive care unit, where doctors and nurses worked
feverishly to stabilize his condition.
    ³I sat at the end of a long hallway staring at the ICU door and willing
it to open,² Tabetha says. ³The night seemed to go on forever. Every second
seemed like an eternity.²
    A grim-faced doctor approached the family shortly before 7 a.m. The news
was not good. Nick had sustained serious  head injuries and the prognosis
was uncertain at best.
    He lay motionless in the midst of  tubes and wires. Machines monitored
his vital signs as well as the pressure inside his head. The ventilator
needed to correct his erratic breathing echoed through the quiet room.
    ³Except for a cut on the forehead, Nick looked fine on one side until
you walked around the bed,² Tabetha says. ³The other side was battered....it
didnıt even look like Nick.²
    She battled a range of emotions from mounting anger to undying love.
    ³I wanted to scream at Nick about being so stupid as to drink and then
climb on that motorcycle,² she says candidly.  ³I was mad but I still loved
him. We were going to get through whatever the future might hold together.²
    Patches of ³road rash² on his arms and legs quickly healed with
treatment from the hospitalıs burn center personnel. Unfortunately, the head
injuries did not respond in similar fashion. Doctors told family members a
helmet would have prevented those injuries. At the very worst, he might have
needed only a night in the hospital for observation.
    Tabetha and Chanteall maintained a vigil at Nickıs bedside. They read to
him, played music and even watched a baseball movie, hoping something would
penetrate the coma and bring him back. The neurologist gave the same status
report each day < ³Heıs stable. Thereıs nothing new.²
    A tracheotomy was performed so the ventilator tube could be removed from
his mouth. Surgeons also installed a feeding tube and removed the monitoring
probe from his brain. Their eventual removal signified important steps on
the road to recovery.
    Emerging from a coma is not as dramatic as movie and television screens
depict. Nick initially seemed to be in a trance after medication levels
decreased. It took a while before his eyes followed the doctorıs pen light
or his head turned in the direction of voices.
    ³We kept telling him to squeeze our hands and he seemed to recognize the
difference between an adult and a child,² Tabetha says. ³He squeezed my hand
so hard it hurt, but he was always gentle with Chanteall.²
    Doctors initially described his mental state as that of a 1-year-old who
smiles and waves when familiar people come into the room. It gradually
improved and he was transferred to the rehabilitation unit for much-needed
    Nick slowly regained the ability to walk, talk, feed himself and tend to
personal hygiene needs. He made great strides during the seven-week
hospitalization. Chanteall turned out to be an effective therapist,
encouraging daddy to kick balls, talk clearly and properly position puzzle
pieces. He seemed to concentrate better when she sat on his lap.
     Initially, there was fear of paralysis and personality changes. His
right side remains weak but he can move. There have been no signs of violent
or aggressive behavior. Issues involving balance and the ability to
concentrate will require months of therapy. One of the doctors hugged
Tabetha and cried shortly before Nickıs Sept. 5 release, telling her at
least 15,000 people with similar injuries donıt survive.
    ³I donıt remember the accident,² Nick says quietly  watching his
daughter play in the yard. ³People tell me Iım lucky. I could have died.²
    He does well talking with one or two people, but has difficulty
concentrating in crowds. He listens intently as Tabetha talks and asks
numerous questions, nodding slowly as she replies. He laments not being able
to lift weights and go to work.
    ³I get tired in the afternoon,² he admits with a smile. ³I need a nap
just like a little kid.²
    Chanteall watches her daddy like a hawk, quickly calling out if he tries
to slip outside unnoticed or reaches for something dangerous. The car keys
remain hidden in the event he decides to climb behind the wheel.
    Nick is looking forward to beginning therapy five days a week at the
Center for Neurological Development in nearby St. Peter. He definitely wonıt
miss the long rides to Dayton each Monday and Thursday, where his recovery
is pegged at 75 to 80 percent.
    ³Iım doing good,² he says. ³I have to work hard so I can get back to
work before the baby comes.²
    He rises slowly from the lawn chair and walks stiffly toward Chanteall.
He pauses and looks at the farm fields surrounding their property. The crops
have turned colors in preparation for harvest.
    ³Everything used to be green,² he says with a sigh. ³I lost a lot of
time somewhere. Soon snow will come and then the new baby.²
    He smiles and waves, heeding Tabethaıs warning to be careful. She
watches his progress with tears glistening in her eyes and a hint of a smile
tugging at the corners of her mouth.
    ³Having Nick home is the answer to our prayers,² she says. ³I guess God
figured we needed him down here more than he needed him up there.²

09/20/02: Three people killed in accident near Fort Recovery
The Daily Standard

    ROSEHILL < Three people were killed early this morning after the vehicle
they were riding in was broadsided by a semitrailer at the intersection of
Ohio 49 and McFeeley-Petry Road, south of the village of Fort Recovery.
    Killed instantly in the 2:09 a.m. Darke County crash were the driver,
Micah Mong, 20, and a passenger, Kainin Harter, 19, both of Winchester,
Ind., and a second passenger, Timothy Kiser, 21, of Union City, Ohio.
    The  driver  of  the  semitrailer,  Greg Shreeve, 44, of Salamonia,
Ind., was treated for minor injuries at Wayne Memorial Hospital, Greenville,
then released.
    The report from the Darke County Sheriffıs Office said Mong was driving
westbound on McFeeley-Petry Road when he failed to yield at the stop sign
for Ohio 49. Mongıs vehicle was struck broadside by the semitrailer.
Information on which direction the semitrailer was traveling and the type of
vehicle driven by Mong was unavailable at press time today.
    The deaths bring the total number of traffic fatalities in Darke County
this year to six.
    Also on the scene of the accident were the state patrol, and
firefighters and rescue squads from Union City and Rossburg.

09/19/02: Different kind of farming Fort Recovery shrimp farmer planning for a jumbo harvest
The Daily Standard

FORT RECOVERY < Ted Bergman seems like your average Mercer County Joe
trying to make a living.
    About every day he goes off to work as a private contractor splicing fiber optic cable. He also has two small farms in Ohio and Indiana where he grows soybeans and corn that keep him busy.
    And every evening, Bergman hops into his canoe, paddles it across the water of the small pond on his property and feeds his 14,000 fresh water prawn, a large shrimp native to the ocean that can also live in fresh water. What?
    Thatıs right, Bergman is part of a growing number of people in the Midwest raising the 7-inch crustaceans, once raised only in big hatcheries in the Deep South. This is Bergmanıs second year raising prawn at his farm at 2466 Ohio 119. While the venture hasnıt yet developed into a big moneymaker, he feels it may.
    ³Not to harp, but this isnıt like some of the fads, like raising ostriches was a few years back that came and went,² Bergman said. ³People like shrimp, and they are going to continue to like them.²
    Bergman, his wife Barb and a handful of family and friends on Friday will harvest the prawn and sell them to the public for a fresh seafood feast people in this part of the country usually only dream about.
    This year he hopes to harvest between 400 and 500 pounds of the shrimp and sell it for between $8 and $10 dollars a pound.
    Bergman, 47, said he developed a love of fresh seafood when he served in the United States Marine Corps. He got the idea to raise prawn from a friend, and then three years ago he saw a television program on the topic that convinced him he could do it.
    His 3/4-acre pond, built to prawn specifications, ranges in depth from 3 feet at one end to 6 feet at the other end. At the deep end is a catch basin that is used to harvest the prawn. The banks of the pond are steeply angled to keep out Great Blue Herons and other predators.
    Bergman explained that the shrimp live at the bottom of the pond, so he does not know how they have fared until they are harvested. They are fed a sinking, pelletized shrimp food he purchases locally.
    ³You never see them because they stay on the bottom. If you do, there may be something wrong,² Bergman said laughing. ³My wife and I get real antsy because you donıt know what you have in there (pond) until you pull the plug and drain it.²
    When Bergman first stocked this yearıs batch of prawn, purchased from a company in Tennessee, they measured between 3/4 of an inch to 1 inch long. After maturing for about 110 days, the shrimp should measure between 6 and 7 inches long.
    The Bergmans use heating units to ensure the water temperature in the pond stays at least 70 degrees. If the temperature reaches 58 degrees at the bottom of the pond, they start to die, he said.
    At harvest time, the water is drained from the pond and the prawn march toward the deep end where they are netted and hosed off.
    They are then ³chill killed² in a big tank of ice water for about 15 to 20 minutes, bagged up and sold.
    Last year, a large group of curious friends and neighbors lined up to witness the first harvest and buy the shrimp. Advertisement for the event was mainly by word of mouth. For many, it was the first time they had ever seen a live shrimp, he said.
    Farmers are having to adjust to the changing face of agriculture, and farmers in Mercer County are no exception, Bergman said. He grew up on the family farm in Fort Recovery raising turkeys. As farming has become more high tech and as market prices have slumped over the years, farmers are having to become more creative.
    ³My dadıs first reaction was he looked at me like I was half crazy, but heıd done that before,² Bergman said, recalling when he told his dad of his shrimp farming plans. ³But then he said, Ogo for it.ı ²
    Though Bergman is the only shrimp farmer in Mercer County, three other Fort Recovery farmers have started alternative agriculture businesses. Jim Zehringer and Jerry Wendel both raise tilapia fish for human consumption, and Dave and Kelly Evers raise worms that are used in landfills to eat and compost garbage.

09/19/02: Five Mercer County horses positive for virus
Local veterinarian treating some animals for West Nile
The Daily Standard

    Five horses in Mercer County have now tested positive for the mosquito-borne West Nile virus, according to information from the Ohio Department of Agriculture.
    Celina veterinarian Dr. Craig Miesse euthanized the first horse, which was housed along Oregon Road, due to the disease in early August.
    Since then, Miesse has put to sleep a second horse that lived just north of Mendon, and a third horse, that is housed between Rockford and Celina, is being treated for the virus, he said this morning.
    So far, no horses in Auglaize County have tested positive for the virus, department of agriculture statistics indicate. Miesse said his clinic has seen some horses in Auglaize County that he suspects will test positive for the virus. Those results have not been received yet, he said.
    Miesse, who also does a lot of work in Indiana with Amish buggy horses, says the virus has hit the Hoosier state much harder than Ohio. 
   ³Itıs all over. Itıs just worse in certain areas,² Miesse said. ³Yesterday I treated 10 horses (in Indiana) that were either positive or suspect.²
    Miesse stopped short of calling the situation an epidemic in Ohio, but characterized it as such in Indiana.
    ³I would call it that in Indiana. I donıt know if I would call it that in Ohio,² Miesse said. ³When itıs about all that I get done, it to me would be called an epidemic.² Need a frost     Miesse said the area needs a good frost to kill off the mosquitoes that carry the virus.
    Miesse noted that this yearıs drought conditions, which have not been good for mosquito populations, has possibly lessened the outbreak. Mosquitoes need stagnant water to breed in.
    ³Next year will be interesting,² he added. ³I donıt expect it to be an early spring problem, but a later summer and fall problem next year.²
    An employee at Tri County Clinic south of  Wapakoneta, said their office on Tuesday received a positive test from a horse from Creston in Wayne County.
    Miesse said state statistics probably will not reflect the true number of horses that have contracted the virus because the state has started charging local veterinarians for the testing, a cost that is passed on to the client.
    ³Itıs going to be a lot harder to confirm because horse owners say Owhy should I put another $8 to $10 dollars in costs to test if you think itıs West Nile,ı and then they just treat it.²
    Primarily a wild-bird disease, West Nile virus can only be passed on to humans or animals through the bite of an infected mosquito. Horses are sentinels of the disease rather than carriers. This means that humans canıt contract it from an infected horse, and mosquitoes donıt pick it up from biting an infected horse.
    Symptoms in horses include loss of appetite, fever, muscle tremors, weakness, paralysis of hind limbs, impaired vision, loss of coordination, aimless wandering, convulsions, inability to swallow, circling, hyperactivity or coma.
    Between 30 and 40 percent of horses that become infected with the virus die, said Ohio Department of Agriculture spokesman Mark Anthony.
    So far, 101 horses in 33 counties in Ohio have tested positive for the virus since Aug. 8 when the first equine case was confirmed in Holmes County, department of agriculture statistics show.
Horse vaccine
    The horse vaccine for West Nile virus is available locally at Celina Animal Hospital in Celina, Celina Road Animal Clinic in St. Marys, County Animal Clinic in Coldwater, Minster Veterinary Service and Fort Recovery Veterinary Center.
    Horse owners can take the following precautions to keep mosquitoes at
bay: Eliminate standing, stagnant water on their properties where mosquitoes breed and lay their eggs. Get rid of old tires and containers that hold water. Keep horses in at night when mosquitoes are more abundant. Turn off lights in stable areas at night, which can attract
mosquitoes. Spray horses with bug spray. People who want more information on West Nile virus can go to
http://prevmed.vet.ohiostate.edu or www.state.oh.us/agr on the Internet

09/17/02: State provides funds for repair of buildings set for demolition
The Daily Standard

    ROCKFORD < Large grants to school districts are usually good news, but
an award of up to $500,000 in federal emergency repair money puts the
Parkway Local Schools district in an odd position.
    The money is for various repair projects at Parkwayıs aging buildings in
Rockford, Mendon and Willshire. However, school officials are hoping
district voters in November will approve a levy to build a new school to
house all students in Rockford. That means the district is looking at
spending money on buildings they are hoping to eventually demolish.
    ³It made today a very interesting day,² said Superintendent Doug Karst,
who learned from the Federal Emergency Repair Program that Parkway is in
line for assistance.
    Karst said he already has declined about $280,000 of the grant money
that was to be used to upgrade the fire alarm systems at all three
buildings. The system has been checked by a professional who advised the
system could be maintained for a few more years, Karst said. Officials of
the grant program also were pushing for the district to not accept that
money so it could be used by another district, Karst said.
    The district has tentatively accepted the rest of the money slated to
correct a variety of structural problems. The work includes eliminating some
roof leaks, shoring up a wall at the high school and some work to windows
and restrooms.
    District officials could revisit the issue and possibly return the grant
if voters approve the levy on Nov. 6, Karst said. Even if the levy is
approved, some repairs might be made in order to make the buildings safe
until the new school opens, he said. None of the emergency repair work would
begin before the election, he said.
    ³Weıre just going to do the bare essentials to get by,² Karst said.

09/17/02: Hearing set over Celina bomb threat
The Daily Standard

    A Sept. 30 hearing has been set for four Celina boys accused of phoning
in a bomb threat at their school one week ago today.
    The Celina Intermediate School students, three 11-year-olds and a
12-year-old, were each charged with inducing panic, a fourth-degree felony,
after the school was forced to evacuate the premises for about an hour. The
school houses approximately 460 fifth- and sixth-grade students.
    The charge carries a potential sentence of incarceration with the Ohio
Department of Youth Services of six months or until age 21. The students
also could be ordered to pay about $16,000 < the cost of the teachers
salaries, and reimbursement to the police and firefighters for their time.
    The boys were placed in the custody of the Ohio Department of Youth
Services immediately following a hearing late last Tuesday morning in Mercer
County Juvenile Court. On Sunday, they were released to their parents at the
request of the Mercer County Probation Department.
    ³It was a space problem,² Mercer County Prosecuting Attorney Andy
Hinders said, explaining the detention facility frequently rotates its
occupants to open up bed space for more serious offenders.
    The students are currently under a ³routine² suspension by the school
board, Superintendent Fred Wiswell told The Daily Standard this morning.
Wiswell said he intends to meet with the parents on Friday to discuss the
matter. The meeting or ³hearing,² as he called it, is held as a matter of
law when disciplinary measures are taken against a student.
    Wiswell would not comment on whether the boys could face expulsion from
school if the court finds them guilty. However, in a copy of the schoolıs
Zero Tolerance policy, it states, ³The Superintendent is authorized to expel
a student from school for a period not to exceed one year for making a bomb
threat to a school building, or to any premises at which a school activity
is occurring at the time of the threat.²
    Hinders attended the school boardıs executive session following their
routine meeting Monday night. No action on the bomb threat incident was
taken following the meeting.
    Hinders said the boys allegedly called in the bomb threat to the taped
phone line of Central Dispatch (911) from a pay phone outside Big Bear
grocery store on West Logan Street. In the call, placed at 7:33 a.m., the
caller stated ³there was a bomb at the intermediate school going to detonate
    The call was traced to the store and a witness there gave police
officers a description of the boys. Police officers reportedly returned to
the school and talked to other students and staff before taking the boys
into custody about 10 a.m., Hinders said.
    The four students allegedly told investigators they pulled the prank in
hopes of getting school canceled both Tuesday and Wednesday for the
anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
    The last time a bomb threat was called into the Celina Schools district
was on Oct. 6, 2000, Hinders recalled. That call was placed to the high
school by a 17-year-old student who was later expelled from the school for
one year.


Phone: (419)586-2371,   Fax: (419)586-6271
All content copyright 2002
The Standard Printing Company
P.O. Box 140, Celina, OH 45822