August 27, 2014

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Antwerp school board hears positive report on start of classes PDF Print E-mail
Monday, August 25, 2014 3:17 PM

By JOE SHOUSE • Progress Staff Writer

ANTWERP – With just three days complete for the 2014-15 school year the Antwerp Local School Board of Education had its first meeting on Thursday, Aug. 21. Personnel was approved for the school year and leadership gave a positive report to the beginning of the new year.

Superintendent Patricia Ross said, “We have been in school for three days and we are off to a good start. Busses are running on time and everyone is working hard to make the start of the school year a good one.”

Ross commented how the summer was spent trying to complete the teaching staff. “Myself, Mr. Bute (high school principal) and Mr. Manz (elementary principal) did a lot of interviewing and now we are ready to get the year moving,” she said.

Mr. Bute commented on the success of the open house as did Mr. Manz. Both principals were complimentary to the students, parents, staff, and office personnel for making the first day a smooth transition.

Manz reported that 351 students are in pre kindergarten through grade five which is an increase of five from the previous year.

The following consent items passed unanimously:

Addition of a 0.5 FTE teacher for Title I.

One-year contract for Greta Kosch as elementary secretary.

One-year teaching contract for Shari Owusur-Safo.

One-year teaching contract for Julie Bok as 0.5 FTE Title I.

Areli Reutter as a longterm substitute Spanish teacher.

Board member Bob Herber as delegate and Anita Bok as alternate to the 2014 OSBA annual business meeting at the Capital Conference.

Adopt resolution approving all Antwerp Local School bus stops and grant superintendent authority to change bus stops if needed.

An overnight student trip for the varsity wrestling team to Vermillion High School on Dec. 29.

Nathan McAlexander as junior high wrestling coach; Jon Short as junior varsity girls basketball coach; Toni Winslow as eighth grade girls basketball coach; Shelly Billman as seventh grade girls basketball coach; Jason Hormann as junior varsity boys basketball coach; Boston Hormann as freshman boys basketball coach; Shawn Schutte as eighth grade boys basketball coach.; Zac Feasby as seventh grade boys basketball coach.

Betty Smazenko and Crystal Brooks as co-elementary student council advisors.

Craig English as lunch room attendant at a rate of $7.95 per hour.

District treasurer Kristine Stuart reported the receipts for July totaled $721,570.21 with expenses being $599,755.10.

WT board prepares for new school year PDF Print E-mail
Friday, August 22, 2014 3:58 PM

By JOE SHOUSE • Progress Staff Writer

HAVILAND – Meeting in regular session on Monday, Aug. 11, the Wayne Trace Local Board of Education worked through a plethora of agenda items. The board was updated on several projects while preparing for the upcoming school year. The construction of the press box for baseball and softball was recommended by superintendent Steve Arnold while various technology updates were presented.

Arnold informed the board oF building and grounds updates and also made a recommendation for building press boxes at both the softball and baseball complexes, with one serving as a concession stand at the lower level and a storage area for both programs at the bottom of the other press box.

The athletic boosters have pledged $12,000 to the project and Arnold recommended to contract for the new press boxes at both fields not to exceed $28,000 for the project total of $40,000.

Jerry Hessel, Wayne Trace technology coordinator, informed the board that 900 laptop computers have been made available to students.

Hessel also reported on the phone system and how lightning has affected the system on three occasions during the summer. According to Hessel, a new phone system would be more cost effective, and digital lines would take care of the static being heard in the current program.

The board approved a transfer of funds including $50,000 from the general fund for severance pay; reserved advances made from the general fund to the grant fund to include $24,000 for the cafeteria and $15,082.76 for the Straight A fund. The board also agreed a pay rate for the assistant treasurer at $19.15 per hour for the current school year.

For the second consecutive year the Payne Elementary fourth grade class achieved 100 percent in passing the OAA reading test. Principal Jody Dunham commended teacher April Krouse for her efforts in this important achievement.

Items of consent along with one resolution was passed including the following:

Grant extended leave-of-absence under FMLA for Sarah Franz from approximately Aug. 13-Sept. 26.

Offer a one-year contract to Vicki Etzler as part-time JH/HS study hall supervisor, beginning with the 2014-15 school year. Also, accepted the resignation of Etzler as a school bus driver effective Aug. 11.

Accepted the resignation of Brian Yenser as a junior high football coach for the 2014-15 school year and to approve him as a volunteer football coach for the same time.

Adjusted the contract for Dan Bland as a junior high football coach to full salary for 2014-15.

Offered one-year supplemental contracts for 2014-15 to the following certified personnel: Tom McCord, assistant HS football coach; Ryan Fisher junior high football coach; Bill Speller, weight room supervisor; Kerry Gudakunst, Washington, D.C. trip advisor.

Offered one-year supplemental contracts for 2014-15 to the following classified personnel: Ann Olwin, girls faculty manager; Katy Scarbrough, JH/HS concession stand manager (50%); Jeanne Seffernick, junior class activities advisor, high school concession stand manager (50%) and junior high concession stand manager.

Approved three-year administrative contract to Tony Langhals as director of students and staff effective Aug. 1; one-year limited contract for Amy Wannemacher as a Title I teacher at Divine Mercy School for 2014-15; one-year contracts to Camillia Kline as a bus driver effective Aug. 19, Kim Troth as an aide, Brandi Godoy as a part-time cook and a supplemental contract for Ken Speice as waste water treatment supervisor for 2014-15.

Established the substitute pay rate for bus drivers at $14.22.

Approved staff and student handbooks for the current school year.

Commended the head custodians, groundskeepers and summer workers for preparing the school buildings and grounds for the upcoming school year, and Tim Baker and his summer crew for having all buses pass state inspection on the first inspection.

Approved all bus routes for the school year and granted the superintendent authorization to adjust routes as necessary.

Awarded milk bids to Arps Dairy and bakery bids to Nickols Bakery for the current school year.

Sheriff takes ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
Thursday, August 21, 2014 4:29 PM
Ohio's first human cases of West Nile Virus reported PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 10:33 AM

COLUMBUS – Ohio’s first two human cases of West Nile Virus (WNV) in 2014 were identified Tuesday by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH). A 24-year-old female in Muskingum County and a 78-year-old female in Cuyahoga County have been hospitalized with encephalitis.

Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain and is caused when someone is bitten by an infected mosquito. This is the primary way people get the West Nile Virus.

“We could possibly see a growing number of human cases of the West Nile Virus infection and positive mosquito samples throughout the state,” said ODH state epidemiologist Dr. Mary DiOrio. “Ohioans should remain vigilant and take all reasonable precautions to protect themselves against mosquito bites.”

ODH began accepting mosquitoes for identification and testing from our local cooperating agencies starting July 14. We are up to 120 positive West Nile Virus mosquito samples tested by the ODH lab plus another 10 positives reported by local health departments. The relatively low infection rates may be influenced by the low temperatures and rainfall this year.

“As infection rates are expected to increase, it is important to remind everyone to avoid mosquito bites and eliminate breeding sites,” said Dr. DiOrio.

Here are some tips to avoid possible infection from mosquito bites:

·  If you are outdoors between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active, be sure to wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, shoes and socks.

·  Light colors are least attractive to mosquitoes.

·  Use insect repellent and follow the label directions.

Here are some tips to eliminate mosquito breeding sites near your home:

·  Remove water-holding containers, such as tin cans and unused flower pots.

·  Eliminate standing water.

·  Make sure all roof gutters are properly draining and clean.

·  Keep children’s wading pools empty and on their sides when they aren’t being used.

Approximately 80 percent of people who are infected with West Nile Virus do not show any symptoms at all, but there is no way to know in advance if you will develop an illness or not. Those who do develop symptoms usually do so between three to 14 days after they are bitten by the infected mosquito.

Learn more about the West Nile Virus on the ODH website at

Early harvest projections PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 10:21 AM

By JIM LANGHAM • Feature writer

The first glimpse for harvest weather this fall is looking slightly cooler and a little wetter than normal, says weather specialist Rick McCoy of Van Wert. McCoy said that while we are still several weeks away from harvest, there are no indicators that the trend prevalent through the summer is going to change drastically.

“There is some indication that things could warm up, at least briefly, for the last part of August,” said McCoy.

“The extended forecast into that period is calling for slightly above normal warming in the Midwest but still precipitation a little over normal.

“With temperatures running three to five degrees below normal in July, the summer is more than likely going to end up slightly below normal which is what the National Weather Service had predicted early in the spring,” said McCoy.

This past Monday, a major burst of precipitation moved through the county, dumping one to two inches of rain in many areas, with the heaviest precipitation early on falling in the northern parts of the county.

That was good, said Ohio State University extension agent Sarah Noggle, since that area had been a little drier than areas to the south.

“The condition of county crops is all over the board right now, although most are looking good or improving,” commented Noggle.

“Everyone seems to be picking up on the possibility of some wetness during harvest.

“We need to look at the economics of our crop this year,” continued Noggle.

“As for Monday’s rain, it’s good where it fell. That end of the county needed it. The consistent moisture that we’ve been receiving will help with the gooseneck and lodging problems that we had talked about a couple of weeks ago.”

In spite of the anticipation of cooler weather during harvest, McCoy said the freeze risk for the first freeze looks like about normal as wetter soils will keep night time lows up some.

McCoy noted that while many people believe that hot nights contribute to better corn, it appears that just the opposite could be true. He said that information he recently received states that corn actually has better yields in moderate temperatures, as long as there is sufficient moisture.

McCoy said that recent testing indicates that with high night temperatures, more of the sugars produced by photosynthesis during the day is lost; less is available to fill developing kernels, thus lowering the yield.

“One of the most common questions I am already being asked is, ‘what kind of winter do you think we’re going to have this year,’” said McCoy.

McCoy said that he daily confers with National Weather Service officials at Syracuse, Ind. and the consensus continues to be the same. If there is development of an El Nino, this winter could be quite different than last year. If there is no El Nino, the pattern is still quite similar to last winter.

“Early this spring, it looked like an El Nino was trying to form in the Pacific, but it has never really gotten its act together so far,” McCoy said.

“If there is an El Nino, our winters tend to be a little warmer and wetter,” said McCoy. “A lot of the main storms tend to go south of us, so things around here are usually less stormy.”

Library receives fraud ed toolkits
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 10:20 AM

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced last week that his office has sent Senior Advocate Fraud Education (SAFE) toolkits to more than 700 Ohio libraries. Paulding County Carnegie Library system was among those to receive the kits.

“We received the kit today (Aug. 15),” said Susan Pieper, PCCL director. “It is being processed. Two copies will be available for loan at the main library and one copy is being processed for reference and ‘in house’ use at the main library.