April 16, 2014

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Should the county emergency management agency office duties be a separate office?
Example of Section Blog layout (FAQ section)
Commissioners fire EMA director
Monday, April 14, 2014 2:29 PM

By JIM LANGHAM • Progress Feature Writer

PAULDING – At a special meeting with EMA director Randy Shaffer at the commissioners' office on Monday morning, April 14, the Paulding County commissioners voted unanimously to dismiss Shaffer from his office immediately. (Public article - click to read more)

Letters about primary election due by April 24
Monday, April 14, 2014 10:02 AM

Any letters to the editor about issues and candidates on the May 6 Primary Election ballot must arrive at the Paulding County Progress by Thursday, April 24, to be considered for publication.

Letters and other news items about ballot issues will follow the same guidelines that are applied to other letters:

Be brief as possible; please limit to no more than 500 words.

Include your name, address and a daytime phone number.

Original signatures are required; anonymous letters won’t be published.

We reserve the right to edit and to correct grammatical errors. We also reserve the right to verify statements or facts presented in the letters.

Items will be published until our April 30 edition.

For more information, contact the Progress news department at 419-399-4015.

Grand jury indicts 9 in April
Monday, April 14, 2014 9:08 AM

PAULDING – A Paulding County grand jury returned indictments against nine persons on Thursday, April 10.

Unclaimed Funds list to appear in April 16 Progress
Friday, April 11, 2014 1:26 PM

Division wants to reunite you with your forgotten money

Ohio Department of Commerce Director Andre T. Porter urges Paulding County residents to join in the 2014 Unclaimed Funds Treasure Hunt by checking the Paulding County Progress on Wednesday, April 16. By checking the newspaper advertisement, readers can find out if they are entitled to unclaimed funds turned over to the Ohio Division of Unclaimed Funds in the past year.

Unclaimed funds are money or the rights to money that have been dormant or forgotten. Some common examples include: dormant checking and savings accounts, forgotten rent and utility deposits, uncashed checks, undelivered stock certificates, and uncashed insurance policies.

“The Department of Commerce Division of Unclaimed Funds is committed to reuniting Ohioans with their hard-earned money. Check the Paulding County list to see if you, your family or your friends have unclaimed funds,” said Director Porter. “This money can help Ohioans buy a tank of gas, pay off some bills, make a needed home repair or even expand a business which means jobs for Ohioans.”

In Fiscal Year 2013, the Division paid 53,580 claims worth approximately $69.2 million. The average claim was for $1,292.

The Progress advertisement will include 153 unclaimed funds accounts worth $75,067.30. The advertised accounts, each valued at $50 or more, were turned over to the Division within the past year for individuals whose last known address was in Paulding County. The advertised names will appear in alphabetical order by the owner’s last known city and then in alphabetical order by the owner’s last name. A list of unclaimed funds accounts is available on the Department of Commerce’s Online Treasure Hunt website at www.unclaimedfundstreasurehunt.ohio.gov along with forms for individuals and organizations to use in claiming their money.

Paulding County Information For All Accounts (Includes Those Being Advertised and Other Accounts):

Total number of Paulding County accounts: 4,314

Value of Paulding County accounts: $394,247.50

Division superintendent Yaw Obeng encourages Ohioans to visit www.unclaimedfundstreasurehunt.ohio.gov to see if they have funds waiting to be claimed. Individuals without Internet access can write to the Division of Unclaimed Funds and provide the full name(s) to be researched, along with the counties in which the person(s) might have resided. The Division’s address is 77 South High Street, 20th Floor, Columbus, OH, 43215. Anyone with questions about unclaimed funds can call the Division toll free at 1-877-644-6823 (OHIO UCF).

Pieper runs for re-election as commissioner
Friday, April 11, 2014 9:16 AM


PAULDING -- Fred Pieper, current Paulding County commissioner, announces his campaign for re-election.

He wants to continue the work he has started during his first term for the citizens of the county. "Being a commissioner is an honor for me," shares Pieper. "I am in the office many times per week and on the phone daily trying to improve our county and make life safer for our citizens."

Pieper serves on the boards of Northwestern Ohio Community Action Commission (NOCAC) in Defiance, Area Office on Aging in Toledo and was appointed by Governor Kasich to serve on the Ohio Advisory Council for Aging. While actively serving on these Boards, Fred represents the best interests of Paulding County’s citizens.

Testimony Pieper gave in front of the Gaming Commission and the Senate Oversight and Reform committees in Columbus resulted in the procurement of one-million dollars from Racino revenues for state-wide distribution to county fair harness race purses.

“Commissioners work as a team and at times there are difficult decisions that have to be made, but the decisions are made for the good of the entire county in mind. Decisions made by the Commissioners in the past three years of my term have resulted in better services and a stronger county.

“When I campaigned for my first term I set goals that I would work for transparency, advocate for citizens and be a ‘watchdog’ for tax dollars. Unless the commissioners have to meet in executive session, all meetings are open to the public. For the first year, information was shared via a local radio station. Currently, information about commissioner sessions is reported online and via area newspapers. I am also available five days a week if a citizen wants to meet with me at the courthouse or anytime via my home phone which is listed.

“I have been an advocate for the citizens of Paulding County and continue to speak out for all citizens but especially for our senior population who are such an important part of our lives and communities. All of your commissioners are watchdogs for your tax money. We take our jobs seriously, looking for the best price, lowest and best bid on projects and prudent expenditures to make our county strong.”

My top three goals if I am elected to a second term will be:

Upgrade the Paulding County Sheriff's office radio system in order that first responders will be able to reliably communicate from anywhere in the county. I have been working daily with the Governor's office, State Senators, State Representatives, State Fire Marshall, Multi-Agency Radio Communication System (MARCS) personnel and grant providers to secure funding and lobby for the “discontinuing of cost prohibitive monthly user fees” as an attached amendment to House Bill 375. (Hopefully this will be accomplished in 2014.)

Continue the restoration of the courthouse in order to protect and preserve this historic building by allocating tax dollars wisely to assure availability of funding.

Develop the US 127/US 24 interchange by working with Jobs Ohio, the Governor's office and grant providers to secure funding for development of infrastructure and development.

“I would like to continue the work that I have started on behalf of Paulding County and its citizens. I have always kept the best interest of the citizens in mind with every decision I make. I have worked hard to address Paulding County's needs to lawmakers in Columbus and have established beneficial working relationships that will provide better communication for our county’s needs.”

Fred Pieper is a lifelong resident of Paulding County except for the times he served the country in the military and when he was attending college. While serving in the U.S. Navy, Pieper was assigned to the S-3 Viking jet for Russian submarine reconnaissance. He holds a BA in religious studies and the Bible from Anderson University (IN) and a masters in business administration from the University of Toledo. He has experience as a small business operator having owned and managed Pieper Wood Processing and worked for 17 years as a lineman for Paulding Putnam Electrical Cooperative. For relaxation Pieper restores his 1967 Olds 442 and enjoys sport shooting.


Straight A fund gets schools and businesses together at Vantage
Friday, April 11, 2014 8:28 AM

By ED GEBERT, Times Bulletin Editor

VAN WERT — Educators and businesspeople came together April 8 at Vantage Career Center to capitalize on Straight A Grant funding won by a consortium of Van Wert and Paulding county entities with the goal of teaming high schoolers and recent graduates with local manufacturers and businesses.

Around 60 people gathered for roundtable discussions on job and career readiness and information on possible methods of readying students for available jobs in the area. The symposium was proposed as part of the “Beyond the Classroom,” project.

“This was one of the initiative that the grant committee had, and that was to have a business symposium. This brought together to school districts that we included in that grant and local business and industry from both Van Wert and Paulding counties,” explained Cindy Leis, the community development director for Van Wert.

Businesses and teachers were able to exchange information which could prepare students for work and to get the business representatives to offer positions that will appeal to potential employees.

Leis said, “What the teachers are trying to do is to get through to the students what skills are needed to get either an entry-level job at the businesses or go to college then come back and see what kind of positions are available… The business representatives are trying to suggest what teachers should be teaching their students in an effort to get them either job-ready or career-ready.”

Overall the local consortium won just over $1.57 million through the Straight A Grant program from the Ohio Department of Education. The consortium consisted of the school districts of Paulding, Wayne Trace Crestview, Lincolnview, Vantage Career Center and Western Buckeye ESC, as well as Northwest Ohio Educational Technology Foundation, Paulding County Carnegie Library, Northwest State Community College, Paulding County Economic Development, Van Wert Economic Advisory Group, and the Van Wert Area Chamber of Commerce.