Ten stories from the county were chosen as the ten top stories, but there were plenty of others that were considered. These stories also affected people, even if just to get them talking. Perhaps no other story had people talking that the sudden appearance of 90s rapper Vanilla Ice in the Van Wert area in April. Our interview with the musician was one of the most clicked-on stories at timesbulletin.com as the filming of Vanilla Ice Goes Amish brought many locals into contact with the former musician. As it turned out, the episode filmed here did not mention Van Wert County unless you looked carefully for a few local scenes. But for the week, Ice Ice Baby was heard blaring from a number of more than a few stereos in the area.
Also around that time, the bombing at the Boston Marathon took over national media. Van Wert had a connection at that event also as local native Craig Leon finished ninth in the race and was back in his hotel when the explosions occurred near the finish line. More on that in the Top 10 Sports Stories of 2013 on pages A6-7 of today’s paper.
In this area we saw the 100th anniversary of the Lincoln Highway bringing classic automobiles through the county , the completion of a railroad spur connection the 1,600-acre Van Wert Super Site with the mail rail line, a property consisting of farm ground selling for more than $14,000 an acre, and Vantage Career Center dedicate it’s newly renovated facility, complete with a money-saving solar energy field. There were other high-profile crimes around the region with arrests finally made in the 2011 murder of two people near Fort Recovery and the trial of a Rockford man for murdering his live-in girlfriend in 2012. The headquarters for the trucking firm TL Express went up in flames as many in the area watched smoke fill the sky around the south end of Van Wert.
Two former school buildings were destroyed also, but Washington Elementary and Franklin Elementary buildings were torn down instead of an accidental blaze doing the destruction. In the eastern portion of the county, the City of Delphos saw it’s economic situation deteriorate with the loss of two of its biggest employers and utilities customers. And one more player in the wind energy market made themselves known as Northwest Wind Energy went public with their plans to put up 50-130 wind turbines in southern Paulding County. The application for that project could be turned in during 2014, as could a couple of others in the works.