Town news

Library to go digital

In cooperation with the Ohio Historical Society in Columbus, 12 public libraries across nine northwest Ohio counties, including the Bluffton Public Library, are partnering to implement a regional document digitization project.

The purpose of the project is to make an array of important and deteriorating local history resources more available to state residents and a worldwide audience of researchers through the Ohio Historical Society’s Ohio Memory Project.
Materials to be scanned include books, photographs, postcards, newsletters, pamphlets, atlases, slides, flyers and yearbooks. Subject matter may potentially include community histories, area businesses, community celebrations and festivals, local personalities, school records, family genealogies, and area homes. Participating libraries will determine their own priorities for scanning based on condition and use of their materials.
“This grant will enable the Bluffton Public Library to preserve many items of local historical/genealogical significance, and make those items more easily-accessible via the Internet," said library staff member Justin Crawfis.
Once the equipment for the project is installed in November and training is completed, participating libraries will begin submitting their files to OHS. The images subsequently will be made available to the public through the web sites of the OHS and the libraries involved in the project.
Funding for this grant is being provided by the State Library of Ohio, Columbus, through the Library Services and Technology Act; the Northwest Regional Library System (NORWELD), Bowling Green; and the 12 participating libraries.

Main Street: 2009 Velasquez print

Oscar Velasquez's 2009 Bluffton winter scene painting will be on sale at Deer Creek Shoppes beginning Saturday, November 28th. Velasquez will be at Deer Creek on Blaze day to sign copies of the prints from 3 to 8 p.m.
This year's winter scene is of Main Street near Shannon Theatre. Past scenes from the Blaze of Lights series have included Bluffton University's College Hall, Ebenezer Mennonite Church, Bluffton Presbyterian Church, and St. John's United Church of Christ/Bluffton High School. Copies from year's past will also be available for purchase.
Print sizes are: 8" x 10" framed for $29; 16" x 20" unframed for $29; and 16" x 20" framed for $79.
Velasquez is a Putnam County resident and has been a self-employed artist for 32 years. He has created many large outdoor and indoor murals around the area.

DTR official speaks at Chamber meeting

Bill Yokas, senior vice president of manufacturing at DTR spoke at the Bluffton Area Chamber of Commerce meeting on Friday, November 13th.

Yokas discussed the status of the Bluffton facility and the move of its rubber hose line to a plant out of the country. DTR has offered their employees five options, early retirement, indefinite voluntary layoff, 6 month voluntary layoff, involuntary layoff, or a $10,000 buyout. Yokas maintains that all of their employees have been fully informed, and will continue to be, on the status of their employment with the company. He added that all laid off permanent employees have been rehired.

DTR Industries Inc. is owned by Tokai Rubber, a Japanese company. The automobile industry has been severely affected by the economic downturn. DTR reported their highest payroll ever in 2007 and has experienced declining numbers in 2008 and 2009.

The company expects that DTR will return to 2007 numbers by 2012. The AV portion of the industry is profitable and growing; the Bluffton plant will function as an AV production facility only.

Update: Bluffton University Bus Crash

Federal Insurance Co. and American Alternative Insurance Corp. were released from responsibility in lawsuit filed after the 2007 crash that killed five Bluffton University baseball students.

The 3rd Ohio District Court of Appeals unanimously upheld a March ruling made by Judge Richard Warren of Allen County Common Pleas Court releasing the insurance company. The court ruled that the bus company, Executive Coach, had control over the bus and the driver, not Bluffton University.

The bus accident killed Tyler Williams, of Lima, Scott Harmon, of Elida, David Betts, of Bryan, Cody Holp, of Arcanum, and Zachary Arend, of Oakwood. The bus driver and his wife, Jerry and Jean Niemeyer, of Columbus Grove were also killed in the crash. Niemeyer mistakenly drove the bus up a left-side exit ramp and off a bridge onto I-75.

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