The Daily Press The Evening Leader | AP iAtom feed Copyright The Daily Press 2014-07-31T09:21:16-04:00 Shine In Ring2014-07-31T09:21:16-04:002014-07-31T09:21:16-04:00Copyright 2011 The Evening Leader WAPAKONETA — Bridget Oen said it’s compassion she’s learned through showing in the 4-H market and dairy competitions as a 4-H member —compassion for the cattle and taking care of them.</p><p> Born and raised on a dairy farm, the St. Marys teen said she was looking for something more exciting than the rabbits she’d shown the year before when she started showing cattle.</p><p> When she entered the ring to show a Jersey steer she’d had since it was born, she said she had to be calm not just for herself, but for the animal so that it would stay calm.</p><p> “You want to hide their flaws and accent their strong points,” Oen said.</p><p> In the dairy and market competitions Wednesday night at the Auglaize County Fair, the 4-H members vied for the top places among their peers as judges looked for cattle that were more square than round, with muscle and a little fat and good body posture.</p><p> What the judges can only infer from a few minutes in the show barn is a cow’s personality and the year of work that often goes into raising the animals.</p><p> Jenna Heitkamp, in her fifth year of showing, said Si, her cow this year, was raised by her since it was a calf.</p><p> “She’s really calm, and works well with me, eats a lot, and likes to eat grass,” Heitkamp said. “Since we’ve been here, with no grass, she’s been eating rocks.”</p><p> At only 16 months old, her animal has gone from a calf to a grown animal that is continuing the family legacy of showing in 4-H.</p><p> “I’ve always been a farm girl, so I like how hands on it is,” Heitkamp said. “My dad always showed, and we had a family farm.”</p><p> Alix Hamrick was also among family, as she brought her “big puppy dog” of a cow to the show.</p><p> Charger, she said, had charged her often as a calf to earn his nickname. She said she keeps coming back to the fair to keep family traditions going.</p><p> Paige Lehman, of New Knoxville, finishes the youth part of her 4-H career, as she turned 19 this year, and is set to go to college to be an accountant.</p><p> “It feels awesome, having all the eyes on you,” Lehman said. “The atmosphere is great.”</p><p> She said she’ll miss being able to show, and that there’s a lot of hard work, responsibility and family teamwork that happen in preparation for the fair. She thinks some of what she’s learned through shows will help her even in accounting.</p><p> “Just like, going all out, going all the way,” Lehman said. “Not doing it halfway, but giving 110 percent to everything you do.”</p>St. Marys, OHJanice BarniakLocals Shine In RingThe Evening Rundown2014-07-29T08:40:58-04:002014-07-29T08:40:58-04:00Copyright 2011 The Evening Leader <strong>July 29:</strong> The Auglaize County Fair is today.</p><p> A Story Time will be held at the Paris Street Park in Minster at 10 a.m. today.</p><p> New Bremen Public Library will host story time for those 3 to 5 at 6:30 p.m. today.</p>St. Marys, OHNo author availableDaily RundownThe Evening Recovery Tractor Pull Set2014-07-26T10:27:59-04:002014-07-25T18:48:57-04:00Copyright 2011 The Evening Leader FORT RECOVERY — Approximately 6,000 people will descend on Fort Recovery this weekend for the National Tractor Pull Association Grand National Tournament.</p><p> The event will feature truck and tractor pullers who will fight to obtain the top scores, working for weeks to perfect an 11-second pull.</p><p> Promoter Nick Dues said a tractor pull involves a pantagraph system of weights, where as it’s pulled the weight shifts toward the front of the vehicle.</p><p> Fort Recovery has hosted the pull since 1971, when a group of local farmers decided to host the event. The farmers saw the community pull together after locals fought to win the state championship, and they wanted that momentum in the community to keep going.</p><p> Competitors tend to be farmers or people who enjoy building and experimenting with the tractors. While a few will be locals, most will be from around the country.</p><p> Dave Archer is a tractor pull competitor, something he’s done for 47 years and he pulls in the unlimited category, where the only rule is that the vehicle be under 8,000 pounds total, including driver. He is known as one of the first people in this competition to get more than five engines on a tractor while keeping the weight under 8,000 pounds.</p><p> Doing that requires exotic metals, aluminum and drilling holes in the metal to cut weight. In the weeks before a pull, drivers close to the limit might even try cutting their own weight to make the limit.</p><p> Archer said that makes it more interesting than drag racing as the pullers build machines with five to six engines held together in exotic, light metals.</p><p> “It’s a creative thing,” Archer said.</p><p> In the unlimited category a person can do anything they find effective,.</p><p> “If you’re under 8,000 pounds with 150 lawn mower engines, that’s fine,” Archer said.</p><p> The pull will run six classes on two tracks, and began on Friday. It resumes at 7 p.m. today at Fort Recovery Ambassador Park.</p><p> There will be open pits where fans can meet favorite pullers, get pictures and autographs, along with buying puller merchandise and food from vendors on site.</p><p> It’s the grand national for unlimited modified, mini-modified and super stock open tractors, as well as the regional for limited pro stock and light pro stock tractors, and four wheel drive trucks.</p>St. Marys, OHJANICE BARNIAKFort Recovery Tractor Pull SetThe Evening Rundown2014-07-25T08:45:34-04:002014-07-25T08:45:34-04:00Copyright 2011 The Evening Leader <strong>July 25:</strong> The Celina Lake Festival is today.</p><p> Lego fans are invited to New Bremen Library for Lego Club Friday at 10 a.m. today.</p><p> The St. Marys and Awaji City Youth Delegates will host a luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. today at the gazebo in Memorial Park. The lunch is provided through donations and donations are accepted.</p>St. Marys, OHNo author availableDaily RundownThe Evening Rundown2014-07-24T09:08:34-04:002014-07-24T09:08:34-04:00Copyright 2011 The Evening Leader <strong>July 24:</strong> New Bremen Public Library will host story time for those 3 to 5 at 10:30 a.m. today.</p><p> Preschool Storytime will be at 10:30 a.m. today at New Knoxville Library for children ages 3 to 5.</p>St. Marys, OHNo author availableDaily RundownThe Evening's Picnic Offers Fun2014-07-23T09:34:35-04:002014-07-23T09:34:35-04:00Copyright 2011 The Evening Leader NEW BREMEN — Tis the season for festivals and fundraisers, and the New Bremen Fireman’s Picnic happening on Saturday will provide fun and activities all day long.</p><p> The event will begin at 7 a.m. with registration for the 11th annual Fireman’s Memorial 5K at Crown Pavilion, and run until until midnight with a performance from the local band Haywired. Most of the day’s activities will take place at the Pavilion, Southwestern Auglaize County Chamber of Commerce Director Logan O’Neill said.</p><p> “This is the 93rd year for the fireman’s picnic,” he said. “It’s been going on quite a while. What it started out as, and what it still continues ... it  helps us purchase new tools, equipment, things like that. As fire tactics change ... there comes some need where the village can only support them so far.”</p><p> The picnic is one of the largest fundraisers for the fire department.</p><p> New this year will be fire hose bowling, where teams of local firefighters will use coiled-up firehoses as the bowling ball, trying to knock down the 10 pins that have been set up in each lane. Although this isn’t an activity the public can participate in, O’Neill said everyone is welcome to watch.</p><p> “It’s actually fairly tough,” he said. “We did it at a meeting night one night, and it’s quite tough.”</p><p> The 5K will begin with a one-mile Fun Run at 8:30 a.m., with the race following at 9 a.m. Anyone wishing to participate can register at and click on either the Fireman’s Memorial 5K or the Fun Run. Race-day registration is $25 with a T-shirt (while supplies last) and $15 without a T-shirt. The cost to register for the Fun Run is $15 with a T-shirt and $5 without a T-shirt. Road To Fitness Challenge participants can count this as one of their events, O’Neill said.</p><p> Food — all prepared by the firefighters — and beverage stands will be open beginning at 11 a.m., and at 2 p.m. the kids’ bands will perform. For the last few years, O’Neill said, high school and middle school bands from the area have been performing at the picnic. These performances will also be under the pavilion.</p><p> Turtle races, which will operate the same way duck races do, will run all night long, O’Neill said. There will be inflatables and games for kids as well.</p><p> As an extra fundraiser, New Knoxville artist Larry Kellermeyer will be doing woodcarvings throughout the day. At 7:30 p.m., these woodcarvings will be auctioned off and the proceeds will go to the fire department.</p><p> Team registration is open for the wiffle ball tournament that will take place during the picnic. Call Alan Kramer at 419-733-9712 to register a team, which should consist of five players each. Registration will be open officially until Thursday, and Friday if needed.</p>St. Marys, OHMeredith EnkoffFiremen's Picnic Offers FunThe Evening Rundown2014-07-22T09:57:44-04:002014-07-22T09:57:44-04:00Copyright 2011 The Evening Leader <strong>July 22:</strong> A Story Time will be held at the Paris Street Park in Minster at 10 a.m. today.</p><p> New Bremen Public Library will host story time for those 3 to 5 at 6:30 p.m. today.</p><p> A Book Discussion in the Wissman Room at Otterbein St. Marys will be held at 6:30 p.m. today. "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn will be discussed.</p><p> The New Bremen Village Council will meet at 7:30 p.m. today.</p>St. Marys, OHNo author availableDaily RundownThe Evening Rundown2014-07-21T09:02:30-04:002014-07-21T09:02:30-04:00Copyright 2011 The Evening Leader <strong>July 21:</strong> Children in Kindergarten and older are invited to the FJ Stallo Memorial Library at 1 p.m. today to watch a classic movie.</p><p> Children in grades K-2 are welcome to come to the New Bremen Library at 6:30 p.m. today for Angel Bear Yoga. Participants are encouraged to bring a towel to use as a mat.<br />  </p>St. Marys, OHNo author availableDaily RundownThe Evening Treks Across America2014-07-18T12:08:52-04:002014-07-18T09:16:17-04:00Copyright 2011 The Evening Leader CELINA — A U.S. Army veteran is walking across America as part of a journey he hopes will raise money for fellow veterans in need as well as erase a stigma that is often associated with post-traumatic stress disorder.</p><p> Eric Peters, of Clark, N.J., started his journey to cover more than 3,200 miles on June 20. He was in Celina on Thursday as part of a break in his trek. St. Marys resident Josh Henline opened his home to Peters and the two will embark for Indianapolis on Sunday.</p><p> Peters, a member of the 101st Airborne Division, joined the Army in 2011 and got out in October 2013. A recipient of the Purple Heart, Peters said he was diagnosed with PTSD following his discharge.</p><p> “I came home and I was having a lot of troubles,” Peters told The Evening Leader. “I wasn’t able to leave the house and I was drinking a lot —  basically trying to drink away the sorrows.”</p><p> Peters said he has witnessed first hand the scandal that rocked the VA in recent months. Peters said the VA declined him as it relates to his medical conditions associated with his service in the military.</p><p> “I was declined of all my disabilities,” Peters said as he rattled off a list of medical conditions. “I got laid off from my job.”</p><p> Peters worked in construction building homes and the sound from nail guns often triggered his PTSD.</p><p> “A lot of stuff was going on at that time,” Peters said. “I sat at home for about a month or two and I said, ‘You know, I am going to do something no one else has done for veterans with PTSD — how many people have walked across America, raised donations and gave it back to the veterans?”</p><p> To help him in his mission, Peters set up a page for donations — which will be given to That nonprofit provides free mental health treatment and services to veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq.</p><p> “I am hoping with my donations, they can expand and spread out to help more people,” Peters said.</p><p> On his journey, strangers have opened their homes to Peters and provided him with a place to rest, food and donations for his cause. Peters said the outpouring of supports means a lot.</p><p> Any miles Peters misses via rides he plans to make up when he gets to California. For those miles, Peters will walk around a track so that he completes his mission — walking the full mileage from New Jersey to California.</p><p> “At the end of the day, you finish the mission,” Peters said. “My end of the day, when I reach California, I am going to finish those miles. Then I am going to jump in the ocean.”</p><p> PTSD awareness is something Peters said he hopes to bring to the forefront during his mission.</p><p> “I want to see change,” Peters said. “I want to see the VA step up and do what their job is. I know they may be having troubles, but everyone has troubles. I think it’s time for the VA to stand up and help the veterans who are going through the ringer ... I’ve met 17 vets with PTSD who are all injured. I have watched them, they are in pain and the VA is not helping them. I have seen the letters of decline, why won’t they help them. The VA says Veteran Affairs. It’s supposed to help veterans get back. They have not been doing that.”</p><p> If Peters helps one veteran on his journey, he said it will be worth it.</p><p> “I want to raise awareness,” Peters said. “I am a veteran and I have PTSD. I am not a monster or someone who will go rampaging.”</p><p> When he returned from the Army, Peters said he did not want to leave his home. He said by sharing his story, he hopes to help veterans open up about their PTSD.</p><p> Henline said when the opportunity presented itself to help Peters, he jumped at the chance.</p><p> “I decided I was going to walk with him to Indianapolis,” Henline said, noting it is 110 miles to the city. “I am a combat vet myself with PTSD and I figured it was a good cause. I think there are a lot of veterans out there who aren’t getting the help they need.”</p><p> Like Peters, Henline said he hopes more people become aware of PTSD.</p><p> “I hope that people just understand that we are not like people think we are with PTSD,” Henline said. “We just need help getting through what we have and not to be judged ... There’s a stigma that’s attached to it and it’s still attached. Once people hear a soldier has PTSD they think we are mentally ill or mentally unstable. We’re not. It’s more of an anxiety disorder.”</p><p> To follow Peters on his mission, look up “Eric Peters of Clark, New Jersey,” on Facebook, or to make a donation, visit People can also look up “No Veteran Walks Alone” on Facebook.</p><p> <br />  </p>St. Marys, OHMike BurkholderVeteran Treks Across AmericaThe Evening Rundown2014-07-17T16:31:13-04:002014-07-17T16:31:13-04:00Copyright 2011 The Evening Leader <strong>July 18:</strong> Lego fans are invited to New Bremen Library for Lego Club Friday at 10 a.m. July 18.</p>St. Marys, OHNo author availableDaily RundownThe Evening