VAN WERT — Rapper Vanilla Ice, also known as Rob Van Winkle, was in the Van Wert community last week. He was filming a portion of his new reality show, "Vanilla Ice Goes Amish," in the county.
Vanilla Ice gained popularity in the 1990s with his hit, “Ice Ice Baby.” He has since starred in various reality programs such as "The Surreal Life," "Celebrity Bull Riding Challenge," "Dancing on Ice" and "Celebrity Boxing."
In October 2010, "The Vanilla Ice Project" aired on the DIY Network, and has become the top-rated show on the network. The fourth season of the home-improvement show is set to air this fall.
"Vanilla Ice Goes Amish," a spin-off of "The Vanilla Ice Project," brought Vanilla Ice to the Amish country in Ohio. He accompanied his new Amish family to the construction site of a home outside of Wren. Vanilla Ice is immersing himself in the Amish world and learning their ways of construction, on which the Amish pride themselves.
The show, "Vanilla Ice Goes Amish," is set to air in January and the episode filmed within Van Wert County is set to be the first episode.
Minster second-graders win statewide engineering contest
MINSTER — Brady Wolf and Katie McClurg, second-graders at Minster Elementary School, have placed first and third respectively in the statewide Imagine Engineering Coloring Contest. There were about 3,500 entries from the state of Ohio. Brady’s winning poster will be on the front cover of Ohio Engineer magazine.
Brady is 8 years old and is the son of Brian and Shelley Wolf. He won the contest by drawing and coloring a picture of an engineer comparing his blueprints to the work at a construction site. For his first-place efforts, Brady received a telescope.
Katie is also 8 years old, and is the daughter of Michael and Heather McClurg. She placed third in the state by drawing, coloring and labeling four different fields of engineering: biomedical, mechanical, aeronautical and civil. She won a MathShark game.
The Imagine Engineering Coloring Contest, sponsored by the Ohio Society of Professional Engineers, is offered annually to every second-grade classroom across the state of Ohio. Those schools wishing to participate each year notify the state office of their interest in the program.
Bluffton High School pianist wins award
BLUFFTON — Julian Harnish, a junior at Bluffton High School, won second place in the Lima Symphony Orchestra’s Young Artist Competition in the High School Piano Division. In addition, he won the Hurless Award.
Julian competed against 38 young musicians from around the world during the 53rd Annual Young Artist Competition for piano and winds/brass competition held April 20 at The Ohio State University at Lima campus.
The Hurless Award is given to the highest scoring local contestant in the high school piano category. Don Hurless created the award in memory of his late wife, Carolyn.
Ada dance troupe dances at Cavaliers game
ADA — Rhythm in Motion Dance Centre traveled to Cleveland in March and danced during a prime time performance of the Cavaliers versus Philadelphia 76ers game.
The dancers performed their “Born This Way” routine, which was choreographed by Bluffton’s Jocelyn Sherman and directed by dance center owner, Darcey Schneider.
Dancers included: Dani Vassil-Horse, Emma Bucco, Evelynn Schneider, Libby Frazier, Reagan Mittendorf, Madison Park, Alivia Lambert, Kylie Colwell, Ashley Schweyer, Amelia Heslep, Olyvia Sloan, Erica Stoner, Raina England, Madison Stoner, Darby Prichard, Celeste Stauber, Erica Sheehan, Megan Sommers and Kama Arn.
Area students place in statewide oratorical contest
LIMA — The 14th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Youth Oratorical Contest was held April 26 in Columbus.
Merri Merkel, of Liberty Arts Magnet School, in Lima, placed second in the junior division.
Olivia Velasquez, of Pandora-Gilboa, won second place in the senior division.
This was Lima’s fifth appearance at the statewide competition, as well as the fifth time that area residents have placed in the competition.
ONU team doing outstanding at competitions
ADA — The Ohio Northern University Baja Society of Automotive Engineers team finished second at the Tennessee Tech Baja Collegiate Design Series held April 18 through 21. The event featured about 100 colleges and university teams.
In addition to its second-place finish, the ONU team garnered third place in the 14-hour endurance race, sixth place in the suspension and traction category, ninth place in maneuverability, seventh place in acceleration and a seventh place in cost report.
The Ohio Northern University concrete canoe team also captured second place at the 2013 American Society of Civil Engineers’ regional concrete canoe contest at Michigan Technological University. The second-place finish qualifies the ONU concrete canoe team to go to nationals held June 20 through 22 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Ohio State-Lima students place in engineering showcase
LIMA — Two teams of first-year engineering students at The Ohio State University at Lima competed in the Engineering Education Innovation Center’s Advanced Energy Vehicle Showcase held April 22 on the Columbus campus.
One Ohio State-Lima team, Old School, placed second in the Most Innovative category out of 41 teams from the Columbus, Newark and Lima campuses. Students on the Old School team included, Matthew Gerding, Dallis Gibson, Tyler Egbert and Robert Puthoff.
The goal of the project was to develop a vehicle that minimized the amount of energy used, ran autonomously and was aesthetically pleasing.