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Friday, July 27th, 2012

Date set to rededicate courthouse

Auglaize County

By Amy Kronenberger
WAPAKONETA - Auglaize County Commissioners invite residents to celebrate the rededication of the 117-year-old county courthouse and tour the building, which underwent an $8.6 million renovation.
The rededication on Sept. 16 will feature speakers, refreshments and entertainment.
Rachel Barber of the Auglaize County Historical Society, who met with commissioners Thursday, has been working to find representatives from every community to speak at the event.
The ceremony will begin at 2:30 p.m. and will last about an hour. Speakers likely will include the Rev. Patrick Sloneker of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Wapakoneta and Pastor Becky Urb-Strang from St. Paul United Church of Christ, New Bremen.
Longtime St. Marys attorney Ed Noble will give a reading on the original construction of the courthouse, former clerk of courts Wanda Kogge will lead the Pledge of Allegiance, former county auditor and historian Vern Doenges will sing "Beautiful Ohio," and a Minster color guard will perform a salute. Volunteers from Waynesfield will act as ushers.
State officials also have been invited to the event, including Gov. John Kasich. Only Rep. Robert Sprague, R-Findlay, confirmed he would attend.
Commissioners also will put together a time capsule and place it beneath Lady Justice in the center of the main floor. The capsule will contain information about the renovation, an invitation to the rededication, a video of the event and newspaper articles.
The courthouse will be open for tours after the ceremony until 6:30 p.m. Commissioners have asked elected officials to be in their offices to greet and talk with residents.
Willipie Street likely will be closed in front of the courthouse to hold tents for refreshments and entertainment. Barber has contacted AC Swing to perform until 5:30 p.m.
Barber said plans are tentative.
County administrator Mike Hensley said downtown parking is limited. He suggested opening the high school parking lot and busing residents to and from the event. Bergman suggested using the fairgrounds.
In the event of rain, commissioners will reschedule the event for Sept. 23. They will decide whether to cancel by 1 p.m. Sept. 16.
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