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August 24, 2016

Taste of the Arts draws near the region's best in arts, music, performance and food this Saturday

By Jennifer Zartman RomanoTasteoftheArts16.jpg

Artists, foodies, musicians, dancers and those who enjoy it all will converge this Saturday, August 27 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. for the annual Taste of the Arts festival. Events are planned throughout the day celebrating the best in food, art, music, creative performance and more. Most events will be held in the vicinity of 300 East Main Street, Fort Wayne.
A limited number of events are planned for Friday, August 26 beginning at 6 p.m., including contemporary dance, Pyroscope performance and WBNI's Meet the Music.
Local musician Alayna Trier of Columbia City will be among the musical performers participating in Taste of the Arts this year. Trier, daughter of Scott and Nicole Trier, will perform instrumental and folk music at 2:30 p.m. on the Ivy Tech stage alongside her friend and classmate, Maria Teel.
In all, 30 restaurants will have food available for purchase during the events. In addition to the more than 70 performances planned at multiple stages in the arts campus area, visitors may attend the YLNI Farmers Market at Barr Street, an Artisans Fair, free admission to the History Center, free admission to the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Artlink, Fort Wayne Ballet open house, children's activities and so much more, highlighting art and culture in a major way.
Last year, an estimated 30,000 people attended Taste of the Arts, celebrating the cultural treasures of Northeast Indiana.
For the full event schedule, visit  http://artsunited.org/taste-schedule
The events are made possible by Arts United.

County unscathed following storms Wednesday afternoon, evening

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

This afternoon and evening proved to be volatile as storms surged across northern and central Indiana, bringing worry as residents waited for clearing from their basements and safe spaces. Fortunately, local residents emerged from their shelters and found the community unscathed.
In spite of initial reports, the Whitley County Emergency Management office reported that there were no tornadoes touching down in the county this evening. Early reports indicated concerns near the County Line Road and 700 South and some rotation was reported near CR 950 West.
Whitley County did, however, receive a significant amount of rainfall, creating flooding in may areas. Motorists are urged to use caution this evening when driving through the county because of the potential for flooded roadways and standing water.
If you discover damage from the storm, contact the Emergency Management office at (260) 248-3167 or via email at  whitleydhs@whitleygov.com. Please provided photos of the damage via email if possible.

INDOT awards $51 million in matching grant funds for road projects in Northern Indiana

From reports

On Wednesday, Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) Commissioner Brandye Hendrickson announced that 121 Northern Indiana cities, towns, and counties will receive a combined $51 million to improve local roads and bridges through the State's Community Crossings matching grant fund.
Whitley County and the City of Columbia City did not apply for, nor did they receive, any grant funding from this initiative.
The City of New Haven and the City of LaPorte are each receiving $1 million in matching funds to support street resurfacing efforts in those cities.
The local road and bridge matching grant fund was created by the Indiana General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Mike Pence in March 2016. The grant program provides approximately $160 million in funding this year available to all Indiana cities, towns and counties on a 50/50 matching basis.
Projects that are eligible for funding through Community Crossings include road resurfacing, bridge rehabilitation, road reconstruction, resurfacing, and Americans with Disabilities Act compliance in connection with road projects. Material costs for chip sealing and crack filling operations are also eligible for funds.
A complete list of Northern Indiana communities receiving funds through Community Crossings for the calendar year 2016 call for projects is online at http://www.in.gov/indot/3570.htm.
More information about Community Crossings can be found at www.in.gov/indot/communitycrossings.

Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana's Tribune Dinner inspires hope for healing

Article provided

Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana's Annual Tribute Dinner will take place from 6 to 9 p.m., Wednesday, September 21, 2016, at the Mirro Center for Research and Innovation, 10622 Parkview Plaza Drive, Fort Wayne. This fundraiser for Cancer Services is an opportunity to pay tribute to friends and family touched by cancer and honor caregivers and physicians. 
Wendy Harpham, M.D. is the guest speaker. Harpham is a doctor of internal medicine, 25 year cancer survivor, best-selling author and nationally recognized speaker.  She will share her unique blend of engaging stories and useful insights about the power of hope in healing. It will be an evening full of hope, inspiration and community.
There are several ways you can take part in the event:
• Host a table for your friends and family members
• Organize a group of friends and family members to contribute to host a table
• Purchase an individual ticket and join other Cancer Services supporters
When you purchase a ticket to the event, you will also have an opportunity to honor someone with a tribute.  Tributes are listed in the event program and displayed onscreen above the stage during the evening.
Individual tickets are $100 and include 1 tribute.  Reserved tables of 8 are $800 and include up to 8 tributes.  If you are unable to attend but would still like to honor someone at the event, individual tributes are available for $25.  To make a reservation or submit a tribute, contact Noni Hoham at (260) 484-9560.

August 22, 2016

Whitko area youths' hard work pays off at the 2016 Indiana State Fair

Article provided

Perseverance and discipline merit their own rewards, and for Austin Bernicky and Jordyn Leininger the rewards at the Indiana State Fair have been abundant.
On August 7, Bernicky, a ninth grader at Whitko High School, won the Grand Champion Market lamb. Bernicky won his respective breed in Blackface Crossbred and then went on to compete against the top winner against all breed champions to rank as the cream of the crop, the best in show, the super-bowl champion of lamb breeding known as the Grand Champion.
Leininger, a sixth grader at Whitko Middle School, won Supreme Breeding Ewe August 13, with a first and fifth place overall. She showed a Hampshire that won her the Supreme Champion ranking and a Suffolk which took fifth place overall. Similar to Grand Champion, the Supreme Champion in the ewe competition is the highest ranking an individual can achieve.
For Bernicky and Leininger, it doesn't get much sweeter with Grand Champion and Supreme Champion in the lamb and ewe categories respectively. This past Wednesday, the champions were invited to the coveted "Harvest Dinner." At $250 a plate, this fundraiser's proceeds will go back to the students who competed, and can be used toward raising next year's champions or toward their futures in whatever way they see fit. Leininger has been invited to give a speech about her experiences as the new Supreme Champion. Bernicky will be honored at the "Celebration of Champions."

Third District GOP welcomes Curtis Hill Jr. as featured speaker for luncheon Wednesday

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The Third District GOP is hosting a luncheon this Wednesday, August 24 in Bluffton beginning at 11:30 a.m. The luncheon will be held at the Wells County Republican Headquarters, 125 South Johnson Street, Bluffton.
Curtis Hill Jr., the GOP's Indiana Attorney General nominee, will be present to meet with luncheon attendees and to speak.
The event begins with a meet and greet at 11:30 a.m. follwed by lunch and remarks from Hill from 12 to 12:45 p.m.
Admission is $25 per person.
To RSVP, contact Kyle Babcock, Third District Treasurer, at (317) 701-0655 or via email at  kyle@kyzle.com

Registration still open for Columbia City United Methodist Church preschool program

From reports

New students are still being accepted for Columbia City United Methodist Church's preschool program. Several learning opportunities exist, including 3-day and 5-day class options as well as classes in the morning and afternoon.
To participate, a child must be age 3 as of August 1, 2016. Classes begin in early September.
For more information, call 244-7671, email  preschool@columbiacityumc.com or visit  http://columbiacityumc.com/page/preschool

'Remember When' rounds out Churubusco Public Library's summer concert series

From reports

The Churubusco Public Library's final concert of the summer series is approaching.
Remember When will perform on Friday, August 26 at 7 p.m.
The concert will be held outdoors, weather permitting.
The library's summer concert series is made possible with a grant from the Whitley County Community Foundation.

August 18, 2016

Northeast Indiana Regional Development Authority approves funding for Huntington trail project

Article provided

The Board of the Northeast Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA) met this week to consider a request for Regional Cities Initiative funding for a project submitted by the City of Huntington.

The Board voted to support the Little River Trail project with a grant of $255,748, which represents 20 percent of the $1.053 million of the project's total cost.

Details about the project include:

construction of 4,124 feet or .78 miles of multi-use trails;
streetscape improvements along Riverside Drive;
wayfinding signage;
a pavilion and resting node near the Erie Rail Trail Bridge; and
other trail amenities.
The Board's recommendation now goes to the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) for review and final approval of the funding request.

The RDA is responsible for disbursement of the $42 million in funding granted to the region through the Regional Cities Initiative established last year.

The purpose of the Regional Cities Initiative funding is to attract and retain talent by providing financial support for game-changing quality of place projects that will increase economic growth, lead to population growth, and enhance the region's national brand identity. Northeast Indiana won the Regional Cities grant last year with its Road to One Million plan that outlines more than 70 projects and $1.5 billion in investment over the next 10 years.

"From growing our region's downtowns to connecting our trails, the Little River Trail project is a creative example of the region's progressive leadership on the Road to One Million. We are building a region of one million people and it takes inventive projects like this one to get us there by 2031," RDA board chairman Jeff Turner, senior vice president of Metal Technologies.

The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, which helped lead the effort to secure the Regional Cities Initiative funding, also provides staffing support to the RDA.

"The Little River Trail project is a centerpiece for downtown Huntington as it will connect three counties along the Wabash River. It's a critical project that connects the charming downtown to the expansive regional trail network. The RDA's approval of funding is a progressive step to building a strong, healthy and connected Northeast Indiana," said Michael Galbraith, director of the Road to One Million.

The board also heard a presentation from Manchester Early Learning Center, which requested $520,000 for a new learning center, which is 20 percent of the $2.6 million of the project's total cost.

In addition to the approval of funding, the RDA also reported on the progress of the following Road to One Million projects, which are either approved or under review by the IEDC:

Great Lakes Capital for the Skyline Tower;
Trine University;
University of Saint Francis;
Embassy Theatre; and
The DeKalb County YMCA.
To learn more about the Road to One Million, visit the website at www.neindiana.com/regionalcities.

Lake Area Community Band to perform

Article provided

The Lake Area Community Band will perform at the fifth of six Village at Winona Festival of Music concerts on Saturday, August 27. The free concert will take place at 2 p.m. in Artisan Court behind Kelainey's Ice Cream and Sandwich Shop in Winona Lake.

The Lake Area Community Band, founded in 1989, is a 50-member band conducted by Village at Winona Festival of Music Coordinator Marty Becker. At the Aug. 27 concert, the band will play several Sousa marches, patriotic music, a medley of Hollywood movie themes and Olympic themes. The younger audience members will enjoy selections from the movie "The Incredibles" and Barry Frisinger will be featured in a trumpet solo, "Believe in All Those Endearing Young Charms."

The Lake Area Community band has gained popularity recently with its summer concerts, including performances in Warsaw's First Friday events, the Optimist Car Show, Lakeside Park in Syracuse, Greencroft in Goshen, Grace Village in Winona Lake and Dixie Park in North Webster. They have also performed in the "Celebrate America" concert held in Winona Lake prior to fireworks.

Marty Becker encourages community members to make plans to attend the band concert. "We will have something for everyone in the family," said Becker. "The band concert is a great way to wrap up summer with loved ones and friends." Becker notes that the audience should bring lawn chairs or blankets to enjoy the concert.

Grace College, Wagon Wheel Center for the Arts and the Village at Winona have partnered to bring the community high-quality, family-friendly concerts throughout the summer. The series, sponsored in part by the Esther Pfleiderer Charitable Trust and 1st Source Bank, includes six concerts from June 18 through Sept. 3. For more information on the festival, visit www.grace.edu/musicfestival. For more information on the Lake Area Community Band, visit www.lacband.com.

August 17, 2016

New facades in the works for two downtown businesses

From reports

As part of the continued redevelopment initiatives in downtown Columbia City, two facade grant requests were approved by the Columbia City Redevelopment Commission last Tuesday.
Chapman's Brewing Company's request for signage on the front and side of the Central Block Building was approved.
Additionally, BE Computer's request for a new sign with illuminated lettering was also approved.
Through the facade grant program, a joint program administered by the Redevelopment Commission, city and Chamber of Commerce, business owners can submit facade grant requests that would fund half of a project costing $5000.

Fort Wayne Children's Choir prepares for upcoming season

The Fort Wayne Children's Choir (FWCC) begins rehearsals Monday, August 29, for the 2016-17 choir season. With the exception of the Concert Choir and Boychoir, singers, 6-18 years old, meet weekly to rehearse and engage in the rigorous music education program offered by FWCC. The Concert Choir, the advanced unchanged voice ensemble, meets twice a week. This year the Choir will perform at four FWCC hosted concerts as well as 50+ community, civic, and private engagements. The first formal performance is Sunday, November 6 at 4 p.m at the IPFW Rhinehart Music Center in the Auer Performance Hall. In addition to the performing ensembles, FWCC offers a Preparatory Program. The class is designed for younger students, 6-7 years old, with little to no choral experience. Directed by Susan LaCroix, a master music educator and Apprentice Choir director, children learn the basics of being in a choir without the pressure of performance. Singers learn rehearsal etiquette and the foundations of singing in a relaxed and fun atmosphere. No audition is required. Sign-up begins this month with rehearsals starting September 12. Interested families may call the office, 260.481.0481. There is a fee to cover the cost of the director and materials used.