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December 5, 2016

Cast your vote in the 2016 Downtown Columbia City Christmas Business Decorating Contest

Cast your vote in Talk of the Town's 2016 Downtown Columbia City Christmas decorating contest. Vote daily for your favorite window display. The winner of the sixth annual contest will receive an advertising package on Talk of the Town. Voting ends December 31, 2016. free polls

Chamber celebrates launch of 'Coffee News' in Whitley County


(Talk of the Town photo provided)
The Whitley County Chamber of Commerce and Chamber Ambassadors were pleased to join Scott Nguyen and his family in celebration of the opening of his new local business, Coffee News.
Nguyen officially launched his business in Whitley County on October 7, 2016. The Coffee News is a weekly, one-page publication (front & back) printed in black and tan. The publication can be found in restaurants, coffee shops and all kinds of waiting areas. It provides a pleasant way to pass the time while you're waiting for service. And it's free!
Nguyen has recently launched a similar Coffee News publication for DeKalb County and anticipates launching one in Steuben in early 2017 as well.
The Ambassadors joined the Nguyen family for a ribbon cutting ceremony in downtown Columbia City recently. Above, from left, is Jill Lane of Orizon Real Estate, Shelby Longenbaugh of Star Insurance, Mayor Ryan Daniel, Jo Robertson of Midwest America Federal Credit Union, Jennifer Romano of the Whitley County Chamber of Commerce, Thuy Nguyen of Coffee News, Pete Allen of Star Financial Bank, Lucas Nguyen, Scott Nguyen of Coffee News, Liam Nguyen and Jeff Walker of the City of Columbia City.
For more information about Coffee News, visit or call (260) 450-2829.

Whitley County 4-H offers learning experiences, memories and more to youths in grades 3-12

Article provided

When you hear 4-H what do you think of?  Animals right? 
"Traveling around the county over the past 8 months and speaking at several community functions this was by far the most popular answer when I spoke to adults and youth, wasn't even close," states Todd Geiger, Whitley County extension educator for 4-H & Youth Development. 
Did you know in 2016 the Whitley County 4-H program offered 55 different projects and of them only 11 were livestock related? And they are looking to add more opportunities in 2017 with the addition of the following projects: 
Recycling, BBQ Grilling, Aquatic Science, and Shooting Sports BB/Rifle.
Do you know a 3rd-12th grader who loves animals, or likes to cook, or enjoys drawing or taking pictures?  What about a kid that likes bugs, rocks or likes to collect a specific thing?  Rockets?  Scrapbooking?  Decorating a cake, a room or an item?  Whitley County 4-H offers possibilities for kids who enjoy all of this along with those that like history, gardening, sewing, animal science, and making great friends, learning valuable life skills, participating in community service projects, and making memories of a lifetime.
If you know of a 3rd - 12th grade youth that would like to learn more about 4-H or even sign up have them contact the Whitley County Extension Office at 244-7615, 625-3313, or visit

Patriots will meet Tuesday

From reports

The Whitley County Patriots will hold their next monthly meeting on December 6 at 7 p.m. at the Columbia City Church of the Nazarene. Attendees are invited to bring Christmas cookies to share. They plan to watch a short video about George Soros' agenda for America.
Columbia City Church of the Nazarene Church is located at 506 North Main Street in Columbia City.

December 1, 2016

Caucus events set to fill vacancies in local state senate, prosecutor seats

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

Whitley County GOP chairman Matt Boyd announced Wednesday that dates have been set for two caucuses, filling the vacancies created by Jim Banks and Matthew Rentschler following the recent General Election.
The first caucus will be held on Tuesday, December 6, to fill the Indiana Senate District 17 seat vacanted by Banks when he was elected to the Third District Congressional seat. The caucus will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Heartland REMC Community Room, 350 Wedcor Drive, Wabash.
Current candidates include Lee Baatz of Whitley County, Andy Zay of Huntington County, Darren Reese and Ann Vermillion, both of Grant County.
Additional candidates could still file for this caucus as filing must happen no later than 72 hours prior to the caucus in Indianapolis. Political affiliation is not required.
In all, 32 Whitley County precinct committee men and women are eligible to vote in the caucus.
The winner of the Senate District 17 Caucus will complete the remainder of the term that Jim Banks was elected to in the 2014 General Election, that term will expire November 6, 2018. District 17 includes portions of Whitley, Huntington, Wabash and Grant Counties.
The second caucus has been planned to fill the vacancy created when current Whitley County Prosecuting Attorney Matthew Rentschler is sworn in as Whitley Circuit Court Judge on January 1, 2017. 
This caucus will be held on Thursday, December 8, at 7 p.m. in the auditorium at the Peabody Public Library, 1160 East Highway  2015 in Columbia City.
Currently, only one candidate has filed for the seat, local Deputy Prosecuting Attorney DJ Sigler.
The deadline to file as a candidate in that caucus would be Monday, December 5 at 7 p.m. No party affiliation is required to be a candidate in the caucus.
Whitley County's 34 Republican precinct committee members will participate in this caucus to fill the remaining portion of Rentschler's term beginning January 1, 2016, through December 31, 2018.

Banks announces latest Congressional leadership staff

From reports

Congressman-elect Jim Banks today announced that Matt Lahr and Paul Lagemann will assume the roles of Chief of Staff and District Director when Banks takes office in January 2017.
Both Lahr and Lagemann currently serve on the staff of retiring Indiana Senator Dan Coats. Lahr is Deputy Chief of Staff and Communications Director, and Lagemann is Northeast Regional Director for Coats.
"Senator Coats has been a friend and mentor to me, and I respect his approach to public service and focus on constituent services," said Banks. "I am pleased that two key members of his staff will be joining my team to help me best represent the Third District in Congress. Matt and Paul are uniquely qualified for the roles they are taking on and are committed to serving the citizens of northeast Indiana."
Lahr is a native of Columbus, Indiana, and has worked on Capitol Hill for over a decade. He is a graduate of Indiana University and began his career working for then-Congressman Mike Pence in 2006. Lahr worked in the House of Representatives for five years and has spent the last six years working for Senator Coats. Lahr has an MBA from George Mason University.
Lagemann is a native of Fort Wayne and currently works as Coats' representative to Hoosiers in twenty-two northeast Indiana counties. Prior to working for Coats, Lagemann spent nearly twenty years in the private sector, owning and operating a small family business. He chairs the board of Fort Wayne Trails and currently serves on the boards of Concordia Lutheran High School, Allen County Right to Life, Lutheran Social Services and the Northeast Indiana Innovation Center. Lagemann is a graduate of Ball State University and has a master's degree in public management from Indiana University.

November 30, 2016

CCPD collecting 'Coats for Kids'

From reports This year Columbia City Police Department is currently collecting Coats for Kids. They will be accepting new coats, hats, scarves and gloves for ages 1-18 and for boys and girls. The drop off site for donations is at City Hall on the first floor. Monetary donations will be accepted by City dispatch. For any questions please contact Officer Rae Carpenter via email at or call 248-5121. Checks can be mailed to: Patroling for Presents c/o Columbia City Police Department, 112 South Chauncey Street, Columbia City, IN 46725. Please join the Columbia City Police Department in keeping kids in our community warm this winter.

EDC seeks winter photos

From reports

There's still time to submit your photos for the EDC Christmas Card Photo Contest! Submit a wintry photo from Whitley County-photo can be a "throwback" since we haven't had a big snow yet this year-for the chance to win a $25 gift card to El Dorado Restaurant & Bar and 2 free movie tickets to Bones Theatre in Columbia City!
Submit your photos to by Friday, December 2.

Libraries recognize young writers

From reports In honor of all veterans, each of the three libraries in Whitley County invited students to participate in a Veterans Writers' Contest. For the past 14 years, the community has shown tremendous support for the annual Salute to Veterans recognition program. Winners included: Abigail Erwin - Churubusco Public Library
Kayla Carpenter - Peabody Public Library
Cassidy Skinner - South Whitley Community Public Library This year, local libraries wanted to encourage more students to participate and understand the reasons why the United States sets aside one day in November to honor and recognize veterans and all that they have done for the country.Students were asked to choose a writing style such as a story, biography or poem and develop a theme describing what a veteran means to them. A winner was chosen from each library. All the students did a great job and library staff were very pleased with the number of students who participated. Each of the winners received a medal and book, plus a donation will also be made to a Veteran's association of their choice.

November 29, 2016

Santa will visit 1st Source Bank in Columbia City

Article provided 1st Source Bank announces that Santa Claus will visit its Columbia City Banking Center, located at 630 Countryside Drive, on Saturday, December 10 from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Children and their parents can stop by to visit with Santa and have their photograph taken (please bring your own camera). Attendees are encouraged to bring a donation of canned food, paper products, gift cards or other items for The Lighthouse Mission. 1st Source Corporation, parent company of 1st Source Bank, has assets of $5.4 billion and is the largest locally controlled financial institution headquartered in the northern Indiana-southwestern Michigan area. The Corporation includes 81 banking centers, 22 1st Source Bank Specialty Finance Group locations nationwide, eight Wealth Advisory Services locations and ten 1st Source Insurance offices. For more than 150 years, 1st Source has been committed to our mission of helping our clients achieve security, build wealth and realize their dreams. For more information, visit

'The Price is Right LIVE' coming to the Embassy Theatre

Article provided The Price is Right LIVE™ is coming to the Embassy Theatre Thursday, February 9. The Price Is Right Live™ is the hit interactive stage show that gives eligible individuals the chance to "Come On Down" to win. Prizes may include appliances, vacations and possibly a new car! Play classic games from television's longest running and most popular game show from Plinko™, to Cliffhangers™, to The Big Wheel™ and even the fabulous Showcase. Playing to near sold-out audiences for more than 10 years, the Price Is Right Live!™ has given away more than 12 million dollars in cash and prizes and sold more than 1.7 million tickets. If you enjoy the rush of emotions experienced while watching the show on television, just imagine the possibilities if you were actually in the audience watching it live.

November 28, 2016

Uh oh! It's good for children, but it sure looks weird

From reports

Do you still use the same phone that you used in 1980? When you need medical care, do you avoid new techniques in favor of older, more invasive procedures? Of course not! Most of us jump at the advantages that research and technology provide.
Through an upcoming media campaign, the Dekko Foundation will contend that early childhood education is due for an update as well.
"Through research and study we know so much more about how children grow and learn than we did twenty years ago," says Kimberly Schroeder, program officer for the Dekko Foundation. "It's time to pair the timeless principles related to how children learn with the knowledge gained by people who study children's development today. Together those things bring us to the next logical step forward in early childhood education."
For the past seven years, the Dekko Foundation has partnered with early education centers in its Indiana and Iowa grantmaking areas. Those leaders have studied deeply about how very young children learn and what they need to maximize their development. These leaders have changed their approach, their words and their buildings based on what is known now about children's learning needs. Children are thriving. But there's a problem.
The new approach just looks weird!
Missing are the brightly-colored classrooms filled with ABC and 1,2,3 banners. (Knowledge about how children learn tells us that too many distractions keep children from learning.) The teacher is no longer the center of the room. (Research tells us that children thrive when they direct their own learning at their own pace.) Two-year-old's are making their own snacks and cleaning up afterward. (Children see adults do this work. When they can do it themselves, they feel powerful!)
"Many people who work with young children believe that this approach to learning is really good for children, but they meet resistance from parents and grandparents," says Sharon Smith, the Dekko Foundation's program director. "Our media campaign is designed to inform people about what children need in their early education environments so that their learning can be maximized. We want parents to seek out excellence in care for their children and have the information available to determine what is excellent in their opinion.
Local education programs using this approach include:

Armstrong Early Learning Center
950 E Van Buren St
Columbia City, IN 46725
(260) 244-9622

Cole Center YMCA Preschool - Albion Elementary
202 Cougar Court
Albion, IN 46701
(260) 347-9622

The Dekko Foundation's awareness campaign is designed to help parents understand that there is early education out there that's really good for their children. The target market for the campaign is parents ages 18 through 35. Because this age group uses technology heavily, the Foundation's campaign will use digital advertising on websites and online radio stations. The campaign will also attempt to reach a secondary audience of grandparents and community leaders by using traditional radio, print and in-person presentations.
The Dekko Foundation was started in 1981 by entrepreneur, Chester E. Dekko. The mission of his foundation is to foster economic freedom through education. The Foundation serves communities where Mr. Dekko had an interest. In Indiana, the Foundation serves DeKalb, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben and Whitley Counties.
The Dekko Foundation is supported in this campaign by Ferguson Advertising, based in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The campaign's first phase will run through the end of August 2017.
For information contact: or phone 260-347-1278.

Quality Inspection & Gage set to expand in Blue River Industrial Park

From reports

Locally based, manufacturing company Quality Inspection & Gage (QIG, LLC), has announced plans to expand its operations at its facility in Blue River Industrial Park. 
"QIG, LLC designs and manufactures custom gages and fixtures for customers around the world," said QIG President Kelly Geiger, "We work closely with our clients from the gage or fixture design through the build and calibration process to ensure they are receiving the highest quality product that is available." 
QIG, LLC works with clients from start to finish on gage and fixture design, to using cutting-edge equipment and tools to manufacture the products, and offering inspection and gage calibration.  
"QIG, LLC is one of several companies in Whitley County that builds gages and fixtures for manufacturing clients across the country," said Whitley County Economic Development Corporation President Jon Myers. "We are happy that this company and this industry continues to grow here." 
The company is located at 225 S. Towerview Dr. in Blue River Industrial Park in Columbia City, and will invest $250,000 in new machinery for the facility, will modify existing lab space to accommodate the equipment and will add 5,000 square feet of additional manufacturing space.  
The City of Columbia City approved ten-year tax abatements for construction of the additional manufacturing space, the new machinery and modifications to the existing lab space to accommodate the equipment.  
"We're proud to support the expansion of this high-quality company in Columbia City," said Mayor Ryan Daniel, "Their investment into the company, and our community, is a testament to the great business environment that has been cultivated in Whitley County and the State of Indiana." 
To learn more about QIG visit

Humane Society of Whitley County launches 'Letters to Santa' campaign

From reports

The Humane Society of Whitley County would like to help brighten a child's Christmas by having Santa write him/her a letter.  
For a $5 donation, the Humane Society will send a customized letter from Santa to a child of your choice! A customized letter will be sent for each $5 donation provided. All letters will include a small gift.
To request a form, contact the Humane Society of Whitley County via email at
All letters must be ordered and paid for no later than December 15, 2016.