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November 14, 2017

7th annual decorating contest urges downtown businesses to shine for Christmas season

From reports

For the seventh year, Talk of the Town will host their annual Christmas decorating contest for businesses in downtown Columbia City. Participating businesses are urged to have the decorations ready by Friday, November 25, prior to the start of the parade at 6 p.m.
"We are honored to continue this spirited contest that brings such cheer not only to our downtown community, but to our citizens as well," said Talk of the Town owner and publisher Jennifer Zartman Romano.
Parade attendees are invited to walk around downtown Columbia City and pick their favorite displays. Voting will begin online on Talk of the Town in early December and continue through the month enabling people to vote once per day.
The business that receives the most votes for their Christmas decor will receive an advertising prize package on Talk of the Town.
For more information, contact

November 11, 2017

Veterans Memorial dedicated today in Columbia City

The Whitley County Vietnam Veterans Memorial will be dedicated today, Saturday, November 11 at 11 a.m. on the Whitley County Courthouse lawn. Everyone is invited to attend. With the 2017 Veterans Marathon underway, parking is limited today in some areas. 

November 10, 2017

City Hall draped in flag in preparation for Veterans Day, Veterans Marathon


(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano)

On Thursday, the flag was draped across City Hall in preparation for Veterans Day and the annual Veterans Marathon. Hundreds will be welcomed to this City today in honor of this event which will begin at 8 a.m. tomorrow morning. On Thursday evening, above, the glow of activity within City Hall illuminated the flag.

November 9, 2017

Chamber's Focus on the Arts: Bridge 333 artists bring bright and bold for November


(Talk of the Town photo provided)
Bold colors and a cheerful expression dominate the current exhibit on display at the Whitley County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center featuring the works of several artists in Passages' Bridge 333 art program. Some examples are shown above and below, including paintings and ceramics.

From reportsBridge333b17.jpg

The Whitley County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center has announced that artists in collaboration with Passages' Bridge 333 art program will be featured for the month of November in the Chamber's Focus on the Arts initiative. An artist's reception will be held on Friday, November 10 from 5 to 7 p.m. and the works will remain on display through the end of November.
The exhibit features an assortment of paintings and ceramics. The vivid colors evoke feelings of excitement and optimism going into the winter season. Several artists contributed pieces for the exhibit. All items are available for purchase with proceeds supporting the individual artists and the Passages Bridge 333 arts program.
"This exhibit is so bright and cheerful, offering such warmth to those who visit," said Jennifer Romano, executive director of the Whitley County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center. "We are grateful for the opportunity to feature this dynamic collection of art and we share the artists' pride in showcasing it this month. I think many visitors will find they'd like to purchase pieces for gifts and personal enjoyment."
For more information about the exhibit times, contact the Whitley County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center at (260) 248-8131.

Micropulse will add 25 jobs, invests $5.5 million in new equipment

From reports

Local medical device developer and manufacturer, Micropulse, Inc. announced plans to expand its facility and add 25 new jobs.
Micropulse, Inc., located off State Road 14 just outside Columbia City, is a medical device manufacturer providing medical implants, instruments, cases and trays and sterile packaging. The company will add $5.5 million in new equipment to the current 160,000-square-foot facility. The new equipment will increase machining and inspection capacity for the company.
"Micropulse is proud to call Whitley County home and we appreciate the years of support we have received from the local community and county government," said Micropulse Chief Financial Officer Brian More. "In today's competitive business world and tight labor market, this abatement will allow us to make deeper investments in training and development of our workforce."
CEO, Brian Emerick founded the company in 1988 in his garage just next door to the current facility. Today, Micropulse, Inc. employs more than 300 people and continues to grow. The company has been recognized in national publications for its innovation and out-of-the-box approach as a contract manufacturer of medical devices and supporter for the entrepreneurial community. Since 2010, Micropulse has helped support orthopedic start-up companies through its in-house incubator, the OrthoVationTM Center.
"Whitley County is truly blessed to have a globally competitive company like Micropulse make its home here. They provide good-paying jobs not only to our current residents, but they provide opportunities to folks who may want to return home or move from other places to become a part of our community," said Whitley County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) President Jon Myers.
The Whitley County Council approved a ten-year tax abatement in support of the project, at the request of the Whitley County EDC.
"We are proud to support Micropulse, Inc. on this project, and look forward to hearing more about the company as it continues to grow, and add value to our community," said Whitley County Council President John Barrett.

Employers invited to learn more about workforce training options

From reports

Do you have employees that need training? The Achieve Your Degree program is a partnership between Ivy Tech Community College Northeast and community businesses & institutions to offer employees the opportunity for a community college education.
Lisa Smith, Director of Community Engagement at Ivy Tech Community College Northeast, will share the many different opportunities available to you and your employees at a FREE lunch and learn hosted by the Whitley County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center. The program will be held at the City Hall in downtown Columbia City on Tuesday, November 14 at noon.
As a student enrolled in the Achieve Your Degree program, your employees can earn a degree or certificate in one of two ways and the program can be based on your company's needs. Classes can also be offered on site. If employers need an individualized approach, online training may be available as well.
Questions that will be answered include:
• Are you looking for some short-term training for your workers?
• What certificates are offered through grant funding?
• Can tuition be deferred?
• Can my employees maintain their work schedules while taking classes?
• Do you have employees that would like to finish their 2-year degree, or are simply interested in seeing what the college can offer?
• Do you have trouble finding employees? If so, Ivy Tech has students trained and available for you to hire through its Career Development program.
Business owners, human resource managers and supervisors are welcome to attend. Ivy Tech is providing lunch and seating is very limited, RSVP required! Call the Chamber at 248-8131 or email

Columbia City Rotarians prepare for annual Thanksgiving dinner

From reports

The annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner presented by the Columbia City Rotary Club will be held on Thursday, November 23, 2017, at the 4H Community Building from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. This annual event is for those who would otherwise not have a traditional Thanksgiving dinner regardless of need.
The meal is available at no charge but freewill donations are accepted. Proceeds go to feed the hungry in Whitley County.
Hot meal delivery to your home is available to Columbia City, South Whitley and county residents who cannot make it to the 4H.
To reserve your meal delivery - please call J&J Insurance at 244-6174 or Smith & Sons Funeral Home at 244-7601.
If you wish to help with monetary donations or a limited number of volunteer service positions, please call the above listed number.

One Community invites residents to attend Annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner on November 18

From reports

Residents living in the South Whitley, Larwill, Sidney and Pierceton area are invited to attend One Community's Annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner on Saturday, November 18 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The dinner is held at The Brownstone on State, 105 South State Street in South Whitley.
Free will donation. Please RSVP by November 11, 2017. For more information, please contact Lori at 609-0281.

City receives $100k gift from SDI to build pavilion at aquatics facility

From reports

Columbia City Parks Department receives $100,000 gift from Steel Dynamics
Thanks to a generous $100,000 donation from Steel Dynamics, Inc., a new pavilion will now be added to the construction of the Russel and Evelyn Fahl Aquatics Center. The new "Steel Dynamics Pavilion" will be able to house birthday parties, business gatherings, reunions, and possibly small concerts once the project is completed.
Park Superintendent Mark Green stated, "I am extremely excited about this major contribution toward the pavilion. It's great to see a local business like Steel Dynamics help support our community in such a significant way. This pavilion will be a great addition to the Russel and Evelyn Fahl Aquatic Center."
Originally the pavilion was left out of the plans due to the additional funds that needed to be raised. With this gift the new Steel Dynamics pavilion will be added back into the construction plans. If the construction runs smoothly during the winter months, the new aquatic center is hoping to open during the summer next year.
"Steel Dynamics is proud to be a part of the Columbia City community and we are happy to help bring the pavilion back into the construction plans." Chris Gionti, General Manager, Structural and Rail Division in Columbia City.

Artistic entries accepted for 2018 Visitors Guide

From reports

The Whitley County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center is currently accepting art entries for consideration to be featured in the 2018 Whitley County Visitors Guide.
According to executive director Jennifer Romano, a variety of mediums including photographs, drawings, mixed media and paintings will be considered but must feature landmarks and scenery of Whitley County.
"We want represent Whitley County in a creative way," Romano said. "We're looking for art that will encourage the reader to pick up the guide and tell a bit of a story about our community."
All ages and skill levels are invited to enter.
Entries must be received no later than Wednesday, November 15 at 5 p.m. High quality images should be submitted via email at
For more information or to enter, contact Jennifer Romano at (260) 248-8131.

Union Township firefighters present Breakfast with Santa December 9

From reports

Union Township Volunteer Fire Department will host their annual Breakfast with Santa on December 9, 2017, from 7 to 11 a.m. at the fire house, 5050 East McJunkin Street, Columbia City.
Volunteers will be serving biscuits and gravy, eggs, pancakes, sausages, milk, orange juice, coffee and hot chocolate. Photographs with Santa will also be available.
A freewill donation will be accepted.

Winter is prepared

From reports

With cold weather just around the corner, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security is encouraging all Hoosiers to become more equipped during Winter Weather Preparedness Week, November 12-18.

Here are several tips to be actively involved in Winter Weather Preparedness Week.

For your home:

·   Make sure homes are well insulated, including proper weather stripping around all doors and windows. If the home is not well insulated, consider using storm windows or plastic coverings on windows to help retain heat.

·   Alternative heating and cooking cause many fires in the winter. Make sure to have a fire extinguisher on hand.

·   Smoke alarms save lives! Make sure smoke alarms are up to date and placed on each level of the home, as well as outside sleeping areas.

·   Know how to shut off water valves properly if a pipe were to burst due to extreme cold.

·   Homeowner insurance policies should be reviewed to ensure that coverage is adequate for winter weather.

For your vehicle:

·      Have an emergency kit for the car. It should include: a portable phone charger, extra blankets, jumper cables and an ice scraper, just to name a few.

·      Make sure all cars have been checked by a mechanic before cold weather hits. The mechanic should check the brakes, heater, defroster, tires and windshield wipers.

·      Having a bag of sand can help improve traction for a car stuck on snow or ice.

Hoosiers should use Winter Weather Preparedness Week to create or maintain a home preparedness kit that may be needed during winter storms. Items to include in a preparedness kit include:

·         Food and water for three days, including one of gallon of water per person, per day

·         Battery or hand crank all hazard (weather) radio and flashlight

·         First aid kit and necessary medication

·         Extra clothing, shoes and blankets

·         Copies of important documents (photo ID, Social Security card, etc.)

For more information on winter weather preparedness and fire safety, visit Get