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February 23, 2018

Gatton will run for a second term as Whitley County Sheriff

(Talk of the Town photo provided) Whitley County Sheriff Marc Gatton has announced his plans to seek a second term as county sheriff.

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Sheriff Marc Gatton is ready to kick up the campaign trail for his 2nd term as Whitley County Sheriff; Gatton will officially file in January 2018. Gatton who has served on the Whitley County Sheriff's Department since December of 1994, at which time he started as a Reserve Deputy volunteering his time. He started working full time for Whitley County Sheriff's Department in June 1995 and then was elected Sheriff in 2014. "Working for Whitley County citizens as Sheriff has been an honor. I hope to continue for another four years. There's plenty more work to be done."
Gatton is very proud of the employees at the Whitley County Sherriff's Department. "The staff that surrounds me makes me look good for things they do."
Gatton said the Department is facing many challenges now and in the future. Some of these are the opiod crisis, jail issues, staffing and money restraints throughout county government.
Gatton is the first Sheriff in Whitley County history to purchase two vehicles for department use, at no cost to the taxpayers. Both vehicles were purchased with commissary money, not taxpayers dollars.
"I'm very proud of that accomplishment and hope to continue to being able to save the county taxpayers money. We must be proactive and keep looking for ways to improve and solve issues that are best for Whitley County," he said.
Gatton is a life long Whitley County resident. He resides in the Collins area with his wife of almost 22 years Kay. They have two children: Carson 18, who attends Trine University studying Criminal Justice and Max 15, who is a sophomore at Churubusco High School.
"These are the people who made me who I am today. I would especially like to thank my wife Kay for always supporting and pushing me to do better," Gatton said in closing with thanks his family and friends.

February 21, 2018

IDHS asks Hoosiers to report damage from recent rain, flooding

Article provided

Hoosier homeowners, renters, businesses and private non-profit organizations that sustained uninsured damage caused by severe storms and flooding starting on or after February 15 can report damage online at: http://bit.ly/2018rainfall.
A link to the form is also available on the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) website at dhs.in.gov. In the middle of the page under "Featured Topics," click on " Heavy Rain and Flooding; February 15, 2018 and continuing."
Individuals will be asked to provide their name, address, phone number and type of damage the property sustained. Losses can include structural damage to homes and loss of personal property.
Information gathered from citizens will assist county and state agencies in determining the scope of damage, as well whether state or federal assistance will be available for recovery efforts.

For questions, contact your county emergency management agency. Contact information is available at dhs.in.gov/2797.htm.

Individuals without Internet access are encouraged to contact a friend, family member or neighbor for assistance. Web access is also available at many libraries, religious institutions, community centers or other public facilities. If none of those options are available, individuals may also contact their county emergency management agency to report damage.

This is NOT an application for a grant with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Information will be used to help local emergency management agencies and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security with preliminary damage assessments and to determine if federal assistance can be pursued.

Multi-County Medical Outreach Clinic will be closed February 22

From reports

The Multi-County Medical Outreach Clinic will be closed Thursday, February 22. Patients needing medication refills can go to Parkview Walk-in Clinic in Columbia City or Kendallville.

February 20, 2018

Parkview Whitley Hospital named among 'Best Places to Work in Indiana'

Article provided

Four Parkview hospitals are being recognized among the Best Places to Work in Indiana: Parkview Huntington Hospital, Parkview Noble Hospital, Parkview Wabash Hospital and Parkview Whitley Hospital, which includes Parkview Warsaw. The thirteenth annual program was created by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce and Best Companies Group.
The statewide survey and awards program was designed to identify, recognize and honor the best employers in Indiana, benefiting the state's economy, workforce and businesses.
"We are honored to have several of our hospitals named among the state's best employers," said Mike Packnett, president and CEO, Parkview Health. "We are fortunate to have outstanding leaders at all our hospitals and facilities throughout the region. Those leaders and their teams have created a culture that truly values co-worker engagement, world-class teamwork and a dedication to excellence, and I have no doubt those principles led to this honor."
"This recognition is a natural byproduct of what we accomplish as a team in our facilities every day," said Scott Gabriel, president, Parkview Whitley Hospital and Parkview Warsaw. "When you assemble the best and brightest teams of dedicated employees, they create a positive atmosphere not only for patients, but for each other. I'm proud of the culture of excellence Parkview Whitley and Parkview Warsaw provide every day."
To be considered for participation, companies had to fulfill the following eligibility requirements:
- Be a for-profit, not-for-profit business or government entity;
- Be a publicly or privately held business;
- Have a facility in Indiana;
- Have at least 15 employees working in Indiana;
- Be in business a minimum of 1 year.
Companies from across the state entered the two-part survey process to determine the Best Places to Work in Indiana. The first part consisted of evaluating each nominated company's workplace policies, practices, philosophy, systems and demographics. This part of the process was worth approximately 25% of the total evaluation. The second part consisted of an employee survey to measure the employee experience. This part of the process was worth approximately 75% of the total evaluation. The combined scores determined the top companies and the final rankings. Best Companies Group managed the overall registration and survey process in Indiana, analyzed the data and determined the final rankings.
The final rankings will be announced at an awards dinner on Thursday, May 3, 2018, at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, then published in the May-June issue of the Indiana Chamber's BizVoice® magazine.
For more information on the Best Places to Work in Indiana program, visit www.BestPlacestoWorkIN.com

Chamber's State of the City is March 2

Article provided

The Whitley County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center is pleased to announce the 2018 State of the City Address will be held on Friday, March 2, beginning with lunch at 11:30 a.m. and followed by the address at noon. The luncheon will be held in the Robert Brittain Auditorium at the Peabody Public Library in Columbia City.
Columbia City is rapidly becoming a focal point of Northeast Indiana. Topics presented by Mayor Ryan Daniel will include our increasing population and growth in the business sector, to the new Fahl Aquatics Center and park expansions. You will hear of the past year's successes and future goals of Columbia City.
Cost is $15 per person. Please RSVP before 12 p.m. on Tuesday, February 27 to the Chamber by calling 248-8131 or emailing office@whitleychamber.com
This annual event is sponsored by NIPSCO and United Consulting.

Faith Christian Academy's annual fish, tenderloin fry is March 3

From reports

Faith Christian Academy will host their annual all you can eat fish & tenderloin Fry on Saturday, March 3. The event will be held at the Whitley County 4-H Center in Columbia City. Admission is a free will donation. The meal will be prepared by Gaerte's.

Purdue Extension to offer training for children's caregivers

From reports

Purdue Extension will offer a training for childcare and preschool providers on March 5, 2018, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on topics that will enlighten and entertain the staff and children at area facilities.
Purdue Extension Educators will present a workshop from the I am Moving I am Learning curriculum. This research based program will allow participants to earn two hours of education towards their Paths to Quality certification. Programs focus on school readiness, increasing activity and movement, child development and healthy eating.
This workshop will focus on activities for all. Participants will gain an understanding of how to vary, modify and adapt physical activity and motor skill development to different ability levels in young children. The session helps participants learn strategies that increase skills, development and physical activity participation for all young children.
If you need reasonable accommodations to participate in this programming, please contact Karen Hinshaw at 260-358-4826 at least two weeks prior to the event.

Council on Aging hopes to help individuals plan for emergencies

From reports

The Whitley County Council on Aging will present at workshop on Monday, March 5 at 10 a.m. to help local residents create their own In Case of Emergency (ICE) binder.
Having an ICE binder in your home allows emergency personnel or First Responders to quickly access important medical and personal information in the event of an emergency. The ICE binder also provides a single location to keep hospital or rehab discharge paperwork and physician notes for convenient reference.
The workshop is limited to 15 people so call 248-8944 to make your reservation today! Each participant will receive a free binder to take home. Please bring the following items: Photo ID, Insurance cards, list of medications and allergies and your hospital preference.
This workshop is offered free of charge courtesy of Peabody Retirement Community

Knights of Columbus to raise funds for local shelter with fish fry fundraiser

From reports

The Lighthouse Interfaith Mission, Inc., in partnership with The Knights of Columbus, is hosting a fish fry fundraiser event on Friday, February 23. The event will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. at St. Paul of the Cross Deacon Joe Community Center at 315 S. Line Street in Columbia City.
Pre-purchased tickets are $8 (ages 10+) and $5 (ages 6-9). Tickets at the door that evening will cost $10 (ages 10+) and $8 (ages 6-9). Tickets can be purchased ahead of time at the Lighthouse at 500 W. Business 30 in Columbia City.
"We are thrilled to partner with The Knights of Columbus, several businesses and churches in order to have a successful event," said The Lighthouse executive director Shawn Ellis. "Your participation at the fish fry-purchasing tickets and eating a lot of fish- will only strengthen our ability to provide an impactful program that continues to change lives. We believe we are better together to ensure a pathway of prevention, transition and restoration for homeless people in Whitley County."
The event is sponsored by the Knights of Columbus and all proceeds support The Lighthouse.
The Lighthouse is a nonprofit agency serving Whitley County, and its mission is to provide a pathway of prevention, transition and restoration for homeless people in Whitley County. The program-based organization focuses on helping homeless individuals overcome barriers and move toward self-sufficiency. And it is the only organization in Whitley County that offers services to the homeless.

Now is the time to start planning your garden

By John Woodmansee, Whitley County Purdue Extension Educator

Many of us have the excitement, desire and drive to plant a garden. Maybe you are into fresh vegetables that you have grown yourself, or perhaps you enjoy flowers. I saw a marquee at a garden store once that said, "It's spring. We are so excited we wet our plants."
We're not quite to spring yet, but if you are excited for spring gardening, here are a few tips to get you started.
First of all, if you have never done a soil test on your garden plot, do one this year. Many people guess the type of fertilizers their vegetables or flowers need, when you could do a little more fine-tuning using the recommendations of a soil test. The exercise will be educational and insightful for you. You'll learn the pH of your soil (acidity or alkalinity), and what your primary nutrient levels are. Most garden plants like a pH range of about 6.0 to 7.0, or slightly acid. 7.0 is neutral. Find soil testing labs at:  https://ag.purdue.edu/agry/extension/Pages/soil_testing.aspx .
Second, you need to decide what to grow. If you are planning a vegetable garden, this starts with the vegetables you and your family like to eat. Then, you may consider things such as the size of the garden plot and how much time you and your family membersare willing to commit to this project. You may want to start small, experience success, then work up. Enthusiasm can wane if you are trying to manage a large plot and weeds get out of control or insects invade. If you like sweet corn, do you really have the space to grow it?
Your garden location should be in full sun or nearly full sun, well-drained, with a water source nearby. Avoid locations near walnut trees, as walnuts produce a substance called "juglone" that causes many garden plants to wilt and die. This substance is present in allparts of the walnut tree, and small amounts are released by live roots, which can extend more than the height of the tree in any one direction. Even decaying roots release juglone, so many years may have to pass before an area will support a garden.
Using the plants you wish to grow, prepare a garden layout on paper. Taller vegetable plants should be positioned toward the north of the garden to prevent shading. Perennial plants, like asparagus, should be in an area best suited to growing that crop year after year. Additionally, group cool season crops together, and consider subsequent plantings of warmer season crops. Some early harvested warm season crops can be followed by a late summer planting of cool season crops for fall harvest. Also consider staggered planting dates to spread out harvest. Consult Purdue Extension publications for suggested planting dates and plant spacings.
When planning flower plantings, consider successive bloom times, and position taller flowers toward the back of the bed. Also consider color - what colors do you like best, and what colors "go together" in your mind? Clustered plantings of flowers tend to make a better impression than single or sparse plantings. Foliage texture can also add interesting features.
When weather warms up, make sure your soil is dry enough to work into a granular soil structure. If you work the soil too wet, it will tend to slab over, compact, and provide an environment unfriendly to roots. If you plan to plant frost-tender plants, wait until the danger of the last frost is past. This is usually around Mother's Day, but can be earlier or later depending on the year. Recent weather data from the Indiana State Climate Office, 1974-2003, suggests there is a 50% chance our last 32 degree frost date in Whitley County, Indiana is April 17-23, and a small pocket in the east central part of the county may be April 10-16. Keep in mind that 50% does not indicate high probability, but a 50/50 chance the average last frost date will occur in that time period.
During the growing season, we begin to deal with weeds, insect pests and plant diseases. This is the period of time many tend to lose enthusiasm for gardening. If this is you, try turning the experience into a learning exercise. Identify the weeds that took over. What insects attacked your plants? Could I have spaced my plants out to allow more air movement and discourage diseases?
Lastly, Purdue Extension has resources to help you. Search for publications on the types of plants you plan to raise at Purdue Extension's Education Store, at https://mdc.itap.purdue.edu/. A good, general vegetable production guide is HO-32-W, Home Gardener's Guide. Purdue Extension also has publications on growing annual and perennial flowers.

Candidate Announcements

As has been the policy of Talk of the Town for the past 10 years, any candidate running for any public office in Whitley County may submit a press release and photograph for publication on Talk of the Town free of charge to announce their campaign. The press release and photo should be emailed to: jennifer@talkofthetownwc.com. By publishing these press releases, Talk of the Town in no way endorses any candidate or their cause.