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December 13, 2017

Bells are ringing around Whitley County for Salvation Army's kettle campaign

Article provided

Whitley County Salvation Army has a new Community Ministries Specialist. Christine Scroggs assumed the position early October of this year. It has been a whirlwind of busyness since the beginning. Many people are unaware that the Salvation Army is active and available, and Christine is out to change that knowledge by meeting with other local agencies and ministries to see how they can serve together the citizens of Whitley County. She also has a passion to get to know her clients and people in the community to inform them of the services that are offered, including spending awareness of the Salvation Army to Whitley County communities outside of Columbia City. Towns such as Churubusco, Larwill, South Whitley and more; which have people that may not realize there is help available to them. 

The Salvation Army offers many programs to help those in need; including assistance with utilities, school supplies, shoes, food, and much more. All across Whitley County, the kettle campaign is underway. All the money collected in Whitley County from the bellringers manning the red kettles, stays in Whitley County. This is the main fundraiser for WC Salvation Army, and volunteers are accepted for ringing bells. If you are interested in being a bellringer, or your family or group would like to help, contact Christine at the Salvation Army office. The office is located inside the First Church of God, with office hours on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

"I want this to be a place where people come not just for financial assistance, but spiritual, prayer, or just for a friend," Scroggs says. "Our motto is 'Doing the most good' and we are doing good, but we can always do better. At our core is a desire to help others, and that's what I want to do. To help others learn from their circumstances, change their circumstances, grow from their circumstances, and pay it forward to help the next person. Most people hit a rough patch at some point and just need a friend to come along side of them, if only to offer a smile. I hope to be one of those friends."

For more information on the Whitley County Salvation Army, call (260) 248-1711 or visit

December 12, 2017

Multi-County Medical Outreach Clinic will be closed December 14 and December 21

From reports

The Multi-County Medical Outreach Clinic, located at 524 Branch Court in Columbia City, will be closed December 14 and December 21. Patients needing medication refills can go to the Parkview Walk-in clinic. Typically, the clinic is open every Thursday of the month from 1 to 5 p.m., with the exception of the fifth Thursday in a month or holidays when they will be closed.

It is the mission of the Multi-County Medical Outreach Clinic to provide quality healthcare to the uninsured and underinsured population in Northern Indiana. Their goal is to improve the physical and spiritual well-being of the communities they serve. For more information on the Multi-County Medical Outreach Clinic, visit


December 8, 2017

Whitley County Sheriff's Department raises funds for local Relay for Life


(Talk of the Town photo)

Last week, the Whitley County Sheriff's Department presented a check for $755 to the American Cancer Society's Whitley County Relay for Life. The check was made possible with contributions from the department's Noshavember fundraiser where officers contributed funds to be permitted to grow a beard. Each officer donated $25 or more and was allowed to grow a beard during November.
Participants included: Sheriff Marc Gatton, Chief Deputy Jason Spencer, Tony Helfrich, Sergeant Todd Cook, Detective Sergeant Bill Brice, Scott Schmitt, Detective Sergeant Cory Patrick, Brandon Smith, Sergeant Billy Maddox, Kory Bailey, Dustin Auer, Jon Stoffel, Chris Bachelder, Scott Geist, AJ Westerman, Justin Yeagle, Jail Commander Reserve Deputy Sean Martin, Reserve Deputy Brent Trammel, Ron Glassley, Reserve Deputy Jake Schrader and Commissioner George Schrumpf.

Chamber Focus on the Arts: the work of Teresa Carrano

(Talk of the Town photo)

The Whitley County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center has announced that South Whitley resident Teresa Carrano is December's featured artist for the Chamber's Focus on the Arts initiative. Carrano's work will  remain on display through the end of December. Carrano1217a.jpg
Carrano's exhibit features several pieces of her quilting work as well as paintings.
"As a career journalist I'm one of those lucky people who start with a blank page every day," said Teresa Carrano, editor of the Tribune-News, based in South Whitley, and staff writer for the Times-Union. "However, sewing was my first form of creativity and I began quilting two years ago."
In the exhibit room of the Whitley County Chamber of Commerce and Visitor's Center throughout December, Carrano presents a number of large and small quilts.
"How hard can cutting fabric into squares and sewing them together be? Well, I've yet to make the perfect quilt and I probably never will. It's a lot of sewing, though, and I've discovered that as long as I'm sewing something, I'm pretty happy," Carrano said.
Also on display are a couple of paintings, just to make the small exhibit space cozy.
"I've always painted and drawn, too," she said. "Just come on in and make yourself at home."
The exhibit is available for viewing most weekdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For more information, contact the Whitley County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center at (260) 248-8131.

Christmas festivities continue this weekend in downtown Columbia City

From reports

This weekend will be an exciting one in downtown Columbia City.
The Walk of Trees, Gingerbread Festival and Santa's House will be open -- and there's no fee to enjoy any of these holiday events.
The annual Walk of Trees, a fundraising event for The Clugston's senior programming, will be open from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday evenings.
Santa's House will be open from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday as well. Eberly Photography of South Whitley will be present to take photos as requested. Prints are just $5. Santa's House is located at the corner of Chauncey and Van Buren Streets in downtown Columbia City.
The Gingerbread Festival, sponsored by Scientific and Regulatory Consultants, Inc., will be open at the Whitley County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Visitors are invited to vote for their favorite entries with coins. Each penny equals one vote.
Additionally, many local businesses will be open for the evening offering specials for Christmas shoppers to enjoy.

Purdue approves establishment of three new schools at IPFW

From reports

The Purdue University Board of Trustees on Friday (Dec. 8) approved the establishment of three new schools within existing colleges at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW). The new schools come as a result of continuing academic restructuring on campus and in preparation for the pending realignment of IPFW into Purdue University Fort Wayne* and Indiana University Fort Wayne, which will take effect July 1, 2018.
"As we look to the future and transition to Purdue Fort Wayne, creating these three new units with the unique designation of 'schools within colleges' makes us more attractive to prospective students," said Carl Drummond, vice chancellor for academic affairs and enrollment management. "By expanding our academic offerings, we can expand our reach with the goals of increasing enrollment and producing more graduates to meet the needs of the northeast Indiana region and beyond."
In the College of Engineering, Technology, and Computer Science, the department of manufacturing and construction engineering technology (MCET) and the department of computer, electrical, and information technology (CEIT) will be merged to form the School of Polytechnic.
"Having a School of Polytechnic provides a clear difference between us and other universities in the region," said Manoochehr Zoghi, professor and dean of the college of engineering, technology, and computer science. "It sends the message that we are an institution that engages our students in applied learning, theory, and research that is critical to our future in business and society."
The College of Visual and Performing Arts will establish a School of Music, thanks in part to a $1 million grant from the English-Bonter-Mitchell Foundation and a $1 million allocation from the state of Indiana as part of the 2017-2019 biennium budget. The school of music will offer new degrees in music technology, commercial music, and music industry studies, in addition to existing programs in music performance, music education, and music therapy; an international performers certificate, and will host national music festivals on campus.
"The new school of music on the Fort Wayne campus will be the first and only one in the history of Purdue," said John O'Connell, dean of the college of visual and performing arts. "The music program has built a strong foundation including world-class faculty and staff so being able to grow from a department to a school will attract more students nationally and internationally."
The current College of Education and Public Policy will be renamed the College of Professional Studies and will include the newly created School of Education. The School of Education will consist of the current department of educational studies and department of professional studies.
"We are extremely excited to launch this new School of Education," said James Burg, associate professor and dean of the College of Education and Public Policy. "With one out of every seven students being an education major, combining the graduate programs in counselor education, educational leadership, and special education with our masters and bachelors programs in teacher education creates something bigger and more visible on campus and highlights our diverse education offerings."
Other changes include:
- moving the department of human services and department of hospitality and tourism management from the College of Health and Human Services to the College of Professional Studies;
- the department of fine arts and department of visual communication and design, part of the college of visual and performing arts, will be merged into the department of art and design; and
- the department of anthropology and department of sociology, part of the College of Arts and Sciences, will be merged to form the department of anthropology and sociology.
In other action, the trustees approved Purdue Fort Wayne to offer a bachelor of science in psychology. The degree will emphasize the development and implementation of scientific skills within the context of the study of behavioral and mental processes and is better suited for students headed to psychology graduate programs, medical school or careers that involve knowledge of behavior and mental processes, along with data analysis and research. The university also offers a bachelor of arts (B.A.) in psychology. The new degree program will require approval by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education.
"I am very excited about the work that has been done as we prepare for a very bright future as Purdue Fort Wayne," said Chancellor Ron Elsenbaumer. "There is a clear passion for providing our students with the best tools available to help them pursue their dreams and have the best higher-education experience possible."

Precision Medical Technologies bringing 60 new jobs to North Manchester

From reports

Precision Medical Technologies, a contract manufacturer of orthopedic implants and instruments, announced plans today to expand its operations to Wabash County, creating up to 60 new jobs by 2022.
"Indiana's reputation as the orthopedics capital of the world is made possible because of growing companies like Precision Medical Technologies," said Elaine Bedel, president of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC). "By leveraging our sound fiscal policies and pro-growth business environment, Indiana delivers the resources and the people that companies need. We look forward to witnessing Precision Medical Technologies' success." 
The company, which already has facilities in Kosciusko and Noble counties, will invest nearly $5 million to expand its operations, purchasing and renovating a 9,000-square-foot manufacturing space at 400 Beckley St. in North Manchester. The site will house CNC machinery and related equipment to support the company's new operations for disposable surgical instruments, and the company's current manufacturing implants and reusable instruments operations will continue at its existing sites in Warsaw and Rome City, Indiana. Renovations are underway, allowing the company to be fully operational in the new facility and to launch into the disposable instrument market at the beginning of 2018. 
Precision Medical Technologies currently employs more than 140 associates at its two locations in Indiana. The company plans to begin hiring for engineering, quality assurance, finishing, scheduling and CNC machinists positions for the North Manchester facility at the beginning of 2018. These new positions are expected to offer average salaries 24 percent higher than the Wabash County average wage. Interested applicants may apply online.
"We at Precision Medical Technologies are looking forward to establishing our third manufacturing facility in Wabash County and are excited to take advantage of a competent and available workforce, proximity to our supply base and significant opportunities for ongoing technical training," said Kurt Kamholz, president of Precision Medical Technologies. "The community of North Manchester has been instrumental in assisting us in finding a location to meet both our current and future expectations for a successful operations facility. We look forward to continuing to operate in Indiana - a location that continues to provide manufacturers with a well-trained and stable workforce to support business growth."  
Since 2003, Precision Medical Technologies has been manufacturing orthopedic implants and instruments with a strong focus on the spine, extremities, and trauma markets. Currently, the company is divided into two separate operating divisions, implant and instrument manufacturing, with both segments having their own quality engineering, production engineering and operating management. The instrument division is located in Rome City, Indiana, while the implant facility is located in Warsaw, Indiana. The company manufacturers surgical instruments and implants for original equipment manufacturers nationwide in the orthopedic industry.
The IEDC offered Precision Medical Technologies up to $430,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $45,000 in training grants based on the company's job creation plans. These incentives are performance based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. The town of North Manchester will consider additional incentives during the town council meeting on Dec. 6 at the request of Grow Wabash County.   
"We are thrilled that Precision Medical Technologies has chosen to locate their newest facility here in North Manchester," said Jim Smith, president of the North Manchester Town Council.  "They have been a great partner to work with and we look forward to building upon our already strong relationship to help them grow in our community." 
Innovative medical device companies like Precision Medical Technologies continue to grow in Indiana - a global leader in the life sciences industry. According to BioCrossroads and the Indiana Business Research Center, Indiana is the second largest exporter of life sciences products in the U.S., totaling nearly $10 billion and accounting for nearly one-third of Indiana's total exports. More than 1,600 life science companies operate in Indiana, supporting more than 56,000 Hoosier jobs with average wages of nearly $99,000 annually.

Maintaining a fresh Christmas tree requires a little care

By John Woodmansee, Whitley County Purdue Extension educator

For those who buy real Christmas trees, you certainly have a desire for that tree to retain a healthy appearance through the Christmas holiday season.
Maintaining a healthy tree should start by selecting a fresh tree. Of course, nothing beats choosing and cutting your own tree. That's about as fresh as you can get. But, steps can also be taken to maintain as much freshness as possible from pre-cut trees.
Daniel Cassens, Professor Emeritus of forestry at Purdue University and a tree farmer, said fresh trees are the best bet for beauty and safety during the holidays.
Cassens suggested selecting a good tree: full all around, and the proper size. Trees in the field don't look as big as they will in a living room. Cassens said, "We like to joke that the trees tend to grow as they go through the front door."
"A fresh tree's branches are not crumpled or drooping, the needles are tight and the color is good," Cassens said. "And, a fresh tree isn't dried out so it's safer."
A good test for freshness is to grab the needles and gently pull them toward you. On a fresh tree, the needles will stay on the tree. Some businesses can put the tree in a shaker to dislodge all of the dead and loose needles on the inner parts of branches.
In addition to selecting a fresh tree, proper care at home can keep it looking festive. If the tree is not set up immediately, it's a good idea to place the trunk in a bucket of water.
"When you get the tree don't let it sit in the sun or wind - those things will dry the tree out quickly," Cassens said. "Don't tie the tree to the top of a car if you're driving long distances, as it can dry it out quickly. Also, covering a tree with plastic can bake it if the sun comes out."
Instead, Cassens suggests having the tree bundled at the site and placed in the trunk, or in the back of an SUV or truck.
Selection of a good tree stand is also important. The bigger the tree, the stouter the stand should be. Just before putting the tree in its stand, Cassens said a fresh cut should be made about one-half inch from the bottom of the trunk. "Since pitch tends to seal the trunk off, this opens up new wood and the tree can absorb the water," he said.
The tree stand should hold one quart of water for every inch in diameter at the bottom of the trunk. Plain water is best and should be added daily. Cassens said commercial and other homemade additives may actually increase water loss.
Use guy wires attached to nearby window frames to ensure stability. Many have had the unfortunate opportunity to right a fallen Christmas tree more than once, and also clean up the watery mess on the floor. Guy wires may be the answer to your problem. As a personal note, I've learned this the hard way.
There is little risk to having a Christmas tree in your home. "A tree doesn't just burst into flames," he said. "It has to dry out and be exposed to a flame to catch fire."
To ensure safety, Cassens suggests placing both real and artificial trees away from heat registers, drafty areas, space heaters, fireplaces and other heat sources. Fires are rare, and many of those that do occur are caused by overloaded outlets or faulty wiring.
Purdue Extension has a first-time buyer's guide, which includes tree care tips, available at:
When festivities are over, Christmas trees can add value to birds through the winter. Birds can use the tree for cover in your backyard. Be sure to remove all tinsel and other non-recyclable ornaments from the tree. You can even provide birdseed in various types among the old branches. Make sure you have the tree anchored well, or winter winds will roll it away. Your neighbor may not be as enthusiastic about providing shelter and food for birds as you are.
After winter, you can recycle the tree into mulch by chopping or grinding branches into wood chips, or by stripping the needles and using them as mulch. Smaller branches and needles can also be chopped and added to a compost pile for use later on.

State Police accepting applications for regional dispatcher

From reports

The Indiana State Police is accepting applications for a Regional Dispatcher position at the Fort Wayne Post to staff the Regional Dispatch Center which operates out of that facility.
Successful applicants must be able to receive, record, disseminate and accurately dispatch information to police personnel, other law enforcement agencies and other support services through the use of a Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) System, Records Management System (RMS), Automatic Vehicle Locator (AVL), Geographic Information System (GIS) and other Regional Dispatch Center resources.
A high school diploma or GED equivalent is required as well as the ability to be seated in a confined area for extended periods of time. Two years of public safety communications experience and emergency medical technician certification are preferred. Must become certified as a TDD/TTY operator and must have the ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing.
Must be able to remain seated in a confined area for extended periods of time and have the ability to maintain concentration simultaneously on numerous tasks in a busy and noisy environment. Must remain calm in emergency situations and have the ability to work rotating or multiple shifts, requiring weekends and/or holidays.
Pay starts at $30,082 per year.
The deadline for applications is Friday, December 8, 2017.
For more information on the position and to apply, go to (Job ID# 2017-123) or contact Brandon P. Lowe, Personnel Officer for the Indiana State Police Human Resources Division at or (317) 232-8238.

Kayla Wigent joins local RE/MAX Integrity

Article provided

Potential home buyers and sellers in Whitley County can now benefit from the real estate expertise of Kayla Wigent. Newly aligned with the number one brand in real estate, Wigent joins RE/MAX Integrity as an Associate Broker.
Wigent has been in the real estate industry since 2012, working as an administrative assistant and marketing director. In 2015, Wigent became a real estate broker with Orizon Real Estate in Columbia City. She has served clients in Whitley County, Allen County, Noble County and other surrounding areas and is experienced in residential real estate, bare land, and new construction.
Wigent says, "I am excited to join the RE/MAX Integrity team! I believe that I will now be able to better serve my clients with not only the #1 real estate brand but with all of the cutting edge technology, ground-breaking marketing programs and increased web visibility - while still providing the same home town service. I truly believe that my experience coupled with the RE/MAX brand and my first hand knowledge of our local market is going to blow my clients away."
Wigent has nearly completed her CRS designation (Council of Residential Specialists) and is only a few credits away from her bachelor's in marketing. She participates in the Young Professionals Network with UPSTAR Board of Realtors, volunteers during the United Way - Day of Caring and has a passion for sponsoring and supporting downtown Columbia City and events.