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January 11, 2018

Filing period opens for primary candidates

From reports

Across Whitley County, candidates are coming forth with interest in several races leading up to the May Primary Election.
January 10 was the opening day for candidates to file and already numerous names have come forth, with rumors more will be adding their names soon. The filing deadline is noon on February 9, 2018, for any candidate wanting to run for the 2018 May Primary.
To see what candidates have already filed, click here.

Hohenstein launches campaign for Commissioner

(Talk of the Town photo provided)
Barbara (BJ) Hohenstein, below, has announced her plans to run in the Republican primary election for the District 2 Commissioner's seat.

Article provided

Barbara Hohenstein for County Commissioner announced their new campaign to elect Barbara Hohenstein for County Commissioner for District 2, Whitley County in the May 8, 2018, Republican primary election. Hohenstein118a.jpg
Barbara (BJ) Hohenstein is a 15 year resident of Whitley County. She is the successful business owner and founder of Medical Management Resources, a medical practice management consulting firm located in Columbia City that was founded 30 years ago.
"I will protect the resources our community depends on for a healthy and strong future," Hohenstein said. "The last 30 years of owning my own business and being actively involved in leading healthy living groups and organizations has prepared me for this opportunity of giving back to my community as a County Commissioner."
Hohenstein continued, "The primary role for the County Commissioner should be to support, advocate and ensure the health and safety of the people of Whitley County. There are many threatening issues among us today and many more that will arise and I am committed to ensuring these issues do not compromise the health and safety of our residents."
"The County Commissioner should be assessable and an active communications link between the residents and the county government operations," she adds. "As a 30-year business owner and over 44 years in the healthcare field along with participating as an active citizen of Whitley County, I'm constantly in touch with both citizens and business owners. I understand their concerns, needs and desires of the citizens of Whitley County."
"I believe that the foundation of any healthy and strong community should include education, communication, coordinated support operations and always doing what is best for the common good of all residents," she said.
Looking forward, Hohenstein said, "We need to be proactive to diversify Whitley County economic development.
To achieve a sustainable and healthy county we must work together to ensure the changes we make and the business growth we build be supported by strong infrastructure and is coordinated in a manner that is not counter to our county comprehensive plan."

Whitley County native to participate in cancer fundraiser in Michigan

From reports

Whitley County native Roy Sexton is among the cast of "Life is a Cabaret," a live musical theatre fundraiser for the American Cancer Society Inc.
The performance is planned for February 7, 2018, at 7 p.m. in Canton, Michigan.
The live musical fundraiser will feature Broadway tunes. The event is hosted by Relay for Life in partnership with Women's Life Society Chapter 827, Chicks for Charity. Attendees will enjoy delicious desserts and a Cold Stone Creamery ice cream bar while bidding on the silent auction. A cash bar will also be available.
All proceeds and donations will benefit the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life of Canton and Plymouth to attack cancer from every angle.
Tickets are $22. For ticketing information, visit or call 734-394-5300 ext 3. If there is no answer, leave a message and your call will be returned within 24 hours.

Parkview announces restrictions due to increased flu activity

From reports

In response to increased flu activity, all Parkview Health hospitals and healthcare facilities have implemented the following restrictions to help protect patients, visitors and co-workers:
• Anyone coming into the healthcare facility seeking treatment who has cold or flu-like symptoms (such as fever, cough or muscle aches) should wear a mask while in public areas of the facility, including waiting rooms.
• No visitors under the age of 18 and no visitors of any age with flu-like symptoms should be allowed to visit patients.
• Visitors should be limited to two essential adults (at least 18 years of age) per patient - essential adults could include designated family members, spouse/domestic partner or spiritual counselors.
• Anyone who is not allergic to the flu vaccine should be vaccinated.
As of Dec. 29, 2017, the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) reports there have been nine influenza-associated deaths in Indiana this flu season. The most common strain of the virus reported so far this season is a version of influenza A (H3N2) which has mutated and is not a good match with the vaccine. In the past, this strain has been linked to higher rates of hospitalization and death, especially for those at high risk for complications, which includes the very young, the elderly and those with chronic health conditions such as asthma or heart problems.
Visitors should call their local Parkview hospital or healthcare facility before arriving if they have any questions about the restrictions.
In addition to the temporary restrictions on visitors, Parkview Health recommends that all residents do the following to minimize flu transmission:
• Get vaccinated. All residents 6 months of age and older should be vaccinated against influenza, pneumonia (if recommended) and pertussis (if recommended) unless there are known allergies to these vaccines. Despite the vaccine not being a good match with one of the circulating flu strains, health officials continue to advise residents to get vaccinated against the flu, as it offers protection against other circulating strains and is expected to reduce the severity of illness.
• Stay home if you are sick. All residents experiencing fever and muscle aches should stay from school, work, shopping or other social gatherings until they have no fever for 24 hours without the benefit of fever reducing medications.
• Wash your hands frequently. Use soap and warm water whenever possible; if not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to clean hands.
• Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue. If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands.
• Wear a mask if needed. Patients with cough or fever seeking treatment at a healthcare facility should ask for a mask to wear.
You can get your influenza vaccination by visiting your primary care provider's office or local pharmacy.

Old Type Writer

Whitley County native Roy Sexton brings a guest column and a review of the recently released film "The Greatest Showman" on this latest installment of Old Type Writer. Click here to read the review.

January 10, 2018

Jodi Sargent's work is featured in January at the Whitley County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center

(Talk of the Town photo provided)
Jodi Sargent, shown here, is the featured artist during the month of January at the Whitley County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center. An opening reception for Sargent's exhibit will be held Saturday, January 13, from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Whitley County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center, 128 West Van Buren Street in downtown Columbia City.

From reports

Jodi Sargent of Whitley County is the featured artist for January 2018 at the Whitley County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center. Several pieces of Sargent's painting and photography work will be on exhibit through the end of the month. Jodi Sargent.jpg
An artist's reception will be held this Saturday, January 13 from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Chamber, officially opening her exhibit. Sargent will be present to talk about her work. There is no cost to attend.
Sargent lives on Lone Pine Stable horse farm with her husband, three horses, two cats and a lazy dog, Macy.
"I've been doing photography since high school, but started to get into it more in the past four years or so," she said.
There is much about the natural world that Sargent finds inspiring. "I love hiking our local nature preserves and taking nature photos," she said. "I also have a passion for equine photography."
Beyond photography, Sargent enjoys painting and her exhibit features several of her pieces.
"I also do watercolor and oil paintings in my spare time," she said.
Sargent's exhibition is part of the Whitley County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center's Focus on the Arts initiative which features the work of a new local artist each month.
"It is our hope that residents and visitors will stop by the Chamber regularly to expand their knowledge about the community and, in the process, gain insight about something new. We have many incredibly talented artists in our community and spotlighting their work is one more way we can demonstrate how dynamic and special our community truly is," said Jennifer Romano, executive director of the Whitley County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center.
The Whitley County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center is located at 128 West Van Buren Street in downtown Columbia City.

Truck stolen from car lot in Whitley County

From reportsStolenTruck118.jpg

The Indiana State Police is asking for the public's help in finding those involved in stealing a used pickup truck this past Sunday from a used car dealership in Columbia City.
According to Detective Andrew Mills, at approximately 10:20 p.m. on Sunday, January 7, 2018 a Dodge Dakota pickup truck pulled into the lot of Bart's Car Store located at 3536 Lincoln Way in Columbia City. Two people exited the truck and proceeded to steal a dark gray colored 2004 Ford F-250 Super Duty Lariat. Photographs of the suspect's Dodge Dakota and the actual Ford F-250 which was stolen are provided.
Mills is asking anyone with any information at all to contact him through the Indiana State Police Post in Fort Wayne at either (260) 432-8661 or (800) 552-0976 (Indiana only). Anonymous tips will be accepted.

Purdue University Fort Wayne and Sweetwater officials announce musical partnership

From reports

Purdue University Fort Wayne and Sweetwater officials announced this afternoon a partnership that will locate a majority of the university's music technology program on the Sweetwater campus. The company will turn an existing 8,000 square foot facility, just south of the main building, into a learning center that will include studios, classrooms, and other teaching spaces.
The facility is expected to open in August 2018, prior to the university's fall semester and first day of classes.
Chuck and Lisa Surack and Sweetwater will contribute to this project in two ways. They will provide $1.6 million for the build-out of the facility. The university will reimburse the $1.6 million over a six-year period in the form of a lease. In addition, Purdue Fort Wayne is receiving a gift-in-kind in the amount of $1.465 million, based on the Suracks not charging any interest or rent for the building. Additionally, the students and faculty will enjoy the many benefits of the Sweetwater campus, from its recording studios to the amenities that its employees take advantage of including the Downbeat Diner, Crescendo Cafe, Health Club, and more.
In addition to funding from Sweetwater, the State of Indiana, and the English Bonter Mitchell Foundation have each provided $1 million to the Purdue music program. A significant portion of these funds, not yet determined, will be used for gear and infrastructure for the Sweetwater campus project.
"This music technology facility is a major new collaboration between Purdue Fort Wayne and the local business community," said Chancellor Ronald Elsenbaumer. "Since arriving in Fort Wayne a few months ago, I have been incredibly impressed with the generosity of those in the Fort Wayne and northeast Indiana communities. Chuck and Lisa Surack are excellent examples of this generosity and we're extremely grateful to them for working with us in what I hope will be the first of many partnerships we build over the coming years."
Sweetwater founder and president Chuck Surack remarked, "Sweetwater's relationship with the music department at the IU and Purdue campus has been strong for decades. This music technology facility takes that relationship to an entirely new level. It will not only provide a fully-equipped, state-of-the-art learning facility but will allow for more collaboration and integration between students and the professional work of Sweetwater's talented and dedicated music professionals, as well as access through internships to our three professional recording studios and performance theatre. We also look forward to having Purdue students here to explore and enjoy the many unique features of our campus."
The facility has been designed by The Russ Berger Design Group, a world leader in creating educational spaces using the latest technological innovations and specializing in acoustical and architectural design for schools and studios. The new construction will include a world-class recording studio with an adjacent teaching lab, three isolation booths, four editing suites, a student musical collaboration center, an equipment library, classrooms, conference rooms, and administrative offices.
This learning center will accommodate two proposed new majors. A B.S. in Music Industry will be essential in preparing graduates to find employment in the music industry. A B.S. in Popular Music will offer concentrations in recording or songwriting.
"The new partnership between Sweetwater and Purdue University Fort Wayne is exactly the kind of innovation we need as we look to the future of our state's workforce. These are the kinds of ventures required to develop the next generation of talent here in northeast Indiana and throughout the Hoosier state," said Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne). "More importantly, this will be the first, and only, School of Music in the Purdue University system. The fact that Purdue is collaborating with one of the cutting-edge, global leaders in the musical world in Sweetwater Sound makes it a home run for everyone concerned."
As announced in mid-December, the Purdue University Board of Trustees approved the College of Visual and Performing Arts to establish a School of Music (previously a Department of Music) at Purdue University Fort Wayne effective July 1, 2018.
"The visibility of the new Purdue Fort Wayne music technology program will be greatly enhanced by the thousands of visitors to the Sweetwater campus who will see our presence and meet our students in our building and the main Sweetwater facility as well," said Greg Jones, chair and professor of music.
In addition to the new degrees mentioned above, the School of Music will continue to offer degrees in the existing programs of music performance, music education, and music therapy, plus an international performers certificate. The school also plans to host more national music festivals on campus.
"Our music program is already home to world-class faculty and staff and growing it from a Department of Music to a School of Music will attract more students nationally and internationally," said John O'Connell, dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts. "Creating a state-of-the-art facility on the Sweetwater campus sets our program above and beyond that of any program of this kind in the nation."

Chamber presents program to help business, non-profit leaders avoid victimization by employee theft

From reports

The Whitley County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center is pleased to present a program later this month in hopes of helping local business leaders avoid being victimized by employee theft or embezzlement.
The program will be offered Tuesday, January 23, at 9 a.m. and will be held at the Whitley County Purdue Extension Office at 115 South Line Street in Columbia City.
Convicted twice for embezzling more than $1 million each, from his employers between 1992 and 1996, and again between 2001 and 2006, Barry Webne was sentenced to federal prison. Since his release from prison, he travels the country offering training seminars relating to the prevention and detection of Occupational Fraud and employee theft, as well as the implementation and maintenance of internal controls and segregation of duties for small-businesses.
He advises and trains accountants, auditors, management professionals and business owners on the behavioral and psychological traits and tendencies of individuals involved in Occupational Fraud and employee theft schemes. Webne believes no business or organization is safe from the risk of Occupational Fraud and employee theft, from the smallest of churches to the largest of corporations.
To attend the workshop, RSVP to the Chamber by calling (260) 248-8131 or emailing

Running Around Screen Printing named the winner in Talk of the Town's 7th annual business district decorating contest

From reports

Thanks to all readers who voted in our recent downtown Columbia City Christmas Decorating Contest. 

We are pleased to announce that Running Around Screen Printing, located at the corner of Line Street and West Van Buren Street, has been declared the winner in the 7th annual contest event, with voting ending on December 31, 2017. The business will receive a three month advertising package on Talk of the Town.

Thank you to all who participated in making downtown Columbia City a beautiful place this holiday season.