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April 24, 2014

Volunteers share time and talents to improve Whitley County 4-H Fairgrounds

Local orthodontist leads discussion at national conference

(Talk of the Town photo provided)
Dr. Ronald Cohen of Cohen & Johnson Orthodontics, above, leads a discussion about TruDenta at the 2014 SureSmile Conference in Dallas, Texas.

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

Churubusco-area orthodontist Dr. Ron Cohen was recently featured as a lecturer at the 2014 SureSmile Conference in Dallas, Texas, sharing his experience with orthodontic technology advances that eliminate pain and headaches in many of his patients.
 Dr. Cohen of Cohen & Johnson Orthodontics spoke with colleagues about TruDenta, a system that addresses chronic headaches, migraines, TMJ/D, tinnitus and other head, neck and facial pain issues. In most cases, these issues are caused by improper force balance of the teeth.
 In Dr. Cohen's practice, he's discovered that there is significant relief for most patients when using the TruDenta rehab system in tandem with the SureSmile Virtual Treatment technology. Through SureSmile, Dr. Cohen is able to use advanced 3-D imaging, virtual simulations and robotically bent archwires to customize orthodontic treatment for his patients.
 "I spoke on integrating TruDenta with SureSmile to marry technology advances in muscle and joint rehabilitation and virtual orthodontic treatment to achieve the most stable bite possible especially for those with tm joint pains," Cohen said.
 By using both systems on certain patients, Dr. Cohen has found that many are feeling significant relief from their symptoms and enjoying the benefits of great orthodontic health. An additional benefit is that most of these patients are no longer reliant on medication to manage the pain that had been associated with their dental and chronic headache concerns.

More information about Trudenta can be found at For additional information about SureSmile, visit
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Ron Cohen or Dr. Joel Johnson, call 693-3452 or toll free 1-888-444-2128. For your convenience, appointments can be scheduled in
 Churubusco or Fort Wayne.

Dozens report illness after dining at local eatery

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

An Easter morning call to the Whitley County Board of Health has resulted in the closure of a Columbia City restaurant.
Los Tequilas restaurant, located at 539 North Line Street, near Walgreen's in Columbia City, has been closed pending an investigation into how dozens of people became ill after eating there between Thursday and Saturday.
Whitley County Board of Health environmental food specialist Mary Ann McCluskey said she received her first call from an individual on Sunday morning. The caller had been dining at the restaurant with a large group of about 13 on Thursday evening and of the 13, eight had become ill in the days following.
McCluskey said she then contacted the owners of the restaurant to interview them and by late Sunday afternoon, contacted the State Department of Health. Dr. Lisa Hatcher, Whitley County's health officer, has been briefed on the matter as well.
"On Monday, we did an inspection of the restaurant and a report was written up," she said. McCluskey said samples obtained inside the restaurant have been provided to epidemiologists at the state lab.
"We have no results yet," McCluskey said. "This is an ongoing investigation."
Since Sunday, calls have continued to pour in to the Whitley County Board of Health.
"My phone has been lighting up all morning," McCluskey said. As people call, McCluskey has been interviewing them in hopes of learning more about what foods people consumed at the restaurant, what symptoms they experienced and the duration of their illness. All of the information obtained in the interviews will become part of the report McCluskey is putting together.
Thus far, McCluskey estimates that she's been notified about as many as 45 individuals who developed symptoms between Thursday and Saturday. Some of the reported symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, chills, headaches and body aches.
While McCluskey said her office does not yet have any definitive test results to determine what the illness is, she has a suspicion.
"We suspect it could be the Norwalk Virus which is highly contagious," she said, "but there is nothing conclusive until we receive results from the testing."
As McCluskey awaits information from the state's testing, the restaurant will remain closed.
"The restaurant will not reopen until we get results," she said. "Once we have a bacteria or pathogen, we will begin to trace it back to determine how it might have been incorporated into the restaurant." From there, remediation would likely need to occur before doors could open again.

If you became ill after eating at Los Tequilas between Thursday and Saturday, here is some helpful information regarding the Norwalk Virus (Norovirus) from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:


Avoid Ellsworth between Chauncey and Line Streets in Columbia City today

From reports

Motorists are asked to avoid the area of West Ellsworth Street between Chauncey and Line Streets today. The Columbia City Water Department is working on line maintenance in that area and the roadway will be closed all day today, Thursday, April 24.

Zimmer to acquire Biomet for $13.35 billion

From reports

Zimmer Holdings, Inc. and Biomet, Inc.’s parent company today announced that their respective boards of directors have approved a definitive agreement under which Zimmer will acquire Biomet in a cash and stock transaction valued at approximately $13.35 billion, including the assumption of net debt. The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2015.
The merger of Zimmer and Biomet will position the combined company as a leader in the $45 billion musculoskeletal industry and is aligned with Zimmer’s strategic framework, which focuses on growth, operational excellence and prudent capital
allocation. The combined company is expected to deliver attractive growth by offering a more comprehensive and scalable portfolio of solutions with enhanced cross-selling opportunities. In addition, the combined company is expected to advance innovation to benefit healthcare stakeholders, and stockholders are expected to benefit from a more diversified and predictable revenue mix consistent with the comprehensive portfolio. Upon closing, the transaction is expected to be double-digit accretive to Zimmer’s adjusted diluted earnings per share in the first year. Cash flows from operations are expected to increase by 1.5 times Zimmer’s stand-alone estimates.
“This is a milestone combination that brings together two highly complementary organizations and is consistent with our mission to lead the industry in delivering value to healthcare providers, their patients and stockholders,” said David Dvorak, Zimmer president and CEO. “The transaction positions the combined company as a leader in the musculoskeletal industry with a broad portfolio of products, technologies and services, enabling us to help shape how solutions are developed and delivered. We believe that current demographic and macroeconomic trends affecting the healthcare industry will reward companies that successfully partner with other key stakeholders to improve patient care in a cost-effective manner. Together with Biomet we will expand the scope of our innovation programs and will enhance our efforts to provide integrated services and comprehensive solutions that address the needs of our customers. At the same time, we believe that this merger will further support our long-term growth and stockholder value creation strategies.”
Dvorak continued, “This combination is about achieving growth and cultivating best-in-class solutions. We have a great deal of respect for what the management team and employees have accomplished at Biomet, and we are confident in their ability to be a very important part of the combined organization as we bring our two world-class companies together and cement Warsaw, Indiana as the musculoskeletal innovation capital of the world. Both companies share a common set of values and a track record of success integrating acquisitions, which gives me great confidence that we will achieve a smooth transition and capitalize on the opportunity to create a new company that is comprised of the best of Zimmer and Biomet. We look forward to combining the strengths of both teams to restore mobility, alleviate pain and improve the quality of life for patients around the world.”
Jeffrey R. Binder, Biomet’s president and CEO, said, “The combination with Zimmer will prepare us to compete as a stronger entity in the medical device industry of the future. Our combined scale will extend the reach and influence with which we pursue our common passion: delivering products and services that benefit our customers and the patients we ultimately serve. Biomet and Zimmer share a 36-year history of mutual respect. Both companies are deeply rooted in the communities in which we operate and believe that we can only be successful in business if we are successful in helping healthcare providers improve the lives of patients. We are equally committed to delivering quality products and outstanding clinical results and to legal and ethical behavior in the markets where we do business. And as companies focused almost exclusively in the musculoskeletal industry, we are passionate about orthopaedics and the related medical technology markets that we serve.”
Binder continued, “Biomet and Zimmer are blessed with talented team members and independent sales people who are dedicated to their companies and to their customers. With today’s announcement we are now additionally committed to blending and maximizing the best of our combined talents, capabilities, technologies and cultures to bring to life a great new company.”

April 23, 2014

Showcase your business or organization with a booth at the Whitley County 4-H Fair

Reserve a booth now and save $25 

(Talk of the Town file photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano)
An exhibitor booth at the Whitley County 4-H Fair's Commercial Building is a great way to market your business, non-profit organization or cause -- and to show your support of the Whitley County 4-H Fair program.

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

With the annual Whitley County 4-H Fair drawing more than 16,000 visitors to the fairgrounds, what better way to publicize your business or non-profit organization than by reserving a space in the Commercial Building during the fair?
The Whitley County 4-H Fair is July 11-17, 2014, and exhibitors are invited to reserve booths in the Commercial Building once again this year.
Time is on your side, according to fair board member Mindy Muchow who is currently organizing the exhibitor space. If you reserve yoru booth before June 1, your booth is $150 -- a savings of $25. Payment is due by June 15. Any booths not paid for by June 15, will be reopened for rental.
Booths are first come, first served with reservations being confirmed at the time of payment.
Booth spaces are 10 foot by 10 foot indoors or 20 foot by 20 foot outdoors. Included in the rental amount indoors is side rails, backdrop and electricity. Tables and chairs need to be brought in or rented.
When planning a booth, participants are urged to keep the following considerations in mind:
- All food/drink items can only be sold through 4-H concessions.
- Even though the commercial building is a large, concrete floored building, in the unlikely event we experience large rainfalls; there is always the possibility of water entering the building.  It is our recommendation to remove supplies from the floor at night to protect them. 
- The building will be locked overnight, but Whitley County 4-H, Inc. will not be held responsible for any lost or stolen materials.
Set up for participating exhibitors is Thursday, July 10 from 5 to 8 p.m. and Friday, July 11 from 1 to 6 p.m.
The Commercial Building will be open during the fair as follows:
Friday, July 11 from 6 to 11 p.m.
Saturday, July 12 from noon to 10 p.m.
Sunday, July 13 from noon to 10 p.m.
Monday, July 14 from 5 to 9 p.m.
Tuesday, July 15 from 5 to 9 p.m.
Wednesday, July 16 from 5 to 9 p.m.
Thursday, July 17 from 5 to 8 p.m.
Exhibits can be removed on July 16 from 9 to 11 p.m., July 17 from 8-9 p.m. or July 18 from 9 to 11 a.m.
For more information, contact Mindy Muchow via email at or call 609-0649.

Whitley County 4-H Council seeks youth perspective by adding new board member position

Youth board member candidate must be age 15 and in good standing with Whitley County 4-H 

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

Seeking the youth perspective in their decisions, the Whitley County 4-H Council recently voted to amend their constitution to include an at-large youth member.
According to officials, the youth member selected will serve a one-year term on the board and actively participate in the board process.
To be considered, a candidate must be at least 15 years-old and be in good standing with the Whitley County 4-H program.
To apply, submit a letter of why you want to serve on the Whitley County 4-H Council by May 9, 2014. Letters may be delivered in person or mailed (but must be received by May 9) to the Whitley County Purdue Extension office at 115 South Line Street, Columbia City, IN 46725.

ServSafe classes offered in May in Whitley County

From reports

The Whitley County Purdue Extension Office has upcoming dates set for ServSafe certification courses -- May 29 and May 30 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The test will be offered on June 5 at 9 a.m. at the extension office.
As of January 1, 2005, all food establishments must have at least one certified food handler in their employment.
To register, call 317-673-4211 or 1-800-678-1957 or
For more information, contact Cindy Barnett at 244-7615, 625-3313 or

Huntington University's Wind Ensemble and Jazz Band to present free community concert on April 29

Article provided

Join the Huntington University Music Department for a musical journey as the Wind Ensemble and Jazz Band give a spring concert at 7:30 p.m. on April 29 in the Zurcher Auditorium of the Merillat Centre for the Arts.
The Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Doug McElhaney, will perform pieces such as “Lassus Trombone,” “Fantasy on American Sailing Songs,” “Finale from Symphony No. 5,” “Star Trek,” “Sea Songs,” “El Capitan” and “Fanfare for the Common Man,” which features the HU Brass and Percussion ensemble.
The Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Eric Clancy, also will perform.
This concert is free and open to the public.
Huntington University is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. U.S. News & World Report ranks Huntington among the best colleges in the Midwest, and has listed the university as one of America’s Best Colleges. Additionally, Princeton Review has named the institution to its “Best in the Midwest” list. Founded in 1897 by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, Huntington University is located on a contemporary, lakeside campus in northeast Indiana. The university is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).

Third District Democrats hosting 28th annual dinner in Whitley County on May 10

Article provided

For 28 years, Indiana's Third Congressional District has hosted an Annual Dinner that now represents Democrats in 12 Counties across Northeastern Indiana. 
If you are a Democrat in Adams, Allen, Blackford, Dekalb, Huntington, Jay, Kosciusko, Lagrange, Noble, Steuben, Wells or Whitley County, the place to be on May 10 is at Eagle Glen in Columbia City.
The annual Third District Democratic Dinner is Saturday, May 10, at the Eagles Nest Event Center in Columbia City. Cocktails will be served at 6 p.m. and dinner will be served at 7 p.m.
Keynote speakers include Beth White Marion County clerk and Secretary of State candidate Beth White, executive director of the Indiana Democratic Party Shannon Mears and Trish Whitcomb, president of the Democratic Federation of Women.
Tickets are $35 per person. To RSVP, contact Noble County chairman Robert Holbrook at (260) 350-0026. Please make checks payable to "Third District Democrats" and mail to: Carmen Darland, 1898 South 50 West, Albion, IN 46701

April 22, 2014

Columbia Township firefighters come to the aid of another with May 3 benefit breakfast for Roger Bennett

(Talk of the Town photo provided)
Below, a former chief and longtime member of the Churubusco Fire Department, Roger Bennett is currently facing severe medical challenges. The Columbia Township Fire Department will host a benefit breakfast in his honor on Saturday, May 3 at the Columbia Township Fire Station.

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

Those in public service are known for coming to the aid of a brother in need.
So it's no surprise that although they aren't on the same department, the sentiment of wanting to help a fellow firefighter is important to the Columbia Township Fire Department. On May 3, 2014, the CTFD is hosting a benefit breakfast for Churubusco firefighter and former chief Roger Bennett. All proceeds from the breakfast will support Bennett's medical expenses. Bennett has been a member of the Churubusco Fire Department since 1989.
The breakfast will be held from 6 to 10:30 a.m. at the Columbia Township Fire Station, located at 22 Radio Road, just south of the Whitley County Humane Shelter on South Line Street.
Breakfast is $7 for adults and $4 for children under age 10. The meal will include pancakes, biscuits and gravy, sausage and scrambled eggs.
During the breakfast, volunteers will happily offer tours of the station, answer questions and allow children to peek inside the fire trucks.
Reflective address signs which aid personnel in emergency situations can be made while you wait for $10.
Breakfast deliveries will be available for local businesses, the elderly or disabled by calling 244-7659.

Hamilton Road north of SR 14 will be closed Wednesday due to INDOT project

From reports

The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) announced this afternoon that Hamilton Road, on the north side of SR 14, is scheduled to be closed tomorrow Wednesday, April 23, weather permitting. The Hamilton Road northern approach to SR 14 will be reconstructed during this closure. The approach is scheduled to reopen this fall.
Follow posted detour signs, or seek alternate routes.
This work is part of the ongoing SR 14 added travel lanes project. All work is scheduled to be complete by November 2014.

Precision Plastics expanding operations, adding 15 new jobs by 2017

By Katelyn Hancock

Precision Plastics, Inc., a custom plastic injection molder, announced plans today to expand its operations here, creating up to 15 new jobs by 2017.
The homegrown-Hoosier company will invest $265,000 to construct a 12,000 square-foot warehouse adjacent to its current 75,000 square-foot plastics facility, which is expected to be complete by June. Precision Plastics will move product storage into its new warehouse, allowing the company to add additional injection molding presses to its manufacturing floor.
“Indiana’s economy is molded by homegrown companies like Precision Plastics,” said Eric Doden, president of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. “Through their dedication to growth, they are helping to put more Hoosiers to work. Indiana provides an ideal and affordable business climate where companies are free to pursue their goals in a state that works.”
Precision Plastics, which currently employs approximately 120 full-time Indiana associates, plans to begin hiring for manufacturing positions in August. Interested applicants may apply at Peoplelink Staffing Solutions in Columbia City.
“Indiana provides an ideal business climate,” said Ron Richey, president and chief executive officer of Precision Plastics. “We are very excited to continue our expansion in the state of Indiana. Our analysis shows that Indiana has a cost advantage over surrounding Midwestern states in our industry. As a right-to-work state, our community provides a world-class workforce that is educated and motivated. Also, most of our global customers like our central location and our easy access to international markets.”
Founded in 1955, Precision Plastics produces high quality durable injection molded product, primarily serving the automotive, defense and industrial markets. The company operates 28 injection molding presses, growing rapidly from its early days with just two injection presses and two employees. With its growth, the employee-owned company plans to establish a production area where it can manufacture plastics at a food grade level.
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Precision Plastics, Inc. up to $65,000 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 city of Columbia City will consider additional tax abatement at the request of the Whitley County EDC.
“On behalf of Columbia City, we are pleased to support Precision Plastics expanding the company's capabilities to include food grade production," said Columbia City Mayor Ryan Daniel. "This project demonstrates that our partnership efforts encouraging local expansions and business attractions continue to bring economic success stories to our community.”
Earlier this month PDQ Tooling, an indexable cutting tool manufacturer, announced plans to locate operations in Columbia City. Serving the production machining industry, the company plans to invest $7.2 million to lease, renovate and equip a 17,000 square-foot facility, creating 45 new jobs.
Formed in 1955, Precision Plastics started with two injection presses and two employees. Today Precision Plastics, Inc. is housed in a new 75,000 sq. ft. facility owned and operated by more than 120 highly trained owner/employees.
Precision Plastics engineering expertise is highly sought after in the safety critical automotive market and defense industries. Today, Precision Plastics molded plastic components can be found around the world, in your car, or in your home. For more information, visit

April 21, 2014

Qureshi ready to dazzle with elegant evening event -- that's actually her final exam!

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano)
IPFW hospitality student Samara Qureshi will present her final exam -- a major community event on Wednesday in Columbia City. Qureshi hopes to one day plan events in Columbia City and has been working to promote her big event for weeks.

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

While most students would be content finishing their final exams behind the doors of the classroom as quickly and easily as possible, Samara Qureshi isn't your ordinary college student.
Qureshi, a Whitley County resident and hospitality student at Indiana-Purdue University at Fort Wayne, is completing her final exam in a most public fashion.
On Wednesday, Qureshi will present "Circa Trova" -- which means "ask and you shall receive" in Italian -- a black tie evening at the Eagle's Nest Event Center in Columbia City complete with a jazz band, gourmet dinner, guest speaker, silent auction and more. All of it, every detail, she's planned by herself.
Qureshi began planning her project for her food and beverage management course in January.
"I really wanted to keep it local," she said. "I also thought it would be great for people in the community  to have some where to go that's close to home."
Qureshi thought the timing of her event was ideal for networking, for businesses to reward their administrative assistants or just an enjoyable evening out. The keynote speaker for the evening is Cam Tribolet, a motivational speaker.
"This is the biggest thing I've ever done," she said. But, if all goes well, she believes this will pave the way toward her future career plans.
"I want to have an event coordinating business in Whitley County," said the Columbia City High School graduate.
Qureshi's professor was admittedly a little surprised by her elaborate plans. Most other students in Qureshi's position were planning events for 20. Her goals are significantly higher. She's hoping to have 100 attend Wednesday evening. Well, maybe 101...her professor will be there!
"My professor will be there," Qureshi said, with a grin. Her professor will be observing the event and making note of even the most minute details -- everything from how the food tastes to the arrangement of silverware on the table. She selected the menu, the arrangement of the room, designed the marketing materials and has been actively promoting her event in the community for weeks.
"Usually, people stick to 20 people," she said. "That's a big number...this has never been done. It's going to be done!"

Educators elated as Columbia City High School graduation rate soars to 94.7%

(Talk of the Town file photo)
Discarded graduation caps lie on stage following commencement ceremonies at Columbia City High School, each one representing another young person ready to make his or her mark in the world. Columbia City High School announced that their Class of 2014 graduation rate is the highest in the county.

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

Educators within Whitley County Consolidated Schools are smiling this week.
It's not because the snow days of 2014 are in the past -- though they're probably pleased with that. It's because this year's Columbia City High School graduation rate is the highest in Whitley County and among the highest graduation rate for public high schools in the region.
Columbia City High School principal Jennifer Reiff was elated to report that the Class of 2013's graduation rate is 94.7%, up from 93% last year.
As compared with other high schools in Whitley County, CCHS is ahead. Whitko High Schools sits at 91.3% and Churubusco High School sits at 87.8% of students graduating this year.
"I believe the increased graduation rate may be attributed to students and families greater understanding of the need for a high school diploma for success throughout their lives," said Reiff. "On the school’s side," she adds, she believes the succcess can be attributed to, "developing programs aligned to current and future career fields, increased offering of dual credit classes and appropriate support in place for student success."
As the graduates joyfully place their orders for caps and gowns this year, Reiff and fellow educators are sharing in that joy.
"As the CCHS principal, I am proud and excited," she adds. "This news supports what I already know – our students, staff, families and community are a great support system for our young people. In times of diminished legislative support, news like this brings renewed positive energy to public education."
Regionally, Carroll High School was the only school ahead of Columbia City High School with graduation rates of 95.6%.
Other graduation rates include: Huntington at 87.7%, Homestead at 94.5%, Warsaw at 87.4%, Wawasee at 85.6%, DeKalb at 92.2% and East Noble at 81.9%.

FOP Lodge 131 donates Easter hams to local senior center, food pantries


(Talk of the Town photos by Jennifer Zartman Romano)

The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge 131 made a generous donation to three community organizations in Whitley County last week in observance of the Easter holiday.
The FOP purchased a total of 30 hams from Columbia City's Krider's Meat Processing and distributed them to the Whitley County Council on Aging's Woodlands Senior Center in Columbia City, Churubusco United Methodist Church's food pantry in Churubusco and the South Whitley Area Emergency Food Bank. The donations were delivered last week by FOP trustee Marc Gatton of the Whitley County Sheriff's Department. Gatton said the group donates in this way to the food pantries each year.

Above, Marna Morris, a volunteer with the Churubusco United Methodist Church Food Pantry accepts the donation. Morris was provided with 10 hams that would be offered with other food pantry items for any family in need.

At right, Deb Darr, executive director of the Whitley County Council on Aging, accepts the donation of hams. The donation will be used to prepare meals for Whitley County's senior citizens who visit The Woodlands Senior Center each week for activities and lunches.

Below, Tonya Warner, a volunteer with the South Whitley Area Emergency Food Pantry accepts donated hams, 10 in all. Warner said the donation was very much appreciated and would help her organization continue to serve needy families in Whitley County.


Pork chop fundraiser to benefit Churubusco Main Street Association's revitalization projects

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

Help raise funds to support the revitalization of downtown Churubusco by attending the upcoming Churubusco Main Street Association's pork chop dinner.
Held April 26, the dinner begins at 5 p.m. in a big tent that will be erected on the PNC parking lot in Churubusco. Dinner will be served until 7 p.m. or until sold out.
The pork chop dinner will feature 1-inch pork chops from Egolf's IGA served with potatoes, green beans, applesauce and drinks for $10 per person. Hot dog dinners will be available for children for $6.
Proceeds will be used in combination with a matching grant to more forward with downtown beautification plans in Churubusco.

Earth Day cleanup project spearheaded by Whole Health Wellness Center on April 27

Article provided

Whole Health Wellness Center (WHWC) is going into its second year of creating healthy changes for the community of Columbia City and surrounding areas.
"We have a mission to be a resource to provide the tools, education and access needed for individuals and their families to live healthier, more sustainable lives," states WHWC vice president Regan Fry.
The group is planning several Earth Day community cleanup events on April 27 from 2 to 4 p.m. There will be two cleanups sites that day: A family friendly cleanup at Kids Dreamland, 606 W Van Buren Street in Columbia City and the WHWC Adopt-A-Highway location (open to children 12 and older with adult supervision) at the two mile stretch located on State Rd 9 from Airport Road to CR 250 North. Anyone wanting to participate in either event will meet at Kids Dreamland at 2 p.m. on April 27. Free refreshments will be provided along with games and activities after the event.
April 27 is also the last day for INDOTs Trash Bash.  The Indiana Department of Transportation's (INDOT's) annual Trash Bash takes place from April 5-27, 2014 and coincides with National Earth Day to aid in raising awareness of litter.
For more information about the Whole Health Wellness Center, visit their website at or their Facebook page at

Deadline nears for subscribing to Old Loon Farm CSA

(Talk of the Town file photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Below, a glimpse inside an Old Loon Farm CSA bag reveals a tasty, fresh selection of produce grown right here in Whitley County for you.

By Jennifer Zartman Romano 

The Old Loon Farm CSA's subscription deadline is fast approaching for the upcoming season which begins April 27.
A CSA - Community Supported Agriculture - is a direct cooperative relationship between producers and consumers, a way of sharing the fruits of a local farm with the community.
Typically a family subscribes or buys a "share" of the farm's production in advance, and receives a basket of fresh products each week during the production season. The CSA share is sized for a typical 4-person family. This is farm-to-fork local production. Your food is freshly harvested especially for you.
Old Loon Farm CSA options are as follows:
-- Early Spring Salad Bowl: $100  - April 27 - May 31 (5 weeks)
-- Early Summer Basket: $200 - June 1 - July 26 (8 weeks)
-- High Summer Basket: $150 - August 3 - September 6 (5 weeks)
-- Fall Basket: $150 - September 7 - October 11 (5 weeks)
-- Full Season Share: $500 - April 27 - October 11* (full season) Purchase a Full Season Share to Save $100 *The week of July 27-August 2 is vacation week – no share pick up.
Old Loon Farm limits CSA subscription to just 20 shares per season in order to provide each customer with personalized service. Please contact us to make sure shares are still available. For more information or to confirm your subscription, call Jane Loomis at 799-4422 or email

Novae Corporation's Markle expansion means additional jobs coming to Columbia City facility

By Katelyn Hancock

Novae Corporation, North America's third largest utility trailer manufacturer, announced plans today to expand its operations here, creating up to 75 new jobs by 2016. With its new production facility in Markle, the company also plans to add staff at its Columbia City, North Manchester and original Markle facilities to foster its continued growth.
 The homegrown-Hoosier company will invest $5.9 million to construct and equip a 73,000 square-foot facility at the Markle Industrial Park, a state-certified shovel ready site, which will be its fourth manufacturing facility in northeast Indiana since 2005. The new operation will be online and fully functional by November.
“Indiana is leading the charge for job creation, with companies both at home and abroad finding the perfect business climate here for growth and opportunity,” said Eric Doden, president of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. “Companies like Novae know from experience that Indiana is a state that works, complete with the skilled manufacturing workforce and affordable cost of doing business they need to succeed.”
Today’s announcement continues Novae’s growth in northeast Indiana. In 2010, the company made plans to invest $686,000 to purchase, redevelop and equip a 150,000 square-foot facility in Columbia City, creating up to 20 jobs by 2013. The company has since exceeded that goal, currently with approximately 350 full-time Indiana associates. Novae plans to begin hiring CDL drivers, welders, painters, assembly personnel, administrative and management professionals for its new Markle facility in July. Interested applicants may apply in person at Novae’s headquarters in Markle or online at
“We chose Indiana again because of the overwhelmingly compelling value we see in pro-business minded government and in the dedicated and productive workforce that is readily available,” said Mike Bermes, president and chief business development officer of Novae. “Government officials at every level here realize their role in serving the people of Indiana by helping create an environment where businesses can thrive. These facts coupled with Indiana’s commitment to infrastructure and our geographic proximity make it hard to beat Indiana.”
Founded in 1995, Novae designs and manufactures utility and cargo trailers, as well as lawn, garden and agricultural equipment. Novae has three product lines including Sure-Trac® utility trailers, Cardinal farm products and Novae® lawn care products.
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Novae Corporation up to $450,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $50,000 in training grants based on the company's job creation plans. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. Huntington County approved additional incentives and the town of Markle is considering incentives at the request of the Huntington County United Economic Development Corporation.
“The town of Markle is very excited about continued growth at the Markle Industrial Park,” said Jeff Humbarger, president of the Markle Town Board. “Success in the economic development world is defined by collaboration. We really appreciate the support we’ve received from the IEDC, the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, Huntington County Economic Development and the county. It started a few years ago with an effort to make the site shovel ready and the team took that a step farther to acquire the site in order to expedite development. This is truly the definition of a winning team effort. The town board extends our congratulations to Novae and the team working to make this a reality.”
Indiana’s unemployment rate continues on a downward slide, declining 2 percent in the last year, which is the third largest decrease in the nation. The Hoosier State boasts an unemployment rate lower than the national average, as well as a rate below all neighboring states.

April 18, 2014

The Search

(Talk of the Town photo)
A warm, sunny evening made for a delightful -- and quick -- 2014 Columbia City Rotary Easter Egg Hunt in Morsches Park in Columbia City Thursday. Above, colored eggs sat briefly on the grass before being snatched up and tucked into Easter baskets.

Barbecue today to benefit Albion fireworks

From reports

The Albion Lions Club is hosting a chicken barbecue this Friday, April 18, 2014, at the stoplight starting at 11 a.m. Proceeds will benefit the Albion Fireworks Committee.

April 17, 2014

German orthopedics company plans to establish North American operations in Columbia City location

DOT to open in Blue River Industrial Park, adding 20 jobs by 2016 

By Katelyn Hancock

Governor Mike Pence joined executives from DOT GmbH, a medical coating technology provider, to announce the company’s plans to establish DOT America, Inc. (DOT) in Columbia City,  creating up to 20 new high-wage jobs by 2016.
The Rostock, Germany-based orthopedics company is investing approximately $4.5 million to lease, renovate and equip a 17,520 square-foot facility in Columbia City’s Blue River Industrial Park. The facility, the company’s first location outside of Germany, is enabling DOT to fill a gap in the supply chain to its North American clients.
“For their first facility outside Germany, DOT’s leaders embarked on a search for the best stable and affordable business climate,” said Pence. “Though still in its early stages, DOT has already found that and more in Indiana, the worldwide center of the orthopedics industry. With our skilled Hoosier workforce behind them, we are pleased that more and more German companies like DOT continue to select Indiana as their North American home.”
DOT currently employs more than 290 full-time associates in Germany. It has already begun hiring engineers and technicians at its Columbia City location, which opened in November 2013. 
“DOT offers valuable surface treatment services to the orthopedic and medical industry in Indiana and the United States. Although business relations with U.S. customers are already well established, the generation of further growth needs direct market presence,” said Hans Eifeler, managing director of DOT. “DOT chose to establish its North American operations in Indiana primarily because the world’s leading orthopedic companies are located here. In addition, Indiana has a positive, welcoming business climate for foreign investors.”
Founded in 1992, DOT develops and supplies medical coating treatment technology for implants and instruments for the orthopedics industry under the name DOTImplantSource. In addition, under the name DOTbiomaterials the company develops and manufactures regenerative medicine products for the dental and orthopedic industries. With customers around the world, DOT also maintains a research and development team for the improvement of existing coatings and developing new coatings.
 The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered DOT America, Inc. up to $50,000 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. Columbia City will consider additional property tax abatement at the request the Whitley County Economic Development Corporation.
 "We are pleased to welcome DOT to Columbia City," said Columbia City Mayor Ryan Daniel. "DOT joins a growing number of companies in our community involved in the medical device supply chain."
 DOT is the third German company this week to announce plans to add jobs and invest in the Hoosier State, reaffirming Germany’s strong impact across Indiana. Earlier this week, NORRES, a German industrial hose manufacturer, announced plans to base its North American operations in South Bend and German extrusion manufacturer Jäger Group made plans to expand its subsidiary Jaeger-Unitek Sealing Solutions in La Porte.
 This week, Pence is leading an economic development and jobs mission across Germany, sharing why Indiana is a state that works for German companies to grow and thrive. More information about the governor’s job-hunting trip can be found at:

Museum discussion brings forth visitors to learn about historic figure William Wells

(Talk of the Town photo provided)
Over the weekend, Fulbright scholar Dr. William Heath, above at left, led a colorful historical presentation on William "Blacksnake" Wells at the Whitley County Historical Museum. Among those present for the event were author-columnist Susie Duncan Sexton and editorial writer and documentarian Terry Doran, above.

Click here to check out Susie Duncan Sexton's column "Old Type Writer" about her weekend visit with Heath, Doran and friend, cartoonist Jim Davis.