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July 31, 2014

August events at Parkview Whitley Hospital

Click here for the calendar of events at Parkview Whitley Hospital for the remainder of July and all of August.

Get ready to celebrate autumn with two festivals slated for October in Whitley County

Whitley County Fall Festival, Autumn Harvest Festival promise back to back weekends of outdoor fun and festivity

(Talk of the Town file photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano)
A wee one is filled with wonder, sitting next to a pair of pumpkins bigger than he was at the 2013 Whitley County Fall Festival. This year's Fall Festival is moving from Morsches Park back to downtown Columbia City on October 11 -- bringing with it a vast assortment of activites. The following weekend, on October 18, look forward to more fall fun at the Autumn Harvest Festival at the Whitley County Fairgounds. The month of October is shaping up to be an enjoyable one in Whitley County!

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

We could talk excitedly about the weather turning cooler, celebrating the harvest and the approaching days when the vivid foliage of Whitley County puts on the seasonal showing of reds, oranges, browns and yellows.
Well, the weather is already cooler, so thinking about the beautiful fall days ahead isn't too hard to imagine! When it comes to celebrating the fall, Whitley County residents will have TWO great opportunities this year -- the Whitley County Fall Festival on October 11 in downtown Columbia City and the Autumn Harvest Festival on October 18 at the Whitley County 4-H Fairgrounds.
A committee of volunteers has been hard at work for several months planning a variety of activities for the Whitley County Fall Festival. From 3 to 6 p.m. that afternoon, visitors can look forward to family-centered games, fall themed contests, barbecue dinners, cider and other treats. Later that evening, from 7 to 10 p.m., live music and other activities are planned for a more mature audience. More details will be published about the festival on Talk of the Town in the coming weeks.
Today, Whitley County 4-H volunteers shared their plans to offer what they hope will become an annual tradition at the fairgrounds. The Autumn Harvest Festival will include a car show, a craft and flea market, tours of the Whitley County Agricultural History Museum and the work on the Shelter House will be highlighted. If you just can't wait until the fair next year to enjoy some famous 4-H ice cream -- you're in luck! They'll be serving pumpkin ice cream that day as well as chili over an open fire, kettle corn and more. As we hear of more details, we'll share them here on Talk of the Town.
All proceeds from the Autumn Harvest Festival will benefit the Whitley County 4-H program. For more information on the Autumn Harvest Festival and how you might participate, send a message to or call 244-7615.

South Whitley's annual Open Class Car & Motorcycle Show celebrates 20 years in September

(Talk of the Town file photo by Terry Eberly/Eberly Photography) 

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

Time flies when you're having fun -- and that's the case for the committee of volunteers who plan the South Whitley Open Class Car & Motorcycle Show each year. Can you believe this is the 20th year for the event?
Each year, the community's car and motorcycle enthusiasts -- each with their own unique preferences -- come out to visit, observe and enjoy the downtown area filled with great vehicles. This year will be no different.
The 20th annual South Whitley Open Class Car & Motorcycle Show is being planned for Sunday, September 21, 2014. Registration will be from 9 to 11 a.m. A panel of judges will begin their work at 11 a.m. and awards will be presented at 3 p.m.
Dash plaques will be awarded for the first 75 entries.  Awards will be presented to the top 25 Cars, top two motorcycles and several other special awards will be presented, too. Raffles, prizes and more are planned for participants and visitors alike.
The entry fee is $10 pre-registered and $15 day of show for all car and motorcycle entries.

GROW Network meets Friday at Brew Ha

From reports

The GROW Network meets this Friday, August 1, 2014, at 8 a.m. at BrewHa in Columbia City. Look forward to networking, so bring your business cards and prepare to talk about upcoming events and activities important to you or your business.

July 30, 2014

What a catch!

(Talk of the Town photo provided)
Evan Wolfe has an outstanding fish tale to tell following a recent fishing trip to Loon Lake in northern Whitley County. Wolfe was trolling with his dad and his great uncle Kurt Wolfe when he caught a 34-inch muskie. While this wasn't Wolfe's first muskie -- it was the first one he was able to land in the boat and pause for a photo with. Wolfe returned is prized catch to the lake and hopes to catch him again someday when he's an even more exciting catch!

'Latch On' in support of breastfeeding planned for Saturday on the courthouse lawn

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

As part of their effort to encourage and educate mothers about the importance of breastfeeding, the Whitley County WIC office will be hosting a Latch On event this Saturday, August 2, on the Whitley County Courthouse lawn, beginning at 10:30 a.m.
The event welcomes any and all nursing mothers -- as well as supporters of breastfeeding -- to gather in observance of World Breastfeeding Week, August 1-7, 2014.
At that time, representatives of the Whitley County WIC office will have information on hand about breastfeeding and about programs offered through their office in the Whitley County Government Center.
Last year, dozens gathered for the Latch On event. Organizers hope to have even more mothers and babies present this year.

Avoid US 30 at SR 109

Avoid SR 109 at US 30 due to road construction. According to the Columbia City Police Department, the intersection is closed until early afternoon.

July 29, 2014

Business owner fights back against creeps with cameras

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano)
Local business owner Megan Palmer is angry and disgusted -- and fighting back against voyeurs by bringing awareness to places victims can be violated and what can be done to stop it.

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

Imagine for a moment you emerge from a tanning bed, nude or partially clothed. Eyes bleary, you reach for a towel and gently pat your face and skin. Gradually, the floor comes into focus and you begin looking for your clothes. That's when you see it -- a hand and a cell phone. At once, a wave of panic and fear washes over and you're horrified to realize your space, your privacy...has been violated.
A scene similar to this has played out twice recently at a local salon and owner Megan Palmer has had enough.
Beyond banning offenders and working with police to provide evidence and identify the voyeurs, she's tackling this stomach-turning situation head on in her salon and in the community.
The first time, it was an extremely tall man who peered over the top of a booth and recorded a customer. The second time, a man reached his phone under the booth. In the past, this wouldn't have been possible, but as cell phone technology has evolved, phones have gotten thinner -- making it easier for this kind of thing to happen. In both cases, the victims saw what was happening and reported it instantly. In both cases, the situation was reported to local law enforcement officials.
Tanning beds are big and require significant airflow, so she's limited on how much she can box in the tanning booth rooms, but she's committed to keeping her customers safe and aggressively pursuing the creeps who've violated their space.
When the first incident happened, she removed the stools from her tanning booths so that individuals could not stand on them to record over the top of the walls. Now, she's installed trim work to seal off the bottoms of those booths as well.  "I looked into drywalling up to the ceiling, but we have to keep the airflow going in here," Palmer said.
"I almost threw up. I was disgusted," Palmer said, recalling her feeling when she learned what had happened in her salon, to her customers. Palmer feels frustrated since she cannot personally file charges againt the individuals -- only the victims can do that, but she's been at their side as they made their reports.
"As a business owner, I can only file a report." Palmer wants to do more, however, including raise awareness that this kind of activity is happening in our community and anywhere intimate space exists -- be it a bathroom, a changing room in a department store, a locker room, etc. Technology is evolving and cameras have become so tiny. In talking with other salon owners, this type of voyeurism isn't common locally, it does happen. "I think it may be more common than we think," she said, noting how undetectable technology makes it. "I assume it's not just here and it doesn't just happen in tanning salons."
Palmer advises people to be aware of their surroundings at all times.
"Scan top and bottom, every corner of the space you're in before you undress," she said. "Make note of who's walking into the dressing room (or another space) behind you."
Palmer also believes it's key to report an incident such as this to the police.
"I want to get it on record in case this is part of a pattern," she said.
In many ways, the recording nature of this violation is more concerning that the "peeping toms" of the past. "It's not gone forever," she said. Videos can be uploaded to the internet, duplicated and distributed without the victim even knowing what happened -- and all within minutes.
This issue is also troubling to Columbia City Police Chief Tim Longenbaugh who's handled both cases.
"The two cases were not connected," Longenbaugh said, adding that he could not comment specifically on the second case because it is under investigation.
Longenbaugh said voyeurism such as this is a Class D Felony when it involves knowingly recording someone with a camera.
"These are the only two cases I'm aware of locally," he said. "They just happened to happen at the same location."
"We may lose business over this, but I want people to know we're doing what we can," she said. "I have no way of background checking customers for creepy people."
She said she's considered a variety of heavy handed approaches, including limiting her tanning salon to women, but she's reluctant because of the great customers she does have.
"We have really decent, professional men who aren't creeps," she said. "It's this weird line and I don't know what to do."
In the meantime, she talking about what happened and hoping to make her space as safe and secure as it can be.
"Let's get it head on," she said.

Nix takes first place in BMX Nationals in Michigan

(Talk of the Town photo provided)
Whitley County's Maycee Nix is turning heads in the world of BMX racing. Over the weekend, Nix, a novice competitor, took first place in the BMX Nationals in Waterford, Michigan, an event held at the Waterford Oaks BMX Track.

This national title came as a bit of a surprise to Nix and her family as this was her first national competition with just a year of racing under her belt. It was an impressive finish against hundreds of other young riders -- and just the beginning of a promising racing career. Nix is expected to advance very soon into the intermediate division. She needs just two more wins to accomplish that.

Shown at right with her national win trophy last weekend, Nix is the 13-year-old daughter of Ryan and Jenee Nix of Columbia City. According to Jenee Nix, her daughter isn't the only local youth making headlines for their BMX success -- so too are Austin Uher, Kash Uher, Trevor Ellis and Connor Sparks.

Compassionate Friends host annual 'Walk to Remember' on August 9

Article provided

The Compassionate Friends, along with DeMoney-Grimes Funeral Home in Columbia City, will be hosting their annual Walk to Remember on August 9, 2014. Cost is $5 per walker or 5 walkers for $20. All proceeds go to The Compassionate Friends, Columbia City, IN Chapter. Please join and remember your loved one on this special day.
Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. at the Gazebo on the Courthouse lawn. The two-mile walk begins at 8 a.m.
CC Buggies of Columbia City will offer golf rides for those who would like to ride along with the walkers.                                                                                                                             If you are unable to walk and would still like to  participate meet at DeMoney-Grimes Funeral Home  at 8:45 a.m. for refreshments, a guest speaker and a balloon release. Ruby Hahn will speak about her 11-year-old son, Logan, who died in 2004.
If you would like a button with your loved one’s picture, please bring a picture to DeMoney-Grimes Funeral Home by August 4 (or before) so they can prepare them for you the day of the walk. The cost per memorial button is $2.

Register Wednesday for a spot at the 2014 Whitley County Conservation Day Camp

(Talk of the Town photo provided)
There is just one day left to register for the upcoming 2014 Whitley County Conservation Day Camp. Planned for Tuesday, August 5, from 9:15 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Camp Whitley in northern Whitley County. The cost is $10 per child and open to children ages 9 to 13. Activities include building a bird house, practicing archery, learning about wildlife, swimming in Troy Cedar Lake, shooting skeet with the help of local conservation officers and more. Lunch is provided. Reservations for camp must be made by Wednesday, July 30.
To register a child, contact Nadean Lamle at or call 244-6266, ext. 101.
Above, a camper gets a first hand look at a snake, while learning about their native habitat, diet and more.

Columbia City's town wide sales set for Saturday

From reports

This Saturday, August 2, is the second annual Columbia City Town Wide Garage Sale event. Individuals wanting to participate around the city should visit City Hall to purchase a $1 permit. Sales participating in the event will be open Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Repairs to close portion of Washington Road

Washington Road will be closed between Keiser and Meridian Roads July 29 and possibly July 30 for pipe replacement.

July 28, 2014

WCCS offers online registration for students; new students still need to register in person

From reports

It's hard to believe, but it won't be long until students will be back in school again.
To help parents in the Whitley County Consolidated Schools district expedite the registration process, the school system will again offer online registration. Online registration opened today, July 28, 2014. The online registration is for existing students -- the parents and guardians of new students are asked to visit the school the child will be attending to complete the registration process.
With the online registration, it is no longer be necessary to go to your child's school to register. Parents/Guardians will be able to complete all the necessary registration forms online, electronically, through a web interface.  
If you do not have access to a computer, your child's school will be open to provide you with access to a computer during regular business hours the week of August 4-8, 2014.  The schools will have extended evening hours from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, August 6.

Cheer Camp this week at CCHS

From reports

Columbia City Cheer Camp, a fun, interactive cheerleading camp for girls ages 3 and up, begins Tuesday evening in Columbia City.
Held at Columbia City High School, the camp continues nightly from 6 to 8 p.m. through Friday.
The cost to participate is $45 per child.
The camp will be closed to participants only through the week and a demonstration is planned for Friday evening.

Four participate in local radio club's quarterly test session last Saturday

From reports

The Whitley County Amateur Radio Club W5YI Team held their quarterly test session on Saturday, July 26, 2014.
The W5YI Team members present were Donald Evilsizor / KA9QWC, Catherine Evilsizor / WB8ORR,  David Keiser / WB9UNL and Roger McEntarfer / N9QCL.
Four individuals left smiling with a new license or an upgrade to an existing license.
New hams are as follows:
Isaiah L. Bair – Technician Class – Churubusco, IN
Bradley M. Bishop – Technician Class – Fort Wayne, IN
Upgrading hams are as follows:
Jason R. Eicholtz / KC9UOQ – Extra Class – Fort Wayne, IN
Daven W. Septon / KC0NMH – General Class – Columbia City, IN
The next W5YI Test session will be held on Saturday October 25, 2014 from 9 to 11 a.m. in Community Room A and B of the Peabody Library, 1160 E. State Rd. 205 in Columbia City.
For further information on upcoming test sessions contact Roger McEntarfer / N9QCL via email at

July 26, 2014

Brighton hosting benefit sales night Sunday for the Whitley County Dazzlers

Brighton at Jefferson Pointe is selling red, white and blue bracelets. Every bracelet sold in the month of July $5 will go to the Whitley County Dazzlers, a special needs cheerleading squad. In addition, this Sunday, July 27, from 5 to 7 p.m. Brighton is opening up and having a Dazzler evening fundraiser for the group. 20% of everything sold in the store between 5 to 7 p.m. will go to the Dazzlers.

July 25, 2014

Rain delays road project to Saturday

There has been a delay in the resurfacing project along US 30 due to the rain mid-week, says Laurel McCurdy of the Indiana Department of Transportation. McCurdy says that weather permitting, milling/resurface operations on US 30, SR 9, and SR 109 will begin on this Saturday, July 26. The work will then continue for 1 or 2 weeks.