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May 2, 2016

Season of stumping ends with Sanders

Bernie516b.jpg(Talk of the Town photos by Jennifer Zartman Romano)
Some say they plan to vote for Bernie Sanders, above and below. Others supported other candidates, but wanted to hear his message. Some say they were interested in seeing yet another member of the political cast of characters that have traveled to Northeast Indiana within the past several days. Bernie516c.jpgStill others, including many of the youths in attendance at the Bernie Sanders rally held today at Indiana-Purdue University at Fort Wayne, say for the first time they're inspired and interested in the political process -- something they attribute to Sanders. Reasons for attending the rally were as plentiful as the shoulder to shoulder crowd in attendance.
Whatever the reason -- thousands lined up early this morning for an opportunity to hear Sanders, the final US presidential candidate to visit Northeast Indiana. Sanders arrived by mid-afternoon and spoke to the crowd for about an hour, highlighting various points in his campaign, urging people not to be frustrated by the political process and to understand the importance of voting.

Candidate Ted Cruz was the first big candidate to visit Northeast Indiana on Thursday, followed by Bill Clinton stumping for his wife, Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump came to town Sunday and Cruz returned mid-day on Monday. Sanders left town around 4:30 p.m. Monday, ending what has been a very interesting period in politics for Hoosiers.


Patriots, Republicans ready for election night parties

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

The stressful days of campaigns, the seemingly unending political commercials and the sea of signs along local roadways will be coming to an end in a matter of hours.
As is the local tradition, local political groups are planning their annual election night activities.
The Whitley County Patriots will gather tomorrow evening, Tuesday, May 3, 2016, to watch the election returns roll in. The group will gather at 7 p.m. in the lower level of the Columbia City Church of the Nazarene, enjoying pizza, snacks and lively conversation.
The Columbia City Church of the Nazarene is located at 506 North Main Street in Columbia City.
The Whitley County Republicans will gather at Downtown on the Square, a restaurant in downtown Columbia City, beginning around 6 p.m. Attendees are urged to order dinner and watch the results post inside the restaurant.
Downtown on the Square is located at 111 South Main Street.

The Whitley County Democrats will not be hosting a primary night gathering, but organizers say they will plan an event following the General Election in November.

Polls open at 6 a.m. Tuesday for the Indiana May Primary Election

The May Primary Election in Indiana will be held on Tuesday, May 3, 2016, offering voters a final opportunity to cast a ballot in the Republican or Democratic primaries. Polling locations across Whitley County will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. To determine your voting place, visit
In addition to the presidential candidates, the following candidates for local election will appear on the ballot.
2016 Primary Election Candidates
Third District Congressional
  • Jim Banks (Republican)
  • Mark Willard Baringer (Republican)
  • Elizabeth "Liz" Brown (Republican)
  • Pam Galloway (Republican)
  • Kevin Howell (Republican)
  • Kip Tom (Republican)
  • Todd Nightenhelser (Democrat)
  • John Forrest Roberson (Democrat)
  • Tommy A. Schrader (Democrat)
United States Senator
  • Marlin Stutzman (Republican)
  • Todd Young (Republican)
  • Baron Hill (Democrat)

  • John Gregg (Democrat)
  • Mike Pence (Republican)
District 16 State Senate
  • John Kessler (Republican)
  • David Long (Republican)
District 83 State Senate
  • David Ober (Republican)
Circuit Court Judge
  • Greggory Hockemeyer (Republican)
  • Matthew J. Rentschler (Republican)

Superior Court Judge

  • Douglas Fahl (Republican)

County Treasurer
  • Steven Hively (Republican)
  • Laurell Hodges (Republican)
County Coroner
  • Frederick R (Randy) Dellinger (Republican)
County Surveyor
  • No Candidate Filed
County Commissioner District 1 (Cleveland, Etna Troy & Richland Twps)
  • Thomas Western (Republican)
County Commissioner District 3 (Jefferson, Smith & Union Twps)
  • Don Amber (Republican)
  • Phil Valjack (Republican)

County Council At-Large (3)

  • James Argerbright (Republican)
  • Chad Banks (Republican)
  • Matt Boyd (Republican)
  • Ronald L Glassley (Republican)
  • Thor A Hodges (Republican)
  • Bill Overdeer (Republican)
  • Paula Reimers (Republican)
Precinct Committeemen-Republican (All Precincts)
Only OPPOSED Precinct Committeeman Candidates and State Convention Delegate Candidates
will be on the Primary Election Ballot.
Cleveland Northeast
  • Wayne T (Tom) Crowder
  • Jorell T Tucker

Cleveland Northwest

  • Judith Earnhart

Cleveland South

  • Laurell E Hodges

Columbia Northeast

  • Matt Boyd

Columbia Northwest

  • Lisa Smith

Columbia South

  • Joseph L Simon
  • Jason Spencer

Columbia 1

  • Glen D LaRue
  • Melvin Reeg

Columbia 2

  • Beth E Glassley
  • Nicole Penrod

Columbia 3

  • Debbie Fairchild

Columbia 4

  • Ryan L Daniel
  • Lisa A Richmond

Columbia 5

  • Donald W Langeloh

Columbia 6

  • Rosemary Brown

Columbia 7

  • Jennifer Zartman Romano

Columbia 8

  • Michael R Engle
  • Mary Ann McClusky


  • Chad Banks


  • David Heckman
  • Joan E Western

Jefferson East

  • Chad A Nix

Jefferson West

  • Susan McQueen
  • Joan K Null

Richland North

  • Cory Patrick
  • Mark A Zumbrun

Richland South

  • Eddie D Myers
  • Lisa Rossiter

Smith East

  • Carole Jacquay

Smith Northeast

  • Neil Hanni

Smith Northwest

  • Robert L Allman
  • Jamie L Smith

Smith South

  • John M Barrett

Smith West

  • Marcus (Marc) E Gatton
  • Jim Macino
  • Linda Zimmerman

Thorncreek North

  • Dick Goodwin
  • George A Schrumpf

Thorncreek Northeast

  • Paula Reimers

Thorncreek Northwest

  • Lee Baatz

Thorncreek South

  • Jon Myers
  • Justin Stinson

Union Columbia City

  • Jim Banks

Union East

  • Brandon C Forrester

Union West

  • Todd Cook
  • Roger Metzger

Washington North

  • Levi R Knach

Washington South

  • Jeff Ott

State Convention Delegate-Republican (13) Select 13

  1. Jim Banks
  2. Matt Boyd
  3. Ryan L Daniel
  4. Judith Earnhart
  5. Richard (Dick) Goodwin
  6. Neil Hanni
  7. Laurell E. Hodges
  8. Larry Long
  9. Jon Myers
  10. Mark Roach
  11. Jana L Schinbeckler
  12. Terry L Smith
  13. Justin Stinson
  14. Joan E Western
  15. Jennifer Zartman Romano
  16. Debra Zawlocki
  17. Linda Zimmerman
  18. Max E Zimmerman Jr

State Convention Delegate-Democratic (9)

  1. Madalyn Sade-Bartl

Prayer vigil planned for Monday

From reports
A 12-hour prayer vigil has been planned for Monday, May 2 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. as a means of offering prayer for candidates ahead of the May Primary Election on Tuesday. Visitors are invited to attend and pray.
The prayer vigil will be held in the Community Prayer Room, located in the basement of The Center for Whitley County Youth at the corner of Chauncey and Market Streets in downtown Columbia City. Visitors are asked to enter off Chauncey Street.

April 28, 2016

As the days wind down for primary, candidates barnstorm for votes in Northeast Indiana


(Talk of the Town photo by James Romano)
On Thursday, GOP candidate Ted Cruz, at center above, hosted a rally at Fort Wayne's Grand Wayne Center, welcoming a large group of supporters. Cruz was joined by Carly Fiorina, who stumped on his behalf. Cruz announced Tuesday that he would be choosing Fiorina as his running mate if he's given the GOP nomination.
Cruz's visit marked the first formal presidential candidate visit to Northeast Indiana. Unfortunately, unlike the presidential race in 2008 when both Barack Obama and Bill Clinton (on behalf of Hillary Clinton) held events in Columbia City, no candidates have yet planned events here. There are expected to be several candidate visits in the Fort Wayne area over the next few days, however.
Ted Cruz's campaign is promoting a rally on Monday. Click here for details:
Bill Clinton is expected to speak on behalf of Hillary Clinton on Saturday. Click here for details:

Donald Trump has announced he will be in Fort Wayne on Sunday. For ticket information, check here:

Bernie Sanders will be coming to Fort Wayne on Monday. For ticket details, visit:

Chamber luncheon offered afternoon oasis for relaxation, celebration of administrative professionals


(Talk of the Town photos)
On Wednesday, the Whitley County Chamber of Commerce hosted the Thanks A Bunch Lunch, an event focused on celebrating the contributions of local administrative professionals, personal assistants and volunteers.
"After several years' hiatus, we decided to bring this important event back as a means of helping our member businesses honor and recognize their employees in a fun, comfortable venue," said Whitley County Chamber of Commerce executive director Doug Brown. "We are already looking forward to planning this event in 2017." ThanksBunch416b.jpg
Wednesday's event welcomed more than 50 guests for a beach themed luncheon, complete with beach towels and floral leis for each attendee, door prizes, festive music and a meal catered by Ceruti's at Eagle Glen Event Center.
The event was sponsored by 1st Source Bank, Fort Wayne Metals, Culligan Water Conditioning, Preferred IT Group, Passages, Walker & Associates, Orizon Real Estate & Development and J&J Insurance Solutions.
The Chamber also thanks June Keiser, Downtown on the Square, Yo2Go and Shindigz.
Members of the Whitley County Chamber of Commerce's Thanks A Bunch Lunch committee included, from left above, June Keiser, Shelby Longenbaugh, Cari Wells, Jennifer Zartman Romano, Leslee Derbeck and Renee Ray. Committee members not shown included Doug Brown and Jo Robertson.

Sinkhole on Jackson Street


(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano)
A portion of Jackson Street between Marshall and Madison Streets in Columbia City was closed on Tuesday and has remained closed most of the week due to an apparent sinkhole that formed in the middle of street. At it's widest, the hole appeared to be about 2 foot wide. Crews on the scene Wednesday morning said it appeared that a pipe had burst beneath the street, leading to the creation of the sinkhole. The street is expected to remain closed for repair.

Nature walk planned for Sunday at Crooked Lake

From reports

The annual Crooked Lake Nature walk is scheduled for Sunday, May 1, 2016, beginning at 10:00 a.m. The walk will begin from the entrance to the Nature Preserve on the north side of the preserve on 700 North. 
There will be snacks and water for the participants. The walk will include discussion about the Leaman Cemetery and its story, as well as the new trail that was added by the Crooked Lake Association. It will be an enjoyable stroll through the woods, experiencing nature.
This event is open to the public. Those with expertise with hiking, birding and plant identification are welcome to contribute to the discussion as we progress through the nature preserve.
According to Lyn Crighton of The Watershed Foundation, a documentary crew with WNIT will be present to film footage for a PBS documentary set to air later this year.

April 27, 2016

ACD Museum brewing up a fundraiser

The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum and the ACD Festival, Inc. have joined together to create and host a fundraising event that will benefit each of the separate organizations.

Brew Bash will take place on Friday, May 6, 2016 at the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum in the Education & Exhibit Plaza, the Museum's newest addition to its campus. The event will take place from 6 pm to 9 pm and is open to adults 21 years old and older.

"This is the first collaboration between the Museum and the Festival in this capacity," said Kendra Klink, chief operating officer of the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum. "The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum and the ACD Festival, Inc. are two completely separate organizations. We are excited to join forces to host this fun, must-attend event."

"The event will feature live music, over 30 beers to sample, and some of the best food trucks in the area," said Sarah Payne, executive director of the ACD Festival, Inc. "Tickets are $40 per person in advance or $50 at the door. We are also offering designated driver tickets at $25 per person."

Tickets can be purchased at the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum, online through the Museum Store, or by calling the Museum at (260) 925-1444. Call or email with questions.

Traveling auto exhibit coming to the South Whitley Community Public Library

South Whitley Community Public Library will host Auto Indiana, one of the Indiana Historical Society's (IHS's) traveling exhibits, beginning May 4. The exhibit, which takes visitors on a ride through Indiana's rich auto- motive past, will be on display at SWCPL.
Auto Indiana explores the mark Indiana's inventors and innovators such as Elwood Haynes and Ralph Teetor and automakers such as Studebaker and Duesenberg left on the industry--and vice versa.
The exhibit also illuminates ties between the automobiles and the dev elopment of many other economic opportunities for the "Crossroads of America," such as the iron, steel and glass industries. In addition, it explores how the automobile became part of the American Dream and popular culture, from movies to making personal memories.
Finally, the exhibit allows guests to gaze down the road ahead for Hoosiers, from the environmental impact of auto- mobiles to a look at manufacturing today. Auto
Indiana is made possible by Kroger.
For more information about Auto Indiana, call
723-5321 or visit our Facebook page.

April 26, 2016

Near-record crowd turns out for annual Right to Life banquet in Columbia City Monday night


(Talk of the Town photo)
A near-record crowd of more than 250 people filled Indian Springs Middle School for the annual Right to Life of North Central Indiana banquet, above. The dinner provided an opportunity for advocates to share news regarding recent pro-life legislation as well as an opportunity for local residents to support the organization's projects. Keynote speakers included Brad and Jesi Smith, a Michigan couple who spoke on the difficulty they've faced in advocating for healthcare for their special needs child.
For more information about Right to Life of North Central Indiana, visit

New thrift shop opens on city's north side

From reports

A new thrift shop has opened on Columbia City's north side.
Real Dealz Thirft Store opened recently at 561 North Line Street in Columbia City, near Wendy's and Aldi's.
According to store owner Jeremiah Phillips, the store is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Fridays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. They are closed Monday and Sunday.

Community Voices

Today on Community Voices, CCHS functional life skills teacher Karen Koday shares how an anonymous gift brightened the day of her students while dining recently at Downtown on the Square.
Read the letter to the editor here:

ACD Museum presenting summer Children's Activity Days in June, July

Article provided

The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum will be hosting a number of Children's Activity Days throughout June and July.  Each of these special days will start at 10 a.m. and conclude at 3 p.m.  Campers will be fully immersed in the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum and its history through hands-on activities, presentations and interaction with exhibits.
"This is a project that volunteers and staff have been working on for about a year," said Kendra Klink, chief operating officer of the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum.  "We have developed programs and activities with the help of the Education Committee and the expertise of our staff.  This series of activity days promises to be exciting for the students, volunteers, and staff - we are so excited!"
Children's Activity Days are geared toward girls and boys 10-12 years old.  There are three days in a series, and each series will be offered twice during the summer.  Children can attend one, two, three or all of the days.  The dates are Tuesdays June 7, June 14 and June 21 and Wednesdays July 13, July 20 and July 27.  The price is $50 per student per day.  This not only includes lunch but also includes something each day that campers will take home to share with family and friends. 
"The children will experience interesting and fun educational activities that will expand their skills and knowledge," said Jon Bill, curator at the Museum.
"Boys and Girls will have the opportunity to learn about the Auburn Automobile Company, the automotive history of the area, art deco, early automobile racing, how a car works, and so much more," continued Klink.  "Children who complete a series of three Activity Days will be awarded a year-long individual membership to the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum in his or her name."
For information about the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum Summer Camp, please reach out to Kendra Klink at the museum by calling (260) 925-1444 or via email at