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May 31, 2008

Going home...

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) The sun sets on another beautiful day in Whitley County, above. A boater on Shriner Lake makes a quick trip home as the golden rays of the sun slide behind the tree-lined shore Wednesday night. Local residents who choose to be near the water this weekend, perhaps boat, fishing or swimming, may expect a 30% chance of rain with scattered showers through the weekend. So, you better get out there while the sun is still shining!


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Going home...

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) The sun sets on another beautiful day in Whitley County, above. A boater on Shriner Lake makes a quick trip home as the golden rays of the sun slide behind the tree-lined shore Wednesday night. Local residents who choose to be near the water this weekend, perhaps boat, fishing or swimming, may expect a 30% chance of rain with scattered showers through the weekend. So, you better get out there while the sun is still shining!


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Plenty to do locally today and tonight...

Today

The Columbia City Farmers Market is open today on the western side of the Whitley County Courthouse Lawn until noon.

 

The Columbia City High School cheerleaders are selling Nelson’s barbecue chicken this morning through 2 p.m. this afternoon in the parking lot at Tractor Supply Company on North Main Street. The meal, including a chicken half, cheesy potatoes, cole slaw and a brownie, is $6 each.

 

Tonight

The Tri Lakes Lions Club is hosting an all you can eat Gaerte’s fish and tenderloin fry at the Tri Lakes Lions Hall. Dinner will be served from 4-7 p.m. Proceeds will benefit a young Larwill girl who suffers from a genetic disease. The meal is $8 for adults and $4 for children 12 and under.

 

The Donovan Kessler Little Swimmers Fund will be hosting their second annual community cookout in the pavilion at Morsches Park from 4-7:30 p.m. in Columbia City. More than 100 prizes will be awarded. All proceeds will support scholarships for swimming lessons.

 


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Plenty to do locally today and tonight...

Today

The Columbia City Farmers Market is open today on the western side of the Whitley County Courthouse Lawn until noon.

 

The Columbia City High School cheerleaders are selling Nelson’s barbecue chicken this morning through 2 p.m. this afternoon in the parking lot at Tractor Supply Company on North Main Street. The meal, including a chicken half, cheesy potatoes, cole slaw and a brownie, is $6 each.

 

Tonight

The Tri Lakes Lions Club is hosting an all you can eat Gaerte’s fish and tenderloin fry at the Tri Lakes Lions Hall. Dinner will be served from 4-7 p.m. Proceeds will benefit a young Larwill girl who suffers from a genetic disease. The meal is $8 for adults and $4 for children 12 and under.

 

The Donovan Kessler Little Swimmers Fund will be hosting their second annual community cookout in the pavilion at Morsches Park from 4-7:30 p.m. in Columbia City. More than 100 prizes will be awarded. All proceeds will support scholarships for swimming lessons.

 


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It's a good time to golf: Many groups gearing up for summer golf outings in Whitley County

By Jennifer Zartman Romano 

Many local groups and organizations are already planning golf outings this year. The ones we are currently aware of include:

* The Parkview Whitley Foundation Golf Outing is planned for July 10 at Eel River Golf Course. The event will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Cost is $90 per player or $360 per team including greens fees, cart rental, lunch, dinner and a gift. You can register by calling Candice Yeakle at 248-9802 or sending an e-mail to: candice.yeakle@parkview.com

* The Columbia City Chamber of Commerce Golf Outing is scheduled for June 19. The event will begin with registration and lunch at 11:30 a.m. at Eagle Glen Golf Course. Cost is $100 per player or $400 per team. You may register by sending an e-mail to  office@columbiacity.org or call Michelle at 248-8131.

* The Churubusco Rotary is planning a golf outing on Saturday, June 14, at Eel River Golf Course. Teams are still welcome to participate. Call Eel River Golf Course for more information or contact any member of the Churubusco Rotary or call Mark Coonrod at 693-9650.

* The Loon Lake Property Owners Association is planning a golf outing in July at Crooked Lake Golf Course. Details are still being ironed out, but any inquiries may be directed to Bill Franke at 799-4862.

If you have an upcoming golf outing and would like to publicize it here on Talk of the Town via e-mail at jennifer@talkofthetownwc.com or send us a flier at Talk of the Town, P.O. Box 682, Columbia City, IN 46725.


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It's a good time to golf: Many groups gearing up for summer golf outings in Whitley County

By Jennifer Zartman Romano 

Many local groups and organizations are already planning golf outings this year. The ones we are currently aware of include:

* The Parkview Whitley Foundation Golf Outing is planned for July 10 at Eel River Golf Course. The event will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Cost is $90 per player or $360 per team including greens fees, cart rental, lunch, dinner and a gift. You can register by calling Candice Yeakle at 248-9802 or sending an e-mail to: candice.yeakle@parkview.com

* The Columbia City Chamber of Commerce Golf Outing is scheduled for June 19. The event will begin with registration and lunch at 11:30 a.m. at Eagle Glen Golf Course. Cost is $100 per player or $400 per team. You may register by sending an e-mail to  office@columbiacity.org or call Michelle at 248-8131.

* The Churubusco Rotary is planning a golf outing on Saturday, June 14, at Eel River Golf Course. Teams are still welcome to participate. Call Eel River Golf Course for more information or contact any member of the Churubusco Rotary or call Mark Coonrod at 693-9650.

* The Loon Lake Property Owners Association is planning a golf outing in July at Crooked Lake Golf Course. Details are still being ironed out, but any inquiries may be directed to Bill Franke at 799-4862.

If you have an upcoming golf outing and would like to publicize it here on Talk of the Town via e-mail at jennifer@talkofthetownwc.com or send us a flier at Talk of the Town, P.O. Box 682, Columbia City, IN 46725.


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May 30, 2008

Deadline approaching to register for Big G's Columbia City Classic

June 7 is the final deadline to register a team for the 2008 Big G’s Columbia City Classic, a three on three basketball tournament, scheduled to take place on the Courthouse Square on Saturday, June 21.

Four people may compose a team in one of the following divisions: 10 and under, 11-12, 13-14,15-16, 17-18 and 19 and over.

The entry fee is $100 per team. All players will receive a t-shirt for participating and trophies will be awarded to top places in each category.  Registration forms can be downloaded by going to www.ccbasketball.com.

For additional information about the event, contact Jo Murphy at 610-0809.


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Deadline approaching to register for Big G's Columbia City Classic

June 7 is the final deadline to register a team for the 2008 Big G’s Columbia City Classic, a three on three basketball tournament, scheduled to take place on the Courthouse Square on Saturday, June 21.

Four people may compose a team in one of the following divisions: 10 and under, 11-12, 13-14,15-16, 17-18 and 19 and over.

The entry fee is $100 per team. All players will receive a t-shirt for participating and trophies will be awarded to top places in each category.  Registration forms can be downloaded by going to www.ccbasketball.com.

For additional information about the event, contact Jo Murphy at 610-0809.


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'Mudd Dodgers' ready to get down and dirty

(Talk of the Town photo by Tony Romano) The Mudd Dodgers, a mud dodgeball team sponsored by Richards Restaurant in Columbia City, is one of several teams ready to compete in the upcoming Toys for Tots 'Showdown at the Fairground' mud dodgeball event on June 7. The team gathered outside the restaurant wearing the uniforms for the upcoming event. They're still looking for a few more challengers. Are you game? If so, register your team by contacting Barry Yeakle at 691-2923.


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'Mudd Dodgers' ready to get down and dirty

(Talk of the Town photo by Tony Romano) The Mudd Dodgers, a mud dodgeball team sponsored by Richards Restaurant in Columbia City, is one of several teams ready to compete in the upcoming Toys for Tots 'Showdown at the Fairground' mud dodgeball event on June 7. The team gathered outside the restaurant wearing the uniforms for the upcoming event. They're still looking for a few more challengers. Are you game? If so, register your team by contacting Barry Yeakle at 691-2923.


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Faith Christian Academy to offer fun, 'outside the box' summer learning opportunities

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Faith Christian Academy students enjoy creative play time at the school this spring, below. For the summer, the school is planning to offer a unique, fun filled Summer Enrichment Program for any student in the community, including those enrolled in public school or who are homeschooled. 

 

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

Following a year’s focus on learning, summer vacation is a much-anticipated break. But somewhere between summer camp and days at the beach, a child just might slip backward on the skills built up during the school year.

In an effort to keep students on track, push students ahead and to offer a break from the summer doldrums, Faith Christian Academy is offering a unique summer school opportunity for anyone in the community interested in keeping their child’s education a priority during the summer months. Oh, and it's going to be FUN!

“We feel like this is a great opportunity for any child to come and learn in a really fun environment,” said Faith Christian Academy parent Nicole Trier. The Summer Enrichment Program was an idea Trier and several others have been working on for over a year.

The Summer Enrichment Program is open to any student in pre-K through eighth grade in Whitley County. Any student, including students enrolled in public schools or homeschooled students, are invited to participate.

Six weeks of classes will begin June 9 through July 25 with no classes during the week of July 4.

A variety of classes will be available to choose from, including Kitchen Fun, World Travelers, Science Lab, Arts & Crafts, Book Club, Bible Study, Creative Writing and Social Awareness.

“These classes will incorporate skills learned in the classroom during the year, but they will be formatted in a way that’s really fun and outside the box,” Trier added.

The classes will be taught by a licensed educator.

Classes are $45 each series or $35 each series for students currently enrolled at Faith Christian Academy. Morning and afternoon classes are available, meeting from 9-11:30 a.m. and 12:30-3 p.m. each day. Students may pack their lunch and stay between classes for an additional $5.

An exact schedule of class dates and times will be available as soon and will be based on level of interest.

Additionally, plans are in the works to offer field trips for the whole family each Friday during the session.

To register or for more information, contact Nicole Trier at 248-4872.


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Faith Christian Academy to offer fun, 'outside the box' summer learning opportunities

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Faith Christian Academy students enjoy creative play time at the school this spring, below. For the summer, the school is planning to offer a unique, fun filled Summer Enrichment Program for any student in the community, including those enrolled in public school or who are homeschooled. 

 

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

Following a year’s focus on learning, summer vacation is a much-anticipated break. But somewhere between summer camp and days at the beach, a child just might slip backward on the skills built up during the school year.

In an effort to keep students on track, push students ahead and to offer a break from the summer doldrums, Faith Christian Academy is offering a unique summer school opportunity for anyone in the community interested in keeping their child’s education a priority during the summer months. Oh, and it's going to be FUN!

“We feel like this is a great opportunity for any child to come and learn in a really fun environment,” said Faith Christian Academy parent Nicole Trier. The Summer Enrichment Program was an idea Trier and several others have been working on for over a year.

The Summer Enrichment Program is open to any student in pre-K through eighth grade in Whitley County. Any student, including students enrolled in public schools or homeschooled students, are invited to participate.

Six weeks of classes will begin June 9 through July 25 with no classes during the week of July 4.

A variety of classes will be available to choose from, including Kitchen Fun, World Travelers, Science Lab, Arts & Crafts, Book Club, Bible Study, Creative Writing and Social Awareness.

“These classes will incorporate skills learned in the classroom during the year, but they will be formatted in a way that’s really fun and outside the box,” Trier added.

The classes will be taught by a licensed educator.

Classes are $45 each series or $35 each series for students currently enrolled at Faith Christian Academy. Morning and afternoon classes are available, meeting from 9-11:30 a.m. and 12:30-3 p.m. each day. Students may pack their lunch and stay between classes for an additional $5.

An exact schedule of class dates and times will be available as soon and will be based on level of interest.

Additionally, plans are in the works to offer field trips for the whole family each Friday during the session.

To register or for more information, contact Nicole Trier at 248-4872.


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The Oaks residents enjoy Barn Yard Day

 

(Photos provided) The Oaks director of nursing Sarah Lopez, above at right, introduces her horses to The Oaks residents and guests. Below, The Oaks residents enjoyed interacting with the various animals, even a snake, top, and an alpaca, bottom.

 

By Tricia Hennessy

 

Though the wind was blowing hard, that didn’t stop the residents and family members from turning out for this year’s Barn Yard Day at The Oaks. Among the esteemed guests were horses, cattle, alpacas, rabbits, a snake and even a tortoise.

 

This was the second annual event and one the staff and residents of The Oaks hope to continue.

 

“Barn Yard Day is an exciting event for our residents and their families to experience a fun-filled day of interaction with animals,” said Director of Nursing Sarah Lopez. “This event is a real spirit booster for our residents,” she added.

 

The Oaks employees, as well as family members of the Oaks residents, provide the animals.

 

If you have an animal you would like to share for this event in the future, contact The Oaks at (260) 248-9830.


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The Oaks residents enjoy Barn Yard Day

 

(Photos provided) The Oaks director of nursing Sarah Lopez, above at right, introduces her horses to The Oaks residents and guests. Below, The Oaks residents enjoyed interacting with the various animals, even a snake, top, and an alpaca, bottom.

 

By Tricia Hennessy

 

Though the wind was blowing hard, that didn’t stop the residents and family members from turning out for this year’s Barn Yard Day at The Oaks. Among the esteemed guests were horses, cattle, alpacas, rabbits, a snake and even a tortoise.

 

This was the second annual event and one the staff and residents of The Oaks hope to continue.

 

“Barn Yard Day is an exciting event for our residents and their families to experience a fun-filled day of interaction with animals,” said Director of Nursing Sarah Lopez. “This event is a real spirit booster for our residents,” she added.

 

The Oaks employees, as well as family members of the Oaks residents, provide the animals.

 

If you have an animal you would like to share for this event in the future, contact The Oaks at (260) 248-9830.


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Watercolor classes to be offered at Whitley County Historical Museum

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

Throughout the Whitley County Historical Museum, you’re likely to find, here and there, hanging on the walls, the works of local artists such as Shinzo Ohki, Rosebud Slim, Marilyn Kimble, Margo Langohr, Laura Kaler Schweir, Rob McNagny and others who’ve enlightened our community with their creativity.

Up until this point, visitors have only been able to view the artwork – but beginning June 12, they can begin creating their own artful expressions at the museum.

Marilyn Copeland will be teaching watercolor classes at the museum on Thursday evenings from 6-8 p.m. beginning June 12. There will be six sessions.

The fee to participate is $12 per session.

To reserve a spot in the class, call the museum at 244-6372.


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Watercolor classes to be offered at Whitley County Historical Museum

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

Throughout the Whitley County Historical Museum, you’re likely to find, here and there, hanging on the walls, the works of local artists such as Shinzo Ohki, Rosebud Slim, Marilyn Kimble, Margo Langohr, Laura Kaler Schweir, Rob McNagny and others who’ve enlightened our community with their creativity.

Up until this point, visitors have only been able to view the artwork – but beginning June 12, they can begin creating their own artful expressions at the museum.

Marilyn Copeland will be teaching watercolor classes at the museum on Thursday evenings from 6-8 p.m. beginning June 12. There will be six sessions.

The fee to participate is $12 per session.

To reserve a spot in the class, call the museum at 244-6372.


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May 29, 2008

Waiting for the weekend...

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) With the surface of Shriner Lake at Tri Lakes as smooth as a sheet of glass, a sailboat and the blue, cloudy sky was reflected beautifully near sunset Wednesday evening. As the weekend approaches, this unbroken surface will be a memory with jet skis and ski boats zipping away the afternoons.


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Waiting for the weekend...

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) With the surface of Shriner Lake at Tri Lakes as smooth as a sheet of glass, a sailboat and the blue, cloudy sky was reflected beautifully near sunset Wednesday evening. As the weekend approaches, this unbroken surface will be a memory with jet skis and ski boats zipping away the afternoons.


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Coesse School raises $1938.65 for Whitley County Relay for Life, celebrates success in a major way Wednesday

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

The students at Coesse Elementary School have learned that philanthropy can be fun.

On Wednesday, the administration, staff and students celebrated several weeks of fundraising efforts in support of the American Cancer Society’s Whitley County Relay for Life with a mini relay and field day at the school.

After enjoying basketball, relaying around the school’s grass track, giant inflatable moonwalks, face painting and other activities, the students celebrated their fundraising success by super-soaking their principal, Tammy Weimer, with squirt guns, drenching their favorite teachers in chocolate sauce, sprinkles and whipped cream, singing along as their school office staff serenaded them – and cheering loudly as their check for $1938.65 was presented to representatives of the Whitley County Relay for Life.

Whitley County Relay for Life co-chairs, as well as American Cancer Society representative Sara Goff, happily accepted the check during a brief ceremony in the field next to the school. The check was presented officially by Weimer and Coesse teacher Brandi Duncan.

For their fundraising efforts, students were randomly selected to pour ten toppings over the heads of their teachers – eliciting the appropriate heckling and rowdy cheers from the crowd. The good sports, the teachers and staff who allowed this to happen to them, included Angie Grable, Lori Heuer, Stacey Raptis, Brandi Duncan, Rachel Mowery and Carmen Eager.

After the “ice cream incident,” school office staff members Lisa Bassett and Cheryl Hoffman rocked out to Pat Benetar’s “Hit Me With Your Best Shot.” Decked out in 80s era finery, they played guitar and karaoked with the best of them.

The final excitement of the afternoon included the “once in a lifetime” opportunity for several randomly selected students to super-soak their principal, Tammy Weimer. Another good sport, Weimer endured many squirt gun blasts before having buckets of water dumped over her head by the office staff – further delighting the audience of students on the grass nearby.

Teacher Brandi Duncan, one of a committee that helped plan the days activities and coordinated the fundraising, was pleased with the school’s efforts for a good cause.

“If everyone could raise $500, what a difference it would make for a worthwhile cause,” Duncan said. “I just wish everyone could do it. It was awesome.”

The team that coordinated the day’s activities included Mindy Bloomfield, Stacey Raptis, Lori Heuer, Margaret Taylor, Angie Grable, Roxanne Thomas and Brandi Duncan.

Duncan was pleased to thank several sponsors for the event including Autoliv (who donated Coesse Relay for Life shirts for each child in the school), Undersea Sensors, Northeastern REMC, Coesse PTO and several others without whom she feels the event would not have been such an outstanding success.


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Coesse School raises $1938.65 for Whitley County Relay for Life, celebrates success in a major way Wednesday

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

The students at Coesse Elementary School have learned that philanthropy can be fun.

On Wednesday, the administration, staff and students celebrated several weeks of fundraising efforts in support of the American Cancer Society’s Whitley County Relay for Life with a mini relay and field day at the school.

After enjoying basketball, relaying around the school’s grass track, giant inflatable moonwalks, face painting and other activities, the students celebrated their fundraising success by super-soaking their principal, Tammy Weimer, with squirt guns, drenching their favorite teachers in chocolate sauce, sprinkles and whipped cream, singing along as their school office staff serenaded them – and cheering loudly as their check for $1938.65 was presented to representatives of the Whitley County Relay for Life.

Whitley County Relay for Life co-chairs, as well as American Cancer Society representative Sara Goff, happily accepted the check during a brief ceremony in the field next to the school. The check was presented officially by Weimer and Coesse teacher Brandi Duncan.

For their fundraising efforts, students were randomly selected to pour ten toppings over the heads of their teachers – eliciting the appropriate heckling and rowdy cheers from the crowd. The good sports, the teachers and staff who allowed this to happen to them, included Angie Grable, Lori Heuer, Stacey Raptis, Brandi Duncan, Rachel Mowery and Carmen Eager.

After the “ice cream incident,” school office staff members Lisa Bassett and Cheryl Hoffman rocked out to Pat Benetar’s “Hit Me With Your Best Shot.” Decked out in 80s era finery, they played guitar and karaoked with the best of them.

The final excitement of the afternoon included the “once in a lifetime” opportunity for several randomly selected students to super-soak their principal, Tammy Weimer. Another good sport, Weimer endured many squirt gun blasts before having buckets of water dumped over her head by the office staff – further delighting the audience of students on the grass nearby.

Teacher Brandi Duncan, one of a committee that helped plan the days activities and coordinated the fundraising, was pleased with the school’s efforts for a good cause.

“If everyone could raise $500, what a difference it would make for a worthwhile cause,” Duncan said. “I just wish everyone could do it. It was awesome.”

The team that coordinated the day’s activities included Mindy Bloomfield, Stacey Raptis, Lori Heuer, Margaret Taylor, Angie Grable, Roxanne Thomas and Brandi Duncan.

Duncan was pleased to thank several sponsors for the event including Autoliv (who donated Coesse Relay for Life shirts for each child in the school), Undersea Sensors, Northeastern REMC, Coesse PTO and several others without whom she feels the event would not have been such an outstanding success.


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Snapshots from Coesse Elementary School's Relay for Life event Wednesday afternoon


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Snapshots from Coesse Elementary School's Relay for Life event Wednesday afternoon


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Coesse Elementary Students turn teachers into human sundaes as reward for fundraising efforts


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Coesse Elementary Students turn teachers into human sundaes as reward for fundraising efforts


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Town clown selected for serious business at 'Showdown at the Fairground'

By Barry Yeakle

 

In keeping with the serious nature of the Whitley County Mud Dodgeball Championship Tournament called Showdown at the Fairground on June 7, Sunbeam, a clown, has been named to act as judge for the important trophies to be awarded to teams for Cleanest Uniforms, Dirtiest Uniforms, Most Stylish Team, People's Choice, and Old Stick in the Muds.

Sunbeam's qualifications include oversized ties, balloon tricks and size 24 shoes.  The Mud Dodgeball tourney is a benefit for Toys for Tots of Whitley County and is sponsored by Whitley Chiropractic & Wellness Center.  It will be held at the Whitley County 4-H Fairgrounds at 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 7.  Admission is $1 and children may attend for free.  Only three slots remain for the sixteen-team field. 

For team entry info, contact Barry Yeakle at 691-2923.


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Town clown selected for serious business at 'Showdown at the Fairground'

By Barry Yeakle

 

In keeping with the serious nature of the Whitley County Mud Dodgeball Championship Tournament called Showdown at the Fairground on June 7, Sunbeam, a clown, has been named to act as judge for the important trophies to be awarded to teams for Cleanest Uniforms, Dirtiest Uniforms, Most Stylish Team, People's Choice, and Old Stick in the Muds.

Sunbeam's qualifications include oversized ties, balloon tricks and size 24 shoes.  The Mud Dodgeball tourney is a benefit for Toys for Tots of Whitley County and is sponsored by Whitley Chiropractic & Wellness Center.  It will be held at the Whitley County 4-H Fairgrounds at 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 7.  Admission is $1 and children may attend for free.  Only three slots remain for the sixteen-team field. 

For team entry info, contact Barry Yeakle at 691-2923.


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May 28, 2008

'Fallen Officer Blood Drive' planned for Columbia City on June 19 at CCUMC

Local blood drive for American Red Cross is part of statewide effort honoring law enforcement

 

Article Submitted

 

For the second year, the American Red Cross is participating in the statewide Fallen Officer Blood Drive campaign.  

During the month of June, the American Red Cross will host blood drives across the state of Indiana to honor those who serve and protect our communities.

Janice Starnes is responsible for organizing this statewide blood drive campaign and knows first-hand how important blood donation can be. Starnes’ husband, Sergeant Daniel Starnes, was killed in the line of duty in 2001. He received many units of blood during the 27 days he survived after being shot.  After watching her husband receive countless blood transfusions, she realized there was a way for others to help.

“I called Dan's department and asked them to organize a blood drive to honor Dan,” Starnes recalls.  “Sadly, Dan did not live to know about the blood drive since the first one was held one month after he paid the ultimate sacrifice.”

However, the local blood drive held in honor of her late-husband lead Starnes to expand her efforts.  “We have continued the blood drive each year in our community and have been pleased with the success of the blood drives held in Dan's honor.  It was my dream to have this statewide blood drive, which is now named ‘Indiana Fallen Officer Blood Drive,’" said Starnes.

Help honor the lives of those who serve and protect our communities by donating blood on Thursday, June 19, from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. at United Methodist Church located at 605 N. Forest Parkway in Columbia City.

All presenting donors in the month of June will have the opportunity to enter into a region-wide drawing for a grill package worth $1,250.

If you are at least 17 years of age, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and are in good general health, you may be eligible to donate blood. All donors need to present positive identification. For more information or to schedule your blood donation appointment, call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (1-800-448-3543).


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'Fallen Officer Blood Drive' planned for Columbia City on June 19 at CCUMC

Local blood drive for American Red Cross is part of statewide effort honoring law enforcement

 

Article Submitted

 

For the second year, the American Red Cross is participating in the statewide Fallen Officer Blood Drive campaign.  

During the month of June, the American Red Cross will host blood drives across the state of Indiana to honor those who serve and protect our communities.

Janice Starnes is responsible for organizing this statewide blood drive campaign and knows first-hand how important blood donation can be. Starnes’ husband, Sergeant Daniel Starnes, was killed in the line of duty in 2001. He received many units of blood during the 27 days he survived after being shot.  After watching her husband receive countless blood transfusions, she realized there was a way for others to help.

“I called Dan's department and asked them to organize a blood drive to honor Dan,” Starnes recalls.  “Sadly, Dan did not live to know about the blood drive since the first one was held one month after he paid the ultimate sacrifice.”

However, the local blood drive held in honor of her late-husband lead Starnes to expand her efforts.  “We have continued the blood drive each year in our community and have been pleased with the success of the blood drives held in Dan's honor.  It was my dream to have this statewide blood drive, which is now named ‘Indiana Fallen Officer Blood Drive,’" said Starnes.

Help honor the lives of those who serve and protect our communities by donating blood on Thursday, June 19, from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. at United Methodist Church located at 605 N. Forest Parkway in Columbia City.

All presenting donors in the month of June will have the opportunity to enter into a region-wide drawing for a grill package worth $1,250.

If you are at least 17 years of age, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and are in good general health, you may be eligible to donate blood. All donors need to present positive identification. For more information or to schedule your blood donation appointment, call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (1-800-448-3543).


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A decades-old spot for summer fun, Burnworth Memorial Pool will open Friday

 

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Steam rises off Burnworth Memorial Pool this morning. The pool will open for the season on Friday. Below, ample poolside seating will soon be filled as local residents relax at the city's pool. 

 

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

It’s quite possible that the higher gas prices could have an impact on how many people choose to stay home this summer – and how many choose to find enjoyable warm weather activities closer to home. At least Columbia City parks and recreation department director Mark Green believes this might be the case.

Green is optimistic that might mean record numbers of residents cooling off at Burnworth Memorial Pool.

Gearing up for the final days until the pool, adjacent to Columbia City High School, opens for the season, Green wants to get the word out that the pool is a great spot for summer fun.

“The gas prices and people staying home might lead to more use (of the pool),” Green said. While people might not justify the expense of driving across too far for summer fun, Green believes the pool is economic enough that many residents might find Burnworth Memorial Pool is an budget-friendly option for staying cool this year.

The pool officially opens this Friday and will remain open until August 9. The pool is open Monday-Saturday from 12-6 p.m. and on Sundays from 1-8 p.m.

General admission to the pool is $3 per person or $2 for the kiddie pool.

Green adds that each Wednesday the pool offers a "free swim" from 4-6 p.m. opening the pool free of charge for the community to enjoy.

Season passes are available again this year. A family pass (good for 4-5 people in the same household) is $120 for the season, a single pass is $45 and a couples pass is $75. Pass holders can utilize the pool on an unlimited basis throughout the summer.

Two-week swimming lessons will also be available.

The Burnworth Memorial Pool has been a favorite summer location in Columbia City for nearly 50 years. In addition to the large pool and the kiddie pool, the facility offers a locker room, changing areas and restroom facilities.

“It’s been around awhile, but it gets a lot of use,” Green added.

Here’s another fun use for the facility: splash parties. Once again this summer, the facility can be rented out by the hour for special events. The fee is $50 per hour.

Green encourages those interested in buying summer passes to get them early and maximize the savings.

For more information on Burnworth Memorial Pool, contact Phil Stanczak at 244-5182.


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A decades-old spot for summer fun, Burnworth Memorial Pool will open Friday

 

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Steam rises off Burnworth Memorial Pool this morning. The pool will open for the season on Friday. Below, ample poolside seating will soon be filled as local residents relax at the city's pool. 

 

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

It’s quite possible that the higher gas prices could have an impact on how many people choose to stay home this summer – and how many choose to find enjoyable warm weather activities closer to home. At least Columbia City parks and recreation department director Mark Green believes this might be the case.

Green is optimistic that might mean record numbers of residents cooling off at Burnworth Memorial Pool.

Gearing up for the final days until the pool, adjacent to Columbia City High School, opens for the season, Green wants to get the word out that the pool is a great spot for summer fun.

“The gas prices and people staying home might lead to more use (of the pool),” Green said. While people might not justify the expense of driving across too far for summer fun, Green believes the pool is economic enough that many residents might find Burnworth Memorial Pool is an budget-friendly option for staying cool this year.

The pool officially opens this Friday and will remain open until August 9. The pool is open Monday-Saturday from 12-6 p.m. and on Sundays from 1-8 p.m.

General admission to the pool is $3 per person or $2 for the kiddie pool.

Green adds that each Wednesday the pool offers a "free swim" from 4-6 p.m. opening the pool free of charge for the community to enjoy.

Season passes are available again this year. A family pass (good for 4-5 people in the same household) is $120 for the season, a single pass is $45 and a couples pass is $75. Pass holders can utilize the pool on an unlimited basis throughout the summer.

Two-week swimming lessons will also be available.

The Burnworth Memorial Pool has been a favorite summer location in Columbia City for nearly 50 years. In addition to the large pool and the kiddie pool, the facility offers a locker room, changing areas and restroom facilities.

“It’s been around awhile, but it gets a lot of use,” Green added.

Here’s another fun use for the facility: splash parties. Once again this summer, the facility can be rented out by the hour for special events. The fee is $50 per hour.

Green encourages those interested in buying summer passes to get them early and maximize the savings.

For more information on Burnworth Memorial Pool, contact Phil Stanczak at 244-5182.


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Whitley County Community Foundation awards spring grants totalling $38,590 to area non-profits

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) The Whitley County Historical Society shares their thanks to the Whitley County Community Foundation for a grant received to purchase a new computer. According to museum director Dani Tippmann the computer will be used to track history within the museum and, she hopes, will be the first step in providing more online access to local history. Currently, most of the museum's computers are "antiques," the youngest of which being eight years old. The sign stands proudly at the corner of Main and Jefferson Streets.

 

Article Submitted

 

The Whitley County Community Foundation has awarded $38,590 in grants to deserving charitable organizations serving the community. The funding was made possible thanks to the generosity of local donors who made contributions to the Foundation with only the stipulation that the money be used where the need is the greatest. The following awards were recommended by the Foundation’s volunteer grants committee and approved by the WCCF Board of Directors:

The Center for Whitley County Youth -- $20,000 to develop organizational sustainability and support general programming to enhance the lives of Whitley County youth.

American Red Cross of Northeast Indiana -- $5,000 toward funding a Family Caregiving Program aimed at those caring for an elderly or disabled person. This gift was made possible by the Donald Ferber Fund.

Whitko Middle School Peacekeepers Program -- $3,140 to continue the Peacekeeper Program aimed at preventing bullying.

YWCA of Fort Wayne, Inc. -- $2,000 for their Eyes Wide Open educational series on relationship violence issues for the youth of Whitley County .

Camp Whitley -- $1,500 from the Weick Fund to provide scholarships to campers needing financial assistance to attend camp this summer.

Whitley County YMCA -- $1,500 to provide summer programming for children living in Park Terrace apartments.

Indiana Lakeland Girl Scout Council -- $1,000 to train local leaders

Children’s Hope Hospitality House -- $1,000 to help offset the expenses of Whitley County residents who utilize the facility while their child is hospitalized at Lutheran Hospital .

Whitley County Historical Society -- $1,000 toward the cost of a new computer

Victory Christian Fellowship Outreach -- $750 for a community outreach project at Park Terrace Apartments

Jefferson Chapel Food Pantry -- $500 to help purchase food for their pantry which exists to alleviate hunger in our community.


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Whitley County Community Foundation awards spring grants totalling $38,590 to area non-profits

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) The Whitley County Historical Society shares their thanks to the Whitley County Community Foundation for a grant received to purchase a new computer. According to museum director Dani Tippmann the computer will be used to track history within the museum and, she hopes, will be the first step in providing more online access to local history. Currently, most of the museum's computers are "antiques," the youngest of which being eight years old. The sign stands proudly at the corner of Main and Jefferson Streets.

 

Article Submitted

 

The Whitley County Community Foundation has awarded $38,590 in grants to deserving charitable organizations serving the community. The funding was made possible thanks to the generosity of local donors who made contributions to the Foundation with only the stipulation that the money be used where the need is the greatest. The following awards were recommended by the Foundation’s volunteer grants committee and approved by the WCCF Board of Directors:

The Center for Whitley County Youth -- $20,000 to develop organizational sustainability and support general programming to enhance the lives of Whitley County youth.

American Red Cross of Northeast Indiana -- $5,000 toward funding a Family Caregiving Program aimed at those caring for an elderly or disabled person. This gift was made possible by the Donald Ferber Fund.

Whitko Middle School Peacekeepers Program -- $3,140 to continue the Peacekeeper Program aimed at preventing bullying.

YWCA of Fort Wayne, Inc. -- $2,000 for their Eyes Wide Open educational series on relationship violence issues for the youth of Whitley County .

Camp Whitley -- $1,500 from the Weick Fund to provide scholarships to campers needing financial assistance to attend camp this summer.

Whitley County YMCA -- $1,500 to provide summer programming for children living in Park Terrace apartments.

Indiana Lakeland Girl Scout Council -- $1,000 to train local leaders

Children’s Hope Hospitality House -- $1,000 to help offset the expenses of Whitley County residents who utilize the facility while their child is hospitalized at Lutheran Hospital .

Whitley County Historical Society -- $1,000 toward the cost of a new computer

Victory Christian Fellowship Outreach -- $750 for a community outreach project at Park Terrace Apartments

Jefferson Chapel Food Pantry -- $500 to help purchase food for their pantry which exists to alleviate hunger in our community.


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May 27, 2008

A Tribute to Veterans at Greenhill Cemetery


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A Tribute to Veterans at Greenhill Cemetery


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The Ceremony at Greenhill Cemetery


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The Ceremony at Greenhill Cemetery


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American Legion's parade, ceremony provided ample opportunity for reflection, appreciation

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

As the time drew a bit closer to 10:30 a.m. on Monday, residents lined up here and there along Van Buren Street hoping to gain a front row seat for the American Legion’s annual Memorial Day Parade.

A tradition for many, many years, the parade today probably brings out a few less people than it used to – but still a decent crowd formed for this year’s event.

The sirens of a Columbia City police car heralded the parade from Walnut to Van Buren and then south to Greenhill Cemetery for the ceremony there.

At the cemetery, attendees lined up along the cemetery’s main entrance, watching the parade wind into the cemetery. The color guard, a bugler and others participating in the ceremony waited nearby, some seated here and there on folding chairs. Of those in attendance, a large contingency included Boy Scouts from Troop 94, Cub Scouts and Korean War veterans.

American Legion commander Dean Ramsey led the group in prayer.

Ramsey took the opportunity to recognize someone who had always been involved with the Memorial Day events – but who was absent from the crowd this year: Joe Zickgraf. Ramsey remembered Zickgraf as a good Legion member. Zickgraf was a past commander of the American Legion Post 98.

“I know that Joe loved his God, his church, his family, his country,” Ramsey said. “I know he is with us in spirit today.”

Columbia City Mayor Jim Fleck then spoke contemplatively about Memorial Day, asking what attendees would remember about the day years from now. He talked about how he had spent the previous day with his 93-year-old mother. He said he had been thinking about local resident Jeff Lemon who is now serving his third tour in Iraq, about his father and about Stuart Smith who had served both his community and his country.

“We’re here to honor those who’ve allowed us to be free…those who’ve paid the ultimate price,” Fleck said.

A list of names of all American Legion Post 98 and VFW Post 5582 members who had passed away within the past year, including: Porter J. Adams, Ernest M Bowsman, Ralph Connett, George E. Coverstone, Raymond R. Gilbert, Thomas L. Goss, Richard D. Grunstad, Clarence D. Huey, Ralph M. Joker, Richard H. Kreider, Leon Paulus, Daniel D. Rock, Richard L. Smith, Robert H. Steller, Pleasant Guy Stickler, Joseph R. Zickgraf, Alvin K. Fry and Leon M. Wysong.

The ceremony concluded with a gun salute and a bugler playing “Taps.”


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American Legion's parade, ceremony provided ample opportunity for reflection, appreciation

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

As the time drew a bit closer to 10:30 a.m. on Monday, residents lined up here and there along Van Buren Street hoping to gain a front row seat for the American Legion’s annual Memorial Day Parade.

A tradition for many, many years, the parade today probably brings out a few less people than it used to – but still a decent crowd formed for this year’s event.

The sirens of a Columbia City police car heralded the parade from Walnut to Van Buren and then south to Greenhill Cemetery for the ceremony there.

At the cemetery, attendees lined up along the cemetery’s main entrance, watching the parade wind into the cemetery. The color guard, a bugler and others participating in the ceremony waited nearby, some seated here and there on folding chairs. Of those in attendance, a large contingency included Boy Scouts from Troop 94, Cub Scouts and Korean War veterans.

American Legion commander Dean Ramsey led the group in prayer.

Ramsey took the opportunity to recognize someone who had always been involved with the Memorial Day events – but who was absent from the crowd this year: Joe Zickgraf. Ramsey remembered Zickgraf as a good Legion member. Zickgraf was a past commander of the American Legion Post 98.

“I know that Joe loved his God, his church, his family, his country,” Ramsey said. “I know he is with us in spirit today.”

Columbia City Mayor Jim Fleck then spoke contemplatively about Memorial Day, asking what attendees would remember about the day years from now. He talked about how he had spent the previous day with his 93-year-old mother. He said he had been thinking about local resident Jeff Lemon who is now serving his third tour in Iraq, about his father and about Stuart Smith who had served both his community and his country.

“We’re here to honor those who’ve allowed us to be free…those who’ve paid the ultimate price,” Fleck said.

A list of names of all American Legion Post 98 and VFW Post 5582 members who had passed away within the past year, including: Porter J. Adams, Ernest M Bowsman, Ralph Connett, George E. Coverstone, Raymond R. Gilbert, Thomas L. Goss, Richard D. Grunstad, Clarence D. Huey, Ralph M. Joker, Richard H. Kreider, Leon Paulus, Daniel D. Rock, Richard L. Smith, Robert H. Steller, Pleasant Guy Stickler, Joseph R. Zickgraf, Alvin K. Fry and Leon M. Wysong.

The ceremony concluded with a gun salute and a bugler playing “Taps.”


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Memorial Day Parade draws a crowd in downtown Columbia City on Monday


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Memorial Day Parade draws a crowd in downtown Columbia City on Monday


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May 26, 2008

Memorial Day Parade


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Memorial Day Parade


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May 25, 2008

Back for the Season: Loon Lake residents gather for annual spring meeting, look forward to summer


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Back for the Season: Loon Lake residents gather for annual spring meeting, look forward to summer


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Churubusco residents find that itty-bitty car gets big time attention

 

(Talk of the Town photos by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Above, Bob and Janice Parquet of Churubusco stand near their church in Columbia City. Their new car, a Smart Car, has gotten a lot of attention recently as one of just a few of the cars on local roadways. Below, the little car has an advantage in busy parking lots -- enabling the Parquets to find a parking spot almost anywhere -- including this spot at Portside Pizza, Tri Lakes, on a busy night recently. 

 

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

Passersby on the street stop and stare. They get flagged down by passing motorists. Everyone wants a closer look at Bob and Janice Parquet’s new car.

This spring, the Parquets, of Churubusco, became the first local owners of a Smart Car.

The tiny car, just big enough for two people and a few items in the trunk, is the result of a joint venture by Swatch, the Swiss watchmaker, and Mercedes-Benz. As a DaimlerChrysler brand, the cars made their US debut in the first quarter of 2008.

The Smart Car has a compact 1.0 L, 71 horsepower three cylinder engine and a five-speed manual transmission.

Just 5.1 feet wide, 5.1 feet tall and 8.8 feet in length, the Smart Car is teensy weensy – particularly when you see one sitting next to a mammoth SUV in a local parking lot. It’s littleness has a lot to do with the attention its been getting locally, but when people ask the Parquets about their new car, they learn there’s more to it than its size.

In addition to being a cute, little car, it also boasts great fuel-efficiency – something the Parquets are already enjoying. Just six weeks after purchasing their car, they found they were already driving their other vehicles less and less – and enjoying great gas mileage as well. According to the company’s website, www.smartusa.com, the car is estimated to achieve 33 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway.

Offering alluring features to the green-going customer, the plastic panels on the car’s body are all recyclable, the three main car colors (black, yellow and white) utilize water-solluble paint and the car has been classified as an ultra low emission vehicle, according to the company’s website.

The price range on the car begins in the $11,000s on up to a more souped-up version in the $16,000s.

At the invitation of the Parquets, sitting inside the car, you find it is much roomier than you might expect. Now that their new car has become such an attraction in local parking lots and along streets, they’ve met a lot of great people as a result and are enjoying the opportunity to share their car with others, pointing out unique features and giving many their first, up close opportunity to check one out.

In getting to know the Parquets new car, one of the first things you’ll find out is that in addition to bursting with personality, the bright yellow car also has a name – just call him Maxwell Smart.

On Thursday, Parquet said he had talked to the eleventh person in the area to get one earlier that day. Just over two months ago, when the Parquets first got their car from a dealer in Indianapolis, it was one of the only ones on the road in Northeast Indiana. But, the popularity of the little car is spreading.

“It’s getting to the point now where we’re not the only one around,” Bob Parquet said. The Parquets may have been the only ones in Whitley County to have one for just a few weeks – last week a white one was spotted zipping around downtown Columbia City.


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Churubusco residents find that itty-bitty car gets big time attention

 

(Talk of the Town photos by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Above, Bob and Janice Parquet of Churubusco stand near their church in Columbia City. Their new car, a Smart Car, has gotten a lot of attention recently as one of just a few of the cars on local roadways. Below, the little car has an advantage in busy parking lots -- enabling the Parquets to find a parking spot almost anywhere -- including this spot at Portside Pizza, Tri Lakes, on a busy night recently. 

 

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

Passersby on the street stop and stare. They get flagged down by passing motorists. Everyone wants a closer look at Bob and Janice Parquet’s new car.

This spring, the Parquets, of Churubusco, became the first local owners of a Smart Car.

The tiny car, just big enough for two people and a few items in the trunk, is the result of a joint venture by Swatch, the Swiss watchmaker, and Mercedes-Benz. As a DaimlerChrysler brand, the cars made their US debut in the first quarter of 2008.

The Smart Car has a compact 1.0 L, 71 horsepower three cylinder engine and a five-speed manual transmission.

Just 5.1 feet wide, 5.1 feet tall and 8.8 feet in length, the Smart Car is teensy weensy – particularly when you see one sitting next to a mammoth SUV in a local parking lot. It’s littleness has a lot to do with the attention its been getting locally, but when people ask the Parquets about their new car, they learn there’s more to it than its size.

In addition to being a cute, little car, it also boasts great fuel-efficiency – something the Parquets are already enjoying. Just six weeks after purchasing their car, they found they were already driving their other vehicles less and less – and enjoying great gas mileage as well. According to the company’s website, www.smartusa.com, the car is estimated to achieve 33 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway.

Offering alluring features to the green-going customer, the plastic panels on the car’s body are all recyclable, the three main car colors (black, yellow and white) utilize water-solluble paint and the car has been classified as an ultra low emission vehicle, according to the company’s website.

The price range on the car begins in the $11,000s on up to a more souped-up version in the $16,000s.

At the invitation of the Parquets, sitting inside the car, you find it is much roomier than you might expect. Now that their new car has become such an attraction in local parking lots and along streets, they’ve met a lot of great people as a result and are enjoying the opportunity to share their car with others, pointing out unique features and giving many their first, up close opportunity to check one out.

In getting to know the Parquets new car, one of the first things you’ll find out is that in addition to bursting with personality, the bright yellow car also has a name – just call him Maxwell Smart.

On Thursday, Parquet said he had talked to the eleventh person in the area to get one earlier that day. Just over two months ago, when the Parquets first got their car from a dealer in Indianapolis, it was one of the only ones on the road in Northeast Indiana. But, the popularity of the little car is spreading.

“It’s getting to the point now where we’re not the only one around,” Bob Parquet said. The Parquets may have been the only ones in Whitley County to have one for just a few weeks – last week a white one was spotted zipping around downtown Columbia City.


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Jim Banks leading Zoeller's bid for state attorney general nomination

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

Whitley County resident Jim Banks has been selected to manage the convention campaign of state attorney general candidate Greg Zoeller. Jim Banks

Banks, owner of the Wabash Group, a political consulting firm based in Columbia City, will oversee Zoeller’s run for the Republican attorney general nomination. Zoeller, Attorney General Steve Carter’s chief deputy since 2001, is running against Valparaison Mayor Jon Costas for the seat.

Thus far, Banks reports that Zoeller has the endorsement of the 3rd, 8th and 9th congressional district chairs and has been endorsed by Congressman Mark Souder.

Meanwhile, Costas, who visited Columbia City in April to speak with local Republicans, has earned the endorsement of 19 mayors from across the state of Indiana.

The attorney general’s race will culminate at the Indiana GOP convention on June 2 in Indianapolis.


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Jim Banks leading Zoeller's bid for state attorney general nomination

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

Whitley County resident Jim Banks has been selected to manage the convention campaign of state attorney general candidate Greg Zoeller. Jim Banks

Banks, owner of the Wabash Group, a political consulting firm based in Columbia City, will oversee Zoeller’s run for the Republican attorney general nomination. Zoeller, Attorney General Steve Carter’s chief deputy since 2001, is running against Valparaison Mayor Jon Costas for the seat.

Thus far, Banks reports that Zoeller has the endorsement of the 3rd, 8th and 9th congressional district chairs and has been endorsed by Congressman Mark Souder.

Meanwhile, Costas, who visited Columbia City in April to speak with local Republicans, has earned the endorsement of 19 mayors from across the state of Indiana.

The attorney general’s race will culminate at the Indiana GOP convention on June 2 in Indianapolis.


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May 24, 2008

American Legion invites community to Memorial Day parade, ceremony on Monday

(Talk of the Town photos by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Tiny flags and crosses represent Whitley County's veterans, placed proudly on the hill in front of the Columbia City American Legion Post overlooking DeVol Field and Business 30 West. The patriotic display is an annual tradition for the legion. 

 

 

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

 

Our local American Legion makes a significant effort each year to remind Whitley County residents about the contributions made for us by veterans – those still living and those who’ve passed away.

Rows upon rows of tiny white crosses and flags atop the hill in front of Columbia City’s American Legion post represent local veterans, the wind catching those banners of red, white and blue. Elsewhere, at each cemetery in the county, the American Legion has provided a flag in honor of each veteran buried there – as a way to recognize them year after year for their service to their country.

And, as they have each year for many, many years, the American Legion encourages the community to come out in support of the annual American Legion Memorial Day Parade in downtown Columbia City.

The parade is slated for Monday, May 26. Participants will line up at 9:30 a.m. at the Marshall Building and the parade will begin at Walnut and Van Buren Streets at 10:30 a.m., continuing to Greenhill Cemetery.

To participate in the parade or for additional information, call the American Legion at 244-5821.


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American Legion invites community to Memorial Day parade, ceremony on Monday

(Talk of the Town photos by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Tiny flags and crosses represent Whitley County's veterans, placed proudly on the hill in front of the Columbia City American Legion Post overlooking DeVol Field and Business 30 West. The patriotic display is an annual tradition for the legion. 

 

 

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

 

Our local American Legion makes a significant effort each year to remind Whitley County residents about the contributions made for us by veterans – those still living and those who’ve passed away.

Rows upon rows of tiny white crosses and flags atop the hill in front of Columbia City’s American Legion post represent local veterans, the wind catching those banners of red, white and blue. Elsewhere, at each cemetery in the county, the American Legion has provided a flag in honor of each veteran buried there – as a way to recognize them year after year for their service to their country.

And, as they have each year for many, many years, the American Legion encourages the community to come out in support of the annual American Legion Memorial Day Parade in downtown Columbia City.

The parade is slated for Monday, May 26. Participants will line up at 9:30 a.m. at the Marshall Building and the parade will begin at Walnut and Van Buren Streets at 10:30 a.m., continuing to Greenhill Cemetery.

To participate in the parade or for additional information, call the American Legion at 244-5821.


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Livestock Auction Support Fund aims to improve sale experience for young 4-H'ers

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Below, Kevin Ousley prepares to box up some chicken to go at the Farmers Market on May 10. Ousley will be selling chicken each Saturday from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. in support of the Livestock Auction Support Fund now through October.

 

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

The icing on the cake for a child’s 4-H experience is having their animal sell for a good price at the auction. Unfortunately, just as there is always a top seller in any given category – there’s a bottom seller too. As elated as a child with a top selling project may feel, the child with the lowest selling item may leave the auction feeling very disappointed.

Long-time 4-H supporter and volunteer Kevin Ousley has been to quite a few 4-H auctions and has seen that disappointment in the eyes of young 4-H members. As a 10-year 4-H member himself, he’s been there. Kevin Ousley

So, for the past four years, with the help of others through the 4-H Livestock Auction Support Fund, Ousley has been working to improve the auction experience for several youths.

“I go to the 4-H auction and I start the auction for the kids,” Ousley said. The goal of the project is to get lower priced auctions raised to the midrange for a given project – thereby shortening the gap between the lowest priced auction and a larger number of average priced auctions. Using donations, Ousley places bids and tries to encourage others to get involved in the bidding process.

Since beginning the project, Ousley’s bidding has helped many 4-H’ers. He said he’s received positive feedback from the members and their families.

“They’re very thankful,” Ousley said. “I get a lot of thank-you notes and kids talk to me during the fair about what they plan to do with their auction proceeds.”

Ousley added that 4-H alumni have also been very helpful and receptive about the program.

In the first year of the program, Ousley was able to find five donors. “Now, we have about 15 or so who contribute,” he added.

A 4-H Livestock Auction Support Fund board was formed and that group meets each year to determine an average price for animal auctions. “That becomes our target,” Ousley said.

In addition to accepting donations for the project, this year, Ousley is taking the fundraising downtown – on a weekly basis.

Ousley, a regular participant in the Columbia City Farmers Market, has been barbecuing chicken with his own blends of sauce and spices and selling them to market attendees with proceeds benefiting the 4-H auction project. The chicken is sold for $5 per half.

He plans to continue barbecuing the chicken each week through the end of October. The chicken is already becoming a hit and Ousley has been able to raise a bit of money to support the project. He hopes that when more people learn why he’s selling barbecue chicken each week, they’ll be interested in supporting the sale.

Later in the season, he’ll be selling barbecue chicken that was locally raised on his farm.

Ousley has stood in that auction ring himself, understands the level of emotions involved and knows it felt great when someone supported him. “I just wanted to return the favor,” Ousley said with appreciation for those who supported his auctions as a child.

To contact Kevin Ousley about making a donation for the project, call 244-0066 or visit him at the Columbia City Farmers Market on Saturday mornings between 8 a.m.-12 p.m. on the western edge of the Whitley County Courthouse Lawn. Ousley's booth is near the corner of Chauncey and Market Streets.


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Livestock Auction Support Fund aims to improve sale experience for young 4-H'ers

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Below, Kevin Ousley prepares to box up some chicken to go at the Farmers Market on May 10. Ousley will be selling chicken each Saturday from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. in support of the Livestock Auction Support Fund now through October.

 

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

The icing on the cake for a child’s 4-H experience is having their animal sell for a good price at the auction. Unfortunately, just as there is always a top seller in any given category – there’s a bottom seller too. As elated as a child with a top selling project may feel, the child with the lowest selling item may leave the auction feeling very disappointed.

Long-time 4-H supporter and volunteer Kevin Ousley has been to quite a few 4-H auctions and has seen that disappointment in the eyes of young 4-H members. As a 10-year 4-H member himself, he’s been there. Kevin Ousley

So, for the past four years, with the help of others through the 4-H Livestock Auction Support Fund, Ousley has been working to improve the auction experience for several youths.

“I go to the 4-H auction and I start the auction for the kids,” Ousley said. The goal of the project is to get lower priced auctions raised to the midrange for a given project – thereby shortening the gap between the lowest priced auction and a larger number of average priced auctions. Using donations, Ousley places bids and tries to encourage others to get involved in the bidding process.

Since beginning the project, Ousley’s bidding has helped many 4-H’ers. He said he’s received positive feedback from the members and their families.

“They’re very thankful,” Ousley said. “I get a lot of thank-you notes and kids talk to me during the fair about what they plan to do with their auction proceeds.”

Ousley added that 4-H alumni have also been very helpful and receptive about the program.

In the first year of the program, Ousley was able to find five donors. “Now, we have about 15 or so who contribute,” he added.

A 4-H Livestock Auction Support Fund board was formed and that group meets each year to determine an average price for animal auctions. “That becomes our target,” Ousley said.

In addition to accepting donations for the project, this year, Ousley is taking the fundraising downtown – on a weekly basis.

Ousley, a regular participant in the Columbia City Farmers Market, has been barbecuing chicken with his own blends of sauce and spices and selling them to market attendees with proceeds benefiting the 4-H auction project. The chicken is sold for $5 per half.

He plans to continue barbecuing the chicken each week through the end of October. The chicken is already becoming a hit and Ousley has been able to raise a bit of money to support the project. He hopes that when more people learn why he’s selling barbecue chicken each week, they’ll be interested in supporting the sale.

Later in the season, he’ll be selling barbecue chicken that was locally raised on his farm.

Ousley has stood in that auction ring himself, understands the level of emotions involved and knows it felt great when someone supported him. “I just wanted to return the favor,” Ousley said with appreciation for those who supported his auctions as a child.

To contact Kevin Ousley about making a donation for the project, call 244-0066 or visit him at the Columbia City Farmers Market on Saturday mornings between 8 a.m.-12 p.m. on the western edge of the Whitley County Courthouse Lawn. Ousley's booth is near the corner of Chauncey and Market Streets.


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Non-profits, local businesses sought to participate in 8th Annual Junior Achievement Car, Truck and Motorcycle Show

By Linda Hyndman

Whitley County’s Junior Achievement is seeking clubs, organizations, youth groups, booster clubs, vendors and crafters for their seventh annual Car, Truck and Motorcycle Show slated for Saturday, August 2, 2008. 

Booth space will be rented to anyone interested in having a "spot" on the Courthouse Square to promote their club or organization or sell items.  Proceeds will profit those renting and operating the booth space. 

Booth rental will be on first come basis at $5 for not-for-profits and $10 for those with for-profit ventures. 

Those interested in securing a space should contact Gene Donaghy at 244-6111, ext 403 by July 25.


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Non-profits, local businesses sought to participate in 8th Annual Junior Achievement Car, Truck and Motorcycle Show

By Linda Hyndman

Whitley County’s Junior Achievement is seeking clubs, organizations, youth groups, booster clubs, vendors and crafters for their seventh annual Car, Truck and Motorcycle Show slated for Saturday, August 2, 2008. 

Booth space will be rented to anyone interested in having a "spot" on the Courthouse Square to promote their club or organization or sell items.  Proceeds will profit those renting and operating the booth space. 

Booth rental will be on first come basis at $5 for not-for-profits and $10 for those with for-profit ventures. 

Those interested in securing a space should contact Gene Donaghy at 244-6111, ext 403 by July 25.


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May 23, 2008

Upcoming events & activities for this weekend

Tonight

Hill’s ATA Black Belt Taekwondo Academy is holding a barbecue chicken fundraiser today at Towne and Country Plaza until 6 p.m. They will be selling Nelson’s Port-A-Pit chicken to defray the costs of new equipment.

 

Tomorrow

The Columbia City Farmers Market will be held from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. on the western side of the Whitley County Courthouse lawn.

Boy Scout Troop 83 will be holding a pickle, maple syrup and popcorn sale at Wal Mart from 8 a.m.-1 p.m.

Loon Lake Property Owners Association will be holding their annual spring meeting at the home of the Grahams on the eastern shore of the lake. The meeting will begin at 9:30 a.m. All residents interested in aquatic weed control can purchase it at that time.

 

Monday

The annual American Legion Parade...check back tomorrow for additional information.


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Upcoming events & activities for this weekend

Tonight

Hill’s ATA Black Belt Taekwondo Academy is holding a barbecue chicken fundraiser today at Towne and Country Plaza until 6 p.m. They will be selling Nelson’s Port-A-Pit chicken to defray the costs of new equipment.

 

Tomorrow

The Columbia City Farmers Market will be held from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. on the western side of the Whitley County Courthouse lawn.

Boy Scout Troop 83 will be holding a pickle, maple syrup and popcorn sale at Wal Mart from 8 a.m.-1 p.m.

Loon Lake Property Owners Association will be holding their annual spring meeting at the home of the Grahams on the eastern shore of the lake. The meeting will begin at 9:30 a.m. All residents interested in aquatic weed control can purchase it at that time.

 

Monday

The annual American Legion Parade...check back tomorrow for additional information.


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Coesse Elementary School to host Relay for Life Day on May 28

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

The staff, students and administration at Coesse Elementary School will once again reach into their pockets and into their hearts to make a difference for those facing cancer in Whitley County.

For the third consecutive year, Coesse Elementary School will be holding Relay for Life Day – the culmination of fundraising efforts and a lot of fun. Last year, the school raised over $1400 for the American Cancer Society’s Whitley County Relay for Life and according to Coesse teacher Brandi Duncan, who is helping to coordinate the initiative, she expects the school may surpass that amount this year.

“Students will be collecting coins during the month of May by doing extra chores, selling memorial and honorary flags, or asking family members to give to this worthy cause,” Duncan writes.

After a month of working and fundraising, the students will be rewarded with an afternoon of fun beginning at 1:10 p.m. on May 28 at the school. Duncan shared that in addition to a check presentation to the Whitley County Relay for Life, the students will participate in challenges and “super soak” their new principal, Tammy Weimer. They will also participate in a kid-sized relay event around their track and visit various activities booths. Additionally, staff will enjoy sundaes and office staff karaoke.

“This promises to be a special event that will help our community and our students learn how they can make a difference in their world concerning cancer research,” added Duncan.


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Coesse Elementary School to host Relay for Life Day on May 28

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

The staff, students and administration at Coesse Elementary School will once again reach into their pockets and into their hearts to make a difference for those facing cancer in Whitley County.

For the third consecutive year, Coesse Elementary School will be holding Relay for Life Day – the culmination of fundraising efforts and a lot of fun. Last year, the school raised over $1400 for the American Cancer Society’s Whitley County Relay for Life and according to Coesse teacher Brandi Duncan, who is helping to coordinate the initiative, she expects the school may surpass that amount this year.

“Students will be collecting coins during the month of May by doing extra chores, selling memorial and honorary flags, or asking family members to give to this worthy cause,” Duncan writes.

After a month of working and fundraising, the students will be rewarded with an afternoon of fun beginning at 1:10 p.m. on May 28 at the school. Duncan shared that in addition to a check presentation to the Whitley County Relay for Life, the students will participate in challenges and “super soak” their new principal, Tammy Weimer. They will also participate in a kid-sized relay event around their track and visit various activities booths. Additionally, staff will enjoy sundaes and office staff karaoke.

“This promises to be a special event that will help our community and our students learn how they can make a difference in their world concerning cancer research,” added Duncan.


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Mayor Fleck proclaims May 28 as Relay for Life's Power of Purple Day in Columbia City

 

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Volunteers involved in Whitley County’s upcoming Relay for Life event, slated for June 7 at Indian Springs Middle School, are sharing their support for those fighting cancer with Power of Purple Day in Whitley County on May 28. Local residents are encouraged to wear purple on that day in honor of those fighting cancer or, perhaps, in memory of those we’ve lost to cancer.

 

Above, Columbia City Mayor Jim Fleck issued an official proclamation on Wednesday declaring May 28 as Power of Purple Day in the community. From left is, Sara Goff of the American Cancer Society, cancer fighter Elizabeth Clark, Mayor Jim Fleck and Relay for Life volunteers Cari Wells and Marian Bollinger. Relay for Life volunteer Shannon Clark was present for the presentation of the proclamation, but was not photographed.

 

Goff holds the official proclamation for Power of Purple Day at right.


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Mayor Fleck proclaims May 28 as Relay for Life's Power of Purple Day in Columbia City

 

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Volunteers involved in Whitley County’s upcoming Relay for Life event, slated for June 7 at Indian Springs Middle School, are sharing their support for those fighting cancer with Power of Purple Day in Whitley County on May 28. Local residents are encouraged to wear purple on that day in honor of those fighting cancer or, perhaps, in memory of those we’ve lost to cancer.

 

Above, Columbia City Mayor Jim Fleck issued an official proclamation on Wednesday declaring May 28 as Power of Purple Day in the community. From left is, Sara Goff of the American Cancer Society, cancer fighter Elizabeth Clark, Mayor Jim Fleck and Relay for Life volunteers Cari Wells and Marian Bollinger. Relay for Life volunteer Shannon Clark was present for the presentation of the proclamation, but was not photographed.

 

Goff holds the official proclamation for Power of Purple Day at right.


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James Schinbeckler places first in State Livestock judging competition, Cody Lamle takes third statewide

 

(Photo provided)  The Columbia City High School FFA Livestock Judging Team competed at the state-level competition last Saturday. James Schinbeckler, above at far left, and Cody Lamle, far right, placed first and third respectively as individuals.

 

By Sarah Furthmiller

 

The Columbia City FFA chapter competed in the State Livestock competition on May 17. The team placed third overall. They placed first in sheep judging fifth in cattle and second in giving reasons.

Individually, James Schinbeckler placed first overall and Cody Lamle placed third. With reasons, Schinbeckler placed first and Lamle placed third.

In sheep judging, Lamle placed second and Schinbeckler placed fifth. In swine, Schinbeckler placed third overall. In cattle judging, Schinbeckler placed third overall and Lamle placed eighth.

The team will be competing in the National 4-H Judging Contest at North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville Kentucky in November.


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James Schinbeckler places first in State Livestock judging competition, Cody Lamle takes third statewide

 

(Photo provided)  The Columbia City High School FFA Livestock Judging Team competed at the state-level competition last Saturday. James Schinbeckler, above at far left, and Cody Lamle, far right, placed first and third respectively as individuals.

 

By Sarah Furthmiller

 

The Columbia City FFA chapter competed in the State Livestock competition on May 17. The team placed third overall. They placed first in sheep judging fifth in cattle and second in giving reasons.

Individually, James Schinbeckler placed first overall and Cody Lamle placed third. With reasons, Schinbeckler placed first and Lamle placed third.

In sheep judging, Lamle placed second and Schinbeckler placed fifth. In swine, Schinbeckler placed third overall. In cattle judging, Schinbeckler placed third overall and Lamle placed eighth.

The team will be competing in the National 4-H Judging Contest at North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville Kentucky in November.


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May 22, 2008

Local veteran encourages proper flag care as a sign of respect for our country, those who have died for our freedom

 

(Talk of the Town photos by Steve Myers) The torn and tattered flags above and below are just a few of the many veteran Marine Steve Myers has seen flying in the commmunity. Myers encourages the community to take an active interest in appropriately retiring flags that are in poor condition as a sign of respect and appreciation for the American flag.

 

 

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

When Steve Myers sees a worn, tattered American Flag flying above a home or business, a sense of profound sadness wells up in him.

As a veteran who served his country in the Marines, Myers is especially sensitive to the need for proper flag care and would like to encourage the people of Whitley County to property care for their flags and when they become worn, tattered and torn – to destroy them properly.

Driving around the county, he has documented many flags that should not be flying any longer. Some are ripped to shreds and should have been retired long ago.

“This stuff upsets me,” Myers said. “In my opinion, this flag isn’t yours or mine…it’s those people who’ve died for it. It is entrusted to us to take care of it,” he said.

Unfortunately, in and around Whitley County, Myers has seen far too many people who aren’t taking care of their flags.

In one day, he found six severely damaged flags within a six-mile area. “And that’s just the ones I saw,” he said. “If I can see it from a block away, it is a problem,” he said.

To some, the issue might seem like the result of a busy society, one too busy to attend to a flag in need of repair or replacement. To Myers, however, it seems like an issue of respect.

“We’ve all lost people who have died for that flag,” he said. “It’s like a salute to them.”

Myers has contacted many residents about the condition of their flags. Unfortunately, some flag owners have not been so cooperative, instead letting their flags disintegrate in the air. Others have taken his advice, though.

Myers recommends that citizens not only learn how to fly their flags correctly, but educate themselves on how to properly care for them as well. Flags should not fly at night unless they are lit. The American Flag should fly above all other flags. When it is taken down, preferably at sunset each day, it should be folded correctly.

“Why don’t they teach proper folding in school anymore,” Myers wondered, recalling how in the his younger years, children were given the responsibility of taking flags down each day and folding them correctly, never letting them touch the ground.

Myers said, also, that for longer term use, flags should not be flown in the rain or during freezing conditions which can harm the fibers.

Taking good care of the flag is a responsibility, he believes, and he said, “I think we’ve just gotten lazy.”

“I’m really not trying to give people hell, but where’s our patriotism,” he asked.

Myers hopes a few people might take his sentiment to heart.

“Next year, I hope I have to drive and drive and drive to find a bad one,” he added.

With Memorial Day coming up in a few days, many in the community will consider flying flags. For more information about proper flag care or disposal, contact your local American Legion or VFW Post for more information.

Also, if you see a flag in need of replacing, stop and ask if you can help make that happen. Afterall, it is the belief of Myers and others that honoring the flag is everyone’s responsibility.


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Local veteran encourages proper flag care as a sign of respect for our country, those who have died for our freedom

 

(Talk of the Town photos by Steve Myers) The torn and tattered flags above and below are just a few of the many veteran Marine Steve Myers has seen flying in the commmunity. Myers encourages the community to take an active interest in appropriately retiring flags that are in poor condition as a sign of respect and appreciation for the American flag.

 

 

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

When Steve Myers sees a worn, tattered American Flag flying above a home or business, a sense of profound sadness wells up in him.

As a veteran who served his country in the Marines, Myers is especially sensitive to the need for proper flag care and would like to encourage the people of Whitley County to property care for their flags and when they become worn, tattered and torn – to destroy them properly.

Driving around the county, he has documented many flags that should not be flying any longer. Some are ripped to shreds and should have been retired long ago.

“This stuff upsets me,” Myers said. “In my opinion, this flag isn’t yours or mine…it’s those people who’ve died for it. It is entrusted to us to take care of it,” he said.

Unfortunately, in and around Whitley County, Myers has seen far too many people who aren’t taking care of their flags.

In one day, he found six severely damaged flags within a six-mile area. “And that’s just the ones I saw,” he said. “If I can see it from a block away, it is a problem,” he said.

To some, the issue might seem like the result of a busy society, one too busy to attend to a flag in need of repair or replacement. To Myers, however, it seems like an issue of respect.

“We’ve all lost people who have died for that flag,” he said. “It’s like a salute to them.”

Myers has contacted many residents about the condition of their flags. Unfortunately, some flag owners have not been so cooperative, instead letting their flags disintegrate in the air. Others have taken his advice, though.

Myers recommends that citizens not only learn how to fly their flags correctly, but educate themselves on how to properly care for them as well. Flags should not fly at night unless they are lit. The American Flag should fly above all other flags. When it is taken down, preferably at sunset each day, it should be folded correctly.

“Why don’t they teach proper folding in school anymore,” Myers wondered, recalling how in the his younger years, children were given the responsibility of taking flags down each day and folding them correctly, never letting them touch the ground.

Myers said, also, that for longer term use, flags should not be flown in the rain or during freezing conditions which can harm the fibers.

Taking good care of the flag is a responsibility, he believes, and he said, “I think we’ve just gotten lazy.”

“I’m really not trying to give people hell, but where’s our patriotism,” he asked.

Myers hopes a few people might take his sentiment to heart.

“Next year, I hope I have to drive and drive and drive to find a bad one,” he added.

With Memorial Day coming up in a few days, many in the community will consider flying flags. For more information about proper flag care or disposal, contact your local American Legion or VFW Post for more information.

Also, if you see a flag in need of replacing, stop and ask if you can help make that happen. Afterall, it is the belief of Myers and others that honoring the flag is everyone’s responsibility.


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Spring planting

(Talk of the Town photos by Jennifer Zartman Romano) The Columbia City High School FFA Chapter took advantage of the sunshine yesterday and spent much of the afternoon planting their soybean test plots on acreage adjacent to Indian Springs Middle School on Wednesday.

At right, an ample number of participants lightened the workload for all -- with several FFA members helping each other out and exchanging duties in the process. 

FFA Advisor Jesse Kimmel supervised the operation.


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Spring planting

(Talk of the Town photos by Jennifer Zartman Romano) The Columbia City High School FFA Chapter took advantage of the sunshine yesterday and spent much of the afternoon planting their soybean test plots on acreage adjacent to Indian Springs Middle School on Wednesday.

At right, an ample number of participants lightened the workload for all -- with several FFA members helping each other out and exchanging duties in the process. 

FFA Advisor Jesse Kimmel supervised the operation.


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Peabody Public Library eager to save Whitley County's dying memories through oral history project

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

With each passing day, Whitley County loses a little more history. As the people who’ve lived there their entire lives, or a great many years anyway, pass away, they take with them memories of a different time in our community.

Aware of what has been lost and in hopes of preserving what we still have the potential to save, the Peabody Public Library is embarking on a major initiative to preserve the oral histories of Whitley County residents.

“This will be similar to the veteran’s oral history project,” said Deb Lowrance of the Peabody Public Library. Lowrance and other volunteers will begin one-on-one, informal interviews with anyone who has a story to share. Those stories can be shared in audio or video format and will eventually be turned into DVDs.

“The stories will all become reference material at the library,” Lowrance said.

After attending a conference elsewhere, the need to preserve local lore became an interest to Lowrance.

“It just clicked and I though, ‘We need to do that,” she said. For the past year, Lowrance and others have been formulating plans and they’re now ready to begin preserving the stories.

The main hope for the project, according to Lowrance, is to collect the stories of those who have lived in the community for a long time as well as stories that are maybe 30 or more years-old. They are particularly interested in collecting stories about recreational activities in the community, old hang-outs, schools, after school activities and entertainment in Whitley County.

Did you “brownie” around town? Did you rent cottages with friends and stay at the local summer resorts at Loon Lake or Tri Lakes? Did you attend high school in one of the original high schools like Jefferson Center, Thorncreek, Coesse, etc.? Where did you shop in South Whitley? What was a Saturday night like in Churubusco?

“We want to find out what life was like,” Lowrance said.

“I just wish we’d done this before Willie Egner or Barbara Brindle had died,” Lowrance said. “They took a lot of stories with them.”

Still, there are many stories yet to be preserved. “Once the older members of our community are gone, a lot of the history of Whitley County is gone.”

Lowrance has talked with the Whitley County Historical Museum staff, the Whitley County Historical Society and with members of the Whitley County Genealogical Society – all of whom have expressed interest in helping with the interviewing and recording process.

Additionally, Dr. Laura Huffman, superintendent of Whitley County Consolidated Schools has said local high school students in history classes may be able to volunteer for the project in the fall.

If you are interested in volunteering to help perform interviews, contact Deb Lowrance at 244-5541 or contact her at debbie@peabody.whitleynet.org and put “oral history” in the subject line.

In mid-June, Lowrance will conduct an informal training session to help volunteers prepare for the project which is officially slated to begin later in the month of June.

Lowrance and her son, Nick Henney, will begin recording oral histories during the Old Settlers Day activities at the Whitley County Historical Museum on Thursday, June 26, when the community comes in to register as “old settlers.”

At that time, Lowrance will be happy to record individuals’ stories or would be pleased to have many people sit around a table and reminisce together.

For more information about sharing your own oral history of Whitley County, contact Deb Lowrance at 244-5541.

 


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Peabody Public Library eager to save Whitley County's dying memories through oral history project

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

With each passing day, Whitley County loses a little more history. As the people who’ve lived there their entire lives, or a great many years anyway, pass away, they take with them memories of a different time in our community.

Aware of what has been lost and in hopes of preserving what we still have the potential to save, the Peabody Public Library is embarking on a major initiative to preserve the oral histories of Whitley County residents.

“This will be similar to the veteran’s oral history project,” said Deb Lowrance of the Peabody Public Library. Lowrance and other volunteers will begin one-on-one, informal interviews with anyone who has a story to share. Those stories can be shared in audio or video format and will eventually be turned into DVDs.

“The stories will all become reference material at the library,” Lowrance said.

After attending a conference elsewhere, the need to preserve local lore became an interest to Lowrance.

“It just clicked and I though, ‘We need to do that,” she said. For the past year, Lowrance and others have been formulating plans and they’re now ready to begin preserving the stories.

The main hope for the project, according to Lowrance, is to collect the stories of those who have lived in the community for a long time as well as stories that are maybe 30 or more years-old. They are particularly interested in collecting stories about recreational activities in the community, old hang-outs, schools, after school activities and entertainment in Whitley County.

Did you “brownie” around town? Did you rent cottages with friends and stay at the local summer resorts at Loon Lake or Tri Lakes? Did you attend high school in one of the original high schools like Jefferson Center, Thorncreek, Coesse, etc.? Where did you shop in South Whitley? What was a Saturday night like in Churubusco?

“We want to find out what life was like,” Lowrance said.

“I just wish we’d done this before Willie Egner or Barbara Brindle had died,” Lowrance said. “They took a lot of stories with them.”

Still, there are many stories yet to be preserved. “Once the older members of our community are gone, a lot of the history of Whitley County is gone.”

Lowrance has talked with the Whitley County Historical Museum staff, the Whitley County Historical Society and with members of the Whitley County Genealogical Society – all of whom have expressed interest in helping with the interviewing and recording process.

Additionally, Dr. Laura Huffman, superintendent of Whitley County Consolidated Schools has said local high school students in history classes may be able to volunteer for the project in the fall.

If you are interested in volunteering to help perform interviews, contact Deb Lowrance at 244-5541 or contact her at debbie@peabody.whitleynet.org and put “oral history” in the subject line.

In mid-June, Lowrance will conduct an informal training session to help volunteers prepare for the project which is officially slated to begin later in the month of June.

Lowrance and her son, Nick Henney, will begin recording oral histories during the Old Settlers Day activities at the Whitley County Historical Museum on Thursday, June 26, when the community comes in to register as “old settlers.”

At that time, Lowrance will be happy to record individuals’ stories or would be pleased to have many people sit around a table and reminisce together.

For more information about sharing your own oral history of Whitley County, contact Deb Lowrance at 244-5541.

 


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City's Masons held successful fundraiser last Friday


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City's Masons held successful fundraiser last Friday


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May 21, 2008

Gushing guysers flow from fire hydrants as city workers take care of annual spring project

(Talk of the Town photos by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Across Columbia City, guysers are shooting upward across roadways, creating puddles and soaking passing motorists. As part of an annual project, city street department workers are busy flushing the fire hydrants. Impressively, despite water seemingly flying everywhere -- seasoned street department workers like Jim Lock, above, are able to avoid become completely soaked. "You just stay out of the wind," Lock said as he finished flushing a hydrant at the Whitley County  4-H Fairgrounds. Lock said some 400-450 hydrants will be flushed this week as part of the annual spring project. It takes 4-5 days to flush the city's hydrants. As crews work on the western edge of the city today, they'll finish by flushing the hydrants in the downtown area early tomorrow morning before traffic and parked cars would be showered. Lock said the hydrants are flushed each year to removed built up sediment in the water line and to ensure that the hydrants are working correctly in case they might be needed by the fire department. Below, a driver chooses to avoid an impromptu car wash along Business 30 West this morning.


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Gushing guysers flow from fire hydrants as city workers take care of annual spring project

(Talk of the Town photos by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Across Columbia City, guysers are shooting upward across roadways, creating puddles and soaking passing motorists. As part of an annual project, city street department workers are busy flushing the fire hydrants. Impressively, despite water seemingly flying everywhere -- seasoned street department workers like Jim Lock, above, are able to avoid become completely soaked. "You just stay out of the wind," Lock said as he finished flushing a hydrant at the Whitley County  4-H Fairgrounds. Lock said some 400-450 hydrants will be flushed this week as part of the annual spring project. It takes 4-5 days to flush the city's hydrants. As crews work on the western edge of the city today, they'll finish by flushing the hydrants in the downtown area early tomorrow morning before traffic and parked cars would be showered. Lock said the hydrants are flushed each year to removed built up sediment in the water line and to ensure that the hydrants are working correctly in case they might be needed by the fire department. Below, a driver chooses to avoid an impromptu car wash along Business 30 West this morning.


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Grandmother makes it her mission to prepare community's littlest swimmers

(Photo Provided) Little Donovan Kessler, below, and his love for the water lives on through the Donovan Kessler Little Swimmers Scholarship Fund at the Whitley County Community Foundation. Kessler's grandmother is planning a fundraising community cookout on May 31 to raise funds to support scholarships for needy families to take swimming lessons -- in hopes a family can avoid the tragedy of losing a child to drowning.

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

Living at a lake, constantly looking at water and contemplating children near water, a day doesn’t go by that Tammy Azar doesn’t think about her grandson.

From her home overlooking Big Lake, just over the county line in Noble County, she sees the beauty and enjoyment of water, but also, unfortunately, the dangers.

 “He was fearless,” Azar said of her grandson. “He loved the water and he was wanting to swim whether it was June or November.”

Unfortunately, the toddler never truly learned how to swim.

A little over a year ago, on March 1, her grandson Donovan Kessler found his way into a fenced, locked swimming pool while on vacation with his family and drowned. Azar said she knew her grandson had always been drawn to water and it was something that terrified her.

Since her grandson’s death, Azar has learned of other families who have suffered similar losses and in the hopes of making even one child more capable of surviving a fall into the water, she’s trying to raise funds and awareness.

Last year, Azar initiated an endowment fund through the Whitley County Community Foundation called The Donovan Kessler Little Swimmers Scholarship Fund. The goal of the fund, Azar said, is to provide resources for families to pursue swimming lessons for their children when they might be otherwise unable to afford them.

Azar realizes that in tough economic times, a family may be more likely to spend their money in other ways – but knowing well the life or death impact of knowing how to swim, she wants to encourage parents to pursue swimming lessons for their little ones. And, by making funds readily available, she hopes to lessen the financial burden.

On May 31, from 4-7:30 p.m., Azar and a group of volunteers are planning a community cookout featuring hot dogs, chips, baked beans or applesauce, desserts and drinks. Admission is $5 per adult and $4 for children. All proceeds will benefit the Donovan Kessler Little Swimmers Scholarship Fund.

Azar and others have been working diligently over the past few weeks securing hundreds of door prizes and sponsorships for the event. Fortunately, Whitley County, a very giving community, has been supportive of her efforts in planning the event – donating countless items for the event.

“There’s a lot of stuff,” she said.

In 2007, Azar planned her first fundraising event for the fund which has raised $2100 to date. She believes that would fund approximately 4-5 scholarships, but she wants to raise more so that the swim lessons would be available to even more children.

“I want to put it into an endowment fund and find matching funds to support the fund long term,” Azar said.

“I just don’t want other families to go through what we’re going through,” she said. “If I can help, I want to.”

Thus far, sponsors for the event include Alarie Chiropractic, Aldi, Aladdin, Andy’s Car Wash, Arby’s, Auto Zone, The Bargain House, Big G’s, Bob Evans, Brew Ha, Cadbury Schwepp’s 7Up American Bottling Company, CC Deli, Churubusco Package Liquor, Crossroads Inn, Culligan, The Dock, DQ Grill & Chill, Espich Printing, Family Video, Fry’s Auto Care, Gas America, Golden Corral, Kernel Colada’s Snack Shack, Lassus Brothers, Lewis Bakeries, Lowe’s, The Lube Center, Magic Wand, Meijer, Menards, Oliverz, Paige’s Crossing, Pak-A-Sak, Papa John’s, Pizza King, Pizza Hut, The Post & Mail, Richard’s Restaurant, Sherri’s Place, Shroyer’s True Value Hardware & Variety, Subway, Target, Toys ‘R Us, Walgreens, Wal Mart and Wendy’s.

 


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Grandmother makes it her mission to prepare community's littlest swimmers

(Photo Provided) Little Donovan Kessler, below, and his love for the water lives on through the Donovan Kessler Little Swimmers Scholarship Fund at the Whitley County Community Foundation. Kessler's grandmother is planning a fundraising community cookout on May 31 to raise funds to support scholarships for needy families to take swimming lessons -- in hopes a family can avoid the tragedy of losing a child to drowning.

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

Living at a lake, constantly looking at water and contemplating children near water, a day doesn’t go by that Tammy Azar doesn’t think about her grandson.

From her home overlooking Big Lake, just over the county line in Noble County, she sees the beauty and enjoyment of water, but also, unfortunately, the dangers.

 “He was fearless,” Azar said of her grandson. “He loved the water and he was wanting to swim whether it was June or November.”

Unfortunately, the toddler never truly learned how to swim.

A little over a year ago, on March 1, her grandson Donovan Kessler found his way into a fenced, locked swimming pool while on vacation with his family and drowned. Azar said she knew her grandson had always been drawn to water and it was something that terrified her.

Since her grandson’s death, Azar has learned of other families who have suffered similar losses and in the hopes of making even one child more capable of surviving a fall into the water, she’s trying to raise funds and awareness.

Last year, Azar initiated an endowment fund through the Whitley County Community Foundation called The Donovan Kessler Little Swimmers Scholarship Fund. The goal of the fund, Azar said, is to provide resources for families to pursue swimming lessons for their children when they might be otherwise unable to afford them.

Azar realizes that in tough economic times, a family may be more likely to spend their money in other ways – but knowing well the life or death impact of knowing how to swim, she wants to encourage parents to pursue swimming lessons for their little ones. And, by making funds readily available, she hopes to lessen the financial burden.

On May 31, from 4-7:30 p.m., Azar and a group of volunteers are planning a community cookout featuring hot dogs, chips, baked beans or applesauce, desserts and drinks. Admission is $5 per adult and $4 for children. All proceeds will benefit the Donovan Kessler Little Swimmers Scholarship Fund.

Azar and others have been working diligently over the past few weeks securing hundreds of door prizes and sponsorships for the event. Fortunately, Whitley County, a very giving community, has been supportive of her efforts in planning the event – donating countless items for the event.

“There’s a lot of stuff,” she said.

In 2007, Azar planned her first fundraising event for the fund which has raised $2100 to date. She believes that would fund approximately 4-5 scholarships, but she wants to raise more so that the swim lessons would be available to even more children.

“I want to put it into an endowment fund and find matching funds to support the fund long term,” Azar said.

“I just don’t want other families to go through what we’re going through,” she said. “If I can help, I want to.”

Thus far, sponsors for the event include Alarie Chiropractic, Aldi, Aladdin, Andy’s Car Wash, Arby’s, Auto Zone, The Bargain House, Big G’s, Bob Evans, Brew Ha, Cadbury Schwepp’s 7Up American Bottling Company, CC Deli, Churubusco Package Liquor, Crossroads Inn, Culligan, The Dock, DQ Grill & Chill, Espich Printing, Family Video, Fry’s Auto Care, Gas America, Golden Corral, Kernel Colada’s Snack Shack, Lassus Brothers, Lewis Bakeries, Lowe’s, The Lube Center, Magic Wand, Meijer, Menards, Oliverz, Paige’s Crossing, Pak-A-Sak, Papa John’s, Pizza King, Pizza Hut, The Post & Mail, Richard’s Restaurant, Sherri’s Place, Shroyer’s True Value Hardware & Variety, Subway, Target, Toys ‘R Us, Walgreens, Wal Mart and Wendy’s.

 


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Leadership Whitley County accepting applications for upcoming class year

(Talk of the Town photo by Kelley Sheiss) Three recent graduates of Leadership Whitley County work together on a project during one of their class sessions last year. Below, from left, is Christina Rice, April Gerard and Amy Shaw.

 

By Kelley Sheiss

 

The opportunity to participate in the next class of Leadership Whitley County is now!  As the seventh year of the successful program came to a close recently, recruitment is in full swing for the next group of servant leaders. 

Leadership Whitley County is a unique, eight-month, highly informational program designed to increase community awareness, establish effective networking pools among participants, and enhance leadership skills, both personally and professionally.  The program begins with an evening orientation and one and one-half day retreat in September.  Monthly half-day sessions are scheduled through March, and the program concludes with a celebration event in April.

Timely and valuable areas of study include:  county awareness, collaboration, diversity, trust, compassion, public speaking, working with others, and personal mission.  Trainers, both locally and from around the state, facilitate monthly sessions at various locations within Whitley County.  In addition to increasing citizen participation for the good of their community, participants also garner tools and information that prove valuable in the home, church and workplace.

“LWC has been a fabulous experience for me,” offered Holly Fry of Northeastern REMC, a graduate of the most recent class. “I got to meet and relate to people that I never would have gotten the opportunity to interact with before joining LWC. And I’m much better and brighter for the experience! I think it’s also helped to boost my confidence in my own abilities on and off the job. All in all, LWC has been a very positive experience for me, and has the added bonus of making new friends and acquaintances!”   Fellow class member Amy Shaw of the Whitley County YMCA added, “I learned many things about the community, my leadership style, ways to handle conflict and much more.  The highlight for me was the session where we listened to David Neidert talk about our “Mapquest” for Life.  This was very moving for me and really made me think about a lot of things in my own life.”

Employers who are seeking leadership or management training for their employees should take advantage of this quality program and consider supporting targeted individuals for participation.   Participants will miss one half plus one full day of work for the September retreat, with remaining sessions occurring on the third Thursday of each month and concluding at 1:30 p.m.  These monthly half-day sessions allow for employees to plan accordingly and return to work in the afternoon. 

Tuition to the program is $600, which includes all meals and materials.  There is no travel or lodging expenses.  Interested in learning more about Leadership Whitley County or desire to participate?  Check out LWC’s website at www.leadershipwc.org or contact Kelley Sheiss at 799-4045 or via e-mail at 3dsheiss@whitleynet.org.  All applicants must be submitted by the end of June and tuition is due in full by September 1.    A limited number of participants will be accepted, so plan to apply early.


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Leadership Whitley County accepting applications for upcoming class year

(Talk of the Town photo by Kelley Sheiss) Three recent graduates of Leadership Whitley County work together on a project during one of their class sessions last year. Below, from left, is Christina Rice, April Gerard and Amy Shaw.

 

By Kelley Sheiss

 

The opportunity to participate in the next class of Leadership Whitley County is now!  As the seventh year of the successful program came to a close recently, recruitment is in full swing for the next group of servant leaders. 

Leadership Whitley County is a unique, eight-month, highly informational program designed to increase community awareness, establish effective networking pools among participants, and enhance leadership skills, both personally and professionally.  The program begins with an evening orientation and one and one-half day retreat in September.  Monthly half-day sessions are scheduled through March, and the program concludes with a celebration event in April.

Timely and valuable areas of study include:  county awareness, collaboration, diversity, trust, compassion, public speaking, working with others, and personal mission.  Trainers, both locally and from around the state, facilitate monthly sessions at various locations within Whitley County.  In addition to increasing citizen participation for the good of their community, participants also garner tools and information that prove valuable in the home, church and workplace.

“LWC has been a fabulous experience for me,” offered Holly Fry of Northeastern REMC, a graduate of the most recent class. “I got to meet and relate to people that I never would have gotten the opportunity to interact with before joining LWC. And I’m much better and brighter for the experience! I think it’s also helped to boost my confidence in my own abilities on and off the job. All in all, LWC has been a very positive experience for me, and has the added bonus of making new friends and acquaintances!”   Fellow class member Amy Shaw of the Whitley County YMCA added, “I learned many things about the community, my leadership style, ways to handle conflict and much more.  The highlight for me was the session where we listened to David Neidert talk about our “Mapquest” for Life.  This was very moving for me and really made me think about a lot of things in my own life.”

Employers who are seeking leadership or management training for their employees should take advantage of this quality program and consider supporting targeted individuals for participation.   Participants will miss one half plus one full day of work for the September retreat, with remaining sessions occurring on the third Thursday of each month and concluding at 1:30 p.m.  These monthly half-day sessions allow for employees to plan accordingly and return to work in the afternoon. 

Tuition to the program is $600, which includes all meals and materials.  There is no travel or lodging expenses.  Interested in learning more about Leadership Whitley County or desire to participate?  Check out LWC’s website at www.leadershipwc.org or contact Kelley Sheiss at 799-4045 or via e-mail at 3dsheiss@whitleynet.org.  All applicants must be submitted by the end of June and tuition is due in full by September 1.    A limited number of participants will be accepted, so plan to apply early.


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May 20, 2008

Eleven teams committed for mud dodgeball tournament to benefit Toys for Tots

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

Toys For Tot’s Showdown at the Fairgrounds mud dodgeball tournament has just five slots left for teams as of this morning, according to the event’s coordinator, Barry Yeakle.

Thus far, teams include:

The Mudd Dodgers – sponsored by Richard’s Restaurant – Team Captain: Latiesha LaRue

The Greybeard Raiders – Team Captain: Carl Johnson

The Almost Awesome – sponsored by Rex Schrader II – Team Captain: Jeremy Freeman

The Mystery Mudders – Team Captain: Hannah Spencer

The Jehovah Nisei Gangsters – sponsored by Acute Fence Co. – Team Captain: Andrew Vanderford

The Dynamic Dodgers – sponsored by SDI – Team Captain: Roxy Hagans

The Mud Slingers – sponsored by ACME Industrial – Team Captain: Jon Joseph

The Slimeballs – Team Captain: Lynette Richards

The Wild Things – Team Captain: Taylor Lowen

The Mud Puppies – sponsored by Wawasee Bowl – Team Captain: Shannon Honaker

The Chromo Soldiers – sponsored by Chroma Source – Team Captain: Andrew Russell.

Teams, consisting of eight members, will participate in a single elimination tournament which begins at 1 p.m. on June 7. The cost is $80 per team (just $10 per person) to register. The guarantees – it will be interesting and there will be prizes.

If you’re brave enough to take on these teams, contact Barry Yeakle to register by calling 691-2923.


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Eleven teams committed for mud dodgeball tournament to benefit Toys for Tots

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

Toys For Tot’s Showdown at the Fairgrounds mud dodgeball tournament has just five slots left for teams as of this morning, according to the event’s coordinator, Barry Yeakle.

Thus far, teams include:

The Mudd Dodgers – sponsored by Richard’s Restaurant – Team Captain: Latiesha LaRue

The Greybeard Raiders – Team Captain: Carl Johnson

The Almost Awesome – sponsored by Rex Schrader II – Team Captain: Jeremy Freeman

The Mystery Mudders – Team Captain: Hannah Spencer

The Jehovah Nisei Gangsters – sponsored by Acute Fence Co. – Team Captain: Andrew Vanderford

The Dynamic Dodgers – sponsored by SDI – Team Captain: Roxy Hagans

The Mud Slingers – sponsored by ACME Industrial – Team Captain: Jon Joseph

The Slimeballs – Team Captain: Lynette Richards

The Wild Things – Team Captain: Taylor Lowen

The Mud Puppies – sponsored by Wawasee Bowl – Team Captain: Shannon Honaker

The Chromo Soldiers – sponsored by Chroma Source – Team Captain: Andrew Russell.

Teams, consisting of eight members, will participate in a single elimination tournament which begins at 1 p.m. on June 7. The cost is $80 per team (just $10 per person) to register. The guarantees – it will be interesting and there will be prizes.

If you’re brave enough to take on these teams, contact Barry Yeakle to register by calling 691-2923.


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SR 205 near South Whitley closed until May 24 or thereafter

If you’ve driven down SR 205 this week, you’ve probably already noticed that State Road 205 is closed -- scrambling to find an alternative route to your destination.

Signs announcing the closure went up over the weekend.

According to the Indiana Department of Transportation, SR 205 four miles east of SR 5 will remain closed through May 24. Crews in that area are working to replace a drain tile and culvert pipe, necessitating that the road be closed. Weather permitting, they expect to reopen the roadway to traffic after May 24.


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SR 205 near South Whitley closed until May 24 or thereafter

If you’ve driven down SR 205 this week, you’ve probably already noticed that State Road 205 is closed -- scrambling to find an alternative route to your destination.

Signs announcing the closure went up over the weekend.

According to the Indiana Department of Transportation, SR 205 four miles east of SR 5 will remain closed through May 24. Crews in that area are working to replace a drain tile and culvert pipe, necessitating that the road be closed. Weather permitting, they expect to reopen the roadway to traffic after May 24.


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Matt Bell announces candidacy for 13th district senate seat

 

(Talk of the Town photos by Jennifer Zartman Romano) State Representative Matt Bell, above at right, who currently represents a portion of Whitley County as the District 83 State Representative has announced his candidacy to run for the Senate District 13 seat. Above, Bell was among the well-wishers present when the 384th Military Police soldiers returned on May 9. Bell was present to personally welcome the soldiers back to the area. 

 

Article Provided

 

This morning, State Representative Matt Bell (District 83, Republican) announced his candidacy to succeed Robert L. “Bob” Meeks as the Senator from Indiana’s 13th Senate District. Yesterday morning, Rep. Bell filed paperwork declaring himself a candidate for the caucus to fill the ballot vacancy resulting from Sen. Meeks’ announcement of his intention to withdraw from the November General Election ballot.

“I have been humbled and honored by the calls and comments from folks across the 13th Senate District asking me to represent them in the Indiana State Senate. My wife, Jackie, and I have carefully considered this decision, and we are committed to working as hard as we can to earn the opportunity to fill the ballot vacancy, and win the General Election in November so that we can help lead the fight for a better northeast Indiana in the State Senate.”

Bell’s announcement follows Senator Meeks’ announcement to withdraw from the ballot one week ago. The 13th Senate District includes all of Noble and LaGrange Counties, and parts of Steuben, Kosciusko, and Dekalb counties. A caucus of elected and appointed precinct officials from the 68 precincts represented in the Senate district will determine the Republican candidate that will stand for election in November. 

“For the past twenty years, we have been incredibly fortunate to be represented in the Indiana State Senate by Bob Meeks,” Bell said. “He has worked tirelessly to insure that our community’s concerns are addressed by State Government. Bob has been a great friend to this region, and a wonderful mentor to me. I look forward to carrying his legacy of excellent representation forward as the next Senator from the 13th District.”

“My goals as a State Senator are two-fold. I will work night and day to insure that our community’s concerns and ideas remain relevant in the Indiana General Assembly. Just as importantly, I am committed to the principle that State Government must be responsive to the concerns of its citizens. I have earned a reputation for serving constituents well by making sure their concerns are heard and that they are responded to. That same level of constituent service will be a hallmark of my service in the Indiana State Senate.”

Rep. Bell was appointed by a Republican caucus to the General Assembly in May of 2005 to represent the 83rd House District, and was reelected in 2006. Representative Bell serves as the Ranking Minority Member of the Public Policy Committee and also serves on the Labor and Employment Committee and the Family Children and Human Affairs Committee. Previously he served on the Insurance Committee and the Natural Resources Committee. As State Representative, Bell represents portions of Whitley, Noble and Allen Counties.

During the 2008 legislative session, Matt authored HB 1162 which created a youth advisory council to report to the Indiana General Assembly on issues that impact young people across the state. The bill also allows the presiding officer of a city council to appoint a youth adviser so that young people can learn about and participate in local government. In addition, he co-authored HB 1118 which provided some of the most sweeping reform in regulations regarding the sale of alcohol in a generation. Rep. Bell also coauthored HB 1290 which extends foster care benefits to young adults through age 21 to ease the transition to independence.

When not serving in the General Assembly, Matt is the Executive Director of the Literacy Empowering and Advocating Project (LEAP) of Noble County. During his tenure, LEAP has grown from a small community based not-for-profit organization into an organization that serves more than 450 students each week with classes in Albion, Ligonier, and Kendallville. LEAP’s annual revenues have tripled over the past five years. He has previously served as an elected member of the St. Mary of the Assumption (Avilla) School Board and a member of the Parish Finance Committee. He also helped coordinate the religious education program at St. Mary's for two years (2003-2004). In addition, he served as a 4-H leader in Swan Township for five years, is an active member of Rotary International, and the Masonic Lodge. He has also volunteered with Big Brothers/ Big Sisters and participates in several community initiatives including the Region III-A Economic Development Executive Board, the Governor’s Commission for a Drug Free Indiana, and the Drug Free Noble County Community Board.

This spring, Matt was named the Indiana Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Champion for 2007. Matt achieved a 95% voting record, the highest percentage achieved by any elected official in the Indiana General Assembly, on issues of importance to the Indiana Chamber of Commerce during the 2008 session. His two year aggregate rating from the Chamber was also 95% which ranked second among all legislators during the 115th General Assembly. Matt also enjoys a 100% voting record on pro-life issues, and has not cast a vote that would curtail the rights of gun owners in Indiana.

Matt is married to Jackie (Riecke) Bell of Noble County. They have two children, a son Mitchell (5) and a daughter Adara (4). Jackie is the youngest of Phil and Kate Riecke’s ten children, all of whom reside within a 20 mile radius of the home they grew up in south of Avilla. The Bell family is a mere 234 steps from Mr. and Mrs. Reicke’s door. The Bell’s enjoy the closeness of more than 35 nieces and nephews and eight great nieces and nephews in the area. Jackie is the volunteer coach of Noble County’s highly successful livestock judging team, as well as a Swan Township 4-H leader, and a member of the Noble County Public Library Board.

Monday, Matt filed paperwork establishing the Committee to Elect Matt Bell. Matt’s Senate Committee is chaired by Noble County Prosecutor Steven Clouse. Kendallville pharmacist Larry Allen has agreed to serve as the treasurer of Matt’s Senate Campaign Committee. 

“Northeast Indiana is our home, the place where we have chosen to raise our family. We work hard locally to support activities that we believe make our community a great place to live, work, and raise a family. That same commitment and focus guides my service in the Indiana General Assembly.


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Matt Bell announces candidacy for 13th district senate seat

 

(Talk of the Town photos by Jennifer Zartman Romano) State Representative Matt Bell, above at right, who currently represents a portion of Whitley County as the District 83 State Representative has announced his candidacy to run for the Senate District 13 seat. Above, Bell was among the well-wishers present when the 384th Military Police soldiers returned on May 9. Bell was present to personally welcome the soldiers back to the area. 

 

Article Provided

 

This morning, State Representative Matt Bell (District 83, Republican) announced his candidacy to succeed Robert L. “Bob” Meeks as the Senator from Indiana’s 13th Senate District. Yesterday morning, Rep. Bell filed paperwork declaring himself a candidate for the caucus to fill the ballot vacancy resulting from Sen. Meeks’ announcement of his intention to withdraw from the November General Election ballot.

“I have been humbled and honored by the calls and comments from folks across the 13th Senate District asking me to represent them in the Indiana State Senate. My wife, Jackie, and I have carefully considered this decision, and we are committed to working as hard as we can to earn the opportunity to fill the ballot vacancy, and win the General Election in November so that we can help lead the fight for a better northeast Indiana in the State Senate.”

Bell’s announcement follows Senator Meeks’ announcement to withdraw from the ballot one week ago. The 13th Senate District includes all of Noble and LaGrange Counties, and parts of Steuben, Kosciusko, and Dekalb counties. A caucus of elected and appointed precinct officials from the 68 precincts represented in the Senate district will determine the Republican candidate that will stand for election in November. 

“For the past twenty years, we have been incredibly fortunate to be represented in the Indiana State Senate by Bob Meeks,” Bell said. “He has worked tirelessly to insure that our community’s concerns are addressed by State Government. Bob has been a great friend to this region, and a wonderful mentor to me. I look forward to carrying his legacy of excellent representation forward as the next Senator from the 13th District.”

“My goals as a State Senator are two-fold. I will work night and day to insure that our community’s concerns and ideas remain relevant in the Indiana General Assembly. Just as importantly, I am committed to the principle that State Government must be responsive to the concerns of its citizens. I have earned a reputation for serving constituents well by making sure their concerns are heard and that they are responded to. That same level of constituent service will be a hallmark of my service in the Indiana State Senate.”

Rep. Bell was appointed by a Republican caucus to the General Assembly in May of 2005 to represent the 83rd House District, and was reelected in 2006. Representative Bell serves as the Ranking Minority Member of the Public Policy Committee and also serves on the Labor and Employment Committee and the Family Children and Human Affairs Committee. Previously he served on the Insurance Committee and the Natural Resources Committee. As State Representative, Bell represents portions of Whitley, Noble and Allen Counties.

During the 2008 legislative session, Matt authored HB 1162 which created a youth advisory council to report to the Indiana General Assembly on issues that impact young people across the state. The bill also allows the presiding officer of a city council to appoint a youth adviser so that young people can learn about and participate in local government. In addition, he co-authored HB 1118 which provided some of the most sweeping reform in regulations regarding the sale of alcohol in a generation. Rep. Bell also coauthored HB 1290 which extends foster care benefits to young adults through age 21 to ease the transition to independence.

When not serving in the General Assembly, Matt is the Executive Director of the Literacy Empowering and Advocating Project (LEAP) of Noble County. During his tenure, LEAP has grown from a small community based not-for-profit organization into an organization that serves more than 450 students each week with classes in Albion, Ligonier, and Kendallville. LEAP’s annual revenues have tripled over the past five years. He has previously served as an elected member of the St. Mary of the Assumption (Avilla) School Board and a member of the Parish Finance Committee. He also helped coordinate the religious education program at St. Mary's for two years (2003-2004). In addition, he served as a 4-H leader in Swan Township for five years, is an active member of Rotary International, and the Masonic Lodge. He has also volunteered with Big Brothers/ Big Sisters and participates in several community initiatives including the Region III-A Economic Development Executive Board, the Governor’s Commission for a Drug Free Indiana, and the Drug Free Noble County Community Board.

This spring, Matt was named the Indiana Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Champion for 2007. Matt achieved a 95% voting record, the highest percentage achieved by any elected official in the Indiana General Assembly, on issues of importance to the Indiana Chamber of Commerce during the 2008 session. His two year aggregate rating from the Chamber was also 95% which ranked second among all legislators during the 115th General Assembly. Matt also enjoys a 100% voting record on pro-life issues, and has not cast a vote that would curtail the rights of gun owners in Indiana.

Matt is married to Jackie (Riecke) Bell of Noble County. They have two children, a son Mitchell (5) and a daughter Adara (4). Jackie is the youngest of Phil and Kate Riecke’s ten children, all of whom reside within a 20 mile radius of the home they grew up in south of Avilla. The Bell family is a mere 234 steps from Mr. and Mrs. Reicke’s door. The Bell’s enjoy the closeness of more than 35 nieces and nephews and eight great nieces and nephews in the area. Jackie is the volunteer coach of Noble County’s highly successful livestock judging team, as well as a Swan Township 4-H leader, and a member of the Noble County Public Library Board.

Monday, Matt filed paperwork establishing the Committee to Elect Matt Bell. Matt’s Senate Committee is chaired by Noble County Prosecutor Steven Clouse. Kendallville pharmacist Larry Allen has agreed to serve as the treasurer of Matt’s Senate Campaign Committee. 

“Northeast Indiana is our home, the place where we have chosen to raise our family. We work hard locally to support activities that we believe make our community a great place to live, work, and raise a family. That same commitment and focus guides my service in the Indiana General Assembly.


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Working into the night

 

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) The silent darkness is broken by the glow of a barn on County Road 300 South late Monday evening. A family, eager to utilize even the dark hours of the night to finish their barn building project, continues working well past the time many in their neighborhood had likely gone to bed. For some distance, the light could be seen illuminating the beams and trusses of the barn. Soon, the siding and roofing will cover this unique view for passing motorists.


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Working into the night

 

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) The silent darkness is broken by the glow of a barn on County Road 300 South late Monday evening. A family, eager to utilize even the dark hours of the night to finish their barn building project, continues working well past the time many in their neighborhood had likely gone to bed. For some distance, the light could be seen illuminating the beams and trusses of the barn. Soon, the siding and roofing will cover this unique view for passing motorists.


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May 19, 2008

Kernel Colada's Snack Shack is a slice of the Tropics right here in Columbia City

(Talk of the Town photos by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Lindsey Hively's artistic flair and attention to detail are evident in the handpainted walls at her new business, Kernel Colada's Snack Shack, above. Below, Lindsey shows a basket filled with an Odie, one of the 15 designer hot dogs available at Kernel Colada's Snack Shack. Below, center, from left, Gary Hively and his daughter, Lindsey Hively stand at the counter in their new business. At bottom, just inside the front door, patrons are immediately aware they've just entered a sunny paradise -- regardless of the weather outside.

 

 

By Jennifer Zartman Romano Lindsey Hively

 

It wouldn’t take much to convince yourself that you’re watching a sunset at the seaside. You’re sitting beneath a palm tree, sipping a tropical fruit smoothie. Beneath your feet, you can feel the worn wood of an old deck and overhead, colorful patio lights cast a little more tropical ambiance. Were they truly scented, the tropical flowers on the bamboo porch would smell wonderful.

If you sit so you cannot see out the windows, you might really believe, at least during your lunch hour, that you’re on vacation somewhere – perhaps California? Maybe Cabo?

So where is this wondrous place?

If you haven’t already heard, the most interesting new place in Columbia City is Kernel Colada’s Snack Shack, located on the western end of the Aladdin building on Walker Way, the short roadway leading from North Main Street to North Line Street, just south of US 30.

You might get an indication of what you’ll find inside if you catch a glimpse of the palm trees or perky pink flamingos affixed to the outer walls, beckoning guests inside or an even bigger treat.

The result of over a year’s work of local resident Gary Hively and his daughter, Lindsey Hively, Kernel Colada’s Snack Shack is a breath of fresh air and has the potential to lighten your mood while filling your belly. Gary Hively and Lindsey Hively

Open almost two weeks now, they’re already realizing great success with most customers having returned two, three or four times – eager to try a new flavor of popcorn, to sample the tropical frozen yogurt, chill out with a smoothie or bravely take their tastebuds to new heights with a designer hot dog.

A designer hot dog?

According to Gary Hively, they currently offer 15 signature design-a-dog hotdogs. Utilizing a kosher, all beef hot dog, they load them up and tack on names like “the Bronx bad boy,” “the Rooty Tooty,” “Southern Slaw Dog,” “Wagon Train,” or the popular “Windy City Weiner.” If you like ‘em plain, you can just order a “Streaker” or you can create your own endless combinations of toppings.

The afternoon of our interview, Lindsey brought out an “Odie.” The Odie, alluding to Garfield’s buddy, features marinara sauce, cottage cheese, green peppers, onions and, of course, cheese.

“We can do anything custom,” Gary said of the many creations they’ve come up with so far for the menu.

“I don’t know if you can have a gourmet hotdog, but this is pretty close,” he said.

If hotdogs aren’t your thing, they’ve got plenty more on the menu including eight varieties of fruit smoothies, most of which made with green tea. They also offer a few things you won’t typically find all year long – but that you’ll really come to appreciate in the winter months.

“We’ve got the same ice cream you can get at the 4-H Fair,” Gary said. And, most people look forward to shakeups during the summer street fairs like Old Settlers Days. “We’ve got lemon and lime shakeups,” he added.

The lime shakeups are among the new concoctions created at Kernel Colada’s. A family member had acquired a few too many limes and so they used them to make shakeups instead of lemons.

“I thought I’d just make some up to use up the limes,” Gary said. “We had such a rave response we had to put them on the menu.”

It’s been their plan all along to have a business in the location, but the exact nature of the business became clear within the past year. Lindsey, a business major in college, was looking for a way to use her education and Gary, the owner of Aladdin carpet cleaning (which occupies a larger area in the same building), had the space. So, the father-daughter duo decided to go into business together.

“I had this room,” Gary said, looking proudly at the way his daughter has already transformed the space, having handpainted the walls herself and created most of the items on the menu. The area had initially been a tattoo parlor, but as the back area of the family business, Gary is pleased to have the whole building as the site of two family businesses.

The proximity of the two family businesses has been helpful for a lot of reasons. First, Gary and Lindsey aren’t far away from each other for answering questions, finding help, etc. Additionally, Gary’s employees at Aladdin now don’t even have to leave the building for lunch if they don’t want to.

Most importantly, it has been a great opportunity for sharing business resources and information.

Early on, they wanted to have a gourmet popcorn business.

“During high school, she got famous for her popcorn parties,” Gary said of his daughter. Trying new popcorn varieties and combinations was a fun hobby and it all expanded from there.

“We thought people might be able to come in and buy popcorn to enjoy at home while they watched movies,” Gary said.

Since then, the idea has expanded from buttered popcorn to sour apple, Chicago-style, blueberry, cheese, carmel corn, cherry and many more. A unique option is the cookies and cream and a hot seller has been the “strawberry cheesecake” flavored popcorn – the big hit for Mother’s Day. They keep making it and they keep selling out.

“We don’t even have half the flavors yet,” Lindsey said.

The flavors available daily change and can be found in three different sizes. If you like, they can even customize packaging or add special stickers to celebrate a new baby, for example.

“Carmel corn has been called the ‘snack of the year,” Gary said. In addition to being a tasty snack, many of the Hively’s varieties will satisfy a sweet tooth as well.

Another menu item with growing popularity is the tropical frozen yogurt, made with real fruit and possessing a refreshing, zippy finish.


“There’s a brand called ‘Pink Berry,’ a European soft serve frozen yogurt that’s popular in L.A.,” Gary said. “The celebrities call it ‘Crack Berry.” Similarly, patrons are finding that Kernel Colada’s tropical frozen yogurt is equally as addictive.

“Once we get the word out, it’s a matter of getting people to come in and try our food,” he said. “We’re going for gourmet, top notch, best of the best food here.”

Just two weeks into it, they’ve already got plenty of ideas for expansion, adding new items and planning for the future.

“We’ve got another room we’re remodeling for parties in the back,” Gary added.

“We’ve already been asked quite a few times if we’re a franchise,” Gary said. “We’re not. We’ve done this all ourselves, but that’s the game plan actually,” he said, hoping others might want to duplicate their business model somewhere else. “We’re doing a franchise prototype here.”

As is evident from the attention to details, they’ve certainly done their homework – bringing something new, different and very fun to Columbia City.

Kernel Colada’s Snack Shack is open seven days a week from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. They’re located at 120 West Walker Way. Special orders may be called in at 244-3745.


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Kernel Colada's Snack Shack is a slice of the Tropics right here in Columbia City

(Talk of the Town photos by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Lindsey Hively's artistic flair and attention to detail are evident in the handpainted walls at her new business, Kernel Colada's Snack Shack, above. Below, Lindsey shows a basket filled with an Odie, one of the 15 designer hot dogs available at Kernel Colada's Snack Shack. Below, center, from left, Gary Hively and his daughter, Lindsey Hively stand at the counter in their new business. At bottom, just inside the front door, patrons are immediately aware they've just entered a sunny paradise -- regardless of the weather outside.

 

 

By Jennifer Zartman Romano Lindsey Hively

 

It wouldn’t take much to convince yourself that you’re watching a sunset at the seaside. You’re sitting beneath a palm tree, sipping a tropical fruit smoothie. Beneath your feet, you can feel the worn wood of an old deck and overhead, colorful patio lights cast a little more tropical ambiance. Were they truly scented, the tropical flowers on the bamboo porch would smell wonderful.

If you sit so you cannot see out the windows, you might really believe, at least during your lunch hour, that you’re on vacation somewhere – perhaps California? Maybe Cabo?

So where is this wondrous place?

If you haven’t already heard, the most interesting new place in Columbia City is Kernel Colada’s Snack Shack, located on the western end of the Aladdin building on Walker Way, the short roadway leading from North Main Street to North Line Street, just south of US 30.

You might get an indication of what you’ll find inside if you catch a glimpse of the palm trees or perky pink flamingos affixed to the outer walls, beckoning guests inside or an even bigger treat.

The result of over a year’s work of local resident Gary Hively and his daughter, Lindsey Hively, Kernel Colada’s Snack Shack is a breath of fresh air and has the potential to lighten your mood while filling your belly. Gary Hively and Lindsey Hively

Open almost two weeks now, they’re already realizing great success with most customers having returned two, three or four times – eager to try a new flavor of popcorn, to sample the tropical frozen yogurt, chill out with a smoothie or bravely take their tastebuds to new heights with a designer hot dog.

A designer hot dog?

According to Gary Hively, they currently offer 15 signature design-a-dog hotdogs. Utilizing a kosher, all beef hot dog, they load them up and tack on names like “the Bronx bad boy,” “the Rooty Tooty,” “Southern Slaw Dog,” “Wagon Train,” or the popular “Windy City Weiner.” If you like ‘em plain, you can just order a “Streaker” or you can create your own endless combinations of toppings.

The afternoon of our interview, Lindsey brought out an “Odie.” The Odie, alluding to Garfield’s buddy, features marinara sauce, cottage cheese, green peppers, onions and, of course, cheese.

“We can do anything custom,” Gary said of the many creations they’ve come up with so far for the menu.

“I don’t know if you can have a gourmet hotdog, but this is pretty close,” he said.

If hotdogs aren’t your thing, they’ve got plenty more on the menu including eight varieties of fruit smoothies, most of which made with green tea. They also offer a few things you won’t typically find all year long – but that you’ll really come to appreciate in the winter months.

“We’ve got the same ice cream you can get at the 4-H Fair,” Gary said. And, most people look forward to shakeups during the summer street fairs like Old Settlers Days. “We’ve got lemon and lime shakeups,” he added.

The lime shakeups are among the new concoctions created at Kernel Colada’s. A family member had acquired a few too many limes and so they used them to make shakeups instead of lemons.

“I thought I’d just make some up to use up the limes,” Gary said. “We had such a rave response we had to put them on the menu.”

It’s been their plan all along to have a business in the location, but the exact nature of the business became clear within the past year. Lindsey, a business major in college, was looking for a way to use her education and Gary, the owner of Aladdin carpet cleaning (which occupies a larger area in the same building), had the space. So, the father-daughter duo decided to go into business together.

“I had this room,” Gary said, looking proudly at the way his daughter has already transformed the space, having handpainted the walls herself and created most of the items on the menu. The area had initially been a tattoo parlor, but as the back area of the family business, Gary is pleased to have the whole building as the site of two family businesses.

The proximity of the two family businesses has been helpful for a lot of reasons. First, Gary and Lindsey aren’t far away from each other for answering questions, finding help, etc. Additionally, Gary’s employees at Aladdin now don’t even have to leave the building for lunch if they don’t want to.

Most importantly, it has been a great opportunity for sharing business resources and information.

Early on, they wanted to have a gourmet popcorn business.

“During high school, she got famous for her popcorn parties,” Gary said of his daughter. Trying new popcorn varieties and combinations was a fun hobby and it all expanded from there.

“We thought people might be able to come in and buy popcorn to enjoy at home while they watched movies,” Gary said.

Since then, the idea has expanded from buttered popcorn to sour apple, Chicago-style, blueberry, cheese, carmel corn, cherry and many more. A unique option is the cookies and cream and a hot seller has been the “strawberry cheesecake” flavored popcorn – the big hit for Mother’s Day. They keep making it and they keep selling out.

“We don’t even have half the flavors yet,” Lindsey said.

The flavors available daily change and can be found in three different sizes. If you like, they can even customize packaging or add special stickers to celebrate a new baby, for example.

“Carmel corn has been called the ‘snack of the year,” Gary said. In addition to being a tasty snack, many of the Hively’s varieties will satisfy a sweet tooth as well.

Another menu item with growing popularity is the tropical frozen yogurt, made with real fruit and possessing a refreshing, zippy finish.


“There’s a brand called ‘Pink Berry,’ a European soft serve frozen yogurt that’s popular in L.A.,” Gary said. “The celebrities call it ‘Crack Berry.” Similarly, patrons are finding that Kernel Colada’s tropical frozen yogurt is equally as addictive.

“Once we get the word out, it’s a matter of getting people to come in and try our food,” he said. “We’re going for gourmet, top notch, best of the best food here.”

Just two weeks into it, they’ve already got plenty of ideas for expansion, adding new items and planning for the future.

“We’ve got another room we’re remodeling for parties in the back,” Gary added.

“We’ve already been asked quite a few times if we’re a franchise,” Gary said. “We’re not. We’ve done this all ourselves, but that’s the game plan actually,” he said, hoping others might want to duplicate their business model somewhere else. “We’re doing a franchise prototype here.”

As is evident from the attention to details, they’ve certainly done their homework – bringing something new, different and very fun to Columbia City.

Kernel Colada’s Snack Shack is open seven days a week from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. They’re located at 120 West Walker Way. Special orders may be called in at 244-3745.


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American Legion Auxiliary prepares care packages for Whitley County's soldiers, seeking names and addresses to send more

(Talk of the Town photos by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Above, Donna Hilliard, a member of the Churubusco American Legion Auxiliary, selects items to fill one of 14 care packages for soldiers last week. Hilliard and a group of volunteers from the Auxiliary filled the packages with various items and mailed them out last Friday.

At right, from left, Karen Bay and Alicia Armstrong prepare a care package for a local soldier at the American Legion hall in Churubusco. Below, Donna Hilliard and Fran Hlavaty gather items for a care package that would sent to Hlavaty's son overseas. 

 

 

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

In the back room of the American Legion Hall in Churubusco, a large group of women were working busily, dashing here and there, hands working quickly. Beneath the hum of conversation and the occasional clinking of glasses on the table tops, the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary members set about a major task of the evening – a project already many hours in the making – filling care packages for Whitley County’s soldiers overseas.

On this particular evening, their goal was to complete 14 care packages filled with anything from personal care products, treats and toys for the soldiers to give in a gesture of goodwill to the little ones they encounter in the course of their daily duties.

Spearheading the project was Donna Hilliard who, prior to the more fun project of filling the boxes, had already spent many, many hours filling out the necessary governmental paperwork to ship the boxes to soldiers.

“It’s a very tedious process,” Hilliard said as she began selecting items to fill one soldier’s box, referring to the paperwork involved in sending care packages. Still, she and others know their effort is worth it to show the soldiers their community cares.

The community has shown its support for the Auxiliary’s care package project by donating a number of items. Hilliard mentioned that the local Girl Scouts had provided boxes of cookies. Additionally, C&A Tool has supported the project in addition to local stores Mor For Less and Egolf’s IGA.

Each of the boxes was destined for a different soldier. One box has been designated for Talk of the Town’s own Major Donald Green who writes our “Letters From Iraq” column. We are hopeful we might get a photo from Major Green when his box arrives – bringing the project full circle.

Hilliard said the Auxiliary is eager to fill more boxes for more soldiers – they just need names and addresses. Names and addresses can be provided by calling the Legion at 693-6263 or visiting the American Legion at 115 South Main Street, Churubusco.

 


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American Legion Auxiliary prepares care packages for Whitley County's soldiers, seeking names and addresses to send more

(Talk of the Town photos by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Above, Donna Hilliard, a member of the Churubusco American Legion Auxiliary, selects items to fill one of 14 care packages for soldiers last week. Hilliard and a group of volunteers from the Auxiliary filled the packages with various items and mailed them out last Friday.

At right, from left, Karen Bay and Alicia Armstrong prepare a care package for a local soldier at the American Legion hall in Churubusco. Below, Donna Hilliard and Fran Hlavaty gather items for a care package that would sent to Hlavaty's son overseas. 

 

 

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

In the back room of the American Legion Hall in Churubusco, a large group of women were working busily, dashing here and there, hands working quickly. Beneath the hum of conversation and the occasional clinking of glasses on the table tops, the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary members set about a major task of the evening – a project already many hours in the making – filling care packages for Whitley County’s soldiers overseas.

On this particular evening, their goal was to complete 14 care packages filled with anything from personal care products, treats and toys for the soldiers to give in a gesture of goodwill to the little ones they encounter in the course of their daily duties.

Spearheading the project was Donna Hilliard who, prior to the more fun project of filling the boxes, had already spent many, many hours filling out the necessary governmental paperwork to ship the boxes to soldiers.

“It’s a very tedious process,” Hilliard said as she began selecting items to fill one soldier’s box, referring to the paperwork involved in sending care packages. Still, she and others know their effort is worth it to show the soldiers their community cares.

The community has shown its support for the Auxiliary’s care package project by donating a number of items. Hilliard mentioned that the local Girl Scouts had provided boxes of cookies. Additionally, C&A Tool has supported the project in addition to local stores Mor For Less and Egolf’s IGA.

Each of the boxes was destined for a different soldier. One box has been designated for Talk of the Town’s own Major Donald Green who writes our “Letters From Iraq” column. We are hopeful we might get a photo from Major Green when his box arrives – bringing the project full circle.

Hilliard said the Auxiliary is eager to fill more boxes for more soldiers – they just need names and addresses. Names and addresses can be provided by calling the Legion at 693-6263 or visiting the American Legion at 115 South Main Street, Churubusco.

 


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Runners, walkers enthusiastically support Tinkham's 5K for Camp Whitley Saturday

(Talk of the Town photos by Tara Brandon) Participants in the second annual Tinkham's 5K run/walk at Camp Whitley Saturday started the race in the rain, ended in the sunshine. Below, center, Dr. Lori Kirgis sets her pace along the run route Saturday morning. Kirgis finished wth a time of 33:38. At bottom, at the near mid-point of the race runners and walkers are already making their way back to the finish line. In all, 67 registered runners and walkers finished the race. 

 

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

Rain clouds hovered briefly Saturday morning, making many wonder if Tinkham’s 5K run/walk at Camp Whitley might involve dodging puddles and soggy spectators, but sunny skies prevailed resulting in an enjoyable event for all involved.

Participant in the run represented all ages from young children on up and all ran, showing their support for the 80 year-old camp on the shore of Troy Cedar Lake.

Following the run, and an awards ceremony lead by the run’s coordinator Brian Bills, participants enjoyed a plentiful breakfast of sausage, eggs and pancakes prepared by volunteers in the camp’s kitchen.

The overall male winner was Kevin Heckman, running the 5k event is 18 minutes, 13 seconds. The overall female winner was Dawn Heckman. Heckman’s time was 25:37.

Additional results can be viewed by clicking here. 

 


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Runners, walkers enthusiastically support Tinkham's 5K for Camp Whitley Saturday

(Talk of the Town photos by Tara Brandon) Participants in the second annual Tinkham's 5K run/walk at Camp Whitley Saturday started the race in the rain, ended in the sunshine. Below, center, Dr. Lori Kirgis sets her pace along the run route Saturday morning. Kirgis finished wth a time of 33:38. At bottom, at the near mid-point of the race runners and walkers are already making their way back to the finish line. In all, 67 registered runners and walkers finished the race. 

 

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

Rain clouds hovered briefly Saturday morning, making many wonder if Tinkham’s 5K run/walk at Camp Whitley might involve dodging puddles and soggy spectators, but sunny skies prevailed resulting in an enjoyable event for all involved.

Participant in the run represented all ages from young children on up and all ran, showing their support for the 80 year-old camp on the shore of Troy Cedar Lake.

Following the run, and an awards ceremony lead by the run’s coordinator Brian Bills, participants enjoyed a plentiful breakfast of sausage, eggs and pancakes prepared by volunteers in the camp’s kitchen.

The overall male winner was Kevin Heckman, running the 5k event is 18 minutes, 13 seconds. The overall female winner was Dawn Heckman. Heckman’s time was 25:37.

Additional results can be viewed by clicking here. 

 


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Artist Renee Erickson continues Hoosier nature paintings at Peabody Public Library


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Artist Renee Erickson continues Hoosier nature paintings at Peabody Public Library


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May 18, 2008

Five Star Distributing shares facts, facility with local business people

(Talk of the Town photos by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Local business representatives enjoyed lunch and a tour of Five Star Distributing on Friday. Above, on the tour, guests walk into the large warehouse area. Below, Five Star Distributing not only dispatches beer deliveries from their Columbia City location, but houses a working graphic arts office, making signs, t-shirts and other marketing materials. Art director Michael MacLeod, below in the graphic arts office, checks the status of a project.

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

It’s amazing that within the walls of a 95,000 square foot facility, with close to 100 employees busily at work, an estimated three million cases of beer are dispatched to an area covering roughly 5,000 square miles in a 12-county area surrounding Whitley County.

Local business representatives learned that and more Friday when they had the unique opportunity to tour the bustling Five Star Distributing facility in Park 30 just east of Columbia City.

Welcoming the group was Five Star Distribution president Stan Ziherl and Jon Leetz, executive vice president of North Coast Distributing, of which Five Star Distributing is a subsidiary.

For a facility with so much going on during their 24-hour a day, five day work week, Five Star Distributing was surprisingly quiet during Friday’s tour.

According to Leetz, that was because most of the company’s sales representatives were out in the field and their network of deliveries was well underway. In the main warehouse storage area, an area that is inventoried daily and houses approximately 200,000 cases of beer at any one time, was nearly silent --- save one worker quietly sweeping the aisles between mountainous pallets stacked high with cases of beer in every brand imaginable.

On June 27, 2005, North Coast Distributing bought out the former City Beverage company and it became Five Star Distributing. Originally located in Huntington, Five Star Distributing moved to Whitley County thanks to the efforts of the local Economic Development Corporation a year ago.

Five Star Distributing carries 100 brands of beer from 50 different suppliers, selling those beverages, in bottles, cans and kegs, to retailers. Leetz said they have approximately 280 off-premise customers and supply beverages to some 700 restaurants, bars, taverns and other facilities.

While many of the varieties they carry are domestic, well-known brands of beer, they also carry smaller, less well-known varieties as well, including a number of foreign brews. Their top sellers are Miller’s and Coors Light. The Miller’s brand alone can be purchased in about 17 different ways, Leetz said, when you consider the packaging and quantity.

Leetz said customer’s palates typically require different varieties of beer during summer and winter months. In the winter, he said, people enjoy dark, stout beer. In contrast, during the warmer days of summer, people like their beer sweeter and lighter.

According to Leetz, this year marks the 50th year since the invention of the aluminum can and 75 years since the end of Prohibition, both important dates for the beer industry.

While many think New Year’s Eve or St. Patrick’s Day might be the biggest beer consumption night, those at Five Star Distributing know the real answer: the night before Thanksgiving. We’ll let you determine why that might be!

In addition to sharing many excellent facts about beer and about their unique business operating here in Whitley County, Leetz also offered some helpful advice as well.

“Heat is an enemy of beer,” Leetz said. “If you keep beer cold and dark, you can keep it for a year – but left in a hot trunk, it will skunk in hours.”


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Five Star Distributing shares facts, facility with local business people

(Talk of the Town photos by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Local business representatives enjoyed lunch and a tour of Five Star Distributing on Friday. Above, on the tour, guests walk into the large warehouse area. Below, Five Star Distributing not only dispatches beer deliveries from their Columbia City location, but houses a working graphic arts office, making signs, t-shirts and other marketing materials. Art director Michael MacLeod, below in the graphic arts office, checks the status of a project.

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

It’s amazing that within the walls of a 95,000 square foot facility, with close to 100 employees busily at work, an estimated three million cases of beer are dispatched to an area covering roughly 5,000 square miles in a 12-county area surrounding Whitley County.

Local business representatives learned that and more Friday when they had the unique opportunity to tour the bustling Five Star Distributing facility in Park 30 just east of Columbia City.

Welcoming the group was Five Star Distribution president Stan Ziherl and Jon Leetz, executive vice president of North Coast Distributing, of which Five Star Distributing is a subsidiary.

For a facility with so much going on during their 24-hour a day, five day work week, Five Star Distributing was surprisingly quiet during Friday’s tour.

According to Leetz, that was because most of the company’s sales representatives were out in the field and their network of deliveries was well underway. In the main warehouse storage area, an area that is inventoried daily and houses approximately 200,000 cases of beer at any one time, was nearly silent --- save one worker quietly sweeping the aisles between mountainous pallets stacked high with cases of beer in every brand imaginable.

On June 27, 2005, North Coast Distributing bought out the former City Beverage company and it became Five Star Distributing. Originally located in Huntington, Five Star Distributing moved to Whitley County thanks to the efforts of the local Economic Development Corporation a year ago.

Five Star Distributing carries 100 brands of beer from 50 different suppliers, selling those beverages, in bottles, cans and kegs, to retailers. Leetz said they have approximately 280 off-premise customers and supply beverages to some 700 restaurants, bars, taverns and other facilities.

While many of the varieties they carry are domestic, well-known brands of beer, they also carry smaller, less well-known varieties as well, including a number of foreign brews. Their top sellers are Miller’s and Coors Light. The Miller’s brand alone can be purchased in about 17 different ways, Leetz said, when you consider the packaging and quantity.

Leetz said customer’s palates typically require different varieties of beer during summer and winter months. In the winter, he said, people enjoy dark, stout beer. In contrast, during the warmer days of summer, people like their beer sweeter and lighter.

According to Leetz, this year marks the 50th year since the invention of the aluminum can and 75 years since the end of Prohibition, both important dates for the beer industry.

While many think New Year’s Eve or St. Patrick’s Day might be the biggest beer consumption night, those at Five Star Distributing know the real answer: the night before Thanksgiving. We’ll let you determine why that might be!

In addition to sharing many excellent facts about beer and about their unique business operating here in Whitley County, Leetz also offered some helpful advice as well.

“Heat is an enemy of beer,” Leetz said. “If you keep beer cold and dark, you can keep it for a year – but left in a hot trunk, it will skunk in hours.”


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Snapshots as local businesses tour Five Star Distributing


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Snapshots as local businesses tour Five Star Distributing


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May 17, 2008

Etna United Methodist hosting tenderloin dinner

Etna United Methodist Church in Etna will be hosting an all-you-can-eat grilled and breaded tenderloin dinner today from noon-8 p.m. at the church.

It will include a full meal with drinks and desserts. Dinners are $7.50 for adults and $3 for children. Carryouts are available.


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Etna United Methodist hosting tenderloin dinner

Etna United Methodist Church in Etna will be hosting an all-you-can-eat grilled and breaded tenderloin dinner today from noon-8 p.m. at the church.

It will include a full meal with drinks and desserts. Dinners are $7.50 for adults and $3 for children. Carryouts are available.


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Shoot! You better not miss the Farmers Market!

Earl Herron

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Five-year-old Earl Herron demonstrates, with gusto, one of his handmade wooden rifles available for sale at the Columbia City Farmers Market last Saturday morning. Herron and his father, Jay, made several wooden toys for sale at the market this year. The Columbia City Farmers Market is open each Saturday morning, now through the end of October, from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. on the western edge of the Whitley County Courthouse lawn.


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Shoot! You better not miss the Farmers Market!

Earl Herron

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Five-year-old Earl Herron demonstrates, with gusto, one of his handmade wooden rifles available for sale at the Columbia City Farmers Market last Saturday morning. Herron and his father, Jay, made several wooden toys for sale at the market this year. The Columbia City Farmers Market is open each Saturday morning, now through the end of October, from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. on the western edge of the Whitley County Courthouse lawn.


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The story of a barn on Dowell Road

 

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Elmer Heinley's barn above has spent most of its lifetime painted white, but originally had been painted in a very patriotic way. 

 

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

Driving down our country roads, we pass by buildings not stopping to think about them or wonder about their history.

Recently, however, in passing an old barn owned by Elmer Heinley on Dowell Road, intrigue resulted in a photograph – and later a discussion about that old barn.

“I’ve been 91 years looking at that barn,” said 93-year-old Elmer Heinley recently as he gazed at the photograph of his old barn, sharing his memories of the building.

Heinley said the land the barn now sits on was purchased in the 1800s by a man named Lem Dorio from the US government during the administration of President Chester Arthur.

Dorio built the barn on the site in 1888, using white pine on the exterior. He created an impressive floor inside the barn using 40 foot long logs hand-hewn on two sides.

The exterior of the barn was originally very patriotic, according to Heinley. Dorio had served during the Civil War and painted his barn bright red with white trim and blue shutters to show his patriotism. Heinley believes it was whitewashed in 1915.

Dorio’s son married Heinley’s aunt, and his grandfather later bought the farm. Awhile later, the barn became Heinley’s own.

“I will have been there 70 years on June 25 of this year,” Heinley said.

Heinley remembers that in 1937, after three consecutive years of drought, he helped build the silo now standing next to the barn.


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The story of a barn on Dowell Road

 

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Elmer Heinley's barn above has spent most of its lifetime painted white, but originally had been painted in a very patriotic way. 

 

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

Driving down our country roads, we pass by buildings not stopping to think about them or wonder about their history.

Recently, however, in passing an old barn owned by Elmer Heinley on Dowell Road, intrigue resulted in a photograph – and later a discussion about that old barn.

“I’ve been 91 years looking at that barn,” said 93-year-old Elmer Heinley recently as he gazed at the photograph of his old barn, sharing his memories of the building.

Heinley said the land the barn now sits on was purchased in the 1800s by a man named Lem Dorio from the US government during the administration of President Chester Arthur.

Dorio built the barn on the site in 1888, using white pine on the exterior. He created an impressive floor inside the barn using 40 foot long logs hand-hewn on two sides.

The exterior of the barn was originally very patriotic, according to Heinley. Dorio had served during the Civil War and painted his barn bright red with white trim and blue shutters to show his patriotism. Heinley believes it was whitewashed in 1915.

Dorio’s son married Heinley’s aunt, and his grandfather later bought the farm. Awhile later, the barn became Heinley’s own.

“I will have been there 70 years on June 25 of this year,” Heinley said.

Heinley remembers that in 1937, after three consecutive years of drought, he helped build the silo now standing next to the barn.


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May 16, 2008

Local woodcraftsman wants it known his work is made right here at home

 

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) A bench marked "Not Made in China" catches the eyes of passersby along North Line Street. 

 

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

On a daily commute up and down the roadways in this community, there are certain things that always catch your eye.

Going down North Line Street, there are often brightly colored Adirondack chairs and benches in a yard for sale – capturing the eye and triggering thoughts of tall glasses of lemonade at the lakeside. Occasionally, there are new ones in new colors. The offerings change frequently, but the style still paints a relaxes mood in one's mind. Recently, however, the addition of a small sign added an even more patriotic contemplation to those thoughts.

A small, hand-lettered inscription reads “Not Made in China.” In a day and age where so much of what we have and use comes from foreign countries, it makes sense for local woodcraftsman Jonathan Schoeph to set his work apart since, after all, he makes his chairs one at a time here in Columbia City.

“He’s all about that,” said his daughter Kaley Schoeph Friday afternoon. “He likes to make it known it all him!”

“He’s an all-American guy,” she said of her father, a Columbia City resident.

While similar pieces of lawn furniture might be available elsewhere in the community, she’s eager to point out that her dad’s furniture is of better quality, better wood and will last much longer – and best of all, it’s locally made.

Schoeph said her dad has been making the chairs and benches she sells for him in her front yard for more than 10 years, getting quite a following. She said her dad enjoys getting to know his customers and sharing his work with them.

For more information, call 244-5948.


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Local woodcraftsman wants it known his work is made right here at home

 

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) A bench marked "Not Made in China" catches the eyes of passersby along North Line Street. 

 

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

On a daily commute up and down the roadways in this community, there are certain things that always catch your eye.

Going down North Line Street, there are often brightly colored Adirondack chairs and benches in a yard for sale – capturing the eye and triggering thoughts of tall glasses of lemonade at the lakeside. Occasionally, there are new ones in new colors. The offerings change frequently, but the style still paints a relaxes mood in one's mind. Recently, however, the addition of a small sign added an even more patriotic contemplation to those thoughts.

A small, hand-lettered inscription reads “Not Made in China.” In a day and age where so much of what we have and use comes from foreign countries, it makes sense for local woodcraftsman Jonathan Schoeph to set his work apart since, after all, he makes his chairs one at a time here in Columbia City.

“He’s all about that,” said his daughter Kaley Schoeph Friday afternoon. “He likes to make it known it all him!”

“He’s an all-American guy,” she said of her father, a Columbia City resident.

While similar pieces of lawn furniture might be available elsewhere in the community, she’s eager to point out that her dad’s furniture is of better quality, better wood and will last much longer – and best of all, it’s locally made.

Schoeph said her dad has been making the chairs and benches she sells for him in her front yard for more than 10 years, getting quite a following. She said her dad enjoys getting to know his customers and sharing his work with them.

For more information, call 244-5948.


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'YMCA Express' to offer quick fitness routine for tweens, busy adults

 

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) The Whitley County Family YMCA celebrated the grand opening of the new YMCA Express Thursday afternoon. Above, from left, is Steven Kuhn - sports and aquatics director, Amy Shaw - member services director, Erica Miller - executive director, Danielle Ziliak - health and wellness director and Don Greulich - maintenance director. Not present was Jacie Stahl - childcare director.  Below, members utilize the new equipment. Later this year, special classes will be created to allow 8-11 year-olds to use the machines.

 

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

Ensuring healthy opportunities for individuals of all ages is of the utmost importance to those at the Whitley County Family YMCA. Ample activities exist through their programming, yet the fitness center has remained a place reserved primarily for adults in the community.

The Dekko Foundation provided the YMCA with a grant for their greatest need.

With the rising epidemic of childhood obesity impacting children today, executive director Erica Miller and the board of the Whitley County YMCA felt it was crucial to begin offering services in the facility for children ages 8-11.

“We decided that youths age 8-11 were our greatest need,” Miller said. “We felt this was an area where we could make an impact while still offering something new to our current members.”

On Thursday afternoon, a project several months in the making, was officially unveiled though it won’t be completely available to their intended audience until early fall.

Called the YMCA Express, located in the corner of the existing fitness center is a room with soaring floor to ceiling windows that houses new express workout equipment designed to give a full workout in just 30 minutes.

“Time is a constraint for a lot of people,” said Miller, citing busy moms and seniors of all fitness levels who will be attracted to a quick, thorough workout.

“It’s nice because all of our members can use it,” Miller added. The equipment offers a variety of resistance-based, cardiovascular fitness equipment. A participant uses each of 13 stations for 45 seconds with a 15 second intervals to move between Life Fitness Series machines. Participants are encouraged to go through the circuit twice and to spend 5-10 minutes walking on the treadmill.

“We’ve had some great reviews on the access and ease of use for it so far,” Miller said.

For adults wanting to use the machines, Miller said YMCA wellness attendants will be glad to explain the machines and help first-timers get started on their road to physical fitness.

The intended audience, 8-11 year-olds, will have the opportunity to begin utilizing the equipment during supervised, structured classes in the fall.


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'YMCA Express' to offer quick fitness routine for tweens, busy adults

 

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) The Whitley County Family YMCA celebrated the grand opening of the new YMCA Express Thursday afternoon. Above, from left, is Steven Kuhn - sports and aquatics director, Amy Shaw - member services director, Erica Miller - executive director, Danielle Ziliak - health and wellness director and Don Greulich - maintenance director. Not present was Jacie Stahl - childcare director.  Below, members utilize the new equipment. Later this year, special classes will be created to allow 8-11 year-olds to use the machines.

 

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

Ensuring healthy opportunities for individuals of all ages is of the utmost importance to those at the Whitley County Family YMCA. Ample activities exist through their programming, yet the fitness center has remained a place reserved primarily for adults in the community.

The Dekko Foundation provided the YMCA with a grant for their greatest need.

With the rising epidemic of childhood obesity impacting children today, executive director Erica Miller and the board of the Whitley County YMCA felt it was crucial to begin offering services in the facility for children ages 8-11.

“We decided that youths age 8-11 were our greatest need,” Miller said. “We felt this was an area where we could make an impact while still offering something new to our current members.”

On Thursday afternoon, a project several months in the making, was officially unveiled though it won’t be completely available to their intended audience until early fall.

Called the YMCA Express, located in the corner of the existing fitness center is a room with soaring floor to ceiling windows that houses new express workout equipment designed to give a full workout in just 30 minutes.

“Time is a constraint for a lot of people,” said Miller, citing busy moms and seniors of all fitness levels who will be attracted to a quick, thorough workout.

“It’s nice because all of our members can use it,” Miller added. The equipment offers a variety of resistance-based, cardiovascular fitness equipment. A participant uses each of 13 stations for 45 seconds with a 15 second intervals to move between Life Fitness Series machines. Participants are encouraged to go through the circuit twice and to spend 5-10 minutes walking on the treadmill.

“We’ve had some great reviews on the access and ease of use for it so far,” Miller said.

For adults wanting to use the machines, Miller said YMCA wellness attendants will be glad to explain the machines and help first-timers get started on their road to physical fitness.

The intended audience, 8-11 year-olds, will have the opportunity to begin utilizing the equipment during supervised, structured classes in the fall.


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American Legion Ladies Auxiliary in Churubusco prepares for annual poppy sale today, tomorrow


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American Legion Ladies Auxiliary in Churubusco prepares for annual poppy sale today, tomorrow


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May 15, 2008

Parkview Whitley Hospital, American Red Cross uniting for 'All American Hero' blood drive May 29

Parkview Whitley Hospital and the American Red Cross invite you to become an All American Hero by donating blood on Thursday, May 29. All presenting donors will receive an umbrella. Please contact Tricia Hennessy at 248-9400 to schedule a blood donation appointment.
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Parkview Whitley Hospital, American Red Cross uniting for 'All American Hero' blood drive May 29

Parkview Whitley Hospital and the American Red Cross invite you to become an All American Hero by donating blood on Thursday, May 29. All presenting donors will receive an umbrella. Please contact Tricia Hennessy at 248-9400 to schedule a blood donation appointment.
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Toys for Tots hoping to 'make a splash' with mud dodgeball tournament on June 7

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) The Whitley County Fairgrounds’ demolition derby pit area will be the site of the “Showdown at the Fairgrounds” mud dodgeball event on June 7 in Columbia City. Proceeds will benefit Whitley County Toys for Tots.

 

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

Barry Yeakle says he’s hoping the upcoming mud volleyball tournament will make a big splash in Whitley County.

Truly, if the Columbia City Fire Department pours enough water on the dirt at the Whitley County 4-H Fairgrounds, the Toys for Tots event is sure to make more than a splash!

Slated for June 7, “Showdown at the Fairgrounds” is a first-time fundraiser by Toys for Tots pitting teams of eight against one another for the messiest version of dodge ball anyone has ever seen.

“Mud dodgeball is an invention all our own,” Yeakle said. Born of an idea for a new and different fundraiser, the committee planning the event is not only hoping for many teams to participate – but plenty of spectators as well.

The event will be held at the Whitley County 4-H Fairgrounds in the area typically used for the demolition derby. Yeakle says they’ll be bringing in seating so that watchers can have a seat close to the action, but far enough away they won’t be part of the muddy action.

“People have been excited about this from the very beginning,” Yeakle said. As of Wednesday, Yeakle already had 12 teams confirmed and hopes to add four more before the event.


 

Teams, consisting of eight members, will participate in a single elimination tournament which begins at 1 p.m. on June 7. Registration is $80 per team (just $10 per person). The guarantees – it will be interesting and there will be prizes.

There are plans to award a county champions trophy as well as awards for dirtiest team, cleanest team, most stylish uniform and something Yeakle calls “The Old Stick in the Muds.” What is that?

“I’m not really sure yet,” Yeakle said. “But, we’ll know it when we see it.”

Yeakle was pleased to learn this week that the Columbia City Fire Department will flood the mud pits for the dodgeball tournament. Additionally, he added he is very pleased with the support he’s received from Whitley County 4-H, Inc. “They’ve extended every courtesy to us,” Yeakle said, adding they will be assisting in grading and prepping the dodgeball court before the event.

Enthusiasm from those planning to attend or participate in the event is already spiking. “We are hoping this is an event we can repeat from year to year,” Yeakle said.

Yeakle said he’s already talked with several families who plan to use the event in an interesting way – by hosting their graduation parties there.

Admission to the event is $1 per person and children may attend for free. All proceeds will support Whitley County’s Toys for Tots.

 

Title sponsor of the event is Whitley Chiropractic and Wellness. Other sponsors include Metropolitan Title Company, Midwest America Federal Credit Union, Pizza Hut, Becky Curless – State Farm Insurance, DQ Grill & Chill, RWG Mortgage and Joyce Linder – Coldwell Banker RWG.

To register for one of just four remaining team spots, contact Barry Yeakle at 691-2923.
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Toys for Tots hoping to 'make a splash' with mud dodgeball tournament on June 7

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) The Whitley County Fairgrounds’ demolition derby pit area will be the site of the “Showdown at the Fairgrounds” mud dodgeball event on June 7 in Columbia City. Proceeds will benefit Whitley County Toys for Tots.

 

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

Barry Yeakle says he’s hoping the upcoming mud volleyball tournament will make a big splash in Whitley County.

Truly, if the Columbia City Fire Department pours enough water on the dirt at the Whitley County 4-H Fairgrounds, the Toys for Tots event is sure to make more than a splash!

Slated for June 7, “Showdown at the Fairgrounds” is a first-time fundraiser by Toys for Tots pitting teams of eight against one another for the messiest version of dodge ball anyone has ever seen.

“Mud dodgeball is an invention all our own,” Yeakle said. Born of an idea for a new and different fundraiser, the committee planning the event is not only hoping for many teams to participate – but plenty of spectators as well.

The event will be held at the Whitley County 4-H Fairgrounds in the area typically used for the demolition derby. Yeakle says they’ll be bringing in seating so that watchers can have a seat close to the action, but far enough away they won’t be part of the muddy action.

“People have been excited about this from the very beginning,” Yeakle said. As of Wednesday, Yeakle already had 12 teams confirmed and hopes to add four more before the event.


 

Teams, consisting of eight members, will participate in a single elimination tournament which begins at 1 p.m. on June 7. Registration is $80 per team (just $10 per person). The guarantees – it will be interesting and there will be prizes.

There are plans to award a county champions trophy as well as awards for dirtiest team, cleanest team, most stylish uniform and something Yeakle calls “The Old Stick in the Muds.” What is that?

“I’m not really sure yet,” Yeakle said. “But, we’ll know it when we see it.”

Yeakle was pleased to learn this week that the Columbia City Fire Department will flood the mud pits for the dodgeball tournament. Additionally, he added he is very pleased with the support he’s received from Whitley County 4-H, Inc. “They’ve extended every courtesy to us,” Yeakle said, adding they will be assisting in grading and prepping the dodgeball court before the event.

Enthusiasm from those planning to attend or participate in the event is already spiking. “We are hoping this is an event we can repeat from year to year,” Yeakle said.

Yeakle said he’s already talked with several families who plan to use the event in an interesting way – by hosting their graduation parties there.

Admission to the event is $1 per person and children may attend for free. All proceeds will support Whitley County’s Toys for Tots.

 

Title sponsor of the event is Whitley Chiropractic and Wellness. Other sponsors include Metropolitan Title Company, Midwest America Federal Credit Union, Pizza Hut, Becky Curless – State Farm Insurance, DQ Grill & Chill, RWG Mortgage and Joyce Linder – Coldwell Banker RWG.

To register for one of just four remaining team spots, contact Barry Yeakle at 691-2923.
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Columbia City Rotarians support Whitley County K-9 program

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Members of the Columbia City Rotary shared their support of the Whitley County Sheriff's Department's K-9 program on Tuesday with a financial contribution. Above, Rotary president Renel Alarie presents a check for $217.94 to Sheriff Mark Hodges following Tuesday's Rotary meeting at Parkview Whitley Hospital.


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Columbia City Rotarians support Whitley County K-9 program

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Members of the Columbia City Rotary shared their support of the Whitley County Sheriff's Department's K-9 program on Tuesday with a financial contribution. Above, Rotary president Renel Alarie presents a check for $217.94 to Sheriff Mark Hodges following Tuesday's Rotary meeting at Parkview Whitley Hospital.


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Trimming the Trees

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Since it's now May, there's a different kind of tree trimming going on in Columbia City this morning. Traffic is confined to one lane on West Lincolnway near the Whitley County 4-H Fairgrounds due to crews trimming branches away from exposed lines along the roadway. Above, a worker trims branches in the 700 block of West Lincolnway. Be careful if you need to travel this way early today.


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Trimming the Trees

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Since it's now May, there's a different kind of tree trimming going on in Columbia City this morning. Traffic is confined to one lane on West Lincolnway near the Whitley County 4-H Fairgrounds due to crews trimming branches away from exposed lines along the roadway. Above, a worker trims branches in the 700 block of West Lincolnway. Be careful if you need to travel this way early today.


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May 14, 2008

We're curious...

How have the rising gas prices impacted your family and your lifestyle? Send us an e-mail at jennifer@talkofthetownwc.com

 


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We're curious...

How have the rising gas prices impacted your family and your lifestyle? Send us an e-mail at jennifer@talkofthetownwc.com

 


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Salvation Army of Whitley County ceremoniously opens doors to new home Tuesday and thanks volunteers

 

 

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) The ceremonial red ribbon flies through the air as a group gathered to celebrate the new home of the Salvation Army of Whitley County – now housed in an office on the lower level of First Presbyterian Church on Chauncey and Jackson Streets near downtown Columbia City. Above, center, Mayor Jim Fleck cuts the ribbon while Salvation Army executive director Pat Mossburg stands just left of him, wearing green. They are surrounded by community volunteers and representatives of several non-profit organizations.

 

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

The Salvation Army of Whitley County officially celebrated the grand opening of their new home in the lower level First Presbyterian Church – and thanked scores of volunteers for their various roles in supporting the organization during the past year.

Called Dedication & Donuts, the gathering wasn’t held in the morning – the typical time for donut consumption – but later in the afternoon. The event did, however, uphold a longstanding Salvation Army tradition of serving donuts to those who’ve had stake in the organization’s success.

“It is a World War I-era tradition of the Salvation Army that began in 1917,” said Salvation Army executive director Pat Mossburg Tuesday afternoon. While the dedication was a one time event, the donut reception is expected to become an annual tradition.

“The donut part is something I’ll continue as a thank you, as a way of showing our appreciation to those who’ve helped the Salvation Army,” Mossburg said, adding that it was fitting to hold the event this week: National Salvation Army Week.

“We’ve had a great turnout today,” said Mossburg as she looked around the room at the many faces who’ve helped the organization in big ways and small ways this year.

“Most everyone who has walked through these doors has had something to do with our Salvation Army, helping with bell-ringing, making donations, the Kiwanis, Toys for Tots and many others,” she said.


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Salvation Army of Whitley County ceremoniously opens doors to new home Tuesday and thanks volunteers

 

 

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) The ceremonial red ribbon flies through the air as a group gathered to celebrate the new home of the Salvation Army of Whitley County – now housed in an office on the lower level of First Presbyterian Church on Chauncey and Jackson Streets near downtown Columbia City. Above, center, Mayor Jim Fleck cuts the ribbon while Salvation Army executive director Pat Mossburg stands just left of him, wearing green. They are surrounded by community volunteers and representatives of several non-profit organizations.

 

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

The Salvation Army of Whitley County officially celebrated the grand opening of their new home in the lower level First Presbyterian Church – and thanked scores of volunteers for their various roles in supporting the organization during the past year.

Called Dedication & Donuts, the gathering wasn’t held in the morning – the typical time for donut consumption – but later in the afternoon. The event did, however, uphold a longstanding Salvation Army tradition of serving donuts to those who’ve had stake in the organization’s success.

“It is a World War I-era tradition of the Salvation Army that began in 1917,” said Salvation Army executive director Pat Mossburg Tuesday afternoon. While the dedication was a one time event, the donut reception is expected to become an annual tradition.

“The donut part is something I’ll continue as a thank you, as a way of showing our appreciation to those who’ve helped the Salvation Army,” Mossburg said, adding that it was fitting to hold the event this week: National Salvation Army Week.

“We’ve had a great turnout today,” said Mossburg as she looked around the room at the many faces who’ve helped the organization in big ways and small ways this year.

“Most everyone who has walked through these doors has had something to do with our Salvation Army, helping with bell-ringing, making donations, the Kiwanis, Toys for Tots and many others,” she said.


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Snapshots from the Salvation Army's Dedication & Donuts Tuesday afternoon


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Snapshots from the Salvation Army's Dedication & Donuts Tuesday afternoon


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Young 4-H'ers support livestock building fund with gifts totaling $800 Tuesday night

(Talk of the Town photos by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Above, the Whitley County 4-H Bike Club helped the livestock building fund along Tuesday evening with a donation of $300. Above, from left, is Tim Yagel of the building fund committee, bike club members Brandy Kyler and Holly Kyler, and bike club leader Eric Blank. Below, on behalf of the Junior Leaders, Holly Kyler and Brandy Kyler present at check for $500 to Tim Yagel.

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

The Whitley County 4-H Livestock Building fundraising effort is several hundred dollars further along with the Tuesday night donations brought forth by two groups of young 4-H’ers.

The 4-H Bike Club donated $300 from proceeds raised from working in the concession stand during the Spring King Antique Tractor Auction event. Bike Club leader Eric Blank was present for the check presentation.

The 4-H Junior Leaders presented a check for $500 on behalf of their club.

Fundraising efforts continue in hopes that a barn can be built on the Whitley County 4-H Fairgrounds property – providing a permanent structure for livestock. Currently, a tent is put up each year to house animals that do not fit in the barns.

Donations in any amount will be greatly appreciated and can be sent to: Tim Yagel, 4-H Inc., 115 South Line Street, Columbia City, IN 46725.

For additional information, contact Tim Yagel at 609-1362, Bill Leeuw at 248-6499 or Dan Miller at 413-4524.


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Young 4-H'ers support livestock building fund with gifts totaling $800 Tuesday night

(Talk of the Town photos by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Above, the Whitley County 4-H Bike Club helped the livestock building fund along Tuesday evening with a donation of $300. Above, from left, is Tim Yagel of the building fund committee, bike club members Brandy Kyler and Holly Kyler, and bike club leader Eric Blank. Below, on behalf of the Junior Leaders, Holly Kyler and Brandy Kyler present at check for $500 to Tim Yagel.

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

The Whitley County 4-H Livestock Building fundraising effort is several hundred dollars further along with the Tuesday night donations brought forth by two groups of young 4-H’ers.

The 4-H Bike Club donated $300 from proceeds raised from working in the concession stand during the Spring King Antique Tractor Auction event. Bike Club leader Eric Blank was present for the check presentation.

The 4-H Junior Leaders presented a check for $500 on behalf of their club.

Fundraising efforts continue in hopes that a barn can be built on the Whitley County 4-H Fairgrounds property – providing a permanent structure for livestock. Currently, a tent is put up each year to house animals that do not fit in the barns.

Donations in any amount will be greatly appreciated and can be sent to: Tim Yagel, 4-H Inc., 115 South Line Street, Columbia City, IN 46725.

For additional information, contact Tim Yagel at 609-1362, Bill Leeuw at 248-6499 or Dan Miller at 413-4524.


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May 13, 2008

"Love Wins" team adds two new collection sites for B.A.B.E. program

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) With 'Love Wins' signs visible around Whitley County, shown early this spring, below, members of Columbia City United Methodist are taking action in the community with various projects. One team recently developed two new collection sites for the B.A.B.E. program. 

By Roger Metzger

Collection centers now are available in three Whitley County communities in support of the B.A.B.E. (Beds and Britches, Etc.) Program serving young families of the area.

Two new locations for collection boxes are the Churubusco Child Care Center and the South Whitley Public Library. Columbia City collection points are the United Methodist Church (upstairs foyer and lower-level narthex), at The Peabody Library and at the B.A.B.E. store, 103 North Chauncey Street.

 

Two of the new collection points, arranged through support of a “Love Wins” team at the Columbia City United Methodist Church , are meant to help address needs in those communities. Last year, B.A.B.E. served 242 clients from Churubusco and 281 from South Whitley – part of the 3,389 clients assisted in 2007.

“Beds & Britches, Etc. / B.A.B.E. is very excited to have so many people, churches, organizations and businesses willing to support this worthwhile program that is reaching the families within Whitley County,” says Shawn Ellis, program director.

“With gas prices at an all-time high, and food prices continuing to rise, families are in more need today then ever before.  B.A.B.E. has noticed an increase in the number of diapers we’re distributing, not to mention the numerous other items that we provide, and sometimes, it feels as if we can’t keep up with the demands of the littlest members of our community.”

B.A.B.E. provides incentives for pregnant women to follow through with important prenatal care and preventative services for their infants and children by encouraging a healthier lifestyle.

Specific program goals are to:

-- decrease incidence of low birth-weight babies in Whitley County ,

-- increase awareness of the need for early and ongoing prenatal care, childhood immunizations and well-child physical examinations,

-- promote use and compliance with various family health services in the county and,

-- increase self-esteem and self-sufficiency through a coupon-earning system.

Young parents collect coupons to bring to the B.A.B.E. Store by taking their young child or baby to get its needed physical care.  If their child goes to its own doctor for a checkup, the mother can ask for a coupon to bring to the store.  If that child is taken for its immunization vaccines, a coupon is given, and the same occurs with visits to the WIC Program for food and good prenatal, postnatal and baby care. 

Many other care programs visited by parents and a baby make that parent eligible for coupons.     

The coupons can be spent one by one at the store or they can be accumulated to buy something larger than clothing, diapers or sippy-cups.  By giving advance notice, those coupons could buy a baby bed, a stroller, a highchair, etc.  It just depends how the parent wants to spend the coupons or what is needed in the home for children or baby.  All these items are new.

“B.A.B.E. has been there for families of single parents, teen parents, stay-at-home moms and other families who desire to care for themselves and their little ones,” notes Ellis.

“Too many times we take for granted that families are making it just fine, when in fact they’re struggling to make it day in and day out.  Please take the time to stop at your local store and purchase some diapers, wipes, pull-ups, bottles, onesies, socks, underwear, bibs, or any other kind of infant/toddler item that you know a parent would need to help in the growth of their child.  Then, after you’ve purchased your item, please take it to the nearest drop-off point.  It’s the goal to collect as much as possible so that B.A.B.E. can continue to serve the youngest generation.”

Ellis says she loves the word generation because it represents age, years, knowledge, accomplishments and many other things. 

“Most importantly, the young generation is meant to learn from the older generation, and the older generation is meant to teach and love the younger generation.  The Love Wins B.A.B.E. Group from the Columbia City United Methodist Church is a generation that is in full support of B.A.B.E. and the littlest members of our community and has taken on a project that is sure to reach many women, families and little ones in the community,” adds Ellis. 

“With their love and support, they have set-up these new drop-off points for donations of infant and toddler items.   Whether you’re among the young or older generation, you will have an easier opportunity to give to a program that serves so many.”

The B.A.B.E. incentive program also is available in many other communities in Indiana to help infants and children have a healthier life. Various institutions have helped with operation start-ups, then grants and community contributions have helped fund the program.

In Columbia City, store hours are Wednesday from 2 to 6 p.m. and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For more information, call the B.A.B.E. Store at 244-2820 or the Columbia City United Methodist Church at 244-7671, extension 239.


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"Love Wins" team adds two new collection sites for B.A.B.E. program

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) With 'Love Wins' signs visible around Whitley County, shown early this spring, below, members of Columbia City United Methodist are taking action in the community with various projects. One team recently developed two new collection sites for the B.A.B.E. program. 

By Roger Metzger

Collection centers now are available in three Whitley County communities in support of the B.A.B.E. (Beds and Britches, Etc.) Program serving young families of the area.

Two new locations for collection boxes are the Churubusco Child Care Center and the South Whitley Public Library. Columbia City collection points are the United Methodist Church (upstairs foyer and lower-level narthex), at The Peabody Library and at the B.A.B.E. store, 103 North Chauncey Street.

 

Two of the new collection points, arranged through support of a “Love Wins” team at the Columbia City United Methodist Church , are meant to help address needs in those communities. Last year, B.A.B.E. served 242 clients from Churubusco and 281 from South Whitley – part of the 3,389 clients assisted in 2007.

“Beds & Britches, Etc. / B.A.B.E. is very excited to have so many people, churches, organizations and businesses willing to support this worthwhile program that is reaching the families within Whitley County,” says Shawn Ellis, program director.

“With gas prices at an all-time high, and food prices continuing to rise, families are in more need today then ever before.  B.A.B.E. has noticed an increase in the number of diapers we’re distributing, not to mention the numerous other items that we provide, and sometimes, it feels as if we can’t keep up with the demands of the littlest members of our community.”

B.A.B.E. provides incentives for pregnant women to follow through with important prenatal care and preventative services for their infants and children by encouraging a healthier lifestyle.

Specific program goals are to:

-- decrease incidence of low birth-weight babies in Whitley County ,

-- increase awareness of the need for early and ongoing prenatal care, childhood immunizations and well-child physical examinations,

-- promote use and compliance with various family health services in the county and,

-- increase self-esteem and self-sufficiency through a coupon-earning system.

Young parents collect coupons to bring to the B.A.B.E. Store by taking their young child or baby to get its needed physical care.  If their child goes to its own doctor for a checkup, the mother can ask for a coupon to bring to the store.  If that child is taken for its immunization vaccines, a coupon is given, and the same occurs with visits to the WIC Program for food and good prenatal, postnatal and baby care. 

Many other care programs visited by parents and a baby make that parent eligible for coupons.     

The coupons can be spent one by one at the store or they can be accumulated to buy something larger than clothing, diapers or sippy-cups.  By giving advance notice, those coupons could buy a baby bed, a stroller, a highchair, etc.  It just depends how the parent wants to spend the coupons or what is needed in the home for children or baby.  All these items are new.

“B.A.B.E. has been there for families of single parents, teen parents, stay-at-home moms and other families who desire to care for themselves and their little ones,” notes Ellis.

“Too many times we take for granted that families are making it just fine, when in fact they’re struggling to make it day in and day out.  Please take the time to stop at your local store and purchase some diapers, wipes, pull-ups, bottles, onesies, socks, underwear, bibs, or any other kind of infant/toddler item that you know a parent would need to help in the growth of their child.  Then, after you’ve purchased your item, please take it to the nearest drop-off point.  It’s the goal to collect as much as possible so that B.A.B.E. can continue to serve the youngest generation.”

Ellis says she loves the word generation because it represents age, years, knowledge, accomplishments and many other things. 

“Most importantly, the young generation is meant to learn from the older generation, and the older generation is meant to teach and love the younger generation.  The Love Wins B.A.B.E. Group from the Columbia City United Methodist Church is a generation that is in full support of B.A.B.E. and the littlest members of our community and has taken on a project that is sure to reach many women, families and little ones in the community,” adds Ellis. 

“With their love and support, they have set-up these new drop-off points for donations of infant and toddler items.   Whether you’re among the young or older generation, you will have an easier opportunity to give to a program that serves so many.”

The B.A.B.E. incentive program also is available in many other communities in Indiana to help infants and children have a healthier life. Various institutions have helped with operation start-ups, then grants and community contributions have helped fund the program.

In Columbia City, store hours are Wednesday from 2 to 6 p.m. and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For more information, call the B.A.B.E. Store at 244-2820 or the Columbia City United Methodist Church at 244-7671, extension 239.


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Parkview facilities, physicians in Whitley County recognized for excellence in healthcare

By Tricia Hennessy

 

Two Parkview Health facilities and several physicians in Whitley County were recently recognized with 2008 Professional Research Consultants (PRC) Excellence in Healthcare Awards. The awards are based on patients’ perception of care and were presented at the PRC Client Education Conference in Baltimore, Maryland.

“We are pleased that Parkview has been recognized as a leader in providing great patient care,” said Mike Packnett, President and CEO, Parkview Health. “Our physicians and staff work hard each day to ensure that patients and their families are receiving the best care possible. These awards complement our mission to improve the health of our communities and vision to be northeast Indiana’s leading provider of healthcare services.”

2008 Excellence in Healthcare/Patient Perception Awards for Parkview Medical Group

5-Star Award

*Mark Burkett, D.O. – Columbia City, Oak St.

*Parkview Whitley OB-GYN

4-Star Award

*James F. Hanus, D.O. – South Whitley Clinic

*Brian Haley, M.D. – Parkview Whitley OB-GYN

*Darcy Hoopingarner, N.P. – Columbia City, Branch Court

*South Whitley Clinic

Five-star award winners scored in the top 10% in the PRC national client database for 2007. The award is based on the percentage of patients that said their overall quality of care was excellent. Four-star award winners scored in the top 25%. The data was collected through phone interviews conducted by PRC, which is a nationally-known healthcare marketing research company headquartered in Omaha, Neb.

“Outstanding patient care is being provided in Whitley County thanks in part to our award winners,” said John Meister, Chief Operating Officer, Parkview Whitley Hospital. “This is great recognition for Parkview and the Whitley County community.”


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Parkview facilities, physicians in Whitley County recognized for excellence in healthcare

By Tricia Hennessy

 

Two Parkview Health facilities and several physicians in Whitley County were recently recognized with 2008 Professional Research Consultants (PRC) Excellence in Healthcare Awards. The awards are based on patients’ perception of care and were presented at the PRC Client Education Conference in Baltimore, Maryland.

“We are pleased that Parkview has been recognized as a leader in providing great patient care,” said Mike Packnett, President and CEO, Parkview Health. “Our physicians and staff work hard each day to ensure that patients and their families are receiving the best care possible. These awards complement our mission to improve the health of our communities and vision to be northeast Indiana’s leading provider of healthcare services.”

2008 Excellence in Healthcare/Patient Perception Awards for Parkview Medical Group

5-Star Award

*Mark Burkett, D.O. – Columbia City, Oak St.

*Parkview Whitley OB-GYN

4-Star Award

*James F. Hanus, D.O. – South Whitley Clinic

*Brian Haley, M.D. – Parkview Whitley OB-GYN

*Darcy Hoopingarner, N.P. – Columbia City, Branch Court

*South Whitley Clinic

Five-star award winners scored in the top 10% in the PRC national client database for 2007. The award is based on the percentage of patients that said their overall quality of care was excellent. Four-star award winners scored in the top 25%. The data was collected through phone interviews conducted by PRC, which is a nationally-known healthcare marketing research company headquartered in Omaha, Neb.

“Outstanding patient care is being provided in Whitley County thanks in part to our award winners,” said John Meister, Chief Operating Officer, Parkview Whitley Hospital. “This is great recognition for Parkview and the Whitley County community.”


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May 12, 2008

Leadership Whitley County supports women's health initiative through Parkview Whitley Hospital

(Talk of the Town photos by Dillon Sheiss) Parkview Whitley Hospital chief operations officer John Meister, left, receives a donation from Kelley Sheiss of Leadership Whitley County to assist with costs of a women’s health assessment offered during the recent Heartbeats Festival. Below, Sheiss submits to the needle, wincing as she participates in the women’s health assessment test.

 

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

We probably all know of someone we love who tragically left our lives because of a heart attack. There might have been warning signs – seen and unseen – that might have prevented that from happening.

While we cannot save those we’ve lost, we can help women in the future in Whitley County.

For this reason, Leadership Whitley County and Parkview Whitley Hospital recently teamed up for Rhapsody in Red, a dinner dance for women’s heart health in Whitley County. Proceeds from the event were donated to Parkview Whitley Hospital to underwrite some of the costs associated with a special wellness test for women covering critical areas of heart health. The test was offered to Heartbeats Festival attendees on May 3 for $30 per person.

Kelley Sheiss, director of Leadership Whitley County, presented a check to Parkview Health chief operations officer John Meister on May 3 to defray some costs of providing the test.

Sheiss, who lost her mother to a fatal heart attack several years ago, took part in the health assessment personally – hoping to show by example that local women of all ages need to be concerned with their heart health.


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Leadership Whitley County supports women's health initiative through Parkview Whitley Hospital

(Talk of the Town photos by Dillon Sheiss) Parkview Whitley Hospital chief operations officer John Meister, left, receives a donation from Kelley Sheiss of Leadership Whitley County to assist with costs of a women’s health assessment offered during the recent Heartbeats Festival. Below, Sheiss submits to the needle, wincing as she participates in the women’s health assessment test.

 

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

We probably all know of someone we love who tragically left our lives because of a heart attack. There might have been warning signs – seen and unseen – that might have prevented that from happening.

While we cannot save those we’ve lost, we can help women in the future in Whitley County.

For this reason, Leadership Whitley County and Parkview Whitley Hospital recently teamed up for Rhapsody in Red, a dinner dance for women’s heart health in Whitley County. Proceeds from the event were donated to Parkview Whitley Hospital to underwrite some of the costs associated with a special wellness test for women covering critical areas of heart health. The test was offered to Heartbeats Festival attendees on May 3 for $30 per person.

Kelley Sheiss, director of Leadership Whitley County, presented a check to Parkview Health chief operations officer John Meister on May 3 to defray some costs of providing the test.

Sheiss, who lost her mother to a fatal heart attack several years ago, took part in the health assessment personally – hoping to show by example that local women of all ages need to be concerned with their heart health.


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Parkview Whitley Hospital educates community on health issues with Heartbeats Festival held May 3


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Parkview Whitley Hospital educates community on health issues with Heartbeats Festival held May 3


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Leadership Whitley County offering time management course open to the community on May 22

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

Every small business owner, supervisor and employee is looking for a way to get the most out of their day, but without adequate time management skills, you’re spinning in circles.

On Thursday, May 22, Leadership Whitley County will be presenting a special seminar for the community entitled Time Strategies from 9-11 a.m. at Parkview Whitley Hospital.

Facilitator Tim Hartigan of Wells Business Development will present an informative and interactive session on time management. His program will include tools, techniques and breakout activities for participants – helping them to enhance and refine their time management skills.

“This is a great opportunity to attend an affordable, locally-based program on a valuable topic,” said Leadership Whitley County director Kelley Sheiss, who has been coordinating the event.

The cost to attend the event is $5 for Leadership Whitley County alumni and $10 for general registration. Pre-registration is requested by Friday, May 16.

For more information, contact Kelley Sheiss at 799-4045 or via e-mail at 3dsheiss@whitleynet.org.


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Leadership Whitley County offering time management course open to the community on May 22

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

Every small business owner, supervisor and employee is looking for a way to get the most out of their day, but without adequate time management skills, you’re spinning in circles.

On Thursday, May 22, Leadership Whitley County will be presenting a special seminar for the community entitled Time Strategies from 9-11 a.m. at Parkview Whitley Hospital.

Facilitator Tim Hartigan of Wells Business Development will present an informative and interactive session on time management. His program will include tools, techniques and breakout activities for participants – helping them to enhance and refine their time management skills.

“This is a great opportunity to attend an affordable, locally-based program on a valuable topic,” said Leadership Whitley County director Kelley Sheiss, who has been coordinating the event.

The cost to attend the event is $5 for Leadership Whitley County alumni and $10 for general registration. Pre-registration is requested by Friday, May 16.

For more information, contact Kelley Sheiss at 799-4045 or via e-mail at 3dsheiss@whitleynet.org.


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Plans underway for 2009 Whitley County's Junior Miss, event slated for October 11 at CCHS

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Emily Berning, shown below with her parents, was selected at Whitley County's 2008 Junior Miss, below. Plans for the 2009 event are now underway. 

 

By Pamela Thompson

 

Contestant recruitment for the 44th annual Whitley County's Junior Miss program has begun. The event will be held on October 11 at 7 p.m. at Columbia City High School and recruitment efforts have begun to seek contestants for this year's event.

Informational meetings about the Junior Miss program are scheduled for Wednesday, May 21, 7 p.m. at the Churubusco Public Library, Thursday, May 29, at the South Whitley Public Library and Tuesday, June 3 at the Peabody Public Library, Columbia City.

Each meeting will be one hour in length with Anne Rentschler and Pamela Thompson, co-coordinators of the Whitley County Junior Miss (WCJM) program providing information. Potential contestants from the communities should attend an informational session, which fits their schedule. If a potential contestant has a conflict with the scheduled informational meetings she should call 244-7467. Orientation meetings for the local program will be scheduled during the last week of July.

Whitley County Junior Miss, a franchisee holder with Indiana's Junior Miss and America's Junior Miss program, welcomes high school senior girls from the county's three high schools as well as home schooled high school senior girls to participate. Senior girls who attend a Whitley County high school, but are residents of a township outside of Whitley County may also enter the competition.

Potential contestants are encouraged to register on line by typing in either
America's Junior Miss or "http://ajm.org/" in "search." On the Junior Miss web site click on "Join us." The contestant will be asked to login in and should use her
personal email address. Click on "forgot password" and a password (from
America's Junior Miss) will be received by the contestant with in a day or two. The contestant is then asked to complete the "Contestant Application" and then click on "Submit Application." The staff of America's Junior Miss will notify the local co-coordinator, Anne Rentschler, of the interest for participation in the local Junior Miss program.

The Board of Directors of WCJM awards cash scholarships to category winners, the second and first runners-ups and Whitley County’s Junior Miss.

Prizes totaling $2,600 were awarded to the winners in the Oct. 6, 2007, program. Emily Berning, a senior at Columbia City High School, was named the winner of Whitley County Junior Miss and received a $700 cash scholarship. Berning will attend Hillsdale College in Michigan in the fall.


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Plans underway for 2009 Whitley County's Junior Miss, event slated for October 11 at CCHS

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Emily Berning, shown below with her parents, was selected at Whitley County's 2008 Junior Miss, below. Plans for the 2009 event are now underway. 

 

By Pamela Thompson

 

Contestant recruitment for the 44th annual Whitley County's Junior Miss program has begun. The event will be held on October 11 at 7 p.m. at Columbia City High School and recruitment efforts have begun to seek contestants for this year's event.

Informational meetings about the Junior Miss program are scheduled for Wednesday, May 21, 7 p.m. at the Churubusco Public Library, Thursday, May 29, at the South Whitley Public Library and Tuesday, June 3 at the Peabody Public Library, Columbia City.

Each meeting will be one hour in length with Anne Rentschler and Pamela Thompson, co-coordinators of the Whitley County Junior Miss (WCJM) program providing information. Potential contestants from the communities should attend an informational session, which fits their schedule. If a potential contestant has a conflict with the scheduled informational meetings she should call 244-7467. Orientation meetings for the local program will be scheduled during the last week of July.

Whitley County Junior Miss, a franchisee holder with Indiana's Junior Miss and America's Junior Miss program, welcomes high school senior girls from the county's three high schools as well as home schooled high school senior girls to participate. Senior girls who attend a Whitley County high school, but are residents of a township outside of Whitley County may also enter the competition.

Potential contestants are encouraged to register on line by typing in either
America's Junior Miss or "http://ajm.org/" in "search." On the Junior Miss web site click on "Join us." The contestant will be asked to login in and should use her
personal email address. Click on "forgot password" and a password (from
America's Junior Miss) will be received by the contestant with in a day or two. The contestant is then asked to complete the "Contestant Application" and then click on "Submit Application." The staff of America's Junior Miss will notify the local co-coordinator, Anne Rentschler, of the interest for participation in the local Junior Miss program.

The Board of Directors of WCJM awards cash scholarships to category winners, the second and first runners-ups and Whitley County’s Junior Miss.

Prizes totaling $2,600 were awarded to the winners in the Oct. 6, 2007, program. Emily Berning, a senior at Columbia City High School, was named the winner of Whitley County Junior Miss and received a $700 cash scholarship. Berning will attend Hillsdale College in Michigan in the fall.


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May 11, 2008

Families' prayers answered: Seven Whitley County soldiers return home

(Talk of the Town photos by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Hands clasped in prayer and heads bowed, soldiers of the Army’s 384th Military Police prayed together – sharing thanks for their safe return and honoring those who did not make it home during a ceremony held in their honor Friday evening as they returned to Indiana. Below, carrying all of their belongings from a 15-month tour of duty in Iraq, three soldiers prepare to part ways on home soil.

 

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

Pouring rain and cheeks wet with joyful tears welcomed soldiers of the Army’s 384th Military Police to a pavilion festooned with flags and bunting as they returned to Indiana Friday evening – including six native sons and a daughter who’ve come home to Whitley County.

Sergeants Tom Hamman, Dian Hager and Wesley Smith as well as Specialists Gabe Gordon, Kory Duncan, Brandon Kuhn and Dustin Auer, all of Whitley County, were among the scores of soldiers who returned from an 15-month tour of duty in Iraq.

The celebration of their return home was held Friday night at the Allen County Fairgrounds on Carroll Road in Fort Wayne. The soldiers were greeted by loved ones, friends and members of the community – showing their pride, an outpouring of support and joy at the soldiers’ return.

Local government representatives, including State Representative Matt Bell who serves a portion of Whitley County, were on hand to welcome the soldiers home and thank them for their duty to their country. Bell personally welcomed the Whitley County soldiers back to the community and spoke briefly with many of their families.


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Families' prayers answered: Seven Whitley County soldiers return home

(Talk of the Town photos by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Hands clasped in prayer and heads bowed, soldiers of the Army’s 384th Military Police prayed together – sharing thanks for their safe return and honoring those who did not make it home during a ceremony held in their honor Friday evening as they returned to Indiana. Below, carrying all of their belongings from a 15-month tour of duty in Iraq, three soldiers prepare to part ways on home soil.

 

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

Pouring rain and cheeks wet with joyful tears welcomed soldiers of the Army’s 384th Military Police to a pavilion festooned with flags and bunting as they returned to Indiana Friday evening – including six native sons and a daughter who’ve come home to Whitley County.

Sergeants Tom Hamman, Dian Hager and Wesley Smith as well as Specialists Gabe Gordon, Kory Duncan, Brandon Kuhn and Dustin Auer, all of Whitley County, were among the scores of soldiers who returned from an 15-month tour of duty in Iraq.

The celebration of their return home was held Friday night at the Allen County Fairgrounds on Carroll Road in Fort Wayne. The soldiers were greeted by loved ones, friends and members of the community – showing their pride, an outpouring of support and joy at the soldiers’ return.

Local government representatives, including State Representative Matt Bell who serves a portion of Whitley County, were on hand to welcome the soldiers home and thank them for their duty to their country. Bell personally welcomed the Whitley County soldiers back to the community and spoke briefly with many of their families.


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Snapshots: Tears of joy for local soldiers



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Snapshots: Tears of joy for local soldiers



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May 10, 2008

Camp Whitley preparing for Tinkham's 5K, breakfast fundraisers next Saturday

Mason and Dalton VanHouten

(Photos contributed) Mason and Dalton VanHouten, above, give it their best as they participated in the first annual Tinkham's 5K at Camp Whitley last year. Below, Ashley Cearbaugh is triumphant in completing the run. Volunteers are busy planning the details of the 5K run and a fundraising breakfast at Camp Whitley next Saturday, May 17. 

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

Eager to learn archery, take early morning swims in Troy Cedar Lake and participate in the shenanigans every young boy and girl experiences at camp, the 80th season of campers will soon pack their bags for Camp Whitley, a long-held tradition and rite of passage for young ones in the community. Ashley Cearbaugh

As they gear up for the season, a series of weekend of fundraisers is being planned at Camp Whitley in Etna Troy Township next weekend.

The event kicks off early Saturday morning at 8 a.m. with a 5K run. The event, coordinated by Brian Bills, a volunteer and longtime supporter of the camp, is one of the newest events to be held annually in support of the camp.

“To brag on him a bit, (he) single-handedly organized the run last year, which has prbably been one of the most re-invigorating events for us at Camp in a very long time,” writes camp director Tara Brandon.

Called Tinkham’s 5K, participants may choose to run or walk. Awards will be presented to the top male and top female finishers as well as the top three in each age category. Families are encouraged to participate in addition to individual runners or walkers.

The entry fee is $20 per person or a maximum $50 per family. Registration will be held from 7-7:45 a.m. on Saturday.

A pancake, sausage and egg breakfast will also be held that morning from 7-10 a.m. with proceeds raised also supporting Camp Whitley.

“It was a huge success for us last year and a lot of fun,” stated Brandon. “We hope the same will happen again this year!”

Later this summer, on June 28 from 1-4 p.m., the community is invited to visit Camp Whitley in honor of the 80th year for celebration event.

For additional information about the Tinkham’s 5K, contact Brian Bills at 248-2930 or via e-mail at bbills@hoosierlink.net  or Paula Langeloh at 248-8733. Also, visit the website at www.campwhitley.com


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Camp Whitley preparing for Tinkham's 5K, breakfast fundraisers next Saturday

Mason and Dalton VanHouten

(Photos contributed) Mason and Dalton VanHouten, above, give it their best as they participated in the first annual Tinkham's 5K at Camp Whitley last year. Below, Ashley Cearbaugh is triumphant in completing the run. Volunteers are busy planning the details of the 5K run and a fundraising breakfast at Camp Whitley next Saturday, May 17. 

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

Eager to learn archery, take early morning swims in Troy Cedar Lake and participate in the shenanigans every young boy and girl experiences at camp, the 80th season of campers will soon pack their bags for Camp Whitley, a long-held tradition and rite of passage for young ones in the community. Ashley Cearbaugh

As they gear up for the season, a series of weekend of fundraisers is being planned at Camp Whitley in Etna Troy Township next weekend.

The event kicks off early Saturday morning at 8 a.m. with a 5K run. The event, coordinated by Brian Bills, a volunteer and longtime supporter of the camp, is one of the newest events to be held annually in support of the camp.

“To brag on him a bit, (he) single-handedly organized the run last year, which has prbably been one of the most re-invigorating events for us at Camp in a very long time,” writes camp director Tara Brandon.

Called Tinkham’s 5K, participants may choose to run or walk. Awards will be presented to the top male and top female finishers as well as the top three in each age category. Families are encouraged to participate in addition to individual runners or walkers.

The entry fee is $20 per person or a maximum $50 per family. Registration will be held from 7-7:45 a.m. on Saturday.

A pancake, sausage and egg breakfast will also be held that morning from 7-10 a.m. with proceeds raised also supporting Camp Whitley.

“It was a huge success for us last year and a lot of fun,” stated Brandon. “We hope the same will happen again this year!”

Later this summer, on June 28 from 1-4 p.m., the community is invited to visit Camp Whitley in honor of the 80th year for celebration event.

For additional information about the Tinkham’s 5K, contact Brian Bills at 248-2930 or via e-mail at bbills@hoosierlink.net  or Paula Langeloh at 248-8733. Also, visit the website at www.campwhitley.com


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Beautiful Blooms

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Many passersby were struck by the obvious beauty of the large blooms, above, on several peony bushes for sale this morning at the Columbia City Farmers Market in downtown Columbia City. The market is held each Saturday in Columbia City on the courthouse lawn from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. and offers a wide variety of fresh produce, locally grown products, handmade items, entertainment and the pleasant chatter of friends.


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Beautiful Blooms

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Many passersby were struck by the obvious beauty of the large blooms, above, on several peony bushes for sale this morning at the Columbia City Farmers Market in downtown Columbia City. The market is held each Saturday in Columbia City on the courthouse lawn from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. and offers a wide variety of fresh produce, locally grown products, handmade items, entertainment and the pleasant chatter of friends.


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Miller's Merry Manor selected as Columbia City Chamber's May Business of the Month

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Columbia City Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors selected Miller's Merry Manor as the May Business of the Month, garnering the staff an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen and a sign designating the honor. Above, ambassadors stand among the staff of Miller's Merry Manor celebrating their designation this past Monday.


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Miller's Merry Manor selected as Columbia City Chamber's May Business of the Month

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Columbia City Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors selected Miller's Merry Manor as the May Business of the Month, garnering the staff an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen and a sign designating the honor. Above, ambassadors stand among the staff of Miller's Merry Manor celebrating their designation this past Monday.


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May 09, 2008

Farmers Market now open Saturdays


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Farmers Market now open Saturdays


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Somebody Cares Garden Walk seeking gardens to showcase for July 12 event in Whitley County

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

Viewing the gardening genius of other in our community is a tremendous way to spend an afternoon and many look forward to the annual Somebody Cares Garden Walk.

This year’s event is slated for July 12 in Whitley County, with proceeds supporting the organization’s counseling services in the community.

Ann Fahl, a volunteer planning the event, is currently seeking participants who would like to have their garden showcased in the walk.

For more information, contact Ann Fahl at 609-2404 or at Orizon Real Estate at 248-8961, ext. 226.


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Somebody Cares Garden Walk seeking gardens to showcase for July 12 event in Whitley County

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

Viewing the gardening genius of other in our community is a tremendous way to spend an afternoon and many look forward to the annual Somebody Cares Garden Walk.

This year’s event is slated for July 12 in Whitley County, with proceeds supporting the organization’s counseling services in the community.

Ann Fahl, a volunteer planning the event, is currently seeking participants who would like to have their garden showcased in the walk.

For more information, contact Ann Fahl at 609-2404 or at Orizon Real Estate at 248-8961, ext. 226.


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American Red Cross explains compression-only CPR, position on the life-saving skill

Article Submitted 

 

The American Red Cross encourages all citizens to learn the skills necessary to save a life in cardiac arrest situations through Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). In recent weeks, discussion about “Compression-Only CPR” has surfaced in news reports and the medical community. In response, the American Red Cross explains its position on Compression-Only CPR.

Compression-Only CPR, also referred to as “Hands-Only CPR,” is comprised of forceful chest compressions (at the rate of 100 compressions per minute) administered until professional help arrives on the scene of a cardiac arrest. This method differs from full CPR, which includes cycles of chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth breathing.

Based on scientific evidence, the American Red Cross supports Compression-Only CPR as an acceptable alternative for those unwilling, unable or untrained to perform full CPR. 

Erin McDonald, director of preparedness and safety solutions for the American Red Cross of Northeast Indiana, explains “The Red Cross recognizes that eliminating mouth-to-mouth breathing in cardiac arrest situations may make CPR easier and less stressful to some who may be reluctant or unable to perform it. However, full CPR is still important to learn.”

The American Red Cross offers full CPR courses that provide participants with the knowledge and confidence to respond in emergency situations. In addition to learning how to recognize cardiac emergencies and perform CPR, Red Cross CPR courses teach what to do if someone is choking or having a breathing emergency, how to care for someone in shock, and more.

McDonald adds “In any life-threatening emergency, the most important thing that a person can do is call 911 immediately. Then, perform full or Compression-Only CPR until professional help arrives.”

To learn Compression-Only CPR, the American Red Cross offers First Aid and CPR for Everyone at-home kits for $9.95. Individuals or groups interested in taking a CPR, Automatic Defibrillator (AED), first aid or other training courses should contact the American Red Cross of Northeast Indiana. To purchase at-home kits or to sign up for a class, call (260) 484-9336, ext. 240.


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American Red Cross explains compression-only CPR, position on the life-saving skill

Article Submitted 

 

The American Red Cross encourages all citizens to learn the skills necessary to save a life in cardiac arrest situations through Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). In recent weeks, discussion about “Compression-Only CPR” has surfaced in news reports and the medical community. In response, the American Red Cross explains its position on Compression-Only CPR.

Compression-Only CPR, also referred to as “Hands-Only CPR,” is comprised of forceful chest compressions (at the rate of 100 compressions per minute) administered until professional help arrives on the scene of a cardiac arrest. This method differs from full CPR, which includes cycles of chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth breathing.

Based on scientific evidence, the American Red Cross supports Compression-Only CPR as an acceptable alternative for those unwilling, unable or untrained to perform full CPR. 

Erin McDonald, director of preparedness and safety solutions for the American Red Cross of Northeast Indiana, explains “The Red Cross recognizes that eliminating mouth-to-mouth breathing in cardiac arrest situations may make CPR easier and less stressful to some who may be reluctant or unable to perform it. However, full CPR is still important to learn.”

The American Red Cross offers full CPR courses that provide participants with the knowledge and confidence to respond in emergency situations. In addition to learning how to recognize cardiac emergencies and perform CPR, Red Cross CPR courses teach what to do if someone is choking or having a breathing emergency, how to care for someone in shock, and more.

McDonald adds “In any life-threatening emergency, the most important thing that a person can do is call 911 immediately. Then, perform full or Compression-Only CPR until professional help arrives.”

To learn Compression-Only CPR, the American Red Cross offers First Aid and CPR for Everyone at-home kits for $9.95. Individuals or groups interested in taking a CPR, Automatic Defibrillator (AED), first aid or other training courses should contact the American Red Cross of Northeast Indiana. To purchase at-home kits or to sign up for a class, call (260) 484-9336, ext. 240.


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Masonic Lodge to host fish, tenderloin fry May 16

An all you can eat fish and tenderloin dinner has been planned for May 16 at the Masonic Lodge in Columbia City across from C.J.'s hotdog stand on Chicago Street. The event begins at 4:30 p.m. and will continue until they are sold out.  The cost is $8 for adults, $3 for 5 -12 year olds and under 5 may eat for free. 


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Masonic Lodge to host fish, tenderloin fry May 16

An all you can eat fish and tenderloin dinner has been planned for May 16 at the Masonic Lodge in Columbia City across from C.J.'s hotdog stand on Chicago Street. The event begins at 4:30 p.m. and will continue until they are sold out.  The cost is $8 for adults, $3 for 5 -12 year olds and under 5 may eat for free. 


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Remarkable Women of Whitley County tea has been cancelled, museum staff says

According to Angely Maley, assistant director of the Whitley County Historical Museum, and Jeanette Brown, county historian, the Remarkable Women of Whitley County tea that had been scheduled for Saturday, May 10, has been cancelled.


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Remarkable Women of Whitley County tea has been cancelled, museum staff says

According to Angely Maley, assistant director of the Whitley County Historical Museum, and Jeanette Brown, county historian, the Remarkable Women of Whitley County tea that had been scheduled for Saturday, May 10, has been cancelled.


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May 08, 2008

Reservations are needed by 3 p.m. today for Remarkable Women of Whitley County afternoon tea

Reservations are needed by 3 p.m. today for the Whitley County Historical Society’s Remarkable Women of Whitley County Tea on May 10 at 1 p.m. at the Whitley County Historical Museum, 108 West Jefferson Street, Columbia City. 

Tickets for the tea are $6 per person. To reserve a seat at the event, call the museum by 3 p.m. today at 244-6372.


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Reservations are needed by 3 p.m. today for Remarkable Women of Whitley County afternoon tea

Reservations are needed by 3 p.m. today for the Whitley County Historical Society’s Remarkable Women of Whitley County Tea on May 10 at 1 p.m. at the Whitley County Historical Museum, 108 West Jefferson Street, Columbia City. 

Tickets for the tea are $6 per person. To reserve a seat at the event, call the museum by 3 p.m. today at 244-6372.


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Whitko Middle School's Clean World Association held plant fundraiser Saturday

(Talk of the Town photo by Kelley Sheiss) Whitko Middle School's Clean World Association, under the direction of Laura Thong-Umphai, middle row, far right in blue shirt, started seeds in January and realized the fruits of their efforts this past Saturday as they held their annual plant sale in conjunction with the Farmers Market in Columbia City.  The students were glad to help customers fill boxes and carry their purchases to the car.  The event is the only fundraiser for the club during the year.


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Whitko Middle School's Clean World Association held plant fundraiser Saturday

(Talk of the Town photo by Kelley Sheiss) Whitko Middle School's Clean World Association, under the direction of Laura Thong-Umphai, middle row, far right in blue shirt, started seeds in January and realized the fruits of their efforts this past Saturday as they held their annual plant sale in conjunction with the Farmers Market in Columbia City.  The students were glad to help customers fill boxes and carry their purchases to the car.  The event is the only fundraiser for the club during the year.


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Unique yoga class for women offered Friday night at Laughing Lotus Yoga Studio

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

What better way to celebrate Mother’s Day and womanhood by doing something healthful for both and body?

Tiffany Herron of Laughing Lotus Yoga Studio in rural Whitley County invites mothers, daughters, sisters and friends to participate in her first-ever “Celebrating Women” event at the studio.

Celebrating Women is a special yoga class for beginning and advanced students. The event begins promptly at 6 p.m. and will continue until 8:30 p.m.

Located just south of Columbia City at 1746 South 350 West, Herron’s studio is a place of calm reflection in a busy world. The Celebrating Women event provides a unique opportunity to first-timers to learn more about the benefits of yoga and see if it is something they might like to incorporate into their lifestyle – while participating with those special in their lives.

The class is free, however donations will be gladly accepted to offset an advanced training program Herron hopes to complete in Chicago. Herron is a certified yoga instructor with many years of experience.

For those planning to attend, Herron advises you to eat lightly, bring some water and a blanket for a relaxing, enjoyable evening.

For more information, contact Tiffany Herron at 248-2148.


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Unique yoga class for women offered Friday night at Laughing Lotus Yoga Studio

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

What better way to celebrate Mother’s Day and womanhood by doing something healthful for both and body?

Tiffany Herron of Laughing Lotus Yoga Studio in rural Whitley County invites mothers, daughters, sisters and friends to participate in her first-ever “Celebrating Women” event at the studio.

Celebrating Women is a special yoga class for beginning and advanced students. The event begins promptly at 6 p.m. and will continue until 8:30 p.m.

Located just south of Columbia City at 1746 South 350 West, Herron’s studio is a place of calm reflection in a busy world. The Celebrating Women event provides a unique opportunity to first-timers to learn more about the benefits of yoga and see if it is something they might like to incorporate into their lifestyle – while participating with those special in their lives.

The class is free, however donations will be gladly accepted to offset an advanced training program Herron hopes to complete in Chicago. Herron is a certified yoga instructor with many years of experience.

For those planning to attend, Herron advises you to eat lightly, bring some water and a blanket for a relaxing, enjoyable evening.

For more information, contact Tiffany Herron at 248-2148.


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CCHS Boys Track 4 x 400 Relay team wins

 

(Talk of the Town photo by Doug Ferrell) Members of the CCHS boys 4 x 400 relay team did well at the NHC conference track meet this week. Above, from left, is Kory Bailey, Tyler VonSeggern, Braxton Smith and Brandon Ferrell.

By Doug Ferrell

The Columbia City High School boys 4 x 400 relay team won their event in the NHC conference track meet with a time of 3:26.19 which was there best time so far this season. Columbia City also finished first and second in the 200 and 400 meter races with Braxton Smith winning and Kory Bailey finishing second in both.  Kory also finished second in the 100 meter dash.  Harrison Fuse finished fourth in the 3200 meter run and Ethan Dewitt finished 3rd in the Pole Vault to solidify Columbia City’s third place overall placing at the meet.

The team consisted of  Kory Bailey, Tyler VonSeggern, Braxton Smith and Brandon Ferrell. 

This is the third year in a row that the 4 x 400 relay team has won this event at the NHC meet.


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CCHS Boys Track 4 x 400 Relay team wins

 

(Talk of the Town photo by Doug Ferrell) Members of the CCHS boys 4 x 400 relay team did well at the NHC conference track meet this week. Above, from left, is Kory Bailey, Tyler VonSeggern, Braxton Smith and Brandon Ferrell.

By Doug Ferrell

The Columbia City High School boys 4 x 400 relay team won their event in the NHC conference track meet with a time of 3:26.19 which was there best time so far this season. Columbia City also finished first and second in the 200 and 400 meter races with Braxton Smith winning and Kory Bailey finishing second in both.  Kory also finished second in the 100 meter dash.  Harrison Fuse finished fourth in the 3200 meter run and Ethan Dewitt finished 3rd in the Pole Vault to solidify Columbia City’s third place overall placing at the meet.

The team consisted of  Kory Bailey, Tyler VonSeggern, Braxton Smith and Brandon Ferrell. 

This is the third year in a row that the 4 x 400 relay team has won this event at the NHC meet.


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May 07, 2008

South Whitley Public Library to host traveling exhibit on Midwestern POWs during WWII

Exhibit at library this Thursday from 12-7 p.m. 

 

Article Submitted

 

Hardly anyone alive today is aware that the first U.S. troops sent to fight in WWII came from the Upper Midwest, or that the region’s 34th “Red Bull” Division served the longest uninterrupted duty in U.S. military history-about 600 days. Even fewer know that prior to the Battle of the Bulge, most U.S. POWs in Nazi—German camps came from the area as a result of 1,800, mostly Midwestern, soldiers captured in one night in February 1943.

“Behind Barbed Wire”, touring seven Midwest states in the spring and summer of 2008, including Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan, explores the experiences of Midwest prisoners of war (POWs) who were imprisoned in Hitler’s Third Reich, and the human context in which their experiences took place. The St. Paul-based, non-profit educational organization TRACES created this exhibit. The exhibit, housed in a converted school bus, will reach nearly 120 schools, libraries, and historical societies along the way.

The BUS exhibit tells the stories of these Midwest soldiers and airmen captured in WWII. This exhibit explores their experiences topically- their capture, interrogation, camp life, art/theater in the camps, escape attempts, death marches at the war’s end, liberation and return to the U.S. reconciliation. The exhibit includes audio-video components, 22 display panels and 10 display cases—bringing alive a little-known subchapter of U.S. WWII history.

“Behind Barbed Wire” poses five primary questions: why did some Midwest POWs survive certain conditions or experiences, while others did not; what roles did art, free time, and religion play in helping those men who did survive imprisonment by the Nazi regime; why did some Germans or Austrians assist Midwest POWs, while others did not; how did the liberated POWs later come to terms with their own experiences; and how do countries once in armed conflict reconcile with each other- how do nations and the individuals who constitute a nation get beyond war?

The “Bus-eum” will be at the South Whitley Public Library from 12-7 p.m. on Thursday, May 8, at the South Whitley Public Library. Everyone is invited to view this stirring and historically significant exhibit that explores the lives of Midwest POWs captured during WWII. You do not need to be a patron of the South Whitley Public Library in order to attend.


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South Whitley Public Library to host traveling exhibit on Midwestern POWs during WWII

Exhibit at library this Thursday from 12-7 p.m. 

 

Article Submitted

 

Hardly anyone alive today is aware that the first U.S. troops sent to fight in WWII came from the Upper Midwest, or that the region’s 34th “Red Bull” Division served the longest uninterrupted duty in U.S. military history-about 600 days. Even fewer know that prior to the Battle of the Bulge, most U.S. POWs in Nazi—German camps came from the area as a result of 1,800, mostly Midwestern, soldiers captured in one night in February 1943.

“Behind Barbed Wire”, touring seven Midwest states in the spring and summer of 2008, including Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan, explores the experiences of Midwest prisoners of war (POWs) who were imprisoned in Hitler’s Third Reich, and the human context in which their experiences took place. The St. Paul-based, non-profit educational organization TRACES created this exhibit. The exhibit, housed in a converted school bus, will reach nearly 120 schools, libraries, and historical societies along the way.

The BUS exhibit tells the stories of these Midwest soldiers and airmen captured in WWII. This exhibit explores their experiences topically- their capture, interrogation, camp life, art/theater in the camps, escape attempts, death marches at the war’s end, liberation and return to the U.S. reconciliation. The exhibit includes audio-video components, 22 display panels and 10 display cases—bringing alive a little-known subchapter of U.S. WWII history.

“Behind Barbed Wire” poses five primary questions: why did some Midwest POWs survive certain conditions or experiences, while others did not; what roles did art, free time, and religion play in helping those men who did survive imprisonment by the Nazi regime; why did some Germans or Austrians assist Midwest POWs, while others did not; how did the liberated POWs later come to terms with their own experiences; and how do countries once in armed conflict reconcile with each other- how do nations and the individuals who constitute a nation get beyond war?

The “Bus-eum” will be at the South Whitley Public Library from 12-7 p.m. on Thursday, May 8, at the South Whitley Public Library. Everyone is invited to view this stirring and historically significant exhibit that explores the lives of Midwest POWs captured during WWII. You do not need to be a patron of the South Whitley Public Library in order to attend.


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Tri Lakes resident Cliff Crance gets more popular votes than Hillary Clinton locally

(Talk of the Town file photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Long-time Tri Lakes resident Cliff Crance, below, gained more popular votes than any other local candidate on the ballot yesterday -- gaining more votes than even Hillary Clinton and only a few less than Jill Long Thompson did in her bid for Democratic candidate for governor. Crance is seeking a seat on the Whitley County Council. 

 

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

In a Democratic primary election that was all about the nomination for the presidency and who might seek the governor’s seat in the November elections, a local resident found impressive support – and he didn’t even know about it until this morning.

Cliff Crance, in his bid for the Democratic Party’s candidate for Whitley County Council, gained more votes than almost any single candidate on the ballot yesterday with the exception of governor candidate Jill Long Thompson.

Crance, 56, of Tri Lakes collected more votes than even Hillary Clinton in Whitley County yesterday -- with 3,643 votes over Clinton’s 3,336. Of course Crance isn’t interested in the presidency, but he says he is interested in Whitley County politics.

“People are ready for a little change,” Crance said, adding that he knows a lot of people came out in support of the Democratic Party for the first time yesterday.

“It was a tight race for governor and between Clinton and Obama,” said Crance. “A lot voted on the Democratic ticket this time around.”

“I think it helped that people pulled a straight ticket,” he said.

This isn’t the first time Crance has shown an interest in seeking public office, having run in a couple of local races several years ago. This time, though, he feels the community is ready for something different. With thousands of voters supporting his bid for local government, he’s ready to run the big race this fall.

“But, it’s kind of surprising,” Crance said. He only learned about his election night success this morning on break at work when he picked up a Fort Wayne newspaper. Crance is employed by Archie Zehr Decorating.

His wife, Jeanette, was shocked to hear how well her husband had done in the polls yesterday when she received a call from him this morning.

“He really didn’t do anything,” she said of her husband’s campaigning.

No, there weren’t any ads for Crance in local newspapers, no signs along roadways and no door-to-door campaigning or attractive mailing pieces in local mailboxes. He wasn’t contacted by the local newspaper to talk about the issues, as his Republican counterparts were. No, he just relied on word of mouth and support from people who know him well.

“That’s just the way I do it,” Crance said. “I’m not asking for money and I’m not trying to raise funds.”

“I’m pretty easy going,” he said. “Just call me on the phone if you want to talk about the issues.”

He said he has relied on his name, however. Crance, a 13-year resident of Tri Lakes, is quite well-known in his community. Each winter, he hosts a massive ice bowling tournament on Little Cedar Lake, with a party in his snow-covered yard for friends, family and neighbors.

In talking with those people, his supporters, Crance has found that there are issues on a lot of minds locally.

“We need to pay more attention to county road projects, watch our spending and tighten belts,” Crance said.

The reality of what just happened in rapidly setting in this morning and with his impressive show of support from local voters, Crance is looking forward to November’s election.

He hasn’t heard from anyone yet about the results last night, but expects he’ll be getting a few phone calls tonight.

“I’m sure I’ll hear about it when I get home tonight,” he said.

Crance realizes he likely benefited from the higher than normal number of Democratic voters that turned out for yesterday’s election. “There are very few Democrats in Whitley County,” he said. “This is a very Republican County.”

Still, he believes support for the Democratic Party may continue into the future and the support he received from voters demonstrates he needs to be ready for the fall election.

Will we see more publicity about Crance?

“You probably will,” Crance said. “But I’m not a big campaign poster and I can guarantee you there will not be more than a dozen signs.”

“I hope to visit with a few people, talk about subjects and see what people want to do,” he said.

He said he’s very surprised and pleased by what happened yesterday.

“I’d like to thank everybody who got out and voted,” he said. “I appreciate every vote.”

“It will be a fun summer,” he added, looking forward to campaigning this summer in his lake community. “We’ll have to make sure people get out in November and vote.”


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Tri Lakes resident Cliff Crance gets more popular votes than Hillary Clinton locally

(Talk of the Town file photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Long-time Tri Lakes resident Cliff Crance, below, gained more popular votes than any other local candidate on the ballot yesterday -- gaining more votes than even Hillary Clinton and only a few less than Jill Long Thompson did in her bid for Democratic candidate for governor. Crance is seeking a seat on the Whitley County Council. 

 

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

In a Democratic primary election that was all about the nomination for the presidency and who might seek the governor’s seat in the November elections, a local resident found impressive support – and he didn’t even know about it until this morning.

Cliff Crance, in his bid for the Democratic Party’s candidate for Whitley County Council, gained more votes than almost any single candidate on the ballot yesterday with the exception of governor candidate Jill Long Thompson.

Crance, 56, of Tri Lakes collected more votes than even Hillary Clinton in Whitley County yesterday -- with 3,643 votes over Clinton’s 3,336. Of course Crance isn’t interested in the presidency, but he says he is interested in Whitley County politics.

“People are ready for a little change,” Crance said, adding that he knows a lot of people came out in support of the Democratic Party for the first time yesterday.

“It was a tight race for governor and between Clinton and Obama,” said Crance. “A lot voted on the Democratic ticket this time around.”

“I think it helped that people pulled a straight ticket,” he said.

This isn’t the first time Crance has shown an interest in seeking public office, having run in a couple of local races several years ago. This time, though, he feels the community is ready for something different. With thousands of voters supporting his bid for local government, he’s ready to run the big race this fall.

“But, it’s kind of surprising,” Crance said. He only learned about his election night success this morning on break at work when he picked up a Fort Wayne newspaper. Crance is employed by Archie Zehr Decorating.

His wife, Jeanette, was shocked to hear how well her husband had done in the polls yesterday when she received a call from him this morning.

“He really didn’t do anything,” she said of her husband’s campaigning.

No, there weren’t any ads for Crance in local newspapers, no signs along roadways and no door-to-door campaigning or attractive mailing pieces in local mailboxes. He wasn’t contacted by the local newspaper to talk about the issues, as his Republican counterparts were. No, he just relied on word of mouth and support from people who know him well.

“That’s just the way I do it,” Crance said. “I’m not asking for money and I’m not trying to raise funds.”

“I’m pretty easy going,” he said. “Just call me on the phone if you want to talk about the issues.”

He said he has relied on his name, however. Crance, a 13-year resident of Tri Lakes, is quite well-known in his community. Each winter, he hosts a massive ice bowling tournament on Little Cedar Lake, with a party in his snow-covered yard for friends, family and neighbors.

In talking with those people, his supporters, Crance has found that there are issues on a lot of minds locally.

“We need to pay more attention to county road projects, watch our spending and tighten belts,” Crance said.

The reality of what just happened in rapidly setting in this morning and with his impressive show of support from local voters, Crance is looking forward to November’s election.

He hasn’t heard from anyone yet about the results last night, but expects he’ll be getting a few phone calls tonight.

“I’m sure I’ll hear about it when I get home tonight,” he said.

Crance realizes he likely benefited from the higher than normal number of Democratic voters that turned out for yesterday’s election. “There are very few Democrats in Whitley County,” he said. “This is a very Republican County.”

Still, he believes support for the Democratic Party may continue into the future and the support he received from voters demonstrates he needs to be ready for the fall election.

Will we see more publicity about Crance?

“You probably will,” Crance said. “But I’m not a big campaign poster and I can guarantee you there will not be more than a dozen signs.”

“I hope to visit with a few people, talk about subjects and see what people want to do,” he said.

He said he’s very surprised and pleased by what happened yesterday.

“I’d like to thank everybody who got out and voted,” he said. “I appreciate every vote.”

“It will be a fun summer,” he added, looking forward to campaigning this summer in his lake community. “We’ll have to make sure people get out in November and vote.”


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County residents celebrate following primary election


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County residents celebrate following primary election


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Whitley County EDC reports Indiana Metal Products experiencing impressive growth

Article Provided

 

Locally-based steel shot manufacturer Indiana Metal Products recently started production and is building for future growth.

“We are off to a strong start," said General Manager Ken Kinsey, “we are building our team and establishing a solid foundation for success.”

Indiana Metal Products was established when six partners involved in the steel scrap and processing industry purchased the assets of the former Eagle Metal Abrasives.

“I am thrilled that Mr. Kinsey and his partners are off to such a great start,” said County Commissioner Tom Rethlake, “We look forward to working with them to encourage their success in Whitley County.”

The company now has eight employees and is positioned to reach fifteen employees this summer. Whitley County Council last month approved a CEDIT grant of $25,000 to support the company’s initial startup activities, including training and workforce development expenses.

”It has been exciting to see the enthusiasm that Ken has brought to Indiana Metal Products,” said Kim Wheeler, County Councilman and EDC Board Member, “the EDC is committed to marketing Whitley County as a community that welcomes new startups like Indiana Metal Products.”

The Whitley County EDC is working with local, regional, and state partners to support the company’s continued growth and success.

 

 

About Indiana Metal Products

Indiana Metal Products is a manufacturer of steel shot, used in Foundry operations, concrete resurfacing as well as many other metals resurfacing operations. IMP is committed to being an outstanding employer in the community, supporting it with quality jobs and utilizing local talent whenever possible. For more information about IMP, please visit the company’s website at www.indianametalproducts.com.

 

 

About Whitley County EDC

The Whitley County Economic Development Corporation is a not-for-profit corporation originated to assist business development needs. The EDC partners closely with local, regional, and state agencies to create a strong link for industry needs. For more information about the EDC, please visit: www.whitleybiz.com.

 


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Whitley County EDC reports Indiana Metal Products experiencing impressive growth

Article Provided

 

Locally-based steel shot manufacturer Indiana Metal Products recently started production and is building for future growth.

“We are off to a strong start," said General Manager Ken Kinsey, “we are building our team and establishing a solid foundation for success.”

Indiana Metal Products was established when six partners involved in the steel scrap and processing industry purchased the assets of the former Eagle Metal Abrasives.

“I am thrilled that Mr. Kinsey and his partners are off to such a great start,” said County Commissioner Tom Rethlake, “We look forward to working with them to encourage their success in Whitley County.”

The company now has eight employees and is positioned to reach fifteen employees this summer. Whitley County Council last month approved a CEDIT grant of $25,000 to support the company’s initial startup activities, including training and workforce development expenses.

”It has been exciting to see the enthusiasm that Ken has brought to Indiana Metal Products,” said Kim Wheeler, County Councilman and EDC Board Member, “the EDC is committed to marketing Whitley County as a community that welcomes new startups like Indiana Metal Products.”

The Whitley County EDC is working with local, regional, and state partners to support the company’s continued growth and success.

 

 

About Indiana Metal Products

Indiana Metal Products is a manufacturer of steel shot, used in Foundry operations, concrete resurfacing as well as many other metals resurfacing operations. IMP is committed to being an outstanding employer in the community, supporting it with quality jobs and utilizing local talent whenever possible. For more information about IMP, please visit the company’s website at www.indianametalproducts.com.

 

 

About Whitley County EDC

The Whitley County Economic Development Corporation is a not-for-profit corporation originated to assist business development needs. The EDC partners closely with local, regional, and state agencies to create a strong link for industry needs. For more information about the EDC, please visit: www.whitleybiz.com.

 


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May 06, 2008

The votes have been cast! Whitley County election votes tallied, winners declared

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

The sunlight is fading fast on an exciting primary election day in Whitley County.

In all, 42.56% of the county’s registered voters turned out for the election – 8,801 people out of 20,677 turned out to the polls today or voted via provisional or absentee ballots.

Were the ultimate decision up to Whitley County residents, Hillary Clinton will have captured the Democratic nomination – receiving 59.34% of the votes over Barack Obama’s 40.66%

In the Democratic governor’s race, Whitley County native Jill Long Thompson gained 74.17% of the vote over Jim Schellinger who had 25.83%.

In the District 3 congressional race for Republicans, Mark Souder defeated Whitley County resident Scott Wise.

In the District 50 State Representative’s race for Republicans, Dan Leonard defeated Gary L. Snyder and Terry R. Abbett.

Whitley County residents elected Don Amber for county commissioner, defeating Mark Roach and incumbent James Pettigrew.

In the highly contested Whitley County Council race, Jim Banks, Bill Overdeer and Thomas Western were elected for the three vacant seats, defeating incumbent Scott Darley and candidate Steven Hively.

Whitko School Board results are not yet tabulated because the votes must take into account results from Kosciuscko County, but for Whitley County’s portion of the vote, Terry Eberly is in the lead, capturing 49.07% of the vote.

 

Want more information on the election results?

Following this link to find an informational summary report showing exact votes and percentages on elections throughout the county.

For a summary report, click here.

To look at results by precinct, click here.

For other exciting Whitley County election-related information, click here.


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The votes have been cast! Whitley County election votes tallied, winners declared

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

The sunlight is fading fast on an exciting primary election day in Whitley County.

In all, 42.56% of the county’s registered voters turned out for the election – 8,801 people out of 20,677 turned out to the polls today or voted via provisional or absentee ballots.

Were the ultimate decision up to Whitley County residents, Hillary Clinton will have captured the Democratic nomination – receiving 59.34% of the votes over Barack Obama’s 40.66%

In the Democratic governor’s race, Whitley County native Jill Long Thompson gained 74.17% of the vote over Jim Schellinger who had 25.83%.

In the District 3 congressional race for Republicans, Mark Souder defeated Whitley County resident Scott Wise.

In the District 50 State Representative’s race for Republicans, Dan Leonard defeated Gary L. Snyder and Terry R. Abbett.

Whitley County residents elected Don Amber for county commissioner, defeating Mark Roach and incumbent James Pettigrew.

In the highly contested Whitley County Council race, Jim Banks, Bill Overdeer and Thomas Western were elected for the three vacant seats, defeating incumbent Scott Darley and candidate Steven Hively.

Whitko School Board results are not yet tabulated because the votes must take into account results from Kosciuscko County, but for Whitley County’s portion of the vote, Terry Eberly is in the lead, capturing 49.07% of the vote.

 

Want more information on the election results?

Following this link to find an informational summary report showing exact votes and percentages on elections throughout the county.

For a summary report, click here.

To look at results by precinct, click here.

For other exciting Whitley County election-related information, click here.


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Mary Raber Elementary School presents Arbor Day Celebration


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Mary Raber Elementary School presents Arbor Day Celebration


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County is 13,857 pounds lighter thanks to recycling of e-waste during Earth Day Challenge

 

(Talk of the Town photo) Thousands of pounds of discarded televisions, computer monitors, electronic devices and other items pile up in a semi truck on April 25 as local residents brought items to the Whitley County Solid Waste District for recycling. 

 

 

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

There are empty shelves in garages, no more broken televisions in taking up space in the basement and a few less electronic items gathering dust in the closet.

Indeed, Whitley County is precisely 13,857 pounds lighter after local residents recycled their e-waste during the Whitley County Solid Waste District’s Earth Day Challenge event on April 25.

According to WCSWD director Jorell Tucker, 102 computer monitors were donating – weigh 3,920 pounds.
”We collected 81 televisions for a total weight of 6,362,” Tucker said.

Additionally, 3,575 pounds of miscellaneous electronic equipment was recycled utilizing an Illinois firm that specializes in stripping and de-manufacturing electronic items.

Tucker was pleased with the community’s participation, but isn’t sure if the region’s combined collection weight met the million pound goal set for the Earth Day Challenge.

“I am not sure what the time frame for reporting is for the Earth day Challenge,” Tucker said. “So I won't know if we hit the million-pound mark until everyone has reported their weights.”


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County is 13,857 pounds lighter thanks to recycling of e-waste during Earth Day Challenge

 

(Talk of the Town photo) Thousands of pounds of discarded televisions, computer monitors, electronic devices and other items pile up in a semi truck on April 25 as local residents brought items to the Whitley County Solid Waste District for recycling. 

 

 

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

There are empty shelves in garages, no more broken televisions in taking up space in the basement and a few less electronic items gathering dust in the closet.

Indeed, Whitley County is precisely 13,857 pounds lighter after local residents recycled their e-waste during the Whitley County Solid Waste District’s Earth Day Challenge event on April 25.

According to WCSWD director Jorell Tucker, 102 computer monitors were donating – weigh 3,920 pounds.
”We collected 81 televisions for a total weight of 6,362,” Tucker said.

Additionally, 3,575 pounds of miscellaneous electronic equipment was recycled utilizing an Illinois firm that specializes in stripping and de-manufacturing electronic items.

Tucker was pleased with the community’s participation, but isn’t sure if the region’s combined collection weight met the million pound goal set for the Earth Day Challenge.

“I am not sure what the time frame for reporting is for the Earth day Challenge,” Tucker said. “So I won't know if we hit the million-pound mark until everyone has reported their weights.”


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May 05, 2008

Local residents, businesses encouraged to welcome soldiers back home again on Friday

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

After a 15-month tour of duty in Iraq, soldiers from the Army’s 384th MP Division will be returning home on Friday – many of whom are Whitley County natives.

The soldiers are expected to return around 6 p.m. on Friday and will be taken to the Allen County Fairgrounds on Carroll Road in Fort Wayne. The public is invited to the welcome home ceremony. Local residents and businesses are encouraged to welcome the soldiers home by placing “welcome back” signs in their windows or some other gesture of support.


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Local residents, businesses encouraged to welcome soldiers back home again on Friday

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

After a 15-month tour of duty in Iraq, soldiers from the Army’s 384th MP Division will be returning home on Friday – many of whom are Whitley County natives.

The soldiers are expected to return around 6 p.m. on Friday and will be taken to the Allen County Fairgrounds on Carroll Road in Fort Wayne. The public is invited to the welcome home ceremony. Local residents and businesses are encouraged to welcome the soldiers home by placing “welcome back” signs in their windows or some other gesture of support.


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Snapshots from Bill Clinton's visit to Columbia City


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Snapshots from Bill Clinton's visit to Columbia City


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May 04, 2008

Obama family meets 4700 for potluck dinner at Headwaters Park in Fort Wayne


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Obama family meets 4700 for potluck dinner at Headwaters Park in Fort Wayne


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Audio file of Bill Clinton's speech is now available

Talk of the Town recorded Bill Clinton's speech in Columbia City on Saturday afternoon. Grab a tall glass of iced tea and have a listen...

Bill Clinton's Speech in Columbia City


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Audio file of Bill Clinton's speech is now available

Talk of the Town recorded Bill Clinton's speech in Columbia City on Saturday afternoon. Grab a tall glass of iced tea and have a listen...

Bill Clinton's Speech in Columbia City


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Lunch order was 'once in a lifetime' opportunity for local small business owner Saturday morning

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

The morning sunlight shone through the windows of the CC Deli Saturday morning as Steve Hostetler and his staff went about their usual routine.

Outside, passersby could be seen walking to the newly opened Farmers Market across the street on courthouse lawn.

It was a typical Saturday morning in every sense until the phone rang shortly after 10:40 a.m.

“We got a phone call and they asked what we had,” Hostetler remembers. “They said they were from out of town.”

The caller requested a car-friendly meal, so Hostetler recommended various things on the menu at the popular deli located on Van Buren Street in Columbia City. The caller also said they’d be placing an order for 18 meals.

On a Saturday morning, that’s a big order for Hostetler, still unaware who he was preparing lunch for.

A second call came in later requesting sandwiches, chips, potato salad and fruit cups for 18 people.

“This is for the previous president,” the caller told Hostetler. “That is so cool,” Hostetler replied.

Still not necessarily believing the caller’s claim, Hostetler and his staff, including Meredith and Julia, began working on the order – which included a variety of sandwiches.

According to Hostetler, though, there were two sandwiches that were supposed to be made special – plain turkey sandwiches on deli rolls, one with mustard and one with mayonnaise. No veggies, nothing special. Could those have been for Bill?

Hostetler doesn’t serve deli rolls, per se, so he made those plain sandwiches on the popular cheesy white bread.

“This was really a once in a lifetime thing,” said Hostetler of the opportunity to prepare lunch for a former president from his small business in Columbia City. “The idea that I served the president in this lifetime – that kind of made my day.”

“It is a great honor to have served him,” Hostetler said, “but it is an even greater honor that local people thought enough of my business to recommend me.”

An unknown local resident is responsible for recommending the CC Deli to Clinton’s staff who placed the order on his behalf.

So, will Hostetler rename a plain turkey sandwich on cheesy white bread “The Bill” as a permanent reminder of his most famous customer?

“I don’t know,” Hostetler said, the reality of the day’s events still settling in several hours later.

“I wasn’t even sure this really happened until you called,” he said.


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Lunch order was 'once in a lifetime' opportunity for local small business owner Saturday morning

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

The morning sunlight shone through the windows of the CC Deli Saturday morning as Steve Hostetler and his staff went about their usual routine.

Outside, passersby could be seen walking to the newly opened Farmers Market across the street on courthouse lawn.

It was a typical Saturday morning in every sense until the phone rang shortly after 10:40 a.m.

“We got a phone call and they asked what we had,” Hostetler remembers. “They said they were from out of town.”

The caller requested a car-friendly meal, so Hostetler recommended various things on the menu at the popular deli located on Van Buren Street in Columbia City. The caller also said they’d be placing an order for 18 meals.

On a Saturday morning, that’s a big order for Hostetler, still unaware who he was preparing lunch for.

A second call came in later requesting sandwiches, chips, potato salad and fruit cups for 18 people.

“This is for the previous president,” the caller told Hostetler. “That is so cool,” Hostetler replied.

Still not necessarily believing the caller’s claim, Hostetler and his staff, including Meredith and Julia, began working on the order – which included a variety of sandwiches.

According to Hostetler, though, there were two sandwiches that were supposed to be made special – plain turkey sandwiches on deli rolls, one with mustard and one with mayonnaise. No veggies, nothing special. Could those have been for Bill?

Hostetler doesn’t serve deli rolls, per se, so he made those plain sandwiches on the popular cheesy white bread.

“This was really a once in a lifetime thing,” said Hostetler of the opportunity to prepare lunch for a former president from his small business in Columbia City. “The idea that I served the president in this lifetime – that kind of made my day.”

“It is a great honor to have served him,” Hostetler said, “but it is an even greater honor that local people thought enough of my business to recommend me.”

An unknown local resident is responsible for recommending the CC Deli to Clinton’s staff who placed the order on his behalf.

So, will Hostetler rename a plain turkey sandwich on cheesy white bread “The Bill” as a permanent reminder of his most famous customer?

“I don’t know,” Hostetler said, the reality of the day’s events still settling in several hours later.

“I wasn’t even sure this really happened until you called,” he said.


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Residents embrace Bill Clinton in Columbia City

(Talk of the Town photos by Jennifer Zartman Romano) A line forms, above, outside Columbia City High School Saturday morning more than two hours before former US President Bill Clinton was scheduled to arrive in Columbia City. Below, Clinton spoke of his roots and why he feels his wife, Hillary Clinton, is more suited from the presidency now. 

 

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

A giant flag, framed by heavy blue curtains, welcomed visitors to the Donald S. Weeks Gymnasium at Columbia City High School Saturday morning. The sound of John Mellencamp’s “Small Town,” appropriately, echoed in the gym as lines of spectators filed past Columbia City police officers, along with token sheriff’s deputies, emergency personnel and others.

In front, local Hillary Clinton campaign volunteers, using their cellphones, made calls in support of their candidate – while staking claim to a perfect spot to view the man of the hour – former US President Bill Clinton.

Outside, others still waited for their opportunity to go inside, waiting side by side with neighbors in the bright sunshine. Vendors sold buttons and t-shirts marking the occasion. Residents carried items they hoped to have autographed, the largest of which was a P. Buckley Moss print of the Clintons at the Whitehouse – carried by June Keiser for her friend, Jerry Freewalt, who was unable to attend.

As they waited, many speculated on why Whitley County was fortunate enough to be chosen for two high-profile campaign visits within just three days.

“I think probably it is because they feel there are some undecided voters here,” said Steve Linvill, wearing his Whitley County Democrats shirt. “Perhaps they think they’ll convince some Republicans to vote in the Democratic primary?”

“I think they realize that Northeast Indiana is going to have a crucial stake in what happens with this election,” one man said.

Regardless of the reason and of individuals’ personal political convictions, Clinton’s visit to Columbia City came down to one thing: an amazing moment in history that residents will remember for years to come.

“This is just such an exciting thing for Whitley County,” said Susie Bills, who attended the event and quickly became a volunteer, helping to organize seating as guests arrived.

Those who attended the rally represented every demographic – very young children to senior citizens, committed Democrats and staunch Republicans. They stood side by side or sat shoulder to shoulder, all eager to catch a glimpse of the first president (though he wasn’t president at the time) since 1960 to visit Whitley County. In terms of history, Clinton may be the first former president to visit the county, since Lyndon Johnson wasn’t president yet in 1960 and Harry Truman was actively a president at the time of his visit in 1958.

Clinton arrived at the high school shortly after 12:30 p.m., bringing with him a Congressman Gregory Meeks of New York and Saturday Night Live comedian Casey Wilson.

Columbia City resident and Third District Democratic vice chair Marge Warnick introduced the president following a speech she’d prepared. Warnick’s speech was peppered with personal and local references and urged the community to support Hillary Clinton.

“Isn’t it an honor to have a president in this great building where I graduated from high school,” Warnick said. “I would have never expected a young girl from Tri Lakes would have been introducing a former president to Columbia City.”

Clinton talked about the mortgage crises, gas prices and healthcare woes facing Amerians. He emphasized his lower middle class upbringing, struggles and anecdotal stories about how similar his experiences might have been to those in the room.

At the end of Clinton’s speech, he walked among the crowd, shaking hands and greeting residents.

Clinton was approached by a woman who, with tears streaming from her eyes, spoke about how she did not have health insurance. Using his thumb, Clinton gently wiped the tears from her cheek, comforting her. He requested that a member of his staff take her information and he would follow up with her about her dilemma.

“He was very kind to her,” a bystander said, with deep respect for the compassion Clinton had shown.

After greeting residents, Clinton went behind the curtains and signed each item provided to him – including the P. Buckley Moss print, a Whitley County Democrats t-shirt, several hardbound copies of his book, pieces of paper and invitations to a rally for Hillary Clinton the following day in Fort Wayne.

When Clinton left Columbia City, he left a community impressed by having met him on their home court.

“Well, now I’m more confused than ever,” said JoEllen Rush as she prepared to leave the gym Saturday. “But, it’s wonderful we have such outstanding candidates.”


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Residents embrace Bill Clinton in Columbia City

(Talk of the Town photos by Jennifer Zartman Romano) A line forms, above, outside Columbia City High School Saturday morning more than two hours before former US President Bill Clinton was scheduled to arrive in Columbia City. Below, Clinton spoke of his roots and why he feels his wife, Hillary Clinton, is more suited from the presidency now. 

 

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

A giant flag, framed by heavy blue curtains, welcomed visitors to the Donald S. Weeks Gymnasium at Columbia City High School Saturday morning. The sound of John Mellencamp’s “Small Town,” appropriately, echoed in the gym as lines of spectators filed past Columbia City police officers, along with token sheriff’s deputies, emergency personnel and others.

In front, local Hillary Clinton campaign volunteers, using their cellphones, made calls in support of their candidate – while staking claim to a perfect spot to view the man of the hour – former US President Bill Clinton.

Outside, others still waited for their opportunity to go inside, waiting side by side with neighbors in the bright sunshine. Vendors sold buttons and t-shirts marking the occasion. Residents carried items they hoped to have autographed, the largest of which was a P. Buckley Moss print of the Clintons at the Whitehouse – carried by June Keiser for her friend, Jerry Freewalt, who was unable to attend.

As they waited, many speculated on why Whitley County was fortunate enough to be chosen for two high-profile campaign visits within just three days.

“I think probably it is because they feel there are some undecided voters here,” said Steve Linvill, wearing his Whitley County Democrats shirt. “Perhaps they think they’ll convince some Republicans to vote in the Democratic primary?”

“I think they realize that Northeast Indiana is going to have a crucial stake in what happens with this election,” one man said.

Regardless of the reason and of individuals’ personal political convictions, Clinton’s visit to Columbia City came down to one thing: an amazing moment in history that residents will remember for years to come.

“This is just such an exciting thing for Whitley County,” said Susie Bills, who attended the event and quickly became a volunteer, helping to organize seating as guests arrived.

Those who attended the rally represented every demographic – very young children to senior citizens, committed Democrats and staunch Republicans. They stood side by side or sat shoulder to shoulder, all eager to catch a glimpse of the first president (though he wasn’t president at the time) since 1960 to visit Whitley County. In terms of history, Clinton may be the first former president to visit the county, since Lyndon Johnson wasn’t president yet in 1960 and Harry Truman was actively a president at the time of his visit in 1958.

Clinton arrived at the high school shortly after 12:30 p.m., bringing with him a Congressman Gregory Meeks of New York and Saturday Night Live comedian Casey Wilson.

Columbia City resident and Third District Democratic vice chair Marge Warnick introduced the president following a speech she’d prepared. Warnick’s speech was peppered with personal and local references and urged the community to support Hillary Clinton.

“Isn’t it an honor to have a president in this great building where I graduated from high school,” Warnick said. “I would have never expected a young girl from Tri Lakes would have been introducing a former president to Columbia City.”

Clinton talked about the mortgage crises, gas prices and healthcare woes facing Amerians. He emphasized his lower middle class upbringing, struggles and anecdotal stories about how similar his experiences might have been to those in the room.

At the end of Clinton’s speech, he walked among the crowd, shaking hands and greeting residents.

Clinton was approached by a woman who, with tears streaming from her eyes, spoke about how she did not have health insurance. Using his thumb, Clinton gently wiped the tears from her cheek, comforting her. He requested that a member of his staff take her information and he would follow up with her about her dilemma.

“He was very kind to her,” a bystander said, with deep respect for the compassion Clinton had shown.

After greeting residents, Clinton went behind the curtains and signed each item provided to him – including the P. Buckley Moss print, a Whitley County Democrats t-shirt, several hardbound copies of his book, pieces of paper and invitations to a rally for Hillary Clinton the following day in Fort Wayne.

When Clinton left Columbia City, he left a community impressed by having met him on their home court.

“Well, now I’m more confused than ever,” said JoEllen Rush as she prepared to leave the gym Saturday. “But, it’s wonderful we have such outstanding candidates.”


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May 03, 2008

Video of Bill Clinton at the Columbia City High School


Talk of the Town Video by Jennifer Zartman Romano
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Video of Bill Clinton at the Columbia City High School


Talk of the Town Video by Jennifer Zartman Romano
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SNL cast member joins Clinton for campaign stop in Columbia City

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Below, at center, Saturday Night Live comedian Casey Wilson smiles at local residents who gathered to hear Bill Clinton speak Saturday in Columbia City. 

 

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

While Bill Clinton’s speech at Columbia City High School had plenty of humor, it may have been helpful for him to bring a long some comic relief for the day – Saturday Night Live’s newest cast member.

Casey Wilson joined Clinton at the high school Saturday. Wilson made her debut on comic television show Saturday Night Live in February.

Wilson did not speak at the event, but smiled at the crowd when Clinton introduced her.

“She’s a great comedian on Saturday Night Live,” Clinton said of Wilson.

“Saturday Night Live still owns the funniest skit from this election season,” Clinton said. “They did one on one of the presidential debates which left me rolling in the aisles,” he said, “It was probably ‘cause it helped Hillary.”

Wilson is the daughter of Republican political consultant Paul Wilson.


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SNL cast member joins Clinton for campaign stop in Columbia City

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Below, at center, Saturday Night Live comedian Casey Wilson smiles at local residents who gathered to hear Bill Clinton speak Saturday in Columbia City. 

 

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

While Bill Clinton’s speech at Columbia City High School had plenty of humor, it may have been helpful for him to bring a long some comic relief for the day – Saturday Night Live’s newest cast member.

Casey Wilson joined Clinton at the high school Saturday. Wilson made her debut on comic television show Saturday Night Live in February.

Wilson did not speak at the event, but smiled at the crowd when Clinton introduced her.

“She’s a great comedian on Saturday Night Live,” Clinton said of Wilson.

“Saturday Night Live still owns the funniest skit from this election season,” Clinton said. “They did one on one of the presidential debates which left me rolling in the aisles,” he said, “It was probably ‘cause it helped Hillary.”

Wilson is the daughter of Republican political consultant Paul Wilson.


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Bill Clinton arrives in Columbia City Saturday as part of multi-city campaign frenzy

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Former US President Bill Clinton walked into the Columbia City High School gymnasium shortly after noon on Saturday to the roaring applause of local residents. Residents were eager to see a former president on Whitley County soil and interested in hearing Clinton's reasons why local voters should choose Hillary Clinton. Above, Third District Democratic Party vice chair and Columbia City resident Marge Warnick introduced Clinton, center, and Congressman Gregory W. Meeks of New York City.

Talk of the Town recorded Clinton's speech and we will post it as soon as possible, along with a story and more photographs of today's campaign visit.


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Bill Clinton arrives in Columbia City Saturday as part of multi-city campaign frenzy

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Former US President Bill Clinton walked into the Columbia City High School gymnasium shortly after noon on Saturday to the roaring applause of local residents. Residents were eager to see a former president on Whitley County soil and interested in hearing Clinton's reasons why local voters should choose Hillary Clinton. Above, Third District Democratic Party vice chair and Columbia City resident Marge Warnick introduced Clinton, center, and Congressman Gregory W. Meeks of New York City.

Talk of the Town recorded Clinton's speech and we will post it as soon as possible, along with a story and more photographs of today's campaign visit.


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First Presbyterian Church's 101st May Breakfast deemed a success on Saturday morning

In addition to church members, the local Kiwanis Club assisted with the event. The Whitley County Sheriff's Department completed 14 Safe Assured child identification kits during First Presbyterian Church's May Breakfast as well.


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First Presbyterian Church's 101st May Breakfast deemed a success on Saturday morning

In addition to church members, the local Kiwanis Club assisted with the event. The Whitley County Sheriff's Department completed 14 Safe Assured child identification kits during First Presbyterian Church's May Breakfast as well.


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4-H members put bikes back on the road

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Whitley County 4-H Bike Club member Dayvid Myers, left, takes a careful look over a bike before declaring it road-ready Saturday morning. Kimberly South, right, brought her son's bike in for the 25th annual bike check event at the Whitley County 4-H Fairgounds Saturday morning. The event provided a hands-on experience for bike club members like Myers to learn about bicycle maintenance and to repair problems on many different types of bikes.


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4-H members put bikes back on the road

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Whitley County 4-H Bike Club member Dayvid Myers, left, takes a careful look over a bike before declaring it road-ready Saturday morning. Kimberly South, right, brought her son's bike in for the 25th annual bike check event at the Whitley County 4-H Fairgounds Saturday morning. The event provided a hands-on experience for bike club members like Myers to learn about bicycle maintenance and to repair problems on many different types of bikes.


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Snapshots from Whitley County's Day of Prayer


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Snapshots from Whitley County's Day of Prayer


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May 02, 2008

Off The Path celebrates with grand opening open house through Sunday afternoon

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Off The Path, an unique gift and art shop in downtown Columbia City, above, will be hosting their grand opening open house Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and on Sunday from 1-4 p.m. They'll be hosting a tea party, awarding door prizes and hosting a gift card giveaway.

Off The Path is located at 110 North Walnut Street in Columbia City. Their phone number is 244-2922.


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Off The Path celebrates with grand opening open house through Sunday afternoon

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Off The Path, an unique gift and art shop in downtown Columbia City, above, will be hosting their grand opening open house Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and on Sunday from 1-4 p.m. They'll be hosting a tea party, awarding door prizes and hosting a gift card giveaway.

Off The Path is located at 110 North Walnut Street in Columbia City. Their phone number is 244-2922.


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Down this road before: this week's visits aren't the first time campaigners, presidents have visited Whitley County

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

This will go down as a historic week in Whitley County, a week when for the first time decades, residents have been courted by the national candidates in hopes of securing their votes – dazzling us with unexpected visits and drawing the eyes of the nation to our largely quiet home.

Yesterday, it was Barack Obama. Tomorrow, it will be former President Bill Clinton.

While it has been a great many years since Indiana, much less Whitley County, has been courted by political giants, there have been gleaming moments in the past.

This week’s events, and their historical significance, reminded Columbia City resident Susie Duncan Sexton of another time Whitley County residents welcomed a political campaign visit.

In 1960, when Sexton was 14-years-old, she remembers Lyndon Johnson’s visit to the Whitley County 4-H Fairgrounds to stump for John F. Kennedy.

“LBJ walked into the 4-H building to greet lots of Columbia City voters and their children,” Sexton remembers of the visit to the city during the Kennedy-Johnson campaign.

When asked what she remembers about being there for that visit, she said, “I know that I wished he was John Kennedy instead!”

While she doesn’t recall whether Johnson, whom she described as a gigantic Texan, was wearing a 10-gallon hat for the visit, the memory prompted her to look out a souvenir from the visit – a senate pass given to her and signed by Lyndon Johnson.

Another Columbia City resident, Jo Ellen McConnell, recalls another important presidential visit to Whitley County two years earlier.

“Harry Truman was at the Campbell Ranch, Coesse, Sept. 12, 1958,” McConnell writes. “My father, James D. Adams, and my brother, James W. Adams, were among the ‘guests’ for breakfast.”

McConnell has a black and white photo of the event on display in her home.

Alex Campbell, owner of the Campbell Ranch, visible from US 30, was the Democratic national chairman at the time, according Whitley County historian Jeanette Brown. Brown said Truman was in office at the time as President of the United States.

Obviously, native son and former Vice President Thomas Riley Marshall came through the city a time or two.

Brown isn’t aware of any other visits, but said that with presidential whistle-stop campaigning – it’s quite possible candidates in earlier days may have stopped in Whitley County to rally some votes.

Do you have any recollection of other presidential or presidential campaign-related visits to Whitley County? If so, send them to Talk of the Town and we’ll publish an update! Send your message to: jennifer@talkofthetownwc.com


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Down this road before: this week's visits aren't the first time campaigners, presidents have visited Whitley County

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

This will go down as a historic week in Whitley County, a week when for the first time decades, residents have been courted by the national candidates in hopes of securing their votes – dazzling us with unexpected visits and drawing the eyes of the nation to our largely quiet home.

Yesterday, it was Barack Obama. Tomorrow, it will be former President Bill Clinton.

While it has been a great many years since Indiana, much less Whitley County, has been courted by political giants, there have been gleaming moments in the past.

This week’s events, and their historical significance, reminded Columbia City resident Susie Duncan Sexton of another time Whitley County residents welcomed a political campaign visit.

In 1960, when Sexton was 14-years-old, she remembers Lyndon Johnson’s visit to the Whitley County 4-H Fairgrounds to stump for John F. Kennedy.

“LBJ walked into the 4-H building to greet lots of Columbia City voters and their children,” Sexton remembers of the visit to the city during the Kennedy-Johnson campaign.

When asked what she remembers about being there for that visit, she said, “I know that I wished he was John Kennedy instead!”

While she doesn’t recall whether Johnson, whom she described as a gigantic Texan, was wearing a 10-gallon hat for the visit, the memory prompted her to look out a souvenir from the visit – a senate pass given to her and signed by Lyndon Johnson.

Another Columbia City resident, Jo Ellen McConnell, recalls another important presidential visit to Whitley County two years earlier.

“Harry Truman was at the Campbell Ranch, Coesse, Sept. 12, 1958,” McConnell writes. “My father, James D. Adams, and my brother, James W. Adams, were among the ‘guests’ for breakfast.”

McConnell has a black and white photo of the event on display in her home.

Alex Campbell, owner of the Campbell Ranch, visible from US 30, was the Democratic national chairman at the time, according Whitley County historian Jeanette Brown. Brown said Truman was in office at the time as President of the United States.

Obviously, native son and former Vice President Thomas Riley Marshall came through the city a time or two.

Brown isn’t aware of any other visits, but said that with presidential whistle-stop campaigning – it’s quite possible candidates in earlier days may have stopped in Whitley County to rally some votes.

Do you have any recollection of other presidential or presidential campaign-related visits to Whitley County? If so, send them to Talk of the Town and we’ll publish an update! Send your message to: jennifer@talkofthetownwc.com


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4-H members to sharpen bike repair skills with 25th annual tune-up day on Saturday

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

As much fun as a nice ride can be, with the help of 4-H club leader Eric Blank, local 4-H members for decades have been learning that fixing their bikes and those belonging to others can be an important educational opportunity.

On Saturday, May 3, members of the Whitley County 4-H Bike Club will once again hold their annual bike tune-up event at the 4-H fairgrounds in the pavilion from 8 a.m.-noon.

“We have fun with it,” Blank said of the 25th annual event planned for tomorrow.

Blank encourages the community to bring in their bikes, tandem cycles and tricycles for 4-H members to fix up.

“We do free inspections, free labor and we only charge for parts,” Blank said of the hands-on activity that teaches bike club members to perform regular bike maintenance as well as to repair their bikes when problems arise.

Flat tire? Broken chain? Blank said the bike club members can fix about anything and get you and your bike back on the road, enjoying the countryside and getting some fresh air and exercise.

“We’ll do our best to fix it that day,” Blank said.

So, we had to ask: what was the worst bike repair your group has ever been asked to fix?

“We had one trampled by a horse,” Blank said with a laugh. “But a couple of guys got it running again.”

So, if they can fix that, they can fix anything.

Any freewill offerings will support the ongoing activities of the 4-H Bike Club.

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano)


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4-H members to sharpen bike repair skills with 25th annual tune-up day on Saturday

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

As much fun as a nice ride can be, with the help of 4-H club leader Eric Blank, local 4-H members for decades have been learning that fixing their bikes and those belonging to others can be an important educational opportunity.

On Saturday, May 3, members of the Whitley County 4-H Bike Club will once again hold their annual bike tune-up event at the 4-H fairgrounds in the pavilion from 8 a.m.-noon.

“We have fun with it,” Blank said of the 25th annual event planned for tomorrow.

Blank encourages the community to bring in their bikes, tandem cycles and tricycles for 4-H members to fix up.

“We do free inspections, free labor and we only charge for parts,” Blank said of the hands-on activity that teaches bike club members to perform regular bike maintenance as well as to repair their bikes when problems arise.

Flat tire? Broken chain? Blank said the bike club members can fix about anything and get you and your bike back on the road, enjoying the countryside and getting some fresh air and exercise.

“We’ll do our best to fix it that day,” Blank said.

So, we had to ask: what was the worst bike repair your group has ever been asked to fix?

“We had one trampled by a horse,” Blank said with a laugh. “But a couple of guys got it running again.”

So, if they can fix that, they can fix anything.

Any freewill offerings will support the ongoing activities of the 4-H Bike Club.

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano)


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Reader shares photos of day with Barack Obama


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Reader shares photos of day with Barack Obama


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Obama's visit provided unique opportunities for Whitley County residents, small business owners

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Barack Obama, below, spent time with local seniors talking about their healthcare concerns and among the ideas presented, suggested suspending income tax on social security for senior citizens. 

 

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

On Thursday morning, a little after 10:30 a.m., Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama was welcomed to Parkview’s Oak Pointe in Columbia City with great excitement and applause. Whitley County Democratic Party chair Patty Weybright introduced to a crowd comprised of Whitley County senior citizens, Parkview Health personnel, board members, token local media and a large contingency of national media representing every major network.

Weybright’s voice cracked as she spoke of the financial struggles faced by her parents, and those of the same generations.

“This is not the America that I know,” she said.

“What really breaks my heart is when I have a student tell me…they have no health insurance,” Weybright said. The student’s family could not afford healthcare and shares medication.

“He knows the American dream is slipping away for many of us,” Weybright said. “Barack knows its going to take a new kind of leadership.”

“I trust him…I trust him to look out for us when he’s in the Whitehouse,” she said. “He’s the only candidate who can lead us through the mess we’re in.”

When Obama took the microphone, he thanked many in the community for welcoming him, including Weybright, Nancy Sigler and the team at Oak Pointe, Parkview Health, Mayor Jim Fleck and Tim Bloom.

Obama presented a speech and then answered questions posed by local senior citizens, sharing his perspectives and background.

Obama’s visit, regardless of party affiliation and points of view, was exciting for many as it brought a national figure home to our community.

“For our residents to have the chance to interact with the potential President of the United States,” said Parkview Whitley Hospital COO John Meister. “They really can’t get much closer than this.”

Meister, involved in the process of arranging the many details of Obama’s visit, said the community had little more than a day to prepare for the visit.

“It was so impromptu – so surreal,” Meister said. “This all transpired within 36 hours.”

Meister said that a team under the leadership of Oak Pointe’s Nancy Sigler coordinated everything from floral arrangements and respite areas for visitors to catering and more.

“They’ve done an excellent job,” Meister said, looking around at what came off without any obvious snags.

While Meister was careful to emphasize that Parkview’s willingness to host the event did not constitute a political endorsement, he saw Obama’s visit as a unique opportunity for Oak Pointe’s residents.

“For our residents to invite someone of this stature into their home,” he said. “This is a tremendous opportunity for them.”

Meister said the excitement had been bubbling at the location since plans for the visit had began the day before.

Whitley County residents Dewayne and Marie Hockemeyer were among the large contingency of seniors in the audience for Obama’s presentation and, upon leaving, shared their impression of the visit.

“Isn’t this great for Whitley County,” Marie Hockemeyer exclaimed.

“I thought it was wonderful for a little county like Whitley County – a bit of history,” Dewayne Hockemeyer said.

“If he can do half of what he’s planned,” Marie Hockemeyer said, “this will be a much better country.”

Not only was the visit great for local seniors, it proved to be a special opportunity for several small business owners in Whitley County as well.

On Wednesday, both Kathy Heritier of Bravo Home and Gift and Pat Henson of Picture Perfect Catering and Floral Design were shocked and pleased to receive phone calls requesting their services in preparation for the event.

Heritier spent much of Wednesday afternoon creating gorgeous floral arrangements that were displayed throughout the room where Obama spoke. Heritier said she hand-picked each flower used in the arrangements in Fort Wayne.

Meanwhile, Henson said she’d received a phone call at noon on Wednesday asking if she was available to prepare a lunch for 50.

“I said sure,” Henson said. “I never say I’m busy.”

It wasn’t clear who she was making lunch for until awhile later.

For the guests in an oversized white tent behind Oak Pointe, Henson and a staff including Merrie Parish and Brian Brandon, served a hearty meal of parmesan chicken, Hawaiian ham, parsley potatoes and, she said, brownies for dessert. “Everyone needs chocolate,” she said.

They even decorated the tent festively in red, white and blue for the occasion.

Although just a small portion of Whitley County’s population got in to the event, a sizeable group waited near the entrance, hoping for a chance to take a glimpse, at least, of Obama’s bus and entourage.

Today, across Whitley County, Obama is still the hot topic of discussion, with many still wondering how he chose to come here and still others wishing they’d had more of an opportunity to share in the monumental event. While it’s unlikely he’ll be back before the primary, in the current political atmosphere, who really knows – Northeast Indiana may see him yet again before Tuesday.


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Obama's visit provided unique opportunities for Whitley County residents, small business owners

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Barack Obama, below, spent time with local seniors talking about their healthcare concerns and among the ideas presented, suggested suspending income tax on social security for senior citizens. 

 

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

On Thursday morning, a little after 10:30 a.m., Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama was welcomed to Parkview’s Oak Pointe in Columbia City with great excitement and applause. Whitley County Democratic Party chair Patty Weybright introduced to a crowd comprised of Whitley County senior citizens, Parkview Health personnel, board members, token local media and a large contingency of national media representing every major network.

Weybright’s voice cracked as she spoke of the financial struggles faced by her parents, and those of the same generations.

“This is not the America that I know,” she said.

“What really breaks my heart is when I have a student tell me…they have no health insurance,” Weybright said. The student’s family could not afford healthcare and shares medication.

“He knows the American dream is slipping away for many of us,” Weybright said. “Barack knows its going to take a new kind of leadership.”

“I trust him…I trust him to look out for us when he’s in the Whitehouse,” she said. “He’s the only candidate who can lead us through the mess we’re in.”

When Obama took the microphone, he thanked many in the community for welcoming him, including Weybright, Nancy Sigler and the team at Oak Pointe, Parkview Health, Mayor Jim Fleck and Tim Bloom.

Obama presented a speech and then answered questions posed by local senior citizens, sharing his perspectives and background.

Obama’s visit, regardless of party affiliation and points of view, was exciting for many as it brought a national figure home to our community.

“For our residents to have the chance to interact with the potential President of the United States,” said Parkview Whitley Hospital COO John Meister. “They really can’t get much closer than this.”

Meister, involved in the process of arranging the many details of Obama’s visit, said the community had little more than a day to prepare for the visit.

“It was so impromptu – so surreal,” Meister said. “This all transpired within 36 hours.”

Meister said that a team under the leadership of Oak Pointe’s Nancy Sigler coordinated everything from floral arrangements and respite areas for visitors to catering and more.

“They’ve done an excellent job,” Meister said, looking around at what came off without any obvious snags.

While Meister was careful to emphasize that Parkview’s willingness to host the event did not constitute a political endorsement, he saw Obama’s visit as a unique opportunity for Oak Pointe’s residents.

“For our residents to invite someone of this stature into their home,” he said. “This is a tremendous opportunity for them.”

Meister said the excitement had been bubbling at the location since plans for the visit had began the day before.

Whitley County residents Dewayne and Marie Hockemeyer were among the large contingency of seniors in the audience for Obama’s presentation and, upon leaving, shared their impression of the visit.

“Isn’t this great for Whitley County,” Marie Hockemeyer exclaimed.

“I thought it was wonderful for a little county like Whitley County – a bit of history,” Dewayne Hockemeyer said.

“If he can do half of what he’s planned,” Marie Hockemeyer said, “this will be a much better country.”

Not only was the visit great for local seniors, it proved to be a special opportunity for several small business owners in Whitley County as well.

On Wednesday, both Kathy Heritier of Bravo Home and Gift and Pat Henson of Picture Perfect Catering and Floral Design were shocked and pleased to receive phone calls requesting their services in preparation for the event.

Heritier spent much of Wednesday afternoon creating gorgeous floral arrangements that were displayed throughout the room where Obama spoke. Heritier said she hand-picked each flower used in the arrangements in Fort Wayne.

Meanwhile, Henson said she’d received a phone call at noon on Wednesday asking if she was available to prepare a lunch for 50.

“I said sure,” Henson said. “I never say I’m busy.”

It wasn’t clear who she was making lunch for until awhile later.

For the guests in an oversized white tent behind Oak Pointe, Henson and a staff including Merrie Parish and Brian Brandon, served a hearty meal of parmesan chicken, Hawaiian ham, parsley potatoes and, she said, brownies for dessert. “Everyone needs chocolate,” she said.

They even decorated the tent festively in red, white and blue for the occasion.

Although just a small portion of Whitley County’s population got in to the event, a sizeable group waited near the entrance, hoping for a chance to take a glimpse, at least, of Obama’s bus and entourage.

Today, across Whitley County, Obama is still the hot topic of discussion, with many still wondering how he chose to come here and still others wishing they’d had more of an opportunity to share in the monumental event. While it’s unlikely he’ll be back before the primary, in the current political atmosphere, who really knows – Northeast Indiana may see him yet again before Tuesday.


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Lots to share!

Check out what's posted below and check back often. There will be numerous site updates throughout the day today -- including additional coverage from yesterday brought to us from our readers!
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Lots to share!

Check out what's posted below and check back often. There will be numerous site updates throughout the day today -- including additional coverage from yesterday brought to us from our readers!
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May 01, 2008

Audio files of Barack Obama's speech now available here...

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Barack Obama speaks with several guests as he's leaving Oak Pointe Thursday. Excited with the opportunity to meet a national political figure, they took every opportunity to record the experience -- using cameras and cellphones.

If you were unable to be there in person today to hear Barack Obama's speech and the questions posed by Whitley County senior citizens -- you're in luck! Talk of the Town has recorded the speech and the files are posted below....enjoy!

Patty Weybright & Barack Obama

Q&A with Barack Obama


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Audio files of Barack Obama's speech now available here...

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Barack Obama speaks with several guests as he's leaving Oak Pointe Thursday. Excited with the opportunity to meet a national political figure, they took every opportunity to record the experience -- using cameras and cellphones.

If you were unable to be there in person today to hear Barack Obama's speech and the questions posed by Whitley County senior citizens -- you're in luck! Talk of the Town has recorded the speech and the files are posted below....enjoy!

Patty Weybright & Barack Obama

Q&A with Barack Obama


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Snapshots of Barack Obama's visit to Columbia City's Oak Pointe

Barack Obama visits Columbia City
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Snapshots of Barack Obama's visit to Columbia City's Oak Pointe

Barack Obama visits Columbia City
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Bill Clinton to campaign at Columbia City High School Saturday, public invited

Bill Clinton is expected to make a stop in Columbia City on Saturday to talk to the public at Columbia City High School in the gymnasium, according to reports released today. Clinton is expected to arrive at the high school sometime between 12:30-1:15 p.m. as part of a multi-city visit on Saturday.

As further details become available, we'll have them here on Talk of the Town.


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Bill Clinton to campaign at Columbia City High School Saturday, public invited

Bill Clinton is expected to make a stop in Columbia City on Saturday to talk to the public at Columbia City High School in the gymnasium, according to reports released today. Clinton is expected to arrive at the high school sometime between 12:30-1:15 p.m. as part of a multi-city visit on Saturday.

As further details become available, we'll have them here on Talk of the Town.


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It really happened here...

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama visited Oak Pointe in Columbia City this morning, bringing with him a message of optimism and the hope of great change in America. Obama, above, is surrounded by campaign supporters from Fort Wayne who assisted at the historic event.

Talk of the Town will provide full length recordings of Obama's speech and also of the questions posed by Whitley County senior citizens. The recordings will be posted later this evening. Additionally, we'll be bringing you a story and many, many photos throughout the day.


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It really happened here...

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama visited Oak Pointe in Columbia City this morning, bringing with him a message of optimism and the hope of great change in America. Obama, above, is surrounded by campaign supporters from Fort Wayne who assisted at the historic event.

Talk of the Town will provide full length recordings of Obama's speech and also of the questions posed by Whitley County senior citizens. The recordings will be posted later this evening. Additionally, we'll be bringing you a story and many, many photos throughout the day.


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Columbia City prepares for arrival of Barack Obama

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Kathy Heritier of Bravo Home & Gifts in downtown Columbia City was on cloud nine Wednesday when she learned she would be designing the floral arrangements for the reception to welcome Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama to the city on Thursday. Above on Wednesday afternoon, Heritier, like many other local small business owners, were delighted to learn they'd have a part in such an exciting, historic event in Whitley County. Heritier said she spent much of Wednesday hand-selecting each flower for the beautiful arrangements.


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Columbia City prepares for arrival of Barack Obama

(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Kathy Heritier of Bravo Home & Gifts in downtown Columbia City was on cloud nine Wednesday when she learned she would be designing the floral arrangements for the reception to welcome Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama to the city on Thursday. Above on Wednesday afternoon, Heritier, like many other local small business owners, were delighted to learn they'd have a part in such an exciting, historic event in Whitley County. Heritier said she spent much of Wednesday hand-selecting each flower for the beautiful arrangements.


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We all must choose: candidates and parties cause interesting flip in local Democrat, Republican voter ratios

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

For the voter who has never participated in a primary election and wants to vote this time around, the countdown to May 6 is now underway.

By now voters have made certain they’re registered, marked the calendar and have perhaps begun thinking about when they’ll take a few moments out of their schedule that day to vote.

There is something many voters might not have considered yet: you’re going to have to choose.

Not only will voters need to choose candidates, of course, they’re also going to need to choose a party and as easy as that might sound – this year, locally, that decision will come down to this: do you want to have a say in local government or do you want to make your opinions known at the national level.

Since the most significant decisions and candidate challenges locally are in the Republican primary and the national decisions are in the Democratic primary, the upcoming election is likely to bring about a different voting atmosphere than what we’ve seen in the past.

“There are many people who’ve already voted who have been precinct committeemen and people who have been active in the Republican party who’ve chosen to vote in the Democratic primary,” said Whitley County Republican Party chairman Jim Banks. In reviewing some of the names voting differently in this primary election, Banks said, without naming names, “I would have never guessed that person would have pulled a Democrat’s ballot.”

“What a great opportunity it is for Indiana to have a role in choosing major candidates,” Banks said. “It would be hard to fault anyone for taking advantage of that,” he said of so many typically Republican voters who’ve made the choice to vote as Democrats in this primary.

“I don’t blame people for voting in the election that is really going to determine the presidential nominee,” Banks said.

While it’s not uncommon locally for few Democrats to be on the ballot in the primary election, what sets this election apart from others is the high profile Democratic race – and it provides a tantalizing opportunity for local residents to have what may be the final say in selection the Democratic nominees.

“You’d have to go far back in history to find where there are more Democratic primary voters than Republican primary voters,” Banks said after reviewing the latest voting statistics.

As of mid-day on Friday, of the 424 people who had already voted with absentee ballots, 270 were voting in the Democratic primary while just 154 were voting in the Republican primary. Now, almost a week later, 674 people have voted via absentee ballots and of those, 239 were Republian and 435 were Democrat. These numbers are far different from the ratios typically seen in Whitley County elections.

Banks speculates there are two factors at work. First, the allure of choosing the Democratic nominee, a rare opportunity typically illusive to Hoosier voters, and a second factor that might best be described as strategy.

“You have Rush Limbaugh telling Republicans to vote Democratic,” he said. According to Banks, the conservative radio talk show host has been urging Republicans to vote for Hillary Clinton so that it would be Clinton versus John McCain in November’s election. There are speculations as to whether Limbaugh would prefer to create ongoing chaos in the Democratic party or whether his motive may be choosing who he views as the less popular of the two Democratic nominees to face off with McCain.

“Republicans may be voting Democrat for that reason,” he said.

“They also may be more afraid of one or the other of the candidates than which party they’re voting for,” added Banks.

Another interesting problem this crossing of party lines creates in Whitley County: less local voices choosing candidates for local government.

“I think the two local primaries for District 3 commissioner and county council both will be decided by a small group of people,” Banks said. “It will come down to which candidate can turn out the greatest number of people.”

In other communities, the line-crossing decisions being made in this primary election may have longer-standing consequences for Republicans seeking public office in the future. When a candidate declares their intent for public office, they are required to be in good stead with their party, however, voting for the other party in a primary election has the potential to put that good stead into question. Since party status is based on which ballot a voter pulls in the primary election, whether a Republican is still a Republican if they vote as a Democrat can be called into question, and, ultimately, a candidate running for office may not find the support of their party.

While Banks says this rule is not likely to be called into play locally, it other communities, it may be.

“If three people are running for a primary in three years, and two of those three voted as Republicans and one voted as a Democrat, their ability to be on the ballot as a Republican may be called into question,” Banks said.

“Is that fair? I don’t think so,” he said. “But, it does happen in other areas of the state.”

“I think most office holders and people active with the party know that,” he said. “But there are a great many that don’t know that.”

Regardless of all the speculation and the higher than normal numbers of Democrats, new and those who typically vote Republican, the upcoming primary election will be unlike many we’ve ever seen in the Hoosier state.


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We all must choose: candidates and parties cause interesting flip in local Democrat, Republican voter ratios

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

 

For the voter who has never participated in a primary election and wants to vote this time around, the countdown to May 6 is now underway.

By now voters have made certain they’re registered, marked the calendar and have perhaps begun thinking about when they’ll take a few moments out of their schedule that day to vote.

There is something many voters might not have considered yet: you’re going to have to choose.

Not only will voters need to choose candidates, of course, they’re also going to need to choose a party and as easy as that might sound – this year, locally, that decision will come down to this: do you want to have a say in local government or do you want to make your opinions known at the national level.

Since the most significant decisions and candidate challenges locally are in the Republican primary and the national decisions are in the Democratic primary, the upcoming election is likely to bring about a different voting atmosphere than what we’ve seen in the past.

“There are many people who’ve already voted who have been precinct committeemen and people who have been active in the Republican party who’ve chosen to vote in the Democratic primary,” said Whitley County Republican Party chairman Jim Banks. In reviewing some of the names voting differently in this primary election, Banks said, without naming names, “I would have never guessed that person would have pulled a Democrat’s ballot.”

“What a great opportunity it is for Indiana to have a role in choosing major candidates,” Banks said. “It would be hard to fault anyone for taking advantage of that,” he said of so many typically Republican voters who’ve made the choice to vote as Democrats in this primary.

“I don’t blame people for voting in the election that is really going to determine the presidential nominee,” Banks said.

While it’s not uncommon locally for few Democrats to be on the ballot in the primary election, what sets this election apart from others is the high profile Democratic race – and it provides a tantalizing opportunity for local residents to have what may be the final say in selection the Democratic nominees.

“You’d have to go far back in history to find where there are more Democratic primary voters than Republican primary voters,” Banks said after reviewing the latest voting statistics.

As of mid-day on Friday, of the 424 people who had already voted with absentee ballots, 270 were voting in the Democratic primary while just 154 were voting in the Republican primary. Now, almost a week later, 674 people have voted via absentee ballots and of those, 239 were Republian and 435 were Democrat. These numbers are far different from the ratios typically seen in Whitley County elections.

Banks speculates there are two factors at work. First, the allure of choosing the Democratic nominee, a rare opportunity typically illusive to Hoosier voters, and a second factor that might best be described as strategy.

“You have Rush Limbaugh telling Republicans to vote Democratic,” he said. According to Banks, the conservative radio talk show host has been urging Republicans to vote for Hillary Clinton so that it would be Clinton versus John McCain in November’s election. There are speculations as to whether Limbaugh would prefer to create ongoing chaos in the Democratic party or whether his motive may be choosing who he views as the less popular of the two Democratic nominees to face off with McCain.

“Republicans may be voting Democrat for that reason,” he said.

“They also may be more afraid of one or the other of the candidates than which party they’re voting for,” added Banks.

Another interesting problem this crossing of party lines creates in Whitley County: less local voices choosing candidates for local government.

“I think the two local primaries for District 3 commissioner and county council both will be decided by a small group of people,” Banks said. “It will come down to which candidate can turn out the greatest number of people.”

In other communities, the line-crossing decisions being made in this primary election may have longer-standing consequences for Republicans seeking public office in the future. When a candidate declares their intent for public office, they are required to be in good stead with their party, however, voting for the other party in a primary election has the potential to put that good stead into question. Since party status is based on which ballot a voter pulls in the primary election, whether a Republican is still a Republican if they vote as a Democrat can be called into question, and, ultimately, a candidate running for office may not find the support of their party.

While Banks says this rule is not likely to be called into play locally, it other communities, it may be.

“If three people are running for a primary in three years, and two of those three voted as Republicans and one voted as a Democrat, their ability to be on the ballot as a Republican may be called into question,” Banks said.

“Is that fair? I don’t think so,” he said. “But, it does happen in other areas of the state.”

“I think most office holders and people active with the party know that,” he said. “But there are a great many that don’t know that.”

Regardless of all the speculation and the higher than normal numbers of Democrats, new and those who typically vote Republican, the upcoming primary election will be unlike many we’ve ever seen in the Hoosier state.


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