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October 4, 2019

NHES to host 5K Color Walk/Run on Saturday

From reports

Northern Heights Elementary School will host their fourth annual NHES 5K Color Walk/Run on Saturday, October 5 at 8 a.m.
Registration the day morning of the event is $15 for an individual or $40 for a group of four. NHES running club members may participate for free. All proceeds raised support the staff and students of NHES.
For more information, call (260) 691-2371.

October 3, 2019

Chamber readies for Third Annual Lil' Pumpkins on Parade Trick or Treating in downtown Columbia City

From reports

The Whitley County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center is coordinating the third annual Lil' Pumpkins on Parade trick or treating event in downtown Columbia City on October 31, 2019, from 3 to 6 p.m. in downtown Columbia City. 

Children and adults are invited to dress up in costume and walk from location to location in downtown Columbia City. At each location (a local business, non-profit or government entity), participants will ask to have a Lil' Pumpkins card stamped or marked. They may find candy, treats, stickers or other drawings, games or activities at various locations. Enjoy this opportunity to get to know new places and meet new people! 

Once participants get locations marked off their entry form, they are invited back to the Whitley County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center at 128 West Van Buren Street to enter a drawing and get some treats! 

"This year we're adding a Trunk or Treat component to our event," said Jennifer Romano, executive director of the Whitley County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center. "If a local church, youth group, non-profit organization or club would like to set up a booth or offer trunk or treating from a vehicle, they're invited to contact us to reserve a space on Chauncey Street in downtown Columbia City. There is no cost to participate." 

Last year, more than 800 people participated in the Lil' Pumpkins on Parade trick or treating event.

If your business or organization would like to participate, contact the Chamber at (260) 248-8131 or email [email protected]

South Whitley applies to become 'Broadband Ready'

Article provided

In an effort to connect private investment in broadband infrastructure, the Town of South Whitley submitted an application to become certified by the State of Indiana as a Broadband Ready Community.
The Town of South Whitley in conjunction with the Whitley County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) completed all steps required to apply for the Broadband Ready Community certification. The application was made to the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and its Broadband Ready Communities Development Center.
The Town of South Whitley was recently notified that their application was accepted and approved by the State of Indiana.  
"This certification doesn't guarantee a new high-speed internet provider, but it shows potential investors that South Whitley has taken steps to prepare and is ready for service," said Kennedy St. George, Whitley County EDC director of marketing. "Broadband is important to improve the quality of life and economic opportunities for residents and businesses of South Whitley."
The Broadband Ready Community ordinance was passed at the Sept. 10, 2019, town council meeting.
"Broadband is becoming more important for everyone. With one-to-one devices for kids' homework and greater network demands from businesses, we knew we had to take the appropriate steps to encourage investors to consider building additional broadband infrastructure in South Whitley," said Randy Cokl, South Whitley Town Council President.

DNR offers advice about deer diseases and best practices

From reports

During deer hunting season, Indiana DNR encourages hunters to stay informed about deer diseases and best practices for handling any carcass or other raw meat.

There are three deer diseases that hunters should be aware of this season: epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD), bovine tuberculosis (bTB), and chronic wasting disease (CWD).

EHD has been confirmed in several central and southern Indiana counties. As a result, the bonus antlerless quotas for the affected counties were reduced to a maximum of two. EHD is a naturally occurring virus that is transmitted to deer by an insect, a biting midge. EHD does not affect humans. Deer infected with EHD are safe to eat. As outdoor temperatures begin to drop, the risk of EHD will lessen. More information about EHD is at wildlife.IN.gov/8541.htm.

Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) is a bacterial disease that can affect cattle, deer, and other mammals, including humans. It is not believed to be established in Indiana's wild deer herd; however, the DNR recommends that hunters continue to inspect harvested deer for white or tan lesions on the internal organs or inner wall of the deer's chest cavity. If lesions are found, hunters should contact an Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH) veterinarian by calling 877-747-3038 or for more information.

CWD has not been detected in deer tested from Indiana. CWD is a fatal neurological disease affecting white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, and moose. CWD is shed in bodily fluids like feces, saliva, blood or urine. CWD is found in free-ranging white-tailed deer in several Midwestern states close to Indiana, including Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin. Hunters choosing to hunt in CWD-positive states should have their harvested deer tested for CWD. Hunters from Indiana who hunt out of state and have a deer carcass that has tested positive for CWD should call Indiana's Deer Hotline at 812-334-3795 to discuss disposal options. To learn more about CWD and CWD surveillance, see on.IN.gov/CWD.

Hunters from out of state who hunt in Indiana should follow the carcass transportation regulations for their home state, as well as carcass transportation regulations for Indiana.  BOAH strictly limits the movement of cervid carcasses and body parts into Indiana to the following:

  • Commercially processed meat, which may contain bone
  • Carcasses or parts of carcasses if no portion of the head, spinal cord or small intestine is attached or otherwise included
  • Carcasses or parts of carcasses that include the head, spinal cord or small intestine, if they are delivered within 72 hours after entry to one of the following:
    • A meat processor inspected by BOAH for processing
    • A commercial deer processor registered with DNR for processing
    • A taxidermist licensed by DNR
  • Antlers, including those attached to skull caps, if the skull cap is cleaned of all brain and muscle tissue
  • Hides
  • Upper canine teeth, also known as "bugler," "whistlers," or "ivories"
  • Finished taxidermist mounts

Regardless of the harvest, hunters and trappers should adhere to the following best practices when field-dressing or handling any carcass or other raw meat:

  1. Wear disposable gloves
  2. Always wash your hands afterward
  3. Clean and disinfect instruments after use
  4. Don't handle or consume wild animals that appear sick or act abnormal
  5. Cook meat thoroughly
  6. Minimize contact with brain or spinal tissues

Report sick deer at deer.dnr.IN.gov

For information on wildlife diseases, visit wildlife.IN.gov/5466.htm.

September 13, 2019

South Whitley library to host Downton Abbey tea on Wednesday evening

From reports

Will you be joining them for tea?
Leading up to the release of the new Downton Abbey movie next week, South Whitley Community Public Library will host a tea on Wednesday, September 18, 2019, at 6 p.m. at the library.
Guests at the tea will enjoy tea, scones and cucumber rolls in addition to Downton Abbey-themed games.
Two movie passes will be given away during the event.
To RSVP, call the library at (260) 723-5321.

Zay, Judy to speak in South Whitley on Saturday morning

From reports

The Whitley County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center is pleased to announce a Chamber Legislative Update meeting in South Whitley on Saturday, September 14, 2019, from 8 to 9 a.m. at the South Whitley Community Public Library. The public is invited to attend.

State Senator Andy Zay and State Representative Christopher Judy have confirmed their attendance at the meeting. Judy and Zay will provide an overview of current issues and seek public input.

"We plan our Legislative Update series meetings each year to enable our members and our greater community to engage, first hand, with our elected officials," said Jennifer Romano, executive director of the Whitley County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center. "This provides an outstanding opportunity for our local business leaders and residents to hear what's happening in State government and share their concerns about important issues in a personal, timely way."

Fish populations will be discussed at upcoming ULTRA meeting

From reports

A program on fisheries of the Upper Lakes of the Tippecanoe River will be presented at Big Lake Church of God on North SR 109 on Tuesday, September 10 at 6:30 p.m. A light supper is provided prior to the 7 p.m. program.
Keynote speakers include Tyler Delauder and Clark Milestone. Delauder, assistant DNR Fisheries Biologist, will discuss the status of fish populations in the waters of the Upper Lakes of the Tippecanoe River, of which there are several in Whitley County. Milestone, a member of the Loon Lake Property Owners Association board of directors and an active member of the Loon Lake Fish Stocking program will provide an update on stocking efforts at Loon Lake. The program is open to the community.

Whitko community will pull together for service project day

From reports

On Friday, September 27, 2019, the Whitko Wildcats will come out full ROAR to work together within their local communities to clean up their schools and some of the community to which they belong.

Thursday the announcement that Whitko would host the "Whitko Service Project" was first announced on their Instagram newsfeed, quickly followed by announcements on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

"We've wanted to do a service project day for our schools since last spring and now the timing is right!" said Superintendent Brandon Penrod. Penrod and school administrators have been actively planning the details behind the scenes.

Some of the activities students and staff will engage in include: sanitizing handrails, painting, picking up garbage, and even passing out cookies and lemonade to other volunteers. Whitko is also reaching out to local community members who wish to join them for the event.

School administrators are asking community members who would like to volunteer to first register at whitko.org/volunteer to have their background check completed as soon as possible. Because of the anticipated amount of community members expected to join in the celebration, turn-around times vary for background checks and the school has requested all background checks be completed by no later than September 13th. Background checks, according to the school website, are an important tool used to assist with student safety.

Throughout the day, the students and staff will be encouraged to use the hashtag #WeBelieveInWhitko to document their different activities across social media. The school will also have live coverage from their various locations to show the work as it progresses.

To learn more details regarding specifics of the day, volunteers are encouraged to connect with the school located closest to their community.

Cancer Services offering nutritional program at Peabody Public Library

From reports

Learn what commonly available foods offer the best nutritional value.
Dietition Sue Delagrange of Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana will present a free nutrition program in October. The program is scheduled for Friday, October 4, 2019, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at Peabody Public Library in Columbia City. Reservations are recommended, but not required. For more information or to reserve a seat, call toll free to 1-866-484-9560

Antlerless quotas reduced by IDNR in some parts of Indiana

Article provided

Indiana DNR has reduced the County Bonus Antlerless Quotas (CBAQ) for deer hunting in the affected areas in southern Indiana to a maximum of two because of the effect of epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) on the deer herd this year.
The CBAQ of counties that already have quotas of two or fewer will remain the same. 
The Special Antlerless Firearms Season is only allowed in counties marked in green on the CBAQ map. These counties previously had a county bonus antlerless quota of four, but were reduced to a maximum of two.

Humans are not at risk for contracting EHD.

EHD is a viral disease that may affect white-tailed deer to some degree every year. It typically occurs during late summer and early fall, and there is evidence that outbreaks can be more severe in years in which there is a wet spring followed by a hot, dry fall. EHD is transmitted by flies commonly known as biting midges, sand gnats, and "no-see-ums."

EHD is often fatal to deer but some survive it. Not every deer in an affected area contracts EHD. One sign that a deer has contracted and survived EHD is that its hooves will show evidence of sloughing or breaking. As a result, the DNR asks that successful hunters use the After Hunt Survey (wildlife.IN.gov/9813.htm) to report the condition of their harvested deer's hooves, including both normal hooves and hooves that show evidence of sloughing or breaking.

The DNR monitors for EHD annually. The most recent significant EHD outbreaks were in 2007 and 2012. Severe outbreaks rarely occur in consecutive years due to immunity from previous infections. EHD is not believed to have long-term impacts on the deer population.

The effects of the harvest and EHD will be evaluated after the hunting season. If necessary, additional changes will be made next year.

Anyone who finds a deer they suspect died of EHD is asked to file a report using the "Report a Dead or Sick Deer" form at deer.dnr.IN.gov.

More information on EHD and a map of the new CBAQ can be found at: wildlife.IN.gov/8541.htm

Larwill is ready for broadband

From reports

In an effort to connect private investment in broadband infrastructure, the Town of Larwill is the first in Whitley County to become certified by the State of Indiana as a Broadband Ready Community.
The Town of Larwill in conjunction with the Whitley County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) completed all steps required to apply for the Broadband Ready Community certification. The application was made to the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and its Broadband Ready Communities Development Center.
The Town of Larwill was notified this month that it is the first town or city in Whitley County to be certified.
"Having this certification sends a signal to the telecommunication industry that Larwill has taken the steps to reduce barriers for broadband infrastructure investment," said Kennedy St. George, Whitley County EDC director of marketing. "Broadband has become an important infrastructure necessary to improve the quality of life and economic opportunities for our residents and businesses in Larwill. It's a great step forward."
The Broadband Ready Community ordinance was passed at the Aug. 8, 2019, town council meeting.
"The goal is to have each our communities certified, we are currently in the process of certifying the unincorporated areas of the county," St. George said. "It is exciting for our homes and businesses in Whitley County."

September 5, 2019

Passages prepares to celebrate 65th year

Article provided

Local nonprofit, Passages, Inc., invites the community to help celebrate its 65th year as an organization. Passages, Inc. is dedicated to leading people with intellectual and developmental disabilities into thriving and meaningful lives. The organization provides support to individuals through an array of programming such as life skills training and creative arts; they provide employment services and support; housing options-group homes and supported independent living; and more.
The 65th anniversary celebration and annual meeting is slated for Tuesday, September 17, 2019 at 6 p.m. at Ceruti's at Eagle Glen Event Center in Columbia City (129 S. Eagle Glen Trail, Columbia City, IN 46725). Doors open at 6 p.m., heavy appetizers will be served at 6:30 p.m. and a program will follow at 7 p.m.
In celebration of this milestone, and as a thank you to the community, Passages welcomes anyone to attend the event. Passages kindly requests that guests RSVP by September 10, 2019 to Michele McCoy: [email protected] or 260-244-9331. The event is free of charge.
"Since our humble beginning in 1954 as the 'Opportunity School' serving 12 youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities, we've grown to serve 200 individuals while employing 130 staff," said Passages President and CEO Jason Meyer.
If you're unable to attend the event, you can support Passages in other ways. 

"If you have a desire to help people and want to make a difference in someone's life, we're always looking for volunteers," said Meyer.
You can also make a financial gift to Passages by visiting: www.passagesinc.org (click donate). Or gifts can be mailed to Passages, Inc. at: P.O. Box 1005, Columbia City, IN 46725.

"If you're passionate about a specific program at Passages, we can help direct those dollars. We want you to make a difference in ways most meaningful to you," said Meyer.  
Want to get involved with Passages? Visit www.passagesinc.org, contact 260-244-7688, or connect with Passages on social media (FacebookInstagram & LinkedIn). 

Whitley County Historical Museum to host rare Native American artifacts program on September 19

From reports

Huntington native Jim Bickel will be giving a program on his collection of rare Native American artifacts on Thursday, September 19 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Whitley County Historical Museum in Columbia City.

Some of the artifacts in Bickel's collection belonged to Kil-so-quah, granddaughter of Chief Little Turtle of the Miami Indians. Bickel has studied local Native American artifacts for over 60 years as well as well as given over 200 programs about his collection in the last 40 years. Admission to this program is free. 

The Whitley County Historical Museum, housed in the home of Thomas Riley Marshall, is dedicated to preserving the history of Whitley County. This is achieved through educational programs, artifact preservation and collection, exhibits, publications, and collaboration with related groups. The museum is located at 108 West Jefferson Street in Columbia City. Hours are Tuesday - Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Friday, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Admission is free.

2019 Trick or Treat times shared for Columbia City

From reports

The City of Columbia City and the Whitley County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center have announced the upcoming times and dates for trick or treating activities in Columbia City.
- House to House...Trick or Treating in Columbia City will be held on October 26th, 2019, from 5 to 8 p.m.
- Downtown Businesses...Trick or Treating in downtown Columbia City will be held on October 31 from 3 to 6 p.m.

Local businesses or organizations interested in offering trunk or treating in conjunction with Trick or Treating on October 31 should contact the Whitley County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center for more information by emailing [email protected]


Become a citizen scientist

From reports

Local residents are invited to join more than 150 volunteers who will assist in monitoring water quality at 100 sites throughout Kosciusko, Noble and Whitley counties in one afternoon. The Watershed Foundation and the Kosciusko County Soil & Water Conservation District will host annual Snapshot Day  on Wednesday, September 18, from 2 to 6 p.m.

Snapshot Day Volunteers are citizen scientists monitoring temperature, dissolved oxygen, and transparency at local sites. Participants also collect water samples for analysis of bacteria, nitrate, phosphate and pH levels. The valuable data collected by Snapshot Day volunteers will be used to drive action for clean water. Sites have been assessed for their safety and difficulty to access - and TWF will have a wide range for every ability! Whether you have ever waded in a stream or not, there is a site for you. The estimated time commitment will be 2 to 3 1/2 hours.

CLICK HERE to register for your preferred location. At registration, TWF will provide you with the sampling materials and more information on your testing sites.

Grace College School of Business to offer FastTrac classes in Spanish, English

Article provided

The Grace College School of Business will offer Kauffman FastTrac classes in Spanish for individuals who want to start or grow a business. Classes will meet from 6-8:30 p.m. on Thursday evenings starting September 26. The program will be seven weeks long and will be instructed by Grace business professors at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center, 610 Wooster Rd, Winona Lake. The Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce will sponsor the program. 

Kauffman FastTrac is the largest entrepreneurship foundation in the world. It equips aspiring entrepreneurs with the business skills and insights, tools, resources, and peer networks necessary to start and grow successful businesses. 

"Grace's School of Business sees tremendous value in the program," said Dr. Alan Grossnickle, associate professor of business at Grace College. 

Grossnickle and Dr. Rick Koontz, associate professor of information systems, were trained to facilitate the program after Grace became a licensed and now a legacy host site. They have seen great success with the program in the past. 

"Last year we realized how effective this program truly is. A majority of the business plans developed through FastTrac were executed to start new businesses or improve pre-existing companies," stated Grossnickle. 

For this program, Grossnickle and Koontz will be accompanied by a translator, Benjamin Navarro, admissions liaison for Latino recruitment. 

"We are excited about making this program accessible to a new group of people by providing Spanish translation," said Grossnickle. "We feel that this is meeting a need in the community, and that is what the School of Business and Grace College are all about." 

Another FastTrac, taught in English, will meet on Wednesday evenings from 6-8:30 p.m. beginning October 9. 

To sign up for either Kauffman FastTrac, email Alan Grossnickle at [email protected] or Benjamin Navarro at [email protected] for inquiries in Spanish. For more information about FastTrac, visit www.fasttrac.org.