On the Beat in Bluffton

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

N-B Links: Board delays BHES expansion

By a 4-1 vote Monday, Bluffton-Harrison school board members decided to wait until at least May 5 before further discussing an elementary school expansion.

But they also scheduled a special meeting at 6 p.m. Monday, April 28, to vote to replace the school’s heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system and the roof over the first-grade wing.

Before both meetings, though, B-H administrators want the public to review both the possible costs and scope of the projects, and they've created specific websites and videos with more information. Click here, for instance, to see the tax impact of the HVAC work, and click here to watch videos advocating for an expanded elementary school.

Learn more in the Tuesday, April 15, News-Banner.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Electrical short ignites fire on 250N

An electrical short started a small fire in a bedroom at 2724E-250N Saturday evening after a busy 24 hours for the Bluffton Fire Department.

Resident Andrea Claghorn reported the flames and smoke at 10:04 p.m. She said her television lost power at first, and then her dog started barking.

When she let her dog outside, it ran to the southeast corner of the house; Claghorn followed the animal and saw the fire, that had burned through the wood from the interior and had broken through the outside wall.

Learn more about the fire — and a busy 24 hours for the fire department — in the Monday, April 14, News-Banner, and learn more about electrical fire prevention in the video below and by clicking here.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Ossian Elementary celebrates spring

Ossian Elementary students held their annual spring program Thursday with dancing, oversized flowers, and songs about baseball, raindrops and even weeds during the nearly hour-long program, held both at 3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. (Photos by Chet Baumgartner)

ISP warns of dangers of meth trash as weather warms

The Indiana State Police Meth Suppression Section has issued the following release to caution Hoosiers about the dangers of meth trash as the weather warms:

With favorable spring weather coming our way, people are taking advantage by walking, jogging and bike riding on our local roadways. The potential exists that some people may come across trash left behind by those who have manufactured methamphetamine (meth). The Indiana State Police Meth Suppression Section wants to remind citizens that this trash may contain chemicals that are toxic, flammable, corrosive, and acidic. The combination of these chemicals could cause an explosion, fire or burns if they come into direct contact with the skin.

The Indiana State Police Meth Suppression Section, have identified some points for the public to keep in mind.

• Meth cooks are using a variety of containers to manufacture their product. A popular container is the one and a half gallon gas can. These cans appear to be new and have been found along the roadside by unknowing people who believe that they have found a new gas can and end up with a working meth lab.

• Other Items to be aware of include battery casings, Ziploc style bags, empty blister packs, and containers (pop-bottles, jars, etc.) that contain a granular material. They may or may not have a tube extending out of the top depending on whether it is a hydrochloric gas generator (HCL) or a one pot reaction. Both of these are extremely hazardous.

• Be aware of any type of cylinder found in an odd place (middle of a field, ditch line, wooded area) that has a modified valve. The valve will typically be modified in some way and will have a bright blue color to it. These cylinders are used to store or transport anhydrous ammonia, which is an extremely dangerous gas when direct contact or inhalation has occurred.

If someone comes across this type of trash, they should not handle it. Instead, contact the local Indiana State Police Post, information for which can be found here.

Any questions or concerns about meth can be directed to the Meth Suppression Section at (877) 855-METH or online at www.meth.in.gov.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

N-B Feedback: Local teachers making grade, state reports

Virtually 100 percent of Wells County’s educators taught either effectively or highly effectively during the 2012-2013 school year, according to the data the Indiana Department of Education released Monday.

The state compiled the data from among administrators in the county’s nine public schools, who originally  evaluated their teachers based on four, state-designated categories: highly effective, effective, improvement necessary or ineffective.

But the categories don't necessarily evaluate the same variables. Schools, for instance, can determine how much of an impact ISTEP scores have.

Learn more in the Tuesday, April 8, News-Banner, and tell us in the comments if you believe the evaluations results accurately represent teachers. Click here to see more from the DOE.

N-B Video: What smells worse than an octopus' armpits

Author David Greenberg speaks to Lancaster Central Elementary students Monday morning during the school's annual Young Authors week of events. Greenberg read from several of his books about critters from slugs to bugs, and before reading from his book "Skunks," he asked the children to guess what animal he was going to talk about. (Video by Chet Baumgartner)

Monday, April 7, 2014

N-B Video: Puttin' on the glitz

Five Wells County high school girls model their prom dresses for family and friends at Sassafras on Main Sunday, April 6, during the annual Pre-Prom Extravaganza event. The gala always follows the prom dress exchange event. Southern Wells graduate and 2014 Indianapolis 500 Festival Princess Chelsea Clifton also attended. (Video and photo by Jessica Williams)