On the Beat in Bluffton

Friday, July 31, 2009

Bluffton Boot Camp Graduation

Members of the Bluffton Police Department Boot Camp enjoyed a week of training culminating with a graduation ceremony on Friday morning at the Wells County 4-H Fairgrounds.

Bluffton Boot Camp Class of 2009

The 23 members of the Bluffton Boot Camp Class of 2009 graduated with honors today during a star-studded ceremony at the Wells County 4-H Fairgrounds. Mayor Ted Ellis and Chief Tammy Schaffer congratulated the students on working hard all week and learning skills that will continue to serve them well in the future.

(I expect to see at least one or two of these graduates show up on the BPD roster one day...)

C.O.P.S. in Bluffton

It was great seeing the arrival of the COPS cycling for C.O.P.S. in Bluffton yesterday afternoon.

They ride as a reminder of all that is at risk every time a police officer starts their day.

Friday morning, before setting out on their 90 mile ride to Richmond, Indiana, the cyclists visited with the Bluffton Boot Camper at the Wells County 4-H Fairgrounds.

The Whims win

After scoring first place in Thursday's Battle of the Bands at Columbia Street West, The Whims are moving on to the semi-finals, August 13. A win there means The Whims will move on to the finals August 27.
But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

News-Banner Assistant Editor Dave Schultz was at the semi-finals on Thursday and shot this great video. (Thanks Dave, for covering for me)

Meet Gene Cushman (or Ron)

We are not perfect, much as we would like to be. Reporters encounter many people in the course of the day and names can often become blurred as we move from person to person. It's embarrassing, but it happens.
Sometimes, however, it can also be quite funny.

Take this video shot yesterday by News-Banner Assistant Editor Dave Schultz. The man in the video is Uniondale Town Council member Gene Cushman. It's surprising to me that although Dave calls him "Ron" repeatedly in the video, Cushman remains focused on the most important thing: the new Veteran's Memorial Park they are building.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Bluffton Boot Camp

It was push-ups, sit-ups and chin-ups for the kids of the Bluffton Boot Camp this morning as Bluffton Police Officers put them through their paces at the Wells County 4-H Fairgrounds.
Tomorrow is graduation for the kids and points they earn during these types of competitions mean recognition at the end of the week.

Fair is fair

Bluffton Police Chief Tammy Schaffer snapped this picture of me as I was taking pictures of the Bluffton Boot Camp at the Wells County 4-H Fairgrounds this morning.

(Told you I got my haircut yesterday...)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

BPD Boot Campers beat Nathan Huss

Bluffton Deputy Chief Nathan Huss strapped on the Red Man suit and let the Bluffton Boot Camp practice their take-down technique on him.
The rule was, if Huss started crying they should stop hitting. Most of the kids listened. Most of them...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

WagonTeamster Visits Wells County

Bob Skelding is driving his wagon and team of horses, Bob and Bill, across the country for no reason other than to enjoy the freedom of life on the road. He was passing through Wells County on Monday, averaging about 8 miles per hour, on his way to visit friends in Michigan. His wagon carries a small kitchen, bathroom and living quarters. You can follow his travels at his web site www.wagonteamster.com

Libert Center VFD Training

I had an opportunity to visit with the firefighters at Liberty Center Volunteer Fire Department last night. They are a great bunch of people. They were also kind enough to let in on their smoke training exercise; search and rescue.
LCVFD Assistant Chief Josh Daugherty explains what's happening in this video (sorry if it's hard to see--after all, it's smoke training--jb)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Cardboard Regatta in Bluffton

Zach Zeis and Ben Miller used a guitar-shaped boat to soar across the Wells Community Pool in just 49 seconds during Saturday's cardboard boat race. Check out their stunning run in video shot by Ace News-Banner Reporter Frank Shanly.

Concert at Kehoe

The Beatles tribute band "Eight Days a Week" presented a concert Sunday night at Kehoe Park. Rain forced a cancellation after the intermission--but the first half was a blast.
Assistant Editor Dave Schultz shot some great video. You can find the complete concert series schedule here.

2009 Iron Kid Triathlon Results

Saturday's Iron Kid Triathlon was a rousing success, despite dismal conditions brought on by early morning rain storms. Every kid was a winner as far as the crowd was concerned and Miss Wells County Stephanie Bussey had a medal for each of them.

Girls Age 5&6

Archbold, Paige 13:01 1st Place
Horton, Sarah 13:58 2nd Place
Mahnensmith, Sarah 14:00 3rd Place
Isch, Josie 15:18
Archbold, Taylor 15:43
Joyce, Rose 15:52
Prough, Jaci 16:04
Isch, Jada 21:25
Shaw, Cora 30:59

Boys Age 5&6

McEvoy, Ethan 14:49 1st Place
Hollems, Carter 16:12 2nd Place
Reiff, Alec 16:33 3rd Place
Morgan, Bo 17:34
Babcock, Miles 17:48
Barton, Julyan 19:08

Girls Age 7&8

Behrens, Kailey 12.51 1st Place
Isch, Lauren 15.34 2nd Place
Stumph, Faith 17.08 3rd Place
Morgan, Macy 17.19
Hazellett, Jada 18.10
Gerke, Jessi 18.26
Green, Peyton 18.45

Boys Age 7&8

Archbold, Jake 12.42 1st Place
Horton, Andrew 12.50 2nd Place
Prough, Ethan 14.18 3rd Place
Mallery, Braden 14.21
Green, Brady 14.38
Joyce, Joe 15.34
Stahly, Trevor 15.40
Kemper, Gabe 15.41
Johnloz, Jason 16.30
Searles, Kaleb 16.51
Geiger, Zack 17.26
Gilliom, Koby 17.32
Williams, Blaine 19.35
Carnall, Aaron 19.56
Reiff, Jack 20.27

Girls age 9&10

Mahnensmith, Kate 12.40 1st Place
Sterba, Olivia 13.52 2nd Place
Kemper, Libby 15.04 3rd Place
Hazellett, Chloe 16.41
Stumph, Kate 17.10
Spath, Makayla 19.02

Boys age 9&10

Prough, Trevor 12.32 1st Place
Kohler, Caleb 12.43 2nd Place
Louison, Cole 12.50 3rd Place
Copeland, Walker 13.35
Zeddis, Luke 14.27
Anderson, Jackson 16.08
Harris, Justin 17.06

Girls age 11&12

Kizer, Patricia 13.33 1st Place
Stronzek, Stephanie 13.37 2nd Place
Hazellett, Paige 14.14 3rd Place
Jaskie, Jamiee 15.18
Helton, Alyssa 16.25
Joyce, Rebekah 17.13

Boys age 11&12

Kissell, Ian 12.06 1st Place
Reckard, Jared 12.11 2nd Place
Barcus, Gavin 12.21 3rd Place
Green, Bailey 12.30
Boots, Kyler 13.06
Behrens, Kolin 13.14
Lewis, Blake 13.26

4-H Thanks Hare Canvas Products

The cost of the sunscreen for the hog barn at the Wells County 4-H Fairgrounds was $185 and the cost of the sunscreen for the show ring at the 4-H fairgrounds was $167. The Wells County 4-H Association paid for the show ring screen, but Hare’s Canvas of Markle donated the hog barn sunscreen free of charge.
This information was incorrect in Saturday’s News-Banner.

Now that's out of the way let's be clear: The Wells County 4-H Association knew it needed the sunscreen for the show ring and it also needed one for the swine barn. (Hogs can be burned by the sun if they don't have protection.)
The problem was it only had enough money for the $167 sunscreen to provide protection for the show ring. They explained this to Hare Canvas Products and ordered just the one screen.
To their surprise, Hare Canvas Products, 300 N. Tracy Street, Markle (758-8800) showed up with two sunscreens, and only charged them for one.

Talk about community support, folks. The people of Hare Canvas Products deserve recognition not only for making the donation, but for doing it without being asked. That's the way a community-responsible business operates.
And they aren't the only local business to contribute to the 4-H grounds. IMI brought a load of gravel and dozens of folks donated cash and labor to the ongoing project there.

The Wells County 4-H Association wants the fairgrounds to be in use year round. Helping to make that happen is a job for every able-bodied person in the county. If we all do our part, the fairgrounds will be a treasure for the entire community.

Friday, July 24, 2009

All-Star Little League Tournament

There is an All-Star Little League Tournament in Bluffton this weekend. Games are being played today, Saturday and Sunday at Jefferson and Roush parks.
Three teams from Bluffton will be joined by 20 others from Indiana, Michigan and Ohio in two age groups.
News-Banner Correspondent Justin Peeper shot some video for us.

Swiss Days in Berne 2009

Chocolate &
Cheese Tasting
Food connoisseurs are sure to enjoy the Swiss culinary specialties of chocolate and cheese at Swiss Days 2009.
Taste testing of each of these specialty foods will take place in the kitchen of the DRG Creativity Center, just a block and a half east of the downtown stage. Berne’s own Swissland Cheese will be cooking some cheese recipes for sampling. The cheese that will be available for taste testing includes Chocolate Cheese, Raclette, Baby Swiss, and Harvarti. Also, Ghyslain Chocolatiers, from nearby Union City, will bring a wide selection of artisan chocolates to try.
The taste testing will take place on Saturday, July 25 from 10 am- 2 pm. The cost for this event will be $5/cheese & $5/chocolate. Make sure to stop by for some decadent chocolate and locally made cheese at this year’s Swiss Days festival.

Big Wheel Race
The Swiss Days Big Wheel Race, sponsored by Swiss Village’s Kinder Haus Day Care Center, is back again! Children ages 3-6 are invited to participate and must ride the Big Wheels provided. Each participant will receive a special treat from Dairy Queen and Kinder Haus Day Care Center, with the top three winners in each age group receiving monetary prizes.
It will be held on Saturday, July 25 at 10:00 a.m. on Baltimore Street beside the Cross Community Church in downtown Berne. The race will feature young children from ages 3-6 in a 25-meter race to the finish on Big Wheels. Registration will be the day of the race and there will be a $3.00 entry fee.
For more information, please contact Heidi Schoeneman, Kinder Haus Day Care director, at 260-589-2364 or Michelle Lechlitner, Swiss Village Marketing Director, at 260-589-3173.

The 3rd Annual Swiss Days Furniture Frenzy
Berne, the Furniture Capital of Indiana, invites you to take part in the third annual “Swiss Days Furniture Frenzy!” Berne is known as the Furniture Capital of Indiana because of the furniture manufacturer and five furniture stores in town. Yager Furniture and Karen’s Treasures are both located in downtown Berne. Bernhaus Furniture, Clauser Furniture, and Habegger Furniture are all located on US 27. As you visit each of the furniture stores, follow instructions on the Furniture Frenzy game card and discover answers to the clues. You could be the winner of $1,000 in Furniture Bucks! Spend them at one or more of our five quality furniture businesses. “Swiss Days Furniture Frenzy” begins Friday, July 17 and runs through Saturday, July 25. The winner will be announced on Saturday at 8:30 pm from the Main Stage in downtown Berne during the Hank Haller performance. Don’t miss this chance to take part in the “Swiss Days Furniture Frenzy” and possibly win $1,000 in Furniture Bucks to be spent at one or more of the furniture stores! Furniture Frenzy game cards need to be returned to the Chamber office or Information Chalet no late than 6 pm on Saturday, July 25.

Win Prizes Just for
Attending Swiss Days
Want to win a 42” flat screen TV or a free t-shirt? If the answer is yes, then make sure to stop by Swiss Days 2009.
At this year’s Swiss Days festival, there will be prizes and giveaways happening throughout the entire weekend. In order to register to win a prize, festival goers will need to stop by the Information Chalet which is located at the corner of Main and Sprunger/Hendricks streets.
There will be hourly drawings for T-shirt giveaways and the grand prize drawing for the 42” flat screen TV, courtesy of Innovative Concepts, will be happening on Saturday evening at the downtown stage. Winners must be present at the time their name is called in order to claim their t-shirt, but do not need to be present to win the TV!
Make sure to take advantage of the prizes and giveaways that will be happening during Swiss Days 2009.

Parade Announcement
Always a favorite event and crowd pleaser is the annual Swiss Days parade. Local businesses, trumpeting marching bands, and dazzling floats will regale spectators along the parade route. Onlookers will also enjoy several attractions including accordion player Arthur Brogli, the National Guard, and the TRSS Drum Corps.
Individuals who would like to listen as well as watch the parade can do so at the downtown stage, located near the city building. Parade route maps will be available at the Information Chalet during Swiss Days. Enjoy the parade on Saturday at 6 pm!

Swiss Days in Berne 2009

The 4th Annual Wiener Dog races will be held at Swiss Heritage Village on Saturday, July 25, at 10 a.m. during Swiss Days. Prizes will be awarded for four classes: Puppy, Stud, Powder Puff, and Open.
Entry fees are $5.00 for the first race and $3.00 for each additional race. Prizes will be awarded with the Grand Champion receiving a trophy. For registration information call 260-589-8007.

The Swiss Heritage Society will sponsor the official 8th Annual “Bake Away” Contest on Friday, July 24, 10 a.m. at the Swiss Heritage Village/Museum in Berne.
The Kids’ Cookies will have two divisions: Kids entering kindergarten through 2nd grade this fall and Kids entering 3rd grade through 6th grade this fall. Cookies should be made from scratch and include 6 cookies per entry.
The Frosted Cake category has two divisions: Single-layer cakes and multilayer cakes.
The Decorated Cookie has one division and must include six decorated cookies. For more information call 260-589-8007.
Prizes are donated by DRG of Berne, Berne Hardware, Berne Community Market and Swiss Heritage Society and will be awarded in each category.

The Swiss Days Car show will be held at Swiss Heritage Village on Saturday of Swiss Days, July 25. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and is sponsored by the Monroe Boy Scout Troop #72. Awards and prizes will be given all day. For more information contact Steve Maller at cell 417-0223 or Tony

IDEM looking at diesel fuel spill

Indiana Department of Environmental management is investigating an apparently minor diesel fuel spill at the former Bluffton Power Plant.
News-Banner Assistant Editor, Dave Shultz is working the story and shot this video on the scene. The story will be in today's News-Banner.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

State Ag Director visits Wells County

Wells County played host to some important guests Wednesday morning, reviewing and calling attention to a land preservation project near Liberty Center.
Indiana Agriculture Director Anne Hazlett visited the site of a grassed waterway and grade stabilization structure that is being installed on farms owned by the MLB Trust (the family of the late Marvin Day) and Dave Prible on 400W by the closed bridge over Rock Creek.
(Read the rest of the story in today's News-Banner)

New Tree for Bi-County ball field

Scott Minnich and Jace Hill, Minnich's Lawn Care (824-8103) were planting six trees at the new Bi-County baseball field this morning. Minnich donated his services and one of the trees. The other five trees were provided free of charge by friends of the local Dream Team...

Leadership Academy--are you in?

The Wells County Leadership Academy is now taking applications for the new year of classes which will begin in September.

The Leadership Academy is all about personal skill development and learning and putting into practice essential leadership principles. Dr. Tim Elmore developed the curriculum that is used for the Academy - the lessons are based on the Habitudes that Dr. Elmore has written.

Classes meet once a month from 8:00 am to noon and class size is limited. You can download an application here. Application deadline is July 31. If you have any questions, please call Pamela at United Way of Wells County at 260-824-5589.

Here is a video from one of last year's participants, Karen Everett, talking about what this program has done to enhance her life. Karen is the office administrator at Honegger Ringger Co.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Have you seen this duck?

Don't forget the annual Duck Race, sponsored by Family Centered Services, will be held at 1 p.m., August 8, at Kehoe Park. First prize is $1,000...that's a lot of quackers. There are 29 other assorted prizes available for winning, also.

Call FCS at 824-8574 to buy your ducks. It's just $5 per duck; $20 for a Quacker Sack of 5 ducks plus a free large, environmentally friendly tote bag; or $50 for 12 ducks, plus a free t-shirt.

Don't delay--call today. All proceeds go toward Family Centered Services.

Wells County 4-H Fair Parade Pictures

I had some left-over pictures from Saturday's 4-H parade and thought I'd post them here. Don't forget. News-Banner photos are available for sale at our Photo Gallery (and you can have them put on a t-shirt, coffee mug, calendar--whatever!)