On the Beat in Bluffton

Monday, August 31, 2009

Bluffton group set for Guinness

Michael Runyon and his gaming team Analog Khaos (www.analogkhaos.com) set a Guinness World Record for Longest Consecutive Play Session of a Third Person Shooter in a video game at the Blockbuster Videostore, 1980 N. Main St. in Bluffton. The event was also a chance to raise money for Riley Hospital for Children.
There is no listing in the Guinness Book of World Records for this category so Guinness required the team to play for 24-straight hours to set the record. They played for 30 hours. Their game of choice was “Gears of War 2” for Xbox 360. Gerber Furniture donated the comfortable recliners for the attempt; Microsoft donated new controllers, Richard's Restaurant brought them free breakfast on Sunday and Blockbuster provided the space. video

More Christian Care pictures





It was perfect weather for a carnival on Saturday. Hundreds of folks gathered at the 20th Anniversary Carnival at the Christian Care Retirement Community. Here are a few more of Mark Miller's pictures from the event:

Anniversary Carnival at Christian Care



Saturday was the 20th Anniversary Carnival at the Christian Care Retirement Community for residents and families.
News-Banner Publisher Mark Miller visited the event and snapped some great pictures:

(Above) Mindy Gerber and her sons, Ethan, 2, and Brian, 4, Decatur residents, made certain to get an animal balloon at the carnival.


Four generations of Gerbers were on hand to celebrate: Floyd Gerber, 91, a resident at Christian Care. his son Leroy Gerber, founding and current executive director at the retirement community, his son Pierre and his son, Jackson, age 5, posed with "Bubbles the Clown."

Friday, August 28, 2009

BHS Bloggers set the bar high





They are just getting started but the BHS Bloggers staff have already created quite a blog.

They have their own BHS Blog Bank, which houses three different sections: Buzzworthy@BHS, Athletes in Action and a Photo Gallery.

Check it out. They are setting a new standard for high school Online Media.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Bluffton students get kayaking-reading-lesson







When Bluffton teacher Rosemary Henderson asked her 8th grade students to read a book about a group of kayaking kids, she didn't realize most of them had no idea what a kayak was. So she
brought her students to a lake in northern Indiana to show them.

Here is her story:

My students from Bluffton Harrison’s Reading Plus program enjoyed a day of Kayaking at Camp Lutherwald in Howe, Indiana, on August 24. The new Reading Plus program is designed to help students improve their reading scores and develop a love for personal reading.
Currently the students are finishing their first novel entitled the Red Kayak by Cummings. They got a first-hand feeling for the world of the main character Brady when they dipped their oars into Twin Lake in Howe, Indiana, last Monday.
My students were showing real self-sufficiency on that lake. They were paddling out there all by themselves and realizing they "can depend on myself" to make things happen. No one can paddle the boat but themselves, and they built trust in their own efforts.
In the novel the main character of the Red Kayak, Brady faces a dilemma when his friends drill holes in a Kayak causing the death of a young child. Brady is faced with the decision of protecting his friends or doing what is right.
I chose this book to kick off the program because it is a book to which middle school kids can relate. The main characters are all eighth graders facing the problems of friendship, growing up, and dealing with issues that really matter to young people of that age. Students will also read related science articles about crabs and the crabbing industry and the history and construction of kayaks. Thus the purpose for reading will be expanded into real world needs.
So far the interest in the first book has been phenomenal. The kids come to class every day eager to know what the three characters will do in the next chapter. My goal is to make reading exciting and fascinating but reachable for anyone who is struggling.
I have chosen books which will absolutely thrill the kids and touch their hearts in someway. Raising their scores is a goal, but not the essential motivation behind the program. I want kids to love reading as much as I do- to become life-long learners. I’ve always said it is good day if you have read a good story. I want them to carry that with them for life!
I also believe Mr. Gibson and Mr. Mettler made a wise choice when approving this approach to middle school reading.
When the kids see a real purpose for what they are doing, they are apt to take it seriously and do their best. The right reading materials is one of the key elements for student success at this level. We want to respect them and empower them to discover their gifts.

--Rosemary Henderson

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ossian hardware theft suspect sought

Indiana State Police and Ossian Police Department are searching a suspect believed to have stolen cash from the Ossian Do-It-Best Hardware Store yesterday morning around 9:10 am.
Video surveillance footage shows the suspect as he walks up the set of stairs to the office where an undisclosed amount of cash was taken. He is then seen leaving the business from the same door in which he entered, the back door.

If anyone has any information, they are asked to call the State Police at (260) 432-8661 or (800) 552-0976. They can also call the Ossian Police Department (260) 622-7519.
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Morrison named new BHS vice principal

Business teacher Stacy Morrison, a teacher at Bluffton High School for 14 years, was named the new BHS vice principal during the B-H MSD board meeting Monday night.

The Comet staff at Bluffton High School used Morrison (and principal Steve Baker) as their first video subjects for their new Blog.

So, this video comes from BHS Bloggers. Their new blog is HERE.
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Monday, August 24, 2009

Markle Wildcat Festival 2009





Markle residents packed Markle Park pavilions for the 2009 Markle Wildcat Festival last weekend. Classic cars; fried elephant ears, corn dogs; corn hole and karaoke meant fun and games for the entire family...(Photos by Frank Shanly)

Hula-Hooping in Markle

Markle Wildcat Princess 2009 Sarah Spaulding led a group of hula-hoopsters in a group swivel Sunday afternoon at the Wildcat Festival. (That's her with the crown.)

Spaulding was chosen from a field of 13 Princess candidates and will serve her term throughout 2009 until next year's Markle Wildcat Festival. You'll likely see her at other events throughout the year, so keep your eyes open...

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Check out these Bluffton Bloggers!

WOW!

I had no idea there so many bloggers out there. I am constantly surprised every time I find new Bluffton folks blogging their time away.

Here are a few:

The students at Bluffton High School, BHS Productions, have a started a new blog (with a little help from me.) They are just getting started so there's not much there, but stay tuned. Coming soon...

Of course there is also the new Wells Chamber Blog. Look here for local business announcements; the place for Wells County expansions, promotions and big ideas.

And even local businesses are getting in on the act. Check out Quilts n Gifts
for cool pictures of what's new and what's happening. Local in Bluffton, don't miss this cute shop!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

H1N1 at Norwell: Don't worry

Norwell High School received word this week two of its students had tested presumptive positive for the H1N1 virus. Because the seasonal flu is not very active during the summer months, individuals with flu-like symptoms are assumed to have the H1N1 virus because it is the one that is currently active. But no individual tests are conducted.

Wells County Health Department was notified by NWCS and notice was sent home to parents advising them to take safety precautions such as proper hand washing and courtesy when sneezing or coughing in public.
For a complete list of CDC recommendations, click here.

But really, there is little else to be done. At this time the Center for Disease Control, in Atlanta, considers H1N1 a mild flu. They estimate in the United States alone more than 1 million people contracted the virus last spring. As of July there had been only 302 deaths attributed to H1N1.


If you are concerned about H1N1 and want more information try visiting the CDC Facts and Figures site or the World Health Organization section on 'Swine Flu'.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wells County Collectors




News-Banner reporter Frank Shanly shot pictures of just a few of the collectors at the Wells County Collectors Show on Monday.
Sara Gartin displays some of the 146 decorative vases she collects; Bob Harter brought only about 60 of his more than 150 collectible World War II airplane models; and Ed Rodenbeck brought his collection of riverside memorabilia.

Bennett visits Ossian Elementary School

Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Tony Bennett visited Ossian Elementary School on Tuesday. Principal Shellie Miller; Northern Wells Community School board members Donna Spear and Deb Miller and NWCS Superintendent Dr. Scott Mills accompanied Bennett and State Senator Travis Holdman as they visited classrooms and heard first-hand from students how things are at OES.
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Southern Wells: Meet Mr. Bell

Kyle Bell was hired as a new fifth grade teacher at Southern Wells Elementary School on Tuesday. Bell said he is anxious to get started and is looking forward to a great year...
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Wells County Collectors Show

News-Banner Assistant Editor Dave Schultz found lots of interesting treasures at the annual Wells County Collectors Show on Monday night.
Sponsored by the Wells County Historical Society the event was held at Bluffton-Harrison Elementary School. More than 50 people set-up 38 displays, including collections ranging from antique glassware to needle-work.
And not to forget, News-Banner Reporter Frank Shanly was there with a complete diorama including Medieval soldiers and a castle for them to defend...
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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

BHS Freshman show their commitment

Tuesday morning Bluffton High School Principal Steve Baker received a signed commitment from his current crop of freshman students that they will graduate, one way or the other.



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Monday, August 17, 2009

Concert in the Park

The Mountain Dewe Boys treated their fans to some foot-stomping music during the Concert at Kehoe Park on Saturday.
All proceeds from the show, which featured three bands, face painting, games and a magic show for kids, went to support the family of Connor Whitesell.

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WCPL Children's Events

Make visits to the Wells County Public Library part of the school year for your family. Evening programs for kids of all ages begin in September. And while the kids are having fun, parents can quietly relax with a great book or magazine, log onto the internet, browse through hundreds of music CDs, or join in one of the many adult programs or classes. Pre-registration is requested but not required.
PJ Story Hour: Ages 3-6 years. First Tuesday of every month at 6:30 p.m. Stories, videos, fingerplays, and crafts related to a specific theme make learning fun.
Kid’s Club: Grades 1 – 3. Third Tuesday of every month at 6:30 p.m. Fun and educational activities designed especially for boys and girls in elementary school. Book-related arts and crafts, stories, games and a chance to make new friendships.
JL Crew (Junior Library Crew): Grades 4-6. Third Tuesday of every month at 6:30 p.m. JLCrew provides young teens with a chance to expand their horizons while learning something new along the way. Each meeting revolves around a theme specially designed for this age group.
To sign up for evening children’s programming or for more information, stop by the library, call 260-824-1612 or visit the website at www.wellscolibrary.org.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Wayne Barker: BHMSD Superintendent

You likely already know Wayne Barker from his time spent as Assistant Principal at Bluffton High School and as coach of the varsity boys basketball team for the past 14 seasons.
Barker said he is looking forward to taking the reins next week (he starts Monday morning) and spending time getting to know everyone in the district.

In his own words:

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3rd Annual Quilters Reunion (this weekend)

The Third Annual Quilter's Reunion will be held Saturday and Sunday at Timber Ridge Country Club. Doors open at 11 a.m., and lunch will be served at 12:30 p.m. Guest speaker will be nationally known designer Monique Dillard from Open Gates Design who will display 50 different quilts during her demonstration. She will also be doing a book signing.
The cost is $30. Door prizes handed out to everyone who attends.
For more information call 260-565-4438 or email at mary@quiltsngifts.net.
Visit the official Quilts n Gifts blog for more information.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Markle Wildcat Festival Events (part 2)

Entertainment on the Festival Stage, Saturday:


12:00-1:00p.m. Ronald McDonald magic show

3:15- 4:00p.m. Guitar Studio students

4:00 - 5:00p.m. Mannequin Angels - indie
Ethan Kattau, David Geders & Josh Wenning

5:00 -7:00p.m. Todd Harrold Band - 70’s style jazz

7:00 - 8:00p.m. Jazz Band
8:00 - 9:00p.m. R & B and soul music, Fatima Washington

9:00p.m. Winners of the parade announced
Winners of the festival raffle and the t-shirt drawing announced

9:30p.m. The Jones

1:15 - 2:15p.m. MusicAmericana
2:30 - 3:15p.m. Chain - O -Lakes Barbershop Chorus

Buy your raffle ticket for$2.00 each or6 for$10.00 @ the information booth before 9:00 p.m. Saturday, for a chance to win $250.00, 1 of 3 Vera Bradley bags or a 25.00 gas card.
Raffle winners to be drawn @ 9:00p.m Saturday evening.
Need not be present to win.
Tickets may also be purchased @ MarkleBank, Village Salon, Clark Street Salon or from any festival committee member prior to the festival.

2009 Markle Wildcat Festival Schedule of Events

Visit www.wildcat festival.com for information and entry forms.

Sunday, August 16, 2009
6:30 p.m. Princess Wildcat Pageant at Markle Church of Christ
5:00 - 8:00 p.m Bluffton Regional Blood Pressure Screening @ the Park
5:00 - 7:00 p.m. MarkleBank Pork BBQ dinner in the tent.
$5.00 dollars each.
Purchase tickets in advance @ the bank.

5:00 -11:00 p.m. Vendors open

5:30 p.m. 3 on 3 Basketball tournament
Ages 11 - 13 & 14- 16, teams of 4 players
30.00 per team - trophy’s awarded to first place winners
@ the basketball court. Contact: Trevor Helvie @ 260-519-0433

5:00p.m. - Pie Bake-Off . Registar by 5:30 @ the back pavillion
judging begins @ 6:00p.m.
Pie and Ice Cream to be served after judging.
1st place $100.00, 2nd. place $50.00 and 3rd. place $25.00
Honorable judges:,
Rose Meldrum- Huntington CountyVisitor & Convention Bureau,
Greg Smart,Angie Bruce & Chris Jensen

5:30 - 7:30 p.m. Little Big Band- Big Band sounds

7:30 - 8:00 p.m. Crowning of Princess Wildcat, Jr. Miss, Little Miss &
Introduction of the 2009 Markle Grouches.
Winners of Business widow display contest announced.
Winners of Pie Bake - Off announced
In case of severe weather, announcements will be held
@ the Markle Church of Christ.

8:00. - 11:30p.m. - Rock -a- Billy


1:00p.m. Corn Hole Tournament @ the tennis courts.
1st Place $100.00, 2nd. place $50.00.
Pre- register @The Pickle. $10.00 per person.
All teams registered byAug. 15th
will receive T- shirts.You may register the day
of the event but you will not receive aT-shirt.
For more information call 758-3160


2:30p.m. - Frog Jumping Contest (Bring your own frog).
Prizes given in 3 different categories.
Categories are a surprise to keep contestants hoppin’.
Open to contestants 18 & younger.
All contestants receive an entry prize.
Located in the Playground area.

2:00-4:00p.m. Bingo @ back pavilion - donation- 3 cards,
play all day.

5:00 - 8:00p.m. Acoustic Jam - Back Pavilion

3:00p.m. Lifeguard Challenge: Can you swim faster
than the Markle Pool Guards?
Sprint race (raft to raft)Weather permitting
Prize for top three finishers
Sign up @ Markle Pool
SaturdayAug. 22



Acoustic Jam
Lifeguard Challenge

Youth-related programs get a hand from Kiwanis


As a fundraiser, members of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Bluffton assisted Dan and Darlene Gerdom at their Fish Booth at the Wells County 4-H Fair. In the photo, Dan Gerdom is presenting a check to Kiwanis Club President Tammy Slater for $350. The Club will utilize the proceeds of the fundraising opportunity to support youth-related programs within Wells County.

Photo identification: Brent Hiday, Chip Topp, Gerdom, Slater, Bill McBride and Jon Brown

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Norwell gets new Varsity Boys' Basketball Coach

Randy Hawkins has been named the 2009-2010 Interim Head Boys Basketball Coach at Norwell High School.
He took a few minutes to speak with me about bringing the "fun" back to the gym at Norwell.
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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

News-Banner Video (Outtakes)

We might carry video cameras now, but we're still just a bunch of beat reporters. As evidenced by our frequent misuse of the aforementioned video cameras...

Here are the clips:

1. You may not have noticed it, but it appears from the video these teepees survived a slight earthquake.

2. Not sure what we were trying to do in this one. It's just fun to watch...
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Monday, August 10, 2009

Town Hall meeting in Bluffton

Congressman Mike Pence held a Town Hall meeting in Bluffton- 211 W. Water Street. today at 10:30am.

News-Banner Assistant Editor Dave Schultz was there and turned in this piece of video. Look for the story in tomorrow's edition of the News-Banner.
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Duck Race: In Miniature

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The best part about these videos is the play-by-play provided to us by News-Banner Assistant Editor, Dave Schultz. If not for him telling me what's happening I would never know--it's all so small; like the Duck Race in miniature.
Perhaps if the Blog Bank gets lots of positive comments we can upgrade to cameras with a zoom lens.
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Duck Race on the Wabash

News-Banner Assistant Editor Dave Schultz covered the Duck Race on the Wabash this past Saturday.

Proceeds from the annual fundraiser go to support Family Centered Services. The group hoped to raise $25,000 to cover operating expenses for the year. They fell just short of that goal, but direct donations are always welcome.. You can visit the office, 123 South Marion Street, visit the web site or give them a call 824-8574.
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Wheels of Yesteryear Visits Wells County

Frank Shanly used a portion of his hard-earned vacation time to shoot some video of the Wheels of Yesteryear Power Show and Festival. Check it out...
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The Brew Ha! Presents: The Leman Family


In August the Brew Ha! in Ossian will be showing art work from the Leman family: Ron Leman and his two daughters Jaylee and Jori.

Ron has an art degree from St. Francis University in Fort Wayne and has worked as a commercial artist for 25 years; Jaylee is a recent Norwell graduate who uses bold strokes of paint and vibrant colors to create very beautiful paintings; Jori is a junior at Norwell with a talent for painting and photography.

Their work will be on display for the month of August at the Brew Ha! The public is welcome at an open house event at Brew Ha! on Saturday from 4 to 7 p.m.

Art work will be for sale at that time.

Wheels of Yesteryear Visits Wells County






Wells County 4-H Fairgrounds was the sight of a huge army of antique tractors, visitors for the annual Wheels of Yesteryear Power Show and Festival. Tractors crowded the parking lot and hundreds of tractor fans flocked the grounds to get a glimpse of their favorite farm implement...(Ace Reporter Frank Shanly shot these pictures)

Senior Exploration Fall 2009

The Bluffton Parks Department has partnered with the First United Methodist Church to offer a 6-week program designed for adults who are interested in continued learning. Senior Exploration will be every Monday starting Sept 28th through Nov 2nd. There is a one-time fee of $10.00 that will cover all classes due with registration by Sept 24th . We will allow registration at the door, but please understand that your first choice class may be full.

Itinerary

Location: Bluffton First United Methodist Church 325 W. Washington, Bluffton In 46714

8:15 a.m. Sanctuary open for private time
8:30 - 8:55 Continental breakfast, nametag pick up, & announcements in Fellowship Hall
9:00 - 9:50 Classes offered: Genealogy, Crochet, Economic Growth, Breakfast, This & That
10:00 - 10:50 Classes offered: Genealogy B, Art Appreciation, It’s a Small World, Self Defense/Safety, Scrapbooking
11:00- 11:50 Classes offered: Birds of Indiana ,Computers 101, Rock Painting, Book/Movie Review Club, Rubber Stamping

Three ways to register: 1. cut and mail form below, 2. call 824-6069 or 3. e-mail us at parks@ci.bluffton.in.us

*SEE CLASS DESCRIPTIONS ON REVERSE SIDE*
__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ _


Name ____________________________________ Phone ___________________________

Address __________________________________ E-mail ____________________________

Class Choices: (some classes are limited in size & are first come first served. Please list all 3 choices)

9:00am_____________________________ Alternate Choice: _________________________

10:00am_____________________________ Alternate Choice: _________________________

11:00am_____________________________ Alternate Choice: _________________________

* Send check payable to Bluffton Parks Dept at 128 E. Market Bluffton, In 46714 by Sept 24th. Please write senior exploration in the memo.
9:00 - 9:50 a.m.

Genealogy A - Explore your own roots and put together your family tree. Genealogy B - Same topics as Genealogy A, but this class will go from 9-10:50 to allow you more time. By: Connie Brubaker

Crocheting -Beginners will learn to single crochet, double crochet and shell stitch. Advance students will make afghan swatches. Bring a size H crochet hook, yarn is provided. By: Kathy Gehrett

Breakfast Club - Try new recipes & sample different breakfast dishes and drinks. By: Fancheon Resler

How Economic Growth is Made - Learn about economic growth and the job creation process. By: Mike Rowe

This & That - Enjoy a variety of different lessons and speakers every week such as learning about small businesses, canning and freezing, antiques and appraising and how to make sushi.


10:00 - 10:50 a.m.

Art Appreciation - American Splendor: Enjoying Great Art Through the Ages. View slides and discuss famous American paintings and artists. By: Amanda Martin of the Ft. Wayne Museum of Art

Self Defense / Safety - Learn pressure point techniques to defend yourself from an attacker and give tips on protecting yourself at home, while traveling, and against identity theft. By: Sgt Jim Paxton

It’s a Small World - Learn about life in another country by people who have lived or visited them. Countries featured this time will be China, Nigeria, Australia, Germany, and France.

Scrap booking - Learn the basic techniques to display your photos. Bring your favorite recent 4x6 photos by Oct 5th. Do not bring older photos, since this book is not page protected. By: Marcia Pate


11:00 - 11:50 a.m.

Birds of Indiana - Each week participants will learn the habits and antics of the birds in our backyards. Instructor: Kathy Fuller

Computers 101 - This class will be held at the Wells Co. Library and will teach computer basics and how to e-mail. Instructor: Deb Perry

Book / Movie Review - The Magnificent Ambersons by Indiana Author, Booth Tarkington. View scenes from the movie and discuss the book. Purchase book from library for $4. By: Cathrine Campbell

Rock Painting - Turn an ordinary stone into a unique critter to add interest to your garden and pick up some painting techniques. Because space is limited this class is for new rock painting students only. Instructor: Esther Schoeff

Rubber Stamping - Learn how to make your own beautiful cards. Instructor: Cindy Osgood

Friday, August 7, 2009

Kickin' For a Cause (pt. 2)






Wells Community Pool Lifeguard Katie Mettler sent me a few pictures and I had a few extras from Thursday's, Kickin' For a Cause fundraiser, so I'm posting them here. Check out the full story in today's News-Banner

Kickin' for a Cause raises $1,000

The lifeguards at the Wells Community Pool raised more than $1,000 for A Friend's House at their impromptu fundraiser Thursday evening. Lifeguards Jeremy Heckel and Ron Paxton were the first to suggest a fundraiser before the end of the 2009 season.They also swam for five hours straight to support the cause. Amazing, no matter how you look at it...
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Check out today's News-Banner for more of the story.
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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Free evening computer classes in August @ the library

Become friends with your computer in a fun, non-threatening atmosphere at the Wells County Public Library. Classes are free but you must pre-register. Sign up for only one class or all four.

Don’t be afraid of the mouse: Introduction to computers — Monday, Aug. 17 at 6 p.m. Gentle introduction to computers. Learn to maneuver the mouse, parts of the computer and the lingo. Great for seniors.

Cut & Paste: Basic word processing — An introduction to word processing for beginners on Tuesday, Aug. 18 at 6 p.m. Learn to copy, cut & paste, edit text, etc. using Microsoft Word 2007. You MUST be able to comfortably use a mouse to get the most out of this class.

Beginning Internet — Learn to search the internet on Wednesday, Aug. 19 at 6 p.m. You MUST be able to comfortably use a mouse to get the most out of this class.
Intermediate Internet — Take online searching a step further, discover interesting sites (travel, cooking, games, etc) on Thursday, Aug. 20 at 6 p.m. You MUST be able to use the mouse comfortably to get the most out of this class.

Classes fill early, so register soon by calling 824-1612 or stop and visit the Wells County Public Library at 200 W. Washington Street, Bluffton.

Fresh New Start

Members of the Fresh New Start Adventures Camp visited the Bluffton Splash Pad today. I just happened to stop by and shoot some pics...and this cute video of Hadley Smith and Brenden Korbyn getting wet...
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