On the Beat in Bluffton

Monday, November 30, 2009

Santa came to Bluffton

There's little doubt the Holiday Season has arrived in Wells County.

News-Banner Assistant Editor Dave Schultz and reporter Frank Shanly were downtown Friday night for the Christmas Tree lighting and the official arrival of Santa Claus.

The Jolly Elf was thronged with kids eager for a chance to climb into his lap and present their list of Christmas wishes...

Head Start sale for Christmas

Abundant Life Church is donating space for a sale to help buy presents for the kids at head Start.

Check out Dave Schultz story in today's News-Banner for all the details.
If you have items to contribute for the sale call Holly at 260-517-9100 or Andrea at 260-273-8581. Volunteers to help with the sale are also needed.

All money raised during the sale will go toward the purchase of gifts for the kids.

LCES Donates to Food Bank

The Lancaster Student Council is very THANKFUL to the Lancaster community for donating these items to the Food Bank in Bluffton. Socks, hats, crayons, coloring books, gloves, towels, and food were collected to help out those families who are in need at Christmas time. We are very glad that we could help with this project. (Pictured: Members of the Student Council)

Santa Claus came to Bluffton!

Santa arrived in Bluffton Friday night, accompanied by the Bluffton Fire Department, to a warm welcome from an enthusiastic group of young fans at the courthouse plaza.

The big event was accompanied by a special ceremony for the turning on of the Christmas lights at the courthouse. Mayor Ted Ellis, and County Commissioner Paul Bonham welcomed the crowd, and mayor Ellis urged them to support local businesses when they do their shopping this season.

Performers from Susie Cue’s Studio provided entertainment, with Alyssa Noble and Alivia Topp performing solos, and Rachel Bertsch and Autumn Nelson were both accompanied by Susie Wood.
Santa was the star of the show however, and his arrival soon drew the crowd to his new location for 2009, at 213 W. Market St. ‑ the former Trend Store.)


Looking for a Christmas gift for that animal-loving friend of yours? Why not adopt-a-pet from the Bluffton/Wells County Animal Shelter!

Maggie is a 3 year old Lab/Hound mix, female. Very friendly!

Murphey aka(Bow Tie) is a 4 month old DSH male. Sweet but still playful!

Call now: 824-6063

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Elementary students learn Thanksgiving lessons

Ossian and Lancaster elementary students received a week's worth of lessons about Thanksgiving. Here's a collection of pictures from Lancaster. I posted pics from Ossian the other day...(click here)

Lancaster Thanksgiving Feast

Lancaster Central Elementary School first-graders participated in a Thanksgiving Day feast a day early, with homemade vegetable soup, candy corn and lots of lessons about the Pilgrims, Native Americans and friendship.

Check it out:

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

OES Thanksgiving

Ossian Elementary School students participated in a number of activities designed to help them understand the meaning of Thanksgiving. Some were dressed as Native Americans yesterday, and will dress as Pilgrims today.
Check 'em out:

LCES Teacher earns Golden Apple

Lancaster Central Elementary School teacher Lyn Rodgers was honored at last night's Northern Wells Community School board meeting for her achievements as a teacher which earned her a Golden Apple Award from Indiana's NewsCenter.
The award ceremony is slated to air tonight at 5:30 p.m. You can see footage from the NWCS meeting right now...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Southern Wells Band

Southern Wells Band is hard at work practicing for the Bluffton Community Sing coming up on Dec. 6.
Check it out...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Erhu demonstration at Arts & Commerce Centre

Indiana University Professor Dr. James Yang visited Bluffton on Sunday for a demonstration of ancient Chinese calligraphy and to perform on his Erhu.

Check it out:

Friday, November 20, 2009

Ossian Students give to the Food Bank

OES Student Council had a food drive this past week. The students brought in a whopping 4141 items to donate to the Master's Pantry in Markle. (The food pantry had to make two trips there was so much food!)

BHS Show Choir

I caught the Bluffton High School Show Choir practicing this afternoon and thought I'd shoot some video. The students sound great! Which is good--because they'll be performing in the Bluffton Community Sing on December 6.

Students deliver at Food Bank

Norwell Middle School School Student Council (and a volunteer parent) delivered nearly 1,000 pounds of food and a check for $1,000 to the Wells County Food Bank on Thursday. The kids raised the funds with direct donations from students and faculty at the school. Those students who did not donate food donated cash instead. (Photo Jerry Battiste)

(Pictured) Skyler Millington, Chad Kramer I, and Chad Kramer II, Mirah Myers, Madison Marks, County Miller and Jenna Leidis.

Mayor Ted visits Jericho

Bluffton Mayor Ted Ellis visited students at Jericho this week.

It's all part of his plan to visit every student in the county at one point or another...well, I think that's his plan anyway.

Whether it's a plan or a happy accident, the students love it when Mayor Ted comes around. And his visits help instill a sense of ownership in the kids when it comes to the community in which they live.

Top photo:
Back Row: Deb Connett, Aimee Stoller, Caleb Geimer, Jaila Taylor
Middle Row: Skylyn Reese, Avia Stoller, Nicole Hiday, Pheobe Lantz, Mayor Ellis, Elsa Corkwell, Emily Taylor, Simon Fry, Katie Martz, Emmily Turmial, ReiAnn Krinn
Front Row: Annika Linderwell, Samuel Baumgartner, Ashton Chamness, Stockton Gerber, Max Eckert, Daniel Roberts, Peri Bussel (seated behind Daniel)

LCES Family literacy night

Lancaster central Elementary School held its Family Literacy night event on Tuesday.
I would have been there, but I was covering the Norwell Renovation Work Session.

Someone sent along these cool pics though...check 'em out:

Ossian students win Spell Bowl!

A team of Ossian Elementary 4th and 5th graders beat nearly a dozen other schools to win the Academic Spell Bowl competition on Thursday.
From my story in today's News-Banner:

Last year OES students scored a second place win. This year they beat the second place team by five points.
This was the third year the school hosted the event. Students from more than a dozen schools participated, followed by hundreds of their own cheering fans.
Statewide, more than 4,500 students at 20 sites competed in their own regional Spell Bowl competitions.

Complete statewide results will be posted online at www.iasp.org. Click on Academic Competitions, under ‘department headings’ then Competition Results at the top of the page and look for the link.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

House of Hope donation

Mick Ulmer, Chairman of Social Ministries (center) presents House of Hope Northeast Indiana Founder/President Tom Felger (second from left) with a $500 donation from the Lutheran Foundation, through the social ministries at Calvary Lutheran Church. House of Hope will be opening as a residential facility for hurting and troubled teens as of Dec. 1, 2009 at its Bluffton location at 417 S. Main St. Pictured, from left, are Jeff Bower., Director of Residential Operations, Felger, Ulmer, and Richard Schoenherr and Pastor Gene Kinney from Calvary Lutheran Church, Bluffton. (Photo by Frank Shanly)

Markle gets new firetruck

Markle town employees Rick Asher (front) and Mike Grant (rear) provide the News-Banner with a sneak peak at the new fire truck recently purchased by the town and the surrounding townships. The truck uses foam rather than water to fight fires, and local fire fighters are currently being trained to use the new systems. Further training will be conducted this weekend, in the hope that the vehicle will be able to be used starting next week. A full, official "welcoming" ceremony is currently being planned to enable all involved in the purchase to look over the new vehicle. (Photo by Frank Shanly)

Norwell FFA Forestry Team Advance to State

The Norwell FFA Forestry Team #1 won 3rd place honors at the Area XI Forestry Career Development Event contest and Norwell FFA Team #2 won 7th place honors out of seventeen teams. Team #1 consisted of Kateyln Carney, Sydney Kent, Matt Baker and Ashley Bowling. Katelyn Carney place 6th place individual, Sydney Kent placed 7th place individual and Matt Baker placed 9th place individual. Team #2 consisted of Stephanie Meyer, Cassandra Heckber, Brandon Schueler and Kierstan Clark. Team #1 will advance to the state contest at Purdue University, December 12. Each member had to identify tree leaves, seeds and woods samples from tree specimens from Indiana, plus, take an exam about forestry management, production and processing. 4-H and FFA teams from nine counties competed in the event held Monday, November 16 at the Whitley County Fairgrounds.

Photo Front-Katelyn Carney, Cassandra Heckber, Kierstan Clark, Stephanie Meyer, Brandon Schueler. Back-Sydney Kent, Ashley Bowling and Matt Baker

Bluffton Street Fair Celebrates 100th Year

The Bluffton Free Street Fair Association and the Wells County community will be celebrating the 100th Fair September 21 through September 25, 2010. It is the longest running and largest Street Fair in the state.

The Wells County Historical Society and the Street Fair Association are collaborating to have a beautiful pictorial history book published in honor of the 100th Fair which will be available for purchase by the general public.

Because of this joint venture, we are asking for sponsors for the book, with the levels of sponsorship being gold-$500 and above; Silver $250 through $499; and bronze $100 through $249. A special recognition page for the sponsors will be a part of the book. Each gold sponsor will receive a free copy of this historical book.

The Street Fair requests that a commitment from you as a sponsor of the book be made by December 31, 2009.

Checks should be made out to
Bluffton Free Street Fair Association, Inc.
Attention: Jon M. Brown
222 W. Market St.
Bluffton, Indiana.

Any questions can be directed to Jon Brown at 260-824-0500 or jonmbrown@adamswells.com

All sponsorships for the book are tax deductible.

Jon M. Brown, President
Bluffton Free Street Fair Association, Inc.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Gas leak in downtown Bluffton

Wells County Courthouse and every building between Market and Washington from Marion to Main street were evacuated Tuesday afternoon after city workers struck a high-pressure gas line in downtown Bluffton.

Jerry Battiste shot video and posted information on Twitter. Frank Shanly shot pictures. Dave Schultz provided video. Glen Werling was first on the scene. His photos are posted at the web site.

NIPSCO crews worked furiously to tap the broken line east of Johnson Street to set-up a by pass line so crews could exact repairs.

Ryan Elijah visits BHS

Bluffton High School Principal Steve Baker invited Indiana NewsCenter anchor Ryan Elijah to be 'Principal for a Day' on Tuesday.
Elijah spent the morning visiting with students and getting an inside look at the workings of public education in Wells County.

and don't forget to visit the BHS Bloggers post.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Bluffton/Wells County Animal Shelter

Hey you! Need a couple friends?

Mortimer is a 8 year old Lynx Point Siamese, neutered male and declawed in front. House cat Only!

Wyatt is a 9 year old Lilac Point Siamese, neutered male and declawed in front. House cat Only!

*Both are very sweet. We would like to keep them together as Mortimer is a bit shy and would do best staying with his long time friend Wyatt.

NMS Veteran's Day pics

To add to our collection of Veteran's Day pictures, here are several from the Norwell Middle School:

NMS Principal, Bob Hansbarger and Natatorium Director, Jon Gates cooked pancakes for the attendees. Student council & staff members helped keep the orange juice and coffee cups full! Led by student council members, the servicemen paraded into the gym representing various branches of the military: Air Force – Paul Double (’43-46), Bill Johnson (’84-’05), Frank Ratcliffe (’63-’67), Ed Goetz (’43-’45), Jim VanWinkle (’69-71) Army – Mike Carroll (’60-’63), Joe McClure (’65-’67), David P. Butler (’62-’74), Bill Sawyer (’43-’48 and ’52-’00), Jerry Lockwood (’55-’58), Delmar Jeffries (’43-46), Bob Frantz (’68-’70), Ron Marshall (’69-’71), Steven Jones (’88-’96), Clifford Black (’58-’60) Marines – Lyle J. Cotton (’46-’47), Ralph A. Garcia (’59-69), John Hacker (’91-97), Navy – Tom Cushman (’67-71), Bob Buehl (’65-71), Art Windmiller (’43-’46), Paul Sell (’44-’46), Matt Huffman (’87-’91), Thomas Foster (’63-’69) Serving multiple branches – Monte Fisher (Marine ’68-’71 and Air Force ’92-’98) & John Horn (Army/Air Force ’71-94) Currently Serving: Bob Rzasa (Air Force since 1988), Daniel Hockenberry (Air Force since 1996), Alan Jensen (Army since 1997)