On the Beat in Bluffton

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

The News-Banner staff wants to wish you and your family a very Happy New Year!

Enjoy a safe holiday!!! See you next year...

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Bluffton vs. Norwell Varsity Basketball

Did you go to the game Tuesday night? Bluffton vs. Norwell. Tigers take on the Knights?

In case you missed it, Managing Editor Glen Werling was there with his video camera and captured a few cool moments. Check it out:


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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

We want your snow pics!


If you are building a snowman, sledding in Warren or just playing in the snow--snap a picture and send it to us.

Like Bridgette Garrett, of Ossian. She and her mom, Susan, built a short snowman at their Ossian home on Tuesday.

What have you done with the snow?

Monday, December 28, 2009

It’s been a hard day’s night.....



....and now he's sleeping like a log. Somebody found the beds at Gerber's Furiture on North Main Street just a little too inviting Christmas Eve. The jolly old man himself was seen through the shop window, sleeping in Christmas morning after a busy night. (Photo by Frank Shanly)

Adopt-a-pet for the New Year!


Dottie is a 3 year old DSH Grey Tiger. Spayed and declawed. Sweet girl. Housecat Only!




Charlie is an 8 week old Lab/Boxer mix. 6 in this litter. Very playful and cute!

Call now: 824-6063

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Zeigler's Musical Christmas Display






News-Banner Reporter Frank Shanly visited the home of Jerry and Sandy Zeigler, 1121 Ridgewood Lane, for a story on a their annual musical light display.

“It’s basically just our gift to the community”, summarized Jerry. “Especially the little ones!”
This is the third year that the Zeiglers have put up their display, and it has got bigger each year. This year, the display fills both front and back yard, and around the side of their house as well.
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The Zeiglers found their inspiration for their display during a visit to a glass factory in Wheeling, W.V. They had seen the factory’s Christmas displays on television, and had decided to check it out for themselves.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

BMS Talent Show raises $5,000 for Riley

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Bluffton Middle School eclipses past funds raised for Riley

News-Banner Intern
Katie Mettler

$5, 024.59: the amount of money the Bluffton Harrison Middle School raised over the course of this past week for Riley Children’s Hospital.
Called “Riley Week,” the students and teachers at the middle school participate in various activities and games to encourage monetary donations for Riley.
This philanthropic tradition first began with former MS principal Joe Ogden in the early eighties, and has transformed and progressed over the years to a statewide recognized event. Ogden called it, “a great way for young kids to learn that there are others a whole lot worse of than them.”
Kicking off the last five days before Christmas break, the students dress up in different themed attire each day, such as Spirit Day, Mismatch Day, Pajama Day and Wacky Hair Day. In order to participate, however, the students must pay one dollar each day, of which all the proceeds are donated to Riley.
One Riley Week tradition that has remained strong over the past several years is the faculty versus student athletic competitions, a culmination of the week’s festivities. Teachers, coaches and administrators take on the 8th grade girls’ volleyball team in front of the entire student body, and then do the same against the 8th grade boys’ basketball team. Usually intense and almost always comical, this event is one of the most popular during Riley Week.
When the concept of supporting Riley first came about the fundraising lasted an entire month. Each classroom in the building set up a booth in the cafeteria during lunch and sponsored different games from Thanksgiving to Christmas. Since then the festivities have been condensed to just one week. Over the years there have been auctions, bake sales, pop and candy sales and even homework passes for sale. One year, former PE teacher Ted Taylor sold raffle tickets to the students, and the winner had the honor of snipping off his infamous ponytail.
This year the middle school tried something a little different to finish out the week. Beginning with the vision of current vice principal Rick Mettler, students participated in “Middle School Has Talent,” a talent show put on for the student body and community members at the end of the school day on Tuesday.
With over 20 student participants from all grades, the talents ranged from singing to dancing to a Judo demonstration. One student even belly-danced to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. A panel of judges from various areas of expertise, including Superintendent Wayne Barker, evaluated the performances and awarded three checks.
Claiming third place and a $50 check was 5th grade student Lexie Ramseyer with her rendition of “Mean Girls” by Sugarland. Flair Times Four, a group of 6th grade girls consisting of Caroline Mettler, Sydney Longenberger, Payton Davidson and Lauren Dent, got the audience to their feet with their performance of “Party in the USA” by Miley Cyrus. The girls got second place and walked away with a $75 check. Macy Reiff, 8th grade, clenched first place and $100 with her inspired version of “Joy to the World” by Nick Jonas.
Although the talent show was an upbeat event filled with singing and dancing, jokes from Mayor Ted Ellis who emceed the event and karaoke from the audience during intermissions, the program opened on a somber, but inspiring note.
Almost eight years ago, an 8th grade student named Corey Betts walked the halls of Bluffton Middle School. What distinguished Corey from most middle school students was the fact that he had Leukemia. Diagnosed in fourth grade, Corey had gone into remission and was seemingly healthy. He participated in the Riley Week festivities his 8th grade year, and even shot several three pointers during the faculty/student basketball game. But during Christmas Break that year, Corey was readmitted to Riley Children’s Hospital because his cancer had returned, and unfortunately he never made it out.
After speaking about Corey and presenting a video tribute, assistant principal Rick Mettler said “the emotions that filled the gym were overwhelming.”
“Corey Betts made Riley personal for our school and community,” John Bennett, former BMS principal said. “The whole community has embraced the idea of supporting Riley and I think that is a true testament to the quality of community we have.” Bennett also serves on the Kids Caring and Sharing Board through Riley Children’s Hospital.
The week’s festivities came to a close with the presentation of a check for $5, 024.59, the total amount the students raised throughout the week. Over the past 30 years the students that have passed through BMS have raised over $75,000 for Riley Children’s Hospital, making Bluffton one of the top money-raising school’s for Riley in the state.
Mettler closed the program by thanking the parents and students for their unwavering dedication and support to the cause. “I encourage each and every one of you to do something for someone else over Christmas Break. Don’t do it because you have to or because you will get a pat on the back. Do it because it’s the right thing to do,” he said. “And if you recognize the value in helping others, then the teachers in this building are truly doing their job.”

More Talent Show pictures!
















On Tuesday, dozens of Bluffton Middle School students took to the stage to perform during the Talent Show while the entire student body, teachers and families looked on. The event raised more than $5,000 for Riley Hospital.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Buckets for Santa

Tony Garton was at it again this year. Shooting hoops with the high school kids to raise money for a darn good cause. His efforts, and those of the students, raised more than $2,000 this season. Way to go everyone!

Check it out.
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(Even More) Christmas Lights Galore












Cruised around Bluffton last night shooting a few cool Christmas light displays. Check 'em out:

LCES Preschool visits Christian Care (video)

Lancaster Central Elementary School pre-school instructor Leslie Neuenschwander (left) brought morning, afternoon and all-day pre-school students to Christian Care Retirement Community Monday night to sing Christmas carols and pass out home-baked cookies and treats to residents.

I shot a couple cute videos. (Yes, my daughter is in one of these classes, but that's not why I was there.)
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Markle FD displays new truck

Markle Fire Department showed its gratitude to the community for its new truck during a ceremony Monday night.
Assistant Editor Dave Schultz was there and shot this video:


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LCES Preschool visits Christian Care






Lancaster Central Elementary School pre-school instructor Leslie Neuenschwander (left) brought morning, afternoon and all-day pre-school students to Christian care Retirement Community Monday night to sing Christmas carols and pass out home-baked cookies and treats to residents.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Karing for Kids wraps 5,216 gifts





By FRANK SHANLY
Karing For Kids volunteers are in for a busy weekend.
Approximately 200 volunteers gathered at the Markle Church of Christ Friday evening to begin wrapping the 5,216 gifts that have been gathered for distribution this year. In total, 652 children from 225 families in need in Wells and Huntington counties will receive eight presents through KFK.
“Seven years ago (when we did this for the first time), we provided gifts for eight children from three families,” recalled KFK organiser Rhonda O’Reilly.
Included amongst the volunteers helping Friday evening were groups from the Norwell FFA and also local girl scouts. More volunteers are expected in at 9 a.m. Saturday to continue the work.
Delivery of gifts will begin Sunday afternoon.
frank@news-banner.com

BHES Poetry Readers

Bluffton Elementary School 4th graders received a great lesson in the beauty and majesty of poetry last week. It is worth mentioning, 4th grade teachers went above and beyond to bring this near-forgotten literary art to elementary school students.
Great job!
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Jefferson Street Singers

Shot this video from the Ossian Elementary School Christmas Music Program last week. I think these kids do a terrific job!

They practice on their own time, committed to making every performance the very best it can be.
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Friday, December 18, 2009

Gingerbread Houses at River Terrace




















Everyone was a winner at the 5th Annual River Terrace Gingerbread House competition this week. Barb Barbieri paid a visit and snapped photos of every home on the block...