On the Beat in Bluffton

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ossian Freedom Festival

There was fresh kettle corn, free hot dogs and chocolate sundaes at the 2010 Ossian Freedom Festival Tuesday at Ossian Health and Rehabilitation Center.
Hundreds of area residents turned out for the pie baking contest, the children's parade and live music. At dusk, a fantastic fireworks display lit up the night sky, bringing to a close an evening of fun and frolicking.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Hunt of a Lifetime

All were invited to a Hunt of a Lifetime to participate in raffles and a 3D archery shoot this past weekend. For the past three years, the Ossian Conservation Club has held a charity for children who have life threatening illnesses to go on the hunting trip of their dreams. This year's charity allowed Kane Scaaefer of Fort Wayne who has Lympho Blastic Lymphoma to go on a bear hunting trip to Alaska. Those visitors donating could buy OCC stickers, patches, or raffles to donate towards Scaaefer. (Video by N-B Intern Devan Filchak)

Indiana Elks State Ritual contest winner

Jim Horn, Kevin Poling, Keith Krider, Terry Christianson,Troy Krinn,
Barry Herdon, Don Hugunenard, Brad Koenigseker
(Front, seated)Exalted Ruler Jeff White.

This local Elks team will be representing Indiana Elks and competing in Orlando, Florida
at the Elks National Ritual contest. Congratulations!
Elks Grand Lodge Convention is July 4-8.


Sammy is a 3 year old Tan/white Chihuahua, male

Flash is an 8 week old DSh Calico, female

*We have several fixed and de-clawed cats for adoption. Their adoption fee is only $10.00 All of them are very sweet!
Call now: 824-6063

Monday, June 28, 2010

Safety Day 2010

The 2010 safety Day at Wal-Mart brought hundreds of children and adults out to visit with local emergency workers and help support Riley Children's Hospital. Kids got to check out police cars and firetrucks; emergency equipment and even ring the sirens.
News-Banner Intern Devan Filchak shot this video. She also posted a photo album at our Facebook Fan Page which you can find here.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Parks Department Show Choir

Bluffton Parks Department show choir camp ended Friday. News-Banner Reporter Frank Shanly was there to capture some of the action. Great job everyone!

Creative Arts and Commerce Center

Don't miss the latest art display at the CAC in downtown Bluffton, just along the Wabash River. Check out the beautiful colors. Art will remain on display until July 15.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Girl Scout Camp 2010

Wells County Girl Scouts are attending their annual Girl Scout Summer Camp this week. Events have included disaster training, rock wall climbing and camping.

Sierra Tolen climbing the 17 foot high rock wall at Girl Scout Summer Camp this week. Just one of the many activities planned for the scouts.

Girl Scout Judges Patty Makowski, Joice Kammerer and Lisa Gephart took a bite from each of three mystery dinners served by the Girl Scouts who cooked a meal without a recipe

Midson Parsenow, Jessi Bunch, Vivien Roberts are starting a fire to cook their lunch. The girl scouts are staying at Markle this week for day camp.

Stephanie Graham drew her bow and arrow to fire at the targets. Graham is a senior girl scout this year and participated in girl scout camp this week.

Karri Patch is being painted up by Brad Poper for a practice disaster drill. The Girl Scouts went to Caylor-Nickel Clinic on Wednesday to participate in one of the two disaster drills this year.

(Photos by N-B Intern Brandon Gephart)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Daniels comes to Wells County

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels visited Wells County this morning. He spent the night at a home in Ossian, dropped by the Brew Ha Cafe for coffee and a blueberry muffin this morning, then headed out to Ouabache State Park.
News-Banner Reporter Frank Shanly caught up with the governor at Ouabache....

Astronaut Col. Kevin Ford honored

NASA Astronaut Colonel Kevin Ford was honored in Montpelier Tuesday morning. Indiana Department of Transportation has named a section of Ind. 18 in his honor. News-Banner Reporter Justin Peeper was present for the dedication which included a monument.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Jazz on the river

News-Banner Entertainment Editor Barb Barbieri visited the Wells County Creative Arts Centre on Sunday night for the annual Jazz on the Patio performance. Beautiful music and delicious barbecue from Heyerly's Market made it a great time for all....

Monday, June 21, 2010


News-Banner Reporter Frank Shanly visited Touch-A-Truck on Saturday. Sponsored by the Bluffton Parks Department, the annual program provides dozens of utility vehicles, like firetrucks, police cars and tractors, for kids to climb on and explore. Check out the videos:

Instead of a tree, perhaps a fountain

I have a suggestion for the southwest corner of Main and Market streets: A fountain.
This idea does not originate with me. I overheard a conversation about it the other day, and I was thinking, you know, that’s a good idea.
So I want to put it out there today and give the body politic something to think about: A fountain on the plaza of the Wells County Courthouse.
I bring no official sanction to this idea. I don’t know if it’s ever been discussed by any formal governmental body with the authority to make it happen (it’s a short list: County Commissioners and County Council). I don’t know if it’s ever been discussed by any beautification committee or service club with the ability to at least raise money for the thing.
It’s just an idea. And I’m tossing it out here....
(Read the rest of Dave's column in today's News-Banner)

Friday, June 18, 2010

State champs

Southern Wells FFA is the Indiana State Champion FFA Chapter Meeting Team. The announcement was made during an award session Wednesday during the Indiana FFA State Convention held at Purdue. Rounding out the four places were North Miami second, Shenandoah third and Cloverdale, fourth. Eight teams competed at state having survived the section level competition last March. Southern Wells will represent Indiana in the national contest in Indianapolis in October. Pictured front row, left to right, Jayde Sills, Linly Lloyd, Jenny Lloyd, Mandy Stoffer, and Damon Smith. Back row, Tyler Hogsten, Madeline Wygant, Sadie Herr, Blake Huffman, and Acacia Herr. Not pictured, Kendra Mounsey and Justin Perry. (Photo provided)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Check out new netbooks available to loan at WCPL

Thanks to a grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Wells County Public Library now has 16 netbook computers for patrons to use to connect to the library’s wireless internet connection, communicate by Skype with the built-in webcams, or use the Microsoft Works software for basic word processing.

Now, patrons who have an active adult library card and a valid driver’s license can check out a netbook for two hours to use inside the library. Ten netbooks are available on a first come, first served basis at the main library; six at the Ossian Branch Library.

“The library’s general public internet computers were used over 46,000 times last year,” Stephanie Davis, WCPL director explained. “Patrons not only use the internet for leisure activities, but they also take online classes, file unemployment, search for jobs, etc. We did not have enough computers to meet the need, waiting lists were lengthening and, during peak times, patrons were limited to 30 minutes. The new netbooks more than double the number of general public internet computers, give the patron a longer work session, and offer the freedom to move comfortably around the library.”

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute's mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The Institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development.

For more information about checking out a netbook, stop by the Wells County Public Library or call 260-824-1612.

INTERNET, WORK OR SKYPE – Sixteen new netbook computers are now available for patrons to connect to the library’s wireless internet connection, communicate by Skype with the built-in webcams, or use the Microsoft Works software for basic word processing at the Wells County Public Library. Stop by the library circulation desk for more information. Pictured are library circulation staff Sharon Moriarity and Teresa Dustman. (Story and picture provided)

Southern Wells Talent Show

Pictured are Gwyne Coleman and Vanessa Haneline singing their hearts out at the 5th Grade Talent show.

On the last day of school, Southern Wells Elementary students and staff were treated to the 5th Grade Talent Show. There were several acts ranging from singing and dancing to judo and jump rope tricks. Our 5th grade students certainly “Got Talent!” Thank you to all the students who performed and a special thank you to Tricia Tucker for organizing and directing the whole show. Pictured are James Miller and Lindsay Aker showing off their judo skills.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Ralph Garcia at Ball State University for Project Stepping Stone

Ralph Garcia visited Latino high school students at Ball State University on Tuesday afternoon as part of "Project Stepping Stone" which aims to encourage Hispanic students to stay in school and get a solid education. The full story is scheduled to appear in Saturday's News-Banner. 

Zoo comes to Bluffton

Fort Wayne Children's Zoo visited Wells County public Library Tuesday night and brought some of their wonderful animals for show-and-tell.
Great fun for the whole family!

Voices of Power

Voices of Power, a local youth ministry group, visited Capri Meadows Tuesday evening to sing songs and visit with residents. (Video by Patty Elwell)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Honor the flag

News-Banner Editor Dave Schultz shot this video from Monday night's Flag Day ceremony. Three members of the Elks — Keith Krider, Brad Koenigseker, and John Barnes — raising a new flag over the courthouse plaza.

And again from Monday night's Flag Day ceremony, there is a video of members of the audience reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Love us? Then "Like" us too!

Our Facebook profile is now full of Friends, but you can still be a Fan: Find our Fan Page at "Bluffton News-Banner" or just click here and then click "Like."

Friday, June 11, 2010

Wells County Relay for Life 2010

It's never too late to give to the American Cancer Society. You can give to the Relay For Life right now by visiting www.relayforlife.org/wellscountyin or simply click here.

Right now 15 local teams are walking the track at Bluffton Middle School, hoping one day soon, researchers will find a cure that makes future Relay's unnecessary...

United Way Gold Outing

The annual Wells County United Way Golf Outing at Timber Ridge Golf Course on Thursday brought out some of the finest golfers the county has to offer.
It also brought out as team from the News-Banner.

Dave Schultz, Chuck King, Eric Fornwalt and Jerry Battiste hit the links for United Way and Thursday, scoring something slightly less than stellar numbers....

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Bluffton Man's Winning Smile Helps Him Earn the Top Spot in peta2 Competition

Bluffton, Ind. — Nineteen-year-old Joe Jackson and his winning smile emerged victorious in the Cutest Vegetarian Alive contest sponsored by peta2, PETA's youth division.

"With his ambition to help animals and people, Joe Jackson exemplifies the best in today's youth," says peta2 Director Dan Shannon. "And on a vegan diet, he'll probably always stay thinner, healthier, handsomer, and more energetic than his meat-eating classmates."

Jackson has a lot more going for him than his looks. He's adventurous—he recently spent five months in New Zealand. A rising sophomore at Ball State University, he is majoring in both journalism and public relations, and he loves to read and write.

Jackson uses his writing skills on Twitter to spread the word about the dog and cat overpopulation crisis and to urge others never to buy animals. He adopted his two cats, MJ and Foster, from an animal shelter.

The newly crowned Cutest Vegetarian Alive has been a vegan for two years and says that giving up dairy products was easy with such a wide range of yummy substitutes available, such as vanilla soy milk and So Delicious vegan ice cream. His favorite meal is Thai green curry with chocolate tofu mousse for dessert.

Jackson has won a professional photo shoot and a starring role in a peta2 ad.

For more information, please visit peta2.com.

(Submitted info)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Ouabache State Park

Interpretive Naturalist: Kate Curless
Office Phone: 824-0926
4930 E. SR 201, Bluffton

Ouabache's interpretive programs are family oriented. Parents and children are encouraged to attend activities together. An adult should accompany children under the age of 10. In the case of inclement weather, all hikes will meet at the Campview Shelter. Schedule subject to change.

1:45 p.m. — Dragons. Meet on the pool lawn during the safety check to view some of the dragons that live today. Swimmers, make sure to get your hand stamped before you leave the bath house, so you may re-enter the pool!
3:45 p.m. — Intro to stars. Learn about how our closest star, the sun, works to keep our planet warm by meeting on the pool lawn during the pool safety check. Swimmers, make sure to get your hand stamped before you leave the bath house, so you may re-enter the pool!
7 p.m. — Invading plant army. Get your gloves ready to do battle. There is an army of invasive plants on the march. Learn more about them at Trails End Shelter before heading home to do battle with them in your own yard!

1:45 p.m. — Pitcher catchers. Create your own game on the pool lawn during the safety check. Swimmers, make sure to get your hand stamped before you leave the bath house, so you may re-enter the pool!
3:45 p.m. — Wolfies. Do you like creepy crawlies or do you run from them? Learn more about this large spider on the pool lawn during the pool safety check. Swimmers, make sure to get your hand stamped before you leave the bath house, so you may re-enter the pool!
7 p.m. — Frog find. Meet at the boat house and we’ll learn more about frogs and the places they live. Afterwards, we’ll search for some along the shore.

1:45 p.m. — Lovely Luna. Get up close and personal with this large moth on the pool lawn during the safety check. Swimmers, make sure to get your hand stamped before you leave the bath house, so you may re-enter the pool!
3:45 p.m. — Floral masterpieces. Create your own floral masterpiece on the pool lawn during the safety check. Swimmers, make sure to get your hand stamped before you leave the bath house, so you may re-enter the pool!
7 p.m. — Roving interpreter. Be on the look out for Naturalist Kate in Campgrounds A and B. She’ll have something for you to check out with her.

9:30 a.m. — High flying squirrels. These little creatures soar from tree to tree and I bet you didn’t even know they were here. Learn about the flying squirrel at Campview Shelter.
11-11:30 a.m. — Hoosier Quest. Connect! Discover! Explore! Learn more about the patch program at the Campview Shelter, located in the middle of Campground A. After a brief introduction, we'll break up into groups to start working on the requirements. Scouts and other groups, are you interested in earning a patch? See the Naturalist to learn about the Hoosier Pathfinder program.
1:45 p.m. — Pool break creature feature. Check out what animal find Naturalist Kate has with her today on the pool lawn. Swimmers, make sure to get your hand stamped before you leave the bath house, so you may re-enter the pool!
7:30 p.m. — Going batty. These little mammals are a big help. Learn more about the bats you might find in Indiana, and then create a craft to take home with you at Campview Shelter.

11-11:30 a.m. — Hoosier Quest. See Saturday for details.
1:45 p.m. — Pool break creature feature. Meet on the pool lawn as Naturalist Kate shows you some of the amazing features of our feathered friends. We’ll be creating a little bird for you to take home with you! Swimmers, make sure to get your hand stamped before you leave the bath house, so you may re-enter the pool!

June 19-20 — Rendezvous on the Ouabache.
July 1 — Patriotic Pops Concert
July 3 — Natural Beauty Art Show. Artists: If you are interested in showing or selling your artwork during the show, contact the Naturalist.

Congratulations Southern Wells Class of 2010

NHS Class of 2010

Congratulations to all the 2010 Norwell High School graduates!


Let the kids discover their green thumb at the Wells County Public Library as Purdue Master Gardener B.J. Gray helps kids create & plant a “Grass Man” for a fun Father’s Day gift on Saturday, June 12 anytime 9-11 a.m. Free! Registration is not necessary. Just bring the kids and have fun create a silly potted man that will grow real grass hair. For more information, call the WCPL at 260-824-1612 or visit online at www.wellscolibrary.org.

(Send pictures of your completed craft to the News-Banner and we'll post them online!)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Puzzled? Make a Splash @ the Library!

If you missed the photograph of Bluffton Mayor Ted Ellis soaking his toes to promote the Summer Reading Program at the Wells County Public Library, you can still enjoy the full color version online. The picture is now an online jigsaw puzzle for everyone to play (free!) on the library’s Jigidi page at http://www.jigidi.com/wells_county_public_library.php . And if you missed signing up for the Summer Reading Program, you still have time. Registration for adults, teens and kids continues through the month of June. Stop by the library today and sign up. Read to earn prizes and free books while enjoying a variety of special summer programs through July 31st.. For more information about upcoming events, visit www.wellscolibrary or call 260-824-1612.


Stand up and salute, then sit down and eat! Discover clever ways to set a colorful patriotic table for your summer gatherings on Monday, June 14 at 1 p.m. at the Wells County Public Library. Celebrate Flag Day at the Good News Book Club and learn fun ways to decorate for Fourth of July. Also, see the latest craft, entertaining, home d├ęcor and gardening books at the library. Free and open to the public. For more information, call the library at 260-824-1612 or visit online at www.wellscolibrary.org

Wells Wants Your Photographs!

Walls in the offices of the Wells County Foundation are in need of photographs depicting events and projects funded by the foundation over the years through grants.

Toward this end the foundation is sponsoring a photo contest in hopes that Wells County resident photographers—amateur or professional and of any age— will come up with the desired images. All entries must be received by the foundation by 4 p.m. on Nov. 1st.

Complete rules for entering are on the Wells County Foundations web site
. A list of projects funded by the foundation also is on the site. They include projects involving animal welfare, arts and culture, community development, education, environment, health, human services, recreation and youth.

There is no entry fee. An entry form must be completed for each photograph entered. A copy of the entry form is located on the Foundation’s website at www.wellscountyfound.org

The Wells County Foundation, Inc. will reserve the right to use the photographs in printed materials for the purpose of marketing the Foundation. In addition, some of the photographs will be selected to hang in the offices of the Foundation.

The Foundation will award up to ten $25 cash prizes to those photographers whose entries are selected to be mounted and hung in the offices of the Foundation. A reception will be held in November to display all entries.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

More Southern Wells Awards

We had so much video from the Southern Wells Awards Ceremony we couldn't get it all loaded in a day. So here is more:

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Jericho 2010 graduates

Jericho ATCFMI held their graduation ceremony at Life Community Church in the auditorium. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings and teachers were either all smiles or shedding a few tears of joy as the students performed the program.

Ashton Chamness, a 3-Day preschooler, started the evening off with leading the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance. The 2-Day preschooler’s entertainment included both singing “I will Stand” and reciting scripture from the book of Psalms.

Next, 3-Day preschoolers sang and danced to “If I were a Butterfly” and “The WaWa Song”. Soloists during “The WaWa Song” included Avia Stoller, RieAnn Krinn , and Peri Bussel.

Chuckles rang out in the auditorium as Kindergartners performed their reading theatre piece “Mrs. McTats and Her Houseful of Cats!” They then showed off the skills they learned during music class from their music teacher, Jon Osborn(Senior ICE student from Bluffton Harrison).

While students got into their caps to prepare for the graduation, a slide show previewing pictures from the entire school year was viewed by the crowd.

After a “parade” around the auditorium so parents could get a Kodiak moment, students went on stage one-by-one to the tune of “Pomp and Circumstance” to receive their diplomas from teachers, Cylie Krug(2-Day preschool), Dana Hoopingarner(3-Day preschool) and Jaila Taylor(Kindergarten).

The grand finale included each the Fathers of the students coming up on stage and taking part in praying over their child a prayer of blessing and protection.

Finally, the crowd gathered in the foyer to celebrate the night with cake shaped like a huge crayon box made by Shelly Krinn, a mother of a 3-Day preschooler, and punch.

Fathers praying over their children a prayer of blessing and protection at Jericho's graduation ceremony.

Back Row from Left to Right: Cameron Fry, Ryan Corkwell, Phillip Stoller, Greg Hiday, Jim Geimer
Front Row from Left to Right: Simon Fry, Lucia Corkwell, Elsa Corkwell, Adin Stoller, Avia Stoller, Nicole Hiday, Caleb Geimer

Ashton Chamness leading the crowd in the Pledge of Allegience

(Information and Photos provided)

Southern Wells Academic Awards 2010

The 2010 Southern Wells Jr./Sr/ High School Academic Awards Program on Tuesday celebrated the achievement of dozens of students who worked hard to excel in their studies and get the most out of their education.
We congratulate all the students!

Southern Wells students lauded for achievement

Southern Wells Junior High School recognized (left) Blade Rheinhart and Katelyn Kline as the 2010 Outstanding 8th grade boy and girl during their annual awards ceremony on Tuesday. (Photo provided)

Also completing the awards ceremony was the Junior High Incentive Awards, a program that has been started to reward students for “AAA” Academics, Attendance & Attitude.  Students raised money for the program and were rewarded based on their hard work for the year.  This was for the second semester.  A previous Junior High Incentive Awards program was held in January.

Megan Fiechter, daughter of Lynn and Ronda Fiechter, was presented with the Matthew D. Scott Citizenship Award during the Southern Wells Elementary School 6th grade graduation ceremony on Tuesday. (Photo provided)

Southern Wells Elementary Sixth Grade Graduation was held on May 28th at 1:30pm.  Mr. Garrett began by welcoming everyone to the program.  Next up was the fifth and sixth grade In-Harmony group to sing “Survivor”.  Jackson Bartlett then led the assembly in the Pledge.  The special speakers for the program were John Hadley and Megan Fiechter.  Special Awards were given out to students for the Presidents Award of Educational Excellence.  The students who received this award were, Sydnee Jones, John Hadley, Jackson Bartlett, Chloe Maddox, Brandt Couch, Jessica Williams, and Megan Fiechter.  The Matthew D. Scott Citizenship Award was given to Megan Fiechter, daughter or Lynn and Ronda Fiechter, by a member of the Scott family.  The sixth grade students were then presented with their promotion certificates then the recessional ended the program.  Thanks to Mr. Cline, Mrs. Coleman, Mr. Garrett, Mr. Craig, Mr. Klefeker, and the Matthew Scott family.
(Information provided)