On the Beat in Bluffton

Friday, July 30, 2010

Telling a Tale of Redemption

A Friend's House graduate, Melissa, will be visiting Washington D.C. this weekend to share her story with lawmakers looking to reduce the exploitation of children. News-Banner Editor Dave Schultz spoke with her Friday...

Karing for Kids

Visited the Karing for Kids Family Carnival and Backpack Giveaway at Markle Church of Christ Friday night. Lots of fun and good times for families and hundreds of backpacks loaded with school supplies handed out.

BPD Boot Camp Graduation

The 5th annual Bluffton Police Department Youth Boot Camp graduated today at the Wells County 4-H Fairgrounds. Bluffton-Harrison schools Superintendent Wayne Barker spoke, as did Mayor Ted Ellis, congratulating the kids for a weeks worth of hard work and a job well done.

Help Family Centered Services reach its goal!

Family Centered Services, Inc. is working feverishly to get their ducks in a row, and you can help! The 5th Annual Duck Race on the Wabash is August 14th, and Family Centered Services has many more ducks available for you to sponsor. By helping with the Duck Race you can win big while also supporting families and youth in our community. This year your ducks go twice as far toward helping Family Centered Services, since an anonymous donor is matching funds raised by the Duck Race.

Family Centered Services is still approximately $5,500 short of their $25,000 goal and we would like to encourage folks to get their tickets as soon as possible.

By purchasing a duck, participants have the chance to win the grand prize of $1,000 or 29 other prizes valued at $75-$300 donated by Wells, Huntington & Adams County merchants.

A single duck is $5. A “Quack Sack” is $20 and includes 5 ducks and a free grocery tote, and a “Skipper’s Deck” is $50 and includes 12 ducks and a free t-shirt.

“We are so grateful that we were able to enlist 54 corporate sponsors and 84 merchants in Wells, Huntington and Adams County to donate prizes, especially in this economic environment”, Ginny Fenstermaker, Executive Director, noted.

The duck race is scheduled for Saturday, August 14th from 1:00pm to 3:00pm at Kehoe Park in Bluffton. Free children’s games and snacks will be held from 1:00pm to 1:45pm with the duck drop kicking off the race at 2:00pm.

Stop by the FCS office at 123 S Marion St. in Bluffton from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday or call 260-824-8574 to buy your lucky duck.

All prize winners will be posted on the FCS website at www.familycenteredservices.org and will also be published in the local newspapers. You do not have to be present to win.

(Submitted by Family Centered Services)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Summer fun courtesy of BFD

Bluffton Fire Department was called to Bluffton Elementary School today for a special treat. Bluffton Elementary Summer School students were rewarded for their hard work learning new math skills. BFD Fire Inspector Chris Broderick turned on the hydrant at BHES, letting the students run through the 55 degree water.

Boot Camp Obstacle Course

In addition to Red Man on Tuesday morning, camp counselors created an obstacle course for the first time this year. The four teams competed until one could be deemed the winner. Since the outcome depended on every member in each team, team building was emphasized.
(Video by Intern Devan Filchak)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

'Red Man' at Bluffton Boot Camp

Bluffton Assistant Chief Nathan Huss donned the 'Red Man' suit to teach self-defense and confidence building techniques to members of the 2010 BPD Boot Camp. The class continues all this week. Swimming and biking are planned for Wednesday and Thursday, with graduation on Friday.

More Iron Kid video

We have even more Iron Kid Triathlon video, so we thought we would share. Online Editor Jerry Battiste spent the morning at the 4-H Fairgrounds filming and shooting pictures. We are right now putting together a slideshow of images from the Saturday morning event. That should be up at our website by the end of the week. Stay tuned!

Monday, July 26, 2010

They are 'Iron Kids'

The annual Bluffton Parks Department Iron Kid Triathlon on Saturday brought dozens of area youth to the Wells County 4-H Fairgrounds where they competed against each other in swimming, biking and running.


Lucy is a 1 yr old Great Pyranese....

Jake is a 3 yr old Great Pyranese.

Both dogs need a good country home, with lots of room.

*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

Friday, July 23, 2010

Now showing: Bluffton Photography

Visit the Ballentine Gallery this weekend to view the work of some great local photographers. News-Banner Online Editor Jerry Battiste takes us on a guided tour....

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Talent at 4-H Fair

Many people entered the talent show to show what they had. While titles were given, everyone who participated put on a great show. For more video, visit the Wells County 4-H Fair blog in the News-Banner Blog Bank.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Dunk Tank

The Wells County 4-H Fair dunk tank was a busy place this past weekend as temperatures soared into the 90's. Evening occasional showers did little to cool things off. But the dunk tank is always cool....

Streets closed Saturday morning

The Bluffton Parks and Recreation Department will hold the annual Iron Kid’s Triathlon on Saturday, July 24th . The following streets will be closed from approximately 7:15am – 9:30am so the children can ride their bikes safely. The race path will be Spring Street from the Wells Community Pool to South Jersey to West Townley to South Johnson into the 4-H Park. Residents needing to enter and exit this area are asked to go to either Horton and Johnson or Horton and Jersey where attendants will move the barricade when the path is clear.


Cookie is a 4 year old Orang/white DSH spayed and declawed female

Cutter is a 4 year old Grey DSH neutered and declawed male

They came in together. Both are very sweet!

*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

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Heading north? Expect delays

Construction continues on North Main Street in Bluffton and continues up Ind. 1 to Ossian, where crews there work on a downtown redevelopment project. Short story: If you are heading north expect delays and plan to slow down or stop at a moments notice. Constructions crews are everywhere, so drive safely.

Monday, July 19, 2010

IDOE to Open Public Textbook Review Sites

Indiana Department of Education Release:

The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) will open regional public textbook review sites on Wednesday, July 21. The sites provide a public forum for review and comment on Science and Health textbooks being considered for adoption by the State of Indiana Textbook Adoption Committee and Indiana State Board of Education.

Public textbook review is a legal requirement outlined in the state’s textbook adoption process. In addition to the evaluation forms, interested parties may offer verbal testimony on Sept. 2, when the advisory committee meets before making its recommendations to the State Board of Education.

Public review ends Sept. 1 and evaluation forms will be available at each review site. All public evaluations will be presented for consideration at the Textbook Advisory Council’s Sept. 2 meeting. Approved textbooks are adopted for use in schools for a six-year cycle.

More information on IDOE’s Textbook Adoption can be found here: CLICK

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Here comes the 2010 4-H Fair

Don't look now, but it is time once again for the Wells County 4-H Fair. Head down to the fairgrounds for some corn dogs, cotton candy; check out the livestock, catch a show or watch the show horses in competition.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Master Plan for 4-H Fairgrounds

News-Banner Editor Dave Schultz visited with 4-H Extension Educator Roger Sherer and talked about plans for the very popular Wells County 4-H Fairgrounds...

Friday, July 16, 2010

Creative Arts Council Tours

Wells County Creative Arts Council toured a cheese factory Thursday afternoon. Entertainment Editor Barb Barbieri tagged along and brought us this video.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

'For Better or Worse' the video

Recently local Christian hardcore band, For Better or Worse, participated in Hot Topic’s Local Band Appreciation Day by selling their new CD and T-shirts. Bluffton band members include drummer Nate Uptgraft, vocalist Ethan Caldwell, guitarist, Nic Collins, bassist Mark Bowman, light specialist Alec Betz, and bassist Josh Bowen of Marion. The band started out playing at the Crow’s Nest, previously owned by drummer Nate Uptgraft, which was shut down due to several safety violations. While the band has not found their own new venue, they continue to play at regular shows in the surrounding area. (Video by NB Intern Devan Filchak)

SR 116 Scheduled for Restriction Between South 700 West and US 27 Resurfacing project begins

INDOT Release:

WELLS COUNTY, Ind. - The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) Fort Wayne District announces that SR 116 between South 700 West (seven miles east of Bluffton) and US 27 (near Geneva) is restricted for a road resurfacing project.

The restriction is expected to be in place until mid-August, weather permitting, while crews resurface the road.

INDOT advises motorists to take precautions while driving in work zones. In 2009, 700 people were killed nationwide in work zones. Most of the fatalities were not highway workers but drivers. Additional work zone safety information can be found at www.WorkZoneSafety.IN.gov.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Traffic in Wells County

A repaving project on Ind. 1 between Bluffton and Ossian has occasionally slowed traffic to a crawl. A downtown redevelopment project and work on buried sewer lines in Ossian hasn't helped the problem as drivers try to navigate their way from the northern portion of Wells County to the south, and back again.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Bentley, Brewskie and Chevy are Dachshunds, all 3 are males. Ages 2,3 and 6. Brewskie the 6 year old needs a home with no children.

Thomas is a 9 week old Lynx Point Siamese, male

*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

Rural 3-alarm house fire

The second house fire in Wells County in 48-hours consumed the home at 7601S 900W Monday evening. Around 6:30 p.m. volunteer firefighters from Liberty Center, Warren and Salamonie departments converged on the house. There were no initial reports of injury and no outbuildings were affected by the fire. The home was almost completely destroyed by flames.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Tools to Teach

Volunteers (Krista Ormsby Falk and Mark Dauterman) and two WalMart managers at the Wells County United Way Tools To Teach drive last Saturday. UW will be collecting supplies for teachers at their office this week and next with a collection at Wal-Mart again on Saturday, July 24 from 9-3 and Sunday, July 25 from 2-4.

Wells County Historical Museum

News-Banner Reporter Frank Shanly takes us on a tour of the Wells County Historical Society Museum during their annual Ice Cream Social Sunday:

Bluffton House Fire

A house fire Saturday, just after 5 p.m.,at 911 S. Johnson Street, required firefighters from Bluffton and Ossian fire departments. The resident said it started behind the stove while they were cooking dinner. All occupants were safely evacuated, but two firefighters were overcome by dehydration and taken to Bluffton Regional Medical Center.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Donaghy interning for TinCaps

Video and Story by News-Banner Intern Devan Filchak
Allee Donaghy, a Norwell High School graduate, is spending her summer with the Fort Wayne TinCaps.
Donaghy is studying athletic training at Anderson University. To enhance her studies, Donaghy has netted an internship with the Fort Wayne TinCaps minor league baseball team, where she’s working with athletic trainer Nate Stewart.
(Read the entire story in today's News-Banner)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Beating the heat

Wells County Community Pool was the place to beat the heat this week. Hundreds visited the pool every day as temperatures pushed the Mercury to the upper limits of the thermometer. There will be a slight cooling this weekend as a few clouds move in, but temperatures will be right back up come Monday.

Sculpture Stories contest underway

This sounds cool! Who's going to enter? We would love to cover a local winner and re-print their story here! Keep us posted....

East Allen Times:

In partnership with the DeKalb County Community Foundation, KPC Media Group is again sponsoring a Sculpture Stories contest for essays or short stories based on one or more of the statues on display in Auburn.

Cash prizes totaling $600 will be awarded.

Rules are as follows......

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Kohls Facebook fans can vote for 20 schools to receive $500,000 each

Kohls Department Stores Celebrates the 10th Anniversary of the Kohls Cares Program by Giving $10 Million to Schools

MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis., July 7, 2010 Kohls Department Stores (NYSE: KSS) today announced a contest to give half a million dollars to 20 schools each this year, a total of $10 million, in recognition of the companys 10th anniversary of its Kohls Cares philanthropic program that supports childrens health and education. As kids are getting ready for the new school year, Kohls wants to inspire students and school supporters to dream big about what their favorite kindergarten to 12th grade (K-12) school could do with half a million dollars - whether its starting an art program, creating a new computer lab or saving a music program. Today through September 3, 2010, visit www.facebook.com/kohls ( http://e2ma.net/go/8430823823/2931072/96275265/38965/goto:http://www.facebook.com/kohls ) to tell us what your school could do with the funding, cast your votes, get more information and view the Official Rules.

At Kohls we are excited to celebrate the 10th anniversary of our Kohls Cares philanthropic program by giving back to the communities that we serve. As kids and parents think about the new school year, we want everyone to dream big about how half a million dollars could impact their favorite school, said Julie Gardner, Kohls executive vice president and chief marketing officer. We believe that when communities thrive so does business. We feel so strongly about this program and the positive effect it could have that we have made it the cornerstone of the companys Back-to-School campaign.

The $10 million donation comes from the Kohls Cares cause merchandise program, which sells special merchandise, including plush toys and books, and donates 100 percent of the net profit to benefit childrens health and education initiatives nationwide. Over the past 10 years, the Kohls Cares cause merchandise program has raised more than $150 million for childrens initiatives. This contest is the latest illustration of the companys commitment to kids.

During the contest, Kohls Facebook fans, currently more than one million strong, can vote for public or private schools that serve K-12 students by visiting www.facebook.com/kohls ( http://e2ma.net/go/8430823823/2931072/96275266/38965/goto:http://www.facebook.com/kohls ). Fans can submit their ideas for what the school could do with half a million dollars. A winning school must have a least one submission about how the funds might be used. Fans can also vote up to 20 times for their favorite elementary, middle or high schools during this time, with a maximum of five votes for any individual school. The top 20 vote-getting schools, that meet contest criteria as outlined in the Official Rules and have school officials provide information on how the school will use the money to support educational programs or initiatives, will win $500,000 each. Winning schools will be announced in late September.

This program is the heart of the companys Back-to-School campaign and will be supported by national advertising, direct mail, digital marketing, public relations and more. Components of the campaign include:
Online/Digital components: Coinciding with the program launch, the contest will be supported with Facebook advertising and e-mails to Kohls customers.
In-store presentation: Starting today, Kohls customers will see the contest promoted in Kohls stores nationwide through store signage, receipt messaging and more.
Television advertising: National and Hispanic brand spots will begin airing in July and run through the end of August.
Print advertising: Inclusion of the contest in Kohls print advertising will start in mid-July and run throughout the voting period.
Direct mail: Kohls will reach customers directly through various direct mail pieces starting today and continuing through mid-August.
Kohls is committed to giving back to the communities it serves. In addition to the Kohls Cares cause merchandise program that supports this contest, Kohls philanthropic programs include, a scholarship program that has awarded more than $2.2 million in scholarships and prizes and will donate an additional $410,000 to kids this year, Kohls associate volunteer program that donated more than $10 million to nonprofits nationwide last year alone, and a fundraising gift card program.

See Official Rules at www.facebook.com/kohls ( http://e2ma.net/go/8430823823/2931072/96275267/38965/goto:http://www.facebook.com/kohls ) for all program and prizing details. For more information on Kohls philanthropic efforts, visit www.kohls.com/cares ( http://e2ma.net/go/8430823823/2931072/96275268/38965/goto:http://www.kohls.com/cares ). To purchase Kohls Cares cause merchandise, visit any Kohls store or shop online at www.kohls.com.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Senior Discount Cards

2010 Senior Discount Cards are now available at the Wells County Council on Aging from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Cards are $7 and are not transferable or $8 laminated. Many local vendors participate in this senior discount program. If it is impossible to go to the Council on Aging office to purchase a card, you can receive it by mail Send the agency a stamped, self-addressed legal sized envelope; enclose the $7 per card and the additional $1 fee if lamination is desired. The discount card and list of sponsors will then be mailed to you. Sale of Senior Citizens Discount Cards are a fundraising project for the local Council on Aging. The money raised by the sale of the cards supports many services the organization has to offer within the Wells County Community, including programs such as transportation and in-home services. If you are a business owner and are interested in sponsoring a discount, contact Margaret Whitesel at 824-1070.

Bluffton has the cleanest water around!

News-Banner Editor Dave Schultz visited with Elmer Pate, superintendent of the Bluffton Water Filtration Plant on Tuesday. Read his story in today's News-Banner.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Freedom Festival 2010

After a 15 minute rain storm Bluffton celebrated Independence Day with a bang on Sunday. Hundreds turned out for the annual event. Many left just before the storm, but many more came back just before 10 p.m. to watch the fireworks.


Cotton is a 1 year old all white DSH, male. Sweet guy!

Cooper is a 2 year old Terrier mix, male. Nice little dog!

*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

Tea Party returns to Bluffton

Dr. Jean Schantz was the keynote speaker at Saturday's Tea Party event in downtown Bluffton. News-Banner Editor Dave Schultz was there and captured some highlights on video.

Friday, July 2, 2010


Ever wonder what your neighbors and friends are reading? Check out the top five most read fiction and non-fictions books for the month of June at the Wells County Public Library.

Take three, by Karen Kingsburg
Caught, by Harlan Coben
The telling, by Beverly Lewis
Split image, by Robert B. Parker
Nights in Rodanthe, by Nicholas Sparks

A child called it: one child’s courage to survive, by Dave Pelz
Family Circle: our best recipes
Lily Dale: the true story of the town that talks to the dead, by Christine Wicker
Chilton’s Auto Repair Manual
Three weeks with my brother, by Nicholas Sparks and Micah Sparks

For more information about these books, stop by the Wells County Public Library or visit www.wellscolibrary.org

Music springs to life at Ouabache

Fort Wayne Philharmonic visited Ouabache State Park on Thursday for their annual Pops in the Park concert. News-Banner Editor Dave Schultz was there and captured some of the action on video.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Wheels of Yesteryear coming in August

Fire up those antique tractors and and farm equipment, Wheels of Yesteryear is coming to town!

Doyle Werling was out with a 1940's era grain binder and an early 20th century tractor he salvaged from King's Auction, last evening. It was just a trial run for the full weekend of events scheduled August 13-15 at the Wells County 4-H Fairgrounds.

New this year is a weekend-long Toy Show and an Open Car Show. In addition to the dozens of pieces of antique farm equipment and way-cool vehicles, visitors will find a large flea market & trading post; quilt show; gas engine display; pre-1840 pioneer encampment; and plenty of food and live entertainment.