On the Beat in Bluffton

Friday, November 30, 2012

Wells County voter turnout surpasses every other county

It’s official — Wells County’s turnout in the 2012 general election was the highest in the state.

Secretary of State Connie Lawson Thursday said the state’s voter turnout in the Nov. 6 election was 58 percent, down from 62 percent in 2008 — the year of the last presidential election.
Learn more in the Saturday, Dec. 1, News-Banner. For the full report, click here.

How lovely are thy branches

The Wells County Creative Arts Council held its annual Festival of Trees this weekend, and as always, several participants were honored. Learn more in the Saturday, Dec. 1, News-Banner. (Photos by Barbara Barbieri)

Best of show: "Pink Champaigne on Ice" by Gary and Barb Dickson

1st Place: "Reading Lets Your Imagination Take Flight" by the Wells County Public Library

2nd Place: "Puppy Love" by Ooooh La La Pet Spa   

3rd Place: "Hand-n-hand Reaching for the Cure (Costello Syndrome Awareness)" by Bluffton-Harrison Elementary School
See all entries in our "2012 Festival of Trees" photo slideshow at www.news-banner.com.

Tis the season

In anticipation of the Festival of Trees open house, we asked our readers and online friends to submit their own Christmas decorations. Learn more about the open house in the Saturday, Dec. 1, News-Banner.

Kim Smith, a Bluffton resident of more than 50 years who now lives in Fort Wayne, sent these trees from her apartment.       

An anonymous person e-mailed this to us.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Stay alert during emergencies

The Wells County Emergency Management office’s is distributing its share of emergency radios, EMA Director Wayne Grove said Thursday morning, and officials are encouraging residents either get one or buy one.

All-hazards alert radios disseminate more than 60 emergency alerts such as hazardous weather and other local area warnings, including up-to-date weather information broadcast directly from the National Weather Service.

Residents can program the radios to receive area-specific alerts using the right code. Wells County's codes can be found by clicking here.

Learn more in the Thursday, Nov. 29, News-Banner.

Adopt a pet

Cookie is an 8-year-old tabby, spayed female. Declawed all 4 paws. Very sweet girl. Housecat only.
Annabelle is a 2-year-old pocket pitbull, spayed female. Housebroken and friendly.
Cole is a 12-week-old daschound mix, male. Loving and playful.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Show off your Christmas tree

Twenty trees will be vying for prizes at the Wells County Creative Arts Council's Festival of Trees this weekend at the Arts, Commerce and Visitors Centre.

Until then, though, show us your Christmas tree. E-mail chetb@news-banner.com, and we'll select our favorites and feature them on this blog Friday afternoon.

Learn more about the Festival of Trees in the Wednesday, Nov. 28, News-Banner.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Keep your holidays safe

The National Fire Protection Association is offering the following tips to keep your holidays full of cheer, not fear or tears. Click on the images for an enlarged view.

For more safety tips, click here.

Friday, November 23, 2012

N-B Video: Bluffton lights up for Christmas

Bluffton welcomes Christmas with its annual lighting ceremony and visit from Santa. (Video by Chet Baumgartner)

RSD "shall" reimburse county

Personnel with The Indiana State Board of Accounts has told Wells County officials that the Regional Sewer District "shall" reimburse the county for expenses associated with the meetings, including attorneys' fees and travel.

SBOA staff cited the following law in coming to the conclusion:

IC 13-26-7-2
Advancement of money
Sec. 2. A local, state, or federal agency or person may advance or give a district money to be used by the district for the following purposes:
(1) The preparation of a plan for the operation of the district.
(2) Other purposes of the district until the district is in receipt of revenue from its operations or proceeds from the sale of bonds.

IC 13-26-7-3
Repayment of money
Sec. 3. When a district receives revenue for its operations or proceeds from the sale of bonds, the district shall repay any money advanced to the advancing agency in the manner agreed.

Learn more in the Friday, Nov. 23, News-Banner.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

N-B Video: Ossian Town Council appoints new member

Ossian resident Tom Neuenschwander is the newest member of the Ossian Town Council. Learn more in the Wednesday, Nov. 21, News-Banner. (Video by Dave Schultz)

Northern Wells school board approves calendar

Members of the school board Tuesday unanimously approved the 2013-2014 school year calendar. Learn more in the Wednesday, Nov. 21, News-Banner.

Click on the image for a larger resolution

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Local hospital error free in 2011

The Indiana State Department of Health released its annual report documenting mistakes within hospitals, and in 2011, Bluffton Regional Medical Center reported no errors. Learn more in the Tuesday, Nov. 20, News-Banner.
  • The full report can be downloaded here.
    • The list of reportable events can be found on page 17.
    • A user guide can be found on page 24.
    • An analysis of the mistakes reported can be found on page 33.
    • A comparison mistakes listed in each year's report can be found on page 37.
  • To see which hospitals committed errors, click here.
  • Click here for a list of organizational resources for patient safety.

Friday, November 16, 2012

N-B Video: Courthouse nativity restored for the season

The traditional manger display will once again wish Wells County residents a merry Christmas. Learn more in the Saturday, Nov. 17, News-Banner. (Video by Dave Schultz)

Oh, you better watch out

Click on the image for a larger resolution

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Adopt a pet

Angel is a 5-month-old tortoiseshell female.
Cookie is an 8-year-old brown tabby, spayed and declawed female.

Scooter is a 7-month-old, black-and-white, DSH male.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Legislators prepare for another budget year

With the impending retirement of Rep. Jeff Espich, R-Uniondale, Rep. Tim Brown will assume control of the House Ways and Means Committee. That doesn't mean, however, that Wells County won't be represented. Learn more in the Wednesday, Nov. 14, News-Banner.

When the General Assembly does reconvene in January, use these links to stay up to date:
  • To track legislation, click here.
  • To see the daily schedule, click here.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Ossian Elementary School honors veterans

During the school's annual celebration, students played the chimes and created posters for the occasions. (Photos by Cynthia Dahn)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Who is the ultimate IU fan?

Indiana University is holding a contest to see who is the ultimate fan, and rural Bluffton Amy George is within the top three. To vote for George, click here. Learn more about her efforts in the Monday, Nov. 12, News-Banner.

Tis the season ...

Though it won't stick, snow visited Wells County for the first time Monday — melding together, it seems, a mural of seasonal wonderment: snow for the winter, Christmas decorations on the light pole, and the American flag in honor of Veterans Day. (Photo by Chet Baumgartner)

Friday, November 9, 2012

N-B Video: Lancaster students honor veterans

Students play the chimes to patriotic musical accompaniment during Lancaster Central's Veterans Day program Thursday, Nov. 8. Students also sang and recognized those veterans attending. Learn more in the Friday, Nov. 9, News-Banner. (Video by Chet Baumgartner)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Adopt a pet

Rascal is a 4-year-old tiger/white, DLH, neutered male and declawed in the front. He is a very loving boy.
Shelby is a 8-year-old orange tabby, neutered male and declawed in the front. He is a wonderful, laid-back boy.
Zippy is a 3-year-old male Puggle. He is very energetic and loves to play. He is also housebroken.
Low cost spay/neuter clinic on Nov 27. $50 per cat. Call for more information and how to get an appointment. 824-6063

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

N-B Video: Vicki Andrews garners most votes in County Council race

Vicki Andrews reflects on the four-way race for three open at-large seats on the Wells County Council. Republicans swept the local election, with Democrat and incumbent Tony Garton losing. Learn more in the Wednesday, Nov. 7, News-Banner. (Video by Dave Schultz)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Forgot where to vote?

Remember to bring identification. Polls close at 6 p.m.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Wells County business and citizen of the year nominations requested

From the Wells County Chamber of Commerce:

Each year the Wells County Chamber of Commerce publicly recognizes a person and a business in the community that has gone "one step beyond for their community." We are asking for your suggestions on a person and/or a business that you feel should be Wells County's 2012 Citizen and Business of the Year. These prestigious awards will be presented at the Chamber's Annual Dinner to be held on January 28, 2013.

Citizen of the Year - this person should be one who has contributed outstanding service to the growth and well being of Wells County making it a better place to live, work and do business. If you have submitted a name in the past and that person was not selected, please do not hesitate to submit the name again.

Business of the Year - this company should be located in Wells County and have contributed in an extraordinary way to the Chamber of Commerce, to the business climate and to the quality of life of our citizens and our community at large.

To nominate an individual or business simply submit a letter with reasons for nomination. Please return it to the Wells County Chamber of Commerce by December 14, 2012 by mail, email or fax.  

Please feel free to forward this email on to others who may be interested in submitting names.

Submit your nominations to:   Awards Committee
                                        Wells County Chamber of Commerce
                                        211 W. Water Street
                                        Bluffton, IN  46714
                                        Or email to shuffman@wellscoc.com
                                        Or fax 260-824-5871

Friday, November 2, 2012

Top sellers at BHES fundraiser

The students pictured above sold more than 10 pies in the most recent Bluffton Harrison Elementary School fundraiser. By doing so, they earned the right to slam a pie in the face of Administrative Assistant Eric Mounsey. Learn more in the Saturday, Nov. 3, News-Banner. Pictured are, front row, left to right, Nick Pastore, Tavin Frees, Megan Patch, Chloe Weinberg, Tyler Beer, Felicity Wondercheck. Back row, Curtis Ellis, Jaelynn Pemberton, Kailyn Baller, Brianna Ford, Hannah Gettys, Joseph Gerardot, and Lukas Gehrett.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

State releases school grades

The Indiana Department of Education released schools' grades for the 2011-2012 school year Wednesday, including Wells County's public schools. Six of the schools received an A, while three received a B.

Along with the local grades, the state provided several links to help explain the statistics and systems behind them. To learn more about Wells County's grades, see the Thursday, Nov. 1, News-Banner. To learn more about the grading process, click on the links.

• To see grades throughout the state, click here.
• To better understand the statistics behind the elementary and middle school grades, click here.
• To better understand the statistics behind the high school grades, click here.