On the Beat in Bluffton

Friday, March 29, 2013

Senator shares public's opinion

State Sen. Travis Holdman, R-Markle, who represents Wells County, released today the results of a legislative survey he distributed to constituents several months ago. Click here to see what the public had to say.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

More people moving to county

There were 95 more people in Wells County at the end of 2010 than there were at 2009, bucking a trend by gaining population, according to a recent study, “Indiana Migration Flows: An Analysis of IRS Data,” from Ball State University’s Center for Business and Economic Research.”

The study takes a snapshot of three two-year periods during the 2000s —2000-01, 2006-07, and 2009-10 — by reviewing data from tax returns filed during those periods.

Learn more about the study's highlights in the Thursday, March 28, News-Banner. To read the entire study, click here. To see how population changed throughout the state, click on the images below.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Police department hiring

The Bluffton Police Department is hiring a new police officer. Click here to learn more.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A springtime wonderland

Well, the snow might have buried the green grass underneath white powder,
but it hasn't buried people's creativity. Wista Fornway, for example, took this picture of a snowlady.
Athena Bagley shared this photo to wish people a happy Easter with a snow bunny.
Kathy Lewis Miller shared this photo of a "cowboy snowman" at the Hideaway.
Thanks to Alex Garrett for the photo of Taylor White's snowman.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Numerous crashes, slide offs reported on I-69 in Huntington County

We received this from the Indiana State Police:

Huntington County, IN-The Indiana State Police is advising the motoring public that there are a number of vehicle crashes and slide offs on I-69 throughout Huntington County.

Motorists are reminded to exercise extreme caution while traveling on the slick roadways. They are also reminded to be observant and extremely careful in and around emergency vehicles and workers at scenes of crashes and slide offs. Emergency personnel are working as quickly as possible, and within a priority system, to get to those stuck and needing assistance.

For road and weather information before traveling, please utilize the following link: http://indot.carsprogram.org/main.jsf

Burgers or hot dogs? Probably neither.

News-Banner columnist Alan Daugherty sent us this picture this morning. He wrote, "I’d invite you over for a spring cookout but ... Note the separate perfect vertical drifts on the lid and the handle, and yesterday I was counting crocus under this grill."

Friday, March 22, 2013

N-B Video: Legislators honor Bluffton High School Principal

Bluffton High School Principal Steve Baker receives a standing ovation from Indiana representatives Thursday, after Wells County Rep. Matt Lehman honored him in the Indiana Statehouse. Lehman wanted to recognize Baker after the Indiana Association of School Principals named him principal of the year on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. Learn more in the Friday, March 22, News-Banner. (Video provided)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

What is the best device for learning?

Northern Wells officials hope to eventually distribute personal computing devices — such as iPads — to each of its students, and staff, teachers and others met Monday to start formally discussing it.

During the meeting, Superintendent Scott Mills presented his 12 minimum requirements for the devices the district chooses.

1. Touch Screen(Keyboard available?)
2. Connectivity  (Wireless)
3. MDM compliant – Mobile Device Management
4. Support our Content Development and Learning Management System.
5. Support some Base Software Office Productivity tools (Wordprocessing, Spreadsheets, Presentations, Video Creation, Video Conferencing, Camera)
6. Durability, Reliability
7. Ease of Use
8. Instant On.
9. Conform to IDOE State Testing Requirements.
10. Student Device needs to be able to connect to projection system
11. Battery Life (Last a school day)
12. Affordable

What are your thoughts? Leave us a comment below.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Legislators, voters await end of General Assembly

Three of Wells County legislators met with Wells County voters to discuss the impending bills in Indianapolis during the 2013 General Assembly — but they'll have to wait for resolutions until the legislators finish their business in late April at the earliest.

To keep track of the bills discussed, click on the links below. To monitor other bills, go to the legislature's bill overview page.

Learn more about the Third House session in the Monday, March 18, News-Banner.

House Bill 1001 — The biennium budget. Ossian Town Council member Tom Neuenschwander had asked legislators about road funding.
Senate Bill 373 — Makes it unlawful recording of agricultural or industrial operations, a Class A infraction, for a person, with intent to defame or to directly or indirectly harm the business relationship between an agricultural or industrial operation and its customers. Wells County Sen. Travis Holdman, R-Markle, authored the bill and asked the public for their opinions Saturday.
Senate Bill 531 — Assessors say would require assessors to assess at agricultural rates all land that could be used for agriculture. Wells County Assess Rick Smith, who opposed the bill, said a resident asked if he should assess a resident’s property as farmland because the person wanted to plant a garden.
Senate Bill 551 — Legislators are trying to determine how to handle Medicaid expansion, which could cost the state $13.5 billion in 2016.
House Bill 1003 — This house bill would expand the school voucher program, which Wells County resident and Carroll High School teacher Janice Tobias opposed Saturday.
Senate Bill 125 — This bill would create a commission on children's issues, after Tobias, the legislators and others discussed how to address societal issues impacting children.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

N-B Video: Wells County residents publish books

Bluffton resident Ralph Garcia says his recently published memoirs couldn't tell the whole story of his life, and while promoting his new cookbook, Bluffton chef Hector Minon explains why he is missing his "g." Learn more about the authors and their books in the Saturday, March 16, News-Banner. (Video by Dave Schultz)

Friday, March 15, 2013

Adams Street construction work set to start March 25

Finally, the rebuilding of what has become a prominent Bluffton thoroughfare is ready to go.

The long-expected, long-anticipated, and long-hoped for improvement to Adams Street on Bluffton’s west side is slated to start March 25, the project engineer has stated.

The project will occur in two phases; Phase 1 is illustrated below. Learn more in the Friday, March 15, News-Banner.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Advisory: Numerous Crashes and Slide Offs on I-469

We received the following from the Indiana State Police at 10:14 a.m.

The Indiana State Police is currently working numerous vehicle crashes and slide offs on I-469 between I-69 (north junction) and State Road 37.

The Allen County Sheriff Department is investigating a crash involving a semi tractor trailer that has I-469 temporarily closed at Maplecrest Road.

Motorists are urged to seek an alternate route of travel and to adjust their driving behavior according to the road and weather conditions.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Ossian to repair pot holes

Members of the Ossian Town Council — Brad Pursley, Terri Hughes-Lazzell, Josh Barkley and Tom Neuenschwander — Monday night gave Town Manager Luann Martin permission to seek quotes from a paving company to repair the more than 55 potholes, depicted by the blue dots in the map below, in Ossian. Learn more in the Tuesday, March 12, News-Banner.

Click on the image for a larger resolution
To view an even larger image, right click on the illustration and open it in a new window or tab.

Wells County Sheriff backs 2nd Amendment rights

Sheriff Monte Fisher told members of the Wells County Constitutional Patriots Monday night that he was a strong supporter of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the statement in the Bill of Rights that concerns the right to keep and bear arms.

He also encouraged gun owners, however, to secure their weapons, and he also warned that if they don't keep an inventory of their weapons with serial numbers, law enforcement can't search for them through a database.

And those who want to take the sheriff's advice can go to the National Rifle Association website, which features an online quiz that compares and contrasts gun safes and an online registry for serial numbers.

Learn more about Fisher's presentation in the Tuesday, March 12, News-Banner.

Help your kids S-P-E-L-L

Wells County student Liana Reinhard, an eighth grader at private Christian school Kingdom Academy, was runner up at the annual regional spelling bee Saturday, March 9, and if the winner can't make the national competition in Washington, D.C., Reinhard will travel in her place.

Reinhard had earlier attributed her success to memorization, but the National Spelling Bee offers an online resource to help students with their spelling. Click here to learn more. (Note that the online service charges a fee for those who sign up, though there is no cost to click on the link.)

Monday, March 11, 2013

N-B Video: District democrats rebuilding "from the ground up"

3rd Congressional District Democratic Chair Carmen Darland describes how her party can grow amid a seemingly Republican region. Darland was re-elected as chair during a Saturday morning meeting at the Wells County party’s headquarters in Bluffton. Republicans have also chosen its area leadership. Learn more in the Monday, March 11, News-Banner. (Video by Dave Schultz)

American Legion honors members and more during annual celebration

The Grover Sheets American Legion Post 111 honored several people during its 94th anniversary celebration Saturday, March 9. Learn more in the Monday, March 10, News-Banner.

Donald Coates, right, was presented a certificate for 60 years of membership in the American Legion Saturday night by Richard Beck, commander of Grover Sheets Post 111 in Bluffton.

Alice Craig, the cook at American Legion Post 111, is presented a certificate of appreciation for her service to the organization by Richard Beck, the post’s commander.

James R. Dubach, right, was named Legionaire of the Year Saturday night at the 94th anniversary celebration for the Grover Sheets Post 111 of the American Legion. He was presented the plaque by Richard Beck, center, the post’s commander. At left is Past Commander Kash Vanover.

Nina Stultz, right, auxiliary unit president for American Legion Post 111, presents the centerpiece bouquet to Carol Trice, the wife of the evening’s speaker, Edward Trice. At left is Richard Beck, the post’s commander.

Charles Krumrine, center, holds a plaque noting his status as an honorary life member of American Legion Post 111. At left is Richard Beck, the post’s commander, and at right is Claude McMillan, the Wells County service officer, who escorted Krumrine to the front to receive the award.

Marilyn Meshberger was presented a certificate of appreciation for her efforts at American Legion Post 111 by Richard Beck, the post’s commander.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Adopt a pet

Bandit is a 10-month-old orange/white Tabby, female.

Smokey is a 10-month-old Russian blue, male.

Shep is a 1-year-old German Shepherd mix, male.
Low cost spay/neuter clinic for cats only scheduled for April 16. Cost is $50 per cat. Call the animal shelter at 824-6063 for information on how to reserve an appointment.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Be wise about the weather

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security issues the following warnings during winter weather. You can also see which counties are under the different warnings by clicking here.

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City officials present annual reports

Bluffton Police Chief Tammy Schaffer, Fire Chief Bob Plummer and others presented their annual reports to the Bluffton Common Council Tuesday — a statistical chronicle of the emergenices, incidents, crimes and more that occurred in 2012. Learn more in the Wednesday, March 6, News-Banner.

Firefighters responded to 302 incidents in 2012. This chart breaks down the type of incidents. Click on the image for a larger resolution.

Click on the image for a larger resolution.

Click on the image for a larger resolution.