On the Beat in Bluffton

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

FBI identifies alleged Ossian bank robber

The FBI has identified the man believed responsible for robbing the Ossian PNC Bank branch May 29. Learn more at http://www.news-banner.com/article/view/fbi-identifies-alleged-ossian-bank-robber

Ossian student wins statewide essay contest

Mary Davis, who will start at Norwell Middle School in August, turned her 10 weeks of D.A.R.E. into an award-winning essays.

On July 16, The Indiana D.A.R.E. Officers Association honored Davis for writing the Essay of the Year.

Learn more in the Tuesday, July 30, News-Banner, and read the essay here.

Monday, July 29, 2013

N-B Video: Cleaning the "Cathedral for the earth"

City representative Doug Sundling speaking to volunteers and staffers Saturday prior to the "De-Trash the Wabash" effort near the White Bridge. Thirteen people scoured the river to remove its debris, including a 1980s-era bag phone. (Video by Dave Schultz)

State gives insight into ISTEP glitch

An outside review of online glitches that disrupted Indiana’s ISTEP testing this spring concludes those problems had no measurable negative impact on students’ scores, even though they affected nearly a third of the students who took the test.

The full report can be found here. To see individual county's data, click here.

Learn more in Monday, July 29, News-Banner.

Friday, July 26, 2013

N-B Video: Foam and fun in the sun

Kids play in the bubbles at Pickett’s Run near the splash pad Friday afternoon. About 100 kids played in the suds – many of whom then rinsed off at the pad. (Video by Jessica Williams)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

N-B Video: The art of beating someone up

Participants in the annual Bluffton Boot Camp try to take down "Red Man" — Bluffton Police Deputy Chief Nathan Huss — during an exercise to teach campers when and how to use force while dealing with a perpetrator. (Video by Jessica Williams)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Board OKs considers a utility complaint

Most of Tuesday's Board of Public Works and Safety meeting was devoted to considering a resident's utilities situation. She is facing a utilities shutoff early next month and noted that a new electric meter is showing less electricity usage and believes her water meter is not measuring her water usage correctly. 

Mayor Ted Ellis explained that the water meter could be tested; if, however, the test shows the meter to be accurate, the resident would be required to pay for the test.

Learn more about the meeting in the Wednesday, July 24, News-Banner, and learn more about tips to reduce your water and utilities bills by clicking here and here.

Monday, July 22, 2013

N-B Video: 2013 IronKid Triathlon highlights

The Bluffton Parks and Recreation's annual IronKid triathlon was held Saturday and 102 participants competed in the three portions -- swimming, biking and running. Here are some highlights from the event. (Video by Jessica Williams)

Results and ages, courtesy of the Bluffton Department of Parks and Recreation:

Eve Corkwell 6 14:38
Emerson Meredith 6 14:44
Cassie Coyne 6 15:41
Aria Stoller 5 15:52
Lily Hank 6 15:53
Isabel Isch 6 16:01
Leena Leichty 6 17:54
Mckayla Ringger 6 18:14

Jude Baumgartner 6 13:16
Sheldon Heffelmire 5 14:57
Ben Kiracofe 6 15:00
Noah Cordero 6 15:01
Trevor Smith 5 15:28
Maclain Baker 6 16:14
Rylan Heyerly 5 16:21
Kale Meredith 6 16:44
Ben Maggard 6 18:50

Holly Lanter 7 13:44
Avia Stoller 8 14:00
Makenzie Fuess 7 14:32
Lucia Corkwell 7 14:43
Lauren Reiff 8 15:14
Kara Grover 7 15:35
Eva Misserbiev 8 15:40
Aydrial Taylor 8 15:59
Abby Kiracofe 8 17:31
Addyson Heyerly 7 18:02
Reagan Baker 8 18:04
Allison Bernau 8 18:33
Lilly Sheets 7 19:12
Kennody Williams 7 19:13
Josie Pfister 8 20:26

Myles Moody 7 11:41
Kiefer Nagel 7 13:42
Austin Lewis 8 13:45
Max Eckert 8 14:31
Kody Coyne 8 15:03
Ethan Isch 8 16:10
Mikey Reidenbach 8 16:37
Simon Hanes 8 17:40
Tommy McComb 7 18:07
Jarrett Green 7 18:15
Xavier Stiles 7 18:46

Sarah Mahnensmith 10 11:36
Dani Gavilanez 10 12:45
Sarah Horton 10 13:22
Keagan Cole 10 13:23
Elsa Corkwell 9 13:25
Addison Dirig 10 14:00
Aubreyan Heyerly 9 14:09
Riley Meredith 9 14:30
Amelia Sabinske 9 15:07
Ashtyn Morris 9 15:09
Grace Captain 10 15:22
Alyssa Taylor 10 15:44
Zoey Carver 9 16:12
Anna Reynolds 9 18:10
Colleen Caylor 10 18:30

Wyatt Corkwell 10 11:09
Tyler Ellis 10 11:24
Eli Lanter 9 12:30
Noah Crockett 10 12:43
Samuel Baumgartner 9 12:44
Krue Nagel 9 13:34
Brock Drayer 9 13:58
Spencer Burley 10 14:10
Teddy McComb 9 14:13
Ben Grimm 9 14:25
Hudson Kahn 9 15:03
Brenden Nuttle 9 16:45
Henry Kiracofe 9 16:48
Charles Hanes 10 17:27
Breckin Gilliom 9 18:55
Alec Reiff 10 23:06

Laney Lanter 12 11:04
Alesh Bernau 12 11:05
Rachel Lanter 11 11:49
Kenya Cole 12 16:41
Macy Eckert 11 19:42

Luke Gerber 11 9:57
Andrew Horton 12 10:06
Brady Green 11 10:16
Brycen Wolf 11 10:36
Cole Carpenter 11 13:33
Gavin Adams 11 15:06
Joseph Koby 11 17:57
Michael Laux 11 22:40

N-B Video: Cardboard boat race has soggy finish

Two contestants try to keep their boats from sinking in the Bluffton Parks and Recreation Department's annual cardboard boat race. (Video by Dave Schultz)

Participants in the Bluffton Parks and Recreation Department's cardboard boat race Saturday night a the Wells Community Pool were the brother duo of Carson and Cole Sheets, left, and the mother-daughter duo of Angela and 5-year-old Izzy Irelan. (Photo by Dave Schultz)

Friday, July 12, 2013

Legislators have plans for summer

The three members of the Indiana House of Representatives whose districts include Wells County will spend time this summer looking at topics that fit into their areas of expertise.

To learn about their assignments, see the Saturday, July 13, News-Banner, and to see what each committee will study, click here. To view the House committee schedule, click here. To see the Senate committee schedule, click here.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Bus website info may be old news

Parents may use a new website to more easily review school bus conditions, the Indiana State Police recently announced.

The data, however, might not reflect reality.

Most of the website’s “current” data dates to more than a month ago, while inspection results for 90 percent of Northern Wells’ fleet is about a year old.

To learn more how the data available doesn't match the current situation, see the Thursday, July 11, News-Banner.

Too see inspection records for the county's three public school districts, click on the names below.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Dream Team begins 13th season

Throughout the month of July, the local Dream Team plays T-ball twice a week, giving children with disabilities the chance to stay active during the summer.
The 13th season – and the fourth at Whicker Field behind Bi-County Services – kicked off Tuesday evening and members of the Bluffton High School football team came out to show their support.
For more information, see the Wednesday, July 10, News-Banner.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

N-B Video: Warren building collapses after SSF parade

Shortly after the conclusion of the 2013 Salamonie Summer Festival, the roof a downtown Warren building collapsed on Wayne Street-Ind. 5. Only minor injuries were reported as of Friday evening. For more information, pick up the Saturday, June 6, News-Banner. (Video by Dave Schultz)

Friday, July 5, 2013

N-B Video: Fourth of July explodes into Bluffton

The Bluffton American Legion Honor Guard presents the colors during the national anthem during Bluffton's annnual Fourth of July celebration. Afterward, the city unleashed its annual barrage of fireworks.

The Abundant Life Christian Center also held its annual Fourth of July celebration with games and more.

Videos by Chet Baumgartner, Paul Beitler and Dave Schultz

To watch a photo slideshow of the Fourth's festivities, click here.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Golf cart drivers asked to review ordinance

If it drives like a golf cart, rides like a golf cart and looks like a golf cart — operate it like a car, Bluffton Police Chief Tammy Schaffer says.

The department has issued 40 permits to use golf carts on city streets this year, but not everyone fully follows the ordinance, detailed below, regulating their use, she said.

“We’re getting so many golf carts, and people are not paying attention to exactly what the ordinance says,” Schaffer said. “We’re just asking people to review the ordinance.”


10.14.010 Definitions
10.14.020     Unlawful Operation of a Golf Cart
10.14.030 Requirement of Local Registration
10.14.040     Requirement of Driver’s License
10.14.050     Requirement of Financial Responsibility
10.14.060 Time of Operation and Nighttime Restrictions
10.14.070 Requirement of High Visibility Flag
10.14.080     Place of Operation
10.14.090 Traffic Laws and Ordinances
10.14.100 Occupants
10.14.110     No Towing
10.14.120     Exceptions               

10.14.010 Definitions
A.    “Golf Cart ” shall mean a four (4) wheeled motor vehicle originally and specifically designed and intended to transport one (1) or more individuals and golf clubs for the purpose of playing the game of golf on a golf course.
B.    “Financial Responsibility” shall have the meaning expressed in IC 9-25-4-1, et seq (as is now reads or may be amended in the future).
C.    “City Street” shall mean the entire width between the boundary lines of every way publicly maintained when any part of the way is open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel within the corporate limits of the City of Bluffton.  The term includes, but is not necessarily limited to, streets, alleys, roads, highways, or thoroughfares.
D.    “High Visibility Flag” shall mean a flag, the banner of which that is at least sixty twenty (60) square inches and which is orange, yellow, green or red in color;
E.    “Operate” shall mean to exercise any control over the function or movement of a golf cart.
F.    “State Highway” shall mean any street under the control of and maintained by the State of Indiana and shall include but not be limited to State Road 1, State Road 116, and State Road 124.

10.14.020 Unlawful Operation of a Golf Cart   

    It shall be unlawful to operate a golf cart on any city street except as specifically authorized by this chapter.  Any person who operates a golf cart in violation of the regulations set forth in this chapter shall be subject to penalty as set forth in 1.08.010 of this code.

10.14.030 Requirement of Local Registration
    Any golf cart to be operated on a city street shall be registered annually at the Police Department of the City.  Each registrant shall provide the Vehicle Identification Number and proof of financial responsibility with respect to each golf cart to be registered and shall pay a registration fee of Thirty Dollars ($30.00) for each golf cart to be registered.  The registration certificate shall be maintained on or about the golf cart at all times that it is in operation.

10.14.040  Requirement of Driver’s License
    The operator of a golf cart on a city street must have a valid driver’s license and must have the driver’s license in his or her possession while operating a golf cart.

10.14.050 Requirement of Financial Responsibility
    No person may operate a golf cart on city street unless financial responsibility is in effect with respect to the golf cart as provided under IC 9-25-4-4 (as it now reads or may be amended in the future).   

10.14.060 Time of Operation and Nighttime Restrictions
    No golf cart shall be operated on a city street between one-half (½) hour after sunset and one-half (½) hour before sunrise unless the golf cart is equipped with two (2) headlamps, two (2) tail lamps, front and rear turn lamps, and rear brake lamps, all of which must be visible from a distance of at least five hundred feet (500').

10.14.070  Requirement of High Visibility Flag
    No golf cart shall be operated on a city street unless the golf cart is equipped with a high visibility flag, the banner of which shall measure not less than Sixty (60) square inches.  The flag shall be mounted on a pole in such a manner that the bottom of the banner of the flag is not less than seven feet (7') and no more than twelve feet (12') above the ground when mounted.

10.14.080  Place of Operation
    No golf cart shall be operated on or at any of the following

A.    Any city street or any portion of any city street where the speed limit in effect at the place of operation is greater than thirty (30) miles per hour;
B.    Any city street designated as a State Highway, except to cross any State Highway by traveling on a city street perpendicular to the State Highway at a location where the city street intersects with the state highway.
C.    Any sidewalk, trail, pedestrian bridge, or greenway path not specifically designated for use by a motor vehicle.
10.14.090  Traffic Laws and Ordinances
    The operator of a golf cart on a city street shall comply with all traffic laws and rules adopted by the State of Indiana and/or the City of Bluffton, including restrictions and prohibitions as set forth within Title 10 of the Municipal Code of the City of Bluffton.

10.14.100  Occupants
    The number of occupants of a golf cart shall be limited to six persons.  The operator and occupants shall be properly seated at all times and no part of the body of the operator or occupants shall extend outside the perimeter of the golf cart while the golf cart is in operation; provided however, the operator shall use proper traffic hand signals when required.  No one under the age of two (2) years shall be permitted to be an occupant of a golf cart.

10.14.110 No Towing
No golf cart shall be used to tow any type of trailer or other vehicle of any type.

10.14.120  Exceptions
    Golf carts operated in connection with the City’s annual street fair and with written permission of the Street Fair Board shall be exempted from the requirements of this ordinance when operated within the confines of that portion of the downtown in which fair activity is taking place; provided however, that the operator of a golf cart must still be a licensed driver and financial responsibility must be in effect with respect to the golf cart.
    The Board of Public Works and Safety shall have the authority to specifically permit the use of golf carts by identified persons at other special events; provided however, that the operator of a golf cart must still be a licensed driver and financial responsibility must be in effect with respect to the golf cart.