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September 15, 2014

Republicans seek candidate for slot on November ballot in wake of auditor's resignation

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

With the former auditor's name formally removed from the November ballot, Whitley County GOP chairman Matt Boyd is seeking a permanent replacement for the office.
According to Boyd, former auditor Jennifer McGuire submitted a general election candidate withdrawal form on September 9, removing her name from the ballot and enabling Boyd to initiate the process.
"Jennifer McGuire is no longer residing in Whitley County so she is not eligible to be a candidate for the office of Whitley County Auditor," Boyd said. Additionally, an investigation of the former auditor's office is reportedly ongoing by the Indiana State Police.
A caucus to place a new Republican candidate on the ballot will be held this Thursday, September 18, at 7 p.m. in the Whitley County Government Center.
"The Republican candidate that wins this caucus to have their name placed on the November 4, 2014 General Election Ballot will become the next Whitley County Auditor as there is no Democrat challenger for the office," said Boyd. "The term of the office starts on January 1, 2015."
The public is invited to attend, however, only the Republic precinct committee members will be allowed to vote in the caucus.

Caucus slated for Tuesday to fill Heuer's seat

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

District 83 State Representative Kathy Heuer of Whitley County submitted a formal resignation from her office on August 21, creating a vacancy local Republicans will take a hand in filling this week.
According to Whitley County GOP chairman Matt Boyd, the caucus will be run by he Indiana Republican Party because it is a state-level office. The elected individual would remain in office until the end of the term and will be replaced by the winner of November's general election.
The caucus will be held this Tuesday, September 16 at 6:30 p.m. in the Whitley County Government Center in the first floor meeting room.
The public is invited to attend and observe.

Peabody Public Library seeking teams for first annual scavenger hunt Saturday

From reports

Peabody Public Library is pleased to offer this community event for all ages! 
Excitement is building for the Peabody Public Library's first annual Community Scavenger Hunt. To join the adventure, form a team of 4-6 people to read and decipher clues from around the community. There is a limit of 10 teams so be sure to sign up soon.  The first three teams back win prizes, but everyone will have fun finding clues in this this first annual event! The hunt takes place at 11 a.m. this Saturday, September 20, and begins at the library. 
To register your team, please call the library at 244-5541.

Parents, students invited to investigate post-high school opportunities at upcoming College Fair

From reports

Columbia City High School is sponsoring an area College Fair Monday, October 6, 2014, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. for high school students and parents. This event is sanctioned by the Indiana Association for College Admission Counselors (IACAC).
Over 45 two-year and four-year colleges and universities from Indiana and the tri-state region, Armed Service representatives, and Scholarship Programs will be in attendance to share information and answer questions. This is a great opportunity for students and families to develop a communication link with college admission officials and to find out about specific programs and financial aid opportunities that are available. 

Heart of Gold Award nominees sought

Article provided

Continuing a nineteen year tradition, the Whitley County Community Foundation will host the annual Heart of Gold Awards in celebration of the people in our community who give of themselves to make life a little better for others.
Whitley County is a great place to live and work thanks to the many thoughtful people who call it home.  Your neighbors, friends and co-workers may be among those who deserve to be recognized.  Any person living in Whitley County, regardless of age, who enhances another’s life is eligible to be nominated.
Whitley County residents may nominate someone for a Heart of Gold Award simply by filling out a nomination form which can be found at businesses throughout the community, public libraries or at the Whitley County Community Foundation.  The forms will also be published in county media.  People who have been nominated in years past are eligible for nomination again in 2014, as long as they are recognized for a different act of kindness.   Wednesday October 15, 2014, is the deadline for submitting the nomination forms to the Whitley County Community Foundation.
This is not an essay contest, and anyone needing assistance to fill out a nomination form should contact the Community Foundation at 244-5224.  Excerpts from actual nomination forms may be reprinted in local media and should be suitable for sharing with the public.  Click here to open a form.

CHS, Ag Plus enter partnership to build liquid fertilizer facility in Columbia City

Article provided

CHS Inc., the nation’s leading farmer-owned cooperative and a global energy, grains and foods company, and Ag Plus, LP, South Whitley, announced today they have formed a 50-50 joint venture company to construct and operate a liquid fertilizer facility near Columbia City. The facility will have 3 million gallons of liquid storage and 130,000 gallons of chemical storage.
The new liquid facility near Columbia City will primarily serve farmer-owners of Ag Plus LP retail business, and CHS will also serve its nearby wholesale customers from this location. “Farmers are increasingly looking for ways to maximize their time and input costs, and liquid fertilizer application lets them apply nutrients at planting, saving time and trips across the field, getting their crops off to a good start,” said Jeff Mize, CEO, Ag Plus, LP. “Our new, larger and more efficient facility will give area growers better overall fertilizer service and options.”
The new facility will offer 24-hour load out of UAN and 10-34-0 fertilizers and will allow Ag Plus to more than double its load out capacity. “CHS is focused on expanding its crop nutrients business to continue to provide its retail customers with an assured, timely supply of crop nutrients vital to profitable crop production,” said Cheryl Schmura, CHS vice president, Crop Nutrients, marketing and sales. “Our partnership with Ag Plus adds critical storage capacity in a key geography.”
Plant construction will begin soon and expected completion is December 2014.

September 12, 2014

Train breaks down, intersections to remain blocked for up to two hours

From reports Several railroad intersections in Whitley County are blocked by a train at this time, most notably the intersection with SR 9 just north of SR 14 in the south central part of the county. Other areas blocked include Washington Road and Meridian Road. Norfolk & Southern officials say the train has a mechanical problem and the intersections may remain blocked for up to two hours. Update: As of 10:15 a.m., the intersections at SR 9 and CR 150 East are now open.

September 11, 2014

'Heart Strong for Brittany' fundraiser to fill downtown South Whitley on Saturday

(Talk of the Town photo provided)
A fundraiser is being held to benefit Brittany Shoemaker, shown below with her husband Kris. Funds will help offset new and ongoing medical bills related to her heart condition.

From the Tribune-News

The planning committee has finalized details of the Brittany Shoemaker fundraiser "Heart Strong for Brittany" for this Saturday, September 13.
Money raised will be used to help Shoemaker with her additional medical bills as well as previous ones related to her  heart condition.
A variety of activities are planned with a cornhole tournament at noon at Big Blue Storage on SR 105 in South Whitley. For information on the cornhole, call Joe Grant, 579-3373 or Rob Sleighter, 224-1614.
One of the events you cannot miss is the auction at 6:30 p.m. There is such a wide variety of items from a 12-volt John Deere Ground Loader for kids, an iPad mini, stainless steel refrigerator and other household items, a Dwayne Allen autographed Colts photograph, Phillips 66 Neon sign, Pacers tickets, quilts, truckload of wood, 23” flat screen TV, certificates to special places and lots more. Anyone willing to donate an item, can call Don King, 229-1554.
Backwater Band is playing from 7 to 10 p.m. under a tent to the north of the Brownstone on State building. Audience members will be seated under a tent with popcorn and pop available.
Big Ray will be waiting for you at his dunk tank at Carol’s Corner, $1 per throw or $20 for a drop. Also Carol Eberly will have some children’s activities along with Kona Ice special slushes. Sunbeam, the clown, along with Vicki Sprunger and her friends will entertain children, too, at the fire station. Food at the fire station will include hot dogs, pulled pork, baked beans, macaroni and cheese, Amish potato salad, homemade pies and soft drinks. A free will offering will be taken for the food. Checks may be payable to Brittany Shoemaker.  
A bake sale starts at 4:30 p.m. Anyone willing to donate an item, contact Martha Trier, 248-1776 or Alice Nicodemus, 723-4297. We appreciate your donation of a baked item. If anyone would like to help set-up or organize a children’s activity at Carol’s Corner, call Carol at 610-4370.
For other information, contact James Rodgers, 503-7177 or Renee Grant, 416-6664. Brittany and Kris, their families and everyone who has been a part of the planning of this event appreciate your support this Saturday, September 13 and from our hearts—thank you!
Committee members are James Rodgers, Joe and Renee Grant, Amy Stafford, Kris Shoemaker, Don and Christine King, Carol Eberly, Alice Nicodemus, Martha Trier, Tim and Kim Smith, Traci Kreider and Beth Ann Sickafoose.

Program to feature presidential trivia during Museum Day Live! at Whitley County Historical Museum

Article provided

In celebrating the 10th annual “Museum Day Live!” event, and the ongoing 50th Anniversary of the Museum at Vice President Thomas Marshall’s home, the Whitley County Historical Museum will open its doors on Saturday, September 27 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The museum will offer free admission to visitors presenting a Museum Day Live! Ticket. Visitors can enjoy tours through the museum, a Sweetgrass Basket Making Class from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and find out how much you know about your Presidents of the U.S. with “Presidential Trivia” at 1 p.m.
The Museum Day Live! ticket will be available to download beginning in August at Smithsonian.com/museumdaylive. Visitors who present the Museum Day Live! ticket will gain free entrance for two at participating venues for one day only. One ticket is permitted per household, per email address.
The Whitley County Historical Museum, housed in the home of Thomas Riley Marshall, is dedicated to preserving the history of Whitley County.  This is achieved through educational programs, artifact preservation and collection, exhibits, publications, and collaboration with related groups.  The museum is located at 108 West Jefferson Street in Columbia City.  Hours are Tuesday-Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Friday, 9 a.m. to noon.

Extension Homemakers' garage sale set for September 20 at 4-H Center

From reports

The Whitley County Extension Homemakers are already planning their Fall Garage Sale. This year, the event will take place on Saturday, September 20 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Whitley County 4-H Center Building.
Limited numbers of spaces are available and they're filling up fast. Each reservation includes two tables for $20. You do not need to be an Extension Homemaker to participate.
For a registration form or to pay for a space, contact Janet at 244-7615 or 625-3313.

Indiana Landmarks' workshop features creative, practical uses for old barns

Article provided

On September 19, Indiana Landmarks is hosting the BARN AGAIN! workshop to learn about practical solutions for maintaining, rehabilitating and adapting old barns for today’s needs.
Rick Collins of Trillium Dell Timberworks in Illinois will discuss the history and technology of barns as well as barn maintenance, adaptive reuse and preservation. The workshop will also highlight new tax breaks available for owners of heritage barns in Indiana.
In the afternoon, take a tour of some of Hancock County’s finest historic barns and learn about rehabilitating historic barns for modern use. The tour will include a visit to an unusual transverse frame basement barn, a Depression-era dairy barn, and the award-winning Frank Littleton Round Barn.
Please note: Access to one of the barns will require some walking on rough terrain.
Where: Registration and educational sessions at NineStar Connect Conference Center, 2243 East Main Street, Greenfield, IN 46140
Tickets: $35/Indiana Landmarks member, $45 non-member. Registration includes a boxed lunch and transportation for the barn tour. Tickets are limited; Register online at
barnagain2014.eventbrite.com or call 800-450-4534.

September 10, 2014

Cheerleaders plan car wash to support upcoming trip to participate in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

(Talk of the Town photo provided)
The Columbia City High School cheerleaders will continue their fundraising efforts earmarked for a trip to New York to participate in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in November. This Saturday, September 13, the cheerleaders will be hosting a car wash at the Columbia City Dairy Queen on North Main Street from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. All donations received will be used to offset costs associated with the participation in the parade.

South Whitley's Cleveland Township Fire Station to host events during Car Show weekend

(Talk of the Town photo provided)
Several events are being planned at the Cleveland Township Fire Station in downtown South Whitley next weekend, September 20-21.
The fire station, shown above, will host bingo on Saturday, September 20 at 6 p.m. Local merchants have donated prizes and cash. Popcorn, pop and coffee will be available for purchase with proceeds benefiting the fire department.
On Sunday, September 21, during the South Whitley Car Show, the fire station will host a hog roast from 11 a.m. until they're sold out. The meal will feature pork, beans, applesauce, chips and drinks.

Healthy snacks, school supply collection drive organized to give teens a good start

(Talk of the Town file photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano)

By Chelsey Barrell

The staff of the Whitley County Community Foundation will be conducting a school supply and healthy snack drive to benefit T.R.O.Y. Center School as their 2014 United Way Day of Caring Project on Tuesday September 16.
All school related items, such as: notebooks, pencils, pens, paper, and healthy snack items such as: fruit, yogurt, granola bars, nuts, bottled water, etc. are needed.
Anyone interested in donating may drop off supplies at the Community Foundation now through September 16 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The Foundation is located at 400 North Whitley Street, (right next door to Columbia City High School). Questions can be directed to the Foundation by calling 244-5224.
T.R.O.Y. Center, which stands for Teaching and Reaching Our Youth, was founded in 1997 as an accredited independent alternative school to help students gain an education and earn a diploma at their own pace while supported by loving teachers, counselors and support staff. T.R.O.Y. Center believes that regardless of past behavior or current circumstances, everyone deserves the opportunity for an education. For many students T.R.O.Y. Center, this their last chance to accomplish their educational needs and, through the services provided, many have succeeded in achieving their educational goals.
For additional information about T.R.O.Y. Center call 244-2340 or email troycenter@whitleygov.com.

Bruno's BBQ honors public servants this Thursday

From reports

Bruno's BBQ, located at 501 North Line Street in Columbia City, will be honoring military, police, first responders and firefighters tomorrow, Thursday, September 11.
On that day, all firefighters, police, first responders and military (active or retired) will receive a free side dish and $1 off all sandwiches and entrees. A valid ID is required.

Indiana is a 'Top State for Doing Business'

By Katelyn Hancock

Indiana’s business climate is best in the Midwest and the seventh best nationwide according to Area Development’s Top States for Doing Business Survey. The state was also among the ranking’s top-five picks in the skilled labor availability (first), water availability and cost (second), distribution and supply chain hubs (third), rail and highway accessibility (fourth) and corporate tax environment (fifth) categories.   
“Indiana’s low-cost business environment has put the Hoosier State at the top of the list for private-sector job growth over the past year and now is garnering even more national attention,” said Governor Mike Pence. “Since day one, our administration has worked hard to continue making Indiana more and more business friendly. Whether improving affordability, training our workforce or making the perfect location easier to find, Indiana is standing out as the best place to brings jobs, paving the way for an exceptional time of Hoosier job creation and opportunity here in Indiana.”
The Area Development Top States for Doing Business Survey, a ranking that gauges the current business climate among the 50 states by site selection consultants, is the latest in a series of national accolades the Hoosier State’s business climate has garnered. In July, Indiana ranked seventh best nationwide in the Pollina Corporate Top 10 Pro-Business States for 2014 study, co-published with the American Economic Development Institute.
In addition, Indiana was recognized in August as the state with the best business climate in the Midwest and fifth best nationally in Business Facilities’ 2014 State Rankings Report, including having one of the strongest across-the-board performances and top 10 rankings in six categories. This included two flagship categories: best business climate and automotive manufacturing strength. The report also noted the Hoosier State’s strength in the biotechnology and automotive manufacturing industries, ranking it second and third in the nation respectively.
“When companies consider where to locate new jobs and invest, they examine the same factors these rankings consider,” said Victor Smith, Indiana Secretary of Commerce. “From workforce availability to location and infrastructure, to the regulatory environment and business expenses, companies need a place where they can do their best work. Indiana’s rise to the top reflects the same conclusion that companies around the world are reaching with their own research—Indiana is a state that works for business.”
Indiana’s impressive streak in national rankings comes on the heels of Crain’s Chicago Business’ report earlier this week that shows Indiana as having one of the lowest percentages of state and local taxes paid by businesses. At 3.7 percent, Indiana’s gross state product percentage ranks in the top five states in the nation for lowest tax burden, which is lower than the national average of 4.7 percent.

September 09, 2014

Teams invited to register for Columbia City Fire Department golf outing to support the Children's Candy Fund

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

Teams are now registering for the Columbia City Fire Department's Children's Charity Golf Outing. The Florida Scramble-style outing will be held September 20 at 9 a.m. at Eagle Glen Golf Course, commencing with a shotgun start.
Play is $60 per person or $240 per team. Prizes will be awarded, including $600 for first place, $350 for second and $240 for third place.
The entry fee includes 18 holes of golf, cart, t-shirt, gift bag, dinner at completion and one drink ticket.
To add to the fun, skins, mulligans and other games will be available.
For more information, contact Kyle Walters at 609-5950 or Kyle Francis at 229-2874
Download an entry form by clicking here.
All proceeds will benefit the Columbia City Fire Department’s Children’s Candy Fund. The fund supports a more than 120-year tradition of providing candy to children in the community on Christmas Eve.

Columbia City Police Department gains two new officers Monday night

Snapshots: Whitley County's Distinguished Young Woman pageant

Lions hosting fry, can drive this Saturday

From reports

The Tri Lakes Lions Club is holding a fish and tenderloin fry on Saturday, September 13 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Lions Club Hall on Colony Avenue in Tri Lakes. Dinners are $9.50 for adults, $5 for children ages 6 to 12 and free for children ages 5 and under. The dinner is all you can eat.
The Tri Lakes Lions Club is asking guests to consider bringing a canned food item that will be donated to a food pantry that serves the Tri Lakes area.

Long-time volunteer lauded for dedication to Junior Miss, Distinguished Young Woman program