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October 30, 2014

'Holiday Helps' workshop brings hope to grieving people facing the holiday season ahead

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

Do the upcoming holidays have you feeling anxious -- particularly because a loved one has passed away and will not be enjoying the festivities with you this year?
If so, register today for the upcoming Holiday Helps Workshop, offered each Tuesday in November --  November 4, November 11, November 18 and November 25, 2014, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the Community Room at DeMoney-Grimes Countryside Park Funeral home in Columbia City.
Sharon Brockhaus, a grief service provider, will facilitate the workshop with a goal of helping grieving families and friends find constructive ways to cope during the difficult holiday season.
A carry-in dinner is planned for the final evening of the workshop. Please bring a photo of your loved one for the memory board the first night of the workshop.
Reservations are not necessary, but would be helpful for providing supplies and refreshments.
For more information or to register, call 244-5122.

Fresh breads, produce at Old Loon Farm sale Friday

(Talk of the Town photo provided)
Old Loon Farm in northwestern Whitley County, nestled between Old and Loon lakes, will be hosting a bakery and fresh veggie sale this Friday, October 31, 2014, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the farm. The sale will include fresh salad greens such as lettuce, arugula, mesclun, kale and chard, as well as sweet potatoes and other fall veggies. Fresh baked artisan bread will be available along with jams, jellies, fudge, scones, cakes and granola.
Old Loon Farm is located at 7551 North Brown Road, Loon Lake.


Passages Inc. celebrates 60 years of service

(Talk of the Town photo provided)
Above, John Dickerson, executive director of the Arc of Indiana, participates in a celebration for Passages Inc.'s 60th anniversary of serving the disabled in Whitley County. Below, from top, commemorative cookies by The Cake Lady, Passages executive director Jason Meyer recognizes long-time board member Robin Wright for his service, and fall themed decor set the tone for a memorable evening Monday night.

Article provided

On Monday, Passages celebrated their 60th anniversary on October 27 and held their joint annual meeting with Whitley Crossings Neighborhood Corporation. More than 140 people attended the event at the Passages Creative Learning Center at 333 North Oak Street in Columbia City.
Kim Opsahl, president & CEO of the Indiana Association of Rehabilitation Facilites (INARF) and John Dickerson, executive director of the Arc of Indiana spoke to employees, individuals served and community supporters of Passages in attendance.
During the meeting Paul Zilz was recognized for his years of service to the Passages board of directors, and Doug Brown, Paula Reimers and George Schrumpf were recommended to join the board of directors. Dick Buchanan was honored for his years of service to the Whitley Crossings and Whitley Meadows Board of Directors.
Whitley County Transit received the “Community Partnership With Passages Award” for their continued transportation services for the individuals served by Passages.
Jason Meyer, president and CEO of Passages honored past board chairpersons in attendance and provided a thank you to many in attendance for all they do for the organization.  Everyone in attendance received a publication titled: “Passages, 60 Years, A Celebration of Service” which included the organization’s 60th anniversary annual report. Those in attendance also viewed the Passages 60th anniversary video, both of which can be found on the organization’s website at www.passagesinc.org
Jim and Kay Fleck presented the first Jim and Kay Fleck Advocacy award to Judge Michael Rush for his years of service to the Passages Human Rights Committee as well as various roles with community service organizations.
At the conclusion of the evening, everyone in attendance enjoyed refreshments from The Cake Lady and had the opportunity to take tours of the new Creative Learning Center.
Passages, Inc. is a non-profit corporation that was established in Columbia City in 1954. The organization currently serves over 200 individuals and employs 165 people; offering a variety of community based programs and services for individuals with an intellectual disability.  

Saturday's breakfast to benefit Boomerang Backpack project

From reports

A pancake and sausage breakfast will be held this Saturday, November 1, from 8 to 11 a.m.  at the Whitley County 4-H Center building to raise funds for the Boomerang Backpack program. The program provides nutritious foods in backpacks to at-risk youths each weekend -- children who may not otherwise have enough food to nourish their bodies when school is not in session.
All proceeds from the freewill donation breakfast will support the project.

First Church of God presents second annual Mercy Market on November 8

From reports

First Church of God in Columbia City is gearing up for their second annual Mercy Market on Saturday, November 8, 2014, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the church.
The market will feature the work of a variety of artisans from all over the world who make a living wage from the items they create, escaping slavery and poverty. In addition to jewelry, clothing, artwork and handcrafted items, there will be a Fair Trade Cafe with coffee, gourmet brownies and other goodies made with fair trade coffee and cocoa.
More details will be shared as they become available.

South Whitley Public Library invites residents to participate in upcoming blood drive

From reports

South Whitley Public Library will be hosting a Red Cross blood drive on November 12 from 1 to 6:30 p.m. Walk in donors are welcome, however, crowds are expected from 1 to 2 p.m. and again from 5 to 6 p.m. You can sign up online for an appointment or call Leann Snyder at 723-5321 or send an email to: lsnyder@swhitley.lib.in.us
For those who gave blood at the South Whitley United Methodist Church blood drive, you will be able to give again at the library's drive as they are 56 days apart. The next on at South Whitley United Methodist Church is also far enough away that you will be able to donate again there as well.

October 29, 2014

Bones Theatre, Andy's Car Wash present free midnight showing of horror classic 'Halloween' on Halloween night

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

Are the big kids in your family looking for something creepy to do Friday night? To old for trick or treating?
They're in luck this Halloween as two local businesses team up to offer a real treat for a couple of hundred lucky souls.
According to Chris Jones, owner of Columbia City's Bones Theatre, they'll be showing the original classic horror flick "Halloween" at midnight this Friday, October 31.
The movie will be free of charge to the first 500 moviegoers who arrive at the theatre. The show is being sponsored by Andy's Car Wash in Columbia City.
For safety, no one wearing a mask will be allowed entry into the theatre. Because the movie is rated R, all attendees must be 17 or older.

Band on the Run 5K race readies for second year

From reports

The second annual Band on the Run 5K, hosted by Columbia City Marching Eagles, will be held on November 15, 2014. 
Whether you prefer a brisk walk or run, you will help raise funds for the band programs of Columbia City High School.  The 5K begins in front of CCHS, heads north into Columbia Shores, east into Morsches Park, south to Van Buren Street, north onto Whitley Street and finishes at CCHS.
Disposable bib timing by KRA (Kosciusko Runners Association) will be offered.  Awards will be presented to the top three men and women in each age category and refreshments will be offered after the race. 
Pre-registration packets can be picked up Friday, November 14 from 3 to 7:30 p.m. at Columbia City High School, 600 N. Whitley Street, Columbia City.  Late registration and packet pick up or race day registration takes place on November 15 from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. with the race start time at 9 a.m.  All on time pre-registered participants will receive a Band on the Run t-shirt.  Fees are $25 early registration, if before November 10,  $30 after November 10 and day of race. 
Online registration is available at the following link: www.getmeregistered.com.

Donations desperately needed for Coats for Kids campaign

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

With just a few days remaining and the cold weather bearing down upon us, DeMoney-Grimes Funeral Home, Village Cleaners and the Whitley County Salvation Army are urging local residents to donated much-needed winter coats, gloves, mittens, hats and scarves for the 2014 Coats for Kids collection drive. They need children's sizes as well as larger adult items for teens.
Donations of new or gently used items are greatly needed to meet the expected demand to keep children in the community warm this winter. Items may be brought to DeMoney-Grimes Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Drive in Columbia City, weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through this Friday, October 31.  Any size would be appreciated, including adult sizes to fit
teenagers up to age 18.
After the items are cleaned by Village Cleaners, they will be distributed by the Whitley County Salvation Army on on November 6 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at First Church of God at 1200 West DePoy Drive.
For more information about this important initiative, contact Sarah at 244-5122.

Etna Church Craft Bazaar is November 15

From reports

Register for a table now at the Etna Church Craft Bazaar on November 15 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Etna Troy Community Center, 4905 North 550 West, Columbia  City.
Proceeds from table rentals and food sales will support the Etna Church Missions Outreach Program. 
Tables are $20 each. For more information, call 229-8662.

October 28, 2014

Lake area residents invited to meet with legislators

From reports

Lake-area residents in northern Whitley County are invited to a meeting this evening, Tuesday, October 28, at 7 p.m. at the Thorncreek Fire Station on CR 500 North, between SR 9 and SR  109. The purpose of the meeting is to help State Representative David Ober and State Representative Christopher Judy learn more about issues of concern for lake area residents.

Big Lake residents concerned about impact of potential ditch dredging projects on the horizon

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

Residents of Noble County's Big Lake are concerned -- as they were notified recently about a 150% increase in their ditch assessment.
Not only are fees rising, residents are concerned that the funds are being used to do work they feel doesn't really need done.
According to lake resident Dave Smith, the Noble County Drainage board recently notified residents about the increase to the ditch assessment, taking fees from $10 to $15.
Smith believes projects in the ditch would have a detrimental effect on work he and others have been doing.
"This is not our biggest problem. The problem is what do they plan to do with this increase," Smith stated. "We have worked hard to clean up our lake, reducing the runoff of sediments into our lakes."
Smith believes plans will include clearing out the ditches -- but that's something that has him and others fearing the worst.
"We don't need the ditches cleaned out of the grasses and plants that filter the water flowing into our lake. We are also working on a grant for a two stage ditch in the Sell Ditch that flows into the second basin," he continued.
Smith says that an increase in the fee should come with some indication about what officials plan to do with that money. As of yet, he has not seen a plan -- and he's been looking.
As most of you have received a notice from the Noble County Drainage Board about their 150% increase in our ditch assessment from $10.00 to $15.00
A hearing is set regarding the rate increase for November 17, 2014, at 1 p.m. in the Commissioners Room of the Noble County Courthouse. Smith hopes others will join him in voicing their concerns about the rate increase and any plans that might jeopardize their work to create a cleaner lake environment.
"We need to have as many people attend this meeting as we can to show our concern for the health of our lake," Smith added.

Local restaurant donating a portion of tonight's sales to the Whitley County Domestic Violence Task Force

From reports

A sundae will be sweet for you and provide some sweet funds to a local non-profit organization. Tonight, Tuesday, October 28, from 4 to 8 p.m. the Columbia City Dairy Queen Grill & Chill will donation a portion of their proceeds from sales to support the Whitley County Domestic Violence Task Force. They are also serving purple soft serve ice cream in support of the Domestic Violence Awareness month.

October 27, 2014

Bruno's BBQ hosting fundraiser for local teen

From reports

On October 28, Bruno's BBQ & Catering will host a fundraiser for 15-year-old Shelby Schlatter to raise money for her medical bills for spinal surgery to correct severe kyphosis scoliosis and Scheuermann's disease.
20% of the day's sales will go directly toward her medical bills. For the fundraiser, her favorite dessert is being prepared -- a caramel apple cheesecake.
For additional information, visit facebook.com/shelbysroad