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August 30, 2016

Running Around Screenprinting & Embroidery opens beautiful new location in downtown Columbia City

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(Talk of the Town photo by James Romano)

After many months of exciting preparation, Running Around Screenprinting & Embroidery has completed the renovation of their new building on the southeast corner of Line and Van Buren Street in downtown Columbia City.
Owner JoAnn Bird, at center above, her family and her staff, welcomed the Whitley County Chamber of Commerce and Chamber Ambassadors as well as other special guests to celebrate an official Chamber Ribbon Cutting Celebration on August 2.  Chamber Ambassadors in attendance included Randy Holler of Crossroads Bank, Don Mockler of Edward Jones Investments, Lisa Swogger of Crossroads, Deb Roy of Crossroads Bank, Jennifer Zartman Romano of Talk of the Town, Mayor Ryan Daniel, Jeff Walker of the City of Columbia City, Doug Brown of the Whitley County Chamber of Commerce, Pete Allen of Star Financial Bank and Scott Tyree of Blue River Digital.
Running Around Screenprinting & Embroidery is located at 227 West Van Buren Street. Specializing in custom screenprinting and embroidery work of all sizes, the store is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon. Visit them  online at http://www.runningaroundscreenprinting.com or call 248-1216.

Area students, parents invited to attend College Fair, financial aid seminar on October 3

From reports

Columbia City High School is sponsoring a College Fair on Monday, October 3, 2016, from 5:30 to 7:15 p.m. for area high school students and parents. This event is sanctioned by the Indiana Association for College Admission Counselors (IACAC).
Among the activities, a financial aid seminar will be held from 5:30 to 6 p.m. in the CCHS Auditorium. A financial aid representative will be here to answer your questions about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
The College Fair begins at 6 p.m. with over 40 college, university and Armed Service representatives from Indiana and the tri-state region 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.
Any inquiries about the College Fair should be directed to the CCHS Guidance Department at 244-6136, extension 3208.

Northwestern Whitley County churches prepare for second annual Lord's Acre Festival with proceeds to benefit Boomerang Backpacks

BoomerangBackpacks816b.jpg(Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano)
Above, a team of volunteers ensure that each child in need has a backpack filled with food each weekend thanks to the Boomerang Backpack program. From left is Raelyn Lomont, Charlene Saggers, Bev Goss and Montgomery Goss packing supplies for Boomerang Backpacks in 2015. Proceeds from the upcoming second annual Lord's Acre Festival, a joint effort of Northwestern Whitley County churches, will raise funds to support the project on September 24, 2016.

Article provided

The collective churches of Northwestern Whitley County are pleased to announce the second annual Lord's Acre Festival on September 24, 2016, at Etna United Methodist Church. The church is located at 4255 West 750 North, Columbia City (in Etna).
Proceeds from the festival will benefit Whitley County Boomerang Backpack Program for Little Turtle Elementary and Northern Heights Elementary.
Boomerang Backpack is a program that targets elementary school children who might not have quality food during the weekend.  The backpacks contain protein, cereal, juice, fresh fruit and other snacks that total at least 12 items.  The cost averages $3.50 per bag each week.  Funding comes from donations and fundraisers like the Lord's Acre Festival and 100% of the money goes for purchasing the food.  To support this project, organizers are asking for monetary donations, or gifts of goods or services to be auctioned off in a community auction.

Events for the festival include:
11:30 a.m. :  Food Booths open
                  Ham & Beans and cornbread
                  Chili
                  Hot Dogs
                  Pulled Pork Sandwiches
                  Kettle Corn
                  Baked Goods
12 p.m. :  Parade ending at Etna United Methodist Church
12:30 p.m. : Opening Ceremony & Community Prayer
1-3 p.m. :  Community Auction
3-5 p.m.: Entertainment
                      Captain Bob The Singing Skipper
                      Jason, Jerry and the Boys
                      Steve Adair
                      Melissa Geiger
All Day Activities :  Children's Games
                               Good News Caboose
                               Military Exhibit
                               Hay Rides
                               Fun and Fellowship

Participating churches include:  Etna UMC, West Point Trinity UMC, West Etna Community Church, Salem Community Church and  Thorncreek Bethel.

August 29, 2016

Madison More named 2017 Distinguished Young Woman of Whitley County

(Talk of the Town photo provided)
Madison More, 2017 Distinguished Young Woman of Whitley County, below at left, stands next to Natalia Johnson, last year's recipient, following the pageant Saturday evening in Columbia City.DistYoungWoman816.jpg

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

The 52nd annual Whitley County's Distinguished Young Woman pageant was held Saturday in Columbia City with seven contestants.
Madison More, daughter of Brian and Robin More, was named the 2017 Whitley County Distinguished Young Woman. More attends Columbia City High School.
First runner up was Taylor Glass, daughter of Jim and Sue Glass. Glass attends Columbia City High School.
Second runner up was Crystal Van Houten, daughter of Jon and Pam Van Houten. Van Houten is a  Columbia City High School student.
The Spirit of Distinguished Young Woman award was presented to both Taylor Glass and Alexis Waldeck.
Category winners included Madison More for interview, Sarah Palmer for scholastics, Crystal Van Houten for fitness and Taylor Glass for talent.

Candidate forums planned locally for September, October

From reports

The Whitley County Patriots have several upcoming candidate events to help local residents prepare for the November General Election.
A US Senatorial candidate forum will be held Tuesday, September 6, 2016, at 7 p.m. at the Church of The Nazarene. The church is located at 506 North Main Street in Columbia City.  Invitees include Libertarian candidate Lucy Brenton, Democrat candidate Evan Bayh and Republican candidate Todd Young, who will be represented by a surrogate.  The audience will have an opportunity to question each candidate about the issues and meet the candidates individually during a meet and greet session following the event.  Also, Landon Porter of Americans for Prosperity will be present to discuss the importance of voting in November's election.
For the October meeting of the Whitley County Patriots, a congressional candidate forum is planned. The meeting will be held Tuesday, October 4 at 7 p.m. at the Church of the Nazarene and will feature all the candidates running for District 3 U.S. House of Representatives, including Libertarian candidate Pepper Snyder; Democrat candidate Tommy Schrader and Republican candidate Jim Banks. 

Regional group forms to help nonprofits share ideas, information

From reports

Representatives from more than 30 regional nonprofits working in the human services field have formed a networking group called Alliance for Human Services. The group will hold its inaugural meeting at 8:30 a.m. on September 9 at the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne, 555 East Wayne Street in Fort Wayne.
The group's purpose is to improve northeast Indiana nonprofit organizations by encouraging idea sharing, collaboration and peer-to-peer networking to build stronger community relationships.
Membership is open to the chief executive officer of any 501(c)3 organization serving people in need in northeast Indiana. The group will meet six times per year and provide an opportunity for communication and professional development. Interested non-profit leaders are invited to attend the inaugural meeting on September 9.

Deadline approaches tonight for Diane R. Behrens Scholarship

From reports

Applicants have until midnight tonight, Monday, August 29, 2016, to apply for the Diane R. Behrens Scholarship. The scholarship is held at the Community Foundation of Whitley County.
A new scholarship for Whitley County college juniors and seniors pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing, the online application must be complete by 11:59 p.m. To apply, visit  http://www.cfwhitley.org/scholarships

August 25, 2016

Chapman's Brewing Company starts tapping Friday

From reports

Chapman's Brewing Company announced via social media that they will be opening their new downtown Columbia City taproom this Friday, August 26.
Located at 118 West Van Buren Street in the east half of the historic Central Block building, the officially open at 4 p.m.
Food from Urban Station will be available for purchase and enjoy live music with Swick & Jones.

Farmland Jazz Band to perform in South Whitley Friday night

From reports

Farmland Jazz Band will bring old time jazz music to South Whitley Town Park on Friday, August 26 at 7 p.m. This event is the fourth and final event of the Fourth Friday concert series in South Whitley. Enjoy the sounds of jazz, pop, swing and a few original pieces too.
The Fourth Friday concerts have been made possible thanks to a grant from the Whitley County Community Foundation. Refreshments will be available thanks to the South Whitley Main Street Association.

IPFW sets five-year admissions record

Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) set a five-year admissions record for the 2016 fall semester. IPFW admitted 4,516 students, the highest total since 2012.
High school students form the bulk of the group, with nearly 3,200 students admitted. That represents the highest number of high school admissions since 2011.
"The comprehensive academic offerings available at IPFW, along with our mix of Purdue University and Indiana University programs, are very attractive to high school students," said Carl Drummond, vice chancellor for academic affairs and enrollment management.
Students admitted to IPFW directly from high school reached a maximum of 3,500 in 2011, fell to 2,500 in 2013, and have recovered steadily for the past four years. This year's total represents an increase of 22.7% over 2013.
Admitted adult learners are up 62% this semester. Re-entry students (students resuming their studies) are up 11%, and transfer students from other universities are up 4%.
"Our gains in student populations such as adult learners and transfer students illustrate that the combination of value and quality makes IPFW the right choice for anyone who wants to pursue higher education in northeast Indiana," Drummond said.
Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) is the largest university in northeast Indiana, offering more than 200 prestigious Indiana University and Purdue University degrees and certificates. More than 13,000 students of diverse ages, races, and nationalities belong to the IPFW family. The 688-acre campus in Fort Wayne is home to nearly 10,000 degree-seeking undergraduate and graduate students. Through IPFW's partnerships with area high schools, almost 3,300 high school students take dual-credit courses, simultaneously earning both high school and college credits. IPFW is an Equal Opportunity/Equal Access University accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. Learn more about us at ipfw.edu.

August 24, 2016

Taste of the Arts draws near the region's best in arts, music, performance and food this Saturday

By Jennifer Zartman RomanoTasteoftheArts16.jpg

Artists, foodies, musicians, dancers and those who enjoy it all will converge this Saturday, August 27 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. for the annual Taste of the Arts festival. Events are planned throughout the day celebrating the best in food, art, music, creative performance and more. Most events will be held in the vicinity of 300 East Main Street, Fort Wayne.
A limited number of events are planned for Friday, August 26 beginning at 6 p.m., including contemporary dance, Pyroscope performance and WBNI's Meet the Music.
Local musician Alayna Trier of Columbia City will be among the musical performers participating in Taste of the Arts this year. Trier, daughter of Scott and Nicole Trier, will perform instrumental and folk music at 2:30 p.m. on the Ivy Tech stage alongside her friend and classmate, Maria Teel.
In all, 30 restaurants will have food available for purchase during the events. In addition to the more than 70 performances planned at multiple stages in the arts campus area, visitors may attend the YLNI Farmers Market at Barr Street, an Artisans Fair, free admission to the History Center, free admission to the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Artlink, Fort Wayne Ballet open house, children's activities and so much more, highlighting art and culture in a major way.
Last year, an estimated 30,000 people attended Taste of the Arts, celebrating the cultural treasures of Northeast Indiana.
For the full event schedule, visit  http://artsunited.org/taste-schedule
The events are made possible by Arts United.

County unscathed following storms Wednesday afternoon, evening

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

This afternoon and evening proved to be volatile as storms surged across northern and central Indiana, bringing worry as residents waited for clearing from their basements and safe spaces. Fortunately, local residents emerged from their shelters and found the community unscathed.
In spite of initial reports, the Whitley County Emergency Management office reported that there were no tornadoes touching down in the county this evening. Early reports indicated concerns near the County Line Road and 700 South and some rotation was reported near CR 950 West.
Whitley County did, however, receive a significant amount of rainfall, creating flooding in may areas. Motorists are urged to use caution this evening when driving through the county because of the potential for flooded roadways and standing water.
If you discover damage from the storm, contact the Emergency Management office at (260) 248-3167 or via email at  whitleydhs@whitleygov.com. Please provided photos of the damage via email if possible.

INDOT awards $51 million in matching grant funds for road projects in Northern Indiana

From reports

On Wednesday, Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) Commissioner Brandye Hendrickson announced that 121 Northern Indiana cities, towns, and counties will receive a combined $51 million to improve local roads and bridges through the State's Community Crossings matching grant fund.
Whitley County and the City of Columbia City did not apply for, nor did they receive, any grant funding from this initiative.
The City of New Haven and the City of LaPorte are each receiving $1 million in matching funds to support street resurfacing efforts in those cities.
The local road and bridge matching grant fund was created by the Indiana General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Mike Pence in March 2016. The grant program provides approximately $160 million in funding this year available to all Indiana cities, towns and counties on a 50/50 matching basis.
Projects that are eligible for funding through Community Crossings include road resurfacing, bridge rehabilitation, road reconstruction, resurfacing, and Americans with Disabilities Act compliance in connection with road projects. Material costs for chip sealing and crack filling operations are also eligible for funds.
A complete list of Northern Indiana communities receiving funds through Community Crossings for the calendar year 2016 call for projects is online at http://www.in.gov/indot/3570.htm.
More information about Community Crossings can be found at www.in.gov/indot/communitycrossings.

Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana's Tribune Dinner inspires hope for healing

Article provided

Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana's Annual Tribute Dinner will take place from 6 to 9 p.m., Wednesday, September 21, 2016, at the Mirro Center for Research and Innovation, 10622 Parkview Plaza Drive, Fort Wayne. This fundraiser for Cancer Services is an opportunity to pay tribute to friends and family touched by cancer and honor caregivers and physicians. 
Wendy Harpham, M.D. is the guest speaker. Harpham is a doctor of internal medicine, 25 year cancer survivor, best-selling author and nationally recognized speaker.  She will share her unique blend of engaging stories and useful insights about the power of hope in healing. It will be an evening full of hope, inspiration and community.
There are several ways you can take part in the event:
• Host a table for your friends and family members
• Organize a group of friends and family members to contribute to host a table
• Purchase an individual ticket and join other Cancer Services supporters
When you purchase a ticket to the event, you will also have an opportunity to honor someone with a tribute.  Tributes are listed in the event program and displayed onscreen above the stage during the evening.
Individual tickets are $100 and include 1 tribute.  Reserved tables of 8 are $800 and include up to 8 tributes.  If you are unable to attend but would still like to honor someone at the event, individual tributes are available for $25.  To make a reservation or submit a tribute, contact Noni Hoham at (260) 484-9560.