1. Saturday ONLY, July 26, 2014, 8am - 3pm, Rotary Gazebo between NM Library and Thomas Marshall Birthplace Home. North Manchester Rotary, Nice quality, multi-family items including: estate items, furniture, kitchen ware, Christmas items, clothing, and many other numerous items. Find your bargain!
2. 105 River Cove Lane - Thursday and Friday 8am-6pm, clothes, Boys 5-6, Men S-L, Ladies M-L, shoes, lamps, jewelry, entertainment center, appliances, bed sheets - twin/toddler, rugs, home decor, holiday, bread machine, new juicer, brown recliner chair, Toys
3. Friday 8am-4pm; Saturday 8am-Noon, lots of clothing and household décor (primitive) 1801 N Heckathorn Drive
4. Large Multi Family Sale 7/25 and 7/26 9am-5pm, Boys, Girls, Mens, Womens Clothing sizes 6 to Plus Very Nice, Name Brands, Antiques, Households and Misc Items, Not One to Miss 411 West 4th Street
5. Garage Sale across from Clear Creek Apartments on SR 13. 1928 Ford Model A very nice, 2011 Spree Escape 19' by KZ, teeter totter, glider, swing, kids piano, kids desk, marbles, toys, decorations, clothes 3-XL, kids - boys and girls
And many more...
by Eric Stearley
Years of hard work are paying off for two young Manchester Aquatic Club swimmers. Halle Briner, 10, and Grant Dale, 11, are headed to the Natatorium in Indianapolis this weekend to compete in the three-day Indiana Age Group State Swim Meet, which begins Friday, March 14.
A fifth grader at Manchester Intermediate School, it will be Halle’s second trip to the state competition. She is the daughter of Craig and Nikki Briner. Craig is also the Manchester Aquatic Club head coach.
A fifth grader at Sharp Creek Elementary School, it will be Grant’s third appearance at state. He is the son of Greg and Rhonda Dale. Greg is the Wabash High School Swim Team head coach.
If it weren’t for their size, one could easily mistake Grant and Halle for high school swimmers. During practice, they’re focused, moving smoothly and swiftly through the water with near perfect form. At the pool’s edge, however, it doesn’t take long to realize that the two are simply young kids with exceptional talent. They joke and play around between sets, splashing each other occasionally, doing the things that 10 and 11 year olds do in a swimming pool. Laughter comes easily when they’re not trying to catch their breath, but when Coach Craig says, “go,” it’s back to business.
“It’s a long season, and a lot of kids anymore just don’t have the dedication or work ethic to do it,” said Craig. “It’s tough coming in six straight months, three or four times a week.”
Briner knows firsthand the dedication that it takes to be a top-level swimmer. A state competitor in high school, he still holds the 200-yard freestyle record for Manchester High School, a record he set as a freshman in 1990.
“They’re getting older, swimming some more 200s and a few 500s,” said Briner. “If they’re not swimming 4000-4500 yards, they don’t have the endurance to do it.”
Late in the season, the young athletes start to see their three-mile practice regimen pay off. Both swimmers will be competing in multiple events at the competition this weekend. A bit of luck comes into play with Age Group swimming, as birthdays determine the competition groups. Halle got lucky, as her 11th birthday falls the week after state. She will be competing in every event offered against the best 9 and 10 year olds in Indiana.
“It’s really fun, because I win a lot,” said Halle.
Grant is not so lucky. He turned 11 just weeks before this year’s state competition, pushing him into the much stronger 11-12 year old division. Still, he was able to qualify for state in three events, the 50 yard butterfly, 50 yard backstroke, and 50 yard freestyle.
“It’s tough because you’re not used to them,” said Grant. “You’re always used to winning a lot of your events, and it’s really tough to do that now.”
Qualifying for state as a barely-11-year-old means that Grant will likely be a top competitor when he competes as a 12 year old. At the last state swim meet, Grant made it to the medal podium, finishing 8th in the 100 backstroke.
Swimming at the Natatorium in Indianapolis is an exciting experience for any young swimmer. Several U.S. Olympic Team Trials have been held at the massive facility. Both swimmers remember their first time swimming in the iconic pool.
“It was really big,” said Halle.
“It was pretty cool, because Missy Franklin and Michael Phelps, that’s where they got into the Olympics at,” added Grant.
The two young swimmers enjoy traveling around the state to compete throughout the year. They particularly like the pool at Fort Wayne’s South Side High School. Grant’s favorite pool is in Huntington, where he got his first state cut, swimming faster than the minimum qualifying time. They’re both excited to see the new MAC record board put up in the Strauss-Peabody Aquatic and Fitness Center, where the club holds practice. Halle will have six records on the board, while Grant will have two. Right now, however, the only thing they’re focused on is state.
“We just want to meet our goals,” said Grant.
Being at the top of her age group, Halle is looking for a spot on the podium. Grant knows that at his young age, he probably won’t be a top competitor this year, but he’ll be able to get more experience competing in his new age group. In addition to state cuts, both swimmers have qualified for the Zone competition in the past, a multi-state event that brings swimmers from more than 13 states together in competition.
Spending as much time together as they do, Grant and Halle have become good friends. They are also very competitive. After asking Grant if Halle ever beats him, a debate quickly unfolded.
“Only in the breaststroke,” said Grant.
“Oh, sure!” Halle shot back.
“I whip her in everything else,” Grant continued.
“I’m still beating you by 1/100th (of a second) in the 50 breast,” said Halle.
As a small team from a small town, Manchester Aquatic Club doesn’t have the depth of the state’s larger programs. At this point in the season, they have about a dozen swimmers at any given practice. Teams in Indianapolis consistently have more than 300. Swimming, however, is an individual sport, and team size and strength doesn’t hold swimmers back. Briner has high hopes for the swimmers down the road.
“If you’re looking at doing something in college, swimming is still a sport that, if you’re very good, you’ve got a really good shot at having a college look at you,” said Briner. “If you just want to have it be on you, swimming is the way to do it.”
When asked if they would swim in high school, Halle quickly said, “yes,” while Grant answered, “questionable.” As a future Northfield student, Grant would be only the third Norseman to represent his school in the water, and would likely practice with another team.
But high school and college are still a long way off for the young swimmers. For now, they’re focused on preparing for this weekend’s Age Group State Swim Meet.
by Eric Stearley
In November, Wabash native Jessica Weiss will be making big waves in the world of crowdfunding and prepaid cards with the release of the WeCare Card, a project she’s been working on for more than three years. The card will, for the first time, combine the two industries, allowing for donation-based crowdfunding campaigns to upload money raised directly to a prepaid Mastercard product.
Jessica, who worked as a nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit for nearly 20 years, has long seen the struggles many families have as they try to balance urgent medical needs with everyday life. Primary among these struggles is, all too often, financial hardship. These struggles hit home when Jessica’s husband, Brad, was diagnosed with a brain aneurism in 2009.
“When word got out that Brad was sick, a lot of the community, family, friends, churches rallied, and we got all kinds of gift cards, greeting cards, home-cooked meals,” Jessica recalled. “I mean, the love and support from Wabash was amazing.”
by Eric Stearley
As you travel around the county, you may have noticed thin yellow signs with a bike and an arrow going up in many new locations. On Thursday, July 17, the last of 102 signs was fastened to its post outside Lagro to complete the 104-mile Wabash County Bike Trail.
Years ago, the county mapped the route for a bike trail based on features that cyclists look for in a route. The current route begins and ends at Paradise Spring Historical Park, taking cyclists along low-traffic roads past 17 historic points of interest from Lafontaine and Somerset to Roann and North Manchester. It also links Salamonie and Mississinewa reservoirs.
“When riders come into a new area to ride, they’re looking for certain types of pieces to a quality ride,” said Christine Flohr, executive director of tourism at the Wabash County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. “One, is some hills and scenery, but they also want it to be unique and specific to that ride, and that’s what makes this unique. It is designed specifically to tell a part of our history and a part of our story.”
by Eric Stearley
Last fall, Gary Henderson and his friends discovered a way to do something they love – smoking meat on a barbeque – while supporting a local non-profit – the LIFE Center. After hauling their smokers to the parking lot of the Wabash County Historical Museum and cooking through the night, they managed to serve nearly 800 people and present the LIFE Center with $6,300.
With this success, Henderson and his fellow smokers decided to make it an annual event. This year, there will be a few changes. For one, the event has been moved to Paradise Spring Historical Park, which is a bit more scenic and spacious than the parking lot. The timing has also been tweaked a bit.