LIFE Center to hold annual Rally for Life

The LIFE Center will be having their annual Rally for Life on Sunday, Jan. 18 at the Wabash Middle School auditorium, with special guest speaker Peter Heck. The program begins at 2 p.m. with the walk and refreshments to follow.

Jan. 22, 2015 marks 42 years of legalized abortion. The LIFE Center will be collecting baby bottles at the Rally. If you have been filling a baby bottle, please return it at the Rally. There will be a free will donation taken at the rally, along with donations of items the Center needs, which include wipes, prenatal vitamins, and 3T-4T clothing including pajamas.

The Center will always accept donations  of baby clothing up to size 4T, diapers, formula, baby food, shoes and other items for babies.

The LIFE Center is in the process of raising funds for a new facility. Last month, the Center received a very nice donation anonymously that has helped their fundraising significantly. Their currently total is $40,000 and they are still in need of $60,000 to reach the goal of the building fund.

The Life Center provides pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, and items needed for babies free to their clients. The Center is not affiliated with any government funding or one specific church denomination.

If your church or organization would like to host a baby shower/fundraiser for the LIFE Center, please contact the LIFE  Center at 260-563-7275. You can also check out their website at or find them on Facebook.

Posted on 2014 Dec 16
Southwood first graders are the ‘Sounds of the Season’

by Eric Stearley

With the holidays in full gear, signs of festive celebration are everywhere, and this year, a group of students from Southwood Elementary School got a chance to participate in a holiday television special. “Sounds of the Season” is being broadcast on four Fort Wayne channels leading up to Christmas.

Students from eight schools in the broadcasting area were selected to participate in the eighth annual special, which will be featured on 21Alive, NBC33, Fort Wayne CW, and MyTV Fort Wayne.

"First graders from Southwood Elementary had the opportunity to sing in the "Sound of the Season" TV holiday special,” said Southwood Elementary Music Teacher Rhonda Dubuque. “The teachers and students were super excited!”

In the Sweetwater Sound studio, the group of first graders sang, “All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth” and “Santa Medley” in their matching red “I Love Santa” t-shirts. Students from the other seven schools, ranging in age from Kindergarten to twelfth grade, also appear in the musical holiday special. The program showcases each group’s vocals, as they are accompanied only by a piano.

“We taped in the morning at Sweetwater studio, and then stopped at the Huntington YMCA to eat our sack lunches,” said Dubuque.

Posted on 2014 Dec 16
Wabash County Veteran’s Service Office announces adjusted hours

The Wabash County Veteran’s Service Office will be adjusting the hours of operation at the courthouse beginning Jan. 2, 2015.  The hours will be:  Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  The office will not be open on Wednesdays and Fridays. An appointment may be made for other times if the veteran is unable to come in during the regularly scheduled hours.

Bob Brown, Veteran’s Service Officer noted this will extend the present hours by one hour each day and aligns the office with courthouse hours of operation. The new schedule will allow them to do outreach services to retirement and assisted living facilities for veterans that are unable to come to the office.

Brown may also be contacted via email at:

There are numerous Veterans Administration ( and Indiana Dept. of Veterans Affairs (   programs available.  The programs can be viewed via the internet at the above websites.  The Wabash County Veteran’s Service Office is here to assist veterans obtain benefits they have qualified for through their military service.

The Veteran’s Service Office telephone number is: 260-563-0661  Ext 1260.

Posted on 2014 Dec 16
Wabash High School to award scholarship funds

Wabash High School is pleased to announce that we are preparing to award scholarship funds, which have been endowed by the Lucille Camp Scholarship Foundation. 

To be eligible to receive funds from the Lucille Camp Scholarship Trust, applicants must be either a 2015 graduate of Wabash High School or a student who graduated from Wabash High School within the last three years (2012, 2013 and 2014).

Applications will be available in the Guidance Office at Wabash High School as of Jan. 6, 2015.  Completed applications must be postmarked by Friday, March 6, 2015. Applications are also available at the High School website

Posted on 2014 Dec 16
Local karate school opens women’s self-defense class

by Eric Stearley

A local dojo is expanding its offerings in an effort to help local women stay in shape while learning to protect themselves. The Saikou Shuri Ryu Karate School, located at 1595 Stitt Street, has begun offering a women’s self-defense class on Tuesday from 7-8 p.m.

“A lot of the women around town have come to me and asked about a self-defense program and what they can do to stay in shape,” said Sensei and owner Jerry French. “A lot of them are worried about being attacked by crazy people now a days. On the news, I saw where some women had been attacked, and I felt that if they had known a little bit about martial arts and how to defend themselves, they could have probably defended against their attacker.”

Shana Knight has been training in martial arts for two years, and when French opened his newest class, it was exactly what she was looking for.

“It’s a passion that I have. It’s for safety and to learn how to take care of myself, because it’s just my son and I, and the world isn’t like it used to be,” said Knight. “I am not personally into the karate side of it, because I like the self-defense side and learning how to take care of myself and the practicality of that.”

French has made it a mission to spread knowledge of martial arts and self-defense in the Wabash area, and has been teaching students for more than 20 years. He currently teaches half a dozen classes each week, and he’s well qualified to do so. On the nights he’s not teaching, he’s training. On some nights, he travels to Muncie to train under Chief Instructor George Sheridan. Other nights, he travels to Fort Wayne to learn from Grand Master Robert Bowles. 

A student himself since the early 1980s, French holds a fifth-degree black belt in Shuri Ryu Karate. As if that wasn’t enough, he also holds a second-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, a second-degree black belt in weapons, a first-degree black belt in Shinto Yoshin Ryu Jujitsu, and a brown belt in Kempo Karate. He’s competed in numerous tournaments throughout the country and held a Florida kickboxing title for five straight years. In 1997, he traveled to Japan to compete in the World Karate Championships, where he placed ninth. 

Posted on 2014 Dec 16
Pumping iron for Christmas Spirit

by Eric Stearley

On Saturday, Nov. 6, the Wabash County YMCA hosted a bench press competition to benefit Wabash County Christmas Spirit. Male contestants were tasked with bench-pressing their body weight as many times as possible, while the ladies had to put up half their weight.

Local attorney Alan Zimmerman announced the competition, which featured five divisions and 23 contestants.

The Christina Doan kicked off the competition for the ladies in style, posting a respectable 56 repetitions, which won her first place. It was noted that Doan, a trainer at the YMCA, doesn’t actually train for bench press. Christina Bagma put up 44 reps, while Angela Graham completed 33 and Jill Owens posted 24. Hannah Hall took top honors for the teen division with 14 reps.

The men’s competition was split into four divisions by age. In his first bench press competition, Kyle James took first place for the 20-29 year old division, tying the competition’s overall winner with 33 reps. Dylan Poole repeated last year’s performance, taking second place in his division and losing by only one repetition. Brock Byram and R.J. Waldon tied for third with 31 reps.

In the 30-39 division, Adam Garrison was able to lock out 270 pounds 21 times for the win. Alvin Roberts took second with 20 reps, and Brandon Meekin lifted 295 pounds 15 times for third.

Last year’s overall winner Keith Herron matched last year’s number with 28 reps, which was good enough to win the 40-49 division. Don Peterson was second with 26 reps.

Posted on 2014 Dec 09
Bill Konyha appointed Director of OCRA, member of Pence’s cabinet

by Eric Stearley

During an economic forum in Indianapolis on Nov. 19, Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann announced that Bill Konyha will take over as Director of the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs starting Jan. 5. Konyha has been the president and CEO of the Economic Development Group of Wabash County for more than eight years and quarterbacked the successful Stellar Communities application process.

“OCRA’s mission is to provide capacity-building solutions which assist Indiana’s rural communities in pursuing economic growth and quality of place,” Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann said during the forum. “We are extremely pleased to have someone with Bill’s experience in economic and community development lead our OCRA team.”

The appointment means that Konyha will answer to the state’s top two officials.

“I will be on the lieutenant governor’s executive staff, primarily in charge of the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, the agency that relates to rural communities and economic development, and I will be a member of the governor’s economic cabinet. I don’t know what that entails yet - whatever the governor tells me it does.”

Konyha will bring his many years of experience to the agency. He spent 18 years in private real estate development, including his time with Eastside Community Investments, Inc. in Indianapolis. He has been involved in community development for the past 24 years, including his time leading economic development organizations in Tipton and Fayette counties before making Wabash his home. He is currently the president of the Indiana Main Street Council, and previously served as president of the Indiana Economic Development Association.

Posted on 2014 Dec 09
Stirring it up with Angie Baer

I love everything about this season. Though it can be harried and down right hectic, still, I love Christmas. I asked the children in my class to tell me what their favorite thing about Christmas was. Hearing their response from the heart of a four year old was endearing to say the least.One little girl said "Santa knocks and knocks on the door until my Mom goes to the door and lets him come in with a bunch of presents." Their joy and excitement is contagious.

A few years ago I had a little boy named Hank in my class. Two years later His sister Millie was also in my class.At Christmas time their Mother would make the most delicious caramels I have ever tasted. They just melted in your mouth. I was the lucky one to receive them as a gift.She graciously gave me the recipe and since then, I make them every year and give them as gifts. Here are just a few tips when making caramels.

Posted on 2014 Dec 09

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