Squire Academy: an alternative educational opportunity

by Shaun Tilghman

The start of the 2014-15 school year holds special significance for Manchester Community Schools (MCS), as it also marks the opening of Squire Academy, an alternative school program for students who are in need of credit recovery, dropped out, or opted to be homeschooled.

Manchester Jr.-Sr. High School (MJSHS) Principal Nancy Alspaugh first introduced the idea for an alternative education venture during the April 1st school board meeting.

"We have a need for an alternative educational placement for some of our students," Alspaugh said. "We have students coming into their junior and senior years with credits to make up so that they can get to graduation. We feel we could do a much better job, and offer more [credit recovery] opportunities for students, if we had an actual program with a supervisor.”

Alspaugh also stated that 16 students had dropped out to be homeschooled last school year. “Certainly, some of them have gone to a viable program,” she added, “but we also know that many students who say they are withdrawing to be homeschooled have no good options for their educational program after they leave us. We would ask that they go to our Squire Academy and at least attempt to have a better educational experience than just dropping out of school to be homeschooled."

The school board unanimously approved her proposal to apply for the Alternative Education Grant, and now, just four months later, Squire Academy is set to welcome its first participants.

MCS Superintendent Dr. Bill Reichhart has also been a big proponent of Squire Academy and what it means for Manchester. “Squire Academy is one of my passions for helping all students succeed in our community,” Dr. Reichhart explained.

Posted on 2014 Aug 12
Stirring it up with Angie Baer

         A few years ago my husband and I bought a tandem bike. Little did we know when we purchased our bicycle that it would take us on so many adventures. On July 23 we set off on an amazing journey that would test our cycling ability. With a few articles of clothing, some close friends and a satchel full of trail mix , Slim Jims and water, our amazing journey began. We started in St. Ignance in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. From there we peddled our way to Newberry then all the way up to White fish Point. We passed through little fishing towns with names such as Trout Lake and Paradise. We stopped at Tanquamenon Falls where I stood in awe at the breath taking view. Tired but determined to go on we rode along Lake Superior to Sault St. Marie.Soon we were off again to a little town called Detour along Lake Huron and finally back to our starting point, St. Ignance. I couldn't believe we had biked a total of 323 miles!

       Each night we would stop at a little dive in the middle of absolutely nowhere and have dinner. Every night we had fresh white fish cooked every way possible and it was delicious! Once again, I am reminded how fortunate I really am.Yep, I could be a Yooper. No problem.

      I think you will agree, this recipe for Lemon Grilled Salmon is a keeper.

Posted on 2014 Aug 12
Haywoods guide “Breaking Trail” host on turtle hunt

by Shaun Tilghman

Bill Haywood and his 17-year-old son Canaan spent the last weekend in July doing what they do most weekends: hunting and trapping snapping turtles. The weekend went a little differently, however, as Nate “Coyote” Peterson, host of the online nature series “Breaking Trail,” joined the father-son turtle-trapping duo from Laketon.

According to Bill, he developed a fascination with snapping turtles when he was 10 years old, and at that time he started hunting them as well. “I had heard the story about the giant turtle they had in a lake up in Churubusco, and I wanted to catch the biggest one anybody had ever heard of,” said Bill.

“After hunting and searching, and feeling through the mud and rivers, and catching them by hand, I knew I had to catch a lot more to ever find one that big,” he continued. “So, my dad and I came up with a trap that would catch turtles safely and not harm them – it was very effective. Since then, Canaan and I have modified the traps to make them even better.”

Canaan added, “I’ve been around it ever since I can remember, but I actually started trapping with my dad last year. In that time, I’ve learned a lot about trap location and how important that is, but knowing how to handle the turtles is definitely something you have to learn because I actually got bit this year. I kind of lost my concentration for a minute and that’s all it takes – you take your eyes off of them for a second and you’re going to get bit.”

Bill and Canaan have been gaining notoriety based on the unbelievable size of the snappers they’ve caught in the area. In fact, last July, an author named Ben Romans, from Utah, wrote an article about them for “Field & Stream.”

Posted on 2014 Aug 12
Ivy Tech Wabash offers machine tool training program

Ivy Tech Community College in Wabash recently received a $38,000 grant from the Pauline Barker Education Trust that will enable the College to fund a machine tool training project in the community. The grant will cover tuition and books for 12 Wabash County residents to take four degree-credit classes. The classes will meet on Tuesday and Thursday evenings during the fall and spring semesters in the machine tool lab at Heartland Career Center, 79 S. County Road 200 West.

Wabash Campus Executive Director Pam Guthrie said she is excited about this opportunity to help the Wabash County workforce. 

“We have relatively small manufacturing companies that need assistance from Ivy Tech in providing training for increasingly higher skilled jobs.” Guthrie said.  “These companies are too small to have their own training programs, but many of them have similar training needs.” 

Guthrie said the College’s Wabash Advisory Board discussed the need for skilled machinists in the community and the program was designed to help local workers who have an interest in this field get the knowledge and skills they need to qualify for these jobs.

Posted on 2014 Aug 05
Learn More Center awarded $40,000 grant from Pauline Barker Educational Trust

The Pauline Barker Educational Trust has awarded the Learn More Center a grant of $40,000 to support adult education programs in Wabash County.   The Learn More Center is truly blessed by the Pauline Barker Educational Trust’s continued generosity and support!

With this gift, the Pauline J. Barker Educational Trust has provided the Learn More Center with $290,000 of vital support for advancing educational opportunities for adults in Wabash County.  The Learn More Center provides students a path to attain their goals within an efficient, effective and nurturing environment that provides instruction, guidance and mentoring.   Support from the Pauline Barker Educational Trust has assisted many students in overcoming their obstacles of learning differences, transportation barriers, and lack of support from home.  Since 2010 alone, the Pauline Barker funds have supported 67 students in attaining their dreams of a GED!

Pauline J. Barker, a life-long resident of Wabash, is remembered as the manager of Rock City Café, a position she held for forty-five years before her retirement.  Before her death in 1999, she established this educational foundation bearing her name to provide support for basic literacy education, adult education, vocational training and re-training of youth and adults.  The Pauline Barker Educational Trust is administered by First Merchants Trust Company. 

Posted on 2014 Aug 05
New activities, traditional favorites highlight FunFest 2014

by Shaun Tilghman

The North Manchester community is already in preparation for the annual FunFest By The River celebration next week, and along with the numerous activities people look forward to each year, this year’s schedule includes several new additions.

Traditionally, FunFest is advertised as a three-day event, but with multiple activities now scheduled on Wednesday and Sunday, it is really more like five days. This year’s festival is considered to officially begin on Thursday, Aug. 7th and to end on Saturday, Aug. 9th; however, there will be four activities on Wednesday evening and four more activities on Sunday.

“We seem to be creeping out of our borders on each end, as there are now several events taking place on Wednesday and Sunday as well,” said Laura Rager, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce. “On the Wednesday preceding FunFest this year, there is now a Powder Puff football game, a performance by Charles Billingsley, and a bonfire, as well as the start of the tennis tournament.

“The Powder Puff game came about because our theme for this year is ‘homecoming’, which was originally intended to relate to the number of people that come home to North Manchester during this time every year. Over the years we’ve learned that a lot of people schedule their family reunions, class reunions, or large get-togethers around FunFest because it gives everybody such a great opportunity to see old friends. So, that’s what our original intention was; but, when people began to think about school starting again soon and the start of football season being just around the corner, that different aspect of homecoming just kind of crept its way in and stuck.

Posted on 2014 Aug 05
Special blood drive to be held in memory of Rod and Sarah Haupert

An American Red Cross blood drive will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 13, in memory of Rod and Sarah Haupert. A traffic accident took the lives of the father and daughter in 2012. This is the third year that a blood drive is being dedicated to them.

Friends and family say Sarah Haupert had a passion for helping save lives through blood donations. She was a loyal donor who started giving blood when she was in high school. At the time of the accident, Sarah was a student at Ball State University. She was scheduled to give blood at the Urbana Community Center a week after she was killed.

Donate Blood in Memory of Rod and Sarah Haupert

on Wednesday, Aug. 13, from 2-6:30 p.m. at Urbana Community Center, located at 16 E. Half Street in Urbana.

Donors are asked to please call 1-800-RED CROSS or go to to schedule a blood donation appointment.

The drive is sponsored by the Urbana York Parish.

Posted on 2014 Aug 05
Salvation Army Family Store celebrates first anniversary

by Sandy Johnson

One of the newest thrift stores in Wabash will soon be celebrating their one-year anniversary.  On Friday and Saturday, August 15 and 16, The Salvation Army Family Store & Donation Center is planning a special event for customers with store hours running from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. both days.

On Saturday there will be a storewide half-off sale on select items, cupcakes for the first 100 customers, and door prizes every other hour. Some prizes will include gift cards from local restaurants and salons, as well as store gift cards. There will also be a drawing held at closing that day for a chance to win a Kindle Fire. Winners do not need to be present for these drawings.

“The store carries a wide selection of items to choose from such as, clothing, furniture, books, movies, televisions, jewelry, small appliances, treasures, and collectibles,” stated Salvation Army district manager Heather Hull. “There is new stuff put out everyday,” she added.

Hull has been working with the manager in getting the store ready for the celebration.

“We are happy to be in Wabash,” said Hull. “The location is great because it is off the highway and close to Wal-Mart, and the size of the store is perfect.”

When the plan was set for a Wabash store, the company was confident the store would succeed. Although the store’s earnings aren’t exactly where the company would like them to be, they continue to strive to make the store more profitable for the future. Hull pointed out that the store will be dropping their prices in order to stay competitive with other thrift stores in the area. 

Posted on 2014 Aug 05

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