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
Vogel heading to Miss Indiana pageant

by Emily Armentrout

Katelin Vogel, 2013 Wabash High School graduate, daughter of Tim and Karrie Vogel, and former Wabash County Festival Queen, was crowned Miss Fort Wayne 2015 on Nov. 15.

Vogel has been competing in pageants for a short time. Her pageant career started in 2013, being crowned Wabash Festival Queen. After graduating from Wabash High School and moving to Fort Wayne to study psychology at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, Vogel went on to compete in the Miss IPFW pageant just two weeks before the Miss Fort Wayne pageant. Vogel was first runner up in Miss IPFW.

“My mom almost forced me to start pageants. She said it was for money and would help for school so I grumbled along and went ahead with them. I found that I really enjoyed them though, so I continued,” Vogel told The Paper.

Along with the scholarships, Vogel believes one of the greatest things she has taken away from her time in pageants is the interview skills she has acquired.

“If I had to tell girls what good comes from pageants, it’s the interview skills. You have to learn to meet people and talk with them, using that etiquette that you normally don’t find in regular, colloquial conversation. You have to be confident in yourself and that has helped me and that’s why I have stuck with them,” explained Vogel.

Vogel has learned a new appreciation for the communities she represents through her pageant experiences as well.

Posted on 2014 Dec 09

<< Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198 199 200 201 202 203 204 205 206 207 208 209 210 211 212 213 214 215 216 217 218 219 220 221 222 223 224 225 226 227 228 229 230 231 232 233 234 235 236 237 238 239 240 241 242 243 244 245 246 247 248 249 250 251 252 253 254 255 256 257 258 259 260 261 262 263 264 265 266 267 268 269 270 271 272 273 274 275 276 277 278 279 280 281 282 283 284 285 286 287 288 289 290 291 292 293 294 295 296 297 298 299 300 301 302 303 304 305 306 307 308 309 310 311 312 313 314 315 316 317 318 319 320 321 322 323 324 325 326 327 328 329 330 331 332 Next >>