Honeywell Center celebrates 20th Anniversary of Ford Theater expansion

by Eric Stearley

Exactly 20 years ago to the day, the Honeywell Center opened the doors to its new expansion. Known as “The Miracle on Market Street,” the 75,000-square-foot addition included the area’s premier performance hall, the Ford Theater. The 1,500-seat theatre has serves as a cultural center for the community, bringing hundreds of musical and theatrical performances to Wabash over the past two decades.

“When Mark Honeywell established the Honeywell Foundation in 1941, he did so because of his love of Wabash and his vision of a single place where the community could come together to enjoy cultural events, as well as enjoying one another’s company,” said Tod Minnich, executive director of The Honeywell Foundation. “The construction of the Ford Theatre, Eugenia’s Restaurant, and the Clark Gallery, which opened 20 years ago, increased opportunities for cultural enrichment and exposure as evidenced by the high caliber of entertainers who have made their way to the Ford Theater stage over the past two decades. As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of these integral spaces, I am confident that we are continuing to further Mr. Honeywell’s original vision.”

When the expansion opened in 1994, several musical and theatrical acts took the stage, including Wabash native Crystal Gayle. Reading the performance’s program gives the past two decades some perspective; it asked patrons to silence their pagers.

Minnich was named executive director just before the theater’s 10th anniversary.

“We chose to celebrate the 10th anniversary with 10 shows in 2 weeks, and I think people thought that was a pretty unrealistic feat, and we were able to pull it off at a them when, some years, we’d barely been doing 10 shows all year,” said Minnich. “Now we do over 40 shows every year, so it’s been exciting to see the growth in the number of programs we provide.”

Posted on 2014 Apr 22
Work begins on museumís caboose exhibit

by Eric Stearley

Last week, the Wabash Valley Saw Dust Gang began restoration work on the Wabash County Historical Museum’s outdoor caboose exhibit.

“The museum received the caboose from Bob McCallen, and he asked our group if we would restore it, so we took that project on,” said Marvin Wright, member of the four-county woodworking club. “We didn’t want to work on it when there was snow on the ground, so it’s finally gotten warm enough that we could begin to do it.”

Three members of the Saw Dust Gang were hard at work Wednesday morning, tearing off the train caboose’s old siding. Wright said that the wood underneath the siding doesn’t look great, but it’s solid.

“We’re residing the caboose, first removing the old siding, which is two layers and is really in bad, bad shape,” said Wright. “Then after we get the siding off and the new back on, there’s a gentleman who’s going to replace the roof, so the caboose will be back exteriorly in very good shape once we get done in hopefully another week and a half or so.”

Posted on 2014 Apr 22
Scams solicit local residents to pay for deeds

The Office of the Indiana Attorney General has alerted Wabash County that companies are soliciting Indiana consumers to pay for deeds.

One such notice sent by an entity under the name “Local Records Office” and received by a county resident asked for $89 in exchange for a copy of their deed. Copies of deeds can be obtained at the Wabash County Clerk’s office for $1. Any money sent to the included address is routed to California through an Indianapolis address.

Currently, the Office of the Indiana Attorney General is investigating the following companies for this type of scam: National Record Service, Inc., Record Retrieval Department, Conveyance Transfer Services and Local Records Office.

The OAG is conducting this investigation to determine whether these companies are violating the Indiana Deceptive Consumer Sales Act, by misrepresenting the benefits of purchasing and retaining a deed from them, misrepresenting that the solicitation is an invoice, and misrepresenting their affiliation with the government.

If you receive an invoice from any of these companies, contact the local recorder’s office. Wabash County officials urge residents not to send any money to these companies.

Posted on 2014 Apr 22
Heartland Career Center needs communityís votes on Facebook

by Emily Armentrout

Heartland Career Center is currently in the running for a $10,000 grant from Midwest Technical Institute in Brownsburg, Ind. The grant will be presented to the school that acquires the most votes before voting ends Sunday, April 27 at midnight.

“We had some students compete for scholarship money and they did very well in a welding contest [at MTI Brownsburg],” said Mark Hobbs, principal at Heartland Career Center. “I then started following the institute on Twitter. They sent out information about a contest that there were going to have, requiring you to make a short video about what your school would do with the $10,000. Our design staff, along with our teachers, made the video. We are one of only three schools that actually followed through.

“It’s not often you get a hunk of change like this to help your students. We don’t lose anything for going for this, but we could gain a lot,” added Hobbs.

Hobbs and the rest of the Heartland staff and students are looking for the community’s support. If you would like to support Heartland, all you have to do is go on Facebook, “like” the MTI Brownsburg page, vote for Heartland Career’s Center video and share the link so that others can vote as well.

Posted on 2014 Apr 22
LaFontaine to honor veterans at festival

The LaFontaine Town Festival Committee would like to encourage the area of Liberty Township and the community of LaFontaine to start planning ahead for Ashland Days, LaFontaine Town’s Festival. The Festival is taking place on Friday, June 20 and Saturday June 21.

This year the committee has taken a different approach to the festival. It was decided in January that this year’s town festival would be dedicated to our local hometown heroes. The town is celebrating local veterans of the past and present at the festival.

As part of this event the committee has been putting together a local veterans roll call. To honor these veterans, the committee needs the names of those who have served. The committee has been collecting names and information by having several Veteran’s Coffee and Snack meetings. More of these get-togethers have been scheduled for the following dates: April 29, May 13, May 17 and June 14. The coffee and snack meetings are at 9 a.m. in the LaFontaine Community Center. Those who cannot attend can contact the festival committee for a roll call form.

Posted on 2014 Apr 22
Students and faculty celebrate Presidentís Manchester years

D. Randall Brown, chair of the Board of Trustees at Manchester University, announced at the April 10 donor appreciation dinner that the university’s student union would be renamed the Jo Young Switzer Center.

President Switzer will be retiring June 30. During Switzer’s tenure, the University has increased enrollment 25 percent, added a four-year Doctor of Pharmacy program on a new Fort Wayne campus, raised more than 95 percent toward a Students First! $100 million campaign and dedicated several new learning facilities, including the student union.

“As president of Manchester Student Senate, I see what a direct impact donor dollars have on our student body,” said junior Chris Miller, a political science major from New Paris. “Naming our campus buildings after these generous families and individuals reminds students that there are thousands of people working behind the scenes to ensure that they have a positive experience at Manchester, a true testament to our emphasis on community and putting students first.”

Students are also thanking and celebrating President Jo Young Switzer with a gallery, featuring photographs from her Manchester University years.

Hundreds previewed the exhibit at a special University donor event.  Students in Advanced Public Relations will accompany the exhibit.

The 41 photographs will be on public display Saturday, April 12 through MU Alumni Days on May 28-29.

Posted on 2014 Apr 22
62 Ton RiverFest to celebrate past river cleanups

The Wabash River Defenders have announced that this year’s river initiative, the 62 Ton RiverFest, will revolve around celebrating the success of the past three river cleanup campaigns and the hundreds of volunteers who dedicated their time and resources to protecting our natural waterway.

On Saturday, July 26 the public is invited to participate in a group/family float along the Wabash River. It will be launching from Lagro from 9—10 a.m. and getting off of the river at the Carroll St. access point in Wabash.

The Wabash River Defenders (WRD) and the Knights of Columbus will host a celebratory lunch and concert at Paradise Spring Historical Park beginning at noon. This completely free event will include all-you-can-eat Wabash River Silver Tail and Riverbank Tatters along with a live musical performance by Small Town.

“This entire county has worked tirelessly over the last three years removing 62 tons of debris and pollutants from the water and the banks of the entire length of the Wabash River,” said Michael Beauchamp, founder of the Wabash River Defenders. “That is just over 19 miles from Miami to Huntington counties.”

Posted on 2014 Apr 22
Lane restrictions on SR 15 and SR 14 began April 16

The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) announces that Wednesday, April 16, weather permitting, SR 15 and SR 14 are scheduled for intermittent lane restrictions in various locations throughout the Town of Silver Lake. INDOT will be preparing the roadway for the upcoming asphalt resurface project.

Also during this time, sidewalk and ramp improvements will be made to meet the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.

Motorists should be aware of flaggers during this time in the work zone. Drivers should be prepared to slow down and stop. All work is weather permitting.

Posted on 2014 Apr 22

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