Local author draws inspiration from beloved cat Scooter

by Shaun Tilghman

Claypool resident Sue Baker never dreamed of being a writer, but then a special kitten came into her life and changed everything. Now, the Manchester High School graduate has published her third children’s book, which is expected to come out in December.

“This all started with me and my husband (Matt) finding a kitten in our backyard,” said Sue. “The kitten was too young to be left alone, so we ended up having to bottle-feed her. It was the same week as our 25th anniversary, and instead of going on a trip, we stayed home and took turns bottle-feeding her until she was strong enough that we could leave her by herself.

“We ended up having to teach her how to eat solid food and how to use the litter box because her mother wasn’t there to show her. Her siblings ended up surviving under a boat at the neighbors and became barn cats. So, that’s where the story really started unfolding in my mind. It was a couple years after we found her when I actually started writing the story down.”

Sue and Matt found the kitten, which they named Scooter, in 2005, but it wasn’t until 2008 that she decided the story would make a good children’s book. According to Sue, Matt likes to write and is very good with children, so he helped her with the wording in order to make it work for the target audience.

Once Sue finished her manuscript, she realized that she didn’t really know what to do with it; so, she put it away and didn’t do anything with it for about eight months. Then, early in 2009, she decided to research publishing options.

Posted on 2014 Nov 04
Beacon announces annual Project Spotlight winners

By Shaun Tilghman

Beacon Credit Union recently wrapped up its fourth annual Project Spotlight giving campaign and has begun distributing the monies won by local nonprofits. In North Manchester, Beacon is donating a total of $1,750 to the three charitable organizations/projects that received the most votes – Gamsby’s Project, Manchester Fellowship of Churches Food Pantry, and One World Handcrafts, Inc.

Project Spotlight is a community support program designed to discover worthwhile projects in each area that Beacon serves, according to the website. The hope is to be able to support community projects, both large and small, while also bringing awareness to the many good things happening in those communities every day.

“Project Spotlight is a charitable giving campaign that allows you to nominate local charities, not-for-profits, and community projects for the potential to earn funding from Beacon Credit Union. First, we ask community members to submit their local projects and organizations that they feel deserve support. Then, we open the two-month voting process and have each community vote to support their favorite organization. With your help and participation, once the voting has ended at the end of September, we’ll donate a total of $21,000 benefiting 36 charitable organizations and projects in Northeast Indiana.”

During the first two years, Project Spotlight began the nomination process in April and a special panel then narrowed those down to three nominations per community. In 2013, the process was changed in order to allow all nominations the opportunity to receive votes. In addition, a Facebook component was implemented so that, after voting on the website, you could immediately post your vote on Facebook.

Posted on 2014 Nov 04
Beacon Credit Union raises over $16,000 for Riley

Every year, Beacon Credit Union raises money for the Riley Children’s Hospital Foundation through their Credit Unions for Kids Campaign.  The Riley Children’s Hospital Foundation offers hope to thousands of families seeking help for seriously ill and injured children – help that only Riley Hospital for Children can provide. Every gift makes an impact, as the dedicated medical team at Riley Hospital could not deliver expert and compassionate care without external financial support.

Beacon Credit Union is proud to announce that they will be presenting a donation of over $16,000 to the Riley Children’s Hospital Foundation.  Beacon Credit Union proudly supports Riley Children’s Hospital.

Beacon Credit Union is a full service, locally owned, credit union that provides a wide range of products and services including savings accounts; checking accounts; Certificates of Deposit; IRAs; Investment and Trust Opportunities; Consumer, Real Estate, Commercial and Agricultural Loans; plus all of today's conveniences of mobile banking, internet banking, online bill pay, online statements, Debit Cards, ATM's and Telephone Teller access. The credit union operates 20 convenient service offices throughout north central and northeast Indiana to provide financial products and services to 46,000 members.

Posted on 2014 Nov 04
Fall property tax installment due Nov. 10

The fall installment of property tax will be due Nov. 10. Spring and fall statements were mailed in April.

Taxes that are delinquent after Nov. 10, 2014 will have a penalty added. That penalty will be 5 percent if it is paid within 30 days and there is no other delinquency. If it is paid after 30 days or has other delinquency, the penalty is 10 percent.

You may pay your taxes with one of the following options:

*Pay in person: You may pay in the Wabash County Treasurer’s Office.

*Pay by mail: Please sent the spring and/or fall payment coupon along with a self-addressed, stamped envelope for a return receipt. Make sure your payment is postmarked by Nov. 10.

*Pay at local banks: Those banks that are accepting property tax payments include Bippus State Bank, Crossroads Bank, First Farmer’s Bank, First Financial Bank, First Merchant’s Bank and Mutual Bank.

*Drop box: There is a gold drop box located in front of the Judicial Center on the west side of the Court House parking lot.

If you have any questions, you may contact the Wabash County Treasurer’s Office at 260-563-0661, ext. 1259 or

Posted on 2014 Nov 04
Attention Landowners: USDA announces signup dates and deadlines for new farm programs

In February 2014, Congress signed a new five year farm bill creating many new farm programs. The new programs will cover crop years 2014-2018. While some final adjustments are still being made, many details about the new programs are being made available.

In August of 2014 landowners with crop bases were sent letters telling them what their current crop bases are along with their current counter cyclical payment yields. They were told to review the information and contact their local FSA office with questions.

Landowners could first visit their local FSA office on Sept. 29 to decide whether to keep their current base acreage or reallocate their bases. Reallocation looks at what was grown on the farm in 2009 – 2012 and calculates a new crop base off of those planted acres. The landowner has until Feb. 27, 2015 to make this decision. Since many landowners head south for the winter, FSA encourages an office visit before leaving.

Posted on 2014 Nov 04
College and Career Fair to be held Nov. 12

With a grant from the Community Foundation of Wabash County, Wabash High School will host the first annual Wabash County College and Career Fair. The event brings together representatives from more than 30 colleges, universities, trade schools, unions, and the Armed Forces. Students will browse college and career literature and learn about requirements for various career paths, including traditional college and industry standard certification programs.

In a combined effort to increase college and career-readiness in Wabash County, all area junior and senior high school students are invited and encouraged to attend the daytime event. The College and Career Fair will be held on Wednesday, November 12 from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Wabash High School. 

The Community Foundation will be available to help students learn how to apply for local scholarships established by generous donors and administered by the Foundation and how to complete the College Costs Estimator, a free online program to demonstrate financial need, which is a requirement of many scholarships. The Indiana Youth Institute, headquartered in Indianapolis, will introduce students to “Trip to College,” an online planning app that helps students explore career interests and training requirements. Information will also be available for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and the Wabash County Promise.

“Students have lots of options today. Some will go to traditional college. Some are on a pathway to a trade. These days both options require education and training after high school to be successful,” says Joe Kaufman, Guidance Counselor of Wabash Junior Senior High School. “The nearest college fairs for Wabash County students were held in Peru and Fort Wayne this year. We wanted to give local families an easy-to-attend, information-filled event during the school day that everyone could participate in.”

Posted on 2014 Nov 04
Northfield theatre to perform two shows

The Northfield theatre department, directed by Mandy Shull, will be performing Friday, Nov. 7 and Saturday, Nov. 8, beginning at 7 p.m. in Northfield’s auditorium.

Join them for two ensemble plays, with a variety of leading roles. The first show will be “Unplugged,” a play with a social message of unplugging from your electronics, followed after the intermission by “The Murder Mystery at the Murder Mystery.”

Tickets may be purchased at the door.

Posted on 2014 Nov 04
Retired MU President Jo Young Switzer awarded Sagamore of the Wabash

Jo Young Switzer was awarded the highest distinction in Indiana, a Sagamore of the Wabash, in a special presentation during a celebration of the highly successful Students First! campaign at Manchester University.

“We are deeply grateful to President Switzer for her leadership,” said MU President Dave McFadden, who presented the award Thursday on behalf of Indiana State Sen. Jim Banks, R-Columbia City. Banks has been deployed to Afghanistan for the 2015 session of the Indiana legislature.

Switzer became the first female president and 14th chief executive of Manchester University on Dec. 1, 2004.

Before her retirement in June, Switzer led a campaign to raise $100 million for the University. It blew by that goal, raising $108.7 million a full 18 months ahead of schedule. It included more than 50,000 gifts from alumni, friends, corporations, foundations and churches.

The largest was a $35 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to launch the Manchester University College of Pharmacy, which enrolled its first students in August 2012. The gift enabled Manchester to construct a LEED Gold certified, state-of-the-art 82,000-square-foot building on its new Fort Wayne campus, which is home to the four-year pharmacy doctoral program.

The University’s enrollment increased about 30 percent during Switzer’s tenure, from 1,074 in 2004 to 1,400 during the 2013-14 school year. In the past several years, Manchester also launched a master’s degree program in athletic training and has implemented two key initiatives — the three-year bachelor’s degree Fast Forward program and the Triple Guarantee. The Triple Guarantee promises financial aid for all students and full tuition for academically strong low-income students who live in Indiana; graduation within four years for all full-time students who meet the guidelines, or pay no tuition for credit needed at Manchester to graduate in five years; and a job or enrollment in graduate school within six months of graduation, or return for a full year, tuition-free.

Posted on 2014 Nov 04

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