Kristi Lundquist, Wabash County Chamber of Commerce Board Chair, announces Agro Chem, Inc. as the 2013 Business of the Year. “The level of dedication that Agro Chem has invested in this community is evident through their commitment to quality products and services,” stated Lundquist. “Celebrating their success and community impact is part of the Chamber’s mission.”
Gary Cooper founded Agro Chem, Inc. in 1975. Gary’s first employee was his lifelong friend, Ernie Peas. The business operated outside of Wabash on the Cooper’s home farm located on SR 124. As the business continued to grow there was opportunity for Ernie’s three sons, Brian, Brad and Mark, to join the business following their graduations from Purdue University.
In 1994, Ernie purchased Gary’s shares of the business and a year later opened a second Agro Chem location in Wilmington, Ohio, to meet the need of a growing customer base outside of Indiana. In 2003, Agro Chem, Inc. had expanded beyond the capacity of their original location and moved the business to a vacant retail facility located closer to town on SR 15. Ernie retired from Agro Chem in 2009; however Brian, Brad and Mark Peas continue to manage the daily operations of Agro Chem, Inc. in Wabash and Wilmington.
Wabash County roads, bridges and highways will benefit from a $1,573,158 funding increase over the next two years, said State Sen. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City).
During the 2013 legislative session, the General Assembly passed the 2014-2015 state budget, which increased transportation funding by $210 million per year. This includes $100 million for local units each year.
Officials at Dallas L. Winchester Senior Center recently announced that the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) awarded $15,505 in Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP) tax credits to the Center, one of 217 Indiana nonprofit organizations selected in the State for participation in the program.
NAP Tax Credits may be awarded to individuals or corporations who donate a minimum of $100 (cash, check, credit card or stock). Donors receive half the amount of the gift as a credit on their Indiana Department of Revenue taxes. However, the entire amount of the gift is considered a charitable contribution. For example, a gift of $1000 to Dallas L. Winchester Senior Center results in a $500 tax credit against State of Indiana taxes. Therefore, a gift of $1000 with $500 NAP credits costs the taxpayer the same as a $500 gift without NAP credits. In essence, the taxpayer is giving the amount paid to the State of Indiana to Dallas L. Winchester Senior Center, when they receive NAP credits.
Louis Dreyfus Commodities, Claypool, recently donated $20,000 to the firefighter’s communication fund, held at the Kosciusko County Community Foundation.
The fund was created in response to the Federal Communication Commission’s action to narrow the bandwidth used by firefighters in order to make more radio frequencies available for cell phone and digital media communication.
The bandwidth narrowing, combined with Kosciusko County’s challenging topography and elevation levels, largely because of the many lakes, made radio communication unreliable.
The need to establish a better countywide communication system for the firefighters was identified in a 2012 Kosciusko Leadership Academy White Paper project.
The KLA team will continue to move the project forward.
Kosciusko County Fire Association is applying for a large federal grant to acquire funds for transmitters and receivers for use throughout the county. The federal grant requires a local match.
Additionally, emergency responders have identified the need to build more communication towers, an expense federal grant dollars will not cover. KCFA and KCCF are seeking to raise $200,000 toward the local match and the amount needed to build additional communication towers. The recent donation from Louis Dreyfus covers 10 percent of the goal.
Louis Dreyfus Commodities is home to the world’s largest fully integrated soybean processing and biodiesel plant. The plant uses soybeans, purchased from farmers and elevators throughout the Midwest region, to make not only biodiesel but also soybean meal and soy hull pellets, used as feed sources in the livestock industry.
Kirtlan Automotive will celebrate 20 years in the business this year and will mark the occasion with an open house and service specials Saturday, Aug. 10 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Steve Kirtlan started Kirtlan Automotive, on April 1, 1993 with the original location at 790 S Cass Street. He moved into a new building built for the business at 750 S. Cass Street in September 2000. Kirtlan Automotive has been family owned and operated since it opened.
Company president Steve Kirtlan states, "We want to thank our customers for their business the past 20 years with an open house. That day we will be serving food, giving away door prizes and offering service specials." He goes on to say, "we aren't open on Saturdays, but we want to allow more of our customers to come and help us celebrate. We invite people to come out, enjoy some food, have the chance to win some prizes and gift certificates for the Charley Creek Inn restaurant Twenty, meet all of our ASE Blue Seal technicians and take advantage of the service specials. "
The 20th anniversary service specials that day will include $20 Oil Changes (up to 5 quarts of conventional oil), $20 front wheel alignments and $20 AC Recharges (plus refrigerant) on a first come, first serve basis. They will also offer free suspension inspections and electrical tests. All of the Kirtlan Automotive technicians are ASE certified. Kirtlan Automotive is a NAPA AutoCare Center and is recognized as a leader in complete automotive repair and diagnostic capabilities.
by Kalie Ammons
The first Urbana Festival in nearly three and a half decades will be held on Saturday, July 3 in the Urbana Park/Ball field. The Urbana Yoke Parish and Urbana Lions Club organized the event with Gene Miller heading it.
The festival is jam-packed with events for people of all ages, including a tractor pull, bake sale, kids’ games, square dancing, town rummage sale and a performance by God’s Country. Events start at 8 a.m. and last until about 9 p.m.
“Most of it’s going to be on the west side of St Rd 13 in Urbana. That way the kids don’t have to cross the highway. We’ll try to keep most of it on the one side, just for safety,” Miller explained.
Gene Miller is a member of the Urbana Lions Club and an active member of the Urbana Yoke Parish Church. He was the previous festival organizer, so having him head the festival this year just seemed natural.
by Kalie Ammons
Metro North Elementary School will welcome Janette Moore into its halls this fall.
“I am thrilled to be here and excited to meet with the staff and the students and their families,” Janette told The Paper.
Mrs. Moore was previously employed by the Huntington County Community School Corporation for 12 years. While she might be a first-time principal, she is no stranger to leadership positions. Five of those years she worked as a teacher at Andrews Elementary where she taught first, second and third grade. She was then offered the position for the Professional Development Coordinator for Elementary Grades where she served as an instructional coach for teachers teaching preschool through sixth grade.
This experience came in handy when applying for the Metro North position. Mrs. Moore was chosen out of 19 applicants. The school board chose to use a more rigorous method of hiring this year:
The Pauline J. Barker Educational Trust has awarded the Learn More Center in grants totaling $37,000 to support adult education programs in Wabash County. Specifically in the GED Accelerate program, adults will be attempting to get their GED in less than four months. The funding also aids student transportation to and from the two education sites, a valued asset in enabling student success.
With this gift, the Pauline J. Barker Educational Trust has provided the Learn More Center with $250,000 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 guidance and mentoring. Support from the Pauline J. 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 diploma. The support of the Learn More Center’s Fast Track GED Program has been vital and has led to the new GED Accelerate Program.