Horse and Pony Club to hold inaugural ride-a-thon

by Emily Armentrout

The Wabash County 4-H Horse and Pony Club will hold their inaugural ride-a-thon at Crazy Horse Arena on Saturday, April 19 from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Amy Lybarger, member of the parent committee for the Horse and Pony Club, spoke with The Paper about what the ride-a-thon will hold and the idea behind this event.

The ride-a-thon “is a fundraiser for the Horse and Pony Club,” explained Lybarger. “We have to be pretty self-sufficient. Our club is one of the largest county clubs, with about 50 to 60 kids. We meet at the fairgrounds and we try to do as many improvements to our little spot of the grounds as we can. These improvements have to come out of our pocket.”

The Horse and Pony Club usually holds fundraisers throughout the year to fund their shows and the trophies and ribbons that the members receive as prizes, but they are hoping that the members can get enough sponsorships that the ride-a-thon alleviates some of that fundraising burden.

The ride-a-thon will be an eight-hour riding event, with different activities for the riders to participate in with their team members. Activities include musical cones, Simon says, an obstacle course and even riding blindfolded. Due to the event being held Easter weekend, Lybarger is even trying to figure out a way to do an Easter egg hunt on horseback.

Posted on 2014 Apr 08
Inaugural Color Me Green run a chilly success

by Eric Stearley

Wabash County 4-Hers and their families gathered at the Field of Dreams on Saturday, March 29 for the first ever Color Me Green fun run and 5K. Despite sleet, snow, and the resulting muddy course, nearly 80 participants left the comfort of their homes to raise money for two causes, while having a lot of fun.

The state-wide event is part of the 4-H Healthy Living Campaign and organizes 4-H participants and supporters for a day of community, fitness and lots of 4-H green. As part of their paid registration, participants received a white t-shirt proudly announcing the event on front and back. The color came into play as participants launched packets of green powder into the air at the start of the run, beginning the process of turning their white shirts green.

As they walked and ran around the 1-mile course, volunteers continued to turn the runners green, squirting the powder, made of green pigment and cornstarch, out of ketchup bottles as they ran by. As the run continued, some volunteers took a more direct approach, bypassing the squirt bottles by throwing the colored powder at the runners’ shirts. As expected, not much of the powder missed the t-shirts, covering shoes, pants, faces, and hair in 4-H green.

Posted on 2014 Apr 01
Beauchamp McSpadden begins new chapter as INGUARD

by Eric Stearley
After decades under the banner of Beauchamp McSpadden, Wabash’s premier insurance company is rebranding itself, changing its name to INGUARD. The new name combines the words “insurance” and “guard,” a change that CEO Parker Beauchamp hopes will make the firm more progressive and accessible.
The full story of how this local insurance agency came to be could fill a book. That book would encompass stories of a devastating city-wide fire, a civil war veteran, a one-legged patriarch, struggles through the great depression, client theft on the part of competing banks, and ultimately and emergence into prominence and prosperity. Its roots date all the way back to 1870. Fifty-seven years later, Parker’s great-grandfather Ward Beauchamp purchased the business, beginning a four-generation legacy of Beauchamp ownership.
This name change has been many years in the works, but it was far from the first. Over its 144 year history, the firm has existed as Ross and Peters Real Estate & Insurance Agents, Ross and Mote Fire and Life Insurance and Real Estate, J.P. Ross Real Estate and Insurance, Citizens Savings Bank, Ward Beauchamp Insurance Agency, Ward Beauchamp and Son, Beauchamp and Son Insurance, and eventually Beauchamp McSpadden, which has been the name since 1968. In 1980, they purchased a firm in Muncie, which insured the Ball entities, making the official title Beauchamp McSpadden | Morrison Galliher.
The eleven-syllable tongue twister isn’t one that most people would consider “catchy.” Just the first of the four names, pronounced “Beech-um,” can be confusing to clients.

Posted on 2014 Apr 01
“A Toast to Wine Tasting in Wabash”

by Mary Fuson-Stearley

Silas Zartman, assistant manager of Charley Creek Inn’s Wine and Cheese Shoppe, walks the path of the world’s famous Master Sommeliers with his recent wine study endeavors. He recently passed the Introductory Sommelier Exam, officially making him a sommelier.

The wine shop he helps manage is certainly deserving of such an expert. Named one of Wine Spectator Magazine’s Top 100 in 2013, Charley Creek Inn’s Wine and Cheese Shoppe has been serving the Wabash community for more than 4 years. Tucked into the Miami Street entrance, they stock nearly 350 wines as well as 60 craft beers, and as many cheeses. 

Wine has been recognized as the beverage of choice since around 7,000 BCE when the first evidence of its cultivation was discovered in China. The ancient Greeks recognized Dionysus and the Romans later honored Bacchus as the deities of this popular fermented grape juice. And of course, the Bible is said to mention wine a total of 231 times in the King James Version, with Jesus Christ himself transmuting water into wine, and serving it at the Last Supper, alongside his Apostles. Wine was regularly consumed with meals, used as medicine, and shared for Jewish ritualistic purposes throughout history. These grapes were later cultivated in the classic “old world” regions such as France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal, where it was popularized as a proper art form.

Posted on 2014 Apr 01
Sparling to retire after four decades in education










by Eric Stearley

After 43 years in education, Metropolitan School District of Wabash County’s Chief Academic Officer Lavonne Sparling will retire at the end of the school year. Sparling, who spent all but one year with the district, will be remembered as an innovator in public education. She was a consistent, driving force in moving the district into the future, both as a teacher and as an administrator.

After graduating from Purdue University in 1971 with a degree in elementary education, Sparling took a teaching job in Miami County. Shortly after signing her contract, she was offered a position at Lagro Elementary, a school just a mile from her house. She knew that when the next school year came around, she would be at Lagro. She taught fifth grade at that school for several years, during which time she completed her Master’s Degree.

“I remember when someone called the school to say our cows were on the road,” she wrote in a short memoir of her time with the district. “Oren Guenin, the principal, and another teacher went with me to get them back to the pasture.”

Sparling later transferred to Southwood Elementary where she taught fourth grade. Her favorite memory in education is from her time teaching the fourth grade Indiana history curriculum. As part of the course, the school’s fourth grade students traveled to her farm to experience early Indiana life, churning butter, spinning yarn, rolling logs, fishing in the pond and watching a blacksmith shoe horses in their barn.

Posted on 2014 Apr 01
MSD of Wabash County is first district in the country to receive Cleveland Clinic communication training

by Eric Stearley

As Metropolitan School District of Wabash County students enjoyed a day of technology based learning at home on March 27, every employee of the district spent their morning learning the communication techniques used by the Cleveland Clinic’s 44,000 employees.

The course, known as “Communicate with Heart,” was designed to teach Cleveland Clinic employees how to deal with difficult situations. The program began in 2002 with “Respond with Heart.”

“It’s a service recovery model,” said Rita Spirko, an Outreach and External Partnership Program Manager in the Cleveland Clinic’s Office of Patient Experience.

Rita explained that when something doesn’t go well at the clinic, they use this program to deescalate the situation. In a hospital more than most other places, tensions run high and some outcomes are very difficult for doctors, patients, and families to deal with. The clinic, which was the first hospital in the country to have an office of patient experience and a chief experience officer, found that if the hospital responded to these difficult situations at the service point, the patients and their families left feeling better about their time at the clinic and the any difficult outcome they may have to deal with.

Posted on 2014 Apr 01
Boscoe France returns to Eagles with new bass player

by Eric Stearley

For the Thursday Night Blues crowd, the Boscoe France Band has become synonymous with the genre. The Kentucky virtuoso closed out the blues series in his third appearance at Eagles Theatre. Jimmy Cummings provided the beats behind his four-piece drum set, while a new face, John Rochner, completed the rhythm section, replacing John Gillespie on bass.

“John’s a life long bass player like I’m a life long guitar player. The other bass player was not that way,” said France in a post-show interview. “He was a guy that had done really well for himself, so he was wealthy, and that’s a hard pill to swallow.”

France makes no claim to wealth or fame. He isn’t in music for the money, which is a good thing, because he doesn’t make much. He admits that he struggles to provide a decent life for his kids on a musician’s income, but he does what he loves to do, play guitar. Winning Guitar Center’s Battle of the Blues has provided the musician with nearly any instrument he desires, but doesn’t exactly pay the bills.

Posted on 2014 Apr 01
Back to the 80s… the Totally Awesome Musical brings 80s music to life

by Emily Armentrout

Director Jessica Keaffaber, with assistant director and sister, Samantha Kramer, brought a musical back to Southwood High School for the first time in years this past weekend. Back to the 80s… a Totally Awesome Musical is a story about Corey Palmer’s senior year in the 80s, as told by his 30-year-old self. This musical uses popular songs from the 80s to bring Palmer’s senior year to life.

The adult Corey Palmer was played by Southwood senior Brett Wyatt.

“I’m not a singer. I was scared to death, but Jessica knows me and she contacted me with the smaller part. She knows I love theater,” Wyatt told The Paper. “It’s been a great experience and I stepped out of my comfort zone and it was definitely worth it,” added Wyatt.

Wyatt’s Corey only performed one song, “You Give Love a Bad Name” by Bon Jovi, while young Corey, played by Andrew Finicle, was a part of many group songs, along with some of his own solos.

The story centered on not only Palmer’s senior year, but also the girl of his dreams. Tiffany Houston, played by freshman Erika Ziner.

Posted on 2014 Apr 01

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