Chamber of Commerce announces series of events in January

by Eric Stearley

The Wabash County Chamber of Commerce announced would like to invite the public to four events this months starting Jan. 21.

The chamber will once again host Scot Goskowicz, a small business counselor from the Fort Wayne Small Business Development Center on Jan. 21. Goskowicz will be available to help those starting a new business, as well as those seeking assistance with a current business. Goskowicz and the Fort Wayne SBDC offer assistance with marketing demographics, funding options, business and succession planning, growing ideas, setting goals, identifying resources, pursuing opportunities and overcoming challenges in business. These appointments, which take place at the Chamber of Commerce, located at 210 S. Wabash St., are designed to help prospective and current business owners set their ideas into motion, connect with more experience professionals, and share knowledge about running a small business. Appointments for the free counseling must be scheduled through the chamber office, which can be contacted by calling 260-563-1168.

Posted on 2014 Jan 14
Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative to hold field days at the end of January

On Jan. 29, farmers, agronomists and others interested in soil health improvement will have an opportunity to attend a Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative (CCSI) field day near Vincennes. On the following day, Jan. 30, high school students are invited to take part in hands-on soil health demonstrations.

Mike Brocksmith, field day host and one of 12 CCSI farmers, feels strongly that cover crops and soil health synergies are the missing link in protecting, rebuilding, and enhancing soil resources.

“The average farmer only gets to manage about 40 cropping seasons. Improving soil health is a long term process, you don't just decide you want healthy soil and flip a switch or throw some dollar bills out there and have healthy soil.” said Brocksmith. “Improving soil health is a marathon, not a 100 yard dash. The time to start is now.”

Posted on 2014 Jan 14
85 Hope and Hope Foundation join to promote cervical cancer awareness

by Emily Armentrout

January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month and two local organizations, 85 Hope and the Hope Foundation, are joining together to promote cervical cancer awareness and serve the women of Wabash County.

85 Hope is a free medical clinic in Wabash County that provides care for the uninsured. Their mission statement explains: “85 Hope is inspired by the Gospel to provide free primary healthcare services to uninsured, low-income residents of Wabash County.”

The Hope Foundation was created to “supplement the cost of certain patient expenses, defray the cost of medical education through the Tumor Board, and pay a portion of the oncology nursing education for OCN certification,” according to the Hope Foundation brochure.

85 Hope opened their doors on Dec. 1, 2011 at Wabash Friends Church. They provide 40-50 office visits per month, along with free medication, lab and x-ray services. The organization, led by Executive Director Laura Helm, is staffed by volunteer doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses and allied health staff. It has received grants and donations from the United Fund, Community Foundation, Lutheran Foundation, Ford Meter Box Foundation, Chili for Charity, First United Methodist Church, private donors and numerous other churches and services organizations.



Posted on 2014 Jan 08
Wabash County Museum updates facility

The Wabash County Historical Museum has announced that they will be taking a brief hiatus in January to update, clean and perform some minor maintenance within their facility.

“With more than 25,000 artifacts in our collection and a 20,000 square foot facility to maintain, we need to take a few weeks to focus our attention on some internal needs,” explained Mitch Figert, Executive Director of the museum.

Beginning Jan. 13 through the remainder of the month the museum’s collections and exhibits will be open by appointment only. During this period the museum’s staff members and volunteers will address a long list of projects that range from cleaning and repairing exhibits, installing new collections, performing minor repairs on the facility, and updating many of the exhibit areas.



Posted on 2014 Jan 08
Indiana Department of Education releases school accountability grades ahead of grading procedure change in 2014

by Eric Stearley

Indiana Department of Education released 2013 accountability grades for schools across the state on Friday, Dec. 20. Educators, administrators, parents, students and community members can now see if their school made the grade. The legitimacy of these grades, however, is questionable.


Posted on 2013 Dec 30
Understanding the farm bill and its history

Emily Armentrout

On Jan. 1, 2013, Congress passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which was an extension of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, commonly known as the “farm bill.” This extension allowed the government to avoid the fiscal cliff, but it expired Sept. 30, 2013. While attempting to pass the next farm bill, the House and the Senate had disagreements over components of their proposed bills. This is the source of the current dispute and the reason a new farm bill has yet to be passed.

The farm bill is a piece of omnibus legislation, which means that it contains multiple components but is passed as a single bill. Farm bills last for five years, after which they expire. Nutrition programs, like SNAP, make up approximately 70 percent of the farm bill. Crop insurance, commodities and conservation make up the other 30 percent of the bill.

The House proposed a new farm bill, known as the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, which reduced funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by approximately $40 billon, according to Frank Lucas, Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture. SNAP is commonly referred to as the food stamp program.  The Senate proposed their own version of the bill, in which they want to reduce SNAP funding by roughly $4 billion.

Posted on 2013 Dec 30
Hartley seeking re-election

Wabash County Prosecuting Attorney William C. Hartley, Jr. has announced that he will be seeking re-election for the Office of Wabash County Prosecuting Attorney during next year’s election.

Mr. Hartley, a Republican, graduated from Southwood High School in 1986 and served four years on active duty in the United States Army, immediately following high school. He served in airborne infantry units at Fort Clayton, Panama, and the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Ky., among other places. He is a graduate of the Army’s Jungle Warfare, Air Assault, and Light Infantry Leader schools.

Following his honorable discharge from the Army, he attended Indiana University, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in business, with a major in Accounting. Following his graduation, he worked for a certified public accounting firm in Plymouth, while attending law school at Valparaiso University of Law.

Posted on 2013 Dec 30
Indiana Corn Growers re-elect President Herb Ringel, focus on ethanol regulations

Herb Ringel, Wabash, was re-elected president of the Indiana Corn Growers Association (ICGA) by the board at its meeting in December.

Also elected were: vice president, Mike Nichols, Rockport; treasurer, George Morton, Lebanon; and secretary, David Gottbrath, Pekin.

The ICGA board works to develop sound policies that protect and promote the interest of Indiana corn farmers and consists of farmer-directors from across the state.

"With the challenges to the Renewable Fuel Standard and lack of movement on the farm bill, it is critical for our lawmakers to hear from Indiana corn farmers on policy that affects how we raise our crops, how we can compete in a global economy and how we build new markets for our corn crop," said Ringel who is in his second term as ICGA president.

Posted on 2013 Dec 30

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