‘Harry the Homeless Hippie’ makes stop in Wabash

Tim Watt, better known as Harry the Homeless Hippie, stands with his shopping cart, Dolly, along Market Street. He is traveling the state of Indiana over the next two years to raise awareness of the plight of the homeless and hungry. Photo by Joseph Slacian

By Joseph Slacian

Tim Watt is on a mission.

A Gary native, Watt had everything going for him. He and his wife lived in St. Paul in a home valued at more than $1 million that they had purchased from his father-in-law for a fraction of the value. They had it paid off in 10 years. They also operated a business, which they also purchased from his father-in-law.

The couple had four children and also served as foster parents. They stressed living a life following the word of God.

But then one day, shortly before Watt and his wife celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary, his world changed.

“She told me that she still loved me, but that she wasn’t in love with me any more,” Watt told a group of about 15 gathered Monday, March 30, at the Wabash Church of the Brethren for a monthly meeting of Homes for All. The group is dedicated to finding solutions to the homeless problem in Wabash County.

Posted on 2015 Mar 31
Monopoly benefit helps Ivy Tech’s Wabash campus

A baked good auction was among the fundraising events taking place at Ivy Tech’s Monopoly Night fundraiser. Photo by Joseph Slacian

By Joseph Slacian

Speeches, live and silent auctions, food and, of course, games marked the annual Monopoly night fundraiser for Ivy Tech Community College’s Wabash Campus.

Supporters gathered Friday, March 27, at the Heartland REMC Community Room to help raise funds for the Wabash Campus’ scholarship fund.

Funds raised during Friday night were going toward a $20,000 matching grant from the Pauline Barker Trust Fund, according to Kelly Karickhoff, who was part of a fundraising committee for the Wabash Campus.

The fund, which stood at about 18,000 prior to the fundraiser, easily matched the goal as bids were taken on several items throughout the evening. For example, a table of guests paid $120 to be the first in line to be served at dinner. A desert auction also raised several hundred dollars for brownies, angel food cake, cupcakes and more.

Posted on 2015 Mar 31
13-24 Drive-In continues ‘Kids Free’

By Emma Rausch

The 13-24 Drive-In will continue “Kids Free” admission as the season begins, INGUARD CEO Parker Beauchamp announced.

Originally opened in 1950, the Beauchamp family purchased the drive-in theatre in 2011 and let the Honeywell Foundation to operate it for free.

“Since the time of doing that, I always felt like at (INGUARD) we should try to do some promotional items to boost it,” said Beauchamp. “Last year, I came up with the idea of, ‘Why don’t we just pay for all the little kids to go for free?’ It was received fantastically, in my opinion, and we wanted to keep it going.”

Posted on 2015 Mar 31
Safety key in festival planning

Doug Weisheit, Indiana State Festival Association director, discusses the 2016 Indiana Festival Guide with those attending a workshop for local festival organizers on March 24. Photo by Joseph Slacian

By Joseph Slacian

Safety is the key thing to remember when planning summer festivals or other large events.

That was the word Tuesday night, March 24, during a workshop sponsored by Visit Wabash County in partnership with the Indiana State Festival Association.

Festivals must have an Amusement and Entertainment Permit issued by the state, according to ISFA Vice President Gale Gerber.

“Shame on you if you do not,” he told the representatives from about 10 different festivals in attendance. “If you have rides, if you have music, concerts, if you have a movie – there’s a lot of things that play into this – you’re supposed to have your A&E Permit.”

Posted on 2015 Mar 31
Louis Dreyfus Commodities Group has 6th annual Safety Day

By Shaun Tilghman

CLAYPOOL -- Last Wednesday, Louis Dreyfus Commodities in Claypool, located at 7344 SR 15N, offered presentations and demonstrations about safety to employees and contractors as a participant in the Louis Dreyfus Commodities Group’s 6th Annual Global Safety Day.

In addition to two speakers from the Claypool plant – Extraction Superintendent David Selig and Safety Manager Kurt Anderson – the local event schedule also included a presentation from Gene Loffler, North American Grain and Oilseed Logistics Operation Manager for Louis Dreyfus (LD).

“As we’ve already pointed out, this is Louis Dreyfus’s Sixth Annual Safety Day,” Loffler said. “There’s a safety presentation similar to this one going on at every facility that Dreyfus has throughout the world, so it’s a big deal. This is a day that we try to set aside specifically for safety; not that we don’t want everyday to be safe, but this one is used to get our message out to all of our employees, contractors, and people that we do business with.

Posted on 2015 Mar 31
Manchester schools receive $100,000 grant

By Shaun Tilghman

NORTH MANCHESTER -- Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) Office of eLearning recently announced that Manchester Community Schools (MCS) was chosen as one of the recipients of a 2015 Digital Learning Grant.

MCS Curriculum Director Sue Gnagy shared the good news during the March MCS Board of School Trustees meeting.

“We learned yesterday that we received a Digital Learning Grant from the IDOE for $100,000,” said Gnagy.

The IDOE website states that the Digital Learning Grant supports districts ready to launch thoughtful 1:1 implementation plans, which involves each  student receiving a technology device to supplement class instruction.

Posted on 2015 Mar 31
United Fund helps nine local groups

By Joseph Slacian

URBANA -- Nine local agencies to receive a portion of $10,000 distributed Tuesday afternoon, March 24, by the Wabash County United Fund.

The funds, distributed during a ceremony at the Urbana Community Center, are the result of the partnership between the United Fund and Wabash Cannonball Chili for Charity.

Eight of the organizations – including the Manchester Recreation Association, the Manchester Early Learning Center and the Learn More Center, all based in North Manchester – received $1,000. A ninth organization, the Honeywell Center’s Educational Outreach Program, received $2,000.

Posted on 2015 Mar 31
Wabash March of Dimes Zumbas for babies

By Emma Rausch

On April 10, the March of Dimes will be hosting a Zumba-thon at the Wabash County YMCA, announced Pat Vanlandingham, a member on the Wabash chapter’s planning committee.

The event was created to raise funds that benefit the March for Babies, a walkathon that supports community-based programs to help moms have healthy, full-term pregnancies. Currently, the committee is still seeking an ambassador family for the Wabash March for Babies event on May 2.

As an ambassador, a family would share their premature baby’s story of struggling through the early birth as well as sharing precious moments with their child.

Currently, the Huntington-based Drummond family will be sharing their story of their daughter Carter, but Vanlandingham said that she hopes a local family will also come forward to be recognized.

Posted on 2015 Mar 31

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