by Eric Stearley
In a modern, technology-driven society, it’s easy to view technology as a force pulling us away from our past, away from a traditional way of life. Food comes from the grocery instead of the garden. Horses are pets more than transportation. Payphones are all but obsolete. Even movie rental is becoming a thing of the past. In one corner of Wabash County, however, technology is connecting people to principles of the past as it propels them into the future. Perhaps the most unusual part is that this story about technology connecting us with history starts with a beautiful, yellow sunflower.
If you drove on State Road 13 south of Somerset this fall, you may have noticed fields of sunflowers to the west. The sunflowers were grown by Darin Hadley. Hadley grew up around farming. His grandfather was a farmer in Allen County, where his father still tills the soil. Though Hadley works primarily as an agriculture banker for PNC, he continues the farming tradition in Wabash County, growing soybeans and wheat while raising pigs and cattle. This year, Hadley began growing something new; he planted 18 acres of sunflowers.
Sunflowers are useful for many things – birdseed, seasonal decorations, and a crunchy salad topping – but none of these uses inspired Hadley to grow the giant flowers. Where most people would scan the horizon and see a field full of flowers, Hadley sees a field full of fuel; more specifically, he sees a field containing the biodiesel that will power his entire farming operation for the next year.
by Ashley Flynn
Since Wabash County Sheriff Bob Land has been in office, he’s had to deal with an over-capacity jail. But the problem has been around longer than that and could potentially worsen with the revision of the Indiana Criminal Code in House Bill 1006.
The jail is 34-years-old this year, and when it was built, it could house 66 inmates. Years later, the jail went under construction, added space, and raised the number of rooms to 72. Though there are a few rooms with bunk beds, no more than 85 inmates can be accommodated. Limited jail space, however, does not reduce the crime rate or number of arrests, and in Wabash County, the latter exceeds the former. This means that every week, Sheriff Land and his jail commander decide which and how many inmates will be transferred to the Miami County Jail.
As of Monday, there were 21 Wabash County inmates being housed in the Miami County Jail, in addition to the 85 housed in the Wabash County Jail.
When Land took office in 2011, he paid $26,565 to Miami County for housing our prisoners. Last year in 2012, he spent $116,575. These numbers do not include transportation or personnel costs.
by Emily Armentrout
Storms ripped through the Midwest on Nov. 17, causing severe damage across most of Indiana. Parts of Peoria, Ill. were leveled. Clermont, Butler and Hamilton counties in Ohio were hit hard, as were Kenton and Campbell County in Kentucky. Indiana’s hardest hit counties included Howard, Tippecanoe, Bartholomew, Vigo, Clinton, Fountain, Tipton, Henry, Cass, Monroe, Hendricks, Carroll, Greene, Vermillion, Hancock, Brown and Wabash. Winds in Wabash County reached 69 miles per hour.
These storms caused over 57,000 power outages across Indiana. The outage numbers are thankfully dropping as Duke Energy and NIPSCO work to restore power to their many consumers. According to Duke Energy’s website, “some customers may be without power longer because they live in areas that are temporarily inaccessible due to fallen trees or areas where safety is a concern.”
The Boscoe France Band, featuring Guitar Center’s 2012 Battle of the Blues winner, is returning to Wabash for the final show in the three-part series Thursday Night Blues: Live At The Eagles Theatre. The show will start at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21 at the historic venue.
Boscoe France, the band’s namesake and lead guitarist, started playing guitar when he was three years old and has known he wanted to be a guitarist since he was in kindergarten. He lived in Nashville for a while and spent a lot of time playing backup guitar for “everybody who was any kind of country act.” He also worked setting up and running stage lights for acts out of Nashville, as they toured the country.
He eventually left the touring life and moved to Madisonville Ky. where he now raises his son, 9, and daughter, 4. During most weeks, France is home from Monday to Thursday with his kids, touring on weekends. He raises his kids 12 feet from where he grew up, on the same block as most of the rest of his family.
by Ashley Flynn
For the past 10 years, Scotty’s Tavern has sponsored a charity motorcycle ride to raise money for Shop With a Cop (SWAC).
This year, the event raised $6,037 to donate to the organization that allows children to spend time shopping at Wal-Mart with a local police officer.
Mike and Corky Hall, along with their families, have organized the event since its inception, after the former owner of Scotty’s Tavern, Roger Prater, approached the two with the idea.
Prater, who passed away in a vehicle accident a few years ago, was looking for a way to give back to his community and chose SWAC to be the recipient.
Manchester University is offering a unique way to kick off the holiday season. On Thursday, Nov. 21, MU Theatre Director Joel Froomkin offers a one-man version of A Christmas Carol as a gift to the campus and community.
Froomkin’s performance is an unforgettable tour de force, taking storytelling to a whole new level. He’ll use the same version of the story that Charles Dickens performed for his lecture tours. “Although there have been countless adaptations of the story, nothing compares to Dickens’ original narrative. People are surprised by the level of wit and humor throughout the story.”
The most popular phase of Indiana deer hunting kicked off Nov. 16 with firearms season, and it serves as a reminder to hunters: Follow the rules, practice ethical hunting behavior, and have an enjoyable, safe time in the woods.
It’s estimated that at least a quarter-million Hoosiers participate in firearms season, which runs from Nov. 16 through Dec. 1.
Hunters are required to have a valid deer license unless otherwise exempt. Exemptions are listed in the DNR Hunting/Trapping Guide, available at outdoor retail stores or online at dnr.IN.gov/fishwild/2343.htm
The 1,700 square foot storefront, located at 1315 North Cass Street in Wabash, is planning a Grand Opening celebration for Saturday, Nov. 23, from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. The store is owned and operated by long-time North Manchester resident Cathy Price.
Cathy’s Natural Market will be a “one-stop shop for health-minded consumers,” according to Price. The store will carry organic produce, specialty food items for gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free and vegan diets, and non-genetically-modified food, as well as natural vitamins and nutritional supplements.
The market will also carry local farm-fresh organic meat and produce, natural baked goods for special dietary needs and gourmet cheeses, along with soaps, creams and various toiletry items made with all-natural ingredients.