Wabash residents challenged to prove city is America’s Best Community

By The Paper staff

Local residents are asked to share personal stories on why Wabash is a great place to live and work.

The request, from the Economic Development Group of Wabash County and the Wabash America's Best Communities Committee, is designed to be a final push effort to prove why Wabash should advance to the semifinal round of the America's Best Communities competition.

“We’re issuing this challenge to make sure we have all the help we can get to share Wabash’s unique story,” said Keith Gillenwater, president and CEO of the Economic Development Group of Wabash County. “This truly is one of America’s best communities, and no matter what happens in the next rounds of the competition, we need to be doing everything we possibly can to help more people understand why they should locate their business and raise their family right here in Wabash.”

Posted on 2016 Jan 05
Elected officials swear into office
City of Wabash Mayor Scott Long receives the oath from Judge Goff. Photo by Emma Rausch
By Emma Rausch
Mayor Scott Long took the oath of office on Dec. 30, at the City Hall Chambers during the inauguration of newly elected officials.
Christine Flohr, Wabash County Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director of tourism, welcomed officials, their families and friends and other audience members to the historic event.
“Numerous chapters through our community’s history have been engraved by those who have served before us,” Flohr said in her welcome speech. “Through their vision, their leadership and their guidance and today marks a day where we close their chapter in our community’s story and we start a new one.”
Posted on 2016 Jan 05
WebTV to air City Council meetings
By Joseph Slacian
Beginning Jan. 11, Wabash WebTV will begin airing Wabash City Council meetings.
“We realize that many people are interested in the workings of city government, however they may have other obligations on the nights the council meets,” said Mike Rees, General Manager of The Paper of Wabash County. “By airing the council meetings on WebTV, we will enable the citizens to see the council in action in an unedited format.”
Posted on 2016 Jan 05
Election filing to begin Wednesday
By Joseph Slacian
Filing for the 2016 election will begin at 8 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 6, Elaine Martin, Clerk of the Wabash Circuit Court, announced.
Several county seats, along with state and federal offices, including the presidency, will be on this year’s ballot.
Those interested in filing for local office can stop in Martin’s office in the Wabash County Judicial Center, 69 W. Hill St., between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday to pick up candidate packets. They also are available for download at
Posted on 2016 Jan 05
Swearing-in set for local officials
By Joseph Slacian
The swearing in of local elected officials will take place at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 30, at Wabash City Hall.
Superior Court Judge will administer the oath of office to Mayor-elect Scott Long and City Court Judge Tim Roberts.
He also will administer the oath to City Council members Mitch Figert (First District), Aaron McClary (Second District), Bob Greene (Third District), Doug Adams (Fifth District) and Bryan Dillon (At-Large).
Posted on 2015 Dec 29
Morbitzer shares experiences from volunteering in Ghana
Sarah Morbitzer poses with a group of youths with whom she worked in Ghana. Photo provided
By Shaun Tilghman
NORTH MANCHESTER -- Sarah Joy Morbitzer recently returned from her third trip volunteering in Ghana, West Africa, but she won’t be home for long, as she leaves for Ghana again in January. Before heading off though, Sarah shared pictures and stories from her recent experience during a special presentation at Peabody Retirement Community on Monday.
Sarah, who is the oldest daughter of Victory Christian Fellowship Pastor Tim Morbitzer, first traveled to Ghana in 2011, when she spent a year volunteering at a school there called Challenging Heights. 
James Kofi Annan, who was enslaved at the age of six and worked 17-hour days with scarce food or shelter, founded Challenging Heights in 2003 with hopes of rescuing children from modern-day slavery, primarily in the fishing industry.
“The first time I went, I was actually stationed at the school,” Sarah said. “They needed a child sponsorship program, so they asked me to start that up. Thanks to my dad, we got a lot of sponsors in this area. In fact, we had more sponsors from Northeast Indiana than anywhere else in the U.S. They had also gotten a new computer lab, so they asked me to manage that too. I also did play therapy at the shelter once a week, plus I ran the child mentor project."
Posted on 2015 Dec 29
Former Wabash resident named executive director of Connecticut conference center
Pastor Ryan Gackenheimer
By Emma Rausch
Officials at the Silver Lake Conference Center in Sharon, Conn., named former Wabash resident and United Church of Christ pastor Ryan Gackenheimer as the center’s new executive director, effective Feb. 1, 2016.
Through the summer, the center offers church camp to fourth through 12th grade students, or approximately 950 youths, according to Gackenheimer.
During the spring, fall and winter months, it serves as a retreat ministry for adults and youths.
Gackenheimer will be the executive director “over the whole thing.”
“I’m an ordained United Church of Christ pastor so one of the exciting things is that I bring a number of years of local church ministries, specifically working with youth, (to the new position),” Gackenheimer explained to The Paper of Wabash County in a telephone interview. “I grew up going to church camp myself so this is an opportunity to share the experiences I’ve had and love about doing ministry in an outdoor context.”
Posted on 2015 Dec 29
Hall named city’s park superintendent
By Joseph Slacian
Adam Hall will replace Todd Titus as Wabash Park Department superintendent.
Mayor-Elect Scott Long announced the appointment on Monday, Dec. 21, and the Wabash Board of Parks and Recreation unanimously approved the appointment.
Hall, a social studies teacher at the Wabash Middle School, was selected from a field of three candidates, Board Secretary Kerri Mattern said during a special board meeting on Monday.
Mattern, along with Board President John Salb, the city’s human resources director Judy Teague, Titus and Long interviewed the candidates prior to Long’s making the appointment. Under state statute the board must approve the appointment.
Posted on 2015 Dec 29

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