by Ashley Flynn
The Metropolitan School District of Wabash County board voted unanimously to close the LaFontaine Elementary School after the current school year.
The board began discussing closure with the public after last April when structural damage was discovered in a classroom.
The damage revealed a corroding beam, which would cost $150,000 to repair. Since the discovery, grades four and five have been moved to Southwood Elementary for safety concerns, leaving only sixth graders in the building for the 2013-2014 school year.
Over the past several months, the board held open discussions with the community to receive feedback and ideas on the issue. Concerned citizens questioned how the move would affect the quality of life in LaFontaine. While the board kept in mind the emotions of the community, they reminded the public that it is their duty to do what is best for the entire school district.
Board members took the time to investigate options and weigh benefits before Dr. Weaver made her recommendation.
“In 1978 our enrollment in the school district was at an all time high at 3,300 students. We have experienced a decline steadily… but we are down to a little over the 2,000 mark,” Dr. Weaver said during the board meeting. “In the 1999-2000 school year, Southwood Elementary had an enrollment of 492. If we close Lafontaine, the projected enrollment for next year at Southwood Elementary would be 479.”
“Why do I tell you that?” she asked, “to let you know that the students will fit in that building.”
by Eric Stearley
More than 30 supporters including the mayor, the county veterans services officer, and a representative for Congresswoman Jackie Walorski, gathered at American Legion Post 15 in downtown Wabash on Tuesday, Nov. 26 for a ceremony to dedicate the county’s new Disabled American Veterans van. The DAV van serves disabled veterans by providing a free means of transportation to medical appointments at VA hospitals and VA approved locations.
Three years ago, Herb Mullen, Wabash County coordinator for the DAV, brought the van program to Wabash County after volunteering as a driver in Marion since 2009. In the spring of 2011, it became apparent that the loaner van they had been using would not last many more years. He set up a savings account and began raising funds for a new van.
“We decided early on that we were not going to ask the county, the state, or the feds for any money,” said Mullen during the dedication. “We figured that we’re pretty important, but we also figured that we had a responsibility to the county to not become a drag upon public funds.”
Enrollment for the coming 4H season is now open until Feb. 1, 2014. This year, Wabash County 4H is introducing four new projects, two new competitions, and one new club. With over 50 projects to choose from, 4H reaches the interests of nearly all children.
Aquatic Science is a new project introduced this year where participants either learn how to care for a fish tank or participate in a breeding class. The tanks will be displayed at the fair with fish in them.
The new computer program will give kids the opportunity to design programs, games, marketing material or other products.
With the new small engine project, kids will learn how to repair an engine and put the proper fluids into it.
Also new this year is sport fishing. 4Hers will create an exhibit demonstrating what they learned about sport fishing.
The two new competitions are public speaking and performing arts.
4H is offering a new robotics club based on the National Science Curriculum of Junk Drawer Robotics. Club members will create teams and work through tasks with their robots.
Heartland Career Center students welcomed a high-tech visitor to the school as Lutheran Air 2 landed in the south parking lot Thursday, Nov. 21. The helicopter’s visit was the result of a partnership between the vocational school and Lutheran Air to benefit students in the health sciences and criminal justice programs.
“We try to start kids on a pathway of interest and point them toward opportunities in the community,” said Principal Mark Hobbs.
Prior to the helicopter’s arrival, students in the heath sciences and criminal justice programs had a chance to talk with Luann McKinley and Tina Underhill, registered nurses with the flight program. Students had an opportunity to learn about the job, observe life-saving procedure demonstrations, and ask questions about caring for trauma patients and the impact it has on those responding to the scene of an accident.
Criminal justice students got a chance to lay out the helicopter’s landing, at the school, just as they would have to do in an emergency situation. One lucky student even got to call it in on the radio.
“We like to partner with communities,” said Pat Unger, a Wabash County resident, former Heartland student and current flight program manager for Lutheran Air. “We like to reach out and educate.”
by Ashley Flynn
Wabash got a whole lot glitterier Nov. 2 with the opening of Sugar Rush at 150 W. Harrison Ave.
Inspired by her two daughters, Danielle Shenefield knew exactly how she wanted her store to look.
“This has all been in my head for about three years and it’s finally out,” she said.
And the girls, Taylor 5, and Kenzie, 2, love it.
“They’re in heaven. They’re always asking if we can go to the store.”
With wall-to-wall pink, purple and glitter, Sugar Rush is a little girl’s paradise. The boutique, spa and salon offers a variety of spa packages aimed at pampering young princesses. There’s even a runway for the girls to show off their new look.
The popular Glitzy Glam includes hairstyle with glitter, nail polish and Glitz makeup with a shimmer star.
by Kalie Ammons
Throughout the state, several colleges and universities have decided to publicly oppose HJR-6, an Indiana amendment proposing to permanently make same-sex marriages illegal, including Indiana University, Eli Lilly, DePauw University and Wabash College. After a petition to join these colleges signed by students, faculty and staff at MU was presented to the University, the school chose to stay neutral.
This lead to students and faculty from the United Sexualities and Peace Studies clubs to organize a sit-in to express their feelings on HJR-6.
Darcy Robins, president of United Sexualities, and Becca Creath, Peace Studies Coordinator, teamed up to organize a sit-in for last Tuesday in front of The Union, the University’s most popular dining area.
“We had a brainstorming table that had a large piece of paper on it that people could write their ideas of how to make Manchester more inclusive for everyone,” Robins told The Paper. “People, students, staff, alumni, whoever was there, were asked to write down any ideas.”
The list of ideas will be emailed to the University with the hope that some will be put in place.
Students who rejected HJR-6 were also invited to sign a large banner that had HJR-6 sitting in a red circle with a line through it.
The Community Foundation of Wabash County and Kathleen Daywalt, wife of the late John Wesley Daywalt, are pleased to announce the creation of the John W. Daywalt Scholarship Endowment in the Community Foundation of Wabash County.
Kathleen Daywalt established the John W. Daywalt Scholarship Endowment to memorialize John. The endowment will provide scholarships to Wabash High School graduates who have been accepted into one of the three Indiana Colleges of Pharmacy, specifically Butler University College of Pharmacy and Health Science, Manchester University College of Pharmacy or Purdue University College of Pharmacy.
The scholarship award will be made to the College of Pharmacy and commence upon acceptance and matriculation into the Doctor of Pharmacy program. The scholarship shall not be provided for pre-pharmacy undergraduate course work. The scholarship is renewable up to three years, contingent upon academic standing. Eligible candidates will have satisfactorily completed the requisite undergraduate pre-pharmacy course work and will pursue on a full-time basis a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D) degree. Eligible candidates shall have maintained in high school a minimum grade point average of 3.25 on a 4-point scale, or equivalent. Selection criteria shall be demonstrated financial need, academic performance and work ethic.
Consumers across the country say they’ll rally behind one of the most important shopping days on the calendar for small businesses – Small Business Saturday. A day created to address one of small business owners’ most pressing needs – more customers.
According to the second annual Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, awareness of Small Business Saturday among U.S. consumers shot up to 44 percent compared to 34 percent during the same period a year ago. In addition, 77 percent of those aware of the day say that they plan to “shop small” this year. This translates to tens of millions of American consumers who say they plan to patronize a small business on Nov. 30, the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The forecasted increase in shopping activity should come as welcome news to retailers facing the shortest holiday shopping since 2002.
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