The Prime Suspects play double-birthday-bash at Harry’s Old Kettle Saloon

by Eric Stearley

On Saturday, March 29, classic rock cover band The Prime Suspects played a four-hour show at Harry’s Old Kettle Saloon. At the stroke of midnight, co-owner Judy Kilmer and rhythm guitar player Richard Leach celebrated their birthdays together.

“I’ve never met someone with the same birthday as me,” said Leach. “I know Eric Clapton’s birthday is the 30th.”

Clapton was one of many artists covered by the band over the course of the evening. From Bob Dylan to ZZ Top, John Mellancamp to the Beatles, and R.E.M. to The Black Crowes, The Prime Suspects kept the audience guessing and dancing as they played into the late hours of the night.

Leach, a Wabash resident, played in different local bands in the 80s and 90s, including Late Night Arrival and Midnight Magic Band. He first met members of his current band in 1999 in Hartford City.

Posted on 2014 Apr 08
North Manchester Moose Family Center celebrates 100 years


by Kalie Ammons

Those who say hospitality is dead have obviously never visited the Moose Family Center in North Manchester.

“Welcome! How are you? Can I get you something to drink?” are the first words a stranger hears from the generous group inside the Lodge.

Generous may in fact be an understatement. Since April 2, 1914, the members of the Lodge have donated to many local charities, all while helping to support the Mooseheart Child City and School located near Aurora, Ill.

Mooseheart was dedicated on July 27, 1913, after Vice President Thomas Marshall, a North Manchester native, spoke at a ceremony. Mooseheart supports children in need from infancy to graduation.

Adorned on the wall of the Lodge are pictures of two girls they currently support.

“We call them our Sunshine Children,” said Jerry Johnson, administrator of lodge #1518.

Between the laughing, poking fun, punch and cake, members viewed pictures of the families they have helped and are currently helping.

“We help support this house in Indiana,” Johnson said. “I believe there are nine girls all living there.”

The Moose Family Center 1518 is located at 207 East Main St., North Manchester, and is open from 12—10 p.m. The Moose is a nonsmoking facility.

Posted on 2014 Apr 08
Wabash Area Community Theater to hold auditions

Wabash Area Community Theater announces auditions for their next production, 1940’s Radio Hour, written by Walton Jones.

The time is 1942.   Actors, drawn together as “wanna be’s,” prepare for their weekly variety show on a local New York City radio station. Several well-known songs from the era are included in the show, including “My Mamma Done Told Me”, “Blue Moon”, “I’ll Never Smile Again”, “How About You?”, “Old Black Magic”, “Ain’t She Sweet”, “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”, “I’ve Got a Gal from Kalamazoo”, and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”.

The cast requires 10 men and four women. Try-outs will be Sunday April 13, from 2-4 p.m., Monday, April 14 from 6:30-8:30 p.m., and Tuesday, April 15 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the Crystal Room at Honeywell Center. 

The play will be performed at the Eagles Theatre during the Charley Creek ArtsFest the last week of June. The cast includes singing and non-singing roles. In addition to adult roles, WACT welcomes high school juniors and seniors who are interested in auditioning.

1940’s Radio Hour will be directed by Judy Ward and Charly Dye.  Mandy Shull is the producer. Questions about auditions may be addressed to Judy Ward at 260-571-2279.

Posted on 2014 Apr 08
Horse and Pony Club to hold inaugural ride-a-thon

by Emily Armentrout

The Wabash County 4-H Horse and Pony Club will hold their inaugural ride-a-thon at Crazy Horse Arena on Saturday, April 19 from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Amy Lybarger, member of the parent committee for the Horse and Pony Club, spoke with The Paper about what the ride-a-thon will hold and the idea behind this event.

The ride-a-thon “is a fundraiser for the Horse and Pony Club,” explained Lybarger. “We have to be pretty self-sufficient. Our club is one of the largest county clubs, with about 50 to 60 kids. We meet at the fairgrounds and we try to do as many improvements to our little spot of the grounds as we can. These improvements have to come out of our pocket.”

The Horse and Pony Club usually holds fundraisers throughout the year to fund their shows and the trophies and ribbons that the members receive as prizes, but they are hoping that the members can get enough sponsorships that the ride-a-thon alleviates some of that fundraising burden.

The ride-a-thon will be an eight-hour riding event, with different activities for the riders to participate in with their team members. Activities include musical cones, Simon says, an obstacle course and even riding blindfolded. Due to the event being held Easter weekend, Lybarger is even trying to figure out a way to do an Easter egg hunt on horseback.

Posted on 2014 Apr 08
Inaugural Color Me Green run a chilly success

by Eric Stearley

Wabash County 4-Hers and their families gathered at the Field of Dreams on Saturday, March 29 for the first ever Color Me Green fun run and 5K. Despite sleet, snow, and the resulting muddy course, nearly 80 participants left the comfort of their homes to raise money for two causes, while having a lot of fun.

The state-wide event is part of the 4-H Healthy Living Campaign and organizes 4-H participants and supporters for a day of community, fitness and lots of 4-H green. As part of their paid registration, participants received a white t-shirt proudly announcing the event on front and back. The color came into play as participants launched packets of green powder into the air at the start of the run, beginning the process of turning their white shirts green.

As they walked and ran around the 1-mile course, volunteers continued to turn the runners green, squirting the powder, made of green pigment and cornstarch, out of ketchup bottles as they ran by. As the run continued, some volunteers took a more direct approach, bypassing the squirt bottles by throwing the colored powder at the runners’ shirts. As expected, not much of the powder missed the t-shirts, covering shoes, pants, faces, and hair in 4-H green.

Posted on 2014 Apr 01
Beauchamp McSpadden begins new chapter as INGUARD

by Eric Stearley
After decades under the banner of Beauchamp McSpadden, Wabash’s premier insurance company is rebranding itself, changing its name to INGUARD. The new name combines the words “insurance” and “guard,” a change that CEO Parker Beauchamp hopes will make the firm more progressive and accessible.
The full story of how this local insurance agency came to be could fill a book. That book would encompass stories of a devastating city-wide fire, a civil war veteran, a one-legged patriarch, struggles through the great depression, client theft on the part of competing banks, and ultimately and emergence into prominence and prosperity. Its roots date all the way back to 1870. Fifty-seven years later, Parker’s great-grandfather Ward Beauchamp purchased the business, beginning a four-generation legacy of Beauchamp ownership.
This name change has been many years in the works, but it was far from the first. Over its 144 year history, the firm has existed as Ross and Peters Real Estate & Insurance Agents, Ross and Mote Fire and Life Insurance and Real Estate, J.P. Ross Real Estate and Insurance, Citizens Savings Bank, Ward Beauchamp Insurance Agency, Ward Beauchamp and Son, Beauchamp and Son Insurance, and eventually Beauchamp McSpadden, which has been the name since 1968. In 1980, they purchased a firm in Muncie, which insured the Ball entities, making the official title Beauchamp McSpadden | Morrison Galliher.
The eleven-syllable tongue twister isn’t one that most people would consider “catchy.” Just the first of the four names, pronounced “Beech-um,” can be confusing to clients.

Posted on 2014 Apr 01
“A Toast to Wine Tasting in Wabash”

by Mary Fuson-Stearley

Silas Zartman, assistant manager of Charley Creek Inn’s Wine and Cheese Shoppe, walks the path of the world’s famous Master Sommeliers with his recent wine study endeavors. He recently passed the Introductory Sommelier Exam, officially making him a sommelier.

The wine shop he helps manage is certainly deserving of such an expert. Named one of Wine Spectator Magazine’s Top 100 in 2013, Charley Creek Inn’s Wine and Cheese Shoppe has been serving the Wabash community for more than 4 years. Tucked into the Miami Street entrance, they stock nearly 350 wines as well as 60 craft beers, and as many cheeses. 

Wine has been recognized as the beverage of choice since around 7,000 BCE when the first evidence of its cultivation was discovered in China. The ancient Greeks recognized Dionysus and the Romans later honored Bacchus as the deities of this popular fermented grape juice. And of course, the Bible is said to mention wine a total of 231 times in the King James Version, with Jesus Christ himself transmuting water into wine, and serving it at the Last Supper, alongside his Apostles. Wine was regularly consumed with meals, used as medicine, and shared for Jewish ritualistic purposes throughout history. These grapes were later cultivated in the classic “old world” regions such as France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal, where it was popularized as a proper art form.

Posted on 2014 Apr 01
Sparling to retire after four decades in education










by Eric Stearley

After 43 years in education, Metropolitan School District of Wabash County’s Chief Academic Officer Lavonne Sparling will retire at the end of the school year. Sparling, who spent all but one year with the district, will be remembered as an innovator in public education. She was a consistent, driving force in moving the district into the future, both as a teacher and as an administrator.

After graduating from Purdue University in 1971 with a degree in elementary education, Sparling took a teaching job in Miami County. Shortly after signing her contract, she was offered a position at Lagro Elementary, a school just a mile from her house. She knew that when the next school year came around, she would be at Lagro. She taught fifth grade at that school for several years, during which time she completed her Master’s Degree.

“I remember when someone called the school to say our cows were on the road,” she wrote in a short memoir of her time with the district. “Oren Guenin, the principal, and another teacher went with me to get them back to the pasture.”

Sparling later transferred to Southwood Elementary where she taught fourth grade. Her favorite memory in education is from her time teaching the fourth grade Indiana history curriculum. As part of the course, the school’s fourth grade students traveled to her farm to experience early Indiana life, churning butter, spinning yarn, rolling logs, fishing in the pond and watching a blacksmith shoe horses in their barn.

Posted on 2014 Apr 01

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