Sports and Outdoors

Friday, July 29, 2011

N-B Video: County football start returns to his roots — literally

Norwell graduate Chandler Harnish, now a record-breaking quarterback for Northern Illinois, returns to Wells County to help his family sell sweet corn — an annual traditional among the Harnish children. (Video by Paul Beitler)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Northeast Indiana Conservation Camp Aug. 2-4

From the Wells County Soil and Water Conservation District"

It's that time of year again! If you have a nine to 13 year old boy or girl at your house who loves the out of doors, you may want to consider including the three day Northeast Indiana Conservation Camp in your summer plans.

Camp this year is scheduled for Aug. 2-4 at Camp Whitely The camp study program includes hands-on activities in wildlife, forestry, soils and water. Education programs are presented by Natural Resource Specialists. Recreational activities include sports and swimming. Interesting games, crafts, refreshments and special evening programs round out the camp.

Applications will be available from the Wells County Soil and Water Conservation District in mid-June. Cost is $100. The SWCD will assist Wells County campers by paying $50 of the camp fee. Call 260-824-0624 ext. 3, for more information or to request an application form.

"Preserving Nature's Bounty" workshop

Molly Hoag, consumer and family sciences and health and human sciences educator at the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service of Wells County, will offer a session on "Preserving Nature’s Bounty" from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 2nd, in the meeting rooms at the Wells County Community Center at the 4-H Park.

Pressure canning, water bath canning, freezing and drying your home grown or purchased fruits and vegetables in a safe environment will be discussed.

This program is open to the public. A fee of $3.00 will be collected at the door but pre-registration is recommended. Contact the Wells County office of the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service at 260-824-6412 to register. Registration will be accepted the day of the workshop. This program will be offered again from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. August 25 in the meeting rooms at the Wells County Community Center at the 4-H Park.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

4-H Extension calendar for August

  • August 2: Preserving Nature’s Bounty Food Preservation Workshop, Wells County Community
  • Center, 4-H Park, 6;30 – 8:30 PM. RSVP by August 1, 824-6412, $3 fee
  • August 2 – 6: State Fair Youth Leadership Conference, State Fair, Indianapolis
  • August 4: State Fair 4-H Foods & Horticulture Exhibits due at County Extension Office, 7 – 8 AM
  • August 5 – 21: INDIANA STATE FAIR
  • August 12 – 14: Wheels of Yesteryear Antique Power Show, 4-H Park, Bluffton
  • August 18: Northeast Purdue Ag Center Field Day, Columbia City, 8:30 – Noon, Lunch provided free of charge. PARP credits.
  • August 18: 4-H Fair Review, 4-H Council, Leaders, Association, and Committees, Community Center, 4-H Park, Bluffton
  • August 23: Wells County 4-H Foundation, Community Center, 4-H Park, Bluffton, 6:30 PM
Even though the 4-H Fair is over, we still have plenty of video to enjoy at our 4-H Fair blog.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Xander Powers Golf Benefit July 30

The Xander Evan Powers Benefit will be held Saturday, July 30 at Green Valley Golf Course. Xander has been diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a very serious neuromuscular disease that causes progressive muscular atrophy, weakness and a short life expectancy.

A golf benefit will be held with 22 teams with four people per team at $50 per person. Eleven teams will start at 8 a.m. and 11 teams will start at noon. Prizes will be awarded. Anyone interested in sponsoring a hole may do so at $100 per hole.

Call Larry Peeper at 260-410-9257 to sign up.

Also available will be hamburgers, hot dogs, a bake sale and a car wash at the Youth for Christ parking lot from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 30.

Anyone interested in donating baked goods or who wants to volunteer can call Tracey Richardson from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 260-755-7902.

Monday, July 18, 2011

N-B Video: SW graduate plays in all-star football

Southern Wells graduate Andrew Kunkle discusses his time in the state all-star game. (Video by Paul Beitler)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Fort Wayne Children Zoo events

From the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo website at

July 17-18
: National Zoo Keeper Week Information Station
Meet real zoo keepers and learn more about this challenging and rewarding career. 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. on the Australian Adventure Plaza. Sponsored by the Little Turtle Chapter of the American Association of Zoo Keepers

July 19: Educator Appreciation Day
Join us for a WILD day of exploration, education, and fun. Participate in exclusive mini-workshops and special activities and get a certificate for two PGP points! 1:00-4:00 p.m. FREE to teachers, homeschool parents, and pre-service teachers. Click here for details.

July 20
: Wild Wednesday — Members Only
The zoo is open late for Members Only! Last admission at 7:00 p.m.; animal exhibits and rides close at 7:30 p.m.

July 21: Ice Day
The animals will get special frozen treats to keep cool on a summer day, and an ice sculptor will create a masterpiece right before your eyes! Free with zoo admission.
Ice Day Activity Schedule:
10:30 a.m. Otters
11:30 a.m. Australian Birds
12:00 p.m. Dingoes
12:00 p.m. Ice Sculptor
12:30 p.m. Capuchin Monkeys
1:00 p.m. Swamp Monkeys
1:30 p.m. Hyenas
2:00 p.m. Orangutans
2:00 p.m. Ice Sculptor
2:30 p.m. Tigers

July 25: Zoo-Loo-Au — Members Only
Join your fellow Zoo Members at our annual picnic for free food and fun. Click here for details.

July 27: Wild Wednesday — Members Only
The zoo is open late for Members Only! Last admission at 7:00 p.m.; animal exhibits and rides close at 7:30 p.m.

4-H Fair begins tomorrow

The 2011 Wells County 4-H Fair officially begins tomorrow at 7:30 a.m. with the 4-H 5K Fun Run/Walk. We'll keep the county up-to-date through our Wells County 4-H Fair blog at

  • 7:30 a.m. – 4-H 5K Fun Run/Walk, Stage Area (Spring St. entrance closed for run)
  • 9:00 a.m. – Horse & Pony Show. (Western Riding & Reining, Halter & Showmanship)
  • 10:00 a.m. – Community Center, Expo Hall Open
  • 11:00 a.m. – 4-H Sewing & Consumer Clothing Fashion Revue, Community Center Room 1 & 2
  • 1:30 p.m. – Cat Show, Community Center Room 1 & 2
  • 3:00-4:00 p.m. – 4-H Action Demonstrations, Community Center
  • 4:00-8:00 p.m. – Barbecue, sponsored by Wells Co. Farm Bureau, Food Pavilion
  • 4:00 p.m. – Wells County 4-H Foundation Bake Sale Check-in, Community Center Canopy
  • 5:00 p.m. – Parade Lineup at Bluffton Regional South Parking Lots
  • 5:00 p.m. – Wells County 4-H Foundation Bake Sale, Community Center Canopy
  • 6:00 p.m. – Parade leaves Bluffton Regional South Parking Lot
  • 6:30 p.m. – Grand Parade in front of Grandstand (4-H Units, Floats, Bands, Merchants, etc.)
  • 7:00-9:00 p.m. – 4-H Foundation Fun Activities, Exhibit Area
  • 7:30 p.m. – Presentation of 4-H Ten Year & Caley Memorial Awards. Announcement of Wells County 4-H Ambassadors, Stage Area (Bring lawn chairs)
  • 8:00 p.m. – 4-H Spirit Night, Grandstand
  • Honor America Day
  • Sponsored by Farm Credit Services
  • 7:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. – Pancake & Sausage Breakfast, Food Pavilion. Sponsored by Farm Bureau Young Farmers
  • 9:00 a.m. – Community Worship Service, Community Center, Rooms 1 & 2
  • 9:30 a.m. – Horse & Pony Show Western Performance, Trail
  • 2:00-8:00 p.m. – Log Cabin Open
  • 2:00 p.m. – Rabbit Ambassador Judging, Rabbit & Poultry Barn
  • 3:00 p.m. – Sheep Judging, Livestock Area
  • 4:00-6:00 p.m. – BBQ Cookoff, 4-H Exhibit Area
  • 4:00 -6:00 p.m. – Music Idols from Bluffton and Southern Wells High Schools, Stage Area
  • 6:30 p.m. – BBQ Cookoff Award Presentation
  • 6:30-9:00 p.m. – 4-H Foundation Fun Activities, Exhibit Area
  • 6:30 p.m. – Horse & Pony Fun Show, Grandstand
  • 7:00 p.m. – Gospel Music featuring "Heavens Harmony" and "Common Ground." Stage Area (Bring lawn chairs). Rain Site, Quonset Building
  • Senior Citizen Day
  • Sponsored by Pretzels Inc.
  • 8:00 a.m. – Rabbit Judging, Rabbit & Poultry Building
  • 9:00 a.m. – Horse & Pony Show (Senior Versatility)
  • 2:00 p.m. – Photo Session for 4-H Champions, Community Center Expo Hall Stage
  • 4:00-7:00 p.m. – Chicken BBQ Supper, sponsored by Wells Co. Chamber of Commerce, Food Pavilion
  • 5:00 p.m. – Dairy Beef Show, Livestock Arena
  • 5:00-8:00 p.m. – Log Cabin Open
  • 6:00 p.m. – Dairy Feeder Calf Show, Livestock Arena
  • 6:00 p.m. – Horse & Pony Show, Junior Contesting
  • 6:30-9:00 p.m. – 4-H Foundation Fun Activities, Exhibit Area
  • 7:00 p.m. – Log Cabin Program, "Story of the Monarch Butterfly"
  • 7:00 p.m. – Miss Wells County Queen Pageant, Stage Area (Bring lawn chairs)
  • Family Fun Day
  • Sponsored by Bill's Roofing & Siding, Inc.
  • 8:30 a.m. – Swine Judging, Livestock Arena
  • 9:00 a.m. – Horse & Pony Show (Junior Versatility)
  • 9:00 a.m.-Noon – Flower & Vegetable Show Check-in Community Center, Rooms 1 & 2
  • 10:00 a.m. – "Chalk It Up", Chalk Art Activity, in front of Quonset Building, Following 4-H Swine Show Adult Swine Showmanship Show for ages 19 and over
  • 4:30-7:30 p.m. – Pork Chop BBQ Supper, sponsored by Bluffton Optimist Club, Food Pavilion
  • 5:00-8:00 p.m. – Log Cabin Open
  • 5:00-6:30 p.m. – Sound Check for the Talent Show Participants, Stage Area
  • 5:30 p.m. – Goat Show, Livestock Arena
  • 6:00 p.m. – Horse & Pony Show, Senior Contesting
  • 6:30-9:00 p.m. – 4-H Foundation Fun Activities, Exhibit Area
  • 6:30 p.m. – Norwell High School Dance Team, Stage Area (Bring lawn chairs)
  • 6:30-8:30 p.m. – Meet the 4-H Dog Club, Exhibit Area
  • 7:00 p.m. – Log Cabin Program, "Roadside Weeds and their Pioneer Uses"
  • 7:30 p.m. – 4-H Talent Show, Stage Area (Bring lawn chairs)
  • Tobacco Free Day
  • Rem Johnston Printing Co. - David Moss
  • 9:00 a.m. – Poultry Judging, Rabbit & Poultry Building
  • 9:00 a.m. – Beef Judging, Livestock Arena
  • 11:00-1:00 p.m. – Lunch, Southern Wells Community Church, Food Pavilion
  • 2:00 p.m. – Dairy Show, Livestock Arena
  • 4:00-8:00 p.m. – Haystack or Loaded Baked Potato, Southern Wells Community Church, Food Pavilion
  • 5:00-8:00 p.m. – Log Cabin Open
  • 5:00 p.m. – Horse & Pony Fun Show, Grandstand
  • 6:00 p.m. – Kids Pedal Pull - Registration (Front of Quonset Building)
  • 6:00 p.m. – Grand Champion Award Presentation, Archery Club Awards, Expo Hall Stage
  • 6:30-9:00 p.m. – 4-H Foundation Fun Activities, Exhibit Area
  • 6:30 p.m. – Photo Session for 4-H Champions, Community Center Expo Hall Stage
  • 6:30 p.m. – Kids Pedal Pull in front of Quonset Building. Sponsored by Bluffton Optimist Club (Bring lawn chairs)
  • 7:00 p.m. – 4-H Livestock Royal Showmanship Contest, Livestock Arena
  • 7:00 p.m. – Log Cabin Program, "The Story of the Monarch Butterfly"
  • 7:30 p.m. – "Nostalgia" featuring classic rock music, Stage Area (Bring lawn chairs)
  • 8:00 p.m. – Horse & Pony Award Presentation, Grandstand
  • 9:00 p.m. – Horse & Pony Released
  • 10:00 p.m.- 12 Midnight – Release of Livestock Except Auction Animals
  • Volunteer Day
  • Sponsored by United REMC
  • 6:00 a.m.-12 Noon – Release of Livestock Except Auction Animals
  • 12:00 Noon-2:00 p.m. – Flower and Vegetable Pick-up, Community Center, Rooms 1 & 2
  • 2:00 p.m. – Premier Auction (Champion Crops, Foods & Garden) Livestock Arena
  • 3:00-7:00 p.m. – Auction Buyers Hospitality, Livestock Arena
  • 3:30 p.m. – 4-H Livestock Auction, Livestock Arena (Sale order - Dairy Beef, Sheep, Dairy Feeder, Goat, Poultry, Swine, 4-H Foundation, Rabbit, Beef & Dairy)
  • 4:00-8:00 p.m. – 4-H Projects released from 4-H Expo Hall, Community Center
  • 6:30-9:00 p.m. – 4-H Foundation Fun Activities, Exhibit Area
  • 7:00 p.m. – Log Cabin Program "Roadside Weeds and their Pioneer Uses"
  • 7:30 p.m. – "Savannah Jack" Country Music Band, Stage Area (Bring lawn chairs)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bluffton Parks and Recreation Department

Deadline for cardboard boat race approaching
Anyone interested in entering Bluffton's annual cardboard boat race should contact the Parks and Recreation Departmet at 824-6069 by July 18. Admission is $2. To learn more, go to the Parks Department's summer events website.

Peewee Basketball Only a few more days to register!
Stop by the park office to pick up a form or call and we can e-mail it to you. This league will begin playing Aug. 13 and runs for six Saturdays. The league is for boys and girls who will be entering kindergarten through fourth grade in 2010-11 school year. Cost is $15 per child. Call 824-6069.

Not too late to register for Iron Kid Triathlon
Download the registration form and mail it to the park office at 128 E Market St. Bluffton Indiana 46714. Race date is set to start at 8 a.m. sharp. This event is for children ages five through 12. Cost is $15 and includes a t-shirt, finishing medal, snacks, and trophies to the top 3 in each age group and gender. For questions call 824-6069 or e-mail

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Weekend events at Ouabache

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources

(Click on image for a larger view)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mobile tennis court arriving near Wells County

From the United States Tennis Association:

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., July 12, 2011 – The USTA announced today that SmashZone, the premiere fan interactive attraction at the US Open, will be hitting the road for a 15-city mobile tour. SmashZone Mobile includes a 53-foot trailer, which anchors four kid-sized tennis courts for youth play and is a complement to the USTA’s ongoing youth participation initiative, 10 and Under Tennis. Since it is targeting a family audience, the tour will stop at fairs and festivals, along with some retail environments and downtown locations in markets across the country, including some of the Olympus US Open Series markets. The mobile tour will be part of the Children’s Fest at the Three Rivers Festival in Fort Wayne, I.N., on July 15 - 16, 2011. The Childrens’ Fest has grown into an immensely popular two-day event, which offers amusement rides, a costumed character parade, live entertainment, educational displays, and games.

The trailer, which is handicap accessible, will feature interactive activities for visitors, including a Tennis Magazine Green Screen Cover Shoot, Wii Tennis and Touch Screen Kiosks. The kiosks will allow the public to find a facility in their area offering 10 and Under Tennis programming, and also will afford them the opportunity to design their own racquet (from an array of colors, frames, grips and strings), to become a USTA member, and to sign up for the Home Court Championship Sweepstakes, in which the USTA is giving away a tennis kit every day through the conclusion of the US Open. In addition, SmashZone will allow participants to try their skills on any of the four 10 and Under Courts, which will feature games such as “Champion of the Court” and a Target Challenge. All of the courts are made of Sport Court's high-performance PowerGame™ modular playing surface.

10 and Under Tennis is part of an ongoing effort to encourage young people across the country to get active and start playing the sport. Similar to other youth sports where equipment and playing fields are scaled-to-size for kids, 10 and Under Tennis, utilizing the QuickStart Tennis play format, gives children age 10 and under the chance to achieve immediate success by playing tennis on smaller courts, using smaller and lighter racquets, and slower-moving and lower-bouncing balls. These monumental changes to the sport make tennis more fun for kids by allowing them to learn and develop their skills in an enjoyable way, increasing the likelihood that kids will continue to play and continue to improve.

“Taking one of the premiere attractions of the US Open on the road to showcase our 10 and Under Tennis initiative allows us to reach audiences that might not have ever experienced tennis before,” said Jon Vegosen, USTA Chairman of the Board and President. “To be able to get more racquets in kid’s hands at a young age, and to share with them the idea that tennis can be played anywhere from schools yards, to parks, to clubs, and even at home, underscores the fact that tennis is the sport of opportunity.”

To find more information about the SmashZone mobile tour and to find if it is coming to a city near your check out

Monday, July 11, 2011

Webcast to feature landscaping

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

What is a successful native plant landscape? Native plants are used for a number of reasons that can be quantitatively measured, like gallons of runoff reduced, number of species increased, hours saved on maintenance, and more. Despite this, native plantings fail every year because designs often fail to address human needs for space and simplicity,or physical needs like circulation and drainage. A successful native plant design begins long before a trowel hits the ground, and continues many years after establishment.

Join Mike Appel of Appel Environmental Design LLC and Lisa Brush of The Stewardship Network for a 1 p.m. webcast Wednesday to learn more.

Click here to view webcast
(Link will become live day of webcast)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Ossian Conservation Club events for July

  • July 16-21, Saturday through Thursday, the Ossian Conservation Club will be at the Wells County 4-H Fair. Stop by for some old-style sugar corn made in a cast-iron kettle. We also will be selling raffle tickets for a chance to win a chainsaw-carved bear by Sid King. His work is on display at the Bluffton River Greenway Walking Trail. Tickets are $1 each or 6 tickets for $5. There is an optional cash prize of $250. The drawing will be at the OCC meeting Oct.7. You need not be present to win. Proceeds will go to the clubhouse remodeling fund. For tickets or more information, call Dave Saalfrank at 622-7107 or Rose Barrick at 622-4733.
  • July 17, Sunday, the Ouabache Archers will have a bow shoot at Ossian Conservation Club. Several new Rinehart 3-D Targets. 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. All are welcome.
  • July 24, Sunday, Ossian Conservation Club Shotgun Shooter’s informal shotgun shoot – regular clays, middies, minnies and rabbit targets. Noon until 4:30 p.m. Bring the whole family. Public is welcome.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Farmers’ Market held Saturday, Wednesday

The Farmers’ Market will be open from from 4 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday (tonight) and 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday at the Dutch Mill Plalza.

Available items include: Gluten free baked goods, regulare baked goods, red beets, potatoes, onions, frozen organic beef and pork, handcrafted cards, pots, gourds, apple cider, maple syrup, perennials.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Tincaps plan patriotic events

From the Tincaps website:

Game time: 7:05 p.m. - Jake the Diamond Dog & Fireworks!
Enjoy a Sunday evening of baseball during the holiday weekend at Parkview Field! Everyone's favorite canine, Jake the Diamond Dog, will take over the ballpark. Make sure you stick around for post-game fireworks!

There is also a chance that the TinCaps might welcome their 1,000,000th fan during this game. If this happens one randomly selected fan will have the chance to win $1,000,000!

Game time: 7:05 p.m. - Fireworks & Family Feast Night & Jake the Diamond Dog!
Celebrate everything red, white, and blue on the 4th of July at the ballpark! Not only will there be a patriotic post-game fireworks display, it is also a Family Feast Night with $1 hot dogs, soft drinks, popcorn, and pizza slices! Jake the Diamond Dog will be performing again and many more surprises will be in store! This could be the game we welcome our 1,000,000th fan. You never know, you could be the one to walk out of Parkview Field a millionaire!

Make sure you come early to take part in the pre-game KRAFT Singles Block Party inside the gates of the ballpark as well as half price KRAFT Singles Cheeseburgers all game long!