Sports and Outdoors

Monday, April 30, 2012

N-B Video

Chandler Harnish drafted by Colts!

N-B Video

Border Wars 1

Border Wars 2

Border Wars 2

N-B Video

Border Wars 3

Friday, April 27, 2012

MEP late models headline Saturday lineup; sprint cars return Sunday

From Anderson Speedway

ANDERSON, Ind. – Racing action returns to Anderson Speedway on Saturday, April 28 and Sunday, April 29. On Saturday night, featured divisions include McGunegill Engine Performance Late Models, EDCO Welding Street Stocks along with G.W. Pierce Front Wheel Drives in Oval and Figure 8 action.

On Sunday afternoon, April 29th, Sprint Cars and Midgets will return to the quarter-mile oval under the USSA sanction. The USSA Sprint Cars will be showcased in the 100-lap Glen Niebel Classic while the Mel Kenyon Midgets will compete in a 30-lap feature event.

Heading into Saturday’s night action, veteran campaigner Joe Beaver paces the MEP Late Models after scoring the opening night victory on April 7. Early season challengers include Rob Allman, Nick Moore, former Super Truck standout Fred Hopkins and newcomer John Cave.

Jimmy Kirby won the initial EDCO Welding Street Stock event and leads 2011 division runner-up Josh Myers by seven markers. Third is Rickie Tharp with Colby Lane and Tyler Marsh completing the top five.

Two consistent finishes have placed Chris Jennings into the top spot in the G.W. Pierce Front Wheel Drive Oval points lead. Ron Phipps ranks in second spot, just 10 markers from the first place. Third is Andy Jennings with Joseph Jennings and Trevin Henson completing the top five.

Mike Alley paces the G.W. Pierce Front Wheel Drive Figure 8 standings. Opening night winner Donnie Ellis Jr. is second with James Frawley, Kevin Henson and veteran Elliott McKinney rounding out the top five.

On Saturday, April 28, spectator gates open at 4 p.m. with the racing beginning at 7. Admission is $12 for adults and $4 for kids ages 6-12. Children five and under get in free.

The excitement and tradition of the Glen Niebel Classic Sprint Car race returns to Anderson Speedway Sunday April 29, under the Banner of the United States Speed Association. The 100-lap Sprint Car race will be the inaugural event sanctioned by USSA.

USSA’s Mel Kenyon Midget Series will also be on hand with a 30-lap feature to complete a full day of open wheel racing excitement on the high banks of Anderson Speedway.

USSA Sprint Car racing is conducted under the same rules used for Anderson Speedway’s 64th Annual Pay Less Little 500. Fans will be able to enjoy Pay Less Little 500 drivers and sprint car aces like Aaron Pierce, Brian Gerster, Chet Fillip and Jimmy McCune tackling the competition and the high banks for 100-laps. Midget Ace Kyle Hamilton will be bringing his talents to the Glen Niebel Classic as well.

Nick Hamilton, Kyle’s younger brother, will lead the Mel Kenyon Midget Series drivers into Anderson Speedway with the USSA points lead following his win in the season opener. Grant Galloway, second in all time USSA Kenyon Car wins, has also returned to the series for the 2012 racing season.

“I’m looking forward to getting back to Anderson,” Galloway said. “I want to be the all time leader in races won,” he enthused. Keeping the Mel Kenyon Midget Series field honest will be Jessica Bean, the 201l USSA Kenyon Midget Champion.

USSA and Anderson Speedway Officials expect strong competitive fields for both the Glen Niebel Classic and the Mel Kenyon Midget Series. Spectator gates open at 11:30 AM, Sprint Car practice and qualifying starts at 11:30, followed by MKMS practice and qualifying at 1:15 with racing set to go green at 2:00.

Tickets for the Glen Niebel Classic are $15 for adults, $4 for kids six to 12 and kids five and under are free.

For additional information on Anderson Speedway, visit or contact Anderson Speedway at (765) 642-0206.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

New Outdoor Indiana features Ouabache State Park

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

Outdoor Indiana magazine’s May-June issue features Ouabache State Park in a special removable full-color eight-page article.

The article continues a series in which one state park or reservoir property is featured through 2016, the 100th anniversary of Indiana state parks.

Learn more about the article by viewing a short video about the parks’ bison at

The issue also includes an article on the shipwrecks of Indiana’s portion of Lake Michigan, an area that has claimed more ships than the Bermuda Triangle. Recent articles in newspapers around the state have touched on the tale. The 48-page magazine provides the whole story, in full color.

Look for the fishing scene promoting the Healthy Rivers INitiative feature story on the cover of Outdoor Indiana, available now at most DNR properties and most Barnes & Noble stores in Indiana for $3 a copy. Purchase of a $12 subscription gets you six issues.

To subscribe or see excerpts of the May-June issue, go to Subscriptions can also be purchased by calling (317) 233-3046.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

CheckIN Game system in place for turkey season

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

Hunters during the spring turkey season now have the option of reporting their harvest information using a free online system through the DNR called CheckIN Game.

Hunters can report their turkey harvest through a computer, tablet or wide variety of smart phones and handheld devices without having to take the turkey to a designated check station for physical inspection.

Hunters must have their customer ID number ready when using the CheckIN Game system. Customer ID numbers can be found on spring turkey licenses or any hunting, trapping or fishing license from Indiana. Lifetime license holders will have the option of looking up this number in the CheckIN Game system.

Learn more and access CheckIN Game.

Hunters have 48 hours from the time the turkey is harvested to check in either through the CheckIN Game system or at a traditional turkey check station.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Bluffton girls softball vs. South Adams

Photos by Glen Werling.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

News from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:
  • Moving is good for us all and what could be better than moving along a path or creek at your favorite state park or reservoir? This summer, you can walk, ride, paddle or swim your way to better health and be entered in a contest to win special prizes, too.
  • Get a quick look at themed, weekends, races and adventure trips, history programs, special exhibits and more for state parks, reservoirs, and some state historic sites. Please remember — these dates are subject to change and to check below for the most current schedule.

Monday, April 16, 2012

New state record muskie expected

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

Indiana’s muskie record turns 10 years old this spring, causing at least one expert to wonder how much longer the record can last.

“We’re due for another state-record muskie,” said Jed Pearson, fisheries biologist with the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife. “Ten years is a long time to wait.”

In April 2002, Darrin Conley caught a 42.5-pound muskie at James Lake in Kosciusko County.

Conley’s fish, which measured 50 inches long, broke the previous record by George Webster, a 35-pound muskie also caught in James Lake, in 1994.

James Lake, referred to as “Little Tippy” by most locals and anglers, is a 282-acre natural lake near North Webster. Given James Lake produced the last two state-record muskies, biologists think it will likely produce the next one. The question is when, Pearson said.

In addition to producing the last two state-record muskies, lakes in Kosciusko County also have produced the largest muskies registered each year in the DNR’s Fish-of-the-Year program since 1988.

Lake Webster has produced eight “Fish-of-the-Year,” including a 51.5-inch muskie caught by Jeff Kachmann in 2003. Although it was longer than Conley’s state record, it weighed 6 pounds, 9 ounces less.

Lake Tippecanoe has produced three “Fish-of-the-Year.” The largest among those was a 48.5-inch muskie caught last year by Joshua Shelhart.

The largest muskie caught at the Barbee lakes and registered to date with the DNR is a 50-inch fish taken in 2010 by Steve Florio.

“Even though these are very big muskies, we think there are even bigger ones out there,” Pearson said.

Pearson, a 40-year employee with the DNR, played a key role in bringing muskie fishing to northeast Indiana in the early 1980s.

Fifteen Indiana lakes and reservoirs are stocked with muskies, with Lake Webster serving as brood stock for the entire program. Each spring muskie eggs are taken from females captured at Lake Webster for hatching.

“We no longer need to rely on out-of-state sources for stocking muskies,” Pearson said. “This has allowed our muskie program to continue to grow over the years.”

Thursday, April 12, 2012

ARCA/CRA late models set to battle at Anderson Saturday

From Anderson Speedway

ANDERSON – One of the marquee events annually on the Anderson Speedway schedule will be showcased on Saturday, April 14 when the Anderson 125 presented by Great Deals featuring the ARCA/CRA Late Models will take place. Other divisions in action include WMDH ThunderCars and G.W. Pierce Front Wheel Dive Oval

The CRA Super Series Late Models return for their 51st appearance at the high-banked quarter-mile oval. The series has a storied history at Anderson Speedway and the season opening event on April 14th is shaping up to be one of most thrilling in recent memory.

This weekend’s event officially kicks off the new partnership between Champion Racing Association and ARCA with the newly named ARCA/CRA Super Series.

The partnership was officially announced last July 28th at the ARCA Racing Series event at Lucas Oil Raceway. The partnership is providing participants in the ARCA/CRA Super Series with ARCA member benefits, including Participant Accident Insurance. In addition ARCA will provide the 2012 ARCA/CRA Super Series Champion and the 2012 ARCA/CRA Super Series Boyne Machine Company Rookie of the Year with the opportunity to test an ARCA Racing Series car in the open test at Daytona International Speedway in December 2012.

The entry list to date of 30 cars for the Anderson 125 Presented by Great Deals may have the most talented group of drivers the series has ever had for a season opener or for any regular series event.

The talented list of drivers includes two-time series champion Johnny VanDoorn, multi-time series titlist Scott Hantz, defending Redbud 300 winner Steve Dorer, 2011 CRA South Champion Bubba Pollard, 2010 All American 400 winner T.J. Reaid and former ARCA Racing Series winner Billy Leslie.

Other top drivers racing at Anderson include inaugural series champion Kenny Tweedy, former ASA Late Model Champion and ARCA/CRA race winner Brian Campbell, multi-time track champion Joe Beaver and two-time Anderson winner Rick Turner.

The event will also feature the hard charging Peter Cozzolino along with veterans Terry Fisher Jr., Jason Dietsch and Mason Mingus. Competitors that will make their ARCA/CRA debut at Anderson include talented female drivers Kenzie Ruston and Becca Kasten along with West Virginia’s Travis Braden, CRA Late Model Sportsman graduate Mark Lambert, Canada’s Jordan Sims, Iowa’s Nate Caruth and Ohio’s Johnny Jenkins.

In series history, Brian Ross holds the number one position in victories with scoring a total of eight at Anderson. Other multiple event winners include Tweedy (4), Junior Hanley (4), Hantz (4), Jeff Lane (3), Bobby Parsley (3) and VanDoorn (3). Drivers that have claimed two victories include Jim Cooper and Rick Turner. Seventeen competitors have scored at least one win on the quarter-mile oval.

Alexandria driver Hannah Lundy made track history by beating Lonny Burton to capture the WMDH ThunderCar championship in 2011. Lundy became the first woman driver to win a track title. During the season Lundy set fast time eight times during Herald Bulletin qualifying, recorded three feature wins and finished in the top five a total of 13 times.

The G.W. Pierce Front Wheel Drive Oval division will make their second appearance of the young season. Jerry Dane won the season opener on April 7 after making a late race pass on Andy Jennings. Third at the checkered flag was Kevin Harmon with Ron Phipps and Chris Jennings completed the top-five finishers.

On Saturday, April 14, spectator gates open at 3 p.m. with the racing beginning at 7. Admission is $15 for adults and $4 for kids ages 6-12. Children five and under get in free.

For additional information on Anderson Speedway, visit or contact Anderson Speedway at (765) 642-0206.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Early spring presents turkey hunting challenges

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

As Indiana’s spring turkey season approaches, DNR wildlife research biologist Steve Backs said hunters should plan to work a little harder this year.

Spring turkey season begins with the youth season April 21-22. The regular spring turkey season is April 25 through May 13.

Backs is forecasting a spring turkey harvest of 11,000, plus or minus 1,000. His prediction is about 6 percent less than the 11,669 birds harvested in 2011, and 20 percent less than the 2010 spring harvest, when hunters bagged a record 13,742 turkeys.

Expectations are lower this year for two reasons, several years of below normal brood production and the advanced progression of vegetation.

Indiana has experienced seven consecutive summers of below normal turkey production primarily due to above normal precipitation in June. Several other states in the Midwest and South have experienced similar or worse drops in production.

Due to the record warm weather, the spring progression of vegetation is three to four weeks ahead of schedule. More greenery will make seeing and hearing turkeys more difficult, but also provide more concealment for hunters.

“The increased concealment gets us into a potential hunter safety issue,” Backs said. “Hunters are going to have to be very vigilant in correctly identifying their target and also recognize that the hunter’s presence may not be as easily detected by another hunter in the same area.”

When hunters do hear a turkey, they could be more likely to overestimate the distance to the bird and may end up spooking or “over-running” the location of the gobbler as they approach, Backs said.

“It may be just a different year,” he said. “Anybody that’s been around turkey hunting realizes you can’t predict the weather, you can’t predict the timing of spring green up, you can’t predict how turkeys will respond.”

Hunters shouldn’t get too discouraged.

There are reasons for optimism this year, Backs said. Mushroom season came early, and morel hunters are likely to be out of the woods by the time turkey season comes. Additionally, hunters might find some extra gobblers in areas where flooding limited hunting last year.

Hunters are allowed one bearded or male turkey. A wild turkey license and a game bird habitat stamp are required unless otherwise exempted. Exemptions are detailed in the online Turkey Hunting Guide.

The online Turkey Hunting Guide also contains license requirements, bag limits, hunting hours, equipment regulations, a comprehensive list of public hunting areas, and contact information for DNR district wildlife biologists and DNR law enforcement districts.

To hunt wild turkey, Indiana residents need a a resident spring turkey license and a valid game bird habitat stamp. A lifetime comprehensive hunting license, or a lifetime comprehensive hunting/fishing license will also work.

Non-resident hunters must purchase a non-resident turkey license and a game bird habitat stamp. Additionally, non-residents from some states, including Illinois, Kentucky and Ohio, must also purchase an annual non-resident hunting license.

If you’re not sure what licenses you need, visit the Sport License Finder at

To purchase hunting, fishing or trapping licenses online, visit

To find Indiana public hunting areas, see the Where to Hunt map at

The restoration of wild turkey is one of the greatest wildlife success stories in Indiana. By 1900, uncontrolled hunting and habitat loss had nearly wiped out wild turkeys in Indiana. This restoration project was funded both by license fees and by federal funds from the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration (WSFR) programs. Funding for WSFR comes from an excise tax charged to manufacturers of fishing equipment, bows and arrows, ammunition, recreational guns, and motor boat fuel. For more information on wild turkey hunting or the Division of Fish & Wildlife visit

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

DNR to honor historic preservation standouts

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

Standouts in preserving cultural resources will be presented with 2012 Indiana Historic Preservation Awards at the statewide historic preservation conference this week in Whiting.

The DNR Division of Historic Preservation & Archaeology will present the awards during the “Preserving Historic Places” banquet at the Lost Marsh Golf Club on Wednesday, April 11.

Former Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Randall Shepard will receive the 2012 Outstanding Hoosier Preservationist Award, which honors exemplary achievements in historic preservation over an extended time. The award recognizes Shepard’s leadership in building the Indiana preservation movement over the past 35 years, representing Indiana in the national historic preservation field, restoring the judicial spaces of the Indiana Statehouse, and encouraging the preservation of Indiana’s historic courthouses.

Other awards to be presented:

Outstanding Stewardship and Ongoing Rehabilitation Award: To the Delphi Preservation Society for its rehabilitation of the 1865 Assion Ruffing City Hall and Delphi Opera House building in downtown Delphi.

Outstanding Commercial Rehabilitation Award: To Michigan Street LLC for the 1924 All American Bank Building in South Bend. The award recognizes one of more than 30 Certified Historic Preservation Investment Tax Credit projects DHPA administers each year.

Outstanding Certified Historic Homeowner Rehabilitation Award: To Don and Bonnie Mills for their rehabilitation of the 1848 Abijah O’Neall II House near Crawfordsville.

Outstanding Effort Award and Award for Outstanding National Register nomination: To the Indiana Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Children’s Home Alumni Association and the Military Department of Indiana for the nomination of the campus of the Indiana Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Children’s Home (ISSCH) to the National Register of Historic Places.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Ossian Conservation Club releases calendar

April 14th — Nelson’s Port-A-Pit Chicken, Pork Chops and Ribs at Walgreen’s in Bluffton, 11:00 a.m. till gone. No pre-sold tickets, $5.50 for half a chicken, $5.50 for a pork chop, and $9.00 for a slab of ribs. Weather permitting try Our Old Style Sugar Corn made in a cast iron kettle, $2.00 and $4.00 a bag. Proceeds will to go to the new furnace and siding fund.

April 22nd — Ouabache Archers at Ossian Conservation Club – second meet of the year.
Several new Rinehart 3-D Targets! 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. All are welcome.

April 29th — Ossian Conservation Club Shotgun Shooter’s informal Shotgun Shoot – regular clays – middies – minnies and rabbit targets. 12:00 p.m. till 4:30 p.m. Bring the whole Family. Public is welcome.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Races begin this weekend at Baer Field Speedway

The Baer Field Speedway recently updated its 2012 schedule. To see when the races happen, click here.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

N-B Video: School board honors Jessica Rupright

Northern Wells Superintendent Scott Mills and the school board honor senior Jessica Rupright for being named Miss Basketball. Rupright was honored during the board's regular meeting. To learn more about the meeting, read the Wednesday, April 4, News-Banner. (Video by Chet Baumgartner)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Extension service annual meeting scheduled for April 9

The Purdue Cooperative Extension Service of Wells County will hold its annual meeting on Monday, April 9, at 6:30 p.m. at the Wells County Community Center at the 4-H Park in Bluffton.

The event will include a meal at 6:30 p.m. followed by the program "Hungry Planet: What the World Eats." This program highlights 30 families around the world and what they eat in a typical week. The participants will discuss their perceptions and impressions of what the world eats. The meal is free of charge.

The Weekend Backpack for Hungry Kids Program will also be highlighted. Donations will be accepted for the Wells County program that provides 89 food backpacks per week to youth for the weekend.

Election of Extension Board members will also be held at the event.

Reservations are due by April 5 to the Wells County Extension Service, 260-824-6412.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Deadline approaching for weird tree search

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

All Hoosiers should still be on the lookout for suspicious-looking trees.

Information about these freaks of the forest is wanted by the DNR Division of Forestry in connection with the 2012 “Invasion of the Weird Trees.”

“Invasion of the Weird Trees” is an online publication that identifies the weirdest trees for each county based on submissions from the public. The publication is updated every four years.

Submissions can be any species and size. The only requirement is that they be weird and be a living tree.

Past entries in “Invasion of the Weird Trees” have included trees that swallowed signs, trees grown together like conjoined twins, trees with trunks twisted like a snail shell and trees that resemble giant octopuses.

The forestry division has received dozens of submissions for this year’s update. As the April 30 deadline for submissions approaches, forestry officials want to make sure all weird trees are rounded up.

To submit a tree, email your name, address, phone number, and specific location of the tree, including county to To enter by mail, submit nonreturnable photographs and the same information to Sam Carman, Division of Forestry, 402 W. Washington St., Rm. W296, Indianapolis, IN 46204.

Based upon your photos, district foresters will narrow down the field to the weirdest tree for each county. The 2012 “Invasion of the Weird Trees” should be available online in the fall.

To view the current “Invasion,” go to