Sports and Outdoors

Thursday, March 29, 2012

4-H Extension calendar

  • April 1 — 4-H Membership forms Due at County Extension Office
  • April 2 — Wells County 4-H Horse & Pony Club, Community Center, 4-H Park, 6 PM
  • April 2 — 4-H Dog Obedience Club, 4-H Park Livestock Arena, Bluffton, 6:30-8 PM
  • April 3 — 4-H BB & Rifle Safety Club Awards Night, Community Center, 4-H Park, Bluffton, 6:30 PM. Refreshments served.
  • April 5 — 4-H Frozen Food Orders Pick Up, 4-H Park, Bluffton, 3-5 PM
  • April 5 — Reservations due for Extension Service Annual Meeting
  • April 6 — Good Friday - County Offices Closed
  • April 9 — Wells County Extension Service Annual Meeting, Community Center, 4-H Park, Bluffton, 6:30 PM Meal; 7:15 PM Program: Hungry Planet - What the World Eats
  • April 11-12 — Kids Health & Safety Fair, Bluffton Elementary School
  • April 12 — 4-H Rabbit Workshop, Community Center, 4-H Park, Bluffton, 6:30-7:30 PM
  • April 13 — Wells County Ag Tour
  • April 13-15 — Hoosier Horse Fair, State Fairgrounds, Indianapolis
  • April 14-15 — Purdue Spring Fest, Purdue University
  • April 14 — 4-H Dairy Feeder Calf Identification Day, 4-H Park, Bluffton, 8-10:30 AM
  • April 16 — Wells County 4-H Association, Community Center, 4-H Park, Bluffton, 7 PM
  • April 17 — Spring Program Fair, 3:30-7 PM. Call 824-6412 to register.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

“Talk” to DNR forester on Facebook, March 28

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

Facebook followers of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources can “talk” online with Indiana district forester Brad Rody on Wednesday, March 28, from 11 a.m. to noon, on the DNR’s Facebook wall.

Participants can ask questions about trees, how to plant them, seedlings, prepping a site for planting and more.

Future topics, instructions on how to join a conversation on Facebook, and commenting guidelines are posted at

To join a chat, go to the DNR’s Facebook wall,, and click “like” (if you are not already a “friend”).

You may begin typing in questions during the time slot. The DNR experts will answer questions as time allows.

Monday, March 26, 2012

N-B Video: Norwell boys play like state champions

Congratulations to the Norwell boys' basketball team for their 2012 state runner-up victory. The News-Banner's Paul Beitler was in Indianapolis for the excitement — before, during and after the game.

The members of the team and others receive their medals for being runners-up in Class 3A basketball.

Senior Garrett Bucher received the Mental Attitude award.

Head coach Randy Hawkins and his seniors talked to the press.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

4-H Extension calendar

  • March 19 — Wells County 4-H Association, Community Center, 4-H Park, 7 p.m.
  • March 19 — Hurryin' Harrisons 4-H Club Meeting, Community Center, Expo Hall, 4-H Park, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
  • March 19 — 4-H Dog Obedience Sign Up and Information Night, Community Center, Room 1, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
  • March 19 — 4-H Council Audit Committee, Community Center Conference Room, 6:30 p.m.
  • March 20 — 4-H Frozen Food Orders Due at County Extension Office
  • March 20 — Wells County 4-H BB Gun & Rifle Safety, Community Center, 4-H Park, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
  • March 21 — Private Pesticide Applicator Training (PARP), Wells County Community Center, 7-9 p.m., $10 fee. Call 260-824-6412 to register.
  • March 28 — Jr. Leader Spring Break Event, Community Center, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • March 30 — Indiana 4-H Foundation, Beck's Hybrids, Atlanta, Ind., 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • March 3-April 1 — State 4-H Shooting Sports Workshop, Ross Camp, Lafayette
  • April 1 — 4-H Membership forms Due at County Extension Office

N-B Video: Norwell prepares to take the state

Students and staff at Norwell High School cheer on their 2012 boys basketball team during a pep rally two days before their first state basketball championship game. The school also recognized senior Jessica Rupright, who was recently named Miss Basketball in Indiana. Learn more in the Thursday, March 22, News-Banner. (Video by Paul Beitler)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tickets on Sale for Soccer Match

From the Fort Wane TinCaps:

FORT WAYNE, Ind. - Tickets for the Shindigz National Soccer Festival at Parkview Field, which will host Indiana University and the University of Notre Dame on Saturday, April 21st, at 6:30 PM, went on sale Thursday at the Parkview Field box office. Ticket prices start as low as $7.00 for this unique event. Fans can purchase tickets by visiting the Parkview Field box office, by calling into the TinCaps Ticket Office at (260) 482-6400, or by going online to

The $7.00 ticket range is available to college age students and younger. Adult tickets are priced at $9.00 each, and Parkview Field's club seats will be $15.00 for this event. All fans will enter through the stadium's south gate located on the corner of Ewing & Brackenridge Street.

For Indiana University, the match will be one of six exhibition contests on the team's spring schedule. Notre Dame has not yet announced a spring schedule, but in last year's game at Parkview Field, fell 3-2 to IU.

During the game, there will be $1.00 domestic drafts for sale until 8:00 PM.

TinCaps Opening Night is Thursday, April 5 with first pitch at 7:05pm. Opening Night features post-game fireworks and is a Thirsty Thursday with $1.00 beer specials. Visit or call (260) 482-6400 for more information.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

New firewood restrictions in place for Ind. parks

From the Associated Press:

New firewood restrictions intended to combat the spread of invasive pests at Indiana’s state parks have taken effect ahead of the start of the summer camping season.

The firewood rules adopted in January by the Indiana Natural Resources Commission took effect March 17. They rules are aimed at protecting state woodlands from the 140 known tree pests and pathogens, including the emerald ash borer and gypsy moth, that can be spread through firewood.

Under the rules, in-state visitors can only bring their own firewood into state parks, reservoirs, state forests and state fish and wildlife areas if the bark has been removed.

The rules also allow visitors to bring firewood onto state properties if it’s kiln-dried scrap lumber or is purchased from the property’s camping store or on-site firewood vendor.

Monday, March 19, 2012

N-B Video: Norwell boys take 2012 semi-state title

Congratulations to the Norwell boys basketball team for the victory. Learn more in the Monday, March 19, News-Banner. For more videos, go to the "Sports and Outdoors" blog by browsing our blogs at (Video by Paul Beitler)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Danica Patrick joins five other drivers at Feed The Children Prelude To The Dream

ROSSBURG, Ohio – Dirt racing’s grandest stage, Eldora Speedway, will set the scene for Danica Patrick’s long awaited dirt track debut. She joins Ryan Newman, Bobby Labonte, Kenny Wallace, Ty Dillon and Aric Almirola in the third installment of roster announcements for the Wednesday, June 6, running of the Feed The Children Prelude to the Dream, bringing the total of announced superstar drivers to 18.

After a seven-year run in INDYCAR racing, where she captured Rookie of the Year honors in 2005 and win in Motegi, Japan in 2008, Patrick made the bold move to concentrate full-time in NASCAR racing this year. She is concentrating her efforts full-time in the Nationwide Series with JR Motorsports, along with a limited schedule of Sprint Cup racing under the banner of three-time Sprint Cup champion and Eldora Speedway owner, Tony Stewart and his Stewart-Haas Racing camp.

At the age of 10, Patrick turned a few laps on dirt, but never in a stock car.

“I raced on dirt once before in a go-kart when I was young, but that’s about it. It’s going to be a challenge for sure, but I know Tony has offered to help in any way possible. I’m excited about it, but I’m also nervous,” stated Patrick. “It’s a totally different style of racing, so I’m not sure what to expect. But, it’s for a great cause with Feed The Children benefiting from the money raised this year, so I’m ready to give it a shot.”

Ryan Newman is no stranger to either the dirt or short track wars, as his early career found him blazing throughout the Midwest en route to an amazing 170 feature wins in USAC (United States Auto Club) Midget, Sprint and Silver Crown competition. However, he has yet to garner a victory at Eldora and that is a statistic the 15-time NASCAR Sprint Cup winner wants to change. This will mark his seventh Prelude appearance, with a fourth-place finish in 2009 his highest mark to date.

Inside knowledge is no problem for Bobby Labonte. The 2000 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion fields a very successful short-track dirt Late Model team headed up by Earl Pearson, Jr. who has a much heralded Eldora World 100 win to his credit. Pearson will be coaching Labonte throughout the evening as the 21-time Sprint Cup winner makes his seventh Prelude appearance.

With his ever-present smile and quick wit, Kenny Wallace returns to the Prelude as a fan favorite. As the youngest of the famed racing Wallace siblings, Kenny has had no trouble following their successful footsteps. He has a thing for firsts. Kenny won the main event in his first-ever attempt at racing when he strapped into a Street Stock in 1982 and then when the Prelude to the Dream was introduced in 2005, he was the first driver to claim a win. While he is a regular on the tough NASCAR Nationwide Series circuit, he remains close to dirt grassroots racing with his Modified efforts. His 2012 short-track season is off to a great start, with four feature wins in the month of February.

Another driver having to follow older brother footsteps is Ty Dillon, brother to Austin and grandson of legendary car owner Richard Childress. As Austin creates standards, Ty reaches out and meets them. He concluded the 2011 season with an ARCA Racing Series National championship and then kicked off the 2012 campaign by capturing the UNOH DIRTcar Modified Nationals in Florida. He now sets his sights on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and taking the title that older brother Austin earned in 2011. Ty was able to get a taste of Eldora during the 2011 World 100 where he finished a creditable 8th in the B-Main in his first-ever visit to the famed .500 mile clay oval.

Aric Almirola’s career began with go karts in 1992, but his tenacity to succeed has seen a steady climb up the ladder through Modifieds, into the Joe Gibbs Diversity program, into the NASCAR Nationwide Series and into today’s spotlight where he has landed a ride in the renowned Petty Motorsports #43 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. He is quickly adapting to that team with a twelve-place finish at Phoenix already under their belt. With six previous Prelude starts, last year’s strong third place finish was his best showing.

Race fans can catch all the behind-the-scenes preparation for the event by following the track, event, charity, drivers and officials on Twitter: @EldoraSpeedway, @PreludetoDream, @FeedTheChildren, @DanicaPatrick, @RyanNewman39, @Bobby_Labonte, @Kenny_Wallace, @tydillon, @aric_almirola.

Joining these six will be the previously announced Feed The Children Prelude to the Dream drivers Clint Bowyer, Kasey Kahne, Kurt Busch, Dave Blaney, Tony Kanaan, Ron Capps, Jimmie Johnson, Just Allgaier, Bill Elliott, Ray Evernham, David Gilliland and Cruz Pedregon.

Tickets and campsites for the Feed The Children Prelude to the Dream and all other 2012 Eldora Speedway Major Events including the $100,000-to-win Dirt Late Model Dream presented by Ferris Commercial Mowers, $50,000-to-win World of Outlaws Kings Royal and 42nd Annual World 100 are available through the speedway box office (937) 338-3815 or online 24 hours a day at Like us at

Muncie plans first large-scale run/walk

The first large scale run/walk in Muncie, the Shamrock 5k/10k Run/Walk, will be held on March 17, with a start and finish in Morrow's Meadow with proceeds going to assist the Volunteer Services of the Delaware County Emergency Management Agency.

The Shamrock Run/Walk will also help showcase the city's park system and the quality of life that is offered in Yorktown, officials say. The course will include much of the trail system in and around the community out to the Munciana volleyball facility.

More than 200 athletes are expected in attendance, and race day sign-up will be available from 7-8:15 a.m.

The Shamrock Run/Walk starts the event season with Muncie Multi-Sports' family of events, now including eight adult triathlons in the Triton Brewing Indiana Series hosted in four Indiana cities featuring the USA Triathlon MidEast College Regional Championship on Sept. 1, 2012, 2- MudMan Indiana 5k Muddy Obstacle Course Runs, the Muncie TOUGHkids Triathlon, the Muncie Mini Marathon and the Henry County YMCA Turkey Trot.

For more information go to

Monday, March 12, 2012

N-B Video: Norwell boys claim 2012 regional basketball title

Congratulations to the Norwell boys basketball team for their first regional victory since 1988. Learn more in the Monday, March 12, News-Banner. (Video by Paul Beitler)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

N-B Video: It's beginning to look a lot like spring

The spring-like wind whips around the News-Banner's Paul Beitler as Bluffton High School's baseball and track teams practice for the upcoming season. Keep reading the News-Banner for the latest sports action. (Video by Paul Beitler)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Baer Field announces 2012 schedule

Saturday Race Time: Pit Gates at 3pm, Prac. at 4pm, Spectator Gates at 4pm, Qual. at 5:30 pm, RACING at 7:30pm

Special events: Pit Gates at 2pm, Prac. at 3pm, Spectator Gates at 4pm, Qual. at 5pm, RACING at 7:30pm

Monday, March 5, 2012

N-B Video: Norwell boys basketball team claims 2012 sectionals

Members of the team cut down the net after the 78-48 victory over Whitko Saturday, March 3. Afterward, the News-Banner's Paul Beitler spoke with the seniors on the team and junior Josh VanMeter. Learn more in the Monday, March 5, News-Banner. (Video by Paul Beitler)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Hunter education course now available

From the Wells County Extension Office:

A hunter education course will be offered from 5:30-9:00 p.m. Monday, March 12, Wednesday, March 14, and Thursday, March 15, at the Wells County Community Center at the 4-H Park in Bluffton. The course will be taught by Indiana Conservation Officer Kenny Wireman and certified volunteer instructors Darrell Reynolds, Rick Falk, Tracy Myers and Mike and Jodi Pinkerton.

Youth under age 16 must be accompanied by a guardian. Attendance at all three classes is required for certification. The course is free and is sponsored by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. For pre-registration and information, call 260-824-0692.

Time to enroll in Mini 4-H

From the Wells County Extension Officer:

Youth in first and second grades are invited to join in the fun of Mini 4-H and exhibit a project at the Wells County 4-H Fair, July 14-19. Mini 4-H members are encouraged to enroll in one of the various projects of their choice. The projects include: Collections, Crafts, Dinosaurs, Farm Animals, Foods, Horse & Pony, Models, My Pet and Me, Plants and Flowers, Sewing, Whales & Dolphins, and Rabbit.

Participants complete the project during the summer and bring it to the Wells County 4-H Fair, July 14-19. Mini 4-H members are also invited to the annual Mini 4-H Round Up which will be held in June at the 4-H Park in Bluffton. Information about Mini 4-H has been distributed to all Wells County first and second grade students in the public schools. Parents with children interested in Mini 4-H should have their child return the official Mini 4-H card to their school teacher. 4-H officials will then collect the enrollment cards at the schools.

Parents of home schooled youth or children who missed getting a form at school may contact the Wells County Office of the Purdue Cooperative Extension Service, 260-824-6412. The office is located in the Wells County 4-H Park in Bluffton. Office hours are 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday. Final sign up for Mini 4-H is May