Sports and Outdoors

Thursday, June 28, 2012

N-B Video: Girls at basketball camp meet BHS basketball star

Abby Ault (formerly Abby Salscheider), former Bluffton High School and Michigan State University basketball standout, shares memories and more with a group of 69 girls, including several members of the Bluffton High School girls basketball team, during the BHS basketball summer camp. (Video by Paul Beitler)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Ouabache planning weekend of programs

Looking for something to do this weekend? Celebrate Ouabache State Park and get outdoors. Click here to learn more.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

N-B Video: Norwell High School announces new boys' varsity baseball coach

Video by Paul Beitler

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

"Forests At Work" DVD now available

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

“Indiana Expeditions: Forests At Work”, a show that highlights Indiana’s forest resources, forest management, wood products, urban forestry and many other topics, aired recently on public television (and continues to air periodically). This hour-long show was a collaborative production between the DNR-Division of Forestry and WFYI public television in Indianapolis and was funded entirely through donations.

We now have DVDs containing the show as well as a great deal of extra content. We’re selling these DVDs at a cost of $10 each, with the proceeds going toward producing additional DVDs. We hope to generate enough income that we can continue to have a supply for sale as well as eventually being able to provide copies free of charge to schools, libraries, etc.

Attached is an order form for the DVD if you would like to purchase one for your interpretive programs. Please feel free to reproduce this form and make it available to the public. If you would like to view portions of the show and some of the extra content, you can do so by going to the following website:

To download the DVD order form, click here.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Pierce captures USSA Sprint Feature

From Anderson Speedway:

Aaron Pierce took the lead on the eighth lap and led the rest of the way with JoJo Helberg glued to his rear bumper to win the United States Speed Association’s 50-lap feature at Anderson Speedway on Saturday.

The early lead was taken by Kyle Feeney chased by Travis Welpott, Pierce and Helberg. On the fourth lap Pierce got inside of Welpott entering turn one and a lap later Helberg followed suit around Welpott on the back straight.

On the eighth circuit Pierce used an inside move to get around Feeney entering turn one to grab the top spot. Helberg got inside of Feeney coming off the second corner.

For the next 40 laps Helberg was able to close on Pierce but was unable to find a way around to take the lead. Feeney finished third followed by Welpott and Kevin Feeney.

Pierce lapped the entire field except for Helberg.

“I knew JoJo (Helberg) was pretty good and it was important to get in front of him,” Pierce said. “I had to keep him behind me. You can’t made a mistake here.”

Pierce won the Glen Nielbel Classic at Anderson Speedway in April in the first pavement sprint car race sanctioned by USSA.

Two weeks after having all kinds of mechanical problems during the Champion Racing Association Sportsman race, Ryan Amonett rebounded to win the McGunegill Engine Performance Late Model feature.

Amonett, helped by an invert of the eight fastest qualifiers, started from the pole position and led all 35 laps for the victory. He first had to hold off Brandon Phillips for 28 laps and then Daniel Hemric over the final seven circuits.

Hemric spun on lap 27 and had to go to the tail, but before one lap could be completed Josh Cave and Josh Poore made contact in turn two which caused a four-car tangle.

On the restart Hemric lined up third behind Amonett and Phillips. Hemric got inside of Phillips on the front straight and started to put pressure on Amonett. Behind the two front runners Phillips and Poore swapped the third position with Poore claiming the spot on lap 31. Brock Anderson came home in fifth.

“We’ve been struggling a little bit this year, but we’re finally getting things together,” Amonett said. “I knew Daniel (Hemric) was behind me and I was just trying to hold my line through the corners.”

Chis Weddel made it three Thunder Roadster wins in a row passing Scott McGinnley with an inside move entering turn one on the 20th circuit to record the victory.

McGinnley took the lead from the start chased by Nate Shrout, Doug Dugger, Darrell Brown and Weddel. Brown and Weddel got inside of Dugger going down the back straight on lap six and four laps later Weddel got inside of Brown.

When Shrout got loose in turn four on lap 16 Weddel got to the outside and started closing on McGinnley. Following Weddel and McGinnley to the checkers were Brown, Shrout and Dugger.

Jerry Dane recorded his fifth feature win in the G.W. Pierce Front Wheel Drive Oval action but he had to hold off a determined Jeff Saxon.

On the final lap Saxon got inside of Dane entering turn one, but exiting the second corner, Dane was able to pull away for his fourth consecutive win. Ron Phipps came home in third with Trevin Henson and Nick Warner rounding out the top five.

Anderson Speedway returns to racing action on Saturday, June 23 with McGunegill Engine Performance Late Models, WMDH ThunderCars, Thunder Roadsters and Legends.

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

Friday, June 15, 2012

Fort Wayne Philharmonic starts Ouabache SP’s 10-day 50th anniversary, June 28

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

Patriotic music performed by the Fort Wayne Philharmonic at Ouabache State Park on June 28 will kick off the park’s 10-day 50th anniversary celebration.

The 7:30 p.m. concert, which honors Independence Day, is just the beginning of a series of activities and special attractions that runs through July 8 in recognition of the park’s half-century in Bluffton.

Ginger Murphy, DNR Division of State Parks & Reservoirs assistant director for stewardship, will address the crowd during the concert’s intermission to officially recognize the anniversary.

Upper Wabash Interpretive Services, the group of DNR naturalists that serves the park, and other area DNR properties, will host all activities.
  • June 28 Fort Wayne Philharmonic, 7:30 p.m.
  • June 30 Bison from the Brink, 10 a.m.; Cornhole tournament, 1 p.m.
  • July 1 Live Bald Eagle, 1 p.m.; Park’s 50th Celebration, 2:30 p.m.
  • July 2 Meander with Millie the Pioneer Granny Doctor, 10 a.m.
  • July 3 Live Screech Owls, 7 p.m.
  • July 4 Fourth of July Scavenger Hunt, 1 p.m.
  • July 5 Kunkel Lake Exploration Hike, 10 a.m.
  • July 6 Life of Charles Deam, 7 p.m.
  • July 7 Make a Birthday Card for Smokey Bear, 5:30 p.m.; Bicycle Decorating, 6:15 p.m.; Smokey Bear Parade, 6:45 p.m.; Smokey’s Birthday Bash 7 p.m.
  • July 8 Owl Calls, 11:30 a.m.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

”Pioneers” kids day camp at Ouabache

From Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

Children will learn about life on the Indiana frontier at Persistent Pioneers Day Camp, June 19-21, at Ouabache State Park.

The day camp is open to children ages 7-11, and runs from 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

Activities include pioneer games and songs, canoeing, a visit with a pioneer granny doctor, candle dipping and weaving. A certified shooting sports instructor will teach participants how to shoot a bow. On the last day, a Dutch oven lunch will be prepared.

The camp’s activities are guided by interpretive naturalists trained to provide a safe and fun learning environment. Children need to bring a sack lunch with drink each day. A snack will be provided.

The camp costs $50. Fees will be adjusted for families with multiple children attending. Families can also ask about single- or two-day registrations.

Day camp participants are only required to pay the $5-per-in-state-vehicle entrance fee once. Park admission will be allowed on the remaining days with a paid receipt.

Guardians must fill out health and media participation forms for their children.

To register, call Upper Wabash Interpretive Services at (260) 468-2127.

Monday, June 11, 2012

N-B Video: Kentucky beats Indiana in All-Star games

Video by Paul Beitler. On right is Norwell graduate Jessica Rupright.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

N-B Video: Friendly rivals challenge each other All-Star games

Indiana Miss Basketball Jessica Rupright, a Norwell graduate, talks about going up against her former coach in the Indiana All-Star games. Learn more in the Thursday, June 7, News-Banner. (Video by Paul Beitler)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Indiana hunters to participate in national dove hunting survey

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

An upcoming survey will ask dove hunters in Indiana and across the U.S. to share their experiences and opinions about dove hunting.

Topics will include time spent hunting, demographics, constraints to hunting, and thoughts about potential effects of lead from spent ammunition on mourning doves and other wildlife.

The National Dove Hunter Survey is scheduled to begin in late June and be completed by the end of the year. The survey will be mailed to a random sample of dove hunters.

“We really hope each dove hunter who receives a survey takes the time to complete and return it in the postage-paid envelope provided,” said Ken Richkus of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Population and Habitat Assessment Branch. “Their answers are very important, and we appreciate their efforts to tell us what they think.”

The National Dove Hunter Survey will give the USFWS an excellent picture of mourning dove hunter thoughts and needs by state, region and nationwide, Richkus said.

Hoosier hunters harvest more doves than any other species in Indiana, typically around 200,000 annually. The birds are hunted in Indiana by more than 10,000 hunters.

“Dove hunting is enjoyed by many hunters here in Indiana, and I am glad they will have the opportunity to voice their opinions about this very important game bird,” said Budd Veverka, DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife’s farmland game research biologist.

DNR Fish & Wildlife also works with the USFWS to conduct a statewide mourning dove calling survey each spring to determine population trends and a mourning dove banding program for a long-term harvest management strategy.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Four TinCaps selected as 2012 MWL all-stars

From the Fort Wayne TinCaps:

The Fort Wayne TinCaps are proud to announce that four players will be headed to the Midwest League All-Star Game on June 19, 2012. Catcher Austin Hedges will be the Eastern Division's starting catcher, with shortstop Jace Peterson and starting pitchers Adys Portillo and Frank Garces also making the roster.

Hedges, 19, is hitting .266 with five home runs and 25 runs batted in. The backstop, selected in the second round of the 2011 draft by the San Diego Padres, has started 36 games behind the plate this season.

Peterson, 22, is hitting .304 with one home run and 17 runs batted in. His 18 stolen bases are tied for fifth in the league, and his .399 on-base percentage is fifth best in the 16-team circuit. The McNeese State product was the 58th overall pick in the 2011 draft.

Portillo, 20, is 4-2 with a 1.66 ERA in 11 starts. His earned run average is the best among starters in the league. The righthander is holding opposing batters to a .165 batting average, good for third best in the league. The Venezuelan-born hurler was named the Midwest League Pitcher of the Week for May 21st to May 27th.

Garces, 22, is 1-3 with a 2.73 ERA. The lefty, who made his U.S. debut on April 5th against Lake County, has struck out 52 batters in 56 innings of work.

The All-Star game will take place at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark, the home of the Kane County Cougars in Geneva, Illinois.

Monday, June 4, 2012

N-B Video: Meet the new Southern Wells boys basketball coach

The Southern Wells school board approved hiring Brody Tarter as the new basketball coach during a school board meeting before the Sunday, June 3, graduation. Learn more in the Monday, June 4, News-Banner

Friday, June 1, 2012

N-B Video: New BHS girls' basketball coach speaks to students, parents

Karl Grau, the new Bluffton High School girls' basketball coach, speaks to prospective players and their parents Thursday evening. He discussed plans for the future and summer workout schedules. For more information, see the Friday, June 1, News-Banner. (Video by Paul Beitler)