Sports and Outdoors

Thursday, December 19, 2013

“Talk” to DNR ice safety expert on Facebook, Dec. 20

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

Facebook followers of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources can “talk” online about ice safety with Lt. William Browne of DNR Law Enforcement on Friday, Dec. 20, from 2 to 3 p.m. EST on the DNR’s Facebook wall.

Browne will discuss guidelines for a safe and enjoyable experience on the ice, whether fishing, snowmobiling or just sliding around. Participants are invited to join the conversation and ask questions.

Future topics, instructions on how to join a conversation on Facebook, and commenting guidelines are posted at dnr.IN.gov/7315.htm.

To join a chat, go to the DNR’s Facebook wall, facebook.com/INdnr, 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.

Contact Information:
Name: Marty Benson
Phone: (317) 233-3853
Email: dnrnews@dnr.in.gov

N-B Photos: A peek at the Ouabache State Park Wonderland of Lights

The Ouabache State Park still has hours for its Wonderland of Lights. For $5 a vehicle, guests can drive through a section of the park and see light displays created by local organizations and businesses. The lights will continue to be displayed from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 20, through Sunday, Dec. 29. (Photos by Jessica Williams)






Wednesday, December 18, 2013

“Talk” to DNR ice safety expert on Facebook, Dec. 20

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

Facebook followers of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources can “talk” online about ice safety with Lt. William Browne of DNR Law Enforcement on Friday, Dec. 20, from 2 to 3 p.m. EST on the DNR’s Facebook wall.

Browne will discuss guidelines for a safe and enjoyable experience on the ice, whether fishing, snowmobiling or just sliding around. Participants are invited to join the conversation and ask questions.

Future topics, instructions on how to join a conversation on Facebook, and commenting guidelines are posted at dnr.IN.gov/7315.htm.

To join a chat, go to the DNR’s Facebook wall, facebook.com/INdnr, 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.

Contact Information:
Name: Marty Benson
Phone: (317) 233-3853
Email: dnrnews@dnr.in.gov

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

N-B Flashback: The state keeps suing

Another suit has been filed in Wells Circuit Court by the Indiana Attorney General’s office against a South Main Street business.

The State of Indiana has filed a complaint for appropriation of real estate against CVS Caremark Corp. — the CVS Pharmacy at 1203 S. Main St.

In the suit, the state is seeking the strip of land where CVS’s signs are located and the signs will have to be moved or replaced.

To keep track of who the state has sued so far — and how they've responded — see our blog post from Thursday, Dec. 5. Share your comments with us as well. Is this a good idea? Is it worth it?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

“Talk” to DNR Christmas Tree Expert on Facebook, Dec. 13

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

Facebook followers of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources can “talk” online with forest education director Sam Carman about Christmas trees on Friday, Dec. 13, from 2-3 p.m., on the DNR’s Facebook wall.

Participants will learn about selecting a fresh Indiana Christmas tree and keeping it fresh throughout the holidays. Followers will be able to ask questions online during the hour-long chat.

Future topics, instructions on how to join a conversation on Facebook, and commenting guidelines are posted at dnr.IN.gov/7315.htm.

To join a chat, go to the DNR’s Facebook wall, facebook.com/INdnr, 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.

Contact Information:
Name: Marty Benson
Phone: (317) 233-3853
Email: dnrnews@dnr.in.gov

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Wells County Extension Office announces calendar through Jan. 16

• Dec. 6-8: Indiana Beef Congress, State Fairgrounds, Indianapolis
• Dec. 8: 4-H Junior Leaders, Shop at Bluffton Wal-Mart for Christmas Family, 3 p.m.
• Dec. 9: Wells County 4-H Association, Wells County Community Center, Bluffton, 6:30 p.m., Carry-In Supper
• Dec. 10: 4-H Scholarship Workshop, Wells Co. Community Center, 4-H Park, Bluffton, 7 p.m.
• Dec. 11: Manure Management Workshop, Wells Co. Public Library (200 W. Washington St., Bluffton) 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. PARP credits available. RSVP to SWCD (824-0624 X 3)
• Dec. 14: State 4-H Crops, Entomology, & Forestry Career Development Activity, Purdue University, Stewart Center, 8 a.m.
• Jan. 3-5: Indiana Association of Fairs and Festivals Conference, Marriott East, Indianapolis
• Jan. 14: Council on Agriculture, Research and Teaching, Hyatt Hotel, Indianapolis
• Jan. 14-16: Fort Wayne Farm Show, Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, Fort Wayne

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Youth Ambassadors sought to document state parks and reservoirs

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

DNR is looking for enthusiastic young adults who will volunteer to document their experiences at Indiana’s state parks and reservoirs for the America’s State Parks Youth Ambassador program.

Their photos, videos and blogs will be posted at AmericasStateParks.org, along with entries from other Youth Ambassadors from around the country. The Youth Ambassadors program is a movement to promote the outdoors to other young adults.

“Indiana is looking for young adult volunteers to help tell our state park story and get today's young adults excited about visiting our 32 state parks and reservoirs,” said DNR Division of State Parks & Reservoirs volunteer coordinator Jody Heaston.

Applicants should be between the ages of 18 and 26 and must apply by Dec. 30.

The program is a great way for young people to share their outdoor experiences and get their writing and photographs published.

Youth Ambassadors will visit state parks and reservoirs within a defined region to photograph and blog at least once a month about events, hikes, camping, hunting, fishing and more.

The regions are northeast, northwest, east-central, west-central, southeast, and southwest.

Youth Ambassadors may be asked to cover specific events.

The program requires at least a one-year commitment.

Youth Ambassadors will receive an annual entrance pass for all state parks and reservoirs and free or reduced camping (when available).

Applicants must have a basic knowledge of Indiana’s state parks and reservoirs, an enthusiasm for natural and cultural resources and outdoor recreation, an ability to write in a conversational style, an ability to use a digital camera for photographs and videos, and must pass a criminal background check.

Youth Ambassadors are expected to provide their own transportation, meals and lodging (unless a campsite is available.) A digital camera will be provided.

To apply, email Heaston at jheaston@dnr.IN.gov with the following information:

• Name, mailing address and email address.
• Preferred region
• A paragraph describing an experience at an Indiana state park or reservoir.
• A paragraph explaining why you want to be a Youth Ambassador. (Include how you might approach this role.)
• A photograph that you've taken of people enjoying the outdoors or of a scenic place/view.

Contact Information:
Name: Jody Heaston
Phone: (260) 824-0926
Email: dnrnews@dnr.in.gov

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Wells County Extension calendar

• November 16: Indiana 4-H Congress, Indiana State Fairgrounds, Indianapolis, Registration 8:45-9:15 a.m., Program 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
• November 18: Wells County 4-H Association, Community Center, 4-H Park, Bluffton 7 p.m.
• November 19: Agriculture Outlook Breakfast, Wells County Community Center, 4-H Park, Bluffton, 7 a.m. Call 824-6412 for meal reservations (free)
• November 19: Private Applicator Recertification Program (PARP), Wells Co. Community Center, 4-H Park, Bluffton, 9:30 a.m., $10 fee for PARP credit. Bring applicator license number. Call 824-6412 to reserve a seat.
• November 19: Fall Program Fair, Wells County Community Center, 4-H Park, Bluffton. 3-4  p.m. Diabetic Cooking; 4:30-5:30 p.m. Slow Cooking at its Best. Each program has a $2 sampling fee. Call 824-6412 to register.
• November 20: Area 4-H Jr. Leader Planning Committee, Ossian Public Library, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
• November 20: Exhibitor set-up for Wells County Career Expo, Community Center, 4-H Park, Bluffton, 1:30-5 p.m.
• November 21: Wells County Career Expo, Community Center, 4-H Park, Bluffton, 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
• December 11: Manure Management Workshop (with Upper Wabash River Basin Commission), Wells Co. Public Library 6:30 p.m. PARP credits available.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Talk to an expert about firearms

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

Facebook followers of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources can “talk” online with DNR biologists and conservation officers about firearms deer season rules on Wednesday, Nov. 13, from 2 to 3 p.m. EST on the DNR Facebook wall.

Lt. William Browne and wildlife information specialist Michelle Cain will answer questions about season dates, bag limits, license and equipment requirements, urban deer zones and all firearms deer season regulations. Participants are invited to join the conversation and ask questions.

Future topics, instructions on how to join a conversation on Facebook, and commenting guidelines are posted at dnr.IN.gov/7315.htm.

To join a chat, go to the DNR’s Facebook wall, facebook.com/INdnr, 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, November 11, 2013

N-B Video: Norwell grad Klay Fiechter breaks UIndy rushing, touchdown records

Learn more in the Monday, Nov. 11, News-Banner. (Video by Paul Beitler)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

21 state parks to close temporarily for deer reductions

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

Select Indiana state parks will close temporarily to allow for controlled deer reductions in the coming weeks.

The dates for the temporary closings are Nov. 18 and 19, and Dec. 2 and 3.

The state parks affected are Brown County, Chain O’Lakes, Charlestown, Clifty Falls, Fort Harrison, Harmonie, Indiana Dunes, Lincoln, McCormick’s Creek, Ouabache, Pokagon, Potato Creek, Prophetstown, Shades, Shakamak, Spring Mill, Summit Lake, Tippecanoe, Turkey Run, Versailles, and Whitewater Memorial. These state parks will close to the general public the evening before each of the two efforts and reopen the morning after each two-day reduction.

Only individuals drawn last September and those listed on their applications may participate at Brown County, Chain O’Lakes, Charlestown, Clifty Falls, Harmonie, Lincoln, McCormick’s Creek, Ouabache, Pokagon, Potato Creek, Prophetstown, Shades, Shakamak, Summit Lake, Tippecanoe, Versailles and Whitewater Memorial. There will be no standby drawings at those parks.

For Fort Harrison (archery hunt) and Indiana Dunes, Spring Mill and Turkey Run (firearms hunts), a public standby drawing to fill spots left vacant will take place on property each morning of the reduction.

Indiana Dunes State Park will conduct daily standby drawings at 8 a.m. CST. Potential standby participants can apply on site between 7 and 7:45 a.m. CST but cannot enter the park before 7 a.m.

Turkey Run, Spring Mill, and Fort Harrison will conduct daily standby drawings at 8:30 a.m. EST. Potential standby participants can apply onsite between 7:30 a.m. and 8:15 a.m. EST but cannot enter the park before 7:30 a.m.

Eligibility for daily onsite standby drawings is limited to Indiana residents who are 18 years of age by Nov. 18, and have any valid license to take deer in Indiana. Indiana residents who possess an Indiana lifetime license to take deer are also eligible. Participants must wear a hunter orange hat or cap and vest, coat, jacket or coveralls at all times while on the property.

To participate in the standby drawings, individuals must present a photo ID and their valid filled or unfilled license to take deer. Applications can include up to three individuals. The number of participants drawn will be based on the number of unclaimed spots for each day; it is not a first-come, first-served process. The need for stand-in hunters tends to increase with each hunt day.

Questions about participating in the standby drawings should be directed to the property of interest.

DNR biologists evaluate which parks require a reduction each year based on habitat recovery and previous harvest rates at each park. The state parks are home to more than 32 state-endangered plants and numerous significant natural communities. The reductions help control browsing by deer to a level that helps maintain habitat throughout the state parks for all plants and animals.

Information on 2014 state park deer reductions, including online applications, will be available next summer at dnr.IN.gov/fishwild. The application deadline is usually the end of August.

A report on the 2012 reductions can be found at dnr.IN.gov/parklake/files/sp-DeerRMRR.pdf.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Fiechter rushing toward record

University of Indianapolis senior running back Klay Fiechter rushed for 144 yards and a touchdown to lift the No. 18-ranked NCAA Division II Greyhounds’ football team over the Saint Joseph’s Pumas 27-24 Saturday afternoon at Rennselaer.

The Bluffton native, who graduated from Norwell High School in 2010, also ended the day just four yards short of becoming the school’s all-time leading rusher.

UofI has created the following video to promote the next game, in which Fiechter is expected to break the record.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Extension Calendar

• November 4: Wells County Extension Advisory Board, Community Center, 4-H Park, Bluffton, 7 p.m.
• November 5: Wells County 4-H Council, Community Center, 4-H Park, Bluffton, 7 p.m.
• November 11: Northeast IN 4-H & FFA Crops, Forestry, & Entomology Judging, Whitley Co. 4-H Fairgrounds, Columbia City, Registration 5-5:30 p.m., Contests 5:30 p.m.
• November 14: Area Purdue Council on Agriculture, Research, Extension and Teaching, Allen Co. Extension Office, Fort Wayne, 7 p.m.
• November 16: Indiana 4-H Congress, Indiana State Fairgrounds, Indianapolis, Registration 8:45-9:15 a.m., Program 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
• November 18: Wells County 4-H Association, Community Center, 4-H Park, Bluffton 7 p.m.
• November 19: Agriculture Outlook Breakfast, Wells County Community Center, 4-H Park, Bluffton, 7 a.m., Call 824-6412 for meal reservations (free)
• November 19: Private Applicator Recertification Program (PARP), Wells Co. Community Center, 4-H Park, Bluffton, 9:30 a.m., $10 fee for PARP credit. Bring applicator license number. Call 824-6412 to reserve a seat.
• November 19: Fall Program Fair, Wells County Community Center, 4-H Park, Bluffton. 3-4 p.m. Diabetic Cooking; 4:30-5:30 p.m. Slow Cooking at its Best. Each program has a $2 sampling fee. Call 824-6412 to register.
• November 20: Area 4-H Jr. Leader Planning Committee, Ossian Public Library, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
• November 21: Wells County Career Expo, Community Center, 4-H Park, Bluffton, 8:00 a.m. -2:30 p.m.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Salamonie Interpretive Center announces winter hours

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

Winter business hours at Salamonie Interpretive Center in Lost Bridge West State Recreation Area will take effect Nov. 1 and last through March 31.

Those business hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, except Tuesdays, when the center will be closed.

Indiana Annual Entrance Passes for 2014 are now available. The pass features a bald eagle photo taken by local photographer Mike Millspaugh.

Upper Wabash Interpretive Services (dnr.IN.gov/uwis) is at 3691 S. New Holland Road, Andrews, 46702.

Monday, October 28, 2013

N-B Video: Bluffton, Norwell boys and girls compete in cross country semi-state

Learn more in the Monday, Oct. 28, News-Banner. (Video by Dave Schultz)

Monday, October 21, 2013

N-B Video: Knights, Tigers compete at cross country regionals

Bluffton High School junior Kevin Moser and Norwell High School senior Jessie Best talk after the IHSAA boys' and girls' cross country regionals Saturday, Oct. 19. Learn more in the Monday, Oct. 21, News-Banner. (Video by Paul Beitler)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

N-B Video: Knights advance to runners' regionals

Norwell’s and Bluffton’s boys’ teams and Norwell’s girls’ team advanced out of the Bellmont cross-country sectional Tuesday night and will run Saturday at the Marion regional. Learn more in the Wednesday, Oct. 16, News-Banner. (Video by Dave Schultz)

N-B Video: Norwell girl hits the gridiron

Norwell Middle School seventh-grade student Calista Gerard wanted to push herself, so she decided to play football this season. The seventh-grade Crusaders finished the season Tuesday 5-2 with a 24-12 win over DeKalb in Auburn. They finished third in the 10-team Northeast Hoosier Middle Level Conference. Learn more in the Oct. 16 News-Banner.



Monday, October 7, 2013

Salamonie preschool to offer “Not-So-Spooky Bats,” Oct. 16

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

Preschool-age children and their adults are invited to Salamonie Preschool’s “Not-So-Spooky Bats” on Oct. 16.

The class will be offered from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and again from 12:30 to 2 p.m. at Salamonie Interpretive Center in Lost Bridge West State Recreation Area in Andrews.

Each program is designed to enhance the preschooler’s basic education and includes learning the alphabet, building a craft, social interaction and time spent outdoors, always with a nature-related theme.

The program fee per child is $2. Advance registration is appreciated. Register by calling Upper Wabash Interpretive Services at (260) 468-2127.

For more information on other UWIS programs, see dnr.IN.gov/uwis or facebook.com/upperwabash, or call (260) 468-2127.

Upper Wabash Interpretive Services (dnr.IN.gov/uwis) is at 3691 S. New Holland Road, Andrews, 46702.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

All state parks and reservoirs remain open

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

Although national parks and national wildlife refuges are closed because of the federal government shutdown, Indiana’s 24 state parks and eight reservoir properties remain open for business as usual—if you call the burst of fall colors usual.

There is an Indiana state park or reservoir property within a one-hour drive of every Hoosier.

The properties offer an array of recreational activities, including camping, hiking, fishing, boating, canoe and kayaking, mountain biking, picnicking, and wildlife watching.

Daily gate fees for in-state residents are only $5 per carload at most properties. Those who want to stay overnight will probably need to do some planning. October is one of the most popular camping months of the year, with autumn- and Halloween-themed events happening at many properties. Reservations can be made at camp.IN.gov or 1-866-6CAMPIN (1-866-622-6746).

“October has become like the busy month of July for our parks and reservoirs,” said Ginger Murphy of the DNR Division of State Parks & Reservoirs. “If weekends are full at your favorite state park or reservoir, camping on weekdays during your fall break is a great way to enjoy the outdoors.”

Information on state parks and reservoirs is at stateparks.IN.gov. Information on programs and special events is at InterpretiveServices.IN.gov.

Information on all DNR properties, all of which remain open during the federal government shutdown, is at dnr.IN.gov/5280.htm.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Indiana Dunes State Park hosts storytelling festival Oct. 12

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

Join the Friends of Indiana Dunes and Northwest Indiana Storytelling Guild for world-class storytelling on Oct. 12 as they celebrate fall at Indiana Dunes State Park.

The 24th annual Northwest Indiana Storytellers Festival will stretch imaginations all day at the nature center.

Sessions will focus on different storytelling themes, including an open microphone time slot. Saturday night will also include a time for ghost stories, with a session for young children at 5:30 p.m. and a session for older children and adults at 7 p.m. The ghost stories will take place in Wilson Shelter.

All activities are free after the standard gate fee of $5 per in-state vehicle and $10 per out-of-state vehicle. Program support is made possible by the Friends of Indiana Dunes group. For more information, call (219) 926-1390.

Indiana Dunes State Park (stateparks.IN.gov/2980.htm) is at 1600 North 25 E. Chesterton, 46304.

Friday, September 27, 2013

N-B Slideshow: 2013 Bluffton High School Fall Festival game

Photos by Glen Werling. Learn more about the game in the Saturday, Sept. 28, News-Banner. Meet the Fall Festival king and queen at our "On the Beat" blog.

N-B Video: Big plays break open Bluffton victory

Bluffton High School junior Cody Harris, wide receiver and cornerback for the Tigers, talks about his two big plays and the Fall Festival victory. Learn more in the Saturday, Sept. 28, News-Banner. (Video by Paul Beitler)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Autumn Harvest Hoedown at Pokagon State Park Sept. 28

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

Music and square dancing will highlight Pokagon State Park’s 29th Annual Autumn Harvest Hoedown on Saturday, Sept. 28.

Sponsored by the Steuben County Tourism Bureau, the hoedown is free and open to the public.

It will run from 7:30 to 10 p.m. in the South Beach parking lot. In case of inclement weather, it will be in the CCC Shelter.

Longtime “house band” The Prairie Fire String Band will provide music featuring banjo, string bass, guitars, fiddle, penny whistle, hammered dulcimer, mandolin and multi-voiced harmonies. Square-dance caller Marlin Whitaker also will be on hand.

No square dancing experience is required. In fact, none is preferred.

Angola Boy Scout Troop 125 will provide a cookout and snacks. A campfire will keep dancers warm.

Participants should bring lawn chairs or blankets for seating.

Although the program is free, the normal park entrance fee of $5 per in-state vehicle or $7 per out-of-state vehicle will be in effect.

For more information, call (260) 833-2012.

Pokagon State Park (stateparks.IN.gov/2973.htm) is at 450 Lane 100 Lake James, Angola, 46703.

Friday, September 6, 2013

N-B Video: Southern Wells rings victory bell again

After playing its entire 2012-2013 football season on the road due to issues with the field, the Southern Wells Raiders returned to Carnes Field Friday, Sept. 6, and they won their homecoming game 19-6. As tradition, the football players rang a bell on the field to celebrate. Learn more in the Saturday, September 6, News-Banner. (Video by Paul Beitler)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

CCC memorial at Ouabache SP gets boost from fraternal group

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

A planned memorial to the Civilian Conservation Corps at Ouabache State Park received a boost recently from the Modern Woodmen of America.

The fraternal organization donated $2,500 to the Friends of Ouabache State Park group to help fund a bronze statue honoring the CCC, which helped build the park more than 80 years ago.

The MWA donation matched funds already raised through Bluffton businesses and the Wells County Historical Society, bringing the memorial fundraising account to around $5,000. The memorial is expected to cost around $21,000 and will be funded through donations.

Friends group president Myra Myrtle said she was inspired to bring a CCC memorial to the park so that young people understand the contribution of men like her 90-year-old father, Wayne Lydy, a CCC veteran.

“For so many young people today, when you say CCC, they don’t know what you’re talking about,” Myrtle said.

The CCC was a government work program that provided jobs to young, unemployed men during the Great Depression. The workers developed parks, built roads, trails and fire towers, planted trees and more.

Anyone wanting to make a donation can call Myrtle at (260) 273-1686.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Have a hoot at Ouabache State Park

The park is holding an Autumn Owls program Sept. 28. Click here to learn more.

Friday, August 30, 2013

N-B Video: BHS run over Squires, 55-19

The Tigers defeated the visiting Manchester Squires Friday night, 55-19. Sophomore running back D'Wayne Eskridge showed his blazing speed with an 80-yard touchdown run from scrimmage to start the second half. Later in the quarter, he returned a kickoff 88 yards for a touchdown. Listen to Eskridge talk about his big plays after the game. (Video by Paul Beitler; photo by Jessica Williams)

BHS students cheer during the kickoff of Friday's game.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Bald eage spotted

Jim Yonker spotted this gentleman at Stogdill and River roads this morning.

Monday, August 26, 2013

N-B Video: Harnish, Hasselbeck celebrate Colts preseason win

The News-Banner's Paul Beitler talks to Colts quarterbacks Chandler Harnish and Matt Hasselbeck after a 27-6 victory over the Cleveland Browns. Learn more in the Monday, Åug. 26, News-Banner. (Videos by Paul Beitler)

Monday, August 19, 2013

N-B Video: Parks department helps kids punt, pass and kick

The Bluffton Parks and Recreation Department held its annual NFL Punt, Pass & Kick competition at Fred F. Park Field at Bluffton High School Saturday, and the News-Banner's Paul Beitler was there for the action

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

N-B Video: No. 1 golf player plays first match ever

Bluffton High School student Cassidy McKinney talks after helping her girls' golf team defeat the Eastbrook Panthers 225 to 237. "I am very proud of our girls," coach Chad Grieser said. "For many of them this is their first golfing experience. To see them on the course walking 9 and competing is very exciting when starting a new program."

Learn more in the Wednesday, Aug. 14, News-Banner. (Video by Paul Beitler)

Monday, August 12, 2013

N-B Video: Chandler Harnish "goes back to the drawing board" after preseason loss

Though disappointed with the 44-20 preseason loss, Norwell graduate Chandler Harnish says his team will pick up and improve. Learn more in the Monday, Aug. 12, News-Banner. (Video by Paul Beitler)

Friday, August 9, 2013

Salamonie Lake hosts Riders Rendezvous, Sept. 20-22

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

Saddle up your horses and head to the eighth annual Salamonie Riders Rendezvous, Sept. 20, 21 and 22.

All activities will be in Lost Bridge West State Recreation Area, Horseman’s Campground, Loop A.

Friday evening kicks off at 7:30 p.m. with Dutch oven cobbler and cowboy coffee.

Saturday morning begins with a 10 a.m. leather working class. At 11 a.m. visitors can meet Marry Morrow and Eunice Rush, authors of “Know You, Know Your Horse.” The afternoon will include a plants-and-trees scavenger hunt on horseback or free riding time. A cowboy dinner will be served at 5:30 p.m. Bring table service and a drink. Advance registration is required for the meal. At 7 p.m., visitors can learn the many uses of common wild plants.

Cowboy Church will be Sunday, 8:30 to 9:15 a.m. Worshipers are encouraged to bring a camp chair for the non-denominational service. The Tack Flea Market, sponsored by the Friends of Upper Wabash Interpretive Services group, will be at 10 a.m. Table space is available for $5. Proceeds from table rental will go to the Friends group.

To register for the Saturday meal, call (260) 468-2127. Camping reservations may be made online at Camp.IN.gov or at 866-622-6746.

The standard entrance fee of $5 per in-state vehicle or $7 per out-of-state vehicle will be in effect.

For more information on other Upper Wabash Interpretive Service programs, see dnr.IN.gov/uwis or Facebook.com/UpperWabash.

Salamonie Lake (stateparks.IN.gov/2952.htm) is at 9214 West-Lost Bridge West, Andrews, 46702.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Ouabache SP to hold carp catching contest Aug. 17

From the Department of Natural Resources:

Ouabache State Park will host a carp catching contest on Saturday, Aug. 17.

Registration begins at 8 a.m. at the boat house on Kunkel Lake. Anglers should bring their own pole or call ahead to borrow one.

The contest will be held 8:30 to 11 a.m. Prizes will be awarded for most carp caught and longest carp.

The standard entrance fee of $5 per in-state vehicle and $7 per out-of-state vehicle will be in effect.

Ouabache State Park (stateparks.IN.gov/2975.htm) is at 4930 E. St. Rd. 201, Bluffton, 46714.

Monday, July 29, 2013

N-B Video: Chandler Harnish, Matt Hasselbeck prepare for Colts football

The Indianapolis Colts opened the 2013 training season Sunday, and Norwell graduate Chandler Harnish returned with them, while veteran quarterback Matt Hasselbeck started playing with them. Learn more in the Monday, July 29, News-Banner.

Friday, July 26, 2013

N-B Video: New coach ready for Raider football

The News-Banner's Paul Beitler meets with new Southern Wells football coach Steven Yencer to talk about the upcoming season. Learn more in the Saturday, July 27, News-Banner. (Video by Paul Beitler)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

City announces results of Iron Kid Triathlon

Click on the image for a larger resolution.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

N-B Video: NASCAR driver makes pit stop in Bluffton

Racer Austin Dillon visits Bluffton's Steffen Oil to promote ethanol stations and refineries. Learn more about his history and dreams in the Tuesday, July 23, News-Banner. (Video by Paul Beitler)

N-B Video: Colts player comes home to his first team

Colts player and Norwell graduate Chandler Harnish visits his home county to help at a two-day youth football camp at his old high school. Learn more in the Tuesday, July 23, News-Banner. (Video by Paul Beitler)

Friday, July 19, 2013

N-B Video: Chandler Harnish talks pigskin

The Bluffton and Norwell football teams practice in preparation for the upcoming season, and Colts player and Norwell graduate Chandler Harnish is there to help. Learn more in the Thursday, July 18, News-Banner. (Video by Paul Beitler)

Monday, July 8, 2013

N-B Video: And they're off — 4-H holds annual Run and Walk

Learn more in the Monday, July 8, News-Banner. (Video by Paul Beitler)

Monday, July 1, 2013

Salamonie preschoolers to have “Bubble Bonanza!” July 17

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

Preschool-age children and their adults are invited to Salamonie Preschool “Bubble Bonanza!” on July 17.

The Salamonie preschool class will meet from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at Salamonie Interpretive Center in Lost Bridge West State Recreation Area, Andrews.

Bring extra dry clothes for your child.

Each program is designed to enhance the preschooler’s basic education, including learning the alphabet, building a craft, social interaction, and time spent outdoors, always with a nature-related theme.

The program fee is $2 per child. Advance registration is appreciated. Register by calling Upper Wabash Interpretive Services at (260) 468-2127.

For more information on other UWIS programs, see dnr.IN.gov/uwis or visit Facebook.com/UpperWabash, or call (260) 468-2127.

Salamonie Lake (stateparks.IN.gov/2952.htm) is at 9214 West-Lost Bridge West, Andrews, 46702.

Annual sand sculpture contest at Indiana Dunes State Park, July 13

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

Watch the sand come alive or participate with friends and family at the 16th annual Indiana Dunes State Park sand sculpture contest on Saturday, July 13.

The event is sponsored by the Friends of Indiana Dunes group.

Registration begins at 9 a.m. CDT on the west end of the pavilion. Teams can begin sculpting two hours before registration begins. Judging is at noon, followed by awards after 1 p.m.

This year's theme is "Once Upon A Time." Sculptures that follow the theme will earn extra points.
"It’s been great to see folks run with the theme each year," interpretive naturalist Brad Bumgardner said. "Whether you're 5 or 105 years old, grab a pile of sand and get creative."

Prizes will be awarded in two categories, one for teams of children age 15 and younger and another for individuals and families numbering less than eight. Observers can vote for their favorite in the "Viewers Choice Award" between noon and 1 p.m.

Participation is free after the standard gate fee of $5 for Indiana vehicles and $10 for out-of-state vehicles.  For more information, call the nature center at (219) 926-1390. 

Indiana Dunes State Park (stateparks.IN.gov/2980.htm) is at 1600 North 25 E. Chesterton, 46304.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Salamonie Senior Monday Carry-in Luncheon, July 1

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

People age 50 and older are invited to the monthly Senior Monday Carry-in Luncheon on July 1 at noon at Salamonie Interpretive Center in Lost Bridge West State Recreation Area, Andrews.

After the meal, Jeannie Regan-Dinius, director of special initiatives for the DNR Division of Historic Preservation & Archaeology, will discuss cemetery preservation in Indiana.

Attendees should bring their table service, a prepared dish to share and $1 donation to help defray costs of the provided main dish. Hot dogs will grilled in honor of National Hot Dog Month.

Advance registration is required.

The interpretive center is off State Road 105 in western Huntington County.

The standard gate fee of $5 per in-state vehicle or $7 per out-of-state vehicle is in effect.

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

For more information on other UWIS programs, see dnr.IN.gov/uwis or Facebook.com/UpperWabash.

Salamonie Lake (stateparks.IN.gov/2952.htm) is at 9214 West-Lost Bridge West, Andrews, 46702.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tennis anyone?

Robert Vanderkolk is organizing another tennis tournament July 11-13, with July 14 being a rain date. See the Bluffton News-Banner Sports Round-up section Wednesday for more information. Contact him by e-mail at rvanderkolk@bhmsd.k12.in.us or call 260-273-3220.

Monday, June 17, 2013

N-B Video: Norwell baseball celebrates 3A title

The Norwell baseball team celebrated with fans Saturday evening in the school's gym after winning the Class 3A title Friday in Indianapolis. Many shared memories from the season and looked forward to the future. For more information, check out the Monday, June 17, News-Banner. (Video by Jessica Williams)


N-B Video: Norwell baseball takes state title with 2-1 victory

Learn more in the Saturday, June 15, News-Banner. (Videos by Paul Beitler)




Friday, June 14, 2013

N-B Video: Norwell baseball fans wish team well before state game

Learn more in the Saturday, June 15, News-Banner. (Videos by Chet Baumgartner and Paul Beitler)

Monday, June 10, 2013

N-B Video: Norwell boys baseball takes semi-state championship

Enjoy these two videos (combined into one) from the semi-state championship game. Learn more in the Monday, June 10, News-Banner. (Videos by Paul Beitler)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

N-B Video: Norwell baseball takes regional championship

Norwell senior Josh VanMeter, the winning pitcher and hitter in the regional finals, describes his view from the pitcher's mound and the batter's box after Tuesday's victory. Learn more in the Wednesday, June 5, News-Banner. (Video by Paul Beitler)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

N-B Video: Wells County girls close out track season

Bluffton High School student Ashley Smith successfully completes a jump at the last meet of the year. Learn more in the Wednesday, May 22, News-Banner. (Video by Paul Beitler)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Week focuses on stopping spread of ash tree killer

Ash trees are dead and dying throughout Indiana by the thousands, costing Hoosiers millions and marring the landscape.

The killer is tiny, elusive and resilient. The emerald ash borer beetle, EAB for short, can fly, but not far. Its rapid spread is caused by humans moving the firewood in which the beetles thrive.

Memorial Day weekend travel traditionally coincides with a more sinister happening—more spread of this killer by unwary humans on summer vacation trips and weekend outings.

To remind Hoosiers and visitors to Indiana to protect forests by not moving firewood, Gov. Mike Pence has declared May 19-25 as Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week in Indiana.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources regulates the types of firewood that can be brought onto State lands. The purpose is not only to stop spread of EAB, but also to fight the next invasive pest, which will likely travel in firewood, too.

The DNR requires all firewood entering state properties to: (1) be accompanied by a state or federal compliance stamp allowing such movement, or (2) be kiln-dried scrap lumber, or (3) be completely debarked if brought from home within Indiana.

To fight EAB, if you plan to have a campfire, the best option is to buy firewood close to where you will burn it; don’t bring it from home. Burn wood completely before leaving your site—don’t leave wood for the next person. Buying packaged firewood bearing a state or federal compliance stamp also helps.

Extensive information about the bug and the laws regarding firewood movement is at dnr.IN.gov/entomolo/3443.htm.

Suspected EAB infestations outside of the quarantine boundaries should be reported to DNR’s toll-free Invasive Species Hotline, 1-866-NO-EXOTIC. Insecticide treatments are available to protect individual trees from EAB. Many are cost effective. See eabindiana.info.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Get outside this Memorial Day weekend

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

Although DNR campgrounds and cabins at state parks, state reservoirs and recreation areas are booked to capacity for Memorial Day weekend, some shelters remain available for picnics and other day-use gatherings.

Shelters can be reserved at Camp.IN.Gov or by calling 1-866-6CAMPIN (1-866-622-6746).

If you’re looking for a road trip, but not sure where to go, find property maps and facility information at stateparks.IN.gov. Many new features are ready to enhance your experience no matter when or where you visit.

If you're too late to make a reservation for the upcoming holiday weekend, don't miss out on camping over July 4th, Labor Day or anytime this summer. Cabins and campsites are still available, but will go quickly once Memorial Day passes.

Visit Camp.IN.Gov or call 1-866-6CAMPIN (1-866-622-6746) to reserve your favorite cabin, shelter or campsite.

Campers should consider DNR’s rule on firewood when making preparations for their camping stay. In-state visitors to state parks, state reservoirs, state forests and state fish & wildlife areas can bring firewood from home as long as the bark has been removed.

Guests may also bring firewood onto properties if it is: (1) kiln-dried scrap lumber, or (2) purchased outside the property and bears either a USDA compliance stamp or a state compliance stamp, or (3) purchased from the property camp store or on-site firewood vendor and has a state compliance stamp.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

N-B Video: Home run hit clinches from-behind victory for Norwell

Norwell High School senior Luke Hunter, pitcher for the baseball team, talks about the home run that kept him from losing his first game of the season. Learn more in the Thursday, May 16, News-Banner. (Video by Paul Beitler)


Friday, May 3, 2013

Salamonie Preschool to offer two classes May 22

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

Preschool-age children are invited to Salamonie Preschool’s “Birds, Beautiful Birds” on May 22.

The class will run from 10 to 11:30 a.m., and again from 12:30 to 2 p.m., at Salamonie Interpretive Center in Lost Bridge West State Recreation Area in Andrews.

Salamonie Preschool programs are designed to enhance the preschooler’s basic education. Activities include learning the alphabet, crafts, interaction with other children, and time outdoors, always with a nature-related theme.

The cost per child is $2. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Advance registration is appreciated. Register by calling (260) 468-2127.

For more information, see dnr.IN.gov/uwis or Facebook.com/UpperWabash, or call (260) 468-2127.

Salamonie Lake is at 9214 West-Lost Bridge West, Andrews, 46702.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Ouabache, area parks to hold free kids fishing derbies June 1

Kids ages 2 to 14 and their adults are invited to Kids Free Fishing Derbies at Salamonie and Mississinewa lakes, J. E. Roush Fish & Wildlife Area and Ouabache State Park, on June 1.

Age categories are: 2 to 5; 6 to 10; and 11 to 14, with first-, second- and third-prize winners for largest fish in each age category. The largest overall fish will be awarded a grand prize. Each participant must use bait provided by DNR staff.

Each property will host its own derby, with winners announced at each property.

Sign-in begins at 8:30 a.m. Rules and regulations will be announced at that time. Fishing time will be 9 to 10:30 a.m. Awards will follow. Children and their adult must be present to win awards.

Advance registration is requested by calling the Upper Wabash Interpretive Services at (260) 468-2127.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Operation of motorized watercraft restricted at some area lakes

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

Lt. Erick Bolt, District Two Commander of Indiana Conservation Officers in Northeastern Indiana, recommended to Indiana Department of Natural Resources Director Robert E. Carter Jr. that due to high water levels on certain lakes in the area, operation of motorized watercraft will have some restrictions until further notice.

Director Carter has signed an emergency order to that effect on the following lakes:

Noble County: Waldron, Steinbarger, Tamarack and Jones. (NON-MOTORIZED ONLY)

Lagrange County: Dallas, Witmer, Westler, Hackenberg and Messick. (IDLE SPEED ONLY)

Monday, April 29, 2013

N-B Video: Norwell helps Indiana defeat Ohio in annual Border Wars basketball game

Norwell Coach Randy Hawkins and players Cam Denney, Paige Frisch and Taylor Wilson share their thoughts after helping Indiana sweep Ohio in the annual Nancy Rehm Border Wars All-Star series. Learn more in the Monday, April 29, News-Banner. (Video by Paul Beitler)


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Outdoor Indiana magazine features historic fire towers

Outdoor Indiana magazine’s May-June issue features a cover article on the state’s historic fire towers.

With modern technology, the fire towers have emerged as a tourist attraction rather than a fire-detection tool.

The 48-page full-color magazine also includes a removable eight-page insert on Versailles State Park, one of the state’s top mountain biking destinations. That article continues the magazine’s series in which one state park or reservoir property will be portrayed through 2016, the 100th anniversary of Indiana state parks. To view a short video on fire towers and Versailles State Park, see the Outdoor Indiana playlist at youtube.com/idnrvideos.

Outdoor Indiana is available now at most DNR properties and Barnes & Noble stores in Indiana for $3 a copy. Save 33 percent off the cover price when you buy a one-year, six-issue subscription for $12.

To subscribe or read excerpts from the May-June magazine, go to OutdoorIndiana.org. Subscriptions also can be purchased by calling (317) 233-3046.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Grants available for field trips to state parks and reservoirs

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

Educators interested in students, grades K-12, on field trips to an Indiana state park or reservoir in the 2013-2014 school year can receive financial help through a new program of the Indiana Natural Resources Foundation.

The Discovering the Outdoors Field Trip Grant Program is for public, private, parochial or home-school educators.

“We are proud to be a partner in improving school access to our state’s natural and cultural resources through field trip grants for all types of educators and students across Indiana,” said Bourke Patton, director of INRF.

The fund was established in memory of Tom Huck, a long-time DNR employee who was an ardent supporter of outdoor experiences for children.

Indiana has 24 state parks and eight reservoirs eligible for field trip funding. Field trips to parks and reservoirs engage students in learning about Indiana's fish, forest, wildlife, natural habitats and conservation.

"Field trips to our state parks and reservoirs give children a sense of place,” said Ginger Murphy assistant director for stewardship for the DNR Division of State Parks & Reservoirs. “These trips let them understand how previous generations viewed the significance of Indiana's natural and cultural resources, and at the same time let them make great memories that they will carry into adulthood.”

The maximum grant award is $250 per application.

Applications are accepted from May 1 – June 30 prior to the school year for which the grant is requested. Applications must be postmarked no later than June 30.

Applicants will be notified by Aug. 1 regarding potential grant awards.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Ouabache SP hosts cooking workshop, cornhole tourney, May 4

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

Ouabache State Park in Bluffton will host a cooking outdoors workshop and a cornhole tournament on May 4 in recognition of Welcome Back Weekend for Indiana’s state parks and reservoirs.

Welcome Back Weekend is May 3-5 and is a chance to celebrate the arrival of spring with special outdoor recreation events and hands-on programming at Indiana’s 24 state parks and eight reservoirs.

Winners of the cornhole tournament win a free weekend of camping at Ouabache. Entry forms will be at the gatehouse. Competition will be divided between youths, age 12 and younger, and adults, age 13 and older.

The double-elimination tournament will be on the campground comfort station lawn between A and B.

At 4 p.m., “A Taste of the Outdoors” cooking workshop will be presented by the Kokomo Kookers. This hands-on opportunity is a chance to create dishes alongside seasoned outdoor chefs. Cost per person is $10 or $30 per family.

For more information, contact Upper Wabash Interpretive Services at (260) 468-2127.

Nester Wins Modified Race After Wild Final Lap

From the Anderson Speedway:

For 41 laps Brian Nester chased Scott Coe for the point in the Top Speed Modified feature at Anderson Speedway, but emerge as the winner after wild last lap incident.

Coe, the fast qualifier, started fifth in the field but used the outside line to take the lead in seven laps. Nester moved into second on lap eight and the chase for the lead was on during Madison County Storm Water Quality Night.

Several times Nester attempted to bump Coe out of the low groove to no avail. But with a lap remaining the two leaders closed on the third place car of Jerry Hammond.

Both Coe and Nester got sideways on the back straight with the two spinning in turn three and collecting the cars of Hammond and Herb Johnson Jr.

Nester was able to continue across the finish line followed by Tim Burkett, Coe, Chris Jennings and Mark Bott.

“I admit I got into Scott and backed off,” Nester said. “We both got sideways on the back straight.”

Both drivers struggled to maintain control of their cars when they entered turn three with Coe battling a flat right rear tire.

Martinsville driver Danny Trent said he was competing in the McGunegill Engine Performance Late Model Division at Anderson Speedway to record wins and accomplished that feat in his first appearance of the year.

Trent inherited the lead when leader Keith Sterkowitz was spun in turn four by Josh Cave on lap 23. Cave was trying to bump Sterkowitz out of the low groove.

The caution flag waved on lap 25 when Rob Noel spun in turn two. On the restart Jeff Williams and Jeff Marcum bumped on the front straight which dropped Williams from third to fifth.

Sterkowitz and Cave passed Marcum on laps 27 and 28 and started to close on Trent, who held on the victory by .391-seconds.

“I was a little lucky tonight,” Trent said. “I’ve had good cars here and didn’t win.”

Early in the race Sterkowitz used the outside groove on a restart to get around leader Ronnie Rose and remained in front until the spin on lap 23.

In Front Wheel Drive action Jerry Dane returned to action with a victory in the car driven the first two weeks of the season by Nick Warner.

Dane used an inside move to get past Trevin Henson. Henson was passed by Chris Jennings and Elliott McKinney in the final five laps to claim podium positions.

Racing returns to Anderson Speedway on Saturday, April 27 with the first appearance of the CRA Street Stocks. The racing lineup also showcases WMDH ThunderCars along with Front Wheel Drives on the Oval and Figure 8. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

He shoots, he scores, he donates

Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck recently gave Norwell graduate and Indianapolis Colts teammate Chandler Harnish $8,000 to the charity of his choice in exchange for his jersey number after Harnish made a half-court shot. Learn more in the Wednesday, April 17, News-Banner.

Photography workshop at Pokagon State Park April 27

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

Pokagon State Park Nature Center will host Barbara Knights-Hale of Jitterbug Photography for a one-day spring photography workshop on April 27, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., in the center’s auditorium.

The workshop is for beginners, intermediate and like-minded photography enthusiasts. The hands-on workshop will cover aperture and shutter priority, proper exposure, composition, ISO speeds, and manual settings on cameras. Time will be spent both outside and in the classroom, where many photo examples will be projected. Participants will need to provide camera and accessories outlined upon registration.

Workshop cost is $89 and includes lunch and park entrance. Advance registration is required by contacting Jitterbug Photography at (260) 624-2999 or emailing Barbara@jitterbugphotography.com.

Further information is available at jitterbugphotography.com.

For more information, call Fred Wooley, park interpreter, (260) 833-2012.

Pokagon State Park is at 450 Lane 100 Lake James, Angola, 46703.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Pierce gets third Glen Niebel Classic Victory

From the Anderson Speedway:

ANDERSON – Muncie’s Aaron Pierce recorded his third Glen Niebel Classic victory for non-winged sprint cars at Anderson Speedway on Sunday.

Pierce inherited the lead on lap 70 when leader Bobby East tangled with the slower car of Travis Welpott on the front street with the two cars coming to rest in turn one.

Pole sitter Joe Swanson took the early chased by Jo Jo Helberg, Pierce, East and Brian Gingras. Helberg went to the point on lap 17 when he slipped inside of Swanson coming off the fourth corner and East got inside of Pierce to claim the third spot.

Helberg’s run ended on lap 22 when he bounced off the lapped car of Kyle Feeney, coming to a stop against the turn four retaining wall. Helberg’s bad luck put East on the point chased by Pierce, Swanson, Gingras and Tony Hunt.

For the next 47 laps East was able to hold off a determined Pierce, who looked high and low for a way to the front. On lap 69 with East and Pierce running amongst slower traffic, the race deciding incident took place.

Pierce went on to win by three-seconds over Swanson with Hunt getting inside of Gingras on the final lap to finish third.

“The car was great,” Pierce said following his third Niebel victory. He’s the first driver to win back-to-back races to go along with a win in 2003.

“I saw it coming,” he said of the contact that took East out of the race.

Swanson said his car lost its brakes for the second half of the race, but the car was good until then.

“It was tight racing,” he said of the USSA sanctioned race.

Hunt said his car wasn’t as good for the feature as it had been for qualifying and the heat race.

“It might have been something with the tires,” he said. “I didn’t want to wreck. We wanted to get a solid finish, which we did.”

Spencer Bayston set fast time; win a heat race and the feature for the Mel Kenyon Midgets as he started his rookie season campaign in impressive fashion.

It was only Bayston’s, fifth time in competition with the series.

 Bayston slipped inside of Jessica Bean entering turn three to take the lead with 11 laps remaining and went on to record the victory.

Alexandria’s Clayton Gaines, who recorded his first ever win in a heat race, led the first 14 laps until Bean and Bayston got underneath coming off the second corner.

Bayston won by 4.5 seconds followed by Bean, Travis Young (2012 champion), Cordy Horn and Gaines.

“I just ran a good line,” Bayston said. “I’m very happy.”

Racing returns to Anderson Speedway on Saturday, April 20 with McGunegill Engine Performance Late Models, Top Speed Fabrication Modifieds and Front Wheel Drives Oval.

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

Friday, April 12, 2013

Talk” to turkey hunting expert on Facebook April 17

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

Facebook followers of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources can “talk” online about turkey hunting with biologist Steve Backs on Wednesday, April 17, from 2-3 p.m. EDT, on the DNR’s Facebook wall.

Backs will talk about turkey hunting in Indiana and tips for harvesting a turkey as well as licensing and regulation requirements. Participants are invited to join the conversation and bring any questions that they would like answered.

Future topics, instructions on how to join a conversation on Facebook, and commenting guidelines are posted at dnr.IN.gov/7315.htm.

To join a chat, go to the DNR’s Facebook wall, facebook.com/INdnr, 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.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Plant a tree for Arbor Day, April 26

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

The DNR Division of Forestry reminds Hoosiers that Friday, April 26, is a day to put down roots—tree roots—in recognition of Arbor Day.

Communities throughout Indiana will take part in the 142nd Arbor Day in the United States, and will celebrate by planting trees.

Conceived by J. Sterling Morton in 1872, Arbor Day is the oldest conservation-related holiday in the U.S., predating Earth Day by almost 100 years. The purpose of Arbor Day is to raise awareness about the benefits of trees. Arbor Day is observed in all 50 states and many European countries.

The first Arbor Day observance in Indiana was April 11, 1884. The date of Arbor Day changed for several years at the discretion of the governor, until 1991 when it was established as the last Friday of April, which is also the official date of National Arbor Day.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Advice offered for landowners looking to sell timber

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

Indiana Conservation Officers and the DNR Division of Forestry are providing useful tips to landowners that can assist in protecting their valuable timber resources.

Indiana hardwoods, such as black walnut, red and white oak, and other valuable species are sought by the timber industry. Landowners should follow some simple steps before signing a contract with a timber buyer.

“Some Indiana landowners are taken advantage of every year, and they lose money and resources because they are not aware of the value of timber or the steps needed to protect themselves,” said Duane McCoy, timber licensing forester with the DNR Forestry.

To protect forestry resources, landowners should follow these steps:

1. Hire a consultant forester to represent you and mark and advertise your timber sale.
2. Always get several bids from different timber buyers.
3. Ask questions and get references from the timber buyer.
4. Mark the trees to be cut with a paint mark on the stem and at ground level.
5. Know and understand the fine details of the contract.
6. Never make an oral agreement.
7. Know how much you will be paid and the method of payment.
8. Be a good neighbor and work out any property line disputes prior to harvesting.

“Marketing the mature timber from a family property is generally something that will only occur once in a person’s lifetime, and it must be done with knowledge that protects the interest of your investment,” said Lt. Tony Stoll, DNR Law Enforcement District 9 commander.

The DNR offers a free information packet titled “callb4ucut” to Indiana citizens considering harvesting their timber. See www.callb4ucut.com for further information.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

N-B Video: Bluffton boys golf coach has "high hopes" for the season

Learn more in the Tuesday, April 9, News-Banner. (Video by Paul Beitler)


Friday, April 5, 2013

Salamonie preschool to offer two classes April 24

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

Preschool-age children are invited to Salamonie Preschool’s “Green and Growing” class on April 24.

The class will run from 10 to 11:30 a.m., and again from 12:30 to 2 p.m., at Salamonie Interpretive Center in Lost Bridge West State Recreation Area in Andrews.

Salamonie Preschool programs are designed to enhance the preschooler’s basic education. Activities include learning the alphabet, crafts, interaction with other children, and time outdoors, always with a nature-related theme.

The cost per child is $2. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Advance registration is appreciated. Register by calling (260) 468-2127.

Salamonie Lake is at 9214 West-Lost Bridge West, Andrews, 46702.

No changes in Indiana muskie fishing rules

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

Now that Michigan has restricted anglers to keeping one muskie per year and has implemented a harvest tag system, will Indiana muskie anglers face a similar change?

Not likely—at least for now.

Current rules allow Indiana-licensed anglers to take one muskie per day in Indiana. There are no limits in Indiana on the number of muskies an Indiana-licensed angler can take per year.

The only tags required in Indiana for harvest pertain to deer and turkey hunting—not fishing.

Michigan’s muskie tag is free. Any angler who catches a muskie must release the fish if that person does not possess a harvest tag.

“We understand why Michigan is cutting muskie harvest and requiring a muskie tag,” said Jed Pearson, an Indiana DNR fisheries biologist. “They are sending a message that muskies are scarce and the tags provide biologists a good way to track long-term trends in harvest.”

Pearson, however, does not think muskie fishing in Indiana is being affected by anglers harvesting the fish.

“Based on surveys conducted at several Indiana lakes, few anglers keep muskies,” Pearson said. “They are at the top of the list for catch-and-release fishing.”

Michigan also imposes a much higher size limit on muskies than Indiana.

A muskie must be 36 inches or larger to be taken in Indiana, whereas muskies taken in southern Michigan must be at least 42 inches. At some Michigan waters, muskies must be 50 inches long.

“At Lake Webster, our premier muskie lake, male muskies do not grow much after they reach 36 inches long,” said Pearson. “Female muskies grow faster but few grow beyond 44 inches. It’s very rare to see a 50-incher.”

Increasing Indiana’s size limit, therefore, would not have much of an impact on muskie size because so few muskies are taken at any size.

Michigan also differs from Indiana on when anglers can fish for muskies. Michigan imposes a closed season from March 16 until the last Saturday of April on waters in the Lower Peninsula.

Indiana has no closed season on muskies. Anglers can fish for them year-round.

“Closed seasons are often used to protect spawning fish. Our muskie program depends entirely on stocking, so a closed season in Indiana is not needed,” Pearson said.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

MEP late models, street stocks and front wheel drive figure 8's debut on Saturday night

From the Anderson Speedway:

ANDERSON, Ind. – Racing action returns to Anderson Speedway on Saturday, April 6th with the season debut of the McGunegill Engine Performance Late Models, Street Stocks and Front Wheel Drive Figure 8 divisions. The Front Wheel Drive Oval division will also be in action on the high-banked quarter-mile oval.

The MEP Late Models were one of the most competitive divisions last year producing nine winners in 13 events. The opening six races of the season were won by six competitors. Only three drivers, Jason Atkinson, Ryan Amonett and Ronnie Rose visited the winner’s circle on multiple occasions. In the final standings, Josh Poore earned the championship over Rose with Brandon Phillips ranked in third position.

Street Stocks will compete in their first of 13 races on Saturday Night. Last year, Indianapolis’ racer Jimmy Kirby visited the winner’s circle on five times en route to his division title. Tyler Marsh and Josh Meyers were his closest challengers in the points rundown.

The Front Wheel Drive Oval division held its first race last weekend with Paul Phipps earning the victory after a classic battle with Nick Warner. The remainder of the top five included Marshall Clark Jr., Elliott McKinney and Mike Alley.

Alley earned his first division crown last year with capturing the Front Wheel Drive Figure 8 hardware. He earned a single victory, but consistent finishes propelled him to the title. Behind Alley were Donnie Ellis Jr. and Kevin Henson.

On Saturday, April 6, 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.

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

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Southern Wells ponders its future in the ACAC

Southern Wells Junior-Senior High School Principal Chad Yencer told board members Tuesday that his students will play on their own football field this year, but he and other officials are now discussing who they’ll play.

Yencer and Athletic and Activities Director Ben Mann said the ACAC conference recently extended an invitation to Jay County High School to join, and “every indication tells us that they will accept,” Mann stated in a document he gave to board members during a work session Tuesday afternoon.

But more than 1,100 students attended Jay County this year which, he said, could spark “competitive balance issues” for the approximately 277 students who attend Southern Wells.

Learn more in the Wednesday, April 3, News-Banner.

Eight teams currently play in the ACAC; Jay County would add nine.


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Chapman captures Thundercar 100 at Anderson

From the Anderson Speedway:

After taking a year off from racing, Curtis Chapman returned to victory circle at Anderson Speedway in the WMDH ThunderCar 100. Chapman set fast and led all 100 laps to open the season Saturday with a victory, but it wasn’t a walk in the park.

For the first 64 laps Chapman was pressed by Eric Evans with Nick Warner, Robbie Wyman and Johnny Magee running in a tight formation.

On lap 65 Evans got loose coming off the fourth corner, made a dramatic save of the car, but was passed by Warner. Warner stayed glued to Chapman’s rear bumper until the finish.

Wyman passed Evans to claim the third spot on lap 74 with Magee coming home in fifth.

The race was slowed only by four caution flags and the race stayed green from lap 32 to the finish.

Paul Phipps used a slower car as the perfect pick to keep Nick Warner at bay on the penultimate lap to win the Front Wheel Driver feature.

Warner and Phipps battled side by side for 10 laps with Warner using the momentum on the high side to hold off Phipps, who was running in the low groove.

On lap 17, Phipps was able to clearly get inside of Warner entering turn one and emerged with the lead and the victory. Warner finished second followed by Marshall Clark Jr.

Andy Jones passed Aaron Holden on the final restart with four laps remaining with an outside pass to win the opening Legends race of the season in what became a race of attrition.

Josh Dietz recovered from being sent to the tail of the field on lap 10 to pass Holden to grab the second spot followed by Holden, Eric Black and Zach Holden.

Being on the point was not the place to be during the Legend feature as three of the front runners all experienced problems.

Bryan Nuckles was the early leader when he tangled with fast qualifier Jack Dossey Jr. on the back straight on lap five. Dossey’s night was finished and Nuckles went to the rear of the field.

The next leader to have a problem was Jack Dossey III, who was spun on the front straight on lap 10 by second place running Dietz. Both drivers were sent to the tail of the field.

That put John Robbins into the lead, but his night ended on lap 19 when his car erupted in flames on the back straight. Robbins was uninjured.

Fast qualifier James Edsel worked his way through the field to take the lead from Marty Griffin with an inside pass entering turn three on lap 14 and went on to record the Thunder Roadster win.

Griffin finished second with Doug Dugger claiming the third spot.

Racing action returns to Anderson Speedway on Saturday, April 6th with the McGunegill Engine Performance Late Models, Street Stocks and Front Wheel Drives Oval & Figure 8.

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

Weather cancels race test and tune day

From Eldora Speedway:

ROSSBURG, OH – The untypical spring weather that has plagued the Midwest with continued cold temperatures and record snowfalls over the past few weeks has also played havoc with the Eldora Speedway track crew and their efforts to produce an ideal racing surface for Saturday’s (April 6) scheduled Test and Tune Day.  As a result, the session has been canceled.

The Test and Tune cancelation has not affected Sunday’s season opening SpringBuster event for go-karts on the 1/7 mile Little Eldora Speedway.  With free general admission, over a dozen classes of karts are scheduled to take the green flag at 12:30 p.m.

Saturday’s cancelation will move Eldora’s first action on the historic .500-mile clay oval to Saturday, April 13 with the 60th Season Opener.   On tap will be a tripleheader program featuring the Sunoco American Late Model Series, along with UMP DIRTcar Modifieds and Eldora Stock Cars as all three divisions begin their quest towards 2013 championship titles.

Admission gates on April 13 will swing open at 4 p.m., while track action begins at 6 p.m. with a short practice session for each division followed by a complete racing program which will take the green flag at 7:30 p.m.

Complete event and advance ticket purchase information for the 60th Season Opener, along with the other exciting race events on the 2013 Eldora calendar, is available on the track’s websitewww.EldoraSpeedway.com.  Race fans and race teams can get behind-the-scenes access by following @EldoraSpeedway on Twitter, hitting ‘Like’ at Facebook.com/EldoraSpeedway and view video highlights atYouTube.com/EldoraSpeedwayInc.  The new Eldora Speedway app for the iPhone, iPad and Android is now available for download via iTunes and Google Play.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Ossian Conservation Club releases April calendar

  • April 6 — Nelson’s Port-A-Pit Chicken, Pork Chops and Ribs at Walgreen’s in Bluffton, 11 a.m. till gone. No pre-sold tickets, $6 for half a chicken, $5.50 for a pork chop, and $8 for a half slab of ribs. Weather permitting try the club's Old Style Sugar Corn made in a cast-iron kettle, $2 and $4 a bag. Proceeds will to go to the siding fund.
  • April 14 — 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 20 and 21 — Ossian Conservation Club is hosting Project Appleseed. Project Appleseed teaches the fundamentals of rifle marksmanship and intertwines these skills with the history and heritage of the United States. This two-day event is sponsored by the Revolutionary War Veterans Association, a 501(c)(3) organization. For more information on costs and registration go to www.appleseedusa.org or www.ossianconservationclub.com.
  • April 28 — Ossian Conservation Club Shotgun Shooter’s informal Shotgun Shoot – regular clays – middies – minnies and rabbit targets. Noon until 4:30 p.m. Public is welcome.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Registration opens for Pokagon triathlon and 5K run/walk

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

Registration is open now for the 7th Annual Pokagon State Park Triathlon at Pokagon State Park on Saturday, May 18.

The event, which starts at 9 a.m., will use resources within the state park and in other parts of Steuben County, and will be organized and conducted by TriFort Triathletes.

Participants can choose from an Olympic- or sprint-distance event. Both will be staged at the park’s CCC Shelter. The Olympic triathlon consists of a 1.5-kilometer swim from the Pokagon main beach along the popular Lake James slalom ski course. Athletes will transition to a 40K bike ride on roads over rolling terrain featuring the fields, forests and wetlands of rural Steuben County. The final leg is a 10K run on the rolling and wooded trails of the state park. The sprint-distance triathlon consists of a .75K swim, 20K bike ride, and 5K run.

Register for either at active.com or teamtrifort.com by following the links to the race. The websites also contain more information on individual and team fees for both triathlons, and about the third annual Steve Parker/ALS 5K Run/Walk, which will be held during the triathlon and start at the CCC Shelter.

The races will begin in two waves separated by three to five minutes. Men will begin first, then women. All participants will receive a gift bag containing a race T-shirt and triathlon-related gear, and can take part in post-race festivities and a picnic.

The 5K run/walk is named for and honors the life work of long-time running and fitness enthusiast Steve Parker. Entrance fee for the 5K run/walk is $20. Registration can be done at the same website listed for the triathlon. Start time for the 5K run/walk is 9:45 a.m.

Packet pick-up and advance in-person registration is May 17, from 3 to 8 p.m. at the park’s Potawatomi Inn. Race-day registration will be offered at the CCC Shelter from 7 to 8 a.m. on May 18. Participants are encouraged to register before race day.

For information on volunteering or to join as a sponsor see teamtrifort.com.

For overnight lodging at the Potawatomi Inn, see indianainns.com, or call (260) 833-2012 or 1-877-768-2928. For information on camping at Pokagon, see camp.IN.gov, or call 1-866-6campIN.

On race day the normal park entrance fee of $5 for in-state vehicles or $7 for out-of-state vehicles will be charged, or guests can use a 2013 annual entrance pass. Both are available at the park front gate.

Pokagon State Park is at 450 Lane 100 Lake James, Angola, 46703.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Campground hosts needed at state parks and reservoirs

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

Most of Indiana's state parks and reservoirs offer opportunities for campground hosts.

Hosts work a minimum of 20 hours per week in exchange for free camping for a specified period of time. The time period varies at sites, based on the number of applicants and the amount and type of work required.

Properties seek dedicated campers who enjoy working outdoors, with people and with DNR staff. Detailed information about duties and site availability is at stateparks.IN.gov/2404.htm or contact the property of interest.

Completion of a volunteer application is required to apply. To download a form, go to stateparks.IN.gov and click on “How You Can Help” under “Stewardship Links.”

Monday, March 11, 2013

N-B Video: Norwell boys finish 18-7 season in regional loss

Norwell boys basketball coach Randy Hawkins reviews the season during regional competition Saturday, March 8. Learn more in the Monday, March 11, News-Banner. (Video by Paul Beitler)


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Photo contest celebrates historic resources

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

The DNR Division of Historic Preservation & Archaeology is sponsoring its ninth annual photo contest to recognize Historic Preservation Month in May.

The subject of the photo must be in Indiana and more than 50 years old. Images could include anything from a cemetery, to a main street, to a grain silo. The contest does not place limitations on the condition of the historic resource. Past entries have involved subject matter with conditions ranging from pristine to undergoing demolition.

Photos can be color or black and white, must be 8 x 10 inches, and matted with white or ivory mat board so final dimensions are 11 x 14 inches. Participants should not frame their photos.

The contest deadline is April 5, 2013.

The contest is free, and photographers can submit up to three entries per person.

Photos will be judged by a panel of DNR representatives, preservationists and photographers.

The deadline to submit is April 6.

For a list of contest guidelines, the mailing address, and the required entry form, go to dnr.IN.gov/historic/3994.htm.
To celebrate Historic Preservation Month in May, selected photos from the contest will be on exhibit at the following locations:

Putnam County Museum
1105 N. Jackson St.
Greencastle, IN 46135
(765) 653-8419

Carmel Clay Public Library
55 Fourth Ave. SE
Carmel, IN 46032
(317) 814-3900

Martin County Historical Society
220 Capital Ave.
Shoals, IN 47581
(812) 247-1133

Greensburg Public Library
1110 E. Main St.
Greensburg, IN 47240
(812) 663-2826

Prairie Arts Council
301 N. Van Rensselaer St.
Rensselaer, IN 47978
(219) 866-5278

Wabash County Historical Museum
36 E. Market St.
Wabash, IN 46992
(260) 563-9070

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

N-B Video: Chandler Harnish, former marine find faith amid trials

Norwell graduate and Colts football player Chandler Harnish introduces former marine Josh Bleil during a special presentation at Bellmont High School Monday, March 4. Harnish shared how God has guided him through the ups and downs of his career, while Bleil, a former marine who lost his legs in an explosion in Iraq, shared how the power of God can help people conquer their toughest battless. Due to technical limitations, we could not record all of Bleil's speech. (Video by Paul Beitler)


Monday, March 4, 2013

N-B Video: Norwell wins third straight sectional championship


Learn more in the Monday, March 4, News-Banner.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

N-B Video: BHS girls bring hip hop between the hoops

Hip Hop, a group from Bluffton High School's Tiger Dance Company, performs during the half time of the boys' basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 19. The girls were promoting an upcoming dance showcase to raise funds for the Andrea Rizzo Foundation, named after a woman who wanted to become a dance therapist and work with children with cancer. Learn more about the game in the Wednesday, Feb. 20, News-Banner. (Video by Paul Beitler)


Friday, February 15, 2013

N-B Video: Southern Wells girls' celebrate sectional victory — again

The Southern Wells girls' basketball team present the sectional trophy to Principal Chad Yencer during the Friday, Feb. 15, game against Blackford. Learn about the game in the Saturday, Feb. 16, News-Banner. (Video by Paul Beitler)


Monday, February 11, 2013

Early Flight in the Dunes program at Indiana Dunes State Park, Feb. 23

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

Aviation pioneer Octave Chanute, who launched experimental gliders from Indiana’s Lake Michigan sand dunes, will be the topic of a program at Indiana Dunes State Park on Saturday, Feb. 23.

Early Flight in the Dunes starts at 2 p.m. CST at the nature center and will be presented by aviation researcher and historian Simine Short. Short will talk about Chanute’s early attempts at flight and offer insights into his personal and professional life.

Chanute was a French-born engineer who lived in Chicago. He encouraged other experimenters, including the Wright brothers.

The program is free after the standard entrance fee of $5 for in-state vehicles or $10 for out-of-state vehicles. For more information call the Indiana Dunes State Park Nature Center at (219) 926-1390.

Indiana Dunes State Park is at 1600 North 25 E. Chesterton, 46304.