Sports and Outdoors

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Salamonie’s Senior Monday Carry-in Luncheon, Feb. 4

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

People age 50 and older are invited to the monthly Senior Monday Carry-in Luncheon on Feb.4 at Salamonie Interpretive Center in Lost Bridge West State Recreation Area in Andrews.

The luncheon starts at noon. A program on red-tailed hawks will follow the meal.

Attendees should bring their table service, a prepared dish to share and $1 donation to help defray costs of the provided main dish. Advance registration is required.

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

For more information on other UWIS programs, see or

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

Monday, January 28, 2013

Undefeated Norwell girls win conference championship

Senior Taylor Wilson celebrates the teamwork that gave the girls' basketball team a 7-0 conference championship Saturday, Jan. 26. Learn more in the Monday, Jan. 28, News-Banner. (Video by Paul Beitler)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

N-B Video: Norwell Dance Team performs at game

In between three points and free-throws, the Norwell Dance Team took to the court during the boys' basketball game Friday, Jan. 25. Learn more about the game in the Saturday, Jan. 26, News-Banner. (Video by Paul Beitler)

Friday, January 25, 2013

N-B Video: Norwell boys win with "hard and strong" play

Norwell High School Junior David Vogel discusses his team's victory over the East Noble Knights Friday, Jan. 25. Learn more in the Saturday, Jan. 26, News-Banner. (Video by Paul Beitler)

Monday, January 21, 2013

N-B Video: Cheerleaders celebrate heroes at Upward Basketball

Upward Basketball officials, players and cheerleaders honored about a dozen local heroes — including military personnel, sheriff’s deputies, elected officials, education officials and more — during their Saturday game at Life church. Organizers said these people taught children than anyone can be a hero. (Video by Chet Baumgartner)

N-B Video: Barth, Sprunger named to BHS Hall of Fame

Bluffton High School Athletic Director Steve Thompson welcomes graduates Susan Barth and Ben Sprunger to the Hall of Fame during the Friday, Jan. 18, boys' basketball game. Learn more in the Friday, Jan. 18, News-Banner. (Video by Paul Beitler)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

TinCaps accepting seasonal applications

From the Fort Wayne TinCaps:

The Fort Wayne TinCaps at Parkview Field are now accepting applications for the 2013 baseball season. 

The TinCaps are currently looking to fill the following part-time, seasonal positions:

• Bartender (must be 21 or older)
• Cleaning / Janitorial
• Concession Cashier (must be 21 or older)
• Cook
• Food Runner
• Kids Zone attendant
• Server (must be 21 or older)
• Team Store
• Ticket Office
• Ticket Taker
• Ushers
• Vendor
• Video Production

Interested candidates may pick up an application at the Parkview Field administrative office or by clicking Here.

Applications may be submitted in person to the TinCaps Administrative Office located on the west side of Parkview Field, with an entrance up from Ewing Street. The TinCaps regular business hours are from 9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Commission OKs additions to 2 nature preserves

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

The Indiana Natural Resources Commission on Tuesday approved the dedication of additions to two existing nature preserves in northern Indiana.

The largest is a 337-acre addition to Manitou Island Nature Preserve in Fulton County that features a wetland complex of shrub swamp, marsh, forested swamp, sedge meadow, shrub fen, natural lake and associated upland and lowland forests. The addition connects three existing nature preserves—Manitou Island, Judy Burton and Bob Kern—and brings the total area of contiguous wetlands in the preserve to 740 acres that protect the southern end of Lake Manitou.

The Commission also approved dedication of a 69.5-acre addition to Crooked Lake Nature Preserve in Whitley County. The site consists primarily of upland forests, reforested former fields bordering upland forest of the original preserve, and a pond. With the addition, the preserve now covers approximately 215 acres on the north side of Crooked Lake.

The DNR owns and manages both preserves.

In other action, the Commission reelected Bryan Poynter as chair, Jane Ann Stautz as vice-chair and DNR director Rob Carter as secretary.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, three new assistant property managers were introduced: Dan Eckstein at Sugar Ridge Fish & Wildlife Area, Matt O’Neill at Crosley Fish & Wildlife Area, and Brad Walker at Versailles State Park.

The Commission is an autonomous board that addresses issues pertaining to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

The Commission includes the DNR director, heads of three other state agencies (Environmental Management, Tourism, and Transportation), six citizens appointed by the governor on a bipartisan basis, the chair of the NRC’s advisory council, and the president of the Indiana Academy of Science.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Salamonie Interpretive Center announces new winter hours

Effective immediately, the Salamonie Interpretive Center’s new winter hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The center will resume regular hours, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., on April 6.

The center is in Lost Bridge West Recreation Area, off State Road 105, in western Huntington County.

For more information, see or

Monday, January 14, 2013

N-B Video: Bluffton wins another ACAC

Bluffton High School basketball head coach Kevin Leising and MVP Chandler Prible celebrate their team's most recent championship in the annual ACAC tournament. Learn more in the Monday, Jan. 14, News-Banner. (Video by Paul Beitler)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Wells County Extension Service calendar

  • January 15: 4-H Scholarship Forms Due at County Extension Office
  • January 15: Purdue Council on Agriculture Research Extension & Teaching, Marriot Downtown, Indianapolis
  • January 15: Fort Wayne Farm Show, Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, Fort Wayne, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • January 16: Fort Wayne Farm Show, Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, Fort Wayne, 9 a.m.-8 p.m.
  • January 17: Fort Wayne Farm Show, Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, Fort Wayne, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • January 17: Wells Weighs In Begins
  • January 19: 4-H Horse & Pony Volunteer Conference, Marten House Hotel & Conference Center, Indianapolis, 8 a.m.- 4 p.m.
  • January 21: County Offices Closed ñ Martin Lutheran King Day
  • January 21: Wells County 4H Association, Community Center, 4-H Park, Bluffton, 7 p.m.
  • January 26: State 4-H & FFA Meats & Dairy Foods Career Development Event, Purdue University, West Lafayette
  • February 2: Tack Auction sponsored by 4-H Horse & Pony Club, Community Center, 4-H Park, 5 p.m.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

“Talk” to DNR winter hiking expert on Facebook, Jan. 16

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

Facebook followers of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources can “talk” online about winter hiking with interpretive naturalist Jim Eagleman on Wednesday, Jan. 16, from 2-3 p.m. (EST), on the DNR’s Facebook wall.

Eagleman will answer questions about winter hiking and Brown County State Park’s Winter Getaway Weekend , which will be held later this month. 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

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.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Baer Field Speedway returns

From the Baer Field Speedway:   

This spring will see Baer Field Speedway kick off the 50th year of providing family entertainment and championship-level stock car racing to Fort Wayne and the surrounding areas. When the first green flag rises on the season, it will do so under new management as long-time Speedway promoter Tom Isch has retired, ending his 20-year reign over the facility. Stepping into his large shoes will be area businessman and racer Jon Raney.

For Raney, owner of Jonny on the Spot Delivery Service, the opportunity to step into the promoter’s role was more of a surprise, than a goal. “I grew up watching races and helping drivers run their cars at Baer Field and later started my own driving career there,” said Raney. “I’d largely been away from the Speedway for the last several years, but my son decided he wanted to race, so I built him a go-kart for Friday nights. As the season went on, I started having conversations with Tom Isch and he revealed to me that 2012 would be his final year. At that point, the wheels started turning. As a racer, you always play the game, ‘If I had the track, I’d do this and that.’ Well, now I do, so I guess I get the chance!”

To assist in the day-to-day operations, Raney retained longtime Speedway employee Bob Koorsen as Program Director. The Speedway has also hired a new sales and promotions staff to try and bring the historic facility more into the public eye.

One of the immediate priorities for the new management is to make the facility more fan and family-friendly. “Baer Field Speedway is a 50 years old she certainly shows her age in some places,” said Raney. “We’re invested in this for the long term, so fans can expect to see some immediate changes the next time they come through the turnstiles as we started on improvements, less than two weeks after we took over the property.”

Looking ahead to 2013 and the 50th anniversary, Raney had this to say, “I think the fans will be very pleased to see what we have in store for them! First, we plan to be much more active in the community. I believe that Baer Field Speedway has the best entertainment value for dollar of anything in Allen or any surrounding county and it’s our job to take that message to as many people as possible! We will continue to present a fast-paced, 2½ hour, exciting program every Saturday night from May through September and we will keep the admission prices low, in many cases, much lower than other ‘traditional’ entertainment venues, plus good food at family-friendly prices and FREE PARKING! We also plan to bring in some spectacular special events, some of which will be ‘first-evers’ in the 50 years of Baer Field, plus some old returning favorites. We will also continue to invest in the future of the sport, by hosting weekly go-kart races at both our paved and dirt karting tracks.”
The Speedway will kick off the 50th Anniversary season on Saturday, May 11, with the HOSS Outlaw Winged Sprints in the first of two appearances of the season. Other “special events” will include the 16th annual “Gold Cup” on Saturday, July 27; $20 car load nights on Saturday, May 27 and Saturday, June 29; the “50th Anniversary Night” with FOUR 50-lap features and $5 admission on Saturday, August 17; the first appearance in nearly a decade for the MSA Winged Supermodifieds on Saturday, July 6; the return of the ARCA/CRA Super Series on Sunday, September 15; and the return of the OUTLAW Super Late Models and the “Three Rivers Festival 100” on Wednesday, July 17…featuring a Speedway record $10,000 winner’s purse! Late Models, Modifieds, Street Stocks, Mini Stocks, and Front Wheel Drives will be a part of every Saturday night racing program.

For 2013, the Speedway will once again offer the popular “FAST PASS” season-ticket option. A “FAST PASS” is good for 20 adult grandstand admissions (or dirt go-kart pit passes) which may be used for ANY 2013 Baer Field Speedway event. The 2013 “FAST PASS” will be just $200 and represents a saving of nearly $200, if used just for 2013 special events. The “FAST PASS” is available only for a limited time and may be purchased online of through the Speedway office.

For rules, schedules, and information, check the Speedway website at or email:

Monday, January 7, 2013

Salamonie Lake hosts Cowboy Gathering Feb. 23

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

Lasso your riding buddies and join other horse-minded folks for an evening of food and fellowship at Salamonie Lake’s Cowboy Gathering, Feb. 23.

The event runs from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Salamonie Interpretive Center. Visitors can enjoy a presentation on riding trails at Big South Fork and Zenith Campground in Tennessee. Stew and soft drink will be provided. Visitors should bring a dish to pass and table service.

Registration is required by calling (260) 468-2127.

The interpretive center is in Lost Bridge West State Recreation Area, off State Route 105, in western Huntington County. The regular entrance fee of $5 per in-state vehicle or $7 per out-of-state vehicle applies.

For more information on other UWIS programs, see or, or call (260) 468-2127.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

County, state fair schedules set

The Wells County 4-H Association has set July 13-18 for the 2013 Wells County 4-H Fair. Livestock show times and auction are expected to be similar to previous years.

Representatives of the 4-H Fair will be attending the 2013 Indiana Association of Fairs and Festivals Conference in Indianapolis later in January.

Officers of the Wells County 4-H Association for 2013 include Kent Ulmer, president; Brian Clark, first vice president; Chad Captain, second vice president; Gretta Nusbaumer, secretary; and Leah Sills, treasurer.

Officers for the Wells County 4-H Council for 2013 will be Karl Steiner, president; Cathy Neu, vice president; and Chris Crickard, secretary. The 4-H Council is responsible for the 4-H rules and policy that govern the various 4-H events and activities within the county.

This year's Indiana State Fair will be held August 2-18. The logo will include "Fun at Every Turn," and the theme will center around the year of the "Indiana Popcorn."

This year's fair will also feature an outdoor "ice show" with skaters doing stunts, performing with music and comedy and displaying artistry as they glide through the specially engineered tent housing the rink.

For more details on the State Fair, go to

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Salamonie Preschool to offer two weather classes, Jan.23

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

Preschool-age children can learn about weather at one of two Salamonie Preschool classes on Jan. 23 at Salamonie Interpretive Center.

“Wild About Weather” runs from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and again from 12:30 to 2 p.m. The interpretive center is in Lost Bridge West State Recreation Area in Andrews.

Salamonie Preschool programs are designed to enhance a child’s basic education. Participants learn letters of the alphabet, build crafts, interact with other children and spend time outdoors, always with a nature-related theme. 

Adults are required to attend the preschool with their children. 

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