Progress

They go in so they can reach out

By JESSICA WILLIAMS Lemuel Vega wants the nation’s inmates to try one more time. His Bluffton-based ministry, Christmas Behind Bars, is providing that opportunity year round. He credits the community behind his...

YMCA programs are in place, plans are in place;

now, all that’s needed is a new building By JESSICA WILLIAMS As the Village People once mused, “No man does it all by himself.” And it will take the community to complete the vision of the Wells County YMCA for...

Southern Wells getting wired for new school year

By CHET BAUMGARTNER Southern Wells high school students are returning to school in August with laptops, after school board members in May unanimously voted  to implement a one-to-one digital learning...

County’s service clubs provide community support

By KAYLEEN REUSSER Wells County has a number of service clubs —organizations which focus their efforts on community service. Here is a brief look at five of them: Zanesville Lions Club Since 1960, the Zanesville...

Second opinion saves Ossian more than $500,000

By GLEN WERLING Having the courage to explore outside of what the experts claim is needed helped Ossian to save more than $500,000 this year. Members of the Ossian Stormwater Management Board were faced with a...

Whistleblowers extraodinaire

By JOE SMEKENS for the News-Banner When you’re doing the wash, do you put those black-and-white-striped referee shirts with the whites or with the dark clothes? That’s a dilemma which has faced Luann Garton,...

Program’s goal: Turning students into readers

By CHET BAUMGARTNER According to one estimate, the average person reads several hundred words a day. Bluffton-Harrison fourth-grade student Mason Schwartz read about 5,500. Between August 2012 and May 2013, he...

Randy Harnish is a man who means business

By JESSICA WILLIAMS Randy Harnish has worn many hats. The native has turned a few pages in his storied business history, which dates back more than three decades with a convenience store. Today, it includes a...

The learning curve

New SW Principal John Purcell had much to learn, much to teach By GLEN WERLING It’s been a learning year for Southern Wells Elementary School first-year principal John Purcell. “I’ve been learning the culture,...

Parks’ first ‘athletic coordinator’ getting programs, people running

By DAVE SCHULTZ There is a movement afoot to get more feet and other body parts moving. The Bluffton Parks and Recreation Department hired Laurie Baumgartner as a part-time employee in May 2012 and gave her the...

Perma-Column adds on, growing in Ossian Industrial Park

By Terri Hughes-Lazzell In less than seven years in business, Perma-Column Inc. of Ossian has seen its employee numbers grow from one to 11. Phillip Stoller, general manager for Perma-Column, 400 Carol Lane,...

Economic, Ossian officials looking at a TIF district

While the effort to turn the Ossian Industrial Park into a TIF district is temporarily stalled, Wells County Economic Development Director Tim Ehlerding is determined to get it done. “A TIF district is, without...

Major construction underway at Ossian’s Archbold-Wilson Park

By GLEN WERLING Inspiration can come from many sources. At Ossian, inspiration is coming from the construction of the long-planned but little accomplished Archbold-Wilson Memorial Park. Archbold Wilson is the big...

Ossian Branch Library remodel, expansion project completed

By GLEN WERLING Members of the Wells County Public Library were faced with a conundrum. The Ossian branch was outgrowing its space and was starting to look a little dated inside. It needed to grow and it needed...

One man’s gone, and three men are in

By DAVE SCHULTZ Jeff Espich misses serving in the Indiana House of Representatives — and how could he not? —  but he feels he left the people of Wells County in pretty good hands. Espich represented Wells County at...

Brothers see organic farming as a way to be better stewards of their land

By KAYLEEN REUSSER “We believe healthy soil is needed for healthy bodies,” said Alan Schwartz of rural Markle. Since 2006, Alan and his brother Hal have farmed their family’s farm complex, which they call Organic...

Major renovations underway at Norwell

By CHET BAUMGARTNER “This is the kitchen,” said architect Dana Wannemacher, standing near a mini bulldozer and a skid steer loader resting on the dirt floor. He, members of the Northern Wells school board,...

Keeping good company

Mitchel Enterprises in new location, overcoming some obstacles By JESSICA WILLIAMS Mitchel Enterprises has survived the recession and a fire to see so much growth the company has to relocate. The uncle-nephew...

LiGHT encourages ladies to fund programs for women, children

By BARBARA BARBIERI LiGHT (Ladies initiating Giving—an Honored Tradition), under the wing of the Wells County Foundation, is entering its second year with nearly 200 members working to improve the quality of life...

Learning technologically

Bluffton-Harrison schools complete first year with iPads By CHET BAUMGARTNER Bluffton High School math teacher Josh Clark stands in front of the SMARTboard, teaching another lesson on remedial math, when a student...

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