September 30, 2007

High Hay Prices

Hay prices are at record levels this year. Why? Well, government subsidies result in an artificially high price of corn for use in ethanol production. Lack of low-cost corn results in farmers feeding hay to their cows which results in a hay shortage which drives up prices.

"We set a record high in 2006-07, and we're going to set another one this crop marketing year," said Robb. "We expect hay prices will set a record of about $115 per ton. And horse and dairy-quality hay selling for well over $150 per ton."

Ethanol production has also changed the market, Robb said. Corn which would normally have been used for livestock feed is now going toward fuel.

"The U.S. is very soon going to be processing more corn in the next few years into ethanol than we feed in the livestock sector," Robb said.

Take the Red Shirt Off Harnish?

An interesting discussion about whether Chandler Harnish should be moved up to play this year at Northern Illinois.
There is still half the season left, so taking his redshirt off and starting him wouldn't be a waste of his redshirt. It would be a look into the future. We have Temple next week, and no matter how "improved" they are, they still are 0-5. After that, we come home for homecoming vs. WMU before going to Wisconsin. It would given Harnish 2 games to get his feet wet before having to play Wisconsin.

Obviously none of us know much about Harnish other then what we read. I do know is that he looks like a QB. The NIU website has him listed as 6-3, 211, and at the game yesterday I noticed he just looks like more of a QB then Dan and Morris do.

For those who are football lingo-challenged, a player is allowed to play for 4 years in college, if Harnish never steps foot into a game this year, he would still have his 4 years left... that's called "Red Shirting." But if he gets into even one game this year, even if for just one second, then he can only play 3 more years.

Hot Property Online

Want to buy stolen property online?

It's OK... you'll be buying stuff from the police who couldn't find the proper owners:
Indianapolis - City police and several other central Indiana departments have found a profitable way to unload unclaimed property via the Internet.

The Web site sells lost, stolen or abandoned property collected by police departments in Indianapolis, Lawrence, Carmel and Westfield. The online auction service, based in California, handles unclaimed property from 1,100 police departments, cities and towns nationwide.

Number 17: Purdue

Purdue is now ranked #17 in the nation. Next week, Purdue faces #4, Ohio State.

September 29, 2007

Imel Advances to State Finals

Norwell Junior Kaylee Imel advanced to the Girls State Finals in Franklin, IN with a 76.

Updat: Imel finishes 15th at State with a 77.

NYT: Soaring Food Prices

The New York Times focuses on the rising cost of food causing a reduction in the amount of food the United States can afford to buy for foreign aid.
Soaring food prices, driven in part by demand for ethanol made from corn, have helped slash the amount of food aid the government buys to its lowest level in a decade, possibly resulting in more hungry people around the world this year.

If our government would stop subsidizing ethanol, perhaps things wouldn't be getting so bad.

College Football 9-29-2007

Purdue moved to 5-0 by rolling over the Irish, 33-19. Notre Dame, however, did show some signs of life.

Hoosiers defeat Iowa 38-20

Southern Illinois 72, Indiana State 10. I don't believe the ISU football players appreciated having their coach fired mid-season.

Norwell Tennis Team Advances

After defeating Bluffton in the sectional opener on Thursday, the Norwell Boys Tennis team advanced to the finals by knocking off Adams Central on Friday. The finals were this morning, where Norwell played Huntington North.

September 28, 2007

Historic Rise in Grain Prices

Historic Surge in Grain Prices: This year the prices of Illinois corn and soybeans are up 40% and 75%, respectively, from a year ago. Kansas wheat is up 70% or more. And a growing number of economists and agribusiness executives think the run-ups could last as long as a decade, raising the cost of all kinds of food.

As I said before here, and here, and here -- the only way ethanol is cost competitive with gasoline is through government subsidies... and if you burn your food for fuel, you'll end up paying too much for both

Not only have prices remained high, but the rally has swept up other commodities such as barley, sorghum, eggs, cheese, oats, rice, peas, sunflower and lentils. In Georgia, the nation's No. 1 poultry-producing state, slaughterhouses are charging a record wholesale price for three-pound chickens, up 15% from a year ago.

What's changed is that powerful new sources of demand are emerging. In addition to U.S. government incentives that encourage businesses to turn corn and soybeans into motor fuel, the growing economies of Asia and Latin America are enabling hundreds of millions of people to spend more on food. A growing middle class in these regions is eating more meat and milk, which in turn is increasing demand for grain to feed livestock.

Hang on to your hats, Ladies and Gentlemen, and look for the recession/inflation to come:
American families, which spend 9.9% of their disposable income on food, are facing the fastest-rising food prices in 17 years. The consumer's cost for everything from yogurt and popcorn to breakfast cereal and fast-food french fries is climbing. In U.S. cities last month, the average retail price of a pound loaf of whole-wheat bread was up 24% from a year ago, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Whole milk hit $3.807 a gallon, up 26%.

The winners, and I don't begrudge them a dime, are the American farmers who are likely to see their income go up nearly 50%.

Norwell at Dekalb

3A Norwell (3-3) travels to 4A Dekalb (4-2).
DeKalb came into Friday night’s game with the better record and supposedly better defense.

Someone forgot to tell the Norwell Knights.

Norwell’s front line stuffed the running game, while the secondary shut down the Barons’ passing attack, and the offense racked up 322 yards rushing en route to a 27-7 dominating win.

Way to go Knights!

Norwell Volleyball Defeats New Haven

It was a close match, but Norwell came back to win

The Lady Knights improved their season record to 19-6 and climbed to 3-2 in the NHC. New Haven fell to 6-14 and 0-4.

It also looked as if the Lady Bulldogs would spoil Norwell’s special recognition of seven seniors, including Alex Baker, Allee Donaghy, Alecia Gilbert, Amanda Meyer, Allison Painter, Lauren Schumm and manager Chelsea Fischer.

However, Gilbert and Donaghy picked up the play of the Lady Knights. Gilbert hammered 13 kills and Donaghy dished out 37 set assists. Painter also came up with 12 digs, while Baker had eight.

Indiana Basketball Recruit

Bud Mackey, the 6' 4" high school senior guard who had verbally committed to play at IU next year has been busted for trafficking cocaine at his high school in Kentucky. He was on the shortlist for Kentucky's Mr. Basketball this season.

Some say our drug laws are doing more harm to our society than good. Some drugs, like cocaine, though, are so addictive that they must be restricted legally. It's painful to see young folks lives ruined, especially those with so much going for them.


Novae Corp., maker of trailers and such, will be doubling their workforce in Markle before 2010.

Listed among Inc. Magazine's "Inc 500" fastest growing privately held companies in the country, Novae has nearly doubled its workforce since locating in the Northeast Indiana town in 2005. The company plans to begin hiring welders, assemblers and clerical staff later this year.

"Markle was blessed when Novae Corporation selected Markle for its expanding operations and became the first resident of our Industrial Park," said Tamra Boucher, president of the Markle Town Council. 'Novae is an excellent corporate citizen and strongly supports community projects. The company continues to create new opportunities for our community, and we are excited to see their growth. We look forward to our continued relationship with Novae and more positive announcements in the future."

Here's hoping Novae stays in Markle for a long time to come.

Noble Romans

What's this?  Dallas Texas gets 58 new Noble Romans restaurants and all Ft. Wayne has is a single walk-up on Calhoun?  Why can't we have an old-style Noble Romans sit-down pizzeria -- with the silent-movie, large-screen TV in the dining area and the window showing the pizza tossers.  What's this area of the world coming to?

September 27, 2007

Purdue Turning Heads

Purdue isn't ranked... yet

The Louvre in Indy

The largest traveling exhibit ever mounted by the Louvre has been unpacked at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. The exhibition is of Roman art and it will be in Indy until January 6th.

The Indy Museum of Art is located at 4000 N. Michigan Rd.

And while we're on the subject of art, don't forget to visit the Creative Arts Center of Wells County between October 15th and November 28th to see "Forged Art" the art of blacksmithing. Sevens member Mark Thomas will have items on display. The Creative Arts Center is located at 211 West Water Street in Bluffton.

Indiana Regulates Steroids

The Indiana Horse Racing Commission voted unanimously to regulate the use of steroids in horse racing. The rule goes into effect Jan. 1, 2008.

Perhaps an asterisk branding iron should come into play.

Tainted Evidence?

Do you remember last year when a sniper was shooting at traffic and killed a passenger on I-65 near Seymour? The killer's lawyer is trying to get the evidence against him thrown out.

2006 ISSMA Marching Knights

Norwell Champs. STATE VIDEO!!!

I ran across the above and thought I'd share it here. Norwell won the 2006 ISSMA State Finals.

September 26, 2007

Centerville Deaths

Greta Van Susteren covered the deaths of the two Centerville, IN sisters tonight on Fox News. They didn't say anything that hasn't been in the papers. Since they didn't have any new facts, they made a few up, surmising that the Police are embarrassed and that the boyfriend is a likely suspect.

Nothing good hardly ever comes from any contact with the media. They get their facts wrong and make stuff up if they have no facts.

Bellmont Defeats Norwell

Sad to say, the state-ranked Bellmont Girls Volleyball team deserve their ranking.

Tylenol and Caffeine

Can mixing Tylenol and Caffeine lead to liver damage?
While the studies are preliminary findings conducted in bacteria and laboratory animals, they suggest that consumers may want to limit caffeine intake -- including energy drinks and strong coffee -- while taking acetaminophen.

If so, Excedrin, which has Tylenol, Aspirin and Caffeine should be used sparingly.

Indy Airport Scare

The Indianapolis International Airport had a little bomb scare this morning when an odd, simulated bomb package was found.  It could have been used for screening tests or other security exercises, but it's unclear how it got to where it was found.

September 25, 2007

1st Source Bank Robbery

The 1st Source Bank was robbed in Waynedale today at noon by two masked, armed men. Dozens of police cars raced to the area, nearly running over our car as Cindy was driving from St. Therese to Spyros. 1st Source is about 1 mile from both St. Therese and Waynedale Elementary... it doesn't appear that the police notified either school and children were out at recess during the search for the gunmen.

Hollywood USA

An ongoing discussion about current antiwar films and Hollywood's patriotic duty in the LA Times.

Update: Part 3.

Sunday Games

An interesting school board meeting in Bluffton this week. Should the school system allow its sports venues to be used on Sundays. The Bluffton School Board voted, "No."

I know things have changed a lot in the last 30 years, but organized Sunday youth games and practices used to be unheard of. I can't imagine our parents would have put up with it. I imagine the Bluffton School Board will get an earful from parents of kids involved in sports, but hey, why can't we give the kids a day off.

Sports Roundup 9-25-2007

The Banner rounds it up, including, sadly,
The Adams Central Lady Jets volleyball team defended its airspace Monday night by coming back to shoot down the Norwell Lady Knights in four games 25-21, 19-25, 25-20, 25-22 at Monroe.

Close matches, all, and I imagine the weekend tournament took its toll on the Lady Knights. At least the JV beat the Jets.

Outsourcing Labor

Child Craft Industries, out of New Salisbury, IN (way down by Louisville), makes cribs and other types of baby furniture. They've been an Indiana business since 1911, founded in Salem, IN. Now, citing competition, they have decided to lay off all their workers and make their furniture in Honduras. Here's their "About Us" information from their company website:
Founded in 1911 in Salem, Indiana, Child Craft Industries remains a family owned, American company. The principles of quality and integrity that have served to guide us for nearly 100 years are alive and well.

I guess that I-69 extension down to Mexico will help them in their move.

Supreme Court vs. Indiana

Early next year, the Supreme Court will decide whether Indiana's voter ID laws discriminate against poor and minority residents.

Election law experts had urged the court to take the Indiana case to instruct courts on how to weigh claims of voter fraud versus those of disenfranchisement. "The court better resolve this question before ballots start getting counted next fall," said Stanford University law professor Pamela Karlan.

The court is expected to issue a decision by late June, in time for the November general election.

Governor Daniels in Markle

Gov. Mitch Daniels today is scheduled to appear in two Indiana cities for jobs announcements: at 9 a.m. in Markle (south of Fort Wayne) and at 3:30 p.m. in Anderson. The first of the two will involve Novae Corp., which makes trailers and sliding sulkies for lawn mowers. The Anderson announcement later today involves executives from an undisclosed company, according to a press release in advance of the news conference.

September 24, 2007

Rapid Eye and Vulture

The DoD has commissioned the development of "Rapid Eye" and "Vulture." "Rapid Eye" is kind of like a temporary satellite that could be launched on a missile at a moment's notice to hover over any hot spot in the world for a few hours, gathering Intel. "Vulture" is intended to be a high-tech, unmanned airplane, powered by the Sun, that will be able to fly over any given spot on Earth at the outer reaches of the atmosphere for up to five years. The goal, of course, is to no longer have to wait on satellite redirection or suffer through the black spots inherent in orbiting spy satellites.

Interesting. But 1) this would increase our reliance on non-human intelligence which proved to be so wrong in Iraq... and 2) how long will it take before we launch these things over our allies and our citizens, especially if an impending attack is suspected.

It is becoming increasingly impossible for Congress and the law to keep up with Science.

Interesting Tidbit

Jim Irsay, owner of the Indianapolis Colts, also owns the original scroll-manuscript of Jack Kerouac's "On the Road." Kerouac created the scroll by taping pages together before feeding them into his typewriter in 1951.

There is something scriptural about the scroll. Jim Irsay, graduate of Southern Methodist University, former Mustang linebacker and now owner of the Indianapolis Colts, bought it in 2001 for $2.43 million.

Irsay says he first found his way to Kerouac's narrative because he got swept up in rock 'n' roll, in John Lennon and Bob Dylan.

"And as we got caught up in our heroes, we'd go backwards and connect the dots, tracing who influenced who."

And there was Jack Kerouac.

Baby Baby

Does there have to be a reason?

Harding Invitational

The Norwell Girls Volleyball team defeated Churubusco, Canterbury, Blackhawk Christian and New Haven to win the Harding Invitational on Saturday. The Knights are now 18-4.

September 23, 2007

Wrigley Fields

So you're a cub fan and your last name is "Fields" and you have a baby... what do you name him?

Bayh to endorse Clinton

Senator Evan Bayh is set to endorse Senator Hillary Clinton tomorrow.
Bayh is a moderate Democrat whose blessing could help Clinton pick up votes in Republican states.

Indiana is among the most reliably Republican of states — “the reddest of the red,” as one Democratic official put it. The Hoosier State went 57 percent for George W. Bush in 2000 and 60 percent for President Bush’s reelection in 2004.

Senator Clinton was on all the Sunday morning shows this morning and appears, from all accounts, to be the presumptive Democratic nominee. It sure isn't clear to me who she will be running against, but it wouldn't be surprising if Senator Bayh ends up on her ticket.

Colts 30, Texans 24

The Colts remained undefeated, but the game was closer than it needed to be.
Jerome Mathis returned the game's opening kickoff 84 yards for a score for the Texans, who were limited to 40 yards on the ground. The Texans were hurt by injuries before and during the game. Wide receiver Andre Johnson was inactive due to a sprained right knee, and Houston running back Ron Dayne was also inactive with bruised ribs. Running back Ahman Green suffered a knee injury in the first half. Texans defensive tackle Cedric Killings was hurt in a head-on collision on the ensuing kickoff and was taken off the field on a stretcher. Killings, who was part of a convoy of blockers for Mathis, collided helmet-to-helmet with the Colts' Roy Hall. Killings' head and chest were strapped in as he was wheeled off the field with a neck injury and taken to a hospital for tests.

A good reminder of how dangerous the game is and how quickly the Colts could lose key players, as well.

Imel Advances

Norwell's Kaylee Imel has advanced to the Regionals with a score of 73 at Noble Hawk. Dekalb placed first as a team, followed by Plymouth and East Noble.

September 22, 2007

College Scoreboard 9-22-2007

Indiana defeated by Illinois, 27-14

Notre Dame remains winless after Michigan State, 31-14
For the first time in 119 seasons of Notre Dame football, the Irish are 0-4
Purdue goes 4-0 against Minnesota, 45-31

Town & Country To Tour Ossian Villas

The Home Builders Association of Fort Wayne sponsors the Town & Country New Home Tour each year. This year, they'll be touring "The Bridges" in Ossian.
Ossian-based Barkley also plans to use the geothermal systems and apply the same energy-efficiency standards to any of the traditional single-family homes it builds in the 49-lot subdivision.

Barkley, which has been in business since 1981, has been putting geothermal units in some of the homes it’s built since 1984. But with fuel costs continuing to increase and consumers more aware of energy and environmental issues, building an entire villa development with geothermal systems “just made sense,” said Josh Barkley, who runs the company with his father, Randy Barkley.

The geothermal units are made by WaterFurnace, a Fort Wayne manufacturer.

Randy Barkley is, of course, a member of the Norwell Class of 1975. And Sevens members Bob Brown and Lynn Gerhing, as I've mentioned before, are part of the team at WaterFurnace.

September 21, 2007

Sports Roundup for 9-21-2007

The Banner rounds it up, including:
The Norwell Lady Knights volleyball team upped their season record to 14-4 Thursday night with a 3-2 victory over the visiting DeKalb Lady Barons in a Northeast Hoosier Conference match at the Castle.

Norwell won the junior varsity match in three games 16-25, 25-18, 15-9.

Girl Murdered in Anderson

A 14 year old girl in Anderson was apparently taken from her bus stop and killed. The killer was captured quickly because he called 911.
Police became suspicious of the call because the body had been dragged off a walking trail and was not in plain sight, Sandefur said at a probable cause hearing. Police obtained a search warrant for the house from which the 911 call was placed and Pitts was arrested Thursday afternoon.

Sandefur said police found blood spattered on clothing in Pitts' possession.

Anderson Community Schools Superintendent Mikella Lowe described the incident as "tragic."

"It's very, very tragic," said Lowe. "It's always sad when we lose a young person."

I'm kind of a "word" person... I don't think the word "tragic" fits this case at all. "Tragic" carries with it, at least in my mind, a certain kind of worldworn, inevitable sadness I just don't associate with a man dragging a 14 year old girl away to kill her. I would say someone dying young in an accident or from disease or by some act of god like a storm is tragic. I middle-school girl murdered by a man while she's waiting for her morning school bus is a heinous crime, not a tragedy.

Norwell vs. East Noble

The Knights (3-2) 3A meet East Noble (3-2) 4A Friday night at the Castle.

East Nobel 41, Norwell 34

Norwell received a shot in the arm at halftime with the return of first-string quarterback Kyle Miller.

Miller, seeing his first action since the Leo game in the first week of the season, directed the Knights down the field on a 13-play scoring drive that got his team back in the game at 27-21.

The game was close, but East Nobel took the prize.

September 20, 2007

Hoosier Park is Growing

Hoosier Park, a horse and sulky racing track down Anderson way, is expanding and adding a casino with 2000 slots.

Hoosier Park says the $400 million project will create about 600 new jobs, jobs that Anderson lost when the big factories left town.

"We're looking for jobs, we're looking for other ways to raise our families and make money. If they keep it local, it's going to be a huge success for Anderson," small business owner Amy Hassos said.

Weybright: Coach of the Year

Norwell's baseball coach, Kelby Weybright, has been named one of four Indiana Coaches of the year.
The four men who led their teams to state tournament championships in June, including Norwell’s Kelby Weybright, have been named Indiana high school baseball coaches of the year.

Weybright led the Knights to a perfect season, finishing 35-0 and winning their second state title.

I'm sure that Coach Weybright, when he accepts the award in January, will thank his players and his assistant coaches, including Sevens member pitching coach, Kurt Gray.

Universal Health Care

Let's hope America doesn't come to this
Failure to quit smoking before certain elective procedures confers such clinical detriment that to proceed to surgery is ill judged. When all other clinical features are identical, costs are increased and outcomes are worse in a smoker than in a current non-smoker. In healthcare systems with finite resources, preferring non-smokers over smokers for a limited number of procedures will deliver greater clinical benefit to individuals and the community—smokers and non-smokers. To fail to implement such a clinical practice in these select circumstances would be to sacrifice sensible clinical judgment for the sake of a non-discriminatory principle.

And just in case you don't believe doctors in England would deny care to a smoker, read this:

A man with a broken ankle is facing a lifetime of pain because a Health Service hospital has refused to treat him unless he gives up smoking.

John Nuttall, 57, needs surgery to set the ankle which he broke in three places two years ago because it did not mend naturally with a plaster cast.

Doctors at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro have refused to operate because they say his heavy smoking would reduce the chance of healing, and there is a risk of complications.

I'm certainly no expert on Health Insurance, but it just seems to me that if we allow the government to control Health Care, it will be hard to stop them from controlling aspects of our lives that affect our health. And really, what aspects of our lives don't affect our health.

September 19, 2007


Interested in High School sports? MaxPreps. Use the "Find a School" search to track schools, or just browse to find he sports and schools of interest.

Project Lead the Way Grows

Project Lead the Way is an engineering and technology education program for middle school and high school students. Indiana Project Lead the Way has grown 45% over last year and is now present in 231 Hoosier schools. This puts Indiana first among the seven states implementing the not-for-profit program.

We all know, though, that the credit for growth lies with Sevens Member Dr. Joy Garton Krueger who joined the project this year as its Director of Assessment and Evaluation.

Safety First

The Indy Star reports that Indiana has set a record for seat belt use
"This is a major victory for traffic safety in the state of Indiana," said Mike Cunegin, executive director of the [Criminal Justice] Institute. "We are confident that this increase in seat belt usage will translate into lives saved on Indiana's roadways. This level of compliance shows that Hoosiers now recognize that buckling up can drastically reduce death and serious injury on our roads."

A law that took effect July 1 requires almost everyone to wear seat belts, including those riding in back seats or traveling in pickup trucks, SUVs and minivans.

In a related story, the Handrail Institute of Indiana reports an increase in people holding on to handrails as they walk down stairs. OK, so there isn't any Handrail Institute of Indiana... I'm just saying, don't you think it's possible that more people are wearing seatbelts because the average age of Hoosiers is increasing, we're more experienced, we slowing down -- not because of any law.

Sports Roundup 9-19-2007

The Banner rounds it up

The Norwell Girls Volleyball team won a close conference match against Columbia City.

The Grim Reaper

the Big 10 Cut Down to Size

The Big 10 has been cut down to size by upsets

The league's first blow came on opening day when then-No. 5 Michigan lost 34-32 to Appalachian State, the first time a Top 25 team lost to a I-AA team.

"If that's the only thing, things would be all right, but last week really hurt," said Jerry Palm, whose Web site,, ranks teams. "Iowa loses to Iowa State, who probably won't beat anyone else. Northwestern loses to Duke, who hadn't beaten anyone in two years and probably won't beat anyone else. And Minnesota loses to Bowling Green and Florida Atlantic.

"That's four teams that have suffered embarrassing losses. When it's that many teams in the league, it drags everyone down in the perception of the fans, the voters and it hurts them in the computer rankings."

Should Notre Dame Apologize

This article thinks so... for the firing of Coach Willingham in 1990.

September 18, 2007

Moser Home for Sale

Sevens member Sherri Kumfer sends along this link to a home in Portland, IN for sale. Sherri says there's a rumor floating around that Tony Stewart might be interested.

Sherri also sent along information about the prior owner of the home who died in a plane crash in 2003.
Moser, 50, a long-time drag racer and axle manufacturer, started his business with his 49-year-old wife in 1982. The Mosers revolutionized the axle industry with the development of a streamlined manufacturing process that shortened the standard four- to six- week turnaround time to just two days. Moser Engineering, which originated in the Mosers' garage, is now one of the leading aftermarket axle manufacturers in the United States.

With that new ethanol plant fired up over in Portland, I'm sure there may be many, newly wealthy ethanol barons who might beat Stewart to it.

Fort Wayne Newspapers to Build

I admit, this surprises me. Fort Wayne Newspapers is planning a $35 million expansion downtown to house a new press. From all accounts, I thought their circulation was down and newspapers were heading toward -- what's that President Bush quote I'm searching for -- "history's unmarked grave of discarded lies."

I wonder why they don't put the $35 million towards more local reporting/reporters and less tickertape national and international news from the wires. Everybody pretty much knows the national and international stuff by the time the paper gets to the door... it's the local news that's under reported.

107 in a 45

Two motorcycles race down Minnich Road and happen upon a cop with a radar gun.

As Derickson and Roehm approached the squad car, the two tried to slow down but lost control of the motorcycles and crashed.

The men were thrown from the motorcycles and slid about 400 feet across the pavement before coming to a stop. Their motorcycles were totaled.

Derickson and Roehm were taken to Parkview Hospital, treated for road rash and released. Both were cited for misdemeanor charges of speed contest and reckless driving.

Lucky guys, though I doubt they think so.

An Indiana Map

An interactive map of Indiana

I-69 South

Other states are giving us their borrowed money for a study of extending I-69 on down south. The fact is, the I-69 extension is already underway, with highways in Tennessee (see picture at the top) already being improved to four lanes and labeled "I-69 Corridor."
Interstate 69 begins at the U.S./Canadian border north of Detroit and extends southward to Indianapolis. The corridor is then in various stages of development and construction from Indianapolis south through Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas before reaching the Mexican border near Laredo.


Interesting fact: There are more previous Indy winners running NASCAR (5) than Indy Racing (3).

Sports Roundup 9-18-2007

The Banner rounds it up... including a hole-in-one on 13 at Cedar Creek by Norwell grad Brandon Bushee:
“I knew I had it right at the pin,” recalled Bushee, who is originally from Wells County and a Norwell High School graduate. “I kept saying be the right club. Well, the wind drifted it to the right and then it funneled back down and dropped in. It was in a golf outing on the closest to the pin hole. My group went nuts and the group ahead us saw it and started cheering as well. It was awesome.”

September 17, 2007

Ablution at the Indy Airport

The upgrade of the Indianapolis International Airport terminal will include low sinks for ritual cleansing. Ablution is the cleansing of the body in preparation for prayer, cleaning the feet is the last step. Muslims call it "Wudu."
The new airport terminal is funded primarily through general airline revenues. About 10 percent of funding, for devices such as safety and flight equipment, comes from federal grants. But some critics say these foot baths are religious facilities in a public place -- and a clear constitutional violation.

Robert Spencer founded the group Jihad Watch, which aims to raise awareness of what its founders perceive as a proliferation of Islamic law into mainstream society. Spencer compares installing a foot bath in a restroom to putting in a holy water font to accommodate Catholic cab drivers.

"The only conceivable group that will use the foot bath are Muslims for prayer," Spencer said. "It's a religious installation for a religious use."

Airport officials say they see it differently.

"These facilities are for everybody's use," said David Dawson, spokesman for the new terminal project.

This really wouldn't bother people so much if the there weren't groups in America going out of their way to remove all expressions of Christianity from the public square:

Norwell Girls Win Invitational

The Norwell girls volleyball team won the Tippecanoe Valley Invitational Volleyball Tournament in Akron over the weekend.
The Lady Knights won three matches, downing Tippecanoe Valley 25-23, 28-26, Knox 25-14, 25-21 and Woodlan 25-19, 25-23.

Bluffton Street Fair Blog

The Bluffton Street Fair has a blog!

Bluffton Street Fair Begins

Don't forget, the Bluffton Street Fair begins tomorrow

The grand opening parade will begin promptly at 7 p.m. Tuesday night.

Serving as this year’s grand marshals in the “Great Outdoors” theme are Howard and Beverly Rich, both long active in community projects.

Norwell Girls Win Sectional

Kaylee Imel is shown here leading the Knights to the girls golf sectional victory at Timber Ridge in Bluffton. Norwell defeated Bishop Luers, Canterbury, Homestead and Bellmont. The girls advance to the regionals at East Noble this weekend.

Good luck at East Noble, girls!

Update: The Banner's Take on the Sectional Title

it is the first girls golf sectional championship in Norwell history. The Lady Knights have advanced to regional before as a team but never as the winning team.

More Grain Bins Needed

Another offshoot of growing more corn for ethanol:  you have to have some place to keep it all while you're waiting to sell it.

Ethanol manufacturers are snatching up corn, a key ingredient in the alternative fuel. That has caused corn prices to soar and encouraged farmers to grow more grain, Niemeyer said. Grain elevators, which buy and store crops, and farmers themselves are investing in additional storage space as a result.

Wells County farmer Bobby Caley planted more corn to capitalize on the rising prices. He and his sons built a 60,000-bushel storage bin for his farm this summer. Caley sells grain to several local elevators and stores the rest at his farm, which has room for more than 200,000 bushels.

Storing some grain on the farm gives farmers additional selling opportunities, Caley said. Farmers who want to sell to ethanol plants must store it until the delivery date the plant sets.

Even if farmers don't sell to an ethanol plant, they can earn a premium for waiting to sell grain, Caley said. Most buyers pay a higher price after harvest, when less grain is on the market.

"Because of the glut at harvest, there's always a (price) basis improvement" for farmers who wait a few months to sell their grain, Caley said.

Dave Troxell out of Bluffton's Troxell Equipment Co. has a backlog of grain bin orders and expects bin orders to remain strong for years due to the ethanol plants in the area.  Troxell says, "Anything that's good for the farmers is good for us."

Troxel Equipment's sales last year increased about 15 percent from 2005, Troxel said. He expects a similar level of growth this year.

Industry experts are predicting ethanol plants' demand for corn will preserve these market conditions for three to five years, Ritchie said. With a biodiesel plant nearly completed in Claypool and an ethanol plant under construction in Bluffton, he expects demand for grain storage to remain strong.

The competition for farmers' crops will likely keep grain prices high. That trend should continue to benefit grain storage companies, Troxel said.

"Anything that's good for the farmers is good for us," he said.

Well, everyone wants our local farmers to come out on top, but I still wonder how high grain prices will affect feed and food prices.  Be on the watch for the price of meat and the price of bread to rise.

Norwell Band wins at Dekalb

The Norwell Marching Band won their Class on Saturday at the Dekalb Marching Band Invitational:

In Class C, Norwell was first, Heritage was second and Concordia was third. Elmhurst, Wayne, Leo, New Haven, Bellmont and Lakeland all won participation awards. Norwell won caption awards for music, visual and general effect.

September 15, 2007

Alan Keyes

Alan Keyes has announced he is running for President of the United States 2008.
Keyes told Janet Parshall, host of a nationally syndicated radio show, that he's "unmoved" by the lack of moral courage shown by the other candidates, among whom he sees no standout who articulates the "key kernel of truth that must, with courage, be presented to our people."

Read Keyes' new series of essays: A Crisis of the Republic

If nothing else, Alan Keyes will raise the level of debate and move it where he wants it to go. Dr. Keyes is a conservative Republican, has traveled the world in foreign service for the United States, has a Doctorate in Government Affairs, he is descendant of slaves, married to an Indian American he met during his service in Bombay, and he is an extraordinary Constitutional Scholar.

Bluffton Street Fair

From the Journal-Gazette:

The Indiana Department of Transportation will close Main Street (Indiana 1 and Indiana 116) from Spring Street to Wabash Street to make way for the annual Bluffton Street Fair/Agricultural Expo. Beginning Sunday, northbound motorists will be directed to use the following detour: Go east on Spring Street, north on Wayne Street, west on Wabash Street and north on Main Street. Southbound traffic should take the inverse.

The festival ends Sept. 23, and the state warns drivers that the area will be busier with other vehicles and pedestrians.

College Scoreboard 9-15-2007

Purdue scores big again, over Central Michigan, 45-22

IU rolls, as well, over Akron, 41-24

But Michigan finally woke up and murdered Notre Dame, 38-0

September 14, 2007

The Fine for Cheating

Do you think the Patriots were punished enough for spying on other teams and intercepting their communications? The NFL fined the team $250,000 and the coach $500,000. $750,000. Sounds pretty tough, doesn't it. But if you really want to stop this kind of thing, why not go the way of Formula-1 racing... they fined the McLaren team 100 million dollars -- $100,000,000 -- and stripped their points -- for spying on other teams.

Europe can be tough.

This Site Might Make Money

Just thought I'd update the Sevens Members on how this site is doing. As you can see, some people have been visiting the Sevens site and clicking on the ads -- to the tune of $10.62. (Click on the image above for a closer look.) I reviewed the payment schedule and found that the account will build up until it reaches at least $100 before it's paid out... so a check from Google comes within 30 days of the end of whatever month in which we reach $100. Then it starts building again. The money, of course, goes into our class coffers for the next reunion, or some other Norwell Class of 1977 activity.

So good work! Ten bucks!

A Farmer's Market

All four major US Crops could need more acres in 2008
The bottom line sounds like a dream for a farmer - every crop will have to bid up to get the acres users need. What happens in South America could play off the soybean advantage, depending on what happens this fall and winter in that part of the yield. But right now, long-term prospects look exciting- interesting to say the least.

"I can't remember a time in my career when all the U.S. major crops were in high enough demand that we could say this," he says. "That's true even though we just grew the largest corn acreage this season in more than 60 years."

Portland Ethanol Refinery

Next Tuesday, Poet Biorefining-Portland will begin producing ethanol 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“To produce 65 million gallons, we need 22 million bushels of corn a year, or 80 to 100 truckloads a day,” said Matt Clemme, technical manager for Poet. “We have about a six-minute turnaround time on our trucks. We get them in and out of here efficiently.”

I have heard many say, suppose Global Warming is not real, what is the harm of behaving as if it were? Wouldn't we only reduce our dependency on oil, wouldn't we clean the environment?

But when we see 22 million bushels of corn a year, 80 to 100 truckloads of corn a day, 365 days a year, being poured out for fuel instead of food at just one, just one refinery... you do the math on how that raises the cost of feed and the cost of food... you do the math on the possibility of shortages of both.

Just how high is the cost of biofuel? And just how much thought are we giving to the hidden costs.

Update: A Grant County Ethanol plant, as well.

Higher Grain Prices

Another article concerning biofuel plants causing increases in the demand for grain which causes supply to be tight which causes the price to raise. High costs for grain means high costs for feed which means high costs for meat.
Peter Sorg, president of Ossian Packing Co., said trying to determine how high corn prices will affect other industries is “a shot in the dark.”

He said the price of pork has actually gone down and markets are not following a pattern.

“We’ve been able to hold our prices steady,” he said. “But everybody is very uneasy.”

Sports Roundup 9-14-2007

The Banner rounds it up, including this note:
Norwell baseball plans golf outing
The Norwell Baseball Club’s Turf’s Up fall golf scramble is set for Sept. 29 for a 1 p.m. shotgun start at Timber Ridge golf course in Bluffton. Entry fee is $65 and deadline is Sept. 21. For more information and registration forms call [Sevens member] Kurt Gray at (260) 758-3104 or 744-4387 or email at

Pacers Suspend Williams

Larry Bird is speaking sense. Shawne Williams, a 21 year old Pacer, was pulled over with two of his friends from Memphis. One friend had a gun, one friend had some weed. Williams not only didn't have a driver's license, he apparently has never had a driver's license. Although the police let Williams off with a misdemeanor, Larry Bird suspended him for the first three games of the season.
"We are making it clear to our players and our fans that this franchise is going in a different direction," Bird said in a statement. "Shawne put himself in a position that placed the franchise in a poor light. He's a good kid who made a bad decision. Our franchise is in a position now where the responsibilities, conduct and standards of the players off the court weigh as heavily as they do on the court."

Although I think a longer suspension or big fine would have been better -- what does $40,000 mean to someone making over a million a year? -- at least the Pacers are trying.

Norwell at. New Haven

Norwell faces off against the New Haven Bulldogs tonight.

Norwell 6, New Haven 22.

New Haven stopped the Knight's offense all night long, keeping Norwell to only 101 yards of offense. Norwell's only score was on an interception and even then the extra point failed.

September 13, 2007

Centerville Deaths Update

The Press is pushing the police to release the 911 tapes in the case of the 18 and 19 year old Centerville sisters who were killed (at least one of them) days apart in their home:
"We're simply asking the prosecutor to comply with public records access laws and provide the citizens of Centerville and Wayne County at least a glimpse into the events of the past two weeks," Johnson said. "What exists in the absence of this basic information is an environment of speculation and rumor. That's hardly in the best interest of the community."

David Bursten, Indiana State Police 1st Sgt., and supervisor of police public information for central and southern Indiana, agreed with Cross.

"Any 911 call is a piece of evidence and is not releasable. It's not public record," Bursten said. "This is consistent with how we deal with all our cases in all 92 counties."
Key said that's just plain wrong.

Shadow Children

Note: click on the picture to see the site it came from.

New Halloween Movie Review

The Scariest Thing I Have Ever Seen (read the review, he's not talking about the movie).

Get Ready for Mass Starvation

Hoosier Ag Today has a nicely written commentary today by Gary Truitt. He talks about the price of wheat moving up which is causing the media to write stories about coming food shortages:
The American media loves a crisis, especially one that engenders fear and strong emotions. What could be better than a shortage of the basic staple of the grocery store - bread. So when your ashen-faced local TV reporter stands before an empty bread case at the Kroger store, caused by panic buying and hoarding, here are a two things to remember:

1. There is very little wheat in your loaf of bread. In fact, there is very little wheat in your Wheaties. So any price hike in wheat should have very little impact on the price.

2. Wheat is a renewable resource. In just a matter of weeks, US farmers will go to the fields to plant a new crop of wheat; and, at $8, you had better believe they will plant a whole heck of a lot of it. Even with an average yield, US what producers will do much to reduce the world shortfall in the next 9 months.

September 12, 2007

25 Skills Every Man Should Know

Are Americans Loosing their hands-on skills? Glenn Reynolds, of Instapundant, has an article in Popular Mechanics that includes his take on 25 skills every man should know (he admits this is a starter list, open for discussion):

Patch a radiator hose
Protect your computer
Rescue a boater who has capsized
Frame a wall
Retouch digital photos
Back up a trailer
Build a campfire
Fix a dead outlet
Navigate with a map and compass
Use a torque wrench
Sharpen a knife
Perform CPR
Fillet a fish
Maneuver a car out of a skid
Get a car unstuck
Back up data
Paint a room
Mix concrete
Clean a bolt-action rifle
Change oil and filter
Hook up an HDTV
22. Bleed brakes
Paddle a canoe
Fix a bike flat
Extend your wireless network

September 11, 2007

Bluffton-Harrison M.S.D Meeting

Beneath the bi-monthly discussions of schedules and priorities, note the recognition for Sevens member Jon Bennett in this article on the Bluffton school board meeting.

"As the News-Banner published last week so aptly, I would like to recognize Jon Bennett for his coordination of the effort in his bringing that to pass, as well as getting Southern Wells and Northern Wells involved," Huffman said.

Huffman said the session was excellent training for the teachers and the community and helped make many people aware of the issues facing our community. "I was just very impressed with the countywide effort," Huffman said.

Bennett noted that the effort involved many people and that the work of the three superintendents and faculty was vital to the success of the in-service.

"We had great community participation," Bennett said. "It was a great opportunity for us to work together as a county and it was great to see the community come together."

"We're going to keep it going," Bennett added.

Way to go, Jon!

Shawne Williams Arrested

Another Pacer, setting an example for Hoosier kids and making Indiana proud.

Larry Bird:

"We are extremely disappointed concerning the arrest of Shawne Williams early this morning," Bird said. "Although the legal process needs to be followed, we will not accept Shawne putting himself in this position, regardless of innocence or guilt."

Automatic Flattery

Click here to be flattered.

Norwell Defeats East Noble

Girls Soccer: Norwell 3, East Noble 0. Norwell rises to 6-1, 3-0 in the NHC.

Like the swarming mosquitoes, the Norwell defense held East Noble to seven shots on goal and Norwell goalkeepers Nikki Rehling and Cassie Rice combined for Norwell's third shut out of the season

A tip of the hat to the Bluffton News-Banner for the wonderful imagery.

September 10, 2007

Remembering 9/11

As every day passes, we lose more people who were witness to America's reaction to the surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. "A day that will live in infamy," yes, and it fired Americans with patriotism and a desire for vengeance. We saw that, too, with 9/11... the patriotic fervor, the Congress on the steps singing 'America', the desire for vengeance, the rage at pictures of people dancing in the streets in the Middle East.

But a third item arose after Pearl Harbor: a great, racist war of propaganda portraying the Japanese as inherently evil, incapable of honor, of being devoid of human feelings. This is the part of our response, back then, that resulted in the internment camps for Japanese, but not for Germans or Italians. And this is part of what we got right this time around. The President and the Media went out of their way to avoid fueling a racist war and have, thus far, succeeded.

In other ways, though, we have not learned so much. Not long after World War II, the incriminations and paranoid conspiracy theories began about how President Roosevelt knew Pearl Harbor was coming, how he wanted it to happen, he wanted us to get in that war, he needed us to get in that war in order to turn America around. And we see the same thing today, "The Truthers" deny a plane ever hit the Pentagon, they believe President Bush ordered the twin towers brought down -- despite all the evidence, despite their own eyes, despite Popular Mechanics explaining everything that happened in excruciating detail -- they follow their ancestors who blamed Roosevelt for Pearl Harbor by blaming Bush for 9/11.

In the 50's and 60's, once passions had cooled, historians came down on the side of a Pearl Harbor conspiracy being nonsense. It became clear that -- even then -- we had far too much intelligence and far too little manpower to be able to make sense of what the Japanese were actually going to do. In fact, the Japanese were fully capable of organizing and carrying out the attack just as they did, just as everyone saw. As hard as it may be to believe today, we will likely follow the same path with President Bush. Like the Roosevelt Administration, the President and his Administration have all along been trying to get our response right, they have all along been trying to do what's best and they have gotten some of it right, some of it wrong.

But, perhaps inevitably, there will always remain a small core of those who are convinced that presidents have unlimited power, have perfect intelligence, and have nothing but evil in their hearts.

Sports Roundup 9-10-2007

The Banner rounds it up.

Indiana College News

Purdue: The Exponent
Indiana: The Daily Student
Ball State: The Daily News
Notre Dame: The Observer
Indiana State: Indiana Statesman

Big Ten Conference News (IU, Purdue)
Mid-American Conference News (Ball State)
Missouri Valley Conference News (ISU)
Summit League News (IPFW)
Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (Indiana Tech)
Mid-Central College Conference (St. Francis, Huntington, Taylor)
Notre Dame Athletics News
NCAA Sports News

Norwell Band Takes 2nd

The Norwell Marching Band placed 2nd in Class C of the "Banks of the Wabash" competition at Bluffton High School.  And they won for auxiliary and music.

September 7, 2007

Norwell Defeats Bellmont

Norwell wins Homecoming, 23-22, on a blocked extra point kick in overtime. What a game.

From the Journal-Gazette:

The eulogy was being rehearsed; the gravesite being dug; the homecoming crowd at Norwell in a tizzy with a 16-point lead and Bellmont going nowhere but down. Someone say something nice about the dearly departed Braves.


What a comeback, even though it fell a point short in Norwell’s stirring 23-22 overtime victory Friday.

From the Journal-Gazette:

Before Friday, Bellmont was the only undefeated team in the NHC. The Braves rallied from a 16-0 deficit to tie the game at 16 and force overtime. Norwell scored in the first overtime attempt and kicked the extra point, and then Bellmont scored, but Goodmiller blocked the extra point attempt to secure the win for the Knights (3-1).

“I never blocked one before. Never blocked a punt before,” Goodmiller said. “I always try so hard in practice to get one, but I finally got one on the extra point there.”

Bob Sievers Laid to Rest

Radio Legend Laid to Rest
For his birthday, his family once purchased a star and named it after him. Now, there are two stars in heaven named Bob Sievers.

In his casket during the service there was not only a radio, but a radio microphone. His funeral procession also went by the old WOWO studio on the way to Greenlawn Memorial Cemetery, where he was buried.

Letterman: Screw the Weather

David Letterman returned to Ball State to dedicate a new communications and media building in his own name.

Thousands of people stood in front of the new David Letterman Communication and Media Building on Friday afternoon, all hoping the weather would hold off for just a few moments longer.

But, as talk show host Letterman said during the dedication ceremony of the newest building on Ball State University’s Campus, “Screw the weather.”

Those words were strong enough to keep the hard rain away until minutes after the ceremony ended.

We certainly all knew that Letterman had attended Ball State when we were there, but his fortunes today are certainly better than they were twenty five years ago when he was wearing tennis shoes and throwing watermelons out of windows.

I guess he hasn't really changed much.

Centerville Sisters

This is a very odd story out of Centerville, down around Richmond, IN.
CENTERVILLE, Ind. - The deaths of two sisters are under investigation in Centerville, Indiana.

Indiana State Police tell 24-Hour News 8 19-year-old Erin Stanley was found dead Saturday from strangulation at a home located at 704 Elm Drive.

Police have a person of interest in the case, the first homicide case in the town in 20 years.

Then on Friday, the body Erin's 18-year-old sister Kelly Stanley was discovered at the same home. No cause of death has been released. An autopsy is scheduled for Saturday in Fort Wayne.

I'm not sure, either, why the autopsy will be all the way up in Ft. Wayne.

Update: The original article had it wrong, the autopsy was performed in Wayne County, where Centerville is, not in Ft. Wayne.

Foreign Business

It's kind of strange, isn't it? Taiwanese companies expanding in Indiana... Japanese companies like Honda, Subaru and Toyota investing in Indiana... a Saudi company taking over GE's plastics plant in southern Indiana... we're still an Industrial state, but the companies are foreign-owned.

I've never really worried too much about that kind of thing. I always figured that if it ever came down to us or them, we would just nationalize their plants.

Madeleine L'Engle has Died

Madeleine L'Engle, the author of "A Wrinkle in Time," "A Swiftly Tilting Planet," "A Wind in the Door," "Many Waters" and so many, many other books for young adults has passed away.

Mrs. Kennedy stocked "A Wrinkle in Time" in the Ossian library, where I first encountered it. I read it, ordered my own copy, brought it home for my sister to read -- and later read it aloud to each of my children... in fact, I fed them the lines and they took on the parts of the book and made a play of it.

I would be hard pressed to find another author who has affected so many middle school kids -- and kids at heart -- over the years. Her books will live forever. She was a wonderful author and an amazing, adventurous parent.

Peace, and God's speed, Ms. L'Engle.

Ruby Payne Review

600 Area Teachers attend Poverty Discussion

Payne first distinguished between the types of poverty, saying situational poverty, which can occur after a death or divorce, is temporary and involves a different set of rules from those people trapped in generational poverty.

Impoverished people focus on survival, relationships and entertainment, whereas middle-class people value work, achievement and material security, Payne said.

The conflicts in schools happen because the educational system has its roots in the middle class, so Payne said misunderstandings develop when teachers work with impoverished students.

Using anecdotes from her own career as well as those shared with her by other educators, Payne explained the different rules and language used by people from different economic classes.

One story dealt with a teacher who gave $200 to a parent for clothing for two students, only to learn later the money was spent on a VCR – an electronic luxury the family had never enjoyed.

Poverty is painful, and entertainment takes away that pain and will always take precedence over other items, Payne said.

80,000 Rounds

Indy Man with Ammo Stockpile Remains Jailed
Kevin Rieder, 38, poses a danger to the community and does not seem to be a good candidate for release based on his record of not complying with prior court orders.

Rieder faces a federal charge of illegal possession of ammunition in violation of an earlier restraining order taken out by an ex-girlfriend. Authorities seized 79,010 rounds of ammunition during a raid last week that followed a six-month investigation, Assistant U.S. Attorney Donald Schmid said.

Schmid argued for Rieder's detention without bond, saying Rieder had threatened people this summer and pointing out that the South Bend man was committed to a mental hospital for about two weeks last spring.

What was it Elmer Fudd used to say to Bugs Bunney when his ammo ran out?

"No mow buwetts."

John Harrell's Sites

John Harrell's Indiana High School Football

John Harrell's Indiana High School Basketball

I thought these sites were informative enough to add to the links on the right.

September 6, 2007

Purdue Examples?

Sad to say, several Purdue football players -- starters -- are working their way through the legal system after what sounds like a drunken brawl in March.
The Tippecanoe County prosecutor's office filed six charges today against a Purdue University wide receiver in connection to a March fight in which he was stabbed.

Selwyn Lymon, 20, of Fort Wayne is charged with counts of operating a vehicle while being intoxicated, as well as counts of battery, disorderly conduct, false informing and illegal possession of alcohol.

Tippecanoe County prosecutor Pat Harrington said this evening that charges will not be filed against the woman who stabbed Lymon because police believe she acted in self-defense. Her identity has not be released.

The prosecutor's office also filed charges against two other Purdue players who they believe were at Nick's Nightclub in West Lafayette on March 30. A fight broke out there that morning and led to Lymon's being stabbed.

Stanford Keglar, 22, a Purdue linebacker, is charged with battery, false informing and disorderly conduct. Jonte Lindsey, 21, a reserve, is charged with counts of false informing and disorderly conduct.

I guess they are preparing themselves for their professional careers.

Football Rankings

IHSAA Football Rankings
Snider drops to number 3 in 5A.
Dwenger rises to number 2 in 4A.
Norwell drops to number 8 in 3A.
Luers drops to number 2 in 2A.
Adams Central rises to number 9 in 1A.

Long Live Paul Potts - Nessun Dorma

RIP Pavarotti - Nessun Dorma

Colts Fans Flood Downtown Indy

The Colts fans know how to party... now if the Colts can remember how to win.
Tens of thousands of blue-clad fans poured onto the downtown Monument Circle on Thursday, where they stood shoulder to shoulder to cheer for their beloved Indianapolis Colts - and get a little groove on while they were at it.

The crowd crammed downtown for a free three-hour concert highlighting the NFL Opening Kickoff celebration as the Super Bowl champions prepared to take on the resurgent New Orleans Saints at the RCA Dome.

Additional: St. Vincent Children's Hospital in Indy renamed Peyton Manning Children's Hospital.

Homecoming 2007

Norwell hosts Bellmont for Homecoming tomorrow night at 7pm.

Norwell (2-1) will entertain bitter rival Bellmont (3-0) in a Northeast Hoosier Conference battle at the Courtyard with kickoff set for 7 p.m. It also will be homecoming night for Norwell.

Bellmont comes into the game as the only undefeated NHC team. The Braves opened conference action last week rolling over winless Columbia City 47-13 at Decatur. Norwell was on the end of a 14-6 loss at Carroll.

September 5, 2007

Uncommon Sense

Many have complained about the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. It has been used to transform playgrounds, restrooms, entryways and access points all across the nation. The complaints generally focus on the ADA preventing something the majority of people could use because a minority of people cannot. As an example, there is a skywalk over Coldwater Road that students can use to cross over to Bishop Dwenger. Such a skywalk couldn't be built today unless it was wheelchair accessible. To make such a skywalk wheelchair accessible would take quite a bit of land (or the addition of elevators).

Well, now companies are being sued using the ADA Act because their web sites are inaccessible to the blind.
Target Corp. and the National Federation of the Blind are still fighting in court. The Minneapolis-based big-box retailer says that it made sufficient changes to its Web site after being sued by the NFB and blind individuals last year. The plaintiffs, however, maintain that Target has to do more. The company is now arguing that its Web site isn't covered by disability access laws, while the NFB says that it is. A hearing was held on July 31 on Target's motion to dismiss the suit and the plaintiffs' motion for class certification, with a ruling expected later this year.

The thing is, blind people can use computers by adding software that converts the text on web sites to spoken words... but if a web site uses images and not words, then the web site is "inaccessible." So what do you think, should all web sites be prevented from using utilizing images because blind people cannot see them? Aren't we getting rather silly here? Couldn't the blind just as easily argue that websites should not use colors? How far do we go along this path before it becomes the non-disabled who are being held back from the full enjoyment of life?

Ossian Days

Don't forget, Ossian Days begins tomorrow at 5pm.

Fort Wayne Area Hurt the Most

A study has shown that among manufacturing cities in the area, Ft. Wayne has been hurt the most by manufacturing losses.

I was driving on the south east side of town just last week, remembering when Harvester was the best job to have in the area... now whole areas that were strong in the late 70's and early 80's are boarded up, with parking lots pushing weeds. The area east on Paulding seems a total loss to the area. It made me wonder: where I live, south west, we're struggling to stop Industry from taking over residential areas... areas on the outer edges of town south east, it seems to me, could be better used by going back to the farmland it once was. Not peoples' homes, but the the fallen away Scotts and other businesses.

Jungle Jack Coming to Ft. Wayne

Jungle Jack Hanna will be appearing at the Ft. Wayne Children's Zoo on September 13th from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. He'll be at the Australian Adventure Plaza.

If you've not been to the Children's Zoo in awhile, this might be a good time to reacquaint yourself and/or your kids. Take the Sky Safari -- it'll give you a good view of the African Plains and make your heart race to boot.

Hoosier Hoofprints

Hoosier Hoofprints has everything you want to know about Indiana harness racing and raising Hoosier horses.

Paris to London

This is why I like high speed rail. If you can get from Paris to London (over 300 miles) in just over two hours, reaching speeds of over 200 miles per hour... just think how that would expand the marketplace in Indiana. If we could travel quickly and easily to Indy, or Chicago, suddenly it becomes feasible to commute to those places for a job, or for school, or for entertainment.

My grandparents (born just after 1900) used to tell me about the full day's trip it used to be from Ossian to Fort Wayne by wagon. Strangely, at the time, it is was rather easy to hop on a train and travel anywhere in the country. Now people in Ossian travel to Ft. Wayne every day but it's not so easy to hop a train and go to cities further away... if we start now, perhaps our own grandchildren would see their regions expand as we have.

Dr. Ruby Payne Tomorrow

Don't forget, Dr. Ruby Payne will be in Bluffton tomorrow discussing poverty and communications.

Where: Life Community Church Auditorium (reservations are not necessary) 428 South Oak Street, Bluffton
When: September 6, 2007 (8:30 a.m.—11:30 a.m.)
Why: Dr. Payne’s presentation will serve as a “kick-off” for a three year initiative to make the city of Bluffton and Wells County a more inclusive community for everyone
Cost: Free, The morning presentation is free to Wells County leaders and public agencies. Individuals outside Wells County who want to attend should contact Dr. Julie Koschnick-Wood (260.824.2620) for more information. Dr. Payne’s visit is sponsored by the following community organizations: City of Bluffton, Wells County Foundation, Franklin Electric, Wells County Division of Family and Children, Adams-Wells Special Services Cooperative, Wells County United Way, Northern Wells Community Schools, Southern Wells Community Schools, and Bluffton-Harrison Metropolitan School District. For more information contact Dr. Julie Koschnick- Wood at 260.824.2620 or [Sevens member] Mr. Jon Bennett at 260.824.3536.

Sports Roundup 9-5-2007

The Banner rounds it up.

Dwenger's 5th ranked volleyball team lived up to its reputation.

September 4, 2007


Out of Place Artifacts.

Strange Weather?

Purdue says it's all part of being a Hoosier.

During the first half of August, a streak of 14 consecutive days of 90 degrees or hotter was recorded in Indianapolis, the longest such hot period since 1983. In addition to the heat, a dry spell that began during April persisted and worsened, with much of central Indiana experiencing its driest period during this time frame since 1966. Some portions of eastern Indiana experienced the driest conditions in 53 years, said Logan Johnson of the National Weather Service's Indianapolis office.

Weather factors indicate that through November there is an enhanced likelihood of continued above-normal temperatures for most of the state and continued widely scattered precipitation, Johnson said. Indiana is stuck in a neutral weather pattern that has halted rain from the tropics and the West, major sources of precipitation for Indiana in a normal summer.

Though these conditions are sobering, Niyogi said it's part of the Midwest's climate variability.

"While more research is clearly needed, at this point it does not seem likely that the current drought is anything different than a naturally occurring variation in our climate pattern," said Niyogi, who also is a Purdue assistant professor of agronomy and earth and atmospheric sciences.

Shot at a Hotel?

What the heck, if you were shot at a hotel, sue the hotel, you might get a couple million. Next time, maybe get shot at, oh, I don't know . . . the parking lot at MicroSoft? That ought to be worth big bucks! I don't mean to belittle this guy's pain and suffering, but the Day's in on Coliseum did not shoot him and did not want him to be shot. Their Hotel was robbed and he was in the lobby.
A seven-member Allen County jury that heard John Bruce's civil lawsuit found Thursday evening that Fort Wayne Innkeepers, the company that runs the Days Inn motel, was 50 percent responsible for Bruce's injuries. That means the company would have to pay him $2 million. The other $2 million should come from the robbers, court officials said.


I don't know about you, but I pretty much listened to WOWO all day today... the tributes to Bob Sievers brought back so many old memories -- many of them not thought about for many years -- it was wonderful. How about this: remember at Christmastime when the DJ's at WOWO used to call a random pay phone in the area and if you answered and said, "Ho Ho WoWo" you would win a few dollars? I had nearly forgotten that. Shoot -- I doubt there are enough pay phones around anymore to make something like that work, nowadays.

And do you remember the WOWO Air Aces coming to Norwell to play against our Teachers? Remember the carrying of the blanket in front of the stands for the Penny-Pitch? It seems like the community has splintered since those days... nobody has anything in common like everyone had "The Little Red Barn" in common. Beyond Charlie Butcher, I don't think I can identify any local jocks anymore... it was good to hear all the old area DJ's calling in today.

Read some of the tributes being left for Bob Sievers at the WOWO Tribute Site.

Old WOWO personality information.

NHRA US Nationals Underway

The NHRA US Nationals drag racing event has begun in Clermont, just North and West of Indy off us 74. It will be going on all week.

The NHRA calls the US Nationals the biggest drag racing event in the world. Thousands filled O'Reilly Raceway Park for the six day event. O'Reilly never releases attendance numbers but fans filled the benches Monday afternoon and they have for days. Some stayed in hotels. They ate in restaurants. They went shopping, leaving economic leaders are smiling. The deafening roar of the engines, the haze that hangs after race end, the pungent almost palpable smell of fuel. It's all part of the draw. "There's nothing ma'am like the smell of nitro in the morning. It's a wonderful thing," drag racing fan Maryann Cook said.

Hoosier Heartland Highway

Invisible progress is being made on the Hoosier Heartland Highway, a highway from Logansport to Lafayette.
"It might not be visible to residents as they drive along State Road 25, but the last two years have been very busy ones for the INDOT staff and road designers who are working on this roadway," said Weatherwax. "Millions of dollars and thousands of man-hours have been spent getting this project closer to its 2010 construction start."

I'm for it... that stretch of SR25 we have to travel when we go to Purdue is dark, winding and hazardous.

Fall Harvest

Hoosier Harvest Officially Underway

Corn condition is rated 44 percent good to excellent, compared with 71 percent last year at this time. Ninety-eight percent of the corn acreage is in the dough stage, compared with 95 percent last year and 93 percent for the average. Seventy-nine percent of the corn acreage is now dented, compared with 70 percent last year and 62 percent for the 5-year average. Twenty-five percent of the corn acreage is mature, compared with 9 percent last year and 12 percent for the average. Soybean condition is rated 43 percent good to excellent, compared with 73 percent last year at this time. Twenty percent soybean acreage is shedding leaves, compared with 5 percent last year and 12 percent for the 5-year average.

September 3, 2007

Norwell Football Site

Norwell Knights Football
1976: 2-8
1975: 1-9

A sad state of affairs when old football records are online forever.

Losing Borrowed Money

So if a Casino invites you to gamble and provides the money and you lose it all -- what exactly has the Casino lost? Interest on the money they staked you?

Note: If you inherit a million dollars, don't take it to Southern Indiana.

Analysis: Saints vs. Colts

The new Colts season starts on Thursday.

Fighting I-69 Extended

A whole lot of people are against the extension of I-69 from Indy to Evansville and from there on down to Texas and beyond.

I'm against it, too. We should be putting money into high-speed rail service.

Thems Fightin Words

Hoosiers: fat, smokin', time-confused gamblers

Not only is this state the third-largest gaming state in the nation (sliding in just under Nevada and New Jersey!), but people drive from neighboring states every day, by the hundreds, to buy discounted tobacco products by the truckload. And let’s not forget that just a couple of years ago we were given the “Most Stupid People Per Capita” award by some stupid writer at some stupid men’s magazine. He couldn’t even write to good. I think he was illegitimate.

At least we take care of our senior citizens. They are not sitting at home wasting away and waiting anxiously for their worthless grown children to visit.

I know this because at an Indiana casino last weekend, every senior in Indiana was there — in wheel-chairs, on walkers, puffing on oxygen tanks, pigging out at the all-night buffets and smoking cigarettes while pumping their worthless grown children’s inheritance into three or four slot machines at a time.