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A special supplement of the

Business and Agriculture


Young entrepreneurs return to revamp the county hospitality scene Chris Peters (left) and Chris Lehe took ownership of the Madam Carroll on Nov. 1.


WHITE COUNTY — There’s a bit of a renaissance in White County’s hospitality scene as people who’ve moved away have come back and bought landmark businesses by updating them. Three businesses got new blood from returning residents in the last year: Oakdale Bar and Grill (formerly the Oakdale Dam Inn), the Madam Carroll and Top Notch Bar, following the lead of Kopacetic Beer Factory in February 2017. The first sale in the last year was the Madam Carroll to Chris Lehe and Chris Peters, which began in the fall. Peters, who was visiting the area, saw the boat, and Lehe, who farms in Brookston, told him it was for sale. Peters had been working for amusement parks along the east coast after being in management at Indiana Beach, and he saw his opportunity to return with him as the brains and Lehe – who has an economics major – as the finance expert. “Yes, there is 100 percent something in the community that you can’t get living in Philadelphia or out east,” Peters stated in an email. “When I was younger and working with Indiana Beach, I had the opportunity to do the White County Leadership Program. I think this was the first time I started to realize how ‘rich’ of an area this was. When I say ‘rich,’ I mean in the sense of unique opportunity. There are a number of things that this area


Lori Geldes has re-opened the old Beaver’s Pub at 1868 N. Francis St., renaming it The Dam Pub to differentiate it from the multiple previous owners.

has going for it you can’t find anywhere else,” he stated. He likes the area’s proximity to both Chicago and Indianapolis, as well as Lafayette, and having Lake Shafer and Lake Freeman as natural resources. “Then you combine this with a community filled with strong educated leadership. Every organization, council or entity I’ve had the pleasure of presenting or speaking with has been overwhelmingly supportive of our efforts and the

business we plan to bring back to the area,” he stated. “I feel like the lakes and the community gave me a strong healthy direction when I was younger – I took my education and I traveled and I found organizations to work for that did some pretty radical things. I gained lots of experience, but ultimately it was important to come back to an area that was ripe for innovation and new business life,” Peters stated. There’s also the nostalgia that he

sees as important to his generation. “I think I was the first child to ever sit in the highchairs at the Oakdale after they opened their family room. Growing up on the lake, I can remember running out to the porch to blink the lights of the house at the Madam Carroll and watch Capt. Luse blink the lights of the helm back at my sister and I when we were younger. As I looked back, I realized there wasn’t anywhere else a 5-year-old child could signal a 300-ton vessel and get their

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attention,” he stated. “Where else could your parents suggest to the owners of a bar that they build a family room and get highchairs to accommodate their kids and a changing family? This is a community that listens, one that adapts with its population and most of all one that supports the businesses and families within it,” he wrote. Peters and Lehe are making a significant change in keeping the boat on the water all year now. They are also adding wi-fi, having more family-oriented events, increasing the menu and having online ticket purchases, among other changes. In Brookston, Top Notch Bar had been for sale for more than a year with Gary and Pam Hendryx waiting until they found the right people to become the fifth owners since it opened in 1958. Amy and Alan Morris and Maliha Syed were the right people, and Amy had grown up in Brookston. However, it was Alan who pushed to buy it, and that became final Jan. 30. The two already owned The End Zone, Aces Pub and Above All Catering in the Lafayette area. Syed said the Hendryxes had already built it into a legend that is known in Lafayette, and Alan liked the small-town atmosphere compared to the hustle of Lafayette. But for Amy, the homecoming reminded her of what Brookston is like. SEE YOUNG, PAGE 6

Monticello Herald Journal



Area business and industry leaders attended the White County Economic Development’s annual lunch last month at the Brandywine Conference Center in Monticello.

Business is booming in White County Industries eye Mid-America Conference Park for future home


MONTICELLO — The food production sector will be heavily booming in White County between now and the next couple of years. That’s the word from Randy Mitchell, president of White County Economic Development, during Friday’s annual luncheon. While Mitchell provided an update and outlook for economic development activity in the county, the keynote speaker was Chetrice Mosley, cybersecurity program director for Indiana. While engaging with Chinese and Japanese business leaders, Mitchell said White County was able to establish relations with representatives of those foreign nations in hopes of strengthening economic ties Mitchell said he’s trying to entice Subaru in Lafayette to establish a supply operation at Mid-America Conference Park near Wolcott, while Mitsubishi’s food division has visited MACP twice during the past year in hopes of building a manufacturing facility there. “We’re very excited,” Mitchell told leaders that represented more than 250 businesses and industries in White County. “The Mid-America Commerce Park would be a very good fit for them, particularly with the location to the interstate. We’re hoping this will materialize. We know we’re a finalist, so we’ll just stay tuned.” Egg Life LLC, which has purchased a shell building at the commerce park, plans to manufacture refrigerated sandwich wraps that Mitchell said, “we feel will revolutionize the industry.” “They have applied for their patents and are well under way,” he said. “Two of their employees developed the process for these … they have no carbohydrates in their pasta. They are going to be an exciting business.” Mitchell said Egg Life LLC anticipates hiring 100 employees in the next two years. They are owned by Rose Acre Farm, which


Randy Mitchell, president of White County Economic Development, welcomes area business leaders to WCED’s annual lunch Friday at Brandywine.

has bought an additional 10 acres south of their shell building for another operation that will serve as a supplier to the main facility. Sweetener Supply, which produces confectionary ingredients, also plans to move to White County from its present home in the Chicago area. Once they move to

Indiana, Mitchell said they will be known as Spyglass of Indiana. “The building that they’re in now is owned by the railroad and the railroad wants their building back,” Mitchell said. “The owners said if they had to move out of their building, they would be moving out of Illinois. So they’re coming to us.” Mitchell said Spyglass plans to will build a 150,000-square-foot building at the commerce park and will utilize heavy trucks and

rail to ship their product. “All of these businesses are in the food sector industry, which is one of our target industries,” Mitchell said. All told, Mitchell said the total investment at MACP during the next three to four years will exceed $100 million. “This is going to be very fruitful for the county and for the tax rolls,” Mitchell said. “We’re happy these businesses have chosen us.”

Indiana Beach partners with KOA

FROM STAFF REPORT MONTICELLO — This spring, Indiana Beach Amusement & Water Park Resort will team up with Kampgrounds of America (KOA) to transform the IB Crow Campground into the Indiana Beach/Monticello KOA. Indiana Beach officials said partnering with an industry leader like KOA will take the campground, an important part of the Indiana Beach Amusement and Water Park Resort, to the next level. The campground will feature 15 cabins and 137 “big-rig friendly” pullthrough sites, comfortable for RV’s, fifth wheels, pop-ups and tents. Each site is com-

plete with 30/50-amp electric service, fire ring and grill, TV cable, swimming pool access, on-site camp store and picnic tables. Guests can also enjoy mini golf, a splash pad area, basketball court, boat ramp, fishing, three playgrounds and free transportation to the amusement and water park. The campground will also host a season-long calendar of special events just for guests. “Becoming a KOA means we’ll be able to offer the classic Indiana Beach ‘stay and play’ tradition to a brand-new audience,” says Gary Fawks, Indiana Beach general manager. “It allows us to reach people who may have never

heard of us.” KOA maintains a standard of excellence in unique outdoor adventures and hospitality across 517 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. “The Indiana Beach/ Monticello KOA is the perfect addition to the KOA family of campgrounds,” said KOA President Toby O’Rourke. “The outdoor experience offered at this campground is exactly what our guests have learned to expect from KOA.” The campground officially opens this May, but guests can begin booking their stay now through indianabeach. com/camping.


Monticello Herald Journal

UAV gives farmers bird’s eye perspective of their fields


“This technology allows us to scout a 40-acre field in a matter of minutes versus the old way of walking 40 acres in July, which isn’t much fun.”

MONTICELLO — For White County farmers, a new technology impacted their work and business operations in a less sweltering way. With the Purdue Extension White County’s new unmanned aerial vehicle, those farmers were able to get a bird’s-eye view — literally — of their fields. Andrew Westfall, agriculture and natural resources Educator for the Extension, unveiled his UAV last summer, during which time he spent learning how to fly it, its capabilities, locating farmers who were doing some interesting things in their fields that would allow him to take a look from the air, and getting the word out to the farming community about the service he can provide with the drone. Commonly called a “drone,” the UAV can fly to effective heights and maneuver to positions above a farmer’s field not usually done. Westfall said there are numerous advantages for farmers to use Purdue Extension’s UAV. “This technology allows us to scout a 40-acre field in a matter of minutes versus the old way of walking 40 acres in July, which isn’t much fun,” he told the Herald Journal last summer. Westfall said he can pre-program the UAV to scout a field using Google Map coordinates and preprogram flight elevation. “I can sit with a farmer next to his crop along the side of the road, fly this thing out about 400 feet in the air to take a look around and quickly zoom in on any areas that may be problematic,” he said. “All I have to do is press a button, and it will fly at the height that I want on a spatial flight pattern from coordinates that were entered.” When it’s finished performing its pre-programmed tasks, Westfall said the UAV will return to the spot

— Andrew Westfall, Purdue Extension White County


Andrew Westfall, agriculture and natural resources educator for Purdue Extension of White County, explains to the Kiwanis Club of Monticello last summer how the use of unmanned aerial vehicle technology — commonly called “drones” — will help area farmers keep an eye on their crops.

from which it was launched. The UAV, he said, can perform tasks in about 10-15 minutes, depending on the size and number of the tasks. The UAV is camera-ready, able to take numerous still images that Westfall can “stitch” together to form one composite photo of the farmer’s field. The photos then enable Purdue Extension staff and farmers to correct problems they previously wouldn’t have known about. “Images captured from the drone can reveal many things, including plant health and areas that are experiencing disease, weed or insect pressure that should be treated,” he said. “You can also clearly see errors that were made previously that can

then be corrected in the future, such as equipment not being calibrated correctly, or perhaps one row of a planter or applicator not functioning properly or finding an area of the field that’s tile isn’t functioning properly or needs tiled to begin with.” Westfall said he was able to accomplish several things using the drone last year. “We assessed damages to fields impacted by transmission tower installations for farmers. From the drone, we could see crop damages caused by compaction and take measurements of the impacted area,” he said. “We created field maps for landowners/farmers who wanted to locate where tile was

installed in their fields and trouble spots were where further drainage needed to be installed.” Westfall said he worked with a handful of farmers who were experimenting with different seeding rates, fungicide applications and fertilizer applications within a field. “Aerial images were used to see if we could detect differences with the treatments,” he said. Westfall also used the drone to scout fields where farmers were having issues to see if there were any detectable patterns that could be seen from that air that would help him narrow in on the problem.” During the winter, Westfall has used the time primarily for education. He developed a presentation

for farmers contemplating investment in drone technology for their farms. “I have also been helping other educators at Purdue develop a training course that would help prepare people who are interested in obtaining their FAA license,” he said. Westfall has his Part 107 pilot’s license to fly the UAV, which is registered with the Federal Aviation Administration, as is required. Studying for the license consisted of taking an online course and reading a study guide provided by the FAA. Westfall said flying the UAV is part of an effort to help area farmers meet the demands of technology in agriculture. He will co-present a program March 13 at the Soil and Conservation District’s annual meeting on how drone are impacting and monitoring conservation efforts in Indiana. “That morning, we will also have Purdue’s Digital Ag Trailer, which will allow attendees to gather around some TV monitors and view a live feed of a drone in flight, weather pending,” he said.


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Business, Service and Education

Special Olympics of White County marks 23 years BY SUSAN G. WRIGHT

HJ Correspondent

MONTICELLO-Special Olympics came to White County in 1995 after several years of families taking their athletes to participate in programs in other counties, training coordinator Sharon Hartwell explained. “Special Olympics provides athletic experiences for people with intellectual disabilities in all of the sports available in the International Olympics, Hartwell added. The Special Olympics organization began in 1968, founded by Eunice Kennediy Shriver to end the cycle of

exclusion her sister Rosemary, who was born with an intellectual disability, experienced. As the discussions expanded and opened the minds to do studies that discovered that physical education was beneficial for children with intellectual disabilities showing an improved performance in school settings. One of the first organized sports of Special Olympics was floor hockey, and it has continued to grow to include programs around the world; softball, basketball, bowling, bocce ball, equestrian events, cycling, flag football, soccer, swimming and track

and field, cricket, figure skating and floor hockey, golf, gymnastics, handball, judo, kayaking, powerlifting, rollerskating, snowshoeing, table tennisand volleyball. White County special Olympics programs include bowling, basketball, softball and track and field because there are shortages on enough athlete mentors. “Special Olympics of Indiana makes sure that athletes don’t pay for anything during participation of sports programs,” Hartwell explained. “ We do fundraisers to also help with paying the ccosts… Fannie

Mae candy and other fundraisers to make sure our athletes don’t have to pay to participate.” If anyone is interested in getting involved with Special Olympics of White County, feel free to find our Facebook page, Special Olympics of Indiana White County, there will be a background check just to makes sure the athletes are treated respectfully and safely, Hartwell said. Hartwell’s sister Lee Ann Reinholt is the director of the White County Special Olympics program,

United Way of White County continues actively giving

BY SUSAN G. WRIGHT HJ Correspondent

MONTICELLO-The season is slowing briefly for the United Way of White County, but plans are being made for continuing initiatives in 2019, explained Nikie Jenkinson, United Way executive director. After completing the formal campaign to raise $200,000 in 2018, Jenkinson explained that her focus is already evaluating plans for 2019.United Way of White County supports eight agencies; Literacy Volunteers of White County, Boy Scouts, Girls’ Scouts, Boys and Girls Club, Council on Aging, Family Health Clinics of Monon

and Wolcott, CDC and Food Finders food banks. Additionally there are initiatives, which help otherl members of the community. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library provides free books to all children from birth to age 5; United Against Opiod Abuse AmeriCorps member, White County Kindergarten Campers, Community mentorship programs, Building Our Community together Days, 627 Volunteer hours in partnership with White County Salvation Army, Angel Tree Families will receive food vouchers and gifts in December. Coats for Kids, a partnership with Monticello Kiwanis and Rotary chapters, providing coats and winter clothing to

families starting in early November. “We take applications for volunteers through our website: and then try very hard to match our volunteers and their skills to the correct project or program,” Jenkinson stated. “We may need office support, or we can connect interested employers with employees by way of internships and flexible learning opportunities.” As she has settled into her second year of her position with United Way, facilitating research to help FILE PHOTO make ends meet in the community…”It’s been an honor to serve United Way Executive Director Nickie Jenkinson took her turn the population of White County,” walking the room for auction item bids during the United Way cruise on the Madam Carroll Jenkinson concluded.


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The Top Notch Bar in Brookston has been sold, and the owners since 1990, Pam and Gary Hendryx (background) have passed the baton of the well-known 1958 bar and grill on to (foreground, l to r) Maliha Syed, Amy Morris and Alan Morris.


Nick Blum is one of the new owners of Oakdale Dam Inn – soon to be Oakdale Bar and Grill – along with his childhood friend, Dewey Brown, and Dewey’s wife, Nicole Brown.


“Everybody’s so warm and welcoming,” she said. “It’s been fun just talking with everyone I haven’t seen in years. It was like I never left.” The three intend to keep the original menu and recipes — including the onion rings — but add a few more items. They also added credit card capabilities for the first time and have prime rib on Thursdays and Taco Tuesdays. They’ve been cleaning up and going through areas that hadn’t been opened in years, and they found a branding iron with a “TN” for Top Notch. They’d already decided that a branding iron would be the new logo, but fate gave them a real symbol. Oakdale Dam Inn was sold to former Monticello natives Dewey Brown and Nick Blum, and it reopened as Oakdale Bar and Grill on Feb. 19. Blum said that the name change reflected more of what the historical site is. People would call looking for lodging, but it hadn’t been that since about 1925, when it opened for dam workers. The two men are the eighth owners of the place, and although they made menu changes – mostly slimming down the large, book-like menu – they want to keep the atmosphere of

a lodge hangout they remember from growing up. That was one of the reasons they bought it, because of the memories, Blum said. The changes to the building itself are small, just making it more efficient with all the additions that have come over the years. They also want to make more use of the patio and have more special events. Blum said the renaissance all started with Sean Manahan. Manahan returned to Monticello to open Kopacetic Beer Factory in February 2017, but instead of just opening the brewery, Manahan merged with his family’s business, The Scoreboard, and they moved to the former White County garage on the south end of town. He had always planned to return and had been talking to his father about the brewery since 2010. “It was a great community to grow up in. It gave me a lot of opportunities,” he said. It was also a good community to raise kids in, and Manahan and his wife had just had their first when they returned. He sees the return of so many as a natural thing. “It’s part of an old school craft, going out, learning a trade and then taking that trade and

bringing it back or taking it to someplace it isn’t at. In my case, it was both,” he said. In Blum’s and Brown’s case, they could’ve opened a restaurant anywhere, but they chose here, Manahan noted. He also sees other friends in different fields returning and bringing back knowledge, and they’re surprised to see things like breweries. “No longer is it an industrial spot with a bunch of factories,” Manahan said. Manahan said that the returning crowd often knows each other, as he and Blum did playing baseball and living in Indianapolis with mutual friends. “You find that out in our peer group – those that are go-getters out there doing something – you definitely run into each other a lot,” he said. Others have also taken over hospitality businesses and revamped them. Although Lori Geldes was originally from Oak Park, Ill., she saw that buying Beaver’s Pub was a good business decision and Monticello is a good place to open a business. Beaver’s, at 1868 N. Francis St. in Monticello, had been closed since September 2017 “We see the potential,” she said. She had worked at Janet’s Intown Lounge, which her fiancé John Foster’s family owns,

so Although there’s not a lot in the town, people eat locally and support the businesses. “I’m happy we don’t have chain restaurants here,” she said. Except for deep cleaning, the only major change Geldes made was to give it a new name, The Dam Pub. Beaver’s had opened and closed under a few names over the years. “It felt like it needed a new name,” she said. Geldes plans to keep the atmosphere of a bar and grill, but she plans changes over time. That includes game nights (cards and a dart league), menu specials and in the further future, a patio. Rudy and Salina Vargas, of Valparaiso, were looking for a cottage to visit in 2012. She discovered that Anchor Bay Resort at 2373 N. Untaluti St. While fixing the cottages up, they went to eat at Sayler’s Bar at 4986 E. White Point Dr. and found it was up for sale. Salina said in April that she talked to owner John Salyer and 20 days later, “I looked at my husband and said, ‘I bought the bar.’” Then in January 2018 after a lot of caution, they bought the restaurant at 1210 N. 6th St. that was once known as BJ Wingers and Double D’s, turning it into Rugie’s Dugout.

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Fair Oaks Farms’ art auction benefits St. Joseph’s College

Photography artist JD Dennison stands by his photo of one of the dairy cows at Fair Oaks Farms. The photo is on display in the executive suite at the new Fairfield Inn & Suites at Fair Oaks.


FAIR OAKS — People from all walks of life visited Fairfield Inn & Suites and the Farmhouse Restaurant at Fair Oaks Farms on Saturday for a special evening of art and auction to benefit St. Joseph’s College in Rensselaer as they work to reopen the college. Michael McCall, chief strategic officer for Fair Oaks Farms, brought the three artists whose works are featured throughout the new unique Marriott hotel that just opened in January. Tickets for the evening sold for $75 per person, and the ballroom at the restaurant was full. Hors d’oeuvres were served, as well as drinks, and guests were invited to explore some of the hotels unique rooms and view the artists’ works throughout the hotel. Before the crowd went to see the suites and rooms, the three artists spoke about their careers and how they came up with their unique styles of work. Michael Kessler was commissioned to create three original pieces for the hotel’s main

entrance with his multilayered abstract interpretations of life on the farm. J.D. Dennison is a photographer, but his works are of a different style. He inverts the photos so they are negatives that bring out different colors and unique perceptions. R. Tom Gilleon has had his work on display at the Farm for more than 10 years, and his “saturated surrealism” graces the walls of the pool at the hotel. Dr. Bill Hogan, vice president for advancement of the Phoenix Project St. Joseph’s College, spoke to the guests as well. “We have come back; we will come back,” he said, referring to the college. He thanked McCall and the economic development directors for both Jasper and Newton counties for their efforts to keep the college going. McCall said the Marriott company allowed Fair Oaks to change a few things that aren’t part of their standard buildings or the standard art that goes into their Fairfield Inns & Suites. The silos offer a different look to the building and the art reflects the agricultural community that surrounds Fair Oaks Farms.

Marriott agreed to let McCall change the features — with their approval — to give the hotel a different look not found anywhere else. Dennison’s photography was reproduced and placed in the rooms as headboards, as well as some of his photos gracing the hallways throughout the 99-room hotel. He spent time with McCall and Suzanne McCloskey, who with her husband Mike, built the agritourism farm. They took him around the different parts of the dairy farm and all of the pictures on display are actual areas of the farm, including a Ruan truck heading to one of the dairies to fill up with milk ready for delivery. This photo hangs in room 205, the business suite, which has a conference room inside one of the silos. Gilleon’s work adorns the wall of the Pool Party at the hotel, and features “Pigasis” a pig with wings, and other imaginary farm animals. He has been an artist with Disney for many years and knew both McCall and McCloskey. His art and designs can be found in Disney World in Orlando, and Epcot

Center, as well as Disney parks overseas. He said he had just finished the Shaghai Disney not long ago. He and his wife moved to Montana and he switched styles from illustrations to fine art. When illustration became digital at the beginning of the century, he worked with Pixil. The artwork in the pool, a large mural, comes from a digital illustration transferred to small tiles as a mosaic. Hogan said the artists had been very generous. “We’re very pleased with everything at Fair Oaks Farms, as they expand and grow, SJC will expand and grow,” he said. “This is exciting for Newton County,” said Tim Myers, Newton County Economic Development director. In September, the Indiana Economic Development Conference will be at Fair Oaks Farms. The two directors, Myers and Stephen Eastridge, of Jasper County, were able to bring the conference to the area away from central Indiana.

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Monticello Herald Journal

Communities and Government

New planning rules look to county’s future BY JAMES D. WOLF JR.

WHITE COUNTY — With new development comes new situations and new laws. And White County Area Plan’s office and commission have been working on three new types of ordinances that should direct the county’s future. A demolition ordinance has already passed this year. Under it, those planning to do a commercial or industrial building removal must first apply for a permit or prove they don’t require the permit under the new ordinance, said White County Area Plan Executive Director Joe Rogers. The reason for the permitting has to do with situations like the old hospital property in Monticello, he explained. Years ago, after IU Health purchased the hospital, it moved to the building on Sixth Street on the southwest side of town. A firm that purchased the former hospital only gutted it for salvageable materials, such as the metal water pipes, Rogers said. That created a building that was useless and needed too much work. “It just leaves a mess in the hands of those left with it,” he said. A permit would require a plan for total demolition. “This is a process that will ensure that wouldn’t occur,” he said. Another potential problem exists with the iron ore pellet plant in Reynolds that’s been abandoned. The plant and not the land was sold to a Mexican company in bankruptcy proceedings held in Minnesota. “You’ve got certain situations like that where nobody can predict what will happen to a business,” Rogers said. Situations like the burned out motel on U.S.


The iron ore pellet plant outside Reynolds has been bought in a bankruptcy sale, but rumors are that it is being dismantled and taken to Mexico by the buyer.

24 between Monticello and Reynolds would also be covered in the new ordinance, where before it fell to the White County environmental officer to enforce by default. There’s also a nuisance ordinance being created that takes care of odors from factories, among other things. With Mid-America Commerce Park bringing in many new processing plants and most of them food-related, strong or offensive odors are something new to consider in White County. Rogers said they’ve presented the ordinance to all the local town and city governments, and also to the Wolcott Town Council, which asked

for time to review it. Wolcott is closest to Mid-America Commerce Park. Rogers said that Area Plan will take Wolcott’s suggestions and work on the ordinance based on those. Area Plan is also looking at the county’s sign ordinance. Problems have included signs not in legal compliance and signs for things like schools and churches where those buildings are legal in a residential zoning — but the signs are not allowed. There are also problems with commercial signs posted in rights-of-ways and signs illegally

stapled to utility poles, and there are new laws nationally governing signage. That includes a Supreme Court ruling two years ago that “content signs,” such as construction signs and political signs on lawns, cannot be handled differently than other signs. The process for revamping the sign ordinance is still very young, Rogers said. To get matters precise, they just started a committee to develop a methodology on how to work on the ordinance and be extremely thorough. “It’s going to be a long process. We’re going to kind of micromanage that, take it section by section,” Mitchell said.

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Monticello Kiwanis focusing on higher profile, new members


MONTICELLO – The Monticello Kiwanis Club has been serving the community – focusing on youth and adults with disabilities – since 1937. That stewardship continues with major projects happening like contributing time and money to Coats for Kids, Boys and Girls Clubs, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, the Twin Lakes High School music department and the Monticello Fire Department. The Kiwanis also sponsor the Third House at the Monticello-Union Township Public Library every third Saturday that the state legislature is in session Over tijme, the Kiwanis members have become more quiet about what they do, preferring to let the work speak for itself. However, the focus this year is to get word out about the club — to promote what they do but also to increase membership to continue their legacy. It’s a three-point strategy the includes embracing online and social media, recruiting new members and reaching out to local media to inform the community of fundraisers, events, and their works and projects. “I’m trying to make some changes,” said Club President Jerry Danner. The organization instituted its first Facebook page this year and has started the process of creating a web page, which they will tie into the White County Tourism Authority, said Danner. The Kiwanis have also created their first group-specific email for sending out official emails instead of passing information between personal emails. He acknowledged that the club is an older club, in the sense of their members’ ages, and it’s time for new blood. “We want to get some younger members to continue what we do,” Danner said. “We want to get more people so we can carry on the projects to help children and people with disabilities.”

The club is a good way to meet others in the community and sometimes network as well as serve the community. “It used to be people in business 20 to 30 years ago would join service clubs. It was almost expected that people rising in life would give back to the community,” Danner said. It’s harder to get people involved because they’re busier and have obligations, or service clubs need to fight social media for their attention, he added. However, Kiwanis is lenient about how many events members have to attend, not requiring attendance. Besides offering the benefits of community service, networking and socializing, the Kiwanis Club is also educational. The speakers at Monday’s lunch meetings are informative, know about the community or talk about how to better serve the community. Past speakers include Mayor Ken Houston giving the State of the City address, Amber Miller of Riley Children’s Hospital Foundation talking about the long-time connection with Kiwanis, local manufacturer Dave Jordan talking about his indoor farming operation near Indianapolis, and White County tourism’s first digital marketing director, Kaylee LaOrange. The new members don’t need to be younger, either, said Diane Bunnell. There’s also no requirement that you need to own a business. “You can be involved without being a business person. That’s a common misperception,” she said. Club Secretary Mike Rice added, “You just need to want to serve.” Danner is also having the current members contact members they haven’t heard from in a while and encouraging them to invite others: their family members as legacies, friends and even people they meet in public. Some new members or younger members SEE KIWANIS, PAGE 11


The 2018-2019 Kiwanis Club of Monticello officers were sworn in Monday night, (front, l to r) President-Elect Larry Crabb, Treasurer Barbara Bedrick, new President Jerry Danner and (back) Secretary Mike Rice.


Indiana state Rep. Don Lehe (R, District 25) is shown speaking at the podium at Saturday’s Third House at the Monticello-Union Township Public Library. He and Indiana state Sen. Brian Buchanan (R, District 7), who’s seated at the table, talked with residents about pending legislation and constituent concerns at the Monticello Kiwanis Club-sponsored event.

Faithfully Servicing Our Members for over 60 Years!


Rachel Brandenburg (left) and Connie Milligan, of Impact Ministries, recently talked about their trip to Guatemala. They were the featured speakers at Monday’s Kiwanis Club of Monticello weekly lunch meeting. Impact Ministries train others for leadership by teaching biblical principles. It offers opportunities for North Americans to support Christian development through Child Sponsorship, Short-Term Missions, and several giving programs. For more information visit

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Lynn Saylor, local coordinator for United Against Opioid Abuse, spoke at the Monticello Kiwanis Club on Monday about opioid abuse in White County.

106 Rickey Road, Monticello • 574-583-5556 • 877-295-0248 Mon.-Thurs. 9 to 4:30; Fri. 9 to 6 •


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Monticello Parks Superintendent Mitch Billue receives a $4,000 check from the Monticello Kiwanis Club for the Kiwanis garden and sitting area at Altherr Nature Park.


Monticello Kiwanis Club members stand alongside the benches that the organization had received, including the five purple ones in remembrance of the two recently deceased Twin Lakes High school students, Faith Dold and Anahi Garcia. Pictured, from left, are Kiwanis President Jerry Danner, Kiwanis Secretary Mark Rice and Twin Lakes High School Key Club Sponsor Barb Alletto.


The Twin Lakes High School Golden Throats, led by Choir Teacher Victoria Sayler performed at Monday’s Monticello Kiwanis Club meeting. After the students performed songs in a variety of styles, the Kiwanis presented them with a check for $500 to use for the Twin Lakes Vocal department. Kiwanis Member Jim Davis, who presented the check, said it could be used for sheet music, travel costumes or “whatever they need it for.”


are already coming in. The Monticello-Union Township Public Library has been a group member for about 18 months, said Candace Wells, the library’s adult services coordinator. When she was approached about it, she felt that being part of the club was a good way to reach the community and have the library and the Kiwanis get more promotion for their events. It’s also good for a professional career to have some service and to show involvement in the community, she said. Robin Harrington, of Wolcott, who started working at White Oak Health Campus 10 weeks ago, visited the Kiwanis for lunch for the first time March 4. “I’m trying to reach out to the community and see what Monticello and the county has to

offer,” she said. She met people through Kiwanis that she HJ PHOTO/JAMES D. WOLF JR. hasn’t met elsewhere in the community, she Indiana Patriot Guard Ride Capt. Scott L. Allen, of Reynolds, told the Montiadded. cello Kiwanis Club on Monday about all his organization does for veterans. The group seems a good fit for White Oak, and she also liked the organization’s focus on youth. “Children are where it starts,” she said. Anyone interested in becoming a Monticello Kiwanis Club member can talk to any of the club members. That includes when they’re at special events such as the club’s May 18 annual Pork Chop Dinner and the June 22 annual Pancake Breakfast. Or they can join the Kiwanis at noon on Mondays at Best Western Brandywine Inn for the weekly luncheon and speaker.

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Twin Lakes High School earth and space sciences teacher Jill Gilford (above) has been brining training through NASA to her classroom since early 2017. On Monday, she brought her training suit and badges (below) for the Monticello Kiwanis Club members to see.

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Profile for HJ Special Sections

2019 White County Progress  

Business and upward trends coming in 2019 for White County, Indiana.

2019 White County Progress  

Business and upward trends coming in 2019 for White County, Indiana.