2020 Newton County Progress Section

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Newton County


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September 2020

Roselawn Little League

Community comes together for the benefit of the youth BY TOM SPARKS NCE Correspondent

ROSELAWN — It was an abbreviated season, but a strong fundraising effort and support from the local community, helped bring lights to two fields, as well as the creation of a new TBall field. “With a lot of help from the community, we were able to get one field lighted for the summer league and the second one for the fall,” said Eric Jones. Roselawn Little League started practices on June 14, and held an opening day ceremony on June 20. On that day, they debuted the lights on the softball field, as well as the new TeeBall The Roselawn league, with 15 teams of players of all ages, were joined by an additional eight teams from Lake Village who are unable to play on their own school-system-owned fields, to form a 23team league that played close to a full season of games. “This year has no doubt been the most challenging year for our families,” said Jones in his opening address. “Please bear with us today as we have a lot to celebrate.” Jones drew the gathered crowds’ attention to two new additions to the park. Two fields were now festooned with poles and lights and where a grove of trees stood last season, was now a T-ball field. “This park is still a work in progress but we are thankful for the work of the Little League Board and the community that had a hand in these projects and more,” said Jones. There were close to $40,000 in donations made this year for the special projects. As far as the actu-

al installation of the poles and lights, Jones thanked Roselawn Electric, REMC, and DeMotte Little League. DLL helped Roselawn make some invaluable connections, especially with REMC’s Stephanie Johnson who helped with funding through Operation Round-Up, as well as the purchase and placement of the poles. Bill and Doreen Ray of Roselawn Electric did the light installation. Jones last spoke about the multitude of helpers who stepped up to help with the new fields before moving on to introduce each team and every player. Daniel Erickson of Lake Village Little League introduced the teams from her League. District Administrator Rich Arndt then threw

Members of the Lincoln Township Volunteer Fire Department wet down the grass seed on the new Roselawn Little League T-Ball Field.

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A pole for the new lights on the softball field is dragged into place at Roselawn Little League. Jasper County REMC helped get the lights up for the league. out the first ball and the season was underway with the first night game scheduled for that very evening.

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September 2020

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Annual Field Day held in Lake Village

Local ham radio operators continue to practice for the worst By BRANDON KINGDOLLAR NCE Correspondent

LAKE VILLAGE – On Saturday, June 27th, at 1800 hours UTC, it began. All across the world, radios hummed to life and enthusiasts searched up and down the bands for anyone to make contact with. They sang their callsigns into the void and wrote down each one that came in response—songbirds chirping in the trees and waiting for a reply, except over thousands of miles. Operators from Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Missouri, Ontario, and many other locales checked in with one radio broadcasting from Newton County, Indiana. At night, when the rest of the world awoke, the competition went global. It may sound like a game, but among amateur radio enthusiasts, Field Day is treated with deadly seriousness—it is, truthfully, preparation for global catastrophe. “What we’re basically doing is we’re simulating a national emergency,” says Mike Swiader, President of the Amateur Radio Association of Newton County, Indiana. “Either man-made or natural—if the grid goes out, the only reliable source of communication is ham radio. If the time comes, ham radio’s always been there.” The simulation takes every opportunity to mirror a real-world crisis—every piece of equipment runs on generator power alone, using no commercial electricity whatsoever. There are no breaks— the event goes on for twenty-four hours uninterrupted. As Swiader says, “If you want to stop by around three o’clock in the morning, we’ll be here.” The operators grill out while they mind their radios, enjoying burgers and hot dogs, but there is a grim subtext— in the event of a crisis, the food on hand may be all they have left. “(Field Day) is about testing our equipment and making sure it’s in working condition,” adds Chad Wilson, Vice President of the club. The county’s amateur radio network must always be vigilant, ready for disaster to strike—otherwise, emergency authorities would be the dark. In an isolated area like Newton County, it would cost lives. Since 1933, ham radio enthusiasts across the United States and Canada have engaged in Field Day activities in order to test operational capabilities in the event of a disaster. The contest takes place on the fourth weekend of June, and in recent years, has spread to Mexico and around the world. It is sponsored by the Amateur Radio Relay League, who describe it as “ham

Mike Swiader, President of the Amateur Radio Association of Newton County, is shown during the 2020 Field Day. (NCE PHOTOS/BRANDON KINGDOLLAR)

radio’s open house.” Indeed, many operators are first introduced to the hobby through this massive nationwide event, during which over 40,000 operators gather to broadcast in “abnormal situations and less than optimal conditions.” The bands are truly buzzing during this event, with radio chatter reaching a yearly high, providing an excellent gateway for those who wish to enter the hobby—either by participating with a club or even just listening in on their own. The coronavirus has demonstrated all too well how a crisis can cripple day-to-day life overnight— making clear why ham radio is so

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Association owns two such antennae, and both were on display during the Field Day, standing proudly in Treasurer Gary Kole’s backyard. “That whole thing will lay over the top of a car,” says Swiader. “Strap it right on top, go wherever you need to go, put it back down. Realistically, I could have that antenna set up in twenty minutes.” If they need to mobilize, the Association is ready. While the primary goal of Field Day is to test the equipment, there is an interesting side goal: the contest. The winner of the contest is determined by which group can contact the most stations within the 24-hour period, and while there is

Since 2006, ham radio has been a part of what Homeland Security terms the “emergency communications community,” underscoring its importance to the nation in the event of a disaster. Indiana’s own Department of Homeland Security uses specially trained ham operators for communications during disasters and an auxiliary radio system for the military.

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important to the community. “With the virus, nursing homes who are still communicating via the telephone system may eventually need us to be out in the field. If there’s a lack of communication anywhere, we’re called. We are part of the Homeland Security— ham radio is under their umbrella. If someone needs communication due to the coronavirus or otherwise, we’re out there to help,” says Swiader. Since 2006, ham radio has been a part of what Homeland Security terms the “emergency communications community,” underscoring its importance to the nation in the

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event of a disaster. Indiana’s own Department of Homeland Security uses specially trained ham operators for communications during disasters and an auxiliary radio system for the military. The Amateur Radio Association stands ready to help the community in such a crisis—and this event is but one of many to help prepare them for that sacred duty. “Every Thursday, we have a Net—practice for if something were to actually happen, such as a tornado. People get used to each other’s voices, how I run Net, protocol so we’re not stomping over each other as we talk. It’s so we can share information in a very precise manner in a way where we’re not all panicked,” says Wilson. He also mentions another activity known as a Foxhunt, in which someone takes a radio and broadcasts while the others try to triangulate his or her location— practice for search and rescue operations, as well as tracking down illegal broadcasts. It also works as a competition—to see who can find the broadcaster in the least time, while driving the fewest miles. The crux of the Association’s communication capabilities—on Field Day or any other—is the Titan antenna, which stands at 25’ tall and weighs only 25 pounds, allowing for easy transportation wherever the operators need to broadcast. It can communicate across virtually the entire amateur radio spectrum. The

no prize aside from bragging rights, many operators take the competition very seriously. In a ten-minute period, Swiader was able to contact twelve different stations, and by the conclusion of the Field Day, the club connected with 313 of them. The standing record was posted in 1994 by a group in Conejo Valley, California, who contacted an astounding 3,460 different stations. “We’re not doing this for contest points,” says Swiader. “We’re doing this to demonstrate what we can do out here. We’re here to show the community what we’re all about, how many contacts we can do in a short period of time if need be.” Overall, the Field Day is a testament to how quickly ham operators can restore worldwide communication to Newton County should the worst occur. Trust that Newton County’s network of amateur radio enthusiasts will be operating from every medical center, police station, fire department, and vital building amidst a crisis, extending an umbrella of protection throughout the region. Ideally, these operators will never be called to action—but if they are, the Association stands ready and willing to protect Newton County. To learn more about amateur radio or the Amateur Radio Association of Newton County, Indiana, contact club president Mike Swiader at 815-409-5070 or ka9e@ usa.com.


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September 2020

Newton County Economic Development website goes online By GREGORY MYERS nceeditor@centurylink.net

MOROCCO — When the Newton County Economic Development Commissioner started discussing creating a website they wanted to be able to promote the area to potential businesses as well as provide valuable information for residents of the county. Newtoncountyindiana.com was launched in late August and has a wide variety of information that promotes the residential, social, and business life of the county. “We wanted to develop something that would engage visitors and pique everyone’s interest,” said Newton County Economic Development Director. “While it is

still a work in progress, there is a lot of information on it already and we are looking at other things to include as well.” Under the Live Here section, the website has links to, the county’s resource guide, schools and education, libraries, senior services, social services, and outreach, and religious organizations. Under the Work Here section, there are links and information regarding the Newton County Business Center and Co-Working Space in Morocco, realtors and banks, and all of the communities in the county. The Play Here section features links to destinations and attractions, festivals and events, parks and recreation, dining establishments, lodging and camping, and points of interest.

Other key features include links and information about area fire departments, township trustees, homes for sale, and the Opportunity Zone. “We are also looking at adding links to more businesses as well,” said Myers. “Things are moving in a positive direction as the county is getting a lot of looks from people and businesses from Lake County and Illinois.” The site was created and designed by Signature Web Designs. “I feel the website is a valuable tool for getting information,” added Myers. “I look forward to it being consistently improved and added to.” Myers encourages other organizations and businesses to contact him with any thoughts and or ideas.

Kindig’s Corn Maze opens in rural Brook By GREGORY MYERS nceeditor@centurylink.net

BROOK — Newton County’s newest attraction uses the county’s natural resources to promote entertainment and education. Kindig’s Corn Maze, located in rural Brook, cover 17 acres and is 650 feet wide and nearly 1200 feet long. “I have wanted to do a corn maze or some type of agritourism for a long time now,” said Ryan Kindig. “My oldest son Ross has graduated from college and has started his own sweet corn enterprise and I thought the corn maze would be a complementary business.” The maze is designed in the shape of a knight and represents the Men of Iron group that Kindig and Tim Loughmiller started at a local school. Along the maze, there are seven tents with lesson displays covering everything from finance to building good character. “It is not an obstacle course or fitness training exercise, but we believe it has value for men and women of all ages,” added Kindig. “ Our goal is to encourage and equip young people to make good decisions and to be a positive influence on those around them. We decided to put the lessons out there because we wanted to make the maze interactive.” The inspiration for the Men of Iron group comes from the book, Raising a Modern-Day Knight — A Father’s Role in Guiding His Son to Authentic Manhood by Robert Lewis. It is a book about raising sons to be men of noble character. A portion of the proceeds from the corn maze will go toward helping the start-up costs of new groups. Getting the corn maze set up was truly a family affair for the Kindigs as once the knight pat-

tern was decided on, the field of corn was planted in rows from both directions to make grids. With the pattern drawn out on graph paper, Ryan’s sons Ross, Andrew, and Alex went out and placed flags to mark points in the field corresponding to the pattern. Then they used a chalk line machine to draw the paths of the maze. Ryan’s daughter Grace helped clean up the knight design to be used for the maze. “We did all of the mapping and the chalking in one day, seven hours total,” said Ryan Kindig. “The next day we took a tractor with a field cultivator and made our paths, while the corn was still knee-high. We decided to open up in early August because the corn is tall enough that it is truly The 17-acre corn maze that is 650 feet wide and nearly 1200 feet long opened up to the public Aug. 8. (NCE a maze now. Everything PHOTO/GREGORY MYERS) worked out better and more symmetrical than I thought it would.” Ryan added that having the participation of his family members was exactly what he was hoping for when they decided to do the corn maze. Kindig’s Corn Maze is located at 8245 S 200 W in rural Brook, just east of the Newton County Ambulance South Base. It is open every weekend through Saturday, October 31 from 10 a.m. to 9.m. on Saturdays and 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays. The cost is $5 for everyone 10 and up. Sweet corn is also available to be purchased at the corn maze. “The first couple of weekends were slow, but it has been picking up,” said Ryan Kindig. “We have plenty of parking, three acres worth. We are looking forward to the fall and think it will get busier as it goes.” Kindig also said that they are looking at adding some different Halloween features to the maze this fall. For more information visit kindigscornmaze. An aerial view of Kindig’s Corn Maze. com.


September 2020

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Breakfast You Can Bank On

New breakfast cafe/restaurant opens in Brook By GREGORY MYERS nceeditor@centurylink.net

BROOK – When Eric and Elizabeth Phegley purchased the building at 127 W. Main Street in downtown Brook several years ago they had no idea that one day they would be starting up a small breakfast cafe, called Brook Community Breakfast. “When we originally bought the property it was an apartment building,” said Eric. “We had owned it for about five years when we lost some tenants and decided to do a major remodel on it. I had a feeling that the building had a tin ceiling and when I discovered it I knew what we needed to do.” “He came back home and convinced me into opening a breakfast place,” laughed Elizabeth. With a vision in mind, it took a year and a half to completely finish the remodeling, and the end product maybe even better than the original vision. With the tin ceiling gleaming down from the top, the exposed break with vintage memorabilia hanging on the walls, the resurfaced original hardwood floors, and the belt-driven Owners Eric and Elizabeth Phegley are shown inside Brook Community Breakfast in front of an old bank vault and safe. ceiling fans, the atmosphere is vin(NCE PHOTO/GREGORY MYERS tage industrial atmosphere unique to our name of Brook Community ing and we also got some big to-go “My father grew up in this area, so downtown Brook. Breakfast instead of Brook Comorders,” said Elizabeth. “It was a while we do live in Rensselaer we “We have had some patrons that munity Bank, and the vault is visvery good first day but not too overdo have family history here.” have told us that this is something ible inside along with a couple of whelming either.” For now, the couple will focus on they would see in Chicago and not very old safes,” added Eric. “This The couple wanted to open a the breakfast side but some point in something they would expect to see building has so much history, we breakfast spot for several reasons the future adding lunch to the menu in Brook,” said Elizabeth. want to recreate a photo that was including family ties to the area, Eris not out of the question. Most of the remodeling work was “It is not a matter of if we will add down by Eric, who owns a construc- taken out front of the building ic’s love of cooking breakfast, and in 1920 when it was the Bank of to bring some more life to downlunch it’s a matter of when,” said tion company with the help of many Brook to show that 100 years lattown Brook. Eric. friends and family. However, Eric is “I have always done the breakBrook Community Breakfast is the main cook for the cafe that of- er the building is still being used just in a different capacity. It also fast cooking and it is what I like open Tuesday through Saturday fers a full breakfast menu that feaadded to the making of our sloto cook,” added Eric. “Plus we try from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m. and on Suntures omelets, skillets, daily fresh gan ‘Breakfast You Can Bank On.’ to buy most of our stuff from local days from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. doughnuts, and cinnamon rolls, bisWe are the owners but we will be places including our meat which “We just want to give a special cuits and gravy made from scratch, working here each day it is open, comes from the Brook Locker. Evthanks to all of our family and and the house specialty called “The that is how small businesses can erything is cooked to order to make friends who have helped us so much Vault” — which is a take on the really make it when the owners sure everything is at its freshest.” to get to this point,” added Eric. “I building formerly being the home to are involved.” For Elizabeth, her great grandparalso think people need to remember the Bank of Brook and Brook ComBrook Community Breakfast had ents used to own Brown’s General to support their small local busimunity Bank. Another unique twist three soft openings before its first Store in Foresman and her parents nesses, especially during a time like to the menu is the usage of smoked official day which was Sept. 3. bought it and ran if for a few years this.” sausage in different menu items. “It was nice and steady this morn- before selling it. “That is how we came up with


GET INVOLVED. GET RESULTS. The North Newton Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to promoting growth and economic development, advocating for sound public policy, and serving our members with outstanding programs and benefits. NNCC is the premier advocate of the region’s business community. NNCC is dedicated to representing private enterprise, promoting business, and enhancing the quality of life in the Greater North Newton area. Our single-minded goal is to help your business grow and prosper. By promoting a strong local economy, advancing the interests of the business community, and serving our members, we can make our community an even better place to live, work, and play. If your organization isn’t currently a Chamber member we invite you to join now.

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Page 6A

September 2020

The new Kentland logo, which was recently hand-painted onto the outside of the Law Offices of Patrick K. Ryan has become a popular photo destination. (NCE PHOTO/GREGORY MYERS)

Boldly Moving Forward

Kentland re-brands itself, looking to ‘Thrive’ KENTLAND — This past summer, the Town of Kentland unveiled a new look with bold economic development plans moving forward. The new branding for the town included a new tagline or slogan “Boldly Moving Forward”, and a redesigned logo. “This is just the tip of the iceberg,” stated Joseph Gonzalez, Creative Director of Vast Creative, which was hired by the town’s Opportunity Zone Task Force to help with strategic planning. A June 17 presentation covered several topics including the new branding, economic development ideas, current projects, discussion on the Opportunity Zone, and possible future projects. “This is an outline of what we want to do over the next several years,” said Mike Davis Opportunity Zone Task Force Director. “Vast Creative and the town board have been wonderful partners. When I was asked to start a task force for the Opportunity Zone I thought we needed to go a step above and develop an actual economic development plan. The last plan I’ve seen coming out of Kentland like that was in 1977.” Kentland Branding Before any decision could be made on the new town branding, Vast Creative and the OZ Task Force wanted to get a solid foundation of how the residents see their own town. So based on a survey that was sent out to town residents, the “DNA and Pillars” of the town were established. Kentland’s DNA Quality: We take pride in our great quality of life, enjoying friends, family, casual recreation, and outdoor activities. Our top-notch school system, beautiful downtown, and parks are just a few of the amenities that make our residents so happy. Community: Possessing a strong rural identity, Kentland is a small, welcoming, and affordable town to live and raise a family in. Our community maintains a close-knit atmosphere and takes great pride in caring for each other. Dedicated: Long-time residents, businesses, and our local government are focused on forging a bright future for Kentland. This ongoing investment is part of who we are. Kentland’s Town Pillars Safe: We’re welcoming and highly value our town’s security. Our people take care of each other and offer a helping hand, especially in times of need. Friendly: Our community is known for its friendliness, and we support our town’s values through a kind and generous spirit.

Driven: Our agricultural town was founded on a legacy of hard work. Embracing this tradition is a driving force in maximizing our potential within Newton County. Future Projects In a meeting with Rural Opportunity Zones Initiative (ROZI) the OZ Task Force defined two initial projects that were both suitable to Kentland’s Opportunity Zone and highlighted the community’s interest. The projects included an intergenerational wellness center, which would feature separate buildings for childcare, health services, and senior living, as well as a walking path, green space, and a playground for children. It also clarified new business development opportunities the town could pursue in order to draw in new jobs, residents, and investors. From this meeting, a Concept Project was developed — the Thrive Intergenerational Wellness Campus. A possible site for the project would be a portion of Batton Park. The wellness campus would ideally be completed in three phases with the first stage being a privately funded 28 unit Senior Living Facility. Phase 2 could include a 5-classroom Childcare center for ages newborn up to preschool age. Phase 3 would be the wellness center as the task force is currently exploring Urgent Care, Primary Care, Mental Health, and Nutrition. The total project investment for the Thrive project is $4.5 million and would create an estimated 22 jobs at the minimum. “Nothing has been determined with this project,” said Casey Ward of the OZ Task Force. “This is just a concept at this point. This project would be blending together three elements for the better of this community. The park space would be restructured but also updated. It would create new jobs and opportunities, but it would also be providing for us what we as a community need.” As for new business development, Davis added the areas of focus could include new sector possibilities like solar, agribusiness, light manufacturing, warehousing and logistics, and real estate. Projects in Progress There are two major projects currently in the planning stages for Kentland. Kentland Fire Chief Matt Wittenborn spoke briefly about the new fire station that is moving forward after receiving funding. The new station will be located on Bailey Street on a two-acre lot and will be 9,911 square feet. “This will be a much safer building for the firefight-

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ers and also be more efficient to serve the town,” said Wittenborn. “We hope to get it built next year.” Funding for the new station came from: • $500,000 OCRA Grant • $300,000 Grant from Newton County • $250,000 Loan from Newton County (10 Years No Interest) • $150,000 Grant Jefferson Township Trustee • $100,000 Pledged from the Town of Kentland • $69,880 raised by the Town of Kentland, which includes a $10,000 donation from John & Kathy Cassidy and a $10,000 donation from Don & Abby Funk. These funds were raised through combined efforts at the Jasper-Newton Foundation. Jim Butler, President of the Kentland Aviation board, spoke on the $4.5 million of improvements the Kentland Municipal Airport has made over the past decade with 95 percent of the funding come from the FAA and the state. “The airport has been evolving to be a valuable piece of infrastructure and an important tool to help the town grow,” said Butler. Currently, the airport is looking at a $1.3 million stormwater improvement project that will also add a new taxi area, new hangars, and a new terminal. “The stormwater improvement will reduce the amount of peak flow to the Kent Ditch and will help reduce flooding at no cost to the town. The project will be funded 95 percent by the FAA and 5 percent from the state. Opportunity Zone The Opportunity Zone program is a federal program designed to spur community investment by providing tax benefits to investors who hold their investment between five to ten years. “While the Opportunity Zone program is designed with the intention of being presented to potential investors, the beneficial effects of investments made in Kentland could be felt for years to come,” stated the presentation. “The results could come in the form of new industries taking root in the town, new jobs being created and more families taking up residence in Kentland.” Rebranding Kickoff Following the unveiling of the town’s prospectus, a one-day festival took place downtown to create a buzz for where the town was headed. Later this summer, an eye-catching new town website was launched showcasing the town’s new logo, slogan and prospectus.

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September 2020

Page 7A

NCEDC unveils Business Center and Co-Working Space BY GREGORY MYERS nceeditor@centurylink.net

MOROCCO — Several years ago, coworking spaces became popular in cities across the country for its accessibility and convenience. However, starting a co-working center in a small town has always been looked at with doubt and hesitation. That changed in Newton County July 29 with a ceremonial ribbon cutting and open house of the Newton County Business Center and Co-Working Space. What is co-working? The definition of co-working is when people assemble in a neutral space to work independently on different projects, or in groups on the same projects. It’s different than a typical office workspace because the people in a co-working environment generally aren’t working for the same company. The idea of starting a co-working center in Morocco came from the Newton County Economic Development Commission and its director Tim Myers. “We discussed what could we put here that could generate some traffic and build some excitement,” said Myers. “We thought if we could get half a dozen people coming here every day that would help out the other businesses in town.” What was built, in what was the Morocco Town Hall, is a modern center with fast internet along with six private offices and a shared common lobby. The entire project was a collaborative effort by Newton County,

A ceremonial ribbon cutting and open house of the Newton County Business Center and Co-Working Spac took place July 29 in Morocco. (NCE PHOTO/GREGORY MYERS)


A modern center with fast internet along with six private offices and a shared common lobby. NCEDC, and the Town of Morocco Economic Development. “I feel pretty lucky with how everything turned out, especially when COVID-19 hit,” added Myers. “Now we have people who feel it may be safer to come and go in their own secure office space.” The center already has five of the six offices rented and three other memberships with 24/7 access to the

lobby working space. “I think this is an idea that will take off in this county,” said Myers. “It is unique for small towns but it is affordable. There are a lot of people in Newton County who work from home but don’t have high-speed internet,” said Myers. “This will be a nice modern space that we can lease to those county residents as well as attract businesses from other

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places.” Office rentals start at $175 and are allinclusive with utilities including 100 Mbps down and 25 Mbps up broadband speeds, along with access to a large conference room, break room, and restrooms. The monthly memberships with 24/7 access are available at $50 a month and that also includes access to secure Wifi, the break


room, and restrooms. For Roger Luchene of Hammer Financial, renting office space in the center made perfect sense for him. “We are excited about being down here in Newton County,” said Luchene. “Tim gave me my first job when I was 15. I have around 1,200 Medicare clients with a couple hundred here in Newton County. This office space will help me meet their needs and possibly expand my reach.” Hammer Financial Group, based out of Schererville, is an independent retirement planning and wealth management firm. They represent many different companies in areas of financial planning, investments, longterm care insurance, life insurance, 401(k) rollovers, retirement planning, wealth conservation, and more. Even the person who designed the interior of the Newton County Business Center and Co-Working Space saw the positives of renting an office for her work. “When we moved to Newton County, we realized we didn’t have the internet speed I needed for work,” said Krystal. “For the past two years, I have been renting an office in Highland and traveling there every day for work. This center is great. It’s just 20 minutes from my house,

it’s quiet and I can focus. Plus the internet is super fast.” The Indiana Small Business Development Center was impressed with what it saw in Morocco. “I am excited and thrilled to see what they were able to do here,” said Lorri Feldt, Regional Director of ISBDC. “I love how five of the six offices are taken already. We help a lot of small businesses and people look for affordable spaces, and it’s right here in Morocco.” Newton County Economic Development Commission presented a check to the Town of Morocco on Jan. 7, 2020 in the amount of $185,000. Of that total, $85,000 is for the purchase of the Morocco Town Hall building, as well as the “shell building” at 206 E. State Street and three additional lots in the same area of E. State Street. The remaining $100,000 from the $185,000 check was a loan from NCEDC to the Town of Morocco to purchase six acres on the west side of town and turn them into seven residential lots that already have water and sewer access. “Now that we have this done, we can show the other communities what is possible,” added Myers. “I would definitely like to take this idea to the other communities if they think there is a need.”

Dedicated to advancemen the Newton Coun t of the ty Farm Indu stry since 1994

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September 2020

Goodland Early Learning Center looking at a mid-October opening BY GREGORY MYERS nceeditor@centurylink.net

GOODLAND — The Goodland Early Learning Center is currently enrolling students with a hopeful opening date of mid-October. The center, which will be Newton County’s only licensed childcare facility, was the brainchild of the Newton County Childcare Coalition. The project started out with their hopes to convert two classrooms in the Goodland Community Center for licensed childcare and have Right Steps Child Development Center come in and operate the facility. The facility would be able to accommodate around 28 children ages from infant to five years old. “Our community needs the option for childcare to retain our quality employees,” said Brienne Hooker, Executive Director of the Jasper Newton Foundation. “The county needs a variety of childcare options including faith based care, home based care and center based care. The only thing

missing in Newton County is center based care. There are currently no licensed childcare options in the county.” The vision became reality last year in November, when the Newton County Council voted to give $375,000 of landfill funds to the Jasper Newton Foundation to set up funding for childcare in the county. “This funds will be held at the foundation and a Newton County Childcare advisory board will be set up to distribute the funds, but the Goodland site will be the priority,” added Hooker. “Once you start one center, the opportunities increase and spreads quickly so that other centers can open,” said Victoria Matney of The Childcare Resource Network. “We are ready to have that childcare wave spread in Newton County, we just need for you to light the fire,” Hooker said to the council. The Goodland Early Learning

The Goodland Early Learning Center is still interviewing and searching for a cook, teacher assistant, and a lead teacher. Center is still interviewing and reen Inman at the Goodland ELC searching for a cook, teacher as- - 765-742-4033 x 6961 or go to sistant, and a lead teacher. rightstepscdc.org and click on caFor more information call Mau- reers to submit applications online.

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