Community News Archives for 2020-10

2021 state park passes and permits now available

The 2021 Indiana state park passes, lake permits, off-road cycling permits, and horse tags are now available at property offices and front gates, and online at

A resident annual entrance pass costs $50. A non-resident annual entrance pass for visitors who live outside the state costs $70. Annual entrance passes are not valid for entrance to the Indiana State Museum, State Historic Sites, or Falls of the Ohio Interpretive Center. 

Golden Hoosier Passports cost $25 and are available to all Hoosier residents 65 and older. There’s also a Golden Hoosier Passport for disabled Hoosier veterans (DHV) who qualify to purchase a DHV license plate. To quality, the veteran must be 50% service-connected disabled as determined by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. Anyone who has been issued a Prisoner of War license plate may receive a passport for free. SSDI Golden Hoosier Passports may be used by an Indiana resident receiving or eligible to receive Social Security Disability Income under 42 U.S. code 423 as described by the Social Security Administration.

Lake permits are available for motorized watercraft for $25 and non-motorized watercraft for $5. These permits are required for all private watercraft using state park, reservoir, and state forest lakes, and all watercraft moored at marinas, private docks, or bank ties on those lakes. The 2020 lake permits also remain available for the rest of this year.

Off-road cycling permits are available for $20 and are required for each bicycle user for off-road bicycle access and use of DNR properties where off-road cycling is allowed. These permits are not an entrance permit and do not cover special user charges for services and facilities within the property. These permits are required only for trails identified as Intermediate, Advanced, and Expert. They are not required for trails identified as Beginner.

Horse tags cost $20 and are required for each horse brought to designated DNR properties where horse use is allowed. A horse tag is not an entrance permit and does not cover special user charges for services and facilities within the property. This year’s 2020 horse tags and lake permits remain available to purchase for use for the rest of 2020.

None of the 2021 permits will be valid until Jan. 1, 2021.

State park annual permits are also available as part of Holiday Gift Packs. Gift packs also include a one-year subscription to Outdoor Indiana and a gift card for state park inns or campgrounds. Holiday gift packs are available for $100, or $150 for a higher gift card amount, at

Sandhill cranes draw crowds during migration

The migration of the Sandhill cranes continues thru the area in Jasper and Pulaski counties.  The peak season is still expected to come in mid-November.


Indiana DNR’s Jim Bergens with the Jasper – Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area details the type of cranes known for traveling this area.



The best times to view the birds are at sunrise when flocks rise and fly out of roosting marshes to Goose Pasture. The cranes socialize in the pasture for awhile before flying out to feed in surrounding private fields.


Also beginning about one hour before sunset, when flocks of cranes kite into Goose Pasture from all directions. They gab and socialize again before returning to roosting marshes at dusk.



Bergens talks about the best way to view the cranes.



The crane spectacle is best seen at the Goose Pasture Viewing Area. Roosting marshes are closed to the public. During the day, cranes can be spotted feeding and dancing in nearby farm fields.

FCCF awards Times Theater $25,000 matching grant

Fulton County Community Foundation granted $25,000 to Times Theater to help with improvements required by local, state, and federal codes to get the facility up in running.


The grant was part of a matching opportunity that was presented to Times Theater earlier this summer. With Times Theater’s $25,000 raised and the $25,000 grant, the total $50,000 will help with their “Phase One” projects, such as repairing the handicap-accessible restroom, a support system for the performance stage, various plumbing, electrical, painting, construction repairs and upgrades.  


The Times’ Board of Directors were thrilled with the public response, said Renee Frenger, chairman of the Times’ Board. The nonprofit corporation has a seven-person board and was formed in 2016 to bring Rochester’s Main Street theater back to life. In addition to Frenger, Board Members include Christine Walsh, Phyllis Dausman, Julie Shambarger, Lizzz Honeycutt Melton, Adam Wilson, and Terry Lee. Brian Walsh, Nick Sayger, KovenantLiby and Ray Dausman are active committee members. 


Once the building is open to the public it will be available for live performances, live music, theatrical events, educational arts activities, and community events. To find out how you can participate, donate or volunteer, contact us at (574)835-0202, email: and follow us on Facebook.   


Picture from left: Jessica Mikel (Community Foundation), Renee Frenger and Julie Shambarger (Theater), Austin Shepherd, (Community Foundation), Terry Lee, Adam Wilson, Ray Dausman, Nick Sayger, and Phyliss Dausman (Theater).

FCCF awards $20,000 grant to Fulton County Parks and Recreation

The Fulton County Community Foundation awarded the Friends of the Fulton County Parks and Recreation a grant of $20,000 to help with the construction of a new park. The new Richland Restoration Nature Park is located on county road 450 North between US 31 and Old US 31.


Future plans for the park include pavilions, gazebos, walking trails, a disc golf course, and dog park. This park is the first of its kind for Fulton County.


The Park Board has been working on the project with the County Commissioners and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) since 2003. The new park will be constructed on a 60-acre site that had previously served as a landfill.  After closing the landfill many years ago, a plan was created to reuse the land as a park. Testing the quality of land took many years before being approved by IDEM. Once IDEM approved, Fulton County Commissioners transferred ownership to the Fulton County Parks and Recreation’s Board, the concept of the park could then be put into motion.


The Fulton County Community Foundation’s $20,000 grant will help with the first phase of a three phase project. Phase one will include construction of driveways, a parking lot, paved ADA accessible parking spots, walkways, and gazebo construction. It will also include site preparation for a dog park being constructed by a project group from the Fulton County Leadership Academy. 


For more information about the Fulton County Community Foundation or the new park, feel free to contact Brian Johnson at 574-224-3223 or


Pictured from left: front row; Austin Shepherd and Jay Albright (Community Foundation), Bill Walsh and Mary Chesser (Park Board), Rosie Metzger and Caroline Jones (Community Foundation. Back row; Adrienne Thompson and Ashley Burrus (Bark Park), Laura Snipes and Mark Kepler (Park Board).

Indiana Landmarks targets Wabash neighborhood for revitalization

It’s a story line fit for an HGTV series. Indiana Landmarks has acquired six historic houses in one Wabash neighborhood with plans to rehab the exteriors and add curb appeal before putting the properties back on the market in early 2021.


“When 23 historic houses recently came up for auction in Wabash, we saw an opportunity to make a big impact,” said Marsh Davis, president of Indiana Landmarks. “We decided to focus on six of the most architecturally significant homes in a concentrated area.”


All of the houses are located in the East Wabash Historic District, a National Register-listed neighborhood roughly bounded by Walnut, East Market, North Wabash and South East streets. The properties recently served as rental housing, most divided into apartments.


“These homes today are detractors for that neighborhood,” said Parker Beauchamp, Wabash native, business owner, and past chairman of Indiana Landmarks’ board of directors. “Once Indiana Landmarks has fixed them up, I hope the biggest detractors will become the biggest attractors, the reason why people would move to that neighborhood.”


“By improving a cluster of homes in a two- to three-block area, there’s really an opportunity to transform the neighborhood,” said Dave Haist, an Indiana Landmarks board member who lives in the neighborhood.


Built from the 1870s to the 1910s, the houses illustrate the range of architectural styles in the historic district.


“There truly is something for everybody, from a modest, wood frame house to larger Victorians,” said Paul Hayden, director of Indiana Landmarks’ northeast office in Wabash, who will lead the exterior renovation and sales efforts. “It’s a mad mix of styles and sizes.”


“From our past experience with Indiana Landmarks, we know that these houses are going to be returned to a much better condition and standard once they are done with them,” said Wabash Mayor Scott Long. “Wabash is seeing a resurgence of people who want to take on historic homes and repair them to their former grandeur, but it’s been tough to buy in certain categories. We hope this fills a need.”


Wabash’s vibrant downtown includes a variety of shops and restaurants, as well as the Charley Creek Inn, and historic entertainment venues including the Honeywell Center and recently restored Eagles Theatre. But options for homebuyers have been limited, particularly for those seeking historic houses.


“As leaders of Wabash look for what is needed to attract people to live and work here, the number one issue is having housing that it affordable and livable. Our amenities are fantastic, but people can’t find a home,” said Haist. “When restored, these houses will be in high demand.”


Acquiring the houses and rehabbing the exteriors is expected to cost $770,000, funded by Indiana Landmarks, the City of Wabash, and donations from private individuals and organizations.


The six houses include:

143 E. Main Street

196 E. Main Street

218 E. Main Street

189 N. Wabash Street

106-108 E. Hill Street

58 N. Allen Street


Previously, Indiana Landmarks partnered with the City to acquire and repair the 1848 Alber House, Wabash’s oldest extant house, and with the Wabash County Commission on the 1880 Wabash Sheriff’s House and Jail, a former entry on Landmarks’ 10 Most Endangered list now on the market for $79,000.


Indiana Landmarks revitalizes communities, reconnects us to our heritage, and saves meaningful places. With nine offices located throughout the state, Indiana Landmarks helps people rescue endangered landmarks and restore historic neighborhoods and downtowns. People who join Indiana Landmarks receive its bimonthly magazine, Indiana Preservation. For more information on the not-for-profit organization, call 317-639-4534, 800-450-4534, or visit


Area organizations receive Indiana Historical Society support

The Indiana Historical Society recently announced its support of more than 30 local historical societies and organizations from around the Hoosier state.
The IHS issued more than $2.5 million during its most recent Heritage Support Grants program, an initiative launched in 2015 and made possible by a grant from Lilly Endowment . The current iteration of the program will award $2.5 million to local historical organizations during the next five years.
Heritage Support Grants serve Indiana’s local, county and regional historical societies, museums and sites.
The most recent recipients include:

Heritage Support Grants 2.0 – Project Grant, Cycle A Award Summaries
International Circus Hall of Fame, Miami County
The Circus Hall of Fame has received $50,000 to repair the roof of its 1922 American Circus Corporation winter quarter barn. The National Historic Landmark houses a significant portion of the organization’s collections, and repairing the roof will help to protect the artifacts from damage.
Wabash County Historical Museum, Wabash County
The Wabash County Historical Museum has received $7,500 to install PastPerfect Online access panels in the museum. The panels will provide greater access to the museum’s image collection by allowing visitors to browse the collection online.

Heritage Support Grants 2.0 – Mini Grant, Cycle A Award Summaries
International Circus Hall of Fame, Miami County
The Circus Hall of Fame has received $4,950 to update their computer system and purchase collections management software and archival storage materials. The system updates will help the organization inventory and catalog its collections and provide better collections care.
Marshall County Historical Society, Inc., Marshall County
The Marshall County Historical Society has received $4,775.08 to conserve county government books and ledgers dating from the mid-19th century. Conserving the materials will ensure the important information continues to be available to researchers as well as the Marshall County community.
Starke County Historical Society, Inc., Starke County
The Starke County Historical Society has received $4,312.50 to purchase a computer system and collections management software. The technology upgrades will enable the organization to increase access to its collections through more comprehensive cataloging.


Midwest Horror Fest kicks off October in Logansport

For its fourth year, Midwest Horror Fest is coming to Logansport this Saturday, October 3, at Mary Max Cinemas from 11 am to 9 pm. 


Started by local independent filmmakers Tony Walters and Rebekah Erb in 2016, the two wanted to bring their passion for the art of film to the Midwest to inspire other actors, film makers and movie buffs like themselves. 



The festival for horror lovers by horror lovers will have movies, vendors, live Q&A and entertainment. Masks are mandatory and costumes are encouraged. 


Tickets are ten dollars and will include the all day event as well as the after party, which will be held at the State Theatre across town immediately following the festival and will feature two live bands.