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On June 4, 2016 just two days before the 72nd anniversary of the D-day invasion at Normandy, Paulding Putnam Electric Cooperative presented a check to the Northeast Indiana Honor Flight for $141,754.90. There is no greater reward than serving the veterans of this country.

These funds were the result of five-months of intensive work by the employees of Paulding Putnam Electric Cooperative. It was also the work of the community to help and support our efforts. We had elementary school kids doing fundraisers. We had people from all over the country and throughout the electric cooperative network buying raffle tickets. The community of Grover Hill, Ohio held a concert and dinner and raised over $7,000 to be one of our gold sponsors; Haviland Drainage Products provided direct funding and was our other gold sponsor. Andrew Hermiller, one of our journeyman lineman from our Columbus Grove office sold over 70 raffle tickets. We had several contributions come from memorials from local community members. The list of contributors is too long to include in this letter, but please check our website, www.ppec.coop, for the complete list.

To raise over $141,000 in a few short months not only takes the commitment from our employees and organization, but that of our community. Paulding Putnam Electric Cooperative serves a large service territory, from Fort Wayne, Indiana to just outside Lima, Ohio; but we serve a greater community than just our service territory. The community we serve doesn’t have utility boundaries. Serving veterans doesn’t come with utility service territories. At Paulding Putnam Electric, we understand that the cooperative principle of Commitment to Community doesn’t have utility boundaries. This is why when people doubted that we could raise enough funds for one Honor Flight (about $70,000) our employees saw this as just another challenge. The final total will fund at least two flights.

The Honor Flight is so powerful, so meaningful to our veterans that fundraising was much easier than we thought it would be. In fact, one donor said if we didn’t meet our original goal of $70,000 to let him know and he would write a check to cover the needed amount. When we talk about commitment, that’s the definition of commitment. These are the types of people we have in our community; people that step-up for a cause.

The increased awareness of the Honor Flight program has been an added benefit to our campaign. Due to the increased publicity, the World War II veteran participation had nearly doubled for the first two flights in 2016. This alone make the whole program successful.

I can’t thank everyone in this letter, but I need to give special thanks to two groups. First, to the Honor Flight of Northeast Indiana. There is no more dedicated group, serving veterans that I know of. They have been so helpful and supportive and I can’t thank them enough. Second, to our employee committee that made it all happen: Tara Schlatter, Annette Schreiner, and Steve Kahle. These three were assisted by Erika Willitzer and they made everything possible. They worked tirelessly to insure everything was perfect; and it was perfect, as the results show.

Finally, I want to thank our broad community for their support. We raised $141,000 because we have community support for our veterans. This community knows the importance of serving our veterans and I am glad that in a small way Paulding Putnam Electric could be a part of this veteran support.

George Carter

CEO & General Manager

POSTED: 06/12/16 at 9:00 am. FILED UNDER: News, Opinions

After 43 years, it could be easy to lose hope. But we’re not. After 58 million deaths, we might want to give up. But we won’t.
In 1973, activist judges on the Supreme Court made abortions legal up to the moment of birth and for any reason at all. This ruling changed the heart and soul of our country.
Two hundred years prior, our founders proclaimed our right to life in the Declaration of Independence. But that right was erased for the unborn by an activist Supreme Court. Abortion on demand was popularized. Abortion clinics popped up in communities across the nation. Pregnant women were told they were carrying only a blob of tissue.
Instead of simply accepting murder on demand, pro-life groups have risen up to fight this atrocity. These diverse coalitions unite over the simple truth: innocent, human life is precious and it deserves protection.
We have fought tirelessly for 43 years and we have much to show for it. Abortions peaked at a record high of 1.6 million deaths in 1990 but the rate continues to steadily fall. Here in Indiana, abortions have declined for six straight years and the current rate is less than half of its all time high.
Local pregnancy resource centers, like A Hope Center and Women’s Care Center, are providing life-changing support to mothers. Pro-life advocates care for women before, during and after pregnancy. According to estimates, 300,000 mothers chose life for their babies in 2015 because of these care centers.
Thanks to scientific advancements like 3-D ultrasounds and quality pro-life education, young people are engaged on this issue like no other generation. The National Democratic Party’s Chairwoman recently called young women complacent on abortion. What she fails to realize is that the young aren’t complacent. They are the ones leading marches, organizing petitions and exposing the abortion industry’s horrific practices.
We are forcing the media and the public to acknowledge the dirty practices of the abortion industry. Last summer, an undercover group started releasing video of high-level Planned Parenthood staff admitting they harvest and sell aborted baby body parts.
Legally, we’re making great strides. In 2015, state legislatures passed more than 50 pro-life laws. Included in that number were at least five in Indiana, including one I wrote that gives mothers the option to bury their babies and brings us one step closer to ending abortion. This year I introduced additional pro-life bills in the Indiana Senate, including one to prevent a Planned Parenthood-type harvesting and trafficking scandal in Indiana.
On the federal level, our elected officials are showing willingness to take up legislation that protects life and defunds the abortion industry. National Right to Life counts 10 roll call votes in the current House of Representatives and the pro-life side prevailed each time. The Senate recently mustered the votes to get a bill defunding America’s largest abortion business, Planned Parenthood, to President Obama’s desk. Predictably, Obama vetoed it, showing we must elect a pro-life president this year for the sake of the babies.
While these victories advance our cause and are giving more babies birthdays, much work remains. We must double-down on our efforts to protect life and end abortion.
I am running for Congress because I am ready to take my pro-life passion to Washington. We cannot lose ground in Congress. Our pro-life congressman, Marlin Stutzman, must be replaced by an advocate willing to stand and fight for the babies. I will be that advocate. We cannot and will not wait another 43 years and 58 million deaths before we end abortion.
Liz Brown for Congress

POSTED: 01/20/16 at 7:35 am. FILED UNDER: Opinions

We are writing in support of SB 200.  We also would like to encourage a more prudent approach to conserve tax payer dollars related to major academic changes and standardized testing.  Is it possible for Indiana State Board of Education “ to pause” any further testing until 2017 for technology (testing format) glitches until cleared up and better aligned for a statewide roll out? 2014-2015 ISTEP caused so much stress for students, teachers, staff, administrators and parents.  As tax payers it would be nice to see better methods and strategic processes used before rolling out only to have a stressful and costly backlash.   We live in a great state and have wonderful academics (Studies over the last 5- 10 years have show us to be 2nd to Massachusetts).  Why are we in such a hurry?  We encourage you to suggest a slowing of the pace and focus on quality.
Thank you for “all you do to serve Indiana!”
This is our state and your state, MAKE IT GREAT!
Mr and Mrs Paul Zurbuch

POSTED: 01/07/16 at 8:41 am. FILED UNDER: Opinions

Pearl Harbor visit lets New Haven couple pay proper tribute to family’s military heritage

JAN HATTON (click here for the complete Journal Gazette story)

It was a trip long awaited … our two-week vacation in Maui and Oahu that we had intended to take for more than 30 years.

My husband and I are not the typical vacationers, not thrill-seekers anxious for the helicopter flight over the live volcano, no parasailing over the Pacific, no dolphin or shark encounters, and you could not count us among the witnesses to the surfer who lost three fingers and his foot while battling the waves in Maui while we were there.

Don and I share a love for nature and, above all, the people and the history behind every spot we visit. You might say we meticulously plan our destinations according to what the area offers and the historical tours that entice us to visit. My father, my Uncle Blake and my husband, Don, are all Army veterans; my brother, Charlie, is a veteran of the Marine Corps; and our son, Don, served as a Navy sailor. This trip to Hawaii, the culmination of our 30-year dream, was about Pearl Harbor.

My father served in the Philippines during World War II. I will always treasure his story about the brass Bible he carried in his breast pocket, given to him by his mother when he was drafted right out of North Side High School. It stopped a bullet from penetrating his chest or, as Dad always put it, “saved his life.”

On Oct. 16, Don and I took the Stars and Stripes Tour from Oahu offered by Roberts Hawaii. We heard about the 1,177 men who lost their lives aboard the USS Arizona on Dec. 7, 1941. At the memorial, there is a somber silence as you peer over the side at the hull of the sunken ship below. A recording by Jamie Lee Curtis endears visitors to the site, as the voices of the survivors emotionally explain what they recall of the attack. A wall bears the name of every man who lies beneath. This memorial is about dignity and respect for those who gave their lives protecting us. The two quarts of oil that continue to seep into the ocean daily from the Arizona are said to be the tears of the crew still aboard.


POSTED: 12/07/15 at 7:49 pm. FILED UNDER: News, Opinions

Jeffery Gitomer, Sales Guru

As the commercialism of Thanksgiving fades into the commercialism of Christmas (or whatever one is allowed to call it these days), several thoughts have occurred to me that will impact you as a person, a salesperson, and your business.

People try so hard to express good cheer in these holiday seasons that they often miss the mark. “Don’t eat too much turkey!” Or, “Don’t drink too much eggnog!” are your way of saying, I have nothing new to say.

My bet is that your ‘thank you’ is there, but relatively meaningless.

• Why is this only the season that we give thanks?
• How sincere is your message, really?
• Why do you find it necessary to thank your customers at the same time everyone else is thanking their customers?
• If you’re thanking people, what are you offering besides words to show them that you value them, and that you care about them?

Here’s my idea: Why not start by thanking yourself. Thank yourself for your success, your good fortune, your health, your family, your library, your attitude, your fun times, your friends, and all the cool things you do that make you a happy person.

If you’re having trouble thanking yourself, that’s an indicator that things aren’t going very well. And in that situation any thanks you give to others, will be perceived somewhere between “less than whole” and “totally insincere.”

I don’t think you can become sincerely thankful to others, until you have become fully thankful TO yourself and FOR yourself. And once you realize who YOU are, your message of thanks will become much more real and passionate to others.

NEWS REALITY: The good news is, this is a holiday. The bad news is, it’s so full of retail shopping incentives, mobs of people, and “today only deals” that the festivity of Thanksgiving is somewhat lost in the shuffle.

Black Friday, and Cyber Monday or is it Cyber Tuesday, or is it small business Saturday, or is it Throwback Thursday? Whatever it is, it’s a strategy for advertising and promoting. And I’m okay with it, totally okay with the free enterprise system, I just think that the hype of it has become more dominant than the giving of thanks.

Call me old-fashioned, or call me traditional, but I don’t think you can call me “wrong.” I want our economy to be strong, but not at the expense of celebration, family time, and personal time to thank yourself for who you have become, and who you are becoming.

Try this: sit around your dinner table this Thanksgiving and have each person at the table make a statement as to what they are grateful for, and who they are grateful to. Then have them say one thing about themselves that they are thankful for.

This simple action will create a sense of reality around your table that will be both revealing, and educational. It also wipes away all the superficialness often associated with family holidays.

Why not ask people to recall their best Thanksgiving ever, or the person they miss the most, or what’s the most important thing that they’ve learned as a family member, and to be thankful for them or that.

Back to you: make a list of your best qualities, your personal assets – not your money or your property – those assets you possess that you believe have created the person you are. Your humor, your friendliness, your helpfulness, your approachability, your trustworthiness, your honesty, your ethics, and maybe even your morality.

And as you head deeper into this holiday season perhaps next year’s intensions and focus (not goals and resolutions) will be more about building assets, and building capabilities, you can be thankful for and grateful for.

And for those of you wondering, “where’s the sales tip?” Wake up and smell the leftovers. I’m trying to help you sell you on yourself. Once you make that sale, once you become the best you can be for yourself, then it is easy to become the best you can be for others, and present yourself in a way that others will buy.

It’s the holiday baby, go out and celebrate yourself.
It’s the holiday baby, go out and thank yourself.

POSTED: 11/25/15 at 4:45 pm. FILED UNDER: Opinions

August 17, 2015 By

Yesterday I set out for 11 miles through my hometown- alone. Running alone is not usually my first choice, but this time it was my only option and to my surprise, I really enjoyed it.

New Haven, Indiana

Running Through Town.  Check out this running mom's post about what nostalgia is brought back when she runs through her hometown. I was born and raised in a small town- 9.8 square miles to be exact.  It is not glamorous… at all.  There are a handful of restaurants, many churches, and train tracks that run right through the middle of town.  Running 11 miles in a 9.8 square mile town means you will get stopped by a train.  The scenery leaves much to be desired, but there is just something about running through my hometown that brings me joy.

My run was peaceful, calming and a jog down memory lane.  It brought a myriad of emotions that I would not get if I were driving around town.  When you run through town, any town, and you anticipate what is coming up it allows time for your mind to wander, to process,  and to remember.  Often times my memory would take me back and I could feel the emotions of the past.

Running Through Town

I ran out the same doors I have since I was in middle school and started my run.  I ran down a few country roads and came to the home where my old friend grew up.  I reminisced our sleepovers in her basement: sharing the computer so we could have time on aol, trying to sneak our guy friends in and late nights of euchre and pool.  At that moment, I missed those friends and said a prayer for each of them.

Running Through Town.  Check out this running mom's post about what nostalgia is brought back when she runs through her hometown. I came to my high school and thought I would find my inner high school athlete and did a lap around the high school track.  It suddenly brought back memories of running the mile before volleyball practice on those dreaded, hot two-a-day practices.  Although miserable, I longed for just one more.  I longed to dig the spike from an upper class-woman, to high-five my teammate after a kill, and to ace someone just one more time.

Running past Park Hill I immediately saw those white, satin show choir skirts and remembered each performance on that stage.  Memories of our 8th grade ceremony on the last day of school flooded my heart.

I ran towards the railroad tracks and picked up my speed, but it was not fast enough and I didn’t beat the train. The train allowed my mind to jog a little more. I ran down the street and had a flashback of bike rides with my where we would always go down this street and see my grandmother’s old friend sitting on her porch (probably smoking a cigarette).  We would always wave and go on with our ride.  As I was running I could actually hear that woman’s voice although I don’t remember her name.  The memories of my bike rides with my mom are fond.

The train was not over so I continued down a street and past the house of another old friend’s mother- she has since passed.  Tears flooded my eyes when I replayed the phone conversation he and I had telling me that his mother had passed in a sudden airplane accident.

I run past the church where I attended preschool.  Services was getting ready to start and I thought for sure I would see someone I knew, but I didn’t.  Instead the gentleman holding the door said, “If you need a break, or a glass of water come on in and join us for church.  We will take you sweaty.”  Now, that is small town hospitality!

The train was still going so I continue to run east and came near the “big hill”.   I contemplated avoiding it but then I decided I wanted to see what kind of memories it would spark.  It is much smaller at 31 then it was when I was 8 years old.  I remember  riding my bike to tennis and always struggling to get up that hill.  Twenty-three years later my legs still carried me up that hill.

Running Through Town.  Check out this running mom's post about what nostalgia is brought back when she runs through her hometown. I ran down streets that were filled with houses as I tried to remember who lived and wondered where they were now.  I remembered Adam’s house, Krissy’s house, Amber’s house, Molly’s house, Matt’s house and Austin’s house.

I ran past my middle, elementary and high school remembering good times and bad.  I remembered people, a lot of people, people who I have not though about in years.  Each stride brought a memory, some more fond than others.  I ran past an old coach’s house and to my grandmother’s grave.  I ran past the church where I was raised and then began my trek back to my mother’s home- the same place I called home for years.

Throughout my run I  laughed, I cringed,  and I my eyes were filled with tears at times.  I remembered fun times with my friends and found myself laughing out loud of some memories from my school days.  I remembered happy memories with my family and poor decisions I made.  I prayed for my children, I prayed for my family, and I prayed for each individual that crossed my mind.

To an outsider, there is not much glamour to my hometown, but to me it warms my heart to be able to set out on foot and bring back so many memories of growing up in Small Town, Indiana.  I have a renewed perspective of this place: I was a part of a great community, people around here are kind, and life is a little more simple in my small town.  When I see this town on foot, I look through it with a different lens… and I like that lens.

Next time you go to your hometown, set out on foot and see what memories might jog or walk through your mind.  Running through town is actually calming, peaceful and good for the soul.


POSTED: 08/17/15 at 8:44 pm. FILED UNDER: Entertainment, News, Opinions

As parents of two former Leo High School students, we have concerns about the EACS school board’s recent decision to spend over $3 million to expand the iPad program. This 1:1 Initiative would put an iPad into the hands of every student K-12.

We recognize that knowledge of computer technology is essential in order to function in our society and in the workplace. It’s hard to think of any job that computers haven’t affected in some way. Increasingly, a working knowledge of computers is essential even to get a job. The Internet is also an amazing source of information on just about any topic imaginable.

However, we also know that a computer on each student’s desk can be a great distraction in the classroom and can interfere with the educational process. iPads are great gaming devices. We have heard firsthand that many high school students are playing games during class time, and that teachers are unable or unwilling to control it. Students are even using the school’s Internet to enjoy TV shows and videos during class while wearing headphones hidden in their hoodies. (Ask any honest teenager!) The Internet, even when filtered for illicit and violent content, is an easy source of music, videos, sports and other content that can be a major distraction during school hours. We are happy to hear that parental controls are now available, allowing parents or teachers to block any apps that they feel are inappropriate, or even block the App Store. But we doubt if this feature is widely understood or used.

We are also concerned that when students bring the iPads home or to other places outside of school where wireless internet is available, students often have access to pornography, violence, and whatever else the Internet has to offer. Even if parents are tech-savvy enough to install a filter on the iPad, we suspect that most students could figure out how to bypass it.

We are glad to hear that it is not the school board’s plan to have the elementary students take their iPads home. We hope that teachers will take seriously their responsibility to limit use of the iPads in the classroom. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children have less than 2 hours a day of screen time, including television, computers, smart phones and game devices. They also report that the average child already spends 7 hours a day in these activities. Overuse of screens can lead to attention problems, obesity, school difficulties, sleep problems, and depression.

There have been recent studies which show people learn more effectively from hands-on activities than from computers. It is well known that when we involve more of our senses in the learning process, we retain knowledge better. Even studies comparing reading a hard-copy book to reading the same book on a screen demonstrate that people remember more when they actually handle the book. There seems to be something about physically opening the book and turning pages that changes the way our brains store information (The Reading Brain in the Digital Age: The Science of Paper versus Screens; Scientific American, April 11, 2013).

The EACS school board stated that their plan to have an iPad for each student K-12 is necessary in order for children to be prepared for today’s world of technology. Our observations are that most elementary children learn how to use a computer very quickly, and many of them are ahead of adults already, without having 1:1 iPads at school. (At present, there is an iPad for every four students in the elementary grades.)

So, in view of all of this, maybe the bigger question should not be, “How can we increase use of computers in the classroom?” but instead “How can we best make use of technology so that it doesn’t impede the learning process or the overall wellbeing of our children?” We recognize the need to teach computer skills, but also believe that before expanding the iPad program, we need to carefully evaluate the impact that it has had on the students and their education.

We urge parents to be thoughtful about this and to contact the EACS school board with any concerns and/or observations. We also understand that there will be a public meeting before money can be obtained for financing the additional iPads. We encourage parents to participate in this meeting.


Roland Stuckey, MD

Cindy Stuckey, MSW

POSTED: 04/25/15 at 8:13 am. FILED UNDER: Opinions

Just a thought to my New Haven friends…

When my mom (Phyllis Pond) was State Representative, she met with the Vera Bradley owners/managers at least 3-4 times a year on an informal basis to make sure the company had what it needed to ensure employment for her constituents and to help the company conduct business in the community.

To our current politicians… How many meetings have they had with the Bradley folks over the last 2 years?… eight? four? one? zero?

Jobs-to-China is an easy excuse for a company to bug-out and for politicians to profess they were powerless in the face of international macroeconomic forces. In reality, it is a lot more complicated than that and preemptive things can be done to keep companies here…

Businesses rarely just dry up and blow away to China or elsewhere on the planet… There are definite early indicators of trouble if leaders are keen enough to notice and understand the implications… Once aware of the specific problems, there are all sorts of state and federal incentives to keep businesses and JOBS in New Haven… BEFORE companies make the announcement to leave…

No disrespect intended to current politicians but the loss of 250 jobs hurts a lot of families… and other businesses… and my hometown… Not good…

Best regards,
Douglas Pond
New Haven Class of 1974

POSTED: 04/01/15 at 6:50 am. FILED UNDER: Opinions

Cheers and thank-you to Steve and Nancy Gardner formerly of Churubusco and now New Haven for their recent donation of almost 2 acres of land to the Churubusco Park. From Rick Krider-Churubusco Park Supt.

POSTED: 11/22/14 at 9:11 am. FILED UNDER: Opinions

From the desk of Mayor Terry McDonald…

On November 4th, you will be asked to vote on a very important question about the future organization of our Allen County Government. Should we change from our present three County Commissioner system to one elected County Executive (Commissioner), and should the Allen County Council be reorganized from its current make up of the current four districts and three at-large to a system of nine districts giving the Allen County Council legislative authority? Some believe the change will be better for economic development and would provide for smoother operations of county government, along with better representation of the residents outside of Fort Wayne. Some do not believe the new system would improve anything, but would rather concentrate executive power into the hands of one person. This would reduce the representation we currently have with four districts and three at-large council representatives. How will this affect New Haven? Today, you and I are able to elect three Commissioners, one district council person and three at-large council persons – a total of seven people looking out for our best interest. This is a system of checks and balances. The proponents of the new system cannot show us with any real authority that efficiencies will be created or how the districts will be formed. When we went to the Allen County Council for 911 funding to upgrade our Emergency Communications Center, we were able to lobby our district representative and the three at-largemembers in order to get the four votes we needed to get back money that we have all paid into the 911 fund. In the future, if we change the system, each district person will be focused on their district, and there will be no one looking out for the entire county as we have today in the three at-large council members. Our system of three County Commissioners is not broken as they would have you to believe. A single County Executive would not be able to create more economic development and create more efficiency because the other systems of county government would not be changing. The current County Government structure works in surrounding counties within the region, so why does it need to be changed in Allen County? You have a voice in this issue. Remember to vote on November 4th


POSTED: 10/23/14 at 7:37 am. FILED UNDER: News, Opinions