First Presbyterian growing its community connections

185th anniversary celebration set for Sunday

A church celebrating its 185th anniversary this Sunday continues finding new hands-on ways to serve the community with a relatively new pastor. First Presbyterian Church welcomes former members and attenders, as well as any interested residents, to join the gathering at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 25, at 100 N. 10th St. in Richmond. They intend to celebrate both the church’s history and its possibilities, and enjoy some cake, too.

Wayne Co. man named ‘River Friendly Farmer’

Conservation practices help retain soil, keeping chemicals, runoff out of water

Local farmer Ben Alyea is the second recipient from his family of the River Friendly Farmer Award. He’s one of 48 Indiana farmers who received the award during the Indiana State Fair. The award, begun in 2000, recognizes the conservation practices he uses on the grain farm that he and his father, Jon Alyea, own and operate north of Williamsburg. Jon Alyea received the same award about 15 years ago. The Alyeas farm about 1,200 acres.

Richmond Baking Co. expanding, upgrading

38 new jobs planned during 120th anniversary

A local manufacturer’s growth and renovation plans that have been baking for a while are ready to unveil. Richmond Baking Company is adding a second-shift production line to meet increasing demand, creating 38 new full-time jobs. The new workers are expected to join the company’s existing 106 local full-time employees by the end of 2022. Richmond Baking Company is the oldest family-owned cookie and cracker maker in the country, and is celebrating its 120th year in Richmond. The contract food manufacturer makes cookies, crumbs and breading.

Levi Coffin Days activities this weekend

Lions Club, state historic site offer special attractions

A parade, activities for the family, music and special activities at a state historic site will be offered during the Levi Coffin Days Festival in Fountain City on Saturday and Sunday. The Fountain City Lions Club organizes the festival and special activities are offered by the Levi and Catharine Coffin State Historic Site. The Lions Club is observing the 75th anniversary of its founding. The historic site’s staff worked with the Lions Club to develop a self-guided scavenger hunt involving locations within Fountain City. Festival visitors can pick up a list of clues for the scavenger hunt at the historic site and other places during the festival.

How to get a flu shot and/or new COVID booster

Wayne County Health Department has begun offering the new bivalent COVID booster. “The bivalent booster offers protection against the original strain of COVID-19 and also includes the two most recent strains that are circulating,” said Wayne County Health Officer Dr. David Jetmore in a news release. Wayne County Health Department accepts walk-ins for flu shots and COVID boosters between 9 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays at 100 S. Fifth St., and also stays open on Mondays until 7 p.m.
WCHD also offers vaccines from 8 a.m. to noon on the first Saturday each month. Appointments also are available by calling 765-973-9245. COVID vaccines and boosters also can be scheduled by visiting ourshot.in.gov.
Businesses that would like to offer flu vaccinations to their employees can email mrunkle@co.wayne.in.us for more information.

No more door hangers before for Fountain City water shutoffs

Fountain City residents whose water bills are delinquent will no longer receive a notice at their door before the water service is shut off. The Fountain City town council approved the change in the notification process during its Sept. 6 meeting. Town clerk Trina McGuire asked council members to eliminate that step, saying that putting “door hanger” notices of imminent water shut off for delinquent payment never has formally been part of the town’s water termination process. More importantly, she said, the step is costing the town money, since the door hangers cost about $25 per package, and it is taking employees’ time away from other duties, as they have recently been posting about 30 per month.

WCTV focuses on Centerville-Abington school board

Whitewater Community Television has organized its IN Focus series of interviews with candidates in contested races, with help from Wayne County Area Chamber of Commerce and Western Wayne News. School board races kick off the weekly series throughout September. Western Wayne Schools at-large incumbent Phil Pflum was interviewed Thursday evening, and that program will be available for replay. His opponent, Amber Rushton, did not respond to an invitation to appear. This week, Centerville-Abington incumbent Brad Lambright and challenger Tiffany Torbeck have been invited for interviews at 7 p.m. Thursday.

1,000 bikers could rally for wounded officer

Richmond’s downtown and Historic Depot Districts could have as many as 1,000 motorcycles and cars – or even more – in town Sunday for a fundraiser to benefit wounded Richmond Police Department Officer Seara Burton. Here’s an update/announcement about several fundraisers and other forms of support being offered to her family. Community concern continues
On Sept. 3, Burton was transferred from Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio, to a hospice facility in the Richmond area. Police Chief Mike Britt and Majors Jon Bales and Aly Tonuc requested privacy for Burton.

Hagerstown resident chosen for ‘The Chosen’

Hagerstown resident Kim Whalen has probably never placed a bet around a poker table or laid down any money before the roll of a pair of dice. But earlier this year, she did gamble, and it paid off big for her in a very unusual way. The 1979 Northeastern graduate became 1 in 5,000 to appear in an episode of the current popular Christian drama, “The Chosen.”
“I fell in love with ‘The Chosen’ about a year and a half ago,” said Whalen, a member of Bethesda Worship Center in Richmond. “I downloaded the free app to watch the program and was hooked. I don’t like to read, so this series helped me learn a lot more on the lives of the disciples.”
‘The Chosen’ is about the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth and the different people who met and followed him.

NAACP Unity Banquet deals with injustice

Teaching history includes even the parts that make people uncomfortable, says speaker

Teaching history – even the uncomfortable parts — is vital, said the speaker at Saturday’s NAACP Unity Banquet. Civil rights attorney Henderson Hill asked, “How can we make good policy without knowing the facts?”
Hill has spent decades as a public defender and campaigner against the death penalty. He told about 140 guests at the dinner that teaching what is called critical race theory is about getting a complete understanding of American racial history and how it affects society. He focused on the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which is widely understood to have ended slavery in the United States. He ended his talk by saying it actually led to a new form of enslavement.