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.

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.

Canal Days coming this weekend

Parade, duck race, alumni gatherings return to Cambridge City

Canal Days organizers hope to keep area residents’ attitudes sunny in September with an “Endless Summer” theme for this year’s festival. Visitors will notice an extra block of vendors stretched along U.S. 40 heading west toward First United Methodist Church, which offers an ice cream social, said Beth Leisure, Cambridge City Chamber of Commerce president. Most of those booths will offer crafts. Leisure said demand has been high for spaces this year, and many vendors are new to the festival. Shoppers can stay well-fed all day, because meals and snacks can be found at the local eateries along the path.

Unhealthy homes spread blight like a cancer

People in neighborhood ‘who are trying to take care of their homes just give up’

Housing blight sometimes goes beyond appearances. The Wayne County Health Department gets involved when conditions threaten the well-being of people living in or near a home. “It’s important not just for the individuals living there but for the community as a whole. When one house becomes blighted, it become a cancer for the whole area,” Christine Stinson, the Health Department’s executive director, said. “It doesn’t stay just at that address.

Wayne Bank celebrating 140 years

Community values continue steering it
A bank that started in Cambridge City is among the oldest family-owned commercial banks in Indiana, celebrating its 140th anniversary with customer appreciation activities on the next three Fridays. People who stop in at any of the bank branches will be treated to “tasty treats” on Aug. 12, 19 and 26. The Cambridge City branch will be actively celebrating during Canal Days on Sept. 10.

Zion’s Church celebrates 200th year

Leader hopes special events will help bring new members

At 58, Troy Jackson believes he is “almost the youngest member” of the church council at Zion’s Evangelical Lutheran Church. It’s a sign that the church needs to welcome younger members, he said. Zion’s Lutheran is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year. On Sunday, July 24, about 100 people attended an ice cream social followed by an hour-long concert played on its 134-year-old pipe organ. Jackson, a member since 1984 and president of the church council, said the turnout pleased him.

$15,000 sought for outdoor garden railway

Wayne County Railroaders aim to expand display

Now that they’ve restored a historic caboose, Wayne County Railroaders are in the midst of an additional project next to it at Centerville’s park. They are constructing an outdoor garden railway and need about $15,000 to finish the project. It will feature an outdoor G-scale model train. Club members want to get the train installed for viewing during Archway Days, Aug. 26-27, at Maplewood Park.

‘SpongeBob’ making a splash with new songs

Musical at RCT based on animated Nickelodeon series

A musical about cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants features original songs by a wide selection of A-list performers such as Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Lady A, Sara Bareilles, Yolanda Adams, Cyndi Lauper and John Legend. Starting Thursday, Richmond Civic Theatre presents “The SpongeBob Musical” for two weekends. It is based on Nickelodeon’s animated series that began airing in 1999. The PG-rated stage show chronicles the nautical and sometimes nonsensical adventures of SpongeBob, an incurably optimist and earnest sea sponge, and his undersea friends. Lincoln High School 2022 graduate Jarrin Ervin plays the title character in the musical, which is directed by Ryan Shaw.

Good Friend and Neighbor recognized

Work of J.B., Mary Ellen Cain recognized by Nettle Creek community

The Nettle Creek community recognized a couple’s lifetime of helping others by naming J.B. and Mary Ellen Cain the 2022 Good Friend and Neighbor during the Rural Urban Banquet on Thursday, July 28. The recognition has been bestowed annually since 1959 to one or two people known for helping others, often outside of the public spotlight. More than 100 people attended the dinner at Hartley Hills Golf Club. The event is organized by Hagerstown Young Farmers and Hagerstown Optimist Club. “When there’s a need and you can help someone, why not?