• To the sponsors of a recent "Bite of Science" dinner for 15 area teachers. The program, sponsored by the Center for Excellence in Education, was designed to show teachers how the scientific principles they teach in the classroom work out in real-world careers. The event in Logansport was one of about 10 dinners the organization is presenting this fall and winter to acquaint teachers with local scientists. “They are to connect the research that scientists and engineers in the community are doing with what’s being taught in the classrooms,” said Natasha Schuh-Nuhfer, director for the center’s teacher enrichment program. Casey N. McMurtrie, quality assurance and laboratory manager at The Andersons Clymers ethanol plant, showed several diagrams of the steps involved in turning raw corn into ethanol. “Bite of Science” came to Logansport in part because the center’s president, Joann DiGennaro, is a 1960 graduate of Logansport High School, and her brother, Thomas A. Pasquale, president of Pasquale Trucking Co. Inc., was a co-sponsor of the event.
• To everyone involved in efforts that led to a decline of more than 30 percent in reported domestic battery incidents in Cass County. The county saw a decline from 144 reported cases in 2008 to 97 cases in 2011, according to Mary Fox, victim advocate with the Cass County Prosecutor’s Office. Fox credited the decline to the information provided to victims and offenders by the Domestic Violence Task Force and local law enforcement’s efforts to crack down on the culprits. Fox also attributed some of the success to the Cass County Domestic Violence Task Force. With a group of volunteers, including local law enforcement officers and city employees, the group offers treatment resources and information for victims on 24-hour hotlines, in addition to working with local shelters.
• To those involved in forming a new Main Street organization in the community of Flora. About 30 people attended a recent meeting with Indiana Main Street program manager Shae Kmicikewycz to take final steps necessary to make “Flora Main Street: The Crossroads of Carroll County” a recognized community Main Street organization, giving businesses access to technical support and grant funding that can be used to revitalize Flora’s business district. Flora Main Street could be official by the beginning of next year, Kmicikewycz said. The idea to form a Main Street organization came out of an April brainstorming session, according to steering committee member Susie Dyke, owner of The Grapevine Boutique. Now, all that remains for Flora Main Street is to develop a work plan and submit it to Indiana Main Street for approval. Kmicikewycz told those gathered for the meeting that they could have an official Main Street organization by the end of the year.
• To the new superintendent at France Park for a plan that will encourage the park’s temporary residents to save money on fees by working to improve the park. Lucas Beach, superintendent of the park, told Cass County commissioners at a recent meeting that he had been allowing residents to shave half their monthly bill by working 20 hours a month or their entire bill if they agree to work 40 hours a month. “Not only are they getting help with their payments, but they’re ... actually getting some sense of ownership of it, some sense of pride in the work that they’re actually doing,” Beach said. “It’s almost like they’re doing it, not because they’re getting paid, but more so because they want to be there.” Monthly camping for Cass County residents is $240 while non-county residents pay $275. Some residents clean restrooms, he said. Others have taken on painting or maintenance projects, and still others are cutting down trees or building trails.