By Richard G. Biever Janet Cross said she’d never seen anything quite like it. She may have been talking about the little black and orange bird that showed up at her backyard feeders for a few days in April. She used the bird-identification app Merlin to learn it was a black-headed grosbeak. But the spectacle… Continue reading.
By Richard G. Biever When Tyrese Ellis was a high school freshman, his future looked uncertain at best. He admitted he lacked motivation and was “borderline failing” most classes. “I was a heavy gamer,” he said. “I wasn’t heavy into going to school.” When the Fort Wayne Snider senior says “heavy gamer,” Tyrese means video… Continue reading.
By Richard G. Biever A wintry wind blustered around the big red-sided barn at WonderTree Farm, just north of Zionsville. Inside, Hunter Smith pulled another wedge from a neatly stacked cord of firewood and deposited it into a pot-bellied stove. The 105-year-old restored relic is the newest addition to the farm’s store. Set in a… Continue reading.
Five minutes into one of their first sessions of the season answering Santa’s mail, Santa’s Elves were stumped by a child’s undecipherable scrawl. “Boy, I’m having trouble with this name,” said Joyce Robinson, a volunteer elf of 20 years. She handed the letter to Pat Koch, the chief elf who’s been answering Santa’s mail for… Continue reading.
By Richard G. Biever Pioneering aviator Amelia Earhart is remembered most for how her life ended. Her tragic disappearance over the Pacific while trying to girdle the globe in 1937 remains a mystery that still evokes a sense of wistful sadness and loss. But her most endearing legacy, especially at Purdue University where she was… Continue reading.
By Richard G. Biever On or about April 8, 1952, an 18-year-old baseball player with an unusual swing packed a small travel bag for his first road trip. He hugged his weeping mother; waved goodbye to his dad, siblings, and coach at the train station; and was off to join his first professional team for… Continue reading.
By Richard G. Biever The salvation and revival of the West Baden Springs Hotel 15 years ago was nothing short of a miracle … as much a miracle as raising the architectural marvel in the first place. Called the “Eighth Wonder of the World” when it originally opened in 1903 for its towering dome above… Continue reading.
By Richard Biever Chuck Tiemann recognizes more than most how one bad day at work can change a life. He cites his by the day and hour: Thursday, May 1, 1980 — May Day, appropriately — 1:58 p.m. … Central Time. That’s when Chuck, not three years into his career as a lineman for a… Continue reading.
By Richard G. Biever If sampling a wide variety of chili from cooks all around the Midwest stokes a fire in your belly, then you’ll want to hop aboard the Wabash Cannonball Chili for Charity Cook Off, Oct. 16. Billed as “the largest annual chili cook off east of the Mississippi,” the event has attracted… Continue reading.
By Richard G. Biever Spending a night or weekend in jail probably isn’t high on most people’s bucket lists … unless the stay’s at the Old Jail Inn in Rockville. The inn is literally the old Parke County pokey … hoosegow … the slammer … the calaboose … or “the Rock,” as TV’s Deputy Barney… Continue reading.
When Candice Hinkle — then Layman — first asked if she could don the fuzzy black suit and oversized head of her high school’s mascot, she let more than one cat out of the bag. Her high school was Logansport. The mascot was Felix the Cat, the famous feline of film and funny pages —… Continue reading.
By Richard G. Biever Danielle Long asked artist Bill Wolfe to hold her 1-year-old son as she stepped onto a riser in Wolfe’s studio. Then, she peered deep and long into the eyes and face of the sculpture Wolfe had conjured from clay. It was the face of her late husband, fallen Terre Haute police… Continue reading.