This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Moving dirt for Dollar General (Updated)

Dirt is being moved for a new Dollar General store on the corner of Clark and Monroe Streets. (That is directly east of Kirby Risk. For some reason I expected this store to go to the west of Kirby Risk, but I like the actual site better.) It appears that most of the work being done is for the parking lot--two trucks full of stone showed up during the few minutes I was there. Also, you can see that the entrance way from the highway has been constructed. I am not sure when work began, but it appear that at least a week has passed since construction began.
 There is an ad on the Internet for a store manager that was posted at the end of February.

Dollar General is not new to Rensselaer--it had a store in the building that now houses 24/7 Fitness that closed about ten years ago. In the past few years, Dollar General has opened stores in Remington and Monon. The Rensselaer Republican had an article about the future Dollar General store last week that said the store would hire six to nine people.

About a mile due north of the Dollar General construction site, another construction project has been completed. Not only does the new rail crossing on 400S have lights, it also has a crossing gate.
A few other things: when I was in Remington about a week ago, I noticed that the plant across from the Bank of Wolcott office had DuPont signs on it. I remembered it as a Solae plant. Checking the Internet, I learned that Solae had been a joint venture between DuPont and another company, and in 2012 DuPont bought out the ownership of the other company so now the entire company is owned by DuPont.

Rensselaer may be too small to establish a presence on Craigs List, but people have found a way to use Facebook for the same purposes. If you want to buy and sell items in Rensselaer, check out the Facebook group, For Sale in Rensselaer Indiana. It has over 1000 members. There are several other groups that seem to be doing the same thing, such as Jasper County(Indiana)...Buy-Sell-Trade-or GiveAway, which has 2500 members.

Update: I stopped by the Dollar General site after 6:00 pm and was surprised at how much had been done and that there were still men at work. Sand was being smoothed, presumably to get ready for a concrete pad on which the building will rest. The side of Monroe had been completely broken up, probably by the large dump trucks delivering stone and sand.
 At the north end of the lot a truck load or two of drainage tiles had been delivered. It will be interesting to see where they go.
This will probably be a pretty fast build. Expect future updates on progress.

Friday, March 28, 2014

A ribbon cutting

Yesterday the Chamber of Commerce had a ribbon cutting for the Laird Fitness Center at CDC Resources. Below you can see people getting ready for the cutting--the Rensselaer Republican should have a picture of the actual cutting and that will be one more person in the picture.
Below is the press release for the event:

CDC Resources' current Rensselaer facility at 1320 E Angelica Street would not exist if it were not for the late Wallace Laird. When CDC sought to improve its services in the 1970s with a new building, Laird, who served on the CDC Board of Directors and as President of that Board, arranged a land swap that gave CDC it’s four acre campus on the east end of Angelica. Before its new building was completed in 1979, CDC had provided services from several locations, including from the old Jordan School on SR16 and the former Rensselaer HS. The naming of the new fitness center at the Rensselaer office in honor of Wallace Laird is in recognition of the key role he played at a crucial juncture of CDC's history.

The Laird Fitness Center provides CDC consumers easy access to common fitness center equipment. Many of these consumers get little exercise in their daily lives and consequently suffer the health consequences of inactive lifestyles. The Laird Fitness center includes common fitness center equipment, including steppers and treadmills, built to commercial standards. The equipping of the Center was funded by grants from the Newton County Community Foundation, Jasper Foundation and Jasper County REMC.

CDC Resources provides services to intellectually and developmentally disabled adults in five area counties. The Rensselaer facility on Angelica Street serves over 230 individuals from Jasper, Newton, and Benton counties. Day Services, which occupies over half of the building, combines contract work for area industrial customers with training on daily living skills and recreational activities. The building also houses Heartland Employment Services to assist individuals with disabilities to get and retain community jobs, accomodates Community Waiver/Respite Services staff who support individuals in the community as well as the management team for maintaining two Rest Parks on I-65 for the state.

A ribbon cutting for the Laird Fitness Center will take place this Thursday, March 27 at noon (CDT) at CDC Resources Center at 1320 E. Angelica Street in Rensselaer. Refreshments will be served and tours of the center will be available. Join us for the dedication of an exciting new program development named in honor of a man who made a difference.
 I knew Wally Laird largely because he taught a few in economics classes at SJC when the department was short staffed. He was a person for whom first impressions were deceiving. It took a while to realize how much he did and how involved he was in a great many activities and endeavors.

CDC Resources has now has more likes on Facebook (681) than Rensselaer Adventures (680). Not too long ago they were 100 likes behind. However, Rensselaer Adventures is three ahead of the Greater Rensselaer Chamber of Commerce (677).

In other news, Thursday's Rensselaer Republican report on a house fire caught my attention because the address--706 Milroy--was my address for the 1974-75 school year, the first year I was in Rensselaer. The damage was not visible from Milroy Street, but the paper reported that the kitchen area was a total loss and the rest of the house had heat and smoke damage.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A couple of art shows

The Saint Joseph's College Annual Senior Artists and Art Faculty show will be on display in the Fendig Gallery of the Carnegie Center until April 11. It features the work of two senior students and several faculty pieces. The picture below, One-Winged Harpy, is one of a pair. The other is titled One Winged Angel.
I am not quite sure what to make of this picture, which is one of a series.
I have seen this torso in previous show and it impressed me then.
(Update: For more on the artist above, see shaynapolomchakart.wordpress.com and www.etsy.com/shop/ShaynaPolomchakArt.)

The torso above shows the influence of David Herriott, who does a lot of work in glass. One of his pieces in the show is the top of a small table.
While art created at SJC is at the Fendig Gallery, the 2014 Regional Middle Level Art Show is on display in the lobby of the Core Building at SJC until April 13. The young students produced a number of interesting things this year. For example, there were a number of examples of zentangle art, including a variation in which the zentangle designs are used to decorate the interior of letters.
Below is may favorite example of pop art, a style made famous by Andy Warhol. Pepsi Cans are a better subject for pop art than Campbell soup.
Seurat does not get credit for inspiring this design, which is supposed to imitate Australian aboriginal dot art.
The piece that impressed me the most, perhaps because I cannot quite figure out how it was done, was this paper swan.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

comings and goings 3-27-2013

There are a couple of new businesses getting ready to open in the downtown. Although the closing of Oddities Ink deprived Rensselaer of the services of a tattooist, that void appears to be short-lived. In its former quarters on Kellner Street a new tattooist seems to be preparing to open: Inksane Barn.
 The windows in the small space next to Ardent Papers and Photography are covered with paper, but there is a sign on one of them saying that Studio 23 Hair Salon will be opening soon.
Ardent Papers and Photography will have an open house on the evening of April 4 and the morning and early afternoon of April 5.

Everyone except perhaps those who make money with snow removal is welcoming the closing of winter and the opening of spring. We still have some rather large piles of snow in some of the parking lots, such as the one in the parking lot of 5/3 Bank. However, six weeks ago it was much, much larger.
Spring is still not quite here. The ice cover on the Great Lakes is still a bit over 70%. The highest it reached this winter was 92.2%, which was a couple percentages away from the highest recorded level.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A bunny post

On Thursday night I had to leave Rensselaer suddenly but not unexpectedly for family reasons. During my stay in Indianapolis, I took my granddaughter for a walk in a little park near her house. As we were coming to the end of the trail, we saw a bunny. Instead of running away, as bunnies should, this bunny approached us. For a couple seconds I had visions of the bunny in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. However, it was harmless and appeared to be a very hungry domesticated rabbit that someone had turned loose in the park.
 I mentioned the bunny to my daughter-in-law and she, who even in normal times loves little animals, put out a notice on Facebook to her fellow animal lovers asking what could be done to help the little critter. (Being a hard-hearted fellow who grew up in a very different world, I saw nothing wrong with letting nature take its course.) She got some responses and then she and my son went on a bunny hunt. They were unsuccessful, but two people who had joined them, one a police officer, did find it. We got a call the next day telling us that the skinny, malnourished rabbit--you can see its backbone and ribs in the picture above--was happily munching on cilantro and pellets. The rescuers were going to take it to a vet to have it checked out and then find a home for it.

Instead of being happy about the outcome, I was rather embarrassed for setting in motion all this activity. However, the search for the bunny also seems to have set in motion some other activity that was the point of my trip to Indianapolis.

Here is a picture of the park with its little stream. The entire park is flood plain or steep creek bank. The picture below gives the impression that the park is a wilderness retreat.
 But from a different angle, you can see that it is next to commercial development along a very busy highway. You never get away from the sounds of traffic. (The bench overlooks a retention pond for that development.)
(Note to pet owners--most domesticated animals do not fare well in the wild. Dumping tame animals and expecting them to manage on their own is cruel.)

Update: Here is the bunny after rescue.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Odds & ends 3-22-2013 (Pictures added)

I was reminded how unpleasant driving on east-west roads early around the equinox when I drove to Monticello on Thursday morning at sunrise. It is also unpleasant driving on some of the roads because of all the potholes. SR 114 is one of those roads with a lot of potholes.

I have driven past the Rose Acre chicken farm west of Monon several time recently and noticed that workers were repairing one of the roofs. It appeared that the roof might have been damaged by the winter weather.

At Fair Oaks Farms rapid change is evident in the new restaurant building. Someone told me that work was being done seven days a week. Also, stakes are up for the Pork Education Center.

I saw my first flower and first butterfly on Friday, but neither was in Rensselaer.

The Republican reported that the Rensselaer Central School Board has offered to continue leasing Staddon Field to the city Park Department for a nominal fee for this summer, so ball games will be held there.

The street cleaner is out and about sweeping up all the stuff left by the melted snow banks.

At Saint Joseph's College scaffolding is going up around the east bell tower. The scaffolding that was around the west bell tower last fall is now gone. Also, work is being done to repair drainage tiles at Halleck Center. Broken tiles resulted in flooding in the basement.
 Finally, GRG Repair will be opening soon in the gas station north of Jordan Floral on College Avenue. The gas pumps have been removed, so it appears that the new business will be only a repair shop.
 Update: Pictures added.)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Shopping for bargains (updated)

I stopped by Jasper Junction this morning on the way to the Lenten Luncheon at the Brushwood Methodist Church. The store has been reorganized, with some of the booths in the north half eliminated and replaced with thrift store items. When I stopped by in December I thought it was very poorly organized. Now that the reorganization has been completed, it looks much better. If you have not been there in a while, you might be surprised at how different it looks.
There are still booths along the walls, but not in the center.

This weekend will feature the twenty seventh annual Birthright rummage sale--the first one was held in Brookside Park but after two or three years there it moved to the basement of St. Augustine's Church. This year the church basement looks a lot different--Saint Augustine is re-doing its basement and is in the demolition stage. Below you can see what the sale looks like at the start of the set-up. Friday morning those tables should be full of stuff.
Whatever does not sell at this sale is taken to Jasper Junction. The good stuff will go on their racks and the stuff that is not in good condition will be bailed and sold in bulk. Nothing goes to waste.

Update: I meant to post a picture after the sale set up but I had to leave town for a few days and was away from the computer that had the picture below:
From the reports I heard, the sale went well.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A couple of meetings about history and tourism

The County Council met last night for a very short meeting. They tabled one item, approved an appropriation for ambulance service, and approved the budget of the new Tourism Commission. The tourism budget is $95,000 and this is financed with an innkeepers tax. $40k is earmarked for marketing including spending in on-going festivals, $10k for special events, $15k for administration, and $30k for partnerships. The Tourism Commission needs a logo and a slogan--what do you think would work? "There is more than corn in Jasper County" probably will not work.

The people council along with two commissioners who were at the meeting all seem to be frustrated with the lack of information about the upcoming air show. The South Shore CVB is working with the Newton County officials--the air show is in Newton County--but not with Jasper County officials. Because the air show is so close to Jasper County, the local officials want to know if and how the event will affect our county.

The meeting was over in about twenty minutes, so I decided to see if the presentation at the Jasper County Historical Society was still in progress. I arrived as a film about the excavations at Collier Lodge was being shown. The Collier Lodge was a hunting lodge, and it is located at a point where it was easy to cross the Kankakee River, so digging down archeologists from Notre Dame have found lots of artifacts. Videos of some of the excavations as well as of the Aukiki Festival held there every August can be found on Youtube.

After the meeting I learned that I had missed a presentation about the history of the museum's building. In the 1840s a splinter group of Methodists who called themselves Methodist Protestants (MP) preached in our area. They were congregational, rejecting the hierarchy of the traditional Methodists. The first formal building that they erected in our area was the building that is now the Historical Society's museum.

Our area was served by a circuit rider named Helenor Alter Davisson.  In 1866 she became the first woman ordained by the Methodist Protestant Church and by any Methodist denomination that is now part of the United Methodist Church. The Indiana Conference of the United Methodist Church (UMC) wants to apply for Heritage Landmark status, the highest recognition the UMC offers, for the entire MP circuit that Helenor traveled. That circuit included bits of Newton, Jasper, Pulaski, and White counties.

Update: Here is more info on the Helenor Alter Davisson story.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Displays of ancient artifacts

Last week as I was killing some time during a break in the Commissioners' meeting, I took a closer look at the display case on the second floor of the Court House. (I also took a picture of a stained-glass window.) I had seen the case many times but had never really focused on what was in it.
 The case has the items that were put into the cornerstone of the Court House in 1896. The metal box that contained them is on the bottom shelf of the display case. The items on the top shelf of the display case are fairly easy to photograph, but those on lower shelves are harder to photograph without a lot of glare.
 Many of the prominent businessmen of the day included their business cards. Attorney and private banker is an interesting combination. I think the son of Arthur Hopkins was also an attorney. The Hopkins family was quite prominent, I believe, for the at least the first half of the twentieth century.
 Thompson and Bro also offered and interesting collection of services. Are these the Thompsons for which Thompson Street is named?
 The Hollingsworths pop up again in the Commercial State Bank.
 The card for Drs Washburn & English tells us that Rensselaer had telephone service in 1896. The Washburn House at the intersection of Front Street and Grace Street was build around 1910. Did I.B. Washburn build it, or did a son of his build it? For some reason I recall that there were two generations of Washburns that were physicians, but I may be wrong about that.
 Alfred McCoy's bank has A.R. Hopkins listed as Ass't Cashier and Emmet L. Hollingsworth as Cashier. I thought the first was an attorney and a private banker and the second was the Commercial State Bank. Who knows enough about early Rensselaer history to explain why the same people keep appearing in different businesses?
 The Rensselaer Branch of the Jasper County Public Library has a display called Ancient Technology aimed at teenagers. If you were born at the very end of the twentieth century, some of it may seem like ancient technology, but for us older folks, it seems pretty recent.
 Few teenagers would have had any experience with a rotary phone, so they may not understand what dialing a phone really means. The Nintendo Game Boy is the color version--it was only a few years ago I got rid of the old black and white Game Boy that my kids had abandoned. I do not remember when I last used a manual typewriter, but I suspect most high school students today have never used one.

If the public library of my youth had had a display like this, the record player they would have been one that you wound up and played the old 78 rpm disks. The 45  and 33 rpm disks were the common formats when I was young.

There is a Macintosh SE 30 on display, apparently to represent very early computers. I suspect that a teenager would have no difficulty using it. It had a small screen, but so do smart phones. Unlike the Apple II and the early PCs running Microsoft DOS, the Macintosh had a graphical user interface and a hard drive. I suspect that a teen given an old PC with a couple of floppy drives and no hard drive would be completely lost even if they could figure out how to boot up the machine. (I owned a SE-30 at one time. I bought it used on eBay and after a few years I sold it on eBay. It was for its time a very nice machine.)

A useful addition to the library's collection would be a dot-matrix printer. Remember how much fun they were? And if they want to get an old office machine, a ditto machine would be a great addition. When I started teaching, we did had not access to a Xerox machine. If we wanted to make multiple copies of something, the document had to be typed onto a ditto master and then run off on a ditto machine. The print was blue. There was also mimeograph, which had a better quality, but we did not use that much and I do not remember why. Teachers who have only made copies using xerox (photocopying) machines have no idea of how easy they have it. (Of course the teachers in the era before ditto machines would have said that same thing about my generation of teachers.)

(On the subject of technology, I made another step into the 21st century last week. My son gave us an old iPod Touch, which is like an iPhone without the phone (or camera, because it is a second generation iPod.) This little computer does not run many apps because most of the apps have been upgraded for later operating systems and our little machine does not run the new operating systems, but I figure I will learn whether it is a device that is useful for me or not. Also, last week I became the only member of the family who has never sent a text message. Maybe next year I can do that and take another step into the 21st century.)

Even though there were a lot of these old machines produced, my guess is that there are not too many that survive. When they became obsolete, almost all of them were junked.

Another display at the library is a display of tax forms. Taxes are due in less than a month. If you have a refund coming, you should have submitted yours weeks ago. If you are paying taxes, it is time to get started getting them ready.
Today (Monday) the library has a program at 2:00 that commemorates the days of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a large public works program of the Great Depression. The presenter seems to spend his days like a medieval troubadour traveling the county entertaining and informing audience. (See the sidebar for links.)

Have a happy St. Patrick's Day.

Update:
Here is the library blog post on their old technology event.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Snow piles and signs of spring

How long will the snow piles at Walmart last? The warm weather of the past week has melted most of the snow that is not in drifts or in piles from snow plowing.
Ignoring the snow, workers at Walmart were starting to set out the spring garden supplies in their parking lot--another sign that spring is on the way.
I saw a killdeer and a robin this afternoon. I know that some people have seen robins all winter long, but I have not.

Friday, March 14, 2014

A mystery window on Pi day

On its Facebook page the Jasper County Historical Society has been posting pictures of parts of buildings and asking if anyone can identify the building. Two of the recent postings have been of stain glassed windows, so when I saw the window below recently, I thought it would make a good mystery picture. Do you know where this window is located?
The only hint I will give is that it is not on private property.

Today is Pi day--3.14. I saw some very funny pictures on Facebook celebrating it, such as here and here. (Next year Pi day will be really special--it will be 3.1415. Or will it be special in 2016 since Pi rounds to 3.1416?) Fair Oaks Farms has posted several construction update pictures recently, including one showing the windows being installed in the new restaurant building. The Families of the JCYC have a clever promotion for spring break week. And despite all the snow on the ground, there is reason to think green--Saint Patrick's Day is Monday and we are less than a week away from the vernal equinox (March 20 this year).

Update: This window and another that is identical are located on the second floor of the court house. It is an interior window located between the auditor's office and the hallway. (The hallways and the stairways of the court house occupy a lot of the total floor space. Clearly the architect was not just interested in an economical use of space--the aesthetics was of great importance.)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A flash of red

I saw a pileated woodpecker this morning. It is not a bird I see very often and I cannot remember the last time I saw one. According to one bird distribution map, it has a fairly board range, but is absent in most of Illinois and eastern Indiana. Does anyone know how common it is in our area?
I noticed it because I was trying to get a picture of the sun shining through the ice on the trees. None of those pictures turned out well and by the afternoon most of that ice will be gone.

I was hoping that a pileated woodpecker might be a sign of spring, but a quick bit of research revealed that they are not migratory.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Magnetation (Snow update)

I drove past Reynolds yesterday and got a picture of the construction of the huge iron ore processing plant under construction. I have seen it several times in the distance when I go to Monticello, but this was the first time I had been close.
There are more pictures of the construction at the Magnetation site. (The plant was previously mentioned on this blog here and here.)

How will this plant affect Rensselaer? The most obvious effect will probably be an increase in railroad traffic through town. It seems likely that the CSX line will be delivering much of the raw material.

Not only is the size of the facility impressive, but it also has an impressive flock of cranes.

Update: We got the predicted snow last night--two or three inches of wet white stuff that has decorated tree branches and the north side of tree trunks. It has shut down the Rensselaer schools and also neighboring schools. It is very pretty, but it is getting old.
 The river has re-flooded Weston Lake. It has a yellowish color that contrasts with the white and blacks that predominate.
 I see that blogspot is pixelating my pictures again.

The snow plows get another workout. It has been a good year for the snow removal business.
It is March so in a few days it will melt.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Monday's meetings

I counted five meetings of government entities that were open to the public on Monday. The first was the monthly Commissioners' meeting in the courthouse. There always lots of items discussed at these meetings, most of them of little public interest. A discussion of how the new drainage project at the airport would affect the highway department land and the land the county rents to a farmer took a bit of time.

The Commissioners agreed to try a water conditioning method that had been pitched at last month's meeting. They will have it installed in the jail and the highway department building and see if it works. The sheriff, who came after the presentation said that several other sheriff departments had installed the system but had not used it long enough to tell if it works.

Bids were opened on some remodeling of the Sheriff's Annex near DeMotte to provide space for the county coroner. A low bit from Hollandale Builders was accepted, but the design of the work is still in flux.

The Sheriff had a financial adviser from Morgan Stanley who explained a plan sponsored by the Indiana Sheriffs Association that would allow employees of the Sheriffs Department to contribute to a 457b plan. The key feature that separates this plan from other deferred compensation plans is that the IRS says that people can start withdrawing without penalty at retirement rather than waiting until they are 59 1/2. There would be no cost to the county or the Sheriffs Department.

The most interesting item in the meeting was a discussion of the damage caused by a lightning strike when we had a storm pass through with our warm-up a couple weeks ago. Somehow the electrical discharge got into the court house building and damaged telephones and some computer equipment. The total damage has not been tabulated, but it might run in the neighborhood of $100,000. Insurance should cover most of it. The pile of damaged equipment was on display on the first floor.
After lunch the county Drainage Board met. The drainage plans for the proposed Taco Bell were discussed, though they had been approved by the City of Rensselaer. The building will be immediately to the west of the Family Express gas station and the owners want to start construction as soon as the snow and frost permit. The Board approved their drainage plan. Then the MaCallister Machinery proposal was back again. The planners had had to modify their plans to meet FAA objections. Now the building will be 100 feet further east. (The proposed building will be on the north side of SR 114 east of Airport Road.) The Board had no objections to their slightly revised drainage plans.

At 5:30 the Rensselaer Board of Public Works met for fifteen minutes. I caught the tail end of that meeting. At 6:00 the City Council met. The most interesting thing in this meeting was a request by a citizen who has a couple small rental units somewhere in the city. During the cold snap she had a water line freeze and burst on her side of the water meter. As a result, she got a $3000 water bill because she did not catch the break quickly enough. Her insurance company would help her with the damage that had been done but would not pay any of the water bill. She went to the mayor who agreed to eliminate the sewer charge from the bill since the water had not gone into the sewer, but told her it was up to the Council to deal with the water charge. One member made the motion to charge her only her normal monthly usage, but that motion never got a second. Instead several council members said that in the past they had not forgiven charges of this sort, though none seemed to have been as large as $3,000, and they were not sure they wanted to set a precedent. So the Council did nothing.

My question to reader: Should the City have a policy to deal with situations like this where a water leak that occurs through no fault of the customer results in a massive bill, and if it should have a policy, what should it be?

A first approval was given to a water rate increase of $2.82, though I do not know exactly how that will be implemented. Since this ordinance must go through another vote or two plus a public hearing, the details should become clear. There was also some good utility news--the gas tracker change will be a six cent decrease for each 100 cubic feet.

The Council representative on the Jasper County Historical Preservation Board asked the Council for support for an upcoming event, the Movable Feast to celebrate the architecture of Frank Fisher. It will be held on August 2. Last week the Rensselaer Republican had some details about the event.

The City got an award of architectural excellence for the City water treatment plant--a picture and an explanation will probably appear in the Rensselaer Republican this week. Work continues on the 69K project, with new tall poles being installed in the substation next to the power plant. I took a picture of that work this morning, though I did not know at the time what was happening.
Several people before and after the meeting said that the potholes on Grace Street were awful. They also mentioned that repairs on Grace Street are made by the state since it is also SR 114.

A fifth meeting for the day, which I missed because it overlapped the City Council meeting, was the meeting of the Jasper County Library Board.

(People are obviously excited with the warmer weather. I saw kids in shorts and tee shirts out and about today.)

Monday, March 10, 2014

Some changes

This morning I saw a turkey vulture soaring overhead. It thinks spring is here, as do the geese and sandhill cranes that have been honking overhead for the past couple days.

The sun is getting higher, and we are going to capture it this summer with solar panels. There are three rows of them now installed in the far north of the new solar park development.
 The power that is generated will undoubtedly be routed through the Melville substation. A small building is being built there but still needs doors and windows.
 Do you recognize the building undergoing some renovation shown below?
 It is the dealer for the farm implement company that began with a better plow.
 On Kellner Street a little space that has seen a lot of different uses has a new one, a hair salon named "Ahead of Style." Cute name and the aggressive sign suggests that the shop means to stay there a while. (The last business there was also a hair salon, Maggie's Jazzy Cuts.)
Next door, however, the Oddities Ink spot is empty. I do not know if it has relocated or if it ran out of skin to decorate.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Lenten Luncheon schedule

Lenten Luncheon schedule:

March 12 First Presbyterian Church
March 19 Brushwood United Methodist Church
March 26 First Christian Church
April 2 Trinity United Methodist Church
April 9 Iroquois Valley Church
April 16 St Augustine Catholic Church

Luncheons are held from 11:45 - 12:45. A $5.00 donation is requested.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

A little more snow

We got only a fraction of an inch of snow this morning but it stuck on most of the roads. The good news is compressing the snow seems to melt it, so any road with much traffic will soon be snow-free, plus our temperature is right at the freezing point so dark surfaces are absorbing enough light to melt the snow.
 The snow did not bother the squirrels. When you look at their tracks you realize they do not walk or run, they bounce. Every foot and a half there is a tight spread of four foot prints.
 I was looking on the county and city websites looking for agendas for the Monday meetings. I could only find an agenda for the Drainage Board meeting, which will have a discussion of the drainage plan for the new Taco Bell restaurant proposed for the Interstate interchange and a revision of the MaCallister  Machinery Agriculture Division Facility near the airport. I noticed, however, that on the city's website the solar panel park was supposed to be completed by the end of February, 2014. In the first week of March workers were still pouring concrete and only in the very back of the lot did panels appear to be in place.
 It was nice to be able to get out and get some exercise last week with clear roads and warmer temperatures. On Friday I noticed that the concrete base for a railroad crossing signal had been installed on CR 400S.
We need those gates because people keep having accidents at the rail crossings. On Thursday a small truck hit a coal train in Kersey.