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Tuesday, April 13, 2021
  • It has come to the attention of HSJ Online that an individual not associated with our hometown newspaper has been calling local businesses and attempting to sell ad spots.  Please be advised HSJ Online's advertising team conducts all such solicitations face to face.  The caller was also asking for debit card payment up front over the phone.  We never require advance payment for advertising and it is our practice to send out paper invoice.

    Please stay vigilant and never give out personal information over the phone.  I myself have fallen victim to scammers over the years.  Once I was asked the model of my printer for a supply quote.  Naively I told the caller, and every three months more printer cartridge's than we could use in three years arrived.  They kept arriving and shipments had to be refused.  I have also confirmed company information over the phone only  to later be billed an exorbitant amount for a business directory listing.  The scammers will record you and make it seem you are agreeing to something you are not, making it very hard to fight later.  The Better Business Bureau was a wonderful recourse in dis-entangling myself from these scammers.  I hate to be rude, but those experiences have made me very curt with cold callers attempting to garner information.  

  • The Hope United Methodist Church is announcing a new free weekly meal site.  The first meal site service will be Thursday April 7th.  It will be a drive thru style pick up starting at 5:00 pm and will last until the prepared food is gone or no one is in line to be served.  Vehicles should enter from Washington Street and will be given guidance on where to puck up the meal.  There will not be provisions for seated dining at this time, so all meals will be to go only.  This weeks menu includes pulled pork, corn and slaw.  
  • Susan Thayer Fye, Executive Director, Main Street of HOPE is stepping down after four years with the Not-For-Profit organization, a branch of Heritage of Hope.     Anyone interested in discussing this 10 - 15 hour per week position should contact Susan at STF925@SBCGLOBAL.NET or 812-343-3798.    A job description will be sent out through email or information packets can be picked up from Hope Town Hall starting Monday, March 15, 2021.   Deadline for applying is Monday, April 5, 2021.                                               
  • Mother Daughter Tea

    You may have noticed teapots around town marked with #teaparty.  Main Street of Hope is hosting their first fundraiser, a mother daughter tea princess party on Saturday May 8th at 4:00 p.m.  Main Street encourages you to grab your mom, Mimi, grandma, step-mom, neighbors' mom, aunt, daughter, granddaughter, niece or your favorite lady and join in for a princess tea at Willow Leaves of Hope.  Any and all ages are welcome. Dress in your best, get out your favorite pearls, dust off your Easter or Kentucky Derby hat, or even great grandma's hat and join us.  

    Enjoy an afternoon with your mom or any special lady in your life.  Sipping on your favorite tea, you will also be served tea sandwiches and savory bites for your first course.  For your second course enjoy scones with jam and cream.  Your experience will end with a round of decadent sweet treats. 

    No worries if your wardrobe doesn't currently contain a fancy hat.  A straw hat, white lace gloves, and a string of faux pearls are included with your experience and are yours to keep.  Every lady, young and old alike, will be able to craft their very own tea party hat or fascinator to remember the afternoon by.  A dress up area an photo booth will also be provided for your entertainment.  David Miller of the Hope Branch Library will present a short program.  You will also have a chance to win a door prize.  

    Tickets are $30.00 for adults and $25.00 for children, or $55.00 for a mother daughter pair.  After the initial $55.00 adult and child purchase, deduct $5.00 for each additional child.  Tables may be purchased for $200.00.  The maximum per table is eight.  Only family units or related parties will be seated together.  Call Willow Leaves at 812-546-0640 to reserve your spot.  Proceeds benefit Main Street of Hope.  Come and make some memories to last a lifetime!

  • Miller's Merry Manor will be changing up their annual egg hunt this Easter.  They will be hosting Easter Bunny drive thru visits on Thursday April 1st from 3:00 till 6:00 pm.  Simply bring your kids, pull up to the front entrance and the Easter Bunny will have a treat for all the kids.  The residents are excited to watch your kids drive through this year!   They usually don't get to see the children when the egg hunt is held on the square, but they will have the opportunity to watch from the windows this year.  Bring your kids out for a safe, socially distanced Easter Bunny visit.  Call Heather at 812-546-4416 with any questions.  Miller's Merry Manor is located at 7440 North 825 East Hope, IN 47246.  
  • Council President Jerry Bragg called the meeting to order with the opening prayer and pledge of allegiance. 

    The minutes form the February 2, 2021 meeting were reviewed.  Councilman Clyde Compton motioned to approve them and John Walstad seconded the motion.  It passed 5 – 0.

    Council then moved on to the approval of claims. Clyde motioned to approve them as presented.  Ed seconded the motion. It passed 5 – 0.

    Steve Robertson of Strand and Associates then presented council with an update to the CCMG (Community Crossing Matching Grant) quotes and award.  Bids were received from all four vendors solicited.   The next step is picking a contractor.  Clyde motioned to award the contract to Robertson Paving.  John Walstad seconded the motion.  Scott Andrews noted they were the lowest bidder.  Mr. Robertson then remarked council would need to authorize Jerry Bragg to sign the contract before the next council meeting as it needed to be signed by April first and submitted to INDOT by April 8th.  Council must also issue a notice to proceed so the contractor can begin work.  Clyde made the motion.  Ed seconded it.  It passed 5 – 0.  Mr. Robertson remarked he would contract Robertson Paving to notify them of the award.  They will have 150 days to complete the work. 

    Mr. Robertson then presented Strand’s Technical Service Agreement Amendment Two.  It would extend the original agreement from four to six years, adding an additional two years.  A motion will be required.  Such an extension would save the town money in the future, but does not guarantee or lock down future engineering work.  Clyde made the motion and John seconded it.  It passed 5 – 0.

    Steve Robertson ended with an update on the park project.  He stated RC electric had delivered the new bulbs and relays to fix the two new streetlights that are out.  The seating guys are still drilling holes for the replacement bench planks.  The way faring signs and brackets have been installed.  The park project should be completed tomorrow, pending any paperwork ARA still has to submit. 

    Council then moved on to 2021 Boards and Committees.  All open positions have been filled.  Shawn Lange will join the planning committee.  John Walstad will have to go off the planning commission due to quorum logistics.  He would have to recuse himself from voting on those items during council meetings, leaving quorum unable to be met.  James Cave will make the fourth member of the planning commission.  Teresa Turner joined the police oversight committee.  Ed motioned to approve the list of new members as presented; John seconded the motion.  Clyde then suggested the working of the town regulations be changed to remove the town officials requirement for committee members.  Scott Andrews will review how many town officials can be on a committee.  Three council members cannot currently serve on a committee because of quorum requirements. 

    Scott Andrews then moved on to the amendment to the garbage and rubbish ordinance, 2021-01 second reading.  It allows for the recoupment of attorney’s fees and court costs.  Clyde motioned to pass it.  Ed seconded the motion and it passed 5 – 0.

    Council tabled the shelter house and park guidelines until Matt Tallent returns from vacation so they can hear what he found out on video surveillance systems. 

    Council then moved on the park benches.  There will be thirteen benches.  They have a list of fifteen or sixteen facts provided by the Yellow Trail museum, based on Barb Johnson’s research and expertise.  Clyde wanted to remove the fact about the Cedar Groove Dairy.  He also remarked there was no mention of Hope’s a surprising little town motto.  Ed Johnson did not feel the fact about Hope being designated as a Main Street community in 2015 was necessary. Council decided to add the Hope a surprising little town to the fact about it being founded in 1830 by Martin Hauser as a congregational town.   They also decided to combine the two sports state championships facts onto one bench.  Clyde motioned to pass the edited list with Ed seconding the motion. 

    John Walstad then presented an extension on town council funding forthe food bank.  He reviewed the statistics regarding the number of households and individuals served by the food bank during the pandemic.  He noted by May most people will have the vaccine and will be able to return to work.  He would like to continue supporting the food back until April with another $500.00 contribution.  Clyde pointed out how many people who live in town or within our township are served by the food bank.  He would like to continue funding so no one goes hungry.  Clyde motioned to continue the funding.  Ed seconded the motion.  It passed 5 – 0.

    Council then moved on to new business.  Chelsea Warriner of the Community Center requested use of the park for Smoke on the Square.  Chelsea asked council what the plan was regarding the opening of the square as the plan for their event hinged on that.  Clyde motioned to open the square April first.  There was no second.  David Clouse printed out the benches are not finished and there are sharp metal pointy objects out there right now.  He also commented the grass that was sown last week has not yet had a chance to germinate.  Chelsea carried on with her request, asking to shut down the outside of the square.  She stated there would be a drive thru service this year since the inside of the square was not open.  They would close the west side of the square for vehicles to drive up and use the shelter house their food staging area.  Ohmer Miller’s comment on the park open request was that it was a huge capital investment and the grass needed time to set in and grow.  David Clouse remarked council needed to do a walk through and to view the spots where the grass has not yet taken.  He also commented the ground was still soft in spots.  Ohmer asked if it has been reseeded yet.  David replied affirmatively, it was reseeded and fertilized last week.  David stated it needed ten to twelve days of warm temps and sunlight to germinate.  Clyde remarked he did not feel the square needed to remain closed, a open date of April first would give it the two weeks it needed to germinate.  Ed remarked he felt the new grass would be in regardless by May 15th.  Ohmer asked if professionals and amateur competitors would be broken down into classes as there were complaints about professional level competitors.  Chelsea Warriner replied that the competition was a backyard level one and open to everyone.  Clyde wanted it recorded for the record that everything the community center does returns twenty-five percent of the profits to the food bank.  Council then motioned to approve Smoke on the Square for May 15th.  It passed 5 – 0.  John Walstad pointed out that the festival guides disturbed in the town already had the date for Smoke on the Square printed as May 14th and 15th.  He will distribute the remaining copies to local businesses. 

    David Clouse then presented the SCADA (Supervisor Control and Data Acquisition) computer quote.  The software was an $80,000.00 software investment in 2000.  It controls water tower levels to keep the water fresh and controls the level of discharge into the creek, only adding ten percent to the creek flow.  This level is monitored daily.  The software also collects data from different flow meters and sends out alerts when there is a problem.  Such alerts can be accessed via mobile phone, eliminating the need to go into the office to pinpoint the source of the alert.  The current computer is an XP model, the new model would be a seven.  Funding would be fifty percent from water and fifty percent from sewer.  Clyde motioned to accept it, with Ed seconding the motion.  It passed 5 – 0.  Ed then asked about the impeller station.  David said it was still not up to snuff. 

    Clyde then moved on to an Edit request.  Jessica Brown appeared in front of the Edit committee on behalf of Main Street to request funding for fthe lowers that are put out every year on the square.  The request included a gardener to take care of them.  There were two different quotes presented from Linda Cleland.  One including flowers for the horse troughs inside of the square and one without flowers for the horse troughs.  Both quotes include funding for mums for Heritage Days.  The request was for $2,500.00 for flowers and $5,000.00 for a gardener, pending actual submitted numbers.  The gardener earns $10.00 per hour and submits a time sheet weekly.   Clyde commented he thought the town had voted to get rid of the horse troughs.  He also asked why the round planters were still there when they were supposed to be removed.  David noted he needed to get them taken out.  Edit did approve the request 3 – 1 at their meeting.  John asked about using perennials to reduce the cost.  It was noted that would not work in the planters as they would freeze.  Ohmer inquired if Heritage Days was happening this year.  The motion for flowers passed 5 – 0. 

    Clyde then questioned David on a submitted report.  He asked about the park spacing in Norman park and railroad ties.  David replied they were required to provide eight feet of clearance around each item of playground equipment.  The mulch and railroad ties delineated this space.  The railroad ties also keep the mulch off the grass.  Clyde then asked about expanding the gravel parking space as it currently only held two cars and that was not enough room.  David Clouse remarked two cars are all that is ever there and adding parking would be troublesome due to the amount of equipment and eight foot clearance requirements.  Clyde replied maybe more people could park there and utilize the park if there were more than two spots available. 

    Ed Johnson then noted David’s trailer was bottoming out when he was bringing in the railroad ties.  He would like to see David get a new trailer as that one was homemade anyway.  Council agreed Mr. Clouse should go ahead and proceed with getting pricing for a new trailer. 

    Meeting was adjourned.

  • Students Fund of Hope has announced the cancellation of their Spring Bazaar.  The event was scheduled for March 27th and 28th.  It had already been rescheduled from November due to COVID, fund organizers cite lack of vendor registration and forecasted inclement weather for the cause of cancellation.   Event organizers will be reaching out to vendors who have already registered regarding refunds.  
  • Hope Moravian Cemetery is announcing a cemetery clean-up.  All decorations and containers not claimed by 8:00 a.m. Saturday March 20, 2021 will be removed.  Rain Date is Monday March 22, 2021 at 5:00 pm.  

    The Cemetery is also accepting bids for lawn care services.  Call 812-371-7968 with any questions.  Bids may be sent to:

    Hope Moravian Cemetery

    202 Main Street

    Hope, IN 47246

  • Just in time for this week's warmer weather, the playground on the Hope town square has re-opened.  Police removed the caution tape around the playground yesterday.  The rest of the square remains closed.  The grass has just been re-seeded to ensure a good stand after last years improvements.
  • Elvis will be coming to our surprising little town.  The Colonel has racked up some debts and needs Elvis for a performance to pay them off.  But Elvis is missing and the Colonel is trying to find an Elvis impersonator and takes desperate measures to replace a man who is irreplaceable.  Starring Daniel Ott, Jason Bowser, Falicia Richart, Pete Law and Naomi Fleetwood-Pyle.  Show dates are April 23, 24, 25 & 30 and May 1 and 2.  Friday and Saturday dinner shows are at 6:00; Sunday Matinees are at 1:00.  Cost for the show, dinner, drink and dessert is $30.00 per person.  Call Willow Leaves of Hope at 812-546-0640 to make your reservations.  
  • Council President Jerry Bragg called the meeting to order with a reminder to silence mobile devices. He then led the opening prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance. Councilman Ohmer Miller was absent from the meeting.

    Minutes from the December and January meetings were reviewed and approved. Clyde Compton motioned to pass the December minutes, with Ed Johnson seconding. Ed motioned to pass the January minutes with John seconding the motion. The motions for both months passed 4 -0.

    Claims were presented an approved with no changes.

    Steve Robertson from Strand & Associates them presented the Community Crossing Matching Grant (CCMG.) He presented a list of four potential contractors for paving work. They were all companies Stand had worked with in the past and who have done work in Hope. Globe out of Westport was the only company called out by name. Mr. Robertson reminded council they would need to send out requests for bids to at least three companies. The deadline for quote submission is March 10th. Quotes may be submitted in person or by email. Scott Andrews will review all the submitted quotes to make sure the meet the grant guidelines. April first is the grant deadline for the contractor’s signature. The paperwork is due to INDOT by April 8th. The contractor will have until August to complete the work. Steve commented that the scope does include the recent changes to Brookside Drive. Councilman Compton asked if the paving would adjoin the last paving at Schafer Drive. Mr. Robertson affirmed it did. Clyde then suggested sending out quotes to all four contractors on the list provided by Mr. Robertson. Council agreed.

    Steve Robertson then presented the Downtown Revitalization Grant Project Pay application in Eric Frey’s absence. The final pay application for the park project must be submitted by Thursday to Trena Carter of ARA’s office. $13,841.20 has to be submitted this week to get reimbursement for the full $20,494.00. Trena needs a final payroll report. $3,642.80 is coming from local funds, and Mr. Robertson suggested the town withhold this amount until the work is complete. The wayfaring signage still has not been installed. Mr. Robertson stated the reworked brackets from Indiana Custom Fab are ready; they are just waiting on the Poole Group to install them. There are also two streetlights out. Vectren and Poole Group have been contacted to get them repaired. It should not be an issue as they have a warranty. The new grass is also a warranty item. The contractor does have a bond the town may charge if the lights are not fixed.

    Mr. Robertson also brought up that Strand and Associates have an annual continuing services agreement coming up due. He will present it at the March meeting. It takes care of preliminary paperwork, and while it does not lock the town into using Strand it makes the processes easier and cheaper.

    Susan Thayer Fye then moved on with the Main Street update. The reports have been filed for the $10,000.00 grant from the Columbus Visitors Center Grant and the $75,000.00 grant from the Heritage Fund. She also filed the report for the $25,000.00 Custer Nugent Foundation. Everything has been filed regarding the Downtown Revitalization Grant except the final report for OCRA.

    Susan gave a recap of Groundhog Day, which was virtual and held at Utopia Wildlife Rehabilitators this year.

    Susan then shared the Main Street of Hope Organization had signed the paperwork to continue their partnership as a state sanctioned Main Street community.

    She then went over $15,000.00 Main Street promotional grant local businesses owners had asked her to apply for. Funds would be used help set up websites and online sales capabilities.

    She also asked how the town wanted her to proceed with finding the replacement for her Executive Director’s position and whether or not they wanted to be involved in the process of finding a replacement. No response was given. 

    Jerry Bragg then moved on to the next item on the agenda, 2021 boards and committees. The planning commission ordinance states the President appoints three town officials, with the other members being citizens. The two citizens should be one Democrat and one Republican. With this revelation John Walstad would be able to stay on the planning commission. The police oversight committee still needs one person, a resident. 

    Mr. Bragg then moved on to the town manager position. The town lawyer Scott Andrews had provided council with an updated version of the job description. Clyde felt like it covered everything spoken about at the council’s executive session to discuss the job description. He motioned council start taking applications. Compton suggested advertising the position on Need It, HSJ Online, and the Republic. Applications would be accepted until March 31st. John seconded the motion and it was accepted 4 -0.

    Scott Andrews then presented an amendment to the trash and junk ordinance. Council had talked about increasing the fee. The fee is currently $25.00 per day until cleanup happens. The amendment includes this fee and any court costs, attorney fees, and the filing fee. This would also include interest. The amendment was presented for the first reading. Clyde motioned to move ahead with it. Ed seconded the motion. It passed 4 -0.

    Council then moved on to new business. Billy Kirkham from North Point then presented the Health insurance renewal via phone conference. This year’s current plan renewal came back high with a 22.5% increase. Since it was so high he also took the liberty of quoting out new plans. He found a plan similar to the current plan with only a 5.3% increase in cost and a lower deductible. The plan deductible would be at $2,800.00 versus the current plan’s $3,600.00 deductible. The plan is a Chamber plan so the town would have to join the chamber of commerce. Diane asked about the chamber fee. It is a one-time fee of $499.00 and $1.99 per employee. The renewal would also move to October first instead of March first. Even with the new fees, the monthly insurance bill would still be lower. Ed motioned to accept the new plan presented, and Clyde seconded the motion. It passed 4 – 0.

    Jason Eckart then came before council with a park request. As the chairperson of Main Street’s Cruise-In committee he asked for permission to use the park for five cruise-in events. He stated last year's cruise-in account balance began with $1,800.00 and ended with $900.00. His goal is to make the event self-sustaining. He remarked the event brought a lot of people to Hope, with attendees from as far away as Tennessee and Chicago. Last year he has purchased $200.00 worth of dash plaques with the remaining money going towards the bands. The band cost $400.00 for each cruise-in. He admitted last year was a difficult one with COVID, but asked for permission to use the square and bandstand again as long as there was not a change in the gathering size mandated by the Governor. Our current county status stands at yellow which allows for gatherings of up to 250 people. Eckart did not feel the crowd size exceeded that at any one time during the previous year’s cruise-ins. He stated he would return again before May with a more concrete plan to shut down the streets. Ed remarked they drew a nice crowd. Clyde stated the cruise-ins automatically got at $2,100.00 budget each year. Clyde motioned as long as they stayed with state guidelines the cruise-ins continue. John seconded the motion and it passed 4 – 0.

    Jerry Bragg then moved on to the shelter/house and park use guidelines. The park gets a lot of use in the summer. People need to take their trash away after the use the park and clean-up. There is now a $5.00 key deposit in place. Bragg suggested raising the deposit to $25.00 for township residents, more if they were not township residents. Clyde suggested making the deposit the same for everyone and asked who was responsible for making sure the trash was take off. Trena Carter suggested the fees go towards Jeff Yarnell taking the trash off after the weekends. Jason Eckart asked when the grass would be open again. David Clouse said the contractors would be back in February or March to re-seed the new grass. Eckart stated he felt the space should be free for the public to use. Right now, the public gets the key from the police department, and return it to the police department when they are finished. There was discussion on installing a camera so they could see who left trash behind. Matt Tallent will look into camera systems. He did state they would need a higher bandwidth internet on the square to host cameras.

    Diane Burton then presented the Animal Control Services agreement with the Humane Society. The agreement remains the same as in past years, $48.00 per animal. Ed motioned to accept it, Clyde seconded the motion. It passed. 4 – 0.

    Clyde Compton then moved on to the next item on the agenda, Edit requests. He had a meeting with Susan Thayer Fye of Main Street regarding the executive director’s salary. It was set at $9,600.00 per year. The previous year was $10,800.00, but it was reduced due to the park project being finished. Compton stated the only thing the town had to do with Main Street was the funding. No one was sure who would take the position at $800.00 a month for twelve months. The Edit committee would not pay out the funds as a lump sum since they did not know who would fill the position and whether or not they would fill the hours required. They set the reimbursement cost at $15.00 an hour with the cost not to exceed $9,600.00 in the course of a year. They would also request a timesheet and a monthly report from the new executive director. The report would help Edit decide if they wanted to fund the position next year. Edit voted 4 – 0 to accept under those terms and it passed 4 - 0. The Edit committee does not want to be involved in choosing a replacement.

    David Clouse then moved on to the Davey Tree Quote for the 2021 treatment of trees in the park. It included dormant oil to retard pests. Fertilization takes place every other year. The cost is $2,112.00 for the dormant oil and $2,415.00 for fertilizer with a cost of $4,525.00 for the 2021 season. The quote is cheaper than last year, as the ash tree treatment applied last year was more costly. Ed motioned to accept the quote, Clyde seconded the motion. It passed 4 – 0.

    It was then time for questions and comments. The only question was from Clyde. He wanted to know how the town’s salt reserves were. David said they would last the rest of the year. When he wrote that report it was snowing every other day

  • Winter Storm Hits Hope
    It seems Hope the groundhog is on track to rival Grubby in prognostication accuracy.  Just as she predicted, winter weather hit Hope hard Monday.  As the town dig outs, several area businesses have announced weather related closures for Tuesday February 16th.  Willow Leaves of Hope, Corner Café, Golden Nugget Pawn Shop, Action Filtration and the library are all closed.  FRHC is also closed today and will be utilizing an e-learning day.  Huck's closed early at 9:00 am Monday evening and re-opened at six am Tuesday.  Bartholomew County remains under a red travel advisory until noon Tuesday.  Travel is restricted to emergencies only.  
  • “Crossing Delancy” by Susan Sandler opens Friday February 12th at WILLow LeaVes of Hope with Gregory Andis directing and Connie Kiviniemi-Baylor producing in special arrangement with Samuel L. French.
  • Town council is seeking to fill two open committee positions.  The Planning Commission has two seats open; one Republican and one Democrat.  This committee meets when needed to hear future construction related projects plus any out of the ordinary zoning requests, says town council member Clyde Compton.  Meetings occur four to six times a year.

    Council is also seeking to fill an empty slot on the Police Advisory Board left when council member Nellie Meek stepped down.  Compton says they are seeking a fair, open minded individual to hear any citizen complaints about the police.  They will listen to both sides of the complaint and vote on a solution.  Compton prides the town leadership on the work it does, citing this committee meets very rarely.  

    Reach out to a member of town council or town hall if you are interested in filling any of these positions.  

  • Hope has spoken.  Prepare yourselves for six more weeks of the winter doldrums.  Hope's inner circle met at Utopia Wildlife Rehabilitators today for the annual ceremony.  The day was bright and sunny, albeit cold and snowy, and Hope the groundhog was greeted with her shadow when she emerged.  I hear that other, less famous, groundhog in Philadelphia also said the same thing.  The ceremony was not livestreamed due to a cellular service glitch, but it will be posted later on Utopia's Facebook page.  This year's ceremony included a new addition, American Girl Dolls since the groundhog could not visit the school children in the midst of a pandemic.  The dolls were a hit in a Yellow Trial Museum program earlier this year.  Pastor Ed Cottrell's wife Lyla Cottrell handmade special period costumes for the dolls.  Chuck Baker was sorely missed at this years ceremony, and Susan Thayer Fye gave a brief remembrance with ceremony's opening remarks.  No one did historic costumes like Baker, says Thayer Fye.  Attendees received a commemorative groundhog printed mask.  

    Official Video Here.

  • Miracle Marmot
    Will Hope, Utopia Wildlife Rehabilitator's "Miracle Marmot" in training, be able to fill the shoes of her predecessor, Grubby, the "Remarkable Rodent." Hope has resided at Utopia since she was a baby, bludgeoned by an ill meaning, crass homeowner's shovel.  She and her sister Faith have were deemed un-releasable and have been making their home with Grubby the resident prognosticator at Utopia.  It isn't known if groundhogs can transmit or contract COVID-19, but the festivities are being held virtually this year just to keep the humans safe.  Tune in at 8:30 am on Utopia's Facebook page to watch the live stream.  All your favorite town characters,  including Hope's very own weather woodchuck will be there.  
  • Town Council meet January 26th at 5:30 pm at town hall.  Hiring a new town manger was the most contentious item up for business.  
  • Town Council Meeting December 15, 2020.
  • Hope Gears Up
    As Grubby is under the weather this year, Hope will be stepping up for her first Groundhog Day.  Hope was born last spring, and will be taking Grubby's place.  Like Grubby, Hope is considered non releasable and resides at Utopia.  She does not have the natural prey defenses required for a wild animal.  It is illegal to own a wild groundhog in Indiana.  You can watch the ceremonies live on Utopia Wildlife Rehabilitators Facebook page.  In years past Kathy Hershey has done presentations at the local school, but that will not happen this year due to COVID restrictions.  Students of Flat Rock-Hawcreek, as well as other local school corporations, will have the opportunity to watch the livestream video.  Tune in at 8:30 am for the big event.   Black tie attire optional.  
  • The Hope Town Council meeting scheduled for Tuesday January 19th has been postponed until Tuesday January 26th.  
  • The caution tape may still be up around the square, but that won't stop Main Street from hosting their popular Groundhog Day event.  Susan Thayer Fye of Main Street is pleased to announce this year's festivities will be live streamed from Utopia.  She feels the event is just too popular, and means to much to Hope to cancel it completely.  The event will be live streamed from Utopia Wildlife Rehabilitators Facebook page.  
  • The board of the Yellow Trail Museum has decided to extend the November and December closure which occurred after the local spike in COVID cases until the first week April.  Historically the museum has been closed for the winter months until April.  It is only in recent years the open period has been extended thanks to the generosity of the Columbus Area Visitors Center.  Earlier this spring a reduction in funds from the COVID economic shutdown resulted in the loss of paid staff and the previously enjoyed extended hours.  The early April reopen date is tentative, based on what COVID numbers and restrictions look like at that time.  The closure will include the cancellation of all Sunday Social history discussion groups until the museum fully reopens.  In the meantime, special visits to the museum can be arranged by calling (812) 546-8020.  While no one is in the museum, the voicemail is monitored daily and some one will be in contact to arrange a visit or small group tour.  You may also contact Susan Thayer Fye at (812) 343-3798 to arrange a visit.  The research center will remain closed until construction on the new space is finished and they are fully moved.  The museum board asks for your patience during this exciting time of construction, renovation and expansion.  Please refer to our Facebook page the Yellow Trail Museum of Hope & Visitors Center for any updates.  
  • One wonders if the Griffin children will be as titallated by the leg lamp trophy as the fifties era Ralph was in the 1983 Classic holiday film the "Christmas Story."  Probably not in this age of glowing cell phones and video games.  As Ralphie remarked, "Only one thing could drag me away from the glow of electric sex."  The leg lamp will once again glisten from the Griffin home on 1607 Manor Drive in Hope, but will they display it proudly like the father in the story or hide it away like the more prudish mother?  The Griffin family is the proud custodian of the "Christmas Story" style leg lamp for two consecutive years in a row.  Even Clark Griswold would be proud of the multi-colored display lighting up their home and lawn.  Congratulations to the Griffin family! 
  • Pastor Ed Cottrell of the Hope United Methodist Church and Hope Ministerial Association is issuing a unique call this Christmas Day.  He would like all area churches to ring their bells at 7:59 am.  If no church bell is available, he hopes hand bells can be rung.  Pastor Ed challenges all the residents of Hope to come outside at 7:59 am and listen to the bells ringing, while adding to the chorus with their own bells. It is his hope it will go viral and other communities will ring their own bells across our great land as well.  What a wonderful way to come together as a community to celebrate Christmas without violating social distancing rules. 

  • The deck the town contest finalists have been announced and voting is open until December 20th..  You may vote on the Facebook social media platform.  You will need to like the Main Street of Hope page, and like pictures of the entries you would like to vote for.  You may also view the contestants the old fashioned way, by bunding up and taking a drive around our beautiful town.  The finalists for 2020 are: 


    429 Washington St.

    820 Jackson St.

    831 Bradley St.

    434 Main St.

    344 Vine St.

    2007 Neal Dr.

    1607 Manor Dr.

    219 Walnut St.

    169 S. Midway Ct.

    426 Harrison St.

    425 Vine St.

    151 Hitchcock Dr.

    651 Jackson St.

    421 Aiken St.

    149 Hauser Dr.

    171 S. Midway Ct.

    805 Main St.

    642 Washington St.

  • "Eb Scrooge a Southern Fried Christmas Carol" opens Friday December 19th at Willow Leaves of Hope.  Directed by Pete Law and produced by Naomi Fleetwood-Pyle, the duo continue their winning streak of southern themed comedies.  The production is presented by special arrangement with Playscripts, Inc.  Lead Jason Bowser is looking forward to bringing Scrooge to life. He shared, "I’m excited because I think he represents us. He looks back on his life and sees so many mistakes. Then, he has the chance to redeem himself and it shows it’s never to late to change and to help those around him. I also love the range you get to play. You have to go from loathing and vile to loving and joyful like a light switch, which is a fascinating prospect for any actor. I think the biggest challenge is finding the right balance of emotion. You want to respect the character and not go so over the top that is comes across as campy and that’s easy to do with both extremely bitter and extremely happy. Another challenge I will have is letting this character go after the play is over. I absolutely love this character and it will be difficult to say goodbye."

    Bowser also gave credit to his cast mates for putting together a wonderful show stating " The supporting actors in this production are the real stars. They have to jump in and out of different characters, sometimes within the same scene. This is difficult to do and they pull it off masterfully."

    Tickets are available at 812-546-0640.  Show times are Friday December 18th at 6:00 pm, Saturday December 19th at 6:00pm and Sunday December 20th at 1:00 pm.  Dinner will be roast beef manhattans with a drink and dessert. Ticket cost is thirty dollars.   

  • Decorating Deadline Approaches
    The deadline for entering Main Street of Hope's Deck the Halls contest is fast approaching.  Hope area homes must be decorated by Wednesday, December sixteenth for consideration in the contest.  
  • Main Street of Hope is once again sponsoring a Christmas decorating contest.  The winner will receive temporary custody of the Christmas Story style leg lamp.  Make sure your home is decorated by December 19th! 
  • Willow Leaves of Hope will be hosting their annual Christmas Variety Show this Friday December 5th and Saturday December 6th.  
  • Flat-Rock Hawcreek to Resume E-learning
    Shawn Price, Superintendent of the Flat-Rock Hawcreek School Corporation, has issued a statement regarding the start of E-Learning.  
  • The Yellow Trail Museum issued the following statement today:  It is with deep regret the board of the Yellow Trail Museum announces the cancellation of Christmas of Yesteryear. With the uptick and cases and the roll back in Governor Holcomb's orders the board does not want to take chances and hold a large event. It usually draws well over 250 people. With crowd sizes being limited to 50 people there is no way we can host this event with the level of cases being what they are in Bartholomew County. Bartholomew County is currently classified as an orange county and gatherings over 50 people are prohibited. Stay safe and well, Hope.
  • “Kitchen Witches,” a comedy by Caroline Smith, will be opening Friday November 6th at WILLow LeaVes of Hope.  Show dates are this weekend Friday and Saturday November 6th and 7th at six o’clock and a Sunday matinee on November 8th at one o’clock pm.  Next weekend’s show dates are Friday November 13th at six o’clock and Sunday November 15th at one o’clock.  The show stars Robin Tillotson, Connie Kiviniemi-Baylor, Stephen Planalp and Alex Baylor.  
  • Jerry Bragg called the meeting to order with a call to silence all mobile devices, followed by the opening prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance.  

    The 2021 budget was adopted as previously proposed under Ordinance 2020-05 with no changes.  There were no public comments.  The motion to approve the budget passed 5 – 0. 

    The minutes from 09/15/2020 were reviewed.  Ed Johnson motioned to approve them; Nellie Meek seconded the motion. The motion passed 5 – 0. 

    Claims were submitted for approval.  Ohmer Miller motioned to approve the claims; Clyde Compton seconded the motion. It passed 5 – 0. 

    Old Business began with Susan Thayer Fye giving an update on the Downtown Revitalization Grant Project.  An official ribbon cutting is scheduled for October 21st on the west side of the square.  Pastor Ed Cottrell had been added to the schedule for an opening prayer.  There were no objections to the addition.  Susan moved onto a possible plaque to commemorate the major contributors.  She had estimates of eight hundred to twenty-five hundred for a plaque, with the cost depending on the level of weatherization and number of names included.  Nellie suggested the matter be tabled until the next meeting and asked for the plaque information to be summarized in an email.   Ohmer Miller remarked he did not feel a plaque was necessary.  The town does not need a plaque for everything.  He posited putting up a plaque would set a bad precedent.  Clyde Compton, Ed Johnson and Nellie Meek also ultimately decided no on the plaque.  

    Susan then stated the Hope branch of the American Legion would like to put up a POW/MIA flag in addition to the American flag already in the square.  They were very pleased with the new lights illuminating the flag.  The existing American flag is 5’ x 8’ and they would like to add a slightly smaller 4’ x 6’ POW/MIA flag.  Town Hall already has a state flag flying.  Ohmer asked if it would be more work for David Clouse.  He said it would not be as the pole is already set up to fly two flags.  A motion was made to add the new flag, and it passed 5 – 0.

    Susan then moved on to the removal of old items after the completion of the downtown project.  The yellow cigarette butt disposals have been removed to the utilities office to be used for large town events, but the found concrete planters remain.  She asked if a vote was needed to remove them.  Clyde said to trash them.  Nellie had no opinion.  Ed remarked it would clean up the square if they were removed.  David Clouse said to wait until the flowers in them died.  

    The matter of the ugly horse troughs on the four concrete pads in the square was then brought up. 

    The original purpose of the pads was to have the C4 classes display art there on a rotating basis.  Susan was unsure if the arts council funding for that program remained.  She proposed asking the Art Guild to manage possible art to display there. 

    Susan then moved on to upcoming Hope events.  The Yellow Trail Museum will host a Sunday Social on Sunday November 1st to highlight area veterans.  The museum will also hold Night at the Museum on Friday October 23rd.  November 28th will be a celebration of Small Business Saturday with the Student’s Fund of Hope hosting a craft fair Saturday and Sunday November 28th and 29th.   Main Street of Hope will be hosting the Christmas Decorating contest again this year in December. Area residents will be able to earn the leg lamp trophy and bragging rights.    

    Council then moved on to the fencing amendment.  Matt Galbraith suggested a provision to the amendment that a fence must be maintained after it was erected along with a penalty for violating the provision.  Ohmer asked how you would define fence maintenance.  Galbraith said if a fence needed maintenance it would mean something was structurally wrong with the fence, not just paint colors or something like that.  Scott Andrews suggested the provision to the ordinance be modeled after the rubbish and trash enforcement ordinance.  

    The last item of old business was the old yellow and brown benches.  There are six of them.  Diane Burton has had a party express interest in three of them.  Dave asked if we needed to open them up for public bid.  Scott will check on the requirements for disposal.  Council agreed to sell them.  A price of fifty to one hundred dollars was discussed.  Ohmer motioned to give David the latitude to sell them at a price to be determined after Scott’s research.  The motion to passed 5 – 0.  

    Council moved on to new business.  The first item on the agenda was a park request from Susan Thayer Fye for groundhog day on Tuesday February 2nd.  The bandstand has been used for the ceremony every year.  She asked if participants could be inside the square or if they needed to stay outside of the square.  She also asked for at least four parking spot s to be blocked off for TV news crews.  If the high school band was available and willing to participate would they be able to play on the bandstand?  Clyde did not know what the virus would be doing and stated the bandstand was closed to the public.  Ed Johnson remarked there was no harm in planning the event like it would happen and canceling if matters got worse with COVID.  Nellie pointed out that had not happened with events in the past. Ohmer asked how much time was needed to plan the event, and suggested the park use to be contingent on the condition of the park and council hold off until January to make a decision.  

    Jessica Brown of the Yellow Trail then came before council to ask for a park request for Christmas of Yesteryear.  She stated things would be different this year due to COVID. The historic character sketches would be different due to social distancing.  It would not be possible to have the carriage or wagon rides with large groups of people, so she asked for Harrison Street to be closed so the characters could rotate through while the audience stayed still.  Chairs would be set up for the audience to allow for social distancing.  The museum board also felt like social distancing inside the chiropractor’s office would not be possible since it is a small space.  They did not want to have groups of children there waiting for Santa in close proximity, so Santa would see children outside this year.  Instead of sitting on his lap they will tell him their Christmas wishes from a distance, or write them down and place them in a stocking or mailbox.    There would also be no cookie decorating inside the museum and no bake sale since they would be hard to hold in a stringent sanitary fashion. She mentioned local businesses were already on board with hosting it and stressed no one would be inside the square, everything would be set up on the sidewalks.  Council approved the request 5 – 0.  

    Jerry Brag then moved on to the approval letter that had to be signed by council for the new fire truck financing. The town would have no liability by signing the letter, it was just and formality.  It was passed 5 – 0. 

    Ernie Stone then came before council.  He opened by saying the town better hold groundhog day, as that was when he married his wife and it was cause for celebration.  He then moved on to the water drainage system at his trailer park on Aiken Street.  He showed council pictures of a fence on the north side of his property that was falling down.  When he was inspecting his fence, he noticed a water drainage issue.  The fence was just built in April.  The ground there is so wet the concrete for the posts will not harden.  The fence then started to lean.  He asked council where the existing drainage line is.  He dug 7’ looking for it and failed to find it.  He asked when it was constructed and how much it cost as he has paid thousands toward it through taxes.  He has never seen any work done on it.  He would like to install a new drain into the existing drainage system and needs to know its location.  David Clouse replied the tax is for the stormwater assessment.  It was to pay for the projects like replacing the stone pipe on Washington Street.  Mr. Clouse then suggested the fence posts were not tall enough to support the fence, and a new drain would not help the matter.  David has not seen a map of the existing drainage and does not know if a drainage tile exists.  Tony Philyaw then stated he wants to install a French drain and they will need to know where the closest storm line is so they can tie into it.  David sated the closest sewer drain is on the south side of the Conrad Taul place.   A discussion on storm drain funding followed with the suggestion to check with Trena Carter for possible grant funding as drainage is admittedly horrible in this area.  

    David Clouse then presented the Neptune 360 system.  It is software that goes along with the new meter reading hardware.  The software costs three thousand five hundred dollar with a five hundred dollar set up fee.   The software cost is annual and the set-up cost is a one-time fee.  The program will work with new requirements coming in January 1st.  Windows will no longer support the old meter reading program.  The equipment is already in hand and they just need training for it.  The new software will cut down on reading time and will support mobile phone use.  Nellie Meek asked David about cost saving measures for the water, since it is already so expensive.  He replied there was really no way to lower the water cost as it is purchased form Eastern Bartholomew Water Corporation.  The town would have to do a study on a well field to establish our own water supply.  This new technology has found leaks and has resulted in cost savings there.  Main breaks are also down since the water project happened.  Both the water project and cost increases by Eastern Bartholomew caused a raise in the water cost at the same time.   Clyde recalled an aquifer five miles outside of town towards Shelbyville.  Ohmer pointed out the cost of a new water system would really raise water prices with such a system running millions of dollars.  Ed motioned the town purchase the new software system, with Clyde seconding since the old software would no longer be supported.  The motion passed 5 – 0. 

    Wastewater pump impellers for the Goshen Meadows lift stations were presented by David Clouse.  Equipment is needed to grind up the personal wipes that are clogging sewer lines.  Two units are required at a cost of two thousand seven hundred and five dollars each for a total sum of five thousand four hundred ten dollars.  They do come with a sixty-day guarantee.  If they do not solve the problem they can be returned.  Ohmer motioned to purchase the units, with Nellie seconding.  The motion passed 5 – 0.  

    Diane Burton then brought forward the 2021 salary ordinance which needs passed by December and proposed a two to three percent raise.  There was then discussion over what Columbus and Bartholomew county had done this year.  Clyde noticed the utility clerk was underpaid in comparison to part time employees such as the dispatcher and clerk treasurer.  He suggested the utility clerk’s pay be raised to a commensurate level.  Nellie brought up she questioned the level of pay for the utility clerk last year.  Diane stated the rates for pay came from a market survey in 2016.  Ohmer stated he would like to see the utility clerk’s pay revised and resubmitted.  Clyde motioned two percent raises across the board, but bring the utility clerk’s level up to match the part time employees. Ed seconded the motion and it passed 5 – 0. 

    Clyde Compton then presented an Edit request from HSJ Online submitted by David Webster.  A total of six hundred twenty-five dollars was requested to cover weekly town updates and Facebook boosts for events.  The edit committee approved the request 5 – 0 at their meeting.  Ohmer expressed concern over giving a business money, asking why they were receiving edit funds.  Nellie pointed out that HSJ Online is a not for profit.  Ohmer said edit money was for town use.  Clyde point out HSJ Online has secured a large portion of their own funding through advertising and fundraising and were asking for less than half the amount requested last year.  The previous edit request was two thousand dollars.  The council then voted, with Ohmer being the only member voting no.  

    Matt Tallent then presented the Barb Johnson Memorial to honor her immeasurable contributions to the town, the school and maintaining the history of the town.  He would like to see road 775 East behind Hauser designated the Barb Johnson memorial road as this is the road that leads to the one room schoolhouse. The road would not officially be renamed, but a memorial would be placed at both ends of the road.  Nellie pointed out the opposition to plaques broached earlier in the meeting, but the contributions Barb made for the museum, giving the examples of Little Hoosiers, Christmas of Yesteryear, the booth and Pioneer Days at Heritage Days, went above and beyond the average citizen in service to Hope.  She gave of both her time and money in service to the community.  Ohmer asked what the signs would say. Clyde broached the matter of the last two donations made as a memorial.  No one has yet seen a memorial materialize.  It was revealed the money donated for Dr. Sweet’s memorial fund is still in a Main Street account, awaiting approval from Dr. Sweet’s widow Sherri.  A plaque will be placed on the new bench closest to Dr. Sweet’s old office, with fund money going towards reimbursing the town for the cost of that bench.  Jerry brought up the possibility of a plague in the shelter house to honor prominent citizens such as Merrill Clouse, Don Dillman, Charlie Biggs, and Barb Johnson.  Council pointed out that not everyone can get a plaque.  

    Tallent them moved on to more new skateboarding signs that will be going up in the square.   Clyde suggested a sign with the universal no symbol for skateboards for those who can’t read or understand English.  Ohmer was concerned about people violating the no use of the park order and congregating in the shelter house.  Tallent replied he had twelve no trespassing signs to put up after the ribbon cutting to make the no use order more visible.  No one will be able to claim they did not see the signs.  Diane Burton asked if council motioned to go with the first no skateboarding sign.  They replied yes and the motion passed 5 – 0.  

    The meeting was adjourned. 

  • The Yellow Trail Museum's Night at the Museum is Friday October 23 from 5:00 pm until 8:00 pm.  Hauser Historians will be hosting this years spooky tour through the museum.  Masks are required.  Town Council has also donated funds normally used to fund Goodies, Ghosts and Goblins to the Hope police and fire department to purchase candy.  They will be passing out candy from emergency vehicles on the square.  
  • Main Street of Hope held a ribbon cutting ceremony today for the culmination of the Downtown Main Street Revitalization project; the culmination of a five-year process.  Hope was designated a Main Street Community in 2015. The goal of Main Street is to revitalize and bring back vitality to small rural downtowns while celebrating their historic character.  In 2016 Main Street started the revitalization project with a working group, a community study, public meetings and finally a finished plan.  Main Street took that finished plan, developed by Storrow and Kinsella Group of Indianapolis and Columbus Architect Louis Joyner, and made it their own.  They looked at what aspects they felt Hope and the community really needed, and what was realistically achievable through grant funding.  Their end plan focused on adding ADA pathways to the square.  Integrating the different sections of the square was a goal, along with accessibility to those in wheelchairs or walkers.  New streetlights were another goal with safety being the biggest factor there.  New LED lights would also be more environmentally friendly.  Main Street was also focused on aesthetics, and wanted to reflect Hope’s status as a National District in the light posts, trash cans and benches placed downtown.  The committee settled on the late Victorian Age as Hope’s heyday, and picked benches and light posts to reflect this.  They also wanted to do away with the mish mash of styles downtown, and streamline things. 


    In August of 2019, the Indiana Office of Community and Rural (OCRA) announced Hope had won a grant award of $428,360 grand for their Main Street Revitalization project.  Match funding had already been secured from the Heritage Fund, the Elizabeth R. and Walter C. Nuget Foundation & the Clarence E. and Inez R. Custer Foundation, The Columbus Area Visitors Center, and an in-kind match from Hope Native Joe Dodd of Linear Landscape Architecture in California.  The bidding process began and ground was broken in July of 2020.  COVID-19 presented delays and challenges, but construction officially wrapped up on October 9, 2020. 


    Town Council Vice President Clyde Compton welcomed attendees and started the opening today.  Pastor Ed Cottrell from the Hope Ministerial Association gave the opening prayer.  Susan Thayer Fye, executive director of Main Street of Hope went on to introduce Matt Crouch, Interim Executive Director of the Office of Community and Rural Affairs, who spoke briefly.  She then recognized the funders and supporters of the project, as well as the contractors and volunteers who contributed to the successful completion of the project.  Strand and Associates, Administrative Resources Association, Poole Group, the Hope town council and Main Street members both past and present were recognized.  A tear was brought to the eyes of many when the contributions of Barb Johnson and Chuck Baker were mentioned.  Both Main Street members sadly passed away this year.  Susan neglected to note the project would have never come to fruition without her leadership.  After a brief explanation of Hope’s yellow trail, a yellow ribbon was cut to celebrate completion of the project. 

  • Charles "Chuck" Baker March 9, 1949 - October 17, 2020.  
  • The town has given the green light for trick-or-treat on Halloween, Saturday October 31st.  Trick-or-treat hours will be from 6:00 pm till 8:00 pm.  Town leaders urge community members to follow safe trick-or-treating guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

    1. Avoid large groups or clustering at doorsteps or anywhere else.
    2. Only go to houses that have a porch light turned on. Avoid houses that have porch lights turned off.
    3. If you hand out treats, consider sitting outside and lining up individually prepacked treat bags for families to take (don't forget to wear your own mask!). Non-edible treats are a good option, especially for children who suffer from food allergies.
    4. How much touching objects spreads the COVID-19 virus isn't clear. But if your child collects treats from a few, socially distanced neighbors, you may want to wipe the packages or let them sit for a couple days before giving them to your child.
    5. And, of course, good hand hygiene like washing hands or using hand sanitizer before and after trick-or-treating is always a good idea!
    The academy advises, “Halloween during the COVID-19 pandemic is a chance for you and your children to get creative, and maybe even invent some new traditions for your family! It's also a great opportunity to model flexibility and a positive spirit. If you're excited and make it fun, your kids will have fun, too. More importantly, this is a good time to teach children the importance of protecting, not just themselves but others, as well. The decisions we make on this one day can have a ripple effect beyond our own families. Finding safe ways to celebrate can create magical memories.”

    The Yellow Trail Museum will still be hosting their annual event Night at the Museum along with Hauser Historians. It will be held Friday October 23rd from 5:00 till 8:00 pm. The event is free of charge. Attendees are required to wear mask to ensure the safety of the student actors. The museum will also be passing out a take and make Halloween craft on October 31st for trick-or-treat. In years past the craft has been in completed inside the museum, but board members feel children will be safer if they do not congregate together.

    Have a safe and happy Halloween!


  • There will be no Goodies, Ghosts and Goblins on the Hope town square this year.  Normally sponsored by the Hope Branch of Bartholomew County Public Library, the library is still only hosting virtual events due to the pandemic.  No announcement has been made on Trick or Treat Hours for Hope yet.  The Yellow Trail Museum will still be hosting their Night at the Museum on Friday October 23rd.  
  • The final cruise-in of the season will be held tonight, Friday October second.  The cruise-in begins at 5:00 and lasts until 8:00.  The band is Good Time Review.  Their performance will start at 6:00.  Food will be available from local restaurants and not for profits on the square.  It is also opening night for Whitt's Pizza.  Donations for this month's cruise-in will support future cruise-in costs.  Hope to see you there! As always, please observe social distancing and wear masks per the Governor's mandate.  
  • Head to Hope Saturday September 26th if you're feeling the need to get out.   The Studebaker car show from last day's Heritage Days is returning, without the festival.  All cars are welcome, but Studebakers are featured.  Night Owl Country band will be playing from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm.  The band will take a break at noon to make way for the suffragettes.  Hope's Deb Slone will be presenting her program on suffrage to rally our women, young and old, into a parade around the square.  If you don't yet have you own Votes for Women sash the Yellow Trail Museum will be providing sash kits.  They encourage community women to bring their daughters and granddaughters as there will also be sash kits for the 18" American Girl Dolls.  Bring your lawn chair and a mask and support your local businesses! Willow Leaves will be open for lunch and a reception after the parade, the FFA youth will be having their booth at Hauser, and the Corner Cafe, El Jefe and Swiss Maid will be open.  
  • Hope town council meeting 09/15/20
  • Clean up Day will have a new name this year, Hope Rising.  Area churches will be available to assist with trash pick up if needed.  First Financial will have containers available for document shredding.  There will be donation boxes for the Hope Food Pantry and the community Blessing Box.  The Hope Town Council has agreed to match all donations up to $1,000.00.  
  • First Friday Cruise-In to Hope
    The next First Friday's Cruise-in to Hope will be Friday September, 4th.  Come check out all the cool, unique and antique vehicles.  Food will be available from local restaurants and not-for-profits on the square.  There will be live music by Danny Anderson from 6:00 till 8:00. There will be a 50/50 raffle and prizes for the oldest vehicle, people's choice vehicle and the most unique vehicle.  Donations will be accepted to support the Hope Volunteer Fire Department.  Bring a chair and a mask.  Check out the vehicle lap at 8:15.  
  • Arts and Antiques on the Square
    The annual Arts and Antiques Fair will be held Sunday August 30 from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm.  Admission and parking are free.  Booths will be on the sidewalk surrounding the square this year because of the construction inside the square.  The fair will feature fine, modern and folk artisans as well as antiques and is sponsored by the Hope Area Chamber of Commerce.  Event organizers expect a mix of returning booths and new booths.  For booth information call or text Donju Taylor at 812-603-2193 or email dtaylor@callcarpenter.com.  Booth space is reduced to only fifteen dollars this year.
  • International Women's Equality Day

    Today is Women's Equality Day, commemorating the passage of the nineteenth amendment.

    on August 19th, 1920 Tennessee became the thirty-sixth and final state to ratify the amendment after congress passed it on June 4th, 1919.  The road was a long one.  The original pioneers of the women's suffrage movement held the first ever women's rights convention in Seneca Falls on July 19th 1848.  Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Motts were two abolitionists who joined forces to issue the "Declaration of Sentiments and Grievances," a proclamation of women's rights.  Many members of this first generation of suffragettes would not live to see their dream realized.  It was up to a second generation, including Alice Paul and Lucy Burns, among others who would see the movement through to fruition.  They organized the first ever march on Washington in 1913 to draw attention to their cause.  It seems commonplace now, but created quite a stir in that day.  The procession route was mobbed by hecklers and spectators, but continued on.  There were over 200 injuries sustained during the mobbing.  The participants were very successful in drawing media attention.  These women still had a seven year fight ahead of them.  The organized road tours, national and local organizations of women, lobbied congress and protested outside the White House.  These protesters were called silent sentinels and held signs meant to shame President Woodrow Wilson.  They started their protests in 1917.  They were lead by Alice Paul of the National Women't Party.  Eventually the women were arrested and charged with obstructing traffic and jailed. After repeated incarceration and mistreatment Alice Paul began a hunger strike.  She was force fed through a tube, enduring unthinkable conditions.  The movement was not perfect, abandoning the black men and women who fought with them in order to get their cause passed sooner.   

    In honor of these brave women, the Hope Yellow Trail Museum and Main Street of Hope will host their own suffrage rally to celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of women's suffrage on Saturday September 26th in conjunction with the Studebaker car show.  Participants are invited to make their own votes for women sash at the museum from 10:00 am until 12:00.  Children will also be able to craft their own eighteen inch doll sash.  Deb Slone will present her suffrage program at noon, and the march around the square will follow. Lunch will be served at Willow Leaves after the march.  Marchers and hecklers are needed! Costumes are not required, but are encouraged.  Honor those who fought seventy-two years and make sure you vote this year.  

  • The town council meeting looked a little different this month.  The tables were configured differently allowing for six feet between council members and there were less chairs in the audience to allow for social distancing.  Masks were worn on entry and temperatures were taken by town Marshall Matt Tallent.  Many council members removed their masks once seated. 
  • A Passion for Acting Theatre Company is presenting the lighthearted comedy by Katherine DiSavino “Things My Mother Taught Me” at Willow Leaves of Hope on August 7th, 8th, and 14th and 15th as a dinner theater, and on  August 9th and 16th as a lunch time matinee. 
  • The Cruise-in scheduled for Friday August 7th, will happen as scheduled.  This is the first cruise-in that has not been cancelled due to the virus.  
  • Sunday Socials Resume
    There will be a Sunday Social held Sunday August second at the Yellow Trail Museum from 2:00 pm until 4:00 pm.  Light refreshments will be served.  
  • There is a regular Yellow Trail Museum monthly meeting Tuesday July 28th at 6:30 pm.  The public is welcome to attend.  
  • The meeting was called to order with a reminder to silence mobile devices. Council President Jerry Bragg led the opening prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance. The minutes from 06/16/2020 were reviewed and unanimously approved. The claims were also unanimously approved...

  • Governor Holcomb Announces Mask Mandate
    Governor Holcomb has announced a mask mandate effective July 27.  Masks will be required for anyone over eight years of age while in a public space when social distancing is not possible.  Masks will be required in schools for children eight years and older.  Masks are required in public buildings, businesses, schools and on public transportation.  
  • Ground Broken!

    Hear ye! Hear ye! Ground has officially been broken on the Main Street of Hope Downtown Revitalization Plan! As someone who has served in various capacities on numerous committees relating to this project for over three years I am so excited to see construction beginning! Please bear with the dust and the construction mess as we work to make Hope a better place to live and work.  The playground will be closed during construction.  It appears concrete cutting and removal of existing sidewalks are happening today.  The sidewalk to nowhere is gone.  Those of us with some age will recall when it led to the Rural Mail Carriers Museum.  Remodeling of the old Arford building next to the Yellow Trail Museum also continues so those items will have a new home.   

    Correction:  The playground will remain open during construction.  There is a barrier fence on the west and north side of the playground equipment to separate the play area from the construction area.  

  • Main Street of Hope will be partnering with the Yellow Trail Museum to resume open hours...


  • Happy Fourth, Hope!

    Even though Hope had to cancel the Old Fashioned Independence Day this year, the town is still gearing up for the Fourth of July.  The bunting is hung from our beloved band stand and the flags are going up on the light poles around the square.  As a reminder, Per town ordinance:  

    It shall be unlawful for any person or persons to discharge fireworks except for between 9:00 AM and 12:00 midnight on Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day and New Years Eve.  

    With the recent stall in the reopen orders, it seems cancelling the popular fourth of July festivities was the right step.  Gatherings of over 250 people will not be allowed to happen as previously scheduled.  Case numbers are still too high.  Have a happy, healthy and safe Fourth!

  • Hot Dog Lunch Wednesday!
    Hear ye! Hear ye! A hot dog lunch will be served Wednesday from  noon till two at the vacant lot beside Willow Leaves.  Come out and support local businesses as they try to recover from the pandemic.  Special by Design will be having a raffle, Cornett's Corner Cafe will be passing out coupons for free ice cream cones, local area realtors will be sponsoring corn hole games, with food provided by Main Street of Hope and the Hope Area Chamber of Commerce.  FUN! Come out and hear what will be happening in Hope soon!
  • The park on the square is now reopened! The Norman park remains closed due to piece of playground equipment that needs repaired.   Hurry up and get your kids to the square to play before constrictions begins.  The Main Street Downtown Revitalization plan construction is scheduled to start Monday, assuming all the i's get dotted and the t's are crossed.  The playground may be temporarily closed during that time.  
  • I just witnessed one of those rare sites you have to see to believe.  A Mustang traveling down Main Street with a tractor tire hanging out of its window.  I had to chuckle.  The people of Hope sure are inventive and know how to make due with what they've got available.  I hope that tire arrives safely at its destination and that the lack of said tire is not impeding the finishing up of planting for any of our local farmers.  Here's hoping most area farmers have their crops in the ground and we have a good year.  
  • Downtown's Blooming Begins
    The square looks great with the return of the planters full of flowers for the summer season.  Memorial Day weekend had Windy Hill Greenhouse planting and placing flowers around the square.  Thanks to all the businesses of Hope and Main Street of Hope for helping beautify our downtown. I got the flowers for Deckard Tool's planters at Duck Creek Gardens; they had nearly sold out this year. There are going to be some beautiful gardens in Hope this year.  It saddens me the big planters inside the square are still empty, but it does seem wasteful to fill them with no one to see them.  The shelter house is open again, but the playground remains closed off.  The first two cruise-ins of the year have also been cancelled; they were scheduled for June 4th and July 3rd.  Further cruise-ins will be addressed on a month by month basis.  El Jefe has reopened for dine in service, if you need a margarita in these trying times.  Willow leaves has also reopened, and the Corner Cafe remains open for take out only.  Don't let the lack of dine in service stop you from picking up an ice cream.  The ice cream window is open, and you can check out the pretty flowers while you enjoy it.  I hear the plan is to have mums in the big planters for this fall.  Let's cross our fingers Heritage Days happens, because where flowers bloom, so does Hope.  
  • American Legion Post 229 has been providing a traditional Memorial Day service in the Hope area for at least 65 years. It has been modified somewhat over that time. Originally, Memorial Day was celebrated on May 30. In 1968, the date was established as the Monday closest to the 30th, to provide a three-day weekend...

  • After careful consideration, it is with a heavy heart the Yellow Trail Museum announces the cancellation of this year's Old Fashioned Independence Day Celebration, previously slated to happen July 3rd.  Governor Holcomb's Back On Track Plan does not allow gatherings of over 250 people until July 4th.  The board members of the Yellow Trail Museum feel it is prudent to cancel the celebration in light of so many unknowns.  It is all of our responsibility to stop the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.  Stay safe and well, Hope, until we are once again able to gather together. 
  • I hope everyone had a happy Mother's Day yesterday.  It can be a difficult day for some who have lost their mother, lost a child, never had a chance to be a mother or have a strained family relationship.  In honor of mother's day instead of focusing on loss and hurt, I encourage you to honor a woman who has mothered you in some fashion.  Alternately, take this as a chance to reach out and do some mothering yourself.  The world could use a little extra dose of caring and compassion now; two characteristics mothers are well known for.  

    Duck Creek Gardens was busy as a beehive Saturday, with patrons seeking just the right flowers for their mothers. Hopefully the cold snaps will have passed with Monday's forecasted frost and everyone's beautiful Mother's Day flowers will be safe outside.   I always heard you should not plant flowers outside until after Mother's Day, as the danger of a hard frost was not past until then.  My own mother imparted this piece of wisdom to me.  I am not sure where she learned it.  Perhaps she learned it from her mother, who was an avid gardener.  It seems not everyone knows this tidbit of homespun wisdom anymore, so consider yourself informed and happy planting!

  • It is May 1st.  The grass is being mowed at the Holland estate, which is proper.  Barb Johnson told me it was in writing the grass not be mowed before May 1st because of the grape hyacinths and other flowers.  The hyacinths provide such a beautiful riot of color in the spring.  It almost looks like a purple carpet.  Some things do never change.  I wonder if it was mowed when the Reverend Holland lived there?

    In other news and signs of reopening life, Subway is open again, for carryout only naturally.  Go grab a sandwich and support local businesses.

    Happy May Day!  Stay safe, Hopians.  

  • I feel Barb Johnson, nudging me, telling me these are interesting times that need to be recorded and documented.  There is no doubt we in Hope are living through history in the making...

  • The Hope - Clifford - Hauser annual alumni banquet originally scheduled for Saturday, May 16, 2020 has been cancelled for this year.
  • “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news,” Mr. Rogers famously advised, “my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”

    I've been finding a bit of comfort in this advice.

    In our own community...

  • Supply Distribution Line
    Kudos to the hardworking school employees and local police for getting student lunches disturbed and iPads for e-learning.  The distribution line on the east side of the square appears to be running very smoothly.  Thanks for all you do for Hope!
  • Park Closed
    Yellow caution tape is now blocking access to all of the playground equipment and shelter house.  The park on the square is closed.  This is unprecedented.  
  • Due to the recent social distancing recommendations the Flat Rock Haw Creek Conservation Club Fish Fry scheduled for Saturday March 21st is cancelled.  It will be rescheduled at a future date.  Be well and stay safe, Hope.  
  • The Main Street of Hope monthly meeting scheduled for Thursday March 12th has been cancelled due to a recommendation by the CDC that all meetings of twenty or more people be cancelled.  There is also an expected lack of attendance due to spring break travel.  The next monthly meeting will be Thursday April 9th.  
  • There is a Girl Scout selling cookies on the West side of the square facing Main Street! Get them while you still can!
  • The town crier spies boxes being moved out of the now empty Shaton's into a trailer.  Who knows what is happening there?
  • There is a town council meeting Tuesday March 10th at 5:30 pm.
  • The Community Center of Hope will be having their annual meeting and dinner at the Hope Moravian Church on Thursday March 5th at 6:00.  The public is welcome to attend and see the difference they are making in the community.  
  • Boggstown Cabaret Returns

    Housed in a building that was built as a Redman’s Lodge in 1873, the two-story building that now houses the Boggstown Cabaret has had many incantations, as have most buildings its age. It has been home to a barber shop, a men’s athletic club and a grocery store.

  • The sun is out and the town is picking up trash in the park.  This Hopean can't wait for warmer weather and more activity in our beautiful green space!
  • Barb Johnson's Celebration of Life
    A celebration of life reception for Barb Johnson will be held Friday February 28th from 2:00 pm until 6:00 pm at the Hauser High School gymnasium.  A private family interment will take place a later date.  
  • The Real Pioneer Woman

    Hollywood may have the Pioneer Woman, but Hope had Barb Johnson. 

    My generation remembers Barb Johnson for her wonderful work as a teacher at Hope Elementary.  Even if you did not have her as a classroom teacher, her influence reached far outside those four walls.  She lead so many children through learning about pioneer history through Little Hoosiers and activities at Heritage Days in full pioneer costume.  She went on to impact future generations of children with her work at the one-room schoolhouse and the Yellow Trail Museum preserving and writing about Hope's history. She made learning fun and interactive with events like Christmas of Yesteryear and Night at the Museum. 

    Her community involvement , as well as her enthusiasm and energy, was unmatched.  When she won the Republic's woman of the year award, she humbly claimed she did not deserve it.  Hope knows better. 

    We have lost a treasure that cannot be replaced. Please hold her family in prayer, and please volunteer when you can.  It will take a village to replace Barb Johnson.  

  • Work began planning the 2020 Hauser alumni banquet last night.  The banquet will be held at the field house on Saturday May 16th at 6:00 pm.  This year's twenty five year sponsor is the class of 1995.  The featured fifty year class is the class of 1970.  Save the date and watch for more details coming soon!
  • Hope's own Ja-Vonda Brown will be opening her very own boutique, Dandeline Boutique, inside of Willow Leaves.  This shopaholic can't wait for a local shopping option! Here's wishing her luck.  We are always excited to welcome more retail to Hope!
  • Many local Hope residents know I enjoy acting.  I was recently lucky enough to be included as an extra in a movie after a friend alerted me to the opportunity.  Pigasus Pictures out of Bloomington Indiana issued the call via a social media video.  The first five hundred respondents in possession of a white formal gown or tuxedo were selected to participate. 
  • Hope's Yellow Trail Museum will hold their annual dinner meeting tonight, February 11th at 6:00 at Willow Leaves.  Deb Sloane is scheduled for a program to help us remember the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment.  The community is invited to see what was done in 2019 and what is expected for 2020.  Reservations for dinner are required.  
  • Emily Rachel and Clayton White, formerly of Hope and currently serving in the United States Army, have been blessed by a little girl. Leralynn Savannah White was born on February 6, 2020, at 8:21 pm, weighing 7lbs 14 oz. Leralynn is the granddaughter of Alise Clay Pate of Saint Mary's, Georgia, and the geat granddaughter of Anita Wells Clay of Scipio.
  • Hope OCRA Award
    Susan Thayer Fye, President of Main Street and Diane Burton, Hope Town Clerk Treasurer attending the OCRA Awards Ceremony on February 6, 2020 at the Indiana Statehouse. They are pictured with Jodi Golden, Executive Director of OCRA; Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch.  We are very proud of the work Main Street of Hope has put in towards obtaining this revitalization grant to enhance Hope's downtown.  
  • Even though Grubby predicted six more weeks of winter yesterday, it is certainly feeling like spring in Hope today! There are children playing in the park and lots of activity outside!
  • Attention Hopians! Now is your chance to be famous! Word is Channel 8 news will be here at 5:30 am on Sunday the second to interview the locals about Groundhog's Day! Come on down the square for your chance to be on TV! Costumes and polka dancing strongly encouraged! Grubby from Utopia Wildlife Rehabilitators will be there as always!
  • Hope Town Crier for Jan. 29th

    Hope Town Crier for Jan. 29th

    Join us on the square Sunday Feb. 2nd at 8:30 am as we celebrate the time-honored German tradition of Groundhog Day.  

    What will Grubby’s annual prediction for the remainder of winter be? Will she retain her 100% accuracy rating? Find out at the festivities in front of the bandstand Sunday morning.  

    Extra points awarded for costume!  Breakfast and hot drinks to follow served at the Hope United Methodist Church on Washington Street.  All proceeds from the freewill offering benefit the Hope Volunteer Fire Department.  
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P.O. Box 21
Hope, Indiana 47246
Office: (812) 565-2291
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