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Tuesday, September 21, 2021
  • Fast 5 RC Raceway is holding a drag race today on the square.  Drivers meet at 12:00 and the racing starts at one.  Their next event will be held October third.  
  • Please join us in celebrating the 53rd Heritage Days Festival by competing in our baking contest!! Bake us up your favorite recipe & enter our friendly competition with prizes to win & bragging rights!!

    Schedule of Activities:

    • 8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Drop off baked items at Willow Leaves of Hope (On the northside of Hope Town Square)
    • 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. - Judging
    • 11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. - Winners announced from the Bandstand
    • 11:30 a.m. – Noon - Entries will be sold. $10 for 5 servings of your choice from entries, Grand prize $4.00 per serving.

    Cake Contest Prizes

    • 1st Place - $50 & lots of goodies!!
    • 2nd Place - $25
    • 3rd Place - $10

    Pie Contest Prizes

    • 1st Place - $50 & lots of goodies!!
    • 2nd Place - $25
    • 3rd Place - $10

    Miscellaneous Contest Prizes

    • 1st Place - $50 & lots of goodies!!
    • 2nd Place - $25
    • 3rd Place - $10

    Kid’s Contest Prizes

    • 1st Place – Pampered Chef Kid’s Baking Set
    • 2nd Place – Yummy treats!

    Every child that enters will receive a tasty treat!

    Grand Champion Prize

    • $100 & lots of goodies!!

    *Please bring all baked items in a non-returnable container.
    *You may enter each category, but only ONE entry per category.
    *$10 plates (5 servings of your choice from entries) will be sold in front of Willow Leaves of Hope from 11:30 a.m. – Noon.
    *Grand prize entry will be sold for $4 a serving.
    *Please arrive at the Bandstand by 11:00 am for announcement of winners & presentation of prizes!!
    Contest sponsored by WiLLow LeaVes of Hope and Pampered Chef consultant Lisa Bailey. Please contact her at (812) 371-1211 or email imcooking4u@gmail.com with any questions.

  • With much thought, Paul Ashbrook, Hope Ride Director, has canceled Hope Ride 2021 due to the coronavirus variant(s).  Initially, there were thoughts of making it virtual with no close contact during registration and stops; however, there was a problem in finding event liability coverage.  

    Undoubtedly, our community will greatly miss driving by our schools with parking lots as well as grassy areas full and many bicycle riders traveling our scenic country roads while pulling over at stops to enjoy a variety of food and music after enjoying an early breakfast and later congregating on the town square for lunch and more music.  And local organizations will miss the funds brought in for their worthy causes.   

    Paul also posted the following statement on the Hope Ride website:

    “If your non-profit group or service organization is interested in continuing the Hope Ride's Legacy of giving by assisting with the 2022 Hope Ride, contact us at hoperide@gmail.com or text to 812-603-0466.”

    The first ride brought in 13 riders but has grown steadily to become one of the most attended and most enjoyed rides.  There are many wonderful stories that could be shared by participants and, of course, by the cows grazing in the fields.  Paul and his wife, Carol, look forward to working with others so those stories can continue in 2022.

  • We would like to thank the community for the great support of the HSJ Online Hope Run/Walk. Now, we are partnering with Duck Creek Gardens once again to sell mums. Please consider buying 1 for $8, 2 for $15, or 3 for $20. Cards are for 9" mums.  Four cards may be purchased for $28 to redeem for one 14" mum.  Mum cards can be purchased from: Jessica Brown, Michael Dean, Don Hewitt, David Webster, Terri Young, Howard Zachariah, Stephanie Shoaf, or Carrie & Brock Harris. In addition, you can purchase mum cards at Reflections and WILLow LeaVes or during Heritage Days at our booth under the shelter house. Mum card(s) can be redeemed at Duck Creek Gardens through Saturday, October 16th.

  • A POW/MIA remembrance day will take place Friday, September 17, 2021 at 6:30 p.m. behind the Bartholomew County Courthouse. The courthouse is located at 234 Washington Street, Columbus IN 47201.  For more information contact Bob Miller at 856-981-7828.  The Yellow Trail Museum has a POW/MIA table on display for local remembrance.  
  • Student's Fund of Hope will be sponsoring their annual movie night on Friday, September 10th on the Hope town square.  The movie shown will be Coco.  Admission is free.  Bring a chair or a blanket.  The movie starts at dusk with a variety of activities leading up to the movie, including crafts, face painting, a photo booth, and pinatas.  The performance group Raices Folklore will perform a series of dances from the movie at 7:30 pm on the bandstand. Walking Tacos will be served for a free will donation.
  • Ragtop Deluxe is excited to be providing the soundtrack for this great event! Come on out to the square in Hope and enjoy some classic cars, great food, fun and friendship and some of the best Classic and Southern Rock around! Music from 6PM to 8PM - BE THERE ON THE SQUARE! There will also be a costume contest, and the Columbus Icemen will be returning.  This will be the final Cruise-In of the 2021 season.  
  • Many people stop and ask me, “Why do you host exchange students?”   My response is usually, “If I cannot travel the world, why not bring the world to me?” 

    It all started because Shanon Pittman, local coordinator and longtime friend, called and said, “Hey Trina, I need a huge favor; I need a place for this kid to come to until we can find her a permanent placement.  She is arriving tomorrow. The family that she was originally supposed to stay with had an unexpected event arise, and they are unable to keep her.  She is already in flight.” 

    Of course, John and I talked it over with our kids, and we agreed to just be her welcome family. Little did we know at that time she would be a perfect fit for us, and we would become her forever family!

    Anxiously, we awaited for Shanon to bring her to our home.  We had no clue what we were doing, only that this kid needed a safe, warm, loving home which we knew we could easily provide.  While preparing,  we scurried around to find an extra bed for her to have set up and ready.  We welcomed her with open arms and shared many laughs, and tears that year.  When time came for Tiffa to go home to Indonesia, we took her to the airport.  Our hearts had grown to love her as our own.  We cried so much when we said our goodbyes and watched her walk down the concourse hallway as far as we could still see her.  The drive home was very quiet. 

    We still talk to her on occasion.  She is a very busy and successful adult living in Indonesia in her own apartment.

    The years have flown by since our first student arrived.  I don’t really like to call them exchange students because, to me, they become my children.  When they hurt, I hurt.  When they are broken, my heart is broken.  I love them like my own kids.  Since 2012, we have hosted Indonesia, Spain, Egypt, Brazil, Thailand, and China.  We are currently hosting Viola and Yuliia, two lovely ladies from Italy and Ukraine. 

    We have had some wonderful and some not so wonderful experiences along the way.  What we have had more than anything though is a house full of love and adventure.  We have built relationships around the world not only with the kids, but with their families as well.  Much has been learned about different cultures, how our society is different from other countries.

    We were shocked when we took a trip to Conner Prairie one year, and one of the students said that it was much like her home.  Even the feather bed was what she slept on back in her home country. 

    Hosting has kept us humble and made us see how blessed we truly are in the United States.  Things we see as normal, some of these kids can only dream of.  Something as simple as riding a school bus, that we just find as routine, is listed as one of their dreams.  Watching a football game in person, another dream come true.  Even having stores like Walmart, which I dread to go to on most days, is amazing to them because of all the items under one roof.  And it has made me realize I have a love/hate relationship with the airport. 

    Our local coordinator works for CIEE, Council on International Educational Exchange.  This year, we are fortunate to have seven kids in our community from Italy, Ukraine, two from Brazil, Germany, Liberia, and Moldova.  Shanon also has three students outside of Hope placed from Denmark, Spain, and Tunisia.  CIEE has been bringing the world together since 1947.  They are a wonderful company helping dreams become reality. 

    Their mission is to:  “humanize international relations and foster peace through international education and exchange programs that promote intercultural understanding; increase global harmony and stability by helping individuals learn to embrace people different from themselves and ideas different from their own; help prepare future leaders who will be able to communicate across cultures to tackle issues confronting our globally interconnected and multicultural world.”  For more information about their company, hosting, or becoming an exchange student yourself, visit www.ciee.org .

    If you have ever thought of being a host family but just aren’t quite sure about how it all works, please reach out to Shanon Pittman, our local coordinator at lcshanonp@gmail.com.  I would encourage you to give it a try at least once.  Nine years, eight kids, and eight countries later, we are still making memories that will last a lifetime with these brave kids that travel across the world to live the dream of being an exchange student in The United States of America.  It is one of the most exciting adventures our family has had the privilege of being a part of throughout our lives.

  • Adam Miller of the Hawcreek-Flatrock Area Endowment has issued a thank you to all who made Saturday, August 21st such a success. We served more than 250 individuals with a very steady stream of attendees throughout the 11-2 timeframe. It turned out to be great weather, which allowed people to relax and enjoy the afternoon on the square. Lastly, I just wanted you all to know that the extra hotdogs were delivered to the Hope Methodist Church Meal Site, so truly no food was wasted.

    Here is the video link if you would like to watch the guest speakers:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGTGGK2CeGA

  • State Road Nine will be closed to all traffic beginning on Thursdayday, August 28th.  INDOT reports the road will be closed between E 300 N and Hauser Drive.  The road will be closed to all traffic until September 30, 2021 at about 11:59 p.m. EDT.  A drainage culvert is being replaced over Horse Creek by the Indiana Department of Transportation contractor Paul H Rohe Company.  See the map for the official detour following State Road 252, I-65, U.S. 31 and State Road 46.


  • Council President Jerry Bragg was quarantining due to COVID exposure.  He called in over speakerphone for the meeting.  All council members wore masks. Everyone in attendance was also masked. 

    John Walstad led the meeting in Jerry’s absence.  He called the meeting to order with a reminder to silence all mobile devices and the opening prayer and pledge of allegiance. 

    First on the agenda was the approval of the 06/15/21 minutes.  Ed made a motion to pass them; Jerry seconded the motion.  It passed 5 – 0.

    The second item on the agenda was the approval of claims.  Diane Burton presented an additional bill of $600.00 from town lawyer Scott Andrews.  $300 would be applied to general, $120.00 to water and $120.00 to sewer.  Jerry motioned to pass it; Ed seconded the motion.  It passed 5 – 0.

    Council then moved on to old business.  Tony Akles from Strand & Associates gave an update on the Community Crossing Matching Grant (CCMG.)  Robertson paving completed the paving Saturday.  He is waiting on the final tickets so Frank Owens may submit them to INDOT.  They were right on the numbers estimated.  Clyde commented the paving looked nice.  Ed Johnson commented the skateboarders would like it. 

    Akles said there had been no word on the award of the second round of paving grants.  The announcement had been pushed back until August 27th. 

    He had no comment on the Goshen Meadows Pump Station Project.

    Council then moved on to new business.  Victoria Bechert from ARA presented OCRA’S (Office of Community and Rural Affairs) Owner Occupied Housing Rehab Program.  Applications for the program are due by Friday, August 27th.  A public hearing was held last week.  Seven applications have already been received.  Bechart asked for a resolution declaring Jerry as the signatory and committing the town to a $25,000.00 match.  Clyde made the motion and Ed seconded it.  It passed 5 – 0. 

    Victoria then presented a letter for the town council president to sign off on the income survey to get that process started on the proposed Aikin Street storm drain project.  SWIF (State Water Infrastructure Funds) funds require an income survey.

    Council then moved on the park requests.  Joe Chambers was first with a request for another RC drag race on September 19th.  He would need the street blocked off at 11:00 to set up with the race occurring at noon.  He also asked for October third as a secondary date.  He stated he had great feedback from the participants, and they were eager for another race.  Clyde motioned to approve both dates with John seconding the motion.  It passed 5 – 0.

    Whitney Budd then presented a park request from Students’ Fund of Hope for their annual movie night.  Activities would start at 6:00 with the movie Coco starting at dusk.  There would be folklore dancers on the bandstand a possibly a mariachi band.  She expected a few hundred people to attend.  Clyde motioned to approve the request.  Ed seconded the motion.  It passed 5 – 0.

    Diane Burton then presented the 2022 town budget.  She stated the public hearing would be held on September 21, 2021 at 5:30.  The budget adoption will be at the October 19, 2021 meeting.  She distributed budget folders and reviewed them with the council.  Burton reminded them the notice to taxpayers must be posted by the end of the moth if they saw a needed increase.  Budget recommendations included a three percent increase to salaries budgeted.  The savings plan was also included.  The general fund also included the new town hall fund cost from the $70,00.00 received last from COVID funds.  It will be available to use for that next year if the council wishes.  NVH restricted upped the paving to $40,000.00 to approve paving in process at the moment.  She met with the Department of Local Government Finance on August 9th and they approved the budget.  The town would be requesting the maximum levy for a budget for the year.  Clyde questioned the increased park salary portion of the budget.  Burton stated it was for paying salaries from park.  It was to be more fair to the utilities and water and sewer funds as those employees did a lot for the park.  

    Council then moved on to the town manager’s report from Frank Owens.  His first item was a request for a new Christmas tree and garland for the bandstand.  He requested a 7-1/2’ foot Olympic pine with 1250 LED lights and new 9’ garland sections 14” around with LED lights from a company in Georgia.  There would be no sales tax with a total of $1,550.00 for the tree and nine sets of garland plus estimated shipping of $250.00. He acknowledged it was expensive but said the quality was high.  John asked if he could get free shipping.  Ohmer asked what happened to the guy who was doing the lights and the music.  He wanted to know where the tree would go and asked if it would be in addition to the lights already used on the bandstand.  Clyde brought up a concern with pre-lit trees only lasting a two years when they were outside.  Clyde also didn’t see how the tree would be anchored against the wind.  Garland sections could be replaced but not sections of the tree.  He said no on the tree as the light sections that went bad would have to be cut out.  Frank Owens replied the LED lights were a different technology and would stay lit if one blub went out.  Owens also stated the tree and garland themselves had a ten-year warranty and the lights had a three-year warranty.  Clyde also expressed concerns with storing the tree and not breaking lights when the tree was put away.  Ohmer asked where the tree would be stored.  David Clouse stated the current tree was stored inside the shelter house.  It was two pieces and folded over and is anchored down with guy wires.  The steps of the bandstand were blocked off to keep anyone from messing with it.  Ed expressed they would need a good storage space for a new tree.  John felt like it was a lot of money.  No motion was made, and the matter died. 

    Owens then moved on to a request for a EV (electronic vehicle) charging station.  He sought out the most economical and sensible option and went with a company called Clear Creek out of Colorado.  A dual pedestal unit would cost $4,476.00 with $180.00 shipping.  It would be free to the public but could be set up to charge later.  Ed asked what it would cost to install the card reader.  He wanted that information before council proceeded.  Clyde asked if it came with a Tesla adapter.  Frank stated it would work with all other cars and all Teslas came with an adapter that could be used with this charging station.  It is a forty-eight amp charging unit which is the current maximum.  John asked about the warranty.  Frank stated it was five years.  Clyde claims he read an article that says any community that does not have one is missing out on economic development.  Frank stated North Vernon is working on getting one and Shelbyville already has one.  David asked what kind of amps it required and if our electrical boxes would handle it.  Frank said they would.  Ohmer asked what the total cost would be, 5K?  Clyde asked who would mount it. Frank replied an electrician would wire it.  Ohmer stated the community should look at this hard, but some of the businesses should participate too as it would benefit them.  He suggested businesses pay a portion of the cost.  Frank stated businesses were supportive of it, but he had not talked to them about financially supporting it.  Ed felt it should be self-supporting with a card reader.  Frank countered that units that charged a fee did not get used as often as units that did not charge.  He felt the unit should be free at first, then move to charging later.  Clyde felt the town should invest now and charge in the future.  Clyde motioned to proceed with installing a EV charging unit.  Jerry seconded the motion.  It passed 5 – 0.  

    Mr. Owens then moved on to the door and frame replacement on town hall.  He stated the contractor with the lowest bid could not complete the work within thirty days.  He wanted to go with the next lowest bid from Andy Bruner.  Ed moved to use Andy Bruner instead, Jerry seconded the motion.  It passed 5 -0.

    Dumpsters for town clean-up day where then discussed.  Frank had called three places for estimates on thirty- and forty-yard dumpsters.  Best Way has $25.00 charges plus $39.00 per ton with no fuel charge.  Rumpke is the second best depending on the size of the dumpster.  Kroot will have dumpsters for scrap.  Dumpster size and the number of dumpsters needed was then discussed.  Three forty-yard dumpsters have been filled at the last two pickups.  Clyde asked when the last time we hosted a pick-up was.  He anticipated more stuff this time and thought we would need four dumpsters.  Compton asked David Clouse his opinion.  Clouse said the Community Center filled four dumpsters when they held clean-up day.  Or an additional dumpster could be called in for if three were filled.  Clyde motioned for three forty-yard dumpsters and a thirty-yard from Best Way.  Ed seconded the motion.  The motion passed 5 – 0. 

    Council then moved on to questions and public comments.  Clyde asked about the damaged picnic table in the shelter house.  He asked how it was damaged and if kids were responsible?  Matt did not see anywhere on the camera recordings where it was damaged.  David thought the boards just became loose from being picked up and moved around.  Compton then asked where the new picnic tables that had been ordered in December from Indiana Custom Fab where?  Had there been any updates on them.  David replied there had been a hold up in material due to the increase in steel prices.  Steel had doubled in cost from the time was quote was made.  The last David had heard all the material were in.  He commented the inserts for the flower boxes looked excellent.  Ed commented he just though they were running behind as the bench for the schoolhouse dedication was not delivered until 11:00 the night before.  Frank Owens said he would call and check on the status. 

    Ed wanted to thank David and his crew for working hard on Norman park.  It looks nice and things were beginning to come together. 

    Meeting was adjourned.

  • A Celebration of Life is scheduled for Tammy Clouse on Sunday, August 15th from 2:00 until 5:00 p.m. at the Hope Moravian Church.  Mrs. Clouse passed earlier this year.  She is the wife of long time Hope Utilities Manager David Clouse. She passed from this life at 9:14 p.m. Monday, Jan. 18, 2021 at St. Francis Hospital in Indianapolis.  

    Mrs. Clouse was born January 3, 1963, in Franklin, Indiana, the daughter of Charles Richard and Linda Sue Burton Ridpath.

    She married David J. Clouse April 14, 1984.

    Tammy was employed at Mariah Foods for 14 years and loved shopping, tending to her flower garden, playing practical jokes and spending time with family.

    Survivors include her husband; sons, Chad Clouse of Bloomington and Dustin Clouse of Hope; step-father and mother, Robert O. and Linda Sue Meadows of Columbus; sisters, Paula McNealey of Columbus, Denise Harris of Columbus and Judy (OJ) Thayer of Hope; sisters-in-law, Kathleen Clouse of Hope and Lori Wells of San Diego, California.

    She was preceded in death by her father.

  • The first HSJ Online Run/Walk 5k-ish happened Saturday, August 7th.  Around fifty runners or walkers participated in the course set up around the Hauser Campus.  Shirts were available for purchase.  Bracelets emblazoned with Hope Forever and Always were also available. Participants who wore their bracelets Saturday were able to receive a discount due to the generosity of local merchants including Cornett's Corner Cafe, Gold Nugget Pawn Shop, KJ Goat Soap and Lotions, Snappy Tomato PIzza, Special by Design, Swiss Maid, Tonala, and WiLLow LeaVes.  All Proceeds from the run benefitted your hometown digital news source, HSJ Online. Event sponsors included Raymond James, Deckard Tool & Engineering, Don & Patsy Harris, Julian & Debbie Smith, and Ken & Michele Seim.  
  • August 2, 2021

    Yesterday was a great day for Simmons School! 

    Speaking for the One Room Schoolhouse Committee, we thank each and every one of you who attended the dedication of the Glen S. Keller and Barbara S. Johnson Memorial Garden. Many thanks to those who donated so the garden could be created. Many thanks to those who donated baked goods, flowers, and gift certificates for the dedication. Many thanks to those who filled the little red schoolhouse boxes yesterday. We are overwhelmed by your generosity!

    Special thanks to those of you who pitched in to set up and take down everything (some getting soaked by the just-after-the-big-event rainstorm!). Special thanks to our outstanding musicians, Avery Tallent, the Hauser Band, and Dan Fleming. Special thanks to those who helped with the old-fashioned games, the cakewalk, the food preparation, the drinks, hostessing in the Schoolhouse, and creating our signs and managing sound. Special thanks to Glen’s and Barb’s families for rolling up their sleeves and pitching right in.

    Amy Keller and Allison Clay, you made us remember. You made us remember how blessed we were to have Glen and Barb. You made us remember why we loved them so. You made us remember their dreams to build a brighter future, and it ignites a fire in us.

    I thank the One Room Schoolhouse Committee (and their families) for working so hard the past several months on the Dedication of the Memorial Garden. It is a privilege to work alongside such passionate-for-this-cause people! Simmons School needs each of you.

    If Glen and Barb made History Come Alive at Simmons School, we, collectively, are going to make sure it stays alive! 

    Thank you so much.

    Most sincerely,

    Beth Newman

  • The next Cruise-In to Hope will be held Friday, August 6th.  It will be 1950s themed.  Donations accepted this month will benefit the Hope Volunteer Fire Department.  Midnight Express will be acting as MC and playing music.  There will be a few activities in addition to the standard car show.  There will be a twist dance off competition and a prize for the best costume.  The Columbus Icemen will also be present holding a hockey puck shoot with the chance to win an ice cream cone.  The Yellow Trail Museum will be offering ice cream floats with proceeds to benefit the museum.  Children who were unable to redeem their coupon from the bike parade at the Old Fashioned Independence Day celebration will be able to get their free float Friday.  The museum will have a list of attendees on hand.  Carryout will be available from Cornett's Corner Cafe.  WILLow LeaVes of Hope and Tonala will be offering carryout or dine-in.  
  • Wednesday night, Elijah walked out of the house with nothing but a towel and a worried facial
    expression. It was late - after 10pm – and Nathan and I had been outside by his car having a deep adult
    conversation. Elijah looked anxious and it gave us reason to pause before we demanded he get back
    inside and put clothes on...

  • Council President Jerry Bragg called the meeting to order and proceeded with opening prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance. 

    The first two items on the agenda were the approval of the 05/18/2021 minutes and the approval of claims.  Both items passed 5 – 0. 

    Council then moved on to old business.  First up was a Community Crossing Matching Grant (CCMG) update presented by Steve Robertson of Strand Associates.  He gave an update from Robertson Paving on the latest paving project.  The project will start August 9th  with a completion date of August 29th.  The project holdup has been the large amount of rain.  David Clouse also wanted to make sure he was available for the sewer installation portion.  Steve Robertson noted he expressed to Robertson Paving they would need to attend the August council meeting if they could not meet the August 29th deadline.  Paperwork is due to the state to complete the project by June 2022.  John Walstad noted when he spoke with Tony Akles of Strand he relayed the contractor had said June 15th Aiken Street would be started by July 4th.  He expressed his unhappiness with the pushbacks and felt Mr. Ackles had lied to him.   Clyde commented he felt being pushed off three times was enough.  Steve Robertson noted the unusually large amount of rain we have had lately.  It was also noted David Clouse been on vacation and unavailable to supervise.  Town legal representative Scott Andrews pointed out Robertson had one hundred and twenty days to complete the project and they were not yet late or in default.  Clouse pointed out Robertson had done many projects for the town and had never been late.  Councilman Ohmer Miller stated as long as the project was completed by the 29th they are okay and pointed out there had been significant weather.    Steve Robertson remarked he would relay the two council members frustrations.

    Robertson then moved on to paving priorities for round two of the CCMG.  He distributed a paving priority list and stated the need for a funding letter from Diane Burton as the deadline was quickly approaching.  He stated the $150,000.00 rule is still in effect.  Clyde suggests that Grand, High and Locust Streets be paved as they are right off State Road Nine and visible as you drive into town.  Robertson then noted that curb engineering was not included in the grant and the town must pay for that out of pocket where necessary.  Ohmer motioned that Grand, High and Locust Street be chosen for repaving, and that town manager Frank Owens be listed as the signatory.  Clyde Compton seconded the motion.  David Clouse expressed his three wishes for paving due to the condition of the asphalt as Grand, West Drive and Union Street.  There then was discussion over West Drive being rated too high and where West Drive was located.  The motion for Grand, High and Locust passed 5 – 0. 

    Victoria Bechert of ARA then presented an update on the Aiken Street storm drain project.  She recommended the project for SWIF (State Water Infrastructure Fund) funding since OCRA has pulled water projects from their funding due to the recent availability of SWIF funding.  The town had been looking at a planning grant and needed an income survey.  The round one grant deadline is January first and she needed input about funding the income survey of about $1,000.00.  The survey would be good for five years.  Clyde remarked they had already approved that with Trena of ARA, and Bechert explained it was slightly different now due to the availability of Swift funds.  Ed Johnson motioned to approve the income survey, and Clyde seconded the motion.  It passed 5 – 0. 

    Council then moved on to new business and park requests.  Dave Miller of the Hope Branch Library was first with Goodies, Goblins and Ghost Stories.  He asked for approval to use the park on October 29th.  He had not yet checked with his partners at the Yellow Trail Museum and Willow Leaves of Hope, but expressed certainty they would participate with the exception of Chuck Baker who had sadly passed away.  He used the record attendance at the recent fourth of July celebration of an indicator of the readiness of people to get out and experience life again.  He expressed he would like to add a photo backdrop this year so attendees could take photos.  He also wanted to do a walking ghost tour with character stations like those used at Christmas of Yesteryear.  Ghost stories would be invented, and the tour would run a block or so off the square.  Ohmer commented park requests do not guarantee EDIT funds.  Dave replied the funds for the event are guaranteed from the town every year.  Diane Burton confirmed this. Dave Miller then questioned where the fire should be held this year since all the updates had happened.  He suggested the new pea gravel section.  Council agreed with that or suggested the use of a fire pit that sits off the ground. 

    Joe Chamber of Fast 5 RC Raceway then came before council for the second park request.  After a successful first RC car drag race on July 11th, he expressed a desire to hold another on August 22 from 12:00 – 5:00.  The first was attended by about thirty cars, with some out of state attendees cancelling due to weather.  He felt the event was well received and brought business to the restaurants around the square.  Clyde motioned to approve the request.  Ed seconded the motion.  Ohmer asked David Clouse if there were any complications from the first race.  He replied there were not any to his knowledge.  The motion passed 5 – 0.

    Whitney Budd was then scheduled to appear for a request for a movie night for Student’s Fund of Hope but she was not present. 

    Matt Lee, the new executive director of Main Street, then introduced himself to council.  He stated goals of creating bylaws for Main Street and increasing the board member number to thirteen.  He stated they were not far off with eleven members, but the board still needed a president and a vice president.  Another goal is national accreditation.  Main Street of Hope is currently a state accredited organization, but he would like to see it grow to the national level. 

    Matt Tallent then presented a request for an additional security camera in the square, citing the recent addition of a new speaker by HOH interfered with the camera mapping and capturing the entire playground.  The southwest corner of the square where Corner Café is not currently visible.  Matt asked for another camera to cover the gap; remarking the existing camera had already caught a teen trying to break a picnic table.  The cost for an additional camera is $883.00.  $325.00 for the equipment, $408.00 for installation and $150.00 for travel expenses.  David asked if the camera would be mounted above the speaker.  Ed made a motion to purchase the camera.  Diane suggested using EDIT funds.  Clyde seconded the motion and it passed 5 – 0. 

    Diane Burton then presented a change of PTO / vacation time.  She recommended time off be changed from days to hours since the police department does not work a typical eight-hour day.  Days off would also be changed to just paid time off instead of specified sick, personal or vacation time.  In 2006 there was a change limiting rolled over time to five days instead of being unlimited.  Some employees had reached forty days of accumulated time and taking or paying those hours would create a scheduling and budgeting issue.  Burton also requested that a minimum of two hours be taken at a time.  Ed motioned to approve, Clyde seconded, and the motion passed unopposed.  David asked what the effective date would be.  Diane replied it would be immediate, existing days would just be converted to hours.

    Town manager Frank Owens then presented his town report.  He stated Matt Tallent had five days of vacation left, but they were coming up on expiration.  He cannot get away to take time off due to officers leaving and his having to cover shifts.  Frank asked for a special exception to pay Matt his five days.  Matt stated he was actively searching for a new officer but would be unable to take time off until one was hired.  Councilman Miller expressed a desire to set a precedent so Frank has the authority to do that by talking to the council president rather than bringing it before council; that should be his job as manager.  Clyde replied that would be out of line as only the council can make monetary decisions.  Scott Andrews stated Frank could be given that authority, but only up to a limited predetermined amount and it was not currently included in the town manager’s job description.  Diane stated it was not a normal item to approve as he just wanted to take the pay and not the time off.  David Clouse commented he got an extra month to use his time off during the water project.  Mr. Compton did not feel a blanket rule was appropriate.  Ohmer felt it is part of a manager’s job to settle these situations and the town manager needed that authority.  Mr. Andrews recommended the matter be addressed further at a working session.  Jerry commented he did not feel like Matt should lose his time off.  Clyde made a motion to just pay him out.  Ohmer seconded the motion and it passed 5 – 0.     

    Mr. Owens then brought a request for banner arms and hometown hero banners before the council.  He requested fourteen more sets of banner arms to accommodate a total of twenty-five light poles with banners.  He also expressed a desire to offer the public the opportunity to purchase a banner for a family member who has served in the military.  The cost per banner would be $97.00 for a one sided banner and $107.00 for a two sided banner.  Banners would include a photo of the service member and their name.  He expressed a desire to send out a letter to the utility customers about the banner program.  Mr. Miller asked if the banner program would be restricted to just those who lived in town or if it would be extended to all who lived in the area.  Mr. Owens would like to get the letter out this week so the flags could be put up in time for Veteran’s Day.  He requested $3,347.50 for fourteen new sets of banner arms.  Clyde liked the idea and felt like the arms need to be purchased and the plan put into effect.  He did feel like the photos were a bad idea and suggested using just the names and the military branch instead.  He felt submitting the photos and getting the photos approved would be a nightmare.  Ohmer expressed the banners should also be open to members of the American Legion as well.  It was suggested the seal for the different branches of the military be used instead of a personal photograph.   Clyde suggested as POW/MIA banner also be included.  Mark Webber of the Republic asked how long the banners would remain up.  Frank stated they would be changed out for Christmas after Veterans Day and then put back out for Memorial Day.  David Clouse commented he had seen them with photos and they looked sharp.  Clyde still felt a picture would be too much.  Clyde made a motion for arms and Ohmer seconded it.  It passed 5 - 0.  Jerry commented pictures would be more personal.  Diane stated with cell phone technology these days pictures would be very easy to get.  Ed commented the purchaser of the banner should get the option of whether they wanted a picture.  Frank said the town would store the banners, so they did not get damaged.  Clyde motioned to approve the hometown heroes program and commented they must sign off on the photo.  Steve Robertson remarked of they had to submit their own photo that would be their approval.  Ohmer wished for council approval on the photos as well.  Ed seconded the motion and it passed 5 – 0. 

    Frank Owens then moved on to a request for seasonal banners.  He asked for twenty-five banners for fall, Christmas and winter. The cost for just the fall and Christmas banners is $4,470.00.  If all three were purchased at once the cost would be $6,873.00.  Ohmer wanted all three seasons purchased.  Ed wanted to set a limit on how long the banners could remain up and expressed concern about the workload on David Clouse and the utility workers when the banners were switched out.  Frank stated the banners would only remain up for thirty to forty-five days at a time except for the winter banners which would go up after Christmas and remain through March.  They would be up around ninety days.  He said by switching out the banners regularly they would last longer and be in service for 10 – 12 years. Clyde seconded the motion to purchase all three seasons. The motion passed 5 – 0.

    A request by Frank Owens for new Christmas decorations was next on the agenda.  He tabled it as the discount currently running through the end of the month had been extended.  He obtained wholesale pricing and could get the discount indefinitely. 

    Mr. Owens then moved on to a request for a replacement of the door and framing on town hall.  The door to the police department is rotting and needs replaced.  He obtained two bids, with a third request going unanswered. He wished to go with the lower bid, with the caveat work be completed within thirty days of tonight’s approval, and a maximum of fifteen days to complete the work.  He stated replacing the door and frame would save money on heating and cooling costs, look better and increase security with new doorknobs and deadlocks.  The low quote came in at $1.698.00 and the other at $1,998.79. Ohmer motioned to approve Frank’s recommendation of the first quote with Clyde seconding the motion.  It passed 5 – 0.

    Matt Galbraith then gave a building and zoning update.  He reported on the Elm Street situation, stating most of the shabbiness came from trees.  A foundation remains and brush has grown up.  There is no ordinance regarding the number of trees a property may have or foundations.  The grass needs to be mowed again.  The property owner only must be notified to mow once after the grass reaches 12 inches.  The cost of mowing it is $100.00 minimum.  Scott will review the grass cutting ordinance to strengthen it.  Clyde Compton asked if building and zoning reported to Frank or a liaison, wishing to do away with a liaison and reporting instead directly to Frank. Mr. Galbraith then moved on to old boats and campers that are not running in people’s yards.  There is currently a camper that is caving in, but it has paper plates, and no one will tow it.  Scott Andrews will also look at addressing those situations as well.  Matt Tallent wanted to add to the junk ordinance mirroring state regulations, so items left in the same spot for twenty days were addressed. 

    Clyde Compton then presented an EDIT request from HSJ Online.  David Webster appeared before the EDIT council last week and asked for $859.00 to cover weekly town updates, Facebook boosts and Hope bracelets for the upcoming run/walk.    The cost of the bracelets was $122.00, and Compton felt anything that put Hopes name out there was a good idea.  Ohmer asked for clarification on what that money was for.  Diane suggested HSJ online member Jessica Brown comment.  She stated the funds were for her town updates on events such as cruise-ins and plays at Willow Leaves, and local business profiles.  The Facebook boosts were paid advertising to increase the reach of the articles and help bring more people to town.  Compton stated the EDIT committee had already approved the request 3 – 0 so it had a motion in existence.  Ohmer Miller voted no, with all other council members voting yes.  The funding passed 4 – 1.

    Council then moved on to Clyde Compton and the manner of liability insurance.  He stated the matter was left unsettled at the last meeting per Robert’s Rules of Order.  Clyde motioned they make John Parmely the agent of record.  Ohmer expressed that was stupid, and it was settled at the last meeting.  There had already been a vote and they agreed to change the agent of record and he was abstaining from the vote.  Miller asked Compton if he was getting a kickback.  The motion passed 3 – 2 with council members Ohmer and Ed voting no. 

    There was no public comment, and the meeting was adjourned.

  • The Simmons One Room Schoolhouse will be hosting an ice cream social Sunday August 1st from 2:00 pm until 3:30 pm. A memorial garden will be dedicated in honor of the late Glen S. Keller and Barbara Thayer Johnson, the two instrumental forces in bringing the one room schoolhouse to life.  There will be a program at 2:00, refreshments, and children's games.  Pioneer, vintage, or period attire is encouraged, but not required.  Masks are encouraged but not required.  There will be free will offering accepted with all funds collected going towards the costs for the Simmons School.  If you would like to volunteer or provide a financial contribution for this event call Beth Newman at (812) 371-2538.
  • Heritage Days Theme Announced

    The Heritage of Hope board has announced the theme for the fifty-third annual Hope Heritage Days to be held September 24, 25 and 26: "A Year of Hope 2020 - 2021."  The event organizers feel this theme is appropriate as we emerge from a year of COVID related fear, closure, and quarantine.  The 2020 celebration was cancelled due to the COVID-19 restrictions.

    Several Heritage of Hope board members announced their intent to retire last year.  New board recruits have started training and are helping with planning and organization of the 2021 festival.  Outgoing CEO Michael Dean will be replaced by Jake Miller.  Outgoing President of Festival and Bandstand Randy Sims will be replaced by Chad Miller.  Matt Lee will take over the Vice President of Festival and Bandstand position vacated by Chuck Caldwell.  The position of treasurer vacated by Michelle Clark will be filled by Jessica Brown.  Jenni Richards will serve as secretary after Mary Bragg retired.  Richards will also be handling the food booths after Tonya Sims retired.  The board is still seeking a replacement for the flea market committee chair Tina Dean. 

    When asked what he chose to become CEO Jake Miller replied,  "Growing up Heritage Days was something I looked forward to every year.  As an adult I found myself still coming year after year to enjoy the food, music, and connecting with friends, old and new.  Heritage Days is Hope; it's what our community s all about.  It highlights the heritage of our past while supporting organizations of today as they are helping to mold the community for future generations.  All these reasons are why I chose to be involved with the Heritage of Hope board.  I want to continue the work of making Heritage Days a success for many generations to come, and put Hope on the map and a destination people can't wait to visit."

  • 2021 Hope Heritage Days Grand Marshal Announced
    Heritage of Hope has announced its 2021 festival Grand Marshal.  Randy and Tonya Sims will hold the esteemed honor this fall.  The husband and wife team have been devoted to the festival for many years.  
  • 4-H'ers in the Hope area will be exhibiting their projects for public viewing on Sunday, July 18th at the Hope Moravian Church Fellowship Hall from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Members will be with their projects for the public to see and visit. Many people do not get to the fair to see these items, and all are invited to attend. Come to the Hope Moravian Church, park in the parking area, and enter the doors marked to experience this special opportunity.
    If you do not have a conflict on that day, then hopefully you will be able to reward 4-H'ers by seeing the projects they spent lots of time to complete and their very deserved ribbons.  If there are any questions, then please call Mike Crull at 812-447-8174.
  • The well loved children's classic, "The Secret Garden" by Frances Hodgson Burnett, is being brought to the stage at WILLow LeaVes of Hope by Passion for Acting Theatre Company.  The story was adapted for the stage by Kathryn Baylor & Connie Kiviniemi-Baylor.  Connie Kiviniemi-Baylor and Gregory Andis are directing.   The show is produced by Connie Kiviniemi-Baylor.

    "When orphan Mary Lennox arrives at her uncle's 600-year-old manor on the Yorkshire moor, she soon discovers that she is not truly alone in the world and that there is everyday magic all around her and the ones she grows to love." 

  • HSJ Online will be hosting a 5K run or walk.  Proceeds will benefit HSJ Online, Hope's not-for-profit & free reading digital newspaper.  Fifteen percent of the proceeds will benefit Hauser Athletic Department.  A special thank you goes out to the FRHC School Corporation School Board, Superintendent Shawn Price, Transportation/Maintenance Director Jim Tedder and Athletic Director Tyler Phillips.  

    The run/walk will be held at the Flat Rock Hawcreek School Campus located at 9423 IN-9 Hope, IN 47246.  The start time is flexible, between 8:45-9:45 am.  The course will start and finish at the Hauser Track and include the perimeter of the Hauser campus.  

    You may register for the event by completing, signing, & mailing in the registration form.  Registration is allowed the day of the event between 8:30-9:45 am.  The registration and shirt pick up area will be close to Simmons School.  

    Restrooms will be located on the east side of the Hope Elementary at Entrance #43.

    Cost if registered by July 30 is $25.00 per adult and $20.00 per student.  You may deduct $10.00 if you do not want a shirt.  After July 30th the registration increases to $30.00 per adult and $25.00 per student; you may still deduct $10.00 for no shirt.  

    The event will be moved to the Hauser Fieldhouse in case of rain.  

    For more information contact Todd Grimes at tgrimes824@gmail.com or (317) 701-8415.

    Registration forms are available at Special by Design, WILLow LeaVes, and Hoosier Sporting Goods.

    Shirts may be ordered without participating in the run/walk from Special By Design by the end of August.  

  • Pie Baking Contest

    It doesn't get more American than apple pie. The results are in for the Kappa Kappa Sigma sponsored apple pie baking contest at Friday night's Old Fashioned Fourth. There were nine pies entered. There were three winners in the adult and children's categories. First place got $25 dollars, second place $15 dollars and third place $10 dollars. There were several non-traditional entries this year, including a pie caken, an upside down apple pie and a pie with a chocolate crust.

  • There were five contestants for Yellow Trail Museum's the Little Mister and Miss Firecracker at Friday night's Old Fashioned Fourth.  Votes were based on a penny vote system, with each child turning in a decorated jar with their votes. The winners get a goody bag and the honor of leading the decorated bike parade around the square.  The money raised goes towards funding future events and museum activities.  Kaedyn Pullin was the winner of Little Mister Firecracker, raising $157.36 for the non-profit.  Little Miss Firecracker was Quinley Frazier, raising a new record of $443.96.  The contest was unable to be held last year; the event was cancelled due to the pandemic.  The previous highest total raised was a little over $200.00.  This year's grand total of $922.00 was unprecedented.  Board member Kathie Clouse stated, "That is just fantastic.  That is more than we raised at the fish fry the last time we held it."  Well done to all of the participants Kaedyn, Quinley, Carson Lazzell, Lilly Mohler, and Hudson Wood.  
  • Two Hope area photographers, Joanna Tucker and Colin Hunter, have won big at the Bartholomew County 4-H Fair.  Tucker is the experienced photographer behind Joanna Tucker Photography and Art, selling prints and taking landscape photography.  Colin Hunter is a Hope native who has recently gotten into photography.  He started walking and noticed the opportunities for photos on his walks around town.  After receiving a positive response to his photos on Facebook, he decided to enter some in the Bartholomew County Fair.  He credits Tucker's advice with helping him achieve success at the fair.  Together Tucker and Hunter swept eleven out of twelve Champion and Reserve Champion ribbons.  All of these photos may be viewed this week at the Family Arts Building across for the Grandstand at the Fairgrounds.  
  • The Yellow Trail Museum's Old Fashioned Independence Day and Main Street's cruise-in to Hope will be teaming up forces in July.  The two events will be held in conjunction on Friday July second.  The cruise-in will be from 5:00 - 8:00.  The Bannister Family Band will be playing.  Hope Volunteer Fire Department will host a fish fry and area restaurants will be open for dine in and carryout.  The Old Fashioned Independence Day will be from 6:00 - 10:00 with fireworks after dark.  The museum will be open and serving ice cream floats for donations...  


  • "A Murder is Served," a original play by Jason Bowser opened last night at Willow Leaves.  Bowser is a familiar face to Willow Leaves Theater goers, but this is the first play he has written.  The cast also stars other familiar faces, Cori Brod, Mendy Fisher, Connie Kiviniemi-Baylor, Sepfen Planalp.  Horace Tucker, and Marty Jorgensen will be new faces to those in attendance.  Falicia Whited, niece of familiar face Naomi Pyle, had this to say about opening night.  " Tonight was the most amazing opening night experiences ever! To be a part of something so original and creative and funny has been one of the highlight experiences of my life! Mitzi will forever be my favorite character I have been privileged to play Our audience for the debut performance of ‘A Murder Is Served’ was incredible. This cast is amazing and Jason Bowser has written an amazing show that is both clever and funny." The show is produced and directed by Connie Kiviniemi-Baylor of Passion for Acting Theater Company. Call Willow Leaves at 812-546-0640 to reserve your ticket for upcoming shows on June 6, 11, 12 and 13. Friday and Saturday shows are at 6:00. Sunday matinees are at 1:00.
  • Main Street of Hope will be hosting a cruise-in Friday, June 4th.  Good Time Review is the scheduled band.  Food will be available from local restaurants on the square.  There will be prizes for the oldest vehicle, people's choice and musician's choice.  Cash donations will be accepted to support Student's Fund of Hope and Cruise-in event expenses. All are welcome. Bring your own chair and support our downtown.  

  • Windrose Health Network will be providing free Pfizer COVID vaccines at Hauser High School in Hope, Indiana, today June 3rd from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm.

    Walk-ins are welcome but pre-registration is preferred. Call 317-680-9901 to schedule an appointment.

  • The Yellow Trail Museum will be hosting their annual meeting at 6:00 on Saturday June 26, 2021 at Willow Leaves. Tickets for dinner and the program are $15.00. Reserve your spot by calling 812-546-0680.  Reservation forms are also available in the museum and were included with the latest newsletter along with membership forms for 2021.
  • The neon open sign has been off for seemingly weeks now, but the Hope Subway has finally posted an official notice on the door.  It reads, "Due to staffing shortages this Subway is temporarily closed.  We apologize for the inconvenience."
  • Town Council Meeting 05/18/2021
  • Hope American Legion Hope Post 229 has long remembered the services of deceased area veterans...
  • Fresh tomatoes are for sale on the west side of the square today.  There has been lots of activity on the square lately.  The boys from the utility department have been working hard installing the new planter sleeves.  They also adjusted the brackets today for flower baskets.  Hopefully we'll see the flowers from Windy Hill Greenhouse Main Street secured funding for soon!
  • Matt Lee has been named the new executive director for Main Street of Hope.  
  • Attendees of the mother daughter tea party at Willow Leaves of Hope seemed to enjoy themselves. The tea was sponsored by Main Street of Hope as their first fundraiser...

  • Smoke on the Square
    The 10th Smoke on the Square will be held on May 15th from 11:00 am until 4:00 pm. It will be a drive-thru event held on the Hope Town Square.
    $10 Brisket Meal*
    $9 Pulled Pork Meal*
    $8 Grilled Chicken Meal*
    $5 Hot Dog Meal - chips and drink only
    *Meals served with Sandwich, Potato Salad, Chips, and Drink
    $8 Brisket Sandwich
    $7 Pulled Pork Sandwich
    $6 Grilled Chicken Sandwich
    $2 Hot Dog
    $2 Potato Salad
    $1 Chips
    $1 Drink
    $5 Funnel Cake - served from Rho Chapter of the Kappa Kappa Sigma Sorority
    We will have a limited number of meals for this event. You can place your order ahead of time to be sure you get served.
    Thank you so much for supporting Smoke on the Square and the Community Center of Hope!
  • Some would say it is infringing upon our freedom to mandate us to wear masks. I say, if someone would have been wearing their mask, perhaps I would still have my grandparents. You see, they went to a service where someone came to church unknowingly with the virus, and they contracted the virus. Several of the congregation from that service were all in the hospital at the same time. I also contracted the virus from my grandparents. They had no symptoms other than congestion, and I was with them. I was hospitalized on August 22, 2020...

  • The Hawpatch-Hawcreek Conservation Club will be hosting their annual fish fry on Saturday, May 15 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm.  Cost is $9.00 for adults and $7.00 for children 12 and under.  It will be held at the Hawpatch-Hawcreek Conservation Club.  Take state Road Nine near Hope.  Turn Est on 500 N for approximately 2.5 miles, turn north on 900 East and the club is approximately 1/4 mile on the left.  Raffle prize drawings start at 7:00 pm.  Club memberships are available for $30.00.  Their archery indoor range is open 24/7.
  • Due to recent cancellations, tickets are still available for the Mothers Daughter Tea Party at Willow Leaves on Saturday, May 8th.  The menu has been set and includes a first course of cinnamon and sugar scones, assorted jams and the famous Methodist Women's frozen fruit salad.  Course two includes chicken salad sandwiches, pimento cheese sandwiches, cucumber sandwiches, turkey and cheese sandwiches, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches available upon request.  Course three is assorted fruit tarts and chocolate mousse tarts.  

    Several great door prizes have been donated.  They include three children's tea sets, an adult tea set for one, scented candle, tea cups and flavored tea, a Mary Kay mask gift set from Chatney Gelfius, Corner Café gift cards, an El Jefe gift card, Lucabe gift cards, and a mother daughter journal set.  

    Crafts and a dress up and booth will be available for fun.  A photographer, Kat Baylor, will be on hand to capture special memories.  Photo packages will be available for an additional cost.    

    Ticket cost is $30.00 for adults and $25.00 for children.  Cost for a mother daughter pair is $55.00.  Tables may be purchase for $200.00.  Maximum table size is eight.  Only related groups will be seated together.  

    Come make memories and help with Main Street of Hope's first fundraiserAfter the success of the square renovation Main Street hopes to finish the historic plaques and walking tour.  Possible future projects include installing a pollinator garden in the square.  

  • Tyler Philips of the Hauser Athletic department is pleased to announce the 2nd annual Hauser Athletics Golf Outing, scheduled for June 25, 2021!  We will be hosting the event at Timbergate Golf Course in Edinburgh, Indiana.  We will tee off at 9 am and have lunch and awards following the round