Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Eight-Year-Old Inspires Hoosier Holidays Blanket Drive

Guest post by Bobbie Lancaster, one of the local musicians who will be performing December 14 during “Hoosier Holidays,” a blanket drive to help the homeless

Friday, December 14, at the Inn at DePauw Ballroom
7 p.m. door, 7:30 p.m. show

$15 in advance, $18 day of show  
$15 day of show with blanket donation
$10 for students (with I.D.) and under 18
(Advance tickets available NOW at The Inn at DePauw & Studio B)

Tim Grimm & Jan Lucas
Bobbie Lancaster
Him & Her
Anthony Mullis
Cara Jean Marcy
The Banisters
The Arrests

Why do a blanket drive?

Well, he really doesn't want the attention, but the Hoosier Holidays artists were inspired to collect blankets after 8-year-old Jacob Beadles told a Bible study group that he wanted to do something about the heartbreaking reality of homelessness.  

Here's how young Jacob sums it up himself:

“During recent trips to Chicago and Indianapolis I saw a lot of homeless people and I've been feeling led to make some blankets for the homeless.  I want to be able to get the material to make blankets to take to some local shelters and possibly hand some out myself. 

I told my parents and some friends of theirs at my church about my wish and they are excited to help.  Miss Bobbie told me that she and her friends might be able to help me, too.  This made me feel more confident that we can do this.”

So, of course, all the musicians rallied around this cause.   We want to make a positive impact, and we were also touched by Jacob's loving heart and want to support him in his vision to make a difference!  

Bringing a blanket on Friday will allow you to purchase your ticket at the door at a discount.   The Beadles family will be distributing the blankets to area homeless shelters, many of which are taking in Putnam County residents.  If we are flooded with blankets (and we hope we will be), several members of the Greencastle Civic League have volunteered to assist in the distribution effort.

Below is information about some of the artists who will be performing during Hoosier Holidays.  Hope to see you there!


Tim Grimm is an award-winning singer/songwriter who has recorded nine CDs and is at work on a new one to be released during the summer of 2013.  He and his wife Jan Lucas, who accompanies him with vocals and harmonica, recently returned from a five-week tour of the Netherlands, Germany and Italy, playing their brand of Americana-folk music.  

Tim Grimm and Jan Lucas
Tim’s writing and style have been likened to Bruce Springsteen, Lyle Lovett and Johnny Cash, but his songs of the land and his rural upbringing are uniquely his own.  He also hosts an Americana Series in Columbus, Indiana, and has hosted a number of “Hoosier Music” shows, which includes the Hoosier Holidays shows.  This year marks the fourth annual holiday show that he’s organizing, and he is delighted to bring it to Greencastle for the first time!  Learn more about Tim at

Bobbie Lancaster, formerly of Bloomington, Indiana, moved here to Greencastle last summer.   She's written and recorded numerous albums and four as a solo artist.   She's had opportunities to perform across the country, with invitations to compete in the New Folk competition at the Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas, and the New Artist showcase at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in New York.   
Bobbie Lancaster
Since moving to Greencastle, she's become an active member of the Greencastle Civic League, bringing her professional experiences to the table as the organization revamped ParkFest.  She's really excited to be part of Hoosier Holidays for the 3rd time...especially since the show is going to be here in Greencastle.    Bobbie plans to release a new album, a gospel album, in 2013.  You'll hear a preview at the show on Friday!

Him & Her is comprised of husband and wife duo Joel and LaToshia Everson, with friend and fellow War Radio bandmate, Drew Cooper, on percussion.   The couple has made music together for 10 years, including in groups such as The Worship Project and War Radio.  Him & Hers' roots are based in classic folk/rock soul while stretching out into new alt/indie sounds.

Anthony Mullis, a.k.a. Gus Moon, grew up in Bainbridge.  He plays in his band Gus Moon and the Tennessee Fire, which just released a CD, "Worn Out Shoes."   He will be recording another disc set for release in early March.  Find Gus’ schedule and info online at

Anthony Mullis
Cara Jean Marcy is a singer/songwriter who lives in Indianapolis.  After years playing bass in bands like 19Clark25, The Warner Gear and the Silver Dollar Family Band, she released her first solo album "Goodnight Charlotte" in 2010 – an album that was named Best Roots Album of the Year by NUVO Newsweekly.   Cara Jean is one of those behind the score for the independent feature film "Paradise Recovered," along with cellist Grover Parido.  She is also founder of the one-off State Fair project, the all-female ensemble Alice Chalmers and the Stick a Cork in Your Jug Band.  Most notably, Cara Jean’s dog thinks she's the best thing since bacon.

Cara Jean Marcy
The Banisters  are a high-energy acoustic music band that features expressive three-part harmony singing.  They have played shows all over the Midwest including the Indiana State Fair.  They’ve recorded several CDs – including one with a holiday theme.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Civic League Hosts 28th Annual 'Lights of Love' Ceremony

Guest post by Lisa McCoy, co-chair, Lights of Love Committee

Hundreds of community members filled the Putnam County Courthouse on December 4 for the 28th Annual Lights of Love ceremony hosted by the Greencastle Civic League.  

Students read their winning essays, which answered the question: "How can you make Greencastle a brighter place?" Essay winners included Selene Seaman, Sophia Riggle, Matylin Scott, Maddie Landry, Elle Patterson, Abby King, Ivy Wright, Trey Wood, Tristan Million, Stephen Dombrowski, Lilly Meyer, Hailey Wood and Elizabeth Johnson.
Musical performers included the DePauw University School of Music and Greencastle school choirs, who set the scene for the tree and luminary lightings.  

During the event, the Civic League honored Joanne Haymaker and Gwen Morris for their contributions to the Greencastle community.  And the Putnam County Senior Center was recognized with the Spirit of Christmas Award from the Greencastle Chamber of Commerce for their lovely holiday decorations.

New this year was a visit from Santa Claus himself, who lit the holiday light display with Maddie Landry.  Luminaries purchased by community members and businesses represented loved ones, both living and passed.  

If you'd like to check it out, the Greencastle Lights of Love plaque will be displayed in the public library. The tree from the ceremony will be added to the Lights of Love Tree Grove at Big Walnut Sports Park

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Community Garden Update

 The Greencastle community garden has 19 4’x8’ raised bed plots, 18 of which have been rented.  There are also two 4’x8’ public plots.  Compost for the plots was donated by DePauw University.  Over time the compost has turned into excellent soil.  We have mulched the areas between the plots with leaves provided by the city. This makes the areas between the plots low maintenance.   

We have a fair number of public plants that are mostly flourishing with little care.  The public plots contain donated peppers, tomatoes, and a watermelon plant.  There was also a squash plant that died, but not before we were able to harvest a couple of squash.   We received a donation of irises which we planted along the western fence. 
There are a fair number of tomato and squash plants, and a gourd plant which have come up wild between some of the plots.  

Anyone can harvest from the public plants.  The community garden is open every day during the growing season, from dawn until dusk. 

Early on, the individual plots included spinach, radishes, lettuce, and dill.  Now they contain tomatoes, peppers, green beans, squash, okra, corn, and herbs among other things.  There are also some ornamental flower plants.  We have two water barrels which the city graciously keeps filled.  In this drought year that has been our main source of water.  Despite the drought, the private plots are absolutely flourishing.  It’s really quite amazing to see. 

In the fall, we plan to add a few more raised bed plots.  If you haven’t joined us in previous seasons, we hope you consider becoming a part of our community of gardeners in 2013.  

Bruce Sanders
Community Garden Director

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Come On Out for Music Fest This Saturday!

Following is a guest post from Gail Smith, owner of Almost Home Restaurant in Greencastle, and host of this Saturday's Greencastle Music Fest.

We hope you'll join us for this year's Greencastle Music Fest, which will take place this Saturday, August 25, from 3 until 11 p.m.  

Hosted by my restaurant, Almost Home, the festival is sponsored by York Automotive (celebrating 25 years in business!) and Headley Hardware,as well as First Financial Bank, National Center for College Costs and Cyclone Custom Products.  

Lee Smith, the former MLB great (pictured, with me) who spent most of his playing career with the Chicago Cubs, will be at the festival signing autographs from 3 to 4 and 6:30 to 8:30.  He will also be having lunch with the DePauw University baseball team at noon at Almost Home.  

The music extravaganza kicks off at 3:30 with The MacDaddys.  At 5:30, Philip Steven & The Open Road will take the stage. Ellusion will be entertaining the crowd at 7:30, and the night will end with The Flying Toasters' performance at 9:30.  

The festival's cornhole tournament is open to the first 20 teams that sign up before 6 p.m. on Saturday, and individual cornhole matches will begin at 6:30. 

Music and fun are definitely on tap for Saturday -- and it's all free on the square in downtown Greencastle.  Tasty food and drinks will also be available for sale.  See you there!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Sixth Annual National Night Out

On Monday, August 6th, our annual National Night Out event will take place at Robe Ann Park in Greencastle from 5 – 8 p.m.  This community outreach allows us the platform to stand together to promote drug awareness, health, safety and unity in our fight to build a safer nation for our children.

We are pleased to continue to bring this tremendous event to families with children in elementary to middle school.  There is no cost to attend and by registering when they arrive, families are eligible for the free concessions:  hot dogs, snow cones, popcorn, pizza and drinks, and of course, all the activities including the bicycle rodeo and raffle items.

We could not continue without the sponsorship of so many of our local businesses:  Area 30 Career Center, Bounce House Fun Rentals, Butler’s L.P. Fertilizer, Casey’s General Store of Roachdale, Chicago’s Pizza, Co-Alliance, Community Partners, Cross Cuts, Dance Workshop, DePauw University Athletic Department, Figs Follies, Flowers Bakery, Garls Bike Shop, Greencastle McDonalds, and Greencastle Parks & Recreation.  Also supporting us are:  Hendershots Service Center, Jean Holder, DDS, John Hennette, DDS, Holiday World, Humble Pie, Kings Island, Monical’s Pizza, Monster Mini Golf, Putnam County United Way,  Papa Johns Pizza, Pizza King, Purdue Cooperative Extension, TCU, Terre Haute Children’s Museum and Pizza Hut.

The following agencies continue to participate:  Air Evac, Air National Guard, Dennis Knuth, DDS, John Hennette, DDS, Ivy Tech Community College-Greencastle, Boys Scouts of America, PC Girl Scouts, DePauw University Public Safety, Department of Child Services, Family Support Services, Greencastle Fire Department, Mental Health America PC, Madison Township and Reelsville Fire Departments, Roachdale Police Department, Johnson Nichols Health Clinic, PC Head Start, PC Operation Life, PC Tobacco Cessation Coalition, PC PIE Coalition, Purdue Cooperative Extension, Kiwanis, Greencastle & Indiana State Police Agencies, PC Community Corrections, PC Juvenile Probation, PC Prosecutor’s Office,  PC Sheriff’s Department and PC Adult Probation.  Our local schools continue to participate in our “Dunk Your Favorite School Administrator” contest. 

Back again this year will be the free toothbrush and toothpaste along with a nutrition component educating our families on eating healthy.  Dance Workshop will be doing a Zumba workout and a new addition will be the first annual rookie run with our local law enforcement officers.  A visit by our National Night Out Knight will be a real hit as he attempts to join in all the fun.

This event could not be possible without the hard work and commitment of so many committee members and community volunteers. 

We hope to see you on Monday, August 6th.  Should rain cancel our event, our rain date is Thursday, August 9th from 5 – 8 p.m.  Join us – you won’t be sorry! 

Linda Merkel
Executive Director
PC Youth Development Commission

Monday, July 30, 2012

Metronet Moves to New Downtown Home

Metronet's new downtown home at 51 S. Indiana Street. 

Metronet, local provider of Greencastle’s 100% fiber optic network, has a new home. The Courthouse Square Business District downtown. You’ll find us at 15 South Indiana Street one block south of the square, across the street from Crown Equipment and next door to Moore’s Bar & Restaurant.

After more than six successful years on the southeast side of town, the opportunity for this new home downtown presented itself and we knew it was the right move for us.

We purchased a fantastic historic building built in the late 1800s with great bones and were able to breathe new life into it. Starting with complete interior renovations which modernized the inside with our fiber technology, we then installed a new roof and gutters, repaired the historic brick exterior, and finished the outside by giving our building a facelift with historically accurate paint colors.

Seeing first-hand the changes and improvements around Greencastle due to the Stellar Community Grant only confirm that our decision was the right one. We’re proud to be participating in Phase Two of the Stellar program which will allow us to further improve the building with transoms and new windows based on historic drawings.

During the purchase process several folks shared with us some of the history of the building. As Bill Dory, executive director of the Greencastle/Putnam County Development Center, noted, “Communications in Greencastle is coming full circle. Metronet’s new office location once housed the local newspaper and later the first telephone exchange in the community.”

Metronet is proud to have invested millions of dollars to build our 100% fiber optic network in Greencastle and to be a community partner.  It’s our goal to offer outstanding local service and superior products at competitive prices. And we’ll continue to do that, only now from downtown.

Our service offerings include high-speed Internet with speeds up to 100Mb without slowdowns because you don’t share a connection with neighbors, a sharp television picture whether you’re watching HD or standard definition, and reliable phone service with all the features and unlimited long distance. 

Our 100% fiber optic network also offers unlimited possibilities for the future — like games, apps, interactive TV and other features.

Metronet is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Come visit our new home. We’d love to see you.

Marianne E. Cox

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Simple Steps to Reducing Energy Consumption

When it’s 100 degrees outside, most people don’t want to think about electric costs.  In today’s economy, households are being forced to reduce usage to avoid soaring energy costs.  When confronted with the choice of “to pay or unplug,” there are simple steps—sometimes hidden in plain sight—we can take to reduce energy consumption.


Shannon Norman, City Planner, City of Greencastle


Article:  Electric City

By Claudine Zap | Electric City 

We live for gadgets. But even the smallest ones can consume an enormous amount of power. See some of the worst offenders.

Game Consoles—It's all fun and games, until you get your energy bill. If you leave your Xbox or PlayStation on when you're not playing, you are wasting as much energy as leaving a desktop computer running.

Plasma TV—Plasma TVs consume about two times more power than LCD versions. To save even more energy, go for a smaller screen. A 32-inch set uses about half as much power as a 52-inch LCD.

Digital picture frames—These little items pack a power punch. Consider this: If every home in the U.S. had one of these displaying around the clock, it would take five power plants to keep them on, according to the Electric Power Research Institute.

Laptops—If your laptop has a screensaver with images, it consumes more power than an idle laptop.

Battery chargers—Your mobile devices doesn't take up that much power on their own, but if they are left plugged into electric outlets, even when the charger isn't connected, they continue to draw power. Add up that most households use more than one charger, and across the country, they could consume the energy of several power plants.

Power-saving solutions—One way to stop power use when you're not using your devices: Turn them all the way off. Another way to save -- try an energy-saving power strip. The power-savers are designed to cut power to devices that don't need it.

You can also change your new device's default settings: You can manually change the brightness settings on your TVs and computer screens to suck up less energy.

The green website Treehugger has helpful tips for getting more eco-friendly gadgets, including: checking with Energy Star and Consumer Reports before you buy; and, take advantage of local recycling programs when you do switch out gadgets, or even consider selling your old one instead of throwing it away.

To view this article, visit:

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Karaoke Night with the Stars

ParkFest's Karaoke Contest was such a treat!   We had 15 people sign up to sing songs from Elvis to The Judds.   Constants ranged in age from ten to 67 years old.

We awarded two $100 cash prizes.  The judges – Sue Brucks of Studio B, Jared Jernigan from the Banner Graphic, and John Fisher from WREB radio – awarded the Judges’ Choice Award to ten year-old Sydney Anderson, who blew us all away with her version of James Brown's "I Feel Good.”  Sydney walked up to the microphone shaking and nervous, but after the crowd chanted, "you can do it, you can do it" she took a deep breath and decided to go for it.  As soon as the music started Sydney took off like a rocket and every face in the crowd wore a smile!

Our audience had a chance to pick their favorite to win the People's Choice Award as well.  When all the contestants had finished, the crowd voted by dropping money in the mason jar labeled with the name and song of their favorite singer.   The People's Choice award went to Katie Null of Indianapolis, whose grandfather is a Greencastle native, and invited her to come give it a try!  She sang Pat Benatar's "Hit Me With Your Best Shot.”

Voting for the People’s Choice Award also was a fundraiser for the Greencastle Civic League's Splash Park Project.  We raised more than $250, thanks to the generosity of our ParkFest audience, and the boldness of our Karaoke contestants.   THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO MADE THIS EVENING SUCH A WONDERFUL AND FUN ONE!

On my way home that evening, my cheeks ached, and I realized that I hadn't stopped smiling all night. 

Thank you Greencastle! 

Bobbie Lancaster, ParkFest co-chair