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September 1, 2015


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School superintendent provides update of school system; lists permanent improvement projects

By Greg Denecker 
Bluffton school superintendent

We hope you have had a great summer and have been able to spend some time with family and friends.


Chamber roasts Gary Kirtland at Sept. 11 breakfast

Time to roast Gary.

The Bluffton Area Chamber of Commerce will honor Gary Kirtland, a Bluffton Main Street businessman for nearly a half-century, during the 7 a.m., Friday, Sept. 11, chamber breakfast, in the Bluffton town hall.

This is the first chamber meeting of the 2015-16 seasons. The breakfast program is a roast of Kirtland, who operated Kirtland’s Auto Sales on Main Street Bluffton until his retirement earlier this year.

Bluffton McDonald's holds "Cyber Hiring Day" Sept. 9

Lewis Family McDonald’s is looking to hire at several of its restaurants on Wednesday, Sept. 9. While this is certainly not the first hiring day the group has held, this event is focused on leveraging the new local McDonald’s website, www.MyLocalMcDs.com.

“Cyber Hiring Day has been designed to hire the best customer service oriented individuals that the community has to offer. The new MyLocalMcDs.com makes it easy to learn about our benefits and to apply online,” said local owner/operator Jessica Hall.

First day of Bluffton schools - lots of photos at the front door

School is back in session and routines change.

The first day of school for no matter what grade is a rite of passage experienced in Bluffton for  decades.


The Icon witnessed some sixth graders mistakenly trying to enter the elementary door - and then they realized their error.

At least one dog came to school, countless photos were snapped and most students arrived in well-thought-out first-day wardrobes.

Students arrived on foot, by car, bicycle, bus, skateboard and truck. 

A furniture store in downtown Bluffton

A furniture store in Bluffton?

You bet, and it was quality merchandise. Dick Boehr took this photo of the former Basinger Furniture store in 1969 - 45 years ago.

Today the building is home of The Black Lab Trading Co.

Here's a couple things to check out:
• The beautiful green trash container
• The condition of the sidewalk
• The business on the south side - was a a Western Auto store?
• Is that a '62 Chevy parked "the wrong way?" (Vine wasn't a one-way street in 1969)

What's your memory of Basingers?

It is a "banner day" at Bluffton University as classes begin

First-year Bluffton University students—members of the class of 2019—sign a banner on their first day on campus that symbolizes their commitment to support each other and to learn together.

The banner will be displayed in Bluffton’s Marbeck Center until their graduation day in four years.

The traditional banner signing followed a welcome from university President Dr. James Harder, who discussed his hopes for the incoming class.

Here's a video you'll want to watch - Bluffton's National Night Out

Did you enjoy Bluffton's National Night out on Aug. 4?

If so - or if you missed it - here's a video shot by Blane Miller. He took it high above the event. Can you figure out how he shot it?



Apollo board meets Aug. 31

Apollo Career Center board of education will meet at 7 p.m., Monday, Aug. 31. Bluffton's representative on the board is Brad Fruchey.

The agenda is an attachment at the bottom of this story.

Bluffton student wins binational peace oratory contest

Bluffton University student Emily Huxman, from Waterloo, Ontario, has won this year’s binational C. Henry Smith Oratorical Contest.

Her first-place effort earned Huxman, now a Bluffton junior, a $300 cash prize and a scholarship of up to $500 to attend a peace-related conference or seminar.

In the event, which is open to students in Mennonite and Brethren in Christ colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, participants present speeches that apply the Christian peace position to contemporary concerns.

Boys' soccer: Tristan Smucker scores three times in win over Ottoville

A Tristan Smucker hat trick was significant in Bluffton High School boys' soccer win over Ottovile by a 4-0 score on Aug. 29. Bluffton controlled the game from start to finish.

Halftime: B, 2-0 Goals: (B) Smucker, (B) Harlow, (B) Smucker, (B) Smucker. Assists: (B) Bunch, (B) I Schwab, (B) Tatarkov.

Shots on Goal: B, 9-3. Corner Kicks: B, 5-2,Saves: B,Smith (2); O,Finnerty (5)

Home:  Ottoville 2-2-0

Away:  Bluffton 1-2-0
arrative:  Smucker Hat Trick leads Bluffton to victory in a game they controlled the whole way.