• Swiss homestead Christmas open house Saturday - watch for details on the Icon

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Neil Reichenbach

December 9, 2016


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NYGAARD - There's only one family in Bluffton with that last name. You'll find this plate on a silver-grey Honda Odyssey parked on Anna Circle. It belongs to Christian and Jamie Nygaard.

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Bluffton University students exposed to MEDA’s global reach


Eight Bluffton University students observed how their business majors could have global impact at the recent Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) conference in Wichita, Kan.

Comprised of members from Canada and the United States, MEDA is an organization that aims to create business solutions to poverty and to generate economic growth for small businesses.

Gundy discusses new book

Jeff Gundy, a professor of English at Bluffton University, talks about his newly published book, “Songs from an Empty Cage: Poetry, Mystery, Anabaptism, and Peace,” during an author program Nov. 21 in Bluffton’s Musselman Library.

A poetic exploration of theology, “Songs from an Empty Cage” is a sequel to Gundy’s “Walker in the Fog: On Mennonite Writing” and also the 10th book in the C. Henry Smith Book Series. Gundy has published five books of poems and three of prose; his latest book of poems, “Somewhere Near Defiance,” is forthcoming from Anhinga Press.

Bluffton University speaker: Keeping hope alive in Syria

When she last left Syria about two years ago, the hardest part for Sarah Adams was not knowing what the future held for a country already at civil war.

But the people she had met during her visits as a Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) worker were hopeful, and they gave that hope to her, Adams said at Bluffton University’s weekly chapel service Nov. 21.

And despite the continuing conflict, she is keeping that faith, bolstered by stories of:

Ellen Messing, 1935-2013


Ellen Messing, 78, of Bluffton, died Nov. 21, 2013 at her residence. She was born April 23, 1935, in Ada to the late Rufus G. and Lillian M. Howard Smith. 

She retired from Sprint where she was an operator and dispatcher.  She was a member of the English Lutheran Church, Bluffton and the Ada VFW.  She was a 1953 graduate of Ada High School.

She was preceded in death by a brother, Louis David Brentlinger.


"The comet of the century" is not one of Santa's reindeer - it's real

That's right, a comet is in the sky this month and here's some information for Icon skygazers.

The incoming Comet ISON is now in the home stretch of its long-awaited hairpin loop around the sun on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 28), making it a great target for amateur astronomers and stargazers. But there are some tips and info you'll want to keep in mind before you go comet hunting.

Here's some links:

Skye Link 1

BHS grad competes in NCAA Division III national cross country championsships

Hannah Chappell-Dick, Bluffton High School cross country and track standout, finished 221st overall of 280 women in the NCAA Division III national cross country championships held at Hanover Colleege on Nov. 23.

The Eastern Mennonite University sophomore made her first-ever appearance at the national race, crossing in 23:35.2 on the 6k course.


Bluffton Public Library to host holiday festivities

This December, Bluffton Public Library guests will enjoy a variety of free holiday programs designed for all ages.  No registration is required.

Live holiday music performances in the "stacks" include Jim Boedicker and Ed Zickafoose on guitar from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, December 2.  The Dulcimer Gatherin' will perform from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, December 9. Free refreshments will be provided, courtesy of the Friends of the Library.

It's Bluffton vs. Arlington in Saturday's title game

Friday night's games - McDonald's Girls Holiday Basketball Tournament

Arlington over Allen East 48-39
Bluffton over Cory Rawson 50-45


Allen East plays Cory Rawson at noon in Consolation game

Bluffton plays Arlington 2 p.m. in Championship game


Headline: Leopold named HCAC Player of Week

Junior Ryan Leopold (Ottawa/Ottawa-Glandorf) was recently named HCAC Special Teams Player of the Week for the week ending Nov. 17, 2013. It was the third straight week the Beavers have had a player named Player of the Week. Senior Josh Runda (Lima/Bath) and sophomore Ryan Aelker (New Bavaria/Holgate) earned Heartland Conference Defensive Player of the Week honors for their work against Franklin and Anderson, respectively

Get your list ready - Santa's coming to Common Grounds on Saturday AM

Santa Claus is coming to Bluffton Saturday morning.

The Bluffton Area Chamber of Commerce has four Santa visits between Nov. 23 and Dec. 13.

Here are those dates and locations:

• Saturday, Nov. 23 – Santa arrives in the old Bluffton fire truck at 10 a.m. and will be in Common Grounds, 101 S. Main St., from 10 a.m. to noon.

• Saturday, Nov. 30 - Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus will arrive at the end of the Blaze parade. They will met youth following the Blaze at the Bluffton Senior Citizens Center.