Home
It's where Bluffton gets its news!
July 30, 2021

You are here

Bluffton Anthology coming soon! - Order now!

CLICK HERE FOR BOOK ORDER FORMS:

BLUFFTON ANTHOLOGY
A creek runs through it
Essays on Bluffton

 $24.95 plus tax
A new book, “Bluffton Anthology – a creek runs through it,” with dozens of short essays about Bluffton, collected by Fred Steiner, will be released in the next few weeks.

“This collection brings together more than a dozen engaging writers whose own Bluffton experiences deserve retelling,” said Steiner.

“For anyone who calls Bluffton home, these stories need no further introduction,” said Steiner, about the book. “For people needing to have Bluffton explained to them, this is a great starting point.”

Contributing essays are from current and previous residents including:
• Rick Emmert                     
• Dave Essinger                  
• Ron Geiser                        
• Jeff Gundy                                                             
• Brendon Matthews
• Ruth Bundy Naylor
• Joanne Niswander
• Rick Ramseyer
• Carolyn Urich Rich
• David Rempel Smucker

In addition, the book includes an essay on Bluffton’s relationship with Riley Creek by the late Robert Kreider, several stories given to Steiner from his late, life-long friend, Charles Hilty, and an introduction by Bluffton science fiction author, Tobias Buckell.

The book includes a section on Bluffton in the 1950s written by Rudi Steiner, now of Homewood, Illinois. That section includes the account of a Bluffton legend: “Did Elvis stop in Bluffton between his Toledo and Troy performances on Saturday, Nov. 24, 1956?”

Several 15-minute interviews in this collection, originally posted on Bluffton Icon, include:

• Ben Luginbuhl once beat Ben Roethlisberger in a game of horse
• Ron Edinger participated in the overthrow of Manuel Noriega 
• Richard Minck may have created jewelry for Marlon Brandon
• John Triplehorn sat on the OSU bench with some frozen rabbits in the 1950 OSU-Michigan snow bowl

In a chapter “Bluffton Askew” the book offers additional 15-minute interviews, columns written by Steiner and brief accounts of shorter Bluffton incidents told to him by over 25 persons.

Highlights range from brief interviews and incidents recalled from Megan Weisenbarger Gustitis, Roger Triplett, Jim Kinn, John Moser, Gordon E. Alderfer, Lauren Canaday, Dave Bracy, Diana Hilty Marshall, Jamil Bazzy, Amanda Rhonemus, Scott Hey, Tim Neufeld, Jessica Edmiston, Joe Goodman, Alee Gratz-Collier, Courtney Goode, Micah Sommer, Ben Kruse, James Pannabecker, Sam Diller, Jeremy Szabo and Jaye Bumbaugh.

The book includes 190 pages and will be available in several Bluffton outlets and from Steiner. The book price is $24.95 plus tax.  

Former Bluffton resident, Andre Swartley of WorkPlay Publishing, is the book’s publisher. WorkPlay published Steiner’s earlier books, “A Good Place to Miss – Bluffton Stories 1900-1975,” and “The Bluffton We Never Knew – Photographs from our first half century.” Both titles are available from Amazon.com.

Jill Steinmetz, Bluffton High School graduate, designed the book’s cover.

HERE ARE SOME 
OF THE ICON'S
MAJOR STORIES
POSTED IN JANUARY

 

• BLUFFTON RECYCLING
OPTIONS EXPAND

Bluffton recycling bins are about to become tubbier, and it’s a good thing, according to Rumpke Waste and Recycling.

Rumpke, the contractor for Bluffton waste and recycling collection, announced this month an  expansion what it accepts as recycled items.

The addition includes polypropylene plastic tubs. These products are labeled #5. (Please note that not all #5 items may be recycled, however.)

Here’s Rumpke’s new polypropylene plastic tub recycled list:
• Plastic bottles, jugs and other containers 
• butter, sour cream and cottage cheese tubs
• yogurt and fruit cups

The addition of Rumpke now accepting polypropylene plastic tubs is made possible with a grant from The Recycling Partnership. The funding helps Rumpke add nearly $2 million in new sorting to better extract these containers for recycling.

 

• 2021 IS A 
MAJOR ELECTION
YEAR IN BLUFFTON

This is a major election year in Bluffton.

Four council seats, three school board seats and two township trustee seats will be on the Nov. 2 general election ballot. Winners of those races will have 4-year terms beginning Jan. 1, 2022.

Bluffton council seats on the ballot are currently held by:
Jerry Cupples – Republican
Mitchell Kingsley – Democrat
David Steiner – Republican
Phillip Talavinia – No party designation
Council members not on the ballot:
Joseph Sehlhorst
Benjamin Stahl
The Bluffton mayor Richard Johnson is not on the ballot.

Council seats are partisan and Feb. 3 is the filing deadline. Candidates seeking council seats as independents have until May 3 to file.

A May 4 primary will only take place for council races if enough candidates from either party file, requiring a runoff.

Bluffton school board seats on the ballot are currently held by:
Bradley Dailey
Wesley Klinger
Kenneth Lugibihl
School board members not on the ballot:
Lawrence Hoffman
Jeremy Scoles

Richland Township trustees seats on the ballot are currently held by:
Rodney Goldsberry
Gary Lugibihl
Neither trustee, Donald Brauen, nor fiscal officer, Trisha Nieman, are on the ballot.

School board and township trustees are non-partisan races. The filing deadline to be on the Nov. 2 general election ballot is Aug. 4.

Beaverdam council seats on the ballot are currently held by:
Todd Long
Carl Murray
Jerry Neuenschwander
Thomas Nowlan
Beaverdam council members not on the ballot:
Franklin Gillette, Jr.
Anthony Myers
Beaverdam mayor, Pamela Lepine, is not on the ballot.

The following is an abridged calendar for the 2021 election.

Feb. 3 – Declarations of candidacy for partisan candidates, filing deadline, 4 p.m.
Feb. 16 – Board of elections certifies candidate petitions
April 5 – Deadline for voter registration in May 4 Ohio primary election
May 3 – Filing deadline for independent candidates for the fall generation election, 4 p.m.
May 4 – Ohio Primary election, 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
July 15 – Board of elections certifies independent candidates petitions for general election
Aug. 4 – Non-partisan candidates general election filing deadline
Oct. 4 – Deadline for voter registration in Nov. 2 general election
Nov. 3 – General election, 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

 

• ROGUE FITNESS
PROVIDES MAJOR
DONATION TO
BHS FITNESS CENTER

The Bluffton High School Ricky Matter Strength and Conditioning Center is now the envy of most high schools in Ohio, thanks to a very significant equipment donation from Rogue Fitness, Columbus.

While Rogue Fitness may not be a household name to Icon viewers, the owners of the company are. Caity Matter Henniger and her husband, Bill, own of the Columbus-based company.

Caity, a BHS grad and basketball standout player, is the older sister of the late Ricky Matter, for whom the center is named.

The Icon stopped by the center earlier this week as the new equipment was being unloaded from a semi and installed. Installation should be completed by today and athletes will start using it over the weekend.

The previous equipment is staying in Bluffton, as the school donated it to Bluffton Family Recreation.

Daniel Tinch of BFR says his staff in installing that equipment at the center. Watch for a story on the Icon about that step in this story.

“I’m really proud of the building and my brother, and proud of what Rogue is able to donate,” Caity told the Icon.

Jeff Richards, BHS football coach, describe the new equipment as “Awesome. This is an all-sports-use facility and our kids know they are fortunate to be able to use it.”

He added that words don’t do it justice. “We’ve always taken pride in our facilities. This is just incredible.”

He said that the center is used every month of the year by dozens of Pirate athletes in every sport.

Gregg Denecker, Bluffton superintendent, said, “We are very grateful for the generosity of this equipment. We really have a first-class weight room.”

The donation includes the most up-to-date exercise equipment, which includes five full power racks for squats to bench to pull-ups. These allow 10 athletes to work out at the same time.

To personalize the equipment the word “Bluffton” with the familiar Pirate is engraved in customized nameplates.

Rogue manufactures the equipment in Columbus. Caity said that the company’s growth has exploded since her husband, Bill started it from scratch in 2006.

“We added 750 employees in March,” she said, “and we now have 1,300 employed with us. We have our equipment all across the United State and in Australia and Europe.”

The all-metal equipment is manufactured in Columbus. Caity said that the company’s goal is to create the equipment in the U.S., making it a unique world-manufacturer.

While working with Rogue, Caity finds that the basketball court continues to call her. The former Ohio State women’s basketball player is now the color commentator for OSU women’s basketball for The Fan (1460 AM) in Columbus.

She will work with play-by-play announcer Matt Andrews covering OSU women’s games.

 

• 2020 BLUFFTON
BUILDING PERMITS
TOTAL $4.4 MILLION

Bluffton’s 2020 building permits totaled $4.4 million, according to information provided to the Icon by the Village of Bluffton.

The 80 building permits totaled $4,477,874, including:
• $3,459,843 – residential
• $1,018,031– commercial/industrial
• $33,550– demolitions

All 2020 permits were in Allen County. The single largest construction project was a permit filed totaling $953,185 by Danop LTD, (Dunkin Donuts), and a $18,650 filing by this company to demolish the Burger King building.

2019
Bluffton’s 2019 building permits totaled $2.4 million.

2018
Thanks to a $10 million GROB Systems building project in 2018, the previous year’s permits total a whopping $13,612,185. Removing the GROB project from the 2018 list leaves that year’s 65 permits at $3,612,185, which is $1,182,472 greater than 2019.

2017
Coincidentally, 2019’s permits are very close to the 2017 construction total of $2,433,428. That year had 46 permits broken down as $1,773,128 for residential and $660,330 for commercial and industrial.

Building permits are required for the following:
• Construction or structural alternation of any building, including accessory building
• Change in use of an existing building or accessory building to a use of different classification
• Occupancy and use of vacant land
• Change in the use of land to a use of a different classification
• Any change in the use of a non-conforming use