Indiana, PA - Indiana County

BILL HASTINGS' 'INSIDE INDIANA:' Fun fest, RI, spring, Larry, Jeff, etc.

by BILL HASTINGS hastings@indianagazette.net on March 28, 2014 10:55 AM

To whom it may concern —

A TIME FOR FUN

Area families can expect a good time at this year’s free 11th annual Family Fun Fest from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Indiana Mall, where about 60 exhibitors will provide activities and information for children and parents.

With a theme of Water, Water Everywhere, the fun kicks off with a Fire and Ice game show by the Carnegie Science Center at 10 a.m.

According to organizers, this presentation will include “exciting and explosive visual demonstrations.”

The Calypso Gypsies steel drum band will “bring the energy of the Caribbean” at 11 a.m., and at noon is the ever-popular Parent/Child Look-Alike Contest, with registration at 11 a.m.

The Pittsburgh Zoo will present Oceans Away at 1 p.m., showcasing ocean habitats, and the Wonderful World of Animals at 2 p.m.

In addition, activities include Kiwanis Story Time, a 4-H petting zoo, games at the Waterlogged Lodge (former Old Navy), entertainment and more.

A food court will also be available with a variety of options.

TOP HONORS

The IUP Research Institute and the Pennsylvania Game Commission were recently honored with an award from Teaming With Wildlife, “a national coalition of more than 6,400 conservation organizations and nature-based businesses,” according to the group.

They received the State Wildlife Action Plan Partnership Award, which recognizes “outstanding achievement in implementing the state’s wildlife action plan,” according to a news release from Teaming With Wildlife.

Collaboration with the Research Institute and PA Game Commission includes creating forest habitat for golden-winged warblers and monitoring and researching bat populations.

The following officials from IUP attended: Jeff Larkin, biology professor; Joe Duchamp, assistant biology professor; Sadie Hauck, RI grant and contract specialist; Mark Berezansky, RI executive director; and Deanne Snavely, dean of IUP’s College of Natural Science and Mathematics.

Catherine Haffner and Calvin Butchkoski from the game commission attended.

YOUR WEEKEND CALENDAR

A Soup and Sandwich Sale and a basket raffle are set from noon to 2 p.m. Sunday at Luther Chapel Lutheran Church, 168 Power Plant Road, Coral.

Proceeds will benefit the Indiana/ Jefferson Clusters Heifer Project, which provides food- and income-producing animals to the world.

Soup and sandwiches are available for a donation of $7 for adults, $3.50 for children ages 6-12 and free for those under 6.

Takeout is also available, and patrons are reminded to bring their own containers.

This event is co-sponsored by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.

GOOD NEIGHBORS

Spring has sprung (hopefully), and with it is the final installment for the winter season of our Good Neighbors, which recognizes those who plow out driveways and neighborhoods and shovel sidewalks throughout Indiana County.

Our last installment features Larry Stubbe, of Indiana, and Jeff Geesey, of White Township.

Thank you to all the good neighbors, and those who took the time to recognize their efforts through this relentless winter season.

SHOP TALK AT SIX

Gas prices in the Indiana area today were running around $3.65 a gallon for regular unleaded. … Willie, our ex-shoeshine boy, got a smile from an observation by Mark Twain, who quipped, “In the spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours.”

Good evening!

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