Bluffton couple goes green

Bluffton homeowners Larry and Judy Reichenbach have recently done their part to “go green.”
The Reichenbachs installed a personal wind turbine on their property along Tom Fett Road, Bluffton, Tuesday, March 30. The wind turbine, provided by Wheeler Energy Solutions, of Lima, is the first of its kind in the Bluffton area.
The smaller turbines covert wind into energy and are designed for farms, small businesses and rural homes. The typical personal wind turbine lasts about 30 years, nearly maintenance free, and takes about six to eight weeks to assess and install.  
“These are becoming very popular in this area,” said Fred Wheeler, owner of Wheeler Energy Solutions. “This area really has some of the best wind in the state, aside from around the lakes.”
Increasing oil prices, tax incentives and environmentally conscious movements have encouraged many to think seriously about alternative, renewable energy sources.
“Renewable energy has many benefits and has really caught the attention of a lot of people,” said Wheeler. “The financial and environmental benefits of wind turbines make it the best alternative energy source. Solar power is just not feasible with limited sunlight and water is not a renewable energy source.”
Wind turbines work in just about any climate and in all seasons. The turbine works with a home’s electric utility. When the wind isn’t blowing, the utility supplies electricity. When the wind is blowing, the turbine pivots to catch the best wind and provides clean, quiet electricity. A new meter is installed with a wind turbine and measures kilowatts per hour. If the wind turbine creates more energy than needed, the meter will spin backwards.
“We’ve enjoyed our work in this area. We’re creating clean, efficient energy and, important to the local economy right now, we’re creating many jobs with these projects,” said Wheeler. “We work with other local companies to install the turbines.”
After having been in place on the Reichenbach’s property for just over a week, the turbine will be come down and be replaced this Thursday. There was a bulge in one of the blades; all three must be the same for the turbine to work properly.
“We have enjoyed having it so far,” said Judy Reichenbach on Tuesday of this week. “We are hopeful that it can be repaired quickly on Thursday and a new turbine will be put up the same day the old one is removed.”

Good Friday procession of the cross

The annual Good Friday procession of the cross through town began at 11:30 at St. Mary's Catholic Church and ended at noon at English Lutheran Church.

The group stopped at six churches during the half hour procession to say a prayer. A Tennebrae contemplative service, focusing on the seven words of Christ from the cross, began at English Lutheran at 12:05 p.m.

Unlike last year's rainy Good Friday, the weather this Friday, April 2, was unusually warm, with temperatures into the 80s.

Groves Bears to relocate this week

Groves Bears will be opening for business early next week in a new location.

The new home of Groves Bears is 142 E. Jefferson Street, formerly the Movie Gallery (north of Community Market), at the corner of Jefferson at St. Rte. 103.

"We signed the lease on March 26 and took possession of the building on Monday, March 29," said owner Robin Wilch.

"The space is huge with wonderful lighting, customer parking, and many other features that will accommodate our needs perfectly," said Wilch.

Groves Bears has been closed for in-store sales since February 18, when a dip in the middle of the roof caused the building to be permanently closed for business. Snow piled on the roof was cited as the cause of the damage.

Wilch had planned to move her merchandise into another storefront on Bluffton's Main Street, 204 N. Main, but the space is currently being occupied by another tenant.

"We will move back to our Main Street address at the end of July, once repairs are completed," said Wilch.

Repairs on the Groves Bears building, 123 S. Main, will take about four months to complete.

"We are so grateful to the Village of Bluffton and want to express a huge thank you to all of our friends and customers who have offered to help in any way, expecting nothing in return," said Wilch.

Procession of the cross and Good Friday service

The Bluffton Area Ministerial Association (BAMA) invites the community to join the annual community Good Friday observances on Friday, April 2.  
The event will begin with the procession of the cross through town at 11:30 a.m. The procession will start from St. Mary's  Catholic Church and will end at English Lutheran Church, the host site for the  worship service (located at 111 Grove St.).  
A prayer will be said at each of the six church stops along the route. Those wishing to participate in the procession may join at any point along the route.
Following the procession of the cross through town, a Tennebrae contemplative service focusing on the seven words of Christ from the cross will begin at English Lutheran Church at 12:05 p.m.
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