by Paula McKibben Christmas at the Swiss Homestead lived up to the experience of Christmases past. Rachel Friesen was baking gingerbread in a dutch oven pot with coals underneath it and on top of it. Jason Althaus was in charge of candlemaking and was using the fireplace to melt the wax for candles. Martina Cucchiara and Ivan Friesen were in charge of breadmaking – big, beautiful, tasty round loaves. In the living room, the dulcimers had just finished and the Bluffton High School strings were beginning their Christmas serenade.
After 18 years and who-knows-how-many soccer matches, Bluffton Family Recreation has a new carpet – more precise, a new indoor turf for its soccer field. And, according to Joseph Beagle, BFR director, “We are getting great reviews from athletes using it.” The new turf replaced the original turf on its indoor soccer field. Bluffton Family Recreation, located at 215 Snider Road, Bluffton, offers year-around sports programming. The replacement wasn’t cheap. According to Beagle, the total cost is around $60,000. While it’s close to being paid for, donations are still coming in to put the turf fund over the top.
by Paula McKibben You and your family have helped to set up for the Blaze of Lights in Bluffton. You were there for the lighting and have gone back a couple of times to see the lights in the evening. You have visited the Gift of Christmas light show on College Avenue, have walked the streets of Bluffton looking at the decorated shop windows and have even driven down South Main Street in Findlay to see the lights. One evening, you and your family made the trip to Toledo to see the Lights before Christmas.
by Paua McKibben Ryan Burkholder is the new Bluffton Police Chief. He’s young, around 38, but has more experience and background than his age denotes. For instance, when we got together for his interview, he already had printed out for me a resume of experience and education – he was planning ahead. He graduated from BHS in 1997, worked in a couple of factories, took some college classes and then joined the Marines in April 1999. In the Marines, he was a sergeant and was deployed to Kuwait in 2003 as part of the first invasion into Iraq, staying in Baghdad.