News Releases

IU East's Run with the Wolves 5K Is July 16

Posted June 29, 2022

Supplied Photo: Rufus the Red Wolf RunsRegistration is open for the 2022 IU East Run with the Wolves Saturday, July 16.

Part of the Wayne County Challenge series, the annual event draws hundreds of participants. Early registration is encouraged to ensure getting this year's official 5K shirt. Terry Wiesehan, director of Alumni Relations at IU East, expects an even larger turnout this year.

"Our run is a fun event for everyone, whether you love to run or just take a stroll on a beautiful course with the kids," Wiesehan said.

The event takes place on campus and the Red Wolves' cross country course, located behind Hayes Hall. The Run with the Wolves includes a "Run with Rufus" 1K family run/walk.

All pre-registrants receive a Run with the Wolves race shirt. Pre-register by Friday, July 8, to ensure a shirt.

Day-of-race registration opens at 7 a.m. on July 16 at the Hayes Hall patio, located on the lower level of the building. The 5K run/walk starts at 8 a.m. followed by the "Run with Rufus" at 9:05 a.m. Awards will be presented at 9:25 a.m. at the Hayes Hall patio.

Run with the Wolves is part of the Wayne County Challenge series and supports student scholarship programs funded through the IU East Alumni Association.

Register online at The pre-registration cost is $20, and day-of registration is $25. Students in grades K-12 and college can pre-register for $15 or register on race day for $20.

For more information, contact Terry Wiesehan, director of Alumni Relations, at (765) 973-8221 or email

Medical Monday and Thriving Thursday in July Will Spotlight Senior Safety

Posted June 29, 2022

Supplied Photo: Reid Health Assistant Chief of Police Jeff Cappa (left) and Capt. Dennis Perkins (right) will discuss senior safety at July's Medical Monday and Thriving Thursday events.Familiar faces in local law enforcement will be the guest speakers at Reid Health's Medical Monday and Thriving Thursday events in July.

Former Wayne County Sheriff and current Reid Health Assistant Chief of Police Jeff Cappa will discuss senior safety during Medical Monday at 1 p.m. on July 11 at Central United Methodist Church, 1425 E. Main St. in Richmond.

For the same topic at Thriving Thursday, the speaker will be former Connersville Police Officer and current Reid Health Police Capt. Dennis Perkins. Thriving Thursday will begin at 11:30 a.m. on July 14 at the Fayette County Senior Center, 477 N. Grand Ave. in Connersville.

Both events are free to attend. To register, call Sharrie Harlin Davis at (765) 983-3000, ext. 4676. Masks are required.

Medical Monday and Thriving Thursday are supported by Reid Health Community Benefit. Harlin Davis started Medical Monday when she was working for the Minority Health Coalition and maintained it after joining Reid Health. The events have loyal followings, averaging 40 to 50 guests each month to learn about various health issues, community programs, and health screenings.

Grant Will Help Reid Health Improve Care for Survivors of Sexual Assault

Posted June 29, 2022

Reid Health's work to expand care for sexual assault survivors received a boost this month when the health system learned it had been awarded nearly $350,000 in federal grant funding.

The two-year grant will be used to support a coordinator position for Reid's Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) program as well as to help ensure there's enough specially trained nursing staff to provide 24/7 coverage for incidents of sexual assault.

"We're very excited to receive this grant and the opportunity it provides to continue growing our SANE program," said Ryan Williams, Director of EMS, Forensics, and Trauma Services for Reid Health. "Nurses with this kind of specialized training are in short supply across the country. Having this at Reid is a great benefit to the communities we serve."

SANEs are nurses who have been through an extensive training program to teach them how to provide comprehensive care to sexual assault survivors. Reid has five nurses who have completed the adult/adolescent version of the training with more starting soon.

The program includes 40 hours of classroom time plus two days with live models to learn how to collect specimens that may be used as evidence. There are also multiple hours spent with different career fields involved in the sexual assault process such as a police ride-along, observing a federal court trial, job shadowing a prosecuting attorney, and spending time at a crime laboratory, STD clinic, victim services/patient advocate center, and more.

"We're very excited to receive this grant and the opportunity it provides to continue growing our SANE program. Nurses with this kind of specialized training are in short supply across the country. Having this at Reid is a great benefit to the communities we serve." -- Ryan Williams, Director of EMS, Forensics, and Trauma Services for Reid Health

Along with helping support Reid's SANE personnel needs, grant funds will be used to provide additional education to healthcare providers and to spread awareness in the community about victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and other violent crimes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men experience sexual violence involving physical contact during their lives. In addition to the physical toll caused by an assault, there can be psychological trauma as well, leading to post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, or suicidal thoughts.

About the grant

The Victims of Crime Act Grant Program distributes funds collected by U.S. Attorney's Offices, U.S. Courts, and the U.S. Bureau of Prisons in the form of fines and penalties against criminals convicted of federal crimes. The program is intended to support high-quality services that directly improve the health and well-being of victims of crime across the country.

Nominations Sought for 2022 Rhoads Humanity in Medicine Award

Posted June 29, 2022

Supplied Photo: Paul S. Rhoads, MDNominations for the 2022 Paul S. Rhoads Humanity in Medicine Award can be made beginning Saturday, June 25.

Any physician recommended for the honor must be a full-time member of the Reid Health medical staff and demonstrate one or more of the following traits and achievements:

Has a combined commitment to clinical quality (in medical knowledge, discernment, and practice) along with genuine compassion, sensitivity, and a caring attitude in dealing with patients, patients' families, and colleagues, AND/OR

Has been a leader and/or initiator of programs and services resulting in improvement in quality of health or life within Reid's service area, AND/OR

Has been consistently inspirational, encouraging, and helpful to colleagues, hospital staff, patients, and others in efforts to prevent or to alleviate illness or injury, and to enhance quality of healthcare in Reid's service area

Physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and previous winners are not eligible to be nominated.

The Paul S. Rhoads Humanity in Medicine Award is East Central Indiana's most prestigious medical honor and has been awarded yearly since 1983. The 2021 winner was Rohit Bawa, MD, Otolaryngology and Chair of the Reid Health Physician Associates Network Operating Council.

Nominations can be made at and will be accepted through Sunday, July 17.

IU East establishes Henry Family Scholarship

Posted June 29, 2022

Robin Henry hopes to encourage students attending Indiana University East to pursue their degree through establishing a new $25,000 scholarship endowment in honor of her parents, the Henry Family Scholarship.

Henry is from Richmond and a first-generation college graduate. Growing up it was never a question that she would attend college, and her parents, Homer W. Henry and Patricia "Pat" Sue Wampler Henry, were supportive of her education and career ambitions.

Homer Henry was the co-owner of and operated Klute-Beach-Henry Funeral Home in Richmond. Before then, he served in the U.S. Army during World War II and was a POW in Germany.

"Neither of my parents received a college degree," Henry said. "My father did attend some classes at Earlham College to prepare him for his mortuary science certification, but it was always assumed that I would attend college."

Henry believes that her parents were instrumental in her success. By establishing this scholarship in the memory of her parents, Henry hopes to provide award recipients with an awareness that someone believes in them and what they can achieve when they pursue their dreams and passion.

"The achievements that I have been able to accomplish so far in my career and personal life is because my dad and mom believed in me," Henry said.

Supplied Photo:  Robin Henry
Robin Henry of Richmond has established a new scholarship at IU East to honor her parents and the support they provided to her to pursue her education and career.

The Richmond High School 1977 graduate attended Ball State University. The first two years in college, she pursued a secondary education degree with a concentration in history. "But I didn't feel this was my calling," Henry said.

She changed her major and graduated with a bachelor's degree in political science. Henry completed an internship at the Indiana State House, working for three senators before returning to her hometown. "The economy wasn't great at that time, so I came back to Richmond and tried finding my way into different opportunities," Henry said.

She joined WQLK/WHON (KICKS 96) as an account executive and news reporter, working for the local station. Henry was also the executive director for Leadership Wayne County. She went back to her roots in government and worked with the City of Richmond, serving first in the role as the director of Community Partnerships and then as the director of Human Resources.

Later she attended IUPUI to earn her Master of Science in Adult Education. She also received certification as a Senior Professional in Human Resources through the Society for Human Resource Management.

Additionally, Henry has worked as an adjunct for Purdue University in Richmond. Within the community, Henry served on the board of directors for nearly 20 different community non-profits, including officer roles with the Richmond Art Museum, the Reid Health Governing Board and the Reid Health Foundation, Main Street Richmond/Wayne County and the Richmond Board of Works and Safety. She was appointed to Richmond City Council in 1982 at the age of 22 to fill the vacant third district seat making her the youngest citizen to serve on council to date.

More recently, Henry also was a founding committee member for Palette to Palate, a collaborative annual fundraiser for the Richmond Art Museum and IU East.

IU East Chancellor Kathy Girten said scholarships help to make an academic degree and other opportunities possible for students.

"We appreciate Robin's gift of generosity and admire her consideration to assist students by helping to cover the cost of their education, in an effort to provide the same assurance and support that she was given by her parents," Girten said.

Henry joined West End Bank as assistant vice president of Human Resources in 2002 and was later promoted as the executive vice president and chief human resource officer. Simultaneously, she started working on her Master of Adult Education at IUPUI in Indianapolis. Henry said she found graduate work to be a new experience, and the online experience was incredible. She especially appreciated the support of faculty like Henry Merrill. "College was a given in 1977, and I did it then for my parents and for myself. But, I really enjoyed my adult education degree. It was something I really wanted to do."

Today, Henry is the assistant vice president of Regional Human Resources for 3Rivers Federal Credit Union.

Starting out her path may not have been clear, she said, but she has found a unique path that has put her skills to use and brought her years of enjoyment, involvement and service to the community.

"When I look back at a total career, it wasn't a clear way to go. I kept my eyes open and looked for opportunities. Now looking back I just think, 'Wow, this has been quite the journey.' They have all been very different but have all involved my skillset," Henry said. "I have just really been blessed."

Now, she is looking forward to giving back so new generations can have the opportunity to continue to do the same.

"I see the value of IU East. Having the university here in the community, and I see what it has done for individuals in the community – for many who have continued to work while they pursued a college degree – truly, IU East is a community asset. IU East is now a college of choice for students out of high school," Henry said. "As an employer I appreciate the outstanding workforce IU East provides for us."

For information on how to contribute, contact Paula Kay King, director of Gift Development, at (765) 973-8331 or

June 30 Deadline Approaching for 21st Century Scholarship Enrollment

Posted June 29, 2022

(INDIANAPOLIS) – Indiana seventh- and eighth-grade students can still apply for the 21st Century Scholars program, but the June 30 deadline is quickly approaching. Led by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, the 21st Century Scholarship is the state's early college promise program that provides up to four years of undergraduate tuition and fees for eligible students at Indiana colleges and universities.

To qualify, students must apply during their seventh- or eighth-grade year (students cannot apply past June 30 of their eighth-grade year). Most students who qualify for the federal free and reduced lunch guidelines will qualify for the 21st Century Scholars program.

"The 21st Century Scholars Program created the opportunity for me to strive and excel throughout my college career. It gave me the chance to be a first-generation college graduate," said IUPUI graduate and 21st Century Scholars alum Melissa Aceves. "Through the Scholars program, I gained mentors who guided me, a scholarship for my tuition, a community of fellow Scholars and happiness because I had the opportunity to focus on my education as well as create an impact on the community."

For 30 years, the Indiana General Assembly has provided bipartisan support for the 21st Century Scholars program. Since its inception in 1990, more than 45,000 students have earned a degree or credential through the 21st Century Scholars program and there are more than 100,000 students enrolled between seventh grade and college seniors today. The Commission published a report about the program and its impact for Indiana earlier this year.

"The 21st Century Scholars program is a transformative opportunity for students," said Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Chris Lowery. "This scholarship is one of the many ways Indiana has committed to ensuring students can access education and training beyond high school. It continues to be one of the proven tools to close educational equity gaps and help Hoosier students succeed."

Students in the 21st Century Scholars program go to college at much higher rates than the statewide average, with 81 percent of students who meet the program requirements enrolling in college, compared to the statewide average of 53 percent. The Commission's 2022 College Readiness Report also highlights how the program closes the race and ethnicity equity gap for low-income students.

However, opportunities exist to increase program utilization. Awareness of the 21st Century Scholars program remains a barrier to increasing participation. Currently, four in 10 high school graduates are financially eligible for the 21st Century Scholars program, but less than half enroll. The Commission is recommending all eligible students in seventh and eighth grade be automatically enrolled in the Scholars program.

"There are many organizations and volunteers that help enroll students into the 21st Century Scholars program. Indiana's middle school counselors and educators are working on this effort, and the Commission has an outreach team dedicated to this goal. All of that is still not enough, however. Enrolling all students who are eligible will clear a barrier for Hoosiers and would enable everyone to shift resources toward ensuring students are succeeding in high school and college and beyond," Lowery said.

Help with enrollment available

To best serve students, the Commission has split the state into eight outreach regions; and the Commission's outreach coordinators are available via phone or email. A full list of counties and associated numbers is available here.

Help is also available in Spanish by calling 317-232-1072 or 317-617-0318. Additionally, the Commission's Padres Estrellas, or "Star Parents" are available. Padres Estrellas work with community organizations focused on empowering Hoosier Hispanic and Latino communities to provide college and career support to students and families across the state.

¿Necesitas ayuda en español? Llame al 317-232-1072 o 317-617-0318.

Learn more and apply at

Are you a 21st Century Scholars alumni?

Please take a few minutes to complete the Commission's alumni survey and share how the 21st Century Scholarship impacted you personally and professionally. Your story can help inspire others.

Main Street Richmond IN and The Tin Lizzie Cafe Collaborate to Keep Restaurant Open and Serving the Community, as Sip 'n a Bite Deli

Posted June 24, 2022

Supplied Graphic/Photo: Sip n a Bite

Main Street Richmond's mission is to enrich downtown by coordinating and collaborating with city government, property owners and business owners resulting in economic prosperity, community development and a vibrant center city. "This is exactly what we are doing with the help of Ron & Rachel Hughes, current owners of The Tin Lizzie Café," says Beth Newton, Director of Main Street Richmond.

Main Street Richmond will be purchasing the building currently home to The Tin Lizzie Café and Tin Cup Tea Shop. Newton says, "Our goal is to ensure the property stays in the hands of a local owner and will be able to continue to provide restaurant service to the community. In addition, we will be making plans to continue the revitalization efforts initiated by the Hughes family".

As Ron's retirement was announced, there was interest in the restaurant space, but not the entire building. Main Street Richmond also had ideas for the space the building offered. This created an opportunity for Main Street Richmond to collaborate with Ron and Rachel to connect all interested parties and come up with a plan. "We are thrilled to work with Teresa and John Leith, the new owners of the restaurant, to meet the needs of the community and accomplish each of our individual goals," Newton says.

Teresa and her daughter, Natalie Johns, will be taking over operation of the restaurant which will be known as Sip 'n a Bite Deli, beginning July 11th at 8:00am. With Ron's retirement, his last day will be June 30th . The restaurant will be closed Friday, July 1st, and the week of July 4th , but will reopen under new ownership on July 11th . "This essentially makes the transition seamless for patrons, as they are used to us being closed the week of July 4th ," says Hughes. "We are thrilled that we found a local buyer who can continue the restoration we started and that they are partnering with Teresa and John. The Leith's will continue the 50-year tradition of running a restaurant on this spot and we are so excited that another local couple stepped up to make that possible," Ron Hughes added.

Reid Health Conducts Active Shooter Drill

Posted June 24, 2022

Reid Health held an active shooter drill Thursday at the health system's main campus in Richmond and across its various other facilities.

The exercise tested the response of Reid Health staff in the event of an active shooter in the hospital or at the practice locations throughout Reid's service area.

"Drills are very important as a reminder for our staff. They also create opportunities to adjust our master plan and each department's plan," said Randy Kolentus, Chief of the Reid Health Police Department. "Over a year's time, things can change within a facility that would require we make some updates, so conducting regular drills allows us to identify those areas that need to be reviewed."

"The safety of our staff and all those who come to our facilities is of the utmost importance. Exercises like the drills conducted today help ensure we're prepared should we ever be called upon in such a situation." -- Randy Kolentus, Chief of the Reid Health Police Department

Local law enforcement and emergency agencies were alerted ahead of time, and precautions were taken to ensure patients and visitors were aware of the exercise, including signage and overhead announcements.

"We try to make the drills as real as we can without disrupting patient care," Kolentus said.

Last year, Reid Health completed a two-year transition from a security team to a police department, joining other health systems around the state. The move was made to enhance the security and safety of Reid Health team members, patients, and visitors.

"The safety of our staff and all those who come to our facilities is of the utmost importance," Kolentus said. "Exercises like the drills conducted today help ensure we're prepared should we ever be called upon in such a situation."

Reid Health in the Top 15% Of Hospitals in the U.S. For Outstanding Patient Experience, According to Healthgrades

Posted June 24, 2022

Reid Health has received the Healthgrades 2022 Outstanding Patient Experience Award™, a first for the health system.

The distinction places Reid among the top 15 percent of hospitals nationwide for patient experience, according to Healthgrades, the leading marketplace that connects people with the right doctor and hospital.

Healthgrades evaluated 3,173 hospitals that submitted at least 75 patient experience surveys to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), covering admissions from July 2020 to March 2021. Of those hospitals evaluated, 399 outperformed their peers -- based on their patients' responses -- to achieve the award.

"This honor is a reflection of the incredible dedication and hard work of the entire Reid Health team," said Craig Kinyon, Reid Health President/CEO. "What makes it even more remarkable is the period evaluated came during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, a time when our team was pushed to its limits but continued to provide high-quality care to the communities we serve."

"This honor is a reflection of the incredible dedication andaluated came during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, a time when our team was pushed to its limits but continued to provide high-quality care to the communities we serve." hard work of the entire Reid Health team. What makes it even more remarkable is the period ev-- Craig Kinyon, Reid Health President/CEO

"We're committed to creating an environment in which our patients and their families feel as comfortable as possible," said Michelle McClurg, Vice President/Chief Patient Experience Officer for Reid Health. "Everything we do is guided by our organizational values of excellence, empathy, integrity, and accountability."

Healthgrades evaluates performance by applying a scoring methodology to 10 patient experience measures, using data collected from surveys of the hospital's patients. Questions focus on patients' perspectives of their care in the hospital.

Topics range from cleanliness and noise levels in patient rooms to medication explanations and hospital staff responsiveness to patients' needs. The measures also include whether a patient would recommend the hospital to friends or family and their overall rating of the hospital.

"We applaud all recipients of the Healthgrades 2022 Outstanding Patient Experience Award for putting patient experience at the front and center within their organizations," said Brad Bowman, MD, Chief Medical Officer and Head of Data Science, Healthgrades.

"We commend these hospitals for their ongoing commitment in prioritizing an exceptional patient experience, while ensuring the health and safety of their patients."

Consumers can visit for more information about how hospital quality was measured and access the complete methodology here.

Whitewater Community Television Adds New Way to Watch Local Stations

Posted June 22, 2022

Until now, programming on the Whitewater Community Television "family of stations" WCTV, public access, WETV, educational access and WGTV, government access was available only to residents in Wayne County with Comcast cable. This morning, Whitewater Community Television announced that technology has created a change that will allow many more residents to view WCTV's 3 channels on their television. Whitewater Community Television recently agreed to share its programming with Didja, Inc., which operates LocalBTV, a platform that provides 24/7 viewing of live television most mobile and streaming devices.

Residents can start watching Whitewater Community Television channels immediately by going to: where Apple, Android, and Fire TV's and Roku support is available as well as by going to the Google or App store for their mobile devices. The app includes a DVR feature for delayed viewing of programs. There are two sides of this app, one for over the air channels like HSN, COZI, QVC and a growing list of commercial stations, and a community side for more hyperlocal channels like the Whitewater Community Television family of stations which can be found on 74.1, 74.2 and 74.3.

Of significance, this agreement opens WCTV programming to residents throughout the Indianapolis DMA. So as the EDC, EIRPC, the Eastern Indiana Regional Planning Commission and others work across county lines, WCTV and other community partners can assist in sharing content that has regional significance.

Whitewater Community Television is a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation that has been serving Wayne County residents with Public, Education and Government (PEG) services since 1988. As technology has changed, WCTV has worked to make programs more accessible to residents with both streaming and Video on Demand services through WGTV Online:, Facebook and You Tube. Additional information on available job openings, community events and more are shared using Twitter, @WCTVinfo, Instagram and Facebook.

Reid Health Celebrates 5 New Graduates of Family Medicine Residency Program

Posted June 21, 2022

Supplied Image: Graduates of Reid Health's Family Medicine Residency Program (from left): Kapesh Kunwar, MD; Brandon Baccari, DO; Nabeel Uwaydah, MD; Mehrosh Naseem, MD; and Nida Noor, MD.Reid Health is saying goodbye to five graduates of its Family Medicine Residency Program and hello to a handful of new doctors who will soon begin their own three-year stint.

Members of the Class of 2022 were celebrated Saturday at Forest Hills Country Club. Each will finish their time at the Reid Health Residency Clinic in Richmond over the coming weeks before moving on to the next step in their careers.

"This class represents many significant changes for the program," said Phillip Scott, DO, FAAFP, Residency Program Director.

"They're the first class with MD and international physicians. Also, this group learned to deal with COVID-19 from the first year of their training."

Those graduating in the 2022 class include:

  • Brandon Baccari, DO, who will work for Lutheran Health in Fort Wayne, Ind.;
  • Kapesh Kunwar, MD, who will work for IU Health in Indianapolis;
  • Mehrosh Naseem, MD, who has been accepted to an Integrative Medicine fellowship at The Ohio State University;
  • Nida Noor, MD, who is undecided; and
  • Nabeel Uwaydah, MD, who also is undecided.

Reid's residency program is affiliated with the Kansas City University of Medicine and Bioscience in Kansas City, Mo. Graduates complete three years of training in family medicine, gaining a wide-ranging experience in the Reid Health system.

"This class represents many significant changes for the program. They're the first class with MD and international physicians. Also, this group learned to deal with COVID-19 from the first year of their training." -- Phillip Scott, DO, FAAFP, Residency Program Director

Five new doctors will join the program in July, bringing the total number of residents to 18. Five core faculty members - Dr. Scott; Nuzhat Nisa, MD; Novera Inam, MD; Donald Smith, MD; and Tim Kaehr, MA, LMFT - supervise the residents' overall training, along with 75 community physicians who act as preceptors across a variety of medical specialties.

The residents in Reid's program include:

  • Advancing second-year residents Jonathan Adams, DO; Adebisi Adeyemi, MD; Waiel Almardini, MD; Kimberly Carhuatanta, DO; Dustin Cundiff, DO; Ibrahim Khan, MD; and Abdallah Saleh, MD
  • Advancing first-year residents Kristopher Brott, DO; Shruti Dave, MD; Tanner Everhart, DO; Nicholas Hinkle, DO; Joseph Intriago, MD; and Sara Khan, MD
  • New residents Bothaina Afifi, MD; Vijay Gottipati, MD; Nicole Hountz, DO; Jeffery Lee, MD; and Benjamin Leeds, DO

"It's remarkable to think we've had this program for almost seven years now," Dr. Scott said. "As of this year, we'll have graduated 24 family physicians and kept many excellent physicians in the Richmond area. We hope to keep even more here in the future."

Singles Interaction, Inc.

Posted June 13, 2022

Supplied Newsletter: July 2022

If you are 21 years of age or better and single, divorced, widow or widower, Singles' Interaction invites you to join them on Friday nights. Come to the Eagles Lodge, 75 South 12th Street, Richmond (membership not required) and meet other single people in the Richmond area.

Smart Futures Dinner to Honor Club Alum Desmond Bane

Posted June 8, 2022

Supplied Flyer: Smart Futures Dinner

Come join the Boys & Girls Clubs of Wayne County for our 23rd Annual Smart Futures Dinner! This event celebrates the links between Boys & Girls Clubs of Wayne County, the community, and some exceptional individuals. Our featured guest speaker will be NBA Superstar, and Richmond native, Desmond Bane.

Social Hour will begin at 6:00pm and dinner catered by Galos will begin at 7:00pm.

Dress is smart casual - from khakis to slacks. If you feel good, you look good.

Please RSVP by Tuesday, July 12th.

Nettle Creek Players Summer Stock Tent Theatre Returns in June and July

Posted June 8, 2022

National, Regional & Local Theatre Artists Line-Up Announced for 2022 Summer Residencey in Hagerstown, Indiana

Logo: Nettle Creek PlayersNettle Creek Players, a 501c3 not-for-profit arts organization in Hagerstown, Indiana, has announced its 2022 troupe of visiting professional theatre artists who will live in the community for nine weeks as they prepare and present the Nettle Creek Players 2022 Summer Stock Tent Theatre Season featuring productions of OLIVER!, A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM, and THE GIN GAME. Performances of OLIVER! will be at 7:00pm on June 24, 25, 30 & July 1 & 2 and at 2:00pm on June 26 with A FUNNY THING…FORUM at 7:00pm on July 8, 9, 14, 15 & 16 and at 2:00pm on July 10, and THE GIN GAME at 7:00pm on July 22, 23, 28, 29 & 30 and at 2:00pm on July 24. All performances will take place in the Nettle Creek Players Show Tent at 150 N. Plum Street in historic downtown Hagerstown, Indiana. Tickets are $18 per person for adults and $15 per person for students and seniors. Tickets and more information are available at, at Facebook/NettleCreekPlayers and by phone at 765-914-7828.

"Oliver!" is Lionel Bart's classic musical based on the Charles Dickens novel, Oliver Twist. The Tony and Olivier Award-winning show is one of the few musicals to win an Academy Award for Best Picture and is widely hailed as a true theatrical masterpiece by audiences around the world. The streets of Victorian England come to life as Oliver, a malnourished orphan in a workhouse, becomes the neglected apprentice of an undertaker. Oliver escapes to London and finds acceptance amongst a group of petty thieves and pickpockets led by the elderly Fagin. When Oliver is captured for a theft that he did not commit, the benevolent victim, Mr. Brownlow takes him in. Fearing the safety of his hideout, Fagin employs the sinister Bill Sikes and the sympathetic Nancy to kidnap him back, threatening Oliver's chances of discovering the true love of a family.

"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" with book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart and Music by Stephen Sondheim takes comedy back to its roots, combining situations from time-tested, 2000-year-old comedies of Roman playwright, Plautus, with the infectious energy of classic vaudeville. Pseudolus, a crafty servant, struggles to win the hand of a beautiful, but slow-witted, courtesan named Philia for his young master, Hero, in exchange for freedom. The plot twists and turns with cases of mistaken identity, slamming doors and a showgirl or two. The classic Broadway musical romp through Rome has desperate lovers, scheming neighbors and secrets behind every toga.

"The Gin Game," a play by D.L. Coburn, is the winner of the 1978 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, uses a card game as a metaphor for life. Weller Martin is playing solitaire on the porch of a seedy nursing home. Enter Fonsia Dorsey, a prim, self-righteous lady. They discover they both dislike the home and enjoy gin rummy, so they begin to play and to reveal intimate details of their lives. Fonsia wins every time, and their secrets become weapons used against one another. Weller longs for a victory to counter a lifetime of defeats, but it doesn't happen. He leaves the stage a broken man, and Fonsia realizes her self-righteous rigidity has led to an embittered, lonely, old age. Both laugh-out-loud funny and heartfelt, it has been a favorite of audiences for over four decades.

The visiting artists will live in the community, most in the homes of local volunteers. They will rehearse the shows for 2 1⁄2 weeks and perform for six weekends. The professional actors and visiting artists-in-residence that will form the 2022 core company include the following:

  • James Stover, an Assistant Professor of Theater at Purdue University Fort Wayne is an actor, director, writer and producer having worked at notable theatre across the country, on television and in independent film. He holds an MFA in Theatre Pedagogy from Virginia Commonwealth University and a BFA in Musical Theatre from Otterbein University. He will play the role of Pseudolus in "…Forum.";
  • Barry McMullen is from Muncie, Indiana and is the co-owner of Think Dog! Productions. Barry performed with Nettle Creek Players in the 1990's. He will play Senex in "…Forum" and Weller in "The Gin Game.";
  • Jordan Wolfe originally comes from Richmond, Indiana and is a graduate of Earlham College. Jordan previously appeared with Nettle Creek Players in 2018 and 2019. He will play Mr. Bumble in "Oliver!" and Hero in "…Forum.";
  • Patrick Vaughn of Louisville, Kentucky and has been seen on stage at Actors Theatre of Indiana, Commonweal Theatre in Minnesota and at Dollywood. He will play the role of Bill Sykes in "Oliver!";
  • Michael Bartkiewicz is a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana and has performed Off-Broadway, at the Vineyard Theater and for Paw Patrol Live. He will play Hysterium in "…Forum.";
  • Zoe O'Hailin-Berne is from Shelbyville, Indiana, studied theatre at Ball State University and has performed regionally and on national tours. She will play Lycus in "…Forum.";
  • Rebecca Lea Evans comes to Hagerstown from St. Louis and is a graduate of Ball State University. She will play The Widow Corney in "Oliver!" and Domina in "…Forum.";
  • Nicole Leis is originally from Ansonia, Ohio and graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University. She will play the role of Nancy in "Oliver!";
  • Abigail Johnson is studying musical theater at Marymount Manhattan College in New York City. She will play Bet in "Oliver!" and Philia in "…Forum.";
  • Evan Snaufer is from Fort Wayne, Indiana where he is a theater major at Purdue University Fort Wayne. He will play Noah in "Oliver!" and Protean in "…Forum.";
  • Audrey Shockett is a student at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana and will play The Artful Dodger in "Oliver!" and a Courtesan in "…Forum.";
  • Justin Amellio-Ashbrook is an award-winning director and Associate Professor of Theater at Indiana University South Bend. He will play Miles Gloriosus in "…Forum.";
  • Sara Breeze is from Kansas and will play Fonsia in "The Gin Game.";
  • Susannah Briscoe has been performing, teaching and choreographing for over thirty years and is currently enrolled in a two-year Meisner Acting Program at The Phoenix Theater in Indianapolis. She will play Mrs. Sowerberry in "Oliver!" and a Courtesan in "…Forum" and will serve as choreographer for the season.;

Several local performers and Nettle Creek Players from years past will also join the company. They include the following:

  • Larry Beck is originally from Elkhart, Indiana. He now lives in Muncie where he is host and producer of BlueNotes Classic Jazz at Indiana Public Radio and Associate Director Emeritus for the Career Center at Ball State University. He will play Mr. Brownlow in "Olvier!";
  • Brad Dale is from Hagerstown. He is a Nettle Creek Player alum from the 1970's and is a current board member of the organization. He will play Erronius in "…Forum."
  • Elizabeth Stracener is a native of Richmond, Indiana and teaches in Hagerstown. She will play Sissy Sowerberry in "Oliver!";

The roles of Oliver and the children's chorus will be played by local students Eli Daniel, Josephine Daniel, Grace Bruns, Natalie Hobbs, Maycee Favorite and Charley Rinehart..

Music Director for the season will be Gilda McClure Lewis who is a native of Connersville, Indiana, is an NCP alum from the 1980's and will play Mrs. Bedwin in "Oliver!" and a Courtesan in "…Forum." She will be assisted in Music Direction by Accompanist Lisa Ginn.

The artistic quality of the project is overseen by Artistic Director Greg Gasman, former Technical Director at Muncie Civic Theatre and former Artistic Director for several theatres in Minnesota. Gasman will direct all three productions, oversee all technical aspects of the project and play the role of Fagin in "Oliver!" He will be assisted over the summer by Production Stage Manager Sarah Hobson.

Nettle Creek layers is a 501c3 non-profit organization and is grateful to its corporate and foundational sponsors for underwriting some of the costs associated with presenting the 2022 Summer Season. Among the sponsors and supporters of Nettle Creek Players are the following: The Indiana Arts Commission, The National Endowment for the Arts, The Randolph Community Foundation, Meridian Health, The Wayne County Foundation, The Town of Hagerstown, Greenfield Tent Company, The Nettle Creek School Corporation, CJD Enterprise, Inc., The Hagerstown Library, and Earlham College.

For tickets and information visit and Facebook/NettleCreekPlayers or call 765-914-7828. Photos of the cast are available on the web site and Facebook page and can be emailed by request. The cast and artistic company are also available for interviews or special performances by request at 765-914-7828.

Summer Reading Program at MRL

Posted May 18, 2022

Supplied Flyer: MRL Summer Reading Poster

Local library users know summertime is an awesome time to visit the library! Experience all the fun as Morrisson-Reeves Library (MRL) kicks off its annual Summer Reading Program "Oceans of Possibilities" on Monday, June 6th. Participants can pre-register online at or inside the library starting on May 23rd. On June 6th, patrons can start tracking their reading and activities progress from their digital device, as well as earn badges and prizes, play fun games and learn valuable tips. The program is free and open to the public. It runs through Saturday, July 16.

Tracking you and your family's reading progress is easy and quick with the online tracking system. If you wish to track your reading in-person at the library, ask library staff to track things when you visit the library.

Looking for family fun throughout the summer. A wide variety of programs are offered for various ages from pre-schoolers to teens to adults. A sampling of the programs offered are yoga for teens, storytimes, art programs, how to be a pirate, author visits, reading clubs, and adult game nights. If you are wanting to attend programs in-person at the library, registration is required for some of our events. Links to registration and full program details can be found at

Have you ever wondered how big a Blue Whale or an Orca might be? Explore the library's family fun adventure "A Whale of a Good Time - Seek and Find" at MRL. You can stand next to a measurement of a Blue Whale that could be as big as 90 feet long!

This year's premiere sponsor for the Summer Reading Program is the Friends of Morrisson-Reeves Library. The Wayne County Foundation is also sponsoring library programs through the Challenge Match program.

Morrisson-Reeves Library has served the people of Richmond, Indiana since 1864. MRL is well known for signature services and programs like Storytimes, Free Computer Classes, Reading Clubs, Reader's Advisory, Local History, Research, and 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten. The library's Strategic Plan supports the mission of "connecting people to information, inspiration, and infinite opportunities." which positions MRL to respond to areas of urgent need: kids unprepared for kindergarten, third grade reading proficiency, high school graduation, college and career readiness and employment resources. MRL serves as the community's resource for lifelong learning.

Supplied Flyer: MRL June 2022 Calendar

Supplied Flyer:  MRL July 2022 Calendar

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Cambridge City, Indiana was once home to a wild west show, headed by Buckskin Ben Stalker.