Inside INdiana Business

Wabash County to battle dwindling population

WABASH, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Wabash County has witnessed a steady population decline for at least the past 20 years, and community leaders are ready to reverse that trend.

County and community leaders have launched an initiative, called Imagine One85, to marshal their resources to arrest and reverse the declining number of residents.

“The intent is to have this comprehensive strategic plan become the thread that unites all Wabash County communities around the commitment to grow Wabash County’s population,” said Keith Gillenwater, president and chief executive officer of Grow Wabash County.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the current population of Wabash County is approximately 31,500. Ten years ago, it was nearly 33,000. At the turn of the century, the number was nearly 35,000.

Gillenwater says the plan was developed with the help of community stakeholders and outside consultants to determine the factors that have led to the population decline and to develop methods to change the “narrative” and stimulate growth.

“The plan will also include the goals and needs of each community to ensure that their individual towns and cities are growing in ways that align with their values and visions for the future,” said Gillenwater.

The Community Foundation of Wabash County says it intends to apply for the Lilly Endowment GIFT VII Implementation Grant to help cover the costs of the expansive plan.

Grow Wabash, the nonprofit economic development entity for the county, says Manchester University has committed to providing an additional $50,000. Other fundraising efforts are underway.

Imagine One85 was named in part by Wabash County’s county number: 85.


4 children taken to hospital after car crashes into Pennsylvania day care center

 (CNN) — Four children were injured after a woman crashed her car through the window of a day care center classroom, according to Pennsylvania authorities.

The black BMW traveled all the way through one classroom of the Children of America Educational Childcare center before stopping at a back wall, the Bucks County Attorney’s Office said in a statement.

Four children were taken to the hospital, one of whom suffered serious injuries, the statement said.

“The driver of the vehicle sustained minor injuries, was treated and remains hospitalized,” it said.

The crash is under investigation, according to James O’Malley, the spokesperson for the district attorney’s office. He told CNN the woman was working as a delivery driver.

At the time of the crash — about 1:30 p.m. — there were about 17 children inside that room and about 79 total in the building .

All of the children have been accounted for and reunited with their families, the statement said.