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Marion Champion of the Month: Mary Lynn Nordstrom

Lifelong Marion resident Mary Lynn Nordstrom is a “worker bee” behind the scenes, but word is buzzing of the impact she makes in the community through loyal leadership and influential passion.

After graduating from Marion High School, then working 34 years for Marion Health, she began volunteering at the hospital in various ways.

She acclaimed them for the vast on-the-job training she received, and just wanted to give back. She’s in her fourth year of volunteering there including serving on the auxiliary board which holds fundraisers and has even fully funded a new ambulance.

For over 20 years, Nordstrom has been highly active in her neighborhood association, Bend of the River, and currently serves as president.

“One day, I got a flyer in my mailbox of an upcoming meeting. I went, and met several neighbors, and several are still my friends today,” said Nordstrom.

She has served on the first committee to bring the Miracle on 3rd & 4th Street event to the community, helped with events such as the Books, Bikes, and Arts festival, and manages the Curfman Garden on Washington St., a project dear to her heart.

“It’s our little jewel in our neighborhood,” she said.

After spearheading a self-sustaining use of a once-empty lot, she takes responsibility and great pride in the garden with other dedicated volunteers. The ‘fruits’ of the labor in the garden are for the neighborhood to enjoy, and for others in need who contact the neighborhood association. There is also a “little free library” on site that they manage.

Nordstrom works within her corner of the community, but also reaches far and wide to spark excitement about Marion.

“I love the city,” Nordstrom said. “I’m ‘beside myself’ excited about the downtown. I thought I would never live to see the downtown come back, and now I am. I bring my friends downtown, and they realize, and are excited with me.”

Nordstrom said being involved in volunteer groups has created connections, friendships and more, all while improving the community.

As a member of BORN Church, she encourages partnering with a church or a business as they have done and have seen success. To learn more about how to get involved in Bend of the River Neighborhood Association or Marion Health’s auxiliary board, call 765.664.7627.

“Just bring yourself, your talent, or what you enjoy.” Nordstrom encouraged, “It will work into a group. We will then help and guide you.”

To read about past Marion Champions of the Month, visit

Indiana House passes spending, inflation relief bill
The Indiana House has approved a bill that includes $200 rebate payments from the state’s surging budget surplus

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana House approved a bill Friday that would provide $200 rebate payments from the state’s surging budget surplus.

Though below Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb’s initially proposed $225 refunds, the measure represents a concession from GOP senators who were initially reluctant, concerned the rebates would further fuel inflation.

“I think we have a good bill going forward to the Senate,” said Republican Rep. Tim Brown, who sponsored the bill. Brown said Thursday that the package was an agreement with Senate negotiators, who could consider the bill later Friday.

That compromise includes utilizing about $1 billion from the state’s record $6.1 billion in cash reserves for the rebates. Another approximately $1 billion will flow toward a state teacher pension fund’s future obligations, a debt Senate Republican leaders have prioritized paying.

The bill passed 93-6, with several Democrats – many of whom voted against the bill Thursday, when legislators first broached the deal – in favor of the funding Friday.

Democratic Rep. Gregory Porter criticized Republican lawmakers on Friday for not seriously considering their amendments to the bill.

Democrats had argued that the pension debt was manageable and that the $1 billion could go toward more pressing needs such as education, improving public health and supporting child care programs.

“I’m going to vote yes because a little bit is better than nothing,” Porter said in debate. “We love this state like you love the state. But when it comes to what we have to say, it falls on deaf ears.”

Indiana senators on July 29 approved a $45 million spending bill without rebates for state agencies that “support the health of pregnant women, postpartum mothers, and infants,” especially among low-income families. The services would be available for families with children under 4 years old and for those who adopt.

Lawmakers retained elements of the House’s relief bill also passed July 29, including repealing the state tax on children’s diapers.

Arts Commission awards grant to Honeywell Arts & Entertainment

The Indiana Arts Commission announced on Friday that it awarded $32,678 to Honeywell Arts & Entertainment through the Arts Organization Support grant program.

Over 460 applications were reviewed by 85 Hoosiers from around the state specializing in arts, community development, and finance.

“The projects and organizations that are receiving funding are improving the economic and educational climates of the state of Indiana,” said Alberta Barker, Chair of the Indiana Arts Commission. “The Commission is delighted to support this investment in Hoosier communities. It is a privilege to uplift the impressive creative work being done around the state.”

The funding will allow Honeywell Arts & Entertainment to continue the expansion of its regional arts, education, and entertainment program offerings. CEO Tod Minnich said, “this generous grant award from the Indiana Arts Commission is integral to the work that we do on a daily basis to provide offerings that truly inspire and uplift; enliven and entertain; and connect and engage individuals from all corners of Indiana and beyond.”

“Art and creativity strengthen the fabric of Indiana’s communities. They promote connection and cohesion, foster the entrepreneurial spirit communities need to thrive, and create the kinds of communities where people want to live,” said Miah Michaelsen, executive director of the Indiana Arts Commission. “In each of Indiana’s 92 counties, public funding for arts and creativity continually proves to be a high-return investment that improves the quality of life of every Hoosier and drives economic development within our state.”

Funding for the Indiana Arts Commission and its programs is provided by the Indiana General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

Community Calendar: Things to do

August 8

The Marion Community Schools Elementary Back to School Open House is August 8 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at all Marion elementary schools (Allen, Frances Slocum, Kendall, and Riverview) Meet your student’s teacher and get other important information for the upcoming school year.

Businesses in Marion are partnering to provide free back to school haircuts and a school supply give away to local students on Monday, August 8 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Lunch will be provided for the students. Haircuts and school supplies will be available at the following locations:

Indiana Health Center-925 S Nebraska St.

Allen Temple AME Church-3440 S. Washington

Step-Above Barbershop-3230 S Adams St.

Aces & Deuces-3653 S Washington

Durand Boyd-3230 S Adams St.

Essential Cutz-428 S Washington, Boston Hill Center-Suite G

August 9

Marion High School Freshman/New Student Orientation is 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Students will have the opportunity to become familiar with the building, meet the staff and get information on clubs, teams and other extra-curricular activities.

August 10

Wednesday, August 10 is the first day of K-12 classes at Marion Community Schools.

The Marion-Grant County Senior Center will host an ice cream social on August 10 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Ice cream is $5 per bowl. There will be exhibitors with different toppings along with information and handouts on the services they provide for seniors.

The Fairmount Lions Club is hosting Phil Dirt and the Dozers on Wednesday, August 10 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Concert food vendors are Rock Concession with tenderloins and Eis Wago with ice cream.

August 12-13

First Church of the Nazarene is hosting a rummage sale on Friday and Saturday, August 12-13 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day at 700 Kem Rd. in Marion.

August 13

Epworth United Methodist Church, 105 W 8th St, Matthews, Indiana is pleased to announce Joseph Habedank with The Riddells in concert on Saturday, August 13, 2022. Doors open at 6 p.m. with the concert starting at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance online or at the door if available. Limited seating. To guarantee your seats, purchase tickets in advance online at www. or call/text 765-667-0842.

August 15

Monday, August 15 is the first day of classes for Little Giants Preschool.

August 17

The Grant County Historical Society will meet on Wednesday, August 17 at 6:15 p.m. in Meeting Room B at the Marion Public Library for its monthly meeting. The public is invited to attend. For more information, visit www.

August 24

First Presbyterian Church of Grant County is hosting an ice cream social and hymn sing on Wednesday, August 24 at 6 p.m. First Presbyterian is located at 601 S. Main St. in Jonesboro. All are welcome to join.

August 26

The Keepers of the Faith concert is on Friday, August 26 at Epworth United Methodist Church, 105 W 8th St. in Matthews, Indiana. Doors open at 6 p.m. A brief hymn sing-along will open the concert at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10. Seating is limited, so to guarantee your seats, please purchase tickets in advance online at www. or call/text 765-667-0842. Tickets will also be available at the door while supplies last.

August 27

Resurrection Lutheran Church is hosting a rummage and bake sale at 4407 S. Adams St. on Saturday, August 27 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Attendees can enter a raffle to win a lighted shadow box. Pictures of the shadow box are on the Facebook page, Resurrection Lutheran Church ELCA, Marion, Indiana.

The Your Friends Closet, a sharing ministry filled with donated items, will be open August 27th from 9 a.m. to noon at 4460 W 400 S in Marion. All are welcome.


The Gas City Farmer’s Market can be found each Wednesday, through October, at 1028 E. Main Street (next to McDonald’s) from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Save Your $ Farm Stand can be found Saturdays, through October, from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at 1422 E. 38th Street (across from Poppy’s Xtreme Donuts).

The Grant County Health Department is offering appointments for required back-to-school immunizations at 401 S. Adams St. in Marion. Appointments are available Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday evening and Saturday hours are also available. Call 765-651-2401 ext. 3112 to schedule an appointment.

Needham – Storey – Wampner Funeral Service will host a “Grief, Care & Share” event at the Holiday Inn Express on North Baldwin Avenue at 10:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. on July 18, Aug. 15, Sept. 19 and Oct. 17. For more information call 765-664-5030.

Indiana man gets life in killing of girlfriend, 3 kids
A Fort Wayne man will spend the rest of his life in prison after a judge ordered that he serve four life sentences without the possibility of parole for the 2021 slayings of a woman and her three young children

FORT WAYNE — An Indiana man convicted of killing his girlfriend and her three young children was sentenced Friday to four life sentences without the possibility of parole.

The sentence imposed by Allen County Superior Court Judge Fran Gull came about three months after a jury found Cohen Hancz-Barron, 22, of Fort Wayne, guilty of four counts of first-degree murder. The jury, at the request of prosecutors, had recommended a sentence of life without parole.

“I can recall no circumstance this court has witnessed that was as horrific as this crime,” Gull said.

Hancz-Barron chose not to attend the hearing, The (Fort Wayne) Journal Gazette reported.

During the seven-day trial, prosecutors presented evidence that in June 2021 Hancz-Barron used a knife to kill Sarah Nicole Zent, 26; her sons, 5-year-old Carter Matthew Zent and 3-year-old Ashton Duwayne Zent; and her 2-year-old daughter, Aubree Christine Zent, in their Fort Wayne home.

All four died of stab wounds, and the mother was also strangled, the Allen County coroner said. A motive remains unclear.