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Business & Professional................A5Classifieds......................................A15Community Calendar.............A18-19Dining & Entertainment.........A12-14Sports........................................A10-11Worship List...................................A16
Serving Northwest Fort Wayne & Allen County www.
February 25, 2011
Times Community Publications
826 Ewing Street, Fort Wayne, IN 46802
It’s a matter of taste
Hot and cold mealszipped along two produc-tion lines at 68 to 70 traysa minute inside FortWayne CommunitySchools’ chilly NutritionCenter.Blueberry muffins andfreshly cut orange wedgeswere packaged on one linefor the district’s 31elementary schools and 11private schools in AllenCounty served by thecenter. The hot meal of the day was corn and a100-percent beef hamburger. In clean, parti-tioned rooms regulated bybacteria-resisting tempera-tures 41 degrees, 38degrees and a face-numbing 10 to 20 belowzero in the spacious walk-in freezer area thedistrict continues itsefforts to provide the mostnutritious food possiblefor students.That challenge hasbecome even moredaunting with the recentpassage of the Healthy,Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 and a follow-up setof recommended nutritionguidelines issued by theU.S. Department of Agri-culture. Although schooldistricts such as the31,568-student FWCShave been stepping upnutrition efforts all along,some say the new guide-lines will undoubtedlycost more money.Moreover, an officialwith Ohio-based J.T.MFood Group, whichprocesses 72 millionpounds of food annuallyfor 5,600 school districts,said the technologycurrently does not exist toreach one of the govern-ment’s ultimate goals of reducing sodium in
By RICK FARRANT
FWCS’s Nutrition Center makes meals each day for students in thedistrict’s schools and 11 private schools in Allen County.
Photo by Rick Farrant
Young entrepreneur prepares for product debut
In a modest workshopin southwest Fort Wayne,a young entrepreneur isdiligently working away ata new product he hopeswill revolutionize theportable toilet industry.Next month, 25-year-old Ben Westrick willdebut St. George’s FoamShield at the Pumper andCleaner Expo inLouisville, Ky. It hastaken Westrick four yearsto get to this point, butthings seem to havefinally come together.Westrick, a devoutCatholic, credits his faithfor taking the risk, andnamed his business afterthe saint he chose for his8th grade confirmation.Born and raised in FortWayne, Westrick gradu-ated from BishopDwenger High School. Heopted out of college andwent straight to work inconstruction and industrialsales. It was thereWestrick quickly began tounderstand the shortfallsof today’s portable toilet,also known as “Porta-Johns” or “Port-O-Pottys.”Westrick sought outsolutions for commonportable toilet setbackssuch as odor, attractinginsects, water waste andas he puts it, backsplash.For Westrick, the solu-tion became clear after hestood over a sink full of dirty dishes.“I dropped a fork into asink of soapy water andsaw it just disappearbelow,” Westrick said.“The sink came into mindin regards to how itrepaired and sealed over.”And so started theevolution of St. George’sFoam Shield, a biodegrad-able foam made to mask portable toilet waste.Westrick’s venturebegan on a ping-pongtable in his parent’s base-ment, where he mixednumerous chemicals tofind the right combination.He studied patents inhopes of discovering afoam that would last foran extended period of time, but with no luck.And then, a break-through.More than two decadesago, another inventorcreated a chemical meantfor use in landfills. ButWestrick saw the potentialfor the chemical’s applica-tion in portable toilets.“There was a documentwith his number left on itand I called him,” he said.Westrick consulted withthe chemical’s inventor, anexpert in aqueous foams,by phone. The originalchemical patent expired inearly 2000, opening thedoor for Westrick topursue his own patent onthe concept. WhileWestrick did not inventthe chemical itself, he didconceptualize the chem-ical’s use in a new way.“I guess you could say Ididn’t invent the wheel,”he said. “I put it on thebike.”During the early stagesof product development,Westrick met with localportable toilet operators tounderstand the needs of his target market. Hecredits this research forcreating foams in differentcolors and scents.“People are used tocolors in the bathroom.Most of the time, thecakes are a certain colorand even the water is bluein the latrine,” Westrick said. “I think the coloractually makes it prettygreat.”In developing the
By VALERIE CAVIGLIA
Ben Westrick with a tub of St. George’s Foam Shield, which will debut soon.
Photo by Valerie Caviglia
Huntertownpopulationon the rise
Recent census figuresindicate that Huntertown’spopulation grew by animpressive 172 percent inthe last decade. It was thelargest increase in anytown in northeast Indiana.Huntertown’s populationrose from 1,771 in 2000 to4,810 in 2010.In response to thecontinued growth, aproposed expansion of thetown’s water treatmentplant is awaiting finalapproval by the Hunter-town Town Council.An agreement topurchase a little more than11 acres from the countyhas been approved by theAllen County Commis-sioners, and theHuntertown Town Councilwas to vote on the matterat its meeting on Feb. 22.Results were not availableat press time.The deal includes awater filtration plant, andthe land has been approvedfor more wells.
By SUE REEVES