The Journal Gazette
Monday, September 14, 2020 1:00 am

Welders repair historic jail without welds

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

Chuck Smith and John DiFlauro had to refrain from using some of their welding expertise when tackling a project for the History Center.

The Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne staff members agreed to refurbish a damaged portable jail made in the 1880s, and they wanted to maintain historical accuracy as much as possible, according to a news release.

“The cell itself couldn't have any welds on it, because that's a somewhat modern technique for joining metal,” DiFlauro said in a statement. “We had to remove the welds, square up the cell, and set over 100 rivets just using hand tools in order to bring it close to what it should have looked like.”

Made by E.T. Barnum Wire & Iron Works, the jail temporarily housed prisoners until they could be transferred to the county jail, the release said. It noted the Detroit company produced the cells for only a few years, so they are rare historical objects.

“This is one of the largest and heaviest objects in the History Center's collection, and we'd been noticing deterioration for the past few years to the point where it would bow when we tried to move it,” Todd Maxwell Pelfrey, History Center executive director, said in a statement.

He described it as a “terrific fortune” that Ivy Tech's welding program and staff could complete the repairs.

Smith, a welding instructor, and DiFlauro, a tool crib attendant, spent about 130 volunteer hours on the project over several months, completing such repairs as stabilizing the door, removing and replacing damaged iron and steel, and removing and fixing bunk beds, the release said.

“They were kind enough to take on this project that could have cost us several thousands of dollars, which is not an amount easily covered by our standard collections budget,” Pelfrey said. 


• Indiana families who contribute to a new or existing CollegeChoice 529 direct or adviser account in September could win a $5,000 account contribution through the Save to Win Sweepstakes. Go to for rules.


• Psi Iota Xi – a charitable organization supporting communities in the fields of speech and hearing, art, music and literature – held its national convention at Grand Wayne Center in August. National President Pat Menge of the Pi Chapter in Fort Wayne conducted the meetings. The local chapter is celebrating its 100th anniversary.


• College students have until late October to apply for internships during the 2021 Indiana General Assembly session. Interns earn a $750 biweekly stipend and benefit from scholarship and academic credit opportunities, professional development, community involvement and networking. Candidates may be of any major and must be at least a college sophomore. Recent college graduates and graduate and law school students also are encouraged to apply. There might be a combination of on-site and remote work during the pandemic. Applications are due Oct. 30 for House internships and Oct. 31 for Senate internships. Go to,, or for information.

Ivy Tech

• The student-run massage clinic at Ivy Tech Community College's Fort Wayne campus will be open this semester from today to Dec. 12. These hours are available by appointment: 2, 4 and 6 p.m. Mondays; 10 a.m., noon, 2 and 4 p.m. Wednesdays; 2, 4 and 6 p.m. Thursdays; 10 a.m., noon, 2 and 4 p.m. Fridays; and 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. Saturdays. Call 260-480-2094 to make an appointment. Slots typically fill up within a few weeks of opening. Massages are $30 for the community and $25 for Ivy Tech employees and students, military personnel and those 55 and older. Additional safety measures are being taken given the pandemic. Go to for more information.


• Ivy Tech Community College ranks 213th on WalletHub's report, 2020's Best & Worst Community Colleges. The personal-finance website compared more than 650 community colleges across 18 indicators of cost and quality.

• Indiana's early education system was ranked the worst in America by WalletHub. Its report, 2020's States with the Best & Worst Early Education Systems, compared the states and District of Columbia across 12 metrics, including share of school districts offering a state pre-K program, number of pre-K quality benchmarks met and total reported spending per child enrolled in pre-K.

• A WalletHub analysis found Indiana has the second most equitable school districts in the nation. It also scored 289 Indiana districts on average household income and expenditures for public and elementary and secondary schools per student to determine where school funding is distributed most equitably. Rankings included Fort Wayne Community Schools at 102, East Allen County Schools at 122, Northwest Allen County Schools at 272 and Southwest Allen County Schools at 279.


Carma Cherry of Angola was part of a Trine University team that won an award presented as part of the 2020 NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge. The design engineering technology majors won the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Best Report Award in the College and University Division.

• SME, the professional association committed to advancing manufacturing and developing a skilled workforce, honored Steve Dusseau of Indiana Tech with its 2020 Distinguished Faculty Advisor Award. Dusseau was selected for his oversight, engagement and awareness efforts on behalf of SME and its student chapter at Indiana Tech.

Dominic Lombardo, associate professor and director of Indiana Tech's Center for Criminal Justice, received the 2019 Leepoxy Award for Teaching Innovation. The award was established by Larry Lee, a community supporter and owner of Leepoxy Plastics.

• The University of Saint Francis recognized faculty achievements at its annual Faculty Scholarship Banquet in August. The 2019-20 Leepoxy Award for Teaching Excellence was awarded to Heather Jeffries, assistant professor of criminal justice and criminology. Dr. Lorene Arnold, professor of nursing, received the 2019-20 Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership Award.

Students and parents who have a favorite teacher can nominate the individual for Teacher Honor Roll. Send nominations to The Journal Gazette, 600 W. Main St., Fort Wayne, IN 46802; fax 461-8893 or email

To submit an item, send a typed release from the school or organization to Education Notebook, The Journal Gazette, 600 W. Main St., Fort Wayne, IN 46802; fax 461-8893 or email at least two weeks before the desired publication date.

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