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Hanover zoning change clears way for Lanthier
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Hanover Town Board officially adopted zoning changes Tuesday clearing the way for Lanthier Winery in downtown Madison to expand its operations to Hanover.

On Monday, Hanover Plan Commission met to consider a zoning change request at 431 West Lagrange Road to permit operation of a small farm winery, microbrewery and artisan distillery.

As part of the discussion at a town council meeting last week, town attorney Devon Sharpe was asked to better define what operations would be permitted on the property.

“Farm Winery” means a facility in which wine products are grown and processed for commercial sales with a capacity of not more than one million gallons per year in Indiana — excluding wine shipped to an out-of-state address as regulated and defined by the State of Indiana. The development may also include other uses such as a retail shop, standard restaurant, bar or live entertainment.

“Microbrewery (brew-pub)” means a facility for the production and packaging of malt beverages of low alcoholic content for distribution, retail, or wholesale, on or off premise, with a capacity of not more than 15,000 barrels per year as regulated by the State of Indiana. The development may also include other uses such as a standard restaurant, bar or live entertainment. Microbreweries may also be known as a brewpub.

“Artisan Distillery” means a facility for the production and packaging of less than 10,000 barrels of distilled alcohol spirits or liquor per year as regulated by the State of Indiana. The development may also include a tasting room or be in conjunction with a bar/tavern or restaurant.

The proposal was unanimously approved for recommendation by the plan commission on Monday and unanimously adopted by the town council Tuesday to finalize the zoning change request.

“Thank you so much,” said Tami Hagemier, who operates Lanthier Winery with her husband, Chris Lanthier. “It has been a pleasure to work with the Town of Hanover. You have been very kind and professional, and we could not feel more welcome than we have. We’re looking forward to doing business in Hanover. We’re very honored to be here.”

“Thank you for considering Hanover for your business.” said Todd Bruther, president of the Hanover Plan Commission.

New Encore Theatre group to stage Barefoot this weekend
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A new theater group in Madison will open first production this weekend when the comedy “Barefoot in the Park” is staged at Opal Sherman Auditorium at Madison Consolidated High School.

The group, Encore Theatre of Madison formed during the summer, provides an opportunity for MCHS theater alumni and community members to be involved in theater locally.

Alec Lichlyter, a 2005 Madison graduate, is leading Encore, an idea that came together as he and Kamra Smith, a 2009 Madison graduate, dreamed of creating opportunities for Madison Consolidated School alumni to participate in theatre.

“This gets the alumni back to the glory days of Madison theater and also allows the community to get involved,” said Lichlyter.

The theater group organized in July and by August was planning for “Barefoot in the Park,” a Neil Simon play that premiered on Broadway in 1963. “What we wanted to do was something with a small cast, a simple set and a great story, and that’s why we decided on this,” said Lichlyter, noting that once organized they wanted to do a production as quickly as possible to get the word out about the new theater group.

“Barefoot in the Park” will be performed at Opal Sherman Auditorium, 743 Clifty Drive, on Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 students K-12 and only available at the door, where cash or credit card will be accepted. Adult tickets for the Sunday matinée at $10.

Encore Theatre is characterized as an outreach of Madison Fine Arts Academy, which provided funding to help cover expenses for putting on the play. “The profits go back to them, so it’s also a fundraiser for them. This is a chance for the alumni to be back at Opal Sherman putting on a show while raising money for the Fine Arts Academy,” Lichlyter said.

“Barefoot in the Park” is the story of a newlywed couple, Corie and Paul Bratter, who move into an apartment in New York City, both with their differences — Corie who is more carefree and Paul who is more strait-laced.

“They’re learning what it means when they’re very opposite,” said Lichlyter. Corie wants Paul to become more easy-going, even suggesting they run “barefoot in the park.”

Lichlyter said Corrie and Paul are figuring out what marriage is about,” and the process “leads them on wild adventures” as they work through their lives together. “It has high-hearted comedic moments that tackle big things,” he said.

Sydney Randall will perform the role of Corrie while Thomas Cifranik will play Paul. Other actors are Patrick Magrath as Victor Velasco, Holly Magrath as Ethel Banks and Lichlyter as Harry Pepper. Tiffany Lichlyter is the stage manager and technical director while Melanie Torline is the art director and Shannon Bell is in charge of costumes. Three MCHS students are also helping with the production — Isa James and Anneliese Crumley with lighting and Owen Schmidt with sound.

Lichlyter said “Barefoot in the Park” will serve as a “dress rehearsal for future productions. We wanted to get our feet wet,” and he’s hoping the theater group will grow.

“We’re eager for everyone to come support our group,” he said.

Charlie’s Beat
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When I met with Kerry Owens he’d been living in Madison for exactly two days. The 31-year-old Rushville native had been living in Indy for most of the last decade, but his parents moved here about eight years ago and he’s been coming for regular visits.

“Dad is a chef and he cooks for the Sigma Chi fraternity out at Hanover. I’ve been coming on weekends, and the music culture here in Madison has really been intriguing me,” relates Kerry. “I’ve been totally immersed in the hip hop scene up in Indy, but I’m ready for a change. Madison seemed like a natural choice.

“It’s exciting to be here. I’ve already talked to Brent Turner and Drew Eades from Unbroken Circle Productions about opportunities to perform here. I’ve talked to Jimmy Davis. Everybody has been so supportive and encouraging so far.”

I had the opportunity to see Kerry in action last Tuesday at open mic night at The Taproom. It was one of the more unconventional performances I’ve ever seen. Jimmy Davis was there with Danny Cook on bass and Kerry Mefford on drums. He just asked them to take off on any jam they wanted and he’d jump in over top with improvised lyrics.

So off they went on a hot and funky groove, and here comes Kerry, bopping to the beat and stepping off the Taproom stage with microphone in hand, freestyling lyrics and scatting a tune. It was very cool, I must say. Next Jimmy and the guys spun a reggae jam, and Kerry joined right in. No rehearsal. No sheet music. No concept of where it might go. Very improvisational and fun.

“I’ve always focused more on vocals, less on playing an instrument,” says Kerry. “I have picked up some guitar along the way, pretty much self-taught. But now I’m ready to break out of the hip hop mold and get back to the style of music I’ve always wanted to do.

“I guess if you had to label the style I’m going for it would be Americana or Roots music. I’m in the process right now of talking to people and hopefully putting a three- or four-piece band together. I’m not really a solo guy, I need musicians behind me.

“As far as songwriting goes, I’m sort of a story guy. I just live my life for two or three months and experience all the normal things that life throws at you, then I have the material I need to do some songwriting.

“I don’t care what your life is like, whether there is lots of drama, or whether things are settled and simple, the story is there. The feelings are there. You just have to be observant and take note of the way humans interact and how they feel.

“I’m really excited for this new chapter of my life here in Madison. It was the right time and the right next step. And I made sure I was ready for a move like this. Hopefully in the not too distant future you’ll be able to see me singing my new music at the local venues here in Madison.”

Hot Tip of the Week

Thursday night, Oct. 7, is kind of a red-letter date for live music. Konrad Wert, who plays under the stage name Possessed by Paul James, will be bringing his totally unique and entertaining show to Red Bicycle Hall. Paul James was his grandfather, and he often performs like a man possessed! His new album “As We Go Wandering” was recently charting No. 5 on Billboard’s Bluegrass Albums. Also on Thursday at The Taproom will be a special appearance by a band out of Minnesota called Good Morning Bedlam. Quoting from their band bio, “Their shows are known for their contagious energy, with members careening about the stage, jumping and dancing with a wild playfulness.” Sounds good to me! And don’t forget, Saturday is Soup Stew Chili Brew, with live music starting at 11 a.m. on three stages and going all day.

Upcoming show alert

Mark your calendar (and get your tickets while you still can) for Wayne “The Train” Hancock, coming to Red Bicycle Hall next Friday, Oct. 15. The dude is a legend! Anthony Ray Wright will be opening for him. Charlie Rohlfing is a retired advertising man and partner in The Red Bicycle Hall music venue. Look for his distinctive fedora bobbing above the crowd, anywhere live local music is happening.

This Week in Music

Thursday, October 7

Off Broadway Taproom — Good Morning Bedlam

Red Bicycle Hall — Possessed by Paul James

Friday, October 8

Central Hotel — Tyrone Cotton

Off Broadway Taproom — Falls City Boys

Mad Paddle — Brett Stafford Smith

Saturday, October 9

Central Hotel — Stacey & the Wildcards

Off Broadway Taproom — Brother Smith

Thomas Family Winery — Anthony Ray Wright

Lighthouse — Jhonnie & Sallie

Mad Paddle — R0man T0ast

VFW — Jordan Tyler (open to public)

Moose — Smokin Guns (open to public)

Main Street — Soup Stew Chili Brew

Sunday, October 10

Stream Cliff Farm — Robert Reynolds (Last one of the season)

Monday, October 11

Crafted Coffee — Open Mic Night

Tuesday, October 12

Off-Broadway Taproom — Open Mic Night

Wednesday, October 13

Central Hotel — Doug Dillman

Soup, Stew, Chili & Brew back on tap this weekend
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The Madison Area Chamber of Commerce’s Soup, Stew, Chili and Brew Festival, now in its 19th year, is expected to once again fill Main Street with visitors Saturday for perhaps the most diverse and tasty event of the festival season.

The 2021 Soup, Stew, Chili and Brew, sponsored this year by Ivy Tech-Madison, runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday on Main Street from Jefferson Street to Broadway and on Mulberry Street between Main and Second streets.

“This is a community festival for all ages,” said Emilee Roberts, executive director of the Madison Area Chamber of Commerce. “It encompasses so many pieces of Madison and the community. I’m real excited.”

Robert said the festival began as “a small food contest to bring people to the downtown historic district” but has become one of the city’s biggest one-day events. “It started from that, and it continues to grow.”

She said people love the food and music plus there are events for all ages.

“It has something for everybody and their family,” Roberts said. “And it’s fall weather, which is always beautiful and fun to be out in.”

New this year is the Adult Fun Zone, which will be located on Mulberry Street with a cornhole competition and Kan Jam, the flying disc game, plus a huge Jenga set.

The Kids Zone with bouncy houses is also back and will be located on the north side of Main Street from Poplar Street. Kids Zone wristbands will cost $10. “They can get on the inflatables as much as they want to, and there will also a coloring station there, too,” said Roberts.

Live music will be performed throughout the day on three different stages.

At Main and West streets in front of City Hall, Jimmy Davis and Bill Lancton perform from 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m., Two Buck Chuck from 12:45 p.m.-1:30 p.m., Rusty Bladen from 2-3 p.m., and Lindsey Flannery from 3:30-4:30 p.m.

Across from the Red Bicycle Hall at 125 East Main Street, Charlie Rohlfing will perform from 11:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Kade Puckett from 1-2:15 p.m., and Aaron and Wesley Smith of Brother Smith from 2:45-4 p.m.

In front of the Comfort Station at 221 West Main Street, Robby Cox will perform from 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m., Joe Perkinson and Dean Crafton from 1:15-2:30 p.m., and Logan Rush from 3-4 p.m.

But the real draw for the festival is the food and drink as local and regional chefs serve up their best recipes of soups, stews, chili and drinks in sample sizes that allow visitors to taste sweet, savory and spicy delights up and down Main Street.

Food tickets cost $1 for soups, stews and chilies sold at each booth at 2 tickets for 4 ounces, 3 tickets for 6 ounces and 4 tickets for 8 ounces. Brews can include any type of drink — from lemonade, to milk shake, beer or anything else — with the number of tickets depending on the price vendors charge.

Judges will present awards for the best of festival in four categories: Soup, Stew, Chili and Brew.

The event serves as a fundraiser for the Chamber along with the food vendors — many of whom are local charities or represent charities — who receive a percentage of the ticket sales.

“It’s a community fundraiser,” said Roberts.

In addition to the event, the Chamber is also selling Soup, Stew, Chili and Brew cookbooks with recipes from past participants of the event. Roberts said the cookbooks, available for $15, were created last year when the Chamber ended up holding a virtual event due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Roberts said the Chamber is thrilled to once again host the event live. “We’re really excited and hoping people come out, and have fun, listen to good music, and have good food.”

She noted the event is also an opportunity to support local and businesses that are participating by taking the opportunity to shop downtown while attending the festival.

COVID death toll climbs in 3-of-4 counties
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The COVID-19 death toll has increased in three out of four local counties over the last two days with Jefferson, Switzerland and Trimble counties all reporting new deaths related to the pandemic.

According to data released by the Indiana Department of Health, Jefferson County now has 95 deaths during the pandemic while Switzerland County has 11. Meanwhile, the Kentucky Department for Public Health reported that Trimble County’s death toll has increased to 10 while Carroll County’s remains at 23.

Metrics were updated Wednesday in Indiana with Switzerland County moving back into the “Orange” metric for medium to high spread after being in the “Red” for high spread the last several weeks. Jefferson County remains in the “Orange” while incidence rates in Trimble and Carroll counties are keeping both Kentucky counties in the “Red” for high spread.

In the last day, Jefferson County has had 22 new positive cases of COVID-19 for a total of 4,943 throughout the pandemic. The current positivity rate is 11.20%.

Switzerland County has had three new cases with 12.00% positivity rate, Trimble County has had five new cases with a 9.47% positivity rate, and Carroll County has had 11 new cases with an 11.18% positivity rate.