Life's Better Here: Angola 2013 (VIDEOS)

By Emma Koch

June 27, 2013 Updated Jun 27, 2013 at 11:07 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) – Our summer-long profile of local hometowns continues and this time, we find ourselves in Angola.

Angola, Ind. is arguably the most beautiful it has been in many years, perhaps in its entire history. The gorgeous civil war monument at the town's center, one of the finest in the country in any town, still sparkles from its recent restoration. And the entire downtown, thanks to a huge beautification effort, is awash of color from new flowers and plants.

On the west side of town, work continues on the 100-year-old Angola Christian Church, just purchased by Trine University across the street. It is being reborn as the school's 'Furth Center for the Performing Arts' with full concert hall, theatre stage and facilities for the schools expanded music program. But the biggest news in Angola this summer lies to the east, on the other side of the town circle.

Construction is well underway on the new $42-million Cameron Memorial Community Hospital, a completely new facility with medical office building that will replace the current hospital. It will have 25 inpatient rooms, state-of-the-art cancer treatment center and expanded emergency room. The new Cameron will be the first hospital in the entire region in which all the in-patient rooms are identical.

“So equipment, supplies, everything needed for the care of the patient will always be in the same location,” Cameron President and CEO, Greg Burns, said. “In an emergency that's exactly what you'd want.”

He says in addition to enhanced medical care, the new hospital will provide a huge draw for new business and industry to the area.

“They look for education, health care, infrastructure and so this will be a big plus for our local area, for our region as we continue to grow in the future,” Burns said.

The new hospital is scheduled to open its doors in the fall of 2014, the newest in a growing list of reasons why life is just a little better in this corner of Steuben County.

When most people think of Angola, a few things come to mind: Pokagon State Park, Trine University or possibly one of the 101 lakes nearby.

And right next to Lake James is where you'll find Mad Anthony's Lakeview Alehouse. They opened up the week before Memorial Day in the area that used to be known as Bledsoe's beach and the old Hoosier basketball camp. And it was memories like these that drew the owners to this area.

"I live up here full time, have for 12 years with my wife and family,” Blaine Stuckey said. “And have always had a great fond memories of history and growing up around here in the Summers. And without the activity of what used to be in this area, all the restaurants and pubs and arcades and dance halls, it was a cool opportunity."

This particular location has a slightly different menu, offering more fish than it's counterparts in Fort Wayne, Warsaw, or Auburn.

If you're looking for something closer to downtown Angola, head to the Village Kitchen.

This small restaurant has been here for 30 plus years and it's a place the locals love.

"Got a lot of local people. Some people come here three times a day - breakfast, lunch, and dinner."

That's Rick Morris. He started in the kitchen cooking up fresh to order meals, but has since bought the restaurant from his aunt and uncle in 1997. He moved to Angola from Michigan years ago, and fell in love with the community.

"Nice, small community. Friendly. Lot's of things to do around here,” Morris said.

No matter what you're doing in Angola, you shouldn't go hungry. And that makes life a little better here.

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