Government & School Board

SWCD banquet speaker

Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Purdue Extension Forester Lenny Farlee explains forest management methods during the Huntington County Soil and Water Conservation District’s annual meeting and banquet on Thursday, Feb. 23.

4-Hers honored for conservation projects

Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Huntington County 4-H members who excelled in the 4-H soil and water conservation project were honored during the Huntington County Soil and Water Conservation District’s annual meeting and banquet on Thursday, Feb. 23. The 4-H members include (front from left) Nicholas Christman, Benjamin Christman and Marianne Christman; and (back from left) Luke Christman and Alexandria Christman. Michael Winters, Matthew McMillan and Taylor Martz were also honored, but were not in attendance.

Armstrong is newest member of Huntington PD

Huntington Clerk-Treasurer Christi McElhaney (right) swears in Brock Armstrong as a member of the Huntington Police Department on Friday, Feb. 17. Armstrong’s girlfriend, Kristin Lewis (left), holds the Bible and Armstrong’s 3-year-old daughter, Jovie Armstrong; in the background is Huntington Police Chief Chad Hacker.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Brock Armstrong was sworn in on Friday, Feb. 17, as the newest member of the Huntington Police Department.

Armstrong won’t be on the street immediately, though. He’ll spend a couple of weeks with the department before heading to the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy in March for 15 weeks of training.

Another recent hire, Nathan Goodnight, graduated from the academy on Feb. 16.

Armstrong, a lifelong Huntington resident, graduated from Huntington North High School and earned a Bachelor of Science in general studies from Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne.

Roanoke Town Council okays street closures for several town events

The Roanoke Town Council considered a request for a series of street closures for town events at its meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 21.

Perry Collins, president of the Roanoke Chamber of Commerce, presented the board with a list of closure requests that he and chamber member Alice Eshelman had compiled. The list indicated what events corresponded with the requested closures and how long said closures should last. Events on the list ran from May through December.

Council approved the closures.

In other business:

U.S. Rep. Banks introduces first bill

U.S. Rep. Jim Banks introduced his first piece of legislation, the Visa Investigation and Social Media Act (VISA) of 2017, on Feb. 16.

The legislation is designed to strengthen the vetting process for visa applicants.

“We must have confidence that those entering our country do not intend us harm,” said Banks. “Directing Homeland Security to review visa applicants’ social media before granting them access to our country is common sense. Employers vet job candidates this way, and I think it’s time we do the same for visa applicants.”

County commissioners to meet Feb. 21 to discuss employees’ job performances

The Huntington County Commissioners will meet in executive session on Tuesday, Feb. 21, at 10:15 a.m. in Room 103A on the first floor of the Huntington County Courthouse, 201 N. Jefferson St., Huntington.

The commissioners will discuss job performance of individual employees.

Executive sessions are closed to the public.

Markle likely to have to reduce phosphorus in wastewater

Markle will likely have to take steps to reduce the amount of phosphorus found in the town’s wastewater.

Councilmen heard from Wastewater Superintendent Scott Spahr during their regular meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 16, who told them an inspector found the high levels of phosphorus in the pre-treatment wastewater coming into the plant.

“They’re saying that because of the amount of phosphorus coming in, we need to add phosphorus limits to our sewer use ordinance,” Spahr said.

Zay gets 1st piece of leg. through senate 49-0

Legislation authored by State Sen. Andy Zay (R-Huntington) that would help foster care children unanimously passed the senate on Feb. 13, by a vote of 49-0.

Senate Bill 366 would allow foster care children between the ages of 16 and 18 to obtain a driver’s license as well as complete a driving course with individuals approved by the Department of Children Services.

New officer

Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Huntington Mayor Brooks Fetters (left) presents the city's newest police officer, Brock Armstrong (center) with a city leadership medallion as Huntington Police Chief Chad hacker looks on Friday afternoon, Feb. 17, in the Huntington City Council chambers.

Home on road to demolition can be used again, Warren council hears

A house once on the road to demolition may soon become a home once again, following action taken by the Warren Town Council on Monday, Feb. 13.

The long-vacant house, at 907 N. Main St. in Warren, has a history of neglect, foreclosure and unpaid taxes. The Huntington Countywide Department of Community Development (DCD) cited the home for structural and other problems. When necessary repairs were not done, the town council voted last December to take bids for demolition.

School corp. could set up students with college savings accounts

The Huntington County Community School Corporation could soon set up its younger students with a savings account for college.

At its regular meeting on Monday, Feb. 13, the Board of School Trustees heard about the Promise Indiana program, presented by a group of community youth leaders comprising the Lifelong Learning Committee.

Members of the group included HCCSC’s Director of Special Programs Trace Hinesley, YMCA Executive Director Ben Davis and Youth Services Bureau Executive Director Jan Williams.

Compliance plan to satisfy IDEM will be a project of Andrews employees

The Andrews Town Council got the ball rolling at its meeting on Monday, Feb. 13, on the creation of a compliance plan that will help satisfy an agreed order issued to the town by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

The order was slapped on the town for allowing sewage to bypass its wastewater treatment plant and flow into the Wabash River.

Common council hears 2016 wrap-up reports from department heads

Members of the Huntington Common Council opened their meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 14, by listening to a group of budding city planners market their ideal development, then listened as Huntington's real-life administrators described their progress in operating their city over the past year.

Hgtn. Street Dept. closes for Presidents Day

The Huntington Street Department will be closed for Presidents Day on Monday, Feb. 20.

Trash pick-up routes normally covered on Mondays will instead be covered on Tuesday, Feb. 21, starting at 7 a.m. All other trash pick-up days will remain the same.

Orange sticker items, brush, limbs and brown bags will be picked up on Tuesday, Feb. 21.

Immediate resignation for local EMA Director Goss

Lindsie Goss has resigned as director of the Huntington County Emergency Management Agency.

Goss, who has served as EMA director since May 2013, informed the Huntington County Commissioners of her departure in a brief email sent late in the afternoon of Friday, Feb. 3.

“After nearly 4 years of service I have accepted a full-time position in private sector,” she wrote. “Please accept this email as my resignation effective immediately.”

Robert “Bob” Jeffers is deputy director of the agency.

Rep. Jim Banks tapped to serve on two military subcommittees

U.S. Rep. Jim Banks has been named to the Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee and the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee on the House Armed Services Committee.

“I look forward to serving on these important subcommittees,” Banks said. “The Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee oversees programs that directly affect the 122nd Fighter Wing in Fort Wayne.

“Being a member of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee will provide an opportunity to help ensure that taxpayer dollars are being spent well on our defense.”

Banks to target EPA rules in new role

U.S. Rep. Jim Banks, R-IN3, has been named vice chairman of the Environment  Subcommittee on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee.

He will also serve as a member of the Space Subcommittee and the Research and Technology Subcommittee.

“In this position I hope to examine the most harmful EPA regulations that hurt small businesses and hinder job creations,” Banks says.

“Addressing overregulation and red tape will be a major priority, and I look forward to this role.”

Commissioners announce two executive sessions

The Huntington County Commissioners will hold two executive sessions on Feb. 6 in the Commissioners’ Room on the first floor of the Huntington County Courthouse.

The first session, at 10 a.m., will allow the commissioners to discuss confidential records.

During the 1 p.m. session, the commissioners will discuss a job performance evaluation of an individual employee.

Executive sessions are closed to the public.

New City Services building

Photo by Steve Clark.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at the new Huntington City Services building on Webster Street on Thursday, Jan. 26.

HCCSC gets grant for counseling initiative

The Huntington County Community School Corporation has landed a $50,000 grant that will help school officials determine and plan to improve the mental and emotional health of the district’s students.

The grant was awarded by Lilly Endowment Inc.’s Comprehensive Counseling Initiative. HCCSC was one of 284 school corporations and charters schools in Indiana receiving planning grants through the initiative.

HCCSC board to meet in exec session on Wednesday, Feb. 1

The Huntington County Community School Corporation’s Board of School Trustees will meet in executive session on Wednesday, Feb. 1, at 11:30 a.m. at the Horace Mann Education Center.

During the session, board members will meet with an outside consultant to learn about performing their roles as public officials.

The session is closed to the public.

Firefighter joins HFD

Photo by Rebecca Sandlin

Nate Schmalzried (center) repeats the oath as a newly-installed firefighter on the Huntington Fire Department, sworn in by Huntington Clerk-Treasurer Christi Scher-McElhaney (left) on Wednesday, Jan. 25, in the city council chambers. Holding the Bible is his wife, Jacquelynn. Schmalzried, who was formerly the interim property manager at the Roush Lake Fish and Wildlife Area, will work on the fire department full time at Station 1.

Andrews moving into high gear on wastewater treatment project

Town leaders in Andrews are moving into high gear as they begin the process of making state-mandated improvements to the community’s wastewater treatment facility.

Members of the Andrews Town Council announced during their meeting on Monday, Jan. 23, that they will travel to Indianapolis today, Thursday, Jan. 26, to officially receive a $600,000 grant from the Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) that will help pay for the improvements.

The grant was announced on Dec. 1.

Newer technology for teachers may be coming

Teachers in the Huntington County Community School Corporation got some welcome news at the school board’s meeting on Monday, Jan. 23, in the form of new iPads and MacBooks.

Board members considered replacing teachers’ five-year-old MacBook computers, which Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Chad Daugherty said are nearly outdated.

Commish start new redevelopment group

The Huntington County Council made several appointments at its meeting on Monday, Jan. 23.

One of those appointments saw Councilman Terry Miller named to a new economic development commission being established by the Huntington County Commissioners. Tom Wall, president of the commissioners, shared that the commission will be known as the Redevelopment Commission and that he envisions it being an entity that will work alongside Huntington County Economic Development.

Markle cabin move likely to happen soon

The Markle log cabin known as the Draper House will likely be moved to its new home sooner than expected, according to a report made to the Markle Town Council during its first meeting of the year on Jan. 18.

Markle Historical Society Co-Chairs Lisa Street and Teresa Beck told councilmen that “unforeseen circumstances” now give the town 30 days from Jan. 9 to move the house from its current location and to its new home on Old Mill Park property.

Markle council sets meeting

The Markle Town Council will hold an executive session on Saturday, Jan. 28, at 4 p.m. at the Markle Town Hall, 197 E. Morse St., Markle.

The purpose of the meeting is to receive information about and interview prospective employees.

Banks on Congressional Steel Caucus

U.S. Rep. Jim Banks has joined the Congressional Steel Caucus, a bipartisan group of members of Congress who represent districts with steel manufacturers or are interested in the health of the American steel industry.

“Indiana is one of the nation’s leaders in steel production and more than 18,000 steelworkers reside in northeast Indiana,” Banks says. “I aim to advocate for the interests of Hoosier steelworkers as a member of the Congressional Steel Caucus.”

Banks votes yes on resolution to repeal Affordable Care Act

U.S. Rep Jim Banks voted on Friday, Jan. 13, to pass a budget resolution that begins the process of repealing the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

“Today’s vote is about fulfilling a commitment I made to my constituents and the promises Republicans made to the American people,” Banks said in a news release.

Roanoke council approves fire protection contract with Jackson Township

The Roanoke Town Council approved a fire protection contract with Jackson Township at its meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 17.

The pact, which also covers rescue and first responder services, will now go back to the Jackson Township Board for approval. Should the board approve the contract, it will pay Roanoke a total of $21,550 in two installments, as well as one third of the town’s total premium for volunteer firefighters’ death benefit.

In other business: