Government & School Board

Banks bill passes House Monday

The House of Representatives passed a bill on Monday, Nov. 6, authored by Congressman Jim Banks (IN-03).

The Banks bill would revise existing law regarding headstones provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs to the spouses and dependent children of veterans whose remains are never located.

The legislation passed the House unanimously and now heads to the Senate for consideration.

Public Law 105-368 provides headstones for spouses and was enacted in 1998. Public Law 109-461 provides headstones for dependent children and was enacted in 2006.

Office in Markle to close Friday

The Town of Markle Clerk’s Office will be closed on Friday, Nov. 10, in observance of Veterans Day.

Roanoke council discusses next step in closing lagoon

The Roanoke Town Council discussed the next step in closing a lagoon near the town’s wastewater treatment plant during its meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 7.

Banks and Peters lead roundtable on delayed payments for medical devices

Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin (center) makes a point as Congressman Jim Banks (seated to his left) listens during a bipartisan roundtable discussion about the VA’s late payments on medical devices Wednesday, Nov. 1.
Photo provided.

Congressmen Jim Banks (IN-03) and Scott Peters (CA-52) hosted a bipartisan roundtable with Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, other members of the VA leadership team and representatives from medical device manufacturers on Nov. 1 to discuss the high amount of late payments for medical devices procured by the VA.

Several Hoosier medical device manufacturers, the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) and House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Phil Roe (TN-01) took part in the discussion.

Banks staff member to be in Huntington this Thursday morning, Nov. 9, to meet with residents having fed. govt. problems

Congressman Jim Banks (IN-03) has announced that a member of his staff will visit Huntington on Thursday, Nov. 9, from 9:30 a.m. to noon to meet with local residents and assist Hoosiers experiencing problems with a federal agency.

The office hours will be held at the Huntington County Courthouse Annex, 1350 S. Jefferson St., Huntington.

Banks votes to disband Medicare payment panel

Congressman Jim Banks (IN-03) voted Thursday, Nov. 2, to disband the Medicare Independent Payment Advisory Board.

The legislation passed the House 307 to 111.

“Hoosiers should be in charge of their health care choices, not a panel of unelected bureaucrats in Washington,” said Banks. “Strengthening Medicare and putting it on a fiscally healthy track is a task for members of Congress — officials who the American people have elected and can hold accountable.

Andrews C-T office to be closed on Nov. 8

The Town of Andrews Clerk-Treasurer’s office will be closed Wednesday, Nov. 8, for computer training.

HCCSC board calls executive mtg.

The Huntington County Community School Corporation’s Board of Trustees will meet in executive session today, Monday, Nov. 6, at 7 p.m. at the Horace Mann Education Center.

The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the purchase or lease of real property by the governing body up to the time a contract or option to purchase or lease is executed by the parties.

Executive sessions are closed to the public.

Huntington Common Council hears proposal to restructure sewage fees

Huntington residents who use very little water could see a significant increase in their sewage fees under a proposal that restructures how those fees are figured.

The proposal was introduced to members of the Huntington Common Council during their meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 31. In addition to the restructuring, the council was also asked to consider increasing rates to pay for an ongoing project designed to keep raw sewage from flowing into the rivers.

Bureau of Motor Vehicle office will close on Veterans Day

All Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicle branches will be closed Saturday, Nov. 11, in observance of Veterans Day.

Branches resume regularly scheduled business hours on Tuesday, Nov. 14. For a complete list of branch locations and hours, or to conduct an online transaction, visit

IPFW professor speaks to county Democrats

Andrew Downs
Photo provided.

The Huntington County Democrat Party will hold its monthly meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 1, at 6:30 p.m. at the Huntington Branch of the Huntington City-Township Public Library.

The guest speaker will be Dr. Andrew Downs, director of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. He is also an associate professor of political science at IPFW.

Downs will speak on the state of Indiana politics and the challenges the Democrat Party faces in the 2018 elections.

The meeting is open to the public.

Commissioners to hold exec session today

The Huntington County Commissioners will meet in an executive session today, Monday, Oct. 30, at 8:30 a.m. in the Huntington County Courthouse, Commissioners Room 103A, 201 N. Jefferson St., Huntington.

The Commissioners will meet with respect to interviews and negotiations with industrial or commercial prospects or agents of industrial or commercial prospects.

Executive sessions are closed to the public.

Pace Chevrolet hosting Trunk or Treat Halloween Extravaganza on Oct. 31

Pace Chevrolet is hosting a Trunk or Treat Halloween Extravaganza on Tuesday, Oct. 31, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

A free event for kids of all ages, there will be trick or treating, prizes and giveaways.

Bicycle prizes will be awarded to the boy and girl whose costumes are voted the best. The prizes are sponsored by Pace Chevrolet and 24/7 Towing.

For the adults, there will be giveaways of automotive detail kits and two five-quart oil changes with tire rotation.

Banks votes to increase sanctions against Iran

Congressman Jim Banks (IN-03), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, voted Wednesday, Oct. 25, to increase sanctions on Iran’s missile program.

“Iran became increasingly bold in the Middle East and Syria under the previous administration, and we cannot allow its aggression to go unchecked,” Banks said in a news release. “By enacting stronger sanctions against Iran and those who seek to help the Iranian regime acquire nuclear-capable ballistic missiles, Iran will be held accountable.

Six attorneys vying to replace Hakes as judge when he steps down Dec. 31

Six attorneys are vying to be named judge of the Huntington Circuit Court when longtime Judge Tom Hakes steps down from the bench later this year.

Jill M. Denman, Jamie Groves, Stefan J. Poling, Davin G. Smith, Brett Vanlandingham and Justin R. Wall have submitted applications to Gov. Eric Holcomb to be considered for the judgeship.

Hakes submitted his letter of resignation to Holcomb in August, setting his last day as Dec. 31.

Hakes has served as judge in the Huntington Circuit Court since June of 2006, when he was appointed as full-time judge pro tem.

School board wraps up months of work with new districts

The Huntington County Community School Corporation Board of School Trustees wrapped up months of work, deliberation and often frustration Monday, Oct. 23, settling on new district boundaries to begin with the 2018-19 school year.

The changes reflect the closing at the end of this year of Lancaster and Northwest elementary schools, the reopening next fall of Horace Mann Elementary and the future new school to be built in Roanoke.

The vote was 6-1, with Board President Mathew Roth voting against the motion to change elementary school boundaries.

Andrews to pursue OCRA grant to build storm water infrastructure

The Andrews Town Council is interested in applying for a grant that would help fund the construction of storm water infrastructure.

The board met with Region 3A Development and Regional Planning Commission earlier Monday, Oct. 23, to discuss pursuing a grant from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA).

Council President Bill Johnson said during the council’s regular meeting that evening that Region 3A had contacted OCRA to determine if the town would need to conduct another income survey before applying for the grant.

Council picks ex-librarian to serve on HCTPL board

Faced with deciding between two applicants for a spot on the Huntington City-Township Public Library board, members of the Huntington County Council selected the applicant who attended their meeting on Monday, Oct. 23.

Daryl Shrock, a retired librarian who described herself as an avid reader, won the unanimous approval of the council.

The second applicant was Terri Salzano-Sees, of Huntington. She did not attend the council’s meeting.

Warren Town Council to hold special meeting Nov. 6 to discuss town power

A special meeting of the Warren Town Council has been called for Nov. 6 at 5 p.m. in the Council Meeting Room, Assembly Hall, 131 N. Wayne St. , Warren.

The council will meet with consultant Greg Guerrettaz for updates on status of contract negotiations regarding supply of electric power to the town.

Markle wastewater, water rates to increase by 20 percent

Gary Girvin (right), of Fishers and formerly of Huntington County, signs the papers donating the Draper Cabin owned by his family over to the Town of Markle, as Markle Town Council President Jeff Humbarger looks on. The cabin is expected to be ready for tours next year.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

It could have gone higher, but the Markle Town Council preliminarily decided at its meeting Wednesday, Oct. 18, to hold increases on wastewater and water rates to 20 percent, over the objections of the town’s clerk-treasurer.

Councilmen based their decision on the completed water and wastewater utility studies performed by H.J. Umbaugh & Associates, which note that Markle currently has the second-lowest rates among 18 Hoosier towns surveyed of similar size.

Roanoke council hires engineering firm for street improvement project bid documents

The Roanoke Town Council hired civil engineering firm Fleis & VandenBrink to prepare the bid documents for street improvement projects in town next year at its meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 17.

The town will pay $49,992 to Fleis & VandenBrink for its services, which will include the drafting of bidding paperwork, drawings and specifications for the projects, of which there will be six.

Roanoke was awarded a Community Crossings Matching Grant totaling $567,232.50 in September that will fund the majority of the work. The total cost of the projects will be $756,310.

Andrews Town Council reviews 2018 budget, rules on house demo

The Andrews Town Council reviewed the town’s proposed budget for 2018 during a public hearing at its meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 10.

The budget comes out to $912,066. The maximum estimated funds to be raised are $348,736.

The public can view the budget by going online to or by visiting town hall at 66 N. Main St.

A vote on the budget’s adoption will be taken at council’s next meeting, Oct. 23.

Huntington County Commissioners to meet in exec session on Monday

The Huntington County Commissioners will meet in executive session on Monday, Oct. 16, at 1:30 p.m. in Room 103A of the Huntington County Courthouse.

The commissioners plan to discuss strategy regarding the implementation of security systems or a governing body of a political subdivision.

Executive sessions are closed to the public.

Curbside recycling program gets initial approval from Hgtn. council

Rules for a curbside recycling program earned initial approval from the Huntington Common Council on Tuesday, Oct. 10, moving the program one step closer to implementation.

The ordinance, a companion to a previously-enacted ordinance setting out fees for the recycling program, must still be voted on a second time, and that vote could occur during the council's next meeting on Oct. 31.

Redistricted maps of county’s elem. schools get first reading Monday

Redistricted maps of the county’s elementary sch-ools received a first reading Monday, Oct. 9, by members of the Huntington County Community Sch-ool Corporation Board of School Trustees, as the board and administrators worked to keep student capacity levels fair across the six schools.

Superintendent Randy Harris said that while Salamonie School has far more capacity than the corporation will be able to use, the new boundary lines for the other five elementary schools bring each school as close to capacity as possible.

Warren approves budget but property tax rate still work in progress

The Warren Town Council approved a budget for 2018 during its meeting on Monday, Oct. 9, but the part of the budget that matters to most Warren residents — the property tax rate — is still very much a work in progress.

The tax rate for 2018, however, will probably end up looking much like the 2017 rate of $1.0798 per $100 of assessed value, Clerk-Treasurer Marilyn Morrison says, even though next year’s rate will be advertised at $1.19.

HCCSC schools get mixed grade in IDOE accountability scores

The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) has released the 2016-17 School Accountability Grades, and Huntington County Community Schools received a mixed report card.

Grades for Andrews Elementary, Riverview Middle School, Crestview Middle School and Huntington North High School stayed the same as the previous year, with Riverview earning another A and the other three schools again receiving B grades.

Roanoke Elementary and Northwest Elementary both went down a grade, from an A to a B.

Lincoln Elementary school went from a C to F.

Banks’ staff member to be in town on Thursday

Congressman Jim Banks (IN-03) has announced that a member of his staff will visit Huntington on Thursday, Oct. 12, from 9:30 a.m. to noon at the Huntington County Courthouse Annex, 1350 S. Jefferson St., Huntington.

The purpose of the event is to meet with local residents and assist Hoosiers experiencing problems with a federal agency.

Roanoke awarded grant money

Photo provided.

Toni Mayo (front row, second from left), of the Indiana Department of Transportation, visited Roanoke on Friday, Sept. 22, to present a certificate for a Community Crossings Matching Grant totaling $567,232.50 to town representatives.

Banks votes in favor of anti-abortion legislation

Congressman Jim Banks (IN-03) voted on Oct. 3 in favor of H.R. 36, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.

The bill, which would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, passed the House 237-189 and now heads to the Senate for consideration.