Government & School Board

Outgoing chairman breaks tie to give Democrat leadership post to Snyder

Gary Snyder (left, holding daughter Ava) was elected chairman of the Huntington County Democrat Party on Saturday, March 7. Other officers are Beth Ochs, vice-chair; Judy Ruble, treasurer; and Andy Krieg, secretary.
Photo by Andre Laird.

After two rounds of voting, a short Q&A session and passionate commentary from various precinct committee members, Gary Snyder was elected Huntington County Democrat chairman on Saturday, March 7.

Snyder ran against Jim Long, who stated in his address to the group that he intended to focus on streamlining the efforts of the Democratic Party and make it more organized. Long pointed out the importance of the party having a voice in every area of local government.

Underwood will chair local Republican party

The newly-elected Huntington County Republican Party board is made up of (from left) Gennie Guhl, vice chairman; Kris Underwood, party chairman; Kathy Juillerat, treasurer; and Tina Stevens, secretary.
Photo by Cassie Wieckert.

The Huntington County Republican Party held its executive committee caucus Saturday, March 7, at Habecker Dining Commons on the campus of Huntington University.

Kris Underwood, who has served as the board's secretary for the past two years, received 33 of 52 votes for the county chairman, defeating position opponent Andy Zay.

Underwood explained his goals, saying, "Whatever it takes to get members of our party elected in November is what I'm willing to do."

He expects challenges within the party and hopes to keep the party united.

School board approves requests, leaves, conferences

The Huntington County Community School Corporation Board of Trustees approved several requests during their regular meeting on Monday, March 9.
They include:

Long-term substitutes

• Korey Grow, kindergarten at Lincoln Elementary, April 13 to the end of the 2008-2009 school year for Brooke Lyons.

• Lisa Geller, grade 3 at Lancaster Elementary from approximately March 27 through May 5 for Julie Hale.

• Jared Yoder, physical education at HNHS, March 2 to the end of the 2008-2009 school year for Alex Kock.

Warren to pass rule concerning baseball diamond scheduling

Anyone who wants to use the baseball diamonds at Tower Park in Warren may soon be required to schedule the event through both the Warren Town Council and the baseball association.

The baseball association told the Warren Town Council during its meeting on Monday, March 9, that groups have been scheduling use of the baseball diamonds for tournaments without proper permission.

School board discusses classified, administrative salaries, but makes no decisions

Huntington County Community School Corp. Board of Trustees discussed classified employee and administrative salaries during its meeting on March 9, but made no decisions on either issue.

In making his presentation, Superintendent Tracey Shafer told the school corporation's trustees that his hope is to keep increases for classified employees and administrators in line with those recently set for teachers in their new contract.

"We're trying to keep everything in context with the teachers' salaries," he said.

County government calendar March 9-16

Monday, March 9
Markle Park Board, 7:30 a.m., Markle Municipal Building, 155 W. Sparks St., Markle.
Huntington County Board of Commissioners, 8:30 a.m., commissioners' room, first floor of Huntington County Courthouse.
Warren Town Council, 6:30p.m., Warren Assembly Hall, 131 N. Wayne St., Warren.
Huntington County Community School Corporation Board of Trustees, 7 p.m., Administrative Service Center, 1360 N. Warren Road.
Huntington County Tourism Commission, 7 p.m., Visitor Center, 407 N. Jefferson St.

Teacher pay not growing, but insurance increases being picked up

Teachers in Huntington County won't be getting raises this school year, but they also won't have to pay more for their health insurance premiums, which have gone up.

The Huntington County Community School Corporation's Board of Trustees approved a new teachers' contract during a special meeting on Monday, March 2. The Huntington Classroom Teachers' Association had ratified the proposed contract on Thursday, Feb. 26.

Teachers had been working under the terms of the previous contract, which expired in August, 2008.

County government meetings March 2-9

Monday, March 2
Huntington County Solid Waste Management District Board of Trustees, 8 a.m., commissioners' room, first floor of the Huntington County Courthouse.

Huntington County Board of Commissioners, 8:30 a.m., commissioners' room, first floor of Huntington County Courthouse.

Huntington Board of Public Works and Safety, 9 a.m., mayor's conference room, third floor of the City Building.

Tuesday, March 3
Roanoke Town Council, 7 p.m., Roanoke Town Hall, 126 N. Main St., Roanoke.
Wednesday, March 4

Shafer, staff give 'state of the corporation' message Monday night

School officials continue their efforts to provide an update on the local corporation and much of that information was shared with school board members on Monday, Feb. 23.

"We try to give like an annual update sometime after the new year on the state of the corporation in terms of some of the goals, in terms of some of the accomplishments, in terms of some of the challenges that we face as we look forward in 2009," Superintendent Tracey Shafer told the trustees. "I think this is the third year running."

Legislative session at library


Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Huntington Mayor Steve Updike (right) makes a point while State Sen. Garry "Doc" Dillon (left) and State Rep. Dan Leonard listen during a legilstive update session held Saturday, Feb. 21, at the Huntington City-Township Public Library. Board of Commissioners President Tom Wall was also on hand.

Economizing name of game for Huntington County governmental units

Economizing is the name of the game for Huntington County, IN, governmental units.

Especially after Huntington County Auditor Kathy Juillerat informed members of the Huntington County Council on Monday, Feb. 23, that the state's Department of Local Government Finance (DLGF) had made large reductions to the county's proposed budget - with the deepest cuts coming in the county's health and highway departments.

"They've OK'd the budget, but they cut the operating balance by a couple of hundred thou-sand," she told council members.

Warren Town Council considers banning trucks from 11th Street

Trucks could be banned from at least one street in Warren.

Utility and Street Manager Curt Day proposed during the Warren Town Council meeting on Monday, Feb. 23, that 11th Street become a "no trucks" road.

A semi-truck recently damaged a utility pole beside the road while attempting to make a turn, he noted. Day said there have been numerous occasions when trucks have run into poles, houses and other cars on the turn near Wayne Street.

School board hears update on religious program suit

While its future is still uncertain, the religious education program offered at Horace Mann Elementary School continues to operate as usual.

The Huntington County Community School Corporation Board of Trustees learned Monday, Feb. 23, that both sides involved in a suit filed by the mother of a third grade Horace Mann student to stop the "By The Book" Bible trailer program from being offered on school grounds have filed objections and that information will now be reviewed by the federal judge assigned to the case.

Hoosier Heartland Corridor answers for Roanoke not likely to be clear

With the final segment of the Hoosier Heartland Corridor lying in Roanoke's back yard, some difficult decisions must be made in light of the new stimulus package recently signed by President Barack Obama.

Completion of the four-lane highway is at a standstill, awaiting an answer that will likely not present itself clearly.

County Government Meetings

Monday, Feb. 16
Huntington County Board of Commissioners, 8:30 a.m., commissioners' room, first floor of Huntington County Courthouse.
Huntington Board of Public Works and Safety, 9 a.m., mayor's conference room, third floor of City Building.
Huntington Board of Aviation, 5:30 p.m., terminal building of Huntington Municipal Airport.

Tuesday, Feb. 17
Huntington County Soil and Water Conservation District, 7 a.m., SWCD office, 2040 Riverfork Drive.
Roanoke Town Council, 7 p.m., Roanoke Town Hall, 126 N. Main St., Roanoke.

HCCSC board to fight to keep religious ed program

Attorneys for the Huntington County Community School Corporation are preparing documents to fight a recommendation made by a federal judge that could stop the practice of offering a weekday religious education program to local elementary school students.

Huntington County Government meetings Feb. 9-16

Monday, Feb. 9
Markle Park Board, 7:30 a.m., Markle Municipal Building, 155 W. Sparks St., Markle.

Huntington County Board of Commissioners, 8:30 a.m., commissioners' room, first floor of the Huntington County Courthouse.

Andrews Town Council, 6 p.m., Andrews Town Hall, 66 N. Main St., Andrews.

Warren Town Council, 6:30 p.m., Warren Assembly Hall, 131 N. Wayne St., Warren.

Huntington County Community School Corporation Board of Trustees, 7 p.m., Administrative Service Center, 1360 N. Warren Rd.

Roanoke's CEDIT money likely to go to infrastructure

Money from Roanoke's share of CEDIT income will likely be spent on improvements to the town's infrastructure and updates to town buildings and equipment.

Members of the Roanoke Town Council approved the CEDIT spending outline during their meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 3. The town expects to receive $67,000 in CEDIT money for 2009, which will be added to the $36,000 of CEDIT funds the council still has from 2008.

Parent who filed suit to stop religious program in schools has her way ... for now

It appears as though the parent of a local third-grader who filed suit to stop the practice of offering a religious education program on school grounds will have her way ... at least for now.

United States Magistrate Judge Roger B. Cosbey on Tuesday issued his report and recommendation on the pending legal case filed by the mother of an 8-year-old Horace Mann student on Nov. 12.

School board approves leave requests

The Huntington County Community School Corporation Board of Trustees approved professional leave requests for several teachers and administrators during the school board meeting on Jan. 26.

Teachers or administrators making the request; the name of the school or facility where they work; and the name, date and location of the conference they plan to attend include:

• Dawn Eckert with Huntington-Whitley Special Services - Instructional Strategies for Special Needs Learners, West Lafayette, Jan. 15-16.

Explain purpose, details of upcoming sewer project

Construction on the Huntington streets designated above, for a project to separate storm and sanitary sewers, will begin this spring.
Photo provided.

The purpose and details of an upcoming sewer separation project were explained to Huntington residents during a public meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 28

Mayor Steve Updike introduced Jeff DeWitt, engineering consultant of Bonar Group, and Bruce Mertz, of Geiger Excavating, the construction company that won the bid for the project.

Geiger outbid seven other companies for the project, a sign, DeWitt says, of the strained economy. The company won the bid at $2.7 million, much lower than the anticipated cost of $3.4 million.

Sewer separation project map


Map provided.

Crescent Avenue, State Street, Oak Street and Poplar Street wil see construction for the sewer separation project announced recently by Huntington Mayor Steve Updike begin this spring, while construction on Waren and Guilford streets will begin in June.

School board acts on several more items from Jan. 26 meeting

In other business during the Monday, Jan. 26, Huntington County Community School Corporation Board meeting, trustees acted upon several items.

These actions included:

• Receiving a list of individuals who passed their GED tests on Oct. 7 and 8. They included: Matthew Dominguez, Michael Graft, Jennifer Overby and Jacob Price, all of Huntington; John Nichols and Khristina Wyche, both of Andrews; Joseph Burnsworth, of Lagro; Nicole Hall, of South Whitley; and Adam Mendenhall, of Bluffton.

Out-of-county crowd gives support to 'Bible trailer' at school board meeting

A room full of interested people listened intently as an attorney for the local school board gave an update on the legal case against a long-established practice of offering religious education to elementary-age students during the school day.

Hoke is new council member


Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Chris Hoke (left) is sworn in as a Huntington County (IN) Council member during a ceremony Wednesday, Dec. 31, in the Huntington County Courthouse rotunda. Huntington Circuit Court Judge Tom Hakes (right) officiates, and Hoke's wife, Beth Hoke, holds the Bible.

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