Government & School Board

Roanoke council hears proposed ordinance concept for A-7 corridor

A proposed concept for an ordinance concerning the future of the A-7 Corridor was presented to the Roanoke Town Council at the council's meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 19.

John Molitor, an attorney at William-Lynn-James consulting firm in Indianapolis, presented the concept to the council.

Zoning board to hear Kline request

Jonathan Kline has filed two petitions with the Huntington County Board of Zoning Appeals, asking to be allowed to place two homes on property at 1740E-675N in Jackson Township.

The board will discuss Kline's request during its meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 26, at 7:30 p.m. in the GAR Room on the second floor of the Huntington County Courthouse.

Early filings create races for five offices

In just the first two days of the candidate filing period, races have been created for five offices on the Republican ballot in the May 4 primaries.

And at least one contest is assured for the November general election.

The filing period for the primaries opened Jan. 20 and will continue through noon on Feb. 19.

Students to make up days March 14, May 14

In light of the closing of Huntington County Community School Corporation schools on Thursday and Friday, Jan. 21 and 22, make-up dates have been announced.

For Thursday's cancellation, HCCSC students will attend school on Monday, March 22, and for Friday's cancellation, schools will be open on Friday, May 14.

In addition, parents and students are reminded that school will be in session on Friday, March 19, in order for teachers and staff to attend a conference on April 23. Schools will therefore be closed on Friday, April 23.

Markle names offers, administrative coordinator

The Markle Town Council appointed a new president and vice president for 2010 during its first meeting of the year on Wednesday, Jan. 20.

Jeff Humbarger was voted in as president while Tamra Boucher was appointed vice president; the two switched from the seats they held in 2009.

Other items approved include payment to Mark Wickersham of Huntington County United Economic Development and appointment of an administrative coordinator.

Huntington adds new recycling drop site

Effective Jan. 15, the City of Huntington, in conjunction with the Huntington County Solid Waste Management District and Marion Services, is adding a new recycling drop-off site within city limits.

The new site is located at 3050 W. Park Drive at the Midwest Industrial Fabrication building, which is also the site of the new office for Marion Services, the solid waste district's contractor for recycling services. Hours of operation for this recycling drop-off are Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Poe says he'll be a candidate for another term as Huntington County surveyor

Jay Poe.
Photo provided.

Jay Poe, 51, has announced his plans to run for another term as Huntington County surveyor. He is currently in his 20th year in this position.

Poe will seek the Republican nomination to the office during the May primary.

His major accomplishment, he says, is getting the Huntington County Council to invest in the Geographic Information System (GIS) of computerized mapping. Poe was also in charge of locating grants which cut the cost by more than half, he says.

First-day election filings

Photo by Jessica Williams.

Don Schoeff (left) fills out last-minute paperwork with Pam Fowler while filing as a county assessor candidate on Wednesday, Jan. 20. It was the first official day to file for the primary election, to be held on May 4, and Schoeff was the first in line. Waiting in line are, from left, Carl Zinsmeister, Tom Carney and Jay Poe.

Possibility of more city layoffs looms

Huntington Mayor Steve Updike received authorization to lay off up to four firefighters and three police officers throughout the year of 2010 on Monday, Jan. 18.

The Huntington Board of Public Works and Safety passed an oral resolution to authorize layoffs of the employees if it becomes necessary. The action was approved 2-0, with member Shirley Powell absent due to an illness.

Ruth Marsh, city operations manager, said that the subject needed to be presented because a previous authorization to hand out pink slips expired on Dec. 31, 2009.

Park board seeks input on best use of tax dollars

Huntington residents who have ideas about how parks and trails throughout the city can be improved are invited to bring their wish lists to a public meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 19.

The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Neighborhood Recreation Center, 745 Condit St.

The park board will use the input received at that meeting as it begins working on its 2011-2015 Park and Recreation Master Plan, explains Denise Bard, superintendent of the Huntington Parks and Recreation Department.

Tourism commission welcomes new members

Fran Felts, Huntington County clerk (foreground), swears in Huntington County Tourism Commission board members (from left) Jim Scheiber, Ruth Marsh, Rich Najuch and Ellen Prange during the commission’s meeting on Jan. 11. Not pictured is Margaret Roush.
Photo by Andre B. Laird.

The Huntington County Tourism Commission met Jan. 11.
Huntington County Clerk Fran Felts installed several board members for two-year terms.

Appointed by Huntington Mayor Steve Updike were Ruth Marsh, city operations officer; Rich Najuch; owner of The New Huntington Theatre; and Ellen Prange, office manager at the Huntington County Chamber.

Also appointed but not present was Margaret Roush, director of alumni relations at Huntington University.

Some property assessment notices returned, but most addresses now correct

About 5 percent of the 15,000 assessment notices sent out at the end of December were returned to the Huntington County Assessor's office because they had been sent to outdated addresses.

County Assessor Terri Boone says all of the returned notices have been put in the mail again, bearing what she believes to be the addresses of the current owners.

"We're caught up right now," Boone said Wednesday, Jan. 13.

School board terminates Horace Mann staffer

Acting on a recommendation by Huntington County Community School Corporation Superintendent of Schools Tracey Shafer, members of the Huntington County Community Schools Board voted without explanation to terminate the "at-will" employment of special services paraprofessional Alaura Uecker.

The action was taken during the board's meeting on Monday, Jan. 11.

Uecker worked for Horace Mann Elementary School and did not have a contract with the corporation.

Collins will serve again on state board

Perry Collins, of Roanoke, has been re-appointed to the Indiana Military and Veterans' Benefits Board.

Collins works as a consultant for the Indiana Institute of Technology. His appointment was announced Jan. 13 by the office of Gov. Mitch Daniels. Collins' new term expires July 1, 2010.

The Indiana Military and Veterans' Benefits Board manages and develops the Veterans Affairs Trust Fund and the assets of the fund, which considers the immediate needs of veterans and their families. The board's seven members are appointed by the governor.


City plan panel looks at signs

The Huntington Plan Commission will discuss a proposed sign ordinance when it meets on Thursday, Jan. 21, at 6:30 p.m.

The meeting will be held in the Council Chambers on the third floor of the City Building, 300 Cherry St.

Also on the agenda are election of officers, designation of members of the Board of Zoning Appeals and the Plat Committee, and other annual housekeeping chores.


Grant will help develop safer routes to schools

A $75,000 Comprehensive Safe Route grant was recently awarded to the city of Huntington and in conjunction with the Huntington County Community School Corporation.

This grant is a part of the Safe Routes to School Program through the state of Indiana, which tries to improve the safety of students who walk or ride bikes to school.

Anthony Goodnight, assistant director of engineering for Huntington, spearheaded the grant proposal, explains HCCSC Superintendent of Schools Tracey Shafer.

Judge considers dismissal of request to deny wetland development

A judge will decide whether or not to dismiss legal action filed by the town of Roanoke seeking to halt the development of a wetland mitigation area in Jackson Township by Vera Bradley Designs Inc.

If Administrative Law Judge Stephen L. Lucas of the Indiana Natural Resources Commission denies Vera Bradley's motion to dismiss, a disposition hearing on the stay of effectiveness filed by Roanoke will be scheduled.

Those decisions were made Jan. 14 in a conference call involving the town of Roanoke, Vera Bradley Designs and the Department of Natural Resources.

City cuts funding to local non-profits

Funding cuts for eight local non-profit organizations were approved 6-1 by the Huntington Common Council on Tuesday, Jan. 12, as city officials continue to struggle with Huntington’s financial crisis.

Still time left to register for primary vote

For Huntington County residents who have forgotten to register to vote for the upcoming primary elections, there is still time left.

Voter Registration Deputy Pam Fowler says the process to completing registration is relatively simple.

"To find out if you are registered to vote, you can log on to indianavoters. com," she states. "After clicking on the voter registration tab, you just follow the instructions."

TEA party to feature U.S. senatorial candidates

Organizers for the upcoming TEA Party informational session, on Friday, Jan. 15, from 7 to 9 p.m., have announced that all the U.S. senatorial candidates except Evan Bayh have confirmed that they will be in attendance.

The event will be held at Life Church, located at 950 E. State St.
Candidates who will be attending include Marlin Stutzman, Don Bates Jr., Richard Behney and John Hostettler.

Ron Fusselman will also be in attendance as a state representative candidate.

For more information about the event, call 359-9373 or visit

Horace Mann paraprofessional terminated

Acting on a recommendation by Huntington County Community School Corporation Superintendent of Schools Tracey Shafer, members of the Huntington County Community Schools Board voted without explanation to terminate the “at-will” employment of special services paraprofessional Alaura Uecker.

The action was taken during the board’s meeting on Monday, Jan. 11.

Uecker worked for Horace Mann Elementary School and did not have a contract with the corporation.

Warren council puts vacating alley on hold

Vacating an alley in Warren was put on hold by the Warren Town Council at its regular meeting on Monday, Jan. 11.

The council will have Clerk-Treasurer Marilyn Morrison discuss the situation with the parties involved before it makes a final decision.

The alley in question runs parallel to Grover Street between Jones Street and an unim-proved portion of Sixth Street. There is currently a request from a resident who would like to use the space for parking.

Andrews trash collection fees going up next month

Trash collection rates in Andrews will increase beginning next month, as the town's contract with Marion Services, LLC, requires such action, said Bill Johnson, Andrews clerk/treasurer.

Beginning Feb. 1, 2010, trash collection rates will increase to $8.50 per unit, per month, up from the current rate of $6.50 per unit, per month. On Feb. 1, 2011, the same rate will increase to $10.

The Andrews Town Council approved the increase in the form of Ordinance 2010-1, at the council's meeting on Monday, Jan. 11.

Health department offering H1N1 vaccines to public

Public Health Nurse Debra Doctor (seated) goes over some information on the H1N1 virus with Suzi Morgan, RN. The health department is now offering a mobile setup for businesses and organizations to administer the vaccine to employees.
Photo by Andre B. Laird.

The Huntington County Health Department announces that it is now offering H1N1 vaccines to the general public.

Public Health Nurse Debra Doctor says the Center for Disease Control (CDC) expects another wave of the virus in the upcoming flu season.

This is the third wave of the virus.

"The first wave was last spring when we all knew it as the swine flu," Doctor states. "After the second wave hit last fall, the CDC classified the virus as H1N1."

She adds that the fact the vaccine is available to everyone is good news at the right time.

Several items for Jan. 13 plan meeting

The Huntington County Plan Commission will meet Wednesday, Jan. 13, at 6:30 p.m. in the GAR Room on the second floor of the Huntington County Courthouse.

The board will consider a request by Ronald Pearson to reclassify the zoning of property at 429 N. Broadway from residential to general business.

The panel will also meet as the Roanoke Plan Commission to consider changes to the "fines, fees and expenses" portion of the Roanoke Zoning Ordinance. Those changes were proposed by the Huntington Countywide Department of Community Development.

Familiar territory

Photo by Jessica Williams.

Huntington Clerk-Treasurer Christi Scher (left) swears in Tom Hughes as assistant police chief on Tuesday, Jan. 5. This is the third time Hughes has been assistant chief in his career, serving under three different administrations. He replaces Jay Kyle, who stepped down from the position.

Name Young, Snover to top posts on city BZA

Jeff Young was appointed chairman and Jack Snover was appointed vice-chairman of the Huntington Board of Zoning Appeals during the panel's meeting on Monday, Jan. 4.

Prudence Shumm's application requesting to allow a kennel for three additional cats per household was approved. She now has two dogs and six cats.

Michael and Nickie Stinson asked for a variance to build a porch out 32 feet, but received approval for only 30 feet, and the porch can't be enclosed.

Indiana farmers can try electronic ear tags through pilot program

You may have heard the arguments both in favor of and against electronic identification of cattle on Saturday morning farm news TV programs.

One producer mentioned a premium price that he receives because his animals have radio frequency identification (RFID) tags in their ears.

Many international and/or out-of-state buyers demand to know the source of the beef that they are purchasing in the U.S. Sometimes they will pay a premium price for this verification.

County EMA receives radio grant for all fire departments in county

The Huntington County Emergency Management Agency has been awarded a $478,852 grant to buy new radios for every fire department in the county.

Brandon Taylor, director of the Emergency Management, announced the grant Monday morning, Jan. 4, at the Huntington County Board of Commissioners meeting.
Taylor said after the meeting that 122 hand-held, 40 truck-mountable and 10 department-housed units will be bought, along with 121 new pagers. There are around 200 firefighters in the county, so the equipment won't cover everyone, but it will cover those on duty, he says.

Plan public meeting to discuss proposed changes to sign ordinance

The Huntington Plan Commission will hold a public meeting on Thursday, Jan. 21, at 6:30 p.m. at the Huntington City Building to discuss proposed changes to the city's sign ordinance.

The changes will be part of the eighth draft of the new ordinance, which the Huntington Plan Commission has been working on for nearly a year, says Bryn Keplinger, assistant director of the Huntington Countywide Department of Community Development.