Government & School Board

Health department confirms H1N! death

The Huntington County Department of Health is urging area residents to take advantage of the H1N1 influenza vaccine following the confirmation of an H1N1-related death in Huntington County.

Huntington Street Dept. sets holiday schedule

The Huntington Street Department will be closed for Thanksgiving on Thursday, Nov. 26, and Friday, Nov. 27.

Thursday's trash will be collected on Wednesday, Nov. 25, along with Wednesday's regular trash route.

The trash route for Friday, Nov. 27 will be collected on Monday, Nov. 30, along with Monday's regular trash.

It is asked that items be available for pickup by 7 a.m.


For a good cause

Photo by Matt Murphy.

Huntington County employees Tony Poff, assistant superintendent of the Huntington County Highway Department (left); Jordan Beaver, intern (center); and Nate Schacht, executive director of the Department of Community Development; throw pies at County Commissioner Jerry Helvie on Monday, Nov. 16, at the Huntington County Courthouse. Employees who donated $10 to the United Way were eligible to throw a pie.

Dillon looks at issues for lawmakers' short session

Indiana state lawmakers returned to the Statehouse on Tuesday, Nov. 17, to organize for next year's legislative session.

Because the state passes budgets in odd numbered years, 2010 is known as a "short session" and will adjourn by law no later than March 14.

However, State Sen. Gary Dillon (R-Columbia City) says next year's short session may be long on major issues.

Deadline for FSA election ballots is Dec. 7

The Farm Service Agency has mailed ballots for the 2009 FSA County Committee elections to eligible voters.
The deadline for eligible voters to return ballots to their local FSA offices is Dec. 7.

Ballots will be counted at the Huntington County FSA office at 2040 Riverfork Drive West in Huntington on Dec. 14 at 9:30 a.m.

FSA county committee members make decisions on disaster and conservation programs, emergency programs, commodity price support loan programs and other important agricultural issues. Members serve three-year terms.

Christmas elf

Photo by Jessica Williams.

Tim Bischoff of the Huntington Street Department straightens a wooden candy cane on Friday afternoon, Nov. 20, as he and several other street department employees put up the town's Christmas decorations -- on their own time -- so the act wouldn't cost the city overtime pay during the current poor financial situation.

DNR selling pins to help feed the hungry

Citizens can help feed the hungry through the Sportsmen's Benevolence Fund by purchasing the fund's lapel pins.

The pins are available for purchase from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division. Proceeds go to organizations such as Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry, helping pay for the processing of deer donated to the program by hunters. The venison is given to various food banks across Indiana.

In 2008, officials say more than 75,000 pounds of donated meat to FHFH was processed into 300,216 meals.

BZA releases agenda for next meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 24

The Huntington County Board of Zoning Appeals has released its meeting agenda for the Tuesday, Nov. 24 gathering in the GAR Room at 7:30 p.m. in the courthouse, room 207.

Under old business, an application filed by JB Towers, LLC will be looked at, which requests a special exception to allow a wireless communications tower on property zoned agricultural, located on SR 105 in Andrews.

Oct. 26 neighborhood association meeting a success

The Northeast Neighborhood Association meeting on Oct. 26 was a success, officials say, and was attended by several interested neighbors, landlords and some people from outside of the pilot area interested in what is taking place.

The group decided to pursue the organization of the Association and will be meeting again and would like to have anyone interested in attendance.

The next meeting is Tuesday, Dec. 1 at 6:30 p.m. in the basement of the Trinity United Methodist Church, at the corner of Guilford and Market Streets in Huntington.

Huntington considering buying proroperty for new well sites

The Board of Public Works and Safety and a Huntington family negotiated deals on Monday, Nov. 16, that will allow the city of Huntington to test for wells and possibly buy 5.6 acres of land at CR 300W and CR 600N from Pam and Jack Scher.

The Scher family and the city struck a package deal that will allow the city to test the family's land for three possible well sites at a fee of $3,000.

INDOT closes tracks at US 224/Ind.-5 for emergency repair

INDOT closed the railroad tracks crossing between Court Street and East State Street in Huntington due to emergency repair, today, Monday, Nov. 16, at 9 a.m. The crossing is expected to be open again by Saturday, Nov. 21, at noon.
Photo by Jessica Williams.

The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) Fort Wayne District announces that US 224/Ind.-5 in Huntington will be closed due to emergency repair, by Norfolk Southern Railroad, on the railroad crossing between Court Street and East State Street beginning Monday, Nov. 16, at 9 a.m.

The closure should be lifted by Saturday, Nov. 21, by noon, INDOT officials note.

The detour for eastbound US 224 traffic is: US 224 west, to US 24/Ind.-9 west, to Ind.-9 south, to Ind.-124 east, to Ind.-5 south, to I-69 north, to US 224 west.

Main steet revival

Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Indiana Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman, Huntington Countywide Department of Community Development Director Nate Schacht and downtown business owner Teresa Plasterer (from left) cut a ribbon on Jefferson Street in front of The New Huntington Theater signifying the acceptance of Huntington's downtown business district into the Indiana Main Street program. Local organizers say the program can offer financial assistance to downtown property owners who follow design guidelines in improving their facades.

Poe graduates from Air Force basic training

Air Force Airman Jared A. Poe, of Huntington, recently graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX.

The airman completed an intensive eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies; Air Force core values, physical fitness and basic warfare principles and skills.

Airmen who complete basic training earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force.

Poe is the son of Abby Woods, of Tampa, FL.

Non-profit agencies in county can apply for Tourism Promotion Grant through HCVCB

Non-profit agencies in Huntington County may apply for a Tourism Promotion Grant through the Huntington County Visitor and Convention Bureau.

Tourism Promotion Grant is a matching grant for up to $1,100. It is available to non-profit organizations in Huntington County for the promotion and encouragement of events that will encourage overnight visits.

The application deadline for this round of grant money is Nov. 30 for events occurring between Jan. 1 and June 30, 2010.

New contractor hired for Andrews Park project

Paul Brinson, of Zahm Excavating of Huntington, works to level part of the lawn in front of the Andrews Park pavilion on Thursday, Nov. 12. The Andrews Park committee recently approved the project, which is part of a beautification endeavor at the park.
Photo by Andre B. Laird.

The Andrews Town Council, on behalf of the Andrews Park Committee, awarded a contract to Zahm Excavating for the removal of a concrete slab at the Andrews Park at the council's meeting on Monday, Nov. 9.

In addition to the park contract, the council also re-authorized the use of credit cards by town employees.

Employees have been barred from using credit cards since the council's meeting on July 29, after Councilman Ray Tackett felt that the credit cards should be kept at the clerk-treasurer's office instead of with the employees who frequently use the cards.

Huntington County SWCD to meet next Monday, Nov. 23

The Huntington County Soil and Water Conservation District will hold its monthly meeting on Monday, Nov. 23, at 7 p.m. at the district office.

Due to the farming season, attendees are advised to contact the office to confirm there will be a quorum for the meeting.

For more information call 356-6816, extension 3.
The district office is located at 2040 Riverfork Drive.


School board to hold exec session for members to receive training

The Huntington County Community School Corporation will hold an executive session today, Monday, Nov. 16, at 11 a.m. at Huntington University's Habecker Dining Commons.

During the session, school board members will receive training in their roles as public officials.

INDOT announces I-69 restrictions in area

The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) Fort Wayne District announces that I-69 in both directions, at 1.2 miles south of U.S.-24 (between Yohne and Bass Roads) will be restricted due to concrete pavement repair work scheduled to begin today, Mon-day, Nov. 16 at 6 a.m.

The northbound I-69 passing lane, at mile marker 101 and mile marker 103, will be closed. Traffic will be shifted to the driving lane and outside shoulder. The southbound I-69 driving lane, at mile marker 102, is also scheduled to be closed for the same type of repair work.

Health department announces where H1N1 vaccine is available locally

The Huntington County Department of Health has announced locations where the H1N1 vaccine is available.

It is available to the public at Walgreens, Kmart and Owen's pharmacies and at RediMed of Huntington.

The vaccine is available to patients of the following private practices: Huntington General Practice, Huntington Medical Group, Family Practice Association, Pediatric Medical Group, Dr. Stamm and Dr. Rao, Dr. S. Schwieterman and the Huntington County Free Health Clinic.

An administration fee may apply at any community provider.

Hoosier Heartland highway now at 'when' stage as it zoons past 'if'

Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman addresses the 27th Annual Hoosier Heartland Industrial Corridor meeting on Friday, Nov. 6, at the Honeywell Center in Wabash.
Photo by Matt Murphy.

The A-7 corridor - the final segment in the Hoosier Heartland highway - was not a topic of discussion at the 27th Annual Hoosier Heartland Industrial Corridor meeting in Wabash on Friday, Nov. 6, but Garry Peterson of William-Lynn-James consulting firm said that the small piece will be built.

"It's not a question of if, but when," Peterson said.

Wetlands near Roanoke not welcomed by all

A proposed wetland restoration project is creating controversy in the Roanoke area, as Vera Bradley Corp. seeks to comply with federal environmental law.

Vera Bradley recently built a facility at the junction of Lafayette Center Road, Interstate 469 and Interstate 69 in southwest Allen County. Because construction of the building required the destruction of about three acres of wetland, Vera Bradley must restore more than what it took.

Huntington's financial problems simple: city spending more than it's taking in

Huntington County Auditor Kathy Juillerat speaks during the Huntington Common Council meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 10.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Huntington's financial problems can be stated simply: the city is spending more than it's taking in.

The city is headed toward insolvency, financial advisor Todd Samuelson said, a point where it can no longer pay its bills - or its employees.

The city's operating balance, which should be at about $1 million, was just $650,000 coming into 2009; it will sink to $200,000 at the end of 2009.

"Any one emergency can eat up $200,000 very quickly," said Samuelson, from the Indianapolis-based financial consultant company Umbaugh.

Varsity Singers' parents request school board pay group for cancelled fund-raiser

To a standing room only crowd, Ted Trout, a Huntington North Varsity Singers parent, requested during the Monday, Nov. 9 school board meeting that the Huntington County School Corporation Board of Trustees pay the show choir what they say they've lost due to the board's decision in late May to reschedule Huntington North's Midwest Showcase show choir competition -- an amount pushing $25,000.

Public hearing on city trash fee to be Nov. 23

Public input on a proposed $10-a-month trash fee for Huntington residents will be sought during a public hearing to be held on Monday, Nov. 23.

The ordinance setting out the fee was introduced during the Nov. 10 meeting of the Huntington Common Council, but was not discussed. City Attorney John Branham suggested that the proposal be set for public hearing on Nov. 23 so that the council could consider, and possibly vote on, the ordinance during its regular meeting the following morning.

New Tech program approved for HNHS

A tight vote Monday night, Nov. 9, resulted in a decision to roll out New Tech for fall 2010 at Huntington North High School.

The decision was made in a 4-3 vote by the Huntington County Community School Corporation Board of Trustees.

Those voting in favor included board members Troy Smart, Dr. Jennifer Goff and Tom King, along with Vice President Rick Brubaker. Voting against the motion were member Scott Hoffman, Secretary Rex Baxter and President Kevin Patrick.

Roanoke Town Council agrees to two sewer projects

The Roanoke Town Council agreed to pursue two sewer projects to be complete by the end of 2011 at the council's meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Roanoke entered into an agreement with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management in 2005 that calls for the town to complete five different projects to alleviate sewage overflow. Those tasks involved portions of 8th Street, 4th Street, Canal Street, Commercial Street and Posey Hill Street.

So far, 8th, 4th and Canal Streets have been completed or are nearing completion, said Andrew Dodzik, Roanoke town engineer.

Solid waste district pick-ups are changed due to Veterans Day

The Huntington County Solid Waste Management District announces that weekly Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) and E-Waste collection will not be done on Wednesday, Nov. 11, in observance of Veterans Day.

Collection hours for the week will be Thursday, Nov. 12, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Huntington County Solid Waste Management District, located at 517S-300W.

For more information contact the District office at 358-4886.


Layoffs of six firefighters due to budget shortfall to close Condit Street station

Shirley Powell, Mayor Steve Updike and Barry Cochran (from left), the three members of the Huntington Board of Public Works and Safety, listen to comments from firefighters and other city employees who filled the meeting room Friday, Nov. 6.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

The layoffs of six Huntington firefighters will result in the closing of one of the city's three fire stations, Huntington Fire Chief Matt Armstrong says.

But without those layoffs, Huntington Mayor Steve Updike says, there's no way the city can dig itself out of its current financial bind.

"The day of reckoning is here," Updike told city employees assembled Friday morning, Nov. 6. "At the end of the year, there will be no money in the checkbook to pay people."

Huntington mayor to propose garbage pick-up fee to help cover budget shortfall

Just days after ordering the layoffs of six city employees - including his wife - Mayor Steve Updike plans to urge the Huntington Common Council to institute a $10-a-month fee for garbage pick-up in the city.

"If we don't get the fee, the insurmountable thing will be more layoffs," Updike says.

Commissioners lay out specifics for wind farm zoning in county

The Huntington County Commissioners unanimously passed an amendment to Huntington County's zoning laws concerning wind energy facilities and equipment, at their meeting on Monday, Nov. 2.

The new regulations, also known as Ordinance 2009-17, lay out the specifications and requirements of wind farms to be built in Huntington County. Commissioner President Tom Wall and Commissioner Kathy Branham voted in favor of the bill, and Commissioner Jerry Helvie was not present to vote.

"People want to get off the grid," said Wall.