Government & School Board

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five-year-old MacBook computers, which Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Chad Daugherty said are nearly outdated.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:

Fetters sings praises of city’s volunteers

Mayor Brooks Fetters discusses accomplishments during 2016 and plans for 2017 during his State of the City address before the Huntington Common Council on Tuesday, Jan. 10.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Mayor Brooks Fetters is pleased with the progress he’s made during his first five years as leader of the City of Huntington.

And one of the things he’s most pleased with is the number of people who have gotten involved as volunteers to make the city a better place to live.

During 2016, 3,339 individuals volunteered to help put up Christmas lights, fix picnic tables, water flowers, pull weeds and perform other chores around the city, Fetters told members of the Huntington Common Council during his annual State of the City address on Tuesday, Jan. 10.

Banks on Armed Services, Veterans Affairs panels

Congressman Jim Banks, R-IN, has been assigned to two committees and co-sponsored his first piece of legislation during his initial days as a member of the 115th Congress.

Banks will serve on the House Armed Services Committee and the House Veterans Affairs Committee.

“I am excited to be named to the Armed Services Committee,” Banks said. “This committee was my number one choice because I want to actively ensure our men and women in uniform receive the resources they need to protect our nation.”

Banks gets appointed to steering committee for RSC in U.S. House of Reps

Jim Banks
Photo provided.

Indiana Third District Congressman Jim Banks has been named to the steering committee for the Republican Study Committee (RSC), the leading caucus of conservative Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“I am honored to have been named to the steering committee of the Republican Study Committee,” Banks said. “In this role, I look forward to fighting for conservative solutions to the biggest challenges our nation faces. I am excited to dive in and get to work.”

Need pair for Huntington Township Advisory Board

The Huntington County Commissioners have two openings for the Huntington Township Advisory Board and one opening for the Polk Township Advisory Board.

Even tourism director surprised by growth of county’s tourist appeal

Tina Bobilya (right), executive director of the Huntington County Visitor and Convention Bureau, reports on an uptick in tourism in the county to Huntington County Commissioners (from left) Larry Buzzard, Tom Wall, and Rob Miller, on Monday, Jan. 9.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Tourism in Huntington County is growing by leaps and bounds.

So many leaps and bounds, in fact, that the director of the Huntington County Visitor and Convention Bureau asked the researchers if their figures were right.

“They said, ‘We double checked everything,’” Tina Bobilya says.

“The increases are across the board,” Bobilya said as she presented the Rockport Analytics study, 2015 Economic Impact of Tourism in Huntington County, to the Huntington County commissioners on Monday, Jan. 9.

Whitney joins sheriff’s department full time

Huntington County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Don J. Whitney (right) is sworn in by Huntington County Clerk Kittie Keiffer (left) on Friday, Jan. 6. Whitney’s wife, Courtney, holds the Bible as their daughter, Serayna, joins them.
Photo provided.

Don J. Whitney, formerly a Huntington County reserve deputy, has joined the ranks of the sheriff’s department full time.

Whitney, of Huntington, was sworn in on Friday, Jan. 6. He began his duties on Monday, Jan. 9, and will be assigned to the day shift while he completes his training and prepares to attend the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy in Plainfield.

Maj. Chris Newton says Whitney’s experience and his completed reserve officer training was a plus to his selection. He replaces a void in the department left by an officer who took another position, Newton says.

New officers

Photo by Cindy Klepper.

The Huntington County Commissioners re-organized during their meeting on Monday, Jan. 9, with Larry Buzzard (left) re-elected as vice president and Tom Wall (center) re-elected as president. Rob Miller (right) rounds out the panel. The commissioners are responsible for the day-to-day management of Huntington County and meet on alternate Mondays at 8:30 a.m. in the Huntington County Courthouse. The meetings are open to the public, and the next meeting will be on Jan. 23.

Joining the board

Photo by Rebecca Sandlin

Newly-elected Huntington County Community School Trustee Kevin Yarger (right) is sworn into office by Huntington Mayor Brooks Fetters (left) during the school board meeting held Monday, Jan. 9, at the Horace Mann Education Center. Holding the Bible is Yarger’s wife, Jennifer.

New board member

Photo by Rebecca Sandlin

Newly-elected Huntington County Community School Trustee Matt Melcher (right) is sworn into office by Huntington Mayor Brooks Fetters (left) during the school board meeting held Monday, Jan. 9, at the Horace Mann Education Center. Holding the Bible is Melcher’s wife, Gayle.

Swearing back in

Huntington County Community School Trustee Reed Christiansen (right) is sworn into office by Huntington Mayor Brooks Fetters (left) during the school board meeting held Monday, Jan. 9, at the Horace Mann Education Center. Christiansen won his first election to the seat, after he was appointed to the vacancy in 2016. Holding the Bible is Christiansen’s son, Braeden.

Taking the oath

Photo by Rebecca Sandlin

Newly-elected Huntington County Community School Trustee Tim Allen (right) is sworn into office by Huntington Mayor Brooks Fetters (left) during the school board meeting held Monday, Jan. 9, at the Horace Mann Education Center. Holding the Bible is Allen’s wife, Penny.

Four city employees to be offered early retirement

Four City of Huntington employees will be offered incentives to retire early, according to a plan approved Tuesday, Jan. 10, by the Huntington Common Council.

This is the third time the city has made the offer. Eight employees accepted the initial offer in 2014 and one more accepted when the offer was repeated in 2015.

Four other employees retired under normal terms during that time, leaving four of the 17 employees who were originally eligible for the incentives still on the job.

Warren water utility to increase rates by 20 percent

Julia Glessner (left) was re-elected president of the Warren Town Council on Monday, Jan. 9, while Ethan Stivers (right) was re-elected as vice president. The council also includes Tracey Brown (second from left) and Steve Buzzard. The town council meets on the second Monday of each month at 5 p.m. in Warren Assembly Hall, in downtown Warren. Meetings are open to the public, and the next meeting is set for Feb. 13.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Customers of the Warren water utility will see a rate increase of 20 percent beginning with their March bills.

Members of the Warren Town Council voted unanimously during their meeting on Monday, Jan. 9, to approve the water rate increase. The vote came after a public hearing that drew no members of the public.

The average resident of Warren uses about 5,000 gallons of water a month. The 20 percent increase will add $6.09 to that user’s monthly bill.

Roth is new president of Huntington Co. Community Schools board

Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.
Matt Roth

The first order of business of the Huntington County Community School Corporation’s Board of School Trustees first meeting in 2017, held on Jan. 9, was to swear in new board members and elect its officers.

Newly-elected trustees Tim Allen, Matt Melcher and Kevin Yarger, along with returning board member Reed Christiansen, who won his first election after being appointed to the seat, were sworn in by Huntington Mayor Brooks Fetters.

Andrews council discusses water utility fund at meeting

The Andrews Town Council discussed the town’s water utility fund during its meeting on Monday, Jan. 9.

Clerk-Treasurer Laura Dillon stated that a higher water rate had not helped the fund stay out of the red. She did note, though, that of the residents who were late on their bills, only two were on the 90-day section of her delinquency list.

BMV to close Jan. 14-16 for MLK holiday

The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles will be closed Saturday, Jan. 14, through Monday, Jan. 16, in observance of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

All branches will resume their regularly-scheduled business hours on Tuesday, Jan. 17. Online transactions can be completed on

SWCD to hold meeting Jan. 17

The Huntington County Soil and Water Conservation District will hold its monthly meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 17, at 7 p.m. at the District Office located at 2040 Riverfork Drive, Huntington.

The meeting is open to the public.   

Council on Aging now taking new HS clients

The Huntington County Council on Aging is accepting new clients for its Homemaker Service.

The service is offered to Seniors age 60 and older or those of any age with a disability.

Services may include help with general housekeeping, personal shopping, bill payment, prescription pickup, errand running and shopping assistance.

To learn more about the service, call Dick Murray at the Senior Center at 359-4410.

Roanoke council discusses lagoon clean-up at meeting Tuesday

The Roanoke Town Council discussed cleaning up a contaminated lagoon by the town’s wastewater treatment plant at its meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 3.

Phil Hibbert, the town’s supervisor of operations, informed the board that the Indiana Department of Environmental Management wanted to see progress on cleanup efforts at the site. The lagoon was contaminated by a former business in town, C and M Plating, many years ago, says Hibbert. Heavy metals at the bottom of the lagoon are what IDEM wants to see cleaned up.

Andrews penalty to be reduced if town repairs water infrastructure

Rather than pay a penalty to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management as part of an agreed order, Andrews will instead get to spend the majority of that money on repairs to water infrastructure, the Andrews Town Council learned at its meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 27.

Council President John Harshbarger reported that a supplemental environmental project proposed by the town had been accepted by IDEM. The project will see Andrews identify and repair leaking water lines.

Cole Hahn in Marine training

Photo provided.
Cole Hahn.

Cole Hahn, of Huntington, is now stationed in California with the United States Marine Corps.

Hahn is a 2016 graduate of Huntington North High School. He graduated from boot camp in September, from Marine Combat Training in November and from Basic Combatives Course in December.

He is the son of Roger and Shannon Hahn, of Huntington.