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June 5th, 2013

TESTING TESTS: WCCS assesses ISTEP+ concerns

June 5, 2013

COLUMBIA CITY — Elementary students all around Indiana recently had to deal with problems related to the ISTEP+ testing.

It was no different for students at Whitley County Consolidated Schools (WCCS). WCCS Superintendent Dr. Pat O’Connor updated the Board of School Trustees of the difficulties local students faced during the examinations.

Among the hurdles students had to overcome were slow web connections, as well as the network kicking children out of the test at random intervals.

Every time there was an interruption or distraction, it had to be documented.

VOTED DOWN: Council rejects wheel tax increase

June 5, 2013

COLUMBIA CITY — Whitley County’s Council voted unanimously to not raise the wheel tax rate for the coming year.

Currently, plated vehicles are charged $10 as part of that surtax. The maximum allowed in Indiana is a $25 charge.

The council was examining making the change because additional state funding was going to be distributed based on the wheel tax rate.

However, that language was changed in the Senate bill.

Rejecting the tax increase was unanimous.

“At some point, we need to tighten our belts and not expand our waistline,” said Councilman Paula Reimers.

GOLDEN BAND: Col. City H.S. named All-Music School

June 5, 2013

COLUMBIA CITY — Columbia City High School’s band program received recognition from the Indiana State School Music Association — the first time in the program’s history.

“This is a very big deal,” said Helen Hockemeyer, the band program’s director. “These kids have worked since the beginning of the school year to earn this.”

CCHS was named an All-Music School by ISSMA, which means students had to earn gold medals in five categories during 2012-13.

June 4th

Col. City boys track awards

June 4, 2013

Columbia City’s boys track and field team named its award winners for the 2013 year.

Award winners from left, with their awards: Wyatt Larkey was named Most Valuable Thrower; Garrett Vandersaul won the Coaches’ Award; Seth Kissinger won Most Improved Athlete; Evan Harney was named Most Valuable Runner and Most Valuable Participant; Mitchell Maloney was named Most Valuable Jumper and Andrew McFarland won Rookie of the Year.

CES students learn skills at J.A. BizTown

June 4, 2013

CHURUBUSCO — Churubusco Elementary School fifth graders were in charge of a town – operating a bank, managing a restaurant, checking electric meters, voting for a mayor, and balancing checkbooks – during a field trip at the Junior Achievement BizTown May 20.

Students studied basic market economics and were placed in a job in one of the 14 BizTown businesses and services.

Education’s friend

June 4, 2013

Rose Clason was honored with the 2013 Friend of Education Award at the May board meeting of Whitko Community School Corporation.

Clason is the wife of the district’s superintendent Steve Clason and spends many hours volunteering in the schools.

In the nomination letter written on Clason’s behalf, it was said she was often the first and the last person seen in the schools’ libraries.

She also spent time landscaping and caring for the plants around the different building in the district.

A conversation with . . . Dean Houser

June 4, 2013

COLUMBIA CITY — It wasn’t the 80s movie, “The Karate Kid,” that inspired Dean Houser, of Columbia City, to start learning martial arts.

A simple encounter with a “nice guy” convinced Houser to sign his son up for classes and eventually, Houser himself was hooked.

He now teaches various forms of martial arts and wellness in his studio, Living Arts, in Columbia City.

In addition to teaching structured classes, Houser offers his expertise to the Whitley County Domestic Violence Task Force.

Q: How did you get started in martial arts?

June 3rd

COMMISSIONERS: County leaders hear Union unease

June 3, 2013

COLUMBIA CITY — Concerns from a local union on strike were heard by the Whitley County Commissioners Monday.

Joyce Lane, who represents United Auto Workers 249, said her group has felt unsafe lately as they have been on strike from Coupled Products, LLC for two years.

Lane was invited to the meeting by Commissioner Tom Rethlake. She said that one person swerved their vehicle toward a group of striking workers, and her union was also aware of a threat made against a person.
The issue was, according to Lane, a lack of reaction from the Whitley County Sheriff’s Department.

Soldiers receive two salutes

June 3, 2013

COLUMBIA CITY — It wasn’t Memorial Day or Veteran’s Day. It wasn’t even Armed Forces Day. But a national holiday was not necessary community members to take time out of their Saturday to honor those who have and who are serving the country.

Salute a Soldier was held Saturday in Columbia City. The event was planned in order to raise funds for Associated Churches Military Families Ministry, which distributes aid to soldiers in need.

Gretchen Wood, an employee of Shindigz in South Whitley, launched an initiative to bring people together to honor soldiers.

HOMETOWN HEROES: Todd Cook — A seasoned sergeant

June 3, 2013

Editor’s note: Throughout the month of June, The Post & Mail will be featuring several public safety officials in a multi-part series.

COLUMBIA CITY — Though Todd Cook has been around law enforcement for more than 20 years, everyday is something new for the Whitley County Sheriff’s sergeant.

From riding in the squad car during his high school years to dispatching and being a firefighter, Cook has a wide variety of skills.
By his 21st birthday, he logged more than 1,000 hours of job shadowing with the Columbia City Police Department.

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