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FINALISTS: Indian Springs M.S. to send spellers to state showdown

October 31, 2013

COLUMBIA CITY — Competition doesn’t just take place on a grassy field. For Indiana Springs Middle School Spell Bowl team, competition will take place at Purdue University with pencil and paper in hand.

Middle school students recently learned that for a second year in a row, they will be spelling at the state level. This year, ISMS is the only school from Whitley County to advance, after being named conference champions Oct. 17.

LOCAL LEGACY: Pontzius ponders points of family history

October 31, 2013

Editor’s note: The following is the first in a two-part series on Jon Pontzius and his family farm.

COLUMBIA CITY — Whitley County has numerous farms that continue to operate under a family name.

Tradition and legacy are rooted deep in these homesteads, which span more than 100 years for some.

The Pontzius farm is no different. In 1835, a county pioneer purchased 80 acres in Thorncreek Township and 80 acres in Smith Township.

For $200, the family farm of Joseph Waugh was started.

DONATED TREES: Local Shrine Club helps beautify city

October 31, 2013

COLUMBIA CITY — Recently, Whitley County’s Shrine Club donated several hundred dollars to The Woodlands Senior Center, in Columbia City.

The Shriners are continuing to pitch in for the community, this time helping beautify the city’s downtown area.

The club is donating two trees to be planted along West Van Buren Street, east of Line Street, on the south side of the road.

“We just want to give back to the community,” said Ken Lundquist, Whitley County’s Shrine Club secretary-treasurer. “They’ve supported us so well over the years.”

October 30th

Reading gets crafty

October 30, 2013

Many local youngsters attended Story Time at the Peabody Public Library, Columbia City, Tuesday.

Young children listened to stories, danced to music and created “dust bunnies,” a craft related to the stories they read.

Pictured is Audrey Clegg, 4, concentrates on making her pink dust bunny.

PAY RAISE: Council approves employee salary ordinance

October 30, 2013

COLUMBIA CITY ­— At last week’s meeting, Colulmbia City’s Common Council approved the 2014 employee salary ordinance, a yearly responsibility handled by city officials.

The employee ordinance includes a slight raise for the city’s 90 full-time employees.

Full-time employees are expected to receive a $1,040 per year bump, a raise that hasn’t happened in several years.

REAL ESTATE: Delinquent taxes mean numerous sales for county

October 30, 2013

COLUMBIA CITY — Once a year, real estate sales become the focus of the Whitley County Treasurer’s office.

Annual tax sales take place in the fall, and this year, county officials moved 29 properties in its sale Oct. 15.

“It was a big day for the county,” said Treasurer Laurell Hodges. “There’s a lot that goes into the tax sale day, but I have an excellent support staff that makes things go a lot smoother.”

In 2012, the tax sale produced 14 transactions, which means Hodges juggled twice as many sales for the county not including the other 14 properties that didn’t sell.

IN COURT: Man to serve 2.5 years for theft from family

October 30, 2013

COLUMBIA CITY— A Columbia City man will serve 2.5 years at the Whitley County Jail for stealing from his family.

Stephen “Nathan” Lawrence, 23, of Columbia City, pleaded guilty to theft and residential entry — both Class D felonies, and criminal mischief, a Class B misdemeanor.

He was given a sentence of 2.5 years, with two to serve in the Whitley County Jail, by Senior Judge Mike Rush at the same hearing.

HALLOWEEN: No changes to trick-or-treating

October 30, 2013

COLUMBIA CITY — Despite the potential for questionable weather during Thursday night’s trick-or-treating, officials have decided to continue with Halloween as scheduled.

“Due to man power already being scheduled and other organizations that have planned events for Thursday, trick-or-treat will still be on Halloween,” the City of Columbia City stated in a press release today.

According to forecasters, thunderstorms with high winds are expected to hit the area Thursday evening, including 1 to 3 inches of rainfall.

October 29th

’Busco banks items for food drive

October 29, 2013

CHURUBUSCO — The Town of Churubusco recently announced its 2nd Annual Food Drive.

The town will be collecting non-perishable food and household items during the holiday season to donate to the Churubusco United Methodist Food Pantry.

Collections will occur from Nov. 1 until Dec. 12 at the Churubusco Government Center, 530 S. Main St.

“Please help make someone else’s holiday season a little brighter by donating,” said town officials. “With your donation, you will receive recognition on the ‘Door of Fame.’”

AMBULANCE OF A DIFFERENT COLOR: New paint discussion gets sticky

October 29, 2013

COLUMBIA CITY — One commissioner voted against a measure to allow new paint to be applied to Whitley County ambulances.

Whitley County’s Commissioners met last week, and on the agenda was a request made by Parkview Whitley Hospital to paint the county’s ambulances to match the ones used in Allen County.

However, as stated in the proposal, an emblem would be placed on the side designating the vehicles as Whitley County’s.

But considering the county actually owns the five ambulances, Commissioner Don Amber was not in favor of having the vehicles altered.

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