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December 11th

Youth to raise money for church trip to Haiti

December 11, 2013

COLUMBIA CITY — Teenagers from Columbia City United Methodist Church will be raising funds to cover the expense of a missions trip to Haiti in 2014.
A holiday bazaar will give the youth group the opportunity to sale kettle corn and hold a raffle to financially support their cause.
Santa’s Helper’s Market will be Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at The Van Buren Event Center, 301 W. Van Buren St., in downtown Columbia City.

Lt. Col. Robert Walker, 92

December 11, 2013

Lt. Col. Robert L. Walker, 92, of Columbia City, passed away at 8:30 p.m. Nov. 13, 2013, at his home in Columbia City.
Born Dec. 25, 1920, in Huntington, he was the son of Leslie A. and Elsie M. (Ramsey) Walker.
Raised in Huntington, Robert graduated from Huntington High School with the Class of 1938, and began working at Caswell-Runion.
On Jan. 14, 1942, he married Juanita Glenn Welches in Fort Wayne. Bob and Juanita lived in Fort Wayne until they bought a farm near Tri-Lakes in 1954, raising their family there until moving to Columbia City in 1992.

December 10th

Reindeer liven up library open house

December 10, 2013

SOUTH WHITLEY — Children of all ages were welcomed at the South Whitley Community Public Library Saturday for a chance to greet Santa and meet a few four-legged helpers.

Reindeer pranced into the library to allow children a chance to learn about how the reindeer help Santa deliver presents to children on Christmas Eve.

“The only way the reindeer can fly on Christmas Eve is if Santa chooses them and sprinkles them with magic dust,” said Joni Cripe of Animal-Grams.

Cripe brought Poinsetta, a miniature pony, and Holiday, a reindeer, to visit the children along with Saint Nick.

County considers costs for corrections

December 10, 2013

COLUMBIA CITY — Housing county inmates is becoming a challenging obstacle for both the Whitley County Jail and the Work Release Center.

Whitley County Commissioner Tom Rethlake told County Council members that the Work Release Center was full and the jail was near capacity.

“We’re going to have to do something,” Rethlake said. “I don’t know if that means adding another wing off the back of the jail or what. We might even have to consider a wing off of Work Release as well.”

Officials await lawsuit results

December 10, 2013

COLUMBIA CITY — Whitley County Commissioners are keeping a close eye on a class-action lawsuit filed against the county and several other counties in Northeast Indiana.

At a recent meeting, Commissioners heard an update on the situation from County Attorney Dan Sigler.

Legal action was initiated after Lawrence M. Bickel was arrested and held longer than 48 hours before appearing in court for arraignment.

According to Indiana statute, an inmate must be brought before the judge for an initial court appearance within 48 hours of being arrested without a warrant.

Walgreens robber nets 8-year sentence

December 10, 2013

COLUMBIA CITY — A man who pleaded guilty earlier this year to a 2012 Walgreens robbery received an eight-year sentence in Whitley County Circuit Court.

Troy J. Fritz, 31, of Fort Wayne, was sentenced to the Indiana Department of Correction (DOC) for four of those years, with the other four years to be served on suspended sentence.

Case reports state Fritz stole Opana and Fentanyl by threatening the use of force in February of 2012.

Fritz said in an October court hearing that he walked to the pharmacy section of the store and handed a note to the person on-duty.

December 9th

Conductor or insulator

December 9, 2013

Northern Heights Elementary School students in Heather Harris’s fourth grade class learned about electricity in their science class. The students worked hands-on to test various items in order to determine if they were conductors or insulators. Pictured are Joey Stinson, Jalea Morrison, and Taylor Ellis.

Kids share meal with Santa

December 9, 2013

COLUMBIA CITY — Candy canes and cookies were on the menu at Downtown On The Square Saturday.

Far from its normal fine dining, the restaurant, located across from the Whitley County Courthouse in Columbia City, changed its culinary specialties to host a breakfast with Santa event for children.

The breakfast is just one of the many downtown appearances Santa Claus has made this holiday season.

Dedicated Park Board member says goodbye

December 9, 2013

SOUTH WHITLEY — After spearheading two large-scale park renovations, Katey Till announced she was stepping down from the South Whitley Park Board.

Till, a South Whitley resident, is a mother, wife and active volunteer.

With so much on her to-do list, she told South Whitley Town Council members at a meeting in November that she would be resigning her seat on the board.

“It’s time,” Till said. “I’ve done what I wanted to do.”
Official resignation of Till’s spot will be Friday. Her departure is in addition to another vacant seat needing to be filled.

Col. City man dies in crash

December 9, 2013

COLUMBIA CITY — A Columbia City man died in a crash in Whitley County Friday night.

Zachariah “Zach” Ballard, 28, was driving north on County Road 450 East, south of Cider Mill Road, when police believe his truck traveled left of center and ran off the roadway.

Investigation by the Whitley County Sheriff’s Department showed that Ballard’s vehicle struck two trees, and when officials arrived, Ballard was partially ejected from the truck.

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