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March 14th, 2011

Family shares daughter’s message of kindness

March 14, 2011

COLUMBIA CITY — It was a day like any other in the classroom. Students talking and laughing, studying and dreaming about the future.
But a darkness that had begun years earlier broke in on the scene and lives ended too soon, dreams never to be realized.
Columbine High School.
The first student killed that day, April 20, 1999, was Rachel Scott. The shooters were allegedly victims of bullying for years and had taken their revenge in a random shooting spree at their high school.
Close to home

An eye-opening experience

March 14, 2011

COLUMBIA CITY — Dining by candlelight has always been associated with romance, or maybe a power outage, but eating a meal in the total darkness, as a totally blind person would, is a different experience entirely.
And for a reporter, who relies on sight for taking notes, and for observing events, not to mention getting just the right picture, reporting with a blindfold on seemed a daunting task.
The program, a benefit for the Lakota Chapter American Council of the Blind of Indiana and the Tri-Lakes Lions Club, occurred Sunday evening at the Eagle’s Nest Event Center.

Tornado siren test provides chance to review safety plan

March 14, 2011

COLUMBIA CITY — Whitley County’s Department of Emergency Management/Department of Homeland Security is gearing up this week for a pair of weather-related events.
According to department director Cathy Broxon-Ball, this week is not only Severe Weather Awareness Week, but also Flood Safety Awareness week.
In conjunction with the five-day event, Broxon-Ball said her department would be testing the county’s emergency sirens on Wednesday in the morning and again at 7 p.m.

Public input, recommendations on tap for plan commission

March 14, 2011

COLUMBIA CITY — Some degree of ambiguity surrounds business that’s on the agenda for the Whitley County Plan Commission tonight.
The panel meets a day earlier than usual due to scheduling conflicts.
Atop the agenda will be a public hearing for the county’s new comprehensive plan, Draft D.
According to Dave Sewell, executive director of the Whitley County Building and Planning Department, the commission could vote tonight to approve the plan, barring any major obstacles.
He added, though, that official ratification would be done by the Whitley County Board of Commissioners.

IDEM gives all clear to resume sewer project

March 14, 2011

COLUMBIA CITY — Contaminated soil found under railroad tracks in Columbia City has been cleared to be reintroduced.
Earlier this year, crews installing sewer lines under railroad tracks on South Line Street discovered oily dirt. The crews were in the process of boring under the tracks to insert new sewer line, a process called jack and bore.
Work was halted when the contaminated soil was discovered and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management was contacted.

Mandate means new signs for county roads

March 14, 2011

COLUMBIA CITY — Whitley County officials heard ideas last week on sign updates around the county — and got an unsuspected surprise.
At the twice-monthly meeting of the Whitley County Board of Commissioners, Highway Department Superintendent Mike Barton presented Mitch Hansel of GAI consultants of Fort Wayne.
Barton and Hansel spoke to the three-man board about federal money available for updating signage which, according to them, is required by law and must be done by Jan. 1, 2012.
“It’s mandated, we don’t have a choice,” said Barton.

March 11th

Gotta Dance!

March 11, 2011

“It keeps me young and it keeps me going,” says Deb Aldrich, a grandmother of nine.
What she’s referring to is dance.
Called “Dancin’ Aunt Deb” by her family, she has been kicking up her heels since she was a little girl. Her mom started her in dance classes at the age of four.
She was a regular on the Ann Colone Show on WANE-TV in Fort Wayne and in 1959 performed with Gene Barry, who portrayed Bat Masterson on television, during the Shrine Horse Patrol in Columbia City.

House in Larwill razed for higher purpose

March 11, 2011

LARWILL — A Victorian Italianate-style brick house, built in 1880 in Larwill was razed Thursday.
Property owner Bob Vandermark of Larwill watched as Jeff Wigent of Wigent Excavating worked the excavator making short work of the job. What was a house at 116 N. Center Street in the morning, was level ground by 5 p.m.
“There was so much black mold, it wasn’t worth fixing,” Vandermark said.
He had purchased the house with an idea of restoration, but the mold issue changed his plans.

4-H Inc. prepares for upcoming events

March 11, 2011

COLUMBIA CITY — Tuesday evening’s 4-H Inc. board meeting was the last for Kay Walter, secretary at the Whitley County Purdue Extension Office. She has voluntarily taken minutes for the organization, though the board does elect a secretary, this year being Dave Rupley.
Rupley asked what was to happen at the next board meeting and was told, “Bring two pens.”
Offers to Walter to continue her duties even after her retirement date, March 18, were met with a smile, and a polite but firm refusal.
“It doesn’t get much better than Kay,” said Rex Eiler, boardmember.

Commission’s public hearing set for Tuesday

March 11, 2011

COLUMBIA CITY — Multiple scheduling conflicts have prompted the Whitley County Plan Commission to change the date of its next meeting.
The board will convene at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the lower level of the Whitley County Government Center.
The commission normally meets on the third Wednesday of each month.
In March, however, Cathy Gardner of the county’s Building and Planning Department said there were multiple conflicts involving board members who would be unavailable.

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