June 5th, 2013
COLUMBIA CITY â€” Itâ€™s not enough, according to Joy Gilraine of Columbia City, to simply write a check to donate money to those in need.
She is set to see the need up close and in person â€” in Haiti.
â€śHaiti is one of the poorest countries,â€ť Gilraine said. â€śThey are still trying to deal with a massive amount of devastation. It seems like a hopeless situation to them, I am sure.â€ť
COLUMBIA CITY â€” 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 Oâ€™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.
COLUMBIA CITY â€” Whitley Countyâ€™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.
â€śAt some point, we need to tighten our belts and not expand our waistline,â€ť said Councilman Paula Reimers.
COLUMBIA CITY â€” Columbia City High Schoolâ€™s band program received recognition from the Indiana State School Music Association â€” the first time in the programâ€™s history.
â€śThis is a very big deal,â€ť said Helen Hockemeyer, the band programâ€™s director. â€śThese kids have worked since the beginning of the school year to earn this.â€ť
CCHS was named an All-Music School by ISSMA, which means students had to earn gold medals in five categories during 2012-13.
Columbia Cityâ€™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 Coachesâ€™ 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.
CHURUBUSCO â€” Churubusco Elementary School fifth graders were in charge of a town â€“ operating a bank, managing a restaurant, checking electric meters, voting for a mayor, and balancing checkbooks â€“ 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.
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 districtâ€™s superintendent Steve Clason and spends many hours volunteering in the schools.
In the nomination letter written on Clasonâ€™s behalf, it was said she was often the first and the last person seen in the schoolsâ€™ libraries.
She also spent time landscaping and caring for the plants around the different building in the district.
COLUMBIA CITY â€” It wasnâ€™t the 80s movie, â€śThe Karate Kid,â€ť that inspired Dean Houser, of Columbia City, to start learning martial arts.
A simple encounter with a â€śnice guyâ€ť 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?
COLUMBIA CITY â€” 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 Sheriffâ€™s Department.
COLUMBIA CITY â€” It wasnâ€™t Memorial Day or Veteranâ€™s Day. It wasnâ€™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.