COLUMBIA CITY â€” No matter how big or how small, how short or how tall, and no matter the color of hair or the shoes they wear â€” children are anxiously awaiting the arrival of Saint Nick tonight.
As the hours count down and the night draws near, anticipation builds as children wonder when the big guy will appear.
While Santaâ€™s sack is stuffed with toys, coal awaits for naughty little girls and naughty little boys.
How does one ensure a present will be received? Bend your ear to these children who know exactly what Santaâ€™s list can bring.
COLUMBIA CITY â€” Christmas Eve, firemen with the Columbia City Fire Department will partake in a tradition spanning 125 years.
The holiday candy and orange give-away is one way the fire department serves the community. The event will be held Christmas Eve from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Whitley County Courthouse and is open to all children.
The department raises funds throughout the year to purchase enough candy for each child to have a one-pound bag of candy and oranges.
Douglas Scott Radke passed away Friday, Dec. 13, 2013.
Born Feb. 7, 1959, he was the son of Michael G. and Shirley M. (Middleton) Radke.
Surviving relatives include his wife, Debbie Radke of Hot Springs, Mont.; siblings, Todd Radkle of Columbia City, Amy Jo Hoffmeier of Ossian, Michael E. Radke of Florence, Al. and Chad Radke of Columbia City; children, Tara Hodges of Columbia City, Josh Radke of Wilson Creek, Wash. and Wakie Ulman of Moses Lake, Wash.; and seven grandchildren.
A family memorial service will be held in the spring.
David Michael Hockgeiger, 63, of Columbia City, died Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, at his home.
He was born May 18, 1950, in Mt. Carmel, Ill., a son of George and Betty (Woods) Hockgeiger. His formative years were spent in Mt. Carmel. He completed his education at Mt. Carmel High School.
He loved his job as a grounds superintendent of golf courses, working throughout Illinois and Indiana, lastly at Eagle Glen Golf Course since 2006.
His enjoyment came spending time with grand babies, playing guitar and driving his car.
Dennis Ross Londt, 60, passed away Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013, after a lengthy illness at the IU Medical Center in Indianapolis.
He was a graduate of Central Noble High School and Indiana-Purdue University at Fort Wayne with a bachelorâ€™s degree in Medicine.
He was a medical technologist MT/ASCP and worked in laboratories in Indiana, Ohio and Texas.
He was born in Wolf Lake, to the Howard E. Londt and Dorothy Walker Londt who both preceded him in death.
His brother, Edward (Jane) Londt lives in Huntertown and sister Peggy (Chris) Wegenka lives in Fort Wayne.
Earl Strickland, 60, of Columbia City, went home to be with the Lord at 4:52 p.m. Friday, Dec. 20, 2013, at his residence. Born on April 7, 1953, in Loris, S.C., he was the son of Lester Hampton and Flauda (Todd) Strickland.
In 1972, he married Vickie Fletcher in Columbia City. From 1984-2003 Earl worked as a property manager in Stuart, Fla.
North Carolina was then home until 2006, when he returned to Columbia City. He loved to deer hunt in addition to fishing at Big Lake, Gilbert Lake, and the ocean.
Larry A. Heeter, 69, of South Whitley, died at 2:38 p.m. Friday, Dec. 20, 2013, at Parkview Regional Medical Center, Fort Wayne, where he was admitted the Friday before.
He was born Sept. 24, 1944, in Huntington, a son of Max and Geneva (Stetzel) Heeter. As a young boy his family moved to Wisconsin. As a teenager, he moved to North Manchester and graduated from Manchester High School.
He was employed at Farmerâ€™s Grain Elevator, Whitley Manufacturing for nearly 15 years and Wabash Valley.
He was a former volunteer fireman for South Whitleyâ€“Cleveland Township Fire Department.
The Peabody Radio Theatre Players presented â€śThe War of the Worlds Christmas Special,â€ť a mixed parody of H.G Wells â€śWar of the Worldsâ€ť and Clement Mooreâ€™s â€śTâ€™was the night before Christmasâ€ť at the Columbia Cityâ€™s Library Saturday night. Pictured (front in brown sweater) is Jacob Kemery as Announcer and cast members. Kemery is also a contributing writer of the dramatization.
COLUMBIA CITY â€“ Jackie Hakeâ€™s final day as the executive director for the Whitley County Council on Aging is quickly approaching.
After 18 years of service, Hake will retire officially at the end of December. Itâ€™s been a bittersweet announcement, as Hake leaves with numerous fond memories of her years spent with the senior center.
â€śI have had the chance to sit in my position and watch so many great things happen here,â€ť Hake said. â€śThis has been my life. Although I am ready to retire, itâ€™s hard to say goodbye.â€ť
COLUMBIA CITY â€” Whitley County Consolidated Schools took steps to complete its end-of-year financials at last weekâ€™s meeting.
WCCS Business Manager Tony Zickgraf approached the Board of Trustees last Monday, requesting its approval of several financial projects to end the year.
The board first approved a reduction-resolution for the 2014 budget.