January 8th, 2013
Arthur L. Keister, 88, of Burr Oak, died at 5:30 a.m. Monday, Jan. 7, 2013, at his home. He was born April 21, 1924 in Noble County, a son of Thurlo and Venis (Winebrenner) Keister. He graduated from Wolf Lake High School in 1942 and was a member of the â€™42 basketball team.
After graduation, he served in the U.S. Army for three years during World War II with tours in Alaska and India. A farmer, he worked for International Harvestor in Fort Wayne, retiring in 1978. He loved farming and his wonderful family.
Verlin Bentz, 96, formerly of rural Columbia City, died at 11 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013, at University Park Nursing and Rehabilitation, Fort Wayne where he had been a resident since 2010.
He was born May 15, 1916, in South Whitley, a son of the late Oliver P. and Winnie (Walgamuth) Bentz. His formative years were spent in South Whitley.
On Oct. 24, 1942, he was united in marriage to Wathina Ilene Coy. They made their home in Allen County later moving to the lake areas in Whitley County.
James E. Bennett, 64, of Watson Drive, died Thursday evening at the William W. Backus Hospital with his family at his side.
On June 30, 1948, he was born in Columbia City, the son of Charles E. Bennett and the late Dorothy (Rock) Bennett.
James grew up in Indiana, graduated from Columbia City Joint High School and attended Purdue University for two years before enlisting in the U.S. Navy in 1968, serving as a machinistâ€™s mate aboard the USS Archerfish.
COLUMBIA CITY â€” The Columbia City Police Department will be hiring a new officer this year â€” marking a milestone for the force. CCPD Police Chief Tim Longenbaugh said this will be the first new officer the department has hired in 10 years. The new hire will be the 18th full-time officer for the force.
The process is currently underway, and the department has already had applicants perform the written exam and the physical agility test. Interviews are scheduled for Jan. 12 with the hope that the new officer will begin in February. The chief added that the list of applicants is strong.
CHURUBUSCO â€” Eight people turned out to interview for the two open school board seats for Smith-Green Community Schools Wednesday.
Gary Smith, who was originally elected to serve on the school board, resigned his position leaving two seats to be filled. President Kathy Petrie read Gary Smithâ€™s letter of resignation to the assembly.
â€śDue to unforeseen circumstances, I will be unable to perform my duties as a school board member,â€ť Smith wrote. â€śI want you all to know I really was excited to serve and be a part of Smith-Greenâ€™s success.â€ť
COLUMBIA CITY â€” There were no homicides in Whitley County for the year 2012. There were also no homicides in the county in 2011. However, there were three in a 13-month period between 2009 and 2010.
â€śWe averaged one per year, and that is out of the ordinary for Whitley Countyâ€ť Whitley County Sheriff Chief Deputy Marc Gatton said. â€śNormally we donâ€™t have any.â€ť
FORT WAYNE â€” As has been the case since its inception, Saturdayâ€™s Northeast Hoosier Conference Swimming and Diving Meet was dominated by perennial powers Homestead and Carroll, but the Columbia City boysâ€™ team worked its way into a tie for fourth in the team standings and the Lady Eagles took sixth at the Homestead pool.
ROCHESTER â€” Whitko girls basketball team played a hard-fought game in Rochester Saturday night that came down to the final seconds to decide. It was a battle of two evenly matched teams, as neither squad led by more than seven points at any point in the game.
From opening tip off to the final buzzer, the Lady Wildcats had to contend with a ferocious defensive effort by Rochester, falling 53-51 to their Three Rivers Conference foes. The staunch defense disrupted Whitkoâ€™s timing and caused numerous turnovers â€” particularly in the first half.
COLUMBIA CITY â€” Columbia Cityâ€™s girls basketball team picked up its second win in a row and first Northeast Hoosier Conference game of the season Saturday night.
The Lady Eagles hosted and defeated Bellmontâ€™s Lady Squaws to get their fourth win of the season.Columbia Cityâ€™s staunch defense held the Lady Squaws to one field goal in the first quarter en route to a 45-34 win.
Guards Macie Hinen and Aubrey Wright combined for seven steals and six assists. Emily Whiteleather and Hinen led the boards with seven rebounds apiece.
The Fire and Ice Festival, traditionally held on the Whitley County Courthouse Square, has been cancelled for 2013.
Both the Columbia City Chamber of Commerce and the mayorâ€™s office confirmed the cancellation. Financial reasons were cited as the reason for cancellation, although an official statement has not been released. â€śWe are disappointed, but I support the Chamber of Commerceâ€™s decisionâ€ť said Columbia City Mayor Ryan Daniel. â€śWe would like to see a winter festival planned for Columbia City to bring people downtown, but that probably wonâ€™t happen for this year.â€ť