Year in review: Staff looks back at 2010
The following are news highlights from 2010 as reported in the Post & Mail.January4 — Whitley County New Year baby, Haleigh Giselle Graves, daughter of Ryan and Aimee Graves of Columbia City, was born shortly after 4 a.m.7 — Assistant Superintendent Dr. Patricia O’Connor takes over as interim superintendent at Whitley County Consolidated Schools after the December resignation of Dr. Laura Huffman.8 — Four inches of snow prompt officials to place Whitley County under a Level 3 Watch Snow Emergency.9 — Memorial service held for Deb K. (Nicholson) Houser, whose body was found in December. Her ex-husband was found guilty of murder in May 2010.11 — U.S. Congressman Mark Souder speaks at CC Deli for the Republican Party breakfast to a crowd of more than 60.12 — House and Nutritional Research facility in South Whitley damaged by a fire in December 2005 is torn down after years of legal wrangling.13 — Trial begins for a former local summer camp director accused of having a sexual relationship with an underage male camper. 15 — Former camp director, Tara L. Brandon found not guilty on all 33 counts against her for a sexual relationship with an underage counselor.18 — Dr. Timothy Chamberlain and his daughter Sarah make plans to travel to Haiti to aid residents suffering from the effects of the earthquake earlier in the month.19 — Conley, Finch and Koontz Equine Hospital is in full operation.21 — Churubusco’s Splash Pad planners shoot for Turtle Days opening. Funding for the project comes from a bequest from former Churubusco resident Paul Muller.25 — Fire and Ice Festival goes on, though viewers and participants require umbrellas due to rain.26 — Whitley County Patriots form in response to concerns about lack of effective representation in government.27 — Whitley County gets a website: www.whitleygov.com.30 — A body is found in a woods in southeastern Whitley County; Lawsuit against 4-H Inc. is dismissed in Whitley Circuit Court.February4 — Body found in woods is identified as missing Fort Wayne man.8 — A winter storm watch is put into effect for the next three days as eight to 12 inches of snow is expected.10 — Snows bring cancellations and hazardous conditions, but no injuries are reported.11 — The snow is followed by ice, causing many slideoffs. Schools remain closed.12 — Fort Wayne Foundry plant in Columbia City will close effecting 135 employees. Work is reportedly being sent to Mexico.16 — Sen. Evan Bayh announces he will not seek a third term.17 — Dr. Patricia O’Connor, interim superintendent of Whitley County Consolidated Schools, becomes the new superintendent at WCCS.23 — It was decided the Old Settlers Day parade will occur on Saturday afternoon instead of the usual Friday evening venue this year.24 — City Tree Board decides to continue removal of Ash trees infected with the Emerald Ash borer.25 — Research to begin for possible wind farm in Whitley County.March1 — Mindi Hoffman of Columbia City places 8th in the state Junior Miss program, winning the self-expression competition and the panel interview; Churubusco annexation of 130 acres is official.2 — Construction is to start soon on the Eel River Trailhead project in Columbia City.3 — Former jail chaplain for the Whitley County Sheriff’s Department, Bernard Squires, pleads guilty to possession of child pornography.9 — Habitat for Humanity plans four more homes and is looking for families for them.15 — The landlord of an apartment complex in Larwill, Ralph Fitch, is given an extension to repair the structure deemed unsafe by Whitley County Planning and Building Department chief building inspector Craig Wagner.16 — Whitley County Learning Services announces it will close its doors as of march 31.18 — The 2010 Turtle Days parade route in Churubusco will be twice as long as in years past according to Turtle Days Association President, Kirk Gray.19 — Search continues for a missing 14-year-old girl, Kaylin Michelle Doggendorf. 20 — Fire badly damages the Columbia City American Legion Post.22 — The body of 14-year-old Kaylin Doggendorf is found and 17-year-old Joshua Wright is accused in her death; Whitley County Sheriff’s Reserve Deputy Adam Schrader injured. 23 — Joshua Wright admits to strangling Kaylin Doggendorf, “It wasn’t intentional.”24 — Donations made to help Reserve Sheriff Deputy Adam Schrader’s recovery after his accident.25 — Getaway driver sentenced to 12 years for armed robbery at a Columbia City convenience store.26 — City briefs contractors on sewer project, an estimated $7.9 million project.27 — Students’ artwork wins national awards, Brooke Alexander and Kaylee Gray received National Scholastic Art Awards for digital photography.30 — Douglas P. Johnson was sentenced to 36 years in prison for class A and B felony child molesting charges.31 —Two Columbia city seniors, Alex Parker and Christin Rethlake received the 2010 Whitley County Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship.April1 — Whitley County raises $243,000 for United way.4 — 18-year-old Blake L. Brown was pleaded guilty to selling methadone.7 — Twenty-four-year-old Jeremy Church faces cocaine and heroin dealing charges. 8 — Churubusco makes plans to annex more land, including the Blue River Senior Apartments, a field and a home; work progresses on Peabody Public Library basement.9 — Seven-year-old Drew Sigler wins week-long trip to dude ranch for essay he wrote.10 — Testworth Labs, the scene of a harzardous and non-hazardous waste cleanup from 2006 to 2007 is shut down pending an investigation due to a failed inspection by the fire marshall. 11 — Doug Brown resigns as publisher of The Post & Mail and Rick Kreps steps in as replacement.14 — Whitley County Community Schools administrators announces staff cuts due to reductions in the general fund totalling $1 million.15 — About 60 protestors from the Whitley Patriots picketed with a ceremonial dumping of a box of tea into the Blue River, in remembrance of the Boston Tea Party of 237 years ago. They called this the Whitley County Patriots Tax Day TEA (taxed enough already) Party. 16 — The Center for Whitley County Youth hosts their third annual Benefit Cookoff to raise funds for operations of the Center.20 — Bob Brittain, 64, of Columbia City, dies.21 — Smith-Green Community School Board votes to cut staff and reduce hours to cut the budget.23 — Heart of Gold awards are given with Rob Bell of South Whitley, Ann Barrett of Churubusco and Sherry Sausaman of Columbia City receiving the top awards.24 — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awards Columbia City $400,000 for assessment of brownfields — contaminated waste sites — in the area. 26 — South Whitley town-wide garage sale dampened by two-inch rain.28 — Courthouse stairs surface repair is completed.29 — Sherry Sausaman is awarded Excellence in Servant Leadership award at Leadership Whitley County.30 — Leadership Whitley County graduates ninth class; new campaign director chosen for United Way — Carrie Hoffman will intern for LWC as the director of next year’s campaign.May6 — Whitko’s Zach Jones was named Indiana’s top SADD student at the organization’s state conference.7 — ’Busco residents getting clearer drinking water after new water treatment plant goes online. 12 — Trial begins for murder suspect Rodney Houser. Defense seeks involuntary manslaughter conviction. 14 — Jury finds Rodney Houser guilty of murdering his ex-wife Deborah Houser.14 — Schools name valedictorians and salutatorians. For Churubusco, the top students are James Fehring and Taylor Amber; for Columbia City, it’s Erin Culver and Kevin Deutsch and for Whitko it’s Caleb Schuman and Amanda Schultz.18 — A $20,000 Parkview Whitley Hospital grant helps construction begin on Eel River Trailhead project. 19 — Third District Congressman Mark Souder resigns after admitting to an affair.20 — Whitko school board approves plan where athletes pay to play.20 — Tri-Lakes Property Owners Association hires company to euthanize geese and relocate goslings in an effort to control population. 21 — Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Pat Hatcher resigns. June3 — District 83 state representative Matt Bell withdraws as candidate to take a job with the Regional Chamber of Northeast Indiana.5 — Columbia City native, Lt. Col. Shane T. Sullivan, assumes command at Cape Canaveral. 10 — Tri-Lakes Property Owners Association puts geese euthanasia plan on hold after discovering lack of legal authority to do so and a loud public outcry.11 — A five-inch downpour of rain floods city streets, church and CCHS; flooding forces graduation ceremony to be moved to Indian Springs. 14 — Marlin Stutzman emerges as winner of GOP caucus held to pick a candidate for Third District Congressman following the resignation of Mark Souder. 15 — Convicted murderer Rodney Houser sentenced to 65 years for the death of his ex-wife.16 — Whitley County resident Kathy Heuer announces bid for District 83 state representative seat.18 — Remains of Vietnam-era airman and city native Roy D. Prater returned home 40 years after his aircraft was shot down. Funeral services for Prater were held on June 20.19 — Prosecutors to seek life without parole for Joshua Wright, who is accused of allegedly murdering and raping 14-year-old Kaylin Doggendorf.23 — Whitko school board seeks referendum to raise funds to supplement school budget.24 — Strong storms down trees and close down Old Settlers midway. 29 — Kathy Heuer chosen by caucus to fill District 83 state representative vacancy on November ballot for Republicans. July6 — Gerald Bills honored as national Chaplain of the Year at sheriff’s conference.12 — Jeff Gruettert and Amy Wagoner are crowned Mr. and Miss Whitley County in the 4-H royalty contest. 20 — Habitat for Humanity of Whitley County announces first Women Build project in the county. 23 — Smith-Green schools hit with racial discrimination lawsuit. 30 — County council votes down Whitko tax referendum request; then at second meeting on same day votes to approve it. Questions arise about council violating state’s Open Door Law.31 — Whitley County jailer Steve Myers honored as state’s Jail Officer of the Year by the Indiana Sheriff’s Association. August4 — County commissioners unanimously vote to list entire county as economic recovery zone. 5 — County removes 13 neglected and starved horses from residence. 6 — Sara Lochner-Goff selected as executive director of the Whitley County Chamber of Commerce. 16 — Three Whitley County 4-Hers, Katie Barnett, Jackie Leeuw and Jackie St. George participate in the Indiana State Fair spotlight sale.18 — Cost to repair flood damage at CCHS following a June deluge tops $450,000.28 — Complaint filed with state regarding legality of a July county council meeting in which a vote was taken allow Whitko to pursue a referendum.31 — Phase 1 of Peabody Library expansion is completed, including a new 250-seat auditorium.September2 — Online voter registration begins at a snail’s pace.3 — Whitley County native Nancy Militello, 68, was found dead in her home along with her husband, Joseph Militello Jr., 57, and their 32-year-old nephew, Angelo Rosales. The three were murdered Aug. 26 in Suwannee County, Fla. in what police believe was a home invasion robbery.4 — Blake Leazier, Dillon Wenhart and Christopher Sauers were arrested on meth charges as a result of a routine probation search.4 — People Preserving History (PPH) disbands.4 — Churubusco Police Department radios to cost $20,000.7 — Too-good-to-be-true scams fleece local citizens.8 — Best of the Decade sports teams, individuals named.8 — County expands revitalization area; allows for faster tax abatements.8 — County joins effort for Brownfields grants.11 — Larwill targets unsafe buildings in need of repair.13 — TIF Districts lure business while losing revenue.13 — Cassie Petrie chosen as Whitley County Jr. Miss.14 — South Whitley Festival, events celebrate and help others.14 — Recent move makes it easier for B.A.B.E. to provide assistance.14 — State denies receiving complaint about alleged illegal County Council meeting.14 — West Nile Virus back in county; mosquitoes test positive.15 — Parkview to pay up to half of SR 205 local match via a formal agreement between Parkview Health System Inc. and Columbia City.16 — Fair board takes financial hit, but relishes top-notch reputation.16 — South Whitley council seeks a parking solution for its businesses.17 — Churubusco park turns to surveillance to fight vandalism.18 — Columbia City finds more ash trees invested with emerald ash borer.18 — South Whitley resident Cheri Heeter talks about her battle with M.S.20 — Columbia City man Timothy Spiller drowns after fall into Lake Michigan.20 — Tom Hayhurst promises to push job creation at Marshall Dinner.20 — Planned travel increase at WCCS irks board member.21 — Churubusco resident John W. Reed charged in bar fight stabbing.21 — William Leeka of Columbia City receives four years for child molesting.21 — County outlaws synthetic marijuana.22 — WCCS readies for renovations to Eagle Tech.22 — Extension office to house one-stop shop for social services.23 — Parents get a taste of WCCS’s Eagle Tech.23 — Stephen Smith becomes first candidate to file for vacant County County slot of Jim Banks.23 — Whitko appeals to its students in an attempt to gauge referendum popularity.24 — Judge clears county in inmates death and city police nab Missouri escapees.25 — Local photographer Bill Jones’s work valued by the Smithsonian Institution.25 — Andrew McDaniel becomes new CCHS student dean.25 — Lois Pelz fights to regain mobility after devastating traffic accident.25 — Matt Boyd files for vacant County Council seat of Jim Banks.27 — City gets more Brownfields cleanup money.28 — Veterans services officer Gene Rohrer looks for new office location.28 — Albion woman convicted for the third time of aiding burglary.28 — Teacher Mark Parker’s history program gets high recognition.29 — Columbia City approves a new Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Distict.30 — Adopted man set to return to birth country as a missionary.October1 — Report: Area workers make wages well below the national average.2 — Whitley County on pace to set record for overdose deaths.2 — Bank teller Jeannette Eberhart closes the books on a 42-year career.4 — Schools report a “do more with less” tone at state conference.4 — Columbia City water department reports rise in missing water.5 — Health Department plans first walk-in flu clinic for adults.5 — Services center gets new home in county annex building on Line Street.5 — Parkview hospital displays the design for new facility; to be geared toward the patient.6 — Triad Metals announces plans for Whitley County facility.6 — WCCS looks at ways to ease flood waters at high school.7 — Vacated Jim Banks County Council seat candidate list up to eight hopefuls.9 — W.A. Jones Truck Bodies & Equipment receives state contract to outfit snow vehicles.11 — Syracuse woman Linda Dietzen was killed in a crash on U.S. 30.11 — Personal transportation company Team CKD Transport expands into Columbia City.12 — Burn ban issued in Whitley County by Fire Chiefs’ Association.13 — Columbia City establishes a presence on Facebook.13 — 4-H Fair Board wraps up projects, suspends demolition derby driver indefinitely.14 — Veterans services officer gets new office in Government Center.14 — City councilman Walt Crowder brings holiday pay policy into question.14 — South Whitley residents turn out in droves to hear about a proposed electrical service rate increase.15 — Wind turbine passing through town halts traffic for hours.15 — A proposed rate increase by Tri-Lakes Sewer District gets rescinded indefinitely.16 — Burnworth Memorial Pool, at 50 years old, cause for many questions about its future.18 — Firefighters battle grass, field fires around Whitley County, despite ban still in place.19 — Burglars strike four homes in Columbia City, many of the victims were home at the time.19 — Leroy Thomas, 72, of Florida, killed while mowing at his son’s Columbia City home.21 — GOP chooses Paula Reimers to fill vacated County Council seat of Jim Banks.21 — Churubusco man Kent Frenger, 40, accused of rape.21 — Residents pack meeting room to remonstrate against proposed wind farm ordinance.21 — Community-minded people, businesses honored at annual county chamber function.22 — Patty Weybright honored by SADD with Junior Hope Award.25 — County investigates adding toll-free numbers to county offices.26 — Annual program gives veterans a chance to tell what they’ve seen.27 — Lawsuit claims Whitley County Council conducted a meeting that violated the Indiana Open Door Law.27 — Two tornadoes touch down in Whitley County; causing millions in damage.28 — Longtime family-owned business, Thomson’s Whitley County Motor Sales changes ownership.28 — Bob Brittain honored by CCHS colleagues.30 — Columbia City Board of Works OKs the funding of 800 MHz communications equipment by public safety employees in the city.November2 — Community receives an invite to listen to education guru David Dresslar at event hosted by Whitley County Community Foundation.2 — Local girl Payton Jagger gets her wish to visit a Florida theme park.3 — Area Republicans win handily over the Democrats in Election Day landslide.3 — George Schrumpf unseats Commissioner Michael Schrader and Doug Faul tops Greg Hockemeyer for Superior Court Judge.4 — Ultra Electronics-USSI buys a building to expand its business in Whitley County.4 — Whitley County Consolidated Schools institutes program to help rookie teachers.5 — Whitley County Consolidated Schools board hears a report on kindergarten report cards.5 — Whitley County seeks an end to a lawsuit against the council charging it held an illegal meeting.6 — Commissioner-elect George Schrumpf talks about the challenges he sees ahead in county government.6 — Whitley County Commissioners, in conjunction with the Whitley County Fire Chief’s Association, lift the ban on open burning in the county.8 — Columbia City begins plans to cut down ash trees in an effort to battle the infestation of the trees by the Emerald Ash Borer.8 — A fire on West Whitley Road brings firefighters from Richland and Columbia townships and rousts tenants from their home.9 — Columbia City police investigate a series of break-ins over the weekend that happened at four residences and one business.9 — Santa’s house reportedly in need of repair; available elves dwindling in number.9 — Whitley County Sheriff’s Department announces Shop With a Sheriff program.10 — Columbia City’s Common Council receives a report on the cleanup process of the former Dana plant located on Ellsworth Street.10 — The Whitley County 4-H Board announces several projects on the horizon that will be cost the organization dearly.12 — Coesse students honor veterans at program.13 — Columbia City’s Brownfields Committee makes plans to fight urban blight.13 — Larwill denies property owner a second reprieve for repairing property.15 — Four injured in a three-vehicle crash on Ind. 9.15 — Veterans honored at annual library event.17 — County planners introduce ordinance to regulate wind farms; staunch opposition expected at next meeting of the Whitley County Plan Commission.17 — Columbia City gives approval for street department to buy sewer cameras.18 — Police go on the lookout for DeWayne Stewart, a convicted sex offender who is wanted on more sex-related crimes.18 — Whitley County’s Plan Commission votes to go back to the drawing board on an ordinance designed to regulate wind farms.19 — Newell Cerak relates the story of his daughter being misidentified in a fatal crash to a Youth For Christ audience.20 — A special panel identifies potential Brownfiields sites.20 — Local police arrested two men suspected of manufacturing methamphetamine.22 — Columbia City Water Department Superintendent Mike Dear reports that some of the city’s aging water lines are becoming more and more in need of replacement.23 — Columbia City’s Pak-A-Sak is robbed at gunpoint by a man wearing a hooded sweatshirt.24 — Local girl Amanda King is tabbed to perform at the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.26 — Indiana State Excise Officer Aaron Bishop is arrested and accused of theft in connection with the burglary of an Indiana State Excise evidence room.26 — A new art gallery opens in the Columbia City; WCCS students win art awards.27 — South Whitley’s Town Council receives an update on the exposed wall located at the south end of the Green Parrot bar.27 — Harold Norman inspires those around him with his insatiable love of laughter.29 — Logan Templeton, 21, of Columbia City was killed in a single-car crash on County Road 500 South.30 — Indiana State Excise officer Aaron Bishop enters a plea of not-guilty in Whiltey County Superior Court.December1 — Retrial of Pennsylvania man accused of molesting a local girl begins with testimony from the alleged victim.2 — Pennsylvania man accused of molesting a local girl takes the witness stand in his trial for child molesting and sexual misconduct with a minor.3 — Meth lab explodes; kills a woman at Miami Village Mobile Home Park.3 — The Pennsylvania man accused of child molesting is acquitted.3 — Cam Amber of Churubusco is killed in a head-on collision on U.S. 33.3 — Canadian company Iotron announces it is planning to expand its operations into Whitley County.5 — First significant snowfall causes several vehicle collisions.7 — South Whitley woman opens door to find suspicious salesman. The salesman revealed a bottle, the contents of which made the woman dizzy.8 — County approves $13,000 to improve police radios in South Whitley.9 — Planning chief Dave Sewell asks for guidance from the Whitley County Commissioners on how to proceed with a wind ordinance.9 — Indian Springs Middle School 8th-graders prepare to compete in a statewide Lego robot competition.10 — Whitley County resident Adam Smart dives from his truck, narrowly avoiding being killed by a passing train.11 — Rescue workers pull a stranded dog from freezing Round Lake waters.13 — Storm leaves snow, wind and cold weather in its wake around the county.13 — Local veterans recall trip to Washington, D.C. for a tour of the World War II memorial.15 — Fort Wayne company proposes that Columbia City beef up its “cyber-security.”15 — Snow has Columbia City street crews working overtime.16 — Columbia City officials announce the winners of the 2010 Christmas lighting contest winners.18 — Police, parents and schools combat child predators.21 — Anderson man Terry Campbell is arrested for child molesting.22 — Adams trust makes last contribution after 27 yeas of philanthropy.22 — Whitley County Consolidated Schools agrees to purchase new boilers for the Marshall Community Building.22 — Fort Wayne Philharmonic performs in its annual Columbia City concert.23 — Renea Farnbauch entertains McDonalds customers with razor sharp wit and a knack for quality service.23 — Whitley County Consolidated School Corporation joins other small school districts in Indiana by signing a resolution calling on state legislatures to be fair to its state school systems.24 — UPS man Shawn Slocum retires after 33 years of filling Santa role.24 — Gene Hoover embraces his addiction, continues to light up the holiday nights.27 — Columbia City Parks Department cautions sledders against sliding down hills at Baker’s Field.27 — Last working boiler goes down at Marshall Community Building; brought back online hours later.27 — Whitley County 4-H Fair board elects new officers.28 — Jason Snyder and his dog escape as fire damages his mobile home on County Road 250 West.28 — James M. Lawd of Columbia City is injured when his truck collides with a tree.28 — Whitley County Consolidated Schools Board of School Trustees agrees to purchase a new wheel chair lift at Columbia City High School.29 — Columbia City continues to update street signs citywide.30 — A reduction in County Adjusted Gross Income Tax funds has Columbia City seeing a 2011 fiscal shortfall.30 — A fire at 113 East Market Street in Columbia City does minimal damage.