SEASON CHANGING: Un-inclement weather altering some department priorities

COLUMBIA CITY — Some of the city’s departments are shifting sails a bit in preparation of spring, none more so than the city’s Parks and Recreation Department.Park Director Mark Green said with the weather change, Morsches Park has seen steady and consistent traffic recently, keeping the park busy. The department has also been working on playing fields in anticipation of holding softball practice soon.Registration for softball will close with a registration session Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m. Boys Minor baseball evaluation will occur at 1 p.m. and Boys Major is at 2:30.Police Chief Tim Longenbaugh reported the two new detectives, Gary Archibold and Chip Stephenson, have completed “Finding Words” training, which now gives them certification to interview children that may be victims or witnesses to various crimes.The two will now be a part of the sexual assault team, working with the Department of Child Services, the Prosecutor’s Office and other law enforcement agencies.Tom LaRue, fire chief, brought up national statistics that show 71 percent of all fire runs are medic related, while 21 percent are fire related and eight percent fall under an “other” category, to including things like carbon monoxide checks.Columbia City’s department falls right in line with the national stats, which LaRue said was a good thing.Limb pickup season is starting for the street department April 1, according to Superintendent Kelly Cearbaugh. Pickup will be curbside only this year, with alleys no longer being on the route where curbs are available.Alleys will still be used for residents without curbs, and the department will do a final sweep of alleyways toward the end of the month to collect any leftover limbs from the fall and winter seasons.Cearbaugh said mulch is now available for public pickup in the back of Morsches Park. Any resident with the means to do so may pick up mulch free of charge. The mulch will be available until Saturday, April 14, when the city will provide a loader from 8 a.m. to noon to load mulch for residents.Columbia City Common Council will meet again March 27 at 7 p.m. in the conference room at City Hall.___For a more in depth look at this story, see the March 14 issue of The Post and Mail. Don't have a subscription? Call (260) 244-5153 or subscribe to our e-edition. For breaking news, sports updates and additional coverage, bookmark the homepage and find us on facebook.