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March 21, 2017

Whitley County Republican Women's Club members traveled to Indy, met with Governor Monday


(Talk of the Town photo provided)
Linda Gottschalk and Cindy Doolittle, executive board members of the Whitley County Republican Women's Club, joined an entourage of Republican women from Northeast Indiana as they traveled to Indianapolis Monday.
Gottschalk and Doolittle spent the day with peers from Allen, Steuben and Dekalb county clubs. They toured the statehouse and met with Governor Eric Holcomb, Attorney General Curtis Hill and other local and state representatives.
Above, from left, is Linda Gottschalk, Governor Eric Holcomb and Cindy Doolittle.

Whitko Community Schools board of trustees makes plans for moving ahead in the fall

From reports

Last night, in a 4-1 vote, the Whitko Community School Board made its decision in favor of the keeping the school system in the same configuration as it is currently for the 2017-2018 school year. The decision to keep the school the same detours from the original presentations given in January and February to the Whitko Communities of Pierceton, South Whitley, and Larwill which proposed restructuring to a system of either: Kindergarten through sixth grade as elementary and seventh through twelfth as a middle/high school or K-3, 4-8, 9-12.
Superintendent Clason expressed his gratitude to the board stating, "I am glad we were able to honor our commitment to the communities. We said we would seek out and assess all options, and try to make the best decision for everyone, and I think we've done that; and I think this gives us more time that we need to make those tough choices."
Additionally, the board announced that an outside independent consultant will be hired. The job of the consultant will be to facilitate recommendations from the board and the community on what needs to be done to keep the school financially solvent, and incorporate all communities, which make up the sum of Whitko Schools, in that task force.
Once it has been deemed that all due diligence has been done, benchmarks will be set as will a date that a decision is to be made regarding the findings of the task force and the independent consultant.
Whitko proudly serves families across two counties, Whitley and Kosciusko, whose citizens have embraced a long-standing tradition of working together as one.
Whitko is committed to excellence for all by providing A-rated educational programs, aligned curriculum, and an invested faculty who create the conditions necessary for all students to achieve success. At Whitko, being big enough to deliver and small enough to care, means students receive the opportunities often associated with a larger school system and benefit from relationships cultivated in a more intimate school setting.

CCHS Bands to benefit from dinner, concert

From reports

The Columbia City High School Bands are hosting a chicken noodle dinner on March 25, 2017, from 5 to 7 p.m. with a band concert immediately following dinner.
Tickets can be purchased at the door for $8 for adults, $7 for seniors (age 55 and older) and $7 for children ages 10 and under.
A labor auction and dessert auction is also planned. Proceeds support the band programs.

Faith Christian Academy to host annual fish and tenderloin dinner Saturday night

From reports

The annual Faith Christian Academy fish and tenderloin dinner will be held this Saturday, March 25, 2017, from 4 to 7 p.m....or until they run out of food!
The meal is all you can eat and free will offerings will be accepted. The meal is prepared by Gaerte's and includes sides and drinks. Carry-outs are available.
All proceeds will support Faith Christian Academy, Whitley County's only interdenominational Christian school for children in preschool through grade 8.
For additional information, contact Pastor Larry Schmoekel, school administrator, at 248-4872.

Banks attends first appointment with the President


(Talk of the Town photo provided)
On Friday, Indiana's Third District Congressman Jim Banks of Columbia City, seated second from right facing the camera, met with President Donald Trump at the White House along with other members of the Republican Study Committee.
"It was an honor to meet with President Trump this morning in the Oval Office. I appreciate the President making time to meet with conservatives to hear our concerns about repealing and replacing Obamacare," Banks said.
"During our discussion, President Trump agreed to several significant conservative changes to the American Health Care Act, including Medicaid block grants, work requirements for Medicaid recipients and important pro-life protections. President Trump personally assured me that he is 100% behind this bill and views its passage as a critical priority," he continued.
"While this legislation is far from perfect and not the Obamacare replacement plan I had hoped to support, it is a substantial improvement from the mandates, burdens and failures of Obamacare," added Banks. "I committed to President Trump that I would support this plan if it contains the changes we agreed to today. Passing this bill will begin the process of rolling back Obamacare, enacting free market reforms and improving health care for all Americans."

Dine out and eat healthy with upcoming program

From reports

Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana will host a program to encourage healthy dining choices when visiting restaurants.
The program will be offered on Saturday, April 1, 2017, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at Peabody Public Library in Columbia City. Sue Delagrange, MS, RD, will present the free program showing attendees how to make healthier selections even when nutrition information is now shown on the menu. Reservations are recommended, but not required.
For more information or to reserve a seat, call toll free 1-866-484-9560.

Sirens are part of local weather preparedness week

Article provided

The Whitley County Emergency Management Agency is urging residents to prepare ahead to protect themselves and their loved ones from dangerous storms during Severe Weather Preparedness and Flood Awareness Week in Indiana, which is observed March 19-25. Historically, Indiana has experienced some of the state's worst thunderstorms, tornadoes and flooding during the spring months. Whitley County Emergency Management suggests that households break their severe weather preparation into three parts: planning, preparing and practicing.

- Purchase a weather radio whose label indicates that it is "all-hazard" and broadcasts alerts from the National Weather Service. Look for "NOAA" on the label (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). Also look for the SAME Technology designation, which allows the radios to be programmed to specific counties and types of alerts. Which is available for free through our agency!
- Know the difference between watches and warnings. A watch indicates a seriously increased possibility of a thunderstorm or tornado; a warning indicates that there IS a thunderstorm or tornado in the area.
- Ensure that household members know which local news media outlets to monitor for severe weather alerts, and to take those alerts seriously. Remember that national cable, satellite or streaming TV services may not carry localized weather alerts.

- Create a preparedness kit that includes food and water for three days, a first-aid kit, flashlights, batteries, small tools and any other important items that are needed.
- Prune tree limbs and secure outdoor items that could be tossed about by high winds.
- Keep cell phones charged, and ensure all household members have several emergency contact numbers of friends and family members programmed in.
- Know which neighbors may have disabilities or mobility challenges, and be able to direct first responders to those who may need extra help.

- Take household members - quickly but calmly - to the location they would move to in severe weather, ideally a basement. If a basement is not available, go to an interior room on the lowest level with no windows. Storm cellars also offer excellent protection.
- Practice moving under a sturdy table or desk, or covering up with pillows, blankets, coats or a mattress to protect the head and body from flying debris.
- Walk through potential evacuation routes, both from the home and the neighborhood.
- Conduct a family drill in which children pretend to call 911 and calmly talk with an emergency dispatcher (a family member or friend can be on the other end of the line, requesting appropriate information).
- Participate in the Statewide Tornado Drill on Tuesday, March 21, at 10:10 a.m. and 7:35 p.m. These drills provide a valuable opportunity for families, schools and businesses to practice their weather safety action plan.

Flooding is also an issue Hoosiers may encounter in the spring months. Driving on flooded roadways can often place Hoosiers and emergency response personnel in unnecessary danger. Never drive through flooded roadways, even if the water appears shallow. The road may have washed out under the surface of the water
For more information on preparing for severe weather, visit

March 16, 2017

Wintry weather expected Friday morning

A winter weather advisory is in effect from 4 to 11 a.m. Friday, March 17. Light snow is expected to change over to sleet and freezing rain, impacting the morning travel commute throughout the area.

CCPD phone lines down

Columbia City Police Department non-emergency lines are down at this time. 911 is still working. For non-emergency issues, call the Whitley County Sheriff's Department at 244-6410.

March 15, 2017

Search continues for Marcus Wolfe

Months have passed, but no answers have emerged in the case of missing Whitley County man Marcus Wolfe. Wolfe was last seen July 25, 2017, when he left a trailer park in Union Township in his car . Questions remain and the search for answers continues. On April 8 and April 9, representatives from the Ohio Chapter of Texas Equusearch will be conducting a search for Wolfe. Working alongside the Whitley County Sheriff's Department, they will be conducting a sonar search of ponds and quarries. Anyone with information or clues related to the disappearance of Marcus Wolfe is asked to call 1-877-270-9500 or email

Patterson achieves enhanced certification

Danielle Peterson, MSSA, LCSW, a client advocate for Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana, recently achieved certification as an Oncology Social Worker-Certified (OSW-C). Peterson specializes in working with children with cancer and their families. She joined Cancer Services staff in 2013.
The Board of Oncology Social Work Certification demonstrates to accrediting organizations, cancer patients, employers and the community that the social worker complies with the highest standards to provide quality psychosocial care for people affected by cancer.
When someone is diagnosed with cancer and comes to Cancer Services, they are connected with a client advocate who completes a comprehensive assessment of the services and assistance that client needs. Advocates work with the client and their family to ensure they have access to supportive counseling, financial assistance, health care supplies, durable medical equipment and educational programming at Cancer Services.
Peterson has the additional responsibilities of providing supportive services for all of Cancer Services' child clients and their families through Cancer Services Courageous Kids program.
"Our client advocates are not only extraordinarily compassionate people, they also are highly skilled, extremely knowledgeable and experienced," said Dianne May, president and CEO of Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana. "Danielle's certification is an example of our ongoing efforts to provide high quality care and support for everyone in our community touched by cancer. I admire the hard work she devoted to achieving this additional qualification."
Cancer Services' mission is to enhance the quality of life of those affected by cancer by providing meaningful resources, information and compassionate assistance. Last year, more than 2,900 local people with cancer and their families received practical resources and emotional support. Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana serves people who live in Allen, Adams, DeKalb, Huntington, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells, and Whitley counties.
For more information, visit www.cancer-services.orgor call toll free at (866) 484-9560.

Whitley County Chamber of Commerce & Visitor's Center prepares to welcome visitors from far and wide for annual South Whitley Community Garage Sales

The Whitley County Chamber of Commerce & Visitor's Center is once again preparing for the annual South Whitley Community Garage Sales on Friday, April 28 and Saturday, April 29, 2017. The event is co-sponsored with the Tribune-News.
In addition to supporting the effort to regionally promote the event, the Chamber is offering opportunities to businesses and individuals across Whitley County to participate.
"We look forward to this annual spring event in South Whitley each year," said Whitley County Chamber of Commerce & Visitor's Center executive director Jennifer Romano. "This one weekend event is incredibly important to our community in South Whitley because of the scores of visitors it brings to town -- people who bring dollars that are spent buying meals in local restaurants, with local merchants, at fundraising booths and in the cash they spend with South Whitley area residents. The economic impact of this event is substantial."
"We are excited to partner with the Tribune-News and the community each year to promote and support this event," Romano added. "The more people we can draw to South Whitley through this event means a bigger financial for businesses, non-profits and residents."
A limited number of prime booth rental spaces along Mulberry Street will be available on a first come, first served basis for $20 for one day or $25 for both days. The spaces are 10×10 foot and can be used for fundraisers, food vendors, craft vendors, personal garage sales and more. Located in a desirable, high traffic area, the booths are ideal for anyone wanting to participate in the annual South Whitley Community Garage sales. To reserve a booth space or request a booth form, contact the Whitley County Chamber of Commerce & Visitor's Center at 248-8131 or email
Event sponsorships are also available for $75. For information about the limited sponsorship opportunities, contact the Whitley County Chamber of Commerce & Visitor's Center at 248-8131 or email