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October 7, 2015

Fundraising dinner set to support new high school initiative

From reports

Volunteers and supporters of Whitley County Consolidated Schools will be hosting a fundraising dinner on Tuesday, October 13, from 4 to 7:30 p.m. at Big G's in Columbia City. The fish and tenderloin dinner will be served on a first come, first served basis. Proceeds from the dinner support the volunteer efforts to promote the referendum in favor of a new high school facility.
For more information or ways to get involved, visit http://supportwccs.com/

Chamber hosting mayoral candidate forum Thursday night at the museum

Article provided

The Whitley County Chamber of Commerce will host a mayoral candidate forum on Thursday, October 8 beginning at 7 p.m. at the Whitley County Historical Museum in the Annex Building.
Mayoral candidates Ryan Daniel and Dick Buchanan have confirmed their attendance at this event. Chamber director Doug Brown will serve as the moderator. Each candidate will have an opportunity to speak about themselves and their platform and questions will be accepted from the audience.

Churubusco town candidate forum set for mid-day Thursday

From reports

A Churubusco town candidate forum will be held Thursday, October 8 at 11:15 a.m. at Churubusco High School. The form will be held in the auditorium. The public is welcome to attend.

October 6, 2015

Council vote is tied on local option income tax

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

The Whitley County Council met this morning to hold a public hearing regarding the proposed local option income tax (LOIT).
Council members discussed the measure and voted three to three. Council members Bill Overdeer, John Barrett and Tom Western voted in favor of the tax while council members Paula Reimers, Kim Wheeler and Jim Bayman voted against it. Councilman Glen Larue was not present.
Following the vote, Commissioner Tom Rethlake and Sheriff Marc Gatton provided some much-needed insight into what the tax dollars would have been used for -- unfortunately, too late for officials to consider.
Local resident and entrepreneur Billy Reffitt was in attendance for the meeting, hoping to find out the purpose of the tax.
"I think it's imperative that you detail the need for a new tax of any kind before you impose it, I just wanted to be informed on behalf of my current and future employees," Reffitt said. "If Commissioner Rethlake and the Sheriff had spoken their peace before the vote was taken, the outcome may have been different, in my opinion.  Rising costs and lower revenue spell disaster for any business, I certainly get that  I hope the Council can take a second look at passing this again after they've analyzed all other methods to curb spending and make their budget work.  Personally, I hate the thought of more taxes, but I love living in a safe community so, after hearing more facts, I think this LOIT is needed to ensure our community stays safe and growing in spite of the revenue cuts that have been imposed at the State level."

A special meeting has been set for Tuesday, October 27 at 8 a.m. in the Whitley County Government Center for the County Council to consider the LOIT at the same proposed or lower rate.
In order for a LOIT to impact the 2016 budget, local officials would have to vote the tax into place by October 31.

Police, Sheriff warn against IRS tax scam calls

From reports

The Columbia City Police Department and Whitley County Sheriff's Department reached out to citizens in this community today, alerting them to a scam reported by local residents.
Both departments have received multiple reports from residents of phone scams targeting taxpayers.  According to reports, victims are informed they owe money to the IRS and are threatened with an arrest and/or suspension of their driver's license if the amount owed is not paid immediately.  Taxpayers are being told to make payment with a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer only.  
The scammers have been described as having Middle Eastern accents, speak broken English and become hostile and insulting.  Many calls appear to be placed from (425) 748-9302 and call approximately every 45 minutes.
The IRS encourages taxpayers to be vigilant against phone and email scams that use the IRS as a lure. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information.  This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels. The IRS also does not ask for PINs, passwords or similar confidential access information for credit card, bank or other financial accounts. Recipients should not open any attachments or click on any links contained in the message.  Complaints of scams can be directed to https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/. 
Questions or concerns can be directed to the Columbia City Police Department at 248-5121 or the Whitley County Sheriff's Department at 244-6410.

State Fire Marshal urges Hoosiers to have smoke alarms, practice escape plans

Article provided

October 4-11 is Fire Prevention Week in the state of Indiana, and the Indiana State Fire Marshal is asking all Hoosiers to make sure that their households are prepared in the event of a fire.
"There are several steps that homeowners should take when safeguarding themselves against fire, and one of the most important is to make sure that working smoke alarms are present in the home," said State Fire Marshal James Greeson. "Having a properly-functioning smoke alarm in the home makes you 50% more likely to escape the situation safely."
Installing smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside of each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home including the basement can help to warn those inside of a quickly-spreading fire. Listed below are other useful smoke alarm tips:
• Test smoke alarms every month, and change batteries at least once every six months.
• Replace smoke alarms every 8-10 years.
• Know the difference between the two types of smoke alarms. Ionization alarms work best when a fast-moving fire occurs. Photoelectric alarms are quicker at sensing smoldering, smoky fires. There are specialty alarms that are a combination of both.
While smoke alarms help to provide extra time to escape a fire, it's also important to practice escape plans with those in the household so that everyone knows which exits to use in each room of the home. These escape plans should be practiced both during the day and during the night. In the event of a fire, it is important to have a designated meeting place outside and away from home. Make sure everyone is accounted for and designate one person to call the fire department.
The Indiana Department of Homeland Security is also encouraging all businesses and schools to schedule a fire drill during this week to ensure that escape plans are still practiced with staff and students alike.
For more information on fire safety and prevention, visit GetPrepared.IN.gov.

YWCA of Northeast Indiana seeks nominations for 2015 Hope Awards

Article provided

Every year during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, YWCA Northeast Indiana recognizes those who exhibit excellence in advocacy that reflects our mission of eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.
In order to recognize these extraordinary people in our community who are doing outstanding work every day, they need your help.  Do you know someone in our community who is making an impact to eliminate racism, empower women, or promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all? Nominate them today for a YWCA Northeast Indiana 2015 Hope Award.
An honoree will be selected in each of the following five categories: Racial Justice, Domestic Violence Prevention and Intervention, Women's Economic Empowerment, Child Advocacy and the Junior Hope Award. YWCA Northeast Indiana will surprise the winning nominees with their award during the 2015 YWCA USA Week Without Violence, October 19-23.
For more information about the YWCA Northeast Indiana 2015 Hope Awards or if you would like to submit a nomination, please visit our website at www.ywca.org/NEIN or e-mail Erin Johnson at EJohnson@ywcaerew.org by Friday, October 9 at noon with your nomination.

October 5, 2015

Whitley County Historical Museum offers several great events in October

Article provided

The Whitley County Historical Museum is hosting the following family friendly upcoming events for October.
- Saturday October 10 from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Peabody Public Library -- "Korean War Veteran Reunion"
- Tuesday, October 13 at 6:30 p.m. at the South Whitley Library -- "Whitley County Spooky Stories"
- Saturday, October 24 from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Museum -- "Learn to Draw Spooky Animals" with Joni Walker. Bring the kids and draw together with them for this exciting event. Supplies are included. Register by calling the museum at (260) 244-6372.
- Saturday, October 31 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Museum -- "2nd annual Historical Haunted Halloween!"
Admission to these programs is free.
The Whitley County Historical Museum, housed in the home of Thomas Riley Marshall, is dedicated to preserving the history of Whitley County. This is achieved through educational programs, artifact preservation and collection, exhibits, publications, and collaboration with related groups. The museum is located at 108 West Jefferson Street in Columbia City. Hours are Tuesday-Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Friday from  9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Admission is free.

CCUMC bus cruise to benefit ministry

From reports

Columbia City United Methodist Church's bus ministry is raising funds with an event this Saturday, October 10.
The event begins in the parking lot of the church at 8:30 a.m. when attendees board the bus and travel to Bones Theatre in Columbia City where they will begin watching the movie "American Graffiti" at 9 a.m. Attendees will once again board the bus following the movie and travel to Chain o' Lakes State Park as well as cruise around northern Whitley County and southern Noble County. At the end of the bus cruise, participants will enjoy a meal at Columbia City United Methodist Church.
Tickets to participate in the event are $15 per person which covers the movie, park admission, transportation and meal. All funds raised will help the bus ministry continue their work in the eastern United States.
For more information, contact Columbia City United Methodist Church at 244-7671.

Library seeks public interest in foreign language classes

From reports

The Peabody Public Library is considering plans to begin offering foreign language classes for adults and potentially children. Before making any firm decisions, they are seeking public input on this idea via a survey. To complete the survey, click the link below:
Hard copies of the survey are also available at the library at the reference desk.

Community Voices: Commissioners speak on tax plans

On tonight's Community Voices editorial page, the Whitley County Commissioners explain their decision to fast track the proposed local option income tax (LOIT) that they hope to have in place by January 1, 2016. Click here to read the editorial.

Our readers are invited to submit their own editorials to: jennifer@talkofthetownwc.com

October 1, 2015

Expect delays, decreased speeds on US 30 just over the Whitley-Allen County line as paving project begins

From reports

Whitley County residents that regularly travel US 30 in and out of Allen County may want to be aware of some paving projects set to begin tomorrow.
This morning, the Indiana Department of Transportation announced the start of a resurface project on US 30 in Allen County. Work will begin Friday, October 2, weather permitting, between Interstate 69 and West County Line Road (the Whitley-Allen County line).
During the resurface work, motorists can expect lane restrictions on US 30, as well as the ramps to and from I-69. A 50 mph speed limit will be in effect when work is occurring, and drivers are urged to pay attention to all signs throughout the work zone
The $2.8 million project was awarded to Brooks Construction Company and is expected to be completed by late November.

Register now for the Isaac Crow golf scramble Sunday

From reports

There is still time to register a team for a fundraising golf scramble Sunday to benefit a local man.
A 26-year-old father, Isaac Crow is battling cancer so, family and friends are surrounding him with support, planning this fundraiser this weekend.
On Sunday, October 4, the Isaac Crow Golf Scramble will be held at Magic Hills golf course in northern Whitley County. The 9-hole scramble begins at 2 p.m.
Registration is $25 per person or $100 per team, which includes golf fees, cart, two drinks and food.
All proceeds support a fund for Isaac Crow.
To register, call Magic Hills golf course at 691-2788.

Do a little fall cleanup and participate in this year's second city-wide trash pickup event

From reports

Many city residents are pleasantly surprised to learn there is second trash pickup day this year. Traditionally held in the spring, this year city residents can do a little fall cleaning and leave large items at the curb.
For residents on the west side of Columbia City, the pickup day is Saturday, October 3. All items must be at the curb by 6 a.m. All items should be piled in the alley or at the curb.
The trash on the east side of town will be picked up on Saturday, October 10.
Main Street/SR 9 serves as the dividing line between the east and west sides of town.
Some restrictions apply. No computers, VCRs, televisions or monitors will be picked up. Those items should be taken to the Whitley County Solid Waste office at 701 South Line Street. Additionally, no bricks or concrete is allowed. Paint cans should be open and fully dried. Paint cans with wet paint will not be picked up. The city will not be picking up large piles of construction materials or shingles. Carpet and other items must not exceed 6 foot in length.
For further information, contact Kelly Cearbaugh at 248-5131 or Cory Sievers at 248-5130.
There is no charge to dispose of the following items: tires (a maximum of 15), stoves, washers, dryers, hot water heaters, dish washers, refrigerators, air conditioners, freezers, batteries and any other appliances.  These items will be picked up the week of October 12. You will need to call City Hall at 248-5100 to get your name on a list to have these items picked up.

IEDC offering live Regional Cities Initiative presentations online next week

From reports

Seven Indiana regions, which plan to invest $3.78 billion in more than 420 cultural and livability projects across the state, will present their formal Regional Cities Initiative proposals to the Strategic Review Committee next week for consideration of state matching funds.
The Indiana Regional Cities Initiative encourages neighboring communities to work together to develop vision and action plans to create a quality of place that attracts and retains future generations of Hoosiers. The Strategic Review Committee will be responsible for presenting funding recommendations to the Indiana Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors in December.

Tuesday, Oct. 6:
9:30 a.m. - Welcome Remarks from Governor Pence
10:00-11:30 a.m. - North Central Region Presentation
11:45 a.m.-1:15 p.m. - Northwest Region Presentation
2:15-3:45 p.m. - Northeast Region Presentation
4:00-5:30 p.m. - West Central Region Presentation
Wednesday, Oct. 7:
9:00-10:30 a.m. - Central Region Presentation
10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m. - East Central Region Presentation
1:15-2:45 p.m. - Southwest Region Presentation
All presentations will be available to watch live through the Indiana Economic Development Corporation's YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/user/iedcvideo/featured.

September 30, 2015

Origin of Tuesday night booms still unclear

From reports

It was the boom heard 'round the county...apparently.
Residents from across Whitley County reportedly heard 1-2 loud booms late Tuesday evening shortly before 10 p.m. Some residents noted that the boom shook their homes or rattled windows causing many to run outside to inspect their property, looking for damage -- and finding nothing. Around 11 p.m. some residents reported hearing 2-3 more booms, again with no explanation. The issue has left many curious and mystified.
Most residents who heard the sounds live in Columbia City or south and east of the city, however some residents reported hearing the sound in Thorncreek Township and southeast Whitley County. A few southwest Allen County residents also reported hearing the sound and feeling their homes shake.
A local business owner noted that she saw a very bright light in the sky close to the time the sound was reported, but it was unclear whether it was related. Several possible explanations were given for the sound, but as of tonight none were confirmed and several have been eliminated.

County seeks public input on local option income tax

From reports

The potential implementation of a local option income tax for public safety in Whitley County is expected to be addressed in a public hearing during the Whitley County Council meeting on Tuesday, October 6. The meeting begins at 8 a.m. This meeting is open to the public.
The proposed tax would be applied to the income of any individual working in Whitley County. Reportedly, the tax would amount to about $100 per year for a resident making $40,000 annually. The estimated $1 million total income tax dollars raised would be divided between the county and municipalities, with Columbia City taking approximately 27% -- amounting to a little over $425,000 per year. Larwill would receive a little over $13,000, South Whitley would receive about $85,000 and Churubusco would receive about $87,000.
Reportedly, the rate would be .0025 which is the maximum allowable income tax amount for a county to impose. No specific plan for the funds has been outlined or determined.
Recently, the Columbia City Common Council conducted a straw poll, supporting the measure with a vote of 3 to 1 in favor of the tax. Similarly, the Churubusco Town Council also voted on the matter, supporting the measure with a vote of 2 to 1.

Are you in favor of a local option income tax for public safety?
pollcode.com free polls

Bruno's BBQ supports Honor Flight Northeast Indiana with gift following recent fundraiser


(Talk of the Town photo provided)
Columbia City based Bruno's BBQ recently hosted a fundraiser to support Honor Flight Northeast Indiana, a group that provides transportation for to visit monuments in Washington, DC. Business owners Bruce and Candace Lemke recently presented a check to Honor Flight for just over $1300.

For more information about Honor Flight Northeast Indiana, visit http://hfnei.org/

CCUMC will host Christian music concert Saturday night

From reports

Columbia City United Methodist Church will host a Christian music concert this Saturday, October 3 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the church.  Featured musicians will include Aaron Childress, choir director for Smith-Green Community Schools as well as director of music for Churubusco United Methodist Church, Lisa Waterman and Ken Ellis from the Collins United Methodist Church and Christian recording artist Hannah Schaefer. Congregational singing is planned as well. Everyone is invited to attend this evening of inspiration.

Indian Springs Middle School presents fall play tonight

From reports

Indian Springs Middle School will present their fall play, "Peter Pan Jr." this evening, Wednesday, September 30 in the Carver Center at Indian Springs Middle School. There will be two performances -- one at 6 p.m. and another at 7:30 p.m.