2009 – A year in review

Obama begins presidency urging ‘hope over fear’
The United States’ 44th President, Barack Obama was sworn in. Millions of people attended the inauguration in Washington, D.C. to witness the historic event.
Whitley County Fire and Ice Festival
The fourth annual Whitley County Fire and Ice Festival was held in Columbia City. The second annual Chili Cook-off was also held.
Columnist awarded lifetime award for volunteerism
Bob Smith, who writes the Good Gardening column for the Churubusco News, was awarded a Master Gardener Lifetime Award from Purdue University for “Outstanding Volunteer Service.”
Hamilton Regional Champ in Wrestling
Churubusco will be represented at Semi-State with four wrestlers at the Memorial Coliseum. Jordan Hamilton was Regional Champion in the 160 lb. class, Corey Richards and Jared Hill both were runners-up and Lance McParlan finished a strong third.
Merrill retires from IDNR after 35 years
Steve Merrill is retiring after a career with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources that began back in 1973. He has been employed at the Chain O’ Lakes State Park for 28 years.
On the road to Indy
Churubusco will be sending its seventh wrestler to the State Finals as Jordan Hamilton, 160 pounds, advanced with a second place finish at Semi-State.
Hamilton’s journey ends at Conseco
Jordan Hamilton finished his season 36-4. He lost a hard fought match against Tyler Willis (39-6) from Indianapolis Cathedral by decision, 4-3.
Going, Going, Gone
Downtown Churubusco changed its look last week as Sheets & Childs Funeral Home demolished a house beside the business. Owner Greg Childs says that they are constructing a park area for use by their patrons.
Break-in at area businesses
An early morning break-in at the Ramble Inn caused over a thousand dollars worth of damage and netted the burglars only $10. There were also burglaries at Perry’s Country Store and Fox Tire.
Whitley County tornado causes wind and rain damage
Two people were hurt in the Countryside Mobile Home Park in Columbia City. Injuries were minor although some mobile homes were blown off their foundations and destroyed.
Mathieu and Allman donate to library
Local historian Chuck Mathieu and publisher of the Churubusco News, Robert Allman presented the Churubusco Public Library with a check for $1500 from the sales of the Churubusco Historical Calendars.
Car submerged due to recent flooding
Emergency personnel responsed to a call from the Noble County Highway Department that a car was completely submerged on a flooded roadway near County Road 600S and 300E. No one was injured.
Blue Lake homes affected by flooding
The North Shore homes at Blue Lake had water creep up to the front doors last week as heavy rains flooded Blue River and the lake.
Show Choir travels to Disney
The Churubusco New Era Show Choir traveled to Walt Disney World in Florida to compete in “Showstoppers.” The group advanced to the finals in the evening competition.
Reality Store comes to CMS
Churubusco Middle School seventh graders attended the “Reality Store” to learn how budgets and home finances affect their lives. Students were given an income depending on their job choice and then had to budget their monthly expenses. CMS Guidance Counselor Kim Burns organized the yearly event with help from community businesses.
Rotary raises $18,500 for community
The Churubusco Rotary’s sixteenth Community and Scholarship Auction raked in over $18,500 in profits, one of the best years on record according to Rotarian Chuck Jones. Community members packed the school cafeteria to enjoy a buffet and take part in a silent auction and raffle.
Smith Township takes possession of new Rescue Truck 208
On Thursday, March 12, the Smith Township Fire Department took delivery of a new 14 foot non walk-in Rescue Truck from Life Star Rescue of Van Wert, Ohio. The new truck replaces a very old and worn out Rescue truck.
Lefever named Lilly Scholarship winner
Churubusco’s Tiffany Lefever won the full four year Lilly Scholarship. Lefever was one of two Whitley County students to receive the scholarship.
Destination ImagiNation Teams competed at Noblesville
The high school team placed first in their challenge and won the Renaissance Award for outstanding skills in engineering, design and performance. The middle school team placed third in their division.
Hanni named Republican of the Year
Churubusco resident Dr. Neil Hanni was honored at the Annual Lincoln Day Dinner held at Eby Reception Hall in South Whitley. Dr. Hanni was named Republican of the Year for his 25 years of service as the Whitley County Republican Treasurer.
Busco gets new senior housing
Mark Souder presented a grant for $2,267,800 to Blue River Senior Housing to build a 22 unit complex. The complex is for extra low income seniors.
Smith-Green hires Superintendent
Smith-Green Community Schools hired Stephan Darnell to assume duties of Superintendent of Schools starting July 1, 2009.
Prom Queen and King named
Jessie Tartaglia and Jordan Hamilton were named Churubusco High School’s Prom Queen and King on April 25.
Busco Middle School performs “Beauty and the Beast Jr.”
CMS students performed “Beauty and the Beast Jr.” on Friday and Saturday nights in the auditorium.
Kindergartners take tour of Churubusco News
Churubusco Elementary School kindergartners visited the Churubusco News office and learned about community and how a newspaper is made.
DI captures second place at Globals
The high school Destination ImagiNation team took second place in the engineering challenge.
Skinner and Norris named CHS Valedictorian and Salutatorian
Alayna Skinner and Allison Norris were named Valedictorian and Salutatorian for the Class of 2009.
Busco Eagle Track team  qualifies for Regionals
The Churubusco Boys’ track team had eight athletes  advance and Girls advanced five in five events.
Middle School holds Kitty Hawk
Out of 285 students, 253 qualified to throw at least one airplane. They won prizes including TV’s, DVD player, Wii game systems and a laptop computer.
Water Treatment Plant upgrade
Churubusco residents will be able to enjoy clean drinking water in the near future with the groundbreaking of a new water treatment plant. The 2.5 million dollar project will be completed in 2010.
Eagle Baseball team wins championship
The team defeated Prairie Heights 13-3 in six innings. Game two was won 15-1 against Fremont.
Class of 2009 graduates
The packed house heard speeches from class Valedictorian Alayna Skinner and Salutatorian Allison Norris. In all, 115 students graduated in the Friday night ceremony.
Beezley continues in family racing tradition
Tommy Beezley is the third generation of racers in his family. He won his feature race at Butler Motor Speedway in Michigan this past weekend.
Turtle Days a success
This year’s Turtle Days Festival celebrated the 60th anniversary of the “Hunt for Oscar.” Crunch, the 165 year old alligator snapper turtle, was at this year’s event.
Busco student earns Girl Scout Gold Award
Shannon Kuznar, a junior at CHS, has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, an accomplishment achieved by only five percent of Senior Girl Scouts across the nation.
Local athlete plays on National Championship team.
Autry Keener of Churubusco joined Turnstone’s Team Fearless  Power soccer team. They placed second in the National Championship.
Back-up battery power takes Busco by storm
Churubusco was chosen as one of only three test-sites in the United States in 2008 for experimental battery back-up power station. In the event of a power outage, due to weather or overload, the NAS battery backup will kick in after one minute and restore power to the immediate Churubusco area for a few hours.
Town Council proceeds in annexation project
The Churubusco Town Council took the first step last Wednesday in a southside annexation project voting 3-0 to proceed with the fiscal plan. It was stated that there would be a significant increase in tax revenue for the Town.
Two local teens die in auto accident
Megan Young and Andy Spencer died in a one vehicle accident just west of Churubusco. Hundreds attended the memorial service at the high school.
Whitley County 4-H Fair 2009
Kyle Mathewson showed Josi, the Reserve Grand Junior Champion Heifer. Colton Geiger received Reserve Grand Champion Main-Anjou Steer and Reserve Champion Crossbred Heifer.
Garrett Keener received Reserve Champion for Sport Fishing and was the Champion Beginner Showman for his Hamp Barrow.
Edwards resigns from School Board
Smith-Green School Board member Steve Edwards turned in his resignation during Monday night’s regular meeting. Edwards was in his first year when he decided that due to scheduling conflicts he no longer could fulfill his duties.
Blue Lake receives grant
Blue Lake was awarded a $13,000 grant to go towards its ongoing watershed project. The project is a three to five year ongoing project targeting erosion control.
Trump fills vacant School Board seat
With a unanimous vote, the Smith-Green Community Schools Board of Trustees voted to appoint Richard “Rick” Trump to fill the vacant Smith Township District II Board seat. Trump has a degree in accounting, is a financial advisor for Edward Jones in Columbia City and has 25 years of controlling experience in manufacturing companies.
Chamber of Commerce annual Picnic in the Park
A special Get Out Alive presentation was put on by the Smith Township Fire Department. Instead of the traditional softball game between the Chamber and the Fire Department, there were friendly contests such as the three-legged race, ice fishing and a football throw.
C & A Tool growing again
C & A Tool began installing a new milling machine last Thursday. The multi-million dollar machine is one of only five in the United States.
Zebra mussels causing trouble in area lakes
Zebra mussels were found in Allen and Noble County waters recently. They can rapidly multiply and are known for clogging drainage and filtration pipes.

Homecoming 2009
CHS senior Danielle Hartmann was named Homecoming Queen 2009, during halftime festivities at Friday’s football game. Hartmann is the daughter of Michael and Shawn Hartmann. Her escort was Joey Merriweather.
Blue Lake Association members preserve eastern shoreline
Several members of the Blue Lake Association spent Saturday morning knee-high in the chilly water of Blue Lake to preserve the eastern shoreline. Due to a prevailing west wind, the shoreline behind J K Mac’s flower shop on the east end has been slowly deteriorating. Volunteers put core logs made of nylon mesh filled with coconut fiber into place.
Pool Committee scales back plans
Dreams of building a community pool may not have totally ended for a local committee, but it looks as though their project idea may have to be revised. The committee is now planning a water splash pad in the Town Park.
Churubusco Trailways: connecting people, connecting Town
The first phase of the Churubusco Trailways project is complete and walkers, joggers, cyclists and skaters now have a safer place to exercise. the half mile of trails run through the Churubusco Park and connect to the Thresher Ridge housing addition.
Sordelet first runner-up in Junior Miss pageant
Taylor Sordelet, daughter of Tom and DeeDee Sordelet, was named first runner-up at the 2010 Whitley County Junior Miss Program. There were 16 seniors from the Whitley County area that participated.
Busco duo is still undefeated
The dynamic duo of Alex McDowell and Ryan Mey continue their quest for perfection. They improved to 7-0 this week with wins over West Noble and Angola.
Local family receives a home ‘makeover’
The Chris Baryo family of Churubusco was the recipient of a REMC home makeover. The Baryos were picked because of their high heating bills through an audit that was conducted.
American Legion holds benefit
American Legion Post 157 in Churubusco held a Pork Burger sale at Egolf’s IGA to benefit Cameron Elias. Elias was burned in a fire this summer and required numerous hospital visits to help repair his skin. The benefit raised $4,000 for his bills.
Commissioners go on the road to govern
The Whitley County Commissioners brought their meeting to Churubusco. The traveling show is a way for the Commissioners to get out in the county so the community can attend the meeting and see what they do. The three members are Tom Rethlake, Mike Schrader and Don Amber.
Town agrees to splash pad
If all goes as scheduled, the Town of Churubusco will be enjoying a new water splash pad next summer. A group that was assembled to help build a community swimming pool presented their scaled back plans to the Churubusco Town Council.
Ryan Mey and Alex McDowell defeated Warsaw to claim the Tennis Sectional title.
The first annual OKturtlefest was held in the Churubusco Park. The fall fundraiser was held to help with the cost of next summer’s fireworks.
Dump truck rolls over
A dump truck rolled over on U.S. 33 north of Churubusco. The truck was slowing down for a school bus stop when its wheels went off the berm. No injuries were reported.
Eagles grab share of Conference title
The Churubusco Eagle football team beat Lakeland 12-7, to claim their share of the Conference title.
M & M Boys stopped at Regional
Ryan Mey and Alex McDowell, the number one doubles team for the Eagles, set numerous records and claimed a Conference title and a Sectional Championship before being stopped in Regional play.
Town agrees to buy property
If everything goes as planned, the Churubusco Town Hall and Police Station will have new homes next summer. The Town Council voted unanimously to purchase the building currently being used by Cleary Building Corporation at 530 S. Main Street.
House demolished
Demolition of the house on the north end of Churubusco, U.S. 33, took place last week. The State purchased the property to make room for the road project to straighten the curve. The projected is scheduled to begin April 2010.
School faces charges of civil rights violation
On October 23, the ACLU filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Fort Wayne against the Smith-Green School Corporation on behalf of two female high school students. The students took pictures of themselves at a slumber party in suggestive poses this summer, and then posted them to their MySpace pages.
McDowell, Mey named All-State Honorable Mention
Alex McDowell and Ryan Mey were selected All-State Honorable Mention by the Indiana High School Tennis Coaches Association. The number one doubles team completed a record breaking tennis season with an undefeated regular season record of 17-0, an NECC Conference Championship, a Sectional Championship and were named to the All-District team. The duo went 20-0 before losing in Regional play.
Fulk wins State American Legion Baseball Scholarship
Churubusco’s Marcus Fulk was the recipient of the 2009 American Legion Baseball Scholarship award for the State of Indiana. Fulk attends Trine University and will begin his college career next spring.
Churubusco News debuts new website
Robert Allman, owner of All Printing & Publications, announces the debut of Churubusco News’ website, busconews.com.
New water treatment plant
Churubusco’s new water treatment plant is being built across from the Town Hall. The $3.2 million project will improve the water quality in Town.
Medical equipment installer to expand in Churubusco
Maxim Medical Services Inc., a medical equipment installation and repair firm, announced it will expand its operations here, creating 51 new jobs by 2012. Maxim will take over the former CUNO building.
Busco on the grow
The Town of Churubusco is growing with the new senior housing units being built on Line Street. The 22-unit complex should be ready for occupancy by the summer of 2010.
CES builds friendship chain
Churubusco Elementary students, with school counselor Mr. Shearer, made a friendship chain last month. Everyone’s individual chains were connected into one giant chain as a symbol of friendship, teamwork and the power of saying nice things.
C&A Tool celebrates 40 years in business
Churubusco resident Richard “Dick” Conrow opened up a tool and die shop in his garage on Line Street in 1969. Forty years later, Conrow employs 530 people which spans several buildings throughout Churubusco and one in Auburn. C&A Tool is a national and international supplier of metalworking specialties.
SGCS set for reconfiguration next school year
Starting with the 2010-11 school year, Smith-Green Community Schools will reconfigure the schools making an elementary school composed of kindergarten through fifth grades and a junior-senior high school composed of grades sixth through twelve.
High Flyers
The Turnstone Flyers powerchair soccer team was in town for an exhibition game against Churubusco Middle School personnel. Autry Keener and Jonathan Shepler, both CMS students, are on the team.
Bohde’s win first place
The Ken and Candy Bohde family are the first place winners in the 18th Annual Churubusco News Christmas Decorating Contest.
East of Chicago robbed
East of Chicago, north of Churubusco, was the scene of an armed robbery. According to reports, a man wearing a ski mask entered the store, displayed a weapon and locked an employee inside a cooler before taking an undisclosed amount of cash.

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