Category Archives: Local

Gerri Johnson

Stand up and be counted

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With the U.S. Census process beginning, the  Better Business Bureau advises people to be cooperative, but cautious, so as not to become a victim of fraud or identify theft. The first phase of the 2010 U.S. Census is underway as workers have begun verifying the addresses of households across the country. Eventually, more than 140,000 U.S. Census workers will count every person in the United States and will gather information about every person living at each address, including name, age, gender, race, and other relevant data.
Census workers are currently only knocking on doors to verify address information. Do not give your Social Security number, credit card or banking information to anyone, even if they claim they need it for the U.S. Census.
Remember, no matter what they ask, you really only need to tell them how many people live at your address.

(Town Census Director Gerri Johnson)

With the U.S. Census process beginning, the  Better Business Bureau advises people to be cooperative, but cautious, so as not to become a victim of fraud or identify theft.

Eagle Garden

Order bricks now for Smith-Green Eagle Garden

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by Katie Wagner
A community-based planning committee is developing an area at the Churubusco School campus to celebrate the lives of those who have passed away and those individuals who have dedicated themselves to the school and community.
According to the committee’s vision, “Eagle Garden will be a living space of trees, plantings, benches and ‘Our Guardian Eagle Walkway.'” The Walkway will be composed of bricks that community members may purchase in honor of or in memory of former students and staff.
The cost of each brick is $50, with a maximum of three lines engraved and a maximum 14 characters per line.
Phase I of Eagle Garden will cost approximately $10,000 and will include “Our Guardian Eagle Walkway,” which will replace the existing stepping stone path in the grassy area in front of the school at the corner of Tulley and Mulberry Streets behind the school sign. Funds donated will also be used to prepare the area and complete initial landscaping of Eagle Garden. Phase II will cost an estimated $20,000 to add a new welcome sign, water feature, full landscaping and finishing touches. The committee appreciates any and all contributions and plans to recognize all contributors on the school website and through printed materials.
A dedication service will take place May 20, 2010 at 6:30 p.m. at the site of Eagle Garden. Churubusco’s own New Era and Chimers will perform, the Boy Scouts will present the Colors and SGCS Superintendent Steve Darnell and Youth For Christ leader Jon Pelz will speak.
The Corporation recently accepted a donation to the garden from the Whitley County Community Foundation for $2,500.
For more information, contact Julie Mast at 693-2188 or Cathy Petrie at 636-3522. Information is also available at www.sgcs.k12.in.us/ and click on the “Eagle Garden” tab on the left-hand side of the page.

by Katie Wagner

kwagner@busconews.com

A community-based planning committee is developing an area at the Churubusco School campus to celebrate the lives of those who have passed away and those individuals who have dedicated themselves to the school and community.

Churubusco Police Report for December 1-13

Tuesday, December 1: 50 PD only Main and Whitley Mackin/Koshurin. No alcohol.1150 Citation failure to stop, Schaubschlager W.; 1630 U2 Board of Health at West Pleasant; 1350 School check; 2251 WC Assisted Medics at 2255. Took over CPR until Fire Department showed up.
Wednesday, December 2: 0011 U4 arrested for resisting law enforcement in a vehicle, reckless driving. OWI, third, D. Bornkamp of Churubusco; 0745, U2, School traffic; U2 out at W1. Ask Mark if I could use one of his HT1000’s and he gave me one. Had J&K put utility and Allen Co. channels in it so now I have a radio that works. Also, I was told that any HT 1000 made after 1995 can be programmed for narrow band.U2 check. U2 funeral. Signal 8, Mor For Less in reference to harassment. 10-23 talked to store owner. He advised who works at the ASA has been coming in and harassing a cashier. She has told him she has a boyfriend but he continues to call and stop in. The owner would like him to not come back to the store. U1 out at the school. Talked with him and advised him to leave female alone and not to go back to the school. Advised he would not contact the female or visit the store. Dispatch has all info.
Thursday, December 3: U2 School traffic. U2 School check. U1 School check.
Friday, December 4: 10-23 Two patients, one Condition A and the other 10-0. U3 CP Vin check salvage title $5 #717221. W/C 911 Dead call, Maple Lane. His Life Alert went off. He doesn’t know why but he is ok. U3 W/C Suspicious vehicle on the lot of Family Dollar. Maroon four door Buick. They just closed and it is unattended. 10-8 Vehicle was leaving. U3 W/C Well, the suspicious vehicle call was at Dollar General, Not Family Dollar. So I went there. Maroon Lumina belongs to Sig 80, 10-8.
Saturday, December 5: WC 92-9, 10-50 PD Car/deer on US33 by Ideal Fish and Game Club. Running in the roadway in area of feed mill UTL. U1 CP into pickup eye glasses and cell phone. She advised the protective order has been terminated. CP Report of suspicious behavior on East Whitley Street across from National City Bank parking lot. Man with no shirt on chasing an approximately 12 year-old boy from the front of residence to the rear. Located subjects at E. Whitley Street. They were playing outdoors. Didn’t appear to be impaired. They both advised they were just playing. Everything appeared to be 10-4. Advised he is babysitting children tonight.
Sunday, December 6: U2 Fuel.
Monday, December 7: U1 Special parking detail. U3 School check. U2 School check. U2 Deer kill permit J. Brown.
Tuesday, December 8: U2 School traffic. U2 School check. U1 School check. U1 10-59 Property damage 33 and 205.U1 10-23 Rutledge vs. Lehman. No Alcohol cad #141808.
Wednesday, December 9: U4 arrested for OWI, third. A. Cripe of Columbia City. U1 School check. U1 WC 911 Dead call from W. Whitley Street. U1 10-23 Had her shed in her back yard blow away and is heading down the alley. She needs a report for insurance company. Cad #141812.
Thursday, December 10: 92-9 Citation for expired plates from “May 09” J. Herendeen.
Friday, December 11: W/C 10-50 Unknown at 550 East and 205. 10-23. Property damage only. 92-13 worked it. U3 Citation disregarding auto signal, Goelz, T. U3 W/C Sig. 8 CVS in reference to retrieving meds. C/P advised that two hours ago she gave a bag of meds to a subject. The subject should not have received two bottles of those bottles. C/P has tried every number to contact subject and gotten no response. U3 W/C Out at lot in Blue Ridge. Meds retrieved without incident. U3 W/C 10-10 on the lot of Volero. Responding from Blue Ridge. 10-23, Both parties left. Witness advised truck behind Pit Stop is where one of the subjects went and truck is still there. Plate came back to. I entered Pit Stop to find him. I had him step out back. He advised he was in the bar. Was talking to another woman. Asked to take her home. Advised that he would take her home. They had a verbal 10-10 but it was not physical. 92-13 and I went to speak with 10-23. Spoke with both. No signs of battery. 10-8. U3 Returned to CVS and gave meds to them.
Saturday, December 12: U3 W/C 10-50 PI North Main and Washington Streets, One female patient laying in the street. 10-23. No patient in the street. Three vehicles involved. Rohrer’s not available. Smith towed vehicle to their lot in Columbia City. Deuter transported to Parkview Whitley by Medic 12. She consented to a warrantless search of blood. I will probably cite her for following too close. I advised all parties that the 10-50 report will be done by 3 p.m. Sunday. U11 Hit skip at high school CAD #141825.
Sunday, December 13: 10-7 W3 in reference to 10-50 and case report from yesterday’s crash. Crash report complete, holding on to case report. U3 C/P in from Staunton. His son’s bike was stolen from his yard barn, between Thursday night and Saturday night. It’s a Schwinn Stingray with a white banana seat, ape hanger handle bars, cheater slick rear tire. It was a gift from his grandpa valued at $300. Waiting for info, serial # etc. U2 Sig. 8, Mill Street in reference to harassment. CAD 141831 is not to call or go back to Mill Street until his mother says it is ok.

Tuesday, December 1: 50 PD only Main and Whitley Mackin/Koshurin. No alcohol.1150 Citation failure to stop, Schaubschlager W.; 1630 U2 Board of Health at West Pleasant; 1350 School check; 2251 WC Assisted Medics at 2255. Took over CPR until Fire Department showed up.

Shively named to Huntington University’s Dean’s List

Heather Shively has been named to the Dean’s List at Huntington University for the Fall Term 2009. Ms. Shively is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education.
She is the daughter of Mark and Lorie Shively of Albion and attends Blue River Church of the Brethren.
The Dean’s List is published two times a year at Huntington University. The honor recognizes students for outstanding academic achievement during the previous semester. Honorees must be classified as regular students, be enrolled full-time with a load of 12 hours or more in graded courses, and must achieve a semester grade point average of at least 3.50 on a four-point scale.

Heather Shively has been named to the Dean’s List at Huntington University for the Fall Term 2009. Ms. Shively is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education. She is the daughter of Mark and Lorie Shively of Albion and attends Blue River Church of the Brethren.

Manchester announces Dean’s List

Two local students made the Fall 2009 Dean’s List at Manchester College:
Samuel Ott, a first-year philosophy major and religion major, is a graduate of Cornerstone Christian School.
Linsey Shannon, a junior English major and English/Language Arts education major, is a graduate of Carroll High School.
To receive this honor, a student must complete at least 12 hours with a GPA of 3.5 or above for the semester.
Manchester College offers more than 55 areas of study to 1,223 students from 21 states and 20 countries. For more about the College, visit www.manchester.edu.

Two local students made the Fall 2009 Dean’s List at Manchester College: Samuel Ott, a first-year philosophy major and religion major, is a graduate of Cornerstone Christian School. Linsey Shannon, a junior English major and English/Language Arts education major, is a graduate of Carroll High School.

IPFW students make academic excellence

More than 2700 students achieved either the Dean’s List (D), Semester Honors List (S), or both lists (B) during the Fall 2009 semester at IPFW.
The Dean’s List includes those who have completed at least 12 credits toward graduation resulting in at least a 3.5 graduation index and who carried at least six credits during the semester resulting in at least a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale.
The Semester Honors List includes those who have completed at least six credits toward graduation resulting in at least a 2.0 graduation index and at least a 3.5 GPA for the semester.
Students from our area who have achieved honors are listed below:
Joseph Arehart, (B); Courtney Coil, (B); Miklos Cseri, (S); Shannon Elward (B); Samantha Fry, (S); Cristina Garcia, (S); Crystal Harter, (S); Maria Hiester, (B); Joy Johnson, (S); Marrisa Kessinger, (S); Cara Meeks, (S); Natasha Perrine, (B); Kacie Ruble, (B); Abigail Shurboff, (B); Desiree Skinner, (S); Kristi Slagal (S); Averi Smith, (B); Sara Tavassol, (S); Michael Tomlinson, (S).

More than 2700 students achieved either the Dean’s List (D), Semester Honors List (S), or both lists (B) during the Fall 2009 semester at IPFW. The Dean’s List includes those who have completed at least 12 credits toward graduation resulting in at least a 3.5 graduation index and who carried at least six credits during the semester resulting in at least a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale.

Spelling Bee winners

Spelling Bee held at CES

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Isabelle Turner, left, was runner-up and Jacob Skinner was declared the winner of the annual Spelling Bee held January 7 at Churubusco Elementary School. Two students from each fifth grade class were selected to participate in the Spelling Bee after winning the preliminary bee in their classroom. Skinner will now compete in the Whitley County Spelling Bee in February.

Smith-Green becomes a complete smoke-free campus

Board creates Rainy Day fund to offset state cuts
by Katie Wagner
The SGCS Board of School Trustees approved Policy 7434 at the January 18 meeting to make Smith-Green Community Schools a complete smoke-free campus, effective beginning with the 2010-2011 school year, with a vote of 4-1. School Board Secretary Nick Uecker voted against the policy.
Old policy prohibited students from using tobacco at school and/or school-sponsored events, and school patrons could not smoke in school buildings, but the new policy will prohibit the use of any tobacco products — for example, cigars, cigarettes, pipes or smokeless tobacco — on any school property, including parking lots, buses and at sporting events.
School Board President Tanya Young, along with other Boardmembers, wanted to make sure administrators were prepared to respectfully direct smokers to places where they can smoke, such as in their cars on side streets off of school property. Young also said signage should be posted to make patrons aware of the new policy.
CHS Principal Austin Couch said with planning, communication, and signage, administrators will be able to effectively and respectfully get the word out about the new policy.
Boardmembers Cathy Petrie and Nick Uecker expressed concerns regarding the smoke-free policy. Uecker said he would like for the Corporation to phase into the policy by designating areas for patrons to smoke and by letting them know that smoking will soon be banned. Petrie said her vote was a difficult decision because smoking is a legal activity for adults, and she does not want to be offensive or disrespectful to patrons of the school. However, she said most school events involve minors, so she believes they should be in a smoke-free environment and be shown a smoke-free example.
Petrie requested a report from administrators to see how the plan will be advertised and enforced, such as in the handbook, through newsletters, signage, etc.
Boardmember Rick Trump said he believes the policy is the right thing to do for the kids–to be a good example for the kids and for the health of all people.
The Board also approved the Rainy Day Fund Resolution as presented by Superintendent Steve Darnell. The Rainy Day Fund will be created using ten percent of the appropriations from certain funds, including the Bus Replacement Fund, Debt Service Fund and Capital Projects Fund (CPF). The funds listed had remaining, unused and unencumbered cash balances. The money will be allocated to the Rainy Day Fund to be used for any lawful need or purpose.
Darnell said the fund will make money available to be used for General Fund purposes and will help offset the loss of state revenue due to Governor Mitch Daniels’ reduction to K-12 funding.
Since funds such as the CPF, Bus Replacement and Debt Service are property-tax-based funds, they can only be used for specific purposes. By placing the money into a Rainy Day Fund, the Corporation can use the money for General Fund purposes. The General Fund is state money, rather than property tax money.
Darnell proposed transfering approximately $257,000 to the Rainy Day Fund. Combined with the $160,000 reductions he proposed from the previous Board meeting, Darnell said the Corporation should break even with the 5.22 percent losses due to state budget cuts.
Petrie expressed concerns regarding lost CPF funds through the creation of the Rainy Day Fund.
“This is not a plan to do every year,” Darnell said, assuring Petrie. “The plan is to use this as a one-time shot to cover our losses and get through the state reductions. I see this as a way to get through 2010.”
Darnell would need to come back to the Board for additional appropriations to have a Rainy day Fund in years to come.
In other Board news:
After more than a year of work on updating bylaws and policies, the Board unanimously voted to approve the NEOLA Developed Bylaws and Policies Adoption Resolution. Boardmembers Cathy Petrie and Mike Sturgis spearheaded the efforts to update the bylaws and policies. The NEOLA system will help keep Smith-Green’s policies updated and will make them easily accessible on the web for parents.
Pool Committee members Liz Schemm and Don Page were present to catch the Board up on the pool process. Schemm said the feasibility study for the splash pad (instead of a pool) was submitted December 18,2009. A judge approved changing Paul Muller’s will to allow for a splash pad to be built, rather than a swimming pool. The splash pad will take approximately four months to build, and the committee hopes to have it completed by Turtle Days.
Superintendent Darnell said the Corporation has started the interview process to fill the vacancy left by former Director of Business and Technology Adam Skiles. Darnell is interviewing for two positions: Director of Technology and Business Manager/Treasurer. Darnell said several strong candidates have applied, and he should have a recommendation to the Board by February 1.
The Board unanimously approved the following resignations, leave requests and new hires: CHS French Teacher Amanda Smerdel requested a maternity leave, beginning April 30 through the end of the 2009-2010 school year. She also submitted her letter of resignation effective at the end of this school year. Boardmember Cathy Petrie said Smerdel is an outstanding teacher, and she is sorry to see her go. Smerdel not only teaches French, but is active with tennis, French Club and Student Council. CHS Principal Austin Couch said CHS is losing a great teacher in Smerdel. Noting the relationships she has made with staff, students and parents, Couch said Smerdel is always concerned about her students and wants to help the Corporation find a quality French teacher as her replacement.
CES Teacher Dawn O’Connor requested a maternity leave beginning April 2, 2010 and extending through June 3, 2010.
Ryan Rupp will fill a vacant science position effective January 19, 2010. Couch said he feels Rupp will relate well with kids and has the best outlook for the students in mind. Although Couch interviewed several qualified teachers, he said he felt Rupp had the best character.
Paul Sade was officially employed as Associate Athletic Director, effective in retrospect to October 19, 2009, with a salary of $2,938.50. Sade takes over the duties for the Middle School Athletic Program during girls basketball season so current Associate Athletic Director Jamie Perlich can fulfill his duties as girls basketball head coach. The salary for the position is split between Sade and Perlich.
The Board approved the fifth grade overnight field trip to Camp Potawotami on May 20-21. Fifth grade students experience team-building activities designed to help them learn to work collaboratively with one another through a series of assigned tasks.
CES Principal Nicole Singer presented 3rd grade student Blaire Foote as the Spotlight on Success. The daughter of Troy and Stacy Foote, Blaire is a hard worker at CES who always turns in her work and gives her best effort. She is a great writer and a great role model for her third grade classmates, Singer said. She is a member of the Turners Jump Rope Team and on the A/B Honor Roll.
Singer also presented Karen Eckert, Michael McPeek, Natalie Pugh and Mary Turner as Teachers of the Month.
The next regular School Board meeting will be Monday, February 1, 2010 at 7 p.m.

Board creates Rainy Day fund to offset state cuts

by Katie Wagner

kwagner@busconews.com

The SGCS Board of School Trustees approved Policy 7434 at the January 18 meeting to make Smith-Green Community Schools a complete smoke-free campus, effective beginning with the 2010-2011 school year, with a vote of 4-1. School Board Secretary Nick Uecker voted against the policy.