Category Archives: County

April Whetstone

Whetstone announces candidacy for Recorder

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April Whetstone is  announcing her intent to run for Whitley County Recorder. She will campaign for the May 2010 primary on the Republican ticket. She pledges to use her experience in county government and the banking industry to preserve the integrity of the Recorder’s Office and the records stored there for posterity.
Whetstone offers herself as a candidate in 2010 because she believes the Recorder’s Office can move forward with smart uses of technology. The next step for recording in Indiana is e(electronic)-recording of documents. With her banking experience in mortgage and consumer loans, she will be able to oversee correct application of e-recording. She is familiar with the Indiana State Statutes that must be followed for the Recorder’s Office. Every document recorded and preserved must follow the established Indiana Codes and all new technology has to conform to these statutes.
For the last three years, Whetstone has served as the Chief First Deputy to the Whitley County Auditor. Her knowledge obtained in the Auditor’s Office will assist her in retaining the “checks and balances” needed to run a public office such as the Recorder’s. Protecting our property owners’ chain-of-title in a public office is a job shared by the Assessor, Auditor, and Recorder. With Whetstone’s experience, she has come to understand this flow of work and will be able to continue to deliver it and oversee the streamlining of it.
On a personal note, she was born and raised near Plymouth, Indiana. She was encouraged to become involved in county government by her mother, who served as First Deputy Recorder in Marshall County for 14 years. She lives in Columbia City with her husband, Chad, and stepson, L.G. They are members of the Columbia City United Methodist Church.
Before her employment in county government, she was Branch Manager of Peoples Federal Savings Bank in Columbia City for eight years. Her responsibilities included mortgage and consumer loan request, marketing, human resources, employee management and administrative affairs.
For the nine years prior to 1998, she was employed at Standard Federal Bank in Fort Wayne where she was an Assistant Manager responsible for enforcing bank policies and regulations. Her duties included processing and closing mortgages and consumer loans. She served as a counselor representing the bank in customer service transactions.
Whetstone’s education includes an Associates Degree in Accounting from International Business College in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She has further credentialing in Deposit Account Operations, Accounts & Services, Real Estate Principles, and Residential Mortgage Lending from the Institute of Financial Education in Chicago, Illinois.
Because she has a healthy respect for county government, she believes she has the right combination of experience, desire, ideas and motivation to lead the Recorder’s Office for the next four years.

April Whetstone is  announcing her intent to run for Whitley County Recorder. She will campaign for the May 2010 primary on the Republican ticket. She pledges to use her experience in county government and the banking industry to preserve the integrity of the Recorder’s Office and the records stored there for posterity.

Whitley County Quilt Show winners

Seventy gorgeous quilts and quilted items were exhibited at the Holiday Bazaar and Quilt Show sponsored by Whitley County Extension Homemakers. Hand and machine quilted items were entered in eight different categories. Exhibits were judged and appropriate ribbons were awarded. The winners of this year’s show were:
People’s Choice: Maureen Trumbull.
Judge’s Choice (Machine Quilted): Margie Bushell.
Applique’ Class winner (hand quilted): Bea Knarr; Class winner (machine quilted): Janet Vesa. Participants: Nancy Scott.
Children’s: Class winner (machine quilted): Connie Seymour. Participants: Jody Gaerte, Julie Gaerte, Barb Olider, Phyllis Reith.
Miscellaneous: Class winner (machine quilted): Maureen Trumbull. Participants: Jean Neher, Deloris Duff, Thea Fry, Laura Kyler, Ethel Miller, LaEtta Wagner, Phyllis Reith, Donna Iden.
Original: Class winner (machine quilted): Linda Grable. Participants: Yvonne Pfeiffer, Patsy Agler, Nancy Scott, Joy Brouse.
Patchwork: Class winner (hand quilted): Margie Bushell. Participants: Jean Neher, Jody Gaerte, Janet Vesa, Mary Myers, Yvonne Pfeiffer, Barb Born, Mary Martha Scott, Geneva Crosby, Phyllis Reith, Wanda Howell, Vonda McEowen, Donna Iden, Patsy Rollins, Jan Smith, Mary Cummings.
Wall Hanging: Class winner (hand quilted): Bea Knarr. Participants: Holly Kyler, Deloris Duff, Geneva Crosby, LaEtta Wagner.
Whole Cloth: Class winner (hand quilted): Kathy Slater.
For Display ONLY: Participants: Chloe Reynolds.

Seventy gorgeous quilts and quilted items were exhibited at the Holiday Bazaar and Quilt Show sponsored by Whitley County Extension Homemakers. Hand and machine quilted items were entered in eight different categories. Exhibits were judged and appropriate ribbons were awarded. The winners of this year’s show were:

Mark Hodges

Hodges announces his bid for re-election

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Sheriff Mark Hodges has announced  that he is running for re-election in 2010.  Hodges was elected Sheriff in November 2006 and is completing his first four year term.  After being elected, Sheriff Hodges retired from the Indiana State Police with 26 years of service.
Citing pledges from his first campaign, Sheriff Hodges compared accomplishments with his original goals.
1. Increasing Chaplain services.
2. Training.
3. Professionalism.
In the last three years all three goals have been attained.
At the beginning of 2007, Gerald and Jeanette Bills were the only Chaplains to visit the Sheriff’s Department on a regular basis.  Now ten additional individuals regularly visit along with numerous others who assist with the Tuesday afternoon cell block ministry and the Sunday evening church services.
Training and professionalism are tied closely together.  The professionalism of any group or organization is greatly enhanced as training is increased.  Some of the training in the last three years includes computer forensics, highway drug interdiction, Excited Delirium, jail medical issues, jail staffing methods, Human Resource and hiring practices.  Sheriff Hodges also instituted mandatory first aid/CPR and defensive tactics training.
Several accomplishments have occurred in the past three years for the Whitley County Sheriff’s Department.  A tremendous upgrade was made to the video security system.  The old original black and  white security cameras along with the non-working recording system were replaced with digital color cameras and a digital video recording system.  Numerous incidents and crimes within the jail building have been solved because personnel were able to review the constant digital recordings that are being made.
Changing the inmate commissary to in-house rather than out-sourcing the products has increased profits more than 500 percent.  These profits have allowed Sheriff Hodges to add needed equipment without using budget funding.
In mid year of 2007, Sheriff Hodges contracted the inmate health care to Health Professionals, LTD.  Out-sourcing this service has proven itself by saving the County thousands of dollars and setting protocols that greatly assist all employees of this department.
Beginning the Department’s first canine unit is another accomplishment that Sheriff Hodges credits to the deputies and others that encouraged initiating the program. They solicited funds from area businesses and citizens resulting in two officers and dogs being trained at no cost from the department budget.  Both officers and their K9 partners have been utilized numerous times on traffic stops, school searches and public programs.
The evidence room was moved to the basement in an effort to streamline evidence handling and retention.  The former evidence room was about 77 square feet and the new room is more than 300 square feet.  This increase in space allows for better handling of firearm, drug and cash evidence.
Goals for Sheriff Hodges’ second term include the use of a video conferencing system.  Under his direction, the Sheriff’s Department has been making aggressive attempts to secure funding from various sources for this important equipment. Video conferencing would save money by decreasing the number of prisoner transports because the prisoner would make his or her court appearance via video equipment.  Prisoner security would be increased because many inmates would make their court appearance from the Whitley County jail rather than being walked across the street.   Sheriff Hodges also wants to continue upgrading the evidence room with additional movable storage shelves.
Sheriff Hodges thinks he has gotten a good start with positive changes and improvements to the department.  He believes much more can be accomplished in a second term.  He cites Lee Iacocca in his book “Where Have All The Leaders Gone?”  “Here’s the test of a leader: When he leaves office, we should feel better off than when he started.  It’s just that simple.” This is the philosophy of Sheriff Mark Hodges, and for that reason he is asking for your support in the 2010 election.

Sheriff Mark Hodges has announced  that he is running for re-election in 2010.  Hodges was elected Sheriff in November 2006 and is completing his first four year term.  After being elected, Sheriff Hodges retired from the Indiana State Police with 26 years of service.

Citing pledges from his first campaign, Sheriff Hodges compared accomplishments with his original goals. 

1. Increasing Chaplain services. 

2. Training.                               

3. Professionalism.  

In the last three years all three goals have been attained.

Michael Schrader

Schrader announces bid for re-election

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Michael Schrader, executive president of the Whitley County Commissioners, announced today that he plans to seek a second term as Whitley County Commissioner – a position requiring common sense, commitment and dedication in light of what’s ahead for the future of this community.
“Many challenges await Whitley County including the future funding of our Emergency Medical Service, including tax caps and their affect on county, city, town and township budgets,” Schrader said.
“Improving our county road system is an ongoing challenge or maybe it’s a work in progress,” added Schrader. “Either way, this is a challenge that we continue to work through.”
While in his first term in office, Schrader has been involved in a variety of initiatives.
“The Board of Commissioners challenged the State Department of Welfare on the costs to update the local welfare office to new state mandated office standards,” he said. “This challenge saved over $ 40,000 in taxpayer money.”
Schrader and the Board of Commissioners are also credited with resolving issues with windows in the new County Government Center building.  “Through negotiations with the contractor those issues were resolved with no additional cost to the taxpayers,” he said.
Schrader has understood the significance of making local government available and open to the residents of Whitley County.
“The Board of Commissioners took our meetings ‘on the road’ to the Town of Churubusco and the Town of South Whitley several times during the last two years,” Schrader said.
Further improving residents’ ability to access their own local government, Schrader has been an integral part of designing and enhancing the presence of Whitley County on the internet. He has talked with county residents, county departments and professionals with the goal of creating a site that is user friendly and helpful to the citizens of Whitley County.
“We have approved the creation of a county web site,” Schrader said. “The new web site will provide information and duties about each county department.  It will include Boards and Committees, minutes of board meetings and the ability to make tax payments and pay fines and costs,  just to name a few.  This web site will also offer community links.”
An additional benefit will be the ability of Whitley County Government to make this community known globally for all the things we do well here. Schrader is excited about the level of transparency and enhanced service these changes bring to the people of Whitley County.
While looking toward the future, Schrader and the current administration have been careful to preserve important elements of the past. This year, important steps were taken to repair the dome and the steps inside what is probably the most visual symbol of this community, the Whitley County Courthouse.
“I enjoy working with the people of Whitley County, sharing ideas and listening to their thoughts and suggestions.  It seems like everyday brings a new learning experience,” said Schrader.
A lifelong resident of Whitley County, Schrader graduated from Columbia City Joint High School. Following high school, he was engaged in business of the family farm with his father and his uncle, later attending International Business College.
Schrader began his law enforcement career as a reserve officer for the Columbia City Police Department and was appointed as a reserve deputy of the Whitley County Sheriff’s Department. He was later appointed as a merit deputy for the Whitley County Sheriff’s Department, serving 28 years. For 16 years, he served as Whitley County Sheriff. Community service is important to Schrader. He has been an active member of the Columbia Township Fire Department for the past 40 years and he currently serves as assistant chief. He also serves as treasurer of the Whitley County Fire Chiefs’ Association. A ten-year 4-H member, he is also a former 4-H leader.
Schrader’s commitment to his community and his country is evident, having served with the Indiana Army National Guard.
Schrader is a member of the Oak Grove Church of God, the Whitley County FOP and is a life member of the Indiana  Sheriffs Association.
Schrader and his wife, Cathy (Lemmon), are the parents of three children. Their son, Jacob, is a career firefighter. Their son, Adam, is a designer for an orthopedic company, and their daughter, Carrie, is a registered nurse. The Schraders enjoy spending time with their granddaughter. Schrader’s political career has included four terms as Whitley County Sheriff, one term on the Whitley County Commissioners and he was a past Columbia Township Assessor.
Schrader has had an interest in Whitley County politics for many years – stemming from his father’s 16 years of service as a Whitley County Councilman.
“I try to be pro-active and use a common sense approach to issues dealing with Whitley County,” Schrader said. “I bring experience, knowledge of county government and integrity to the office. I pledge commitment, a common sense approach to issues and dedication to the citizens of Whitley County.”

Michael Schrader, executive president of the Whitley County Commissioners, announced today that he plans to seek a second term as Whitley County Commissioner – a position requiring common sense, commitment and dedication in light of what’s ahead for the future of this community.

Doug Fahl

Fahl announces candidacy for Superior Court Judge

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Doug Fahl officially announced today that he will be running for the Whitley County Superior Court Judge. Fahl is seeking to fill the vacancy left by the announcement of current Judge Michael Rush’s retirement. “It will be impossible to replace a man of Judge Rush’s stature and reputation, but I believe I am the best person to continue Whitley County’s tradition of fair, but firm justice,” Fahl said.
Fahl is a 1985 graduate of Columbia City Joint High School, a graduate of Indiana University in Bloomington and holds a Law Degree from the Valparaiso University School of Law. Fahl has been practicing law in Northeast Indiana since 1997 and has served as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Kosciusko County for the past five years where he has tried numerous cases from drunk driving to methamphetamine manufacturing.
Fahl also serves as a JAG officer in the Indiana Army National Guard. He has been a member of the Guard/Reserves since 1990 and recently served a tour of duty in Iraq where he earned the Bronze Star Medal and a Combat Action Badge for his actions in the war zone. Fahl noted, “I earned a true appreciation for the role of Judge while I was in Iraq. The Iraqi Judges had to move their entire families into armed compounds. They had to risk everything, including their lives, to bring justice to their people.”
Fahl lives in Columbia City with his wife Marla, daughter Meghan and stepdaughters Madi and Audrey Sjahfiedin. His stepdaughter Chelsea Sjahfiedin attends Taylor University. Doug and his family are members of St. Paul of the Cross Catholic Church.
Fahl has been heavily involved in his community over the last 13 years serving as a board member for Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Past-President of the Whitley County Bar Association, Past-President of the Columbia City Kiwanis, an ex-officio member of the Columbia City Tree Board, a member of the Columbia City Plan Commission and serving as a two-term City Councilman. He is currently a member of the VFW Post 5582, The National Guard Association of Indiana, USA Triathlon, the Tri-Fort Triathlon Team and the YMCA Running Club.
“I would be humbly honored to serve the citizens of Whitley County in this very important position,” Fahl concluded.

Doug Fahl officially announced today that he will be running for the Whitley County Superior Court Judge. Fahl is seeking to fill the vacancy left by the announcement of current Judge Michael Rush’s retirement. “It will be impossible to replace a man of Judge Rush’s stature and reputation, but I believe I am the best person to continue Whitley County’s tradition of fair, but firm justice,” Fahl said.

Cheryl McDevitt

McDevitt announces candidacy for County Recorder

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Lifelong Whitley County resident Cheryl Gibson McDevitt has announced her candidacy for Whitley County Recorder.
“I have been involved with the Republican Party since the age of 18, voted in every primary and general election as a proud Republican,” McDevitt said. “I currently am precinct committeeman for Columbia Township South and was elected to Columbia Township Advisory Board where I serve as secretary.”
McDevitt’s next political goal has been a long time in the making.
“My next step forward is to run for Whitley County Recorder,” she said. “This has been my goal for the last seven years and I promise to work diligently for the people of Whitley County.”
McDevitt graduated from CCJHS with the class of 1973 and later graduated from Ravenscroft Beauty College in 1979. Married to husband, Keith, for 36 years, they have two children, Aaron McDevitt and Jenee Nix. They are also blessed with five beautiful grandchildren, Grace, Eli and Dinah McDevitt, Maycee and Malarie Nix.
“I spent 25 years as a hairdresser in Columbia City, worked at Columbia Auction for my father, farmed with my husband, had a DJ business for 12 years, worked in a bank for two years, and currently am employed as Office Manager for Speedway Sand and Gravel Inc. for the last two years,” McDevitt said.
McDevitt is an active member of Grace Lutheran Church in Columbia City where she serves as an assisting minister, director of the Altar Guild, reader, VBS teacher and a substitute in the hand bell choir.
“I am a member of the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary, Friend of the Peabody Public Library, Friend of the Whitley County Historical Museum and former vice president of the South Whitley Chamber of Commerce,” she said.
“Through the years I have always worked with the public and love people. I have always had to keep books, records and handled the cash and deposits,” she said.
“I believe with all of my experiences in life and working on the Advisory Board with budgets and funds, along with my strong Republican work ethics and values, I can excel in this position,” added McDevitt.
“I am asking for your vote and support in the May 4, 2010 primary election to reach my goal as County Recorder,” she said.

Lifelong Whitley County resident Cheryl Gibson McDevitt has announced her candidacy for Whitley County Recorder.

“I have been involved with the Republican Party since the age of 18, voted in every primary and general election as a proud Republican,” McDevitt said. “I currently am precinct committeeman for Columbia Township South and was elected to Columbia Township Advisory Board where I serve as secretary.”

Free 4-H Carnival

The Noble County 4-H leaders will be hosting a free 4-H Carnival from 5-7 p.m. in the 4-H Exhibit Hall…

Scholarships available from Indiana Homemakers

The Indiana Extension Homemakers sponsor two scholarships annually. For a copy of the applications contact Purdue Extension – Whitley County office at (260) 244-7615 or 625-3313 or email cbarnett@purdue.edu.
Ruth B. Sayre Scholarship
This memorial scholarship of $500 is offered for the purpose of fostering educational development of women.
The applicant must be a woman and a legal resident of the USA who shows financial need and ability to complete her education.
The one page application must also include two reference letters, school transcript and a picture.
Applications must be returned by February 15.
Career Advancement Scholarship
Indiana Extension Homemakers Association, is an organization affiliated with The Cooperative Extension service and Purdue University and is interested in furthering education, leadership and community volunteerism. IEHA is offering eight $500 scholarships to Indiana homemakers who are 25 years or older.
This scholarship is to be used to complete education or upgrade vocational skills. One must be admitted to, or cleared for admission, to an academic or vocational school, which is state-licensed or accredited. Preference will be given to a person studying at an undergraduate level. Scholarships will be awarded with regard to financial need, and former winners may apply again.
Applications must be postmarked by March 15, 2010.

The Indiana Extension Homemakers sponsor two scholarships annually. For a copy of the applications contact Purdue Extension – Whitley County office at (260) 244-7615 or 625-3313 or email cbarnett@purdue.edu.

Whitley County AARP news

The Whitley County Chapter AARP met January 5 at the Woodlands.  President Pat Loe welcomed all present. Virginia Wright led in the pledge to the flag and Mike Hazen led the group in prayer.
There were two guests present, Barbara Hawn and Carol Gregory.
The minutes were read and approved and Jeanette Zumbrun reported the balance in the treasury.
Wilma Bender reported that her sister, Vesta Bennett, is now at Miller’s Merry Manor and will be there for at least the next two months. It would be nice if the group would send her a card.
Betty Mink said the first Bear Creek Farm’s trip would not be until June.  The production will be “South Pacific.”
Bonnie Hazen had a reading entitled, “The Farmer’s Nagging Wife.”
The health report was given by Pat Loe on “Healthy Bones.” People should drink plenty of milk, take caldium-D, eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly.
Marge Kite made a motion to change the monthly meetings starting in 2010. From now on, we will not meet in January, but will meet in August. Motion carried.
Betty Mink made a motion to donate $200.00 to the Senior Center. Motion carried.
There being no further business the meeting was closed.
Cookies and punch were served by the Hazens and those who wished stayed and watched a video.

The Whitley County Chapter AARP met January 5 at the Woodlands.  President Pat Loe welcomed all present. Virginia Wright led in the pledge to the flag and Mike Hazen led the group in prayer. There were two guests present, Barbara Hawn and Carol Gregory. The minutes were read and approved and Jeanette Zumbrun reported the balance in the treasury.