Government & School Board

Assistance for renters in hardship

During a recent press conference, state officials announced a new Emergency Rental Assistance program to assist Indiana households who are unable to pay rent and utilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eligible households can receive up to 12 months of rental and utility/home energy assistance.

The Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority will administrate the program and make an announcement when it starts accepting applications.

Mortgage assistance for households at risk of foreclosure is available at

Holcomb's bill to fight lawsuits

Governor Eric Holcomb signed a bill into law providing protection against COVID-related lawsuits. Senate Enrolled Act 1 will provide assurance for business owners and individuals “that they will not have to live and work in fear of frivolous lawsuits” due to the pandemic.

Senator Mark Messmer (R-Jasper), who authored the legislation, says it will provide businesses and individuals with immunity from civil liability if someone is exposed to COVID-19 on their property or during an activity they organized.

Prom and graduation dates set

The Huntington County Community School Corporation has announced dates for graduation and prom.

Graduation will be held on Sunday, May 30, reported Huntington North High School Principal Rief Gilg during the regular meeting of the HCCSC School Board of Trustees, on Monday evening, Feb. 22.

Prom will be held the same weekend, on Friday, May 28, in the Huntington North High School athletic area. This location is a change, as since 2015, prom has been held off campus, at the Police Athletic League in Huntington.

Roanoke TC meets new deputy clerk

Jennifer Bonewitz
Photo provided.

Roanoke Town Council met the town’s newly hired deputy clerk, Jennifer Bonewitz, during their last meeting on Feb. 16.
Bonewitz lives in Roanoke with her husband, Paul, and their four daughters. The couple owns the business, Everything Flooring, in Roanoke.

After introducing Bonewitz, Clerk-Treasurer Milton requested a motion to pass Ordinance 2021-02, which would amend Salary Ordinance 2020-22. The council approved the amendment.

Milton also thanked her previous Deputy Clerk, Kay Moore, for her 10 years of service to Roanoke.

Strick gives State of City address

Mayor Richard Strick delivers his State of the City address on Wednesday, Feb. 17, at the Huntington Arts & Entrepreneurial Center.
Photo by Katelynn Farley.

On Wednesday, Feb. 17, Huntington Mayor Richard Strick addressed several members of the community, sharing his State of the City address at the Huntington Arts & Entrepreneurial Center.

Amongst the crowd were community leaders such as Huntington Fire Chief Tony Johnson, Huntington City Police Chief Chad Hacker and State Sen. Andy Zay (R-Huntington).

Markle council talks historical society

The Markle Town Council met for a regular meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 17, and gathered at the newly renovated Markle Town Hall. Featured, council members (from left) Aaron McClary, Matthew Doss and Nick Lund begin the meeting.
Photo by Katelynn Farley.

The Markle Town Council met in its regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 17, discussing several bids for the building of a town utility garage, meeting the needs of the Markle Area Historical Society and announcing a new employee.

The council met at the Markle Town Hall for the first time since beginning renovations within the building.

County Council chooses officers

The Huntington County Council had their regular session on Monday, Jan. 25., at 7 p.m., at the Huntington County Courthouse.
Members present at the meeting were Ron Kline, Terry Miller, Keith Eller and Kittie Keiffer. Kendall Mickley and Shane Bickel attended via Zoom. Phil Hibbert did not attend.

Auditor Jill Landrum, for Treasurer Brenda Hamilton, requested a transfer of $244 from travel expenses to mileage reimbursement to accommodate account changes in the new LOW Financial Software. Motion passed unanimously.

COVID Clinic closed this weekend

Heavy snowfall this week has delayed shipments to Huntington County’s COVID-19 vaccine clinic, forcing it to close Friday, Feb. 19, and Saturday, Feb. 20.

Anyone with an appointment affected by the change will be contacted to reschedule. The Huntington County Health Department requests that these individuals wait to receive a call and do not reschedule their own appointments.

Executive order approves live music

Huntington Mayor Richard Strick signed an executive order on Friday, Feb. 5, allowing venues within city limits to resume karaoke and live music once the owner or operator establishes steps to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Under Executive Order No. 5, an establishment’s mitigation plan must be reviewed and approved by the city’s building inspector, fire marshal and public health officer before the venue may host karaoke and live music activities.

PER available for city water projects

A public hearing was held during the regular meeting of the City of Huntington’s Common Council on Tuesday, Feb. 9, regarding the city’s Preliminary Engineering Report (PER) – specifically, Long Term Control Projects numbered 7, 8 and 9.

Director of Public Works and Engineering Services Adam Cuttriss said, “The PER is a document that provides information necessary for the state revolving fund (SRF) loan program to determine the technical, economic and environmental adequacy of the proposed wastewater infrastructure project in accordance with Indiana law.”

State is purchasing NaloxBox units

Governor Eric J. Holcomb and the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration’s (FSSA) Division of Mental Health and Addiction announced the state will partner with Overdose Lifeline, Inc. to expand access to the opioid reversal agent naloxone through the purchase of 24/7-access “NaloxBox” units.

Governor’s Fellowship apps open

Governor Eric J. Holcomb announced Tuesday, Feb. 9, that applications will be accepted now through March 15 for the 2021–22 Governor’s Fellowship.

The Governor’s Fellowship is highly selective and provides a unique experience in Indiana state government by placing fellows in various state agencies on a rotating basis throughout the year.

“Our Governor’s Fellows are such a valuable piece of our team,” Holcomb said. “The wide range of assistance they provide over the course of their fellowship is key to serving Hoosiers.”

Warren Council discusses tower

The Warren Town Council met on Monday, Feb. 8, to discuss the water project that includes demolition of the water tower in Tower Park and construction of a new one in the same location.
Photo by Katelynn Farley.

The Warren Town Council gathered for its first meeting of 2021 on Monday, Feb. 8, to discuss the water project, several ordinances and other miscellaneous business.

Regular town council meetings have been rescheduled for every second and fourth Monday of the month at 6 p.m. The next meeting will be Monday, Feb. 22.

Project Manager Ben Adams, of Commonwealth Engineers, Inc., was present along with Financial Adviser Greg Guerrettaz, of Financial Solutions Group, Inc., to discuss several bids Warren received to complete their water project.

Andrews Council business

The Andrews Town Council discussed several department reports and reviewed minor items from old business during the Monday, Feb. 8, council meeting.

Old business included information regarding the foundation and interior issues located at 237 Columbia Street. According to Council President John Harshbarger, there was no indication of progress on the property and council is waiting to hear back from the town lawyer before moving forward on taking action on the property.

House Bill 1498 will affect gov't transparency

There is no doubt that Indiana residents believe in government transparency. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about our legislators in Indianapolis.

The Indiana House of Representatives is expected to consider House Bill 1498 this week, a measure that will do away with a longstanding check on government – the publishing of public notices in newspapers beginning in the summer of 2022. The measure would give local government units the alternative to publish notices on a website controlled by the government unit, severely damaging the checks and balances currently in place.