Government & School Board

Getting in early

Photo by Rebecca Sandlin

Michael Yarger, of Huntington, makes his choices for elected office on the second day of early voting, Thursday, Oct. 13, outside the Huntington County Clerk’s Office. County officials say there were 142 votes on the first day of early voting, Wednesday, Oct. 12, with a total of 615 votes cast between Oct. 12 and Oct. 17.

Hoosier voters to decide if hunting is a constitutional right

During this fall’s election, voters will get to decide whether or not hunting and fishing should be rights in Indiana.

The Indiana Right to Hunt and Fish Amendment will appear on ballots as Public Question 1 and requires a “yes” or “no” vote. Should a simple majority of voters cast ballots in favor of the amendment, the acts of hunting, fishing and harvesting wildlife would become constitutional rights for Hoosiers.

Voters to decide if two judges keep their seats

James Kirsch (left) and Patricia Riley
Photos provided.

Local voters will help decide this fall if two judges on the Indiana Court of Appeals will be retained in office.

The judges on the ballot are James S. Kirsch, presiding judge of Indiana’s second district, and Patricia A. Riley, presiding judge of the fourth district.

The court’s second district includes the middle section of Indiana, including Huntington County. The fourth district covers all of Indiana. Each of the state’s five districts has a panel of three judges.

Library board sticks with director’s terminations

Sometimes emotional pleas from supporters of six terminated Huntington City-Township Public Library employees didn’t sway the library board to reverse its decision to eliminate those employees’ positions.

The board voted Sept. 19 to approve a restructuring plan that library Director Beka Lemons says will bring the local library’s budget more in line with other libraries its size. That plan includes the termination of six long-time employees, most of them department heads or assistants, and adding seven new, lower-paid positions.

Markle Cemetery Association to have board meeting

The Markle Cemetery Association will have its board meeting on Monday, Oct. 24, at 7 p.m.

The meeting will be held at the Markle Fire Station meeting room and is open to the public.

HCCSC board puts study hall on hold for this year

The availability of a study hall period at Huntington North High School has been put on hold for at least another semester, after members of the Huntington County Community School Corporation Board of School Trustees accepted a recommendation to postpone offering a study period until next school year.

At its regular meeting on Monday, Oct. 17, Superintendent Randy Harris told the board that offering study hall for the second semester of the current school year would upset too many school plans already in place.

Local county commissioners attend Association of Indiana Counties annual meet

Huntington County Commissioners Tom Wall, Larry Buzzard and Rob Miller were among the approximately 500 county officials and employees who attended the Association of Indiana Counties’ annual conference Sept. 26 through Sept. 29 in Allen County.

The 58th annual conference offered a variety of professional development courses, opportunities to network with peers and updates on county government issues.

Oct. 20 special session for commish

The Huntington County Commissioners will conduct a special session on Thursday, Oct. 20, at noon, in the DAR Room, second floor, Huntington County Courthouse, 201 N. Jefferson St., Huntington.

The purpose of the meeting is for commissioners to discuss financing for courthouse repairs.

Warren Fire Department to seek prices for tanker

The planned purchase of a new tanker truck by the Warren Fire Department is moving along.

Members of the Warren Town Council, during their meeting on Monday, Oct. 10, asked the department’s truck committee to work on obtaining three quotes for the truck.

The truck will cost an estimated $170,000, Fire Chief Lee Poulson told the council.

The Town of Warren has funds budgeted to pay half the cost of the new truck, and the remaining half will be paid by Salamonie Township.

In other business:

Andrews council continues to consider cuts to budget

The Andrews Town Council continued to consider cuts it could make to this year’s budget that would reduce the amount of money it needs for next year during its meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 11.

Passing resolutions not to spend was first discussed at the board’s meeting on Sept. 29. At the Oct. 11 meeting, Clerk-Treasurer Laura Dillon presented council with Resolution 2016-9, which contained resolutions not to spend from each of the town’s departments, with cuts totaling $88,500.

Etna Avenue project to take more than two years, council learns

Motorists inconvenienced by the pre-construction work on Etna Avenue can expect that inconvenience to continue for another couple of years.

Actual construction won't begin for several months, and the project — estimated to cost $3.9 million — is set for completion about two and a half years from now, members of the Huntington Common Council learned during their meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 11.

SWCD to meet Oct. 18

The Huntington County Soil and Water Conservation District will hold its monthly meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 18, at 7:30 p.m. at the district office located at 2040 Riverfork Drive, Huntington.

The meeting is open to the public.

Due to farming season, those planning to attend should contact the SWCD office at 356-6816 ext. 3 to confirm there will be a quorum for the meeting.

Number of local positions up for grabs this year

Huntington County Election Board member Lori Guy performs a test of one of Huntington County’s voting machines, picked at random, during the official test on Thursday, Oct. 6, in the county courthouse. Guy, the Republican member of the board, was joined by Democrat member and Election Board President Linda Beatty and board member and Huntington County Clerk Kittie Keiffer.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin

The national focus this election season has been on the race for president, but a number of other races — including seats on the Huntington County Council and the Huntington County Community School Corporation Board of Trustees —  are also on the ballot this fall.

Huntington County voters can make their choices as early as Wednesday, Oct. 12, when the first voting site opens in the Huntington County Courthouse. The deadline for registering to vote or updating an existing registration is Tuesday, Oct. 11.

ISP urges voters to confirm registration

The Indiana State Police has expanded its investigation of possible fraudulent voter registration procedures to cover a total of 57 counties, including Huntington County.

While local election officials say they’ve seen no fraudulent registrations — yet — the ISP is urging voters to check their registration status prior to the Oct. 11 voter registration deadline.

Voters can check the status of their registration online at or by calling the Huntington County Clerk’s office at 358-4820.

Huntington County treasurer issues reminders of several important dates

The Huntington County Treasurer’s Office has issued the following upcoming event reminders:

• The Huntington County tax sale will be held on Monday, Oct. 10, at 10 a.m. in the GAR room of the courthouse.

• General Election Day is Nov. 8. Offices at the courthouse will be closed.

• The fall installment of property taxes is due no later than Nov. 10.

• Huntington County Courthouse will be closed for Veterans Day on Nov. 11.

• The courthouse is closed for Thanksgiving on Nov. 24 and 25.

Hoosiers have until Tuesday, Oct. 11, to register to vote in fall election

Hoosiers have until Tuesday, Oct. 11, to register to vote in this fall’s general election.

The same deadline also applies to Hoosiers who need to update their registration because of a name change or new address or because they have been purged from voter registration rolls.

Treasurer’s office closed for staff conference trip

The Huntington County Treasurer’s office in the courthouse will be closed for the day on Tuesday, Oct. 18, so the staff can attend a tax software user group conference in Indianapolis.  

The office will reopen with regular hours on Wednesday.

Office hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

School board hears lengthy study hall report, comments

The lion’s share of a lengthy meeting of the Huntington County Community School Corporation Board of School Trustees on Wednesday, Sept. 28, dealt with the findings of a study about whether to reinstate a study hall period at Huntington North High School.

HNHS Principal Russ Degitz presented the report to the board, saying he talked with students, parents, staff, department chairs and the school’s policy committee to determine the pros and cons of offering study hall to students.

In addition, he conducted surveys of both students and teachers on the subject.

County residents can apply for EDC position

Huntington County residents are invited to apply for a seat on the City of Huntington Economic Development Commission.

The appointment will be made by the Huntington County Council.

The appointee will complete a term ending on Jan. 31, 2017.

Applications are available in the Huntington County Auditor’s office, located on the first floor of the Huntington County Courthouse.

School corporation budget receives approval to move forward

Team T.H.R.U.S.T. mentor Chris Elston (right) introduces “Invader” to the Huntington County Community School Corporation board members on Wednesday, Sept. 28. The robot was built by student members of the team.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Members of the Huntington County Community School Board of Trustees voted unanimously on Wednesday, Sept. 28, to approve advertising the $51.5 million 2017 school budget.

Assistant Superintendent for Business and Classified Staff Jon Bennett said the corporation’s bus plan, capital projects fund plan and appropriations would be advertised in a local newspaper. The rest of the budget will be advertised on the state’s Gateway web page.

BMV to close for holiday

All Bureau of Motor Vehicle license branches will be closed Saturday, Oct. 8, through Monday, Oct. 10, in observance of the Columbus Day holiday.

All license branches resume regularly-scheduled business hours on Tuesday, Oct. 11.

For a complete list of branch locations and hours or to complete online transactions visit

Council approves land rezoning for property sale

A parcel of land on Swan Street, in Huntington, has been rezoned to facilitate the sale of the former Wabash Technologies property.

The rezoning received an initial OK earlier in September from the Huntington Plan Commission, and the Huntington Common Council added its approval during a meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 27.

The rezoning affects the south portion of the Wabash Technologies property at 1375 Swan St., with the zoning changing from residential to light industrial. The north part of the property is already zoned for light industrial use.

Andrews council wants to lower tax rate before passing budget

Before the Andrews Town Council passes the town’s 2017 budget, it wants to take a look at lowering the tax rate proposed in it.

County tax sale set for Oct. 10 in GAR Room

The Huntington County tax sale will be held on Oct. 10 in the GAR room on the second floor of the Huntington County Courthouse. The sale starts at 10 a.m.

Bidders must register prior to the sale, similar to a regular auction. Bidders can preregister and print a list of properties online at View “Auction info by State,” choose “Indiana” and, under the county list, choose “Huntington County.” Click on the green “Tax Sale” box for a property list.

Markle TC adopts $1.31m budget, salary increases for employees

The Markle Town Council adopted its 2017 budget on a 2-0 vote at its regular meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 21, approving a $1.31 million budget with a tax levy of $424,751. The town’s tax rate is estimated at $1.4824.

Councilman Rick Bower was absent.

The funds, reviewed by the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance, consist of:

• Casino/Riverboat – $8,264.

• Rainy Day – $150,000.

• General Fund – $846,200.

• Local Income Tax – $65,000.

• Local Road and Street – $12,640.

• Motor Vehicle Highway – $48,957.

County commissioners schedule executive session next Monday

The Huntington County Commissioners will meet in an executive session Monday, Oct. 3, at 10:30 a.m. in the County Commissioners’ office, 201 N. Jefferson St., Huntington.

The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss records classified as confidential by state or federal statute.

Warren council hears about holiday prep

Summer is definitely in the rearview mirror, with Christmas lights and snow plows taking center stage at the Warren Town Council meeting on Monday, Sept. 19.

Christmas lighting on downtown-area buildings “is pretty much done,” reported Lee Poulson, the town’s utility manager. “We’re turning them on to see if they work.”

Town crews are replacing lights that aren’t working, he said, a process that didn’t come without mishap. A faulty connector on one of the light strands started a fire on a light pole, which was quickly extinguished, he said.

Roanoke seeking Jackson Twp. help for funding rescue truck

Before the Roanoke Town Council can look into purchasing a new rescue truck for the town’s volunteer fire department, it needs to see what kind of funding Jackson Township would be willing to provide for it.

Program centers on letter from Catherine Richardville

The community will have an opportunity to meet a direct descendant of Chief Richardville and Chief LaFontaine at a program conducted by the Huntington Branch of the Huntington City-Township Public Library on Oct. 19 at 6 p.m.

Board updates school policies, looks to learning center dedication

In an abbreviated meeting of the Huntington County Community School Corporation Board of School Trustees on Monday, Sept. 12, 47 changes to HCCSC policies in its employee and student handbooks were unanimously approved on second and final reading.

Superintendent Randy Harris said most of the changes are minor, designed to keep the policies of the handbook current.

Changes occurred in a wide range of policy topics, from student immunizations to personnel background checks and mandatory reporting of convictions and arrests of support staff.