Government & School Board

Pair of three-candidate races for open school board seats

The six candidates running for two open school board seats are (from left) Holly Thompson, Tim Allen, Rebekah Benjamin, Marvin McNew and Kevin Yarger. Not pictured is Cory Reber.
TAB file photos; photos provided.

There are two contested districts in the election for open seats on the Huntington County Community School Board of School Trustees, taking place in districts 4 and 6.

School board positions are non-partisan, meaning candidates do not declare a political party affiliation. Voters can only vote for those school board candidates running in the district in which they reside. Those who vote a straight party ticket must choose school board candidates separately.

New streets and sidewalks on the horizon in Andrews in next few years

New streets and sidewalks are on the horizon for Andrews, but their materialization is still a couple of years away.

Andrews Town Council President John Harshbarger told fellow council members during their meeting on Monday, Oct. 24, that he had met with Indiana Department of Transportation representatives earlier in the day to discuss state plans to repave Ind.-105 through town.

The $350,000 paving project will start just north of the Loon Creek bridge and extend to U.S.-24, Harshbarger said. Construction is planned for 2019, he said.

County council approves major funding for maintenance at jail

The Huntington County Council approved a $1.4 million project at its meeting on Monday, Oct. 24, that will address longtime maintenance issues at the county jail while reducing its energy usage.

City council kicks in $350,000 for UB Block

The City of Huntington will put an initial $350,000 toward the rehabilitation of a downtown building that was once thought to be headed for demolition.

Members of the Huntington Common Council, meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 25, approved the appropriation of what Mayor Brooks Fetters called “excess” money in the city’s general fund toward the project.

The funds will be used toward an $8 million project to renovate a trio of buildings commonly called the U.B. Block, located on East Franklin Street west of Warren Street.

Huntington County Road Manual gets first revision since 1985

For the first time since 1985, the Huntington County Road Manual has been revised. And the Huntington County Commissioners would like to know what the public thinks about those revisions.

The manual contains specifications for new roads, the qualifications a private road must meet to become a public one and policies for mailboxes, parking in the road and more. The scope of the revisions encompasses the entire manual.

County towns’ leaders to exchange info, ideas

A meeting of the town councils of the towns of Warren, Andrews, Roa-noke, Markle and Mt. Etna; the Common Council and Board of Public Works and Safety of the City of Huntington; and the Huntington County Commissioners will be held Thursday, Oct. 27, at 7 p.m. at Markle Town Hall, 197 E. Morse St., Markle.

An exchange of information and discussion on any and all matters may be brought before the group. It is expected that no action will be taken or any binding decisions will be made at the meeting.

Executive session Monday

The Huntington County Commissioners will meet in executive session on Monday, Oct. 31, at 11:15 a.m. to discuss job performance evaluation of an individual employee.

The meeting will be held in Room 103A of the Huntington County Courthouse, 201 N. Jefferson St., Huntington. 

Five candidates trying for trio of at-large county council seats

Huntington County Council candidates are (from left) Shane Bickel, Ron Kline, Terry Miller, Robert Miller and Scott Thornsberry.
TAB file photos; photos provided.

The contest for three at-large seats on the Huntington County Council has five candidates — Republicans Shane Bickel, Ron Kline and Terry L. Miller, and Democrats Robert W. Miller and Scott A. Thornsberry.

Bickel, 61, a resident of Division Road, is the only incumbent of the group.

He is retired after serving for 35 years as an officer on the Huntington Police Department. He is a member of SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church.

Kline, 64, is a retired handyman. He is a resident of 2409 Riverside Drive, Huntington.

Common Council executive session includes discussion on UB Building

The Huntington Common Council will meet in executive session on Tuesday, Oct. 25, at 6:30 a.m. to discuss litigation that has been initiated, is pending or has been threatened in writing.

The meeting will take place in the Mayor’s Conference Room on the third floor of the City Building, 300 Cherry St., Huntington.

The council’s regular meeting will follow at 6:45 a.m. in the Council Chambers, also located on the third floor of the City Building.

Markle Town Council spares Draper Street home from demolition

During a public hearing Wednesday, Oct. 19, members of the Markle Town Council voted on the fates of three properties, including one that could be the oldest house in town.

Councilmen Mark Hamilton and Eric Bower were unanimous in releasing an order by the Huntington Countywide Department of Community Development on the property at 190 Draper St., owned by Thomas and Alicia Broyles. Councilman Jeff Humbarger was absent.

Home in Roanoke declared unsafe, will be razed

The Roanoke Town Council voted during its meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 18, to demolish the house at 775 Seminary St.

The house’s occupant, Cassandra Emley, who is buying the property on contract, had been given a deadline of Oct. 18 to comply with an order of enforcement from the Huntington Countywide Depart- ment of Community Development (DCD).

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.