Government & School Board

GOP circuit court judge race draws most attention for primary election

The field is set for this year’s primary election on May 8.

A number of local offices drew interest from multiple Republican candidates.

Of those offices, the one to attract the most candidates was circuit court judge, which features four Republican hopefuls. In that race, incumbent Jamie Groves will face challengers Jill M. Denman, Davin Glen Smith and Justin R. Wall.

Groves was appointed to the office by Gov. Eric Holcomb this past December to fill the remainder of Judge Thomas M. Hakes’ term.

Huntington County Farm Bureau members meet with Sen. Zay

Members of the Huntington County Farm Bureau meet with Sen. Andy Zay (left) at the Indiana Statehouse on Feb. 7 to discuss legislative issues impacting Indiana’s farmers.
Photo provided.

Huntington County Farm Bureau members met with Sen. Andy Zay (R-Huntington) on Feb. 7 to discuss legislative issues of current importance to Indiana’s farmers. Farm Bureau members explained how various pieces of legislation could affect their production agriculture and agri-business operations.

INFB’s 2018 legislative priorities, as determined by its members across the state, are:

• Protect livestock farmers and their operations.

• Maintain local control and flexibility.

• Enhance Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) oversight.

Zay bill to help with teacher hiring passes Senate

A bill authored by State Sen. Andy Zay (R-Huntington) that will provide more teacher-hiring options to school districts recently passed the Senate by a vote of 35 to 12.

Senate Bill 387 aims to address the teacher shortage in the state and to provide a pathway for teachers who struggle with licensure exams to enter the classroom if they can meet certain standards. SB 387 also allows school districts to offer supplemental pay to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and special education teachers beyond the regular salary schedule.

School board gets first look at 2019-20 school year calendar

The Huntington County Community School Corporation Board of School Trustees got its first look at the proposed 2019-2020 school calendar at its regular meeting Monday, Feb. 12.

Huntington North High School Principal Russ Degitz, representing the calendar committee, presented the calendar to board members for its first reading, calling it a “modified balanced calendar” with a few tweaks.

Andrews Town Council discusses re-applying for OCRA grant in May

The Andrews Town Council discussed reapplying for a grant that would fund the construction of stormwater infrastructure in town during its meeting on Monday, Feb. 12.

The grant in question, a community development block grant through the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA), is one the board had hoped to apply for on Feb. 9, but will now apply for on May 25.

State leaders join Holdman for Foster Parent Appreciation Day

Senate leaders joined by Gov. Eric Holcomb and Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch on Monday, Feb. 12, hosted Foster Parent Appreciation Day, reported State Sen. Travis Holdman (R-Markle).

Foster families were recognized at the statehouse for their service to the children of Indiana. One foster family from each senate district was invited to the statehouse as a representative of their community for lunch and a tour of the statehouse.

Huntington trash pick-up to be delayed by holiday

Monday, Feb. 19, the Huntington Street Department will be closed for Presidents Day.

If Monday, Feb. 19, is a regular trash pickup day, that trash will now be picked up starting at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 20. All other trash pickup days will remain the same.

Orange sticker items, brush and limbs and brown bags will be picked up on Tuesday, Feb. 20.

Mayor outlines spending plan for city surplus at council meeting

With $2 million in the city’s general surplus fund, Mayor Brooks Fetters outlined how he hopes to see those funds invested in the city during a State of the City address before the Huntington Common Council on Tuesday, Feb. 13.

Fetters, along with his senior leadership team, prepared the spending plan, which he said would help the city fulfill its focus for 2018: “Helping People Love Calling Huntington Home – Instilling Hometown Pride.”

Leonard joins lawmakers in donating supplies for Hoosier foster families

State Rep. Dan Leonard (R-Huntington) donates a new diaper bag filled with baby supplies for an Indiana foster family during the “Bags of Hope” event on Wednesday, Jan. 24, at the Statehouse in Indianapolis.
Photo provided.

State Rep. Dan Leonard (R-Huntington) recently joined fellow House lawmakers to fill diaper bags with donated baby supplies for foster families across Indiana.

The Indiana House of Representatives partnered with the Indiana Association of Resources and Child Advocacy and its Institute for Excellence, a nonprofit organization serving more than 4,600 Hoosier children every day, to host the “Bags of Hope” event.

Zay’s DCS bill receives Senate nod; now under consideration in House

A bill authored by State Sen. Andy Zay (R-Huntington) that would encourage the Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) to share information on a child’s case plan with the child’s school corporation recently passed the Senate unanimously.

Senate Bill 428 would also require the DCS to provide information to the courts to be included in a child’s case file when a parent violates certain orders, such as failing a required drug test.

Indiana State Sen. Zay files for chance to keep District 17 seat

Andy Zay
Photo provided.

Republican Andy Zay has filed to run for election in Indiana State Senate District 17.

Serving since 2016, Zay represents Wabash County and portions of Grant, Huntington and Whitley counties. He was chosen to complete the term of former State Sen. Jim Banks, who was elected to Indiana’s Third Congressional District in 2016.

Huntington County has several in attendance at AIC Legislative Conference

Huntington County commissioners Tom Wall and Larry Buzzard, County Councilman Terry Miller and County Clerk Kittie Keiffer, along with about 300 county officials from around the state attended the Association of Indiana Counties’ (AIC) 2018 County Legislative Conference.

The two-day event was held at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Indianapolis Jan 30 and 31.

SWCD to review watershed coordinator resumes

The Huntington County Soil and Water Conservation District will meet to review resumes for its 319 grant watershed coordinator position today, Thursday, Feb. 8, at 4 p.m. at the District Office located at 2040 Riverfork Drive, Huntington.  

Breakfast stump


Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

U.S. Senate candidate Mark Hurt explains why he is running for office during Breakfast with the Candidates, held Saturday, Feb. 3, at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2689. Hurt and other Republican candidates spoke to about 70 people in attendance.

List latest political candidate filings for primary

Below is a list of the latest candidates who have filed to run for local, state and federal offices in the May 8 primary election.
To run for a local office, the deadline to file the necessary paperwork with the Huntington County Clerk’s Office is tomorrow, Friday, Feb. 9, at noon.

REPUBLICAN
Circuit Court Judge
Justin R. Wall.

County Auditor
Cheryl DeWeese Baldridge.
Jill M. Landrum.

County Council,
3rd District
Raymond Keith Eller. *

Dallas Twp. Adv. Bd. to meet Feb. 19

The Dallas Township Advisory Board will meet on Monday, Feb. 19, at 6 p.m. at the Dallas Township Fire Department, 796 N. Main St., Andrews.

The purpose of the meeting will be to review and sign the annual report.

Fetters says city moving in right direction

Huntington Mayor Brooks Fetters gesticulates a point during his State of the City speech, delivered Friday, Feb. 2, at the Café of Hope. Fetters said the city is “making great progress” as it heads into 2018.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Huntington’s good, bad and beautiful was summed up succinctly by Mayor Brooks Fetters during his annual State of the City address on Friday, Feb. 2.

“’Do What You Say You Will Do’ – that’s kind of our formula for success,” he said. “I think a lot of times it’s that practical.”

Fetters presented his report of the city’s successes and challenges to a packed venue at the Café of Hope, focusing on three main areas: ongoing pursuit of meaningful jobs, the daily task of running the city like a business and helping people love living in Huntington.

Banks’ staffer in town Feb. 8 at C-house Annex

Congressman Jim Banks (IN-03) has announced that a member of his staff will visit Huntington on Thursday, Feb. 8, to meet with local residents and assist Hoosiers experiencing problems with a federal agency.

The mobile office hours are from 9:30 a.m. to noon at the Courthouse Annex, 1350 S. Jefferson St., Huntington.

New circuit court judge


Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Jamie Groves (center) repeats the oath of office, administered by Superior Court Judge Jenny Newton (left) as he is sworn in as Huntington County’s new circuit court judge on Wednesday, Jan. 31. Holding the Bible is Groves’ wife, Jodie, as members of his family stand behind him to witness the event.

Local Democrats to hold monthly meeting Feb. 7 at library

The Huntington County Democratic Party will hold its monthly meeting on Feb. 7 at the Huntington Branch of the Huntington City-Township Public Library at 6:30 p.m.

The meeting’s guest speaker will be Gary Snyder, Democrat candidate for State Senate District 17. The district covers all of Wabash County and portions of Huntington, Whitley and Grant counties. Snyder will discuss his campaign and take questions from those in attendance.

The meeting is open to the public.

The Huntington branch is located at 255 W. Park Drive.

Zay bill to place more foster children passes

A bill authored by State Sen. Andy Zay (R-Huntington) to increase the number of foster children allowed in a foster home recently passed the Senate by a vote of 49-0.

Senate Bill 184 would change the maximum number of foster children from five to six.

Banks holds town hall meeting


Photo by Steve Clark.

U.S. Rep. Jim Banks, R-Third District, speaks during a town hall meeting at Pathfinder Services, in Huntington, on Wednesday, Jan. 24. The event was organized by the Huntington County Chamber of Commerce and saw Banks field questions from attendees regarding healthcare, tax cuts and more.

Banks files for reelection as U.S. rep for Third District in house

Jim Banks
Photo provided.

Republican Congressman Jim Banks officially filed his candidacy for re-election on Jan. 23 to represent Indiana’s Third Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Rep. Leonard honors Indiana Freemasons at statehouse


Photo provided.

State Rep. Dan Leonard (R-Huntington) honored Indiana Freemasons on Thursday, Jan. 25, at the Indiana Statehouse, with a resolution recognizing its 56th annual Founder’s Day and bicentennial celebration.

“The Indiana Freemasons have provided fellowship and fraternity for two centuries,” Leonard said. “As a part of Indiana’s rich history, I hope Freemasonry continues to thrive. It’s important to honor this organization, which continues to serve Hoosier communities and provide opportunities for individual growth.”

Pearson seeking to move up from assistant to Hgtn. County recorder

Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.
Vicki Pearson

Republican Vicki Pearson has announced her candidacy for Huntington County recorder.

Pearson, 56, of Huntington, currently serves as deputy recorder/clerical assistant in the recorder’s office. She has been in that role since April 2015 and her responsibilities include assisting customers, answering the phone, indexing documents and verifying that documents brought to the office meet state statutes.

More join fray for offices in upcoming primary

Below is a list of the latest candidates who have filed to run for local, state and federal offices in the May 8 primary election.

To run for a local office, the deadline to file the necessary paperwork with the Huntington County Clerk’s Office is Feb. 9 at noon.

REPUBLICAN
U.S. Representative, Third District
Jim Banks. *

State Senator, District 17
Andy Zay. *

State Senator, District 19
Travis Holdman. *
Eric Orr.

Property tax exemption form is due back to county assessor before April 2

The application for property tax exemption, Form 136, is due to the county assessor’s office on or before April 2.

An application can be filed by certain property that is owned, occupied and used predominantly for charitable, religious, educational or scientific purposes. To obtain an exemption, the property owner must file an application timely with the county assessor, along with the proper information that states the qualifications of the property to be tax exempt.

Assessment forms due on May 15

The assessment forms for business and farmers personal property are due to the Huntington County Assessor’s Office on May 15. This includes churches and exempt entities.

Huntington County SWCD to host 60th annual meeting and banquet

The Huntington County Soil and Water Conservation District will hold its 60th annual meeting and banquet on Tuesday, Feb. 27, at First Merchants Bank Heritage Hall, located at the Huntington County Fairgrounds beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Holdman’s ‘baby box’ bill passes Indiana state senate by vote of 47-0

State Sen. Travis Holdman, R-Markle, announced Senate Bill 123, which would expand the availability of newborn safety incubators, commonly referred to as “baby boxes,” passed the senate on Jan. 17 by a vote of 47-0.

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