Government & School Board

Town of Andrews taking first steps to establish redevelopment group

The Town of Andrews is taking preliminary steps to establish a redevelopment commission.

“We have been exploring the possibility of developing some land in or around Andrews for commercial use,” Andrews Town Council President John Harshbarger said during the council’s meeting on Monday, Nov. 28.

The redevelopment commission will be charged with making that happen.

Meetings with Town Attorney Michael Hartburg have established the membership of the council, Harshbarger said, and volunteers will be sought to serve on that council.

County council commits funds for system

The Huntington County Council voted to commit Public Safety LOIT funds toward a new computer system for the Huntington County Sheriff’s Department during its meeting on Monday, Nov. 28.

The board joins the Huntington Common Council, as well as the Andrews, Markle, Roanoke and Warren town councils, in moving forward with hiring Spillman Technologies to handle the software needs of the county’s public safety entities.

Common council reaffirms decision to purchase public safety software

During a brief meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 29, the Huntington Common Council reaffirmed its decision to help purchase new public safety software, gave final approval to a zoning map change and OK’d end-of-year appropriations.

Huntington Police Chief Chad Hacker brought representatives of Spillman Technologies, the company that will supply the new software, to the city council meeting to answer questions about the software.

Huntington native hails quarter-century with ISP

Photo provided.
Michael Lantz

Master Trooper Michael W. Lantz has completed 25 years of service to the Indiana State Police.

Lantz, now a resident of rural Kendallville, is a Huntington native and graduated from Huntington North High School in 1985. He earned an associate degree in law enforcement from Vincennes University in 1988 and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne in 1990.

New programs will meet teens online with health services

The Huntington County Community School Corporation Board of School Trustees was introduced to a new program aimed at fighting teen suicide.

The board heard from HCCSC Director of Special Programs Trace Hinesley and Huntington North High School Principal Russ Degitz during its meeting Monday, Nov. 28.

Hinesley and Degitz explained the multi-partnered program that uses social media to reach out to adolescents and young adults ages 14 to 24.

Judge to judge

Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Jeff Heffelfinger (left), who retired in October as judge of the Huntington Superior Court, swears in his successor, Jennifer Newton (center) on Wednesday, Nov. 23. With Newton are (from left) her children, Ella Newton, Haley Newton, and Zachary Newton, and her husband, Chris Newton, chief deputy with the Huntington County Sheriff’s Department. Newton, the first woman to serve as a judge in Huntington County, has served as magistrate/referee for the Huntington Superior Court for 12 years and was previously an attorney in private practice in Huntington. Gov.

Jones serving at Gulfport with U.S. Navy’s Seabees

Photo provided.
Roger Jones

Petty Officer 3rd Class Roger Jones, of Roanoke, is serving with the United States Navy’s Construction Force, known as the Seabees.

Jones, a 2013 graduate of Huntington North High School, is serving at Naval Construction Battalion Center, in Gulfport, MS, where he is responsible for mechanical work on construction equipment.

Gulfport is the command headquarters that oversees all naval construction forces based in the eastern half of the United States.

City BZA will discuss exception for women’s shelter

The Huntington City Board of Zoning Appeals will meet on Dec. 5 to consider granting a special exception that would allow a women’s shelter to be located at 540 Guilford St., Huntington.

The application was filed by Sharon Metzger on behalf of Place of Grace.

The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. in City Council Chambers on the third floor of the City Building, 300 Cherry St., Huntington. It is open to the public.

Newton is new superior court judge

Photo provided.
Jennifer Newton

Jennifer Newton has been named judge of the Huntington Superior Court.

She succeeds Jeff Heffelfinger, who retired in October after serving as judge for 32 years. Senior Judge Karen Springer, of Allen County, has been serving as judge pro tem since Heffelfinger’s departure.

Newton’s selection to serve the remaining four years of Heffelfinger’s current term was announced on Nov. 21 by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.

Commissioners to hold special meet on Dec. 16

The Huntington County Commissioners will hold a special meeting on Friday, Dec. 16, at 9 a.m.

The meeting, which is open to the public, will be held in the Commissioners’ Room on the first floor of the Huntington County Courthouse, 201 N. Jefferson St., Huntington.

The commissioners have also scheduled three executive sessions, which are closed to the public.

Markle council learns that area log cabin to be rehabilitated

A log cabin that was days away from demolition will be rehabilitated as a historical treasure, after details about a grassroots effort to save it were presented before the Markle Town Council on Wednesday, Nov. 16.

The council learned that the house, believed to be one of the first structures built in Markle, was toured by a representative of Indiana Historic Landmarks.

License branches to close for Thanksgiving holiday

All Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicle license branches will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 24, and Friday, Nov. 25, in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday.

All license branches will resume their regularly scheduled business hours on Saturday, Nov. 26. For a complete list of branch locations and hours or to complete an online transaction, visit

Roanoke council waits before demolishing house

The Roanoke Town Council opened bids for the demolition of the house at 775 Seminary St. during its meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 15, but decided to hold off on awarding the job.

The reason council opted to wait is because the house’s occupant, Cassandra Emley, finally presented a structural engineering report to the Huntington Countywide Department of Commu-nity Development. DCD and council had ordered Emley to produce such a report at the board’s meeting on Oct. 18, but she failed to do so.

HCCSC to conduct facilities study of high school, education environment

Wide-ranging studies encompassing both the condition of school buildings and the organizational structure of the Huntington County Community School Corporation will begin yet this year, Superintendent Randy Harris told members of the corporation’s board of trustees on Monday, Nov. 14.

Harris said the facilities study will focus on Huntington North High School and will include both educational environment and the physical structure.

Rundown Andrews home could have new owner

The Andrews Town Council is hoping that a change in ownership will result in a change of appearance for a rundown house in town.

Salamonie Watershed group to meet on Thursday, Nov. 17

The Lower Salamonie River Watershed will hold a steering committee meeting today, Thursday, Nov. 17, from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at the Huntington County Soil and Water Conservation District office, 2040 Riverfork Drive, Huntington.

The meeting will include an update on the cost share program and comments on the final report. Committee members and other stakeholders present may ask questions and voice concerns.

The public is welcome and will be given time at the end of the meeting to ask questions and provide input.

Warren council gets good news and bad news about town’s utility rates

A financial consultant had good news and bad news for the Warren Town Council and Warren residents.

First, the good news: Greg Guerrettaz, of Financial Solutions Group, told council members on Monday, Nov. 14, that his review of wastewater rates and electric rates showed that there is no need to increase either of those rates.

Rundown house in Andrews may soon have new owner

The Andrews Town Council is hoping that a change in ownership will result in a change of appearance for a rundown house in town.

Banks resigns from 17th District seat after U.S. House election

Republican Jim Banks has resigned from his 17th District seat in the Indiana State Senate following his election to the United States House of Representatives.

Banks defeated Democrat Tommy Schrader and Libertarian Pepper Snyder on Tuesday, Nov. 8, to win the Third District seat. He takes office on Jan. 1.

Common council gives preliminary approval for women’s transitional home at ex-Guilford Street parsonage

Plans to locate a women’s transitional home in a former parsonage on Guilford Street received preliminary approval Tuesday, Nov. 8, by the Huntington Common Council.

The council approved on first reading a change in zoning for the property, from business to mixed use. The zoning change must be approved a second time before it becomes final.

Warren TC reschedules meeting

The Warren Town Council has changed the time for the regularly scheduled meeting today,  Monday, Nov. 14, to 4 p.m., to allow discussion with an engineering firm and local financial consultant in regard to the potential for a road/street maintenance program prior to main agenda items.

The regularly scheduled portion of the meeting is scheduled to start at 5 p.m.

The meeting is to be held at Assembly Hall, 131 N. Wayne St., Warren.

BMV to close 2 days for Thanksgiving holiday

Kent Abernathy, commissioner of the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV), announced that all BMV license branches will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 24, and Friday, Nov. 25, in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday.

All license branches will resume their regularly scheduled business hours on Saturday, Nov. 26.

For a complete list of branch locations and hours or to complete an online transaction, visit

GOP sweeps county council’s at-large seats

Don Patmore, chairman of the Huntington County Republican Party, reads election results during a GOP gathering at The Berg Ale Haus, in Huntington, on Tuesday evening, Nov. 8. Photo by Steve Clark.
Photo by Steve Clark.

Republicans swept the Huntington County Council’s three at-large seats up for grabs on Tuesday, Nov. 8.

Incumbent Shane Bickel was re-elected to another term while newcomers Terry Miller and Ron Kline claimed the remaining two seats.

Another incumbent, Holly Thompson, lost her fourth district seat on the Huntington County Community School Board to newcomer Tim Allen, while Kevin Yarger won the board’s sixth district spot.

2016 Huntington County general election results

Here are the unofficial Huntington County vote totals from the general election on Nov. 8, 2016, updated as they are received.
Vote totals from Allen and Wells counties in the State Representative District 50 race will be added as they become available.

Updated 7:35 p.m. - please check back
6 of 6 Vote Centers Reporting

State Representative District 50
Jorge Fernandez (D) 3323
Dan Leonard (R) (incumbent) 12,177

Huntington County Council at-large (vote for 3)

Locals take voting procedures seriously, county clerk notes

Michelle Duncan (left) signs in before casting her vote on Thursday, Nov. 3, at the Parkview Huntington Family YMCA as poll worker Candy Moore assists. Early voting ends today, Monday, Nov. 7, at noon, with Election Day voting taking place on Tuesday, Nov. 8, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. at six locations around the county.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Everything comes to a halt on Tuesday.

When voting ends at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 8, voting machines stationed around Huntington County will be transported to the Huntington County Courthouse, where a bipartisan team will tabulate the votes that have been cast over the past four weeks.

The responsibility for making sure the votes are tabulated correctly falls at the feet of Huntington County Clerk Kittie Keiffer, who makes sure everyone follows the procedures that guarantee an accurate count.

“We are extremely rigid here,” Keiffer says.

SWCD to hold November meeting

The Huntington County Soil and Water Conservation District will hold its monthly meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 15, at 7:30 p.m.

The meeting will be held at the District Office, 2040 Riverfork Drive, Huntington.

The meeting is open to the public.

It’s down to last 2 days to cast vote

Huntington County residents have two more days to cast their ballots.

Voting takes place today, Monday, Nov. 7, from 9 a.m. to noon on the second floor of the Huntington County Courthouse.

On Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 8, voting will take place from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the courthouse; the American Legion post at 1410 S. Jefferson St., Huntington; Parkview Huntington Family YMCA, at 1160W-500N, Huntington; Huntington Nazarene Church, 1555 Flaxmill Rd., Huntington; Cottage Event Center, 9524 U.S.-24 North, Roanoke; and Warren Church of Christ, 302 N. Wayne St., Warren.

All BMV branches close for Veterans Day

All Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicle branches will be closed on Friday, Nov. 11, in observance of the Veterans Day holiday.

License branches will resume their regularly-scheduled business hours on Saturday, Nov. 12. For a complete list of branch locations and hours or to complete an online transaction, visit

Four candidates for county offices unopposed this time around

Unopposed candidates for four offices within Huntington County this year are (from left) Paula Farley, Philip Zahm, Larry Buzzard and Tom Wall.
Photos provided.

Four candidates for Huntington County offices are unopposed in this fall’s general election.

Paula Bonner Farley is set to succeed her boss, Brenda Hamilton, as Huntington County treasurer.

Philip S. Zahm will retain his position as county coroner.

And Larry D. Buzzard and Tom Wall will receive new terms as county commissioners.

All four are Republicans.

Farley is currently a deputy in the county treasurer’s office. Hamilton is limited to two consecutive terms and is completing the final year of her second term.

Pair of school board candidates unopposed

Matt Melcher (left) and Reed Christiansen.
Photos provided.

Two candidates for the Huntington County Community School Corporation Board of School Trustees face no opposition in this fall’s election, with one new face to be seated on the board and an incumbent to retain his seat.

In District 1 (Union and Jackson townships), Matt Melcher, 42, 8163 N. Mayne Rd., Roanoke, will be elected to the seat vacated by outgoing school board president Scott Hoffman.