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DECEMBER

County home continues to stir up emotions

Fingers were pointed at the Pulaski County Commissioners’ meeting, in regards to which commissioner supports the county home.

On Monday, commissioners talked about what the next step for the closing of the Pleasant View Rest Home is and who will spearhead it. There was also discussion as to why two of the commissioners didn’t support the home.

Commissioners were asked why they are not stopping the council from closing the home. The council decided to eliminate the funding for the home in October and then again at the council meeting on Dec. 8.

Although the council eliminated the funding, a plan was not established as to how the home would be closed.

“As a board it never came to us, as to whether to keep it open or closed,” said commissioner Tracey Shorter.

County attorney Kevin Tankersley said he has not been able to find any law that allows the commissioners to mandate the council to fund the county home.

“There isn’t any case law on this so we would be the first county to fight over this,” Tankersley said.

He used the example of the EMS department funding being eliminated.

“It’s not necessarily a mandated service, although it is nice to have,” Tankersley said.

He said there is not a lot of precedent or guidance regarding county homes.

Tankersley is to meet with an attorney regarding the closing of the county home. He said there are rules and regulations the county must follow to close the home and someone familiar with the process should oversee it.

“We need somebody that is separate from this and that it is their only job to make sure that we follow the letter of the law and are compassionate to the people who live out there,” Tankersley said.

As the discussion about the home continued, Terry Young read a statement thanking county home superintendent Deb Girton and the employees of the county home for their service.

He also thanked all the county residents who have donated time and money to the home and its residents and to those who signed a petition to keep the home open.

“How can the county council give itself a $900 increase, while defunding our county home? Much credit is due to council members Doug Roth, Alex Haschel and Ron Powers, who saw it wiser and kinder to try keep the home open rather than see the current residents simply as a number,” Young said. “The will of the people was ignored. The county government is not simply numbers or dollar and cents. It is about people’s lives and decisions we make as government sometimes that greatly affects those lives. Shame on us.”

Commissioner-elect Bud Krohn Jr. questioned why when the commissioners were given the opportunity to support the county home, only one spoke up.

“There was a commissioner who made a motion to get the commissioners to send a letter to the council to reconsider and no one had the backbone to support him,” Krohn said. “So what was your plan? Two of you didn’t have the nerve to stand up and say ‘yes, this needs to be reconsidered.’ Who is going to step up and take charge?”

Krohn was referring to the Oct. 20 commissioners’ meeting when Young made a motion for the commissioners to write a letter asking the council to rethink their decision to eliminate the funding of the county home from the 2015 budget. The motion died for a lack of second.

Shorter said she was not prepared to approve the motion because she was unsure what the council was doing.

“As far as seconding the motion or supporting another commissioner that takes facts and time to make sure that everything was in order and this was done very wrong,” Shorter said. “We were blindsided. My personal opinion, I didn’t feel like I was in a position to second a motion at that particular time because we didn’t know what the council was going to do. We couldn’t ask them to reconsider when they were revoting on an issue. We didn’t have all the facts until last Friday.”

It appears that no official notice has been given to the residents at the county home.

Young also thanked several individuals for their service to the county including Pulaski County Mike Gayer, recycling/transfer station manager Ed Clark, and commissioner Tracey Shorter. Gayer has served two terms as sheriff and is retiring. Shorter did not run for re-election as commissioner and Clark is retiring.

In other business:

• Pulaski County Highway Superintendent Mark Fox presented a monthly report to the commissioners. He said he is working with the company that completes the bridge inspections in hopes of reducing the number of bridges that are inspected on a 12-month schedule versus 24 months. Three of the bridges could be moved from the list if repairs are completed. Fox said completing the repairs could be done this year depending on the weather. Other bridges on the 12-month list must be replaced. “They’re structurally deficient. There is nothing that we can do to improve the quality of them. They are all on a replacement schedule. They are safe bridges but in need of more frequent inspections.

• Fox addressed a previous request to lower the speed limit on CR 25 S. The request was made by a concerned citizen during a previous commissioners’ meeting. “It is a highly populated road — curvy — I have no objections to lower the speed limit on it.” Commissioner Terry Young agreed with Fox and made a motion for the county to proceed with lowering the speed limit to 30 mph. The motion was approved.

• Fox also questioned if the highway department Mack dump truck titles should be changed to the commissioners. Commissioners made a motion at a previous meeting to have all the county vehicle titles changed to the commissioners’ ownership because several of the vehicles were purchased with county general funding. In the case of the highway department, funding coming directly from the gas tax was used to purchase the vehicles. Auditor Shelia Garling said changing the titles could cost $15 per piece. There may not be enough in the 2014 highway department budget for the number of titles that need to be changed. Brady made a suggestion that future purchases should have the equipment title in the name of “Pulaski County.” Commissioners agreed.

• Steve Cotner, who was representing the Pulaski County Soil and Water Conservation, made a request to hire Vera Gillum for a part-time position. The position is seasonal and Gillum will be an educator and treasurer.

• Maintenance manager Jeff Johnston updated the commissioners on several projects including the installation of a scanner, the installation of a generator at the health department that could cost more than anticipated and the stalled installation of equipment at the justice center. He requested that a contract be signed regarding the justice center heating, ventilating and air conditioner central control equipment. The request was approved.

• Building inspector assistant Dave Webber recommended that Doug McKinley be appointed to the advisory plan commission for a four-year term. The current appointment of Dave Bennett has been served.

• Webber updated the commissioners on demolition projects in the county including a building in Medaryville and the old bowling alley north of Medaryville. He suggested that a general contract be created so the county has more “teeth” when dealing with contractors. The county has no enforcement power when the owner of the building is paying for the demolition. County attorney Kevin Tankersley said he will look into it.

• Pulaski County EMS Assistant Director Brandon DeLorenzo presented a monthly report. He said the third ambulance is set to start Jan. 1, but the department is low on the number of paramedics it has which is a problem across the state. “With that said we will still have a third truck up but it might not be seven days a week.” He has contacted local hospitals to increase the transfer volume and increase revenue. There will now be two trucks in the county at all times.

• Commissioner Larry Brady questioned if the county could recoup the loss of earnings when the ambulance was unusable due to fire damage. Insurance may not be able to recoup the funds of loss of use and there could be further legal fees if the county pursues the loss of earnings. DeLorenzo said he could research the total amount of the revenue loss during the nine months the county did not have a third ambulance. Tankersley said he would research the issue to see if it is even worth pursuing.

• Recycling/transfer station manager Ed Clark gave his last report to the commissioners before his retirement. Clark thanked commissioners for working with him and “you have helped that recycling center be one of the best there is.” Brady thanked him for his service and his knowledge of recycling.

• Jeff Larrison, representing United Consulting in regards to bridge inspecting, presented commissioners with a copy of the inspection report. This report is a part of phase one. Matt Lee, United Consulting project manager, gave a brief inventory summary of the county bridges. There are 74 bridges in the county, two of which are closed. There are seven bridges that need to be replaced and six bridges that need to be rehabilitated.

• In regards to old business, Tankersley said commissioners must approve someone to the board that will determine the normal construction wage for the area, in regards to the Eastern Pulaski Community School Corporation building and upgrade project. Brady said Patty Sullivan suggested having an interest in the project. Sullivan was appointed to the board.

• A request for four individuals from the sheriff’s department to attend the sheriff’s school was approved. The request was made after the conference was attended. Young said he would like conference requests to be made before they happen. Garling said the sheriff’s department has been reminded of this.

• A request for chief deputy Fred Rogers to attend training was approved.

• Training and conference requests for emergency management agency director Larry Hoover were approved. Young said he would like to know which meetings are mandated and which are not.

• Official bonds for a majority of the county employees were approved and signed.

• Garling reminded the commissioners that they need to be thinking about the appointments for 2015.

• A special insurance policy to cover the storage tanks at the airport was approved and signed.

• A motion to sign and approve an addendum to the legal services contract with Tankersley was approved.

• A service agreement regarding inmate health care was approved and signed.

• Commissioners approved and signed the 2015 schedule of regular meetings.

• Claims were approved. Garling asked commissioners to approve a bill from the Indiana Commissioners’ Association for conference registration the commissioners were to attend. All three commissioners were registered but Shorter did not attend the conference. The county was still billed for all three commissioners to attend and that could not be changed. Young made a motion to deny the request to pay the bill. The motion passed with a vote from Young and Brady. Shorter abstained. Shorter questioned what to do since the bill is due. No definitive answer was given to her.

• Minutes from the Dec. 1 regular meeting and the executive sessions on Dec. 1 and Dec. 9 were approved.

(Pulaski County Journal — Dec. 17, 2014)

Town council approves leasing triangular property

A proposed lease of the newly acquired triangular property was approved by the Winamac Town Council and will now be presented to the Pulaski County YMCA board.

The town recently acquired a small patch of property at Riverside and 15th streets. At this time, the town doesn’t have any plans for the property, but the YMCA would like to use it for a permanent sign.

The proposed lease of $100 a year was approved during a regular meeting on Dec. 8.

The lease will now be presented to the YMCA board for their approval. At this time, the YMCA board hasn’t made any final decisions regarding the project.

In other business (condensed from the minutes of the meeting):

• Minutes from the Nov. 10 regular meeting and Nov. 19 special meeting were approved.

• Claims in the amount of $933,879.27 were approved.

• A quote of $900 for a sign at the Veteran’s Memorial Park or pocket park on Monticello St. was approved.

• A proposal to outsource the large customer billing was approved for $2,000. Berger said it will simplify the process, reduce the chance of errors and ensure better accuracy to the customers.

• Council members also approved to hire an outside company to calculate the electric tracking factor for the next quarter until a new town manager has been hired.

• After the council announced during the last meeting that they would open an account to collect the fireworks donations, Scott Roudebush announced that Cyndi Garnett of Braun Corporation said the company will match the contributions up to $2,500.

• A request from water and street superintendent Jeremy Beckner presented a quote for a spectrophotometer to the council. The council agreed to purchase the machine.

• Council members approved to change the monthly town council meetings to 6 p.m. instead of 7 p.m. The motion was opposed by Dan Vanaman. The end of the year meeting is scheduled for Dec. 30 at 7 a.m.

• Councilman Richard Denney made a motion for the first deputy clerk’s starting wage to match a newly hired employee wage of $13.91 effective immediately. The motion died for a lack of a second.

• Denney also made a motion to rescind the approval of giving the electric department a raise of $1. The motion was denied with three council members opposing it: Tom Murray, Vanaman and council president John Plowman.

• A motion to give employees, except the electric department, a 50-cent raise was approved.

(Pulaski County Journal — Dec. 17, 2014)

Local teachers recognized by state for performance

High-performing teachers are reaping the rewards of their hard work as the state is releasing the fi rst distribution of the teacher performance grants.

Locally, more than 100 teachers from the Eastern Pulaski Community and the West Central school corporations will be receiving a performance grant for being highly effective or effective.

The state has awarded more than 1,300 schools with $30 million to thousands of teachers.

To qualify for the performance grant, schools must have students who earned ISTEP+ or end of the course assessment passing scores of 72.5 percent or above or with a 5-percent or more growth in graduation rates from the previous year.

According to the state, a total of 83 Eastern Pulaski Community School Corporation educators were evaluated. Of those 83, five were considered highly effective, 77 were considered effective and one was graded as improvement is necessary. None of the teachers were considered ineffective.

Foster said more than 85 percent of the school corporation teachers will receive performance funding.

“Because all three buildings are receiving money and based on teacher evaluations, just about everybody will receive some money,” Foster said.

The performance evaluation was completed during the 2013-2014 school year. Some teachers who were graded last year may not be working for the corporation this year.

“Not all of our teachers will receive that because they were not working here last year,” Foster said.

The corporation will be receiving $50,702.62 to give to the teachers. Foster said he will be talking with the teachers’ association on how to distribute the money.

“It is a nice thing because right now a lot of schools are cash strapped and it’s pretty tough to give the increases and stipends. With this legislation session the budget will be done again. So hopefully, they can include this and a lot of our teachers will be able to benefit again,” Foster said.

Some legal questions will need to be answered before teachers will be paid, according to Foster.

West Central superintendent Don Street said the corporation is receiving $35,907.99 for the first distribution. The elementary school teachers are receiving a total of $9,215.13, middle school teachers are receiving a total of $17,123.47, and the high school teachers are receiving a total of $9,569.39.

“We have a memo of understanding with the teachers’ association based upon the guidelines that the state provided us,” Street said. “In our memo of understanding they had to be employed during the 13-14 school year and employed at West Central 14-15.”

According to the state, 72 teachers were reported. Of those teachers five were graded highly effective, 57 were graded effective and four were graded as improvement is necessary. None of the teachers were considered ineffective.

Street said 18 teachers at the elementary school, 11 teachers at the middle school and 19 teachers at the high school were graded as being effective or highly effective. The difference in the numbers of teachers receiving a grant and the official state numbers is several teachers retired or found jobs at different corporations.

“We focused on a lot of data and acuity, which is aligned with the ISTEP. So by focusing on those items we showed significant growth in our ISTEP tests from one year to the next,” he said. “We hired a data coach to really dive into the data and provide some assistance to our teachers, as well as our students to truly understanding what their ISTEP scores mean and their acuity scores mean. It helps them understand what they need to do to be successful.”

Teachers at the West Central School Corporation should receive their funding before Christmas break.

(Pulaski County Journal — Dec. 10, 2014 • Story by Amber L. Tomlinson)

Council approves 90 days of funding for county home

Discussion regarding the county home ensued during a Pulaski County Council meeting on Monday, but the issue of the home may not be resolved like a majority of those in the audience were hoping for.

A motion was made to keep the Pleasant View Rest Home funded for an additional 90 days starting after the new year.

The funding will come from an additional appropriation. The cost of how much it will be to run the home for three months has not been determined yet.

Councilwoman Alex Haschel questioned if the previous decision to eliminate the county home funding from the 2015 budget could be rescinded. The 2015 budget was submitted to the state without funding for the home.

Council president Jay Sullivan said he did not believe the vote could be rescinded but that an additional appropriation would need to be approved to refund the home budget for 2015.

“Just remember that your cash balance, this is coming off the top of it. So however much you appropriated, you can’t use it,” said county auditor Shelia Garling.

Sullivan clarified the situation.

“The attorney is going to proceed with the legal way to close it down. We do need to fund it for three more months,” Sullivan said.

Councilman Doug Roth said it does not sound like the

home can be easily closed in three months.

“You have people’s lives involved in this situation,” Haschel said. “The excuse was always before that it was the people who are running it. You have someone who is doing an excellent job and you have a board that is finally active but we are giving money out to other situations that are ridiculous.”

She said she cannot justify closing the home when she feels that people are making an effort for change.

Sullivan said his big concern is the maintenance and the modifications that will need to be done to the building that has been estimated to be more than $350,000.

Roth questioned if there was talk of closing the county home five years ago, “Why wasn’t there a plan established for the end of the game?” He said there is an impression that no one knows what to do. “I think that it is only fair that we commit to 2015, put a group together and come up with a plan — whether it be to keep it open or we close it. I think it makes more sense to know what we are getting into.”

If the home is closed, the county will still have to maintain it and heat it.

The motion to fund the home for an additional 90 days was approved with opposition from Roth, Hashel and councilman Ron Powers.

Roth made a motion to fund the 2015 year for the county home. He also said a committee should be formed and “do this the right way. A lot of people could argue that we have not done it the right way from the start. There is a big difference between the legal way and the right way. I have no doubt that we will do it the legal way, but I can tell you right now that we have not done it the right way from the start.”

It will take an additional appropriation of $204,846 to keep the county home open for a year.

The motion was approved by Haschel, Roth and Powers, but opposed by councilmen Tom Roth, Mick Tiede and Roger Querry, who was listening to the meeting by telephone. Sullivan broke the tie by opposing the motion. The motion failed.

• A request by county building inspector Dave Dare to transfer $600 to cover travel expenses was approved. The transfer will come from the demolition fund. • Pulaski County Development Commission Executive Director Nathan Origer requested a transfer of $500 to cover the expense of health insurance. The request was approved.

• Origer updated the council on the progress of the Career and Technical Education Innovative Curriculum grant that CDC is applying for. He said if the county is approved for grant funding the program would be offered to both county school corporations.

• Origer said the county has also become a semifinalist in the community affairs hometown collaboration initiative. The collaboration would focus on improving the quality of life in the community.

• Health department director Terri Hansen requested a transfer of $150 to advertise for a flu shot clinic and $1,600 to cover the costs of PERF. The requests were approved.

• Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Michael Shurn made a request to transfer $42.50 to pay for pauper counsel fees and a transfer of $1,883.31 to purchase a new shredder. The two transfer requests were approved.

• Pulaski County Sheriff Mike Gayer requested a handful of transfers. Gayer requested to transfer $6,582.62 for new uniforms. The sheriff’s department is at full staff with several new officers, hence the reason for new uniforms. Gayer also requested to transfer of $10,303.41 to fund service and maintenance contracts. About $10,000 of it is to be used for rehabilitative education programs and therapy for the inmates. He made requests to transfer $165.58 to the miscellaneous services and charges and of $1,000 into the jail tracker maintenance contract. A request to transfer $25 out of official bonds into the tire and tubes account was made, along with a request to transfer $175 to cover employee overtime. “That should get us to the end of the year,” Gayer said. All of the transfer requests made by Gayer were approved.

• Gayer also made a transfer request of $1,170 on behalf of animal control. The transfer would be used for animal housing. The request was approved.

• Council president Jay Sullivan thanked Gayer for his service to the county. “It has been an honor and a privilege to serve,” Gayer said.

• Along with thanking Gayer for his service, Gayer said he would like for deputy Paul Grandstaff, who is retiring after 26 years of law enforcement, to have one of the weapons Grandstaff is fond of. “He would like to retain that as a memento of his 26 years of law enforcement,” Gayer said. Council members and the county commissioners would need to approve an ordinance that gives the sheriff the authority to give county assets to a person as long as it does not exceed $500 in value.”That’s a typical gift to honor an officer after 26 years of service.”

• Gayer thanked councilman Ron Powers for his service to the county. The council also presented Powers with an award for his years of service as a councilman.

• A transfer request by the prosecuting attorney’s office to cover the cost of investigator’s overtime of $1,785.43 was approved.

• Three commissioner transfers of $5,805.50 to pay for attorney fees, $1,000 to pay for technology service fees and $51.66 to pay Verizon were approved.

• A transfer request of $2,500 to cover EMS employee training was approved.

• A transfer of $6.19 for the emergency management agency overtime was approved.

• A transfer of $19.30 to cover the costs of the aviation phone bill was approved.

• An additional appropriation of $185,148 for the justice center heating, air conditioner and water softener upgrades was approved.

• Minutes for the regular session on Nov. 10 and the Nov. 6 joint session were approved with a correction to the minutes. Garling said Haschel was at the Nov. 6 meeting.

• The council approved for meetings to continue on the second Monday of each month in 2015. A schedule was approved by the council.

• Garling requested permission to pay for an additional claims in December with the permission of Sullivan. No one voiced opposition.

(Pulaski County Journal — Dec. 10, 2014 • Story by Amber L. Tomlinson)

Commissioners approve CDC requests regarding grants

Among several topics brought to the attention of the Pulaski County Commissioners by Pulaski County Community Development Commission Executive Director Nathan Origer, three topics regarded the county receiving potential grant funding.

During a regular meeting on Monday, Origer covered several topics including three grants that could benefit the county including an EMS planning grant, a workforce development career and technical grant application, and a brownfield grant.

When Origer first brought the idea of applying for the workforce development grant to the attention of the commissioners, he thought he could complete it.

After further review, he believes it would be better

to hire an outside source who is familiar with the grant application because the tentative deadline for the grant is in three weeks. Hiring a grant writer would cost about $5,000.

“I’m doing a lot of the legwork, getting the data from the schools, getting the equipment pricing,” Origer said.

His request was approved.

Origer also said he would be approaching the commissioners next year and asking for approval to spend some money toward the local match of the grant if awarded the grant.

In regards to the brownfield project grant, Origer said the county has applied for this before. The county can get involved with the project by offering space for a meeting or there could be a need for county equipment.

“There is no cash commitment, possibly some in-kind commitment mostly in the form of time,” Origer said.

Origer’s request to file for the grant was approved.

As for the EMS planning grant, Origer said an income survey will soon be completed.

Along with the potential grant funding, Origer highlighted the Hometown Collaboration Initiative and the establishing of a redevelopment commission.

Origer said an application for the Hometown Collaboration Initiative has been submitted and his office should hear back whether or not the application has been chosen as a finalist in about a week or so. If it is accepted as a finalist, he doesn’t expect a final decision to be made until January 2015.

He said if the application is accepted, “we will be doing some sort of plan with a small project that contributes to making Pulaski County more attractive to current residents and people who might be looking to come here.”

As for the establishing of the redevelopment commission, Origer said he has received several good suggestions. He said the commission will not be established until next year or unless a project “hinges on TIF (tax increment financing) funding. For right now we can pace ourselves on that.”

Origer also gave a quick overview of the county unemployment for October, which is slightly up. He said in September the rate was 4.0 while the October rate was 4.1.

“There was a slight drop in the number of people employed from September to October but still more than 200 more working in October of 2014 than October of 2013,” he said.

• A recommendation by recorder Christi Hoffa to hire Jalia Larson for a part-time position was approved.

• EMA director Larry Hoover requested the approval of an Emergency Management Performance Grant agreement. The sub-grant agreement

was for about $8,500. The grant funding is received by the county annually. The agreement was approved.

• Travel requests submitted by Hoover were also approved.

• A conference request by assessor Holly Van Der Aa was approved.

• A contract for the justice center water conditioner replacement was approved in the amount of $22,440.

• The annual Purdue Extension Office contractual service agreement in the amount of $55,881.25 was approved.

• Auditor Shelia Garling asked that her request to close the courthouse on Dec. 24 be withdrawn. She made the request on behalf of the courthouse employees because

of families celebrating Christmas on Christmas Eve. The earlier request was approved by the commissioners. Commissioner Tracey Shorter said the approval of the request still stands with the understanding that it would be up to each office if they would like to close. County attorney Kevin Tankersley further clarified the statement saying that employees will not be paid for the time off. They can either use their paid time off or not be paid for those hours.

• Payroll and claims were presented and approved.

• Minutes from the Nov. 17 regular meeting, Nov. 6 special joint session, Nov. 10 executive session and Nov. 21 executive session were approved.

(Pulaski County Journal — Dec. 3, 2014 • Story by Amber L. Tomlinson)

West Central Elementary School water woes fixed

West Central Elementary students and staff have been enjoying the convenience of well water again after about three months of water woes.

On Nov. 25, superintendent Don Street said the system has been fixed and the water is bacteria free.

“All of the water samples came back good and we have been back in business for quite awhile,” Street said.

The corporation has been battling total coliform since Sept. 8, when a sample of the water tested positive for the bacteria. Since then the elementary school has been under a boil order and several tests have been taken.

In attempts to kill the bacteria, bleach was poured into the well numerous times. A camera was then sent down the well in hopes of finding a problem.

Street said a leak has been determined as the cause of the bacteria entering the well.

“They replaced a pitless adapter and we replaced the pump and motor,” Street said. “The pitless adapter was what had the crack in it.”

The equipment is estimated to be as old as the original system or about the 1980s. Street said it appears the leak was caused by a crack in the vertical portion of the pitless adapter.

Unfortunately, the corporation had to follow a number of steps before a camera was sent into the well. Because of the extended time it took to bleach and test the water repeatedly, students and staff drank bottle water, used hand sanitizer and boiled the water.

After the new equipment was installed, the well was bleached again. Street said the corporation then bleached the system once more.

“There were five tests that were done one day and two days later there were five more tests. All of those came back good,” Street said.

The cost of the new pitless adapter, pump and motor, plus the labor has not been calculated yet. Street said the equipment is estimated to cost about $12,000. That cost does not include the labor or the bleaching of the system.

(Pulaski County Journal — Dec. 3, 2014 • Story by Amber L. Tomlinson)

RETURN TO TOP

NOVEMBER

Town of Winamac to establish a fireworks fund

In hopes of finding some help to raise about $4,400, Scott Roudebush recently approached the Winamac Town Council.

At a meeting on Nov. 10, Roudebush approached the council about helping raise $4,400 such as with a match. Kiwanis will no longer be helping with the fireworks funding. The $4,400 is a rough estimate of how much it costs for the fireworks, according to the company hired to ignite the explosives and liability insurance.

“Other than starting over from scratch, I would love to have someone in my back pocket to help me with this,” Roudebush said. “I don’t have a problem continuing to run it but it is a lot for me to raise $4,400. I can do it but I would sure like to have some support.”

As part of the event, the Winamac Volunteer Fire Department volunteers time along with REACT. He said last year he heard a lot of compliments regarding the fireworks.

Council president John Plowman suggested the town could establish a fund.

Roudebush wanted to know if the town could match the donations.

“Here’s the problem for this year, our budget is already set so we can’t deviate on anything for 2015,” Plowman said. “Should the next board choose to go and put anymore money into that fund at that point in time it would be in 2016.”

Councilman Richard Denney said he has enjoyed the fireworks from his yard for the last 14 years. He suggests that the town should help with the event in 2016.

A motion was approved to establish the fund. Several council members said they would donate to the fund.

(Pulaski County Journal — Nov. 26, 2014 • Story by Amber L. Tomlinson)

Old business resolved during Francesville meeting

Several old business issues were addressed and resolved during the regular Francesville Council meeting on Nov. 17.

Councilmen Kyle Trent and Andy Durham granted permission for a Pulaski County EMS ambulance to be parked at the fire station, decided when the last day of leaf pickup would be, discussed how a staircase was not needed at the ditch where sewage is discharged and approved a quote for concrete.

The issue of whether an additional ambulance could be parked at the Francesville fire station has been discussed during the last several meetings. There was a concern of liability and council members were waiting to hear whose insurance would be liable for any damages. Fire chief Lance Gutwein said unless the town did something to damage the vehicle, any issues would be covered by the county insurance. Permission was given for EMS to park a truck at the station. Trent suggested that if the vehicle needs to be moved then EMS should move it, not one of the firefighters. Gutwein said that shouldn’t be a problem.

Finishing the leaf pickup before a significant snow happens has been a topic during the last few council meetings. It was decided that leaves should be put by the road by Nov. 30 for pickup. Town officials request that leaf piles are left by the side of the roadway in a resident’s yard — not in the roadway and not several feet from the roadway.

There were several questions regarding whether a staircase is needed into a ditch where wastewater discharge samples are taken. There was a concern of how safe the stairs would be in the winter with snow and ice. Different options were discussed and it appears a staircase may not be needed.

“I don’t know if it’s something that we can do or not but since we are doing some work out there is there any way that we can orchestrate, being able to pull that sample without having to go down to the ditch?” Durham said.

Trent questioned if the sample is required to come directly out of the discharge pipe or if it could be taken from another part of the system.

Wastewater superintendent Greg Stone said a sample can come from a manhole but last winter there was three feet of snow on top of it.

“Once we get everything in place you could probably open a manhole and catch it right there,” Stone said.

It was suggested that a hand pump could be used to get a sample.

Council members talked about quotes regarding concrete for the disinfection system contact tank that will be housed in the new building the town is having built at the sewage lagoons. The building will house equipment that will treat the sewage. It will also be used as a storage unit. A quote regarding the concrete needed to be changed to meet new specifications. The project includes two concrete walls. The quote for more than $9,434 was approved with the understanding that the quote will be more expensive because of specification changes not to exceed an additional $3,000.

In other business:

• Minutes from the Nov. 3 regular meeting were approved.

• A contact for annual maintenance on the wastewater lift station was approved. Work on the lift station will happen in the spring of 2015.

• Claims were approved as presented.

(Pulaski County Journal — Nov. 26, 2014 • Story by Amber L. Tomlinson)

Pulaski County Chamber’s Winter Wonderland plans are underway

Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce Director Angie Anspach said planning for Winter Wonderland is in full swing and final details are coming together.

The festival kickoff is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 5, with the lighting of a Christmas tree on the courthouse lawn and three home tours. Events will continue on Saturday, Dec. 6, including entertainment, vendors and food.

One of the concerns this year for the event was whether a Christmas tree would be available to light. During a previous meeting with the Pulaski County Commissioners Judy Heater, co-vice president of the chamber, requested permission to plant an evergreen on the courthouse lawn. Commissioners gave their approval and during the regular chamber meeting on Monday, Anspach said a tree has been ordered and will be planted this week.

She did ask for help from the board members in decorating the tree and walking around downtown directing people where to go for entertainment, vendors and food, during the event.

Along with discussion of the tree, Anspach said she has spoken with Santa who will be available to meet the public.

“The vendor booths will be in the human services building. That is where a majority of them will be this year. There will be a few in Refined if we have to and most of the food vendors will be in the fire station,” Anspach said.

Entertainment will be in the opera house and the parade already has a handful of entries registered.

As for the home tours on Dec. 5, there will be three locations. One of those locations will be the Pleasant View Rest Home.

In other business:

• The minutes from the Oct. 20 regular meeting were approved.

• The financial statement was approved as presented.

• Chamber director Angie Anspach said the chamber will be receiving $281.78 from the 2013 endowment payment at the Pulaski County Community Foundation. Anspach said every year she has to request the money and let the foundation know what the money will be used for.

(Pulaski County Journal — Nov. 19, 2014)

Local family celebrates National Adoption Month by expanding family

The adoption of three children into the Jones family may have seemed like a long time coming, but the wait was worth it as the adoption case was closed on Friday.

Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Michael Shurn congratulated Eric and Tiffany Jones, of DeMotte, on the adoption of Nuno, 9, Selena, 8, and Maria, 4. Brothers Malcolm, 8, Kane, 13, and Raymond, 10, also witnessed the happy event, as well as aunt Deanna Jones and grandma Madonna Robbins.

The Jones have shared their home with Nuno, Selena and Maria for almost three years. The adoption comes at a time when the nation is recognizing the significance of families.

“Two years, seven months and 20 days,” said Eric. “Nuno and Selena are our niece and nephew and Maria is their sister. We heard they needed a home and it wasn’t a question.”

Tiffany said Nuno was anticipating the adoption as he was overheard recently telling a friend that he and Malcolm “were really going to be brothers.”

Nuno was also excited about next year when there would be an adoption day party such as someone would celebrate a birthday.

The proclamation of November as National Adoption Month was designed to increase an awareness of the value of adoption.

Agencies including the Department of Child Services, the Heart Gallery, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and local adoption agencies are hosting events to build an awareness and draw attention to tens of thousands of children in foster care who wait for permanent families.

“I’m so pleased to see these three children find permanency after almost three years in the system. I admire the adoptive parents for opening their home, not only to the children, but to the CASA program, the Department of Child Services, and many other service providers along the way,” said Pulaski County CASA Program Director Sara Kroft. “I also commend the children’s birth mother for making one of the hardest, selfless, and loving acts that any mother would struggle with. Adoption has touched my life in a profound way and I am so happy that I could celebrate National Adoption Month in Pulaski County with the Jones family.”

Indiana trial courts preside over about 3,400 adoptions each year.

(Pulaski County Journal — Nov. 19, 2014)

Eastern Pulaski makes the grade

Eastern Pulaski Community School Corporation students and staff have something to be proud of as they recently made the grade, according to the state.

During a regular school board meeting on Monday, superintendent Dan Foster said the school accountability grades have been announced and each of the Eastern Pulaski schools earned an A.

“It’s a credit to all the students and staff. It’s a credit to the principals,” Foster said. “We know there is work to be done. We were talking about it a little before the board meeting. There are new standards and new tests. It’s going to be a little more of a challenge.”

To prepare for the changes, an outreach coordinator from the department of education spent time in both buildings giving teachers ideas of where they could find more resources.

“It’s a thrill and honor that our schools, all three, received an A,” Foster said.

Board members Larry Beach, Mike Tetzloff and Joe Cunningham congratulated the students and staff for their hard work.

“There is probably nothing more important to us than our performance academically,” Cunningham said. “For us as a board this is a highlight.”

In other business:

• Minutes from the regular meeting on Oct. 13 and from the special session on Oct. 27 were approved with two amendments. Board president Joe Cunningham said he did not lead the meeting on Oct. 27 because he was absent. Board member Larry Beach said he opposed the purchasing of iPad covers.

• The claims through Nov. 10, the October payroll claims and the financial report for the period ending on Oct. 31 were approved. Several questions were asked regarding the iPads. The corporation recently purchased 20 iPads so when a device is broken then a new one can be issued to the student. Foster said repairs can take several weeks depending on the severity of the damage. Board member Mike Tetzloff questioned if a device is destroyed and replaced would the insurance company reimburse the corporation. Foster said insuring of the iPads is self-insured. “It’s not through an insurance company. If it’s basically a neglect-type issue then the parents will be reimbursing for that iPad,” he said.

• Although the presentation and possible consideration of the final building project design was presented, no decisions were made regarding the issue. Foster said, “Through decisions I think that it is pretty obvious that we are not quite there yet. We would rather try to take our time and make sure we get what we want and what we expect, than try to rush into things.” Issues the board are still considering include the weight room and whether to relocated it or upgraded it and improvements to the socialtorium. According to the design is appears that almost 100 more seats can be added to the seating area in the socialtorium. Rusty Nichols, an engineer from Gibraltar Design, said the project is now at the point of deciding on the smaller details such as the color of the carpeting. “We are taking the time to do this to get those things right. That’s not to say things on my end from the mechanical and electrical side — we are able to proceed with those, so it is not holding up the end result. We are still in the schedule parameters of where we want to be.”

• Architect agreements 14-137, 14-138 and 14-139 for lease rental and general obligation bonds project with Gibraltar Design were approved. Foster said the agreements are considered standard and were reviewed by the school corporation attorney Tim Murray. The agreements are for the elementary school, the middle and high school and for the bond regarding the technology and infrastructure.

• A recommendation to hire Cash Waggner and Associates for land survey services was approved. Foster said he was asked why the corporation would want to use land survey services since nothing is being built. He said the answer is three parts. The first is that the electrical service including transformers to the high school will be replaced as part of the project. The second reason is there has been consideration to do something at the complex at the south end. The third reason is to study traffic flow. The surveys will verify where the utilities are located and give detailed information about the topography of the area. Board member Terri Johnston opposed the recommendation because she wants to see the quote broken down. Cunningham said he would like to move forward with the project without any delays.

• No comments were made during a public hearing regarding the additional appropriation of the bonds that the board has determined to issue. The appropriation of $995,000 will pay for technology and infrastructure improvements to all school facilities. Some work was done during the summer but the technology system is overloaded. Foster said the funding will also pay for new fire safety panels. He said with the funding such projects as the technology and infrastructure improvements can begin now instead of next June or July.

• A resolution for the additional appropriation was approved.

• A request to adopt the final bond resolution was approved.

• A request to offer one certified employee additional sick days was approved.

• The first reading of a wellness school board policy was presented to the board. Foster said some language in the policy will need to be changed but it is required by the state.

(Pulaski County Journal — Nov. 12, 2014 • Story by Amber L. Tomlinson)

West Central School Corp. earns a B for the district

West Central School Superintendent Don Street had positive news for the school board on Nov. 6, regarding the state letter grades given to schools.

School corporations across the state were anticipating the grades to be announced in October but it was delayed due to a review of the process. On Nov. 5, the school grades were announced.

During the regular school board meeting, Street said West Central High School earned an A. The middle school earned a C and the elementary school earned an A. The grade for the district is a B.

“We did pretty well,” Street said.

In 2013, the high school and elementary school both earned a B while the middle school earned a D.

The middle school is still considered a focus school because it earned a D as part of the school letter grade evaluation system by the state in 2013.

Although the school has earned a C for this year it must maintain that grade for two consecutive years.

Street also discussed how funding for technical and career courses could be reduced. The school is to receive $211,875 for the courses. A new formula for the career and technical classes may require a student to receive a certificate for the course or the school will not receive funding.

Some of the career or technical courses include but are not limited to agriculture, accounting, fire and rescue, and welding.

“College career readiness that we have all of our freshmen take, is a good course to learn about careers and their future. There will be no funding attached to that,” Street said. “Even the health careers class, we would not receive funding for that.”

If the funding is reduced, the corporation may have to decide to keep the course. Those programs may have to be cut causing a reduction in the number of electives offered to students.

Street said he has spoken with State Representative Doug Gutwein to make him aware of the situation that the state may change.

“This is really scary for all districts because it is going to become competitive,” Street said. “I think more of this will be in the news and we will hear more about it as the year goes on.”

One of the classes that can receive a certification is welding. The state will decide or does decide which courses receive a certification.

In other business:

• Carter Hudson was named the elementary student of the month because he goes to school with a positive attitude every day and he works hard to do his best.

• Esaleigh Hauptli, an eighth-grader, was named the middle school student of the month because she excels in academics and she is kind and considerate to others.

• Levi Mayotte was named the high school student of the month because he actively participates in class with a positive and pleasant energy. He is also the first to get equipment out and put it away at the end of class.

• Minutes from the Oct. 2 regular meeting were approved.

• Requisition lists in the amount of $59,483.71 for the corporation and $5,378.03 for Cooperative School Services were approved. Street noted a handful of the purchases being made including equipment for the cafeteria, classroom supplies, maintenance supplies and the annual content filter for the Internet system at the school.

• Resignations of elementary counselor Kari Ruble and Melody Boise of Cooperative School Services were approved. Two maternity leave requests along with one leave request were approved.

• Several recommendations of employment were approved. Those included Laura Stout as the permanent substitute business teacher; Paige Anliker as a Title 1 instructional assistant; and Tonya Wall as a sixth-grade basketball and seventh-grade basketball coach. The Cooperative School Services certified contracts and administrative contracts were also approved.

• A request for Arlene Metzger to attend the Indiana School Nurse Conference in Indianapolis and for Jessica Murray to attend a food show in St. Charles, Illinois, was approved.

• The 2015-2016 school calendar was approved. Street gave school board members an example of what a balanced calendar would look like regarding the school year. He said many schools are looking at a balanced or modified calendar. The balanced calendar would allow for more snow days. If the calendar was modified, the school year would start on Aug. 3.

• Changes and revisions to the 2015-2016 description course books were approved. There are no new courses being added, except theater arts that the school board approved during the October meeting.

• A recommendation to approve the 2014-2015 high ability grant application in the amount of $27,017 was approved.

• A Rainy Day Fund resolution was approved for a second time by the board. The resolution allows for funds to be transfered into the Rainy Day Fund that can be used toward specific items.

• A motion to approve the medical insurance rates for the classified staff was approved.

• Claims in the amount of $460,093.39 for the corporation and $279,441.58 for the Cooperative School Services were approved.

(Pulaski County Journal — Nov. 12, 2014 • Story by Amber L. Tomlinson)

County home tops agenda for county joint session

A joint session between the Pulaski County commissioners and council will have a twofold significance on Thursday, Nov. 6.

The meeting will allow representatives from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology to discuss the proposed historical landmark status of the Pleasant View Rest Home and for the public to discuss the elimination of the county home funding with county officials.

“The county council can allow a review of their decision to defund the county home,” said Pulaski County Commissioner President Larry Brady. “I thought it would be best to have both the commissioners and the council together, hence doing a joint session for the twofold process.”

On Oct. 22, the division of historic preservation and archaeology met and were scheduled to determine the fate of the home in regards to historical status. Although there were several letters of support written in regards to the home, the vote was tabled so historic preservation representatives can explain the program.

Brady said the session will allow the commissioners and council to hear what options can occur if the county home receives a historical status. The reason for the division of historic preservation and archaeology representatives coming to Pulaski at 5 p.m. is to share information about their program. “They can give specific details of the historical landmark process.” Representatives will be able to say whether the home could be sold, made into a business or destroyed.

Even if the county home facility is deemed historical that does not determine the fate of the county home business. The business and the historical site are two different entities. The historical status would allow for the county to apply for grants to fix the building, but it doesn’t allow for funding of the county home business.

Eliminating the financing of the county home was a decision made by the council on Oct. 13. Brady said, “there is nothing that the commissioners can do,” in regards to the eliminating of financing. “We can’t force them to take a vote or not to vote.”

Brady said although funding has been eliminated from the 2015 budget, removing the residents from the building is not that simple. He said the county has contacted the Residential Care Assistance Program (RCAP) that pays a portion of the residents’ housing expenses, and were told that the RCAP contract requires a 90-day notification of any changes.

“The families have to make decisions as to what will happen with their family member,” Brady said. “Once that is in place we notify RCAP and the 90-day clock starts.”

Because of the elimination of funding, residents and caretakers would be removed from the home by the end of the year. That may not happen now with the requirements from RCAP.

“If the council chooses to defund it, then the council will have to find additional funding to cover the costs of the home,” Brady said.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology will determine the historic status of the Pleasant View Rest Home on Jan. 21, 2015.

(Pulaski County Journal - Nov. 4, 2014 • Story by Amber L. Tomlinson)

County receives help in demolishing blighted homes

Ridding Pulaski County of blighted/abandoned homes takes more than a backhoe and dirt.

It takes money that a property owner may not have readily available as county officials are evaluating properties and deeming them unsafe.

During the past several months, the Pulaski County Building Inspector’s Office has assessed several properties and identified several homes or buildings in need of repair or demolishing because of the safety hazard those buildings pose.

The office has sent approximately 30 homeowners asking to either repair their structures or demolish them. Eight houses and three accessory buildings have been demolished. Several more are slated for demolition during the next several months.

In some cases the situation has been quickly rectified with a letter from the building inspector’s office, while in other situations an order to demolish or repair has been brought to the attention of the Pulaski County Commissioners.

To help supplement the lack of funding to demolish those homes, building inspector assistant Dave Webber has worked several months applying for a grant from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority as part of the Elimination of Blight Program. His diligence was awarded with a $147,000 grant.

“As part of the grant application we had to identify house by house, listing the address and the homeowners. In the grant I identified seven houses,” Webber said. “Ironically, after I submitted the grant at least one of those houses the owners arranged to be torn down.”

The goal of the program is to demolish blighted properties and offer a variety of end uses for the newly cleared residential lots in hopes of stabilizing residential property values and preventing foreclosures in neighborhoods and communities.

Many times blighted or abandoned home have a negative impact on the community by lowering the property value of surrounding homes and posing a danger to surrounding neighbors.

“Houses being demolished not part of the grant program will probably not be rebuilt,” Webber said. “However, houses demolished included in the grant should be redeveloped within 36 months.”

Webber said as part of the program, the county will work with a program partner who will negotiate with the homeowners to acquire the title. The property can also be acquired if there is a tax sale or sheriff sale.

“The second piece of this is not just having these homes demolished but we had to identify some kind of end use for each of them. We are going to rebuild the homes on those lots,” he said.

One of the problems the county and the program partner could encounter is that some of the buildings or homes are located on large pieces of property, such as 30 or 40 acres.

“There is not much money for acquisition, so if owners will work with us what they may have to do is subdivide their parcels so that the houses sit on an acre,” Webber said.

The county has three years to remove those six homes. Because one home has already been demolished, Webber said they will try to substitute a new house if the program allows.

Pulaski County was part of funding division six that includes 29 other counties with a total population of about 498,680. The division has been allocated about more than $5.7 million.

Webber said there will be a second round of funding for the division because under $4 million was granted.

(Pulaski County Journal - Nov. 4, 2014 • Story by Amber L. Tomlinson)

RETURN TO TOP

OCTOBER

Citations will be given to Medaryville garbage cart ordinance violators

Medaryville Town Council said it’s time to start issuing citations for those who violate the garbage cart ordinance.

During a meeting on Oct. 22, Medaryville Police Officer Sheri Gaillard said she has seen about 16 violators around town. She wanted direction from the council as to whether she should start issuing the citations or give a warning.

“I think that we need to enforce them,” said council president Derrick Stalbaum. “We have to do something and there has to be a point where we start being the person to ticket them.” He questioned why there is such a large number of people who are violating the ordinance.

Council members said the ordinance has been publicized but maybe residents need a reminder. The clerk’s office did send out a reminder last month at the bottom of the utility bills.

Council members decided to give one final “stern” warning attached to the next utility bill with the amount of how much the fine is.

“Our plan is to mail the citations to them with a copy of the ordinance and a letter as well,” Gaillard said. The department is mailing the citations because meeting with the resident to hand them the citation can be difficult.

Stalbaum said he will write a short warning and submit it to the clerk’s office so it can be mailed with the next utility bills.

In other business:

• Minutes from the Sept. 17 regular meeting were approved.

• Claims of $52,896.67 from the general budget, $14,860.59 from the water budget and $11,322.47 from the wastewater budget were approved.

• A request by town maintenance supervisor Keith Hauptli to spend money appropriated for the use of chemicals was approved with the stipulation that the money will be used to fix the snowplow and nothing more at this time. Keith had several items that he would like to purchase or spend the money on. Councilwoman Corrie Hauptli said she would like to see an itemized list because, “there is not that much operating cash left.” The cost to fix the plow is estimated to be between $400 and $500. Keith was advised to bring a prioritized list of what he would like to spend the money on.

• The monthly utility report with two adjustments totaling $124.43 due to leaks on two accounts was approved. An adjustment of $166.02 overpayment was approved. The overpayment was moved from the customer’s water account to the sewer and sanitation account.

• Because colder weather is coming, the council briefly discussed how the town will handle water dripping. Stalbaum said water was wasted because some residents weren’t conservative with the dripping. In 2009, the town council decided to not credit or adjust a customer’s bill for dripping. Corrie cited that the state board of accounts will not allow the town to give credits to the customers for dripping. Last year town water lines froze because of the harsh weather. Council members decided they would not take action unless there is an emergency.

• Due to an annual Keystone user meeting, the town office will be closed on Nov. 12.

• Quotes to repair or replace a town truck were reviewed. Stalbaum said he does not want to replace the truck right now but the town will be looking to replace a police vehicle in two years. He does not want to purchase two vehicles at the same time. The quotes were tabled until the next meeting because council members did not think they had enough time to review the quotes after receiving them right before the meeting.

• The first reading of salary ordinance 2015-01-01 and employee benefits ordinance 2015-01-02 was approved. “The town council has not increased the payment for themselves and the clerk-treasurer has not increased that number either,” Stalbaum said. As for ordinance 2015-01-02, Stalbaum suggested they change the wording in regards to a new hire part-time office employee and maintenance assistant and allowing 10 days paid leave per calendar year. Corrie suggested that after 90 days a new hire is allowed the 10 days paid leave. Council members agreed on the change that will be made to the second reading of the ordinance.

• Stalbaum said he has contacted several residents in regards to the proposed ordinance that would restrict vehicular traffic in certain alleyways. He will continue to contact others.

• An amendment to ordinance 2014-11-02 in regards to changing the paid time off days from nine to four days for the assistant maintenance position was approved. The four paid time off days will be allowed after a new employee has achieved 90 days of continuous employment. Ordinance 2014-11-02 was then approved with the amendments.

• Resolution 2014-10-01 in regards to authorizing the creation of a fund to receive and administer community development block grant funds was approved.

(Pulaski County Journal - Oct. 29, 2014 • Story by Amber L. Tomlinson)

CDC gives approval to establish a redevelopment commission

As the Pulaski County Community Development Commission continues to find ways to attract businesses, the establishing of a redevelopment commission could be an essential tool.

Pulaski County Community Development Commission (CDC) Executive Director Nathan Origer recently approached the CDC board with the idea of a redevelopment commission (RDC) because it has certain powers that the CDC board cannot exercise. Those powers include establishing a tax-increment financing district and acquiring and disposing of property.

Origer used the example that a redevelopment commission could purchase property to entice business owners to the area. County and town municipalities cannot.

“TIF means that you can take the tax revenue to pay off bonds or improve infrastructure,” Origer said. “If you are the owner of a company and you know that it is going to grow in the future, you see it as an incentive.”

CDC will continue to exist, while the countywide redevelopment commission will have a narrow focus of offering TIF funding.

“The CDC will still be responsible for trying to get businesses. The RDC is going to be able to set up the TIF district that the CDC can use as an incentive,” Origer said.

Although the CDC board approved the establishing of the redevelopment commission, Origer will need permission of the county commissioners and the county council. He recently introduced the idea to the commissioners but no decisions were made. He will now approach them again.

As for the county council, Origer said there will be very little cost in establishing the commission because the staffing will be handled through his office and those on the commission are appointed but not reimbursed for their time. The commission will be a five-person board.

(Pulaski County Journal - Oct. 29, 2014 • Story by Amber L. Tomlinson)

Communication is key in preparing for Ebola

While the threat of Ebola nears Indiana as a handful of northeast Ohio residents are quarantined, local health department officials and hospitals are preparing for a worst case scenario.

State and local health officials are increasing measures to protect the health of Hoosiers by taking steps to increase the response efforts. Eight individuals have been treated for Ebola in the United States including two health care workers who treated one of the Ebola patients.

Pulaski County Health Department Director of Environmental Health Terri Hansen said staff are meeting with state health commissioners and others to discuss how serious the situation can be. Hansen said the health department and hospital “will be meeting a couple of times next week to work on our strategies, isolation, quarantining, etc.”

The Indiana State Department of Health is continuing communication with the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Indiana health care providers and establishing a health care provider hotline to answer questions about screening and diagnosis of Ebola. On Oct. 10, state health officials hosted a live webcast to health care providers with information about medical guidance and to answer questions.

Health department officials are also planning standing weekly calls with hospital and local health departments and working with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management regarding hazardous waste management specific to Ebola.

Because of the rapidly changing situation, the Indiana Hospital Association is working to continuously distribute updated guidelines from CDC. As new guidance is used regarding Ebola preparedness procedures, the Indiana Hospital Association is working with its membership to incorporate these updates into plans and protocols.

According to CDC, Ebola can only spread when a patient has symptoms and not spread through the air, by water or food, or by casual contact.

All Indiana health care providers are required to report cases of illness that might pose a risk to public health including Ebola virus disease, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, measles, rubella, mumps, tuberculosis, pandemic influenza and other diseases.

(Pulaski County Journal — Oct. 22, 2014 • Story by Amber L. Tomlinson)

Plans for next Winter Wonderland underway

Members of the Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce are already thinking of the holidays, as they are gearing up for the Winter Wonderland celebration.

During a chamber of commerce meeting, chamber director Angie Anspach said a meeting was held earlier that day and it “went really well.”

Duties for the event where divided up between the chamber committee. The day is currently scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 6, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Anspach said it coordinates with the school Breakfast With Santa.

“The Winter Wonderland plan is moving forward but we are a little bit behind from what we were last year,” Anspach said.

As tradition there will be a parade but this year they will not be using the opera house, according to Anspach. Entertainment will be at the courthouse. There was also talk of carriage rides.

“Hopefully we can get everyone around downtown,” Anspach said.

Registration forms for vendors will be sent in the mail soon. Anspach anticipates about 40 vendors.

Chamber co-vice president Judy Heater said Anspach will need all the help she can get on the day of the event. “People get busy and think that somebody else will do it but we really need to get behind it this year. Any help that day would be great.”

In other business the board talked about contacting those who are on the membership list who have not paid their dues for the year. The board does not want to lose members so they will be sending reminders to those members. It was also suggested that a deadline be made for when members must pay their dues.

Heater suggested sending the reminder and those who don’t pay after that will be purged from the list. If they pay then they can be relisted.

“I think it is good to have a deadline,” she said.

The financial statements were also reviewed and approved.

(Pulaski County Journal — Oct. 22, 2014 • Story by Amber L. Tomlinson)

Town council hopes to save costs of income survey

Monterey residents will soon be receiving an income survey in the mail as the town has decided to try to save money.

During a regular meeting on Oct. 8, the council decided to conduct an income survey that will be used for a grant application.

An old income survey used the 2010 census and was recently used when the town applied for an Office of Community and Rural Affairs grant in hopes of upgrading the sewer system and treatment plant.

Town officials were recently notified that the grant application was not approved. Council members are now planning to apply again but the project will be competing with a variety of projects, not just wastewater projects.

Clerk-treasurer Linda McCune said she was notified that a new income survey must be completed because of new Housing and Urban Development (HUD) guidelines.

The town could look at the option of hiring an outside company to complete the survey. Hiring a company could cost between $1,500 and more than $2,000.

“I think it pays to have an outsider do it because I think people would not want to put their income down for one of us. ‘It’s none of our business,’ is what they are going to say,” council president Jim Fleury said.

The survey asks a general idea of the household income based on the number of people in the household. Also the survey will not ask for the person’s name. McCune said the survey must be certified by a professor that could cost about $500.

“Even if we have to hire this company we have to provide them with a list of names and addresses. They will probably want phone numbers too,” McCune said.

Councilwoman Emily Bailey asked if the town has the money to hire a company. McCune said no.

Council members decided to conduct the survey themselves. Bailey said she would like to see this underway quickly.

If households do not mail back the survey, council members and volunteers will go door to door asking the survey questions.

Councilwoman Chris Bailey was absent from the meeting.

In other business:

• The 2015 proposed budget was approved.

• Minutes from the Sept. 10 meeting were approved.

• Clerk-treasurer Linda McCune said the speed limit signs and posts have been ordered.

• A second reading of the golf court ordinance was accepted. Fleury said he is concerned with the fines and how the town will enforce them. “Some people feel that we are picking on them, but we are only trying to make them legal.” Bailey reminded Fleury that the ordinance is needed to protect those who are driving golf carts in town limits. State law prohibits golf carts to be driven on streets. Changes can still be made to the ordinance.

• Halloween trick-or-treat hours will be 5:30-7 p.m. on Halloween.

• Permission was granted for information about a Halloween party happening at the fire station to be posted on the town hall sign.

• The first day of the townwide leaf pickup will be Oct. 27. If it rains the leaves will be picked up on Nov. 3.

• A salary ordinance was approved.

• A resolution to transfer $250 to pay for the new locks of the municipal building was approved.

(Pulaski County Journal — Oct. 15, 2014 • Story by Amber L. Tomlinson)

Options for lagoons discussed at Francesville council meeting

Hearing different options in regards to the sewer lagoons meeting state standards gave Francesville Town Council Members a better idea of how much the project will cost.

During a regular meeting on Oct. 6, town council members heard ideas of how much a project would cost to install a disinfection system of the lagoons that includes a building, liquid chemicals and accessories.

The cost of the building was estimated to cost about $21,500. Town officials think it can be done at a cheaper rate.

Depending on where the building is placed and how many drums of chemicals will be needed can also dictate the size of the building.

The town had submitted a pole barn idea with a concrete floor to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management when they recently applied for grant funding.

Water and sewer supervisor Greg Stone said he would like to see the flow meter and the chart recorder inside the building away from the weather.

No solid prices but estimates were given on the accessories such as drum scales that are about $2,600 each and pumps that could cost about $1,850 each.

A contact tank with an open top will also be required.

Technical specifications will have to be submitted to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management with the application for a permit.

The town will wait for further information and review a contract with Wessler and Associates who are engineering the project and will prepare the permit application.

In other business:

• Before the regular meeting, a budget adoption meeting was held. The council approved resolution #2 of 2014 regarding the adoption of the projected budget for fiscal year 2015.

• Minutes from the public hearing regarding the 2015 budget on Sept. 15 and from the regular meeting on Sept. 15 were approved.

• Town leaf pickup will begin after Oct. 20 when the town will stop picking up grass clippings and brush.

• A quote of about $2,160 was approved to build a lean-to in order to hold cardboard recycling. Once the work is done a gate will need to be installed to keep items from blowing away.

• Quotes to repair the roof of the shop were tabled due to council members wanting to review a quote from Quality Exteriors.

• A quote from Five Star to replace water softeners was approved.

• Halloween hours for the town were set on Oct. 31, 5-7 p.m.

• The claims were accepted.

(Pulaski County Journal — Oct. 15, 2014 • Story by Amber L. Tomlinson)

Winamac’s electric line rebuild could begin next year

In September, Winamac council members awarded the bids and approved an ordinance regarding an electric rate increase in preparation for an electric line rebuilding project.

The project is estimated to cost about $600,000 and will last about four years. Winamac town manager Jim Conner said the rebuilding project includes installing new poles and running new wire on the southwest part of the system. The current transformers will stay unless problems are discovered.

The total cost of the project is about $600,000 and will take place in four phases. Each phase that will replace about 100 poles each year is about $150,000. Conner said there are about 420 poles southwest of town that will be replaced due to maintenance and being more than 30 years old.

“The poles with tags are 1980 and then it gets older the farther west you go,” he said.

The project area will begin at SR 14 W. and CR 200 W. and travel south and west to the area of CR 750 W. to CR 200 S. Conner said the new poles will be in the same vicinity as the old ones.

“There will be times when they will be out of power,” he said.

As for how the town will pay for the project, the council approved an electric rate increase that became effective on Oct. 1.

The total Winamac electric system services about 22 square miles including areas outside of the town corporation limits.

(Pulaski County Journal — Oct. 8, 2014)

Taxpayers: Second installment property tax due

Just a reminder that the November (second installment) property tax due date is approaching.

This year the due date will be on Nov. 10.

For taxpayer convenience, property taxes can be paid at any of the following locations:

• Pulaski County Treasurer’s Office — courthouse

• First Federal Savings Bank — Winamac branch

• First National Bank of Monterey — Monterey and Winamac branches

• Alliance Bank — Francesville and Winamac branches

• Key Bank — Winamac branch

When paying at these locations, taxpayers must present his or her tax statement along with the payment.

Payments may also be mailed to: Pulaski County Treasurer, Courthouse, Room 240, 112 E. Main St., Winamac, IN 46996. A self-addressed, stamped envelope is required for return receipts a person wishes to have it mailed to them.

Please feel free to email the treasurer’s office with any questions at treasurersoffice@pulaskicounty.in.gov or call 574-946-3632.

(Pulaski County Journal — Oct. 8, 2014)

Development commission looks to revamp zoning

Streamlining zoning guidelines and restrictions and ensuring the best use of land is being made, are just two of many reasons the Pulaski Community Development Commission is looking to change the zoning ordinance.

Pulaski County Community Development Commission Executive Director Nathan Origer said the idea of revising the ordinance began more than a year ago as businesses were requesting variances. He discovered there were contradictions and some items missing from the county zoning ordinance.

He then presented his concerns to the planning commission that agreed changes are needed.

“Really it all came down to recognizing the more we got into this that while the ordinance worked to get started we needed something professionally done,” Origer said. “Our big concern is to not reinvent the wheel but there are parts of it that need to be cleaned up.”

As the idea of changing the ordinance continued, Origer talked with firms that have worked with smaller communities. He wanted to ensure that the firm understands the needs of rural agricultural communities. “There are concerns that rural areas have, both in the needs of a small town versus the needs of a city and in the significant land dedicated to agricultural and wildlife.”

Origer said the comprehensive plan and the zoning maps were done professionally, but the zoning ordinance was completed in-house by someone who had experience with planning and zoning.

“When you are working on a shoestring budget and doing it all in-house there are a lot of things that just fall through the cracks,” he said. “We have finally reached the point where it would be a better use of funds to hire somebody to do this.”

Origer has presented the idea of streamlining the towns’ zoning ordinances with the county zoning ordinance to Francesville and Winamac. Monterey and Medaryville follow the county zoning ordinances, while Francesville and Winamac have their own plans.

“We don’t want either town to surrender its jurisdiction but if possible we would like for it to be the case that whether I am building a commercial building or I’m opening an existing building in Francesville, Monterey, Winamac or Medaryville, the same rules apply,” Origer said. “Our hope is that we can find a way to make that happen and that the rules are all the same in any community so the best practices are implemented.”

Streamlining the rules also will help businesses before they make any decisions.

“It is also helpful, broadly speaking, that we have an ordinance that is as up to date as possible because we want to make sure that we are making the best use of our land,” Origer said.

He used the example of a commercial building being built 3 miles outside of town that will later need municipality sewer and water that could cost taxpayers money.

The project is estimated to cost about $46,000.

(Pulaski County Journal — Oct. 1, 2014)

Police warn residents to lock their vehicles

Police are warning it’s no longer safe to leave a vehicle unlocked as residents are reporting stolen items.

Winamac Police Chief Mike Buchanan said several reports have been made by residents who believe someone has been in their vehicle.

“It’s just not in one area of town,” Buchanan said. “We have had several vehicles entered and items taken from unlocked vehicles.”

Items that have been reported stolen include loose change, sunglasses and a radio. Buchanan said in one case a radio was stolen and the car window was broken.

“Ninety percent of it has been unlocked vehicles,” Buchanan said. “We have probably had eight to 10 vehicles that have been entered in the last several weeks.”

At this time Buchanan said they are not sure who the suspect or suspects are. “There’s no pattern. We will have four or five nights of nothing and then we have people call in saying their glove compartment has been gone through.”

Buchanan said if a vehicle is left unattended to lock it. He also suggested that if residents hear or see anything they should immediately contact the police.

“We have been doing foot patrol at night when we have two guys working and constant patrol on the streets,” he said.

If someone knows any information regarding the vehicle break-ins they should contact the Winamac Police.

(Pulaski County Journal — Oct. 1, 2014)

RETURN TO TOP

SEPTEMBER

Maintenance report good news for commissioners

Pulaski County maintenance supervisor Jeff Johnston was the bearer of good news at the commissioners’ meeting on Monday.

Johnston gave commissioners an update on several projects that were stalled either because of red tape, looking for different options or a lack of funding. Those projects included the roof repairs of the courthouse and the justice center, a generator for the health department and drainage problems at the EMS building and recycling center.

“We had a lot of good news. A lot of projects are coming to an end or are being completed which is great for us,” said commissioner president Larry Brady, during an interview after the meeting.

In regards to the drainage problems at the EMS building, the commissioners signed a contract for concrete to be installed where the water enters the building. The lifted concrete area will help move water away from the low-lying area that causes standing water inside the building. The concrete should be done by the end of the week, weather permitting.

The drainage issue at the recycling center should also be finished soon. Brady said metal troughs with grating will be installed at the east and the north doors running the water away from that area. A slab of cement will then be finished. Brady said the project should be completed in the next few weeks.

“The situation that those facilities have had to live with for the longest time will finally be put to rest with the completion of those projects,” Brady said.

Weather also caused a few problems while the justice center was reshingled and the courthouse slate roof was repaired. The weather caused the work to continue more than a few days, which was the estimated time it would take to complete the justice center roof.

“There is just some minor metal work that needs to be done this week,” Brady said.

The roofs were damaged after a hail storm last year. Repairs to the roofs were stalled as commissioners waited to find out how much of the damage would be covered by insurance. According to Brady, insurance will cover the costs of the roof repairs and also cover the costs of repainting a barn at the county home.

Johnston said the generator for the health department has been ordered and should be arriving this week. For more than a year, the health department has offered different generator options to the commissioners in the hopes of one being purchased for the department. The county council approved the purchasing of the generator at their last meeting on Sept. 8. Brady said the county will now work to install the unit.

As the generator is installed at the health department, a new water heater will be installed at the jail. Currently the system uses two water heaters for the justice center. Brady said with the new system, one water heater will be used.

“It is actually cheaper than if they went in and replaced what is already there,” Brady said. “It is a 200-gallon tank and industrial in size. The system will be one larger, more efficient tank.”

The estimated cost is $65,790.

In other business:

• Highway superintendent Mark Fox said three county roads are closed due to flooding and bridge inspections have begun, so drivers beware. He also said two new trucks have been purchased and should be in the fleet in mid-November.

• Commissioners approved to purchase a new table and 12 new chairs for the commissioners room at the total cost of $3,670.60. The table will allow for the council members to sit around the table while facing the audience. The council asked for a new table a few months ago.

• The old liquor store in Medaryville is quite a concern for neighbors, Richard and Cheryl Stone. Excavating began on the store but was stopped because a proper permit was not obtained before work began, according to Brady. Pictures gave commissioners a good indication as to how close the neighbors’ home is to the dilapidating building. “Their insurance will not cover if something hits their building. Their concern is the safety of their facility,” Brady said.

• EMS director Nikki Lowry spoke with commissioners about trying to retain employees. “Larger counties are able to pay a larger dollar amount and we are going to try to work on some benefits that might help accommodate them,” Brady said.

• Recycling center and transfer station director Ed Clark announced his retirement that will be official Dec. 31.

• A request to use the courthouse lawn for the Winter Wonderland celebration on Dec. 6 was approved.

• A request to allow Adaptasoft a three-month reprieve from paying on the county loan was approved.

• A few conferences for county employees were approved.

• Dr. Charles Hutton was appointed to the Pulaski Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees.

(Pulaski County Journal — Sept. 17, 2014 • Story by Amber L. Tomlinson)

New laws will soon affect mopeds, scooters

New laws will affect those who use mopeds and scooters to get around town as of the first of the year.

The law not only requires operators to register the motor driven cycles with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV), but it will also require operators to have a valid driver’s license with motorcycle endorsement or pass a written exam at the BMV depending on the classification of the cycle.

The new law also designates two classifications for motor driven cycles, Class A and Class B. Each classification will have a different color license plate. Class A Motor Driven Cycles are those that have an engine size of 50cc or larger or travel at speeds in excess of 35 mph. Class B Motor Driven Cycles have engine sizes of 49cc or smaller and travel at speeds of 35 mph or less.

Insurance will also be required for those with a Class A Motor Driven Cycle and a helmet must be worn if younger than 18 years of age. With a Class B Motor Driven Cycle, operators cannot drive faster than 35 mph and no passengers are allowed to ride.

Mopeds and scooters must have an illuminated headlamp while operating and must be driven near the right-hand edge of the roadway unless passing another vehicle or turning left.

Pulaski County Sheriff Mike Gayer said he doesn’t anticipate officers targeting mopeds or scooters because of the new laws.

“I don’t want to see us get to the point that we are ticketing people who are trying to save money because they are riding other vehicles, unless they draw attention to themselves by breaking the law,” he said.

More information can be found at Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicle website www.in.gov/bmv/3221.htm.

(Pulaski County Journal — Sept. 17, 2014)

Public hearing next step for EPCSC facility improvements project

Eastern Pulaski Community School Corporation board members are ready to share information regarding a facility improvement project with the community as they approved the advertising of a public hearing.

During a regular meeting Monday, board members approved to schedule a public hearing in regards to the facility improvements and costs for Monday, Sept. 29.

School board members watched a quick electronic presentation that was a condensed version of the many topics board members have already discussed, such as the primary focus of the project.

According to the presentation, given by a representative from Gibraltar Design and a financial advisor of Umbaugh, the project involves a districtwide facility improvement plan. Those improvements include building security for student well-being, improvement of the learning environment and improved infrastructure for better energy efficiency and liability from a maintenance standpoint.

The scope of the project included securing each of the building entrances, upgrading bathrooms, mechanical and electrical improvements and classroom improvements such as upgrading the science rooms at the middle and high schools.

The estimated cost of the project is $13,972,500 and includes the hard construction and soft construction costs.

The plan is to use bonds to cover the costs. The school is about to pay off bonds from 2006. The debt service tax rate could vary between about 15 cents and 25 cents. The corporation wants to keep the rate level for the next several years but it may change in 2016 and 2017.

As school patrons review the proposed costs and project, superintendent Dan Foster wants to remind the public that “no decisions have been made and I think that is important to know.”

If the timeline for the project continues as planned the project could be bid out in November with bids being approved on Dec. 22.

In other business:

• Minutes from the executive session, regular meeting and work session on Aug. 11 and minutes from the work session and executive session on Aug. 25 were approved.

• Claims through Sept. 8 and the August payroll claims were approved with the exception of one claim. Board member Larry Beach questioned why the corporation would pay for the claim when there is a question of whether the quoted fence work was done as originally requested. Foster suggested that the claim can be tabled until the work is completed to the satisfaction of the board. The board approved to not pay the claim at this time.

• A request to hire Ron Vititoe as a bus driver was approved.

• A request to appoint Foster and John King, middle school counselor and president of the teachers’ association, to be MASE Insurance representatives for the school corporation was approved.

• The administrator contracts for the three corporation principals and athletic director were approved. Foster said the new evaluation process delayed the approval of the contracts. “When folks are doing a good job we want to make sure that they have our confidence and with this we would be adding a year,” Foster said. “Any increase that may occur will not happen until the results of the evaluations are finalized, just as the teachers’.” The increase could be retroactive.

• A request to accept the Indiana Secured School Safety Grant agreement for 2015 was approved. Foster said originally the funding would help pay for treating the windows of the school buildings. In the case that a school window is broken, the covering helps keep the shattered glass from being airborne. Foster said he will be altering the original proposed project because many of the windows at the elementary school may be replaced with the facility improvement project. He felt it would be money wasted. The portion he doesn’t use on the windows will go toward a prior purchase of two-way radios. As part of the grant, the corporation is required to make a 50-percent match. The proposed grant was for about $34,000. The corporation is required to pay about $17,000. It will also cover the costs of additional cameras.

• An out-of-state field trip request to the National FFA convention in Louisville, Kentucky, and a field trip request to the Indiana Association of Student Councils State Convention in Indianapolis was approved.

• Foster said Friday is the official student count date. The tentative enrollment figures indicate that there are 17 less students (1,271) than the 2013 fall count. He said that number is more than the 2014 spring count of 1,255. “We are down from a year ago but we are up from February which is good. We are also up 1,240 and 1,269 in 2012 and 2011.” Of the 1,271 students, 126 are out-of-district transfers.

(Pulaski County Journal — Sept. 10, 2014 • Story by Amber L. Tomlinson)

West Central schools plan on improvement

West Central School Corporation administration, staff and school board members have a plan and they are ready to use it as the new school year is underway.

During a regular school board meeting on Sept. 4, the board approved three school improvement plans, one for each school building.

The plans are based on a variety of test data including I-STEP and SATs that are taken by the high schoolers.

Elementary school principal Dan Zylstra and middle and high school principal Pat Culp discussed the goals with the school board and why those particular goals were set.

For the elementary school, Zylstra said they took a look at the I-STEP scores recognizing where the students made improvements and in what areas further work is needed. There were four main issues or areas that will be focused on at the elementary school.

According to Zylstra, teachers will be gauging the math knowledge of students before third grade. The school now tests the younger students and uses the data to identify weaknesses.

Zylstra also talked about the English and language arts scores that “were mostly flat or dipped at one grade level, which is a bit of a concern.”

Last year elementary staff and administration focused on math and the scores reflect with positive results.

Writing scores were also focused on.

“The I-STEP graders were a lot harder than we were. So we tried to ramp up that level of rigger and we did. We saw growth in our scores but we need to keep doing that. We need to keep making sure teachers are grading students’ writing the same way that I-STEP graders grade,” Zylstra said.

To reach the goals of the improvement plan, teachers meet Thursday mornings for professional development.

“We need to spend a lot of time looking at the new standards. Teachers need to talk with one another and find out how they are different from the common core standards that we were going toward. We need to make sure that we are teaching what is on the tests,” Zylstra said.

The middle school plans involve two goals, both in the literacy area — information text and writing applications. Middle and high school principal Pat Culp said the goals were set after teachers studied the results of the I-STEP scores. The philosophy behind the goals is to do less but become good at it.

“Our scores did go up last year but we are still behind the state average. We wanted to maintain that focus, as last year, but we are making some changes to our improvement plan,” Culp said.

He said acuity data will be studied because there are areas of deficiency that need to be corrected.

At the high school, Culp said the plan was to set goals that are achievable. Last year a goal of improving the reading comprehension by 10 percent was made but not reached. This year the growth goal is between 2 and 5 percent.

“We had a good conversation about setting a reasonable goal. Something that is specific and something that’s measurable,” Culp said.

In the next few weeks, data will be presented to teachers proving that what they are doing is working and they need to maintain that.

SAT stats also indicate that students have improved from being below the state level to being at the state level.

The rubric that the teachers are using has also been changed to making it more rigorous to ensure “that our students are held to a higher standard,” according to Culp.

The data will also be shown to the students. Culp said many times students do not know how much they have improved.

“The biggest problem is that students don’t know their own data,” Culp said. “Teachers are looking at it, administrators are looking at it, but ultimately it is their data. They need to have some investment in it and some understanding.”

Teachers will take into consideration that the I-STEP standards are changing.

Superintendent Don Street said the tests will be harder because the standards are different.

“Even though they say they are Indiana standards they look awfully familiar to common core standards,” Street said. “Because the test is going to be harder, that means test scores across the state are anticipated to decline.”

At this time, the Indiana Department of Education hasn’t offered examples or resources to help the teachers. Street said the state is working on examples that could be available in December.

Zylstra said the questions will be harder and may not be multiple choice.

“What they are telling us is there will be A, B, C, D, E, F or G and on the computer students will highlight the text that supports your answer. That’s a big leap in what they are expecting a third-grader to do,” he said. “We built these into the school improvement plan with the idea to try to do our best.”

Culp said addressing the new standards is not going to be pretty.

“One of the things that our teachers are going to have to do is change the way that they teach,” he said. “There may be some growing pains along the way. I think as we start bringing this all together, I think we will see this is beneficial in the end.”

School board members unanimously approved the three school improvement plans.

In other business:

• Emma Taylor, second-grader, was named the student of the month for the elementary school. She was named the student of the month because she is respectful, responsible and safe. She is also kind and friendly.

• Makayla Libey, who is a sixth-grader, was named the middle school student of the month. She was named student of the month because of her hardworking and positive attitude.

• Kirkland Bushong, who is a sophomore, was named the high school student of the month. Bushong was nominated because he is a great role model for the entire class and because of his vast improvements in school work from last year.

• Minutes from the Aug. 7 regular meeting were approved.

• Requisitions in the amount of $14,442.43 for the cooperation were approved, along with $12,721.47 for Cooperative School Services.

• Several personnel matters were approved including Jessica Dishon as a fifth-grade teacher, a contract revision regarding business teacher Terry Boesch, Sierra Burtis as a guidance instructional assistant, Suzanna Wilcoxon as a Title I instructional assistant, Ryan Howat as a middle school assistant football coach, Kyle Evans as the varsity basketball coach and a medical leave of Kathy Peters, who is part of Cooperative School Services.

• A public hearing regarding the 2015 budget, Capital Projects and bus replacement plan was held. Superintendent Don Street did a brief breakdown of the budget but no discussion was held by the audience. The total budget is estimated to be about $9.5 million compared to last year that was $9.6 million.

• A property and liability insurance renewal quote was approved. The plan includes covering the wind turbine.

• Claims in the amount of $336,095.40 for the corporation and $476,640.60 for Cooperative School Services were approved.

(Pulaski County Journal — Sept. 10, 2014 • Story by Amber L. Tomlinson)

Discussion of projects, repairs tops commissioners’ agenda

Updates regarding several infrastructure projects of different county buildings were presented to the Pulaski County Commissioners during a regular meeting on Monday.

Maintenance supervisor Jeff Johnston reported on several issues regarding county buildings. So many of the issues have happened recently while others haven’t been fixed because of delays with insurance such as the hail damage of the courthouse and justice center roofs.

Johnston said repair of the justice center and the courthouse roofs will begin during the next couple of weekends. The justice center will be reshingled while the damaged courthouse roof slate will also be replaced. The area around the courthouse will be closed during that time because of safety reasons.

Another item of old business that Johnston gave an update on is the replacing of the table in the commissioners’ room. Commissioners and council members have requested a new table to ensure that all council members and commissioners can be seen during the meetings, instead of their backs being turned toward the audience.

“We received estimates for having custom tables built for the commissioners’ room. These estimates far exceeded what we originally thought it would cost. We are looking at alternatives now,” Johnston said.

The estimated cost of a custom table was $26,000. Johnston said he believes the table could be built by county employees. Once he has the estimated cost, he will present it to the commissioners.

Another issue causing problems for the county is flooding in various buildings after a hard rain including the EMS building and the recycling center. Johnston said he is working with a construction company to fix the “longstanding problem of flooding” at the EMS building. The plan includes building a sidewalk that will redirect the water into grass and tiles. It is estimated to cost more than $2,700.

At the recycling center, Johnston said there is a plan to drain the water away from the building at a cost of more than $1,600. He said the water will be moved to the current drainage system. He hadn’t had a chance to fully review the costs because he had just received the numbers before the meeting.

Generator issues for the county home and the health department were discussed again. He estimated a natural-gas powered generator with an automatic start system would cost about $2,849. The generator would allow the county home some power for the residents, while the same generator could run the health department.

Commissioners agreed to allow Johnston to move forward with purchasing the generators if funding is available. He was also advised to talk with Terri Hanson of the health department, to see if this is something she is interested in. Pulaski County Auditor Shelia Garling said she is not sure at this time where the funding can be found, but she will look.

There are also several plumbing issues at the justice center that Johnston will be repairing. The water softeners at the center are currently not working.

“We have been waiting on replacement parts to do a massive plumbing preventative maintenance sweep,” Johnston said of the center. “By the 15th everything will be complete and that place will be in top operating condition.”

He also reported three off-duty calls.

Commissioner Tracey Shorter was absent from the meeting.

In other business:

• Three bids regarding office supplies for 2015 were opened and approved. The bids were from DeGroot Technology.

• Minutes from the Aug. 18 meeting were approved.

• Payroll and claims were approved.

(Pulaski County Journal — Sept. 3, 2014 • Story by Amber L. Tomlinson)

Rates, service fees increase with rate study

Those who are serviced by the Winamac municipal electric utility will see a rate and service fee increase beginning Oct. 1.

An ordinance introducing the new rates was presented to the council after a public hearing on Aug. 11. The rates indicate an increase of 11.2 percent.

What that means for the average household is an increase of less than $10.

The town approved a rate study to be conducted by the Indiana Municipal Power Agency on April 11. The study is used to indicate if the rates will cover the costs of operation, maintenance and replacements and payment in lieu of taxes.

Town manager Jim Conner said the rate tracking factor changes every quarter, while the base rate has not increased since 2008.

The two aspects that are considered during a rate study are the base rate and the tracking factor. The tracking factor covers the rate of making the electricity such as the price of fuel. If the price of fuel increases then so does the tracking factor.

Conner said the existing tracking factor was rolled into the base rate.

“The tracking factor was getting to be almost as much as the base rate. When that happens it begins to skew how you are collecting the money,” he said.

The average household use of electric can vary from 750kw to 2,300kw depending on the number of people in the household.

An example of the rate change has been posted on the town Facebook page. It shows the differences between the old electric rates to the new rates based on 1,000kw. The increase is $7.90.

As per the example, the base rate did double from .05851 to .10862, while the tracking factor decreased from .04808 to .003471. Those rates total an 11.2-percent increase.

The monthly service fee also increased from $7.60 to $10.

Not only was the rate study completed to see if the rates were covering the costs of the municipal utility, but also to ensure that future projects can be considered without increased taxes.

Conner said the town is looking at rebuilding a single-phase line west of town that could cost about $450,000. There are also some lines in the town that need to be replaced.

“When you start factoring those projects into the current rate schedule, we were not bringing in enough to cover expenses,” Conner said.

The ordinance is to be approved during the Sept. 8 regular town council meeting.

(Pulaski County Journal — Sept. 3, 2014 • Story by Amber L. Tomlinson)

RETURN TO TOP

AUGUST

Tippecanoe River State Park receives help from SWCD

Much needed stream bank restoration of the Tippecanoe River will begin soon thanks to the help of the Pulaski County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD).

The district was instrumental in obtaining a $42,500 grant for the Tippecanoe River State Park to fund a bank stabilization design project that will be used to identify the critical reaches that need stabilized and restored, while also preparing a complete physical design using only natural techniques and native plant material.

“The quality of water flowing down the Tippy through the park is of the utmost importance to so many things including the wooded wetlands and the mussels,” said Deb Jimison, Indiana State Department of Agriculture partner to SWCD. “Bank stabilization will reduce sediment load being deposited into the river and ensure the continuing pristine water quality we enjoy today.”

Pulaski County SWCD applied for the grant, that is made available by the Department of Natural Resources Lake and River Enhancement (LARE) program, on behalf of the park in January of 2014 after visiting the park and realizing how important the project is. The grant application focused on two areas of greatest need within the park.

The first area was formerly owned by the Hilgemeier family and was purchased by the State of Indiana about 10 years ago. Tippecanoe River State Park Property Manager Vernon Gillum described the Hilgemeier property as 25 acres of land that are included within the boundaries of the Tippecanoe River State Park.

“It is a beautiful property located along the Tippecanoe River with a large two-story house,” Gillum said. “Also located on the property are wetlands that provide valuable habitat for wildlife.”

The Hilgermeier property is currently inaccessible to park visitors but hopes of using it as an educational area or public river access is highly dependent upon completion of all phases of this project.

There is also concern for the historical Hilgemeier home and outbuildings that sit near the bank. Kathy Wyatt, SWCD, said, “You look at that house and just picture yourself in a rocking chair on the porch, looking out over the river and enjoying the serenity. We don’t want to lose this.”

The second is the boat launch area in the canoe camp.

Ashley Brucker, SWCD district support coordinator and representative project sponsor, is excited to be involved in this project but “there is still a lot of hard work and challenges ahead. The SWCD will be responsible for raising at least 10 percent of the total project cost in cash and providing another 10 percent of the total cost by way of in-kind work. During this first phase we continue to look to the future and applying for another grant to allow us to complete the construction that the current grant is funding the design of. That then gets the wheels turning on the potential for the areas once all the work is done. The next few years are going to be such an amazing experience. Knowing the number and caliber of applications that were submitted in comparison to the monies available makes us even more grateful to LARE for this opportunity. And we couldn’t ask for a better team to work with in the staff and managers at Tippecanoe River State Park. They completed a project similar to this near the nature center about 10 years ago so they have a real advantage as we move forward.”

Gillum expressed his gratitude to the Pulaski County Soil and Water Conservation District, “for initiating this project. We have been wanting to get it done and just did not have the funding to do it. This is allowing us to get a project done.”

Gillum said the project will be an important factor in protecting the river.

“They will use bio-engineering to re-enforce the river bank so that no further erosion will take place. There was a concrete wall that has already fallen into the river and the erosion is taking place behind that. This will correct all of those issues,” Gillum said.

A steering committee is being organized by the SWCD for those parties with interest in this project. The committee will be informed from the beginning of all work that is being done by the consulting engineering firm (still to be selected) and will be involved in decisions made on the project.

For more information on the project contact Ashley Brucker, Pulaski County Soil and Water Conservation District, at 574-946-3243 ext. 3, or email at pulaski-swcd@iaswcd.org.

(Pulaski County Journal — Aug. 27, 2014)

Medaryville to receive funding for wastewater treatment project

A recent announcement by Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann will help in upgrading the Medaryville wastewater treatment lagoons, but Monterey and Francesville will be forced to find funding for wastewater projects from other resources.

On Aug. 19, Ellspermann announced that Medaryville was one of 12 Indiana communities receiving grants totaling more than $5.4 million for wastewater and drinking water programs. The funding is managed by the Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) and made possible by the federal Community Development Block Grant. The grant funding is offered to communities for a variety of infrastructure improvements to enable long-term growth. Each grant must have a match of local funds and meet certain grant requirements.

Medaryville, Monterey and Francesville were all looking for additional funding as those municipalities could face wastewater treatment violations if upgrades are not completed on the systems.

State Rep. Doug Gutwein (R-Francesville) congratulated Medaryville on being chosen as a recipient of the grant.

“Medaryville has already shown their willingness and commitment to improvement by matching the grant with funds for the project. I applaud their efforts and am confident these enhancements will have a positive impact on the town and Pulaski County as a whole,” Gutwein said. “This aid will help the town continue to be a great place to live, work and raise a family.”

Medaryville has been working for more than a year to comply with Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) guidelines regarding the sewer treatment lagoons. If the town fails to compile with the state, then a penalty of $2,500 per day could apply.

Because of the noncompliance threat, Medaryville council members have made several decisions during the past several months regarding how to stay IDEM compliant while also being fiscally responsible. One option the town has taken advantage of is being part of a pilot bio-dome wastewater treatment program that has been proven to work.

Medaryville council members also decided to apply for the OCRA grant and to fund the project with a State Revolving Fund (SRF) loan.

The total project is estimated to cost about $850,000. As part of the grant requirements, the town is responsible for a $400,000 grant match.

At this time, Stalbaum said the council is finishing the SRF loan process.

“Once we know that we have the funding then things can continue running. We are expecting to build and start this process in January of 2015,” Stalbaum said. “At this point we believe that we will not have to raise any rates whatsoever.”

Council members are waiting for further instruction from OCRA before they proceed.

(Pulaski County Journal — Aug. 27, 2014 • Story by Amber L. Tomlinson)

Monterey Town Council reviews golf cart ordinance

Monterey Town Council members are reviewing a golf cart ordinance and the implications of enforcing it after a regular meeting on Aug. 13.

Monterey town attorney Dan Murphy constructed a draft of the ordinance after it was debated if the town should allow golf carts on town roads.

Golf carts are illegal on federal and state highways but can be driven when cities and towns permit it.

The draft ordinance applies to both golf carts and off-road vehicles.

“I required under this draft that if a person wishes to use a golf cart on the streets in the town, they would have to register with the town and obtain decals that would be provided by the town,” Murphy said.

According to the draft, drivers would be required to fill out a form regarding the names of the owners and details of the golf carts such as the make, model and serial number.

The town would then issue decals that would be visible when the cart is in operation. Drivers would also be required to show proof of insurance and maintain it through the life of the registration.

Several other specifications are also mentioned in the draft of the ordinance.

Murphy said the draft ordinance is the minimum requirements of about five different statutes.

“It’s worthwhile reading about it and thinking about what is involved here because currently you don’t have one. If you don’t have one then state law prohibits operating them (golf carts) on the street,” Murphy said. “The other problem you have with this ordinance, is that it is up to you to enforce it.”

The sheriff’s department could enforce the ordinances but officers would not be required to.

Council members will now review the draft.

In other business:

• Minutes from the July 9 regular meeting were approved.

• The third reading of Ordinance 03-2014 establishing requirements and limitations on the placement and construction of sidewalks within the town limits and authorizing a sidewalk renovation program was approved. Fleury voiced his concerns that not everyone may know about the ordinance and he suggested that it be posted in public places. The ordinance does give specifications, limitations on placement of sidewalks and permits that must be obtained before a sidewalk is constructed or renovated. The ordinance also details the sidewalk renovation program. The ordinance will need to be advertised in the paper because fines could occur if the ordinance is not followed.

• Fleury said he continues to work with NIPSCO in regards to an additional street light being installed at the bridge over the Tippecanoe River. A letter is being written requesting the second light.

• Councilwoman Chris Fox voiced her concerns of certain streets flooding when it rains. Andy Zehner, of Zehner Excavating Inc., said he would check the storm sewers that may be plugged with sticks.

• The 2015 Monterey Volunteer Fire Department contract with the town was approved by council members Fleury and Fox. The contract is the same as last year. Councilwoman Emily Bailey abstained from the vote because she is a department firefighter.

• A quote of $492.74 to repair the park sign and hang it on new posts was approved.

• It was decided by the council that those who have abandoned vehicles or vehicles with expired plates parked on town roadways will receive a letter asking for them to be removed. The town has recently received complaints regarding such vehicles.

(Pulaski County Journal — Aug. 20, 2014 • Story by Amber L. Tomlinson)

Workshop guides emerging entrepreneurs

The Northwest Indiana Small Business Development Center (NW-ISBDC) continues to offer new and emerging entrepreneurs start-up assistance through its Launch Your Own Business Workshop: A Sound and Proven Path.

The workshop will be offered from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 16, at the Pulaski County Public Library, 121 S. Riverside Drive, Winamac.

The workshop is a first step toward owning a successful small business and it aims to help entrepreneurs evaluate their business ideas, prepare a sound business plan, manage expectations and increase chances of accessing capital.

Workshop topics include identifying personal objectives, skills and resources; describing business ideas and requirements; developing a sales forecast; identifying start-up expenses; estimating the operating budget; and analyzing feasibility results.

There will be no charge, as the event is being sponsored by the Pulaski County Community Development Commission. To register to attend, please contact the CDC at 574-946-3869 or nporiger@pulaskionline.org by 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 9.

The workshop is based on the Indiana Small Business Development Center’s “A Sound and Proven Path Towards Launching Your Own Business” workbook, available at all Indiana Small Business Development Center offices. A free copy of this 60-page step-by-step workbook will be distributed to participants and used during the class.

NW-ISBDC advisers are available for no-cost one-on-one business consulting that includes market research and financial diagnostic reports, to help new entrepreneurs implement their strategic plans and provide ongoing guidance as they grow their businesses.

Serving seven counties in the region, the NW-ISBDC offers no-cost assistance for entrepreneurs starting or expanding their businesses. Through one-on-one consulting, the NW-ISBDC helps guide small businesses toward their goals by offering referrals, workshops, training opportunities and other essential business tools. It is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the Small Business Administration, the State of Indiana and other local partners.

For more information, visit www.nwisbdc.org.

(Pulaski County Journal — Aug. 20, 2014)

Budget on schedule for West Central’s new school year

A number of resignations have sent West Central School Corporation scrambling to find teachers, but at a school board meeting on Aug. 7, it appears they are ready for the new school year.

During the meeting, school board members accepted eight resignations and hired 15 employees.

Those who resigned include special needs teacher Bryce Kappes, business teacher and varsity basketball coach Travis Standland, agriculture teacher Becky Snyder, physical education teacher Caryn Yochum, band and choral teacher Alex Warren, middle school custodian Joan Allen, elementary school instructional assistant Jennifer Marlatt, and middle school instructional assistant Tammy Toosley.

Those who were hired include math teacher Sarah Sensibaugh, band and choral teacher Daniel Coffey, physical education teacher Tonya Wall, special education teacher Lindley Laposi, agriculture teacher and FFA advisor Shaw Hasselby, business teacher Terry Boesch, Cooperative School Services part-time school psychologist Betsy Bossaer, elementary school Title I instructional assistant Leanna Neilson, elementary school instructional assistant Estie Schultz, middle school instructional assistant Tammy Huddleston, high school instructional assistant Ronette Messer, high school custodian David Walters, Title I administrator Jodie Schlatter, and junior varsity volleyball coach Marlana Lewark. E. Anne Ketchen was also hired on a temporary contract for nine weeks while Lindley Laposi is on maternity leave.

West Central High School principal Pat Culp said finding teachers was tough, especially if the teachers have a specialized study such as agriculture.

“It’s been an interesting process interviewing all these people. I want to thank a lot of the teachers who served on committees and helped me find them,” Culp said. “We got it figured out and I think we have good additions to the staff.”

In other business:

• Minutes from the July 10 regular meeting were approved.

• Requisitions in the amount of $6,559.04 for the corporation and $2,860.83 for Cooperative School Services were approved.

• The second reading of the policy manual revision regarding possessing firearms on school property was approved.

• A request to approve the Title I grant was approved.

• A resolution regarding board members and the school superintendent to participate in professional growth opportunities during the 2014-2015 school year was approved.

• A motion in regards to a resolution reducing the 2014 debt service appropriation in the amount of $89,500 was approved. Street said these funds can be rolled forward to support the 2015 property tax of the wind turbine.

• A request to approve the 2015 school budget, the capital projects plan and the bus replacement plan was approved.

• A motion to approve the certified contracts for the 2014-2015 school year was approved. The certified staff includes teachers.

• A request regarding an increase in the amount that bus drivers are paid for field trips and extracurricular trips was approved. Street said the last time the bus drivers received an increase was in 2006.

• Claims in the amount of $942,871.10 for the corporation and $310,417.79 for Cooperative School Services were approved.

(Pulaski County Journal — Aug. 13, 2014 • Story by Amber L. Tomlinson)

Winamac farmer to receive River-Friendly Farmer award

One Pulaski County farmer is receiving a special honor as he will be named a river-friendly farmer on Wednesday, Aug. 13.

Howard Conner, of Winamac, is one of 59 River Friends Farmers who will be recognized by the Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts for the work he has done to protect Indiana’s natural resources.

Recipients of the River-Friendly Farms were selected for this award by their local soil and water conservation district based on their management practices that help keep rivers, lakes and streams clean.

“This is quite an honor. I’m really looking forward to it,” Conner said.

In the past Howard and his brother farmed about 1,500 acres. He has since “slowed down” and farms about 500 acres.

“As far as the farm, I have been using mostly no-till and maintaining grass waterways and buffer strips along the ditches to keep the sediment out,” said Conner, who has been farming for about 54 years on his own. Before that he was farming with his father.

“I was raised along the Tippecanoe River and have been boating and playing along the river for about 50 years.”

Along with conservation implementation plans on the farm, Conner said his work with Arrowhead Country Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) river raft expedition may be why he is receiving the river-friendly award.

The expedition allows about 100 kids the chance to ride the river and learn about how to protect it.

“We have been doing that for more than 20 years. We teach youth about soil erosion, timber management and stream-bed protection,” Conner said.

Students also learn how keeping the river clean affects the wildlife along the river. While rafting they will stop and examine mussels.

“It’s only been in the last 10 years that the Tippecanoe River has really supported that kind of thing (mussels). Before that it was too much sediment,” Conner said. “The river, today, is much cleaner than it was 50 years ago, because of the fact that we do not have near the sediment from farmlands.”

He said not all farmers manage no-till farming but many are making an effort to decrease surface runoff.

One of the many reasons Conner cares about conservation is because he believes water is “going to become the new oil. In some places water may even be more valuable than oil. I really believe that water will be a valuable commodity.”

Conner will be honored at the Farmers’ Day ceremony at the Indiana State Fair on Aug. 13.

(Pulaski County Journal — Aug. 13, 2014 • Story by Amber L. Tomlinson)

Beware of caller ID scam

Pulaski County Sheriff Mike Gayer is warning that a new telephone scam is sweeping across the nation and Pulaski County residents have been contacted.

Gayer recently received a call from a Francesville resident who was caller ID spoofed.

“He got a phone call and it came up on the caller ID as somebody he knew so he answered it and in fact it was some scam outfit,” Gayer said. “Somehow people have manipulated the phones. I read the same thing is happening somewhere else in the state.”

The recent scam involves callers, who use technology to their favor, hiding their identity with caller ID spoofing. The caller will mask their identity by using a number that may be familiar to the potential victim.

The callers are bringing new twists to the scams that include threatening debt collection, winning a fake sweepstakes, a threat of utilities being shut off and alleging to give tech support. Callers are also threatening to have the victims arrested.

“Be cautious of who you speak to because it may not be who you think it is,” Gayer said. “Do not give any information out about yourself over the phone without verifying where the call came from.”

The challenge for law enforcement is the caller is almost impossible to locate and apprehend and if a victim transfers money, it most likely will not be recovered.

(Pulaski County Journal — Aug. 6, 2014 • Story by Amber L. Tomlinson)

Habitat for Humanity building in Winamac needs volunteers

Starke/Pulaski Habitat for Humanity is seeking volunteers for construction of its newest home at 712 S. West St., in Winamac.

Work will begin Saturday, Aug. 9 and continue on Saturdays thereafter until the project is complete.

All types of volunteers are needed to help with framing, general labor, cleanup and preparing meals for the work crew. Donations of materials – from a box of nails to lumber — also are needed.

Construction volunteers must be 16 years of age and older. No prior building experience is required as there are on-site supervisors to provide hands-on training. Volunteers may bring their own tools or use tools provided.

Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit, nondenominational Christian housing organization. Habitat homes are built by all volunteers and sold to low-income families at no profit. The homes are financed with affordable loans, and the homeowners’ monthly mortgage payments are used to build more Habitat homes.

This is the fifth home constructed by Starke/Pulaski Habitat for Humanity. Ray and Raychel Davis will be the new homeowners of the residence currently under construction.

Anyone interested in volunteering may contact Ray Michau at 574-595-7803 or email Annray@pwrtc.com; or Wendy Hoppe at 574-896-2811 or email plumb_her@yahoo.com; or Steve Morrison at 574-595-5227 or smorr3@gmail.com.

For more information about the organization, visit www.sphabitat.org.

(Pulaski County Journal — Aug. 6, 2014 • Story by Amber L. Tomlinson)

RETURN TO TOP

JULY

Community foundation announces grant cycles

The Pulaski County Community Foundation (PCCF) has announced it will offer more grant dollars than ever before through its annual fall grant cycle. Grants totaling up to $37,000 will be made available, with individual grant awards of up to $7,500.

“The board of directors is thrilled the foundation has grown to be able to offer this increased amount for community projects and needs,” said Wendy Rose, executive director.

The application period will begin on Friday, Aug. 1, with applications due by 1 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 12. Nonprofit organizations and groups interested in completing charitable projects to benefit Pulaski County are encouraged to apply.

Youth grants will also be made available Aug. 1, but with an earlier deadline of Sept. 2, at 4 p.m. Grants of up to $500 will be awarded to improve existing programs or for new youth projects in the schools or community. Interested youth organizations, associations, or civic groups that provide services in Pulaski County may apply. Applications must be submitted online through the foundation website.

Two identical free workshops for community grant applicants will be held at the community foundation office on Aug. 1 at 1 p.m. and Aug. 11 at 4 p.m. The PCCF grant application process will be reviewed along with basic proposal writing tips. First-time applicants and interested individuals are encouraged to contact the PCCF office to attend.

Last year, the foundation’s community grant cycle awarded nearly $25,000 ranging from $800 to $5,000 to nine grantees for projects supporting the arts and community development to education, health, and social services. Grant cycle funding comes from the foundation’s unrestricted resources.

Anyone can make a gift of any size at any time to enhance the general unrestricted endowed fund. Donations are tax-deductible and may be made online securely through PCCF’s website donation page.

For questions, contact the community foundation at 127 E. Pearl St., Winamac; 574-946-0906; or pccf@pulaskiccf.org.

(Pulaski County Journal — July 30, 2014)

Medaryville establishes garage sale ordinance

With various items cluttering the lawns of some Medaryville properties long after typical garage sale hours, members of the town council are taking action with an ordinance to clean up the riffraff.

During a meeting on July 23, the first reading of ordinance 2014-09-01 limiting the number of garage sales conducted each year was approved.

The ordinance defines what a garage sale is, the number of garage sales that can be held each year, stipulations of removal of sale items and equipment, how to obtain a permit, and the amount of a violation.

Town council president Derrick Stalbaum said the ordinance is to “keep people from selling things 24 hours a day seven days a week in town in their front yard. That’s what we are trying to avoid. That is what we are trying to stop.”

The ordinance limits the number of garage, rummage or estate sales to four per year and each sale cannot exceed three consecutive days.

Council members discussed whether the townwide garage sale applies to the ordinance. It was decided that the townwide garage sale event is exempt and the ordinance will be amended during the next reading. A permit will not be required for the event but sales will follow the length of days consistent with the ordinance.

If a person would like to host a garage sale, he or she must obtain a permit from the clerk-treasurer’s office 48 hours prior to the event. There is not a charge for the permit. The permit must be visible while the garage sale is occurring.

“I want to make this as easy as possible. I do not want to limit the rights of anyone,” Stalbaum said. “I just want to stop the prolonged sales that are in our neighborhoods.”

The ordinance does not apply to properties that are zoned as commercial, but rather to the residences.

If a person violates the garage sale ordinance, he or she can be fined $100 per violation. A violation can apply for each day the garage sale violates the ordinance.

Stalbaum suggested having the permit available online so it can be submitted by email. The permit must be accepted by the clerk-treasurer’s office before the garage sale is held.

The second and third readings of the ordinance will be during the next few meetings.

In other business:

• Minutes from the June 18 regular meeting were approved.

• Claims of $42,313.08 for the general fund, $29,284.25 for the water fund, and $15,988.60 for the wastewater fund were approved.

• A raise of 50 cents for the town maintenance supervisor position was approved. An employee evaluation was completed on supervisor Keith Hauptli before the meeting. Councilwoman Corrie Hauptli abstained from the vote.

• A review schedule of the 2015 budget meetings was approved.

• One utility adjustment of $132.60 because of a leak was approved.

• An update regarding whether the town computer software would work with credit or debit card payments for utility bills was tabled. Clerk-Treasurer Judy Harwood said the people she needs to get in contact with regarding the software were not available when she called.

• A request to purchase a new desk for the police department was tabled until a meeting on Monday, July 28. The cost of the desk was estimated to be $2,449. Council members expressed their concerns regarding the cost. The desk would provide room for a computer, the officers of the department, and extra storage. The request was tabled for price comparisons.

• A request to purchase a body camera for the police department was approved. The cost of the camera will come from the equipment fund. This will be the second body camera that the town will own.

• Council members signed a subrecipient statement confirming that the senior center is being used by seniors. The statement is signed and approved twice a year.

• The third and final reading of the amended salary ordinance was approved. The salary rate of the deputy clerk-treasurer was increased from $10.75 to $11.50 causing a change to the ordinance to be approved.

• The contracting of lawn maintenance was extended because town council members would like further quotes. It was tabled until the next regular meeting.

• Council members were approached by the Medaryville American Legion to purchase property where the baseball field is from the legion. Chuck Hill said the legion is in a bit of a “financial snafu.” The legion has seven lots that could be sold. To make the purchase appealing to the town, those lots would need to be changed. The baseball field covers about three of the lots, including one that has a portion of the legion building on it. Stalbaum said the town does not want the building, but wants to protect the baseball field because “that’s a huge program that we have in this town. We think that this is a huge asset to our town and it’s one of the few things that we have going on in this town for our youth. We want to maintain the current program.” There is also another piece of property the town would like to purchase because it would adjoin the baseball field with current town property. As American Legion members are working to figure out how to sell the property, they also need to vacate easement or alleys that run through the current American Legion building.

• Council members discussed whether the town should adopt a flood insurance ordinance. Medaryville is not considered in a flood area but some of the residences are in low-lying areas. Some residents have been approached by their insurance companies that they must have flood insurance. To obtain that coverage the town must first adopt a flood insurance ordinance. The ordinance is written but the town is waiting for approval of optional language added to the ordinance.

• David Webber, assistant county building inspector, approached the council for a letter of support as the county building department is trying to obtain a building demolition grant. The grant would help fund demolition of several buildings in the county. As part of the grant, the demolished property must have an “end use,” according to Webber. He used the example of giving the property back to farmers who have adjacent property or the property could be turned into a park. Stalbaum said he won’t support the grant if the property end use is not where a house can be built. “I want it to be able to be built on again. I want to create homes. I don’t want to create empty spots.” Stalbaum said. Webber said the end use is open ended. Stalbaum said he supports the idea of demolition but he wants the definition of “end use” before he supports it.

• An ordinance restricting nonemergency vehicular traffic in certain alleyways was discussed. Stalbaum said there are several seeded alleys in the town that are not used and are being maintained by residents. Recently there have been several complaints regarding people tearing up those alleys. The ordinance was tabled until further review.

• Quotes to fix the park shelter roof were tabled until the June 28 meeting.

• Street repairs for Maple Street for $385, Grove Street for $2,244 and Boson Street for $960 were approved.

• A request to repair or replace the park swing set was approved. The town will need to purchase a new swing set that is estimated to cost $3,559. There may be additional costs for shipping.

• Quotes to repair sidewalks were tabled until the June 28 meeting.

• A request to purchase chemicals to treat storm drains was approved. The chemicals will help clear out the roots in the drains.

(Pulaski County Journal — July 30, 2014 • Story by Amber L. Tomlinson)

Celebrating begins as Pulaski County turns 175 years old

The Pulaski County Historical Society is celebrating a birthday and those in Pulaski County are invited.

One such celebration was held during the Northern Indiana Power From the Past show on Saturday as members of the historical society and three appointed guests celebrated Pulaski County turning 175 years old.

At high noon a whistle blew indicating the recognition of the county’s birthday. Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Michael Shurn reminisced how the county centennial and sesquicentennial have been celebrated.

In 1939 when the county celebrated 100 years, 12 boys were picked to watch over and someday reopen a buried time capsule. In 1989 they did so during the 150 celebration.

Shurn said at that time 15 more children were chosen to place an item in a time capsule. Twelve of the children were chosen from each of the townships, while three others were considered at-large. Those 15 people were then challenged to come back to Pulaski County in 2039 and celebrate the county’s 200th birthday.

As part of the celebration, three of the 15 children, Matt Gilsinger, Bridget (Fitz) Kroeger and Megan Shurn, were invited to the ceremony at the Power From the Past event.

Matt, Bridget and Megan all said they remembered the 1989 celebration as being a cold wet day but they were a little too young to remember some of the finer details.

“I think that it is neat that our town says that we are celebrating this many years and I think that tells you about your community that they are saying ‘we are still here. We are surviving,’” Bridget said.

Megan, who traveled from Texas, said she remembers all the parades, the cake and having to stuff tissues in a chicken wire display for a parade float. She also remembers standing by the time capsule but not what was put in it.

“I think that it is neat that a bunch of us are still around or willing to come back to help out and celebrate so many years later,” she said. “It’s really nice that all of us are still around to be able to do that.”

Matt said the birthday has reminded him how much things have changed in the last 25 years.

“We all knew back then that we would graduate high school and go off to college and go do all this stuff but it makes it a full circle when you see that this person is doing this or that,” Matt said. “You remember the festivities of that year. My mom was very engaged with what we did in Indian Township and in Pulaski. To look at those photos you think, ‘Wow that was 25 years ago that we were doing that stuff.’ It just brings it all full circle.”

Shurn said he would like to have more of the 15 appointed children visit during the Monterey Days Festival and the Francesville Fall Festival.

(Pulaski County Journal — July 23, 2014 • Story by Amber L. Tomlinson)

Community support growing for extension office garden

The support for the Pulaski County Purdue Extension Office community garden continues to develop much like the growing produce — in leaps and bounds.

The community garden has been going strong for more than a month after raised beds were constructed and set by the extension office and local volunteers.

The beds are housing tomatoes, potatoes, strawberries, green peppers, onions and herbs, some of which are overflowing.

“I’ve had lots of people come up to me at the fair and around town who have said they have noticed it or have stopped to see it,” said family nutrition program assistant Deb Winter. “We have had several people who have been very good about coming in and volunteering.”

The garden was made possible after a grant was written by Pulaski County Extension Director and 4-H Youth Development Educator Natalie Daily-Federer and Winter.

Winter along with Sue Nies teach family nutrition in the county and teach several low-income and elderly clients on how to make better decisions in regards to healthy food. To help those families eat more fresh foods, the extension office decided to grow the community garden. Produce from the garden will be used by Winter and Nies to teach kids and clients how to grow the food and prepare it.

Winter said Daily-Federer recently obtained a grant for kids’ cookbooks.

“We are trying to figure out when we are going to do some kind of kids’ cooking school with our produce,” Winter said. “We are trying to figure out how we are going to utilize the food and were it will go.”

Some of the produce will be given to the food pantry to help those who cannot afford fresh produce.

One idea the extension office has had involves tomatoes. Winter said they may teach locals on how to make tomato juice and can it.

(Pulaski County Journal — July 23, 2014 • Story by Amber L. Tomlinson)

EPCSC board shoots down employees carrying firearms

Eastern Pulaski Community School Corporation board members voiced their concerns regarding allowing guns on school grounds and came to a unanimous decision on Monday.

During a regular meeting, superintendent Dan Foster questioned what stand the board would take regarding whether school employees could have guns on school property. During the school board meeting last month, Foster introduced a few options to school board members regarding gun carrying policy.

Those options included following what the state recommends such as firearms being allowed on school property but being concealed in vehicles, or to allow employees to carry guns in the school buildings. If an employee did carry a firearm on school property then he or she must complete training and evaluations.

“I’ve have conversations with a lot of people in the last few weeks and it’s pretty mixed,” Foster said. “There are some people who think it could be very valuable. There are concerns of safety.”

Foster said he has not heard a lot of discussion from parents and the community as to if they would support corporation employees carrying firearms.

His said one of his biggest concerns is that those who are carrying the firearm and are properly trained will have a “huge responsibility” if the weapon is drawn.

When Foster first introduced the options of gun carrying, board members had several questions. One of them was what did local law enforcement officers think about school employees or administration carrying firearms on school property.

To answer that question firsthand, Winamac Police Chief Mike Buchanan, Pulaski County Sheriff Mike Gayer, Republican sheriff candidate Jeff Richwine and Democrat candidate Paul Grandstaff were in attendance.

Foster asked each of the men for their opinion that was a mix of understanding, support and opposition.

Gayer said there is no “magic solution to stop an intruder.” He used examples of how safety policy didn’t save those in recent school shootings. Some of his concerns include how would officers entering the building know who the shooter is if teachers also have guns and how would a school employee know if an off-duty officer was the good guy.

“There’s a lot of variables and a lot of what ifs,” Gayer said. “We would rather leave the guns in our hands and not that of the faculty’s hands.”

He was also concerned as to whether a teacher would be prepared to take the life of another person.

Buchanan agreed with Gayer that there are lot of variables. He said there are a lot of pros and cons but the reality is that during the chaos of a shooting split decisions will have to be made and that could create further problems.

“I’ve talked with my guys and they are not real comfortable with having guns in the school,” he said.

Richwine and Grandstaff agreed that with the proper training and guidance, employees or administration could handle firearms in the schools.

“I think it would take a lot of coordination between law enforcement and the schools to do it properly. I think it would have to be a very specific group of people,” Richwine said. “I think that all of us would agree that what gets these guys to stop is either a teacher unarmed confronting them or someone confronting them to stop.”

Grandstaff said both sides can be debated but there would have to be firm policy and training in place if employees were allowed to carry firearms on school property.

“You really need to take a hard look at that,” he said. “I’m like Jeff, in the fact or the event that if I become sheriff, I would be willing to help you out in any way that I could. I’m willing to help you because it takes that level of responsibility to help one another out to get the job done.”

School board members had mixed emotions but all agreed that they did not want to force school employees or administration to carry a firearm. Others said guns should not be allowed on the school grounds.

School board member John Kwiatkowski said all guns should be at home and locked up. “I don’t believe that guns belong on campus.”

School board member Larry Beach, who is a retired Indiana State Police officer, said, “I feel that we hire teachers to be teachers. We don’t hire them to be police officers. I am against any guns in the school.”

Terri Johnson and Deke DeMarco both agreed that they have heard from administrators who don’t want to carry firearms, so for that reason they would not agree with allowing employees to carry guns.

School board member Michael Tetzloff said he doesn’t think guns belong in the schools unless they are in the hands of officers, who may already be attending school events.

School board members approved to add any further policy regarding firearms on school property other than what the state law dictates.

School board president Joe Cunningham and Rhonda Heims opposed the motion.

In other business:

• Minutes of the regular meeting and the work session on June 9th, and special session on June 23 were approved.

• The financial report for the period ending on June 30, claims, payroll, transfer appropriations within funds of the 2014 fiscal year budget, and the extra-curricular financial report were approved.

• The conflict of interest form submitted by board member Joe Cunningham was approved.

• Contracts with bus drivers were approved. Foster said the slate of bus drivers will be the same as last year.

• The resignation of middle school language arts teacher Heather Pugh was approved. Pugh has worked for the corporation for about 18 years.

• A motion to consider the transfer tuition policy for the 2014-2015 school year was approved. The policy complies with Indiana Code 20-26-11-32. Estimated enrollment capacity for the elementary school is 740, middle school is 350 and high school is 460. The enrollment date has been set and approved for March 1, 2015, because of the second count date.

• The second reading and approval of school board policy regarding use of seclusion and restraints was approved.

• A request to accept a donation of $500 from the North Central Quail Forever Chapter for the National Archery in Schools Program (NASP) at the school was approved. Foster said the program is now completely funded.

• The textbook fees for the 2014-2015 school year were approved. The amounts will continue to be $100 per student.

• A motion to declare items as surplus or junk and dispose of them was approved. Foster said a majority of the items such as media items are broken or cannot be upgraded. There are a couple of machines or equipment that the corporation would like to see if they can sell. Other items will be recycled.

• A motion to approve a contract for financial advising were approved. Foster said with upcoming school projects, the financial advice will be welcomed. He also believes this will help the corporation save money over the course of a year.

• A request to purchase 15 cafeteria tables for a cost of $16,637 was approved. Foster said there are funds available in the cafeteria account for the purchasing of the tables.

• A request to purchase 15 two-way radios at a cost of $4,833 was approved. Foster said the corporation is looking at grant funding to pay for the radios.

• A motion to apply for a school safety grant was approved. The grant requires a matching fund from the recipient. Foster estimates the corporation will need to fund $17,000 for the match. He would like to use the funding to purchase cameras to finish the middle and high school upgrades and additions. It was approved to purchase 15 cameras.

(Pulaski County Journal — July 16, 2014 • Story by Amber L. Tomlinson)

West Central School Corp. welcomes new employees

A handful of new faces will be seen at the West Central School Corporation this year with a new high school principal, a new high school assistant principal, athletic director and a few new teachers.

During a regular school board meeting on July 10, school board members approved the hiring of Wes Allen as the high school assistant principal and athletic director.

Allen, who is a 1996 West Central graduate, was hired after a recommendation of a hiring committee. Superintendent Don Street said Allen’s experience as an athletic director and his administration license was a plus.

“I would classify him as a good communicator. He has emphasis and is passionate about education. He taught special education for a few years before going into administration and athletic director, so that helps as well,” Street said.

They also heard from middle/high school principal Pat Culp, who was newly hired to the corporation, as Street moved to the position of corporation superintendent. Culp, who is a 1995 West Central graduate, has been working almost every day since he began in July.

“He is learning how we do some things at West Central and getting prepared for the registration and the teacher day with students,” Street said.

Other new employees include Erin Nault, who has been contracted as the elementary guidance counselor, and Anna DeRoo, who will be the elementary music teacher. Nault is on a temporary contract as Kari Ruble is on maternity leave.

Students at the high school will also be meeting a new English teacher, Heather Beach, who was hired during a May meeting.

Two new teachers, who are not new to the corporation, include Kyle Evans, who will teach elementary and high school physical education, and Jennifer Byrne-Stasiek, who will be an elementary teacher.

“There are new ideas surfacing. There are different ways to accomplish the task. We all believe that education is changing and it’s important for us to keep up with the time, while doing what it right for the students of West Central,” Street said. “Every school is going to have to change and make adjustments. There will be different ways to approach education and how best to reach the kids.”

Those who were hired:

• Assistant football coach, junior varsity basketball coach, varsity baseball coach: Kyle Evans

• Elementary teacher: Jennifer Byrne-Stasiek

• Title I instructional assistant: Connie Dunn

• Cross county coach: Duane Dickensheets

• Varsity football coach: Marc Hall

• Varsity cheerleading coach: Jenelle Owens

• Varsity/middle school cheerleading coach: Kelsey Erb

• Middle school head cheerleading coach: Elyse Williams

• Eighth-grade girls basketball coach: Riley Cervenka

• Varsity wrestling and middle school wrestling coach: Kenny Nielsen

• Varsity assistant wrestling coach: Jason Wall

• Varsity assistant softball coach: Jennifer Owens

• Varsity assistant football coach: Wade Vyhnanek

• Middle school football coach: Ross Davis

Cooperative School Services hiring included Gretchen Heimlich as diagnostician, Amber McAdow as secretary and Kaci Conley as job coach.

Along with hiring a new athletic director and approving several coaching positions, the board re-appointed Pamela Ledford as the corporation treasurer, Bonnie Koebcke as corporation assistant treasurer, Monica Franscoviak as extra-curricular treasurer and Dumas and Mahnesmith as the corporation attorneys.

This is the first official school board meeting Street has been the superintendent. Street worked with Charles Mellon, who retired in June, during the last couple of months to make the transition between the two smooth.

“Chuck loves West Central and he wants the best for everyone. He wants a good transition for everyone,” Street said. “As he put it — he is just passing the torch.”

In other business:

• Minutes from the regular meeting on June 5 were approved.

• Requisitions for the corporation in the amount of $10,556.66 were approved along with the Cooperative School Services requisitions in the amount of $5,718.67.

• Resignations from administration assistant and athletic director Chuck Evans and physical education/health teacher and head football coach Darren Rodriguez were approved. Resignations from Cooperative School Services diagnostician Katherine Klingerman and secretary Julie Hunsley were approved.

• The transfer of elementary/high school physical education teacher Brian Pilarski to high school physical education was approved.

• The first reading of the firearms policy was accepted and approved. The policy follows the state guidelines with allowing teachers, parents and school visitors to keep guns concealed and locked in their cars in the school parking lots.

• Claims in the amount of $928,233.67 were approved for the corporation while claims in the amount of $92,577.28 were approved for the Cooperative School Services. The unusually high amount of the claims for the school corporation were because of building payments that are made twice a year.

(Pulaski County Journal — July 16, 2014 • Story by Amber L. Tomlinson)

Storm causes challenges for growing corn crops

Not only were broken tree limbs an indication of Mother Nature’s force that blew through Pulaski County during the late hours of June 30 through the early hours of July 1, but so was the amount of laid corn.

More than half a dozen farmers are seeing evidence of strong winds as they calculate just how much damage occurred to their cornfields.

Pulaski County Purdue Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources educator Chad Rushing said most of the damage is north of SR 14 but there are some isolated areas in other parts of the county.

“It’s mostly along the 14 corridor. The most consistent damage in the fields has been north of that,” he said. “Most of the damage is just laid over corn. Some of it may recover while some of it has been snapped off and the roots uncovered.”

According to Rushing, it’s hard to tell exactly the amount or extent of damage until the farmers get in the fields. He expects to see producers in Starke County report more damage than those in Pulaski County.

“I know one producer stated that he had about 30 or 40 acres of an 80-acre parcel showing signs of damage that had been laid over. Some of it may recover but some of it has been snapped off,” he said.

Overall he expects the damage to be a small percentage of the corn acres. The result of the laid corn will most likely produce less yields.

If the corn does recover it may be a challenge to harvest. “Producers may not be able to get it all harvested as efficiently as they would like,” Rushing said.

Along with laid corn, a couple of irrigators near U.S. 421 and SR 10 were pushed over.

As the growing season continues, another challenge farmers may face is the amount of rain that has occurred during the past few weeks.

“This storm really didn’t bring a whole lot of extra moisture, thankfully, because most fields have about a full moisture profile which is a good thing,” Rushing said. “If we keep getting rain like this they may not be able to water in nitrogen effectively. They could have issues with nitrogen shortages.”

Overall Rushing said the crop is doing well. “Once we get through pollination we will know more. If the weather stays like it is we should have a successful pollination like we did last year and have an above-average yield.”

(Pulaski County Journal — July 9, 2014 • Story by Amber L. Tomlinson)

Household hazardous waste collection planned for July 12

We’ve all been there. Cleaning up the garage, basement, barn or medicine cabinet and we come across some stuff that just doesn’t look right, might be toxic, maybe you just don’t know what it is. You may have kids in your home and just want to keep things safe.

That’s where we can help. For many years now the Northwest Indiana Solid Waste District has accepted household hazardous waste with very few restrictions. That service is provided at no cost to residents of the six counties we serve. We will be collecting household hazardous waste, electronics, batteries and fluorescent light bulbs on Saturday, July 12, at the Pulaski County Recycling Center, 570 West 60 South, Winamac, from 8 to noon. It’s a good time to clean out what’s under your sink, in your medicine cabinet, basement and garage.

Only non-controlled substances can be collected at this event. If you have narcotic medications you need to dispose of, please contact the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department.

Paint is perhaps the most commonly collected item. Latex paint, however, is not considered hazardous. It can be dried out and placed with your regular trash. The best solution is to buy only what you need and to use it up. That’s true of any product purchase. If that is not possible, this event offers an opportunity to recycle or properly dispose of the hazardous or toxic chemicals at no cost. There is a charge for tires. Call or visit the website for pricing.

According to district director Carol Stradling, “It feels good to be able to provide a service that will safely remove toxic items from our homes and keep them out of our waterways.”

Anyone who resides within the six-county district may use this service and may attend any one of the six collection events. The counties served are Benton, Carroll, Jasper, Newton, Pulaski and White counties. No materials may be dropped off at the recycling center, highway garage or fairgrounds prior to the event. Items left without authorization are considered “illegally dumped” and will be turned over to the proper authorities for investigation.

For more information about the Northwest Indiana Solid Waste District’s collections or other activities of the district please call 800-856-0980 or visit our website at www.nwiswd.org.

(Pulaski County Journal — July 9, 2014)

County prepares for budget changes regarding the airport

A joint session between the Pulaski County Commissioners and the Pulaski County Council revealed changes will need to be made at the airport that will affect the budget.

During the meeting on Monday, county attorney Kevin Tankersley said there are several issues that county officials must address regarding how the county airport is operating on a financial level.

Those issues include changing the airport manager’s salary to hourly, purchasing the equipment at the airport and creating a fund to handle the fuel purchases.

In March, commissioners approved for the airport manager, Bud Widner, to be a full-time employee after there was a question of liability coverage. In the past Widner has been contracted, so he was not covered by the liability insurance.

Tankersley continued to investigate the situation and found that Widner must be an hourly employee. Widner must also be reimbursed if he is on call in case pilots need fuel.

A motion was approved by the commissioners to pay Widner at the hourly rate of about $12. It is the same amount he would receive when he was contracted. The motion also included having the aviation board members cover any on-call hours.

Tankersley also suggested the county purchase the computer, printer, copy machine and other equipment at the airport. It appears that Widner has purchased all those items using his own money instead of using county funding.

Because it is budget time for the council, it was suggested that about $15,000 be added to the airport budget to cover the costs of purchasing the equipment. A motion was approved by commissioners to purchase the items at the airport with the idea that any additional purchases will need to be made through the county.

A motion to create an additional fund regarding fuel at the airport was approved by commissioners. Any fuel that is purchased by the airport will now go through the county. If a pilot purchases the fuel it will go back to that fund.

The aviation board will now inventory what equipment will need to be purchased and present it to the commissioners and council.

The council will review the airport budget for 2015.

(Pulaski County Journal — July 2, 2014 • Story by Amber L. Tomlinson)

Summer brings a need for items at the food pantry

The Pulaski County Human Services Inc. Food Pantry is in need of help as the shelves have plenty of space for nonperishable foods. In May, 135 families totaling 404 individuals received 16,968 pounds of food in the month of May.

Pulaski County Human Services coordinators and volunteers encourage organizations, school groups, businesses or individuals to donate canned fruit, fruit cups, jelly, peanut butter, saltine crackers, canned vegetables, margarine, potato flakes, etc.

If a group is having a food drive or will be collecting food items, contact the food pantry so they can coordinate the receipt of the food items and help promote the activity.

Judy Stinemetz, volunteer pantry coordinator, reports there is also a need for diapers, shampoo, deodorant, paper products and other toiletry items.

Monetary donations can be made out to Pulaski County Human Services (PCHS) and food pantry can be written in the memo area and specify food or nonfood items or no preference. Those donations are tax deductible.

For more information about volunteering, donating goods or making a monetary contribution contact PCHS at 574-946-6500 or stop in and visit the facility at 115 W. Pearl St., Winamac.

(Pulaski County Journal — July 2, 2014)

RETURN TO TOP

JUNE

Garnett named Pulaski County 4-H, Community Fair Parade Grand Marshal

Everyone is cordially invited to participate in the Pulaski County 4-H and Community Fair Parade that is scheduled for Tuesday, July 1 beginning at 6 p.m.

The parade will start at the St. Peter’s Catholic Church, proceed south on Market Street, turn east on Washington Street, cross U.S. 35, turn south on Riverside Drive and end at the Eastern Pulaski schools parking lot.

We are pleased to announce that this year’s grand marshal will be Miss Indiana State Fair, Alyssa Garnett.

Any entry wishing to be judged should begin lining up at 4 p.m. This year’s theme is “Rising Above the Rest.”

Call 574-270-8291 or 574-946-6166 with any questions or for an entry form.

(Pulaski County Journal — June 25, 2014)

Garage sales causing concerns for Medaryville Town Council

Garage sales became the topic of discussion at a Medaryville Town Council meeting on June 18.

Councilwoman Corrie Hauptli voiced her concern and dislike of garage sales that appear to be in yards longer in length that typically garage sales are held.

“We have, I think, some issues that are causing problems on the corner of Main Street and 421 that need to be addressed,” Hauptli said.

Her concern was that some items have been left in yards for an undetermined amount of time and not sold. Those items have been sitting there so long that weeds are growing around them.

She questioned if the town sanitation ordinance covers garage sales or if the town needs to address the issue with an additional ordinance.

The town has faced the problem before with people leaving a number of items in their yards for several weeks and calling it a garage sale. It appears that the previous problem was handled with a town official talking with the resident.

There was also a question if county zoning or ordinances had regulations against yard sales that last more than 24 hours.

Council president Derrick Stalbaum said he would first talk with the residents in hopes that the issue is resolved. In the meantime the town can work on a new ordinance to address the issue.

In other business:

• Minutes from the May 21 regular meeting were approved.

• General fund claims of $48,061.34, water fund claims of $14,042.25 and wastewater fund claims of $22,119.69 were approved.

• Umbaugh, financial advisors, presented an initial study regarding the sewer rates and different financing options for the sewer lagoon project the town is planning to undertake. Some of the options to finance the project include grant funding, loans or bonds. The town currently has two bonds that will be reimbursed in 2016. There is funding to reimburse those two former bonds, before they obtain another bond. The study indicates that the current sewer rates can support the new debt of the project. Based on discussions with the engineer, Umbaugh does not anticipate additional annual maintenance expenses. It was suggested that the town pay off the two older bonds before obtaining another one. Council members approved to allow Umbaugh to complete a state revolving fund loan application on behalf of the town. There may be some additional engineering costs for the application.

• A request for police escort for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) motorcycle ride on July 12 was approved.

• The council decided to table the discussion of a pay raise for town maintenance supervisor Keith Hauptli. Council members would like to conduct an employee evaluation before approving a raise. The council will meet before the next regular council meeting for an employee evaluation in an executive session with Hauptli before making a decision regarding a raise during the regular meeting.

• Hauptli asked permission to hire an additional part-time person for mowing and weeding. He presented an application to the council. The request to hire a new part-time person was approved pending a background check on the applicant. Council president Derrick Stalbaum abstained from the vote because the applicant is a family friend.

• While talking about hiring a new employee, town marshal Brian Gaillard asked if background checks are made on all new hires. The town typically did not conduct background checks on potential hires. A motion was made that a background check must be made on all new potential employees before they are hired. The motion was approved.

• Hauptli voiced his concerns about the park shelter roof. He said the shingles are in rough shape and need repaired. The council advised Hauptli to obtain quotes for the repairs and present it to the council at the next meeting.

• The second reading of Ordinance 2014-07-01 regarding the amended salary ordinance was approved.

• The council approved the request to purchase two benches in memory of Mildred M. Spenner, who was a resident of Medaryville. A motion was also approved for the town to purchase additional benches with the understanding that those benches would be paid for in advance, so the buyers can receive a discounted rate by purchasing four benches at once. The benches appear to look like wood but are made of recyclable materials.

• The council approved to have the clerk-treasurer Judy Harwood research whether using GovPayNet is compatible with the town software and if is acceptable by the state board of accounts. Using GovPayNet would allow residents to pay with credit cards without charging the town but instead the credit card user.

(Pulaski County Journal — June 25, 2014)

State, town laws limit use of fireworks

Although there is still plenty of time for local residents to buy fireworks to celebrate the Fourth of July, some community members are already pushing the limits of when fireworks can be ignited.

Indiana law allows fireworks to be used anytime of the year during designated hours. In the Winamac town limits, fireworks are prohibited with the exception of certain days.

In 2008, the town passed an ordinance that prohibits the use of consumer fireworks except between the hours of 5 p.m. and two hours after sunset on June 29 through July 3, and July 5-July 9 of each year.

On July 4, the hours are between 10 a.m. and midnight of each year and between the hours of 10 a.m. on Dec. 31 and 1 a.m. on Jan. 1 of each year.

Use, ignition or discharge of fireworks on days that are not specified in the town ordinance can constitute an infraction. Violators can be fined $100 and the Winamac Police Department will enforce the ordinance.

The county, along with Medaryville, Francesville and Monterey, follow state law in regards to fireworks,

According to the state, fireworks can be used between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. daily. On Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, Labor Day and New Year’s Eve fireworks can be ignited or used from 9 a.m. until midnight.

As residents prepare to use or purchase their favorite noise maker, they are reminded to take extra precautions when using fireworks.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, two-out-of-five people each year are injured by fireworks. One-third of those who were injured are under the age of 15.

Those injuries happen when people forget they are dealing with an explosive. Sparklers are also hot enough to melt glass so children should be carefully supervised when using the firework item.

For those who don’t want to take the chance of setting off fireworks, a fireworks show will be presented by Kiwanis with weather permitting in the town park at dusk on FRIDAY, July 4.

(Pulaski County Journal — June 18, 2014)

Fair to ‘rise above the rest’

A tractor pull may not be the highlight of the Pulaski County Fair this year, but there will still be plenty to enjoy.

Pulaski County Purdue Extension Office Director and 4-H youth educator Natalie Federer said the tractor pull was dropped because the track is not up to standard with the insurance requirements. The track would need to be widened and there is a large concern of liability issues.

Last year, the fair faced the challenge of the threat of flooding and grounds that were too wet to hold trailers or tractors. Some of the events were dropped to maintain the quality of the grounds.

“We really want people to remember that this is an event for us to help and educate people about agriculture, science and animals,” Federer said. “This is an opportunity once again for those 4-H’ers to show, educate and share with their families and with the community the things that they have done and accomplished and worked really hard for all year.”

All of the 4-H shows will be run as in the past with the highlight being the 4-H recognition program on Saturday, June 28.

“We work really hard to honor them and our volunteers,” Federer said.

Another point of interest regarding exhibits, will be a display created by area fourth-graders. They completed a wildlife project in school and now have the opportunity to display what they have learned.

“This is the first time we have ever done something like this. Out of the 40-some kids there was a handful that were already in 4-H. This will hopefully pull another audience in,” Federer said.

Some of the highlights of the fair include the Miss Pulaski County and Little Miss and Mister Pulaski County pageants, live bands, pedal tractor pull, an electrical demonstration by Fulton County REMC, and the fireman water-ball challenge.

New attractions include the donkey races, a backseat driving contest, tethered hot air balloon rides, and different food vendors that will be offered from local organizations and businesses.

Teresa Calloway, Pulaski County Fair Board President, said the donkey race should be a lot of fun because locals will be riding the donkeys. There will be five heats and the top two of each heat will race in the finals. The winner will receive a trophy and bragging rights.

The backseat driving contest also includes riders but of a different sort. The driver is blindfolded while a rider is sitting in the backseat giving instructions.

“This is something new that we are going to try. We will need couples or two people. The one in the back will be directing the driver through an obstacle course,” Calloway said. “It will be timed and we will see who gets the best time. It should be a lot of fun.”

As for tradition, the parade will be held on Tuesday and follow the same path it did last year starting at the catholic church and ending in the park horseshoe on the west side of the river.

The 4-H 5K run that is organized by the Junior Leaders will be held, but this year it is a color run called “Color Me Green.” Runners will be splashed with green powder as they run.

“We have rented some inflatables and we have kids’ games that will be available,” Calloway said. “There will be face painting and games for the kids also.” Pony rides and a petting farm will be also be there to entertain little ones.

There has also been a concern about the food stand that will not be run by the extension homemakers this year and Federer knows that people are disappointed.

To compensate for the change, different nonprofit organizations and a few businesses will be cooking up a meal.

“We worked really hard to try to replace some of those little pieces,” Federer said.

Calloway said when the fair board searched for organizations that might want to be involved with cooking to raise funds, there was a good response including the rescue association, the Lions Club, the Pack-A-Backpack group and Venture Crew #2229.

Fair-goers will also see the results of a decorating competition between 4-H clubs. The 4-H theme this year is “rising above the rest.” Decorations will be inside and outside the 4-H building and may include mini hot-air balloons.

There will be tethered hot air balloon rides (weather permitting) on Tuesday.

Those who do attend the fair may notice some improvements made to the buildings. Federer said some areas will be painted and some minor repairs made.

Fliers with fair information are available at the extension office and a number of local businesses, or you can see their ad in this week’s Independent.

(Pulaski County Journal — June 18, 2014 • Story by Amber L. Tomlinson)

Mural unveiled at Eastern Pulaski Elementary School

By themselves they are three simple words, but together, “You are beautiful,” will send a message from this day forward to anyone who passes through the Eastern Pulaski Elementary School.

The nearly 600 students and teachers in the elementary school are represented self-portraits on the 5-foot high letters that now adorn one entire wall of the cafeteria. The mural is bursting with color and upon closer inspection one will see smiling faces and positive words that best describe each individual.

Principle Jill Collins first saw the project after the school received a congratulatory card being named a 4-star school. On the back of the card was the “You are beautiful” mural. “I thought what a cool idea,” she said. “I contacted the Arts for Indiana about the logistics and cost. Through a generous grant from the Pulaski County Community foundation and the PTA we were able to fund this project.”

Arts for Learning professional teaching artist Holly Combs spent a week with the EPES students during their art time, conveying why the project is so powerful. She talked about creating art and the art of being a better person and how every person has a particular trait that makes them unique. “Choosing the words is part of the message. It’s not about what you look like, it’s about what’s on the inside,” she said.

Students then used their time to work on a self-portrait and come up with a word that best described them. The words used focused on the positive not only on the outside but those things that are inside each one of them.

Once the portraits were finished they were shipped to Combs and her husband Dave who is a graphic artist. The images were scanned and placed onto mosaic tiles.

On Monday, June 2, the last day of school for students, EPES celebrated the culmination of all their hard work with an official mural unveiling ceremony.

It took two drafts before third-grader Chase Keller was happy with his self portrait that eventually ended up in the mural. He had quite a few words in mind for his artwork before deciding on “athletic.” “The neatest thing for me is that the artist got all these kids to do something so big,” he said.

“Looking at this is pretty powerful and sends a great message,” Collins stated. “We hope our students take away from this is we all have beautiful things on the inside and out. We should be focusing on building people up.”

When asked what she hopes future generations will see, Collins commented, “Years from now when these students bring their own children back to look at this work of art they helped create with the work of their peers. I want them to see and remember that looking for good in everyone is a life skill that we all need to carry with us.”

(Pulaski County Journal — June 11, 2014 • Story by Paul Hettinger)

First floor of Vurpillat Opera House receiving face-lift

A dumpster outside the Vurpillat Opera House is a good indication of better things happening inside.

On Saturday, members of the Pulaski County Historical Society and Pulaski County work release workers were seen emptying the first floor of the brick building as renovations began.

Kathi Thompson, historical society president, said the ceiling above the first floor will be torn down and the brick wall on the west side of the building will be uncovered.

“When we are finished we are going to blow in a ceiling and seal off what is upstairs and make it a more attractive finish,” Thompson said. “We just hope to have a more attractive interior.”

While the work is being complete, the building will not be rented. According to Thompson, the first floor is rented often and she hopes they will be able open it soon.

The opera house was constructed in 1882. The first floor was divided into three commercial spaces. The second floor housed office rooms while the third floor is a large open area with a stage. Many locals remember the first floor as being a drug store.

The renovations are made possible through historical society fundraisers and a community foundation grant.

Thompson said the building is a historical landmark but “we are not trying to maintain a historical look except for along the walls. Our biggest priority is to seal off the ceiling and keep dust from filtering down from upstairs.”

Renovation could take several weeks. Anyone who is interested in volunteering can contact 574-595-7562.

(Pulaski County Journal — June 11, 2014 • Story by Amber L. Tomlinson)

Community garden to take root

A community garden will soon be taking root as the Pulaski County Purdue Extension Office is building it.

Extension office administration recently announced a community garden would be grown after receiving permission from the Pulaski County Commissioners to place raised garden beds near the annex building on South Riverside Drive.

Pulaski County Extension Director and 4-H Youth Development Educator Natalie Federer and family nutrition program assistant Deb Winters wrote a grant to cover the costs of the garden. The project was awarded a Carroll-White REMC grant.

Winter said she and Sue Nies teach family nutrition in the county and teach several low-income and elderly clients on how to make better decisions in regards to healthy food. To help those families eat more fresh foods, the extension office decided to grow a community garden. Produce from the garden will be used by Winter and Nies to teach kids and clients how to grow the food and prepare it.

“They can learn how to build a community garden. They can work in it and provide for people who are less fortunate,” Winter said. “We are using it for lessons and using it for people who need the help. “I just think it’s a really good program that can help people.”

The gardens will be managed by volunteers and the food will be used to teach healthy eating with the excess food being donated to the food pantry.

“It’s about connecting young people to gardening, to food production, teaching them where food comes from and about healthy food,” Federer said. “Because it is a community garden, any leftover produce that is not used will benefit the food pantry as well. The food pantry may not get their hands on fresh produce a lot because of the shelf life.”

Winter said there will be beds of different sizes that will house produce plus herbs. “There are a lot of different ways that we can go with it.” She hopes to teach kids something simple like making salsa.

“We are teaching kids in hopes that maybe they will go back home and teach their parents,” Federer said.

The public is invited to learn how to build a raised bed garden on Saturday, June 7 at 9 a.m. The raised bed gardens will be located behind the Purdue Extension Office at 125 S. Riverside Dr. in Winamac.

The beds that were constructed by local high school students, will be built on June 7 and volunteers will start planting shortly after.

Some of the bed will be made to meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“We will need lots of volunteers. A lot of people don’t have money to donate but this offers them an opportunity donate their time,” Winter said. “We will also take donations of plants if anyone has started them.”

Those who are interested in volunteering can contact the office at 574-946-3412.

(Pulaski County Journal — June 4, 2014 • Story by Amber L. Tomlinson)

File offers important info to emergency responders

The more information emergency medical responders know during a health crisis the better they can help those who may not be able to help themselves.

Because of the need to serve locals in the best way possible, the Pulaski County Health Department has teamed together with Pulaski County Emergency Medical Services to offer the File of Life program. File of Life contains basic identification information, and if a person has allergies, medical conditions, or is taking medications, both prescriptions and over the counter.

“It’s a program for older adults or for a person that has special needs or special medical requirements,” said Pulaski County Health Department Environmental Health Specialist Sherry Fagner. “It’s for those who can’t speak for themselves. All of the information should be in the packet and that is huge for medical responders.”

The File of Life program is nationwide and used by numerous communities. The File of Life program requires the resident to complete the information sheets and place the sheets and any additional documentation in a bag or envelope that should be set on the refrigerator. Emergency responders will look for a sticker on the front entrance door or window indicating there is a File of Life.

“The File of Life contains the medical history needed by the responding emergency personnel, such as existing medical conditions, allergies, medication currently being taken, and emergency contact information,” said Pulaski County EMS Director Nikki Lowry.

An example of when File of Life is needed includes someone who has suffered from a stroke and takes a number of medications. It will give emergency responders background information as to whether the person has fallen or may have had another stroke. Emergency responders will look for signs of stroke.

“It’s the right thing to do. We never know when something could happen and you could need assistance. Speak for yourself when you may be unable to do so verbally,” said Pulaski County Health Officer Dr. Rex Allman. “Keep your forms up-to-date, and keep them visible on your refrigerator. Simple steps will keep you prepared to help responders if the time ever comes. If you need assistance completing the forms consult with your local doctor.”

Forms could also be used for small children who have allergies or special health needs.

Fagner said the department is keeping a list of those who have received a File of Life packet. She said they will check up on those who have received a packet in hopes of it being filled out and a sticker being placed on the window or door.

For more information contact the health department at 574-946-6080 or Pulaski County EMS at 574-946-0630.

(Pulaski County Journal — June 4, 2014 • Story by Amber L. Tomlinson)

RETURN TO TOP

MAY

Medaryville weed, grass ordinance to be enforced

Concerns of housing mosquitoes and the unaesthetic look of unkept lawns has Medaryville Town Council members preparing to enforce the weed, grass and rank vegetation ordinance.

During a regular meeting on May 21, town maintenance supervisor Keith Hauptli said a few lawns are becoming an issue.

“The biggest issue is that we have to stop the breeding mosquitoes in town,” he said. “With all the water we have got and without mowing and the woods, it is just a breeding ground. We have to stay on top of it.”

Councilman Derrick Stalbaum said the ordinance regarding weeds, grass and rank vegetation was changed last year.

“We have an ordinance for a reason,” he said. “It is very specific about what the expectations are and that is that all grass and weeds need to be under 6 inches in height. It does say within in town. It does not say with the exception of wooded areas. As far as I’m concerned that wherever it is in town it is expected to follow that ordinance.”

Stalbaum said the ordinance needs to be enforced and that property owners will be charged for how much it costs to be mowed or removed.

According to the ordinance, property owners can be fined $125 or more for each violation because costs incurred by the town will be charged to the property owner. Those who are accused of such a violation have a right to appeal the notice.

Stalbaum gave Hauptli permission to send letters to property owners who are not following the guidelines of the ordinance.

To help combat mosquitoes, the town does spray.

Councilwoman Corrie Hauptli was not present at the meeting.

For more information regarding the weed, grass and rank vegetation ordinance go to www.medaryville.net.

In other business:

• Minutes from the April 16 regular meeting, the April 24, April 28 and May 14 special meetings, and the May 12 public hearing were approved.

• The April 2014 claims for the general fund in the amount of $43,184.65, the water funds in the amount of $12,883.93, and the sewer fund in the amount of $25,262.90 were approved.

• The utility report adjustments in the amount of $239 were approved.

• Town marshal Brian Gaillard presented a report to the council and said although four new tires were placed on the police car, an additional tire was bought after an office hit a culvert. Stalbaum said he has noticed an increase in patrolling and appreciates it.

• Town maintenance supervisor Keith Hauptli said the new tile in the area of Farm Bureau has been placed. It took longer than expected and could cost the town more than anticipated but at the time of the meeting he was unsure of the amount.

• The final reading of Ordinance 2014-05-04 regarding town employees an opportunity to make up compensation time for each day lost because of town hall being closed due to a state of emergency was approved.

• The first reading of ordinance 2014-07-01 amending the 2014 salary ordinance to increase the rate of the deputy clerk-treasurer was approved.

• A few options regarding park benches were presented by councilwoman Carolyn Hager. The council began looking at different park benches after a family donated money to purchase a bench in memory of a family member. The costs of the benches were between $300 to more than $500. Town council members discussed purchasing a bench made of recycled items. The bench looks like wood but is plastic. The bench would be engraved or stamped with the person’s name or “in memory of.” Those who are interested in a memory bench can contact the town council.

• A letter from the Pulaski County Public Library was received asking for a donation to help with the summer reading programs. Last year the town donated money that was earmarked for the Medaryville branch. The town approved $150 for the library reading program.

(Pulaski County Journal — May 28, 2014 • Story by Amber L. Tomlinson)

County building department targets unsafe buildings

Buildings that could be considered unsafe are the recent target of the Pulaski County Building Department.

Pulaski County Building Inspector David W. Dare Sr. and assistant David Weber are focusing their efforts on buildings that could be deemed as unsafe specifically in the Medaryville area.

Two hearings were recently held at Pulaski County Commissioners’ meetings in regards to two buildings in Medaryville. Those buildings include the Drummer House next to the Everett’s Hotel and a house on U.S. 421.

On April 21, an extension was given in regards to the rehabilitation or demolition of the Drummer House. The property owner, Brian Capouch, said he needed time to work on the structure and if it is not salvageable then he will demolish the building.

A second hearing on May 19 regarding the home on U.S. 421 was held because the roof appears ready to collapse and could cause damage to a neighbor’s home it the walls fall out. Building department officials are currently trying to contact the owner.

During a Medaryville Town Council meeting on May 21, president Derrick Stalbaum said the council has been contacted by the Pulaski County Building Department about their push to clean up the unsafe buildings.

Stalbaum was told that a list of unsafe properties would be established and county ordinances would followed in regards to the unsafe buildings.

“We are working on a grant to demolish houses,” said Weber, during the commissioners’ meeting on May 21.

Dare said the department is following up on unsafe homes, when complaints are made.

An unsafe building violation complaint form can be found online at www.pulaskionline.org for those who are concerned with an unsafe building.

(Pulaski County Journal — May 28, 2014 • Story by Amber L. Tomlinson)

American Legion, VFW Memorial Day schedules

The annual veterans’ Memorial Day program will be held at the Pulaski County Courthouse lawn at 11 a.m. on Monday, May 26.

The guest speaker will be Jon Frain, of Frain Mortuary. The invocation and benediction will be given by David Broad. Greg Henry will be the master of ceremony. Commander of the guard will be Ken McFarland.

The American Legion and VFW Auxiliaries will place wreaths at the memorial and a salute to the war dead will be given by the combined firing squads of the American Legion and VFW. Rick Dilts will play taps.

Buck Cemetery 9 a.m.

Pro Cemetery 9:15 a.m.

St. Joe (South) 9:30 a.m.

Pulaski Presbyterian 9:40 a.m.

St. Joe (West) 9:55 a.m.

Star City West, Inc. (I.O.O.F.) 10:15 a.m.

Star City Town 10:25 a.m.

Mount Zion (Franklin Twp.) 9:30 a.m.

Reed Cemetery (SR 14 E.) 9:45 a.m.

St. Peter’s (SR 14 W.) 10 a.m.

McKinley 10:15 a.m.

Winamac 10:20 a.m.

All time are Eastern Daylight Time.

(Pulaski County Journal — May 21, 2014)

Sheriff’s department to remember fallen officers

As the Indiana State Police recently honored officers who have died in the line of duty, the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office is preparing to remember three local officers on Tuesday, May 27, at noon.

Pulaski County Sheriff Mike Gayer is inviting the public to a Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office Memorial Day Service that will honor sheriff Charles Henry Oglesby, sheriff Milo “Mike” Lewis and deputy Shadron Kiley “Shad” Bassett, who all died while serving Pulaski County.

Not only will officers remember those who have passed, but their families are invited to the ceremony.

“One of the many traditions I brought with me from my career with Indiana State Police is to honor the memory of fallen comrades. The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office has lost three on-duty officers since the department was organized some 175 years ago,” Gayer said. “The month of May is a time in this country we honor those who wore a uniform and fought a battle for freedom or a battle for justice. We, as a department, honor these three men and invite their families to join us in reflection of who they were and what they meant to us and this community. We again will come together on May 27 to remember these men and to spend time with their families in remembrance.”

Oglesby was fatally shot on Oct. 5, 1907, when attempting to stop a gang of safe-crackers, who had robbed a store in Burnettsville, and hitched on a train that stopped in Star City.

Lewis was shot and killed by a prisoner the Pulaski County Jail was holding for another facility on Oct. 11, 1967.

Bassett died from injuries caused by a single-vehicle accident on SR 39 at CR 300 N. while responding to a call on Oct. 7, 2005.

The first remembrance ceremony was held in 2007.

The service will begin at noon in front of the justice center at 110 E. Meridian St., Winamac.

(Pulaski County Journal — May 21, 2014 • Story by Amber L. Tomlinson)

Francesville Volunteer Fire Department receives grant for new gear, tools

Finding funds for new gear and rescue tools can be tough for local fire departments, but grants from the Indiana Homeland Security Foundation offer a little financial boost.

Because of the Indiana Homeland Security Foundation grant, the Francesville Volunteer Fire Department was able to purchase helmets, flashlights and rescue tools, costing $3,965.98.

The Indiana Homeland Security Foundation approved more than $400,000 in grants to aid public safety agencies statewide.

Awards were given to 112 recipients in 62 counties. Recipients include local fire departments, emergency medical services, law enforcement and emergency management agencies in all 10 Indiana Department of Homeland Security Districts.

The focus of the foundation is to support the future of public safety and to provide grant funding to local agencies for critical needs across Indiana. Grants provide up to $4,000.

Examples of items that current grant approvals funded include protective equipment, fire gear, defibrillators, fire hoses, computer and communication equipment, thermal imaging cameras and rescue mannequins.

“Local public safety agencies play a critical role in the safety of Hoosiers across the state,” said Gov. Mike Pence. “This grant money allows our first responders to replace and upgrade equipment vital to daily operations. By improving equipment and capabilities, our emergency response personnel statewide will have the tools they need to help keep Hoosiers safe.”

The Indiana Homeland Security Foundation is funded through the purchase of “Secure Indiana” license plates. These funds provide grants to public safety agencies and scholarships to students statewide.

(Pulaski County Journal — May 14, 2014)

Bridge receives plank-lift

Before the planks of the Winamac Town Park swinging bridge broke in two, town employees have given it a lift.

Over the past couple of weeks, weather and time permitting, the planks on the suspension footbridge were replaced.

Town manager Jim Conner said he is not sure when the last time the planks were replaced.

“Some of them were beginning to get soft and weak, so it was time to replace them,” Conner said.

The cost of the repairs included the lumber and the supplies. The lumber is treated and should last several years.

The Memorial Bridge that spans over the Tippecanoe River and connects the town park with the downtown area, was dedicated on July 4, 1923, in honor of the soldiers and sailors from Pulaski County.

(Pulaski County Journal — May 14, 2014 • Story by Amber L. Tomlinson)

West Central, Winamac announce top graduates

West Central High School and Winamac Community High School have announced the two top graduating seniors from each school’s class of 2014.

Trevor Putt has earned the distinction of being named class valedictorian at West Central High School.

Upon graduation Putt plans to attend Purdue University to study animal science.

While attending West Central Putt has been active in National Honor Society, Business Professionals of America, student council, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and 4-H.

His awards and honors include Top Scholar for sophomore and junior years, four years of high honor roll, anatomy and physiology awards and the U.S. history award.

In his spare time he has been involved in the school play and stays active in his church youth group. He enjoys playing sports and spending time with friends.

Trevor is the son of Brian and Tami Putt of Francesville.

Katie Isch, of Francesville, will be the West Central High School 2014 class salutatorian.

She has stayed busy in high school at West Central as a four-year member of student council, Sunshine Society and two-year member of the National Honor Society.

Isch enjoys time in the kitchen baking and when she is not spending time with family and friends, she is involved in her church youth group and church choir.

Outside of the class room she teaches 3 and 4-year-olds at Kingdom Kids Class twice a month and works as an aide at Parkview Haven.

Isch’s future plans are to attend IUPUI for Spanish and pre-medicine, with the hope of becoming a doctor of oncology.

Katie is the daughter of Burt and Karlene Isch.

At Winamac Community High School, Eric Newman, son of Marilyn and the late Ed Newman of Star City, has been named valedictorian and Courtney Boos, daughter of Matt and Lynndy Boos of Winamac, is the salutatorian.

During his four years at WCHS, Newman has been busy with countless activities including National Honor Society, National FFA Organization and 4-H Junior Leaders. He has also been a part of the Academic Super Bowl, Quiz Bowl, Midwest Conference math contest, Spanish quiz bowl, Science Olympiad and a four year member of the robotics team.

Newman has been an active member of the St. Joseph Religious Education and Key Club.

He has been a three-sport athlete while attending high school with participation in cross-country, track and soccer. He has been named soccer top-team player and received the captain’s award.

His honors and awards are numerous including the Lilly Endowment Scholarship, Presidential Award for Service and the DAR Good Citizen Award. During his time in 4-H he has been recognized as the ultimate showman and served as achievement royalty.

His future plans upon graduation are to attend Purdue University and major in animal sciences.

Winamac Community High School Salutatorian Courtney Boos has been an active member of the Sunshine Society where she has served as president and has been the student council vice president. She has also been an active member of the National Honor Society, Midwest Conference math team, Spanish quiz bowl and a member of Key Club.

Boos was a member of the Lady Warrior volleyball and softball teams for three years and played one season of basketball.

Her name has appeared on the distinguished honor roll all four years of high school and she has been named MWC Academic All-Conference.

Boos has been crowned snow coming queen and prom princess.

After graduation, she plans on studying business with a minor in Spanish at Butler University.

(Pulaski County Journal — May 7, 2014)

New principal hired at West Central schools

2014-2015 West Central Middle and High School students will be seeing a different face during the school year after the school board approved the hiring of Patrick Culp.

Culp was hired as the new principal of the middle and high schools with a unanimous vote from the West Central School Board during a regular meeting on May 1.

The principal position became available after current principal Don Street was hired as the school corporation superintendent. Superintendent Charles Mellon is retiring at the end of the school year.

Mellon said Culp, who is the son of Bonnie Culp, of Francesville, and the late Darrell Culp, has been with the same school corporation for about 12 years.

“He interviewed very well. We were very impressed,” said board member Dennis Gutwein.

Mellon said there were six applicants who were interviewed, three of which were contacted again for a second interview.

During the second interview, the applicants faced a panel of teachers, administration, guidance counselors and principals.

Culp is a graduate of West Central High School.

Street said he spoke with Culp who is hoping to meet with teachers and staff before the end of the school year.

Board members also approved the hiring of media instruction assistant Alicia Cotner and Cooperative School Services Kathleen Peters.

In other business:

• Minutes from the April 3 regular meeting and from the April 3 executive session were approved.

• Requisitions 14089-14112 in the amount of $81,619.77 for the corporation and requisition 14137 for the Cooperative School Services in the amount of $193.76 was approved.

• The transfer of middle school teacher Rebecca Reed to high school Spanish teacher was approved.

• Resignations from Cooperative School Services employees Alicia Hickman and Pama Schreeg, and high school custodian Amanda White were approved.

• Field trip requests for students to attend the FFA State Convention at Purdue University, and the Washington Leadership Conference in Washington D.C., were approved.

• Superintendent Charles Mellon gave an update on the school safety grant the corporation is receiving. He said the corporation has received the agreement to sign. He is hoping security upgrades can be completed this summer.

• Board meeting dates for the 2014-2015 school year were approved. The 2015 budget calendar was approved.

• Information regarding the employee pay dates for the 2014-2015 school year was presented to the board.

• A recommendation by superintendent Charles Mellon to not increase the price of breakfast but to increase the price of lunch by 10 cents was approved.

• A request by Mellon for the renewal of the student accident insurance plan with Student Assurance Services for the 2014-2015 school year was approved.

• Changes to the 2014-2015 student handbooks were approved. Changes included immunization requirements that are determined by the state, media center policies, definitions regarding student absences, athletic policy, and proposed daily schedules. Some of the changes applied to the elementary handbook, while others applied to the middle and high school handbook.

• Increases in the classified staff contracts were approved. Mellon said he hopes to have the contracts to the employees before the end of the school year.

• Claims 349-474 for the corporation in the amount of $380,464.45 and 942-1030 for Cooperative School Services in the amount of $206,545.95 were approved.

(Pulaski County Journal — May 7, 2014)

RETURN TO TOP

APRIL

Police warn residents to be on the lookout for burglars

Police are warning southern Pulaski County residents to lock their doors and secure their belongings, as a rash of burglaries have hit the area.

Pulaski County Sheriff Mike Gayer said a number of burglaries and thefts have been reported in Cass and White counties and it appears the suspect or suspects are now targeting the Star City area.

“It is starting to spill over into our county. We have had a couple of residential break-ins in our county and now a car stolen,” Gayer said.

The vehicle was reported stolen on April 24 in Star City. Gayer said it appears that three burglaries and a stolen vehicle are all connected with the same suspect or suspects.

“We do have a person of interest that we are watching,” Gayer said.

Witnesses in the three counties have all reported a similar looking vehicle that is suspected of having a connection with the cases.

Gayer said officers will increase patrolling in the area.

(Pulaski County Journal — April 30, 2014 • Story by Amber L. Tomlinson)

Winamac investigating utility rate increase

Planning for future utility projects and how to cover those costs could include a rate increase according to the end-of-the-year financial reports that the Winamac council reviewed on April 14.

During a regular meeting, the Winamac Town Council heard from Eric Walsh, H.J. Umbaugh and Associates, in regards to the end-of-the-year utility reports.

The reports included a narrative section that details the findings, the end-of-the-year cash balance and operating revenues and disbursements, and a comparison of utility rates compared to area towns and cities.

Walsh started with the water utility that he says is financially in good shape due to a rate increase last year that offset costs of a rate change for outside users and refunding water bonds saving the town money.

The increase in the cash balance was about $66,000.

Walsh said the utility is “moving in the right direction. Water should be healthy going forward the next couple of years.”

When looking at the sewerage utility, Walsh advised council members that they need to consider a rate increase to cover the costs of capital improvements and equipment.

Future plans for the utility include purchasing a new vacuum truck in 2015 and constructing a new lift station in 2016.

Walsh suggested a 10 percent rate increase that would generate about $100,000 a year. The increase would take care of projects in 2014 and 2015. It would help reduce the new lift station costs.

He suggested that a two-phase increase might be the best option. The utility finances are sustainable so a minimal increase would be acceptable.

“You really don’t have revenue to do capital projects without a rate adjustment,” Walsh said.

The electric utility finances are also in good shape. Walsh said one of the main reasons the utility is financially sound is because the town uses a tracker to keep revenues in line with costs.

It was suggested that council members continue to discuss the rate increase before making a decision whether to pursue it because there are several other projects including a storm water system.

(Pulaski County Journal — April 30, 2014 • Story by Amber L. Tomlinson)

Taxpayers to receive credits and refunds

Pulaski County property owners will be receiving a credit or refund due to incorrect tax rates.

The county recently announced that approximately $1,050,000 in credits or refunds will be given to those who are eligible for a refund of property taxes due to incorrect Local Option Income Tax (LOIT) Property Tax Replacement and County Economic Development Income Tax (CEDIT) Homestead Credit rates.

During a county council meeting on April 14, Pulaski County Auditor Shelia Garling said there was a difference between the rate the county used and the state rate.

“We have the money sitting there and we have to refund all the county taxpayers at that time that they were charged a higher rate,” she said.

To make the refunds, the county is applying it as partial payment toward the first installment of the 2014 tax statements that will result in a lower amount. The second installment may be higher due to the refund being applied towards the first installment.

Some refunds were also given in manual checks if a change in ownership occurred that will be mailed at the same time as the tax statements.

The first installment of taxes are due on May 12 and the second installment is due on Nov. 10.

(Pulaski County Journal — April 23, 2014 • Story by Amber L. Tomlinson)

Property tax statements will be arriving soon

Tax statements will be mailed on April 23 with the first installment due May 12.

This year property taxes are due May 12 and with the second installment due on Nov. 10 at any of the following locations:

• Pulaski County Treasurer’s Office — courthouse

• First Federal Savings Bank — Winamac branch

• First National Bank of Monterey — Monterey and Winamac branches

• Alliance Bank — Francesville and Winamac branches

• Key Bank — Winamac branch

When paying at these locations, taxpayers must present his or her tax statement along with the payment.

Payments may also be mailed to: Pulaski County Treasurer, Courthouse, Room 240, 112 E. Main St., Winamac, IN 46996. A self-addressed, stamped envelope is required for return receipts if a person wishes to have it mailed.

Please feel free to email the treasurer’s office with any questions at treasurersoffice@pulaskicounty.in.gov or call 574-946-3632.

(Pulaski County Journal — April 23, 2014)

Pipe replacement project requires U.S. 35 closure

The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) recently announced the closure of U.S. 35, between CR 800 S. and CR 900 S., about 2 miles south of SR 10 in Starke County, just north of the Pulaski County line on Monday, April 14.

Crews are replacing a pipe across the road. U.S. 35 will reopen in late April.

Southbound drivers will be detoured west on SR 10, south on SR 39, east on SR 14, and back to U.S. 35. Northbound drivers will be detoured west on SR 14, north on SR 39, east on SR 10, and back to U.S. 35.

Drivers in Northwest Indiana can monitor road closures, road conditions, and traffic alerts at any time via the district’s social media channels at www.Facebook.com/INDOTNorthwest, Twitter @INDOTNorthwest, or visit http://www.trafficwise.in.gov for INDOT’s TrafficWise traveler information service.

(Pulaski County Journal — April 16, 2014)

Monterey Council prepares for sewer rate increase

With the first reading of an ordinance, the Monterey Town Council is preparing to increase the sewer rates that will help cover the costs of a system upgrade.

During a regular meeting on April 9, council members approved Ordinance 2 of 2014 that establishes a new schedule of rates and charges to produce a revenue to pay expenses of maintenance and operation including the upgrading of the current sewer collection and treatment system that is about 14 years old.

Council members approved a $9.90 increase after a rate study indicated the town was collecting enough funding to pay for sustainability but not enough money if an emergency occurs or major upgrade is needed. The current rate for residents is $48.10; with the rate increase it will be $58.

Because of the rate increase, a public hearing will be held on May 14 to address any concerns from the public. An additional public hearing will be held the same night as part of the grant process the town is undergoing.

The town is planning on a $200,000 project to upgrade the sewer system and sewer treatment plant. Town officials are looking at grant funding to pay for a majority of the expenses. If the town receives the grant funding, it will have to make a $40,000 match.

The town is receiving $10,000 from the Nature Conservancy and the Pulaski County Council has pledged to help with $10,000 although it has not been decided if it will be through a loan or a donation.

Town council president Jim Fleury said he will be meeting with county council to discuss the options.

The new rates are expected to start in July. Residents who have paid in advance will still need to pay the difference in the rate.

In other business:

• The minutes from the March 12 regular meeting were approved.

• Fleury said he will call about the installation of a second street light at the new bridge crossing the Tippecanoe River. A pole is already in the ideal place where the light could be installed. There was also discussion of the reflectors being knocked off the bridge because of the snow plowing. The reflectors appeared to have been adhered to the bridge. Fleury said he understood the county would need to repair the reflectors.

• It appears that the old gas station tanks, across from town hall, will be removed and about five area wells will be drilled as part of the cleanup. The start of the project will depend on when the state gives the go-ahead.

• The town voted to have Port-a-Johns placed at the park from now through October. Council members voted to use the same as they did last year at a cost of $135 per month for two units that will be placed at the two town parks. Picnic tables will also be moved to the park area.

(Pulaski County Journal — April 16, 2014 • Story by Amber L. Tomlinson)

Local health department prepares commissioners for all-hazard incidents

Preparing for the worst is one of main focuses of the Pulaski County Health Department and sometimes getting everyone on the same page before a tragedy strikes can take a motion and approval from the Pulaski County Commissioners.

During a regular meeting on Monday, Pulaski County Health Department Environmental Health Specialist Sherry Fagner presented commissioners with an all-hazard county measure dispensing plan. Fagner requested the commissioners acknowledge they received the plan and sign it.

“Each of our planning partners have received a packet that looks similar to yours but is different. Each of them are customized per their agency,” Fagner said.

She said the information includes what roles and responsibilities each planning partner has during emergencies involving the health department.

Commissioners signed the plan.

Along with the information regarding the all-hazard county measure dispensing plan given the commissioners, Pulaski County Health Department Director of Environmental Health Terry Hansen said obtaining a generator for the annex building has become critical because of the more than $80,000 of vaccines that could be spoiled because of a power outage.

“We have been asking for a generator for years,” Hansen said. “We want to get this ball rolling.”

The electric has gone out about four times during the last several months, causing major issues for the employees. Hansen was advised that the county will begin finding out how much power the building needs to operate and then obtain a generator to fit it.

Several other infrastructure or maintenance issues were also asked regarding the fire alarms at the building, whether a panic button can be installed there and why not all of the security lights work property.

County maintenance director Jeff Johnson said the changes come down to funding and needing to find better options or equipment.

In other business:

• Jeff Johnson, county maintenance director, spoke with the commissioners regarding bids for a concrete pad at the recycling center. Recycling items need to be placed on cement pads, according to state codes. The bid in the amount of $10,450 was approved for the construction of the pad.

• Johnson also requested to pay for two bullet-resistant glass windows at the justice center. The cost is approximately $2,100 and a portion of the costs will be paid for by the inmates that damaged the window. His request was approved.

• Crystal Williams, director of the Pulaski County Department of Child Services, requested permission to use the courthouse lawn in regards to the Child Abuse Awareness ceremony on Tuesday. The request was approved. She also requested that figurines representing child abuse awareness be placed on the courthouse lawn for about a month.

• Ed Clark, recycling/transfer station director, presented a quote to the commissioners regarding a skid steer for the cost of $3,000. The skid steer is needed as an additional vehicle to move the recyclables. Money for the skid steer is available in the equipment funds. The request was approved.

• Clark also presented quotes to repair the horizontal baler. A quote in the amount of $2,502.60 was approved. The repairs are planned to happen in May.

• Clark also said he would like to bid on a recycling trailer that Winamac is auctioning. He said the trailer will be used often and it could be used by Winamac residents to drop off their recycling. The funds for the trailer would come from the Northwest Indiana Solid Waste District funding. The request was approved.

• Debora Girton, county home superintendent, presented commissioners with a prospective new county home resident. Girton said he is currently living at a nursing home and does not like it. The request for the new resident was approved.

• Girton also asked if she could be issued a county cellphone. She ran out of minutes on her phone. The request to give Girton a county cellphone was approved. Commissioner Tracey Shorter is to work with Girton and auditor Shelia Garling to obtain a phone.

• RB Walters, who has worked for the county as the main IT expert, no longer works for DeGroot Technology that services the county. There was discussion regarding whether Walters could continue to contract work with the sheriff’s department because he is familiar with the systems. County attorney Kevin Tankersley said there are several issues that need to be addressed if he is to continue. Commissioners approved for Walters to be temporarily contracted for IT service at the sheriff’s department until further issues are addressed.

• Pastor Brent Smith, of New Beginnings Family Fellowship, requested using the courthouse lawn for a prayer walk on Saturday, April 12. The walk will end on the courthouse lawn. The request was approved.

• A request by Garling to transfer funds into the county general to cover various costs was approved. Garling is concerned with the amount of money that has been spent since the beginning of the year and that funding from the state will not come until later this year.

• A conference request for Natalie Federer and Chad Rushing, of Pulaski County Purdue Extension Service, was approved.

• A recommendation for Margaret Manikowski to be appointed to the Monterey-Tippecanoe Library Board was approved.

• Minutes from the March 17 regular meeting, March 10, March 17 and April 1 executive sessions, and from the March 10 public hearing were approved. Payroll and claims were also approved.

(Pulaski County Journal — April 9, 2014 • Story by Amber L. Tomlinson)

Construction of recreational trails could begin this summer

Permits are being obtained and Winamac town officials are preparing for the next steps to be taken in the Winamac Recreational Trails Program and the Winamac Safe Routes to School project.

Winamac Town Manager Jim Conner said the town is in the permit phase.

The Winamac Recreational Trails Program includes a 12-foot wide asphalt trail similar to the Panhandle Pathway that travels between Main Street, at the old depot, to SR 14, approximately 0.66 miles. Conner said it will cost about $65,000, with about $50,000 funded from a grant and a $12,000 match from the town.

“The recreational trails program that is the section from Main Street to 14 West, we are hoping to do that construction this summer,” Conner said.

In regards to the safe route school project, Conner said because it is an Indiana Department of Transportation project, the town has to go through their engineering and bidding process.

“Right now, we are on schedule to let bids on that project in September. I doubt that we will see construction on that project this fall. It will depend on what kind of weather we have,” Conner said.

The Safe Routes to School project includes a 12-foot trail that will travel between Main Street south and the Panhandle Pathway. The total length of the project is 0.41 miles. Sidewalks along Pearl Street and Riverside Drive will also be upgraded and meet American with Disabilities Act guidelines including ramps. The project is estimated to cost about $249,996 and be funded by the Indiana Department of Transportation.

Future plans that will need additional funding include constructing linear parks along the Winamac Recreational Trails Program. The parks could include shelters and picnic tables.

(Pulaski County Journal — April 9, 2014 • Story by Amber L. Tomlinson)

Voter registration ends April 7

With six county races being contested, voters are being reminded of several important dates before primary day on May 6.

Monday, April 7, is an important date for residents, who want to vote but are not registered, because it is the last day for voter registration.

Those who are interested can fill out a voter registration card at the Pulaski County Clerk’s Office. A driver’s license or BMV issued ID card is needed to register.

If a person has moved since he or she has registered they must update their voter registration at the clerk’s office with the current address by April 7.

Absentee voting begins Tuesday, April 8, at the courthouse. All absentee voting in the clerk’s office will be conducted on voting machines. Voters must have a valid photo ID. If a person is unable to vote at the polls or in the courthouse, he or she may request at the clerk’s office to vote by mail.

Primary Election Day is Tuesday, May 6. Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Voters must have a valid photo ID.

Acceptable forms of ID include a valid driver’s license, a BMV issued ID card, a passport, or a photo ID issued by the State of Indiana or a government issued ID.

(Pulaski County Journal — April 2, 2014)

Medaryville sewer project roughly estimated at $850,000

Residents who are serviced by the Medaryville sewer system may soon be asked questions for an income survey that will be used as part of a grant to help fund an imperative, upcoming sewer project.

During a special meeting on March 10, town council members Derrick Stalbaum and Carolyn Hager approved to hire University Research Consultants to conduct a town income survey that must be completed in accordance with the Community Development Block Grant guidelines per the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs. The survey will take about eight weeks to complete and could cost more than $2,000.

The grant is needed for the sewer treatment system to continue to be in compliance with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management guidelines. In 2013, the town was advised of being in violation of the wastewater permit in 2011. According to town officials, the state made changes to the permit but the town did not receive it, causing the data to appear as noncomplaint. Violations include the lagoons not consistently meeting the current E. coli limits because of excess algae.

Because of the noncompliance threat, the town has been a part of a pilot bio-dome wastewater treatment that has been proven to work. The town submitted a compliance plan with the state that was approved.

The town is now looking for funding and a grant is one of the best ways to pay for the project without raising sewage rates.

Along with the special meeting, a public hearing was held on March 10 to discuss the federally funded Community Development Block Grant. It was estimated that the project could cost about $850,000. The cost was an initial estimate to ensure enough funding was being asked for, as the McMahon Engineering and Architects completes the engineering. As the engineering continues on the pilot program, the costs could be reduced.

The town match is estimated between $400,000 and $450,000.

Medaryville has been working for more than a year to comply with state regulations regarding the sewer treatment lagoons. If the town fails to comply with the state, then a penalty of $2,500 per day could apply.

The town is also seeking assistance from Medaryville residents in regards to writing letters as to why the upgrade is needed.

Further information will be given on the town’s website.

(Pulaski County Journal — April 2, 2014 • Story by Amber L. Tomlinson)

RETURN TO TOP

MARCH

Tippecanoe River State Park staff, friends honored with awards

The DNR Division of State Parks & Reservoirs recently honored employees and volunteers for their commitment to conservation in 2013.

The Tulip Award, the highest honor within the division, went to John Bergman, assistant director for operations, for his leadership in administration, staff support and development and new initiatives such as mountain bike trails over his 42-year career.

Volunteer of the Year awards were presented to Tim Barnes for his construction and maintenance of Harmonie State Park mountain bike trails, and to Jon Chapman and John Wheeler who provided leadership in building a river overlook and other projects at Tippecanoe River State Park.

Three Partnership Awards were presented. The Falls of the Ohio Foundation received an award for raising $5.5 million for new exhibits in the Falls of the Ohio State Park interpretive center. Indiana Dunes Tourism and the Town of Porter were honored for leadership in connecting Indiana Dunes State Park to the South Shore commuter train station with the Dunes-Kankakee Trail. Pioneer Oil was honored for a donation to Harmonie State Park to replace its aging gatehouse.

Two Innovation and Leadership Awards honored creativity and problem-solving. The staff at Pokagon State Park was honored for redeveloping Oak Hill Camp into the new Trine State Recreation Area. The staff at Prophetstown State Park was honored for leadership in opening the Prophetstown Aquatic Center in summer 2013.

Two Property Achievement Awards honored work on special projects or initiatives. Recognition went to the staff at Lincoln State Park for building a new seawall on Lake Lincoln at half the cost of contracting the work. An award also was presented to the staff of Spring Mill State Park for managing park concessions for product suitability and customer service.

Property manager Vernon Gillum and the staff at Tippecanoe River State Park were recognized with a Natural Resource Management Award for promoting, managing and protecting natural resources through prescribed fires and the removal of invasive plants.

The Cultural Resource Management Award went to property manager Sam Boggs and the staff at Chain O’Lakes State Park for restoring the interior of the Stanley Schoolhouse, built in 1915 and located in the park.

The Inn Employee of the Year award went to Lou Huff and the staff of the Indiana Inns call center for customer service and supporting Mother Nature’s Mercantile, DNR’s online store.

The Director’s Award is offered to a person outside the division who supports State Parks & Reservoirs. It was presented to Greg Sorrels, director of assets and facility management, for coordinating capital/rehab funding, vehicle management and other administrative tasks for the division.

The division also recognized the winners of two awards presented earlier in the year. Brad Bumgardner of Indiana Dunes State Park received the Lucy Pitschler Award, presented to a full-time interpreter by his or her peers. Marjorie Hershman of Pokagon State Park received the Monarch Award, presented to a seasonal interpreter for outstanding service.

The division also awarded 95 employees with service milestone awards. Among those, Robert Felix, property manager at the Brookville Lake and Whitewater Memorial State Park complex received a 40-year service award; and Dennis Weber (Brookville/Whitewater complex), Jeff Cummings (Fort Harrison), Doug Baird (Brown County), Michael Dalgliesh (Clifty Falls), Howard Draving (Mississinewa Lake), Pam Wrightsman (Cecil M. Harden Lake), Ted Tapp (Mounds State Park), Mark Young (Spring Mill State Park) and Daryl Hildebrand (Brookville/Whitewater Complex) received awards for 35 years of service.

(Pulaski County Journal — March 26, 2014)

Funding Strong Kids Campaign supports community children

Giving a little to the Pulaski County Family YMCA 2014 Strong Kids Campaign can go a long way in enhancing the lives of those in the community.

One of the most important goals the YMCA has is to enrich the lives of those in the community. To ensure that everyone has that opportunity, the 2014 Strong Kids Campaign is underway.

“The Y never turns anybody away for the inability to pay,” said Mike Banta, YMCA director. “We have a lot of community support that really helps us with this program allowing us to offer discounts through membership and programming. It’s basically us trying to do fundraising to help support our community efforts.”

Financial assistance is based on an individual’s ability to pay. It is the policy of the Pulaski County Family YMCA that no person be denied membership or program participation because he or she cannot pay the fees.

The funding supports youth sports programs, memberships, family programs, senior activities and other activities. It is also used toward participation fees so children can participate in the YMCA sports such as basketball and soccer.

The drive is something they have done for the last few years.

“With the growing need of support in the community it’s something we really strive to let everyone benefit from and make sure that we really can support everyone who comes through the doors whether it be for programming or membership or other needs,” Banta said.

YMCA focuses on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Locally, there are about 500 YMCA members. During the year more than 450 children enjoy the YMCA programs and activities.

The 2014 Strong Kids Campaign goal is $25,000. Last year the goal was also $25,000 and more than $26,000 was raised through donations.

For more information contact Banta at 574-946-4150.

(Pulaski County Journal — March 26, 2014)

Snow days causing problems for EPCSC

Eastern Pulaski Community School Corporation officials are looking at ways to keep Winamac Community High School seniors on track for graduation and new technology may be the solution.

During a regular meeting on March 12, school board members held their meeting although the hallways were empty because of a snow day.

Superintendent Dan Foster said the latest snow day has forced the corporation to extend the end of the school year by one day.

The corporation is looking at the option of E-learning day for the seniors, but not all the students, because Eastern Pulaski is not a one-to-one corporation.

“I’m just investigating the possibility of maybe trying to do something with that senior class so they would not have to come back after graduation,” Foster said.

E-learning will take some cooperation with teachers. Seniors would also need Internet access for their iPads.

Foster said he knows of a couple other schools who are looking into E-learning. He plans to contact those schools and see what the state is requiring.

If additional days are added or E-learning will not be permitted by the state, seniors may have to attend school on June 2. They would attend commencement on May 30, but would not receive their diploma until June 2.

“I would like, and I’m sure a lot of people would like, the seniors to be done on May 30 and not have to come back,” Foster said. “We are going to try and see what we can do to make that happen. At this point it would be for seniors only.”

Students have missed a total of eight days since Christmas because of the weather. Two days were waived by the state. Two days were built-in snow days that have already been made up. Students will also attend school on April 21, a built-in make-up day.

Foster said parents were surveyed regarding using Friday, March 21 and Good Friday as make-up days. A majority of the parents agreed.

“We were set until today. We were about to break even,” Foster said.

School days have also been affected by several two-hour delays. Foster said there have been more than a dozen delays since Christmas this year causing about 24 hours of instruction time to be lost.

In regards to instructional time that has been lost, Foster said, “I think all the teachers have really done an outstanding job of trying to juggle what is a priority. They are trying to balance what they think is important and trying to hit what they really need to.”

The last day of school will be June 2, instead of May 30.

In other business:

• Minutes from the regular meeting and work session on Feb. 12 and a special meeting on Feb. 26 were approved.

• A financial report for the period ending on Feb. 28 and claims through March 12, along with the payroll claims for February were approved. Foster said the condition of funds is “very good,” with about 43 percent of the appropriations remaining for the year.

• Retirement requests for elementary school music teacher MaryAnn Fritz and high school English teacher Pam Agnew were approved. Fritz has worked for the corporation for 27 years. Agnew has worked for the corporation for 15 years.

• A recommendation to purchase two school buses at the cost of $87,801 with trade-ins of $5,200 and $7,500 was approved. Money in the bus replacement fund will be used for the purchases.

(Pulaski County Journal — March 19, 2014)

Heater wins Republican Caucus for town council

Pulaski County Republican Party Chairman Blair Todd has certified Judy Heater as the winner of the Republican Caucus for Winamac Town Council Member (District 2).

The caucus was held pursuant to the resignation of James DeArmond as the district 2 town council member effective Feb. 14.

Todd held the caucus on Monday, March 10. Heater won unanimously on the first ballot. The results were certified with the county clerk the following day.

Pulaski County Superior Court Judge Patrick Blankenship swore Heater into office on March 11.

Todd said, “The Republican Party thanks Mr. DeArmond for his years of service and dedication to our community. I congratulate Judy Heater on her success in the caucus and wish her well in her new position as the Winamac Town Council Member for the Second District.”

(Pulaski County Journal — March 19, 2014)

Creating an inviting quality of life

Pulaski County businesses and community leaders have plenty to be proud of after hearing about several economic development achievements during the 2014 Pulaski County Economic Development Summit on March 4.

Pulaski County Community Development Commission Executive Director Nathan Origer listed a number of achievements that included about 100 new jobs being created in the county over the next few years and partnerships that are developing localized incumbent-worker training programs.

“Things are looking great here,” Origer said.

Because of local businesses expanding and acquiring vacated facilities, Origer said there are few places new businesses can obtain that offer railroad or major highway access. To ensure further economic development, two feasibility studies are being completed on the county’s west side.

Origer said Pulaski County is primarily a home-grown economy but to compete for businesses, the county “must be able to offer infrastructure-served industrial land.”

Guest speaker Richard Heupel echoed some of the same thoughts but from a quality of life aspect. He said if the state does not continue to build better communities, it will not attract and retain talent.

“We believe that the two keys to sustainable economic development in the 21st century are quality of place and human capital,” said Heupel, who is the Ball State University Building Better Communities Director of Economic and Community Development.

He said 50 years ago, people moved to where the jobs were. Now the jobs are moving to where people want to live.

He encouraged those at the summit to take a look at what Pulaski County has to offer in regards to the quality of life that can include schools, government, tourism, businesses, community wellness and culture.

(Pulaski County Journal — March 12, 2014)

West Central School Board names Street as superintendent

West Central Middle-High School Principal Don Street has been named superintendent of the corporation becoming effective July 1.

During a regular school board meeting on March 6, board members approved to employ Street as superintendent after his contract was advertised.

Superintendent Charles Mellon will be retiring at the end of the school year.

The motion to approve Street as superintendent was unanimously approved.

The board also approved the make-up snow days. Mellon said the corporation will stick with the current calendar using the two built-in snow days and use Good Friday as a make-up snow day. Students would also attend school an additional two days at the end of the school year.

Graduation will remain scheduled for May 25, but students will not receive their diplomas until the last day of school.

In other business:

• Minutes from the Feb. 6 meeting were approved.

• Requisitions in the amount of $170,639.02 for the school cooperation and $5,953.28 for Cooperative School Services were approved. The requisitions included the costs of a phone system for the schools at the cost of $85,963.50. The current system that is more than 14 years old, will no longer be supported if problems should occur. The costs includes installation of the system and new phones.

• A request to hire Mike Harter as the summer drivers’ education instructor was approved.

• Six retirements that will become effective at the end of the current school year were approved. Those who will be retiring include technology director Rob Evans, Spanish teacher Alice Hierlmeier, elementary teacher Linda Moncel, and cafeteria worker Evelyn Garling. Cooperative School Services Diane Smith and Kathy Mroczek will also be retiring.

• The resignations of teacher Laura Hillger and cafeteria worker Stacy Anliker were approved.

• One medical leave request was approved.

• The student council annual weekend lock-in was approved.

• A technology plan with three main goals was presented by West Central Middle and High School Principal Don Street, technology director Rob Evans and assistant technology director Kris Aschbrenner. Goals of the plan include implementing the use of Parent Connect, providing technology access to all students to aid in the improvement of their reading and writing skills, and providing teachers the means to design and implement instructional strategies that integrate technology. To help reach those goals the board also approved the purchasing of 65 Chromebooks, 60 iPads, and protector accessories for the devices for a total cost of $67,549.43 as part of the requisitions. Storage carts will also be bought for the devices.

• Claims in the amount of $375,551.44 for the school corporation and $219,073.97 for the Cooperative School Services were approved.

(Pulaski County Journal — March 12, 2014)

CDC initiating young professionals organization

Pulaski County Economic Development committee members are rounding up business professionals as part of a potential young professional organization.

The idea behind the young professional organization is to encourage young professionals to network while also enhancing career development. It would be volunteer-led by the young professionals, who will give their input into the group.

PCED would help develop the young professional organization (YPO) to meet the needs of the community’s young professionals.

Pulaski County Community Development Commission Executive Director Nathan Origer has been thinking about how to engage young community professionals for about the last year. Several ideas have crossed his mind but starting a young professionals organization is a “something that I think has a lot of potential.”

CDC is working to establish a small steering committee made up of not just CDC members but community professionals. The steering committee would set some initial guidelines.

“We would just like to set some basic guidelines so that when we go reaching out to the broader pool of potential members, we know how loosely or strictly we are going to define professional, age ranges and that sort of thing,” Origer said.

Origer has been talking with a handful of people who might be interested in serving on the committee. The committee will then invite young professionals to join the organization.

The organization would give young professionals a chance to network with mentors.

“They may get together outside of some formal group activities and the younger professional can ask questions of the older member and get some one-on-one guidelines such as what to be looking for in terms of career opportunities,” Origer said.

Origer hopes the young professionals will not only network but also get involved in community events.

If all goes well, Origer would like to have a committee established by late March or early April. There is not a set timeline for when young professionals will be asked to join the organization.

Those who are interested in being a part of the organization or more information, contact Origer at 574-946-3869.

(Pulaski County Journal — March 5, 2014)

ISP plan strong presence to deter drunk driving

Just as basketball is stirring up a great deal of activity this March, more than 250 Indiana law enforcement agencies are planning to launch action of their own as part of Operation Pull Over.

Now through Sunday, March 23, the Indiana State Police will be among those agencies and will initiate a major enforcement effort to crack down on impaired and dangerous driving. The enforcement effort will include saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints throughout the entire state.

“We will have a strong and visible police presence aimed at deterring dangerous driving and getting impaired drivers off Hoosier highways,” said Doug Carter, ISP Superintendent. “If you plan to drink alcohol — don’t drive. Designate a sober driver.”

From Feb. 28 through March 23 in 2013, there were a total of 388 crashes on Hoosier roadways where alcohol and/or illegal drugs were considered a contributing circumstance in the crash. Of those, 114 involved injury with 158 persons injured and four crashes involved fatalities killing four.

(Pulaski County Journal — March 5, 2014)

RETURN TO TOP

FEBRUARY

Star City Sewer District seeks refund for services that were not rendered

After council with Star City Sewer District attorney Dan Murphy, board president Walter Craig informed board members what options they could take in regards to services they paid for but felt were not done.

During a regular board meeting on Monday, Walter said the board could request a refund from USIC for services that were not rendered.

In December, the board voted to not pay a bill because board members felt the company has not located underground utility lines that they are contracted by the sewer district to find.

On Monday, Walter said he had spoken to Murphy who advised him that the board could request a refund. The board would need to submit a letter to the company requesting proof of the work. If the company refuses to show proof, then litigation can occur.

Councilwoman Pat Heisner asked what proof could be given to the board.

Craig said the company should have pictures of their work along with details regarding the times of services. He said the burden would be on the company to show what work they have completed.

The board did meet with a representative of the company in January. After the meeting they still did not feel the proper work had been accomplished.

Councilwoman Mary Craig made a motion to pursue writing a letter and requesting a refund. The motion passed with a 3-to-1 vote. Heisner opposed the motion.

After the meeting, Heisner said she is concerned the letter might cause further problems with the company that she wants to continue to be in good standings with.

“They are the only ones around us that do this type of work,” Heisner said.

The town, along with the help of Murphy, will compose a letter requesting a refund.

In other business:

• The minutes from the Jan. 27 meeting were approved.

• The treasurer’s report was approved.

• Concerns of an absent board member who was sworn to the sewer district in November was discussed. The commissioners appointed Lisa Hunt to the board but she has missed the last three meetings. The commissioners appointed the position so they are responsible for terminating the appointment if Hunt does not resign. The board must wait for a resignation or for the commissioners to terminate the appointment.

• The board reviewed several outstanding accounts and will file liens against the accounts that are more than 90 days late. Accountant Sue Peppers suggested the board contact landlords because of three accounts that need to be paid.

• A suggestion was made for board member Heisner to pursue the price of a copy/fax machine/scanner for the office. She said she will send the board members a number of quotes so they have a variety of options.

• Craig would like the district to purchase a metal detector. He said because of the harsh weather several valves have frozen and with several feet of snow it was hard to locate the valves. The detector would also locate the valve boxes. Andy Zehner, of Zehner Excavating, who is contracted with the town to service the system, will obtain some quotes regarding the price of a metal detector.

• Along with purchasing a metal detector, Craig would like to see how much permanent markers for the pits cost. The markers would give a clear indication of where the sewer pits are and hopefully keep people from hitting them.

(Pulaski County Journal — Feb. 26, 2014)

Summit to focus on quality of life

Focusing resources on improving the quality of life in rural communities is the focus of the 2014 Pulaski County Economic Development Summit on Tuesday, March 4.

Pulaski County Community Development Commission board members and executive director Nathan P. Origer are inviting business owners and community leaders to the summit that will feature Indiana economic-development veteran Dick Heupel, who is the director of economic and community development for the Ball State University Building Better Communities (BBC) programs.

Heupel will highlight the Primacy of Place (POP) Initiative that is part of the BBC programs and demonstrates a community’s strategic choice to dedicate resources toward improving the quality of life in the community, particularly in terms of impact on economic performance.

Origer said Heupel “will offer commentary on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to quality of life particular to rural communities and to Pulaski County specifically, with suggestions on how to better to take advantage of what we have to make Pulaski County a more attractive place for residence, business operations and tourism.”

Origer will also address the state of the county economy.

The summit that is a free event and includes dinner, is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Winamac Event Center, 221 S. Logan St.

For more information or to register contact Origer at 574-946-3869.

(Pulaski County Journal — Feb. 26, 2014)

Town council votes to close pool for 2014 season

With a three-to-one vote on Friday, the Winamac Town Council decided the town pool will not open for the 2014 season.

During a special session on Friday, councilmen briefly talked about options for the pool and heard from Gary Novitski, who was representing RenoSys, a company that refurbishes commercial pools.

Council president John Plowman said council members want to know what options are out there in regards to a new pool or refurbishing the current one that was built in 1963. He said the town is looking at different options such as fixing the pool, renovating it or a brand new pool.

The pool plumbing needs upgrading along with meeting various codes such as being American with Disabilities Act compliant. There are also problems with the fiberglass that was installed in 1984 coming loose from the concrete walls that are also crumbling.

The costs to fix the fiberglass could range from $30,000 to $40,000.

Novitski said most of the pools built “back in the day” are pretty strong structurally. The company will assess the pool and then decide how to renovate it within the town budget. He said renovations should save the town money in the long run because of the new automated equipment and any new pool features. His initial thoughts of renovation costs were about $350,000-$500,000 including the renovating of the deck.

Construction or renovation wouldn’t start until 2015. Novitski said obtaining a permit to begin the project would not happen until later in the summer because of the state backlog. When the project does begin it could take two to three months.

Council members voted to close the pool for the season because of the current fiberglass popping loose from the walls and not wanting to put potential construction money toward repairs that will only last a year.

Plowman opposed the motion because he would like to see the pool open.

Along with discussion regarding the pool, Plowman announced that the council has received a resignation letter from Jim DeArmond. Plowman said he is “sad to see him go and we are thankful for his service.”

(Pulaski County Journal - Feb. 19, 2014)

Students demonstrate benefits of ‘real time’

Integrating classwork and web-based programs has allowed teachers to provide students with real-time feedback before the work is completed for a grade.

During an Eastern Pulaski Community School Corporation meeting on Feb. 12, seventh-grade students demonstrated how they are benefiting from using iPads and the Internet.

Middle school teachers Heather Pugh and Cody Hook have teamed together to teach a Discovery class that combines social studies and language arts.

As part of the class, teachers and students use Google Drive to create documents, PowerPoint presentations and spreadsheets.

“It’s a tool for collaboration. People can be in different locations working on the same project at the same time,” Hook said. “It’s all web-based. The pros about it include that it’s real time.”

Hook used the example that when creating documents, the information is saved automatically and it doesn’t have to be printed. Hook and Pugh can access the students’ work and comment as students complete it.

Pugh said using the program has saved a large amount of paper.

“We can see their progress and we can see their typing. We can add comments and feedback — pointing them in the right direction,” Hook said.

During the demonstration, students Jada Collins and Jillian Brumm worked in another room typing while Pugh and Hook added comments with the board members watching.

“One of the things that we like about this is that students who are struggling, we can get in there and give them assistance without anyone knowing,” Hook said.

Another example, demonstrated for school board members, included a PowerPoint presentation created by the entire class. Each student was given the assignment to finish one slide, while working together.

“This will be a really good tool for when they get in the workforce and they are asked to collaborate with other employees,” Hook said.

Hook and Pugh are looking at other ways to use Drive. They are encouraging students to use it in other ways.

(Pulaski County Journal - Feb. 19, 2014)

Pulaski County out of recession, moving toward economic growth

Pulaski County Community Development Commission Executive Director Nathan P. Origer was the bearer of good news during a regular county council meeting on Monday.

Before attending the county council meeting, Origer was at the Winamac Town Council meeting supporting tax abatements for Antares Trailer, LLC, a supplier of flatbed trailers and intermodal chassis equipment. Antares Trailer will move into the former Tippecanoe Beverage property and is expected to create up to 42 new jobs by 2017.

“They have already hired a handful of people,” Origer said.

Along with the news of a new business making Winamac its hub, Origer requested the final approval on the proposed Winamac Coil Spring $150,000 forgivable loan.

Instead of a tax abatement, the community development commission offered the idea of a forgivable loan that would help the company make repairs to the former Chesapeake building and purchase new equipment.

Origer said a contract is being created for the loan and will be presented to the commissioners.

County council president Jay Sullivan questioned whether an interest rate has been decided on.

Origer said that rate is part of the contract that is in the company’s possession. The contract has been reviewed by county attorney Kevin Tankersley.

Winamac Coil Spring will move about 10 jobs to the new site and plans to create an additional 10-20 new jobs over the next five to 10 years.

Origer said if 10 new jobs are created during the next several years the county will net about $63,000 in revenue.

“Even though the CEDIT (County Economic Development Income Tax) fund will take a hit, what is made up in income taxes and property taxes will net positively over that period,” Origer said.

The forgivable loan was approved with councilman Doug Roth abstaining from the vote.

With the announcement of economic growth happening in the county, Origer also added that “Pulaski County has beaten a lot of communities across the county in officially getting out of the recession. We have as many people employed now as we did in December of 2007.”

He said those who are unemployed are actively seeking employment.

“Slowly but surely Pulaski County employers and those working in the labor pool of Pulaski County, have been hiring and finding jobs,” he said.

In other business:

• Jacki Frain, director of Pulaski County Human Services, requested an additional appropriation of $35,000 to compensate for funding cuts from other entities. Permission to advertise for the additional appropriation was approved.

• Pulaski County Assessor Holly VanDerAa requested an additional appropriation of $500 continued education pay for an employee who became level I certified. The $500 additional pay is annual and mandated by the state. Permission to advertise for the additional appropriation was approved. Councilman Mick Tiede abstained because he works for the assessor’s office.

• Pulaski County Treasurer Lynette Wilder requested a transfer of funds in the amount of $7,000 to pay for the outsourcing of tax statements. The transfer was approved.

• RB Walters, who is contracted by the county to handle technology issues, requested the replacement of eight XP systems that will no longer be supported. Councilman Doug Roth suggested waiting to change the computers out until there is a problem. Walters said when it’s not supported then information is not protected. There are a total of 21 systems that need to be replaced at the cost of $800 a piece. It was suggested that five computers be purchased in the amount of $5,000. Those computers can be on hand for when a computer breaks down. The council approved for an additional appropriation in the amount of $5,000 to be advertised.

• Pulaski County Clerk Tasha Foerg requested an additional appropriation in the amount of $800 to replace a computer in the clerk’s office that is continually needing repair.

• Mark Hamilton, who was representing Pulaski County Drug Free Council, requested an additional appropriation in the amount of $5,585.67 which was approved to be advertised.

• Pulaski County Highway Superintendent Mark Fox requested several additional appropriations be made to cover overtime pay. These appropriations include a rough estimate of what he thinks will keep the budget in the black through the rest of the year. Because of the weather, the department has already burned through the overtime budget. It will take about $32,000 to cover the overtime to get the department in compliance with the policy handbook. Fox also asked for an additional $50,000 to cover future overtime costs. The council approved $50,000 to cover the current costs with a little cushion.

• Pulaski County Recycling/Transfer Center Director Ed Clark requested purchasing a $5,000 conveyor with a metal detector that will separate aluminum from tin. The decision was made to get the funding from the solid waste district. The request was approved.

• Minutes from the Dec. 9, 2013 regular session, and the Jan. 13 regular session were approved and signed.

• An additional appropriation from the county general fund of $2,700 for part-time clerical help during the election time was approved.

• An additional appropriation from the county general fund of $83,200 for liability insurance was approved.

• An additional appropriation from the County Economic Development Income Tax (CEDIT) fund of $150,000 for the purchasing of a new ambulance was approved.

• Additional appropriations from the Cumulative Bridge Fund in the amount of $40,050.75 for Bridge 291 and $7,800 for Bridge 268 were approved.

• An additional appropriation from the County Adjusted Gross Income Tax (CAGIT) fund in the amount of $765 for Social Security/Medicare of the sheriff’s department was approved.

• An additional appropriation in the amount of $8,462.71 from the pretrial diversion fund for the prosecutor’s office was approved.

• An ordinance regarding the speed limit on CR 950 S. was tabled until further direction by county attorney Kevin Tankersley.

• Encumbrances for 2013/2014 in the amount of $170,272.61 were approved.

• A transfer of appropriations in the amount of $172.91 within the county home general fund was approved. The transfer was made to cover overtime that occurred in December of 2013.

• A transfer of appropriations in the amount of $5,098.60 for the county home was approved. Funds will be transfered into the county home fund to cover overtime, cable and Internet costs for the year, and service and maintenance.

• A transfer of appropriation in the amount of $31 in the pretrial diversion fund was approved.

(Pulaski County Journal — Feb. 12, 2014)

Options for missing school days in the works

Although no decisions have been made at this time, the West Central School Corporation is looking into different ways to recuperate canceled school days.

During a regular meeting on Feb. 6, West Central Superintendent Charles Mellon said six days have been missed because of the harsh winter weather and road conditions.

Mellon said two of the days were waived by the state, while two more can be covered by make-up days, Feb. 17 and April 21, leaving two days to be made up.

Typically, days are added to the end of the school calendar.

“We are not making any real plans yet until we get through the winter,” Mellon said. “We are not are making any commitments right now.”

Mellon said there was a time when graduation was held and seniors were given a blank diploma. Those students had to return to school to complete their last days of school.

A decision on how to make up the days will be presented to the board and also the teachers’ association.

In other business:

• School board member Kerry Miller presented Alyvia Faler with a student of the month certificate for the elementary school. Faler’s teacher said she is “nice to everyone in the class” and “always takes pride in her work.”

• Board member Gary Gudeman presented Shelby Powell with a student of the month certificate for the high school. Powell was nominated by the business department because she has excelled in the internship class.

• Jennipher Durham was recognized as the middle school student of the month but was not able to attend the meeting.

• Requisitions 14010-14029 for the corporation in the amount of $24,125.11 were approved. Requisitions 14100-14111 for Cooperative School Services in the amount of $4,027.60 were approved.

• A recommendation to employ Caryn Yochum as the girls’ seventh-grade basketball coach was approved.

• The resignation of Susan Bergens, who is a media aide for the elementary school, was approved. The resignation will be effective at the end of the school year.

• A request for the football coaches to attend the Grazier Football Clinic in Chicago was approved.

• A request for Joanne Stevens and members of the Business Professional of America (BPA) to attend the BPA State Leadership conference in Indianapolis was approved.

• No public comments were given regarding a potential contract for a new superintendent, Don Street, and the school board. Superintendent Charles Mellon is retiring at the end of the current school year.

• Conflict of interest forms were signed by the school board members and will be sent to the state.

• School board president Jim Bergens made the board appointments for the 2014 year.

• A maintenance contract with SUREnergy for the wind turbine in the amount of $23,000 was approved.

• Claims 37-120 for the corporation in the amount of $294,194.35 were approved.

• Claims 675-749 for Cooperative School Services in the amount of $192,448.78 were approved.

(Pulaski County Journal — Feb. 12, 2014)

Indiana ranks first in number of clandestine labs seized

Recent state reports of methamphetamine labs being seized in Pulaski County have added to a state total of 1,808 labs in 2013.

The Indiana State Police recently released the 2013 clandestine lab results that indicate six labs were seized in Pulaski County, compared to seven labs that were seized in 2012.

Pulaski County ties for second with LaPorte County in District 13 that includes Pulaski, LaPorte, Jasper, Lake, Newton, Porter and Starke counties. Starke County tops the District 13 list with 21 labs seized.

“It’s been discouraging because I don’t know how to combat this problem. We are taking steps with new dogs and sending guys to school to better detect if there are drugs during a traffic stop without the dogs,” said Pulaski County Sheriff Mike Gayer. “We have done just as much as any other sheriff’s department.”

He said one of the biggest problems is the social networking between the suspected drug users.

“They are so loyal to each other that it takes a tragedy of losing someone’s life before the others are snapped to attention. With their addiction problem they go back to the same state that they were before,” Gayer said. “They cannot free themselves from it.”

Across the state, Vanderburgh County had the most labs seized, 115 labs, by the Indiana State Police Methamphetamine Suppression Section and other agencies.

Total labs reported in the state continue to increase with 1,726 in 2012 and 1,437 in 2011. With the continual increase in lab seizures it appears that Indiana will be first in the country in clandestine lab incidents for 2013.

Along with the number of labs seized, the type of lab has also been recorded. Of the labs seized by the Indiana State Police, 87 percent (1,511) were the one-pot method.

A concern for law enforcement is also the number of children and adults who were in the clandestine lab environments. In 2013 there were 458 children who were exposed to meth labs. Two children died either due to a fire or medical issue relating to the labs.

Two hundred and thirty-six adults were injured in clandestine lab incidents, while 100 police officers also received injuries. There was also a report of 27 adults who died related to clandestine labs.

With the increasing number of labs, officers are arresting and identifying more suspects. In 2013 there were 1,551 arrests made, while in 2012 there were 1,482 arrests made.

Locally Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department Deputies have made 20 arrests relating to meth in 2013.

Gayer said there were a total of 70 drug cases last year and 20 of them were meth related. Those arrests are for possession of meth, not offenses such as visiting a common nuisance.

(Pulaski County Journal — Feb. 5, 2014)

Unemployment hits lowest point since 2008

December 2013 unemployment rates appear to be a positive sign for 2014 as the state rates dropped at the lowest point since October 2008.

Indiana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell 0.4 percentage points in December to 6.9 percent. According to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, the nonseasonally adjusted rate is as low as 6.3 percent but does not compensate for the increase in temporary employment around Christmas.

Locally, Pulaski County has seen nonseasonally adjusted rates drop from 6.4 percent in November 2013 to 5.4 percent in December 2013. Pulaski County is one of six other counties that reached a 5.4 percentage rate.

In the past year, Indiana’s unemployment has declined 1.4 percent that is the seventh-largest decrease in the nation. Indiana ranks second in the nation for the number of manufacturing jobs added and third in percentage of growth (14.8 percent), since July 2009 (low point of employment). The labor force increased by nearly 6,000 in December and has grown by more than 21,000 during the past three months.

In Pulaski County, unemployment rates have fluctuated during the year with the lowest rates in October (5.7 percent) and December (5.4 percent) of last year. Pulaski County is fairing better than surrounding counties where the nonseasonally adjusted rates are 6 percent or higher.

(Pulaski County Journal — Feb. 5, 2014)

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JANUARY

Sheriff’s office honors 175-year anniversary

As Pulaski County Sheriff Mike Gayer is serving his last year of his term as sheriff, he has the honor of recognizing the 175-year-anniversary of the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office.

To commemorate the anniversary all uniformed personnel will wear a gold anniversary badge and all marked patrol cars will have a 175th anniversary decal and license plate placed on them.

“This year will mark the 175th anniversary of the establishment of the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office. From Sheriff George P. Terry, the first appointed sheriff of the county, to sheriff David Clinger, the first elected sheriff, the office of sheriff is bigger than the men and women who wear the sheriff’s badge. It stands for a symbol of commitment, duty, honor and service to the community,” Gayer said.

The first sheriff of Pulaski County, George P. Terry, was appointed in 1839 as the county was being organized. The second sheriff, David Clinger, was elected in October of 1839 to replace Terry. Clinger served as sheriff until August of 1844.

Since 1839, two sheriffs have been killed in the line of duty, Charles Oglesby and Milo Lewis, while one sheriff died in office in 1983, Bayne Ward. The office has also seen history made as Charlotte Ward was the first female sheriff. She was appointed to the position after her husband died and then won the election for a term. She has been the only female sheriff, to date.

The department has also lost one officer in the line of duty. Deputy Shadron Bassett was responding to a call when he was killed in an automobile accident on Oct. 7, 2005.

Along with a long line of sheriffs, the department saw a new jail in 1956. Sheriff Ralph Galbreath was the first to occupy the building that also housed his family in 1958. The last sheriff believed to have lived in the jail was George Riley in 1979.

The current facility that houses the sheriff’s office, jail and superior court started under the supervision of sheriff Carl Freeman in July 1996.

Gayer is completing his second term as sheriff.

“Only 92 individuals in this state are known as the sheriff of their county. A responsibility they and I take very seriously in providing a well-trained, equipped, and motivated agency who stand by 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to be on the front lines when everything around you is falling apart. To answer your distress call, investigate your incident, to bring justice to those who have taken from the innocent and weak, to maintain peace and order in an ever changing world,” Gayer said. “A sheriff must plan for the unexpected, prepare for the unknown, and sacrifice all things to ensure his people are safe and victimless. It has been my honor to serve in this position for these past seven years, and I will continue to do what’s right for my people even when it’s not popular with those who are ignorant and take a blind eye to their surroundings.”

The sheriff’s office currently employees 13 officers including the sheriff, 11 dispatchers, one matron, one head cook and 16 jailers.

(Pulaski County Journal — Jan. 29, 2014)

Polling place changes for upcoming election

Voters in Pulaski County will see Election Day changes this year, but the Pulaski County Election Board says these changes will make polling places more accessible to residents.

The election board was faced with the task of evaluating polling places for ADA compliance last year. As a result, several locations were found to be inaccessible.

“We had to make some changes in order to comply with ADA standards,” said election board chairman Jon Frain.

Those changes include:

• Combining all four Monroe precincts to vote at the Pulaski County Highway Garage.

• Harrison and Indian Creek precincts have been combined with Van Buren and will vote at the Star City Community Building.

• Rich Grove and Jefferson precincts have been combined and will vote at the Bethel Bible Church Family Center.

• Cass and White Post precincts have been combined and will vote at the Medaryville Christian Church Annex building.

• Beaver and Salem precincts have been combined and will vote at the Francesville Fire Station.

• Franklin and Tippecanoe precincts remain unaffected by recent changes.

In accordance with Indiana Law, combinations of precincts must be approved unanimously by the board and relocation of polling places must be approved by county commissioners.

Frain also notes that “the county bought state-of-the-art voting equipment about 10 years ago. These voting machines are more than capable of handling these changes. The Pulaski County Election Board remains dedicated to making Election Day open to all voters. These recent changes should improve Election Day efficiency and save the county money as well.”

On Election Day, voters will see one inspector, two judges, two poll clerks, and two assistant poll clerks helping voters.

If someone is interested in being a poll worker or volunteer they can contact either Blair Todd (Republican Party chairman) at 574-946-3665 or Bill Reutebuch (Democratic Party chairman) at 574-595-0719.

For more information contact the Pulaski County Clerk’s Office at 574-946-3313 or follow the Pulaski County Election Board at www.facebook.com/Pulaski.ElectBoard.

(Pulaski County Journal — Jan. 29, 2014)

SilverSneakers does a body good

New Year’s resolutions were not the drive behind locals joining the SilverSneakers classes but getting healthier and feeling better was.

Little did the participants know that physical activity twice a week would have greater than expected impacts. Some participants, Martha Krohn, Margaret Steinacker, Carol Zaley and Jean Thompson, are not only feeling better but are seeing additional results.

Steinacker has been attending the classes since November 2013. When weather permits, she attempts to attend both classes per week.

“I was a mess. I couldn’t even walk from the parking lot to my church,” said Steinacker, who underwent four surgeries in the last four years. “Somebody suggested that I come to this. I was taken completely off one of my blood-pressure pills and cut three of my other medications in half after one month of coming here.”

She now has the energy to clean the house. “It also encourages you to do more at home. Lots of times I do the ankle movements trying to stay stretched out.”

SilverSneakers, sponsored locally by the YMCA in Winamac, is a nationwide program designed for individuals to take greater control of their health by encouraging physical activity and social events.

Anyone can participate in the class but it is geared toward older generations, both male and female. Classes include one hour of nonstop physical activity using elastic bands, dumbbells and rubber balls.

Thompson said she didn’t think it was going to be much of a workout because chairs are used.

“You can make the workout to suit yourself. You can use heavier weights or a stronger band. You can really get a good workout and I really enjoy it,” said Thompson, who joined the class early last year. “I feel a lot better.”

Thompson isn’t sure that she has lost weight because of the classes, but she does feel more toned. She also has better dexterity in her hands where she suffered from arthritis.

The workout includes a warm-up, main workout and a cooldown. Movements include working on stability and range of motion.

Because the workout is specifically designed to be low impact, participants are not only local but also from North Judson and Knox.

Zaley, who is a survivor of breast cancer, said exercise was emphasized as part of the recovery. She has attended the class off and on for the last couple years.

“I feel so much better. It’s very good for us,” she said. “I was hesitant but with cancer it can improve by 50 percent with exercise. It has really helped me.”

The number of participants in the class fluctuates but there is a steady group that attends throughout the year. Not only is the class about physical activity but there is also a social aspect. Many of the SilverSneakers goers look forward to seeing each other and have formed solid friendships.

Krohn said a couple of her friends invited her to attend the classes. “It was very enjoyable. My friends attend the class and felt that I needed to join them.”

Currently the class is taught by Marlene Fox. She started as a participant in the class and is now a certified SilverSneakers instructor.

Fox said the class focuses on building strength and increasing the range of motion. The results she has seen from those who attend the classes assure her that the class is worthwhile.

She said one woman who attends the class went from using a walker to being able to move more easily. The woman also had her medication reduced.

“It does help and I truly believe in the class,” Fox said. “I feel that if I can reach one person, to get in here and get out of their house, then I’ve made a difference.”

As more individuals join the class, the YMCA is hoping to add more classes. Not only would it decrease the class size but give those who are interested more chances to work out.

For more information about SilverSneakers contact the YMCA in Winamac at 574-946-4150.

(Pulaski County Journal — Jan. 22, 2014)

Skate park closer to reality

Winamac Community High School student Clark Gudas has gathered prices and is continuing to move forward with his Eagle Scout project of a town skate park.

During a regular town council meeting on Jan. 13, Gudas approached the council with an update and an account of donations that have been made, along with the design options he is reviewing.

“As I’m entering into the final stages of planning the skate park, there are some loose ends I haven’t tied down yet. The main reason is fundraising, and before I can spend any money I should know how much I have,” Gudas said.

The skate park will be open for skateboarders, BMX bikers, roller skaters and rollerbladers. The plan is for the park to be located in Rhinehart Park, adjacent to the Pulaski County YMCA. It will be open to the public as other park equipment is.

Gudas has raised about $27,000. He is continuing fundraising and is waiting to hear the results from two different grants. Those grants could supply the project with $2,000-$10,000.

Gudas said he is looking at two options. One option will be a 50-by-100 concrete pad with different structures. The concrete would be constructed by a local company with help from volunteers. It will cost about $50,000.

“There are still several companies that I am talking to for construction supplies at a discounted price,” Gudas said.

Option two involves a company from Missouri that has given Gudas three different options with three different prices. With this option volunteers are still needed to help with the construction. If he decides on this option a contract will need to be signed by May.

Town council president John Plowman questioned where exactly Gudas was hoping to construct the skate park. He would like to use the first option that will be south of the playground. The length would run east and west, “so that the YMCA will still have room for their activities. They use that field a lot.”

If Gudas decides to go with the second option, the price changes.

Councilman Tom Murray congratulated Gudas on “doing a good job.”

Councilman Richard Denney questioned how the liability of the park affects the town. “I think that we need to take a look at that.”

It was suggested the town receive information on how other towns or cities handle the liability issue.

In December of 2011, the council approved the project and at the time said the town would maintain the facility after it was constructed.

To become an Eagle Scout, Gudas must complete the project before he turns 18 in July.

(Pulaski County Journal — Jan. 22, 2014)

Snowstorm causes damage to equipment, overtime budgets

Not only did the recent snowstorm wreak havoc with more than 9 inches of snow and a polar vortex but it is also to blame for the damage of local municipality overtime budgets and equipment repair.

As municipalities across the state are calculating employee overtime and equipment repair, local agencies such as the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office and the Town of Winamac are reporting their numbers to the state in hopes of recovering some of the loss.

Winamac Town Manager Jim Conner said 172 man hours were spent moving snow and keeping roads clear starting Sunday through Tuesday. Town employees keep 15 miles of road clear during the storm, using about 20 tons of salt and sand. No accidents or injuries were reported involving town crews.

“We did have a water main break in the middle of all of it, but we got it taken care of,” Conner said.

At the county level, commissioners closed the county roads for two days after being updated on the road and weather conditions by Pulaski County EMA Director Larry Hoover, Pulaski County Sheriff Mike Gayer and Pulaski County Highway Department Superintendent Mark Fox.

The decision to issue a snow emergency was made to allow emergency responders and highway snow plows to travel throughout the county without having to worry about stranded vehicles.

“I give credit to residents when the county commissioners issue a snow emergency. People for the most part stayed home,” Gayer said.

To help those who were stranded, the sheriff’s office used military vehicles in lieu of the patrol cars. Gayer said even the four-wheel drive vehicles weren’t performing well in the snow and ice.

“If it had not been for the military vehicles there would have been a lot of people who would not have gotten milk, water, medication or transportation. We also checked on people.”

According to Gayer, the use of one military vehicle saved the life of a man and his child who were stranded in a vehicle in the Star City area. The vehicle the two were traveling in ran off the road into a field. The two were rescued after a six-wheel drive 5-ton military truck driven by Pulaski County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Ron Patrick with REACT member Jon Thompson responded to the scene.

“They got it hung up three times. Each time they freed themselves and finally reached the two. That was when there was a minus 45 degree wind chill factor,” Gayer said. “Without the use of that military vehicle that man and his child probably would not have survived.”

Officers responded to about 30 calls for service while also pulling out stranded vehicles. Gayer said additional manpower wasn’t needed and at any given time there were four officers on duty, along with REACT members.

“Jon Thompson and the REACT people performed outstanding. They handled a lot of the missions of delivering the prescriptions, milk and water,” Gayer said. “Their help kept officers on stand-by in case they were needed. I can’t say enough about REACT and how they were very dedicated to doing a service to the people.”

Although the blizzard-like conditions caused the county to shut down, the weather did not cause any power outages in Pulaski County. Gayer said the department did receive reports about furnaces not working but not power outages. Because of the power outage threat, warming stations were established in various parts of the county.

Ambulance crews weren’t as busy with about four calls. During a Pulaski County Commissioners’ meeting on Jan. 10, Pulaski County EMS Director Nikki Lowry said no additional manpower above the normal shifts was needed.

At the county highway department, Fox is trying to figure out how the county will cover the overtime without using a majority of the overtime budget. During the commissioners’ meeting, Fox asked commissioners if they could look at increasing the compensation hours, so that employees can use it instead of the overtime.

During the meeting Hoover said funding may be available if the storm caused $9 million in damages and costs of man hours, fuel and supplies, across the state. If the county chooses to change the overtime to comp time, then funding reimbursement will not be available to cover the man hours.

The commissioners opted to wait and see if reimbursement will be available, while also looking into the exception of changing the comp time limits that are written in the handbook.

The highway department also suffered a snow plow accident. The driver is OK, but Fox said the vehicle is totaled.

(Pulaski County Journal - Jan. 15, 2014)

Chamber seeks nominations for annual Halleck Award

Every town, every city is blessed with a handful of individuals who selflessly donate their time, energy and hard work to make their community a better place for everyone to live. Such individuals often give this time and energy for years without the gratitude and recognition they deserve.

In order to recognize such outstanding individuals, the Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce awards the H.J. Halleck Community Service Award to one deserving individual each year. Currently nominations for the award are being accepted through Feb. 1, 2014.

• The award recipient must be a resident of Pulaski County.

• The recipient should have an identifiable and successful record of service to the community in a variety of public service endeavors.

• The recipient may be male or female of any adult age.

• The recipient need not be retired.

• Posthumous awards will not be given.

If someone is deserving of this prestigious award, call, stop by the chamber office at Refined, 102 N. Monticello St., or email the Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce for a nomination form at refined@centurylink.net. Nomination forms are also available online by visiting the Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce website at www.pulaskionline.org.

The recipient of this award will be honored at the Annual Meeting/Halleck Award Recognition Banquet. Past recipients include Dan Frain, Don and Dee Galbreath, Tom Shank, Lawrence and Elaine Parish, Christine Smith, Alladean Clouser, Wayne and Mary Lou Bonnell, Don Good, Jay Kopkey, Judy Heater, Steve and Lin Morrison, Michael Shurn and Tom Murray, Sr.

The award was established in 1979, and the inaugural award was presented to Winamac physician and community leader H.J. Halleck.

(Pulaski County Journal - Jan. 15, 2014)

Medaryville fire department looks to purchase building

The Medaryville Volunteer Fire Department is taking steps for a new station and purchasing property has become one of the initial steps.

During an end-of-the-year Medaryville Town Council meeting, Medaryville Fire Chief Shaun Hauptli said purchasing the property could hurt the department as they try to obtain grant funding.

“We feel that we have to move on it now, otherwise we are not going to get it,” he said.

The town council approved to donate $10,000 to the department.

Clerk-treasurer Judy Harwood said she didn’t have a concern with donating money to the fire department but the council should decide how the money will be used. If there are stipulations put on the donation then paperwork must be given to the town to verify the stipulations are followed.

Council members questioned how the fire department would prove they used the money according to the stipulations. Harwood said there must be paperwork or the state will question it. The town has received a write-up before regarding not having proof of stipulations.

Council members voted to make the donation without any stipulations, trusting that the department would use the money accordingly.

(Pulaski County Journal - Jan. 8, 2014)

Superintendents to receive policy handbook training

A suggestion for Winamac town superintendents to attend performance management and employee handbook communications training was approved by the council on Dec. 30, 2013.

Clerk-treasurer Melanie Berger made the suggestion to help ensure that the superintendents know how to relay the handbook policy changes to the employees and how to administer those policies. The training would consist of two three-hour sessions.

Councilman Tom J. Murray said it was money spent foolishly because the employees have signed a statement stating they have read the handbook.

Council president John Plowman disagreed.

“This is a tool for everybody. For Jim too. For him to evaluate the supervisors as well,” Plowman said.

The training could also be applied to the council members who appoint the superintendents at the beginning of each year.

Councilman Dan Vanaman suggested that this would be good reinforcement for when something happens in hopes that employees will know the handbook better.

“This could shed more light on what they need to look at or do,” Vanaman said.

The training would be for six employees and the council if they want to sit in.

Plowman said the council spent the money on the handbook to bring it up-to-date, now it is time to ensure that policies are being followed.

Council members made the approval with the hopes that the training could be completed in one session instead of two.

• The minutes from the Dec. 9 and Dec. 16 meetings were approved.

• Ordinance 21, regarding the clerk-treasurer’s salary and raises, was approved by the council after some discussion of words and the amount of money. Councilman Tom J. Murray questioned the wording regarding “experience.” He questioned whether experience meant experience with the Winamac clerk-treasurer’s office or with any clerk office. If a new clerk-treasurer is elected then the current rate will retro back to the starting rate. There were also concerns that if the ordinance was in place, then the clerk-treasurer would receive a raise, while other employees may not.

• Ordinance 18 in regards to salaries was approved.

• Ordinance 19 in regards to police officers’ salaries was approved.

• Resolution 4-2013 in regards to end-of-the-year transfers was approved.

• Councilman Dan Vanaman questioned if there is a problem with the service of the private garbage company that could begin collecting garbage by March, can the contract be canceled? Councilman president John Plowman said it would be handled like other contacts with an attorney. “It would be a breach of contract.”

(Pulaski County Journal - Jan. 8, 2014)

Theft charges dismissed against Winamac businesswoman

Charges have been dropped for good against a Winamac woman who was accused of two felony counts in 2012.

The charges stem from allegations that Diamond Lill’s owner, Shirley Williams, defrauded the Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City in 2012.

While Williams was at the casino she played a slot machine that gave her substantial winnings. A few days after the winnings, representatives from the Blue Chip came to Winamac and told her there had been a computer malfunction and they wanted their money back. They said she should have known she was winning too much.

The Indiana Gaming Commission accused Williams of “manipulating a slot machine as a result of a malfunctioning program.” The alleged incident cost the casino more than $100,000.

The case was being handled in LaPorte County. According to court documents, the charges were dismissed on Sept. 24, 2013, but then again filed on Sept. 26, 2013. The charges were then again dismissed on Nov. 4.

LaPorte County Prosecutor’s office spokeswoman Donna Wood said the charges would not be refiled.

(Pulaski County Journal — Jan. 1, 2014)

Former Winamac teacher featured in art show

A unique art exhibit by Linda and Skye Leasure, grandmother and granddaughter, is now at the Fulton County Public Library, 7th and Pontiac streets, Rochester, through the end of January.

Their show is titled, “Family Ties” and includes the first oil painting that Linda and Skye created together along with other works that speak of family — theirs and yours — past and present.

Linda lives in the Kewanna area and was a teacher in the Winamac schools. She has won awards in the past for her paintings at various area shows. Skye is currently pursuing a degree in fine art education from Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis.

The exhibit is open during regular library hours, and is sponsored by the Akron Area Arts League.

(Pulaski County Journal — Jan. 1, 2014)

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