November 15th, 2013
COLUMBIA CITY â€” A Christmas tree is a traditional item to mark the December holiday. However, trees become more than decoration when they are part of The Clugstonâ€™s Annual Walk of Trees.
In its fourth year, The Walk of Trees will open for tours Friday, Nov. 29 at 5 p.m. and will continue Fridays and Saturdays from 5 to 8 p.m. through Saturday, Dec. 14.
The event is free and allows area businesses and organizations a chance to sponsor and decorate a tree. More than 20 trees are expected to be a part of this yearâ€™s walk.
LORANE â€” Whitley County is peppered with towns that once existed on their own, but have since been incorporated into larger municipalities.
Although time may have diminished small townsâ€™ independence, the legacy and history behind places such as Peabody and Tunker still live on.
Never has that sentiment been more true than for the little town that once was â€” Lorane.
Located off of West Lincolnway, near the County Road 350 West intersection, the town was founded in 1850.
In 1851, a post office was established in a small country general store which burned in 1855.
COLUMBIA CITYâ€” Plumbing upgrades to older fixtures at the Whitley County Jail have have come at a cost to the county.
County Commissioner George Schrumpf said valves have been failing, and the expense to change them out is high.
â€śWe have been replacing them little-by-little,â€ť he said.
The $1,400 upgrade will provide more efficient control of the faucets, as well as lavatories in the jail.
The valves are specifically designed so they cannot be torn apart and used to make a weapon by an inmate.
SOUTH WHITLEYâ€” Familiar Amish symbols, such as a horse and buggy, may not be a common occurrence in Columbia City, but they thrive in other parts of Whitley County.
The southwest part of the county, which is located within the Whitko Community School Corporationâ€™s district boundaries, contains many Amish residents, prompting the need for a second Amish school in the area.
Approximately 38 students attend the newly constructed Country Meadow Amish School from first to eighth grade.
COLUMBIA CITYâ€” A Columbia City man was given a sentence to be served on home detention for sexual misconduct with a minor.
Chais Wilkinson, 19, pleaded guilty to the charge, a Class D felony, in October. When reading the charge at that time, Wilkinson admitted to performing or submitting to fondling a 14-year-old female victim.
Monday, Judge James Heuer sentenced him to the Whitley County Jail for 1.5 years. Wilkinson was given credit for time served at the jail.
He will spend 180 days on home detention, with the rest of his sentence spent on probation.
HUNTINGTON â€” Former Columbia City High School basketball player Doug Sheckler was honored by Huntington University recently.
Sheckler was inducted into the 2013 class of H.U.â€™s Hall of Fame, along with three others.
Sheckler was a senior on the 2004 Columbia City team that advanced to the state finals â€” the furthest any Eagle team has made it in the tournament.
Sheckler began playing for the Foresters in 2004, and according to a press release by H.U., his impact on the program was immediate.
COLUMBIA CITY â€” Columbia Cityâ€™s Water Department took the next step in improving water quality to the Eagle Glen area.
At Tuesdayâ€™s Board of Works meeting, the board made a bid selection for the Eagle Glen water main loop project, a proposal that is expected to improve water pressure and consistency to the area north of U.S. 30 on Ind. 205.
During the past few years, the area has had issues with its water service, as an old main that services the area has broken several times.
Phillip R. Kessie, 59, of Columbia City, passed away at 5:10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, at his home surrounded by family.
Born Aug. 27, 1954, in Whitley County, he was the son of Gerald R. and Barbara R. (Amendt) Kessie.
He was a lifetime resident of Whitley County. He graduated from Whitko High School with the Class of 1972, which was the first class to graduate from the new high school.
On May 29, 1999, he married Victoria J. Hileman in Columbia City.
Donna K. (Keisling) (Anglin) Wilburn, 64, of Columbia City, passed away at 11:21 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, at Parkview Regional Medical Center in Fort Wayne.
Born Feb. 28, 1949, in Fort Wayne, she was the daughter of Albert and Viola M. (Stock) Keisling.
She graduated from Columbia City Joint High School with the Class of 1967. In high school, she was active in the band and show choir. On March 27, 1993, she married Connie J. Wilburn in Columbia City.
She was a member of Zion Lutheran Church.
Ruth I. Billings, 85, of Noble County, died at 7:40 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013, at her home.
She was born June 23, 1928, in Fort Wayne, a daughter of Edward August and Margaret Pauline (Boland) Gosda.
Surviving relatives include four children, 11 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren, a great-great-granddaughter, and a sister.
The funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Smith & Sons Funeral Home, Columbia City. The burial will be in Greenlawn Memorial Park, Fort Wayne. The visitation will be from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home.