Two candidates for city council are calling for changes along Husky Trail after 8-year-old Gidieon Cook was struck and killed along the road in front of his school, Harrison Elementary.
Democrat Sarah McNeal-Strahan Lenfestey, who faces incumbent Republican Jeff Grose in the fall election for Warsaw City Council District 1 seat, took to Facebook to call for changes on the busy road after the death of 8-year-old Gidieon Cook who was struck by a motorist on Monday. The Democratic candidate said she used to babysit Gidieon and is heartbroken and angry over his death. She said she believes a traffic light would be best at the corner of Husky Trail and North Pointe Drive in front of the school and is calling on residents to demand change by attending council meetings and talking with council members.
Another candidate running for city council, Chris Plack, also offered his thoughts via Facebook. “Whatever needs to be done to ensure every child in our community goes to and from school safely must be done immediately,” Plack wrote on his campaign Facebook page. Plack is running as an independent and faces Republican challenger Josh Finch in a race for the District 2 seat currently held by Ron Shoemaker.
Pastor John B. Lowe, who spoke at Thursday night’s candlelight vigil for Gidieon, also had an idea. He said prior to Thursday’s event that he thinks a volunteer group could be organized to serve as crossing guards during summer school and suggested they be called “Gidieon’s Guardians.”
Services for Gidieon will be today, June 15, at New Life Christian Church & World Outreach, located at 744 South CR 325E, Warsaw. Calling hours begin at 10 a.m., and the service is at 1 p.m.
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RECRUITING VIDEO — The city of Warsaw has unveiled the first recruitment video produced to help attract job candidates for the police and fire departments. The one featuring police can be found on the city’s website or here. The city spent $20,000 for videos. Reaction, when it was unveiled a week ago at a Board of Works and Safety, was enthusiastic and many of the 65 comments on the city’s Facebook page (352 shares) have been positive. But others criticized the expenditure and what they saw as an overly militaristic approach captured in the video.
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NEW COURT — Warsaw attorney Chris Kehler will be sworn in as the first judge of the new Superior Court 4 in a ceremony scheduled for 3 p.m. June 25 in the old courtroom of the Kosciusko County Courthouse. Kehler, who was appointed earlier this year by Gov. Eric Holcomb, is in the process of closing his law practice and has already hired two staff members. While the court opens for business on July 1, the staffers will begin work on June 17, Kehler said.
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TWO CANDIDATES — Looks like K-County Dems could have an early chance to showcase two gubernatorial candidates. Kosciusko County Democrats confirmed on their Facebook page that State Sen. Eddie Melton intends to attend the party’s summer boat ride on Lake Wawasee on June 23. Melton, a state senator from Gary, and Karlee Macer a state representative from Speedway, are both considering a run for governor next year. Tickets to the event can be obtained by clicking on this link.
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DOWNSTATE SHOCKER — In other state-wide political news, the Indy Star reported Friday U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks, a Republican from Carmel, will not seek a fifth term to Congress. Brooks is one of only 13 Republicans women serving in the House and had been charged with the task of recruiting more women to run for Congress next year, a fact that merits a deep, deep sigh.
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ELECTION THOUGHTS — Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer weighed in on a few election thoughts in a recent column. In it, he endorses the idea of vote centers, which the county is considering and would allow any registered voter to cast ballots at any vote centers inside the county. More and more counties are embracing the concept in Indiana. He also predicts that future technology could open the door for voting online with cell phones.
He also lamented the impact of negative campaigning and the role of social media in that regard. The two-term mayor was the subject of numerous online attacks through some nonsensical Facebook pages purporting to have the inside scoop. Thallemer wrote, “Fake news also tends to water down the truth and leave many questioning the reliability of news from any source,” adding digital “mudslinging” will never replace “good old fashioned door-to-door campaigning.”
Thallemer won the Republican primary by a wide margin and is unopposed in the fall election.
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Dan Spalding covers city government and politics for InkFreeNews.
He can be reached at [email protected] or at (574) 855-7612.