Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

December 31, 2013

Natural disasters dominate news '13

(Continued)

8Heavy rains flooded Wildcat Creek in April, causing one of the worst floods on record in Kokomo and Tipton. The water level was measured at 18.34 feet above the base of the Wildcat Creek — the highest recorded since a creek stream gauge was installed in 1950. Howard County commissioners issued a state of emergency after firefighters and community volunteers rescued more than 100 people from their flooded homes. The city has begun the process of purchasing a number of flood-damaged homes in the areas where the worst flooding occurred, in an effort to mitigate potential future flood damage.

9 A Lake County judge determined in September Indiana’s right-to-work law violates a provision in the state constitution barring the delivery of services “without just compensation.” Lake Superior Court Judge John Sedia found the law wrongly requires unions to represent workers who do not pay dues. Indiana became the 23rd state in the nation to ban the collection of mandatory fees for representation from unions. Union spokesman Ed Maher called the ruling a victory for the middle class and dues-paying members.

Since then, union lawyers have gone to the courts to try to overturn the law. Sedia issued an order last Thursday, declaring the ban on collections and associated criminal penalties unconstitutional.

10Two Howard County residents were killed in late March while crossing the street near a middle school in Seattle, where they had recently moved after their retirement. Judy Schulte, the retired director of guidance at Northwestern High School, and her husband, Dennis Schulte, died after being struck by a truck. Washington resident Mark Mullan, who had five prior drunken driving arrests, pleaded guilty to charges of vehicular homicide and vehicular assault and was sentenced to 18 years and four months in prison for the crimes. The collision also badly injured the couple’s daughter-in-law, Karina Ulriksen-Schulte, and her infant son, Elias.

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