Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

February 10, 2013

Public Eye - Feb. 10, 2013

By Ken de la Bastide and Scott Smith
Tribune staff writer

— Ward stepping down

Howard County Democratic Party chairman Rick Ward, whose tenure saw a distinct downturn in the party’s local fortunes, won’t seek a second term.

Ward was elected party chairman in 2009, and was chair as Greg Goodnight easily won a second term as mayor of Kokomo, and the Democratic majority on the Kokomo Common Council increased.

That success in the city didn’t translate into county-wide success however.

Last year, the party only fielded two candidates for county races, and neither candidate was elected.

Ward said Wednesday he was not seeking another term and knows of just one person interested in the position.

Dunn running again

While Ward is stepping down, Howard County Republican Chairman Craig Dunn is seeking a second four-year term.

The GOP precinct committeemen will gather March 2 at party headquarters to elect the leadership for the next four years.

“It has been both an honor and a privilege,” Dunn said in announcing his decision to seek a second term. “As Republicans, we have faced challenges together, celebrated together and worked hard to bring good government to the voters of this county. I hope that I will have the opportunity to continue my work in helping to bring government in Indianapolis and Washington, D.C. closer to the people of Howard County.”

Dunn was first elected chairman by special caucus in 2006. He was elected to a four-year term in March 2008.

Local company honored

Chrisso Technologies, which started operations in Kokomo in 2010, received an Economic Development through Growth and Entrepreneurship award this week from Lt. Gov. Sun Ellspermann.

The EDGE awards are sponsored by the Indiana Small Business Development Center which recognized 20 companies in two business categories, emerging or established.

Chrisso Technologies was formed, providing hardware design and software enhancement for electrical design, digital signal processing, lab and field testing and circuit board design. The technology improves the reception performance of wireless services.

Not a big surprise

Former Kokomo city attorney Olubunmi “P.J.” Okanlami decided last month to resign from the state bar association rather than fight disciplinary charges, concluding a nearly two-year-long saga which saw her plead guilty to felony assault and residential entry charges.

Okanlami served only a few of months as the city’s counsel in 2010 before resigning that July. In November 2010, she was arrested after an incident in Indianapolis, in which she was accused of breaking into a home and assaulting a man. More charges were filed against her after she was alleged to have attempted to smuggle a knife into the Marion County Jail.

Her law license was suspended in October 2011 after her conviction. The Indiana Supreme Court accepted her resignation from the bar Jan. 11.

Sign, signs

Through a misunderstanding of who owned which parking lots along Market Street between Mulberry and Taylor streets, the city of Kokomo first removed, and then quickly replaced, “no parking” signs from the Kokomo Tribune lot.

The signs stated parking was for Tribune employees and violators would be towed at the owners expense. The parking lot has become a favorite spot for Howard County employees and residents of the apartment complex.

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