Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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January 24, 2014

Tornado carries data CD 30 miles from Kokomo

Photos recovered after disc found in snow near Sweetser.

About 30 miles from where Moore Title and Escrow used to stand on Hoffer Street in Kokomo, Michael Muchmore uncovered a CD in the snow.

That CD had been sitting on Margi Moore’s desk when tornados tore through the city nearly two months ago and destroyed Moore Title’s office.

Muchmore discovered the disc while taking down tree stands near County Road 300 West, northwest of Sweetser.

He tried the largely undamaged CD in his computer to see what it contained.

Photos of people in military uniforms and 1920s-style outfits came on his screen, with one final image that provided a clue as to where the CD came from — a photo showing Moore presenting an oversized check for $10,000 to Nicholas Kanable, principal of Sts. Joan of Arc and Patrick School in Kokomo.

The photos were from a “Tribute to our Troops” USO fundraiser held Nov. 9. In addition to raising $10,000 for the school, the event generated $800 for the Jackson Street Commons housing development for homeless veterans.

“I thought it was a joke when they first told me,” Moore said. “It’s remarkable that someone would take the time to [send back the disc].”

After seeing the check made out to Sts. Joan of Arc and Patrick School, Muchmore looked up the school phone number and left a message for Kanable, who discovered the voicemail over Christmas break.

“He was out and about and saw this disc in a wooded area,” Kanable said. “He decided to take it home, pop it in the computer and see what it was.”

Muchmore then mailed the disc to Kanable, who made sure it was returned to its rightful owner.

“I hadn’t even had time to look at the pictures,” Moore said. “It’s frightening what the tornado can do, but it was nice to get that back. We’re thankful for concerned and caring people because these little things can mean a lot.”

Moore Title’s client records were in a vault at the time of the tornado, secure from the whirlwind, but other personal items from the office were blown away. The office has temporarily relocated to 101 W. Sycamore St. while the building is being repaired.

Education reporter Lauren Fitch can be reached at 765-454-8587, by email at lauren.fitch@kokomotribune.com or on Twitter @LaurenBFitch.

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