Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

June 16, 2013

Week in Review


Kokomo Tribune

---- — Art: Summer Lunch program

Monday

Kokomo water tower undergoing summer repairs

One of Kokomo’s four water towers is getting a $620,000 facelift this summer.

The 140-foot structure south of Markland Avenue, between Union and Main streets, needed minor structural repairs, according to Joe Loughmiller of Indiana American Water Co.

Contractors have been working for several weeks and will continue to make improvements through the middle of July.

The tower needed some structural repairs. Contractors also are sandblasting and coating the inside of the tower and sandblasting and painting the outside of it.

“As the tanks get older, they need repairs,” Loughmiller said.

This particular tower, which holds 500,000 gallons of water, was built in 1949 and was last repaired in 1984.

Loughmiller said the company worked with the Kokomo Fire Department to make sure the first responders would have enough water to fight fires while the repairs are being made.

Because Kokomo has three other towers, though, the fire department shouldn’t be affected, he said. The repairs also shouldn’t affect customer water pressure much either, he said.

Tuesday

Deputies: Man was stabbed in face

Denver — A 29-year-old Logansport man was arrested early Sunday morning after deputies say he stabbed a Denver man in the face in his driveway during an altercation.

Miami County deputies said Donny L. Sturgill approached the house of 48-year-old Robert Bex, 6200 block of North 150 West, Denver, late Saturday night along with two other men.

Authorities said Bex went to see what the three men were doing in his driveway. An altercation ensued and deputies said Sturgill stabbed Bex in the face and chest with a knife.

When deputies arrived on scene the three men had fled.

Bex was taken to Dukes Memorial Hospital where he was treated for stab wounds and released.

Deputies later located Sturgill, who was arrested on a Class B felony charge of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. He is currently being held at the Miami County jail on a $35,000 bond.

Deputies also arrested Dustin R. Jones, 27, 100 block of West Riverside Drive, Peru, on a probation violation warrant. Authorities said he was one of the three men who approached Bex’s house.

Deputies said they continue to investigate the incident and expect to file more charges.

Wednesday

Free summer lunch programs benefit area kids.

Ten-year-old Elijah Belcher tightly wrapped a tortilla stuffed with meat, cheese and veggies Tuesday and hand fed it to his 3-year-old sister.

All around the clubhouse at Garden Square Apartments, children shoved soft-shell tacos into their mouths, trying hard not to spill the contents in their laps.

It was the second day of the Kokomo School Corp. Summer Food Service Program. By noon, nearly 30 kids showed up at the apartment complex for a free meal.

Schools, parks and recreation services, nonprofits and churches across the nation are serving these free meals as part of a summer program funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Summer food programs help lower-income students return to school ready to learn and help parents stretch their food dollars at home during the summer months.

“Feeding programs are vital to education,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz said. “Hungry kids cannot learn or retain knowledge effectively. Good nutrition is essential for learning in school, but hunger does not take a summer vacation.”

There are four Howard County sites this year. Kokomo Schools operates one at Garden Square and one at Carver Community Center. Taylor Community Schools runs one at Taylor Primary School in Indian Heights. According to the Indiana Department of Education, Kokomo Rescue Mission also has an open site at its facility. They couldn’t be reached Tuesday to confirm that, though.

Eight-year-old Landen Johnson sucked chocolate milk through a straw and quickly gobbled up the tacos, green beans and peaches on his plate at Garden Square. He was still hungry, though.

Thursday

Flood-damaged Senior Center closed

The Kokomo Senior Center will be closed for repairs until August after April flooding caused $200,000 in damage.

Senior Center Director Tammy Corn said about 20 inches of water slipped in through the crawl space of the building, which is located in Foster Park, leaving it flooded for the first time in its 38-year history.

“This is the first time the building has ever taken on water,” Corn said. “It’s hung around the building before, and hovered at the door, but this is the first time it’s flooded.”

Corn said currently, the building is being gutted, all of the drywall is being redone, flooring is coming out and electricity and plumbing are being installed. With all of the ongoing repairs, the everyday activities at the center have been disrupted.

The senior center mainly aims to provide activities, meals and socialization for its 790 registered seniors, but due to the temporary closure of the building, some activities and meals have been farmed out to local organizations.

The YMCA will host line dancing, pool tournaments will be held at Rack-N-Cue, and the Area 5 senior lunches are every day at 12:30 p.m. at Terrace Tower apartments, located on South Bell Street. Despite these options, a lot of activities still aren’t available. In normal circumstances, the center offers activities five days a week.

Friday

New look at work release

Howard County may open a work release center as soon as 2014.

The Howard County Community Corrections Advisory Board Thursday voted to create a committee to look at several issues, including locations and costs, for opening a center.

Discussions centered on using the second floor of the Howard County Government Annex, located downtown, or the former Kokomo Academy building on Berkley Road as possible sites for the center. The Kokomo Academy was formerly the county jail and also served as a juvenile facility.

The advisory board agreed a work release center should be able to house both males and females in separate facilities within the same location.

Superior Court 3 Judge Doug Tate said he brought up the concept earlier this year with the hope of having it in operation in 2014.

“This is long overdue,” Tate said. “We need a study to determine if it’s feasible.”