Auburn councilman won’t face prosecution

AUBURN — City Councilman Robert “Mike” Walter will not face prosecution following his arrest last month on a trespassing charge.

An Auburn Police officer arrested Walter, 73, of Auburn, on the night of April 9 on suspicion of criminal trespassing, a Class A misdemeanor.

DeKalb County Prosecutor ClaraMary Winebrenner released a statement Thursday saying she has reviewed the investigative file, “and she declines to file a criminal charge in this matter.”

Winebrenner said the incident does not fit the elements needed to prove criminal trespassing.

Walter, 73, was apprehended after allegedly leaving food for stray cats behind the Kroger store in the 1000 block of West 7th St., where he was employed, according to a court document.

Child care center donated to YMCA

AUBURN — The YMCA of DeKalb County has received the gift of a nearly new child care center with room for 150 children.

YMCA Early Learning reopened Monday, moving all of its operations to the gifted building on C.R. 36-A, directly south of its soccer complex.

Daryle and Brenda Doden, through Ambassador Enterprises, donated the property to the YMCA on April 1. It had opened in December 2017 as the Early Learning Ministry.

“I believe it’s one of the best early learning facilities in the whole region, and we’re just so thankful and grateful that the YMCA was entrusted with that gift,” said Bob Krafft, chief executive officer of the YMCA of DeKalb County.

“Ambassador Enterprises is delighted to support the YMCA in this transition and encourage the community to get behind them, as we all have the desire to make a lasting positive impact in the lives of families in our community,” said Brian Best, impact investing manager for Ambassador Enterprises.

Kruse Plaza staging prom for area’s seniors

AUBURN — Kruse Plaza of Auburn is organizing the Kruse Plaza Prom for June 25 and inviting high school seniors from four counties.

The event will be “very responsible and carefully thought-out,” said John Kruse, a co-owner of Kruse Plaza. “We hope that we can be a positive model as we all look to cautiously and carefully open some things back up and have some events that have larger groups.”

The giant building — south of Auburn near Interstate 69 exit 326 — offers two, separate large spaces, each of which can accommodate the maximum gathering of 250 people that is expected to be permitted in the second half of June.

One segment of the prom will take place in the building’s center ballroom, with the other portion in The Hangar space at the building’s north end.

Unlike traditional proms, the Kruse Plaza Prom will be limited to this year’s high school seniors, who will be graduates by the time it occurs.

COVID-19 testing center opens in Kendallville

KENDALLVILLE — Though in-person programs are shut down at the Community Learning Center, it still will be serving the community throughout the pandemic.

Starting Wednesday, the CLC began hosting COVID-19 testing by appointment only.

In partnership with OptumServe Health Services and the Indiana and Noble County health departments, the site will be able to test up to 132 patients per day.

The location is one of 50 OptumServe sites in the state as part of Indiana’s push to increase testing around the state.

Weigand hired to lead Noble annex project

ALBION — Weigand Construction of Fort Wayne will oversee design, bid and construction of the county’s proposed $15 million annex building.

Two weeks after receiving proposals from four construction management firms and interviewing them, the Noble County Commissioners selected Weigand, which brought a solid proposal, sterling reputation and a few small bonus perks to the table.

Noble County is moving toward construction of a new annex building west of the courthouse in downtown Albion on the current site of the Noble County Prosecutor’s Office.

The county has long been planning the project with the hope of bringing most of the county offices under two roofs — the courthouse and the annex. Currently, offices are spread out around about a half dozen locations in Albion.

Detailed cost estimates for the project range between $14.55 million and $15.17 million.

Shipshewana planning new summer festival

SHIPSHEWANA — While many area towns and cities are canceling their festivas scheduled for the summer of 2020, Shipshewana is moving forward with a new festival in late July.

The town council approved the closure of Morton Street from the greenhouse to North Village Drive during Thursday night’s meeting for the Shipshewana Summer Festival. The festival set for Friday, July 31, and Saturday, Aug. 1, is sponsored by the Shipshewana police and fire departments.

Town Manager Robert Shanahan said the festival would be a good thing for the community with the recent cancellation of Mayfest, which typically is held at the beginning of May to welcome in the summer season.

“I think it is going to be a great thing,” he said.

Rome City promotes deputy up to marshal

ROME CITY — After 25 years with the department, Rome City Deputy Marshal Paul Hoffman is now taking the lead of the town’s force.

Hoffman was officially appointed as town marshal Monday night to replace Marshal Jim Sheffield, who is retiring at the end of the month.

Sheffield recommended Hoffman for the position after submitting his retirement notice during the April town council meeting.

Kendallville eyes hiring single trash hauler

KENDALLVILLE — A single, citywide trash hauler for Kendallville may be hired by June, with pickups beginning by Nov. 1.

For the first time, everyone in Kendallville would be guaranteed to have trash service. City officials expect costs could be slightly lower for everyone involved, while also offering everyone recycling for the first time ever.

On Tuesday, the Kendallville Board of Works approved advertising for bids for a citywide trash hauler contract.

Proposals from regional haulers would be due back by June 9, with the Board of Works scheduled to pick a contractor in a special meeting on June 16.

Currently, every property owner in Kendallville privately contracts with a hauler to pick up their garbage.

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