1. Concord schools' referendum challenged by opposing group
Concord Community Schools are calling upon taxpayers to vote for a temporary increase in property taxes to help cover some of its losses after Indiana capped property taxes.
However, K.C. Clements thinks that Concord schools should make more dramatic cuts to their budget rather than ask for more taxpayer money. That's why he formed 'Vote No in Concord', a group which includes him and two other people, to encourage others to vote 'no' in the upcoming referendum. Another group, 'Yes for Concord Kids', aims to bring attention to the school's needs and financial struggles.
2. U.S. 20 upgrade east of Elkhart resumes, work will take longer than first planned
The upgrade to U.S. 20 east of C.R. 17 to S.R. 15. will be done in mid-2015 instead of this coming Fall, according to the Indiana Department of Transportation. Tony Mayo, the communications and customer service director of the Indiana Department of Transportation's Fort Wayne office, said it took longer than expected to acquire the land that is needed to permit the expansion.
Work on the road resumed in March after a winter hiatus. The upgrades are meant to reduce congestion along the busy roadway that connects Middlebury and Elkhart. U.S. 20 east of C.R. 17 is to be widened from two lanes, one going in each direction, to five lanes, two lanes going in each direction and a center turn lane.
3. Goshen Housing Authority partners with local church to spread word about housing vouchers
The Goshen Housing Authority and the First Presbyterian Church of Goshen are collaborating on Operation 320, a program to teach low-income citizens about how to sign up for housing vouchers which will make rent more affordable.
Rev. Alan Griffin said the city has 320 vouchers and that 57 were unclaimed at one point. Goshen Housing Authority director Pam Kennedy said that many people do sign up for housing vouchers but many people fail to follow through with the paperwork. Griffin said he is recruiting people to help families through the process
Another function of Operation 320 is to connect families with other services in the community which may help them in times of need, like healthcare and food pantries.
4. Goshen church, Elkhart museum demonstrate Ukrainian Easter egg tradition
The Holy Trinity Ukrainian Church and the Midwest Museum of Modern Art held a workshop on Saturday, April 5, teaching attendees about how to create pysanky. It's a Ukrainian tradition where Easter eggs are painted with molten wax and dipped in dye. Each of the eggs tell a different story or have a Christian theme to them.
“The egg became a sign of rebirth and resurrection, so it was adopted by the Christians as a Christian symbol. These eggs were traditionally given out as gifts.” said Olga Stickel, who helped out at the workshop.
Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Church will hold a second pysanky workshop from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 12, at 61314 C.R. 21 in Goshen. There will also be a free demonstration of the Ukrainian tradition from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Palm Sunday, April 13, at the Midwest Museum of American Art, 429 S. Main St. in Elkhart.
5. Santa's Pantry raises money for Cub Scout Pack 762 after $5,000 theft
Santa's Pantry, a local non-profit, and the Pay It Forward 4-H Club hosted a chili dinner fundraiser on Friday, April 4, for Cub Scout Pack 762 after their former cubmaster stole $5,000 they had raised selling popcorn last year.
The dinner raised $676 for the cub scouts. That's in addition to the $1,775 in donations the group received after The Elkhart Truth published a story about how their former cubmaster, Nicole Taylor, stole a year's worth of funds from them. She appeared in Elkhart Superior Court 6 for her initial hearing on Wednesday, April 2. Taylor is charged with theft and, if convicted, will face up to three years in prison.