Contractors sent home

Delaware County officials called in a number of private contractors to help with plowing in subdivisions Thursday morning but then told them their services weren’t needed.  They say the winds died down and county highway crews were able to get more done that anticipated.  Officials say they will be compensated for their lost time.

Weather situation getting better

Most area counties have lifted snow emergency declarations stemming from the blizzard.  Grant and Randolph counties still have travel advisories in place.  Madison County officials lifted their declaration Thursday, as did Blackford County and Henry County.  Delaware County also lifted its emergency Thursday morning.

County engineer to manage city project

Jay County Engineer Dan Watson will oversee Portland’s Industrial Park Drive redevelopment project.  The county commissioners have agreed to Mayor Bruce Hosier’s request that Watson be allowed to supervise city employees as they relocate a lift station, straighten a curve in the street and widen it to three lanes.  The arrangement won’t cost the city any money.  Watson says this will require one or two hours a day, and if conflicts arise he’ll reconsider the decision.

Nursing home patients dies from hypothermia

Marion officials say a patient suffering from dementia at the Bradner Village Health Care Center wandered outside into the cold Wednesday night and died from hypothermia.  Clarence Elliott, 76, was unable to get back inside.  It’s believed that a bed check normally done between 10 and 11 p.m. wasn’t done Wednesday night.  Elliott was discovered missing around 2:30 a.m. Thursday.  An alarm on the door where officials believe Elliott exited the building was apparently unheard or didn’t work.

Jay County selected for change of venue

Grant County officials have decided that the trial in the Taylor University van crash will be moved to Jay County.  Robert Spencer, 38 of Michigan, faces five reckless homicide charges and five other charges in the accident on April 26 of last year.  He was driving a truck that crossed the I-69 median in Grant County and hit the university-owned van.  Four students and a university employee were killed and four other people in the van were hurt.

I-69 drug bust during blizzard was huge

Delaware County police say that high-speed chase during the height of the blizzard Tuesday resulted in the largest cocaine seizure in the county’s history.  Alejandro Duran, 35, was arrested after the pursuit along I-69 that ended in Grant County.  Police say he had $1.3 million worth of cocaine in the engine compartment of his pickup truck.  They also claim Duran was part of a drug network that sent an average of 22 pounds of cocaine into the Muncie area from Fort Wayne every week.  They also raided homes in Muncie, Fort Wayne and Indianapolis that were either owned by Duran or occupied by members of his drug network.

Teacher admits to third DUI

A physical education teacher and baseball coach at Cowan Junior-Senior High School pleaded guilty yesterday to his third driving while intoxicated charge, resulting in a felony conviction.  Keith Nunley, 27, entered into a plea agreement giving him an 18-month prison sentence with all but five days suspended.  He’ll spend the next two weekends in the Delaware County Justice Center.  He also received 18 months of probation, perform 20 hours of community service and enroll in a substance abuse program.