The Washington Times-Herald

July 27, 2013

State briefs

The Washington Times-Herald

---- — Recent repairs to crashed plane

COLUMBUS, Ind. (AP) — A friend of an 81-year-old pilot whose plane crashed into an Indiana house says the pilot was on a test flight to ensure recent repairs had resolved some mechanical issues with the aircraft.

Tom Vickers says he spoke with pilot Gerald Clayton about the home-built plane several times and that Clayton planned flying it before putting the aircraft up for sale.

Vickers tells WISH-TV Clayton had problems with the plane in 2011 and had to find an FAA-certified mechanic to repair it. He says Clayton wanted to do the test flight before his certification expired at the end of July.

Clayton was in serious condition and passenger Dennis King was in fair condition at Wishard Memorial Hospital in Indianapolis on Friday, a day after the crash in Columbus.

Library director misspent $96K

WALKERTON, Ind. (AP) — A state audit has found that the former director of a northern Indiana town’s library misspent nearly $96,000, including paying for personal dining and travel and issuing himself unauthorized paychecks.

The State Board of Accounts report says Scott Klingerman made 228 ATM withdrawals of Walkerton-Lincoln Township Public Library money between June 2010 and this March.

Deputy state examiner Michael Bozymski tells the South Bend Tribune that the ATM withdraws weren’t authorized and unusual by a public agency.

He says Klingerman didn’t respond to attempts by auditors to reach him. No telephone number is listed in his name.

The library in the town about 20 miles southwest of South Bend was closed for several weeks after police investigation began in May. No charges have been filed.

Gary announcesteacher layoff

GARY, Ind. (AP) — About one-seventh of the teachers in the Gary Community Schools have been told they’re facing layoffs as the district continues dealing with big enrollment drops.

The northwestern Indiana district notified 95 teachers of layoffs, which will drop its teaching staff to about 570. District spokeswoman Charmella Greer tells the Post-Tribune that 32 other employees also are having their jobs cut.

The staff reductions follow continued enrollment declines with several charter schools opening in the area and families moving from the troubled city. The Gary schools had about 8,500 students last school year, down from more than 16,000 seven years earlier.

Gary Teachers Union President Joseph Zimmerman says it is painful to watch teachers lose their jobs and that the district must do more to make its schools attractive.

Marshmallowthief sentenced

ALBION, Ind. (AP) — A second former leader of a northern Indiana town’s annual marshmallow festival has been sentenced for stealing money from the event.

A Noble County judge sentenced 31-year-old Bret Goodyear of Ligonier to a year in jail that he might be able to spend on work-release. The News Sun reports Goodyear earlier pleaded guilty to charges stemming from what police say was $2,300 he wrongly took when he was vice chairman of the Ligonier Marshmallow Festival Committee.

Goodyear and his lawyer asked the judge for leniency since he doesn’t have any previous criminal convictions.

Former festival chairwoman Tamara Deel was sentenced to a year in jail on charges she took $15,000 from the Ligonier festival and more than $100,000 from her former employer, G&S Products Inc.

Motorcyclistkilled in crash

PLEASANT VIEW, Ind. (AP) — State police say a motorcyclist was fatally injured when he crashed while speeding and doing a wheelie on Interstate 74 in central Indiana.

Police say 35-year-old Jeremy Baatz of Shelbyville lost control Thursday evening when the motorcycle’s front wheel came back down on the pavement. He then crashed into a ditch of the highway near the Shelby County community of Pleasant View, about 10 miles southeast of Indianapolis.

Baatz was taken to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis where he was pronounced dead.

Sgt. Rich Myers says tests will be done in an autopsy to determine whether drugs or alcohol possibly contributed to the crash.

New zoo home almost ready

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Construction crews have reached the halfway point in building a new orangutan center at the Indianapolis Zoo.

The zoo says in a newsletter that construction is expected to be complete by December.

The exhibit will feature an aerial gondola ride for visitors to see the eight orangutans.

The zoo has emphasized the need to protect orangutans and educate the general public about the primates.

The World Wildlife Foundation says the two species of orangutan numbered 230,000 a century ago. The eight apes from the Southeast Asian islands of Borneo and Sumatra living at the zoo will be among about 50,000 remaining.