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State explains city's water violation

The New Castle Waterworks was dinged in September for violating Indiana’s rules about monitoring drinking water.

The Indiana Dept. of Environmental Management (IDEM) told The Courier-Times that city workers followed all the appropriate procedures while their monitoring machine was broken down.

The violation was issued because it took took so long for New Castle to get a new machine delivered.

The equipment at that heart of the violation is a system that continuously monitors chlorine residual levels in the drinking water. IDEM explained that the presence of this disinfectant ensures “that any potential viral contamination of the groundwater source is being inactivated.”

Water Plant Superintendent Greg Phipps said the monitoring system was more than 50 years old when it broke down Aug. 10.

The waterworks did not miss a beat when the automated system went down: they began testing the chlorine residual by hand.

Every four hours.

This is in following IDEM’s rule, 327 IAC 8-2.3-5(b)(3)(DD), that states: “If there is a failure in the continuous monitoring equipment, the ground water system shall conduct grab sampling every four (4) hours until the continuous monitoring equipment is returned to service...”

The problem is the second line of that rule: “...The system shall resume continuous residual disinfectant monitoring within fourteen (14) days.”

The city was able to order a state-of-the art replacement for $11,000. It was manufactured in Switzerland and shipped back.

As many industries have found, overseas shipment times have been delayed this year. It took seven weeks for New Castle’s new machine to arrive.

Phipps’ crew members hand-checked the chlorine levels for seven weeks while waiting for the new machine.

An IDEM representative said the state department considered the fact that New Castle employees were monitoring the water by hand and that the machine had been ordered.

“However, they did not return to continuous monitoring within fourteen (14) days, as required under the rule,” IDEM stated.

Phipps said New Castle’s the quality and safety of the city drinking water didn’t change whatsoever while the continuous monitoring system was down.

“Everything was fine. Everything was secure,” he said.

If the violation had not been corrected, it could have lead to an enforcement action from the state. IDEM’s inspector confirmed on Tuesday, Oct. 5, that New Castle replaced their continuous chlorine monitoring equipment.

According to IDEM’s records, New Castle Utilities has had seven violations since it started operations in 1976. The last violation, before this most recent one, occurred in 2016.

Kiwanis, Shoe Sensation take care of kids

For the last five years, the New Castle-Henry County Kiwanis Club has raised funds to help provide shoes for children in several Henry County schools.

Partnering with Shoe Sensation and local elementary schools, local Kiwants give new shoes and socks to hundreds of students each year.

In 2020, the Kiwanis reported putting shoes on more than 500 Henry County kids.

Local Kiwanis went to Tri Elementary School last week. On Monday, they delivered new shoes and socks to 27 children at Blue River Valley Elementary School. Kiwanis were at Shenandoah Thursday, too.

Tracy Klotz and Robyn Brenneman from Shoe Sensation sized the shoes beforehand and made sure of the proper fit upon delivery.

Kiwanis Ryan Smith and Kenon Gray were at BRV to help distribute the shoes Monday.

Gray said the plan is to get shoes to the county schools this fall and then focus on New Castle schools this winter.

This year, New Castle-Henry County Kiwanis will also buy new shoes and socks for local Head Start programs and Heartland Christian School.

School nurses, counselors, teachers and administrators helps identify students in their buildings whom the Kiwanis can help.

Keep up with the Kiwanis Club of New Castle-Henry County by following them on Facebook or call (765) 624-9514 for more information.

Secret Families hosting Christmas Party fundraiser Nov. 6; Games, silent auction, Santa and choir singing

It takes lots of work and love creating the joy of Christmas for those in the community.

Secret Families of Henry County is a year-round operation of planning.

The non-profit’s biggest fundraiser of the year is coming up in the weeks ahead. The Secret Families Christmas Party is 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6 at the Smith Building at Memorial Park.

The Christmas party will include games, silent auction, Santa, choir singing and food. Tickets for the event are $50 and can be purchased in advance from Koontz Insurance and STAR Financial Bank.

Secret Families mission

Through donations and generous volunteers, families around Henry County receive the Christmas everyone deserves, said Scott Koontz, Secret Families of Henry County board president.

Secret Families uses the charitable donations to purchase, wrap and deliver gifts catered to both the family’s needs and the child’s Christmas wishes.

These include decorations, food, a Bible, household items, clothes and toys. No Christmas is complete without the tree, which is delivered to the home by Secret Families team members.

“Through the love of community, together we can provide a truly joyful Christmas for every family,” Koontz said.

For the past six years, Secret Families has provided for over 250 families.

This year, they will be serving approximately 80 families in Henry County.

Secret Families asks local school principals throughout Henry County for recommendations of families that are in the greatest need at Christmas time. These families would not be able to make vital Christmas memories without support.

Other news

Secret Families of Henry County is always happy to have volunteers. Donations are always appreciated and can be made at STAR Financial Bank, the day of the event or on the donate page.

Koontz said they could also use wrapping paper and tape, Those items can be taken into ERA Real Estate, FC Tucker or Koontz Insurance & Financial Services.

For volunteer information, email secretfamiliesofhenrycounty@gmail.com. You can also find them on Facebook at Secret Families Christmas Charity of Henry County.

There are tons of different ways to get involved. Secret Families would love to hear from everybody and anybody.

Local Briefs

Commissioners, council special meetings next week

Henry County Council will have a Special Session at 1 p.m. Monday, Oct. 11, to discuss the Food & Beverage Bond. The Henry County Commissioners will be attending the council’s special session. The meeting will be held at 101 South Main Street, 2nd floor Old Circuit Courtroom.

Henry County Commissioners will have a Special Session at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 13 in the courtroom to discuss creating a committee to take applications to request use of the county’s America Rescue Plan (ARP) funds.

– Information provided

Park board meets Monday

The Knightstown Park and Recreation Board will meet at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 11, in the Sunset Park Shelter House, 206 S. Hill Ave.

– Information provided

South Henry school board meets Tuesday

The South Henry School Board has an executive session at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 12 in the Tri High Library, 6972 S. SR 103. The regular meeting is at 7 p.m. in the same location.

– Information provided

Welcome Bombshell Sweets; A unique set of flavors for Cotton Candy

Brandon and Cindy Smith want to make an impact in Middletown with their new business, Bombshell Sweets – East Central Indiana.

Why Middletown?

“That’s my home town, that’s where we live,” Cindy said. “Right now, we are just a digital store but hopefully a storefront in town soon.”

The Courier-Times spoke with Cindy and asked her what Bombshell Sweets is all about.

“Bombshell Sweets is cotton candy perfected, cotton candy with more flavor than you have ever tasted before,” she said. “We have over 40 flavors from Strawberry Cheesecake, Blue Sky which is a blueberry lemonade that is a kids’ favorite, to Ghost Pepper Punch for those spicy fans. So we are sure to have something you would love.”

Smith was also asked why they decided to get started in the business.

“We have a long-time friend that lives in Spokane, Washington that does the same thing. After looking at all the different flavors, we just knew we had to secure the branding license for this area and we jumped in and learned how to spin the cotton candy and bring an amazing treat to Hoosiers,” she said.

Local market shoppers probably recognize the Smiths even before they expanded to the cotton candy world.

“Well, we were already doing a farmers market with our other business, BCD Farms, selling local honey, pork, poultry and produce,” Smith said. “It just seemed like an easy add-on to our offering that people would enjoy.”

Smith was asked what their goal was for Middletown and Henry County.

“We want to bring something new and exciting but at the same time make you feel like a kid at the fair again,” she said. “We also have fundraising opportunities that groups could be very successful at raising money they need for activities, uniforms or help with trips.”

Smith said Bombshell Sweets offers a unique tasting experience with over 40 flavors that really surprise people.

“If you come to our booth, samples are a must. So you not only get to experience them all, but we make sure you take your favorite home. It is so fun to watch our customers’ faces light up when we really hit that flavor.” she said.

Bombshell Sweets is located at 7551 N CR 600 W in Middletown.

Contacted the through BombshellSweetsEast CentralIndiana.com, follow them at Facebook.com/BombshellSweetsECI, or find them at local events.