Kokomo Perspective 06 15 2016 E Edition Page A1

765-452-0055 kokomoperspective.com e-edition June 15, 2016 on PORTABLE OXYGEN CONCENTRATOR making travel easier Purchase Your Own Difficulties mar blight elimination program A lot can happen in two years. Except, it seems, when federal funding is attached to a project. Last week Howard County reached a milestone in blight elimination. The county commissioners awarded a bid of $12,900 to City of First Excavating and Demo to bring down a dilapidated home located at 3315 W. 50 S. The move marks the first instance of the county tapping its $72,000 blight elimi- nation grant funding, which was awarded in 2014. County icials claim the delay in grant use isnt for a lack of trying. Since receiving the funding, the coun- ty targeted five individual properties for demolition as part of the federal project. County icials cite a myriad of reasons for the slow process, which revolve around the red tape and restrictions associated with the federal funding, for the other properties falling through. Its an absolute burden to deal with the regulations that come with those dollars, said Commissioner Paul Wyman. Often- times were talking about $10,000 for a tear- down, and what you have to go through and the amount of time to justify that $10,000 or $12,000 in the business world would never ly. But in government, sadly, that's the way by Devin Zimmerman News Reporter dzimmerman@kokomoperspective.com Blight A9 Major's Bracket See Page E6 Soap Box Derby Racers E1 Development coming to downtown For those seeking to live in the ever-devel- oping downtown area of Kokomo, another option is on the way. Fortune Companies, along with the city of Kokomo, announced the development of a new townhome, condo, and retail space downtown. Dubbed the Market Street Townhomes, the project will be located on the same block as the new YMCA facil- ity within walking distance of a variety of downtown amenities, such as Kokomo Mu- nicipal Stadium. People want to live, work, and play in walkable neighborhoods, said Mayor Greg by Devin Zimmerman News Reporter dzimmerman@kokomoperspective.com Development A7 Second Annual event attracts younger veterans, continues tradition for younger generation Sandbox Reunion draws big crowd Every year the Howard County Vietnam Veterans Organization puts on one of the largest overnight camp- ing events for veterans in the United States. That generation continued to create the same tradition for Iraqi, Afghanistan, and Desert Storm vet- erans last weekend with the Second Annual Sandbox Reunion. Held at the Healing Fields, a camp- site about eight miles east of Koko- mo, the Sandbox Reunion serves as something of a passing of the torch from the Vietnam veterans. As that generation ages, its important to make sure the location of the annual Vietnam and All Vets Reunion con- tinues to serve as a significant area for younger veterans, said Chuck Simons, president of the Howard County Vietnam Veterans Organiza- tion. We dont want a lot of history that is here to fade, said Simons. Our memories are our memories. They have to build their memories so they feel the same way about this ground whenever we leave. Because eventu- ally were going to be gone. While the Vietnam and All Vets Reunion continues to draw in thou- sands every September, Simons said its important that the younger gen- eration of veterans builds up an in- terest in the Healing Fields. They need to get started just how we did, a little bit at a time, said Simons. This didnt happen overnight. It took a lot of years to produce what we have now. Its the greatest veterans camping reunion in the United States. We are the larg- est, and we still have people wanting to be here and come in. The reason were starting the June reunion is so the Iraqi veterans can get the camp- site, and eventually theyll have two reunions, June and September. And in its second year, the Sand- box Reunion continues to build suc- cess. Simons said between 900 and 1,200 people attended the event, which began on Friday and contin- ued through Sunday. The event fea- tured live music, a hog roast, and a myriad of other entertainment events as veterans descended upon the campgrounds. An event of particular significance took place as part of the Sandbox Reunions opening ceremony. Just as by Devin Zimmerman News Reporter dzimmerman@kokomoperspective.com Perspective Photo / Devin Zimmerman CEREMONY - Sandbox Reunion attendees carry a new, 50-foot flag to be flown over the Healing Fields. Perspective Photo / Devin Zimmerman SALUTE - An honor guard fired off a 21-gun salute in memory of area veterans who have died since the last veterans reunion. Sandbox A7 Perspective Photo / Devin Zimmerman DEVELOPMENT - A rendering of the north side of the Market Street Townhomes project show- cases the varying looks Townhomes, condos, retail space set for construction

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