Kokomo Perspective 12 16 2015 E Edition Page A1

Local homebound boy receives Christmas cards This flu season is brighter than last for 12-year-old Xavier John- son who becomes home- bound for about two- and-a-half months every winter due to his cystic ibrosis, diabetes, and cir- rhosis. Brooke Stewart, John- son's mom, put a call out to Indianapolis me- dia earlier this month, requesting that every- one send her son Christ- mas cards. Local media shared the story, and word spread quickly. Last Monday, just days after the plea went out, Johnson received 287 cards through the mail, and an additional 50 were delivered from Ma- ple Crest School where Johnson attends, hand- made by his classmates. Each day since, Johnson received a new stack of cards. From that Monday though last Friday, John- son received a total of 1,333 cards. I think they're actual- Kokomo Schools moves to two-week spring break, updates policies Changes include $25 charge limit to food service accounts, addition of social media policy Kokomo School Corp. made a significant change to the school cal- endar, updated its food service charge policy, and added a social media policy at its regular Dec. 7 meeting. The corporation now will join Eastern Howard School Corp. in moving two a two-week spring break for the 2016-17 school year, making the schools the only two in Howard County to offer the extended break. Superintendent Jeff Hauswald said the ad- dition of the extra week was a result of a school calendar questionnaire that went out to staffear- lier this year concerning the placement of a one- week spring break-ei- ther the traditional Koko- mo Schools break during the first full week of April or moving to the last full week of March. After receiving in- put from the Kokomo Teachers Association and based on the survey re- sults that showed nearly three-quarters of our stafffavored a two-week spring break, we felt it was in the best interest of all staffto recommend a two-week spring break, said Haulswald. With the addition of the extra week of spring break, students will start school one day earlier in 2016 (Aug. 2) and fin- Schools A7 765-452-0055 kokomoperspective .com e-edition December 16, 2015 Only 9 Days Until Christmas! Look Inside For Great Gift Ideas From Our Advertisers Perspective's People of the Year 1 through 5 No. 1 - Greg Goodnight In any given year, a mayor should be the most impactful person in a city. This is the case in Kokomo, as Mayor Greg Goodnight helped trans- form the city into a place that has become the envy of many communities around the state. It started with the an- nouncement of a solar farm, which is still slat- ed to be installed on the former Continental Steel site. Though the regula- tory approval process slowed the development, Goodnight paved the way for the largest eye- sore in Kokomo to be put back into productive use. Downtown continued to be Goodnight's main focus for most of the year. He prompted the city council to underwrite the new Kokomo Fam- ily YMCA as it sough a gap loan to complete construction. The city's other financial guarantee came to fruition this year as well when the Lofts @ Union Street opened to new residents. And later in the year, two huge downtown develop- ments began under his guidance -- a $20 million assisted living complex and the recently unveiled Stadium Lofts Apart- ments which will repur- pose the historic Apper- son Brothers factory. Of course, the crown jewel of downtown is Ko- komo Municipal Stadi- um. Goodnight endured months of criticism and political attacks in order to bring baseball to the city, and by all accounts the investment was a rousing success. Goodnight worked tirelessly to improve the employment situation outside of downtown as well as the housing pic- ture. METCO announced an expansion with city assistance this year, and the mayor's administra- tion lured Saran Indus- tries to breathe new life into the old PPG factory on the northeast side. Construction also is un- derway on the new Ap- person Way Apartment complex and the duplex- es along West Markland Avenue -- both prompted by Goodnight's involve- ment. It was this year that Goodnight's work in Ko- komo led him to a larger stage. Early in the fall, he was elected president of the Indiana Associa- tion of Cities and Towns, which gives him and the city a little extra influ- ence when it comes to proposing and support- ing municipally-friendly legislation at the Indiana Statehouse. And just in the past three weeks, the mayor successfully launched a program to help com- bat the drug problem in Kokomo by teaming with Howard County and Community How- ard Regional Health on Operation: Overcome. This program is putting life-saving Narcan in the hands of law enforce- ment icers and emer- gency medical personnel. With this pharmaceuti- cal, a deadly drug over- dose can be stopped in its tracks. Oh, and he also was re- elected to a third term as mayor of Kokomo, over- coming a particularly nasty campaign orches- trated by the local Re- publican party. Not bad for one year. No. 2 - Carey Stranahan If you enjoyed a Jack- rabbits game at Kokomo Municipal Stadium this y e a r , t h a n k C a r e y S t r a - n a h a n . If your h o m e along the Wildcat C r e e k d i d n ' t lood in June with the seemingly unending rain, thank Carey Stranahan. The city's engineer is the person who ensures that infrastructure changes and major developments are accomplished with- out negative impact to residents, and this year Stranahan excelled at his job. The new baseball sta- dium is the feather in Stranahan's cap. Work- ing with the architects, he ensured that the sta- dium's design would not negatively impact flood- ing conditions along the Wildcat Creek. With its aggressive drain- age system and deten- tion ponds, the stadium replaced a dilapidated neighborhood that was prone to flooding with- out passing the problem downstream. Along with the sta- dium came a multi-stage overflow and detention system installed along the creek, also designed with Stranahan at the fore, which ensured that only the heaviest rain events would impact by Pat Munsey Editor pmunsey@kokomoperspective.com For Local Weather Call 457-9211 Sponsored by: City of Kokomo Coca-Cola White's Meat Market Indiana Hearing Aid at Kokomo Over 3.6 Million Callers GREG GOODNIGHT People A6 CAREY STRANAHAN by Alyx Arnett Features Reporter aarnett@kokomoperspective.com Perspective Photo / Provided CHEER - Xavier Johnson, 12, holds up one of more than 1,000 Christmas cards he has received since his mother made a request to the media, asking for Christmas cards to cheer up her son who's homebound during flu season. by Alyx Arnett Features Reporter aarnett@kokomoperspective.com Cards A8

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