THURSDAY November 14, 2013 Showgirl Hearing Page A6 Lawyers spar over proposed strip club Triple Digits For Boilers Page B1 Hammons returns in easy win Weather Sunny, high 47. Tonight’s low in the lower 30s. Partly cloudy Friday, high in the upper 40s. Page A6 The Serving DeKalb County since 1871 Auburn, Indiana GOOD MORNING Controversial suspect back in court Meth defendant previously convicted in toddler death BY PATRICK REDMOND firstname.lastname@example.org Festival offering free booth space AUBURN — The Downtown Auburn Business Association and DeKalb County Fair Association are inviting all local businesses and organizations to join the annual Gingerbread Festival on Sunday, Dec. 8, from 1-3:30 p.m. at Middaugh Hall on the fairgrounds. An 8-foot booth space is available free to share a business or organization with the public through product sales or child-friendly games. For complete information and to reserve a space at the event, call Jama Smith at Littlejohn Auctions, 925-2796, or email her at email@example.com The festival will include a Children’s Gingerbread Kit Contest (kits are available at Moe’s Bikes and More while supplies last), a family real gingerbread contest, ugly holiday sweater contest, horse-drawn wagon rides, music and more. Participation in all facets of the event are free to the public. 75 cents kpcnews.com LAGRANGE — Christy T. Shaffer, a Topeka woman who served less than three months of a 10-year prison sentence for neglect involving the death of a toddler, returned to court Wednesday, this time charged with two methamphetamine-related offenses. Shaffer, 35, was arrested Tuesday just outside of Topeka after she was implicated during the Nov. 1 arrest of two men in Topeka charged with manufacturing methamphetamine. Shaffer allegedly called one of the men on his cellphone while police were conducting their investigation. A drug test administered by authorities on Shaffer a few days later turned up positive for methamphetamine. Shaffer was then picked up by police officers on Tuesday and charged with two class D felonies, maintaining a common nuisance and possession of methamphetamine. Both counts carry a minimum sentence of six months in jail and a maximum of three years. Shaffer made her initial appearance on the new charges Wednesday afternoon in LaGrange County Circuit Court by video link from the county jail. Senior Judge Robert Probst of Noble County presided. Shaffer, wearing a jail jumpsuit, said little during the proceedings, answering questions “yes” or “no” in a barely audible voice. Asked if ONLINE CALENDAR Find out what’s going on in the area this weekend kpcnews.com Info • The Star 118 W. Ninth St. Auburn, IN 46706 Auburn: (260) 925-2611 Fax: (260) 925-2625 Classifieds: (toll free) (877) 791-7877 Circulation: (toll free) (800) 717-4679 Index • Classifieds.................................B7-B8 Life..................................................... A3 Obituaries......................................... A4 Opinion ............................................. A5 Sports.........................................B1-B3 Weather............................................ A6 TV/Comics .......................................B6 Vol. 101 No. 314 SEE SUSPECT, PAGE A6 School battle erupts Dispute ends with Ritz storming out Utility regulator’s job change under attack INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Some consumer groups are criticizing an Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission member’s move to a private organization that oversees the Midwest electrical grid. The state inspector general has cleared Kari Bennett’s decision to resign from the utility commission and become senior corporate counsel the Carmel-based Midcontinent Independent System Operator, The Indianapolis Star reported. Indiana law requires state employees to wait for a year after leaving government to take a job as a lobbyist or with an organization with whom they negotiated any contracts or made decisions that affected the new employer. she could hire an attorney, Shaffer quietly gave her longest answer of the proceeding, telling the court she didn’t have any money. She stood almost motionless, with her hands crossed tightly across her chest, throughout the bulk Shaffer of the 30-minute hearing. LaGrange County Judge J. Scott VanDerbeck released Shaffer from prison after she served only say, Groundhog Day was a big deal at the hardware store,” Bry said. John Leasure used his groundhog title in advertising, letterhead and more. One of the family members in Indianapolis has a stamp he used, Bry said. The Leasure family moved for a brief time to Angola, but eventually returned to Auburn. Leasure INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A meeting that produced a new outline for grading Indiana schools turned chaotic Wednesday when the state’s top education official stormed out, escalating an already testy battle with Republican Gov. Mike Pence. Democratic Superintendent Glenda Ritz abruptly left the meeting of the state school board she chairs when a Pence appointee tried to transfer certain student assessment powers from her office to a second education department created by the governor earlier this year. “This meeting is adjourned,” Ritz said repeatedly, while packing her things and walking out. Department of Education staff quickly followed suit, while leaders of Pence’s second education department and the other board members stayed put. It is unclear whether Ritz ended the meeting. Before Ritz left, the board voted to approve new school grade categories and broadly accept the recommendations of a bipartisan panel formed in the wake of a scandal earlier this year. Indiana’s “A-F” school grading formula was investigated after an Associated Press report showed Ritz’s predecessor, Tony Bennett, changed the rules to raise the grade of a political donor’s charter school from a “C” to an “A” last year. Bennett resigned his job as Florida’s schools chief amid the scandal. Wednesday’s vote was a rare moment of unity between Ritz and the other members of the board in an ongoing education war. Ritz accused Pence Tuesday SEE HISTORIAN, PAGE A6 SEE SCHOOL, PAGE A6 PHOTO CONTRIBUTED Dr. Lida (Powers) Leasure, the first woman elected to public office in Indiana, lived at this home at 350 West 7th St., Auburn. A program honoring Leasure will take place Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Eckhart Public Library. Historian honoring a pioneer Auburn woman was first in state to win election AUBURN — The Eckhart Public Library and the DeKalb County historian have partnered to honor Dr. Lida (Powers) Leasure, the first woman elected to public office in Indiana. A program on Leasure will take place Saturday at 3 p.m. at the library. The public is invited to attend and meet members of the Leasure family, who will be in attendance. “Dr. Leasure was an incredible lady. She held enormous amount of integrity, was honest, and one of the most respected and popular persons in the county,” said John Bry, DeKalb County historian. The 100th anniversary of Leasure becoming the first woman elected to public office was in 2011, and Bry believed there should be an official recognition of the milestone. He began searching for Leasure’s descendants and found them within 48 hours. Many of the family members reside in Indianapolis today. Leasure was born in central Indiana and attended Indiana State Normal School, now Indiana State University, to obtain her teaching credentials in the late 19th century. She located in Auburn, where she taught at the former Riley School in the city. Leasure then attended the University of Michigan, where she obtained her medical degree. She began her practice of medicine and Leasure was the second female physician in DeKalb County. She met and married John Leasure, who owned the Auburn City Hardware and was dubbed “Groundhog John” by the locals. “John was fascinated by groundhogs. He often kept them on display in front of the hardware in cages, and at the family home on West 7th Street. Needless to “She held enormous amount of integrity, was honest, and one of the most respected and popular persons in the county.” John Bry DeKalb County historian • Auburn’s Christmas parade invites entries AUBURN — The annual Christmas Parade sponsored by the Downtown Auburn Business Association will take place Tuesday, Nov. 26, at 7 p.m. Entries are being accepted from floats, dance groups, horse-drawn wagons and sleighs, cars, choirs, bands, civic organizations, church groups and school groups. Lights are encouraged to make entries shine. Entries will line up at the DeKalb County Fairgrounds by 6:15 p.m. Entry forms are available on DABA’s website, daba4auburn. org, and must be dropped off at Carbaugh Jewelers in downtown Auburn by Saturday, Nov. 23. Cash prizes will be awarded for the top three entries in each of three categories. On the day of the parade, no entries will be allowed on the fairgrounds before 5:30 p.m. No vehicles except parade entries will be allowed on the fairgrounds. Entries will receive their lineup positions and numbers when they arrive. Visible identification is required on every parade entry. Santa Claus or Mrs. Claus will not be allowed in any parade entry. Judging will take place at Bassett Office Supply on South Main Street. Stopping will not be allowed. Entries will be judged on creativity, theme, enthusiasm and overall presentation. The parade ends at Courtyard Park in downtown Auburn at 7th and Cedar streets. Entries will be directed by parade personnel to a parking lot. A holiday program and awards ceremony will take place after the parade in the park. For more information, call Mike Littlejohn or Jan Bundy at Carbaugh Jewelers, 925-3113. Help us celebrate our 150th Anniversary Open House Friday, November 15th, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ~ Saturday, November 16th, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Celebrating 150 Years As Your Full-Service Jewelers 127 S. Main St., Kendallville • 260-347-0560 Honoring Our Past Anticipating Our Future ~ Meet our young and talented craftsmen who will take our full-service jewelry store into the next generation. ~ Preview our new, expanded selection of gift ideas ~ Tour our jewelry, watch and clock workshops ~ Learn about our history and the 5 generations of watchmaker jewelers who created this history Santa will be here Friday from 4-6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.