The original Potpourri column – often imitated – was founded by longtime Kosciusko County Republican leader Jean Northenor and Times-Union publisher Reub Williams decades ago.

Williams was Northenor’s mentor, as she often has said during interviews in the past. And it’s been Northenor who has encouraged the Potpourri column to awaken once more from its slumber.

With the presidential election this year, it’s as good of a time as any for the column to rise again, especially since it’s never really been “defunct.” And Northenor is always welcome to contribute to Potpourri anytime she wants.

COMMUNITY CORRECTIONS – One bit of information we’ve learned this week is that the choice for a new Community Corrections director has been narrowed down to four people. Those contenders, according to our sources, include County Coroner Tony Ciriello, Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office Det. Josh Spangle, KCCC interim director Barry Andrews and Assistant Director of Work Release Kelly Prater.

Interesting to note is that Ciriello, Spangle and Prater have all previously ran for county sheriff.

Among those cut from the final choices is former Warsaw Police Department Chief Steve Foster.

The new director is needed after former Kosciusko Community Corrections Director Anna Bailey; her assistant, Taylor Pagan; and the man they were supposed to be supervising – Steven Gasaway – are facing felony charges following an investigation, as reported first by the Times-Union back in December.

BEST GUESS – If you ask Republican U.S. Congressman (IN-3) Jim Banks who will be the eventual Democratic nominee for U.S. president this year to face off against President Donald Trump, you might get a different answer one day from the next.

During a 20-minute interview Thursday, Banks said, “If you ask me tomorrow, it may be different from what I say today. I don’t know. From (Joe) Biden to Bernie (Sanders) to Pete (Buttigieg) to Elizabeth Warren. I would think it’s between the four of them.”

Banks said Buttigieg is well funded and is running a very good campaign, while Biden has maintained the front-runner status though Banks wondered how long that would last for Biden.

“This continuous flow of stories about corruption and his involvement – that’s not going to stop any time soon,” Banks said, adding that it was “incredible” what Joe’s son Hunter “got away with” and it’s “clear corruption.”

CHAMBER DINNER – Every year the Times-Union has sponsored or co-sponsored the Man and Woman of the Year Awards at the annual Chamber of Commerce Dinner. Also co-sponsoring the awards has been 1st Source Bank.

We’re excited to find out who this year’s recipients are, as we hope you are, too. In 2019, recipients were Marlene Mulero-Betances and Bob Bishop.

This year, the 108th event will be Jan. 30 at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center, 610 Wooster Road, Winona Lake. Networking starts at 5 p.m., with dinner served and program beginning at 6 p.m.

NOT BURIED – After being appointed to the Oakwood Cemetery Board of Regents by Mayor Joe Thallemer, former city council candidate Chris Plack had to take the oath of office.

The mayor gave it to Plack at the Board of Public Works and Safety meeting Friday, after which Plack said – and posted on his Facebook page – “To think, some people said running as an Independent would bury me politically.”

Nice pun, Plack.

Plack ran for city council District 2 as an Independent against Republican Josh Finch in the November general election, only to lose by less than two dozen votes. The two men ran a friendly race.

Speaking of Finch, he’s been busy getting up to speed on everything the city has going on. He will be sworn in as city councilman at the city council meeting Monday night, but has already met with a couple of city department heads. He plans to meet with all the other department heads by February to make sure he’s on the same page as the department heads are regarding what they want to accomplish.

Good luck!

VOTER TURNOUT – Speaking of elections, Secretary of State Connie Lawson on Friday announced that 23 percent – or 645,458 – of the 2,851,245 Hoosiers who were eligible to vote in the Nov. 5 municipal general election cast a ballot.

Not all Hoosier voters were eligible to vote in the Nov. 5 municipal elections. Only voters who live in a city or town with an election or in a school corporation conducting a construction or tax levy referendum were eligible to vote.

Lawson congratulated Perry County for having the highest turnout rate in the state at 43 percent. Jefferson County had the second-highest turnout rate at 41 percent.

How does that compare to Kosciusko County and its November general election? In the 25 precincts that had contested races, voter turnout was just 9.26%.

In the May 2019 primary, voter turnout for Kosciusko County was 15.82%, but it featured a heated race between Thallemer and Ron Shoemaker for the mayor’s seat.

The complete 2019 General Election Turnout and Absentee Chart with voter statistics for each county can be viewed online at The report was compiled by the Secretary of State’s office using voter data supplied by the office of the County Election Board in Indiana’s 92 counties. Turnout statistics for previous elections can be found online at