Monthly Archives: January 2016

North Vernon takes steps to codify ordinances

The city of North Vernon is taking steps to codify its ordinances.

Clerk-Treasurer Shawn Gerkin explained to city council members last week that there is no system in place where residents, or city employees, could look up existing ordinances. He reminded them that by not having a system in place, the city was in violation of state law.

Gerkin presented a proposal from American Legal Publishing Corp. where they would track down every city ordinance, then create a searchable database that would be usable by city employees, as well as residents. The city council voted unanimously on first reading to approve the proposal, at a cost of $9,650. Gerkin adds that the payment can be stretched out over two-to-three years.

Gerkin says that the company told him that that the first set of ordinances should be completed and searchable within six months of final approval. That’s expected to come at next week’s city council meeting.

I-65 ramp near Edinburgh to close Tuesday night

The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) will close the northbound exit ramp from Interstate 65 to southbound U.S. 31 at the 76 mile marker near Edinburgh. INDOT Spokesman Harry Maginity says that the closure will take place, beginning Tuesday at 9 p.m. and running through 6 a.m. on Wednesday. He explains that the closure is needed to allow an environmental remediation team to clean up a spill site that was contaminated by diesel fuel from a recent truck crash.

Maginity says that Environmental Remediation Services of Indianapolis will remove affected soil at the ditch on the east side of the exit ramp and restore pre-crash conditions. He explains that the contaminated area measures 25’ X 63’.

INDOT says that drivers can access U.S. 31 at the interchange via northbound I-65’s Edinburgh exit ramp.

Candidates filling Bartholomew County ballot

Candidates are filling up the ballot for election to offices in Bartholomew County. In recent election filings:

Republican Ryan Lauer, a former member of Bartholomew County Council, has filed to run for the Indiana Assembly District 59 seat now held by Rep. Milo Smith. Smith also filed to run for re-election this week. They are joined by County Assessor Lew Wilson on the Republican primary ballot.

On the Democratic side, Bob Pitman, former head of the Mill Race Center is facing school teacher Dale Nowlin for the District 59 seat.

Three Democrats have filed to run for the three at-large seats on Bartholomew County Council. Those are Gaby Cheek, Pam Clark and Lynne Fleming. Republicans have a contested primary for those same three at-large seats with four candidates vying, including incumbents Bill Lentz, Evelyn Pence and Jim Reed and newcomer Matt Miller.

Other offices on the ballot this year include the District 1 and District 3 seats on the County Commissioners, Circuit Court judge, county coroner, county surveyor, Hope clerk-treasurer, and seats on the Hope and Hartsville town councils.

The only seat that is completely open as of this morning was Hope Clerk-Treasurer, but incumbent Diane Burton said she plans to run again.

The deadline to file for the 2016 election is noon on Friday, Feb. 5th at the voter registration office in the county courthouse on Washington Street.

Fire equipment eyed with new Hope contract

Hope volunteer firefighters are planning to buy some new equipment, after their contract with the town is approved.

The firefighters and the Town Council have been at odds for more than a year over the annual contract and went most of last year without receiving any money from the town.

The main issue was over a lawsuit from the department’s contractor over unpaid bills in their project to build a new fire station on the east side of town. That lawsuit was settled and both sides hope to have a contract in place soon.

Fire Chief Randy Wood said the department would like to buy some new equipment and replace old gear. One of the purchases would be take-home medical bags for first responders.

Fire Chief Randy Wood on med bags

The town’s emergency services committee recommended last night that the Town Council approve the contract for just over $76,000 this year. Wood said he is optimistic that the Town Council and the department are close to an agreement.

Chief Randy Wood on progress

Town Councilman Ohmer Miller, who also serves on the emergency services committee, made the motion to approve the contract. Although it was just over $7,000 more than the contract in recent years, he said he thinks the two sides are reaching an agreement.

Ohmer Miller on agreement

The town has had an agreement in place since October and has been paying pay some bills directly, rather than give a lump sum to the department. In the last months of the year, the town paid about $31,000 in bills for the fire department, or all of the bills submitted by the department.

Annual Purdue Extension, conservation meeting set

Bartholomew County Soil and Water Conservation District and Purdue Cooperative Extension will be holding their annual meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Community Building at the 4-H Fairgrounds.

The meal will be catered by The Flying Pig and the guest speaker will be comedian Jay Hendren. Tickets are $10 in advance. Doors open at 6 p.m., dinner is at 6:30 p.m. and the meeting starts at 7 p.m.

For more information you can contact Heather Shireman at 812-378-1280 ext 3.

No charges for cops involved in fatal Shelbyville shooting

Shelby County law-enforcement officers that were involved in a fatal police-action shooting last year won’t be facing any charges. Indiana State Police (ISP) say that decision was made Thursday by Shelby County Prosecutor Brad Landwerlen.

ISP say that back on Sept. 21, 56-year-old Jerrald Wright, of Shelbyville, was shot during a standoff with officers from the Shelbyville Police Department and Shelby County Sheriff’s Department. Authorities say they were responding to a domestic dispute. Police say that Wright would not come out of his home for several hours, ignoring law-enforcement commands to come outside. Police say that Wright eventually emerged from the house and pointed a gun at officers. Police then fired upon Wright, killing him.

State Police have released the names of the officers involved in the shooting. They are:

Shelbyville City Police Lieutenant Jeremiah Walton, Patrolman Charles Curry, Shelby County Sheriff’s Department Corporal Michael Cleveland, and Deputy Travis Maloney.

Residents hear plan to extend Maple Street

Residents of Maple Street, as well as other interested parties and stake-holders, took part in an open house Thursday evening to discuss a proposal from the city to extend Maple Street to U.S. 31. The plan would also provide a sidewalk connection between 31 and Home Avenue and Northside Middle School.

Jack Stocks, a project engineer with United Consulting, says that the overall purpose of the project is to improve vehicular access and pedestrian connectivity to the Northside Middle School campus. He says the large number of students coming to, and leaving, school are the main reason the project is needed.Stocks also addressed the lack of sidewalks in the area, noting that students, and all pedestrians, must walk along Maple Street and through school lawn in order to reach U.S. 31.

BCSC Superintendent Dr. John Quick expressed his support for the project. He echoed much of what Stocks had to say, adding that safety of students is the number one priority of parents and BCSC staff. Quick also added that this project would fulfill an area that was lacking in the school corporation’s “2012 Safe Routes to School Plan.”

Stock says the overall cost of the project is approximately $850,000. He noted that since the federal government is involved, it will cover 80 percent of the cost. The city of Columbus will be responsible for the balance. Stock says that the next part of the process will be the acquisition of land needed to complete the project. He says that work should begin “shortly.” Stock went on to say that the physical work should begin in April of 2017, with completion in November of that same year.

Troopers investigate death of man after crash

Indiana State Police are investigating the death of an Edinburgh man, who suffered a fatal seizure after a rollover crash on Interstate 65 in Shelby County early this morning.

29-year-old Devin Streeval of Edinburgh died after at first appearing conscious, alert and refusing treatment by medics.

State police say they and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department were called to the accident scene at about 1:10 a.m. on the interstate near the State Road 252 exit. An SUV had crashed and rolled over, but Streeval, a passenger, was standing outside the vehicle and the woman driver was seated in the driver’s seat. Both appeared injured but alert and told police that they did not want an ambulance.

The Shelbyville Fire Department and the Flat Rock Volunteer Fire Department were already on their way and when they arrived, the victims were taken to the back of the ambulance to be checked out.

Both the driver, 28-year-old Alyssa Caudill of Columbus, and the passenger, Devin Streeval, continued to insist that they did not need treatment, when  Streeval began having a seizure. He was taken to IU Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis but died at about 3:15 a.m. at the hospital.

State police say the investigation is ongoing and an autopsy is scheduled for tomorrow by the Marion County Coroner’s Office.