Hearing on Fairgrounds Road set May 10 at Courthouse PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marty Randall   
Friday, 20 April 2018 11:23



Scott County Commissioners recently announced that a public hearing will be held at 1 p.m. on Thursday, May 10, about Fairgrounds Road.

The short section of affected road lays between U.S. Highway 31 South and Vienna Road just south of Scottsburg. It’s been closed for nearly two years now since a contractor with the Louisville and Indianapolis Railroad shut down the crossing. Signs and concrete barriers discourage any attempt to use the crossing. It now accommodates not only the north-south track but also an extension of a side rail used frequently by the railroad.

Commissioners have argued with L&I officials about the importance of the crossing since it was first closed. All other crossings in Scott County were repaired and improved by the railroad company as part of its ambitious project with the CSX Railroad. The improvements of the line has allowed L&I to move more freight more quickly.

But the crossing offers the ability to move quickly in cases of emergency, Commissioners contended. The crossing on Fairgrounds Rd. is needed to reach someone in critical need of medical assistance in south Scottsburg if trains block crossings at Vienna and Lovers Lane Road.

The issue came to a head in September, 2017, when L&I President John Goldman talked to Commissioners. The atmosphere in the room was frosty, since no one would budge on the issue. The Commissioners’ stance was summed up by Commissioner Mike Jones: “There’s not enough money in this world that you can give us to compare with the loss of the life of a child or anyone that our emergency crews could not reach in time,” Commissioner Jones told him. “You can’t pay us enough.”

Weeks later, L&I filed its petition with Scott Superior Court in an attempt to keep the crossing closed. The issue has been stalled since then.

Now, a hearing has been planned so that both sides can present their cases. Members of the public can also voice their opinions on the matter.

The hearing will be held in Suite 128, the Commissioners’ Room, at the Courthouse in downtown Scottsburg.




Speeding car reaches 130 mph in pursuit ending near Madison PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marty Randall   
Friday, 20 April 2018 11:22




A Milton, Ky., man is being held at the Scott County Security Center after leading deputies and other officers in a pursuit that ended just east of Madison in Jefferson County.

Deputies Josh Watterson and Rex Herald reported to dispatchers that they were in pursuit of a speeding car that radar indicated was driving 87 miles per hour (mph) eastward on State Road 256 near the small community of Wooster on April 11.

Deputy Herald kept track of speeds during the pursuit, reporting the vehicle reached 100 mph before blowing through the intersection of State Road 256 and 3. A speed of 130 mph was clocked shortly afterward, and, by the time the chase reached the S.R. 256/State Road 62 intersection, the car’s speed was 100 mph.

As the vehicle continued into Jefferson County, deputies and Madison and Hanover officers joined the pursuit. The car struck a ditch before continuing onto State Road 56 and stopping.

Deputy Herald was the first to the targeted vehicle. Driver Timothy Dean Lee, 59, was removed from the car and wrestled to the ground before being handcuffed. In the action, Deputy Herald broke a bone in his hand.

A woman passenger in the car was injured, apparently from the impact of striking the ditch. She was treated by emergency technicians and then transported by ambulance to King’s Daughters Hospital in Madison for further evaluation.

The damaged car was impounded.

At his initial court hearing on Friday, April 13, Lee learned he was being charged with Level 6 felony resisting law enforcement and criminal recklessness. Misdemeanors filed against him included operating a vehicle while intoxicated and reckless driving.

Lee’s bail is set at $50,000 by corporate surety bond or $5,000 cash. His driver license was automatically suspended, and his jury trial date has initially been set for July 9.

Lee has already requested a public defender be appointed to assist him in his defense.




Neglect charge pending against dad who reportedly drove drunk PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marty Randall   
Friday, 20 April 2018 11:20


When Indiana State Trooper Kyle Taylor saw a damaged vehicle sitting near U.S. Highway 31 on April 11, the officer probably thought he’d be rending aid.

Instead, he found a two-year-old who apparently needed medical attention and his father, Eric M. Long, 39, who reportedly crashed the vehicle while intoxicated.

Trp. Taylor was traveling south on U.S. 31 in Scottsburg just before 7 p.m. when he saw the vehicle with what he described as “…extensive front end damage…” Long was still at the wheel, and the child was in a seat. Another passenger was also in the vehicle.

Trp. Taylor said the youngster appeared to have visible head injuries. He called Scott County EMS.

As he talked to Long, he said he noticed the man’s pupils were restricted, his speech was slurred and he was “…unstable.”

A witness to the crash told the state trooper that the vehicle had traveled north across southbound lanes and struck utility pole. The impact caused the vehicle to spin around until it was facing south, the witness related.

Deputy J.R. Ward arrived to assist. He said he looked inside the vehicle and saw a bag that looked like synthetic marijuana, normally known as “Spice.” Thirty pills of a prescription medicine were also located inside the vehicle, which turned out to be an anti-depressant.

After Long was checked by EMS technicians, he was handcuffed and transported to the local jail. The vehicle was impounded.

Long is now charged with Level 5 felony neglect of a dependent. Level 6 felonies include possession of a legend (prescription) drug and two counts of operating while intoxicated (OWI). He is also charged with Class A misdemeanor OWI “…in a manner that endangers a person…” and Class C misdemeanor OWI with Spice in his system.

Another Class A misdemeanor charges him with possession of a synthetic drug.

During his initial court hearing on April 13, Long learned his jury trial date is July 9. His driver license was automatically suspended, and his bail was set at $20,000 by corporate surety bond or $2,000 cash.

A cash bond was posted for him on Tuesday, April 17, allowing him to be released to await his trial.




Local Law Enforcement issues 68 citations, makes 2 arrests during impaired and dangerous driving patrols PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marcus Amos   
Friday, 20 April 2018 11:19



Over 24 days, the Scott County Sheriff’s Office and Scottsburg City Police issued 68 citations and made 2 arrests during St. Patrick’s Day, college Spring Break and the first rounds of NCAA Tournament.

In 2017, the weekend beginning St. Patrick’s Day had the highest number crashes involving impaired drivers. Federal traffic safety funds administered by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI) supported random patrols, saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints for more than 230 law-enforcement agencies across the state.

“Enforcement of traffic laws is focused on preventing crashes, injuries and deaths in our community,” said local law enforcement leaders. “As we look ahead to celebrating Easter, the Final Four and the rest of Spring Break, make sure your plans include a sober driver and extra stopping distance.”

In every state, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. In Indiana, drivers under 21 with a BAC of .02 are subject to fines and a license suspension for up to 1 year.

The top causes of all Indiana traffic crashes are drivers following too closely and failing to yield the right of way. Aggressive, distracted and impaired driving reduce reaction times to unexpected slowed traffic, bicycles and pedestrians.

Experience different perspectives on an impaired-driving crash scene in 360 degrees at https://on.in.gov/nobigdeal.

New impaired-driving equipment

Last year, ICJI and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) purchased 1,759 new portable breath tests for Indiana law-enforcement agencies. An additional 836 devices are being purchased this year.

But unlike alcohol, there is no quick field test for the legal and illegal drugs that can impair drivers. ICJI and NHTSA are issuing Android tablets and apps to assist 185 highly-trained police officers in the recognition and enforcement of drug-impaired driving.

If you’re taking a new drug or higher dose, talk with your doctor or don’t drive until you know how it affects you. Even over-the-counter medication such as cold medicine or sleep aids may cause impairment, especially when combined with alcohol or a second drug.


Scott District 2 officials asking for six new school guards PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marty Randall   
Friday, 20 April 2018 11:18



Officials with Scott School District 2 have approached both Scottsburg and county governments with a unique request: splitting the cost of adding six new law enforcement officers.

District 2 Superintendent Dr. Marc Slaton attended both the Scottsburg City Council meeting on Monday night, April 16, and the Scott County Council meeting on Tuesday morning, April 17. He was also expected to appear at the Scott County Commissioners’ meeting on Wednesday, April 18.

At each meeting, Supt. Slaton said the district needs to increase its security at the six schools it operates. Three of those schools are located in Scottsburg; three are in the county.

What he proposed was splitting the cost of paying six new officers – three at the city’s police department and three new deputies for the Sheriff’s Department. He told City Council members, “We are committed to spending $250,000 on this plan.”

The figures Dr. Slaton provided Monday night indicated District 2 was willing to pay $24,000 per guard, roughly half of what an officer would make. The superintendent explained to both groups that District 2 “…doesn’t want to get in the business of hiring police officers.” Consequently, the Board of School Trustees determined this system of having each department hire three officers dedicated to school safety would provide more security and better response times in case of incidents.

According to the proposed plan, each officer would serve an eight hour shift. City police officers have ten hour shifts.

Figures quoted apparently do not include equipment, vehicles, training or insurance.

At the City Council meeting, Council President Bill Hoagland asked Dr. Slaton if the plan would involve current officers on staff. “No, we mean (that the City would) hire three new, additional officers,” he replied, adding, “We’d like to see this (plan) become reality.”

Councilman John Konkler thanked the D2 officials for hosting a recent executive session of all county, city and Austin officials and law enforcement agencies.

“In talking to others (about protecting schools from violent intruders), I’ve learned it’s a matter of being prepared when it does happen, not if it is going to happen,” Konkler said soberly.

Mayor Bill Graham was unable to attend Monday night’s meeting, so the matter was tabled by the City Council.

Similarly, the County Council thanked Dr. Slaton for coming and decided to discuss the proposal further.



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