County Commissioners demand: section of Fairgrounds Road must be reopened PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marty Randall   
Wednesday, 08 February 2017 07:29

Scott County Commissioners are again on record demanding that a section of Fairgrounds Road be reopened.

Late Sunday afternoon crash on U.S. 31 North proves fatal to Scottsburg woman PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Friday, 03 February 2017 10:37



An elderly motorist was killed and a family of four injured in a late afternoon crash that occurred Sunday, January 29, in Scottsburg.

Margaret “Peg” Anne Shirley, 90, was driving her 2012 Buick Lucerne and attempting to pull out on U.S. Highway 31 North and enter the southbound lanes around 5:30 p.m.

When she got onto the highway, a 2005 Dodge pickup truck driven by Floyd M. White, 28, Austin, struck the mid-sized sedan in the driver’s door. White later told Sgt./Detective Steven Herald that the car pulled out so quickly, there was no time for him to react.

The crash sent the car over into the southbound lanes, while the larger pickup skewed, coming to rest for the most part in the inner northbound lane. The accident was witnessed by Indiana State Police Trooper Martin Wimp. Airbags deployed in both vehicles.

First Responders and firemen with the Scottsburg Volunteer Fire Department arrived shortly after the mishap as did Scottsburg officers Det. Herald and Patrolman Trevis Burr and Deputies Joe Guarneri and Rex Herald. The woman was carefully removed from the wreckage and sent on by Scott County EMS ambulance to Scott Memorial Hospital. She was pronounced dead there shortly after arrival. Internal injuries were reported to have caused her death.

Floyd White suffered an abrasion to his elbow/lower arm. His wife, Nicole, had a possible fracture or dislocation of her elbow/lower arm. The couple’s children, nine-year-old Jacklyn and four-year-old Zander, had contusions and bruises. The man was treated at the scene. His wife and children were taken to Scott Memorial for additional treatment.

The funeral for Peg Shirley was conducted at the Stewart & Hoagland Funeral Home in Scottsburg on Thursday, February 2. Bro. Phil LaMaster and the Rev. Tim Lueking officiated.

Burial was in Scottsburg Cemetery.

SHS Female Wrestler Wins at Inaugural State Finals PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Friday, 03 February 2017 10:34



When Scottsburg High School (SHS) sophomore Fee Diaz first stepped on a wrestling mat, it was not in an attempt to pin an opponent. It was to take photographs for the student newspaper.

“They said they needed a spot filled,” Diaz said about being approached by SHS wrestling coach J.T. Jenkins while on assignment for The Booster.

Jenkins’ offer piqued Diaz’s interest. She put down the camera and picked up a singlet and headgear.

“I thought it would be something different,” Diaz said.

Trying something new paid off for Diaz — she placed fourth in her weight class at the inaugural Indiana High School Girls Wrestling State Finals held on Jan. 20 at Hamilton Heights High School in Arcadia, Ind.

“I was pretty proud,” Diaz said. “The people there have been wrestling for years and years. Some of them had full teams of girls.”

The inaugural Indiana High School Girls Wrestling State Finals is the first of its kind for the state and for many states nationwide. SHS Athletic Director Jamie Lowry hopes girls wrestling continues to grow.

“Fee has done really well,” Lowry said. “We may look back at it [decades later] and see what Fee started. Hopefully, this starts something really big.”

Throughout the regular season, Diaz did not always have the opportunity to wrestle other female athletes. In the Mid-Southern Conference, Diaz said the number of female wrestlers is few, especially in her weight class of 98 pounds.

“I’ve only wrestled one other girl,” Diaz said before heading to state finals.

To compete, Diaz had to wrestle male athletes. On her team, the next male counterpart to practice with is 40 pounds heavier than her.

“When there are no girls, I just wrestle a boy,” Diaz said. “I like going out there and being different. I like to show them I can actually do it too.”

With the guidance of her coach, Diaz quickly picked up on the basics and was able to make significant gains. She had one pin this season, and next season, she wants to go further.

“I just want to get better and learn new moves,” Diaz said.

She also hopes more females will try wrestling.

“I hope a lot of girls want to try it,” Diaz said. “It’s awkward at first. You get over it. It’s something different.”


City of Austin again successful in receiving Blight Elimination Program loan dollars PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Friday, 03 February 2017 10:33



The City of Austin has again been successful in obtaining a Blight Elimination Program (BEP) loan from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA).

An announcement made by the authority on Tuesday, January 31, stated that the City of Austin will receive $252,000. This award follows a 2016 BEP loan of $392,000.

All local units of government in Indiana’s 92 counties were eligible to apply for BEP funding. Loan dollars are used exclusively to eliminate blighted, vacant and abandoned homes in the State’s effort to decrease the number of foreclosures.

Austin is listed in the BEP’s Division Six of communities which applied for these latest funds, and it received the highest amount of funding in Divisions Four, Five and Six, aside from the City of Richmond, which received $254,000. The funds were made available after they were de-obligated for various reasons from other communities’ 2016 loans.

BEP loans are made on a “forgiveable” basis. The program allows the IHCDA to make funding available, with the loans being restructured as loans using dollars from the $221.7 million Hardest Hit Fund money allotted to Indiana in 2014. The loans can then be written off or “forgiven.”

According to IHCDA estimates, approximately 4,000 blighted and abandoned homes in Indiana will be eliminated through the BEP. To date, more than 1,500 homes have been demolished.

Through BEP, property owners are offered $6,000 for a building with no basement or $10,000 for a building with a basement.

In Austin, 20 such structures were initially targeted under the 2016 program. A total of 14 have been torn down, with another six slated for demolition. The new funds will allow the Austin Redevelopment Commission (ARC), the acting agency for the City of Austin, to contract for more eliminations.

Those homes already demolished or under contract include:

458 West Maple Street

1253 North Church Street

219 Paulanna Avenue

232 East Main Street (State Road 256)

1316 West Gibson Drive

180 Paulanna Avenue

338 South Third Street

49 North High Street

1266 Pearl Street

503 Cross Street

95 Rural Street

136 Wilbur Avenue

971 North Second Street

1027 North Third Street

180 North Street

410 Broadway Street

331 Wilbur Avenue

285 Broadway Street

990 Mann Avenue

825 Mann Avenue

A contract for the final six homes was approved by the ARC on Tuesday, January 31. CLG Disposal of Henryville won that contract with a bid of $29,972.11.

Other communities receiving new monies this year in Division Six include Connersville, $122,000; Dunkirk, $97,000; Hartford, $198,000; Knox, $36,000; Montpelier, $18,000; and Rushville, $176,000.

Special meeting set February 8…. Lone bid submitted on county’s unused paving plant; Fairgrounds Road re-opening demanded PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Friday, 03 February 2017 10:30


It was a fairly unusual situation in which Scott County Commissioners found themselves on Wednesday morning, February 1.

They had earlier followed the procedure to sell an unused paving plant obtained as surplus from the U.S. Army nearly two years ago. A legal notice was placed in these Green Banner publications, but that legal notice only attracted one bid.

One sealed bid was submitted by Wingham Paving Inc. of Charlestown, the same firm which had won the county’s contract to do nearly $2 million worth of road paving last fall. Wingham workers got a lot done, but there are still more roads to be addressed.

If the firm is successful in obtaining the paving plant setting at the Scott County Highway Department, local residents may see it at work on remaining roads to be paved under the 2016 contract.

Valued as high as $1.6 million when brand new, the plant had been used by the Army to teach proper paving procedures for plane runways and the like at overseas sites. It was among equipment labeled surplus by the Army and offered to any unit of U.S. government free which could transport it. Scott County won that right.

Commissioners had hoped the plant could be upgraded and then used by the Highway Department to pave more cheaply than awarding contracts to paving companies. Unfortunately, an expert in the field told them last year that its operation would cost the county more, not less.

Consequently, officials made the decision to sell it.

Kelley Robbins, chairman of the Board of Commissioners, held up the sealed envelope and then looked at fellow officials Bob Tobias and Mike Jones. “So, do we open it?” he asked them. “It’s the only one we got.”

Tobias was not in favor of opening the bid. “If we don’t open it, Wingham’s bid won’t become public knowledge and then he isn’t harmed and could rebid if he wanted to if we advertise it again,” explained Tobias. An auctioneer, Tobias wanted to advertise the equipment on-line and in a different publication to attract more bidders.

Ken Wingham, the bidder, told the officials that he felt his bid was a good one and for a good price. “I’ll probably have to spend around $150,000 to update and upgrade it,” he estimated.

Robbins and fellow Commissioner Mike Jones understood Tobias’ stance, and Jones offered, “I’m at a disadvantage here. I don’t know anything about this equipment, so I’m not sure if the bid would be a good deal for us or only a good deal for the bidder,” he told them. Jones was sworn in as a county commissioner on January 1. “Letting it just set there and deteriorate is also not a good idea,” Jones went on. He looked at Wingham, the bidder, telling him, “If you are comfortable with us thinking about this, we could take this under advisement and come back later with our answer.”

Wingham said he was fine with any decision on action by the Commissioners.

Robbins opened the bid. Each Commissioner read the information and handed it to Robert L. Houston, county attorney, who gave it back to Robbins.

Wingham proposed $400,000, not in cash but in paving. He proposed providing $80,000 worth per year for five years. That would add a little over one mile more for paving projects each of those years. That’s with adding two inches of pavement, Wingham said. “If you just wanted 1½ inches put down, that would be more paving,” he added.

All three Commissioners voted to table the bid. Robbins then set a special meeting for 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, February 8. The meeting will be in the Commissioners’ Room, Suite 128, in the Courthouse.

“This should be the only thing on the agenda unless something else urgent comes up,” he stated.

Another issue brought up by Jones was the last item they considered that morning.

At the Commissioners’ meeting on January 18, Jones asked for background on why the short section of Fairgrounds between U.S. Highway 31 South and South Main Street Road, also known as Vienna Road, remains impassable to traffic.

L&I Railroad and its partner CSX had contracted with a Kentucky firm to replace all rail and repave crossings in a multi-million dollar effort to improve the short line between Louisville and Indianapolis for longer and faster trains to travel. Work in Scott County was undertaken last year, crossings being the last task attempted by R.J. Corman crews.

Most crossings were closed for only one to three days. Fairgrounds Road was closed while the company lengthened an existing side rail. It never reopened. Concrete barriers remain on the road so that motorists won’t attempt a crossing.

Commissioners discussed the closing several times as rail work wound down. They also voted last year to demand that the L&I Railroad reopen the crossing. At the January 18 meeting, Jones said he’d talk with L&I’s contact person and report back.

“He gave me this story about how no one ever used it. Sure, a lot of people don’t use it, but what they need to realize is that that is the last road south of Scottsburg. If one of their trains is blocking the tracks at Lovers Lane and ambulances or fire trucks have to go down to Vienna to cross there, it adds three miles to responders’ trips. Three miles is a lot if you can’t breathe,” he related.

On his recommendation, Commissioners agreed to have Houston send the company another letter requesting its reopening as quickly as possible.

“I’ll send them a letter. It’ll probably be a really short letter. I don’t think I’m going to have to explain the terms ‘open’ and ‘closed’ to them,” Houston remarked, causing some laughter.

All of the Commissioners will sign the letter, it was decided.

Last Updated on Friday, 03 February 2017 10:30
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