Reserve officer, passenger injured in recent motorcycle crash on country road PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marty Randall   
Friday, 30 June 2017 10:26



An Austin reserve officer and his passenger were reported as slightly injured in a motorcycle crash on Little York Road recently.

The spill took place just before 4:30 p.m. as Raymond A. Richie, 55, and Dianna Richie were traveling west along the country road on Richie’s 2005 Yamaha motorcycle. The couple was passing an eastbound white bucket truck with a red boom that was filled with tree branches.

As the couple began to pass the truck, Richie said a four-foot-long piece of wood fell out of the truck. He hit the branch and the motorcycle went out of control, ending up in a roadside ditch just before the intersection with Finley Firehouse Road.

Dianna Richie experienced chest pain following the mishap. She had been wearing a helmet. Raymond Richie had unspecified injuries. Both went to Scott Memorial Hospital to be evaluated. They were released that evening.

Deputy Rodney Rudder actually passed the white truck as he sped toward the accident site. Now, the public is being asked to assist the Sheriff’s Department in locating the truck. Reportedly, several pieces of wood fell from the truck as it traveled Little York Road.

Anyone having any information about the truck or the driver is asked to call the Sheriff’s Department at 812-752-8400 or its 24-hour tip line at 812-752-7898.

Property damage from the mishap was estimated at up to $25,000 by the deputy.




Spare Change brings free music to fair-goers Monday to Friday at Pavilion PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marty Randall   
Friday, 30 June 2017 10:22



From Monday, July 10, through Friday, July 14, the Lions Pavilion at the Scott County Fairgrounds will be filled with music.

Performers will entertain visitors to the Scott County Fair free of charge. Bring a lawn chair or sit on the bleachers offered. Bobby Deal of Spare Change Music has arranged the following entertainers:

?Monday: Gospel Night will begin at 6:30 p.m. and feature Lisa Herald and Family, Redemption’s Cross and The Colwells.

?Tuesday: Bluegrass Night begins at 6 p.m. Featured are Backwoods Bluegrass, James White and Deer Creek, Michael Cleveland, Josh Richards and Brian Allen.

?Wednesday: “Rock Oldies and Classic Rock” Night will start at 7 p.m. Musician Brian Fink and the Alley Katz of Louisville will appear.

?Thursday: Get your dancing shoes on! Line dancing will start at 7 p.m., and the audience is invited to jump in and enjoy.

?Friday: Country Rock Night begins at 7 p.m. at the Pavilion. Performers will include Matthew Williams, FE Project and Shiddy Hat Song.




Festivals in Scott County occurring through October PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marty Randall   
Friday, 30 June 2017 10:21



Don’t worry about being bored this summer and fall! It’s festival time in Scott County!

The big granddaddy of them all, the Scott County Fair, begins Sunday, July 9, with its “Come to the Fair” Parade and doesn’t close until the last demo car gives up the ghost on Saturday night, July 15. Grandstand events are planned for each evening of the Fair. For more information, visit the Scott County Fair Board (Indiana) on Facebook or

Other festivals scheduled to attract families with free entertainment, great eats, interesting booths and lots of activities include:

? Scott County MaterFest on Friday and Saturday, July 21 and 22, on the downtown Scottsburg courtyard. Food trucks, booths, bubbles, farm toy display, lots of tomatoes and a karaoke contest mark this event as a one of a kind festival honoring the county’s agricultural heritage.

? Pig Roast in the Park on Friday and Saturday, August 11 and 12, in Scottsburg’s Beechwood Park. This event features softball and other tournaments, a pulled pork dinner, music, fireworks and a drawing for a rustic, furnished playhouse/workshop/backyard getaway.

? Leota Frolic on Friday and Saturday, August 25 and 26, in the Finley Township village of Leota which features the only covered bridge in Scott County. Set a spell and enjoy the music, folks and booths. Food provided by the Finley Township Volunteer Fire Department.

? Scottsburg Airport Fly-In on Friday and Saturday, September 8 and 9, at the privately owned airport maintained on South Lake Road, Scottsburg. Visit and enjoy talking with the Indy Air Hogs. Members of the organization will be flying their single-person paragliders mornings and late afternoons/evenings, depending on weather conditions. Saturday ends with a fabulous fireworks display preceded by release of lighted Japanese lanterns.

? Museum Quilters’ Quilt Show on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, September 8 to 10, at the Scott County Heritage Center and Museum on South Main Street, Scottsburg. Gaze at an eclectic collection of quilts, pillows, wall hangings and more and vote for your favorite.

? Austin Firemen’s Festival on Friday and Saturday, October 13 and 14, on the grounds of the Jennings Township Volunteer Fire Department in downtown Austin. Fish will be fried and consumed and plenty of booths are promised as well as musical entertainment all the time and hayrides in the evenings.

? Scottsburg Main Street’s Halloween Night in downtown Scottsburg. Over 1,300 children enjoyed this event with their parents last year, thanks to supporting businesses on and around the square and summer-like weather. Dress up and visit each business to receive candy and other treats. The date of this free event will be announced later.

Samtec, Cub Scouts and Museum honored as ‘Good Neighbors’ during banquet PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marty Randall   
Friday, 30 June 2017 10:19



Celebrating 25 years, the annual Good Neighbor awards presented this year during the banquet on Friday evening, June 16, were given to one of Scottsburg’s newest industries, a Cub Scout pack and the Scott County Heritage Center and Museum.

The Good Neighbor event was created in 1992 by leaders in the community to recognize those groups, individuals and businesses which adhere to the volunteer spirit and make their community better for their involvement.

Samtec, located off South Lake Road and headed by manager Craig Mull, has brought dozens of new jobs to Scott County. The facility is high tech and compliments the Mid-America Science Park, which sits to its west.

Mull and staff have settled into Scott County well, noted Scottsburg Mayor Bill Graham. “Samtec represents the future for this area of southern Indiana. They are community-minded and are a very good neighbor for this county to have,” stated the Mayor when the company was introduced as a nominee in the Business/Industry category.

The Mayor was also complimentary about the category’s other nominees for 2017. Those included Home Helpers, Signature Countertops and Taco Bell.

Cub Scout Pack 4023, K-Kids and the Scott County Youth Grant-Making Council were the nominees in the youth group category of Church/School/Civic/Other. The Cub Scouts won the award, thanks to the many projects their members tackle during the year, including the annual Hardy Lake Sweep.

Mayor Graham complimented the Cub Scouts for their many community projects.

In the adult division of that category, the Scott County Heritage Center and Museum received the 2017 Good Neighbor award. ABATE, a charitable organization operated by motorcyclists, and Blessings for Prom, an organization which helps high school students with clothing and shoes so they can attend and enjoy their schools’ proms, were also nominees.

The county museum “…has always struggled to stay open and offers visitors a look into the county’s past,” related Mayor Graham. “It is a great asset to our community, and we appreciate those who are serving and have served on its boards for keeping our history safe for future generations to enjoy.”

A CASA volunteer, Laura Howard was honored as the Individual Adult recipient of a Good Neighbor award. Those also nominated for this category included Tracy Patton, Steve and Missy Sadler, Jennifer Spicer and Lisa Sutton. “What marks all of these people is their willingness to serve in any capacity which helps others,” stated Mayor Graham.

There were six nominees in the Individual Youth category. James Wuerzburger, a fall senior at Scottsburg High School and an Eagle Scout, was the winner. His parents are Holt and Becky Wuerzburger.

Mayor Graham said all of the nominees “…make us proud that they call Scott County home.”

The group included Makalynn Brown, Kami Owens, Alexa Parker, Emma Waskom and Madyson White.

Certificates were presented to students which escorted nominees that evening. The group included Hannah Brown, Sadie Fugate, Jaiden Herald, Abby Johanningsmeier, Eliza Mount, Izzy Myszak, Olivia Reul, Maddy Shelton and Sarah Thomas.

2017 Good Neighbor sponsors were Austin Tri-Hawk Automotive, Burris Electric, the City of Austin, Collins Funeral Home, John Jones GM City, LATCO/Selby House Inc., Medical Arts Pharmacy, Miller Heating and Cooling, Morgan Foods Inc., the Pilot Club of Scott County, R.L. Vuckson Excavating Inc., Rauch Inc.

Saegesser Engineering Inc., Samtec, Scott County Community Foundation, Scott County Moose Family Center and Lodge 2324, Scott County Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6582, Scott Memorial Hospital, Signature Countertops, Stewart & Hoagland Funeral Home and Services, Taco Bell, Temple and Temple and WesBanco Inc.

Live broadcasts of the program were aired on Scott County Community Channel 25, Warner Cable/Spectrum, and streamed live on Facebook. Ed Amick served as narrator. Director was Joe Smith.




Small step toward old jail facility solution? Council divides 4-3 on getting financial info PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marty Randall   
Friday, 30 June 2017 10:17



People crowded into the Courthouse on Wednesday morning, June 28, to attend the special joint meeting of the Scott County Council and Scott County Commissioners.

Most wanted to know what actions their officials would take over the question of what to do with the 1985 jail building. That was the proverbial “elephant in the room,” and most of the meeting’s three hours was absorbed by that subject.

By the time the meeting concluded, observers guessed the majority had received a good background about the jail as a whole and why two of the three Commissioners felt a project costing upwards of $5.4 million would at last solve Scott County’s problems revolving around the old jail.

Built in 1985, the jail building being used as administrative space and to house female prisoners predates the American Disabilities Act (ADA) and its myriad standards and the modern design of jails that eliminates much of the contact between those being jailed and their jailers. Persons must also figure in Indiana’s new criminal code as well. This code determined that those convicted of Level 6 felonies, and thus earn sentences of less than two years, will serve those sentences locally.

Consequently, many Indiana counties are now burdened by the number of people arrested, and Scott County is a prime example of what can happen. Scott County is ranked fifth in the state in the number of people arrested. Scott County is ranked no. 1 in the state in the numbers sent to state prisons. Instead of having 20 to 25 parolee/probationer cases, an ideal level, Scott County’s probation staff has upwards to 300 cases per staffer. Scott County’s two courts are doing the work of three courts in other counties.

Consider that the current jail, including its $11.4 million wing, handles from 155 to 191 prisoners. Indiana’s Department of Corrections considers any jail that is 80% full as having reached its capacity, so by that definition, Scott County’s jail is filled right now.

Add a 30-year-old poorly designed building that DLZ architect Eric Ratts described as in “fair to poor” in condition, and Scott County officials have got a monumental problem on their hands.

Commissioners decided June 7 by a 2-1 vote to request the County Council figure out a way to not renovate the old jail but tear it down completely and replace it with a well-functioning structure that can handle the 24-hours-a-day pace of dealing with people who don’t want to be there. The price tag is at least $5.4 million.

Ratts presented the DLZ plan to tear down the former Nazarene church and build a new facility for administrators, in-take of prisoners, eight holding cells, two padded cells and two detox cells. Note: The jail is the primary facility in the county for drug-users to “dry out” or detox. Additional cells will be included, 48 beds or more, depending on the design. Mix in those with mental health problems, too.

Are those beds needed? Definitely, said Ratts. “Your arrest numbers keep going up,” he pointed out.

A new salley port, much larger than the one-vehicle size offered now, will assist in staff and prisoner safety. A new main entrance is included as are administrative offices for the sheriff, officers and support staff. A new parking lot will be created.

With today’s construction trends, Ratts has estimated construction alone will be $4,5 million. Add another $1 million for the “soft” costs of fees, permits, legal advertising, financing, administration and the like. This is a similar price quoted by another architectural firm, RQAW, to renovate the current 1985 jail building. Advised Commissioner Bob Tobias, “To my way of thinking, it’s a no-brainer to think you can get a new building for what you’d put in an old one.”

Tobias and fellow Commissioner Kelley Robbins support the idea of the new jail building. Commissioner Mike Jones does not and he defended his stand at this meeting. Jones feels that “…you need to call companies and get quotes and tackle each problem the building has with the money you have…”

Jones began his job as Commissioner in January, long after the County Council had allotted $2 million and only $2 million for renovation of the jail. Eric Gillespie, an at-large County Councilman, agreed with Jones. “I don’t think you need to burden taxpayers. We’ve spent over $11 million on the jail wing. I’d think anyone could argue we’ve made an effort to solve the problem,” he said. The first jail project was funded through dollars from the Hospital Reserve Fund and on-going money raised each year through Jail COIT (County Optional Income Tax) funds. No property taxes are used for it, stressed County Councilwoman Iva Gasaway.

Circuit Court Judge Jason Mount got in on the conversation, saying alternative programs Commissioner Jones quoted which deal with individuals charged with non-violent crimes are attractive. “I’d love to have a conversation with you at another time about those programs, but we are dealing with our (current) problems. Our resources, our space, our rehabilitative problems,” Judge Mount reminded them.

Ratts threw another spanner in the works for everyone gathered to think about. “County jails are now the detox centers, and they are filled with people (awaiting sentencing). We want the drunk drivers and sexual predators in jail. Your officials don’t want to spend $5 million, but we need safe, secure jails, for the prisoners and for the people who work there. And what about the children that are being brought up in these home environments with users of opioids? Where will they all be in ten years?” he stated.

As the session drew to a close, comments were taken from the audience. Additionally, the Council had to decide what to do next. Though the conversation cleared up a lot of details, that daunting price tag had to be tackled.

The best way to do that, advised Council President Mike Zollman, is to get financial information. Consequently, on a motion to obtain financing knowledge made by Gasaway, the Council voted 4-3 to proceed with that step. Gillespie, his fellow Republican Chris Albertson and Democrat Donnie Richie cast the nay votes.

“Everyone thinks a project this size automatically means an increase (in taxes). Not necessarily. We haven’t decided if it can be funded yet. We can create a tax rate, but we don’t have to use it if there is other revenue we can use,” advised Gasaway.

Conferring with financial experts will give a clear picture of what the County Council – and taxpayers - could face.

All officials promised dealings will be done at public meetings. Councilwoman Gasaway also got a promise that the meeting of whether or not to go forward with the project would also be made at a meeting held at night. “And in a larger room so everyone can be seated,” she suggested.

That got a sweeping “yes” from the officials involved.



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