Wide range of issues and problems addressed February 1 by County Commissioners PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Friday, 10 February 2017 12:28

 

 

Scott County Commissioners had yet another full agenda for their first business meeting on February. Kelley Robbins, chairman of the Board of County Commissioners, called the meeting to order with only Commissioner Mike Jones to keep him company.

Commissioner Bob Tobias was tied up with another matter but made it to the meeting less than an hour later.

Officials plowed through items in a fairly brisk manner at first, approving several service contract renewals with the Scott County Economic Development Corporation, the Scott County EMS clinical affiliation and workers’ compensation insurance. They even got through the Maximus contract with Circuit Court in a fairly short time after Judge Jason Mount explained to them that the firm seeks child support payments from responsible parties in IV-D cases. Two-thirds of what is recovered returns to the county.

Judge Mount also advised Commissioners that he had contacted state legislators in an attempt to attach Scott County to a bill which would approve a local magistrate’s court.

That court’s judge would be able to conduct initial hearings on criminal cases and handle other issues, thus allowing the Circuit and Superior Court judges more time to move bigger cases more quickly through the local system. If the magistrate’s court is allowed, Judge Mount said, it would not activate until January 1, 2018.

As the meeting progressed, Commissioner Robbins announced that there would be no update that morning on the proposed jail renovation/building project from the contracted firm DLZ. “They are still working the numbers on it,” he told those gathered.

That subject was of interest to Scott County Councilmen Mike Zollman and Eric Gillespie, who were in attendance as was retired councilman Raymond Jones.

What bogged down Commissioners briefly was a $4,700 bill from the company which installed the new jail’s elevator last year. The bill covered two trips by the firm to the county jail for needed repairs when the elevator stopped working. After talking with Sheriff Dan McClain and Chief Jailer Doug Herald about the issue, they tabled that claim until more information could be obtained about the elevator’s warranty.

They also recommended to the Sheriff that he locate a service company for the elevator.

Commissioners approved adding a dumpster for recyclable materials at the jail.

A quote to move a safe from the current Health Department to the old John Jones building was presented by Michelle Goodin, Health Department Administrator. It was approved. She also advised Commissioners that she had no update on the renovation of the John Jones building into new Health Department headquarters.

Goodin and Health Inspector Tim Brunner presented a proposed ordinance to force owners of neglected properties to clean them or face having the cost to clean them added as liens on the properties. Some discussion was held over the fact that the Scott County Area Plan Commission (APC) also has an ordinance covering some of these issues. Commissioners approved the ordinance but requested that Brunner meet with APC Executive Director April Ramoni to compare the two so that they do not overlap.

The ordinance must be legally published in these Green Banner newspapers with a wait period of 30 days before it takes effect.

Brunner also went over the procedure to file a complaint about a residence or site with the Health Department. Complaints may be phoned to the department, but written complaints are also accepted, they learned.

“We can’t start acting on an issue until we receive a formal complaint,” Brunner explained.

Umang Patel, a local businessman who owns two sandwich shops and two motels in Scottsburg, was named to the Scott County Visitors Commission.

The county’s long-awaited auction will be held at the old John Jones facility on U.S. Highway 31 North in March. Unsure of the need for advertising the event legally, Commissioners selected March 4 as the initial date and March 11 as an alternate date for the auction of unneeded equipment, vehicles and the like.

Trash collection was also a subject brought up by Commissioner Tobias. Too many people are dumping at designated county dump sites when there is no personnel there.

Each township has a dumpsite open at scheduled hours on scheduled days of the week. “But we’ve got some people that, if their day to bring trash is Tuesday, they’ll bring it in Monday, and by the time the site is open on Tuesday, we got a huge mess on our hands,” Tobias said. Animals tear open the bags, allowing trash to spread.

Trash can only be brought to these sites at designated times, Tobias stressed. Additional policing for illegal dumping is being considered.

 

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Paving plant bid rejected by County Commissioners during special meeting PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Friday, 10 February 2017 12:27

 

 

Scott County Commissioners unanimously rejected a bid of $400,000 in paving as the purchase price offered for a paving plant.

The nearly unused paver had been valued as high as $1.6 million when brand new. It was used by the U.S. Army to teach proper paving procedures for plane runways and the like at overseas sites. The paver 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. Hence, the decision to sell the plant was made.

Only one bid to buy it was received last week. Wingham Paving, the same firm which won the nearly $2 million bid to repave a number of county roads last fall, offered to provide $80,000 worth of paving each year for the next five years.

Though a number of alternatives were discussed by Commissioners Kelley Robbins, Bob Tobias and Mike Jones, Robbins and Jones ultimately agreed with Tobias that they should advertise the paver more widely to see if higher bids could be obtained.

This time, Tobias said, the ad should include more specifics. If paving services are to be offered, he wanted “…the amount of paving to be offered and the thickness. Then, everyone is on the same footing,” the official stated.

In other business addressed, Commissioners approved adjusted billings from the elevator company which installed the new device at the jail complex. The company was called twice when the elevator failed last fall. The original bill was for $4,700. The adjusted bill was about half that amount. Commissioners thanked Auditor Tammy Johnson for getting the bill reduced.

Commissioners were also told that officials with DLZ, the firm drawing up plans for the old jail building, want to meet with at least one Commissioner and a couple of county councilmen. Plans are being made to make that meeting a reality, advised Commissioner Robbins.

Commissioner Tobias said he had learned that a new medical area was being constructed in the old jail. “As a member of (the Board of Commissioners), I don’t want to see the tail wagging the dog, so to speak. We need to be advised of what is going on and what is being done,” Tobias declared.

Commissioner Jones said he gave Sheriff Dan McClain some names of workmen to contact to make necessary repairs to the jail after a walk-through of the facility. “I’ve studied the state jail inspectors’ reports from 2014 to 2016 and they emphasize the lack of air circulation, the plumbing and the lighting. if these were the major problems throughout, wouldn’t we have worked on repairing them over these years?” he asked.

Not necessarily, Tobias and Robbins told him. “We were working on building the new jail at the time,” Tobias said. “I just don’t want to see a lot of money spent over there if we are going to tear down the building in a year.”

Auditor Johnson said the work at the old portion of the jail may put her into a difficult position. “I don’t want to pay claims that (the work creating them) hasn’t been authorized by you,” she explained. “I can’t paint the employees’ bathroom over here without getting your permission first.”

Commissioner Tobias suggested that the Sheriff be contacted. “He needs to make sure that this board authorizes everything being done over there,” said Tobias.

Commissioners also reappointed Flossie McGannon to the Scott County Library Board of Directors.

They will next meet at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, February 15.

 

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Indiana State Police trooper suffers bite wound in tussle with man at hospital PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Friday, 10 February 2017 12:20

 

 

A man causing a disturbance at Scott Memorial Hospital has been released on bond after being charged with biting an Indiana State Police (ISP) trooper.

James Horvath, 48, Scottsburg, was charged with Level 5 felony battery as well as resisting law enforcement and disorderly conduct, both misdemeanors.

Scott County EMS was dispatched to a residence on North Second Street in Scottsburg on January 29 about a person needing medical assistance. Technicians soon called for help because of a man who was interfering with their helping the patient.

That call was aborted after the man, later identified as Horvath, calmed down. However, police were later dispatched to the hospital when Horvath allegedly became disorderly there. Sgt./Detective Steven Herald of the Scottsburg department and ISP Trooper Matt Busick answered that dispatch.

When they arrived, they were told that Horvath allegedly tried to gain access to the person being treated in the hospital’s ER. He was “…being confrontational…” with personnel at the front desk and the hospital security officer as the officers entered the waiting area, Det. Herald noted.

Yelling ensued as the two officers attempted to calm and reason with the man. Those attempts failing, Det. Herald said Horvath began to resist and jerk away as he was being placed in handcuffs. Warned by Trp. Busick that he could be tazered if he continued, Horvath allegedly screamed, “Taze me then.”

Horvath was taken to the floor by the officers, but he continued to resist them and bit Trp. Busick’s right hand, leaving tooth marks. He also allegedly kicked Det. Herald.

Horvath was transported to the Scott County Security Center.

He appeared on February 2 for his initial court hearing. A jury trial was set on April 25; Horvath’s bail was set by Judge Jason Mount at $50,000 by corporate surety bond or $5,000 cash. His case was assigned to a public defender.

When Horvath filed a cash bond on February 6, he was ordered not to enter the local hospital unless he required emergency service.

 

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Four people injured in two accidents occurring on State Roads 3 and 56 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Friday, 10 February 2017 12:19

 

 

Sheriff’s deputies had a busy time of investigating and assisting at the scenes of two injury accidents which occurred in Scott County on Thursday afternoon, February 2, and Friday evening, February 3.

The first crash occurred at 2:50 p.m. on that Thursday on State Road 3 2,510 feet north of its intersection with Kinderhook Road.

Driver James R. Quinn, 26, Scottsburg, was headed south on the highway in a 1993 Honda Accord when the car veered off the road. The investigation by Deputy J.R. Ward indicated that the vehicle was apparently in the middle of the highway when it skidded off to the right side and entered a ditchline. The Honda turned around and slid sideways into a utility pole, the report stated.

Quinn was injured and trapped inside the car wreckage. After being freed, he was transported by Scott County EMS to Scott Memorial Hospital for evaluation when he experienced head pain.

When he was released, he was placed under arrest for a misdemeanor, operating a motor vehicle when he never received a driver license.

The car was totaled in the mishap, with property damage estimated at up to $10,000.

Two drivers and a passenger were injured in the second crash, which happened just after 7 p.m. that Friday at the T intersection of State Road 56 East and S.R. 3.

According to the report prepared by Deputy Josh Watterson, Amanda J., Pfeiffer, 38, Greensburg, was driving her 1998 Ford Escort northbound on S.R. 3. She apparently did not notice the red flasher at the intersection and drove onto S.R. 56 without stopping, There, she collided with a westbound 2013 Ford Escape operated by Michael L. Bowling, 67, French Lick.

The impact caused both vehicles to travel down an embankment north of the intersection. Each came to rest in a field at the bottom of the embankment.

Air bags in the Bowling car deployed. Michael Bowling experienced chest pain, while his wife, Barbara, 60, had back pain. Pfeiffer was listed with head pain.

All were transported by ambulance to Scott Memorial for evaluation

Pfeiffer is now facing several charges, including infractions, misdemeanors and felonies. She was allegedly driving while intoxicated.

Property damage was estimated at up to $25,000.

 

 
Friends involved in 2015 child molesting incident sentenced to total of 57 years PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Friday, 10 February 2017 12:18

 

 

Scott County Prosecutor Scott Owens is commending the bravery of two children who told what happened to them at the hands of three adults on October 30 and 31, 2015, which has led to two men getting prison sentences that total 57 years.

“Elzie Vincent Jr. and Shawn Cardinal were apprehended and convicted because of these children’s bravery. Once officers learned about the incident, some solid work by the Scottsburg Police Department gave this office a case in which charges were filed and this type of resolution could be reached,” stated Owens.

Vincent, 38, was convicted and sentenced on January 30 to 32 years in prison for child molesting and sexual misconduct with a minor. On February 7, Cardinal, 39, was sentenced to 25 years for child molesting, sexual misconduct with a minor and being an Habitual Offender.

His registration as a sex offender ordered as part of his sentence, Vincent received credit for time served of 337 days. His sentences in the two cases will be served concurrently as will the sentences on his individual charges. Cardinal’s terms are similar with a lifetime registration as a sex offender included. Cardinal got credit for time served of 493 days already served.

Both men shall have no contact with the girls, who were 12 and 14 years old at the time of the incidents. Vincent’s sentence also covered an earlier incident that year with the same 14-year-old for which charges were filed in November, 2015. The charges from the “party” on Halloween night and the following night resulted in charges against the pair that were filed in Scott Circuit Court in February, 2016.

“Both Vincent and Cardinal have been continuously incarcerated since these charges were filed. By securing lengthy prison sentences for both offenders, we have assured the safety of the children involved well into their adulthoods,” Owens commented.

He added, “My office will do everything in our power to insure that justice is done for crimes committed against children, especially crimes like these. Any time sentences of this magnitude can be handed down without putting young victims through a trial process, we consider it a success. We always put the safety of the victims first, keeping in mind how the trial process will affect them.”

His background in teaching and having parents who are retired educators has caused Owens to always prioritize the well-being of children.

“In all cases that come to this office, we always consider what is best for the kids involved,” he stated.

A third individual involved in the 2015 “party” has a jury trial date scheduled this July.

 
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