SHS Female Wrestler Wins at Inaugural State Finals
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
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
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
District 2 Board Discuss Bonds as well as Personnel Matters
Written by Administrator
Friday, 03 February 2017 10:29
The Scott County School Board of Trustees held its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, January 10.
As a follow up from December, Board Member Christy Roberts asked how much was spent in total on the locker room renovations. Dr. Slaton stated that he had given the Board the cost for paint and carpet and was waiting for Mr. Riley to determine the number of man hours spent working on those projects. Mr. Riley said he would have to estimate because they had 3 different people working on the different pieces of the job, but would get that information to them. Mrs. Roberts asked how much was spent on the trophy cases. Mr. Riley stated that he had not realized they would have to use safety glass instead of regular plate glass, which was about $3,500 more expensive. He will get the total cost figured and provide it to the Board.
Mrs. Roberts stated that even though the Board had approved raising the amount of expenditures requiring Board approval to $5,000, she would like the Board to be made aware of any and all projects regardless of the cost of the project or whether they were renovation projects, CPF projects, etc.
Christy Roberts asked when the Board could expect quotes for the middle school projects, stating that she hoped they could get them well in advance of the final bond completion. Dr. Slaton stated that they were already working on obtaining quotes and would get those to the Board as soon as possible.
Mr. Mike Therber explained that the bond market changed after the election and there was an immediate impact on interest rates. A couple of months ago bonds were selling at a much lower interest rate, however, the savings that will be realized from refinancing the 2007 bonds is still substantial. Today a net savings of about $400,000 - $500,000 in debt service savings on the remaining obligation would be realized. The outstanding principal amount is $10,135,000 which will be paid on until 2024. Interest rates will continue to change during the next couple of months, so there is no way to quote an exact amount.
Bonds can’t be redeemed without penalty until July. Bonds can be sold in March and close in April. In terms of raising cash for projects, extending the lease on the debt will extend the repayment term, which allows you to add one or one and a half years of payments on to that term and in return you get project cash. Mrs. Roberts stated that she wants to be able to see, whichever scenario is chosen, how much interest will be owed.
Mr. Therber stated that right now, if you add two payments and one additional year of debt service, you would be looking at approximately $1,500,000 - $1,600,000 cash in return and about $1,544,000 paid out, which cancels each other out. It is his opinion that the benefit to the District warrants refinancing. Ms. Melinda Sparkman stated that it is a “no brainer” to refinance, but the question is whether or not to extend the payment. Extending the payment would raise the debt capacity, which is needed in order to keep it level. Mrs. Roberts stated that they would need to look at each option and the overall debt capacity in conjunction with how much the interest will be. She added that she would like to preview the projects as they come in rather than waiting for the agenda to be able to think about them.
During the next portion of the meeting the board was presented the Personnel Recommendations and others business.
Janice Lawson - SES 4 Hour Duty Aide
Dan McDonald - SMS 5.75 Hour Special Programs Aide
Beth Hamilton - SHS 5.5 Hour Special Education Aide
Support Staff Recommendation(s)
Michael Hall - SHS 5.5 Hour Custodian
Robin McDonald - School Nurse
ECA Staff Recommendation(s)
Maxine Rembusch - SMS Destination Imagination Coach
Angie Richey - SMS Destination Imagination Coach
Elementary Girls’ Basketball and Cheerleading Coaching Staff NOTE: Dr. Slaton will let the Board know if there are changes to this list as there are some positions still open.
Professional Leave Request(s)
Dustin Marshall - Focus on Inclusion, Indianapolis, IN, Feb. 21-22
Permission to Post
SES 4 Hour Duty Aide
SMS 5.75 Hour Special Programs Aide
SHS 5.5 Hour Special Education Aide
Board member Christy Roberts made a motion to approve items 1-5. Josh Mays seconded and motion carried 5-0.
The board then talked about administrator contract rollovers. Board member Ron Moore stated that he felt the high school principals should have the same number of days since they all have the same title. Mrs. Roberts made a motion to approve a one year rollover for the administrators listed below. Mrs. Soloe seconded and motion carried 5-0.
Melinda Sparkman and Kevin Smith
Kristin Nass and Bobby Riley
Scott Borden and Bobby Doriot
Debora Yost and Jordan Warner
Tiffany Barrett and Heather Crites
After discussion as to how to realign the number of days for the high school administrators (Rick Manns, Kerri Hammons and Mr. Johanningsmeier), the Board asked the high school administrators and Dr. Slaton to provide a calendar with coverage needs stipulated to the Board for consideration. Mrs. Roberts made a motion to table the high school administrator contracts until this determination is made. Mrs. Soloe seconded and motion to table carried 5-0.
Mr. Kendall reminded the board that there was be a public hearing as required on January 24 to consider Dr. Slaton’s contract extension and stipend.
Superintendent Dr. Slaton advised the Board that the elementary principals would attend the meeting on February 14 and 28 and the middle and high school principals will attend on March 14 to present their ISTEP+ data, school letter grades, and to discuss strategies for improvement in any weak areas.
Dr. Marc Slaton asked that everyone remember Scott 2 staff dealing with deaths in their families. Elementary Art Aide Dustin McIntosh lost his grandfather, who was also LES teacher Sherri Hale’s uncle, at the end of December. Mr. McIntosh sent an email of thanks for the remembrances sent in memory of his grandfather.
Also, VFES teacher Heather McCoskey, lost her grandfather over the weekend. The Board received a card from SMS Custodian Bruce Henry in appreciation of remembrances sent after the loss of his father, last month. Dr. Slaton advised that VFES principal Tiffany Barrett was in a car accident recently and should be released from the hospital and able to return to work. Mr. Kendall asked if any of the Board members had anything else they would like to add. Mr. Moore stated that he wanted the Board to consider having a full time elementary counselor at each elementary building for next school year.