Income survey phone calls continue in Austin PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marty Randall   
Friday, 15 September 2017 14:37



Staff of a New Albany firm are calling residents in Austin for an important reason.

Workers with Key Research and Analysis Inc. are contacting homeowners and renters by phone or mail to obtain income information. Contacts are made randomly, and all information provided will remain confidential.

City officials placed an advertisement in this Green Banner Publications newspaper recently to let residents know the calls and mailings are legitimate and that their answers are needed for the income survey. The information is required to apply successfully for most grants available to communities. This most recent survey will enable officials to provide up-to-date information.

The City of Austin has successfully applied for grants to repave streets and to tear down buildings unfit for habitation.

Anyone with questions about the income survey is welcome to contact office of Mayor Dillo Bush at 812-794-6646.

Additional molesting charges filed against Scottsburg area resident PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marty Randall   
Friday, 15 September 2017 14:35



New child molestation charges have been filed in Scott Circuit Court against a Scottsburg area man who is already facing charges in a case filed in June.

Donald R. Smith, 55, has been out on a cash bond of $7,500 since the previous case was filed with the court in late June. He had entered a preliminary plea of not guilty against two counts of Level 4 felony child molesting in the earlier case. His trial on those charges is scheduled for October 30.

On Tuesday, September 12, the Prosecutor’s Office filed eight more charges based on alleged actions ranging from January, 2009, to July, 2016.

New charges include three felony counts of child molesting, one count of sexual battery, one count of child solicitation and three counts of providing obscene matter and performances before minors.

All but one of the charges are alleged to have occurred before Indiana changed its criminal code to Level 1-6 felonies, so only the last count of providing obscene matter is filed as a Level 6 felony. The first three are Class C felonies; the remaining are Class D felonies.

When the case was opened, bail was set at $75,000 by corporate surety bond or $7,500 cash. An arrest warrant was issued for Smith.

A court order was entered directing him to have no contact with the alleged victims.




Scottsburg Board of Works approves final payments for projects PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marty Randall   
Friday, 15 September 2017 14:33



Final payments for several companies completing projects in Scottsburg parks and on streets were approved by the Scottsburg Board of Public Works and Safety on Tuesday, September 12.

Board member Bill Hoagland could not be present for the meeting. Mayor Bill Graham and member Stanley Allen conducted the afternoon meeting.

All Star Paving and Dave O’Mara completed paving projects in the city and received approval of their final payments including retainage. The final payment for All Star was $70,582.91. Dave O’Mara will receive a final payment of $84,842.45.

Progress on the north portion of the city’s walking trail network was reported. City maintenance supervisor Jeff Broady has built walking bridges to span Honeyrun Creek, it was noted.

A problem with a pump on the fire department’s 1996 pumper was detected during recent tests, advised Fire Chief James Richey. The problem is being addressed. The department’s 1964 pumper is in good working order, he added.

Jim Binkley, Electric Department Superintendent, reported that the crew which traveled to hurricane-damaged Gainesville, Fl., began repair work at 5 a.m. on Tuesday, September 12. The crew is expected to work there for as long as a week. Binkley said the City of Lakeland requested the Scottsburg crew’s help, too. Details are being worked out.

The Board of Works approved a higher pay rate for an apprentice lineman with the department. The crewman had completed his required 1,000 hours of supervised work, Binkley said.

The board passed a resolution accepting ownership and responsibility for a lift station at Amberley Pointe Mobile Home Park on the city’s southwest side.

Local businessman Jerry Boley asked about the status of the proposed pay-as-you-go utility system the city is looking at. Binkley reported that the system is presently “on hold” until the revised electric rate schedule is adopted and in effect.

Boley also requested help from the city with a developer on the west side of his property. The developer has tiled drainage toward Boley’s land, he said. He also questioned recent action by the Scott County Area Plan Commission (APC). He said the APC stopped him from obtaining a permit to place a double-wide mobile home on property he owns.

Boley was told he must question the APC about that issue. He was also encouraged to request a public records search on the Department of Natural Resources’ Rule 5 in regards to Wolf Run and Moonglo Estates subdivisions.

A 5.1% increase for medical insurance was approved by the board for city employees. Deputy clerk Karen Middleton presented the recommendation from the city’s Insurance Committee. The insurance coverage with United Health Care will cost the city about $1,800 per month for 2018, she added.


District 2 School Board Discusses Pay Schedule Between Certified and Non-Certified Employees PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marcus Amos   
Friday, 15 September 2017 14:32



The Scott County School Board of Trustees for District 2 met for their regularly scheduled meeting on August 22.

New faculty were introduced to the Board and welcomed to the Scott 2 family. Mr. Brewster introduced new HSTW teachers, Mr. Jim Beckman (Science) and Mrs. Jennifer Morris (Vocational Business). Mr. Johanningsmeier introduced New Tech teachers, Mr. Nick Cotner (Social Studies) and Ms. Caitlin Hargett (Special Education). He also thanked the Board for being able to have Mrs. Teresa Burow as a counselor at New Tech. Ms. Nass introduced Ms. Janae Rairdon (6th Grade Language Arts) and Ms. Sydney McClure (6th Grade Social Studies). She also mentioned that Mr. Alex Bell (7th Grade Social Studies) and Mr. Allen Barnett (Physical Education) had transferred from SHS to the middle school this year. Mr. Marshall introduced new SES faculty Mrs. Kasey Comer (5th Grade), Mrs. Meghan McVey (1st Grade) and Mr. Daymond Reynolds (Special Education). Mr. South introduced new LES faculty member Mrs. Joanna Spray (Counselor). He also introduced Mrs. Jennifer Johanningsmeier as the recommendation for the LES kindergarten position. (Mrs. Johanningsmeier was approved later in the meeting.)

The board was informed that one student is currently receiving homebound services due to medical issues.

The Virtual School report was provided for review.

Superintendent Dr. Marc Slaton asked permission to add a medical leave extension for Mrs. Lisa Spicer to the agenda. Mr. Mays made a motion to approve, seconded by Mrs. Soloe. Motion carried 5-0. Dr. Slaton recommended pulling permission to advertise the budget from the Consent Agenda and Mrs. Roberts asked that Payroll Claims be removed from the Consent Agenda.

The board was presented the following pay requests for projects:

Dunlap & Company - Pay App #2 - SHS HVAC $393,299.11

Cottongim Enterprises - Pay App #2 - Football RR’s $51,534.85

The board was then presented the personnel recommendations:


Allison Berry - LES Just Say No Sponsor

Thomas Przybyla - SHS Special Education ED Teacher

Shelby Boley - SMS Yearbook Sponsor

Will Napier - 5.5 Hour Maintenance

Kala Cudjoe - SES Destination Imagination Coach

Mark Bridgewater - SMS 8th Grade Boys’ Basketball Coach

Certified Recommendation(s)

Melanie Young - SHS Special Education ED Teacher

Jennifer Johanningsmeier - LES Kindergarten Teacher

Support Staff Recommendation(s)

Tasha Cravens - JES Title I Instructional Assistant

ECA Recommendation(s)

Whittney Shafer & Stephanie Nussbaum - SHS Class of 2021 Co-Sponsors

Bob Jackson - Volunteer Boys Tennis Coach

Elementary Volleyball Coaches

Eric Copple - SHS Hi-Y Co-Sponsor

Sara Denhart - SHS Drama Club Sponsor

Sara Denhart - SHS Web Page Coordinator

Diane Brock - LES Bus Supervisor

Debbie Hougland - LES Student Council Sponsor

Sandy Bess - LES Web Page Coordinator

Bobby Ashley - SHS Boys’ Varsity Cross Country


Kara Dulaney from LES 4th Grade to VFES 3rd Grade

Lindsey DePriest from LES Kindergarten to LES 4th Grade (Inter-building - FYI)

Mike Hall from SHS 5.5 Hour Custodian to SES 5.5 Hour Custodian

Professional Leave Request(s)

Kandace Spaulding - Indiana School Counselor Conference, Indianapolis, Nov. 2-3

Permission to Post

LES Just Say No Sponsor

SHS Special Education ED Teacher (posted 8-9-17/filled 8-22-17)

SMS Yearbook Sponsor

LES Kindergarten Teacher ( posted 8-11-17/filled 8-22-17)

SHS 5.5 Hour Custodian

SCSD2 5.5 Hour Maintenance

JES 5.5 Hour Special Education Aide

(Mr. Marshal l recommended adding an aide in Mrs. Neace’s Specia l Education Room at JES due to the number of students with intensive needs in that classroom.)

SES Destination Imagination Coach

SMS 8th Grade Boys’ Basketball Coach

Lisa Spicer Medical Leave Extension.

Mr. Mays made a motion to approve the Consent Agenda. Mrs. Roberts seconded and motion carried 5-0.

In financial matters, Christy Roberts wanted to clarify confusion over the three week pay gap. It was her understanding that certified staff did not have a choice regarding being paid over 26 pays per the master contract. Non-certified staff, however, have the option of being paid in 26 pays or they can choose to be paid by time card for the actual hours worked (this would mean that employees who don’t work during the summer would not get a check during the summer). Ms. Sparkman explained that this choice is made at the time employees are hired with a form in the new hire packet. The issue is that the 26 pays have to fit into the school year and the calendar year. It is too late to fix the pay gap for this year, but non-certified employees can fill out a form in the Business Office and change the way they are paid which would fix the gap going forward. This can be discussed when the contract is up for certified staff. Mrs. Roberts asked how payroll works when a non-certified employee does not work and is out of days. Ms. Sparkman answered that payroll is two weeks behind and if an employee doesn’t work a day during that 2 week period and they don’t have the days to take, that amount is deducted from their next paycheck.

Ron Moore asked if certified staff run out of days and continue to be off, if their pay is adjusted during the summer or at the time they miss work. Ms. Sparkman stated that it is adjusted on the next paycheck unless the Business Office is aware that a teacher is going to be off, for example for a maternity leave, then they try to spread it out over several paychecks rather than deduct the entire amount at once. They do not wait until the summer to adjust pay.

Mr. Bob Riley asked how pay can be prorated for full time employees who work every day. Ms. Sparkman answered that prorated is not the best word but explained that there are 26 pays so the total salary is divided by 26. Mr. Riley asked if a person working 261 days off of a time card got an extra week pay or if the 261 day prorated person makes more per hour. Ms. Sparkman said that was not the case. Mrs. Roberts explained that the total year salary is divided by 26 with those people getting the same amount every week and that the extra week is built in. Mr. Riley said that no one told them they had the option to be paid by time card. Mrs. Polly Higgins added that she had been here 18 years and this was the first time she had heard of that option. Ms. Sparkman said that she could not address what had been done before she was here, but since she has been in office the new hire packet included a form for the employee to choose which option they preferred.

Mr. Jim Lakner said that he gets paid six cents more than his hourly rate and that when he figured it out over 52 weeks and multiplied it by five years he came up with the extra week. Mrs. Roberts said that is why there is a gap every 6-7 years. Mrs. Polly Higgins stated that she asked about it at the Business Office but didn’t get a better understanding. The Board asked that a flier be prepared for all non-certified staff showing the pay options and that those employees also be notified of the opportunity to come to a meeting planned for later this week to answer any questions they might still have.

Christy Roberts made a motion to approve payroll claims. Mr. Mays seconded and motion carried


Ms. Melinda Sparkman provided the 2018 Budget for the General Fund stating that it continues to implement the district's current path of finding any possible cost savings as well as building a cash balance in a financially prudent way. She added that the budget was built on keeping tax rates within 3-5%, so no major changes in the property tax rate was anticipated. Ms. Sparkman stated that if the District gets what we are asking for in CPF we will be able to do 2-3 projects in the $25-$50,000 range. One project under consideration would be the replacement of the Cafegymatorium floor at VFES. Other funds (such as Debt Service, School Transportation and Bus Replacement) are also status quo with the goal to get us through the next fiscal year. She requested permission to advertise the budget. Mrs. Roberts made a motion to approve, seconded by Mrs. Soloe. Motion carried 5-0.

The board conducted the second reading of the Existing Policy & Discussion regarding Board-Staff Communications and Background . Mrs. Roberts made a motion to approve the second reading of Policies 3121,4121,1521, 4112 and 3112. Ron Moore seconded and motion carried 5-0.

The following policies also included the second reading with the board for: Teacher Appreciation Grant; Criminal History Checks - School Employees; and Criminal History Information - Applicants and Contractors. All polices are required per new state statutes and have been discussed. Christy Roberts made a motion to approve the second reading of these policies. Josh Mays seconded and motion carried 5-0.

Dr. Slaton provided the annual agreement with First Steps to transition children from early intervention services to early childhood special education services with the Board. He noted that the law changed and effective with the 2018-19 school year a developmentally delayed diagnosis would extend to kindergarten.

Prior to this change, a diagnosis at an earlier age did not follow the student to kindergarten. Mr. Riley reported that all projects were progressing without delays. He reported that he was beginning the process to start the rest of the fencing at SMS and looking at storage units for VFES. Jason Kendall asked that the pole vault mat be turned over so the vinyl side would be up or that a tarp be put over it to protect it from the elements.

Dr. Slaton asked for a moment of silence in memory of SES student, Jesse Milan, who lost his life recently. He asked that the family be remembered in everyone’s thoughts and prayers.


County Board of Commissioners files lawsuit against drug firms, others PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marty Randall   
Wednesday, 13 September 2017 15:39


Purdue Pharma, Endo Health Solutions, former pharmacists and dozens of defendants in drug-dealing cases are all named as defendants in a lawsuit filed by the Scott County Board of Commissioners on Monday, September 11.

The action requests damages for all of the dollars Scott County has had to spend expanding its jail capacity, finding new facilities for its Health Department and other expenses caused by the illegal use of opioids in the county.

The county is targeting manufacturers of such opioids as Oxycontin, Percocet, oxycodone and hydrocodone. The suit claims manufacturers began a marketing scheme in the 1990s “…to persuade doctors and patients that opioids can and should be used for chronic pain…” Thus was created a larger group of patients “…much more likely to become addicted and suffer other adverse effects from long-term use of opioids.”

Such manufacturers, the lawsuit continued, “…downplayed the serious risk of addiction, promoted the concept of ‘pseudoaddiction,’ exaggerated the effectiveness of screening tools in preventing addiction, claimed that opioid dependence and withdrawal are easily managed, denied the risks of higher opioid dosages and exaggerated the effectiveness of… opioid formulations to prevent abuse and addiction.”

Cited in the over 200 pages of the lawsuit is the statement that Scott County “…is at the forefront of this (opioid) crisis… By 2012, 106 prescriptions for opioids were written for every 100 people in (Indiana).” A total of 33,000 in the United States are said to have died from overdoses in 2016. One in 15 people who take opioids illicitly will try heroin within ten years, the suit stated.

An estimated 2.6% of Americans have injected drugs, compared with 12% of Austin (residents), one source is quoted as stating.

Scott County still remains Indiana’s lowest-ranked county for health outcomes, it also pointed out.

The 2015 HIV/Hepatitis C outbreak in Austin is also mentioned as an alleged result of illicit opioid use. Prescription opioid use “…has not displaced heroin but rather triggered a resurgence in its use…” the lawsuit claimed.

The document stated that plaintiffs are seeking “…damages for the amounts paid in connection with the results of opioid abuse, including but not limited to county law enforcement, EMS, addiction treatment costs and the like.”

Additionally, Scott County is seeking a declaration that manufacturers have “…violated Indiana law, an order requiring manufacturer defendants to cease their unlawful promotion of opioids and correct their misrepresentations and an order requiring…..defendants to abate the public nuisance they have created and knew their actions would create.”

Punitive damages, trebled damages and attorneys’ fees and court costs are also requested as are monies to cover… “additional demands for public services…including costs for addiction treatment and the treatment of babies born addicted to opioids.” The lawsuit continued, requesting “…damages and equitable relief…on behalf of all Scott County citizens who or which have sustained damages or losses as a result of opioid abuse.”

Defendants in a lawsuit have 20 days to respond with their own filings or to request additional time to file answers to the allegations presented.

Lawsuits filed represent only one side of acclaim or claims.


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