Board of Works meeting with local landlords lively, ends with promise to compromise PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 30 March 2017 14:40



About 20 people who own and rent houses and apartments in Scottsburg attended the March 28 meeting of the Scottsburg Board of Works and Public Safety.

And the meeting, concentrated on a proposed ordinance that would make each of them responsible for any unpaid utility bills left by their tenants, was lively but civil.

Scottsburg Mayor Bill Graham and fellow members of the board, Council President Bill Hoagland and former councilman Ray Zollman, changed their normal seating arrangement so they could face the long line-up of landlords. Nearly all knew the Mayor, he acknowledged, and he certainly knew the problems landlords face when renting properties.

“I’ve had the same problems you got now when I owned (rental property). I understand, I really do, but this city has had a tremendous write-off of unpaid utility bills, $245,000, and we’ve got to solve this problem because the city can’t operate in the ‘red’,” Mayor Graham told them.

He said one person who owns rental property, Tim Borden, was at the March 20 City Council meeting, a meeting at which the ordinance could have been passed and made law. Borden offered to study the issue and attempt to present at the March 28 meeting a possible solution.

With that, Borden took the floor. he advocated setting up a prepay system. The system he studied offers helps a customer to avoid a disconnect for no payment and can help them re-establish service if they have been disconnected. Under the system he advocated, customers who have a traditional account with a deposit can have their deposit applied against the total bill, thus helping them to meet their obligations.

Under a prepay system, customers can choose how much and how often they pay toward their owed balances. It’s actually buying electricity (or other utilities) before they are used.

“Jackson County REMC uses this, and it works for them. It has lowered the number of disconnects,” explained Borden. Prepaid customers are also more abstemious with their electrical use under the plan because they know more use means more will be owed.

Initially, under the plan he offered as an example, each customer does not pay a security deposit but rather sets up an account with the utility. The utility in turn reminds a customer when his credit balance is below, say, $50. Those notifications can be done by text or e-mail. Payments can be made during normal business hours or by calling or using the Internet-based payment system.

“This just seems like a better system than making the property owners responsible,” Borden said.

On his part, the Mayor feels affordable rental property “…is vital to this community. We don’t want to do anything that’s going to cause problems for you, we truly don’t, but we (government officials) are responsible for operating this city. We keep our electric rates low. We’re about 25% lower than some cities in this area, so that’s a lot of savings for our customers, but we’re getting abused and it has to stop.”

Changes in the electrical utility field, such as closing coal-fired plants in favor of more costly, environmentally-friendly plants which use natural gas, have caused costs to go up, the Mayor went on. “It’s a real challenge to bring in enough money to operate. I imagine we’ll have to raise rates some this year, but I don’t like to raise someone’s rates because of someone else out there not paying and influencing those rate hikes,” he said.

Prepay may be a way out of the situation, the Mayor agreed. In comments made by others at the meeting, he urged each landlord to add a clause that allows the city to provide tenants’ account information to them. “It’d be good if we’d do that, too, so that we could give that information to you,” he added.

Several landlords said they’ve been frustrated in the past because they could not get this account information. “We need better communication,” said Highland Glen manager Vickie Barnett, “between we landlords and between us and the city.”

“We want to know when someone is not paying,” said Mrs. James McCoskey. She looked at the Mayor as she said, “If they don’t pay, you let us know, and if they are not paying rent, we will let you know.”

Landlords should also list all persons residing at the address being rented, even children. “You know there are kids whose credit ratings are being ruined by their parents because they put the account in their kid’s name,” Jerry Boley stated. “I do try to list everyone, but sometimes some sneak in.”

It appeared all of the landlords and apartment managers were totally against becoming legally responsible for their tenants’ bills. “We have enough problems as it is,” one pointed out. “One bad tenant can wipe out a whole year’s worth of profit,” said another.

But their willingness to cooperate buoyed the board. Mayor Graham said a letter sent out telling landlords that the new ordinance would take effect April 1 “…is not right. We’re not going to do that. It’s not a good policy. What we need to do is keep communicating. We all need a good solution that we can live with.”


Defendants in Reynolds murder trials requesting, receive new trial dates PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 30 March 2017 14:38



The three remaining defendants in the 2015 murder of a man south of Scottsburg have requested – or will be requesting – new trial dates for their alleged roles.

Johnetta Ruth Hall, 44, and her alleged co-conspirers, her daughter Amaris Rose Bunyard, 20, and Bunyard’s boyfriend, Kerry Ray Heald, 24, remain behind bars without bond. They and Jacob W. Mathis, 23, have all been charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder and obstruction of justice in the death of Bill Albert Reynolds, 69. Reynolds was killed by a single gunshot to the head while he stood at a gate to his property on Slate Ford Road. The body was discovered by a neighbor.

Hall and the two young men were arrested the following week of the murder. Bunyard was taken into custody and charged the following February. Bunyard, Heald and Mathis lived in Clarksville at the time of the shooting. The state’s case claims that Hall was in a property dispute with Reynolds and arranged for Heald and Mathis to do the actual shooting with her daughter’s knowledge.

Chris Owens, Scott County Prosecutor, is handling all of the cases.

Mathis pleaded guilty last August to the conspiracy charge. He has a third status conference about his sentencing planned for Monday, April 17, court records revealed. Roger Duvall, now a Senior Judge following his retirement in 2016, will preside over the case. Mathis is being represented by Clark County attorney Stephen Beardsley.

Hall’s jury trial is still scheduled for Monday, April 24, in Scott Circuit Court, but her public defender, Nathan Masingo, has advised the court that he will be requesting a new trial date. Hall also has another attorney, Guy Haskell of Bloomington, representing her in the case. Daryl Auxier, of Jefferson Circuit Court in Madison, is serving as the presiding judge.

The jury trial for Heald, alleged to be the actual shooter, is scheduled on the court docket for June 22. It had been set for April 3, but, at a pre-trial conference in March, the new date was requested by Heald. He is being represented by public defender Mary Jean Stotts. Michael J. Hensley of Jefferson Superior Court, is presiding.

Bunyard’s trial was continued from March 6 to October 23 on a motion by the court. She has also retained an attorney, and Senior Judge Duvall will be on the bench.

Her final witness and exhibit lists are due September 22.

Injuries reported from recent vehicle crashes around county, in Scottsburg PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 30 March 2017 14:37



Eight people were injured in recent vehicle crashes that happened on Scott County roads and in Scottsburg.

An early morning accident on Saturday, March 11, began in the northbound lanes of Interstate 65 and ended on the portion of Fairgrounds Road that dead-ends at the interstate property.

According to the accident report, Rodney B. Wells III, 20, Nashville, Tn., was driving a 2007 Pontiac Grand Prix northward when the vehicle went out of control and traveled across the east shoulder of the interstate, ending at 750 Fairgrounds Road. The mishap occurred at 1:35 a.m.

Wells said he “….was driving like I always do…” before the accident happened. The driver of another northbound vehicle told Scottsburg officers that he had his cruise control set at 75 mph, and the Pontiac passed him at a high rate of speed, going out of control on the slight curve of the highway.

Patrolman Loren Rutherford reported Wells had some pain at the scene and was treated by Scott County EMS technicians and First Responders. His passenger, identified as Ryan Wells, 13, also of Nashville, was more seriously injured, having either fractured or dislocated his hip/upper leg in the crash. He was transported to Scott Memorial Hospital by ambulance.

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

Two accidents on county roads on Wednesday, March 15, and two more on Thursday, March 16, brought the total of injured to six.

A 22-year-old woman suffered a head injury in a one-vehicle accident just after 5 a.m. on March 15.

Sharla R. Radcliff, Scottsburg, was headed east on State Road 56 West when she lost control of her 1995 Chevy G10. She said the vehicle began to spin when it hit ice and snow around Finley Firehouse Road.

It struck a utility pole on the north side of S.R. 56 and continued onto privately-owned property where it struck a mailbox and a house before driving through a clothes line and hitting a tree. No one in the house was injured.

Radcliff told Deputy Josh Watterson she could not recall the accident because she lost consciousness. She was sent to Scott Memorial by ambulance for evaluation.

Property damage was listed as up to $5,000 by the officer.

Just before 9 p.m. that evening, an accident happened on Harrod Road about 680 feet east of its intersection with Booe Road.

Deputy Watterson was dispatched to the scene, finding drivers Wilson Mullins Jr., 43, and James D. Bowles, 34, Austin. Mullins was still in his 2003 Chrysler van, though the van’s driver side door was missing. His leg was reported severed from the knee down.

Deputy Watterson did not obtain much of a statement from the injured man, but Mullins reportedly said he’d had too much to drink and didn’t really remember much.

According to witnesses at the scene, Mullins was driving east when it struck a tractor-trailer parked on the road. The rig had its lights on at the time of the accident, the report noted.

The van went out of control, spinning and coming to rest in a ditch on the south side of Harrod Rd.

Mullins’ condition was precarious so an air ambulance was ordered, and a landing site was prepared east of the accident scene. The man was flown to University of Louisville Hospital.

Property damage was listed at up to $10,000.

The accident remains under investigation.

The two accidents that happened on March 16 occurred within 30 minutes of each other.

9-1-1 dispatchers notified the Sheriff’s Department that an accident had happened on Stage Coach Road about 8:50 p.m. in Finley Township.

Deputy Jac Sanders went out, finding the site about 500 feet north of Oak Hill Road. The driver was identified as Eric L. Anderson, 42, Brownstown. Anderson said he was northbound when, coming over a hill, he found a southbound vehicle in the middle of the road. He said he steered right to avoid a collision, causing him to run off the road.

Overcorrecting his steering, Anderson said he ran his 2008 Kia Rio into a ditch. The car spun around and rolled on its top, trapping him inside. Anderson said a passer-by stopped and helped him turn the vehicle over so he could get out.

Anderson was sent to Scott Memorial by ambulance because of neck pain.

The estimated property damage was listed at $10,000.

A side-swiping accident at 9:19 p.m. that same evening on Pine Hill Road in Lexington brought deputies James Shelton and Jac Sanders and Indiana State Trooper Tracey Spencer out after one of the vehicles sped off.

Tonie A. Carter, 45, Lexington made the 9-1-1 call for assistance. She said she was northbound on Pine Hill Rd. in her 2007 Chrysler Pacifica SUV when she encountered a southbound pickup truck partially in her lane.

The two vehicles side-swiped, she said, but the truck drove away from the scene. It was located after it had crashed just north of State Road 356. The driver, identified as Daniel L. Brown, 54, Lexington, suffered a possible neck injury and was transported to Scott Memorial Hospital by EMS personnel.

No statement was taken from Brown regarding the earlier accident because of his condition.

Brown wasn’t the only person injured that night. A passenger in the SUV, Matthew A. Young, 33, Lexington, was also transported to the local hospital because of unspecified pain.

Damage from the side-swiping accident was listed at up to $10,000 by Deputy Shelton.

An accident on S.R. 56 West in Scottsburg the following day, March 17, caused a possible back injury to a driver. It also resulted in the arrest of an Underwood man.

When Scottsburg Sgt. Rodney Watts pulled up to the scene of the mishap at 3 p.m., he said he found that Richard E. Smith, 46, had apparently been smoking marijuana as he drove his 1999 Nissan Frontier. The SUV had struck the back of a 2013 Ford F150 pickup driven by Steven E. Cooper III, 42, Sellersburg. The vehicles had been westbound, and the collision had taken place at the highway’s intersection with Oak Street.

Cooper was transported by Scott County EMS to Scott Memorial Hospital for evaluation and treatment.

Smith was unharmed and was arrested. A small amount of marijuana was found by the officer. On Monday, March 20, Smith was charged with one count of operating a vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance, a count of Class C misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated and a count of Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana.

A bench trial was scheduled by Judge Jason Mount for June 6. Smith was released on bond that same day. His license to drive was automatically suspended.




District 2 Discusses Options for Refinancing 2007 SMS Bond PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marcus Amos   
Thursday, 30 March 2017 14:34



The Scott County School District 2 Board of Trustees met on Tuesday, February 28 for its regularly scheduled meeting.

Board President Jason Kendall called the meeting to order with Superintendet Dr. Marc Slaton noted that five students are currently receiving homebound instruction due to medical issues and four due to behavioral issues. There are 26 students enrolled in Virtual School.

Dr. Slaton announced that Lexington Elementary School Principal Nick South’s mother in law, Dee Dee Copple, passed away unexpectedly. Mrs. Copple is the mother of Tracy South and Eric Copple. He asked that everyone remember these families in their thoughts and prayers during this incredibly difficult time. Dr. Slaton thanked VFES Principal Tiffany Barrett for stepping up to switch places with Mr. South, who was scheduled to present LES ISTEP results, and stated that Mr. South would present at the March meeting.

At this time Johnson Elmentary School Principal Chris Routt explained the changes in how the 2016 ISTEP+ School Letter Grades were calculated using both the performance domain and growth domain. He and VFES Principal Tiffany Barrett discussed the strategies and data their schools are using to target intervention groups for improvement. Both schools received a grade of B.

B. Payroll Claims

1. February 23, 2017

C. Regular Claims

1. February 1-10, 2017

2. February 13-17, 2017

3. February 28, 2017

Andrea Soloe made a motion to approve all claims and payroll claims. Josh Mays seconded and motion carried 5-0.

The board was presented the following payments to be presented to be paid:

CIM Technology Solutions $13,135

AP Exams $1,848

Cottingim Enterprises Inc. Pay App. 1 - Greenhouse - $46,580.35

Andrea Soloe made a motion to approve all payments. Mrs. Roberts seconded and motion carried 5-0.

Athletic Director Jamie Lowry asked permission to declare as surplus the old basketball goals that were used to convert the McClain Hall goals to 8 foot in order to sell them. They are no longer needed as Coach Jameson purchased more portable goals that hang off existing rims. Mrs. Roberts made a motion to approve, seconded by Mr. Moore. Motion carried 5-0.

Dr. Marc Slaton recommended splitting the girls’ and boys’ soccer programs at the middle school level in order to help grow the girls’ program. This would add a girls’ coach with the annual salary to match the boys’ soccer coach of $1,413. Mrs. Roberts made a motion to approve, seconded by Mr. Mays. Motion carried 5-0.

Dr. Slaton recommended approval of the proposed 2017 football stipends per the original plan. He noted that this would mean an increased cost of $6,503 and added that Coach Mullins would continue to have the right to divide up the total amount as he sees fit for the overall number of coaches that he feels he needs for his program. (for example, he could cut the $3,245 per assistant coach in half to have two assistants instead of one). Board Member Ron Moore made a motion to approve, seconded by Mr. Mays. Motion carried 5-0.

Superintendent Dr. Marc Slaton and Mr. Mike Therber, Therber & Brock Representative, discussed options for refinancing of the 2007 SMS Bond. Possible options included:

Refinancing and saving the interest only

Refinancing with no extension to the payment structure and generating cash for projects.

(Generating an estimated $325,000 for projects and $1,235,118 in additional interest)

Refinancing with a one payment extension to generate cash for projects

(Generating an estimated $935,000 for projects and $154,662 in additional interest)

Refinancing with a two-payment extension to generate cash for projects.

(Generating an estimated $1,540,000 for projects and $318,020 in additional interest)

Refinancing with a three payment extension to generate cash for projects

(Generating an estimated $1,980,000 for projects and $489,497 in additional interest)

Several documents were linked for the Board’s review and consideration, including not only refinancing options, but capabilities and considerations for future bond issuances and a project list with the different refinancing scenarios and illustrations. Mr. Therber provided estimates of how much cash should be generated for each option and looked at the additional interest involved for each. He also discussed the need to keep the debt capacity levels stable and to leave room for future projects in case of emergencies. Mr. Therber stated that the funds generated would need to be spent within three years.

Board member Christy Roberts voiced concerns about how bonds have been structured in the past to weigh heavily toward the end of the term, spending more money in interest, rather than using that money for facility improvements. Mr. Therber stated that when making long-term plans they try to fill debt service up as much as they can to leave room for future projects/needs that could come up, adding that the District could choose to pay early to reduce interest if possible. Mrs. Roberts stated that she favored the one pay option and Mr. Moore stated that he also favored that option.

Jason Kendall asked Dr. Slaton what he determined to be the real needs, stating that he felt that would determine which refinancing option should be approved. Dr. Slaton referred to the list of potential projects and stated that his recommendation would be the two-payment extension which he felt would allow many of those projects to be completed, making great improvements to the Third Street and middle school campus. He added that the 2 payment extension would not strap the corporation and make it difficult to deal with other projects around the District. Mr. Kendall said that he did not see an advantage to the one payment extension versus the two payment extension as long as it doesn’t affect how soon projects at SHS can be started.

SMS Principal Kristin Nass urged the Board to take into consideration the state-wide reductions to capital projects funding which will limit what can be done to facilities through that avenue, along with the need to avoid letting the middle school get in the condition the high school is now dealing with. Mrs. Roberts remarked that at the start of the conversation about potential projects, there was more concern about an activities center than facility improvements. Ms. Nass agreed and Dr. Slaton added that there was a dire need for gym space and they felt that an activities center would have served a lot of students, however at this point the financial picture has changed enough that there will not be funds generated for that type of facility.

Differences in the priority of potential projects were discussed at length with the consensus being that determinations on exactly what order the projects would be done would be finalized at upcoming work sessions. Mrs. Roberts felt that the Board and administration should weigh needs vs wants to be sure taxpayer money is used in the most efficient manner.

Jason Kendall stated that using funds generated from the bond issuance at SMS rather than using CPF to do some of these projects, will allow for reallocating SMS CPF over the next couple of years to be used at SHS and some of the older facilities as needed.

Dr. Marc Slaton recommended refinancing and extending the payment by two payments through 2025 which will generate a little over 1.5 million for projects (assuming today’s interest rates). Mrs. Soloe made a motion to extend the payment by two payments through 2025. Mr. Mays seconded and motion carried 3-2 with Mrs. Roberts and Mr. Moore casting dissenting votes.

The board was then presented the personnel recommendations:


Kathy Anderkin - SMS 8th Grade Language Arts Teacher

Brady Wells - SMS Physical Education Teacher.

Dr. Slaton announced that two teachers have decided to retire at the end of this school year, the first being Mrs. Kathy Anderkin who has taught Language Arts at SMS for 28 years. He added that during her time in Scott 2 she has not only been an excellent teacher but also a leader in many other ways including serving as department chair, team leader, student council sponsor and discussion team member. He noted that Mrs. Anderkin has also mentored countless teachers over the years. He stated that she will definitely be missed and wished her the very best in retirement.

Mr. Brady Wells will also retire at the end of the year after 22 years in Scott 2. He started at SHS in 1995 where he taught English, health, and physical education. Mr. Wells served as Assistant Boys’ Varsity Basketball Coach for 2 years before serving as head coach for 11 years. He took a break from basketball for a few years and took the program over again from 2014 to 2016. Mr. Wells transferred to SMS in 2012 to teach physical education. Dr. Slaton added that he could personally attest to his dedication to the students and athletes in Scott 2, not to mention his expertise as a marathon runner, and stated that we have been fortunate to have a man of his caliber as part of Scott 2. Dr. Slaton added that Mr. Wells will be coaching cross country and track at Hanover College and will teach some classes in physical education. Dr. Slaton said that he wanted to wish Mr. Wells the best as he begins this new chapter in his life and hoped that both Mrs. Anderkin and Mr. Wells will come to the Retirement Banquet in May to allow their colleagues to formally thank them for their many years of service to the students of Scott 2. Mr. Kendall added that the Board does appreciate both Mr. Wells and Mrs. Anderkin and their service.


Sam Hopwood - SHS Boys’ Soccer Coach

Holly Porter - Contracted Speech Therapist (Effective 2-17-17).

Kathy Anderkin - SMS Language Arts Department Chair (End of 16-17 school year).

Kathy Anderkin - SMS Voyager Team Leader (End of 16-17 school year).

Patty Clancy - 7th Grade Girls’ Basketball Coach

Certified Staff Recommendation(s)

Rachelle Blaylock - SES 2nd Grade Teacher Maternity Leave (Mar. 20 or 24 - end of school year)

Professional Leave Request(s)

Shannon Mount - Lilly Grant Summit, Carmel, IN, March 13-14

Charles Bottorff - Advanced Safety Training, Indianapolis, IN, May 15-16.

Tiffany Barrett - Advanced Safety Training, Indianapolis, IN, May 15-16.

Scott Borden - ISTE, San Antonio, TX, June 25-29.

Erick Lizenby - ISTE, San Antonio, TX, June 25-29

Field Trip Request(s)

VFES Kindergarten - Louisville Zoo, Louisville, KY, May 15

Permission to Post

SMS 8th Grade Language Arts Teacher

SMS Physical Education Teacher

SHS Boys’ Soccer Coach

SMS Language Arts Department Chair

SMS Voyager Team Leader

SMS 7th Grade Girls’ Basketball Coach

Summer Boys’ Basketball Stipend Position.

Summer Girls’ Basketball Stipend Position

Summer Baseball Stipend Position

Summer Softball Stipend Position

Summer Volleyball Stipend Position

Summer Guard Stipend Position

SMS Girls’ Soccer Coach- Pending Permission Given Above

Board Member Ron Moore made a motion to approve all personnel recommendations. Mrs. Roberts seconded and motion carried 5-0.

Andrea Soloe made a motion to approve the second reading of the Preschool Special Education Manual. Ron Moore seconded and motion carried 5-0.

The policy on naming school buildings and facilities was presented for first reading. Mr. Kendall suggested adding a certain number of years to the periodic review of the names and after some discussion the consensus was to make it 20 years. Mr. Lowry will add this to the guidelines and bring it back for the second reading in March.

Jason Kendall wanted to give a shout out to all of our teachers that go above and beyond every day for students. He added that especially during ISTEP week their efforts are much appreciated as well as those of all of the students who take the test.




Woman’s call to 9-1-1 about alleged drug deal leads to arrests of six people PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marty Randall   
Wednesday, 29 March 2017 07:38

A call to 9-1-1 by a woman who said she needed drugs to “…grow in (her) religion…” led Scottsburg officers to make six arrests at a Pine Street apartment on Friday, March 3.

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