New year improvements made to local court systems PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 04 March 2009 00:00

    The Judges of the Clark Circuit and Superior Courts have made a number of changes to the operations of the local courts after a month and a half in office.
   New judges Daniel Moore, Jerry Jacobi and Joseph Weber, acting together with Judge Vicki Carmichael of Superior Court No. 1, have addressed several areas of operations that are aimed at making delivery of judicial services more consistent and accessible. Acting in concert with the Clark of Courts Barbara Haas, changes already made in 2009 are:

  1. Fixing specific job descriptions for the two local appointed Magistrates in areas of small claims, child support, evictions, uncontested foreclosures and other areas.

  2. Implementing new and consistent procedures for filing and processing contempt charges in civil cases involving child support, visitation or enforcement of court orders already made.

  3. Assigning one Magistrate to hear cases for all prosecutor-initiated child support matters.

  4. Relocating juvenile and circuit probation departments to the third-floor area of the County Building so that all such services can be offered in the same business area and to facilitate professional and documentary cooperation among probation officers of different courts.

  5. Using existing space on the judicial wing to create Magistrate courtroom B. The county’s second Magistrate has not had a courtroom to date and the fixed job assignments will allow this judicial officer to help move the heavy caseload of the local courts.

  6. Implementing a case transfer procedure among the courts, after filing, when it is learned that a criminal defendant has cases already existing in other courts. Transfer to the first court of filing will allow that court to dispose of all claims and charges against the same individual, with fewer opportunities for a minor case to “fall through the cracks”.

  7. Beginning the process of transferring probation supervision, in cases where a person has convictions from different courts, to just one all-inclusive supervising probation officer. This will avoid inconsistent information being delivered to many different supervisors under the old system.

  8. Working together to streamline many cumbersome local rules of practice so that cases can be processed within established rules of law, while not being overburdened by unnecessary technicalities.

  9. Working with many officers of government to prepare for greater computerization of the courts so that a person’s cases can be tracked and located in any court in the state.

  10. Implementing the Family Court concept in stages so that all cases impacting a family (divorce, juvenile, minors arrested, etc.) Can be managed by just one court, with the goal being to resolve the issues and support the family in its recovery from interacting with legal and family, problems brought to the court.

    Clark Superior 1 Judge Carmichael said, “this has been an energetic and dedicated month and a half starting from the first of the year. We have more things yet to do, however, this group of judges have shown a great start in trying to modernize the system in ways not attempted before.”
   Clark Circuit Judge Daniel Moore and Superior 2 Judge Jerry Jacobi echoed Carmichael’s comments.
   Jacob said, “all of these changes make good sense ad some are long overdue. From my past years on the bench I have the perspective to say that these changes are a great break from structures and practices of the past.” Jacobi had previously served as Superior Court 1 judge and brings a background from that prior service into 2009.
   Moore stated, “it’s time we moved toward coordinating many of these areas, getting the Magistrates written assignments and working harder. These transfer procedures should help the Sheriff decrease the number of time he has to bring the same prisoner to different courts at different times.”
   Superior 3 Judge Weber called the first six weeks of collaboration for improvements very encouraging. “Plans for these changes have moved quickly, but thoughtfully,” Weber said. He said that he anticipated additional steps to make the court systems, and all related officers, more progressive and user friendly.
   All judges expressed their thanks and appreciation to the county commissioners and county building authority with respect to the space changes and constructing Magistrate Court B and the relocating of probation offices. Under law commissioners are responsible for providing facilities for local courts. Judge Carmichael is coordinating the probation office changes with the commissioner office. They also expressed gratitude to Clerk Haas for working with them in these improvements.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 March 2009 10:01
 
CVFD to host Crusade pancake breakfast PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 04 March 2009 00:00
    The Charlestown Volunteer Fire Department will host its annual Crusade pancake breakfast. The breakfast will be held from 7 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 21 at CVFD Station 1, 800 Park Street in Charlestown.
    The menu will consist of pancakes, bacon, sausage, coffee, milk and juice.
    The cost of the breakfast is a free will offering.
    All proceeds from the breakfast will benefit the Crusade for Children.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 March 2009 10:03
 
Argument leads to shooting in Hardinsburg PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 04 March 2009 00:00
   On Tuesday, February 24, at approximately 12:58  p.m., police were called to 101 East State Road 150 in Hardinsburg in reference to a shooting at that location. When police arrived they found Kevin D. Patton, 41, of Hardinsburg in the rear of an apartment building at that location with a gun shot wound to the leg.
   As police began to investigate they learned that a fight broke out between Kevin D. Patton and David W. Wilkins Jr, 23, of Hardinsburg on the outside of the apartments located at 101 East State Road 150. An occupant of the apartments, David W. Wilkins Sr, 50, of Hardinsburg heard the commotion outside his door and when he exited he noticed his son, David W. Wilkins Jr and Kevin D. Patton in a physical altercation. David W. Wilkins Sr allegedly kept yelling for the altercation to stop but it continued. David W. Wilkins Sr then shot Kevin D. Patton with a handgun.
   Kevin D. Patton was transported to the Floyd County Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Neither David W. Wilkins Sr nor David W. Wilkins Jr was injured.
   No arrests were made and this case is still under investigation. Once the case is completed it will be forwarded to the Washington County Prosecutor’s Office for determination if any charges will be filed.
   The Washington County Sheriff’s Department is assisting in this investigation.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 March 2009 10:04
 
WCMH writes off over $2.2 million in bad debt PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 04 March 2009 00:00
    The Washington County Memorial Hospital (WCMH) Board of Trustees met in regular session on February 26 with all members present;  the minutes of previous meetings and all claims were approved unanimously.
    Chief Operating Officer, Randy Lindauer, asked for and received unanimous approval to write off over $2.2 million in what is considered non-collectible accounts receivables.  When a Board member asked Lindauer if the amount written off eliminated all the dubious accounts receivables, he indicated that there would probably be more write offs in the coming months.
    Lindauer presented the Board with a two-page strategic plan for 2009 through 2012.  According to Lindauer the plan is the result of a 9 month process begun in the fall of 2007 that has involved WCMH administrators, leaders, physicians, and County Commissioners.  The Board approved the strategic plan unanimously.
    When asked by a member of the media when did the WCMH Board intend to make public the results of the recently completed Purdue University Healthcare Technical Assistance Program public, no definitive answer was given.  In fact, it was implied that the entirely of the survey results may never be made public.
    Results of an April 2008 Indiana State Department of Health Survey were discussed and it was indicated that the citations noted for WCMH were normal for most hospitals.
    With no further business to conduct, the Board adjourned until its next regularly scheduled meeting on March 26.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 March 2009 10:07
 
Chamber of Commerce sees strong relationship with Partnership and Tourism Board as vital to county PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 04 March 2009 00:00
    The Washington County Chamber of Commerce had approximately 25 people in attendance at its February meeting held at KD's Backroads on February 26.  Chamber  President Hank Jacoby was out of town due to a death in his family; Chamber Executive Secretary Laurie Carr conducted the meeting in Jacoby's absence.
    Carr, recently appointed to the Tourism Board by the Washington County Board of Commissioners, told the group that efforts to explore ways in which the Chamber of Commerce, the Washington County Economic Growth Partnership, and the Washington County Tourism Board could complement one another to the betterment of the county are underway.  Carr's upbeat assessment of the initial discussions between the three groups was reinforced by Partnership President Jess Helsel and Partnership Executive Director Jerry Rose.
    In other business, Chamber Treasurer Reta Haub provided a report showing a current balance of $8105.58 and payroll tax liability of $5475.25.
    Other announcements included:
 Peebles Department Store will have its official ribbon cutting on April 30
Convenient Care is scheduled to open its doors on March 23.  Both are located at Riverside Shops of Salem on South Main Street.
Shelby Fling will return to Salem again this year on May 15.  Details are still being worked out as to the exact schedule of events featuring classic Ford Mustangs.  Once that schedule has be confirmed local media sources will report it.
Chamber Board member Rhonda Green told members that she would help them set up blogs (web logs) to help promote their business.
An update on Partnership activities by Jerry Rose
    With no further business to conduct,  the meeting was adjourned but not be Cheryl Yates' name of Green Banner Publications was drawn as the winner of the door prize.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 March 2009 10:10
 
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