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November 27, 2012

Council member raises concerns over falling Riverboat revenue and funding EMS

Wanda English Burnett

The idea of the Riverboat reducing funds had one council member at the November 19 Ripley County Council meeting saying that EMS in Ripley County could be affected should this happen.

Donald Dunbar, council member, spoke on the Riverboat Wagering and the reduction of funds over the past years. He said he had concerns about the EMS department continuing if the monies keep going down.

Commissioner Robert Reiners addressed the issue by saying that the county has entered an agreement with Margaret Mary Community Hospital to do inter-facility transfers for them. He said revenue generated from this would offset the reductions from Riverboat funding.

The council passed an ordinance that requires the Ripley County Council to approve all transfers within the budget beginning January 1, 2013. This was met with unanimous approval with county Attorney John Ertel presenting the ordinance. The council also voted on Ordinance 2012-08 which would require a two-thirds majority to approve additional appropriations. This was passed with five voting for the ordinance and Bill Warren voting against it.

Council members signed the 2013 Salary Ordinance, which was presented to them and approved at the October meeting.

In other business, the county addressed an old business issue from the previous month. This was a request from the sheriff for a reduction in accounts including inmate medical, meals for prisoners, and utilities that totaled $67,500 with an additional appropriation from the Garage and Motors fund for the same amount by the sheriff's department. This was removed from the table by a motion from Dunbar, with six members in favor.

After the issue was discussed, Dunbar moved to approve $40,000 (concerning the above request) with a second from council member Juanita Kaiser. This had a six favorable vote.

A total of $95,302.00 was approved unanimously by the council to pay for an increase in insurance premiums for 2012 in a number of offices. They include: election board, auditor, treasurer, recorder, surveyor, extension, assessor, courthouse, jail, child support, court, clerk superior, technology, cum bridge, cum cap, health, riverboat gaming, adult probation and juvenile probation.

Council members voted unanimously for the following tranfers:

• $50,000 from County General to Contractual to pay for contractual services balance for 2012.

• $15,198.72 from Cinders to Bituminous (shift of funds for the highway department).

• $500.00 from Sales Disclosures Equipment to Office Supplies for purchase of office supplies for the assessor's office.

• $541.48 from Pauper Transcript to Salaries for funds for benefits for retiring employee in the superior court.

• $6,000 for Sheriff Sales to pay claims for SRI.

There were several transfers made that the council does not need to approve including: clerk, $2,933.81 for funds to pay for retiring employee benefits; health dept. $4,938.38 for retiring employee benefits and TB testing; parks dept. $1,000 for repairs and winterizing; EMS $3,286 to cover additional health insurance costs; highway, $2,000 to cover balance of year for electric; $12,849.03 for bituminous; $846.65 for telephone and $1,749 for stone.

Council member Kaiser was appointed to remain as the county's representative to the Southeastern Indiana Regional Planning Commission.

Council members transferred $99,858.00 to a Rainy Day Fund with all voting unanimously to do so. They also agreed to continue to have their meetings on the third Monday of each month beginning at 7:00 p.m.

Council members present at the November meeting include: Dephane Smith, president; Ed Armbrecht, Bill Dramann, Bill Warren, Donald Dunbar, and Juanita Kaiser. Bill McDonald was not present for the meeting. Attorney John Ertel was there to advise the council with Ripley County Auditor Bill Wagner taking minutes.

JCD honors outstanding staff

Karen Reynolds
Contributing Writer

The Jac-Cen-Del school board met November 19 at the Jac-Cen-Del Elementary School library.

Superintendent Leanna Philippe presented the Soaring Eagle Award to Mary Busch who always goes above and beyond the call of duty to help staff and students with many projects.

In the elementary school, Mrs. Volz and Mrs. Mergenthal and their classes were recognized by Principal Travis Rohrig for outstanding performance. Volz and Mergenthal shared various teaching projects they had worked on together with their classes.

These projects included triangular methods of teaching English and math, teaching Indiana history, teaching the science of growing vegetables and making a salad, electricity, building a vehicle, working with a project about Pueblo and Hogan tribes, making popcorn, and growing pumpkins. They were planning to finish with a baking project.

Unanimous approval was given to accept a donation of two electric cars from The American Electric Power Service Corporation to be used by Project Lead the Way classes.

Unanimous approval was given to accept all payroll claims for 2012.

Personnel changes that were approved unanimously were:

Kyle Degler as remediation instructor for English 10 End of Course Assessment for two hours per week after school until December 11, 2012 at a cost of $35.00 per hour.

Gail Mosier as remediation instructor for Algebra I End of Course Assessment for two hours per week after school until December 11, 2012 at a cost of $35.00 per hour.

Kelvin Comer as classroom driver's education teacher with two nine-week sessions beginning in the second semester.

Comer and Michelle Sebastian as driving instructors for the driving part of the driver's education class which will begin immediately after the end of the 2012-2013 school year.

Courtney Hughes is to have a temporary contract to cover the maternity leave of Mary Beth Hackman, Grade 5.

Sue Bunselmeier, elementary teacher, to retire at the end of the 2012-2013 school year.

Maureen Grote, elementary teacher, to retire at the end of the 2012-2013 school year.

Joseph Moll, German teacher, to retire at the end of the 2012-2013 school year.

Travis Rohrig, elementary school principal, reported to the board concerning several important dates:

December 3-7 - Santa's Secret Shop, put together by the PTO.

December 10 - Christmas dinner for the students.

December 18 - Christmas programs:

(1) Kindergarten at 6:00 PM and

(2) Grades 1-2 at 7:00 PM.

December 20 - First semester ends.

In other news, Rohrig reported that several staff members attended the PBL (Project Based Learning) Academy follow-up sessions which gave them a great opportunity to collaborate and network with other schools. Ten staff members attended the Cell Leadership conference to hear three nationally recognized keynote speakers and attend five breakout sessions of one hour each.

The fifth grade classes held a mock election complete with ID, sign-in's, ballots, and results. Everyone in the school participated.

Rohrig is working on guiding the elementary staff to a more proactive approach to data this year. He has developed a schedule of monthly meetings for data. A data wall has been developed to predict 2013 ISTEP testing.

Rohrig and his staff continue to work towards a successful transition to 2013 with hard work, dedication, and a clearer focus. Rohrig shared, “You can change the structure all day long but if you don't change the culture, the culture will eat structure for breakfast.”

Superintendent Philippe gave the following dates of events that are upcoming:

November 20 - Turkey Shoot Out

November 22-23 - Thanksgiving Holiday

December 9 - Open House for all staff hosted by the Philippe's at the Versailles Baptist Church Life Center from 5-8 p.m.

December 12 - JCDMS/HS Programs: (1) Grades 6-8 at 6:30 PM and (2) high school at 7:30 p.m.

December 18-20 - Final examinations for high school.

December 20 - Final Student day.

December 21 - Final staff day.

Philippe reported that November 28-30 she will be attending the annual superintendent meeting.

November 28, Miss Montgomery and Mr. Martini will attend the final RISE training. Philippe presented a 2013-2014 calendar noting that the Career Center calendar will not be adopted until February.

Philippe gave a report concerning remediation. She stated, "We were very pleased to offer this service for our students."

The high school had 60 students from grades 6-12 who attended with an average attendance rate of 82%. The elementary school had 87 students from grades 2-5 with an average attendance rate of 86%. This equaled 17% of the student body that was in remediation.

Remediation will also be offered in the spring during spring break.

Sidewalk and parking lot projects are now completed. Philippe reported that interviews have been conducted for getting an advocate and a recommendation will be coming soon.

Concerning maintenance and technology, Phillippe noted the following:

Doors are all now secure.

Sink repairs are coming in the elementary school after January 1, 2013.

Team JCD will be developed to determine the needs of the corporation to implement initiatives dealing with technology.

It was noted that 2013 will be a year of building digital curriculum and a curriculum director will be needed.

Phillippe shared that the RISE rubric is designed to be best practices. Teachers and administration need to embrace this rubric and do their very best. Evaluations have already started.

Collaborative meetings are happening at the elementary level on a weekly basis. In the near future, the school will create a system that allows teachers to discuss dates at the high school level. Phillippe was encouraged by the Veteran's Day programs, STAND (Students Against Negative Decisions) and felt the high school play was outstanding.

Other educational activities were approved unanimously by the board:

• Driver's Education for 2013 will cost each student $385.00, which is the same amount as last year.

• The Junior High Band will be allowed to make a per

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