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March 28, 2013

ISP look into shooting incident in Sunman

Wanda English Burnett

According to information from Sgt. Noel Houze Jr. of the Indiana State Police, Verasilles Post, they are investigating a shooting incident that took place in Sunman about midnight Tuesday, March 26 in Sunman.

A 911 call reported that shots had been fired around the West Washington Street area.

Initially, police say reports were also made that a car was speeding away from the area just about the time the gunshots were heard. However, that was investigated and found to be a coincidence and not related to the gunshots that were heard.

Commissioners appoint EMS director

Cindy Ward
Staff Writer

Jim Corbin

"You are no longer the interim EMS director. You are now the EMS director," said Commissioner Rob Reiners to Jim Corbin during the March 18 meeting of the Ripley County Commissioners. Corbin was named interim director on March 4 when Scott Huffman announced that he had accepted another career opportunity and was resigning effective that day.

Corbin advised commissioners that Huffman needs to be replaced as a part-time EMT and presented the application of Stacy Luers for review. He said that he trained Luers and is very confident in her skill level and compassion. Commissioners had no objections.

Corbin told commissioners that more than 300 inter-facility runs have been made so far this year, which is far exceeding expectations. The average is about 600 per year.

The inner-facility runs are from Margaret Mary Community Hospital to city hospitals by ambulance. This project was made possible through the hard work of former EMS director, Scott Huffman. He initated this to help off-set the costs to the county for the paramedic program.

The Delaware Fire Department has expressed interest in selling part of its property. Reiners advised that it may be possible to purchase the excess land and move the EMS to State Road 129. This would make it easier for EMS to get in and out faster for runs. Further information is being gathered, including a soil analysis, to send to the State of Indiana for the type and size of septic system needed.

Ryan King, on behalf of Prosecutor Ric Hertel, presented two applications for summer interns for approval by commissioners. King advised the interns would work from mid-May to the beginning of August. Commissioners approved the request to hire Michelle Hart and Taylor Hunter after reviewing the applications and submitted them to Auditor Bill Wagner.

Paula Goodpaster with LCC had previously presented commissioners with packets regarding a grant she is working on. The need from the county had been revised and the county would serve as the fiscal agent and sponsor for the grant.

After some discussion, there was some confusion on what the auditor's role would be or how the actual funds will be obtained once approved. Commissioners advised Goodpaster to obtain further information and meet with County Council at their meeting that evening. They told her they would sponsor the grant application if County Council was in agreement with her request.

Brandi Fischvogt and Debbie Ault came before commissioners regarding an agreement for the road closure of State Road 229 to replace a bridge. The agreement ensures reimbursement to the county for any damage that may occur to roads being used for the detour. The official detour will be State Road 46 to State Road 229 to State Road 48.

The unofficial detour will be Legion Road East to North Delaware Road and South on North Delaware Road to 1100 North, west on 1100 North to Salem Road then west to State Road 229. The road will be closed from March 21-July 26.

Commissioner Stutler discussed the issue with the vending machines at the courthouse and annex not working and not being stocked by the current vendor, All American. He stated he had informed them if they could not keep them stocked and working he would have them replaced and felt that they had been given enough time to rectify the situation. They will be replaced at the courthouse and annex.

Toni Stinson from APEX appeared before commissioners to discuss insurance renewal quotes for June. She advised that although claims have gone down for the period, a 15- to 20-percent increase in premiums should be expected. She said the move to partially self-insure is saving the county money. Stinson presented several ideas to help minimize the renewal increase to be reviewed by commissioners. Several different re-insurers are currently be looked at for renewal.

Stinson advised about the uncertainties with the Health Care Act that will take effect in 2014. She told commissioners that APEX has contracted with an associate company to perform a study of the impact at no cost to the county. Commissioners unanimously approved the request to have the study completed. Stinson said she should have the renewal information together by April 15.

Fencing bids for separation of the highway and the recycling areas were presented. Bids were received from Indiana Wire for $10,929.00, Indiana Ag for $10,800.00 and Fencecraft for $7,932.77. Commissioners unanimously approved the bid from Fencecraft. Superintendent Heaton announced the three vehicles that were set for disposal brought a high bid from Burkhardt Salvage of $1,500.00.

Kelly Vollet reported that Jackson County officials had recently toured the annex and renovation of the courthouse and were very impressed. She said they commented that a building like this is usually only seen in the bigger cities. They are in the process of adding on to their annex and renovating their courthouse, thus the reason for the visit.

Vollet also advised that the employee handbooks have been sent out to all offices. Commissioners told her to post it to the internet to make it more accessible for everyone to print it.

Auditor Wagner presented a letter from the Ripley Community Foundation advising the funds from the Ripley County Quality of Life Improvement Fund 2013 distribution is available. The amount is $10,004.32. Commissioner Busching motioned to receive the funds for use toward the contract with the Ripley County Humane Society. The motion unanimously carried.

In other business:

• Commissioner Gary Stutler reported that he attended the Fairground Board meeting and had advised the planned repairs of the buildings and painting. The house bought for the office was schedule to have a window installed in the west wall so the fairgrounds are visible from the office.

• Stutler advised that auctioneers Roger Huff and Donny Eads will do the surplus auction. He is working on setting a date.

• Johnnie Lohrum, maintenance supervisor, advised that blinds were needed for the windows in the probation offices and Judge Taul's officer. Commissioners instructed him to purchase and install them.

• Ken Hylton, Veteran's Services, asked commissioners for permission to use the upstairs conference room and break room for a meeting with service officers.

• Dwight Bauman, Building and Planning, made a request on behalf of ISO to complete a questionnaire pertaining to insurance rating information necessary to develop rates for the area. He was advised to complete the questionnaire.

• Judy Schebler, E911, presented an application for an employee she would like to hire. Commissioners approved her request and submitted the application to Auditor Wagner.

• Claims for the different departments and units involved in the March 2012 tornado damage were reviewed. Claims were as follows: Town of Holton, $1,596.27; EMA, $950.73; Highway, $302.00; Sheriff, $1,221.49; Building and Planning, $7,711.00; and Rescue 69, $836.96.

• Commissioners addressed a request from Enriching Spaces to release the balance of funds being held until office holders were satisfied with repairs and final inspection of equipment for the annex building. With no issues, the request was granted.

With no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned. The next meeting of the Ripley County Commissioners will be Monday, April 1, at 7 a.m. at the Ripley County Highway Department and at 8 a.m. at the annex.

SR remembers students, honors business mgr.

Karen Reynolds
Contributing Writer


Lana Miller, pictured right, receives a certificate of appreciation from board member Tim Taylor for all her hard work as the school's business manager. She was recently named "School Business Official of the Year" for Region 10 schools. Miller has been employed with the corportion since 1995 when she started as the treasurer. Due to her increased responsibilities, she is now the business manager .

The South Ripley School Board meeting on March 18 began on a somber note as a moment of silence was held in honor of the three students who recently died in a tragic accident.

The meeting continued with Lana Miller, long-time business manager for South Ripley schools, being recognized because she has been named "School Business Official of the Year" for Region 10 schools in association with school business officials.

Robert Garcia, school board member, was also recognized because he will be awarded at the "Master" school board level. This is quite the accomplishment, according to Rob Moorhead, superintendent of South Ripley schools.

Miller reported to the board that the Indiana Department of Education will cut South Ripley schools 5% in revenue this year. While this is not a final amount, Miller projects that this will be a cut of approximately $20,500.00. Those cuts will be applied to Title I, cut $12,000.00, Impact Aide, cut $5000.00 and $3500.00 cuts for Title II funding. Miller noted that the Southeastern Indiana Career Center will also face some cuts, although she didn't have figures for those cuts.

In other financial news, these topics were discussed:

• Impact Aide payment for 2010-2011 was $60.000.00 for each year.

• Tax rates will be 9631 for the 2013-2014 school year.

• At this time, South Ripley's debt rate is higher than other Ripley County schools, due in part to recent renovations.

Approval was given to purchase two 14-passenger activity buses at a cost of $60,610.00 per bus. Approval was given to keep the older activity buses for use in other ways. Approval was given to sell the 1992 Chevrolet van after the new activity buses arrive for the next school year.

The following personnel changes were approved unanimously:

• Nicole Johnson - FMLA leave effective April 15 to the end of the 2012-2013 school year.

• Sheena Spear - Employed in the kindergarten until the end of the 2012-2013 school year.

• Kristy Patrick - Hired to take the Special Education position from March 19 until the end of the 2012-2013 school year.

• Richard Sprossig - FMLA leave.

• Paige Byard - FMLA leave.

• Lacey Ward - Volunteer coach for the jr. high girl's track team.

In other news,

• Fulltime status for employees will now be 30 hours a week. 95% of staff members will be eligible for insurance and open enrollment will be available to them for a month.

• The elementary school Textbook Adoption Committee for grades K - 6 are in the process of having readings but no definite acceptance is yet in place.

Randy McIntosh, board member, expressed his concern that Indiana legislation which allows schools to face serious revenue cuts is getting serious and will really hurt our schools in the long run.

Rob Moorhead, school superintendent, felt the school board has been leading the school well. He stated, "We are in good hands!" He saw this vividly in the sad situation of losing three students recently. He felt it was awesome to have the support of the school board.

He also thanked the South Ripley Ministerial Association, local law enforcement, and the community for pulling together in a difficult time.

Those in attendance at this meeting were: Rob Moorhead, Jeff Cornett, Merritt Alcorn, Carol Holzer, Lana Miller, Robert Garcia, Becky Turner, Randy McIntosh, and Tim Taylor.

The next meeting will be April 15 at 6:30 p.m. in the administrative offices.

To read these and more articles pick up a copy of The Versailles Republican at your local store or subscribe by clicking on the link above or by calling 812-689-6364.
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