Dr. Fred Ridge Joins Greene County Health, Inc.

 

Dr. Fred Ridge has announced the merging of his practice with Greene County Health, Inc. Ridge has long been affiliated with Premier Healthcare, a Bloomington-based physician group that has recently joined IU Health, Southern Indiana Physicians, Bloomington. Dr. Ridge and his team will continue seeing patients in his current office.

Dr. Fred Ridge is board certified in Family Medicine. Board Certified Family Physicians are medical specialists who provide continuing and comprehensive medical care, health maintenance, and preventive services to patients of all ages and conditions.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to work with Premier Healthcare,” commented Dr. Ridge, “but I wanted to be affiliated with local services and Greene County. I have been part of the Greene County General Hospital family throughout my career, and it is only natural to join my practice to Greene County Health, Inc. clinics and continue serving my patients under their umbrella.”

Greene County General Hospital and Greene County Health, Inc. are separately operated, but work together closely to provide optimal patient care to Greene County residents and the surrounding area.

“Our six locations operate as a single clinic,” said Greene County Health, Inc. Clinical Director Corianne Vanderkolk. “Dr. Ridge’s patients will benefit from those additional resources when they call for appointments. They will have access to our entire network of providers across the county. We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Ridge’s practice to our family and look forward to helping more patients be seen on a daily basis.”

“Dr. Ridge has been part of our hospital for many years, and we are proud to welcome him officially to Greene County Health, Inc.,” said Greene County General Hospital CEO, Brenda Reetz. “Our hospital remains a local community asset, and we are constantly expanding our services. With Dr. Ridge remaining close by, his patients can

About Greene County Health, Inc.:

Greene County Health, Inc. is a family practice physician group offering same day appointments and weekend hours at six locations throughout Greene County. They offer full spectrum family medicine, including OB-GYN, pediatrics, minor surgery, and much more, at their locations in Bloomfield, Jasonville, Linton (2), WestGate, and Worthington. Greene County Health, Inc. is currently pursuing Federally Qualified Health Center Lookalike status.

Planned power outage in NW Linton

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According to the Facebook page “From The Desk of Linton Mayor John Wilkes“, a power outage is scheduled for Northwest Linton at 11:30pm on Wednesday, October 26th.  The outage should last between 2-4 hours.

Planned power outage in NW Linton

pexels-photo-128665

According to the Facebook page “From The Desk of Linton Mayor John Wilkes“, a power outage is scheduled for Northwest Linton at 11:30pm on Wednesday, October 26th.  The outage should last between 2-4 hours.

Hospital Honors First PETAL Award Winner

Greene County General Hospital is proud to recognize Tim Johnson as the first winner of the PETAL Award, an employee recognition award that honors non-nursing staff for Performing Exceptional Tasks and Affirming Lives.

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Tim has been part of the GCGH team since 1999, and works as an Occupational Therapist in the Physical Therapy Department. He was nominated by two of his former patients, one of whom lovingly referred to  him as his “drill sergeant,” and credited his therapy sessions with relieving the tremendous pain he experienced after a rotator cuff surgery.

Other nominees included Gerri Jackson, Kelsey Schilt, Sherry Gaither, Joshua Wolfe, and Candice Tatlock.

The PETAL employee recognition program identifies employees who serve as models to the community for professional achievement and reinforce Greene County General Hospital’s commitment to recognizing outstanding performance. The PETAL award is given three times a year to a non-nursing employee who exemplifies extraordinary service in the performance of their job.

The PETAL award was established for non-nursing staff to align with the DAISY award for nursing staff. Nominations are accepted year round, and forms can be found in each of the hospital’s waiting areas as well as online at GreeneCountyHosptial.com.

Hospital Honors First PETAL Award Winner

Greene County General Hospital is proud to recognize Tim Johnson as the first winner of the PETAL Award, an employee recognition award that honors non-nursing staff for Performing Exceptional Tasks and Affirming Lives.

img_0076

Tim has been part of the GCGH team since 1999, and works as an Occupational Therapist in the Physical Therapy Department. He was nominated by two of his former patients, one of whom lovingly referred to  him as his “drill sergeant,” and credited his therapy sessions with relieving the tremendous pain he experienced after a rotator cuff surgery.

Other nominees included Gerri Jackson, Kelsey Schilt, Sherry Gaither, Joshua Wolfe, and Candice Tatlock.

The PETAL employee recognition program identifies employees who serve as models to the community for professional achievement and reinforce Greene County General Hospital’s commitment to recognizing outstanding performance. The PETAL award is given three times a year to a non-nursing employee who exemplifies extraordinary service in the performance of their job.

The PETAL award was established for non-nursing staff to align with the DAISY award for nursing staff. Nominations are accepted year round, and forms can be found in each of the hospital’s waiting areas as well as online at GreeneCountyHosptial.com.

Lintonians of the Past: Andrew Humphreys

ahumphreys

My brother David Benefiel another avid historian and researcher wrote this biography of Andrew K. Humphreys in 2003 for a college class. I have edited out the original below without the sources; but if you would like to see the original paper with the sources. Click the link below.

Download Original With Sources: Andrew Humphreys – Biography

Biography of the Honorable Andrew K. Humphreys

Born near Knoxville, Tennessee in Knox County on March 30, 1821 to Hanson Humphreys and Mary Ellis, Andrew Humphreys was raised in nearby Anderson County until the age of six, when his parents moved to Putnam County, Indiana near the city of Greencastle. His educational background consisted of the lessons of the “common school”, but he was said to have had “the best that could then be had without the expenditure of a great deal of money”. At a very early age, he assumed responsibility for the office of Constable in Putnam County. In 1840 he married Miss Eliza Johnson, daughter of Jerriah Johnson of Ohio. Soon after his marriage in 1841, Mr. Humphreys and his bride moved south to Greene County, Indiana residing near the city of Linton. There, he served the county as a blacksmith and a farmer, as well as operating a distillery and serving the region as a lawyer. He had six children with his wife Eliza: Sallie A., Emeline, Levi, Albert G., James Henry, and Andrew.

From 1843 to 1849, Mr. Humphreys served two terms as Justice of the Peace for Greene County. During this period, he enlisted in the Indiana Militia, 47th Regiment and while enrolled achieved the status of 1st Lieutenant in 1846 and as a Major in 1847. It was not until 1849 that he began his career in state politics; as he was elected to the lower house of the state legislature in November of that same year. He remained a vital part of the Indiana State Legislature for several years following, representing Greene County until 1853 when he was elected state senator from Greene and Owen Counties.

In 1857, President James Buchanan appointed him Indian Agent to the Utah Territory, which at that time encompassed present day Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, and parts of Idaho and Colorado. He was present during the Utah War between U.S. Military Forces and the Utah Territorial Militia, led by Governor Brigham Young. While serving in this capacity, Mr. Humphreys was appointed deputy United States marshal by Marshall Peter K. Dodson. He served in this capacity until he resigned in June of 1860 and returned to Greene County, Indiana.

Once he returned to Greene County, he continued as an active voice of politics throughout the region. An avid Democrat, Andrew Humphreys supported the option of the Southern States to secede from the Union. Seeing an opportunity to reclaim his position of leadership and further the Democratic Party, Mr. Humphreys joined the Order of American Knights in August of 1863 at a meeting in Terre Haute, Indiana and became leader of the Greene County Lodge. Stemming from this society of Democratic Politicians were several associated secret societies disbursed throughout the northwestern and southern states. Unbeknownst to him, many of the members of these societies, including several sects, had plans of sabotage and conspiracy against the United States Government. During a gathering of Democratic supporters of these groups opposing war; many in favor of the option of secession, a crowd of two or three hundred gathered in Sullivan, Indiana. Once he heard of the commotion, Mr. Humphreys left Linton to intervene in the situation, but because of his presence and his word spoken to his parishioners; a misconception of his purpose at this meeting led the United States Government to accusations of his participation and support of secession. In result of a petition which alleged “that the plaintiff was a member of a military organization hostile to the United States, known as the Sons of Liberty, the object of which was to aid the rebels in arms in the southern States to overthrow the Government”, Andrew Humphreys was arrested in Greene County on October 7, 1864. Known as the Northwestern Conspiracy, a series of trials for treason were held in Indianapolis. Mr. Humphreys was tried against these allegations in November of 1866, but found innocent. He did, however, claim that he agreed with a state’s right to secede, but he did not condone the violence which these secret societies were to have planned.

Ironically, his perseverance was successful and he returned to state politics in 1874, elected state senator of Greene and Daviess Counties. He served only two years for these counties, because late in 1876, he resigned in order to succeed James Douglas “Uncle Jimmy” Williams as congressman for the 2nd district of Indiana, to allow him to take the office of Governor of the state. This included him in the “memorable Forty-Fourth Congress, which decided the celebrated Hayes and Tilden controversy.” On February 4, 1883, Eliza Johnson Humphreys, his wife of 43 years, died. On September 9, 1889, he married his second wife, Julia Rhodenbeck, of Switz City, in Greene County. Between the years of 1889 and 1905, he built a home, for himself and his wife Julia, at 100 East Vincennes Street near the outer edge of the Linton business district. He again vied for the office of state representative, but lost to his opponent in 1892. But he did overcome and served in the state senate in 1894 as a representative from Greene and Sullivan County. During his political career, he voted for eight democratic candidates for US Senator, seven that were elected; and voted for every Democratic candidate for president from 1844 until his death.

Andrew Humphreys died at his home in Linton at 83 years of age on June 24, 1904. He is buried with his first wife, Eliza, in the Humphrey’s Cemetery, also known as the Old Moss Cemetery; located on the original homestead Aquilla and Sarah Harrah Moss. His surname as bears the name of the local park, named Humphreys Park because of his families’ generous donation to the city of Linton. In 1908, the heirs of Honorable Andrew Humphreys donated the land for the Public Library in Linton, Indiana; funded by the Andrew Carnegie Foundation. Today, the Margaret Cooper Public Library (Now the Carnegie Heritage and Arts Center of Greene County), a National Historic Landmark, holds an original inscription set in stained glass, “Site of Home of Andrew Humphreys; Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Jos. Moss”; located in the first floor office window.


Andrew Humphreys Grave

Biographical Memoirs of Greene County, Indiana

Andrew K. Humphreys Portrait

Linton Historical Archives – Cloud Folder

 

Bloomfield to Partake in Caucus for Election of Town Council Members

courthouse

Instead of a primary and general election, the town of Bloomfield opts for the use of a town caucus for the establishment of its town council members.

Marjorie Cullison, Greene County Voter Registration Clerk, explained that Bloomfield Town Council candidates have until noon on Aug. 3 to file.

“Some [candidates] have been out and about and have mentioned that they will be filing,” she added.

A caucus is an option for towns with populations less than 3,500 people.  Filing times for the current caucus are from noon on Jan. 7 to noon on Aug. 3.

Additionally with a town caucus, the political party will call the caucus if opposition for a certain office exists within the party, Cullison explained.

“If there’s no opposition, they don’t have to call a caucus. If there’s no opposition, then that person’s name will automatically go on the ballot,” she added.  “If there is opposition for an office within the party, then they call a caucus. It’s similar to a primary only in the fact that only people who are affiliated with that party can come to that caucus and vote.”

The town of Bloomfield has in the past held such caucuses at the Bloomfield Fire Department.

Furthermore, each political party will announce the date and time of future caucuses with applicable caucuses being held no later than Aug. 21.

In other Greene County election matters, Worthington, Linton, and Jasonville will all hold primaries on May 5.

AT&T Expands Mobile Internet Wireless Capacity

Photo Courtesy of Riley Kaminer, taken November 27th,  2008

Customers in Linton should experience improved mobile Internet coverage and voice performance as a result of continued investment and innovation by AT&T. The company has completed a key initiative in its ongoing efforts to enhance the wireless capacity and performance of its mobile Internet network in Linton.

“As part of the Linton community, we’re always looking for new opportunities to provide an enhanced customer experience, and our investment in the local wireless network is just one way we’re accomplishing that,” said Bill Soards, president of AT&T Indiana. “We’re working to build a 4G network that’s smarter and better to provide our customers with a superior mobile Internet experience.”

According to an AT&T press release, the network enhancement adds new “carriers,” to the Linton cell site to more efficiently manage available spectrum and increase mobile Internet capacity. The expansion helps manage ever-growing demand for mobile Internet services by allocating more network resources for AT&T’s mobile Internet network.

“In rural communities like ours, this kind of investment is crucial,” said Linton Mayor John Wilkes.  “Improved mobile Internet coverage allows our citizens and businesses to get things done quickly and efficiently, and we’re thrilled to hear that AT&T is bringing the latest technologies our way.”

AT&T invested nearly $1.75 billion in its wireless and wired networks in Indiana between 2011 through 2013, driving a wide range of upgrades to enhance speed, reliability, coverage and performance for residents and business customers. AT&T 4G LTE was launched in Bloomington in April 2012, and expanded to Linton in Oct. 2014. Its 4G LTE network covers more than 300 million people.

Linton RadioShack Not Affected by Recent Bankruptcy Deal

RadioShack

The recent announcement that RadioShack will close its doors in a bankruptcy deal with Sprint will not affect the RadioShack store in Linton.

The local store, which is located in the Linton Shopping Center, is not corporate-owned.

“The local store is independently owned and [that] is a corporate decision that will not affect the [Linton] store,” explained Linton’s RadioShack manager, noting that the Linton store will remain open.

The Linton store is located at 1600 A Street Northeast. Store hours are Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and closed Sundays.

City of Linton Honors Fallen Police Officer: Proclaims Feb. 7, 2015 as Fred Cromwell Day

Linton Police Officer Paul Clark, middle, sharing information about his research regarding the death of Fred Cromwell. Police Chief Troy Jerrell, at right, and Mayor John Wilkes, at left, also spoke during the honorary reception.

On Friday, Linton City Hall was the site of an honorary reception for the only Linton Police Officer to be killed in the line of duty.

Linton Mayor John Wilkes read a proclamation establishing Saturday, Feb. 7 as Fred Cromwell Day. Cromwell was killed in the line of duty 100 years ago after serving six days with the local department. He also served as the fire chief prior to serving as an officer.

Linton Police Chief Troy Jerrell thanked the packed room for the show of support regarding the proclamation.

“I would like to thank everyone for their support. This is what the small community is all about,” he said.

“[We] had never came across this information… I almost didn’t believe it at first,” Jerrell added, noting Linton Police Officer Paul Clark researched the matter.

Officer Clark then explained that all law enforcement officers make many sacrifices, but Cromwell is the only Linton Police Officer to have lost his life in the line of duty.

“Everyone here has made many sacrifices, but no one here has lost their lives,” Clark explained, noting his goal in researching the matter was to find out what really happened to Cromwell.

“I believe that sacrifices need to be recognized. People need to know that this sacrifice was made,” Clark also said.

During his research, Clark discovered several newspaper articles about the incident.

One such article from the Cincinnati Enquirer, noted Cromwell was shot and killed by two burglars whom he detected in the clothing store of Louis Friedman on Feb. 7, 1915. According to the same article, bloodhounds, owned by the Linton Police Department, lost the trail about three miles southeast of Linton, where the burglars stole two horses from James Reed, a farmer living in Lyons.

Another such article, from the Indianapolis News, noted that Cromwell was killed instantly during a revolver fight at the store. Furthermore, the article states Cromwell, a night policeman, was shot in the head and stomach and that his revolver displayed three empty cartridges. There were no witnesses to the scene, but persons aroused by the sound of shots, noted two men running away from the store. The robbers, in their flight, dropped a bag containing 13 pairs of shoes.

Frank Toricelli was arrested by police in Los Angeles in connection with Cromwell’s murder in March, 1915. He was later charged with the murder of Cromwell and served life in prison.

Saturday, Feb. 7 marked 100 years since Cromwell’s death.

Several members of Cromwell’s family were present during the proclamation reading. Becky Yung, Cromwell’s granddaughter, was one of them.

She explained that the story of her grandfather was well-known within the family, but that through Clark’s research additional details were uncovered.

“We learned that [Cromwell] was apprehended and sentenced to prison – that part we did not know,” Yung explained.

City of Linton Honors Fallen Police Officer: Proclaims Feb. 7, 2015 as Fred Cromwell Day

Linton Police Officer Paul Clark, middle, sharing information about his research regarding the death of Fred Cromwell. Police Chief Troy Jerrell, at right, and Mayor John Wilkes, at left, also spoke during the honorary reception.

On Friday, Linton City Hall was the site of an honorary reception for the only Linton Police Officer to be killed in the line of duty.

Linton Mayor John Wilkes read a proclamation establishing Saturday, Feb. 7 as Fred Cromwell Day. Cromwell was killed in the line of duty 100 years ago after serving six days with the local department. He also served as the fire chief prior to serving as an officer.

Linton Police Chief Troy Jerrell thanked the packed room for the show of support regarding the proclamation.

“I would like to thank everyone for their support. This is what the small community is all about,” he said.

“[We] had never came across this information… I almost didn’t believe it at first,” Jerrell added, noting Linton Police Officer Paul Clark researched the matter.

Officer Clark then explained that all law enforcement officers make many sacrifices, but Cromwell is the only Linton Police Officer to have lost his life in the line of duty.

“Everyone here has made many sacrifices, but no one here has lost their lives,” Clark explained, noting his goal in researching the matter was to find out what really happened to Cromwell.

“I believe that sacrifices need to be recognized. People need to know that this sacrifice was made,” Clark also said.

During his research, Clark discovered several newspaper articles about the incident.

One such article from the Cincinnati Enquirer, noted Cromwell was shot and killed by two burglars whom he detected in the clothing store of Louis Friedman on Feb. 7, 1915. According to the same article, bloodhounds, owned by the Linton Police Department, lost the trail about three miles southeast of Linton, where the burglars stole two horses from James Reed, a farmer living in Lyons.

Another such article, from the Indianapolis News, noted that Cromwell was killed instantly during a revolver fight at the store. Furthermore, the article states Cromwell, a night policeman, was shot in the head and stomach and that his revolver displayed three empty cartridges. There were no witnesses to the scene, but persons aroused by the sound of shots, noted two men running away from the store. The robbers, in their flight, dropped a bag containing 13 pairs of shoes.

Frank Toricelli was arrested by police in Los Angeles in connection with Cromwell’s murder in March, 1915. He was later charged with the murder of Cromwell and served life in prison.

Saturday, Feb. 7 marked 100 years since Cromwell’s death.

Several members of Cromwell’s family were present during the proclamation reading. Becky Yung, Cromwell’s granddaughter, was one of them.

She explained that the story of her grandfather was well-known within the family, but that through Clark’s research additional details were uncovered.

“We learned that [Cromwell] was apprehended and sentenced to prison – that part we did not know,” Yung explained.

Linton Man Accused of Strangulation, Battery

Paul Nichols

Paul V. Nichols, 39, of Linton, is accused of domestic battery in presence of a child less than 16 and strangulation, both level 6 felonies. He was arrested after a dispute on the afternoon of Jan. 1.

Jasonville Police Officer Ryan Van Horn was dispatched to a Jasonville residence that day, where the alleged victim told him that Nichols had arrived at her house with a friend to bring some items. She reportedly said she received a text that upset Nichols, and he tried to take away the two small children and leave.

According to a probable cause affidavit, she said she tried to get the children and Nichols shoved her down. Then he allegedly calmed down, but then became angry again, grabbed her by the throat and threw her on the floor. She reportedly claimed that he held her by the throat until she could not breathe.

The woman also claimed that Nichols left the home, taking her phone with him, then returned and tried again to take the children. It was at this time that she reportedly called 911. Van Horn stated that she had scratches on her neck and hands, redness on her neck and a bruised cheek.

Van Horn spoke to the man who had accompanied Nichols to the home. He allegedly said that the woman got mad that Nichols was spending time with the children. He claimed that he and Nichols decided to just unload the items and leave, but the woman got physical with Nichols.

He also reportedly told Van Horn that it was only after Nichols took her phone that the woman had tried to retrieve it through “physical force.” He claimed that he had not seen Nichols get the woman on the floor in the house, but Nichols had gone back in while he remained outside.

Van Horn reported that Nichols came to the Jasonville Police Department on his own free will. Nichols allegedly told him that he had taken some items to the woman, who began hitting him for no reason, then told him to leave. He reportedly denied taking her phone, said he wanted a lawyer and left the police department.

Nichols was arrested on Jan. 24, and was bonded out with $800 cash on Jan. 26. The initial hearing was Jan. 30, and a pretrial conference is scheduled for March 16.

State Fire Marshal’s Office Asks for Information on Two Fires in Linton

fire

The Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office, a division of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, is seeking the public’s help in finding those responsible for two recent fires in Linton.

Southern Indiana Workwear on NW A Street in Linton was set on fire on Wednesday, Feb. 26 and again on Friday, Feb. 28.  A small SUV was observed leaving the scene on Friday, Feb. 28 around 11:30 p.m.

Anyone with information on this case is urged to call the Arson Hotline at 1-800-382-4628.  The Indiana Association of Arson Investigators, in cooperation with the Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Property Insurance Companies operating in Indiana, offers up to a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

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The B-Roll, February 14-21, 2014

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Indiana State Police, Linton Police Department Seize over 700 Grams of Synthetic Drugs
[Read Story]

Northeast School Corporation: Reduction in Force
[Read Story] (Photo courtesy of How Charming Photography)

Local Veteran Asks for Help Bringing Former Partner Home
[Read Story]

Marsh Madness Activities
[More Information]

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City of Linton Moves Forward with Grant Opportunities

DTsnow2

The Linton City Council held a public hearing Monday evening, to discuss an Economic Development Planning Grant the city is applying for through the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA). The hearing gave citizens the opportunity to present their views on community development and housing needs.

The estimated cost of the study is $44,444. The requested grant amount is $40,000 and the grant match for the city will be $4,444, which will come from cumulative capital improvement funds. The estimated cost will include the study of the economic development plan, the administration of the grant, and initiating the environmental review of the project.

Mayor John Wilkes noted that the economic development plan will fit in with the city’s plan to bring industry into town and find out what type of businesses can be brought in.

During the regular council meeting the mayor was authorized to prepare and submit an application for grant funding to address the economic development plan for the City of Linton and to execute and administer the resulting grant. The grant will be submitted by Feb. 28 and the city should know whether it is approved by early April.

A second public hearing was held to consider vacating an alley so the group building the Cine Senior Apartments may put a porte cochere across it. The alley contains a gas line, which the city will have until the end of the year to cap. During the regular meeting, the council voted to vacate the alley.

The council approved a resolution to update the city’s comprehensive plan. The mayor said that comprehensive plans should be updated every seven years and that Linton is a little past that time limit.

“A comprehensive plan is basically a road map or a wishlist of things that we want to do,” Wilkes explained. “And one of the main things with a comprehensive plan is that if you don’t have one when you apply for grants, if you don’t have it updated, you don’t qualify for the grants. This Stellar [Communities Grant] that we’re working on– if we don’t have our comprehensive plan updated, we’re dead in the water.”

Farmers’ Market Manager Mark Stacy presented the new market bylaws on behalf of the Park Board. Stacy noted that the 2014 bylaws and vendor handbook will be very similar to those of last year, with the only notable changes being that the season will start later and end earlier and the market hours will change from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. to 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The council agreed to look at the changes and address them at either the March meeting or at a special meeting in the meantime.

A wastewater plant invoice from Graves Plumbing in the amount of $70,232.40 was approved, as well as a change order through OCRA for an additional $165,349.36.

Wilkes noted that money is left in the OCRA funds and that the project will still come in well below budget while including some additional work to the plant. A project extension of 36 days was also approved, and the wastewater plant should be completed by March 25.

In other business, the council agreed to:

  • Approve a Communities for a Lifetime Grant agreement. The grant would include $300,000 to rehabilitate houses in Linton, starting in October or November of this year.
  • Renew the Greene County Soccer Association lease, at $1 per year.
  • Renew a fire contract with Stockton Township, which pays the city $80,000 per year.
  • Allow the mayor to move forward with considering accepting the donation of the Bailey property on A and 4th Streets. The house appraises for $220,000 and Wilkes noted that the only real stipulation to the donation is that the city not sell the property for three years.
  • Appoint Jared Albright to the city’s new Redevelopment Board. The council still needs to appoint one more member to the new board.

At the end of the council meeting, Wilkes again encouraged everyone to write or call the governor or other state representatives to oppose the elimination of the personal property tax.

“If they pass that, that’s going to hurt the City of Linton worse than the tax caps did, and you saw what happened when we did the tax caps. We had to cut our budgets way back and we lost two policeman and a fireman,” he stated.

Fire Chief Brad Sparks explained that the Linton Fire Department makes over 1,000 runs a year, and that a reduction in funding could force the city to consider a volunteer fire department instead of a full-time department.

“If we would happen to go volunteer, it’s going to be hard to find volunteers to serve the public in our area and make over 1,000 runs year. You’re going to have to find a lot of [volunteers] because it’s going to be a scheduling conflict because everybody is going to have jobs,” Sparks stressed.

Council President Jathan Wright added that this is not a political issue but is instead a community issue that is a matter of survival.

The mayor provided a list of people for locals to contact, and encouraged everyone to use the following information:

Governor Mike Pence

Office of Governor

State House

Indianapolis, IN 46204-2797

1-317-232-4567

www.in.gov.2333.htm

State Representative — House District 62

Matt Ubelhor

200 W. Washington Street

Indianapolis, IN 46204

1-317-232-9863

1-812-486-7695

Email: in62ubelhor@gmail.com or mubelhor69@gmail.com

Senator — District 39

John Waterman

200 W. Washington Street

Indianapolis, IN 46204

1-800-382-9467

1-317-232-9400

Email: senatorwaterman@iga.in.gov

 

Locals Ask State to Re-Think Tax Elimination

Photo Courtesy of 401(K) 2013, Taken November 8th, 2010

Local governments in Indiana are worried – and rightly so.

In an effort to become more pro-business and attract additional business activity, state-level lawmakers are considering cutting out the state’s property tax on business equipment, a tax that brings in $1 billion per year for local governments and schools, according to a number of sources.

Proponents of eliminating the tax say some states, such as Michigan and Iowa, have either abolished or are in the process of abolishing the tax – and are doing just fine. State-level officials argue the same, saying the boost to business activities will offset the losses — if not gain additional revenue.

Local officials are skeptical, especially since many are still licking the wounds of the statewide property tax caps introduced five years ago, which caused financial woes to already strapped public budgets.

In something of a compromise, Indiana Governor Mike Pence’s proposal to completely eliminate the tax has been changed by the Indiana legislature to shove the decision down to the counties level, providing the option, but not the requirement, to waive the tax. While seemingly a better way to give the very people who are closest to the situation the option to tax or not, the scene is now set up to pit one county against other neighboring counties since some may vie for the option while others may not.

If the worried local government leaders are correct, they say they will be left wondering where the replacement revenue will come from — and if there’s none to be had what options they have left. There seems to only be two options, namely: (1.) make cuts in workforce and services, or (2.) borrow the way out of the financial mess until something else comes along. Neither is an easy choice to make.

Recently, the City of Linton has opted for the former, while the City of Terre Haute has opted for the latter. Additional cuts would only mean more of the same.

Only time will tell what choices will need to be made.

Staff Reporter Timberly Ferree will provide an additional report on local responses to the possibility of abolishing the property tax on business equipment. 

The B-Roll, January 20-27, 2014

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Prosecutor Jarrod Holtsclaw: No Charges Filed in Connection with Death of Joshua Ray [Read Story]

Updated: New Details on State Road 54 Crash [Read Story]

Huge Turnout for Buck Creek Muzzle Loaders Trade Fair [Read Story]

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Local Woman’s Business Venture Builds on Love as a Recipe for Success

submitted photo

One Greene County woman is baking her way into the world of doggy treats.

Sarah Riggins, of rural Bloomfield, has combined her love of dogs and love of baking to create some stay-at-home business success.

Riggins is the creator of LukieDog Treats – which are homemade preservative-free dog treats that are available in different sizes and flavors.

“I was looking for a way to make a little extra money doing something I love that would still give me the flexibility to be a stay-at-home mom. I love dogs, and I love baking, so this seemed like the right thing for me,” Riggins explained.

As it turns out, and has her research suggested, there’s a market for such products.

“I did a lot of research on various selling sites, like etsy.com, and discovered there is a demand for this kind of product,” she said.

She then combined a staple recipe with a little kitchen creativity to develop an original product.

“I played with the recipe, made a few changes, and then started making them different flavors. You won’t find this exact recipe anywhere else that I know of,” Riggins explained, adding LukieDog Treats come in bacon, peanut butter, and pumpkin flavors.

The treats are made with all-purpose flour and natural ingredients, but are also created with wheat flour for allergy-prone canines.

Along with their culinary flair, the treats are also a namesake honoring Riggins’s very best canine friend.

“I named [them] LukieDog Treats because my absolute favorite dog in the entire world’s name was LukieDog. Her picture is also on every bag of treats I make. She was the best and [similar] to the nanny dog on Peter Pan,” Riggins explained. “Unfortunately, I had to put her down about two years ago. That was one of the saddest days of my life.”

LukieDog Treats are available at Deb’s Happy Trails in rural Bloomfield and at The Silver Lining in Linton. They are also available online at www.etsy.com, or at https://www.facebook.com/lukiedogtreats.

Water Shut off in Eastern Linton

Photo by Tyler Lewellyn

A 12-inch water main busted in Linton on Saturday evening.

Water is shut off to the east side of town, possibly until around 1 a.m. on Sunday.

 

Santa Train to Land in Local Area This Weekend

By Timberly Ferree
file photo

In the wake of record-setting attendance and donations a year ago, the Indiana Rail Road Company (INRD) proudly announces Santa Claus’ return to the rails for the 24th annual INRD Santa Train from Friday, Dec. 6 through Sunday, Dec. 8.

The Indiana Rail Road Santa Train will visit 12 southern Indiana and Illinois communities over its three-day 2013 run, delivering goodwill, donated winter clothing and, most importantly, Santa Claus to thousands of children. Admission is free.

In 2012, more than 4,000 children sat on Santa’s lap in the Santa Train. In all, 8,835 people visited the train, shattering the “old” attendance record set in 2011 by more than 2,000. Nearly 50 Santa Train sponsors also delivered a record $33,000 in contributions, making it possible for INRD to assist families in need of winter clothing.

The 2013 Santa Train makes its first stop at 3 p.m. (ET) Dec. 6 at Bargersville, Ind., and wraps up the weekend at Sullivan, Ind., on Sunday at 4 p.m. Please note the Sunday schedule of stops starts two hours earlier than previous years, and the Illinois arrival times reflect Central Standard Time; all other times are Eastern.

The Indiana Rail Road Company is a privately-held, 500-mile railroad based in Indianapolis. The company hauls the equivalent of more than 800,000 truckloads of consumer, industrial and energy products each year. For more information, visit the Indiana Rail Road online at www.inrd.com or on Twitter and Facebook.

The 24th Annual Indiana Rail Road Santa Train Schedule (All times local; free admission):

Station/Location Arriving Line for Santa/Closing Time for Santa Line/Date

Bargersville, Ind./Town Hall 3 p.m. 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6

Morgantown, Ind./Fire Station, 269 Highland St. 6:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6

Helmsburg, Ind./Helmsburg Road 8:30 p.m. 9:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6

Solsberry, Ind./Yoho Store at State Rd. 43 8:30 a.m. 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 7 

Bloomfield, Ind./Seminary Street 11 a.m. Noon Saturday, Dec. 7

Linton, Ind./S.E. C Street 1:30 p.m. 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7

Dugger, Ind./Main Street 4 p.m. 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7

Jasonville, Ind./City Park 6 p.m. 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7

Newton, Ill./South Van Buren St. 9 a.m. 10 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 8 

Oblong, Ill./South Range St. 11:15 a.m. 12:15 p.m.  Sunday, Dec. 8

Palestine, Ill./Lincoln St. 1 p.m. 2 p.m.  Sunday, Dec. 8

Sullivan, Ind./South Main St. and Judy Lane 4 p.m. 4:30 p.m.  Sunday, Dec. 8

County Council Votes to Scale Down Linton’s 911 Dispatch Center

Photo by Brandy Wade

The state has changed its 911 funding and tracking procedures, and in a split vote the County Council approved a contract between the City of Linton and the county to fund Linton’s E-911 dispatch center $25,000 in 2014 and $20,000 in 2015.

Linton used to receive $66,000 a year to supplement their dispatchers, while only bringing in about $15,000 of revenue from landline 911 calls.

“Everybody is in consensus that they [the state] are trying to force one central dispatch system where now we have two,” noted County Council President Ed Cullison.

He added that the county always needs a backup system and that an AT&T representative recommended they keep Linton’s dispatch center for that purpose.

Sheriff Terry Pierce clarified that although he believes in a short time there will be one 911 receiving station that does not mean that Linton should or will give up its dispatch.

“But as far as 911 calls are concerned, at some point it’s going to be a mandate and it’s not that far off …to force all the 911 calls to come into one receiving system. And I think everybody honestly agrees that it’s probably most efficient and safer for the county,” he explained.

Greene County Ambulance Service Director David Doane requested that additional appropriations be taken from the EMS Equipment Fund and used to pay Bradley Associates Healthcare Advisors and CPA’s for helping them get reimbursed for underpaid funds from Medicaid. $4,800.00 will be paid to Bradley Associates for their work, which should gain the Greene County Ambulance Service between $60,000 and $70,000.

“So far, in the year 2011, they seem to have found $30,000 we were underpaid. So we’ll be getting that back, and then for 2012 it will be about the same– $30,000 to $40,000, they’re not quite done with 2012 yet,” Doane explained.

In other business:

• The council appointed Judy Branstetter to the Bloomfield-Eastern Greene County Library Board.

• The council approved EMA Director Roger Axe’s additional appropriations request of $1,000 for a Homeland Security Grant.

• An additional appropriation in the amount of $1,600 out of the Adult Probation Fund was approved to cover wage increases for probation officers.

• The council approved an additional appropriation and a transfer of funds request for the highway department. $9,291.00 from the sale of excess equipment will be moved to lease rental. They also agreed to move $400 from the highway department’s laborer’s fund into longevity, and $20,000 from gas, oil, and lube into sand, stone, and gravel.

• Sheriff Terry Pierce’s additional appropriation requests were approved. The first was for 3,648.86 for insurance repair on a vehicle, and the second was for $260.93 for medical. An $800 transfer of funds from extra-hire funds into uniforms for courthouse security passed, as well as a $30,000 transfer from deputies to motor vehicles and $8,500 from holiday funds into utilities.

• The 2014 County Sheriff’s Salary Contract was approved.

• Clerk of Circuit Court Susan Fowler received a transfer of funds and payment request for computer upgrades for her office.

• The County Treasurer’s Office received approval for a transfer of funds for 2 new printers.

• The County Auditor, Matthew Baker, had a payment request for $815.20 for office supplies, which was approved.

• A $7,750.00 request from the County Assessor to use money from the reassessment fund to purchase new county maps that will match E-911 addresses was approved. They plan to sell the maps and put the money back into the reassessment fund.

• Additional appropriation approval was also given to the County Commissioners for $10,000 for seed money for an interlocal purchase agreement that would allow the Solid Waste District and other approved county entities to purchase fuel from the highway department.

An executive session is scheduled for 3 p.m. on December 9th.

 

Miners Stumble In Semi-State

Photo courtesy of Becky Deischer Photography

In what has begrudgingly become an annual occurrence, the Miners of Linton and their dreams of a state football championship have succumbed to defeat in the semi -state playoff game, falling to Eastern Hancock 37-16 Friday night in Charlottesville. Linton now stands 0-8 in semi-state contests, with three coming in consecutive years.

Throughout the entire regular season, the Miners resembled a juggernaut. An unstoppable force no one could contain, even on their best day. Clearly, it would take a truly special team to knock the Class 1A #1 ranked Miners off their quest for a first state championship appearance.

Suffice to say, on a frigid, windy Friday night, Eastern Hancock appeared to be that one truly special team.

Perhaps a sign of what was in store for the boys in red and blue, Linton came out in the first quarter and were immediately halted on their opening drive, victims of a relentless Royals defense bent on controlling the line of scrimmage. Eastern Hancock would proceed to march down field and punch it in for the first score of the game via a 9-yard rushing touchdown by Cooper Henderson. Henderson, alongside Spencer Gilbert, would prove to be key in the Royals state championship berth, leading the way with 103 and 132 yards on the ground respectively. Gilbert would join the scoring brigade in the second half, adding two touchdowns of his own.

Linton, armed with an iron curtain of a defense and an equally explosive and dynamic offensive attack, struggled to find a semblance of the magic that preceded them in the thirteen games prior. There were flashes, but only momentarily, as Eastern Hancock seemingly had an answer for almost every push Linton made. It wasn’t all dim, as the Miners’ Beau Eaton and captain Zane Hayden connected for a 45-yard touchdown in the closing moments of the first half, making it 15-8 going into halftime.

From then on, the “Win 15″ Express proceeded to come off the rails.

The second half for Linton gave way to costly errors and multiple lost fumbles that in turn resulted in Royals touchdowns. With each Eastern Hancock score and Linton blunder, the ever-growing sense of a season lost began to overtake the well-traveled Miner supporters. Unfortunately for Miner Nation, this was an all too familiar feeling, as flashbacks to the crushing defeats at the hands of Indianapolis-Scecina in the past two semi-state matchups were undoubtedly creeping into their collective mind.

The Royals would wind up outscoring the Miners 22-8 in the second half, thus securing their well-deserved spot in the Class 1A title game, taking place next Friday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. They will take on Tri-Central, who won their semi-state game versus Winamac 20-14 on a thrilling last second quarterback sneak as time expired.

While the 2013 season has come to a close for the Linton Miners, one would be hard-pressed not to feel good about next season. Brian Oliver, who will be entering his second year as head coach, will likely count on soon to be junior running back Mitch Eberhardt to answer the call as lead running back, and he and playmaker Austin Hale to be the primary offensive weapons going forward. Both emerging studs improved by leaps and bounds this season, and will look to provide the Miners with the traditional explosiveness that has led them to three consecutive semi-state game appearances. Contrary to Friday night’s result, this is a Miner football program on the rise, and now with an even bigger chip on their shoulders, this is a Miner football program seeking to eliminate the bitter taste of late-November defeat, and take that final step onward to championship glory.

 

Dugger Town Council Discusses Water Contract Proposals from Linton and Shelburn

(R to L) Dugger Clerk-Treasurer Michelle Riggleman, Council President Kermit King, and Council Members Larry Bedwell and Dwight Nielson

The Dugger Town Council met Monday evening, and Shelburn Town Council President Jim Ward and Clerk-Treasurer Jay Southwood attended.

Southwood discussed the new water contract Shelburn is offering Dugger, which includes a five-year fixed water rate of $2.25 per 1,000 gallons. Southwood stated that Linton’s last offer was $2.70 with no guarantee that the price will not rise, and added that if they assume Dugger uses 5 million gallons of water a month the town will save over $38,000 dollars a year by choosing Shelburn. These savings would come from the lower water rate as well as the fact that Dugger will not have electric costs associated with their water usage if they buy their water from Shelburn.

Someone asked Southwood what will happen after the five year price freeze has expired, and Southwood said that would depend on the economy.

“I can’t sit here and tell you that we wouldn’t raise it, because I don’t know. But I hope to think we wouldn’t have to,” he explained.

Southwood estimated that it will be about two years before Shelburn will be able to supply Dugger’s water, and added that if Dugger chooses Shelburn as their supplier they will need to sign a forty-year contract because of the costs associated with preparing to provide water to the town.

“The other thing that’s different in this [contract] from Linton’s is that Linton didn’t really put it down to us this way, but they’ve told us that when they’re upgrading their water system that’s the reason for our rate increases. Okay? They told us that. That’s the reason they’ve raised the rates on us. They’re going to build something new or make it bigger or whatever they’re going to do over there,” said Dugger Council Member Dwight Nielson.

Council President Kermit King later informed the meeting’s attendees that Linton is upgrading their water treatment plant.

“I’ll tell you what Linton’s wanting to know,” King explained. “Of course John Wilkes and Brent Slover are going to have to redo their water treatment plant, period … depending on how much of a remodel they do, they want to make sure we’re staying with them. If we’re staying with them, they have to do a little more of an upgrade to keep supplying us with water. If we’re not staying with them they’re not going to have to borrow as much money, so that’s why they need a decision, too.”

Nielson and Southwood then told attendees that Shelburn’s contract states that any upgrades to Shelburn’s water system that do not affect supplying water to Dugger will not cause Dugger’s water rates to increase.

Nielson noted that they first started looking at using a different water supplier because of public outrage over people’s water bills.

A citizen asked the council how much of the savings from the reduced water rate would be passed along to town rate-payers.

“I’m just talking off the top of my head here,” answered Nielson, “but we would probably cut our rates for us. I mean, I don’t know. If it holds at $2.25 and we’re paying $2.70 now, or $2.90, I don’t see why we should have that high of a water bill.”

Clerk-Treasurer Michelle Riggleman remarked that her guess is that customers are not going to see much of a difference in their water bills because a lot of the money will go into the water fund since the town needs to fix many things they do not currently have the funds for. The council noted that at least the cost of water should not go up for Dugger citizens.

After further discussion, a woman asked the council when they needed to make a decision about which water supplier they are going to choose. Nielson responded that they are waiting on Linton’s proposal, and that he had thought maybe Linton would come to the meeting and show them something. The woman then inquired about how long the council would wait on Linton.

“Me?” asked Nielson. “I don’t want to wait on them a day. They’ve been out there for three months now to come out with a final figure for it and I don’t see it here. Why aren’t they here?”

Shelburn Council President Jim Ward stated that Shelburn will not wait much longer for a decision, adding that this is their last proposal and they expect an answer pretty shortly.

King said Linton Mayor John Wilkes had asked him if Dugger would vote on the contract that night, and he had told Wilkes they would not but that they needed a proposal from Linton by their next meeting or it would be too late. Later in the evening, he added that it might have been partly his fault that Linton representatives did not attend.

Ward reiterated that they cannot wait much longer to go after the money to start the project.

A citizen asked what would happen if Dugger signs the contract with Shelburn and Linton gets mad and refuses to supply them with water while Shelburn is doing the work necessary to be able to get water to Dugger.

King replied that it is against the law for Linton to do that.

The council decided to set a deadline for Linton’s proposal, and Ward said he wants an answer about which supplier Dugger will choose by Shelburn’s next council meeting on November 11th.

Riggleman suggested that Dugger hold a meeting with Linton this Thursday at noon, and the council invited everyone to attend it.

A man asked the council what would happen if they sign a contract with Shelburn and 18 months down the road it turns out that Shelburn cannot get the money necessary to supply Dugger’s water. Southwood answered that the contract is contingent upon Shelburn obtaining the necessary funds.

A citizen stressed the fact that Linton has always been a good neighbor that has helped Dugger in many ways over the years. When Nielson replied that he was not saying Linton was not a good neighbor, the man stated that he has called Linton representatives liars and everything else.

“They have been,” Nielson stated. “In this room, they’ve not told us the straight poop.”

A woman noted that the Dugger council lied to Linton about the first contract they signed with Shelburn, and a man added that Linton representatives were not the first group in the room who had not told them the straight poop.

Riggleman then returned to the room and informed everyone that Wilkes had agreed to meet with the council at noon on Thursday. When citizens were concerned about the fact that the meeting would be held while most people were working, King explained that the meeting would be held at noon because that was when Linton said they could attend.

“Are we done?” someone asked, and the council moved on to other business.

Read more about the matter here.

 

Trick-or-Treating in Linton set for Oct. 30-31

Trick-or-treating in Linton has been set for Oct. 30 and 31 from 6 to 9 p.m.

Look for trick-or-treating to land in Linton on Oct. 30 and 31 from 6 to 9 p.m. both evenings.

Linton Police Chief Troy Jerrell encouraged everyone to make this year’s Halloween as safe as possible and noted a few safety tips.

“The big thing here is only go [trick-or-treating] where porch lights are on,” Jerrell said. “As always, we ask those who are wanting to participate to have their porch lights on and for those who are not to leave them off during these hours.”

He also advised parents to be prudent in checking their children’s treats.

“Make sure to check candy before children are allowed to eat it. We’ve had no issues in the past, but we don’t want any either,” he stressed.

Jerrell advised ‘trick-or-treaters’ to be cautious when around traffic and to remain visible to drivers.

“Wear reflective-type clothing or have a flashlight so vehicle traffic can see you while traveling,” he said.

He also stressed the importance of motorists remaining extra cautious during trick-or-treat times.

“We ask anyone operating a vehicle to drive with extra caution on the side streets during these hours to avoid any serious accidents. Anyone caught driving recklessly while pedestrians are present can potentially face stiff fines and jail time depending on the severity,” he explained.

On behalf of the LPD, Chief Jerrell also wished everyone a safe and happy Halloween.

“Outside of that, I want everyone to be safe and enjoy themselves,” Jerrell added.

County and Linton Officials Discuss Cuts to Linton’s 911 Budget

11 June, 2013  Linton Police 003

Linton dispatchers answer 10 percent of landline 911 calls within the county, while the Sheriff’s Department responds to the other 90 percent of landline calls and all 911 calls made from cell phones. Linton has previously received $66,000 a year from county 911 funds, which amounts to 30 percent of the county’s landline revenue.

A new state statute forces the county to justify 911 expenditures, however, and during a 911 budget expenditure meeting on Thursday afternoon, County Council President Ed Cullison explained that next year the City of Linton will not be receiving that much funding.

At the last meeting, Sheriff Terry Pierce suggested that Linton Mayor John Wilkes and Police Chief Troy Jerrell look at what is physically done during 911 calls in order to get a better idea of how much money Linton might need, or be allowed to receive, from the county funds. This money can only be used to pay 911 dispatchers for the 911 dispatch work they do, and not to fund other duties they may have.

This Thursday, Jerrell indicated that since a 911 dispatcher must be present at all times, the entire time they are at work should qualify as doing 911 dispatch duties.

“That’s why I suggested, when I talked to you last time, that you try to gather that data and put those things together so there’s an explanation of specifically what your 911 dispatcher does that’s not just on the phone,” answered Pierce.

Jerrell responded that you still have to have someone sitting in that chair waiting to answer those calls and dispatch those calls no matter what, and the sheriff said that if the money can only be used for specific purposes the county has to explain those specific purposes in order to satisfy the new statute.

Jerrell said he had brought a breakdown of costs that included percentages of the time Linton dispatchers took per call and how much the dispatch-specific utilities are.

Cullison then asked how much money Linton was requesting.

“I think everybody’s agreed that it can’t be funded in the amount that it has in the past,” Cullison stated. The figures aren’t there to substantiate that, so what are you proposing? What kind of figures have you come up with, because I think the last time we asked you to go look at some stuff. So what are you looking at?”

The mayor answered that they were looking for as much money as they had before, and Cullison replied that can’t happen.

Greene County Sheriff’s Department E-911 Coordinator Karen Oliphant noted that in September, there were 9,241 landline phones in the county, 1,417 of which were located in Linton. Linton dispatch only generates a little over $15,000 annual income off its calls, and Pierce noted that the number of landlines will only continue to drop over time.

“In the future you’re going to see a central dispatch,” Pierce stated. “It’s coming and it’s going to happen. No one is going to stop it, because it’s going to be state mandated.”

Jerrell said that while he knows that will happen one day, the county is not there yet. Wilkes added that he does not want to have this battle every year, and would just as soon go to central dispatch instead.

Cullison then asked if it is time to go to a central 911 dispatch instead of continuing negotiations. Wilkes and Jerrell answered that they do not believe it is, so Cullison suggested coming to a two-year funding agreement and revisiting the issue after it expires. Wilkes said he would prefer a three-year agreement.

Cullison reminded everyone that at the last meeting he figured out that Linton should get $21,800 for taking ten percent of landline 911 calls. He asked for a figure between what he suggested and the $66,000 the City of Linton was requesting.

Wilkes then asked for $33,000, which is around twice the amount of money Linton dispatch generates. Pierce added that the county also pays for equipment going into Linton.

Cullison suggested that Linton receive $25,000 a year for two years before the issue is revisited, noting that the amount is still over what the Linton dispatch figures call for. He said he needs to be able to justify the money Linton receives to the state, and that he believes he can do that with $25,000.

Pierce stated that he thinks it is more efficient and safer for 911 calls to go to one center.

The next 911 budget expenditure meeting is planned for 2 p.m. on November 14th in the Commissioners’ Room at the courthouse. Cullison said he wants to come up with a dollar amount at that meeting.