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Today's Headlines

9/23/16

"Commissioners approve board appointment, other measures"

The Jefferson County Commissioners met for their second meeting of the month Thursday.
County Assessor Karen Manix came before the commissioners regarding their two appointments to the county’s Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals. According to Manix, the PTABOA processes complaints citizens have regarding their property taxes. On Manix’s recommendation, the commissioners re-appointed current board member Tom Ringwald. The Commissioners initially wanted to table the second appointment in order to discuss party affiliation of the nominees, as Indiana code requires the board to have no more than two members of the same party, and Ringwald and Jefferson County Council appointee Nancy Sobeck are Republicans. Manix requested a decision be made at this meeting, as she said the board needed to meet soon to process complaints. The commissioners then appointed Democrat Becky Law.
Jefferson County Animal Shelter Director Jenny Slover requested a power of attorney order from the county in order to order and store Schedule 2 drugs at the animal shelter. Slover said an inspector recently requested to see power of attorney for the drugs, which are used for the euthanasia of animals. Slover said she was surprised because this was the first time such an order was brought to her attention, but she wanted to make sure the shelter is in compliance. The commissioners approved the order.
Commissioner Bobby Little brought a recommendation from the county’s Insurance Committee to switch health insurance providers from Humana to United Healthcare. Little said with rate increases brought by Humana a switch to United would save the county more than $10,000. The commissioners approved the switch.
The commissioners also approved an update to the CEDIT plan in order to cover the Sheriff’s Pension Fund. The update was suggested during the commissioners’ budget meeting with the county council. The current funding source for the fund is no longer suitable to cover the draw. The board approved the CEDIT plan update with a $220,000 cap.
The Jefferson County Commissioners will next meet October 7.

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"Two dead after car accident near Austin"

A car crash near Austin results in two fatalities.
According to the Indiana State Police, at approximately 7:00 a.m. Friday deputies from the Scott County Sheriff’s Department responded to a serious crash on Jack Morgan Road approximately a half of a mile north of State Road 256 near Austin. When deputies arrived they discovered a vehicle off of the west side of the road in a field.
When officers approached the vehicle, they located two deceased men. The driver, 18-year-old Jacob Justice of Scottsburg, was thrown from the vehicle. Police say he was not wearing a seat belt. The second deceased male, 16-year-old Cameron Prestegui of Austin, was in the front seat of the crashed vehicle. He was wearing a seat belt. A third occupant of the vehicle, Jonathon Brown of Austin, was in the backseat of the vehicle and wearing a seatbelt. Brown was injured and transported to the Scott County Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
The preliminary investigation shows the car was southbound on Jack Morgan Road when for an unknown reason it left the roadway on the west side of the road. The car flipped before hitting several wooden fence poles. A crash reconstruction team from the Indiana State Police Post at Sellersburg was called to the scene. This investigation is continuing.

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"Madison woman arrested again for meth possession"

A local woman faces drug charges following a call to the Madison Walmart.
According to the Madison Police Department, the City of Madison Police Department received a call to Walmart Friday. While at Walmart on an unrelated call, an officer was informed by a Walmart employee of a vehicle in the south end of the parking lot that had its headlights on and had been there for over two and a half hours.
Officers made contact with a female occupant in the car, later identified as Jessica A. Napier of Madison. Officers had a previous encounter with Napier approximately a month ago where Napier had admitted to being a methamphetamine user. Officers read Napier her rights and requested to search her car. Napier waived her rights and stated police could search her car.
During the search, officers located a syringe that had a clear liquid substance. The substance field tested positive as methamphetamine. Napier was taken into custody on charges for Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of a Syringe, and Possession of Paraphernalia and transported to the Jefferson County Jail.

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"City continuing grant process for senior center"

The city of Madison is continuing the grant application process for the construction or rehabilitation of a new senior citizen center.
The city will offer another opportunity to tour the former King’s Daughters’ Health Emergency Facility, the proposed site of the new senior center, Monday, September 26 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. This will be an informational tour of what has been proposed regarding the senior center so far. Parking will be available for tours in the Emergency Room Parking lot directly across Presbyterian Street from the former ER entrance.
The city will hold a public hearing Tuesday, September 27 at 5:30 p.m. at Madison City Hall to provide interested parties an opportunity to express their views on the proposed federal-funded Office of Community and Rural Affairs Community Development Block Grant. The total amount of funds to be requested is $500,000. Interested citizens are encouraged to provide comments regarding the proposed grant either at the public hearing or by prior written comments submitted to City Hall by September 27. Information related to the project will be available for review prior to the public hearing at City Hall.
The city intends to apply for the OCRA grant by October 14. For more information, contact City Hall at 812-265-8300.

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"Real estate numbers down in Jefferson County in August"

Real estate numbers in Jefferson County have seen a dip from where they were at in 2015.
The Indiana Association of Realtors released their local market update for Jefferson County, detailing key metrics for the previous month in comparison to numbers a year ago. Based on the August update, the county saw dips across the board in new listings, closed sales, and median sales price.
42 new listings were made in August of 2016, down more than 23 percent from 2015’s total. Closed sales also saw a drop, going from 30 to 27. Median sales price numbers went from $140,000 in August 2015 to $124,900 in August 2016, a 10.8 percent decrease. The county’s median sales price continues to lag behind the state average, which sits closer to $136,000.
The county did see an increase in pending sales, with 32 reported for August of this year. That’s a 23.1 percent jump from a year ago.

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"Unemployment sees slight jump in August"

Unemployment in Jefferson County saw a slight increase last month.
According to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, the August unemployment rate for the month sits at 4.9 percent. This is a slight increase from both July of this year and the same time frame in 2015, when the rate was 4.6 percent. This keeps Jefferson County over the state average of 4.6 percent, but below the national average of 5.0.
The 4.9 percent rate puts Jefferson County in a tie for 26th among Indiana counties. Greene County once again had the highest unemployment rate at 6.6 percent, and Dubois County was once again at the lowest rate with 3.3.
Scott County also came in at 4.9 percent, while Switzerland County has an unemployment rate of 5.2. Jennings and Ripley counties posted rates lower than Jefferson County at 4.8 and 4.5 percent, respectively.

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"Madison Main Street Program wins grant for Mulberry Street work"

The city of Madison will be receiving grant funding from the state of Indiana for work on improving downtown.
The Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs awarded five communities funding for economic development initiatives through the Downtown Enhancement Grant program. The program is designed to foster innovative approaches to activities that support and promote community-based planning, broad partnerships, and beautification. The grants range from $5,000 to $10,000 awards.
The Madison Main Street Program received a $10,000 award to go towards the Mulberry Street Improvement project. After adding a city match of $15,000, the $25,000 will be used to assist 15 property owners in improving their Mulberry Street properties.
Madison Community Relations Director Andrew Forrester said the money will go into improving buildings on street
Forrester thanked those who came out to Mulberry street brainstorming events, and the volunteers involved with the city’s bid in the America’s Best Communities competition, and said this award is something to add to the city’s ABC resume.
Mulberry Street is one of Madison oldest surviving commercial districts, with buildings dating back to the 1820s.

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"DHS planning emergency alert system test"

A test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) will occur at 2:20 p.m. Wednesday, September 28.
The test will help to ensure all members of the public, including non-English speakers and individuals with disabilities, will see or hear the emergency information. The test will also provide an opportunity to evaluate the system in its entirety, including updates made after the previous nationwide test in 2011.
When the test begins, the message will signify that it is a test. Citizens may hear the message on the radio or see and hear the alert on the television. If citizens do not see or hear an EAS message on their television or radio at the designated time, the issue may be reported online at https://www.fcc.gov/general/public-safety-support-center.
If necessary, the alternate date for the EAS test is October 5, 2016.
The test is coordinated by the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission.
For more information on emergency preparedness, visit GetPrepared.IN.gov.

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Obituaries

J.D. Arnold, 92

Mary Hill, 87

Mary Thompson, 89

Gerald "Jerry" Hayden, 67

Mary "Teen" Payne, 92