Joe, Mindy Smith built social services of Jefferson Township office
Joe P. Smith is stepping down as Jefferson Township Trustee on Dec. 31, having served 20 years. Those who’ve worked with him in helping residents of the Hagerstown area say that he’s fulfilled far more than what the role requires. Indiana’s 92 counties are subdivided into 1,005 townships.
Jerry Purcell worked Wednesday to help move Richmond Fire Department forward, but for the first time in nine years, he was not the fire chief as he did so. Mayor Dave Snow announced Tuesday night that Purcell was no longer RFD’s chief. “The City of Richmond would like to thank Jerry for his many years of excellent service,” Snow’s statement said.
Wayne County is among the state’s first areas to receive a kiosk offering free legal help. That’s likely because Richmond’s ZIP code is one of the top 10 in the state for evictions, according to Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority. Superior Court 3 Judge Darrin Dolehanty said when local court officials became aware of the opportunity to receive a kiosk, they quickly raised their hands and submitted what he called a fairly rigorous application.
Decades of ‘coal combustion residuals’ leached into groundwater
Richmond Power & Light is continuing to clean up and monitor waste from the years when it generated electricity by burning coal, according to a new progress report. Complete containment is expected within this decade. Substances found in the waste have leached into groundwater at the site but have not been detected in nearby wells used for drinking water.
Just in time for Christmas cards and packages to be sent and received, Milton’s post office has reopened more than seven months after it caught fire. The post office re-opened Saturday and resumed its regular hours. Before the fire, Milton’s post office offered 24-hour lobby access for customers to pick up their mail. It was staffed 22 hours per week, 8-10 a.m. and 2:30-4:30 p.m. weekdays, and 8-10 a.m. Saturdays. Since April, Milton customers with P.O. boxes had to drive to Cambridge City post office to get their mail, buy stamps or send packages.
Known as a concert and drama venue for Richmond High School students in previous decades, the newly renovated McGuire Hall now welcomes more community events. The renovation has been a more than $1 million partnership between Richmond Community Schools and the City of Richmond Redevelopment Commission. A majority of the funding came from the commission, and RCS Chief Financial Officer Karen Scalf said RCS is “super grateful” for the assistance. The project was focused on improving the auditorium’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, adding air conditioning to make it usable all year long for a variety of gatherings. Although the HVAC and roofing upgrades aren’t visible, prior visitors will notice several changes, such as new interior painting, flooring, seats, curtains, sound and lighting systems and general technology.
Even though Jimmy Lawrence admits he doesn’t know how to skate, he’s now running a roller-skating rink and community center. Lawrence, who currently lives in Centerville, has been named the Dublin Community Club’s board president. He fills the volunteer role vacated by the late Mike Buckland, 75, who spent many hours over the years providing area children a safe place to hang out before his death in October. Since Lawrence works as an emergency medical technician for Reid Health, he said he won’t be on site at the club as much as Buckland was. However, Lawrence will oversee the building and its inventory, and scheduling of facility rentals.
In under a month, idea grows into dinner for more than 500
An idea grew into a feast for 515 people in less than four weeks when Western Wayne gathered for its inaugural Community Thanksgiving Dinner on Nov. 14. Doors opened shortly before 6 p.m. People poured into the Lincoln Middle/High School cafeteria. For more than two hours, they kept coming, joining a line along the room’s walls as they moved toward the serving line. Friends chatted amiably with friends and then sat down for a meal.
There have been many outstanding players who have played basketball for Tri-Eastern Conference schools. There have been even more players who were role players that contributed to their team success, but received little press coverage. Union City graduate Sarah Rasso fit in the star player category during her playing days as a Union City Lady Indian. Now Indian Head Coach, Sarah Rasso Black has been inducted into the Union City Athletic Hall of Fame as a player. She is also the winningest coach for girls’ basketball in Union City school history.
Year after year it seems that some basketball programs confidently look forward to the new season, while other programs are apprehensive. Area programs may still face concerns, but it is easy to find positives in all six Wayne County programs.
Wayne County voters returned many familiar faces to government offices, but a few new faces will be in leadership positions for Richmond and Northeastern schools. And, by a 37-vote margin, Richmond Power & Light will opt out of what the utility’s officials called expensive state rate studies. School boards
Richmond pharmacist Peter Zaleski and former Richmond Community Schools administrator Stacy Mopps have been elected to at-large seats on the RCS board. Of the 10 candidates, Zaleski led with 3,250 votes, or 23.15 percent. Mopps had 18.62 percent of the vote.
Bill Powell of Hagerstown thought that only combat veterans should be honored with a free trip to Washington, D.C. by the Indy Honor Flight. As it has done for years, the Honor Flight takes veterans to visit the memorials that a grateful nation has put up to recognize their service. A couple of years after Powell’s 1959 graduation from Hagerstown High School, the Army drafted him. He served two years, 1963-65, in the military police at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. Powell, who came home and worked at Dana Corporation in Hagerstown until it closed in the late 1990s, also served his community with the volunteer fire department, where he was fire chief for more than 20 years.
Wayne County voters new to paper ballots consistently showed support for the process leading up to Election Day. “It was so much easier,” said Christine Guarisco of Cambridge City, who previously worked elections in Michigan. After voting at the Golay Community Center, Agnes Fisher of Milton said she likes the ease of the paper ballots and said older voters will remember them. Bob Smith of Richmond also supported the use of paper ballots after casting one at First Bank Kuhlman Center. He said he appreciated how those votes can be verified, compared to Wayne County’s votes previously cast on computerized equipment.
Public invited to Nov. 15 meeting in Pershing; ISP investigation continues
About 50 people concerned about the future of an East Germantown cemetery gathered a month ago for an emergency meeting to take the first steps toward its reorganization. Now, several new bylaws with added safeguards are being proposed while an Indiana State Police investigation into the cemetery’s previous management is taking place. Despite being pleased with the previous turnout, the cemetery’s new board leaders are hopeful that more people will attend their next meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15, for updates and to make personal connections.