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.
Retter: Small towns still will be able to communicate with sheriff’s office
Wayne County Sheriff Randy Retter hopes to reduce what he believes is confusion about new communication technology coming to the county. Saying that “nothing is really changing from the way it is now” regarding radio communication between county and smaller town first responders, Retter was to meet with Centerville town council this week to address any concerns. Council’s regular monthly meeting occurred after press time for this edition. County officials approved a purchase of new radios for the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office earlier this year at a cost of close to $500,000. Retter told Western Wayne News that the radios currently used by Wayne County Sheriff’s Office are about 15 years old and they are no longer supported by their manufacturer.
Indiana offers 8 types of savings, but paperwork is required
As landowners get into the habit of paying property taxes twice a year, they might not pause to re-evaluate whether they are newly eligible for any deductions. For example, they might qualify because they’ve joined the 65 and older club, or maybe they’ve added geothermal heat pumps or solar power to their home. Indiana offers eight types of property tax deductions, and they aren’t automatically applied to someone’s records unless a form has been filed. Hoosiers must file for the deduction with their county auditor’s office before the end of the calendar year for tax bills to be paid in 2023. The good news is that once they’ve filed and been approved for each deduction, taxpayers do not need to reapply annually.
As a part of its Media Literacy Week programming, Indiana University East will host a panel discussion on Thursday, Oct. 27 at 2 p.m. in the library at Hayes Hall in Richmond. Dr. Andrea Quenette, Dr. E. Scott Lee and KT Lowe will discuss battling misinformation online, how information and misinformation affect elections, and how the media portrays international conflict. The event is free and open to the public, and can also be attended online. Lowe, who studies and presents on fake news and combating misinformation, developed a guide to those topics that is now used by librarians and instructors around the world.
Centerville-Abington Community Schools’ teachers will receive a minimum salary increase of $6,303 through their newly approved 2022-2023 district contract. Superintendent Mike McCoy said that negotiations aren’t always smooth sailing, but he appreciates the opportunity to have professional conversations with Centerville Education Association leaders to find solutions. McCoy also said he’s pleased the district could provide a pay increase for teachers that helps show appreciation for their hard work and gets CACS “to where we need to be legally.” Indiana lawmakers implemented salary schedule requirements that have taken effect during this school year. For example, full-time teachers must make a minimum of $40,000 per year.
Wayne County is moving away from solely locking up those battling addiction to viewing them as people who can be helped when they’re open to assistance. Five area leaders in law enforcement, government, health care, education and harm reduction participated in a panel discussion Oct. 19 at Holiday Inn in Richmond as part of Meridian Community Health’s speaker series. Participants were Charmin Gabbard, executive director of Connection Café, harm reduction advocate and subject expert; Wayne County Sheriff Randy Retter; Richmond Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Curtis Wright; Lisa Suttle, regional vice president of clinical services for Meridian Health Services; and Dr. Brad Barrett, who is currently running for re-election as District 56’s state representative. Retter said he’s proud that local law enforcement is moving beyond “warehousing” residents and instead helps them find resources to address their addiction and/or mental health concerns, because inmates often deal with one or both.
National search culminates with selection of Dena Little
A Virginia librarian who previously worked in Ohio will become director at Morrisson-Reeves Library in early December. Dena Little will become the Richmond library’s sixth director since its founding in 1864, its board of trustees announced on Monday. “Dena’s depth and breadth of library experience, strong communication skills, knowledge of and approach to diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA), approachability, and professionalism are among her many strengths,” board president Jennifer Lewis said in a news release. Little is coming to Wayne County from Arlington Public Library in Virginia, where she served in leadership roles for the past five years, most recently as assistant division chief. She also has experience in Ohio public library systems.
Little’s strengths include project management, staff development, strategic and outcomes planning and analytical evaluation, MRL officials said.
Independent living proposal coming to Plan Commission Oct. 26
A real estate investment company’s plan to build a senior living complex just outside of city limits on Richmond’s southeast side will come before the city’s Advisory Plan Commission Wednesday, Oct. 26. Powers Properties Investments LLC of Indianapolis is proposing a complex of two-bedroom multi-family dwellings surrounding a recreation area. It fronts on the west side of Garwood Road about halfway between Hodgin and Wernle roads.
Police chief sounds off about staff shortage, radio changes
On the same evening that some residents spoke in favor of a fire station expansion, the town’s police chief noted a couple “troubling” developments for his team of first responders. CPD Chief Ed Buchholz is concerned the current staffing shortage could grow worse, and that larger local agencies’ plans to install a new radio system could reduce his department’s communication with them. Station renovation
Nine people, many of whom are affiliated with Centerville Fire/Rescue, spoke in favor of the department’s proposal to pursue a state grant to renovate and expand Fire Station No. 1 on South Morton Avenue. No one spoke in opposition.
New program seeks to reduce temperatures, reduce energy use
A new group of volunteers is creating shade by planting trees in the hottest areas of Richmond. The City of Richmond Tree Tenders Volunteer program planted trees in the Baxter Neighborhood on the city’s west side on Saturday, Oct. 8. They plan more tree plantings in North Richmond on Saturday, Oct. 22, and in the West Depot District on Nov.
Saturday was a dream come true for Lincoln and Northeastern volleyball teams.
No players on either roster were old enough to enroll in kindergarten the last time either school hoisted a volleyball Sectional trophy. At Union (Modoc) High School, Lincoln (who last won a Sectional in 2006) had to defeat two teams ranked in the top 30 in the final state rankings. The laser-focused Lady Eagles made it look easy, sweeping both opponents. At Knightstown, Northeastern (who last won a Sectional in 2009) found themselves trailing 18-8 in the third set, with the match tied at one set each, against perennial power Hagerstown. The Lady Tigers defeated the Knights for the Wayne County Championship two weeks ago.