The Press-Dispatch

January 9, 2019

The Press-Dispatch

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Local ...........A1-6 History ........... A5 Sports .........B1-6 Classifi eds . B7-10 Church ........C1-3 Home Life....C4-6 Obituaries....C7-8 School............ C9 Opinion .. C10-11 WHAT'S INSIDE: CONNECT WITH US: NetEdition E-Mail Phone:.................. 812-354-8500 Fax: ...................... 812-354-2014 E-Mail . NEWS TIPS: PIKE PUBLISHING See SENTENCE on page 2 See FUNDING on page 6 See REORG on page 2 See BUST on page 2 Wednesday, January 9, 2019 Volume 149 Number 2 Phone (812) 354-8500 Petersburg, IN 47567-0068 (USPS 604-34012) $ 1 Three sections 28 pages Three inserts See PROJECTS on page 2 Demolition preparation Dave Henson of Architectural Design Concepts, Inc. takes measurements of the decorative trim on the former Double Play building on Main Street, Petersburg. The work is being done in preparation for demolition of two adjoining buildings. The city received a Blight Elimination Grant from the Indiana Office of Community and Ru- ral Affairs (OCR A) in excess of $400,000 to complete the project. Mayor R.C. Klipsch said the grant stipulated that the building fronts must be preserved to receive the funding. Completion of the project is complicated by the fact that the buildings targeted for removal are adjoined on both sides by active businesses. Henson's company is in charge of the demolition and preservation. CORRECTION A headline last week on a sto- ry about domestic violence incor- rectly used the name McClellan as being charged in the incident. Petersburg Police Sgt. Chad Mc- Clellan was not charged in the in- cident. Instead he was the arrest- ing officer. We apologize for the error. By James Capozella Monday's regular Petersburg City council session outlined how several projects, including street paving updates, water and sewer, housing rehabilitation and blight elimination are progress- ing. The downtown building res- toration, Owner Occupied rehab (IHCDA) project and Community Crossings Grants total more than $750,000. Petersburg Mayor R.C. Klipsch asked the Board of Public Works and Safety for a motion to accept the low bid for the seven-home Owner Occupied Rehab projects totaling $150,000. Board member Fran Lewis made the motion and Klipsch made the second. Board member John Melhiser was un- able to attend. Bids had been received from K and K Construction, of Odon, and KD Mendenhall, of Bloomington, with one company bidding on just five of the properties. The grant should cover a little more than $20,000 per unit, with completed work to be based on health and safety issues first. Those seven re- hab houses should commence in the next thirty days. The other large projects are ongoing, including Communi- ty Crossings paving which will be let on January 22. There is al- so an investigation into the loca- tion and condition of the main wa- ter line to the city from the wa- ter plant/well field. Ross Elmore explained that Midwestern Engi- neers were looking into the con- dition and location, and the city workers were also making run- ning repairs both inside and out- side of the water plant. Elmore also reported that man- ual water meter reading was on- going and that replacements were being made. Klipsch said the "plan of attack" is to have forty or fifty meters replaced per month now that there is a new hire in that department. The mayor said it is "in our best interest to replace the meters," but that it was going to be a long process. Right now, the city is reading about 150 meters manu- ally. The goal is to be able to read all meters from a desk at city hall. Elmore said that crews were slowly replacing meters and doing service line repairs at the same time. Klipsch recommended mak- ing a $221 leak adjustment for a customer in a situation where the problem was in the meter pit. He Multiple Petersburg projects progressing By Andy Heuring A Taswell man was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Monday for selling methamphetamine in Pe- tersburg Little League park. Jason McMickel, 41, was con- victed December 2018 of sell- ing two grams of methamphet- amine to a confidential informant at about midnight in the Peters- burg Little League park. Peters- burg Police Cpl. Jared Simmons testified in the court he watched the transaction take place be- tween the confidential informa- tion and Jason Atkins, 41, of Bird- seye, who was in the passenger seat of McMickel's van. He also told the court he had given the confidential informant, Natisha Branum, $200 in sequential seri- al number $20 bills. Simmons told the court when police arrested McMickel and Atkins, McMickel had the five $20 bills in his hand and Austin had five $20 bills in his coat pocket and the money's seri- al numbers matched those of the money they gave to the confiden- tial informant. Austin, who pleaded guilty to the charge earlier, testified after Branum paid him for the meth, he put $100 in his pocket and gave McMickel $100. Austin said Bra- num had asked to purchase two grams of meth and he only had one gram. So he got another gram from McMickel, which is why he gave him half of the money. A jury, after hearing testimony in the two-day trial, came to a ver- dict in less than 20 minutes of de- liberating. On Monday, McMickel's attor- ney, Tim Demotte, argued it was a mitigating factor that the victim in this crime was a confidential in- formant. "It didn't rise to the level of entrapment, but the state did fa- cilitate the crime," said Demotte. He also said McMickel's crim- inal history should not be consid- ered an aggravating factor be- cause it was "isolated and not that relevant." He said McMickel's history consisted of a felony in 1995 and a reckless driving charge in 2008. Demotte said that while he had been found to be guilty of a pa- role violation, the paperwork on it was not forwarded and the con- viction was not properly recorded. Demotte also said McMickel was being charged as a co-con- spirator in the case along with At- kins, who is the one who actually made the drug sale. He asked that McMickel receive not more than the six years Atkins received. Pike County Prosecutor Darrin McDonald said Atkins had agreed to plead guilty, which saved time for the police, prosecutor's office and court, while McMickel de- cided to go to trial. "He (Atkins) took responsibility for his actions almost immediately." McDonald said McMickel decided to take the McMickel sentenced to 10 years for selling meth at Little League park By Andy Heuring Newly elected commissioner Mark Flint was voted president of the County Commissioners dur- ing their first meeting of the year on Monday. They also opened bids for a new ambulance. Flint had previously served as commissioner president in his pre- vious three terms as commission- er. Flint, during that time, bought a new house and moved out of his commissioner district and did not seek re-election until last year, when Commissioner Brian Da- vis decided to not seek re-elec- tion. Davis and Flint had served as commissioners together. "It is an honor to be here again," said Flint. Jeff Nelson was voted vice-pres- ident. The commissioners made nu- merous appointments, including all of the county positions. Commissioners voted 3-0 to ap- prove all the current employees in the commissioner-appointed posi- tions. Those include: Kristi Dis- chinger as commissioner assis- tant; Chris Young, EMS director; Roger Ham, highway superinten- dent; Josh Byrd, roadway superin- tendent; Tom Dooley as veteran's officer; Val Fleig, county attorney; and Ryan Benner, EMA director. Other appointments made by the commissioners included: Charlie Barr being reappointed to the Patoka Township Fire Dis- trict; Clint Shoultz to the Board of Health; Flint to the Weed Board; Commissioner Nelson to the Growth Council and to the Shaw- nee Trace Workforce board. The commissioners also set their meeting schedule for the year. They will meet the first and third Mondays of the month at 8:30 a.m., except once at the end of each quarter, they will meet at 6:30 p.m. All meetings will be in the courthouse auditorium. The meetings at 6:30 p.m. will be Mon- day, March 18, Monday, June 17, Monday September 16 and Mon- day, December 16. The only bidder for the Pike County ambulance was Alex- is Fire Equipment of Alexis, Ill. Their bid for a new ambulance was $209,276. Last year, the coun- ty council, at the budget hearings, approved $70,884.33 as the first of three payments for this ambu- lance. EMS Director Chris Young told the commissioners he had requested bids from two other firms, but Alexis was the only one to submit a bid. He asked for per- mission to review the bid and have it approved that day. Young said two of Pike Coun- ty's ambulances were out of ser- vice with engine problems. He said one of those was being re- paired. The other was probably going to be taken out of service. Young said the two weeks ap- proving it during this meeting would save might not sound like Donations sought to purchase Santa House The Discover Downtown Pe- tersburg organization wants to purchase the Santa House, which was loaned to the city at no charge this year. The house is scheduled to be removed this month. The organization seeks dona- tions to purchase the building to be used each Christmas and at other events. Donors of $100 or more will be permanently recog- nized inside the building. Donations are tax deductible. Checks should be made out to Discover Downtown Petersburg, Inc. and sent to City of Peters- burg, 704 E Main, Petersburg, IN 47567. Deadline for donations is January 11. Flint elected commissioner president By Andy Heuring Two men were arrested in Pike County after federal Drug En- forcement Agency officers called on Pike County police to assist them Friday. Jeremy M. Petty, 39, of 419 Ke- ck Ave., Evansville, and Michael Barnard, 39, of 9 NE Third St., Washington, were arrested at about 9:30 p.m. Friday for dealing in methamphetamine, at least 10 grams, a Level 2 felony; and pos- session of meth, at least 10 grams, a Level 4 felony. Petty was also preliminarily charged with maintaining a com- mon nuisance. Barnard was also preliminarily charged with visiting a common nuisance and false informing. Petersburg Police Cpl. Jared Simmons said he was contacted by DEA officer Brandon Garland and told Petty and Barnard were in a red Ford Taurus, and were believed to have just purchased meth in Henderson, Ky., at Ellis Park earlier in the day while un- der surveillance. According to Cpl. Simmons' re- port, Petty was observed making two "hand-to-hand transactions" in the parking lot of Ellis Park. They then drove around Evans- ville and headed north on I-69, and exited onto Highway 61 going north toward Petersburg, eventu- ally stopping at the Circle K in Pe- tersburg. Cpl. Simmons, in his report, said he observed Petty, with Bar- nard as his passenger, pull from the Circle K onto Lakeview Drive and then turned north onto High- way 57 without using a turn sig- nal. Cpl. Simmons said he pulled the vehicle over in the double lanes near the IPL entrance, and Pike County Deputy Buck Seger and Sgt. Dallas Killian assisted. Cpl. Simmons, in his report, stated he "observed an abnormal amount of movement in the vehi- cle from both Petty and Barnard." While questioning them, Petty gave police his driver's license. However, Barnard said his named was Frank Armes, but when they ran him through central dispatch, they were not able to get a return on the Armes name. During a pat down of Petty, Cpl. Simmons said he shook Pet- ty's sweatpants and a Gas X Extra strength box fell out of his pants, along with a cigarette box. Sim- mons said he saw a small clear plastic baggie with a crystal-like substance tucked between the cellophane wrapper and the cig- arette box. Petty was then detained. Petty, according to Cpl. Simmons, told them the passenger's name was Local police assist DEA in meth bust By Andy Heuring The Pike County Council reor- ganized, established a new fund, approved funding and a public- private partnership with Jeffer- son Township Fire Department to finance a new fire department building and discussed putting new lights along Highway 61 be- tween Petersburg and the I-69 in- terchange all during a two-hour meeting Tuesday morning. Greg Willis was voted in as council president, a position he has held for several years. Den- nis Bishop was voted in as vice- president, eventually. Initially, newly-elected Jon Craig was nom- inated by Travis Troutman. How- ever, Craig said he would rather someone with more experience take the position. Bishop was then nominated and unanimous- ly elected. Councilmen approved an addi- tional appropriation of $150,000 by the Jefferson-Marion Township Fire Department from their bud- get for a down payment. It will be used to reduce the amount of mon- ey the fire department will have to borrow to build a new fire depart- ment. Councilmen had suggested they actually use more of their op- erating balance of about $ 310,000 as a down payment for the loan. Bryan Mounts, with the fire dis- Funding for new Jefferson fire house approved

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