The Press-Dispatch

November 6, 2019

The Press-Dispatch

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Local �������A1-8 Sports �����B1-2 Gibson ����B6-7 Classifieds B8-10 Church ����C1-3 Obituaries ���C7 School ����C8-9 Opinion C10-11 History �����C12 WHAT'S INSIDE: CONNECT WITH US: NetEdition ��� pressdispatch�net/edition Facebook ���� facebook�com/pressdispatch E-Mail ��������� news@pressdispatch�net Phone: �������812-354-8500 Fax: ������������812-354-2014 E-Mail � editor@pressdispatch�net NEWS TIPS: PIKE PUBLISHING Wednesday, November 6, 2019 Volume 149 Number 46 Phone 812-354-8500 Petersburg, IN 47567-0068 (USPS 604-34012) $ 1 Three sections 30 pages Five inserts See BLACKBURN on page 2 See THC VAPING on page 8 See COUNCIL on page 2 See ELECTION on page 8 Scott Jenkins (D) Petersburg City Council #3 Jenkins wins only contested race By Andy Heuring Pike County Commissioners think they have dodged an expensive bullet. Blackburn Road had a 120 -foot section drop about six feet over the weekend. The road is the main route for coal trucks to reach the IPL Petersburg power plant. On a typical day, more than 300 coal trucks use it to deliver to IPL. Commissioner Jeff Nelson said Todd Meadors, Head of Security, started get- ting calls about the road on Friday at 5:30 p.m. from trucking companies. Nelson said he went to check on it and he couldn't really tell anything was happening Friday evening. "I didn't see any cracks on Fri- day, but I didn't get out of the truck. But by Saturday morning, it was obvious some- thing was going on. And by Sunday, it had dropped about six feet," said Nelson. Large cracks opened up on both ends of the road where the sagging begins. Sun- day, the road was closed to heavy traffic. Commissioner president Mark Flint, Highway Dept. Superintendent Roger Ham and Assistant Superintendent Josh Byrd met with an engineer from RQAW on site Monday morning prior to their 8:30 a.m. commissioners' meeting. "It is kind of surreal," said Commission- er president Mark Flint during their meet- ing. Flint said RQAW engineering firm had suggested they do core drillings to deter- mine what was causing the road to sink. They were all relatively sure it was subsid- ence from an underground mine. But they didn't know how deep the tunnels or shaft might have been that was collapsing. "My main concern is that from Friday to Mon- day, it has settled about three or four feet. Right now, we don't know if it is a five-foot deep shaft or a 20 -foot deep," said Ham. Flint said they had rerouted the coal trucks to use IPL's main entrance due to fear the road might settle more or even collapse. The core drillings were estimated to cost between $15,000 and $25,000. An engineer suggested pumping fill in the breach be- low ground. "I'm hoping we have a road with a cou- ple of dips in it and we can go on about our lives," said Commissioner Nelson. Eventually, the county was able to con- tact a mining subsidence expert for the Illi- nois Basin, which Pike County is located in. Flint said they were told it was probably an underground room ceiling that had fall- en and it would fill itself in. "He (subsidence expert) said it is very common in this area and for us to not waste time and money to do core drillings. He said mine shafts around here are about five feet deep and that is how it happens," said Nelson. Flint said they were also told it is possi- ble the road might settle another foot or Blackburn Road section sinks six feet over weekend Petersburg council discusses Walnut Hill Cemetery By James Capozella Petersburg City Councilmen listened to several project reports on the evening be- fore election day and also heard from May- or R.C. Klipsch about the future operation of Walnut Hill Cemetery. The not-for-prof- it Walnut Hill Cemetery corporation lacks membership and positive cash flow. It costs about $ 35,000 per annum to maintain the grounds and plots, openings and donations make it a break-even proposition. The cemetery issue has been on the ta- ble for several months, but no action has been taken. Klipsch said he thinks that a non-profit could do a good job of collecting donations. A city government which oper- ates on taxes would not see the same com- munity response. Klipsch said, "The last thing we need is another project." The mayor was referring to 17 projects he listed that he and council members Bertie Jenkins, John Melhiser, Gary Leavitt, Brian VanMeter and Coun- cil president Fran Lewis are handling. They include paving, restoring two Main Street buildings, code compliance concerning un- safe buildings, development of vacant city- owned lots and other infrastructure. Wa- ter and sewer renovations were the largest, most costly and the most important. Water tower lights and the location for a new tower along Interstate 69 were also a part of the discussion in the Monday evening council meeting. Klipsch said that one improved lot owned by the city is on the verge of becom- ing a six-unit housing complex. In other action, the council suspended the vote and adopted an additional appro- priation for paving. Klipsch said the need for the appropriation was caused when the budget had to be set prior to knowing what Community Crossings grant work might be approved for the city. Klipsch noted that One student arrested, another facing juvenile charge By Andy Heuring A Pike County teen was sent to the hos- pital complaining of heart attack-like symp- toms on Monday after smoking THC oil from a vape pewn. Another teen was ar- rested on drug related charges. Pike Cen- tral Resource Officer Jason McKinney said a juvenile student went to the high school nurse's office Monday complaining of chest pains and trouble breathing. "He said he felt like he was having a heart attack" said McKinney. McKinney said they called 911 for an am- bulance and while the school nurse was ex- amining the student, she noticed signs of him being under the influence of some- thing. The student was hospitalized for obser- vation. McKinney, in a probable cause affidavit, said he was called to the nurse's office af- ter the student admitted he had used a vape pen containing THC oil. The student said the vape pen "was being passed around by PC student hospitalized after THC vaping Veterans Day programs set for November 11 Veterans Day programs will again be presented by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3587 at Pe- tersburg and Winslow Elemen- tary Schools, the Otwell Veter- ans Memorial and Golden Liv- ing Center on Monday, Novem- ber 11. The Petersburg Elementary School program will begin at 9:30 a.m., followed by Winslow Elementary at 10 :30 a.m. The veterans will have a presenta- tion at the Otwell Veterans Me- morial at 11:15 a.m., followed by lunch at the Otwell United Meth- odist Church. At 1:15 p.m., the Post will be part of a program honoring veterans at the Gold- en Living Center. INDIVIDUAL HONORS A-5 SALUTE TO ALL VETS B-3 HEROES hopping Start Your Christmas List on B-4 By Andy Heuring Democrat Scott Jenkins won the District 3 Petersburg City Council seat by a razor thin eight-vote margin Tuesday. Jen- kins defeated Republican Tricia Claridge 154 to 146 votes in low voter turnout, as only 19.2 per- cent of the 1586 registered vot- ers in Petersburg cast a ballot. Jenkins and Claridge both won two of the four precincts in Petersburg. Claridge won precinct 1 by eight votes, 40 to 32. She won precinct 2 with an 11-vote margin, 28 -17. Jen- kins nearly made up that mar- gin in precinct 3, which is his and Claridge's home precinct. His 11-vote margin in precinct 4 was 37 to 26 and enough for the win. "It was a close one," said Jen- kins of his eight vote margin. He is the son of six term city coun- cilman Bertis Jenkins, who de- cided not to seek re-election this year. Jenkins said he didn't really know what made the difference. "I know we both worked hard. It was the people who turned out to vote." He said he worked hard on absentee ballots because he expected the turnout to be low, since there was only one op- posed race. "I would like to congratulate her on a clean race. She is a pret- ty awesome person. I couldn't ask for someone better to run against," said Jenkins. He add- ed, "I'm ready to get to work." "We both got out there and worked hard and did the best we could," said Claridge of the race. Incumbents Mayor R. C. Klipsch (R), Clerk-Treasurer Tammy Selby (D), District 1 Councilman Gary Leavitt (R), District 2 Councilman John Mel- hiser (R), District 4 Councilman Brian VanMeter (D) were all re- elected and unopposed. Demo- crat Jody Hoover was also un- opposed for the At-large council district seat. Hoover was origi- nally opposed by Brayden Hen- son. But Henson, during the summer, accepted a job in Posey County and moved out of Peters- burg to be closer to his work, which forced him to withdraw from the race. Hoover replaces Democrat Fran Lewis who decided not to run after serving six terms. Mayor Klipsch said he thinks the lack of opponents for him- self and other councilmen were an indication of people being pleased with progress they are making. "I would hope so. I don't know A 120-foot long section of Blackburn Road sank about six feet over the weekend. Officials said truck drivers started noticing it Friday eve- ning and then by Saturday the pavement had cracked open and it had dropped several feet. By Monday morning it had dropped about six feet. Pike County Commissioners were told by a mine subsidence expert an underground mine ceiling had probably collapsed.

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