Howard Malcomb, from left, Paul Belding and Dave Woodall of the Jennings County Council discuss the jail tax Tuesday.—Staff Photo by Bryce Mayer
At its last meeting before four new recently-elected members are seated, the Jennings County Council Tuesday revisited the controversial jail tax that it adopted in October. It's an issue that definitely will be visited again after the new council is seated next month.
After a lengthy discussion, the current council's most vocal critic of the special-use property tax, Howard Malcomb (R-at large), called for a vote on rescinding it. The council then voted 4-2 against Malcomb's proposal.
Malcomb was joined by Paul Belding (R-at large), while the four other councilors present - Tony Eder (D-District 4), Mike Kelley (R-District 1), Larry Maschino (D-District 3) and Dave Woodall (R-at large) - dissented. Josh Yeager (R-District 2) was not in attendance.
"We're moving toward starting a work-release program with Jackson County, there is talk of getting a drug rehab program and the state is looking at taking back low-level felons," Malcomb said. "With all of those, the jail's overcrowding won't be near what it is now. I don't think we should be borrowing $28 million for a new jail. It's not fair to charge taxpayers 65 cents (the rate is .65 percent of gross income) with this tax."
Woodall countered that even if the county commissioners decide not to build a new jail, funding would be needed to upgrade and remodel the current county jail.
When Dalton Grills was called to the JCHS guidance office Monday morning, he had an inkling of why a counselor wanted to see him. But he wasn't sure until he walked into the office to be greeted by a large crowd with his dad front and center holding a large sign announcing the best possible news: "Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Recipient Finalist: Dalton Grills."
The Affordable Christmas Store received an unexpected and welcome boost from Scipio Elementary School students. In an effort led by the school's Student Council, the youngsters collected over $2,000 in toys for the special store.
A North Vernon woman died in a three-vehicle traffic accident Monday morning near Nebraska, just west of the Ripley County.
By Christmas day, there should be a safe haven for abandoned babies here in the City of North Vernon.
The Jennings County High School wrestlers made the trip to Columbus North ready to battle against a young, tough Bulldog team. The Panthers proved up to the test, prevailing in convincing 60-24 fashion.
The Jennings County High School pep band lives up to its name Saturday at Hurley Gymnasium where the Panther varsity boys basketball team scored its first victory of the season. A story and more photos are on page 1B and 3B.-Photo by Jamie Tomlinson