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Commissioners will meet
County commissioners will meet separately with engineers from AECON to discuss possible options for improving the intersection of McLary and Helmsburg roads just west of Nashville.
Commission Chairman Jim Gredy said at a recent commission meeting that the best course would be for each of the three county commissioners to meet independently with Ron May of AECON, a Nashville engineering firm, to go over proposed plans for correcting problems with the intersection.
By meeting individually, commissioners would avoid having to schedule a special called meeting. Anytime a quorum of members of a public body meet and discuss business, it is considered a meeting under Indiana's Open Door law and must be advertised and open to the public.
Commissioners have previously voted to earmark CEDIT funds for improving the intersection, where McLary Road intersects Helmsburg Road on a sharp curve at the bottom of a steep hill.
The intersection has been an issue since the county built Deer Run Park, which has its entrance off McLary Road. The problem is expected to grow when the new Saint Agnes Catholic Church is built, also with an entrance off the small dead-end road.
Last summer, AECON presented the commissioners with three alternative plans for correcting the problem. Possible solutions include moving Helmsburg Road to the southeast to make the curve less acute; or moving the point where the two roads intersect to give a better line of sight. Some officials have also discussed cutting down the large bank north of the sharp curve to improve visibility.
Engineers have also contemplated creating an entirely new access road to the county park. However, any solution that involves crossing the creek, a tributary of Salt Creek, would probably be prohibitively expensive, officials said.
Mr. May told commissioners previously that, even with the planned improvements, the curve will probably still be too sharp to meet state road standards.
Area property owners are concerned that moving the course of the road to the southeast will eat up valuable property on Nashville's residential fringe, and commissioners have expressed concern that the cost of buying land to do that could increase the overall price of the project.
However most of the land is in a flood plain or flood way, as defined by the state Department of Natural Resources. - Jeff Tryon
Hilly Hundred ride to make
Motorists here should be on the lookout for thousands of bicyclists Sunday, October 17 as the 32nd annual Hilly Hundred makes its annual loop through Brown County.
About 5,000 cyclists of all ages from more than 40 states are expected for the annual ride, which will focus primarily on Monroe County on Saturday, October 16 before the Sunday loop of 30 or 50 miles through Nashville, Bean Blossom, Helmsburg and Trevlac.
Riders choosing the 50-mile route on Sunday will travel State Road 45 to Lanam Ridge Road, Helmsburg Road, through Nashville, Greasy Creek Road, Bear Wallow Hill Road, Gatesville Road, through Bean Blossom, State Road 45 through Helmsburg and Trevlac and South Shore Drive.
The circuit will be sprinkled with food stops and live musical entertainment. The route is challenging, but meant to be savored, organizers said, and riders are encouraged to take their time to enjoy beautiful fall foliage.
The event is is sponsored by the Central Indiana Bicycling Association and is one of the largest such events in the country. Participants have a choice of 40- or 50-mile rides on Saturday and 30- or 50-mile rides on Sunday.
The Association describes the event as "a homecoming for bicyclists." Many biking families have made attending the Hilly Hundred an annual tradition.
Season Hilly participants have even given names to the various hills along the route including "The Wall" and "The Bear."
In addition to the ride, the Hilly offers a show on Saturday night and vendor display booths throughout the event. Entries in the 1998 Hilly Hundred Photo Contest will be on display along with previous winners of the contest.
The Central Indiana Bicycling Association is a not-for-profit group devoted to encouraging the use of bicycles as a means of touring, exercising and commuting. Proceeds from the Hilly Hundred support Association activities.
The group also donates a portion the proceeds to the Brown County Sheriff and Nashville Police reserve officers.
Local attorney receives
A local attorney who placed an ad looking for stories of misconduct by the Nashville police said he's already had some responses - including an anonymous warning.
Attorney Tom Barr is representing Jackson Branch Road resident Mark Luttrull in a federal civil rights lawsuit alleging Luttrull's minor daughter, Alexis, was illegally detained by Nashville police in 1998.
Last week, Mr. Barr placed an advertisement in The Democrat asking "...anyone who has witnessed, or has knowledge of, similar incidents of misconduct..." to contact his office.
Mr. Barr said the ad got results, not all the kind he had expected.
He said an unidentified caller warned the Nashville attorney to "be careful" and to mind his own business.
"We have gotten a couple of responses already," Mr. Barr said. "The first response was an unidentified caller that informed one of my staff that I'd 'better be careful who I'm slandering' and I should 'mind my own business'."
"She didn't leave her name, but we have a few suspects," Mr. Barr said.
The case stems from a May, 1998 encounter during which six Nashville police officers acting on a tip confronted a group of six teenagers, including Ms. Luttrull, then 15, under the State Road 46 West bridge over Salt Creek.
The teens were questioned and searched, then asked to go to the nearby Dairy Queen parking lot where they were separated and information was gathered for a "showcap" form including name, nickname, phone number, address, social security number, what they were wearing and who they were with.
In all, the Luttrull suit alleges, the youngsters were detained for about an hour and fifteen minutes without ever being advised of their Miranda rights or being advised that they had the right to refuse consent to a search, and without being charged with a crime.
The suit alleges Ms. Luttrull's fourth amendment right to protection from unreasonable searches was violated and claims the detention also violated the Indiana constitution's similar protections.
The suit points out that, by law, a person is considered to have been arrested "when a police officer interrupts one's freedom and restricts his liberty of movement."
Mr. Barr confirmed that he will argue that such conduct "... is part of an ongoing pattern and practice of behavior either actively promoted by, or acquiesced to, by the Nashville Police Department and the Nashville Town Council."
The suit also names Nashville Town officer Chris Griggs who "... appeared to be in command of the police officers."
Mr. Barr said his office is in the process of following up on calls from people responding to the advertisement.
"We're obviously still in the information gathering stages of the case, as the ad in (the) newspaper suggests," Mr. Barr said. "We have gotten some responses that are kind of interesting that we are going to follow up on."
Mr. Barr said his office has submitted a case management plan for the lawsuit to the United States District Court for the Southern District which would anticipate a mid-2000 trial date. A pretrial conference scheduled for tomorrow should yield approval of the plan and a trial date
The town of Nashville has filed an answer raising several routine defenses to such suits, including an assertion of immunity from tort claims, Mr. Barr said.
Town attorney Ben Hoff will appear in the case, but the defense will primarily be handled by the insurance company's firm, Norris, Choplin and Schroeder of Indianapolis.
The nameless threat has not deterred the Luttrulls or their attorney. Mr. Barr said his clients are ready to go "full speed ahead" with the civil suit. - Jeff Tryon
WIC program changes hands,
Operation of the federally sponsored Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program, which provides supplementary food to pregnant and nursing women and young children, has shifted from the Brown County Health Department to the state Department of Human Services.
New county WIC coordinator Angela Benson said the change took place early this month with no interruption of services at the WIC office in Bean Blossom. She said the agency has plans to apply for permanent sponsorship of the federal program, and its goal remains the same - to make sure developing bodies get good nutrition.
"The government wants to make sure that lower income women have access to foods that provide the nutrients that help with growth and development," Ms. Benson said. "They have a special need because they're growing and developing.
"Basically, we provide a supplemental food package which includes milk, cheese, low-sugar, vitamin-fortified cereals, 100 percent juice products, peanut butter and dry beans.
"Another aspect of the WIC program is that we provide nutrition education to our participants," she said. "Not only do we provide a food package, but hopefully, we help them improve their nutrition knowledge and make better choices for their families in the long term. They can't be on WIC forever, so we try to help them understand how to feed their children for a lifetime."
Ms. Benson said WIC staffers also work with the community to insure that all participants have access to other health care services.
"We work with organizations like Hoosier Healthwise and Healthy Families to make sure they can get checkups, immunizations and things like that," she said.
To receive WIC benefits, participants must be Indiana residents and be income eligible. The income guidelines set by the agriculture department are much higher than for some other public assistance programs, Ms. Benson said, which allows working class families to participate in the program.
The program requires participants to have incomes below 185 percent of the poverty level, whereas most run about 150 percent, she said.
They must also have to have a medical and nutritional risk factor, she said.
"We check heights and weights, we look at growth and screen for iron levels in the blood and review their diet and health history," Ms. Benson said. "When they come in here, based on risk factors and based on whether it's a woman, a child or an infant, there are different food packages. We issue a voucher that looks like a check. Listed on there are the types and amounts of foods they can get Usually, you're talking about a $40 or $50 food package per month. They take the voucher to the store, make their selections, and then the voucher is basically deposited in the bank like a check and the store gets reimbursed."
There are five stores in the county which will accept the vouchers, Ms. Benson said.
"For infants, we really promote breast feeding," she said. "We feel this is the optimal way to feed your baby. We have a breast feeding peer counselor who helps new mothers if they have problems. We understand that there are some women who choose not to breast feed, so we also provide a supplemental food package of formula and infant cereal."
Women are often referred to the program by other agencies, and the program also does some outreach work into the community.
"Our best publicity is word of mouth by our participants," she said. "But we also do some outreach through daycare, like Headstart, which is another Human Services agency here."
The program's budget will cover about 325 participants, and there are still some slots open for those needing help, she said.
The WIC office has new office hours to help accommodate working families and people who work outside the county.
Starting in November, the WIC office will be open from 9:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. on Thursdays every week. It is also open Monday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Ms. Benson said if the caseload increases, the clinic could add another day.
The WIC office is located on State Road 135 North in Bean Blossom, in the log cabin across from McDonald's IGA.
"I think WIC is a great program, a great opportunity for those who need it," Ms. Benson said. "We're looking forward to working with the people of Brown County. That's our focus. We're here for the participants. We understand how hard it is sometimes to make ends meet. That's what WIC is here to do, to help during those times when it's difficult to put food on the table.
Hearing on phone service set
The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission has scheduled a public field hearing in Morgantown this week to look into flat rate "short long distance" telephone service.
Area residents who subscribed to the service through Direct Connect, or other such small companies are invited to appear Thursday, October 14, at 6:30 p.m. in the Lion's Club building at 269 Washington Street.
According to the commission's legal notice, the hearing will look into "the provision of alternative competitive extended area services by telecommunications providers within the state."
"Any and all matters regarding telecommunications carriers providing inter-exchange telecommunications or other toll or toll-like services to customers for a fee, by the use of an incumbent local exchange company's toll-free extended area service," will be the subjects of the hearing, according to the commission.
Direct Connect Inc., an Indianapolis company which said it had "quite a number" of area residents as subscribers, said in an early-October letter that telephone giant Ameritech unilaterally terminated service to their company in April, 1998.
The utility regulating commission has been looking into the matter ever since, and the hearing is an investigation of the commission's own motion.
The company said its service made calls more equal in cost from one area to another, enabled calls to be made to Indianapolis at reasonable rates, provided services that Ameritech and other big companies complained were money-losers and expanded area services.
Other hearings on inter-exchange services are scheduled for South Bend and Jeffersonville at future dates.
For more information, don't call Direct Connect; the company said "Ameritech has not yet reconnected our lines." Instead try Eleanore Quigley at (317) 241-6470 or contact the office of the executive secretary of the IURC at (317) 232-2716.
Unemployment state's third lowest
Brown County's estimated unemployment rate crept up a tenth of a percent in August, but was still low enough to give the county the third lowest rate in the state.
The non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for August was 1.3 percent, up slightly from a record-tying low of 1.2 percent in July, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.
That rate compares with a state estimate of 2.5 percent, lower than that of any surrounding state, and lower than any of the counties surrounding Brown, according to department statistics released last Friday.
Monroe County had a jobless rate of 2.1 percent, up from 1.9 percent; Morgan County showed 1.7 percent, up from 1.6 percent in July; Johnson County exhibited a rate of 1.6 percent, up from 1.5 percent; Bartholomew County had an unemployment rate of 1.6 percent, up from 1.5 percent, and Jackson County came in at 2.1 percent, the same as July.
Only Boone and Hamilton counties, with rates of 1.2 and 1.1 percent respectively, were lower than Brown County in the August estimate.
Because of irregular fluctuations in month to month changes, readers should use caution when viewing the estimates as indicators of economic change, according to the department.
Fire Prevention festival draws
Intermittent showers didn't dampen spirits at last week's third annual Fire Prevention Festival held Friday night at the Brown County Volunteer Fire Department station in Nashville. Visitors to the festival had the chance to get a close-up look at most of the county's fire engines, donate blood, and even learn to put out a fire with a fire extinguisher at the event. There were also several informational booths sponsored by various agencies, and the opportunity to get flu-shots from the Brown County Health Department in preparation for the coming winter flu season. The Brown County Emergency Medical Technicians Association and Columbus Regional Hospital ambulance service also offered free blood pressure and heart rate checks.
The fire department offered residents the chance to order green reflective address signs which make it easier for emergency personnel to find homes in an emergency.
The Brown County Emergency Management Agency offered information on disaster preparedness and the Brown County Solid Waste District presented material on open burning laws. --Jeff Tryon
Cross country team faces
The varsity boys' ridgerunners added another feather to their already successful cap last week by easily claiming their first-ever Western Indiana Conference meet. As a result of their skills, all Brown County's runners were honored as 'all-conference' athletes. The Eagles of coach Robert Abraham are rated 10th in the state in the opinion of the sport's coaches. The club had been ranked as high as eighth recently.
Brown County is coming off a 61-7 team record. They remain at a spotless 9-0 in dual meets.
Brown County dominated the conference run from the outset. Danny Fisher led the Eagles with a second place finish. Aravon McCalla and Jeremy Minarik along with freshman Sean Bowman rounded out the race's top five.
The Eagles have a golden opportunity next week to capture an elusive sectional title. Coach Abraham said he feels that the team to beat is defending champion Bloomington North. The Cougars are ranked sixth statewide. The Eagles will have their opportunity Saturday, October 16, at 9:15 a.m. Spectators won't be charged an admission fee for the event.
The Bloomington sectional is one of the few in Indiana that can boast hosting three ranked teams. The other tough team will be Bloomington South, who is ranked behind the Brown County at 18th. Other teams in the sectional are: Bloomfield, Edgewood, Linton-Stockton, Martinsville, Owen Valley, Shakamak and White River Valley.
The top 15 individual finishers as well as the top five qualifying teams will move on to regional competition. Regionals are also hosted by Bloomington North.
"This will be a good test to see if we have the ability to run with a team such as North," coach Abraham said. "I only hope we are up for the test."
Last week, Brown County had little trouble disposing of Jennings County and Southwestern in a dual meet on the road.
Junior Jeremy Minarik grabbed first place. He was followed closely by the rest of his teammates. Only Robert Duncan of Jennings County was able to break into the Eagle-dominated top 10.
October 1 until 31: Brown County Art Guild Gallery, solo exhibit by a featured artist.
October 15: Open square and round dancing at the Brown County Historical Society, 8 to 10:30 p.m.
October 15: Thirty-second annual Hilly Hundred weekend bicycle tour, through Brown County and back to Bloomington.
October 16: Fall Fun Fair sponsored by Van Buren Elementary. 2 p.m. - 6 p.m. Games, prizes, snacks and more.
October 16 and 17: Annual fundraising fish fry, conducted by the Brown County Volunteer Fire Department on the courthouse lawn in Nashville.
October 22 and 23: Haunted Trail, sponsored by the Van Buren Athletic Association and Brown County Parks and Recreation. 6 to 10 p.m. at Deer Run Park. Cost: $3 per person.
October 23 and 24: Annual fundraising fish fry, conducted by the Brown County Volunteer Fire Department on the courthouse lawn in Nashville.
October 29 and 30: Third annual Scarecrow-Making and Pumpkin-Carving Contest, entries submitted and displayed at Michael's Dried Flowers in Nashville; winners announced Halloween day.
October 30 and 31: Annual fundraising fish fry, conducted by the Brown County Volunteer Fire Department on the courthouse lawn in Nashville.
October 31: Halloween.
ALSO IN OCTOBER
Fridays through Sundays (through October 23): Brown County Playhouse 51st anniversary season, "Lost in Yonkers", 8 p.m. curtain.
Friday and Saturday evenings (weather permitting): Live music on the patio at the Harvest Moon Pizzeria.
Fridays (8 p.m.) and Saturdays (5 and 8:30 p.m.): "Shake, Rattle & Roll" revue at the Nashville Follies Musical Theatre.
Corn Crib Lounge at the Brown County Inn: live music Thursdays, 8 to 11 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays 9 p..m. until 1 a.m. and karaoke Sundays 8 to 11 p.m.
The Saloon at The Seasons Lodge: live music Fridays and Saturdays, 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Saturdays: The Daily Grind Coffee House, live music.
Sit with 'The General'
When Indiana University opens basketball play November 7, you can sit on the bench with the Hoosiers and Coach Bob Knight - and help build the new Brown County Public Library, too.
Each game is to be telecast on ESPN-Plus, but you have the chance to be on the bench and up close to the action. All you need to do is donate $10 to the library building campaign and agree to follow the coach's rules on the bench. Here's the schedule:
- Athletes in Action, 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 7.
- Marathon Oil, 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 12.
A donation of $10 can win you two bench seats at either game. Donations may be made in downtown Nashville at the Civitas Bank, That Sandwich Place and Lexington House, as well as at the library's main desk.
Mailed donations also are being accepted. Be sure to specify which game
you want to attend. Donors may send personal checks and a stamped, self-addressed envelope to Brown County Public Library, PO Box 8, Nashville, Indiana 47448.
Donations sent by mail must arrive before winners of each pair of tickets are selected on Monday, Nov. 1.
Mike Goodin of the Civitas Bank arranged the ticket contributions with Coach Knight, who is legendary as a supporter of reading programs and the IU Library. Since 1976, Knight's support for the IU Library has grown into an endowment fund of $2 million. His IU staff said they are not aware of any previous help from Knight to other community libraries. IU Library staff said the income from the Bob Knight Library Endowment Fund continues to support programs and attract other donors. Knight also helped in 1987 to complete a national "challenge grant" that established another endowment for $1.4 million to build and preserve the IU Library's humanities collections.
Clark pleads not guilty, rejects bargain
Hulda Clark has covered a lot of ground - both geographically and in the criminal justice system - during the last week.
Ms. Clark, well known in the alternative medicine arena, was charged in Brown County in 1993 with practicing medicine without a license.
Six years later, she was brought from California back to Brown County to have her day in court.
After 30-plus hours in the back of a police cruiser, Ms. Clark arrived in Brown County during the early morning hours of Wednesday, October 6.
A few hours later, she and her attorney, Indianapolis-based Steve Dillon, were in court for an initial hearing.
The entire hearing lasted approximately 15 minutes.
During that time, Ms. Clark entered a plea of not guilty to the charges and her bail bond was set at $10,000, a reduction from an initial amount of $15,000.
By 9:30 a.m. Ms. Clark had posted bond and was released from jail.
She was offered a plea bargain, but reportedly declined it early this week.
Both sides, Prosecutor Jim Oliver and Ms. Clark, declined comments specific to the case or the plea bargain.
If a plea bargain is not reached, a jury trial is slated to begin February 2.
Dr. Clark, who holds a Ph.D. but is not a medical doctor, has been charged with unlawful practice of medicine, a Class C felony.
Formal charges were filed in 1993 by then-prosecutor Ben Hoff after an investigation involving the Indiana Attorney General's office and the Indiana Department of Health.
According to an affidavit filed in the case, Deputy Attorney General Amy Huffman, who is now married to prosecutor Jim Oliver, and Karl Milhon visited Ms. Clark's home in May 1993. They claimed Mr. Milhon was a bisexual male who had recently learned that a former partner had tested positive for the HIV virus.
Ms. Clark diagnosed Mr. Milhon as testing positive for the virus and sent him for lab work, according to the document.
Later that same day, Ms. Huffman and Mr. Milhon returned to her home and Ms. Clark learned their true identities.
Within a few days, Ms. Clark left Brown County. Formal charges were not filed until August.
Through three books Ms. Clark has published, "The Cure for all Cancer", "The Cure for HIV/Aids" and "The Cure for all Diseases," she has gained international attention.
Ms. Clark's fourth book,"The Cure for all Advanced Cancers," is scheduled to be released later this week.
Ms. Clark claims cancer and AIDS are caused by specific parasites found in the human body. She says she can cure these diseases through a combination of herbs and the use of an electronic "Zapper."
During the past week The Democrat has received more than 200 letters, and numerous phone calls supporting Ms. Clark's efforts. There have also been four letters supporting her prosecution. For a sampling of those letters, see page 5. -Mary Wayt
For many other local news stories, see this week's issue of the Brown County Democrat.
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