Rushville Republican

March 27, 2013

Corrections Board one step closer

Frank Denzler
Rushville Republican

RUSHVILLE — During a recent earthquake drill held at the Rush County Courthouse it was realized that some offices in the structure did not meet compliancy measures regarding fire extinguishers.

As a result, during Monday’s meeting of the Rush County Commissioners, Rush County EMA Director Chuck Kemker asked permission to purchase four extinguishers. During his brief request presentation, Kemker provided quotes from three different sources for making the purchase.

Following a brief discussion regarding the purchase of re-conditioned extinguishers or new ones, the county leaders approved the purchase.

In an unrelated matter, Rush Circuit Court Judge David Northam and county public defender Brian Barrett said the county is another step closer to completing state requirements for a County Corrections Board with the announcement that they had selected a director.

According to Judge Northam, the hiring committee received 10 applications and made the recommendation to hire former county resident Ashley Stevens for the position.

Northam and Barrett cited that Stevens’ familiarity with the criminal justice process and a willingness to relocate back to Rushville were instrumental in her selection.

Monetary compensation for the position will be realized from a Department of Correction Grant.

Initially, to reduce over-crowding issues at the Rush County Jail, home detention monitoring for qualified inmates will be the focus of the new county board.

According to Northam, once the hire becomes a reality it is anticipated that Stevens will essentially set up and implement policies that will define the program as well as guidelines for the inmates who will qualify for the program and how best to monitor their home detention.

“We have set May 1 as a target date to begin the program,” Northam said.

The Raleigh Fire Department donated 10 16 channel radios to the county. Verlin Custer made the offer to the county leaders by saying the Raleigh Fire Department recently changed to 800 MHz radios. Although in need of being reprogrammed, the radios would be ideal for either county EMA use or the county’s CERT team in the event of an emergency.

In a final matter, Rush County Sheriff Jeff Sherwood said the inmate count at the Rush County Jail remains over 40 with 42 individuals currently being housed. The total includes seven females, four individuals who are being held without a bond being set and 36 individuals who are facing felony charges.

Contact: Frank Denzler at 765.932.2222 x106