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Bridge 82 Will Open Jan. 22, Weather Permitting
Updated January 13, 2016 7:36 AM | Filed under: Politics
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(BEDFORD) - The Lawrence County Commissioners first action Tuesday morning for 2016 was to elect a president.

Bill Spreen will fill that position with Dave Flinn serving as vice president.

Lawrence County Highway Superintendent David Holmes told the commissioners that Bridge 82, on Judah Logan Road over Salt Creek, should be open Friday, January 22.

"That is if the weather cooperates," he added. "The deck on the bridge was poured Friday and it has to cure for 14 days. It looks pretty good from what I saw... it's snow covered right now. We will put up the guard rails on Monday and should have it open by next Friday."

Crews have been out in force the last three days clearing county roadways.

"We were out all day Sunday and yesterday (Monday). They were in pretty good shape until about two hours ago. Crews are out now," he added.

In other business:

Sheriff Mike Branham reported there were 116 inmates at the county jail Tuesday morning, of those 26 were females and 4 were Department of Correction holds.

Sheriff Branham presented the commissioners with a contract with Spillman Technologies, Inc. to provide the Sheriff's Department with integrated computer aided dispatch system (CAD) software.

The program is needed if the state demands the county have a central dispatch center.

"It is an 18 month process to get the system up and running," Sheriff Branham added.

The system will allow officers to have in-car computers to access information quickly without having to go through a dispatcher.

"Today is a perfect example," Sheriff Branham added. "With all the accidents and slide offs officers could run driver's license and plate information in their vehicles instead of having to go through dispatch, freeing them to handle incoming calls."

Sheriff Branham says the system has other features; as soon as officers receive a call the system will provide a call history of locations officers responded to, provides detailed directions and maps, checks for warrants and officers safety issues and other valuable information.

The commissioners and county attorney Dave Smith will take two weeks to review the contract and make their decision to move forward with the new system.

Details on what the system were not released during the meeting, but Sheriff Branham says that 70 percent of the funds to pay for the system will be provided through the county's 911 fund the other 30 percent will be paid for by the sheriff's department.


Lawrence County Coroner Rob Herr received permission to accept bids on expanding the coroner's office. The expansion will allow the county to do their own Histopathology testing.

Histopathology (or histology) involves the examination of sampled whole tissues under the microscope. Three main types of specimen are received by the pathology laboratory.

Herr says his office has received the equipment needed to do the testing from IU Health Hospital. The hospital was doing the testing for the coroner's office but is phasing out the testing. Which means the coroner's office would have to send the samples to another agency.

"There is a firm in Texas we could use, but that would add two to four weeks for us to complete a death certificate," Herr added.

Herr told the commissioners that creating the lab would allow the county to offer the testing to other coroner's office and the room could also be used for a training facility which would provide income to pay for the addition.

The commissioners will wait to receive the bids before making a decision on the expansion project.

The commissioners also approved an ordinance for the 2016 forensic fee schedule for the coroner's office


Bedford Business and Community Development Director Marla Jones presented the commissioners with information about the Bicentennial efforts.

The state will mark its 200th birthday on December 11, 2016; however Lawrence County is preparing for the event now by building on four key pillars, nature preservation, youth and education, community involvement and historical celebrations.

Some events include:

Nature Conservation Pillar

  • Lawrence County Legacy Tree Project
  • Parkview Outdoor Classroom/Trail Project
  • Spring Mill State Park Legacy Project

Youth And Education Pillar

  • 4th Graders and Gus Grissom
  • Lawrence County's Hoosier Bicentennial Calendar
  • Bicentennial Band Project

Community Engagement Pillar

  • Indiana Bicentennial Legacy Quilt
  • Lawrence County Barn Quilt Trail
  • Lawrence County Indiana Bicentennial Art Exhibit
  • Indiana Celebration 2016
  • Bicentennial Scavenger Hunt

History And Celebration Pillar

  • Indiana Limestone Home Tour
  • Bedford's Bicentennial Bus
  • Indiana Limestone Heritage Trail
  • Lawrence County's African American Heritage
  • Lawrence County Interactive History Display
  • Lawrence County Timeline
  • Ring Timeline
  • Year-Long Commemoration Of Our Hoosier Heritage
  • Hoosier Java Bicentennial Blend

Other recent added projects include:

  • Lawrence County Historyfest
  • Native American Month Education Month At North Lawrence Schools
  • Commemorative Bicentennial Badges For Bedford Police Officers

For more information about events or to volunteer contact Marla Jones at (812) 277-6053 or visit


The commissioners made the following appointments for 2016:

  • County Attorney - David Smith
  • Highway Superintendent - David Holmes
  • Highway Foreman District 1 - Troy Fountain
  • Highway Foreman District 2 - Fred Stout
  • Highway Foreman District 3 - Richard Henderson
  • Garage Supervisor - Robert Woods
  • Highway Bookkeeper - Brandi Webb
  • Weights & Measures - John Cobb
  • Emergency Management - Valerie Luchauer
  • Veterans Affairs - Bradford K. Bough
  • Plaza Security - Chief Deputy Aaron Shoults
  • ABC Board - Janie Craig Chenault
  • 4-H Board - Bill Spreen
  • SIDC - all three commissioners (Bill Spreen, Dave Flinn, Chris May
  • Community Child Protection Team - Rob Herr
  • Lawrence County Economic Growth Council - Dave Flinn
  • Boys & Girls Club - Chris May
  • Lawrence County Board of Health - Health Officer Dr. Alan Smith
  • Economic Growth Region 8 - Gene McCracken
  • Region 8 Workforce Board - Gene McCracken
  • Redevelopment Commission - Jane Craig Chenault, Tim Deckard, Chris May, Gene McCracken

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