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Coroner's Office Expanding Services, County Bridge To Be Replaced
Updated May 18, 2016 6:58 AM
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(BEDFORD) - Coroner Rob Herr was present when the Lawrence County commissioners opened 3 bids for 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 specimens 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. This means the coroner's office would have to send the samples to another out-of-state 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 says.

Herr told the commissioners at an earlier meeting 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.

Now Herr will review the bids and come back with a final cost for the expansion with the installation of a heating and cooling system and computer equipment.


Lawrence County Highway Superintendent David Holmes reported that crews are getting roads paved between the numerous rain storms that have hit the county.

Holmes told the commissioners on Tuesday that he is seeking federal funds to repair Bridge 150 over Mill Creek.

The commissioners also accepted a bid from CLR to replace the 100-foot bridge on Jasper McKeaigg Road. The cost of the project will be around $460,000.

Holmes reported the county auction held on Saturday by Kinser Auction grossed more than $58,000.

Once the ground dries from all the rain, highway crews will be digging around the base of the communication tower on Kings Ridge Road so the anchors and foundation footers can be inspected.

The tower, built in 1961, is 320-feet tall and has 36 guide wires securing it to the ground and the aging guide wires need replaced.


Lawrence County Chief Deputy Aaron Shoults reported there were 130 inmates at the county jail, of those 21 are females with no Department of Correction holds.

The recreation room at the jail, which is being converted to a housing unit is 98 percent complete. Once the area is completed the jail will be able to house 180 inmates

"There are some coverings that need installed and the area needs painted and it will be complete," Shoults added.

The public addressing system to be installed in the courthouse and courthouse annex will be completed in about three weeks.

"Most of the work will need to be done after hours and on weekend so as not to interfere with courthouse activities," Shoults says.

Commissioners reviewed the DLZ reports to do repairs on the ramps at the county jail and voted to hire an engineer to design those repairs. Sheriff Mike Branham at a previous meeting estimated the cost at approximately $160,000 to repair both ramps and make them compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.


Lawrence County resident Willie Davis asked permission to have the county vacate lots he has purchased in Silverville to turn into agricultural land. The commissioners said they had no problem doing that but requested Davis speak to who did his abstract work to come up with the new legal description of the property and come back to them with the request.


Lawrence County C.A.R.E (Citizens Aiding Recovery Education) addressed the commissioners about the drug problem in Lawrence County and how they are taking steps to help those addicted to drugs.

One of the groups organizers, Rob Awbrey, says their goal is to aid people in their effort to become addiction free and to remain addiction free.

"Our Chapter is non judgmental and membership is free," he added. "Our only requirement is, that you be sincere in your desire to aid those in need of recovery and education, all while allowing them to maintain their dignity through confidentiality."

Their mission is to increase awareness and provide advocacy that fosters mentoring and successful treatment options while garnering the financial support to facilitate the prevention, intervention and treatment of substance abuse.

The group is diverse from high school students, social, legal, churches, regular concerned individuals. All age groups, agencies, and civic organizations are welcome to be part of C.A.R.E.

"For several years, there has been a "War on Drugs" The word "War" is a divisional word that creates the us and them mindset," Awbrey says. "This approach has proven to be a failure. It is time we come together, with a new way of thinking about addiction by listening, learning, so we may tackle the issue as a whole. This will create understanding and build trust so we can act to tackle the issue together."

Those interested in being a member of their group, or who need help with their addiction or just need someone to talk to about their addition can visit their Facebook page at

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