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Lawrence County Inmates Clogging Sewer Lines By Flushing Wrappers
Updated November 1, 2017 8:59 AM
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(BEDFORD) - Lawrence County inmates currently can only eat items purchased out of the vending machines in the commissary area, because several inmates have been flushing the wrappers from items they purchase and take back to the cell block down the toilets clogging the city's sewer lines.

Lawrence County Sheriff Mike Branham told the Commissioners on Tuesday morning that he has tried numerous punishments to stop the practice including putting the inmate in segregation, taking away commissary items and other punishment, but the practice continues.

"For the next couple of weeks inmates will not be able to take any items that have wrappers on them back to the cell blocks because of this on-going problem," Sheriff Branham says.

Sheriff Branham is looking into installing grinders in their sewer systems to address the problem.

Sheriff Branham says the blockage has occurred several times this year and many times the blockage has been found blocks away from the jail.

As of Tuesday morning there were 193 inmates in the jail. Of those 45 were females, 21, Level 6 felons and there were no Department of Correction holds.

Renovations to the restrooms in the lower lobby of the jail will be completed this week. The bathrooms dated back to 1989 and did not meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards. Repairs were paid for from the department's building repair budget.


The new Lawrence County website will go live today. Residents are urged to check it out at


Highway Superintendent David Holmes says crews are gearing up for winter weather.

"We are not looking forward to bad weather, but we are in prep mode and the equipment will be ready when and if it hits," he added.

All of the paving for this season is completed.

"Crews are replacing culverts and doing some edging and ditching on the roads that will be paved next year," he added.

Core drilling had been completed at Bridge 67 on Lawrenceport Road.

"The plans are almost done, he added.

Holmes is also apply for a federal grant to significantly reduce road sign replacement costs to the county to meet the latest federal retroreflectivity standards set by the Federal Highway Administration to improve traffic safety.

"It is a 90/10 grant," Holmes added. "We are looking at a $600,000 to $700,000 to replace the signs."

But Holmes says he is going to apply for replacing the signs in District I first.

"That is what they recommend," he added. "To do the most populated district first."

Holmes says the cost does not include replacing street name signs.


Lawrence County Emergency Management Director Valerie Luchauer presented the commissioners with the Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan.


The commissioners approved repairs to the roof at Dunn Plaza. B&L Sheet Metal and Roofing will do the minor repairs at a cost of $13,930.

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