Commissioners approve grant requests

BEDFORD – The Lawrence County Commissioners approved Superior Court II Judge Bob Cline and Chief Probation Officer Nedra Brock Fleetwood’s request to apply for several grants Tuesday. 

The grants will be used for Superior Court I Judge John Plummer’s Domestic Violence Problem Solving Court, Judge Cline’s Drug Court Problem Solving Court, the Lawrence County Adapt Program, Community Corrections and for the Pretrial Release Problem.

Judge Nathan Nikirk

Circuit Court Judge Nathan Nikirk presented the commissioners the court’s quarterly report. All of the courts will be open in person on July 1. 

Judge Nikirk stressed that Lawrence County ranks 35th out of 92 counties in severity of need for judicial officers.

“We have moved up a ranking from last quarter.” He added. 

He also stressed Lawrence County Superior Court I Judge John Plummer’s need to hire a deputy bailiff. 

“With an upcoming child molesting case in July this is a dire need,” added Judge Nikirk. “Those trials are not handled like other trials. Jurors will need to be interviewed” 

Brad Bough

Lawrence County Veterans Service Officer Brad Bough requested permission to honor World War II  veterans during an event on the courthouse lawn on Saturday, August 28 at 2 p.m.

A veterans event will be held on July 4th at 7 a.m. at Golden Corral.

More information will be released on these events soon.

Lawrence County Highway Superintendent David Holmes reported crews are mowing, patching, fulfilling small paving jobs, and cleaning up after a strong storm that hit the county.

A strong line of thunderstorms impacted south-central Indiana Friday night into Saturday morning taking down trees and powerlines, damaging homes, and leaving many without power throughout the weekend.

David Holmes

“Our main job is to get the roadways back open,” said Holmes. “Crews with the help of volunteer fire departments and Dispatch all worked together. There were some adverse and dangerous conditions and everyone worked hard to get the job done.”

Holmes stressed crews can not go onto private property to remove downed trees.

“We get a lot of requests for that, but we just can’t go on private property; it is the homeowner’s responsibility.”

Work on Bridge 62 on Stonington Road has begun. Crews are demolishing the bridge.

Phase two of bridge inspections began today.

Valerie Luchauer

Emergency Management Director Valerie Luchauer helped coordinate efforts when the storms hit over the weekend. She also assisted Monroe County. Friday night Monroe County Emergency Management officials evacuated residents of Garden Villa in Bloomington to the Garden Villa facility in Bedford with Luchauer coordinating volunteers in that operation.

The Commissioners discussed the American Rescue Plan Act Funds. Lawrence County received $8.8 million.

Funds will be appropriated by the county’s fiscal body before use. All expenditures of funds will be approved by the commissioners with any and all claims paid from the county’s APR fund.

Rodney Fish

“We are focusing our efforts to utilize the available funds to the best of our ability,” said Commissioner Rodney Fish. “We have not received any of those funds. When we do there will be deadlines we will have to meet. It’s a lot of money and we want to use it wisely and use it the best we can.”

The Board of Commissioners will establish a plan, conditions, and rules upon which the funds are requested and used. Any unused funds must be paid back to the United States Treasury.

The commissioners opened two bids on renovating the former WorkOne office at Courthouse Plaza into an axillary courtroom. Those bids were taken under advisement.