The newest ambulance of the White County Ambulance suffered what Director Adam Allen calls a catastrophic motor failure and is out of commission. Allen says the vehicle missed it’s warranty by 6,000 miles. The emergency vehicle is currently at Jim Hayes in Muddy. No action was taken at the County Board meeting Tuesday night. After months of losses, the Ambulance service showed a profit of $22,000 as Allen reports the classification issue with Medicaid/Medicare has been lined out.
White County Coroner Chris Marsh says officials are inching closer to identifying the deceased individual found October 4th in a shed near the Starlight Manor apartments in Carmi.
“We possibly have a family member found that I took buccal swabs from to do a familial match. That’s in the process of going through the state lab. Hopefully we’ll get that person identified. Hoping this is going to be the son of this lady that I found in Mt. Vernon, Illinois. Otherwise, it sits in my morgue until we find out who it is. You cannot cremate it. You have to bury it. And if you bury it and finally figure out who it is, you have to bring them back up and give it to the family. They assured me they thought they could get it done in a month to a month and a half.”
White County Sheriff Jordan Weiss will be looking to add a 6th deputy to his agency. The chief law enforcement officer says White County is geographically one of the larger counties with the fewest roster of enforcement officers and it’s costing the taxpayers.
“This year alone, almost $53,000 has been paid in overtime and comp time for callouts; when people take off, you’re gonna have to have somebody to cover the shift. That would allow us 4 days a week to have 24/7 coverage throughout the county and have 2 deputies on at any given time. Most of the time at night time, you send a deputy to Calvin bottoms out in the middle of nowhere and your closest back up is 20 minutes away. We’ve operated on minimum standards for about as long as we can.”
Weiss says municipal agencies including Carmi and Norris City have been great to help out if a deputy has been on a call and something happens in a nearby town that they would send an officer. That kind of support isn’t coming from staties.
“We had a meeting with ISP command a couple weeks ago up in Richland County and they basically told us ‘sorry if you don’t get any help’. Most of the time when we call them…they’re supposed to have 24/7 coverage, that’s why they went to these new troops. The way they operate, they go off these data surveys and it basically funnels everybody to hot zones. We now are at the low end of this troop. We are the southern portion of it; we used to be in the middle of it. The captain said most times, they only have about 3 troopers on for 18 counties now, used to be 13.”
The board unanimously approved Weiss to begin the search for another deputy.
After decades, it appears the landfill case is finally headed toward resolution. The case is deeply convoluted and States Attorney says he’s thrilled to see an end in sight considering he was under the age of 10 when the situation arose.
“It’s been pending for 9 years so I’m very thrilled we’re finally at this point. We have here Brandon Edwards, he’s been working on the EPA side of it. We’ve been doing this dual track of working on the settlement for the lawsuit as well as getting the EPA into our post closure period and I’m very happy that we’re now on the way for both of those. It’s taken a lot of years, in fact, I think the first time there was an argument on it, I think I was 8 or 9 years old.”
Settlement details weren’t disclosed in the county board meeting.
Five men were approved to be appointed to area commissioner districts. They include John Campbell, Albert Walsh, Gary Morris, David Brown, and Cully Jones. The districts include Mud Creek, Hawthorne Drainage, Mill Shoals, Half Moon Drainage, and Granny Tweedle Levee.
White County has hired Bellwether to serve as a County Administrator. The company will provide a number of services aiming to help protect and put the county’s offices in the best position to succeed. Learn more at http://bellwetheradvantage.com/sample-page/government-performance-services/county-services. The cost to the county and it’s taxpayers, $5,000 per month. Bellwether was put to task later in the meeting when asked about Boomtown Solar looking to replace it’s decommissioning bond with a letter of credit. The representative from Bellwether advised against it and recommended the board seek additional legal counsel.
The next White County Board meeting will be held on December 19th at 7pm in the White County courthouse.