Mark Hobbs, director of the Heartland Caree Center, discusses several grants the facility has received in recent weeks. Photo by Joseph Slacian
By Joseph Slacian
The Heartland Career Center (HCC) has received grants worth more than $250,000 to help upgrade its industrial technology programs.
Officials from HCC, Ivy Tech, the county’s three public school corporations and a variety of supporters gathered Wednesday, Feb. 18 to learn about the grants and how educators envision using them.
“We’re truly blessed to work with a large, collaborative group of people for support of your efforts to continuously improve the education and training for our students from Wabash, Miami, Grant and Huntington counties,” HCC Director Mark Hobbs said, discussing the grants.
Southwood’s Robbie Cole (34) drives for two of his 19 points on Friday night against Northfield. Photo by Gary Andrews
By Gary Andrews
The Southwood boys’ basketball team was one win away from a piece of the Three Rivers Conference title and needed a win over county rival Northfield to get that share Friday. Jumping out to a quick 7-0 start the Knights defended home court by defeating Northfield 64-46 to share the TRC title with Tippecanoe Valley and Manchester.
The quick start was just that as Carson Blair took the Alex Harmon tip off and drained a three just four seconds into the game. Robbie Cole and Brandin Frazier then hit back to back buckets for the 7-0 lead. Tanner Wilcox stopped the run with a bucket with Alex Harmon answering. Jared Short made it 9-3 with a bucket when Noah Kirk hit from long range for a 12-3 Knight lead. The Norse would respond with buckets from Heath Miller and Noah Shear to cut the lead to 12-7 when Mathew Norse drained a three to give the Knights a 15-7 lead. Austin Burns finished the scoring in the quarter as Southwood led 15-9 after one.
The Wabash Lady Apaches basketball team poses for a team shot after winning the regional title on Saturday in Lapel. Photo by Gary Andrews
By Gary Andrews
After winning their seventh straight sectional title the Wabash Lady Apaches made the trip to Lapel on Saturday for the second straight year in search of that elusive regional crown.
It was no easy task as Wabash took on No.9 Shenandoah in game one, holding off a late Raider charge for a 50-47 win and another shot at a regional title. No. 10 Fountain Central defeated Sheridan on a buzzer beater in game two, setting up the championship game. The Lady Apaches trailed most of the game before wearing down the taller Mustangs in the fourth for an exciting 60-52 win to earn the schools first ever girls regional crown.
Southwood’s Abby Houlihan is joined by her parents, Vicki Houlihan (front row, from left) and Scott Houlihan as she signs a letter of intent to play golf at Indiana University Kokomo. She is joined by (back row, from left) Southwood Athletic Director Tom Finicle, IUK Athletic Director Brandon Podgorski, Southwood Golf Coach Rod Cole, and Southwood Assistant Coach JoDee Dale. Photo by Gary Andrews
By Gary Andrews
Southwood senior Abby Houlihan became the first recruit for the new golf program at Indiana University Kokomo. Houlihan signed her letter of intent Wednesday, Feb. 11, at Southwood.
While holding or being a part of 15 golf school records while at Southwood, Houlihan will be looked upon by the Cougars as a leader with the opportunity at playing number one right away.
by Ashley Flynn
Since Wabash County Sheriff Bob Land has been in office, he’s had to deal with an over-capacity jail. But the problem has been around longer than that and could potentially worsen with the revision of the Indiana Criminal Code in House Bill 1006.
The jail is 34-years-old this year, and when it was built, it could house 66 inmates. Years later, the jail went under construction, added space, and raised the number of rooms to 72. Though there are a few rooms with bunk beds, no more than 85 inmates can be accommodated. Limited jail space, however, does not reduce the crime rate or number of arrests, and in Wabash County, the latter exceeds the former. This means that every week, Sheriff Land and his jail commander decide which and how many inmates will be transferred to the Miami County Jail.
As of Monday, there were 21 Wabash County inmates being housed in the Miami County Jail, in addition to the 85 housed in the Wabash County Jail.
When Land took office in 2011, he paid $26,565 to Miami County for housing our prisoners. Last year in 2012, he spent $116,575. These numbers do not include transportation or personnel costs.
“2011 wasn’t really bad for me. In 2012, I saw an increase in prisoner population. So far this year in 2013, we’ve spent $98,175,“ Sheriff Land told The Paper. “I have had two months this year where my average daily population was not over 72. Last year, every month was over capacity for my daily average.”
The county also has approximately 44 people on electronic home detention and 12 in the work release program, which helps reduce the inmate population.
Many of our inmates are in jail on drug related charges. Two weeks ago, 36 out of 86 (42 percent) were in for drug arrest. Sheriff Land says the numbers are better than 6-7 months ago when it was at 72 percent drug-related arrests.
House Bill 1006, which is expected to take effect July 1, 2014, has some worried about prisoner population in local jails.
“If you look at that bill, what are now class D Felonies will become misdemeanors, so they will be at the local jails instead of at the Department of Corrections,” Sheriff Land explained. “At least that’s most people’s opinion. We will have to wait and see.”
If the jail population does increase, Land believes that Miami County Jail can handle it. Their newer facility holds around 240 inmates.
“If they run out of room, which I doubt would happen, we would have to explore other options, “ Sheriff Land said, “Paying Miami County is the only option available to me at this time. There are no talks of expanding at this location or at a new facility.”
Sheriff land says the insufficient capacity affects everyone in the county.
“We’re spending more money on prisoners here because I do have more than what the jail holds. Other than that, it’s the only inconvenience. If our county government is content with paying Miami County, then that’s the way we’ll go,” he said.
Currently, the jail offers inmates several programs to help keep them from returning.
“We offer them programs, but it’s their choice to make. I think the programs we provide offer them a chance to look at not coming back. We offer job skills programs and teach them how to fill out applications, there’s parenting programs, GED program and others,“ Sheriff Land said. “We hope that they learn enough from these programs that they do not come back and visit me.”
Although the programs are offered to all inmates, Sheriff Land says there’s still a lot of inmates in jail now that have been there before, and for now, “we’ve got what we’ve got, and we’ll make it work.”