Editorial note: Deanna Burkart took the Council seat occupied by Kenny Owens in 2018. This has been reflected in the original story. Greensburg, IN—In October of 2017, the Decatur County Council voted in a special use income tax that was to be used for the purpose of funding construction and operating costs of a proposed Decatur County Jail alongside a public safety tax intended to help fund courthouse security and more.It seems that they might once again be looking at another income tax increase to help fund County Departments. Decatur County Council President Ernie Gauck and Council member Danny Peters attended last week’s Greensburg City Council meeting requesting the City to appropriate new funds that will be generated from a tax rate increase. They stated while they didn’t need any additional funding to build the jail, they did not have the funds in their operations and have “no idea” what staffing the new jail will cost. The County Council is looking at adding an increase between . 2 and .4 % increase. According to the Greensburg Daily News article in 2017, the council noted that the tax could be reduced and that additional monies garnered by the tax could be put toward paying off the bond sooner. Auditor Janet Chadwell said the tax revenue would decrease the burden the county was facing related to the coverage of insurance costs.“We are drowning in health insurance costs,” Chadwell said. Now, according to Gauck and Peters, adding an extra prosecutor to the Prosecutor’s office, an additional secretary to the Court, and expected jail staff for the new jail will require an additional $1 million that they are over budget for 2020. During the October 2017 meeting, the council formally adopted a .5 percent special use income tax alongside a .25 percent public safety income tax and a certified shares tax of .27 percent. The three taxes raise Decatur County’s income tax rate from 1.33 percent to 2.35 percent in an effort to cover jail costs – including construction, fees, and operational needs – as well as to fund several public safety initiatives. That makes the income tax rate for Decatur County the 10th highest rate of the 92 counties in the state. With the suggested increase in tax rates, it will place us 6th or 4th highest rates in the state, respectively.The Decatur County Council will meet today at 9 am in the Decatur County Court House room 106. The voting members in 2017 were Ernie Gauck, Larry Meyer, John Westhafer, Bill Metz, Danny Peters, and Kenneth Owens. Deanna Burkhardt took the seat occupied by Kenneth Owens in 2018.
With the opening game of the 2016 football season against defending champion Alabama less than a month away, the Trojans must prepare for not only their tough season opener, but also the most difficult schedule in the nation. Additionally on the schedule for the Trojans are eight of the 10 Pac-12 teams who made a bowl game last season.Ranked 17th in the preseason USA TODAY Coaches’ Poll, USC will not have easy games early in the season with three of their first four games coming in road games against Alabama, Stanford and Utah.The Trojans may put up a solid fight with the Tide as Alabama loses star running back and last year’s Heisman Trophy winner, Derrick Henry. This could put a serious strain on the Tide’s emphasis on a run-the-ball offense, forcing the new quarterback, likely Cooper Bateman or Blake Barnett, to throw the ball.The key for a USC victory in the opener is to be able to break through the offensive line and put pressure on the quarterback while covering senior Alabama tight end O.J. Howard.“We want to keep defenses off balance by being balanced offensively,” head coach Clay Helton said. “We believe we have the personnel to run the ball effectively and physically and to be explosive in the passing game. At the end of the day, though, we know that we must be able to run the ball and not turn it over.”In the weeks to follow, the Trojans can expect tough road games as they play conference rivals No. 7 Stanford and Utah in weeks three and four, respectively. Again, their defense will have to control two primarily running offenses, particularly Stanford with the return of Heisman runner-up and AP Player of the Year junior running back Christian McCaffrey, who is predicted to lead the Cardinal to another strong season.Midseason, USC faces Arizona State, Colorado and Arizona, with a week eight bye. Arizona’s junior quarterback Anu Solomon, ranked fourth in the school’s passing yards history, will test the Trojans’ receiver and tight end coverage while Colorado continues to improve its pass rush defense.The final weeks, will continue to be challenging as the Trojans face Cal and No. 23 Oregon at home in weeks nine and 10 respectively before hitting the road to face No. 18 Washington and No. 24 UCLA the next two weeks before finally hosting No. 9 Notre Dame at home for a timeless non-conference matchup.The Fighting Irish have had the upper hand against the Trojans, having won the most recent matchup 41-31. Notre Dame features two quarterbacks — senior Malik Zaire and junior DeShone Kizer — on the 2016 Maxwell Award Watch List, who combine to become a deadly duo for passing and rushing yards at quarterback. However, the Irish have lost key offensive players such as wide receiver Will Fuller, cornerback KeiVarae Russell and running back C.J. Posise.But the Trojans have the advantage over their crosstown rival, leading the series 46-31-7. The main area of concern for the Trojans is the Bruins’ defense. The 2015 season marked a free fall in UCLA’s “Linebacker U” reputation with linebacker Myles Jack out for the majority of the season due to a torn meniscus. Despite the loss, UCLA sees potential in rebuilding their defense this season with returning senior linebacker Jayon Brown, who recorded 69 tackles in the Bruins’ last seven games.Despite a formidable schedule ahead, Helton and the team are ready to tackle the challenge head on.“I, along with our coaches and players, understand where the bar is set, and we welcome the high expectations,” Helton said. “Our goal will never change here at USC. We are about winning championships and all of us will work tirelessly toward that goal.”
Alaska-based fighter jets intercepted half a dozen Russian military aircraft Monday. According to NORAD, there were two separate incidents in the international airspace near Alaska, neither of which violated U.S. air sovereignty. In total there were four Russian bombers, as well as two fighter jets involved. One group approached from the south, while at about the same time, the remaining aircraft came from the north. Both groups were intercepted by F-22 Raptors that took off from Alaska. Captain Cameron Hillier says while such incidents have become routine in recent years, it’s rare for two to happen at the same time. “Typically we have about six or seven per year, and that goes back to about 2007 when they re-started long-range aviation patrols,” Hillier said. An F-15C Eagle from the 12th Fighter Squadron at Elmendorf Air Force Base flies next to a Russian Tu-95 Bear Bomber during a Russian exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo) The incident took place as more than 10,000 service members are in Alaska to participate in the Northern Edge training exercises, the largest military event of the year in the state.