Kokomo Perspective 01 31 2018 E Edition Page A1

MORE THAN 31,000 DISTRIBUTED WEEKLY & MORE THAN 320,000 MONTHLY PAGE VIEWS AT KOKOMOPERSPECTIVE.COM Since 1966" 600 E. Markland Avenue 765-457-9155 LET US HELP YOU WITH: Auto Insurance Boat Insurance Commercial Insurance (Auto) Commercial Insurance (General Liability) Dwelling Fire Insurance (Vacant Home/rental) Home Insurance Mobile Home Insurance Motorcycle Insurance Recreation Vehicle Insurance Renter's Insurance SR22 Insurance Travel Trailer Insurance PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID KOKOMO, IN PERMIT NO. 60 **************ECRWSSEDDM************** Residential & Business Customer January 31, 2018 Kokomoperspective.com 209 N. Main St. - Kokomo 765.452.0055 by Devin Zimmerman News Reporter dzimmerman@kokomoperspective.com MENGES Opiate crisis bogs down county's drug court Another victim of the opiate crisis appears to be Howard Superior Court I. The crisis has explod- ed the caseload of How- ard Superior Court I, the local Problem Solving Drug Court, and icials are questioning how to handle the ever-growing docket. Superior I Judge Bill Menges explained to the Howard County Council last week that his court has been inundated with a higher caseload, which he estimated to be a result of the drug trend. The Superior I judge hoped, initially, to garner raises for his employ- ees for the ensuing extra work, but other avenues may be explored to deal with the issue. In speaking with the council, Menges called his situation an unin- tended consequence of the county's attrition policy, which rewards departments for elimi- nating positions and then rewards the remaining employees with raises garnered from a portion of the cut positions sala- ry. In recent years various courts have trimmed the fat after employees vol- untarily leftfor other em- ployment. As a result, their em- ployees are paid more than Menges, who hasnt reduced any positions in his court. The judge ar- gued that his employees deserve a raise despite not following the attri- tion guidelines. Making cuts, he claimed, simply wasnt possible with his caseload increase. Mean- by Devin Zimmerman News Reporter dzimmerman@kokomoperspective.com Court A10 City, firefighters continue to spar Months into a dispute between the local fire- ighter union and the city, tensions reached a climax during last weeks Ko- komo Common Council meeting. Garbed in red to show support for the Pro- fessional Firefighters of Kokomo Local 396, hundreds bearing signs decrying the city and Mayor Greg Goodnight locked to City Hall. The crowd gathered to hear Local 396 President Chris Frazier speak both out- side City Hall and in an address to the Common Council. While last week rep- resented a climax to the contract showdown be- tween the city and fire- ighters, tensions haven't eased. The fight between the firefighters, who are working without a con- tract, and the city contin- ues with both sides point- by Devin Zimmerman News Reporter dzimmerman@kokomoperspective.com Spar A11 FRAZIER Salute to FCA US coming The Perspective will present its annual Salute to FCA US edition on Feb. 21 as our ongoing celebra- tion of the men and wom- en who work for the com- munitys largest employer. This oversized edition is filled with stories and photos that take readers behind the scenes to see and learn about the com- pany, its products, and the lives of their friends, neighbors, and family who make FCA US an out- standing company. There is still room to place your ad in the special ed31,000 homes and busi- nesses in Howard County, as well as be included in an additional distribution within the FCA US pro- duction facilities. FCA US remains the largest employer in the county, and its economic impact is enormous, said Perspective Sales Manager Bill Eldridge. The com- pany is responsible for thousands of good pay- checks for local residents, which means businesses in Kokomo and Howard County are in stronger positions because of the company. If your business thrives, in part, because of the men and women who work at FCA US and spend their dollars locally, then take this opportunity to show your appreciation. Cel- ebrate the growth and stability of our communi- tys largest employer by providing a special offer or promotion in Salute to FCA US. To place your ad, call Sales Manager Bill El- dridge at 765-210-5507 or Kathy McCarter at 765- 437-0430. Lawmakers talk medical marijuana Perspective Photo / Slater Young LEGISLATION - State Rep. Mike Karickhoff addresses the audience at the year's first Third House session. Third House also sees discussion on lobbyist gifts O n the heels of a historic first at the Statehouse regarding medical mar- juana, area lawmakers voiced their thoughts con- cerning the drug during Fridays Third House ses- sion. State Representatives Heath VanNatter, R-Ko- komo; Mike Karickhoff, R-Kokomo; and Tony Cook, R-Cicero; along with State Senator Jim Buck, R-Kokomo, gath- ered at Ivy Tech last week for the first Third House session of the year. During the ensuing discussion, the lawmakers touched on a variety of topics, includ- ing that of medical mar- juana and lobbyist gifts. Just recently, the House approved a resolution to study the effects of mari- juana legalization prior to next years session. While the measure was far from approval of medi- cal marijuana legalization, it marked the first time such a step had been tak- en in Indiana. Area law- makers primarily took a wait-and-see approach to the issue. If you would have said three years ago that the house would unanimous- ly pass the study of med- ical marijuana, I would have told you youre cra- zy, said Karickhoff. We could have passed it on a voice vote. People are will- ing to study it, evaluate it. I think we want some hard data on whats hap- pening in Colorado and California. Everybodys fear is if you make it me- dicinally available then its very shortly recreationally available. Whats the so- cial cost? A goal of the study, according to VanNatter, would be to see how legal- ization has affected the 29 other states with medical marijuana programs. Were going to study it, see where its impacted them, where its impacting positively or negative- ly, and come back next year or the following year with, I think, incremental steps, said VanNatter. Cook, who noted he has three doctors in his family, said hes heard from them that medical marijuana has its benefits, especial- ly in replacing addictive painkillers. Lawmakers A3 Perspective Photo / Slater Young FORUM - State Senator Jim Buck voices support for clearing up legislation regarding CBD oil.

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