Kokomo Perspective 03 20 2019 E Edition Page A1

A trial last week end- ed with a jury awarding a local business more than $300,000 after a portion of its property was seized by the city of Kokomo to con- struct the incoming down- town hotel conference cen- ter. Last week Kokomo Glass Shop won out in a jury trial against the city of Kokomo. The case stemmed from the city enacting eminent domain to garner land for- merly occupied by one of the business two buildings in 2017. However, the busi- ness, through local attorney Kathy Noel, argued that the seizing of the business land entitled its owners to more money than was of- fered by the city. In the end, the jury sid- ed with Kokomo Glass Shops ownership, award- ing owner Brad Newton $305,600 plus interest for the land the city seized, expenses incurred by the business related to moving, and other costs associated with the transition. That sum exceeded the final of- fer made by the city, which was $160,000, meaning the city also was required to pay Kokomo Glass Shops $26,000 in legal fees. Witnesses in the trial testified that negotiations between the city and Ko- komo Glass Shops own- ership, which eventually included Newtons son Wes, who now operates the business full time, be- gan in 2013. The goal on the citys part was to procure a portion of the downtown parcel of land occupied by Kokomo Glass Shop. The portion desired by the city was 226 S. Main St., which Kokomo Glass utilized as a fabrication facility and warehouse. The business other building nearby was on 226 S. Union St., which functioned as a storefront. The city didn't attempt to procure that portion of the land. The situation, according to testimony, culminated on Aug. 14, 2018, when Ko- komo Glass received notice from the city that they were to vacate the premises in 48 hours. Eventually, two more weeks were given to the business, but its own- ers and operators testified that making the move in that amount of time simply wasnt possible due to the nature of their work. Spe- cial racks, they said, needed to be constructed in order to transport their materials, which added to the cost of the move. Some materials, such as 93 vintage wind- shields, even had to be left behind by the business and were lost in the eventual demolition of the property. Although, the court even- tually ruled, certain mov- ing costs and the costs of the windshields could not be added to the requested damages. The entire process even- tually led to Kokomo Glass Shops move to a new prop- erty on 3030 S. Lafountain St. It had been in its down- town location since 1949. By closing arguments, Noel argued that her client was entitled to damages far exceeding the value of the land that was seized, which came in at $100,000 after as- sessments. The city doesnt want to listen to what their dam- ages were or to compen- sate them The Newtons MORE THAN 31,000 DISTRIBUTED WEEKLY & MORE THAN 320,000 MONTHLY PAGE VIEWS AT KOKOMOPERSPECTIVE.COM Kokomoperspective.com 209 N. Main St. - Kokomo 765.452.0055 March 20, 2019 Inside: Section C PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID KOKOMO, IN PERMIT NO. 60 **************ECRWSSEDDM************** Residential & Business Customer Glass A3 Crime A7 by Devin Zimmerman News Reporter dzimmerman@kokomoperspective.com March 20 2019 Inside: Section C by Devin Zimmerman News Reporter dzimmerman@kokomoperspective.com by Devin Zimmerman News Reporter dzimmerman@kokomoperspective.com JURYAWARDS KOKOMO GLASS SHOP $305,600 IN EMINENT DOMAIN CASE City of Kokomo to appeal jury decision Perspective Photo / File TRANSPLANT - Since 1949, Kokomo Glass Shop resided downtown. However, after the city enacted eminent domain, the shop was forced to move to its new location 3030 S. Lafountain St. After delay in prosecution, man charged with attempted murder charged with shooting another victim Criminal rule 4 allowed Gurth Bryan to be released, without bail, on attempted murder charge Gurth A delay in prosecu- tion allowed a Kokomo man charged with at- tempted murder after an alleged shooting to be re- leased from jail. Less than three months later, police charged him in a second shooting. Gurth Bryan, 24, re- ceived the equivalent of a free pass after being charged with attempted murder and aggravated battery on Nov. 28, 2017. Due to Criminal Rule 4, continuances by the pros- ecutor's ice meant that the Kokomo man could no longer be detained in jail, forcing him to be released on Dec. 16, 2018, without the requirement of bail. Just a few months lat- er, on March 7, a second shooting bearing many similarities to the first case arose, sending Bryan back to jail to face the charge of attempted voluntary man- slaughter. Its fairly rare. Maybe overstating it. It does not happen frequently would be a better way to put this, said Howard County Prosecutor Mark McCann about Bryan being released without bail on such a charge. Sometimes if we have a bad case or cant lo- cate a witness or the victim or something like that. The other option would have been to dismiss it without prejudice, and he would have been released at that point. Were up against a deadline, and if were not ready to go to trial or cant go to trial this is the remedy for the defendant. And un- fortunately we have to live with that. According to a probable cause idavit, on Nov. Shooting A6 Candidates weigh in on crime Calls for KPD expansion ring out across both political parties Without a doubt, debate about public safety is taking center stage in this years election cycle as the most dominant topic of discus- sion. Mayoral candidates across the political spectrum are calling for a bolstering of the local police department and offering up their takes on how to address crime in Kokomo. Adding to such discus- sions was the recent pub- lication of a story by 24/7 Wall Street, which ranked Kokomo as a city with the 14th highest increase in vio- lent crime across the nation with a 122-percent rise in such crime. This, city i- cials later claimed, was due to a change in Kokomo Po- lice Department (KPD) soft- ware, which changed how aggravated assaults were reported to the FBI Uniform Crime Report (UCR). Re- gardless, heres what this years candidates have to say about the state of public safety in the City of Firsts. The Democrats This years primary race for mayor on the Demo- cratic ticket involves Kevin Summers and Abbie Smith. Summers, a recently-re- tired KPD captain, came out swinging on the topic of public safety early on in his campaign. In reference to the 24/7 Wall Street article, Summers acknowledged that the reported increase in aggravated assaults should be monitored over time since the city adopted its new software system in 2015. Regardless, he said theres a perceived issue lo- cally in terms of public safe- ty perceptions. The conversations Ive had with many of our res- idents are that Kokomo doesnt appear to be as safe as it used to, said Summers. You can put all the stats out there. You can skew them to one side or the other, but I think perception is truly re- ality. I think the citizens Ive communicated with as a po- liceman and as a candidate here the last few months be- lieve our community is not as safe as what it was a few years back. Dealing with that per- ception, said Summers, in- volves bolstering the staff- ing levels of KPD. In recent months the department tal- lied 78 icers, down from

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