State Health Commish Says Needle Exchanges Are Saving Lives

Indiana Health Commissioner Jerome Adams says needle exchange programs have saved lives and money as public health officials try to combat the state’s opioid crisis. Eight Indiana counties currently have exchanges in place that allow drug users to swap dirty needles for clean ones. Adams said Thursday that the exchanges “aren’t pretty.” But he adds that they prevent the spread of HIV and other serious diseases that drug abusers can spread by sharing needles.

Upgrades For Westside Park Playground

A makeover for Muncie’s Westside Park. Work is underway to replace the playground equipment there. Slides and swings and other attractions are being removed and replaced with new equipment. City Parks officials say it should take a few days to complete. Also, four canopies are being up at Tuhey Pool.

Fort Wayne Man Handed 87 Years In Wisconsin Woman’s Death

An Indiana judge has sentenced a Fort Wayne man to 87 years in prison in the death of a Wisconsin woman whose body was found buried in a basement in 2015. Franklin Dent on Thursday received 65 years for murder in the death of 34-year-old Jessica Fecht. He also received more than two years for moving a body at a crime scene and 20 years for being a habitual offender. Dent’s attorney, Robert Gevers, said Dent maintains his innocence and intends to appeal.

20 Years In The Slammer For Randolph County Man

A Randolph County man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison. 36-year-old Shanta E. Debouse, most recently of Lynn, was arrested last July after a woman told investigators Debouse had forced her to have sex with men he had met online. Debouse reportedly admitted he had arranged for paid sexual encounters involving the woman, but maintained she had been a willing participant.

On Home Detention And Accused Of Dealing Pot

He was on in-home detention, but that didn’t stop an Anderson man from earning a little side money. Members of the Madison County Drug Task Force arrested 37-year-old Elliott Scott Stapleton on suspicion of dealing marijuana at his Lindberg Road home. Also arrested was 33-year-old Lucas James Williams. Authorities took him into custody on the same charges.

Still Searching For Bridge Funding

 

Madison County Commissioners continue to try and find a way to pay for bridge maintenance work. The commissioners briefly discussed creating a new “major bridge fund” but quickly dismissed it due to property tax caps. The commissioners still need to find 3 to 4 million dollars annually to maintain and repair Madison County’s 217 bridges.