Frankton Junior-Senior High and Lapel High Schools Named Best Buys

Frankton Junior-Senior High School and Lapel High School were named “best buys” by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday.  The Chamber named the schools as such because of their academic excellence and their low cost in terms of tax dollars. The Chamber, in conjunction with Indiana State University, looked at 350 high schools around the state. Their “best buy” determinations were made by looking at ISTEP pass rates, graduation rates, SAT participation rates and scores, and Advanced Placement testing scores. Also looked at was how much money the school system spent on each student, and whether it was below the state average of $10,196.

Anderson ISTEP Results Unsatisfactory to Superintendent

Anderson’s top educator said although some bright spots appeared in the latest ISTEP results, the city’s schools still need great improvement. Anderson Community Schools Superintendent Mikella Lowe, acknowledging that the latest scores fall far short of the state average. Districtwide, 55.6 percent of students passed the exam’s English portion and 58.5 percent passed the math section. That’s an increase from the 2000-2001 school year, when 47.9 percent passed the English exam and 48.3 passed the math, Lowe said. Anderson 10th-graders scored lower than their peers in other districts.

Ag Firm to Bring Jobs to Union City

An agricultural manufacturer from Canada will move and expand one of its production lines to Union City next year, and eventually will hire 70 people by 2010. Ag Growth Industries will build systems to unload grain bins inside a 163,000-square-foot building along Ind. 32, a site that for more than a century was home to the Union City Body Co.

Muncie Salvation Army Far Short of Fund Goal

Muncie’s Salvation Army drive is well short of it’s $225,000 goal for this year. There are 10 days remaining in the kettle drive. Bad weather is one factor being blamed for the shortage. The campaign will continue through December 24th. Bell ringer hours are from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday thru Saturday. The drive is $107,000 short of goal at this point.

New Anderson Mayor Names More Staff Members

Merle Jones is coming back to CATS. Mayor-elect Kris Ockomon has appointed Jones as general manager of the city transportation service, in an announcement Wednesday, along with three others: Todd Leever as street commissioner, Robin Allman as Utility Office manager and Steve Priser to director of personnel, according to a press release.
Jones has served the City of Anderson Transit System for 28 years in various positions. Over 17 years and four administrations, he served as the general manager of CATS. Jones also served on the Anderson City Council for four years. Leever comes to the city with more than five years of service to the Madison County Highway Department. Allman has been employed with the city for more than 16 years. With the city, she has earned the leadership positions of credit manager and customer service supervisor in the Utility Department, as well as various other positions within the department.

Charges Expected Soon in Eric Bush Case

The Madison County prosecutor says that charges will likely be filed soon against Eric D. Bush. He has posted bond in the amount of $50,000 since his arrest on charges of dealing cocaine, possession of cocaine, possession of marijuana, and maintaining a common nuisance. Anderson detectives said they twice used informants to buy cocaine from Bush several times. Bush, who is now 27, was a former Anderson High School basketball standout.

Anderson Student Cannot Wear Scrubs to Non-Medical Classes

High school students in Anderson health professions training program must continue to change out of scrubs for other classes or risk discipline for violating the Anderson schools’ uniform policy. Anderson Community Schools Superintendent Mikella Lowe recommended Tuesday night that the school board take no action to amend the policy, which students in the certified nursing program and their teacher raised objection to in August. Students have said they don’t have time to change clothes nor do they have a convenient place to do so. Lowe likened the scrubs to gym clothes, aprons worn in home economics classes and overalls worn in machine trade classes.

Anderson Man Faces Drunk Driving and Neglect Charges

An Anderson man faces two felony neglect charges after police say he was driving drunk when he crashed into a guardrail with his twin 3-year-old sons in the vehicle. Brent A. Palmer is expected to make an initial court appearance today on charges of two counts of operating a vehicle while intoxicated and two counts of neglect. Anderson police were called to the 2800 block of Northshore Boulevard around 6:15 p.m. Monday on a report of a crash. When they arrived, they found Palmer sitting behind the steering wheel of a van that had apparently struck a guardrail.Palmer became combative with medics when they attempted to treat him, and he had to be restrained on a gurney. Police also found an open bottle of alcohol beneath the car seat.

Monroe Central Schools Still Making Cuts in Renovation Plans

Nearly three months after the Monroe Central School Board voted to spend $4.6 million on renovations to its facilities, board members still are trying to cut costs out of the project. Although the board was due to talk about alternative bids for improvements at the elementary and junior-senior high schools on Tuesday, the board delayed a vote on any alternatives. Board members said they were not yet ready to make changes to the plans.