New ‘Hands Free’ Law Takes Effect Today

Hand free driving does not mean not touching the steering wheel. It means not to touch your cell phone while driving. The Indiana State Police reminds the driving public of changes to Indiana’s distracted driving law that take effect July 1.
Every year in North America, an estimated 1.6 million crashes occur as the result of driver inattention. Many of those crashes result in injury or death and an economic impact of around 40 billion dollars.
“Making a phone call while driving may increase your odds of being in a crash by as much as 400%,” said ISP Sgt Carey Huls. “Typing or reading a text takes your eyes off the road an average of five seconds. If you drive 55 mph, you will travel the length of a football field in that same period.”
Effective today, Indiana Code 9-21-8-59, as amended, states a driver may not hold or use a telecommunications device while operating a moving motor vehicle.
There are two exceptions listed in the statute.
•Drivers will still be permitted to hold and use their phone to make an emergency 911 call.
•Drivers may also use hands-free or voice-operated technology to make and receive calls.
Drivers are encouraged to familiarize themselves with their vehicle’s hands-free technology and may wish to research aftermarket products that facilitate its use, such as a phone mount, said Huls.

Energy Assistance Available For Those Impacted By COVID-19

Human Services, Inc. is now accepting applications for the Energy Assistance Program (EAP) CARES Act fund. The program is available to income eligible households in Jackson County.
To be eligible for the EAP CARES Act Fund a household must:
•Have at least one household member that experienced a job loss or reduction in hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic from March 6 to July 3.
•Qualify for the Energy Assistance Program
•Apply for this program before July 31, 2020
Households that are eligible will receive a one-time benefit of $350 on an electric and/or gas bill.
Funds are distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Please contact Human Services, Inc. (812) 522-8718 for more information!

2020 Census Has Jobs Available

The US 2020 Census has high-paying positions that need to filled in the coming weeks.
“These are great jobs for which all staff will receive paid training,” said Gary Anthony, recruiting assistant for the 2020 Census.
These jobs offer:
•Pay of at least $18.50 per hour (varies by county), plus pay mileage from your home of $0.575 per mile.
•Flexible work schedules, part- or full-time.
•Weekly pay.
•A sense of pride of public service.
“During these challenging times with so many more people relying on community resources just to get by, collecting an accurate count of local populations is more important than ever,” said Anthony. “The 2020 Census counts will determine the amount of funding federal programs will provide to our communities for the next 10 years.”
Here are just some of what census numbers effect:
Medicaid, Community development grants, School lunch programs, Road and school construction, Indiana’s representation in Congress
To insure everyone in Indiana is counted so that we receive maximum funding we need to recruit more applicants, he said.
For more information or to apply, email gary.w.anthony@2020census.gov

Scottsburg Woman Charged With Neglect After Infant Dies In Her Care

A rural Scottsburg woman, who police said was operating a non-licensed daycare, was charged with two felonies after a 6-month-old girl in her care died last year, according to Indiana State Police Detective Brian Busick.
Candace J. Jones, 38, of Frontage Road in southern Scott County faces charges of neglect of dependent resulting in death, reckless supervision by a child care provider, and operating a child care home without a license.
According to ISP Sgt. Carey Huls, the investigation began on May 30, 2019, when Detective Brian Busick and crime scene investigators responded to the Jones’ residence after learning of the death of baby girl earlier that day.
“The infant was reportedly in the care of an unlicensed daycare facility and was found unresponsive when the mother of the child returned from work,” reported Huls. Jones called 911 when she found the child unresponsive after placing her down to sleep earlier in the day.
According to the Probable Cause Affidavit filed by Busick, Jones was caring for eight children that day including her 3-year-old daughter and 1-year-old niece. The victim had a 2-year-old sister at the daycare, as well.
Busick reported that the victim was placed on her stomach for a nap on an adult bed surrounded by six pillows and two comforters. Two other children were napping in playpens on the floor in the room, the court document reported.
According to the probable cause, the victim’s mother arrived about 4:40 p.m. to get her children. When Jones went to retrieve the victim, she noticed a comforter on top of the baby. The infant was laying on her back and unresponsive.
Jones carried the child to her mother and called 911. The victim was taken to Scott Memorial Hospital where she was pronounced dead, according to police.
According to the court document, an autopsy performed by Dr. Thomas Sozio listed the cause of death as Sudden Unexplained Infant Death with an unsafe sleep environment listed as a contributing factor. There was no baby monitor in the bedroom where the children were sleeping and Jones said she was outside for about 30 minutes before the victim’s mother arrived, according to the court document.
The investigation was turned over to the Scott County Prosecutor in 2019. This past Monday, June 15, Jones turned herself into the Scott County Jail after charges were filed and a warrant issued by Scott County Prosecutor Chris Owens
As a result of five prior felony convictions by Jones, who was then known as Candace Collins, in June 2001, February 2004, May and September 2010 and April 2012, Owens filed an additional habitual offender charge against the woman.
Jones remains in Scott County Jail held on a $250,000 full cash bond set by Scott County Magistrate Allison Frazier. Jones retained Indianapolis attorneys Joseph Delamater and John Douglas Razumich who filed a motion to reduce Jones’ bond. A hearing on that bond reduction is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. tomorrow (June 25) before Scott Circuit Court Judge Jason Mount.

Non-Running Vehicles Targeted By Town

The Town of Crothersville will be getting tough on non-running vehicles inside the town limits and residents have until July 6 to remove or properly store them, according to Crothersville Chief of Police Matt Browning.
“Several residences inside the town limits have vehicles on their property that violates Town Ordinance 94,” said Browning. That ordinance states that any vehicle left in public view for more than 20 days, is non-running, has parts of the engine or drivetrain removed is in violation of the town ordinance and can be considered an abandoned vehicle.
“Failure to comply with the ordinance by Monday, July 6, will result in removal of the vehicle from the property and the owner will be assessed towing and storage costs,” said Browning.
If the vehicle is valuable to you, simply put it in a garage or barn out of public sight and you will be in compliance with the ordinance,” said Browning.

Austin Pair Arrested For Dealing Drugs From Scottsburg Motel

Scott County Sheriff’s Department Corporal Kenton Makowsky, Deputies Charlie Morgan and Josh Juliot, served a search warrant last Wednesday, June 17, at a local motel in Scottsburg stemming from an ongoing investigation, according to Sheriff Jerry Goodin. As a result of the search warrant two people were arrested.
Ashlee Marshall, 27, of Austin was arrested for dealing in a controlled substance, dealing in a narcotic drug, possession of a controlled substance, maintaining a common nuisance, possession of a syringe and possession of a narcotic drug.
Earl Estep, 29, of Austin was arrested for dealing in a narcotic drug, dealing in a controlled substance, possession of a narcotic drug, possession of a controlled substance, maintaining a common nuisance and possession of a syringe.
The pair was incarcerated in Scott County Jail.
“You cannot go to motels or hotels and think you are hiding while selling drugs, we will find you and arrest you,” Goodin warned.
The sheriff encouraged local businesses, motel owners and their employees to contact the sheriff’s office and report any suspicious activity.
Also last Wednesday, Sgt. John Hartman responded to US 31 South of Scottsburg on a citizen’s report of reckless driving. After making a traffic stop his investigation led to the arrest of Patrick Cozart, 29, of Scottsburg for dealing in narcotic drug, possession of a narcotic drug, maintaining a common nuisance, possession of paraphernalia, driving while intoxicated, and possession or use of a legend drug.
Scott County Sheriff’s deputies assisted agents with the A.T.F., the Indiana State Police and the U.S. Marshal’s office last Wednesday with the serving a federal parole warrant.
Joseph Burhop, 32, from Hesperia, California was wanted for fleeing police, assault with a deadly weapon, obstruction of justice and robbery out of California. Deputy Josh Juliot conducted a traffic stop after Deputy John Smith used the Sheriff’s Office Drone to locate the suspect in Scottsburg, Goodin reported.