Deer Gun Season results down all across Ohio Hometown Christmas in Peebles rings in the holiday season Manchester Elementary receives 2016 Momentum Award Drug bust in West Union Stephen C Foster Donna Rivers WUES students perform as part of Honor Choir Ohio Brush Creek Canoe/Kayak access completed Hall of Fame Christmas in Portsmouth Thyme to trim the Christmas Tree Junior High Lady Hounds get season-opening sweep Lady Devils roll past Paint Valley in season opener Senior Profile: Jessica Johnson Michael E Roberts Sr Evelyn L Jones Thomas M Calvert Ryan, Sowards lead Lady Indians to easy win in season opener, 57-36 over Felicity Senior Profile: Wes Hayslip Justice off to hot start at VSU County boys’ squads on display in annual SHAC Preview Night ‘Operation Christmas Child’ collects 1,707 shoe boxes for needy children Two animal cruelty cases investigated in Adams County DP&L considers closing power-generating plants in county Holiday spirit makes an early appearance in Adams County Chester A Mann Jeffrey A Daley Sr Michael G Tincher DAR sponsors Good Citizen Award Ohio’s young hunters harvest nearly 6,000 deer during Youth Gun Season Senior Profile: Kayle Thomas Helen N Hiestand Rev Walter R Egnor Sr Betty Beam Jamie L Corrill Jeffrey L Heppard Edsel L Massey Jr It is time to stop and take time to give thanks on a special day Another year to be very thankful for Senior Profile: Savannah McCoy McCoy signs to continue golf career at SSU North Adams hosts SHAC Girls Preview DAR commemorates 50th anniversary of Vietnam War Historical Society honors veterans Star Wars routine leads Fancy Free Cloggers to ‘America’s Got Talent’ A Day at the Opera Eagle Creek draws community to Thanksgiving celebration Ward ekes out victory over Worley in county commissioner race Mary A Garman Ronald L Palmer Joseph S McClanahan II Emma O Hayslip Devils slip by Georgetown in Foundation Game Hupp, Hunter, Wolke named OSSCA Second Team All-State Senior Profile: Kain Turner Lady Devils romp in Foundation Game Oh, those aromas coming from Mom’s kitchen What Became My Biggest Project Deer gun season set to begin ‘Trees to Textbooks’ shares revenues with local schools and communities BREAKING NEWS Winchester’s Baxter wins Miss Ohio USA 2017 pageant Genny Elkins Pauline S Stevenson Donald E Lewis Sr Charlotte R Seaman Ruth Prater Bennie Skaggs Gertrude Swayne West Union High School hosts impressive Veterans Day ceremonies Peebles Elementary hosts ceremony to honor local veterans Duke Energy exits Killen and Stuart Plants GE Aviation hosts annual Veterans Day celebration Senior Profile: Logan Gordley Jeffrey A Brown Sr Peebles Library welcomes local author and survivor on Nov. 19 Homer C Eldridge Robert W Schomberg One Commissioner race too close to call in unofficial count Voters approve majority of county levies on Tuesday’s election ballot NAES Sixth Graders practice the democratic process Honoring one who gave the ‘last full measure of devotion’ Overcoming adversity, veteran of Iraq War opens local business Senior Profile: Ben Figgins Senior Profile: Macy Mullenix SHAC Basketball Previews are set for Nov. 18 and 25 Trio of local golfers finish careers with trip to the highest level of high school competition Peebles sophomore Jenny Seas finishes sixth in OHSAA state cross-country meet Upset win sends Trump to the White House ACRMC awarded plaque for 50 years of service Peebles Elementary releases Honor Roll for First Nine Week Grading Period BREAKING ELECTION NEWS! Senior Profile: Jordyn Kell Orlie H Kirker Military homecoming at NAES Second half spells doom as Greyhounds fall to Hillcrest 42-12 in finale Senior Profile: Sarah McFarland WU’s Horton will continue golf career at SSU Lady Devils’ season ends in heartbreak with 3-2 loss in District championship battle Christine R. Ritchey
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Renovations coming to courthouse

The Adams County Commissioners met the past week to discuss a number of issues including increased security for the courthouse and the sales tax levy for the Adams County Regional Medical Center.

Changes are in the works for the Adams County Courthouse including new handicap accessible features as well as security measures. There will also be one lone entrance for the public to enter the courthouse in the future. The Adams County Commissioners accepted a bid from Venture One Construction Inc. to design the changes to the courthouse and awarded the contract to the company for $193,800.

“The bullet points for the plan are an ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant ramp on the front end of the courthouse and an ADA vertical accessible lift inside the courthouse,” Adams County Commissioner Paul Worley told The People’s Defender. “There will be one entrance point for the general public and there will be enhanced security screening at that entrance.”

Worley said the issue of security measures at the courthouse has been on the table since the mid 1990s and now the plans are in place to get the project moving.

“In 2006 the Common Pleas Court had the Supreme Court of Ohio come in and do a study on our court security.” Worley said. “That security consultant group came back and had a confidential 18-page document that said what needed to be improved. It wasn’t until early 2013 when Stephen [Caraway] and I had just come onto the board and said ‘What’s the Board of Commissioners doing about security in the courthouse?”

Worley said according to the Ohio Revised Code, the security of the courthouse is under the responsibility of the county commissioners, and the board wishes to make sure everyone coming into the courthouse is safe.

“We live in the world the way that it is and not in the way we want it to be,” Worley said. “And every week we’re seeing some type of tragic shooting and people doing things you wouldn’t have thought of 20 or 30 years ago. And as the board is responsible for the security of that building, we have to mitigate the risk that’s involved and we believe we’re doing that by putting in these new security measures, but then also at the same time providing access to all citizens.”

Making a building that was built over 100 years ago compliant with the ADA, while maintaining a building pleasing to the eye is one of the challenges Worley said the board and Venture One will have to tackle.

“We wanted to design something that was compatiable with the existing building,” Worley said. “We didn’t want to put something on there that would be an eyesore. We wanted to make sure everyone had access to this building which is a little tough now since the building was built in 1910 and it wasn’t built with ADA compliance in mind.”

Adams County Commissioner Stephen Caraway also believes that the courthouse is in need of handicap access upgrades.

“The Courthouse is the people’s house. It is owned by every citizen in Adams County and I feel strongly that our fellow citizens with disabilities should also have easy access to the building,” Caraway said. “What we have now simply doesn’t meet the Americans with Disabilities Act standards and certainly doesn’t live up to our obligation to make the building easily accessible to those who are limited in their physical abilities. This plan fixes that.”

Construction on the courthouse is set to begin in August of this year and is scheduled to be completed by late November.

The current side entrances to the courthouse will remain but will only be used as emergency exits.

Also on the agenda was the tax levy for the Adams County Regional Medical Center which Worley also commented on after a meeting with members of the hospital’s Board of Trustees.

The levy, which will be on the ballot next election, will be a 0.5 percent sales tax increase. The ACRMC CEO Roland Gee said during the hospital’s Board of Trustees meeting on July 28 that the levy was originally going to be in place for five years, but is now only going to be in place for four years, if passed.

Caraway said he believes a strong hospital is vital to Adams County and its citizens.

“The Adams County Regional Medical Center is vital to future growth in Adams County,” Caraway said. “We must have a state-of-the-art medical facility for our citizens. Under the leadership of Roland Gee and the Board of Trustees, the hospital has made much progress in the past few months towards a path to long term stability. After careful deliberation and multiple meetings with Mr. Gee, the Board felt that a four year levy would be an appropriate amount of time.”

“I think it was something that was negotiated down,” Worley said. “I think we would all like to see a day where the hospital is self-sufficient and doesn’t need additional money to operate but with it being a county hospital we also have a responsibility to make sure that the hospital is viable and that people here have access to quality healthcare. Without this levy it would be very difficult for the hospital to continue to operate.”

Worley said he believes the hospital has a history of spending money wisely, but wants to show the Adams County Regional Medical Center that an end to taxpayer money has to come eventually.

“[ACRMC] is making progress in the right direction but they still need some help that the levy does with the equipment the hospital needs,” Worley said. “We believe the money given to the hospital has been spent well but I think the other piece for me personally is we want to see the day when the hospital is self-sufficient and we’re kind of putting them on notice that this is not a never-ending supply of money from the taxpayers. It’s holding them accountable but at the same time making sure the people of Adams County have access to quality healthcare.”

Reach Charles Grove at 937-544-2391, cgrove@civitasmedia.com or @WUDefender on Twitter.

Added security measures and handicap accessible features are being planned for the Adams County Courthouse.
http://www.peoplesdefender.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/web1_IMG_7901.jpgAdded security measures and handicap accessible features are being planned for the Adams County Courthouse. Charles Grove | People’s Defender

Pictured here is the famous Clock tower of the Adams County Courthouse.
http://www.peoplesdefender.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/web1_IMG_7900.jpgPictured here is the famous Clock tower of the Adams County Courthouse. Charles Grove | People’s Defender

By Charles Grove

cgrove@civitasmedia.com

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