In case you missed it – April 25

As prom nears, task force to target underage drinkers

GREENFIELD — Law enforcement officers know that big school events often mean more parties. So, with three county high school proms this weekend and another next week, Hancock County’s Underage Drinking Task Force is warning teens that extra officers will be on patrol and looking for underage drinkers.

Tim Retherford, executive director of Neighborhoods Against Substance Abuse (NASA), said he hopes an extra warning of weekend patrols will have students opting for pizza and soda at these celebrations rather than drugs and alcohol.

“(Underage drinking after prom) isn’t a problem just in this community; it’s a problem in every community,” Retherford said. “Our goal is to prevent this problem and keep kids safer.”

Since 2013, the group has been responsible for roughly 150 arrests and a significant drop in drinking rates among the county’s teens, statistics show.

City plans tickets for unkempt yards

GREENFIELD — Too many abandoned cars and bags of garbage have begun littering the lawns of some Greenfield residents. City officials have taken notice and as a result, they’ve put in place a plan to more strictly enforce current city ordinances regarding yard and home upkeep.

Greenfield Police Department Chief John Jester said he approached Mayor Chuck Fewell about an enforcement program after he and his officers were called to several “properties loaded with trash,” he said.

City officials and local police can penalize homeowners for violating ordinances regarding foul odors, smoke, noise, unkempt trees or shrubs that impede public walkways and a slew of other problems. These violations carry fines up to $100.

Clinic plans to give boost for underinsured

GREENFIELD — The Jane Pauley Community Health Center in Greenfield opened its doors with little fanfare in December. But Thursday morning, Jane Pauley — a 1968 graduate of Warren Central High School and prominent TV journalist for whom the clinic is named — welcomed a small crowd to the grand opening of the clinic that serves underinsured Hancock County residents.

Jane Pauley facilities treat acute health issues such as flu, colds, infections and sore throats; and chronic conditions, including high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes; and provide physical exams and assessments, immunizations, lab work and women’s services.

The Greenfield site is the product of a partnership among Hancock Regional Hospital, Hancock Physician Health Network and the Jane Pauley Community Health Center to provide primary medical care to uninsured county residents and those on Medicaid with no access to local treatment.