Local bald eagles lose home in blustery storm
GREENFIELD — A pair of bald eagles that had called Greenfield home for several years lost their nest when powerful storms whipped through the county during the weekend.
Wind gusts reached up to 26 mph last weekend as a brief but powerful rainstorm crossed Greenfield. The tall sycamore tree on the northeast side of Greenfield that held the eagles’ nest crashed to the ground, prompting concern among area residents who had for months kept eyes on the nest and enjoyed tracking the birds’ activities.
But there’s good news: Wildlife officials said neither adult eagle nor their eaglet appears to have been harmed in the incident, and they’re likely to build another nest nearby.
Cumberland town manager takes post in Plainfield
CUMBERLAND — Cumberland’s town manager has stepped down from his post amid a battle he was leading to save a historic church in the area.
Andrew Klinger (pictured above), who is resigning to take the town manager position in Plainfield, said he regrets not being able to pursue the project to save the St. John United Church of Christ, but he is confident town officials can figure out some way to save the structure from being demolished.
Klinger has served as the point person in discussions between town officials and the church, whose members have struggled trying to sell the building, which they say is in desperate need of repairs they can’t afford.
His resignation is effective Monday.
County moves forward on plans to hire drug officer
GREENFIELD —The Hancock County Council on Wednesday approved the transfer of $100,000 from the county’s reserve funds into its local option income tax fund, which is designated by state law for public safety initiatives. These dollars will be used to hire a new detective dedicated to drug-related investigations, an individual the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department is eager to bring on as quickly as possible, officials said.
The $100,000 will fund not only the officer’s salary but benefits and police equipment.
The county’s reserve funds traditionally are earmarked for emergencies. After statistics showed a rise in overdoses and deaths related to heroin and other narcotics, the council in August heeded warnings from law enforcement and deemed the issue worthy of a quick response.
County shifts money to cover increased coroner costs
GREENFIELD — An increase in deaths requiring autopsies led county officials this week to appropriate a $20,600 boost to the Hancock County coroner’s dwindling budget.
While no representatives from the coroner’s office were at the meeting — Coroner Crystel Myers had put in the request but did not attend — Auditor Robin Lowder told county council members the budget for autopsies has about $4,000 remaining, and a bill for more than $11,000 needs to be paid.
The council moved to transfer $20,600 from the rainy day fund to the coroner’s budget. Lowder told the council members that amount should get the office through December based on numbers provided to her by Myers.