In case you missed it – February 20

CASA child advocacy program short of volunteers

GREENFIELD — An influx of child abuse and neglect cases in Hancock County has left local leaders searching for more special advocates to represent children in the courtroom.

A Court-Appointed Special Advocate, or CASA, is a volunteer who evaluates a child’s living situation and makes a recommendation to the court. State law requires a CASA be appointed in every court case where a child’s welfare is called into question.

At the close of 2014, there were 20 children placed on a waiting list to be partnered with an advocate. By the end of 2015, that number had jumped to 51, said Annette Craycraft, executive director of East Central Indiana CASA.

The county currently has 15 advocates. To meet the increase in need, Hammond, who serves as a local coordinator, estimates the county needs at least 40 more.

MobileEyes digital mapping making firefighters safer

GREENFIELD — A new digital mapping program will boost safety and efficiency for firefighters during building inspections and emergency runs, Greenfield Fire Territory officials said.

The $9,000 program, called MobileEyes, allows firefighters to make digital maps of buildings in the city during their annual checks, noting where water connections, hydrants and entrances are located, as well as where potential hazards — like chemicals or other flammable materials — are kept in the building, officials said.

In the event of an emergency, having that information handy could save precious seconds while keeping first-responders safe, fire department officials said.

T.J. Maxx’s store plans on hold after communications slow

GREENFIELD — Nine months after representatives from T.J. Maxx filed plans to open a store in Greenfield, no development has begun, and city officials say they’re unsure if the project will move forward.

In June, city officials approved a proposal from the retailer to build a 20,000-square-foot store in Brandywine Plaza between McClarnon and Green Meadows drives. But city officials say com-pany representatives have stopped communicating with them, so the city hasn’t been able to complete building review plans.

The company, which has more than 1,000 stores nationwide, offers brand-name clothing and home goods at 20 to 60 percent below department store prices, according to its website.