Tippecanoe County

Gretchen Frazee, Indiana Public Media

An increase in the number of hepatitis C infections attributable to injection drug use has prompted Tippecanoe County Health Officer Jeremy Adler to start developing a plan to stem the spread of the virus.

County data show 61 percent of new hepatitis C cases last year occurred in people who had injected drugs, an increase from 50 percent in 2014, and 37 percent in 2013.

Michael Coghlan / https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikecogh/

Tippecanoe County Sheriff Barry Richard says his department needs to add 26 employees over the next five years to keep up with demand for services.

That total includes 10 additional deputies to patrol roads, 10 correctional officers to work in the jail, three dispatchers, two bailiffs and an administrative assistant for the detective division.  

Richard says the five-year plan is based on criteria such as the volume of calls for help and the number of deputies per capita.

Flickr.com / https://www.flickr.com/photos/75905404@N00/

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana filed suit Thursday against Tippecanoe County on behalf of a group that advocates for the legalization of marijuana.

The lawsuit alleges the county violated the First Amendment rights of Higher Society of Indiana Inc. when the commissioners denied the group’s request to hold a June 17 rally on the courthouse grounds.  

Nathan Gibbs / https://www.flickr.com/photos/nathangibbs/

Six months before the November general election, the Tippecanoe County Election Board is shopping for a new contractor to provide computer software needed to run the voting system.

The three-member board voted Friday to cancel the county’s contract with Robis Elections, based in Wheaton, Illinois.

Chris Morisse Vizza

Property owners will have an opportunity next month to comment on the Tippecanoe County Board of Commissioners' plan to create a new property tax to fund major bridge projects.

Board President Dave Byers says county leaders will likely set a maximum tax rate at about 1 cent per $100 assessed valuation.

County Auditor Bob Plantenga says the property tax increase would trigger state-mandated tax caps, which would in turn, reduce Lafayette’s tax revenue by about $54,000 a year and West Lafayette’s by about $34,000 annually.

Chris Morisse Vizza

The Tippecanoe County Commissioners say they want input from the mayors of Lafayette and West Lafayette before establishing a new bridge tax.

The commissioners on Monday had planned to schedule a meeting so taxpayers could comment on creation of a major bridge fund. It would pay for large bridges scheduled for replacement in the next 50 years.

But Auditor Bob Plantenga says the property tax increase may trigger state-mandated tax caps that would slightly decrease the amount of revenue for the cities of Lafayette, West Lafayette and Otterbein.

Chris Morisse Vizza

A new industrial park in Tippecanoe County is the first site in the state to meet stiffer development standards and earn the designation of Indiana Site Certified Gold.

That means the 164 acre site bounded on the south by Haggerty Lane and on the east by I-65 ranks high on the list of properties marketed to business and industry leaders.

KEVIN HARBER / https://www.flickr.com/photos/kevharb/

A new ordinance requires all tattoo and body piercing shops in Tippecanoe County to obtain a permit.

Officials say the new rules are for the health and safety of both the artists and their customers.

Area shop owners appear to be in favor of the ordinance in theory.

But some acknowledge it could establish a financial burden that some may find difficult to shoulder.

The new ordinance lists requirements a business must meet to be able to provide tattoo and piercing services.

Dennis S Hurd / https://www.flickr.com/photos/dennissylvesterhurd/

Most people associate gangs with big cities.

But a forum for youth services workers this week brought attention to the problem in Tippecanoe County.

Local authorities say while there are gangs in the area they’re nowhere near the level of, say, Waco, Texas where a fight between rival bikers resulted in nine deaths this week.

But some fear gang influence could rise to that level if the community doesn’t band together to limit it.

Ken Clare / https://www.flickr.com/photos/kenclareblog/

New animal control ordinances are in place for the city of Lafayette and the unincorporated portions of Tippecanoe County.

Review of the existing ordinances was prompted by different reasons in the two municipalities, but the goal of the new policies is the same: to keep the pet population healthy and at a manageable level.

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