Mt. Vernon Register-News

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December 28, 2013

Top 3 stories of 2013 revealed

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Corrections officers were laid off, with hopes of being called back to work within a few weeks of detainees returning. The county board re-opened its budget to allow for changes to be made due to the loss of revenues.

In April, the facility passed an inspection conducted by Maj. Maury Meredith of ICE. Mulch said based on the information he was given by ICE officials the inmates would return quickly.

“They told us once the assessment was completed they would return very quickly,” Mulch said in April. “They want our facility back. We’re very valuable because of our location near the two interstates and our close proximity to major airports, and because we have always done a good job of fulfilling their transportation needs...”

In May, a meeting between ICE and county officials was held, and it was found ICE prisoners would not be returned to the county until Oct. 1, at the earliest.

ICE officials were not commenting on the reports, citing pending litigation, as a federal lawsuit had been filed on behalf of seven detainees who claimed to be held under unsanitary conditions and had inadequate health care at the Justice Center.

The lawsuit was dismissed in May, however, the inspection of the Justice Center resulted in a finding by ICE that the facility is non-compliant with federal detention standards, which has resulted in a significant loss of revenue to the county and a substantial reduction in workforce.

The top story for 2013 is the Mt. Vernon Township High School.

In April, a statement from Mike Beard, representing the Past President’s Council of the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, was presented to members of the MVTHS Board of Education’s Building Committee.

Among other things, the statement outlined concerns from the Council regarding a change in the design of the new proposed high school and how that would increase the total project cost.

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