April: Paddlefish roe raid

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(1) A two year investigation led to an early morning raid at the Markland Dam Park in late April. By the time investigators had finished, 16 different people were facing 70 total charges in connection with the illegal capture and trade of paddlefish and paddlefish roe. Decreasing numbers of sturgeon in the Caspian Sea, producers of the finest caviar, has meant that suppliers have looked elsewhere for a suitable replacement – and paddlefish eggs are in high demand.

(2) A memorial bench honoring the late Steve Adams was dedicated in front of the Switzerland County Sheriff’s Department. Steve Adams was a longtime peace officer here in the county before passing away unexpectedly in 2006.

(3) Lady Pacer senior basketball player Ashley Bright was among those selected as the “Top 40” seniors in the entire state. She was invited to attend a special workout along with the other honorees for college coaches.

(4) Jack Kidwell of Florence was honored as a 50-year member of the Masonic lodge. He was presented a special pin by member of Florence Lodge #27.

(5) More than 70 people attended a public meeting held by the Switzerland County Commissioners to discuss possible options for Markland Pike. A large majority of those in attendance were in favor of making improvements to the existing roadway.

(6) The town of Patriot heard a presentation about how the riverfront along the community could be preserved, stabilized, and used by the community. Such plans as a walking trail, memorial plaza, and holding the riverbank in place were all discussed.

(7) Switzerland County EMS, along with law enforcement officers and firefighters helped to stage a mock accident scene in the parking lot of Switzerland County High School. The mock disaster was designed to help students understand the dangers of drinking and driving as they prepared for prom night.

(8) Sara Craig and Aaron Moore were crowned as the Queen and King of this year’s Switzerland County Prom. First runners up were Jill Hazeldean and Kris Hetrick; second runners up were Sydney Pike and Bryan Levell; third runners up were Ashley Bright and Jordan Hinman; and fourth runners up were Stephanie Adams and Chris Tobias.

(9) After working nearly the entire school year, a master teacher contract between the school corporation and certified teachers was approved. Pay raises for teachers ranged between 1.25 -1.45 percent.

(10) The new bridge being built over Turtle Creek near Florence was still on schedule. Weather conditions were a big part in keeping the construction on track for a May completion.