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Gas City targets animal cruelty

Animal owners in Gas City will have an updated set of rules to follow if Gas City successfully passes an ordinance proposed this week at city council.

The proposed law covers neglect, abandonment, required vaccinations and specific duties of animal ownership among other topics. Gas City Mayor Bill Rock said the ordinance was introduced to better allow for enforcement of animal abuse within the city and to also update a prior law that mimicked state regulations.

Rock said the proposal isn’t intended to harass animal owners. He said it is intended to deal with owners who refuse to address issues that jeopardize the safety of pets and public health.

“I am one that is not going to let someone be cruel to animals, but I’m also not going to be one that micromanages how you raise your pet or kid,” Rock said. “We’ve got something that we feel is going to address the problems we’ve heard, and it gives our law enforcement the right to cite them if needed.”

The current law doesn’t allow for citation, Rock says, and doesn’t clearly define expectations

“It is very vague,” he said of the current law.

The new law includes the ability for the city to fine certain violations up to $500 per occurrence. It has sections dealing with adequate shelter, duties and responsibilities of animal owners, vaccination of dogs and cats, animal cruelty, abondonment, animal bites, quarantine guidelines, viscous animals, restraint of animals, animal waste removal, reporting vehicular collisions with animals, interference with an animal control officer and animals in vehicles.

A copy of the full ordinance can be acquired by contacting Gas City Hall, 211 E. Main St., at 765-677-3079.

Under duties and responsibilities of animal owners, the law says animals must be given adequate food, water, space and veterinary care along with required vaccinations against rabies, distemper and parvovirus.

When temperatures drop below 40 degrees or above 80 degrees, animals must be provided “adequate shelter” which is explicitly defined by the ordinance.

“Nothing in this section shall restrict an owner/keeper from allowing an animal to be outside for reasonable amounts of time during extreme temperatures to relieve itself and exercise if the animal is being monitored by a competent person,” the proposed law states.

The law defines adequate shelter as a structure that is sound, maintained in good repair and constructed with material that protects an animal from injury. “Adequate shelter” allows pets access in and out of the structure via one side. It also has a weather resistant top, bottom and sides, according to the proposed law, and provides dry ground inside.

When it’s above 80 degrees, adequate shelter includes shade provided by trees, a tarp or other means that would prevent overheating or discomfort, or they must have continued and uninterrupted access to a climate-controlled facility, the proposed ordinance states.

When it’s below 40 degrees, adequate shelter includes access to dry bedding and protection from weather that allows the animal to retain body heat in temperatures colder than any breed of animal can comfortably tolerate, the new law says.

The proposed law requires pets to be on leashes and allows animals to be impounded if they are not restrained and running at-large.

Animals cannot be chained or tethered outside between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., the law says, and chains or tethers must be 12 feet long with the ability to swivel among other regulations.

Anyone who hits a pet while driving must stop and report the incident to 911 or face a $500 fine.

Not properly disposing of animal waste could result in a $500 fine.

The proposed law also bans transporting animals in the bed of a truck without using a kennel, and it outlaws transporting animals in trunks.

Gas City council will hold a public hearing on the ordinance at its next meeting before it moves onto a second reading and is adopted. The date will be announced in the Chronicle-Tribune’s to do calendar and scoops column once confirmed.

Barber opens shop to inspire community

Marion native Carl Webb opened a barbershop with the goal of motivating others with his story.

Webb’s Cut & Care located at 525 S. Washington Street had a soft opening last week, and will have a grand opening on Oct. 23 at 8 p.m.

“I like the community, I like the fact that I can be down here and share my testimony, my life experience, and help others,” Webb said. “That’s what motivates me.”

A defining moment in his testimony happened on Nov. 30, 2006, when Webb had a run-in with the Indianapolis police. He was later charged with attempted murder, and given a maximum of 25 years. Webb was incarcerated for 13 years, and was released two years ago.

Webb said he is grateful to be alive after that experience.

“During the events of the night, God was with me then,” Webb said. “And it’s been a whole journey, and God is with me now. I’m really just trying to spread that energy.”

Two months after being released from jail, Webb competed in the Bronner Bros. international beauty show and won 2nd place in the total look barbering category.

Webb said he has written a book called, “Who will cry for the lion in the zoo?” with the purpose of motivating others and to inspire elevated thought.

“No matter what you are going through, there is hope,” Webb said. “I am here for a real reason to inspire hope and bring about hope and maybe change some perceptions.”

Webb’s Cut & Care is open Tuesday-Friday and can be contacted at 765-716-7816.

Webb said he is looking for additional barbers, hairdressers, and estheticians to fill the space. He said he would like to bring in stylists of all ethnicities and offer services to all people in the community.

Jonesboro River Rally begins Friday

On the verge of fall, the seasons may be changing, but county members hold onto a growing thrill ride of a tradition.

This Friday through Sunday marks the 16th annual Jonesboro River Rally. The event has live music, a wide variety of vendors and one of the largest motorcycle shows in Indiana.

It is located on S. Main St., just north of E. 7th St.

Admission into the River Rally is free, and camping spaces are available for reservation at American Legion of Jonesboro.

Any donations made will go to funding next year’s rally and also to the city of Jonesboro.

Pat Mitchell, the event’s head organizer, said the entire River Rally occupied only half a block when it first began. Now, bikes and approximately 20,000 people fill the 13 blocks of Jonesboro.

Benson Motorcycles Inc. is sponsoring the event for the first time this year. An estimated 15,000 motorcycles will be present, and those registered will be displayed in the bike show Saturday night. Registration is open from 10 a.m-2 p.m., judging is at 3 p.m. and awards will be given out at 5:30 p.m.

The Michiana Trials Riders will be performing motorcycle stunts in addition to the show on both Friday and Saturday.

Friday night Smoked Gouda Band will headline at 10 p.m. and Saturday night The Band Brother will close out the live music for the weekend at 10 p.m.

Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m., the Christian Motorcycles Association is holding a church service for all those who want to attend.

All the activities lead to Sunday morning’s Memorial Ride at 10 a.m., celebrating the life of Waldo and Steve Brandt, father and son of the event’s previous sponsor Brandt’s Harley-Davidson. The ride begins in Wabash and finishes in Jonesboro.

“I hesitate to think that 16 years ago, I thought it would turn into what it has,” Mitchell said. “It’s grown pretty significantly at quite a rapid rate.”

Monica Meador, another River Rally organizer, coordinates the registration of vendors and sells event merchandise. She is entering her eighth year in this role.

This year, Meador said she has added on a whole block just for vendors. Meador expects 75 vendors, selling anything from food to jewelry to LED lights.

Meador said the new partnership with Benson has gone well so far.

“They have designed their own River Rally shirt,” Meador said. “We do a shirt every year, but they’ve made a special one for us this year and they’re going to be selling that at the rally.”

Of all the event has to offer, Meador said she always looks forward to listening to the bands play and getting to see people she does not see on a regular basis.

Tom Gosser, the final member of the organizing trio, works alongside Meador registering vendors and hiring bands.

Like Mitchell, Gosser said he was astounded by how many people and bikes come every year. Gosser said visitors come from surrounding states and he has met people from as far away as Germany.

Gosser said his favorite part of the River Rally is when every vendor is all hooked up and ready to go.

“It basically runs itself once it gets started,” Gosser said. “We have a lot of returning vendors that have been very good with us.”

Gates open at 11 a.m. Friday.

'We're not interested in bailing out the county': Council opposes income tax redistribution

The Marion City Council voted unanimously against an ordinance that would take tax dollars allocated to libraries, townships and cities in Grant County and redistribute that money to central dispatch operations.

Grant County Council needed at least a simple majority in support to be successful in its bid to avoid finding other ways to fund central dispatch, like a possible tax increase.

The Towns of Sweetser, Swayzee, Van Buren, Fairmount and Upland also voted against the ordinance, making Grant County Council’s bid unsuccessful.

“We’re not interested in bailing out the county,” council president Deb Cain said at the public hearing Tuesday.

The resolution would have taken around $50,000 from the Marion Public Library budget, Cain said.

“The libraries all across Grant County can’t handle this,” councilman Brian Cowgill said. “I think it’s ridiculous.”

Councilman Mike Cline called the ordinance a “bailout for a boondoggle,” stating that the county needlessly purchased a building in poor condition, hired a consultant and began building new towers.

“The county wants us to bailout their poor judgments,” Cline said. “Nonsense, I say.”

Councilwoman Robin Fouce agreed with her counterparts that the project was mismanaged by the county, but stated that she would like to keep open lines of communication with the county for further discussions.

Councilman Brad Luzadder claimed that the city council has not been listened to by the county for a number of years.

“Once again, Marion has been placed in a position of being the leader of the county,” Luzadder said. “Instead of stepping up to the plate and making the tough decision, (the county) decided not to. So once again, Marion is going to make the tough decision.”

Luzadder applauded the police and fire chief and the mayor for their efforts to work with the county on the issue.

“I am Marion and Marion first. I was elected by the people of Marion and I will always defend the citizens of Marion,” Luzadder said. “We will not be allowing money to be shifted around that is going to affect this city and our bottom line. I am always going to be on the side of the City of Marion and its citizens and always have been since it began.”