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Campbell Co. Leaders to Amend Plans for Expanded Jail

The Campbell County Fiscal Court passed a resolution expressing its intent to renovate the former District Court Building at 600 Columbia Street in Newport as an addition to the Campbell County Detention Center and to construct additional isolation cells.

Campbell County Administrator Matt Elberfeld explained that in order to get permission from the state to make any changes to the County's jail, the state requires a resolution of the Fiscal Court that says the County intends to make the necessary changes. Members of the Fiscal Court are expected to be in Frankfort on Thursday afternoon to meet with the Kentucky Local Correction Facilities Construction Authority where they will make amendments to the plan they submitted in May of 2013.

The County is expected to specify that the cost of their intended project of their jail will cost around $7 million, up from their 2013 projections of $2.5 million, according to Pamela Trautner of the Finance and Administration Cabinet.

In August last year, the Fiscal Court addressed the need of more isolation units which is currently only at five. In that meeting, Judge-Executive Steve Pendery said more units were needed in light of the heroin cases that continue to rise in the region.

Other notes from Wednesday's Fiscal Court meeting:

There was a first reading of an ordinance that will re-zone approximately 12 acres of land on Weaver Lane from residential to rural residential. The fiscal court will address the proposed ordinance again in the next meeting this month.

A trade of duties will continue to take place between the Campbell County Parks and Recreation Department and Campbell County Extension Services pertaining to mow and trimming duties around specific County buildings. This is an annual agreement that sees the Parks and Rec mow and trim around at AJ Jolly Park in exchange for the Extension Services to mow and trim around the Campbell County Senior Center adjacent to the Extension Office.

The Campbell County Animal Shelter has been given permission to receive a $15,000 grant from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.

The Fiscal Court proclaimed that April 3 is Arbor Day in Campbell County.

Campbell County Police Officer Ryan Markus has been promoted to Sergeant I.

The Campbell County Spring Clean Up will take place April 17-19 at Pendery Park, Campbell County Police Station and the Campbell County Transportation Department.

The Campbell County Solid Waste department is sponsoring a Shred Day event on Saturday, April 25, from 9am to 1pm at the Disabled American Veterans parking lot located at US 27 and Route 1998 in Cold Spring.

Campbell County Police Officer Donald Dornheggen was commended for having made the highest amount of drug arrests within the agency. He was also recognized by the Commonwealth of Kentucky for the most DUI arrests in a Northern Kentucky agency of comparable size. This was the second award Officer Dornheggen has received for DUI arrests.

Campbell County Police Officer Jonathan Gemmell was issued the Outstanding Achievement Award for his part in saving a motorist's life after he responded to an auto accident on Nelson Road in September where he saw the woman driving slumped over and not breathing. Officer Gemmell served in the Navy as an EMT and because of this training, he identified that the woman could not breathe in the position she was in. He broke the driver's window and assisted paramedics with moving the woman from the vehicle. He also helped apply medical apparatus to the driver of the vehicle on the scene.

Campbell County Police Chief Craig Sorrell gave the annual report of the Police Department to the Fiscal Court where he provided some statistics of the year before. Major crimes, categorized as Part I crimes were down by 60 arrests from the year before, but more minor crimes (Part II) were up by 80 arrests. Motorists driving under the influence were arrested 154 times in 2014, up from the 111 of 2013. All together, arrests were up 375 to 265 the year before.

Goals that Chief Sorrell gave for the current year include updating their police policy to other national standards, exploring body cameras on officers and digitizing many of the records the Police Department keeps on file.

Written by Bryan Burke, associate editor