THE MADISON COUNTY ALERT

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Before Picture.  Anderson's Martin Luther King Jr. Park in better days.

Before Picture. Anderson’s Martin Luther King Jr. Park in better days.

The Martin Luther King Jr. gateway park in Anderson is no longer a ‘Bed of Roses’ (Bon Jovi).  ‘Weeds Instead of Roses’ (Ashley Monroe) have overtaken many areas of the park.  During the 1980′s, the land was developed and the MLK statute built from funds raised by the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Commission.  The site was then presented to the City of Anderson.

Several city parks have recently received “makeovers” prior to hog roast parties hosted by Mayor Kevin S. Smith (R).  Meanwhile, some city residents have verbalized their displeasure that their neighborhood parks may be at risk of falling into a “Forget Me Nots” (Patrice Rushen) category type.

After picture.  Anderson's MLK Jr. Park in need of groundskeeping attention.

After picture. Anderson’s MLK Jr. Park in need of groundskeeping attention.

As one of the area’s most visable city parks, the MLK site could certainly benefit from some groundskeeping attention.  Before and after pictures obtained READ MORE

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Hog prepares to be roasted. (Courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Hog prepares to be roasted. (Courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

 

Come and Get It!

 

After learning this week Anderson’s city debt of $160 million exceeds that of Gary, East Chicago, and Muncie, Ind. combined, taxpayers are squealing about the use of city resources on two hog roasts hosted by Mayor Kevin S. Smith (R) and his administration.  The events, advertised by the city as “Meet and Greets with Mayor Smith,” were held at Jackson Park, at 22nd St. and Raible Ave., and Walnut St. Park near 19th Street.

With what appears to be a three way race quickly shaping up for the Democrat mayoral nomination in May 2015, Mr. Smith (R) may become embroiled in a Republican primary contest of his own.  Mr. Smith, known for his affinity for throwing pig roast parties with campaign supporters, has revived the hog roast tradition as Mayor.  However, a difference now is that taxpayers are in the “pig pen” with READ MORE

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Madison County 4-H Horse and Pony Show is Ready to Start.

Madison County 4-H Horse and Pony Show is Ready to Roll.

4-H Horse and Pony Show Set to Begin

Madison County’s Tax Breaker  Ready to Run

The 72nd Madison County 4-H Fair wraps up this weekend but not before one of the biggest events takes center stage. The 4-H Horse and Pony Show begins Friday and runs through Saturday. Horses and ponies, along with alpacas and llamas prepared to be admitted to the fairgrounds on Thursday. The horse and pony program provides leadership opportunities for area youth and teaches them good horsemanship as they gain an understanding of proper management for breeding, raising, and training horses and ponies.

Likewise, the horse racing industry has developed a significant presence in Madison County. One proven Madison County horse is preparing to gallop to a strong finish at Shelbyville’s Indiana Grand Race Course in a six furlongs event.  Tax Breaker, the Madison County thoroughbred owned by Madison County Clerk, Darlene Likens (R) and Indiana Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association President, Herb Likens, will start from the tenth post position with jockey Fernando De La Cruz on-board.

Madison County Clerk Darlene Likens (R)

Madison County Clerk Darlene Likens (R)

No Horsing Around for Tax Breaker

Just over two months into the horse racing season, Mr. De La Cruz leads all thoroughbred jockeys with wins at the track.  Local owners Darlene and Herb Likens have trotted into the Top 10 among thoroughbred owners at the Indiana track this year.  The successful duo have accumulated over READ MORE

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City of Anderson is over $100 Million in debt and has the highest municipal-owned electric rates in Indiana.

City of Anderson is over $100 Million in debt and has the highest municipal-owned electric rates in Indiana.

According to documents obtained from the State of Indiana, the City of Anderson is over $100 million in debt. When minimum lease and interest payments are included, total outstanding debt obligations now exceed $160 million.

Anderson now has one of highest debt loads of all Indiana cities. In fact, Anderson’s total outstanding debt obligations now exceed those of Gary, East Chicago, and Muncie, Indiana, combined.

The average family of four living in Anderson will be burdened to pay $12,000 to extinguish the current debt. According to credit giant TransUnion, average family credit card debt decreased from 2013 to 2014. Not so for the City of Anderson. New debt proposed READ MORE

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_MG_9774+Steffanie-OwensMadison County 4-H fairgoer’s are getting their first glimpse of Madison County Commissioner Steffanie Owens (R), this week. The freshman commissioner debuted a flag swept parade float in Alexandria on Sunday. Ironically, the whopping patriotic display seen from nearly one-half mile away steamed through the middle of the hometown of Danny Hayes. Mr Hayes is the 75 year-old Alexandria senior citizen who was kicked off the courthouse square last summer by order of the county commissioners.

 

Danny Hayes back at the courthouse after the Madison County Commissioners buckle under pressure from ACLU

Danny Hayes back at the courthouse after the Madison County Commissioners buckle under pressure from ACLU

Danny Hayes was READ MORE

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R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Anderson Mayor Kevin Smith (R)

Anderson Mayor Kevin Smith (R)

A recent meeting of the Anderson City Council morphed into a civics lesson directed toward Anderson Mayor Kevin S. Smith (R).  During a meeting about utility rate changes, Councilman Ollie D. Dixon (D) took exception to how members of the audience and fellow councilors were being addressed by city administration officials.  Councilman Dixon made it clear to the Mayor that he wasn’t going to be talked to in “that kind of way.”

Recently, Mayor Smith has READ MORE

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ALERT the VOTE 2014
ALERT 2014 County Primary Endorsements (thumbnail)

ALERT Endorses 2014 County Primary Candidates

The Editorial Board of the Madison County ALERT has endorsed candidates in county races in both the Democratic and Republican primaries. In races where a candidate is unopposed, we have listed the candidate’s name and make no endorsement.

In many of the races, the Editorial Board was divided over whom to endorse. READ MORE

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Controversial political carpetbagger Rod Autrey gives an interview to a local radio station

Big money politics has made its way to Madison County in the form of a modern day carpetbagger from North Carolina.

Rod Autrey, a four-term county commissioner from Charlotte, North Carolina, moved North after his political career went South. In his latest political endeavor, Autrey, now an Anderson resident, formed a political action committee in 2012 called The Friends of Madison County. READ MORE

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