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Sheriff to get new cruisers

There will be some new cruisers on the roads of Lawrence County after the commissioners approved a request from Sheriff Jeff Lawless.

On Tuesday, the commissioners voted to approve the purchase of six new cruisers for the sheriff’s department at a total cost of $263,190. Each cruiser costs $45,865.

“We are very happy to accommodate your request. We know how important the safety of our deputies are in these cruisers,” said Commissioner DeAnna Holliday.

Lawless told the commissioners at a meeting last month that the cars are used by the road patrol and were “absolutely worn out.” The cars that are being replaced are Crown Victoria Interceptors, which the Ford Motor Company stopped making in 2011.

“I appreciate it,” Lawless told the commissioners. “We are definitely in dire need of cruisers, so I really appreciate it. I know the men and women of this office appreciate you as well.”

Lawless said that it normally takes several months for the vehicles to arrive after they are ordered.

The commissioners said they are in the final stretch of getting a new Senior Center built in Proctorville.

Two years ago, they applied for $1 million in state capital appropriations to get the facility built.

The commissioners also proclaimed Oct. 23-31 as Red Ribbon Week in Lawrence County, in support of anti-drug abuse activities. The idea of red ribbons came about after the death of DEA agent Enrique Camarena, who was killed by drug cartel members in February 1985. After his death, friends and neighbors began to wear red ribbons to show their support for the cause Camarena died for. Since then it has become a national event.

Eddie Neel from Impact Prevention joined the commissioners’ Zoom meeting with several students from St. Joseph and Rock Hill high schools who are a part of the program.

He said they were trying to bring some positivity since so many kids are portrayed as not making good choices.

Impact Prevention has students lead other students in positive ways and they will have several assemblies in honor of Red Ribbon Week.

Also in the virtual meeting was Lawrence County Health Department director Georgia Dillon who talked about the COVID-19 situation, which she said continues to grow in the county.

“(On Tuesday) by 10 o’clock, we had 10 new cases,” she said. “And we have been averaging anywhere between 13 and up cases a day.”

She said she on a call with the governor’s office and that they reported that Ohio is seeing an increase in cases, more than any time before.

Dillon said they are doing a lot of contact tracing, which is when the department tries to track down everyone a person with COVID-19 has come in contact with and could possibly be infected themselves.

“It is staying in families and we have a wide community spread,” she said. “We ask you to please not gather in groups, at things like weddings and funerals.”

She again encouraged people to wear a mask and stay six feet apart when out in public and asked businesses to enforce the mask mandate from the state.

“This has been ongoing for a long time, and there will be a time when this is over. Maybe we will have a vaccine by the end of November and the governor has put his order into the CDC, so we will be getting vaccine, if we just hang strong and work together please and help decrease the spread,” Dillon said. “We have so many people that are sick. Our county is so special to us.”

On Monday, the health department reported the largest spike in cases when they had 30 positive COVID-19, the largest number every reported in a single day since the first case was reported on March 25. There have been 25 COVID-19-related deaths so far.

Holliday said they try to give the public all the information they can about the current pandemic situation even though some people may not believe in COVID-19 or think that masks are somehow impeding their freedom.

“It is not about that at all, we want to empower you with good knowledge of what we are dealing with, not just in Lawrence County, but in the entire country,” she said. “If you don’t want to do it for yourself, do it for others.”