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The STAR is distributed every Thursday.  
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Separate union for county jail officers

BY ANDREW STEELE
Star Managing Editor

CROWN POINT -- The move toward unionization of county employees continued last week with a decision by the County Commissioners to designate correctional officers a separate bargaining unit.
    Already, Highway Department employees and Sheriff's Department police officers are represented by their own unions, and commissioners agreed on March 15 to allow the prison correctional officers to decide their fate separately from the rest of the county's employees.
    Clorius Lay, the attorney who has been handling the unionization issue for the commissioners, said the 154 correctional officers have a decade-long relationship with the International Union of Police Associations Local 11, and the officers' interests are sufficiently unique to justify an independent bargaining relationship.
    The corrections officers will be given the choice of Local 11 or other unions, or no union at all, in an upcoming election.
    Meanwhile, the United Steel Workers and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees have reached an agreement to offer joint representation to county employees.
    The unions were two of three that entered the competition to represent workers. The other is the Teamsters.
    The Steel Workers and AFSCME have agreed to split county workers between them -- officially, AFSCME would represent non-officer employees of the Sheriff's Department and correction officers, if that group chooses them over USPA Local 11, and the Steel Workers would represent the rest of the county's employees --but bargain with county officials as a single unit.
    In other business, the commissioners approved the Highway Department's request to hire an engineer for replacement of the Belshaw Road bridge over Cedar Creek.
    "This will be one of our first projects (of the construction season)," Highway Superintendent Marcus Malczewski said.
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Planners turn away
small-lot project

BY SEAN MCNAB 
Star Staff Writer

CROWN POINT -Developer Skip Pelton brought before the Plan Commission last week a proposal to create single family residences on the northeast quadrant of Pratt and Goldsborough streets.
    The dimensions of the lots would be 40 feet by 120 feet, though the present standard is 60 by 120 feet.
    "At the present time there are no developments like this in Crown Point. This would definitely be a positive thing for the city," explained Pelton.
    The homes would have a starting price of $135,000 and would be maintenance-
free for a monthly charge of $40.
    Commission member Paul Bremer stated, "There is no way I could support such a petition because there are too many houses wanting to be built in too small an area."
    City Engineer Jeff Ban cited that two of the proposed lots that Pelton wanted to
build on had sewer lines directly on the lots and could not be used.
    City Planner Curt Graves added, "We had a case in the past, Tom Fleming, in which he reduced the lot size so significantly that he was not able to fit the houses on the pro-posed lots."
    This point was brought up for the fact that each house will only have a 5-foot passageway in-between one other, which is the minimum requirement by ordinance.
"I feel that this would definitely be out of character to accept this small proposition
in such an established neighborhood,'' interjected Commission member Robert Corbin.
    Corbin then made an advisory motion not to go forward with this motion which was unanimously accepted by the board 7-0.  Pelton was advised that he could still go forward with the idea and, thus, petition for the variance.
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Andrean wins semistate

The Andrean High School boys basketball team on Saturday earned its first trip to the state finals since the days of Dan Dakich and Jim Bullock.  
     The Shane Power-led 59ers defeated Fort Wayne Concordia and Pendleton high schools at the Frankfort semi-state.  
     They will face Brebeuf of Indianapolis at 5:30 p. m. Saturday.
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