This week in comments

Readers took to social media and our website to discuss a "playground scuffle" at Concord South Side Elementary which left one student with a concussion, Goshen City Council approving an urban chicken ordinance and three other stories.

Posted on April 19, 2014 at 3:05 p.m.

Concord elementary student has concussion after 'playground scuffle'

A 9-year-old Concord South Side Elementary student had to be taken to IU Health Goshen on Tuesday afternoon, April 15, after he fought with other students. The school nurse had told his parents that some boys had beat their son in the head. The doctor diagnosed the boy with a concussion.

Superintendent Wayne Stubbs released a statement which said that three students became involved in a “playground scuffle” where several punches were thrown, but “adults immediately intervened”. The family has filed a report with the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department and plans to pursue legal action against the school and possibly the other students involved.

"Kids play. (Hard) and these things happen. Just take proper protocol and let him play on after the tests have been done. don't make a stupid story over it come on elkhart" - Bryan Fields (Comment taken from Facebook)

"Whether you like it or not, the school is responsible for the safety of the child while at school. They are liable for the medical expenses and should be falling over themselves to do the right thing & pay up. That's why they have liability insurance(or should have, at least). Punitive damages, probably not, unless a school employee is found negligent." - Ken Hochstetler (Comment taken from Facebook)

"They couldn't find a teacher because one teacher can't keep track of every single student at every minute. I think that the other students should have been expelled and their families should be held accountable. Suing the school isn't going to help, in fact, it will just remove funds for students. At a public school, it's practically like suing the tax payers." - Tyler S. Knudson (Comment taken from Facebook)

Goshen City Council votes in favor of two-year pilot program to allow residents to keep hens

Goshen City Council approved an ordinance on Tuesday, April 15, which will allow people living in the city of Goshen to keep up to six hens. Council members voted 4-3 to issue up to 50 permits during the next couple of years to residents who pay a $25 registration fee and gets the written approval of adjoining property owners.

"I grew up in Goshen and we had free range chickens that just hung around in the neighborhood it never bothered anyone" - Rob BeMiller (Comment taken from Facebook)

"I think it will bring in more wildlife to find easy pray and others to find food." - Rick Rodgers (Comment taken from Facebook)

"Similar rules have caused headaches for animal shelters. People don't realize how much expense and trouble is involved." - Buzz Lail (Comment taken from Facebook)

Elkhart County Sheriff's Department grapples with staffing crisis

Dozens of employees with the Elkhart County Sheriff's Department have left in the past several years to find better paying jobs at factories, fast food restaurants and law enforcement departments in the area. The wages for county corrections and police officers are among the lowest in the area, leading to a high turnover rate which may affect the services provided.

The Elkhart County Council amended an ordinance on Saturday, April 12, to increase the starting pay of corrections officers to $13.37 from $12 an hour and patrol officers to $16.50 from $14.75 an hour. However, the amendment does not address senior employees and other positions.

"Cops, teachers, firefighters, you name it should get paid much more--good luck trying to sell the idea that taxes pay for these services to the Something for Nothing Crowd." - Kevin James DeBeck (Comment taken from Facebook)

"With all of the stuff that they do...they can't pay them enough. Put they DEFINITELY should be paid more! Especially the corrections officers! No one know what kind of mental and physical stress that is." - Kaley Faye Miller (Comment taken from Facebook)

"At least they are getting paid. Beats the alternative." - Laura Woolley (Comment taken from Facebook)

Three Concord Township Fire Dept. employees face suspension over improper drug handling

Three Concord Township Fire Department employees face suspension without pay for not following department protocol “regarding proper tag removal on narcotics boxes”, according to Concord Township Trustee Mark Grabill.

Deputy Chief Don Mansell faces an eight-week suspension. Bill Creedon and Jon Simmons, firefighters and emergency medical technicians, both face four-week suspensions.

"ive always known thse men to be professionals. tags are removed to protect them why didnt they do it? where is the leafership of the towmship trustee who spens the largest amount of his time at the station?" - Debra Stoffer (Comment taken from Facebook)

""30 years now" I grew up in good old "Dunlap", Concord Township, and I became a firefighter in 1987. I was a volunteer at Concord for two years , and then a full time member to this day. I would like to make something perfectly clear to all that read this. Acosta Anna, when you are telling us that Concord firefighters are a big problem. Let me reassure you that this is not true. For almost 30 years I trained, fought, laughed, saved, and watched people die in front of my eyes. I have the utmost respect and pride for what I have become, A firefighter on Concord Fire Department. The leadership here is strong! This community and everyone that passes threw here can be reassured that they will receive professionalism and the best medical care that anyone can get. Deb, I will go in a burning building with Mark Grabill any day of the week." - Bob Harbaugh (Comment taken from Facebook)

Goshen senior co-housing project to provide nursing home alternative

Bob and Carolyn Zook are starting a senior co-housing project in Goshen, the first of its kind in Elkhart County. The project will provide a housing option for the elderly who can no longer live by themselves but do not require the level of care of a nursing home. The Zooks will also be living in the home, and they will employ staff to help residents with tasks such as cooking to medicine reminders. The couple is dipping into their retirement savings to fund the $400,000 project, which includes a $17,000 fire suppression system.

"Thank you to the Zooks for taking on this incredible project. May they and the residents they served be truly blessed. We need more people in our county to take notice of the needs of the aging population and do something to make a difference!" - Tammy Hackelman Friesen (Comment taken from Facebook)

"God bless them. To some the words "nursing home" translate into, "the last home". I've worked in some of these places, and for most it's like giving up, for some ,the family seems to forget them. Not always ,but for the ones that do it's heart breaking to see." - Judy Callantine (Comment taken from Facebook)

"I am from Elkhart, am a nurse, graduated from Goshen College. I live in the Seattle area now. I work in home health & we have had these types of homes here as long as I've been here, almost 30 years. We call them adult family homes. They are a great alternative to a nursing home." - Lynette Cocanower Schmidt (Comment taken from Facebook)


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