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LaGrange Commissioners seek to drop tobacco grants for Noble-DeKalb
Tuesday Sep 02, 2014 11:14am
County Office Building • LaGrange, IN

By: Tim Murray

LAGRANGE – LaGrange County Commissioners will ask state officials to shut down the Tobacco Cessation grant program for Noble and DeKalb Counties.

LaGrange County Commissioners administer the grant for the four northeast Indiana counties. They approved a contract last month for Lisa Jones to coordinate the program for Noble and DeKalb but since then learned she obtained a full-time job and declined the position.

Troubles with the program began earlier this summer when grant coordinator Greg Johnson left Indiana for California without formally resigning.

LaGrange Commissioners hired Deb Ponticorvo to coordinate the program in LaGrange and Steuben Counties. That program will continue.

Commission President Jac Price said the whole program has taken on a life of its own.

"Our previous coordinator for all four counties is in California. Deb is not interested in a full-time position. She already has other work to do. But what I am suggesting is if the state will allow us to close those two grants that we close the tobacco free grant for DeKalb County and for Noble County, which are two counties that Mr. Johnson went out and solicited to create a full-time job for himself, and let them go back on their own," Price said.

The auditor's office contacted the state program to find out if the grant can be closed out and will follow through on that process.

Also this morning the commissioners directed County Attorney Kurt Bachman to draft a 3 year extension of the county's contract with ARK to operate the animal shelter.

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