TERRE HAUTE —
Vigo County’s new smoke-free air law has resulted in only a few complaints since it took effect July 1, officials said Friday.
The Vigo County Health Department has received almost no complaints, said Sydney Elliott, the department’s media coordinator. She emphasized that the health department is the local enforcement agency for the new rules.
The Indiana Excise Police also take complaints about smoking law violations since Indiana adopted its own clean-indoor air law, also July 1.
The state’s new law is less strict than Vigo County’s ordinance, which bans smoking in virtually all indoor places of employment or business, including private clubs and bars. The state law exempts bars, casinos and private organizations.
Since July 1, state excise authorities have gotten six complaints in Vigo County, said Sgt. Bill Turner of the Indiana State Excise Police, District 5, which includes Vigo County and most of southwestern Indiana.
One of the six complaints reported to excise police in Vigo County concerned Ambrosini’s, a bar and restaurant on Wabash Avenue in Terre Haute. Steve Smith, owner of the business, said the complaint concerned either someone reportedly smoking in a restroom or possibly in the patio seating area outside the restaurant. The county and state laws both prohibit smoking within eight feet of an entrance to a nonsmoking building.
“They gave us a warning,” Smith said of the excise authorities, who he said arrived soon after the complaint was filed. After an inspection of his business, Smith was instructed to move a small trash can exclusively for cigarette butts to a spot more than eight feet from his patio door, he said. The can had been there to allow smokers to toss their cigarette butts before entering the building. Now the can is eight feet from the door, he said.
A follow-up inspection found Ambrosini’s in full compliance with the new regulations and no citations were issued from the complaint, Smith noted.
Other complaints received by the excise police in Vigo County have concerned the Terre Haute Fire Department, a local corporation, a veteran’s club and two unidentified establishments, according to state excise police reports. The Fire Department and the corporation complaints were marked as “anonymous” and “referred to Health Department.” The veteran’s club received a “notice of warning” and the two unidentified establishment complaints were referred to the health department.
“The complaints have been minimal” from Vigo County, Turner said.
The state excise police handle smoking complaints in establishments that sell alcohol and/or tobacco, Turner said. County health departments typically handle complaints concerning other establishments, he said. When complaints are received by excise police concerning establishments that do not sell alcohol or tobacco, those complaints are referred to the local health department, he said.
“People have been compliant” with the new rules, the Vigo County Health Department’s Elliott said Friday. “It’s been a positive change for the county.”
Three complaints have been filed with excise authorities concerning establishments in Clay County since July 1 and six in Parke County, most concerning restaurants near Raccoon Lake. Two of those complaints resulted in warnings. The other complaints were referred to the Parke County Health Department for further investigation.
Two complaints were filed in Sullivan County since July 1. Those were both dismissed as “unfounded” by excise authorities. There have been no complaints filed in Greene or Vermillion counties with the Indiana State Excise Police.
Reporter Arthur Foulkes can be reached at (812) 231-4232 or email@example.com.
TERRE HAUTE —
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When heavy equipment starts moving dirt next week at the former Terre Haute Coke and Carbon industrial site, city officials hope a new day will be dawning for a long-neglected part of town.
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Valley following diversity path of nation, Indiana
Like much of Indiana, the majority white population in the Wabash Valley is on the decline, while minority populations are on the increase.
Court lets walkout fines against House Democrats stand
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Arrest made, victim identified in Rosedale homicide
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Vermillion industrial park gets award for transition
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Slight damage from evening storm
Very little damage was reported from a late evening storm that rolled through the Wabash Valley on Tuesday.
U.S. 41 lane restrictions
Motorists should expect delays because of lane restrictions on U.S. 41 in Sullivan County next week as a railroad company repairs a rail crossing 1.2 miles north of Shelburn.
Back home again: Items from vaudeville stage and Terre Haute native sent to Historical Society
The staff at the Vigo County Historical Museum are excited about the arrival of priceless items used by Terre Haute-native Rose Fehrenbach and her husband, Edward Pierce, to promote their Vaudeville acts in the early 20th century.
Husband charged in Archer homicide
Terre Haute Police have found local reports of domestic violence between a Terre Haute man and his wife, whose body was discovered wrapped in a tarp and dumped in an Ohio ditch.
National Road panels dedicated
Rewind to the mid-1800s, when the trotting of a horse and buggy on National Road could be heard alongside the voices of people heading west, searching for opportunities.
Pence sets agency priorities
Following a directive from Gov. Mike Pence, state agency heads are reorganizing some of their top priorities to better reflect the first-year governor’s “roadmap for Indiana” plan for improving the state’s economy, infrastructure and health.
Another I-70 traffic snarl: Three injured in two related crashes
Three people were injured Monday afternoon from a pair of crashes on Interstate 70 that temporarily closed the highway and diverted traffic into Terre Haute.
Terre Haute man still hospitalized after scooter/car crash
A Terre Haute man remained hospitalized Monday at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis after his scooter struck a car early Saturday on Wabash Avenue at 25th Street.
Overpass repairs causing Interstate 70 lane restrictions
Repairs to the Frye Road overpass in southeastern Vigo County has caused a restriction to the left lane of Interstate 70 between the 13- and 14-mile markers, about two miles east of the Indiana 46 exit.
Indiana woman condemned for killing at 15 is freed
A woman who was sentenced to death at age 16 for taking part in the torture and murder of a 78-year-old Bible studies teacher was released from an Indiana prison Monday after growing to middle age behind bars.
Grant will let Vigo Library evaluate map collection
The Vigo County Public Library has received a $2,000 grant to evaluate its historic map collection, a library official announced Monday.
Four juveniles caught on elementary school roof; one injured jumping off
Police say a juvenile was lucky to have suffered only a broken leg after jumping from the roof of a Vigo County elementary school – dropping about 30 feet to the ground.
Farmersburg man sentenced after guilty plea in rape case
A Farmersburg man has been sentenced to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to a rape that occurred at his parents’ residence in May 2012.
Still no information being released on Rosedale homicide
No new information was being released Monday afternoon concerning a Rosedale homicide.
Fathers take time out to spend quality time with children, grandchildren
A big, circular white cloud rose up through the tall atrium as Mike Woods held his 4-year son, Nathan, Sunday at the Terre Haute Children’s Museum.
On Friday, hit the park and raise funds for skateboarders
The On-board United Initiative — O.U.I. for short — has scheduled an all-ages fundraising event Friday in honor of national Go Skateboarding Day.
STATE OF THE STATEHOUSE: Sentencing law could benefit juveniles
Monica Foster is a longtime public defender who’s been pushing uphill in the legal system for a long time. So, when she says the General Assembly is making progress protecting the rights of the disenfranchised, it’s worth stopping to listen to her.
Mastering the art of Gardening
The Wabash Valley Master Gardeners group gathered over the weekend to marvel at each other’s gardens on its annual garden tour. The event was a chance for master gardeners to showcase their labor of love, meanwhile sharing stories about their plants.
RESTAURANT INSPECTIONS: June 17, 2013
The Vigo County Health Department inspected the following food establishments May 28-31:
Lawn mower fire destroys barn
A lawn mower that caught fire was cited as the cause of a fire that destroyed a single story barn Sunday in the 2000 block of North Chamberlain Street, said Harold Osborn, assistant fire chief of the Lost Creek Township Fire Department.
Wabash Valley residents vie for spot on Wheel of Fortune
Ellen Fujawa of Zionsville wants to be on the popular syndicated Wheel of Fortune game show.
No ID yet on body found in Rosedale home
Sheriff Mike Eslinger said his department is waiting to obtain an immediate family’s confirmation of a woman found dead in a home in the 2900 block of West Rosehill Lane.
Vigo School Corp. eliminating bus transportation for middle school sports teams
The Vigo County School Corp. will no longer provide school bus transportation for middle school athletic events, starting with the 2013-14 school year.
B.J. RILEY: Fathers are an inspiring figure
Ever since I can remember, I wanted to be a salesman. In grade school, I was so excited about selling candy bars or candles or whatever the chosen product.
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