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December 31, 2012

TOP 10: The biggest Southern Indiana news stories of 2012

Deadly tornado easily takes the No. 1 spot

(Continued)

8. Republicans make gains in County government

For the first time in memory, Republicans will take control of the Floyd County Council beginning Jan. 1.

After Steve Burks and Jim Wathen won two of the three at-large seats in the November general election, Republicans will have five of the seven seats on the council.

Four-term Democratic Councilman Ted Heavrin was ousted in the May primary.

Floyd County also found a new home for its youth services bureau in 2012.

The youth shelter  — now known as Open Door Youth Services — is housed in the Pine View Government Center. Besides youth services, several county offices were moved to Pine View — a former elementary school — in the spring of 2012. The North Annex along Grant Line Road was also shuttered late in the year after youth services and solid waste were moved out of the building. There has been talk of building a aquatic center at the site.

In Clark County, the Republican party won control of the Clark County Commissioners in the November election, as the GOP’s Rick Stevenson and Jack Coffman beat incumbents Ed Meyer and Les Young, respectively.

Coffman said on election night, it will be the first time in history the GOP will control the commissioners when the two join Democrat John Perkins on the board Jan. 1.

9. Teenager missing for month, body found

In mid-December, officials discovered the body of Ethan Bennett, 19, of Sellersburg, who had been missing since Sept. 11. The car and body were found off Skyline Drive in Floyd County in a ravine that drops more than 750 feet from the roadway.

Due to the deteriorated condition of the car, Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson estimated it had likely been in the wreckage spot for several weeks.

Bennett was last seen by a family member on the night of Sept. 11, and the Clark County Sheriff’s Department had stated they didn’t feel the case was a criminal matter. A witness did report they saw Bennett driving the 2001 silver Jaguar he was seen leaving the family’s home in Sept. 14 on Veterans Parkway in Clarksville.

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U.S. Department of Justice Senior Litigation Counsel Brad Blackington, left, speaks about a grand jury indictment surrounding Clark County Sheriff Daniel Rodden and his alleged involvement with a prostitute during a press conference at the Lee H. Hamilton Federal Building in downtown New Albany on Tuesday afternoon.

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