Johnson County's 2016 Year In Review: April-June

Over the next few days we will be taking a look back at Johnson County's top stories for 2016.
Today we will focus on the second quarter of the year, from April through June of 2016.

In April, the City of Buffalo announced that testing of the city's water supply in some homes and buildings had found elevated levels of lead, and at a Buffalo City Council meeting, Mayor Mike Johnson and City Water Treatment Plant Operator Ronny Young addressed the issue to explain what happened, what citizens could do to protect themselves and how to go about testing their homes or businesses for levels of lead in their water.

A public forum to discuss the possibility of fluoridating Buffalo's municipal water in April showed those attending were predominantly against the idea, but open to looking into alternatives to help with the oral health of the county.

Dr. Mark Schueler, Public Health Officer for Johnson County, was behind the drive to get fluoride added to the city's drinking water.

Those attending the forum gave opinions with the overwhelming majority against adding fluoride to the city's water, but open to looking at alternatives such as the city helping to fund fluoride pills and fluoride varnishes to help improve the county's dental health.
No decision was made at the meeting, but eventually the council chose not to add fluoride to the city's water.

Sheridan College in Johnson County (SCJC) faced a budget shortfall during the fiscal year, and college officials looked into options to cut corners, including the possibility of moving out of their location in the Bomber Mountain Civic Center.

SCJC Director Derek Andrews came before the Johnson County Commissioners to discuss the predicament they were in, seek solution ideas and explain where the college receives their funding from, which is what started the budget shortfall discussions.

The commissioners discussed the proposals with Andrews, and agreed that the best scenario would be for the college to stay put, but were concerned about subsidizing the college, especially moving forward when resources would be stretched even further.

Commissioner Jim Hicks said he would not be opposed to help fund the college for a year, but would like to sit down with Sheridan College President Paul Young to find a long-term funding solution.

Former newspaper sports reporter Michael Johnson entered a plea of “Not Guilty” during his arraignment in Johnson County District Court in June with Judge William J. Edelman accepting the plea.

Judge Edelman read the charging documents during the proceeding, naming the 12 different counts against Johnson including drug and child pornography charges and the possible sentences if convicted on any or all of the charges.

If convicted on all counts, Johnson could be sentenced from a minimum of 35 years to over 100 years in jail, pay up to $120,000 in fines.
Sentencing for Johnson is currently scheduled for next month in Johnson County District Court.

Hundreds of people showed up at the Johnson County Library for the Grand Opening of the building in June following the completion of its addition and remodeling project.

State Representative Mike Madden, State Senator Dave Kinskey, County Commissioner Jim Hicks, and Mayor Mike Johnson spoke of the beauty of the building, the great addition it will make to the community, and praised the willingness of the voters of Johnson County to add the one-cent special purpose sales tax to pay for the project.

The library project's $3.8 million cost is now paid and the one-cent special purpose sales tax will be retired December 31st.

That is a look back to the top stories in Johnson County for the second quarter of 2016.
Tomorrow we will look at the top stories for July, August and September of 2016.

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