Local News

May 13, 2012

Meth messing up Cass County

New methods make it easier to make drug, more labs turning up

LOGANSPORT — It’s addictive, smelly and hazardous, but it also leaves a big mess.

Often discovered in abandoned homes, methamphetamine labs can cause major headaches for property owners when they are faced with structural or land contamination. However, an emerging meth cleanup industry and a new state law aim to ease the burden.

The spring brings with it warm weather, but also an increase in the labs, according to the Indiana State Police. Cass County is no exception.

“We have found them everywhere,” said trooper Josh Maller of ISP’s meth suppression unit. “The woods, abandoned homes — it just depends on where the individual cook is at.”

Robert McLaughlin, Cass County Health Department director of environmental health, estimates that more than half of the buildings associated with meth production are condemned. Last year, 12 meth labs were seized in Cass County.

The health department sends the property owner a letter to comply after a lab is seized, and the owner is given 30 days to clean and decontaminate it. If the charged meth cook owns the property, a letter is sent to the jail.

McLaughlin said the burden is often placed on landlords, since many meth lab operations are conducted on rental property. The problem can also frustrate farmers when labs are found in remote areas.

New bill to help?

The financial hurdles associated with pollution and the ensuing cleanup led to the writing of House Enrolled Act 1091. State Reps.

Bill Friend, R-Macy, and Don Lehe, R-Brookston, co-authored the bill.

The bill, which will go into  effect July 1, aimed to protect farmers against nuisance lawsuits.

But it also contains a provision that will require drug manufacturers to  pay damages to farmers on whose land they illegally operate.

Meth cooks will have to pay $10,000, while those who grow marijuana will pay $2,000.

Friend and Lehe introduced the bill after hearing complaints in their mostly rural districts. The Indiana Farm Bureau and Indiana Pork Producers Association were particularly concerned about the problem.

The fees will be mandatory, eliminating the need for a lawsuit and attorney, Lehe said.

“Under current law, there is no requirement (for paying damages),” Lehe  said. “There are a lot of things involved in the process. It’s not always  something people pursue.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Police Blotter: Aug. 1, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    August 1, 2014

  • Miami County struggles through computer shutdown PERU (AP) — A northern Indiana prosecutor has harshly criticized other officials in his county for not adequately dealing with computer problems that have effectively brought some business to a halt. Prosecutor Bruce Embrey said Miami County governme

    August 1, 2014

  • NWS-PT080114 Bow Fishing.jpg Man vs. fish: Niche sport takes bows, arrows to the water In the fight against Asian carp, local outdoors enthusiasts are increasingly turning to bowfishing — in which you don’t wait for the fish to come to you. You send an arrow straight to them.Bowfishing has become an increasingly popular sport according

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • 2nd annual bike ride slated Saturday WINAMAC — Dozens of bike riders will take over the Panhandle Pathway Saturday for the second annual Down and Back bike ride.The 44-mile trail begins in Winamac and extends all the way to near France Park in Kenneth. Kelly Hines, spokesperson for the

    August 1, 2014

  • Trial dates moved in Wagoner clinic drug case KOKOMO — Trial dates for seven of the eight people charged in the Wagoner Clinic prescription drug case have been moved to Oct. 3.Several of the suspects, including Marilyn Wagoner, the wife of Donald Wagoner, the former head of the clinics, were set

    August 1, 2014

  • Police Blotter: July 31, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    July 31, 2014

  • NWS-PT073114 Hopper2.jpg The right track: Logansport boy advocates railroad crossing safety

    It's not uncommon to see 12-year-old Ethan Hopper sitting in a lawn chair near his father's business on 18th Street in Logansport, his cell phone pointed at a locomotive heading down the nearby tracks. The engines make up a fascination modern technol

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos 1 Link

  • Cass Co. Community Foundation eligible for grant

    The Cass County Community Foundation is eligible to receive half a million dollars from Lilly Endowment Inc. as a matching grant at some point over the course of the next couple of years.Lilly Endowment announced the sixth phase of its Giving Indiana

    July 31, 2014

  • Locals: EPA delay request too late Logansport officials say while they appreciate a state executive’s request to delay new rules on coal power plants, its timing still requires pursuing a new power plant for the city.The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published last month its Cl

    July 31, 2014

  • Supreme Court observers predict ‘wide open’ process of picking of next chief INDIANAPOLIS — State Supreme Court Chief Justice Brent Dickson surprised observers in June when he decided to step down after a brief tenure in the leadership post.Another surprise may be in store when his replacement is named.A seven-member panel of

    July 31, 2014

Featured Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.

Should the U.S. impose a travel ban on three West African nations in response to a growing Ebola virus outbreak?

Not sure
     View Results