County burn ban will continue

The burn ban in Hutchinson County will continue.Hutchinson County Commissioners acted to extend the burn ban after speaking with Fire Marshal Danny Richards Monday morning. County Judge Faye Blanks said that certain areas have continued with a disaster declaration that could be extended with additions. However, Richards said he found it best to just stick with the burn ban for the time being.”It will be more efficient,” he said.He also stated that the area is 11 inches behind in average moisture and no signs of any precipitation are present in the near future. The burn ban was first adopted by the commissioners in January of this year and an extension on the ban was approved in April. The ban prohibits the burning of trash and any type of burning in open pits. It will not affect farmers who do agricultural burning, but does restrict other types of outdoor burning.In other business, Chief Deputy James Qualls spoke on behalf of the Hutchinson County Sheriff’s Office and requested permission to apply for a Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) totaling around $16,000. He said the department wants to use this money to get new locks and doors for a few of the jail house cells. This request was granted by the commissioners. Chief Deputy Qualls also spoke about buying tazer cuffs that go around a inmate’s leg. He stated these are used for when a inmate goes to trial or is being transported. Inmates cannot be taken to trial in handcuffs or any types of restraints. Generally the rights of prisoners with regard to handcuffs in the United States may be found within the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution. Prisoners in handcuffs have the right not to be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment. Determining whether a handcuffed prisoner’s rights have been violated depends on the circumstances and upon the ruling of the court. The cuffs will cost around $800 a piece and can be worn around the subject’s ankles. Therefore, if they try to run or cause a outburst, an officer will hold the remote and use the cuff as a tazer, which is effective within a 1,000 yard range. This too was approved by the commissioners.Also approved was the placement of new speed signs along Marcy Drive, along with the repairs on the annex building sidewalk due to safety hazards. All other agenda items, such as bills and donations, were reviewed and approved by the commissioners.