Did you miss me? I took a week off, but I’m back. My trench coat is on, collar up, a sax is playing softly in the background, and I have all the answers this time.

Come on, we’ve been together long enough — you know me. I’m the Brown County Connection — Brownie if you will. I’m like the old-time P.I.’s.

I’m sure you remember that two weeks ago I got a query from Jim Stinson, asking a pretty straightforward and simple question, but I didn’t quite get all the answers I was hoping for.

“Why were the trees along Highway 46 and the school cut down?”

I went to County Highway Department Superintendent Mike Magner, which I admit, was a mistake. He seems to be a little prickly lately and his answer reflected that.

“State Road 46 is a STATE Road – INDOT,” Magner told me in no uncertain terms. “Otherwise, call the school system, NOT the county highway.”

So, this week I dug a little deeper and reached out to both the state and the school to see if anyone could tell us what happened to those trees and why.

Jimmy Jackson, Director of Maintenance at Brown County Schools said: “We are having the brick wall redone and the roots from the existing trees were causing foundation issues. When the project is complete I believe they will be planting new trees.”

Deborah Harman, Director of Student Support Services added: “The Hawthorn trees were growing into the fence which is being replaced with a section of sound barrier. The tree branches had two-inch thorns which were falling off into the area where the new Early Education Center playground will be built in the coming year. The trees were very old. One was dead and most were in significant decline. In addition, they were in the way of repairing the brick. The wall is being remediated so the new Early Education Center outdoor learning and play area meets the childcare licensing safety standards. The ground spanning the length of the wall is covered with pieces of brick sharp enough to lacerate little fingers and pose a choking hazard. As far as planting new trees, that would depend on the state approving a plan that we might propose and likely need to fund. Who knows? A mural might be nice too!”

So there you have it Jim, hopefully that’s a little better!

I’ve got a lot more lined up for you Brown County. But as always, if you have any pressing questions be sure to send them in care of [email protected].

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