Remembering December 2013

January 1, 2014

Editor’s Note: This is one of a series of articles featuring the top local stories in The Sunbury News in 2013.

December 2013

Village goes with United Health Care policy:

Wittkop says HSA’s are a thing of the past

HR Butler’s Chris Wittkop retuned to Sunbury Village Council last Wednesday, and during this visit he had something to sell. The Village’s current employee health insurance policy, underwritten by Medical Mutual, expires at the end of January. During visits to Council over the past several months Wittkop had said with the mass confusion over Obama-Care he couldn’t get rates from Medical Mutual or any other reliable provider.

Currently Village employees have attractive $5,000 and $10,000 Health Savings Accounts. Attractive because if employees maintain personal wellness they can bank money that rolls over and is usable for health care costs during their retirement years.

Each year the Village donates $1,500 to a single employee’s HSA and $3,000 into the HSA of an employee with a family. That money is theirs to keep. If they remain well and do not use those dollars, the dollars grow and are available during later years.

If an employee becomes ill or has other health care needs they spend those HSA dollars first, then the single employee is responsible for the next $1,000 in health care costs, an employee on a family plan could get hit for $2,000. Single employees are then reimbursed for the next $2,500 in health care costs before a traditional insurance plan kicks in; employees on a family plan are reimbursed for the next $5,000.

The high deductible lowers Village employee health insurance plan costs; the opportunity to save health care dollars for later years encourages employee wellness and discourages frivolous use of a health insurance plan.

HSA’s were a win-win, the new kid on the block, the blossoming future of employee health care plans – until Obama-Care came down the proverbial pike.

Rannebarger promoted to Genoa PD Deputy Chief

During last Thursday evening’s Genoa Township Board of Trustees meeting the trustees voted unanimously to promote Dan Rannebarger to Deputy Chief of Police, effective January 9, 2014.

Rannebarger has been a police officer with Genoa Township for 10 years. Genoa Police Chief Stephen P. Gammill said Rannebarger is highly qualified and will be an excellent Deputy Chief.

Rannebarger has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Mount Vernon Nazarene University and has been a certified peace officer for 12 years.

During his tenure at Genoa Township, Rannebarger has managed the department’s accreditation process and conducted numerous investigations, including money laundering, gambling, dog fighting, stolen property and bank fraud.

He aided a major investigation in collaboration with the DEA in connection with a heroin operation, recovering more than 100 kilos of heroin; and he has worked with several federal law enforcement agencies, including the DEA, FBI and IRS.

BW Board: New app would reduce response time

A half a dozen Central Ohio law enforcement officers attended Monday evening’s Big Walnut Local School District Board of Education meeting to speak about piloting a program in the district that would reduce response time in the event of an intruder in a Big Walnut school building.

The officers, who all live in the school district and have children attending Big Walnut schools, have developed Active Threat Alert (ATA), a school safety initiative aimed at increasing the effectiveness of a law enforcement response in the event of an active threat situation in schools.

According to the ATA website, ATA provides a platform to improve communications between law enforcement and educators by immediately alerting both on-duty and off-duty trained police personnel who are able to respond, regardless of jurisdiction.

ATA also alerts all teachers and school administrators surrounding an incident to allow them to rapidly enact their school safety procedures, protecting students and faculty before a threat is presented.

The ATA response would be activated via a smart phone application – a.k.a. app.

Compiled by Lenny C. Lepola