Turning Point Applied Learning Center closing at end of month


Organization was instrumental in doomed RFL grant

By David Wright - dwright@timesgazette.com



From left, Highland County commissioners Gary Abernathy, Jeff Duncan and Terry Britton sit in session during a weekly commissioners meeting Wednesday.

From left, Highland County commissioners Gary Abernathy, Jeff Duncan and Terry Britton sit in session during a weekly commissioners meeting Wednesday.


David Wright | The Times-Gazette

Turning Point Applied Learning Center, a local nonprofit, is ceasing operations at the end of the month, according to Highland County commissioners.

According to the Highland County Chamber of Commerce, Turning Point is a nonprofit “designed to aid in the training of unemployed, underemployed, and hard to employ citizens of Highland, Adam, and Pike counties.”

Commissioner Gary Abernathy said Turning Point has “done a lot of good work” over the years in rehabilitation and re-entry for inmates.

Commissioners said the group is ceasing operation because the grants that power it are becoming less available.

Turning Point was at one point the sub-recipient of an ill-fated $844,000 economic development grant for the Rocky Fork Lake area, and its longtime director, LuAnn Winkle, was the site coordinator for the grant before she retired from Turning Point early last year.

Later in the year, after a seemingly endless series of complications and disagreement with federal officials, commissioners decided to cease pursuing the grant.

Commissioner Jeff Duncan said the nonprofit’s final operation date is June 28.

The Turning Point website is no longer available.

In other business, commissioners heard from the county’s energy broker about possibly changing energy providers for its facilities, which could result in yearly savings.

John Zaegel of Muirfield Energy told commissioners that Freepoint Energy offers a lower energy price per kilowatt hour than the county’s current provider.

Zaegel told commissioners that he had not yet received the current provider’s quote. While the current provider’s prices could change, Zaegel said, Freepoint Energy has been winning many contracts lately.

The commissioners decided the list of county facilities needs to be updated and tabled discussion pending the update.

Duncan said the commissioners would be in contact with Zaegel.

Abernathy estimated the Freepoint offer could possibly save the county roughly $1,000 per year.

Abernathy also said the county has successfully activated a new microwave backup 911 system, and the savings can be used to buy a body scanner for the jail. Abernathy said Sheriff Donnie Barrera is searching for a scanner and will make a recommendation when he finds one.

Commissioners later met with a representative from the Abbott Sign Company about a new sign for the Hi-Tec Center on North High Street (U.S. Route 62).

The board also held a second Community Development Block Grant public hearing. No members of the public were present. Commission Clerk Nicole Oberrecht said the Village of Leesburg is the only applicant, requesting $351,000 for flood and drainage work on SR 28 in the village. She said that application will be rated with other projects from around the state.

Commissioners also approved routine financial resolutions and contracts.

Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570.

From left, Highland County commissioners Gary Abernathy, Jeff Duncan and Terry Britton sit in session during a weekly commissioners meeting Wednesday.
https://www.timesgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/33/2019/06/web1_f-commish-060519.jpgFrom left, Highland County commissioners Gary Abernathy, Jeff Duncan and Terry Britton sit in session during a weekly commissioners meeting Wednesday. David Wright | The Times-Gazette
Organization was instrumental in doomed RFL grant

By David Wright

dwright@timesgazette.com