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St. Joseph County seeks funding for new jail-door system

SOUTH BEND – A northern Indiana county is contemplating spending $300,000 to upgrade its jail’s door-opening system, which is prone to failing during lightning storms.

A St. Joseph County commissioner has asked the County Council to appropriate $300,000 to complete financing for a new $425,000 jail door-opening system. The council will vote on that proposal at its Oct. 8 meeting.

The county jail’s door-opening system often fails during lightning storms. The South Bend Tribune reports those woes became public in July when an outage from severe late June storms caused a two-week span in which officers had to manually open and shut doors in the jail.

The county’s sheriff says the door-opening system had ongoing problems as recently as last week.