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COLUMNS
May 30, 2020

3/25/2020 1:06:00 PM
25 Years Ago & Longer
MARION TOWNSHIP SCHOOL: Here is the former Marion Township School in 1982 shortly before the structure was demolished. The school was located on County Road 850 South/Commiskey Pike at CR 740W, the current site of the Marion Township Community Center. Students in high school grades attended there until 1940, after which they attended Paris Crossing High School until 1961, then Vernon High School until 1964, then North Vernon High School until 1968 and finally Jennings County since then.—Submitted Photo by Leon Dart
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MARION TOWNSHIP SCHOOL: Here is the former Marion Township School in 1982 shortly before the structure was demolished. The school was located on County Road 850 South/Commiskey Pike at CR 740W, the current site of the Marion Township Community Center. Students in high school grades attended there until 1940, after which they attended Paris Crossing High School until 1961, then Vernon High School until 1964, then North Vernon High School until 1968 and finally Jennings County since then.—Submitted Photo by Leon Dart

JCMS students dazzle
When it came time to showcase the talent at Jennings County Middle School, faculty members and staff found there was plenty to go around. The 1995l talent show last week bought out the best of the best.
Abby Day won first place in the solo division while Starie Bolton was second.

The duet category found Amanda Little and Crystal Mullins the first-place winners with Matt Perkins and Michelle Winters taking second.
In the miscellaneous division, Lori Yates and Daniel Waltermire took top honors while Brooks Spurgeon was second.

The groups category was won by the "Brandenburg Four" of Amanda Cundiff, Annie Rouse, Zach Giddons and Josh Burkman. Second place went to the "YMCA" group consisting of Kari Taylor, Courtney Hatter, Hailee Taylor, Kim Stuckwisch and Loretta Speer.

Honorable mention honors were awarded to Molly Jones and Beth Beesley.

Mike Thomas and Craig Kirk served as the masters of ceremonies. Andy Ebbing controlled the lighting while Rachel Ruedlinger was in charge of sound. Stage hands were Justin Sharp and Jake Brooks.

Jan Furgason, Leah Schneider, Rhonda Deitsch and Clare Thill were the faculty members in charge of the show.

New court proposed
Resolutions to establish a superior court in Jennings County passed by the Jennings County Board of Commissioners and Council are now before the Indiana Senate Judiciary Committee.

State Sen. Johnny Nugent introduced the amendment to another bill
earlier this week. Nugent is trying to expedite the matter because the North Vernon City Court is being abolished at the end of the year.

Attorney Mark Dove, acting for County Attorney Mike Rogers, appeared before the County Commissioners and Rogers at at the County Council meeting to ask for their support for the new court to compliment the present Jennings County Circuit Court.

Max Wiley, Council president, wanted to know the bottom line. "What is the cost to the county?" he asked.

Rogers replied, "Very little if anything. The fees taken in by the court will go into the county's general fund. This would also eliminate the current referee position. This should be cost effective."

Nugent agreed.

"Really, with the income from fees and all, it is not going to place any extra burden on the taxpayers," he said.

Nugent also reported that Senate Judiciary Committee members will have to be convinced that the lack of a city court in North Vernon will soon put an undue heavy load on the county's circuit court if a superior court is not established.

New manager at wastewater plant
A man who came to North Vernon to fix the problems at the city's wastewater treatment plant now has the opportunity to run it himself.
As of March 20 (1995), Len Ashack has the responsibility to keep the plant in compliance with state and federal regulations.

"I think it's a challenge," he said. "There's no reason why North Vernon can't have the best plant in the state."

A former consultant with Columbus-based SIECO, Ashack and partner Tom Schwing were hired by the city last summer to conduct a three-month assessment of North Vernon's facility. The who were assigned the task of figuring out why the plant was chronically "upset" and
therefore out of compliance with federal and state regulations.

The plant's record was so dismal that the state was threatening to impose a ban on all new sewer hookups for the city of North Vernon. That would have, in essence, halted all new construction in the city.
A big part of the problems is that the city's storm collection system feeds into the wastewater treatment plant. Thus when it rains, excess water overpowers the plant's capacity resulting in untreated sewer dumping into the Muscatatuck River.

Compounding the problem is the fact the city's collection system of around 500 miles of pipes has not been on a maintenance program.

New pizzeria
North Vernon's newest restaurant, Papa John's Pizza, opened is doors Monday (March 20, 1995). The business is located in a remodeled building at 10 N. State St.

Shannan Ramey is the manager and the franchise is owned by Lance Lehman of New Albany and Tim O'Hearn of Jeffersonville. The partners also own Papa John's restaurants in Seymour, Bedford and Vincennes.

"We're really excited to be here," Lehman said. "We've never been in a town that's such a close knit community. Word of mouth seems to spread real quickly here. People go out of their way to help us."

Papa John's operates corporate and franchise stores in 20 states. The North Vernon store boosts the total number to 784.

John Schnatter founded Papa John's in 1984 when he started baking pizzas in a former broom closet of Mick's Lounge on 10th Street in Jeffersonville. O'Hearn now owns that pub.

This month during World War II
Four Jennings County men answered the call to military service Tuesday (March 25, 1941): William Harrison Wilkerson, Richard Henry Kreutzjans, Paul Henry Woods and Howard O. Davis.

Jennings County's first casualty of World War II is William E. "Billy" Darling. He was killed in action during the the Battle of the Java Sea, The Sun reported on March 26, 1942. He served in the Navy on the USS Houston and was the son of Mr. and Mrs. James Darling of Bigger Township. He had been reported missing since March 1.

Twelve men from Jennings County left for the Army on March 25, 1943: Richard H. Ebbing, Max White, Donald E. Dixon, John G. Bowers, George L. Millers, Leonidas L. Patterson, Cecil G. Combs, Lester Meese, Raymond Grunert, Garnet Bannister, Harry J. Barnhardt and James P. Burke. On the same day, three men left for the Navy: James Freeman Strope, Raymond Lawrence Cart and Robert Wayne Black.

The former North Vernon Industries plant has been sold to Noblitt-Sparks Co. of Columbus, The Sun reported on March 23, 1944. The plant will manufacture bomb casings, mine casings and ammunition boxes for American military forces. [Noblitt-Sparks was renamed Arvin Industries in 1950.]

Lt. Benet W. Thayer, of North Vernon, who for the past several months has been stationed in the office of the Medical Corps' Naval Officers Procurement at Houston Texas, has been detached to report to the West Coast for his second tour of duty in the Pacific on March 27 (1945).

30 years ago
Our Heritage Inc. is gearing up for next month's Sassafras Festival. Sue Bailey, president of the group, was among the volunteers processing fresh sassafras roots that will be used to make tea for the throngs that will descend on Vernon for the annual festival. [Our Heritage today is better known as the Jennings County Historical Society.]

Grand champions in the last week's science fair at North Vernon Elementary School were Nathan Floyd, Megan Smith, A.J. McKeand, Chad Caldwell, Chris Rice, Matt Alexander, Kasie Poole, Julie Dickerson, Joy Hook, Emily Abernathy and Kelly Tower.

Jennings County Middle School teacher Mike Wagner was honored with the Distinguished Educator Award from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources for his work in the DNR's Hunter Education Program.

35 years ago
John Mills, co-owner of The Iron Clad men's and boys' clothing store on Fifth Street, was honored for his 60 years in business.

Rick Green and other members of the Jennings County High School baseball team spent the day Saturday (March 23, 1985) pumping gas at the Belding Oil gas station in North Vernon. Part of the proceeds from sales that day went to the school's baseball program.

Shawn Duff, 11, of Vernon, landed a seven-pound largemouth bass last weekend at Old TImbers Lake in the Jefferson Proving Ground.

40 years ago
Joe ZeBell, North Vernon postmaster, and the rest of the staff at the post office prepare to deliver 1980 census forms on Friday, March 28 (1980), to addresses in the city and other addresses in Jennings County.

Lynne Marmaduke has been hired as the new director of the Jennings County Public Library amid a crisis. The library is facing a shortage of funding to pay for insurance coverage at its facility on East Walnut Street in downtown North Vernon.

The fishing bug prompted James Foster and Larry West of North Vernon to grab their poles, a box of Wheaties cereal to use for bait and head to the Muscatatuck River where they hope to catch some carp.50 years ago.

Paul "Ham" Wernke, owner of the North Vernon Drive-in Theater, announced that the the outdoor movie venue will open for the season on Thursday, April 2 (1970).

Charles "Chick" Helm will have an open house on Saturday, March 28 (1970), for the newly remodeled restaurant on South State Street. The eatery, formerly known as the Dog 'N' Suds, also has a new name: The Helm Drive-in Restaurant.

Four employees at the Muscatatuck State School in Butlerville were honored for 20 years of service. They include Mrs. Everett Zehr, Mrs. Phil Meisberger and Mr. and Mrs. George Moore.

60 years ago
Terry Holthouse will succeed Don Pelkey as head football coach at North Vernon High School starting with the Panthers' 1960 season, announced Lloyd Wagner, superintendent of schools.

Winners in the county's elementary school spelling bee are Nanette Mouldering, Jimmy Franks, Doug Zehrung, Karen Stout, Nancy Green, Linda Manning, Robert Carpenter, Elizabeth Matern, Margaret Knott and Frances Ingram.

Eight purebred Angus cattle belonging to Denver Baldwin were downed when they dropped through the ice on a pond on the Baldwin farm in Campbell Township.





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