Kavan Gray congratulates Gene Eaton on Eaton’s Feed Mill for supporting the livestock auction for 30 years. On the right is Jack Heath, who was also recognized for long-time participation in the program.—File Photo.
25 Years Ago The fair and ice cream cones go together better than just about anything and Paige Hurt, 19 months old, sits ready and waiting for a bite of that special treat from her mom, Sue Hurt. ("Reflections" by Rev. Dan Barringer) It seems good listeners are hard to find. I am convinced even a good listening preacher is hard to find in our day. Someone had defined a preacher as a man who would cross a continent to deliver a sermon, but not cross the street to hear one. Jesus offered some direction on listening in Luke 8:18, "Therefore take heed how you hear." Good listeners are patient, selfless, mature people who show concern. Though they may or may not speak, they actively participate in the conversation with their eyes, a smile, or an acknowledging nod. Many of us have been blessed with one or two good friends or family members who pay us the highest compliment of earnest listening. They are able to give an attentive ear to our problems, our needs, our dreams. In other words, God has given them the unique ability to hear the message of our hearts, which is often hidden in our words. If we are to serve others well, it is important we give our undivided attention, and listen with our whole heart to what is being said. Another 60-plus jobs will be arriving in North Vernon within approximately four months. That is when the new Ponderosa steak house is expected to be completed and the workers will be needed to get the newest restaurant in the community up and running. Jim Belding, along with his son Brian, have been busy the past few months preparing for their latest venture. The new restaurant will be located on North State Street between Jim Dandy's Restaurant and Wendy's. "I've been working on getting a Ponderosa for the past 11 years," Jim Belding explained. "Ponderosa didn't have any other franchises in Indiana, but then they began opening up more and I was able to secure one for here." The decision to locate in North Vernon was "just a matter of transition. I felt this was something that was needed in the community and with the growth we have experienced it helped to make the decision." The new building will seat roughly 230 customers and will cover 5,700 square feet. There will be parking for approximately 92 vehicles and when you enter and exit the new facility it will be through a double drive. A conference room will be available that will seat about 64 people. Jim said the addition of the conference room was made because they "figured the community really needed someplace where they could have meetings. It will be available for anyone who needs a meeting place." Brian, who attends Indiana University and is majoring in political science and business, noted the conference room "is not separate from the restaurant. It is all enclosed but with windows so you can look out. If we have to we can open it up for regular customers if the space is needed." The land for the new restaurant has already been cleared and work is expected to begin soon on the foundation for it. Jim says he plans to "use mainly local contractors. We like to help the community and in all aspects we are going to try to get local people for the job." A four-year-old Florida child suffered a broken leg and other injuries on the midway of the Jennings County Fair about 10:25 a.m. Friday. Robert F. Irwin fell from the back of a flatbed truck as the truck was moving forward and was run over by the dual wheels on the passenger side, according to detective Scott Davis of the Jennings County Sheriff's Department. The injured child is the son of John and Denise Irwin, of Lakeworth, FL who work for Funtastic Rides. The youngster was taken to the Jennings Community Hospital by Rescue 20 and then transferred to Wishard Hospital in Indianapolis. He went to Riley Hospital Saturday morning and was in ICU there until Saturday night, according to his mother. "He is doing real good," she said Monday morning and expects him to be released from the hospital by Friday. Davis reported the truck driver, Virgil J. Davis, 42, of Inverness, an employee of Funtastic Rides of West Palm Beach, FL was unloading trash cans from the truck when the accident took place. They vehicle was leased by the midway company. The baby boomers who turn 65 in the year 2020 will cost Medicare an estimated $210 billion before they die-almost double the expense of caring for people who passed this milestone in 1990, reports Health News Network, the news service of the Indiana Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons. 30 Years Ago A mini-mall complete with four to seven retail stores is planned for the current Marathon site at the corner of Norris Ave and US 50 West. Shannon Ramey prepares her cattle for the 4-H beef competition at the 110th Jennings County Fair. Chris Ertel gets his 'just desserts' in the Pie Auction sponsored by North Vernon IGA. The event raised more than $300 for the 4-H Board by allowing the winning bidder to hit their chosen person in the face with a pie. Larry Brott of St. Joseph, Missouri, recently passed through Jennings on his five-year, cross country trek to preach repentance and message if Jesus Christ. Opal Hardesty hit the big one by winning $100,000 in the Money Match game from the Hoosier Lottery. 35 Years Ago Watermelons sold through local stores come from Georgia and Florida and there is no danger of contamination from pesticides as has happened in California. Fred Miles of North Vernon shows off one of the big squash that he grew last year. This particular one weighed over 50 pounds. The highest honor that a high school baseball player can get in the state has come Rob Barber's way. He has been selected to the first team of the Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association all-state squad. Pauline Webster won a special prize from a local grocery store and got the chance to get as much as she could into a cart in two minutes. 40 Years Ago Avery and Estelle Whalbring will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary with a reception. Joyce Combest found a deflated balloon near her home that had been launched from Devils Lake, North Dakota as a promotional gimmick by a bank there. Terry Bright was named Thursday night as the new Jennings County School Board president. William Harmon was elected as vice-president and Don Spaulding will serve as secretary. Three new board members are Warren Byford, Howard Malcomb and Michael Megel. Some dismal unemployment figures here for the month of May. The state figures show our unemployment rate was 11.6 percent, up sharply from the 9.5 figure we had in April. Lt. Governor Bob Orr led off 4th of July festivities by lighting the first firework. Then Mayor Bob Curry took his turn with the lighter. 50 Years Ago Reports of July 4th festival show there were more people in attendance this year than in 1969, but not as many as the record set in 1967 of 20,000. David 'Ned' Grimes, Jennings welfare director and new Lions CLub president, gets the gavel of office from Calvin Wynn, the retiring president. Congressman Lee Hamilton presents the Sportsmanship Award to George Morgan at the Twin Cities Speedway Saturday night. Showing at the North Vernon Drive-In is 101 Dalmations and The Parent Trap. Next on the bill will be Marooned starring Gregory Peck and Richard Crenna. With the temperature well over 90 degrees, Carl Albert Wildey finds a way to beat the heat while mowing the grass. His secret-an umbrella, of course. Miller Supply Store is offering a special for scissors sharpening. Regular shears will cost 39 cents while pinking shears will be 99 cents a pair.