It was a good turnout for the spring Hazardous Collection Event for Jennings County on Saturday. Held twice a year by the Southeastern Indiana Recycling District (SEIRD), the event provides a safe alternative for residents to clean out such items as household cleaners, oil-based paints/stains, pesticides, mercury items, etc. Twenty-three residents participated, which was "a larger turnout than what we normally see," reported Mandy Creech of the SEIRD. Among those taking advantage of the collection were Greg and Nikki Bach of North Vernon who noted they wanted "to get rid of items safely."
Vernon will be awash with sassafras tea and Civil War reenactors this weekend, a sure sign that spring is here.
The 57th annual Sassafras Tea Festival and Civil War Living History will be Saturday, April 27, and Sunday, April 28 with numerous activities and attractions both in the county seat and at the Muscatatuck Park.
"It is rare that an annual event continues for more than half a century," said Asher of the Jennings County Historical Society, the nonprofit group that is hosting the two-day event. "Founding members of the Historical Society started the Sassafras Tea Festival in 1962 as a way to announce spring in Jennings County and raise funds to operate the North American House, which it had recently purchased.
"Now, 57 years later, the Historical Society is still serving sassafras tea and celebrating the beauty of spring in Jennings County.
"Passion runs deep in keeping traditions of history, arts, quality family friendly events and the North American House Museum available to locals and visitors," she added.
The Sassafras Tea Festival and other Society-sponsored events bring thousands of visitors to the county. "Tourism dollars help everyone," noted Historical Society president Brad Bender. Wednesday, April 24, 2019
A North Vernon woman, who was on the run for five days after a deadly shooting in Country Squire Lakes last week in which she was an alleged accessory, turned herself in to authorities late Saturday.
Destiny L. Bailey, 25, was arrested just before midnight Saturday and booked into the Jennings County Jail. Bailey was wanted for her involvement in the shooting death of Donavon Booker, 23, of North Vernon on Monday evening. Her arrest warrant was for assisting a criminal, a Level 5 felony.
"We put out a social media blitz last Thursday hoping she would turn herself in, and that's just what she did," said Chief Deputy Dave Turner of the Jennings County Sheriff's Office.
Last Tuesday, police arrested Stephon Moore, 30, of Louisville, who is charged with Booker's murder. Moore is also charged with two counts of attempted murder and is currently being held by the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections awaiting extradition to Jennings County.
Police arrested two others in connection with Booker's death while executing a search warrant in Louisville last Tuesday: Frank Maurise Bailey, 20, of North Vernon, and Fashion L. Ellis, 31, of Louisville.
A North Vernon man is dead following a shooting Monday evening in Country Squire Lakes. A Louisville man was arrested the next day in Louisville on a preliminary murder charge as well as two counts of attempted murder.
Donavon Booker, 23, died following the shooting that occurred at around 7 p.m. Monday, according to the Jennings County Sheriff's Office.
Stephon Moore, 30, has been charged with one count of murder and two counts of attempted murder for his involvement. He is currently being held in Louisville awaiting extradition to Jennings County.
The shooting reportedly took place outside a residence on Squire Lakes Boulevard. Booker was shot in the upper torso part of his body, said Dave Turner, chief deputy.
"At no time did we feel the general public was in any danger," Turner added.
Moore allegedly shot Booker with a 9-millimeter semiautomatic handgun.
"There was some kind of fight," said Sheriff Kenny Freeman. "The guy came up and shot the victim at point blank range. The rumors that the victim was caught in a crossfire or from a drive-by shooting are not true. The gun was pointed at him and shot. (Moore) also pointed at someone else and shot and missed. Then it misfired when (Moore) aimed at another person." Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Two North Vernon women died in a two-vehicle crash Wednesday, April 10.
Erma M. Campbell, 78, and Rhonda R. Steinert, 45, died when vehicles they were driving collided nearly head on in the middle of State Road 3 in the Crosley State Fish and Wildlife Area.
The accident happened at around 1 p.m. near County Road 25 East south of the Crosley office.
The initial investigation by Trooper Matt Holley, Indiana State Police-Versailles Crash Reconstruction Team, indicated that a 2013 Chevrolet Equinox driven by Campbell was traveling northbound on State Road 3.
For an unknown reason, Campbell's vehicle crossed the centerline into the path of a southbound 2006 Ford Focus driven Steinert.
"The vehicles collided nearly head on in the middle of the roadway," said Sgt. Stephen Wheeles, public information officer with the state police's Versailles District. "As a result of the collision, both drivers sustained fatal injuries." Monday, April 15, 2019
Because of Good Friday, there will be no garbage pick up in the City of North Vernon on Friday, April 19. The garbage collection route normally followed that day will instead be on Monday, April 22. Monday's regular route will also be collected then.
The North Vernon City Council fully embraced the goal of building a Boys and Girls Club in Jennings County at their meeting Monday night, April 8.
Kelly Hatton, president of the local non-profit, introduced her organization's plan to apply for a $500,000 2019 Community Block Grant/Public Facilities Program grant to build what she described as a much-needed facility for youth.
As she told this writer, "High-quality out-of-school programs generate positive outcomes for youth. Communities and businesses also benefit when youth have safe and productive ways to spend their time while their parents are at work. Each of the clubs offers programs of the highest quality, most of which are evidence-based and developed by experts from Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Most importantly, Boys & Girls Clubs equip young people with the skills they need to resolve conflicts peacefully, improve relationships with every aspect of their day-to-day lives and function as responsible citizens."
A great opportunity for students, parents and community members who have any type of disability to "see what is out there" is set for this Friday, April 12 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Jennings County Public Library.
From April 16 to May 22, Muscatatuck Urban Training Center will host the federal emergency response exercise "Guardian Response," which will simulate a national emergency incident in order to test the preparedness of federal emergency response teams.