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NEWS
March 30, 2020

Businesses, gov't deal with pandemic
Businesses, gov't deal with pandemic
Charlie Dove peers into the North Vernon Police Station Tuesday afternoon.The locked door prevented his entrance into the station and he chose to leave without using te outdoor telephone.-Staff Photo by Barb King



PD&S to publish single weekly edition
We hate to do it, but there is little choice.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

3 coronavirus cases now in JC
Jennings County now has three diagnosed cases of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, the Indiana Department of Health reported Wednesday.

We thought it would be useful to explain the two technical terms that prompted Gov. Eric Holcomb this week to order the closing of all nonessential businesses in the state and asked people to do "social distancing."

Social distancing is when people voluntarily keep their distance from other people to avoid catching a disease. It also involves good hygiene practices (see sidebar).

Flattening the curve is delaying the onset of disease and thus conserving the use of equipment that is in limited supply. It's keeping the medical need for ventilators, medical supplies and personnel low enough to meet demand for them in your area.

Social distancing is practiced to delay the development of new cases. By delaying new cases, it prevents a state or region from having too many cases at once in areas at a time where there may not be enough lifesaving equipment and health care workers.

COVID-19 is a contagious disease. A person infected with it will typically infect roughly four additional people. COVID-19 is more infectious than the flu and results in death more frequently than does the flu. COVID-19 spreads by a healthy person's hands coming into contact with a surface or object with the active virus on it or by being close enough to an infected person (within about six feet) to receive the infected person's respiratory droplets sent into the air by their coughing or sneezing. People on airplanes, in concerts, movie theaters, crowded restaurants, stores and sporting events are usually within six feet of other people. Some of these people may be unknowingly infected.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2020

New leadership at JCYF
After 10 years as an extremely active board member of the Jennings County Youth Foundation (JCYF), including the last two years as president, Kelly Hatton has resigned because of health issues.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Report ranks Jennings Schools at 48th in state
A new independent report recently announced its 2020 top school district rankings for Indiana. The report ranked Jennings County School Corp. (JCSC) 48th out of the top 100 school districts in the state.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Business gives updates
Monday, March 23, 2020

Public health emergency
The Board of Commissioners on Sunday declared a public emergency for Jennings County because of the COVID-19 crisis.

"This is something that needs to be done," said Matt Sporleder, president of the commissioners. "The risk of doing nothing is too great. It's just common sense."

The order, which went into effect at 8 a.m. Monday, March 23, calls for travel restrictions that permit essential travel only and also calls for the closing of nonessential businesses.

"This is not a lockdown," Sporleder said. "You can still go to get gas, go to work, go to the grocery or drug store as necessary."

For a period of two weeks, only "critical essential" businesses may remain open in the county, according to the ordinance. That includes industries directly or indirectly providing goods or services to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

"We are asking businesses to shut down for two weeks," Sporleder said. "But if you are directlry or indirectly involved in fighting coronavirus, we're not asking you to close. For instance, Webster West makes boxes that are used to ship medical supplies. Decatur Plastic Products makes products needed for hospitals. Places like that obviously need to keep working."

Monday, March 23, 2020

JCSC adjusts with extended closing
With Gov. Eric Holcomb announcing late last week that all K-12 schools will be closed until May, the Jennings County School Corp. is making plans to adjust, said Teresa Brown, superintendent.

Monday, March 23, 2020

State postpones primary election
Indiana has joined several other states that have decided to move their election dates as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Hospital enacts more visitor restrictions
Ascension St. Vincent has updated temporary visitor restrictions at St. Vincent Jennings Hospi­tal in North Vernon and all hospitals in its network across the state to limit the spread of viral respiratory infections.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Where to get tested? Answer is 'cloudy' at best
Jennings County claims that coronavirus testing is available, but neither Pam Petry, Public Health Nurse for Jennings County, nor Ashley Glenn, assistant to Dana Mutz, administrator of St. Vincent Jennings Hospital in North Vernon, could indicate where testing is being done.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Pandemic crisis deepens
It was business as usual at the Jennings County Courthouse and Government Center for the county's governmental offices Tuesday, but that changed Wednesday morning.

"As of now, all the county offices are open for business except the Purdue Extension office," said Matt Sporleder, president of the Board of Commissioners. "But all that is subject to change. We are following state guidelines."

The clerk's office in the courthouse is only open for emergency business as of Wednesday, said Clerk Amy Thompson. Those who need to make payments can do so online or by calling the office at 812-352-3070. That includes small claims and other fines. Child support payments can be made on the state website at childsupportbillpay.com/Indiana or by calling 1-800-840-8757. People who have court cases scheduled are asked to call their attorneys and then, if necessary, the clerk's office to check on the status.

Even before Wednesday, county officials were preparing for the possibility that they may have to at least reduce regular operations in their offices.

"If it comes to that, we may possibly try to keep offices open for emergency business only," Sporleder said Tuesday. "We would have the elected officials and other department heads in the offices to answer phones. It would be like a skeleton crew."

The regular governmental meetings held in the Government Center's conference room will continue as scheduled and remain open to the public, though that, too, may change.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

NV, Vernon close offices to public
The city government in North Vernon and the town government in Vernon are following public health advice and guidance from local, state and federal agencies to take precautionary and preparatory measures to limit the local impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

NV woman faces drug, nonsupport charges
A North Vernon woman remains in the Jennings County Jail after her arrest Thurs­day, March 12, on multiple felony charges.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Jail takes safety measures
Law enforcement officials are working to reduce the number of inmates at the Jennings County Jail in response to the coronavirus outbreak crisis.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Commissioner: County attorney, state to settle auditor-clerk dispute
The dispute between two Jennings County elected officials, Clerk Amy Thompson and Auditor Tessia Salsman, over how to handle transactions between their offices remains unresolved.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Plans remain same for May 5 primary
The Jennings County Election Office is still planning for the May 5 primary election to go on as scheduled.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Hospitals restricting visitors
As reported in The Sun on March 17, St. Vincent Jennings Hos­pital is restricting visitors.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Schools donate fresh vegetables to the Jennings County Coordinating Council
Jennings County Coordinating Council Director Bee Murphy was kept busy Tuesday picking up a totally unexpected bonanza for clients of the non-profit.

Enlisting her husband, Mike, the duo picked up crates of fresh vegetables, including tomatoes, broccoli, mushrooms, carrots, onions, spinach, cauliflower and various leaf lettuces from Jennings County Schools' cafeterias.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Courthouse limits access
The Jennings County Courthouse has issued a response to the coronavirus.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Drastic measures increase
Schools and some businesses have closed, nonprofits have drastically reduced their hours of operations and most other aspects of everyday life are disrupted in Jennings County as they are throughout all of America and the world.

The growing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic prompted Jennings County School Corporation officials to close schools at the end of day Friday, March 13, for at least a three-week period. Schools were already scheduled to be out for spring break, March 23-27.

"After talking to our Health Department and local healthcare professionals, we decided to take this step," said Teresa Brown, JCSC superintendent. "We are going to use e-Learning days the week before and the week following spring break."

The schools may be closed longer depending on developments in the ever-changing situation.

"This three-week window of closure will be following what is considered a best practice at the moment," Brown said.

If additional closures are warranted, JCSC will use the 20-day waiver announced by Gov. Eric Holcomb for all public schools in the state.

"We will not be required to make up any of these days and extend the school year," Brown said in a letter to the JCSC staff. "When we close, if we are not able to work, the (school) board passed a resolution to pay wages for any salaried or non-salaried employees."

JCSC will be providing five breakfasts and five lunches each e-Learning week to any child under 18 years of age. Parents and guardians will be able to pick up food on Thursdays, March 19 and April 2, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at their child's school or from 5 to 6 p.m. at Jennings County High School. The pick-up will be a drive-through line outside the school offices.

Monday, March 16, 2020

JC officials clash over fund transfer protocol
Two elected Jennings County officials, both of whom claim to be following state regulations, clashed in a heated dispute Thursday inside the Jennings County Government Center.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Tornado sirens to sound but no cause for alarm
Tornado sirens will sound at 10:15 a.m. Wednesday, March 18, throughout Jennings County. Barring an unexpected turn in the weather - the forecast calls for some rain in the afternoon but no severe storms - residents should not be alarmed. (If weather conditions warrant, the test will be postponed to Thursday, March 19.)

Monday, March 16, 2020

MEETING NOTICES
In light of the ever changing news and policies surround the Coronavirus, it's likely meetings could be cancelled in the near future. In the meantime, the following meetings are scheduled as of now:

Monday, March 16, 2020

Ascension working towards prevention
Ascension, the owner of St. Vincent Jennings Hospital, is working to prevent the spread of infection while also offering options for easier access to care.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Corona Update from ISDH
The number of Hoosiers who have tested presumptively positive for COVID-19 remains at six, according to the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH).

Monday, March 16, 2020


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