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January 25, 2021

Busy at the blood drive
 Busy at the blood drive
Last week's blood drive at Coffee Creek Christian Church was a success, reports Pastor John Rigs.Twenty-one people stopped by to give the gift of life. Now, the pastor is looking to the next blood drive set for April 17 and has set a goal of 40 donations. Can you help reach that goal? The church is located at 2970 W 990 S, Paris Crossing.

How much will stimulus checks help JC?
While many consumers continue to wait for their $600 stimulus checks, doxo, the all-in-one web and mobile bill pay service, recently released a new doxoINSIGHTS report that reveals that the majority of Americans (59%) plan to use the money to pay household bills, with utilities; cable/internet; and mobile phone bills topping the list.
Wednesday, January 20, 2021

APC oks new survey
The Area Plan Commission held a meeting Monday, Jan. 4, 2021, via zoom. Present were: president Chad Ebinger, Brian Hatfield, Travis Shepherd, Mike Gerth, Eli Brown, and executive director Marie Shepherd.

The following survey was addressed:

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Party affiliation affects impeachment vote
All Indiana Republi-can representatives to the U.S. House voted against impeaching President Donald Trump last week.

Included in this group was Jennings rep Greg Pence from Columbus. Here is how he explained his vote:

"Today I voted against impeaching President Trump. The President has made it clear he will support a peaceful transfer of power to President-elect Joe Biden. It's time to move on and focus on what truly helps the American people: recovering from COVID-19 & restoring our economy.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Columbus cop arrested for battery, misconduct
The cruel irony of life is one who is meant to serve and protect is no longer the protector, but the attacker.

On Tuesday, Jan. 12, a Columbus police officer was arrested on felony Battery and Official Misconduct Charges after an investigation by detectives with the Indiana State Police-Versailles Post.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Jennings Democrats take MLK's national 'Day of Service' to heart
Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Red Kettle giving may be down, but gratitude is not
The Jennings County Service Extension of Salvation Army reports that Jennings County residents donated $7,052.48 to the 2020 Red Kettle Campaign. Forty individuals rang the Salvation Army Bell for 94 hours at the local Walmart and Walgreens.

While this is 30 percent less than prior years, Red Kettle Coordinator Eric Jarboe expresses gratitude to each person who volunteered.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

New lawyers taking on local responsibilities
Alex Zimmerman is the new county attorney for Jennings. While he is a newcomer to the county itself, his wife, the former Kayla Ellis, is the daughter of Bob and Tina Ellis and grew up here. The couple has purchased a home in Vernon Township, are currently fixing it up and plan to relocate here from Greenwood "in a month or two."

His wife is also an attorney and is currently practicing at Eichhorn & Eichhorn specializing in medical malpractice.

The two met as undergraduates at Franklin College and married at the Ellis' country home in June 2018.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

'21 county leadership elected
Leadership for county government has been set for 2021.

Matt Sporleder was re-elected president of the commissioners last week, even though at an earlier and contentious meeting this fall he had said he would not accept this leadership position again. Apparently the adage "time heals all wounds" applies in this instance.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Goodwill written large
There is always a silver lining during dark times. The influx of compassion and generosity that has arisen in Jennings County amidst physical, economic and social unrest is that bright and shiny metallic lining.

Even before the pandemic, Jennings County had many charitable organizations working to help those in need. Pavilion Ministries, a collaboration between Christ's Way Christian Church, Trinity Full Gospel Church, North Vernon Wesleyan Church, Zenas Baptist Church, North Vernon Church of the Nazarene, and The Well ministries, is one of those organizations.

They are the foundation of The Potter's House, a non-profit housing ministry for wayward souls, and serve as coordinators for donation drives to help students in need at local schools, something they have done for years.
With the onset of the pandemic, need has definitely increased.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

$60,000 drug busts in 4 days
The Jennings County Sheriff's Office wins the award for starting their New Year's resolutions strong with several major crime busts in the past few weeks, the biggest of which happened within four days of each other.

The first occurred not long after midnight on Monday, Jan. 11. A Jennings deputy conducted a traffic stop on a 2014 Mazda SUV on U.S. Hwy 50 near 4th Street.

During the traffic stop, the deputy detected the odor of raw marijuana coming from the vehicle. While speaking with the occupants, the deputy suspected they were trafficking marijuana and/or other illegal drugs. A search of the vehicle uncovered marijuana, evidence of large-scale drug trafficking and over $30,000 in cash. The currency was packaged in a way that would indicate a large scale drug trafficking operation.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

School Board re-elects leaders
The General Election in Nov. 2020 brought no new faces to the Jennings County School Board with uncontested incumbents Earl Taggart and Pat Sullivan elected for another term. Chelsea Morrison, who was contested, is also returning to the school board, this time for a full term after being selected to fulfill Warren Lucas' term. All three were sworn in last week.

At the first board meeting of 2021 on Jan. 7, members approved nominations for board officials. Pat Sullivan was re-elected president and Amy Pettit as vice president. Chelsea Morrison was voted secretary, the position previously held by Travis Shepherd.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Indiana representatives a mixed bag on decertification vote; both senators affirm
Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Board oks new HS classes; grant to provide weekend food; staff can get paid virus leave
After a two-week winter break, Jennings County Schools are back in session and so is the School Board of Trustees who met for the first time in 2021 on Thursday, Jan. 7 during a virtual live stream on YouTube.

The gathered school administration had much to discuss after board nominations were completed.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

APC amendments now up to JC, NV, Vernon
The Area Plan Commission held a regular meeting Dec. 7
Present were: president Chad Ebinger, Brian Hatfield, Travis SHepherd, Brenda Habenicht, Mike Gerth, John Post, Eli Brown, Tyler Stock, attorney Brad Kage and executive director Marie Shepherd.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Bald eagles removed from sate's list of endangered specis list but remain protected by state, federal laws
The Natural Resources Commission (NRC) recently removed the bald eagle from Indiana's list of state endangered and special concern species due to evidence of successful recovery.
Wednesday, January 13, 2021

ISP investigating murder of woman found just north of Holton in rural Ripley County
Detectives from the Indiana State Police-Versailles Post began a homicide investigation Monday, Jan. 11 after an adult female was located deceased in a residence in rural Ripley County, Indiana.

The investigation began shortly after 12:00 a.m. Monday morning when deputies from the Ripley County Sheriff's Office and troopers from the ISP-Versailles Post responded to a residence on County Road 700 West, just north of Holton, after receiving reports of an unresponsive female located inside a home.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

To 'V' or not to 'V' is timely question at hand
To vaccinate, or not to vaccinate, that is the question.

If William Shakespeare could have predicted the global pandemic of 2020, it's likely he would have written a masterpiece about it. Perhaps it would have been akin to Romeo & Juliet, but instead of the Capulets vs. the Montagues, the plot would be centered around the question whether to vaccinate or not.

With two COVID-19 vaccines currently being distributed nationwide, there is a debate between members of the public on whether or not they will, or should, get the injection even when it becomes regularly available to the public.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

City's new bond will save over $1 million
The City of North Vernon got $1.3 million richer last month, after its City Council voted unanimously to refinance its 2015 bond. That bond was taken out to clean up the Fifth Street area destroyed by the devastating downtown Nov. 2014 fire as well as to fund work needed to transform the quarry into a reservoir of fresh water for its utility customers.

Financial advisors had told the city fathers the refinancing was worth the time and effort if a savings of 3 percent could be realized. To their delight, the refinancing savings turned out to be in the 15 to 16 percent range, with gross savings calculated to be $1,397,476 over the next 20 years.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

New judge fulfills dream
This is Circuit Court Judge Ellie Webster Bright's first week on the bench. The daughter of retired Judge Jon and Julie Webster, the 36-year old mother of four and wife of Johnny Bright took the time to reflect on what could very well be the start of a judicial career as long as her dad's 24 years on the bench.

This is a special time for you and your family with your dad retiring and you stepping into his job.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Locals line up for shots
If telephone calls to the JC Health Deartment are any indication, people in Jennings County are anxious, if not impatient, to get the COVID-19 vaccination.

"We are overwhelmed with calls," noted Public Health Nurse Pam Petry last week. It was right after the Indiana Department of Health announced that vaccines would be available for anyone 80 and over that the calls started flooding the office.

Her advice?
Be patient.

Now, on Wednesday, Jan. 13, it may be announced that the vaccines will be available for those 70 and over. If this is announced, it will be put on our web site, plaindealer-sun.com.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

'Scarce resource' is in demand as state sets recipients of shots
According to public health nurse Pam Petry at the Jennings County Health Department, 200 doses of the Moderna COVID vaccine, 100 on Thursday, Jan. 7 and 100 on Monday, Jan. 11 will arrive in Jennings - fingers crossed!

Then, once the department's computer system is set to schedule and administer these lifesaving shots, injections will be starting sometime
next week for local targeted individuals.

If you are eligible to receive the vaccination but are unable to secure one of the 200 doses at the health department, fear not, you can still make an appointment at Columbus Regional Hospital.

On Monday, Jan. 4, the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) approved first responders, such as firefighters and police officers, to be included in the category of people who are eligible to receive the vaccine. It was initially thought that people in the 75+ age range would be the next to receive the vaccine; however, vaccine eligibility is delegated by the ISDH, but that hasn't stopped the multiple phone calls the local health department experiences daily.

"It's a scarce resource," Petry said of the medicine and the department
must take their orders from the state who determine what segment of the populaltion the shots can be administer to.

"As it changes we will let you know," the public health nurse said.

Friday, January 8, 2021

Series will help young farmers be successful
Next-generation farmers and business partners are encouraged to join Purdue Extension for the eight session virtual series "Grow Your Farm Operation." The series will be delivered virtually via Zoom on Tuesday evenings from 6:30-9 p.m. (ET) beginning on Jan. 12 and ending on March 2.
Wednesday, January 6, 2021

New report on family farms now released
On Friday the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service released the 2020 edition of its America's Diverse Family Farms report, which provides the latest statistics on farm production, financial performance, and household characteristics by farm size.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Widow, 14 'chicklens' struggling after sudden death of husband, father
Far too young and far too soon, the husband of a Jennings County native passed away due to a brain bleed in October of 2020 at the age of 44, leaving behind his wife and 14 children.

Christopher Morey was the husband of Chatney Morey, daughter of Robert and Pauline Vogel of Jennings County. Chatney grew up in Commiksey, graduating from Jennings County High School in 1994. Christopher grew up in Jamul, California.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

JC schools return despite county's COVID red status
School reopening plans for Jan. 5 did not change despite the Red status. Grades K-6 return to school daily with safety protocols in place since classrooms are able to maintain distancing and keep students in smaller groups.

For at least the first two weeks, grades 7-12 will return following the hybrid schedule to enable social distancing and smaller classes.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

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