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NEWS
August 6, 2020

Demos fundraiser
Demos fundraiser
Members of the Jennings County Young Democrats volunteered their time at the Democrat Drive-Up Lunch. this past Saturday. Alex Smallwood, left, and Eli Everage said they chose to join the Young Democrats because they realized they needed to take action if they wanted to make a difference. Smallwood designed the flyer for the event.-Staff Photo by Kylan Higgs.



Don't plant Chinese 'seeds' instead send to ag experts
People across the country are receiving unsolicited packages of unidentified seeds in the mail that seem to be coming from China. The Office of Indiana State Chemist, located at Purdue University, is urging Hoosiers not to plant or dispose of the seeds since they could be spreading noxious weeds, plant diseases or invasive species.
Wednesday, August 5, 2020

JCYF prepares to distribute supplies
The Jennings County Youth Foundation will be handing out backpacks filled with school supplies Saturday, August 8 from noon to 5 p.m. at their office located on 100 S. Webster Street in North Vernon. Families should pull around back and stay in their cars while volunteers bring the backpacks for their students. This event is only for families that filled out the Google form for school supplies assistance.
Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Applications open for Lilly scholarship
The Jennings County Community Foundation is now accepting applications for the 2021 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program. The scholarship is open to Indiana residents who graduate from an accredited Indiana high school by 2021, and receive their diploma no later than June 30, 2021. Details related to conditions of the award, eligibility and selection criteria are available on the Community Foundation's website at www.jenningsfoundation.net. The deadline to apply is September 9, 2020 by 3 p.m.
Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Crash on Hwy. 50 damages 5 apartments near JCHS
A car crashed into the Village Apartment building located on 555 Brownstown Road in North Vernon across from Jennings County High School as a result of an initial car-to-car collision on Wednesday, July 29, knocking a corner of the building's foundation loose and tearing out five units of electric.
Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Equal internet access a concern
The spectre of COVID-19 forcing the closing of local schools again has staff members working overtime to ensure high quality internet connectivity is available to all students in the county, no matter where they live.

In this technically advanced age of virtual reality and social media, you may be surprised to find that approximately 30-38 percent of Jennings County families do not have access to quality internet. This lack of connectivity has been a major obstacle to overcome since schools closed in light of the global pandemic, forcing students to complete the 2019-20 school year via online learning.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Indiana Landmarks asked to take ownership of 504
The future of downtown North Vernon just got a lot brighter this week.
According to Greg Sekula, Jerry Greene, owner of 504 East O&M Avenue, is in the process of giving Indiana Landmarks ownership of the now-condemned structure at the corner of Fifth Street and East O&M. That building, as well as the block-long 462 E. O&M Ave. are known as the former Greathouse Hardware buildings and were purchased by
Greene, an Indianapolis designer, in summer 2017.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Suspect sought in 6 home burglaries
The Jennings County Sheriff's Office is requesting your help in identifying a burglar who reportedly robbed victims while they were at home sleeping.

On Saturday, August 1 at approximately 6:00 a.m., deputies responded to Brooks Lane in the Green Acres Subdivision just north of Scipio.

Several burglaries had reportedly occurred overnight. It was determined that firearms and other items of value were stolen from vehicles and homes where victims were sleeping. Luckily, deputies were able to secure surveillance footage of a possible suspect.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

City rep's goal is to 'save our heritage'
City Council President Brian Hatfield said he is looking forward to the
relationship with Indiana Landmarks.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

'Virtual auction' replaces annual livestock auction to help 4'Hers
This year is different, all right.

Now, in another adaptation to COVID-19, Jennings County 4-H'ers who normally would have sold animals at the 4-H Auction at the fair, will resort to the internet to raise money for the expense of raising rabbits, pigs, steers, chickens. Oh my!

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Murphy fills orders with a heap of faith
With the outbreak of COVID-19 and the unemployment rate in Indiana, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, reaching 11.2 in June and being as high as 17.5 in April, many families have had to seek out different alternatives in order to acquire their basic necessities.

In North Vernon, the Jennings County Coordinating Council offers JC families the opportunity to receive food provisions.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Teachers get more time to hone skills for new year
The Jennings County School Board approved the request to postpone the back-to-school date from August 6 to August 13 during the virtual special meeting held on Thursday, July 23 and, contrary to what some may assume, it is NOT because of increased concerns regarding COVID-19.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

But there's hope for chickens
Wednesday, July 29, 2020

September sure isn't what it used to be
COVID-19 continues to impact traditional events here in Jennings, including four that normally highlight the month of September.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Taggart is first to file
Incumbent school board member Earl Taggart was the first to file for this fall's election of three district members to this important board.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Demos field county council hopeful
Stephanie Schoettmer is the newest Democratic candidate who will be running for a position on the Jennings County Council at Large in the upcoming General Election in November.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Virus can't stop FLASH from serving 2000+ children
A global pandemic did not stop Jennings County's Free Lunch All Summer, Hooray! better known as FLASH, a free lunch summer program which has been serving food to those in need for 10 years.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

JC EDC is determined to help
Jennings County Economic Development is determined to help small businesses survive the economic downturn caused by COVID-19.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Board meets at JCHS
The Board of School Trustees will hold its regular meeting Thursday, July 30 in the Cafeteria of Jennings County High School, 800 West Walnut Street, North Vernon, Indiana 47265.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Candidates can submit info
Those seeking office in the General Election on Nov. 3 are invited to subit information about their candidacy for publication in the Plain Dealer & Sun. The newspapers will run these news items free of charge if information is submitted by Sept. 11.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Officials take steps to make sure county in compliance
State guidelines were elevated last week as Indiana's cases of COVID-19 continue to climb.

Since last Thursday, local cases have increased by seven. Deaths here from the virus remains at 12, although Health Dept. office manager/Environ-mental Health Specialist Peggy Roe told county officials last week that in the case of 2 other deaths here, COVID was the "probable" cause.

This increase was reflected across the state and prompted Gov. Eric Holcomb to make the wearing of masks mandatory for businesses and individuals as of Monday, July 27, except where social distancing is possible in offices and in outdoor situations.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

New economic reality sets in
Last week, both city and county officials took steps to curb spending in the 2021 budget and to prepare for what very well may be leaner funding ahead.

City officials voted unanimously at their meeting July 13 to have any department chief wanting to hire a new full-time employee appear at the City Council to have that hiring approved.

The very next night, the Jennings County Council budget committee warned the county is facing a projected shortfall of approximately $90,000 for next year and a shortfall from 15 to 25 percent of the current budget in future years. It was decided to talk with department heads and explain how important it was to hold their 2021 budgets to zero increases if at all possible.

According to the city and county officials, the shortfalls are due to several factors, including the extended deadlines for paying property taxes which has resulted in a smaller than usual distribution of spring property tax which helps fund the general budgets of both city and county.

For example, the city's June distribution of property tax was 79 percent less than in 2019. However, these deficits could be alleviated by a "supplemental" distribution in August because the spring property tax distribution was actually higher than last year; it just came in late because the deadline for payment was extended from May to July 10 due to COVID-19. (See page 4B for JC Treasurer Kitty Shepherd's report.)

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

In Brief...
Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Pomp and circumstance thrill adult grads
The sentiment "Better late than never" was passed around during the Jennings County Education Center graduation ceremony on Saturday, July 18.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Saving historic buildings
A program set Thursday at the Jennings County Historical Society will be most timely, considering the precarious state of two historic buildings in downtown North Vernon..

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Homeless shelter still in 'relaunch' business
The North Vernon homeless shelter, Wayside Inn, located at 304 Hoosier Street, has remained open despite the COVID-19 outbreak, though their intake process has been adjusted and strict cleaning protocols have increased significantly.

Doorknobs and handles get wiped down constantly and the bathroom must get an overall spritz with a bleach solution after every use. Masks must be worn indoors and residents must wash their hands upon entering the building.

The shelter has always been health conscious, according to volunteers Jeanne and Tom Long, even before the pandemic. Residents must participate in cleanliness upkeep, not only for the shelter but for themselves, too.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020


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