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North Vernon Plain Dealer Sun | North Vernon, IN
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February 20, 2019

Thanks, guys!
Thanks, guys!
Clerk-Treasurer Shawn Gerkin checks on the installation of the new light in front of the Plain Dealer & Sun office installed by Kelly Richart, left, and Garrie Ritchie of the NV Street Department. Employees of the local newspaper arrive at work in the dark during winter months and so the light is definitely appreciated! The original light was knocked down Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018 (Labor Day weekend) when a police vehicle hit it. The mayor said he had ordered a new light but it has not come in yet.-Staff Photo by Barbara King

Fire destroys housing complex
A huge, quick-moving fire leveled the Greenbriar Condominium complex in North Vernon Monday morning, barely giving residents enough time to escape.

"We were extremely fortunate," said Dave Gerth, Jennings County EMS director. "It's miraculous no one was hurt who lived there, not even from smoke inhalation.

"We did have to treat a couple of firefighters and police officers with oxygen, but nothing major," he added.

The complex on Woodlawn Drive has 12 residential units.

"That structure is toast now," Gerth said.

Monday, February 18, 2019

County's historic cemeteries
With literally dozens of historic cemeteries scattered throughout Jennings County, it is most appropriate that the Jennings County Historical Society will be presenting an expert on that subject this week.

Monday, February 18, 2019

JC Spelling Bee champ emerges after 13 rounds
It took 13 rounds before a winner was determined in the annual Jennings County Spelling Bee.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Get Hep A shots 21st
The Jennings County Health Department will be having a hepatitis A vaccination clinic Thursday, Feb. 21, from 1 to 5:30 p.m. at the Government Center, 200 E. Brown St., Vernon.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Hopes sky high for jail bill
A major hurdle was cleared when the Indiana House of Representatives Monday voted in favor of State Rep. Randy Frye's (R-Greensburg) legislation designed to alleviate jail overcrowding by giving county jails the option to relocate low-level felons.

The vote was a lopsided 74-17 with 15 Democrats joining 59 Republicans in support of House Bill 1065.

"I'm very encouraged by the support for the bill from both sides of the aisle," Frye told the Plain Dealer Tuesday via telephone from the Statehouse in Indianapolis. "The representatives who voted against the bill said it was because they don't think it goes far enough. I have to find more funding, and I think I will now as the bill works through the Senate."

Frye, who represents about a third of Jennings County, said he authored the bill after receiving numerous requests from Jennings County officials to come up with a legislative remedy for the severe overcrowding issues at the Jennings County Jail. The county has been considering constructing a new jail facility with an estimated price tag of $23 million. Officials have put the brakes on proceeding after Frye revealed his legislation in December.

Jennings County isn't the only county plagued by jails filled to over capacity. According to the Indiana Supreme Court, nearly half of Indiana's 92 counties had a jail at or exceeding capacity in 2017.

"Matt Sporleder (president of the Jennings County Board of Commissioners), Judge (Jon) Webster and Judge (Gary) Smith, the sheriff candidates last year and everybody told me to look into the issue," Frye said. "Last year, we (the state legislature) voted to allow Jennings County to build a new jail (and to adopt a new income tax to fund the project). But we found out later that wasn't what the people wanted. I knew I'd better figure out a different way."

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Family loses everything in fire Monday
Fire destroyed a mobile home early Mon­day near Butlerville, leaving three people homeless.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Published authors to be
It is a rare opportunity for a teen to earn the right to say, "I am a published author!"

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Police K-9s to the rescue
After a suspect wanted on a felony arrest warrant allegedly refused to comply with deputies Tuesday afternoon, the officers sent in a dog to do the job.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

No trash collection in city of NV on Presidents Day
Because of the Presi­dents Day holiday, there will be no garbage pick up in the City of North Vernon on Monday, Feb. 18. The garbage collection route normally followed that day will instead be on Tuesday, Feb. 19. Tuesday's regular route will also be collected then.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Semi-truck wreck closes U.S. 50 Monday morning

What a mess, and just in time to make the Monday morning traffic even worse than usual in western Jennings County.

A semi-truck hauling a load of building material spilled much of its load early Monday in Hayden.

As a result, both lanes of U.S. 50 were closed from 5:45 to 6:45 a.m. and one lane stayed closed until 9:10 a.m.

"I don't know how many skids of material spilled off of the trailer, but it was a bunch," said Sgt. Mike Mowery of the Jennings County Sheriff's Office. "There were sacks off everywhere. I'm not sure if it was drywall material or what, but it took a good while to clean it up."

Willie Sherman, 56, of Cincinnati was driving a semi owned by Western Express of Nashville, Tenn., when he pulled into the Tempest Tool & Machine parking lot at 7235 W. U.S. 50 around 5:30 a.m.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Scheduling nightmare
After taking over as Jennings County High School's interim athletic director last month, Joe Hartwell is learning that the toughest part of the job has nothing to do with actual athletics.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Call for Distinguished Educator Award nominees
Jennings County School Corp. Superintendent Teresa Brown has again appointed retired JCSC Superinten­dent Dr. Terry Sargent to coordinate the 2019 Dr. Carl A. Wildey Distinguished Educator Award process.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Tip leads to NV police to 3 drug suspects in CSL
Acting on a tip, North Vernon Police officers ended up arresting three people from North Vernon on drug charges Wednesday, Feb. 6.

Monday, February 11, 2019

More file for city election
As expected, incumbent North Vernon Clerk-treasurer Shawn Gerkin is running for re-election. A Democrat, Gerkin filed his candidacy Tuesday at the Jennings County Election Office. He is seeking a third term in office.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Lawmakers talk issues in NV
He did not mince words when expressing his disagreement with his governor, one of the same party.

During last Saturday's Third House public forum in North Vernon, State Rep. Jim Lucas (R-Seymour) more than once voiced his displeasure with Gov. Eric Holcomb, a fellow Republican, over the issue of medical cannabis.

"I have introduced a bill to legalize medical cannabis but it can't get a hearing because the governor is against it," Lucas said.

That is because the Speaker of the House, Brad Bosma, has not assigned Lucas's bill to any committee for consideration and debate.

"I strongly disagree with the governor and am disappointed my bill isn't getting a hearing," Lucas said. "I still have hope it can get heard this session, but if not I will push for it next year. It's not good that so many insist on keeping their heads in the sand on this issue."

The legislator, who represents most of Jennings County, cited the benefits of medical cannabis.

"Medical cannabis would help reduce the opioid crisis, it would help veterans with post traumatic stress syndrome and it would improve the quality of life for many in end-of-life stages," Lucas said.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Ice rescue training
It was a teeth-chattering time for seven members of the Vernon Fire Technical Rescue Team who underwent ice rescue training last week.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Super Sunday: 10 felony drug arrests in 20 hours
Super Bowl Sunday was literally a super busy one for the Jennings County Sheriff's Office.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Fire destroys Spencer Twp. home

Fire destroyed a mobile home in northern Geneva Township Wednesday morning, Jan. 30.

Temperatures were below zero when firefighters from the Spencer Township, Scipio-Geneva Township and North Vernon-Center Township volunteer fire departments battled the blaze for two hours.

The residence of the Paul Jayne family located at 2375 N. County Road 600 West was completely demolished. The structure was fully involved in flames by the time the first fire trucks arrived at 7:01 a.m., according to Lt. Ryan Richart of the Spencer VFD. No members of the family were home at the time of the fire.

"The extreme cold was hard on the firefighters and equipment," Richart said. "Some of the equipment froze such as gauges and sensors on Geneva Township's Engine No. 21. We were lucky enough to have a hydrant across the road and were able to set up our water supply with that so that we could send the unneeded tankers back to their stations so that they didn't freeze up."

Monday, February 4, 2019

Hepatitis A outbreak hits hard in county
Jennings County has not been spared from the outbreak of hepatitis A cases Indiana.

The Jennings County Health Department is conducting another hepatitis A vaccination clinic from 1 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6, at the Country Squire Lakes clubhouse.

"Indiana and Jennings County are in an outbreak of hepatitis A," said Pam Petry, the county's public health nurse. "This is why we're having clinics like this.

Monday, February 4, 2019

State police find wanted man
The Indiana State Police conducted a traffic stop on I-65 in Jackson County on Tuesday, Jan. 29, that led to the arrest of a Seymour man wanted in Jennings County.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Suspects tracked down in Kentucky
Acting on a tip, the Jennings County Sheriff's Office in coordination with the Kentucky State Police, captured three wanted fugitives from the same family in Kentucky on Wednesday, Jan. 30.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Photo of former sporting goods store is no mystery to many of our readers
It has been closed for over a decade but many correct entries were received for last month's Mystery Photo Challenge.

Monday, February 4, 2019

U.S. Rep. Pence announces 6th District staff
U.S. Rep. Greg Pence (R-6th District) announced his District staff on Friday, Feb. 1.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Big chill even stops the mail

"Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."

The dangerously extreme cold weather on Wednesday, did, however, in North Vernon, Jennings County, much of Indiana and 10 other Midwestern States.

Jennings County's schools were closed for the day as was the county courthouse and all nonessential government offices. Schools throughout the state and in neighboring Kentucky were also closed.

About an inch of snow fell in the area late Tuesday as temperatures plummeted, reaching -4 as of 9 a.m. at a Weather Underground station located in the Burnt Pines area just south of North Vernon. The wind chill was listed at -22. There is a wind chill advisory in place as a result of the brutal cold that experts say is the result of a split in the polar vortex.

The U.S. Postal Service suspended deliveries in Jennings County and surrounding region, as well as other portions of Indiana, on Wednesday due to brutal cold. The postal service posted the alert on its website late Tuesday, announcing delivery would be suspended for ZIP codes starting with 472 and many other ZIP codes in the state.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

'A Dog's Way Home'
Normally, dogs are not allowed in the Park Theatre Civic Centre - the exception being service animals of course.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

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