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."
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.
On Thursday, April 11, the Jennings County Arc, with assistance from the Jennings Rehabilitation Industries, will hold an informational meeting about starting a Self-Advocate group in Jennings County. The meeting will be held at Jennings Rehabilitation Industries in Scipio at 3 p.m. Self-Advocates are citizens who speak out and advocate and educate for equal rights, respect and inclusion for all in the community.
Residents living in and around the North Vernon area can learn about their risk for cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, diabetes and other chronic, serious conditions with affordable screenings by Life Life Screening.
A flurry of 11th-hour negotiations last week culminated in enough funding being committed by three governmental agencies for a planned work release center that will serve Jennings and Jackson counties.
As reported Tuesday in The Sun, the Jennings County Council approved a 20-year contract for the initiative after a lengthy special meeting on Wednesday, March 27. The council agreed to pay an amount not to exceed $150,000 annually starting in 2020.
"This is way more than the typical inmate rehabilitation program at a county jail," said Mike Gerth (R-District 1).
Added Charlie Weber (R-District 4), "I think it's immoral that we don't have anything besides a jail."
Both ultimately voted for the plan, as did Paul Belding (R-at large), Bob Ellis (R-District 3) and Howard Malcomb (R-at large). Mandy Creek (R-District 2) and Dave Woodall (R-at large) were not present.
The Jackson County Council previously approved a commitment of the same amount.
The City of Seymour was the last of the three entities to agree to the commitment. When it considered the contract early last week, Seymour's City Council rejected it after city attorney Rodney Farrow advised it would result in double taxation for Seymour residents because they pay county taxes, too.