Selected as Sand Creek Elementary School Super Cyclones for April were, row one, left to right, Sierra Scoggins, Jaden Jiminez, Braiden Courtney, Daisy Kincaid, John Gilbert, Max McGuire and James Fields. Row two, Karen Lukie, Addi Alexander, Lizette Ramires-Telez, Alyssa Elmore, Aaden Crater, Rylee McCammon and Madelin Hatter. Row three, Preston Stevens, Alexis Dixon, Alyssa Willams, Brinley McCammon, Alexis Zuniga, Dukati Day and Aubrey Schafer. Row four, Cami Isbell, Jasmyn Horn, Jamie Baez, Grace Patterson, Brooklyn West, Kayeleigh Winninger and Alicen Onks. Not pictured are Samantha Arney, Ana Blount, Maddie Bonds, Christopher DeArcia, Fernando Fernandez, Lyndsay Hartwell, Justin Jones, Madison Jones, Cameron Patterson, Kyle Womack.-Photo Contributed
A new shelter house can't be built soon enough for the farmers and others who sell produce and other items at the Jennings County Farmers' Market three days a week.
A new structure is being planned for the same site as shelter house No. 2 at North Vernon City Park, which was razed last March because it was in danger of collapsing.
"We need a new shelter house right now," said Clarence Wullenweber, the Farmers' Market marketmaster. "It should have been built long before now. This is not only for the Farmers' Market, but the public."
North Vernon Mayor Mike Ochs, however, said construction will probably not be done until this fall.
"If we had the money, we'd do it today," he said, "but we don't."
According to a preliminary design by FPBH that was commissioned by the city, the new shelter house will be 40-by-80-foot in size. The concrete base will be replaced and extended 20 feet on the east side. The roof will be extended to hang over the structure's north and south sides to provide coverage for growers who park their vehicles there where they set up their stands on Farmers' Market days. Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Because he was wearing a helmet, a North Vernon man escaped serious injuries when he was knocked off a motor scooter on a busy highway Friday afternoon.
A Rescue 20 crew transported Chris Himelrick, 47, to St. Vincent Jennings Hospital for treatment of his injuries, which mainly consisted of road rash, according to a relative.
Himelrick was driving a 2014 Yamaha scooter west bound on West Walnut Street/U.S. 50 at around 2:30 p.m. when he attempted to merge into a left-turn lane. Witnesses said when he changed lanes near Oakwood Drive, his scooter collided with the side of a 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee, which also was west bound. The impact caused Himelrick to be thrown from the scooter onto the pavement.
The sport utility vehicle's driver was Emiko Reitman, 19, of North Vernon, who stopped immediately.
Police, Rescue 20 personnel and North Vernon-Center Township Fire Department first responders arrived quickly. A nearby resident placed a pillow under Himelrick's head as he laid in the middle of the street. Monday, June 20, 2016
A difference in Jennings County government books that was $1.7 million 21/2 years ago, then $168,000 earlier this year is now down to $4,600.
"It's all positive," said Sandy Vance, county treasurer, of the ongoing efforts to balance financial ledger books between her office and the county auditor's office. "I'm delighted with the progress."
So is Kay Vance, the auditor. (She is not related to Sandy Vance.)
"I'm very pleased," Kay Vance said. "It is amazing that we are so close to getting our books balanced after being so far apart."
No money is missing from county funds. In fact, the county is gaining $26,000 in money being uncovered during the reconciliation.
However, the state mandates that financial books in the county treasurer's and auditor's office matches as a way to ensure the county does not spend more than it has and that officials are aware of the county's financial balances.
"Having the books in balance just makes everything move much smoother at the county level," said Sherri Williams, chief deputy treasurer, who officials credit with doing much of the work.
The reconciliation effort intensified in April after the County Council approved a request by the treasurer and auditor to allow the Reedy Financial Group to assist in the effort. Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Fewer hours has meant more participants for the Relay for Life for Jennings County, a trend that Tanner Resch and other volunteer organizers hopes continues Saturday when the 20th annual event will be held at the Jennings County High School track and football stadium.
State investigators report that the woman charged with embezzling money from North Vernon Utility payments stole $17,697.72 over a 20-month period.
The Indiana State Board of Accounts filed a summary on June 1 of the special investigation of Robin L. Jones. A former city utility office manager and clerk, Jones was arrested on Aug. 17, 2015, on charges of diverting utility collections for personal use.
Jones owes a total of $35,067.04 according to the report. That includes $16,310.57 for the cost of the state's investigation and $1,063.75 for what the city paid a private company to obtain a listing of adjustments Jones allegedly made to customer accounts.
Jones, who is out of jail on a $1,655 cash bond, is scheduled for trial in Jennings County Circuit Court on July 25. She faces charges of theft and official misconduct, both Level 6 felony counts. Jones' attorney is Jennifer H. Culotta of New Albany.
"The release of this report will not affect the criminal prosecution," said Jennings County Prosecuting Attorney Brian Belding. "However, it is possible that the trial could be rescheduled. There is a final attorney conference on July 1. It will be determined then if the case will proceed to trial or be rescheduled."
Jones reportedly confessed to North Vernon Police that she embezzled the money. So it is possible a plea agreement could be reached at the attorney conference. Monday, June 13, 2016
Last month, President Barack Obama issued a directive advising every public school district in the country how to ensure that "transgender students enjoy a supportive and nondiscriminatory school environment."
The directive included the advice allowing transgender students to use the bathrooms of their gender identity.
The declaration, which was signed by federal Department of Justice and Education officials, provides details on how schools are to react in order to keep students from feeling discriminated against. Failure to comply with the directive could cause cuts in federal funding. The Jennings County School Corp. (JCSC) receives about $3 million in funding annually from the federal government.
So far, 11 states have filed injunctions against the controversial directive. Indiana is not one of those states.
Larry Greathouse serves as the legal counsel for the Jennings County School Board. He has provided the school corporation with a suggestion on how they should handle the situation.
"Larry Greathouse has advised that we do not need to make any policy changes at this time," reported Dr. Terry Sargent, JCSC superintendent. "He says we should wait until a decision is made on current litigation or if the directive becomes a law." Wednesday, June 8, 2016
Two suspects who attempted to elude Jennings County Sheriff Department deputies Sunday landed in jail. Another suspect who fled got away but the investigation is ongoing, according to Lt. Mike Mowery.
The old brick surface on Fifth Street was exposed for several days as construction continues on the streetscape project.
For Tom Taylor, a history buff, it was like turning back the pages to North Vernon's past.
"It was 100 years ago when they bricked the streets around what was then called the Central Block - Fifth Street, Madison Avenue and O&M Avenue," Taylor said. "What I saw of the bricks on Fifth Street looked to be in fairly good shape."
The brick, which long ago had been asphalted over, is being removed as workers with MAC Construction redo the street and subsurface between the CSX Transportation railroad crossing and Buckeye Street/U.S. 50. Monday, June 6, 2016
A dozen Jennings County youth gathered at St. Vincent Jennings Hospital recently for an Earth Day activity. They picked up cigarette butts from the areas near and around the front entrances of the three buildings on hospital grounds.