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November 17, 2018

Teens get involved
Teens get involved
JCHS students Addyson Kent and Megan Schuler kept bundled up while showing their support for Karie Wilson outside the St. Mary's parish center polling location. Temperatures eventually warmed up in the low 50s, to the relief of the teens and other political stalwarts.-Staff Photo by Savannah Pickett



Widespread electrical outages after ice storm
Many people in Jennings County are without electricity after freezing rain late Wednesday and early Thursday caused widespread outages.
Duke Energy reports 2,700 customers in Jennings County are without electric service as of 6:30 a.m.
"We have lots of trees and other vegetation that are down and impacting electric service," said Chip Orben, government and community relations manager with Duke. "We have a transmission line that has locked out impacting the North Vernon area. Our assessment crews are assessing the damage at this time and we do not have an estimated restoration time at this time. Our crews are working as quickly and safely as possible to restore power. Duke customers who are out should call 1-800-343-3525."
Around 1,844 Southeastern Indiana REMC members in Jennings County are out of electricity as of 11 a.m. Deceatur County REMC outages in Jennings County are at 268 at the same time.
An estimated 3,100 Jackson County REMC members are without power. The counties with the largest number of outages are Jennings, Jackson, Scott and Washington.
Jackson County REMC has all available crews and contracted crews out working to restore power as safely and quickly as possible. Visit its website, jacksonremc.com, or its Facebook page, Jackson County REMC, for more information. "We will continue to update our Facebook page with the most recent information," said an REMC spokesperson.
"Remember to stay away and NEVER touch a downed powerline. Also, tree limbs are still breaking and will continue to do so until the ice melts. Please stay safe and stay out from under any large trees or limbs.
"Any Jackson County REMC customer who is out of service and has not reported their outage is encouraged to report their outage either on our SmartHub app, or by calling the office at 812-358-4458."

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Honor roll and honorable mention for the first nine weeks grading period at Jennings County High School for the 2018-2019 school year is as follows:

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

ISTEP results indicate 'significant areas of growth'
The Indiana Depart­ment of Education has released 2018 ISTEP+ results and notes that performance remained stable across content areas in grades 3-8, with slight increases in grade 8 English/ Language Arts and grade 3 Mathematics.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

State gives $320K to county

The governor came to Vernon to dole out money, a lot of money.

Gov. Eric Holcomb, Indiana Department of Transportation Commis­sioner Joe McGuinness and others were at the Jennings County Government Center on Thursday, Nov. 8, to award oversized checks to counties, cities and towns in the area that represent state-matching funds for local road projects through the Next Level Roads: Community Cross­ings Initiative.

"This is a great program where the state government partners with the local level on long-range planning and important infrastructure maintenance," Holcomb said. "We don't have it perfected yet, but we're close and it is now sustainable in large part because of the leadership in this room."

Jennings County government received $320,760 for road and bridge work. To qualify, it has to match 25 percent of the funding and also had to submit an INDOT-approved asset management plan.

"Small counties and communities are not getting the short end of the stick anymore," said State Rep. Randy Frye (R-Greensburg), who pushed through a change to the program two years ago where the local match for small-size counties, such as Jennings, was reduced from 50 to 25 percent. "I'm glad we were able to do that."

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Governor open to bill on reducing jail overcrowding
Gov. Eric Holcomb said he enjoyed visiting Jennings County again, where he last visited in August for the grand opening of the Muscatatuck Cyber Academy at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center in Butlerville.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Holiday train ready to roll
All the tickets are sold and all seats are taken for the 12th annual Hulda-Santa Express train rides on Saturday, Nov. 17 - all 1,460 of them.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Explosions part of training at MUTC
For the past week-and-a-half, loud explosions have been heard in parts of the Jennings County area.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

JCHS: Drug OD rumor false
Rumors of rampant drug overdoses involving students at Jennings County High School are just that, according to Dustin Roller.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

County tables new jail plans
The Jennings County Board of Commissioners made it official on Thursday.

No action will be made on the proposed new county jail until after four new members of the Jennings County Council take office in January.

Whether or not a majority on the council decides to veto the jail project, which it could do by rescinding the special-use jail tax, remains an open question. The four newly-elected members of the council have told The Sun they want to study the matter closer.

"We are at the point that if we took one more step forward (on the jail), it would cost millions," said Matt Sporleder (R-District 3), president of the commissioners. "The new county council might choose to change things. We three commissioners don't want to roll the dice and take that chance."

Sporleder was referring to the new income tax the council adopted last month that will fund the jail project, where estimates range as high as $28 million.

Four new councilors on the seven-member council were elected last month - Mandy Creech (R-District 2), Bob Ellis (R-District 3), Michael Gerth (R-District 1) and Charlie Weber (R-District 4). Two who voted for the jail tax, Democrats Tony Eder (District 4) and Larry Maschino (District 2), were defeated. Another who voted for the tax, Republican Mike Kelley (District 1), did not run for re-election.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Old U.S. 50 now belongs to county, city
Effective Monday, Nov. 12, the old U.S. Highway 50 route inside the bypass is no longer under state jurisdiction.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Affordable Christmas Store gears up for season
The Jennings County Youth Foundation (JCYF) and its volunteers are working hard as they prepare to host the Affordable Christmas Toy Store next month.

Monday, November 12, 2018

AmVets to hold 'huge auction" Saturday
Friday, November 9, 2018

Republican tsunami
Was it a red wave, a high caliber of local GOP candidates, the influence of President Trump or just good old-fashion hard work and campaigning?

It was probably a combination of all those factors, and who knows what else.

Whatever, the Jennings County Republican Party scored a stunning sweep Tuesday in the 2018 election, taking every single county government office.

The GOP's only loss in county boundaries came in the Center Township trustee race where Laurie Blackburn barely held off Hannah Bright by 1 percentage point.

"We are delighted," said Republican chair Jeanie Hahn among loud cheers and high-fives at the Willow Lake Event Center where GOP candidates and supporters gathered Tuesday night to watch the results. "We had great candidates with impressive qualifications and we all worked very, very hard. We advertised heavily, we walked door to door and made phone calls to talk to people and it resonated with the voters."

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

No joy in Mudville for Democrats
"Ouch!"
Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Jail meeting originally set for Monday is canceled
Despite Tuesday's election results which some say is a mandate from the voters to stop the proposed new Jennings County Jail, the project is far from dead.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Wahlman elected to school board
Susan Wahlman scored an impressive win in the nonpartisan race for one of the two at-large seats on the Jennings County School Board.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Salvation Army expands programs
The Salvation Army programs are expanding in Jennings County.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

No trash pick up in NV on Monday
Because of the Veterans Day holiday, there will be no garbage pick up in the City of North Vernon on Monday, Nov. 12. The garbage collection route normally followed that day will instead be on Tuesday, Nov. 13. Tuesday's regular route will also be collected then.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Water rescues keep crews busy

Emergency crews were involved in four water rescues over a 12-hour span in Jennings County late Thursday and early Friday.

Heavy rains flooded roads in several areas of the county, especially in the south and west. None of the motorists were injured.

At around 9:30 a.m. Thursday, the Vernon Fire Department Water Rescue Team and Indiana Conservation Officers plucked two men from their swamped vehicles on County Road 700 West in the Weston Bottoms area.

"I was following another car and a pickup truck," said William "Toby" Gilham after crews on an airboat transported him from his car to dry land at the intersection of CR 700W and CR 400S. "I thought since the truck was making it, I could, too. But the water kept getting deeper and deeper, then my car started sinking."

Gilham said his Buick LeSabre stalled in the water that was going over its hood and into the passenger compartment at around 7 a.m. He climbed up on the roof of the car and started yelling for help.

"I didn't have a cell phone with me, but I had an orange vest that I hoped somebody would see when they heard me yelling," he said.

A resident over half a mile away finally spotted and heard Gilham, and called 911.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Suspicious activity leads to arrests
North Vernon Police Department officers investigated suspicious activity which led to arrest of a man and a woman on Wednesday, Oct. 31.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Suspect caught after chase in Dupont area
The Indiana State Police-Versailles Criminal Patrol Team conducted multiple criminal investigations near Dupont on Friday, Nov. 2, that led to four arrests.

Monday, November 5, 2018

'Leaf Patrol'
Fall may be late this year, but the leaves are finally falling from trees in the North Vernon area, making up in a big way for lost time.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Election '18: Ready to rumble
Voter interest is at what could be an all-time high for a midterm election in Jennings County.

Turnout is already setting records in absentee-in-person and absentee-by-mail voting, and officials predict that trend will continue on Election Day - Tuesday, Nov. 6.

"The number of people voting absentee is big," said Jeanie Hahn, Jennings County Republican Party chair. "Many Republicans are voting absentee in person, and it looks like Democrats are, too. Turnout here will certainly be better than 2014 (the last midterm election year) and might even rival 2016."

What is driving the voters to cast ballots?

Obviously, there are many appealing races on the ballot, both statewide and locally. In Jennings County, an issue that has fired up voters is the proposed new county jail.

"People are furious," Hahn said. "Nobody wants the stupid jail. They want to fix the jail we have now."

"The jail is a major issue for everyone in Jennings County," opined Jack Gay, Democratic chair. "The current commissioners have hired consultants to guide us through the process of dealing with jail overcrowding. Those consultants have a vested interest in building a jail. It should come as no surprise that they recommend building a jail that will disable our ability to deal with the other issues that our county faces."

That issue is playing into the races for District 3 county commissioner, sheriff and county council seats.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Chase leads to 3 arrests
A high-speed police chase led to a wreck and the arrest of three people in Jennings County on Sunday.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

More road work ahead in Jennings
Just when motorists were starting to see some relief from seemingly endless road work in the Jennings County area, the Indiana De­partment of Transpor­tation has announced another road project.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018


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