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NEWS March 26, 2015

Bunny Breakfast is Saturday
Bunny Breakfast is Saturday
Bicycles galore will be given away at the Psi Iota Xi Alpha Omega Chapter's annual Bunny Breakfast on Saturday, March 14. The event will run from 9 to 11 a.m. at Sand Creek Elementary School. Sponsors include Gary Driver, from left, Mike Ochs, Baron Wilder, Jeff Day, Psi Iota Xi member Elaine Leahigh, Jon Webster, Jack Kelley, Mary Dorsett Kilgore, Shawn Gerkin, Gene Rudicel, Bailey Kilgore, Bill Elmore, Gary Smith, Franny Hall Woodall, Alden Rudicel, Brian Hatfield and Matt Hurley. Other sponsors not pictured, are Vicki Webb, David Shaw, Trent Wisner, Connie Rayburn, Kay Sue Vance, Mike Brown, Brian Sawyer and Harold "Soup" Campbell.-Staff Photo by Bryce Mayer



New column profiles law officers in area
The Plain Dealer & Sun starts a new column this week "The Brown and the Blue," which will profile local law enforcement officers at the North Vernon Police Department, the Jennings County Sheriff's Department and troopers from the Indiana State Police who patrol here in Jennings County.
A local citizen suggested the papers spotlight our local police to both give them recognition and to let the public see perhaps another side of the officers.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Day of Caring seeks projects, volunteers
Volunteers are already signing up for the Jennings County United Way Day of Caring. The schedule of projects is also being finalized for the 14th annual event that will be held Saturday, April 18.
"We can never have too many volunteer workers," said Kelly Sabelhaus, a United Way volunteer from North Vernon who is coordinating the Day of Caring for the fourth consecutive year. "The more volunteers we have working, the more we can do."
Last year around 500 volunteers tackled over 70 projects ranging from constructing wheelchair ramps at the homes of the disabled and elderly to landscaping at area parks.
"This communitywide effort continues to grow each year with caring, eager volunteers who take the United Way motto, 'Live United," to heart by joining hands to work together," Sabelhaus said. "In the process, they increase our capacity to care for one another in a very tangible way.
"All this energy benefits our community and the lives of our neighbors"
Now, Sabelhaus continues to welcome submissions for projects.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Our Civil War heritage
Billy Yank and Johnny Reb will meet again next month in Vernon, somewhat like they did in 1863. The occasion will be the 54th annual Sassafras Tea and Civil War Living History Festival. on April 25 and 26.
"We are thrilled to be able to fold the Civil War era special happenings into a festival that has continued annually for over half a century," said Chris Asher of the Jennings County Historical Society, the festival's sponsor. "This year's festival will be extra special because of Vernon's bicentennial. Vernon Mayor Dan Wright, history buff Tom Taylor and other Vernon and Jennings County locals are pulling together many special events to celebrate Vernon's 200th anniversary. (

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

'Prepared to dispute their passage
The "Great Emergency of 1863," known more commonly as "Morgan's Raid," brought the war home to Jennings County. The little town of Vernon became a swirling hub of Indiana Legion activity.
On July 11, 1863, the Jennings County men not already deployed with our own 9th Regiment Indiana Legion in Seymour rushed to assist the forces gathering in Vernon.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

National honors
The Order of the Tow­man.
Thanks to the Spencer Township Volunteer Fire Department, Ron Clark earned inclusion recently into that exclusive national group.
"I was very surprised when I heard I was going to get this," said Clark in most humbled fashion. "I don't deserve any of these awards. I just do my job and I like helping people. I just keep doing what I've always done."
In fact, Clark, who started Clark's Salvage and Towing Service in North Vernon over 60 years ago, didn't want to go to the induction ceremony at the American Towman national convention in Baltimore, Mary­land. But his wife, Dorothy, insisted.
"I had to make him go," she laughed. "I made the reservations and told him we had to go."
American Towman is a trade organization serving the towing and recovery industry.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

JC Council: Bond needed

The maintenance "honey do" list continues to grow for Jennings County government while the fund earmarked for such work keeps shrinking.

"We're so far behind now on what we need to do that it's going to be very tough to catch up," Merrill Salyers, the county's maintenance supervisor, told the Jennings County Council earlier this month.

According to two council members, the solution may be a issuing a bond, which would involve the county borrowing money.

"We have so many issues facing us," said Dave Woodall (R-at large). "We're going to have to do a bond."

Howard Malcomb (R-at large) echoed that point.

"It looks like the only way is to do a bond again," said Malcomb, who is Council president. "But we will have to wait another year or so until our current bond is paid off."

The Cumulative Courthouse Fund is what the county typically uses to pay for maintenance work. The balance is currently $120,000, down from over $300,000 just a couple of years ago.
(1 comments)

Monday, March 23, 2015

Shoplifting leads to felony drug arrests
Police investigations into alleged shoplifting at Walmart in North Vernon led to three felony arrests over the weekend, two involving drug charges.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Performance report compares Jennings' schools with others
Do you want to know something about any of the schools that make up the Jennings County School Corporation (JCSC)?

Monday, March 23, 2015

Lamb eyes NV Council
Jerry A. Lamb has announced his candidacy for the North Vernon City Council's at-large position.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Pets of the Week - March 19, 2015
Wednesday, March 18, 2015

'Put on your Easter bonnet'
It's almost time to "put on your Easter bonnet."

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

City hails state fire academy
A bill authored by State Rep. Randy Frye (R-Greensburg), which he says will provide consistent, high-quality training to firefighters, is now awaiting Gov. Mike Pence's signature.

The governor is expected to sign the legislation, which would be a big plus for the City of North Ver­non, according to Mayor Harold "Soup" Campbell.

House Bill (HB) 1182 establishes an Indiana State Fire Academy "to ensure firefighters across the state receive the same training," said Frye, a retired firefighter himself.

On Monday, the bill passed unanimously out of the Indiana Senate and will be sent to the governor's desk to be signed into law.

With a state fire academy in place, North Vernon would not have nearly the trouble finding qualified professional firefighters as it has in the recent past, according to Campbell.

(1 comments)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Keeping the best and brightest in Jennings
The Jennings County Economic Development Commission (EDC) is making the workforce in Jen­nings County one of its top priorities.

Now the EDC is initiating a new program designed to keep recent college graduates, who earned their high school diplomas from Jennings County High School, in the community. The intent is to reduce the "brain drain" in the county.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

GOP chair: rumors of his departure are false
Mark Holwager is not going anywhere.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

$5K to go to local emergency food, shelter programs
Jennings County has been chosen to receive $5,376 from the federal government to supplement emergency food and shelter programs.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Murder case to federal level
Three Indianapolis men who allegedly murdered Scott Maxie near Hayden last September will now face federal charges after a federal grand jury in Indianapolis indicted them.

Jennings County Prosecuting Attorney Brian Belding and United States Attorney Josh Minkler announced the decision to move the case to federal jurisdiction at a press conference Friday.

"Violent crime will not be tolerated in this community," Belding said. "The individuals responsible should be punished to the fullest extent of the law."

Maxie was shot to death on Sept. 21 during a robbery at the Muscatatuck Outdoors Gun Shop, which Maxie owned and managed. The next day, police arrested three suspects, Darryl Anthony Worthen, 25, Dejuan Andre Worthen, 23, and Darion Dashon Harris, 20. The Worthens are brothers and Harris is their cousin.

All were charged with discharging a firearm in relation to a crime of violence resulting in death, robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery and theft of firearms. The three have been held in Jennings County Jail since their arrest. They will soon be moved to a federal prison, though officials could not say when or where.

Monday, March 16, 2015

4 injured, 2 cited in 3-vehicle wreck
Four people were injured and one hospitalized in a three-vehicle traffic accident in Geneva Township during rush hour on a busy stretch of highway Friday, March 13, according to the Jennings County Sheriff's Department. Two of the motorists involved were cited for driving without insurance.

Monday, March 16, 2015

GOP's Hatfield seeks re-election to NV City Council
Brian Hatfield has announced his candidacy for re-election to the North Vernon City Council Dis­trict 4 seat on the Republi­can Party ticket.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Park to offer camping soon?
For now, the prospect of a loan to fund improvements at Eco Lake Park remains off the table. Nevertheless, development of two campgrounds will proceed at the Jennings County-owned park, according to Greg Martin, though that, too, is somewhat dependent on additional funding.

And if the Jennings County Parks and Recrea­tional (JCPR) Department gains a grant for the project, which Martin, JCPR director, anticipates, he believes it would be very prudent to get a loan in order to complete all planned features for the park's main campground in time for next year's camping season.

However, at least one member of the Jennings County Council, Josh Yeager (R-District 2) has repeatedly voiced doubts, and did so again Tuesday.

It may all come down to Phase D, the estimated $100,000 portion of the project involving the proposed construction of a bathroom/shower house and commercial mound septic system.

"No loan is needed for the campground project if we leave out Phase D," Martin told the Jennings County Council. "If we get the grant, then we need to meet again to discuss Phase D and the possibility of a loan."

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Descendants of Civil War vets wanted
Tom Taylor has a question for all Jennings County area citizens: "Did anyone in your family fight in the Civil War?"

(1 comments)

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Benefit for Grayford man Saturday
For virtually his entire adult life, Gary Amis has been battling a rare disease.

Over two decades after being diagnosed with brain cancer, after undergoing brain surgery three times to remove tumors and after countless treatments, the North Vernon man is still fighting.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Public vs. charter schools
The future of education in Indiana and Jennings County will be discussed as part of the screening of a documentary film and panel discussion at the Park Theatre Civic Centre.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Center to accept hazardous household waste Saturday
The Southeastern Indi­ana Recycling District (SEIRD) will hold a House­hold Haz­ardous Waste Col­lection Day at the Jennings County Recycling Center from 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday, March 14.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

3 hospitalized after house fire
Three people were hospitalized for minor injuries when a fire destroyed their Bigger Township house early Saturday morning.

Samuel and Lindy Combest and their son, Sam Jr., were transported by Rescue 20 crews to St. Vincent Jennings Hospital, where they were treated and released.

"The three people living in the house got out all right but were taken to the hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation," said Britt Burgmeier, Vernon Township Volunteer Fire Department chief. "This appeared to be nonlife-threatening."

Monday, March 9, 2015

Campaign aims at preventing suicides in JC
In Mike Eastman's opinion, Jennings County's high suicide rate is inexcusable. Part of the reason, he believes, is because too many people put their heads in the sand and ignore the problem.

Monday, March 9, 2015


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