Virginia Clarkson-Mason, center, of North Vernon won the $10,852 bingo money chest jackpot at the Jennings County Senior Center/Civic Life Center on June 27. She is flanked by Sandy Vance and Wade Eaglin of the Senior Center. The chest had built up over several weeks from the bingo games that are held every Wednesday at 5:45 p.m. at the Senior Center, 515 Buckeye St., North Vernon .-Submitted Photo
A total of $101,800 was bid and collected during the 2018 Jennings County 4-H livestock auction at last month's Jennings County Fair. The event was held in the Jack Heath Livestock Pavilion on the fairgrounds and capped a week full of 4-H activities during the 18th annual fair. "We had a very good auction," said Melessa Wiesehan, 4-H Youth Development educator with the Jennings County Extension Service. "We are grateful to all who came to the event, especially the bidders." Auction results are listed by 4-H member, type of livestock, top bidder and price.
At 18, Joseph Yoder has had a long career with the Boy Scouts. And his persistence and hard work all paid off when he received the rank of Eagle Scout earlier this year. Yoder is a member of Boy Scout Troop 555, which is sponsored by the St. Bartholomew Parish in Columbus. He began his Scouting career as a Cub Scout at age 7 with Pack 518 at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Four Corners. He even continued through Cub Scouting to achieve the highest award you can get from the program, the Arrow of Light. Wednesday, July 18, 2018
With the start of school right around the corner, the Jennings County School Board has been busy approving new employees for the 2018-19 school year. There was one surprise at their meeting on June 25. That came when Teresa Brown, Jennings County School Corp. (JCSC) superintendent, asked the board to approve transferring Nicole Johnson as the district's new director of special services. The position became vacant earlier in the month when Jeanie Koelmel decided to move to the vacant principal position at the Jennings County Middle School. At the same meeting when Koelmel was approved as JCMS principal, Johnson, previously prinicipal at North Vernon Elementary School, was approved a the new principal at Scipio Elementary School. "I don't like the chess game that is being played with our administrators," said board member Travis Shepherd prior to the vote on Johnson's new position. "I don't have anything against you personally Nikki. The problem I have is I didn't learn about this until just a while ago." Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Work is underway, a little section at a time, on the historic - and controversial - Cone-Schuck home on Jennings Street. In recent days, construction contractor Mike Whitehead and others have been working to stabilize portions of the 1894 Victorian structure's exterior. Their first big project was shoring up the unique conical turret over the northeast side of the wraparound front porch. That architectural element was in danger of imminent collapse until Whitehead and crew used jacks to raise the tilting roof, then braced it with long sections of 2-by-4s propped temporarily against the ground until supporting woodwork can be rebuilt. "The house looks so much better already, 100 times better, because of this," Whitehead said. "We raised the turret by a good 10 inches and leveled it. What a difference in the appearance that has made to this house. "It would have been horrible if the turret had collapsed. You're looking at something that would probably cost around $15,000 alone to replace from scratch. I'm glad we saved it," he added. During the crew's work, wood in a portion of another section of the porch's roof gave in and fell in on the porch deck, but Whitehead said that was no big deal. Wednesday, July 18, 2018
A manhunt continues as of Wednesday morning in the Commiskey-Paris Crossing area for a Madison man who eluded police in a foot chase on Tuesday. Joseph M. Guadagnoli, 26, who is wanted on a parole warrant, fled from law enforcement officers who were investigating an alleged shooting incident. "We believe he is armed," said Col. Jeff Day of the Jennings County Sheriff's Department. "He may be out of the area by now or he may have taken refuge somewhere nearby. There are so many remote areas." Wednesday, July 18, 2018
U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) on Tuesday introduced what they call a bipartisan package of commonsense bills that would help boost retirement security for individuals and families during a time when nearly half of all American families do not have any retirement account savings. Wednesday, July 18, 2018
ts mission focuses solely on helping the youth of the community, says Caleb Lovelace, outgoing president of the Jennings County Youth for Development (JCYD). "It feels good to help the kids," Lovelace said after the four-year-old group presented its annual grants recently. "That's why we are all involved with this. It is very gratifying to see the funds we worked to raise going to such good causes." JCYD, which is made up of Jennings County High School students and operates under the umbrella of the Jennings County Community Foundation, raised money through the 2017-18 school year and gave $877.82 to the Jennings County Council on Domestic Violence for children's playground and sports equipment at its shelter, and $372.18 to the Extension Service for the Reading Made Fun program at is annual grant presentation on June 27. "We not only met our fund-raising goal, we exceeded it by a couple of hundred dollars," said Lovelace, whose term with JCYD has now ended. "Another goal is to grow every year, and I think we have this group positioned to do that." Sally Wood of the Council on Domestic Violence voiced praise for the group. "It's great to see our youth working to help other kids like this," she said. "This grant will help us a lot. The playground and sports equipment we'll buy with this grant will make it more comfortable for the kids who sometimes stay at the shelter with their mothers." Monday, July 16, 2018
Bob and Tina Ellis of North Vernon are not the only ones to embrace the Share Some Space initiative that began over three years ago and has made Jennings County the No. 1 pollinator county in Indiana. The Ellis family's pollinator garden is quite the sight to behold! The garden itself covers three-quarters of an acre and contains a vast and dazzling array of flowers. No less than 10 different types of sunflowers grow in the garden as well as many other species of flowers, such as California poppy, black eyed Susan, purple cornflower, blue and scarlette flax, Siberian wildflower, baby's breath, forget me not and so much more. Monday, July 16, 2018
With no business to discuss, the Jennings County Area Plan Commission's Essential Service Committee will not have a meeting Tuesday, July 17. The reading of the meetings from the committee's June 19 meeting will take place at the next regular meeting, now shceduled for Tuesday, Aug. 21, at 3 p.m. at the Jennings County Government Center, 200 E. Brown St., Vernon. Monday, July 16, 2018
Work is progressing on the west-end U.S. 50 roundabout with construction now in the second phase of the $1.9 million project. Originally estimated to be finished in early July, now an Indiana Department of Transportation official says it will be three more months before construction will be completed. Changes in construction material and the weather are the reasons for the delay, according to Harry Maginity of INDOT. "The roundabout was going to be concrete, but the engineers changed the plans to where asphalt is being used," Maginity explained. "Concrete had to be removed (from the original intersection), so that added to the time frame. All the rainy weather has delayed the work, too." Monday, July 9, 2018
A large fire completely destroyed a mobile home at 99 S. County Road 900 West in western Spencer Township Thursday afternoon. The residents, Scott Mummery and family, were not at home when the fire broke out - apparently starting from a window air conditioner unit. "The man and his wife said they had gone to a friend's home nearby," said Steve Wheeler, chief of the Spencer Township Volunteer Fire Department. "They were only gone around 15 minutes when they saw smoke coming from the area of their house, so they headed back." After seeing the fire coming from the mobile home, Mummery immediately called 9-1-1 at 4:37 p.m. The first firefighters arrived within six minutes. "The trailer was at least 50 percent engulfed in flames when our first people arrived," Wheeler said. "We knocked down the fire fairly quickly, but it was way too late to save anything. Those trailers go pretty fast when a fire gets that big. We at least prevented the fire from spreading to the other nearby structures." Mummery told firefighters that he had been having problems with the air conditioner. The unit was ablaze when the man spotted his mobile home on fire. "The air conditioner probably overloaded an electrical circuit," Wheeler said. "It was pretty apparent that's what caused the fire." The property is owned by Harold and Kelly Mason. They were renting the home to Mummery, their nephew, and his family. "The resident didn't have renter's insurance and the owners had no fire insurance," Wheeler said. "They said they were getting help from their families, and the Red Cross also showed up to provide assistance." Monday, July 9, 2018
The Jennings County Sheriff's Department arrested an Indianapolis woman on auto theft and other charges while another person slipped away during a chase on Saturday, June 30. As of Monday, July 9, the male suspect remains at large, according to police, though they believe they know who he is. Myriah Sheppard, 30, faces preliminary charges of auto theft, resisting law enforcement, false informing and criminal mischief. She was held in lieu of a $1,055 bond at the Jennings County Jail until Monday, July 2, when she was released on her own recognizance following a 48-hour hold. Monday, July 9, 2018
Area Plan Commission Director Marie Shepherd has seen "many cases" of homes needing to be torn down since accepting the job to enforce the county's unsafe building ordinance two years ago.
But the one she is dealing with now, she told Superior Court Judge Gary Smith at an emergency hearing Monday morning, takes the proverbial case.
"It is the worst I've seen," Shepherd said in sworn testimony.
The home, at 275 W. Brown St., is apparently "infested with rats" and its condition described as "horrific" as well as various other hair-raising terms as the APC sought a court order for the following:
1. The stipulation that an emergency does indeed exist and immediate action needed;
2. An order of eviction and barring of anyone from entering the home except pest control personnel or APC officials; and
3. Demolition of the structure.
Judge Smith granted the first two requests but deferred on the third, saying he would give homeowner Deborah Freeman a "chance to get an attorney," even though he personally doubted the home could be spared after looking at interior photographs of the structure. Tuesday, July 3, 2018