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February 17, 2020

Sneakers at the Statehouse
Sneakers at the Statehouse
State Rep. Jim Lucas (R-Seymour) pairs sneakers with his suit to help kick off National Cancer Prevention Month at the Statehouse in India­napolis. He and others in the Indiana House of Representatives participated in the Suits and Sneakers Chal­lenge to raise awareness. A cancer survivor, Lucas stresses the importance of following the American Cancer Society's recommended screenings.-Submitted Photo

New veterans officer
Starting Tuesday, Feb. 18, Jennings County has a new Veterans Service Officer.

The Jennings County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted to hire Dan Brookbank for the position on Thursday.

"I'm looking forward to a new chapter in my life," said Brookbank, 69, of North Vernon.

Brookbank previously worked for five years in production control at Toyota Boshuka America plant in Erlanger, Ky.

"It was a long, long commute, an hour and 15 minutes each way," Brookbank said. "I'm not going to miss that."

Brookbank is married to the former Tammy Lutherbeck. They have four adult children and 11 grandchildren.

Brookbank moved to North Vernon 27 years ago to take the job of general manager at CEW Enterprises, a position he had for 10 years.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Spelling bee champ: master of excitement
It took five rounds for Jayden Matlock to win the Jennings County Spelling Bee.

Monday, February 17, 2020

NV motorist seriously injured in accident Friday
A North Vernon woman suffered serious injuries when the automobile she was driving collided with a semi-truck on U.S. 50 on North Vernon's east side Friday afternoon.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Vernon project gains funds
After years of planning, the Vernon Township Volunteer Fire Department is moving closer to constructing a new fire station - $100,000 closer to be exact.

That is because the Jennings County Council Tues­day voted unanimously to appropriate $100,000 for the project.

The plan is to build a 6,000-square foot facility on East Brown Street in Vernon, across from the current station.

"We estimate the total cost is going to be $650,000," Roger Taylor, Vernon Township trustee, told the county council. "With your commitment, we will have lined up the financing we need."

The project had a setback of sorts last year when an income survey of township residents did not meet the grade required for a government grant.

However, by not having to follow the strict construction requirements, including federal wage guidelines, that come with the grant, the project is saving on the projected costs.

"Our firehouse is going to be 1,000 square feet larger than the new one in Campbell Township," Taylor noted.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

911 Center stays busy
While the Jennings County 911 Emergency Dispatch Center handled slightly fewer incidents in 2019 than it did the year before, it wasn't because of a decrease in emergencies according to the center's end-of-year report released last week by director Britt Burgmeier.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Special TIF meeting may bring good news
Apparently, some good economic news is coming the way of North Vernon and Jennings County.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Underground Railroad drama
Jennings County's history includes a significant role in the Underground Railroad of the 19th century. Abolitionists in the area assisted runaway slaves from the South in escaping to freedom.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

No trash pickup in NV Monday
Because of the Presi­dents Day holiday, there will be no garbage pick up in the City of North Ver­non on Monday, Feb. 17.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Gun rights resolution controversy
When the Jennings County Board of Commissioners hold their regular semimonthly meeting Thursday, there will be no Second Amendment sanctuary resolution on the table.

When Sheriff Kenny Freeman, North Vernon Mayor Mike Ochs and State Rep. Jim Lucas signed the resolution declaring Jennings as a Second Amendment sanctuary county on Jan. 17, Freeman said he was considering introducing the measure for the commissioners to consider at their Feb. 13 meeting.

Now, Freeman says, he won't.

"I don't think it's necessary to bring it up to the commissioners," the sheriff said.

Whether the resolution has any legal authority is probably a matter of judicial interpretation. The resolution calls for local law enforcement personnel to uphold the Second Amendment and not enforce any new gun control measures enacted after Jan. 17. Many legal experts, however, say federal and state laws always supersede county laws.

Matt Sporleder, president of the Board of Commissioners, says he is relieved he and fellow commissioners Dave Lane and Bob Willhite will not be addressing the issue at Thursday's meeting.

"The way I understand it, we couldn't have signed it the way the resolution was written," Sporleder said.

Nevertheless, Freeman says he feels good about the resolution.

Monday, February 10, 2020

No trash pickup in NV Monday
Because of the Presidents Day holiday, there will be no garbage pick up in the City of North Vernon on Monday, Feb. 17.

Monday, February 10, 2020

16 youths to compete in Jennings County Spelling Bee Thursday
Figuring out the right spelling of words can be downright ticklish at times. Rules of grammar don't always apply when it comes to a spelling bee.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Road into JCHS to be named in honor of Paul 'Ham' Wernke's life achievements
Just short of three months from the loss of a beloved Jennings County administrator, the entryway to Jennings County High School will be named to celebrate the memory and far-reaching achievements of Paul "Ham" Wernke.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

No stampede of candidates
The clock is ticking, and it's about to strike midnight - at least as far as candidates throwing their hats into the ring for the 2020 election is concerned.

With just a few hours to go for candidates to file for this year's election, there has been no stampede by hopefuls to the Jennings County Court­house in Vernon.

In fact, one person who entered as a candidate on the first day for filing, which was Jan. 8, withdrew his candidacy last week. Josh Yeager is no longer a Republican Party candidate for Jen­nings County Commis­sioner in District 2. Yeager, a Bigger Township resident and farmer, is a former two-term county councilor.

That leaves another Republican, Shane Bos­well, as the lone candidate so far from either party for the District 2 commissioner seat where the current two-term incumbent, David Lane, is not running for re-election. Boswell is currently a member of the Campbell Township Advisory Board.

Candidates only have until noon Friday, Feb. 7, to file for this year's election.

Republican Party candidates have filed for all Jennings County offices on the 2020 ballot - including two for county treasurer where incumbent Kitty Shep­herd is being challenged by Tina Belding Brison.

In contrast, Demo­cratic Party hopefuls running for county slots are, so far, few and far between.

Only three Demo­crats have filed as of Wednesday morning, all for the District 1 commissioner seat - Floyd Bow­man, Bill Elmore and Jeff Galliher. The winner of that race in the May 5 primary will face Repub­lican incumbent Bob Willhite in the Nov. 3 general election.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

'It really touches your heart'
When the Jennings County Players present "The Diary of Anne Frank" next week, Ed Kellar fully believes the story's profound themes will not be lost on audiences.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

'Deep cleaning' helps JC schools fight flu bug
School was back in session at Hayden Elemen­tary School Monday after the Jennings County School Corp. (JCSC) closed it for three days last week following an influenza outbreak that kept dozens of students home with the flu.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Council: Appointees important
The Jennings County Council has completed making its annual appointments of volunteer representatives to serve on county and regional boards.

"We always put a lot of thought into making these appointments because they are important to everyone in the county," said Howard Malcomb (R-at large), president of the Council. "We greatly appreciate the people who come forward to volunteer their time and effort to serve on these boards. They deserve everyone's praise."

Malcomb himself volunteered to serve on the Economic Development Commission and Southeastern Indiana Regional Planning Commission.

Other County Councilors serving on boards are Mandy Creech (R-District 2), Bob Ellis (R-Dis­trict 3), Mike Gerth (R-District 1), Charlie Weber (R-District 4) and Dave Woodall (R-at large).

Monday, February 3, 2020

Waging the war on drugs
The Jennings County Sheriff's Office continues to vigorously fight the war on the drug epidemic in Jennings County, said Sheriff Kenny Freeman, after deputies made three felony drug arrests on Thursday, Jan. 30.

Monday, February 3, 2020

JCHS group working hard to prevent suicides
A dedicated group of Jennings County High School students are doing their best to prevent suicides.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Mystery Photo Challenge winner is solid as a rock
We had so many rock solid - pun intended - entries in last month's Mystery Photo Challenge contest that we had to do a drawing to determine the winner.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Pre-K will expand to NV Elementary this fall
The Jennings County School Corporation will extend its Pre-Kinder­garten pilot program to North Vernon Elemen­tary School in September.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Pets of the Week
Daisy is a spayed female cat that's close to a year old. She is very good with other cats and loves to cuddle. Daisy has been spayed and is up to date on her vaccinations.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Flu outbreak closes school
The influenza outbreak is causing large number of absentees at schools in Jennings County - so many that one of the schools is closed for the rest of this week.

At Hayden Elementary School, the numbers were so high - 75 students were absent Tuesday, 25 percent of the 300-member student body - that Jennings County School Corp. called off school there for Wednesday through Friday.

When a school reaches 20 percent or higher absentee numbers due to illness, school officials are required to report to the state health department, according Teresa Brown, JCSC superintendent. Hayden Elementary School surpassed that threshold Tuesday
Brown reported the numbers to the Indiana Health Department and also consulted with Pam Petry at the Jennings County Health Department and other health care professionals before deciding Tuesday to close Hayden for the last three days of this week.

"We are closing the school to prevent the spread of illness," Brown said. "Hayden students will be having e-Learning Days on those days.
"While Hayden Elementary School is closed, our custodians will be disinfecting and cleaning the school extensively along with buses," she added. "We are also practicing that at our other schools as well."

Petry commended JCSC for being proactive.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

NV man found guility in federal firearms case
A North Vernon man is facing federal prison time after being convicted on two felony counts of making a false statement during the illegal purchase of 21 firearms following a two-day jury trial in federal court in New Albany.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

NV comes out in force in quest for 'Makeover'
A large group of people, as high as 500 according to some estimates, came to the reenactment of a 1933 scene in uptown North Vernon Sunday afternoon.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Celebration time for sandhill cranes
They're back.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

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