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NEWS May 26, 2016

Back to his roots
Back to his roots
Councilman and former florist Jack Kelley was up to his elbows in petunias and marigolds last week as he provided his labor in getting the downtown planters filled. The plantings were spurred by an interest in prom-goers to take photos down at Stellar Plaza before the big event.-Staff Photo by Barbara King

Bypass work means detours
Work continues at a steady clip on the 3.25-mile eastern portion of U.S. 50 bypass, according to the Indiana Department of Transportation.

"So far, the construction crews are on schedule for completing the highway by the target date, Oct. 30," said Harry Maginity, INDOT spokesman. "We are hopeful but not promising that construction will be completed by then.

"However, we cannot open the highway until the city has its new (quarry) reservoir ready."

The city purchased the former Hanson Aggregates quarry in agreement with INDOT in order to assure a safe water supply for the city's water customers. The bypass bridge will span the Muscatatuck River a short distance above the city dam from which the city now draws its water. City officials were fearful of contamination from a chemical spill into the river resulting from a semi-truck accident at the new bridge, which led to the quarry agreement involving INDOT paying $2 million and the city $500,000 for the Hanson property.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

South State Street delay to be resolved?
Over one year after its scheduled completion date, the South State Street project may soon finally get its finishing touches.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

City pool ready to open Saturday
After a cool spring, temperatures have been climbing of late - just in time for the start of the outdoor swimming season.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Time for caps and gowns
It took all the teachers turning in their grades before a valedictorian and salutatorian could be named for the 2016 graduating class at Jennings County High School.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

2 hospitalized after CSL wreck
A Seymour woman and North Vernon woman both were hospitalized for injuries after a traffic accident Tuesday in County Squire Lakes.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

County park worker injured
A Jennings County Parks and Recreation Department employee suffered serious injuries Mon­day afternoon when he was working at Muscata­tuck Park.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Blood drive at NV dental office
The dental office of Dr. Scott Terry will host a blood drive from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, June 1.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

State to study bypass options
The state is going to take a closer look - significantly closer - at the bypass intersection on North Vernon's west side.

In fact, the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) plans to hire an engineering firm to study the intersection of U.S. 50 and CR 400W with the bypass, also temporarily known as SR 750. The action clearly indicates that safety improvements will be made at the site, though what type has yet to be determined.

"Once we get a report back from the engineering firm, then we will have a proposal," said Harry Maginity of INDOT.

Those plans could include a roundabout, a full-fledged four-way traffic signal, a separate turn-off lane from eastbound SR 750 to U.S. 50 or something else.

Maginity said he could not speculate on what might be proposed.

"I'm sure the engineering firm will offer several options, with one of them being their recommendation," he said. "We will present those options to the public and have a period public comments will be received. After that, a final decision on how to proceed will be made, but there is no timetable for that."

Monday, May 23, 2016

Public safety issue with many private roads
Some roads at Muscatatuck Caverns are in such bad condition that it takes a four-wheel drive vehicle to navigate over them. Even then, sometimes that is not enough.

Monday, May 23, 2016

United Way to celebrate
Jennings County United Way's annual meeting and open house will be held Thursday, May 26, at United Way Center, 707 N. State St.

Monday, May 23, 2016

No garbage collection on Monday
Because of the Memorial Day holiday, there will be no garbage and brush pick up in the City of North Vernon on Monday, May 30.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Holiday means earlier deadlines
Because of next week's Memorial Day holiday, deadlines have been moved up earlier than usual for the May 31 edition of The Sun and the June 2 edition of the North Vernon Plain Dealer.

Monday, May 23, 2016

'Largest meth seizure ever'

Sheriff Gary Driver calls it the largest methamphetamine bust ever in Jennings County.

"I've never seen anything like this before and hope I never do again," Driver said after deputies found 2.2 pounds of pure crystal meth in a car after a traffic stop early Tuesday. "This has to be the largest methamphetamine seizure in the county's history."

Deputies arrested Larry Janes, 65, and Kimberly L. Tungate, 28, both of North Vernon after finding the meth in a plastic container in the vehicle in which they were riding.

A deputy stopped the car, a 2004 Chevrolet Cruz, on CR 300N at SR 7 at 2:30 a.m. Tuesday after Janes, the driver, failed to dim the headlights. Along with the massive amount of meth, police found several syringes in the car during the stop.

At 10 a.m., deputies executed a search warrant at Janes' residence on Whitehall Drive in Country Squire Lakes. Deputies recovered 5 ounces of meth packaged in small bags apparently ready for sale, six firearms, a bottle of prescription pills, an unspecified amount of marijuana and various drug paraphernalia.

The estimated street value of the meth seized is well over $100,000, according to Driver.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Top students, teachers feted
Family, friends and Jennings County Schools teachers and administrators gathered to honor the top students at Jennings County High School during the annual Academic Awards Dinner.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Highway 50 Yard Sale to bring in bargain hunters
The 17th annual Great U.S. 50 Yard Sale will cross Jennings County starting Thurs­day, May 19, and continuing through the weekend.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Benefit Friday for family of 'micro preemie' baby
When she was born, she weighed a mere 1 pound and was just over 10 inches long.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Strawberries are here again
Rejoice: Strawberry season is here.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Police raid underage drinking party
Three adults were arrested or cited and several minors were issued summons for illegal consumption of alcohol after Jennings County sheriff's deputies raided a party Saturday, May 14.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

NV man jailed after shooting
Wesley D. Webb, 58, of North Vernon, remains in the Jennings County Jail where he is being held without bond on multiple preliminary felony charges after a shooting incident on the city's west side on Thursday afternoon, May 12.

Webb allegedly shot and injured his adult stepson at a home where they lived in the 100 block of Baker Street.

The shooting victim, whom North Vernon Police Detective Ivory Sandefur has not yet identified, is in serious but stable condition at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.

"I am not yet ready to release the victim's name," said Sandefur on Monday morning.

Webb shot the victim in the torso with a handgun. Sandefur declined to reveal other specifics on the injury or the size and style of the firearm.

At around 1 p.m. Thursday, North Vernon Police Department went to Webb's residence to resolve an argument between Webb and his stepson.

Police summoned Indiana Department of Child Services personnel when they became concerned with the living conditions at the home and a young child living there. The child is Webb's stepgrandchild. NVPD officers then concluded their contact there.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Detours ahead in downtown
Just when motorists were getting reacquainted with North Madison Avenue between Walnut Street and O&M Avenue, they will have to find alternate routes again.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Lightning ignites house fire
Lightning ignited a fire at a Vernon Township home late Wednesday where a broken water line helped douse the blaze and kept down damages.

Monday, May 16, 2016

NV man, 2 women sentenced in slaying of Seymour man
All three of the people arrested in the slaying and robbery of a Seymour man in April 2015 have now been sentenced to prison.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Officials: New WIC income guidelines benefit Hoosiers
More Indiana families may be eligible for nutrition benefits through the Women, Infants and Children program under revised federal poverty guidelines for 2016, according to state officials.

Monday, May 16, 2016

County books now in balance
Reconciliation of financial ledger books between the Jennings County treasurer's and auditor's offices is virtually complete. So reported James Jump of the Reedy Financial Group at Tuesday's meeting of the Jennings County Council.

"It has been a good 3.5-week process," Jump said, complimenting the efforts of personnel in both the treasurer's and auditor's offices in working with him to balance the books. "Give credit where credit is due. Sherri (Williams, chief deputy treasurer) worked independently several days ... and was the key in making this a better process and getting the task accomplished in a short amount of time. Susie (Barlow, deputy auditor) made herself available and worked not only on the actual reconciliation but on gaining a better understanding of her role and the connection between the auditor and treasurer."

Reedy is the county's financial advisory firm. At the council's April meeting, Treasurer Sandy Vance and Auditor Kay Vance requested that Reedy be allowed to work in their offices in order to complete the reconciliation. The Council approved that request by a 5-2 vote.

"Thank you to all for doing exactly what you said you'd do," Councilor Josh Yeager (R-District 3) said to the treasurer's and auditor's staff and Jump.

"This is what we've been wanting for a long time," added Howard Malcomb (R-at large), council president. "This has been a mess too long."

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

New assistant named at NVE
At their meeting Monday night, the Jennings County School Board approved hiring Carrie Manowitz as the new assistant principal at North Vernon Elementary School.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

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