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January 18, 2020

Spirit of the season
Spirit of the season
Lisa Cutierrez, left, "shops" for toys for her family at the Jennings County Coordinating Council as she is assisted by Cortnie Barlow, a member of a group of volunteers from ResCare staff in North Vernon that assisted with the distribution of free toys Wednesday. The Coordinating Council also gave out over 500 food baskets as part of its annual Christmas poject-Staff Photo by Bryce Mayer



Public notices controversy
As he proudly admits, State Rep. Jim Lucas (R-Seymour) is a free market advocate.

"I am no fan of monopolies," he said. "We have to come to the realization that newer technology is here and the print media has more competition."

Lucas, a member of the Indiana House of Repre­sentatives Education Commit­tee, was talking about House Bill 1003 now being considered by the Indiana General Assembly.

Lucas told the Plain Dealer he has not made up his mind yet on the "Education Matters" bill now in front of the Education Committee, which will decide whether or not to send the measure on to the full House.

(Lucas also talked about other legislation that he has presented this session, see story below.)

Part of the education proposal, authored by Jack Jordan (R-Bremen), calls for the elimination of requiring the state's school corporations to have annual school performance reports published in the public notice/legal advertisement sections of the newspaper of record for each district. Instead, school corporations could merely post school performance reports online for public perusal.

"The push is for more money toward teacher pay, something I hear all year long," said Lucas, who represents most of Jennings County. "This could possibly save money for that."

Steve Key, executive director of the Hoosier State Press Association (HSPA), of which the Plain Dealer & Sun is a member, argues that the money saved would be minimal. What's more, eliminating the publication of school performance reports would do more harm than good.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Lucas frustrated by slow action on cannabis bills
State Rep. Jim Lucas (R-Seymour) has introduced two bills on cannabis and action on both so far are moving slowly.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

'Our Story' at JCHS
This is Winter Homecoming Week at Jennings County High School with festivities culminating with the crowning of the 2020 Winter Homecoming queen and king at halftime of Friday's boys basketball game with Crothersville.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Exploring Jennings' rich railroad history
"I hear that train a comin', it's rolling round the bend ..." - from "Fol­som City Blues" by Johnny Cash

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

GOP stampede
Twelve Jennings County residents formally filed their candidacies for the 2020 election on Wednesday, Jan. 8, the first day they could do so.

It's no stretch to call it a Republican Party stampede. Every one of the dozen early-bird candidates are Republi­cans.
No Democratic Party candidates have yet, as of Monday morning, officially filed for Jennings County offices.

"We've got a great group of candidates already," said Jeanie Hahn, county GOP chair, at the county election office on Wednesday morning. "And it's only the first day to sign up."

In fact, so many Republicans are running that there will be at least two contested races for GOP nominations, ensuring a primary election on Tuesday, May 5.

Those Republican races will be for treasurer, where incumbent Kitty Shepherd will be challenged by Tina Belding Brison, and District 2 commissioner, where Shane Boswell and Josh Yeager are running. David Lane, a Republican now serving his second term as District 2 commissioner, is not running this year.

Monday, January 13, 2020

New legislation aimed at Jennings County
While State Rep. Jim Lucas (R-Seymour) is pushing for the decriminalization of marijuana, the other member of the Indiana House of Representatives who represents Jennings County, State Rep. Randy Frye (R-Greensburg), is working on bills aimed at reducing jail overcrowding in Jennings County and other places.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Free info sessions set at Columbus Regional Bariatric Center
The Bariatric Center at Columbus Regional Health will hold free information sessions for those interested in learning about surgical and nonsurgical options for weight loss.

Monday, January 13, 2020

First born of new decade
Not only is she the first baby of the new year for Jennings County, she is the first baby of the new decade.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Few changes in county slots
The Board of County Commissioners met in special session Thursday, Jan. 2, to make its annual appointments.

These include full- and part-time positions in county government jobs and positions on various county and regional boards.

Most of the selections were reappointments.

One appointment left open was the county's veterans service officer. The commissioners dismissed former veterans service officer Nolan Stanley last month (see related story).

"We hope to fill the veterans service officer position soon," said Matt Sporleder (R-District 3), president of the commissioners.

The job appointments, all of which are full-time positions except county attorney and recycling center supervisors, which are part time, are all for one year. These include:

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Veterans service officer fired again
Jennings County is in search of a new veterans service officer.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

200 years of art and literature
A college professor and author will give a free presentation in North Vernon Sunday on Indiana's rich history of art and literature.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

JCHS Hall of Fame ceremony Friday
Ed Ertel and Emily Wahlman Greenwald will formally be inducted into the Jennings County High School Alumni Hall of Fame on Friday, Jan. 10.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Osgood man dies in U.S. 50 wreck
An Osgood man died Tuesday morning after a two-vehicle accident on the U.S. 50 bypass between State Road 3 and Fourth Street.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Red Kettle drive sets record
Eric Jarboe of he Jennings County Service Extension of Salvation Army reports that Jennings County residents donated over $10,000 for the second year in a row during the recent Christmas shopping season in North Vernon, breaking the record set last year.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Red Kettle drive sets record
Eric Jarboe of he Jennings County Service Extension of Salvation Army reports that Jennings County residents donated over $10,000 for the second year in a row during the recent Christmas shopping season in North Vernon, breaking the record set last year.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

State rep focuses on public safety
State Rep. Randy Frye (R-Greensburg) will host his annual public safety breakfast at 8 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 11, in Aurora.

All workers and volunteers from the area, including Jennings County, who are emergency workers and first responders are invited and will be treated to a full breakfast furnished by the Aurora Volunteer Fire Department.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Bicycle-riding woman arrested for burglary
Jennings County sheriff's deputies arrested a brazen bicycle-riding Indianapolis woman on burglary and other charges after a resident allegedly found the woman stealing items from a vehicle parked in his garage.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Wind-whipped fire guts home
A quick-moving fire destroyed a house at 1016 W. O&M Ave. Saturday afternoon as the homeowner and a firefighter suffered minor injuries.

The blaze gutted the structure, the home of Allen Coleman. Coleman called 9-1-1 to report the fire at 2:37 p.m. He was treated at the scene by paramedics for smoke inhalation.

Monday, January 6, 2020

News Quiz: Test your memory of 2019
By the time of many of you read this, the new year will have already started. Let us not, however, forget 2019.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Goodbye to an eventful year
An eventful year, for sure, was 2019 in Jennings County.

Here are some of the top stories as reported by the Plain Dealer & Sun over the past 12 months.

January

The Campbell Township Volunteer Fire Department's new fire station opened. Fundraising for the project began 16 years previously. The $800,000 facility was much needed for the department that previously had been housed in a much smaller facility in Butlerville.

A homeless Jennings County man, Douglas Eugene Wade, 59, died of hypothermia. The victim was found in a tent on the west side of North Vernon after an extreme cold spell hit the area.

February

A large, fast moving fire destroyed the Greenbriar Condominium complex on North Vernon's southeast side on Monday, Feb. 18. No one was injured in the early morning blaze that gutted both wings of the 12-unit structure and left dozens without homes.

March

A Jennings County Jail inmate escaped from a transport officer outside the Jennings County Courthouse in Vernon on March 1 and remained at large for nearly 24 hours. The inmate, Kimlynn Patton, was finally captured the next afternoon several miles away in North Vernon but not before several anxious incidents as law enforcement officers searched for him.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

'Puppy killer' now in jail
After a 10-month investigation, a North Vernon man is in jail on charges related to the killing of 12 dogs, including nine puppies.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

'Intergenerational Dialogue'
The first special program of the Smithsonian Institute's Crossroads: Change in Rural Amer­ica Museum on Main Street in North Vernon will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 5, at the Carnegie Govern­ment Center, 143 E. Walnut St. Admission is free.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Grant aimed at helping JCSC's at-risk students
Cummins has awarded a $20,000 grant to support the nutritional needs of at-risk children among Jennings County elementary school students.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Feds: Disaster loans available in Jennings
The U.S. Small Business Administration has announced that Economic Injury Disaster Loans are available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and private nonprofit organizations located in Indiana as a result of the excessive rain and flooding on March 1, 2019, and continuing.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Prizes galore awaiting county's 1st baby of 2020
Refrains of "Auld Lang Syne" will be loud, bells will ring and fireworks will explode when the clock strikes midnight in a couple of days and the calendar turns to Wednesday, Jan. 1, officially marking the start of 2020.

Friday, December 27, 2019


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