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December 13, 2017

Ringing in the season
Ringing in the season
Stopping by local stores this time of year, you'll likely find a group of volunteers ringing bells soliciting donations for­­­ the Salvation Army. Many local organizations are pitching in to help raise these needed funds. Monday afternoon, Wednesday Research Club members took up the challenge to help. From left to right are Jackie Webster, Cheryl Wade, Dianne Robison and Jimmi Berkey who welcomed a donation from Tracy Morrison at the local Walmart.-Staff Photo by Barbara King

Get ready for the bypass
At long last, the U.S. 50 bypass is opening.

Barricades will come down following a ribbon cutting on the eastern leg of the new highway at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 20. Then traffic will flow on the bypass.

"That is great news," said Jennings County Commissioner Matt Sporleder (R-District 3). "I am looking forward to using the bypass."

North Vernon Mayor Mike Ochs said the new highway will be good for the city.

"It will be a big change and it's something we need," he noted. "I really think the bypass will be a good thing for North Vernon and will lead to more businesses and stores downtown."

The completion of the highway, originally estimated to be done two years ago, has been delayed by a myriad of issues ranging from the discovery of a bat of an endangered species to a change order to construct a roundabout at its eastern end.

"We are very, very glad to get the bypass open," said Harry Maginity of the Indiana Department of Transportation. "There have been some complications throughout the process and also down the stretch, but now those have been resolved."

Workers with O'Mara Contractor of North Vernon will be installing traffic signal lights at the SR 3 intersection and other finishing touches in the next few days. Electronic signs were placed last week near the SR 3 intersection warning motorists that traffic signals are coming soon there.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Commissioner battling cancer
Jennings County Commissioner Matt Sporleder (R-District 3) will undergo surgery on Thursday as part of treatment for thyroid cancer.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

106 years and counting
A long line of well wishers queued up to congratulate Zelpha Renfro Naylor at the Goins Auction Service in Butlerville Monday night. It was a special occasion.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Couple charged with child neglect, meth
A husband and wife are in the Jennings County Jail on child neglect and other charges after police found two young children, ages 4 and 5, living in squalid conditions.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Coordinating Council rebounds
So far, so good for the Jennings County Coordinating Council.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Police make 7 drug arrests
Jennings County Sheriff's deputies, North Vernon Police officers, Indiana State Police troopers and Indiana Department of Correction parole agents were involved in three cases that led to the arrests of seven people on drug charges in Jennings County in a four-day period.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Black ice causes accident
A North Vernon man suffered critical injuries Friday morning when his pickup truck slid off U.S. 50 and slammed into a tree near Hayden.

Justin Adams, 22, is now recovering at Uni­versity Hospital in Louis­ville after being flown there by a Stat Flight helicopter crew following the accident.

"Justin is doing well," said his father, Jeremy, on Monday morning via telephone from the hospital. "He had surgery on his ankle, his lungs are severely bruised and he has some bruising on his face. He'll be laid up for a while, but he's going to be OK."

The deployment of airbags and the fact that Adams was wearing a seat belt probably saved his life, according to Jennings County Sher­iff's Deputy Anthony Maberry.

The force of the impact was considerable as the police photographs indicate. The 2016 Dodge Ram 1500 driven by Adams was a total loss.

Monday, December 11, 2017

$20K for the arts
Have you always had an idea for a permanent public art display in North Vernon or at Jennings County High School?

If so, then you will want to attend a special Community Storytelling event on Monday, Dec. 11, at 5:30 p.m. in the Stellar Building, 50 Short St., North Vernon.

This will be a chance for the public to weigh in on an upcoming project to be funded by a $20,000 grant that is coming our way thanks to the efforts of Karen Chilman and others.

Jen­nings County High School, in partnership with the Arts for Learning, the voice of arts in Indiana communities, will lead the effort to create public art pieces for installation on the JCHS campus and at another location somewhere in the City of North Vernon. A $20,000 Challenge American Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, was awarded locally.

"The money has to be spent on art pieces designed and created by artists with students based on ideas from students and others in the community," explained Chilman, a Commiskey resident and JCHS art teacher who is leading the local effort. "The money is for the artists and materials for the public art."

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

PD&S receives 5 state awards
The Plain Dealer & Sun earned five awards in the 2017 Hoosier State Press Association's Better Newspaper Con­test. The honors were announced Saturday at the HSPA Awards Luncheon at the Mariott North Hotel in India­napolis.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

GOP candidate announces
The reason why Jeff Burton is running for public office is simple.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

It's Christmas time in Vernon, Scipio
The Jennings County Historical Society is ready for the holidays in a big way.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Fiery crash takes life
A North Vernon man died in a one-vehicle accident Thursday evening, his wrecked car burning in a raging fire afterwards.

According to authorities, Travis D. Green, 31, apparently died of blunt force trauma when the 2012 Hyundai Accent he was driving northbound careened off County Road 450 West/Wishing Well Road at a high rate of speed, slammed into a tree, spun around and came to rest in a farm field across the road.

The vehicle then caught fire, fueled by a ruptured gas line. The fire was already so intense when the first emergency responder, Jeff Wheeler of the Spencer Township Volunteer Fire Department, reached the scene that he couldn't get Green out of the car.

"Jeff tried to get close enough to the car to get the victim out but it was too late," said Steve Wheeler, the Spencer chief and Jeff Wheeler's uncle. "The fire was already way too big by then, even though Jeff went straight to the scene directly from his home a couple miles away as soon as he heard the tone (radio alarm)."

Monday, December 4, 2017

Subscription rates to go up Jan. 1
Due to a variety of costs rising in January 2018, subscriptions to the Plain Dealer & Sun newspapers will be going up on Jan. 1, the first such hike since 2012.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Open house to celebrate animals at county shelter
While no reindeer will be at Saturday's Christmas open house at the Jennings County Animal Shelter, plenty of other animals - specifically, loving dogs and cats - will be on hand to help celebrate the occasion.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Hatton recovering at rehab hospital
Jack Hatton of North Vernon is currently undergoing rehabilitation and treatment after suffering an aneurism and stroke two months ago.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Civil War history
Civil War monuments are on prominent display at many county courthouses in Indiana.

Unlike most other counties in the state, Jennings County has a well documented chapter in Civil War history. Yet, except for one historical marker, there is no memorial to honor the brave Union militia and soldiers of the War Between the States at the courthouse in Vernon.

A Civil War monument is on the way. A drive to raise $30,000 for the project kicked into high gear last week with the opening of the Jennings County Union Soldier Statute Fund at the Jennings County Coordinating Council.

"Jennings County has such a strong Civil War heritage because of Morgan's Raid," said Terry Furgason, who is spearheading the project. "The county also had many men who served in the Union Army and various militia during the Civil War."

The idea sparked when Furgason participated as a Civil War reenactor in a dedication ceremony of a similar monument at the Blackford County seat in Hartford City.

"They have a very good monument and I thought it would be nice to honor our ancestors here, too," he said.

Furgason then went to the Jennings County Board of Commissioners earlier this year where he gained approval for the plan to erect a monument featuring a statue of a Union soldier on the southwestern corner of the courthouse lawn.

"The statue will face to the south so the soldier is looking toward the Mus­catatuck River and protecting the county seat from Rebel forces," Fur­gason noted.

The stone monument, to be created by Shaw Monuments of Vernon, will be about 13 feet tall, according to the plans. At its base will be inscribed the names of the Union regiments and militia groups that included Jennings County residents.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

'Angels' herald Christmas in the City
Angels have descended upon Stellar Plaza.

Eight of them, in fact.

And all of them blowing horns, heralding the upcoming 17th annual Christmas in the City that will be held Saturday evening.

"We got the angels on loan from heaven," joked Mayor Mike Ochs.

They are not real angels, of course, but they add a welcome yuletide touch to downtown, according to Ochs.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

JCYF: Volunteer to spread cheer
While the Affordable Christmas Toy Store won't be open until Dec. 17, the work for the Jennings County Youth Foundation's fourth annual community project has already begun.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Alumni Hall of Fame induction Friday at JCHS
Friday night at halftime of the Jennings County High School boys basketball varsity game, the annual induction ceremony for the newest members of the JCHS Alumni Hall of Fame will be inducted.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Precinct changes approved
The boundaries of eight of Jennings County's 25 voting precincts have now been changed, effective last Friday, Nov. 24.

The deadline has passed for objections to be filed with the Indiana Secretary of State office regarding proposed precinct boundary changes in Jennings County.

"As far as we know, no objections have been filed," said Brenda King, the election deputy in the Jennings County Clerk's office. "The state approved all the changes we requested, though by law voters have 10 days after publication (of the legal advertisement) to file an objection."

The deadline for filing objections with the Secretary of State's Election Division office was at noon last Friday. The legal advertisement on the precinct boundary changes was published in the Nov. 14 issue of The Sun.

The modifications affect six of the eight voting districts in North Vernon - precincts 1B, 2A, 2B, 3A, 3B and 4A. The modifications were made necessary by the city's annexations enacted two years ago. Also altered are two precincts adjacent to the city - Center East and Center West.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Firms, employees boost Christmas basket project
For the fifth consecutive year, a group of North Vernon area industries and businesses conducted a Christmas Food Drive to help Jennings County families and individuals in need.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Get those letters in to Santa
The arrangements have been finalized for us to deliver the wish lists for children in this community to the man who resides at the North Pole.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Autism event Thursday to focus on early detection
The Jennings County Autism Awareness will be hosting an Early Detection Night starting at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 30, in the Jennings County High School cafeteria.

Monday, November 27, 2017

United Way making push to reach goal
The Jennings County United Way campaign has made big strides in the last two weeks.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Annual exercise in reality surprises MS students
Jennings County Middle School eighth graders spent Friday, Nov. 3, learning about finances in the real world.
The annual Reality Store returned to the school that day. Students were given a career, income based on that career, a marital status and even, in some cases, children. They then visited tables where they decided what type of housing they wanted, paid their utilities, found out how much a vehicle would cost them, including insurance and gas, and for those with children, the cost of childcare.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

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