While many of its members are based in Vernon, the Jennings County Technical Rescue Team covers the entire county. (See separate story on page 1A).
And the team of all volunteers does much more than water rescues, though that was the impetus for the group's formation three years ago.
"Our goal is to have people trained to handle many different types of rescue," said Tracy Jones, a member of the team who is also chief paramedic with the Jennings County Emergency Medical Service/Rescue 20. "We're working hard to get there." Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Eligible blood donors of all blood types-especially type O-are urged to give blood through the American Red Cross now to help ensure a sufficient supply for hospital patients this spring.
By giving blood, donors may be helping someone like 5-year-old Emery Twehues, who was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia last spring. During her intense cancer treatments, Emery has needed both blood and platelets. Cancers, such as leukemia and lymphoma, and certain types of chemotherapy drugs and radiation can damage the bone marrow, where red blood cells and platelets are produced. Wednesday, March 20, 2019
The pole barn issue on Norris Avenue was discussed at yet another venue Monday night, even though its owner, Gary Beck, told the Utilities Service Board (USB), "I don't know why they (the City Council) sent me here."
Over a year ago, Beck received a permit for a pole barn residence at 64 Norris Avenue. The permit is now expired and the Area Plan Commission has filed a lawsuit asking the court to either remove it or to fine Beck daily because it appears to be a storage facility and not a residence. Wednesday, March 20, 2019
With dry weather finally returning, work has resumed at North Vernon's new Tripton Park, located at the former Ford's Crossing/Muscatatuck Country Club golf course.
Bob Ertel, volunteer project manager, gave an update on the park construction at last week's City Council meeting.
"It's kinda risky to construct a park in the wintertime," he announced, but in the end, such bad weather "might have been a silver lining." This is because the break gave the park committee time to work out some issues that were "not well thought out." Wednesday, March 20, 2019
U.S. Rep. Greg Pence (R-6th District) made a surprise visit to North Vernon Tuesday afternoon as part of a whirlwind tour to touch base with constituents, he said.
Pence's office did not announce the visit before he stopped for around 30 minutes at McDonald's in North Vernon where he talked with members of the Jennings County Republican Party and others.
"I see constituents every day in Washington, but this gives them a chance to talk to me face to face in their home towns," Pence told the Plain Dealer. "I want to hear what issues they have concerns about, and I tell them what I've been doing in Congress and my work on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Transportation and Infrastructure Committee." Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Connie Rayburn has announced her candidacy for re-election as the District 3 representative on the North Vernon City Council.
She was first appointed to the position in 2010, then elected in 2011 and re-elected in 2015.
"My desire to run again for City Council is based on my love for our city - our citizens, neighborhoods, innovative spirit, quality of life, and care for youth," Rayburn said. "I am here to represent and serve everyone, regardless of party. The issues that are important to you are those very issues that are important to me." Wednesday, March 20, 2019
After serving farmers and others in Jennings County for 44 years, Mark McClellan is now a Hall of Famer.
The North Vernon man was inducted into the Gallery of Agricultural Leaders earlier this month, an honor bestowed upon Jennings County people who have made significant contributions to the agricultural community.
"I was taken completely by surprise," McClellan said, recounting how he was unaware he would be the next inductee when he attended the annual induction ceremony at the Hayden Historical Museum. "Juanita (McClellan's wife) whispered to me, 'I think they're talking about you.'" Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Flooding has been frequent over the last few months in Jennings County because of heavy rains and above average precipitation.
While the floods have been fairly minor, around a dozen water rescue operations have been undertaken in the county in the last five months after motorists got stranded in vehicles that became swamped in unexpected high water on roadways.
The Jennings County Technical Rescue Team, formerly known as the Water Rescue Team, has begun a fundraising drive to purchase an airboat that its members say is desperately needed. Wednesday, March 20, 2019
The Jennings County Council will hold a special meeting for the third time in a month on Wednesday, March 27, all related to the county jail.
The council has more questions on a proposed work-release center in Seymour to serve Jennings County, Jackson County and the City of Seymour that councilors say they need answered before they can approve funding. So does the Jennings County Board of Commissioners.
The contract for the interlocal cooperation agreement on the work-release center was presented to both county bodies last week, and Matt Sporleder didn't like what he saw. Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Like his predecessor, Jennings County Assessor Randy Shepherd is being paid more than his base salary. Since taking office in January, Shepherd has been paid based on not only a $41,815 salary, but also wages based on an additional $15,000 in annual add-ons to the salary.
Those additions are part of the assessor's office budget, which was approved last year by the Jennings County Council.
That was one of the issues discussed by the Council on Tuesday when Shepherd brought it to the seven members' attention.
"I apologize for not consulting with you before," Shepherd said. "It was a rookie mistake."
"I'm mad because you came in here and did this without telling us first," said Councilor Dave Woodall (R-at large). "We all agreed for Linda (former Assessor Linda Kovacich) to get paid this other money because of her years of experience."
The extra annual wages for Shepherd involve $8,000 for personal property assessment duties and $7,000 for verification of sales disclosures. Monday, March 18, 2019
The Jennings County Sheriff's Office announced Monday that the investigation involving the escape of jail inmate Kimlynn D. Patton has ended, concluding that Patton procured a handcuff key apparently from a fellow inmate. An undermanned jail staff also was a factor, according to the investigation.
In the wake of the investigation, Sheriff Kenny Freeman has enacted several changes in procedures and policies for transporting jail inmates.
Patton, who escaped after jumping Corrections Transport Officer Justin Ponsler in Vernon on Friday, March 1, somehow got a key that enabled him to unlock and shed his handcuffs and ankle shackles during the transport from the Jennings County Jail to the Courthouse. He eluded capture for slightly over 24 hours, apprehended the next day in uptown North Vernon after a citizen reported seeing a suspicious person walking in the area.
"During the investigation it was determined that there were several factors that enabled Patton to escape," said Chief Deputy Dave Turner. "Old procedures from previous (sheriff) administrations will be replaced with new procedures and policies."
Baron W. Wilder has announced he is making his second bid for politics in the City of North Vernon. The former three-term mayor of Vernon is the Republican Party candidate for North Vernon City Council in District 3.
The Jennings County Sheriff's and Animal Control offices are investigating a case involving 12 dead dogs, nine of which were puppies, that were found dumped near Zenas.
"I just can't fathom how and why someone could do this when there are so many ways to find dogs homes, especially puppies," said Michelle Acton, senior animal control officer.
"This is a very disturbing case that we are taking very seriously, as we do every crime," said Chief Deputy Dave Turner of the Sheriff's Office. "We are continuing our investigation and we are hopeful we'll get help with tips from the community."
The dogs' bodies were found in a wooded area along County Road 740 East, south of County Road 1000 North, in Columbia Township in the Zenas Slab area. Sheriff's Office detectives and Animal Control officers went to the site on Tuesday, March 5, to investigate a report made by a citizen.
"The dogs were located by a concerned citizen driving through the area on Thursday, Feb. 28, during the afternoon hours," Turner said. "According to the citizen, he had driven through the area earlier in the day and did not see the deceased animals. When the citizen drove through later, he saw numerous deceased dogs a short distance from the roadway." Monday, March 11, 2019
North Vernon Police made a "substantial drug arrest" Saturday night involving two North Vernon resident suspected of dealing illegal drugs. According to Sgt. Andrew Richmond, the department's public information officer, police found heroin, methamphetamine and suboxone. Officers arrested Jarel Haines, 41, and Ezra Engle, 18, both of North Vernon.