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NEWS October 26, 2016

First Responders honored
First Responders honored
First Responders here were honored at the Bicentennial Gala in downtown North Vernon on Sept. 16. Representatives from the county's fire deparatments were honored on stage and also presented free meal tickets to enjoy barbeque from Uncle Charley's Catering. Above, North Vernon Fire Chief Mike Cole and his wife, Jamie, and youngest son, Kyran, 3, stand in line with Assistant Chief Rick McGill to pick up a meal. -Staff Photo Barb King

JCHS Hall of Fame to add 4
Three distinguished Jennings County High School alumni have been selected for membership in the JCHS Alumni Hall of Fame. Another individual has been named as an honorary member of the group.

Albert Jackson, a retired banking executive and a graduate of North Vernon High School, has been selected as the honorary inductee this year. He was nominated by Dr. Terry Sargent who said Jackson "has served his country in the U.S. Marine Corps and at one time served as a police officer for the North Vernon Police Depart­ment."

Sargent also noted that the example Jackson has set for "every citizen is primarily through his outstanding efforts in community service. Whenever asked to serve he has served. This includes 50 years of leadership in the Chamber of Commerce, St. Vincent Jennings Hospital Board and the Jennings County Economic Develop­ment Commission."

Monday, October 24, 2016

Council to vote on proposed tax hike Wednesday
The Jennings County Council will meet in a special public session at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26, on a proposed rate increase for the Local Option Income Tax (LOIT).

Monday, October 24, 2016

Commissioner candidates address issues
Jennings County voters will go to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 8. Some have even voted already by absentee ballot.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Clarity, K of C to celebrate Thursday
St. Bernard Knights of Columbus Council No. 1631 of North Vernon and Hayden (Four Corners) Council No. 10422 along with Clarity of South Cen­tral Indiana along with the Christian and Catholic communities of Jennings County have reached their goal to raise more than $14,200 to purchase an ultrasound machine for the Clarity Pregnancy Services' location in Greensburg.

Monday, October 24, 2016

New nonprofit group in Jennings holding logo design contest
Jennings County area youth are invited to use their talents to help feed the hungry. The new nonprofit organization Come to the Table has announced a contest for a logo and is inviting all boys and girls in first through 12th grades to submit a design.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Drug Take-Back Day in NV Saturday
Got unused prescription drugs you want to safely dispose?

Friday, October 21, 2016

Candidates speak on issues
Jennings County voters will go to the polls in less than three weeks. Among others, they will vote for races in the county for two commissioner seats.

The three members of the board of commissioners make up the county's executive body. The board is also the legislative branch of the county except in regard to the budget and other fiduciary matters, which are handled by the seven-member county council. Each commissioner receives an annual salary of $17,427.

The red button issues before the commissioners include overcrowding at the Jennings County Jail and, as always, roads.

In District 1, candidates must live in that specific area though voters countywide will vote on the race. A snapshot of the candidates' positions:

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Great pumpkins!
There will be more than one great pumpkin aglow in the Zenas area during Halloween week.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Voter fraud alleged again
Another round of alleged election fraud is hitting Jennings County and Indiana.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Stopping drug overdoses in Jennings
Heroin overdoses among Jennings County residents, particularly its young people, are nothing new. A heroin epidemic has plagued the North Vernon area, as well as many parts of the nation, for the last six years.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Accident victim forgives motorist

A Decatur County woman says she forgives the motorist who failed to yield the right of way on Oct. 7.

"I just want that person to be more careful in the future," said Sandy Dierckman five days later, her arms and legs showing dark bruises left by her tumble. "It would be great, too, to see if that person's auto insurance will cover the damage caused to our farm's vehicles. That's all I ask."

Dierckman had to swerve the semi-truck she was driving to avoid hitting the black sports utility vehicle that crossed SR 750 in front of her at CR 200N/Hurley Drive in North Vernon. The truck careened off the road and down a ravine, crashing into a tree and ejecting Dierckman through the windshield.

Dierckman, who was wearing a seat belt that broke from the force of the impact, miraculously suffered only bruises, cuts and other minor injuries.

"She was a hero," said Deputy Kevin Hall of the Jennings County Sher­iff's Department. "She easily could have been killed. She risked her own life to save others."

The truck, a 1987 Ford, was a total loss, the cab split from the frame. The trailer, which was empty, also incurred significant damage and may be a total loss as well.

Dierckman had just dropped off a load of soybeans at Rose Acre Farm's facility near Cortland in Jackson County and was returning to her family's Clarksburg area farm when the accident occurred.

Dierckman said as she was traveling westbound on SR 750 that two vehicles crossed in front of her at the intersection of CR 200N.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Input sought on community needs
The time period for Jennings County's Com­munity Needs Assessment (CNA) survey is coming to an end soon and the local committee wants and values your input.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Some fees to go up at Recycling Center
Fee increases for tires and other "difficult disposal" items are coming in November to the Jennings County Recycling Center. The new rates will take effect in two weeks - on Tuesday, Nov. 1.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Man jailed 4 weeks after bizarre fatal wreck
Police last week arrested a Pennsylvania man accused of felony crimes in connection with a bizarre fatal accident that happened in Jennings County four weeks ago.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Shady Sweep's perfect 'soup'
Traveling to the oldest park in Indiana, the Vernon Com­mons, for the 13th annual Shady Sweep of the meandering Mus­­catatuck River, involved stirring through a thin soup of fog that clouded the passage, bringing to mind the several soups that had been prepared by loving hands meant for the faithful volunteers. Those devotees would soon be occupying stations throughout Jennings County, cleaning the banks of the friendly Muscatatuck. Most participants gathered at the now familiar park around 8 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1, to register, collect gear, plan strategy and remember George Yeager Sr. and Nancy Eastman, for whom this sweep was dedicated.


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

NV plant expansion hailed
Excitement reigned at the North Vernon City Council Tuesday night with the news that, for the second time in three weeks, a major economic boost to the city and Jennings County was announced.

While the September news involved a new industry locating in North Vernon, this news was that an established manufacturer - Metaldyne Performance Group (New York Stock Exchange symbol: MPG) - would be adding up to 126 jobs here with a $30.6 million expansion of its powder forged connecting rod operation. Major automobile manufacturers use these rods to improve fuel efficiency in gasoline and diesel engines.

"It is fantastic!" effused Kathy Ertel, Jen­nings County Economic Development Commission (EDC) director. "And they are really good jobs, with the average pay between $42,000 and $43,000."

The Michigan-based company will invest $30.6 million to lease and equip a new 32,400-square-foot facility in North Vernon. Construction is scheduled to begin late this month and operations are slated to begin in 2018. The new building will be adjacent to Metaldyne's current 130,000-square-foot facility at 3100 N. Highway 3 and be connected by a breezeway.

Metaldyne could have located this new "proprietary" operation anywhere among its three locations in Indiana and other sites worldwide but chose North Vernon, thanks to a combination of various factors, Ertel continued.

Ben Smith, who was on the team that chose the local site in 1994, "remembered North Vernon and (former) Mayor (John) Hall and that North Vernon was a good place," according to Ertel. "They are happy here."

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

It was far from an easy decision for the Jennings County Youth Foundation's board of directors.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Fight over LOIT revenue
What started out as a cut-and-dry session for the Jennings County Council on passing an already finalized budget for 2017 Tuesday turned into a nearly three-hour airing of grievances and praises for the Local Option Income Tax (LOIT).

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Counting her blessings after lung transplant
Almost one month after undergoing a lung transplant, Debbie Rivera is making a remarkable recovery.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Controlled burns start at Big Oaks
Controlled burns have begun at the Big Oaks National Wildlife Area, which includes part of southeastern Jennings County.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Voter fraud in Jennings County?

Jennings County is one of 56 Indiana counties now involved in the investigation of alleged voter fraud, though Clerk Mary Kilgore said she has seen no evidence yet of wrongdoing.

"We haven't seen anything odd or obvious," Kilgore said.

Two months ago, the Indiana State Police launched the investigation into a group called the Indiana Voter Registration Project (IVRP). State police investigators say they believe the group has filed fraudulent voter application information.

Two days after a state police raid at the IVRP office in Indianapolis on Tuesday, Oct. 4, the investigation was expanded from Marion and Hendricks counties to include 52 more counties, including Jennings.

"Apparently, our county was one of those on their (IVRP) list for their voter registration projects," Kilgore said. "The (Indiana Secretary of State's) Election Division has reemphasized to us the importance of being diligent and thorough in handling voter registrations, absentee ballot applications and the other work that goes into the election."

Monday, October 10, 2016

Feeding the working poor who are hungry
There are several food pantries in Jennings County - including the Good Samaritan Food Pantry, at the St. Vincent de Paul thrift store, at the Jennings County Senior Resource Center and at churches.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Truck driver hailed as hero
A Greensburg woman miraculously escaped serious injuries Friday afternoon when the semi-truck she was driving crashed down a steep embankment off SR 750 on the west side of North Vernon.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Logo design contest for Come to the Table
Jennings County area youth are invited to use their talents to help feed the hungry. The new nonprofit organization Come to the Table has announced a contest for a logo and is inviting all boys and girls in first through 12th grades to submit a design.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Openings in Head Start preschool
The school year may have started nearly two months ago, but the Head Start program in Jennings County fills openings throughout the year.

Monday, October 10, 2016

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