Virginia Clarkson-Mason, center, of North Vernon won the $10,852 bingo money chest jackpot at the Jennings County Senior Center/Civic Life Center on June 27. She is flanked by Sandy Vance and Wade Eaglin of the Senior Center. The chest had built up over several weeks from the bingo games that are held every Wednesday at 5:45 p.m. at the Senior Center, 515 Buckeye St., North Vernon .-Submitted Photo
Tragedy struck on the east side of North Vernon Monday morning when a Holton man died in a one-vehicle traffic accident.
The victim was Richard L. Sutton, 69. He was driving a 2007 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck westbound in the 2000 east block of U.S. 50 near the McCowan Fruit Market when for unknown reasons the truck crossed the center line, went off the south side of the roadway, ran into a ditch and struck a culvert and fence post at around 8 a.m.
"This was possibly medically related, but we don't know for sure yet," said Sgt. Jeff Jones of the sheriff department. The victim was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident.
Jennings County Coroner Gene Rudicel declared the man dead at the scene. Monday, August 13, 2018
At their meeting on Thursday night, the Jennings County School Board approved extended contracts for 16 administrators while one administrator's contract - for Jennings County High School Athletic Director Mike Broughton - was not extended.
With the exception of one minor hiccup, the start of the 2018-19 school year for Jennings County Schools went smoothly on Tuesday.
According to JCSC superintendent Teresa Brown, the first day of school went really well.
"The reports I have gotten back from the administrators were very positive," Brown noted. "They said they felt good about the new guidelines they put in place. The staff did an amazing job getting the school year off to a good start."
One issue that arose the first morning was at the Jennings County Middle School. A school bus collided with a pole in the parking lot as the school day got underway.
"We had a student with a bloody nose and a couple of kids that had their eyeglasses cut their noses. They were all superficial injuries," Brown explained. "We took care of them and the school nurses checked them out. None of them needed a trip to the hospital."
Brown said all the parents were called and upon arrival they transported their children to North Vernon Elementary School. All the children attend that school and were waiting to be transported from JCMS to NVES. Wednesday, August 8, 2018
The bad news is that the Low Water Bridge in Country Squire Lakes will remain closed for several more weeks. The good news is that the bridge will not be closed for nearly as long as originally feared by Jennings County officials. "We think it's going to take less than three months to do the work and get that bridge back open," said Jennings County Commissioner Matt Sporleder (R-District 3), whose district includes CSL. "The hold up now is we have to wait on the DNR (Indiana Department of Natural Resources) to issue the permits we need." The bridge - which is actually a concrete slab over a large culvert - has been closed since June 29 after county highway department workers discovered serious erosion and deterioration in the rock and concrete around the pipe under the roadway. Monday, August 6, 2018
North Vernon police arrested two Seymour residents on felony charges last week after searching for and finding a suspect wanted by Jackson County authorities and then reportedly discovering evidence of drugs in the aparment occupied by him and a woman. At 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 31, NVPD Officer Lucas Newsom and Detective Ivory Sandefur followed up on information received that Brian Willman, 34, Seymour, was in an apartment in the 500 block of Brownstown Road. Officer Mike Holliday and Sgt. Andrew Richmond assisted with the warrant service.
Officials are investigating a fire that destroyed a house in the Broomsage Ranch area of southern Vernon Township Saturday morning. The blaze destroyed the house owned by Charles and Kathryn Perry at 4225 S. Private Road 375 East. Monday, August 6, 2018
The upgrades to the trackage on the Madison Railroad route in North Vernon and all points south are readily apparent. In recent weeks, 23,000 tons of ballast or rock have been laid along the rails that stretch 25 miles from North Vernon to North Madison and the Jefferson Proving Ground Industrial Park. Now the shortline railroad is looking at the most expensive upgrade in the entire 180-year history of the line - constructing a brand new bridge over Graham Creek.
Like a proud mother, Amber Kent couldn't help but voice her feelings as she led a group on a tour of the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center (MUTC) on Tuesday.
"I love this place," said Kent, senior public information officer with the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) after leading one group around the sprawling campus. "It's a great facility for us. The fact that the National Guard has put so much into making this such a vibrant and immersible environment makes Muscatatuck second to none."
The Butlerville site, under the Indiana National Guard's jurisdiction since 2005, is perhaps best known as a facility for training military personnel.
It also is quite valuable for training that involves civilian emergency workers such as emergency medical technicians, first responders, firefighters, police officers and even highway workers, according to Kent and others.
On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, the IDHS conducted what it is calling its "Road to Recovery" training exercise at MUTC. Over 125 people have been involved, including personnel from several state agencies, county fire and Emergency Management Agency departments, including Jerry Shepherd of Jennings County, and role players.
The IDHS has conducted four exercises at Muscatatuck in the past 10 years, but this was its first recovery exercise anywhere.
"Each exercise we've had here has been different and excellent," Kent said. "This is the first one that is based more on recovery instead of response." Wednesday, August 1, 2018
North Vernon Police made five arrests, four involving preliminary felony charges for heroin and methamphetamine, during an early morning investigation Tuesday at two locations in the Sixth Street area.
The prospect of a regional jail involving Jennings County and any of its six adjoining counties failed to gain any traction.
Officials in Bartholomew, Decatur, Jackson, Jefferson, Ripley and Scott counties said such an arrangement would present too many potential issues that would be difficult if not impossible to rectify.
Such were the findings of a regional jail study presented in a special joint meeting Thursday of the Jennings County Council and Jennings County Board of Commissioners.
"So according to this study and a previous study on the old jail, it is not feasible to build a regional jail and it is not feasible to add on to the old jail," said Commissioner Matt Sporleder (R-District 3). "The remaining alternatives are, A, do nothing, or B, build a new county jail. We all know that A is not an option."
In separate votes, the council and the commissioners both unanimously accepted the regional jail study's findings. The commissioners also voted to approve allocating $5,000 for an appraisal of real estate for a potential jail site.
County officials declined to disclose the location until it makes an offer on the land if the appraisal is acceptable.
"We don't want to jeopardize real estate negotiations," Sporleder explained. "We will announce the location to the public if we reach an agreement." Monday, July 30, 2018
A portion of Canyon Creek Road in the Muscatatuck Park will be closed for approximately two weeks starting Monday, July 30. Jennings County Highway Department crews are doing major repair work on the small but quaint bridge that spans Canyon Creek.
In the past year, the Jennings County School Corp. (JCSC) has successfully applied for and received over $1 million in grants.
The latest grant came from Lilly Endowment Inc. JCSC received $418,388 which will be used for mental health services for students throughout the district.
"Our district will have a new director of social and emotional learning," explained Teresa Brown, JCSC superintendent. "Emily Sommers will be working with our staff to find resources and support for students in need.
"This comprehensive program will be developed over four years as a result of this Lilly Counseling grant and will allow our students to receive much more mental health support at our schools than previously," Brown added.
Lilly Endowment has approved a second round of grants to Indiana school coprorations and charter schools to help them implement promising strategies to strengthen school counseling programs for their students.
The grants, awarded to JCSC and 38 other school coporations and charter schools in the state, are part of the Lilly Endowment's Comprehensive Counseling Initiative to Indiana K-12 Students.
Launched in September 2016, the Comprehensive Counseling Initiative is a multi-year effort designed to encourage school corporations and charter schools to develop new counseling approaches that address more effectively the academic, college, career, and social and emotional counseling needs of their students. The grants range from $99,368 to $1.39 million. Wednesday, July 25, 2018