The Jennings County Sheriff's Department is investigating the death of a North Vernon woman who reportedly fell from a moving vehicle onto a highway on the east side of the city Monday evening.
Jennifer R. Russell, 38, later died as the result of her injuries. She was pronounced dead early Tuesday at St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis.
"It is a most unusual case," said Sgt. Jeff Jones, a sheriff's department detective.
Russell fell from the vehicle on U.S. 50 just east of the SR 750 roundabout. The vehicle was being driven by Kenneth L. Poole, 37, of Scipio.
"She landed on the pavement, which appeared to cause significant life-threatening injuries," Jones said.
After Russell fell from the vehicle, Poole put her back in and transported her to St. Vincent Jennings Hospital at around 7:57 p.m. Monday. From there, emergency crews transported Russell to the St. Vincent Hospital trauma center in Indianapolis by air ambulance helicopter. Wednesday, April 18, 2018
Expanding the present Jennings County Jail at its present site sounded like a possible alternative to building a brand new site on an as yet undetermined parcel of real estate.
The jail, after all, is just 20 years old, recently had a new $100,000 roof put on and is located in a central location. Plus, it would probably be more economical for taxpayers to fund an expansion instead of purchasing property and constructing a new facility.
The above, anyway, is how some people have begun to feel as the search for a new jail site has dragged on after a year of searching. As Commissioner Matt Sporleder put it Thursday night, "We've gotten absolutely nowhere."
The official summed up the situation at an informational meeting called to discuss adding on to the existing jail which brought out about 30 citizens interested in exploring that idea.
But after the presentation about adding onto the present facility on South State Street, any hopes of expanding dissipated as jail consultant Dan Zuerner matter of factly discussed the plan created by and explained by jail architect Eric Ratt of DLZ, an Indianapolis-based firm that has designed numerous facilities around the state.
Zuerner began by clearing the air of any suspicions that he has any preconceived notions for the county.
"We don't care where you build the jail," he said. "We get paid wherever it goes. We have no agenda."
Rather, this consultant's goal is to "help the community understand all the processes that need to be gone through - to navigate" the process. Monday, April 16, 2018
A judge in Knoxville, Tenn., turned aside a probationary sentence for the man accused of killing Hayden resident Tony Farrell during a concert in Huntsville, Tenn., over Memorial Day weekend in 2015.
The Jennings County School Board hired veteran educator Dustin Roller as the new principal at the high school at their meeting Monday night.
Roller came to JCHS in 2009 as an assistant football coach under newly crowned state champion coach Scott Buening. He moved from the classroom to adminstration to become the dean of students three years ago.
"I am not only excited, but honored to be named the principal," Roller admitted. "I came in 2009 and I have been in a variety of roles here in this community so this means a lot to me."
Roller believes his time at the high school will help him since he's worked in a variety of positions.
"I have always been doing something different and I have been able to see the building from a lot of different perspectives," Roller said. "I am going to lean hard on the staff to help me with their perspectives so we can go forward and get better."
When it comes to his leadership style, Roller describes it in one word-collaborative.
"I have come from a coaching background and with football you can't do it all. You have to trust in the other people you work with and put faith in them," Roller explained. "I want to have conversations with all of the staff members. I am willing to use their expertise to further our building and with that expertise do a better job listening to our students." Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Hope you've cleaned out your basement and garage this spring as the Southeastern Indiana Recycling District (SEIRD) will hold its Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day this Saturday, March 14, from 8 to 10 a.m.
The timetable for the preliminary clean-up of the Cone-Schuck home will be discussed at a special meeting of the Area Plan Commission on Monday, April 16 at 6 p.m. at Government Center, Vernon. The public is invited to attend the session, which will focus on Indiana Historic Landmarks' plans for making improvements in the appearance of the dilapidated yet historic home.
Spring may not have completely sprung yet in North Vernon, but it eventually will, according to weather experts and Tyler Stock.
Stock is no meteorologist. He is a real estate agent in North Vernon. He is also a volunteer who heads the city's beautification program involving the upkeep of landscaping in areas downtown and uptown.
"With just a little effort from time to time, these areas look really pretty," Stock said.
Stock, City Councilor Jack Kelley and others are now recruiting volunteers to maintain the city's landscape plots.
"The key is getting community involvement," Kelley said. "We're off to a good start, but we're not there yet."
Stock is in his second year of heading the program and already has a strong list of volunteers on board.
Small signs are placed at each location with the name of the volunteer or group who has adopted the project.
"Without the volunteers, there would be no beautification program," Stock said. "These people have all volunteered completely on their own without any pressure. It's just a great testament to our local community." Monday, April 9, 2018
The proposed new jail will be the topic when the Jennings County Board of Commissioners and Jennings County Council hold a joint session at 5 p.m. Thursday, April 12, at the Jennings County Government Center.
It's back to the drawing board for a proposed new fire station in Butlerville after initial bids for the project came in substantially over budget last month. As a result, plans have been scaled back in order that the project can proceed in a timely fashion, according to Don Biehle, chief of the Campbell Township Volunteer Fire Department. A legal advertisement for bids on the revised project is published in today's issue of the Plain Dealer on page 9B. "We received four bids for our initial plans, and all came in over $1 million, significantly above our budget," Biehle said. The fire department has an $800,000 budget targeted for the project, the bulk of which is from a $500,000 Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs' Community Development block grant. The Jennings County Council last year voted to provide $50,000 toward the new firehouse, rejecting the fire department's initial request for $200,000 that would come from Local Income Tax revenue. Biehle came before the council again last month to request more funding for the revised project. The council tabled the matter with members saying they needed more time to consider it. "We have no choice but to reduce the scope of the fire station," Biehle told the council. "There are several alternatives in the original package that we are eliminating." One of those is what Biehle called "the community aspects" of the proposed fire station. That includes space for meetings and also training. "We're cutting the fire station's size from 7,770 to 5,000 square feet," he said. "A geothermal heating and cooling system, asphalt, sidewalks, flag poles and everything else we can think of that is not absolutely necessary are being taken out, and the parking lot size will be reduced. Site development costs will go down, too." Alex Murphy, Campbell's assistant chief, added that every feature possible has been cut from the plans to save money.
A longtime bank branch will be closing in North Vernon next month as part of the final touches of a $1 billion merger of two large regional financial institutions. Obviously, the closing will affect employees of both branches, but company officials declined to specify if any would be laid off from their jobs. First Financial Bancorp based in Cincinnati and MainSource Financial Group based in Greensburg officially finalized the merger agreement on Sunday and, as of this week, now operates as First Financial Bancorp. Wednesday, April 4, 2018
The deadline is quickly approaching for submitting projects for the upcoming Jennings County United Way's annual spring Day of Caring. While it's not too late to submit potential work for the special day that will be held Saturday, April 21, Cheri Massey urges all proposed projects be submitted to the United Way Center as soon as possible. "We need time to plan and, if necessary, get the materials needed for this work," said Massey, Jennings County United Way director. "We want to help as many people as we can, but unfortunately that's impossible when we get project submissions at the last minute." Wednesday, April 4, 2018
A sure sign that spring is here is the Jennings County Historical Society's 56th annual Sassafras Tea Festival and Civil War Living History to be held April 28 and 29 in Vernon. "We already have sassafras roots laid out at the Historical Society museum ready to bundle," said Chris Asher of the Historical Society. "With the cooler, wet weather we've had in late winter and early spring this year, the roots are saturated with sap which makes perfect sassafras tea." Wednesday, April 4, 2018