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NEWS
May 24, 2019

School's out for the summer
School's out for the summer
Students happily exit a school bus on Fourth Street Wednesday afternoon after the last day of the 2018-19 school year in Jennings County. Youngsters will have a long summer break with Tuesday, Aug. 6, being the first day of the 2019-20 school year.-Staff Photo by Bryce Mayer



Saving history
Indiana Landmarks is hoping to have another historic home preserved here in Jennings County.

Fresh from its success in saving the historic Cone-Schuck home at 305 S. Jennings St., North Vernon, this time the nonprofit is working with the current owner of 230 E. County Road 20 North in Vernon Township. His­toric Landmarks has obtained an option to purchase the home from owners Bob and Tina Ellis.

"The home is certainly not in the condition that the Schuck home was in. Structurally, it is in good shape," noted Historic Landmarks' Greg Sekula, director of the organization's southern Indiana regional office.

Landmarks has been "monitoring" the property for some time, added Greg. Now that the Ellis' have decided not to take the project on themselves - they had thought about a bed and breakfast - the home is on the market for $64,500.

Situated on an elevated two-acre lot overlooking the Muscatatuck River on the outskirts of historic Vernon, the Queen Anne-style Robert and Mary Ann Leavitt House was likely built around 1884 by Robert Leavitt, a carpenter. The two-and-a-half-story frame structure offers approximately 3,456 square feet of living space and sits on a partial basement with stone foundation.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Memorial Day ceremony set at Vernon Cemetery
Those who made the ultimate sacrifice and all who served in the U.S. armed forces will be honored Monday, May 27, in Jennings County.

Friday, May 24, 2019

It's strawberry time again
One of the most popular homegrown fruits or vegetables is starting to be harvested in the area.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Making county's parks even better

The Jennings County Parks and Recreation Department (JCPR) is seeking public input as it begins the process of creating a new five-year master plan for both the Muscatatuck Park and Eco Lake Park.

"We will first be looking at the current inventory of the planning area while also reviewing and researching recreational trends and standards," said Greg Martin, JCPR director. "Soon we will be reviewing issues, site plans and maintenance issues."

Martin and the JCPR board is encouraging as many people as it can from the community to participate in the research and planning process. All ideas are welcome that potentially could make the county's parks even better, he said.

"The first half hour of each of our county park board meetings the rest of this year will be designated for master plan review and public input," Martin said. "We welcome anyone who is interested in helping us further develop our outdoor recreational areas."

Park board meetings are held the fourth Tuesday of each month at the JCPR office and Visitor Center near the front entrance at the Muscatatuck Park. Meetings start at 5:30 p.m. Additional time and more meetings will be added as needed, according to Martin.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Casino Night Saturday to raise funds for Boys & Girls Club
The ambitious plan to create a Boys & Girls Club in Jennings County has received plenty of moral and vocal support since it was announced last month.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

9 beauties in running for fair queen
Nine hopefuls will be vying for the title of 2019 Jennings County Fair Queen Saturday night, May 25, at the Jennings County High School's Don Pelkey Auditorium. The pageant will start at 7 p.m. and conclude with new royalty as well as a new Little Miss and Little Mr. Jennings County.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

No garbage collection in NV on Memorial Day
Because of the Memorial Day holiday, there will be no garbage or brush pick up in the City of North Vernon on Monday, May 27. The garbage collection route normally followed that day will instead be on Tuesday, May 28. Tuesday's regular route will also be collected then.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

4 arrested on heroin charges
Police arrested four people on felony charges involving heroin and other illegal drugs during a raid in southern Jen­nings County early Thurs­day.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Holiday means earlier deadlines
Because of next week's Memorial Day holiday, deadlines have been moved up earlier than usual for next week's editions of The Sun and Plain Dealer.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Buckeye Street closing ahead
For over two weeks, work has been stopped on a $1.7 million road project on Buckeye Street, a busy thoroughfare in North Vernon.

The delay will last longer as HWC Engineering personnel change the design for the project because of unforeseen problems involving electrical utility poles.

Duke Energy is now requiring that excavation for the installation of new storm sewers under the street be at least 10 feet away from utility poles that hold electrical lines on the south side of the roadway.

Duke approved the work plan earlier this year, but two weeks ago it informed the city, FPBH, HWC and Milestone, the contractor for the project, of the new requirement, according to officials.

"That has created some real challenges," said Brad Bender of FPBH during a special meeting of the city's Board of Public Works (BPW) Friday to address the issues. "We are offering some solutions that we think will work without going over budget."

Part of the solution the BPW agreed upon was to close both lanes of Buckeye Street during construction. By doing that and making other minor changes, the city will not have to pay an extra $60,000 that HWC engineers estimate it would cost.

No date has been set for when Buckeye Street will be closed. Officials said it will be within the next few weeks and the public will get ample advance warning.

Monday, May 20, 2019

United Way ready to celebrate
After another year that saw one of its two Day of Caring events rained out and a tax season in which around 200 families and individuals received free income tax preparations, Jennings County United Way will be celebrating at its annual meeting and open house on Thursday, May 23, at the United Way Center, 707 N. State St.

Monday, May 20, 2019

These pranks approved
With the school year nearing an end, that often leads to a little mischievousness by restless students who are extra excited about the coming summer break.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Class of 2019 Reaps Their Rewards
JCHS Principal Dustin Roller said it best. If it wasn't for the generosity of donors, the annual Senior Awards Program held at the high school wouldn't be much of an event.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Intensity and stress at MUTC
The training has been rigorous and intense during Guardian Response 19, a massive military homeland emergency response exercise centered at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center in Butlerville.

"It's very intense because it has to be," said Lt. Col. Joe Junguzza of the U.S. Army's 78th Training Division. "The idea is to create a lot of stress. We want to test the limits of our capacity in a (Hurricane) Katrina-type setting involving active and reserve Army units, the National Guard, FEMA and other federal and state agencies."

Around 3,500 military personnel are training in the exercise that is now in its second phase. Over 100 civilians are working as role players.

The second phase's mock scenario is the aftermath of the detonation of a 10-kiloton nuclear bomb in Phoenix, Ariz. The first phase, which started May 1, involved a mock disaster of a 20-kiloton nuclear explosion in Detroit.

Jennings County has been swarming with soldiers from Army and National Guard units from multiple states since mid-April. Military crews are not only involved at MUTC but also at the Indiana National Guard's Contingency Operating Base adjacent to the North Vernon Municipal Airport, where soldiers are being housed, and at the Jennings County Fairgrounds, which is being used for a staging facility. Guardian Response is scheduled to wrap up in two weeks.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Hail the national champs!
The student-archers and coaches on the Hayden Elementary School Sharpshooters were on pins and needles for three days last weekend.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Summer food program needs more funds
The time is nearing for the start of the ninth annual Free Lunch All Summer, Hurrah! (FLASH) meal and food program in Jennings County.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Pence: Bill supports truckers, farmers
U.S. Rep. Greg Pence (R-6th District) spoke about his first piece of legislation from the House floor Thursday, May 9, highlighting his efforts to reduce what he calls "unnecessary and burdensome regulations on hardworking truckers, farmers and producers in Indiana, and across America."

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Great U.S. 50 Yard Sale this weekend
For the 20th consecutive year, Jennings County residents have the opportunity to participate in a nationwide event and generate some cash right in their own backyard.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

County may get magistrate judge

Jennings County may soon be getting another judicial officer to help with the case load for the county's Circuit Court and Superior Court.

Circuit Court Judge Jon Webster came to the Board of County Commissioners Thursday requesting and receiving support for the proposal to add a magistrate judge in Jennings County.

"The case load in both our courts is off the chart," Webster said. "I have been in discussions with Sen. Chip Perfect and he plans to introduce a bill to establish the position of magistrate in Jennings County."

Perfect, a Republican from Lawrenceburg, represents Indiana Senate District 43, which includes Jennings County.

According to Webster, the magistrate will officiate at cases involving minor criminal and civil matters in both courts.

Monday, May 13, 2019

NV man dies in wreck Saturday
A North Vernon man died in a single-vehicle traffic accident on the north side of Scipio Saturday evening.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Lovett fire under investigation
A suspicious fire gutted a vacant mobile home in western Lovett Township Thursday.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Highway 3&7 patching, paving to start this week
If the weather cooperates, workers will be busy making repairs on one of the major highways in Vernon and North Vernon starting this week.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Watch out for slow moving farm vehicles
With planting season underway for most Hoosier farmers, state officials remind every motorist to be on the lookout for slow-moving farm equipment on Indiana's rural roads. Over the next couple of months, Hoosiers are encouraged to exercise caution and patience, as they share the road with these large vehicles.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Democrats pick York

First-time candidate Matt York scored a decisive victory in the North Vernon City Democratic Party primary election Tuesday.

In the only race in either party, York collected 74 votes, 57.4 percent, to earn his party's nomination for the City Council at-large position. York's opponent in the Democratic primary, Annie Payne, received 55 votes, 42.6 percent.

York will now face Jerry Lamb, the Republican Party incumbent, in the general election on Nov. 5.

"I owe a lot to family, friends and the voters, and the many Republicans who crossed over to vote for me in the primary," York said. "I couldn't have done it without them."

York faces a formidable opponent in Lamb, who is finishing his first term on the city council and previously served one term as North Vernon's mayor from 1988 to 1992.

"I've known Jerry for years," said York, who works at Walmart in North Vernon where he is the manager of the meat department. "It's going to take a lot of hard work for me to have a chance against him in the fall. But I think the voters are ready for a change and will agree with me on the need to continue making progress in the city."

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

MUTC's 'diverse urban terrain' tests military
The trucks have moved in, soldiers in gas masks are clearing roads, and helicopters can be heard overhead. Guar­dian Response 19 has officially kicked off at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center in But­lerville and other sites in the Jennings County area.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019


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