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NEWS May 24, 2016

Back to his roots
Back to his roots
Councilman and former florist Jack Kelley was up to his elbows in petunias and marigolds last week as he provided his labor in getting the downtown planters filled. The plantings were spurred by an interest in prom-goers to take photos down at Stellar Plaza before the big event.-Staff Photo by Barbara King

State to study bypass options
The state is going to take a closer look - significantly closer - at the bypass intersection on North Vernon's west side.

In fact, the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) plans to hire an engineering firm to study the intersection of U.S. 50 and CR 400W with the bypass, also temporarily known as SR 750. The action clearly indicates that safety improvements will be made at the site, though what type has yet to be determined.

"Once we get a report back from the engineering firm, then we will have a proposal," said Harry Maginity of INDOT.

Those plans could include a roundabout, a full-fledged four-way traffic signal, a separate turn-off lane from eastbound SR 750 to U.S. 50 or something else.

Maginity said he could not speculate on what might be proposed.

"I'm sure the engineering firm will offer several options, with one of them being their recommendation," he said. "We will present those options to the public and have a period public comments will be received. After that, a final decision on how to proceed will be made, but there is no timetable for that."

Monday, May 23, 2016

Public safety issue with many private roads
Some roads at Muscatatuck Caverns are in such bad condition that it takes a four-wheel drive vehicle to navigate over them. Even then, sometimes that is not enough.

Monday, May 23, 2016

United Way to celebrate
Jennings County United Way's annual meeting and open house will be held Thursday, May 26, at United Way Center, 707 N. State St.

Monday, May 23, 2016

No garbage collection on Monday
Because of the Memorial Day holiday, there will be no garbage and brush pick up in the City of North Vernon on Monday, May 30.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Holiday means earlier deadlines
Because of next week's Memorial Day holiday, deadlines have been moved up earlier than usual for the May 31 edition of The Sun and the June 2 edition of the North Vernon Plain Dealer.

Monday, May 23, 2016

'Largest meth seizure ever'

Sheriff Gary Driver calls it the largest methamphetamine bust ever in Jennings County.

"I've never seen anything like this before and hope I never do again," Driver said after deputies found 2.2 pounds of pure crystal meth in a car after a traffic stop early Tuesday. "This has to be the largest methamphetamine seizure in the county's history."

Deputies arrested Larry Janes, 65, and Kimberly L. Tungate, 28, both of North Vernon after finding the meth in a plastic container in the vehicle in which they were riding.

A deputy stopped the car, a 2004 Chevrolet Cruz, on CR 300N at SR 7 at 2:30 a.m. Tuesday after Janes, the driver, failed to dim the headlights. Along with the massive amount of meth, police found several syringes in the car during the stop.

At 10 a.m., deputies executed a search warrant at Janes' residence on Whitehall Drive in Country Squire Lakes. Deputies recovered 5 ounces of meth packaged in small bags apparently ready for sale, six firearms, a bottle of prescription pills, an unspecified amount of marijuana and various drug paraphernalia.

The estimated street value of the meth seized is well over $100,000, according to Driver.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Top students, teachers feted
Family, friends and Jennings County Schools teachers and administrators gathered to honor the top students at Jennings County High School during the annual Academic Awards Dinner.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Highway 50 Yard Sale to bring in bargain hunters
The 17th annual Great U.S. 50 Yard Sale will cross Jennings County starting Thurs­day, May 19, and continuing through the weekend.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Benefit Friday for family of 'micro preemie' baby
When she was born, she weighed a mere 1 pound and was just over 10 inches long.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Strawberries are here again
Rejoice: Strawberry season is here.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Police raid underage drinking party
Three adults were arrested or cited and several minors were issued summons for illegal consumption of alcohol after Jennings County sheriff's deputies raided a party Saturday, May 14.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

NV man jailed after shooting
Wesley D. Webb, 58, of North Vernon, remains in the Jennings County Jail where he is being held without bond on multiple preliminary felony charges after a shooting incident on the city's west side on Thursday afternoon, May 12.

Webb allegedly shot and injured his adult stepson at a home where they lived in the 100 block of Baker Street.

The shooting victim, whom North Vernon Police Detective Ivory Sandefur has not yet identified, is in serious but stable condition at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.

"I am not yet ready to release the victim's name," said Sandefur on Monday morning.

Webb shot the victim in the torso with a handgun. Sandefur declined to reveal other specifics on the injury or the size and style of the firearm.

At around 1 p.m. Thursday, North Vernon Police Department went to Webb's residence to resolve an argument between Webb and his stepson.

Police summoned Indiana Department of Child Services personnel when they became concerned with the living conditions at the home and a young child living there. The child is Webb's stepgrandchild. NVPD officers then concluded their contact there.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Detours ahead in downtown
Just when motorists were getting reacquainted with North Madison Avenue between Walnut Street and O&M Avenue, they will have to find alternate routes again.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Lightning ignites house fire
Lightning ignited a fire at a Vernon Township home late Wednesday where a broken water line helped douse the blaze and kept down damages.

Monday, May 16, 2016

NV man, 2 women sentenced in slaying of Seymour man
All three of the people arrested in the slaying and robbery of a Seymour man in April 2015 have now been sentenced to prison.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Officials: New WIC income guidelines benefit Hoosiers
More Indiana families may be eligible for nutrition benefits through the Women, Infants and Children program under revised federal poverty guidelines for 2016, according to state officials.

Monday, May 16, 2016

County books now in balance
Reconciliation of financial ledger books between the Jennings County treasurer's and auditor's offices is virtually complete. So reported James Jump of the Reedy Financial Group at Tuesday's meeting of the Jennings County Council.

"It has been a good 3.5-week process," Jump said, complimenting the efforts of personnel in both the treasurer's and auditor's offices in working with him to balance the books. "Give credit where credit is due. Sherri (Williams, chief deputy treasurer) worked independently several days ... and was the key in making this a better process and getting the task accomplished in a short amount of time. Susie (Barlow, deputy auditor) made herself available and worked not only on the actual reconciliation but on gaining a better understanding of her role and the connection between the auditor and treasurer."

Reedy is the county's financial advisory firm. At the council's April meeting, Treasurer Sandy Vance and Auditor Kay Vance requested that Reedy be allowed to work in their offices in order to complete the reconciliation. The Council approved that request by a 5-2 vote.

"Thank you to all for doing exactly what you said you'd do," Councilor Josh Yeager (R-District 3) said to the treasurer's and auditor's staff and Jump.

"This is what we've been wanting for a long time," added Howard Malcomb (R-at large), council president. "This has been a mess too long."

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

New assistant named at NVE
At their meeting Monday night, the Jennings County School Board approved hiring Carrie Manowitz as the new assistant principal at North Vernon Elementary School.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Benefit for Hayden's 'Santa'
A two-day benefit for Charlie Graham will be held this weekend at the Hayden Historical Museum's pavilion.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Pork in the Plaza Saturday
There will be a barbecue cook-off, food, games, decorated pigs, live music, a beer garden and much more at Saturday's third annual Pork in the Plaza in North Vernon.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Fire destroys Geneva Twp. home Monday
Fire destroyed a house Monday night in the Brown's Corner neighborhood after the couple living there escaped.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Fighting student hunger at JCHS

The National Educa­tion Association (NEA) has given national recognition to Jennings County High School teachers Tracy Martin and Marisa Patterson for their efforts to create, maintain and operate the Panther Pantry at JCHS.

Thanks to their dedication to fighting student hunger, Martin and Patterson won a Challenge to End Student Hunger Award and $2,000 grant for their school from NEA Healthy Futures, in partnership with NEA Member Benefits and Bank of America.

Patterson, a French and World Languages teacher and World Languages Department head, and Martin, a Spanish and English teacher, are among many working to fight student hunger in their school through the Panther Pantry, a school food pantry, and food sharing resources.

"Student hunger is so very prevalent in our schools, more so today than ever," Martin said. "This can be attributed to the economy as well as societal factors."

Monday, May 9, 2016

Motorcycle chase, theft cases related
In separate but related incidents, Jennings County Sheriff's Department deputies arrested three people and recovered a stolen motorcycle and utility trailer.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Mother, teen jailed after 2 officers struck
A mother and her 16-year old son landed in jail and juvenile detention Thursday after law enforcement officers conducted a house check on another son who is on parole. Ironically, the parolee was not at home at the time.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Scams, scams, everywhere are scams affecting local people
Several people in Jennings County are being targeted by unique scams, according to those who contacted the Plain Dealer & Sun last week.

Monday, May 9, 2016

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