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February 27, 2020

Sneakers at the Statehouse
Sneakers at the Statehouse
State Rep. Jim Lucas (R-Seymour) pairs sneakers with his suit to help kick off National Cancer Prevention Month at the Statehouse in India­napolis. He and others in the Indiana House of Representatives participated in the Suits and Sneakers Chal­lenge to raise awareness. A cancer survivor, Lucas stresses the importance of following the American Cancer Society's recommended screenings.-Submitted Photo

Solar celebration
Mayor Mike Ochs has announced that Gov. Eric Holcomb will travel to North Vernon on Satur­day, June 6, to officially "cut the ribbon" on the city's innovative $5 million solar project, marking North Vernon as one of Indiana's greenest cities.

The ceremony will take place outdoors at Tripton Park's amphitheater and where the largest display of solar panels is just visible to the east at the city's wastewater treatment plant. The governor is expected to make a few remarks on the innovation needed to meet the state's increasing energy needs.

The city's decision in 2017 to power its various departments with solar has drawn attention statewide. Just recently, officials from Dearborn County visited North Vernon to learn more about the city's experience thus far and its energy savings. Shelby­ville, Ind., is also currently undergoing its own transition to solar power thanks in large part to North Vernon's success story, according to officials.

The governor's visit here is just one of many activities planned that day as Tripton Park is formally celebrated as the city's newest and most complete playground for all ages.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

'It never gets old'
For Leslie Hill, every school day is a joy.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

JC Democrats unanimous in electing leader
After two months without an official leader, the Jennings County Democratic Party has a new chairperson.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

EMAs honored during Appreciation Week
The Indiana Depart­ment of Homeland Security (IDHS) is celebrating with the entire state this week for the first-ever Indiana EMA Appre­ciation Week.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Wanted: Severe weather spotters
Officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administra­tion's National Weather Service are looking for interested volunteers to help better protect residents of the Jennings County area by providing quality storm reports during severe weather.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Lawmaker boosts food pantry
Volunteers are always welcome at the Good Samaritan Food Pantry, even ones as high profile as U.S. Rep. Greg Pence.

The first-term 6th District Republican congressman from Columbus, who represents all of Jennings County, spent nearly two hours at the food pantry in North Vernon Friday morning where he helped carry in boxes full of canned goods, distributing items to shoppers and did other miscellaneous jobs.

"The main reason I'm here is to raise awareness and set an example so more people will support the food pantry," Pence said. "Nonprofits such as this one are vitally important to the Jennings County community. A lot of people here and everywhere need help with food, and it's up to those of us who can to provide that support."

Ginger Miller, Good Samaritan director, and other volunteers at the food pantry, were thankful.

"We can't thank Congress­man Pence enough for taking time from his busy schedule to come help us today and for raising awareness," Miller said.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Police dogs need play time, too
For the second year in a row, young Joey Denny, of North Vernon, saved his Christmas money to purchase tennis balls to donate to Vampir and Axel, the two K-9s at with the Jennings County Sheriff's Office.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Foster Grandparents program now recruiting participants in Jennings
The Foster (or Class­room) Grandparent program of Jennings, Deca­tur, Jackson, Bartholomew and Brown counties is currently recruiting new participants.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Juvenile arrested in NV burglary
Police arrested a North Vernon teen Thurs­day on charges related to a burglary of a North Vernon retail business nine days earlier.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Major growth for NV firm
A project that came up "very quickly" was met with decisive action by the North Vernon Rede­velopment Com­mission (NVRC or TIF board) on Friday, Feb. 14.

It was a sweet day for the Commission to hear that a 100 percent-owned local company was on the verge of a major breakthrough in its growth. Layman Fabrication, located at 3435 N. Fourth St., plans to construct a new facility, doubling its size and creating 15 new jobs by 2024.

The growth is the result of several factors which include an expansion of work among several clients, including one based near Chicago, and the company becoming a certified vendor for Honda North America in 2019. Layman Fabrication received its first contract with the automotive giant last month.

"Our new relationship with Honda will give us the opportunity to become one of their lead metal fabrication suppliers," according to information provided the Commission. Without the new facility and acreage, the company said it will be unable to complete the contract here in Jennings County.

Jennings County Eco­nomic Development Com­mission Director Kathy Ertel explained the proposal to the Commission was based on a plan to keep the company in Jennings County.

The proposal included the following:

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

JC Council: Jail plan needed
The Jennings County Council controls the purse strings and its members say they want to manage county government's funds the right way.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

'Silo' movie to raise awareness
Jennings County is farm country where grain bins stand on countless farms in the area.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Hit and run wreck causes widespread electrical outage
A widespread electrical outage affected around 1,700 Duke Energy customers in central and northern Jennings County for around two hours Mon­day night.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Deputies investigating vandalism to vehicles in CSL
Over the last several days, deputies with the Jennings County Sher­iff's Office have taken numerous reports of vandalism to parked vehicles in the Country Squire Lakes area.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

2 young children hurt in crash Tuesday
Two young children, ages 2 and 3, suffered serious injuries Tuesday in a one-vehicle traffic accident in northeastern Sand Creek Township.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

New veterans officer
Starting Tuesday, Feb. 18, Jennings County has a new Veterans Service Officer.

The Jennings County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted to hire Dan Brookbank for the position on Thursday.

"I'm looking forward to a new chapter in my life," said Brookbank, 69, of North Vernon.

Brookbank previously worked for five years in production control at Toyota Boshuka America plant in Erlanger, Ky.

"It was a long, long commute, an hour and 15 minutes each way," Brookbank said. "I'm not going to miss that."

Brookbank is married to the former Tammy Lutherbeck. They have four adult children and 11 grandchildren.

Brookbank moved to North Vernon 27 years ago to take the job of general manager at CEW Enterprises, a position he had for 10 years.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Spelling bee champ: master of excitement
It took five rounds for Jayden Matlock to win the Jennings County Spelling Bee.

Monday, February 17, 2020

NV motorist seriously injured in accident Friday
A North Vernon woman suffered serious injuries when the automobile she was driving collided with a semi-truck on U.S. 50 on North Vernon's east side Friday afternoon.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Vernon project gains funds
After years of planning, the Vernon Township Volunteer Fire Department is moving closer to constructing a new fire station - $100,000 closer to be exact.

That is because the Jennings County Council Tues­day voted unanimously to appropriate $100,000 for the project.

The plan is to build a 6,000-square foot facility on East Brown Street in Vernon, across from the current station.

"We estimate the total cost is going to be $650,000," Roger Taylor, Vernon Township trustee, told the county council. "With your commitment, we will have lined up the financing we need."

The project had a setback of sorts last year when an income survey of township residents did not meet the grade required for a government grant.

However, by not having to follow the strict construction requirements, including federal wage guidelines, that come with the grant, the project is saving on the projected costs.

"Our firehouse is going to be 1,000 square feet larger than the new one in Campbell Township," Taylor noted.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

911 Center stays busy
While the Jennings County 911 Emergency Dispatch Center handled slightly fewer incidents in 2019 than it did the year before, it wasn't because of a decrease in emergencies according to the center's end-of-year report released last week by director Britt Burgmeier.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Special TIF meeting may bring good news
Apparently, some good economic news is coming the way of North Vernon and Jennings County.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Underground Railroad drama
Jennings County's history includes a significant role in the Underground Railroad of the 19th century. Abolitionists in the area assisted runaway slaves from the South in escaping to freedom.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

No trash pickup in NV Monday
Because of the Presi­dents Day holiday, there will be no garbage pick up in the City of North Ver­non on Monday, Feb. 17.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Gun rights resolution controversy
When the Jennings County Board of Commissioners hold their regular semimonthly meeting Thursday, there will be no Second Amendment sanctuary resolution on the table.

When Sheriff Kenny Freeman, North Vernon Mayor Mike Ochs and State Rep. Jim Lucas signed the resolution declaring Jennings as a Second Amendment sanctuary county on Jan. 17, Freeman said he was considering introducing the measure for the commissioners to consider at their Feb. 13 meeting.

Now, Freeman says, he won't.

"I don't think it's necessary to bring it up to the commissioners," the sheriff said.

Whether the resolution has any legal authority is probably a matter of judicial interpretation. The resolution calls for local law enforcement personnel to uphold the Second Amendment and not enforce any new gun control measures enacted after Jan. 17. Many legal experts, however, say federal and state laws always supersede county laws.

Matt Sporleder, president of the Board of Commissioners, says he is relieved he and fellow commissioners Dave Lane and Bob Willhite will not be addressing the issue at Thursday's meeting.

"The way I understand it, we couldn't have signed it the way the resolution was written," Sporleder said.

Nevertheless, Freeman says he feels good about the resolution.

Monday, February 10, 2020

No trash pickup in NV Monday
Because of the Presidents Day holiday, there will be no garbage pick up in the City of North Vernon on Monday, Feb. 17.

Monday, February 10, 2020

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