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April 9, 2020

Businesses, gov't deal with pandemic
Businesses, gov't deal with pandemic
Charlie Dove peers into the North Vernon Police Station Tuesday afternoon.The locked door prevented his entrance into the station and he chose to leave without using te outdoor telephone.-Staff Photo by Barb King

Travel Advisory - Level Orange
Travel status by county, as of Friday, April 3. Jennings County's status will be upgraded to Level Orange effective Saturday, April 4, at 8 a.m.
Travel status by county, as of Friday, April 3. Jennings County's status will be upgraded to Level Orange effective Saturday, April 4, at 8 a.m.
The Jennings County Commissioners and officials from North Vernon and Vernon announced today that the travel status will be upgraded from yellow to orange, effective at 8 a.m. tomorrow, Saturday, April 4.
Additionally, Gov. Eric J. Holcomb said today that he will extend his statewide Stay at Home order through Sunday, May 3. The official order will be signed Monday.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Decatur Mold staff answers call to produce PPEs
Wednesday, April 8, 2020

COVID-19 by the numbers
Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

JCSC continues online learning
"We are trying to be cautious and conservative." That is the new mantra for Teresa Brown, superintendent of the Jennings County Schools Corporation.

With in-school instruction suspended through the remainder of the 2019-20 school year, Brown said the district will continue it's online learning program at least through April 30.

Gov. Eric J. Holcomb on Friday announced that districts must find a way to meet the state mandated 160 days of instruction before the school year officially ends in May.

Because the district decided not to take advantage of the 20 waiver days allowed by the state, and the district has initiated online learning on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays since March 16, with the exception of spring break, which was March 23-27, Jennings schools are on track to have met the mandate as soon as April 30, Brown said Monday.

"I have a great team," she added. "Nothing is done in isolation."

In the meantime, Brown has met regularly on the district's Google Meet platform with her staff, administrators, teachers and board members. Brown also has been networking with superintendents from other school districts.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Local food bank requests increase
With the governor's Stay at Home order, which encourages all Hoosiers to avoid being around others, families are finding themselves in need of services they may never have used before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Snap Benefits Increase
The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration announced today that more than 152,000 Indiana households will receive additional Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits when April distributions begin this Sunday.
Friday, April 3, 2020

Sassafras festival victim of corona
The Sassafras Tea Festival and Civil War Living History has been sponsored by the Jennings County Historical Society annually since 1962. "It is unusual times," says Asher, festival chairperson. "The historical society's board of directors held on to the hope that the 59th annual event could once again announce the arrival of spring in Jennings County on April 25 and 26. However, with the seriousness of the Coronavirus pandemic and mandated social distancing, which was extended to April 30, we had no choice but to cancel this year's event. The Civil War historians and first person interpreters are scheduled a year in advance for re-enactments in Indiana and other states. We couldn't hold the event at a later date since their schedules are already set for 2020. However, everything is on board for the 4th Saturday and Sunday in April 2021."

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Organizers plan to implement reimagined Day of Caring event
Day of Caring, the Jennings County United Way's semiannual event in which volunteers work to build much-needed wheelchair ramps or completing minor home repairs for the elderly, has been reimagined.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

ISDH updates COVID-19 numbers
The April 3 update from the Indiana State Department of Health puts the number of COVID-19 cases in Jennings County at 31, up from 17 reported Wednesday.

Statewide, 3,437 cases have been confirmed from the 16,900 tested at this time, with 102 deaths attributed to the disease. Nationwide, cases rose to over 213,000, with 4,513 deaths reported yesterday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which also reports that the disease has spread to all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Globally, the pandemic has reached more than 1 million confirmed cases, with more than 51,000 related deaths reported.

Of the surrounding couties, Decatur has reported 70 cases and four deaths; Ripley reported 47 cases and one death, an 81-year-old man who died Friday, March 27. Scott County has six confirmed cases and has reported one death.
No deaths have been reported in Jackson, which reports 25 cases; Bartholomew, which has 23 cases; or Jefferson, which has reported five cases.

Because of increased testing expected statewide, State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box said ISDH will begin posting updates twice a day.

On Tuesday, Box, along with Fred Payne, director of the Indiana Department of Work Force Development, and Dr. Jennifer Sullivan, secretary of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, attended Tuesday's press briefing with Gov. Eric J. Holcomb.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Seymour 'Teacher of the Year' inspired by Jennings educators
The closing of schools and move to online lessons have presented major challenges for students and teachers alike.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Saturday storm leaves barn, trailer damaged
After sitting in his garage for awhile early Saturday afternoon, James Walls, 77, decided to hop in his pickup truck to drive down the lane to the road to see if the mail had been delivered at his home in the 6500 block of CR 300W.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Veteran journalist takes helm at PD&S
I've a tough act to follow, taking on the role of editor as Bryce Mayer, PD&S editor for 22 years, strolls into the sweet sunshine of retirement.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Counties consider releasing inmates to slow virus spread
While some jails in the state are releasing nonviolent offenders to reduce inmate populations and stave off the coronavirus, Jennings County Sheriff Kenny Freeman said inmates will remain in the county jail, where they are being monitored. So far, none of the staff or inmates have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus that has reached a worldwide pandemic.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

PD&S to publish single weekly edition
We hate to do it, but there is little choice.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

3 coronavirus cases now in JC
Jennings County now has three diagnosed cases of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, the Indiana Department of Health reported Wednesday.

We thought it would be useful to explain the two technical terms that prompted Gov. Eric Holcomb this week to order the closing of all nonessential businesses in the state and asked people to do "social distancing."

Social distancing is when people voluntarily keep their distance from other people to avoid catching a disease. It also involves good hygiene practices (see sidebar).

Flattening the curve is delaying the onset of disease and thus conserving the use of equipment that is in limited supply. It's keeping the medical need for ventilators, medical supplies and personnel low enough to meet demand for them in your area.

Social distancing is practiced to delay the development of new cases. By delaying new cases, it prevents a state or region from having too many cases at once in areas at a time where there may not be enough lifesaving equipment and health care workers.

COVID-19 is a contagious disease. A person infected with it will typically infect roughly four additional people. COVID-19 is more infectious than the flu and results in death more frequently than does the flu. COVID-19 spreads by a healthy person's hands coming into contact with a surface or object with the active virus on it or by being close enough to an infected person (within about six feet) to receive the infected person's respiratory droplets sent into the air by their coughing or sneezing. People on airplanes, in concerts, movie theaters, crowded restaurants, stores and sporting events are usually within six feet of other people. Some of these people may be unknowingly infected.


Wednesday, March 25, 2020

New leadership at JCYF
After 10 years as an extremely active board member of the Jennings County Youth Foundation (JCYF), including the last two years as president, Kelly Hatton has resigned because of health issues.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Report ranks Jennings Schools at 48th in state
A new independent report recently announced its 2020 top school district rankings for Indiana. The report ranked Jennings County School Corp. (JCSC) 48th out of the top 100 school districts in the state.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Business gives updates
Monday, March 23, 2020

Public health emergency
The Board of Commissioners on Sunday declared a public emergency for Jennings County because of the COVID-19 crisis.

"This is something that needs to be done," said Matt Sporleder, president of the commissioners. "The risk of doing nothing is too great. It's just common sense."

The order, which went into effect at 8 a.m. Monday, March 23, calls for travel restrictions that permit essential travel only and also calls for the closing of nonessential businesses.

"This is not a lockdown," Sporleder said. "You can still go to get gas, go to work, go to the grocery or drug store as necessary."

For a period of two weeks, only "critical essential" businesses may remain open in the county, according to the ordinance. That includes industries directly or indirectly providing goods or services to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

"We are asking businesses to shut down for two weeks," Sporleder said. "But if you are directlry or indirectly involved in fighting coronavirus, we're not asking you to close. For instance, Webster West makes boxes that are used to ship medical supplies. Decatur Plastic Products makes products needed for hospitals. Places like that obviously need to keep working."

Monday, March 23, 2020

JCSC adjusts with extended closing
With Gov. Eric Holcomb announcing late last week that all K-12 schools will be closed until May, the Jennings County School Corp. is making plans to adjust, said Teresa Brown, superintendent.

Monday, March 23, 2020

State postpones primary election
Indiana has joined several other states that have decided to move their election dates as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Hospital enacts more visitor restrictions
Ascension St. Vincent has updated temporary visitor restrictions at St. Vincent Jennings Hospi­tal in North Vernon and all hospitals in its network across the state to limit the spread of viral respiratory infections.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Where to get tested? Answer is 'cloudy' at best
Jennings County claims that coronavirus testing is available, but neither Pam Petry, Public Health Nurse for Jennings County, nor Ashley Glenn, assistant to Dana Mutz, administrator of St. Vincent Jennings Hospital in North Vernon, could indicate where testing is being done.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Pandemic crisis deepens
It was business as usual at the Jennings County Courthouse and Government Center for the county's governmental offices Tuesday, but that changed Wednesday morning.

"As of now, all the county offices are open for business except the Purdue Extension office," said Matt Sporleder, president of the Board of Commissioners. "But all that is subject to change. We are following state guidelines."

The clerk's office in the courthouse is only open for emergency business as of Wednesday, said Clerk Amy Thompson. Those who need to make payments can do so online or by calling the office at 812-352-3070. That includes small claims and other fines. Child support payments can be made on the state website at childsupportbillpay.com/Indiana or by calling 1-800-840-8757. People who have court cases scheduled are asked to call their attorneys and then, if necessary, the clerk's office to check on the status.

Even before Wednesday, county officials were preparing for the possibility that they may have to at least reduce regular operations in their offices.

"If it comes to that, we may possibly try to keep offices open for emergency business only," Sporleder said Tuesday. "We would have the elected officials and other department heads in the offices to answer phones. It would be like a skeleton crew."

The regular governmental meetings held in the Government Center's conference room will continue as scheduled and remain open to the public, though that, too, may change.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

NV, Vernon close offices to public
The city government in North Vernon and the town government in Vernon are following public health advice and guidance from local, state and federal agencies to take precautionary and preparatory measures to limit the local impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

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