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NEWS June 22, 2017

Wetting their hoofs
Wetting their hoofs
Cattle are attracted to the standing water in a farm pasture in Sand Creek Township after heavy rains hit late last week. Another round of rain is forecast for the Jennings County area Thursday and Friday from the aftermath of Tropical Storm Cindy now flooding areas along the Gulf Coast on Wednesday.-Staff Photo by Bryce Mayer

After delay, road project set
After a delay to the start of construction that lasted over two months, the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) plans to close State Road 7 at a culvert replacement site in Dupont on or after Mon­day, June 26.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Bypass gets safety boost
With little fanfare, the Indiana Department of Transportation lowered the speed limit from 55 to 45 miles per hour last week along a hazardous stretch of U.S. 50 and SR 750, also known as the bypass, in Spencer Township.

In addition, INDOT crews installed rumble strips on the road surface for through traffic on the highway to remind motorists of the lower speed limit.

The reduced speed limit and rumble strips are an effort to improve safety at the intersection of U.S. 50, SR 750 and CR 400W, according to Harry Maginity of INDOT.

"We've been considering these changes for several months," Maginity said. "They are designed to enhance safety."

The new features will also serve to prepare motorists for an even greater change coming later this year at the site. Construction on a roundabout to replace the four-way intersection is scheduled to begin in early September.

The roundabout's completion could come by the end of the year, though it may not be until next spring according to terms of the bidding information. The bidding process for the project is to be held next month.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Retiring JCSC superintendent to be honored
Although Dr. Terry Sargent's final day as superintendent of the Jennings County School Corp. isn't until Friday, June 30, he's "burning" some of his accumulated time and is officially out of the office starting this week.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Man hospitalized after wreck
A Crothersville man suffered serious injuries when the pickup truck he was driving crashed into a utility pole and overturned Tuesday afternoon on the Jennings-Jackson county line.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Official: Monday's fire at CSL is suspicious
Officials are calling an early morning fire Monday in Country Squire Lakes suspicious.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Royalty once again
She began as a princess and now she is a queen.

Saturday night, Brooke Short, daughter of Scott and Kristi Short of North Vernon, beat out seven other contestants to claim the title Miss Jen­nings County Fair Queen.

Short had held the title of Miss Jennings County Fair Princess in 2014, and that experience obviously paid off for her.

First runner-up honors went to Adrienne Gasper, daughter of Jim and Alisa Gasper. Abigail Burnside was crowned second runner-up. She's the daughter of Tim and Candice Burnside.

The title of 2017 Miss Jennings County Fair Princess was awarded to Caroline McDonald. She is the daughter of Daniel and Christy McDonald.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Heavy rains cause flooding issues Thursday
Heavy rains caused widespread flooding in the Jennings County area Thursday. The Vernon Township Water Rescue Squad geared up for a possible water rescue that morning, but it was called off.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Meet the 2017 Nominees for the Readers Choice Awards
The Arc of Jennings County is a non-profit group whose mission is to advocate with and for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It is affiliated with The Arc of Indiana, which was established in 1956 and served as the springboard for those concerned with the quality of life for these individuals locally.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Extension at fairgrounds?
The extensive remodeling now being planned for the Community Building at the Jennings County Fairgrounds could include creating space to move the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service's Jennings County offices there.

While that possibility has been raised before by the Jennings County Board of Commissioners, it took a bigger step in that direction at its semimonthly meeting on Thursday. At the same time, Commissioner Matt Sporleder (R-District 3) said that the Extension offices could be moved to the Education and Training Center (ETC). Both options remain on the table, he noted.

During the meeting, Bernie Hauersperger of FPBH presented more preliminary plans for the Community Building's renovations that included an alternate of adding an area for the Extension.

Those plans, however, are not finalized. In fact, Sporleder, president of the commissioners, said the county is also considering leasing office space for the Extension at the ETC. That facility on West O&M Avenue is owned by the City of North Vernon, which is seeking more tenants.

"We have been talking (with the city and others) and there may be something there," Sporleder said. "We don't know yet. But I'm 99 percent sure that the Extension is going to move (to either the Community Building or the ETC)."

For months, commissioners have been wrangling with ways to make more room for the Prosecuting Attorney's offices. Currently those offices in the Jennings County Government Center in Vernon are nearly beyond the limits for space required by the state. Moving the Extension from the Government Center to make more room for the prosecutor and staff has been the main consideration.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Specialized robots make learning fun
The young teens skipped a snack break to get back to their robots. They were enthralled as they tackled the job of assembling the wheeled gizmos, all eyes - and busy hands - concentrating on their work.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Advance tickets for Jennings Fair midway on sale
It won't be long at all now before the opening of the 137th Jennings County Fair!
Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Magic at Pruitt Cove
Outside the gorgeous home of Gary and Kelly Pruitt in Country Meadows, the shaded Pruitt Cove has become an imaginative fantasy wonderland.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

NV pedestrian hit by car, dies
A North Vernon man died when he was struck by a vehicle Friday afternoon while walking along SR 7 in the 3000 north block near Decatur Mold.
Seve R. Reynolds, 28, died when he was struck by a 1998 Honda Accord driven by Ronald W. Dailey, 69, of North Vernon at around 2:41 p.m.
Deputy Coroner Alden Rudicel pronounced Rey­nolds dead at the scene. The cause of death was ruled as blunt force trauma.
"Mr. Reynolds had only lived here about a week (after moving from Detroit Lakes, Mich.)," said Deputy Coroner Jack Hatton. "There will be no autopsy but we are doing a toxicology exam on Mr. Reynolds."
A toxicology exam is also being done on Dailey, according to Lt. Mike Mowery of the Jennings County Sheriff's Depart­ment.
"Alcohol and drugs are not believed to be a factor," Mowery said. "The investigation is ongoing."
Mowery reported Dailey was driving south on SR 7 when his vehicle partially left the west side of the road and struck Reynolds. According to witnesses, Reynolds was walking south towards North Vernon on the west side of SR 7 when he was struck by Dailey's vehicle.
"The driver felt terrible about it," Mowery said.
Pedestrians are at risk when they walk along highways where there are no sidewalks.
"Pedestrians should always walk on the side of the highway where they are facing oncoming traffic," Mowery said.
This was the fourth traffic fatality of 2017 in Jennings County. Caleb M. Fish of North Vernon died in a two-vehicle accident at the intersection of U.S. 50, SR 750 and CR 400W on April 30. On April 1, Robert A. King of North Vernon died when he was riding a bicycle and was struck after going into the path of a sports utility vehicle on Country Squire Boulevard in Country Squire Lakes. On Jan. 19, Christian B. Nolan of North Vernon died in a one-vehicle accident on U.S. 50 near Butlerville.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Nonprofits jockey for county funds
The Jennings County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Thursday to give $13,000 from the county's next budget to the Jennings County Senior Center.
While the amount was $2,000 less than requested by Ruth Bosch, director of the nonprofit center, she was pleased that the county matched the funding it gave to the center last year.
"This will help us cover our operating expenses for approximately three months," Bosch said, noting that the center is seeking additional funding from the City of North Vernon, the United Way and grants. "We also continue to raise money with Sunday dances, Wednesday bingo, rummage sales, rental of our building and fundraisers such as our fall mum sale."

Monday, June 12, 2017

2 hospitalized after head-on crash
A North Vernon man and a Seymour man are recovering after suffering serious injuries in a head-on collision involving two vehicles late Wednesday afternoon, June 7, on U.S. 50 at the intersection of CR 900W in Spencer Township.
Trevor McIntosh, 37, was listed in critical condition after being flown by a Stat Flight helicopter crew from the scene to St. Vincent Hospital in India­napolis.
As of Monday morning, McIntosh's condition had been upgraded to good.
McIntosh sustained head injuries and multiple broken bones, according to Lt. Mike Mowery of the Jennings County Sheriff's Department.

Monday, June 12, 2017

NV man arrested after minivan-motorcycle wreck
Two people suffered injuries when the motorcycle on which they were riding was struck by a minivan on the north side of North Vernon Friday evening.
North Vernon police arrested the minivan's driver, Timothy J. Wagner, 32, of North Vernon on a preliminary charge of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated causing serious bodily injury, a Level 6 felony.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Comments welcome on Midwest Natural Gas case
The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Coun­selor (OUCC) is inviting written consumer comments on Midwest Natural Gas Corporation's proposed infrastructure improvement plan.
Comments will be accepted through Monday, July 10, on the utility's proposed $2.2 million plan for distribution system improvements.

Monday, June 12, 2017

CSL seeks more watchers, less crime
An organizational meeting for a new Crime Watchers program at Country Squire Lakes brought over two dozen residents to the meeting held at the CSL clubhouse recently.

"It was a very good and productive meeting," said Mike Miller, the CSL receiver. "We're glad people here want to help and look out for each other. We are encouraged that they, like me and my staff, want to make CSL stand for 'Clean Safe Living'."

Miller invited Jennings County Sheriff Gary Driver to attend and tell residents how to protect themselves. Indiana State Police trooper David Owsley also talked to the gathering on May 22. Driver, Owsley and Miller answered numerous questions.

"Everyone is on the same page and wants to see things cleaned up," Driver said. "This meeting was a good beginning. We encourage everyone to look out for their neighbors, no matter if they are part of the Crime Watchers group or not. If you see something out of the ordinary, call us and we'll check it out. That's what we're here for.

"Often these reports don't amount to anything illegal or criminal, but that's OK. It's like the saying about there is no such thing as a stupid question except a question that is not asked. If people don't report something that looks suspicious, we can't stop the crime," the sheriff added. "If it's not a crime, at least we have peace of mind."

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Working to prevent other tragedies
After a tragic fire near Butlerville in which two young brothers died on April 20, Alex Murphy knew he had to do something to try to prevent similar tragedies in the future.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Friends organize benefit Saturday for NV woman
It's the type of friendship that is uncommon, says Karen Newland, who has been a close friend with Wanda S. Wright for 27 years.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Mayor: It takes a community
The "oohs" and "ahhs" kept coming Saturday, the first day for the Jennings County Farmers' Market in its new home.

While shoppers were impressed with the produce, plants, flowers, baked goods and other items being sold by the 14 farmers this day, they were even more taken by the new shelter house.

The brand new shelter house No. 2 officially opened on Thursday at the North Vernon City Park with a ribbon cutting led by Mayor Mike Ochs.

The structure was funded primarily by two men who went through the mayor to make a $50,000 donation. Respecting their wishes, Ochs kept the men's identities anonymous - until Thursday.

"This project all started through conversations at the coffee shop (A Perfect Day Café)," Ochs related. "One person asked me what it would take to get a new shelter house built and I told him."

That person was Donnie Miller, Ochs said. Miller, a longtime North Vernon businessman, and one of his brothers, Dr. Frank Miller, a retired surgeon, then forked out a $50,000 donation last December.

"The Miller family started this, but a lot of other people contributed to this project, too," Ochs said. "This shelter house was built with 100 percent donations. The community came together to do this. North Vernon is the neatest community that I know of and that is why I am so proud to be mayor."

Monday, June 5, 2017

Leaders of the future
Four members of the Jennings County High School Class of 2018 will have the unique opportunity this month to participate in the prestigious annual Hoosier Boys and Girls State conventions that nurture potential leaders for the future.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Another fun time ahead
Free movies start this week at the Park Theatre Civic Centre. It's a sure sign that summer is here in North Vernon.

Monday, June 5, 2017

TIF, business rezonings up for discussion
The Area Plan Commission will have a regular meeting on June 5 at 6 p.m. in the Conference Room of the Government Center in Vernon.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Civil War monument in works
The Jennings County Board of Commissioners approved plans for a Civil War monument to be placed on the courthouse lawn in Vernon.

Now a fundraising drive will begin for the $30,000 project that is being sponsored by the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War John B. Anderson Camp No. 223.

"The plan is to erect the monument on the southwestern corner of the courthouse lawn," explained Terry Furgason, dressed in his Vernon Greys militia reenactment uniform, to the commissioners. "It will be a statue of a Union officer looking toward the Muscatatuck River and protecting the county seat from Rebel forces."

In 1863, Confederate Brig. Gen. John Hunt Morgan and 2,000 cavalrymen invaded Southern Indiana, plundering several communities. At Vernon, for the first time, the raiders were turned back as the Home Guard had taken up a strong position on a bluff overlooking the river.

The stone monument, about 13 feet tall, will pay tribute to that as well as all the people from Jennings County who fought in the Civil War. It will include a statue of a Union soldier with the names of the regiments in which Jennings County residents served on the base.

"The monument won't be gaudy or extremely big, but it will look good," Furgason promised. "This is a common monument at various locations throughout Indiana as well as across the various 'Union' states."

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

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