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NEWS February 5, 2016

Signing the anthem
Signing the anthem
While the Jennings County High School show choir, A Touch of Class, sang the national anthem, JCHS color guard member Abby Fannin signed the song for those who attended the boys basketball game against Brownstown Central on Jan. 9. Fannin had requested being able to sign the song because her mother is deaf and this would allow her to visualize what her daughter was hearing.-Staff Photo by Sharon Hamilton

Legislators talk issues in NV
The topics varied at Saturday's Third House gathering in North Vernon.

The town hall event at the Jennings County Public Library attracted over 40 people who came to listen to and ask questions of the three state legislators that represent Jennings County at the State House - State Rep. Jim Lucas (R-Seymour), State Rep. Randy Frye (R-Greensburg) and State Sen. Chip Perfect (R-Lawrenceburg).

They talked about taxes, education, civil rights and roads. And did they ever talk about roads - especially the U.S. 50-SR 750 junction.

Safety concerns at the western end of the new bypass were voiced by many in the audience, making this issue No. 1 at the public session.

One man who said he drives through the junction often said not only is a traffic signal needed there, but also more signs.

"INDOT can be rather arrogant when I've tried to talk to their people," he said. "A solar-powered traffic light there would cut down the cost. There needs to be signs, too, for eastbound traffic to indicate they need to turn to continue east on U.S. 50. I see so many semis miss the turn, go up SR 750 a bit and then do U-turns."

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Going to the (service) dogs
Until a few days ago, no dog had ever ridden in a Jennings County Emergency Medical Service ambulance.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

2 rescued after car is swamped near Scipio
A motorist and his passenger escaped from the rising waters of Rock Creek after the car they were in became swamped early Wednesday.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Heroin arrest
After observing a motorist speeding and making unsafe lane changes Sunday, Jennings County Sheriff's Department Deputy Thomas Mellencamp made a traffic stop.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Hospice gears up for gala benefit Saturday
Our Hospice of South Central Indiana is pulling out all stops to ensure a fabulous evening of fun and fundraising at the 18th annual Gala Benefit for Our Hospice of Jennings County to be held Saturday evening, Feb. 6, at St. Mary's Parish Hall in North Vernon.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Teachers target local legislator
While the primary elections in Jennings County over three months away, candidates are already hitting the campaign trail.

Such was the case for Nancy Franke, who drew an enthusiastic audience during a meet-and-greet session with voters Tues­day, Jan. 26, at the Jennings County Public Library in North Vernon.

The gathering, which attracted school teachers, administrators and others, was arranged by Julian Smith, a Scipio Elemen­tary School teacher, co-president of the Jennings County Classroom Teach­ers Association.

"One could make a convincing argument that this next election may be the most important ever for teachers, students, and public schools," Smith said.

Franke is a Republi­can Party candidate for Indiana state representative in District 69, where she hopes to unseat the GOP incumbent, Jim Lucas, in that party's May 3 primary. Both are Seymour residents.

"If public education is going to survive in Indi­ana, we need people like Nancy," said Pat Sullivan, a retired educator and a current Jennings County School Board trustee from Hayden. "It takes an awful lot of courage for Nancy to run. We need to support her."

Franke, herself a Seymour Community School Board trustee and a teacher at a Columbus parochial school, criticized Lucas on several fronts, particularly in regard to education reform.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Congressman facing opposition in own party
U.S. Rep. Luke Messer (R-Shelbyville) filed for re-election Jan. 21, expressing his desire to continue serving in Indiana's 6th Congressional District, which includes Jennings County.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Fire destroys NV house
The investigation is continuing into a fire that destroyed a North Vernon house and all if its contents Friday evening, Jan. 29.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Graduation rate remains high at JCHS
Indiana may have seen a decrease in the graduation rate, but the rate at Jennings County High School has remained strong and is above the state average.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Bypass junction at issue again
At the request of State Rep. Jim Lucas (R-Seymour) and others, the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) is again studying how to improve the U.S. 50-SR 750 junction.

Lucas made his request after another multiple vehicle accident occurred Thursday, Jan. 21, at the junction, the site of numerous accidents since SR 750 - the western leg of the U.S. 50 bypass - opened in December 2013.

"I have contacted INDOT and they are doing an evaluation," Lucas said. "They've been responsive to me before, but I'm going to start leaning on them hard to get this going. The squeaky wheel gets the grease."

Readers unleashed with numerous Facebook posts in responding to a story on the Jan. 21 accident published in this week's edition of The Sun. (See page 2A.) Lucas also posted to explain his efforts to get INDOT to look at the junction again.

"This is a head scratcher for me," Lucas told the Plain Dealer, speaking via telephone from Indianapolis where the Indiana General Assembly is currently in session. "INDOT added rumble strips, flashing lights and signs warning that cross traffic doesn't stop (at the junction). Yet we continue to have accidents there, so INDOT has to evaluate it further."

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

JCHS Winter Homecoming
Look up in the sky ... it's a bird ... it's a plane ... no, it's just some JCHS students.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Benefit set for NV man
Two months after having one of his kidneys removed, Loren "Rusty" Jenkins continues on the slow road to recovery.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Legislators to meet with public Saturday in NV
Jennings County's two representatives in the Indiana House of Representatives will speak in North Vernon on Saturday, Jan. 30.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

State: JC employee stole $64K
After a lengthy investigation, Indiana State Police arrested former Jennings County deputy clerk and deputy auditor Cathy Jo Robertson, 40, of North Vernon on Thursday for embezzling $64,393.73 from county funds.

After Jennings County Prosecuting Attorney Brian Belding filed an arrest warrant Thursday morning, Robertson turned herself in at the Jennings County Jail at 3:30 p.m. After being booked in, Robertson posted $2,550 cash, 10 percent of the $25,500 bond, and was released.

Robertson will have her initial appearance in Jennings County Circuit Court at 11 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 29.

Belding filed 46 charges against Robertson - 37 counts of theft, all Class D felonies, and nine counts of forgery, all Class C felonies - in Jennings County Circuit Court.

"This has been an ongoing investigation for a long time," Belding said. "Not only were our office, where (deputy prosecutor) Drew (Dickerson) did most of the work, and the state police involved, there also was an audit by the state."

Monday, January 25, 2016

Woman hospitalized in another bypass wreck
One person was hospitalized after another traffic accident at the U.S. 50-SR 750 junction on Thursday, Jan. 21.

Monday, January 25, 2016

NV Rotary Club to award $200 in speech contest
The North Vernon Rotary Club is sponsoring a local speech contest for high school-age teens at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 13, at the Jennings County Public Library. The winner will be awarded $200.

Monday, January 25, 2016

'Violent felon' jailed
Jennings County Sher­iff's Department deputies arrested a Montgom­ery Town­ship man who is de­scribed as a "serious violent felon" Sunday af­ternoon on multiple felony charges.

Monday, January 25, 2016

More snow, more bitter cold
Jennings County was hit with another round of snow early Wednesday, Jan. 20.

After an unusually mild November and December in the area, January has turned 180 degrees to bring unseasonably cold temperatures and, so far, four separate snowfalls with measurable precipitation.

Schools were closed and Jennings County was under a travel advisory as well as the neighboring counties of Jefferson, Scott and Bartholomew.

The National Weather Service listed Jennings County and all adjoining counties under a winter storm watch through noon on Wednesday.

"The roads are pretty slick and treacherous in places where they haven't yet been plowed," said Jim Reeves, Jennings County Highway Department superintendent at midmorning. "The good thing is, the snow is very powdery. That makes it easier to plow off the roads. But there is a bit of ice under the snow in places."

As of 8 a.m., the Southeast Purdue Agricultural Center (SEPAC) weather station in Butlerville had recorded 2.2 inches of snow. North Vernon and other areas of the county received more snow with some locations reporting as much as 5 inches of the white stuff.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Bouncing, but not off walls
Every school day, there is a bit of bouncing going on in the two fifth-grade classrooms at Scipio Elementary School.

No, the students aren't bouncing off the walls as youngsters are sometimes wont to do. Rather, they are bouncing as they sit on exercise balls, though in a limited way.

Seventeen of the 28 students in teacher Suzanne Wilson's classroom sit on air-filled exercise balls instead of traditional chairs. The students have the option of using an exercise ball or traditional chair.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Foundation wants you to join the 'March'
You are invited to join the "March to the Match."

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

'Tell Us Your Story'
"Tell Us Your Story" is a special media project starting soon that will explore Jennings County's rich history through interviews from community residents.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Legislator to be at town hall in Versailles
State Rep. Randy Frye (R-Greensburg) will participate in a town hall meeting at 9 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 23, at the Ripley County Courthouse Annex, 102 W. First North St., Versailles. The public is invited.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Not your usual roof job
A $21,500 job to repair part of the roof of the Carnegie Government Center was completed last week.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Plan: Receiver to get CSL lots
Country Squire Lake's transformation will likely make a big jump forward in the near future.

The Jennings County commissioners on Thursday voiced approval for a plan to transfer over 1,200 lots in CSL from the county's jurisdiction to the CSL receivership.

A legal advertisement on pages 9-12 in today's issue of The Sun lists more details, including the properties, involved.

Before the transfer can be formalized, there has to be a hearing on the proposal and other legal steps taken.

The hearing has been scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 28, during the commissioners' regular semimonthly meeting at the Jennings County Govern­ment Center in Vernon. The commissioners will vote on that proposal then.

"We can't sit here with our heads in the sand," said Commissioner Matt Sporleder (R-District 3). "Everyone in here is for cleaning up Country Squire Lakes. These guys (receiver Mike Miller and attorneys Larry Greathouse and Jack Gay) have worked their tails off. We need to put some money in this and get this done. We've got the ball rolling; there is no sense to stop now."

Monday, January 18, 2016

NV man jailed for stabbing Vernon woman
A North Vernon man remains in jail on felony charges after allegedly repeatedly stabbing a Vernon woman on Thursday.

Monday, January 18, 2016

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