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July 13, 2020

Vernon Fire Department breaks ground
Vernon Fire Department breaks ground
The Vernon Fire Department broke ground last week to begin construction of its new fire station. The project was designed by FPBH Inc.; Bradshaw Building Specialties is the general contractor, with Schneider Trucking and Excavating, a subcontractor, prepared the site. Pictured from left are: Nick Trulock, a Vernon firefighter; Britt Burgmeier, VTVFD president; Vernon Mayor Dan Wright; VTVFD Capt. Rob Loretz; Brad Bender, FPBH; Vernon Township Trustee Roger Taylor; VTVFD Chief Eric Kirkham; Justin Bradshaw. Bradshaw Building Specialties; Josh Shaw, FPBH; and Kyle Schneider and Jake Suhre, both of Schneider. - Photo courtesy of FPBH Inc.

Commissioners to discuss new county law on health, safety
Commissioners are expected to hold a vote on a new county ordinance concerning health and safety issues such as noise, odor, waste and heat/glare at their meeting Thursday, July 9.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Jennings County PPE Marketplace is still open and available for local businesses to re-apply for supplies at any point they are needed. Submit a request online at www.jenningsedc.com .
Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Covid Update: deaths increase
The Indiana State Department of Health says the number of confirmed cases in Jennings as of Wednesday morning was 176, 7 more than last week. Deaths are now 12, up 2 from last week.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

JCCF fundraiser goes virtual this week
The Jennings County Community Foundation (JCCF) is not about to let the Coronavirus negatively impact their organization.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Help available for paying rent
Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb announced on June 24 the Indiana COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program. This program is designed to help Indiana renters whose income has been adversely affected by COVID-19 avoid eviction by providing up to $2,000 in assistance to help cover monthly rent payments or late fees.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

New Selmier forester finds fulfillment in managing renewable resources
Forests are once again covered in vibrant green foliage as spring blossomed and cleared the path for summer throughout the state, and many people are in desperate need of fresh air. For those who reside in Jennings County, there are plenty of places to take a walk and enjoy the scenery. If you find yourself at Selmier State Forest, near St. Annes Golf Course on 905 E CR 350 N in North Vernon, you may run into the new property manager Ben McKinney.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Candidates set for 2020
Candidates for the 2020 General Election have now been finalized, re-ports Election Deputy Brenda King.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

COVID grants awarded to Las Chalupas, 5 others
Representatives of the Jennings County Economic Development Commission (JCEDC) and Jennings County Community Foundation (JCCF) say they are thrilled to award the $5000 COVID-19 Relief & Assistance Grant to Las Chalupas, North Vernon's well-loved Mexican restaurant.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Youths to benefit from partnership

A partnership with the Boys & Girls Club (BGC) of Seymour and local elementary schools has emerged from a pilot program that launched earlier this year.

Now, the two organizations plan to bring quality children's after-school programming to several elementary schools here, as well as in Jackson County.

In January 2020, the Seymour BGC began a pilot program for reading and math in Hayden and Graham Creek Elementary Schools, which was provided free thanks to local donors. The Seymour BGC did not see a reduction in attendance despite COVID-19 and have not had any outbreak cases among its members, though the Hayden and Graham Creek programs were cut short due to the pandemic.

Until now, BGC did not have a lasting presence in Jennings County, though the Jennings County Youth Foundation has extensively tried to start an initiative to bring the Club to JC.

According to JC Youth Foundation President Casey Ernstes, the JCYF began the initiative to bring a Boys & Girls Club to Jennings County several years ago. There are several steps that are required to get a Boys & Girls Club. Andre Arrington, the BGC of America representative for JCYF, helped them through the process.

Ernstes said they began by doing a Community Readiness Assessment and that 83% of those surveyed agreed the community needed a youth center here.

After evaluating other data-driven factors within the school system, such as approximately 60 percent of students in almost every JC school using the Free and Reduced Lunch Program, it was evident that an after-school program offering physical and emotional support to children is necessary.

In order to proceed, the JCYF had to make some changes to strengthen their organization and get their name out in the community more. Last year, it was announced to the public that they were working to bring a Boys & Girls Club to Jennings County and the foundation began working with Ryon Wheeler, Executive Director from the Boys & Girls Club in Seymour.

"We worked with Ryon to identify where we could use programming and helped him launch the (Hayden and Graham Creek) program," said Ernstes. "We also raised the $15,000 needed to start the program in January."

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

School plan provides options
"Have some patience," was the sage advice given by School Board President Pat Sullivan at the special meeting to approve the school reopen plan on Thursday, June 25.

As the Aug. 6 open date for local schools quickly approaches, parents, teachers, administration and students alike will all need to practice that virtue as they maneuver the frontier of matriculating during a pandemic. Patience and flexibility will be key watchwords to move forward as situations which the school corporatoin has no power to control fluctuate.

The school reopening plan was revealed Thursday, right after the Pledge of Allegiance was pronounced. Sullivan asked the 20 or so community members gathered to hold any questions until Super- intendent Teresa Brown summarized the plan.

Before the plan could be outlined, one man present stood to commend the composed dedication and resourcefulness shown by teachers and others last spring when COVID-19 unexpectedly forced the closure of traditional schools and necessitated e-learning.

Just 30 minutes of summarizing and answ-ering questions later, the Jennings County School Corporation's "Panthers' Prepare & Care" plan to reopen schools for the 2020-21 academic year was approved.

Parents will now have the choice to register their child for a re-imagined traditional school model or an online school model. Links to parent guides with details of the plan for the elementary, middle and high schools are available on the JCS website and Facebook page. Once parents review the guide in its entirety, they can begin registration for their child July 1-10. Transportation and internet forms will also need to be completed during registration.

Students' first day is scheduled Aug 6.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

'Hands-free' talking in car now the law
Starting July 1, most of the bills that were enacted earlier this year by the Indiana General Assembly will officially become law. JC Prosecutor Brian Belding wants you to be aware of one that will affect just about everyone.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

The Indiana State Department of Health reports the number of confirmed cases in Jennings as of Wed-nesday morning stood at 169, 5 more than last week with 1519 people tested. Deaths are now at 10.
Wednesday, July 1, 2020

PPE items are still available
Anna Walker, special projects coordinator for the EDC, reports 61 local businesses and non-profits (not including NV City Departments) have been served in the PPE giveway funded by the NV Redevel-opment Commission. Eighty-one gallons of hand sanitizer and 3600 masks have been given away. The PPE marketplace welcomes businesses to apply online at www.jenningsedc.com and order sanitizer and face masks. The market will be open while supplies last.
Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Local company celebrates success
Four generations of an expanding company broke ground last month with promises of even more growth in future years.

Layman Fabrication, Inc., founded in 2003, announced in February it had landed a sizable contract with Honda and thus needed to expand to a larger facility. The North Vernon Redevelopment Commission embraced the project and obliged with an agreement to grant the locally owned company 10 acres it owned adjacent to Layman's current facility at 350 North and 75 West; to provide a tax abatement; and to purchase its current facility for $510,000, which the NVRC will now use as a site to attract new industry.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Fireworks set to celebrate freedom
Fireworks will light up the sky here in Jennings thanks to the determination of a new organization spearheaded by local businessmen Trent Wisner and Kyle Layman.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

School Board Reopens
The JC School Board voted on Thursday, June 25 and the school reopen plan has been approved. Below is an introduction from Superintendent Teresa Brown with a brief summary of the Jennings County School Corporation's "Panther's Prepare & Care" plan to reopen schools for the 2020-21 academic year.

Links to the full parent guide book for elementary, middle and high schools can be found here: https://www.jcsc.org/news#upcomingplans

Friday, June 26, 2020

At long last, reservoir tapped

Fresh, clean water should never again be a concern for those lucky people who are customers of the North Vernon Water Department.

That is because after almost six years of overcoming seemingly one "pitfall" after another, water from the new North Vernon reservoir is now flowing trough the taps of utility service customers, providing a much cleaner product than the utility's former source, the Muscatatuck River.

"This is a monumental occasion," said USB President Terry Thompson to those gathered shoulder to shoulder at the reservoir Thursday afternoon. What began as the most economical solution to safeguard the city's water supply from any hazardous spill occurring on the bypass morphed into a six-year $5,044,751.74 project.

Back in March 2016, the former Hansen 80-acre quarry and entire 160-acre property was sold to the city for $2.5 million. The Indiana Department of Transportation paid $2 million of the cost while the NV Redevelopment Commission chipped in $500,000.

From that point, it was up to the city and its Utility Service Board to develop the quarry into its sustainable water source.

Plans were formulated to pump Muscatatuck River water up to the quarry to replenish and stabilize its water level, as well as plans to bring the quarry water over to the North Vernon Water Plant on Ninth Street.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Marilyn Morin leaves legacy of Foster G'parents
Marilyn Morin, who literally built the Foster Grandparent program for Jennings and four other counties' school districts, passed away Friday, June 19 in her adopted city of Greensburg.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Reopening plan to be revealed
The plan to reopen JC Schools is now ready to be discussed at a public meeting June 25.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Coronavirus claims 5 more as spread continues
Jennings County Health Department announced Friday that over the past 10 days, there have been five new deaths related to the novel coronavirus. All were adults from Jennings County.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

County highway truck involved in accident that injures 66-year-old Scipio motorcyclist
The Indiana State Police are investigating a two-vehicle crash involving a motorcycle that seriously injured a Scipio man.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Virus bug kills colony
Jerome Greene's dream "to revitalize a small town here in Indiana," is now officially a casualty of COVID-19, along with the hopes of city officials and residents of turning around the historic Uptown North Vernon area.

Greene, an Indianapolis artist/de-signer, purchased the two Greathouse Hardware buildings at 462 and 504 East O&M Avenue from Victor Davis after Davis purchased the two large brick structures after an auction on May 22, 2017. The buildings are located across from each other at the corner of Fifth Street and East O&M Avenue. The hardware store was most recently located at the 462 structure.

Soon after the purchase, Greene announced he would renovate the 21,000 square feet of space into a center for artists. His plan was to put in retail businesses on the first floor of 462 East O&M with artist studios on the second and third floors. Greene explained the building would attract artists to North Vernon because they could not afford the high cost of studio space at Circle City.

The building at 504 East O&M Ave., would serve as a gallery with Greene's own studio on the second floor and his apartment on the third. When an addition at the rear of the building collapsed a year or so later, it was eventually torn down at the urging of the Area Plan Commission. At that time, Greene said he would build a garage at that spot to house his antique vehicle he would drive in local parades.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Take Home Camp Kit available
The Jennings County 4-H Junior Leaders are hosting a FREE Mini 4-H Take Home Camp Kit.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Closing limits grocery options
The North Vernon Save-A-Lot located at1357 N State Street will shut its doors Saturday, June 20, leaving just two grocery stores here in Jennings - Jay C and Walmart.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Re-opening plan to be unveiled
The JC School Board will hold a Special Meeting to vote on the plan to reopen schools Thursday, June 25, starting at 6 p.m. at the Jennings County Education Center.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

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