Locals Compete In District FFA Contests

online FFA
Four members of the Crothersville FFA Chapter traveled to Bloomington North High School on Saturday, March 4, to compete in District XI Leadership Contest. Members got the chance to compete in speeches, demonstrations, and many more Career Development Events that took place that day.
Left to right: Brittany Ross, 3rd place in Prepared Public Speaking and participated in Job Interview; Deven Lemen, 1st in Traditional Scrapbook, 1st in Multimedia Scrapbook, and participated in Leadership Ambassador; Kalynda Hoevener, 2nd Essay Contest and participated in Food Science Demonstration; and Rebekah Cook, participated in Freshman Creed Speaking and Food Science Demonstration.
~FFA photo

Senior Citizens Financial Seminar & Dinner March 30

As we begin to age, most people put off dealing with financial issues until it’s too late. Schneck Foundation and Jackson County Bank are hosting Changing Places: Planning for Your Future.
At the program participants will learn about retirement planning, advance directives, funeral planning, long-term care insurance, and trusts. Speakers include:
•Trina Hanner, Beacon Wealth
•Luke Nolting, Spurgeon Funeral Home
•Bruce Werskey, Western Southern Life
•Denise Connell, Montgomery, Elsner and Pardieck Law Office
•Brandon Hunsley, Jackson County Bank
Changing Places: Planning for Your Future will be held on Thursday, March 30 at Pewter Hall, 850 West Sweet Street, Brownstown.
A resource fair will be held 4:30 to 6 p.m. followed by the program from 6 to 8 p.m.
Participants are invited to a complimentary dinner beginning at 6 p.m.
To make your reservation for this free program, contact the Schneck Foundation at 812-524-4245 or claymon@schneckmed.org. Seating is limited; early reservations are recommended

Community Foundation Of Jackson County Celebrating 25 Years

by Dan Davis

We’ve been growing tomorrows for 25 years and counting as the donors, directors and staff of the Community Foundation of Jackson County remain committed to living out our motto— Together, we grow tomorrows.
The Foundation is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, and we invite you join us for the Community Foundation of Jackson County 25th Anniversary Gala April 8 at Celebrations in Seymour.
We’ll celebrate the good work resulting from the generosity of our many donors, share a good meal and fellowship and enjoy– and maybe even dance to– music provided by the award-winning band Tastes Like Chicken. Black tie’s optional, but it will be a rare chance to see me in a tuxedo.
The cost of the Gala is a $100 donation per person, and we have tables of eight available. If you’re interested, please call us at 812-523-4483. We’ll help make your reservation and make sure you get in on the evening’s fun.
Taking a look back, during 2016 the Foundation received gifts of more than $800,000, growing our grant-making abilities, growing our reach in the community and growing our assets to more than $11 million.
Some of that growth— as in 2014 and 2015— resulted from the generous Lilly Endowment GIFT VI program, which the Community Foundation of Jackson County called An Opportunity for Growth. And grow we do.
Some of that growth resulted from old-fashioned hard work and building relationships.
And some of that growth resulted from – and continues to grow from – the Foundation’s 25 Funds for 25 Years initiative. The program aims to create a combination of 25 new and renewed funds, making match dollars available to newly endowed gifts to the Foundation. If you have questions about how to earn match dollars, please call me or visit the office.
An earlier Lilly Endowment initiative helped give birth to the Community Foundation of Jackson County. The Indianapolis-based philanthropic giant first came knocking on our community’s door with its Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow initiative to encourage the creation and strengthening of community foundations to help improve the quality of life for Hoosiers. The timing was excellent as a group of like-minded residents were already discussing creation of a means to finance the community’s needs.
Those discussions started at least as early as 1988 during a Board of Directors retreat for the Greater Seymour Chamber of Commerce. The idea was to create an alternative funding source to help finance community projects, said Gary Myers, a founding member of the Foundation Board of Directors. Talks continued through 1991 and blossomed with the Lilly Endowment GIFT initiative.
Thus was born the Community Foundation of Jackson County in 1992, along with many others across Indiana.
Our first Board of Directors – as our current panel – consisted of people representing the entire county. They were Gary Myers, Dr. Chris Klaes, Tom Bryant, Gene Johnson, Dave Windley, Joe Robertson, James T. Thompson, Bob Cartwright, Elaine Pollert, Jeff Lorenzo, Steve Ackerman, Carl Shake, Dave Geis, Judy Lester and Tim Clark. John Bottorff was an ex officio member of the Board. Thompson served as the first Chairman of the Board.
The Foundation’s first executive director was Tom Voss, a community leader who would briefly guide the Foundation in its early days and who would serve as an example of giving by creating the F. Walter Voss and Tom G. Voss Boys & Girls Club of Seymour Fund. The Voss Fund continues to benefit the club annually.
Voss was succeeded by Polly Berent of Seymour, Tom Nolting of Brownstown and C.W. “Bud” Walther of Seymour. Walther served the Foundation the longest of our directors, from 2000 to July 2014. That’s when I joined the Foundation.
In the past 25 years, the Foundation has awarded more than $5 million in community grants and scholarships, helping countless people and organizations improve our communities all across Jackson County. We paid out $568,143.66 in grants and scholarships last year. All this despite many naysayers who doubted the viability of creating a community foundation here.
Organizations and people benefitting from grants and endowments over the years range from youth to seniors and include social service and nonprofit agencies, area schools, volunteer fire departments, the arts and municipal parks. Our reach is to all corners of the county.
The Foundation staff, the Board of Directors and former members of the Board are working hard to celebrate the organization’s 25th anniversary in 2017 and to ensure that the next 25 years and beyond reap continued growth for and provide leadership in our community.
Current grants are helping better connect mentors and youth in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, helping older adults share valuable life skills with young students in the Thrive Alliance Foster Grandparents program and helping children recover from traumatic events with the work at Centerstone. We also saw the results of a 2015 Impact Grant with the completion, opening and dedication of Heritage Park on the Courthouse Square in Brownstown. Later this year, we’ll see the fruits of a 2015 Fall Grant with the publication of a book written through a Leadership Jackson County class project that targets pre-school children.
As we strive to live our motto— Together, we grow tomorrows – through a year of celebration in 2017, we expect to grow more funds such as those early endowments established at the Foundation. From those first donations, the number of funds administered by the Foundation has grown to 187, including five that resulted from the GIFT VI initiative and three new funds so far with the 25 Funds for 25 Years program.
Our work is about more than scholarships and grants, however.
The Foundation continues to support efforts to improve educational opportunities and attainment for residents and businesses. They come in the form of college classes offered by Ivy Tech Community College and IUPUC as well as training sessions and classes offered to workers from area businesses, including JayC Food Stores, Kremers Urban and others at the Jackson County Learning Center.
We also remain involved in educational efforts with the Jackson County Education Coalition, including its On My Way Pre-K pilot program, which is now in the midst of enrollment for its third year; the Economic Opportunities Network and its many initiatives; Leadership Jackson County; and the Jackson County Industrial Development Corp
As always, we thank you for your generosity and stand ready to share information about how others, too, can come together with the community and help grow better tomorrows.
And, again, we look forward to celebrating with you at our 25th Anniversary Gala on April 8.
– – – – – –
President & CEO Dan Davis of the Community Foundation of Jackson County writes a monthly column. The Foundation is at 107 Community Drive, Seymour, IN 47274. For information about donating, call 812-523-4483 or send an email to president@cfjacksoncounty.org.

Former Crothersville Woman Facing Drug Charges

A former Crothersville woman, now residing in Kentucky, was arrested on a variety of drug related charged early Saturday morning by Crothersville Police.
Combs,AmyAmy Denise Combs, 37, of Eubank, Kentucky was stopped by Crothersville Patrolman Chris Cooper and reserve officer Travis McElfresh shortly after 3 a.m.
As officers’ were writing Combs a citation for not having proof of financial responsibility for the 1995 Chevrolet pickup she was driving, her behavior led officers to believe was involved in some illegal activity, according to Crothersville Police Captain J.L. McElfresh.
“While waiting for Howard’s Wrecker to arrive to tow the vehicle, Officers Cooper and McElfresh inventoried the truck cab and uncovered several items related to using and dealing drugs,” said Capt. McElfresh.
Officers found 3.5 grams of methamphetamine, Tramadol tablets, 600 mg tablets of the prescription drug Fenoprofen, digital scales, small baggies and glass pipes all believed to be used in connection with drug use and dealing.
Local officers booked Combs into Jackson County Jail at 4:53 a.m. charging her with dealing methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine, violation of the Legend Drug Act, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Local officers were assisted by Jackson County Sheriff Deputies Mitch Ray and Mark Holt.

Forest’s Hammer Drill

online Pileated Woodpecker

The Pileated Woodpecker is the largest woodpecker found in Indiana; adults are about the size of a crow. The insect eaters can be identified by their zebra striped heads and necks and long bills. Their jackhammer rat-a-tat-tat can be head throughout the forest as they drill into trees seeking insect larvae leaving telltale piles of wood chips at the base of trees. The resulting cavities, often found in dead snags, can become home to owls, bats, squirrels and the woodpeckers themselves.
~photo by Tracie Kovener

Town Considering Increasing Stormwater Utility Fees For Non-Residential Properties

Non-residential properties in Crothersville with over 10,000 square feet of roof or non-permiable paving could see an increase in the newly established stormwater utlility fees if a proposed rates structure is approved by the town council at their April meeting.
The stormwater utility fee was established last year and set at $3 per property owner. At the time, the council agreed to survey non-residential property and establish a higher rate for larger areas of roof or paved surfaces.
The town established the utility to pay for ditching and culverts to improve surface water drainage in town. The establishment of the stormwater utility fee was a factor that helped gained approval in December of a state grant to clean out the west end of hominy ditch (the main east-west drainageway in town) and to install enlarged culverts at Bethany Road, Park Avenue and Kovener Street to improve drainage after heavy rains.
Reviewing non-residential properties inside the town limits, the council is proposing to increase the stormwater utility fee for the following properties with roofs and/or paving in the following sizes and amounts:
•10,000-60,000 sq. ft., $12/month
•60,000-160,000 sq. ft., $24/month
•160,000-260,000 sq. ft., $48/month
•260,000-360,000 sq. ft., $96/month
•Over 360,000 sq. ft., $144/month
According to the town officials’ calculations, there are 15 properties in the 10,000 to 60,000 sq. ft. category, none in the second category, one in the 160,000 to 260,000 category, one in the 260,000-360,000 category, and three in the over 260,000 square foot category.
The council will consider approving the rates at second reading of the ordinance at their April 4 meeting.
In a related matter town utility supervisors advised the council that now that the stormwater fee is established and the payments to improve surface water drainage are accumulating, the town needs to be prepared to begin cleaning area ditches and installing culverts.
“The biggest complaint we have is about standing water,” said water superintendent Chris Mains.
“We are collecting around $2,400 a month in the stormwater utility fee fund,” said wastewater superintendent Mason Boicourt. “With spring rains coming, we need to be prepared to do ditching and have culverts on hand to install.”
The utility workers recommended purchasing a small excavator with a shallow ditch bucket for cleaning ditches and installing culverts.
Boicourt said a small Case excavator on rubber tracks can be purchased for $55,000 and leased for just under $1,600 a month for three years.
The council approved the lease for the local utility work.
An amendment to a local dog and cat ordinance was approved without comment from the public. The matter had been one of considerable concern and discussion at town council meetings and on social media.
Owners of dogs who bite or attack people or other animals will now face a one-strike and out ordinance. Owners of dogs who cause bodily harm, even if they get loose from a fenced yard, home or leash, will have top remove the animal from the town limits after one offense.
The council heard updates on activities by the police department, town engineer, and the local parks board.
Crothersville Police Capt. J.L. McElfresh said that two of the town’s new police vehicles have had emergency equipment installed and are in service. McElfresh has been busy installing the equipment to save the town money.
“We expect to have all four vehicles on the road by March 20,” he said. “While we have the police station, our cars are our offices.”
He said that last month the department received 123 calls of which about 20% dealt with suspicious person or activity.
“Residents are watching out the their neighborhood and calling us with information,” he said.
Brad Bender, engineer with FPBH, reported that survey work is in process for the recently approved $500,000 stormwater grant to clean and improve water flow on the west end of Hominy Ditch.
The council ok’d spending $7,000 for new playground equipment at the Bard Street Park. The equipment will include swings, merry-go-round, log roll, and see-saw.
Also approved was spending $1,750 to repair the concession stand at the Countryside Park on th west side of town.
In other matters, the council
•Approved continuing sharing in the Local Option Income Tax (LOIT) with Jackson County. Originally the inter-local agreement began in the 1990’s to help pay for the county jail, according to town attorney Jeff Lorenzo. Now that the county is beginning construction of a new judicial center to house all three courts, they want the town to continue with the 25% contribution to help pay for the court construction costs.
“This is not a new fee,” said Lorenzo. “The town has been contributing it for over 20 years.”
“We are already doing it and all of the four city and towns in the county take part,” said councilman Bob Lyttle.
•Reminded residents that the town water rates will increase 1% with the next billing cycle. The automatic annual small increases were approved several years ago rather than keep rate stagnant and then have double digit percentage increases
•Re-appointed Matt Browning to the town parks board.