3 Democrats File For Council Seats

Three local residents have filed to run on the Democratic ticket for Crothersville Town Council in the November General Election. Brenda Holzworth of 309 N. Armstrong St filed for town council on Jan. 12. Political new-comer Nancy Hopper of 104 Marshall Drive filed to run for town council on Jan. 14. Geoffrey Walker of 206 Central Ave. filed to run for town council on Jan. 15. Holzworth was an advocate and motivating force behind increasing the town council size from three to five seats-a referendum which was overwhelmingly approved by local voters in the Nov. 4, 2014 general election. She has never served in elective office. Walker ran an unsuccessful race for the District 3 school board seat in the Nov. 4 election. Incumbent Democrat councilman Lenvel ‘Butch’ Robinson said he is strongly considering seeking another term on the council. As of 5 p.m. Friday, no Republican has filed for local town offices. Incumbent GOP councilmen Ardell Mitchell and Derrick Minton have indicated they do not intend to seek re-election. Republican Clerk-Treasurer Terry Richey said she is still considering seeking the office and will probably reach a decision closer to the election filing deadline. Richey was appointed to the office in January 2014 after clerk-treasurer Michele Teipen moved outside the town limits. Crothersville residents have until noon on Monday, Aug. 3, to file their candidacy with the Jackson County Clerk.

Town To Hold Public Hearing On Proposed Water Rate Increase

The Crothersville Town will hold a public hearing on a proposed water rate increase when they meet on Tuesday, Feb. 3. The council approved on first reading a one percent water rate increase at their Jan. 6 meeting. If approved, the proposed rates would increase local residential minimum water bill about 21¢ a month, according to a public notice ad found on page 3 of this issue. While agreeing to increase water rates by 1%, the council decided to no increase sewer or trash collection fees in town. In a related matter, the council unanimously agreed to send a proposed sewer use ordinance to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management for their approval. “This is a challenging read,” said council president Ardell Mitchell. “ We need to accept this proposed sewer use ordinance in order to send it to IDEM for their approval. Then when it comes back, the town would officially approve it.” Town attorney Jeff Lorenzo added, “We don’t have a lot of latitude because IDEM is going to dictate what they want us to do.” Town engineer Brad Bender with FPBH gave the town an update of the Industrial Way road expansion. He told the council that the roadway has been cleared and roadbase stabilized. “We need to re-locate a waterline but have to wait until the Stucker Ford feeder line is repaired,” said Bender. The town’s industrial park is supplied with water from both the town’s municipal water supply and a line from Stucker Fork Water Utility along the east side of US 31. The Stucker Fork line sprang a leak on the south side of the Muscatatuck and the line was closed off until repairs could be made. Until then, the industries are being supplied with water from the town’s system and that will delay the water line re-location and thus progress on the new roadway. In other business, the council re-elected Ardell Mitchell as the council president, re-appointed Jeff Lorenzo as town attorney, Police Chief Richard Hanlin as the town’s representative on the county 911 Board, Lenvel ‘Butch’ Robinson was re-appointed to the County Solid Waste Board, and Curt Kovener was re-appointed to represent the community on Jackson County Industrial Development Corporation.

Purdue, Ivy Tech Ag Experts Featured At Farmers Breakfast

The Community Foundation of Jackson County and Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service are partnering to present the 12th annual Farmers Breakfast next month.

Jackson County farmers, area high school FFA members and others from the agricultural community will hear about the economic outlook for the farm sector, classes offered through Ivy Tech Community College and estate-planning issues during the breakfast at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 25, at Pewter Hall (850 W. Sweet St.) in Brownstown.

Christopher Hurt of Purdue University will offer his insights into the economic landscape for farmers during the breakfast.

Matt John of Ivy Tech in Columbus will share information about the two-year agriculture degree offered through the community college, which offers classes locally at the Jackson County Learning Center.

Attorney Denise Connell of Montgomery Elsner & Pardieck will provide information about estate-planning issues for farmers.

The program is free of charge and reservations may be made by contacting the Foundation by calling 812-523-4483 or by emailing  development@cfjacksoncounty.org.

Firefighters Battle Fire & Ice In Friday Morning Blaze

online fire hose

A Crothersville-Vernon Township firefighter douses some remaining hot spots during the mop up of a fire that destroyed the home of Eugene & Trish Begley Friday morning, Jan. 9.

Firefighters from four departments battled fire, bitterly cold temperatures and gusting wind during an early Friday morning fire that destroyed the home of Eugene ‘Sarge’ & Trish Begley in the 7000 block of South County Road 975 E in the Bethany neighborhood southwest of Crothersville. Firefighters were summoned to the scene at 5:20 a.m. “When we got here the back half of the roof had collapsed,” said Crothersville-Vernon Township Fire Chief Ben Spencer. “The Begleys were fortunate to have escaped with no injury.” Spencer reported that Eugene Begley told him he was awakened by a loud noise and heard smoke alarms going off. “The house was filled with smoke so he got his wife and two grandchildren out through bedroom windows,” said the fire chief. Spencer summoned additional help from nearby Grassy Fork, Jennings Township and Jackson-Washington Fire Departments for water tankers and manpower. “We were having problems with hoses and nozzles freezing,” he said noting that temperatures at the time of the fire were in the low teens. “And the gusting wind really made extinguishing the fire nearly impossible. Once the roof had collapsed, the wind just drove it through the house.” About 30 firefighters from the four departments were on the scene and used around 24,000 gallons of water to quench the blaze, he reported. Local firefighters left the scene around 12:10 p.m. he said. Spencer said the cause of the fire in still under investigation and is believed to be accidental. “It appears to have started in the back family room but the fire was so intense it burned up electrical plug-ins and wiring,” said Spencer. He said he had called in an investigator with the State Fire Marshal’s office to assist in trying to determine the cause of the blaze. He said the Begleys’, who lost everything in the blaze, did have insurance and are staying with family for the time being.

CHS Homecoming Royalty

online homecomingCrothersville High School held Homecoming ceremonies prior to the Tigers’ 64-51 win over Southwestern (Hanover) Saturday evening.

Junior, Cassidy Mantz, daughter of George Mantz and Regina Huey, was named Homecoming Queen and senior, Jordan Schoenfelder, son of Pat and Gina Schoenfelder, was selected as Homecoming King.

~photo courtesy of Linda Begley


Rare Bird Sighted In County

ONLINE snowy owlA rare Snowy Owl, native to the Arctic, was photographed in Jackson County prior to Christmas. The owl, sometimes seen in Northern Indiana, has apparently extended its hunting range to southern Indiana.

The bird, usually well camouflaged in its mottled white feathers in the winter snow stands out against the browns of a harvested Hoosier farmscape. The bird was photographed while perched on field irrigation equipment.

~photo by Tracie Kovener