Firefighters Kept Busy With Blazes

online fire photo

A detached garage shows damage from a fire at the Brenda Farmer residence Saturday morning. Firefighters were on the scene for 2 ½ hours.

~photo by Ben Spencer


The Crothersville-Vernon Township Volunteer Fire Department was busy last week with two major fires in their jurisdiction.

Firefighters were called to the Brenda Farmer residence at 7477 S 975 E southwest of Crothersville around 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 21, with the report of a garage fire.

According to local fire chief Ben Spencer when the department arrived “smoke was coming out the garage door and there was heavy fire inside”, he said.

Firefighters got the fire under control in about 15 minutes, Spencer said.

Damage was estimated around $40,000 to the detached garage and contents. “There was a tractor, Artic Cat Utility Vehicle, and an automobile all damaged in the blaze which is believed to have started in the block heater of the tractor,” Spencer said.

Firefighters were delayed in their response time due to heavy snow and a train passing through town at the time of the fire, the chief said.

An early Wednesday morning mobile home fire sent a Crothersville man to the hospital with burns.

Tim Combs of 506 E. Oak Street was taken by EMS to the University of Louisville Hospital burn unit for treatment, according to Spencer.

The fire chief said he was able to talk with the victim and believes his injuries are not life threatening. “He was alert and talking with rescue workers at the scene,” Spencer said.

Two other people in a mobile home were able to escape without injury. A smoke detector was credited with alerting the residents to the fire allowing them to escape. Firefighters used thermal imaging equipment to find a cat and get it out safely.

The fire was reported at 7:34 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 18.

The first firefighters responding to the scene of the fire found heavy smoke streaming out of the east end of the mobile home, Spencer said.

Firefighters were able to contain the fire to the bathroom.

The fire was contained in about 20 minutes. Damage was estimated at $15,000.

The extreme cold temperatures were an issue for firefighters, Spencer said, and some water froze up in hoses after the fire was put out.

Spence said on Saturday that Combs suffered 1st & 2nd degree burns on his back. “He was treated at UofL Hospital and was released Friday morning,” Spencer said.





2014 Was A Record Year For Births & Deaths In County

There were a record number of births that occurred in Jackson County in 2014, according to the Jackson County Health Department vital records.

There were 805 births surpassing the previous year’s record by 32 or an increase of 4.2% over 2013’s 773 births.

There were 438 boys and 367 girls born in Jackson County last year. There were 12 sets of twins born. The record for twins being born in Jackson County was 15 in 2004.

While a record number of births took place in 2014, so did a record number of deaths. There were 436 deaths that occurred in the county last year representing an increase of 39 (9.8%) over 2013’s 397. Previously, the highest number of deaths—416—occurred in 2012.

There were 226 women and 210 men who died in the county in 2014. There were 56 deaths with residents over age 90 and 4 centenarians who succumbed in 2014.

Cancer and heart disease continue to be the leading causes of death in the county, according to local health department records. There were 86 deaths as a result of cancer and 75 deaths due to heart disease.

The third leading cause of death was respiratory and pulmonary ailments with 54.

Pneumonia was the cause of 26 deaths and stroke caused 24 deaths.

The county health department statistics go back to 1981.

Craft Show, Chili Cook-Off Saturday

A Pre-Spring Craft Show & Bazaar will be held at Celebrations at the Shoppes at Seymour this Saturday, Feb. 28, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event is sponsored by Southern Indiana Hispanic Services, Inc., a local not-for-profit, community agency providing services of interpretation, translation, and referrals to other resources.

In conjunction with the Craft Show, there will be a Chili Cook-Off with prizes for Best Chili and Crowd Favorite. Prizes are sponsored by Rose Acre Farms. Those interested may write David Rust at

The public is welcome to join us. Additional attractions include a train display provided by Southern Indiana Model Railroaders Assn. Refreshments will also be available for purchase.

SIHS is located at 113 N. Chestnut St. Ste. #203, PO Box 49, Seymour. Regular office hours are Mondays and Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Tuesdays, 1 to 5 p.m.

6 From Crothersville, Austin Jailed On Drug Charges

Five men from Austin and a Crothersville woman were arrested on felony warrants in a drug sweep in Jackson and Scott Counties last Wednesday, Feb. 11.

Officers from the Indiana State Police, Scott County Sheriff’s Department, Scott county Probation and Austin City Police were involved in the arrests, according to ISP Cpl. Carey Huls.

As a result of the warrant sweep, the following people were arrested:

  • Heather N. Gibson Bailey, 30, of 405 East Main Street, Crothersville, was charged with dealing in a narcotic drug, neglect of a dependent, possession of heroin.
  • Daniel Cole, 44, of 1228 North US 31, Austin, was charged with dealing methamphetamine.
  • Justin M. Roberts, 37, of 5305 North Water Tower Road, Austin, was charged with dealing methamphetamine over 3 grams and dealing in a narcotic drug.
  • Tommy A. Pennington, 59, of 6873 Jack Morgan Road, Austin, was charged with two counts of dealing methamphetamine.
  • Danny Ray Smith, 55, of 1229 Wade Street, Austin, was charged with two counts of dealing methamphetamine.
  • Stephen W. White, 43, of 924 York Road, Austin, was charged with dealing a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance (Oxymorphone (Opana) and Oxycodone (Oxycontin).

Sandhill Crane Viewing Event At Muscatatuck Refuge

Sandhill cranes

~photo by Tracie Kovener

A “Bird Jackson County” event featuring Sandhill cranes will be held at the Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge on Saturday, Feb. 28.

The last weekend of February is usually a big migration time for Sandhill cranes through Jackson County, and there should be many thousands of birds in the area. Everyone who enjoys birds is invited to come out and join Refuge staff and volunteers for an afternoon of learning about the visiting “Gray Ghosts”.

During the Bird Jackson County event there will be free bird crafts for children at the Muscatatuck Visitor Center from 11 a.m.- 2 p.m.

Self-guided tour information will be available for those who would like to view cranes on their own. Two guided, car caravan-type, crane tours will be held during the day, one at noon and the other at 2 p.m. Both tours will leave from the Visitor Center and no advance registration is needed.

9 Properties, 4 In Crothersville, On Delinquent Tax Auction

Nine pieces of property in Jackson County will be sold with a minimum beginning bid of $200 on April 15, according to a public notice ad found in this week’s Crothersville Times.

Properties listed on the sale are a result of property taxes being owed. Each has been offered during the annual delinquent property tax sale but did not receive any bids.

The Jackson County commissioners will offer the property for sale at auction in April with starting bids on each parcel at $200.

Four of the nine properties are located in Crothersville.

The highest profile local property on the tax block is the 2-story brick building at the stoplight, at 121 E. Howard Street. Environmental Awareness Reached Through Helping Hands, is the current owner of the over 100-year-old brick building which was built as an Odd Fellows Lodge. The local lodge, which is no longer in existence here, met upstairs and over the years the lower floor has housed the local library, pharmacy, barbershop and a variety of retail stores.

The property, which is in deteriorating condition, has been a target of the tow of Crothersville’s derelict and unsafe building ordinance.

Other local properties include property owned by Louis & Leah Rusch at 302 W. Walnut St., Ann Sams, .21 of an acre in the 400 block of South Armstrong Street, and Grover Stacey, property at 208 E. Dixon.

Possibly the property which will attract the most attention is a 26.17 acre parcel owned by Unicell Paper Mills of Florida. The property formerly housed the old Kieffer Paper Mill in Brownstown. At the last property tax sale, the parcel with over $67,625 in back taxes owed, received no bids.

In Vallonia in Driftwood Township a half acre parcel owned by Timothy & Cindy M. Gray at 3178 Water Street will be offered.

In Redding Township, two parcels are on the sale. Property owned by Denny Williams at 7374 E 725 N and a one acre parcel owned by GSD Petroleum LLC at 10366 N State Road 11 are on the sale list.

A .4 of an acre parcel owned by PK Real Estate at 611 North Street in Seymour will be offered for sale by the county.

The pubic notice ad is found in the Public Notice Section of this on-line edition.