Governor To Visit Crothersville For ACIN Groundbreaking Today

Gov. Mike Pence was scheduled to be in Crothersville this morning (Wednesday) for a groundbreaking ceremony for Aisin Chemical Indiana’s nearly $30 million expansion.

Pence is believed to be the first sitting governor to visit Crothersville, according to local business and political observers.

ACIN plans a ground-breaking ceremony for 10:30 a.m. at the site of their expansion in the Crothersville Industrial Park south of town.

Aisin Chemical, which is completing an expansion of its existing building in Crothersville plant announced in May of this year it will be expanding even more.

ACIN is beginning a nearly $10.5 million investment in another manufacturing building just north of its current plant and over $19.1 million in manufacturing equipment. All of which will allow the company to add 35 new jobs.

Aisin Chemical Indiana manufactures soundproofing and clutch discs for the automotive market. ACIN began construction of its $5.5 million facility in 2010 and announced an $8.1 expansion late last year.

Currently ACIN employs 51 workers paying annual salaries totaling over $2.6 million. The 35 new jobs are expected to be paid $1.225 million annually.

As of January of this year more than 400 workers are employed at ACIN, Aisin Drivetrain and Cerro Wire in the Crothersville Industrial Park.

A much needed secondary access road to the industrial park south of town and a rail crossing on Industrial Way will be funded nearly entirely by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.

In all, the new road, rail crossing lights and gates, and street lighting are estimated to cost $860,000. The state previously announced that it would fund up to $835,000 toward the project leaving the remaining $25,000 to come from the town.

Jim Plump, executive director of Jackson County Industrial Development Corporation, told the council that much of the reason for the state to ante up more is because the Aisin companies told the state they would forego tax and training credits in order to allow additional state dollars to pay for roadway and safety for the industrial park employees.

The engineer’s preliminary design calls for Industrial Way to continue to the west and curve to the north to connect with Kovener Street.

The town intends to make the new road for car and truck traffic only for the time being. Semi traffic would still use the US 31 and rail crossing for access to the industrial park.

A public notice ad seeking bidders for the road expansion project is found in this week’s Crothersville Times print and online edition.

School Partnership Launch Encounters Glitches

A school partnership which was meant to provide students at Austin and Crothersville High Schools enhanced elective classes at a lower cost is having a sputtering start-up.

In April Superintendent Terry Goodin said that the two school systems had begun discussion on providing elective classes for Austin students at Crothersville and Crothersville students at Austin.

“Partnerships are the wave of the future. Business and industry develop partnerships to be innovative and save money,” the superintendent said this spring.

But change comes difficultly to small communities.

About 30 freshmen students at CHS had signed up for elective courses to be taken at Austin High School. However, as late as this past Friday, CHS Principal David Schill said no Austin student had signed up for classes at CHS.

“That could change as school gets underway,” said Schill. “We typically have some class changes after school begins.”

Both schools began the 2014-15 school year this week.

Classes offered to Austin students are primarily agriculture related; all classes not offered at the Scott County school such as Horticulture, Animal Science, Ag Business, as well as Biology II and Pre-Calculus.

Local students will be taking class blocks in either the morning or afternoon. Classes available to local students at Austin include World History, Civics, Art History, Intro to Business, and Spanish II.

Schill said there is some duplication of classes at each school but that was needed to fill a 3-class morning or afternoon block.

Schill said a bus would take about 15 students to AHS for classes in the morning then return them to Crothersville for afternoon classes here. The same arrangement would be made for afternoon classes at Austin.

The partnership experiment will not impact required core classes. Goodin emphasized that core curriculum classes, those required by the state would continue to be taught at each respective school. ISTEP testing would continue as in the past.

Where our partnership would be beneficial is by offering to our students a wider selection of elective classes, he said.

But some parents don’t like the idea and are concerned that the partnership would lead to school consolidation. Goodin addressed those concerns.

Crothersville and Austin already partner with Ivy Tech to offer classes that enable students from each school to graduate with a college associates degree.

In April Dale Schmelzle, Crothersville School Board president, applauded the success of that partnership.

“My daughter and Andy’s (Andrew Nehrt, another school board member) both graduated from Crothersville High School with associate degrees which were earned in part through classes at Austin High School,” Schmelzle said.

And Crothersville students have participated in the vocational classes offer in Bartholomew County through the C-4 Co-Op for several years.

“Partnerships can make for better education for our students,” the superintendent said. “If school partnerships are successful, they could have just the opposite effect of any consolidation,” said the superintendent. “Each school would be remain its own entity for the future.”

3 Men Arrested For Public Indecency At Forestry

Two Scottsburg and a Corydon man were arrested on public indecency and battery charged last Wednesday, July 30, at Clark State Forest near Henryville.

Indiana Conservation Officers arrested Kenneth Nichols, 66, and Michael Stanley, 57, both of Scottsburg, were charged with public indecency and battery, while Jerry Heishman, 60 of Corydon faces a charge of public indecency.

In response to recent complaints, conservation officers stepped up patrols and arrested several individuals for illicit drug use on the property this summer.

During last week’s operation utilizing plain-clothes officers, conservation officers encountered and arrested individuals who allegedly exposed themselves or groped plain-clothes officers.

All three men were arrested without incident and incarcerated at the Clark County Jail.

The Yellow Jackets Will Gitcha If You Don’t Watch Out

Curt-lineby Curt Kovener

It has started and will continue until the first frost out in the wilderness. Those ground dwelling yellow jackets are highly territorial and they have an attitude. And they are on the prowl.

I am not afraid of snakes or spiders but stinging insects hold a special place of terror for me particularly the kind that you don’t know they are there until they start stinging.

Slightly larger than a honey bee, I have learned to keep my eyes pealed for these yellow and black flying stingsters entering and leaving a hole in the earth.

I learned to look out for them from the numerous bad experiences I have had over the years when I don’t watch where I step. I say “they” sting because I have never been stung by these rascals just a single time. They work in gangs to drive away humans intruding on their turf. I start moving away at the first sting but before I can run any distance their brothers, sisters and cousins join in the attack. The most I have ever been stung by yellow jackets is four times at one alleged molestation. Fortunately, I am not allergic to wasp and bee venom. But the stings do hurt and itch like the dickens the next day as the swelling subsides

Whether walking, mowing, or weed-whacking I am mindful of the surroundings this time of year.

When I find a colony, if it is in a usually traveled area, I mark the entrance and wait until after dark and douse the hole with some diesel fuel followed by a match. They next morning there is some singed and charred vegetation but no yellow jackets.

If I find a nest away from the beaten path, I note its location and leave them alone. They are predators that dine on other insects. They also like sweets like cantaloupe and watermelon. And they like dog poop. Charley provides them with a vast buffet.

But I have found there is some nocturnal animal…possibly a raccoon or skunk…that dines on the yellow jackets and their larvae. Occasionally I will find the earth disturbed, dirt scattered and remnants of the paper nests which have been picked clean of eggs and larvae.

The yellow jackets are a daytime roaming insect that returns to their nest at dusk. So I have to wonder what kind of wilderness creature can withstand the stings while raiding the underground nest. Or maybe after dark if the yellow jacket can’t see its aggressor, it can’t sting.

I do not know nor do I intend to find out if that is the case.

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