Classifieds

Part-Time Security Officers
Taking applications on Thursday, January 16 at the Crothersville Public Library
Retirees Welcome

HOME FOR SALE: Brownstown, 2-bedroom, $23,000. Possible Contract, Good references only. 812-358-3837. 1/22pd
MOBILITY ISSUES?? We have walkers, wheelchairs & canes to lend. Contact Crothersville Senior Citizens at 793-2523.tfn
BANKRUPTCY Payment plans available. 812-522-0628, Mark Risser, Attorney at Law. We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the bankruptcy code. tfn
911 SIGNS Make sure police, ambulance & fire department can find you. $15 includes bracket. Proceeds go to Crothersville-Vernon Township Volunteer Fire Department. For more information or to order call 793-3473 & leave message
NO ONE DESERVES to be hurt! Domestic violence and sexual assault hurt women, children and families. We can offer support, advocacy and safe shelter. All services confidential and at no cost to you. Call 24-hours toll-free: 1-888-883-1959.
ARE YOU EXPIRED? Check your mailing label to see when your subscription to the Crothersville Times should be re-newed. Send your check for $25 for one year; $45 for two in Jackson & Scott Counties; $45 per year elsewhere to PO Box 141, Crothersville, IN 47229.
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Voters To Decide Future Of Crothersville School

On May 5, in addition to deciding political candidates in the Primary Election, Vernon Township voters will be asked to approve additional funding for Crothersville Community Schools.
The School Board has approved by a 4-0 vote placing a referendum on the spring ballot asking voters for their approval to increase the local school tax rate by 63¢ with funds dedicated to teacher salaries.
That would mean property assessed at $100,000 would pay about $52 a month or $630 a year to the school for salaries.
For the past several years the local school has been transferring money from the education fund to the operations fund in order to meet overhead costs.
Schools have three funds from which to pay for educational expenses.
The education fund is dedicated to paying for teacher salaries and benefits and some school programming. The two principals’ salaries also come out of that fund. No local property tax dollars go to the fund, as it is funded by the state based on student enrollment.
The operations fund includes expenses related to paying bills, bus costs and other costs of operating the school. Such as water & sewer, gas, and electric utility bills. Central administration building staff, custodians, maintenance personnel and some aides also are paid from the fund. The fund is based on the corporation’s assessed value.
The debt service fund is used for paying school mortgage debt.
“Our assessed value is not high enough to be able to generate enough funds to continue to operate the school corporation, so we have to transfer dollars out of the education fund to be able to operate the operations fund,” Crothersville community School Superintendent Dr. Terry Goodin said.
He said the township wide current tax rate for the school is $1.10. An $820,000 increase to the tax rate will be 63 cents, bumping it up to $1.73.
Residents can visit one of the state financial websites gateway.ifionline.org/public/taxpayer, click on “Tax Bill Estimator” and receive an estimate of their property taxes based on assessed value and applicable deductions. To determine the tax increase for Vernon Township, take the net assessed value of your home after deductions and multiply it by 0.0063.
For a person with a home assessed at $90,000 deducting a homestead and supplemental homestead deductions, their current tax bill would be $537 for 2019. With the referendum, the superintendent said that example would pay an extra $184.28 for a year, or $15.35 a month. Those 65 and older and disabled veterans should have other deductions to lower those numbers.
Goodin said the tax rate cannot exceed 63 cents, and as the assessed value grows, the rate could drop.
The tax rate would be applied to all forms of assessable property in the township, residential, farm, commercial and industrial.
On the primary election ballot in 2020, Vernon Township voters will select yes or no when asked if they agree to help fund the school corporation to move forward.
If the referendum passes, Goodin said that money can only go into the operations fund.
“A referendum is the only opportunity at this point because we know the state of Indiana is not going to fund us. We know that,” he said. “We’ve been through a decade of this funding formula that they’ve got, and it has only gotten worse.”
In the last two years, he said eight teachers have left for other school corporations that offer better pay.
Other Schools Systems Are In The Same Boat
Crothersville is not alone in placing funding referendums on the ballot. Statewide so far about eight other systems— small school and some large ones— will ask their voters to decide on increasing their funding. Nearby Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation (Columbus) is considering asking their residents to approve a $9.3 million tax increase or an increase of just under 20¢ per $100.
Several other schools will have referendums in May to ask their school corporation constituents to approve a tax increase.
Last month Scott County School District 1 voters approved a referendum to increase property taxes to build a $20-million elementary school. Austin and Jennings Township voters approved increasing property taxes about 35¢ for a total rate of about $1.15 to pay for the construction.
In another question put to voters in May, West Clark Community School Corporation will let voters decide if the larger Silver Creek School System should be separated from the two smaller Borden and Henryville School Systems. Funding inequities have been cited as the reason for considering the ‘divorce’.
“I’m going to be very honest. If we don’t pass this referendum, it’s going to place our school corporation in jeopardy as we go down the road being able to stay open,” Goodin said.
“As we move forward, if we’re going to continue to be the best school, you have to fund that. You’ve got to try to figure out ways to make sure you keep that going,” Goodin said.
“Basically, the problem is the state of Indiana has cut funding to our school corporation over $1 million that has compounded, so since 2011, we’ve lost over $1 million times eight years … around $8 million we’ve lost in funding,” Goodin said.

How Did We Get To This?

An old newspaper cartoon strip “Pogo” maybe sums up the situation the best. The lead character quips, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”
Consider the following:
•For decades residents have complained about property taxes. Schools have long been the largest consumer of property tax dollars. As a result, the legislature changed not only the school funding formula but also decreased and changed manner in which schools can raise or receive money.
•Pupil funding now follows the student where ever they attend classes whether it be a public, parochial or charter school. Small schools that have always struggled, now face lesser funding because of decreasing enrollment.
•During the Gov. Mitch Daniels the legislature and the voters approved a constitutional amendment to place a cap on property taxes. Schools as well as cities and towns, counties, townships, libraries all have decreased funding because of those property tax caps.
•Currently the state of Indiana has over $2-billion in reserves.

Oath of Office for Elected Officials Dec. 30

City of Seymour will host a swearing-in ceremony in the Council Chambers of Seymour City Hall on Monday, December 30, at 7 p.m. Superior Court I Judge Amy Marie Travis will administer the oaths.
Officials from Seymour, Brownstown, Crothersville, and Medora have been invited to participate. Newly-elected officials take office on January 1.
The public is invited and encouraged to attend this event. Please use the 3rd Street Council entrance of City Hall.

Scott Deputies Arrest Four On Drug Charges

Four people were incarcerated in Scott County Jail last week as a result of investigations by Scott County Sheriff’s Deputies.
On Friday, Dec. 13, Deputy Johnney Coomer responded to a motor vehicle property damage accident in rural Scott County. His investigation led to the arrest of Jeremy Howard, 35, of Hanover for possession of methamphetamine, possession of a syringe and possession of a controlled substance.
On Wednesday, Dec. 18, Deputies Johnney Coomer and Kenton Makowsky responded to an residence on Prewitt Lane southeast of Scottsburg for a possible trespasser. Their investigation led to the arrest of Richard Hickman, 52, of Scottsburg for criminal trespass, possession of methamphetamine and possession of a syringe.
On Thursday, Dec. 19, Deputy Makowsky made a traffic stop in rural Scott County. His questioning of the driver and his passenger led to the arrest of two people for drug related charges.
Eric Benge, 37, of Vallonia and Brittany Hardin, 31, of Clarksville were each charged with possession of methamphetamine, being a convicted felon carrying a handgun and carrying a handgun without a permit.

The Times Takes A Holiday Break

This will be the final issue of 2019 for the Crothersville Times as we take our traditional holiday vacation. Look for your first issue of the new decade with the Times on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020.
From Curt the editor, Becky the occasional columnist, Willow the Cat and Emma the Great Pyrenees who are in charge of Wilderness critter control…thanks for reading and Happy Holidays!

A Christmas Treasure

by Curt Kovener

“Silent Night,” which has been translated into nearly 300 languages, has become an anchor for Christmas celebrations throughout the world. Its lullaby-like melody and simple message of heavenly peace can be heard from small town street corners in mid-America to magnificent cathedrals in Europe and from outdoor candlelight concerts in Australia to palm thatched huts in northern Peru.
Although we may never know the exact circumstances and emotions which inspired Joseph Mohr to write his poem, we do know that he wrote the words in 1816. At that time he was assigned to a pilgrimage church in Mariapfarr, an Alpine village near the home of his grandfather in the southern part of the province of Salzburg, Austria.
We hear many fairytales concerning the composition of what has become the world’s best loved Christmas carol. These include silly stories about mice eating the bellows of the organ and Fr. Mohr being forced to quickly compose some words for a new carol so there could be music at Midnight Mass.
Did mice really chew the organ bellows and thus prevent it from working on Christmas Eve in 1818? Probably not. Hungry mice were an ongoing problem in the harsh winter environment of an unheated church and repairs could be easily made to organ bellows. A Franz Gruber sketch of mice nibbling the organ bellows has been published in several books.
Some historians feel that the constant flooding of the Salzach River in Oberndorf, Austria caused rust and mildew in the organ. Others think that Joseph Mohr simply wanted a new song for the Christmas service.
Although the words were written by the poet-priest-musician, Joseph Mohr, in 1816, it was not until the music was added by Franz Xaver Gruber on December 24, 1818, that “Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!” became a gift to all mankind. Although some fables claim that it was set aside and forgotten. Creators, Joseph Mohr’s guitar arrangement, penned around 1820, and several Franz Gruber arrangements (through 1855) can be seen at various museums in Austria.
The popularity of “Silent Night” can almost be termed “miraculous.” After all, the words were written by a modest curate and the music composed by a musician hardly known outside the province where he resided. There was no celebrity to sing at the world premiere and no mass-communication systems existed to spread the fame of the carol. No Facebook, no Twitter, no Snapchat or whatever the latest app is since I wrote this. However, its powerful message of heavenly peace has crossed all borders and language barriers, conquering the hearts of Christmas-celebrating people everywhere.
The original church of St. Nicholas, in Oberndorf where “Stille Nacht” was first heard in 1818, was torn down in the early part of the 1900’s after sustaining damage from the flooding of the nearby Salzach. The Silent Night Chapel was erected on the spot in front of the main altar where Gruber and Mohr by it stood with the choir to introduce the six-stanza carol. In a higher section of Oberndorf, another church was built and the original pulpit and altars from the old church were moved there. Every Christmas at Midnight Mass, singers stand in front of the same altars and recreate the moment when the song heard ’round the world was first performed over 200 years ago.