2009: The year in review

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January: New Court

Person of the Month: Greg Coy. January saw the creation of the Switzerland County Court, the first time that the county has had its own judicial circuit. Greg Coy took office as the first ever Judge of the Switzerland County Court.

Story of the Month: New Court. Greg Coy’s election as the county’s first Circuit Court Judge was a historic milestone of this county and its residents. Along with Judge Coy, the county has its own prosecutor in Monica Hensley; and will no long share judges and prosecutors with Jefferson and Ohio counties.

Picture of the Month: Reds Caravan. The Cincinnati Reds annual Winter Caravan made a stop at the Historic Hoosier Theater in Vevay; and Reds manager Dusty Baker along with announcers George Grande and Jeff Brantley joined players Chris Dickerson and Yonder Alonzo in fielding questions from fans.

Honorable Mention for January: Beth Abbott and Matt Meyer were crowned as the Queen and King of the 2009 Homecoming Celebration at Switzerland County High School; middle school students Tyler Teel and Christian Stogsdill attended the inauguration of President Barack Obama; Dow Corning presented a science grant to high school teacher Bonnie Fancher; Courtney Gullion won the County Spelling Bee; the Ec015 Initiative was moving forward.

February: Justice is served

Person of the Month: Candis Haskell. Switzerland County High School Principal Candis Haskell announced that she was resigning as of the end of the year to assume new duties as the Superintendent of the South Henry School District near New Castle. She had served as a principal here at the elementary, middle school, and high school levels.

Story of the Month: Guilty plea. More than 25 years after Vevay native Linda Bennitt’s body was discovered, justice was finally served when Mark Erler pled guilty in a Lake County courtroom to her murder. At the hearing, members of Linda’s family had the chance to address the court, telling the judge that they were finally able to “Give Linda a voice.”

Picture of the Month: New gym. When South Ripley High School unveiled its new high school gymnasium, the Raiders wanted the christen it with a game against arch rival Switzerland County. The Pacers weren’t very good guests, however, as senior Kyle Green led Switzerland County to a five-point victory.

Honorable Mention for February: The Vevay Town Council held a public meeting to get input on its proposed Streetscape project to beautify downtown; Kristi Harms resigned as the librarian at the Switzerland County Public Library; County officeholders were taking a cautious approach to recommendations by Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels on the streamlining of county and municipal government; the Lady Pacer varsity basketball team ended its season with a loss to Southwestern in Sectional play.

March: Teachers RIF’d

Person of the Month: Tom Crabtree. After months of rehabilitation and therapy, Tom Crabtree, one of the most popular and recognizable citizens in Switzerland County; was able to leave the Swiss Villa Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and return to his Jacksonville home.

Story of the Month: Reduction in Force. The Switzerland County School Board and Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Jones began the process of conducting a “Reduction in Force” of it’s teaching staff by officially informing three teachers that they could possibly not have a job for the 2009-2010 school year.

Picture of the Month: Sectional action. Austin South and other Switzerland County Pacer basketball fans made the trip to Greensburg High School for this year’s boys Sectional tournament; but Switzerland County fell in the semifinal round to eventual champion Lawrenceburg.

Honorable Mention for March: Bruce Hutcherson received the ‘Silver Star Award’ and Dan Andrew was named as the ‘Conservation Farmer of the Year’ by the Switzerland County Soil and Water Conservation District; the first-ever Switzerland County Middle School swim team began competition; Robert Lock of Florence, surrounded by family and friends, received the “Hoosier Homestead” award from the State of Indiana for maintaining a family-owned farm for more than 100 years; the central office of the Switzerland County School Corporation was moved to the middle school because of health concerns in the building; Rachel Gurley was crowned as the ‘Queen of Hearts’ at the high school; Chris See was named the Switzerland County Health and Safety Coordinator.