December: First ever Judge

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(1) Jack Sullivan, longtime stalwart of Switzerland County community service and charitable projects, passed away at the age of 90.

Longtime owner of Sullivan’s Pharmacy at the corner of Main and Liberty streets; Jack Sullivan helped this community with everything from attracting the U.S. Shoe Corporation and Randall Textron Corporation to serving on committees to help build new schools.

(2) The position of Assistant Superintendent for the Switzerland County School Corporation was eliminated by the school board, citing a need to tighten their financial belt.

Darin Gullion, whose contract runs through June 30th of 2010, will remain as principal of Jefferson-Craig Elementary School, but will receive his assistant superintendent’s pay grade until his contract expires.

The school board also eliminated all “roll over” contracts for administrators.

(3) Superior Court Judge John Mitchell is leaving the bench after 24 years of service to the Switzerland and Ohio County communities.

The position of Superior Court Judge was eliminated when the State Legislature created the 91st Circuit Court, which serves only Switzerland County.

(4) Vevay Newspapers was the winner of seven awards at the annual “Better Newspaper” contest sponsored by the Hoosier State Press Association.

The newspaper earned three first place awards; one second place award; and three third place awards. Judging for the contest was done by the Oklahoma Newspaper Association.

(5) The Switzerland County Sheriff’s Department has “gone to the dogs” with the addition of two specially-trained canine officers now on duty.

The dogs are handled by deputies Chris Curry and Walter Vinson, and are trained to perform a variety of tasks, from finding drugs to other pieces of evidence.

(6) An accident on Vevay Hill resulted in some serious injuries to Switzerland County High School junior Angela Swanson.

She received injuries to both legs, as well as a punctured lung, lacerated spleen, and other cuts and injuries in the accident, and is currently undergoing rehabilitation therapy.

(7) AJ’s Diner in downtown Vevay was judged to be the winner of the annual Christmas Tree Decorating Contest.

The contest is sponsored by Vevay Main Street, and this year there were 22 trees created by local businesses and organizations for judging.

(8) Switzerland County’s Mike Jones took part in a piece of political history when he served as an alternate Elector at the Indiana State House.

Electors meet to officially elect the President of the United States following the public election; with Electors representing the party of the candidate who wins that state casting their ballots.

This was the first time in 44 years that Democrats had the chance to cast Electoral votes – because Indiana is traditionally a Republican state.

(9) York Township School Board member Duane Cole was honored by his fellow board members as he completed his final term and final meeting in December.

Duane Cole chose not to run for reelection to the board, and was presented with a plaque of appreciation and several other gifts by the corporation and by other board members.

(10) History was made as W. Gregory Coy was officially sworn in as the first ever Judge of the Switzerland County Circuit Court in December.

The swearing in ceremony, which also involved all of the winners of the November election; was also a tribute to judges past and present.

Current Circuit Court Judge Ted Todd; current Superior Court Judge John Mitchell; and former Superior Court Judge Ed James were all honored during the program, with photos of each being placed on the back wall of the courtroom alongside all of the past judges who have served Switzerland County.