MARCH: He was running for Governor of Indiana when he visited Switzerland County in March, but Mike Pence would go on to win the general election in November, and will serve as the state’s Governor for the next four years.
March: Citizens committee working on zoning plans
WHAT WE WERE TALKING ABOUT
The Citizens Advisory Committee was seeking input and opinions on its efforts to create a new Comprehensive Zoning Plan for the county. The group of volunteers working on the plan published their work to date for the community to read and provide opinion on, and noted that some sections of the proposal were included because they are mandated by the State of Indiana.
Here's what else people were talking about during the month of March:
- Brickhouse Creamery, operated by the Roger and Lisa Garland family, was making organic cheese using milk from their dairy herd. The cheese was available for sale at several local businesses.
- Vevay's Nathaniel Dayadharum was part of the 71st Indiana State Police Recruit Academy graduates, and the new state trooper has been assigned to the Versailles Post. He and his wife, Courtney, and their sons reside in Vevay.
- The 1936 Harley Davidson motorcycle restored and owned by Doug Brown of Moorefield is on display and part of an exhibit of motorcycles at the Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis.
Doug Brown's motorcycle was featured on a three-story tall banner promoting the exhibit in downtown Indianapolis, and the Harley Davidson "Knucklehead" was part of a redesign by the manufacturer in 1936, and the serial number on his engine confirms that it is one of the earliest motorcycles of its kind still in existence.
- She wrote for the Vevay Newspapers as a community correspondent for 67 years - believed to be the longest tenure of any newspaper contributor in the country - but in March Switzerland County lost a true treasure with the passing of Lauretta Borgman. She wrote the Allensville news each and every week; and still found time to write poetry, play the piano at her church, support the American Cancer Society, and also was a lover of plants indoors and out.
- The Switzerland County Soil and Water Conservation District awarded its annual "Conservation Farmer of the Year" award to Darrin Alford of Fairview. The organization's "Silver Star" award for a lifetime of commitment to the agriculture industry was awarded to Carl Althoff of Fairview.
- Switzerland County Pacer varsity basketball player Austin Clark was selected as one of the top 100 players in the State of Indiana; and earned him an invitation to the Indiana High School Boys Basketball Showcase, which was to be held in July at Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis. He is the son of Steve and Paula Clark.
- When devastating tornados ripped through surrounding counties in March, members of the Switzerland County community responded to help their neighbors. Members of Jeff-Craig Fire and Rescue, Switzerland County Emergency Management Agency, and Switzerland County EMS sent volunteers to help with the cleanup in Henryville; and other volunteered their time to help in the community of Chelsea in Jefferson County and Holton in Ripley County.
- In response to the closing of the Vevay SuperValu grocery store in Vevay, Vevay Newspapers and the Pleasantview Bus Company announced plans to provide a bus to take residents to the Warsaw IGA in Gallatin County every other week. The service was being provided free of charge and it is hoped that it will allow town residents access to a full service grocery store.
- An outstanding season for the Switzerland County boys varsity basketball team came to a sudden end with a loss to Milan in the opening round of the IHSAA Sectional held at South Ripley. At season's end, Pacers Keegan Kincaid and Austin Clark earned All Conference honors.
- A body found in the Ohio River was confirmed as Justin Hearn, a Kentucky man who disappeared in the river while hunting in December of 2010.
April: Vevay Hill closes for work
WHAT WE WERE TALKING ABOUT
After design work and other elements were completed, Vevay Hill closed to all traffic in April so that officials from the Indiana Department of Transportation and Force Construction could make needed repairs. The hill is expected to be closed until July of 2013, and in preparation of additional traffic on Cogley Cole Road, the Switzerland County Commissioners authorized having the road paved to make travel more safe for motorists.
The work being done on Vevay Hill is to stop the slippage of the roadway down the hillside, which causes the road surface to be uneven and travel very hazardous at times. The work being done will be primarily on the south side of the hill, where 328 concrete piers will be poured next to each other over a 2,600-foot long area. Those piers will then be tied into the hillside on the north side of the road, and then concrete sections will be lowered into place to prevent sliding. Because the area is considered an "active slide area", workers will work on the piers in 200-foot sections. The first phase of piers will be completed in the middle of the project, and then workers can work on two sections at once: one on each side of the first completed section.
Here's what else people were talking about in April:
- Members of the Switzerland County Business Professionals of America group earned the right to attend and compete at the BPA National Convention and Leadership Conference, which was held in Chicago.
- Students in the Advanced Manufacturing class at Switzerland County High School traveled to Vincennes University to learn about technology in the workplace as part of "Project Lead the Way".
- The Vevay Town Council was looking at ways to address its problems with the issues at the Water Plant Building on Seminary Street. Structural issues with the building, which was built just after the 1937 Flood, could put access to water at risk for town residents. Three of the water pumps for the town are located in the basement of the building and need to be brought up to ground level; and if the building were to collapse in some fashion, homes, businesses, and schools would be without water until the system was rebuilt.
It is estimated that it will cost the town $500,000 to fix the issue.
- Bre Hinman and Keegan Kincaid were crowned as the Queen and King of the 2012 Prom at Switzerland County High School. Members of the Queen's court included: Kelly Kincaid, Allie Mathews, Rachel Chatham, and Samantha Helt. Members of the King's court included: Walter Barnes, Anthony Dennis, Steven Craig, and Jonathan Moore.
- It was reported that property taxes in Switzerland County are the fifth lowest in the entire state. The median property tax rate for the county for taxes payable in 2012 was 1.15-percent; compared to the average statewide, which was 1.95-percent. There are 14 counties in Indiana whose property tax rate was more than double the Switzerland County figure.
- In addition to the work on Vevay Hill, the Indiana Department of Transportation is also working on a section of State Road 56 west of Vevay near the old campground. While the work is being completed, traffic will be restricted to one lane.
- Dan Noel announced that he was leaving his post as Principal at Switzerland County High School to become the Superintendent of Schools for the North Putnam School Corporation.
- The Switzerland County School Board officially voted to move the sixth grades back to their original "community school" for the 2013-2014 school year. All sixth graders have been attending Jefferson-Craig Elementary School in Vevay for the past three years, but beginning next year those students who attend Switzerland County Elementary School through the fifth grade will stay at that building for their sixth grade year.
- An early morning fire destroyed the building in the middle of Bennington that used to house the Bennington Post Office and the Hope Rebekah Lodge. The cause of the fire was not determined.
- Samantha Helt was honored as the recipient of the 2012 Lilly Endowment Scholarship, which is administered by the Community Foundation of Switzerland County.