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Features

  • The McKim’s One Day Meat Sale is one of the busiest days of the year for the small Mount Vernon grocery store, and long-time employee Rick Englebright can confirm that. He spent much of that Thursday running to the back, stocking shelves and helping customers find what they needed.

    He was also stopped by customers who didn’t need anything from Englebright, except a moment of his time.

  • Hundreds of students have passed through Dan Guthrie’s office over the last 29 years. They’ve visited the Mount Vernon High School guidance counselor for numerous reasons, positive and painful. As the faces came and went, Guthrie said he always hoped that the work he did had a positive impact on Mount Vernon students.

    “I think that’s what anyone in a helping profession hopes for,” he said. “You hope you are making a difference and helping people when they need it most.”

  • This week our local meteorologist, Hans Schmitz, tackles storms and sunsets. One question relates to hurricanes and hurricane season, which officially begins June 1.  The second question relates to sunsets, which become potentially more colorful when temperatures rise.


    What is the difference between a cyclone and a hurricane?

  • Father Jim Sauer is the outgoing, friendly pastor at St. Matthew Catholic Church in Mount Vernon, and last month, he celebrated 40 years in the priesthood.

    It’s a journey that has taken the man of the cloth across the state and beyond, but Sauer remains lighthearted and humble about the special milestone.

    “Some days it feels like yesterday, and other times it feels like 100 years,” he said. “It’s like a marriage in that way.”

  • Julie Turner’s love of flowers began many years ago, but it wasn’t until recently that the Mount Vernon resident realized how rare her favorite blooms were.

    The long-time gardener has dedicated a total of five acres of land on her family farm to growing flowers, particularly daffodils. They have been Turner’s favorite flower since she was a girl, but until she attended the World Daffodil Expo in St. Louis last year, she didn’t know that she owned several uncommon and sought after varieties of the plant.

  • Residents had their last opportunity to contribute a small piece of history to Mount Vernon’s bicentennial time capsule Saturday.

    Letters, rectangular signs and other memorabilia filled three folding tables at the Fire and Safety Training Room where the capsule’s “public sealing” took place. Bicentennial Committee President Becky Higgins said the open house event was a chance for residents to see the capsule’s contents, but noted that the object won’t truly be sealed for several more months.

  • Mary Buchanan is a member of an increasingly rare demographic, what the working class respectfully refers to as “a lifer.” For over 43 years, Buchanan has remained loyal to a single employer, the MSD of Mount Vernon, where she currently serves as Treasurer and Secretary to the Superintendent.

    At the last school board meeting, the members approved her September retirement request – though not without some hesitation.

  • The six teenagers traded jokes with one another and adjusted their gear absentmindedly as the smell of hickory smoke wafted through the open window.

    A crackle escaped from behind the steel door, and a Black Township firefighter soon emerged.

    The group of once giggly high schoolers quickly drew quiet and attentive. Soon, it would be their turn to put out the fire quietly kindling in Room One.

  • This week, we ask our meteorologist Hans Schmitz some questions about Southern Indiana’s unusual weather.

    Why is Southern Indiana so humid in the summer?

  • Jake McGennis is a lifelong Posey County resident. He’s been involved in agriculture since before he could walk, so his recent partnership with Curran Miller as a consultant just made sense.

    “I’ve been involved with ag for many years. They were looking for someone with a farming background. This is an avenue I’ve been interested in, so it just kind of fell into place,” said McGennis.

  • Kolton Robison doesn’t look like a typical hero. First off, he’s a little short for the role. With his rosy cheeks and shy smile, the Mount Vernon seven-year-old doesn’t share many physical similarities to the superheroes on his favorite t-shirts.

    But looks can be deceiving. For Robison’s grandfather, Herb Lafferty, the young boy is a true lifesaver.

  • Many people say that opposites attract. John Hysel is not one of those people.

    “That may work for magnets,” he said, “but in my experience, it doesn’t really apply to people.”

    Instead, Hysel is a strong believer that the more a couple has in common, the stronger their relationship will be. He and his wife, Linda, have been living that philosophy for nearly 40 years, and continue to do so in the room they share at Mount Vernon Rehabilitation and Nursing Home.

  • When Peggy Shorter opened the door to her basement last Wednesday morning, she was greeted with the sight of water spewing from the back of her washing machine.

    Shorter, 72, was beside herself. As a widow on a fixed income, she wasn’t sure where to turn for help and wasn’t strong enough to turn the water valve off.

    “I’m not even sure how long it had been leaking down there,” she said. “It had been four days since I had last gone to the basement.”

  • This week, we bring you two thought-provoking questions submitted by students in Mrs. Cammy Rodger’s fifth grade class at Farmersville Elementary.

    Readers can submit their own weather-related inquiries to the Mount Vernon Democrat, and every month, Posey County resident and agriculture meteorologist, Hans Schmitz, will select two to answer.  

    Send your questions to us at editor@mvdemocrat.com, or call us at 812-838-4811.

    Can it rain if there are no clouds?
    (Submitted by Landon)

  • For Marissa Priddis, Director at the Alexandrian Public Library, no two days are the same.

    The self-described “loud librarian” has served as APL’s enthusiastic director for 10 years now. She said there are many pre-conceived notions about libraries and the librarians who work there.

    “We’re not the typical stuffy, stuck-in-our-ways librarians people sometimes imagine,” Priddis said. “We embrace technology and that allows us to offer even more resources to our patrons.”

  • Juanita Hyatt, the lifetime Posey County resident known for her stylish hats and sharp wit, is celebrating her 100th birthday Jan. 31. A special luncheon will be held in her honor at the  Ford Home on Sunday, Jan. 29.

    Hyatt has become a staple of New Harmony, a piece of the town and its history that is still being written.

    “I wake up every morning and thank the Lord that he saw me safely through the night,” Hyatt remarked. “And whatever comes up on a daily basis, I try to handle.”

  • This week, we bring you another installment of “Ask the Meteorologist.” Readers can submit their weather-related inquiries, and every month Posey County resident and agriculture meteorologist, Hans Schmitz, will select two to answer.  

    Submit your questions to us at editor@mvdemocrat.com, or call us at 812-838-4811.
     

  • The Mount Vernon Booster Soccer Club recently received $350 from the Indiana State Police Alliance’s Cops for Kids program. The program awards grants for youth organizations that are either directly or indirectly affiliated with a member of the Indiana State Police Department.

    The money will be used to help fund part of the Booster Club’s junior high cub soccer camp in June. Specifically, it will be used to pay for T-shirts, water and Gatorade for the players. The club receives donations from other organizations as well in order to pay for the camp.

  • The National Association for Campus Activities recently named Mount Vernon native Kendal Lang as a 2016 Outstanding Undergraduate Student Leader at its annual Mid-America conference.

    Lang is a senior at Indiana University/Purdue University-Indianapolis (IUPUI). Lang is majoring in health and rehabilitation sciences with a minor in gerontology and will be graduating in May of 2017. She plans to attend graduate school at the University of Indianapolis in August of 2017 for a Master’s of Science Degree in Gerontology.

  • If you were a boy in the 1950s living in Mount Vernon, you went hunting, fishing or played baseball.

    Randy King, like many younger brothers, grew up idolizing his oldest sibling, Charlie. Some of King’s earliest memories are watching Charlie and members of the Mount Vernon Merchant baseball team return to the field on late summer afternoons.  

    “I just remember that group of guys were something special to see, both on and off the field,” King said. “Everyone used to go out to see the games.”