Kosciusko County Commissioners on Tuesday recognized Eagle Scout Jeffrey Naundorf-Miller for earning the maximum number of Merit Badges a Scout can receive – 137. Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer also sent Naundorf-Miller a congratulatory letter. Pictured (L to R) are Commissioners Brad Jackson and Bob Conley, Naundorf-Miller, Scoutmaster Richard McCleary, Boy Scouts of America Anthony Wayne Area Council Senior District Executive Michael Skeens and Commissioner Cary Groninger. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union.
Kosciusko County Commissioners on Tuesday recognized Eagle Scout Jeffrey Naundorf-Miller for earning the maximum number of Merit Badges a Scout can receive – 137. Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer also sent Naundorf-Miller a congratulatory letter. Pictured (L to R) are Commissioners Brad Jackson and Bob Conley, Naundorf-Miller, Scoutmaster Richard McCleary, Boy Scouts of America Anthony Wayne Area Council Senior District Executive Michael Skeens and Commissioner Cary Groninger. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union.
Jeffrey Naundorf-Miller, who just turned 18, is only the 475th Scout nationwide to earn all 137 Merit Badges.

The Kosciusko County Commissioners recognized him for his achievement at their meeting Tuesday with a framed certificate. Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer also sent him a congratulatory letter.

Jeffrey, the son of Stephanie and Mindy Naundorf-Miller, joined Scouting when he was 7 years old. By June 2019, when he was 15, he had earned 101 Merit Badges.

In presenting Naundorf-Miller with the recognition, Commissioner Bob Conley said, “This young man has achieved over 137 Merit Badges.”

Scoutmaster Richard McCleary said 137 was “as many as you can possibly earn.” It takes 21 Merit Badges to become an Eagle Scout.

Conley read the certificate, which states, “Kosciusko County Commissioners, be it known, that on the 3rd day of August, 2021, we, the Kosciusko County Board of Commissioners do hereby acknowledge Jeffrey Naundorf-Miller as an outstanding citizen of Kosciusko County and an exemplary Boy Scout. His achievement in earning 137 Merit Badges is an example to the future Scouts of stellar performance and dedication to his Troop and his leadership in Boy Scouts of America.”

Conley then asked Naundorf-Miller to explain what some of the badges mean. Naundorf-Miller said earning a badge means a Scout has a general understanding of the topic, whether that’s water sports, scuba diving or reptiles.

Conley told him, “We just want to recognize you for your effort and we’re proud to have a young man like this in our community. It’s the effort he put forth to do this stuff.”

McCleary said very few Scouts stay in Scouting once they become an Eagle Scout.

Boy Scouts of America Anthony Wayne Area Council Senior District Executive Michael Skeens said Naundorf-Miller “is the 475th Eagle to get all 137 Merit Badges nationwide.”

McCleary then handed Naundorf-Miller with the congratulatory letter from Thallemer, who was present at the meeting. The letter stated, in part, “You should be very proud of your achievement. You have proven your exemplary work ethic, focus and dedication to reach this rare and commendable goal. It is a wonderful acknowledgement of your outstanding involvement in our community as an Eagle Scout. I look forward to seeing the great things you do with your future!”

In other business, the Commissioners:

• Approved permission for Sheriff Kyle Dukes to turn in a grant through the United States Department of Justice for $24,000. He said it will be used to purchase bulletproof vests for the deputy sheriffs, including looking at vests for jail officers.

• Approved County Highway Superintendent Steve Moriarty to purchase a Ring-O-Matic Combo jetter for $188,725. He said the money was in his budget.

• Heard from Vicki Morton, Syracuse, on a number of topics.

She said she drives from Syracuse to Warsaw, sometimes twice a day, and she sees a lot of county roads that are in disrepair. Specifically, she mentioned, in Turkey Creek Township, Morrison Island Road.

Every time it rains, she said the whole road floods as does the grass on either side of the road. Morton said she thinks the road has sunk and has gotten worse. Later, Commissioner Brad Jackson referred her to Moriarty.

Morton, the Kosciusko County Democrat Party chair, also spoke to the Commissioners about the July 8 public forum with Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita and all three Commissioners. She said she was not allowed to speak, even though she had raised her hand for a long time, as well as several others. Morton said it was supposed to be an open forum and she felt “so much hate, particularly to my black friends who were there.”

She asked if county attorney Ed Ormsby was compensated for his time at the July 8 event since he is paid by the county. Ormsby told her no.