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May 29, 2012

Post offices remain open with limited hours

Wanda English Burnett

The good news that all post offices will remain open comes with a reduction of hours at many of the offices that were not even on the initial list for closure.

The plan was to close several thousand small post offices after May 15, but now the proposal is to keep them open, only with shorter hours.

It was a long hard fight after various small communities found out their post office could be closed.

Community meetings were held where people spoke about how closing the post office would affect them and felt it would hurt their community.

Senators urged Patrick Donahoe, postmaster general, to postpone closing any post office with the Senate voting to pass a bill that would stop many of the closings. An overhaul on the postal service is needed to keep them out of bankrupty, according to the postmaster general. At a news briefing he wanted Congress to act on legislation that allows the agency to move ahead with the cost-cutting effort.

He said they heard the voice of the people and are going to keep the post offices open but more than 13,000 rural post offices will have reduced operations .

More cuts are in the future of the mail service as they are expected to announce closing more than 200 mail processing centers.

They are also exploring the cost-saving measure of ending Saturday mail delivery and Village Post Office concepts, which would mean it would be a facility inside a library, government office or a store such as a Walgreens etc.

Another attempt to save would be in the plan to do away with full time postmasters who do not have labor contract protection. These would be replaced with part time workers.

The plan is to possibly buyout postmasters, over 13,000 of them, who are now eligible for retirement. It was noted that more than 80 percent of the costs for the postal service is labor related.

Of course the new world of electronic service has also impacted the postal service. The forecast is that with people paying bills online they will lose $14.1 billion by the end of this year and even more by the 2016.

For Ripley County Post Offices hours have been posted to change at the following locations:

Pierceville cut from six to two hours; Friendship from eight to two hours; Cross Plains, Morris and Napoleon would go from eight hours to four hours; and Holton would go from eight hours to six hours a day.

While those reductions are not set in stone, they are the most recent announcement the postal service has given.

Elementary principal named at JCD meeting

Wanda English Burnett

Several recognitions and personnel changes were made at the regular meeting of the Jac-Cen-Del School Board of Trustees held May 16.

The board voted unanimously to approve Travis Rohrig as the principal for the elementary school.

Board members were very complimentary of Rohrig taking the position with Deanna Young, board president, saying he had done a great job as a teacher. She said she believes he will do a great job and be a good mentor. Paul Hardy also joined in saying Rohrig had "earned the elementary principal position."

Outgoing board member John Billman noted that he has tremendous faith in Rohrig and has seen a tremendous growth in him over the year. "You may not always know the influence you have on a student," he advised.

Rohrig will take the position of principal effective July 1, 2012.

Some of the recognitions included:

• Dr. Leanna Phillippe thanked Mrs. April Hughes and her students for all of their hard work and beautiful job they did on the elementary landscaping. She also thanked everyone who was involved in the art show, book fair and music program.

• The Fourth District Girls Basketball Coach of the Year award went to Scott Smith.

• Superintendent Bill Narwold complimented the high school and elementary on their outstanding art and music programs.

• Mrs. Dixon's kindergarten class adopted a kindergarten class from Henryville and raised over $1500 to help them buy books for their classroom after it was destroyed by the March 2 tornado.

• Congratulations were given to the first junior high academic team who placed in the top ten in the state.

• The high school social studies academic team placed second in the state and were also congratulated. They will be receiving medals, a team plaque and the Napoleon State Bank will provide them each with a ring for their accomplishments.

• The "I Caught You Award" was given to Cindy Toops for the many ways that she supports the Jac-Cen-Del School system , staff and most importantly, the students.

Under personnel:

• The board accepted the resignation of board member John Billman effective June 1, 2012, due to him locating outside of the Jac-Cen-Del School district.

• The retirement of Paul Thole was unanimously accepted and is effective May 31, 2012.

• The board accepted the retirement request from Susan White as a corporation bus driver effective May 21, 2012.

• David Huling was granted his request to resign from his teaching position at the end of the 2011-2012 contract period.

• Vicki Demaree was given unanimous approval to be a corporation bus driver beginning with the 2012-2013 school year. She will get all benefits provided in the educational support staff package. It was also recommended that the 30-day probation period be waived.

• The board approved 2012 summer employees for the following positions: technology, transportation, building/grounds, summer recreation, latch key and camps/condition.

Lunch prices will remain the same for the 2012-2013 school year with the elementary school students paying $1.25 for breakfast and $1.50 for lunch; the middle/high school prices will be $1.50 for breakfast and $1.75 for lunch. Adults will pay $2.50

The middle/high school handbook for 2012-2012 was unanimously approved.

In other business:

• Dr. Phillippe shared the results of a survey regarding students wearing school uniforms. Overall 69% did not want to implement a school uniform policy. It was noted that JCD will not be moving forward with any type of motion for a school uniform dress code policy at this time.

• Melodie Busch, chairman of the JCD Scholarship Foundation, gave a report about the process and determining factors of recipients. She said the foundation is operated by volunteers who hold various fundraisers to supplement the amount of awards. Since 1989 the foundation has awarded 380 scholarships. She also noted that private donations are also received and very appreciated.

• Alex Dodge shared that he had been a boyscout since he was 12 and has now completed his sixth and final rank to become an Eagle Scout. The JCD senior created an organized walking trail in the woods across from the high school. He hopes it can be used as an educational tool for students. The Eagle Scout project is complex, but Dodge continues to work on the trail he named in honor of classmate Emily Huntington, who lost her life in a vehicle accident during the school year.

• Health classes for the 2012-13 school year will be online through the Indiana Virtual Academy.

• The band width issue has been taken care of with the purchase of additional megs through the Indiana Virtual Academy.

• JCD will have five seats at the Learning Center, which will be taught through the Virtual Academy as before.

• A horticulture course through the Southeastern Career Center is in the making.

• Cummins Diesel, Columbus, will be signing an agreement with the Southeastern Career Center to build a building, provide two dyno units and software for a diesel program. This would allow students who complete the program to immediately start a job at Cummins.

The next regular meeting of the Jac-Cen-Del School Board of Trustees will be held Wednesday, June 20 at 6:00 p.m. in the JCD Middle/High School Cafeteria. The public is invited to attend.

To read these and more articles pick up a copy of The Versailles Republican at your local store or subscribe by clicking on the link above or by calling 812-689-6364.
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