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July 18, 2013

Versailles school officer resigns

Mary Mattingly

Dan Goris

Versailles will be looking for another school resource officer.

School Resource Officer Dan Goris turned in his resignation an hour prior to the monthly town council meeting Thursday, July 11. Goris has taken a position with the Department of Homeland Security. Versailles Police Chief Joe Mann and the council were surprised. The retired state trooper, Goris was hired as the town's first resource officer in November, 2011. Versailles partners with the South Ripley School Corporation and the Southeastern Career Center for the SRO program, but a grant from the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute has funded it. The town has applied for a three year grant through the federal COPS program to continue with the SRO.

Sue Meisberger, town council president, said Goris was an asset to the police department and town. Councilman Steve Mathes and Mann also only had praise for his work. When he was not in the schools, Goris would fill in and help patrol Versailles.

As a school resource officer, Goris brought several programs to the students, including bullying, safe prom, bike and bus safety, positive choices, and anti-drug programs. He also would often teach courses in the high school government classes on various rights, such as arrest and search and seizure.

Goris, who lives in Versailles, will be one of two field representatives for the Homeland Security's new "Safe and Secure" program. A bill passed in the 2013 General Assembly and became effective July 1 to provide a safer school environment. He will help process and coordinate safety programs within schools throughout the southern part of the state. He commented that the Indiana Attorney General had already conducted a survey prior to the Sandy Hook school shooting before initiating this statewide safety bill and program.

Versailles Town Council members said they plan to continue with the School Resource Officer program and work with South Ripley School Corporation. The position will be posted. Goris starts his new job early next week. Ripley County is part of his territory.

In other business, a few more people have expressed an interest in forming a Main Street committee. Council said they need about four or five more people to formalize a group. If interested in helping develop and promote the city, contact any of the council members or the Clerk Treasurer Kiersten Libby.

Department reports

Police Chief Joe Mann reported he was involved in security detail with the Samantha Hansen benefit at the fairgrounds. (The council also agreed at the July meeting to donate $200 to the Hansen scholarship fund.)

Mann told council he's still removing many yard sale signs. He reminds the public that garage or yard sale signs are not permitted on public street signs or utility poles, and there is a fine.

Fire Chief Ben Sieverding said they had 29 calls, and no major incidents. They have worked on tweaking the sirens also.

Utilities superintendent Kevin Hensley's report included: Mulch has been delivered to the park; two water mains have been repaired; the sewer line is finished on Benham Road; 11 manholes are being rehabbed; and the safety harness for sewers has been installed. He also will be getting identification badges.

It was noted the historic preservation has about $2,700 left and will transfer to the town to use for pruning the 227 cherry trees. Hughes Tree Service will do the work.

The council meets the second Thursday of the month, at 7 p.m, at the town hall. The meetings are open to the public. Council members include: Steve Mathes, Sue Meisberger and John Holzer. The town attorney is Larry Eaton.

Foundation endowments become personal
Six new funds established in 2012

Linda Chandler


Left, Sally Morris, Ripley County Community Foundation executive director, and Brenda Wetzler, board president, were happy to see the big crowd at the annual meeting.

Those attending the Ripley County Community Foundation's annual meeting held July 11 at the Big Four Cafe in Batesville were touched by the stories told by family members of those who started new endowment funds in 2012.

Six new funds were established in the RCCF that honored loved ones and will benefit others in the way of scholarships and supporting organizations that were dear to them.

Roger & Janice Lamping spoke about their daughter, Corrine, who lost her life in a car accident in 2012. Mrs. Lamping told how her daughter was a talented cosmetologist, who dreamed about owning a salon with her sister. The Lampings did not want her dream to fade away so they established Corrine's Believers Scholarship Fund through RCCF. The scholarship will go to a Ripley County sophomore that has been accepted into the Southeastern Career Center's cosmetology school and one will go to an Indiana student who plans to attend Aveda Fredric Institute in Indianapolis.

Sarah Mathes talked about her little sister, Emily, a South Ripley freshman honor student whose life was tragically cut short in an accident last year. Emily had many friends at Milan, Jac-Cen-Del, as well as South Ripley. Her family and friends established the Emily Mathes Memorial Scholarship Fund that will provide two scholarships for South Ripley students and another in the near future to either a Jac-Cen-Del or Milan student.

All of the fund originators spoke about how the RCCF has helped them to remember their loved ones and the good works they did, and that the funds will make a positive difference in the lives of so many for years and years to come.

Other funds that were established in 2012 were: E. George Jr. & Gertrude Ammerman Endowment Fund; Mary Horstman Memorial Operating Endowment Fund; Gerald & Johanne Graham Memorial Volunteer Scholarship and the Westmeyer Family Memorial Scholarship.

Eric Bentz, a member of the Foundation Board of Directors and a 2001 Lilly Endowment Scholar introduced the 2013 RCCF Lilly Endowment Scholar, Natalie Brinson along with Ripley County Community Scholars, Megan Bales, Robert N. Greer, Anna Meer and Russell Pitts, who each received a $1,500 scholarship.

Brinson will receive four years tuition and a $900 annual stipend to the Indiana college of her choice.

Milan High School graduate Nicholas Walter, 2012 Lilly Scholar, and son of Kevin and Brenda Walter of Sunman, spoke about his freshman year at Notre Dame University. He is majoring in Biology and Chemistry. He noted that he has met "incredible people who do incredible things". Being a Lilly Scholar has allowed him to stay focused on homework and his academics.

Board member Mark Collier announced that in 2013, the RCCF will give over $20,000 in the form of small grants, $500 or less and has $90,000 to give out in the fall in large grants, $5,000 max.

John Kellerman, RCCF attorney, noted that the foundation realized a gain of 12.3 percent in 2012.

Jason Riley, who serves on the Ec015 board, told the audience about the ongoing collaborative efforts of the RCCF, local business leaders and educators to move Ec015 programs forward in the county high schools. The program helps to move students into careers in advanced manufacturing, healthcare and tourism.

Foundation Executive Director, Sally Morris, spoke about the tornado that struck Holton in 2012 and how the RCCF became the fiscal sponsor for donations sent to Holton. Over $275,000 in donations came from churches and volunteer groups and individuals from all over the country.

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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