2013 Year in Review Headline
Tragedies, murder case top local stories

A year has come and gone, and with it some major happenings in our local world. The biggest news of the year was probably also the saddest and most tragic for many. Three teens from South Ripley were killed in a two car accident, March 7. 2013. Three others were injured. They were attending a Future Farmers of America function at the Hopewell Church when some left to get refreshments. Both vehicles approached a four way stop intersection and collided. The three fatalities included: Timothy C. Bowman, 17, of Osgood-driver of 1996 Ford F250; Jacob Vogel, 18, of Versailles-passenger in 1996 Ford F250; and Samantha R. Hanson, 18, of Holton-front seat passenger in 1996 Dodge Ram 3500.

Thomas Crawford, the 17-year-old driver of the Ford F250, later admitted to reckless driving and reckless homicide. The judge sentenced him to 120 days at Cedar Bridge juvenile center, suspended his driver’s license and ordered him to probation until he was 21.

A big fundraiser was held in the summer for the Samantha Hansen Memorial Scholarship, and at the 4-H fair, her cow raised over $11,000.

There were other big stories this year, from the investigation and subsequent charges of the Dec. 30 murder of Nancy Hershman of Milan, to EMS woes, disagreement over the deputy squad car use. Leaders in authority faced criminal charges, including the sheriff’s office chief deputy and the Sunman clerk-treasurer, who was later removed from office due to the Class A misdemeanor conviction. There was good news too, for example, South Ripley Junior High earning the prestigious 4 star status from the state, a first ever for the school corporation. Milan’s new ’54 museum opened with a big parade and fanfare, to name a few.

We often forget what happened in the past year, so this Year in Review will help refresh your memory of the news happenings. We’ll have headlines from the first six months in today’s paper, and the last six months in the Versailles Republican. (The adjacent dates are of the publication date.) Happy New Year!


1Giving Hearts a Hand, the not for profit organization bringing cardiac screenings into schools, had plans to be at South Ripley High School in April offering free screenings to student athletes.

3 Milan woman murdered; police ask for help. The death of Nancy Hershman, 68, of Milan in the early morning hours of Dec 29/30 is being ruled a homicide.

8 Three arrested in connection with Milan murder: Ripley County Prosecutor Ric Hertel called a press conference on January 7 to announce that Allison Moore, 22, of Colerain Township, Ohio was charged with the murder of Nancy Hershman on December 30. Two male juveniles were also charged.

10 Tami Rees, 32, of North Vernon, formerly of Holton, has pled guilty to embezzling $176,157.52 from Napoleon State Bank over the course of four years. She was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison.

15 No bail set in murder case: Allison Moore was officially charged with murder, burglary, and conspiracy to commit murder on January 14. Charges dropped on over 100 in raid on Acapulco restaurants: Police arrested 109 people who were charged with crimes. Later 107 of those charged were released with all charges dropped against them. Only Acapulco Restaurant owners Adolph Lopez and Bonito Lopez were charged in the raid.

17 Making meth at Moonlight Motel lands three Versailles residents in jail: Rebecca McGuire, Joseph Keith, and Douglas Estelle of Versailles were all arrested in a meth raid at Moonlight Motel.

22 South Ripley sophomore’s death being investigated: Matthew Willman, 17, of Versailles died Jan 20. Youngman’s Marathon in Napoleon has third burglary in 10 days. New Point Stone Quarry’s Napoleon office was completely engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived on the scene at 4 a.m. January 17.

24 School security questioned at Milan school board meeting: Milan’s emergency response plan is under review to see where security can be increased; Sunman Town Board meeting draws large crowd: Patrons expressed their discontent with the condition of Concepts Industrial company’s property. Also discussed were the recent charges of misuse of the town’s credit card by town clerk-treasurer Kris Schneider.

29 Funeral services set for Milan Town Clerk-Treasurer: Gladys Moody had served as Ripley County Court Reporter for a number of years before taking the Clerk treasurer position at Milan.

31 Holton tornado has now claimed third life: Longtime Holton resident Ted Tolbert died this week from injuries sustained months before when a violent tornado ripped through Holton on March, 2012.


2 Milan fire ruled as accidental electrical: Devastating damage was sustained at the former Chris Volz Motors building, a result of incorrect size electric cords being used in the building. Youngman’s Marathon, Huck’s Gas Station, both robbed at gunpoint; Marathon was burglarized four times in less than 30 days.

7 KDH hospital building to remain vibrant part of Madison through Triology purchase Demaree honored at SRHS: Gene Demaree was honored for his upcoming induction into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame.

12 Osgood Public Library board of directors discussed making the library’s anniversary memorable.

14 Milan Town clerk-treasurer appointed: Dale Holbert became the new officer for the Town of Milan after the passing of Gladys Moody, former clerk-treasurer.

19 Cross Plains home totaled from chimney fire. Petition for town police officer presented at Napoleon meeting: Pizza Hut to open in Versailles in March.

21 Amended charges filed in Acapulco case: Charges of theft, racketeering, forgery, and perjury have been filed on owners Adolfo Lopez and Benito Lopez in regard to their operation and ownership of Acapulco Restaurants; Kings Daughter’s Health will open its $100 million dollar hospital facility.

26 Retiring SRHS principal Bob Meyer was presented a distinguished service award on behalf of the South Ripley Community.

28 Almost 12 months after a tornado ripped through Holton, residents are seeing results of their efforts to rebuild.


3 JCD Eagles clinch Sectional Championship title: Lives remembered, and celebrated at Holton event.

7 Use of the county vehicles for pipeline escort were addressed.

12 School and community mourn loss of 3 SRHS students killed in deadly crash: Three young lives were tragically lost when six students leaving a Future Farmers of America breakfast at Hopewell Church collided at a country intersection 4 way stop. The Dodge Ram, driven by Thomas Crawford, 17, struck the Ford 250 broadside. Curtis Bowman, 17, and his passenger, Jacob Vogel, 18, as well as Samantha Hansen, 18, who was in the Dodge, were pronounced dead at the scene. Crawford and two other passengers in his truck, Kayla Adkinson and Caleb Cumberworth, both 15, were seriously injured in the crash.

14 Hoosier Hills Water’s request denied: Due to legal issues, Ripley County Commissioners were unable to approve a request by Hoosier Hills Water to use highway easements to install Versailles water lines.

19 Napoleon Town Council considers neighborhood watch program.

21 Milan High School Principal Paul Ketcham has been named as Milan’s new superintendent, replacing Dr Thomas Reale, who will now be the assistant.

26 Southeastern Career Center works with area schools to boost graduation rates.

28 Jim Corbin was named as the new EMS director.


2: Investigators searching for the cause of an accident that claimed the lives of 3 South Ripley students on March 7.

Cross for three SR teens

These crosses were erected at the intersection of the tragic accident March 7 to remember the three South Ripley teens who died.

4 Oak crosses have been crafted and will be erected in a ceremony on April 6 at the intersection of 850W and Fairground Road where three teenagers lost their lives in a tragic accident last month.

9 The towns of Holton and Versailles are on track to have their new water addition by the end of the year as promised, thanks to an approval from Ripley County Commissioners.

11 South Ripley student Natalie Brinson named 2013 Ripley County Lilly Endowment Scholar.

13 Napoleon to participate in Neighborhood Watch program presented by ISP. Fatal crash report reveals drivers were not racing when the three teens were killed.

18 Hearing continued concerning teen involved in robbery, murder: A hearing to decide if “DH” will be waived into adult court for the murder of Nancy Hershman was held April 16. The hearing was continued until May 24.

23 In a heated meeting of the Sunman Town Council, resident Dale Ellinghausen presented a petition calling for the resignation of Kris Schneider, who has been charged in Ripley Circuit Court with federal charges stemming from alleged misuse of the town’s credit card. Holton board discusses issues with Red Cross.

25 Charges filed against teen in fatal crash of S. Ripley teens.

30 Commissioners say amount set by sheriff for off-duty pipeline escort detail insufficient: Ripley County Sheriff’s sent a letter to commissioners regarding Auditor Bill Wagner’s attempts to access the credit card rewards redemption program information.


2 Anhydrous ammonia thief caught: Laughery Valley Co-op in Osgood was the scene of an attempted theft of the ingredient used to produce methamphetamine.

7 Child molester convicted: Jason Wade Halcomb was found guilty of 2 counts of felony child molesting after a 2 day jury trial in which the victim had to testify. Republicans announce intent to run for judge and prosecutor 2014: Ric Hertel will run for county prosecutor once again. Ryan King has announced that he intends to run for circuit court judge, and Jeff Sharp announced his intent to run for superior court judge.

9 Long-time editor leaving county for sunnier skies: Wanda English Burnett left Ripley Publishing Co., Inc at the end of May after nearly 30 years in the local newspaper business.

14 Betty’s Shop celebrates five decades: Betty McGlone of Osgood celebrating two milestones this year. She will be 90 on May 17th and she has been in business in Osgood for 50 years.

16 Bob Meyer will be retiring in June after teaching, coaching, and being the principal at South Ripley for 34 years.

23 The Pollard family of Versailles received the Ripley County Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year award for Pollards Bowl, Inc.

30 SR Jr High School was named a Four Star School recently through Indiana’s Department of Education. Sheriff Tom Grills was unable to attend the commissioners meeting but sent a letter in response to a statement made by commissioner Rob Reiners regarding whether or not the commissioners had approached county council to request a lower budget for the sheriff’s office.


4 Nate Greer, valedictorian, and Russell Pitts, salutatorian, were Milan’s top scholars at graduation ceremonies.: Jason Wade Halcomb of the Milan/Moores Hill area was sentenced to 40 years for each molestation felony count, to run concurrently.

6 South Ripley Class of 2013: 73 students graduated from SRHS with Megan Bales taking valedictorian honors and Megan Jeffries being the class salutatorian. An empty chair draped with a white graduation robe sat near the podium for Samantha Hansen, the classmate who died in March’s tragic automobile accident.

11 JCD awards valedictorian honors to Ashley Hammond. Mary Hussung won 100k on a Hoosier Lottery scratch off ticket last week.

13 The grand opening of the Milan ’54 Museum had a big turnout as the crowd enjoyed a parade much like the one in 1954 when the Milan Indians won the state basketball championship.

18 Mary Mattingly has recently been named editor for Ripley Publishing Co, Inc.

20 Home Sweet Home: Lonnie and Thurman Marcum entered their new home on Versailles Street in Holton, built with tornado disaster money and by many church volunteers. For the first time since the 90s, Versailles has raised its sewage rate.

25 Ripley County Relay for Life’s surpassed $131,000 with donations still coming in; Ripley Co. Council discusses a 3% across the board pay increase for county employees.

27 The county sheriff’s office has received reports of explosive device in mailboxes in Delaware Township.



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