Subscribe to the Ripley News e-EditionDearborn County Hospital

• Letters to Santa
• CVS Pharmacy • JayC Food Stores
• JT Mega Discount Warehouse
• Mattress & More • Bass Pro Shops
• S.E. Indiana Recycling District

Visit our advertiser's website by
clicking on their ad!

The Versailles Republican

December 18, 2014 • Headlines

Above from left, Amy Streator, executive director of the Ripley County Community Foundation, presents a check to Becky Waterman, NMLRA president. Read the complete story in The Versailles Republican. Pick up a copy at your local newsstand! SUBMITTED PHOTO
Officer Jason Dickerson helps Caden,7, shop during the William Rayner FOP Cops and Kids program Saturday at Walmart. See more photos in The Versailles Republican. Pick up a copy at your local newsstand or click here to subscribe.
Home-school students Maria and Elizabeth Purdy help nursing home residents bowl. Read the complete story in The Versailles Republican. Pick up a copy at your local newsstand! New subscribers receive a $10 gas card when they subscribe before December 24. Click here for details.
Ripley Publishing Company Subscription Promotion
Tom Tepe Autocenter
Tom Tepe Autocenter
Friendship State BankKing's Daughters' HealthWhitewater Motor Company Inc.
Four Seasons Stove ShoppeRipley Publishing Company, Inc.
Low gas prices may hurt U.S. later

Mary Mattingly

The low gas prices at the pump are putting an extra bounce in many people’s step, and experts think it will hit below $2 by Christmas. It has for 15 states already.

Versailles gas prices
How low will prices go? These were pump prices at two stations in Versailles on Wednesday at noon. Many experts predict it will go under $2 a gallon.

Prices in Versailles continue to drop this week, below the state average of $2.35. As of Wednesday afternoon, gas at two local stations was $2.05 and $2.07 a gallon. Since the local gas wars started this fall, Versailles and Osgood pump prices have been reportedly one of the lowest in the area. Batesville, for example, has typically been at least 20 cents lower than Versailles in the past, but Wednesday morning it was 17 cents higher. In Lawrenceburg gas was $2.36, Madison $2.18, Milan $2.19 and Sunman $2.34. The prices have fallen for 82 days according to various media reports, and are expected to continue to drop. However, some warn it won’t last and could hurt the national economy.

State Rep. Randy Frye, District 67, has been appointed to the state energy committee, a new assignment for the three-term, state senator who represents Ripley County and several other southeastern Indiana counties. Frye has kept abreast of energy issues of late and was involved with it during the past four years due to his work on the state transportation committee with his natural gas bills for vehicles. Frye spoke with Ripley Publishing Tuesday about the upcoming General Assembly and the conversation led to talk about gas prices. He doesn’t think it is good for Indiana, or the U.S. What Frye has learned about decreasing oil prices is “scary” he said Tuesday. “OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) is flooding the world with cheap oil and trying to put the U.S. out of business.” OPEC can afford to drastically drop the barrel price, which was at $47 a barrel Tuesday, but the U.S. oil companies cannot go below $60 a barrel to break even, Frye said. It has been reported that Russia’s economy is on the verge of collapse, because it is mainly based on oil production and sales. This drop in crude oil also caused the U.S. stock market to drop, Frye added.

“Our entire industry and the independence we’ve achieved with fracking are at stake. If OPEC continues to sell oil below $60 a barrel then our industry will go bankrupt. “ While the low gas prices are saving consumers, shippers and airlines billions now, Frye says, “It’s a short term bait for a long-term entitlement.” He said it will affect electric rates and the coal industry. “This is a global war. A global gas war.”

As an Indiana legislator, there’s not much he can do, he said. He briefed the governor’s energy staff recently and met with U.S. Rep. Luke Messer Tuesday night. He thinks a top ranking political figure or some U.S. oil tycoon losing a lot of money needs to push for a tariff on anything below $60 a barrel. That could keep the U.S. in the game, he says. The U.S. has surpassed Saudi Arabia’s production in oil and gas in 2014. But OPEC has deep pockets, and can sell below market price for a long time. “Our industry is new though. It’s a precarious position for us. I hear very few sounding the alarm but me,” Frye said. The U.S. has made great strides in energy independence and production, Frye noted. “It’s a power play and it’s a very big stage. A lot of losers are going to be created,” Frye said.

In the meantime though, consumers can’t help but enjoy the lower gas prices, which means more “jingle” in their pocket. Retailers have already said it’s helping greatly to increase holiday sales.

Flu may have hit; schools report more kids absent

State health officials warned recently that the flu may hit harder this season. On Tuesday, some of the local schools reported a spike in absenteeism. South Ripley Elementary reported 90 percent attendance. Principal Mark Collier said it is normally at 96 percent. South Ripley High School had 45 out Tuesday, which is high, principal Dr. David Wintin said. They had 21 absent Wednesday. Jac-Cen-Del Elementary had 44 students out Tuesday, which is 10 percent of their student enrollment.

“Tuesday was high. We typically have between 10-20 in cold and flu season.  Yesterday was rough,” Principal Travis Rohrig said. JCDHS had 20 out Tuesday, a bit high considering it is finals week. It was better Wednesday with just 20 out, but the nurses station was very busy, according to Rohrig.

Milan Elementary Principal Jane Rogers said the school’s attendance rate was lower than normal Tuesday, but nothing “alarming.” She said many students took advantage of having flu vaccines given at the school in the fall, through the health department and Margaret Mary Health. Rogers said it helps that they have a full-time nurse and they constantly encourage the children to wash hands and cover their coughs, and to stay home if ill.

Ryan Langferman, MHS principal, said they have not noticed an increase in sick kids, but did say those that do miss seem to be out longer than one or two days. They had 21 students absent Tuesday.

Pick up this week's edition of The Versailles Republican for the stories below and more local news. Subscribe by clicking the subscribe link or call 812-689-6364.

• Home schooled: Families prefer teaching at home (front page)
• Versailles council meeting: Lions Club plans to add event to Pumpkin Show (front page)
• Letters to Santa (section C, pages 1-8)

Your Ad HereGilpins Monuments
Napoleon State BankRipley Publishing Company, Inc.
Ripley Publishing Company, Inc.
115 S. Washington Street
P.O. Box 158
Versailles, IN 47042

Phone: 812-689-6364
Fax: 812-689-6508

© 2014 Ripley Publishing Company, Inc. | All Rights Reserved | Site Designed and Maintained by Maria Sieverding | Email:
Southeastern Indiana REMC