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December 30, 2014 • Headlines

A total of 215 people were served a Christmas dinner from the St. John’s Catholic Church in Osgood. Coordinator Keri Johnson said as of 2015 they will be considered a separate non-profit organization known as the Hunter & Minta Memorial Ripley County Community Christmas Dinner Inc. This year marked the 30th anniversary for the meal. SUBMITTED PHOTO
A Look Back at 2014
Volunteers from People Helping People non-profit organization through American Electric Power Co. brought hundreds of canned goods to Versailles American Legion Post to distribute for the holiday charity drive.The Kroger Co. donated the driver and truck. We’ll have more about the legion Christmas program in The Versailles Republican newspaper January 1. MARY MATTINGLY PHOTO
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A look back at 2014
Top 10 local news stories

Mary Mattingly

A year has come and gone and with it all sorts of news, good and bad, from murder trials to corporation school grades. You often forget what happened throughout the year. Here’s a look at what we think were the top 10 stories of the year, the ones people were talking about or had a big impact. We’ll start from the bottom up.

10. Walkway proposed
Safe Route to Schools for Versailles was initiated this year. A $250,000 grant has been applied which will help fund an 8-feet wide path safely linking schools, sports complex and even downtown. It’s a long term project but one that will promote safety and enhance the quality of life to the southern part of the county. A local committee has been working to determine the best and most economical pathway. Several other communities also have this type of path, and many report favorable response.

9. Fuel leak
On August 14, a fuel leak caused Versailles Marathon gas station on US 50 and 421 to close for several days as the Indiana Department of Environmental Management investigated the source. Versailles Fire Department was dispatched due to a strong smell of fuel in the area. When firefighters arrived they found an undetermined amount of fuel in the ditch and storm drains. IDEM determined about 300 gallons were leaked. The source of the leak was from an underground pipe. Local residents had concerns about the water safety, but there was no issue with the water source, according to local EMA. The Versailles Fire Dept. spent a lot of time and resources to assist in investigation and keep the public safe.

8. Road incidents lead to criminal charges

The actions of some young men in the area also drew headlines in our papers. Six people were injured on Oct. 4 and one person killed as the result of an alleged drunk driving incident just outside of Ripley County, near the Jefferson Proving Ground. The Madison, Indiana driver crashed into a pickup truck on US 421 carrying five people from Ripley County. His passenger, a 21-year-old man from Kansas, was killed. The driver, Jordan Griffin, who had lived in Versailles and graduated from South Ripley, has been charged by Jefferson County prosecutor with OVI (a level 4 felony) and 8 counts of OVI (level 6 felony). Two of the children in the truck had serious injuries and are in recovery.

Another criminal incident occurred on May 22 and involved a trooper firing several shots at a vehicle as the young suspects fled and led police on a high speed chase through Dearborn County and into Franklin County where the two abandoned their vehicles. The trooper suffered minor injuries after being struck by the vehicle. Chad Sumler, 24, Versailles, and Dakota Fraley, 20, Holton, were later accused in a string of home burglaries across the area. The two were charged with burglary and conspiracy to commit burglary and theft.

Another criminal act that also garnered much attention was of a Moores Hill former Indiana National Guardsman who was discovered with multiple bombs and explosives in his vehicle on I-70 Jan. 1, 2014. Andrew Scott Boguslawski, 44, was sentenced in August in U.S. District Court to 24 months for illegal possession of 13 unregistered destructive devices.

7. Gas wars
Competition can be a good thing, or that’s at least what many Versailles motorists were thinking when a new gas station opened and pump prices fell. The Versailles and Osgood markets for gas per gallon was considerably lower than the surrounding area, which is not typical. At one point, gas dropped 40 cents in one day in late October. It created quite a buzz as people formed a line at the station for gas. Kelly’s Convenience Store is located on US 50, less than a half mile from the Marathon station. The gas prices reached below $2 before Christmas, but that’s not just local competition but global competition. The price of a barrel of oil from OPEC has dropped considerably in the last 90 days.

6. Felony trials
Although the murder of Nancy Hershman took place on Dec. 30, 2012, it took over a year (and longer) to bring the suspects to trial. Three people, two juveniles at the time, were involved in the murder of the Milan woman and dominated headlines in the paper as sentencing and trials began. It actually began as a theft for the teens, but Hershman walked in on them as they were taking her TV and the fatal shot was fired. Sean Nichols, 16, decided to enter a plea agreement Jan. 28 at Ripley Circuit Court and received 50 years for his role, 20 of those on probation. He apologized to the Hershman family in court. Daniel Hodge, 17, who was the Ripley County connection, was sentenced to 50 years on Jan. 30, 13 years suspended. The alleged trigger person, Allison Moore, 23, still awaits trial.

Editor’s Note: Look for the top five stories in The Versailles Republican Thursday.

Family committed to the Marines

Sandy Day Howard

Few families have known the depth of service and commitment to the Marine Corps like the Chase Family.  Coming from a long line of military service members, Paige and Brad Chase have every reason to be proud parents!  Their three oldest sons are currently serving in the Marine Corps.  Lt. Corporal Jacob Chase (age 22 and an Indiana Academy graduate) is an active duty Data Network Specialist in Beaufort, SC.  His brother, Lt. Corporal Joshua Chase, (age 21 and in Reserves) is a field radio operator.  Pvt. Joel Chase, (age 18) is stationed in Pensacola, FL where he is a Fixed Wing Aircraft Safety Equipment Mechanic and is adding additional schooling. 

Chase brothers


Left, Jacob, Josh, Joel and Jonah Chase relax on the beach. The three older boys are serving in the Marines.

Both he and Joshua are Greensburg High School grads, but have Ripley County connections. Their mother, Paige Chase is the former Marguerite Paige Hilton, a South Ripley High School graduate, whose family is from the Holton/New Marion area. The boys’ grandparents are Greg and Mary Meisberger Hilton from New Marion.

When asked about the interest her sons had in the Marines and their plans following service, their mom was sure of her response: “Joel had talked about joining the service for a while before enlisting. He enlisted right after he turned 17 and spent his senior year of high school getting ready. Josh talked about joining for a couple of years before he did. Josh has applied for the State Police Academy. His goal is to become a police officer. Joel is talking about making the service a career. Jacob became interested after Josh joined.”

Brad enlisted at 17 and was at boot camp when his class had high school graduation. The boys’ interest in becoming Marines was not accidental.  Their father, Brad, is a retired Corporal and served from 1984 to 1988.  In addition to his service, their maternal AND paternal grandfathers BOTH served their country in the United States Navy. Paige also informs us that she “also has a cousin whose son graduated from boot camp this month (another fine Marine). “ We have a family friend who will be graduating boot camp this month and his brother will be leaving next summer for boot camp (again, the Marines). I have two more cousins whose sons joined the National Guard. One of them, Christopher Allison, is in Afghanistan now. The boys have several friends who have enlisted in different branches of the service as well.” Brad and Paige have a fourth son still at home.  Jonah, 13, who is planning on joining the service when he graduates high school.

Since Christmas is such a special time for families, the logical question begged to be asked: Will they be home together this year?  They all made it home for the holiday. Another very important question arose as this story was being prepared: Would their three sons ever be stationed together?  Mrs. Chase was doubtful that they’d ever have that good fortune.

What is it that drives someone to commit themselves to the rigors of military service?  Is it the disciplines and interests that are instilled earlier in life?  For the Chase brothers, the answer is a resounding “yes”! In continuing her discussion on the three, Paige indicated that Josh and Joel both enjoy wrestling, golf and football.  Josh volunteers to help coach high school and elementary wrestling. He is also a referee for high school wrestling. Jacob is an Eagle Scout. He was extensively involved in scouts in leadership roles and camps.  He went to London for the world scout jamboree when he was in high school. He participated in cross country, wrestling, and track and to relax, he enjoys reading and cards.

Parents of military service men and women understand this sacrifice better than anyone else.  Mrs. Chase offered this:
“The pride you feel for your children is an awesome feeling but to see them at boot camp graduation and see how much they have grown and the kind of men that they are becoming is something so amazing. I am so proud of all of them. People always ask me how I handle having three sons in the corps. I tell them that you worry about them but I am so proud of the men they are becoming. No one knows what tomorrow brings and you have to let your children make their own choices and be there to support them.” She also adds that “Jonah misses his brothers but is very proud of them and makes sure everyone knows about them.

Sempre Fi?  Yes, I guess you could say that.  Sempre Fidelis is Latin for “always faithful”.  Thank you, Chase family, for your faithfulness to your country and your community.

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

• Rocks, eggs thrown at several vehicles (front page)
• New coroner for Ripley County (page 2)
• On The Record from the Ripley County Courthouse (page 7)

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