McDonald running for state senate seat

One of Ripley County’s own residents is hoping to be on the ballot in the general election in the fall. It has been several decades since Ripley County had an elected Republican lawmaker at the Indiana State Capitol.

Pictured left is Bill McDonald.


Ripley County Councilman Bill McDonald announced Monday that he is joining two other Republicans running for the State House District 43 position. McDonald is also the county jail commander. District 43 includes Ripley County, with the exception of Batesville, plus all of Ohio and Jennings counties, and portions of Bartholomew, Jackson, Decatur, and Dearborn counties.

The field was opened when State Senator Johnny Nugent (R-Lawrenceburg) announced in December that he will not seek re-election in Senate District 43.

McDonald said in his announcement, “After careful consideration with my family and close friends, I have decided to run for the Indiana State Senate District 43. “I look forward to bringing my local knowledge and experience to the Indiana State House. I look forward to ‘working to make a difference’ by fostering economic development and educational opportunities for the prosperity of all our counties.”

Ripley County Republican party chairperson Ginger Bradford introduced him at the annex building, noting past county residents elected to state positions. She said George Copeland served in the ‘40s, Ralph Dunbar in the ‘50s, and Mary Ann Akins in the late ‘60s. All were from Osgood, which could be “a good omen” for McDonald, Bradford commented. McDonald is also of Osgood.

McDonald is currently in his fourth year as a council member; however, because of a state law passed after he was elected to council, he cannot run for local office again since he is a county employee. He also said if he wins the state seat, he would resign from the jail commander position.

He has been involved in the Indiana Knights of Columbus, Osgood Lions Club, Special Olympics, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, and the Southeastern Indiana Recycle District.

McDonald will compete in the May Republican primary against Perfect North Slopes owner Chip Perfect and Columbus resident Mark Schneider. Rudy Howard is the only Democrat in District 43.


Archery club hits the target for youngsters

Mary Mattingly

The bullseye for the Good News Archery Club isn’t so much the target sitting 15 meters across the gym floor and 1.3 meters off the ground, but the children’s hearts and spirit.

The Good News Archery Club meets on Tuesday evenings at the Tyson Activity Center. At left, two kids check out how they scored on the target.


The club, which falls under the auspices of Child Evangelism Fellowship, formed in September. They meet weekly at the Tyson Activity Center. The discipline of archery as a sport is not only good for the mind and body but the soul as well.

Bridget Back, local director of CEF, said, “We aim to share with them the Gospel, and that God loves them. We have a fun time teaching and learning archery, but our primary focus is to share Jesus with the children during the Bible lesson time.” Both she and her husband Rob are certified instructors.

One recent Tuesday evening, about 11 children, ages fourth to sixth grade, gathered in the gym, bowed their heads to pray, and then listened to the rules from their archery instructor Rob Back, “No running on the range, and if you see a basketball leave it.” The children then walked quietly to the set of bows, and waited for the whistle. “It’s all controlled by a whistle. Two whistles means to ‘get bows,’ ‘one shoot,’ three to ‘go get arrows,’ ” explained Bridget. Listening is important in this sport. The whistle blew, and the kids quickly and quietly walked to the center of the gym to pick up their colored bows, and rested the bow on their toe, one of the steps they learn in orientation.

Archery seems to be a sport of manners, poise and courtesy. The Backs were trained by conservation officers who conduct it for the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP). This club follows the same techniques, fundamentals and rules. It’s not really about competition, although they have had one with the Christian Academy of Madison. It’s more about reaching out to kids through this ministry, teaching them the Bible and a life sport

“Of course there are many life lessons that can be taught through the archery program. One student comes to mind who could not stop talking, but after some training and encouragement this student was able to learn to control the chatter and has seen great improvement in shooting!” Bridget said. Unlike other sports, size and height don’t matter so much for success, but determination, focus and a good attitude do.

Levi Stratton, 10, seems to benefit from the eye-hand coordination practice. “I like to concentrate and shoot the bow. My scores have become better, but it does help me in pitching (baseball, his other sport).” Dakota Day, 13, says the sport develops a discipline beneficial in other areas. ”It helps me concentrate and keep my focus.”

How do you get better? “Practice!” the Backs say, again, not different from most other sports.

Archery at Tyson Center

At right, Paige Cooper and Rory Heffelmire load and prepare to shoot at the target, which is 80 centimeters in diameter.

There are 18 kids signed up, with more boys than girls, and they come from the Ripley County schools. Bridget said she and her husband had wanted to offer this archery/Bible ministry club for three years. “It not only touches the children, but the adults too,” she said. After 45 minutes of target practice, they get to the gist of the ministry and conduct about a 45 minute Good News Club, which includes a Bible lesson and other activities. Some high school students and a couple of the children’s family members help with setup and other needs. Adult leaders are often moved by the children’s heart-felt prayers and sincere praise to God.

The ministry is funded like other CEF ministries, through churches, businesses, and generous donors. The Tyson Fund helped with the purchase of the archery equipment and the Ripley County Community Foundation helped purchase a trailer to transport the equipment

“We are now ready to take the Good News Club + Archery on the road! We need churches and Christian volunteers to partner with us to set up clubs in Osgood, Milan, Batesville and Sunman areas. We are excited to see how God will use this part of the ministry,” Back said.

Schools in Jennings, Jefferson and Decatur counties have NASP archery teams. Anyone who wants to know more about the archery club, or even the after school Good News Clubs held in all of Ripley County’s public elementary schools, can contact Bridget at 756-1694.

The first thing taught at the Good News Archery Club is safety and that means getting a layout of the range, the range being the Tyson Activity Center gym. About half of the gym is used for the range. There are two shooting ranges, one 10 meters away, another 15 meters. The target is 80 centimeters in diameter.

• The club follows the NASP 11 step process, which is taught at orientation. The archer begins with the stance, straddling the shooting line with one foot slightly turned out. Before the whistle to shoot is blown each archer must be standing quietly with their bow resting on their toe. The Good News Club members are given cards to take home and memorize so they are comfortable with the instructions.

• A whistle is used to communicate commands or action. One whistle blast is to remove arrow from quiver and begin shooting; two blasts, archers to the shooting line; three blasts, walk forward and count arrows; five blasts, stop shooting immediately.

• In NASP learning the “process” of shooting is stressed far more than arrow scores. The only bow used is a “Genesis” compound which has no let-off and is adjustable from 10-20 pounds in draw weight at any draw length. Only full-length aluminum arrows are used to fit every student and to preserve NASP’s perfect safety record.

• If competing, the archer has two minutes to load and release a round of five arrows. They will do so at both the 10 and 15 meter lines, with one practice at each and three shooting. The potential to score is 300 points. The bullseye is worth 10 points, and so is the inner yellow ring.

• Eye dominance determines how you shoot. If you are right eye dominant, then you shoot a right handed bow.

• Bows are adjustable and can be tightened according to the shooter’s strength.

• Everyone at the Good News Club uses the same equipment. “There’s no ‘his bat or his shoes are better, ” as Bridget explains. The bows are provided by CEF, but one or two of the kids bring their own bows. They must be the same model as the club’s. The club uses Genesis bows, which are made for beginners. Bridget comments that Genesis is the beginning book of the Bible and means beginning, and hence this is the beginner’s bow!




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.

• South Ripley Raiders win Traveling Pride Trophy
• Funds available to fight drugs in Ripley County
• Bank recognizes friendly tellers