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The Versailles Republican

May 8, 2014 • Headlines

Versailles memorial service pays respect to 43 who died.
Milan Indianettes Dance Team places at Northern Kentucky University competition.
Versailles memorial service honors fallen officers.
Tom Tepe Autocenter
Tom Tepe Autocenter
Friendship State Bank Whitewater Motor Company Inc.Ryan Holcomb at Edward Jones
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Absentee votes give Linville edge for commissioner seat
It’s Cumberworth vs. Sutton for sheriff

Mary Mattingly

Your vote does count, and it was evident in the tied Primary race for Ripley County Commissioner District 1. When all 25 precinct results were in Tuesday night, the votes between Republicans Robert Linville and Stan Wiedeman were each at 1,076 with both having 35 percent of the vote. There were a total of 434 absentee votes cast.

Robert Linville and wife Carolyn
Robert Linville with his wife Carolyn after winning the tied vote for the Republican commissioner seat.

The two sought each other out at the courthouse annex where candidates and their supporters gathered as the results came in. “Wow!” several said as they saw the exact number under each of their names. The two were also surprised, shook hands and complimented each on a well-run race, as the absentee votes were being counted. About 10 minutes later, Linville pulled ahead with 1,221 votes to Wiedeman’s 1,182 votes. “I’m very surprised it was so close…Stan’s a good man and I expected him to win,” Linville said immediately afterward.

It wasn’t so close for the sheriff’s race for the Republicans. Jeff Cumberworth, a local state trooper, got 51 percent of the vote (1,774), followed by Rob Bradley with the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office at 34.7 percent (1,205) and Versailles Town Marshal Joe Mann with 14 percent or 494 votes.

Democrat Tim Sutton had 83 percent of the vote (560) to Josh Thompson’s 108 votes or 16 percent.

Republican Bill McDonald of Osgood ran for State Senate 43 but lost in Ripley County to Chip Perfect. McDonald had 960 votes to Perfect’s 1,181. Perfect ended up winning the district, with 49 percent of the vote. The ski resort owner will face Democrat Rudy Howard in the General Election.

Many of the candidates and their supporters gathered at the courthouse annex to watch the numbers come in over several monitors. It was the first time for the annex to be used as an election headquarter, and many commented how roomy and comfortable it was compared to the courthouse. Votes were seen over several monitors as they were posted online.

Jeff Cumberworth and supporters


Jeff Cumberworth, in the dark shirt back row, is surrounded by his “team” that helped him in the Primary campaign. Cumberworth won the Republican nomination with 51 percent of the vote. He’ll face Tim Sutton in the fall.

Cumberworth noted he felt his door-to-door, one-on-one campaigning helped win votes Tuesday. “I thought I could do it myself, but it became clear early on I needed help and it took a team.” He also felt his 31 years of experience with the state police resonated with voters. “I was born and raised here, and a lot of people know me. You treat people how you want to be treated, and hopefully, they go to the polls for you,” the 51 year old said.

Voter turnout for the day was low at 20.42 percent. Out of 20,903 registered voters 4,269 voted. It was similar to the 2012 May primary, which was 20.18 percent. Ripley County actually had a better turnout than a few surrounding counties, such as Decatur which had 14 percent and Dearborn County with nine percent.

It was a first time entry into politics for many of the candidates. Sunburned from campaigning all day, Jay Gayheart was one of them. He ran for commissioner, and stated before the evening polls were in, “It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life!” He ended with 527 votes or 15 percent. Stan Wiedeman said, “As a newbie, what an experience! Win or lose I’m a winner because of all the friendships I made.” Bill Flannery was very busy the last few weeks, campaigning for commissioner, attending special events and meeting people. He had 467 votes or 13 percent of the vote.

Joe Mann too was new to politics. From the experience, the Versailles law officer learned, “I’m not a politician! It takes a lot to do it, a lot of guts, a lot of go and lots of energy. I commend anyone who does it.” Prior to the results posted, he also said it was a very clean, positive race, and “I thank my competitors for that.” Bradley, also a first time campaigner, said earlier in the evening Tuesday, he’s enjoyed meeting people in a more positive term.

The candidates were surrounded by family and friends, many sporting tee shirts of their candidate.

There were not many contested races, but the sheriff’s and commissioner’s were the ones that brought out voters. The county sheriff office was open due to the two term limit rule, and commissioner Robert Reiners decided to not run for district seat after serving for many years.

In the fall, voters will choose between Cumberworth and Sutton for sheriff. There is no Democrat running for commissioner seat, but the party chair can appoint one for it, and for others not contested by July 1.

The superior court judge race with Jeff Sharp, a Republican, and John Kellerman II, a Democrat, will be in the fall, and at this point, Ryan King runs unopposed for circuit court judge on the Republican ticket. Ric Hertel is also unopposed by the Democrats for prosecutor. James Morris, who has been the superior court judge for 18 years, watched the precinct numbers come in Tuesday at the annex building, and admitted “It’s odd to not see my name on the ballot. “

Others like Shawna Bushorn, who is running unopposed for assessor on the Republican ballot, like to keep tabs of the votes as they came in. Incumbents Republicans Bill Wagner for auditor and Jeff French for surveyor were also on hand to watch the results unfold. Neither have opposition for the fall election, at least not yet.

One race that may be interesting in November will be between Republican Ron Decker and Democrat Bill Dramann for county council District 1 seat. Neither had opposition by their party for the primary.

For county council, Chad Pindell won the District 3 seat for the Republican nomination with 61 percent (593 votes) against David Simon. Ed Armbrecht is unopposed for county council District 4 seat for the Democrats and so is Dephane Smith for the Republicans council seat District 2.

In contested trustee and board positions, on the Republican ballot Chris Bradford won for Laughery Trustee, Ruth Hughes for Center Board, Lorraine Workman for Delaware Board, Dennis Sanders for Johnson Board, Mary E. Mays for Laughery Board, Ray Tucker for Otter Creek Board. And, for the Democrats, George Ammerman for Adams Board, John R. Meisberger for Shelby Board, Debra Cutter for Washington Board, Paul Voss for Adams Board, and Phillip Morgan for Shelby trustee.

In state elections, Republican incumbent Luke Messer will be facing Susan Hall Heitzman, who got 48 percent of the vote, for 6th District congress. However, Corinne Westerfeld won Ripley County’s vote with 242 votes or 37 percent. Republican incumbents Randy Frye and Cindy Ziemke were both unopposed as state representatives. Ziemke will face Glenn Bailey in the General Election.

Those who lost mother recall her love
Memories of Mom...

Sandy Day Howard

“All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”

Youth fades; love droops, the leaves of friendship fall; A mother’s secret hope outlives them all.

Mother’s Day is fast approaching and many of us who have our mothers with us are calling florists, buying cards, and planning dinners to commemorate their special day. We are the fortunate ones. There are thousands of those who are living in our community who are not so lucky; those whose moms are not physically here. This is for them.

Opal Meisberger Day’s mother passed away in 1975. Her name was Julia Matthis Meisberger. Most of her children are also deceased now. Opal, and her sister Millie Webster are now the only two surviving children, and remember their mother.

“My mother always put us kids first. We grew up in the Great Depression, but my mother sacrificed what little she had to see that we had more. She had a very loving heart.”

Julia Elizabeth Matthis Meisberger was married for over 50 years to Charles Meisberger, who preceded her in death in the late 1960s. Julia suffered through the death of an infant daughter, a two-year-old girl, and a son who died in his early 30s of epilepsy. Still, she carried on. She had three other daughters, and two sons who grew into adulthood.

“My mom had the most beautiful white hair in her later years,” recalls Opal. “ She loved to fish, and always caught the big ones! Somewhere along the line, people began to call her ‘Peggy,' but I never knew why! I remember how, when my sister Millie and brother Howard and I sang on the radio in the early 1940s; my mother found a way to take us to all of our performances. Sometimes we traveled by bus to Tennessee, Alabama and Kentucky. My mother always went with us. I have no idea where the money came from to pay the fares, but she wanted us to realize our dream to perform.

“Once, during those Depression years, my mom didn’t have money to feed us, when we were on the road, and she had to ask a woman in Alabama if she could fix us a meal. I’ll always remember what that had to take for my mom, a proud woman, to ask for someone to feed her children,” Opal tearfully reminisced. “I’ve never forgotten how my mother set her pride aside to take care of her kids. We never had much during those difficult years. But we had our mother’s love. And that was enough.”

(Opal Meisberger Day was 86 on April 17. She is this journalist’s mother. Her legacy, and her love for my brothers and I, has sustained me. I’ll always cherish who she is, and what she endured to make me what I am today.)

Anna Prince, who is an 18-year-old South Ripley senior this year, lost her mother at an early age. She has had more than her share of loss at her young age. When asked what she missed most about her mother, she replied: "My mother was Cassandra Faith Prince. She passed away when I was 12. The thing I miss the most about her is the love she gave me. She was my best friend. Living without her being here has been my hardest challenge. I don’t have her here for advice, and she wasn’t here to help get me ready for prom like I always wanted. It’s been a tough journey, being a teenage girl without a mom,” said the beautiful, soft spoken 18-year-old high school senior. “But, every Mother’s Day, I spend my time wondering what it would be like if she was here.”

Katrina Cole Keck’s mother died just last year. I asked her about her mom, a stunning woman whose pictures display a beautiful likeness of her daughters. She remembers her mother like this: “My mother was Joann Barbara (Cross) Cole. I would like to share memories of a beautiful lady, inside and out, who was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend to so many people! As I reflect on my childhood, I remember a mother who worked hard to provide for her family and raise four loving children to the absolute best of her ability…and then some! Michelle, Dwayne, Joey and I are four of the luckiest kids on earth as far as we’re concerned!” remembered Katrina.

She continued, “We had a mother whose world revolved around her children. While times were tight in Holton, Indiana, we never realized at the time how much our mother gave us. Maybe not materially, although I still wonder how she bought our shoes and clothes on the small paycheck she received from the shoe factory. But, real life lessons of loving and caring for our neighbors, to always do our best even when the odds were against us, and to never judge another. To learn to love unconditionally, along with forgiveness, are the best lessons that a mother can teach a child. Everything else falls into place behind that.

“I know Mom struggled about whether she did a good job as a mother because of mental illness. But, I told her, ‘Mom, you taught us more about life than most people will ever know.”

“I will be eternally grateful for those life lessons.” Katrina added. "While I could probably write a book about why I’m so grateful to my mom, I’ll always know in my heart that we had the best mom in the whole world!”

Everyone’s journey through life is different. Each of us is blessed in different ways, with different lives, and with different people who come and go. Each of them makes an impression on us, changes us, forms us. We, THEY, are only human. In imperfection, in times of hardship, and in tender moments, our mothers are the ones who are irreplaceable. They are our treasures, more precious than any earthly wealth. Remember to acknowledge them for who they are and for what they’ve given to our lives. Even if they are no longer here with us, keep them close at heart.

On Mother’s Day, and always, to the wonderful women in the world who never knew how special they were and are, Happy Mother’s Day! The lessons you taught by the way you lived your lives have touched our own in ways you could have never imagined. We celebrate you. And we cherish you always.

And, I realized when you look at your mother, you are looking at the purest love you will ever know.

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.

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