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The Versailles Republican

July 17, 2014 • Headlines

Pictured above are 15 members of Sunman High School Class of 1954. The group met for a reunion at the Hillcrest Country Club in Batesville.
Construction progress is moving rapidly on the US 50 property in Versailles. Chris Kelly is building a gas station and
mini-mart there with plans for two other retailers to move in as well. Earlier this week, underground gas tanks were installed.

Kylie Demaree as Rose, with Joshua Clark as Cementhead, with the
Beast, played by the director Zach Flax during a theater workshop at Tyson Activity Center in Versailles.

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Ripley County 4-H Fair opens this weekend
Fair: a family event

Mary Mattingly

Ripley County Fairgrounds sign4-H Pledge
My Head to clearer thinking
My Heart to greater loyalty
My Hands to greater service
My Health to better living
for my club, my community, my country and my world.

Sunday marks the beginning of the end of summer for many. That’s because the Ripley County 4-H Fair, always held the third week in July, opens Sunday in Osgood. It’s a signal school is around the corner. “The 4H fair is the culmination of summer,” as Dave Osborne, Ripley County extension director and 4-H educator, says.

There are 608 kids involved in 15 4-H clubs, including the mini 4-Hers. Of those, all will bring at least one project to be judged next week. On average though, 4Hers bring four or five projects, according to the local extension office. A few ambitious 4-H members may do a dozen!

This year, there are about 40, 10-year 4-H members. (See the special fair section in today’s paper.) Jessie Minneman is one of those 10-year members. She was put on a horse at three days old and rarely likes to be off of one, she said. The 4-H program helped develop her passion. She participated in the horse and pony show since she was young enough to do so, and today, even gives lessons to the younger 4-Hers. “I would definitely recommend 4-H. It’s a good experience. You can make lots of friends and learn leadership too,” she said. It’s helped define her career goals, as she will be pursuing a pre-veterinary degree when she goes to college this fall.

Projects/exhibits are actually being accepted on Saturday. The two exhibit buildings will then be open during the fair from 5 to 9 p.m. for public viewing. Even if you have never been involved in 4-H, it’s a must-see at the fair. The scope and breadth of several of the projects, all done by young people, is impressive. And, to see the 1,000 or so projects in some 74 categories gives you an idea of the importance of 4-H here. It shows character traits, like discipline and goals.

Ripley County has high involvement in 4-H, according to Osborne. Not only is it because of the community support, but also due to family tradition and values. “I loved doing the projects when I was young. It is a very family oriented activity and a fun way to learn new things,” Osborne said.

“Seldom do you not see families…grandma, grandpa, uncles, aunts, siblings all rally around whether if it’s for the cat show or the steer. That’s why I like it.”

The fair itself is family friendly. As Osborne says, it’s not a costly day out for a family, with nominal parking fees (three free days: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday ) and wristband days on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday for the Midway. There are walking and non-walking exhibits to view, fair food to eat, booths to visit, live music, midway rides and grandstand events.

The grandstand events always lure in crowds. The weekend truck and tractor pulls are probably the most popular. This year, the fair board is trying something new and offering a rodeo on Wednesday night. There are classes to sign up for, steer riding, mutton busting for the kids and amateur bull riding for the first 20. “It’s a big undertaking, a big investment, and we hope to get a good turnout,” Osborne said. It’s on one of the three wristband nights, which usually helps draw in families as well.

A few years ago they offered pig wrestling and barnyard olympics as a grandstand event, and will again this year on Monday as it has been popular since it’s very local. It’s the same night the baby show is held.

Fair officials are praying for dry, not too hot weather. Last year, was good but a couple of years before they had to send animals home due to the excessive heat. Osborne said 80 degrees would be ideal, and of course, no rain! The extended forecast looks for mid 80s at the first part of next week.

Metal theft interrupted

An observant Versailles business owner thwarted a metal theft of his own business. Ripley County Sheriff Rodney Stratton said dispatch got a call at 9:25 a.m. Tuesday from Steve Arney who was following a pickup truck full of metal that he believed was taken from his business, Versailles Dunbrick, at 3484 S US 421. He remained on the phone as he followed the truck, until police arrived. The truck was fully loaded, keeping it from going too fast.

He told police he had arrived at the business when he saw a loaded truck pulling out. The metal was identifiable because of the particular forms used by Versailles Dunbrick.

Police are submitting charges to the prosecutor’s office for review. Suspects include Jacob Street, 26, Moores Hill; Noah Davidson, 28, Milan; and Samantha Combs, 24, of Milan. Sgt. Corky Houseworth with the Ripley Co. Sheriff’s Office investigated and discovered this was the second load taken from the business. The other one had already been sold to Schneider’s Scrap Metal. The estimated value of 3,200 pounds was $300.

All of the metal products were returned to Arney. Stratton said it was a watchful eye from the business owner that helped catch the suspects. The investigation continues, and charges will be forwarded to the prosecutor’s office.

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.

• New name for soccer field
• Kids 'act out': Workshop exposes 15 to theater at Tyson
• 2014 Ripley County 4-H Fair: July 20-26 special section in today's The Versailles Republican

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