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September 16, 2014 • Headlines

Cecilia Volk teaches at the S.E. Indiana YMCA as part of a new state grant for 20 preschoolers.
Read the article 'Free preschool starts for local kids: Head Start has 294 preschoolers' on the front page of today's Osgood Journal.

Pictured left, Gary Johnson, a blacksmith who lives in Friendship, shows off his skill at the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association event in Friendship. He came in second place in the new Artisans competition. Right, Dennis Priddy of Nashville, Michigan, crafts wood muzzle loading rifles, air guns and fowlers. Visitors can choose the wood they prefer from his shop. SANDY DAY HOWARD PHOTOS
One of the popular attractions of the NMLRA is the primitive camp and live demonstrations. There were several activities over the weekend
for the children, from stick pony races to making wooden forts. The museum is open throughout this week.

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Shuttle should help Pumpkin Show parking

Mary Mattingly

Many who work and live in the county seat of Versailles anticipate the town’s biggest annual festival. The 112th Versailles Pumpkin Show, Sept. 24-28, centers around the courthouse square and brings in thousands of people to the community, many of those former residents and many who just enjoy a great festival! Here are a few details about the week’s events. Look for our special Pumpkin Show section in Thursday’s paper.

Parking: Take the shuttle!
Saturday’s parade is a highlight of the five-day festival and probably draws the biggest crowd. This year, the sponsors of the show, the Versailles Lions Club, are trying something new for safety and convenience reasons. Courtesy of the Lions, there will be a shuttle every 15 minutes Saturday with pick up at South Ripley High School. Richard Zinz, president of the Pumpkin Show, explained this will help alleviate the congested highway and downtown streets. “It will be much safer and secure to park your car at a designated area, rather than walking along the highway. It should help with the traffic problems we always have, and we think more people will show up because it’s easier to get in and out,” he said. He said they’ve always worried someone could get struck and hurt while walking on the highway.

The shuttle will begin at 7 a.m., to ensure visitors reserve a good vantage spot for the 10:30 a.m. parade. (Parade-goers have typically marked spots as early as 7 a.m.!) People may bring folded lawn chairs onto the bus, at the discretion of the Lions member overseeing the loading. Look for bus pick up signs at the high school and the short 14 passenger bus. Drop off will be at Rayburn’s Auto Center, just a few blocks from the square. An officer will be on hand to direct traffic and help at the road crossing. The shuttle will run until 5 p.m.

“I’m sure there will be a learning curve and some bumps along the way as we try to figure this out,” Zinz said.

Decorating contest: Homes and businesses
Homes and businesses are encouraged to show their pumpkin spirit in the decorating contest. Simply decorate your home or business in a theme related to the Pumpkin Show. The entry form is due Thursday, Sept. 18 to Ripley Publishing at 115 S Washington Street. There are cash prizes!

Art show: Portraits, landscapes, photography and more!
The county courthouse halls show off the artistic talent of area residents. Entries are due for the Tri Kappa and Versailles Lions Club Versailles Pumpkin Show Art Show by Sept. 23. The work will then be displayed Sept. 24-27th. There are various categories for age to type of art (landscape, portraits, floral, photography Ripley County scenes, still life, miscellaneous and more.) The entries must be ready to hang and an artist can exhibit up to eight works, space permitting. Monetary awards for best of show, first, second and third place are given. Any artist living within 100 miles of Versailles is eligible to submit art.

5K walk-run: Sunday, Sept. 28
For the third year, a 5K walk run will be held on the final day of the Pumpkin Show, Sunday, Sept. 28. It begins at the Schuerman Law Firm building on the east side of the square. There are various age groups for both runners and walkers, beginning with age 13 and under. There are usually about 100 participants, some serious runners, others there to get exercise, or to complete a race. Advance registration is $10, or $15 the day of the race.

Rule reminder: No dogs, skateboards or bikes

The Versailles Lions Club wants everyone to enjoy the festivities, but that does not include dogs. Zinz said even if they are on a leash, dogs are not welcome because the Lions do not want to be held responsible. Also, no skateboards or bikes are allowed and all must wear a shirt. We’ll have more about the Pumpkin Show in upcoming editions.

Hospitals, doctors cautious of virus

The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) confirmed that four children were diagnosed with enterovirus D68 (EV-D68). The four children are from Lake County, and were admitted to hospitals in Chicago and have since been discharged. Several other suspected cases are pending testing at the state department of health laboratory. This strain of enterovirus is a respiratory illness which can be serious in people with underlying medical conditions, such as asthma. People who smoke are also at higher risk for severe infection from the enterovirus.

Dr. David Welsh, Ripley County health physician, commented last week that there have been 500 cases evaluated at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, but none confirmed locally. Milan, South Ripley and Jac-Cen-Del schools did not report a spike in absenteeism on Monday or the previous week. The surge was reported to continue in emergency room visits in Illinois and Missouri with 11 of 14 cases in Chicago and 19 of 22 people tested in Kansas City. About a dozen states have reported a higher than usual number of severe respiratory infections. Some patients have been sick enough to end up in intensive care. Margaret Mary Health has not seen a significant increase in serious upper respiratory illnesses for this time of year. Rachel White, the infection prevention coordinator at MMH, explains that because there is no different treatment for the virus from other common respiratory illnesses, most physicians and hospitals do not test for the virus. Most infections are mild and require only symptomatic treatment.

Welsh and
Indiana State epidemiologist Pam Pontones says those with weakened immune systems or underlying medical conditions, such as asthma, may experience more severe complications requiring hospitalization.
“Some of the more severe symptoms include wheezing and shortness of breath and difficulty speaking,” Pontones says. “So, someone who has developed symptoms of a cold that progress to that severity certainly needs to contact a health-care provider right away.”

Welsh said it’s only children being affected now, as the virus developed in the 1960s so many adults have been exposed and built immunities. Symptoms include low grade fever, cough, runny nose, sneezing, body / muscle aches. Welsh said the difference between this and other respiratory illnesses is “They get sicker faster.” If this occurs, parents should have the child checked by a physician. Margaret Mary Health Pediatrician Dr. Andrew Poltrack advised that children less than two months old, who have a rectal temperature of 100.4 or greater, should be seen immediately.

The Indiana Health Department is working with local health departments and health-care providers to monitor for cases of enterovirus D-68 and the CDC is assisting with testing. Pontones says this type of surveillance is critical to rule out other respiratory illnesses. 

Pontones says, “There is no vaccine for it and because it is a virus antibiotics are not effective.”

Physicians recommend frequent hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes, disinfecting common areas, not sharing utensils or drinking cups and staying home if you feel ill. Welsh added to also have the “three-foot rule” creating a wide berth from the infected individual .

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.

• Free preschool starts for local kids: Head Start has 294 preschoolers
• Guest Editorial: If your child is disabled, social security can help (page 4)
• Practical Money Matters: Under 26? Should you stay on your parents health insurance? (page 4)

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