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March 10, 2015 • Headlines

Versailles F&AM #7 presented a 50-year award of gold to W.B. Everett Wood. He was worshipful master of the Versailles Masons in 1967. His grandson presented his 50-year pin. Pictured from left, Brother Darron Wood, W.B. Everett Wood and Richard Landis. SUBMITTED PHOTO
The mounds of snow piled around town, like this one at South Ripley administration office in Versailles, continue to linger as a reminder of the recent snowstorms. MARY MATTINGLY PHOTO
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Loose cattle cause accident|

Two cars collided with loose cattle on the road, causing injuries to the drivers. The call came into dispatch Sunday, March 8 at 12:34 a.m. of two vehicles and several cows on SR 350 near the old Seagram buildings. Officers arrived and noted three cows had been struck and several more were running loose.

Car-cattle crash


Pictured left is Brittany Swinney’s car after the car-cattle crash.

Brittany Swinney was traveling west on SR 350 toward Pierceville when she struck one or two cows. Her vehicle then went left of center off the roadway and struck a fence. A short time later Anthony Tucker was traveling east on SR 350 toward Milan. He observed Swinney off the roadway and began to slow down to assist her when his vehicle struck a cow and flipped forward end-of-end and rested on its top. Swinney was transported to Margaret Mary Health by Rescue 30 where she was treated for minor injuries and later released. Tucker declined treatment. He was alert and walked away from the scene. The cattle belonged to Jeff Meinders of Milan, who responded to the scene and took control of the cattle. Besides the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office, Osgood and Milan police departments, Milan Fire and first responders, Rescue 30 and Ripley County Medic assisted scene.

Has spring sprung?
Road crews hope winter is over

Mary Mattingly

Cross your fingers that Mother Nature is finished with her winter tantrum. It’s safe to say most people are “over it” as we roar into March and many hope we exit the month rather quietly, like a lamb, as the saying goes. This week is actually off to a much better start than last week when we dealt with two snowstorms in four days. The forecasted temperatures are vastly different than last week, with a 40 degree difference from one Thursday (20 degrees as a high) to this Thursday (60 degrees is being called for!) Perhaps the spring season has sprung, even though the vernol equinox isn’t until March 20. It’s not for sure if the season is behind us, but if not, the town, county and state highway departments are equipped to handle more of winter if need be, or at the least be prepared for next winter.

The county highway department went through 1,000 tons of salt and 4,000 tons of cinders for the winter, which is half as much as last year. Wednesday’s snow and sleet storm dumped an additional 2.5 inches to Versailles/Osgood area, 1.4 inches to Batesville to already several inches of snow, some which had melted when it rained all day last Tuesday. County highway department workers had 27 hours of overtime from last week as they operated the 14 trucks and three snow graders throughout hundreds of miles of county roads. While the season started later (last year the trucks were plowing and treating roads in November), 2015’s winter weather has lasted longer. Consider that in late February of 2014 here was a tornado touchdown, and that we’ve dealt with two snowstorms in the first five days of March.

Besides the road crews, the winter weather has kept police departments busy. According to the state police, from midnight March 4 through 7 a.m. March 5 the state police responded to 127 property damage crashes, 32 injury crashes, one fatality, 175 slide offs and 227 calls for general assistance.

Towns too have tried to keep on top of the snow and ice. Kevin Hensley, Versailles town superintendent, said there has not been as much accumulation as last year, but the challenge this year has been the freezing cycle. They went through about 120 tons of salt/cinders so far, and last year, it was twice as much.

Harry Maginity with Indiana Dept. of Transportation said their salt supply remains “in good shape.” There has been no issue with salt supplies like last year. “We’re into basketball sectionals now and I remember worse snows than this and trying to get to sectionals,” he said. “It’s winter and it’s not unusual to have snow this late.”

Ripley County falls under INDOT’s Seymour District, which is responsible for maintaining 4,675 lane miles of state roads. The county’s sub-district is Aurora, but there is a garage with a couple of yellow state trucks located in Versailles.
The challenge, from his road perspective, has been the wet fronts. “We do well with snow. We pretreat it and push it out, so there is a barrier with the pavement.” Precipitation can run off the pre-treatment. He added, “I’d rather have a dry road than a wet one which refreezes.” Maginity said it takes two to three hours to run a snow route and if you get behind what’s left could refreeze.” You walk a very fine line on how much salt to use if it dilutes,” he added.

Meanwhile, flooding is a concern in the tristate. The Ohio River was expected to crest at 53.6 feet (minor flood stage) sometime Sunday. The swollen river could cause flooding of the Laughery Creek in Dearborn and Ohio counties. Up next for state and local highway crews? Potholes. The constant refreezing could cause more, but the state has focused on pavement preservation which reduces the cracks that develop into potholes, according to Maginity. “We will be out working on those. We’ll turn these plows into asphalt mixers!” Anyone who notices a pothole on a state road may call the Seymour customer service district number at 877 305 -7611.

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.

• Osgood man convicted of child molesting (front page)
• College News (page 2)
• Long-term care insurance may provide little assurance (page 4)
• JCD Eagles are 2015 IHSAA Class 1A Sectional #60 champions (page 5)
• Classified ads (page 9)
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