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August 18, 2015 • Headline News
Can your dog do this? Check this out and more at the Indiana State Fair. The fair runs through August 23.
Indiana State Fair 2015
Above is a fair exhibitor with her llama. She is one of many exhibitors at the Indiana State Fair. The fair runs through August 23.
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Batesville Council president is acting city executive

Batesville’s day to day city operations continue despite the absence of the mayor. Batesville Mayor Rick Fledderman was arrested last week and charged with patronizing a prostitute, a Class A misdemeanor. On Friday, an announcement from the city stated that Fledderman designated city council member Gene Lambert as acting executive of the City of Batesville with all powers vested in the Mayor.  Lambert is currently the president of the council.

As of August 12 under Indiana law, Lambert will be acting as the city’s executive under this designated authority for a period up to 15 days. In the short-term, this designation will allow all city business to proceed uninterrupted during any absence of the mayor, Lambert said in a statement Friday afternoon. Members of city council are also consulting with Jeff Stratman, an attorney in Aurora, in an effort to provide uninterrupted city business and services if this becomes a long-term absence of the mayor.  Batesville’s city attorney is Lynn Fledderman. She is the niece of the mayor.

“As there are current criminal accusations pending against Mayor Rick Fledderman, upon the advice of legal counsel, the City of Batesville has no further official comment at this time,” Lambert said.

Fledderman’s arraignment is scheduled for August 25 at Ripley Superior Court. If he has hired a lawyer, his lawyer may go in his absence.

Experience the Indiana State Fair
Much to see, do and eat at the fair

Mary Mattingly

It’s a huge understatement that there is a lot to see at the Indiana State Fair. Consider: A Ferris wheel that goes high enough to see the skyline of downtown Indianapolis; a 1,134 pound hog that eats 25 pounds of food a day; an elaborate cheese sculpture that mimics Mount Rushmore; plus costumed llamas, giant sized rabbits and 4-H art exhibits that could hang in an art gallery. And we didn’t even mention the food, which apparently is the No. 1 draw to the state fair, according to the state fair website.
Indiana State Fair 2015MARY MATTINGLY PHOTO
The scene from the Ferris Wheel on Saturday, August 8, the second day of the fair.

There are 140 food vendors that feature such delectable items as fried Oreos and fried bubble gum, apple dumplings topped with caramel sauce and ice cream, chocolate covered cheesecake on a stick or frozen chocolate bananas, and s’mores and lemon milkshakes. It may be the only place where the line to the dairy bar is longer than to the real bar! (For the second year, locally made beer and wine are available to those of age in the Grand Hall, across from the renovated Coliseum building.) Other heartier selections include lamb parfaits smothered with mashed potatoes and gravy in a clear plastic cup, deep fried corn on the cob, doughnut burgers with all the trimmings, and the signature food this year, the smoked pig patty. Several fair-goers were walking around chowing on giant roasted turkey legs. Then there are side dishes like deep fried cheese nuggets and sweet potatoes with marshmallows and brown sugar. That being said, the fair is not a place to diet or count calories!

The 2015 Indiana State Fair opened Friday, August 7 and continues through August 23. If it seems longer than “back in the day,” it is. Lesley Gordon, state fair media communications, explained that it went from12 days to 17 days in 2009. Up until 1982, the fair was 10 days. Fair board members hedged that adding an extra weekend was insurance against inclement weather. It’s the sixth oldest held state fair in the nation, having started in 1852, and continuing annually with the exception of 1861 (Civil War) and 1942-45 (WWII). When it’s all over, close to a million people from all over the state and elsewhere will visit the grounds, with the majority or 300,000 arriving from central Indiana.

Many Ripley County residents make the hour-long drive to see how their own 4-H livestock exhibits are judged. Monica Hansen, program assistant at the Ripley County Purdue extension office, said they took three vehicles full of 4-H exhibits August 3. There was photography, fine art, wood science, sewing, quilts and flower arrangement to name a few submitted from local 4-H members. (Note: If you are looking for them, the flowers and gardening are displayed in the Purdue Ag/Hort Building, and the others in the Centennial and 4H Building, all arranged by alphabetical order of the county.) Several livestock projects were hauled there from Ripley County as well, including county pigs from the Ronnebaums and McGuires, beef steer from the Neals, and sheep and goats from the Wiedemans. Those who show their livestock (there are 18,000 live exhibits) usually spend the night(s) to care for their farm animals. The Celebration of Champions to honor the 26 4-H competitors is August 23. According to Gordon, those who have an animal crowned champion will average about $1,000 for their efforts. This money comes from the state fair foundation, something established a few years ago. Gordon recalled one member last year made about $16,000 from multiple entry champions.

There are still plenty of days left and unique activities to see at the state fair. A few things to keep in mind: If you don’t like crowds, avoid the discount days, especially $2 Tuesdays, which is usually the most popular day, according to Gordon. That’s a deep discount from the general admission of $12, or $9 online. Weekends are also busy, and if it’s a great weather day, people will flock to the fair, Gordon added. Keep in mind some of the discount days left: August 20 is free admission to AAA motor club members and Friday is “Foodie Friday” with gate admission at $5 and lots of food deals. Gordon also advised to come early to avoid big crowds, like 8:30 a.m. On August 8, the first Saturday of the 2015 fair, it took an hour in the afternoon just to get into the fair to park; the main gates were that busy. There is a $5 parking fee. Fair organizers encourage visitors to also use the fair train and shuttles.

There are a total of 54 rides, but some require a certain height. Wristband days are August 19-21 and August 23 which allows you to ride all day long as much as you want. If you get overwhelmed, and it’s easy to do, you can always people watch. There’s no cost to do that, and there were many benches and shady areas available for just that. To learn more about what to see and where things are located, go online to

Fair facts and history
Indiana’s first State Fair took place in what is now known as Military Park in downtown Indianapolis. The fair has not always been held in the state capital. Other host cities include Lafayette (1853), Madison (1854), New Albany (1859), Ft. Wayne (1865) and Terre Haute (1867).  The fair moved to its current location at East 38th Street and Fall Creek Parkway in 1892. It was farmland back then.

A timeline of notable fair events:

• 1907 - The original Fairgrounds Coliseum is built.
• 1916 - A new 2,000-foot high-speed roller coaster is erected.
• 1919 - The Exposition Hall opens its doors.
• 1939 - The original Fairgrounds Coliseum is constructed.
• 1947 - The first Indiana State Fair High School Marching Band Contest is held.
• 1964 - The Beatles perform two sold out shows to 30,000 screaming fans.
• 1973 - The Jackson Five perform.
• 1982 - The fair expands from 10 days to 12 days. 
• 1989 - New Kids on the Block sets a Grandstand attendance record with 18,509 fans in the crowd.  
• 2005 - A 3,400 square-foot, 1800s-style pin-framed barn is constructed in the Pioneer Village.
• 2007 - The Indiana State Fair becomes the first state fair to eliminate trans-fat cooking oil. 
• 2009 - The Indiana State Fair expands to 17 days.

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