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September 10, 2015 • Headline News
Above is a bonus photo published on this website today only. Thanks to Kendall Hankins for submitting this photo of a trail at Versailles State Park. Check out this website for bonus photos in the future. Click here to subscribe to the newspaper to read local news important to you. PHOTO COURTESY OF KENDALL HANKINS
Despite the hot weather, the St. Anthony's Church Labor Day Picnic on Monday was a big success. Andy Weisenbach, Cindy Meyer and Eleen Weisenbach count the cash proceeds from the day’s event. As evidenced by the ground, many liked trying their luck at the scratch off games. MARY MATTINGLY PHOTO
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Happening this weekend...
Canaan fest, Cruise-In, NMLRA

There are several special events going on this weekend in the area.

Canaan Fall Festival
On Friday and Saturday, the 51st annual Canaan Fall Festival gets underway. Live music begins Friday at 7 p.m. by the popular Keith Swinney band. There is no charge, and it’s held at the former Canaan Elementary School on N. Main Street. On Saturday, the festival celebrates the US Pony Express with mail delivered by horseback from Canaan to Madison. Other activities include an old fashioned parade, music, pie baking contest, frog jumping and a Chief White Eye painting contest.

Versailles “Cruise In”
In Versailles, the 2nd annual “Cruise In” is scheduled Saturday from 3 to 7 p.m. “This is where cruising the square is back in,” as the Main Street Versailles organizers say. People are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, and enjoy the music and food at the courthouse square. Some of the food available includes pulled pork bbq, Cajun gumbo and New Orleans bread pudding. Door prizes will be given away too.

NMLRA Fall Shoot
Also this weekend, the National Muzzle Loading Rifle’s Association fall shoot begins Saturday in Friendship. Early American living history demonstrations and classes, museum displays, black powder shooting competitions, shopping opportunities, youth activities, and commercial vendors in the muzzleloading community will be featured. The National Championship Shoot is an opportunity to view an important part of our nation’s heritage. There is a parking fee. The shoot ends Sept. 20.

$352, 300 for exterior

Tyson Center gets big grant

Mary Mattingly

The Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) awarded the Town of Versailles with a $352,300 grant through the Public Facilities Program (PFP) to complete the historic preservation of Tyson Auditorium, the only activity center in town. “It’s a huge relief!” Aimee Cornett, one of the board members of the Tyson Activity Center said. “We really need it. We have rooms that we can’t use because of the exterior problems, such as water infiltration.”

The funding provided by OCRA will be used to improve the windows, roofing ad masonry on the auditorium. The integrity of the building, which is listed on the National Register, will be maintained. For example, windows will be cleaned, re-glazed and glass replaced to preserve the older steel frame. “The funding ensures its positive role in the community for years to come,” State Senator Chip Perfect said.

This is the first grant of such magnitude that the Tyson Activity Center board received. They recently were the recipients of a $20,000 matching Sally Morris Impact Grant through the Ripley County Community Foundation. Cornett said they are currently working to use that for interior improvements, such as a new stage curtain. “For years, the center has brought together people from all walks of life, offering basketball programs, theater programs, family fun nights and much more,” State Representative Randy Frye said. “I am proud to see this vital community asset recognized with a historic preservation grant, which will allow them to continue to host meaningful community events for years to come.”

The goals of PFP are to improve quality of place in communities across the state as well as to generate jobs and spur economic revitalization. Eligible PFP projects range from community facilities such as libraries, museums, community centers, and performance spaces to historic preservation efforts. “The establishment and continued maintenance of public facilities and historic buildings is vital to the identity of an area, but also to the preservation of the culture of the entire state,” OCRA Executive Director Bill Konyha said. “We look forward to seeing more Versailles residents in and around the soon to be renovated Tyson Auditorium.”

The architect/engineer used for the grant application will take care of the next process, bid packages and contracts. Cornett said it’s a lengthy process, and it’s likely work won’t start until the spring. The center will probably remain open during renovation since the work is exterior. In total, OCRA awarded $4.7 million in grant funding to 14 Hoosier communities this year. Funding comes from the the federal Community Development Block Grant program. Indiana will administer the grant through OCRA.

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