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• CVS Pharmacy • JayC Food Stores
• Pumpkin Show supplement

• Utility rate hike approved (front pg.)
• Tyson fund awards $724,505 (front pg.)
• A visit with Milan's new Spanish teacher (section B)
• S.E. Career Center expansion project (section B)
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September 17, 2015 • Headline News
It appears construction at the McDonald’s in Versailles is just about finished. Joe Warrington placed sod down last week at the new area. About 18 parking spots were added to the restaurant site. The lot still has to be re-paved and sealed. MARY MATTINGLY PHOTO
Above is a bonus photo published on this website today only. Thanks to Kendall Hankins for submitting this photo of the lake 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
The former Bovards Funeral Home on US 421 in Versailles was demolished early this week to make room for the Family Dollar Store. The funeral home hasn’t operated since 2005. The late Bovard brothers, Bob and Edgar, opened the business in 1922. Bob and Gertie Bovard’s daughter Charlotte Bovard Susnick ran it from 1954 until she passed away in 1999. It was later purchased by Ed Cummings Jr., owner of McDonald’s. MARY MATTINGLY PHOTO
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Seven hurt in accident

Police received a call at 6:55 p.m. Monday that there were multiple injuries in a two vehicle accident south of Versailles on US 421 and CR 350S. According to the Ripley County Sheriff’s report, a Pontiac Sunfire with five passengers was struck by a Rumpke truck northbound on US 421. None of the people in the passenger car were wearing seatbelts.
The Pontiac Sunfire had six people in it, four of those children, and all suffered injuries from the accident Monday evening. The Rumpke truck driver also had injuries.

Police reported the Pontiac was turning left and the dump truck was trying to avoid hitting it and was trying to pass on the left at which time the car turned left and was struck. The truck driver, Johnathan Fulton, 29, of Cincinnati, was transported to Margaret Mary Health for back pain. The passenger car was driven by Chealyn Colley, 23. She had moderate injuries. Her son, James, 5, was also in the car and suffered minor injuries. He is a kindergarten student at Jac-Cen-Del Elementary.

Sarah Boese, 31, the other adult passenger, was transported to King’s Daughters’ Hospital and later flown to a Cincinnati hospital. Her children Jesse McIntosh, 9, Jennifer McIntosh, 7, and Joshua McIntosh, 2, were also injured and flown to Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati. Jesse is a 4th grader and Jennifer a 2nd grader at South Ripley Elementary. Jesse and Joshua are listed in fair condition, according to Children’s Hospital. Jennifer’s condition was not known. The sheriff’s office was assisted by state police, Milan Police, Versailles and Osgood Fire Depts., Rescue 69 and Rescue 30, and Ripley County Medic. The accident is under investigation.

September 23 - 27
Expect traditions, some changes for Pumpkin Show

What started out as an advertising gimmick has turned into one of the longest running and biggest festivals in the state. Versailles businessman Alfred H. Beer wanted to promote his line of jewelry and get his name out in the community; so, he came up with a unique pumpkin contest. The first year, 1899, he gave a gold watch to the winner who grew the largest pumpkin (74 pounds); the 2nd place winner got a gravy ladle, and third place, six teaspoons. The ugliest pumpkin winner was awarded a beautiful instrument, a violin.

For the past 112 years the Pumpkin Show has been part of the fall tradition in Ripley County. Versailles folks will also tell you it’s the best festival! Paul Sipples, president of the Versailles Lions Club Pumpkin Show, said they figure about 40,000 people come at some point to experience the five day event, which begins Wednesday, Sept. 23 and lasts through Sunday, Sept. 27. “It has served to be a homecoming of sorts for years, for friends and family to gather and visit. People come from all over to attend,” the Versailles Lions Club member says. “It’s a big week for the Lions and for the community.”
Saturday’s parade is the busiest day and organizers say it’s likely 10,000 people will attend.

Grand marshal
What’s a parade without a beauty queen! The 2015 Grand Marshal of the parade is Miss Indiana Gretchen Reece, 24, who is a neighbor of Ripley County. Gretchen ReeseShe is a graduate of Jennings County High School and lived in North Vernon. She is also a Butler University graduate.

Gretchen Reece, pictured left, 2015 Miss Indiana USA, will be the grand marshal.

The Lions are happy to put on the Pumpkin Show, but it takes a lot of work from their volunteers, not to mention the community and business sponsors. “We are just so thankful and appreciative of the community support, and the many business sponsors. They are always so generous,” said Sipples.
New or different this year

To kick off the 113th Versailles Pumpkin Show, the Lions are sponsoring a special event prior to the big event. The first annual Punkin Chunkin is on tap for Saturday, Sept. 19. It’s a fun competition to see who can “chuck” a 3 pound pumpkin the farthest on a 300 foot field, by way of a handmade catapult machine. They have seven entries, which they think is good to start with this debut year. For those who attend the contest at the Versailles Sports Complex field, there will be a smaller catapult for the kids to try with a lighter weight gourd. “We really want it to be a family event,” he said. “We hope to build momentum for the Pumpkin Show.” The fee is $10 a carload to watch. The contest begins at 11 a.m. with a practice chunkin at 10 a.m. For more information go to

Other changes
A couple of other changes or additions are in store for this year. The Saturday shuttle service has been discontinued. Parking is always at a premium the day of the parade, but Sipples recommended a good new place to park, would be the grassy lawn by the Dept. of Child Services, across from Kelly’s Gas station on US 50. He suggests arriving at 9 a.m. and bringing lawn chairs or blankets to stake out a spot along the parade route. The parade, which begins at 10:30 a.m., usually lasts close to two hours.

Another change is they moved the pumpkin weigh-in to the main stage at the courthouse square instead of at Gilpin’s Monuments. The Lions Club will use the scales they purchased recently for this year’s contest. Pumpkin prize money has also been increased, with $700 for the biggest pumpkin in each class. The pumpkin contest entries will be at the end of the 100+ entry parade. See the section in today’s paper for how to enter the contest.

Regular festival goers will also need to know that there is a different location for the kids tractor pull. To make room for the equipment, this year it will be on Washington Street, between the American Legion Hall and Post Office.

This year there will not be a vegetable/produce display at the courthouse lawn. Sipples said although the parade date was originally set to celebrate the harvest, the produce growing season is about finished so they decided to not host the produce exhibit. But, he encouraged people to stop in the courthouse to view the popular art show and stop in the Lions Club building to view home arts and crafts.

Show highlights (Visit for a complete schedule of events.)
Opening ceremonies are Wednesday at 6 p.m., followed by the annual King and Queen contest at 7 p.m. Students and families from the surrounding area become quite vocal in supporting their respective school candidates. It’s a fun time for all! Wednesday is also one ticket ride day (and Sunday too), so lots of people come to take advantage of the deal. Keep in mind too that advance ride tickets, used on any Pumpkin Show Day, can save families lots of money, as it’s only $20 for 22 tickets. Those tickets can be purchased up ‘til Thursday at Ripley Publishing, Versailles IGA, MainSource Bank, UCB in Versailles and all the schools.

On Thursday, it’s buddy night, and that means two can ride for price of one. It’s also the day for the Prince and Princess contest at 7 p.m., sponsored by Ripley Publishing Co. The first graders are not just darling to look at in their fancy clothes, but are sure to say some funny things on stage! After the crowning, the pumpkin show baking contest winners will be announced and awarded. Then the high school kids take over and see how much pie they can consume. It’s not as cute as the little ones, but there’s something funny about pie in your face! There is a new band playing on Thursday night, a bluegrass band called New Balance, following the pie eating awards.

Friday’s highlight is the talent show at 5 p.m., and Sipples said the entry forms are still coming in. It’s often much like a variety show. The entertainment continues for free as Linda Smith will perform on stage.

On Saturday, the Pumpkin Show parade begins at 10:30 a.m. Musical entertainment has been lined up for Saturday beginning around 2 p.m. with the South Ripley Young Confederates and then Farris, a Motown influence modern rock sound, and for the evenings and weekend. Saturday we’ll see the return of the popular Rick K and the Allnighters, and there is a dance for 21 and up at the Tyson Activity Center at 9 p.m.

A few years ago Sunday was added to the Pumpkin Show. There is a 1 p.m. 5K walk/run, followed by live music from the Woodsmen Quartet. It is a one ticket ride day.

The Lions Club puts all the proceeds from the show back into the community by way of scholarships, school projects and programs to help the less fortunate. Last year they gave $17,000 to the community. “It’s a good event and for a good cause,” Sipples said. “We know there are other festivals going on, but it’s a long-standing tradition for many family, friends and classmates that stands out and brings them back,” Sipples adds.

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115 S. Washington Street, P.O. Box 158
Versailles, IN 47042

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