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July 14, 2015 • Headlines

Conservation officer Josh Thomas is one of the 11 field officers for the 9th District, which includes Ripley County.
The 10 Ripley County Queen candidates presented a dance to ‘80s music. Pictured are Cheyenne Kern, Sarah Pitts, Bridget Swinney, Carly Buchanan and Jacqlyn Menchhofer.
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Friendship State BankKing's Daughters' HealthWhitewater Motor Company Inc.
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Miss Ripley County
Kerns win, place, show in pageant

Sandy Day Howard

Savannah Kern was brought to tears as she was crowned Miss Ripley County 2015 Sunday night at the Damm Theatre in Osgood. It was a big night for the Kerns as she was not only named queen, but her two sisters were selected as second and third runners up. Their parents are Rusty and Gina Kern. Savannah is a 2015 Milan High School graduate. First runner up went to Andrea Grossman, second runner up to Sierra Kern, third runner up, Cheyenne Kern, and fourth runner up was Sarah Boyken.
Savannah Kern 2015 Miss Ripley County


Savannah Kern, 2015 Milan High School graduate, was crowned the new Miss Ripley County by 2014 winner Ashley Moore. She will advance to the state finals.

The new queen competed in interview, professional wear, evening gown, and on stage questioned with nine other contestants to win the coveted crown.

Prior Queens Sarah Wenning, Katie Huffman and Ashley Moore emceed the event in the historic Osgood showplace. Contestants were introduced and privately interviewed earlier in the evening at the Osgood Town Hall where judges Laura Hicks, Katie Huffman and Kelly Gentry put questions to each of the 10 contestants.

The 10 candidates performed an 80’s themed dance routine to the Cindi Lauper hit “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and were introduced to the audience of excited friends and family members. Presented in professional wear, the girls wore skirts and jackets of their own choosing as they graced the stage with poise and confidence. During their on stage walk, the emcees gave the audience a brief resume of each girl. Next the girls were presented in evening gowns and more of their biography was announced as each girl paraded across the theater’s grand stage where they selected from a basket of random questions. At the conclusion of the pageant, the judges retired to make their final decision. Candidate and 4th runner up Sarah Boyken , who was celebrating her birthday, was serenaded by the audience and candidates as the crowd awaited the judge’s decision.

Selected as Miss Congeniality by her fellow contestants was Sierra Kern. The contestant who raised the most money for the Ripley County food pantries was Andrea Grossman, who received The People’s Choice award for her fundraising effort. Andrea also won the award for Evening Gown. Sierra Kern was awarded Best Professional Wear and Cheyenne Kern took the prize for Best '80s Outfit.

Miss Ripley County 2014 Ashley Moore gave a moving farewell speech prior to taking her final walk and she, too, shed tears as she talked about her reign. She praised her family for their overwhelming support and told of a personal attack of vandalism at her home after she was crowned. The hurtful words and gestures that marked her parent’s property that night only strengthened the young queen’s resolve to wear her crown proudly. Ashley says she will wear an ‘invisible crown’ of confidence as she passes down her title.

Savannah will reign over the Ripley County 4-H Fair later this month, where she and her court will be present at a variety of fair proceedings. The beautiful new queen will compete in the Indiana State Fair Pageant, and make appearances at several events throughout the next twelve months as Miss Ripley County, 2015. Monica Hansen and Amanda Kunz were the co chairs for this year’s event.

It’s worse in northern Indiana

Wet weather drowning crops

Mary Mattingly

“Rain, rain go away…come again another day,” or perhaps even better, come back a few weeks from now! Farmers throughout the area are praying for the clouds to go away.

Indiana’s corn and soybean crops in a month of rain have gone from among the best to among the worst , with Purdue Extension agricultural economist Chris Hurt estimating that production could decline by $475 million. Indiana has dropped from having above average corn and soybean yield prospects in the first week of June to well below normal at the end of the month, noted Chris Hurt, who analyzed the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Crop Progress report released Monday (June 29).
Saturated bean crop


This bean crop on US 421 between Versailles and Osgood was saturated and the picture was taken before the weekend rain.

“We’re not anywhere like the northern part of the state,” said Dave Osborne, Ripley County extension educator, last week. “We do have a lot of the beans that were planted later but they are getting yellow, especially where the fields are ponding. But northern Indiana has thousands of acres where the crops are dead and gone. We’re not in that type of shape.” However, we could be inching that way with last week’s precipitation. On Monday, after a weekend of rain, Osborne told Ripley Publishing, “It’s much worse! We could lose some significant bean in the low area. We got that additional rain over the weekend and we did not need it.” Beans do not have the bounce-back factor that corn has, he added.

This area has had more than its share of rain. As of July 13, the Versailles area had 2.5 inches of rain, up from 0.7 inches from the same time last year, and on top of 6.7 inches in June, according to the National Weather Service based in Wilmington, Ohio. That too is more than last June when we had recorded 5.1 inches. Over an inch of rain was recorded from July 8 to July 13, and flash flood advisories were issued for this area over the weekend and through Tuesday morning. The rainfall varies in the county; at one end it might have rained over 1.5 inches Saturday, another end, less than a half inch. Osborne noted “You might see some of the best corn ever, and across the road, there’s corn that won’t make it.” A lot of it depends on the planting date, the earlier being the better for this year’s crop. Osborne has been monitoring the local crop situation. “The corn and bean planted early in May are fine because of their bigger root system. There are some issues with uneven stands in the fields.” He said the later it was planted the more at risk.

Indiana set a record rainfall for the month of June with a state average of 9.03 inches. June also was the fourth wettest of any month on record since 1895, according to the Indiana Climate Office at Purdue. Earlier in June, we were actually a little dry, according to Osborne, but two to three weeks ago the sky opened up, and “now we have more than we need. We don’t need six or seven inches of rain in a week!” The last weekend in June netted about five inches of rain.

Gardens are typically planted higher so ponding is not as likely. But Osborne has had calls about disease and blight hurting tomatoes and peppers. The cool wet conditions cause more fungal diseases in the garden, he said. If the rain ends soon, it could turn out to be a very good crop season, he added. “Southeast Indiana is no where close to northern Indiana, but you don’t have to go to far north to see the impact, places like Rushville, Shelbyville, Brookville.” Osborne doesn’t think the country’s overall U.S. corn and bean production will be impacted greatly because the weather has to be more widespread. “Indiana production is probably not large enough to affect the entire country’s overall supply. It takes about a three-state area for a heavy crop loss to affect overall supply.”

On June 8, the USDA’s Agricultural Statistics Service rated Indiana’s corn crop at the 77th percentile based on the previous 15 years. That means that this year’s crop was ranked about the eighth best out of 10 years based on the distribution of crop ratings from 2000 to 2014. Three weeks later, the Indiana corn crop is ranked at the 18 percentile, about the second worse crop out of 10 years. Seventy-five percent of Indiana’s corn crop was rated good to excellent as of the USDA’s June 8 report. As of July 1, the crop dropped to 48 percent good to excellent. “

A similar story has occurred for soybeans,” ag economist Chris Hurt said, with the crop rank dropping from the 84th percentile early in June to 25th by the end of the month. The model estimates of yield have dropped from nearly 53 bushels per acre in early June to 49.4 bushels by the end of the month. That is a potential decline of about 20 million bushels of soybeans with an estimated value of $175 million, Hurt said. Corn’s decline of 15 bushels per acre represents a value drop of $300 million, Osborne noted there may be some price fluctuations as a result, but this excess moisture is nothing like 2013 drought and the impact it had on the market.

Osborne said, “We don’t have a lot of crops that are completely gone like they do to the north. Our beans are still there.” He commented he didn’t think there would be a single complaint from farmers if the week of the fair (July 19) there is not a drop to fall from the sky

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.

• JCD varsity basketball coach named (front page)
• On the job...Conservation officer: Season brings varied challenges to field officers (front page)
• How-to guide on insurance released (page 3)
• Wehr is opera singer in Washington (page 3)
• Supreme Court ruling is only one factor in health insurance decisions (page 4)
• New laws on the books (page 4)
• On the Record from the Ripley County Courthouse (page 9)
• BBB warns of dog breeder scam (page 9)
• Horoscopes (page 10)
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