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December 1, 2016 • Headline News
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Dec. 3: Santa’s coming to Versailles
Versailles residents and guests can come visit with Santa on the Square on Saturday, Dec. 3. Santa arrives at 10 a.m. and there will be free pictures taken with Santa in the Lions building and hot chocolate served. There will also be goodie bags for the kids. A Live Nativity scene will be sponsored by the South Ripley Ministerial Association. There will also be caroling by local school groups at 10:30 a.m. The programs are sponsored by the Main Street Versailles group.

Deadline Dec. 19
Letters to Santa Contest
Buy The Versailles Republican dated December 1
Santa is getting his Christmas list together, but some of you children haven’t told him what you want; so, write him a letter! Santa will answer each child with a personal letter, and you have a chance to win a gift from Santa, too! The top two letters will be awarded gifts! All letters received by December 19 will also be printed in our Annual Christmas Greeting Section on December 22. Be sure to include your name, address, age, and phone number, along with a self-addressed, stamped envelope, and you will receive a reply. All letters become the property of Ripley Publishing Company. Pick up a specially addressed envelope at one of the local businesses. Pick up a copy of The Versailles Republican dated Thursday, Dec. 1 for a complete list of businesses.

Polar Plunge seeks sponsors

Special Olympics Indiana’s largest signature fundraising event, the Polar Plunge, has raised more than $3 million dollars since its inception in 2000.
The 18 Polar Plunges around the state feature 2,900 plungers braving the icy cold waters in Indiana, as they fundraiser to support athletes with intellectual disabilities. Over 5,000 spectators and volunteers watch as both individuals and teams in costumes jump in freezing water to participate in this incredible team-building, bucket-list challenge. Sponsorship opportunities for the Polar Plunge are available for companies that want to partner with Special Olympics Indiana. Contact Greg Townsend at 812-584-6861 or by email at, or visit to download a sponsorship form.

Jan. 7: First responder breakfast with legislator
Police, Fire, and EMS members please join State Representative Randy Frye for a breakfast to discuss public safety issues for the upcoming legislative session. The breakfast, sponsored by the Aurora Volunteer Fire Department, will be on Saturday, Jan. 7 beginning at 8 a.m.


Milan glory days forever preserved

Memories come alive inside the Milan ’54 Hoosiers Museum

Sandy Howard

Milan Athletics ‘Claim to Fame’, the 1954 State Basketball Championship, has been praised and paraded for 60 years in southeastern Indiana. To memorialize that surprisingly wonderful and eclectic time, the town enveloped the joy of that moment within the Milan ’54 Hoosiers Museum located at 201 W Carr Street. Found inside is memorabilia from the basketball team, reminiscent of that March night in 1954 when a team of less than a dozen small town boys outplayed their highly favored opposition at a ‘packed to the rafters’ Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

Milan 54 Museum

The game made famous by some rural basketball players from the small town of Milan, is memoralized to this day in the Milan ‘54 Hoosiers Museum

The historic upset, memorialized in the nationally acclaimed 1986 movie “Hoosiers”staring Gene Hackman, pitted the rural Indiana team from a school whose enrollment was just over 160 total students against the Muncie Bearcats, four time state champs whose student population topped 1600. No school with an enrollment less than five times that of Milan’s ever won the tournament again under the one-class system. Among relics from the movie, “Shooter’s” hospital bed is displayed, the coat worn by Barbara Hershey (who played Coach Wood’s wife, Mary Lou) and scores of uniforms used in the filming of the award winning movie. A handwritten bracket of the entire 1954 tournament can also be viewed within the walls of the acclaimed museum. Possibly one of the most simplistic telling artifacts in the museum is a hoop lined with a burlap feed sack ‘net’, that hung on the garage / grainery where Melvin and Rolland Cutter lived. Given to them in 1948 by their uncle Ernest Rumsey, that hoop hosted many competitive pick up games on Sunday afternoons and summer evenings. The crude net proved efficient for cleaning mud, water, and other farmyard debris from the ball as it ‘swooshed’ through the goal. It also proved to be the making of a state championship team of barnyard basketball players whose skill, mastery and love of the game outsmarted their experienced opponents.

As if reminders of a state championship ball team from rural Indiana is not enough to celebrate, the museum is home to a variety of other historic memorabilia from rural Milan. In a building adjacent to the museum (the former ‘Chet’s Barber Shop’) a plethora of relics reminiscent of Milan’s ‘days gone by’ are available for viewing. Milan’s first electric stove (owned by Gene Stute) sits on display as does an old desk belonging to beloved teacher Geneva Wildman, which is perched in the middle of the shop, decorated with relics from days at Milan Schools. Furniture, books, and household items from the 1800s have been preserved and are housed at the ‘’addendum building’, including a ‘drug cabinet’ from the former Milan Drug Store and numerous items from other former Milan businesses. Items held by the Underground Railroad on the old ‘Harting Homestead’ had been recovered and are available for viewing.

Memorabilia from the 1906 Indiana State Fair ( donated by Mable Hillman) also line the walls of the small shop. According to museum curator Rich Hartman, plans are in the works to expand Milan’s Museum to include Chester Reynold’s shop (which still contains most of the chairs, equipment, razors, and other paraphernalia from the decades long business) into an additional source of Milan Indiana history.

Many people don’t know that Milan was once home to a massive (and quite fancy) hotel owned by the Milan Water and Gas Company (Miwagco Mineral Springs Hotel and Resort) that was managed by the same group that promotes the current French Lick Resort. The property where the old Milan School stood at one time was once home to the sprawling building and grounds where the affluent vacationed. Another nearly unimaginable event commemorated in the museum centers around the 1954 Miss USA Pageant when Milan resident Cecilia Ann Dennis took the crown. Dennis later competed in the Miss Universe Pageant.

In the main building of the ’54 Hoosiers Museum all day every day that the museum is open, the final game of the state championship at Hinkle Fieldhouse in March of 1954 plays on a big screen in a back room that is reminiscent of that Indianapolis locker room where some Indiana boys and their coach planned The Milan Miracle. …Each second of the legendary game plays out again and again, as if it were just yesterday.

Once in an interview, Coach Wood’s wife said he had turned down an invitation to the premiere of ‘’Hoosiers.’’ Mary Lou said the coach didn’t see any need in getting all dressed up and flying off to Hollywood to rub elbows with the stars. ‘’I had a front-row seat the first time,’’ he explained.
The museum can be reached at 812-654-2772 and the website can be accessed at

Happenings at Jac-Cen-Del…
Answering the question: “How do you know that?”

Tim Taylor, Superintendent

Tim Taylor JCD SuperintendentHow do you find out about all of the great things happening at Jac-Cen-Del Community School Corporation? This column will provide several options on where to get the answer to that question. Jac-Cen-del Community School Corporation utilizes a wide variety of methods to inform our stakeholders of all of the great things that are happening within our schools. An easy way to keep up with happenings is to log onto our website at The website contains a plethora of information including the school calendar, athletic calendars, school policies, lunch menus, important forms, and many other items. The elementary school and junior/senior high school websites can be accessed from the corporation website as well. Parents may also register for Information Now and TxtWire from the website. The website was recently updated and we would encourage you to submit any suggestions that may make it even better.

Information about Jac-Cen-Del Schools can also be found on the interactive JCD Parents Facebook page. This site serves not only for the schools to communicate with students and parents, but also for parents to ask questions about school issues. The page is periodically monitored throughout the day and evening by school personal to ensure that questions are answered in a timely matter. Additional athletic information is available on the JCD Sports Facebook page. Facebook isn’t the only social media outlet that the Jac-Cen-Del staff employs to communicate with our stakeholders. Nearly every Jac-Cen-Del teacher makes use of a Twitter account to communicate with parents and to celebrate student success. Both elementary principal Travis Rohrig at JCD Elementary, high school principal Daryl Werner at JCD High School and I at JCD Schools communicate regularly through Twitter. Additionally, anything that either principal tweets appears on their respective websites, and anything that I tweet can be found on the corporation website. We are constantly keeping things current by tweeting our own messages or retweeting pictures and information shared by our teachers and other staff. Twitter is free and can be easily downloaded to your favorite electronic device.

Parents can keep abreast of the great things their students are doing in the classroom through our student information system, Information Now. The system allows parents to monitor their student’s progress in their coursework down to the individual assignment. Access to Information Now can be obtained from the corporation website or by contacting your child’s school. Parents may also sign up to receive important school announcements through TxtWire which is also available on the website. TxtWire sends a text message to the phones of all of those subscribed when there is important school information to be shared.

Jac-Cen-Del Schools communicates with our patrons through more traditional avenues as well. We are extremely grateful for Ripley County Publishing for sharing all of the great things our students are doing with you in The Osgood Journal and The Versailles Republican.

For emergency information such as closures due to inclement weather, the school corporation utilizes the social media outlets mentioned above as well as the more standard modes of communication. Such information can be heard on WRBI Radio, Eagle Country, and Cincinnati area television stations.
No matter what source you use to get your information from, there is one thing that cannot be denied. You do not want to miss out on The Great Things Happening at Jac-Cen-Del!

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