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December 15, 2016 • Headline News
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Local Bulletin Board

Through Dec. 16
UCB accepting food, toys

United Community Bank, Versailles branch, is now accepting non-perishable food items and toys. These items will be donated to the Versailles American Legion Post 173 to help those in need. The lobby hours for drop-off are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. until noon. These items will be received through December 16.

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.


Local Special Olympics athlete trains for trip to Austria

Wanda English Burnett

According to information from the Special Olympics Indiana, Chris Perdue, 17, left for Killington, VT on Sunday. This is where he will join others on the Special Olympics national team for a week of training. Perdue will be with others who will be practicing at Killington Resort, including those who will be skiing, snowshoeing and his passion, snowboarding. This is the first time the Special Olympics USA training camp has been held in Vermont.

Chris Perdue with Special Olympics IndianaSUBMITTED PHOTO
Chris Perdue takes to the slopes at Perfect North Slopes, Lawrenceburg, where he has participated in the local Special Olympics and brought home the Gold. He is looking to bigger horizons as he trains this week in Vermont to get ready for the World Winter Games in Austria in March. Perdue has a talent in the snowboarding category that was discovered and he’s been reaching for the Gold ever since. He is a student at South Ripley High School, Versailles.

A South Ripley student, Perdue is known for his snowboarding skills and will compete in March at the 2017 World Winter Games in Austria. Greg Townsend, program coordinator for the local Special Olympics stated, “He (Perdue) has a history of success snowboarding at the state-level and has been training for his trip with the USA Team with his local coaches.” Townsend went on to say Perdue got his start in snowboarding in Special Olympics Indiana’s Winter Games at Perfect North Slopes last January. He took home two gold medals competing in the intermediate and advanced snowboarding events. He is a local celebrity and his talent will soon take him to an international level. Special Olympics USA is made up of 150 athletes, 40 coaches and about 20 delegation members who support team operations. When Perdue comes home from training, he will continue to train at Perfect North Slopes with his local snowboarding coaches, Jimmy Laub and Justin Uhlman. His strength building coach is Tim Paul from the Tyson Community Gym in Versailles.

Excitement will build as he prepares for the trip of a lifetime going to Austria in just a few months. He will be one of 3,000 athletes from 110 nations competing in nine Olympic-type sports. The games are spread throughout Austria in Graz, Ramsau and Schladming and will be held March 14-25. According to Townsend, the USA Team also includes Special Olympics Unified Sports teams, where people with and without intellectual disabilities compete together, as teammates. Team members will compete in seven sports: alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, figure skating, floor hockey, snowboarding, snowshoeing and speed skating.

The local group, Special Olympics Indiana-Ripley, Ohio, and Dearborn counties, is part of the international network of accredited Special Olympics that reaches more than 4 million athletes with intellectual disabilities worldwide. For more information on the local group you can contact 812-584-6861 or visit

IDT group moves forward with plans

Southeastern Career Center to offer CDL classes to high schoolers

Wanda English Burnett

Our fast paced ever-changing world makes logistics an integral part of society more than ever. Everyday thousands sit at their desks and with the flick of their finger order from a website. Then it begins. That product has to be transported. That is just one example of the needs for goods to be moved.
The holidays make those in the logistic world all the more aware of the job. However, the trucking industry is in crisis mode, needing more drivers than they can supply. With this in mind, and the need for jobs in the area, Elvin Knollman of TransMark Logistics LLC had an idea. What if students could graduate from high school with a CDL license? What if this could be an actual class that would be taught at the Southeastern Career Center?
With that in mind he connected with Brad Street, director at the SCC, and the wheels started turning. He talked with local carriers and businesses who hire drivers. “I could feel the excitement from the people I talked to, they knew that this needed to happen,” Knollman noted.

The first meetings with charter members of the newly formed group, Indiana Drive Train (IDT), were excited about the possibility. Then when Street came on board the group felt this was the way to get their idea off the ground. From there IDT has grown to nonprofit organization status with openings for members from all sectors involved with logistics. The group held their monthly meeting in December where guest speaker State Representative Randy Frye spoke to them about the concept. He applauded the group, saying Indiana is about to get another port in Lawrenceburg and the landscape will drastically change in the next ten years. Roads will expand, truck and train traffic will increase and careers will be forged with the new port.

It’s an exciting time in Indiana and IDT knows they have to get ahead of what’s coming to help provide quality drivers to meet the demand. Recruiting has begun at the various schools SCC serves to see what the interest is to take the two-year course that will be offered in the fall of 2017. Curriculum will be complete with forklift and OSHA training. Randy Johann, corporate college executive with Ivy Tech, Madison, was in attendance at the December meeting and noted that the curriculum would be through PTDI, which is Professional Truck Driving Institute, a cut above, when it comes to training. Students could graduate from the career center at 18-years of age with a CDL license ready to roll.

The movers and shakers of the trucking industry in the area and surrounding areas were in attendance and agreed they are pursing a quality instructor and aide for the program. “This is a pilot program,” Knollman stated, saying they want it to be a model to be followed across the country to help solve the driver crisis. Street noted SCC can take between 22 and 36 students for one class, so it will be limited at first. Who knows? The idea could grow and more than one class would be needed. Right now the group is taking it one step at a time.

Rep. Frye spoke to the group noting he grew up around big rigs and knows the importance of them to industry today. He serves on several committees including the Roads and Transportation Committee. He called what this group is doing “outstanding”. He noted while Indiana roads may seem rough right now, they are working on money for funding and getting them back in good shape. He talked about the Port coming to Lawrenceburg where the old power plant is now located, that will be accessed by river, rail and roads. “It will employ three times as many as Honda (Greensburg) with billions of investment dollars.” Frye said over the next ten years a port connector highway will be built. With all of this in mind, Frye told Street the school was well positioned for the new training. “There’s a lot of opportunity here,” he noted. Knowing there will be a lot of construction in the surrounding area over the next few years, Street said he is on board to promote the class offering and work with the group.

Gary Norman, economic development director for Ripley County, was at the meeting and noted, “good skilled labor lives here.” He eluded to the pay gap that still exists, with Frye saying he thinks the Lawrenceburg Port, will change that. Knollman told The Versailles Republican that he is pleased with the progress IDT has made, and the support from every sector of the community, along with government leaders. “I am looking forward to what comes from all of this,” he noted, satisfied the driver crisis will be diminished and other career choices will also become available.

For more information you can contact Knollman, who is the chair at; Scott Cortner, Crum Trucking, Inc. at; secretary-treasurer, George Gerth, Grammer Industries, Inc. at; members at large, Lori Lischkge, Lischkge Motors Inc.,; or Jerome Billman, Billman Trucking, at

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