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October 5, 2017 • Headline News
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Mother Nature smiles on Versailles Pumpkin Show

Wanda English Burnett

The sun was shining on the Versailles Pumpkin Show this year from beginning to end. Not only the weather cooperated, but people were in the spirit of working together to put their best foot forward.

2017 Versailles Pumpkin ShowJARED ROGERS PHOTO
Little Blessings Pre-School Versailles Church of Christ received the honor of having the best float overall (pictured above) in the 2017 Pumpkin Show Parade on Saturday, September 30. They also took first place in the Religious Organization Float with Shelby Christian Church coming in second place with their train filled with children. Second place best float went to MainSource Bank. Dawna Mathews, director of the pre-school, is standing and waving to the crowd as the float came by.

Royalty was crowned on Wednesday and Thursday evening with the King and Queen named: Tori Thomas, South Dearborn and Keegan Green, East Central. Their court consisted of the following: Alex Volz, first runner-up, Milan; and Andrew Fox second runner-up, South Dearborn. First runner-up for the Queen contest was Emily Whitehead, South Dearborn and second runner-up Heidi Speer, South Ripley.

The Prince and Princess and their court were: Jax Negovetich, Batesville, first runner-up Ryan McGuire, St. Louis and Lane Smith, second runner-up; Milan; Princess: McKenna Eaglin, Milan, first runner up Sophia West, Batesville and second runner-iup Natalie Kranz, St. Louis.

Ripley Publishing Co. named the winners of the Baking Contest they sponsor each year with Liza Lloyd, Osgood taking the grand prize of $200 and a plaque declaring her the Best Baker with her Double Pumpkin Spice Cake. In all, about $700 was given out in prizes for the baking contest. Each category had a first, second and third place winner. The first place winners not only received cash, but an embroidered apron.

The Pumpkin Pie Eating Contest, also sponsored by Ripley Publishing Co., was held Thursday evening and Milan seniors ate the most pie! They were represented by John Rohrig and DeLanie Weber, who both went home with $50 cash and all contestants received free coupons from the Versailles Dairy Queen.

Friday evening continued with great fun as the Amateur Vocal Contest was held. Ryan Holcomb, president of the Versailles Lions Club, sponsor of the pumpkin show, noted that Gary Brooks won first place in that contest. “He just blew us away,” he noted. Second place went to Olivia Kelly and third place to Grace Green.

Saturday stage entertainment began early with the parade getting underway right at 10:30 a.m. As always the floats were judged with first place overall going to Little Blessings Preschool-Versailles Church of Christ. Second place overall was the MainSource Bank. The Agri-Business first place float went to Menchhofer Seed Service with second place going to F.A.R.M. Club. Religious float winners were: first place, Little Blessings Preschool-Versailles Church of Christ and second place to Shelby Christian Church. First place Organization Float went to the Knights of Columbus #246 and Main Street Versailles took second place. Youth Organization Float went to Jac-Cen-Del Seniors first place and South Ripley Seniors second place. Business Float winners were MainSource Bank, first place and Huffman’s Farm Market, second place. There were about 125 entries in the parade this year.

Four truckloads of big pumpkins were brought to the square to be weighed. Darrell Franklin of Holton took the first place prize in the Open Class with his pumpkin weighing 692 lbs. Second place went to Heather Huff, Deputy, with a 540.5 lb. pumpkin and third went to Cole Thorrington, Peru for his 441.5 lb. pumpkin. In the Youth Category, Sydney Huff took first place for her 363.5 lb. pumpkin; Maxwell Franklin, second place at 359.5 lbs. and third place went to Kennadi Thorrington, Peru for her 331.5 lb. pumpkin. There was a lot of pumpkin at the Versailles Pumpkin Show this year!

Just left of the stage area, Lions Club members had a pumpkin tree and a Lions Fun Zone, where kids could use their creative abilities to paint a pumpkin of their own. Holcomb noted that many children stayed after the parade and enjoyed the comedy act and the silly science guy.

Throughout the town there was a pumpkin decorating contest for both businesses and residents. Linda Quicksall of 225 S. Washington Street was named first place winner in the resident category and Ripley Publishing Co. took first place for their exhibit of Cinderella’s coach and the mice made out of pumpkins! Between stage entertainment and just enjoying seeing old friends, people noted they enjoyed the 115th Versailles Pumpkin Show.

There is a lot of work to getting the show ready, so Lions Club members are already putting their heads together seeing what worked and what they would like to add to make it even better next year.

Ortt named to the National Merit Scholarship Program

Ryan Langferman, principal of Milan High School, has announced that Nathaniel Ortt has been named a Commended Student in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program. A Letter of Commendation from the school and National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), which conducts the program, will be presented by the principal to this scholastically talented senior.

Pictured is Milan High School student, Nathaniel Ortt. He has been named a Commended Student in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program.

About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Although they will not continue in the 2018 competition for National Merit Scholarship awards, Commended Students placed among the top 50,000 scorers of more than 1.6 million students who entered the 2018 competition by taking the 2016 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT).

“The young men and women being named Commended Students have demonstrated outstanding potential for academic success,” commented a spokesperson for NMSC. “These students represent a valuable national resource; recognizing their accomplishments, as well as the key role their schools play in their academic development, is vital to the advancement of educational excellence in our nation.

We hope that this recognition will help broaden their educational opportunities and encourage them as they continue their pursuit of academic success.”

Your local newspaper: The real deal

By Jim Zachary

While no one should ever say “I know it’s real because I saw it on the internet,” everyone should be able to say, “I know it’s real. I read it in the newspaper.” Real newspapers reporting real news have never been more important or more valuable to readers and communities.

Subscribe todayThis week, newspapers across the nation recognize National Newspaper Week and the theme — Real Newspapers…Real News — points to the importance of accurate reporting, watchdog journalism, strong editorials, comprehensive public notices and a free, open public forum that can be easily accessed by readers in more ways than ever before.
In print, on digital sites, via laptop, desktop and mobile devices, through SMS or social media, newspapers across the nation continue to be the leading source of reliable information in all the communities they serve.
In a world of fake news spread on social media and attacks on the media from people in power, it is important for the public to know the difference between legitimate reporting by credible sources and all the noise posing as “the media.”

Here are some of the reasons your local newspaper is the most trustworthy source for news and information:
— Newspaper newsrooms are staffed with real people — people you know — reporters, photographers, editors — gathering the news, conducting interviews, covering meetings, attending events, writing, editing, fact-checking and making sure every day you can trust what you read.
— Newspapers rely on recognizable sources. Quotes in the articles you read are attributed to real people and can be easily verified.
— Newspapers work hard to stay away from single source reporting, giving readers context and balance.
— Newspaper websites have legitimate URLs ending in .com or .org extensions, listing contact information, the names of staff members and the media organization’s leadership team on the website.
— Newspapers correct mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes at times, but there is a big difference between an error and intentionally and knowingly publishing a false report because of some political or social agenda. Spurious websites, blogs and social media do not correct errors. They thrive on them.

In the United States newspapers have a long and important legacy of holding the powerful accountable, defending the First Amendment and advocating for government transparency. Democracy is protected when the newspaper provides checks and balances as the Fourth Estate of government from city hall to the courthouse to the statehouse to the White House.

Newspapers are committed to the neighborhoods, cities, counties, states and coverage areas they serve. Straightforward news reporting and thought-provoking commentary give a voice to the voiceless and empower the powerless. Newspapers hold government accountable because at our very core we believe that government belongs to the governed and not to the governing.

Don’t be embarrassed because you shared some sensational, agenda-driven report on social media only to find out it is totally fake. Get your news where real news has always been found: Your local newspaper, the real deal.

Jim Zachary, CNHI Regional Editor for Georgia and Florida newspapers, is the president and chairman of the Red & Black Publishing Co., serving the University of Georgia, director of the Transparency Project of Georgia, open government trainer and member of the board of directors of the Georgia First Amendment Foundation and a member of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications Board of Trust.

Versailles Fire to have Open House

JR Bennett and his motherSUBMITTED PHOTO
J.R. Bennett and his mother hold a cake at his celebration party.

The Versailles Volunteer Fire Department is having an Open House on October 11 starting at 6:30 p.m. at the fire station just south of Versailles off of US 421. This is open to the public to visit the fire station and meet the firefighters, according to Chief Ben Sieverding.

The department held a send off part recently for J.R. Bennett on Sunday, October 1 at the Versailles Fire Station. He was also honored at the Versailles Pumpkin Show with the parade coming to a complete halt with the community standing in unity with this young soldier. He will deploy soon to GITMO in Cuba. Bennett serves with the 387th MP group out of Camp Atterbury.

Chief Sieverding noted, “J.R. is a very active member of our volunteer fire department and will be missed during his year long deployment

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