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March 21, 2017 • Headline News
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Woman found 8 hours after being in crash

A crash on South Cave Hill Road near Friendship, had multiple agencies responding, but nearly eight hours after the fact because the crash wasn’t seen until a neighbor came upon it around 8:15 a.m. Saturday morning.

Cave Hill Rd Crash

Pictured is the car Jillian Back was found near after her ordeal. She is being carried up the steep hillside with her dad, Pat Kissell, also assisting.

Cave Hill Rd Crash

The crash occurred around 12:45 a.m. according to police. A car driven by Jillian Back, 29, Versailles, went over a steep hillside and struck a tree after she said she swerved to keep from hitting a deer just after midnight on Saturday, March 18. According to neighbor, Gary Trowbridge, the person who found her, Back was out of the vehicle, but he knew she was in serious condition. He told the Osgood Journal that he had to leave her just a few minutes to go down to the store in Friendship to make the 911 call, due to no cell phone coverage in the area. He came back and stayed with her until medical help arrived. “She looked pretty bad,” he noted, saying she had multiple breaks, including her leg, pelvis, jaw and teeth knocked out. She was also suffering from internal injuries. Trowbridge said he usually doesn’t get up and going that early on Saturdays, but had to help his daughter move, so he went a lot earlier than he would have. He was thankful he did.

On a Facebook post from Back, she thanked Trowbridge and the Friendship Volunteer Fire Department. She had been through two surgeries at the time and said she is so thankful for all the prayers and concerns for her well being. According to information from the Ripley County Sheriff’s Department, Back was transported by the University of Cincinnati medical helicopter to the city hospital.

The roadway is winding and steep in the area where the crash occurred, but police have not said if weather conditions had anything to do with the crash. They did say that Back was not wearing her seatbelt. The accident was investigated by Deputy Conrad Reichert, Ripley County Sheriff’s Department. He was assisted at the scene by Friendship Volunteer Fire Department, Rescue 69, and Medic 18.

Local farmers look at upcoming season

Sandy Day Howard

Monday, March 20, marked the Vernal Equinox, one of two points on our calendar where day and night are the same length, give or take a few minutes. That means it is now spring! With spring comes the most important time for a farmer: planting season.

Agriculture Week March 19-25According to The Farmers’ Almanac, when the moon is in the appropriate phase and place in the zodiac, it’s widely believed that activities (such as plant growth) will be more fruitful or lead to improved results. The period between the new and full moon (first and second quarters) is considered the best time to perform tasks that require strength, fertility and growth. (That’s spring).

Farmers in our community are readying equipment, buying seed, and anticipating the onset of the season. These are the men and women who grow the food that sustains us and they rely on a variety of biological, geographical, and chemical factors (as well as faith), to know when and what to plant.

David and Dwight Jolly own Jolly Brothers Farms, about 1,900 acres south of Versailles between Correct and Rexville where they can be found each spring planting their fields in anticipation of the fall harvest. The Jollys farm the land that has been in their family for decades, the same ground their father, Carl Edward Jolly, farmed and Howard Jolly before him. David watches the sky and the earth and relies on his faith for guidance related to his work with the soil.

“It’s been an unusual winter so that leaves us farmers wondering how that will affect our yields this year.” David said. “It takes a lot of effort just planting the seed but before you know it, it’s time for harvest. We are excited to see what our crops will bring.”

Mark Hartman lives on Cave Hill Road and farms property in the surrounding areas. Hartman and his wife Tammy also own RJE Fertilizer located in Versailles, which services farmers all over southeastern Indiana. Hartman warns farmers to pay close attention to instructions on the labels of chemicals they use on their crops this spring. He says that old labels are coming with new ‘set back’ restrictions which can affect crop growth. “The most important thing this year regarding chemical use is for farmer’s to be sure and read the labels and follow the directions completely.” Hartman says the rainy weather has put his company behind on application work that is usually done on fields during winter months in preparation for the spring planting season. Farmers are recommended to contact RJE as early as possible to ensure the company can meet their fields’ fertilization needs. After doing some digging (pun intended), this journalist identified a multitude of chemical and mathematical ‘farming signs’ that must be considered by those who till the soil.

Among those are the phases of the moon which, according to the revered Farmer’s Almanac, play a huge role in crop success. Just how much ‘the moon phases’ affect farming is questionable but many farmers consult ‘the almanac’ for the best times to plant after the final frost of winter. For example, April 11th at 2:08 am, there will be a Full Pink Moon. A Full Flower Moon will be visible at 5:42 pm on May 10th with a Full Strawberry Moon on June 9 at 9:10 am. Later on, July 9th will present us with a Full Buck Moon at 12:07 am. (Consult ‘The Almanac’ for what any of this actually means.) Farmers in the region may or may not factor these segments into their planting equations.

Those who do not farm are not familiar with the repercussions of Dogwood Winter, Indian Summer (a period of unseasonal warmth in fall) and Last Frost. Of course, the nutrients in the soil, the amount of rain received, and the power of the sun are all important factors in the success of the farmer’s crop. Who is to say which of the geographical, universal, biological, or chemical factors really are most important to growing plants in soil? It would seem that those who grow the food that feeds us are connected to the earth and the universe in a remarkable way. Rather than spending countless hours mindlessly plowing fields that appear endless just to cover seeds in soil, farmers listen to the earth and look to the universe for the time and manner and technique with which to plant. When recognizing the historical and humanitarian value of tilling the earth, and the skill required to distinguish how and when to plant, it appears that farming is among the noblest of professions.

Join the STEM team!
New competition to recognize Indiana’s STEM students

As Hoosiers across the state build their March Madness college basketball brackets, Gov. Eric. J. Holcomb and Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Jennifer McCormick unveiled a new program to highlight Indiana’s elite high school students for their work in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM): “The Governor’s STEM Team.”

“Indiana is well known for its love of sports, but we must also be a state that uplifts its rock star students, especially in the STEM subjects that are fueling the innovation and entrepreneurship to build our economic future,” Holcomb said. “The Governor’s STEM Team will recognize our state’s best and brightest young people with an honor that elevates their status, just as our society does for its finest athletes.”

The program honors four outstanding high school students for their exemplary performance in one of the STEM subjects. Winning students receive $1,000 college scholarships and letterman jackets identifying them as members of the Governor’s STEM Team. The submission period for the competition is now open, and applications and nominations may be submitted online at the following link: The deadline for nominations is 11:59 p.m. EDT on April 9, 2017.

“Engaging students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics prepares them for life beyond high school,” said Dr. Jennifer McCormick, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction. “I am excited for the submissions we will receive and look forward to recognizing our students’ creativity and passion for STEM.”

The Governor’s STEM Team builds on Indiana’s Mr. and Ms. Math and Science awards, which were created by Gov. Mitch Daniels in 2008. The Governor’s STEM Team program will honor the top high school students in STEM classes, as well as extracurricular activities, work/research projects, leadership roles and community service.

The nominations will be reviewed by a panel of STEM experts, including teachers, college and university instructors, and staff from the Indiana Department of Education and the State Board of Education. Gov. Holcomb and Superintendent McCormick will announce the first members of the Governor’s STEM Team in May.

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