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March 30, 2017 • Headline News
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Send us your Easter happenings

Be sure to send in information on your Easter events. We need those in our office by April 3 to include them in The Versailles Republican on April 6 and again in the Osgood Journal on April 11. There is no charge for this. Send to or drop off at our office on Washington Street (next to the post office) in Versailles. You can also mail them to Ripley Publishing Co., P.O. Box 158, Versailles, IN 47042.


Recycling in Ripley County: You make a difference

Jared D. Rogers

Like many organizations, the Southeastern Indiana Recycling District (SEIRD) has crafted an eloquent mission statement. It is several sentences long and contains sophisticated words. Aaron Bell, the Executive Director for SEIRD, simplifies it: “We want to help more folks understand that their waste disposal choices are important.” “Critical,” is another word Bell uses to describe those choices. “We live in a beautiful area of Indiana. We need to connect the dots: The beauty won’t always be here if we don’t have accountability for what we do with our trash.” Bell, who has been at the helm of SEIRD for eight years, mixes his passion for the outdoors with his management expertise to increase that accountability in the seven counties SEIRD oversees, of which Ripley County is a part.

Harley Orr and Larry Meader of SEI RecyclingJARED D. ROGERS PHOTO
Pictured at left Harley Orr and Larry Meador are busy at the processing center. The Southeastern Indiana Recycling District center sorting facility is located within the Jefferson County Proving Grounds.

Educating youth is a priority for the organization, and Bell credits his staff, including Education Coordinator Gary Marlin for his efforts in that regard. “We want to teach kids how to do the right thing with their trash. We want kids to want to recycle - that’s what our education programs are all about,” Bell notes. He observes that once a person begins a recycling habit, it is rare for them to stop.

Beyond recycling, SEIRD also offers creative programs that encourage kids to find ways to reuse and repurpose what they may have previously considered trash. “We want to light a fire in a kid from our area, someone who grows up and says, ‘I want to make a difference,’” Bell hopefully states about the potential to impact youth. In addition to elementary school settings, SEIRD offers an annual scholarship to graduating seniors. “We want to see kids involved in conserving our natural resources throughout their schooling; that’s what makes a strong scholarship candidate,” Bell says. And for those of us who are only young at heart? Bell assures that getting started with household recycling is simple and low-stress, and it can make a significant difference in our community. “It starts with me,” is the mindset Bell hopes community members embrace. This echoes the famous quote by author Edward Everett Hale, “I can’t do everything, but I can do something.”

Thankfully, all a person needs to “do something” is a cardboard box for collection and a willing spirit. No fancy bins or totes are necessary, Bell relates. “Start small,” he instructs, “Separate out your cardboard, paper, and plastic bottles. If you can just recycle those things, you’re ahead in the game. Those three things take up a large amount of space in a landfill.” He adds, “Composting organic waste is huge, too, but that’s further down the road.” It’s not uncommon for household recyclers to come across material that they are unsure about, in terms of its recyclability. “When in doubt, bring it to us separately and ask us.” SEIRD staff are able to answer community questions regarding such items. When it comes to finding information about recycling services and opportunities, the SEIRD prints quarterly brochures, specific for each of its participating counties. Brochures are available at staffed SEIRD collection centers as well as online at

Residents of Ripley County are able to drop-off recyclables in Osgood, at the Hasmer Hill Road location situated off of US Highway 421 on the south side of town. The Osgood facility accepts a host of common and uncommon recyclables, spelled out in the Ripley County brochure mentioned above. A drop-off facility is located in Batesville, too. Additionally, the town of Milan has begun a successful curbside recycling program, after years of collaboration between the town and SEIRD. Bell and his staff are pleased with how the program is unfolding so far, and hopes participation will continue to increase as the service matures.

Of course, recycling is just one arm of the classic, “Reduce, reuse, recycle” mantra, and Bell is sure to point out that recycling is not the most environmentally friendly option of the three. It is without a doubt a better option of waste disposal than littering, or sending to a landfill, but it still consumes energy to recycle common materials, thus having an impact on our environment. At the top of the chain is “reduce.” Bell says we have the most positive impact on our natural resources when we reduce the amount we consume in the first place. His advice for everyday reduction? “When I go into a store, I think about leaving that place with as little to discard as possible. Bags, packaging, products - I want to leave with only what I need. It starts with that mindset.”

With a fresh new spring season upon us, there is no better time to make a positive choice for our environment. Take a moment to consider your consumption habits and disposal choices. As Aaron Bell and the SEIRD teach us, recycling is a simple practice to adopt and it has the potential to make a great impact on the beautiful place we call home.

Spring is here!
Black bear on the prowl

According to reports from the DNR, the black bear that brought so much attention to the area in the fall and winter is out of hibernation and back among the people. The bear is making its home in southern Indiana, and according to Big Oak National Wildlife Refuge it was spotted recently foraging in a cornfield near the refuge. This is the second bear confirmed by the DNR in the last two years. Officials believe it swam across the Ohio River from Kentucky, which has seen an increasing black bear population. If you see the bear, the DNR asks that you report the sighting by calling 812-334-1137.

South Ripley Elementary School kindergarten registration

Kindergarten registration for South Ripley Elementary School will be held on Wednesday and Thursday, April 26 and 27, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Parents may choose either date to attend. As the Indiana State Law now reads, a child must be five years of age on or before August 1, 2017, to attend kindergarten during the 2017 – 2018 school year.

Please bring your child, who is registering for kindergarten, with you. Children will see the classrooms and meet with a teacher. Children will also meet with a speech pathologist. Please allow 45 minutes to one hour for the registration. Please do not bring younger children, as they may get restless during that time. Also bring your child’s official birth certificate, which is the certificate from the county of your child’s birth. The certificate from the hospital is not acceptable.

Parents must also bring to the registration the doctor or clinic record of the child’s immunizations. At this time minimum requirements for the State of Indiana are: 5 doses of DPT (or 4 doses if the fourth dose was given on or after the 4th birthday), 4 polio immunizations (or 3 doses if the third dose was given on or after the 4th birthday), 2 doses of MMR, 3 doses of Hepatitis B, 2 doses of Hepatitis A, 2 doses of Chickenpox vaccine (on or after the first birthday) or a record of the Chickenpox disease.

Any State of Indiana changes in the requirements for school entry will be published. Your child will not be officially registered for kindergarten until an official birth certificate and an updated immunization record is presented to the school.

Additionally, for the 2017 – 2018 school year, SRES is happy to announce the opportunity for 4-year-old students to apply for early entrance into Readiness Kindergarten. To apply for Readiness Kindergarten, parents/guardians must fill out an online Google form. This form is available on the SRES webpage at In order to best meet the needs of these students, the class will be capped at 20 students. This class will be filled on a first come, first served basis. The first 20 students to apply online, and meet the requirements, will be considered. We look forward to meeting your future kindergartner on April 26 or 27!

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Ripley Publishing Company, Inc.
115 S. Washington Street, P.O. Box 158
Versailles, IN 47042

Phone: 812-689-6364 • Fax: 812-689-6508

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