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October 20, 2016 • Headline News
Ashlee Miller’s class at South Ripley Elementary made and used marshmallow poppers and catapults for their science projects recently. The science project helped students learn about potential and kinetic energy and the various types of simple machines. SUBMITTED PHOTO
Three new Little Free Libraries have recently been installed in Versailles. Pictured above, Dave and Tina Benz placed one in their yard at 114 East 1st North Street, Versailles. Dave has built several of the libraries around town. He reports that the neighborhood children enjoy visiting his library. SUBMITTED PHOTO
Pictured are just some of the hailstones that fell during the storm that roared through Southeast Indiana on Wednesday evening. These stones are the size of baseballs and landed east of the Ripley County line in Farmers Retreat. Visit Ripley Publishing Co., Inc. Facebook page to see more photos. MARIA SIEVERDING PHOTO
Brown County State Park in Nashville draws a lot of leaf-lookers at this time of year. It’s pretty, but the closer state parks in the area, such as Clifty Falls and Versailles State Park, should probably be peaking soon and be a good place to view fall foliage. MARY MATTINGLY PHOTO
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Tyson center getting exterior makeover

Mary Mattingly

The Tyson Activity Center on High Street is a hub of activity lately. However, it’s not from what’s going on inside the gym, but on the outside of the historic building. With use of a $352,000 Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs grant, (matching grant funds came from the Tyson Fund and Rising Sun Regional Foundation) much needed repairs are being made to preserve and secure the integrity of the 66 year old building. It is listed on the National Historic Register. There are roofers, masonry and glass restoration workers working daily on the building.

Worker restore Tyson buildingMARY MATTINGLY PHOTO
Pictured left, the glass restoration employee sands the steel frame on the west side of the building earlier this week.

All of the 40 windows are being replaced with new glass. They are sandblasting (with baking soda!) the steel frames, priming, painting, and then adding a clear protective coat before installing the new glass.

Aimee Cornett, board member, said when it’s finished, “You’ll really notice it once you come inside.” That’s partly because the windows have been boarded and insulated for some time. “So that means there’s no utilization of the light,” she added. They are not replacing the unique glass block, seen out front, but just making some repairs on ones that are needed. Any bricks in disrepair throughout the sides of the building will be replaced or touched up. And the roof work on the south side of the building will help with protecting the interior from the weather. This will ultimately make the building more secure, Cornett said. Cornett is not positive when the work will be finished, but at the latest thinks it will be spring or late winter.

Tom Poole of the Poole Group is the general contractor, the roofers are HRC out of Columbus, IN and Louisville BJB Restoration are working on the windows. They’ve been there daily for several weeks. With the exterior building structure improved, the plan is then to expand programs.

A popular physical exercise and weight training program is held in the lower level corner, and there are plans to add a cardio room. The goal with the Tyson Activity Center has been to provide a hub of activity for the town, the board members have said. They got the grant partly because there was no other central building in Versailles. There’s open gym for men beginning in November, regular tumbling and gymnastics classes and R-CATS, the alternative school, is also held at the stage on weekdays. The other idea is to convert the downstairs locker room into an outreach room to be used for local meetings. In the meantime, it’s being used as part of a haunted maze for the next two weekends.

Nearby parks starting to peak for fall foliage

There are the yellows and golds of poplars, the vibrant reds from native sumacs, while maples add a touch of vivid orange. Indiana comes alive with color in the fall, but it doesn’t last too long. Making matters more challenging, peak fall foliage in Indiana may start as early in September or as late as mid-October, depending on your location, and, of course, the weather! A wet summer will produce more fall color, and a dry one not so much.

Brown County State Park in Nashville draws a lot of leaf-lookers at this time of year. It’s pretty, but the closer state parks in the area, such as Clifty Falls and Versailles State Park, should probably be peaking soon and be a good place to view fall foliage.

Many of the state parks boast beautiful colors at this time of year. Brown County, the state’s largest park in Nashville, Indiana, had more green than other colors this past weekend, but it didn’t seem to keep the visitors from filling the park! It was still pretty, with yellows and golds, and reds sprinkled here and there. At the Versailles State Park, asst. park manager Brad Walker said peak foliage would be within the end of the week or so. “Weather pending of course. High winds, heavy rains tend to bring the leaves down before they completely change,” he added.

According to the Fall Foliage Prediction Map, near October 21 should be peak time to see the fall foliate in southern Indiana. The weekend of October 14 was peak for the central and northern parts of the state. The southwestern counties in Ohio are expected to peak next week, while the rest of Ohio peaked around October 14. Rain that Indiana received in September could help produce normal colors on fall foliage even though many trees were damaged by the summer’s drought, a Purdue Extension forester says. Some trees have lost leaves, and others have leaves that have been scorched by drought, but rains could bring recovery and more coloration, said Lenny Farlee.

“It’s too early to say whether the drought will be a major factor in leaf coloration,” he said. “If we continue to get a little rain and lots of sunny weather, we could have decent fall color.”

The green color in tree leaves during the spring and summer comes from chlorophyll, which is used in the food-making process for plants. Sunlight, water and carbon dioxide combine to make sugars so the plant can survive. Other colors are present in leaves too, but as a tree makes food for itself, the green chlorophyll dominates other colors such as yellow or orange.

“As day length gets shorter and we start to get some cooler weather, chlorophyll will start breaking down and stop masking the other colors in the leaves,” Farlee said. Trees prepare themselves for winter dormancy as the green fades and photosynthesis production stops. With decreased sunlight and water, the tree will rest and live off food stored during the summer.

Anthocyanin remaining in the leaves after photosynthesis can cause a reddish tint. Tannin, a waste product stored in cells, causes a brown or golden color to show. Yellows and oranges are caused by carotenoids. Leaf coloration varies by tree species and the weather an area experiences late in the summer, Farlee said. The amount of sunlight trees receive also affects color intensity. More sunlight brings more intense colors.

“The best weather for colorful fall foliage is when we have bright, sunny days and cooler nights,” Farlee said. “The best fall color can often be seen in trees on the edge,” Farlee said. “That’s why trees along roads are more colorful and sometimes are the best way to view fall foliage.”

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