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February 28, 2012

Riehle Select Popcorn awarded 'head kernel' at SWCD annual meeting

Donyelle Robinson
Contributing Writer

The Ripley County Soil and Water Conservation District held their 62nd Annual meeting on Thursday, February 23 at 6:30 p.m. in the South Ripley Elementary School cafeteria. Dinner was catered by Wayne's Meats of Milan, and guest speaker for the night was Tom Turpin from Purdue University. Turpin, who grew up on his family farm, told stories of how it used to be as a child, compared to what it is like now.
Many of the people in the crowd could relate as Turpin joked about life on the farm, such as milking cows, making clothing out of feed sacks, and watching the dial on his radio rather than a television. As he ended his speech, he quoted a line that was told from his close family friend, "Get you a good education cause they can't take it away from you."
Eric Riehle of Riehle Select Popcorn was chosen as the 2011 Conservation Farmer of the Year. Riehle has been the owner and operator of Riehle Select Popcorn for 12 years and wanted to continue the family tradition of farming as a way of life. Inspired by his father, he was told that he must find something special about farming or get out, so Riehle Select Popcorn was born.
Thirteen different varieties of popcorn are bottled, labeled, and shipped from the family farm, which is located in Sunman. Riehle and his family farm 350 acres of popcorn, 500 acres of soybeans and 10 acres of corn for a neighbor. His business continues to grow with hopes of expanding the operation in a few years.
Jeremy Dixon was elected as a board member for Ripley County Soil and Water Conservation District. Dixon is a graduate of Purdue University and is currently an engineer for GE Aviation and a farmer from Milan. He has served on the board for one year after filling a vacancy.
In other news: The 2011 special recognition awards were presented to Hall Farms of Southern Indiana and Laughery Valley Ag Co-Op North Branch, for all their continued support and dedication. Several items were donated, thanks to the local businesses and citizens in the community, these items were used as door prize giveaways at the end of the event.
The 19th annual No-till Breakfast will be held on March 8 at 8:00 a.m. at Hopewell Baptist Church. For reservations call 812-689-6410 ext. 3 and on March 15 Cover Crop Field Day at North Branch Laughery Valley Ag. Co-Op, time for this event is yet to be announced. If you would like more information on the Ripley County SWCD, you can contact the office at 812-689-6410 ext. 3 or you can visit their website at www.ripleyswcd.org.

Above are members of the Ripley County Soil and Water board of directors surrounding the Eric Riehle family as they received the Conservation Farmer of the Year for 2012 for the Riehle Select Popcorn growing operation near Sunman at the annual meeting Thursday, February 23.

Pictured from left are: Brad Hicks, Jeff Meinders, Brian Evans,
SWCD board members, Eric and Lisa Riehle and their four children,
and Danny Geisler and Jeremy Dixon, SWCD board members.

Phillippe named JCD Supt.

Kari Moore
Contributing Writer

The incoming Superintendent for Jac-Cen-Del School Corporation was announced during the regular meeting of the JCD School Board on Wednesday February 15. Bill Narwold has served as JCD Superintendent since August 2002 and is retiring. Narwold leaves a vacancy that will be filled by JCD Elementary Principal Dr. Leanna Phillippe beginning July 1, 2012. Phillippe has been with JCD since July 2006 and has worked very hard to obtain her doctorate degree to pursue a superintendent position. Board member Kathy Dickman made the motion to approve the recommendation to employ Phillippe as superintendent, seconded by Bill Roberts, with all board members in favor. Narwold reported on the online course requirement that will be implemented during the 2012-2013 school year.
The Indiana Virtual Academy will pilot an online health class next year. Right now, health is a required, one-semester course. Superintendent Narwold and high school principal Johnny Budd believe it will be beneficial to require the students to take at least one online course during their high school years. "We know, in the future, they're going to have to do it," said Budd. When asked if the school could offer more courses than just health, Narwold explained his hope in launching the program was to start with just one subject. "We can offer it so much more efficiently, cost-wise, through the Indiana Virtual Academy, if it's in one subject, rather than going out and finding a teacher here and a teacher there in different subjects." Budd explained they plan to have a licensed health teacher in the room so the student would have the proper guidance when needed. There would also be technical support should any glitches occur during the course. Superintendent Narwold told the board he plans to have more information available to them on the topic during next month's meeting.
This month's "I Caught You" award went to Bonnie Wall for her consistent, distinguished service to her students. "Bonnie has taught special needs students at JCD for over 35 years," said Narwold. "This is no small accomplishment." Wall said she was surprised and honored to receive the award. Towards the end of the meeting board members spoke of how proud they were of JCD. Kathy Dickman commended those who put together the public service announcement encouraging everyone to stop texting and driving. The PSA, in memory of Emily Huntington, received nation-wide attention. "I'm sure there will be lives saved because of it," said Dickman. Board president Deanna Young said she was very proud of the JCD girls basketball team. John Billman commented that while on a recent business trip he had several people outside the county say that they had heard that JCD was a "great little school" and how he thought it was great to know people outside of the area know about JCD.
In other news: Superintendent Narwold updated the board on the building project and stated the nine-month inspection will take place in May. The electrical contractor has finished their work and their retainage has been paid. The general contractor is still working on the cafeteria floor. The mechanical contractor has a few issues, but should be completed soon. Narwold informed the board that JCD has still not received the budget order for 2012 from the state. It was recommended the board approve Tammy Shaw as jr. high girls track assistant for the 2012 season. Roberts made the motion to approve the recommendation, Billman seconded, and the motion carried 5-for. It was recommended that the board approve David Espinda to be the boys varsity golf coach for the 2012 season. The motion to approve the recommendation was made by Hardy and seconded by Roberts. The motion carried 4-1 with Dickman opposed. It was recommended the new grade/building alignment to be grades kindergarten through fifth at the elementary and grades sixth through twelve at the middle/high school. Paul Hardy motioned to accept, Roberts seconded, and the motion carried 5-0.
The board approved the NEOLA policies as recommended during the first reading. Superintendent Narwold told the board EC015 has paid for a student alumni tracking device that can go back eight years and make contact with alumni. This will allow the school to know more about what their students accomplish after high school.
The Rube Goldberg competition will take place Saturday February 25. Doors will open at 10:00 a.m. Principal Budd told the board that Liddy Crum and Shelley Spillman have been accepted into the IU Honors Program in foreign language. It was recommended that the board accept a donation for work completed on the building project above and beyond what was required by the contract by Bruns-Gutzwiller, Inc. The donation of materials and labor is in the amount of $4,275.13.
It was also recommended during the meeting that beginning next month the board's monthly meetings will begin at 6:00 p.m. on the third Wednesday of every month. All board members were in attendance for the meeting. The next regular session of the JCD School Board of Trustees is scheduled for Wednesday, March 21 at its new time, 6:00 p.m. in the elementary library.

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