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March 1, 2012

Accidents, storm keep crews busy

Wanda English Burnett
    It's a good thing for some motorists that February 29 only comes around every four years after their experiences on the road Wednesday morning.
    Around 8:00 a.m. the Ripley County Communications received a 911 report of a three-vehicle traffic crash on US 50 just outside of Versailles on the east side of town.
    According to information from Corporal Rob Bradley of the Ripley County Sheriff's Office, who is the investigating officer, the accident happened during a heavy period of rain.
    Barry A. Beverly, 56, of Cross Plains, was traveling eastbound on US 50 and Alice Reaves, 57, Dillsboro and William Robertson, 63, of Moores Hill, were both westbound.
    Cpl. Bradley noted that the accident appears to have been caused by Beverly's vehicle hydroplaning and crossing into the oncoming traffic. He said, "The tires on Beverly's vehicle were that of no discernible tread." He believed this to be a contributing factor in the crash.
    Both Reaves and Beverly were transported to Margaret Mary Community Hospital at Batesville. Robertson refused transport at the scene. According to information from Chuck Gunter of the Versailles Fire and Rescue, two of the drivers had to be extricated from their vehicles.
    As a result of the crash on US 50, traffic was shut down to a single lane of traffic until the cleanup was complete. Cpl. Bradley was assisted at the scene by Sgt. Corky Houseworth of the RCSO, Dan Goris of the Versailles Police Department, Versailles Fire and Rescue, Rescue 69 and Rescue 30.
    Little did a lady waiting in line for that crash to be cleaned up know that she would be involved just a few minutes later in a four vehicle collision on the other end of town near the NAPA Store on US 50.
    I was waiting in line thinking I would be late for work," Melanie Cooper of Versailles, told The Versailles Republican, who said that would have been good if that had been her only problem for the morning.
    The second crash occurred about 8:41 a.m. on US 50 near the NAPA Store in Versailles, when a vehicle was turning into the store, according to Deputy Marshal Dan Goris of the Versailles Police Department, who investigated the accident and was assisted by the Indiana State Police.┬áIn this accident no one was hurt, but vehicles were damaged.
    The first car was a 2006 Chevrolet Impala driven by Agnes Volk of Batesville, who stopped directly behind the vehicle that was turning into NAPA. She was rear ended by Melanie Cooper of Versailles, who was driving a 2006 Volvo, who was also rear ended by a Ryder Freightliner van being driven by Adam Hinz of West Chester, OH, who was employed with Kauffman Tire Company out of Sharonville, OH. He was rear ended by a semi tractor trailer driven by Nathan Davis of Taylorsville, KY, who was driving a 2005 Freightliner for Tiger Trucking Lines out of New Albany.
    According to Officer Goris, the semi in the back of the line failed to stop in time causing a chain reaction that saw two of the vehicles having to be towed from the scene.
    "I'm just thankful no one was hurt," noted Shawn Negangard, owner of Manderley Health Care Center, Osgood, who had responded to the scene to pick up his employee Melanie Cooper, who said although she was a little shook up, she was headed to work.
    Earlier in the morning due to high winds, a large tree fell across US 421 near 600 South.
    According to Officer Goris, employees from the State Highway Department responded and made short work of the tree to get the traffic flowing quickly.
    Patrick Rose, director of Ripley County Emergency Management Agency said he didn't have reports of other damage from the storm at press time.

    Traffic was stopped for a short period of time Wednesday morning, February 29 as a three vehicle accident that occurred west of Versailles, saw two drivers extricated from their vehicles (one pictured above) after a driver hydroplaned on the wet pavement.

South Ripley musicians perform at Carnegie Hall

Mary Margaret Moorhead Clegg
Contributing Writer

    The experience of a lifetime. That was the opinion of South Ripley's choral music students and chaperones of their recent trip to New York City and performance in Carnegie Hall.
    "I couldn't have been prouder of our students," said chaperone Kris Lafary. "They didn't complain, were always on time, respectful, and represented South Ripley and this community in the very best way possible."
    After several months of preparation, including fund-raisers, special performances, and lengthy practice sessions, choral director Patsy Holdsworth, guided the 35 students and 20 chaperones into a world most had never seen.
    Using transportation provided by Miller Tours with Jerry McKown driver, the group departed South Ripley on Friday, February 17 at 2:00 a.m. arriving at their New Jersey hotel mid-afternoon of that same day. An evening of sight-seeing in New York City provided the first day's adventure.
    Rehearsals for the Car-negie Hall performance on Monday, February 20 began on Saturday with a three-and-a-half hour rehearsal with director Greg Gilpin and narrator Clay Aiken. These continued on Sunday and Monday in Park Hotel.
    "The students never complained about the length of the rehearsals, but seemed mesmerized by the ability of the director to work with such a large group of students and keep them so involved," said Holdsworth.
    In addition to South Ripley students, eight other schools participated in the combined choral group. Director Greg Gilpin, who resides in Indianapolis and performs frequently with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, is a choral arranger and composer and a private voice and piano instructor. Monday's performance was Gilpin's second Carnegie Hall concert - his first in June of 2009. He has also performed at the Lincoln Center in 2011.
    Gilpin became acquainted with Holdsworth through his judging of state solo and ensemble choral contests in Indiana and was aware of the quality of music her students were able to perform. It was his invitation that gave South Ripley choral students this opportunity.
    Clay Aiken as narrator for the Carnegie Hall performance will be remembered as the first runner up on the 2003 American Idol. His albums have sold over six million units as of 2011, and he has also written a best selling book and performed in a Broadway musical.
    Prior to the Monday evening performance, a dress rehearsal took place in Carnegie Hall with formal attire for all participants. The well attended concert received a standing ovation for the combined singers and recognition of their directors.
    Following the performance, which included five songs composed by director Gilpin, the musicians were guests at a reception and banquet.
    During their four-day trip, the South Ripley students and chaperones were able to attend a Broadway performance of "Lion King;" appear on Monday's Today show; and tour Carlos Baker, a TV series on the Learning Channel.
    In addition to shopping opportunities, visiting Times Square and Central Park, the group had a guided tour of the Rock in Rockefeller Center, the Nabisco Building, 9/11 Memorial, the Financial Center Memorial, South Seaport, and a view of the Statue of Liberty.
    They also learned basic historical and economic facts of New York City and its cathedrals and other points of interest.
    In thanking the community for support, Holdsworth said the group will be providing an opportunity for parents and those interested to see videos of the trip and hear performances by the choral students of the music they performed at Carnegie Hall.
    She will be announcing dates of related activities as soon as they are finalized.

To read these and more articles pick up a copy of The Versailles Republican at your local store or subscribe by clicking on the link above or by calling 812-689-6364.

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