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September 4, 2012

Milan Elementary students enjoy library makeover; dedication ceremony held

On August 24 Milan Elementary School held a dedication ceremony for its newly renovated library.

Phase I of the library project was completed over the summer thanks to the Milan Elementary PTO and other individuals who contributed supplies and services. The ceremony took place in the library with a ribbon-cutting and the opportunity to thank contributors as well as a kick-off of this year's fundraiser to complete Phase II.

The project began last fall when the PTO determined that money raised in the fall fundraiser would go to what students call an "extreme library makeover."

Principal Jane Rogers said that students related to the TV reality show and were excited to see their efforts pay off when returning to school in August. "The project would not have been possible without the generosity of our PTO and three gentlemen and their companies," she noted.

Rogers paid tribute to those involved with making the project possible. Jerry Firestone, from Triangle Design, donated architectural services to design the makeover. The library was the last remaining part of the open concept from the original building project in 1976. The addition of walls maximizes library space and makes it fully functional for students and teachers.

The second contributor recognized was Jeff Poole, with the Poole Group, Inc. His construction company gave the school discounts and completed work in quick fashion. Work included adding walls and windows on the perimeter, reshaping the story circle, and adding storage room doors.

Rob Shilling, with Vinyl and Carpet Service, was recognized for donating the carpet for the project. The unique checkerboard design was a student favorite, according to fifth graders.

The program, led by Rogers, honored librarian, Connie Coyle, and her assistant, Carol Bruns, for their hard work and dedication during the renovation.

Also honored were members of the Milan Elementary custodial staff who helped move books and furniture in and out; painted walls; assisted with electricity and lighting; and cleaned up throughout the process. The summer custodial staff consisted of: Mike Zinz, Sherri Pennington, Jeanne Grieve, Hershel Byrd, Lisa Cook and Charlie Dudgeon.

PTO President Dawn Lewis and officers Jennifer Knowlton, Gina Keller, and many members present were also recognized for their efforts during the fundraiser and their willingness to support the renovation.

This is the second year the Milan Elementary PTO has taken on a large project, with last year's project being the playground renovation. The PTO hopes to continue with Phase II by adding new books, especially for upper level readers, adding technology, furniture and decorations.

The PTO also pays for all students to attend field trips and various special projects each year. "Our library is the centerpiece of our school and we greatly appreciate the support of our PTO and all who donated to the library makeover," stated Principal Rogers.

Fourth and fifth grade students assisted during the special ceremony. Fifth graders, Savannah Clark and Ethan Moore; and fourth graders, Abby Ferriera and Evan Miller, held the ribbon while library staff Coyle and Bruns cut it.

Rogers declared the library dedicated to all Milan Elementary students.

Fifth graders: Abby Knowlton, Talon Gobel, and Logan Nudds; and fourth graders: Delaney Bushhorn, Ethan Schwipps, and Bo Wade, distributed gifts to honored guests. All staff members, including secretaries Debra Johnson and Teresa Heppner, were thanked for their part in the project.

Elementary students enjoyed a skit performed by staff members Coyle, Bruns, and Rogers, along with Brenda Schwering, counselor; Lisa Combs, technology assistant; and PTO members Keller and Knowlton, while Jane Brinkman assisted with photography.

The makeover process was captured through pictures. A slide show was shown to students during the skit. Students were then challenged to another successful fundraising project this year.

Coyle concluded, "Phase I turned out beautifully. The addition of walls allows us to maximize space. The paint looks great and the carpet is a big hit. We look forward to Phase II!"


Milan Elementary School Principal Jane Rogers, standing, talks as students gather around for the big reveal and dedication ceremony of the Milan Elementary Library renovation on August 24. The project was made possible by the PTO and generous contributors.

Sentencing set for September 19 Hildebrand found guilty on both felony charges

Wanda English Burnett

Guilty was the verdict the jury came back with after deliberating about seven hours Thursday, August 30 in the Zebulan "Zeb" Hildebrand case. Hildebrand was a reserve deputy for the Ripley County Sheriff's Office at the time of the incident.

Hildebrand had been charged with two Class B Felonies concerning injuries his eight-week-old son sustained while in his care in August 2011.

When he took the witness stand, Hildebrand said he knew he hurt his son, but he didn't do it on purpose.

Prosecution had a different take on what had happened and said the defendant not only hurt his son, but lied to cover up his actions. Prosecutor Ric Hertel plopped a large box full of 2,000 pages of medical records on the desk and said he had read every single page (more than once) and knew that the defendant was guilty.

Hildebrand was accused of shaking his infant son, by his own admission, and also punching him, again words used by Hildebrand in a taped interview with police.

The jury was attentive throughout the proceedings, taking notes and asking questions. After the verdict was given, the judge polled each juror individually asking them if the verdict was indeed their own decision. All 12 agreed it was their verdict.

A large number of family members sat throughout the trial for three days listening intently and taking notes. The judge admonished the crowd before the verdict was given that there would be no outbursts. And there wasn't. The courtroom was silent as the verdicts came back on the charges of Battery Causing Bodily Injury and Aggravated Battery.

The defendant was remanded immediately to jail with no bond. He was cuffed in the courtroom and escorted from there by two Indiana State Police troopers. The family and those in the courtroom watching the proceedings were instructed by the judge to stay put until the defendant had been taken out.

Judge Jon Cleary of Dearborn County Superior Court presided over the case. Ripley County Circuit Court Judge Carl Taul recused himself as he knew many of the family, who are in law enforcement or are employed through the county jail.

Hildebrand was represented by Hoffman, Admire and Newcomb Law Firm, of Franklin. Jay Hoffman and Brian Newcomb were in the courtroom throughout the trial.

Prosecution was by Ric Hertel and Kate Bumgarner with ISP Detective Tracy Rohlfing and Ryan Marshal, law clerk for the prosecutor's office seated at the State's table.

Hertel told the Osgood Journal this case was about a baby who was injured severely. He said he is thankful for a hospital such as Children's Hospital in Cincinnati and the expertise of the doctors there in these kinds of cases. He also praised the work of ISP Detective Rohlfing who did his job thoroughly, according to the prosecutor.

The prosecutor said his office has put countless hours into the case, as they do in any case of this magnitude when a child is hurt. He thanked Deputy Prosecutor Kate Bumgarner for her dedication along with Ryan Marshal, who spent many extra hours working before this case came to trial. "In the end, it's about the child," Hertel concluded.

Sentencing has been set for September 19 at 8:30 a.m. in Ripley County Circuit Court. Hildebrand faces from six to 20 years imprisonment and up to a $10,000 fine in the case.

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