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January 31, 2013

Holton tornado has now claimed third life

Wanda English Burnett

Tuesday, Holton residents began receiving the sad news that the tornado that had ripped through their community claiming two lives on March 2, 2012, has now claimed its third victim.

Alvin Tolbert, or Ted as he was called by almost everyone, died at the Mercy Hospital in Fairfield, OH, on January 29.

Tolbert, who was 71, had lived the past ten months between various hospitals and acute care facilities in Ohio, after sustaining severe injuries when the E3 tornado winds blew the house he and wife, Brenda, were living in, apart. Both suffered severe injuries to their necks, but paramedics were able to stabilize them at the time. Brenda recovered, but, Ted did not. He was never able to come back to the town he loved.

Bob McCreary, pastor of the Holton Christian Church, and the officiating minister of Tolbert's funeral, said Tolbert loved the town of Holton where he had served on the town council for 12 years.

According to Wilma Myers, Holton, Tolbert was the one responsible for getting the town incorporated back in the 70's. She said he worked diligently and made many trips to Indianapolis to make sure the proper documents were filed. "He just wouldn't take no for an answer," she told The Versailles Republican. "We owe a lot of thanks to Ted," she concluded.

Tolbert was known for speaking his mind. He would write letters to the editor to the local newspapers, the Osgood Journal and The Versailles Republican, and enjoyed any feedback. He was passionate about the subject matter he was addressing at the time.

Tolbert was a US Navy veteran, something he was proud of. He would wear a hat that denoted his service to his country. He was very patriotic.

Funeral services for Tolbert will be held Friday, February 1 at 11 a.m. at the Stratton-Karsteter Funeral Home, Versailles. Visitation will be held tonight, Thursday, January 31 from 5-8 p.m. at the funeral home.

Memorials may be given to the donor's choice in care of the funeral home. A full obituary can be found inside today's paper on page two.


Alvin "Ted" Tolbert, is pictured left, when he was living in North Vernon and riding his scooter in 2006. It was a common sight to see Ted and his little dog Frankie, also pictured, riding around town. Frankie rode out the tornado with his owners, but died of old age later in 2012.

SR board reorganizes

Karen Reynolds
Contributing Writer

The South Ripley School board met January 14 in the administrative offices. Merritt Alcorn, school attorney, swore in re-elected Randy McIntosh and newly elected members, Carol Holzer and Jeff Cornett. The board was re-organized to reflect these changes:

Tim Taylor - president

Randy McIntosh - vice-president

Becky Turner - 2013 secretary

Lana Miller - treasurer

Karen Sieverding - deputy/treasurer

Randy McIntosh, Tim Taylor - administrative/non-certified committee

Becky Turner, Randy McIntosh, Tim Taylor - athletic council

Robert Garcia - legislative representative

Randy McIntosh, Jim Miller, Tim Taylor - negotiation committee

Entire board - board of finance

Merritt Alcorn - school board attorney

Rodney Hite - corporation school safety officer

Rob Moorhead, school superintendent, congratulated the 2013 president, Tim Taylor and all other officers, thanking them for their willingness to serve. For 2013, unanimous approval was given to continue regular business meetings the third Monday of each month at 6:30 PM in the administrative offices.

Moorhead also recognized elementary teacher and outdoor lab coordinator, Meganmarie Dennis with a certificate of recognition and a gift bag for being named the district and state Outstanding Outdoor Classroom of the Year by the Indiana State Tree Farm Committee. Dennis updated the board by sharing that the following things have been accomplished with the outdoor lab:

A weather station is checked by a 6th grade student each morning and the weather is reported to the school from that.

Last year, 6th grade students completed a project to research renewable energy and raised money to install a TurboMill at school and they hope to complete a new project each year.

There is now a resource shed/library which houses all tools and books for outdoor lab.

The 4th grade now has a garden club which meets most Tuesdays after school.

The 1st grade has container gardens in the spring each year.

The worm bin was started four years ago to teach students about decomposition.

The shelter house features outdoor lab lessons and even some regular classroom lessons.

The woods and trails are maintained by the Girls on the Run/Girls on Track program and the 6th grade students. Wood chips are donated by REMC.

Programs held in the woods include the leaf man, shelters, treasure tree, decomposition, and traveling seeds.

This past year there were two speakers: David Radcliff - sustainable living, and Rich Appuzo - meteorologist.

Field trips are taken to the recycling center.

Awards. contests, and grants that were participated in include SISWD Gold Medal School, Ripley County SWCD Poster Contests, Touchstone Energy Camp, Captain Planet Foundation grant, NES Student Achievement grant, and support from the Friendship State Bank.

Other programs & lessons include the 2nd grade Monarch Butterflies and Eggs to Chicks units, 5th grade Energizing Indiana kits, 5th & 6th grade Star Lab & ISI Science Kits.

Discovery Quest started this year with 1st & 2nd graders.

5th & 6th grade buddy programs continue with older students learning the lesson and teaching it to younger students.

The following personnel changes were approved unanimously:

Larry Sutherlin - fill FMLA leave for Lindsay Seabolt, effective February 11, 2012 - April 5, 2013. Sutherlin will be paid substitute rate for the first 15 days and his teacher scale rate for the remainder of the leave.

Karen Burford - Fill the 4.5-hour per day cafeteria position of Tracy Burns, retroactively effective from December 18, 2012.

Rosella Elliott - Fill a 2.25-hour cafeteria position retroactively effective from December 18, 2012.

Jim Conley - corporation bus driver position.

Amy Linkel - 5 day contract for administrative duties with the High Ability program.

Brenda Slaton - FMLA leave from January 8, 2012 -February 25, 2013.

The annual financial report, including 2012 revenues, expenditures, encumbrances, investments, debt balances, and transfers was approved unanimously.

In other news, these items of business were approved unanimously:

Approval to advertise for bids on the corporation's 32 acres for agriculture lease for the 2013 season.

Approval for a request for the FFA to attend the Farm Machinery Show on February 15, 2013 in Louisville, Ky.

Approval of the 2013-2014 school calendar.

Information given included:

February 12, 2013 & March 12 have been set aside for dates for a work session to review NEOLA proposed policies. A date for a work session with the Indiana School Boards Association concerning effective board government was discussed.

Changes to the Impact Aid program which were signed January 2 as the National Defense Authorization Act causes a delay in the application process for schools.

Five Star Technology announced the recent resignation of the desktop technician assigned to South Ripley.

Moorhead informed the board of the passing on of Charlie Cook, who was a past board member in the 1980's and was instrumental in supporting the most recent building project.

Those attending the January meeting were Jeff Cornett, Carol Holzer, Randy McIntosh, Jim Miller, Tim Taylor, Becky Turner, Rob Moorhead, Lana Miller, and Merritt Alcorn. The next meeting will be February 18 at 6:30 p.m.

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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