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Fire, tornado, hit Rising Sun schools CLIFF THIES The early schools in Rising Sun began as private institutions. The first teacher of whom we have record is William Fulton, who began instructing students in 1823. Mr. Fulton held lessons in private residences for a number of years and then held formal classes in a log structure on North High Street, (near the old Carnegie library.) This structure burned at some point and the school was relocated to the original brick structure that served as the early Methodist Church in Rising Sun. The current building is the second and largest building constructed by the Methodist Church. In 1854 the population of Rising Sun was 1,600. The need was seen for a new school. So in the spring of 1854 the construction of a two-story brick school house was begun. It contained eight rooms and was 65' x 57' in overall dimensions, costing $4,000, a large amount of money at the time. This structure was located on North High Street where the EMS / Fire Station is now located. During the year 1872 there were extensive upgrades carried out on the building at a cost of $1,800. In the fall of the same year the building fell victim to a massive fire and was completely destroyed – nothing could be salvaged – all the records and documents were lost in the blaze. The citizens of Rising Sun were quick to make sure the town had a new school building. Construction began on an imposing new building on the same site. The new structure came in at a staggering $20,000 to complete. The new school was an impressive three-story, hard-baked brick building with a

bell tower that rose 88 feet above the ground. The building was designed jointly by Leon Beaver, an architect from Dayton, Ohio, and James Reister, a contractor from Rising Sun. Mr. Reister was placed in charge of overseeing the construction project. The new school opened late in the year 1873, when the population of Rising Sun was 1,760. The first high school class was made up of six students, all of whom graduated in 1875. In 1923, construction began on a new wing. This addition was connected to the three-story school and, like the existing structure, faced High Street and went down Second Street. An interesting side note: for many, many years the only block that had a sidewalk completely surrounding it in town was the block the school sat on, High Street, Second Street, Walnut Street and Main Street. This new connecting wing would serve as the new high school and the old school would be dedicated to the elementary grades. In 1924 the cornerstone was officially installed in the new high school on the corner of North High Street and Second Street. (The cornerstone is now on display at the Ohio County Historical Society). The contents of the cornerstone have been a topic of debate and questions since the building was torn down. The year 1948 brought another form of destruction to our school. That year a massive tornado hit Rising Sun and destroyed the third floor and 88-foot bell tower of the 1872 structure. The building was repaired and was altered into a two-story brick with a flat roof and no bell tower. The bell is now on display at the current high school. There were no deaths at the school when the tornado hit. However,


The Rising Sun school that opened in late 1873 was an impressive three-story, hard-baked brick building with a bell tower that rose 88 feet above the ground. several students received cuts and bruises. It was customary then for the boys to use the back staircase in the main hall and the girls to use the staircase on the High Street side of the building. According to several local residents who lived through this event, just as the last students evacuated the building and ran to take cover, the bell came crashing through all three floors destroying most of the staircase that the children had just used. My mother was in the building when this happened and remembers when the tornado was spotted the teacher told all the students to run out of the building as they were concerned about the amount of glass that might have flown through the air from the large windows in the class rooms. Some of you might remember the story that Mr. Tucker was hit in the head with a flying brick . He was injured. However, I think the addition of the brick hitting him in the head was added for a little drama. In 1960 came the need for a new high school building The new and current high school was built on Henrietta Street and must have seemed like a piece of modern art com-

pared to the old high school. After the move of the high school classes to the new building, the old high school was converted into extra grade school spaces and classes. Many of us remember attending school in that complex. The year 1973 saw more growth of the Rising Sun School system. A new, state-ofthe-art elementary school was designed and built on Mulberry Street and is still in use. This structure contained kindergarten through seventh grade. I was part of the first seventh grade class in the new building. The current grade school and high school buildings are still in use. They have been updated and redesigned through the years and are still a source of pride for our historic community. Cliff Thies is the executive director of the Ohio County Historical Society, director of the Rising Sun History Museum, and the state historian for Ohio County, Ind. A lifelong resident of Rising Sun/Ohio County, he can be reached through his office at 812-438-4915 in the Rising Sun History Museum.



Tariffs on newsprint the enemy Prom sponsors say thanks

The U.S. Department of for the border. Commerce and the InternaConsumers of newsprint, tional Trade Commission are from newspaper and book considering tariffs on Canadian publishers to telephone direcnewsprint. tory manufacturers, tend to Every day at the News buy newsprint in their region, Media Alliance headquarters, a close to their printing operastack of newspapers arrives for tions. myself and the staff. The printers who typicalBut with the U.S. Departly utilize Canadian newsprint ment of Commerce and the Inare those in the Northeast and ternational Trade Commission DAVID Midwest, where no U.S. mills currently considering tariffs CHAVERN are operating. on Canadian newsprint, those But those regions are not days of screen-free reading newsprint deserts because of could be coming to an end. unfair trade by Canadian paper mills. The fact that newsprint is being Rather, newsprint mills shut down threatened is the work of one newsprint or converted to producing other, more mill in the Pacific Northwest, NOR- profitable paper products when the dePAC. mand for newsprint fell, something that In August 2017, NORPAC petitioned has been happening steadily for dethe Department of Commerce to begin cades. applying tariffs to newsprint imported Since 2000, the demand for newsfrom Canada, claiming the imported print in North America has dropped by paper was harming the U.S. newsprint 75 percent. industry. But affordable Canadian paper has But NORPAC is not acting in the best helped keep the printed news alive and interests of newsprint consumers or the flourishing well into the 21st century. U.S. paper industry at large. With new tariffs, many smaller newspaThey are acting in their own interest pers will feel their belts tightening. and no one else’s. The combination of preliminary The buying and selling of newsprint countervailing and anti-dumping duties has always been regional without regard increases the cost of imported news-

print by as much as 32 percent, and a number of newspapers have already experienced price increases and a disruption in supply. If the International Trade Commission and the Department of Commerce make these tariffs permanent in the coming months, it could lead some small local publishers to cut their print product entirely, or even shut their doors. Some, like NORPAC, may argue that by imposing duties on Canadian imports we’re saving American jobs and boosting our own economy, but while that may sometimes be true for other industries, the opposite is true of newsprint. What we’re seeing with the newsprint tariffs is not a government acting to try to better the economy for its citizens. Instead, it is “political arbitrage” by one private investment group, where they are effectively looking to use the U.S. government to tax local and community newspapers across the United States in order to bolster their own bottom line. When considering whether to take NORPAC’s claims seriously, the Department of Commerce excluded input

See ENEMY page 5


Of flying up to Heaven

It’s raining lightly as I write ture on the most miserable days this column, but the birds are of sleet, wind and cold, that they not deterred. The robins hop do feel that discomfort. across the dewy grass, stopBut do they remember? Do ping to cock their heads and they hope tomorrow will be listen, then stab the soil and warmer and dry? rear back as they pull a worm Some folks say animals don’t from the wet earth. think, but how else would the Nearby the finches and Cooper’s hawk remember to reother birds flit through the visit our yard, where it caught mist to the bird feeders. As ate a dove or two this winter? CHANDRA and summer nears, the house How would the songbirds refinches are showing more pur- MATTINGLY member our feeders as a regular ple, but are outshone by the food source? goldfinches. Those males now Instinct may drive birds (and are as yellow as the last of the daffodils! monarch butterflies) south and north each A pair of chickadees, their black caps fall and spring, but there are some behavseeming proof against the rain, dart in iors birds and other creatures exhibit that and out, as do the gray tufted titmice. just don’t seem to be instinctive. And a brilliantly black and white downy swoops in, the red on his head indicating Still, that living in the now has a lot his male gender. The other birds are quick to shift out of his way as he gathers going for it, especially for anyone who is a beak full of sunflower seeds and coasts constantly on the go. As the saying goes, to the nearby lilac bush to process them. God created human beings, not human None of the birds seems unduly wet or doings. Those who have chronic or terminal perturbed by the mild rainfall. I wonder diseases also may learn to live in the what they think: if they realize their curnow. As someone who is dealing with rent experience differs from a day or two before, when the sun was shining and the a recurrent case of breast cancer, I’ve weather was mild. I know from their pos- learned to hold today close to my heart

Being human

and mostly leave tomorrow until tomorrow. Don’t get me wrong; I’m doing well despite the Stage IV diagnosis. And while I’m still undergoing chemotherapy on a regular basis, I’m hoping the cancer will go into remission – hopefully forever. Heck, I’ve even grown a little hair. Meanwhile, I deal with fatigue the first weekend after chemo, when I spend my time reading or writing or sleeping, and being catered to by family. There are similarities to flu, but despite writing down the side effects, I’m quick to forget them as my body recovers and I’m back to work, back to my hobbies of gardening, beekeeping, and horsekeeping. There is blue sky, there are lovely cloud formations, sunsets and sunrises, flowers blooming in bright and sometimes silky colors, and best of all, flowers giving off their heavenly scents: hyacinths, daffodils, viburnum, and soon lilacs and roses and oriental lilies. (But not non-stop roses, which bloom well but have no scent and thus are not true roses in my book.)

Near death

See HEAVEN page 5

Editor: The 2018 RSHS Prom was held April 28 at the RS/OC Senior Community Building. The prom theme was “City Nights.” The prom was attended by 119 students. Dinner was served by Rolling Pin Catering and a chocolate fountain was enjoyed by the attendees. Jared Teaney was the DJ for the evening. A photo booth was available for the evening. Royalty included King Trevor Levi and Queen Lucy Carrigan. The prince was Jake Bovard and the princess was Ana Castro. Without the support from many people, the prom would not be possible. The RSHS Prom Committee would like to thank the City of Rising Sun for a grant of $1,000, the rental fee for the RS/OC Senior Community Building, and matching of the 2017 Navy Bean Raffle; and Ohio County Historical Society for sponsoring the raffle at the Navy Bean Festival. Also, a big thanks to all the volunteers, Cassie Cappel, Amanda Cappel, Tom Cappel, Brandon Cappel, Curt Cappel, Debbie Combs, Rhonda Abele, Gary and Marcia Brett, Monica Schott, Audra McClellan, Aimee Howlett Ballard, Channie Smith, Jerry Vinup, Doris Young, Dianna Pflum, Kathy Huber, Brent Bascom, Doug Taylor, Sheila McAlister, Kathy Steele, Jenny Green, Jody Pitts, Ashley Green, Eric Castle and Sue Davis. These volunteers helped with setup and tearing down for the prom. If these people wouldn’t have given their time, this prom would not have happened. Sincerely, RSHS Prom Sponsors Teresa George & Deb Cappel

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200+ student athletes receive their sports physicals


Highpoint Health Physical Therapist Arlene Miller, does an arm strength screening with Sylvea Kraemer, 10, Aurora. Kraemer, attends St. Mary’s School and is on the swim team of South Dearborn Middle School. A total of 217 student athletes from Southeastern Indiana schools received sports physicals during an afternoon event coordinated by the Highpoint Health Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Department and Orthopaedic Surgeons Doctors David Argo and Robert Rolf of Beacon Orthopaedics & Sports

Medicine. The annual spring event consisted of 11 different stations set up in the hospital’s conference rooms, each offering a different exam and/or screening. Stations, which were staffed by medical and healthcare professionals, included height and weight; vision; blood

T-shirts with the slogan “Sports Physicals/Bring Your Game” are distributed to participants of the annual Sports Physicals Program at Highpoint Health. Hospital President and CEO Michael W. Schwebler presents a T-shirt to 11-year-old Abigail German, who attends Manchester Elementary and is on the archery team. pressure and heart rate; ear, nose and throat; physicals of which $10 per student was then and spine and extremities. returned to their respective school’s athletic Athletes from Milan, Rising Sun, South department. Dearborn, South Ripley and Switzerland In addition, all participants were given County school corporations participated in T-shirts with the slogan “Sports Physicals/ the event. Bring Your Game,” courtesy of Highpoint Students were charged $20 each for the Health and Beacon Orthopaedics.

Beef up on beekeeping, more


Rising Sun Ohio County Schools: Congratulations to the science club on a successful Earth Day river cleanup Saturday, April 22!, says Superintendent Branden Roeder. They collected 27 bags of garbage, four tires, 10 shoes, a front fender for a car, a milk crate, and a basketball! The science club will perform another river cleanup in the fall. -Congratulations to the Shiner Academic Team on their performance in a five-way meet Tuesday, April 17, with Jac-Cen-Del, North Decatur, South Decatur and South Ripley. The Social Studies team placed first. The Science and Math teams each placed second. The English team placed third and the Fine Arts team placed fourth. Great work this season! Rising Sun-Ohio County Park Board: monthly meeting for May has a time change, says director Jamie Bell. The meeting will start at 4 p.m. instead of 6 p.m. It will still be on the same date, Tuesday, May 22, at the Rising Sun-Ohio County Senior Citizen Center.

ENEMY From Page 4

from U.S. newsprint mills owned by Canadian companies, specifically Resolute Forest Products and White Birch. Excluding manufacturers who, during the period of investigation, had three functioning newsprint mills in the U.S. because

HEAVEN From Page 4

On the down days, I’ve found myself fascinated with the near-death experiences recounted at, a research site for the phenomenon. The researchers have collected over 4,000 NDEs and similar experiences, which are posted on the website. The NDEs have been triggered by drownings, suicide attempts, vehicle accidents, surgery, childbirth related experiences, and

Ohio County Library: has new books, says director Amy Hoffman Mystery titles include “In Farleigh Field” by Rhys Brown; “A Beautiful Blue Death” by Charles Finch; “The Woman in the Water” by Charles Finch; “Sulfur Springs” by William Kent Krueger; and “All the Beautiful Lies” by Peter Swanson. Fiction titles include: “The Forgotten Road” by Richard Paul Evans; “Summer Hours at the Robbers Library” by Sue Halpern; “The Flicker of Old Dreams” by Susan Henderson; “The Home of Unwanted Girls” by Joanna Goodman; “The Baker’s Secret” by Stephen P. Kiernan; “With This Man” by Jodi Ellen Malpas; “17th Suspect” by James Patterson; and “Twisted Prey” by John Sandford. Ohio County Purdue Extension: has two workshops coming up in May, says extension educator Shannon M. Chipman. From 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 12, 4-H families in Ohio County and surrounding counties are invited to a multi-species livestock workshop at the Ohio County Fairgrounds. Species will include beef, meat goats, sheep and swine. Topics will include showmanship, grooming and training. The workshop will be a hands-on experience, with animals on hand for demonstra-


Science club members who helped collect a mess of trash from the Rising Sun riverfront include, from left: Lucy Phelps, Colton McKay, Emma Davis, Emma Levi, Sofia Seiler, Anna Uhlmansiek and Olivia Lambertson. tions and showmanship. Youth for Quality Care of Animals will be offered from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. A beekeeping workshop will begin at 6:30 p.m. Monday, May 14, at Bear Branch Fire House, 2580 Milton-Bear Branch Road, Dillsboro. Goal of the free workshop

is to help new and experienced beekeepers, those wondering what it would take to start beekeeping and those currently collecting honey and interested in marketing it. For more information or to register, call the Purdue Extension Office at 812-4383656.

they have sister mills in Canada shows an unwillingness to understand the borderless newsprint industry and the restructuring that has taken place in recent decades. If the tariffs on Canadian newsprint are allowed to stand, we’re not only risking a centuries-old relationship with our neighbors to the north, but we’re also putting our own U.S. news industry in jeopardy. While the big national and regional

papers may have less trouble finding the funds to keep their print editions coming, we could see small publishers lose footing, and those tiny local papers are some of the most vital members of our news community. Under the right conditions, those papers can find a way to maintain their footing, but if the newsprint industry can’t support them, those communities will become

news deserts, and that’s a future none of us wants. We may not be able to save the entire industry by keeping tariffs off our paper, but we can keep it thriving while we re-position ourselves for the years to come. Having affordable newsprint will help us do that. David Chavern is president and CEO of the News Media Alliance.

other events. Most writers recount some similar items, such as tunnels, bright light(s) and meeting deceased individuals. But what resounds for me is the description most of them give of being welcomed by unconditional love greater than any they’ve ever experienced on earth. That’s true for most of those attempting suicide as well, though many of those writers also say they learned how wrong suicide is. Suicide rejects the gift of life on earth. Some also have learned that God is love, and our purpose here on earth is to love not

only all people but all of His creation, unconditionally. Many felt they had come home, and most wanted to stay. Upon being revived by doctors or others, some were even angry to have been brought back. But they say they now know where they will go when they die, and almost all of them are no longer afraid of death. Those who are facing death, or the coming or past death of a loved one, may find comfort in reading some of the accounts. Just remember all are written by individuals, each

of whom is unique, and thus, each of whom has his or her own experience. Afterward, some start reading the Bible and attending church more consistently; others discount the Bible and religions per se, while remaining spiritual; some remain or become agnostics or atheists. God loves them all, nonetheless. As for me, as I’ve said from the beginning of this second cancer journey, I am in God’s hands, either way, if I die or however long I stay.

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Profile for Denise  Freitag Burdette

Of flying up to Heaven  

Part three of three: 2019 Hoosier Press Association Better Newspaper Contest Best Editorial Writer, first place, division 1, THe Rising Sun...

Of flying up to Heaven  

Part three of three: 2019 Hoosier Press Association Better Newspaper Contest Best Editorial Writer, first place, division 1, THe Rising Sun...