2012 the year in review


July: Fantastic Fair


The Switzerland County 4-H Fair was again a huge success, with big crowds viewing entries in the Exhibit Hall as well as checking out the competitions in the Livestock Arena. Nightly events at the grandstands were well attended; and the livestock auction brought in $106,000.

Having one of the best week’s of any 4-H member, Ryan Sullivan earned Grand Champion honored with his swine and also Grand Champion honors with his steer. He also claimed the Senior Showmanship competition in the beef category; and earned Grand Champion accolades in the welding category in the Exhibit Hall.

Chelsea Duvall was the Round Robin Showmanship winner; and overseeing all of the activities was Miss Switzerland County, Olivia Hewitt. Jim and Donna Cole were honored as this year’s Mr. and Mrs. Switzerland County for their years of service to the fair and the 4-H program; and Rori Ware and Gabriel Rose were crowned as the Little Miss and Little Mister of this year’s fair.


Here’s what else we were talking about in July:

– The Vevay Town Council gave approval for the town to move ahead with the design and construction of a new water plant building in Vevay.

– Switzerland County was again searching for a new Tourism Director when Steve Danglade submitted his resignation.

– The Switzerland County Ec015 Program received a $260,000 grant to expand its program here. The funds include the new Switzerland County Technology and Education Center, and come as a result of the county making progress in helping Switzerland County residents get the training that they need to get better job opportunities.

– “Sugar Branch” is a new book written by Don Morrison, and is centered on a 1,000-mile odyssey by three teenagers in the 1840s. Don Morrison drew off of his years growing up in Sugar Branch community of Switzerland County for the book, which is now Fairview.

– Shelby Rickerson was sworn in by Switzerland County Circuit Court Judge Greg Coy as a new deputy for the Town of Vevay. On hand to award her her badge was Vevay Chief of Police James Richards.

– Bill and Judy Dickerson were the Grand Marshals of this year’s Fourth of July Parade in Patriot. It was a blistering hot day in the town, but that didn’t stop a big crowd from turning out for the parade; the flag ceremonies held in the Patriot Memorial Park following the parade; or the big community picnic.

– An ATV accident just off of Grant’s Creek Road resulted in the death of three-year old Layla Ilyas. She was riding on the ATV with her father, Ibraham Ilyas of Anderson, Indiana, when the ATV went up a small hill and overturned.

– Employees of the former Randall Plant in Vevay gathered for a reunion.

– The Switzerland County FFA chapter had an outstanding State Convention, with the chapter again being ranked in the top 10-percent of all FFA programs in the nation. The chapter’s efforts earned it the right to compete at the National Convention in Indianapolis in October.

August: Record crowds at SWF


The Swiss Wine Festival drew record crowds to the Paul Ogle Riverfront Park, thanks in part to incredible weather and a special concert on Friday night featuring country music stars Aaron Tippin and Sammy Kershaw. Festival President Kirk Works said that this year’s festival showed a 22.6-percent increase over the 2011 event, with more than 22,000 people attending at least a portion of the four-day event. Friday, the evening of the concert, drew more than 7,200 people; while more than 10,500 people came to the festival on Saturday. The Swiss Wine Festival is also a boon to the local economy, with the festival purchasing local products and making donations to local organizations and clubs.

Royalty for the Swiss Wine Festival included Princess Jessie Ray; Teen Princess Stephanie Smith; Little Miss Swiss Kyatalin Baker; and Little Mister Swiss Ethan Rose.


Here’s what else we were talking about in August:

– Members of the Switzerland Sidewinders 4-H group donated $4,211 to the Switzerland County School Corporation to assist with the purchase of equipment and supplies in the school’s special needs classrooms.

– Switzerland County mourned the loss of Mike McClure, longtime teacher and coach at Switzerland County High School.

– ‘Your East Enterprise Market’ was under new ownership, with Dale and Karen Bowland taking over the store and undertaking several renovations and improvements.

– The Ridge Winery and owners Tom and Mary Jane Demaree again brought home several honors from the Indy International Wine Competition held at Purdue University. The Ridge Winery won a Silver Medal for its “Sweet Harvest” wine; a Bronze Medal for its “Black Jack” wine; and a Bronze Medal for its “B Vine Red” wine. There were more than 2,400 wines from 41 states and 14 different countries in the competition.

– Jeff-Craig Fire and Rescue received a $5,000 assistance grant from the USDA Forestry Service. The grant was used for training, the installation of dry hydrants, and for the purchase of equipment and personal protection gear.

– Switzerland County’s Damon Robbins got an up close and personal look at the 2012 Olympics when he spent a month in London as part of a study abroad class through Northern Kentucky University. While there he got to attend some events; as well as meet some of the athletes from different countries.

– The Cabela’s “King Kat Tournament Trail” again found its way to Switzerland County, with a large number of fishermen coming to the Paul Ogle Riverfront Park to compete for the $10,000 in prize money. The team of Scott Cress and Carl Crone came from seventh place on Friday to have a big day on Saturday to finish with a two-day total of 190.1-pounds to claim first place.

– Farmers were calling the 2012 Drought the “worst crop they’ve ever seen” as harvest got underway. Farms in different parts of the county were all reporting low yields as the community got very little precipitation during the growing season.

– The American Legion honored Brian Grigsby of Jefferson-Craig Elementary School at the District 9 “Teacher of the Year”, while Switzerland County Middle School Principal John Druba was honored as the District 9 “Educator of the Year”. Jeff-Craig fireman John Stafford was honored as the District 9 “Firefighter of the Year”; and Switzerland County Sheriff Roy Leap was honored as the District 9 “Law Officer of the Year.”