The Press-Dispatch

February 17, 2021

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SCOUT WEEK PAGE – SEE A-5 Digging Out Snow photos throughout this edition WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2021 PIKE PUBLISHING VOLUME 151, NUMBER 7 NEWS TIPS Phone: ���������������������812-354-8500 Email ����� editor@pressdispatch�net INSIDE Local ��������������� A1-B1 Sports ��������������������A4 Obituaries ���������������A6 School ����������������� A7 East Gibson������������ A7 Opinion ������������� A8-9 Home Life ���������� B2-10 History �������������������B4 Church �������������� B5-7 Classifieds ���������� B8-9 Legal Notices ������ B8-9 USPS 604-34012 $1.00 20 PAGES TWO SECTIONS TWO INSERTS PETERSBURG, IN 47567-0068 The Pike County Ministerial Association's Lenten wwBreakfasts have been cancelled for this year. The ministerial association cit- ed COVID concerns for deciding not to have the breakfasts this year during Lent, which begins on Wednesday. The breakfasts were a fundraiser for the Sam Taylor Scholarships given each year to college-bound seniors from association churches. This year, they are asking for donations from individuals and churches to fund the grants. 2021 Lenten breakfasts cancelled By Andy Heuring "I have nothing but good news," said Pike County Health Nurse Amy Gladish to the Pike County Commissioners on Tuesday morning. Gladish gives the commissioners an update at each of their bi-monthly meetings. "We have 14 active cases, that is the lowest I can remember," said Gladish. Last week she was glowing because it had dropped to 43 ac- tive cases from 83 the week prior. Pike County's total cases as of noon Tues- day is at 1,262, which is only four new cases in the last seven days. There were no new deaths in the county last week. Pike's seven-day positivity rate has dropped to 2.9 percent. It was more than 10 percent a mere three weeks ago. Gladish said she got an email from the state Department of Health saying Pike's numbers have dropped from the orange range into the yellow range, but they will have to remain at these levels for another week before their ad- visory level is changed to yellow. "I'm hoping we can stay on a roll," said Glad- ish. So far, there have been 2,362 Pike Coun- tians who have received the fi rst shot of the vaccine and 744 have their second shot. She said the second shot numbers will start to in- crease because they are now four weeks out from when the vaccines started to be given to the general population over 80 years of age. Active COVID cases down to 14; only four new cases this week County applies for $250,000 grant to aid COVID-affected businesses See COMMISSIONERS on page 2 See COVID-19 on page 2 See RESCUE on page 2 See STORM on page 2 By Andy Heuring Pike County is applying for $250,000 grant from the Offi ce of Rural and Community A f- fairs to help local businesses affected by COVID. The grant was brought before the commissioners during their virtual meeting Tuesday morning. Ashley Willis, executive director of the Pike County Growth Council, said they were seek- ing a $250,000 grant. Last year, they sought and received a $ 60,000 grant that gave $5,000 to 12 different business. Willis said this is the third round of those grants and they hoped to be able to help many more local businesses. She told the commissioners six businesses had written letters of support for the grant. Their letters included hardships they have faced due to COVID. Some of the examples included a business that supplied numer- ous school activities and teams, but because school and extracurricular activities have been limited, their business is way off. A lo- cal restaurant said they were having to pay bills out of personal accounts and were not taking salaries because of the downturn. A big factor was their Sunday business after church was down due to churches not meeting in per- son. Another said their business was off by 50 percent. At their previous meeting, the commission- ers awarded the grant administration contract to Indiana Region 15. Jenny Mathies, of Re- gion 15, said the application deadline for the grant had been pushed back to mid-March from early March. She said they will send it in by March 11. The grant originally was to be awarded in early April, but that now has been pushed back to mid-April. If Pike County receives the grant, then lo- cal businesses can apply for assistance from that grant. Commissioners approved two agreements with the Indiana Department of Transporta- tion on unoffi cial detours for INDOT projects on state highways. One of the detours was on CR 475 S. to help people get around a bridge closed on Highway 64 last summer. Another was one that went all the back to 2018 for a section of CR 500 E., between Cato and Algiers. County Highway Superintendent Josh Byrd gave his approval on the 2018 detour. But he had objected to approving the one near Highway 64, saying the road had signifi cant damage. INDOT has since agreed to provide $2,065 worth of rock to the county for the road. Commissioners ap- proved that action and signed the agreements. In other business, the commissioners vot- ed to request an additional appropriation of By Andy Heuring A four-year-old boy who sledded onto a par- tially ice-covered pond last Friday was res- cued without injury, but not without a few pan- ic-stricken minutes suffered by his mother, Sa- mantha Willis. "I'm very thankful for the fi re department and EMS," said Willis. She added, "I'm still having nightmares about it. . . It was very scary. I was standing there thinking of the worst that could happen." Willis, her nine-year-old daughter, Paisley, seven-year-old son, Gardner, and four-year- old, Kip, went sledding behind their house on Friday, about two miles south of Petersburg. Willis said they had sledded there for sever- al years. "It is a tiny hill. The kids have never gotten close to the end of it or near the pond before. But with the ice storm we had, Kip just kept going and went onto the ice of the pond." The ice hadn't even completely covered the pond. She said they started yelling at him to stay in the plastic sled, but he immediately jumped up and got out of the sled. They yelled for him to stay put and not to move. "I was breaking through the ice the fi rst three steps I took and I couldn't get to him," said Willis. She called 911 and they dispatched the fi re department and their rescue team. Then she had to wait until they arrived and Four-year old rescued from thin ice Fire destroys McCandless residence Ryan Benner of Petersburg checks for 'hot spots' after fi re consumed the home of Tamara McCandless on Sunday morning. A woodburner was believed to be the cause, and the residence was destroyed. The residence was located near the Clar- idge Auction Service building south of Winslow. See related story on page A-2. By Andy Heuring A giant snow storm, stretching from Texas nearly to the east coast, rolled through Pike County starting early Monday morning and continuing until the early morning hours of Tuesday. It dropped between seven to nine inches of snow and dropped temperatures in- to the single digits. Drifting made some state roads impassible even, with a four-wheel drive vehicles. Pike County Highway Department Superintendent Josh Byrd said drifting was especially bad on east/west roads. County crews worked all night and went all day on Tuesday. "We were giving it our all, but at times last night, we just couldn't keep up," said Byrd. He said they had all of their snow plows out and their tractors, for which they recently pur- chased snow blades. "The snow was so deep at the courthouse, we had to send a loader in and haul it away. It was just too much to pile up," said Byrd. The cold temperatures impeded their progress as the sand spreaders were freezing. Commissioner president Mark Flint said they would take the trucks inside and thaw them, but they would refreeze. Tuesday's bright sun was helping to melt Worst snowstorm in years slams area Larry Hunt uses a new specialized snow blade on the front of his Bobcat to push snow away from in front of Marge's Hall- mark on Monday, while his son, Jordan, shovels the sidewalk. The main activity in Pike County and much of the Midwest on Monday and Tuesday is snow removal. Temperatures in the single digits and nearly nine inches of snow made it nearly impos- sible to get around. Road crews for towns, cities, county and state have gotten most of the roads passable, but getting in and out of driveways often required a shovel.

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