In case you missed it – February 25

White hot: New Palestine wrestler claims state title

INDIANAPOLIS — New Palestine’s Alec White clinched the 126-pound state championship title during the 79th annual IHSAA Wrestling State Finals Feb. 18.

White’s supporters packed the lower southwest corner stands inside Bankers Life Fieldhouse more than 21-plus rows deep to back their senior from start to finish — that finish being a state title.

During the event, New Palestine faithful donned pristine white shirts with “White Hot” printed across the chest. They hoisted “Dragons Wrestling” signs while cheering proudly when White was introduced under the championship spotlight as one of the “Great 28.”

By claiming the school’s fifth straight individual wrestling state title and sixth overall, White joins the program’s former greats: Kyle Ulrey (2008) and close friend C.J. Red, a four-time state champ, on the Dragons Wall of Champions.

“He was the underdog. Not much question about that,” New Palestine assistant coach Josh Franklin said. “He was never picked to win state all four years, and he put it together. He wanted it. It was nothing less and nothing more.”

Eastern Hancock grad promotes agriculture during FFA Week

TRAFALGAR — Leah Jacobs, an Eastern Hancock High School graduate, was recently named Indiana FFA state reporter, and she took her passion for agriculture on the road during National FFA Week from Feb. 18 to 25.

Jacobs traveled to 11 different FFA chapters in east central Indiana throughout the week to promote FFA to the public and schools and to celebrate the importance of FFA and its history.

Jacobs, 20, was named to the prestigious Indiana State FFA officer team in June. The intensive ambassador program requires its seven participants to defer college for one year and move into an FFA-owned home in Trafalgar; the students live and work together, traveling across the state putting on leadership conferences for FFA members and supporters.

She and her fellow state leadership team members use a curriculum focused on growing leaders, building communities and strengthening agriculture, which is based on the FFA vision statement.

Mt. Vernon seeking $10 million loan to cover cost of construction

FORTVILLE — As Mt. Vernon School Corp. moves forward with plans to renovate its middle school, district leaders announced they are eyeing a $10 million loan to cover the cost of construction.

The district announced plans to seek a loan during its school board meeting Tuesday evening; residents living in the district boundaries have 30 days to petition the proposal before the process moves forward, said Brian Tomamichel, the corporation’s chief financial officer.

The school corporation last year revealed plans to move eighth-graders — currently housed at the high school — back into the middle school to accommodate anticipated growth at the high school. In order to do so, significant renovations are required at the middle school, which was built in the 1970s.

Planned upgrades include nearly 30,000 square feet of additions to the building. More classroom space will be added to accommodate the more than 300 eighth-grade students the district expects to enroll in coming years.