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July: Fire Destroys Springville Gymnasium, Little League Headed To World Series, Commissioners Approve Needle Exchange Program

Last updated on Friday, December 30, 2016

(UNDATED) - In July, Springville residents saw a historical building consumed by fire; a Spreen was crowned Lawrence County Fair Queen; a little league team traveled to California to compete in the World Series and the commissioners approved a needle exchange program for Lawrence County.

Springville residents stood with tears flowing down their faces as they watched the blaze consumed their beloved gym. They would later learn one of their own residents set the blaze.

Five fire departments doused the flames with more than 100,000 gallons of water to try to save the old Springville gymnasium.

When firefighters from Perry, Marshall, Oolitic, Shawswick and Indian Creek volunteer fire departments responded flames were shooting 100 to 150 feet in the air.


Mary Ellen Spreen was crowned 2016 Lawrence County Fair Queen.

19-year-old Mary Ellen is the daughter of Bill and Kristi Spreen and a Bedford North Lawrence graduate who attends Iowa State University. She is also a 10 year 4-H member.

Spreen also won the People's Choice award.

First runner-up was Samantha Mitchell and second runner-up was Morgan Lambrecht. Molly Applegate was selected as Miss Congeniality. Other participants included Layna Terry, Abigail Russell and Jaylyn Harmon.

Kara Mae Wisley was named Lawrence County Fair princess. She is the daughter of John and Mindy Wisley and is homeschooled.


The Lawrence County Commissioners voted to implement a needle exchange program.

The vote will allow the Lawrence County Health Department to contract with Bloomington's Indiana Recovery Alliance to implement the new program.

The state must now approve the plan, until then no date has been set on when the program will start.

The county declared a state of emergency in February. Since that time the Health Department is seeing 5 to 10 new cases of Hepatitis C a week. In the month of May 8 out of the 9 inmates tested positive for the disease.

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