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People enjoy warmer days, time outdoors

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A break in the weather after two months of cold, snow-filled days let many Columbus residents bask in the change.

There was even some sun Wednesday when the high reached 53, despite a mostly cloudy Thursday when the high hit 55 by 2 p.m.

The spring-like weather gave the Baugher family of Columbus a chance to enjoy the outdoors.

“It’s been cold for a long time, and we’ve stayed inside a lot,” Ethan Baugher said.

Baugher, 24, said he and his wife, Chelsey, 23, have spent a lot of time this winter playing board games and watching movies with their children, Kealy, 4, and Charlie, 2.

“This has not necessarily been the worst winter I’ve seen, but it’s been bad,” Ethan Baugher said.

His wife disagreed.

Chelsey Baugher said she was certain it has been the worst she can recall.

“We’ve been cooped up in the living room and bedrooms,” Ethan Baugher said. “It’s nice to be able to get out and take a walk.”

The kids were excited at the prospect of visiting Mill Race Park, where they got to fly paper airplanes.

“They wanted to throw them off the tower, but I told them they might get lost. So we went up about halfway and threw them,” Ethan Baugher said.

Several Central Middle School students also were glad to see the warm-up, but not eighth-grader Caleb Bower.

“I want it to be cold again,” the 14-year-old said. “I want to get out of school some more.”

Classes have been called off in the Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. so much that all scheduled snow days have been used up, forcing the district to extend the end of the school year.

Classmate Carson Gilpin, 14, had a different opinion on the thaw.

“If it’s above zero, I can wear shorts,” Gilpin said.

Andrew Chapman, 14, said he has spent the winter doing chores around the house and shoveling snow — so much snow, in fact, that he said he doesn’t want to see any more.

Eighth-grader Jamie Tays, 14, said the bad winter has not kept her indoors very much this year.

“I’m on the basketball team,” she said. “But we’ve had about 10 games that were canceled.”

Tays had planned to join other students outside after she finished her lunch.

Jeff Friedgood, dean of students at Central Middle School, said students have only been allowed to go outside after eating their lunches the past few days.

“They couldn’t go out when there was snow on the ground ‘cause we didn’t want them slipping and falling,” Friedgood said.

Friedgood said this has been one of the worst winters in southern Indiana since he moved here from New York in 1981.

The popular Freedom Field playground at Parkside Elementary was still covered in snow Thursday morning, and even the back parking lot where children usually play was covered in puddles.

But teachers got creative and found a dry patch on the east side of the school.

“They needed to get out. They needed to run,” said Jane McLemore, second-grade teacher’s assistant at the school. “They’ve been stuck in here for a long time.”

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