Bredeweg, Toon Win PETAL Award

Non-nursing staff are being honored with the PETAL Award for exceptional employees.  A compliment to the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses, the PETAL Awards were created by Greene County General Hospital in 2015 to recognize the hard work of employees in non-nursing roles, from housekeeping and dietary services to clinical areas.  Award winners receive framed certificates, gift cards, and pizza for their entire department.

PETAL Winner, Melissa Toon (2nd from rt), is flanked by members her staff in the pharmacy as well as GCGH CEO, Brenda Reetz.
PETAL Winner, Danielle Bredeweg (4th from rt) is surrounded by coworkers from the GCGH Radiology Department.

This round of awards recognized winners Danielle Bredeweg (Radiology) and Melissa Toon (Pharmacy). Danielle was honored by a coworker who credited her with saving her life when she choked while eating dinner in the break room. She signaled to Danielle that she was in distress, and Danielle successfully performed the Heimlich Maneuver to save her friend.

Melissa was nominated by the spouse of a patient who was in the ICU and had to be transferred to another hospital for additional care. The medication and dosage was complicated, and Melissa took great pains to ensure everything was correct and that the next point of care understood exactly how to care for the patient. She also took time to explain everything to the patient’s spouse and accompanied them to the helipad for transfer.

Additional nominations were received for staff throughout the hospital, including Jessie Stockram, Danielle Summerville, Megan Sparks, Joyce Busenberg, and Meleah Keller. Congratulations to all winners and nominees!

PETAL stands for Performing Exceptional Tasks and Affirming Lives, and is designed to recognized employees who serve as models to the community for professional achievement. Awards are given for performance, dedication, and diligence in carrying our job duties and advancing the goals and mission of the hospital.

PETALs are awarded three times every year, in conjunction with the DAISY Award. Nominations are accepted on a continual basis, and forms can be found at award stations throughout the hospital as well as online.

Kensey Goad Wins DAISY Award

Nurses at Greene County General Hospital are being honored with The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses. The award is part of the DAISY Foundation’s program to recognize the super-human efforts nurses perform every day.

DAISY Winner, Kensey Goad (RN)

Kensey Goad, RN, who works in the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit was the DAISY Award Winner.  Kensey was nominated by a patient who deeply appreciated her compassion and excellent care.

Two nurses were recognized as DAISY Runners-Up: Susan O’Neall  and Brooke Driscol; and nurses recognized as DAISY nominees included Jackie Goodwin, June Herndon, Sarah Hodson, Brandee McKee, Chris Moore, Adam Morrill, and Patrick Sparks.

The not-for-profit DAISY Foundation is based in Glen Ellen, CA, and was established by family members in memory of J. Patrick Barnes.  Patrick died at the age of 33 in late 1999 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), a little known but not uncommon auto-immune disease.  The care Patrick and his family received from nurses while he was ill inspired this unique means of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patient families.

Three times each year, a nurse is selected by Greene County General Hospital’s nursing administration to receive The DAISY Award.  At a presentation given in front of the nurse’s colleagues, physicians, patients, and visitors, the honoree will receive a certificate commending her or him for being an “Extraordinary Nurse.”  The certificate reads: “In deep appreciation of all you do, who you are, and the incredibly meaningful difference you make in the lives of so many people.”  The honoree will also be given a beautiful and meaningful sculpture called A Healer’s Touch, hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Africa.

DAISY Award applications will be accepted year-round at the hospital.  The nomination form is also available on the hospital’s website,

Runner Up, Susan O’Neall
Runner Up, Brooke Driscol
Nominee, Sarah Hodges
Nominee, Patrick Sparks
Nominee, June Herndon 

Ground Floor Access Limited June 12-21

Greene County General Hospital CEO, Brenda Reetz, announced today that hospital operations will be unaffected during the final stage of facility repairs during which a section of the ground floor will be closed. The main hallway on the ground floor between the cafeteria and the elevators will be closed June 12-21.

The cafeteria will continue to serve as usual, however, visitors will only be able to enter through the main glass doors, opening into the lower level parking lot. The south doors next to the handicapped parking will be closed as will the ground floor restrooms. Public restrooms will be available on the first floor, between the outpatient laboratory and emergency department registration.

“This is the final stage of repairs following the water damage we experienced in May,” said Reetz. “We are working hard to minimize any disruptions for our staff and our visitors.”

Elevators will continue to operate normally, with access on the ground floor limited to the back utility hall. Administrative offices will be relocated within the hospital, and phone numbers will remain unchanged. The parking lots will be unaffected.

FREE Monthly Health Screenings

Greene County Home Healthcare is now offering FREE, monthly health screenings at a variety of locations.

Starting in May, enjoy blood glucose and blood pressure tests as well as complimentary refreshments every second, third, and fourth Thursday of the month in Worthington, Bloomfield, and Odon.

All test results will be forwarded on to primary care providers.

Second Thursdays:

Worthington Senior Citizen Center
8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m., breakfast served at 9:00 a.m.


Third Thursdays:

Odon Senior Citizens Center (311 W. Park Street)
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., Casey’s pizza served at noon


Fourth Thursdays:

Bloomfield Housing Authority (High Rise), Conference Room
Time TBD, likely 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.



Mark and Bonnie Barnes, DAISY Co-Founders, Visit Hospital

National Foundation Co-Founders Present Award to

Nurse Susan O’Neall

May 9, 2017 – Linton, IN – Greene County General Hospital welcomed Bonnie and Mark Barnes, Co-Founders of the DAISY Foundation for a unique award presentation today. The DAISY Foundation is a national award program that recognizes nurses for outstanding patient care. The Barnes started the Foundation when their son, Patrick, passed away after weeks in a hospital in the early 1990’s.

“The only positive thing that came of Patrick’s ordeal was his nurses,” said Bonnie Barnes, who went on to say that they chose to focus on the wonderful care and compassion they experienced. Their desire to honor the nurses who cared for Patrick and the entire nursing community became the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses.

Greene County General Hospital has been a participating member of the DAISY Award since 2015, and presented its fourth award during the Barnes’ visit to ICU Nurse, Susan O’Neall.  Flanked by previous honorees, Eric Corbin (ER) and Brooke Driscoll (OB), O’Neall received her award in a room filled with colleagues and family while the Barnes family told their story and thanked her for her service.

DAISY Award coordinator and Quality Assurance Director Jill Raines read O’Neall’s nomination to the group, an emotional story about a mother and her son. The patient had been hospitalized on her son’s wedding day and would miss the ceremony due to a serious illness that would take her life the very next day. O’Neall served as her nurse in the Intensive Care Unit, and knew how important it was to her patient to see the ceremony. O’Neall quickly secured a tablet for her patient and was able to connect her to the ceremony via Skype. They watched the entire ceremony, even the kiss, from the patient’s hospital bed.

The Barnes family was deeply touched by this story of compassion and excellence in nursing, remarking that the story was a perfect example of the kind of care they experienced first-hand and know to be common among nurses who rarely see their service as extraordinary.

The celebration included special refreshments unique to the DAISY Award. The hospital’s cafeteria provided homemade cinnamon rolls, the only food Patrick Barnes was able to eat during his hospitalization. A connoisseur of the treats, Mark Barnes remarked that they were the best he had ever had.

Greene County General Hospital accepts nominations for the DAISY Award year round. Forms are available on the website at, or at the DAISY Award stations placed throughout the hospital.

See Susan’s official honoree page here:

20-Foot Colon Display, Wednesday March 29

On Wednesday, March 29th, Greene County General Hospital will host a unique display for all ages.

In honor of Colon Cancer Awareness Month and with the help of Dr. Rajiv Sharma, Greene County General Hospital is proud to host a large, inflatable colon model will be on display in the hospital’s parking lot between the hours of 10:30 am and 2:00 pm. Large enough to walk through, visitors can learn about this important organ and the preventative care that can keep it healthy and functional.

The display is open to the public. No reservation or appointments are necessary.  Please mark your calendars and plan to visit!

Don’t miss this great educational opportunity!

Greene County Go Red 4 Women

We were proud to be a major sponsor for the second, annual Go Red for Women heart health luncheon for Greene County.  This inspiring event was another fun time to gather together and raise money to fight back against heart disease.

Read more HERE.

photo credit: Greene County Daily World

Annual Gun Raffle

Our annual gun raffle is going on now!  Tickets are available at Greene County General Hospital, Southside Express, Hoosier H.I.T., Midland Guns and Ammo, Farmers and Mechanics Bank, and Greene County Home Healthcare.  $10 each or 3 for $20.  Drawing will be held October 24th, 2016.

Thank you to our sponsors!  Jeff Ellington for State Representative, Macallister Machinery, Lone Tree Lawn Care, Midland Guns and Ammo, and Hoosier H.I.T.  Thank you for your support!


Voter Registration Drive

Greene County General Hospital is proud to support the Indiana Hospital Association’s We Care. We Vote. campaign.

Health care policy is a huge area of public concern, and we want our elected officials to know and understand how their decisions impact the front lines of health care.  That means we are working to ensure every employee is registered to vote before the October 11 deadline, and that our employees have as much information as possible about the current roster of candidates.

Every Friday, we will host a voter registration table outside of the cafeteria during normal lunch hours (11:30 am -1:30 pm). Find us just outside the cafeteria with a table full of candidate information and a big stack of voter registration forms.  We will turn in every registration form we receive, regardless of whether you are a Greene County resident.

Come one , come all! Get registered, and get out to the polls to vote this year!


Voter Registration Drive

Greene County General Hospital is proud to support the Indiana Hospital Association’s We Care. We Vote. campaign.

Health care policy is a huge area of public concern, and we want our elected officials to know and understand how their decisions impact the front lines of health care.  That means we are working to ensure every employee is registered to vote before the October 11 deadline, and that our employees have as much information as possible about the current roster of candidates.

Every Friday, we will host a voter registration table outside of the cafeteria during normal lunch hours (11:30 am -1:30 pm). Find us just outside the cafeteria with a table full of candidate information and a big stack of voter registration forms.  We will turn in every registration form we receive, regardless of whether you are a Greene County resident.

Come one , come all! Get registered, and get out to the polls to vote this year!


Voter Registration Drive

Greene County General Hospital is proud to support the Indiana Hospital Association’s We Care. We Vote. campaign.

Health care policy is a huge area of public concern, and we want our elected officials to know and understand how their decisions impact the front lines of health care.  That means we are working to ensure every employee is registered to vote before the October 11 deadline, and that our employees have as much information as possible about the current roster of candidates.

Every Friday, we will host a voter registration table outside of the cafeteria during normal lunch hours (11:30 am -1:30 pm). Find us just outside the cafeteria with a table full of candidate information and a big stack of voter registration forms.  We will turn in every registration form we receive, regardless of whether you are a Greene County resident.

Come one , come all! Get registered, and get out to the polls to vote this year!


Pink is the New Greene Motorcycle Ride

Join us for the second, annual Pink is the New Greene Motorcycle Ride, September 24th, 2016!

All proceeds will fund free or reduced-cost mammograms for women in need in our communities.

Motorcycle Ride Full flyer16

Pink is the New Greene Motorcycle Ride

Join us for the second, annual Pink is the New Greene Motorcycle Ride, September 24th, 2016!

All proceeds will fund free or reduced-cost mammograms for women in need in our communities.

Motorcycle Ride Full flyer16

CASA Program Seeking New Recruits

Ten new CASAs were sworn in last November.
Submitted photo:
From left, Judge Erik C. Allen, Kathy Creager, Susan Sparks, Rachael Talpas, Christy LaFree, Dr. Ruby Houldson, Amanda Allen, Angie Brown-Richardson, Danielle Richardson, Mary “Jo” Jackson, and CASA Director Samantha J. Flath

The Greene County Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Program will hold its Spring Training and Informational Meeting at 6 p.m. on Monday, March 17 in the banquet room of Linton’s Goosepond Pizza.

During the meeting, potential volunteers will learn about the CASA Program, which advocates for children who have been abused or neglected. Once the court determines that a child is a Child in Need of Services (CHINS), the CASA volunteer focuses completely on that child.

The Greene County CASA Program currently has a waitlist of nine cases, and Director Samantha Flath said they are looking for the right people to serve as the voice of each child throughout his or her court case.

“Volunteers must be adults who are honest, caring people and are willing to be trained for this important job. Training consists of the Role of a CASA Volunteer, the DCS and Court System, Child Abuse and Neglect, and Understanding the Children and Families CASAs work with. Many current CASAs are employed full-time, attending college, and married with children. It is a wonderful way to make a difference in the life of a child,” she noted.

A CASA must complete 30 hours of training, and the volunteers determine the training schedule as a group. Applicants must be at least 21 years old, give consent for a background check, and provide three references.

“There are many different aspects of being a CASA,” Flath explained. “For example, a CASA consults with the child’s teacher, family, parents, therapists, case managers, mentors, and foster parents or relative placement caregivers. The CASA visits with the child at least two times a month and these visits and interactions are important for the CASA to recommend what is best for the child. The CASA will in turn make their recommendations to the Court.”

Flath said that while being a CASA can be difficult at times, volunteers can change a child’s life in ways that are rewarding to both the CASA and, most importantly, the child.

“A CASA is the only person involved in the child’s life that advocates and supports the child that does not get paid for their work. CASAs also help ensure the child will live in a safe and permanent home in a timely manner, whether that is through reunification with their biological parents or adoption,” she stated.

If you’d like to learn more or request a CASA application, you may call Director Samantha Flath at 812-384-2036.


Greene County ABATE: Discover Indiana Riding Trails

by gary cooper

Look for a free educational presentation highlighting off-the-road vehicle safety to be offered on Sunday in Bloomfield.

“With rise in recent years of injury and death involving four- wheelers and the off-road motorcycles we saw the need [for] safety education,” explained Bonnie Keith, member of Greene County ABATE (American Bikers Aimed Toward Education).

With that said, ABATE of Greene County will sponsor Discover Indiana Riding Trails (DIRT) for off highway riding enthusiasts–  which is slated for 5 p.m. March 9 at American Legion Post #196 in Bloomfield. Roy Garrett will be the featured speaker.

The event will offer information on the following: Legal registration requirements, safety rules and practices, training courses, and state recreational parks for OHV/multi-use.

This event is open to the public.

Greene County Foundation’s Scholarship Fair set for March 12


The Greene County Foundation will host a Scholarship Fair on Wednesday, March 12 from 5 – 6:30 p.m. at the Community Building at the Greene County 4-H Fairgrounds. The purpose of the fair is to connect area students with local scholarship opportunities.

Several workshops will be offered to help students prepare their applications and learn more about local career opportunities. Workshop topics will include the following: How to write your scholarship essay, organizing your scholarship search, and information about the tools WorkOne has to match college choices to local opportunities.

The fair is open to any area high school students and their parents.

Local organizations that have scholarship opportunities they would like to promote can attend the fair or provide their information by contacting the Foundation at 812-659-3142.

The Greene County Foundation is the vehicle that makes good things happen by connecting caring donors with causes that matter. Find out more at the Greene County Foundation website.


Air Force Vets Reunited at Last

Holt and Jjackson

The 7th District of the American Legion Riders and law enforcement vehicles escorted two veterans into Bloomfield on Thursday afternoon, as well-wishers waved American Flags and held up homemade signs to celebrate their arrival. The pair were returning from Andrews Air Force Base, where they had reunited after a seven-year separation.

Former Air Force K-9 handler and current Greene County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Harvey Holt was thrilled to once again be holding the leash of Jjackson, his one-time military partner– although Holt might disagree with the word “partner”.

“I worked for him,” Holt stated. “I was a leash-holder and a ball-thrower, as they say. That’s all I did– he did the hard work.”

Part of Jjackson’s work included locating improvised explosive devices (IED’s) during a half-year long deployment with Holt in Iraq. As soon as the pair returned to the states, Holt was told to turn Jjackson over to his new handler. He spent the next seven years trying to be reunited with the canine hero.

Late last month, Holt finally received permission to adopt Jjackson. He had to prepare to bring him to Greene County quickly, however, which included raising funds for travel arrangements, a kennel to meet specific requirements, and medical costs he was told might include an amputation.

Thursday, Holt told the crowd that had gathered near the courthouse that being able to pick Jjackson up on such short notice was 99 percent due to Marcy Cook, who provided him with a plane ticket and a rental vehicle to drive Jjackson home in.

“She’ll never know how much it meant to me and my family for her to go above and beyond most people. I appreciate it, and if there’s ever anything I can do for you, or my family [can do for you], don’t hesitate to call. [Jjackson’s] part of your family too, now,” a tearful Holt said.

He noted that it was only Jjackson’s second day of retirement and that they have a long road to travel together, but that now that he has his dog he can focus on getting Jjackson’s medical issues treated.

Holt was asked if Jjackson remembered him when they first saw one another, and he laughed as he responded that at first it was more that he did not recognize his dog.

“Long story short, when I got out of the kennels they told me to go grab my leash and collar, and there was a handler I had seen five minutes ago with no dog who walked outside. I thought he was carrying his dog. I said, ‘Hey, that’s a pretty dog. Who is that?’ He said, ‘Uh, that’s Jjackson.’ I stopped and looked, and he’s gained about 15 pounds. It’s kind of like an old girlfriend you [haven’t] seen in years and years,” he explained.

Holt said that when Jjackson saw him, though, the dog ran straight to him and wanted loving.

“Obviously, you can see it’s like the old days,” Holt commented as Jjackson leaned against him. “He’s on me.”

His brother Marvin Holt, who serves as the Bloomfield Police Department’s Lieutenant Town Marshal, said he was glad the long wait to bring Jjackson home was over.

“Anytime it comes to talking about Jjackson, he starts to tear up a little bit. That dog is his life. You can tell he’s happy– he’s happy now,” Marvin Holt stated about his brother.

Harvey Holt’s wife Debbie agreed, noting that her husband will sleep much better at night. She also said she wanted to thank the military for finally turning Jjackson over to his former handler.

Marvin Holt, who has helped his brother for years in his battle to adopt the dog, stressed that many other people also made their reunion possible.

“Greene County and the surrounding counties have all done their part and I think it’s touched a lot of people,” he said.

Marcy Cook had originally donated a jet to fly Holt and Jjackson home on Monday, but the winter weather did not cooperate. The large welcome that was planned for that night got downsized a little when Thursday’s celebration needed to be planned at the last minute. Marvin Holt credited Terri Wilson, who sent out Facebook alerts to let people know when the veterans would arrive in Bloomfield, for the good turnout.

“I’m a big animal lover and everything the dog and Harvey have been through really touched my heart. I just thought it would be great to try to get the community together to show their support for them,” Wilson said, noting that she deals with local law enforcement officials on a regular basis due to running a convenience store in Bloomfield.

“I love Harvey and his brother, both,” she added.

Jack Bledsoe, a veteran who served in the U.S. Navy from 1951 to 1955, was also on-hand to greet Holt and Jjackson.

“I think we need to support our veterans– being one, myself,” he said. “I know about the dog who was with [Holt] over there [in Iraq], and it’s amazing.”

Charlie Whelchel, AKA Fat Man, who serves as the director for the 7th District of the American Legion Riders, explained the decision to provide Holt and Jjackson with an escort into town in three short sentences.

“That’s a veteran over there– two legs or four. He spent his time in combat and he deserves to come home just like the rest of us did. He deserves to live the rest of his life happily,” Whelchel stated.

Holt wants to make sure that Jjackson does just that, and said the dog’s main issue right now is the need for medical treatment. Wednesday, a veterinarian told him that Jjackson may not need a leg amputation, but that he still needs plenty of help to feel better again.

“He’s going to need a veterinarian orthopedic surgeon to take a look at his back legs,” Holt explained. “[The vet] said he’s in a lot of discomfort with some of the medical issues he’s had, and he’s possibly going to need his ankles and knees pinned, which will alleviate 90 percent of the pain he’s going through.”

Holt said that Jjackson, who will turn 11 on June 3, has arthritis that has caused him to walk unnaturally, resulting in a torn ligament.

Despite looming medical procedures, Holt was grateful and pleased that donations through Facebook and the Bloomfield State Bank have paid for Jjackson’s kennel, which Holt and volunteers hope to start constructing on Friday.

“He’ll have a nice home,” Holt promised, before assuring the community that he and Jjackson will soon be available to visit with them again.

“Once we get to know each other a little more, we’ll be more than willing to come out and talk to your organizations and give you a history on military working dogs in general, because there are a lot of dogs still out there working and being deployed that actually need stuff that the military unfortunately can’t really afford to give them,” he said.

If you wish to make a donation towards Jjackson’s expenses, you may give to the Jjackson’s Home for Heroes Fund at any Bloomfield State Bank branch. Holt asks that you keep your deposit slip so that the money can be returned to you if it is not needed.

Offers of other types of assistance can be made by emailing Holt at or messaging Jjackson A Hero’s Homecoming on Facebook.

Spring Clean Downtown Linton set for April 5

rediscover downtown linton

Rediscover Downtown Linton is encouraging downtown business owners and residents to participate in the first Downtown Spring Cleaning event, which is slated for April 5.

Volunteers are asked to show up at 7 a.m. at city hall on the day of the event.

“We are hoping for as many volunteers as we can get… We want to showcase the town, try to attract new businesses, and we want to clean the place up,” explained Kristy Lewellyn, who serves as chairperson of the Rediscover Downtown Linton (RDL) Promotions Committee.

RDL is also encouraging business owners to clean up their establishments and is asking for volunteers from all over the community to partake in the cleanup.

“Statistics show that a downtown area kind of sets the tone for the entire community. So we have to do everything in our power to showcase the downtown in the best possible light we can,” Lewellyn explained.

The spring clean is a time to wash windows, sweep storefronts, remove debris and weeds, and spotlight the downtown. Cleaning supplies and trash bags will also be needed. The event is slated for 7 a.m. to noon.

Rediscover Downtown Linton is part of the Indiana Main Street Program.

RDL members volunteer their time toward revitalization and restoration of the downtown area, with a great deal of emphasis being placed on community, culture, and commerce.

The overall goal is to retain businesses, encourage and assist new businesses, and enhance the image of Linton’s downtown area for the benefit of the entire community.

“Rediscover Downtown Linton in conjunction with the Linton-Stockton Chamber of Commerce [also] plans to offer different types of support to people considering opening a business in downtown,” Lewellyn also said.

For more information, visit the Rediscover Downtown Linton Facebook page.  

Republican Women’s Club Brings Together Local, State Officials

County Commissioner President Rick Graves, Treasurer of State Candidate Kelly Mitchell, and former Greene County Republican Party Chairman and current Beech Creek Township Trustee Otto Prow.

The Greene County Republican Women’s Club sponsored a ham and bean dinner at the 4-H Fairgrounds on Saturday. President Karen Abrams explained that the club initially discussed holding a fundraiser, but instead decided to aim for building teamwork and increasing participation.

“We kind of died out over the years and we’re trying to get some more people involved and some younger people involved. That’s kind of tough to do, since there is so much competing for attention,” she noted, adding that she was pleased with the dinner’s turnout.

One notable guest was Kelly Mitchell, who is currently running for Treasurer of State. Mitchell, who has worked in the State Treasurer’s Office since November of 2007, was in Greene County as part of a tour that included five different locations on Saturday.

She said the duty of the treasurer is to invest the public’s funds and keep them safe and ready to be used when they are needed. Mitchell currently runs Trust Indiana, the state’s local government investment pool.

“It’s like a money market for all local government units,” she explained. “The county treasurers, city clerk-treasurers, school business officials, airport authorities– any local government unit is allowed to use this fund if they want to. It’s just for public entities and we were the 44th state to have one. We’ve been open for six years and just gained our 201st participant in the program, which is exciting.”

Mitchell also directs six to ten public funds management seminars each year, which are free to appointed and elected fiscal officials. The seminars are aimed at teaching the officials about the ways the treasurer’s office can help make their lives easier.

“The State Treasurer’s Office really impacts the lives of Hoosiers on a daily basis,” she stressed. “We’re small and we only have 19 employees, but we do a tremendous amount for the people of Indiana and I love to be able to help raise awareness for what the treasurer’s office does in Indiana. We have the Indiana Bond Bank, we have the Public Deposit Insurance Fund, we run the E911, we have Trust Indiana and the College Choice 529 Plan– all of those things and more are out of the State Treasurer’s Office, so when I say it’s an exciting place to be I don’t exaggerate. It really is!”

Mitchell, who was preparing to head to an event in Clay County, said she loves traveling the state and talking to people. She noted that running for office is a big undertaking, though.

“It’s not just about you, it’s about your family and your career and everything comes in to play. But I’m running because the treasurer’s office is a dynamic and challenging and really rewarding place for public service. It’s a fantastic place to be and I know I can do a very good job for the people of Indiana in that office,” Mitchell stated, adding that she formerly served two terms as a Cass County Commissioner and would therefore bring local government experience to the job.

Current Greene County Commissioner President Rick Graves, who is running for re-election, also stopped by the dinner. He said he enjoys being a commissioner and that his favorite part of the job is coordinating the efforts of cities, towns, and the county.

“That’s something we didn’t have before,” he explained. “We were just about this group doing this and that group doing that– the left hand didn’t know what the right hand was doing. We’ve spent a lot of time and a lot of effort trying to get all the different committees to get on the same page and it’s beginning to work.”

Graves said the nature of local government has recently gone through many changes and commended all the residents who are doing good things for the community, adding that it is a fun time to be involved in county government even though serving as a commissioner is not exactly your average part-time job.

“I have 17 meetings a month. I’m at a cap with that– if I do anymore meetings I’d have to give up a meeting,” Graves said with a laugh. “If you take four weeks out of the month at five days a week, that’s twenty nights a month. It doesn’t leave me many free nights. It’s busy!”

County Recorder Stuart Dowden is also running for re-election, and also excited by the work that comes with the office. He said he has achieved a lot in his position but still has plenty of work left to do in what he considers to be the most important county office.

“The reason I believe that is because that’s where all of the paperwork for property deeds are housed,” he explained. “If we don’t have that, it’s chaos. If people don’t know who owns a piece of property then they can just go and take that piece of property. Somebody has to be the so-called curator of that, and that’s what I am. And I take my job very seriously.”

Dowden’s job is to preserve and protect those documents. He said one way he has done that is by spending a little over three years computerizing information from 1960 through 1994– a process that should be completed in June or July of this year.

“What that means is that people who do title searches can use the computer instead of the old books, resulting in fewer people handling the books and deteriorating them with the oil from their fingertips,” he explained. “This helps preserve the documents.”

Dowden, who said his favorite part of his job is finding and fixing problems, hopes for a chance to preserve more documents during a second term. He is excited about the new website the county is developing, and noted that his part of it is ready to go and just needs to be submitted.

“It is for getting people access to go online and search for stuff for a fee– or they can look on the website and get information instead of coming into the office and maybe finding out they don’t have everything they need. We’re trying to get the right information on there, so they can just look on there first and know that in order to make a document they need to have this, this, and this done,” Dowden explained.

Republican Women’s Club Secretary Kelly Zimmerly, who has served as the Greene County Treasurer since January of last year, added that the treasurer’s office has been an interesting place lately, too. This is partly because of the decision to use a collection agency to reclaim $600,000 in personal property taxes that have been unpaid for the last decade. The office is also gearing up for the new tax season, and Zimmerly said you should notice some changes in your tax statements this year, including the fact that they will arrive in colored envelopes.

“Hopefully that will be helpful, because we’ve had some people come in to pay their fall installment and say they’ve misplaced their tax statements. We’re thinking a colored envelope might help so that they’ll know where their tax bill is,” she noted.

Zimmerly said the envelopes will now also notify people that they may choose to make partial payments for their taxes, and ask them to include their phone numbers on their checks.

As politicians and supporters networked, discussed county business, and enjoyed dinner, Abrams hoped that her club can continue to draw people together and hold their interest.

“We’re hoping that if we can get more people involved we can hold some fundraisers and do more for the candidates, because we’ve been really limited in funds over the last few years,” she noted. “Of course, more people want to get involved in an election year and it’s really amazing how the interest dies in the off-years. We’re really trying to get some more interest and keep it, though.”

If you would like to learn more about the Republican Women’s Club, you may contact President Karen Abrams at, Secretary Rhonda Dowden at, or Treasurer Kelly Zimmerly at

L-S Chamber to Sponsor First Freedom Festival Princess Pageant

Linton COC Augusty 15th 011

The Linton Freedom Festival began 109 years ago with a parade. Over the years, it has evolved into the festival and its surrounding events. The parade is known to be “Indiana’s Largest Independence Day Parade.”

Many years ago, the Linton Freedom Festival Queen Scholarship was established. Its inception was for two purposes: 1 – Promoting higher education; and 2 – Giving deserving young ladies the opportunity to be ambassadors for Linton with representation in the Freedom Festival and area festival parades, as well as the Indiana State Festival Association pageant. Awards are a $500 scholarship to the Queen and a $200 scholarship to the first runner-up.

New for 2014 is the Linton Freedom Festival Princess Pageant. This inception is to: 1 — Give young women between the ages of 13 to 16 the opportunity to serve as role models; 2 — The opportunity to gain self-confidence and 3 — Be a representative during the Freedom Festival.

Selection Process:

The Princess and Court are selected by a panel of three judges and on a point system including:

  • Interests outlined in the entry form/packet
  • A personal interview
  • On-stage introduction
  • Age appropriate formal dress

Proper Dress:

Interview attire: Dress clothes, something you would wear to church or a job interview (skirt, business suit, nice suit)

Opening Dance attire: Denim shorts, t-shirt (to be provided by Festival), white tennis shoes (Opening dance number is for fun only and will not be judged.)

On-stage introduction: Denim shorts, t-shirt, white tennis shoes worn in opening dance number

Formal dress: No set style; something you would wear to a school dance; use good taste; any length

Princess/Court Appearances:

Freedom Festival Events as needed. i.e, Golf tournament, 5K, Little Miss/Mr Contest -June Chamber Luncheon -June

Freedom Festival Parade and Reception – July 4

Black Creek Festival Parade – August

Dugger Coal Festival Parade – September

Shakamak Homecoming Parade – September

Bloomfield Apple Festival Parade – October

Freedom Festival Pageant —June of following year

The first Linton Freedom Festival Princess Pageant is open to young ladies who are between the ages of 13 and 16 on or before June 7, 2014. Contestants must also currently be enrolled as students at the Linton-Stockton School Corporation or reside within the Linton-Stockton School Corporation boundaries.

The Princess will be crowned on Saturday, June 7, 2014, at the Linton Freedom Festival Scholarship Pageant. The Princess contestants will be judged on stage in between sections of the Linton Freedom Festival Scholarship Pageant. The Princess and first runner-up will receive prize packages from area businesses. The Princess and Court will also represent the Chamber of Commerce in the Independence Day Parade during the Freedom Festival and serve alongside the Linton Freedom Festival Queen and Court as Ambassadors during the Festival and for area festivals. The Princess selection will be based on the following:

  • Entry form/packet submission
  • Judges interview
  • On stage introduction
  • Age appropriate formal attire

TO ENTER: Complete the attached entry blank and submit it along with your picture and a copy of your birth certificate and return it to your guidance counselor or the Linton-Stockton Chamber of Commerce by Friday, April 4, 2014.

A panel of judges will score each area and determine the winner. Please note that the Freedom Festival Queen Committee, the Freedom Festival Taskforce, and the Linton-Stockton Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors do not select the Queen or her Court. If you need additional information, please contact the Chamber office at 812-847-4846 or email at

princess app pic


Wildlife Exhibit now Featured at Carnegie Arts Center


Look for Trudy Calvert’s wildlife exhibit to be featured at the Carnegie Heritage and Arts Center in Linton now through March 28.

Calvert, a native of southern Indiana’s Washington County, is no stranger to the outdoors and has a strong love for nature and animals.

“I grew up in a rural, wooded area, near a creek where some of my first friends were tadpoles, minnows, ducks, squirrels, and snakes,” she explained. “I successfully raised a featherless baby robin and a coyote pup that had been hit by a car.”

She has been an art teacher for the Bloomington public education system and has served as past president and secretary of the Southern Chapter of the Indiana Wildlife Artists.

She resides in Bloomington with her husband, Stephen Calvert, as well as two dogs and four parakeets. She is also a graduate of Indiana University.

Opening reception for Calvert’s exhibit will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 1.

Calvert will be available to meet and greet those in attendance.

“I will be there in person to meet with anyone who comes to the reception to discuss my artwork, and also to sign copies of [the] most successful children’s book I have illustrated, Do Animals Have Feelings, Too?, written by David Rice, which will be available for purchase,” she explained, noting the book has won two awards.

Further details about the book can be found at the Dawn Publications website.

Linton-Stockton School Corporation to Host MATH Competition

By Timberly Ferree

Approximately 7,500 students in grades 4, 5, and 6 from around the state are preparing for the 18th annual Math Academic Teams for Hoosiers Competition, which will take place at more than 40 sites on Thursday, Feb. 27. Five-hundred and nine teams with up to 20 students each will compete.

The M.A.T.H. competition is a team concept with no individual winners. Each of the four rounds consists of three team members working on seven problems while competing against team members from other schools. Students are seated on the gym floor as they compete. Each problem is graded immediately and a spreadsheet of scores will be projected to maintain a running score for each team. While students are waiting to compete, they sit in a cheer block to cheer for their teammates.

The team members of the schools with highest scores in each of the five enrollment classifications at each site will be recognized with awards after competition. Blue Class and Green Class include schools with sixth grade, while Orange Class and Red Class are schools without sixth grade. Yellow Class is a 4th grade only class this year. In addition to local awards, the top ten teams in each enrollment classification statewide will receive either a plaque or certificate to place in their school.

The competition is administered by Indiana Association of School Principals, Department of Student Programs, and is an attempt to emphasize the importance of mathematics in upper elementary grades.

Locally, the competition is being hosted by the Linton-Stockton School Corporation and will be held in the high school auditeria at 5 p.m. on Feb. 27.

Area schools that are competing include the following: Linton-Stockton Elementary, Eastern Greene Middle, Bloomfield Elementary, Farmersburg Schools, Carlisle Elementary, Dixie Bee Elementary (Terre Haute), two teams from Rio Grande Elementary (Terre Haute), and four teams from Sullivan Elementary.

Admission is free and concessions will be available. Please come out and support your local “mathletes”.


Bloomfield Chamber to Sponsor Circus

circus by Clive Darra

The Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce will once again sponsor the Culpepper & Merriweather Circus – which is slated for April 30 at REMC.

The chamber is currently notifying local businesses that a telemarketing representative for the circus will be contacting them by phone regarding ticket purchases. This will be a legitimate call.

“On Feb. 24, a telemarketing representative from Chimera Productions will be contacting Bloomfield businesses to see if they’re willing to purchase children’s tickets for the circus,” explained Chamber Member Matt Miller. “Chimera recommended we put the word out to the community so businesses will be aware of what’s going on when they receive a call.”

Look for the upcoming circus to offer family friendly fun that includes human performers as well as some featured animal acts.

Past Culpepper & Merriweather Circuses have also included a carnival before and between shows. This carnival included pony rides, concessions, and other fun, Miller noted.

For more information, check out the Culpepper & Merriweather Circus website.

Look for additional details on the upcoming event to be released soon.



Rediscover Downtown Linton Takes Center Stage at Chamber Meeting

Linton COC Augusty 15th 011

Rediscovering downtown Linton took center stage at the Linton-Stockton Chamber of Commerce’s meeting on Tuesday, as Kathy Matthews, secretary of the Rediscover Downtown Linton organization, shared details on the program.

“Rediscover Downtown Linton is a Main Street program. We’re here to promote community, culture, and commerce in the downtown area,” Matthews explained.

The local organization is currently made up of the following four committees: Beautification/design of downtown, organization, economic development and restructuring, and promotions.

“We’re always looking for new ideas,” she said, noting members are currently working on a retail-oriented business function event for March or April and a ‘Sweet on the Street’ event for June.

There’s also discussion of bringing  Spookfest back to downtown Linton instead of having it at Humphreys Park, Matthews explained.

“We want everybody to be thinking about Linton all year-long,” she added.

She also welcomed the following businesses to the downtown area: The Silver Lining, Dyer General Store, and #1 Asian Buffet.

Matthews is also currently working on a community calendar that will include ongoing organizational events and special organizational events scheduled for Linton and the Greene County area.

She also encouraged Facebook users to ‘like’ the Rediscover Downtown Linton page and the Linton, Indiana page.

The Linton, Indiana page is now up and running. The page includes links to local places and attractions as well as local progress.

Rediscover Downtown Linton meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 5:30 p.m. at Linton City Hall. Nobel Stallons is president of the organization.

In other business, L-S Chamber Executive Director Cheryl Hamilton noted the following:

  • The Linton Round Table has been reestablished with Linton Mayor John Wilkes. The small group meets over lunch with the mayor to discuss matters and voice concerns.
  • A fish fry is slated for April 1.
  • Motocross is slated for April 12 and 13.
  • The L-S Chamber will have a booth at the upcoming city-wide sales event. Members can drop off donations, with items to be tagged by chamber volunteers. All proceeds from the chamber booth will benefit the chamber. The city-wide sales event will be scheduled sometime in the near future.



L-S Middle School Hosts Initial Open Meeting

By Timberly Ferree

School policy, testing, homework, and other matters were discussed at the Linton-Stockton Middle School on Thursday, as the school hosted its first series of open meetings for parents and community members.

L-S Middle School Principal Jeff Sparks explained, “This is an opportunity for parents to come in and openly discuss any concerns, such as the school improvement plan, procedures, scheduling, and other matters.”

The idea for the meetings came from another parent who was concerned about communication at the middle school level.

“A lot of parents have questions and concerns and they are welcome to come in and discuss matters, or attend out of curiosity and just listen,” Sparks explained.

In the day and age of email and texting, Sparks also stressed the importance of person-to-person communication.

“We assume that people are looking at their emails, but the lines of communication have changed so drastically over the last few years. We have Harmony, which allows parents to go online and see their child’s homework and test scores, but [parents] don’t come in to see us as much,” Sparks added, noting Harmony’s downside is loss of personal connection with the school.

He also noted that he was very pleased with the initial meeting’s turnout and encouraged parents to attend future meetings.

“I feel like we had good discussions, valid points were brought up, and it was all very professional,” he said.

Open meetings will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. every two weeks on Thursdays at the middle school’s library. The next meeting is slated for Feb. 27.