GCGH Invites Public to Attend Health Needs Assessment Meeting


Greene County General Hospital and the Indiana Rural Health Association invite the public to a community health needs assessment meeting from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Feb. 25 at the hospital cafeteria.

GCGH Director of Marketing and Physician Recruiting Corey Sparks explained that the meeting will be an opportunity to talk to members of the community and find out what the health needs of the area are, so that the hospital can work to address those needs.

“We’ll be working with the Indiana Rural Health Association and they will have some of their employees here and the group will be broken down into smaller groups and then they’ll have questions for the participants,” he explained, noting that they hope plenty of people attend the meeting to give them a good sample of the general population.

Information from the meeting will be used to plan health care and future public health programs.

“We just want to hear everybody’s view and opinion on what we could do to better serve the community,” Sparks said. “It’s another way for us to have dialogue with the community and a good chance to get together and develop a plan to improve the health status of the area.”

The goals of the community health needs assessment are to:

  • Understand the age distribution of the population
  • Evaluate race and ethnic composition of population
  • Identify the health needs of the community
  • Identify environmental health risks
  • Evaluate maternal & child health risks
  • Identify chronic disease factors
  • Quantify the availability of basic health services and/or barriers to access
  • Analyze resources in the community

Light refreshments will be available during the meeting.

L-S FFA Chapter to Host Spirit Week

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National FFA Week is slated for Feb. 15 – 22 and the Linton-Stockton FFA Chapter is celebrating with students and staff by hosting a spirit week.

Kim Hill, L-S agriculture teacher and FFA sponsor, provided details on the event as well as the importance of agricultural education.

“Agricultural education is an important component for today’s youth; it is preparing them for successful careers and a lifetime of informed choices in global agriculture, food, fiber, and natural resources systems,” Hill explained. “Being an agriculture student is not about learning how to become a farmer, [rather] it’s about learning where your food comes from, how, and why it is produced in the manner it is, and being a smart consumer. Agricultural education is innovative, and includes math and science, along with hands-on work experience to prepare our students for the more than 300 careers in agriculture.”

Teaching agriculture is important because 23 million jobs are in the agriculture sector, which is 17 percent of the labor force, she noted. There are over half a million FFA members across the United States, including Guam and the Virgin Islands, with 44 percent of FFA membership being female.

The Linton-Stockton FFA has 18 members. FFA members compete in leadership contests such as public speaking and various demonstrations. FFA is a leadership organization which teaches the value of career success and community service, as well as offers unmatched public speaking instruction, Hill said.

“Most of the FFA members do not come from or have any ties to a farm background. They simply want to learn leadership skills and build their foundation for career success. Members have monthly meetings, attend leadership workshops and camps, and go on field trips to build upon the learning in the classroom,” Hill explained, noting she loves having the opportunity to teach agriculture and its importance.

The Linton-Stockton School Corporation offers the following agriculture courses: 8th grade introductory course, high school introductory course, animal science, horticulture, and agribusiness management.

“Students who have interests in golf course management, vet science, meteorology, business management, and genetics have all benefited from taking agriculture courses. The majority of students who enter the agriculture program go on to college and have earned scholarships to do so,” Hill said.

L-S FFA members would like to invite the staff and students to participate in Spirit Week in honor of National FFA Week. Spirit week is as follows:

*Monday, Feb. 17 – No school

*Tuesday, Feb. 18 – Drive Your Tractor to School

Boots Day- Wear Your Favorite Pair!

Bake Sale during B Lunch

*Wednesday, Feb. 19 – Camo Day

FFA Meeting after School

*Thursday, Feb. 20 – Flannel Day

*Friday, Feb. 21 – Blue and Gold Day

Staff Breakfast before School in the Ag Room

Join The Chamber

In years past Chamber membership was completely based on the size of your business. This year the Chamber is encouraging business members of the community to make an investment in them at the level they deem adequate. For each investment, the member will receive added advertisment, along with additional perks from being a member of the chamber.

We also have created a membership level for those members of our community who would like to be recognized individually as Friends of the Chamber.

We encourage you to look at the attached document and make the decision to join the chamber for the year 2014.

Chamber Levels 2014

Bloomfield Chamber: Local Happenings Update

Photo of downtown Bloomfield by Daryn Lewellyn

Submitted photo

Submitted photo

Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce members were updated on several items of interest during the organization’s monthly meeting on Thursday.

Chamber President Joshua Riggins noted numerous upcoming chamber events.

“We have several activities and events that we are meeting and planning for,” Riggins said, noting the Farmers Market, Town-Wide yard Sales, and a circus, among others.

The town’s new logo will also be presented at the Bloomfield Art Festival, which is slated for later this year.

In other business, Chamber Member Ed Cullison shared information about the Farmers and Mechanics Federal Team Relay for Life Fundraiser, which is slated for May 1 from 1 to 4 p.m. at 225 E. Main St. in Bloomfield.

The event will allow people to dispose of old documents as well as obsolete electronics, computers, small appliances, and scrap metal. Documents will be properly disposed of by Shredding and Storage Unlimited. Green Geek Recycling will accept obsolete electronics and A&E Salvage and Recycling will accept any scrap metal such as pet food and soup cans, car batteries, and aluminum items such as pop cans.

Television sets may also be disposed of for a minimum donation.

Monetary donations will be accepted with all proceeds going to Relay for Life.

Chamber Member Joe Boone also shared information about an advanced manufacturing certified production technician program, which offers an eight-week course that requires 20 weeks of classroom study. Classes begin March 3.

For more information on the program, contact WorkOne in Linton at (812) 847-4479.

Chamber Treasurer Corey Sparks also invited members to the upcoming Greene County General Hospital Commission meeting, which is slated for 6:30 p.m. Feb. 25 at the hospital.

In other business, Chamber Vice President Randall Brown served as the guest speaker and provided information on small business retirement plans as well as other financial tips.

Brown is a Financial Advisor at Edward Jones in Bloomfield.

City of Linton to Experience a Power Outage Tuesday at Midnight

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Different locations within the city of Linton will experience a power outage Tuesday at approximately midnight. The outage will last anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes.

Information on the exact problem is not available at this time, but an issue was spotted and preparations have been made to fix the issue.

If your residence utilities stay off for more than this time period, please check the LPD Facebook page or local online media pages for updates. During power outages, LPD phone lines get overwhelmed and you can often get the information quicker through these sources.

If you do not see any updates and are still without power, please contact the LPD at 812-847-4411.

The city of Linton does not anticipate any problems during this shutdown, but it is always better to be prepared in case unforeseen complications occur.

City of Linton to Experience a Power Outage Tonight at Midnight

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Different locations within the city of Linton will experience a power outage tonight at approximately midnight. The outage will last anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes.

Information on the exact problem is not available at this time, but an issue was spotted and preparations have been made to fix the issue.

If your residence utilities stay off for more than this time period, please check the LPD Facebook page or local online media pages for updates. During power outages, LPD phone lines get overwhelmed and you can often get the information quicker through these sources.

If you do not see any updates and are still without power, please contact the LPD at 812-847-4411.

The city of Linton doe not anticipate any problems during this shutdown, but it is always better to be prepared in case unforeseen complications occur.

Free Tax Help for Qualified Individuals


Free help is available for low income, handicapped, or elderly residents of Greene County who need assistance filing their federal and state income tax returns. Volunteers for Tax Counseling for the Elderly have been certified to provide free electronic filing at various locations.

Volunteer Jim Hert will be helping with the program for the fifth year.

“We go around to the senior centers and libraries starting in February and running through the first part of April,” he explained. “[The program] is sponsored by AARP and the IRS. The IRS provides the software and the AARP provides funding, since the program mainly benefits people over 50 years old.”

At least two volunteers will be on-hand at each site, so that everything can be double checked, and help is available on a first come, first served basis.

“There’s an Indiana Free File that a lot of the younger people can use if their income is $50,000 or less– they just get online at the library or wherever and [file their taxes] for free. But a lot of people are not comfortable with computers, especially in this age group, so we mostly help them,” said Hert.

Visitors to the tax sites should take a copy of last year’s tax return, their Social Security card, a picture ID, and proof of 2013 income. Residential property tax forms should also be provided for an Indiana deduction.

Hert explained that volunteering for the program does not require you to be an accountant. He said he filed his own taxes for years, retired, and was looking for a way to keep busy through the winter when he came across volunteer information in the AARP’s magazine and then went to their website for more information.

“I just filled out the volunteer form and there was a lady in Bloomfield who was conducting a group that I joined. None of us are accountants, but we do training. The IRS has developed training packages and they send us a CD every fall, and four or five booklets to study, and we’re tested on it,” he noted.

Weather permitting, dates and sites for tax help in Greene County are:

  • Bloomfield Highrise – Feb 14, Feb 28, Mar 14, Mar 28, and Apr 4, from 9 a.m. to noon – Fridays
  • Bloomfield Library – Friday, Feb 7 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Saturday, Apr 5 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Glenburn Community Room – Feb 13, Feb 20, Feb 27, Mar 6, Mar 13, Mar 20, Mar 27, and Apr 10, from 9 a.m. to noon — Thursdays
  • Jasonville Senior Center – Feb 19, Feb 26, and Mar 5, from 9 a.m. to noon – Wednesdays
  • Linton Meadowbrook Apts – Tuesday, Feb 25 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Lyons Senior Center – Feb 12 and Mar 12, from 9 a.m. to noon – Wednesdays
  • Linton Public Library – Feb 11, Feb 18, Feb 25, and Mar 4, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Tuesdays
  • Worthington Senior Center – Tuesday, Mar 11 from 9 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

You can find out more information about the program at the AARP website and the IRS website.


L-S High School Choir to Host Annual Choir 5K

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Put your running shoes on and get ready to hit the pavement in support of the Linton-Stockton High School Choir, which will host its annual Choir 5K on April 5.

Samantha Writtenhouse, LS Choir teacher, provided details on the annual fundraiser which kicks off at 9 a.m. and costs $20 for early registration and $25 the day of the race.

“This is one of our biggest fundraisers of the year. Our goal is $1,200 and the first 50 entries get a T-shirt,” she said, noting this is the third year for the 5K.

“It’s gone over really well in the past. Usually we have a turnout of 30 to 40 people each year, and hopefully it continues to increase,” Writtenhouse said.

She also encouraged people of all ages to partake in the fundraiser.

“Running has become the ‘it’ thing to do. It’s a great way to get exercise and help support music in our schools,” she added. “The kids will be there passing out food and drinks and handing out awards.”

Awards will be categorized by age group as well as by best overall male and female. Participants can run, walk, or jog, and are also more than welcome to push children in strollers at no extra cost.

“[The race] starts and ends at the high school track. It starts at the track, goes to H Street Northeast, takes a lap around [Humphreys Park] and comes back the same way,” she explained.

All proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit the L-S High School choir.

“It will help pay for music, costumes, and transportation fees …Sometimes a bus trip can cost $200 to $300,” she added, noting school budgets are currently rather tight.

Community members as well as organizations can also support the 5K with advertising on the event’s T-shirt.

Student enrollment in choir has more than doubled in size since Writtenhouse was hired by the school a few years ago.

“We’re definitely growing in size. The first year [I was here] the high school choir had 13 [students] and now it has 29. The [middle school] had seven and now it has 40 to 45,” she explained, adding elementary involvement has remained strong and currently totals 40 to 50 students.

For more information about the fundraiser, contact Writtenhouse at (812) 847-6024 or visit the Linton-Stockton Choirs and Theatre website.

Download PDF registration form 


Local Baby Charms His Way to Top 10 of Baby Idol Contest

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One local baby has charmed his way to the top 10 and advanced to the final round of a regional baby contest.

Reid Farris, 6-month-old son of Tim and Chelsea Farris of Linton, is a contestant in the 100.7 Mix-FM Baby Idol contest.

Krisi Clayton, grandmother of Reid, provided details on the contest and encouraged locals to go online and vote for Reid.

“It works purely by the votes he gets. The more votes he gets, the better. Plus, you can vote as many times as you like,” Clayton explained, adding online voting for Reid will open on Feb. 5.

The winner of the contest will receive a new car seat, $50 gift certificate from Babies R Us, and a $100 gift certificate from Once Upon a Child.

Reid has outgrown his car seat and his sister, 2-year-old Ella, is also in need of a car seat, she noted.

“[Chelsea and Tim] need car seats for both kids and they can’t really afford it. So, I have been trying to recruit votes for Reid,” Clayton said.

“All of the family is voting. Friends have voted as well. It’s based purely on the votes,” she added.

Voting for Reid F. opens on Feb. 5 with the winner of this round to be announced at 6 a.m. on Feb. 6.

“For him to make the top 10 is a big deal, but it’s not a vain thing for us as much as it’s a need,” Clayton said, adding that Chelsea Farris is a full-time student and Tim Farris is employed full-time and in the military, but every once in a while the young family still needs a hand up.

“Yes, we are proud of Reid because he is such a beautiful and happy baby, but this isn’t for kudos this is a necessity,” Clayton said.

For more details about the contest, and to vote go here:  http://mymixfm.com/baby-idol/ .

Friends of Shakamak Meeting Honors Outstanding Service, Raises Money for Park

(L-R) Vanessa Phillips, Robert Hogg, and Assistant Property Manager Lynda Ellington

The Friends of Shakamak held their annual meeting Thursday evening. The event included dinner, the election of officers, and the recognition of several award winners.

Friends of Shakamak Member Diane Pine has been with the group since it was founded, and said her involvement stemmed from her interest in Shakamak Park.

“I’m involved with the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts here in town and we spend a lot of time out here,” she stated. “I just thought it would be good to see what the community could do to help with the park.”

Pine added that the Totally Tubular Try-Athlon, kayaking, and Halloween activities have been some of the group’s triumphs over the last few years.

Guest speaker Cem Basman, Vice President of the Alliance for Indiana State Parks and Nature Reserves, explained that his organization is dedicated to helping groups like the Friends of Shakamak and supporting and advocating for state parks. Basman said Indiana State Parks are the top parks in the country.

“And beyond that, I want to tell you that you are incredibly fortunate,” he added. “Not only are you what I consider, and what many other people who know about parks consider, to be one of the best [park] systems, but you happen to be in one of the coolest parks in that system. Shakamak is an incredible place!”

Friends of Shakamak Member Steve Herbert then led a short business meeting, noting that last year the group held 14 sponsored events that brought between 700 and 800 people to the park and raised about $4,500.

Shakamak State Park Property Manager Robert Hogg gave an update on park activities such as renovating the west shelter house, installing basketball goals, and putting air conditioners in the family cabins.

During the annual election of officers, the group was not able to choose a new Chairperson. They did elect other officers, including:

  • Vice Chairperson, Teresa Courto
  • Treasurer, Vanessa Phillips
  • Secretary, Diane Herbert

The Friends of Shakamak named Boston Scientific as the winner of their Lake Kickapoo Award, which is for a group or organization that provided exceptional service for a single or multiple event in support of the park.

Tom Burkhart received the Lake Lenape Award for exceptional service in supporting the park last year. Hogg noted that Burkhart has put countless hours of work into beautifying the park.

Treasurer Vanessa Phillips won the Lake Shakamak Award for a member of the Friends of Shakamak who showed dedicated service to the park. Hogg also presented Phillips with the Best Friend of the Friends of Shakamak Award, which is for the most outstanding recipient of the other three awards.

“I enjoy every minute that I’m with this group, and everything I do,” Phillips noted. “Anybody who is new or thinking about coming on, it’s a lot of fun. All the events are fun– I don’t care if you’re doing registration or working at the finish line, it’s always fun.”

Stephanie Emanus won the annual photo contest, which had 34 entries, and the silent auction held during the meeting raised just over $200 to help support the park.

LSHS Meet the Teacher Night Called a Success

By Timberly Ferree
The idea for the Meet the Teacher Night originated with the school improvement committee, which is co-chaired by Michael Riggleman, L-S math teacher, and Britney Lynn, L-S English and German teacher.

The cold weather didn’t  stop parents from attending the Linton-Stockton High School’s Meet the Teacher Night on Wednesday.

The event, which was considered a success by both parents and teachers, was an opportunity to communicate about classroom expectations as well as exchange other pertinent information.

Joan Warrick, LSHS media specialist, enjoyed meeting and talking with parents.

“I think it’s always great to have the parents come in and it’s really interesting when the students come with them,” Warrick explained. “It’s also great to see the parents in a relaxed and social atmosphere.”

Lana Heath, L-S parent, explained that she attended the event in order to keep the doors of communication open with her son’s teachers.

“If you have a kid that’s had issues, I think this is a good thing. I’ve been lucky with both my kids and not had any issues. This also allows you to keep the doors of communication open and lets you know if there is anything that may need your attention,” Heath said.

Brad McKinney, LSHS government and economics teacher, gave the event two thumbs up.

“Anytime there can be dialogue between parents and teachers it’s a good thing. Usually during the last hour we see more people than the first [hour],” he said.

Lacey Stone, LSHS senior English and etymology teacher, agreed and added, “I’ve had quite a few of my senior parents come…I think it’s a great idea. It’s a way for parents to come into a relaxing atmosphere. We have email and phones, but it’s always nice to see people face to face.”

The event, which was held in the school’s auditeria, allowed for an open setting with teachers grouped by departments such as science, math, and English.

The idea for the Meet the Teacher Night originated with the school improvement committee, which is co-chaired by Michael Riggleman, L-S math teacher, and Britney Lynn, L-S English and German teacher.

Buck Creek Muzzle Loaders Trade Fair this Weekend

Muzzle Loaders Sign

The Buck Creek Muzzle Loaders will hold their annual Linton Indoor Trade Fair this weekend, January 25 and 26.

The fair will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday at the Roy Clark Community Building. Tickets are $3 and kids 12 and under get in free as long as they are accompanied by an adult who has paid for admission.

Club President David O’Bryan said the event will offer goods from the 1750 to 1840 era, and that there should be something to interest everyone.

“We’ll have traders and artisans from the colonial frontier era,” he explained. “They’ll have knives, tomahawks, powder horns, pottery, colonial clothing, books, blacksmith wares, tinsmith wares, lanterns, leather goods, candles, fabrics, baskets, silver jewelry, and homemade soap.”

O’Bryan noted that in the last eight or ten years the trade fair has drawn people from seven states, including one man who comes down from Wisconsin every year.

“There’s plenty [of these types of trade fairs] in the country, and the thing of it is that we’re a smaller one, but we’re about quality instead of quantity,” he added. “We’re supposed to have a Muzzle Blasts columnist there, and he’s also an author. His name is John Curry and he’s written two books, so he’ll be there selling books.”

The Buck Creek Muzzle Loaders will use funds generated by the event for things such as range upkeep, prizes for their shoots, and insurance payments.

Saturday at around 6 p.m., O’Bryan expects between 40 and 90 club members, vendors, and friends to head to Stoll’s Country Inn for their traditional post-trade fair meal.

“We go in full primitive attire,” he noted.

The club shoots traditional caplock and flintlock muzzleloaders, and O’Bryan said that anyone interested in joining them should first attend a monthly shoot at the Buck Creek Muzzle Loaders Range in Linton.

“We shoot the second weekend of every month, and we’ll have some schedules out there at the trade fair. Come out, look things over, and see if we’re what you’re looking for,” he urged.

Club dues are $25 a year.



Linton Chamber of Commerce Honors WorkOne and Noble Stallons

Noble Stallons, Citizen of the Year

The Linton-Stockton Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner and Awards Banquet was held Thursday evening at the Linton Elks Lodge.

The chamber honored WorkOne as Business of the Year and Noble Stallons as Citizen of the Year.

2014 Chamber President Dale Knotts presented WorkOne’s award to Nancy Karazsia, noting that the award is for significant accomplishments including growth, response to adversity, community involvement, and innovation. He said that many consider WorkOne to be one of the best kept secrets in Linton, as well as in the state of Indiana.

“Many think of this business as the unemployment office only, however this business offers a variety of services designed to provide wraparound services in all areas of unemployment and training, whether that be for local businesses, job seekers, or students. The unemployment services team assures that citizens are able to access income support benefits to which they are entitled while working with career advisors,” Knotts explained.

He added that Karazsia would celebrate 31 years with WorkOne on Friday, and asked all WorkOne staff present to join her for the presentation of the Business of the Year plaque.

Karazsia called the award an honor and a privilege, stating that the WorkOne office is special because of the dedication of its staff.

Mayor John Wilkes then named Stallons as Citizen of the Year, noting that the award is for good deeds that have made an extraordinary impact on the community.

“This year’s recipient moved to Greene County in the early 80’s and retired from his profession in 2000. He retired from his profession, but he sure didn’t retire from working and from forging ahead,” Wilkes stated. “He’s spent the last 13 years making a positive impact on our community.”

Wilkes listed some of Stallons’ accomplishments, including working with Rediscover Downtown Linton and founding the Greene County Foundation. He is also a recipient of Rotary’s Paul Harris Fellow Award and is a Linton Freedom Festival Hall of Fame recipient.

“He’s one of these individuals … whenever he speaks, whenever he talks, listen– because you’ll learn,” the mayor added of Stallons.

Attendees gave Stallons a standing ovation as he walked to join Wilkes, joking that everyone knew about his award but him. He then invited his wife Melba to join him.

Stallons explained that nothing can be achieved without people, and that people are what Linton needs to continue moving forward.

“Linton’s not about cars and trucks, Linton’s about people, and we all need to find our passion. If you don’t have a passion about something, don’t do it. Just say, ‘I’m sorry, that doesn’t fit me’. But if you have a passion for it, see John [Wilkes], see Dale [Knotts], see Cheryl [Hamilton]. These are all Energizer Bunnies, every one of them, and they know how to make things happen. But it takes people to make things happen,” Stallons stated.

He said he and his wife have lived in five states and enjoyed every one, but have stayed in Linton for 32 years. Stallons then thanked Wilkes for giving him the opportunity to make a difference.

“I heard something recently, and it stuck with me. I think every day, if we in some way could be an answer to someone’s prayer, I think that’s what life’s all about,” he concluded emotionally.


Greene County General Hospital Welcomes its 2014 New Year’s Baby

Submitted photo: 
The Greene County General Hospital welcomed its firstborn of 2014 on Wednesday.
Devyn Matthew Delph, son of Seth and Pam Delph, of Coal City, arrived at 2:43 a.m. on Jan. 1. Shown here from left are: Jane Hughes, Pam Delph, Teresa Egnew, and baby Devyn.

The Greene County General Hospital welcomed its firstborn of 2014 on Wednesday.

Devyn Matthew Delph, son of Seth and Pam Delph, of Coal City, arrived at 2:43 a.m. on Jan. 1.

The bundle of joy weighed in at 5 pounds and 5 ounces and was 20 inches long.

Seth Delph expressed his excitement about raising another human being.

Pam Delph had a smooth delivery, and noted her hospital stay was good, but explained she was ready to go home.

Devyn is the firstborn to the Delph family. Several family members were also present to welcome the New Year’s baby.

In lieu of Devyn’s birth, GCGH staff presented the Delph family with a New Year’s baby basket.

“This is the first year the hospital has become more involved [with the first baby of the year] versus the OB department by itself,” explained RN Jane Hughes.

Bloomfield Town Council Seeks Grant for Sewer Lines

Photo by Brandy Wade

The Bloomfield Town Council is in the initial stages of seeking a grant for the town’s waste water lines.

“This past year, we’ve had three big rains and it has wreaked havoc with our sewer lines,” explained Town Council President Doug Frye.

A representative of Southern Indiana Development Commission will be on hand to further advise the council on the matter during the council’s January meeting, he noted.

“We’re trying to come up with a grant, but there’s not much money out there,” Frye said, noting a possible $350,000 grant.

“We’re going to try to get as much as we can. We have a lot work to do,” he added.

The town’s sewer lines that are in need of repair are outdated and made of vitrified clay.

“We pretty well know which ones need work… Our sewer lines are old, have cracks, and roots growing though the joints,” Frye explained. “There’s several different locations in town we’re going to work on.”

The grant application process is highly-competitive, he noted.

“We’ll be competing against [other cities/towns] throughout the state,” Frye said.

The Bloomfield Town Council’s January meeting is slated for Thursday at 6 p.m. at the fire station. This meeting will also serve as the council’s reorganization meeting.

Local Youth Group Gears Up for Mission Trip to El Salvador

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One Bloomfield youth group is gearing up for a mission trip to El Salvador and is asking the community for its support.

The Bloomfield First Baptist Church’s youth group has planned its trip for May 25-31, 2014 and Tasha Hudson, youth group leader, provided details on the trip.

“Sixteen people [nine adults and seven youth] will be traveling to El Salvador to volunteer at an orphanage in San Salvador,” Hudson explained, noting El Salvador is near to the youths’ hearts because of friend, Vanesa.

“Vanesa was from El Salvador. She had come to live here, but she passed away in April. She was almost 18…. She [also] participated in several youth groups in the community,” Hudson said.

The youth group is partnering with La Casa de mi Padre [The House of my Father] and staying on the Youth With a Mission compound.

The trip, which will cost about $1,111 per person, is being funded through various benefits.

“Several fundraisers have been implemented to raise support for the mission team.  Two of our upcoming projects include a chili supper and a Valentine’s [Day] dance,” Hudson explained.

The chili supper will be Sat. Jan. 25 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the First Baptist Church.

“We encourage those going to the Bloomfield boys’ basketball game to stop by the church for dinner before the home game,” she said, noting the church’s Christian Life Center will be open for seating and carry-out meals will also be available.

A freewill offering will be taken for the chili dinner.

“On Valentine’s Day, we’ll also host a ballroom dance in the [Christian Life Center] from 7 to 9 p.m.,” she said.

Dance Instructor Ann Conner will be on hand to teach ballroom dances such as the waltz, foxtrot, and swing.  The dance is $10 a couple.

“We are also collecting aluminum cans. We receive money for aluminum cans from the Greene County Recycling Center.  You can deposit them in our bin marked ‘Baptist Youth’ outside the recycling center’s office door.  Or you can bring them to the church, or call us for a pick up.  The money from these cans will go to the mission trip,” Hudson explained.

The Bloomfield First Baptist Church is located at 500 Lincoln Drive. For further information contact the church at 812-384-8459.

“Please pray for the planning process, for travel safety, for communication skills, and for our witness to others about Christ’s love as we share his message of hope,” Hudson also said.

Solsberry Native, State Conservationist to Speak at SWCD Meeting

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The Greene County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) will hold its annual meeting in February, and District Coordinator Deborah Lynn said this will be an especially significant event because Indiana State Conservationist Jane Hardisty, from the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) Department of Agriculture, will be the guest speaker.

“She is a mover and a shaker as far as conservation is concerned, not only here in Indiana but throughout the United States. She has a real passion for it. The thing that makes it even greater is that she’s from Solsberry,” Lynn remarked.

Hardisty is based out of Indianapolis, but recently spent nearly nine months in Washington, D.C., filling two different roles at the request of NRCS Chief Jason Weller.

“The first four months I served as the deputy chief for management and the last four months as associate chief,” Hardisty explained. “All of that was part of the new restructuring, and in the middle of all that were issues with budgets and everything that Congress was dealing with, so it was quite the interesting experience.”

Hardisty was responsible for the agency’s entire administrative operations, including about 11,000 employees, in the preliminary stages of restructuring administrative functions to make them more efficient and effective. It was a big job, but one she said she has been preparing for since childhood.

“I was born and raised on a farm and was always the tomboy of the family and enjoyed being outdoors and working with my dad. He shared with me the values of farming and taking good care of our soil and our water, so I guess it was always instilled in me by my dad. I was outdoors a lot and I just knew that was what I wanted to stay with,” Hardisty recalled.

Lynn explained that she asked Hardisty to use her Greene County background to talk about the past, present, and future of local conservation during the annual meeting.

“What did conservation used to be? What’s happening now and what does she think will happen in the future? I’d like to hear her reminisce and tell some stories about her time here so that it’s a mixture of hometown information focusing on where we were and where we are headed,” she noted.

Hardisty said that agriculture has certainly changed, and the fact that there are now fewer voices for agriculture makes it difficult to obtain assistance for conservation programs.

“So the challenge is always trying to get Congress to understand the value of continuing to support these programs. There are fewer people in agriculture now than there used to be 30 or 40 years ago. However, there may be fewer smaller farms but there are more larger farms, so there are other challenges that go with keeping up with new innovations in farming. We have some very innovative farmers. With the new genetics and the efforts being made for soil health there’s a lot more management that goes with production of agriculture now than there used to be, so being able to know the right kinds of conservation practices that fit the producers’ operations is very key,” she explained.

Keeping up with new practices on a limited budget means more work for fewer people, but Hardisty said that’s where the partnership between NRCS and the local SWCD comes in.

“That local soil and water conservation district— they’re the locally led leaders. They know what’s needed, and as a federal partner coming in with our assistance we work together really well. It’s all locally led by our local folks, and we can come in and try to help in ways so that our programs will complement what they’re trying to do for conservation in their counties,” she noted.

Hardisty also pointed out that local districts need public input and participation in order to best serve their counties.

“A big role the local districts have is communicating with the public, like their annual meetings, the field days that they have, and the newsletters they send out. It’s important that the board keeps people communicating, and at the same time they need activities and events where they can gather the input from the local people,” she remarked.

The SWCD’s annual meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. on February 25th, at the 4-H Fairgrounds in Switz City.

Volunteers Provide Meals, Toys for Local Families

Kids singing at the community meal

The Linton Rotary Club’s 18th annual Community Holiday Dinner and Linton Civitan’s Toys for Tots giveaway were hosted by Saron Church on Thursday.

Civitan President Laura Cross said donations for Toys for Tots came from all over the community, including service groups, churches, ball teams, and bell ringers.

“Toys are purchased—we do one large purchase at Dollar General in Bloomfield about a month before this event and then other items are purchased depending on what’s needed. The number of toys each family is given depends on the number of kids in a family. The goal is about $20 per kid, so it’s quite substantial per kid,” she explained.

On Thursday, families checked in and then picked up their box of toys while the community meal was held in another part of Saron.

“And that also works out nicely because the parents can leave their kids there, come around and get the toys, and keep some magic in it. It’s not, ‘oh, Mom and Dad are getting free toys’. The kids might not even know. It’s not like it’s a charity donation, the toys can come from the parents or Santa,” Cross said, adding that Civitan paid for parents to shop for their children at Walmart on Tuesday and Wednesday for their Clothe-a-Child program.

Civitan’s Clothe-a-Child and Toys for Tots programs, which are completely funded from Greene County donations, served 170 families this year, which Cross estimated as benefiting around 500 kids who otherwise might not have had much of a Christmas at all.

“I think in the Christmas season it’s so easy to get caught up in purchasing for friends and families and choosing just the right gift that this makes you really realize that there are others out there who can’t buy a [single] gift—this is giving back to them and seeing how happy they can be, and giving back to your community,” she explained.

At around 6:30 p.m., Rotarian Bob Waters estimated that a minimum of 300 meals had been delivered, with at least as many take-outs.

“We’re going to be somewhere over 1,000, I’m sure,” he stated.

Waters said the dinner can only be provided with help from Saron Church members and a number of people who just decide to volunteer their time.

“It takes everybody to pull this whole thing off. The help in the kitchen kind of rotates through with people coming in and asking what they can do and someone else in the line saying, ‘you can take my spot’. They’re dishing up noodles or whatever and that’s what it takes, because if it was just the Rotary Club we would never be able to do it because we just don’t have the membership,” he noted.

Waters explained that many of the deliveries are made to older people who just can’t get out, and Reverend Michael Roth agreed, stating that about 26 meals were delivered to Meadow Brook senior apartments at one time on Thursday.

“There are just a lot of people who are retired and elderly and don’t get out, and because we serve from five to seven they don’t like to be out after dark. There are a lot of people who, because this doesn’t actually happen on Christmas day, schedule their holiday meal around this. They’ll meet at one person’s house and then they’ll have the meals delivered and have their Christmas meals together tonight,” he explained.

Waters said the community meal helps out people in various ways, including something as simple as giving locals some human contact, since many people are just happy that somebody came to their door for a delivery.

“In the past I’ve seen where a lot of people will come and eat and then they’ll come through the line and say they need six to go home. [That family is] going to have six turkey dinners again tomorrow night, because at this time of the month I think a lot of people who are on assistance have used up all of the options. If they’re going to the food pantry, which I’m sure most of them are, they can only go once a month. They may have used up whatever food stamp allowance they have and so here it is a week before Christmas and they don’t have anything in the house. This provides a very highly needed option for them to come in and either eat here or take it home,” he stated.

Waters added that he enjoys helping provide a meal for the community, and that for him it is a family experience. His oldest son dished up meals to be delivered, his wife made deliveries, and his dad served desserts. His younger son helped last year, but this year he will not get back into town until Friday.

Roth said that although he knows the dinner included about 734 pounds of turkey and more than 260 pounds of ham he will not know how many people they served until they have had a chance to calculate how many plates and to-go containers were used.

He noted that partnering with Civitan and Rotary allowed for the creation of a celebratory Christmas atmosphere on one magical night.

“I think that if anyone was having a hard time at the holidays, because I’m sensitive to that and we’ve been having our Surviving the Holidays classes and Blue Christmas service, one of the things that I’ve encouraged them to do, and some of the folks are here, I told them it’s really hard to be depressed when you’re out helping someone else,” Roth explained. “There are people here tonight who have lost significant folks in their lives and they are kind of walking through the holidays feeling lost, but you see them smiling tonight.”

Roth thanked DJ Jim Dandy for donating time to set the atmosphere, play good music, and interact with the kids. He also said many teenagers volunteered for the event, as they do every year.

“It’s classic small-town—something like this would not happen in a big city. It’s classic small-town and it really is the best of Linton at the holidays. If somebody is not in the mood prior to this night, they will be when they leave,” Roth promised.

Dawn Roby, who attended the event with her children and mother, said she was enjoying a family holiday dinner that otherwise might not have been possible.

“I think they’re doing an amazing job. I think they’re helping out a lot of people and there are a lot of people who need it,” she stated. “Thanks for everything that they do.”


Two Bloomfield Jr.­/­Sr. High Students Experience Leadership Symposium

Photo by Tyler Lewellyn

submitted photo Shown here from left: Brent Ellis,  Richard Lugar, and Clayton Burch.

submitted photo
Shown here from left: Brent Ellis, Richard Lugar, and Clayton Burch.

Two Bloomfield students recently experienced the Richard Lugar Symposium for Tomorrow’s Leaders at the University of Indianapolis.

Brent Ellis and Clayton Burch, both juniors, were chosen as representatives of their school to attend the 37th Lugar Symposium on Dec. 7.

Bloomfield Jr./Sr. High School Principal David Dean provided additional details on the event.

“The Lugar Symposium is designed to expose some of the best and brightest young minds in Indiana – our future leaders – to current global issues … I think it’s a great opportunity for these kids to get exposed to world issues,” he said, noting former Senator Lugar as a senior statesman who’s known for foreign policy.

The students who are chosen to attend the symposium have an interest in leadership, whether it be in the political, business, or global realm, and in some fashion this exposes them to more opportunities and broadens their horizons, Dean explained.

“In five years, we’ve been fortunate enough to have at least one student attend the symposium each year,” he added, noting January marks his fifth year as Bloomfield Jr./Sr. High principal.

Students are identified and prioritized as potential candidates for the event and then asked to participate.

“We identify the kids we feel would be interested in doing something like this,” he added, noting one year the school was able to send three students.

The symposium also exposes students to expert presentations, public issues, and world events in an effort to highlight the value of leadership in service to others.

2013 Eastern Fire Department Awards Ceremony

Cadet Firefighter of the Year: (L-R) Fire Chief Austin Combs; Cadet Firefighter of the Year Nick Park; Deputy Fire Chief Jeffrey Combs.

This award is given to a member who is a cadet firefighter (age 13-18) who excels with their academics at school, participates on a regular basis with fire department training and monthly meeting and makes alarms when possible. Eastern Fire Department Currently has 6 active cadet firefighters.

On Saturday, December 14, Eastern Fire Department gathered for their annual awards ceremony.

This was a great evening for the fire department to give back to the members of Eastern Fire Department who are dedicated to serving their community.

The photos below are the award recipients and a brief description of the award.

The Silver Lining to Open Doors Saturday in Linton

submitted photo

The Silver Lining is making its debut in downtown Linton on Saturday.

Sarah Busenburg, owner of the new shop, is excited about her new venture and has incorporated the helping hand of her mother, Susie Ellington, to make the dream a reality.

“Mom and I have been talking about it for a long time,” Busenburg explained, adding the time is now right to open the doors.

The Silver Lining will offer seasonal and made-to-order gift baskets, Paparazzi jewelry, gently-used clothing and other items, as well as locally handmade goods and rented booth space.

“I’m excited. We’re definitely a work in progress, but we needed to get it open to see what else we might need to do,” she explained.

Linton resident Stacy Lewellyn, owner of A Stitch in Time, will have a booth featuring hooded towels, superhero capes, T-shirts, and other made-to-order items.

Also look for LukieDog Treats, which are flavored dog treats handmade by Sarah Riggins of Bloomfield. The treats come in different sizes as well as flavors and are made by Riggins in her home kitchen.

Busenburg also noted that her experience as a new business owner has been quite positive.

“Rediscover Downtown Linton and many of the downtown business owners have been welcoming, friendly, and helpful,” she said.

The Silver Lining will open its doors for the first time on Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The opening will feature free photos with Santa Claus and door prizes.

“Santa will be here from 1 to 3 p.m. and everyone will get a professional picture by Becky Deischer,” Busenburg said.

The Silver Lining is located at 74 ½ S. Main St. in downtown Linton.

For more information check out https://www.facebook.com/thesilverlining2013.

Crane Army Holds Active Shooter Training

Members of the Naval Support Activity Crane Police Force respond to an Active Shooter
training scenario at a Crane Army Ammunition Activity building Nov. 14. Employees in
Crane Army’s headquarters building had a live action drill to help underscore the
importance of staying safe during one of these events. The training provided Crane
Army employees a very real scenario in which they had to react to a shooting scenario.

Crane Army Ammunition Activity employees had a chance to practice the training they have received during an active shooter exercise held Nov. 14 at its headquarters building.

Department of Defense employees receive annual training to reinforce what should be done in cases of an active shooter. Employees are trained that the first and most important action to take during an active shooter event is to attempt to escape the scene or building in the fastest way possible. Since this can be difficult to accomplish without putting yourself in the line of fire of the shooter; however, the second action to take is to hide in any way and anywhere possible.

Employees in Crane Army’s headquarters building had a live action drill to help underscore the importance of staying safe during one of these events. The training provided Crane Army employees a very real scenario in which they had to react to a shooting scenario. It also allowed Naval Support Activity Crane’s emergency responders a chance to react to an active shooter scenario.

As part of the training, Crane Army leadership instructed the workforce, “…remain calm and if at all possible, follow the instructions of your leadership and most importantly the Security Forces that will respond to the threat. Also, accountability is key. We have to account for all personnel to ensure no one is missing and/or injured. Finally, ensure you have good rendezvous points where everyone is safe and out of the immediate threat area. This is also a good location for accountability of personnel.”

Crane Army Acting Security Officer Duke Wall said, “The Navy Police Force conducts training for these situations and if we can take part and train our workforce, it is a benefit for everyone. If an event occurs they will respond, and will need everyone’s complete cooperation to resolve the conflict.”

It is training that all employees hope that they will not need, but must continually practice in case the unthinkable does happen one day.

Participants included Naval Support Activity Security, Fire Dept, Safety, and Emergency Operation Center members; Crane Army headquarters personnel, including their security officer and emergency management officer; U.S. Coast Guard as role players and Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division, Safety Dept.

Established Oct. 1977, Crane Army Ammunition Activity maintains ordnance professionals and infrastructure in order to receive, store, ship, produce, renovate and demilitarize conventional ammunition, missiles and related components. CAAA also provides command oversight of Iowa Army Ammunition Plant, Letterkenny Munitions Center, Pa., and Milan Army Ammunition Center, Tenn.


Crane Celebrates 72nd Anniversary

Crane Army Ammunition Activity Commander Col. Joe Dixon

Crane Army Ammunition Activity Commander Col. Joe Dixon spoke at the Crane Community 72nd Anniversary Lunch Social hosted by the Indiana-Kentucky George Rogers Clark Chapter of the National Defense Industrial Association. During the event, Crane Army and the commander of Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division, spoke about the impact the base has had on the local community and its importance in supporting the Warfighter for more than seven decades.


Santa Train to Land in Local Area This Weekend

By Timberly Ferree
file photo

In the wake of record-setting attendance and donations a year ago, the Indiana Rail Road Company (INRD) proudly announces Santa Claus’ return to the rails for the 24th annual INRD Santa Train from Friday, Dec. 6 through Sunday, Dec. 8.

The Indiana Rail Road Santa Train will visit 12 southern Indiana and Illinois communities over its three-day 2013 run, delivering goodwill, donated winter clothing and, most importantly, Santa Claus to thousands of children. Admission is free.

In 2012, more than 4,000 children sat on Santa’s lap in the Santa Train. In all, 8,835 people visited the train, shattering the “old” attendance record set in 2011 by more than 2,000. Nearly 50 Santa Train sponsors also delivered a record $33,000 in contributions, making it possible for INRD to assist families in need of winter clothing.

The 2013 Santa Train makes its first stop at 3 p.m. (ET) Dec. 6 at Bargersville, Ind., and wraps up the weekend at Sullivan, Ind., on Sunday at 4 p.m. Please note the Sunday schedule of stops starts two hours earlier than previous years, and the Illinois arrival times reflect Central Standard Time; all other times are Eastern.

The Indiana Rail Road Company is a privately-held, 500-mile railroad based in Indianapolis. The company hauls the equivalent of more than 800,000 truckloads of consumer, industrial and energy products each year. For more information, visit the Indiana Rail Road online at www.inrd.com or on Twitter and Facebook.

The 24th Annual Indiana Rail Road Santa Train Schedule (All times local; free admission):

Station/Location Arriving Line for Santa/Closing Time for Santa Line/Date

Bargersville, Ind./Town Hall 3 p.m. 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6

Morgantown, Ind./Fire Station, 269 Highland St. 6:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6

Helmsburg, Ind./Helmsburg Road 8:30 p.m. 9:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6

Solsberry, Ind./Yoho Store at State Rd. 43 8:30 a.m. 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 7 

Bloomfield, Ind./Seminary Street 11 a.m. Noon Saturday, Dec. 7

Linton, Ind./S.E. C Street 1:30 p.m. 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7

Dugger, Ind./Main Street 4 p.m. 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7

Jasonville, Ind./City Park 6 p.m. 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7

Newton, Ill./South Van Buren St. 9 a.m. 10 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 8 

Oblong, Ill./South Range St. 11:15 a.m. 12:15 p.m.  Sunday, Dec. 8

Palestine, Ill./Lincoln St. 1 p.m. 2 p.m.  Sunday, Dec. 8

Sullivan, Ind./South Main St. and Judy Lane 4 p.m. 4:30 p.m.  Sunday, Dec. 8

Scotland’s Christmas in the Village set for Dec. 7

submitted photo

Christmas in the Village will once again bring the holiday season to life in Scotland.

The town’s traditional event is slated for Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. and is set to include vendors, home tours, food, Santa, and more.

Brenda Massette, co-organizer of the event, explained, “The [Scotland] Hotel will be decorated and cookies and cider will be available to those coming to the hotel. [Christmas in the Village] is just a good way to get into the holiday spirit and enjoy this time of year.”

The home tour, which is set for 2 to 5 p.m., is always a popular draw, she noted. Cost of the tour is $10 and includes four homes. Tickets will be available for purchase at the Scotland Hotel and at the participating homes.

“The home tour is a popular thing. People like to see different home decor styles,” she said, noting each time the homes are decked a bit differently for the season.

“A member of the Scotland Historical Society will mark your ticket each time you visit a home. If you visit all four homes, the fire station, and the hotel, you will be eligible to win a prize,” Massette explained, adding the drawing for gift bags will take place at the hotel.

Christmas in the Village will also offer lighted displays in Cady Grove, plus the traditional lighting of the Memory Tree is slated for 6 p.m. at the Scotland Hotel.

The Scotland Hotel was built in 1880 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The hotel is rich in local history and is traditionally decorated with many donated items such as antique clothing and antique furniture.

Look for a variety of vendors to offer wares at the historic hotel and the old fire station. Some of the wares will include the following: Homemade candy, noodles, crochet items, handmade soap and woodcrafts, Avon, Scentsy, Tastefully Simple, Tupperware, Mary Kay, Grace Adele designer handbags, and photography by Carol Kiser.