Sullivan Residents Rally in Support of Ritz

Several residents from Sullivan County attended the Rally for RItz at the statehouse today. L-R: Donita Mize, Lynn Hamilton, Jack R Mize, Luke Robbins, Nancy Hunt and Don Hunt.

INDIANAPOLIS- People from all across Indiana are demonstrating their support of public education today at a rally for state schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz, including a group of several residents from Sullivan County.

They’re at the Indiana Statehouse in Indianapolis to voice opposition against bills advancing in the Legislature to move authority away from Ritz as the head of the state board of education..A bill that would allow the State Board of Education to replace Ritz as its leader is expected to be voted on by the state Senate.

“We braved the weather to show our support for State School Superintendent Glenda Ritz!” Nancy Hunt, of Sullivan, said this afternoon. She noted the sign she was holding reads, ”It’s not Democracy to steal my vote!”

Hunt described the large crowd as enthusiastic with “great” speeches given by various speakers, including senators, teachers, parents, teacher organizations.

“As a retired public school teacher I care about what is being forced on public schools. We need to stop the high stakes testing and put students needs ahead of testing companies. We need to let teachers run their classrooms again. They know what is best for their students,” Hunt said.

The rally comes just after the House approved a resolution to remove Ritz, elected as superintendent in 2012. Republican Gov. Mike Pence currently appoints all the other 10 board members. Some allege the action is political, as Ritz is currently the only Democrat who was elected to the statewide office.

Organizers of the event include the Indiana Coalition for Public Education, the Indiana Parent Teachers Association and teachers unions.

“Regardless of the stand point on Superintendent Glenda Ritz the Indiana people (1.3 million) elected her and the Indiana government does not need to control the Education board. Our schools need to be equitable, fair and objective,” Erin Johns, Indiana Friends Committee on Legislation, stated last week in a letter to public officials.

Lucy Perry can be reached at lperry@newsbarb.com

Several residents from Sullivan County attended the Rally for RItz at the statehouse today. L-R: Donita Mize, Lynn Hamilton, Jack R Mize, Luke Robbins, Nancy Hunt and Don Hunt. Several residents from Sullivan County attended Rally for RItz at the statehouse today. Several residents from Sullivan County attended Rally for RItz at the statehouse today. Several residents from Sullivan County attended Rally for RItz at the statehouse today.Luke Robbins is pictured. Several residents from Sullivan County attended Rally for RItz at the statehouse today.

Northview Band & Guard Hosts 27th Annual Chicken Noodle Dinner & Pops Concert

North Clay Middle School Jazz Band plays an energetic song in the Northview Auditorium Sunday.

BRAZIL- Northview Band & Guard hosted its 27th Annual Chicken Noodle Dinner & Pops Concert today at the high school.

Several middle and high school performances were held in the auditorium and gymnasium at Northview High School in Brazil. Those attending were able to experience performances from the Northview High School and North Clay Middle School concert and jazz bands,and also hear performances by the North Clay Cadet Corps, Northview Winter Guard, Percussion Ensemble and Northview Indoor Drumline.

The menu drew a large crowd to enjoy the fundraiser event, which included chicken and noodles, mashed potatoes, green beans, slaw or applesauce, rolls and dessert.

Lucy Perry can be reached at lperry@newsbarb.com

North Clay Middle School  seventh-grade band student entertain the crowd in the Northview High School auditorium Sunday.

North Clay Middle School seventh-grade band students entertain the crowd in the Northview High School auditorium Sunday.

Northview High School Band performs at the 27th annual Pops Concert in the auditorium Sunday.

Northview High School Band performs at the 27th annual Pops Concert in the auditorium Sunday.

Robbery Suspect Flees Regions Bank with Undisclosed Amount of Money

Terre Haute Police Department

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Sewage Sludge Meeting Fuels Powerdyne President’s Temper

Powerdyne President Geoff Hirson (at podium) is impatient with ongoing plans with the city to strike up a deal to proceed with a sludge-to-fuel plant . A large audience attended a special city council meeting Thursday.

TERRE HAUTE – Up until last night, during a special city council meeting, the residents of Terre Haute had yet to hear from Powerdyne representatives about the proposed renewable fuel facility and the contracts regarding the sewage sludge- to-diesel fuel plans.

Powerdyne Chief Exectutive Officer/President Geoff Hirson, a native of South Africa now residing in California,  made a strong first impression. He was quick to defend the privately held company’s technology, which he admitted he “holds close to his chest.”.

“I really hope we can put this project together, get rid of all the– I don’t want to use swear words, but — get rid of all the stuff that’s been going on, and make it good for both Powerdyne, the city and the community,” Hirson said.

After a Powerpoint presentation before the city council, he took questions regarding the related contracts with the city for the sludge-to-fuel project in front of a standing room only audience at Terre Haute City Hall.

In the end, Hirson basically just said take it or leave it.

Friction seemed to spark when Councilman Todd Nation — alleging secrecy in the plans and contracts with the city —  provoked Hirson by asking him to see a facility with its existing technology, expressing implied skepticism in the legitimacy of the corporation.

Responding to that question regarding his business from Councilman Nation, Hirson stated he wanted to feel welcome in Terre Haute, “But when you push my buttons… all I want to know is, do you want me in the city or do you not want me in the city?  For me, it’s get on a plane and go home, I got other projects,” he said. He then jested that if he were proposing opening a restaurant, for example, in the town, would his motives be questioned?

Aside from that conflict, a few of the council members were welcoming to Hirson. Councilman Norman Loudermilk, in particular, said he was willing  to suggest a tax abatement for the project.

All the contracts with Powerdyne and the related companies are being renegotiated and officials hope to have them ready to go in time for next month’s city council meeting for review. Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennett said Powerdyne and its related contracts are being revised by Mark Thompson, director of wastewater plant, city attorney Chou-il Lee and himself, due to recent opposition in the community and alleged flaws.

Consultants and engineers spoke to the audience to explain the formalities involved in transporting the required sludge to meet the demand from remote cities and the process to alter it into fuel to clear up months of confusion in the talks so far.

Hirson outlined the waste- to- fuel project, explaining there are currently nearly 200 such facilities in the United States, of which 114 are bio-fuel projects. He noted that negative press in Terre Haute has, in fact, brought favorable attention and interest in his company. In the event the project gets the go ahead locally, Hirson said he is prepared to issue a $3 million “concession” check at groundbreaking for the facility.

“I know everyone is asking ,how are we going to make all this fuel with so little sludge? Well, we don’t only use sludge, obviously,” he said, explaining they would use feedstock — or, raw materials — in place of the previously stated green waste. “We can convert any kind of organic material into synthetic gas.”

He explained the concept is nothing new and actually is environmentally friendly. The carbon gasification process has been around 180 years and there is no waste or harmful emissions. He noted that the finished fuel product, created in the process, looks as clear as water. It is due to a clean fuel process, a “closed loop system” needed in today’s environment, he said.

“Our fuel facility that we’re going to build is going to be owned and operated without any city financial investment, “Hirson assured the audience. “We never came to this city and said, ‘Help us to build this plant.'”

During the building of the proposed plant, 2,000 construction jobs could be created. About 100 to 130  employees would be needed to keep the plant running, he said, noting the jobs would be in the $30 and above- per-hour range.

A scientist, Roger Ward, and an engineer, Craig Shumaker, each spoke from the podium, voicing their concerns of the practicality of the sludge-to-fuel plans.

“It would be one thing if this plant was located in the center of Indianapolis. Even that wouldn’t be enough sewage sludge,” Ward said.

And, the process of dewatering the sludge is another concern.

“The particular problem with the sludge, is much of the fuel in the carbon in sludge is used to dry out the sludge,” Shumaker said.

Lucy Perry can be reached at lperry@newsbarb.com

Terre Haute City Council meeting Thursday included discussion about a proposed renewable fuel plant in the city. Mayor Duke Bennett is pictured at the podium. Terre Haute City Council Members listen to discussion about Powerdyne's proposed renewable fuel plant. Scientist Craig Shumaker  and Roger Ward  discuss the shortfall of necessary sludge needed in the proposed sludge-to-fuel plant in Terre Haute. Terre Haute City Councilman Todd Nation sparks a debate with Powerdyne President Geoff Hirson(not pictured)Thursday. Council President John Mullican is to Nation's right. Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennett says the Powedyne and related contracts are being revised, during the City Council meeting Thursday. Powerdyne President Geoff Hirson speaks to a large crowd at Terre Haute City Hall Thursay, regarding sludge-to-fuel process. The proposed Powerdyne renewable fuel plant in Terre Haute drew a large crowd to Thursday's special city council meeting at Terre Haute City Hall.  Pictured are people in line almost an hour before the meeting started at 5 p.m. A specila Terre Haute City Council meeting was held Thursday in the City Courtroom at City Hall regarding the proposed renewable fuel plant in the city.

AT&T Expands Mobile Internet Wireless Capacity

Photo Courtesy of Riley Kaminer, taken November 27th,  2008

Customers in Linton should experience improved mobile Internet coverage and voice performance as a result of continued investment and innovation by AT&T. The company has completed a key initiative in its ongoing efforts to enhance the wireless capacity and performance of its mobile Internet network in Linton.

“As part of the Linton community, we’re always looking for new opportunities to provide an enhanced customer experience, and our investment in the local wireless network is just one way we’re accomplishing that,” said Bill Soards, president of AT&T Indiana. “We’re working to build a 4G network that’s smarter and better to provide our customers with a superior mobile Internet experience.”

According to an AT&T press release, the network enhancement adds new “carriers,” to the Linton cell site to more efficiently manage available spectrum and increase mobile Internet capacity. The expansion helps manage ever-growing demand for mobile Internet services by allocating more network resources for AT&T’s mobile Internet network.

“In rural communities like ours, this kind of investment is crucial,” said Linton Mayor John Wilkes.  “Improved mobile Internet coverage allows our citizens and businesses to get things done quickly and efficiently, and we’re thrilled to hear that AT&T is bringing the latest technologies our way.”

AT&T invested nearly $1.75 billion in its wireless and wired networks in Indiana between 2011 through 2013, driving a wide range of upgrades to enhance speed, reliability, coverage and performance for residents and business customers. AT&T 4G LTE was launched in Bloomington in April 2012, and expanded to Linton in Oct. 2014. Its 4G LTE network covers more than 300 million people.

Sullivan City Council Discusses Problems With Grease in Sewer Line

Sullivan Sewer Department Superintendent Chris Olson (standing) talks about ongoing problem with restaurant grease in the system Tuesday evening during the Sullivan City Council meeting.

SULLIVAN-  Sullivan Mayor Clint Lamb noted during the city council meeting tonight that he has appointed Brian Pound, city building commissioner, and sewer department superintendent Chris Olson as restaurant inspectors to tackle the issue of grease clogging a sewer line.

Lamb suggested the two appointees follow up regular inspections with a letter, upon a recommendation by city attorney Angela Bullock, that a schedule of inspections take place, with the potential for citations for those not in compliance with the code.

“That’s been the problem, nobody’s followed up,” Olson said, explaining that there are three restaurants on the line. He added that no matter what, with any restaurant, you’re going to have problems with grease.

In other business:

  • Harris Street storm water project is tentatively set for April, weather permitting.
  • Sullivan City Police Chief Jesse Morin said the department has been asked to speak with students at RCA Thursday morning about bullying and respect. He also noted there have been several calls for extra patrols this month.
  • Sullivan Fire Chief Rob Robertson reported that personnel is completing required EMS training at Sullivan County Community Hospital.
  • Chris Waymier, street superintendent, asked the council permission to place several pieces of city equipment in the upcoming Future Farmer’s of America Auction and said he will also address the Board of Public Works regarding the matter. The council unanimously approved a motion by Jack Alexander that the items could be placed in the auction.  Waymier also reported the department personnel has been patching potholes around the city.They’ve used the new street sweeper on Wolfe Street for salt and sand. They’ve been working on a cleaning a ditch on N. State Street, where he said a water problem on the street. He said another problem with standing water is at E. Beech and Stewart Streets. He updated the council on clean-up of the former Runt’s site.

Lucy Perry can be reached at lperry@newsbarb.com

UPDATE: Vigo and Clay Schools Placed on Lockdown After Threats

Suspect in school threats apprehended today

UPDATE: Chief Deputy John Moats, of the Vigo County Sheriff’s Office reports that the suspect in today’s school threats is identified as Mark Ralston. According to Moats: Ralston exited the residence without incident and surrendered to officers. Mr. Ralston was transported to a local hospital for evaluation and further investigation. There were no weapons in Ralston’s possession and there are no pending charges at this time.

—-

One potentially dangerous suspect has been apprehended and an investigation is ongoing after Vigo and Clay County schools were placed on lockdown today.

Vigo and Clay County school corporations were placed on lockdown this morning after information was received by law enforcement officials regarding a potentially suicidal male who posted threats on social media.

According to a report from the Clay County Sheriff’s Office,  during the investigation by the Vigo County Sheriff’s Office, several more threats were made by the suspect.  The Clay County Sheriff’s Office was then alerted the suspect was in Clay County, possibly the Bowling Green area.

As officers canvased the area, more theats allegedly were made, resulting in the decision to lock down the schools.It is noted that the threats were targeted specifially to Vigo County Schools. Clay County schools were manned with off duty officers while the manhunt ensued.

The yet-to-be identified male suspect was located in rural Owen County at around 2:45 p.m., just outside Bowling Green, near his mother’s residence. He surrendered to officers peacefully and is being held in Vigo County, according to the report.

Barack Obama Lays Out Free College Plan in Indianapolis

President Barack Obama answers a spectator question at Ivy Tech Community College.

INDIANAPOLIS – President Barack Obama received a warm Indiana welcome at Ivy Tech Community College here today. Many students and faculty members were happy to hear more details about his latest proposed budget, which includes funding for students to attend two years at a community college for free.

After a glowing introduction from Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, Obama laid out some of his plans for what he is calling “Middle Class Economics.” He said the key to continued economic growth and success for the middle class will be Democrats and Republicans setting aside their differences to achieve what is best for the country.

“In parts of Indiana, the only blue you will ever see is on Colts signs,” Obama joked. “And in Chicago, the only red is for the Chicago Bulls.”

However, he said that he feels people on both sides have more in common than they may think. He added that Washington has to be willing to have a “healthy debate” about how to help all Americans have a brighter future.

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard introduces President Barack Obama at Ivy Tech Community College in Indianapolis. President Barack Obama listens to a question from an Ivy Tech student. Indiana Pacers' voice Eddie White asks President Obama about the status of his basketball game. President Barack Obama shakes hands with members of the crowd after his speech and Q & A session at Ivy Tech in Indianapolis.

Obama’s ideas include making quality childcare and healthcare available and affordable for everyone, providing workers with paid leave and sick days, helping out first-time homebuyers and making it easier to save for retirement. A big part of ensuring that people are able to work in decent paying jobs involves giving them the education they need to get those jobs, he explained.

“I want to make sure that this is a country where hard work is rewarded,” Obama said. “Everybody does best when everybody is doing their part, when everybody’s got a fair shot, everybody’s playing by the same set of rules.”

Under Obama’s plan, students could complete two-year associate’s degrees, or get in their first two years free, and then transfer to another school and pay to complete their desired four-year degrees.

“This is not, you get two years of free goofing off,” Obama explained. “This is to help you achieve your goals, but you have to put in the effort.”

Those who want to take advantage of free college courses would not be getting a “completely free lunch,” as Obama put it, but would have to maintain at least a 2.5 grade point average, keep their attendance up and stay on track to graduate on time.

“The good news is we can actually afford to pay for all of this,” he told the crowd. “We don’t have to add to our deficits, if we’ve got some smart spending cuts, and if we fix the tax code that is filled up with specific interest loopholes and kickbacks for folks that don’t need them.”

Obama cited a current trust fund loophole that he said allows the top one percent to avoid paying taxes on unearned income, and companies that currently have $2 trillion overseas that they are not paying taxes on. He added that he wants to offer tax breaks to companies that stay and keep their money in the United States.

“I’m not pushing these ideas for my sake,” he said. “I’m pushing them because I think this is where America needs to go.”

Additionally, he said, he feels that if others in Washington have better ideas, they should step up and share them.

“If Republicans disagree with the way I’m trying to solve these problems, they should put forward their own plans, and I’m happy to look at them, but what we can’t do is ignore the problems and pretend that they don’t matter, or pretend that families aren’t out there struggling and doing their best,” Obama said.

After speaking, Obama fielded a number of questions from the audience that ranged from a light-hearted challenge from the Indiana Pacers’ Eddie White for the President to play Indiana Fever star Tamika Catchings in a game of one-on-one to more serious inquiries, like how the free college proposal could affect the College Choice 529 Plan and the value of having an associate’s degree.

In the meantime, he encouraged Hoosiers to make sure that their voices are heard. The system does not work, he said, unless the people get involved.

2015 Primary: Sullivan City Election Candidates

Sulivan City Hall


2015 Primary, Sullivan City

Election candidates

 

DEMOCRATIC

MAYOR

CLINT D. LAMB

CLERK-TREASURER

SUE PITTS

COUNCIL DISTRICT #1

JACK ALEXANDER

JOHN M. ELLINGTON

COUNCIL DISTRICT #2

GENE BONHAM

COUNCIL DISTRICT #3

RAYMOND PIRTLE

COUNCIL DISTRICT #4

SCOTT BROWN

THOMAS WICZULIS

COUNCIL-AT-LARGE

STEVEN D. MARTINDALE

JIM MINKS

REPUBLICAN

MAYOR

JEFF WAMSLEY

CLERK-TREASURER

ROBERT (BOB) DICKERSON

COUNCIL DISTRICT #1

NO CANDIDATE

COUNCIL DISTRICT #2

JOHN G. MCLAUGHLIN V

COUNCIL DISTRICT #3

NO CANDIDATE

COUNCIL DISTRICT #4

ELI TRIPPS

COUNCIL-AT-LARGE

JEFF A. TINCHER

Sullivan Youth Football League Sign-Ups Set for Feb. 15 and 24

Sullivan County Youth League sign-up is scheduled for Feb.15 and 24.

SULLIVAN COUNTY-  The Sullivan Youth Football League is hosting its second annual flag football league for all Sullivan County Kindergarteners, first and second- graders.

Sign-ups will be Feb. 15 from 12 p.m.- 2 p.m. and Feb. 24 from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. at the Central Park Gym (the site of the former Central  Elementary School.)  Cost is $60 per child and $40 for each additional sibling.  All participating children will receive a NFL reversible jersey that they get to keep at the end of the season.

Sullivan Youth Football League President Kevin Arnett said organizers hope to build on the enthusiasm from a successful inaugural league last year. He notes that 89 kids signed up then, and they expect to have approximately 120 kids sign up this spring.

“The community has really bought in to what we are doing for our youth, and that was proven with our Super Bowl event last year,” Arnett said. “This isn’t just for Sullivan kids; we are going to ensure that we target all the elementary schools in Sullivan County. We want everyone to experience this fun event!”

Flag football is not only safe for children, but with more flexible play guidelines, it also allows opportunities for young boys and girls to participate in ways not possible in the more aggressive type of the sport. Arnett explained that some parents are concerned about concussions in tackle football. Because flag football is safer, those parents are more likely to let their child play flag football instead.

“In tackle football, there is a weight limit to who can carry the football. In flag football there is no weight limit, so kids can enjoy playing quarterback or running back that are normally over the weight limit in tackle football,” he said.

Important Dates:

Sign Up: Feb. 15 and Feb. 24

Draft: March 8

First Practice: March 12

First Game: April 4

Playoffs: May 30

Super Bowl: May 31

All games will be played at the Sullivan County Sports Complex.

For more information, contact Kevin Arnett 812-887-8551 or Adam Porter at 812-249-6735.

See NewsBarb article and photos from the Inaugural Super Bowl event.

Letter to the Editor: Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

Southwest School Corp. Administration Building in Sullivan. 
(NewsBarb Photo/L.PERRY)

Dear Parents (and other adults who care about kids),

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month. Did you know?

  • 1 in 4 teens have been in an abusive relationship.
  • 1 in 11 Indiana High School students reports being physically forced to have sex.
  • About 1 in 5 high school girls have been physically or sexually abused by a dating partner each year.
  • Approximately 8% of boys and 9% of girls have been to an emergency room for an injury received from a dating partner.
  • Rates of drug, alcohol, and tobacco use are more than twice as high in girls who report physical dating violence or sexual abuse than for girls who report not having experienced violence.
  • 73% of teens said they would turn to a friend for help.
  • 75% of parents don’t talk to their kids about relationships.

The Knox/Sullivan Communities that Care Project, under the umbrella agency of Children and Family Services, Inc. and Hope’s Voice, is providing the Safe Dates curriculum to all Knox and Sullivan County 6th or 7th graders in their health class. This curriculum is designed to help students define caring relationships, understand why people are abusive, recognize the red flags of abusive relationships and give them the tools to develop healthy relationships for themselves and to help their friends who might be in an abusive relationship.

Relationship interactions exist on a spectrum and it may be difficult to recognize when the behavior crosses over into abuse. The following are a few red flags that might indicate if a relationship is abusive:

  • Calling a dating partner names.
  • Isolating a dating partner from friends and family.
  • Requiring dating partner to change their behavior because they are jealous.
  • Ignoring their dating partner’s feelings.
  • Any physically harmful behavior: hitting, shaking pushing, pinching, etc.
  • Any type of forced or unwanted sexual actions, even forced kissing can be considered abusive.

While the statistics are scary, talking to your kids shouldn’t be. Although your kids may not tell you this, they actually want to have conversations. Ultimately, by initiating conversations with your teens, you have the power to set them up to have safer and healthier relationships throughout their lives. Keep in mind that conversations (talking AND listening) are better than interrogations (shooting questions at them and expecting immediate answers).

We urge you to visit stand4respect.org to find information on how to start conversations about these topics. You can also watch a video on how to connect with your teen at: http://www.drugfree.org/videos/bonding-with-your-teen/.

Talk with your teens. Together we have the power to prevent this problem.

For more information, call Children and Family Service, Inc. at 812-886-4470.

Sincerely,

Tina Hidde

Miranda Martin

Knox/Sullivan CTC Project

2015 Sullivan City Primary Candidates: Wamsley Running for Mayor

Sullivan native Jeff Wamsley enters the race for mayor in the 2015 primary. Also pictured, Sullivan County Clerk Peggy Goodman.

SULLIVAN- Republican mayoral candidate Jeff Wamsley, 54, of Sullivan, is running unopposed in the May primary on his party’s ticket. Incumbent Clint Lamb (D,) 34, is also the only candidate on the Democratic ticket at this time.

Wamsley is employed at INDOT and is married to Bonita. The couple has two children, Jade and Jacob.

“I want to do something for the city; I’ve worked with government most of my life,” Wamsley said today. “I got an opportunity here, so I’m going to give it a shot.”

Also note, Councilwoman Debra Ayers has withrawn her candidacy for city council district # 2. No one has filed city council district #4 at this time.

2015 Sullivan City Primary Candidates

Here is a complete list of candidates for city offices, as reported by Sullivan County Clerk Peggy Goodman today. The last day to file is Friday, Feb. 6.

Mayor

Clint D. Lamb – Democrat

Jeff Wamsley – Republican

Clerk

Sue Pitts – Democrat

City Council District #1

Jack W. Alexander – Democrat

John M. Ellington – Democrat

City Council District #2

Wm. Gene Bonham – Democrat

City Council District #3

Raymond Pirtle – Democrat

City Council District #4

No Candidates

City Council-at-Large

Steven D. Martindale – Democrat

Jim Minks – Democrat

Lucy Perry can be reached at lperry@newsbarb.com

2015 Sullivan City Primary Candidates: Wamsley Running for Mayor

Sullivan native Jeff Wamsley enters the race for mayor in the 2015 primary. Also pictured, Sullivan County Clerk Peggy Goodman.

SULLIVAN- Republican mayoral candidate Jeff Wamsley, 54, of Sullivan, is running unopposed in the May primary on his party’s ticket. Incumbent Clint Lamb (D,) 34, is also the only candidate on the democratic ticket at this time.

Wamsley is employed at INDOT and is married to Bonita. The couple has two children, Jade and Jacob.

“I want to do something for the city; I’ve worked with government most of my life,” Wamsley said today. “I got an opportunity here, so I’m going to give it a shot.”

Also note, Councilwoman Debra Ayers has withrawn her candidacy for city council district # 2. No one has filed city council district #4 at this time.

2015 Sullivan City Primary Candidates

Here is a complete list of candidates for city offices, as reported by Sullivan County Clerk Peggy Goodman today. The last day to file is Friday, Feb. 6.

Mayor

Clint D. Lamb – Democrat

Jeff Wamsley – Republican

Clerk

Sue Pitts – Democrat

City Council District #1

Jack W. Alexander – Democrat

John M. Ellington – Democrat

City Council District #2

Wm. Gene Bonham – Democrat

City Council District #3

Raymond Pirtle – Democrat

City Council District #4

No Candidates

City Council-at-Large

Steven D. Martindale – Democrat

Jim Minks – Democrat

Lucy Perry can be reached at lperry@newsbarb.com

Terre Haute to receive a recycling bin grant

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – The city of Terre Haute will be receiving a recycling bin grant for select locations around the city.

Terre Haute will get 30 recycling bins to be placed at City Hall, the government campus, the police station and all city fire stations.

This grant is a part of a national recycling bin grant program made possible by Keep America Beautiful and The Coca-Cola Foundation.

For the 9th year this national recycling bin grant is providing nearly 4,500 recycling bins to colleges and universities, nonprofits and local governments.

“We are doing things the City has never done before to become a greener community,” said Mayor Duke Bennett. “This is another step forward in addressing the litter problem in our community.”

The recipients were chosen by Keep America Beautiful based on criteria including the extent of their need, recycling experience and their ability to sustain the program in the future.

Military to partner with Purdue for greener energy

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Purdue University is teaming up with the U.S. Navy on a project to help the military tap into alternative power sources.

Purdue President Mitch Daniels and U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus signed an agreement Thursday to work together to use greener fuels in the Navy and U.S. Marine Corps.

They hope to convert up to half of the Navy and Marine Corps’ energy to alternative sources such as biofuels by 2020 using energy conservation, renewable-energy generation and new technologies.

Mabus also promised to cut petroleum use in Navy commercial vehicles in half by next year.

Purdue is also establishing the Purdue Military Research Initiative. That program will pay for graduate education for up to 10 active-duty members of the military, including studies in alternative fuels and energy technologies.

Officials looking for the Driver of a Crash from Sunday Morning


CLINTON, Ind. (WTHI) – A single car accident in Vermillion County. Tonight officials are searching for the driver. Very few details are available right now. But here’s what police told us. There was a crash this morning in Clinton, Indiana. Officials believe it was a stolen car. The driver left the scene and has not been found at this time. At this point, no one else was believed to be in the car. If you have any information on the accident or the driver, you can always report that anonymously. Call crime stoppers at 812-238-stop.

The cost of maintaining a cemetery

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – How do you plan on celebrating your mom this Mother’s Day?

For some it’s a time for visiting a lost loved one, but too often cemeteries where people are laid to rest look less than peaceful.

A Mother’s Day visit to family graves often shines a light on plots choked with weeds and overgrown with neglect.

“A lot of times you’ll have wind damage, you’ll have vandalism, limbs fall and so forth, so you have to maintain those as much as you can,” said Dean Strohm, president of the City Council in Clinton.

There are only two cemeteries in Clinton but Strohm said maintaining them is not an easy task.

The winter storms took a toll on some stones at Riverside Cemetery, the oldest cemetery of the two.

“Our tombstones are very old and very fragile,” said Strohm.

It’s not just the harsh winter that plays a role, but there is also a financial strain.

It cost the city over $100,000 a year to maintain the cemeteries.

“If you sell a lot today at maybe $300 then that never changes and your maintenance for that lot is for eternity,” said Strohm.

From lawn care services once a week, to road maintenance, the upkeep can be costly on a tight budget.

“We do have a labor force but it’s only two people that are assigned to the cemetery, so it’s not that you have a whole workforce that you can dedicate to that,” said Strohm.

Despite the difficulties they put in extra effort before holiday weekends.

“They’ve entrusted us with the maintaining of that cemetery for their loved ones and we intend to fulfill that obligation,” said Strohm.

If you live in Clinton and notice a problem at once of the local cemeteries you are asked to contact the mayor’s office.

Preparing to ‘Paint the town pink’ for Mother’s Day

WABASH VALLEY, Ind. (WTHI) – Organizers are preparing to ‘Paint the Town Pink’ with the goal of helping to pay for mammograms for uninsured and under-insured women.

The Wabash Valley Breast Cancer Survivor organization reports early detection is key. And every woman should get the care they need.

“It can mean the difference between a lumpectomy and a mastectomy. It can mean the difference between having a lot of chemotherapy and not having chemotherapy and the difference between having radiation and not having radiation,” Coral Chochran, volunteer director. “So, we think it’s important as cancer survivors to try to catch it early.”

The event starts at the WTHI-TV studio on Friday at 6:30 a.m. – 6 p.m., or until all of the carnations are sold out. There will be $1 carnations and floral arrangements at varying prices. For more information or to order an arrangement, call (812) 249-2951.

Complete list of locations selling carnations starting at 10 a.m.:

  • First Financial Bank’s (Downtown Terre Haute, Springhill, Southland, Meadows, West Terre Haute, Plaza North, Rosedale, Clinton and Sullivan)
  • Rural King
  • Inside the Meadows Shopping Mall near MCL and Stein Mart
  • Sam’s Club
  • Union Hospital Clinton
  • UAP Medical Office Building
  • Harris Bank in Sullivan

WVCF celebrates Employee Recognition Day

CARLISLE, Ind. (WTHI) – The Wabash Valley Correctional Facility in Carlisle celebrated Employee Recognition Day on Wednesday.

Staff members receiving special recognition for their outstanding achievements over the past year included:

Employee of the year: Teresa Littlejohn (Greene County)
Supervisor of the year: Lt. Christopher Nicholson (Knox County)
Officer of the year: John Cruise (Sullivan County)
Rookie of the year: Nathan Lyday (Sullivan County)

Six more employees were honored for five years of service, 11 were honored for 10 years of service, 20 for 15 years of service, 19 for 20 years of service, 5 for 25 years of service and one person for 30 years of service.

Aluminum cans signal opportunity for schools

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — One day five years ago, Mary Stumpp started picking up aluminum cans from the streets of Indianapolis. The first day, she gathered a dozen.

Fast-forward to today: Stumpp has collected 730,759 cans, or 24,358 pounds of aluminum.

But Stumpp’s one-woman movement isn’t just about recycling. It’s also a way to promote her true passion — public education, The Indianapolis Star reported. Stumpp has donated all of the proceeds from her can collecting — more than $14,300 — to Indianapolis Public Schools, earning her the moniker The Can Lady.

“I was taught the one thing you deserve is an opportunity, and the best opportunity people get is an education,” said Stumpp, who grew up in Wheeling, West Virginia, and attended public schools in Columbus, Ohio, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, Lexington, Kentucky, and Boulder, Colorado. “Public education is a public trust, and you can’t violate that trust.”

The money has gone to teachers who need supplies and equipment they could normally not afford. Think iPads, playground balls or special stools for kids who learn better when they can wiggle.

Stumpp said she became motivated to do something after hearing about kids left behind while classmates went on a field trip because they couldn’t pay the fee.

“I could sit and whine about it, or I could get up and participate in my community and WORK for change!”

And work she has.

In addition to working full time at Broad Ripple Power & Light, she is in her red pickup truck by 7 a.m. almost every day collecting cans.

Her initiative has grown to include collection sites at seven IPS schools and nearly 35 businesses.

Stumpp’s projects are promoted at area Patachou restaurants, said Rachael Hoover, director of social sustainability for Cafe Patachou.

“Mary really gives people a compelling reason to take the extra step to separate their aluminum from their other waste,” Hoover said.

Stumpp, 52, also helps organize metal drives as school projects.

Recently, she helped 360 students, as well as teachers and parents, of School No. 2 organize a metal drive. They collected 8,800 pounds of scrap that was sold to Trinity Metals for $1,600.

“I am over-the-moon proud of my students,” said Principal Andrea Hunley. She had students come up with suggestions on how the money should be spent. iPads are a frequent request.

“I think a lot of people care about what happens in public schools and can’t find a way to help … and Mary has figured out a way to make a difference,” said Linda Broadfoot, executive director of the IPS Education Foundation.

Stumpp has been gratified to help public schools while teaching about recycling. “I’m not paying forward. I am paying back,” she said.

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Information from: The Indianapolis Star, http://www.indystar.com

Water main break in Clinton shut off water


CLINTON, Ind. (WTHI) – 5/7 UPDATE: All water was restored to residents of Clinton around 9:30 Tuesday evening. The entire town of Clinton will be on a boil order until further notice.

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A water main break at Elm and Water Street in Clinton shut off water to the city of Clinton for several hours.

It all started because of construction.

The city’s been working on updating their sewer system.

The water was spewing up at Elm and Water streets.

Here was the problem.

A board of works official said they’ve been out there excavating. But no one was there this morning when the water main erupted.

But they say it’s an easy fix.

“Last night, we had a two-inch main. So we had to open the fire hydrants to relieve some pressure to be able to fix that leak. Then, this morning when we came in, this was gushing out, so putting the pressure back on the main probably caused this to leak,” said Bob Alexander, board of works and council-at-large.

They had to shut the water tower down for about four hours in order to fix the leak.

The entire city was without water during that time.

Some businesses we spoke to went ahead and closed for the evening.

This won’t cost the city any extra money or time.

It’s just a matter of inconvenience.

It’s important to note, the city of Clinton is under a 48-hour boil order from 8:00 Tuesday evening.

The Clinton Public Library closed early at 6:00 p.m. due to the water break.

Tall Grass can Lead to a Hefty Fine


TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) –  Rain and sunshine offers lots of help for greener grass. But that also means a chance for over-grown lawns. Take a look at this. Some yards looking more like a jungle. This is a house on Third Avenue in Terre Haute. Terre Haute code enforcement says overgrown lawns can be a health hazard. Lots of things are attracted to thick grassy areas, poison oak, mosquitoes, and more. Tall grass is against city code, and local enforcement will remind home-owners about the rules.

“We’ll send out a continuous abatement notice. You get one of these, either certified mail or taped to your front door one time. After you get one of these, you might want to stay up on your grass, because at that time, if it’s not cut within a ten-day period, or if it gets tall again, the city can come onto the property and mow the grass.”
That’s not complimentary lawn care. Code enforcement sends out hefty bills for cutting grass. If it continues, they can even place a lien on your property. Grass season is May 1st through October 31st.

 

New president and CEO named for Union Hospital, Inc.

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – The Board of Directors for Union Hospital, Inc. has announced a new President and Chief of Executive Officer effective May 5. Steven M. Holman will lead Union Hospital in Terre Haute, Union Hospital in Clinton and the Union Hospital Medical Group.

Holman comes to Terre Haute from Cincinnati where he served as president and central market leader of Jewish Hospital, a hospital within Mercy Health Partners, a division of Catholic Health Partners.

“I am thrilled and honored to be joining the Union Hospital team, and being part of the quality healthcare that Union Hospital has provided the Wabash Valley for decades,” said Holman. “I am passionate about the mission of the hospital, and look forward to working with the rich heritage that has long been established.”

Under his leadership, Jewish Hospital realized a $30 million financial turnaround, improved patient satisfaction scores and implemented population health management initiatives in collaboration with the Mercy Accountable Care Organization (ACO), along with positively impacting the hospital in many other ways.

“The Board strongly believes we found the right person to lead the organization,” said Molly Callahan, chairman of Union Hospital Board of Directors. “Steve has the experience and knowledge needed to successfully navigate the hospital in this era of healthcare reform.”

Injuries reported after two vehicle accident in Lyford

LYFORD, Ind. (WTHI) – Indiana State Police with other agencies responded to a two vehicle accident Friday morning in Lyford on U.S. 41 at 9th Street.

Officials report a 2001 Ford F150 pickup driven by Leonard Johnston, 71 of Clinton, was traveling north on U.S. 41 when he came around a curve to find a vehicle stopped waiting to turn left.

Johnston’s pickup struck the back of the 1996 Oldsmobile driven by Kenneth Lowe, Jr., 21 of Lyford.

Both drivers were transported to Union Hospital in Clinton by Parke County EMS and Vermillion County EMS. Johnston has head and facial injuries and Lowe had complaints of pain.

Neither sustained life threatening injuries.

Seatbelts were in use and drugs and/or alcohol were not a factor.

CRANE hosts ‘STEM’ science fair


Almost 100 kids from schools in Southern Indiana spent today Wednesday part in a ‘STEM’ (science, technology, engineering and math) science fair.

Hosted by Crane’s Westgate Academy, it gave students an opportunity to apply ‘STEM’ subjects to the real world.

“Well it’s important because I don’t think that students walk away from a typical class day really understanding what those subjects mean, it’s just something in a book, they’re maybe not getting the hands one experience that they need to really grow and develop it into something tangible,” said Melissa Pittman, NSWC Science Fair Lead.

Organizers say it’s a great way keep students engaged in the learning process.

“Students see the Universities are here and then, and then the Universities see the talent that’s out there,” said Tina Closser, NSWC Stem Coordinator.

Among some of the top competitors was Kimber Schnarr.

“I found that my hypothesis was correct, and when the mechanical models bent at acute angles then it will have more stress on it than obtuse angles,” Schnarr said.

This 6th grade student from Jasper proved through math — a theory that showed how people develop stress in the knees.