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Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Suspects picked the wrong county to throw rocks
07/22/16
When communication about the unspeakable stupidity of the recent U.S. 231 rock-throwing incidents first popped into my email inbox a couple months back, the subject line made me gasp. "Rock throwing arrests," read the line heralding arrival of an email from Owen County Prosecutor Don VanDerMoere, a likable former deputy prosecutor for Putnam County who still keeps in contact...
Where the election stands
By LEE H. HAMILTON ~ 07/22/16
The next few weeks in politics are a little like the All-Star break in baseball. With the Republican and Democratic national conventions upon us, it's a good time to step back and assess this year's election. Which carries bad news for both parties...
Our next vice president may well be chip off the old block
By ERIC BERNSEE, Editor ~ 07/14/16
Oh my gosh, as Yogi Berra supposedly once so aptly quipped, it's deja vu all over again. Really. I mean, Pokemon (for some reason known only to the card-carrying Pikachu) is popular again. Evan Bayh is back running for office. And the next vice president of the United States could be a Hoosier...
Hamilton: The case for limited government
By LEE H. HAMILTON ~ 07/14/16
Our political leaders must pragmatically make the sometimes uneasy co-existence of the market and government work. We have to wring duplication out of the bureaucracy and rigorously pursue efficient, effective, and accountable government. It has been 35 years since Ronald Reagan's first inaugural speech as president -- the one in which he said, "In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem."...
In the crosswalk or the crosshairs?
By ERIC BERNSEE, Editor ~ 07/07/16
Sad to say, but some apologies are in order here today. Yep, although I've written (a few years back, mind you) about how you take your chances in the crosswalks around the Putnam County Courthouse in hoping that vehicles approaching will stop but knowing full well they likely won't...
Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable disease
Jennifer Cannon, Extension Educator ~ 06/26/16
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, unpredictable disease of the central nervous system (CNS), which is made up of the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. It is thought to be an immune-mediated disorder, in which the immune system incorrectly attacks healthy tissue in the CNS...
For those eligible, voting should be easy
Lee H. Hamilton ~ 06/23/16
The elections process is not usually grist for inflammatory rhetoric. But this year has been different. Republican Donald Trump labeled the GOP primary process "crooked." Democrat Bernie Sanders suggested his party's use of super-delegates made its nominating process a "rigged system." For many voters, the intricacies of voting rules quickly became a topic of overriding interest...
So, after 25 years are we still an All-America City?
By ERIC BERNSEE Editor ~ 06/16/16
Twenty-five years ago this month, a contingent of community leaders descended upon San Antonio, Texas, and came home with more than sunburn, heartburn and souvenirs of the Alamo. That's right, it's been a quarter-of-a-century since the City of Greencastle emerged from the gloom-and-doom of the IBM departure to reign as one of the 10 chosen All-America Cities for 1991. A quarter century since President George Herbert Walker Bush hosted the winners in the Rose Garden...
What it takes to be an effective citizen
By LEE H. HAMILTON ~ 06/10/16
It's so easy in a presidential election year to forget that our system is not about a single person. This year especially, when the dynamics of the presidential contest have dominated news coverage so thoroughly that even the Senate and House races have largely disappeared from view, the crucial role that citizens play -- apart from serving as voters in the presidential drama -- isn't even an afterthought...
Just an educated guess, but this is tough
By ERIC BERNSEE Editor ~ 05/26/16
If you check out today's adjacent editorial, you'll get a glimpse of how much impact the retiring teachers and administrators leaving the Putnam County education system this year have had on generations of our children. Ten teachers and/or administrators. Overall 370 years in education. Collectively 319 in Putnam County...
Mowed down at home ... it happens
By ERIC BERNSEE, Editor ~ 05/19/16
If there's truly "no place like home," as Dorothy so emotionally postulates in "The Wizard of Oz," then why is it statistics show more than half of all accidents occur in such familiar surroundings? Fact is, most of my memorable missteps have occurred elsewhere...
Honey Bee swarms a possibility in 2016
Bob Gruener, President Putnam County Beekeepers Association ~ 05/19/16
There is a natural occurrence, which takes place every spring, that sometimes strikes fear in many people when it happens around where everyone lives. It's a warm spring day and you are out pulling weeds or spreading mulch, when all of a sudden you start to hear a buzzing noise in the air -- the noise gets louder and you look around to see a massive dark cloud of bees flying around your property. ...
It's getting harder to govern
Lee H. Hamilton ~ 05/12/16
We may not know who our next president is going to be, but here's one thing that's almost certain: he or she will take office with roughly half of the electorate unhappy and mistrustful. The notion that the president speaks for a broad coalition of Americans who are willing to set aside their differences on behalf of a compelling new vision for the country? It's vanished...
A little firsthand knowledge can be a dangerous thing
Eric Bernsee, Editor ~ 05/05/16
Some things are just plain difficult to explain until you have actually experienced them. Maybe not as tough as trying to explain what water tastes like. Or how sausage is made. Or, as the old adage goes, attempting to explain colors to a blind man...
Mystery solved, Boswell medals all returned
By ERIC BERNSEE, Editor ~ 04/28/16
As mysteries go, the tale we shared in this very space last Friday didn't quite have the staying power or cachet of the Holy Grail, the disappearance of Amelia Earhart or the pirate treasure of Oak Island. Nonetheless, it was the touching saga of a local man, Rex. O. Boswell, and how the precious medals he earned defending his country fell into my lap ... or at least ended up on the top of a dusty shelf in the basement of my new Greencastle home...
Letter from a hog wrestling protester (07/22/16)
To the Editor: As an earth/animal advocate I appreciate Putnam County's decision a few years ago to cease the hog wrestling event. This year less than 10 counties are sponsoring this event. I'm encouraging everyone I know to boycott these events. Please consider these comments from "A Hoosier Hog wrestler Protester."...
SPHS Post Prom thanks sponsors (06/23/16)
To the Editor: The 2016 South Putnam Post Prom Committee would like to thank our sponsors for their support. We would also like to thank the Indiana National Guard and Capt. Tom Helmer of the Putnam County Sheriff's Department for donating their time for our event...
Warning of dangerous weed invasion (06/23/16)
To the Editor: I am writing this letter to alert the people of Putnam County and the surrounding areas of the invasion of an obnoxious weed called Poison Hemlock. You can see it wildly growing along roadsides and fields now. It is a very large, sturdy plant, growing three- to eight-feet tall with white blooms which can produce millions of seeds, so it spreads readily...
Non-food Pantry promises wise use of funds (06/16/16)
To the Editor: We, at the Putnam County Non-food Pantry, were thrilled to be the latest recipient of the generous donation from the 100 Men Who Care. And to receive $12,100. Wow! What an honor! As the director of the Non-food Pantry, I see first-hand every month the tremendous need of this segment of our community. ...
PC Youth Development Commission says 'Thank you, Putnam County' (06/10/16)
To the Editor: On behalf of the Putnam County Youth Development Commission we wish to extend our heartfelt appreciation to the Putnam County community for the ongoing support of our 8th annual event "Dancing with the Putnam County Stars." Words cannot begin to express how humbled we are to live in such an exceptional community that embraces our mission of serving the children and youth of Putnam County. ...
VFW Auxiliary raises more than $6,000 for cancer center (06/02/16)
To the Editor: A March 12 cancer benefit, hosted by VFW Auxiliary of Greencastle, saw a total of $6,600 raised to aid the Putnam County Hospital's cancer clinic in Greencastle. A Pig Pie Bingo and a live auction highlighted the event which included food provided by several local vendors. All proceeds were donated directly to the clinic to "financially assist any patient who is receiving treatment."...
Students study freedom of speech, press (06/02/16)
For a third year, Greencastle Middle School eighth-graders had the honor of working with journalist Jeff McCall during our study of the Constitution. This collaboration was made possible through the Castle Program (Putnam County Coalition for Education and the Creative Arts Inc.) In each class, Mr. ...
Tests that hurt our schools (06/02/16)
There is an issue that is prevalent in our schools and we need to fix it. Every year in the spring semester, the students at our local schools in third grade and above take a standardized test called ISTEP. This is a test over the expected math and language arts knowledge for each grade up to tenth grade, but it is far from perfect...
Are high school sports dead? (06/02/16)
When I was younger, I remember attending a basketball game at Greencastle Middle School. The stands were packed and there was a roaring cheer block, but that was quite a few years ago. Now I am 14 years old, and I played basketball for the Tiger Cubs this year. The first games had quite a few people. But, after a few weeks there were substantially smaller crowds every game. It made me think a little, "Are sports dead?"...
Recycling makes the world a better place (06/02/16)
Do you want there to be a future for Earth? Do you want you and your family to have a clean environment without landfills everywhere? We can fix this problem before it starts. Restaurants and public places need to recycle to save this planet and here are reasons why...
The dirty truth about litter (06/02/16)
Americans produce about 250 million tons of trash each year. Much of that is ending up as litter. It's dirty, bad for the environment, and costly. This is a problem we can solve in our very own community. One of the most obvious reasons we shouldn't litter is, it's ugly. Do you want to live in a neighborhood full of trash? Neither do I, and neither do most people. Fewer people will want to live in our town if we continue on the path we are headed. So take pride in where you live...
Minimum wage raise could hurt economy (06/02/16)
How would you feel if prices increased just because minimum wage was raised? Minimum wage is being debated right now because people feel as if it should be raised. Minimum wage in Indiana right now is $7.25; however, most people want minimum wage raised to $10.10...
Player safety in sports (06/02/16)
Many serious injuries that athletes suffer come from sports with considerable player-to-player contact, such as soccer, basketball, and football. I believe that a large number of these injuries occur in situations where referees call the game too loosely, causing players to behave more aggressively. ...
4-H involvement can be interesting, fun (06/02/16)
4-H is a fun thing to do in the summer. It's not just showing farm animals; if you have a dog or a cat, you can show them too. 4-H keeps you busy year round when you aren't doing sports, and it offers scholarships after 10 years of participation. There are around 55 projects you can choose from besides animals. ...
Shredding event a big success (05/26/16)
To the Editor: On behalf of the Putnam County Board of Realtors, I would like to thank everyone that participated in our Community Shred Event on Saturday, May 14. The event was sponsored by Earl & Co. CPA and the Putnam County Board of Realtors, who covered the cost of the shredding truck and provided the shred service for free...
'What can we do for each other?' (05/19/16)
To the Editor: My wife, Jean, and I are greatly humbled by the support from so many people across State Senate District 24. As we have processed the results of the recent election, we want to extend our heartfelt gratitude to you. The ongoing conversations I have with people reveal a deep concern about what the future will bring for our children and grandchildren. Those concerns are my own, which is initially why I set out to run for public office...
Notes on the political scene (05/19/16)
To the Editor: Note to Sarah Palin and other Trump supporters: Apparently it is okay for Donald to "say it like it is." But, it is not okay for Speaker Ryan to "say it like it is." Note to all presidential candidates: You knew, or should have known, what the rules are for delegates to the conventions. So quit crying about it because things did not go your way...
Shredding event a big success (05/19/16)
To the Editor: On behalf of the Putnam County Board of Realtors, I would like to thank everyone that participated in our Community Shred Event on Saturday, May 14. The event was sponsored by Earl & Co. CPA and the Putnam County Board of Realtors, who covered the cost of the shredding truck and provided the shred service for free...
Realtors' bingo event aids scholarship fund (05/12/16)
To the Editor: On behalf of the Putnam County Board of Realtors, I would like to thank everyone that attended our bingo event on Saturday, April 23. Our devoted bingo players braved the extra traffic at the fairgrounds in hopes of big wins, and not wanting to disappoint our crowd, we gave away thousands in bingo and pull tab prizes. Although no one broke out in a hip hop or tango, there were many excited shouts of "Bingo!" throughout the night...
Happily celebrating No. 90 (05/12/16)
To the Editor: Thank you for printing the old picture of me as a freshman at the University of Minnesota (Milestones Page, April 30). When the picture was taken, the temperature was minus seven degrees. At that time, news was printed in the newspaper -- no TV, and not much radio...
Thanks for the memories (05/12/16)
To the Editor: I was reading in the May 2 Banner Graphic (in a Putnam County Museum item) that 50 years ago Paul Mason was campaigning for sheriff as a Democrat. He was my husband, Sheriff Kenneth J. Knauer's first deputy for eight years. We lived in the old jail on West Washington Street. I was the matron...
Feeling Putnam County proud (05/12/16)
To the Editor: In a time when the world seems to be falling apart, compassion, kindness and respect seem to be a thing of the past, I saw another example recently of why I love living in this county. I was traveling on U.S. 231 North yesterday (Monday) afternoon and got behind a funeral procession just north of Greencastle. It happened to be a long procession with Greencastle City Police escorts helping avoid accidents, so I knew why people were behaving ... they saw police cars...
Recalling the mettle of 'Uncle Rex' (05/05/16)
To the Editor: I would like to publicly thank you for finding and returning Uncle Rex Boswell's military medals to our family. We searched mother's old house knowing those medals should be there and had given up thinking they were lost. We are proud of our military family, including Uncles Ernie, Pete, Claude and Rex -- all children of Oscar and Marie (Martin) Boswell -- as well members of the family that served in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812...
Cooperative effort to save DAR cabin (05/05/16)
To the Editor: Washburn Chapter NSDAR wishes to extend a heartfelt thank you to all those who contributed to our Save the Cabin Fund. Work has begun on the replacement of the roof of the DAR cabin at Robe-Ann Park, with the cabin and smokehouse porch repairs to follow at an unspecified date....
Drug Take Back success again (05/05/16)
To the Editor: I wanted everyone to know that despite the weather this past Saturday we had a good turnout at the Drug Take Back Day. Once again I would like to thank the Greencastle School Corporation and Danny Green who assisted me on Saturday for the use of their facilities. It is partnerships like this that make our community a better and safer place to live...
Good people make the fair happen (07/22/16)
There's a sense of impending doom in the Banner Graphic newsroom this time of year. It's not so much that we hate the county fair, as we sometimes claim, we just disklike the unending busyness and exhaustion that comes with it. This year comes with a special sort of dread, though. While part of that is the broken air conditioner here at the office, in more fair-related matters, we are not looking forward to being without Mark Evans...
Be careful out there, friends (07/14/16)
If you've taken a look at the Putnam Scanner recently, you'll notice it's been big. We mean really big. What's going on, you ask? It's hard to say. The weather's been hot, so people have been agitated and getting in trouble. But the curious thing has been the increase in the number of accidents, without a lot of major inclement weather to blame...
New Indiana laws can have positive effect on Hoosiers (07/07/16)
Indiana enacted 215 new laws during the last General Assembly, and the majority of those went into effect while most of us were pondering the extended Fourth of July weekend. Effective July 1, a number of those new laws are now affecting how Hoosiers live and work and drive and play...