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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016
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...
No hidden treasure here but precious medals nonetheless
Eric Bernsee, Editor ~ 04/22/16
Growing up in a very suburban Chicago georgian-style 1950s home, I'd always longed for an old house with all its requisite eccentricities, nooks and crannies and remote areas to explore. What young boy didn't foster a desire to be one of the Hardy Boys and find a fortune in the attic or crammed into the floorboards?...
Alcohol and drugs don't mix with prom and graduation
Tim Bookwalter, Putnam County Prosecutor ~ 04/22/16
The traditional rites of spring -- prom and graduation -- can be exciting times when teens experience a taste of adulthood. But use of alcohol or illegal drugs are a good way to derail one's future. We all know consumption of alcoholic beverages by persons under 21 is illegal, but many teens don't appreciate that drinking reduces inhibitions and leads to bad decisions, whether it's driving under the influence or putting oneself in vulnerable situations. ...
Stop all that hugging, we're on deadline
Eric Bernsee, Editor ~ 04/07/16
April just seems to ooze with special weeks and quirky days as well as being a special month of noble observances. We all know by now -- thanks to the guys in teal ties and the girls in their mini-pearls -- that it's Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Thanks to the pinwheels, spinning their little heads off in the high winds recently on the courthouse lawn, we're told April is Child Abuse Prevention Month...
Teacher scholarships bill bipartisan success story
Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis ~ 04/07/16
Editor's note: Submitted by Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis), author of House Enrolled Act 1002, and Gordon Hendry, Democratic member of the Indiana State Board of Education Teachers are one of Indiana's most critical resources, touching the lives of thousands of students and shaping the future of our state...
Politicians and Sexual Assault Awareness Month
Laura Finley ~ 04/07/16
Awareness Month. Far more than a mere chance to don a teal ribbon and say you support survivors, the month is a critical time for raising awareness about rape and sexual assault. On March 31, 2016, President Obama issued a statement acknowledging the continued importance of the month and highlighting some of his administration's initiatives. ...
Hamilton: Before you reject the system, take time to understand it
Lee H. Hamilton ~ 03/31/16
If there's a theme that sets this political season apart, it's the voters' utter disdain for most of the people who practice politics. They're fed up with politicians, they've lost faith and confidence in the political elite, and they don't believe that the realm where politicians ply their craft -- government -- works...
Senator Donnelly: Hoosiers want Senate to do its job
By SEN. JOE DONNELLY ~ 03/17/16
Editor's Note: The following piece was submitted by U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Indiana) following the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia but prior to President Barack Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland to the vacant post. With the recent passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, the time has come for the president to nominate a new justice, and for the Senate to do its job and review, consider and either confirm or reject the president's nominee...
New DePauw president looking to leave his mark on community
By ERIC BERNSEE, Editor ~ 03/10/16
As zero hour neared for the DePauw University Board of Trustees to put an official stamp of approval on the 20th president in the storied history of the college Monday afternoon, some behind-the-scene posturing was evolving. The news of Mark McCoy's ascendancy from dean of the School of Music to president of the university would be embargoed for news media release until 7:45 p.m. ...
An inspiration for science and overcoming hardship
By MARK EVANS, 4-H Youth Educator ~ 02/16/16
Most likely, Jan. 5 was a day that local residents were still discussing college football bowl games, readjusting to work and school schedules after the holidays and gearing up all attempts to not break New Year's resolutions. While it did not appear on any calendars around the office, the date Jan. ...
Uncertain times, uncertain future
Nick Wilson, Staff Writer ~ 02/16/16
"The times, they are 'a changin'..." Singer-songwriter Bob Dylan first uttered these words more than 50 years ago and yet they still have an impact today. The Civil Rights movements, the decline of America's post-World War II prosperity and the liberal ideologies of the '60s undoubtedly had an influence on his lyrical choice, but why do they still ring true to people who were born 20 or even 30 years after his penny pencil first expressed the phrase?...
Like the Naked City, we've got a million of them
Eric Bernsee, Editor ~ 02/09/16
Supposedly there are eight million stories in "The Naked City." At least that's what the intro to the old black-and-white TV crime drama set in New York City told us. "And this has been one of them," the 1960s show sign-off would add. In court recently there were considerably fewer than eight million stories, and this piece will focus on none of them...
How to tell if Congress is working again on Capitol Hill
Lee H. Hamilton ~ 02/09/16
There have been encouraging signs that the Republican leadership on Capitol Hill wants to make Congress function again. They've talked about using conference committees more, allowing a more open process for rank-and-file members, enacting separate appropriation bills rather than using omnibus bills, and letting committees lead on legislation rather than hoarding all power in the leadership offices. ...
Prosecutors in need of tools to protect communities from violent drug dealing
Tim Bookwalter, Putnam County Prosecutor ~ 02/09/16
There are those who wreak havoc on our communities through the violence of drug trafficking and drug dealing. Under current Indiana law, a convicted heroin dealer could get as little as a one-year sentence (minimum on a Level 5), and all of that time could be spent on probation and not in a prison...
100 Men Who Care appreciated (04/22/16)
To The Editor: The Putnam County Non-Food Pantry would like to thank 100 Men Who Care (Putnam County) for their generous recent donation of over $11,000. Without their generosity, the Non-Food Pantry would not be able to supply families in need with paper products, cleaning supplies, bathing products and other necessities not covered with food stamps...
Recognizing our 9-1-1 dispatchers (04/07/16)
This week is National Public Safety Telecommunications/911 Dispatchers Week. This week is a time that we thank the men and women who are the "first" first-responders in emergency services. They are the backbone of law enforcement. Officers go to work every day knowing they might be on duty by themselves with backup nearly 20 minutes away, but they know the 911 dispatchers are always there ready to do anything they can to assist officers. ...
Kudos to 2016 Lilly Scholar choice, Zach Wilkerson (04/07/16)
We would like to take this public opportunity to congratulate Zach Wilkerson for being named 2016 Lily Endowment Community Scholar by the Putnam County Communituy Foundation. We cannot imagine a more-deserving person. Over the years it has been our privilege and pleasure to watch Zach grow into the incredible young man that he's become...
General Assembly's school voucher expansion disappoints local school superintendents (03/31/16)
Dear Editor: On March 10, 2016, the Indiana General Assembly once again voted to expand private school vouchers by approving HB 1005. Continuous voucher expansion has been the theme of the Indiana General Assembly since the 2011 session which established the current voucher program...
PCPL hosts adult winter reading program (03/31/16)
Dear Editor: As part of our continuing commitment to all forms of literacy, the Putnam County Public Library recently held an adult winter reading program. The library would like to thank our sponsors for the many generous prize donations for our participating patrons: Friends of the Library, Almost Home, Horizon Business Center, Starbucks, Snap Fitness, Girl Scout Troop 3295 and Electra's Acres...
Rokita comments on South Putnam visit (03/17/16)
To the Editor: Thank you for the story about my visit to South Putnam High School last week. During my time in public service, I've had the opportunity to visit about 100 schools around the state, country, and even overseas, all in my official capacity. I greatly enjoyed last week's visit...
More vegetarian-friendly options needed (03/17/16)
To The Editor: Last week, I had the opportunity to eat at the dining hall on the DePauw University campus here in Greencastle. As a vegan, I was thrilled and grateful to find such a fine eating establishment in our little town. Even the people with me, who are not vegan, decided to be vegan for this meal. ...
Thanks for aiding local Red Cross chapter (03/17/16)
To the Editor: The Putnam County Leadership Team of the American Red Cross wishes to thank all those who participated and attended our recent annual Chili Supper. This event and its success would not be possible without the help and support of the Putnam County community...
Ag Day organizers thankful for support (03/17/16)
To the Editor: "Agriculture: Stewards of a Healthy Planet" was the theme celebrated at the 2016 Putnam County Ag Day event on Saturday, March 12 where families came together to learn about a farmer's everyday life. Ag Day kicked off its festivities with an Ag Day Breakfast followed by a short program with the South Putnam FFA Parliamentary Procedure Team, which recently won the state contest...
Unintended consequences (03/10/16)
To the Editor: A Jew, a Muslim and a lesbian walk into a restaurant in Indiana. No one gets served because the owner has a "sincerely held religious belief." Gov. Mike Pence and our Indiana Republican legislators have determined that it is okay to discriminate because of who you are...
Time to reconsider state's time zone (03/10/16)
To the Editor: In March 2006, Indiana experienced a major change in its sunlight schedule when Eastern Daylight Time was adopted forcing our students to go to school in the dark. Now, 10 years later, statistics are painting a dismal picture for Indiana's students and our state's educational future. ...
The ISTEP system failed, not our schools (12/01/15)
Citizens of Putnam County: After an interminable sixth-month delay since our students completed their tests, the Indiana Department of Education has finally released last spring's ISTEP+ testing results. Since all schools in Indiana are currently struggling to make sense of their scores, the four Putnam County superintendents want to send the following message to our stakeholders: The academic achievement and learning growth of our students will NOT be accurately reflected in these recently-released scores. ...
Citizens irked as Walmart removes Giving Tree (12/01/15)
To the Editor: I am writing this as a concerned citizen of Putnam County. For as long as I can remember, the Greencastle Walmart has been a place that has supported local initiatives to help those in need within our community. For some reason, this seems to have recently changed...
Coats for Kids continues to meet community need (11/22/15)
To the Editor: On behalf of the Putnam County Youth Development Commission, we would like to thank the many individuals, businesses, organizations and school communities that contributed to the success of our 16th annual Coats for Kids campaign. Thanks to Putnam County's generosity, over 400 coats and light weight jackets were distributed on Saturday, Oct. ...
Central Elementary PTO says 'thank you' (10/29/15)
To the Editor: The PTO hosted our annual Fall Festival Fundraiser on Oct. 3. We would like to thank everyone who came and enjoyed the many activities. It was a great fun-filled night. Your support generated $6,187.50, which the PTO will use to enrich the school experience through convocations, field trips, 100 Book Club, the purchase of educational equipment and other activities. Our only expenses of the night totaled $593.37...
Former New Yorker thankful for local support (10/29/15)
To the Editor: I'm a New Yorker. Not your Big Apple, sky-scraper NY'er, but a dairy-farm raised, Adirondack Mountain-loving' NY'er. My husband and I made a temporary move to Indiana for employment -- that was 17 years ago (so much for "temporary"'). ...
Community support made GFD open house possible (10/06/15)
To the Editor: The Greencastle Fire Department would like to extend a special "Thanks" to the following supporters who contributed to the 15th Annual Open House Event on Oct. 1, 2015. We had a huge success this year. The winners of the coloring, poster, & art contests were recognized with ages ranging from Pre-K to 12th grade...
Former utility worker explains decision to change (09/11/15)
To the Editor: Greencastle's population went over 10,001 which reclassified it as a DSL (Distribution System Large). The plant operators had to then obtain the license for that type of system. Then IDEM determined that the well water was under the direct influence of the surface water (Big Walnut). ...
National Night Out committee says 'thanks' (09/11/15)
National Night Out committee says 'thanks' To the Editor: On behalf of the National Night Out Committee, we are proud to announce that over 1,500 community members attended the 9th annual event on Tuesday, Aug. 4 from 5-8 p.m. at Greencastle Robe-Ann Park. Hot dogs, pizza, snow cones, apples, popcorn and drinks were again shared with all attending...
State rep's mailer on education misleading (08/18/15)
To the Editor: In regard to the recent mailer that went out across the State of Indiana with boilerplate language, I want to discourage our current State Representative, Jim Baird, from using such literature to represent his work. It is grossly misleading...
Club appreciates support of GHS football (08/18/15)
To the Editor: Friday evening, Aug. 7 was a special evening for Greencastle football. The silent auction hosted by the Greencastle Football Parents Club and sponsored by POET Biorefining of Cloverdale was a huge success on many different levels (attendance, donations, financial and community)...
Open Class events a product of volunteer efforts (08/18/15)
To the Editor: The Putnam County Fair has ended for 2015. It was all possible due to the hard work and many volunteer hours. The Putnam County Fair Queen and her court attended and brought enthusiasm to our events. We are grateful to the Jack and Shirley Dalton Foundation for sponsoring our Bakers' Best event. The Putnam County Extension Homemaker clubs put many hours in assisting in all phases of the events, including set-up and tear-down...
Planning a fun day at Wrigley Field (07/31/15)
To the Editor: There is a great opportunity to see a major league baseball game on Saturday, Aug. 8. Almost Home is sponsoring a chartered bus trip to Wrigley Field in Chicago for an afternoon game between the Chicago Cubs and the defending World Series Champion San Francisco Giants...
Pool party was great fun (07/29/15)
To the Editor: On July 10, we at Greencastle Pediatric Dentistry had our fourth annual pool party to celebrate the end of summer for the children of our office and their families at the Greencastle Aquatics Center. Despite the threat of rain, approximately 350 or so family members attended to enjoy a night of fun, popcorn, snow cones, music and Bounce House fun...
HSPA thanks Baird for cooperation during legislative session (07/29/15)
Dear Rep. Jim Baird Baird: Editor's note: The following letter was sent from Hoosier State Press Association Executive Director Steve Key to Rep. Jim Baird, R-Greencastle, regarding Baird's vote on a bill regarding the public's right to know. Key shared the letter with the Banner Graphic and our readers...
Make history: Vote on Tuesday (04/28/16)
The term "flyover country" is enough to make any proud Midwesterner bristle. But when it comes to national politics, Indiana has long been just that. Why bother with the Hoosier state when there are bigger electoral hauls like California, Texas or New York are available?...
It really does take a village (04/21/16)
This election season, it may seem passť (and in some circles, wildly unpopular) to invoke Hillary Clinton, but here goes anyway. "It takes a village to raise a child." Clinton may have re-popularized the African proverb 20 years ago, but we are reminded of its importance here in Greencastle in 2016...
The joke's on you, Putnam County (03/31/16)
Perhaps you've noticed a trend while reading the pages of this publication in recent days and weeks. In what looks like it might be a slow burn of an April Fool's Day prank, the Indiana Department of Transportation has slowly but surely released plans that make travel from Putnam County east to Hendricks County and beyond frustrating, if not nearly impossible...