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United Way funding helps child abuse investigations

The Milltown location of the Southwestern Indiana Child Advocacy Center Coalition (SWICACC) has been awarded grant funding from United Way of Crawford County for the purchase of new equipment and software that will assist in forensic interviews as part of child abuse investigations.

Children need a safe, child-friendly, secure location where a viable forensic interview can take place. SWICACC provides locations throughout a seven-county region where forensic interviews can occur without children having to travel outside their communities to receive services. Utilizing evidence-based best practices through a multi-disciplinary team approach provides Child Protective Services, law enforcement and prosecutors a greater opportunity to properly protect children and enhance their ability to obtain a successful outcome by properly investigating child abuse cases.

SWICACC is honored that United Way of Crawford County recognizes the value of the forensic interview process and importance of providing forensic interview services to the children of Crawford County.

Receiving this grant funding is just another example of the great work United Way is doing with the funds contributed by employers, employees and others to the overall United Way initiative. SWICACC appreciates the generosity of the donors who made this grant funding possible and encourages everyone to financially support the annual campaign according to one's personal means.

Editor's note: This letter is the next in a series of letters from Crawford County organizations sharing how the United Way of Crawford County is making an impact on the lives of the county's residents.

Tamara Lampert, Southwestern Child Advocacy Center Coalition Coordinator
August 27, 2015

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Senate should support House GMO labeling legislation

I farm with my family in Howard County, growing corn, soybeans and sweet corn. As the fifth generation farming our land, we make decisions every day about the care of our crops and the health of our soil. These decisions determine our production practices and impact our yields. They also impact our income, because our farm is, after all, a family business.

One of the decisions we make each year is whether to plant genetically modified crops, also known as GMOs. This technology allows us to be better stewards of the environment. We can grow more crops on less land using fewer pesticides and less water and fuel. It also allows American farmers to safely and effectively feed a rapidly growing global population while keeping food prices relatively low. According to the U.S. State Department, our farm families will need to produce as much food in the next 50 years as was produced in all previously recorded history to meet this demand.

The Internet is full of scare tactics and misinformation about GMO crops. Regardless of what you may see or hear, the safety and benefits of biotechnology are proven. The FDA, USDA, AMA, National Academy of Sciences, World Health Organization and dozens of other scientific organizations have confirmed that GMOs are as safe for human consumption as non-GMO products. Farmers have intentionally changed the genetic makeup of all crops grown and livestock raised since domestic agriculture began 10,000 years ago. Every fruit, vegetable and grain that is commercially available today has been altered by human hands, including organic and heirloom seeds.

As a mom and consumer, I shop for food that is healthy and safe to feed my family. I have served my children seedless grapes, tangelos, broccoli and many other modified foods from the time they were ready for solid food.

As a mom and farmer, I am pleased that the U.S. House of Representatives recently passed HR 1599, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act. This law creates a national, science-based labeling law that eliminates the confusion created by a patchwork of mandatory state labeling laws for GMOs.

Labeling mandates being pushed in states across the country will cause families to pay more for food.

One recent Cornell study concluded that mandated labeling could cost families as much as $500 a year. Forcing food companies to produce their goods differently for each state will require an enormous investment and raise consumer prices in the supermarket.

Instead of passing policy that undermines our collective success, we should recognize the many benefits GM crops have provided all of us for more than 20 years. I urge Sens. Coats and Donnelly to stand up for both Hoosier consumers and farmers and support the common-sense approach to GMO labeling passed by the U.S. House of Representatives.

Isabella Chism, Second Vice President of Indiana Farm Bureau
Galveston, Ind.
August 27, 2015

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Thanks to Marengo Christian's Missionary Church for great week

I would like to thank Marengo Christian's Missionary Church for their Vacation Bible School held last month.

We do not belong to the church, but were invited by a friend. I'm so glad we took advantage of the opportunity. It was a wonderful, fun-filled week.

The theme was based on Disney's mega-hit movie, "Frozen," and all week the leaders reinforced the ideas that "Jesus thaws frozen hearts" and "We're all a bit of a fixer-upper, and Jesus can fix us." The kids really got it and had a great time singing songs, making crafts, hearing Bible verses and enjoying snacks with a "Frozen" theme. Friday featured a 100-foot slip 'n slide, which my kids talked about all week long!

Everyone at the church was so friendly and it was a wonderful opportunity to meet people. Having lived here just two years, we are still relatively new to the community. On the last day of the VBS, I was talking with the pastor and learned he had spent many, many hours on our farm, when it was owned by the late Gus and Lucy Slaten. It is truly a small world and we never know what connections we can make until we step out and try something new.

Much thanks once again to Marengo Christian's Missionary Church for a great week!

Stephanie Ferriell
Marengo, Ind.
August 19, 2015

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United Way provides 4-H manuals

We share United Way's passion for improving the lives of all of our county's citizens. In order to reach this goal, our 4-H program is open to any child ages 5 to 18 who wishes to participate.

By continuing to work with United Way, we feel that we can increase the level of enrichment that our current members benefit from and increase the number of members in our program by continuing to offer the 4-H program free at the county level to all members.

Each 4-H manual is used by the young people for three years until they move to the next level or division. As our program grows, the demand for manuals increases. Without funding from United Way, we would not be able to sustain the program as we have in years past. Financially, we cannot afford to provide manuals for free without United Way's help. The only alternatives left to us are disastrous: 1.) To charge for the manuals. Due to the extreme economic situation of our county, this would be a fatal blow to our program. Nearly all of our enrollment base would have to withdraw from the program. 2.) Eliminate manuals. Our mission is to create better citizens by providing a valuable and complete educational experience to the children of our community. Without the manuals, much of the educational portion of our program would be lost. Neither of the options are acceptable.

We are grateful for the funds that are provided to us by United Way. Young people were able to be enrolled in 4-H this year and the parents did not have to worry about the financial responsibility of the cost of the 4-H manuals. We continue to see an upward growth of project enrollment.

Editor's note: This letter is the first in a series from Crawford County organizations sharing how the United Way of Crawford County is making an impact on the lives of the county's residents.

Monica Stephenson, Crawford County 4-H Council President
August 12, 2015

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Former library staff member would be proud

The Crawford County Public Library was presented a challenge this summer as we lost an important member of our staff this spring, Beverly Beals, and we were faced with hosting a summer reading program for the children of our community without her.

Library staff, parents and local residents responded with care and support and the library would like to thank these individuals for bringing their love for kids and reading to us: Maria Crecelius, Glenda Lytle and Jenna Hammond. Their efforts created a program full of fun and lasting memories for the children that attended our programs. In addition, donations from Culver's of Corydon and Squire Boone Caverns helped our efforts to offer prizes throughout the program. I believe Beverly would have been pleased.

Learning to read is such a crucial skill for children to acquire and one that follows them throughout their life. The library is dedicated to provide programming, books, ebooks and endless support for the community's children in hopes they will become life-long readers.

Tracy Underhill, Crawford County Public Library Director
August 12, 2015

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ACLU applauds Supreme Court ruling

"No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.

It is so ordered."

— Supreme Court of the United States,

Obergefell v. Hodges, October 26, 2015

The June 26 historic decision is a joyous one for same-sex couples across the nation and for everyone who wants to participate fully in our society and enter, in front of friends and family, into the lifelong commitment of marriage with the person they love. The Supreme Court's decision recognizes that the Constitution's promise of fairness and equality extends the fundamental right to marry to all loving couples and it affirms the values of the strong, growing majority of Americans — 60 percent, as recently reported by Gallup — who support the freedom to marry.

The American Civil Liberties Union has been on the cutting edge of America's many advances for equality over the last 95 years. We recognize that hesitancy and discomfort and downright resistance are the frequent traveling companions of change. Our country has weathered these challenges by looking to our shared values and calling upon the better angels of our nature. And we can again. Over the last two years, with our debates about the state constitutional amendment HJR-3 and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Indiana has been in the epicenter of a rapidly evolving understanding of justice and equality. However painful this process, we are each better persons and together a better people for the effort. We can embrace this next step in the arc toward justice, guided by our hearts and our Constitution.

As the RFRA storm proved and a recent poll confirmed, most Hoosiers are ready for full equality for our LGBT neighbors, friends and loved ones. We are not alone. A strong majority of Americans, nearly 70 percent, supports protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations.

Yet, people are often surprised to realize that under the laws of most states, including Indiana, it is still legal to fire a hardworking employee, deny them an apartment, deny them service in a restaurant or otherwise discriminate against them simply because they are LGBT. Nobody should have to live in fear of being legally fired for reasons that have nothing to do with their job performance, or for exercising their freedom to marry.

The ACLU will work with the people and business community of Indiana to update our state's civil rights law — which already includes protections from discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, sex, age and religion — to also protect people from discrimination based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.

Congratulations to happy couples everywhere! And, let's take this next step for equality together: Let's work toward the day when our LGBT family, neighbors, co-workers and friends cannot be discriminated against, because Indiana's civil rights law protects them, along with other vulnerable groups. Indiana is a good place, and Hoosiers are good people. Let's show the world we truly do welcome all.

Jane Henegar, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana
July 08, 2015

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Time for an old-fashioned protest rally

Let's all meet at the Crawford County courthouse on Tuesday, July 14, next council meeting, and have an old-fashioned "the whole world is watching" protest rally. Why? The NEW Crawford County Council doesn't comprehend that the purpose of the county government is to provide SERVICES to the people such as roads, public safety, paramedic ambulances, etc., not cater to the whims of a business.

By voting to not fund the proposed HCH ambulance service, the county council has denied the public a potential lifesaving SERVICE. Without a public outcry, the council may vote against another potential lifesaving SERVICE, the Carefree medical clinic, for two reasons:

1. The cost (it's basically FREE).

2. Per Mr. Bartels' editorial, a local business opposes it.

Another possible reason the NEW county council opposes lifesaving services was alluded to in Mr. Bartels' editorial. They want to save up your tax dollars so they can build a "Field of Dreams" shell building, which will provide no SERVICES to the public.

Would someone please inform the county council that none of them look like Kevin Costner. Then, ask them, "What will you do if you build it and nobody comes?"

If you supported the HCH paramedic ambulance proposal, support the Carefree medical clinic. Contact the county council and voice your opinion; it counts. A loud public outcry could save the medical clinic and, like Lazarus, bring the paramedic ambulance service back from the dead.

Contact information for the council and how they voted on the HCH proposal follows:

William Breeding (D) — For — 812-633-4493

Jerry Brewer (D) — For — 812-365-2804

Mark Stevens (R) — Against — 812-365-2692

Lucas Stroud (R) — Against — 812-633-2098

Republicans Joe Lahue and Steve Bartels and Democrat Doug McLain voted against HCH but have unlisted phone numbers.

A message for the councilmen who have unlisted numbers can be left at the Auditor's office at 1-800-548-5375 or 1-812-338-2601.

The public must presume that the council members who have unlisted numbers want the money and prestige (snicker, snicker) that comes with a public job but do not want to deal with the public.

Council Vice President William Breeding and former council President Jerry Brewer are to be commended for voting for lifesaving SERVICES.

Breeding, Brewer, Stevens and Stroud are also to be commended for having the fortitude to have a listed number and listen to the concerns of us little people.

As stated earlier, let's meet at the courthouse at the next council meeting in July and have an old-fashioned protest rally. If you come, bring a sign on a stick with a catchy slogan to chant that the TV networks will broadcast. One phrase that comes to mind is, "You and shell can go to hell."

Thank you for allowing me to exercise my right to free political speech.

Gary Robinson
Marengo, Ind.
July 01, 2015

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Impressed with Carson

It's such a reassuring pleasure to discover someone who is not from the political class and is a creditable citizen finally running for president. Dr. Ben Carson, a man of integrity and honor, has no problem at all with criticizing Republicans and Democrats who promote wrong-headed policies and positions. I appreciate the common-sense wisdom he brings to his analysis of the broad, significant problems seriously challenging our country.

"That engine (capitalism) is still in place, and, if the original vision can be restored, that engine could restart and quickly obliterate our national debt while helping our nation reclaim its rightful position of leadership and respect throughout the world. Our ability to care for the indigent would also be considerably enhanced, and the number of indigent would be significantly decreased in a thriving job market," Dr. Carson said.

"Proverbs 29: 18 says, 'Without a vision, the people perish.' If a society doesn't have a shared understanding of its goals, it cannot move forward. To aimlessly drift along while reacting to events is a recipe for disaster."

The "original vision" to which he referred above, was the moral capitalist model established by the founding generation. It was an ethical, virtuous system with individual accountability and compassion.

Dr. Carson seriously questions the destructive, unethical strands politicians have embedded within the economy. He views with great disdain the development of crony capitalism which is destroying the economy. He finds no place for the government's Plunge Protection Team that leave us without markets that can no longer be characterized as free. This candidate sees as unjust the Fed Reserve policies that systematically programs rising wealth inequality into our system. He abhors the soft bigotry of liberal dependency that condemns the poor to a life of poverty, rather than compassionately providing for the independence and dignity of able-bodied adults contributing to the economy in pursuit of their dreams.

If you are unfamiliar with this man, google Dr. Ben Carson's YouTube videos and prepare yourself to observe a genuine human being capable of wisely leading, with a unifying vision, one nation under God.

Michael Lewinski
Dubois, Ind.
June 10, 2015

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Kids need to be kids

I am writing to see if anyone can tell me why teenagers or any children can stand up or sit and tell their parents what they are going to do.

I am a 58-year-old woman and I think parents and anybody a teenager has contact with should show them respect, not tell them to kiss their butts and they can do what they want, and you cannot punish them for it.

If you smack them on the behinds with your hand and not leave any marks, the child will say, "They abused me." Also, they will say any man in your life, no matter who, touched them inappropriately just to get the adult in trouble. And, when the truth does come out, the adult has already been in jail and went to court and maybe even prison.

Also, they are not going to get around me that way. I am a grandma of five grandchildren. Also, my two oldest grandchildren do not talk to me or ask me dumb crap.

My 15-year-old asked me, she asked me, "The next time I come down for the weekend, Grandma, can my boyfriend come and stay the weekend, too?"

My answer was, "Are you insane? You must be stupid if (you think) I will ever allow that. Even your 42-year-old mother would not even ask that."

No means no.

Kids need to be kids. They need to have places to get together and not have sex, use drugs, drink booze or get into trouble. But I have yet to read or hear any place for teenagers to play pool or swim in a pool, roller-skate or do anything we did when we were kids.

Thanks for letting me sound off.

Pamela Pridemore
English, Ind.
June 10, 2015

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Time to move forward with HCH EMS

As a retired registered nurse with 34 years of experience in hospital nursing, I have serious concerns with our BLS (Basic Life Support) level of care by Crawford County EMS.

I began going to Crawford County Council and Crawford County Commissioners' meetings approximately one year ago after I read an article in the Clarion News indicating Crawford County was exploring either outsourcing our ambulance service or returning to a BLS instead of an ALS (Advanced Life Support) service. I have known for a long time the state of Indiana was "overhauling" the different levels of training related to Advanced EMT requirements.

As I began to investigate, I became aware that, while our ambulance service sometimes offered an advanced level of care, many times all we had available was BLS. While I do not doubt our county EMS staff are very committed and caring professionals, the BLS level of care is no longer the Standard of Care in the United States. Our country has some of the best, if not the best, medical technologies in the world. I asked myself why the county would choose to offer only a BLS level of medical care in the pre-hospital setting for its citizens. Why our BLS EMTs often must request intercepts for advanced level of pre-hospital care for their patients, which frequently occurs alongside the highway while in route to the nearest hospital. It is unfortunate and avoidable. In the worse cases, it can lead to loss of life; in lesser cases, debilitating illness or injury worsened by delayed paramedic intervention. These paramedic intercepts are necessary, often lifesaving, but could be available for patients on first contact, drastically reducing the time to a higher standard of medical care.

As I learned more, I discovered we had an adjoining county paramedic EMS willing to take over management of our service, thus offering us a significantly higher level of care without losing our identity. For a year now, I have watched and listened to proposals, counter proposals, our elected officeholders researching, asking tough questions and exploring different proposals. And yet, we still have a Basic Life Support Service in Crawford County. At this point, I feel compelled to ask for public input into this issue. If you feel you deserve a higher level of medical care in pre-hospital situations for your family and friends, let your elected council members know now. For a year now, the Crawford County commissioners have thoroughly studied, researched and investigated the different options available. They have determined, after careful consideration, that the proposal from Harrison County paramedic EMS is the best choice. They have now requested funding from the Crawford County council for this in our county.

Funding appears to be the issue. While the dollar amount proposed seems to be high, at first glance, it should be noted that Crawford County will no longer bear the burden of salaries and benefits for the EMS staff. Those employees would be employed by Harrison County Hospital (with similar, if not better benefits). Therefore, the cost of salaries and benefits for employees currently paid by Crawford County would help offset the fees charged by Harrison County Hospital. Additionally, Crawford County keeps the ability to bill for a higher level of EMS service. We lose the overhead and gain the revenue and a much better standard of care. It is a win-win situation. It has been argued that there is no guarantee current EMS staff will be hired by Harrison County Hospital. If the present staff meets the requirements, then it is "likely" they will be hired and receive the necessary training. However, if they do not meet those requirements, they will need to become more proficient on their own or seek other employment. Do we really want someone who is not willing to meet the requirements for their position providing emergency care anyway? Lives are at stake. No job is ever guaranteed.

In addition, there has been discussion regarding contracting with for-profit EMS services. From working in hospitals for over three decades, part of that time in the emergency room, I know beyond doubt being affiliated with a hospital service (as we would be with Harrison County Hospital EMS) will be a higher standard of care than a for-profit service. These services, while requiring the same certifications, have higher turnover in personnel, less training, less experience and likely less technical practice. Ask yourself, if your son or daughter needs to be intubated (have a breathing tube) after a tragedy, would you prefer someone doing it that has practiced in a classroom and maybe seen one or two intubations? Or someone who had intubated on an accident scene and likely performed numerous such techniques? You are much more likely to receive that with a hospital-based service, simply because their focus is different.

Harrison County EMS is one of only 25 EMS services in our state with accreditation with the National Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. I am certainly not trying to belittle free-

standing for-profit services, but, from my personal experience, I know who I want responding to an accident scene or to my home when my family member needs immediate pre-hospital care.

Should we delay this decision while we continue to provide substandard care? Should we try to train from within, when we have tried this tactic repeatedly without success? Should we only offer Basic Life Support to the citizens of Crawford County and keep trying to come up with a solution? I think not. Not when we have available to us a paramedic service from an adjoining county, affiliated with a hospital, willing to provide the service right now and the only reason we are not doing it is a few thousand dollars. If it is your loved one, what level of care would you want?

Linda Apple
Crawford County
June 03, 2015

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Barbara Shaw
Riggs Towing
Schuler Bauer
09 - 01 - 15