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Sat, Jul 12, 2014 01:54 PM
Issue of July 9, 2014
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Social host law designed to reduce underage drinking

Today, July 1, the new social host law goes into effect. It is illegal to provide alcohol to minors and now it is illegal to provide a place for them to drink it.

During the 2014 legislative session, the Indiana Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking worked with legislators to pass the social host law, which was part of SB 236 and makes it a Class B misdemeanor for adults to knowingly and intentionally provide a place for minors to drink. The offense becomes a Class A misdemeanor if the person has a prior unrelated conviction and a Level 6 felony if the consumption, ingestion or use of the alcoholic beverage is the proximate cause of the serious bodily injury or death of any person.

"This new law is a great tool for law enforcement to use in their efforts to disperse and disband underage drinking parties," Lisa Hutcheson, director of the Indiana Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking, said. "We hope that parents and other adults understand the criminal and civil liability of providing a place for minors to drink and will not become a party to underage drinking."

The Indiana Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking would like to thank Sen. Pete Miller (R-24), Sen. R. Michael Young (R-35), Sen. Lonnie Randolph (D-2), Rep. Matt Pierce (D-61), Rep. Greg Steuerwald (R-40) and Rep. Jud McMillin (R-68) for their work on and support of this law.

The Indiana Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking, a subsidiary of Mental Health America of Indiana, is an advocacy coalition addressing the availability and accessibility of alcohol to minors through education and policy.

Lisa Hutcheson
Director, Indiana Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking, VP of Policy and Programs
July 09, 2014

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Pre-trip check can make a difference

Road-trip car trouble can be a real nightmare, but performing a pre-trip car check helps drivers avoid a vacation break-down disaster. A 10-minute driveway inspection gives motorists peace of mind by reducing the chance of unplanned, costly car trouble and providing an opportunity to have any repairs performed by a trusted technician before hitting the road.

Check the tires, including tire pressure and tread. Underinflated tires reduce a vehicle's fuel economy, and uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment. Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots.

Check the hoses and belts as they can become cracked, brittle, frayed, loose or show signs of excessive wear. These are critical to the proper functioning of the electrical system, air conditioning, power steering and the cooling system.

Check filters and fluids, including engine oil, power steering and brake and transmission, as well as windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant.

Check the wipers and lighting so that you can see and be seen. Check that all interior and exterior lighting is working properly, and inspect and replace worn wiper blades so you can see clearly when driving during precipitation.

Check the brakes and battery to be sure the battery connection is clean, tight and corrosion-free and that the brakes are functioning properly.

The Car Care Council also recommends that motorists restock their emergency kit, consider a pre-trip tune-up to help the engine deliver the best balance of power and fuel economy and order a free copy of the Car Care Council's popular Car Care Guide for the glove box online at

Rich White
Executive director, Car Care Council, Bethesda, Md.
July 09, 2014

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New Healthy Indiana Plan state's best option

Some state-run health care exchanges — the brainchild of the Affordable Care Act — have gotten off to a rocky start, to the point that they are turning to the federal government to pick up the pieces. Indiana's decision to try to expand the already-existing Healthy Indiana Plan in lieu of an exchange seems a more prudent choice every day.

Last month, Gov. Pence outlined HIP 2.0, which would provide two alternatives to traditional Medicaid by offering a high deductible health plan along with a power account (similar to a health savings account). The Indiana Chamber has reviewed HIP 2.0 and urged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to give it the needed approval.

Indiana's HIP provides reimbursement to health care providers at Medicare rates. This practice is particularly appreciated by companies and their workers. Reimbursement rates for Medicaid typically result in health care providers being put in position to recover such losses by increasing prices for private sector employers and their employees through cost shifting. Any attempt to lessen that cost shift is viewed as a positive and productive attribute of the HIP program and its successor, HIP 2.0. Furthermore, higher reimbursement rates to providers improve access to care for enrollees. This is especially significant with the increased demand and limited supply that will be placed upon our health care system as a result of the ACA's individual mandate.

An intriguing component in HIP 2.0 is the new optional defined contribution premium assistance program called "HIP Employer Benefit Link" that would be implemented in year two of the HIP 2.0 program. This could turn out to be a method to allow the working poor to maintain an employer-sponsored health benefit. If structured properly, it may even promote small employers that do not provide health insurance benefits to do so in the future, with the understanding that the employer will contribute 50 percent to the cost of the plan. Maintaining and encouraging private sector health insurance whenever possible, especially employer-sponsored coverage, is a better option than any government plan.

HIP has been well received by a diverse group of Hoosier constituents and has notable support from those on both sides of the political aisle. We hope CMS fully considers Indiana's unique brand of addressing the needs of our uninsured population and recognizes HIP 2.0 as the best option for Indiana to expand health care coverage.

Michael A. Ripley
Vice President of Health Care Policy, Indiana Chamber of Commerce, Indianapolis, Ind.
July 09, 2014

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God expects obedience from us to his laws

I have put off expressing my opinion on same-sex "marriages" in a public forum, but today's breaking news about several of these couples rushing to the altar in Indiana prompted me to write this letter.

Pressure to be politically correct seems to over-ride any moral stand our public officials take. Kentucky's governor was even ridiculed for pointing out that gay couples cannot procreate, which is a major purpose of marriage in God's plan. There, I've done it, mentioned the Almighty!

Of course, we all know, or are perhaps related to, nice people who happen to be gay. But they, along with those who are "greedy, deceitful, arrogant, envious, ruthless" — read Romans 1:18-32 for the entire list — are not pleasing to God, nor are the people who approve of such practices.

We Christians often do find it easier to condemn the gay community — because so many of them now flaunt their lifestyle — than to correct our own shortcoming.

However, we should keep in mind that public opinion and popularity of a belief are not going to be determining factors when Christ returns to decide our eternal fate.

"There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death." —Proverbs 14:12.

We all need to help each other along the way on this journey and realize that, in spite of God's love for us, He expects our obedience to His laws.

Janet Davis
Depauw, Ind.
July 02, 2014

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Role to ending child abuse falls to all

By the time you finish reading this letter, more than 30 cases of child abuse will have been reported to authorities nationwide. By the end of today, that number will swell past 9,000 and four of those children will die at the hands of their abuser.

When we take stock of these sobering statistics, it's easy to be overwhelmed and to ask yourself, "What can I possibly do to make a difference?" The answer is, you can do a lot. Everybody can play a role in preventing child abuse and neglect by becoming an advocate for children.

For some of us, that advocacy comes in a formal role. Teachers, child care workers, health care providers and others who come into daily contact with children can be vigilant for signs of abuse and neglect. Their actions to report suspected abuse or to offer extra time and attention to fragile children can do more than make a difference; it can save lives.

CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteers stand up for abused and neglected children, giving them a voice in an overburdened child welfare system that is hard-pressed to meet their individual needs. A CASA volunteer's intense advocacy can break the cycle of abuse and neglect.

Children with CASA volunteers find safe, permanent homes more quickly, are half as likely to re-enter the foster care system and do better in school. That is making a profound difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of abused and neglected children across the county and right here in Harrison County.

Harrison Circuit Court CASA is one of more than 900 CASA programs across the country committed to more than doubling our corps of volunteers by 2020 so that each child who needs a CASA volunteer has one.

CASA volunteers are people just like you: teachers, business people, retirees and grandparents who are willing to participate in an in-depth training program, strong communicators, willing to commit to at least one year of service, over the age of 21 and able to pass a criminal and Child Protective Services background check.

Not everyone can be a CASA volunteer, but everyone can be an advocate. Here are some steps you can take to make our community safer for our children:

•Keep our state's toll-free child abuse hotline number close at hand, 1-800-800-5556. If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, you can report your suspicions confidentially.

•Donate or volunteer for a social service agency that helps children who have been abused or neglected.

•Educate yourself — and others — about the devastating toll that abuse and neglect take on children and our society as a whole.

Your advocacy for children will not only help end child abuse, it will improve our community for everyone who lives here. Children who are abused and do not get the support they need to heal are more likely than other kids to drop out of school, end up homeless, turn to crime and, as adults, rely on social welfare programs. When we work together to protect vulnerable children, it saves lives while also saving tax dollars.

For more information about CASA or about becoming a CASA volunteer, please call 812-738-3645.

We all have a role to play. What will be your role?

Harrison Circuit Court CASA, Sharon Uhl, Interim Director,, and Darlene Caimens, Volunteer Coordinator
Corydon, Ind.
July 02, 2014

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Couple appreciated random act of kindness

Thank God there are still some very generous, wonderful people in the world, specifically Crawford County.

My husband and I drove to the Overlook Restaurant at Leavenworth Saturday evening, June 14, to celebrate Father's Day and our 63rd wedding anniversary, both events being on Sunday, June 15.

We had "splurged" money-wise in ordering our food since it was a special occasion for both of us. The food was delicious. The view was beyond describing, and the weather was perfect. The waitress was polite and well qualified to make for us a delightful evening of dining.

Then, to our surprise and quite shocking to us, instead of our waitress giving us our check in order for us to pay for our meal, she informed us it had already been paid by the gentleman who had been seated just behind us with his family. She further stated that he had overheard us make a remark about celebrating our 63rd anniversary. The total for our meal was not just $10 for two hamburgers and fries, but $40 for two bountiful dinners.

Whoever you are, we would like to say thank you for an anniversary to be remembered. May God repay you in some manner for your act of kindness.

Yes, we did tip our waitress appropriately.

Phyllis J. Heishman
Corydon, Ind.
July 02, 2014

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Time to revamp Federal Reserve System, restore U.S. monetary policy

More people than ever now see the so-called "Two Party System" as two sock puppets on one puppeteer. We can see how the ... fear-mongering and power games always lead to the same end of more power and money for the same few people with a lot less freedom for everybody else. So, let's talk about the puppeteer.

Central bankers — more specifically, bankers granted monopoly power over a nation's currency — are like a societal serpent of Eden. Their stupefying words and appealing promises have lured people into serfdom and nations to destruction for millennia ...

At first, moneychangers had to use unfair scales and exchange rates or subtly add copper to gold or replace silver with tin in order to cheat others. But, about a thousand years ago in China, people accepted paper backed by nothing instead of real money; so bankers could simply run the presses, thereby making each yuan, dollar or euro worth less in real value. This became equivalent to a hidden tax, devaluing people's savings, property and labor.

You can see the effect in U.S. coins: $125 in 1964 silver quarters is now worth about $20 as "junk" silver. What was the minimum wage in 1964? $1.25 an hour.

Depreciating currency is why "minimum wage" and "cost of living" increases seem necessary, why prices go up and why the middle class is disappearing.

There's nothing secret about this ancient moneychangers' scam. ... We've been warned about it forever. All our wisest founders, best economists and even several U.S. presidents vigorously opposed central banks. ... As Baron M.A. Rothschild said, "Give me control over a nation's currency, and I care not who makes its laws."

But to bad politicians, central banking is a candy store. The bankers' promise of unlimited currency allows politicians to make impossible promises while delaying accountability to some future generation. Moneychangers' loans to governments expedite political Ponzi schemes, "corporate welfare," "bridge to nowhere" projects, the "military-industrial complex" and social segregation that keep us attacking each other instead of our common foe. Bankers' OPM (other people's money) is not just how we sell out the next generation for our present comforts, it's how we lose human freedom, property and lives.

... Central bankers are counterfeiters and thieves. They lend money they don't have, making harsh rules for you while they have none, with the aim of exchanging their bits of paper for real wealth: houses, property and businesses as well as politicians and nations. ...

As always, this will end catastrophically if we don't snap out of their spell and end the banks first.

So, while I'd strongly support "Free Competition in Currency Act," which was reintroduced in the 113th Congress by Rep. Paul Broun (H.R. 77), my goal would be to rapidly and completely eliminate the power, function and entities of Federal Reserve System and restore constitutional monetary policy. That's all written down in both our Indiana and federal constitutions. ... The moneychangers are a tiny few, and their puppets exist by our choice alone. Voters really could end this trans-generational crime in a single election day with a little information and resolve.

We've tried reforming the "Two Party System" for too long; to continue that canard is a foolish self-deception and surrender. Our founders gave us election day as the power of peaceful revolution; not for a game of card-game-strategy, or as yet another day of capitulation. Don't waste your vote again. ...

Andrew Horning
Freedom, Ind.
July 02, 2014

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Volunteers sought for Safe Kids group

Preventable injuries are the No. 1 killer of kids in the United States.

Each year, 9,000 families lose a child because of a preventable injury, an average of 25 kids a day. In the United States, another nearly nine million children are treated for injuries in emergency departments each year. These are often serious injuries that can affect them for a lifetime.

The important thing to remember about preventable injuries is that they are preventable.

Harrison County Hospital Emergency Medical Services has a long history of conducting childhood injury preventions programs. In the last 20 years, HCH EMS has won more than 25 awards for our dedication to preventing injuries to children.

We want to expand this labor of love by organizing a coalition of local volunteers and partners who will help lead this effort to teach kids safe behaviors through school assemblies, classroom activities and community events throughout the entire year. HCH EMS has created Safe Kids of Harrison County, which is registered with Safe Kids Worldwide, to allow all of us to work together on this noble cause.

We don't want any parent to have to endure the loss of a child. That's why we're calling on everyone to come together, to raise awareness and to get involved so we can ensure that children have the chance to grow up healthy and safe and do all the great things kids were meant to do.

We are not asking for funding and there are no fees; we just want you to get involved, be a hero and join Safe Kids Harrison County and help reduce needless injuries and death.

Safe Kids Harrison County will conduct an informational program on Wednesday, July 9, from 7 to 8 p.m. in the Baumgart Room at Harrison County Hospital in Corydon. We look forward to you joining this wonderful organization.

Gary J. Kleeman, EMS Department Manager, Harrison County Hospital
June 25, 2014

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Fireworks groups urge caution when celebrating

While consumer fireworks are safer today than ever before, people must still follow the recommended safety rules for use of the products in order to ensure a safe fireworks experience for their family.

Organizations such as Phantom Fireworks, the National Council on Fireworks Safety, the American Pyrotechnics Association and others publish guidelines containing simple rules for the use of consumer fireworks that, when followed, will make your use of consumer fireworks safe and enjoyable.

First and foremost, you must exercise good judgment and common sense when buying and using the products. Buy products from reliable, licensed dealers. Beware of dealers who offer special products from the back room that are not in compliance with federal law and are dangerous. You could subject yourself, your family and your audience to substantial danger when using these products.

The fireworks products should be handled and ignited by a designated shooter, a sober adult who is familiar with the firework safety rules. Never allow children to handle the products or be in close proximity.

Make sure you use a clear, open area as your launch site and shoot products from a hard, flat surface. If you must shoot from a grassy or graveled area, lay down a piece of plywood to provide a hard, flat surface.

Make sure your audience is a safe distance from your launch site. Phantom Fireworks recommends a minimum distance between your launch site and audience of 30 feet for fountains and ground-based products and a minimum of 140 feet for aerial products.

It is important to have a ready source of water available in the event of an emergency. A connected hose is best. If that is unavailable, use a fire extinguisher or, at a minimum, a bucket of water.

Light only one firework device at a time using a long-neck butane lighter, a punk or Phantom's Pyro Torch to keep you a safe distance from the product when you light it. Never allow any part of your body to be over the device or in the direct line of the product's functionality path.

Always make sure to consider farm animals and pets when using firework products. The noise and lights of the fireworks often frighten animals, so it is important that your animals are indoors or otherwise secured to protect them from adverse exposure to the products.

The full list of consumer fireworks safety tips can be found at the Fireworks University section of ...

Due to a combination of many factors ... , fireworks products are better and safer than ever. The proof is that, since 1994, fireworks use has increased some 77 percent from 117 million pounds to 207-1/2 million pounds in 2012 while injuries over the same period have decreased over 30 percent, from 12,500 in 1994 to 8,700 in 2012.

Let's continue the great American tradition envisioned by John Adams of celebrating with fireworks when he wrote, in 1776, that the Independence Day holiday "ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other, from this day forward forevermore."

William A. Weimer, Phantom Fireworks
Youngstown, Ohio
June 25, 2014

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High school graduates are Indiana's future

Congratulations to the 2014 graduating class and to the family, friends and school staff that surround and support every graduating student!

As young adults, you each possess special talents and interests. As new graduates, you are now going forth to be productive adults. Student preparation means much more than academic grades; it is about citizenship, developing your character, work ethic and your service to others.

I grew up in Lafayette, the oldest of five children from a hard-working family. When I decided to become a teacher, I knew I would need a college education. My family could not afford to send me to college, so I had a plan to work two to three jobs each summer to earn my way through school and took advantage of college financial assistance programs. There were challenges along the way to getting my teaching degree, but my view of challenges is to turn them into opportunities. My path to becoming a teacher wasn't easy, but, as challenges and barriers arose, I made adjustments to my path and I never lost sight of my goal.

My education didn't end when I became a teacher. I knew I needed more education to better myself as a professional. I went on to earn two master's degrees. I also became a National Board Certified Teacher. I did not set out to become state superintendent of public instruction, but little did I know that I had been preparing for it throughout my career.

Education opens the doors of opportunity. Whether it is training within your career field to enter the workforce or attending college, education is the foundation on which you will build your future.

You may have just received your diploma, but your learning will not end. As you embark on a career path, continued education will be needed to improve your skills or it will be needed to take you in new directions.

First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."

You are ready to achieve your dreams. Be strong, be confident and don't be afraid of the challenges along the way.

As superintendent of public instruction, my vision statement is "Imagining the Possibilities, Making Them Happen." It's a vision that is meant to inspire student learning. Indiana needs you to imagine the possibilities and make them happen, for you are Indiana's future. Because of you, Indiana's future is indeed bright!

Glenda Ritz, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction
June 25, 2014

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Corydon Democrat, 301 N. Capitol Ave., Corydon, IN 47112 • 1-812-738-2211 • email