|Wed, Apr 23, 2014 05:19 AM
Read RossCounty government gives beat writer Ross Schulz so much to write about, it can't ALL possibly fit in the newspaper, so we've made room here for that and whatever else he wants to blog about.
April 16, 2014 | 10:05 AM
For 75 years, anyone who ran for political office in Harrison County signed one book — and one book only — to officially get their campaign started.
From 1937 to 2012, the book was opened each new election year to provide space under the "Democrat" or "Republican" header (and the unaffiliated) for the signature of those bold residents who wanted to vie for public office.
The old pages are still in pretty good shape, but it will definitely have to be preserved to stay that way.
"I was kind of sad to see that old book go," Harrison County Councilwoman and former Harrison County Clerk Sherry Brown said.
Although the book is no longer in use, it hasn't really gone anywhere because it's still in the Harrison County Circuit Court Clerk's office in downtown Corydon.
The clerk's office employees will be happy to let anyone look through it.
When candidates signed up to run for office earlier this year, the old book was on display, and many people who stopped in took the time to browse through it to read a few familiar names from generations past.
When a group of Democrat candidates came in to sign the new book, Terry Miller, a lifelong resident of Harrison County, browsed through the old book to find the name of his grandfather, Lester Miller, who ran for District 3 Commissioner in 1944 (the same seat Miller signed up to run for that day). Miller also said his father's name is in the book. He successfully ran for commissioner in 1960.
One of the more interesting sections of the book is around the time of World War II, when war cards were documented in the book, and the ballot was called a "War Ballot" in 1944.
Old newspaper clippings and sample ballots are interspersed throughout the book, some of which include presidential races such as Harry Truman vs. Thomas Dewey in 1948, which was a tight race in the county with Truman winning by only a couple hundred votes.
The first name written in the book was the Harrison County Clerk in 1937, Ben Brown. The last name signed was that of Commissioner George Ethridge from the 2012 election.
The book is full of pages and pages of ink or pencil with all sorts of well-known and some not so well-known names from past Harrison County politics and beyond.
Now that a new book has started, one can only wonder what names will fill up the next 75 years of the county's — and country's — future.
April 02, 2014 | 11:29 AM
While surfing channels in between basketball games in February, I came across a television show that I couldn't turn away from and ended up recording the series and now watch it as often as possible.
It's a show about the history of the United States, and it's presented in a compelling, short and informative way. It's called "American Ride" and can be found on byutv, channel 374 for DIRECTV viewers. I had no idea the channel, much less the show, existed before stumbling upon it. "American Ride's" narrator, Stan Ellsworth, takes the audience on a ride on his "iron horse" — a Harley-Davidson motorcycle — to many of the historical sites across the country. Ellsworth's passion and delivery bring the characters of this country's history to life. Ellsworth is a big man and has a voice you'd expect of a rough and tumble biker. But he also has a soft spot and nearly tears up when talking about those Americans who gave the ultimate price for freedom.
By traversing the countryside, the show takes the viewer to places they may have never seen before, such as Ford's Theatre, the place where President Abraham Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth. It also takes the viewer inside Robert E. Lee's final resting place in the chapel he built in Lexington, Va., on the campus of Washington & Lee University (Lee is actually buried underneath the chapel).
Of the episodes I've seen so far, the Civil War ones are the best and most interesting, with detailed descriptions of the battles and those who led the troops on both sides.
Sixty-five half-hour episodes have been recorded so far in the three-year history of the show.
The new season premieres April 7, but any of the episodes from the beginning are worth watching. It's the perfect show for school kids who don't pay attention or lack patience in the classroom or with a textbook, or anyone with an interest in the men, women and events that made this country what it is today.
So, if you have the channel and want to learn more about this history of our great country, settle in and listen to Ellsworth as he puts on his sunglasses and says, "Let's take a ride."
March 19, 2014 | 10:02 AM
The NCAA tournament, otherwise known as the best time of the year, will swing into full action tomorrow (Thursday) at various sites across the country. I'm not going to give any advice on which team to fill in your bracket with or who to place a friendly wager on, but I will help out with an important aspect of March Madness by teaching the way to watch as much of the action as possible.
Trust me, I'm a seasoned veteran at this.
Now, with every single tournament game played on either CBS, TBS, TNT or truTV, the most important item in the household becomes the remote.
The most games being played at one time will be four, and a game plan needs to be determined before haphazardly jumping into the madness.
First off, identify your "A" game, or the game most important to you, such as your favorite local team. Find the channel the game is on and make that your home-base channel. Second, determine your "B" game and appropriate channel. The "B" game should be one you're interested in because of conference affiliation of your favorite team or a possible future opponent of your favorite team, should it be lucky enough to advance.
The "B" game channel should be set on your "previous channel" button for easy access.
Then, identify the "C" game, which could be a game expected to be hotly contested, such as an 8-seed vs. a 9-seed. Be sure to know the channel numerics for the "C" game so it can easily be turned to from the home-base channel "A." And, finally, the "D" game should be something like a 1-seed vs. a 16-seed, because chances are that one won't be worth watching but know the channel just in case.
And chances are your "A," "B" and "C" options may be at halftime at the same time, so this could be your only current action to watch.
Other helpful tips to ensure no buzzer beaters go unwatched:
• Be sure to check your batteries in the remote. Any other time of the year I'd recommend ignoring the low-battery notice until it totally goes out, but not in March. Have some spares as well, just in case.
• Never stray too far from the remote; keep it within arms reach at all times.
• Know your remote. If you have to look down at the remote to hit the buttons, you've got no chance. Give it to someone who knows what they're doing.
• Be mindful of the time left in a game. Television timeouts are taken when the game clock goes below every four-minute interval (under 16, 12, 8 and 4 minutes of each half). So, as soon as the whistle blows and action is stopped and the clock reads 11:58, you know a timeout is coming; go ahead and flip the channel to your next option.
• Take a glance every now and then at the scores in the upper portion of the television screen. If a game is close in the closing minutes, change to it, unless you're watching your favorite team, then don't worry about anything else (on the court or off).
• Stuck at work during the action? NCAA.com should have you covered.
• If you're stuck in school, then you just aren't trying hard enough and I can't help you.
Otherwise, follow these instructions and you should be set for the Road to the Final Four march.
August 28, 2013 | 10:08 AM
It was a tight match on the closing day of competition when one of the participants buried a 25-foot, downhill putt to take a one-up lead on the 16th hole that would hold until the closing hole. On the 18th, a difficult par-4 that forces a lay-up for the less-than-perfect drive, the opponent played the lay-up shot well and then drilled a 15 footer for par to win the hole and secure a half point for his side, which helped lead to an overall victory.
This wasn't the Ryder or President's Cup, but it was similar, only with a lot less talent, fan following and discipline from the participants.
Each August, a fairly large group of North Harrison High School graduates make the trek to the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Alabama for three days of (mostly) friendly competition.
The teams for each year are picked well in advance by the two captains and co-creators of the trip, Charlie Pitman and Brent Martin.
This year, each team consisted of eight players, with team Martin coming out on top for the second year in a row, matching Pitman's wins in the first two years of the trip.
The group, which has been as small as 10 and as large as 16, has played seven of the 11 sites on the trail, or 243 out of 369 championship holes.
The courses are all quite unique, diverse and pristine, making for the best possible trip of its kind.
Jones and Jones Jr. loved to design courses with greens massive in size and diabolical in undulation, causing golfers to consider the correct area of the green to land and the courses are built in hilly, wooded areas that include tall pine trees and an array of bodies of water. It's not uncommon to hear usually strange comments like "Stay on the right quadrant!" or "Knock it down conifer!"
More than a great golf destination trip, it's also a good time for old and new friends, close and distant friends or best friends to catch up with each other.
Golf, more than anything else, is good for that, since you're stuck with the people in your group for four, sometimes five hours, with everyone taking their own unique and often crooked path to the 18th green. I guess that's why they say golf mirrors life. Everyone begins and ends in the same place, but what goes on between is yours, and only yours. Unless of course, it's a team game, in which case you can judge, admonish and scold all you want.
Groups of all ages such as this one exist all over the country, with a traveling trophy or cup, and many choose the Robert Trent Jones Trail as the host.
Such is the case for the Ryder Cup-style event with the former North Harrison Cougars (and one adopted New Albany Bulldog) that, hopefully, will continue until it's physically impossible.
June 26, 2013 | 10:00 AM
Words heard most often on the tours at Indiana Caverns include "Wow," "Whoa," "Neat" and "Look at that!"
Indiana Caverns has an abundance of attractions that make it a must visit for anyone living in or around Harrison County.
First and foremost is history behind the cave and its many bones from ice age animals. Not long after the more than an hour-long tour begins, visitors can look down upon bison bones. Further along in the tour is, at least for now, an active paleontologist dig with visible bones. The cave also features bear wallows or beds on both sides throughout the tour.
Bones found in the cave include peccary, bison, bear, birds, snakes, owls, beavers, boreal red-back vole, porcupine and passenger pigeon. And there's more to come, because the exploring and digging has only just begun.
The coolest part of the tour is the boat ride on the underground river. Guests pack onto a trolling motor-powered boat and make their way through turns and low-ceiling areas before turning around and coming back.
The views throughout the cave, beginning in Big Bone Mountain, are stunning.
It is also quite accessible, with two spiral staircases as the only difficult walking areas. Folks of average height only have to duck in a couple of spots, but, other than that, it's as easy as a stroll through the park. Visitors as young as toddlers and as old as 70-plus visited on opening day.
The introductory video before going on the tour does a good job of raising the excitement. And the cave itself definitely doesn't disappoint.
The gift shop area is second to none of other show caves with plenty of shopping options and interesting items to keep visitors busy before and after the tour.
A walking trail above ground helps relate the surface with the cave world below and is perfect for educational purposes.
Indiana Caverns will be one of the best field-trip spots for students in the region for a long time to come.
The cost is reasonable — $18 for an adult and $9 for children — with special discounts for groups or schools.
Parking is not an issue, but the road leading to Indiana Caverns, Green Acres Drive, needs to be widened. Two vehicles going in opposite directions can't pass each other without one stopping or, at times, even backing up.
Cavern representatives visited the Harrison County Board of Commissioners last year about the issues but nothing has been done as of yet.
The cave is located just southwest of Corydon off Shiloh Road and is open daily, except Thanksgiving and Christmas, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (hours will reduce to 5 p.m. November through March).
For more information, call 734-1200 or visit indianacaverns.com.
June 05, 2013 | 10:37 AM
The 2013 PGA Tour season isn't even halfway complete, and it's already become one of the most interesting seasons to follow that I can remember.
There's the story of Tiger Woods trying to win his first major since his greatest major victory in 2008 on one leg in the U.S. Open in 91 holes against gamer Rocco Mediate, all the while chasing Jack Nicklaus' all-time majors record; Woods' illegal drop story at the Masters and subsequent questionable one at The Players; the erratic play of Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson; and, of course, the latest feud with old rivals Woods and Sergio Garcia.
The Garcia-Woods rivalry hit a new high, or low, last week when Garcia's quick-witted response to a Golf Channel question included serving fried chicken to Woods each night during the U.S. Open in June.
Woods later tweeted that the comment was inappropriate and hurtful, but he was ready to move on from The Players Championship, where Garcia and Woods went toe-to-toe on and off the course.
Garcia blamed Woods for an errant shot when the two were paired together on Saturday, May 11, of the tournament, and Woods called Garcia a whiner. Woods is probably right about the whiner part, Garcia said, then going on to needle Woods by saying that's about the only accurate thing he has told the media the last 15 years.
On May 12, Garcia was in great position to have a shot to beat or tie Woods before dumping two in the water on the famed 17th at TPC at Sawgrass.
Garcia — considered one of if not the best player yet to win a major championship — is playing well of late, which makes things even more interesting, because Woods is obviously playing well, possibly on his way to the best year of his career. A career that has had a little success, for those who didn't know.
The next time the two will cross paths, hopefully, at least, will be at the U.S. Open June 13 through 16 at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa.
Garcia received a warm welcome at his first event since making the fried chicken comment in England on the European Tour. Don't expect the welcome to be quite as warm in the U.S. Garcia's been the target of American fans before, also at a U.S. Open, when he re-gripped his club 20-plus times before each shot.
Some fans have called Woods a cheater, and some have called Garcia a racist, so we could have the racist vs. the cheater for the U.S. Open. Enticing headline as it is, neither title fits either player. I'd prefer El Niño vs. El Tigre.
I watch the "Feherty Show" on a regular basis (must-watch TV), and one episode featured Garcia and, after watching that, I have no doubt there's nothing racist about Garcia. And only the most ardent Woods' detractors would seriously believe he's a cheater. He's not.
There is no love lost, however, between the two; instead, there's genuine dislike.
How enticing would it be to see Garcia and Woods playing well in the final group together on the weekend? Throw in McIlroy, Mickelson and maybe Rickie Fowler; talk about must-see TV.
The interest level will be at an all-time high in the majors the rest of the way this year and next, which includes the 2014 PGA Championship at Valhalla in Louisville. It's just a shame a racial comment helped peak that interest.
Speaking of the PGA Championship at Valhalla, the way Woods is playing right now, there's a good chance he could secure three majors before Valhalla and come to Louisville with the chance to tie Nicklaus' all-time majors record (Valhalla is a Nicklaus-designed course), the only record Woods has chased since writing it above his bed as a child. That would make for a spectacular week for Valhalla and Louisville, a course that has seen the Americans' only Ryder Cup win in the last 14 years and also one of Woods' best battles for a major in the 2000 PGA Championship.
As long as Woods is involved, professional golf will have its hero and villain.
All of Woods' potential rivals have fallen by the way side and not been able to keep pace, including a young Garcia, David Duval, Ernie Els, Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and the list goes on.
Mickelson is the closest thing to a competitive rival for Woods, and McIlroy looks like the best option going forward (both have had more major success in the last five years than Woods). But maybe Garcia, still only in his early 30s, is ready to give it another go.
Who are you rooting for?
April 17, 2013 | 01:21 PM
One of my Louisville fan buddies once wore a T-shirt that had the Cardinals basketball logo and the words "Since before you were born" written on the front of it. I didn't understand what it meant then — and probably still don't know what the shirt was trying to say — but I think I, at least, have an idea.
Growing up in Southern Indiana, everyone gives basketball a try at one time or another; it just comes with the territory. I'm not sure you'll find any other part of the country where kids skipped lunch to get a game or two in before heading back to class as we used to do in middle school.
Every kid had their favorite college team, which, for the most part, was either Indiana or Kentucky. I was one of the rare breed that wore the Cardinals shade of red over Crimson and would get a nauseous feeling at the sight of Kentucky blue (and, no, I wasn't alone).
I've noticed a transformation around here since those days in the not-so-distant past. It's hard to travel a few miles down or up S.R. 135 without seeing a Cardinals license plate on the front of a vehicle. It's just as likely, possibly even more so, these days that you'll see a kid at school wearing a Louisville shirt rather than Indiana or Kentucky. It didn't used to be that way.
In high school, I can remember only four legitimate Louisville fans in our class of about 160. There was, however, one teacher smarter than the rest who proudly flew her Louisville flag in the classroom for all to see. The only possible way to delay her lesson on trigonometry was to talk to her about Denny Crum. And believe me, I tried all other ways, as well.
Many of my friends had the portrait of the young boy shooting hoops outdoors with the bubble dream of playing in Assembly Hall pictured above him. In my room, you would find no such thing; you'd have better luck seeing a growling, angry, fighting cardinal staring back at you.
Now, it wasn't always easy being a Cards' fan in the '90s and the early part of this decade, but, in my mind, at least, there's nothing else to be.
Once, when I was in elementary school (OK, eighth-grade, maybe), one of Denny Crum's teams fell helplessly behind a team they had no business losing to. So, I began to cry right there in front of the TV. Mom worriedly asked me what was wrong.
"They're going to lose!" I sobbed.
Instead of laughing at me, she comfortingly said, "Oh, they'll come back!"
They didn't, but they regrouped and so did I.
Another tough loss to swallow for the Cards was back in 2003 in the second round of the NCAA tournament. With the hiring of Rick Pitino just a season prior, fans were ready to see his March magic at work. But, as fate would have it, we would have to wait a couple years later for that. The Butler Bulldogs shot their way from behind to pull the upset, sending a strong contingent of Louisville fans home disappointed from Birmingham, Ala. From Birmingham, we headed down to Panama City, Fla., for spring break, but the vacation was already ruined by Darnell Archey and his ridiculous 8-of-9 shooting from behind the arc. Back home, my brother took his frustration out on his bedroom wall, leaving a nice surprise for our parents. With some deft poster re-arranging, the gaping hole wasn't revealed for a good while.
That's just a couple of a number of frustrating examples of post '80s-life rooting for Louisville, but there have been some great moments as well, like the climb "from out of the Pit" victory to get back to the Final Four in 2005.
Many thought the long NCAA title drought would come to an end in 2009, when the Cards held the top overall spot in the tournament, but a good game plan from a great coach with a funny name sent what seemed like half the city of Louisville back down Interstate 65 in a slow, sad, bumper-to-bumper procession.
Then, of course, last year, when the Cards made an unlikely run to the Final Four to meet one of the best teams college basketball has ever seen in the Kentucky Wildcats. It was more of a celebration of the state of college basketball in Kentucky than the fierce rivalry both fan bases have been accustomed to lately, but that didn't make the hard-fought loss any easier to accept.
The calendar eventually flipped to 2013, and most Cardinals fans knew they were watching a special season, with special players and the perfect man to lead them. But no one could have predicted the gut-wrenching emotional run the bunch endured from the Big East Tournament all the way to Atlanta, Ga.
When the program closed the curtain on Freedom Hall in 2010, I saw the passion, respect and understanding that truly places the Cardinals faithful behind no other fan base, and maybe what the "Since before you were born" shirt was describing.
With the gates just opening more than a couple hours before the tip, the concourse was shoulder to shoulder and the buzz in the building was impossible to describe, but it felt something like that short second or two when every horse is in its starting position just before taking off in the Kentucky Derby, when time stops.
My biggest regret from the game was not finding a game-day program. I tried and tried, but they must have been gone before I had a chance. The vendors selling those programs must have had the easiest job in the building that day.
I can't remember a time, place or event when I became a Louisville fan, so, in that sense, I guess, it was before I was born. Some Cards fans are born, but not all, as the growing fan base proves. Others jump on as time and teams pass, like the 2013 version of Cardinals, who probably made more fans along the way than any other.
The television replay of the 1986 national championship game was being shown on the big screen before the final game in Freedom Hall, giving those fans not yet born or too young to remember a chance to see what it felt like to experience Louisville winning a national championship.
Finally, that group of the fan base doesn't have to rely on past generations or video replays to experience a championship.
January 18, 2013 | 04:36 PM
In a previous story, from the Harrison County Board of Commissioners final meeting of 2012, published Jan. 2, RQAW consultant Bred Dodd told the board that inmates will not have to be housed at a different jail during the Justice Center and jail renovation, scheduled to begin soon.
Sheriff Rodney (Rod) Seelye, however, corrected Dodd in a recent interview and said that's not the case.
Seelye said inmates will still need to be moved out of the jail to another jail, even though the department will do everything it can to keep the costs down.
The cost will be about $38 per inmate, per day, for an approximate cost of $800 a day. The inmate transfer cost is not built into the $1.2 million figure approved for the project.
The jail, which is 17 years old, needs to undergo several maintenance projects. Exterior and interior caulking, glazing and repair and replacement of sealant throughout the facility need to be completed. Re-coating of shower walls and floors are also necessary because water is leaking through the walls and into inmate sleeping areas. Stainless steel shower units in all inmate areas also need to be replaced due to abuse.
Bids were taken on the project in December.
Seelye also asked the county council, on Jan. 14, for permission to create a non-reverting fund for the seizure of drug assets forfeited to or secured by the sheriff's department. In a discussion about the reasons why the council shouldn't approve spending out of the fund, which can be used for a number of things in the sheriff's department, he mentioned the department buying drugs and needing a large amount of cash to do so.
I mentioned that in the story published Jan. 16 but didn't explain why, which will be used for the department's fight against illegal narcotics.
November 01, 2012 | 03:15 PM
Shelli Yoder, the Democrat candidate for the Ninth Congressional seat, returned to Harrison County Tuesday evening for the Harrison County Farm Bureau Meet the Candidates event a night after participating in a debate, at Corydon Central High School, with incumbent Republican Todd Young.
The meet-the-candidates event took place at the Farm Bureau office along Federal Drive in Corydon.
Yoder said her campaign is of the grassroots, throw-back variety of going door-to-door and attending any event she can.
Yoder's effort can't be denied, as it marked the third appearance in four days for Yoder in the county (she also attended Halloween events Saturday evening in Corydon).
Young did not attend the meet-the-candidates event, where candidates were given a brief amount of time to tell the audience about themselves or their plans, if elected.
The event began like a football game, with host Peter J. Schickel flipping a coin in front of Harrison County party chairs Scott Fluhr, Republican, and Barbara Black, Democrat, to determine which party's candidates would speak first in their respective races.
All candidates for Harrison County races, state or national races that Harrison Countians vote for were welcome to speak.
The Indiana District 70 representative race features incumbent Republican Rhonda Rhoads and Democrat Terry Miller. Miller attended and spoke at the event.
Both candidates from the District 73 race, Sandra Blanton (Democrat) and incumbent Steve Davisson (Republican) were in attendance.
Candidates for Harrison County offices who participated included: Commissioner District 1 — James Goldman (Democrat incumbent) and George Ethridge (Republican); Commissioner District 2 — Kenny Saulman (Republican) and Scott Hussung (Democrat); County Council at-large — Jim Heitkemper (Republican incumbent), Sherry Brown (Republican), Marion (M.E.) Wallace (Republican), Leslie Robertson (Democrat) and Pat Wolfe (Democrat); Surveyor — Harold Klinstiver (Republican who is finishing the term of the late Thomas O. Bube) and Steve Haggard (Democrat); Recorder — Barbara Best (Republican incumbent) and Debby Mathes (Democrat); and Circuit Court Clerk, Sally Whitis (Republican).
October 10, 2012 | 10:19 AM
One of the first, or at least longest-lasting, ideas taught in journalism school is the importance of the "marketplace of ideas" in this country and the free world that allows for public discourse and a voice to be heard even if it is a one-and-a-million opinion.
That one thought could change the mind of others and lead to an entirely new movement, or it could be something as simple as the best restaurant to eat in town.
The best place to share ideas in this community is through this newspaper and The Clarion News for its coverage area.
This week marks National Newspaper Week (Oct. 7 through 13), a week set aside to recognize the importance of the newspaper to our community.
This year, the national theme for the week is "Newspapers — The Cornerstone of Your Community."
That phrase rings as true in our community as any other.
The newspaper is more than a place for staff and readers to share ideas. No other place exists where Harrison Countians can receive the following information in one, easy-to-use and inexpensive package: coverage of local government units, obituaries, high school sports, social news, church and civic organization news, grocery store and other advertising, retail business sales information, election news, opinions and letters to the editor, business news and, of course, Live Wire.
Readers can save the price of their paper in coupons without much effort week in, week out.
In this day and age of social networks, there may be other avenues for news, but most of them do not have the neutral outlook of the news stories found in newspapers, thus putting the choice in the hands of the readers to determine which side to throw their support on an issue.
The First Amendment to the Constitution states that Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; and as long as newspapers are around, as watchdogs for readers, that amendment will always be true.