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 Letters Published in April 30, 2008 Issue



 Apr. 30, 2008 - Letter submitted by Mark Fort, CAB School Board Candidate, Wayne Twp.

I would like to extend my thanks to all the citizens who were able to attend the "Meet and Greet" and Knightstown Chamber of Commerce's forum for candidates running for the CAB school board.

As a candidate, it was important to me to hear the concerns and ideas others have pertaining to the school system. It is vital to our community that we change many of the current school board policies, and you can help do this by voting on May 6 for the candidates who will demand openness and honesty.

Thanks for all your support.



 Apr. 30, 2008 - Letter submitted by Joe Mueller, Knightstown

Well, the school board election is next week, and its seems like we still don't know what's in those records that they've been hiding. One thing you can count on, the people of this town need to know just what it is that CAB is hiding. I'm not a gambler, but I'll bet it's a dilly when it does come out. Just look at all the money (that's our tax dollars) the school board has wasted trying to keep anyone from knowing, all the while they have to cut back on classes and services our kids need to get a good education. They don't have the money to teach what's needed because they waste it on attorney fees.

Next week we all get a chance to stand up and be heard. People, it's time to get off our butts and show up at the polls to vote and vote for a big change. Nothing is ever going to get done with this old school board, so it's time to vote in new members.

Remember to vote - it's your right as a citizen of the CAB district and a citizen of the good old U.S.A. Make a difference. Make yourself proud. Go vote!



 Apr. 30, 2008 - Letter submitted by Leah Kopp, CAB School Boarrd candidate, Wayne Township

I stood before the Chamber of Commerce school board forum two years ago with visions of grandeur and said that I, Leah Kopp, wanted to be on the Charles A. Beard School Board. After 14 months and steadfast perseverance, I was elected to the school board to replace the vacancy left by David Bundy. I had previously run for the school board election in 2006, and I came in second behind Kevin Knott. Finally, it was my turn!

These last 14 months have been an adventure. During this adventure, stumbling blocks have appeared along the path, but I persevered. First, I have learned that one must get past the past before anyone can look to the future. Second, sometimes we make the right decisions and sometimes we have to make the decisions right.

It would be easy to make promises. Promises that would or could influence your vote, but can they be kept? How much power does one member have? The misconceptions to what a school board member can do causes broken promises.

First of all, a school board member has no right to make promises or commitments outside of board meetings and has no individual authority to commit the school corporation to a particular course of action. Second, although an effective school board member must take a community leadership role in matters of public education, this role must be performed in a manner consistent with legal and ethical concept. Third, policy development, adoption, and evaluation are the chief functions of the school board.

With that being said, I am going to tell you why I want to remain a member of the Charles A. Beard School Board. First, I have a deep passion for the education of students, especially the students in this community. I have worked for Eder Vocational Center for 21 years. I am in a classroom everyday with students, and even though I am not instructing students, I am learning from students by listening to their thoughts and concerns.

Second, our students have many advantages today in the area of education. Students of Charles A. Beard can succeed in the areas of academic scholarship and vocational trade. Students participating in the vocational programs can receive college credit while still in high school. Students with special needs, which are approximately 24 percent of the current enrollment, are succeeding in the areas of academic and vocational instruction.

Third, I'm proud to have lived in Knightstown all of my life! I am a 1974 graduate of KHS, my husband was a member of the Class of '67, and our parents are also Knightstown alumni. My husband and I have raised and graduated five children in Knightstown, and I currently have a grandson in the Knightstown Elementary. My granddaughter attends the Kids Corner program, and another will be added next year. So yes, my investment in this corporation is personal and professional, and this is what drives me to make the Charles A. Beard School Board a successful and resourceful entity.

I believe that the impact of the economy has painted a gloom and doom picture. It is my hope that we strive to cut expenditures that will have the least impact on education. We have many dedicated teachers in the schools that are doing great things with our students. I would like to see the community start sharing in the learning process by mentoring students, volunteering time to read to elementary students, or even helping with a lesson in history or geography. The Knightstown community has many things to offer our students, and our students will learn many academic and social skills. You can help this school corporation in many ways. You can attend the PTO meetings to provide valuable information or ideas, or you can simply purchase items from Market Day. For those of you who are already doing these things, thank you. I commend you for your devotion to our schools and students.

I would like to finish with this thought - I honestly feel like my role on this school board is just starting to take shape. I have listened, and I will continue to listen to the many voices in this community. I will continue to seek advice and look forward to making the advancements for our students.

Please vote for Leah Kopp on May 6!



 Apr. 30, 2008 - Letter submitted by Tim Wehr, CAB School Board candidate, Ripley Township

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the people who have supported me so far in this campaign by putting signs in your yard, attending our meet and greet, and supporting me during the forum.

For those of you that have not decided who to vote for on May 6th, let me tell you about myself. I am all about change. I think that we can all agree that our school system could use some changes. First and foremost we need to make the meetings accessible to the public again by allowing them to speak freely. I believe that our students deserve more and the deception needs to stop. Dollars that should have been used for students' education have been spent on legal fees instead. I feel that we need to take a hard look at our administrative costs and see what we can do to put more of those funds towards education. I will be an advocate for our students, teachers, and support staff, making sure that their needs are put first.

Let me put my experience in local government to work for you. I have experience in dealing with budgets and public access policies. I am currently a Citizen Advisory Committeeman for the Rush County Solid Waste Board and a past Rush County Area Plan Commission member. My wife Abbie and I have six children with three a Carthage Elementary this year and four next year. We are members at St. Rose Church and I have been involved with Make a Difference Knightstown for a number of years.

I hope that you share in my vision for our corporation. I know that I will put my best efforts forward not only for the people of Ripley Township but the rest of citizens of the district.



 Apr. 30, 2008 - Letter submitted by Ron Short, New Lisbon

The recent meeting of the school board candidates in the Hoosier Gym provided some interesting comments. As the candidates introduced themselves and expressed some basic views, they all agreed with the "openness" to the community as one of their objectives.

When Mike Fruth expressed his desire for openness I almost fell off my chair. In the past few months it has seemed quite obvious to me that Fruth has taken pains to limit or suppress public expression and especially discussion at board meetings. Is this a miraculous change of heart? I don't think so.

Debi Ware talked about how she is now prepared to make better decisions regarding the selection of a new superintendent of schools. Isn't it one term too late, Debi? She also touched on what a burden it was to serve on the board while holding a full time job. Did you misjudge the responsibility or lack the proper commitment?

Jeremy Howard made the statement that there are students being graduated who can not read or write. It was very upsetting to me that no one seemed upset by that statement. Since that meeting I have talked to several parents who have agreed with that statement.

Fruth and Ware were both on the board that selected Superintendent McGuire in 2006, and the whole community has some idea of what a fiasco his term became. Based on that and their continued reliance on the same University Team consult ants that provided McGuire in the continuing search for a new superintendent, I question the competence of Fruth, Ware and other members of their "yes" board.

Kevin Knott is the bright spot on the current board. I have observed that Kevin is dedicated to openness and reasonable approaches to solving real problems. Kevin has questioned things and has been pretty much stone-walled. So much for openness. But Kevin has been fighting pretty much a one-man battle and needs support.

So, in the time Fruth and Ware have been on the board we have had the debacle of McGuire, a track unfit to have meets, students who can't read or write, and a record of discouraging community cooperation and communication. But in their comments at last week's forum they talked about the responsibilities of the board to select good administrators and manage the money well. It baffles me why they chose to run again. But it seems quite obvious that Fruth and Ware should not be reelected.



 Apr. 30, 2008 - Letter submitted by Tom Hoepf, Knightstown

Last Thursday afternoon while I was driving east on Main Street in Knightstown, traffic slowed as a funeral procession approached. The minivan directly in front of me came to a complete stop. As the police cruiser passed and the procession proceeded west on Main, the eastbound traffic ahead began moving again--except the minivan. Making eye contact with the young woman behind the wheel, I motioned for her to go on. I did not say anything, nor did I honk my horn.

After the funeral procession had passed, the woman stuck her head and shoulders out of the van window, turned to me and yelled, "It's called respect, and you should get some!"

Surprised, I didn't say anything. My immediate thought was that she should have paid her respects to the dead at the funeral home. I also wondered what happened for her respect for me, her elder with more than 40 years of experience as a motorist.

Just to be certain, I looked up funeral procession law on the Internet. As I had remembered from drivers' training class, the statutes do not address oncoming traffic; therefore, it is not against the law to continue driving in the opposite direction of a funeral procession.

An article in the Feb. 5, 2008, issue of the Raleigh, N.C., News & Observer reported that "North Carolina traffic laws recognize that some drivers want to show their respect for the dead. But life and traffic must go on. According to state law and the DMV handbook: 'A driver who sees an approaching funeral procession may choose to slow or stop until the mourners have moved on. But a driver who stops must pull completely off the roadway, so other drivers can still get by without having to change lanes.”

So, let's all treat each other with respect and not have any instances of road rage in our town.



 Apr. 30, 2008 - Letter submitted by KIS Seventh/Eighth Grade Class Officers and Student Council and Patti Keesling, sponsor

The annual Late Show, an all-night lock-in at Knightstown Intermediate School was held April 11 and 12. One hundred nineteen students in grades 7 and 8 had a great time, thanks to very supportive parents and a generous business community.

The class officers and Student Council members who planned the event would like to publicly acknowledge Mr. Chris Bundy, Mr. and Mrs. Don Scheumann, and Mrs. Tabatha Brown for chaperoning and sharing in the fun. Scott and Suzee Neal and their cadre of volunteers solicited an abundance of donations from businesses. Over fifty wonderful parents donated food and chaperoned. Thank you to all!

Thanks also to the following businesses that supported the event: Tweedy Lumber Company, Jim Lukens Quality Hardwoods, Suzy's Pizza, Kozy Kabin Hair Salon, National Road Amoco, YOUnique Hair Salon, MainSource Bank, Dr. C. J. Shaneyfelt, The Mane Gathering, Subway, Cooper's Sport Bowl in Anderson. From Greenfield: Papa John's, Legacy Cinemas, Dairy Queen, WalMart, Pizza Hut, McDonald's Restaurant. From New Castle: Rose Bowl, Kroger, Rural King, Auto Zone, Citizens State Bank, Pfenninger Insurance Agency, Properties Unlimited, Pizza Hut, The Sports Corner, Mancino's, Myers Furniture and Appliances, Loveless Construction, Famous Hair Company, Marsh Supermarket, Sherwin-Williams, Marilyn's Flowers and Gifts, Futuristic Hair Designers, Goodwin Brothers Auto, Bronze Bay Tanning Center, Wendy's Restaurant, Ace Hardware, Tractor Supply Company, WalMart, Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Without this large base of support, the event could not have happened. Thank you!



 Apr. 30, 2008 - Letter submitted by Marty R. Howard, New Castle

I've known Debi Ware for several years. As someone I trust to do business with, I would trust her also to serve another four years as a school board member for the Charles A. Beard Memorial School Corporation.

I've live in Henry County all my life, know many by playing sports, and now I own my own business. I believe in giving back to the community that's helped me become the person I am today, and Debi is no different. She's committed to her job, the community by volunteering and helping others, being a mother and "grammie" to three that live in the school district she wants to serve another four years.

I'm aware of some of what's been written and said about Debi in the local paper. They've elected to endorse their chosen ones, saying unkind things about the others. That is their opinion, yes, but is that right? Freedom of speech - yes, it's allowed, but how can you write about someone if you truly don't know them? You might say she doesn't come talk to us; well, I sure wouldn't if you wrote about me this way. Would you print what I truly said or would you put your own twist on the words? I wouldn't take that chance with you. Debi could give up with all the ugliness that's happened these last four years but she's not a quitter.

I hope the taxpayers of the CAB School Corp. think "DEBI" when they go to vote on May 6. Know that when you want someone to work hard for you, that's Deb. Volunteer? -- that's Deb. Have your child's future as her main reason for wanting to serve you another four years? - that's Deb.

I believe in her, what she stands for and I know she's working hard to make your corporation one people will talk good about. I know Deb is responsible for a small part of continuing what the signs have always stated. Deb truly believes the southwest corner of Henry County, along with the northwest corner of Rush County, is a great place to visit but a better place to live and raise your family in a community that cares.



 Apr. 30, 2008 - Letter submitted by Kit C. Dean Crane, Henry County Prosecutor

I wanted to take this opportunity to urge everyone to vote for Beverly Gard for Indiana State Senate, District 28.

I have had the pleasure of knowing Senator Gard for nearly 20 years. On many occasions as Henry County Prosecutor, I have had an opportunity to discuss legislation affecting our criminal code with Senator Gard. Senator Gard is one of the most accessible and productive legislators I know.

Particularly noteworthy was Senator Gard's efforts to fix a defect in our drunk driving laws. When repeat drunk drivers continue to reoffend, prosecutors can file a request with the sentencing court to find that the defendant is a Habitual Substance Offender and have an additional three to eight years added to their underlying sentence upon their conviction. This procedure was jeopardized by a pair of November 1995 Indiana Supreme Court decisions in which the court concluded that the General Assembly did not intend for the Habitual Substance Offender sentencing enhancement to be applied to repeat drunk drivers.

Once Senator Gard became aware of this defect, she immediately authored, introduced, and obtained passage of legislation fixing the defect. Due to her efforts, prosecutors around the State of Indiana can better prosecute repeat drunk drivers. Indiana's streets and highways are safer because of Senator Gard's leadership and determination. For continued leadership, please cast a vote for Senator Beverly Gard.



 Apr. 30, 2008 - Letter submitted by Anthony W. Lorton, public information officer, Knightstown Police Department

The Knightstown Police Department wishes to alert the public of No Parking signs recently placed on Lake Drive entering Sunset Park. The town council, park board and the KPD are requesting that there be no parking on either side of Lake Drive from County Road 775-West to the entrance to the softball fields. The main concern is that the road is narrow, and when vehicles are parked on this street, it becomes too narrow for emergency vehicles to enter or exit the park when they are needed. Knightstown officers will at first attempt to locate the owners of vehicles in violation of the No Parking signs. If the owner of the vehicle cannot be located within a reasonable amount of time, they are subject to being issued a citation.

Additional parking for the softball fields will be made available to the south of the restroom building located adjacent to the ball fields.

Thank you for your cooperation.



 Apr. 30, 2008 - Letter submitted by Bart Whitesitt, Republican Precinct Committeeman, Knightstown

What does the Henry County Council need? With the primaries coming up May 6 and all the candidates running for local offices, I have been thinking about what Henry County needs. Henry County could definitely use some new blood, with residents leaving the county in vast numbers. The "Brain Drain" has had a profound effect on Henry County in the last few years.

So, I believe the county council should be dedicated to economic development that would bring new jobs to Henry County and encourage college graduates to return to their home. We are lucky to have a candidate running for county council that understands economic development and the myriad of issues that surround it; that candidate is Mike McKown.

As I have been out canvassing with Mike the past few weeks, I have seen how well he relates to the people of Henry County and their concerns. Mike graduated from New Castle Chrysler High School, as well as from Ball State Universtity, but chose to return to Henry County to live. Mike McKown understands how important economic development really is through his own experiences as a local business owner and volunteering to help bring the racetrack to Spiceland. Mike and his wife, Amy, have made McKown Studio and Galleries a great success in New Castle, as well as McKown Properties, LLC.

Mike has worked in photography in all the school corporations in the county for many years. He has related well with the youth of Henry County and been an active member of the Henry County Y.M.C.A., as well as the Community Foundation. I have heard Mike say he wants his children, Addison and Blake, to have good jobs waiting for them in Henry County in the future. Going door-to-door, we have found that many Henry County residents have the same concern with careers for their own children.

Mike McKown is a paradigm of a well-rounded candidate that can take on any issue in Henry County. Working throughout the county, Mike has come to understand the different issues facing each of the townships. Mike's experience and tenacity is exactly what the Henry County Council needs. Mike McKown understands better than anyone that a picture speaks a thousand words, So, join me on Tuesday, May 6, in supporting Mike McKown for county council to make Henry County a picture-perfect place.


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