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 Letters Published in July 23, 2008 Issue



July 23, 2008 - Letter submitted by Judy Monko, Knightstown

 Dear Editor,

I think a K-9 for the Police Department would be very helpful for the community in the fight against drugs. We live in a small community and like to think that the big city problem with drugs doesn't happen here. However, we have had several issues with drugs this past year that should have opened peoples eyes to this growing problem. If every individual in Knightstown would donate $20 to this K-9 Fund then our Police Department would get a valuable asset.


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July 23, 2008 - Letter submitted by Nikki Davis, Carthage

 Dear Editor,

I have lived in the Knightstown area my whole life. While I now live in the rural Carthage area, my children attend Knightstown Intermediate School and play many sports through the school as well as the Optimist Club. With gas prices being the way they are I have spent the last couple of football and baseball seasons walking around town while they are at practice. Recently my family was blessed with a new addition to our family and he has taken to going on those travels with me happily riding in the stroller.

Several times this spring and summer I have encountered some youths from our community out walking and enjoying the weather also. After the third time of having to push the stroller into the grass to let a group of pre-teens pass by (because they could not walk single file past me) I became disheartened and wondered what has happened to our children and if my own teenager would do the same thing to someone.

Yesterday I encountered a child that lifted my spirits and made me believe in our children once again. The night before my grandpa went to the hospital for surgery a young girl by the name of Jill Gross rode her bike over to his house while I was there. She came onto the back patio quietly and handed him a card she had made with a letter she had written on it, gave him a big hug and told him she hoped his surgery went well and left as quietly as she came. I could feel my heart soar. My grandpa told me she even wanted to bring him dinner that night but he had told her not to.

In her letter she said she would pray for him and wanted him to get well soon. If my grandma needed any help around the house she would like to help out in any way. I know my grandpa has thanked some of the other kids that live around them for all of the help the give him in this same area of the paper. From sweeping the patio to raking leaves they are there and earn an ice cream bar for their trouble. I'm not sure what the names of the other kids are but, I want to thank them, especially Jill, for restoring my faith in the youth of our community.


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July 23, 2008 - Letter submitted by Becky Skillman, Indiana Lt. Governor

 Dear Editor,

When Governor Daniels and I assumed office, we were driven to ensure that all areas of our state would flourish and develop economically. In order to accomplish that goal, I took on an additional role as the first-ever Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development. It is a role I take very seriously. In the last three and a half years, we have made significant progress in developing and dedicating resources to our rural communities.

One notable achievement was the creation of the Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) to serve rural areas through personal, financial, and technical assistance. In 2005, we toured the state seeking input from our rural constituencies. From that feedback, we developed OCRA's priorities for serving rural Indiana and created "Breaking the Boundaries," OCRA's strategic plan.

In July and August, members of OCRA's staff will be visiting twelve different locations across the state to meet with citizens and assess the needs of rural communities. The feedback and concerns from those sessions will be used to direct OCRA's priorities in updating the agency's strategic plan.

Your input is incredibly valuable in helping us meet the needs of our rural areas. I strongly encourage you to attend one of the sessions and let us know how we can best assist you. A listening session in your area will be held on Wednesday, July 23 at the New Castle-Henry County Library located at 376 South 15th Street in New Castle. Registration will begin at 5:00 p.m. and the event will begin at 5:30 p.m. For a complete list of meetings or to submit comments electronically, please visit

I have often said that rural development must happen by choice and not by chance. I hope that you make the choice to be a part of directing rural Indiana's future by attending.


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July 23, 2008 - Letter submitted by A. David Stippler, Indiana Utility Consumer Counselor

 Dear Editor,

Consumers should expect dramatically higher natural gas prices this winter. While it is too early for Indiana natural gas utilities to predict the exact impact on heating bills, the trend in the competitive national market is cause for serious concern.

National wholesale natural gas prices are very close to the all-time records set in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. In addition, current NYMEX futures costs are substantially higher than previous records for July - the time most gas utilities throughout the nation are filling winter storage supplies.

Useful tips at and energy audit tools on various utility Websites can help consumers reduce consumption and better manage their bills. Natural gas and electric utilities offer budget billing options that can provide consumers with greater predictability when planning ahead.

Most importantly, I encourage consumers to keep the communication lines open with their utilities - especially if facing a financial hardship. If a particular bill cannot be paid in full and on time, it is crucial that the consumer contact the utility immediately to make payment arrangements to ensure costs are managed during the heating season.



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