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Letters Published in July 30, 2008 Issue
July 30, 2008 - Letter submitted by Starr Keller, Carthage
On Saturday, July 19, I was witness to, and unfortunately forced into, a situation that I have - at best - found highly unprofessional. And at worse, a situation that can easily escalate into serious future consequences for the public.
Not only am I completely disgusted with the unprofessional handling of the particular police situation, I am demanding that something be done before an innocent person is hurt.
At noon, my boyfriend left my house on Main Street in Carthage to run a quick errand. While traveling down Main Street in his 1979 International Scout, he was struck by a fire truck pulling from the Carthage Fire Station. Mind you, the fire truck did not have lights on, nor was it pulling out to attend to an emergency call. The fire truck t-boned the passenger side of the vehicle, resulting in major damage. My boyfriend rolled down the street a bit, dazed and completely flabbergasted that he had actually been hit by the fire truck.
After five minutes, the driver of the fire truck sauntered down to check on him. So much for emergency reaction time.
Now, accidents happen. This driver - the fire chief's son - I'm sure didn't mean to cause such an event, but nonetheless, it did occur and it would have been at very least respectful for him - and the other five emergency personnel who witnessed the accident - to respond in a more urgent manner.
When I arrived at the scene nearly 15 minutes later, there was absolutely no interaction between my boyfriend and the personnel who were present. I exited my vehicle, said aloud, "This really stinks," and was met with the following response from fire chief Boyd Duncan himself:
"We don't want to hear any sh#$ about it." I asked him to repeat himself, hoping that I'd misheard. Again, he said, "I told you. We don't want to hear any sh#% about it."
Now, I don't know about you, but while I greatly appreciate the work that volunteer persons do, I absolutely do not appreciate being spoken to like this from not only another human being, but the fire chief himself.
After waiting 40 minutes for a police officer to arrive, I sat and watched the scene unfold: This police officer, Brad Rogers, chats with fire fighting personnel. Nearly 10 minutes later, he comes down and asks for license/registration. He never asked if my boyfriend was hurt, he never asked for his side of the story, and he never once had the drivers of both vehicles (the fire chief's son was driving the fire truck) to come and exchange information. I have never seen such unprofessionalism in all my life. We were excused from the scene and went home.
Not 10 minutes later, Brad Rogers screams up in his police car and demands that my boyfriend take a field sobriety test, saying that witnesses said they smelled booze on his breath! This, after Rogers had stood nose to nose with him at the scene of the accident!
My boyfriend refused.
I own my home. I pay taxes, I mind my own business, and I absolutely did not deserve to be harassed and ridiculed in my own front yard. I asked the officer more than 25 times to leave my yard, leave my property. He refused. In fact, he asked me if I'd like to go to jail for disorderly conduct … in my own front yard!
Officer Rogers had no plan when he arrived at my house. He wanted to give a field sobriety test to a man who was hit by a fire truck, whose driver was the fire chief's son. He wanted to also go on hearsay and give that test - in my front yard - to someone he had released from the scene of an accident more than 10 minutes prior. In addition, he wanted to be a crazed person with his hand on his gun the entire time!
Now, I've had a run in with Rogers before. On Thanksgiving Day, he passed me on the Carthage Pike in his personal pick-up, flashing his badge and motioning me to pull over. I would not do it. How this man has now been given a police vehicle, a gun and jurisdiction is absolutely mind-boggling to me.
I want to live in a safe, quiet town. That's why I chose Carthage. I also want to feel like I'm protected - and not harassed - by the people in said positions. If Carthage officials are willing to let a man like Brad Rogers - who obviously does not know his jurisdiction, place, proper mannerisms, or rules - be patrolling the streets, I am fearful as to what might happen next.
At best, I find Brad Rogers to be infinitely unqualified for his position as a police officer in Carthage. At worse, I believe that his unrestrained role as a "peace" officer will only lead to litigious - and more seriously, dangerous - consequences to the citizens of Carthage.
July 30, 2008 - Letter submitted by Sue Hood, president, Knightstown Area Chamber of Commerce
Thank you to the Knightstown community for the support of the Fish Wagon for Christmas in July on July 11 and 12. This was hosted by the Chamber to help raise funds for new Christmas Banners for each end of US 40. Although we did not raise enough money to completely pay for the banners, the money that was raised will be applied to the $2000 cost of the banners.
We would especially like to thank Make a Difference Knightstown and Tri Kappa for the their very generous donation. The banners have been ordered and will arrive sometime this fall. We are still accepting donations. They can be made directly to Joni Roberts, our treasurer, at Ameriana, or mailed to Knightstown Chamber, P.O. Box 44, Knightstown, IN 46148. Thank you again for your support and helping to make sure that Knightstown will shine a little brighter this Christmas.
July 30, 2008 - Letter submitted by Jodie Reynolds, IRS Spokesperson (Indiana)
It's not too late to claim your economic stimulus payment. The IRS urges people to file by October 15 to ensure they receive a payment prior to year's end. Keep in mind that it can take up to eight weeks for the IRS to process the return and issue the payment.
People must file a 2007 tax return in order to qualify and be eligible for a stimulus payment. The Internal Revenue Service will continue processing tax returns and issuing economic stimulus payments for much of the year.
For people who have no tax liability or no tax filing requirement, there is a minimum payment of $300 ($600 for married couples), plus the $300 for each qualifying child. To be eligible for the minimum payment, individuals must have at least $3,000 in qualifying income.
Qualifying income includes any combination of earned income, nontaxable combat pay and certain benefit payments from Social Security, Veterans Affairs and Railroad Retirement. People who have no tax liability or no tax filing requirement only need to file a simple Form 1040A.
Remember, all people need to do is file a 2007 tax return. That's it. We'll do the rest. Please, visit www.irs.govfor details.
July 30, 2008 - Letter submitted by Scott Minier, executive director, Indiana Crime Prevention Coalition
Porch lights will be burning and grills will be sizzling, but more important, neighbors and local police and sheriff's deputies will be talking next Tuesday, Aug. 5, as communities across Indiana join in celebrating "National Night Out Against Crime."
Citizens, law enforcement, community groups, businesses and elected officials in more than 11,000 communities in all 50 states, U.S. territories and military bases worldwide will join ranks to mark the 25th annual National Night Out (NNO).
NNO serves as a "good excuse" for new neighbors to get to know one another and for old friends to become reacquainted. It also gives residents a chance to invite police officers and deputies who help keep our streets safe to stop by and chat about ways to work together to make our communities even stronger. The last thing drug dealers and criminals want is law abiding citizens and local authorities openly communicating and cooperating.
Whether or not your neighborhood has a planned event -- a backyard cookout, an ice cream social, a subdivision sporting event, etc. -- you can still send a clear message to criminals that your neighborhood is organized and fighting back. Next Tuesday, show your support for local law enforcement by turning on your porch and patio lights. It will tell others that you live in a neighborhood that looks out and helps out in the fight against crime and drugs.
July 30, 2008 - Letter submitted by Larry William Bradbury, Reseda, Cal.
It does not take a rocket scientist to see that our country is rapidly becoming a federal police state. Fortunately, our individual states can save us from this tyranny if enough of them, and their citizens, are willing to act.
We need to remember that it was the original 13 states that set up the federal government and granted it the limited powers stated in the U.S. Constitution. All federally elected and appointed officials take an oath to obey our Constitution. Sadly, they have disregarded it in about 80% of their activities.
The Tenth Amendment can help us reclaim our lost liberties if enough of the states act to regain their lost powers. This Amendment states: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people." The states can get their lost powers back by claiming sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment.
The state of Oklahoma started the ball rolling with its House Joint Resolution 1089 which it passed 92 to 3 on March 13. However, opponents in the Oklahoma Senate kept it from being voted on before this year's legislative session ended. But, it is certain to be voted on again in 2009. See www.thenewamerican.com for details. All we have to do now to lose the shackles of the federal government is to get enough citizens to demand that their states use similar resolutions.
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