Terre Haute is growing.
The city population increased from 60,785 in 2010 to 61,112 in 2012, according to U.S. Census Bureau statistics. The rise amounted to 327 people, or half a percentage point, but the slight growth still represents positive momentum. Several Indiana cities saw there populations drop two years after the 2010 Census was calculated, including Muncie (down 0.2 percent), South Bend (-0.3), Anderson (-1.0), Gary (-1.4) and Hammond (-1.4). By inching upward, Terre Haute can stabilize its labor force as Baby Boomers continue to retire in greater numbers.
The void left by retiring Boomers may be offset by increasing racial diversity and immigrants to the community and state. The numbers of Hispanic, blacks, Asians and other minorities grew at a faster pace than whites. In fact, in Vigo County, the number of whites fell by 73 people in the two-year period, while other groups increased. Statewide, the average age of white residents stood at 40.2 years, compared to 31.3 for blacks, 30.6 for Asians and 24.5 for Hispanics.
Growth, particularly among family-age people, is vital for this community. For Terre Haute to thrive, thirty- and fortysomething couples must choose to live, work and raise children here. However, from 2000 to 2010, the 35- to 44-year-old sector of the local populous dwindled, from 15,148 at the turn of the century to 13,285 two years ago when the last census was taken. Likewise, Vigo County had 1,401 fewer school-age kids in 2010 than a decade earlier. A 2010 study by an outside consultant predicted an extended decrease in county population. As enrollment shrank, Chauncey Rose Middle School was closed by the Vigo County School Corp.
Obviously, a stagnant or shrinking population can wound a community’s future.
Terre Haute needs young to learn in local schools and keep those education centers vibrant. The town needs those students to graduate prepared for college or technical workforce training, preserving the local economic base. The community needs young parents and their children contributing to and involved in charities, volunteering, paying taxes, coaching youth sports teams, filling houses of worship, supporting arts activities, and becoming active voices in civic issues.
Cities such as Terre Haute should embrace their growing diversity, especially among immigrants, said Ball State University economist Michael Hicks. “For communities all around Indiana, immigration acceptance is important,” said Hicks, director of Ball State’s Center for Business and Economic Research.
Terre Haute possesses numerous unique quality-of-life attributes that make it attractive to new residents, including the steady enhancement of its college-town atmosphere, engaging arts projects, solid schools, the trails system, recognition of the Wabash River as an economic and cultural asset, and a gradual transformation of the downtown. The city can sustain and add to those pluses by welcoming more and more newcomers.
Growth is clearly possible here. Sure, other Hoosier towns — Fishers, Noblesville, Carmel, Greenwood, Bloomington, Indianapolis and Lafayette — grew faster in the 2010-2012 window, but Terre Haute is hanging tough as the state’s 12th-largest town. The city’s challenge now is to keep the newest elements of its population and bring in more employers and, thus, more residents.
Terre Haute population up 327 people from 2010 U.S. Census figures
Terre Haute is growing.
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Editorial: Community support crucial for workers facing layoffs
The loss of 150 jobs impacts people — the employees themselves, their families and the community. They need the support of loved ones, friends, neighbors, churches, schools, clubs and local service groups in the search for new work and clarity amid the uncertainty.
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EDITORIAL: Work program needs industry buy-in
Good help is hard to find. That’s essentially what Indiana companies have insisted for several years. The state struggles with a “skills gap,” the firms explain. They need employees, but can’t find enough — or in some cases, any — qualified Hoosiers. Businesses say too few applicants possess the “soft skills,” such as showing up for work on time or being able to effectively communicate with co-workers.
EDITORIAL: Vigo Jail study essential to determine strategy
It comes as encouraging news that the Vigo County Council might include in its 2015 budget significant funding for an expert and neutral study of what can be done to replace or enhance the existing county jail.
Editorial: Continuing the standard
U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett has raised the profile of his federally appointed position more than any individual to hold the job in decades. From the start, he was a man on a mission, and often that mission was focused on rooting out corruption, maintaining integrity in government and pursuing those who violated the public trust.
EDITORIAL: Legal marriages should be honored
An eager and probably nervous couple stands before a minister or a judge or a county clerk and exchanges vows, accepting the legal, moral and ethical obligations of a marriage.
EDITORIAL: Dysfunctional relationship with schools chief doesn’t bode well for potential Pence presidency
A window to the future may be unfolding in Indiana.
Editorial: The Bennett ‘settlement’
It takes a special kind of arrogance to flout ethics laws in the manner which former state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett has violated them. Even when he finally admitted his transgressions, he claimed he could have avoided the matter altogether had he just changed the department’s ethics policy before engaging in the troublesome conduct.
In essence, this was the old “mistakes were made” acknowledgment of wrongdoing. And the real mistake to which Bennett admits was apparently not changing the rules before he violated them. This is a truly Nixonian moment.
EDITORIAL: A green idea worth pursuing
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EDITORIAL: Be safe, be responsible
The Independence Day weekend brought a brief respite in construction work on area roadways. In particular, it provided needed relief to the congested segment of Interstate 70 in Clay County that is undergoing resurfacing this summer.
Editorial: City financial health demands an open, honest discussion
Obscured by the recent rift over use of departmental funds in the city of Terre Haute’s budget are serious issues related to our city government’s overall financial health. The answers may be mired in the complexity of municipal finance, but coming to grips with the situation is important to the city’s future.
EDITORIAL: Celebrate your independence
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
As eloquent and declaratory as that statement is, implementing its principles has been a decades-long pursuit for these United States of America. Our nation, it seems, is the quintessential work in progress, even though what this country has created in terms of a stable, collective society is, let’s face it, pretty darn good.
Editorial: Texting law serves safety
July 1 each year marks the day in Indiana when new laws take effect. But rather than focus on new laws today, let’s observe the anniversary of a law that went on the books three years ago this month — the law that barred texting while driving.
EDITORIAL: For kids, an immediate need
If you agree that not much is sadder — and potentially more unsettling to our society — than a child torn from his or her home, here is a way you can make a difference, one kid at a time.
Editorial: A center for the future
The Monday morning “groundbreaking” at the site of the new Vigo Schools Aquatic Center in Voorhees Park was largely ceremonial. It will still be a few weeks before work on the $9.8 million facility actually begins. But that didn’t stop the highly anticipated event from taking place, and it was clear from remarks made by a host of VIPs who took turns at the podium that this project is destined to produce great things.
EDITORIAL: A proud moment for Vigo County
Most people, regardless of their personal opinions or beliefs on the matter, will admit that they knew the day was coming when Indiana’s law banning same-sex marriages would be overturned by a federal judge. It has happened in other states that have encountered the issue.
EDITORIAL: Getting smart about fighting crime
When those “CSI” TV shows began to burst on the scene in 2000, viewers were mesmerized by the flashy scientific and technological methods police labs were using to build cases against criminals.
EDITORIAL: Forging ahead
Life in the digital world has changed drastically for many community institutions. But the Vigo County Public Library, which has navigated various minefields of change in recent years, has shown it can adapt, even improve.
EDITORIAL: More needed from Speaker
Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma did what most people expected he would do in the wake of Speaker Pro Tem Eric Turner’s ethics probe.
EDITORIAL: A woman in the House
The twists and turns of politics can produce unpredictable results. Just ask Bionca Gambill.
EDITORIAL: Enticing more students back to campus a worthwhile initiative
Of all of the educational initiatives paraded before Indiana residents in recent years — some ideas worthy, others flops — none seems more timely or more on point than one approved by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education last week.
EDITORIAL: Celebrating local success
It’s always an uplifting occasion when good things happen to good people. And so we join in the celebration of three people who this week achieved a new level of success and recognition for their professional and personal contributions to life in Terre Haute and the Wabash Valley.
EDITORIAL: Shoring up the VA
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Editorial: Playing the Nazi card
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EDITORIAL: Ernie Pyle’s words told a personal story
Today is the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the day when Allied Forces led by the United States military invaded France on the beaches at Normandy. It was the crucial turning point of World War II against Nazi Germany. To observe this somber anniversary, we have given this page’s editorial space the past three days to the columns written by Ernie Pyle in the invasion’s aftermath. Pyle filed three columns about D-Day that were circulated widely in American newspapers beginning June 12, 1944. The first appeared Wednesday. The second appeared Thursday. This is the final column.
EDITORIAL: Ernie Pyle walked the beaches of Normandy
NORMANDY BEACHHEAD, June 16, 1944 — I took a walk along the historic coast of Normandy in the country of France.
It was a lovely day for strolling along the seashore. Men were sleeping on the sand, some of them sleeping forever. Men were floating in the water, but they didn’t know they were in the water, for they were dead.
EDITORIAL: Remembering D-Day — in the words of Ernie Pyle
NORMANDY BEACHHEAD, June 12, 1944 — Due to a last-minute alteration in the arrangements, I didn’t arrive on the beachhead until the morning after D-day, after our first wave of assault troops had hit the shore. By the time we got here the beaches had been taken and the fighting had moved a couple of miles inland. All that remained on the beach was some sniping and artillery fire, and the occasional startling blast of a mine geysering brown sand into the air. That plus a gigantic and pitiful litter of wreckage along miles of shoreline.
EDITORIAL: Rape, sexual assault demand greater attention
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