TERRE HAUTE —
The number of arrests and citations last weekend related to the Scheid Diesel Extravaganza is still gaudy, but let’s give credit where credit is due. Area law enforcement agencies appear to have gotten this thing under some semblance of control.
Compared to previous years, the celebratory chaos that exploded outside the Wabash Valley Fairgrounds over the festival weekend was diminished, thanks to aggressive police presence and enforcement activity related to drunk driving and under-age drinking.
Scheid Diesel Extravaganza, while it draws upwards of 15,000 visitors and infuses a flood of tourism dollars into the community, remains a controversial event locally because of the conduct and behavior of some of those attending.
Controversial elements of the event will probably never go away, but the public safety issue is one that must be continually and aggressively addressed. Police agencies have stepped up enforcement and oversight in the area of the event in recent years, and it seems to be working. What’s more, several large parking lots outside commercial shopping areas on the city’s south side were closed to partiers and their vehicles this year. That seemed to tame things down in terms of late-night revelry that in the past proved unruly and, in some cases, downright dangerous.
Opinions about the event will undoubtedly vary, but if police continue to assert themselves by enforcing traffic and drinking laws, the upside of Scheid Diesel Extravaganza will outweigh the downside.
You can say that again
“There is so much misinformation out there and a lack of understanding on everyone’s part. Until they [state officials] do a full investigation, I don’t really know what anyone can conclude.”
— Tom Rohr, superintendent of North Central Parke Community School Corp.,
commenting about the controversial last-minute changing of school grades last year by
the Indiana Department of Education