News From Terre Haute, Indiana


July 14, 2013

READERS' FORUM: July 14, 2013

Prompt response to storm debris

The storm the night of June 24 took its toll on the majestic 78-year-old oak in my front yard. A large limb with multiple branches broke off and covered over half my front yard and driveway as well as part of the street. When I saw the massive mess the next morning, I realized the road blockage needed immediate attention.

I called the street department and the response was astonishingly prompt and efficient. In less than 15 minutes someone (sorry, I don’t have a name) came to assess the situation. He told me he would send a crew with a chipper to clear the sidewalk and street. In less than an hour from my call the public hazards were totally removed. Amazing.

Most of us give little thought to the services provided by the city — until there is a personal need. I commend, with trumpet fanfare, the street department for its exemplary performance and extend my sincerest thanks for its service.

Beyond the clearance of debris in the public areas, I had to deal with the residual mess in my driveway and yard. I called Jason Chappell, owner of Chappell Tree Service, who had previously helped me with an assortment of tree issues. Delaying the start of his scheduled job, he came immediately and before he left he took out his chainsaw and personally cleared my driveway. He returned later in the day and continued the next day to totally remove the remaining mass of the fallen limb and branches.

I thank and commend him for his sensitivity to emergency exit and the impeccable condition he restored to my yard — there was not a trace, not even sawdust, of the limb that left its home base.

Put shortly and to the point, this letter gives meager expression to my appreciation of the rapid and professional competency of the street department and Chappell Tree Service. No words adequately convey my heartfelt thanks for their rescuing me in my time of need.

— Gladys Taylor

Terre Haute

Thanks to all who helped Piper’s family

My name is Dana Goodwin and the mother of the 9-year-old girl who passed away on May 15. Her name was Piper Renee Goodwin.

I would just like to give thanks to all of the individuals who were involved with trying to save her life. First and foremost my husband, who helped perform CPR on Piper, my oldest daughter, Ashley, who just took control and called 911 and also for taking me away when the proper authorities had arrived on the scene and let them take over in order for them to do what they are trained to do.

I’m so sorry I was not able to get any names, except for one sheriff deputy, Mr. Joe K., the Honey Creek Fire Department and TransCare Ambulance Service. All three of these agencies worked very hard to get Piper to the hospital as quickly as they possibly could.

At Regional Hospital, I would like to thank all of the emergency room staff that was so helpful to me, even though I was very rude and impatient. You sat with me and held my hand. Even though it may be part of the job to help, by giving people comfort in times as this, I believe that you went above and beyond that and for this I thank you. And to the emergency room doctor who had to call of time of death, I’m so sorry that my daughter’s condition had placed that burden on you, so thank you.

To the Vigo County Sheriff deputies standing guard in the emergency room, thank you. To the Child Protective Service workers who were so gentle and polite, thank you. Then also to the chaplain who gave Piper her last rites, God bless you. To the 911 operator, I’m so sorry I was so rude and that I was impatient, but I was scared and wanted someone there quickly to bring my daughter back to life.

To Steve Weatherford, a native of Terre Haute, who was in town for his annual race “Rush The Punter” in order to help raise money for the local United Way. My two daughters, Piper and Lee, both were scheduled to run in this race. Lee ran in Piper’s memory, and Mr. Weatherford wore Piper’s bib number (454) in her honor. My family was truly honored when we found out that you were doing this for Piper, so Steve, may your feet be as swift and the wind always be from the right direction.

I will start with Vigo County School Corp. and Dixie Bee Elementary. I’m so opposed to funerals, and no child should ever have to be laid out in a funeral home. To Danny Tanoos and Mrs. Cassell, thank you for allowing the comforting and safe environment of the school she attended, Dixie Bee, for the funeral service. It was very comforting to see the concern and precious care that was provided, and by this it made it easier for Piper’s friends and classmates to say goodbye. It allowed not only children that she knew but also adults to face what was a frightening event in the safe and caring environment of her school.

To the staff of Dixie Bee, thank you for everything, specifically Mrs. Hendrix, you are such a wonderful teacher, role model and friend. To the First Southern Baptist Church on South Seventh Street and Voorhees, your example of God’s loving mercy is a lesson that all Christians can learn from.

To Diane Henry, Jo Stringfello and Deb Smitley, Piper was not even a student at your school, but you stepped up. To St. Benedict Church, thank you so much for the care and prayers and for dedicating the tree for Piper and for the stone. It is so beautiful and I do spend time there talking to Piper.

To my husband’s place of employment, the Federal Correctional Complex Union Local No. 720 and the Employees Club, for the fundraiser that had been held. To the Correctional Peace Officers Foundation in Sacramento, Calif., and to all of our family, friends and neighbors, that I had never even met before, thank you.

To the staff at Bev’s Restaurant, there is nothing that I could do or say could ever tell you how much your gifts were loved and appreciated and welcomed. And all of the neighborhood kids who came to check on me and helped me with my garden and gave Mommy Flowers. To Mr. Jeff Lee for his sermon that was so beautiful and moving. And to all of the people that I missed, you are still in my heart.

Who would have thought that a 9-year-old girl could have brought so many people together. All of you will and shall always remain in our hearts, blessings and our prayers.

— From the Goodwin Family

Terre Haute

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