News From Terre Haute, Indiana

News

November 25, 2013

Opposing views: Groups have their say on school closings at Northeast School Corp. meeting

FARMERSBURG — More than 700 people attended a special meeting of the Northeast Sullivan School Corp. Board on Monday night to hear presentations by two groups with opposing views on the subject of district reorganization.

The controversial reorganization involves a proposal to close Union Junior/Senior High School and Dugger Elementary.

Law enforcement also had a strong presence at the North Central High School gym, with 26 Indiana State Police officers present and about 10 representatives of the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Department, including Sheriff Bryan Kinnett.

Everyone who attended had to go through a metal detector.

“It’s purely a public safety issue” to ensure order during the meeting, said Sgt. Joe Watts, Indiana State Police public information officer. Police were present to ensure speakers had “a chance to voice their opinions and do it in a safe, courteous manner.”

The meeting went smoothly, Watts said afterward, and people who attended were courteous.

The board heard from two groups:

• Save UHS [Union High School], which wants Dugger/Union schools to remain open, and,

• Save NESC [Northeast Sullivan School Corp.], which supports a reorganization plan outlined in a recent feasibility study.

Greg Ellis and Chriss Jobe, speaking for Save UHS, want to keep Union/Dugger open, delay a board decision and have all parties work together to come up with a long-term solution to the district’s fiscal problems.

Marie Hendry was the sole speaker on behalf of Save NESC.

The meeting lasted only about 45 minutes, and each set of speakers drew applause from supporters, who tended to sit on opposite sides of the gym.

During his presentation, Jobe criticized the board for not seeking public input sooner in making such an important decision. Complete transparency should be at the forefront when talking about the closure of two schools, he said.

The board discussed the reorganization behind closed doors, and then apparently planned to act on a reorganization plan — with no input from the Dugger community — on Nov. 11, action that was delayed.

“The absence of open door procedures, public involvement and most notably full transparency in this process has been extremely disappointing,” Jobe said.

Ellis pointed to a survey of Union/Dugger student families indicating only 3.4 percent would stay in Northeast School Corp. if the two schools are closed. He said that could mean a loss of $1.85 million in the general fund for NESC.

He noted that 25 percent of Northeast’s student enrollment attends Union/Dugger schools. According to Jobe, the two townships that make up the Union/Dugger portion of the NESC tax base account for 42.5 percent of the total assessed valuation of NESC.

To generate savings, Ellis suggested privatization of nonteaching staff and using volunteer coaches below the varsity level. Also, he suggested housing Union/Dugger students in the newer portion of the building.

He said the town of Dugger is willing to cut the school’s water rates by 40 percent; Ellis suggested the school district could try to negotiate reductions in other utility costs.

Ellis asked the board to postpone its vote while the various parties work together to find long-term solutions. One possibility is a tax referendum to generate additional revenue for the district; also, the district could study the possibility of consolidating NESC with Southwest Sullivan School Corp.

He did put the board on notice: If it votes to close Union/Dugger schools, Save UHS will seek legal representation.

He also suggested the board cannot legally discuss reorganization in closed executive sessions.

Save UHS would rather work cooperatively with other groups and find solutions that “will help every school in the corporation and hopefully be a success story,” Ellis said.

Hendry, in a brief presentation, said Save NESC favors a feasibility study recommendation that calls for closing both Union Junior/Senior High and Dugger Elementary. Two elementaries would remain: Hymera and Farmersburg. Shelburn Elementary would be closed, and instead it would become a sixth- to eighth-grade middle school, serving the entire school district. North Central would serve as the district’s sole high school.

She noted that school districts today “are being pressed to provide more and more services with less and less financial resources.”

She noted that savings from reorganization could be used to add additional courses to the curriculum. Those added courses “are profoundly essential to keeping our students competitive in today’s high-tech society,” she said.

She also said that with current and projected enrollment trends, state and local funding and increased costs of education. “The reorganization is the most fiscally responsible and educationally grounded decision for the NESC community.”

Hendry asked the board to “make a sound financial decision so that our corporation continues to exist.”

  At the meeting’s conclusion, the board approved a motion by Norman Santus to meet in closed session Friday “to discuss the information we’ve been given this evening.”

On Monday, the board “will meet again to inform the community what direction we think the school corporation needs to go,” Santus said in his motion.

Monday’s meeting will be at 7 p.m. in the North Central gym, and police are expected to again have a strong presence.

Sue Loughlin can be reached at 812-231-4235 or sue.loughlin@tribstar.com.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
News
  • MET070914 house exterior.jpg Historic Ohio Boulevard house inspired by 1948 Cary Grant movie

    Spurred in 1948 by a newly released movie staring Cary Grant and Myrna Loy, coupled with a growing post-World War II housing market, General Electric partnered with Hollywood’s RKO Studios to build “dream homes” throughout the country.

    July 9, 2014 4 Photos 1 Story

  • Detour ahead

    A panel of public and private officials is calling for $10 billion in projects to upgrade Indiana’s aging roads and bridges, but its members concede there’s no money to pay for it all.

    July 9, 2014

  • MET070814 barrels.jpg MARK BENNETT: Making road work a barrel of fun for drivers

    We’re lucky orange barrels can’t talk.

    July 9, 2014 2 Photos

  • City Council to take up city finances tonight

    The Terre Haute City Council will have a chance in a special meeting tonight to delve deeply into the city’s financial health. However, council members are being asked to avoid raising the most controversial subject of recent weeks: The city’s use of Redevelopment Commission tax increment finance (TIF) money.

    July 9, 2014

  • Bennett accepts $5,000 fine in ethics settlement

    Former Indiana Schools Superintendent Tony Bennett has agreed to pay $5,000 as part of a settlement with Indiana’s ethics watchdog in which he admits to using state resources for campaign work but is cleared of formal ethics violations in the grade-change scandal that cost him his job as Florida’s schools chief last year.

    July 9, 2014

  • Vermillion Jail trusties face new charges

    Two former inmate trusties at the Vermillion County Jail face new criminal charges after a recently discovered security breach at the jail.

    July 9, 2014

  • Lawrence police acquire armored military vehicle

    A central Indiana city has acquired an armored military vehicle for use in highly dangerous situations.

    July 9, 2014

  • Free carwash for law enforcement

    Mike’s Carwash locations in Central Indiana, including Terre Haute, will honor the sacrifice of IMPD Officer Perry Renn and thank all those who serve and protect our communities with a free carwash for police and emergency personnel today and Friday.

    July 9, 2014

  • MET070814 voice four.jpg Hitting a high note

    A 17-year-old from Casey, Ill., won “The Voice of the Valley” Tuesday night, singing and shaking his hips and legs to an Elvis Presley song, then wooing the grandstand audience at the Wabash Valley Fairgrounds with a country tune.

    July 9, 2014 2 Photos

  • MET 070814 STORM STAUNTON.jpg Clay County residents clean up debris, get power back

    Several power outages still affected hundreds of Duke Energy customers on Tuesday, more than 24 hours after storms and strong winds swept through west-central Indiana, leaving a swath of damage in the Staunton, Brazil and Center Point areas.

    July 9, 2014 4 Photos

  • MET 052106 EVANBAYH ADDRESS.jpg Return to Indiana?

    Evan Bayh is keeping Indiana Democrats on hold.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Planning under way for 2014 Downtown Block Party

    Wabash Avenue will be full of activity Aug. 23 as the 2014 Downtown Terre Haute Block Party takes over five city blocks in a celebration of music, food and events.

    July 8, 2014

  • MET 070814 CATHOLIC WARE.jpg Guys give food bank a lift

    A $14,000 donation Tuesday from Guys Who Give enables Catholic Charities to be at nearly 75 percent of its $2.5 million goal to purchase and operate a new, larger food bank near Terre Haute International Airport-Hulman Field.

    July 8, 2014 2 Photos

  • wilson,robert.jpg ‘Dangerous’ suspect in police custody

    A man sought by the Vermillion County Sheriff's Department has been nabbed by police in Indianapolis.

    July 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • eBus brings financial empowerment to town

    A 40-foot long mobile classroom is scheduled to roll  into Terre Haute today, carrying what its sponsors call “financial empowerment.”

    July 8, 2014

  • MET 070714 CULVER PHOTO.jpg Maker of history

    A humble man with a heart for helping others is an apt description for Terre Haute resident Curtis B. Culver.
    Culver died July 2 at age 94, leaving behind a legacy of missionary work and social involvement.

    July 7, 2014 3 Photos

  • MET 070714 TRASH TRANSFER.jpg Petitioners push for recycling at fair

    A Vigo County environmental activist hopes to convince the Vigo County Fair Board to start recycling, especially during the county fair, and has started an online petition.

    July 7, 2014 5 Photos

  • MET 070714 SULLIVAN SQ2.jpg Veterans call on commissioners to protect war memorial

    Installing a camera on the second floor of the Sullivan County Courthouse may be one solution to curtailing what several veterans are calling a disgrace to a memorial that honors Americans who gave their lives in service to the country.

    July 7, 2014 4 Photos

  • Schools ethics case: Proposed deal to be reviewed

    The State Ethics Commission is set to review a proposed settlement Thursday in the ethics case against former Indiana Schools Superintendent Tony Bennett.

    July 7, 2014

  • Man airlifted to Indy after early morning crash

    A Clay City man sustained non-life-threatening injuries in a head-on collision early Monday morning on Indiana 46 at Riley Road southeast of Terre Haute.

    July 7, 2014

  • Man agrees to plea on youth sex charges

    A Terre Haute man received a suspended sentence in a plea agreement signed Monday as his jury trial was about to commence in Vigo Superior Court 1.

    July 7, 2014

  • Downtown fire victim ID released

    Carbon monoxide poisoning was the cause of death for 61-year-old William Sonnefield, a resident of Deming Center who died in a late Thursday night fire inside his apartment. The Vigo County Coroner’s office released the victim’s name Monday.

    July 7, 2014

  • MET 070614 FORD CONVERT.jpg Farmyard games

    Susan Ooley-Viray’s love of tractors started as a Christmas gift about five years ago from her husband, John.

    July 6, 2014 6 Photos

  • MET 062914 100TH ANNIV.jpg St. George's: Century of faith

    From its formation in a sewing circle of European immigrant women, surviving a fire that destroyed its building, to expanding with a new parish hall, St. George’s Episcopal Church has endured to celebrate its 100th anniversary next Sunday.

    July 6, 2014 6 Photos

  • Turtle Hello.jpg MIKE LUNSFORD: Wet in Wyoming, wandering turtles and other tales of the road

    It is an odd thing, after all the miles I drove a few weeks ago — to the mountains of Wyoming and back again — that today I remember most of all stopping along the road in two places nearly 600 miles apart.

    July 6, 2014 2 Photos

  • STATE OF THE STATEHOUSE: Financial hardships mount for military families

    Days before the July 4th holiday, Holly Petraeus stood on the steps of the imposing Indiana War Memorial, in front of a bank of cameras, and made a plea to military families: Don’t let pride stand in the way of asking for help.

    July 6, 2014

  • RESTAURANT INSPECTIONS: July 7, 2014

    June 16-20

    July 6, 2014

  • Man in critical condition after July 4 stabbing

    A Sullivan County man remained in critical condition Sunday at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis after being stabbed on July 4.

    July 6, 2014

  • MET07514 fair hunt:pete.jpg Day at the fair

    Though the Vigo County Fair officially opens today, Saturday was a busy day around the Wabash Valley Fairgrounds as open class exhibits were entered and judged and commercial vendors made final adjustments to their stands.

    July 5, 2014 11 Photos

  • MET07514 meth house.jpg Finding a meth lab

    Finding out if a property has been the previous site of a clandestine methamphetamine lab has become easier through a new online database recently rolled out by the Indiana State Police.

    July 5, 2014 1 Photo

Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
World's Tallest Water Slide: See It for Yourself Kim Kardashian Hits Up Valentino Show in Paris Four Kids, Two Adults Shot Dead Near Houston Connecticut Boy Dies Inside Parked Car Police: Prostitute Accused in Overdose Death Fans Dying to Be Near Jazz Greats Argentina to Face Germany in World Cup Final Service Held for 200 Whose Bodies Went Unclaimed Israeli Offensive Escalates in Gaza Attack Robots Gearing Up for Their Own 'World Cup' APNewsBreak: Different Attackers in Benghazi? Raw: Obama Shoots Pool in Denver "Hotwives" Spoofs Reality TV Raw: 10-year Sentence for Ex-New Orleans Mayor Raw: Rocket Explodes Over Israeli Wedding Obama Talks Economy, Slams Republicans Dodgers Found Partly Responsible in Fan Beating Weaver Reprises Ripley Role for 'Alien' Game Dozens Gain Citizenship As Debate Continues Froome Crashes Out on Bumpy 5th Tour Stage
NDN Video
Tiny Hamsters Who Ate Burritos are Back for a Tiny Hedgehog's Party Watch Kelly Ripa Get Soaked! 'Referee' Hands Out Yellow Cards for Social Faux Pas in NYC 2014 Emmy Nominees: 8 Snub Shockers Emma Watson Is Va-Va-Voom in Valentino 7 Infamous Sports Blowouts Argentina tops Holland in World Cup semifinals News flush: Japanese toilet exhibition making a splash Emmy Nominations: What to Watch For 'Game of Thrones' Leads 66th Emmy Awards Nominations Photographic 'Proof' That LeBron Is Leaving Miami - @TheBuzzeronFOX Elephant Pool Party at The Oregon Zoo Must-See! Berry and Fallon Form Human Hamster Wheel Pilot buys pizzas for travelers delayed by storm Klose nets record, Germany rout Brazil 7-1 'Purrmanently Sad Cat' Looks Adorably Sad All the Time Pharrell 'humbled' by success of mega-hit 'Happy' Day After: Brazil Reeling in WC Loss Jennifer Lawrence Facepalms Emma Watson Athletes Bare All for ESPN Magazine's Body Issue
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity
Real Estate News