News From Terre Haute, Indiana

January 6, 2013

Newsmakers: Jan. 6, 2013

News Release

---- — Community Services Director Rita Steed retired from Rockville Correctional Facility after 14 years of service on Monday. Steed began her career with the Indiana Department of Correction as a secretary at the front desk of the Rockville Correctional Facility in 1998.

She was promoted to classification secretary in January of 2000 and in December of 2007, she was again promoted to community services director. In this capacity, she worked hand in hand with community organizations and volunteers to provide programming and religious services to the offenders at the facility and to facilitate fundraisers to support charitable organizations.

She was instrumental in increasing the number of volunteers who provide these services as well as in creating the facility’s first holiday choir. She diligently worked at obtaining updated audio/visual equipment for programs in the facility chapel and also served as alternate public information officer and SITCON team leader.

Steed has continuously served as a true example of a genuine, caring attitude toward making a positive difference in the lives of others as evidenced in the pride her work.  

“There is no one who puts more heart and soul into her work than Rita Steed and we are grateful for her dedication and service to the facility over the years,” said Assistant Superintendent of Re-Entry Pam Ferguson.


Four barbecue cook-off winners were announced at the fifth annual New Year’s Eve Watermelon Drop at the Vincennes Riverfront Pavilion.

Jim Dale of Linton won the first-place prize of $500 for his team, Jimo’s Smoking Butts & Ribs. Steve Fulling of Palestine, Ill., won the second-place prize of $250 for his team, Lone Oak Barbecue & Ribs. Bill Bristol of Vincennes won the third-place prize of $100 for his team, Chuckling Carp & Pulled Pork. Jeremy Carter of Montgomery won the fourth-place prize of $100 for his team, Pork Ninjas & Ribs.

The Barbecue Cook-Off was a new event at the New Year’s Eve Watermelon Drop. The contest attracted eight competitors that submitted 14 entries, seen by organizers as an excellent response for the inaugural event on a day that included both rain and snow.

Cited among the nation’s “top ten quirkiest New Year’s Eve celebrations” by TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site, the Watermelon Drop rang in 2013 when an 18-foot, 500-pound watermelon rose high in the sky and dropped 13 Knox County watermelons onto a “splatform,” while fireworks lighted the sky.

Since its creation in 2008, the 18-foot watermelon has become a star attraction in Vincennes at its Watermelon Festival and in the July 4 and Christmas parades. People also enjoy sharing photographs and YouTube videos of themselves standing next to the 18-foot-long watermelon.

Indiana’s first city, founded in 1732, Vincennes is the county seat of Knox County, well-known for its multi-million dollar melon crops that are shipped throughout the nation.