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News Archive May 2010-July 2012

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July 2012 New director hired to promote Washington CountyIt’s all about connections. At least it is when talking about economic development. That’s one reason Mayor David Bower and the City of Salem has teamed up with Radius Indiana. Not only does the mayor hold a seat on the Radius Indiana board, he has invited the group into Washington County to help market the county and get the word out that Washington County is a great place to live and work. Formed in 2009, Radius Indiana is a regional partnership representing 8 counties in South Central Indiana: Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Orange and Washington counties. The group also serves as a primary point of contact in Indiana for Crane. “Radius Indiana is committed to strategically moving the economic growth and development of the 8 counties it represents forward, including Washington County,” said Radius Indiana’s CEO RJ Reynolds. “Radius Indiana is working on key regional opportunities including dedicating resources to build collaborative teams and working with elected officials on the upcoming defense budget cuts and the Base Realignment and Closure process, which will not only affect NSA Crane, but its suppliers and small businesses in every county in our region.” Read More on this Story! Dementia support group meets monthly in SalemWatching a family member go through the stages of dementia is not easy, which is one reason Gail Napier decided to start a support group for anyone who needs extra support.The dementia support group meets at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of every month at the Salem Senior Center. City of Salem Water Conservation Tips and InformationDue to expected weather and increased temperatures, the City of Salem is asking our customers to be proactive in conserving water. We anticipate that if these weather patterns continue the State may issue a drought / water conservation advisory. The City, as in the past, is asking all of our customers to be aware of their water consumption and to follow some of the conservation tips in the posted links. By following some of these simple procedures, we can conserve water and make a difference. Your participation is appreciated and we will keep you updated with further notifications through our local newspaper, WSLM Radio Station, and our website. For any further questions, please call the office, 883-3937. Mayor Bower welcomes New Addition to the John Hay Center Depot Railroad Museum!“I pledge that the City of Salem will be a friend and patron of the Depot and the Monon Historical Society for years to come,” Salem Mayor David Bower said during a groundbreaking ceremony for the new addition to the John Hay Center’s Depot railroad museum. The groundbreaking took place Saturday, June 9, behind the existing Depot building, on the site of the 30x50-foot addition that will house, among other attractions, the world headquarters of the Monon Railroad Historical-Technical Society. The Monon Railroad, which was organized in 1847 as the New Albany & Salem Rail Road served much of the state of Indiana. It merged into the Louisville & Nashville Railroad in 1971. “We hear about economic development all the time but the realization is that tourism is a big part of economic development. I'm proud to have the Monon Historical Society in Salem and it lets people see that Salem is made of hard working people that pull together to get things done,” the mayor continued. Danny Newby, president of the Washington County Historical Society which owns the John Hay Center, said, in referring to the Monon Society’s move to Salem: “When we heard about this opportunity we couldn't believe our good luck and now it's going to happen. We are proud to have this opportunity and we're looking forward to it.” Cecil J. Smith, the volunteer stationmaster for The Depot since it opened 11 years ago, praised the Paul Ogle Foundation for the grant it awarded the project, and thanked the members of the Monon and Washington County historical societies and the individuals and businesses in the community who have generously given their support. Wielding shovels in the ceremonial groundbreaking were the mayor, Newby, Smith, and John G. Campbell, Louisville, an 11-year volunteer with the Depot who was named by the historical society as project manger for the expansion. Many others took turns having their pictures taken turning the first shovel full of dirt. Smith said, barring unforeseen circumstances, work on the addition should begin in mid-summer, with a completion date of May 2013. He said the addition will greatly expand the size of The Depot, making it possible for the Monon Society to move its world headquarters to Salem. The society’s extensive collection of engineering files, documents and thousands of photographs will help establish a railroad research center at The Depot. The Monon Society is currently headquartered at Linden, just north of Crawfordsville. Photo caption: Visitors group around to watch the turning of the first shovelsfull of dirt by, from left, Mayor David Bower, Danny Newby, John Campbell and Cecil J. Smith. (Photo by Martha Smith) Article Courtesy of Cecil Smith Indiana Statewide Smoke Free Air Law Takes Effect July 1st 2012Washington County Health Department would like to advise that on July 1, 2012 nearly all public places in the state, including restaurants and workplaces, will be smoke free. This change comes as the result of Indiana’s first ever statewide smoke free air law, House Enrolled Act 1149. Hoosiers will now be able to enjoy smoke-free air and reduce their risk of developing chronic cardiac and respiratory diseases and the other health problems associated with breathing secondhand smoke. Although there are exemptions to the law, details can be found at www.in.gov/atc or www.in.gov/isdh/tpc . June 2012 Field named in honor of Jeff WilliamsThe City of Salem Parks and Rec Department honored Jeff Williams during the “Opening Day at the Ball Fields” event Tuesday evening by naming the rookie/tee ball field “Williams Field.” A sign that now hangs at the field says, “For Jeff’s determination, inspiration to others and service to youth.” Parks and Rec Director Denise Newkirk said, “Williams is an inspiration to us all.” During the evening’s festivities, Tanya Webb sang the National Anthem and Mayor David Bower, the WSLM Weather Bird and Jeff Williams threw out the “first pitches” of the season on the major/minor, girls’ softball and tee ball/rookie fields. The parks and rec department also supplied free pizza, candy and drinks to all the players. Cemetery Closing Gates Early to Deter Theft and VandalismIn an effort to deter vandalism, all gates, but the main one, at Crown Hill Cemetery will close at 3:30 during the week. The main gate will remain open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.Cemetery Sexton, Dale Jonas, said there have been several incidents of vandalism and theft at area cemeteries, so in an effort to prevent that from happening at Crown Hill, they have decided to close all but the main gates when employees are not on the grounds. He said surveillance cameras have also been installed. “We are not trying to keep people out,” said Jonas. “We just want to deter theft.” May 2012 Veteran's Trail Dedication at Lake Salinda - Friday May 18th at 1pmYou're invited to join the City of Salem at Lake Salinda for the dedication ceremony for the new Veteran’s Trail. The Lake Salinda Veteran's Trail is dedicated in memory to those who served. There will be a ribbon cutting beginning at 1:00pm. Many of the City offices will be closed during this time to observe this special event. We hope you can join us as we honor our Washington County Veterans. Veteran's Trail Dedication Agenda: Opening Prayer – Bob Holler Cookout – Police Chief Troy Merry, Fire Chief Tom Day, Ronnie Voyles, Kim Hobson, & Gary Bush Welcome & Dedication – Mayor David Bower & Denise Newkirk of Parks & Rec. Remarks-Gene Baxter, VFW and Pat Rice, American Legion Closing Prayer-Michael Ray Special thanks to the Salem Tree Board and the Salem Beautification Committee, for helping to make Veteran’s Trail a reality. Filling Up Your Swimming Pool this Sping? Contact the Utility Office First!The utility office requires that anyone with a pool come by the office and pick up a pool application before they begin filling their pool. The city will give a sewer adjustment one time per year for a pool fill, as long as the consumption used is 500 cubic feet above their average. It’s very important for the customer to know when their meter is read so when they begin to fill their pool, the total consumption used is included on one reading. If the customer doesn’t know what time of the month their meter is read we encourage them to contact the utility office 883-3937.   Utility Office will have a New look with the Bills and Disconnect NoticesResidents in the City of Salem will be getting a new look on their utility bill. The new bills will be sent in the form of a letter, in an envelope, instead of a postcard, beginning in May. Disconnect notices will begin their new look effective in April. “Everything will be handled the same,” said City of Salem Utilities Office Manager Carol Brough. “The only difference is that our software program will be automatically sending them out, instead of our office. Customers should receive their bill within the first week of the new month. If you don’t receive your bill by the 7th of the month, please contact the utility office.” She said the printing equipment is old and an update was needed, adding that the office has received numerous complaints over the years concerning the postcards getting ripped in the mail or lost.“Now customers will receive their bill in an envelope, including a return envelope to send their payment in,” she said. “It will be much more cost effective and customer friendly.” When receiving the new bill, customers can find all the important information they need in the upper right hand corner, highlighted in yellow. Brough encourages anyone who does not receive their bill within the first week of the month to call the office. For questions or more information, please call 883-3937 April 2012 Mayor encourages ideas for economic improvementFour years ago, when David Bower became the mayor of the City of Salem, he pledged to raise the bar and expect more for the city. “And I think we have done that, but we are not finished!” he told a room of more than a dozen community leaders during a special meeting last week. The mayor called the meeting to discuss economic development, both in the city and county, to look at how the city compares to what is going on statewide. He said he listened to a presentation by Wanda Heath from the Indiana Department of Commerce that really changed his thoughts on economic development in Washington County. The mayor listed several examples of how the state is leading the nation in several areas. Indiana was in the top three states for strongest gross domestic product (GDP) in 2010 and in August 2011, the state was ranked in the top 2 best states for job growth. “We are in the top 10 for pro-business states,” said Bower. “We want to please you. We want to keep business owners happy and make them want to come here.” Bower said the city has spent tax dollars wisely when it comes to economic development and he plans to make sure that continues. He said Indiana is one of the best in the mid west for having low taxes and is one of the lowest tax and regulation states. “We are open for business!” he told the group. “We have less regulations than other states. In fact, Washington County has limited regulations at this time. Shouldn’t that open up opportunity in itself?” In 2011, the State of Indiana received the Gold Shovel Award for growth in economic development.“But we haven’t seen any gold shovels in Salem or Washington County in a long time. What are we doing wrong?” asked Bower. He said the state is the second best in the nation for economic recovery, but Washington County hasn’t seen any. “Where is it?” he questioned. Indiana is also one of 9 states with top bond rating from all three major credit rating agencies. “This is the best in history, which means our state is solvent enough that the infrastructure is going to be in good shape,” said Bower. “We are a good state to invest in, that’s what this information is telling me.” He said he feels good about the state and proud of what has been accomplished, but wonders where Washington County and Salem is in all this growth and improvement. “If the state is doing well, where have we been and what are we doing wrong or what do we need to be doing?” he asked. Bower then handed everyone in attendance a piece of paper and pen to write down ideas they have about economic development and things they’d like to see done and improved upon in the city.“As mayor, I am willing to raise the bar on my responsibilities,” he said Bower said the Chamber of Commerce is a key ingredient in business retention and Hank Jacoby, the chamber president, agreed. “We have an opportunity to really start working together,” he said, adding that all businesses and organizations need to work together towards one common effort. New support group to meet April 10thAfter struggling to find support for her own situation, Gail Napier has organized a Alzheimers dementia support group that will meet for the first time April 10 at the Salem Senior Center. The meeting will begin at 7 pm. “We plan for it to be support, as in talking about your individual problems with family members, asking questions about the disease, or just help in general,” said Napier. The facilitators will be Jeanine Martin, Michelle Kelly, Tammy Cadle and Gail Napier. “This will be an organizational meeting to see what people want,” she said. “We know there is a huge need for this in our county.” Napier said she came up with the idea of the support group because of her own situation of having a mother with the disease. “It is very hard on families and sometimes you have nowhere to turn for information and we hope to help in our community,” said Napier. “We are not promoting any home care, nursing homes, etc. The facilitators will be there because of their own knowledge of the disease and how to give some helpful advice. I have learned each and every situation is somewhat different, yet the same too.” For more information about the meeting or the group, call Napier at 883-4986. March 2012 City of Salem Easter Event at the Pioneer VillageThe Annual City of Salem Easter Event will be held at the Pioneer Village, Saturday, March 31, 2012, from 2:00-3:30pm for ages Preschool-5th Grade. Those participating in the event are Salem Public Library, Salem Parks and Recreation Department, John Hay Center Staff, Washington County Prevent Child Abuse Council, Pact Domestic Shelter, Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Washington County Substance Abuse Council, Salem Fire Department, First Baptist Church Youth, Boy Scout Troop #26, soar, and WSLM Radio. Bring your camera…..the Easter Bunny will be available for photos with you child. January 2012 Tom Day named new City of Salem Fire ChiefTom Day, who has been a firefighter for 15 years for the City of Salem, is looking forward to his new role as the fire chief. He said he is looking forward to keeping many of the programs that are already in place, as well as starting some new projects. “We are going to start doing a lot of pre-planning in the downtown area,” he said, explaining that firefighters will be going through businesses in the downtown area, especially the historic buildings, to tour them and map them out. He said they will start this project in the spring. He said they also will continue the smoke detector program and encourages anyone who has problems or questions about smoke detectors to call the department to get help. “That’s what we are here for; to help the community,” he said. Day said he enjoys his job and has always been a career firefighter. He said most of the guys currently on the department are people he went to school with, including his brother, Mark.“We have a good group of people here,” he said. There are currently eight full-time firefighters, 11 part-time and 20 volunteers. The department also has a new assistant fire chief, Matt Gorman.Day said the biggest adjustment so far with his new position is the work schedule. As a firefighter, Day worked 24 hours on and 48 hours off. Now, he works a straight 40-hour week. He is also at the department for runs and as needed on the weekends. “It has taken a few weeks to get used to it, but I really like it so far,” he said. Day is a life-long resident of Washington County and said this has always been his home and the place he wanted to raise his family and give back to his community. Day lives in Salem with his wife, Melissa, and their daughter, Erin and Emma.  Airport being maintained while plans continue for the new facilityIn hopes of bringing jobs to Washington County and improving the lives of residents, the Board of Aviation Commissioners continues to make improvements to the Salem Municipal Airport. Lowell DePoy, a contracted manager of the airport, gave a report at the city council meeting last Monday, stating many of the improvements that have been made at the facility. DePoy said he does as much maintenance as he can around the facility by himself, trying to save the airport money. Some of the improvements made include cleaning up hanger spaces, reattaching and securing the metal roof, fixing smoke detectors, cleaning offices, installing and painting window trim in all the offices, making the restrooms clean and operational, replacing the flag and furnace filters. The airport also has a refrigerator, microwave, coffee pot and a television so those who fly in and out have a place to grab a snack, a cup of coffee or to just relax. DePoy had more than 40 improvements that have been made in the past year and has more on his list to do, including holding an open house for the public, bringing back aviation days and aggressively renting more hangers and office space.   City of Salem recognizes the late Betty StarrThe City of Salem council recognized the late Betty Starr at their board meeting last week, by presenting a plaque to her husband and children. Starr was elected to represent her district on the council beginning in January, but lost her battle to cancer before she could begin her term. Warren Jones was selected to serve in her place. Here, Mayor David presents Betty's husband, Malcolm, with the plaque as their children, Lana Sullivan, Joey Starr and Robin Hollen, look on. Voelz is newest City of Salem Police OfficerMichael Voelz, the newest City of Salem police officer, was sworn in by Police Chief Troy Merry on Friday afternoon. Voelz, 26, is a 2003 graduate of Eastern High School and resides in Salem with his wife, Kelly, and daughter, McKenzie. Read More on this Story Merry is Named City’s Police ChiefIn January, Troy Merry was named the new police chief of the City of Salem Police Department by Mayor David Bower. Merry, who grew up in Salem, has been a police officer for 12 years and said being a police man is something he always wanted to do. Read More on this Story  December 2011 City of Salem to get new street signs in 2012Replacing every street sign within the city limits may not seem like a big task to some, but considering there are 350 stop signs alone, it’s a job that was giving Mayor David Bower nightmares. The Federal Highway Safety administration has required that all street signs be replaced by the year 2015. The new signs are high intensity, making them easier to see at night, and the new poles are breakaway. “They tell you that you have to do it, but they don’t tell you how to pay for it,” said Bower.He said he knew the cost would be in the thousands and with the city already running on a tight budget, he didn’t know where they were going to come up with the money to pay for it.That’s when some employees sprang into action. (Read more on this story)   September 2011 Plenty of activities offered at Senior CenterOften too many times, you hear Washington County residents complain that there is nothing to do in the county. However, Senior Center Director Gail Napier points out that if you are 50 years or older, you have no room to complain. “We have lots of things to do at the senior center!” she said. “There is always something going on here.” For those who like to cut a rug, there are two opportunities every week: Thursday and Friday night dances. The cost is $3 a person and all the money goes to the band members who play that night. The bands travel from out of town and bring their own equipment, playing from 7 to 9 p.m. both nights. Some of the regular bands include Down Yonder Band, Rose and Thorns, Stone Canyon Band and Hilanders. Read More on the Story  Old Settler's Days Festival will be held Sept. 17th and 18thThe Annual Old Settlers’ Days Festival is quickly approaching and organizers are looking for people who want to be a part of this historical event. The festival will be held Saturday and Sunday, September 17 and 18. The Old Settler's Day committee is bringing back many former exhibitors, performers, craftsmen and demonstrators from years past, hoping to revive the festival to the event it once was. One of the main attractions this year will be the raid by Morgan’s Raiders, a group that has not been involved with the festival in recent years. They will be reenacting the raid, with several local businessmen and leaders participating, including Mayor David Bower. Read More on this Story August 2011 Watts receives training for waste waterThe City of Salem Waste Water Department now has an employee certified in lab procedures. Troy Watts, lab technician for the city, recently completed a lab certification training approved through the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. Terry Pennington, manager of waste water services for the city, said Watts began working with the department during a very difficult situation in the spring. "April was the wettest month in the history of Indiana,” he said, adding that the department had had a lot of turnover in staff. Pennington had worked with Watts when he first began working for the city in 2001 and he knew Watts had experience with the labs and he needed his expertise. At the time, Watts was working for the street department and was temporarily transferred to the waste water department to help.“And he performed admirably,” said Pennington. Read More on this Story  July 2011 Utilities Office installs new drop boxHoping to improve customer service, the City of Salem Utilities Department installed a new drop box Thursday afternoon outside of city hall. Water bills are due on the 18th of every month and Mayor David Bower said during that time, there could be six or seven cars lined up in the parking lot waiting to pay bills at the drive-thru window. Read More on this Story  July 2011 Brown helps prepare city for weather emergenciesBeing prepared for inclement weather is imperative for any community. That’s one reason Mayor David Bower said Tommy Brown and his expertise as a ham radio operator is invaluable to the City of Salem. “He is almost like a safety director for the city,” said Bower. “He has a good handle on what’s going to happen before it happens.”(Read More on this Story)  June 2011 Bike show/poker run raises money for RelayThe first Annual Mayor’s Bike Show and Poker Run set a high precedence for the future . . . raising $1,735 for Relay for Life. The event was held Saturday, June 4, at 11 a.m. with a bike show. The run started at 12:30 p.m. and was kept short due to the hot weather. The event continued with a cookout and auction at Centerpeace and ended with live music from IceCave. Victor and Pamela Hudson-Blevins, along with the help of David and Amy Humphrey, planned the event and hope it continues, regardless of who is mayor in the future. There were 32 riders who participated and several businesses helped with donations, including Aqua Indiana, who gave money for the T-shirts, and Mayor David and Jamie Bower who paid for the cost of the band. Bower said he was thrilled when Victor, who works for the city, told him they were going to do the bike show and ride and he is already looking forward to next year’s event. “It was a great time,” he said. “I think everyone really enjoyed themselves.”  June 2011 Cub Scouts, City recognized for hard workCub Scout Pack 29 was recognized by the City of Salem during its monthly meeting Monday night. The scouts have been hard at work at Lake Salinda, painting buildings and working on the landscape.Mayor David Bower said he has had lots of positive comments on the work and everyone asks who did it. Read More on this Story  May 2011 Salem Fire Department swears in two new fire fightersTwo new members of the Salem Fire Department were sworn in Tuesday morning at city hall: Matt Kidd and Maurice Jones, Jr. Both men have been volunteers for the department for several years, Kidd for seven and Jones for four. Fire Chief Roger Pennington said he is excited to have both join the department full-time.He said that while the position was open to the public, those who have been volunteering had a leg up due to their experience and training. (Read More of this story)  March 2011 Council to support the YMCA in annual driveThe City of Salem council voted to support the Washington County YMCA with its Annual Campaign during its regular monthly meeting last Monday evening. YMCA Director Scott Johnson, along with board members Troy Walls and Aaron Weller, asked the city to contribute $1,200 for the year to help with scholarships for soccer and camps held at the facility.“The annual campaign helps less fortunate families who can’t pay for programs or camps,” said Johnson. “It’s a scholarship fund.” Those who donate are recognized on the back of soccer shirts, listed on the website and have a plaque hung on the wall at the YMCA. “The funding allows us to not turn anyone away,” said Weller.Council member Dan Libka said that breaks down to about $3 a day, which he felt was doable. Mayor David Bower said the money will be taken out of the Riverboat Fund. Read More on this Story February 2011 City has made improvements in three yearsBefore taking office three years ago, Mayor David Bower established clear goals and objectives for himself and every department in the city’s government. “As a life-long resident and former business owner, I saw first hand how our youth must leave our community for career opportunities that do not exist in our great city,” he said. “I have also witnessed senior citizens who struggle day-to-day to make ends meet.” Bower pledged to improve the quality of life for every citizen in the community in some small way during his time in office. Read More on this Story October 2010 City of Salem/Washington County Dedication Ceremony for CenterPeace Project. A celebration is being planned to commemorate CenterPeace, the newly renovated community area located where the old cheese factory once stood. The free event will take place Saturday, Oct. 9, from 2 to 7:30 p.m. Several area bands will be performing, including Stone Canyon Band, Seedus and Classic Country. Area gospel groups will also perform. Free hot dogs, hamburgers and ice cream will be served. (Read More on this Story)  September 2010 Workshop for business owners planned for Sept. 21Hoping to provide more opportunities for local businesses, a workshop with Crane Navel Base is being planned for Tuesday, Sept. 21, at noon. The meeting will be held at the County Government Building on Martinsburg Road. In addition to receiving an overview of the Crane’s Command Center, business owners will learn more about Radius Indiana, an eight-county organization that works to provide opportunities for local businesses. (Read More on this Story) Mayor proclaims September to be Salem Literacy MonthIn keeping with National Literacy Month, Mayor David Bower signed a proclamation declaring September to be Salem Literacy Month and asking all citizens to celebrate the gift of reading.(Read More on this Story)   July 2010 Community Block Walks Mayor Dave Bower, Fire Chief Roger Pennington, Street and Sanitation Department Superintendent Tom Voyles, and Building and Safety Department Superintendent Ronnie Voyles recently went out on one of their monthly Block Walks. (Read More of this Story)   June 2010 Boy Scout Troop #26 Clean Up Project at Lake SalindaBoy Scout Troop 26 recently spent a Saturday morning cleaning up trash at Lake Salinda. The troop received a donation for their efforts. (Read More of this Story) City of Salem "Clean Up the Community Event"The City of Salem is planning a day to Clean Up The Community on Saturday, June 26. The event will begin at 9:00 am. Interested persons should meet at Salem City Hall located on the corner of High and Market Streets. A cookout will follow at 11:30 am. with door prizes being awarded. Gloves and trash bags will be provided. Persons interested in helping with the clean up, cooking or donating, should contact the Mayor's Office at 812-883-4265 or Adam Kelly at 620-6261.  May 2010 WCEGP has plans in place to help businesses grow and succeedLana Sullivan has hit the ground running as the new director for the Washington County Economic Growth Partnership. She is continuing to market Washington County across the state, country and overseas, as her efforts build on those set forth by others who have been committed to the WCEGP since November 1992. (Read More of this story)