The Press-Dispatch

October 9, 2019

The Press-Dispatch

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The Press-Dispatch East Gibson News Wednesday, October 9, 2019 C- 11 By Janice Barniak Patoka River National Wildlife Ref- uge marked 25 years and 10,000 acres acquired with Refuge Appreciation Day Saturday at Wirth Park in Oak- land City, hosting hundreds with food, activities and an endangered species program. Recently-appointed Refuge Director Rick Speer said the theme of endan- gered species was appropriate on the anniversary. "We have whooping cranes that ac- tually will stop on their way through to their wintering areas, and in fact, I believe they've stayed here all winter a few times," he said. Rest stops for migratory birds are important to support threatened spe- cies as they move to and from their breeding grounds. The refuge also hosts Indiana bats. "We do what we can to provide that needed habitat to work toward recov- ery of that species," he said. The refuge is still acquiring land from willing sellers at the boundaries of the property. As part of the theme, Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources' Leslie Grow pre- sented a predatory raptor program fea- turing a barn owl, an American kestrel, a red-shouldered hawk, peregrine fal- con and a bald eagle. The birds have been affected by human development of their nesting sites, poisoning of the rats they eat, lead poisoning and some are still re- covering from the use of DDT that weakened bird eggs before the prod- uct was banned. The barn owl was the first guest star. An endangered species in Indiana, as there are only about 50 nesting pairs in the state, the barn owl can be assisted by those who think they have them, by putting up a wooden nesting box that will protect the young from predators like raccoons. Because of issues with underdevel- opment of feathers on her right wing, the barn owl in the program is unable to be released in the wild. The next guest, a diurnal raptor called the American kestrel, can dive at 60 miles per hour to prey and can see in a range of colors beyond the hu- man spectrum. That additional color allows it to better hunt by being able to see glowing trails of mouse urine in the dark. Next, the program showed a red-shouldered hawk, a species of con- cern in Indiana, with a traumatic brain injury that affects her balance. One success story from the endan- gered species list was the rebounded species, the peregrine falcon, the fast- est species on earth at 240 miles per hour when in a dive, able to kill oth- er birds mid-air. The species has re- bounded after being introduced in cit- ies where they hunt pigeons. The falcon in the program was do- nated by a falconer who raised her in captivity, born to captive parents and wouldn't survive in the wild. Finally, Grow showed a bald eagle, able to see a fish underwater from a mile away, or a rabbit from two miles away. The bald eagles can die from eating lead pellets, which can come from fish- ing line sinkers, for example. For more information on programs at the refuge, see the Friends of Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge Face- book page. REFUGE APPRECIATION DAY CELEBRATES ENDANGERED SPECIES Adessah Ross makes a bald eagle out of an Oreo Cookie Satur- day with the help of Khloye Strickland at Refuge Appreciation Day DNR's Leslie Grow holds a red shouldered hawk, often mistaken for the common red tailed hawk. This hawk has a traumatic brain injury that keeps her off balance too much to return to the wild. Time capsules on wheels: Car show brings history to Hopkins Park By Janice Barniak The third annual Hopkins Family Park Car Show rolled in despite the rain Sunday, with owners showing their vintage vehicles and tell- ing the stories behind them against the background of food and music. Becca and Jeffrey "JD" Ott showed a 1939 Inter- national truck, originally owned by Becca's grandfa- ther, Vivian Emerson, but restored recently by JD Ott and his mother-in-law, Reba Benson. In a vehicle scrapbook, the Otts showed the jour- ney from weatherbeaten work truck to parade-wor- thy showpiece. They still have the paper- work on the $500 loan Em- erson took out from Farm- ers and Merchants National Bank in Fort Branch, along with the transportation mile- age rations and certificate of war necessity Emerson had to have in 1939, which was just at the beginning of World War II. Despite rationing dur- ing World War II, farmers played an essential role in feeding the troops, so spe- cial exceptions were made for vehicles like the Inter- national, which Emerson would have used on the farm to feed livestock or haul pro- duce. Before the Otts revived the vehicle, it was so cov- ered in dust, it was white, like a ghost of the teal truck it had once been. With Ben- son's help, they matched the color and details as closely as possible. But while the Internation- al had sat idle waiting for its revival, car enthusiast Bob Spore went through a lot of trouble to find his Plymouth Fury, a journey of roughly 40 years. "It's a 383. I had a 426 brand new in '64. I did drags; it's what everybody did. A few years later, I decided to sell it to get a family vehicle," he said. He regretted the decision soon after and wanted to buy the car back, but couldn't find it anywhere. "Well, there was only one other car in the area that was like mine, and it was owned by a guy in Francisco, Leroy Heath," Spore said. He took a look and three days later, came back to buy it. But by then, it was gone. Three hours after I left, a man from Indianapolis drove up, test drove the car in the school parking lot and bought it for $ 650." Heath told him the name of the buyer, and so began Spore's adventure. "I chased the car in '82, '83, and '84...I took a trip to a gravel pit in Mooresville." Finally he found the buyer, and asked to buy it. In a disappointing turn of events, the man had given it to an employee who was dat- ing his daughter, and when the boy left, the car went with him. "He might have known where the guy was, but he wouldn't tell me," Spore said. "That was in '84, and I gave it up." In 2010, at 2:30 a.m. on a Saturday, Spore's broth- er, by a stroke of luck, saw the exact car online for sale, still with the Burns Motors sticker from the Princeton lot from where it had been bought. He bought it for his broth- er, and together they re- stored it to the look of his original vehicle, over the course of five years. Spore said having the ex- act car from Princeton has a sentimental value; it cap- tures that time period for him. He would still like to find out where his original Plym- outh went, however, and do the same kind of restoration for that vehicle. "I'm still partial to it. It may have been scrapped. It may be sitting in someone's barn." The Southern Indiana Car Club that hosted the event will have their annual trunk or treat from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 27 on the Prince- ton Courthouse Square. As for Hopkins Family Park, it's growing, and fund- ing is in place to start con- struction of the lake next year. The band Styll Country performed at the Hop- kins Family Park annual car show Sunday. Bob Spore shows his vintage Plymouth Fury at the Hopkins Family Park Car Show Sunday, a relic not just of the muscle car era but also of his life just before buying a family car. He spent more than 40 years finding the Fury he narrowly missed buying in Gibson County. Cyber attacks on the rise against county contractors By Janice Barniak Dan Parrish, of Owens- ville's Parrish Consulting, the company contracted for Gibson County's IT sup- port, told county commis- sioners Tuesday that the business was seeing a sig- nificant uptick in the num- ber of attacks on state and local governments, as well as businesses like Parrish. "Hackers have discov- ered if they can gain ac- cess to us, they can gain ac- cess to you," Parrish said, adding that the hackers at- tempt to gain control of the company's computers and then ransom them back to the owners. Parrish said there's an attack roughly every 14 seconds, costing approx- imately $17 billion a year. "We just need you to be aware this is what we're do- ing," he said. People may wonder why they're constant- ly needing to change their passwords, for example. "We're not trying to make it hard to do your jobs; we're making it hard to impact your data," he said. Mother, son face multiple felonies Charges include animal torture, neglect, theft, drug and abuse By Janice Barniak An Oakland City moth- er and son were in Gibson County Circuit Court Fri- day after a police investi- gation that began with a tip about dead horses end- ed in multiple felony charg- es, including the abuse of two children, possession of hoax grenades, improper disposal of a dead animal, torture of a horse, neglect of a horse, neglect of a ca- nine, felony theft and pos- session of drug parapher- nalia. Not guilty pleas were en- tered at the first hearing for both Susan and Joseph Grubb Friday in Judge Jef- frey Meade's courtroom. Deputies and Gibson County Animal Service em- ployees, as well as a veteri- narian, went to the proper- ty and received permission from mother Susan Grubb to investigate. According to the proba- ble cause affidavit signed by Sgt. Bruce Vanoven, last December, police received a tip that two of three hors- es owned by Susan and Jo- seph Grubb were dead in their barn with the last re- maining horse. According to the re- port, investigators discov- ered the last remaining horse, Rain, living in the same stall as a dead horse, named Twig, which had fresh straw placed over part of the body. Anoth- er dead horse had three- inch paw marks in the dirt, which indicated, according to the report, that before dying, the horse, named Willow, had tried to regain its footing and stand. A veterinarian estimat- ed to police the horses had been dead at least 48 hours, and estimated the feces as between one inch and 24 inches around the stall, with some areas hav- ing even a greater depth of manure. The remaining horse was unable to enter a horse trailer on her own power, even when coaxed with food. Susan Grubb denied knowledge of the horses being dead, according to the report, saying her adult son owned the horses, and was at work at Millennium Steel. According to the report, the Sheriff's office also doc- umented three other un- buried horses on the prop- erty, an emaciated black and white Pekingese, rated by a veterinarian as a .5 on a 1-10 health scale, the mum- mified remains of a hawk, two grenades modified to be able to explode, though they contained no explo- sive inside, drug parapher- nalia of the type used to in- gest methamphetamines, and unlocked weapons lay- ing in the clutter where two children were said to regu- larly stay. The Pekingese passed away shortly after rescue. Officers noticed special- ized industrial radio equip- ment, and found it was the property of Millennium Steel and Gibson County Coal. Millennium Steel later said Joseph Grubb did not have permission to take their equipment. Joseph Grubb faces charges of felony theft, where value of property is between $750 and $50,000, felony possession of a hoax device related to the gre- nades, felony failure to properly dispose of a dead animal, two cruelty to an- imals misdemeanors and a possession of parapher- nalia charge. He appeared in circuit court Friday and has a pretrial hearing set for Oct. 15. Susan Grubb faces two cruelty to animal misde- meanors and a charge of taking a migratory bird above the seasonal limit. Her pretrial conference is set for Oct. 11.

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