The Press-Dispatch

April 29, 2020

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B-10 Opinion Wednesday, April 29, 2020 The Press-Dispatch Court Report FELONY Pike County Circuit Court David A. King charged with count I rape, when vic- tim is unaware of the defen- dant's actions, a level 3 felo- ny, and count II sexual bat- tery, a level 6 felony. Thomas Matthew Tharp charged with count I op- erating a vehicle with a schedule I or II controlled substance or its metabolite in person's body and count II operating a vehicle with a schedule I or II controlled substance, prior or under 21, a level 6 felony. INFRACTIONS Pike County Circuit Court Ronald Travis charged with knowingly authoriz- ing a violation of IC 9 -18.1- 14-11 (An individual less than 18 years of age who is operating or riding on an off-road vehicle shall wear a helmet). Cole V. Robling charged with seatbelt violation. TRAFFIC AND MISDEMEANOR Pike County Circuit Court Wendy L. Kinman charged with disorderly conduct. Jathan K. Kinman charged with disorderly conduct. Jeffrey N. Haney, Jr. charged with driving while suspended, prior. since our odyssey be- gan and many are asking, "When will things get back to normal? When will the church reopen and we be able to congregate again? " We must consider the possibility that our "nor- mal" way of doing church is no longer possible, and a new normal will emerge." This journey is an odys- sey of faith just like Abra- ham. Our trust is in God and his promises, which are found in Christ, who is our "Blessed and Lively Hope." Christians should have faith and hope that through Christ our new normal will be good. Therefore, start think- ing about your NEW NOR- MAL and your church's NEW NORMAL. Don't just sit there riding this pandemic out waiting for things to return to nor- mal. The men of Apollo 13 re- tuned home because of the grace of God, and a team that was behind them that lived by the creed that "fail- ure is not an option! " Their mission was a fail- ure, but their odyssey was a victory. So too will be ours! Think about it! Continued from page 9 ODYSSEY the pictures. Some had ? marks but that's ok. Silly me. I started to dig up my picture treasure trove, and posted some as well. In the process I found many more items I've been looking for which I was un- able to find because I did not have time. Besides pic- tures, I found documents, memorabilia, and also junk that I had no need to keep. I guess this isolation situa- tion has its pluses, too. • • • I stumbled onto the top- ic called the humorous side of isolation/quarantine/so- cial distancing, and here's some. "We're all becom- ing good cooks. One of the items recommended by those sharing the secrets of flavorful food is to have a weighing scale for your- self and not necessarily for the ingredients. " "Try social distancing from your food pantry to stay healthy." "It's hard to decide what outfit you should wear when you go to the trash/ recycling center." "There are now four time zones- Eastern, Central, Pacific and Twilight zones." "Finally, we have clean- er air. But my luck is down because I can't go out due to the lock down." "My social life is now fo- cused on meeting people at the grocery and variety and hardware stores, but I can't figure out who they are, be- cause they're all wearing masks. I just say 'Hi' any- way." "I finally know the num- ber of windows, doors, elec- trical outlets, walls, vents, nails, etc. inside my house." "I usually don't read the fine prints on the medi- cine bottle. I've now been looking for one that would say, 'may cause permanent weight loss, remove wrin- kles, and increase energy.'" Well. This is all for now. May you have a blessed week and let's all hang in there. We're seemingly seeing some light at the end of the tunnel, and hope it's not from a big train. Continued from page 9 Continued from page 9 NORMAL GO BACK York Times, he argued that our fight against COVID-19 could be worse than the vi- rus itself. The bottom line is that costs can be concealed but not eliminated. Moreover, if people only look at the benefits from a particular course of action, they will do just about anything, be- cause everything has a ben- efit. Political hustlers and demagogues love promis- ing benefits when the costs can easily be concealed. By the way, the best time to be wrong and persist in being wrong is when the costs of being wrong are borne by others. The absolute worst part of the COVID-19 pandem- ic, and possibly its most un- recoverable damage, is the massive power that Amer- icans have given to their federal, state and local gov- ernments to regulate our lives in the name of pro- tecting our health. Taking back that power should be the most urgent component of our recovery efforts. It's going to be challenging; once a politician, and his bureaucracy, gains power, he will fight tooth and nail to keep it. Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. Continued from page 9 COVID-19 coming out of Washington doesn't work in dealing with poverty, housing or education, it doesn't work in battling this health cri- sis. Limit federal bureaucrat- ic control of our lives and engage local government. Focus on individual free- dom and personal respon- sibility. It's what we need now. It's what we have al- ways needed. Star Parker is president of the Center for Urban Renew- al and Education and au- thor of the new book "Nec- essary Noise: How Donald Trump Inflames the Culture War and Why This is Good News for America." Missouri claims that two Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act exceptions permit this lawsuit. The "commercial activity" exception covers cases involving "commercial ac- tivity carried on in the United States by the foreign state" or acts within the United States in connection with com- mercial activity by the foreign state elsewhere. Missouri says that operating the Chi- nese health care system, conducting medical research, and operating social media platforms are all "commercial ac- tivity" in China that caused direct ef- fects in the United States. Second, the Foreign Sovereign Im- munities Act's "noncommercial torts" exception covers tortious acts by a for- eign state or foreign official "acting within the scope of his office." This ex- ception, however, does not cover "dis- cretionary" government functions. Missouri claims that China's actions in China amount to torts in Missouri. Missouri claims that the Chinese Communist Party is not entitled to any immunity because it "is not a for- eign state or instrumentality of a for- eign state." At the same time, the law- suit claims that "the Communist Par- ty's General Secretary becomes the president" of China and that the party "exercises direction and control over all other Defendants." None of the allegations in the com- plaint are specific to the Chinese Com- munist Party and, therefore, it is un- clear what Missouri seeks from the party separately from the government of China. In a related effort, some members of Congress have introduced legislation to provide a clear Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act exception that would allow lawsuits against China by COV- ID-19 victims. On April 14, Sen. Josh Hawley, R- Mo., announced the Justice for Victims of COVID-19 Act. According to a press release from Hawley's office, it would make the Chinese government liable in U.S. courts for reckless actions that caused the pandemic, allow U.S. courts to freeze Chinese assets to enforce suc- cessful claims, and create a State De- partment task force to lead "an interna- tional investigation" to determine how Chinese actions caused the pandemic. Two days later on April 16, Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, and Sen. Tom Cot- ton, R-Ark., introduced the Holding the Chinese Communist Party Account- able for Infecting Americans Act. The bill would amend the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act to allow a lawsuit against a foreign state that de- liberately conceals or distorts infor- mation with respect to an internation- al public health emergency. Either of these, litigation or leg- islation, is a long path. The courts may conclude that the Foreign Sover- eign Immunities Act's current excep- tions do not apply and, therefore, U.S. courts have no jurisdiction for a lawsuit against China. Even if jurisdiction is established, either initially or after successful ap- peals, the merits of the lawsuit itself would have to be pursued through the court system. And then, if COVID-19 victims win their case, forcing China to actually provide the compensation the victims seek presents its own set of challenges. The legislative effort is even longer, especially in the current political envi- ronment. Neither Crenshaw nor Cotton serve on their respective bodies' Judi- ciary committees, which would have jurisdiction over their bills. The COVID-19 pandemic is in full swing, and information about China's actions is only beginning to unfold. There likely would be extensive hear- ings, and Congress no doubt will con- sider the possibility of sparking legal developments that could increase le- gal exposure in other countries for the United States or its citizens. And even if either bill became law, it would only open the door to litigation. Nonetheless, the American people need to know how China contributed to the pandemic that is so deeply affect- ing everyone and what can be done to hold Beijing accountable. Thomas Jipping is the Deputy Direc- tor of the Edwin Meese III Center for Le- gal and Judicial Studies and a Senior Legal Fellow. Continued from page 9 LAWSUIT Continued from page 8 MIDWIFE Katiedid vs... by Katiedid Langrock Exercising woes Property taxes Letter to the Editor State Department to travel to Liberia, A f- rica, to teach midwifery and child care to native women in rural villages in the bush country. Never one to back away from a new adventure, she eagerly ac- cepted this new challenge. Daughter and mother who traveled together from Petersburg to the Klond- ike, Alaska, gold mine camp adventure in 1899, now 57 years later, again trav- el together, but now to a new adventure in A frica, 7,000 miles from their Nash- ville, Ind., home. Daughter, Catherine, was now 61 and mother, Nellie, was 85 years old. Upon her arrival in A frica, the Libe- rian infant death rate was 70 percent. Catherine taught midwifery and child- care techniques to native women in Li- beria villages. In order to train local natives in the fundamentals of healthy childcare and midwifery practices, she required nine months of instruction and training for each prospective native midwife before granting certification. Improvements in Liberian infant mortality were sizable as Catherine trained and certified 337 Libe- rians in childcare and midwifery prac- tices. A fter five years of training, the infant death rate had declined dramatically from 70 percent to 25 percent. Many of the Liberian children carry Catherine's name in honor of her service to them. The Queen of England's midwife invit- ed Catherine to a Midwifery Conference in England in 1960. During their 1961 stateside furlough in Nashville, Ind., her 90 -year-old moth- er died of complications from a fall. Cath- erine returned, now alone, to A frica to re- sume training midwifery and childcare to Liberian women in rural bush villages. In late December 1962, while still in A frica, she became critically ill from a blood circulatory ailment. She was flown to the United States for treatment in Bal- timore, Md., where she died on January 11, 1963, at age 67. This nurse with an adventurous and fearless spirit is bur- ied alongside her mother and father in Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis. To the Editor: It was reported that the treasurer, when asked by taxpayers why their taxes went up, she referred them to the assessor. She should have sent them to the County Council, as most, if not all, spending in the county is approved by the Council. The duties of the County Council are: Fixing tax rates and establishing levies on all county property for the purpose of raising funds to meet bud- get requirements in conducting county business (IC 36 -2-5 -11), as well as au- thorizing the borrowing of money in the form of bonds and notes and appro- priating (spending) public funds, i.e. authorizing the expenditure of coun- ty money by particular officials or de- partments for specific purpose IC 36 - 2-5 -11 and IC 36 -2-5 -12. It is a fact that all rates went up, at least my home. At an increased rate of 10 percent per year, about what it has been, your property taxes will at least double in seven years. Your property assessment has an au- tomatic increase defined by your state officials as trending. As property val- ues go up, so do your taxes. Never do your taxes go down when property val- ues decrease. The exception would be for farmers. For a few years now, farm ground assessment has gone down because someone at Purdue Univer- sity, along with your elected officials, invented a magical formula that re- duced taxes on farmers. According to the county assessor, there are more re- ductions to come for farmers. This has to be made up somewhere, so if you are not a farmer, your taxes will increase to cover the difference. Information from the auditor's office shows year over year there were eight persons added to the county health plan 2019 over 2018, for a total of 125. Three of those 125 are commission- ers and seven are councilmen. Four of the total ten are power plant employ- ees, two salaried and two hourly. In- formation given to me is that the pow- er plant offers insurance to these em- ployees and yet they are on county in- surance. Each person insured costs the taxpayers about $16,000 in prop- erty taxes. In addition to property taxes, you al- so pay over $1,250,000 in income tax- es for ambulance service each year. In February 2013, Commissioner Nelson stated the ambulance service cost the county $450,000. The county is having a hard time paying the bill this year. Look for another tax increase soon. Martin County Commissioners have, for the last eight years, paid less than $210,000 per year for ambulance service. They do not have an EMS di- rector ($70,000), nor do they sup- port a building like the one you pay for. In 2018, the Pike County budget contained $ 35,000, which was used to purchase a Model 2500 Dodge Ram for the EMS Director to use for a person- al vehicle to drive to work. According to county fuel records, it gets about 12 miles per gallon. This past July, Martin County Com- missioners signed a new four-year con- tract with their provider for $210,000 a year. Pike County Council approved the budget for this year and commission- ers will be refusing to seek contrac- tor bids for ambulance service as they have in the past and the taxpayer will be paying another $1,000,000 too much in 2020. Accumulative for the past eight years and the new four-year contract Martin County Commission- ers have signed, Pike County Commis- sioners and County Council will have overpaid by $12,000,000 (twelve mil- lion) for ambulance service. Jim Johns A fter my online yoga class, the swa- mi led us in a meditation for supernat- ural powers. But so far, the only supernatural thing that has happened is the fact that I chose to participate in a yo- ga class in the first place. My treadmill, like most treadmills, has been a de fac- to hamper for most of its life. When the pandemic first hit, I removed the clothes and hopped on board, only to dis- cover it was broken — bro- ken with an expired warranty — and it was too late to get someone in to fix it, thanks to the shutdown. There had to be some way to move my body and expel some of this tension and stress in my muscles. My children looked at me with fur- rowed brows when I yelled out, "Has anyone seen my sneakers? " "I don't think you have sneakers," my son replied. "Don't I? " "I've never seen them," he retorted. Huh. Maybe I don't own sneakers. Well, that explains a lot about my sed- entary life. But not too long afterward, I found an old pair in the bottom of the coat closet. My husband looked at me with con- fusion equal to our kids' as I tied the sneakers to my feet and ran out the door. The most recent time I had gone for a run was before we were married — 12 years ago. The run was slow and steady. By the end, the pedometer read 1.7 miles. Not too shabby for the first run in over a decade. There had been only one mis- hap. Just after I ran past the field in my neighborhood, my running shorts — which were purchased during pregnancy, when I thought I might participate in prenatal yoga — fell down around my ankles. It was a miracle, frankly, that I didn't trip over them and land on my face. This little undergarment glitch happened near the same field where, just days before, I had flashed a fam- ily while throwing a boomerang with unusual gusto. Not wearing a bra dur- ing the coronavirus pandemic has its perks, but wardrobe malfunctions pro- duce more peril when the sisters go un- supported. I had wondered why our neighbors, a young family we are friendly with, had not waved back — wondered, that is, until my son told me to put my "boob away." Exercise and I have had a fraught relationship for a long time, so clearly, between the running in undies and the boomerang-booberang incident, I con- cluded that exercise in the great out- doors is out of the question. That is how I began searching for online classes and discovered a yoga meditation that promised supernatu- ral powers. Ideally, my children were going to do the exercises with me — the assumption being that if they ex- ercised with me, they would not be interrupting me. Sometimes you just have to laugh at yourself. Not interrupt me? How could someone who has kids think such a thing possible? Sadly, the promise of something akin to Spider- Man skills quickly vanished when the chanting was more "aad such, jugaad such" and less "Zap! Zoom! Pow! " The kids left the room and were so eerily quiet that it was hard to concentrate and not wonder what they were de- stroying in the other room. When I emerged, my son asked me to levitate something. As if I needed a new way to disappoint my children during this crisis. I was already boil- ing over in the many ways I disappoint them on a daily basis. My friends who do not have children suggest I play with the kids for my ex- ercise. Kids exercise naturally all the time, after all. And this is true. But this sudden craving for exercise that is be- ing felt by so many of us confined to our homes does not come from a de- sire to lose weight or get defined mus- cles. Though they would be a nice bo- nus. The need is deeper. It has more to do with escapism — finding a little something for you in a time when so much has been taken away. I wonder whether screaming into a pillow can be considered a sport. My friend in Chicago sent me a pic- ture of a man running down her street wearing only headphones, stark-na- ked. Perhaps that's the answer. It would get me back outside and back to exercising, and I wouldn't have to worry about any potential wardrobe malfunctions. Katiedid Langrock is author of the book "Stop Farting in the Pyramids," available at stop-farting-in-the-pyramids. Like Ka- tiedid Langrock on Facebook, at www.

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