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Editorial: Quick Takes (July 19, 2014)

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Train keeps a rollin’

Past concerns about the future of the Indiana branch of the Orphan Grain Train, and who would lead it, are finally in the distance, thankfully.

Gene Wint’s Azalia farm has served as the location since 2002, but his retirement and cramped space were issues that needed resolution for the branch to continue. Fortunately, the outreach received the help it needed. Gene Ernst of Columbus will take over as director when Wint steps aside. A new, 12,500 square-foot building will serve as the branch’s headquarters, at County Road 950S and State Road 11.

The organization appears set to keep chugging along successfully. Most importantly, people who are recovering from fires, job loss, divorce or other misfortunes will continue to receive the help they need.


Ace of an idea

Giving back to one’s community can take many forms: Volunteering at a public event, cleaning up a stretch of road or donating time and skills to a nonprofit organization. Columbus North High School junior Aditya Mantri is doing so by focusing on some children with special needs.

Mantri, a tennis player, organized the first Indiana location of ACEing Autism, at the North tennis courts. The weekly sessions started July 12 and continue July 26 and Aug. 2 and 9. The program is intended to develop social skills, motor development and hand-eye coordination, all things with which autistic children struggle.

Starting this program has required a lot of Mantri’s time, but the energy he’s invested shows how much he cares about these kids and his community.

Information: or 812-390-6326.

Significant impact

Bartholomew County’s loss is Purdue University’s gain.

Erika Bonnett, the local 4-H youth development leader and Purdue Extension office director, is taking a statewide 4-H role that will have her working on campus as the science specialist.

However, Bonnett is leaving the local 4-H program in good shape after five years. Her efforts to get more kids interested in 4-H helped membership increase from about 530 her first year to about 800 now. The Junior Leaders program’s membership has risen from about 20 to 60 kids.

Bonnett’s contributions here are greatly appreciated and signal future success in her new role.

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