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April 20, 2017 • Headline News
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Frye, Perfect talk about roads, taxes

Wanda English Burnett

“Our roads are in bad shape and they’ve got to be fixed. I’m tired of it,” State Representative Randy Frye emphatically told the group gathered at the Ripley County Court House Annex Saturday, April 8

State Representative Randy Frye, right, along with Senator Chip Perfect, left, addressed issues vital to Hoosiers at the ‘town hall’ meeting held at the Versailles Courthouse Annex recently.

Rep. Frye said the facts are this: over the next 20 years, Indiana needs on average more than an additional $1B annually to maintain and improve our roads and bridges. He noted that predecessors weren’t forward thinking which has Indiana in a bad shape with money needed for repairs and something has to give. He said we have to come up with a tax or shuffle something around to make it work. Of course nobody wants to pay more, whether it’s at the gas pump, on cigarettes or a proposal that those who use the road more should have to pay more. The legislation will consider what they have before them and the session will come to a close soon with Frye saying decisions will have to be made.

Here’s why:
• 21% of Indiana’s bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.
• 9.5% of Indiana’s major roads are in “poor” condition.
• 97% of local agencies say their revenues are inadequate to maintain current roads.
• 80% of Indiana’s manufactured goods are transported on our highways.

Frye also passed out a brochure saying that Hoosiers are paying on average $491 per year on repairs to their vehicles due to poor roads. Statistics provided said that Hoosiers spend an average of $19 a month for road usage (includes state and federal fuel taxes and fees) $53 for a cell phone; $60 for Cable TV and $51 for the Internet. On the roads committee, Frye says there are a large group of supporters of HB1002, which will build a responsible, comprehensive and sustainable plan for funding the roads and bridges in the state.

Senator Chip Perfect, District 43 Lawrenceburg, was also at the meeting and said as the new person in the statehouse, he’s learned a lot this year. “It’s very much about negotiation,” he said, noting there are good ideas in the house and senate. Senator Perfect noted that he does not think spending the state’s reserve is the answer to funding the road problem. Another of his points is the career and technical education need in the state. Perfect said there are 100,000 new jobs in Indiana in various fields of this sort.

Other business
The drug problem was discussed amongst those who gathered, with most noting it’s always a problem, the drug of choice simply changes. It’s a battle all states are fighting. Ripley County Republican Chair Ginger Bradford attended the meeting and asked about the suggestion that all prisoners have iPads. She wasn’t for it, and Frye agreed, saying he thought all students should have iPads before prisoners have them. Batesville School Superintendent Paul Ketcham was in attendance and agreed. He said he didn’t fully realize the impact of government and legislation until he attained the superintendent’s position. Now he takes what they’re doing seriously and is an advocate for the students and schools.

Senator Perfect bragged on South Ripley Middle School, the teachers, administration and students. He hosted them for an outing at Perfect North Ski Slopes this winter for their high school score and noted they were “so well behaved”. Perfect said, “At the end of the day at least 20 students (if not more) shook my hand and said ‘thank you.’”

Holley Rose was there representing the Ripley County Health Department. She talked about abandoned meth homes and how the state could revamp their system of keeping track of these. She also noted that Hepatitis has tripled and believes a needle exchange could help that situation. The government officials said they would look into it.

Always faithful to hold ‘town hall’ meetings, Frye says he’s available to his constitutents. He can be contacted through Randy Frye or call 1-317-512-0218. Senator Perfect can be reached at 1-800-382-9467.

Bringing electric power to communities

Local lineman helps Guatemala

The crew of 16 Indiana electric cooperative linemen, supported by Indiana Electric Cooperatives, employees Gayvin Strantz, Terry Adkins and Scott Willett were in Guatemala recently. Mike Wagner of Southeastern Indiana REMC was among the group that worked to bring electric to the region.

“Project Indiana: Empowering Global Communities for a Better Tomorrow” electrified a part of the Central American country where none was available. The crew, supported by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s International Foundation, spent the second half of March electrifying the village of El Zapotillo in Huehuetenango.

The team electrified 60 homes, a school, a church, and a clinic with 4 miles of primary line, 27 miles of secondary line, 36 anchors and 6 transformers – all by hand and without the aid of modern conveniences, such as bucket trucks. This was the Indiana electric cooperatives’ third trip to Guatemala. In August 2012, 28 Hoosier lineworkers from 17 of Indiana’s electric cooperatives, spent four weeks working across the mountainous terrain to construct more than 20 miles of power lines and bring electricity to three villages. In April 2015, 14 lineworkers battled extreme heat and the rugged land to string 11 miles of wire to connect 76 poles across 2,500 feet of mountains.

Pat Baker graduating after four years as Butler basketball manager

College basketball season can be stressful. A team must power through the ups as well as the downs to be successful on the court. This success is due to many moving pieces, including players, coaches, athletic administration and even the student managers that work behind the scenes. Pat Baker, Butler men’s basketball head manager and senior management information systems major, has been a part of the team’s success in all four of his seasons.
Baker’s journey began when he was pushed to become a manager by his former coach.

Pat Baker stands between his parents Stephanie and MichaelPHOTO BY JIMMY LAFAKIS
Pictured left, Pat Baker stands between his parents Stephanie and Michael.

“I am from Milan, Indiana, and basketball has always been a pastime there,” Baker said. “My coach was a manager at Ball State, and when I knew I wasn’t going to play basketball past high school, he talked to me about becoming a manager.” Baker was set on joining a program headed by Brad Stevens. But the summer before Baker came to Butler, Stevens left Indianapolis for the NBA, becoming the head coach of the Boston Celtics. That move nearly changed his decision. “I didn’t know that I was going to be a manager until I got on campus,” Baker said. “Brad left, and after that happened I didn’t know if I wanted to be a manager anymore. Lucky enough, I stayed with it and had a great four years.”

Baker was promoted to head manager last spring after the Bulldogs lost to Virginia in the NCAA tournament. As head manager, Baker’s main responsibility was to connect the coaching staff and the managers, sending managers whenever coaches needed someone for drills. Fellow manager and sophomore Sam Sturtevant said Baker did an excellent job this season as head manager. “Pat is one of those guys that just always goes above and beyond,” Sturtevant said. “He always led by example and did things without being asked. Pat was a role model to all of us.” Baker emphasized that his job was to assist the coaching staff in any way he could.

“The goal of the managers is to make the coaching staff’s life easy,” Baker said. “We take care of the little things.” Not only did Baker help the coaches, he helped the players before and after practice by getting them whatever they needed (gear, tape, food, etc.). Players and managers spend a majority of their time together, allowing them to form friendships.

For Baker, he became particularly close to fellow senior basketball players Andrew Chrabascz and Steven Bennett. “We were the only guys that have been around for the last four years, through the Brandon Miller era and the Hinkle renovations,” Baker said. “All four of us [including senior manager Matthew Qualters, who worked with Baker all four seasons] bonded; we were in it together.” Now that Baker and Bennett have become good friends, Bennett said they joke about their past experiences with the team. “We jokingly call ourselves the survivors,” Bennett said. “We had a lot of guys transfer, we struggled our first year in the Big East and we had a few coaching changes. We have that bond that’s different than what we have with the other guys.” Bennett also noted the importance of managers and how Baker embraced his role as a manager. “The managers do so much more than people realize,” Bennett said. “They basically do all the dirty work that helps make the season easier for the team. It requires an extreme amount of selflessness, and Pat exemplified that from the moment he got here.”

Baker is now set to graduate on May 6 along with his friends Bennet and Chrabascz. But, unlike his transition from high school to college, he will no longer be continuing his basketball career. He recently accepted a position with Deloitte LLP, working in the IT department, which he will begin this summer. “The opportunity within Deloitte shied me away from basketball route,” Baker said. “If I wanted to stay with basketball, I couldn’t tell you where I would be for the next four years. There was a lot of uncertainty going in that field.”

Even though Baker will not continue his basketball career, he will take the lessons he learned in his time as a manager with him to his new job.
“I’ve been able to take what I’ve learned in the classroom and relate it to Butler basketball as an organization,” he said. “I’ve been able to see how Butler athletics as a whole operates. I learned more at Hinkle Fieldhouse than I did in any classroom.”

Currently, Butler basketball faces a tough challenge moving on from great players such as Chrabascz, Avery Woodson, Tyler Lewis, Kethan Savage and others. The Bulldogs also now must move on from valuable, productive and essential managers like Baker. Pat is a 2013 graduate of Milan High School and the son of Stephanie and Mike Baker.

This article was reprinted with permission from The Butler Collegian, Philip Tor, Staff Reporter,

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