Post-Tribune Latest news from Post-Tribune Online en-us (Editor) Post-Tribune 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Davich: Horn blowing has no effect on train delay issues ]]> Lead story image

When does a public works project become a public safety concern? This question is at the heart  of an ongoing bridge replacement project in the Miller section of Gary, which is infamous for having limited access routes. Many residents and commuters already feel they’re at the mercy of the street-level railroads that zigzag their community, dictating when motorists can enter or exit. “Waiting on Another Train” could be Miller’s theme song, long-time residents agree. The railway construction project on U.S. 12, just east of Lake Street, has closed one of Miller’s busy access routes, Old Hobart Road, which connects to … ]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 02:02:11 -0500 <![CDATA[ Davich: ‘History-makers’ pass the torch ]]> Lead story image

Gladys Johnson ambled gently through the parking lot of St. John Lutheran Church, appropriately enough the oldest surviving place of worship in the city of Gary. “All this fuss over me today?” Johnson asked rhetorically while entering a back door. Yes, Ms. Johnson, it’s not every day that the oldest Gary resident born in the city turns 100 years old. On Thursday, the city celebrated this rare honor by introducing Johnson to dozens of city youth at the historic church. “Which of you will be history-makers in the world like Ms. Johnson?” said Naomi Millender, Johnson’s niece, who served as … ]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 02:01:22 -0500 <![CDATA[ Davich: Use regret as personal motivator ]]> Lead story image

Regrets. You’ve had a few? Me too. A new national survey shows that people age 60 and older are drowning in regrets about their life. Regrets over not saving money. Regrets over ruined relationships. Regrets over taking better care of their health. These seem like no-brainers but, as we know, they’re easier planned than performed. How many times have we told ourselves to start saving more money for the future or retirement? How many times have we resolved to eat better and be more active? Or promised to be kinder to others, especially our loved ones? Instead, we put these … ]]> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 02:01:05 -0500 <![CDATA[ Davich: Pastor profoundly thankful for regained hearing ]]> Lead story image

The Rev. Tom Shanahan didn’t want to get his hearing tested once again. He already suffered from 97 percent hearing loss in one ear and the other one was almost as bad. Another test wouldn’t bring back his hearing, he told himself. When he was a boy, an empty pop can struck his left ear, injuring it permanently. As an 18-year-old U.S. Army soldier, a hand grenade exploded in front of him, piercing a hole in one eardrum and causing hearing loss in both ears. That took place in 1966. Since then, his hearing gradually worsened. He couldn’t hear birds … ]]> Fri, 18 Jul 2014 23:23:33 -0500 <![CDATA[ Davich: Artist, 86, ‘still going at it’ ]]> Lead story image

Eleanor Lewis may be retired from teaching art, but she’ll never retire from creating art. For more than half a century, the 86-year-old Valparaiso woman has transformed hundreds of blank white canvases into colorful works of art. She uses oils, acrylic, pastel and watercolor with techniques ranging from realism to surrealism and abstraction to impressionism. Landscapes, florals, murals, portraits — you name it, she’s painted it — she has no plans of putting away her brushes. “Yes, I’m still going at it at my age, 86 and a half,” Lewis told me at the Brauer Museum of Art at Valparaiso … ]]> Wed, 16 Jul 2014 02:02:46 -0500 <![CDATA[ Jerry Davich: ‘At least give your (autistic) child a chance’ ]]> Lead story image

Brandon Carter didn’t hesitate to follow his “Uncle Mose” into the noisy, distraction-filled Universal Fitness gym in Merrillville. This surprised me a bit because many kids with autism are skittish of such sensory-overloaded environments, with pounding music, loud fans and other gym members pumping iron. The 15-year-old Merrillville boy has a sweet smile, a gentle handshake and an obvious fondness for Mose Carter, though they’re not related. Mose is a mountain of a man who’s been lifting weights since age 12 and training others professionally for 20 years. His handshake swallows yours. His smile is sincere. And his heart is … ]]> Mon, 14 Jul 2014 02:01:32 -0500 <![CDATA[ Jerry Davich: A godless world leaves us to our own devices ]]> Lead story image

What would our world be like without God, or even the belief in a god, any god? Would it be a better place? Fewer wars fueled by religion, dogma and godly justification? Less judgment, hypocrisy and self-righteousness in the name of Jesus? If God created us after we created him, did it backfire, causing more pain than joy? Or would our world be a worse place in the feeble, oh-so-flawed hands of humankind? No purpose, no meaning, no eternity. Less hope, love and faith. A life with no promise of heaven, which eventually descends into a living hell. Chaos. Carnage. … ]]> Sun, 13 Jul 2014 02:01:25 -0500 <![CDATA[ Davich: Vietnam vets: ‘We were spit on, cussed at’ ]]> Lead story image

Were returning Vietnam veterans greeted by anti-war protesters with spitting, cussing and accusations of being “baby killers”? Yes, local Vietnam vets told me in no uncertain terms. “I was called a baby killer. I was insulted. I was told that I will go to hell for my part in the war,” said Frank Darrington, commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2697 in Munster. “I had people getting in my face, yelling and screaming about the war as if I had control over anything.” In my Monday column, I asked this question after hearing from region historian Ron Cohen, accusing … ]]> Fri, 11 Jul 2014 02:01:56 -0500 <![CDATA[ Davich: Gambling addict confesses his bad beat ]]> Lead story image

Jesse Howard started gambling at a very young age. “When I was 5, I played marbles,” he told me straight-faced. “We played for keeps.” Marbles led to playing cards and tossing quarters against a wall at school. He didn’t think anything of it at the time. That’s what teenage boys do, right? When he got older, gambling didn’t go away. It became part of his life. Then it became his life. Nothing else mattered. Not his wives. Not his stepkids. Not his job. Not his family. Not his future. He gambled money on all sorts of casino games and other … ]]> Wed, 09 Jul 2014 02:01:35 -0500 <![CDATA[ Jerry Davich: Were any Vietnam vets really spit on? ]]> Lead story image

Were returning Vietnam veterans greeted by antiwar protesters with spitting, cussing and accusations of being “baby killers”? In my recent column on that still-controversial war and its still-beleaguered vets, one Vietnam vet told me, “I wouldn’t have responded well to being spit on and called a baby killer. The indifference I received from people was bad enough.” Was he spit on and called a baby killer? No. Was the other vet whom I profiled? No. Was any Vietnam vet? Or is this an urban myth that has lingered into the 21st century to discredit the antiwar movement of that generation? … ]]> Thu, 10 Jul 2014 18:29:10 -0500 <![CDATA[ Davich: Which freedoms are we celebrating today anyway? ]]> Lead story image

Freedom. Today, on the Fourth of July, we are supposed to celebrate this ever-present yet enigmatic word. Our country is a symbol of freedom to much of the world, and we’ve been echoing this word since early childhood. But what kind of freedom exactly are we celebrating? Religious freedom? Personal freedom? Freedom of speech? Freedom of the press? Freedom to choose? All of the above? When I did a Google search for the word “freedom,” guess what popped up first? Independence Day? Liberty? Patriotism? The United States of America? Or possibly the countless buckets of blood spilled to protect our … ]]> Fri, 04 Jul 2014 02:01:16 -0500 <![CDATA[ Jerry Davich: ‘Love is Love’ — and, yes, this is news ]]> Lead story image

I expected some backlash from last month’s continual news cycle by media outlets regarding the same-sex marriage issue in this conservative state. For instance, this voice mail I received: “Jerry, I’ve had enough of this whole gay marriage thing and all the photos of gays holding hands, lesbians kissing, and all of them tying the knot. Can we move on to other news? REAL news!” What I didn’t expect was this email response from a Post-Tribune subscriber: “I understand news reporting, however, I feel we are being inundated & forced fed with coverage concerning gay marriage,” stated the reader, whose … ]]> Wed, 02 Jul 2014 02:03:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ DAVICH: New public service group fills negative spaces in Gary ]]> Lead story image

Filling negative spaces. This is the most intriguing initiative of Imagine Gary, a creative arts community service project that kicked off Saturday at the juncture of volunteer mentors and city youth. Actually, it took place at the intersection of 15th Ave. and Massachusetts St., where dozens of talented Gary residents, ages 17 to 25, joined a hand-picked team of working professionals. It didn’t matter that it was hot, humid and threated to storm. Or that some of the youth were painting a mural for the first time. What mattered is that they filled negative space there, as well as, hopefully, … ]]> Mon, 30 Jun 2014 02:02:55 -0500 <![CDATA[ Davich: 50 years later, Vietnam vets look back ]]> Lead story image

The draft. Napalm. Agent Orange. Protests. Casualties. Deaths. “Charlie.” Crossfire. Friendly fire. Flashbacks. Viet Cong. Khmer Rouge. Fall of Saigon. The Tet Offensive. “Apocalypse Now.” Controversy. Regret. These are my immediate thoughts when I think of the Vietnam War, which marked a fateful “can’t turn back now” milestone 50 years ago this month. That’s when Gen. William Westmoreland succeeded Gen. Paul Harkins as commander of the U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, or MACV. That’s when U.S. military strength in South Vietnam increased to 23,000, with hints of many more troops heading to that enigma of a country in Southeast Asia. … ]]> Sun, 29 Jun 2014 02:02:19 -0500 <![CDATA[ Davich: County’s oldest retail gem closing its doors after 128 years ]]> Lead story image

Connie Burkes didn’t hesitate one nanosecond in response to my question: What will she miss most after closing her beloved jewelry store? “Oh, the customers,” she sighed in between helping customers. “I’ll miss the customers. They’re like family.” After 128 years in business — the oldest continuously operating retail store in Lake County —Odell-Smith Jewelers in Hobart is soon closing its doors. The old gem of a downtown business lost its luster some time ago. “It’s time,” explained Burkes’ husband, Del, when I visited their store on Wednesday. That was the first day of the store’s “going out of business … ]]> Mon, 28 Jul 2014 06:28:38 -0500 <![CDATA[ Davich: Don’t be too quick to blame parents in drownings ]]> Lead story image

What was your reaction to the drowning of the two brothers in that water-filled pit in Hobart, specifically after you learned the circumstances behind their deaths? Was it shock or disbelief over how they died? Was it astonishment over the fact they were unsupervised in a potentially dangerous setting? Did you think the property owner should be held liable? Or was it kneejerk blame of the boys’ mother for allowing them to be there in the first place, or for not knowing where her children were? Be honest, at least with yourself. Here’s why I ask. Many people — too … ]]> Sat, 26 Jul 2014 06:19:59 -0500 <![CDATA[ Davich: Disc golf course family’s tribute to Portage man ]]> Lead story image

It didn’t matter to Glen and Pat Nicholson that Saturday morning was cloudy and overcast. “Even though the sun is not shining, my son is smiling down on us,” Pat told me at Countryside Park in Portage. “He’d be so happy.” Glen choked back emotions, adding, “He’d be real honored with all this,” before staring blankly toward the park’s towering hill. That’s where the “Glenn Christopher Nicholson Memorial Disc Golf Course” begins with Hole No. 1. A few disc golfers were laughing, joking and whipping their discs down the hill. “It’s still hard for me to talk about Chris,” Glen … ]]> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 06:22:02 -0500 <![CDATA[ Davich: Congregation grays, but Gary church gets national nod ]]> Lead story image

Paula DeBois looked up at the renowned architecture of St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church, with its sweeping design that leads in one direction — toward heaven. For a moment, though, she appeared to stare straight through its praying hands-style roof to memories of her father, who died in 2008. Dr. Elon DeBois died at Methodist Hospitals, where he served the community for more than 40 years. His funeral was conducted at that notable church in the Tolleston section of Gary and, on that sad day, his daughter experienced an inspiring epiphany. Their church, she concluded through a cloud of grief, should … ]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 06:13:48 -0500