Gathering for remembrance

December 27, 2012 in Community, Front Page News by Nicole Davis

Richmond Hill community gathers for candlelight vigil in light of explosion suspects’ arrests

By Nicole Davis

Candles lined the sidewalks of the Richmond Hill Subdivision on Dec. 22. In the middle of candles arranged to form a heart shape were two candles lit in memory of Jennifer and John “Dion” Longworth who were killed in the explosion in Nov. 10. During the candlelight vigil, residents gathered for the first time since the blast to pay respect to the victims. With the arrests of homeowner Monserrate Shirley, Mark Leonard and Bob Leonard Jr., residents shared their feelings on getting justice for the damage done.

“We’re just trying to make sure that everyone stays together,” said Maureen Ajamie, Richmond Hill resident of 11 years. “It will never go back to normal but as much as we can. I’m just glad the turnout, a lot of people that lost their homes have come back and should know how much we love and care for them.”

One homeowner offered residents hot chocolate while another sang songs of remembrance during the vigil.

More than 100 charges were filed against the three suspects arrested on Dec. 21, including felony murder and numerous counts of arson. Authorities determined the house was filled with natural gas for six to eight hours and investigators believe a microwave oven, set on a timer, ignited the blast that damaged 80 homes and killed two people. The damage is estimated at $4 million. The suspects pled not guilty. They are held without bond and a trial is set for March 4.

“It’s disappointing, but I think a lot of us suspected that,” said Nina LaRouche, Richmond Hill resident. “I think (the vigil was) just an opportunity for our community to come together and show our strength and bring back some happiness into our lives.

Enthusiasm for expansion

December 27, 2012 in Community, Front Page News by Nicole Davis

Resurrection Lutheran Church invests $4 million in new Perry Township building

By Nicole Davis

Members of Resurrection Lutheran Church have lugged their music equipment and set up chairs for worship at the Douglas McArthur Elementary School across from their church since June. All for the better, said Pastor Dave Schreiber – the church is investing approximately $4 million in expanding on its existing location in Perry Township.

“We’re excited,” Schreiber said. “It’s a neat transformational moment in our history. In 2013, we’re about a building, but it’s not about the building. We see this as an opportunity to reenergize and refocus on the needs.”

Schreiber said with a growing congregation, currently approximately 800 members, the church has needed a larger facility for the last 10 years. Church officials had to decide whether to relocated or tear down the existing church in order to expand. Schreiber said the piece of land they own is very awkwardly shaped, so it took a lot of planning to determine how a larger building would fit. They worked out an agreement with the Indianapolis Parks Department and the Perry Township School system to use the adjacent land for additional parking.

“We were afraid if we moved we would just become another suburban church and be abandoning our tradition and history,” Schreiber said. “The goal was if we sustain a level of growth. If we stay here, we will make an investment in Perry Township and continue to grow.”

Throughout the last five years, the church members have been planning and fundraising for the expansion project. They have raised $1.8 million. The new facility will double in existing square footage, from 12,000 square feet to 24,000. The exterior of the new sanctuary will consist of precast concrete panels, with brick inlay like was used for the Lucas Oil Stadium. Schreiber describes the planned worship center that will seat 350 people as beautiful, with a nautical use of wood and stone. The new church will have eight dedicated classrooms for youth and four spaces for adult classrooms.

“There is still that enthusiasm, we can do this,” Schreiber said. “The spirit of generosity, the level has been uniform. People want to make this happen. To people at Resurrection it’s not about the building, it’s about ministry and investing in the community.”

The community has come together to assist the church congregation during their displacement, from donations of building space to worship or rehearse the bell choir to fundraising. Schreiber said that when members began fundraising, they didn’t even have a photo of the planned building. Sharing their stories of how the church has impacted them, they have raised almost half the funds.

“It’s been phenomenal,” Schreiber said. “People like the custodian at McArthur School and principal, Steve Brian and Steve Cregg, have been the example of hospitality. We hope we can return that gift in spades in the future.”

For more information, visit

Paying it forward

December 27, 2012 in Community, Front Page News by Nicole Davis

Roncalli Senior Alex Alfery takes pride in maintaining Thompson Road median

By Nicole Davis

Like many teenagers, Alex Alfrey was taught to mow the lawn when he was young. Alfrey loved the chore and said it relaxes him. He started his own small lawn care business in 7th grade. During his freshman year at Roncalli High School, he was given the opportunity to volunteer to maintain the median they adopted on Thompson Road between US 31 and IN-135. He has taken pride in the job throughout the last four years and will soon pass it down to his brother Luke, a freshman at Roncalli.

“I figured I had the equipment, I can do this,” Alfery said. “I enjoy it. I hear from a lot of people that it looks nice. I drive by it once a week to see how it looks. I just feel very proud that I’ve made it my own. Caring for medians isn’t on the top of people’s lists, so I feel proud when people tell me that it looks good.”

Alfery said though this is the time of year when the grass, trees and plants are dead, he is already thinking of how to spruce the land up in the spring. He typically does weekly mowing, hedging and trimming. In the spring he will plant flowers and is working on a project to replace some of the bushes. Donations for the project can be sent In Care of Alex Alfery to Roncalli High School, 3300 Prague Rd. Indianapolis, IN 46227.

The job hasn’t always been easy. People whizzing by in their cars aren’t always too “courteous of the guy on the lawnmower,” Alfery said.

“The one thing I’ve learned it little things matter,” Alfery said. “I’ve had people that live across the street tell me that they really enjoy it. It’s nice to see that the little things in life can make people happy. I appreciate that Roncalli gave me the opportunity.”

Alfery said he has received a lot of help from friends and family with maintaining the median. He said he is confident Luke will do a good job when he’s gone, as they’ve worked together on it before. With no plans to stop, Alfery said he wants to help out when he comes home for breaks from college.

New Year's Resolutions

December 27, 2012 in Health, Lifestyle, Living by Wendell Fowler

This year, will you join the millions of earthlings who are acknowledging aspects of their lifestyle with which they are unhappy and seek to change?  It’s easy to forget the truth that how we steward our holy temple mirrors how we feel about ourselves and God.

Lost in our current culture of anger, depression, hate, violence, gluttony-worship and senseless conflict you forget who you are; your rootedness in the loving divine. Your Creator desires you to be happy; deserving of a disease-free life brimming with self-love and compassion. Rather than mercilessly judging and criticizing yourself for various shortcomings, self-compassion means you are kind, patient and understanding when admitting personal failings. No one says you’re expected to be perfect. I’m thye perfect example that everyone is damaged and there is no normal.

Is it spending money you don’t have, marriage stress, a bad marriage, the Apocalypse, or worse, a foreclosure? With your stunning intellect and strong resolve you can control where your thoughts flow. You’re not your thoughts, emotions, sense perceptions, and experiences. You are the content of your life; the space in which all things happen. But life’s bliss can only surface when the temple is respectfully sustained with clean food, water, worship and exercise. We’re a narcissistic society; the result of our daily choices. No one wants to give up anything, especially money, smoking, sugar, overeating and drinking, recreational drugs, compulsive spending: your best buds when you’re stressed or feeling blue. Bad habits don’t lecture or talk back.  Instead, they chip away at the crispy edges of your mind / body health.


Relax into the reality that what you eat is just as profound to your well-being as what you read, inhale, dream, or absorb from TV, radio and the printed word. When you stop fighting the circumstances in your life you begin living. Learn your ‘desire trigger’ to be slothful and eat dead foods that set you up for a white knuckle jaunt to the awaiting ER concierge team.  Resolve to seek methods for replacing self-destructive habits with something as simple as switching from mayonnaise on all your sandwiches to mustard, or seeking the good in everyone rather than the bad. Despite the un-holy American Diet, and a world gone mad, a deep peace exists within everyone; your essence.

Don’t keep your resolution a secret. Share them with family and request their support and cooperation. Slips-up are not relapses, they are God’s opportunities to learn. I guarantee a blazing bolt of lightning will not come out of the heavens and strike you down as punishment.

Have a Happy and healthy 2013. It’s up to you. For enduring my weekly rants: my love and gratitude to all.

Cooking With Clint

December 27, 2012 in Health, Lifestyle, Living by Clint Smith

Peppercorn steak—get cracking     

This is a quick dish that may elicit the illusion that you’ve been stooped over the stove for hours.  Not unlike the marriage of whole ground mustard and beef, peppercorns and steak are an enticing pairing—just think of the French classic steak au poivre.

Here, I’m employing green peppercorns, which are a bit pricier than the more common black peppercorns, but the extra cash spent has its advantages. Green peppercorns possess a distinctively piquant profile, and can be used in not only classic, Western dishes, but frequently pop up in Thai cuisine.

The accompaniment for the steak is a simple combination of cannellini beans, sundried tomatoes, capers, and a small amount of red wine. Related to the kidney bean, cannellini beans are hearty and match well with robust flavors.

You can substitute a more costly cut of beef in place of strip steak, but I’d invest in a fresh canister of green peppercorns in lieu of the often pricey filet mignon. And one last tip: crack your whole peppercorns yourself by placing a small amount of whole corns on a cutting board and use the bottom of a sauté pan to crack them.


Clint Smith is an honors graduate of The Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago, Le Cordon Bleu, and is currently a culinary arts instructor at Central Nine Career Center in Greenwood.  To read more about techniques and recipes, visit

Green peppercorn-crusted steaks with sundried tomato cannellini beans

Serves 2

  • 2, 8-ounce strip steaks
  • 2 tablespoons whole green peppercorns, cracked coarsely
  • 1, 15.5-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped sundried tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons brined capers
  • ¼ cup red wine
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • To taste, kosher salt


1.  Heat sauté pan over medium-high heat. Crack peppercorns on work surface; smash one side of steaks into cracked peppercorns and season with kosher salt. Add to pan, searing both sides; cook to desired doneness (even if it means cooking extra in the oven); place steaks on a separate plate, cover with foil and allow to rest until service.

2.  In same sauté pan in which the steaks were cooked, on medium heat, add sundried tomato and capers and sauté briefly; add the red wine and, using a wooden spoon, scrape the browned bits (or “fond”) from the bottom of the pan. Add beans, basil, and adjust seasonings. Serve beans with steak.

Weekly Movie Review 12/27

December 27, 2012 in Opinion by Adam Staten

Best movies of 2012


With 2012 drawing to a close, I thought it seemed fitting to look back on the films of 2012 and give my 10 favorite films of the year.  2012 gave us some truly great films, some really terrible, down-right awful films and everything in between.  And so here is my list of the best films of 2012.


10.  Safety Not Guaranteed – A quirky, independent film with a creative plot, talented cast, and superb writing. The less than stellar ending is the only reason it’s not higher on my list.


9. The Bourne Legacy – Jeremy Renner steps in for Matt Damon and the film doesn’t miss a beat. The story is fast, intelligent and the action is everything you want and expect from a Bourne film.


8. Ted- A raunchy, profane comedy about a teddy bear that magically comes to life and a 30 something slacker. A nonstop, laugh fest that was the best comedy of 2012.


7. Safe House – Nonstop action, an intelligent script, and great performances from Washington and Reynolds make Safe House one of the best this year.


6. End of Watch – Great story, inventive camera work, and an anything can happen feel make this a must see film.


5. Flight – Denzel Washington’s performance as an alcoholic pilot is truly a treat to witness. Kelly Reilly is terrific as his drug addicted confidante. Take this Flight.


4. Silver Linings Playbook – Terrific, funny, heartfelt story about real people dealing with real issues and how they cope.  Jennifer Lawrence shines and steals the show from Bradley Cooper.


3. Skyfall – Not normally a fan of Bond films, but thoroughly enjoyed this one. Daniel Craig is excellent, but Javier Bardem as the villain is a scene stealer. Excellent, smart story and a great homage to past Bond films. See Skyfall!


2. Lincoln – Daniel Day-Lewis gives another Academy Award winning performance as the 16th President. Writing and story are terrific, Tommy Lee Jones is great as Thaddeus Stevens. Lincoln is nearly perfect.


1. Argo – Without a doubt the best film of the year! Everything about this film is perfect, the performances, story, and the pacing. Nothing else even came close to matching Argo.

On the Southside

December 27, 2012 in Opinion by Scott Emmett

A Southside snowstorm frenzy

There is, at this moment, a large snow / ice storm making its way across this fine state. It has left the place with more snow than has been seen in many years along with a covering of ice in such quantity to make driving all but impossible. To hear the media tell it, this is a storm of Biblical proportions.

According to our ever vigilant media, there exists no other news in the entire world except this storm. One channel had what they called “continuing coverage” of the snow storm and its horrendous impact on the daily lives of the citizens in its destructive path. Why, one station even cut into the national network news show with its own continuing coverage of this disaster and went on a full hour after that with a “special coverage” show. The fine citizens who were treated to this hour long “snow team” special alert on the storm to end all storms were, by now, scared clean out of their wits.

The folks viewing the local networks were shown map after map after map of this monster snow storm that had now reached a breadth of some 2,000 miles. It had another map showing each county in the state and what level of warning each one was under. Further, in a desire to be the ever so helpful TV news station, reporters were out in multiple locations to ensure that everybody knew how much snow and ice was at every corner of the city. There were televised interviews with the mayor, the chief of police, a guy driving a salt truck, and an over the road truck driver. All had the same message: stay home. There were pictures of snow that had been covered with ice (“It’s slippery!” said one reporter) on the Southside of town that looked exactly like a pile of snow covered with ice on the Northside of town. Viewers were even advised how and what to do to be prepared. This helpful story came only after the weather had turned sour with the result being a mad rush on food and hardware stores by media influenced people. That caused yet another story about people jamming the stores and, gosh, there’s nowhere to park and no food on the shelves. The army of reporters had whipped up a crisis!

Viewers were reminded time and time again that whatever station they were viewing was the absolute and total expert on this weather calamity and they should stay tuned at all times for the most up to date news on this raging storm that was wreaking havoc on the countryside.

Listening to the news media, one would think there had never been a snow storm and ice was only now a recent invention. I wonder what they will do when the sun comes out?

Scott Emmett lives in Greenwood with his wife, Karen, and an ornery old cat named Toby. Write to Scott at

Torry's Top Ten

December 27, 2012 in Opinion, Torry's Top Ten by Torry Stiles

Top ten reasons we survived the Mayan Doomsday calendar

by Torry Stiles

10. It was all made up by the folks who sell MRE’s and those plastic silvery survival blankets.

9. Just a scam to scare folks away from the theaters so the geeks and freaks could get seats to The Hobbit.

8. They carved it in stone. Never trust a calendar that doesn’t include a Dilbert cartoon.

7. It was all just a big promotion for the new Psychic Hotline.

6. The Mayans really suck at math.

5. No way we could stop everything right in the middle of the football season.

4. Translators thought it said, “end of the world.” It really was predicting the end of the NHL schedule.

3. Mayans loved practical jokes. Gotcha!

2. They forgot all about Daylight Savings Time.

1. I still owe the cable company $78.36 and nothing will keep them from collecting.

Letter to the editor 12/27

December 27, 2012 in Letters to the Editor, Opinion by Carey Germana

Thanks for the Back Shop opinions


We have so enjoyed From the Back Shop and the expressions that are from so many of us. Sometimes we have to look long and hard to find opinions that agree with ours. It is a pleasure to see what’s next each week. We do miss you in Beech Grove. Good luck in the new location.


Bob and Virginia Sanders

Beech Grove

At Play 12/27

December 27, 2012 in At Play, Community by Carey Germana



Dinner with the Champions • In recognition of the 10 year anniversary of the 2003 BGHS Girls Basketball State Championship team, an event will be held with a dinner and program. Most of the players, including Miss Basketball Katie Gearalds, coaches and administration will be present. | When: Dec. 28 | Where: Beech Grove High School, 5330 Hornet Ave. | Cost: $8. | Info: Tickets can be purchased in the high school main office. Please call (317) 786-1447.


Contract Bridge Tournament • The Social of Greenwood is hosting a contract bridge tournament. It is open to all players and monetary prizes will be awarded to the winners. Lunch will be provided. | When: Jan. 12 | Where:  550 Polk St., Greenwood. | Cost: $25 for members and $30 for nonmembers to play. | Info: Call (317) 882-4810 or visit


Seeing the World • Visitors and come and experience the timely and amazing images of the St. John’s Bible. This is the first time that the bible has been handwritten since the invention of the printing press. | When: Jan. 9, 16 and 30 and Feb. 6, 6:30 – 9 p.m. | Where: Benedict Inn Retreat and Conference Center, 1402 Southern Ave., Beech Grove. | Cost: $30 per session (includes dinner) | Info: For detailed information on each session visit or call (317) 788-7581.


Ways of Grace • Participants can learn how to deepen their prayer life, learn about the lives of some of the Saints and discover and explore various prayer practices. The first session is “Praying with St. Cecilia in Music.” | When: Jan. 19, 9-11:30 a.m. | Where: Benedict Inn Retreat and Conference Center, 1402 Southern Ave., Beech Grove. | Cost: $25 per session | Info: Visit or call (317) 788-7581.





Quilt Connection Guild • Members and those interested in joining can bring something to work on, a salad or dessert to share, and unwanted sewing or quilting items to trade or sell to other members. Participants are also asked to bring a jar or two of creamy peanut butter to donate to the food bank. | When: Jan. 3, 7 p.m. | Where: Greenwood United Methodist Church, 525 N. Madison Ave., Greenwood. | Info: Visit


Essential Tremor Month • The topic of the meeting is how ET is effecting you. You are encouraged to bring a guest or family member. | When: Jan. 19, 2:30 p.m. | Where: Dimitri’s Casual Dining, 4902 S. East St. | Info: RSVP by calling Jacqueline Hudson at (317) 823-3803 or email




Magical Story Quilt • Preschoolers ages 2-5 and an adult are invited to jump on the magical story quilt for stories, songs and finger plays. | When: Jan. 2, 10:30 a.m. | Where: Garfield Park Branch, 2502 Shelby St. | Info: Call (317) 275-4490.


Beginner Computer Class • Adults, especially seniors, are invited to a series of beginner-friendly computer classes that provide instruction, fun and plenty of time to practice. The topic of this class is making monthly and yearly calendars. | When: Jan. 2, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. | Where: Garfield Park Branch, 2502 Shelby St. | Info: Call (317) 275-4490 to register.


Movie • Families are invited to get together for a showing of Brave. This Disney princess movie tells a tale of the importance of family and finding your way. | When: Jan. 2, 1 p.m. | Where: Beech Grove Public Library, 1102 Main St. | Info: Call (317) 788-4203.


Job Center • This free class for unemployed or underemployed individuals helps them to receive one-on-one assistance to enhance their employment skills. The session focuses on job search strategies, interviewing skills, resume development, and instruction on basic computer skills. | When: Jan. 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30, 12:30 – 4:30 p.m. | Where: Southport Branch, 2630 E. Stop 11 Rd. | Info: Call (317) 275-4510.


Puppet Show • Children and families are invited for stories told through the art of puppets. | When: Jan. 3, 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. | Where: Program Room in Beech Grove Public Library, 1102 Main St. | Info: Call (317) 788-4203.


eBook Tinker Station • Patrons are invited to learn how to select and use eReaders, as well as search and download materials from the library’s extensive collection of eBooks, audiobooks and digital music. | When: Jan. 5 and 19, 2 – 4 p.m. | Where: Franklin Road Branch, 5550 S. Franklin Rd. | Info: Call (317) 275-4380.




Local Artist • Nicholai Shaver will be featured with his painting on wood to extend two-dimensional paintings to 3 dimensional assemblage structures. | When: Jan. 4, 7 – 10 p.m. | Where: Funkyard Art Galley and Coffee Shop, 1114 Prospect St. | Info: Call (317) 882-3865.




Alzheimers • A free workshop titled “Know the 10 Signs” will teach the warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease. The program also has interactive video clips of people living with the illness. | When: Jan. 23, 10 – 11 a.m. | Where: Community Hospital South, 1402 E. County Line Rd. | Info: Registration is required and can be done by calling (800) 272-3900.




Arsenic and Old Lace • This killer comedy is about two sister spinsters who take it upon themselves to unburden the men of their lonely lives with a special cocktail. When insanity runs in the family, anything can happen. | When: Dec. 28 – Feb. 2. | Where: Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre, 9301 N. Michigan Rd. | Cost: $37.50-$62.50 (includes dinner buffet) | Info: For reservations call (317) 872-9664 and visit for a complete show schedule.